Our comparison table only shows our top 5 picks. You can find the other recommendations within this article.
Here’s our guide to find the best laptops under $500. Although they are typically entry-level computers, they are often the best laptops for college students, businessmen, professionals, and writers who don’t need high-end specifications.
Gamers can also use these kinds of machines, but we recommend gaming laptops guide for people who are serious about gaming. With these devices, we are focused on lightweight design as well as power, and you might also see a couple of Ultrabooks on this list.
Be aware that you won’t find a top-notch laptop for $500, but I am sure you know that already. However, if you are looking for a decent reliable laptop to do daily activities like social networking, word processing, multi-tasking, and browsing these will do quite well.
One thing we’re sure about is that after you’re finished reading this article you’ll know what laptop under $500 is best for you.
There are many things that you should expect from a laptop under $500 including stylish looks, the latest features, decent specifications, good battery life, and a full HD display.
There are thousands of laptops available on the market from the best laptop brands and whatever you choose from the list below, it will surely last for at least two years or more depends on how smooth you’re using it.
All these machines are good value for money and come with specifications that are good enough to handle the latest applications, mediocre games, and multitasking. You should also look for a large touchpad and backlit keyboard which is entirely possible to find in such a budget notebook.
The Dell Inspiron 15 is a good-looking 15-inch laptop that comes with an energy-efficient touchscreen display and stylish black glossy chassis. It’s our highly recommended laptop under $500 that can be used for all kinds of purposes including basic browsing, word processing, watching movies, and casual gaming.
It features reliable connectivity options like one USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a 3-in-1 media card reader. When it comes to performance, it clearly stands out of the crowd thanks to its Intel Dual Core i5-8250U processor and 8 GB of RAM.
It comes with an HD Webcam which is extremely clear and crisp even in dark rooms. It includes a 1 TB HDD that’s more than enough for storing all your files. If you need extra storage space, you can increase the memory or storage capacities when you order the laptop.
Overall, it’s the best all-rounder laptop for $500 and can be used by just about anyone.
Being built to Acer’s high standards, this laptop is slim and quite light. It features a decent keyboard, with an IPS display, and modern components under the hood. Plus, you get one of the longest-lasting batteries on the market.
This budget model of the E 15 is thinner than previous models and weighs 5.3 lbs. It has all the connections you need, including USB 3.1 Type C, both USB 2 and 3 ports, LAN, HDMI, and a card reader too.
The 15.6-inch full HD IPS display offers a good level of brightness and wider viewing angles than normally found at this price. Graphics-wise, at this price you are only getting integrated Intel HD graphics–don’t buy this machine as a serious gaming device.
Built with an 8th generation Intel Core i3 and 6GB of DDR4 RAM, you can do most everyday computing tasks with this laptop. A 256GB SSD provides fast boot-up and application loading speeds.
For a sub-$500 laptop, the Acer Aspire E 15 is a great machine. The 48Wh battery and power-saving Core i3 processor give it some of the longest battery life (more than 13 hours) for a laptop at any price.
This latest budget model from HP features a 15.6-inch HD touchscreen display and is a decent all-rounder of a laptop. Using the latest Kaby Lake Core i3 processor from Intel, it consumes very little power with the low voltage chipset. The CPU is also clocked at 2.4Ghz for a speedy performance.
Combined with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB HDD, the HP provides smooth performance and handles multi-tasking extremely well. The Brightview. 15.6-inch screen offers a glossy HD (1366 x 768) WLED backlit display, for watching all your movies and viewing your photos.
Integrated Intel HD 620 graphics mean it will also be suitable for photo-editing and some basic gaming.
Connection on the HP 15.6” touch-screen laptop is well covered, with the latest USB 3.1 ports, which enable faster transfer of your media. It also includes Bluetooth for easier syncing with mobile devices. Unusually for a touchscreen, especially the more tablet-like devices, it includes a SuperMulti DVD burner for extra media storage options.
If you’re not quite ready to make the jump to a tablet just yet, the HP touch-screen 15.6” notebook offers a high spec alternative. With more energy-efficient components under the hood, it will give a similar battery life, often over five hours from a single charge.
This new model in the popular Inspiron range from Dell is a budget-class Windows-based laptop, with a 15.6-inch touchscreen. With the 7th gen Intel Core i3 processor, it offers a speed boost and greater power efficiency than many other laptops at this price. Combined with 6GB of RAM and a 1TB HDD, this laptop should be able to cope with basic multitasking and most everyday tasks.
The 15.6-inch HD touchscreen display is great for taking advantage of some of Windows 10’s new features and can add to the fun of some browser-based games.
However, with only Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated, that’s probably the most gaming you will do. It may run some older games or less demanding 3D Indie games but will struggle with newer releases.
A 1TB HDD offers ample space for your files and programs, with a DVD burner also provided for archiving some older files. The 6GB of memory will be sufficient for the average user, but those with heavier multitasking needs may want to upgrade.
Although there are two memory slots available on this laptop, if you want to upgrade, it means removing the keyboard and the whole bottom of the case to reach them—no simple trapdoors system here.
It may not offer much more in spec than other touchscreen laptops around this price, but you are getting a Dell. The usual slimline design and the sturdy case of the Dell ensure this laptop doesn’t feel or look like a sub $500 machine.
The HP Pavilion 15 might not be the most well-known laptop model, but it’s a worthy pick for our guide of best laptops. Lately, HP has launched many budget laptops that have mind-blowing specifications, and this one is among them.
It features 8 GB of RAM and an Intel i5-8250U quad-core processor which is seriously powerful. This will be plenty of computing power for mid-range applications.
It also features a 1 TB SATA HDD which should be plenty of storage space for photos, business documents, and other important files. The 6 hours of battery life is not the best but will suffice if you don’t need to be off the power grid for extended periods of time.
It includes all the usual ports including USB Type-C and HDMI. Other features include a 1080p FHD high-resolution webcam and an SD card reader.
On top of all that, its premium design and brushed aluminum body are a welcome bonus. The aluminum chassis is designed to keep the machine cool while under heavy load.
Overall, this is a very budget-friendly laptop with solid performance and reliability.
This ThinkPad series has been designed to be thin and lightweight, yet durable enough to withstand the tough environment of schools. These laptops are subjected to over 200 durability tests and meet 12 military-grade standards.
Ports are reinforced and the keyboard is water-resistant. The Thinkpad E570 can even withstand a drop of up to three feet—that’s about the height of your average school desk.
With a 15.6-inch screen, measuring less than an inch thick, and a reasonable 5 pounds in weight, this laptop is no harder to carry than a large textbook. The display is backlit for use, in even the darkest of lecture halls. With a crisp Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution for extra clarity, the user could even indulge in the occasional movie session between classes.
A dual-core Intel i5 processor and 8GB of DDR4 RAM provide enough power for multi-tasking and most daily tasks. The included SDD offers a blisteringly fast and smoother computing experience, but can be limited in size — Windows 10 can take up 30GB alone. If necessary, it’s possible to upgrade the SSD when ordering the product although this will obviously increase the price.
You won’t be playing many high-end games with only Intel HD graphics included, but extra USB ports, including 3.1 Type C, and an SD card reader, provide opportunities for media storage. The fingerprint reader and Windows 10 Pro is a welcome feature if laptop security is a priority for you.
The 7-hour battery life and the latest Intel Dual-band Wi-Fi AC standard make this the ideal notebook for learning on the go. A built-in 720p HD webcam with dual array microphone even means they can Skype home occasionally.
This HP Business Flagship laptop is a pretty decent all-around PC that features a backlit 17.3-inch display and one of the latest Intel Core i3 processors.
Let’s take a look at that screen first. This is probably why you’re here. The immersive 17.3-inch display features an HD+ BrightView screen with a resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels.
Although it may not be full HD, it is clear and crisp, but it lacks IPS technology for those wider viewing angles. Integrated Intel HD Graphics will be ideal for streaming movies but only offer basic gaming.
The Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM make for a capable multi-tasking device but the slow 5400 RPM HDD can limit the performance. A built-in DVD optical drive is a welcome bonus, ideal for when you want to free up space on the 1TB HDD.
Despite the budget price, this is a solidly built laptop, as you would expect from HP. At just one inch thick and weighing a hefty 5.6 pounds, the HP has an impressive battery life of 9 hours, for computing on the go. It may not be the highest resolution screen on the market, but it is larger than most and a bargain at under $500.
At just nine dollars over our $500 budget, this ASUS VivoBook is close enough to be included. With the NanoEdge bezel, ASUS has managed to squeeze a 15-inch laptop into the body of a 14-inch machine–and a fine laptop it is too.
Using the latest 8th generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB HDD will offer enough power for all but the most demanding of users. The Intel Graphics HD may struggle with newer releases, but older games will look stunning on the display.
The 15.6-inch display offers a full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS enabled screen, which uses ASUS Tru2Life video technology for smoother videos. It’s not just the visuals that are stunning, but a bezel of less than half an inch means over 80 percent of the visible area is consumed by the screen.
A comfortable-to-use keyboard features in the sleek design, with backlighting—a feature you don’t often find at this price. The touchpad is responsive and includes a fingerprint sensor in the top left corner for the more security conscious.
The main disappointment with this sleek ASUS laptop was the poor battery life, which only lasted about six hours. If you can live with the shorter battery life, you will struggle to find a more stylish, yet powerful, laptop around the $500 mark.
With the Chromebook Flip, ASUS has finally brought out a premium Chromebook for less than $500. A classy design features a stunning screen and an incredibly responsive keyboard for a device that is just as easy to use as a laptop or tablet.
The ASUS Chromebook Flip uses a 360-degree hinge which literally allows it to “flip” out. With a 12-inch footprint and weighing only 2.65 pounds, this can squeeze into any backpack as easily as most tablets, but still offer the functionality of a notebook computer.
A full HD 12.5-inch display uses a Wide View panel, which is perfect for sharing images with people on the go. The anti-glare panel uses a light sensor to reduce reflections—and it’s a touchscreen too.
An aluminum body for extra strength utilizes Gorilla glass to protect that stunning display.
When it comes to performance, a powerful Intel Core m3 processor provides for smooth graphics and a speedy efficient operation. Ultra quick to boot from solid-state memory, the power-efficient components mean this laptop/tablet will last up to 10 hours on a single charge.
An innovative design, glorious display, powerful components, and extra lightweight, yet sturdy, chassis, make this one of the best laptops under $500. Google Chrome has come a long way and can now meet the demands of most users.
This sub $500 offering from Dell is a budget-friendly gaming device that could also double up as a productivity laptop. Instead of using the traditional Intel Core processors, they have chosen to use the AMD A9-9400 chipset which is very capable for gaming. Preloaded with 8GB of DDR4 RAM, it will multi-task everyday tasks with no problems.
The first thing you notice about this laptop from Dell is the stylish case, this certainly doesn’t look like a budget laptop. Unfortunately, the lower resolution screen tells another story, with just 1366 x 768 pixels on the 15.6-inch display. It does, however, employ HD Truelife technology for crisper images and uses an AMD Radeon R5 Graphics chip for smoother graphics.
For gaming, the Radeon R5 can deal with most modern games until you ramp up the settings, then it may struggle. With the small 256GB SSD, you won’t have too much space for many games anyhow. A DVD multi-writer will allow for external storage and USB 3 and 2 ports allow for the easy hook up of additional drives.
The Inspiron 500 is a powerful and stylish laptop, which can provide better gaming on the go than most in this price range. Just be warned, however, the display isn’t full HD, and the storage is very limited at only 256GB.
When it comes to budget laptops, $500 is the perfect budget to find a suitable laptop for all your needs including casual gaming. These listed above notebooks can perform all your light as well as heavy tasks with ease.
Also if you have some extra cash or if you could save some then we also recommend that you check our guide of best laptops under $600. So I guess this is it, let us know if you have any doubts regarding this topic through the comments section.
Marcus has a graduate degree in computer engineering and has many years of experience in cutting-edge technology research and development in both startups and Fortune 500 corporations. In his free time, he enjoys RTS gaming.