Best Laptops Under $500 (Top Recommended Budget Laptops)

Looking around the web in search of the best laptop under $500, but haven’t reached any conclusion. Fasten your seat belts as you are going to get surprised after looking at what we’ve got you in-store.

Laptops are versatile machines that come not only as portable units that you can carry with you wherever you go, but also pack great power, performance, and other features that could benefit you in several ways.

Whether you are looking for a standard daily use laptop to use at home, one to take with you to college every day, or a simple office laptop, there are ample options available to you on the market. But, what matters is your budget.

Also Read: Gaming Laptops under $500

When you have just under $500 to spend on a laptop, your buying choices become limited and the decision-making process becomes hard. Despite the limited budget, laptops in the price range are offered with some strong specs and useful features, and moreover, they come from many leading brands as well.

Also, much to your surprise, you will find a wide range of models, from traditional notebooks to touchscreen laptops to 2-in-1 models.

Once you know what you need in a laptop and have a budget determined, here are the best laptops under $500 you should analyze before making your investment:

List of 10 Best Laptops under $500

ModelCheck Latest PriceProcessorRAMGPU
Acer Aspire 5

Intel Core i5-8265U8GBIntel UHD Graphics 620
ASUS VivoBook F510QA

AMD A12-9720P16GBAMD Radeon R7
HP 14-CF0013DX

Intel Core i3-8130U8GB Intel UHD Graphics 620
Dell Inspiron 14

Intel Core i5-1035G48GBIntel Iris Plus
Acer Aspire E 15

Intel Core i5-8250U8GBNVIDIA GeForce MX150
Lenovo Business Laptop

Intel Core i5-8250U12GBIntel HD Graphics 620
Dell Inspiron 2-in-1

Intel Core i3-8145U8GBIntel UHD Graphics 620
Lenovo IdeaPad 330

Intel Core i3-8130U8GBIntel UHD Graphics 620
HP 15-DA0002DX

Intel Core i5-8250U8GBIntel UHD Graphics 620
Lenovo Ideapad 320

AMD A12-9720P8GBAMD Radeon R7

Below we’ve listed a recommended laptop and a laptop that offers the best value for money. If you want to jump to our awarded laptop directly, then you can click the button below.

Recommended Laptop Best Value for Money

In-Depth Reviews of Laptops under $500

1. Acer Aspire 5 Laptop

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i5-8265U | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD | Display: 15. 6″ Full HD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Weight: 3.97 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 9. 5 hours

If you are after buying a powerful and portable laptop under $500, you are most likely to be satisfied by the Acer Aspire 5 Slim. The laptop now comes with updated configuration over its predecessors, and is a really decent offering from the brand, for those of you in need of an everyday laptop that can deliver above-average performance, is reliable, and of course, affordable.

The laptops in the Aspire 5 lineup from Acer are designed to feel really thin and light, much more than their actual size, and this particular model, the A515-54G-5928, is no exception. The device carries a simple yet attractive design, and it highly resembles the design of Acer’s Swift 5 series of laptops.

Of course, this is not the most attractive models out there, but, for a laptop that is priced under $500, there is not much you can expect in terms of aesthetics. Weighing around 4.2 pounds and at 0.7 inches thick, the laptop is quite portable, which means carrying it around on a daily basis wouldn’t be a big issue.

The Acer Aspire 5 laptop comes with a 15.6-inch full HD widescreen LED-backlit IPS display, where the screen resolution is 1920 x 1080. First of all, these are some high-end specs offered in an under $500 laptop, which is something you don’t see all the time.

With its full HD resolution, the laptop is able to deliver good color reproduction and the IPS panel offers great viewing angles, making the laptop ideal for watching movies, and more. Also, the display has thin bezels, thus offering a good screen-to-body ratio, minimizing distractions.

This particular Acer Aspire 5 model is equipped with the 8th generation Intel Core i5-8265U processor, which can reach maximum clock speeds of 3.9 GHz. This is a quad-core processor, which again cannot be seen widely in a sub-$500 everyday laptop. The processor delivers acceptable performance; in fact, it excels in everyday productivity. However, it is not a suitable option for CPU-intensive tasks.

The system memory here is 8 GB DDR4 memory, and for storage, you get a 256 GB SSD. While most budget laptops come with only 4 GB RAM and reduced storage space, these specs are certainly impressive. If you are primarily looking for a laptop with SSD, then check out our best solid-state drive laptops for more options.

Talking about the graphics in Acer Aspire E15, you get the NVIDIA GeForce MX250 with 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM, which is capable of faster performance in comparison with integrated graphics for gaming as well as video editing. When it comes to battery life, though 9.5 hours is the company’s claim, the laptop is able to last for about 8 hours easily on a single charge, which is impressive.


2. ASUS VivoBook F510QA – Best Laptop under $500

Quick Overview
Processor: AMD A12-9720P | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6″ anti-glare Full HD | Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 | Weight: 4.41 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 5 hours

If you have been using a laptop powered by an AMD processor for a long time and looking to replace it with a device with a $500 price tag, the ASUS VivoBook F510QA could be the one you are looking for. Powered by a powerful quad-core AMD processor, this laptop comes as a combination of function and performance and is more likely to meet your needs in many ways.

The VivoBook series of laptops from ASUS is always known for its sleek and slim look. The 2019 ASUS VivoBook F510QA is the latest addition to the lineup, which also keeps up with the design aspects of its predecessors.

The laptop is definitely one of the good-looking models on our list. The brushed metal finish on the chassis gives the laptop a stylish and attractive look, and its textured design makes it look much more sophisticated.

Above anything, what makes this laptop stand out from the rest, especially with this under $500 price tag, is its thinner and lighter profile. It weighs only 3.7 pounds and has a thickness of just 0.8 inches, features that make it an easily maneuverable laptop, perfect for frequent travelers, students, and others who take their laptops along on a daily basis.

The display option you get with the ASUS VivoBook F510QA is a 15.6-inch anti-glare full HD WideView display that comes with ASUS Splendid software enhancement. The screen resolution here is 1920 x 1080. The anti-glare coating on the display eliminates reflections even when you use it in bright or outdoor lighting conditions.

Furthermore, with the ASUS Splendid technology, you get to enjoy optimized visuals regardless of the type of content you view on the screen. Also, the device has the NanoEdge feature, where the display comes with an ultra-narrow bezel of just 0.3”, producing amazing screen-to-body ratio, thus reducing distractions and giving you immersive viewing experience.

Powering up the 2019 ASUS VivoBook F510QA is the AMD Quad Core A12-9720P Processor, which has its minimum and maximum clock speeds at 2.7 GHz and 3.6 GHz respectively. This is a low- to mid-range laptop processor, the performance of which is similar to Intel’s i3 CPUs. With this AMD processor, you will be able to run those web and office applications that you normally use and also perform some light multitasking without any trouble.

The RAM size in this device is 16 GB, and for storage, there is a combination of 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD being used. Both of these specifications are sufficient and a good offering for a sub-$500 laptop.

For graphics, the device uses the AMD Radeon R7 Integrated graphics chipset, which provides decent image quality for casual gaming, basic photo editing, watching movies, and regular browsing. In terms of the laptop’s run time, you can expect to squeeze up to 4.5 hours of juice on a single full charge.


3. HP 14-CF0013DX – Under $500 Laptop

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i3-8130U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD | Display: 14″ HD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Weight: 4.03 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 5 hours

Yet another best laptop, the 2019 HP laptop (14-CF0013DX) comes packed with all the features you would expect from a budget laptop model and is able to perform all necessary functions according to your needs. This is one laptop that has more positives to it, making it one of the reliable budget laptop models out there.

As expected, the laptop looks quite simple in terms of its appearance. It carries a minimalistic look, which will be liked by many. Despite its simple design, the device is attractive to the eye, neither too flashy nor too plain, perfect for regular college or university use. The 2019 HP 14” laptop weight just over 4 pounds and has a thickness of about 0.8 inches, which together makes this device a portable unit under 500 dollars price.

The display that comes with this device is a 14-inch diagonal HD BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit display, with a screen resolution of 1366 x 768. Similar to the previous laptop model on our list, the screen resolution of this laptop is also below par.

With its BrightView technology, the screen is able to deliver vivid color output in your photos and videos to some extent. The display is not the best at delivering proper brightness and viewing angles.

Powering up the 2019 HP 14” laptop (14-CF0013DX) is the 8th generation Intel Core i3-8130U processor, with 4M cache, and minimum and maximum clock speeds of 2.2 GHz and 3.4 GHz. This is a dual-core processor, which means you cannot expect it to perform as good as a quad-core processor. However, with its four-way processing capability, the processor does exceed the performance of many of the previous versions.

The device has 8 GB of system memory, which makes everyday multitasking smooth, and 1 TB SATA hard drive for storage, which provides ample storage space to store your HD videos, music, and other media collections.

With the on-processor Intel HD Graphics 610, all you get to perform with the device is some casual gaming, basic editing, and regular browsing. With its 3-cell Li-ion battery, the device is capable of running for around 5 hours on a full charge.


4. Dell Inspiron 14 Laptop

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i5-1035G4 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB SSD | Display: 14.0″ HD | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | Battery Life: Up to 6 hours

When it comes to buying the best laptop under 500 dollars category, Dell is one of the leading brands to offers an array of products to meet the varied needs of users, with a few obvious compromises. This particular Dell Inspiron 14 laptop does require to make some compromises but comes packed with some highly useful features and specs.

The design aspect of the Dell Inspiron 14 signifies that this is a budget laptop because the device looks basic with no defined curves. Almost all laptops in the Inspiron series are known for their bland look, which is followed up by this model as well. Therefore, if aesthetics is one of the top points you look for in a laptop, you may not be satisfied with this one.

Additionally, the laptop looks a little bulky but isn’t that heavy and measures 4.4 pounds.

The display you get with this device is a 14-inch Anti-Glare LED-Backlit display, with a resolution of 1366 x 768. Straight off the bat, this low screen resolution is a huge downfall for the device, because there are several options on our under $500 laptop list that come with a full HD display.

While the resolution in itself is really low, it makes the display look even cheaper on the 14.0-inch screen. It is a non-touch display and doesn’t deliver good viewing angles either.

The Dell Inspiron 14, is powered by the 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G4 processor, with 6 MB cache and maximum clock speeds of 3.7 GHz. Right from its specifications, it is clear that this processor is less powerful than many newer versions, which means you can expect decent performance from the device overall. The processor is capable of enabling you to run most applications smoothly.

You get 8 GB DDR4 system memory with the device, along with 128 GB SSD. These are standard specs you can expect in an everyday laptop under 500 dollars price range. For graphics, you get the Intel Iris Plus Graphics, which can be useful only for light gaming and to perform tasks that are not graphics intensive. As far as battery life goes, the system can run for around 6 hours on a single full charge.


💡Did you know? ASUS VivoBook F510QA is one of the most affordable and feature-rich laptop, loved by teachers from all around the world. If you are a teacher and need a decent laptop to fulfill your needs, here are some good laptops for teachers that you must check out.

5. Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 15.6″ Full HD | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150 | Weight: 5.27 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 15 hours

Acer is always one of the go-to brands for users looking for pocket-friendly laptops that also come with decent specs to be considered and used as a reliable everyday laptop. The Aspire E 15 (E5-576G-5762) is one such offering from the brand that offers good value for your investment. This particular device is known to enable effortless multitasking and therefore will be one viable daily use laptop.

Talk about the aesthetics of the Aspire E 15 laptop, its bulky chassis will be the first talking point. The laptop looks quite big to the eye and weighing 5.27 pounds, it is indeed on the heavier side, at least when compared to most other laptops under 500 dollars price range category.

It is almost 1.2 inches thick, and at this weight and thickness, this wouldn’t be your first choice when you need a portable device. Also, the laptop doesn’t really look attractive either; its overall design is quite basic and plain, which does give it a professional look, but there is nothing eye-catching about its aesthetics. And since the device is made of plastic, expect some level of flex in its body.

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 comes with a 15.6-inch full HD widescreen LED-backlit IPS display, with screen resolution 1920 x 1080. Yes, you get a full HD display; however, the quality of the display doesn’t resonate the same, because what you get is rather average overall display quality, and the brightness and color output are not great either.

Moreover, the bezel of the display is quite thick and really off-putting. But, thanks to the IPS panel, you get decent viewing angles.

This Aspire E 15 laptop is powered by the 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor, which can reach maximum clock speeds of up to 3.4 GHz. With this processor, you will be able to perform all your regular browsing, office, and media related tasks easily, and it also enables decent levels of multitasking.

But, you cannot deny the fact that there are other under $500 laptops that come with processors delivering better performance and speeds.

In terms of system memory and storage drive, you get an 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD, both of which are sufficient for normal laptop users. The device uses NVIDIA’s GeForce MX150 for its graphics needs, which is powerful enough to enable gaming as well as moderate levels of video editing.

When it comes to battery life, this is perhaps the best, running for up to 9 hours on a single full charge.


💡Point to Ponder: If you are looking for a casual laptop just to edit some documents online, then we don’t think you need to invest a whole lot of money into buying a high-end laptop, instead, some decently priced machines will work best for it. Well, if you use Microsoft Office quite often, then here are the best laptops for Microsoft office which you should take a look at.

6. Lenovo Business Laptop

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6″ HD | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | Weight: 4.83 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 6 hours

Having updated their Ideapad lineup of laptops, Lenovo has been making improvements in many areas, and the 2018 Lenovo 320 Business Laptop is again a budget-friendly under $500 laptop from the brand that is likely to impress you is many ways.

In terms of its looks, the 2018 Lenovo 320, as an entry-level laptop, comes in a design that makes it look like a higher-priced laptop. Even at a price range less than $500, the laptop looks stylish, despite its simple design.

Since the shell is made of plastic, though the device feels sturdy, there is still some amount of flex to the screen and the keyboard, but it is only minimal. The laptop weighs 4.8 pounds and has a thickness of 1 inch, which places it in the middle of the pack when it comes to portability.

The display option available with the 2018 Lenovo 320 Business Laptop is a 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 HD LED-backlit touchscreen display. As we always say, this resolution is not sufficient to enjoy proper visual and graphics quality for any task you perform, especially gaming and other media-related tasks.

Also, there isn’t much you can expect in terms of its brightness and color output either. You can, of course, get laptops with better displays in a $500 price range, if your purpose with the laptop has a lot to do with its display.

Powering up the device is the 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U mobile quad-core processor, which delivers four-way processing performance for HD computing. This particular processor packs just enough power to enable you to perform all your regular tasks, such as web browsing, document editing, watching YouTube, and the like without any trouble.

For what you pay for the laptop, the CPU’s performance certainly doesn’t disappoint; but, it cannot be denied that there are laptops with better processors in this category and price range.

One of the highlights of the 2018 Lenovo 320 Business Laptop is its 12 GB DDR4 system memory, which provides sufficient bandwidth to run multiple applications simultaneously and smoothly. And with the 1 TB hard drive, you get adequate storage space to store your ever-growing media files.

For battery life, the device is capable of running for up to 6 hours on a single charge.


7. Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 Laptop

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i3-8145U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 14″ HD Touchscreen | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Weight: 3.88 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 6 hours

If you thought you wouldn’t get a 2-in-1 laptop under $500 price range, you are wrong. In fact, the Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 5000 proves that you can get a reliable convertible model in this price range. In addition to its great build quality, as expected from the brand, there are also other features and specifications that will impress you to make this your go-to everyday device.

In its Urban Grey color, the Inspiron 2-in-1 5000 looks really stylish on the first look. The chassis, which is made from a combination of metal and plastic, carries a matte finish, which gives it a sophisticated look.

On the whole, when it comes to design, this device is not too overwhelming with too many curves and highlights, but is not very plain as well, making it a great choice for both college and office use. Furthermore, since the laptop weighs only 3.8 pounds and is 0.78 inches thick, it is indeed a portable unit and you can take it along in your backpack without any trouble.

This latest Inspiron 2-in-1 5000 laptop from Dell comes with a 14-inch HD LED-backlit touch display, with screen resolution 1366 x 768. While the HD screen is what we normally see in many laptops under this price range, knowing that there are models with proper 1080p resolution, this comes in as a disappointment, especially for a convertible model.

For this resolution, while the color output is pretty decent and looks good on the 360-degree device, the surface is really reflective. The viewing angles, however, are wide.

The device is powered by the 8th generation Intel Core i3-8145U processor with 4 MB cache and maximum clock speeds of 3.9 GHz. This is an updated version of the i3-8130U processor, and can easily crunch your day-to-day tasks on the laptop, such as video playback, web surfing, and more.

Furthermore, the device has 8 GB of DDR4 system memory and 256 GB SSD, both of which are decent specs for an under $500 laptop. And with the Intel UHD Graphics 620, you can engage in some casual gaming. In terms of its run time, it can last for up to 6 hours.


8. Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Laptop

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i3-8130U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6” HD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Weight: 4.85 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 5 hours

The IdeaPad 330 belongs to Lenovo’s budget laptops lineup, and this is one solid option available out there in the under $500 category. From providing you with adequate power for everyday use to its impressive sound quality, there are a lot of positive aspects with this device that you will find useful.

With its silver finish and rounded corners, the laptop is quite simple, plain, and bland in terms of its appearance. Yes, there is the standard Lenovo chrome logo in the top left corner of the lid, and that’s it; there is nothing really interesting or attractive about the device, and the whole silver color and finish are a bit boring.

As expected from a budget laptop available for under $500, it is made of plastic, which makes it flex quite a bit under pressure. The device weighs 4.8 pounds and is 0.9 inches thick, which makes it a bulky model, inappropriate for everyday maneuverability.

The IdeaPad 330 comes with a 15.6-inch HD energy-efficient LED backlight display, with screen resolution 1366 x 768. Once again, the lack of a full HD display is a downfall for this device, because this low screen resolution doesn’t provide you with proper visual clarity. Also, since there is no IPS panel in play, you cannot expect great viewing angles either, which can be frustrating when you access media files, watch videos, or play games on the device.

The device is powered by the 8th generation Intel Dual Core i3-8130U mobile processor, with maximum clock speeds of 3.4 GHz. This mid-range dual-core processor, similar to most other processor versions you find on sub-$500 laptop models, supports daily multitasking without much lag, and nothing more.

The processor is powerful enough to support general business use as well. The RAM size on this laptop is 8 GB and the storage option is a 1 TB HDD.

If you are into gaming, you can play only light games on this laptop, due to the Intel UHD Graphics 620, which is more or less the standard in devices with similar price tags. For battery life, the laptop can run for around 5 hours on a full charge.


9. HP 15-DA0002DX Laptop

Quick Overview
Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128G SSD | Display: 15.6″ HD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Weight: 3.9 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 6 hours

As a leading name in the laptop industry, HP has been producing some great laptop models over the years, catering to the varied needs of individuals with different budget ranges. The 2019 Newest HP Touchscreen Laptop is one strong option from the brand, in the $500 price range, and seems like an attractive buy.

Available in natural silver, the design approach taken by HP with this laptop is rather simplistic, but there are a few changes made to the device when compared to its predecessors. Its two-tone design is a bit appealing, but the laptop overall looks really plain, with no style additions whatsoever. The device is 3.9 pounds in weight and 2.8 inches thick, which shows that despite it being light, its thickness makes it look a bit bulky.

The display here is a 15.6-inch HD touchscreen display, where the screen resolution is 1366 x 768. Of course, you cannot expect great clarity from the screen, because the overall color and visual output are only average. The display doesn’t excel in its viewing angles either. The touchscreen, on the other hand, works well and is responsive to the touch.

The 2019 Newest HP Touchscreen Laptop is powered by the 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor, which has it’s minimum and maximum clock speeds at 1.6 GHz and 3.4 GHz respectively.

This processor can deliver good computing performance, enabling you to multitask easily, such as shopping online, browsing the web, editing documents, making a video call, and more, all at the same time. In addition, it consumes less power as well, thus extending the battery life to some extent.

For system memory, you get an 8 GB DDR4 RAM with the device, and your storage needs are met by a 128 GB SSD. Since Intel UHD Graphics 620 is again the graphics processor used in the device, you cannot perform graphics-intensive tasks and must settle with basic gaming and tasks that don’t demand too much graphics. The battery life of this laptop is average, lasting for around 5 hours.


10. Lenovo Ideapad 320 Laptop

Quick Overview
Processor: AMD A12-9720P | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6″ HD | Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 | Weight: 4.8 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 6 hours

The IdeaPad range of laptops from Lenovo is designed and produced to be used as daily mainstream devices. Priced under $500, the 2019 Lenovo IdeaPad 320, despite being a low-end laptop model, looks like a premium machine but seems to fail in terms of its performance and other features.

Coming to its design, the 2019 Lenovo IdeaPad 320 certainly looks far more attractive than many other laptops in the under $500 categories. The overall aesthetics are designed to be plain, with just the Lenovo logo in the glossy finish on one corner of the lid.

Though the device is quite simple, it is undeniable that this is one stylish machine. Weighing 4.8 pounds and at 0.9 inches in thickness, this is not the most compact unit on our list.

The device comes with a 15.6-inch diagonal HD WLED-backlit display with anti-glare coating and 1366 x 768 screen resolution. Obviously, you don’t get full HD resolution to enjoy watching your favorite movies, play games, or perform other media-related tasks.

While the anti-glare feature eliminates reflections, so you can use the device in different lighting conditions, its brightness level isn’t that great, and neither is its viewing angles.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 320 runs on the AMD A12-9720P quad-core processor, with 2 MB cache, and maximum clock speeds of 3.6 GHz. This process belongs to the mid-range category in terms of performance, which means it will be just right for your daily laptop usage and activities, and not so much for demanding tasks. The 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 1 TB HDD are adequate for a daily mainstream laptop like this one.

With the AMD Radeon R7 integrated graphics, you get to perform casual gaming and other fewer graphics demanding tasks. And as far as battery life is concerned, the device can run for up to 6 hours on a full charge.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the display size options on laptops under $500?

Even with the budget-friendly laptops, you are looking at, you get to choose from different display sizes, which will also determine the portability of your machine. Following are the various display sizes that laptops come with, in under $500 category:

  • 11- and 12-inch laptops: Devices that carry an 11- or 12-inch screen often tend to be the lightest and thinnest models around, usually weighing less than 3.5 pounds. Hence, if portability is your priority, this should be your choice of display size.
  • 13- and 14-inch laptops: These are laptops that come in average weight, neither too heavy nor too light, and the increase in screen size will give you better views.
  • 15-inch laptops: These are the most widely preferred laptops in the under $500 category. Due to the big screen size, these devices usually weight anywhere between 4.5 and 6.5 pounds, with a few exceptions. If you won’t be carrying your laptop with you every single day, you can consider this option.
  • 17- and 18-inch laptops: Though rare in the sub-$500 range, there are still a few models you can find in this size. These laptops tend to be bulky and heavy and can be rather considered as workstations.

Which processor should I choose?

This is one of the crucial elements of your laptop because it greatly impacts its performance. Therefore, make your choice wisely. And based on the tasks you will be performing on the device, sometimes even the basic processor model may be sufficient. Some of the options you can consider are:

  • Intel Core i5 processors: Most under $500 laptops are powered by Intel Core i5 processors, and especially those models that end in U (i5-8265U, for instance). These processors are known to deliver good performance, varying with the generation you choose.
  • Intel Core i7 processors: The Intel Core i7 processors are an improvement from the i5 models, and the 8th generation versions happen to be the latest in i7 and offer better performance. However, due to the reduced price tag of the laptops, only a few laptop models come equipped with an i7 processor.
  • AMD processors: For a laptop in this category, you will most likely see the AMD APU series processors being used, which are known to provide decent performance when it comes to everyday browsing, general productivity, and media viewing.

What is the ideal RAM size for a sub-$500 laptop?

First of all, the ideal RAM size for any laptop depends on your needs and activities you will be performing with the laptop. In general, in this price range, most laptops come with 8 GB RAM, which is often considered to be the minimum requirement to perform most activities smoothly.

However, there are also some laptop models that have just 4 GB RAM, and this will not be sufficient for many users. Of course, if you can spend more, you can find laptops with 16 GB or even 32 GB RAM, where 32 GB is mostly aimed towards those who will be performing powerful tasks on their device.

Should I choose a laptop with a hard drive or a solid-state drive?

The storage drive is a vital part of a laptop, and its performance is even more important than what the device’s CPU can deliver in terms of speed and performance. If you want to choose between the hard drive and solid-state drive, getting a laptop with an SSD would be the best choice, because of the increased storage and laptop speeds you can get.

Of course, this is possible only if you can afford the same and do not necessarily need a lot of storage space. With laptops under this price range category, you will also come across models that offer a combination of HDD and SSD for storage, which is also an effective solution.

Is a touchscreen laptop better than the traditional model for under $500?

Not necessarily. Unless you have a solid purpose for a touchscreen laptop, there isn’t much you can gain from the same compared to a traditional clamshell model device. Also, it is important to note that touchscreen laptops generally have a reduced battery life of anywhere between 1 and 3 hours.

If you really need the touchscreen feature in your device, you can rather go for a 2-in-1 model for under $500, simply because you get to use the device in different modes based on your needs.


These 10 laptops are currently the best you can get in the price range. All of these models, despite the differences in their specs, are known to be a good choice for everyday use. Of course, each of these budget-friendly laptop models come with certain drawbacks, most of which surround their display.

But, for a strict budget, there certainly isn’t much you can expect in terms of useful specifications, and you will have to make some compromises to stick to the same. What you can do is analyze the devices reviewed here to see which of these models come with the features you need or match your requirements without you having to make too much compromise.

And not to forget, these best laptops under $500 do come with a whole lot of positives, including adequate power, good performance, great battery life, attractive design, and more, which means you can expect to obtain great value for the amount you pay, and of course, have your purpose met.

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