Best Laptops Under $500

Those on a budget might be surprised to learn just how much laptop you can get for less than $500 these days. Chromebooks are coming on strong, because they’re easy to use, responsive and satisfy basic computing needs. Prefer Windows? You can also pick up a Windows 8 laptop with touch for less than $350. The trick of choosing a great budget notebook is finding the one that delivers what you care about most, whether it’s portability, performance, display quality or comfort.

Here are the best laptops available now for less than $500. 

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. margaret Says:

    My 10 year-old desk top is dying and I had no idea where to begin to find information on laptops. I stumbled on to your site and so appreciative of the reviews and comments. I’ve managed to narrow my choices to only 4! That’s a great accomplishment for me.

  2. Darlene Says:

    It makes me wonder your motivation when given 8 slots to fill you only mention two brands …. are you getting paid to have this oppion then?

  3. Darlene Says:

    Your choice of ONLY two name brands makes me trust PC mag more. But thanks anyway. :)

  4. Kat Says:

    HP, Dell, ASUS, Toshiba = 4 brands.

  5. Tressa Fresquez Says:

    And people wonder why I left the US for my PhD- no one back home believes my building is closed on Sundays and you can’t go in!

  6. Says:

    Everyone loves cheap, and everyone wants equipment that does not slow them down. This is why this blog is great, as it lists 8 laptops that come under both of the above categories. These 8 laptops by HP offers great performance and all of them are under £500.

  7. Ernest Says:

    Top 6 laptops for paupers.

  8. mike Says:

    I’m looking though I haven’t gotten anything, the Samsung Chromebook Series 3 is really cheap and there is no mentioning of the ram or memory. What could this mean?

  9. Hayden Says:

    You are trying to find the TOP 6 so if there is a shortage on brands thats because the best spots are clear. Its like asking for the fastest overall coolest cars and then getting upset if they say Lamborghini or Ferrari.

  10. Milton Says:

    I bought my Lenovo laptop in March, 2013 for $445 total from a Staples special. It has a 3rd generation i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 700GB hard drive and many other nice features. I got it with coupons Deal of the Day type thing from PC Magazine site referral. So there was an extra coupon serial code beyond the large Staples discount. It’s an excellent laptop. Of course, on most of these laptops you can add the 4 GB to get 8 GM but why bother, if you can buy one that comes with it already.

  11. Denis Says:

    i hope they were using windows 7 for non touchscreen laptop, well whatever

  12. who cares Says:

    Who cares about your PHD. Who cares about how many brands. You f@cktards need to get a life and stop whining.

  13. jimmy Says:

    Jennifer looks a lot better from the neck up.

  14. Maureen Says:

    Great site, soooo helpful to an oldie like myself who needs to update my ancient laptop but is baffled by the array on offer, can go shopping now with a lot more confidence. Thank you.

  15. kahiurrahman Says:

    I’ve managed to narrow my choices to only 4! That’s a great accomplishment for me.Everyone loves cheap, and everyone wants equipment that does not slow them down. This is why this blog is great, as it lists 8 laptops that come under both of the above categories

  16. Zero Says:

    And what about the HP Stream 14? Despite the AMD CPU cores are not strong, the GPU cores could compensate that. Definately nothing near to a Gamer Laptop, but enough strong to run smothly some old games.

  17. Salyan Patteson Says:

    Does the Toshiba Satellite L50 come in any other colour than white

  18. Ian Says:

    We have had 4 acer aspires between us and the common problem is the quality of the paint on the mouse the colour wears and the black from the plastic shows.

  19. ayud Says:

    This is a great article on top 8 computers. Who doesn’t love a really cheap computer? A really great artice. :):):):):):):):)

  20. Ron Abate Says:

    Chromebooks are the way to go! Less expensive, will do most things that that Apple and Windows systems do. Virus checkers no longer required. No more ads. Long battery life. Many free apps. Less waiting. Great for streaming to your TV.

  21. Dr K C Agrawal Says:

    I need help in being able to select a most suitable LAP TOP for being able to write a book. The subject is highly mathematical and does have reasonable graphics. I can spend about $800/

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