Mid-range laptops are pretty amazing. They are filled with the latest technology but are priced on the more affordable end. For your 2021 wish-list, we have sorted out some of the best laptop under 500 Dollars 2021 that you can consider buying.
There is always something happening in the computer marketplace, from innovations in design to an upswing in processing power. One of the most cheerful proceedings is the availability of powerful laptops at pocket-friendly prices.
Today, you can not only purchase an best laptop under 500 dollars price, but you can also expect it to be a veritable mix of power and panache.
Part of this revolutionary trend of power becoming cheaper can be attributed to improving technologies. Modern-day laptops house CPUs that can be overclocked and are suitable for intensive pursuits like multimedia editing and wireless streaming.
But the cost of the components involved has come down. In the realm of display too, FHD and 4K OLED screens are now less expensive than they used to be. Designers have come together to brainstorm on the best-suited design for compact, sleek laptops.
The result is several line-ups of notebooks with thin-bezel design, larger screen-to-body ratios, and the ability to house audio-video components in compact chasses.
Besides the progressing technologies in construction and product build, the desire to appeal to new audiences has also grown.
With many competitors vying against each other to tap into segments like students, travelers, homemakers, young professionals, etc., cutting costs has emerged as a key differentiator.
In this comprehensive feature on the best laptops under $500 in 2021, we cover the aspects you should consider during shopping.
Making an informed decision is always helpful to allay fears and prevent purchase dissonance.
We have also put together a list of some of the most splendid laptops in this price range to fuel your personal and professional endeavors.
If you always believed that acquiring a competent laptop mandated an investment upwards of $1000, prepare for that theory to be debunked.
Not only can you purchase a perfectly good notebook for half the price, but you can also expect it to work excellently in school, at work, and even for some gaming.
- Things to Remember Before Buying a Budget Laptop Under $500
- Our Picks: 10 Best Laptops Under $500 2021
- 1. Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK Budget Laptop
- 2. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14-inch Laptop
- 3. ASUS VivoBook 15 F512JA-AS34 Laptop
- 4. Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-35SE Cheap Laptop
- 5. Dell Inspiron 15 5000 5502 Laptop Under $500
- 6. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 17-inch Laptop Under $500
- 7. Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L Cheap Laptop Under $500
- 8. HP Pavilion 14t-dv000 Touchscreen Laptop Under $500
- 9. Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
- 10. Asus Chromebook Flip C434 2-in-1 Laptop
- Best Budget Laptop Brands You Should Consider
- What Can an Under-$500 Laptop Offer?
- Final Words
Things to Remember Before Buying a Budget Laptop Under $500
Now that we reviewed the features one can expect in an under-$500 laptop, it is time for a word of caution. These laptops have certain limitations, as does pretty much everything in the computing landscape. Before diving into this world, ensure that you are prepared to live with these shortcomings:
- Few laptops will be able to offer RAM upwards of 8GB; RAM support of 4GB is more common. This can suffice for everyday pursuits but is unlikely to achieve much by way of multitasking, working on several spreadsheets at once, or gaming at high settings.
- In the same vein, most of these laptops also have less storage, up to a max of 256GB. This will be inadequate if you wish to store lots of bulky videos or other multimedia content. (You can, however, utilize cloud-based storage options or plug into external USB drives.)
- You cannot expect too many premium features in this segment like per-key backlighting, combination storage (SSD and HDD), or in-built security chips. These laptops are more committed to getting the job done at low costs, even though that may mean cutting some corners in the fancy department.
- While many cheap laptops have impressive displays, an FHD screen is usually the limit. If you want the visual grandeur of a 4K OLED monitor or high refresh rates of 240Hz, you will be disappointed.
- Few laptops in this price range are specialized. For instance, you may not be able to find the perfect machine for multimedia editing (which is anyhow a stretch, considering the limited processing prowess). Instead, most options are multipurpose and versatile, adapting to standard needs but doing little by way of differentiation.
- That said, acquiring one of these machines makes complete sense if you are on a tight budget, don’t want to shell out a fortune for a premium laptop, but still want to bring home a performer. These computers are also smart choices for anyone who has an aging laptop. Sometimes, upgrading can be crazily expensive; it might be wise to get an affordable notebook to tide you through until you have the budget for something grander.
Our Picks: 10 Best Laptops Under $500 2021
Here’s presenting the 10 best laptop under 500 Dollars 2021. These laptops belie their price and labor to adapt to modern lifestyles—a pursuit at which they largely succeed.
Best Laptop Under 500 – Recommended Specs
|Processor||Intel Core i5-1035G1 (Up to 3.6GHz)|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics|
|Memory||8GB DDR4 RAM|
|Storage||256GB NVMe SSD|
|Display||15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080)|
|Weight||Under 5 lbs.|
|Battery||Up to 8 Hours|
|OS||Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
1. Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK Budget Laptop
The 15.6” Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK is one of the finest budget laptops out there.
Sample this: an Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, an FHD display with IPS, a backlit keyboard, and even a fingerprint reader.
The RAM support and available storage are 8GB and 256GB (SSD), respectively.
This configuration is well-suited to standard computing pursuits at school or your workplace.
The new Acer Aspire 5 is also ideal for travel, thanks to the 8-hour battery backup and complete assortment of USB- and display ports. The build, too, is lightweight and mobile at 3.97lbs and 0.7”.
2. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14-inch Laptop
You can never have a list of laptops for 2021 without mentioning one from Lenovo. The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a stunning 14-inch device with all the latest functionality that you’d need to superior performance and productivity throughout the day.
The model is powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor with the Radeon graphics for crisp visuals and unmatched picture quality.
Even with the compact 14-inch display, the device manages to pack in a lot with narrow bezels for better screen to body ratio and less clutter. One unique feature about this device is the Q-control that lets you switch between modes faster, especially when you are travelling and need to be on the battery-saving mode.
The device is available in an Abyss Blue color on the exterior with 256GB SSD for storage and 8GB RAM. It also runs on the Windows 10 home operating system.
3. ASUS VivoBook 15 F512JA-AS34 Laptop
When discussing about good-quality laptops under $500, the ASUS VivoBook 15 is likely one of the best picks. It is one of those rare models that features a very thin, lightweight and compact design.
It has a very standard design with all the latest functions that make it a superior option for you to binge through.
The device also features a 15.6” FHD nanoedge display with 1080p screen resolution and 88% screen to body ratio.
The model is also powered by the 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU for enhanced productivity throughout the day. Moreover, it is also designed with an ergonomic backlit keyboard with a fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello. It is also integrated with 128GB SSD for storage and 8GB RAM for memory options.
4. Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-35SE Cheap Laptop
Another model of Aspire 5 that was worth a mention was the Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-35SE. It is a cheaper variant and features a range of amazing functionalities and processors that enable you to make the most out of the device.
It is powered by the 10th Generation Intel Core i3-1005G1 Processor that let you experience the most out of your device, irrespective of your work.
The device features a stunning 15.6” FHD display with 1080p screen resolution supported by the Intel UHD graphics for crisp visuals and true to life color reproduction.
The model is equipped with the best wireless connectivity options with the Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802.11ax. Moreover, you wouldn’t have to worry about the buffered productivity, mainly because of the fact that the device is backed by 8 hours of battery life.
As for the storage and memory options, it is integrated with 128GB SSD for storage and 4GB RAM for memory options.
5. Dell Inspiron 15 5000 5502 Laptop Under $500
When it comes to good quality and highly functional laptops from Dell, you can never go wrong. The New Dell Inspiron 15 5000 5502 is one of the bestsellers under $500, all thanks to its unique and compact design and higher performance.
The model is powered by the 11th Generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 Processor that enables you to maximise your productivity throughout the day. It is also backed by the Intel UHD graphics with shared graphics memory.
The device is designed with an all-silver color, both on the insides and the exterior for a premium look and finish. It also comes with a compact design with narrow bezels on the side of the 15.6” FHD display.
It is backed by the latest wireless connectivity options with Intel Wi-Fi 6 2×2 (Gig+). For the users who are heavily dependent on their laptops for work, this one is integrated with 128GB SSD for storage and 8GB RAM for unmatched performance.
6. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 17-inch Laptop Under $500
You normally wouldn’t expect finding a highly competitive 17” laptop under $500, right? Well, Lenovo has got that covered for you as the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is everything that you likely have been looking for.
The device features a stunning 17” HD quality display with narrow bezels on the side that enhances the screen to body ratio of the device.
Moreover, the device is also powered by up to 10th Gen. Intel core processors for unparalleled productivity.
The best part of this device is likely the combination of 512GB SSD for storage along with 8GB RAM for memory options. This ensures that you never once have to worry about your device’s lagging performance.
The integrated Intel UHD graphics also takes care of a lot of the shortcomings in terms of the visual experience and the color reproduction. It also features a fingerprint reader for enhanced security.
7. Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L Cheap Laptop Under $500
The Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L is another budget-friendly laptop from Acer that has quickly become a bestseller owing to its amazing design and lightweight features.
Unlike the other variants of Aspire 5, this one is powered by the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor, enabling you to experience the maximum out of the device.
It is equipped with a 15.6” FHD display with 1080p screen resolution and a stunning and highly functional IPS display. It is also integrated with the Radeon Vega graphics.
Coming round to the wireless connectivity, it is integrated with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a stunning backlit keyboard. The model is integrated with 128GB SSD for storage and 4GB RAM for memory.
8. HP Pavilion 14t-dv000 Touchscreen Laptop Under $500
HP laptops are often underrated and the HP Pavilion 14t-dv000 is likely one of those models that you likely wouldn’t know much of.
This touchscreen model packs in a lot of performance in a sleek and compact profile of the device.
It is also equipped with a micro-edge screen and enhanced clarity in the audio with Audio by B&O. The device is powered by the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor.
In terms of the display, the device is equipped with a 14” FHD IPS display with 1080p screen resolution and 400 nits brightness. It is also backed with up to 1TB SSD for storage along with up to 16GB RAM for memory options. The stunning part of this device is likely the luminous backlit keyboard. It also supports a precision touchpad support for improved performance.
9. Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
Chromebooks are gaining rapid popularity over time and the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 is hands down one of the most popular options that you can opt for.
This features a stunning convertible design and weighs just under 3 pounds. It also comes with a built-in pen that makes your user experience a lot easier and seamless for you. It can also be moulded into a tablet for taking clear shots around.
It is backed by 4GB RAM and 32GB eMMC flash memory for better memory expansion and user experience. The light titan color of the device is also quite unique and stunning.
As for the operating system, it runs on the Google Chrome OS for easy navigation and usage. The model is powered by the Intel Celeron processor with long-lasting battery life.
10. Asus Chromebook Flip C434 2-in-1 Laptop
The processing chamber houses an Intel Core M3-8100Y processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB of storage.
The FHD monitor is complemented by the full-metal body to lend this device an inside-out beauty.
So narrow is the bezel (5mm or 0.19”) that the chassis fits into a 13” size, just like #8. This Chromebook also comes with a backlit keyboard.
A 360-degree hinge is the standout feature of this Chromebook, permitting you to use it in multiple modes like tablet, tent and stand.
Since the chassis weighs only 3lbs, all these usage modes are super convenient, even when you are on the move.
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Best Budget Laptop Brands You Should Consider
Here are the leading laptop manufacturers in this segment, offering great products for the price. Plus, these makers also possess ample brand equity, thereby guaranteeing you peace of mind while making the investment.
One of the most popular laptop brands today, Acer is an expert at offering tons of features at affordable prices.
You can find processors as powerful as Intel Core i5, security features like fingerprint readers, and lightweight build to support portability.
Some Acer laptops also offer blue light filters to protect your eyes from strain after working for long hours.
Although these notebooks are available at under $500, you can expect backlit keyboards and good-quality sound. There is a reason Acer rules the roost when it comes to terrific laptops that don’t need you to rob a bank.
The VivoBook is an excellent line-up by Asus, designed for busy lifestyles involving considerable travel.
Asus laptops are light and portable. They also excel on the display front, with some notebooks offering screen-to-body ratios as high as 88%.
If unplugged usage is important to you, then you can find Asus laptops that support quick charging. Another bonus of getting an Asus computer is the flexibility of design.
With hinges (180-degree or 360-degree) built to support multiple usage modes, you can work on the go more comfortably.
Dell has continued to dominate the laptop market with its commitment to dependable, reliable design and high performance. Even in the budget segment, Dell has an edge with its Inspiron series.
At a cost-effective price point, you can get a veritable mix of entertainment options, superior sound, and good performance for all day-to-day activities. This line-up proves to be useful for various kinds of audiences, including students and business professionals.
Here is another trustworthy laptop brand that outdoes expectations, even in the under-$500 segment. You can find HP computers that deliver good performance and have terrific battery backup to the tune of 12 hours and more.
Talk about the dependability of HP coming to the fore! Some computers also support quick charging, which lets you quickly power up from anywhere, thereby contributing to your overall mobility and ease of travel.
HP has committed to all-round performance, and this includes the display. Many laptops in HP’s budget range boast of an immersive, vivid display.
Lenovo has made it to this list of the best budget laptops for good reason. With Chromebooks convertibles that come equipped with privacy webcam shutters and touch displays, Lenovo is a force to reckon with.
You can avail of laptops that allow you to work in multiple usage modes, depending on the need of the hour. Many of these notebooks also offer impressive displays with plenty of screen real estate.
As time goes on, it looks probable that Lenovo will add further innovations to its line-ups, eager to match up to the dynamics of this space.
Is there more? You can also check out brands like Samsung that deliver on the performance and budget fronts, even though they may skimp on the premium feel. Samsung, for instance, has Chromebooks that are fueled by Intel Celeron processors and do a reasonably fair job of handling your average day. Ultimately, what is important is striking the right balance between what you invest and what you get. Cheap, after all, should never mean shoddy.
What Can an Under-$500 Laptop Offer?
These notebooks can double up as campus buddies as well as business gadgets, entertainment stations and travel companions. Most of them are highly portable and deliver satisfactory performance and display, despite the low prices.
So, here is the important question: what kind of specs and features can you expect a cheap laptop to deliver? Interestingly, just because a computer is affordable does not mean you have to make peace with a below-par configuration. You might be surprised by the kind of power some budget laptops yield!
- Processor, RAM and storage: If you are looking at an under-$500 laptop, you probably need it to perform everyday pursuits like working on documents, browsing through pictures, accessing the internet, and playing movies.
For needs like these, you can expect to be satisfied with an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor.
This should be supported by at least 4GB RAM, although some laptops offer 8GB.
What about the operating system? You will find options like Windows 10 in S mode, Chrome OS, etc. Windows 10 in S mode gets brownie points for giving laptops an instant-on, forever-ready response. Chrome OS packs in useful perks like automatic updates and protection against viruses.
The amount of storage space is also important, especially because you are likely to use these notebooks on the go and want your essentials to be stocked. Look for a solid-state drive (SSD) of 128GB or above. (You can find budget laptops that offer 256GB SSDs also.)
It is quite a blessing that even cheap laptops now come fitted with SSDs; the fillip over the traditional HDDs or hard disk drives is phenomenal. In fact, if acquiring an SSD requires you to pay a slight premium, it still makes complete financial sense just for the difference you will notice in all computing operations. SSDs also tend to be long-lasting and produce less noise and heat.
Some notebooks provide space on Google Drive or other cloud-based storage. This can come in handy when you are on the go. It is an effective solution for maximizing the available memory without beefing up the computer. Of course, connecting to external drives or using an SD card is always an option for those who demand even more storage.
- Battery backup: Getting a good amount of unplugged usage is important if you wish to take your laptop along on travels and vacations. Many users of budget laptops prioritize battery backup so that they can work while un-tethered to power stations. Look for battery life to the tune of seven hours or more.
Some computers can actually provide a battery backup of 12+ hours. It is also helpful to find a quick-charging battery that powers up in a few minutes. That way, you can fire things up while waiting at the airport or whenever you have access to a charging station.
- Quality of the display: Even cheap laptops now come with FHD displays with optimal screen resolutions of 1920 x 1080. (Steer clear of low-end displays with a resolution of 1366 × 768 unless you are prepared to compromise on content quality.)
With a display like this, you can enjoy both work and entertainment without feeling shortchanged.
Additionally, look for an IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel to view the screen from multiple angles without any distortion.
Some laptops are fitted with anti-glare panels to minimize eye strain. If you are a workaholic or a night owl, you can majorly benefit from this. Another display feature you can seek is a blue light filter that prevents harmful radiation from affecting your eyes.
Part of the beauty of the display lies in the amount of real estate you get. Aim to buy a laptop that has a narrow-bezel design to limit external interference. Some computers do such a stellar job of this that you can get a screen-to-body ratio upwards of 80%. This permits you to maximize the available real estate and realize engaging multimedia experiences.
Finally, you need to decide whether or not to get a touch display. If working on the go is your usual interaction with your laptop, a touchscreen can probably come in handy. You can quickly issue commands and get things done without the hassle of typing in or working a mouse/trackpad. Make sure you check the responsiveness of the display (10-point multi-touch is a good standard to aspire for). Also, the stylus may not be included with the purchase, so you should factor that in toward the overall costs.
- Sound output: Don’t be misled into believing that cheap laptops have terrible sound. Although many budget laptops are also compact, they utilize innovative sound technologies like Waves MaxxAudio Pro and Acer TrueHarmony.
The result is optimized, loud and clear sound that does justice to your content. While buying a laptop, check the quality of the speakers, the playback during travel, and the acoustics during work and play.
- USB ports: To keep you connected to your USB devices and paraphernalia like keyboards and mice, the laptop should be fitted with an array of USB ports. A Type-C or Thunderbolt port can be particularly useful as it allows you to conduct rapid data transfer and charge your devices at top speed.
Note: Besides USB ports, you should also look for display ports, HDMI and SD card readers. The display ports will permit you to connect to external displays for larger audiences, such as during meetings or movie nights.
- Internet connectivity: Most laptops in this bucket come with upgraded Wi-Fi connectivity. Look for a Wi-Fi standard like 802.11ac that can deliver a consistent, speedy signal. Plus, if you also have access to Ethernet and LAN, that’s your connectivity situation wonderfully sorted.
- Keyboard features: A sturdy, well-designed, full-purpose keyboard is what you need. Nothing is more miserable than a poorly designed keyboard with ill-fitting, loose buttons and a tiny trackpad that cramps your fingers.
Fortunately, many under-$500 laptops are equipped with the right keyboard standards. Some even throw in backlighting to the mix, which is a Godsend when you are out and about and need to work in dimly lit environments. Backlighting can also be a welcome addition if you plan to use your computer for some light gaming. Double check that the key-travel distance is comfortable for your typing habits.
A few laptop brands offer keyboards with dedicated number pads. If your profession involves considerable number crunching or you need to enter lots of data for your school projects, this feature can simplify things considerably.
- Build and construction: A well-built laptop is typically one that resists damage and lasts longer. Since it is probable that your computer will see the world with you, aim to get one weighing 2–5lbs.
This weight range is comfortable for your back and shoulders. Also, the thickness of the profile is an important metric since it determines whether or not you can slide your laptop into backpacks. Anything below 1” is ideal; a sleek laptop looks attractive too and adds to the overall appeal for many users.
On the design frontier, you should also survey the form factors and types of laptops available.
A convertible might suit a user who demands a 2-in-1 to switch between work meetings and video calls on a rickety bus. But for a student busily trying to manage multiple classes in a day, a clamshell design or a flip-based notebook might be a better fit.
A few laptops utilize a hinge-based design for construction to give the users multiple modes of usage, like tent and tablet. You can opt for 180-degree or 360-degree hinges if you plan on using the laptop as a media device, a travel companion, or a full-purpose laptop. Ergonomically designed hinges can also improve the overall typing experience and, in some cases, the audio quality.
- Security: In the present times, working in shared environments has become increasingly common.
You might collaborate with peers and colleagues on assignments and projects. While working on your laptop in shared environments, keeping your data secure and confidential becomes critical.
Budget laptops understand this dynamic, with many of them offering provisions to up the security. For example, you can find in-built security such as Bios recovery and protection in HP laptops. You can also use fingerprint readers to sign in to your computer without needing to enter a password. Some notebooks offer privacy shutters for webcams to assure you that no one knows the truth about how much work you are getting done from home.
Acquiring a competent laptop under $500 is not an impossible dream anymore, thanks to the multitude of manufacturers who have jumped onto the budget bandwagon.
Budget laptops are a testimony to the fact that great things are not always expensive. The right combination of form, function and innovation can maximize user satisfaction but bring costs down.
Today, you can find computers that don’t drill a hole in your pocket but go the extra mile by packing in features like backlit keyboards, all-day battery life, and dedicated numeric pads.
While choosing a laptop, it is critical to zero down on a list of priorities.
For instance, if you covet a lightweight laptop that can accompany you on your travels, you can check out the Asus Chromebook C434 or the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L.
Likewise, if it is unplugged usage that you seek, laptops like the Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK or the Lenovo Ideapad 3 can hold you in good stead.
Your considerations can range from device connectivity to display, keyboard backlighting to acoustics, internet connectivity to overall build and construction. Chances are that there will be something to suit your taste.