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Best laptop under $500 in 2024 – our top picks

A list of the best laptops for under $500 currently available, plus what you should consider when looking to buy one
Last Updated on April 15, 2024
best laptop under 500

If you are looking for the best laptop under $500, then we have you covered right here.

Now, $500 may not be a big budget. But if you want a laptop that can handle daily tasks like emailing, browsing, working on sheets, and some really light casual gaming, then $500 should get you a good laptop.

If you look at the options available on the market, you will find regular laptops with entry-level processors, Chromebooks, 2-in-1 laptops, and a few other options. Most laptops are lightweight and give you enough battery life to get through the day, which is great if you want a portable solution for your work.

With that being said, there are quite a lot of options available that you can choose from. To help you narrow down your search, we have picked what we think are the best laptops under $500.

Products at a Glance

How we picked

For this guide, we looked at several laptops from different brands, compared them, and picked the ones that we thought were the best. The laptops have been chosen based on specs like processor, graphics, display, battery life, and other features. We’re always looking for new products to add to our guides and keep them as updated as possible – so check back here again for new updates.

If this isn’t quite what you’re looking for, check out our guide to the best gaming laptops, or the best laptops for Intel 12th generation.

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

  • AMD Ryzen 3-5300U processor
  • AMD Radeon graphics card
  • 7-hour battery life & fast charging
  • HD resolution, not FHD

If you want a laptop that makes the most out of your $500, then you should check out the HP 15 laptop.

This laptop runs on the AMD Ryzen 3-5300U, which is a mid-range mobile processor that promises to handle your everyday tasks and some light, casual gaming really well. Plus, you also get an AMD Radeon graphics card, which should tweak your graphics experience while gaming and media consumption.

To aid performance, the laptop comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD, which should reduce your loading times and give you sufficient storage space. Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose to upgrade your RAM and SSD.

The laptop comes with a 15.6-inch FHD display with thin bezels, which should deliver high picture quality and more viewing space.

Another notable perk here is that you get about 7 hours of battery life, which is decent and should last you for a while. Plus, you get HP’s fast charging, which should cut down your charging time.

  • Intel Celeron N4000
  • 8-hour battery life
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Only 4GB RAM

If you are looking for a Chromebook within budget, then you should check out the 2021 Samsung Chromebook 4+.

The Chromebook runs on the Intel Celeron N4000, which is an entry-level processor that should run your light tasks and ease your multitasking. The laptop also packs an Intel UHD Graphics 600, which should make graphics processing easier.

To aid performance, you get 4GB RAM, which may not sound like a lot, but it should be enough for your Chromebook to run multiple light applications. You also get 32GB eMMC storage, which should be sufficient to get your job done.

On the outside, the Chromebook sports a 15.6-inch display with 1080p resolution, which should deliver high-quality pictures.

Much like some of the best lightweight laptops, the Chromebook weighs 3.75 pounds, which should make it easy for you to lug around. Plus, you get a battery life of 8 hours, so you should be able to get a day’s worth of use.

  • Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor
  • 13.3-inch FHD display
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Mediocre battery life

If you are hunting for a hybrid 2-in-1 laptop under $500, then you should check out the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i, which we think deserves to be a budget contender for the best Lenovo laptops.

Released in 2022, this IdeaPad Flex model runs on an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, so you can expect it to handle most of your multitasking smoothly. Much like other Chromebooks, this one, too, runs on the Chrome OS.

For faster processing times, the laptop comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD, which should be sufficient for most users.

The laptop has a 13.3-inch FHD display, so you can expect clear and detailed visuals on such a small screen. Plus, it is an IPS display, so you should get wider viewing angles. The display also has thin bezels, which should give you more viewing space.

Much like the name suggests, this is a 2-in-1 laptop, so you can flip it backward and use the touchscreen. You can also hold it vertically and use it in portrait mode – very much like a tablet.

  • Intel Core i3-1215U processor
  • 15.6-inch FHD display
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Mediocre battery life

If you’re looking for a 15.6-inch laptop within budget, then you should check out the Asus Vivobook 15 (2023), which we think should be a good budget pick in our best Asus laptop list.

The laptop comes with an Intel Core i3-1215U processor, which is a relatively new mobile CPU released in 2022 for lightweight and thin laptops. The CPU has 6 cores and 8 threads with a max boost speed of 4.4GHz, which is sufficient for some light and casual gaming along with multitasking.

Plus, you also get an integrated Intel UHD graphics card, so you should be able to run most games with low settings.

The model we have selected comes with 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD, which is quite sufficient to cut down on loading times, give you faster boot-ups, and give you enough storage.

On the outside, the laptop has a 15.6-inch FHD display with ultra-slim bezels, which should deliver high-quality pictures as well as more screen space. Plus, this laptop can bend 180-degree backward, which should give you flexibility.

As far as portability goes, the laptop is only 0.7 inches thick, so you should be able to easily slide it into your bag without feeling the bulk. Plus, the device weighs 3.75 pounds, which is quite portable for most people.

What to think about when shopping for a laptop under $500

RAM & storage options

The very minimum amount of RAM you should accept on a laptop in this price range is 8GB, though for non-gaming laptops you should be able to get 12GB+, which is plenty for most general purpose machines browsing the web and using Excel and the like.

It’s a similar story with the storage options: 512GB is common on the picks we’ve selected here and 1TB options are even available, which is a lot of SSD space for storing video media on and the like (besides this, it’s probably more than you’ll need unless you’re installing games).

Limitations on outdoor use with $500 laptops

Around the $500 mark is when the peak brightness of laptop models starts to get reasonable for indoor use in brightly lit spaces. Any cheaper than this and most laptop displays tend to be disappointingly dim.

However, for this amount of money you’re still very unlikely to find laptops with a nits value high enough to use outdoors in the day, without the reflections from the ambient light making it very difficult to read content on your screen. If you want better brightness, you’ll have to stump up more cash.

Best laptop under $500 2023 FAQs

Are laptops under $500 worth buying?

If you’re after an affordable general use laptop for work or at home, but want something that won’t limit your ability to open a load of tabs in your web browser, or grind to a halt when you’ve got multiple programs open, then laptops for $500 are a good choice – they’re budget, but not too budget.

Alternatively, if you’re after the cheapest gaming laptops available on the market, to play some undemanding games on the lowest settings, then the $500 mark is basically the very bottom rung.

What is the best Windows laptop for $500?

We’ve got four different picks for best Windows laptop for $500, depending on the size you’re after and what you want to do with it. These include MSI GF63 Thin, Lenovo IdeaPad 3, Acer Aspire 5 Slim, and Lenovo IdeaPad 14-inch models – read within for the specific SKUs and why we’ve picked them.

Our Verdict

With a $500 budget, we think that the HP 15 laptop is a solid choice. The laptop has an AMD Ryzen 3-5300U processor, which should run your daily tasks as well as some light gaming. Plus, you get a built-in AMD Radeon graphics card, which should tweak your graphics experience while gaming and media consumption. You also get a 15.6-inch FHD display with thin bezels, which should deliver high picture quality. As far as battery life is concerned, you get 7 hours of it, which, along with fast charging, should give you good performance throughout the day.