Those on a budget might be surprised to learn just how much laptop you can get for less than $500 these days. You can expect a very capable dual-core Intel Core i3 or AMD A6 processor, at least 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. In other words, you’ll have plenty of horsepower to run Windows 8 smoothly. Want something even cheaper for just getting online? You can pick up our favorite Chromebook for just $249, an ARM-powered clamshell lasted over 7 hours on our battery test. The trick of choosing a great budget laptop is finding one that delivers in the areas you care most about, whether it’s performance, design, display quality, sound or comfort. Here are the best laptops available now for less than $500.
One of our favorite budget notebooks, the HP Pavilion g6 comes in multiple color options and your choice of a Core i3 CPU (the Pavilion g6t, for more processing punch) or AMD APU (the Pavilion g6z, for more graphics muscle). Either way, you’ll enjoy good sound and ergonomic comfort for a great price.