A selection of the latest models from leading brands to help you choose the best laptop under 500$.
Choosing the best laptop can be quite a daunting task. There are so many different brands and models available. They vary greatly based on price and features which makes it difficult to choose the best one. There is no doubt that you want to buy the best laptop that you can afford. You will need to balance a whole suite of different features to try to determine which laptop is the absolute best laptop for you. When you make your decision, you should look at different features like battery life, memory, hard drive storage space, laptop screen size, and portability.
A laptop is best purchased depending on what tasks it is planned to carry out using it: for computer games and working with graphic programs you will need a powerful device, for surfing the Internet, as well as for text documentation, you can take a cheaper car. The cooling system plays a very important role in laptops – you should definitely pay attention to it when choosing. If it is weak, the equipment will quickly overheat or completely fail. Battery capacity is another important factor to consider. It is advisable to purchase a laptop with a battery that can work offline for about 6-7 hours.
Having a quality laptop is an essential for many people. But these devices can be pricey, especially if you don’t do some research beforehand to find a good price. When choosing the best laptop it’s important to look at the features on the different options you’re considering. Some laptops that are priced under $500 may have all the features you need while other cheaper laptops may not have enough memory or the features you’re looking for.
What type of laptop should I choose?
Classic Laptops: In this category, you’ll find the best budget laptops that are geared more towards usability than style or performance. This does not mean that they cannot be fast.
Convertible Laptops (2 in 1): This category includes laptops that can also be used as tablets. Hybrids with both removable and 360-degree panels are the most versatile way to use Windows 10 (or Chrome OS) on a touchscreen.
Chromebook: A category that hides the best Chromebooks running on Chrome OS. They do a lot of what Windows and macOS offer in the browser, focus on cloud storage instead of on-premises, and have recently been gaining support for Android apps for touch models.
Gaming Laptops: Need a laptop to play games (almost) as well as a good desktop PC? Then you will need one of the best gaming laptops. These are machines that can take full advantage of the AMD Ryzen laptop processors.
An Alternative to Convertible Laptops: Based on a laptop / tablet hybrid approach, the best Windows tablets offer HD touchscreen displays, often come with framed stands, and wear keyboard covers. They are also often equipped with a stylus and range from budget to premium devices.
The Best Laptops Under $500 Consumer Guide 2020
1. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
This laptop from Acer is perfect for a student, professional, or anyone needing an affordable and versatile laptop. Housing the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Mobile Processor, this Aspire 5 can tackle any job no matter how complex. This unit includes Windows 10 in S mode. It has a slim design and a backlit keyboard so you can take it and use in anywhere. The Acer Aspire 5 slim laptop is lightweight and thin so you can easily carry it for school, work, or travel. This laptop from Acer has an HD display so you can view videos, games, and other content in high definition.
- comes with the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core processor
- has a 15.6″ full HD display
- includes 4GB of DDR4 memory
2. ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Laptop
The laptop comes with a 12.5-inch touchscreen, and it’s convertible. It has 64GB SSD storage, 4GB RAM, USB type C, Chrome OS and corning gorilla glass and all-metal body. With its automatic updates and built-in anti-virus protection, Chrome OS frees you from the worry of keeping your Chromebook Flip C302 safe, secure and always up to date. It comes with a backlit illuminated keyboard. The laptops boot in seconds and can last up to 10 hours.
- the flexible 360 Degree hinge and 12.5 inches full HD touchscreen
- Intel Core Processor with 64GB storage and 4GB RAM
- lightweight at 2.65 pounds
3. Acer Chromebook R 11 Laptop
Acer Chromebook R 11 is a 2 in one laptop that comes with an 11.6-inch screen, 4GB RAM, 32GB SSD, Intel Celeron N3150, CB5-132T-C1LK, and 10-hour battery life. It runs on Chrome OS. Chromebooks come with built-in storage for offline access to your most important files and an additional 100GB of Google Drive space to ensure that all of your files are backed up automatically. Google Play Store allows you to access a rich library of games, apps, movies, music, TV, magazines, books, and more, all from your Chromebook.
- Intel Celeron N3150 Quad-Core Processor 1.6GHz with Intel Burst Technology up to 2.08GHz.
- Google Chrome Operating System.
- 11.6″ HD 1366 x 768 resolution, high-brightness, LED-backlit IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology with integrated 10-point multi-touch screen.
- 4GB DDR3L Onboard Memory
4. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
The Acer Aspire 5 slim laptop is lightweight and portable. Housing an 8th Gen Intel Core Processor, this Aspire 5 can tackle any job no matter how complex. It has a fingerprint scanner to prevent unauthorized access to your information. This laptop from Acer has advanced technology that makes it easy to use and secure. It also has several types of connection ports so you can connect your other devices easily. This laptop from Acer is designed to be secure and easy to use. It has a larger display than most laptops in a similar price range and comes with many features that make it a good option for casual or professional usage.
- comes with an 8th generation Intel Core processor
- includes Windows 10 Home
- has a 15.6″ FHD IPS display
5. Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
The Lenovo Flex 14 is a versatile laptop for those who want more when it comes to technology. Comprehensive, built-in, ongoing protection with Windows 10 helps protect you against viruses, malware, and ransomware. It can be used as a traditional laptop or as a tablet and includes a pen to make it functional for writing, taking notes, or drawing. This 2-in-1 laptop from Lenovo has a 1920 x1080 full HD display which makes it good for gamers. It also includes a pen which is ideal for anyone who needs to take notes or draw while using their laptop. You can easily fold the screen over to tablet format so you can read books, play games, or watch videos.
- includes an HDMI port and 2 USB ports
- has a privacy shutter to block your webcam when not in use
- comes with comprehensive builtin virus protection
- includes Windows 10
6. Microsoft Surface Laptop
Microsoft Surface Laptop has an aluminum casing, luxurious Alcantara fabric-covered keyboard, and 3.5mm headset jack. It comes with the best Microsoft has to offer which includes Office Sleek, Windows, ultra-thin hence fits in your bag easily. The laptop features include 4 GB RAM,128 GB SSD storage, Intel Core i5 processor, 7th generation, and 15 hours of battery life.
- 14.5 hours battery life
- Intel HD 620 and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
- includes Windows 10 S
7. HP 2019 14″ Laptop
This laptop from HP is slim and lightweight. It’s designed to startup quicker than similar laptops due to the included flash-based SSD. 8GB system Memory for advanced multitasking substantial high-bandwidth RAM. This laptop from HP has a bright and glossy display that works well for work or play. It has a glossy screen that makes videos, photos, and other content easily visible in all types of lighting. The HP 2019 14″ laptop includes the Windows 10 operating system with the same “start” menu as Windows 7 with many new features and upgrades that make it more functional.
- has several connection ports to work with other devices
- comes with 128GB solid state drive
- has a quick startup time
8. ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop
This laptop from ASUS has a large screen when compared to the overall size of the computer. The F512DA is a Windows 10 laptop powered by an AMD Quad Core R5-3500U Processor (up to 3. 6 GHz), 8GB DDR4 RAM, and ASUS Nano Edge display technology. It has excellent graphics and a large screen so you can easily watch videos or do tasks online. This laptop from ASUS has many advanced features that make it functional for gaming, working online, or just casual usage. It also has several connection ports for compatability with other devices. The ASUS VivoBook laptop is thin and lightweight which makes it a good option for a student, a professional, or anyone who travels frequently with their laptop for work or for fun.
- includes AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics
- includes USB ports and an HDMI port so you can connect all your devices
- has full HD to increase viewing options for movies, videos, and photos
- comes with Windows 10 Home
9. Apple MacBook Air MD711LL
This is a refurbished laptop and looks and works like new. It comes three months warranty. It has 11.6 inches screen, backlights, Intel i5 processor up to 2.7 GHz, 128SSD, 4GB RAM, HD camera, Intel HD Graphics 5000, Bluetooth,3.0, 802.11ac, and Mac OS X.
- 11-Inch LED-backlit Display with build in 720p FaceTime HD Camera
- 1366×768 Resolution;
- Intel HD Graphics 5000
10. Acer Aspire 1 A114-32 Laptop
It comes with a 14-inch screen with Intel Celeron and N4000 Dual-Core Processor. It comes with a pre-installed Windows 10 Home, 4GB RAM, and 64 GB SSD ROM. It’s battery life it’s up to 6.5 hours. It comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.
- Intel Celeron N4000 Dual-Core Processor
- 14″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit Display
- 4GB DDR4 SDRAM Onboard Memory & 64GB eMMC
Rating of The Best Laptops Under $500 in 2020:
Buy Now/More Info
Compare Specs The Laptops In 2020
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
Acer Chromebook R 11
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
Microsoft Surface Laptop
HP 2019 14″ Laptop
ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop
Apple MacBook Air MD711LL
Acer Aspire 1 A114-32
What should I know?
When choosing a new laptop you should pay attention to some things that will help ensure that you buy the best laptop for your money.
As with any other computer, the new laptop requires careful familiarization with the characteristics. The hardware allows you to evaluate the power of the laptop and its capabilities – as long as you know what to look for.
In fact, it is the brain of a laptop, as a rule, processors are provided by manufacturers of Intel or AMD. Intel, without a doubt, is much more common, however, in 2019 we observed an increase in the number of notebooks based on AMD and there is every reason to believe that the trend will not change further.
What is the difference between Intel processors and AMD processors? The performance of the former is often higher, but AMD is cheaper.
To facilitate the task for the user, Intel and AMD number their processors so that you can correctly assess what a laptop with one processor or another is capable of.
If you need a cheap laptop for simple tasks such as surfing the Internet or watching TV shows, Intel Pentium, Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processors will be enough to reduce the cost of the laptop.
If you need something more powerful – perhaps you plan to edit video or play games – choose laptops with Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processors, at a minimum.
The best laptops for multimedia work and the most complex tasks rely on Intel Core i7 processors, or even Core i9 processors, as well as AMD Ryzen 7 processors. Such processors are equipped with first-class laptops that can boast high performance, regardless of tasks, but remember that they are subject to high price tags.
Finally, the novelty of the processor is important. Intel cleverly operates with numbers, dividing its processors into generations, the higher the number, the newer the processor. The last generation at the beginning of 2020 is the 10th generation, but the 9th generation processors are also quite new.
The newer the processor, the better it works, and also offers better energy efficiency, which will result in an increase in battery life. But modern processors are more expensive.
Random access memory (RAM) is another important feature that should be allocated on a laptop. You need a minimum of 4 GB for a Windows laptop – although we recommend that you rely on 8 GB for most users. This amount of RAM will ensure the normal operation of the laptop for many years.
As for graphics, there is nothing to worry about, because processors use integrated graphics. However, if you want to play games on your laptop, you will need a gaming laptop with a discrete graphics card – from Nvidia or AMD.
The duration of a laptop’s life without connecting to a network is likely to be the main indicator. The best laptops should let you work – and play – for hours, without the need to attach to a charger. Modern laptops boast better energy efficiency, which promises better battery life. For a laptop to get into our TOP-10 best, it must work for at least five hours, and often more.
Keep in mind that the battery life claimed by laptop manufacturers can be very different from what you actually get. This is due to the fact that many laptop manufacturers test batteries in excessively limited conditions when the laptop is not used in the way you will use it in everyday use. Thus, even though the claimed battery life can be up to 10 hours, you might find that some tasks, such as streaming HD video, can drain your battery faster. This is where our full reviews come to the rescue, as we test each laptop carefully to find out how long the battery lasts under certain conditions. If battery life is ridiculously short (or extremely long), we will tell you.
5 Most Common Mistakes When Choosing A Laptop
The first mistake
Buying the cheapest laptop. Such a purchase won’t hit my budget hard, you think, but in real life everything will be exactly the opposite. When choosing a model, many users are guided by the low price of the device, forgetting that outdated components with low efficiency can be installed in the computer. Perhaps at first such a device will really suit you, but any application running in the background will slow down the laptop, if Windows starts in the background to run an update or scan for viruses or simply copy files to an external drive, the laptop will immediately become a sloth from the cartoon zootopia …
If you are ready with this, then focus on inexpensive processors such as Intel Celeron Pentium or AMD X4 X6 A6 A8. Think about buying a more powerful laptop; models with Intel Core i3 or i5 processors allow you to have a good margin of average power. But AMD ryzen 3 or ryzen 5 should be used if you want to buy a laptop for a long time, but at a cheaper price. Add 8Gb + SD RAM to this and it will generally be great.
Buying a laptop for the first time, but the same does not happen. To maximize the thinness of laptops, many manufacturers sacrifice USB ports, and also fall under the distribution for connecting an Ethernet cable. Their number is decreasing and today there are even models with one usb port. Firstly, the number of devices connected through these ports is growing every day (this is a mouse, flash drive, hard disk, printer, camera, smartphone, power supply, speakers). And secondly, most importantly, the usb port does not last forever, and it wears out, and you can easily be left with only one. Another way out of the situation is the purchase of a splitter or a yusb hub, but here you already need to think. As for the network rj45 2 ports, its presence is desirable.
Overpay. Ultrabook talk has become very popular lately, thanks to an interesting combination of size, performance and aggressive marketing. Therefore, most buyers think that an ultrabook is the best candidate for a new laptop, but not everything is as simple as it seems at first glance. There are cheap ones, but with very limited performance, so they are perfect for solving the simplest tasks. As for powerful ultrabooks, you will have to pay a very tidy sum for them and, unfortunately, this price is not always justified.
For the same characteristics, you can pay half as much by taking a laptop of the standard series. The purchase of an ultrabook will be justified if you travel frequently or go on a business trip. After all, when there is not much space in your backpack or bag, the compactness and weight of the ultrabook solves many problems. The same goes for the laptop brand. As for the build quality and materials, the cases in Lenovo HP Acer, that is, the budget models are not of the highest quality, but at the same time they can offer a significantly lower price tag with the same hardware than, for example, the same Dell Asus.
The fourth mistake
A discrete graphics card is required. A discrete video card is a card that has its own memory, thereby increasing its performance. You should not commit a stupid act and spend extra money on additional power that will not be used by you in your daily tasks. First of all, answer yourself the question do you need games or will you be dealing with very complex graphics, especially 3D? If not, then you don’t need it. For all other purposes, the power of the integrated graphics of the same Intel processor is sufficient. Moreover, you can save a lot on this, since models with an integrated video chip, meaning built into the processor, are much cheaper. If you still think that you need a graphics card, then the best choice for you would be a model with a powerful graphics card, such as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, which should be enough for both complex 3D objects and modern games.
Fifth and final mistake
This is to believe the stated operating time, which is not true and this marketing ploy is skillfully used. To be honest, it will be good if the laptop lasts at least half of the stated hours on a single charge.
A correctly selected laptop under 500 is the key to comfortable work. I hope that our rating of the best models will be useful to you in the difficult matter of choosing the best device.