Whether you need to get a second machine for traveling, or you simply don’t need all of the bells and whistles of a high-priced device, there’s a whole world of impressive, yet inexpensive laptops out there. Many cheap laptops under $500 now offer a blend of design, hardware specs, and performance that were previously unthinkable at their price point. You no longer have to make major compromises in order to save money!
When shopping for a laptop on a tight budget, it’s important to check the specs. The laptop’s processor, display, type of storage, and available connectivity options are more important than anything else. Overall, a cheap laptop with top-of-the-line features will be a reliable, futureproof pick.
Whether you’re looking for a compact 2-in-1 notebook or a large-screen desktop replacement, we recommend starting your search at these high-performing cheap laptops under $500!
Acer Aspire 5 Windows 10 Laptop
Priced below $400, the The Acer Aspire 5 is an outstanding cheap laptop, and I’m definitely not alone in thinking that. A Laptop Mag review editor recently noted that the “Aspire 5 is the laptop to get if you’re on a budget,” and a CNET tester concluded that the Aspire 5 “definitely delivers more performance for your money than you might expect.” With thin display bezels and an aluminum top cover, the Aspire 5 looks vastly more expensive than it is. It’s also impressively compact and lightweight for a full-size laptop with a 15.6-inch display.
ASUS VivoBook 15 Windows 10 Laptop
The ASUS VivoBook 15 is a solid alternative to our top pick, as it has a sleeker design, more RAM, a built-in fingerprint sensor, and a slightly lower price tag. The insanely thin display bezels make the ASUS VivoBook 15 look impossibly compact and elegant for its price range. I also like the device’s ergonomic keyboard with adjustable height. This cheap laptop delivers solid hardware performance for its price point. It also has fast-charging capabilities — you can get your battery from empty to 60% in less than an hour!
HP Chromebook 15 Chrome OS Laptop
The HP Chromebook 15 is the best Chrome OS laptop out today. Elegantly designed and superbly crafted, it has a high-quality touch screen, plenty of power for a fast and fluid performance, and access to Android apps via the Google Play store. Its metal chassis looks sharp, and so does its vibrant touch screen with thin bezels. A CNET editor also noted that this cheap laptop pick is “more like a higher-end mainstream Windows 10 laptop.”
Microsoft Surface Go Tablet
The latest member of the Microsoft Surface product family is an ultra-compact, 10-inch tablet. A budget of $500 will get you the entry-level Surface Go with 64 GB of storage and 4 GB of RAM, coupled with a Surface Type cover in the color of your choosing. This cheap laptop’s Intel Pentium Gold processor isn’t exactly a powerhouse, but it’s plenty capable for web browsing and video streaming.
HP Stream 14 Windows 10 Laptop
The HP Stream 14 is the best cheap laptop for buyers who are on a really tight budget. It has a pleasantly understated design, a fantastic set of connectivity features, and superb battery life. The notebook also comes with a year-long subscription of Microsoft Office 365, thus allowing users to conquer productivity tasks the moment they power it up. With an entry-level Intel processor onboard, the notebook is best suited for web browsing, streaming video at home, and editing office documents. With just over 14 hours of battery life, the device is ideal for use on the go.