Just how much laptop can you get for under $350? Acer's Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM) offers a colorful 1080p display, strong build quality and solid Core i3-powered performance. The laptop lasts for over 8 hours on a charge, impressive endurance for any 15-inch laptop, let alone one at this price point. The Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM) also comes equipped with 4GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, a DVD writer and just about every port you could possibly want, including a USB Type-C connector.
|Best Laptops Under $500|
|Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM)||Best Overall||4 out of 5|
|Asus L402SA||Best 14-inch Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Dell Inspiron 11 3000||Best Sub-$200 Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Samsung Chromebook Plus||Best Chromebook||4 out of 5|
|Asus Transformer Mini T102HA||Best 2-in-1||3 out of 5|
|Asus VivoBook S15||New and Notable||N/A|
|Acer Spin 1||New and Notable||N/A|
Asus's low-cost, lightweight laptop has a comfortable keyboard, a colorful design and a vibrant 14-inch display that can reproduce a strong 92 percent of the sRGB color gamut. At 3.3 pounds, the L402SA is easy to carry anywhere and it provides a ton of ports, including two USB Type-As and VGA, HDMI and Ethernet connectors.
Dell's Inspiron 11 3000 stands out from its bargain-basement competitors by offering 13 hours of battery life, solid audio output and an attractive design. This 11.6-inch, 2.4-pound laptop is available in a wide variety of bright colors, including red and blue, has better build quality than you'd expect in this price range and features a snappy keyboard for pleasant typing.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus is a laptop built on premieres. It's one of the first Chromebooks that can run Android apps out the box and has an embedded stylus -- adding loads of functionality to Google's otherwise scant operating system. Powered by an ARM processor, the laptop is an able multitasker and looks good while doing it thanks to its sleek sliver aluminum chassis.
The Asus Transformer Mini T102HA serves as both a tablet and a miniature Windows 10 laptop with a detachable keyboard, a bright screen and all-day battery life. If you're looking for an inexpensive secondary computer, a 10-inch 2-in-1 can be a highly portable and affordable option. The hybrid also comes with a pen for productivity buffs and creatives alike.
The Asus VivoBook S15 is the latest laptop to go on the bezel diet, with its 7.8-millimeter "NanoEdge" borders. The chassis is thin and light at 3.3 pounds and 0.7-inches thick. This system isn't short on power, thanks to its available Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 940MX GPU. And while it's built like a more expensive ultraportable, the VivoBook S15 starts at $499.
What if we told you that you could have a tablet and laptop in one for $329? Meet the Acer Spin 1, the company's latest convertible. Despite the price, the Spin 1 offers a premium metallic chassis with a lovely 1920 x 1080 IPS touchscreen. It can be configured with either a Celeron and Pentium processor with 16GB and up to 128GB eMMC storage for light productivity and multimedia.
While the best laptops cost much more, the average consumer spends under $500 for a new notebook. When shopping for a laptop in this price range, you have to make some compromises, so it's important to prioritize the features that matter most and get as many of them as you can, without breaking your budget.
We've listed several high-quality budget laptops on this page for you to consider. When evaluating a laptop, consider these factors in this order of importance:
A good laptop that costs over $800 should have all of these features, but if you can find a system that has one or more of these for under $500, you're ahead of the game.