Best Laptops Under $500 Consumer Reports: Reviews And Top Picks!

Last updated:

Buying a laptop is an important decision especially when your livelihood depends on it. It is important for even those who want to buy a laptop for fun and leisure purposes. Therefore, you should look diligently into the specifications and features of the laptop before buying it.

An interesting thing about laptops is that they are available at varying prices. You can get a laptop for $150 and at the same time, you can buy a premium laptop at $2000 and above. Simply put, there is no end to the upper price limit, as you can go as high as you want.

In my opinion, the best laptops are available in $500 range, as the laptops falling into this price range are perfectly balanced in terms of looks, design, specifications, features, and performance.

If you too are looking to buy a laptop within $500 range, then you should definitely take a look at the best laptops under 500 consumer reports.

You may find your perfect laptop after going through the list and their reviews. With that positive mindset, let’s begin with the review of the five best under $500 laptops.

Top 5 Best Laptops Under $500 Reviews

1. Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop

Best Laptops Under $500 Consumer Reports

This laptop is all about performance. If you are looking to multitask, then there is no other laptop under $500, which is as good as Lenovo C330.

Running on Chrome OS, you will find the interface similar to an Android smartphone/tablet, which makes using the laptop a lot easier. Being a 2-in-1 device, the laptop can be used as a tablet as well.

Sporting a full-HD 11-inch IPS Touch Display, you will definitely enjoy working on this laptop. When it comes to what is under the hood of the laptop, then you’ll find a MediaTek MT8173C Processor, 64 GB Storage Capacity and 4GB DDR3 RAM.

You can access 100 GB Google Cloud Storage as well, which comes along the devices that run on Chrome OS.

The laptop consists of several other features as well like, USB-C, SD card slot and USB 3.0 for seamless connectivity.

If you are looking for a laptop to do essential productivity tasks, then you must consider this laptop.

2. HP Pavillion x360 15.6-Inch Convertible Laptop

Best Laptops Under $500 Consumer Reports

This laptop is a perfect example of ‘Beauty with Brains’. HP has created a splendid laptop that looks beautiful and works efficiently.

A convertible laptop that is a metallic frame, you can expect this machine to last long, really long.

The specs of the laptop are also decent, as it allows you to do multitasking. Moreover, you can play light games on this laptop as well, which acts a testimony to its efficient performance.

Coming to the display of the laptop, then this laptop has a full-HD resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, which delivers stunning visuals and realistic color combination. The display has a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is perfect for photographers and photo editing field.

The incredible performance of the laptop comes from powerful 3.4 GHz Intel Core i3 Dual-Core Processor and 4 GB DDR4 RAM.

This combination is perfect for performing day-to-day tasks. When it comes to graphics, then this laptop is equipped with integrated Intel Graphics that will easily play light to medium games.

I will also suggest this laptop for college students because they will surely be impressed by the design and performance of this laptop.

3. ASUS Chromebook Flip 12.5-Inch Touchscreen Convertible Laptop

Best Laptops Under $500 Consumer Reports

This is another convertible laptop on the list, which looks beautiful and works excellently. Sporting a full-HD 12.5-inch touchscreen, this laptop is ideal for carrying out day-to-day tasks in a perfect manner.

You can use this laptop as a tablet as well, as the hinges provided in it are durable and allow the laptop to move 360 degrees.

Inside the hood of the laptop, you will see Intel Core M3 Processor that is powerful and energy efficient at the same time.

The processor is paired with 64 GB of SSD storage and 4 GB RAM. These specifications are excellent when you are looking to perform essential productivity tasks such as browsing the internet, checking emails and making presentations and notes.

The laptop comes with 10 hours of battery backup. If you are not content with the storage capacity of the laptop, then you can extend the storage by inserting a memory card of up to 256 GB, as this laptop supports SD card.

There are some other features given in the laptop such as Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Overall, a perfect laptop for beginners and light users.

4. HP 2019 14-Inch Laptop (14-CF0014DX) 

Best Laptops Under $500 Consumer Reports

HP has always maintained top standards when it comes to manufacturing laptops, and this laptop is no different.

If your motive is to carry out normal computer tasks such as browsing the web, checking emails and making presentations, then this laptop is ideal for you.

Sporting a 14-inch bright view glossy display with 1366x768 HD resolution, you will get vivid colors in the images and videos.

The performance of this laptop comes from a highly efficient 7th Generation Intel Core i3 Processor, which ensures four-way processing performance for productive computing.

To complement this cutting-edge processor, an 8GB RAM has been installed into the system, which keeps the multitasking seamless.

As far as the storage capacity of the unit is concerned, then you will get 128GB SSD, which has faster start-up times.

The laptop works on Windows 10 OS, which is the most widely used operating system in the world. It has got all the basic features that you will require for day-to-day computing.

5. Acer CB3-532 15.6-Inch HD Chromebook 

Best Laptops Under $500 Consumer Reports

Acer is known to manufacture classy laptops. I really like the simple yet elegant design they opt while manufacturing laptops.

Acer CB3-532 HD Chromebook is no different, as it is designed using high-quality plastic and is given a matte finish, which adds to the beauty of the machine.

When it comes to the specs, this laptop will not disappoint you, as it dons Intel Celeron Dual-Core N3060 1.6 GHz, up to 2.48 GHz.

Complementing this processor is a 2 GB DDR3 Ram and 16 GB Flash Memory. The absence of an optical drive will hurt many users, but they must understand that they won’t get everything in a budget laptop.

The laptop works on Chrome OS, which has a similar kind of interface to Android OS. The inclusion of an SD card reader, HDMI port, a headphone jack, a single USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port will help you connect peripheral devices quite easily.

The laptop incorporates HD webcam as well, which allows users to indulge in video calling. You can even connect Bluetooth devices with this laptop as it comes with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity.

If you have a compact stereo system, then you can connect that with this laptop to enjoy your favorite music on large speakers.

Factors To Consider When Buying A Laptop Under $500

If you have $500 in your wallet, then don’t expect a beast of a machine in that much money because it’s not going to happen.

You will have to compromise on the design, build quality, specs, and performance. But, that doesn’t mean you will get a junk machine after spending $500.

It’s just that you need to find a laptop that has an ideal balance between build quality, specs, and performance. To get hold of such a machine, you need to pay attention to a few factors, which are mentioned below:

Build Quality

When searching for an ideal laptop, the first thing that attracts us is the looks of the laptop. If the design of the laptop is alluring, then that’s the first step towards buying the laptop.

After the design comes the build quality, so if the laptop sports a metal frame instead of a flimsy plastic material, then that’s a big plus.

While most laptops make use of a plastic material to make the laptop light and gripping, but the durability of the laptop can only be ensured if it has a metallic body.

There is no shortage of laptops with a metallic body under $500, so you need to dig a bit in order to find one.

Screen

Once you have checked the build quality and found it satisfactory, then you need to pay attention to the screen size and resolution.

Many laptops incorporate full HD screens, but if you are getting a laptop with 1366 x 1768 resolution, then that is also good given that other specs are solid.

You should also pay attention to the screen panel used in the laptop, whether it is IPS LED or LCD.

While the IPS LED panel offers more vivid colors and better picture quality, but the LCD panel can also do the job quite well.

Processor

The heart of any laptop is the processor, which is installed on the motherboard. While there are many processor-manufacturing companies in the world, but the ones at the top are Intel, AMD, Ryzen, and MediaTek.

There are two things in processors, which you need to check, i.e., processing speed and the number of cores.

RAM

The majority of laptops are equipped with at least 4 GB RAM, which is suitable to carry most of the productivity tasks.

How many gigs of RAM is available on the laptop is one thing, but you should also check as to whether the RAM is a DDR3 RAM or DD4. A DD4 RAM has higher clock speeds and data transfer rate in comparison to DDR3 RAM.

Storage

The storage capacity of a laptop varies from model to model, as some laptops have HDD (hard disk drive) while others have SSD (solid-state drive).

The difference between both storage devices is the speed at which data is transferred, plus the latter has no moving parts as well, which makes it less susceptible to damages. The price of an SSD is higher than an HDD because of that ‘quality’ factor.

In Conclusion

I would only like to mention that laptops have become a common commodity for people. With more and more work being done with the help of software programs, it is better to have a reliable laptop to carry out that work efficiently.

If you don’t want to spend too much on the laptop, then you don’t have to anyways. You can easily get a laptop under $500.

To make things easier for you, I have presented a list of best laptops under 500 consumer reports.

Just go through the reviews of five best laptops and pick one as per your requirements. Happy Shopping!