This text was final up to date by Digital Tendencies reviewer Mark Coppock on October 2, 2020.
The most effective laptop computer beneath $500 is the. Laptops at this value level usually have vital compromises, whether or not that’s in efficiency, the display screen high quality, or battery life. The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5, although, manages to have virtually all the things you’d need in a contemporary laptop computer at a powerful value low cost. That’s — so long as you’re okay with a Chromebook.
Past that, we’ve additionally made picks for greatest Home windows laptop computer beneath $500, greatest 2-in-1 beneath $500, and even the most effective laptop computer beneath $300.
The most effective laptops beneath $500 at a look:
The most effective laptop computer beneath $500: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 overview
Discovering a 13-inch laptop computer for beneath $500 is sort of unattainable. That’s a disgrace, because it’s the most well-liked dimension for a laptop computer. However it’s not really unattainable due to Chrome OS, and the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 manages to return in beneath $500 and supply spectacular efficiency, 2-in-1 flexibility, and nice worth. That locations this Chromebook on the prime of our listing.
Impressively, there’s a 10th-gen Intel Core i3-10110U CPU inside, which is loads quick for Chrome OS. The 4GB of RAM is sufficient for good efficiency and reasonable multitasking prowess, and 64GB of storage is adequate if you happen to make good use of the cloud.
It needs to be no shock that it’s a Chromebook that occupies this class, and the Chromebook Flex 5 is loads of laptop for a bit bit of cash.
Learn our in-depth Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 overview
The most effective Home windows laptop computer beneath $500: Acer Aspire 5
Acer’s Aspire 5 has improved considerably in its latest replace, bringing higher efficiency, construct high quality, and battery life. The newest mannequin is priced barely larger proper now, but it surely usually is available in at beneath $500 with a 10th-generation Core i3-1005G1U CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, and a 15.6-inch Full HD show.
That’s loads of laptop for not some huge cash. Higher but, it is a well-built price range laptop computer that evokes confidence in hand, and its keyboard and touchpad punch approach above its class. Battery life can also be a plus, with the Aspire 5 competing with laptops costing far more cash.
The 15-inch 1080p show is excellent for the worth as properly, although you’ll have to leap simply outdoors the $500 price range so as to add touch-screen performance. Since this laptop computer isn’t a 2-in-1 although, that’s much less of a priority for this type of cash.
Learn our in-depth Acer Aspire 5 overview
The most effective 2-in-1 beneath $500: Microsoft Floor Go 2
Luke Larsen / Digital Tendencies
Microsoft’s Floor Go 2, now in its second era, is the infant of the Floor vary — however that doesn’t imply it’s not a succesful little machine. Beginning at a value properly beneath our $500 restrict, you may assume that it is a little too low cost, even for what we’re , however you’d be mistaken. Borrowing most of the wonderful options from its extra expensive siblings just like the Floor Professional 7, the Floor Go 2 is a sturdy, well-built removable 2-in-1 that works simply as properly in pill mode because it does as a laptop computer.
You will have to shell out a bit further for the Sort Cowl and pen if you would like the complete laptop computer and pill expertise, however that does go away you with the choice of upgrading later if you wish to unfold out your prices. And, though its display screen isn’t fairly as detailed as one thing you’d discover on a devoted pill just like the iPad, it’s nonetheless among the finest we’ve ever seen for a convertible laptop computer at this value level.
The Floor Go 2 isn’t the quickest system on this planet both, however the pill packs a good battery life and at this value level, you aren’t going to discover a Home windows 2-in-1 that may higher it.
Learn our in-depth Floor Go 2 overview
The most effective laptop computer beneath $300: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
When you’re on a price range and need a removable pill that may meet your internet shopping and light-weight productiveness wants, look no additional than Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet. It’s an attractively priced pill at $279 ($299 with 128GB of storage), and better of all it features a kickstand cowl with a terrific keyboard with touchpad.
That makes the Chromebook Duet among the finest values we’ve seen, coming in at tons of of dollars lower than aggressive tablets when you spend the cash on a keyboard cowl. Efficiency is mediocre, but it surely’s quick sufficient for the duties you’ll ask it to carry out, and the show is surprisingly good for the cash. It’ll run your favourite Android apps, and gives among the finest shopping experiences on a pill.
Learn our in-depth Lenovo Chromebook Duet overview
The most effective 15-inch laptop computer beneath $500: Samsung Chromebook four+
Laptops beneath $500 aren’t usually lookers — and hey, are you able to blame them? At such low costs, you’re higher off paying for higher efficiency and configurations than aesthetics. The Samsung Chromebook four+, although, doesn’t make you select.
It has a unibody, aluminum design that resembles a MacBook Professional, full with a bigger 15-inch display screen if you happen to want some further display screen actual property. That makes it choice for college students and at-home employees who won’t have entry to a secondary show.
The specs gained’t blow your socks off, however with a 1080p display screen and 4GB of RAM, it’ll get the job accomplished.
Analysis and shopping for ideas
Are laptops beneath $500 good?
They are often, although discovering one which doesn’t make compromises in a number of areas is troublesome. Attempt to keep away from laptops with a display screen decision beneath 1080p, Home windows 10 laptops with a Pentium processor, or laptops with no solid-state drive. There are all the time exceptions, however these are the sorts of elements that make a major distinction to your expertise with a laptop computer.
No matter which you select, you shouldn’t count on your $500 laptop computer to do sophisticated duties like video enhancing or gaming. These are for primary computing, phrase processing, and internet shopping.
Ought to I purchase a Chromebook?
Chromebooks don’t provide Home windows, which could be a blessing or a curse, relying in your opinion of Microsoft’s OS. As they’ve matured, Chromebooks have change into viable options to Home windows PCs, particularly within the cheaper price vary. As a result of Chrome OS is a lighter OS with fewer options, Chromebooks usually really feel quicker, and provide higher battery life than their Home windows counterparts (at a given value).
They even help Android apps by way of the Google Play Retailer, which provides you entry to an enormous portfolio of cellular apps and video games. That mentioned, the Android app expertise can go away a lot to be desired, so that you shouldn’t depend on it.
The draw back is which you can’t simply go surfing and set up any software. The truth is, something outdoors of what you are able to do in an internet browser is off-limits.
Can you purchase a gaming laptop computer for beneath $500?
For essentially the most half, no. The most affordable gaming laptops. These laptops are already pretty underpowered for contemporary video games, although if you happen to play lighter video games and are prepared to play at low settings, they’ll get by.
Not one of the laptops on this listing are a good selection for 3D gaming.
What’s lacking from $500 laptops?
Most $500 laptops are made out of plastic, not like aluminum and different premium supplies utilized in costly laptops. You’ll additionally discover quicker efficiency in these dearer laptops. Quad-core processors and 8GB of RAM are the norm in mid-range laptops, whereas a lot of the choices on this listing have much less.
Costly laptops usually specialise in both battery life or graphics efficiency. The Dell XPS 13 will present you all-day battery life, whereas the Razer Blade will allow you to play trendy video games at excessive body charges. If you’re purchasing beneath $500, you need to count on a bare-bones laptop computer. It will probably deal with most daily duties with ease, however gaming, picture/video enhancing, and different extra demanding duties might require a better price range.