The Best Laptops Under $500 in 2020

The best laptops under $500 won't leave you unsettled because you didn't pay a premium price. There are value-priced notebooks that include full-HD displays, solid performance and long battery life, plus all the ports you need. You can even get a laptop with a touch screen in this price range, though it will be on the smaller side. Some of these even made it on our best laptops page.

After reviewing dozens of value-priced systems, the best laptops under $500 with a Windows 10 operating system are the 15-inch Acer Aspire E 15 and the Acer Aspire 5. We even wrote a face-off to help you choose between the two. Meanwhile, the best Chromebooks under $500 that you’ll find are the HP Chromebook 15 and HP Chromebook x2. We recently reviewed the new Acer Swift 3, which starts at $499, but it didn't perform well enough to make this list due its mediocre battery life. Check out our best cheap laptop deals or even the best back-to-school laptop deals.

Keep in mind that you’re still going to have to make some compromises when you’re looking for a laptop at this price. But, if you’re okay with that and you want an even cheaper laptop, take a look at our selection of the best laptops under $300. If you're looking for something for your kid, check our best kids tablets page.

What are the best laptops under $500?

If you’re looking at the top of the best laptops under $500 list, you’ll find the Acer Aspire E 15 and the Acer Aspire 5. Why? Well, Acer is pretty good at making affordable laptops and giving you the most bang for your buck, which is why you’ll see Intel Core i3 CPUs in its laptops even at under $500. The Aspire 5 even sports a premium aesthetic, with a silver, aluminum hood. And both laptops feature a wide variety of ports.

However, if you prefer working on a Chromebook, the best ones around right now are the HP Chromebook 15, HP Chromebook x2 and Samsung Chromebook 4. The HP Chromebook 15 is the best all-rounder. Most Chromebooks look tragically boring, but the HP Chromebook 15's two-toned design (Ceramic White and Cloud Blue) caught my eye. If you want something more versatile, the HP Chromebook x2 offers a detachable 2-in-1 design. And if you want to prioritize battery life, go with the Samsung Chromebook 4, which lasted 10 hours and 36 minutes on our tests.

Some of the other best laptops under $500 include the HP Stream 11 and Acer Swift 1. The former is by far the cheapest Windows 10 laptop that you’ll find, so you should expect some major compromises in performance. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something that’s a good size and lightweight, then the Acer Swift 1 would be the best laptop for you.

The best laptops under $500 you can buy today

  1. Acer Aspire 5
  2. Acer Aspire E 15
  3. HP Stream 11
  4. Lenovo Chromebook Duet
  5. HP Chromebook x2
  6. Acer Swift 1
  7. HP Chromebook 15
  8. Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook
  9. Samsung Chromebook 4