Consider the following scenario please: your budget is close to 500 dollars and you’re looking to buy the best laptop under 500 dollars you can get, right? The next step would be to search online for some laptops and then filter your results by price. You will probably get a list of few dozens laptops for your selected price criteria and you have to decide on the one that is right for you.
My question to you is following: which one would you choose? And to make things even a little more complicated, you will also need to determine what features are absolutely necessary for you to have. Well, assuming that you’re interested in the absolute best performance you can get for under $500 price, this entire research process is much simpler than you think.
I always start my research with the processor’s strength (aiming for at least 2500 benchmark points, amount of RAM (preferably at least 4GB) and video card performance (for gaming or other graphic intensive usage). Provided you know how to set your game settings, even these under 500 dollars cheap laptops can suit your gaming needs.
Top-Rated Laptops Priced Around $500 This Month
Toshiba Satellite S55D-A5366 15.6-Inch Laptop
Price: $470.82 Go to Store
(10 Customer Reviews)
This 15.6-inch Toshiba Satellite S55D-A5366 laptop with a powerful AMD A10-5750M quad-core processor running at 2.1 GHz, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a Radeon HD 8610G video card that is better than then Intel Graphics HD 4000 (which is already strong enough to handle most games) is just great. I think this laptop is quite suitable for gamers, power users and students alike. Casual users will find it probably too powerful, lol, but a little bit of extra power to play with is always nice to have if you can afford it.
It doesn’t feature a Touchscreen like some other laptops in this price range, but for that you end up getting a lot of performance.
Feature List: HDMI, one USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports, WebCam, Microphone, WiFi, HDMI and LAN ports, DVD±RW, Windows 8 @ 64-bit, 750GB Hard Drive Space, Numeric Keypad, etc.
I think it’s the best package at the moment.
HP Pavilion 17.3″ Laptop Computer – AMD Elite Quad-Core A8-5550M / 4GB DDR3 / 750GB Hard Drive / Anodized Silver / Windows 8
Price: $529.96 Go to Store
(22 Customer Reviews)
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Another powerful quad-core laptop is this HP Pavilion 17.3″. It comes with 750GB of disk space, 4GB DDR3 of RAM memory and thanks to its AMD Elite Quad-Core A8-5550M Accelerated Processor with AMD Radeon HD 8550G graphics card it is more than capable of handling any games you might want to throw at it. The only thing I thing is pulling this device down is the 4GB of RAM, but this can be easily upgraded to 8GB or more and I see this Laptop really taking off. If it would have had this preinstalled it would be higher up. The design is also nice and clean. I really dare you to find another “budget gaming” laptop under $500 with better performance than this one The 17.3-Inch display is also a big plus.
Feature List: two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port, 750GB HDD, powerful AMD Quad-Core processor, 4GB DDR3, HDMI out, VGA port, DVD±RW, LAN, WiFi Connection, Card Reader, Webcam and Microphone, Windows 8 64-bit, etc.
Acer Aspire E1-572P-6857 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop (Clarinet Black)
Price: $545.90 Go to Store
(7 Customer Reviews)
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
If you are looking for a laptop with a touch enabled screen then the Acer Aspire E1-572P-6857 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop is one of the best ones available at the moment. It comes with the new 4th Generation Intel Core i3-4010U Processor running at 1.7 GHz, has 6GB of installed RAM and 750GB of storage space. Compared to the models above this is not as fast, and not that capable of running games. That’s the price you have to pay for the Touchscreen. This will make the usage of the Windows 8 interface much easier. The design is very clean and simple one might even say basic. It comes with all the connectivity options you can think of.
Feature list: one USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 port, HDMI and VGA connectivity, 750GB HDD, 4th Generation Intel Core i3 Processor, 6GB DDR3, 10-point Touchscreen, LAN, WiFi Connection, Card Reader, Webcam and Microphone, Windows 8 64-bit, etc.
Even if most Ultrabooks are getting the Touchscreen treatment and staying in the higher price brackets, the models without it are coming in the range we are discussing now. Because of this I would like to recommend one of our favorits the Acer Aspire S3-391-6811 13.3-Inch Ultrabook.
Acer Aspire S3-391-6811 13.3-Inch Ultrabook (Champagne)
Price: — Go to Store
(13 Customer Reviews)
It comes with a 3rd Generation Intel Core i5 3337U running at 1.8 GHz, with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 500 GB HDD. The performance stats might not sound that much, but this is an Ultrabook which is designed to be portable. With it’s 13.3-Inch display, thin and light design and up to 6.5 hours of battery life it sure is portable. I think the performance is enough to do almost anything a student or a businessman might need.
Who can use these budget laptops?
These budget devices can be used by a very wide range of people. They are useful for all purposes. They can even be used for a moderate amount of gaming or multitasking. I wouldn’t recommend using these devices for Power Gaming or heavy multitasking, as if you truly need a laptop for that purpose you should go with one designed especially for that particular purpose. If you want the best performance, build your own with what you need (in the eventuality that whatever you find is displeasing to you, of course).
Great Laptops for Students
A student doesn’t really have the time for gaming or serious demanding activities with their laptops, therefore not a lot of strength is needed. Hence, these budget laptops will suffice since a student will only need enough strength as to run their school programs, storage space for files and enough power to run the occasional movie or small game. Therefore, these laptops are perfect for students.
You will definitely not regret this purchase.
More than enough power for Casual Users
As far as I can tell, a casual user requires even less hardware strength than a student. All of the casual users I know of only use the PC for Facebook or other social network websites and the occasional movie. Perhaps for a quick game played in the browser or for other low-resource demanding purposes.
The point I’m trying to reach here is: while these cheap laptops offer you the ability to do all of the above mentioned tasks, so do the even cheaper laptops. Therefore, you can get away with a laptop that’s way cheaper. However, as I already said, if you have the money and want to pay for a bit more quality, this is the smartest choice you could possibly make.
Suitable Laptops for Business
If most of the laptops that cost under 400 dollars could do really well for a business user, imagine what these could do. In essence, a business user requires a ton of storage space and enough hardware strength to run all of his required programs and / or applications. Naturally, that “strength” is usually only measured by the speed of the RAM, which you need plenty of if you desire some multitasking.
Basically, these laptops offer you all of that with the plus of a really fast processor. Also, that processor will make all the difference in the world when it comes to multitasking.
Decent performance for Power Users
A power user is usually someone that requires a ton of power for genuine productive tasks, unlike gaming. Things such as extreme multitasking are the ones that a power user requires. Sadly, not many devices can provide the required strength for that strenuous activity.
That is not the case with these laptops, however. While with the entry-level laptops you had to worry about whether or not they will be useful for a power user, those things do not apply for these laptops. With all of their strength they are more than a bit capable of multitasking. Granted, I don’t know how well they will fare under extreme multitasking situations, but I am positive that they will function appropriately.
Good Gaming Laptops Under $500
The gaming laptop is the apex of mobile PC technology. That is mostly due to the fact that only Games and Benchmark programs pull on the laptop in such a way that they force it to use all of its resources. It takes a very powerful laptop to be able to run the best of games.
These laptops aren’t so strong so they can run just about any game at the maximum details, but they are sufficient enough to run just about any game. Provided you know how to set your details, you will have no problem whatsoever using this devices in gaming. The graphics cards of these laptops are strong enough to even run Battlefield 3 or such high-demanding titles.
In conclusion, if you find yourself in need of a laptop that can pretty much do anything you can think of and have around 500 dollars nearby (give or take 50 bucks), don’t hesitate to think about these devices. It is guaranteed that most of these cheap laptops will be able to handle most tasks out there. They may not offer a great deal of performance in the more complex tasks that involve a ton of multitasking or power gaming, but other than that they should operate as smooth as possible.