avatarby Leon HitchensSeptember 10, 20160 comments

Dell XPS 15

It is an exciting time that a list of best laptops under $500 includes a mix of premium builds, great specs, and exceedingly economical options. The $500 and under price range is a price point a lot of customers can set their budget too; luckily, it’s also where manufacturers focus a lot of their attention, offering up diverse configurations and operating systems to choose from. Basically, if you’ve got $500 to spend, you can find a pretty great laptop.

A lot of the laptops on our list today are Windows 10 machines, but there’s a premium Chromebook as well. We are happy to produce a list with Full HD (1920×1080) resolution screens, powerful Intel processors and great battery life. We’ve got a few 2-in-1’s for reference, and you might be surprised how many of the laptops under $500 include a full touch display.

In this feature, we’re going to navigate the oversaturated landscape of $500 and under laptops which range from ultrabooks to higher performance machines.

Asus VivoBook E403SA

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The Asus VivoBook is an ultralight and thin laptop; that’s ultra-affordable. The laptop only weighs in at 3.3 pounds and is 0.7 inch thin, allowing you to carry it easily around with you all day long. The battery can last 14 hours, so you can work anywhere you go without worrying about being tethered to an outlet. In addition to the all-day battery, you have a USB Type-C port to take advantage of the latest in connected devices and convenient, cross platform charging capabilities. One charger to rule them all makes for extreme convenience on the go.

The 14-inch screen is large enough to surf the web, watch videos, or work on split screens. The 1920×1080 screen is a beautiful full HD display that’ll look great watching a video or doing school work. The Pentium processor is a quad core processor which lets you surf the web and edit documents with a breeze. This is a lighter duty processor that may not handle apps like Photoshop or your favorite game, but is more than capable for your more basic daily tasks.

Specs:

  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Screen size: 14 inch 1920×1080
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Pentium n3700
Buy the Asus VivoBook E403SA Now

HP Notebook 15-ay011nr

HP Notebook 15-ay011nr

HP has a solid entry on our list with the Notebook 15, a reliable laptop with decent performance and long battery life. This laptop comes packed with an Intel Core i5 processor, clocked at 2.3GHz with a turbo boost up to 2.8GHz, you’ll see very few hiccups while surfing the web, playing some light games, or creating a masterpiece in your favorite photo editing software. 8GB of DDR3 RAM allows for high-productivity levels of multitasking, and the 1TB hard drive will keep more than just a few photos, videos, apps and games at the ready!

The 15.6-inch display with 1920×1080 resolution offers an above average viewing experience, ideal for catching up on your favorite shows on the go, blasting your way past enemies in your favorite game or just surfing TabTimes to see what accessories you should pick up. Speaking of accessories, you’ll probably want to check in on our lists of best laptop bags and laptop backpacks if you plan to take the HP Notebook 15 on your commute, at 4.86 pounds, it is one of the heavier devices on our list. We like the idea that a laptop under 5lbs is considered heavy these days, and with up to 7 hours of battery life, we think this is a great entry level laptop for your consideration.

Specs:

  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Screen size: 15.6 inch 1920×1080
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-6200U
buy the HP Notebook 15-ay011nr now

HP Spectre X3 12-a008nr

HP Spectre X3

The HP Spectre is a 2-in-1 with a premium build that’s perfect for traveling around all day. 10 hours of battery life means you can go all day without worrying about looking for a plug. The detachable keyboard allows you to flip from using a laptop to using a tablet. The beautiful 12 inch 1920×1080 touch screen is great for surfing the web, watching videos, or taking notes quickly. The Intel Core M processor allows for the long battery life and is more than capable when surfing the web or taking notes, but heavy apps like photo editing software or big games may struggle and lag.

The 128GB of storage is more than enough to hold daily files, but pictures and videos will quickly fill up the SSD. Using cloud storage like One Drive or Google Drive will help you manage your limited storage. The kickstand lets you have the laptop anywhere from your lap to your desk. The laptop even can have a 4G connection from Verizon to stay connected anywhere you go! Overall, the HP Spectre is a perfect 2-in-1 for moving around or travel.

Specs:

  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Screen size: 12 inch touchscreen 1920×1080
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core M3-6Y30DC
Buy the HP Spectre X3 12-a008nr now

Dell Inspiron i5558

Dell Inspiron I5558

The Dell Inspiron looks like an unassuming laptop with it’s all minimal black design, but the laptop is more than capable. The 15.6-inch screen allows for easy video viewing, side by side windows or just enough space to surf the web. The Intel Core i3 is more than sufficient to do all those tasks without any hiccups and play light games like Minecraft. Dell claims almost 8 hours of battery life, so you’re able to move around freely without thinking about charging your device. While the laptop weighs over 5 pounds, it’s still slim and easy to carry around the house or office.

The 500GB hard drive lets you store files and photos without much after thought, but using cloud storage would give much more space. The laptop has a DVD/CD drive and enough ports to stay productive. Overall the Dell Inspiron i5558 is a typical looking laptop that has dependable performance for an affordable price tag.

Specs:

  • Storage: 500GB HDD
  • Memory: 6GB
  • Screen size: 15.6 inch 1366×728
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-4030U
buy the Dell Inspiron i5558 now

Dell Inspiron 17

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The Dell Inspiron is a great and dependable 17-inch laptop with a 1600×900 display. The large screen is perfect for watching videos, having screens split side by side, or just surfing the internet. The Intel Core i3 processor will let you do all those tasks in addition to multitasking and light games from the Windows store, like Minecraft. The 500GB hard drive lets you store files and photos without much thought on how much storage is left, but using cloud storage will give you, even more, storage.

The laptop comes with a DVD/CD drive, which makes the laptop heavier but can still be useful. The laptop is large with its 17.3-inch screen and is heavy which makes carrying it around everywhere a bit of a pain. The laptop is perfect for a desktop replacement where you can replace your primary stationary unit.

Specs:

  • Storage: 500GB HDD
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Screen size: 17.3 inch 1600×900
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-6100U
buy the Dell Inspiron 17 now

Lenovo G50

Lenovo G50

The Lenovo G50 is a 15.6-inch laptop with a 1366x768p display. The screen is a great fit for videos, multitasking, or snapping screens side by side. The AMD A8 gives the same performance as the Intel Core i5, if not better. This processor allows for multitasking, more games, and editing apps like Photoshop. The laptop has 6 hours of battery which should get you through a big portion of your day, but you’ll see the need to look for outlets.

The brushed metal finish feels premium, and while there is still a lot of plastic but the laptop feels like a premium one. 8GB of RAM is more than enough, a fairly typical amount of DDR3 memory with today’s laptops. 1TB of storage allows you to store your files, photos, and videos without worry of storage space, and with cloud storage, you can expand your space even more. All in, the Lenovo G50 is a great premium feeling and highly capable laptop.

Specs:

  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Screen size: 15.6 inch 1366×768
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: AMD A8-6410
buy the Lenovo G50 now

Asus F555LA-AB31

Asus F555LA-AB31

Asus has more than one laptop on the list today and the F555LA-AB31 is one that is worth looking at. Equipped with a 15.6 inch 1920×1080 screen, prepare to enjoy videos, surfing the web, or looking at photos. The Intel Core i3 processor is proving a solid performing entry level chip for multitasking and rocking all your typical apps for your normal day-to-day needs. ASUS has been getting 6 hours of battery life, but many claim much less. We’re thinking you’ll be hauling around your power brick, grabbing a quick charge at least once in your work or school day.

The 500GB hard drive allows for you to store all your files, pictures, and videos without worrying too much about storage. Overall the laptops a high premium feeling laptop which work for the office, school, or just around the house.

Specs:

  • Storage: 500GB HDD
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Screen size: 15.6 inch 1920×1080
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-5010U
Buy the Asus F555LA-AB31 now

Acer Chromebook 14

Acer Chromebook 14

The Acer Chromebook 14 has an all metal body that makes the Chromebook feel and look a lot like a Macbook Air. The 14 inch Full HD display looks great when surfing the web, watching videos, or looking at photos. The Celeron processor will allow for surfing the web, watching videos, editing documents and even multitasking. The processor also sips on the battery allowing for up to 12 hours of battery life.

The 32GB SSD is small but more than enough to store downloads or videos for offline viewing. The laptop also features 2 USB ports and an HDMI port to use a secondary screen. Overall, the Chrome OS powered Acer Chromebook 14 is a solid Chromebook offering of the many Google OS driven laptops out there.

Specs:

  • Storage: 32GB SSD
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Screen size: 14 inch 1920×1080
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Processor: Intel Celeron N3160
buy the Acer Chromebook 14 now

Acer Aspire F15

Acer Aspire F15

The Acer Aspire F15 is a performance laptop with a small price tag. The 15.6 screen is a great size and allows for watching videos, surfing the web, and snapping windows side by side. The previous generation Intel Core i5 helps keep the price down, but still keeps up with light gaming and photo editing software. 8GB of RAM allows for multitasking and running those processor intensive apps with little trouble. The laptop claims 8 hours of battery life, but you’ll see the need to stay on the lookout for a socket when you’re out and about.

The 1TB hard drive will allow you to store photos, files, and videos without worrying about your storage limits. There is a DVD/CD drive on the laptop, but it’s slim. Overall the Acer Aspire is a great laptop for performance from playing a game to editing documents.

Specs:

  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Screen size: 15.6 inch 1366×728
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4210U
buy the Acer Aspire F15 now

HP Pavilion 17

HP Pavilion 17 g120ds

The HP Pavilion 17 is a large slick looking laptop from HP. The large 1600×900 HD screen looks great when surfing the web, watching videos, playing games, or working on text documents. There’s more than enough screen real estate to have two windows snapped side by side or have multiple windows going. The Intel Core i5 will handle web surfing, videos, and gaming well. The last gen processor again goes to keeping the price in check, but can still handle some heavier tasks. Battery life may not be a selling point here, with the average life only being about 4 hours.

The 1TB hard drive is more than enough space to store your files, photos, and videos without much worry about how much space is left. There is a DVD/CD drive, multiple USB ports and HDMI ports to stay productive. All in all, the HP Pavillion 17 is perfect for staying in one spot in the office or at home, but taking the laptop everywhere might be a pain.

Specs:

  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Screen size: 17.3 inch 1600×900
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4210U
buy the HP Pavilion 17 now

HP Pavilion x360

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The HP Pavilion x360 is a 2-in-1 that comes in a slick red color and doesn’t skimp in many areas. The laptop has a 13.3 inch 1366×768 touchscreen where you can take notes, surf the web, or watch videos. The Intel Core i3 will handle all those tasks without a hiccup, and can handle multitasking too. The laptop gets around 6 hours of battery life, which won’t get you through a whole day but a little charge should get you through.

The 1TB hard drive will let you store your files, photos, videos all without the worry of storage limits. The laptop is thin and lightweight, only weighing 3.3 pounds. It’ll easily fit in your backpack or bag, and you won’t notice carrying it around all day. Overall the HP Pavillion x360 would be great for someone who wants to flip easily from tablet to laptop mode without cutting out storage or processing power.

Specs:

  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Screen size: 13.3 inch 1366×768 touchscreen
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor:  Intel Core i3-6100U
buy the HP Pavilion x360 now

Lenovo IdeaPad 500

Lenovo IdeaPad 500

The Lenovo IdeaPad 500 is a premium looking laptop with decent processing power, but obviously not the premium prices you might have expected. The 15.6 inch 1920×1080 screen is great for surfing the web, playing games, or watching videos. The AMD A10 processor will handle all of that, plus some apps like Photoshop or editing videos. The AMD A10 processor is comparable to an Intel i7 with its powerful graphics and processing power. On top of the processor, 8GB of RAM will allow for multitasking and video editing.

The 1TB hard drive will allow you to store photos, files and videos without the worry of hitting a storage limit. The laptop gets around 6 hours of battery life, which is more than enough to get by, but you’ll need to keep an eye out for sockets to charge up. All in all, the laptop is a high-performance machine with specs you’d expect from laptops that are higher up in the price range.

Specs:

  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Screen size: 15.6 inch 1920×1080
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: AMD A10-8700P
buy the Lenovo IdeaPad 500 now

Wrap up

We made it! Let’s be honest, there are hundreds of great laptops out there that clock in at under $500, there is a great chance that you’ve seen comparable, or even much better laptops at this price point. Our best advice is to always shop around for sales and deals, but if you’re in a rush, I hope we’ve helped you narrow down a few great options. Stay tuned for future updates to this list, we’ll be on the lookout for more or better options as we go.

Did we miss a great option? Hit us up in the comments below with your favorite laptop under $500.

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