Even with a budget of less than 500, you can find good laptops that won’t sacrifice performance!
Budget laptops may not be necessarily powerful, but this does not mean that you have to settle for anything less.
From display to battery life, laptops came a long way! It is no longer surprising that you can find one with impressive specs without having to cost a fortune.
In this guide, we’ll talk about the best laptops under 500 consumer reports! Whether you need it for work, study, or entertainment, these laptops can be pretty decent!
Top 6 Best Laptops Under 500 by Consumer Reviews for 2020
Clueless about what laptop to buy? Keep an eye on the products listed below.
1. Acer Aspire E15 Laptop
Better everyday computing – this is what the Acer promises with this laptop. To deliver powerful processing, it has an 8th-generation, Intel Core I3 processor.
Another excellent feature of this laptop is its battery, which is surprising for its price point. On average, the manufacturer notes that the battery can last up to 13.5 hours.
It comes with a 15.6-inch display in rich Full High-Definition, although, there are still some complaints about how it looks dull.
If the current specs are not enough, you don’t have to worry. It features an easy-access compartment at the bottom. This will make it effortless to upgrade the memory and hard drive.
For its connectivity, the laptop has the innovative MU-MIMO Technology wireless antenna. This keeps the wireless signal consistent and strong.
You will have several options when it comes to wired connectivity. It has USB 3.1 and 3.0 ports, which will make ultra-fast data transfers.
Another impressive feature is the Acer True Harmony Audio, which ensures the best in terms of clarity. It gives more depth to the audio.
However, there are some negative reviews about how it can get easily warm, so avoid using it on the lap for an extended period, especially among kids. It may be quite uncomfortable when used on the lap.
- Huge touchpad
- Good battery life
- Expandable memory and storage
- Can easily get hot
- Dull display
2. ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip
Versatility and style are two of the best things that you can expect from this Chromebook. It comes with a 360-degree hinge, which allows you to flip the laptop and use it like a tablet. This means that you can use it either as a laptop or as a tablet.
If you are looking for a lightweight laptop, this is also a great option. It weighs only 2.65 pounds, making it easy to bring anywhere. It has a sleek aluminum body that offers great durability without compromising weight.
The laptop comes with a 12.5-inch Full HD screen. It has a Wide View Panel that gives the laptop an innovative display.
For your peace of mind, you will also love how it comes with built-in security features. It has built-in anti-virus protection and automatic updates. You can be confident that your laptop stays safe.
There are also multiple options available for connectivity. It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. It also has a USB Type C port and a microSD card reader.
Lastly, it comes with a 10-hour battery life. This is quite underwhelming compared to some other laptops within the price category.
- Full HD screen
- Comfortable keyboard
- 360-degree hinge
- Battery can be better
- No USB Type A ports
3. Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
This Chromebook from Lenovo offers 2-in-1 versatility. It is a 360-degree convertible laptop. It has an 11-inch touchscreen display that will allow you to use the laptop in tablet mode.
The portability of this laptop is impressive. You can easily bring it with you when you are traveling. The thickness is less than an inch, which makes it sleek. Meanwhile, at 1.2 kilograms, this is great in terms of being lightweight.
Need to make video calls? It comes with a 720p camera and two 2W speakers.
It comes with multiple ports, most of which are positioned on the left side of the laptop. It has USB Type C port, USB 3.0, SD memory card reader, and HDMI. The latter is quite surprising since this isn’t one thing that you will always see in cheap laptops.
For the construction, plastic is the main material. This can be a disappointment for many people. It also has chunky bezels, making it lack the aesthetic value that you will find in other products.
As for the battery life, it can last more than ten hours, which can be quite underwhelming for some people.
- Easy viewing
- Has multiple modes
- HDMI Port
- Dull display
- Large bezel
4. Samsung Chromebook Pro Convertible Touchscreen Laptop
Portability is one of the best things about this budget laptop. You can carry it comfortably in your bag. It weighs only 2.38 pounds, making it lightweight.
It comes with a Quad HD display, which is one of the best within the product category. It has a Gorilla Glass 3, that is hard to match in terms of aesthetics and durability. It also comes with a 3:2 viewing ratio, which will enhance your viewing experience.
The versatility of this laptop is another good reason to consider it above others. You can use it as a regular laptop and when you flip the screen, it turns into a tablet.
One thing that differentiates it from the competition is the built-in pen. If you like doodling or sketching, this is a great option for you.
The all-black metallic design is one more thing that you will love in this laptop. This gives an elegant look that is hard to see in many of the other laptops within the price range.
It is also powered by Google Play. You can enjoy a great selection of Android apps.
Lastly, for your peace of mind, it also comes with built-in anti-virus. It also provides automatic updates so all your apps remain in their most recent iterations.
- Runs Android apps
- Great display
- Lightweight and thin
- Inferior speakers
- Poor battery life
5. Acer Chromebook R13 Convertible
This is a far cry from most of the laptops under 500 with a mediocre design. It is surprising how it comes with a premium feel and elegant aesthetics.
This 13-inch laptop is convertible, which also makes it great in terms of versatility. With the 360-degree hinge of this laptop, it easily converts from a laptop to a tablet. You can also use it in tent-mode. This is great when you have limited space, such as on a plane.
The Full HD display of the laptop is one more thing that makes it notable. It also has IPS technology and multi-touch screen.
As for the battery life, it lasts up to 12 hours on average. This is impressive compared to most of the laptops you will find within the same price point.
Connecting to the internet is quick and easy with this laptop. It has 802.11ac and 2×2 MIMO. For wired connections, meanwhile, it has USB 3.1 and 3.0 ports.
Since this is a Chromebook, it comes with built-in apps that will make you productive. From creating documents to presentations, this can be a great companion at work or school.
- Long-lasting battery
- Smooth 360-degree hinge
- Premium design
- Poor audio quality
- Keyboard feels cheap
6. HP 14-CF0014DX 2019 14-inch Laptop
Wrapping up our list of the best laptops under 500 is a 14-inch model from HP with Windows 10 operating system. It is powered by a 7th-gen Intel Core i3-7100U processor. The laptop also has 8GB system memory that makes it great even for multitasking.
It has a flash-based SSD without moving parts. Aside from making it less prone to problems, this also means that it will start quickly. This is unlike other budget laptops that might take forever to boot.
Carrying the laptop around will be easy. It is thin and lightweight, which makes it great if you are looking for a travel-ready laptop.
- Bright display
- Thin and lightweight
- Boots up fast
- Keyboard can be better
- Trackpad may have delayed responses
How to Choose the Best Laptops Under 500
Do not be overwhelmed with the abundance of options available. Below are the most important factors to consider.
Start with Your Needs
To easily narrow down the possibilities, a good starting point is to determine the needs. Once you know the purpose, it will be easier to decide on the specifications.
For general web use, such as browsing, you are good with a basic laptop. If you will use it for gaming, however, it is hard to find one under the $500 price range. For media production, such as photo and video editing, you will also need a more powerful laptop. Most of the budget laptops are built for school use and basic work.
It is also important that you consider the operating system of the laptop, which will have an impact on its features and usability. For laptops that are under $500, most of the options have ChromeOS or Windows. Windows is the most popular, so you can be confident that it is going to be a safe bet.
Size and Weight
When you consider the size of the laptop that you will be buying, look at the size of the screen. For the thinnest and lightest laptops, they are often within the 11 to 12-inch range. If you want a balance between portability and usability, on the other hand, choose laptops that are 13 to 14 inches. If you want a larger screen and you don’t intend to carry your laptop every day, you are good with a 15-inch model. If your laptop will just stay on the desk all day and if you need generous screen size, 17 to 18 inches models are the best.
As for the weight, consider if you will carry it every day or if it will just stay on the table for a long time. If you will carry it daily, it is best to choose one that is no more than four pounds.
Regardless of the intended use of the laptop, the quality of this display is important. Go beyond the size of the screen. Consider the technologies that are present to offer stunning display.
The more pixels the laptop has, the more vivid is the display. There are Full HD laptops below the 500-dollar price point. With a resolution of 1920 x 1080, Full HDF laptops offer great viewing whether it is day or night.
Many people will decide based on how the laptop looks. So, consider the aesthetic appeal when making a choice. Avoid those with plastic construction. They do not only look cheap, but they can also be flimsy. Look for laptops made with a metal shell. Some even have metallic accents that will make the laptop turn heads. Choose a laptop that offers a combination of both form and function.
When it comes to the technical specifications of a laptop, one of the most important is its processing power. This will be determined by the processor. The more powerful the processor is, the more expensive the laptop will be.
A lot of the budget laptops you will find on the market are powered by Intel processors. Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i5 are the most common for models that are below $500. Intel Pentium / Celeron is also a popular processor for budget laptops.
Aside from the CPU, another important technical specification to consider is the RAM. At the very least, pick a laptop that delivers 8GB RAM. This will be more than enough for most functions. A lot of budget laptops may have a 4GB RAM, but this can be quite slow and frustrating.
Consider both the wired and wireless connections that the laptop offers. It should offer good Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. If you want a laptop that you can use on the go, you will also benefit from having 4G LTE connection. Look for multiple USB ports. USB Type C and HDMI ports are some that you might need depending on how you intend to use the laptop.
As you can see from the products mentioned above, some of them offer versatility through its multiple modes of operation. Aside from being a regular laptop, there are also models that you can use in tablet or tent mode. There are also cheap laptops with a touchscreen display.
Do not skimp on the battery life of the laptop that you will buy. It can be frustrating to not finish work because your laptop’s battery is drained. Aim for a battery that lasts at least 12 hours. Although, for budget-friendly laptops, the common range for battery life is anywhere from 10 to 12 hours.
The design of the keyboard is also an important consideration since it has a direct impact on the usability of the laptop. The keys should be laid out in such a way that it will be easy for you to type. It will also be good if it has a backlight, which will allow you to see the keys easily.
Even at a price below $500, you will find laptops with exceptional security features. From the models mentioned above, the most common security features include automatic update of the apps and built-in antivirus protection. Look for these features if you want peace of mind.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars for a good laptop! As mentioned above, the best laptops under 500 can be decent picks!
It can be surprising how much laptops have changed in recent years. Gone were the days when budget-friendly options deliver inferior performance.
As shown above, even without spending a lot, you can get your laptop with a good display, long battery life, and acceptable performance. Got anything to add to our list? Feel free to share your recommendations below.