Although laptops are often less expensive than desktops, the idea persists that a laptop must be pricey to be worthwhile. The opposite is true and could not be more so. These days, you can get a reliable, powerful, and incredibly laptops under $500, and with our guide to the best laptops under $500, we’ll show you which ones you should pay attention to.
Laptops have some benefits despite not having the same processing or graphical capabilities as desktop computers. Of course, there are the portability and convenience benefits, but they also lessen the clutter, cords, and cables you need to dangle around. Laptops are undoubtedly the best option for mobile workers, overseas students, or those on a tight budget, and they’re now more effective than ever.
Table of Contents
- KEY CONSIDERATIONS
- FEATURES OF LAPTOPS UNDER $500
|Best of the Best||Best of the Best||Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop||
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|Best Bang for the Buck||Best Bang for the Buck||Acer Chromebook 315||
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|Asus X512DA-BTS2020RL 15.6″||
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|2022 Newest Lenovo IdeaPad 1 Laptop||
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|Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 2-in-1 Laptop||
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Operating system laptops under $500
The operating system is one of a laptops under $500 most crucial components. It basically instructs the computer on how to handle data and serves as a link between your hardware and software. Your computer transforms into a box of wires without the tools to perform anything without an operating system.
Windows 10 is the most prevalent operating system you’ll come across. Windows is a fantastic option for everything from high-end gaming to simple web browsing and has a sizable developer community.
macOS is also well-liked despite only working with Apple computers. It is a good option for photo, video, and music editing and is relatively user-friendly. It’s not a fantastic option for gaming, though.
Chrome OS is made explicitly for Chromebooks, and while its capabilities are growing daily, the operating system is still more focused on web browsing and apps. Linux is the last option. Although the open-source operating system is secure and consumes fewer resources and hard drive space than Windows, it is uncommon to find it installed by default on laptops, and it requires some technical knowledge to set up.
Screen size for laptops under $500
When purchasing a laptop, buyers must consider screen size, convenience, luxury, weight, and portability. According to manufacturers, most laptops have screens between 12 and 17 inches in diagonal size.
A laptop’s portability is one of its main advantages, and if you plan to spend a lot of time away from power sources, battery life is crucial. However, battery life can vary widely, with some merely providing 4 to 6 hours of runtime and others providing enough power to last for 9 to 12 hours. First, consider your regular workload while keeping in mind that some applications consume more battery life than others.
How swiftly and effectively your computer can perform programs and issue commands depends on its processor, sometimes known as its CPU or “brain.” If you frequently multitask, the faster the CPU (usually measured in GHz), the more processes it can manage simultaneously. If you’re interested in gaming and professional media editing, look at Intel Core and AMD FX processors. Less costly CPUs like the Intel Celeron and AMD F series are ideal for smaller workloads.
Laptops often have less capacity than their desk-bound cousins, but they still have plenty of room for your music, images, games, and other things. Laptops can have either a hard disk drive (HDD), a solid-state drive (SSD), or a hybrid drive, which combines the two. Although SSDs operate a little faster than HDDs due to the use of flash storage with no moving components, they currently cost more than HDDs.
You can utilize an external hard drive if you still need extra storage space after purchasing a laptop with 1TB of storage or more.
Memory, often known as RAM (random access memory), is another element that affects how quickly and effectively your computer operates. In a word, RAM is running programs’ active memory. RAM sizes differ widely, from 2GB to 16GB or more. 8GB is a good benchmark for laptops under $500 because it allows you to multitask reasonably well, although more RAM is always preferable if you can afford it.
FEATURES OF LAPTOPS UNDER $500
Not every laptop has the same style. Some alternatives combine the features of a tablet and a laptop, including a touchscreen. With devices like this, you can spin the screen to assist with presentations or group projects or fold the laptop flat for use as a tablet. Some variants come equipped with a stylus for increased convenience.
Pay attention to the number of ports your laptop offers if you plan on connecting accessories, such as keyboards, mice, monitors, speakers, and disk drives. USB ports are great for synchronizing mobile devices and uploading files, and HDMI ports help connect your laptop to a television so you can view movies or stream TV. Remember that Thunderbolt and USB-C connections might need adapters to connect to TVs or projectors.
Optical disk drives
Due to external drives that connect through ports, these are less popular now, but some versions still come with them. Consider one of these if you have a ton of DVDs you’d like to view without spending money on extra equipment or fussing with adapters.
Pick up a laptop with a webcam and microphone if you utilize internet calling, hold remote job interviews, or simply wish to record video with much smaller file size. A webcam should be relatively low on your priority list. But don’t worry if your preferred computer lacks one; USB webcams are widely available.
There is more variation than you may expect, even though we could only consider computers that cost $500 or less.
- Inexpensive: The lowest price you should expect to pay for a laptop is around $150; at this cost, a simple Chromebook is most likely what you have in mind.
- Mid-range: As you approach the $300 price point, Chromebooks with more storage, memory, and giant screens become available.
- Expensive: Finally, typical Windows laptops with larger hard drives, faster processors, and constrained gaming capabilities can be found at the top of our self-imposed spectrum.
- Do regular file backups. You’ll be glad to have backups if something goes wrong, whether you store them on an external hard drive or in the cloud.
- Remain calm. Ensure that nothing in your workspace is blocking your computer’s fan, including pillows, blankets, and other items, as heat depletes your laptop’s battery and reduces performance. A cooling pad might be used to provide additional protection.
- By attaching your laptop to an external monitor, you can use it as a desktop. To make a workspace that is effective and ergonomic, add more accessories.
The Asus UX31A-R332V is a solid option for those on a tight budget. At under $500, it’s a great deal for such a capable machine, and it just goes to show how far laptop components and hardware have progressed in recent years.
Of course, there are tradeoffs – you won’t be able to do some high-profile gaming or heavy 3D rendering on this thing. But if you’re looking to do some light computing and enjoy a bit of computing on the go, the UX31A is a great starting point.
The DVD drive has evolved into a specialized laptop feature, but demand has not lessened. People are still in need of it, and sure laptop makers are still able to supply it. And they support it with top-notch equipment. A few items with laptops and DVD players are also marketed and sold.
8 top laptops to buy in 2022 for the finest laptop
Apple Air MacBook (M2)
Apple MacBook (14-inch and 16-inch)
Air MacBook (M1)
HP Spectre x360
ROG Zephyrus G15 by Asus.
Zenbook Pro Duo 14 from Asus
ROG Zephyrus G14 by Asus.
Flip CX5 Chromebook by Asus.
Comparison of a Chromebook and a Laptop The operating system, of course, is the primary distinction between Chromebooks and laptops. Chromebooks run on web-based Chrome OS, essentially a skinned version of the Chrome browser with some added functionality, whereas laptops run on the most common operating system, Windows.
Budget laptops can be used for gaming, but only for simple and low-requirement programs like Stardew Valley, World of Warcraft, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Minecraft, and similar programs. This is due to the prevalence of integrated graphics processors in computers in this price range, which are incapable of handling demanding games.
The first step is to access websites with extreme caution. Consider installing a web browser that alerts you to unsafe and risky domains, such as Chrome, and look for highly rated virus scanners in your app store.
Chromebooks are stripped-down laptops that use the Chrome OS, have little to no moving parts, and are primarily intended for app and web browsing. On the other hand, laptops have more excellent memory and storage, run Windows or macOS, and are generally more powerful devices.