Get a Kaby Lake R-based Inspiron for $499

Cheap doesn't always mean good, but the Inspiron 15 5000 is one of a handful of laptops that manages to balance power and affordability. 

Buy on Microsoft Store

For a limited time, the Microsoft Store offers Dell's mainstream machine for $499. That's $100 under Dell's direct price and one of the lowest prices we've seen for an Inspiron 15 laptop. What sets this machine apart from most budget notebooks is that it houses a 1.6GHz Core i5-8250U quad-core processor.

In our hands-on testing, we found that Intel's 8th-gen CPUs were noticeable faster — sometimes by up to 91 percent — than Intel's 7th-gen chips, the latter of which are still used in many low-cost notebooks.

There is one small compromise that Dell makes to hit this price point. The laptop features a 1TB 5,400 rpm hard drive, which although spacious, is slow by modern standards. Otherwise, the laptop includes all your basics like a 15.6-inch 1080p multi-touch LCD and 8GB of RAM.