So, you’re in the market for a budget laptop, but aren’t quite sure what to get? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. To save you the trouble, we did a thorough research and came up with five laptops that offer the best balance between performance and price.
However, it’s important that you know what expect when shopping for a best laptop under 500, so you can make an informed decision of your own. First and foremost, the CPU – five Franklins will get you a solid quad-core, allowing you to do a decent amount of multitasking, even some gaming.
Best Laptops under 500 Comparison
As far as RAM goes, five large ones will get you solid 8GB, while storage capacity will range anywhere between a 16GB SSD to a beastly 1TB HDD. You’ll also probably get anything up to 15.6-inch Full HD screens, but if it’s a 17-incher, you can bet they’ve skimped on the res.
Talking about skimping, you can expect everything from cheap build to surprisingly solid plastic, backlit or regular keyboards, even ergonomically driven ones. Battery life, similarly, varies, but usually you can count on at least an hour for every C-note you shell out.
To be honest, this will suffice for most of your laptop needs, barring CPU heavy programs and newer games.
5 Best Laptop under $500 Reviews
1. Asus F555LA-AB31 15.6-Inch Laptop
If you’re looking to get your money’s worth, there’s no better way to go than the ASUS F555LA-AB31. It’s affordable, decently built, with a comfortable keyboard and a couple of perks.
The heart and soul of this puppy is its powerful 5th Gen Intel Core i3-5010U processor with the 2.1GHz base frequency with 3MB cache. It comes with 4GB of RAM as well as 500GB 5400rpm hard drive with HDD DL DVD±RW/CD-RW. Definitly a candidate in the best laptop under 500 group.
The laptop features three USB ports (two 3.0 and one 2.0), as well as a single HDMI and VGA port. It comes equipped with Wi-Fi 802.11ac for a fast connection.
As far as the exterior goes, the laptop sports a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) crisp and clear screen. Additionally, the keyboard is ergonomically designed and outfitted with IceCool technology to keep your palms resting at comfortable temperatures.
You can get anywhere from four to five hours of productive usage with this puppy, but the one-year warranty and a matching Accidental Damage Protection will help you enjoy peace of mind.
- Best bang for buck
- Quick boot for an HDD system
- IceCool keyboard, solid case
- Great screen
- Easily upgradable
- One-year warranty and ADP
- The battery life could be longer
- The touchpad feels hollow
All in all, although not a high-end laptop, this little puppy is more than capable to shred with the big dogs and hold its own. Moreover, for the listed price, it’s practically a steal!
2. Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series
The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1 11.6 Inch Laptop allows you to take your computing on the go; moreover, it’s not only a laptop as it can easily transform into a somewhat bulky tablet.
The hood of this beastie holds an Intel Pentium N3540 Processor with base frequency of 2.16 GHz, as well as an integrated Intel HD GPU for smooth rendering.4
As far as memory goes, the laptop carries 4GB DDR3L SDRAM (think of it like the work surface of a desk), with storage capacity in the form of a 500GB HDD (the drawers); although not as fast as an SSD configuration, it’s still snappy.
The laptop features port a-plenty, with an HDMI port, a USB port, as well as an SD media card reader. A best laptop under 500 for sure.
The laptop sports an 11.6-inch WXGA edge-to-edge touchscreen with 1366 x 768 screen res, as well as a studio-quality sound system.
The manufacturer tests the hinges to ensure they feel tight even after being opened and closed for 20,000 times (not under the sea), so you can enjoy peace of mind in that regard. Moreover, the battery allows you at least six hours of productive usage between charging.
- Sturdy, quality build
- Comfortable keyboard
- The touchpad disables at times thinking the laptop is in tablet mode
On a balance, this is a great little laptop in the category best laptop under 500, ideal for people who mean to do some writing, creating spreadsheets, web browsing or light gaming. Moreover, if you were looking for the best ultrabook under 500, this littlest of puppies certainly fits the bill.
3. Acer Aspire F 15 F5-571T-569T 15.6″
Now, if you’re looking for a halfway decent budget laptop, with the Acer Aspire F 15 F5-571T-569T 15 you’ll get more than you bargained for – it’s not only a great multitasker but also able to provide you with a solid platform for some light gaming and video-tinkering. The best notebook under $500.
This puppy’s hood conceals the Intel Core i5-4210U with 3MB cache and base frequency of 1.7GHz with Turbo Boost to 2.7GHz.
With this configuration, you get 8GB DDR3L 1300MHz of workspace (RAM, in case anyone missed it), as well as more than adequate 1TB 5400rpm Hard Drive of storage space. Moreover, there’s a SuperMulti Double Layer drive with M-Disc support.
For connectivity purposes, this buddy has 802.11ac (Miracast enabled) WiFI, two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0, a single HDMI and VGA port, headphone/microphone input combo, LAN jack (10/100/1000), as well as Bluetooth (hopefully, nothing’s left out).
The monitor features a 15.6-inch HD LCD (1366 x 768) touchscreen, while the rest of the user-interaction is enabled by the backlit ergonomic keyboard. One of the best 500 laptop.
- Excellent storage capacity
- Solid quality build
- 8GB RAM
- Could have a longer battery life
- Hard access to the battery and other innards
Although the Acer Aspire F 15 F5-571T-569T is a great and multi-purpose little devil, it’s not without drawbacks, the main being the 4-hour battery life. Other than that, this rig is a serious choice for a best laptop under 500 dollars.
4. HP Notebook 15-ay011nr 15.6-Inch Laptop
The HP 15-ay011nr Notebook costs a pretty penny, at least compared to the rest of the list, but rest assured you’ll feel where each of the pennies went. What you get with this puppy is a versatile tool for general purpose usage, as well as some gaming, with great storage capacity.
Let’s get to know this best laptop 500 puppy a little bit better – its heart is the 6th Gen Intel Core i5 6200U Dual-Core processor with 3MB SmartCache and 2.3GHz base frequency that sums up to 2.8GHZ.
As far as memory goes, this beastie has 8GB DDR3L SDRAM temp memory, and a monstrous 1TB HDD of storage capacity, which is about ten days’ worth of uncompressed HD (1080) movies, or about a year’s worth of music. Plus, you get a Super-Multi DVD Burner for safekeeping your files on disks.
The laptop features a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) SVA anti-glare WLED-backlit screen and a smooth ergonomic keyboard for hours of comfortable and productive usage.
The battery’s lifespan is good for up to seven hours before needing to be re-charged. Seven hours holds a standard when talking about the best laptop under 500.
- Decent battery life
- Great, full HD screen
- Comfortable keyboard
- Snappy, with relatively fast boot time for an HDD rig
- The touchpad feels too stiff
- Could be a lot faster with an SSD
All things considered, the HP 15-ay011nr is a great all-purpose laptop, even able to give you quality gaming on low and mid settings; however, it’s not a high-end gamer laptop, so don’t push it over the limit.
5. Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3 Inch Chromebook
When choosing between a laptop, notebook, netbook or Chromebook, the deciding factor could be anything from weight, through connectivity to the type of drive, but in the end, it all boils down to your decided budget and personal preferences. However, if you don’t mind relying on a constant connection, the Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3-Inch Chromebook could be your thing.
This little boy’s heart and soul is its Intel Celeron N2840 Processor (not exactly top-of-the-line, but still great for general purpose usage). You also get 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM of working memory, as well as 16GB SSD (essentially, giving up storage for speed, but it’s a fair trade in this case).
The laptop’s 13-inch IPS screen is aided by integrated Intel HD Graphics for enjoyable movie nights and binge-watching your favorite YouTube Let’s-players.
This device is capable of opening and editing MS Office files using Free Embedded Quickoffice Editor or Google Docs, and also of installing Microsoft Office Online, but it can’t install Standard MS Office Suite.
- Ultra-lightweight, easily portable
- Great battery life (up to nine hours)
- Ridiculously good value for money
- Chrome OS is somewhat limiting
- Microphone is subpar
When all is said and done, the matter comes down to this – if you’re willing to sacrifice some flexibility and off-line storage capacity in exchange for greater mobility, battery life, and smooth operation, the Toshiba CB35-B3340 is your pal.
Before the final recommendation for a best $500 laptop, just a brief reminder – once you’ve decided on your budget, keep in mind the holy trinity of computers: CPU (any multi-core, though shoot for quad-core if possible), RAM (the bigger, the better, though 4GB is more than enough) and storage drives (SSD for snappy boot and software launch, HDD for capacity).
So, the final word of advice – if you’re going for a Chromebook, meaning mobility and utility before all else, go for the Toshiba CB35-B3340; if however, you need a good budget gaming platform, you should consider the HP Notebook 15-ay011nr; the Acer Aspire F 15 F5-571T-569T Touchscreen Notebook is your go-to notebook under five Franklins, while the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1 is the multitasking beast you need, even if you aren’t aware of it; however, for the very best bang for buck and best laptop under $500, definitely go for the Asus F555LA-AB31.