Durable and all-purpose laptops under 500 dollars.
Whether you prefer working in Windows or enjoy the advanced functionality of macOS, you can always find a perfect laptop with your favorite OS. There are plenty of budget laptops under $500 on the market that are suitable for beginners and advanced users alike, so you can easily find an affordable model that will suit your needs. Chromebooks are suitable for budget-conscious users as well.
Those who decide to buy a new laptop might face some unexpected difficulties when trying to make their choice. Manufacturers released many models in various sizes and at different prices. Thanks to the recent technological advancements, now you can easily find the best laptop under $500 provided you know which features you need to pay attention to. To facilitate your choice, I have reviewed the best offers available and listed their advantages and disadvantages.
CPU: Intel® | GPU: ATI Radeon| RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Display: 15.6 -inch | Weight: 3.97 lbs
⊕ Stylish design
⊕ Powerful CPU
⊕ IPS screen with great luminosity
⊖ Low-quality display
The Aspire 5 is a compact laptop that delivers remarkable performance and is suitable for casual use. It’s equipped with the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Mobile processor, which allows it to cope with any challenging task. Thanks to its 15.6-inch screen, it delivers high-quality images. The IPS display allows watching Full HD content, while virtually bezel-less design accounts for an immersive working experience. As this best laptop under 500 is extremely portable, you can take it with you anywhere. The Acer Color Intelligence technology ensures that colors look rich and perfectly saturated across the screen. You won’t have to worry about eye strain either as Acer BlueLight Shield minimizes harmful emissions.
CPU: Type p6755de | GPU: NVIDIA| RAM: 8 GB | Storage: 256 GB | Display: 15 -inch | Weight: 3.75 lbs
⊕ Suitable for gamers
As this model is equipped with a great battery, you won’t have to worry that your laptop might turn off unexpectedly. The bezels are nearly impossible to notice. The HP 15 comes with a solid set of specs that make it suitable both for office use and leisure activities. It delivers steady performance and features a large screen, which allows you to browse the Internet, watch videos and switch between different tasks with ease.
This laptop under 500 dollars was designed for those who are looking for a reliable device and want to purchase a model that successfully combines advanced functionality and amazing design.
CPU: Intel Core | GPU: NVIDIA | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 3.5 pounds
⊕ Value for money
⊕ Seamless performance
⊕ Great battery life
⊖ Can’t be upgraded
If you are looking for a laptop that can be used both for work and gaming, the ASUS VivoBook 15 is a great option to consider. Its four-sided NanoEdge screen looks virtually frameless thanks to extremely thin 5.7mm bezels that account for an 88% screen-to-body ratio and ensure the most immersive watching experience. By adjusting the ErgoLift hinge, you can tilt the keyboard so that your hands always stay in a comfortable position. The AMD Ryzen 5 CPU and AMD Radeon GPU account for powerful performance. Besides, this best laptop under 500 comes in 4 different colors, so you can choose Coral Crush, Slate Gray, Peacock Blue or Transparent Silver options.
CPU: i7-6500U | GPU: Intel HD | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1 TB | Display: 15.6 -inch | Weight: 4.9 pounds
⊕ Unique haptic surface
⊕ Decent price-performance ratio
⊕ Reliable battery
⊖ Slow hard drive
While its black design looks pretty minimalist, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 can easily beat other similar models available on the market. Unlike the lower part of the laptop, the display is extremely thin, which makes it comfortable to use. If you enjoy a unique style, you will appreciate the textured finish and nice squared corners that make it different from the rounded models available today.
This laptop under 500 dollars is a smart choice for those who value high-quality and a stylish look. Thanks to its unique design, it looks far better than other mid-range models that I have tested.
CPU: Exynos 5 Dual | GPU: Intel UHD | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 1TB | Display: 15.6 -inch | Weight: 3.8 pounds
⊕ Suitable for work-related tasks
⊖ Poor storage capacity
As you will hardly notice its thin bezels, the Samsung Chromebook 4+ allows you to enjoy a more immersive experience when watching movies and TV-shows. It comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD display and a wide choice of Google apps. You can quickly access Google Docs and store your files on Google drive. It’s also possible to download other apps from the Google Play Store. Users appreciate its ultra-fast Wi-Fi connection that allows downloading large files in no time. This Chromebook under $500 is safeguarded against viruses and malware. Thanks to regular updates, your data will always be protected against any threat. You can use this laptop for up to 10 hours without plugging it in. The device comes with a USB-C port that allows you to quickly recharge it.
CPU: Intel Celeron | GPU: Nvidia's Quadro| RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Display: 14 -inch | Weight: 3.3 pounds
⊕ Reliable keyboard
⊕ RAM/hard drive can be upgraded
⊖ Limited viewing angles
While the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is hardly suitable for design tasks, it’s a nice option for casual use. With this 14-inch device, you can boost your effectiveness and optimize your workflow. This option is great for office workers, students and just anyone who is looking for a portable laptop suitable for studies. This best laptop under 500 was designed for those who are on a budget and want to find a practical solution. As it comes with the Ryzen™ 5 3500U CPU and Radeon GPU, this laptop is perfect for multitasking.
CPU: Gen Intel® | GPU: NVIDIA® | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB | Display: 14 -inch | Weight: 2.65 lbs
⊕ Lightweight aluminum chassis
⊕ Powerful specs for the price
⊕ Decent performance and battery capacity
⊖ Poor-quality, non-touch display
The manufacturers employed the Acer Purified Voice technology to ensure that you won’t hear any noise when talking to your friends or colleagues. The device comes with two integrated microphones that deliver great sound quality. The HD Webcam with an SHD range will make your videoconferencing experience even more enjoyable as it accounts for a high level of detail and rich colors.
The in-built fingerprint reader makes it easier to verify your identity and prevent your data from being compromised. You won’t even need to type a password. A virtual assistant will help you solve any issue in no time. While this laptop under 500 dollars looks pretty portable because of its thin chassis, it’s quite powerful thanks to the 8-core Zen 2 CPU from the AMD Ryzen 4000 Series. It can be used by gamers, video editors and designers alike.
CPU: Intel® | GPU: NVIDIA® | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256 GB | Display: 15 -inch | Weight: 3.75 lbs
⊕ Nice design
Those who prefer to always stay connected will appreciate that this best laptop under 500 has a remarkable battery capacity. The bezels are quite slim, which is great if you plan to watch videos on your laptop. Thanks to the large screen, you can enjoy your favorite content, surf the Internet and switch between your tasks. While the laptop is pretty cheap, it still has pretty impressive features, delivers amazing performance and looks quite stylish.
Acer AspireOur choice
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Before deciding on the size of your laptop, think carefully about what you are going to use it for. If you are looking for a portable option, it’s better to purchase a lightweight laptop. Unlike RAM or a hard drive, a chassis can’t be upgraded afterward, so it’s vital to check how much your device weighs before making your choice.
Laptop sizes range from 11.6 to 17.3 inches. Most world-known manufacturers, such as Dell, Acer, HP and ASUS, release models in 3 sizes with 13.3, 15.6 and 17.3-inch displays. Some brands have designed budget laptops under $500 with different sizes that measure 11.6, 12.5 and 14 inches.
If you are looking for a compact option, it’s better to choose a Windows laptop with a small display. Such devices are usually more portable as they have a thin profile and don’t weigh much.
Make sure to consider the laptops with the screen size ranging from 12.5 to 13.3 inches that weigh between 1 and 1.5 kg.
If you spend a long time in front of your laptop, you need to buy a device with an ergonomic keyboard. While a standard-sized keyboard with all the keys and a numpad is unnecessary, there are plenty of smaller options that are comfortable to use. To be able to quickly find the keys and use various commands, make sure to choose a laptop equipped with a keyboard featuring full-size keys. Some free space around the arrow keys will be pretty useful as well. If a keyboard has a decent key travel, it will reduce muscle strain. The keys should be quite responsive as well.
To work in poorly lit rooms, choose a model with a backlit keyboard. It will allow you to see all the keys and avoid typing mistakes.
A good laptop offers a perfect balance between its size and powerful specs. Some manufacturers manage to release models that will satisfy even the most demanding people. Laptops that deliver remarkable performance usually come with large-size displays and weigh more than their portable counterparts. They also have worse battery capacity.
Screen size is directly connected with the size of a laptop, which is why manufacturers usually indicate it first in the detailed descriptions of their devices. If you need to work in Excel or plan using your Windows laptop under $500 for watching Netflix content, choose a model with a large display. For carrying your device around, pick a laptop that fits in your bag. The most common sizes range between 11 and 17 inches, so you will easily find what you are looking for.
As there are so many offers available, you need to understand clearly if you are going to use your laptop mostly at your work desk or during trips. If you want to take it with you wherever you go, make sure to purchase a portable option. Those who don’t want to clutter their desks with cables prefer models with large battery capacity. Once you have decided on where you will be using your laptop, read detailed reviews to make an informed choice.
Over recent years, 2 in 1 laptops under $500 and portable models became more powerful, so they can cope with multiple complex tasks quickly. You can find a small model with a great CPU and GPU. However, if you need a Ryzen laptop for gaming, video editing, creating animations or solving design tasks, you will be better off if you choose a heavier device.