10 Best Laptops Under $500 in 2020

by CT | Last Updated: October 1, 2020

You don’t need to break the bank to get a great laptop for everyday tasks (and often more powerful ones, too!). These top 10 laptops offer performance, reliability, and battery life for under $500.

Don’t worry, they aren’t all Chromebooks either 🙂 

While there are a ton of options for laptops under $500, not all of them will last, be able to handle regular tasks, and stay charged long enough while you’re at the coffee shop or on the go.

This list of is regularly updated to make sure we are bringing you the right choices, and helping you make the best decision when it comes to buying a laptop.

If you have a little more budget to work with, you might want to check out the best laptops under 600 dollars. 

10 Best & Budget-Friendly Laptops Under $500:

 

1. ASUS F556UA-AB32

The Best Laptop Under $500

ASUS VivoBook F556UA-AB32 Laptop (Windows 10,...
  • 15.6-Inch Full-HD Display with Windows 10...
  • Powerful Intel i3-6100U 2.3 GHz Processor
  • High-capacity 1TB 5400 RPM HDD with 4GB DDR4DL RAM
  • Extensive connectivity with HDMI/D-SUB/USB Type C,...
  • Long-lasting 38 Whr polymer battery 2.5 times the...
PROS
  • Efficient Battery
  • Dual-Core Processor
  • High-speed DDR4 RAM
CONS
  • Can run slowly if you have a lot of tabs/programs open

The ASUS F556UA-AB32 is a sleek 1-inch-thick laptop. Although its body may seem delicate, it is pretty tough.

The CPU of this particular laptop is a 6th generation Intel i3 dual-core processor that runs at about 2.3 GHz. The i3 benefits the battery life of the system and is also known to be fast. While it doesn’t even come close to matching up with an i5 or i7, it does the job for the price.

The CPU also has the latest 4 GB DDR4 RAM (Random Access Memory) that runs about 2133 MHz than the traditional 1600MHz and thus, performs tasks faster than ever before.

The hard drive space doesn’t allow you to compromise on your interests such as music, books movies, and videos as its memory can hold up to 1TB worth data. This also means that video games with simpler graphics can be conveniently installed and played. However, higher resolution games may not be supported by the system.

The F556UA-AB32 is user-friendly – it consists of features such as the ASUS Eyecare that protects the eyes of the user from blue light emission by the LED by a whopping 33%. This is an exceptional feature for people with desk jobs as they’re exposed to these harmful emissions at all times.

It has the standard USB ports, Type-C USB, HDMI, VGA, an Ethernet port, 3-in-1 card reader are all in place for all sorts of connections to be made with the system. The battery of the laptop lasts approximately two and a half times longer than that of a standard lithium-ion battery. It is made up of an innovative lithium polymer battery which is known to minimize the weakening of the battery itself. Its rated span is up to 700 charges.

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Also check: Gaming Laptops under 700

 

2. ASUS Ultrabook

An Amazing 2-in-1 Laptop

ASUS 10.1” Transformer Mini T102HA-D4-GR, 2in1...
  • Versatile Windows 10 device with keyboard and pen...
  • All day battery life, rated up to 11 hours of...
  • Latest Intel Atom Quad Core x5-Z8350 Processor...
  • One-touch login and enhanced security with...
  • Magnesium Alloy body weighs less than 1.7 lbs with...
PROS
  • Tablet + Laptop
  • Portable
  • Efficient Micro SD
CONS
  • Not Heavy Duty
  • Windows 8 Not User-Friendly

Say goodbye to the laptop-tablet dilemma! The ASUS 2-in-1 Transformer Ultrabook is eye-catching, chic and innovative. The CPU of this particular system was precisely designed by Intel to be used in tablets or Netbooks.

It is known as the Intel Atom Processor. The specialty of this CPU is that it doesn’t overheat while using in your hands when detached from its accessory keyboard, as it does in other tablets.

The system consists of a 64GB Micro SD hard drive but may support an even larger data capacity upon upgrading. The RAM holds up to 2 GB worth memory, which is fair enough for various applications, streaming, watching movies and playing games.

The touchscreen of the tablet-and-laptop has an HD resolution.

Weighing about 3.6 pounds (including the keyboard), the screen 11.6 inches long that works great as both a laptop monitor and a tablet. The keyboard base is well-connected with various port connections available for an HDMI connection that assists you in monitor connectivity and three USB ports.

A nice feature is that the laptop has both a clear 5 megapixel back camera and a webcam that enables users to video call with friends and family, or even attend online meetings.

The battery of this laptop is made of lithium polymer which extends its battery life up to 10 hours without charging. The Ultrabook comes with Windows 8.1 which is precisely designed by Microsoft for laptop/tablets and can update to Windows 10 as well.

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3. Acer Aspire E5-575G

Gaming, Video Editing and More

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG Laptop, 15.6 Full HD...
  • 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6200U Processor (Up...
  • 15.6-inch Full HD Display, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
  • 8GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD
  • Windows 10 Home; Backlit Keyboard
  • Up to 12-hours Battery Life; 6-cell Li-Ion (2800...
PROS
  • Windows Boots Swiftly
  • Extensive RAM
  • GTX 940M
CONS
  • Not The Fastest Processor
  • Only 256 GB Storage

If you intend on purchasing a heavy-duty laptop within budget, this just might be the one you are looking for. This Acer Aspire consists of a 2.3 GHz 6th generation dual-core Intel i5 processor which might not be the most efficient one, but it works in great synergy with the rest of the hardware involved.

This machine has an outstanding performance, to begin with. The RAM holds a capacity worth 8 GB and is the latest DDR4 RAM. The processor’s performance can be improved by upgrading the RAM with additional memory. If you are tech-savvy, you must be well aware that a 4 GB RAM isn’t getting you any far in video editing. On the other hand, with the double of that, the RAM not only enables extensive video editing but also great for music and photo editing as well.

It also consists of an Nvidia GTX 940M with 2 GB VRAM. While it isn’t the most powerful machine to run high-end games on, it will assist in video editing and enable you to play a few recent games.

Although the storage is up to 256 GB, it still isn’t quite enough. The computer boots quickly, its performance is swift and smooth. The performance isn’t being compromised but an external drive may be needed for additional memory purposes.

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4. Acer Chromebook 15

A Superior Chromebook

Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571-58HF (15.6-Inch Full...
  • Intel Core i5-5200U 2.2 GHz (3 MB Cache)
  • 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • Can open/edit MS Office files using free embedded...
  • 32 GB Solid-State Drive (SSD); No CD or DVD drive
  • 15.6-Inch Full HD Screen, Intel HD Graphics 5500
PROS
  • Highest Capacity Chromebook
  • Efficient Performance
  • Speedy Boot-Up
CONS
  • Lack of Storage Space
  • Only Apps by Google

The Acer Chromebook is powered by the Chrome OS which consists of only Google applications such as Gmail and Google Docs. There aren’t many other applications on this system and thus you may have to use the internet for alternate solutions. The Google Docs is just as handy as the Microsoft Office. You may compose and draft emails or use it for other purposes even in areas with no internet connectivity.

The system has an impressive 5th generation Intel i5 dual-core processor that runs approximately 2.2 GHz. Although it may not be as fast as the newer laptops, it does not lag either.

The RAM of the Chromebook has a capacity worth 4 GB. The storage space of this system is a major drawback, even though it comes with a free 15 GB cloud, the least a computer can do is hold your personal data entirely.

There isn’t much space for multimedia storage such as music, videos, and games. The cloud storage isn’t very convenient for all sorts of users. Also keeping in mind that external data storage can be easily lost. That being said, the Chromebook is wonderful for activities that involve word processing, browsing and streaming the internet.

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5. Dell Inspiron i5378

13.3 Inches of Full HD

Dell Inspiron 13.3" FHD 2-in 1 Laptop (7th...
  • 7th generation Intel Core i5 7200u, up to 3.10 GHz...
  • 8GB DDR4 2400Mhz included; 16GB maximum
  • 1TB HDD storage; No Optical Drive included
  • 13.3 Inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Truelife...
  • Windows 10 operating system; Gray
PROS
  • Extensive storage space
  • Efficient Performance
  • Heavy Duty Processor
CONS
  • Poor Battery Quality
  • No Optical Drive

Although the laptop has 2-in-1 capabilities because of its fully functional touchscreen, the Dell Inspiron i5378 is more of the laptop than a tablet. The unique feature that differs it from a laptop-cum-tablet is that a 360-degree rotating hinge contacts the screen to the keyboard. Dell had tested this hinge under multiple tests and it is guaranteed for up to 2500 turns.

This laptop has proven to be a heavy-duty and efficient one. The surprising element is the weight of the laptop, as convertibles are heavy due to their hardware, this weighs about three and a half pounds. It consists of 7th generation intel i5-7200U dual-core processor that runs at 3.1GHz. It also has a capacity worth 8 GB of 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM.

Considering these two facts, this laptop is made for heavy-duty tasks.

The speedy processor coupling with immense space is a perfect combination for multitasking, video and music editing and similar activities. The laptop has 1 TB HDD space capacity that enables the average user to have more than enough storage to go around.

The laptop works perfectly under hot and cold temperatures as well.

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6. ASUS 15.6

A Balance of Performance and Economy

Asus Vivo Book Flagship High Performance 15.6 inch...
  • 15.6 inch HDWidescreen LED Display (1366 x 768),...
  • Intel Pentium N3700 Quad-Core processor, 1.60 GHz,...
  • 1 x VGA, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x...
  • Stereo Speakers, 802.11b/g/n, Webcam, Media Reader
  • Windows 10, 1" Thin, 4.41lbs Weight, Battery:...
PROS
  • Affordable
  • Mic & Webcam
  • Appropriate RAM and HDD
CONS
  • Inefficient Processor

This laptop is ideal for tasks such as word processing, movies, multimedia and family/casual use. However, if you are looking for something more heavy-duty, look away. This laptop consists of a Pentium processor that runs at a 1.6 GHz, which isn’t the best but it’s good enough within the budget provided as it is a great competitor of Intel Celeron.

The ASUS 15.6 has a RAM capacity of 4 GB and 500 GB worth hard drive space and is the kind of computer that is ideal for those on a tight budget. The screen boasts a 15.6” size which is 1366 x 768 high definition resolution and offers plenty of space for comfortably watching movies, videos, and other entertainment.

There are a good amount of input ports such as USB 2.0, USB 3.0, VGA and HDMI connectivity.

Bluetooth connectivity is also available that allows users to connect to wireless speakers or other gadgets. The system also has an inbuilt webcam with a mic that enables users to connect with friends and family. An optical drive is also available for playing your favorite music and CDs conveniently. This laptop is overall a user-friendly one that supports multiple features.

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7. HP 14-an013nr

The Perfect Budget Laptop

PROS
  • Full HD Resolution
  • Worth the Price
  • Efficient RAM
CONS
  • No Adequate Storage
  • Inefficient eMMC Processor

This laptop’s features set it apart from the others, it has unique features. This Hewlett Packard laptop has a processor that isn’t of Intel or Google, rather it is of AMD which happens to be a head-on competitor of Intel. The E2 processor has similar features to the Intel Pentium process, making it an average one. This E2 quad-core CPU runs at about 1.8 GHz.

It is best for basic functions such as casual gaming, streaming, word processing, and multimedia purposes. Similarly, to run these basic functions a RAM of 4 GB is needed which is already installed in the laptop to carry these functions out. If your work is slightly more heavy-duty you must seek a laptop with a bigger RAM.

Another unique feature is that the HP Notebook consists of a 32 GB eMMC drive. Previously we mentioned HHD, SSD and MicroSD drives as well; however, this one is a bit different than the usual. The eMMC has the working that of SSD, but are more similar to SD cards.

While 32 GB will hold plenty of music and documents, it isn’t exactly great for supporting music or video editing. The target group for these features and this computer would-be students, as professionals seek far more than this. Physically, this laptop resembles the Chromebook a lot. That being said, it has a beautiful HD 14-inch screen with full HD for a great visual experience. It is handy, lightweight (less than four pounds!) and portable on the go.

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8. ASUS T100

A Great 10” 2-in-1

ASUS T100 10-Inch Laptop [2014],(gray)
  • Preinstalled Full License MS Office Home & Student...
  • Includes keyboard dock with USB 3.0 port.
  • Intel Quad-Core Baytrail-T Z3740 1.33GHz. 2GB RAM.
  • Storage Capacity: 64 GB solid-state in tablet.
  • 11-Hour battery life. 1.2MP webcam. MicroHDMI....
PROS
  • Handy & Portable
  • Multi-purpose Book
CONS
  • Limited Storage

The Asus T100 is an affordable one that serves as both a laptop and a tablet. The screen holds up to 10 inches consisting of an Intel Bay Trail quad-core processor. The laptop ships with Windows 8.1 with a year’s free subscription to Microsoft Office.

This laptop, is not heavy duty. However, it does serve the purpose of casual use as the processor runs 1.46 GHz. Upon detaching the screen (tablet) from the keyboard, the system doesn’t overheat or run slow.

While this system is not exactly made to cope up with multitasking, it will perform basic tasks with only 2 GB of RAM. This is a great options for an affordable, family-friendly entertainment system.

The overall space of the eMMC drive does limit a purchaser to 64 GB only. More memory may be required to store movies, songs, and videos. On the brighter side, there are also good features such as the laptop being extremely lightweight, approximately 2.4 pounds.

Bluetooth connectivity enables the laptop to connect to wireless gear, multiple connection ports for external inputs, and a long-lasting battery that doesn’t disappoint. If you are desperately looking for a 2-in-1 laptop, this can serve as a good option.

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9. Signature Edition Lenovo

A Great Budget Gaming Computer

Lenovo 15.6’’ HD LED Signature Laptop PC, AMD...
  • 15.6-inch HD LED (1366 x 768) Display, AMD...
  • AMD Quad-Core FX-7500 2.10 GHz with Turbo up to...
  • 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz, 1TB 5400 RPM HDD, DVD +/-...
  • 802.11b/g/n, LAN (10/100/1000), 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x...
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit, Battery life up to 5...
PROS
  • Extremely Fast RAM
  • Efficient AMD Processor
  • Supportive Graphics Card
CONS
  • No Full HD
  • SSD; A Better Alternative

If you’re a gamer with a tight budget, this is all good news for you. This laptop has a heavy-duty CPU AMD FX-7500 quad-core processor that runs 2.1 GHz and may boost up to 3.3 GHz. This processor is fast and power-efficient. The DD3 RAM has a capacity with 16 GB that runs at 1600 MHz which makes it extremely fast to carry out tasks such as editing videos, music, and transferring data.

The computer is also equipped with a graphics card, the AMD Radeon R7, and while this card may not be the best but still supports graphical games on such an affordable system. The space storage is near to unlimited, 1 TB HDD, which can hold almost all your documents, multimedia, and personal data. An SSD card might have improved the performance quality of the system, but it’s a minor issue to be ranted about. One drawback is that the laptop oddly doesn’t support full HD.

Although it does have an HDMI port, that too connects to a 1080p monitor. Keeping the price into consideration, it is safe to say that it’s okay. To compensate, a DVD drive is available to play games of your choice on CDs. Although it isn’t the best option in the market, this laptop is good enough to support all sorts of video editing applications and various types of games.

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10. Nextbook Flexx

Your Best Bet for An Inexpensive Laptop

Nextbook Flexx 9 Touchscreen 8.9" Intel Quad Core...
  • This refurbished product is tested and certified...
PROS
  • Pocket-Friendly
  • Storage Capacity Increasable
  • Ms. Office Pre-installed
CONS
  • RAM Cannot be Upgraded
  • Memory is Restricted
  • Inconvenient Keyboard

If you are tech-savvy and you have money to spend on something between a laptop and a tablet, here’s a special option for you. For starters, the Nextbook is only 8.9 inches large.

Although it makes up for a perfect tablet size, it may be a bit too small for a laptop. The entire system weighs about 2.6 pounds including the keyboard which makes it extremely handy and portable.

The processor installed in the system is actually better off than many in the expensive 2-in-1 systems, although its functions are limited. The low powered Intel 1.8 GHz quad-core processor prevents the system from overheating when used in hand. The memory is a downside of the system as it has about 1 GB RAM which may be okay for a tablet, but too less for a laptop.

Although the system runs Windows 10, you can’t do much even if it concerns memory-intensive applications or games. The microSD comes with a 32 GB, it may be increased up to 64 GB. The Bluetooth connectivity is also a plus point that enables the tablet to connect to wireless gadgets. The laptop also comes with a free subscription to Microsoft Office for an indefinite period.

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What You Should Know

As a purchaser, it is compulsory for you to review and note down your particular needs and expectations from a laptop. It usually happens so that individuals that are in need of regular laptops end up buying Chromebooks or 2-in-1 laptop/tablets, leaving them dissatisfied with their purchase. To make a wiser decision, the following are features explained in detail that differs these three from one another.

Traditional Laptops

During this era, laptops are now far too common. However, a brief explanation would include that these consist of a processor or CPU. All data is stored on hard drives (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD). The RAM acts as a facilitator during the transfer of information HDD to the processor. These various machines are wired to the motherboard that is the center of communication between processor and drive, port connectivity and graphics.

Laptops are convenient for gaming, multitasking, browsing, streaming, the creation of videos or music or documental purposes.

Chromebooks

Chromebooks are a cheaper alternative to regular Windows laptops for students or individuals on the move. They are powered by Google’s Chrome operating system. It was initially designed to fulfill the requirements of both a tablet and a laptop. These Chromebooks come with relatively lower memory capacity, up to 16 GB, and can be extended to 32 GB.

Chromebooks work differently from regular systems. They come with a 15 GB cloud for each user. All the documents processed whatsoever are saved on the cloud over the internet and not a physical storage disk. Conveniently, you may access your documents anywhere on any device.

This may also be a drawback as Chromebook builds its entire workaround internet-powered applications and not software and so, if you are out of the reach of the internet you may not be able to retrieve your data. What is even more disappointing is its limited 2 GB processor that hampers its performance and multitasking.

Video and music editing are near to impossible on this device. However, low graphics games can be played.

The Chromebook is a cheaper alternative for students and people who simply need to carry out basic activities such as word processing or web browsing.

Two-in-one Laptops

There are two different types of two-in-one laptops that people lack the understanding o. One is the Hybrid. The Hybrid is the kind that detaches and attaches the screen to the keyboard at will. The screen independently serves as a tablet on the go. Whereas, the keyboard has USB and audio input ports along with the keyboard’s own battery. These are light weighted and portable enough to carry around.

They usually come with a Windows 10 installed, but the performance may still not be great, as its processor is not heavy-duty.

The other type is the Convertible. The convertibles do not detach from the keyboard. However, they have a hinge in between that lets the screen rotate and swivel over the keyboard.

On contrary to the hybrids, these are heavier in weight making them inconvenient to carry around, and also have a bigger processor as the screen does not detach from the keyboard and serves as a laptop entirely.

The sole purpose of this article was to generate a clearer understanding of different types of laptops in the market that can actually suit your requirements within the budget constraints. It is entirely up to the reader to decide which laptop suits their needs more. No personal biases were involved as only facts about the 10 laptops were stated.