The best laptops under $500 TechRadar has reviewed

You might be surprised to learn the best laptops under $500 can actually deliver great performance, have a durable build, and come with a good amount of features. Some of them can even go toe-to-toe in terms of substance and style with some of the best laptops. And, as long as you’re not tackling very computer-intensive projects, they’ll be more than enough computer for your needs.

 

So, there’s no reason to empty your bank account when the best laptops under $500 can cover your needs, including playing some of the best laptop games. More expensive machines might be packed with a ton of power and features such as the Dell XPS 15, but most people don’t need a maxed-out portable or a flagship status symbol. It’s not worth that extra cash if you’re not going to use the extra power and features.

Consider instead one of the best laptops under $500 and go easy on your wallet. Whether you’re looking at the best 2-in-1 laptops, the best Chromebooks, the laptops for the kids, or the best laptops for writers, you can find the right portable here while saving money at the same time. If you’re in search of a desktop solution, take a look at our best computers guide. 

  • These are the best budget gaming PCs of 2021
  • Also check out the best Acer laptops right now
  • These top-notch Dell laptops are worth checking out as well

 

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

A tablet and a Chromebook!

SPECIFICATIONS
CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T Processor
Graphics: ARM G72 MP3 800GHz
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4X
Screen: 10.1″ FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS, glossy, touchscreen, 400 nits
Storage: 64GB eMMC
REASONS TO BUY
+Lightweight and portable+Long battery life+Very affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Design can be a fa
Using a hybrid tablet/snap-on keyboard design, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is the best budget laptop for the classroom and students. After all, it combines the tablet mode for research, reading and easy Netflix watching when you’re kickback at home, with a traditional laptop form for when you need a keyboard. With a powerful ARM processor that goes for 21 hours (yes you read that right), it’s an awesome computer package. The keyboard and trackpad let it down somewhat, but then you get that delicious Full HD+ display. Best of all, it all comes in at a price that’s as low as you could hope for, making this one of the best laptops under $500.

HP Chromebook 14

Optimal balance between value and design

SPECIFICATIONS
CPU: Intel Celeron N2840 – N2940
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
RAM: 2GB – 4GB
Screen: 14-inch, HD (1,366 x 768) BrightView
Storage: 16GB – 32GB eMMC
REASONS TO BUY
+Excellent keyboard, trackpad+Crisp, vivid screen
REASONS TO AVOID
Slower than some rivalsAverage battery life

The best laptops under $500 balance a bargain price and capability – and the HP Chromebook 14 is the perfect example of that. While it’s similar to the Acer Chromebook 15 in a lot of ways, this 14-inch Chromebook is a tad more compact and looks slightly better. Complemented by a bright blue finish and a screen made to astound, the HP Chromebook 14 offers the best value of any Chromebook out there – even if the battery life and performance are average. 

Acer Chromebook 314

A tremendous Chromebook

SPECIFICATIONS
CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
RAM: 4GB
Screen: 14-inch LED (1366 x 768) high definition
Storage: 32GB eMMC
REASONS TO BUY
+Excellent battery life and performance+Bright, crisp screen
REASONS TO AVOID
No touchscreenNo fingerprint reader

If you’re looking for a budget laptop that really gives you excellent value for money, then the Acer Chromebook 314 is the best laptop under $500 for you. It’s easy to use, reliable, and has a wonderful screen and battery life (up to 12 hours) combo. That 14-inch crisp and bright display gives you more screen real estate for your productivity needs. Plus, its keyboard is both satisfying and a joy to use. More importantly, it strikes a great balance between design, usability, features, battery life and performance, while being comfortable with its own limitations.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

Affordable laptop with new specs

SPECIFICATIONS
CPU : up to 11th-gen Intel Core i5-1135G7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: up to 12GB DDR4 2666MHz
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED Backlight Non-Touch Narrow Border WVA Display
Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
REASONS TO BUY
+New specs+1080p display+Lightweight for the price
REASONS TO AVOID
No USB-CHigher configurations above $500

The fact that the Intel Dell Inspiron 15 3000 models weigh just as much as the more premium offerings out there only adds to its value. Of course, its specs are less powerful, but its under-$500 configurations still come with the latest specs, from 11th-generation Intel Core chips to DDR4 RAM that runs at 2666MHz. You probably should expect any mind-blowing features or design, but there’s already a lot going for it for a laptop that costs less than half the price of many of the best laptops in 2021.

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