If you’re looking for a laptop but are on a tight budget, you can find some great ones for less than $500. Many laptops in this price range have the same CPUs as higher-end models, but they cut back on a few features to keep the price down. Because gaming laptops and Apple MacBooks are typically much more expensive, this article focuses primarily on productivity and media consumption devices like Chromebooks and Windows laptops. The list is currently short, but it will get longer as we review more laptops.
Many laptops in this price range use the same CPUs as more expensive models, but often sacrifice a few features to keep the price low. Because gaming laptops and Apple laptops are often substantially more expensive, the recommendations in this article focus primarily on productivity and media consumption devices such as Chromebooks and Windows laptops.
If you need a laptop that can handle everything and then some, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a high-end powerhouse. The finest laptops under $500 are capable of performing ordinary chores well. The list of laptops under $500 we’ve gathered below includes some high-quality gadgets that may help you get things done without breaking the bank.
Here is the list of Best Laptops Under $500
Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook
Easily one of the best Laptops Under $500 available on the market, The Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook is a considerable upgrade over the original Chromebook Duet, which appears later on this list. Although the higher price tag may put some people off, the significant hardware advancements make this 2-in-1 just as appealing. The Duet 5 retains the previous model’s cloth rear case and keyboard cover, but when you open it up, the 13.3-inch OLED display will make you reconsider the sub-$500 pricing.
The improvements go much deeper, with a significantly upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor that can run for almost 13 hours on a single charge. While the first Chromebook Duet was a feisty budget champ, the Duet 5 has bulked up and is ready to take on some heavyweight competition, making it the finest laptop under $500.
Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3
The Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 disguises itself as a tweed-bound journal. Lift the cover, however, and you’ll find a multipurpose 2-in-1 laptop with a stylus in case you want to do some journaling. While the Detachable CM3 isn’t the most powerful Chromebook, its bright display and compact form factor make it an ideal content consumption and online browsing gadget that fits effortlessly into any bag.
The 10.5-inch touchscreen display with a 1920×1200 16:10 aspect ratio and a garaged USI stylus, detachable keyboard, and stand cover included with 64GB eMMC storage and 4GB LPDDR4X RAM While the CM3 is expensive for having a MediaTek processor inside, it makes up for it with nearly 12 hours of battery life and a sturdy casing.
Lenovo Ideapad 3 15
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021) is the best laptop under $500 we’ve tested, a thin and light Windows notebook with a robust design and a battery that lasts more than nine hours of light use. This AMD Ryzen 5 5500U model with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage costs roughly $500. The Ryzen 5 5500U is a powerful processor capable of handling standard productivity tasks such as web surfing, video playback, text processing, and spreadsheets.
Of course, if you spend more money, you can purchase a better setup with a faster CPU or more memory, but for most individuals with light workloads, this Ryzen 5 model is more than adequate. Its 15.6-inch screen provides ample area for multitasking, is bright enough for usage in most environments, and is flicker-free, reducing eye strain during lengthy school or workdays. The keyboard is large and tactile, but the keys require a good amount of force to operate, thus typing on it for extended periods of time may be tiresome. Still, it is one of the best Laptops Under $500 that you can consider.
Microsoft Surface Go 3
Get the Microsoft Surface Go 3 if you want something small that you can use for media consumption or web browsing on the go (2021). It’s essentially a miniature Microsoft Surface Pro, a 2-in-1 Windows tablet with a built-in kickstand and detachable keyboard cover. The keyboard must be purchased separately, but it is worthwhile because Windows isn’t the most touch-friendly operating system, and it also protects the display from scratches.
The display is a sharp 10.5-inch IPS panel that becomes bright enough for use in most situations. The thick bezels around it appear antiquated, but they give a place to grip the device when used as a tablet and house a great 1080p webcam. There’s also an infrared camera for speedy Windows Hello facial recognition logins.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet
If you want an excellent budget laptop and don’t mind the thought of a hybrid tablet/Chromebook, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet might be for you. You can get both the tablet and the detachable keyboard for $245, rather than paying for them separately as is the case with the Microsoft Surface Go, albeit that hybrid Windows 10 computer does offer a more premium experience.
The 10.1-inch tablet comes with a 2.0GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P60T processor, an ARM G72 MP3 GPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage space. But that’s irrelevant because it’s a Chromebook, which relies on web-based services to handle all of the heavy lifting away from the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. And a low spec means it won’t drain the battery. Thus, this product is one of the best Laptops Under $500 available right now.
Dell Inspiron 15 3511
We can’t think of a better way to surf the web than with this Dell Inspiron 15 laptop, which has Intel UHD Graphics, a 15.6-inch screen, and a Full HD LED display. This unit is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM, so speed and power are not an issue. Dell builds this computer with a lift hinge to raise the device to a more comfortable typing angle for the user.
Furthermore, by using rubber feet and bumpers on the hinge, this computer will be stable even if the surface it is sitting on is not. Are you concerned that your eyes may fatigue from staring at the stunning show all day? Consider again. Dell includes Comfort View Low Blue Light software, which aids in reducing blue light emissions from the screen to improve eye comfort.
Acer Chromebook 317
The Acer Chromebook 317 is a substantial Chrome OS notebook. What this model loses in portability, it more than makes up for in premium features. Its huge 17.3-inch 1080p display is hard to come by at this price point, making this a wonderful laptop for watching movies and TV shows. It may also be used as a desktop alternative for cloud-based work from within the Chrome browser environment, with all of that extra screen area boosting productivity.
The laptop’s 10-hour battery life rating is more than enough for a full work day, but due to its size and weight, it’s not ideal for use on the road. Still, with that much battery power, you won’t be confined to your workstation. Storage is limited to 64GB, but every Chromebook comes with 100GB of free Google Drive storage, and Acer Chromebook 317 has both USB Type-A and USB Type-C connections, making simple to add external storage. Overall, it is one of the best Laptops Under $500 that you can buy.
Lenovo IdeaPad 1i 14 Laptop
The Lenovo IdeaPad 1i is aggressively priced, competing directly with some of the best Chromebooks for the best value in a laptop form factor. Although this model makes some significant concessions to achieve such a low price, it does have some unique strengths. It is incredibly tiny and light at 3.1 pounds and 0.7 inches tall.
If you put this model in a backpack or messenger bag, you’ll hardly notice it’s there. You’ll have to make up with a slow Celeron processor and only 4GB of RAM. Another benefit is that this model runs Windows 11 Home S Mode 64, which means it is ideal for running apps from the Windows app store. This device boasts a huge 14-inch monitor with full HD resolution—an impressive combination for the price. Currently, this is one of the best Laptops Under $500 that you can buy right now.
Our picks above are what we believe to be the best Laptops Under $500 right now. We consider the price, guest comments, and availability. If you’d rather make your own choice, here’s a list of all the laptops we’ve evaluated for less than $500, categorized by price from low to high. Keep in mind that most laptops come in a variety of configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it’s better to read the complete review for details on other models.