Finding the Best Laptops Under $500

Last Edited: June 25, 2018 by

Finding-the-Best-Laptops-Under-$500

Welcome to our pro guide to the best all-purpose laptops under $500 for nailing your daily computing needs based on sales volume, reviews, and real world performance.

So you’ve made it this far and you have half a clip ( a decent $500) to get you a quality laptop that will hopefully last for the next few years to come. But where do you start? The following is our guide to the best laptops under $500 aimed at ensuring you find just the right laptop to suit your needs without endless hours wasted on unnecessary product research. This well researched list is based on pro reviews, sales, consumer feedback and pure hardware power. The sub-$500 price range is still considered a budget conscious niche, but things do start to get interesting here and you can find laptops to suit a wide range of requirements within this price bracket if you do some digging. When searching for the best laptop for $500 keep in mind you will get a reliable PC that will run most applications comfortable, although more power hungry users may want to checkout our guides to the top laptops under $1000 and the top high-end laptops on the market for laptops that will stand the test of time. Gamers will also certainly want to head over to our popular guide to the best gaming laptops under $500 for laptops with dedicated graphics for gaming.

Laptop Buying Guides

Before we get stuck into our list of the top $500 laptops, if you need to brush on your PC technical jargon we’d recommend checking out our Laptop Buying Guide: Pro Tips for Choosing a Laptop. It’s an excellent resource if you’re not sure what to look out for when buying a new laptop written in pure non techie English. Fellow geeks please feel free to ignore.

Top Picks >> Runners Up >> Honorable Mentions >>

Laptops Under $500 – Top Pick

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 laptop
The Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 can switch between a laptop and a tablet, and it comes packed a with decent amount of power to drive a commendable overall experience thanks to its solid state memory and Intel Core M3 processor. The included 4GB of RAM should be more than enough for most, although I wouldn’t go crazy with how many apps you have open when multitasking. With 64GB of solid state memory, you will have plenty of room for a lot of files, and it is upgradable to 256GB if necessary. Chrome OS does make use of cloud based storage mostly, so storage should not be that much of an issue. The included screen is Full-HD, with a resolution of 1920×1080. While it’s not 4K, it’s more than enough resolution to give you a beautiful picture while using your Chromebook. It is lightweight, highly portable, and coupled with its robust design, you get a laptop suited to students or businessman who constantly travel.

Pros

  • Fast Intel Core M 2.2Ghz processor
  • Solid Build Quality
  • Battery Life
  • Backlit keyboard

Cons

  • Limited Functionality in Tablet Mode
  • Price
  • Limited Ports
  • Low amount of RAM

Specs

  • 12.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.6 lbs

Summary

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 12.5-inch is solidly built, and includes high end specs for a Chromebook, but its price and port limitations may be a turn off for some.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 12.5-inch
$499.00$449.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-07-2018 15:25 UTC) Details

Laptops Under $500 – Runners-Up

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H 15.6 inch

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H laptop
The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-inch was a top choice in our guide for quite a while. The Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H is a new addition their budget family, and packs even more of a punch at an even lower price tag. While it features the same Intel HD Graphics 620, it features the newest 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8130U dual-core processor that runs alongside a decent 6GB of RAM. While its performance for modern games will be on the lower end, its value is excellent and it will at least allow you to play games such as Overwatch, CS:GO, DOTA 2 and other popular titles will be playable, albeit at reduced settings. One aspect of the E 15 E5-576-392H that may seem impressive is that it packs a 1920 x 1080 15.6-inch display. Sadly, it is of poor quality. Its lowly TN panel offers poor viewing angles and the colors looked washed out, which are issues that generally plague TN panels. The two built in speakers are said to produce room filling audio, and it is said to have a 13.5 hour battery life, but that would be with power saving measures in place. The hard drive offers a lot of storage space that will hold most of your games and files with room to spare, but it’ll slow your overall system down due to it being mechanical. Many found that replacing it with an M.2 SSD helped solve this problem. It comes with two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, and a compact USB-C 3.1 connector, as well as an HDMI and VGA video output for connecting multiple screens, and there is also a multi-format memory card reader. The full-size keyboard is sadly not backlit, but many noted that its key travel and feedback are great, and the touchpad is said to be good overall, but compared to higher-end laptops, it is not as responsive.

Pros

  • Exceptional value
  • Full-HD display
  • Plenty of storage space
  • All-day battery life
  • Robust connectivity options

Cons

  • Unnecessary bloatware
  • Slow mechanical hard drive
  • Lowly TN-panel

Specs

  • Intel UHD Graphics 620 Shared [View Framerates]
  • 6GB DDR3L RAM
  • 1000GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 13.5 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Summary

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H is easily one the best value for the money laptops we have seen, offering an 8th Generation i3 CPU and 6GB of RAM, but it is held back by its TN display, and you should look at replacing its slow hard drive with a fast SSD.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H 15.6-inch
$379.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-07-2018 14:45 UTC) Details

Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US 12.3-inch

Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US 12.3-inch
If you are looking for a thin and light laptop for your studies, then the Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US is well worth considering. It features a sleek design, weighs in at 2.38-pounds and at just 0.51-inches thick, it is among the thinnest of the Chromebooks on the market. While other ChromeBooks are generally inexpensive, the Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US commands a higher price due to the fact that its features are more in line with that of mid-range Windows laptops. The Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US sports a Rockchip Hexa-Core OP1 processor with 4GB of DDR3L RAM, which give it the edge over some of its slightly cheaper counterparts. While you might not get an Intel processor, the Rockchip OP1 has been optimized in conjunction with Google for Chrome OS. You also get double the storage space of most Chromebooks, however the 32GB will fill up quickly if you intend on storing larger documents or multimedia files. You can purchase a large MicroSD card to extend the laptop’s storage space and we recommend a good 128GB MicroSD card. If you are permanently connected to the Internet, then you can make use of Google Drive as they offer great packages for under $10 a month. With a good battery life, the Samsung ChromeBook Plus will easily make it through all of your classes at college. The high resolution QHD display can be folded 360-degrees and with the included pen you will be able to take notes with ease. While it does run the more limited Chrome OS, you will still be able to use Microsoft Office thanks to Microsoft Office Online. The only major downside is that it only features two USB 3.1 Type-C ports that require adapters in order to use a standard USB port. Luckily Samsung have included an adapter in the box, which is more than what you get with Apple’s MacBook.

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • 8-Core processor
  • Pen for drawing and taking notes
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Only 2 USB 3.1 Type-C ports
  • Limited apps
  • Chrome OS
  • Limited storage space

Specs

  • Mali-T860 MP4 Shared
  • 4GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • 32GB SSD
  • 12.3 inch, 2400 x 1600 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.38 lbs

Summary

The Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US is a powerful Chromebook that is perfect for all of your college classes. The included pen will make taking notes much easier and will allow you to save them as digital copies.

Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US 12.3-inch
$449.99$415.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-07-2018 14:37 UTC) Details

ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51 15.6-inch

ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51 laptop
ASUS’s new Vivobook F510UA-AH51 15.6-inch laptop is a capable budget-conscious laptop. With its 8th Generation i5-8250U 1.6GHz CPU and 8GB of RAM, it drives a solid performance making the overall laptop feel responsive and making your applications run with general ease. It has an improved design when compared to last years VivoBook, and it is both lighter and thinner, weighing in at 3.7 pounds, making it highly portable. The keyboard is said to have quite a bit of flex, taking away from the VivoBook F510UA-AH51’s premium feel. ASUS have fitted the laptop with a 1920 X 1080 IPS NanoEdge display, which has an awesome 80 percent screen-to-body ratio. ASUS have cut some corners with the storage, opting for a slow 1TB 5400RPM HDD as opposed to an SSD. This is going to make applications and boot times rather slow and tedious sadly, but the other hardware does compensate for this. It has an average battery life of around 5 hours, 30 minutes according to reports, and most reviewers have pointed out that the audio quality is good overall. The Intel UHD 620 graphics won’t win any awards for gaming performance, but it will allow you to run some classic titles well, and even some newer titles on low settings. It also comes with USB 3.1 with a reversible USB C connector for super fast data transfers. ASUS’s new Vivobook F510UA-AH51 15.6-inch laptop offers a great performance for the price, and its portability and solid construction makes it well suited for business people constantly travelling.

Pros

  • Responsive
  • Solid performance
  • Up-to-date CPU
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Premium look

Cons

  • Keyboard flex
  • Slow hard drive

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 620 Shared [View Framerates]
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1000GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 13.25 hours battery life
  • 3.7 lbs

Summary

With its premium look and ultra portable design, the ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51 offers users a solid performance at a very reasonable price.

ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51 15.6-inch
$599.00$509.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-07-2018 15:27 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 15.6-inch

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 15.6-inch laptop
The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 15.6-inch laptop comes stacked with some impressive hardware for a reasonable price. The up-to-date Intel i5-8250U that is coupled with 8GB of RAM will run most heavy tasks with general ease. Multitasking will also not be much of problem, as the RAM will allow you to run quite a few applications and browser windows at once. It comes with a somewhat small SSD, affording you only 256GB of storage, but you can always add an additional SSD if needed. It comes with a Full-HD IPS display, but some have noted that it is fairly dim and unspectacular. Regardless, you will get decent viewing angles and the matte finish will prevent any potential glare. It has a solid battery life of around 8 hours and 30 minutes, despite the Amazon product page suggesting up to 15 hours of battery life, but this may be more accurate for light users, while heavier users will drain the battery around the above mentioned time. The NVIDIA GeForce MX150 is by no means a beast a when it comes to running games, and most modern AAA titles will struggle somewhat, but lowering the graphics will afford you some playability. Both the keyboard and trackpad have been given a thumbs up from most who own this machine. There was a lot of critical commentary delivered on quality control, with many users receiving defective machines. While this may be only a select few reviewers, it is always worth mentioning quality control.

Pros

  • Good Intel i5-8250U CPU
  • Decent 8GB of RAM
  • SSD
  • Full-HD Display
  • Price

Cons

  • Dim screen
  • Potential quality control issues
  • Limited storage capacity

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 15 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Summary

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 15.6-inch laptop is well priced and comes with a good CPU and fast SSD, but the storage capacity is fairly limited, and the matte Full- HD screen may not be for everyone.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 15.6-inch
$599.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-07-2018 15:28 UTC) Details

DELL INSPIRON I3567-5664BLK-PUS 15.6-inch

DELL INSPIRON I3567-5664BLK-PUS 15.6-inch laptop
The Dell Inspiron i3567-3919BLK has been said to deliver a stable and consistent performance that is well suited for college, office and home use, as well as light gaming. It’s chassis is strong and durable and it weighs in at 4.85 pounds, meaning it’s highly portable. It features a large 15.6-inch display that delivers a crisp image, but its resolution is only HD at 1366 x 768, unlike our top pick, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4, which features a Full-HD 1080p display. The full-sized keyboard has received a solid thumbs up from most users, but some found that the touchpad is slightly too sensitive. One can, however, change the sensitivity settings in Windows, so we do not necessarily view a sensitive touchpad as a negative aspect. It’s powered by a 2.4Ghz Intel i3 processor and 8GB of RAM with a slow, but spacious 1TB hard drive. These are hard drives can noticeably slow down the performance of a system, generally leading to slower boot and program loading times, and if you are looking for a laptop with a speedy SSD, we would recommend checking out the popular Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 15.6-inch. The Intel HD 620 graphics chip will allow you to do some low end gaming, with users finding it can even run a demanding title like Subnautica or custom settings. Games such as Overwatch, Dota 2, CS:GO and LOL should run fairly comfortably if you fiddle with the settings. It has a wide range of ports, including a fast USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI port for you to connect to a larger display. Sadly, its speaker placement is not that great, resulting in poor audio quality.

Pros

  • Price
  • Decent performance
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Plenty storage space

Cons

  • Mediocre screen quality
  • Slow HDD
  • Average battery life

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 620 Shared [View Framerates]
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 2000GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 5.07 lbs

Summary

The screen quality is the only real drawback of the Dell Inspiron I3567-5664BLK-PUS 15.6-inch. Otherwise, it delivers a decent performance overall thanks to its solid CPU and RAM.

Dell Inspiron I3567-5664BLK-PUS 15.6-inch
$530.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-07-2018 15:28 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inch

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inch
Although priced slightly higher than $500, the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 earns our top pick in our guide due to its great customer reviews and its overall popularity. The E 15 offers a max resolution of 1920×1080, and comes with a GeForce 940MX, making this laptop suitable for graphics designers, video editors and gamers (it also features in our Best Gaming Laptops for Under 500 guide). Acer have also fitted the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 with the latest generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor, which is powerful enough to handle more hardware intensive apps. It features a super fast solid state drive, but its storage space is slightly too small for modern games which can take up over 40GB of storage space once installed. You might want to consider upgrading the size of your SSD or purchasing a 7200rpm external hard drive for more storage space. We are also impressed with the Full-HD display which offers good image quality and vivid colors for gaming or streaming your favorite series. Acer claims that the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 will give you 12 hours of battery life off of a single charge, however this would be under ideal conditions and not while gaming or while using hardware intensive applications. Despite this fact, we are still very impressed with the battery life that it offers as most laptops in this price range will barely offer you 4 hours of run time.

Pros

  • Dedicated NVIDIA graphics
  • Seventh generation CPU
  • Superfast SSD
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Full-HD display
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Small SSD
  • Average keyboard
  • Not the easiest to upgrade
  • Acer bloatware

Specs

  • Nvidia GeForce 940MX 2GB GDDR5 [View Framerates]
  • 8GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Summary

The Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 is a budget friendly multimedia laptop that offers a fast SSD and dedicated NVIDIA graphics.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inch
$579.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-07-2018 14:39 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron i3567-3919BLK 15.6-inch

Dell Inspiron i3567-3919BLK 15.6-inch laptop
Reliability is key in the the sub $500 laptop market. The Dell Inspiron i3567-3919BLK has been said to deliver a stable and consistent performance that is well suited for college, office and home use. It’s chassis is strong and durable and it weighs in at 4.85 pounds, meaning it’s highly portable. It features a large 15.6-inch display that delivers a crisp image, but its resolution is only HD at 1366 x 768, unlike our top pick, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4, which features a Full-HD 1080p display. The full-sized keyboard has received a solid thumbs up from most users, but some found that the touchpad is slightly too sensitive. One can, however, change the sensitivity settings in Windows, so we do not necessarily view a sensitive touchpad as a negative aspect. It’s powered by a 2.4Ghz Intel i3 processor and 8GB of RAM with aslow, but spacious 1TB hard drive. These are hard drives can noticeably slow down the performance of a system, generally leading to slower boot and program loading times, and if you are looking for a laptop with a speedy SSD, we would recommend checking out the popular Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 15.6-inch. The Intel HD 620 graphics chip will allow you to do some low end gaming, with users finding it can even run a demanding title like Subnautica or custom settings. Games such as Overwatch, Dota 2, CS:GO and LOL should run fairly comfortably if you fiddle with the settings. It has a wide range of ports, including a fast USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI port for you to connect to a larger display. Sadly, its speaker placement is not that great, resulting in poor audio quality.

Pros

  • Good all-round performance
  • Attractive price
  • Spacious hard drive
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • Low resolution display
  • Bad speaker placement
  • Slow hard drive

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 620 shared [View Framerates]
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1000GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 4.85 lbs

Summary

The Dell Inspiron i3567-3919BLK puts up a good all around performance thanks to the consistent 2.4 GHz Intel i3 processor and 8GB of RAM, but it is somewhat hampered by its slower hard drive.

Dell Inspiron i3567-3919BLK 15.6-inch
$799.00$444.80
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-07-2018 15:00 UTC) Details

HP 17-X116DX 17.3-inch


Most laptops on the market feature 15.6-inch displays or smaller and while this is great for some users, there are those who would prefer a much larger display. This is where the HP 17-X116DX steps in with its much larger 17.3-inch display. While this makes the HP 17-X116DX less compact for those who travel, it does mean a great increase in screen real estate for browsing the web and streaming your favourite movies and series. However, HP had to cut costs to offer the HP 17-X116DX at a competitive price and this means that you will not get a Full-HD panel and instead will only get a maximum resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels. This is in no way a deal breaker and you will still be able to enjoy great content in 720p HD quality. While the display may lack Full-HD support, it does offer great image quality and is brighter than some of the competing models on the market. However, the audio does not match up to the display as the speakers are placed at the bottom of the laptop and face downward. This offers somewhat dull audio at times and if you are using the laptop on your lap then the audio can become quite muffled. While this is a minor issue, the HP 17-X116DX still makes for a great multimedia laptop due to its larger display for its 1TB hard drive.

Pros

  • Large 17.3-inch display
  • Fast Intel i5 processor
  • Ample storage
  • Great price

Cons

  • Dull audio
  • No numpad or power LED light
  • Slower 5400rpm hard drive

Specs

  • Intel HD Graphics 620 Shared [View Framerates]
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1000GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • 17.3 inch, 1600 x 900 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.5 hours battery life
  • 7.3 lbs

Summary

The HP 17-X116DX offers a larger display for all of your multimedia needs, though its Intel processor is more than powerful enough if you intend on doing a bit of design work.

HP 17-X116DX 17.3-inch
$568.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-07-2018 15:21 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV Signature Edition 15.6-Inch

Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV Signature Edition 15.6-Inch
Dell are known for their budget friendly offerings and rugged business machines. However, these laptops are usually full of unwanted third party apps and features that will slow down your machine. This is where Microsoft has stepped in and promises no third-party bloatware with their Signature Edition laptops. This means that the Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV Signature Edition will only ship with a few Microsoft apps that you can easily remove from your laptop if you want a completely barebones Windows laptop. The Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV is an updated version of the Inspiron I5558-2144SLV and has now been beefed up with a newer sixth generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor for increased performance. While the newer processor will support DDR4 RAM, Dell has decided to use the same DDR3L RAM as its predecessor. However this is not a mark against the Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV as the installed 8GB of RAM will still feel snappy while surfing the web or working in more hardware intensive apps. A new processor also means a new Intel HD Graphics chip, which will mean slightly better performance for the casual gamer who enjoys titles such as Diablo 3, Warframe or CS: Go. The Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV also sees and improvement in the display department, as it now features a Full-HD display so that you can enjoy your favorite 1080p media. In addition to the sharp display, the Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV also features a touchscreen panel with 10-finger multi-touch support that will allow you to easily navigate around Windows. Another new feature is the addition of an Intel RealSense 3D camera. This allows the Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV to utilize Windows Hello functionality for quick and easy log-ins and enhanced security. You also get a backlit keyboard to allow you to work more comfortably in low light condition. One of the only drawbacks is that like all budget laptops it has a slower 5400rpm hard drive. While it offers ample storage space, it will mean waiting longer for Windows to load and apps to launch.

Pros

  • Skylake-based i5 processor
  • Full-HD display
  • Intel RealSense 3D camera
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Clean version of Windows 10

Cons

  • Slower hard drive
  • No IPS display
  • Only one USB 3.0 port

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.36 lbs

Summary

The Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV Signature Edition is another great budget friendly solution from Dell and despite the use of a slower 5400rpm hard drive, this laptop still offers great performance.

Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV Signature Edition 15.6-Inch
$537.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-07-2018 14:40 UTC) Details

 

Conclusion

This brings us to the end of our list for now, though be sure to check back soon for more laptop goodness. Our guide are updated regularly to ensure our users never miss a beat. For more awesome laptops see our other laptop guides and keep informed on your quest for a top performing sub-$500 laptop.

More of the Best All-Purpose Laptops >>

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