Which Are The Best Laptops Under $500
The best laptops in the market cost much more, but for the average consumer, laptops under 500 are still OK. When shopping for a laptop in this price range, you might have to make a few compromises, so it matters that you prioritize features like good battery life- that are important to you and get as many of them as you can, without crossing your budget.
In our list, we have listed some of our favorites, and we will keep updating the list so you can always check back. Still, when evaluating the best laptop at this price, some of the features to consider include:
Full-HD Screen: In as much as youre shopping on a budget, you dont have to settle for a mediocre resolution, especially for a notebook. However, it is OK for a Chromebook to have a low-res, 1366 x 768 display as it allows you to fit a lot of text on the screen at once. However, dont expect a high-resolution touch screen at this price range.
Still, if you can find one with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, that will be a bonus as you can easily view your favorite web pages, emails, social media feeds, and documents without scrolling. Youll also benefit from much sharper images and videos.
SSD or eMMC Memory: At this price range, expect most laptops to use mechanical hard drives and 4GB of RAM, but if you can bump into one with a solid-state drive or eMMC storage, grab it! It will speed up your boot and application load times, if you dont get one, go with one with the highest capacity of hard drive storage.
How We Chose The Best Gaming Laptops Under $500
Ive been booting up games on Steam for as long as I can remember, and have written about computers for more than a decade on sites like Popular Science, Gear Patrol, and CNN Underscored. Ive tested all manner of PCs and laptops to find the latest and greatest devices. To find the best gaming laptops under $500, a challenging task, I researched what kind of hardware you may be able to purchase with such a budget. With that information in-hand, I selected the individual picks based on third-party reviews and consumer feedback.
Hp Pavilion Aero 13 Laptop Under $500
If you are looking for a good-quality, personal-use laptop under $500, weâd highly recommend the HP Pavilion Aero 13.
Besides the premium look and design, the specifications of this laptop are what sets it apart from the remainder of the competitors in the same price range.
The model is fuelled by the AMD Ryzen 5 5625U processor and Radeon graphics, which renders smoother performance and lightweight gameplay and editing action without any buffers.
What further streamlines the performance is the combination of 256GB SSD storage and 8GB RAM. Furthermore, the Aero 13 comes pre-installed with Windows 11 OS for easy access to all the latest Microsoft apps.
HP hasnât compromised on the display configuration because the Aero 13 is equipped with a compact 13â WUXGA IPS Display with 16:10 aspect ratio. Despite the affordable price range, you do get access to a backlit keyboard, which is a bonus.
Reason to buy
- RAM configuration could be better
- Display isnât the most vivid
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Best 15 Inch Laptops Under $500 In 2022
When 11-inches are too confine and 17 inches is too big, settling down for the best 15 inch laptop under $500 sounds like a perfect deal. Besides, there are quite interesting and inspiring laptops out there with narrow bezel screens that add to the premium footprint and hence you get more leverage in terms of visuals and aesthetics.
Many professionals and even students are opting for 15 inches gear but, the budget laptop is still a major parameter to clear. For many reasons the 15 inches display laptop is more in trend. Besides, the all-rounder output of these gears works efficiently for writing, gaming, and remote communicating, as of course serious office work!
In this article you are about to unbox those exclusive laptops that are lighter, smatter and robust to the core. With smooth performance you will find these laptops highly valuable on a fair budget.
Lets jump right into the in-depth reviews!
The Best Laptops Under $: Reviews & Recommendations
The best laptops under $500 are functional and wont fail you. Here are our recommendations.
- Plenty of options for more storage and RAM
- Not enough storage space for games or production work
- 8-hour battery life.
We named the Acer Aspire 5 in our round-up of best cheap laptops, bestowing it as the best laptop under $500. After much testing and deliberation, it gets the top spot on this list, too. It features 8 GB of RAM, a quad-core AMD processor, and a 128 GB SSD, which is phenomenal for its price pointApple products with starter specs have gone for at least $1,400 . The AMD Ryzen 3 3350U processor with Radeon graphics can handle a research papers worth of tabs, and the 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 LED display shows your photos and videos in crisp high-definition. Windows 11the latest Microsoft OSis included, and Bluetooth capabilities allow you to connect your wireless headphones for playing your tunes without disrupting anyone. A fingerprint reader adds biometric security, and plenty of ports will leave you dongle-free. If youre shopping for a graduate on a budget, this is one of the best cheap Windows laptops and a great consideration.
- Laptop screen provides excellent picture quality and contrast
- Webcam quality could be better
- Glass touchpad isnt accurate
- Not the best for heavy multitasking
- Small amount of storage
- Resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
- More suited for web-based use
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The Best Laptops Under $500 You Can Buy Today
The Acer Aspire 5 earns its place at the top spot of the best laptops under $500 page due to its strong 8th Gen Core i3 performance, bright 1080p display and long battery life, all for an affordable price. Although the Aspire 5 is much thinner than its sibling, the Aspire E 15, the Aspire 5 boasts enough room for a battery that lasts nearly 9 hours on a charge.
It doesnât feature a DVD writer, but it still has a decent number of ports. The display emits an impressive 276 nits of brightness, which gives the screen some decent contrast. It even has an aluminum hood. To top it off, the bezels on the display are surprisingly narrow for a laptop this cheap. The Aspire 5 is one of the best cheapest laptops currently available.
The Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 cloaks itself in the guise of a tweed-bound journal. However, lift the cover and youâve unlocked a versatile 2-in-1 laptop that happens to include a stylus in case you did want to do some journaling.
While the Detachable CM3 isnât the most powerful of Chromebooks, its vibrant display and convenient form factor make it an excellent content consumption and web browsing device that can easily slip into any bag. While itâs pricey for having a MediaTek processor inside, the CM3 makes up for it with nearly 12 hours of battery life and a durable chassis. It’s easily one of the best laptops under $500.
See our full Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook review.
Dell Inspiron 156 Laptop
Features: Core i3 CPU is a powerhouse to be reckoned with, design is great
WHY ITS A TOP PICK: Cheap laptops dont have to be powerful, but the Dell still is.
At $347.88, the Dell Inspiron barely inches in under the mark we set out with on this list, but once you see how much power its able to carry around at that price you wont even remember what the word budget means.
With an Intel Core i3-7130U 2.7GHz onboard CPU, an Intel HD Graphics 620 chip, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 128GB of available solid state drive space, the Dell Inspiron is just as zippy and capable as other laptops twice its cost. The smooth finish on the case and paintjob on the keyboard and trackpad are both design choices that pay off handsomely, and the Inspiron also has a great number of available ports for a budget machine. Overall this is a solid machine, containing a set of specs that could run a number of current and older games without a flinch. Youll also want the best laptop bags to protect your device.
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Best Chromebooks Under $500
|Tested battery life:||11.5 hours|
Why we like this one: If you want a larger screen and a number pad, we recommend the Asus Chromebook Flip C536 . Its vibrant, 15.6-inch touchscreen provides more room to get work done or enjoy media, and the number pad is useful if you input a lot of data. The Flip C536s backlit keys and extra-wide trackpad feel satisfying and responsive. But even though the C536 will last a long time away from an outlet, its too large and heavy to carry around on a regular basis.
Where it falls short: The 15-inch display makes the Flip C536 heavier and bulkier, so its much less portable than our other pickswe dont recommend it if you need a laptop to take to work, class, or even a coffee shop. For some reason the C536 has a 360-degree hinge, but its way too weighty to flip around and use comfortably in other modes.
What Is The Highest Level Of Processor I Can Expect In A Laptop Below $500
It can depend on the manufacturer or brand. You may be able to find a 6th or 7th-generation Intel i5 processor for the price range you are suggesting. You may not be able to find the next-level i7 processors at this price. There may be laptops with AMD processors which are considered equivalent to the Intel chipsets.
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Q How Long Do Laptops Last
A laptops life depends on how its used. One thats used every day for six to eight hours may only last two or three years. However, one thats only used for an hour or two a day may last up to four or five years. After that, youre on borrowed time. You may also find that the laptop becomes incompatible with software updates after four or five years. When you’re ready to upgrade, check out our guide to how to recycle electronics.
Acer Chromebook Spin 311 116
These days, most college students cannot do without a laptop and a tablet. Instead of buying both, you can simply invest in this 2-in-1 device that doubles up as both. The touch-enabled screen is compact and offers a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The 4760mAh battery is quite powerful and offers a runtime of 15-16 hours when fully charged.
The device comes equipped with dual speakers that produce crystal-clear audio output. The weight of the laptop is just about 2.65 lbs, so it wouldnt be difficult for you to carry it to college every day. You get a large number of connectivity options on this device including an audio combo jack. However, there is no microSD card slot here. The MediatekMT8183 Processor ensures steady performance for the device.
Why You Should Buy This?
- Ideal for college students who need both a laptop and a tablet regularly.
- Also recommended for professionals who travel extensively and wish to invest in a budget-friendly convertible device offering solid battery support.
- The screen could have been brighter
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How To Choose The Best Laptops Under $500 For You
Choosing the best laptop under $500 for you really depends on where you are at with your budget. Our top performers, the Acer Aspire E 15 and the Acer Aspire 5, typically range around $300 to $400, so you wonât even need to expand your budget to $500. Even if these laptops are slightly out of budget right now, you should consider saving if you can, as they boast Intel Core i3 processors, which you wonât find in most laptops under $500.
However, if you donât mind using the ChromeOS, it might be best for you to use a Chromebook. Here me out. Itâs cheap, and since the operating system is stripped down, it will perform better than your average Windows 10 laptop for the same price. Laptops like the HP Chromebook 15, HP Chromebook x2 and Samsung Chromebook 4 are examples of great chromebooks you can buy under $500.
What Is Missing From $500 Laptops
Most $500 laptops are made out of plastic, unlike aluminum and other premium materials used for expensive laptops. You’ll also find faster performance in these more expensive laptops. Quad-core processors and 8GB of RAM are the norm in midrange laptops, while most of the options on this list have less.
Expensive laptops often specialize in either battery life or graphics performance. The Dell XPS 13 will provide you with all-day battery life, while the Razer Blade will let you play modern games at high frame rates. When you’re shopping under $500, you should expect a bare-bones laptop. It can handle most day-to-day tasks with ease, but gaming, photo/video editing, and other more demanding tasks may require a higher budget.
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Q: Can A $500 Laptop Run Fortnite
The easiest way to confirm your laptop can play Fortnite is to check the games minimum required specs. The Battle Royale is generally friendly to a wide variety of computers, so if you own something older or less powerful, you should be fine on lower settings. OS: Windows 7/8/10 64-bit or Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6
How We Test Computers
The review process for laptops, desktops, tablets and other computer-like devices consists of two parts: performance testing under controlled conditions in the CNET Labs and extensive hands-on use by our expert reviewers. This includes evaluating a device’s aesthetics, ergonomics and features. A final review verdict is a combination of both those objective and subjective judgments.
The list of benchmarking software we use changes over time as the devices we test evolve. The most important core tests we’re currently running on every compatible computer include: Primate Labs Geekbench 5, Cinebench R23, PCMark 10 and 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra.
A more detailed description of each benchmark and how we use it can be found in our How We Test Computers page.
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Acer Aspire 5 Performance
For less than $400, the Aspire 5 packs an Intel Core i3-8145U processor and 4GB of RAM that hurdled through 30 Google Chrome tabs and four 1080p YouTube videos with minimal slowdown while Spotify ran in the background.
On the Geekbench 4.1 overall performance test, the Aspire 5 scored 8,030, climbing over the budget laptop average as well as the Core i3-8130U in the Aspire E 15 and the HP 14 Laptop .
The Aspire 5’s Intel Core i3-8145U processor hurdled through 30 Google Chrome tabs and four 1080p YouTube videos with minimal slowdown while Spotify ran in the background.
The Aspire 5 took 32 minutes and 53 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p on our HandBrake benchmark. That’s much slower than the category average and slightly behind the Aspire E 15 .
Acer’s 128GB SSD copied 4.97GB of data in 20.5 seconds, translating to 248 megabytes per second, which blazes past the average budget laptop . The Aspire E 15 is weighed down by a much slower 1TB HDD , and even though the HP 14 Laptop has a 128GB SSD, it had a rate of only 85 MBps.
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5 2
Besides VivoBook 14, another convertible laptop worth mentioning in the list is the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5.
This one is a clutter free device with four-sided narrow bezels and a premium quality display to enjoy the visuals like never before.
The IdeaPad Flex 5 is a recent launch and is powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor for the ultimate creativity and entertainment.
It is backed with AMD Radeon graphics, which isnât the best but does get the job done.
Besides that, the device is equipped with a 14â touchscreen FHD display with the IPS panel technology and 1080p screen resolution for the ultimate user experience.
The device does come with a pen that you need to buy separately for easy operation on the touchscreen. Also, the device is flexible with easy 360-degree manoeuvring. For productivity, the 256GB SSD of storage and 16GB RAM more or less take care of all the needs.
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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. If you want a good video editing laptop, the HP Chromebook with Intel Celeron processors provides 5.4 times high-resolution video editing than the basic HP laptop. With that comes a need for a faster processor with more cores, more memory — 8GB RAM 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 — you’ll find some of our top picks for 2022’s best Windows laptops and Chromebooks under the $500 budget in the list above, along with their pros and cons.