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The Best Laptops Under $500 In 2021

The Best Laptops for 2020

The best laptops under $500 are the cheapest laptops that don’t suck

The best laptops under $500 won’t leave you unsettled because you didn’t pay a premium price. There are value-priced notebooks that include full-HD displays, solid performance and long battery life, plus all the ports you need. You can even get a laptop with a touch screen in this price range, though it will be on the smaller side. Some of these even made it on our best laptops page.

After reviewing dozens of value-priced systems, the best laptops under $500 with a Windows 10 operating system are the 15-inch Acer Aspire E 15 and the Acer Aspire 5. We even wrote a face-off comparing the Acer Aspire E15 vs. Acer Aspire 5 to help you choose between the two. Meanwhile, the best Chromebooks under $500 that youll find are the HP Chromebook 15 and HP Chromebook x2. We recently reviewed the new Acer Swift 3, which starts at $499, but it didn’t perform well enough to make this list due to its mediocre battery life. We also reviewed the HP Pavilion 14 , which is just under $500. Check out our;best cheap laptop deals.

Keep in mind that youre still going to have to make some compromises when youre looking for a laptop at this price. If you’re looking for something for your kid, check our best kids tablets page. Also, see our best back to school sales and back to school laptop deals pages.

Which Type Of Laptop Is Best For You

General laptops: This broader category is dedicated to devices that focus more on practicality than style, portability or power. Thats not to say they cant be fast, but youll typically find a non-Ultrabook clamshell laptop with an HD screen and spinning drive-based storage for less than AU$1,000.

Ultrabooks: Where youll find thin-and-light notebooks sporting SSD storage and display resolutions that exceed 1080p. Paired with powerful, albeit mobile-centric components and especially long battery life, the best Ultrabooks will cost a pretty penny closer to AU$1,000 to AU$3,000.

2-in-1 laptops: Where notebooks that double as tablets are located. Outfitted with both detachable and 360-degree rotating hinges, these hybrids are the most versatile way to experience Windows 10 on a touchscreen.

Chromebooks: Where youll find the best Chromebooks running Chrome OS. These do much of what Windows and macOS can in the browser, focused on cloud storage over local, while recently getting Android app support for touchscreen models. They generally cost less than AU$500.

Gaming laptops: Need a laptop to play games just like a shiny desktop PC can? Then youll want one of the best gaming laptops. These machines generally cost more than AU$1,000 and can quickly get into the AU$4 5,000 range for the beastlier models.

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For Those Who Love To Customize

If you purchase directly from a company like Acer, Apple, Dell, or Microsoft, you can avoid the confusion of digging through listings on Amazon or Best Buy. This option is best for those whove done the research and know exactly what they want.

Also, purchasing through a manufacturer gives you the most amount of options for customization. Want a laptop with extra memory but dont care about the 4K display? Chances are, youll be able to configure it that way.

If you love tweaking features to get exactly the computer you want, consider buying from a manufacturer its worth the extra cost and shipping fees. This rule applies to boutiques too: specialty shops that custom-build PCs. These include Digital Storm, OriginPC, and even Razer.

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The Heart Under The Hood: Cpu Memory And Storage

When it comes to CPUs, Intel parts teamed with discrete GeForce, Quadro, Radeon, or Radeon Pro graphics processors lead the popularity contest over AMD’s mobile Ryzen 5 and 7 chips with their integrated graphics. The most popular option for 17-inch gaming notebooks is Intel’s Core i7, in 10th or 11th Generation guise with at least six processing cores. These are dubbed Intel’s H-Series chips, to distinguish them from the lighter-hitting U-Series CPUs that show up in thinner, lighter laptops. The mightyâand mighty costlyâCore i9 chips occupy the top of the market. Intel’s 11th Generation H-Series CPUs should increasingly dominate the market, here in mid-2021, in the newest models.

For mobile workstations, the Core i7 and Core i9 are joined by Intel’s Xeon processors, which offer support for server-style error correcting code memory. Though outside the mainstream for ISV apps, ECC’s ability to detect and fix single-bit memory errors is a plus for scientific, architectural, or financial computing jobs intolerant of even the slightest data corruption.

The Best Cheap Laptop Deals In September 2021

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All the best cheap laptop deals in the US for any budget

We’re bringing you all the best cheap laptop deals currently on the shelves, including machines with excellent specs for some great prices. Not only are we seeing powerful budget laptops on sale right now but there are plenty of 2-in-1 laptop deals offering discounts on flexible machines with great functionality.;

From Best Buy to Walmart, MSI to HP you’ll find all the best cheap laptop deals right here. That means we’ve weeded out all the discounts that aren’t worth your time to bring you only the highest quality budget laptop deals on the digital shelves. You’ll find all the key specs and features listed out for each model as well, so you can find the perfect machine for you.

6. The best cheap laptops

There’s a wide range of cheap laptop deals on offer here, from traditional laptops under $500 and the best Chromebooks made for browsing, to powerful working from home machines. So, whether you’re after a budget laptop for web surfing or a more capable rig with the latest processors and speedy SSDs, you’re sure to find the model for you in the laptop deals below.;

If you’re a gamer, you’d be better suited to check out our selection of gaming laptop deals, as the models on this page are not usually built with gaming in mind. If you’re after a cheaper web-based machine, check out the latest Chromebook prices and deals and definitely keep an eye on the upcoming Labor Day laptop sales.

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Do I Really Need To Buy A Gaming Laptop

If youre not sure whether you really need a gaming laptop, we recommend considering what you intend to do with it and how you currently use laptops/desktop computers. If you only play older, less demanding games such as WoW or Candy Crush, theres no need for you to even consider gaming laptop computers. On the other hand, if you enjoy the latest titles and need a mobile solution that enables you to play them anywhere at any time, buying a gaming laptop will make a lot of sense for you. For more help, feel free tocontact us by phone or email at any time.;

Cheap Laptop Deals Under $400

HP 15.6-inch laptop: $379 $249 at WalmartSave $130 – This 15.6-inch HP laptop is available for just $249 right now. Considering there’s an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD inside you’re getting a great price here. Plus, a full-sized 15.6-inch display isn’t usually found at this cost either.

$399.99 $299.99 at HPSave $100 – If you’re after a cheap laptop deal but still want the speed and storage of something more substantial, this 14-inch HP machine is well worth a look. For just under $300 you’re getting a 128GB SSD and an AMD 3020e processor, however there’s also 8GB RAM here where we may previously have only seen 4GB.

$379.99 $329.99 at HPSave $50 – This HP is packing an impressive 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD into a $330 price tag in this week’s laptop deals. An AMD Athlon Gold will see you through everyday browsing as well, which makes this an excellent budget buy.

$529.99 $399.99 at DellSave $130 This Dell Inspiron offers excellent value for money if you need an all-purpose laptop for everyday tasks or work. It includes an Intel i3 processor and a 128GB SSD about expected at this price point. What seals it, though, is the 8GB RAM. That’ll give a welcome performance boost when we usually only see 4GB at this price.

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Which Laptop Should I Buy

Whether it’s a versatile 2in1 with a hires touch screen, a powerful gaming model, or a cheaper Googleoptimised Chromebook, the best choice is different for everyone. So, which one is right for you? Take a look at out this buying guide or visit the experts instore who are happy to help you choose your perfect computer.

Shopping For A Notebook Is More Than Just Poring Over Spec Lists Whether You Want A Simple Budget Pc A Productivity Workhorse Or A Screaming Machine For Gaming Our Deep

Get hard-to-find laptops for cheap with LaptopKid

PROSGood value, especially for a MacBookMuch-improved performance, thanks to Apples new M1 processorExceptional battery lifeHigh-quality keyboard, touchpad, and displayMultiple color options

Port selection limited to two USB Type-C connectionsStill no touch-screen option

PROSUpgraded performance from Intel “Tiger Lake” CPUSleek styling

PROSDazzling OLED touch screen with 3:2 aspect ratioHandy shortcut keys and utility softwareRechargeable pen and carrying sleeve in boxLively performance

CONSNo LTE mobile broadband optionNo sign of the 007 SPECTRE octopus logo

PROSHDMI and USB-A ports, as well as Thunderbolt 4Available 4G or 5G mobile broadbandClever, sanitizing-friendly Quick Clean functionExcellent battery life

PROSPotent AMD Ryzen 9 CPU and up to Nvidia RTX 3080 graphicsRTX 3070 and 165Hz 1440p display in test model enable high-end gamingAll models include HDMI, USB-C, and 1TB of SSD storagePer-key RGB lighting and superior touchpad

CONS

PROSStellar performance with Core i9 and GeForce RTX 3080 in our test configurationUnique, satisfying Cherry MX mechanical keyboardScads of configuration options, including 360Hz displayPlenty of ports

Pricey as configured, in line with field-leading speedPoor battery life

PROSHDMI port and microSD card reader

CONSEven older USB 2.0 portsDisappointing battery life

PROSPowerful graphics and computing performanceCompact chassis with easy access for upgradesExpansive 3K display

Only one USB port and no headphone jackCramped keyboard

CONS

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Which Laptop Is Good For Working At Home

Working remotely and need to get a laptop for home office use? Let’s get down to business! Powerful, secure and able to last the workday , a business laptop like MSI‘s Workstation or the HP Pavilion x360 can compete with a desktop or allinone.

Best of all, you’re not tied to your desk. If you have a dedicated home office, clever additions like a comfy and supportive office chair, an adjustable standing desk or a more handson keyboard are sure to inspire you to tackle your todo list.

Chromebooks: The Crme De La Cheap

Chromebooks used to be little more than glorified netbooks running Google’s Chrome OS. While these Chrome OS-based laptops are still resolutely web-centric, they now have fuller feature sets. If you spend most of your working hours in the cloud, a Chromebook will offer you much of the functionality of a regular Windows 10 or macOS laptop, and it may well deliver longer battery life, depending on the model.

It will also likely cost you a lot less than other types of notebooks, as many Chromebooks come in at less than $300. Just be sure you have easy access to stable Wi-Fi wherever you’ll use one, as Chromebooks have limited offline functionality and scant local storage.

Note that a Pentium or Celeron processor is adequate for a light-usage, budget-minded Chromebook. Intel Core processors tend to be found in the more premium class of Chromebooks.

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Cheap Laptops: Spotting The Best Laptop Deals Under $200

One of the first things we often check when shopping for cheap laptops is the amount of storage on offer. As shoppers, we’ve become accustomed to comparing prices and models based on the number of gigabytes next to the model name. However, there may be more to it than that, especially when you’re browsing the cheaper shelves. You may also need to pay attention to your operating system when picking up a budget laptop deal under $200.;

Some cheap laptops are more worthy of your cash than others, and many simply need to be avoided. For example, you’ll easily find a Windows machine that offers just 16 or 32GB of storage, but with update file and software sizes increasing, you may quickly find that insufficient. However, finding a Chromebook with 16 or 32GB of storage for under $200 makes for a great cheap laptop deal. That’s because these machines run on Chrome OS which doesn’t require updates and operates largely through your browser.;

Similarly, a lot of laptops hold incredibly low price tags because they are labelled as ‘FreeDOS’. This means they don’t have an operating system on them already, so you will need to buy Windows 10 to get them set up.;

What To Look For In A Laptop

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CPU

This is the brain of your computer. The number of cores, processing power and price range is a good indicator of the overall level of CPU power on offer.;

Laptops generally use low-power-consumption CPUs for better battery life.;

Be careful in comparing the Intel family of CPUs with those from AMD their main competitor as quoted speed figures aren’t directly comparable.;

The same goes for the sub-families of each brand for example, Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and i9 are increasingly high performance, even at the same quoted frequency figure in GHz; likewise with the M series processors designed for highly mobile computers. The same goes for AMD’s Ryzen series of processors.

Each new generation of processors is usually faster than the previous generation, even at the same chip frequency. Thus, you can expect a 2.4GHz 10th-generation CPU to be faster than a 2.4GHz 9th-generation CPU, or earlier generation.

RAM

A lack of RAM will slow your computer when running multiple programs, using a lot of web browser tabs or performing labour-intensive tasks, such as image processing.;

Expect a minimum of 4GB even in a budget Windows system, but ideally aim for at least 8GB for most general-use laptops and 16GB or more for high-end models. Don’t skimp on RAM at purchase time as it’s likely you may not be able to upgrade/increase it later.;

Screen quality

CHOICE tip: Choose a larger screen if you’re planning on regularly watching TV or movies on your laptop.;

Storage space

Cooling

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Windows Mac Linux Android Or Chrome Os

Operating systems tend to polarise opinion. Ask a room of techies whether you should go with a Windows, Mac, Linux, Android or Chrome OS laptop or tablet and you’ll start a heated debate that will go for a long time but nobody will win .;

All systems have their good and bad points, but it’s important for you to choose a side, because it affects your software choices and possibly your hardware decisions too. This is definitely the case with Apple products and Chrome OS in particular.;

Apple’s macOS only runs on Apple’s family of computers, while iPadOS only runs on iPads, but they’re designed to work seamlessly with Apple’s other operating systems: iOS , tvOS and watchOS .

Chrome OS runs on laptops, mini PC desktops and PC sticks that are specifically designed for it, usually of a relatively lightweight configuration that is meant to be internet-connected most of the time.

Even outside enterprise users, Windows has several versions, with Home being the consumer version, Pro for more serious users and Windows 10 in S mode for lightweight laptops aimed at being an alternative to Chromebooks.

These days Windows and Chrome OS have a much greater degree of interoperability with Android, though not to the same degree as Apple’s tightly integrated hardware-software ecosystems.

Android is also outgrowing its phone-centric roots to also be seen as a stand-alone OS for tablets, most notably by Samsung and Lenovo.

How Much Battery Life Is Enough

Many laptops can last an entire day away from the power outlet, even when youre using them for demanding but common activities like streaming internet video. There are exceptions; a laptop with a 4K display and a powerful CPU probably will not last for more than 8 hours or so before its battery dies, and most gaming laptops die far sooner. When youre playing demanding games that tax the GPU, gaming laptops tend to run out of juice even more quickly off the plug than they normally do. Youll find more than a few exceptions, though, and even powerful laptops have become adept at sensing when their maximum power isnt required and reducing various components consumption.

This is where PC Labs battery testing comes in. We evaluate battery life by playing a locally stored video file nonstop with no wireless connections active and 50 percent screen brightness. An excellent result on our test suggests that the laptop is good at adapting its power use to the task at hand, and you can use the results to compare the potential of machines you are considering.

Measuring battery life is notoriously tricky, though, since its entirely dependent on how you use your laptop. Your usage profile probably doesnt match our testor anyone elsesto a T. So youll want to look at tested battery life in a relative, rather than absolute, sense.

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Windows Os X Or Linux

The choice of which operating system to go with is a watershed decision that will have long-term ramifications. In fact, it’s arguably the most important decision you’ll make, because it will affect your software choices and may affect your hardware decisions . There are pros and cons to each:

Windows;

It has the lion’s share of the market, with the widest range of programs available. Though Windows 7 is still popular on older PCs, new Windows computers will come with Windows 10, which is designed to work across a wide range of devices, including tablets, and which comes with touchscreen support built-in.

OS X;

Designed to work specifically with Apple hardware, providing tight integration that offers advantages in ease of use and consistency across programs. Many programs for Windows have OS X versions and many OS X-only programs offer file-format compatibility with Windows programs. You can install Windows on Macs using OS X’s built-in installer utility called Boot Camp. This will let you run Windows natively on the Mac hardware without any software emulation, to give you full performance.;

You can also run Windows OS and programs using virtualisation software such as Parallels Desktop for Mac, VMware’s Fusion or Oracle’s Virtual Box. These programs let you install other operating systems such as Linux. Whether you use Boot Camp or a virtualisation program, you’ll need to purchase the Windows operating system separately.

Linux;

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