Best Laptops Under $500 – Rated by Experts, Users and more
If you are looking for a laptop under $500, you can buy solid performance laptops for this price. This guide contains the best laptops under $500 category for students, teachers, lawyers, doctors and for people with other professions which do not have special demands on a hardware.
Most general purpose laptops in this category are based on Windows. This guide includes only a few Chromebooks.
To get the best objective view of the laptop we summarized the reviews both from public and experts. We also analyzed the forums and laptop communities for the troubleshooting advice and known problems. We figured you deserve to know everything about the laptop in one place.
1. ASUS VivoBook F510UA FHD Laptop
An affordable laptop, 8th gen Core i5 CPU, 1 TB of Hard Drive
The ASUS VivoBook F510UA is one of the top choices among the experts. It offers the newest modern hardware, including the Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Quad-Core processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB of HDD. Equipped with Asus NanoEdge display technology, the 15.6 full HD display provides an excellent viewing and video performance.
The laptop offers 1TB of storage which is good for gamers and business people. However, according to public reviews Amazon and reviewers at pcmag.com the hard drive is relatively slow comparing to SSD replacement. You can upgrade the RAM and change hard drive to SSD to speed up the laptop. Some users mentioned that the laptop’s performance becomes good for playing highly overloaded graphics games after upgrading the RAM and replacing HD to SSD.
Unlike other laptops of general use, the Asus Vivobook F510UA FHD offers four USB ports, a large HDMI port, and SD card slot. The WIFI and Bluetooth connectivity are great.
The biggest weakness of the laptop apart from a slow hard drive is its battery life. The device works for six hours at best. The battery drains quickly with when display and processors are used in full.
|ASUS VivoBook F510UA FHD Laptop Specs|
Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6 GHz
|RAM||8 GB DDR4 Memory|
|Display||15.6-inch IPS LCD (1920 x 1080) display 141 PPI, IPS|
|Hard-Drive Size||1000 GB Mechanical Hard Drive, SSD Slot available|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Item Dimensions||14.2 x 9.6 x 0.8 inches|
|Item Weight||3.7 pounds (1.68 kg)|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
We analyzed several forums to know the overall sentiment about the laptop. The main source of analysis were the following communities: reddit.com, forum.notebookreview.com, and linuxquestions.org. The reviews in forums were positive all mentioning the slow hard drive and inserting SSD card as a solution. All other social networks suggest the Asus Vivobook as a good laptop for the price.
However, we also found out that Asus Vivobook has specter vulnerability. This vulnerability affects the hardware and the manufacturers should solve it with the BIOS update. However, it seems that Asus will not address this soon.
To summarize, the Asus Vivobook F510UA is a decent laptop with a good performance despite its some of the disadvantages. Check the laptop when it arrives carefully for the defects. Check every negative mentioned in this blog post and make sure everything is working properly.
|fast processor speed||slow HDD|
|nice design and build quality||short battery life|
|good screen and graphics||keyboards are not backlit|
2. Acer Aspire E 15
Acer Aspire series of laptops offer a variety of functionalities for general purpose users. Acer Aspire E15 is one of the best laptops just under $500. With 15.6-inch full HD LED display and 2.20 GHz Intel Core i3-8130U processor, this laptop is unbeatable for its price range. This laptop perfectly compares to Asus Vivobook F510UA FHD. It wins in battery life and slightly better performance. It loses on design and screen quality.
The laptop offers 6GB of DDR4 RAM with the 1TB hard disk at 5400 RPM. You can upgrade RAM to 8GB. The display resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels allows you to work and watch 4K videos at the same time. The laptop is equipped with Intel HD Graphics 620 for superb performance. It stands out with DVD reader and writer.
The weaknesses of laptop include bloatware which needs to be uninstalled before the usage and a flimsy touchpad (which you should check twice).
|Acer Aspire E15 Laptop Specs|
8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U 2.2 GHz
|RAM||6 GB DDR4 Memory|
|Display||15.6-inch LCD (1920 x 1080) display|
|Hard-Drive Size||1000 GB Serial ATA 5400 RPM|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|Item Dimensions||15.02 x 10.2 x 1.19 inches|
|Item Weight||5.27 pounds|
|Operating System||Windows 10|
Acer Aspire E15 is mentioned in a relatively good sentiment among the online communities. Some mention problems with battery life and freezing. Other problems include the driver update, trackpad being jumpy, slowness. Using an external cooler with the laptop increases the chances of overheating according to some bloggers.
To summarize, Acer Aspire E 15 is a good laptop despite some weaknesses. Just make sure to check the trackpad and the battery charging before you buy a laptop.
|processor speed||defective trackpad|
|comes with a DVD drive||weak display|
|good speakers||heavy laptop|
3. Samsung Chromebook Plus Convertible Touch Laptop (XE513C24-K01US)
Samsung Chromebook Plus is an excellent choice if you are looking for a laptop and convertible. The great portability and the battery life makes it ideal travel companion.
The tablet part of the device includes the touch screen with a stylus. The rotating screen provides genuinely useful orientations. The display provides the look and feels of MacBook Pro with 15″ Retina Display. A stunning Quad HD display made of durable Gorilla Glass 3 and with a 3:2 aspect ratio, you’ll enjoy both the widescreen viewing and the portrait tablet experience.
As for the laptop part, the processor is powerful enough to handle multiple open applications compared to the other ordinary Chromebooks. There is a known issue with some apps having the possibility to crush.
The fully charged batteries last for 7 up to 9 hours. The speakers could be louder and do not give the best performance if you need to watch Netflix frequently.
Samsung Chromebook Plus Convertible Touch Laptop Specifications
2 GHz Celeron N3060 2.0 GHz
|RAM||4 GB DDR3 Memory|
|Display||12.3-inch (2400 x 1600) display|
|Hard-Drive Size||32 GB flash memory solid state|
|Graphics||Integrated Intel HD Graphics|
|Item Dimensions||11.04 x 8.72 x 0.55 in|
|Item Weight||2.38 lbs|
|Operating System||Chrome OS|
The online communities mention and provide the solution for touchscreen issue, Bluetooth connectivity problems and help with downloading the new extensions. Other problems include the internet connectivity issues and installer not working. The overall sentiment about the laptop is positive despite those problems.
To summarize, Samsung Chromebook Plus convertible is a good performance laptop and convertible for the price. It is one of the best Chromebooks praised by experts. Just beware to check the touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity when it arrives.
|good quality display||touchscreen issues|
|lightweight and easy to carry||weak Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity|
|good battery life||weak speakers|
|great Ipad alternative|
4.ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip 12.5-inch Touchscreen Convertible Chromebook
It seems like Asus carefully analyzed the frustrations of Chromebook users and released much better laptop taking into account our feedbacks. You will find many features that were not available in other convertible Chromebooks in Asus C302CA-DHM4 laptop. You will also find that the pricing of the laptop is much different than the original under $300 cheap Chromebooks.
On the hardware side, the laptop offers the spacey 12.5-inch screen with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. The screen gives enough quality for watching the videos. The keyboard feels comfortable and it is backlit. The trackpad is very fast and responsive. Because there has been a lot of improvements on a general laptop side, the tablet does not feel comfortable. It gets too big and a bit heavier than the tablet.
One of the vivid weaknesses of the laptop is volume. Because the manufacturer put the speakers inside the case, the volume sounds lower than usual.
The laptop is equipped with Intel Core M3 processor. Because of the fast processor and a good amount of 4GB DDR4 RAM, it runs fast and smooth. The response rate of the touchpad is also good. 64 GB of storage helps you to install more Android apps and download more stuff.
The battery life is surprisingly good for a laptop which has a powerful processor and graphics card. It lasts about 7 hours of a full charge.
The machine is solid for working, though not perfect yet. There are some important functionality issues you should check for when the laptop arrives. A lot of people have complained about bad charger and overall charging capabilities. You should also perform a test drive on a laptop checking if all apps work properly. Sometimes the apps might crash. It is also known that there might be the issues with the defective build quality from the factory.
ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip Convertible Specifications
2.2 GHz Intel Core M3
|RAM||4GB DDR3 RAM|
|Display||12.5-inch display 1920×1080 pixels LED lit|
|Hard-Drive Size||64 GB|
|Graphics||Integrated Intel HD Graphics 515|
|Item Dimensions||8.3 x 12 x 0.5 in|
|Item Weight||2.65 lbs|
|Operating System||Chrome OS|
To sum up, Asus C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip Convertible laptop is a decent Chromebook with features missing in other laptop convertibles. Good performance, battery life, comfortable keyboard, and many other aspects make this laptop very appealing.
|fast performance||low volume|
|backlit keyboards and comfortable typing||weak charger|
|good screen and graphics||weak WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity|