Finding the Best Laptops Under $500

Last Edited: November 16, 2017 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 LaptopMag’s laptop buying guide. 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 >> Under $500 >> Under $600 >>

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Laptops Under $500 Top Picks

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 laptopASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4

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.

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

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

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
$469.99$469.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 16:33 UTC) Details

Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US 12.3-inchSamsung 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.

  • Rockchip OP 1 Cortex-A53/Cortex-A72 2.0GHz
  • 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

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

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$405.10
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 15:49 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inchAcer 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.

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

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

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$549.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 15:50 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.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 13.25 hours battery life
  • 3.7 lbs

Pros

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

Cons

  • Keyboard flex
  • Slow hard drive

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$499.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 15:56 UTC) Details

ASUS P2540UA-AB51 15.6-inchASUS P2540UA-AB51 15.6-inch

The ASUS P2540UA-AB51 is designed to be a business laptop, but it is equally as suitable for college use. Its added security features are an attractive selling point in our current day and age and while the fingerprint reader is not a must, it surely is a great feature to have for everyday use. While many laptops in this price category offer average battery life, the ASUS P2540UA-AB51 easily achieve the advertised 9-hours off of a single charge according to reviewers, and this can even be extended if you switch the settings over to Battery Saver mode. ASUS have fitted the ASUS P2540UA-AB51 with a seventh generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB storage drive. The slower 5400rpm storage drive will mean that the ASUS P2540UA-AB51 will take longer to start up and launching your applications will take noticeably longer than laptops with an SSD fitted. Luckily both the RAM and the storage drive can be upgraded and you can even replace the optical drive with a hard drive caddy if you want to keep the 1TB drive for storage. Due to the fact that it has been designed for business, ASUS have put in little thought about the laptop’s audio quality. Some users have reported that it offers weak audio due to the downward facing speakers. Though the audio is not the only thing to have taken a backseat, the display has been reported to be lacklustre and the viewing angles, while not terrible, are not great either.

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

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Latest generation Intel CPU
  • Fingerprint reader and TPM chip
  • Great selection of ports
  • Easy to upgrade

Cons

  • Slower 5400rpm storage drive
  • Weak audio
  • Lackluster display

Summary

The ASUS P2540UA-AB51 offers great business and security features at an affordable small business price. However the slower storage drive might put some off who are looking for an SSD.

ASUS P2540UA-AB51 15.6-inch
$599.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 16:24 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV Signature Edition 15.6-InchDell 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.

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

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

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
$799.00$649.00
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from Microsoft.com
(as of 05-06-2017 05:31 UTC) Details

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Laptops Under $500

These laptops are all still excellent deals but aren’t currently in our pool of top picks. That said, they still come highly recommended and are worth a review if you are serious about exploring all of your available options.

Dell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718SLVDell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718SLV Signature Edition 15.6-inch

The Dell Inspiron range has made a good name for itself when it comes to quality and affordability. A fine example of this is the Dell Inspiron i5558-5718SLV Signature Edition which features the typical stylish Inspiron looks, good performance and an attractive price. While the Inspiron i5558-5718SLVBLK features an older Haswell processor, but boasts a higher benchmark score than its newer i3 counterpart. While the touchscreen display offers great colors and a maximum resolution of 1920×1080, but the touchscreen can be unresponsive at times and users who expect a flawless Smartphone or Tablet experience will be disappointed with its performance. A spacious 1TB mechanical hard drive offers enough space for work and multimedia. While the slower 5400rpm drive speed is a limiting factor on gaming and other high performance laptops, it is sufficient for most tasks that the Dell Inspiron i5558-5718SLV will be used for. As it is a general business and all-round laptop, it boasts integrated Intel graphics which will struggle to run any modern gaming titles with acceptable frame rates. But the Intel HD Graphics 4400 chip will run apps such as Adobe Photoshop and CoralDRAW for users looking to run design software. While there are laptops from Dell with newer hardware, the Inspiron i5558-5718SLV is still a good contender for students and business professionals.

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

Pros

  • Full HD Display
  • Amazing sale price
  • 10-finger multi-touch
  • Excellent Audio quality
  • Ample storage

Cons

  • Touchscreen unresponsive at times

Summary

A powerhouse laptop with great audio and full HD screen at an amazing price on sale.

Dell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718SLV Signature Edition 15.6-inch
$569.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 16:07 UTC) Details

HP 17-X116DX 17.3-inchHP 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.

  • 17.3 inch, 1600 x 900 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.5 hours battery life
  • 7.3 lbs

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

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
$525.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 16:30 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574-53QS 15.6-inchAcer Aspire E 15 E5-574-53QS 15.6-inch

Finding a laptop with an Intel Skylake i5 processor for under $450 is quite rare, but the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574-53QS manages to squeeze in an i5 processor for its attractive processor. The textured plastic shell gives the laptop an elegant look and feel that we would usually expect from more expensive laptops. While many laptops under $450 only feature entry level AMD processors or cheaper Intel processors, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574-53QS is powered by a 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor. The processor is backed by 4GB of RAM which will be sufficient for basic tasks, but it does leave the laptop feeling a bit sluggish after prolonged use or when attempting more intense multitasking. The RAM can cheaply be upgraded to 8GB for a big boost in performance. To store all of your work or multimedia files, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574-53QS features a healthy 1TB of storage space. The hard drive can be upgraded to either a Hybrid drive or an SSD, for those who are after lightning fast boot and app loading speeds. While the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574-53QS is not at all a gaming laptop, you will be able to do some casual gaming thanks to the Intel HD Graphics 520 graphics processor. Like most budget friendly 15.6-inch laptops, it comes with a 1366 x 768 resolution display. But it still manages to offer vivid colors and sharp image quality for a budget display.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.29 lbs

Pros

  • Skylake i5 processor
  • Ample storage space
  • Two USB 3.0 ports
  • Fast AC WiFi

Cons

  • Average battery life
  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • Viewing angles

Summary

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574-53QS offers great value for money with its large hard drive and its Skylake i5 processor. But the 4GB should be upgraded to prevent the laptop from feeling sluggish when multitasking.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574-53QS 15.6-inch
$449.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 15:52 UTC) Details

ASUS F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch

ASUS F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch

The Asus F555LA-AB31 is a new addition to the Asus family. Sporting a crystal clear 15.6” matte Full HD display that is viewable from nearly all angles, the F555LA is perfect for media enthusiasts. The award winning Asus Sonicmaster sound paired with the brilliant display make watching HD content a pleasant experience, although some users did report minor screen bleed around the edges. Asus have included their Ice Cool technology which keeps the touchpad and palmrest area of the laptop nice and cool at all times for ergonomic comfort while typing. Another great advantage is Windows 10 being pre-installed which is far better at utilizing hardware efficiently allowing for better performance than windows 8.1. While not the fastest on the market, the Intel Core i3 coupled with 4GB of DDR3 RAM make for an all round pleasant computing experience running basic day to day apps for a bargain price.

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

Pros

  • Full-HD Screen
  • Great price
  • Good sound

Cons

  • Slight screen bleed
  • Hard drive not easy to replace
  • Dim display

Summary

At this price you are getting a great performing Windows 10 laptop with a FHD screen and fast wireless connectivity. Only slight screen bleed at the bottom and basic users will struggle to upgrade the hard drive.

ASUS F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch
$499.99$396.78
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 02-06-2017 02:59 UTC) Details

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Laptops Under $600

ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T 13.3-inchASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T 13.3-inch

If you are looking for a super thin and light Ultrabook for work or to take with you when you travel, then you might want to consider looking at the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T. At just 2.9-pounds and 0.5-inches thin, this laptop offers the ultimate portability for its price. However, the metal used is slightly thin and there is a small amount of keyboard flex while typing, which might annoy some users. The ASUS ZenBook Flex also has a slightly below average trackpad, however, you can use a small mouse instead to alleviate any annoying trackpad lag or misclicks. Powered by an Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor, the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T is one of the few laptops from ASUS which uses the Skylake mobile processor. While it has a slower clock speed of 0.9GHZ, it can boost to 2.2GHz when needed and is not intended for heavier multitasking or for design and video editing applications. However, this processor and the installed 8GB of RAM will easily allow you to send emails, Skype with family and friends, browse the web and to use the various Office applications from Microsoft. To store all of your files, the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T features a superfast M.2 256GB solid state drive. If you have a larger collection of multimedia files, you will want to use a good external hard drive, as the SSD will fill up very quickly. As expected from this thin laptop, the audio is not very loud and this has to do with the space the speakers have to resonate sound. While the audio is not as good as some of the other laptops in this guide, it is still good for streaming media or while using Skype.

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.9 lbs

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • Fast SSD
  • Good amount of memory
  • USB 3.1 Type-C port
  • Battery life
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Micro HDMI port
  • Buggy trackpad
  • Slight keyboard flex
  • Average audio

Summary

The ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T is a compact and light Ultrabook that is great for the user who is constantly on the go. However, the trackpad has much to be desired and might annoy some users.

ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T 13.3-inch
$553.96
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 15:49 UTC) Details

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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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