If you’ve bought a cheap laptop, you already know: it’s hard out there. Sure, there are tons of really cheap laptops out there, but they often have unimpressive specs and are machines you wouldn’t give up to your worst enemy.
However, the landscape is not completely barren. There are a handful of really good, cheap laptops that we think are actually really good computers. Knowing which models to look for can help you find great laptops for under $ 500 from Dell, Lenovo, HP, and other manufacturers we trust.
When considering which laptops were worth considering, we felt that the best budget laptops should meet these minimum criteria:
- An Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processor
- 4 GB RAM
That said, we also believe that for the best experience, a solid laptop usually features:
- An Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor
- 8 GB RAM
- 1080p display
While not all the laptops on our list can live up to all of these high expectations, some do. But they were also among the more expensive options.
Overall, we found worthy laptops with acceptable specifications were in the $ 400-600 price range, with many perfectly thin laptops under $ 500.
Cheap dirt? No.
But it also means you don’t want to throw your new laptop out the window after a month.
So let’s move on to our best budget laptops.
Similar to the Acer Spin 713, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 combines an Intel Core i3 processor with 4 GB of RAM and a 1080p display, resulting in a 14-inch laptop that is one design thanks to its two entries. While this Chromebook is slightly less powerful than the Spin, it still has enough power to run Chrome OS and is a little cheaper to boot. And if you have the optional Lenovo Pen, you can also use this laptop as a digital laptop or canvas.
If you’re looking for the best low-cost laptop that doesn’t do much more than just a laptop, check out the Dell Inspiron 14 laptop. With an 11th Gen Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB RAM, a 14-inch laptop can be fully flipped to function as a tablet or tilted to look like a mini TV, which is ideal for streaming Netflix. And while the 1366 x 768 resolution may not be the sharpest screen on the market, we think the versatility of a laptop costing less than $ 500 will take more than this blow.
The HP 15t laptop is an attractive choice, thanks to the 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM, which means that performance should be fast right out of the box and it isn’t. not outdated as quickly as other options. interval. While the HP 15t doesn’t offer a 1080p display with its basic configuration, it costs a little less than other 15-inch laptops, while still offering a terabyte of storage. If you plan on using a lot of disk space, this is a great option from a brand that makes some of the best laptops for students.
For those looking for a laptop to rub on YouTube, blow up Spotify, or browse endless Twitter or Pinterest feeds, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is the best cheap laptop for the job. Thanks to an AMD Ryzen 5 processor and 8 GB of RAM, it has enough power to handle any HD video without a hitch, and the 14-inch 1080p screen makes sure everything is clear. Add in a pair of speakers powered by Dolby audio and you’ve got a solid laptop for consuming media at a budget price.
Even if you don’t buy a Chromebook with the same hardware gusto as you would on a PC, you can generally get better performance with less powerful (and cheaper) models as Chrome OS is designed to be efficient. The Samsung Chromebook 4 laptop is a good example of this. While the Intel Celeron processor and 4 GB RAM don’t meet our stated criteria, Chrome OS typically requires less processing power than Windows or Mac OS, so we recommend these. And when it comes to the best low-cost laptops, you won’t find a more affordable option on this list.