The best laptops under £500: the best budget laptops you can buy right now


Best laptop under £500 hero image showing Asus VivoBook 15

(Image credit: Asus)

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Yasmine Crossland

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Every laptop in our guide outperforms its price range, providing a stable and reliable computing experience without sacrificing important features. Our list of the best laptops under £500 demonstrates that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a great laptop.

It’s always a good idea to spend as much money as you can on a laptop in order to get the most out of it. However, this does not imply that you should spend your money on the most powerful laptops available. For most of us, under £500 is the sweet spot: if you go much lower, you’ll start to scrimp on features and make compromises in the specification.

Most people and tasks should be covered by this selection. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of various laptops, including not only Windows laptops but also Chromebooks. The Asus VivoBook 15, an excellent all-rounder, is our current top pick. However, it may not be the best budget laptop for you.

If you’re unfamiliar with Chromebooks, they’re Google-powered laptops that are frequently extremely affordable. We’ve put together a team of experts to help you. best Chromebooks If you want to see the best Chromebooks, consult this guide.

All of the laptops in our guide are excellent multitaskers. They’ll handle web browsing and Office applications with ease, as well as Zoom calls, online shopping, and everyday gaming. If you’re a power user who wants to play the latest games at the highest possible speeds and resolutions, or perform extremely demanding tasks like video rendering, take a look at our selection. best laptops and best gaming laptopsinstead of a guide And, if you’re a Dell fanatic like us, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the brand. best Dell laptops.

If you’re looking to spend less than £500, one of the following options might be a better fit for your computing and reading needs. best Kindle ereaders or best tablets, so be sure to check those out, too.

That is why we have included this guide in our website. Oh, and because laptops under £500 are inexpensive, they’re ideal for student use. back to school guide, which was founded to promote the best essentials, technology, and gadgets that improve the student experience. Check it out if you’re about to return to school, college, or university. We’re talking about the most affordable phones and laptops, the best mattresses to sleep on, the best coffee machines to get a caffeine boost before a long study session, the most entertaining games consoles to unwind with, the most feature-packed fitness trackers to stay in shape with, and much more.

Buying a budget laptop doesn’t have to mean going with a no-name brand from someone you’ve never heard of. Dell isn’t the only well-known name you’ll see here. Microsoft, HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, Asus, and many others are all present. Let’s take a look at some of the best laptops under £500.

The best laptops under £500 on the market right now

For most people, the Asus VivoBook 15 is the best laptop under £500.

(Image credit: Asus)

1. Asus VivoBook 15

The best laptop under £500 for most people

Specifications

CPU:

Intel Core i3 1005G1

GPU:
Intel UHD 620
Screen:
15.6-inch Full HD
RAM:
4GB
SSD:
256GB SSD NVMe
OS:
Windows 10

Reasons to buy

+Spacious, tiny bezel screen


+Strong internal hardware


+Full fat Windows 10 OS


+Webcam included

Reasons to avoid

Rings in right at the top end

Not only does this laptop come with a large display that appears much larger than it actually is thanks to tiny bezels, but it also backs up those looks with a strong hardware and software package. The stunning Asus VivoBook 15 is currently the best cheap laptop for most people.

Oh, and the VivoBook 15 has an integrated webcam for those who find themselves doing more video calls and meetings than before. Of course, you get the full version of Windows 10, which is powered by an Intel Core i3 CPU, Intel UHD 620 GPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD NVMe.

This is a great system for the money, and in T3’s opinion, one of the best laptops under £500 on the market today. See how it stacks up against our runner-up. A good battery life, a good selection of ports, and a one-year warranty are all included. Asus Vivobook 15 vs Acer Aspire 5 head-to-head. 

The Acer Aspire 5 is the best premium laptop available today for under £500.

(Image credit: Acer)

2. Acer Aspire 5

The best premium laptop under £500

Specifications
CPU:
AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor
GPU:
Intel UHD 620
RAM:
8GB
Storage:
512GB
Screen:
15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080
Dimensions:
(H x W x D) 17.9 x 363.4 x 250.5 mm
Weight:
1.9 kg

Reasons to buy

+Affordable


+Strong hardware spec


+Good battery life


+Webcam included

Reasons to avoid

Dowdy styling and big bezels

It also includes an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor, an Intel UHD 620 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, giving it a very strong and capable all-round specification. When combined with the Aspire 5’s 15.6-inch, 1080p IPS LCD screen, this delivers zippy performance in all light and medium computing tasks, as well as plenty of entertainment and gaming power. The Acer Aspire 5 ranks highly in our best laptop under £500 buying guide for a variety of reasons, the most obvious of which is its low price.

It also has a long battery life of 10 hours and a wide range of ports, allowing you to connect it to a larger monitor or television. A built-in HD webcam is also included, which is ideal for video meetings. Visit our website for more information. Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 is a fantastic all-around laptop that is well worth the money. Acer Aspire 5 review, which focuses on the A514-52-582Y model, or compare it to our third-placed laptop in our rankings. Acer Aspire 5 vs Lenovo IdeaPad 3a confrontation You can also compare it to its less expensive sibling in our comparison chart. Acer Aspire 3 vs Aspire 5 comparison.

The Lenovo IdeaPad is a budget-friendly laptop that ranks among the best under £500.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

3. Lenovo IdeaPad 3

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a great cheap laptop for portability and affordability.

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Celeron 1.1GHz
RAM:
4GB
Screen:
11.6 Inches
Storage:
32GB

Reasons to buy

+Incredibly affordable


+Light and compact

Reasons to avoid

Screen could be brighter

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a great choice if you’re looking for a cheap laptop for light computing and don’t require a large screen. Its 11.6-inch screen is small and portable. incredibly bag-friendly, as it’s one of the best lightweight laptops around too, weighing only 1.12 kilograms. 

Overall, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a basic system for light computing, which is exactly what many people require. After all, what good is a £700 system if you’re not going to use it to its full potential? This computer is a Chromebook, which means it runs Google’s online-oriented operating system, which is designed to be used while connected to the internet. Despite its low-cost specifications, this OS is extremely fast, and with built-in HD Audio and a bright 11.6-inch screen, it still provides plenty of web browsing, video streaming, and basic image editing options. The G-Suite of Google services, which includes Google Calendar, Google Docs, and GMAIL, are ideal partners.

Head to our full Lenovo IdeaPad 3 review for more information, or to see how it compares to our top pick in our Asus Vivobook 15 vs Lenovo IdeaPad 3 showdown.

The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is a fantastic package in terms of flexibility and hybrid functionality.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

4. Microsoft Surface Go 2

For hybrid functionality, the best 2-in-1 laptop under £500 is

Specifications
CPU:
8th-gen Intel Core m3
RAM:
4GB
Screen:
1920 x 1280 pixels (220 ppi) 10.5-inch display
Storage:
64GB / 128GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Feels much more expensive


+Great hardware package


+Compact and lightweight

Reasons to avoid

Not as powerful as other laptops here

The Surface laptops from Microsoft are consistently good, and the Surface Pro 3 is no exception. Microsoft Surface Go 2 is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops It improves on everything that was good about the original, such as its sleek design, excellent build quality, and go-anywhere, do-anything versatility. Currently, as well as being a fantastic laptop for under £500 in general.

It looks and feels like a much more expensive machine, just like its predecessor. However, the larger screen does not imply a larger device: because the bezels around the display are smaller, Microsoft was able to increase the screen size without increasing the size of the Surface Go. The screen is larger and has a higher resolution than before, and the specifications have been tweaked to improve performance.

It’s good for on-the-go computing, with a respectable five hours of active use between charges, but keep in mind that the sticker price doesn’t include the Type Cover keyboard, which you’ll need if you’re going to be typing a lot (at the time of writing, that’ll set you back just under £100).

Check out T3’s review of our top pick for best laptop under £500 to see how this system stacks up. Asus Vivobook 15 vs Microsoft Surface Go 2 comparison feature.

The Acer Swift 1 is a good option if you need something light and portable but don’t want to spend a lot of money.

(Image credit: Acer)

5. Acer Swift 1

The best lightweight laptop under £500

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Pentium Silver N6000
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 615
RAM:
4GB / 8GB
Screen:
14-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Storage:
64GB / 128GB / 256GB
Connectivity:
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Camera:
720p
Weight:
1.3kg
Dimensions:
15 x 323 x 212 mm

Reasons to buy

+Sturdy, attractive design


+Fantastic battery life


+Fingerprint sensor for extra security

Reasons to avoid

Screen isn’t particularly bright


Disappointing performance

Spending so little on a laptop usually means you have to settle for clunkier machines with thick bezels, but that’s not the case here. ‘The’ Acer Swift 1 It only weighs 1.3kg and is extremely thin, making it a super-portable PC that you can take anywhere, including to university, the library, or a cafe.

You get a lot for your money, including a decent 14-inch Full HD screen, long-lasting battery life, and even a fingerprint scanner to keep it secure, considering how cheap it is.

Just don’t expect to use it for high-intensity gaming or complex video editing. Because the internal hardware is basic, performance suffers a little, but this isn’t a big deal for light everyday tasks.

If you don’t mind Chrome OS, the Asus C433 is a fantastic laptop for under £500.

(Image credit: Asus)

6. Asus C433 Chromebook

The best Chrome OS laptop under £500 with a stylish design

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core M3 8100Y
RAM:
4GB
Screen:
Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 pixels on a 14-inch display
Storage:
64GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Great design


+Aluminium-alloy finish


+Android app support

Reasons to avoid

Geared toward online use

Simply one of the best Chromebooks If you choose this as the best inexpensive laptop for you, you will not be disappointed. The Asus C433 is one of the best laptops we’ve ever seen (look at that display), and it’ll get you around the web and run Android apps with ease.

This laptop’s display can also be turned into a tent or tablet mode, making it even more appealing. The Asus C433 is a good choice because it has a large, bright 14-inch screen and enough power to do everything you need to do. Chrome OS is the same as it is on any other Chromebook, and it, like the web apps that run in your browser, is constantly improving. You can now run mobile versions of programs like Spotify and Microsoft Word thanks to the addition of Android apps.

The HP Stream 14 is a small system for basic computing that comes at a low price.

(Image credit: HP)

7. HP Stream 14

A slim and stylish laptop that comes with a large amount of cloud storage.

Specifications
CPU:
AMD A4-9125 Dual Core
RAM:
4GB
Screen:
14-inch, 1366 x 768 pixel resolution
Storage:
64GB eMMC | 1TB OneDrive
OS:
Windows 10 S

Reasons to buy

+Thin and light design


+1TB OneDrive storage


+MicroSD card slot


+Webcam and MicroSD card slot

Reasons to avoid

Big bezel screen

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money but still want a stylish, light laptop, the HP Stream 14 is a good option. The system also includes a built-in webcam for video calls and meetings, as well as a MicroSD card reader. The HP Stream 14 also comes with a 1-year Office 365 subscription and a 1TB OneDrive account, so you’re all set for work and school. With an AMD 2.3GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM, 64GB eMMC storage, and a 14-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution screen paired with a Windows 10 S operating system, you get a solid all-around spec for your money.

(Image credit: Dell)

8. Dell Inspiron 15 3000

A strong contender for everyday work and play

Specifications
CPU:
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
RAM:
8GB DDR4 2400MHz
Screen:
15.6” Full HD LED
Storage:
256GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Solid construction


+Secure OS


+Highly portable

Reasons to avoid

Uninspiring design

The Inspiron is a frequent visitor to our best buy lists, and the Inspiron 15 earns its spot thanks to a solid specification, long battery life, and a price tag that just squeaks under our £500 limit.

It includes Dell Mobile Connect, which allows you to connect your PC to your phone and receive text and call notifications on your laptop. This laptop has an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U quad-core processor (Intel processors are also available) with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, a full HD screen (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) that is sharp and bright, and an 8.5-hour battery life.

You wouldn’t want to use one of these to render a 3D CGI movie, but it’s fine for Microsoft Office, Netflix, and other common tasks. Just make sure you get one of the Full HD models; previous models had a lower resolution display that we didn’t like.

(Image credit: ASUS)

9. ASUS VivoBook Flip

For well under £500, you can get a good 2-in-1 laptop.

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Pentium Silver N5030
RAM:
4GB
Screen:
14-inch 1366 x 768 touchscreen
Storage:
128GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Touchscreen 360-degree display


+Respectable specs


+Lightweight, quality build

Reasons to avoid

Processor isn’t top shelf

The Asus VivoBook Flip is a great choice if you like the sound of 2-in-1 laptop functionality and have less than £500 to spend on a laptop.

You’ll get an Intel Pentium Silver N5030 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD for storage, as well as a full-fat version of Windows 10 Home and a year of Microsoft Office 365 for free.

The 14-inch rotating screen with 360-degree metal hinge, which can flip all the way over to provide a slate experience, is the reason you’ll choose this laptop. As a result, this system can function as a laptop as well as a Windows tablet.

Because the display is a touchscreen, it can be used with a digital stylus, which is ideal for illustrators. The Flip, however, does not include a stylus, which is disappointing but understandable given the price.

With a good battery, thin design, and built-in webcam, you’ve got a solid all-around package – but one with a rotating 360-degree party piece.

The Acer Aspire 3 A315-51 is another great laptop under £500 with a solid design and plenty of connectivity options.

10. Acer Aspire 3

A capable budget laptop with a dash of luxury in terms of build quality.

Specifications
CPU:
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Processor
Memory:
8 GB DDR4 (2133 MHz)
Storage:
1TB HDD (5,400 rpm)
Screen:
15.6” Full HD display
Connectivity:
2xUSB 2.0, 1xUSB 3.0, 1xHDMI, 1xEthernet, 1xSD Card Reader 2xUSB 2.0, 1xUSB 3.0, 1xHDMI, 1xEthernet, 1xSD Card Reader

Reasons to buy

+Robust design


+Huge 1TB hard drive


+Myriad connectivity options

Reasons to avoid

Poor battery life

The 15.6-inch Full HD display is large and surprisingly sharp for a laptop in this price range, and the 1TB HDD, despite not being as fast as an SSD, is large and provides plenty of storage space. Because of the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor, the Acer Aspire 3 can handle any casual task and even light (and we mean light) gaming. Just because your budget has reached £500 doesn’t mean you have to settle for low-cost components.

The only flaw is the system’s battery life, which is only 4.5 hours, which means it won’t last all day on a single charge. This disadvantage can be mitigated if you’re happy to carry your charger around with you or if you use the system primarily from a plugged-in desk. Visit for more information. should I buy the Acer Aspire 3?

Being on a tight budget doesn’t have to mean bad hardware, as the Switch 3 proves.

(Image credit: Acer)

11. Acer Swift 3

For just over £500, you get a great battery, a nice design, and more.

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i3-8130U 2.2GHz
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM:
4GB
Screen:
14-inch LCD, Full HD
Storage:
128GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Good trackpad


+CPU and SSD mean it’s quite fast


+Good connectivity

Reasons to avoid

Entry spec only


Slightly over £500 in cost

The Acer Swift 3 is a high-end system that costs just over £500, but we think it’s so good that we’ve included it here. Okay, we understand.

The i3 CPU, when combined with the SSD, provides good performance for a low-cost machine, easily completing less processor-intensive tasks while preserving battery life. The Swift 3 – admittedly confusing – offers a larger display and slightly improved specs for about the same price as the Switch 3, minus the 2-in-1 form factor and touch screen.

Unlike some cheaper laptops, the Swift 3’s touchpad is actually pleasant to use, with smooth scrolling and mouse movements, which is crucial given the lack of a touchscreen. Overall, this is a good value for money option. The port selection is also good, with an HDMI port, three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, and more.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

12. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5

An affordable laptop with flexible screen

Specifications
CPU:
AMD Ryzen 3 4300U Processor
RAM:
4 GB
Storage:
128 GB SSD
Screen:
Full HD touchscreen
Battery:
12 hours

Reasons to buy

+Flexible touchscreen


+12-hour battery life


+Dolby Atmos audio

Reasons to avoid

Windows 10 S operating system

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14-inch laptop features a flexible, rotatable Full HD touchscreen display and is slim and lightweight (1.5kg). This means that this laptop can function as both a laptop and a tablet, which is a good value for money.

It also includes Dolby Atmos audio, making it ideal for users who enjoy streaming movies, TV shows, and music from their laptops.

It’s powered by an AMD Ryzen processor and comes with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD storage drive.

It’s something to think about because you’ll have to install a full-fat version of Windows 10 yourself if you want it. The system does, however, come pre-installed with a copy of Windows 10 S, which is a slimmed-down version of the full OS.

The Flex 5 is a good fit for casual and lightweight computing, and it’s also affordable at under £500.

How to choose the best laptop for you under £500

A lower price range usually means less powerful components, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a low-cost, throwaway item. Purchasing a new laptop can be a difficult task, especially when you’re trying to stay within a budget, as we are.

With the cost of very good components continuing to fall, low-cost laptops now have far more powerful specs, allowing you to stretch your dollar further. It won’t be a portable gaming beast or a media powerhouse, but it’ll be plenty fast enough for surfing, document editing, and video streaming.

We’ve also included a couple of our favorite Chromebooks (just keep in mind that Chrome OS requires you to do everything online). At this price, Apple MacBooks are out of the question, but thankfully, Windows 10 has evolved to run very well on less powerful hardware.

Prices fluctuate frequently at this end of the market, and retailers frequently offer special deals to entice buyers, so don’t be surprised if some of these prices fluctuate – spend some time comparing prices to figure out who is offering the best cheap laptop for you.

Keep in mind that you won’t be getting the most powerful or feature-packed laptops, but we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can get at such a low price.

The quality of design and construction continues to improve. Our list of the best laptops under £500 for 2021 has plenty to offer buyers with less money to spend, from vibrant displays to surprisingly robust CPUs.

Have fun looking around! So, as you peruse the various deals and offers made available by retailers, take a look at some of our helpful tips and advice on purchasing a new laptop, then dive right into our top picks.

How we test the best laptops under £500

Testing budget laptops is very similar to testing any laptop, with the exception that the system’s value proposition is given more weight than usual, and the lack of features is given less weight.

This is due to the fact that these systems are designed to provide solid core functionality first and foremost at a price that the average user can afford. vast majority These are systems that, despite their low cost, are ideal for students and professionals who cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on a computer system. a number of people can afford

Budget laptops should have strong and solid core functionality, as well as decent build quality and performance. So we don’t hold it against the system if a laptop under £500 doesn’t have a touchscreen or a biometric sign-in option because it’s not in its wheelhouse.

This isn’t to say that budget laptops get a free pass on things like build quality; if a competitor system offers more for the same price, we’ll let you know.

The built quality and design of a system, as well as its performance and features, screen and software, and, most importantly, price, are all evaluated during our testing process. in relation to other similarly specced systems.

After we’ve rated all of these factors, we’ll assign a budget laptop a star rating, with high-ranking systems being considered for our best laptops under £500 buying guide.