When it comes to buying a new laptop in today’s market, it can be easy to be intimidated by all of the new and exciting models that come with an expensive price tag. Finding the best model that you can afford is a tough task with so many options to choose from. This list will help you in this regard.
Top Choices Under $500
Often lower costing laptops with a lot to offer in terms of power and design can be overlooked, so here is the GizmoFusion list of the best laptop options for less than $500 on the market currently.
ASUS VivoBook F510UA
CPU: Intel Core i5-7200U | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 1TB HDD | Battery: 42Whr | Dimensions: 14.2 x 9.6 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 3.7lbs lbs
Poor battery life
No exciting features
ASUS have been really excelling in the current market, offering fantastic higher-end models such as the Zenbook and ROG. But does this lower costing model meet the standards that they have continued to set in the last couple of years? In short, yes. This is a fantastic laptop for the price, offering the power of a more expensive model for a fraction of the price.
This VivoBook runs on an i5 processor with clock speeds of 2.5GHz, this is a really good processor and offers some fast performance. This is also a processor that can easily be found in laptops that are twice the cost of this laptop, so you’re getting a lot for your money.
This matched with a solid 8GB of RAM means you will have everything you need in terms of power, speed and multitasking capabilities. This laptop will even be able to handle some of the more demanding apps. You also get 1TB HDD which is plenty of space to store anything you would need to.
This laptop also uses Intel HD Graphics 620 which is an integrated GPU and will fit the needs of a casual user perfectly. Due to its pairing with a good CPU, you can expect some fast rendering, however, if you plan on using the laptop for editing purposes you may lag behind slightly as the GPU doesn’t match up with the performance of some of the more powerful on the market.
What you will benefit from is that integrated GPUs tend to run cooler and are more power-efficient, which will be very helpful for this model.
When you look at the compact size of the laptop and its light weight of 3.7lbs, you may think that this laptop would be the perfect laptop to use on the go, however, a huge drawback to this laptop is its poor battery life. You can expect 5 hours of battery life out of the VivoBook, which is absolutely fine if you plan on being next to a power source, but if you have a lifestyle which means you won’t have the opportunity to constantly charge, it may be worth considering another laptop.
Something that needs to be considered is how inexpensive this laptop is in comparison to a lot of portable laptops on the market, so this easily fixed inconvenience may be worth the large amount of money you save. There is also the option to invest in some portable charging devices and you’ll still be saving money.
Somewhere that this laptop does not cut any corners is with screen quality, on the 15.6 HD screen, you get crisp and rich colors. This laptop uses visual optimization technology that offers four modes to suit any visual needs, including; normal, vivid, eye-care and manual, meaning you have full control of your viewing experience.
This will be perfect for those streaming videos, reading or doing work and is even beneficial for the health of your eyes. Not only does the Vivobook offer a great viewing experience, but it also looks good. Its thin bezels and sleek design make it the kind of laptop that fits in nicely in any environment.
Its modern aluminum chassis makes it look sturdy and of high quality, ASUS have really outdone themselves with this laptop as it looks far beyond its price range. The laptop simply looks fantastic. It also caters to all modern needs in terms of connectivity, providing a USB port, USB type-C port, HDMI and earphone jack. Meaning, once again all of your needs are met.
Overall this is just an exceptional laptop that will meet a number of needs, be that work purposes, viewing purposes or editing. What is really astounding about this laptop is the correlation between price and quality not matching up at all, but ASUS have managed to outdo themselves and produce a laptop that would be expected to be bought for more.
Acer Aspire 5
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U | GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 256GB SSD | Battery: 29Whr | Dimensions: 14.3 x 9.7 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 5.7lbs lbs
Great sound system
Not very portable
Slightly underwhelming GPU
Once again this is a laptop that definitely does not look as though it fits under its own price. Not only does it look good, but it has some fantastic components.
The Aspire 5 runs on an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U dual-core processor which has fantastic clock speeds of up to 3.7GHz, this processor is best suited for home and office use and can offer some exceptional speeds, matched with some decent RAM, this processor can also offer some brilliant multitasking.
Luckily this laptop offers a fantastic 8GB of RAM, which on the current market is more than enough to handle a large variety of usage. Multitasking will not be a problem for this laptop with your average applications, however, this laptop does fall behind slightly when it comes to tackling some of the more intensive applications such as some GPU dependent editing software.
This does not mean that you get a poor GPU. The Aspire 5 uses AMD Radeon Vega 8 which is an integrated graphics system which is absolutely fine for just general laptop use and even some low-level gaming if that is what you’re looking for.
It will render at expected speeds and provide the same quality that you expect from most laptops on the market. As previously stated, integrated graphics are also more power-efficient so you’re also saving a lot of battery life.
This laptop also uses 256GB SSD memory, which will fetch your data and start your applications up faster, as well as booting up your laptop quickly. This will also be plenty of room to store all of your data and house a number of applications.
Once again this laptop falls behind in terms of battery, it certainly does not meet the 7.5 hours that are advertised, coming in at just over half of that.
Though, this laptop is not really intended to be used as a portable device. With its mid-range weight of 5.7lbs, this is not the kind of laptop that will be easy to throw in a bag and take on the go. So if you are just using this laptop at home and have access to a power supply, this really won’t be an issue.
As stated with the previous model, it may be easy to forgive this issue due to the amount of money you’re saving on such a fantastic laptop.
This laptop definitely does not lack in screen quality. This 15.6-inch display offers the depth and sharpness of laptops triple its price. With a resolution of 1920×1080, all of your viewing needs will be met.
Offering true to life colors, you really get some bang for your buck. Acer also offers BlueLightShield which protects your eyes after long viewing, which is perfect for students or office use where you can spend hours staring at your screen as it takes away from the harshness.
The laptop also looks fantastic. It looks modern, with a premium slim design. This laptop really meets the modern standard with its appearance, its aluminum top cover making it look durable and reliable.
What is good about this laptop is how simple it looks, it doesn’t look too flashy, which makes it look like a laptop in the pricier range. It also comes with a backlit keyboard, making it easier to use in different environments as you are not dependent on light.
One thing that this laptop brags is exceptional sound, it uses Acer TrueHarmony which promises to bring you deeper bass and higher volume, which is a really nice additional feature.
Once more this laptop has all that you need in terms of connectivity, with HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and an earphone jack.
This laptop is just a perfect example of a laptop that meets all of your needs, looks good and does not break the bank. Though you do slightly sacrifice battery life, all the other elements make up for it.
CPU: Intel i5-8265u | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch (1366 x 768) | Storage: 256GB SSD | Battery: 41Whr | Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 0.9 inches | Weight: 3.84lbs lbs
Plenty of RAM
Good battery life
Nothing exciting about the device
HP is a brand that you can trust to deliver a fantastic laptop model and the Pavilion is no exception to this. This is one of the best budget laptops on the market, offering powerful performance at a competitive price.
The Pavilion runs on an Intel Quad Core i5 processor with clock speeds of up to 3.9GHz, meaning that the laptop is capable of understanding and completing tasks quickly. An i5 is a fantastic processor that is even comparable to the newer i7.
This, matched with an impressive 8GB of RAM means that this laptop can open applications quickly and go between several tabs without any issue. This is especially good for people who use their laptops for research purposes as you can efficiently flick through tabs without having to deal with lag.
Much like many on the list, this laptop uses integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 which is a good graphics card to meet all of your casual laptop using needs, it will render images quickly and because it is one of the newer Intel integrated GPUs it has the capability to even run some lower-level games if you intend to do so.
You get plenty of storage, with 256GB SSD you will have plenty of room for all of your applications and miscellaneous data, meaning you won’t have to worry about storing all of your pictures and films. If you were to download some more storage demanding software, such as editing software, you may need to invest in some external software.
One area that this laptop falls behind in is the screen quality. The 15.6-inch screen has a resolution of 1366 x 768 which is what you would expect from a much older laptop and is not full HD. Though this is disappointing screen quality, as it means that you won’t get the rich and sharp quality that meets the current market’s standards.
However, this may not be too much of an issue if you just plan to use the laptop to access programs such as word, as you don’t really need a fantastic screen quality in order to use it. Meaning students and office workers might find this laptop to be fine, however, if you intend to use the laptop to stream videos or edit, you will not receive a high standard viewing experience.
The laptop looks fantastic, with a soft grey aluminum case, this laptop would fit in nicely into any environment. It is also very thin and lightweight, weighing under 4lbs. This is the kind of laptop you can just throw into your bag and take with you wherever you need it.
The battery life is also quite good with this laptop and you can expect to get around 12 hours of use out of a full charge, this means you don’t have to worry about being next to a power source throughout the day.
For such a low budget laptop, this is a really nice feature. Not only do you get this long
battery life, but a full charge can be achieved in around an hour, so if the laptop does die, it won’t take long to get going again.
This laptop also has everything you need in terms of connectivity, you get; A type-C, USB, HDMI Port, and earphone jack, meaning you can transfer data easily between devices.
Overall this is a fantastic laptop for its price, HP offers a no thrills device that is fantastic for use on the go and simple laptop use.
Dell Inspiron 15
CPU: Intel Core i5-7200U | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch (1366 x 768) | Storage: 256GB SSD | Battery: 42Whr | Dimensions: 15 x 10.2 x 0.9 inches | Weight: 5.07lbs lbs
On the heavier side
Dell is known for producing some very good budget laptops and the Inspiron is no exception from this, offering modern features and powerful components.
Like many on the list, this laptop runs on an i5 processor which is great for work and productivity tasks like video and photo editing, as well as intensive web browsing. This processor can match some of the more expensive on the market, offering ample multitasking opportunities.
This is supported by the provided 8GB of RAM, which is plenty of RAM for some of the even more intensive multitasking. This laptop also uses Integrated Intel HD graphics, promising fantastic rendering of images, animations and video. It isn’t the most powerful GPU option on the market, but for the casual laptop user, this will be more than enough for any use.
The Inspiron has a good 256GB of SSD storage. This means you would have plenty of space to house all of your data while having quick access to your frequently used software. Not only will you have quick access to your data, but the laptop also boots faster than a laptop that just uses HDD.
Unfortunately, this laptop does fall behind in screen quality. It does offer a touch screen feature that is rare in laptops of this price and offers some room for versatility as you will be able to do things like draw, make notes and navigate the web in a tablet fashion.
Though it does have that interesting additional feature, the screen resolution doesn’t cut it. With a resolution of 1366×768, you won’t really get the bright rich colors of most laptops on today’s market which is disappointing, because as you can see with other laptops on this list, it’s definitely possible to make a laptop with a high resolution on a low budget.
However, as previously stated this won’t be an issue if you only plan on using the laptop to use software like Word or just browse the internet. But, if you want to stream videos you may be left disappointed.
Appearance-wise, the laptop looks good. It has a simple black design and looks durable. When you flip the lid of the laptop, the minimalist theme continues and gives the laptop a really sleek look.
The laptop is a bit thick which unfortunately makes it a slightly heavier laptop, but it could still be used portably comfortably.
The battery life on the laptop is also really good, you can expect around 9 hours of usage on a single charge which is good for people like students as it means you don’t need to constantly be near a power source throughout the day.
You get all that you would need in terms of connectivity, with a USB, HDMI and audio jack. However, you do not get a C type port which may hold you back retrieving data from some modern devices.
Overall this is a fantastic laptop for the price, it offers the modern feature of touch screen while also boasting a good CPU, RAM and GPU combination. The screen does let it down slightly, but depending on what you would use the laptop for this may not be an issue.
Lenovo Flex 14
CPU: Intel Pentium gold 5405U | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 610 | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Screen: 14-inch (1366 x 768) | Storage: 128GB SSD | Battery: 48Whr | Dimensions: 12.9 x 9 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 1.87 lbs
Can be used as a tablet
Good battery life
Lenovo are known for their ability to produce fantastic, innovative laptops for a reasonable price. This laptop is one of the lower costing models in their range but continues to promote Lenovo’s appealing features.
The Flex uses an Intel Pentium Gold Processor, though this is not as powerful as a core processor it can still offer some pretty good usage for those who intend to use it for casual
needs such as searching the web or editing documents.
This processor does have limitations as it can only support up to 4GB of RAM, which is what you get with this laptop. The combination of the RAM and CPU isn’t really too bad, you can do the standard multitasking that you would expect from an everyday laptop, but you definitely will struggle using a number of RAM demanding applications at once, so that’s something to keep in mind.
Like many of the laptops on this list, the Flex uses integrated graphics. Once again you do face a few limitations with this GPU as the Intel UHD Graphics 610 is not as powerful and as many on the market, but if you plan on using this laptop for just casual purposes such as browsing the internet and work you really shouldn’t be held back too much.
What is interesting about this laptop is that it can go in between a tablet and a laptop, with the 14-inch screen being touch screen. For such a low-cost laptop it is a really good feature to have and adds to the versatility of the laptop.
The screen itself, though touch screen, is slightly disappointing. You get a resolution of 1366×768 which is fine for general viewing and usage, but for a laptop that can be converted into a tablet, you would expect Lenovo to try and appeal to designers or artists, which a low-quality screen does not.
With this laptop, you also get 128GB SSD, which means your laptop boot time and application response will be a lot faster than your standard HDD. However, if you wanted to house a large amount of data and software, this really wouldn’t be enough storage.
It might be a good idea to invest in some external storage with the money you are saving on this laptop and you’ll have no issues hooking any kind of external storage up with the laptop’s fantastic connectivity.
This Flex has you covered on all ports, you get 2 x USBs, 1 x USB Type-C, an HDMI port, and audio jack. This means you will have no problem transferring data if need be.
The laptop itself looks fantastic, taking all of the best simplistic elements of a laptop and putting them into one, with a plain black case and well laid out keyboard. The laptop is thin and lightweight, which makes it the kind of laptop that would be easy to use on the go.
This is also supported by its good battery life, if you want to use this laptop for non-demanding things such as using Word, you can expect up to 10 hours of battery life. This means this laptop would be fantastic for someone like a student or someone that does business portably.
Not only is the laptop lightweight, but it is also small and could fit nicely into any bag.
Overall this is a great laptop with some good features, it is definitely made for the more casual user and so should not be selected if you wish to use some pretty intensive software.
HP Pavilion 14
CPU: Intel Core i5-7200U | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 14-inch (1366 x 768) | Storage: 1TB HDD | Battery: 41Whr | Dimensions: 13.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches | Weight: 4.85lbs lbs
Plenty of RAM
Huge amount of storage
Once more we see HP providing a fantastic device for a fantastic price.
The Pavilion 14 runs on an Intel Core i5 processor with clock speeds of up to 3.10GHz. This is a fantastic processor and can be found in laptops way beyond this laptop’s price point.
The only way in which this processor could hold you back is if you planned to run some intensive games, which the rest of the laptop’s components wouldn’t really allow anyway.
On all other fronts, this CPU will provide a fast and powerful performance, allowing you to run some pretty demanding software.
This, paired with 8GB of RAM leaves some room for some fantastic multitasking and will mean you can toggle in and out of tabs without worrying about delay or lag.
Once again this laptop uses an integrated GPU, the Intel UHD Graphics 620, which will deliver some fast rendering and quality images.
With this device, you get 1TB of HDD, which will give you plenty of room to house any pictures, videos or movies. Storage of this size should last forever for most users.
Accessing your software or data will take slightly longer than SSD, as will booting up your actual laptop. However, this really won’t be noticeable unless you’re used to the speed of SSD, even then it really won’t be too bad. You also get a lot more reliable storage than if you were to use SSD.
Once again, the screen is slightly disappointing on this laptop. Having a resolution of 1366×768, this screen is quite dated and is not what you would expect from a modern laptop.
However, you won’t really be using this laptop for things that require a high resolution such as gaming or editing as the other components of the laptops don’t really allow it. Because of this the quality of the screen won’t really matter if you’re just using MS Word or browsing the internet, but you will notice and dullness of color and lack of sharpness.
The screen also has some quite thick bezels surrounding it which is quite unappealing, but again not detrimental to the use of the laptop.
The actual design is quite hit and miss. On one hand, you have a sleek grey design that really matches other modern laptops, but the shape of the laptop is odd and quite clunky.
The laptop looks quite thick, but it isn’t too heavy and remains under 5lbs. The laptop is advertised to be the perfect laptop to use on the go, which really is the case with its lightweight and long battery life.
This laptop also brags a backlit keyboard, meaning you’ll be able to use it in lots of environments without worrying about whether or not you can see what you’re doing.
Overall, this is a fantastic laptop for all of your simple needs. It won’t be up for some of the more strenuous requirements, but if you’re looking for something to do work on or just browse the internet this would be a fantastic option.
Lenovo Chromebook C340
CPU: Intel Core i3-8130U | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6 inch (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 64GB SSD | Battery: 42Whr | Dimensions: 14.2 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 4.4lbs lbs
Not a lot of RAM
This laptop is another example of a quality Lenovo product for a reasonable price, with simplistic features, this is the perfect laptop for the casual user.
This laptop is the only laptop on the list to run on an Intel i3 processor, with clock speeds of 2.2GHz. All i3 processors run on a dual-core which means it will process data slower than processors such as an i5 and i7 which are quad processors.
An i3 is a cheaper component and thus a lot less powerful than others on the market, however, it’ll still offer decent performance for non-strenuous activities such as browsing the internet or editing documents.
You also only get 4GB of RAM, this along with the weaker processor means you won’t comfortably be able to go between software and web tabs without your laptop lagging slightly. Your laptop won’t be very fast in general.
This laptop does come with a decent integrated GPU, which means you will be able to render general images and videos quickly. What is good about these components is that both the CPU and GPU are not very power consuming and so your battery won’t die as fast.
The screen on this laptop is great, it has a high resolution of 1920×1080, with bright and sharp colors. If you wanted to use this laptop for viewing purposes, you would have an enjoyable experience.
This laptop is also a 2 in 1 touch screen that can be turned 360 degrees. This means you can really take advantage of the in-depth colors if you were to draw or just use it as a screen to watch films.
One thing that is disappointing about the laptop is the storage. You only get 64GB of SSD, which will be fine if you plan on housing the bare minimum data, such as documents and some pictures, but if you want to download some more software or films you will definitely need some external storage, which will be easy to transfer between because of the laptop’s excellent connectivity.
Aesthetically the laptop looks great, like most Lenovos it looks sleek and thin, with a modern colored case, the laptop looks expensive.
It is also lightweight, weighing less than 5lbs. It would be a fantastic laptop to use on the go. Due to its touch screen feature, you can use it to take notes in a meeting or in classes.
The battery life is also excellent because of the lower-powered components and so you can expect around ten hours of general use out of a full charge, meaning it would be perfect for those who won’t constantly be next to a power source.
Overall this laptop would be a good match with someone that would only need to use it for general use, such as browsing the web or editing documents. Its touch screen feature makes it really stand out in the lower range market and its conversion to a tablet makes it a very versatile device.
Best Overall Buy
The ASUS VivoBook F510UA is the best on the list because it is the best all-rounder. It has a fantastic CPU, plenty of RAM and an ample amount of storage to house all the data you would need. It is an excellent portable device and can be used for many versatile purposes. Another great thing is that this laptop looks awesome.
You are getting a lot for your money with this device so you can’t go far wrong if you do choose to purchase this. For laptops within the price range, this is the best you will find on the market currently.
James Cosgrove has been the lead writer at GizmoFusion since 2019. He has a huge passion for the latest technology and gadgets. He loves to talk and write about this interest. He hopes that visitors to the website will find his reports informative and helpful when it comes to making the best choices for their needs.