The Best Laptops Under $500
Buying a laptop doesnt need to break the bank. Believe it or not, its possible to find a decent laptop for $500 or lesswithout sacrificing features like powerful processing speed, large memory storage, and long-lasting battery life. With the rapid evolution of computer technology and large-scale manufacturing, it is now possible to enjoy a quality, affordable laptop without making many compromises, says Alan Zilberman at LaptopMD+, an IT repair company. Whether you spend your day on Excel, answering emails, video editing with Adobe Premiere Pro, programming, or working on a graphic design project, there is an affordable laptop out there for you. And if you buy at the right time, like during a stellar Labor Day or back-to-school sale, you might even be able to score more of a deal.
There are some trade-offs to searching for budget-friendly laptops, though. Finding ones worth buying is no easy task, says Tom Brant, senior hardware analyst at PCMag. COVID-related challenges have made it even harder, with shuttered factories and skyrocketing demand from people who need a reliable work-from-home platform.
Luckily, we can make your search a little easier. Just add one of these laptops to your shopping cart and youll be all set! Once you check off this must-have on your back-to-school checklist, get a laptop backpack to go with it and, if you have a college student, these dorm room essentials, too.
The Best Laptop Under $500
If youre looking for an absurdly cheap Chromebook that absolutely gets the job done, you should definitely be looking at the $219 Lenovo Chromebook Duet. The Duet is a 10-inch aluminum alloy Chrome OS tablet that comes with a kickstand and keyboard cover. It looks sturdy and classy, and it can easily function as either a tablet or a PC. But youre not compromising too much on performance for this devices tiny size as long as youre not running dozens of tabs and apps, you should be fine. And we got over 11 hours of battery life in our testing, making it one of the longest-lasting Chromebooks weve seen in the past year.
The main thing to know about the Chromebook Duet is that the screen is quite small just 10.1 inches. Thats a fine size for a young student and for an adults secondary device for note-taking, Netflixing, and the like, but its not an ideal size for a primary work device unless youre fine with quite a bit of squinting.
Best Business Laptop: Hp 250 G8 Notebook
Finding a good business laptop in this price range is difficult, but the HP 250 G8 is a solid entry-level choice. What contributes to the higher price tag is that business laptops like this come with Windows 10 Pro instead of the Home edition. That means you get access to features like Remote Desktop, Hyper-V, BitLocker, and Windows Defender Device Guard. These are features meant for professionals, and if you need them, you have to be willing to make some trade-offs.
In terms of specs, you get an Intel Core i3-1005G1, which is no longer Intels newest, but it still offers two cores and four threads, with boost speeds of up to 3.4GHz. You get 8GB of single-channel RAM and a 256GB SSD, along with a healthy supply of ports including RJ45 Ethernet. The display is 15.6 inches and it comes in a 1366×768 resolution.
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Testing The Modern 1: Just Enough Pep To Stay Current
The parts that make this laptop tick are modest, which is to be expected. The goal here is a working everyday laptop for home and light office tasks, and to that end, the system packs an Intel Core i3-10110U processor, 8GB of memory, and a 128GB SSD. The processor is a humble two-core, four-thread chip that doesnt chew up much energy, but it should have enough pep for simple multitasking. That 128GB of storage is definitely a bit restrictive, but for documents and a moderate number of photos and videos, it will do.
To measure this machines performance, were going to run it through our usual suite of benchmark tests and compare the results to the competition. You can find the names and specs of these competitors in the following table…
These are all inexpensive machines, as well, falling right in the same price range . The Asus Laptop L410 is the least expensive , with a low-power Intel Celeron CPU and just 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage. The VivoBook 15 is similar to the Modern 14 in terms of components, but of course with a larger 15-inch screen . The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is another 15-inch laptop, priced at $369 as tested. Finally, the Asus Vivobook 17 M712 is a bit more expensive , and one of our top picks for any budget laptop, albeit with a giant 17.3-inch screen.
The Best Cheap Notebooks For Less Than 600 Euros
|8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD||14.00″|
|8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD||15.60″|
|8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD||17.30″|
|4 GB Memory, 128 GB UFS 2.1||14.00″|
|8 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD||14.00″|
|4 GB Memory, 64 GB eMMC||11.60″|
|12 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD||15.60″|
|16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD||14.00″|
|8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD||15.60″|
The table above contains an overview over the best notebooks for less than 500 Euros reviewed by Notebookcheck over the course of the past 12 months as well as still relevant and available older products. In cases of identical score the more recent device is listed first. All prices in above table and price comparisons are updated daily and can thus differ. Link: all devices in this class reviewed
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What To Look For In Laptops Under $500
While Chromebooks can run Chrome OS-specific and Android apps, some people need the full Windows OS to run heftier applications, such as video-editing suites. With that comes a need for a faster processor with more cores, more memory — 8GB is the bare minimum — and more storage for applications and the operating system itself. A lot of these have 4GB or 6GB, which in conjunction with a spinning hard disk can make for a frustratingly slow Windows laptop experience. But demands on Chromebooks are growing, so if your Chrome needs to run beyond the basics you should think about paying more for more memory and a faster processor.
Considering all specs and options — battery life, storage space, screen resolution, screen size, core processor performance, general machine and battery performance — these are a few of our top picks for 2021’s best Windows laptops and Chromebooks under the $500 budget, along with their pros and cons.
More Pixels But Not Brighter Ones
One major difference between this model and the previous 3505 model is the 1,920-by-1,080-pixel display. The full-HD, 15.6-inch anti-glare screen is an upgrade from the 1,280-by-720-pixel resolution of its predecessor and another feather in the cap of this capable budget machine. There is no touch-screen option, but its not something youd expect in this price range anyway. Unfortunately, the screen brightness isnt that bright, registering a maximum of 261 nits in our testing. That means that despite the higher resolution compared with its predecessor, the laptop still makes images and video look dim.
The speakers, located underneath the machine, are loud and clear for a laptop of this caliber, though hitting maximum volume actually makes the chassis vibrate. As for the quality, its fair tinny, but not unbearably so.
The Inspiron 15 3000 does come packed with ports, though the omission of a USB-C port is disappointing. On the right side, youll find an SD card slot, a USB 2.0 port, and an audio jack .
The left side includes two USB 3.2 ports , an HDMI 1.4 port, and the power-adapter connector.
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Buy Branded Laptops Online
In the past few years, our lives have belonged to a certain kind of technology that has a peculiar kind of mind that makes life simpler and entertaining – The laptop. Fulfilling all your tasks at work and home, laptops can be distinguished based on their size, portability, user-friendly interface, processor speeds, RAM capacity, performance capabilities and affordability. Laptops are designed to suit all personal and personal requirements, thanks to the unlimited features it offers that meet your computing and multimedia needs with maximum efficiency. Not only do laptops perform several tasks and applications but also provide a list of entertainment features, like a HD viewing experience, magnificent graphics, high-end gaming support, splendid audio, and Bluetooth. Now you can sit at home and login to Flipkart to grab the most beneficial deals and buy the an effective laptop from an unbelievable collection of laptops. Make a style statement as you choose from an unending range of high-performance Notebooks, Ultrabooks and thinkpad that Flipkart offers. Make life simpler, at work and home, as you invest in modern technology that is offered to you by laptops.
Best Overall: Hp Pavilion X360 14
Already making an appearance on our budget laptop list, the HP Pavilion x360 14 is a fantastic option on a budget. Starting with an 11th-generation Intel Core i3 and 8GB of dual-channel memory, its already a great option for your everyday tasks. If you can stretch your budget, you can upgrade to an Intel Core i5 with Iris Xe Graphics, double the RAM, with a couple more upgrades available. It also comes with a good supply of ports, including USB Type-C with DisplayPort and Power Delivery, HDMI 2.0, and more.
The one you might want the most is actually the display. Out of the box, it comes with a 14-inch touchscreen at 1366 x 768 resolution. This is still quite common among cheaper laptops, but the upgrade to Full HD can make a world of difference. Everything will look sharper and youll be able to see a bit more content on the screen. Regardless, its a fantastic entry-level convertible for its price.
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Components And Connectivity: What To Know
The good news is that you’ll have to accept fewer compromises with the budget laptops of today than you did in the past. Intel’s Celeron and Pentium processors have evolved to the point that they can support most of your web browsing and basic productivity needs without feeling sluggish. That said, the $400-to-$700 Windows laptop market is mostly populated by systems based on the much peppier Core i3, Core i5, Ryzen 3, and Ryzen 5 families of processors. Opt for these CPU lines if you need more than just the basics.
Is $350 The Right Price Point For You
Don’t be under the illusion that $350 is going to buy you a monster system that can do everything. It’s not. If you are looking for a system that can handle things like photo and video editing, or a gaming system, then you are looking in the wrong place.
But, if you are looking for a basic system capable of browsing the web , or doing word processing and spreadsheets, then these are the systems for you.
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The Best Laptops Under 500 You Can Buy Today
The Asus VivoBook 15 is the best laptop under £500 for most people.
The best cheap laptop for most people, right now, is the stunning Asus VivoBook 15. Not only does this laptop come with a capacious display that, thanks to tiny bezels, seems far bigger than it actually is, but backs up those looks with a strong all-round hardware and software showing.
You get a full-fat version of Windows 10, of course, and that is powered by a combination of Intel Core i3 CPU, Intel UHD 620 GPU, 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD NVMe. Oh, and for those who find themselves taking more video calls and meetings than before, the VivoBook 15 also delivers an integrated webcam.
Solid battery life, a decent selection of ports, and an included 1-year warranty complete the package. For the money this is a great system, and in T3’s eyes one of the very best laptops under £500 on the market today. See how it compares to our number 2 pick in our Asus Vivobook 15 vs Acer Aspire 5 head-to-head.
The Acer Aspire 5 is the best premium laptop under £500 you can buy today.
The Lenovo IdeaPad is a budget bargain, and one of the best laptops under £500.
If you are looking for a cheap laptop for light computing experiences and don’t need a large screen, then the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a great choice. It’s compact 11.6-inch screen makes it incredibly bag-friendly, as it’s one of the best lightweight laptops around too, weighing only 1.12 kilograms.
Are Laptops Under $500 Any Good
As a rule of thumb, resist buying out of desperation — don’t spend $500 because you can’t find a cheaper laptop deal available, for example. Buying a need-it-now laptop can be like shopping for food while hungry. Even for a laptop, $500 can be a lot of money, and you’ll likely be holding onto it for at least three years, if the statistics Intel and PC manufacturers hurl at us are correct.
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You can also try to make your current laptop last a little longer. If you need something to tide you over for a few months, dig into possible places to buy refurbished machines and explore nonprofit or educational discounts if you’re eligible. Also, if there’s something you really want in a laptop, like a touchscreen, backlit keyboard or HDMI port, check the manufacturer’s specs closely to make sure it has it. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
If you suspect you’ll be holding onto your new laptop for a while, see if you can stretch your budget to buy a slightly more expensive laptop to accommodate a little more memory or a processor with more cores than you were otherwise considering. If you haven’t thought about it, look at AMD Ryzen processors as alternatives to Intel Core for Windows laptops or alternatives to Intel Celeron and Pentium for Chromebooks.
And finally, if you’re replacing an old Windows laptop that’s not up to running Windows anymore, consider turning it into a Chromebook.
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Productivity Storage And Media Tests
PCMark 10 and 8 are holistic performance suites developed by the PC benchmark specialists at UL. The PCMark 10 test we run simulates different real-world productivity and content creation workflows. We use it to assess overall system performance for office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet jockeying, web browsing, and videoconferencing. Unfortunately, the test would not complete on this laptop, which sometimes happens with budget systems. It doesnt mean this system is incapable of these tasks, just that it has a conflict with this benchmark.
PCMark 8, meanwhile, has a storage subtest that we use to assess the speed of the system’s boot drive. Both tests yield a proprietary numeric score higher numbers are better. We can at least compare these results in the table below, and you can also catch the PCMark 10 performance of the other systems.
As mentioned, there is no PCMark 10 result for this system, but you can see the SSD stacks up to the rest. Theyre all in line with one another, offering quick boot and load file times. The Asus Laptop L410 has slower eMMC flash storage, and couldnt complete this test. That is a key distinction in laptops in this price zone under $400, you’ll see a mix of “true” SSDs and pokier eMMC . The former is better.
How Much Storage And Memory Do I Need
Most laptops above entry-level come with solid-state drives , which use memory cells instead of a spinning platter to store data. Since information stored in cells is much faster to access, SSDs are the best and most common drive configuration. Theyre also immune to jolts and bumps that might crash a spinning platters heads.
Some laptops especially larger-chassis ones designed for gaming, come with both kinds of drive: a small SSD to hold the operating system, essential apps, and a few games, and a larger spinning one to store the bulk of your game files or other space-consuming media. Thats a perfectly fine option if youre looking to save some money or simply need the maximum possible local storage amount, but you should stick with an SSD-only setup whenever possible.
Note that not all laptop SSDs are created equal. SSDs that use the more modern, generally faster PCI Express NVMe standard, as opposed to the older, slightly slower SATA interface, are preferable. Either of these, however, are far better than a third type, which is a not-quite-SSD: the much slower eMMC, a kind of flash storage drive found in budget machines. All of them are better than a traditional spinning hard drive unless you simply need sheer capacity for the least money.
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What A Bit More Money Gets You
If you can spend a little more than $500, you should do soyou can buy a significantly better laptop that will feel better to use and last years longer.
The Acer Swift 3 SF314-42-R0HP and the identical SF314-42-R7LH are uncommonly good laptops for their prices of around $580 to $630. The Swift 3 is compact, weighs just 2.65 pounds, and its battery lasted about 10.5 hours in our tests. Compared to most thin-and-light ultrabooks, the Swift 3 feels cheap, but unlike almost every other laptop in this budget price range, the Swift 3 meets our performance, battery life, and weight requirements, and has no dealbreaking flaws.
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5 14ITL053 is another decent option for the price. But because it has a dim screen with a yellowish cast, we only recommend it if its on sale for less than the Swift 3. Otherwise, youre better off saving up a bit more for the lighter, more compact Yoga 7i , which also has a better display.
The next step up from this category is our budget ultrabook pick, the Lenovo Yoga 7i , which costs a few hundred dollars more but has the specs and build quality to last you a few years, as well as the battery life to run all day.
The iPad is plenty powerful for most people, but if you want a bigger screen on your tablet for multitasking and a faster processor, consider the iPad Air. But it starts at $600, and youll have to spend more on a keyboard and a case to go with it.