Best Sub-$500 Notebooks: Real PCs, iPad Price

How much laptop can you really get for the price of an iPad? Actually, a lot more than you could just six months ago. Thanks to AMD’s new Fusion E-350 processor, which combines a dual-core processor and graphics on a single chip, the latest sub-$500 notebooks offer plenty of power for everyday computing. And because Fusion is frugal with power, you can work and play unplugged longer than you can with a cheap Intel Pentium laptop. No, you don’t get the iPad’s epic 10 hours of battery life or portability, but you get a real keyboard, a larger screen, full Flash support, and HDMI output–without needing an adapter–all for a great price.

Here are our top four picks under $500.

Anna Attkisson
Anna Attkisson
A lover of lists and deadlines, Anna Attkisson covers apps, social networking, tablets, chromebooks and accessories. She loves each of her devices equally, including the phablet, three tablets, three laptops and desktop. She joined the Laptop Mag staff in 2007, after working at Time Inc. Content Solutions where she created custom publications for companies from American Express to National Parks Foundation.
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  1. DK Says:

    Only for the review of the dm1z do I see a note being made of the distracting fan noise. Do the other computers (with the same E-350 processor) not run as loud?

  2. Bruce Says:

    Why isn’t the ASUS Eee PC 1215N on this list? You called it, “the best 12-inch notebook you can get under $500″

  3. Mike Prospero Says:

    Bruce: We wanted to highlight more recent notebooks than the 1215N.

  4. Jro Says:

    How about the Toshiba Satellite L755-S5271 15.6-Inch LED Laptop? Just found it on Amazon for $499.99, and that looks alright.

  5. Robert Byrd Says:

    Mike, Im looking for a laptop for email, surfing, watching DVD’s and Streaming video, listening to CD’s and maybe downloading Google’s Sketch-Up. Im partial to a larger screen for viewing purposes. What would you recommend?

  6. Michael A. Prospero, LAPTOP Reviews Editor Says:

    Robert – A good budget option that we recently reviewed is the HP Pavilion g4, which is $379 at Best Buy.
    If you’re looking for a larger screen, the ASUS A53t might also be a good option.

    Jro: We reviewed the AMD version of the Toshiba Satellite L755 and also found it to be a good performer

  7. Leli Alexander Says:

    Should the HP Pavilion dv6-3210us be on this list? I’ve seen many reviews on this particular laptop and most have been bad. I want this kind of laptop but would like to keep my options open. I want a laptop like this because of its style and ability to show powerful graphics. Any other recommendations?

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