Finding the Best Laptops Under $500

Last Edited: July 8, 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. More power hungry users may want to checkout higher price brackets.

Laptop Buying Guides

Before we go any further 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 >>

line-break

Laptops Under $500 Top Picks

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
$538.79
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-08-2017 15:53 UTC) Details

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
$498.88
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-08-2017 16:13 UTC) Details

line-break

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.

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
$478.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-08-2017 16:22 UTC) Details

HP Pavilion 15ac151dx 15.6-inchHP Pavilion 15ac151dx 15.6-inch

Users who are after a reliable laptop that can run a host of everyday apps will find comfort in one of HP’s latest offerings. The world renowned laptop manufacturer is known for its rugged business machines and for their range of affordable solutions for the home and the office. The HP Pavilion 15ac151dx is a budget friendly laptop which features decent hardware for its sub $400 price tag. Sporting an ultra low voltage 5th generation Intel i5-5200U processor and 4GB of RAM, the HP Pavilion 15ac151dx will deal with most day-to-day tasks with ease. But we do recommend upgrading the RAM to at least 8GB to boost performance and to allow resource hungry applications such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox to run smoothly. The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for media and for college or work documents and assignments. The slower 5400rpm drive speed is perfectly suited for the tasks that the HP Pavilion 15ac151dx was designed for, but users who are after faster Windows boot and app loading times can easily replace the HDD with an SSD. While it is not designed to be a gaming laptop, the Intel HD Graphics 5500 will run older games and is suited for casual gaming. But the budget price does have some drawbacks, there is no Bluetooth connectivity, the display is only suited for 720p videos, the maximum brightness is not very high and the battery life is very average.

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

Pros

  • Intel i5 processor
  • Durable build quality
  • Good port selection
  • Price

Cons

  • No Bluetooth
  • Average battery
  • Low brightness levels

Summary

The HP Pavilion 15ac151dx offers a powerful ultra low voltage Intel i5 processor and a large hard drive, but the display is average and the battery life won’t win any awards.

HP Pavilion 15ac151dx 15.6-inch
$50.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-08-2017 16:02 UTC) Details

HP ProBook 455 G3 W4E07UT#ABA 15.6-inchHP ProBook 455 G3 W4E07UT#ABA 15.6-inch

While many business laptops can cost upwards from $750, HP has a selection of business minded laptops that are designed for the budget conscious buyer. The HP ProBook 455 G3 looks every bit the part and its HP build quality is durable enough to be used as an everyday business laptop. The AMD A10-8700P processor and 16GB of RAM will handle any business related tasks with ease. While it is not a dedicated gaming laptop, it does come equipped with a Radeon R6 graphics chip and can be used for casual gaming. The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for office documents and large presentations. Users will, however, experience slower Windows boot and app loading times due to the slow 5400rpm drive speed. But the HP ProBook 455 G3 has an easily accessible maintenance hatch and the storage drive can easily upgraded to a solid state drive and also allows support for M.2 SSD modules. The battery life on the AMD based ProBook G3 is 25% better than its Intel counterpart. To bring down the price, HP only offer Windows 10 Home and business professionals are recommended to upgrade to Professional in order to unlock all of the features that they will need in the corporate environment. Business laptops require a certain level of security and a Fingerprint reader offers users a fast and secure way of accessing their information without the hassle of remembering numerous passwords.

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

Pros

  • Battery life
  • Price to performance ratio
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Empty M.2 slot
  • Good keyboard and trackpad

Cons

  • Low brightness levels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • TN display panel

Summary

The ProBook 455 G3 is a budget friendly business laptop with powerful hardware, but business users are recommended to upgrade to Windows 10 Professional.

HP ProBook 455 G3 W4E07UT#ABA 15.6-inch
$300.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-08-2017 15:58 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 21-08-2017 15:55 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

Lenovo ThinkPad E560 15.6-inchLenovo ThinkPad E560 15.6-inch

Lenovo picked up the ThinkPad legacy when they purchased it from IBM in 2005, and they have done a great job in making sure that the ThinkPad range lives up to its name. The Lenovo ThinkPad E560 offers an all plastic design but feels quite sturdy. However, it hasn’t been MIL-SPEC tested and it might not be as durable as some of their other laptops. If you are familiar with the ThinkPad line of laptops then you will instantly recognize the cherry red TrackPoint nub which allows for much faster navigation than the trackpad. The Lenovo ThinkPad E560 is powered by a 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which will easily cope with basic home and office tasks. Lenovo have left one of the RAM slots free, and you will easily and cheaply be able to upgrade the RAM to 8GB for increased performance when it comes to heavy multitasking. Like all ThinkPad laptops, Lenovo has put an emphasis on security. You get a fingerprint reader for biometric logins and the TPM encryption ensures that you can secure your hard drive to prevent the data from being accessed. While many budget friendly laptops feature 5400rpm hard drives, Lenovo have fitted the E560 with a faster 7200rpm hard drive. The 500GB hard drive will allow you to store a decent amount of work and multimedia files. It comes preloaded with Windows 7 Pro, which allows you to access a host of features that are not available in Windows 7 Home. If you want to upgrade to Windows 10, Lenovo have included a Windows 10 Professional license.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 5.39 lbs

Pros

  • Windows Professional
  • Intel Skylake processor
  • TrackPoint nub
  • Fingerprint reader

Cons

  • Not MIL-SPEC tested
  • Dull display
  • Lots of Lenovo bloatware

Summary

The Lenovo ThinkPad E560 features powerful hardware, a fingerprint reader and Windows 7 Pro. But the 4GB of RAM will feel a bit sluggish when it comes to heavier multitasking.

Lenovo ThinkPad E560 15.6-inch
$517.84
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-08-2017 15:53 UTC) Details

line-break

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
$548.98
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-08-2017 15:49 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire V13 V3-372T-5051 13.3-inchAcer Aspire V13 V3-372T-5051 13.3-inch

The sleek design and white shell give the Acer Aspire V13 V3-372T-5051 an elegant high-end look and feel. The next generation USB 3.1 Type-C will allow for a host of new superfast devices to be connected. Sporting an Intel Core i5-6200U and 6GB of RAM, the Acer Aspire V13 V3-372T-5051 will cope with multitasking with ease. But for more intensive multitasking we recommend upgrading the RAM to 16GB for increased performance. The 256GB solid state drive offers lightning fast app loading speeds, but the 256GB of storage is a bit small for modern multimedia file sizes. The Full-HD display offers vivid colors and great image quality, but the bezel around the display is slightly larger. In-plane switching panels are usually only found on more expensive laptops and the Acer Aspire V13 V3-372T-5051 IPS’s panel offers great viewing angles. But when setting the resolution to 1920 x 1080, all the icons and menus will be quite small for the 13.3-inch display. While it is not designed to be a gaming laptop, the Acer Aspire V13 V3-372T-5051 can run basic games thanks to its Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU. But users can connect an external GPU dock to run the latest popular gaming titles.

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 3.53 lbs

Pros

  • Touchscreen
  • SSD
  • Skylake processor
  • USB 3.1 Type-C

Cons

  • Limited storage space
  • No optical drive
  • Large display bezel

Summary

The Acer Aspire V13 V3-372T-5051 offers great hardware and even features a USB 3.1 Type-C port for next generation connectivity. But the screen bezel is slightly larger for the 13.3-inch display size.

Acer Aspire V13 V3-372T-5051 13.3-inch
$589.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-08-2017 15:55 UTC) Details

line-break

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 >>

About the author

LaptopNinja Editorial Team

Our dedicated editorial team spend countless hours every week scouring the best deals across the web to help save you time and money.


See all posts from LaptopNinja Editorial Team