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Best Laptops Under $500 of 2022 – Top 10 Models & Buying Guide

Is a good-performing reliable budget laptop a myth? No more!
best laptops under $500 - featured image

The $400 – $500 price range is like an imaginary median between budget and mid-range laptops. This is the price range where budget laptops start getting really good, and a few rare best of the best laptops under $500 can even match their performance to expensive premium notebooks!

So, you will find some excellent value offering laptops under $500 but also lots (and lots) of awful ones in the mix that you should avoid buying at all costs.

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It’s definitely not an easy task to find the best laptop for your needs, and it gets only harder when you are on a budget.

You needn’t worry, though!

We have been analyzing the laptop market for 6 years now to find the best laptops in different price segments to provide our readers with up-to-date laptop selections through guides like this.

If you are looking for the best laptop under $500, we have our LUB experts’ selected best options listed below.

From powerful 15-inch notebooks and thin and light ultrabooks offering crisp 1080p displays and comfortable backlit keyboards to 2-in-1s and even 17-inch behemoths—our list has options for almost every type of user and every requirement—be it for business use, working from home, or for a college student who wants to do some light gaming after finishing assignments.

Have a look at our top picks and go through the guide in the end to make an informed purchase.

Best Laptops Under $500 – Our Top Picks

1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 – The Best Laptop Under $500

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 - The Best Laptop Under $500 of 2022

PROS:

  • Excellent performance
  • 1080p IPS display
  • Comfortable backlit keyboard
  • Good amount of I/O
  • Webcam with privacy shutter
  • Fingerprint scanner for logins
  • Dolby tuned dual speakers
  • Futureproof with upgradeable internals
  • Very good value for money

CONS:

  • Tiny sounding speakers
  • Below average quality 720p webcam

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 is the most complete package you’ll find in this price range. It has everything from powerful and reliable performance to good design and build quality, and also all the required features!

It comes with a 14-inch full HD IPS display, which gets bright up to 300 nits, and it covers 67% of the sRGB color gamut! That is a surprisingly good display for a budget laptop!

The design of this laptop is also quite good, with clean aesthetics, and the build quality is also quite firm despite its exterior shell being all-plastic. And it’s relatively portable, weighing just 3.5 pounds.

The performance is another strong aspect of this laptop since it boasts the latest Intel Core i5-1235U CPU inside, which is a ten-core chip. It is a very powerful processor, but surprisingly it is also highly efficient, meaning it delivers high-performance without consuming too much power, resulting into better battery life.

It offers 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, which are decent for everyday use, but if you need more, both are upgradeable.

With features like a backlit keyboard and fingerprint scanner and all the essential ports and slots, it’s the perfect choice for almost every type of user. Whether you are a student or a working professional, it would be able to fulfill all your computing needs. And thanks to the integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, it is also a fit machine for light gaming and content creation.

Overall, it’s an excellent value for the price, and that’s why it’s currently our top pick under $500.

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 (82RJ005BUS):

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5500U (6-cores, Up to 4 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 3200MHz (4GB sodded + 4GB upgradeable)
Storage256GB SSD (upgradeable)
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 7
Display14-inch FHD IPS Anti-Glare Screen (300-nits brightness, 67% sRGB)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
Weight3.5 lbs

2. Asus VivoBook Flip 14 – Best 2-in-1 Laptop Under $500

Asus VivoBook Flip 14 - best 2-in-1 laptop under $500

PROS:

  • Good build quality
  • Responsive 1080p touchscreen display
  • Good performance for everyday use
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Lot of ports
  • Long battery life

CONS:

  • Not meant for power users
  • RAM not upgradeable

Next up, we’ve got the Asus VivoBook Flip 14, another laptop that retains the value-for-money image but in a 2-in-1 form factor. And if you are searching for the best convertible under $500, this is it!

The main draw of the laptop is the flexible display which allows its 14-inch FHD IPS touchscreen to flip 360-degrees towards its back to make it a tablet or use it in a mode anywhere in between. This will be particularly useful for creatives to draw on or even people who want one device that does it all. But you will have to purchase the digital pen separately, so keep that in mind.

Onto the nitty and gritty, this version of the VivoBook Flip 14 comes packed with an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD storage capacity.

Definitely, the specs sheet of the VivoBook Flip 14 is not as lucrative as the IdeaPad 3 14 laptop mentioned above, but for a “2 in 1 laptop under $500,” this is one of the best specced models you will find. However, don’t mistaken the VivoBook Flip 14 as a weak laptop. You’d still be able to do all the everyday productivity tasks like web browsing, working in excel sheets or word file without facing any hiccups. And for entertainment needs, its 14-inch screen is excellent for watching YouTube or Netflix and you’d even be able to play touch-based games available in Microsoft Store.

You get a convenience of backlit keyboard and quick and secure fingerprint logins on this VivoBook Flip 14 as well. So overall, it’s also a very well-rounded package for the price, offering all the best specs and features you can get on a 2-in-1 laptop under $500.

Hardware Specifications of Asus VivoBook Flip 14 2-in-1 Laptop:

ProcessorIntel Core i3-1115G4 Dual Core (up to 4.1 GHz)
RAM4GB DDR4 3200MHz (non-upgradeable)
Storage128GB SSD (upgradeable)
GraphicsIntel UHD integrated
Display14-inch Full HD Touchscreen (250-nits, Glossy)
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home (Free upgrade to Windows 11)
Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
Weight3.3 lbs

3. Lenovo Flex 5i 13″ Chromebook – Best Chromebook Under $500

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5i 13" - best Chromebook under $500

PROS:

  • Smooth performance
  • Full day battery life
  • Full HD IPS Touchscreen with Pen support
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard
  • Portable & lightweight

CONS:

  • Active pen not included in the box
  • Display is little dim for outdoor use

For those who can make do most of their tasks inside the web browser, the Lenovo Flex 5i 13 Chromebook is a great option. It is the best Chromebook you can buy for under $500 right now, offering some serious punch inside its lightweight 2-in-1 chassis. However, the best part is it’s often on sale, and when it is, you can buy it for around $400.

At that price, it is an excellent value for all it offers!

It is powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core i3 processor, which is way more capable than low-end (Intel Celeron) processors that usually power budget Chromebooks. Moreover, the CPU is paired with an 8GB RAM, which is also plenty for Chrome OS. You’ll have no problem multitasking on this Chromebook, and it will be able to handle Chrome with even 20 tabs open without any issues.

Another common issue with Chromebooks is they lack enough storage capacity; however, Lenovo has nailed that as well in the Flex 5i 13 and you get 256GB of SSD storage on this Chromebook!

Apart from excellent performing specs, the Chromebook Flex 5i also features a beautiful 13-inch display supporting touch and pen input, and its backlit keyboard is also very comfortable with perfectly laid out keys.

Overall, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5i 13 offers everything from smooth performance to a great screen and all the essential features in a versatile and lightweight form factor that weighs less than 3 pounds! It would be a great choice for college students and even professionals who do not need to run Windows-specific programs.

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo Flex 5i 13″ Chromebook:

ProcessorIntel Core i3-1115G4 Dual-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.1 GHz)
RAM8GB LPDDR4x
Storage256GB SSD (upgradeable via SD card slot)
GraphicsIntel UHD integrated Graphics
Display13.3-inch FHD IPS Touchscreen (250-nits, Glossy)
Operating SystemChrome OS
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
Weight2.9 lbs

ALTERNATIVE CHOICE: Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook w/ Detachable Keyboard

If you are looking for an even versatile Chromebook than the above-mentioned Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5i, then Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 is also worth considering option under $500. It’s actually a ‘tablet’ that can turn into a laptop rather than a 2-in-1 laptop.

Allow me to explain.

While the Chromebook Flex 5i has screen that rotates 360-degrees, this Chromebook Duet 5’s display can be fully detached, making it more versatile, thinner, and more portable (only 1.5 pound!) than typical 2-in-1 laptops.

But it’s worth noting that you’re missing out on a proper physical keyboard, and you’re essentially using a tablet with a fabric folio keyboard attachment. That could be great if you are seeking for a highly versatile laptop for on the go use, but not so for those who want a proper typing feel on their laptops—so consider this when deciding between above-mentioned Chrome Flex 5i 13 and this Chromebook Duet 5 13.

Overall, the Duet 5 is a very impressive Chrome OS tablet with a stunning 13-inch OLED touchscreen, and decent enough performance for the everyday computing needs of most professionals and students. | Check Current Price

4. HP 17-cn0025nr 17-inch Laptop – Best For Work From Home

2022 HP 17-cn000 - best 17 inch laptop under $500

PROS:

  • Large and beautiful 17-inch screen
  • Full-size keyboard
  • Decent performance for everyday work and play
  • Good amount of connectivity options
  • Lightweight as per 17-inch laptop standards

CONS:

  • No backlit keyboard

Working on a bigger display is always better than squinting eyes on a smaller one. It also helps improve productivity since you can work with multiple windows side by side more comfortably on the larger display. If you like the idea that I am trying to put forward, then you’ll love this HP 17-cn0025nr laptop, which is the best 17-inch laptop you can buy for under $500.

It offers decent performing specs in a very well-put-together chassis, and it’s also relatively lightweight for a 17-inch laptop, weighing under 5 pounds, so you can also carry it easily wherever you go in a backpack.

Starting from the display, it is a pretty decent 17-inch panel with HD+ (1600 by 900) resolution, which is not the sharpest but it’s good enough for everyday work. The peak and low brightness levels of the display are also enough to work comfortably in a well-lit or dark room, and it also blocks reflections quite well since it has an anti-glare coating. The bezels around the screen are tiny, and the webcam on the top also works well for zoom meetings, provided you’re in a well-lit surroundings.

Inside, the laptop boasts a quad-core 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of speedy NVMe SSD, which is a pretty decent setup for the price, and you’ll have no problem doing day-to-day home and office tasks on this laptop. Even if you decide to do some gaming on weekends, this laptop will be able to handle it without any issues, thanks to its CPU-integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics.

With all the ports and slots you’ll need and premium features like a fingerprint scanner, the HP 17-cn0025nr offers a pretty good value for the price. Although it would have been great if it had a backlit keyboard, but we can’t really ask for more at this budget.

Overall, this HP laptop could be a great alternative to your office desktop or a good reliable work from home laptop that does not cost a bomb.

Hardware Specifications of HP 17-cn0025nr 17-inch Laptop:

Processor11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Quad-Core Processor (Up to 4.5 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe integrated Graphics
Display17.3-inch HD+ Anti-Glare Display (250-nits)
Operating SystemWindows 11
Battery LifeUp to 6.5 hours
Weight4.5 lbs

5. Asus L510MA-DS04 15-inch Laptop – Best Cheap Option Under $300

Asus L510MA-DS04 15-inch laptop - best laptop under $300

PROS:

  • Long battery life
  • Full HD display with slim bezels & 180° lay flat hinge
  • Backlit keyboard with dedicated Numpad
  • Quick logins using fingerprint scanner
  • Great value for money

CONS:

  • Hardware suitable for basic tasks only

The Asus L510MA is the cheapest option on our list, costing under $300. It is a great option for those with basic needs like checking and replying to emails, creating a presentation, paying the bills, watching Netflix, etc. It can be a perfect option for kids or teens who need a laptop for their school work, and it can also be a great option for older people because it has a pretty decent size and good quality display, which wouldn’t make them squint their eyes to read the text.

That said, it comes with a 15.6-inch display with full HD resolution, which is like a breath of fresh air because most laptops under $300 have a low 1366 by 768 resolution display. That’s not it. The Asus L510MA also offers a pretty good full-size keyboard (with Numpad), delivering a very satisfying and comfortable typing experience and the trackpad on it is also nice and smooth with multi finger gesture support.

If we talk about its performance, then it’s good enough for basics like web browsing and using MS Office apps and likes, but it is a highly underpowered device for anything more intensive than that. It is powered by an Intel Celeron processor, which is an entry-level CPU, and it comes with only 4GB RAM, so the multitasking capabilities of this laptop are also going to be limited. Luckily, the storage space won’t be an issue for most people because it offers a good 128GB of onboard storage.

It runs Windows 10 out of the box, and it also supports the latest Windows 11 operating system, so you can upgrade it after you purchase it if you want to.

All this, packed into an ultra-thin and light design, makes the Asus L510MA the best option for light users.

Hardware Specifications of Asus L510MA-DS04 15-inch Laptop:

ProcessorIntel Celeron N4020 Dual-Core 1.1 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 2.8 GHz)
RAM4GB DDR4
Storage128GB eMMC
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 600
Display15.6-inch Full HD NanoEdge Display
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home in S mode
Battery LifeUp to 9 hours
Weight3.5 lbs

DEAL ALERT: Acer Aspire 5 with 11th Gen Intel Core i3, 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD for $379.99 $301.00 at Amazon

The Acer Aspire 5 15 is available in a lot of different configurations, and if there’s one thing that’s common among all its variants is they all are priced very competitively. Offering always more than what you get from other brands at the same price. Accordingly, this variant of the Acer Aspire 5 is available at a great discount right now, which brings its already great price of $379 down to just $279!

For under $300, you mostly get Intel Celeron or Pentium processors in laptops, but with this Acer Aspire 5, you get a much more capable Intel Core i3 processor. And it is paired with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 128GB of fast SSD storage, and both the RAM and storage are also upgradeable!

Also, you get a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display, a great keyboard and trackpad, and all the required ports and slots on it, so overall, it is a really good value for money.

6. Dell Inspiron 15 3525 – With Spacious 512GB SSD

Dell Inspiron 15 3525 - The most reliable laptop under $500

PROS:

  • Tough build quality & professional design
  • Smooth 120Hz display with good color and brightness and very slim bezels
  • Keyboard with numeric pad
  • Large size trackpad
  • Smooth performance

CONS:

  • Keyboard is not backlit
  • No Fingerprint scanner
  • No USB-C Port

Dell laptops are world-renowned for their reliability. Accordingly, this Dell Inspiron 3511 is on our list because it is one of the best-built laptops you can buy under $500. It misses out on a few features that are available on other laptops under $500 mentioned here, but the optimized performance and sturdy build quality makes it a worth considering option for those who want their laptop to take more than normal wear and tear.

It comes in a carbon-black finished polycarbonate exterior which is very well put together, and there is very minimal flex in its chassis. The laptop is also very well-designed and looks professional. It has very tiny bezels around the screen, and it features a lift-up hinge to elevate the keyboard deck when the lid is open for better airflow and a comfortable typing experience.

Although its keyboard is non-backlit, it features a full layout with a dedicated numeric pad for number crunchers. The typing experience is satisfying and comfortable, and it also features a slightly larger trackpad than other laptops featured on our list. Despite that, it provides enough area to rest the palms while typing to save you from accidental touches.

You get all the standard ports for connectivity on both sides of the laptop, but it misses out on a USB-C port and has an older Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) card. But not everyone has switched to USB-C devices or Wi-Fi 6 routers yet anyway.

Coming to the heart of the matter, the performance, it is well-managed by Dell for the price by offering the AMD Ryzen 5 processor paired with an adequate 8GB RAM and 512GB of spacious SSD. You’ll be easily able to accomplish all your everyday tasks on this laptop, multitask on it and even fire up an editing software or a game on it. Thanks to the powerful integrated AMD Radeon graphics, it can handle even such graphics-intensive workloads up to an extent.

Overall, the Dell Inspiron 3525 skimps on admirable features like a backlit keyboard, and it also does not have a fingerprint scanner, but it makes up for all that by getting all the basics right with the strong build quality and reliable performance for everyday jobs.

Hardware Specifications of Dell Inspiron 15 3525:

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5625U 6-Cores (up to 4.3)
RAM8GB DDR4 2400 MHz
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsAMD Radeon integrated
Display15.6-inch Full HD 120Hz Anti-Glare LED-backlit Display
Operating SystemWindows 11 Pro
Battery LifeUp to 9 hours
Weight3.7 lbs

7. Asus ZenBook 14 – Best For Photo/Video Editing

Asus ZenBook 14 - best laptop for video editing under $500

PROS:

  • Premium all-metal chassis
  • Fantastic performance with dedicated Nvidia GPU!
  • Long battery life
  • Color accurate display
  • Comfortable backlit keyboard & smooth trackpad
  • Good number of ports for an Ultrabook
  • Upgradeable RAM and storage

CONS:

  • Dim display

To do professional photo or video editing, you need a laptop with two things, the first is powerful graphics performance, and the second is a color-accurate display. Surprisingly, this Asus ZenBook 14 offers both, and it is the only laptop under $500 to come with a discrete Nvidia GPU!

Yes, the Asus ZenBook 14 comes with an Nvidia GeForce MX450 GPU, which provides 2GB of dedicated graphics memory! Furthermore, it is paired with a high-performance AMD Ryzen CPU, meaning you can make even intricate edits to photos and videos on this laptop using professional editing software like Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, or Davinci Resolve.

Moreover, the 14-inch display of the Asus ZenBook 14 is also the most color-accurate display you can get on the laptop for under $500, covering a 100% sRGB color gamut to professionally color-correct photos and videos.

So, Asus has cooked the perfect recipe for content creators who can’t spend thousands on their laptop yet.

Besides content creation, though, this laptop can also be a great choice for college students. It is a pretty lightweight laptop built using aluminum alloy, and its battery also lasts about 8-9 hours on a single charge, good enough for an average college day.

Hardware Specifications of Asus ZenBook 14:

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5500U (6-cores, up to 4.0 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsNvidia GeForce MX450 2GB VRAM + AMD Radeon Vega 7
Display14-inch Full HD IPS Display (100% sRGB)
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home (Free upgrade to Windows 11)
Battery LifeUp to 9 hours
Weight2.9 lbs

8. HP Pavilion 14 – Best Bang for Buck

2022 HP Pavilion 15 - Best Bang for Buck

PROS:

  • Lightweight and ultraportable
  • Powerful performance and long battery life
  • Very nice keyboard with backlit keys
  • Fingerprint scanner for easy and secure logins
  • Decent number of ports
  • Good audio from speakers
  • Good pricing

CONS:

  • Display is bit dim (but can be configured with better one by paying extra)

The HP Pavilion 14 is another great bargain that hits the home run by offering great performing specs and features under $500. And it’s also often on sale, which brings its price to around $400, and at that price, the HP Pavilion 14 has a lot going for it.

Starting from the design, it is fairly portable at 3.1 pounds, and in terms of looks it is mostly clean and minimalistic. Its build quality is solid, too, with metal lid and only minor flex on its polycarbonate keyboard deck.

It features a 14-inch full HD display with an anti-glare coating which is good in terms of colors, and viewing angles, but it’s bit dim just like most other budget laptops. But it will get the job done if you mostly work indoors.

It comes with a backlit keyboard, and its keys are well laid out with decent amount of space in between to type comfortably and achieve fast typing speeds on it. It delivers a very satisfying typing experience, and you also get great feedback due to deep travel. The trackpad is also of a decent size and feels smooth to use and right next to it on the right side there’s a fingerprint scanner, which is also fast and accurate.

All the features and design are great but what about the performance? Well, the performance is where this HP Pavilion 14 truly shines. It is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 5625U processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of NVMe SSD.

The spotlight is the CPU here because it is very capable. It has 6-cores that can clock up to 4.3 GHz. Another great thing about this AMD CPU is besides being powerful it is highly efficient as well. As a result, the HP Pavilion 14 lasts up to 10 hours on a single charge!

So overall, if you have to travel a lot or are a student and looking for the laptop under $500 that is powerful and has good battery life as well, then the HP Pavilion 14 is the one for you.

Hardware Specifications of HP Pavilion 14:

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5625U Hexa-Core Processor (2.3 – 4.3 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 3200 MHz (Upgreadeable)
Storage256GB NVMe SSD (Upgradeable)
GraphicsAMD Radeon Integrated
Display14-inch Full HD IPS Display (250-nits)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
Weight3.1 lbs

ALTERNATIVE CHOICE: HP Pavilion 15

If you value working on larger screen more than the portability for your laptop, then the bigger sibling of the above-mentioned Pavilion 14, the HP Pavilion 15 is also equally great machine for almost the same price. It offers all the same specs and features as the Pavilion 14, but as it’s a larger laptop, the display on it is a larger 15.6-inch size, and since it also has more space for the keyboard, you get full size backlit keyboard on it with Numpad.

Overall, with almost similar build quality, design, and ports selection, the HP Pavilion 15 is also equally great option under $500. | Check it out on HP

9. Acer Aspire 5 15 – People’s Choice

Acer Aspire 5 15 A515-45-R74Z

PROS:

  • Powerful and reliable performance
  • Well built and slim design
  • Decent quality 1080p IPS display
  • Backlit keyboard to work in dark
  • All the essential ports
  • Upgradeable hardware to make it more capable in future

CONS:

  • No fingerprint scanner

No budget laptop list is ever complete without Acer Aspire 5 in it. It is a holy grail of budget laptops that has proved time and time again that good laptops don’t have to be always expensive.

Following the same legacy, the Acer Aspire 5 offers excellent performance with the six-core AMD Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB of SSD. These specs make it one of the most powerful laptops you can buy under $500, so it is a very high-caliber machine that can handle even intensive workloads along with all the usual everyday jobs.

All this powerful hardware is neatly tucked in a slim and beautiful-looking chassis that is time tested for longevity. Moreover, the 15-inch display of the Acer Aspire 5 is also excellent, with full HD resolution and good color reproduction and brightness levels.

Although this particular variant of the Acer Aspire 5 misses out on a fingerprint scanner, it has a full-size backlit keyboard, all the required ports and slots, and the latest wireless connectivity options.

So, all things considered, the Acer Aspire 5 is another powerful and feature-rich laptop to consider under $500 if you want to buy a no-nonsense laptop that keeps working fine for years without any drama.

Hardware Specifications of Acer Aspire 5 (A515-45-R74Z):

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5500U Hexa-Core Processor (12 Threads, Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 7 integrated
Display15.6-inch Full HD IPS LED-backlit Display (250-nits)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 8.5 hours
Weight3.8 lbs

10. HP 15t-dy500 (w/ Intel Core i7) – What a bit more money gets you

HP 15t-dy500 15" Laptop with Core i7 processor

PROS:

  • Latest 12th Gen Core i7 P-series processor!
  • Decent quality display with tiny bezels
  • Full size backlit keyboard
  • Good number of ports and fast wireless connectivity
  • Superb value

CONS:

  • Backlit keyboard is optional extra
  • Base model comes with 1366 by 768 display (but there’s option to get it with 1080p)

We saved the most value offering laptop for the last, and if you reached this far in our list, you’re in here for a treat. This is the most powerful laptop you can buy in the $500 price range, which comes with the latest 12th Generation Intel Core i7 processor.

Also, you’ll be surprised that the processor powering the laptop is the P-series i7-1260P processor, which is more powerful than the U-series i7-1255U processor found in most Intel Core i7 powered laptops. It comes with 12 cores, of which 4 are P-cores meant for performance-based tasks and 8 are E-cores for handling efficiency-based light tasks. Along with the powerful processor, you get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD on the base variant of the HP 15-dy500 laptop.

These are really very powerful specs, and for a laptop that costs just a little over $500, it is actually unbelievable. Just to give you a little more context about its performance, it will easily handle professional editing applications like Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, AutoCAD, etc., and run games like GTA V, Valorant, and Red Dead Redemption 2 smoothly with zero hiccups.

However, the display you get on its base variant is not that great as it is the low resolution 1366 by 768 panel, and to get it with the 1080p display, you will have to spend more. Also, the keyboard on the base variant is non-backlit, and it is a $30 option if you want backlit keys.

But for the price, the HP 15-dy500 is offering a lot of value, and while it’s an all-plastic built machine, the build quality is good, and it’s also a pretty good and modern-looking laptop with a slim design and very tiny bezels around its screen.

So, all in all, if you can go a little over your $500 budget, then the HP 15-dy500 is the laptop that’s hard to beat on performance for the price.

Hardware Specifications of HP 15-dy500 15″ Laptop:

Processor12th Generation Intel Core i7-1260P 12 Cores (4P + 8E, up to 4.7 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 3200MHz (Upgradeable)
Storage256GB SSD (Upgradeable)
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe integrated
Display15.6-inch HD 1366 x 768 Display (250-nits)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
Weight3.6 lbs

These are the best laptops under $500 that we recommend to buy right now.

All the laptops here are in the bottom neck with each other and are the best available options for the asking price. However, one might not blindly go with the list in the order of priority. The list here is a medium to check all your basic requirements and choose the laptop which ticks most of the boxes right for you.

How to buy the best laptop under $500 for you

Here’s some advice from our experts, in case you like doing your research on your own. It’ll help you make an overall better laptop purchase in the $500 price range.

Selecting between 2-in-1 and traditional laptop

You’ll get more performance per buck by going with a traditional laptop over 2-in-1s in the sub-$500 price range.

The most powerful processor you can get on a laptop under $500 are Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5 processors, and they are offered in traditional laptops, not in 2-in-1s.

Since 2-in-1s have a touch screen and a 360-degree rotatable display, it costs manufacturers more money to make a 2-in-1 laptop than a traditional clamshell notebook. So, to keep the prices low, they have to cut corners somewhere, and the performance is what often gets compromised.

You’ll find the best 2-in-1 laptops under $500 offer entry-level Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 processors, which are also pretty capable CPUs. They will also be able to meet the everyday computing needs of most people, but if you want to play games or do light editing work, then the Core i5 powered laptop or the one with AMD Ryzen 5 processor will handle it much better.

So, get the traditional laptop instead of 2-in-1 under $500 if you want better performance.

Deciding between Windows and Chrome OS

Chromebooks are AFFORDABLE and also FASTER than Windows laptops with the same specs!

Yes, you read that right.

While sifting through budget laptops, you’ll find many Chromebooks offering the same specs as a Windows laptop for a lot less than $500. While that could be very intimidating but before you decide to add a Chromebook to the cart, you should know that they cannot do everything that a Windows laptop can.

Chromebooks run Chrome OS, a lightweight cloud-based operating system based on Google Chrome (yes, the web browser), and they only support apps available in the Chrome Web Store, and recently, they have also started supporting Android apps.

While there’s a lot that you can get done in the web browser these days, and there’s an Android app for almost anything you want to do, and there are also game streaming services if you want to play AAA games, but there are still many things that Chromebooks cannot do.

For instance, if you want to use Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro to edit photos and videos or Ableton Live to produce music or djing, you will need a Windows laptop since you cannot install third-party apps on Chromebook. This is just one example, and I bet there are more use-cases where Chromebooks are still irrelevant.

But, if you don’t have to deal with such heavy stuff and your needs are basic like surfing the web, writing word documents, creating presentations or managing spreadsheets, then Chromebooks can handle all that much better and for a lot less money than a Windows laptop!

While saving money is great, but make sure to consider all your current and future needs when deciding between Chromebooks and Windows laptops.

Get the laptop with 1080p IPS screen.

The display quality is yet another common thing that manufacturers skimp on in budget laptops. You’ll see a lot of laptops with “HD” (1366 by 768) resolution display under $500. It’s still OK on an 11-inch laptop, but for a laptop larger-sized than that full HD (1920 x 1080) screen is recommended.

Most phone displays these days are 1080p! Having a lower resolution on the large screen of the laptop means the picture would look washed out, grainy, and unpleasing, especially when watching videos. Also, check the type of panel the laptop is using. IPS panels are considered the best. They have better viewing angles and color reproduction than the TN panels. If the laptop specs do not mention the type of panel its screen is using, consider it a TN panel.

Having a good display would improve the overall experience of using your new laptop, but you should focus more on getting better core specs, i.e., CPU, RAM, and storage, when shopping on a budget.

How much RAM you should have in your laptop?

Get at least 8GB RAM if you are buying a Windows laptop. 4GB is fine for a Chromebook.

RAM facilitates multitasking on laptops. More RAM you have on your laptop, the more apps you’ll be able to keep open in the background or work on simultaneously. So, having more RAM in your computer is always beneficial.

We recommend getting at least 8GB RAM, but if you are buying a Chromebook, 4GB is also fine. As mentioned earlier, Chrome OS is a much lightweight operating system than Windows, so it can run smoothly even on less powerful specs. But, if you’ll be using your Chromebook for extensive web browsing, then having 8GB RAM will provide extra headroom and would be good for the long run.

Ditch the laptops with HDD storage. SSD is must in 2022.

SSD storage can make a world of difference in a laptop’s performance. A laptop with SSD storage is able to boot the operating system and open programs up to 10x faster than the one with a slow spinning HDD.

Unlike HDDs, SSDs are essentially chips, so laptops with SSD storage are generally more portable than the ones with HDD, and they are also more reliable since they don’t have any moving parts. Also no moving parts means it requires very less power to operate, resulting into better battery life for a laptop.

The laptops with SSD used to be on the costlier side, but they are now common in budget laptops as well. But, you still can’t expect a laptop under $500 to come with a large capacity SSD. Most budget laptops offer 128GB or at most 256GB SSD, which is good enough for most users. If you need more storage, use an external hard drive, it’s not the most convenient way to get more storage space, but it’s cheap.

Look for upgrade options to future proof your purchase.

You found the laptop with the most powerful CPU you can get in a laptop for the price with enough RAM and storage for your work, great, but what about the future when your laptop starts feeling slow and can’t keep up with your needs?

To avoid the unexpected expense of buying a new laptop at that time, make sure to purchase the laptop with upgradeable RAM and storage drive today.

Upgrading RAM on a laptop costs less than $50, and with this upgrade, you can revive your slow laptop and give it a few years of more life. Also, with the extra storage drive slot there will be a provision to increase its storage capacity if there comes a need for it in the future.

That’s pretty much it.

We hope this laptop buying guide helps you buy the best laptop under $500 for yourself. Comment below if you have any questions about the laptops mentioned above.

Visit back for more comprehensive laptop lists like this from our experts here at Laptop Under Budget.

Have a nice day!

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3 comments
  1. I bought a HP Pavilion 17-g121wm Laptop today at WalMart. I am enjoying my experience so far. The wide screen is great. It is bright and colorful. It is running smoothly. It was not filled with too many preinstalled programs.

    1. I bought an HP Pavillion 17-g121wm at Walmart too and Im glad I did. I was worried that the AMD10 was junk, but its running everything I’ve wanted without breaking a sweat. I love having the big screen too. Great value.

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