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Best Laptops Under $500 (2023)

Since the best laptops in the world often require an investment of more than $1,000, a budget of $500 may sound like a small amount, but it’s still a big amount. The best laptops under $500 are way above their category, offering solid performance, day-long battery life, and often coming with great extra features like a functional tablet mode or decent playability.

There are some sacrifices to be made in this price range, but $500 is more than enough to get a great laptop if you know where to look. So whatever you want your new laptop to do, here are the best laptops you can buy for under $500. Some of them, with a significantly lower price.

The best laptops under $500:

  • Best overall laptop under $500: Asus Vivobook 14
  • Best Chromebook under $500: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
  • Best 17-inch laptop under $500: Lenovo IdeaPad 3
  • Best gaming laptop under $500: HP 14

Best 2-in-1 laptop under $500: Surface Go 3

1. Asus VivoBook 14

Asus VivoBook 14

The best laptop under $500 overall

  • Processor: Intel Core i3 1115G4
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD

The best laptops under $500 are all decent machines for light work, web browsing, and enjoying your favorite media, but the laptop that shines in this weight class is the Asus VivoBook 14. It comes with an 11th-generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 CPU with dual cores and quad thread support, plus an impressive 12GB of RAM. That gives it plenty of power to handle multiple web browser tabs and handle large spreadsheets or Office documents without serious slowdowns.

The Xe graphics doesn’t have much gaming power, but it’s enough for retro gaming or indie gaming, and light esports and the 1080p display is clear and sharp enough to enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows.

It comes with Windows 11 as standard so you can enjoy the latest Windows operating system, and there’s a solid selection of ports, including USB-A, USB-C, a headphone and microphone jack, HDMI output for external displays, and a USB reader. Fingerprints for easy login. If you need a good general-purpose laptop for light tasks, the Asus VivoBook 14 is the best laptop under $500 for you.

2. Lenovo Chromebook Duet

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

The best Chromebook under $500

  • Processor: MediaTek Helio P60T
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB eMMC

Many of the best laptops under $500 are Chromebooks because Chrome OS is a very lightweight operating system and doesn’t require as much power to run as Windows or Mac OS. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a great example of this. At first glance, it appears to be rather sparsely specced, but it offers decent performance along with great battery life.

It is a device that falls somewhere between a laptop and a tablet, and that works well as both. Its keyboard is quite small, so it’s not the best device for those with big hands, but it’s still comfortable to type on and the whole device is very compact and lightweight, making it a great travel companion if you want. work on a train or plane.

This model comes with the largest model of 128GB of eMMC storage, although you also get a free bonus of 100GB of Google Drive space if you need more. There’s also a smaller 64GB version if you don’t need that much, and you’ll save a few more bucks if you can do without that capacity.

3. Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Lenovo IdeaPad 3

The best 17-inch laptop under $500

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5500U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD

Big screens usually come with higher costs and shorter battery life, but the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 manages to stay within our budget thanks to its considerable discount, and its battery life isn’t bad either.

At its heart, this laptop enjoys the solid performance of a six-core AMD Ryzen 5500U processor, which is a cut above what most of the laptops on this list offer. Combined with 8 GB of RAM and a half terabyte of SSD, you have a versatile system that is both agile and has plenty of space for all your files. It even has enough power for some light gaming thanks to the integrated Vega graphics.

The screen is a great size for watching immersive movies and TV shows, and while the resolution is capped at 1,600 x 900, it’s perfectly adequate for the kind of light tasks a sub-$500 laptop is designed for.

Battery life should last up to eight hours of mixed-use, which is impressive considering the size of the screen and the power of the CPU, and a testament to the solid power management and efficient components that it packs in. its interior. However, it weighs close to two kilos and the 17-inch screen does not make it the most portable device.

4. HP 14

HP 14

The best gaming laptop under $500

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5500U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD

Gaming laptops are often equipped with a dedicated GPU, and that almost universally pushes them away from a $500 budget. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a laptop that’s great for gaming at an affordable price. Meet the HP 14, a laptop with excellent performance for its price point and enough integrated GPU cores to deliver a solid frame rate in almost any esports game or older AAA title you throw at it.

Under the hood, you’ll find a six-core AMD Ryzen 5500U processor, seven Vega graphics cores, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD space—more than enough for a handful of your favorite games. The memory is a little lower than you’ll want in some cases, but it’s user-upgradable, so you can always upgrade to 16GB in the future if you want. And while the battery on this device is small, you’ll get a few hours of gaming without having to search for a charger.

The screen is 1080p, which at 14 inches looks fantastically sharp and clear, and is bright enough to enjoy your favorite games. It doesn’t have a high refresh rate, but aside from lighter esports games, you won’t see super-high frame rates with this laptop. Still, it’s easily the best gaming laptop for around $500.

5. Microsoft Surface Go 3

Microsoft Surface Go 3


The best 2-in-1 Windows laptop under $500

  • Processor: Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD

It may be the most modest product in the Surface lineup, but the Surface Go has been one of the best 2-in-1 laptops for years, and the Surface Go 3 is the latest and greatest iteration in that line. It has higher performance than its predecessors, the same great Type Cover keyboard accessory, and a bright, vibrant display. It doesn’t have the most contemporary look, and its battery life could be better, but it’s incredibly versatile, and with Windows 11 out of the box, it works just as well as a tablet as it does as a laptop.

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