Finding the Best Laptops Under $500

Last Updated: October 22, 2016 by

Finding-the-Best-Laptops-Under-$500

Welcome to our pro guide to the best all-purpose laptops under $500 for nailing your daily computing needs based on sales volume, reviews, and real world performance.

So you’ve made it this far and you have half a clip ( a decent $500) to get you a quality laptop that will hopefully last for the next few years to come. But where do you start? The following is our guide to the best laptops under $500 aimed at ensuring you find just the right laptop to suit your needs without endless hours wasted on unnecessary product research. This well researched list is based on pro reviews, sales, consumer feedback and pure hardware power. The sub-$500 price range is still considered a budget conscious niche, but things do start to get interesting here and you can find laptops to suit a wide range of requirements within this price bracket if you do some digging. More power hungry users may want to checkout higher price brackets.

Laptop Buying Guides

Before we go any further if you need to brush on your PC technical jargon we’d recommend checking out LaptopMag’s laptop buying guide. It’s an excellent resource if you’re not sure what to look out for when buying a new laptop written in pure non techie English. Fellow geeks please feel free to ignore.

Top Picks >> Under $500 >> Under $600 >>

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Laptops Under $500 Top Picks

Lenovo Ideapad 300 80Q70021US 15.6-inchLenovo Ideapad 300 80Q70021US 15.6-inch

Lenovo are known for their budget friendly laptops. The Lenovo Ideapad 300 80Q70021US is another great offering for home and office use. The Ideapad 300 shares a similar design to the G50 range of budget laptops and you can expect some keyboard and display flex. But on the inside it offers a 6th generation Skylake Intel Core i5-6200U processor and 8GB of RAM, which will allow the Ideapad 300 to cope with everyday tasks with ease. The hardware will even allow you to work in video and photo apps. The hardware hatch allows for quick access so that you can easily and cheaply upgrade the RAM to 16GB. The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample space for storing all of your movies, photos and music. But if you want to give the Ideapad 300 lightning fast boot and app speeds, you can easily upgrade to a solid state drive. To cut costs, Lenovo have gone with a cheaper 1366 x 768 display panel. While it offers good image quality for web browsing, it does lack the vivid colors that you will get from more expensive laptops. Due to the TN technology that the display uses, the viewing angles are not as good as those of an IPS display. The webcam works well in well-lit areas, but it offers grainy image quality in low light situations. The battery life is also quite average and you can expect less than 4 hours off of a full charge.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.1 lbs

Pros

  • Intel Skylake processor
  • 1TB hard drive
  • Easy to upgrade
  • Fast AC WiFi

Cons

  • Battery life
  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • Lenovo bloatware
  • Keyboard and display flex

Summary

The Lenovo ideapad 300 80Q70021US is a budget friendly laptop which features a Skylake i6 processor and ample storage space.

Lenovo Ideapad 300 80Q70021US 15.6-inch
from $599.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:45 UTC) Details

HP Pavilion 15-ayo91 Signature Edition 15.6-inchHP Pavilion 15-ayo91 Signature Edition 15.6-inch

When it comes to affordable laptops, HP have been on the forefront for a number of years. The HP Pavilion 15-ayo91 Signature Edition is another great budget friendly laptop for college, work and for home use. The plastic construction is similar to most of their affordable laptops and while there is a bit of display and keyboard flex, the laptop is sturdy enough to withstand everyday abuse. What sets the Signature Edition laptops apart is the fact that they are free from any third party bloatware or junkware that will slow down its overall performance. Powered by Skylake based Intel Core i3-6100U processor and 8GB of DDR4 2133MHz RAM, the HP Pavilion 15-ayo91 Signature Edition will easily cope with basic tasks such as Skype, word processing and web browsing. The newer Intel processor will even allow for more intensive apps such as Photoshop to run. More strenuous apps will test the processor and will make the overall experience a bit sluggish. The 1TB 5400rpm mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space, but it will mean that Windows 10 will take a bit longer to boot compared to an SSD. The display offers good colors for streaming media and the 10-finger multi-touch support makes navigating around Windows 10 a breeze. The only downside to the display is that the entry level panel only offers a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768 and the viewing angles are very average.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6.25 hours battery life
  • 4.68 lbs

Pros

  • Intel Skylake processor
  • Price
  • No third part bloatware
  • Touch screen display
  • Ample storage space
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • No AC WiFi
  • Entry-level display panel
  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • No VGA port

Summary

The HP Pavilion 15-ayo91 Signature Edition offers good specs and ample storage space for its affordable price. The lack of bloatware or junkware will suit those users who want a fast laptop without having to optimize their system first.

HP Pavilion 15-ayo91 Signature Edition 15.6-inch
from $699.99 $437.78 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 24-11-2016 01:45 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718SLVDell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718SLV Signature Edition 15.6-inch

The Dell Inspiron range has made a good name for itself when it comes to quality and affordability. A fine example of this is the Dell Inspiron i5558-5718SLV Signature Edition which features the typical stylish Inspiron looks, good performance and an attractive price. While the Inspiron i5558-5718SLVBLK features an older Haswell processor, but boasts a higher benchmark score than its newer i3 counterpart. While the touchscreen display offers great colors and a maximum resolution of 1920×1080, but the touchscreen can be unresponsive at times and users who expect a flawless Smartphone or Tablet experience will be disappointed with its performance. A spacious 1TB mechanical hard drive offers enough space for work and multimedia. While the slower 5400rpm drive speed is a limiting factor on gaming and other high performance laptops, it is sufficient for most tasks that the Dell Inspiron i5558-5718SLV will be used for. As it is a general business and all-round laptop, it boasts integrated Intel graphics which will struggle to run any modern gaming titles with acceptable frame rates. But the Intel HD Graphics 4400 chip will run apps such as Adobe Photoshop and CoralDRAW for users looking to run design software. While there are laptops from Dell with newer hardware, the Inspiron i5558-5718SLV is still a good contender for students and business professionals.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.3 lbs

Pros

  • Full HD Display
  • Amazing sale price
  • 10-finger multi-touch
  • Excellent Audio quality
  • Ample storage

Cons

  • Touchscreen unresponsive at times

Summary

A powerhouse laptop with great audio and full HD screen at an amazing price on sale.

Dell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718SLV Signature Edition 15.6-inch
from $439.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:32 UTC) Details

HP ProBook 455 G3 W4E07UT#ABA 15.6-inchHP ProBook 455 G3 W4E07UT#ABA 15.6-inch

While many business laptops can cost upwards from $750, HP has a selection of business minded laptops that are designed for the budget conscious buyer. The HP ProBook 455 G3 looks every bit the part and its HP build quality is durable enough to be used as an everyday business laptop. The AMD A10-8700P processor and 16GB of RAM will handle any business related tasks with ease. While it is not a dedicated gaming laptop, it does come equipped with a Radeon R6 graphics chip and can be used for casual gaming. The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for office documents and large presentations. Users will, however, experience slower Windows boot and app loading times due to the slow 5400rpm drive speed. But the HP ProBook 455 G3 has an easily accessible maintenance hatch and the storage drive can easily upgraded to a solid state drive and also allows support for M.2 SSD modules. The battery life on the AMD based ProBook G3 is 25% better than its Intel counterpart. To bring down the price, HP only offer Windows 10 Home and business professionals are recommended to upgrade to Professional in order to unlock all of the features that they will need in the corporate environment. Business laptops require a certain level of security and a Fingerprint reader offers users a fast and secure way of accessing their information without the hassle of remembering numerous passwords.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.98 lbs

Pros

  • Battery life
  • Price to performance ratio
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Empty M.2 slot
  • Good keyboard and trackpad

Cons

  • Low brightness levels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • TN display panel

Summary

The ProBook 455 G3 is a budget friendly business laptop with powerful hardware, but business users are recommended to upgrade to Windows 10 Professional.

HP ProBook 455 G3 W4E07UT#ABA 15.6-inch
from $469.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:43 UTC) Details

ASUS-Transformer-Book-T200TA-C1-BL

ASUS Transformer Book T200TA-C1-BL 11.6-inch

Another great option for hybrid seekers, the ASUS Transformer Book T200TA-C1-BL offers both the portability of a tablet and the convenience of a laptop.  At its heart is an Intel 64 Bit Quad Core Baytrail-T Z3795 that is quite fast although lags behind many processors.  Where the T200TA really gains its speed is with the included 64GB SSD giving you a decent amount of tablet storage and very fast boot speeds and load times.  In order to truly enhance functionality, ASUS has also included an expansion bay so you can easily add up to a 1TB hard drive alongside the SSD so you never have to worry about running out of storage space.  With a stunning 9 hours of battery life, you can easily stay free of power cables while you use this device throughout the day.  For those seeking both a tablet and a laptop, it’s tough to find a better choice than the ASUS Transformer Book T200TA-C1-BL.

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 3.6 lbs

Pros

  • Blazing fast SSD
  • 2-in-1 design
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Low-res screen
  • Quite heavy

Summary

Convertible between a laptop and tablet this versatile machine is great for users who need portability over raw performance.

ASUS Transformer Book T200TA-C1-BL 11.6-inch
from $499.00 $447.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 08-07-2016 03:14 UTC) Details

Lenovo ThinkPad E560 15.6-inchLenovo ThinkPad E560 15.6-inch

Lenovo picked up the ThinkPad legacy when they purchased it from IBM in 2005, and they have done a great job in making sure that the ThinkPad range lives up to its name. The Lenovo ThinkPad E560 offers an all plastic design but feels quite sturdy. However, it hasn’t been MIL-SPEC tested and it might not be as durable as some of their other laptops. If you are familiar with the ThinkPad line of laptops then you will instantly recognize the cherry red TrackPoint nub which allows for much faster navigation than the trackpad. The Lenovo ThinkPad E560 is powered by a 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which will easily cope with basic home and office tasks. Lenovo have left one of the RAM slots free, and you will easily and cheaply be able to upgrade the RAM to 8GB for increased performance when it comes to heavy multitasking. Like all ThinkPad laptops, Lenovo has put an emphasis on security. You get a fingerprint reader for biometric logins and the TPM encryption ensures that you can secure your hard drive to prevent the data from being accessed. While many budget friendly laptops feature 5400rpm hard drives, Lenovo have fitted the E560 with a faster 7200rpm hard drive. The 500GB hard drive will allow you to store a decent amount of work and multimedia files. It comes preloaded with Windows 7 Pro, which allows you to access a host of features that are not available in Windows 7 Home. If you want to upgrade to Windows 10, Lenovo have included a Windows 10 Professional license.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 5.39 lbs

Pros

  • Windows Professional
  • Intel Skylake processor
  • TrackPoint nub
  • Fingerprint reader

Cons

  • Not MIL-SPEC tested
  • Dull display
  • Lots of Lenovo bloatware

Summary

The Lenovo ThinkPad E560 features powerful hardware, a fingerprint reader and Windows 7 Pro. But the 4GB of RAM will feel a bit sluggish when it comes to heavier multitasking.

Lenovo ThinkPad E560 15.6-inch
from $439.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:46 UTC) Details

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Laptops Under $500

These laptops are all still excellent deals but aren’t currently in our pool of top picks. That said, they still come highly recommended and are worth a review if you are serious about exploring all of your available options.

Toshiba Satellite Radius E45W-C4200X 14-inchToshiba Satellite Radius E45W-C4200X 14-inch

The Toshiba Satellite Radius 14 E45W-C4200X is the latest entry in the affordable convertible laptop market. The E45W has a resin brushed matte black cover with an attractive light grey surface covering the palm rest and the keyboard area. While previous year’s model featured rounded covers, this one has a more angular look, which is more stylish and up to date. Its body is just 0.8 inch thick and 4.5 pounds heavy, making it a very portable 14-inch laptop for travel. Like other hybrids, its screen can be folded to a full 360 degrees, enabling it to enter multiple display modes. However, most users will be using just the standard laptop mode and the tablet mode with the screen folded all the way to the back of the keyboard. The TFT display is bright and has a nice contrast without oversaturation, and the screen resolution is sufficient for movies and reading. The E45W also comes with a pair of high quality Harman Kardon stereo speakers capable of distortionless audio at max volumes. Under the hood, it has an Intel Core i3 processor, 6GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD. The slightly underpowered configuration helps it achieve over 5 hours of battery life. If you have no use for a hybrid design, there are cheaper alternatives with better processor, bigger storage and extra memory. However, the Radius 14 is equally powerful for basic to moderately intensive tasks, and it sports a more compact and sophisticated design suited for users who are always on the go.

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.5 lbs

Pros

  • 360 degrees folding design
  • Light and portable
  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Great battery life
  • Exellent sound quality

Cons

  • Loud at hight CPU loads
  • LED screen has narrow viewing angles

Summary

With its clever 360 folding design this versatile device is great for work, home or multimedia. Critical points are the loud fan when the machine is under high load and the relatively narrow viewing angle of the LED screen.

Toshiba Satellite Radius E45W-C4200X 14-inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:45 UTC) Details

HP Pavilion 15-aw068nr 15.6-inchHP Pavilion 15-aw068nr 15.6-inch

2016 has seen quite a few all-purpose laptops being released onto the market and the HP Pavilion 15-aw068nr is one of the first laptops to sport AMD’s latest Bristol Ridge processor and their latest GPU. Offering a sleek design, the HP Pavilion 15-aw068nr looks great but the purple color will not appeal to everyone. Weighing in at 4.55 pounds, the HP Pavilion 15-aw068nr is lighter than most of the 15.6-inch laptops in its price category. Sporting the latest 7th generation AMD A9-9410 processor and 4GB of DDR4 RAM, the HP Pavilion 15-aw068nr will cope with day-to-day tasks with ease. But the 4GB of RAM will struggle with more intensive apps and the memory slot is not user accessible. The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for multimedia and work files. The HP Pavilion 15-aw068nr features a fairly responsive touchscreen, but the display only offers a maximum resolution of 1366 x 786. The Radeon R5 430M integrated graphics offers slightly better performance than the Intel HD Graphics 520 and will allow for casual gaming. While it’s a 2016 release the HP Pavilion 15-aw068nr lacks next generation connectivity and is missing Bluetooth 4.1 and USB 3.1 Type-C.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6.5 hours battery life
  • 4.55 lbs

Pros

  • 7th generation CPU
  • Touchscreen display
  • 1TB hard drive
  • Bang & Olufsen audio

Cons

  • Non-user accessible RAM
  • Purple color
  • No next gen connectivity

Summary

The HP Pavilion 15-aw068nr offers the latest AMD processor and a responsive touchscreen display, but the non-user accessible 4GB of RAM limits the multitasking performance of this laptop.

HP Pavilion 15-aw068nr 15.6-inch
from $429.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Walmart.com
(as of 07-08-2016 11:13 UTC) Details

HP 17z-p100 17.3-inch

HP 17Z-P100 17.3-inch

The HP 17Z-P100 is a simple, straight forward 17.3-inch laptop that offers modest specs at a great price. Featuring an AMD A8-7050 3.0GHz Quad Core processor, 6GB of DDR3L RAM and a 750GB hard drive for storage, the 17Z-P100 packs more than enough punch for most tasks you throw at it on a daily basis . With its large display, great sound quality and relatively large amount of storage this machine is perfect for media enthusiast or business users who don’t need to run intensive applications. The AMD R5 GPU will handle older games however newer games will struggle to achieve a smooth frame-rate even on lower settings. The battery is the weakest point on this laptop, clocking in at only 3.5 hours users will have to stay close to the charger and makes this unit far less portable than some of its competitors. The HP 17Z-P100 offers good value for money and delivers good day to day performance.

Specs

  • 17.3 inch, 1600 x 900 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.5 hours battery life
  • 6.2 lbs

Pros

  • Large screen
  • Modern AMD APU
  • Clear sound
  • Fair amount of storage

Cons

  • Keyboard feels cheap
  • poor battery life

Summary

A large laptop that offers good performance and some casual gaming however better suited to media enthusiasts.

HP 17z-p100 17.3-inch
from $499.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:33 UTC) Details

ASUS-Flip-TP500LA-EB31T

ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500LA-EB31T 15.6-inch 

The perfect laptop for those in search of a hybrid designed laptop that will function as both a laptop and a tablet, ASUS has the answer for you with the ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500LA-EB31T.  The TP500LA-EB31T is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor which, while it is not the fastest processor available is more than enough to power daily tasks and basic multimedia functionality and with its 6GB of RAM you will have more than enough power to handle multitasking functions with ease.  However, the weight of this hybrid can be an issue when in tablet mode and the included wireless adapter is rather weak with a more limited range when compared to other modern hybrid laptops.  The ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500LA-EB31T is the perfect laptop for users looking for both a laptop and tablet.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 4.5 hours battery life
  • 5.07 lbs

Pros

  • 360 degree flip mechanism
  • Generous amount of RAM
  • Long battery life
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Premium aluminium casing
  • Comfortable keyboard

Cons

  • Quite heavy
  • No dedicated graphics

Summary

A premium feeling machine that performs well for most apps and older games, the battery is long lasting and the audiovisuals give you a rich immersive computing experience. Its not as portable as some of its rivals but still a great buy.

ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500LA-EB31T 15.6-Inch
from $499.00 $469.92 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 08-07-2016 07:55 UTC) Details

ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500LA-UB31T 15.6-inch

ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500LA-UB31T 15.6-inch

The ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500LA-UB31T has a unique design with a flexible hinge capable of flipping the screen angle to 360 degrees, which is not something you’d typically find on a budget laptop. The approach is similar to what Lenovo did with its Yoga 2 hybrid, allowing the screen to fold into different modes like laptop, stand, tent and tablet. Many think a hybrid design is more practical on small screens but the TP500LA-UB31T comes with a larger 15.6-inch screen. Fortunately, ASUS has made the built lightweight so that it’s convenient to carry around even in tablet mode. Aesthetically, it is a step above its competitors. It’s thin, light and feels expensive thanks to the brushed metal sheet on the lid. The 1366 x 768 TN display is sufficiently clear though still falls short compared to more high-quality IPS panels. While most convertible laptops at this price feature low-end Intel Celeron processors, the TP500LA packs more of a punch with its Intel Core i3-4030u processor. Its performance falls in the top-end of the budget segment, meaning you’ll be able to do your daily office work as well as light multitasking with ease. Low end gaming is also possible with the Intel HD 4400 graphics. We’d expect higher battery life on premium convertibles, but for a budget hybrid, 5 hours will do just fine. Basic users with a preference for modern design trends will find the TP500LA-UB31T a great purchase thanks to its innovative design and solid feature set.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 4.5 hours battery life
  • 5 lbs

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Clever multi-functional design
  • Fast processor
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Awkward to hold in tablet mode
  • Sub-par display

Summary

An ultra portable well built device that will last a long time on a full charge while delivering fantastic performance and versatility. This device can be awkward in tablet mode and the display could be sharper.

ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500LA-UB31T 15.6-inch
from $499.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 04-06-2016 05:18 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire E5-571P-59QA 15.6-inch

Acer Aspire E5-571P-59QA 15.6-inch

The Aspire E5-571P-59QA is another all-round performer on our current top picks.  It features a compact design with an all-black vinyl plastic chassis similar to other mid-range Aspire E5 laptops. Compared to lightweight ultrabooks, it is thick and clunky and has an understated look to suit its price point. Typists will love the full-size, island-style keyboard with numeric keypad for fast data entry, and the conveniently located ports let you attach multiple external devices with ease. The 15-inch touchscreen has good clarity and adequate brightness, but due to its glossy nature it’s more suited for indoor use. The cheapest budget laptops are powered by the Intel Celeron or Core i3 processors which get bogged down and tend to freeze the entire system while trying to run larger applications. On the other hand, the 15- E5-571P-59QA’s fourth generation Intel Core i5-4210U is capable of handling relatively demanding tasks like HD video playback, photo editing and web designing. Some low requirement modern games are also playable at medium to low settings thanks to the Intel HD 4400 onboard graphics. The Intel Core i5 processor is also more power efficient than the AMD A10 processors on some competitors, and its higher power efficiency offers up to 7 hours of unplugged computing time. The E5-571P-59QA has 4GB of RAM and 500GB of storage, both are lower than what non-touch laptops offer at this price range. If you can live without a touchscreen and a slightly lower battery life, the Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 offers better bang for the buck for those with particular needs like multitasking, graphics designing and heavy video editing.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8
  • 7 hours battery life
  • 5.46 lbs

Pros

  • Fast processor
  • Great battery life
  • Good design

Cons

  • Poor build quality
  • Poor integrated graphics

Summary

While a good performer and great value for money the Acer Aspire E5-571P-59QA falls short of the mark due to its cheap plastic chassis.

Acer Aspire E5-571P-59QA 15.6-Inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:30 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron 5000 i5547-7450sLV 15.6-inch

Dell Inspiron 5000 i5547-7450SLV 15.6-inch

The Dell Inspiron 5000 i5547-7450sLV is a mid-range laptop with a budget price tag. Its outer surface is painted silver and the inner bezels and keyboard is all black. Its top cover is made of aluminum, which is surprising because most laptops at this price are completely made of plastic. Other hardware specs are also impressive. Its Haswell Intel i5 processor performs very well on daily tasks and the 8GB of RAM makes sure that the laptop doesn’t freeze up when multiple applications and browser windows are opened. Its performance is excellent for school, office and home use. Thanks to the ultra low voltage CPU, this laptop also has a long battery life of 6.5 hours. Its integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 is equivalent to a Radeon HD 7550M so you can expect to play older, less demanding games at high settings, although most current titles will only be playable at the lowest settings. Its speakers are not great but do the job and it doesn’t have a DVD burner, although it does include a backlit keyboard to make up for these minor shortfalls. It’s not every day that you get a laptop with a backlit keyboard, a metallic cover, a fast processor, and a large storage and RAM – all for less than $480 – securing the i5547-7450sLV a well deserved top spot in the sub-$500 price range.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8
  • 6.5 hours battery life
  • 6 lbs

Pros

  • Metallic chassis
  • Ample storage
  • Generous amount of RAM
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Fast processor
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Glossy screen

Summary

A powerhouse with plenty of RAM, storage and a backlit keyboard to boot. The glossy screen can be a pain in direct sunlight.

Dell Inspiron 5000 i5547-7450SLV 15.6-inch
from $479.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:20 UTC) Details

Lenovo Laptop-Flex-2-15-59422542

Lenovo Laptop Flex 2 15 59422542 15.6-inch

The Lenovo Flex 2 15 59422542 is an affordable hybrid featuring a 15.6-inch touchscreen with a hinge that flips the display 300 degrees to enter either stand or laptop mode. The stand mode lets you focus on touch applications by folding back the screen and using the keyboard surface as the base. However, unlike the Lenovo Yoga 2, its screen cannot fold all the way back to enter tablet mode. The black matte-finished casing has a silver color Lenovo logo at the top left. The design isn’t unusual except for the small gap between the hinge and the screen. It is 1.1” thick and weighs 5.5 lbs, which is similar to the size and weight of other 15-inch competitors. The 1366 x 768 resolution display, although not as sharp as Full-HD screens, offers decent image quality for daily tasks. Its speakers have strong audio output but sounds muddy at full volume. The battery life of 6 hours is also above average in the budget 15-inch laptop category. The AccuType keyboard with smooth black island-keys is ergonomically designed for comfortable and accurate typing. On the edges of the Flex 2 are three USB ports, a HDMI port, Kensington lock and a 2-in-1 card reader. Powered by an Intel Core i3-4030U backed by 4GB of RAM, it delivers solid performance in basic as well as multimedia tasks. The laptop can smoothly stream HD video with multiple tabs open in your browser. It has 500GB storage with an 8GB SSD offering faster data transfers than the Dell Inspiron 15. The Flex 2 features an Intel HD 4400 GPU that can only handle light gaming and multimedia applications. All in all, if you’re looking to try out the Windows 8 touch interface, the Flex 2 offers stable performance and a user-friendly design on a budget.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.51 lbs

Pros

  • Intuitive multi-mode design
  • Bright and clear display
  • Sharp touchscreen
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Touchpad unresponsive at times
  • Audio is sub-par

Summary

An ultra portable and versatile device for professionals on the move. Performs well and the battery life is impeccable.

Lenovo Laptop Flex 2 15 59422542 15.6-inch
from $488.59 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 02-05-2016 21:26 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-76YK 15.6-inchHP 15-ba030nr 15.6-Inch

In the highly competitive budget laptop market there are a handful of manufacturers who reign supreme, HP is one of them. While many budget laptops look and feel cheap, the HP 15-ba030nr has a certain high-end feel to it thanks to its signature HP design. Sporting an AMD A8-7410 processor and 6GB of RAM, the HP 15-ba030nr will cope with everyday tasks with ease. Perfect for students and business people on a tight budget, the HP 15-ba030nr ticks all the boxes when it comes to catering to users with more than just the basic needs. The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for multimedia files and for work assignments. Users who are after a bit more performance can upgrade the RAM and the storage drive. For users who want to do a bit of light and casual gaming, the HP 15-ba030nr has an integrated Radeon R5 graphics chip. But do not expect it to run modern gaming titles with frame rates over 30fps. The multi-touch display is responsive for a budget touchscreen panel, but as with all budget displays it only has a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768. But the display does offer good viewing angles and vivid colors while watching 720p videos.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.5 hours battery life
  • 4.74 lbs

Pros

  • Quad Core processor
  • Large storage space
  • Touchscreen display

Cons

  • HP Bloatware
  • No VGA
  • Stiff trackpad

Summary

The HP 15-ba030nr is a sturdy budget laptop with decent hardware, ample storage space and a responsive touchscreen display. But there is loads of HP bloatware pre-installed and will need to be removed.

HP 15-ba030nr 15.6-Inch
from $479.99 $418.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:43 UTC) Details

Toshiba Satellite C55-B5200

Toshiba Satellite C55-B5200 15.6-inch

The Toshiba Satellite C55-B5200 sports the same jet black design as other C55 series laptops in this category. While it’s not metal, the plastic material is strong enough to last years without much wear and tear. With 6GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive and features like a DVD-burner, HDMI and USB 3.0, the internal hardware is similar to the C55-A5182 which costs $50 more. The only difference is that the C55-B5200 is powered by the more recent Intel Core i3-4005U processor which has lower clock speed but is more power efficient than the Intel Core i3-4000M processor on the C55-A5182. The integrated Intel HD 4400 graphics is also much weaker than the Intel HD 4600 which is more capable of playing recent games. Thus, for resource intensive applications and games the C55-A5182 is more suitable. If you’re a basic user, the C55-B5200 costs $50 less, offers a much longer battery life and is equipped with well balanced specs for basic multitasking, home computing and everyday office tasks.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 4 hours battery life
  • 4.9 lbs

Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Plenty of RAM
  • Gratuitous storage

Cons

  • Glossy screen
  • No bluetooth

Summary

A brilliant option for work or study the Toshiba Satellite C55-B5200 packs a lot of bang for your buck.

Toshiba Satellite C55-B5200 15.6-inch
from $406.88 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 10-07-2016 02:10 UTC) Details

Lenovo-G50-59421807-15.6-inch

Lenovo G50 59421807 15.6-inch

Like most low-end laptops, the plastic shelled Lenovo G50-59421807 has neither an outstanding appearance or powerful internal hardware. Designed for the average user, it sports a minimalistic design and packs just enough power to run basic tasks on Windows 8. The textured black casing looks professional and doesn’t attract as much fingerprints as glossy surfaces on competitors like the HP Pavilion 15 and Dell Inspiron 15. With a bright 15.6-inch screen, a full-size keyboard and a battery life of almost 5 hours, it is well-suited for productivity users who want a comfortable machine for working with documents. At 4.6 pounds it is much lighter than common 15-inch laptops, and it also includes an optical drive. It’s equipped with an Intel Core i3-4030u processor, 500GB Hard Drive and 6GB of RAM as opposed to 4GB in many competitors. It handles normal tasks such as video streaming, web browsing and spreadsheets without any issue. With a higher than standard amount of memory, it keeps Windows from bogging down as you open multiple browser tabs and multiple programs. Furthermore, you can add up to 16GB of RAM and upgrade hard drive via empty slots inside the bottom cover. Light gaming is also possible with the integrated Intel HD 4400 graphics. Overall, budget buyers will love the G50-59421807 for its large screen laptop, slim profile and comprehensive spec sheet.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 4.63 lbs

Pros

  • Light and portable
  • Good Performance
  • Generous amount of RAM
  • Very Quiet

Cons

  • Plastic shell
  • Unresponsive touchpad
  • Bloatware preinstalled

Summary

A great all round machine that performs well while keeping cool and quiet. The touchpad can however be unresponsive at times and uninstalling bloatware can be a pain.

Lenovo G50 59421807 15.6-inch
from $476.88 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:26 UTC) Details

HP 15-f111DX 15.6

HP 15-f111DX 15.6-inch Touchscreen

Weighing in over 5.6 pounds the HP 15-f111DX isn’t the lightest or the slimmest 15-inch laptop around, but for what it packs inside, the slight excess bulk isn’t a deal breaker at all. The smooth all-black plastic surface gives it a classy business look suited for work or school and HP has packed a ton of neat features in this $450 laptop. To begin with, it has a responsive touchscreen, which enhances the Windows 8 experience by allowing easy navigation of system menus. With the help of the AMD 8-6410 processor and 8 gigs of onboard RAM, it scores high on day to day performance compared to many competitors. However, its graphic capability is quite limited due to the integrated Radeon chip, which can only run older games and basic photo editing software. With a huge 750GB of storage, a DVD writer and plenty of I/O ports, the 15-f111DX qualifies as a budget multimedia powerhouse for starter users. At its currently discounted price it’s hard to overlook this feature packed laptop.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 5.67 lbs

Pros

  • Professional design
  • Lightweight
  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Fast performance
  • Generous RAM
  • Ample storage

Cons

  • Glossy screen

Summary

A well priced all round performer of which our only gripe is the glossy screen which makes viewing awkward in bright light.

HP 15-f111DX 15.6-Inch
from $509.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:20 UTC) Details


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Laptops Under $600

Lenovo Ideapad 500-80K4001MUS

Lenovo Ideapad 500-80K4001MUS 15.6-inch

The Lenovo IdeaPad 500-80K4001MUS is another great offering from Lenovo. Sporting an AMD A10 8700P processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, the IdeaPad 500-80K4001MUS provides solid performance for day to day tasks. The 15.6 inch IPS display offers full HD with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 and great viewing angles. Image quality is backed up by a Radeon R6 GPU, which is comparable to the NVIDIA GT540M and handles moderate photo editing and casual gaming. Most newer titles will have to run on low-medium settings, as it is one of ATI’s medium performance chipsets. But for basic tasks like internet browsing and movies the GPU offers solid image quality. Some users have reported very average battery life of 3-4 hours of moderate use, so expect lower figures with more intense processes like gaming and media editing. Upgrading the IdeaPad 500-80K4001MUS with a new hard drive or increasing the RAM is a lot harder than other devices, as it requires the entire back plate to be removed to access the internals, including a hidden screw behind one of the information stickers. As an all-round laptop the IdeaPad 500-80K4001MUS does well, but the average battery life does mean that it is not ideal for those constantly on the go.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 3.75 hours battery life
  • 5.06 lbs

Pros

  • 1920x180 IPS display
  • Sleek design
  • Radeon R6 GPU
  • 1TB of storage

Cons

  • Average battery life
  • Noticeable keyboard flex
  • Hard to upgrade

Summary

A great laptop that offers decent performance, a full HD display and a sleek design, at an affordable price.

Lenovo Ideapad 500-80K4001MUS 15.6-inch
from $475.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:36 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron I5558-2144SLV 15.6-inchDell Inspiron I5558-2144SLV 15.6-inch

Dell has been producing powerful budget laptops for a number of years now and they offer great value for money solutions for the budget conscious buyer. The silver top and bottom covers of the laptop complement the all black chassis, and give the Dell Inspiron I5558-2144SLV a sleek look that makes it look and feel more like a high end laptop. While it is not made of aluminum, the plastic is quite durable. Boasting a powerful Ultra Low Voltage Intel Core i5-5200U processor which is backed by 8GB of DDR3L RAM, the Inspiron I5558-2144SLV will cope with any day-to-day tasks with ease. Users can also run more hardware intensive apps such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator or CoralDRAW with rendering speeds being a bit slower than on more expensive laptops. While the 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space, its slower 5400rpm speed does affect its overall performance, but this is expected at its budget price point. The Dell Inspiron I5558-2144SLV is not designed to be a gaming laptop, it is equipped with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 5500 chip that will allow for casual gaming. We recommend older and classic titles as newer titles will struggle and the integrated graphics chip will offer very low frame rates. Users have commented on the reflectiveness of the gloss display panel.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.31 lbs

Pros

  • Ultra Low Voltage processor
  • Sleek design
  • Price

Cons

  • Gloss display
  • Viewing angles
  • No optical drive

Summary

Overall the Dell Inspiron I5558-2144SLV is a great budget laptop that offers good hardware at a price point for students and recent graduates, while still appealing to working professionals.

Dell Inspiron I5558-2144SLV 15.6-inch
from $599.99 $511.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:40 UTC) Details

ASUS-F555LA-EH51

ASUS  F555LA-EH51  15.6-inch

Note: This laptop is priced above $500. The ASUS  F555LA-EH51 is a cost effective solution for budget shoppers looking for an affordable and fast performing laptop for daily use. It has a black plastic body with texture finish, adding a layer of protection against accidental scratches and fingerprints. While not premium, the build quality is above average and the design looks modern. Despite including all the standard set of I/O ports, it is only 1-inch thick and weighs 4.9 pounds, which is a lot less than most 15-inch budget laptops. The laptop is equipped with a DVD writer along with all the usual ports such as USB 3.0, Ethernet, Wireless LAN, HDMI, VGA and Bluetooth. It has a 1366 x 768 resolution display with good viewing angles and adequate brightness for movies and reading. There are affordable laptops with a Full-HD display, but most of them make huge compromises in performance. Powered by the latest Broadwell Intel i5-5200U processor coupled with 8GB of RAM and Intel HD 5500 graphics, the  F555LA-EH51  gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It has all the power you need for everyday tasks- from web browsing, video streaming to light gaming. One downside is that it only has a 500GB HDD, while most competitors offer twice that amount of storage. The system is highly power efficient, running almost 7 hours on battery but the battery life varies by operating conditions. Keep in mind that its battery is under the cover, which makes it difficult to remove or replace for a non-technical person. While the F555LA-EH51  is a great laptop, there are better machines available if you are willing to accept some minor shortcomings. If you are okay with a slightly heavier laptop with shorter battery life, the Dell Inspiron 15 i5548-1670SLV and Toshiba Satellite  C55-C5241 both offer better price to performance ratios.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • 4 hours battery life
  • 6.55 lbs

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Fast processor
  • Ample RAM
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • non-removable battery

Summary

While perfect for general day to day computing and media consumption don't expect to be playing any new demanding games.

ASUS F555LA-EH51 15.6-inch
from $589.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 09-07-2016 13:34 UTC) Details

Dell-Inspiron-i3158-3275SLV-11.6

Dell Inspiron i3158-3275SLV 11.6 inch

Note: This laptop is priced above $500. Most budget hybrids work well as a fast multimedia tablet but fail to deliver consistent performance even in basic computing and productivity because they’re equipped with low-power Intel Atom or Celeron processors. However, powered by a sixth generation Intel Core i3-6100U processor backed by 4GB of RAM and a fast 128GB SSD storage, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 is a reliable performer both as a laptop and a tablet. Besides a fluid Windows 10 experience, the low voltage CPU ensures that the laptop’s battery lasts over 6 hours per charge. Though not made of metal, the Inspiron 11’s matte-silver finished plastic chassis feels solid and looks sleek with its rounded edges. Lined on both sides of its 0.8-inch thick frame are a total of three USB ports, an SD card slot, an HDMI port, a volume rocker and the power button. The audio coming from the stereo speakers is pretty good even at max volumes, although it hardly has any bass. If you are buying a hybrid laptop, then you will certainly be using its touchscreen a lot. The 11.6-inch touchscreen on the Inspiron 11 3000 is highly responsive and it supports the same 1366 x 758 pixels resolution as its competitors. However, it offers a much better viewing experience because its IPS panel is noticeably brighter and more color accurate than most budget 2-in-1s out there. There are cheaper hybrids that offer similar performance, but if you care about display and design quality, spending extra on the Dell Inspiron 11 i3158-3275SLV is worth it.

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 3.1 lbs

Pros

  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Sturdy build
  • Long battery life
  • Good performance

Cons

  • Touchpad is sometimes unresponsive
  • Small SSD storage

Summary

A mid-range laptop featuring an ultraportable convertible design, a bright display and an excellent battery life for a decent price.

Dell Inspiron i3158-3275SLV 11.6-inch
from $595.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:36 UTC) Details

Acer-Aspire-Switch-11-SW5-171-39LB-11.6-Inch

Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-39LB 11.6-inch

Note: This laptop is priced above $500. Like the popular Lenovo Yoga 2, the Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-39LB features a 2-in-1 design letting it seamlessly switch between laptop and tablet modes. However, it features a Full-HD display, a relatively strong Core i3 processor, a faster 128GB SSD storage, and costs $70 less than the mid-range Yoga 2 which packs a measly 1366 x 768 display, a slower 5400 RPM mechanical hard drive and a weaker N3530 processor. Looking at its design, one wouldn’t quickly dismiss it as a stunner, but on hand it is comfortable and the magnetic hinge attached to the comfy keyboard dock holds the tablet firmly in place. With the silver aluminum finish and brushed back cover, it looks modern if not premium. The 11-inch tablet weighs just 1.9 pounds, but, combined with the keyboard, it becomes heavier than the 3 pound 13-inch Macbook Air. However, the extra heft isn’t much of an issue considering the features included for the price. Outfitted with a 1920 x 1080 IPS panel, it delivers sharp visual details with vivid colors. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 allowing for rigorous pinching and zooming. Powered by an Intel Core i3-4012Y and 4GB of RAM, the Aspire Switch 11 allows you to simultaneously open your web browser, music player and prepare PowerPoint slides without a hint of stutter. Sure the Surface Pro 3, with its slim bezels, Core i5 processor, and longer battery life, is a far more powerful option, but it will cost you over $800. So, do the math and get the one which suits you best.

Specs

  • , 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 6.5 hours battery life
  • 1.87 lbs

Pros

  • Full HD screen
  • Stylish design
  • Great performance

Cons

  • Poor sound quality
  • Below average battery life

Summary

Tablet or PC mode this device is portable, versatile with great specs and a stylish form factor. The battery life could have been longer though.

Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-39LB 11.6-Inch
from $589.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 04-06-2016 05:25 UTC) Details

ASUS-X555LA-SI50203H-15.6-inch

ASUS X550ZA-WH1 15.6-inch

Note: This laptop is priced above $500. For budget users with moderate computing needs, the ASUS X550ZA-WH1 offers well-balanced specs for an affordable price. The matte black textured finish on its plastic exterior looks very sleek and the tightly fitted hinges gives it a long lasting feel. The silver colored interior with black keyboard adds some excitement to its budget design. The bottom cover seems to be sealed shut, which means extra work is required if you want to upgrade the internal components or replace the inbuilt battery. It includes all the essential ports including two USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, HDMI, and there is also a DVD burner. It has a 15.6-inch display that outputs images at a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Its viewing angles, brightness and color accuracy are all sufficient to produce clear images. As for its performance, the AMD A10-7400P , clocked at 2.5 GHz, is good enough for all basic tasks and then some. Packing 8GB of RAM, it has larger than standard memory, which leaves enough room for moderate multitasking. In terms of storage, it has a 1TB HDD, which should be enough for even heavy media users. The AMD Radeon R6 is a relatively new integrated graphics capable of handling some modern games at lower settings. Don’t expect to do anything fancy like running high-end games or 3D graphics designing, but at this price you can’t do much better than the X550ZA-WH1  when it comes to performance and raw value for money.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 5.1 lbs

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Ample storage
  • Great graphical performance
  • Excellent value

Cons

  • A lot of bloatware preinstalled
  • No Bluetooth
  • Mediocre battery life

Summary

A typically stylish ASUS laptop that lives on the equilibrium of price vs performance.

Asus X550ZA-WH11 15.6-Inch
from $449.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:32 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series i7537T-1122sLV 15-Inch

Dell Inspiron i7537T-1122SLV 15.6-Inch

Note: This laptop is priced above $500. If you’re in the market for a powerful yet affordable laptop, the Dell Inspiron i7537T-1122sLV, priced a little over $500, is a more compelling option than its somewhat cheaper competitors. It has a 15-inch screen with a modest resolution of 1366 x 768, good enough for comfortable viewing. Of course, the images won’t look as sharp as on a Full HD display but you can’t ask for too much at this price. The screen does receive extra point for its highly responsive touchscreen, which makes working with the Windows 8 OS squeaky smooth. While most of its competitors are limited in their computing capabilities due to slow processors and limited system memory, the i7537T-1122sLV handles big applications as well as multitasking well thanks to a powerful Intel Core i5 processor and 6GB of RAM. It also has 1TB of storage, which is twice as much as what most laptops at this price feature. Because it has an Ultra Low Voltage processor, its battery life is also excellent, and if you are a multimedia enthusiast you’ll be happy to know that a full array of standard ports are included. If you expect to play modern games, then you’ll have to turn elsewhere as the integrated Intel HD 4400 graphics will crack under the heat of more demanding titles but for everything else this laptop offers an excellent balance of price and performance.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 5.7 lbs

Pros

  • Fast processor
  • Ample RAM
  • Generous amount of storage space
  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Poor screen visibility in bright conditions

Summary

Dell has become synonymous with quality in the last few years and the Inspiron i7537T-1122sLV is no exception. We just wish they used a matt screen instead of gloss to prevent unwanted glare.

Dell Inspiron 15 i7537T-1122SLV 15.6-Inch
from $586.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:20 UTC) Details

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Conclusion

This brings us to the end of our list for now, though be sure to check back soon for more laptop goodness. Our guide are updated regularly to ensure our users never miss a beat. For more awesome laptops see our other laptop guides and keep informed on your quest for a top performing sub-$500 laptop.

 

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