Best laptops under $500: the best budget laptops around


Six laptops under $500 on red surfaces against a red background

We’ve put together a list of the best laptops for under $500.
(Image credit: Future Publishing)
PRICE

VERDICT

REASONS TO BUY

REASONS TO AVOID

VERDICT

REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

If you aren’t looking for anything particularly powerful, one of the best laptops under $500 might be a better option. You’d be surprised at how capable these low-cost options are.


laptops
are, boasting excellent performance, a solid build, and a good number of features without emptying your wallet.

Naturally, this is dependent on your daily requirements. More expensive machines may come with a lot of power and features, like the If you’re not planning on doing processor- or graphics-intensive tasks like video editing or high-resolution gaming, a laptop under $500 makes more sense. Dell XPS 15, but they’re not worth the extra money if you don’t need a fully loaded portable or a flagship status symbol. You could spend the money you save on things like a dependable printer. mouse and a comfortable chair.

Whether you’re looking for a business notebook or a personal notebook, we’ve got you covered. portable for schoolA laptop under $500 might be the best option for you if you need something for work, school, or just at home. Check out our list below, and while you’re at it, use our price comparison tool. What are the chances? That’s especially true because many of them can compete with some of the best laptops in terms of both substance and style. You might even get a good deal on a car. budget laptop.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

1. Microsoft Surface Go

The best laptop under $500 so far

Specifications

CPU:
Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics 615
RAM:
4GB – 8GB
Screen:
PixelSense touch display with a resolution of 1,800 x 1,200 pixels on a 10.5-inch display
Storage:
64GB eMMC – 128GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Affordable 


+Light and easy to hold 

Reasons to avoid

Not as powerful as the iPad 


Type Cover not included

This device is not only one of the best, but it’s also one of the most useful. The Microsoft Surface Go isn’t the traditional laptop we’re used to, but it’ll more than suffice for your computing needs thanks to its small size and portability. best Windows tabletsIf you’re looking for the best laptop under $500, this is an excellent option. If you only need a computer for word processing, email, video conferencing, light gaming, light photo editing, and Netflix streaming, this device will suffice. You get a proper operating system out of the box with a Windows 10 S mode, which allows you to use apps like the mobile versions of Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.

Read the full review:
Microsoft Surface Go

(Image credit: Lenovo)

2. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

A tablet and a Chromebook!

Specifications

CPU:
MediaTek Helio P60T Processor
Graphics:
ARM G72 MP3 800GHz
RAM:
4GB LPDDR4X
Screen:
10.1″ FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS touchscreen, 400 nits, 10.1″ FHD (1920 x 1200) FHD (1920 x 1200) FHD (1920 x 1200) FHD
Storage:
64GB eMMC

Reasons to buy

+Lightweight and portable


+Long battery life


+Very affordable

Reasons to avoid

Design can be a faff

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is the best budget laptop for the classroom and students, thanks to its hybrid tablet/snap-on keyboard design. The keyboard and trackpad are a bit of a letdown, but the Full HD+ display makes up for it. After all, it has a tablet mode for research, reading, and easy Netflix watching at home, as well as a traditional laptop mode for when you need a keyboard. Best of all, it all comes at a bargain price, making this one of the best laptops under $500. It’s an awesome computer package, with a powerful ARM processor that lasts for 21 hours (yes, you read that correctly).

Read the full review:

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

(Image credit: HP / BestBuy)

3. HP Chromebook 14

Optimal balance between value and design

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Celeron N2840 – N2940
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics
RAM:
2GB – 4GB
Screen:
14-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) BrightView
Storage:
16GB – 32GB eMMC

Reasons to buy

+Excellent keyboard, trackpad


+Crisp, vivid screen

Reasons to avoid

Slower than some rivals


Average battery life

The HP Chromebook 14, with its bright blue finish and stunning screen, offers the best value of any Chromebook on the market – even if the battery life and performance are only average. The HP Chromebook 14 is the perfect example of how the best laptops under $500 balance a low price and high capability. In many ways, it’s similar to the Acer Chromebook 15, but this 14-inch Chromebook is a tad more compact and has a better design.

We were particularly impressed by how thin and light it is, making it an excellent device for anyone looking for a long-lasting laptop that they can easily transport. It also comes with a lot of ports, including HDMI-out, USB 3.0, and a microSD card slot, which makes it a fantastically versatile laptop for the price. This is also a good option if you want to work on a laptop while relaxing on a sofa.

Read the full review:

HP Chromebook 14

(Image credit: Acer)

4. Acer Chromebook 314

A tremendous Chromebook

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Celeron N4000
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 600
RAM:
4GB
Screen:
14-inch LED (1366 x 768) high definition
Storage:
32GB eMMC

Reasons to buy

+Excellent battery life and performance


+Bright, crisp screen

Reasons to avoid

No touchscreen


No fingerprint reader

More importantly, it strikes a good balance between design, usability, features, battery life, and performance, all while accepting its limitations. Furthermore, the keyboard is both satisfying and enjoyable to use. The Acer Chromebook 314 is the best laptop under $500 if you’re looking for a budget laptop that delivers excellent value for money. More screen real estate for your productivity needs is provided by the 14-inch crisp and bright display. It’s simple to operate, dependable, and has a fantastic screen and battery life (up to 12 hours).

Read the full review:

Acer Chromebook 314

(Image credit: Acer)

5. Acer Chromebook Spin 311

For work and play, this Chromebook is versatile and entertaining.

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Celeron N4000
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 600
RAM:
4GB
Screen:
11.6″ 16:9 IPS touchscreen with HD resolution (1366 x 768)
Storage:
64GB Flash Memory

Reasons to buy

+Great design and build


+Lovely size


+Excellent touch screen and flip mechanism

Reasons to avoid

Dim screen


Massive bezels drastically reduce actual screen size

But it goes even further with its impressive levels of versatility, thanks to its abundance of ports, 2-in-1 design, portable size, and excellent touchscreen display, especially considering its size. If versatility is important to you, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is the laptop for you. Plus, because of its small size, it’s incredibly portable, so if you’re looking for the best laptop under $500 to travel with, this is it. This all-arounder has everything a great Chromebook should have, from a long battery life to a solid build and usability. It also has a keyboard and a touchpad that are both reliable and enjoyable to use.

Read the full review:

Acer Chromebook Spin 311
 

(Image credit: Microsoft)

6. Microsoft Surface Go 2

Premium design, more affordable price

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core m3 – Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y 8th Gen Intel Core m3 – Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 615
RAM:
4GB – 8GB
Storage:
64GB eMMC – 128GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Premium design


+Affordable


+Can run full Windows 10

Reasons to avoid

No Touch Cover or stylus included


Base model’s specs are weak

All of these features, combined with the Microsoft Surface Go 2’s portability, make it one of the best laptops under $500. It also runs the full Windows 10 operating system, making it even more capable in terms of the applications it can run than other laptops or laptop alternatives. Finally, it provides a marginal performance boost over its predecessor, giving users a compelling reason to upgrade if they can afford it. The Surface Go line has proven popular with the more budget-conscious crowd, and the Surface Go 2, with its reasonable price and premium design, continues that tradition.

Read the full review:

Microsoft Surface Go 2

(Image credit: HP)

7. HP Chromebook x360

Affordable 2-in-1 for Chromebook fans

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Celeron – Intel Pentium Gold
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 600 – 605
RAM:
4GB – 8GB
Screen:
FHD (1920 x 1080), touch, IPS, micro-edge, anti-glare display with up to 14″ diagonal
Storage:
64GB eMMC

Reasons to buy

+Hybrid form factor with touch screen


+Decent integrated graphics

Reasons to avoid

Higher configurations are pricey for the specs

The 12-inch touchscreen adds to the balance, making it portable, light, and perfectly usable. The HP Chromebook x360 range, designed for the education market, is tougher than it appears at first glance, and it’s also aimed at students on a budget. As a result, this won’t deplete your pencil fund too much. With the low-cost but reliable 1.1GHz Intel N4000 processor and 4GB of RAM, costs are kept low.

It folds into a tablet, has a lot of ports, and comes with a dedicated stylus as a bonus. Even at this low price, it manages to look pretty cool. The main drawback is the 1366×921 resolution, which is offset by an interesting 3:2 aspect ratio that makes browsing and writing more relaxing.

Read the full review:

HP Chromebook x360

(Image credit: Dell)

8. Dell Inspiron 15 3000

Affordable laptop with new specs

Specifications
CPU :
up to 11th-gen Intel Core i5-1135G7
Graphics:
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM:
up to 12GB DDR4 2666MHz
Screen:
Anti-glare LED Backlight Non-Touch Narrow Border WVA Display 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
Storage:
256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD

Reasons to buy

+New specs


+1080p display


+Lightweight for the price

Reasons to avoid

No USB-C


Higher configurations above $500

You shouldn’t expect any groundbreaking features or design, but it already has a lot going for it for a laptop that costs less than half as much as many of the competition. The fact that the Intel Dell Inspiron 15 3000 models are just as heavy as the more expensive models only adds to their appeal. Of course, its specifications are less powerful, but its under-$500 configurations still include the most up-to-date components, such as 11th-generation Intel Core chips and 2666MHz DDR4 RAM. best laptops in 2021.

She has contributed to Nylon, Fodor’s, and SmarterTravel, as well as being a contributing editor for MiniTime.com. She writes for Thrillist, TravelAge West, HuffPo Travel, Paste Magazine, and Travel Pulse on a regular basis. Michelle Rae Uy is a travel-obsessed editor, writer, and photographer based in Los Angeles.