7 Best Laptop Under 500 Dollars Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

When it comes to choosing a laptop, you may find the different brands and features overwhelming. Laptops are available at many different price points and the features they have can also vary greatly. To choose the best laptop you need to consider how you plan to use it most. Students will need a good laptop that can access the internet and can also allow them to easily complete assignments. Those who are into gaming may need an option that has a lot of memory. It can be helpful to compare the different options that are available before making a purchase.

Top 7 Laptop Under 500 Dollars

SaleBestseller No. 1
Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6' Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, 8X DVD, E5-576-392H
1072 Reviews
Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, 8X DVD, E5-576-392H
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8130U Processor (Up to 3.4GHz)
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-lit Display
Bestseller No. 2
HP Pavilion X360 15.6' Full HD Convertible Touschscreen 2-in-1 Laptop Core i3-8130U Up to 3.4GHz 20GB (4GB DDR4+16GB Optane) Memory 1TB HDD HP Digital Pen Windows 10
186 Reviews
HP Pavilion X360 15.6" Full HD Convertible Touschscreen 2-in-1 Laptop Core i3-8130U Up to 3.4GHz 20GB (4GB DDR4+16GB Optane) Memory 1TB HDD HP Digital Pen Windows 10
  • Full-size island-style backlit keyboard with numeric keypad, HP Digital Pen in natural...
  • 15.6-inch diagonal FHD IPS Bright View micro-edge WLED-backlit touchscreen (1920 x 1080)
SaleBestseller No. 3
ASUS VivoBook F510UA 15.6” Full HD Nanoedge Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, USB-C, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home - F510UA-AH51, Star Gray
1132 Reviews
ASUS VivoBook F510UA 15.6” Full HD Nanoedge Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, USB-C, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home - F510UA-AH51, Star Gray
  • Powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz (Turbo up to 3.4GHz) processor
  • 14.2" Wide, 0.8" Thin and portable footprint with 0.3" Nano edge bezel for a stunning 80%...
Bestseller No. 5
HP Stream Laptop PC 11.6' Intel N4000 4GB DDR4 SDRAM 32GB eMMC Includes Office 365 Personal for One Year
198 Reviews
HP Stream Laptop PC 11.6" Intel N4000 4GB DDR4 SDRAM 32GB eMMC Includes Office 365 Personal for One Year
  • 11.6" HD Display
  • 32 GB eMMC storage: An embedded Multimedia Card provides reliable flash-based storage
SaleBestseller No. 6
2019 Lenovo Premium 15.6' HD Laptop, Intel Pentium Silver N5000 Quad-Core Up to 2.7 GHz, 4Gb|8Gb|16Gb Ram, 256Gb|512Gb|1Tb SSD, Wireless-AC, Bluetooth, Windows 10, Platinum Gray
19 Reviews
2019 Lenovo Premium 15.6" HD Laptop, Intel Pentium Silver N5000 Quad-Core Up to 2.7 GHz, 4Gb|8Gb|16Gb Ram, 256Gb|512Gb|1Tb SSD, Wireless-AC, Bluetooth, Windows 10, Platinum Gray
  • Upgrade RAM for multitasking, available at 4gb|8gb|16gb
  • Upgrade SSD for fast boot up and running, available at 128gb|256gb|512gb|1tb SSD, or...
SaleBestseller No. 7
Asus Vivobook E203MA Thin and Lightweight 11.6” HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000 Processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB eMMC Storage, 802.11AC Wi-Fi, HDMI, USB-C, Win 10
202 Reviews
Asus Vivobook E203MA Thin and Lightweight 11.6” HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000 Processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB eMMC Storage, 802.11AC Wi-Fi, HDMI, USB-C, Win 10
  • Intel Celeron Dual Core N4000 Processor (1.1GHz, Turbo up to 2.6 GHz, 4M Cache)
  • 11.6-Inch HD LED backlight display (1366 x 768); Windows 10

Key Factors to a Good Laptop Under $500

When we’re talking about budget computing, the key to everything is a compromise. Some laptops on this list have great screens, but poor performance, while others have great specs and lackluster design.

No laptop under $500 is going to be the best of the best out there today, but as long as you keep a keen eye on the exact features you want and are willing to compromise for the rest, it doesn’t have to be all bad just because you’re not dropping an arm and a leg on your next mobile computer.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When shopping for a budget laptop, it can be easy to fall into the trap of picking the one that has the best specifications on paper, only to find out the performance still drags in person. The picks on this list are powerful, but their speed is also balanced by the solid design and sturdy keyboards which is why they’re able to beat out the huge number of competitors that flood the budget space at the beginning of every year. Don’t think that just because a laptop is cheap on the wallet automatically means it has to feel cheap in the hand as a result.

Features to Look For

Processor

  • Although AMD may own the budget-tier of CPUs when it comes to building your next desktop computer, in laptops, Intel still has plenty of skin in the game.
  • Intel processors can still be competitive on budget laptops, thanks to the many improvements the company has made recently with its efficiency-centric line of CPUs.
  • Anything in the Core I family is a solid pick (even going down to i3), and AMD processors from the A8-7000 lineup are always a solid choice for product longevity and power.

RAM

  • All the laptops listed here come with at least 2GB of DDR3 RAM, which is plenty to handle most multi-tasking days or multiple tabs open at a time.
  • 8GB is ideal for DDR3, however, 4GB of DDR3L is just as good given the efficiency savings you’ll get with the newer RAM technology.

Storage

  • In the case of cheap laptops, never automatically assume it’s going to have enough storage space to handle a few programs and a movie or two.
  • SSDs are too expensive to include at this price tier, which is why almost all of the models here run on a regular HDD instead.
  • If speed is the name of your game, you’re better off springing an extra $100 for a model that has an SSD, preferably 128GB or above.

Screen

  • The number of pixels necessary to create a full HD 1920 x 1080 screen doesn’t come cheap, which is why the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is the only laptop here that gets to claim the honor.
  • This in mind, 1366 x 1768 resolution isn’t all that terrible if the technology behind it is solid.
  • In general, keep an eye out for anything that carries an IPS LED screen, although in certain cases LCD can get the job done just as well.

Build Quality

  • This is where you have to be the most careful when looking for your next budget laptop.
  • Manufacturers are notorious for making laptops under $500 with the cheapest, flimsiest plastic possible that will crack or even break completely when dropped from heights less than three feet.
  • Almost all of the laptops we’ve listed here made the list not only for their specs but also because they managed to walk the fine line between “cheap” and “cheaply made” in the best way possible.

So Which Laptop Under $500 is Right For You?

Sure, these aren’t laptops that are going to blow anyone away at first sight, and only one entry on this list even has the privilege of being able to call itself “full-HD”. Their keyboards could be better and their storage capacities could be bigger, their RAM could be faster and their graphics beefier…but that’s not what a budget laptop is for.

Budget laptops can be a good pick for any member of your family, whether it’s their first mobile device or your high-school graduate needs something cheap they can beat up at college. They’re versatile all-rounders that do a lot of different jobs as well as they need to get done, and for under $500 you couldn’t really ask for anything more than that. All the laptops in this list are a part of that pedigree, and most exceed the expectations set by their retail stickers while barely breaking a sweat.

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