Top 10 Best Laptops Under $500 2022 (Most Value For Money Models)

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

The $500 budget is 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.


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!

Our experts 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 experts recommended 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 14Our Top Pick
  2. Asus VivoBook Flip 14Best 2-in-1 Laptop Under $500
  3. Lenovo Flex 5i 13″ ChromebookBest Chromebook Under $500
  4. HP 17-cn0025nr 17-inch LaptopBest For Work From Home
  5. Asus L510MA-DS04 15-inch LaptopBest Windows Laptop Under $300
  6. Dell Inspiron 15 3511With The Best Build Quality
  7. Asus ZenBook 14Best For Photo/Video Editing
  8. Asus VivoBook 15 F515
  9. Acer Aspire 5 15
  10. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15Great value For money

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

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 AMD - The best laptop under $500 2022

Key Features:

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

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 is the most complete package you’ll find in this price range. It has everything that one expects from their new laptop, from powerful and reliable performance to good design and build quality, premium features, and much more!

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 yet another strong aspect of this laptop since it boasts the latest AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU inside, which is a six-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 efficaciously. And thanks to the integrated Radeon 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 (82KT00GVUS):

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

Key Features:

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

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! Keep reading to know why.

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 AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Mobile Processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD storage capacity.

To recall, this VivoBook Flip 14 also has the same six-core AMD processor as the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 (Our Top Pick) hence it has sufficient power to handle even the heavy workloads like graphics designing, photo editing and even small 4K video editing projects!

You get a convenience of backlit keyboard and quick and secure fingerprint logins on this VivoBook Flip 14 as well. And with that, it’s a pretty well-rounded package, offering the best specs and features available in a 2-in-1 laptop under $500.

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

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5500U (6-cores, Up to 4.0 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 3200MHz (upgradeable)
Storage256GB SSD (upgradeable)
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 7 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 3i 13" - best Chromebook under $500

Key Features:

  • Smooth performance
  • Full day battery life
  • Full HD IPS Touch Screen with Pen support
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard
  • Portable & lightweight
  • Less onboard storage space

For those who can make do most of their tasks inside the web browser, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5i 13 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.

Although its 64GB onboard storage is on the lower side, it has a microSD card slot, so you can expand it further if needed.

Apart from excellent performance, 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 could be a great choice for college students and even professionals who’ll 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)
Storage64GB eMMC (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 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. If you don’t mind that, the Duet 5 is actually a very impressive Chrome OS tablet with a stunning OLED touchscreen, and decent enough performance for the everyday computing needs of most professionals and students. | Check Price on Amazon

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

HP 17-cn0025nr - best 17 inch laptop under $500

Key Features:

  • 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

Working on a bigger display is always better than diminishing 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 this HP 17-cn0025nr 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 room.

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 if you are looking for 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)
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

DEAL ALERT: Lenovo IdeaPad 3 17″ w/ 17-inch FHD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 5 5500U six-core processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD for $599 $639.90 from Amazon

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 17 is available at a great discounted price at the time of me writing, and if you still find it selling for the same price, we recommend it to get over the above-mentioned HP 17-inch laptop.

It has more powerful AMD Ryzen 5 CPU with 6-cores, so it will be able to handle demanding tasks much better than the HP laptop mentioned above. And it also offers more storage space with a spacious 512GB of SSD!

It’s a fantastic value if you can buy it at a sale price.

5. Asus L510MA-DS04 15-inch Laptop Best Windows Laptop Under $300

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

Key Features:

  • 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
  • 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 is also the first laptop in this price segment to offer a backlit keyboard. And it’s pretty good, too, delivering a very satisfying and comfortable typing experience.

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)
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

6. Dell Inspiron 15 3511 With The Best Build Quality

Dell Inspiron 15 3511 - The most reliable laptop under $500

Key Features:

  • Tough build quality & professional design
  • Good display quality with very slim bezels
  • Keyboard with numeric pad
  • Large size trackpad
  • Smooth performance
  • 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 make up for all its shortcomings.

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 connectivity options 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 latest 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor paired with an adequate 8GB RAM and 256GB 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 Iris Xe graphics, it can handle even such graphics-intensive workloads up to an extent.

Overall, the Dell Inspiron 3511 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 3511:

ProcessorIntel Core i3-1135G7 Quad-Core (Turbo up to 4.1 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 2666 MHz
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe integrated Graphics
Display15.6-inch Full HD Anti-Glare LED-backlit Display
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 9 hours
Weight3.8 lbs

7. Asus ZenBook 14 Best For Photo/Video Editing

Asus ZenBook 14 - best ultrabook under $500

Key Features:

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

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 6-7 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)
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 7 hours
Weight2.9 lbs

8. Asus VivoBook 15 F515

Asus VivoBook 15 F515 - Best for budget conscious buyers

Key Features:

  • Metal reinforced keyboard deck for extra rigidity and stability
  • Smooth performance with everyday tasks
  • Good display with wide viewing angles
  • Full size backlit keyboard with numpad
  • Good amount of ports
  • Upgradeable hardware
  • Less storage capacity

The ASUS VivoBook 15 F515 is another bargain for your money laptop that hits the home run by offering great performing specs and features under $500. And it’s also often on sale, available for under $400, and at that price, the ASUS VivoBook 15 has a lot going for it.

Starting from the design, it looks minimalistic, but it has a modern touch to it with small screen bezels and a lift-up hinge. And its build quality is solid, too, with the reinforced metal keyboard deck for better stability.

It features a 15.6-inch full HD display with an anti-glare coating which is good in terms of colors, and viewing angles, but it’s very dim just like most other budget laptops. But it will get the job done, and thanks to its tiny bezels, its screen-to-body ratio is outstanding 83%. That helps to reduce the overall footprint of the laptop, hence, decreasing the overall weight of the laptop.

It comes with a backlit keyboard, and its keys have rounded corners, similar to other Asus VivoBook laptops. It delivers a very satisfying typing experience, and you also get great feedback due to deep travel. On the other hand, the trackpad is of average size and feels okay to use and features a fingerprint scanner on the top right.

The performance of the Asus VivoBook 15 F515 is also very well-managed with an 11th Gen Intel Core i3 processor, and 8GB RAM, which is mostly on par with other laptops on the list.

While its 128GB of storage capacity is quite less in comparison to most other laptops under $500, both the RAM and storage are easily upgradeable on this laptop. Less storage space does bring down the value aspect of the laptop, but it’s a necessary sacrifice for the price.

Besides that, this laptop has everything from all the necessary ports and latest wireless connectivity options to great performance for everyday use and all the essential features.

So overall, the Asus VivoBook 15 is yet another value-for-money laptop under $500 if you can live with its low storage capacity or don’t mind upgrading it on your own.

Hardware Specifications of Asus VivoBook F515:

Processor11th Generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 Dual-Core CPU with up to 4.1 GHz
Storage128GB SSD
GraphicsIntel UHD integrated
Display15.6-inch Full HD NanoEdge TN Display (200-nits)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home in S mode
Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
Weight3.97 lbs

9. Acer Aspire 5 15

Acer Aspire 5 15 A515-45-R74Z

Key Features:

  • 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
  • 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 are the same as the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 (our top pick), 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 yet another excellent option 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)
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. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 Great Value For Money

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 - Super value notebook under $500

Key Features:

  • Superb performance
  • Decent quality display with tiny bezels & privacy shutter webcam
  • Full size backlit keyboard
  • Windows hello powered fingerprint scanner
  • Great ports selection
  • Dual speakers powered by Dolby Audio
  • Competitive pricing

We saved the best value offering laptop under $500 for the last, and if you reached this far in our list, you’re in here for a treat. This is the bigger sibling of our top pick Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14, with the exact same specs and features as it, just with a slightly bigger 15-inch display.

Since this IdeaPad 3 15″ laptop has a bigger display, the overall footprint is also bigger, making it heavier than the 14-inch IdeaPad 3. If you’re looking for a portable laptop that is easy to travel with, you’ll be better off buying our top pick. But if you don’t travel with your laptop much, then the 15.6-inch full HD display will feel more convenient to work on multiple apps by keeping them side by side. If you’re wondering about the display quality, it’s similar to the IdeaPad 3 14. It’s not the brightest nor most color-rich, but good enough for an everyday user.

If we talk about the performance, then, as mentioned earlier, it has the same specs as our top pick. So you get the fantastic multi-core performance of AMD Ryzen 5 processor here, too, and the RAM and storage capacity on the laptop is also sufficient for everyday productivity and light media editing and gaming.

But what makes it a great value is its price. It is available for around $450, and that’s a fantastic price for a laptop with such high caliber hardware and premium features like a backlit keyboard, fingerprint scanner and audio powered by Dolby.

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15:

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5500U 6-Core CPU (Up to 4.0 GHz)
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsIntel Radeon integrated
Display15.6-inch Full HD IPS Anti-Glare Display (300-nits)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 9 hours
Weight3.7 lbs

These are our most recommended laptops under $500 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, incase you like doing your research on your own. It’ll help you make an overall better laptop purchase in the $500 price range.

Should you buy a 2-in-1 or clamshell laptop under $500?

You’ll get more performance per buck by going with a clamshell 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 clamshell 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 clamshell laptop instead of 2-in-1 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 like Stadia 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 extra 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!

  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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