10 Best Laptops under $500

10 Best Laptops under $500

There are so many options out there today when it comes to choosing a laptop, that one can quickly be overwhelmed by the sheer number of different features, add-ons, and specifications to choose from. And while constraining your budget to only those that are under $500 will narrow down the list of available options, there is nevertheless a large selection left to choose from. 

But, you won’t have to spend all of your budget to find a good laptop for your particular needs, because there are plenty of laptops under $500 to choose from. From 10.1-inch tablets to 15-inch laptops with a full keyboard, you don’t always have to give up every feature in order to save a few bucks. Below are the best laptops you can buy right now!

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook, OLED 13.3" FHD Touch Display, Snapdragon SC7180, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage, Qualcomm Adreno Graphics, Chrome OS, Abyss Blue

  • Processor: MediaTek Helio P60T 
  • RAM: 4GB 
  • Display: 10.1-inch
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC 
  • Graphics: ARM G72 MP3 
  • Price: $250 

Coming in at around $250 is the popular Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3. One of the many benefits of this laptop is the ability to detach the keyboard and continue using it as a tablet. Other similar Chromebooks only allow you to detach a keyboard if you have an upgraded case for it. Featuring a 2 GHz octa-core mobile processor, with 4 GB of RAM, an ARM GPU, and 64 GB of solid-state storage, this 10.1-inch Chromebook is considered an entry-level model. 

With a sharp, 1080p display you can sit down and check out the latest YouTube videos or even your favorite movies. However, keep in mind that the battery is not the best and you may find yourself having to recharge more often than other similar laptops. Nevertheless, since Chromebooks are web-based, most of the work that you will use the device for is done on the server, thus allowing the battery to last longer for most uses. 

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 features an ARM G72 MP3 integrated graphics card, which was initially developed for use in smartphones and other android devices. Although capable of watching in full high definition resolution, the graphics use four-year-old technology. 

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Microsoft Surface Go 2 

  • Processor: Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y Microsoft Surface Go 2 
  • RAM: 4GB 
  • Display:10.5-inch
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC 
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
  • Price: $300 

Although most of the laptops that appear in this list are Chromebooks, it’s nice to include a Windows 10- based system. This particular unit is able to function as both a laptop and a tablet, with the help of an upgraded case. Featuring a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor, with 4 GB of RAM, integrated UHD 615 graphics, and a 64 GB eMMC solid-state device, this Windows-powered device is more like a high-end tablet than an entry-level laptop. 

The 10.5-inch display is capable of a full 1080p high-definition output which makes it an excellent choice for binge-watching your favorite shows. It is a lightweight device with many features that one would come to expect from a device of this caliber. You’ll be able to easily browse the web, handle most of your word processing needs as well as work with spreadsheets and your email. 

One of the benefits of an Intel chipset is the integrated graphics. The Microsoft Surface Go 2 features UHD 615 graphics which are almost similar to the graphics capability found in other Kaby-Lake devices, and as a result, you won’t be able to play any really high and AAA games using this device, but there are plenty of games that you can play. 

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Acer Spin 311 

  • Processor: 2.0GHz Octa-Core MediaTek MT8183 Acer Spin 311 
  • RAM: 4GB 
  • Display: 11.6-inch
  • Storage: 32/64GB eMMC 
  • Graphics: ARM Mali-G72 MP3 
  • Price: $290 

The Acer Spin 311 is a popular choice for those looking for a lightweight and inexpensive Chromebook. As one of the cheapest laptops on this list, it is a good choice for students and young kids. Although small, the Acer Spin 311 has an excellent battery, allowing it to outperform many similar products. It’s lightweight, which ensures that it is easier to handle. 

Thanks to the integrated ARM G72 MP3 graphics, you will be able to binge-watch your favorite shows, check out some of the latest movies, or spend all day watching videos on YouTube. Likewise, considering that it is a Chromebook, you will also have access to most of the online features that you need for light office work, such as word processing, spreadsheets, and email 

Apple iPad 10.2 

  • Processor: Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm+) Apple iPad 10.2 
  • RAM: 3GB 
  • Display: 10.2-inch
  • Storage: 64/128GB 
  • Graphics: Apple A13 Bionic GPU 
  • Price: $449

The most expensive entry in this list is the Apple iPad 10.2. Although this particular device is not considered to be a true laptop, you can add on the Apple Smart keyboard and still stay under the $500 mark. As a result, the Apple iPad 10.2 is a direct competitor of the Microsoft Surface Go 2. But, if you have ever owned an Apple in the past, you may agree that there is no real competition. 

Featuring the A13 Bionic processor, this 2.6 GHz Hexa-core processor provides a lot of bang for your buck. While it may not be as powerful as the bigger MacBooks, it nevertheless has the ability to compete with the higher-end tablets that are available today. As with all Apple devices, you will have no issues watching your favorite movies and YouTube videos. 

The integrated graphics of the Apple iPod 10.2, are capable of providing much better performance and lower power consumption needs than most other devices in this category. This means that your battery will last a lot longer when you choose to watch videos. After all, the number one cause of battery drain in most lightweight devices is watching videos. 

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Acer Aspire 5 

  • Processor: Intel Core i3-1115G4 Acer Aspire 5 
  • RAM: 8GB 
  • Display: 15.6-inch
  • Storage: 512GB eMMC 
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX350 
  • Price: $400 

The Acer Aspire 5 is one of the few devices on this list that can truly be considered a laptop. The 15.6-inch display is capable of full 1080p resolution. And, there is no need to deal with compact keyboards, because this Acer features a full-size keyboard. Not only is it easier to type on, but the larger display makes it easier to view your work. 

Don’t let the price tag of the Acer Aspire 5 fool you, it provides you with one of the best graphics processors on this list. The Nvidia GeForce MX350 is an excellent processor which offers performance just below the GTX 1050. When compared to the popular Intel Iris Plus that is found in the core I7 processors, the Acer Aspire 5 provides more than twice the performance. More importantly, unlike any other laptop on this list, you’ll actually be able to play many of the recently released games on lower resolution settings. 

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Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 

  • Processor: Intel Core i3-10110U Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 
  • RAM: 4GB 
  • Display: 13.3-inch
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC 
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 
  • Price: $425 

The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is one of the most expensive chrome books on this list. And although it has the word flex in its name, there is nothing flexible about this laptop. While many others in this price range feature a plastic chassis, the Lenovo features an all-metal body in order to support the 360-degree hinge. In fact, it’s the ability to open the laptop and flip the screen all the way around to create a tablet, where the name comes from. 

Featuring a 4.10 GHz dual-core processor, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 has one of the fastest processors on this list. It comes standard with 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB SSD storage. More importantly, thanks to the use of the Intel Core i3 processor, this laptop also features integrated HD 620 graphics. 

The popular Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU would be the equivalent of a GeForce 920M graphics card from Nvidia. As a result, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 features one of the best graphics on this list. Depending on the total amount of RAM that you have, you will be able to use this Chromebook for a wide variety of popular games that were specifically developed for the Chrome OS. 

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Gateway GWTN141 

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7 Gateway GWTN141
  • RAM: 16GB 
  • Display: 14.1-inch
  • Storage: 512GB SSD 
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe 
  • Price: $400 

Over the years, Gateway has become known as the solution for low-cost computing equipment. In recent years, Gateway has introduced a number of affordable laptops into the market. The most recent addition to its lineup is the GWTN141, which is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor. This laptop comes in two versions, one with a 14.1-inch screen, and another with a 15.6-inch screen. And because it is lightweight, it is an excellent choice for kids running off to college for their first term. 

Featuring a powerful Intel Core i5 processor that boasts a max speed of 4.2 GHz across its four cores, this Gateway provides probably the most performance for the price. Not only do you get a whopping 16 GB of RAM, as compared to the standard 8 GB seen in other similar models, but you also get a 512GB SSD storage device. With the help of its larger battery capacity, you’re actually able to watch videos and movies longer than any other laptop in its class. 

The Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics provides roughly the same amount of performance as the Nvidia GeForce MX350. When coupled with the higher memory, and larger battery capacity, this particular laptop can be used for gaming. However, care must be taken because there are many AAA games that cannot be played on this particular device unless you choose the lowest in-game graphics settings possible. 

Asus VivoBook 15 

  • Processor: Intel Core i3-1005G1 Asus VivoBook 15 
  • RAM: 8GB 
  • Display: 15.6-inch
  • Storage: 128GB 
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics G1 
  • Price: $400

The Asus VivoBook 15, is a no-frills 15-inch Windows 10 laptop. Thanks to its Core i3 processor, and integrated Intel graphics, this laptop provides a generally enjoyable viewing experience when watching your latest shows or movies online. However, its brightness balance and sharpness adjustment capabilities are less than acceptable. Nevertheless, the Asus VivoBook 15 is able to provide decent battery life, which means plenty of enjoyment. 

Featuring a quad-core, Intel Core i3 processor running at 4.2 GHz, this device has plenty of power for most computing needs. It also includes 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD storage device, which provides plenty of space for keeping all of your files, schoolwork, or favorite TikTok videos

Since this laptop features an Intel processor, it also has integrated graphics. The Intel UHD Graphics G1 is a slight step up from the older UHD 620 graphics that were available in previous i3 processors. Although unable to compete with the Intel Iris graphics, the Asus VivoBook 15 is still capable of playing a few AAA games. As with most of the laptops on this list, you may need to reduce the resolution of gameplay in order to get the most enjoyable experience. 

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HP Stream 11 

  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4000
  • RAM: 4GB 
  • Display: 11-inch
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC 
  • Graphics: Intel UHD 600 
  • Price: $200 

There are a number of different options available when it comes to the HP Stream 11. The cheapest version comes in at just under $200 and is powered by Windows. Thanks to its small 11-inch screen, this device weighs only 2 1/2 pounds and is a mere 0.7 inches thick. Nevertheless, it is still a highly capable laptop that features a powerful Celeron processor. 

Featuring a dual-core processor pushing out 2.6 GHz, the HP Stream 11 is one of the weakest Intel power laptops on this list. It also has only 4GB of RAM which restricts it to common everyday use and also has a 32GB eMMC storage device, which is smaller than most smartphones available on the market today. Nevertheless, it is able to handle multiple tabs opened and Microsoft Edge and allows you to watch your favorite YouTube videos in full 1080p high-definition. 

Like most Intel-based processors, the HP Stream 11 features Intel’s UHD Graphics 600. Although not the most powerful on the list, it is still more than capable of playing plenty of games. However, you should limit your choice of games to those that are less demanding such as The Sims 4 or Dirt Rally. 

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Samsung Chromebook 4 

  • Processor: Intel Celeron 3000N Samsung Chromebook 4 
  • RAM: 4GB 
  • Display: 11.6-inch
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC 
  • Graphics: Intel UHD 600
  • Price: $230 

When it comes to extremely affordable Chromebooks, the Samsung Chromebook 4 is one of the cheapest available on the market today. Thanks to the technological advances that are constantly coming out of Samsung, this Chromebook also features one of the largest battery capacities on this list. For those who love the look of a MacBook, but not the price tag, the Samsung Chromebook 4 is a perfect choice. 

The Samsung Chromebook 4 features an Intel Celeron 3000N 1.04 GHz dual-core processor, only 4GB of RAM, and a minuscule 32GB eMMC solid-state storage device. As a result, this particular laptop is one of the slowest on the list. 

This Chromebook includes integrated UHD graphics 600 which makes it a good choice for watching movies and videos online. Although the GPU is more than capable of playing popular Windows-based games, the lack of options for games to play on Chrome OS means that most of the graphical processing capabilities of this device will go unused. 

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Buyers Guide – How to Buy a Laptop Under $500 

Buying a laptop for under 500 dollars is no easy task. There are so many options to choose from that many people can feel overwhelmed. Whether you are looking for gaming laptops under 500 dollars or work-use laptops, here are some points that will help you get the most return on your investment. 


Before making a decision to buy anything, always make sure you know what your budget is. If you have decided that you’re only going to buy one of the best laptops for under 500 dollars, then you need to stick to that $500 budget. 


Whether you are planning on watching YouTube videos, gaming, or using your laptop in school or at work, you have to understand your needs so that you can determine the specifications that will meet those needs. 

Operating System

You have a lot of options available to you that allow you to choose between Chrome OS, Mac OS, and Windows operating systems, it’s important to choose something that you are comfortable with and that provides you with the functionality that you need the most. 


Although it may seem nice to have the latest and greatest processor and your laptop, the more powerful the laptop is the more expensive it becomes. You need to choose something that provides you with the processing capabilities you need in order to use your laptop effectively. 


Although the cheapest laptops under 500 dollars only come with 4GB RAM, this can create an issue because it may not be enough for most basic workloads. You will need to ensure that you have at least 8GB of RAM for most of your needs. And should you attempt to play games on your laptop, then you will need at least 16GB in all. 


Storage costs money, and, while it would be great to have a 1 TB hard drive in every laptop, the fact is that most devices today have limited storage capacity. Be careful about choosing a device that has an insufficient amount of storage room for your needs, because some devices today have less storage than a standard smartphone. 

Display Resolution

For most devices, you should aim for something that uses a full 1080p high-definition resolution. Although there are some models out there that only offer 720p resolution, these are quickly becoming far and few between.


A 10.1-inch screen may be great for watching videos on YouTube, but it doesn’t do you much good staring at such a small screen all day in the office. Likewise, although 16-inch screens are great for gaming purposes, they are also heavy and bulky. 


The ability to plug things into your laptop is crucial. Having the ability to plug in an external drive, your mouse, an external keyboard, a camera, a headset, or any other number of possible peripherals, is important. 


But perhaps one of the most important aspects of any laptop is the storage capacity. A good laptop battery should last more than 10 hours between charges, however, many devices only have enough battery capacity to watch one full movie in high definition. 

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, when it comes to choosing the best laptops under 500 dollars, it comes down to your particular needs. Do not just settle for something because it is cheap. Instead take the time to determine exactly what your needs are now, as well as what they may be in the near future. After all, whether you’re spending a few hundred, or a few thousand dollars, purchasing a laptop is an investment in your future.

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