Greatest laptop computer offers 2019: Home windows and Chromebooks for underneath $500

On the lookout for the perfect laptop computer underneath $500? You and a billion different cut price hunters. You may get fairly a bit in a budget model, so long as you handle your expectations. The excellent news is you needn’t accept a standard clamshell laptop computer with a comparatively mounted show and keyboard. You can get a convertible (aka a two-in-one) — a laptop computer with a display that flips round to show the display right into a pill, to place it for comfy streaming or to do a presentation — at a reasonably cheap worth, for Windows or Chrome OS. All convertibles have touchscreens, as that is a prerequisite for pill operation. One factor you will not discover: a MacBook or some other Apple laptops. Even an iPad Air will run you greater than $500 as soon as you purchase the non-compulsory keyboard (although in case you search for gross sales it would work out to much less).

It is simpler to seek out cheap Chromebooks than Home windows laptops, making it probably the most standard classes of price range laptops available on the market. Google’s Chrome OS is not almost as power-hungry as Home windows, so you may get by with a lower-end processor, slower storage and fewer display decision or reminiscence — only a few of the elements that make a laptop computer costly. 

Our picks

Acer Aspire 5 A classy Home windows clamshell at a fantastic worth See at Amazon
Acer Aspire E 15 An enormous Home windows machine for a low worth See at Amazon
Acer Swift 3 A 13-incher with the works See at B&H
Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA   A small Chromebook convertible that delivers large worth   See at Amazon  
Asus Vivobook F705QA A uncommon 17 incher for lower than $500 See at Amazon
Dell Inspiron 15 5000 A fundamental however engaging laptop computer with the precise options See at B&H
HP Chromebook x360 On sale, it is a good worth See at Amazon
HP Pavilion x360 A Home windows convertible with a contemporary look See at Amazon

And since they’re cloud-first units, you do not want loads of storage in-built. They’re nice in case you spend most of your time roaming the online, writing, streaming video or enjoying Android video games. (For video games, be sure to get a mannequin with a touchscreen.)

For those who’re on the lookout for gaming on a budget, you may nonetheless have to interrupt the $500 ceiling. The least costly price range laptops appropriate for a strong gaming expertise — these with even reasonably highly effective discrete graphics processors, will run you nearer to $700. Listed below are our recommendations if you’re looking for the most inexpensive and the best gaming laptops

Issues to remember:

  • Whereas Chromebooks can run Chrome OS-specific and Android apps, some folks want a full Home windows working system to run heftier functions, like video enhancing suites. With that comes a necessity for a quicker processor with extra cores, extra reminiscence — 8GB is the naked minimal — and extra storage for functions and the working system itself. 
  • Stable-state drives (SSD) could make a giant distinction in how briskly Home windows feels in contrast with spinning laborious disks (HDD), however additionally they push the value up. So in case your price range can stretch just a little, chances are you’ll wish to think about stepping up from base choices to a 128GB SSD. 
  • On this price range worth vary it’s important to be careful for display terminology relating to specs: For this reason “HD” could not all the time imply actually excessive definition. HD, which is 1,920×1,080 pixels, was retronymmed “Full HD” in order that entrepreneurs might preserve promoting you lesser-resolution screens (1,280×720 pixels) as “HD.” In laptops, “HD” normally refers to a 1,366×768-pixel display.
  • Take note of networking. Cheap fashions with older chipsets could solely assist Wi-Fi 3 (or 802.11b/g/n). Wi-Fi Three is restricted to 2.Four GHz channels, that are slower and have a shorter vary than newer chipsets with Wi-Fi 4 (aka 802.11ac) 5 GHz assist. The specs aren’t all the time right on the buying websites, so in case you see a mannequin which does not appear to have WiFi 4, double test on the producer’s website earlier than ruling it out.

Contemplating all specs from battery life to space for storing, display decision, core processor and basic machine and battery efficiency, these are a number of of our high picks for 2019’s finest Home windows laptops and Chromebooks underneath $500, together with their professionals and cons.

Notice: CNET could get a share of income from the sale of merchandise featured on this web page.  


The Aspire 5 15-inch clamshell contains the most recent technology AMD Ryzen Three processor, the 3200U, with its trendy Vega graphics processing. Its Four GB of RAM and 128GB SSD do not permit for utilizing loads of applications or a number of browser tabs open concurrently, however this 15-inch mannequin weighs lower than Four kilos. The value could bounce again to its regular $349, however that is nonetheless an excellent worth for what you get.


A 14-inch Chromebook different to the convertible Pavilion x360, it is fairly well-equipped for working Chrome OS with a Core i3-8130U, eight GB RAM and 64GB of storage. It is a whole lot at its $449 sale worth, but when it bounces again to $600, not a lot.


This slim and lightweight 13-inch Home windows laptop computer packs in loads of good elements, comparable to an Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, full HD show, Kind-A and Kind-C USB ports and a 256GB SSD. It is on sale for $499, but when it goes again to its regular worth of $749 it isn’t simply out of price range, it turns into a meh deal.

The Vivobook stands out as one of many few choices underneath $500 (by 1 cent!) with a 17-inch display. The tradeoff to make that worth is that it is a low-resolution show — 1,600 x 900 pixels — a sluggish however large 1TB 5400rpm spinning disk slightly than SSD (a FireCuda hybrid drive, which makes use of SSD to spice up how briskly the system can learn from the laborious disk) and an older quad-core AMD processor. It does have 8GB RAM and is fairly light-weight for its dimension — lower than 5 kilos. However will probably be slooooow.


For $529, you get a cultured 15-inch laptop computer with the precise set of of options: an Intel Core i processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and an actual HD show. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

It isn’t the prettiest system, however the Aspire is a strong price range laptop computer and features a good 1,920×1,080 15.6-inch display, a ton of ports — new and previous — and even a DVD burner for these nonetheless working on this planet of bodily media. What’s extra, you’ll be able to open it up and add extra reminiscence and space for storing. Cons embrace that it is heavy at 5.Three kilos, however it’s a fantastic possibility as a desktop substitute or as a system you simply wish to tote round the home. This $361 configuration features a dual-core Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB of RAM and a 1TB laborious drive.

Josh Miller/CNET

This elegant, succesful convertible Chromebook sports activities an all-aluminum two-in-one design and touch-screen show. It is acquired a backlit keyboard, two USB-C ports and a 1,920×1,080 12.5-inch show, and because it weighs underneath 2.5 kilos, it is a fantastic journey companion or enterprise laptop computer. A price range Chromebook with nice battery life (as much as 10 hours), this man runs round $469 for a dual-core Intel Core m3 processor — you’ll be able to even bump it as much as an m5 and nonetheless keep beneath $500 — 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. A strong Chromebook excellent for fundamental net looking, phrase processing, enterprise functions and extra.


The newest model of this modern Home windows 2-in-1 convertible laptop computer packs in fairly a bit for round $500; it has a 14-inch show (although solely low-resolution HD), a current-generation dual-core i3-8145U, a 128GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. The stylus comes with, and it boasts one among HP’s wonderful keyboards. The battery life is not terrific, however it’s gentle for a 14-inch at underneath Four kilos. 

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