Consumer Reports

Best Laptops Under 500 Consumer Reports: HP, Acer, Dell, Lenovo & Chromebook

Owning a laptop in the present day world is a necessity. Not all people can afford the high-end costly laptops that offer all the prime features and specifications. Sometimes you have to spend under $500 on a laptop that can meet the basic needs. Laptop for home, students or children falls under this category.

Making a decision of a low budget laptop is even tougher than buying a costly one. Owing to the fact, that you have to make the best possible purchase that gives you the best return for your money and offers you good features. We can imagine how difficult it can be. For this reason, we have prepared a buying guide for laptops under $500. The buying guide will answer all your questions and help you make the best possible decision.

Also i Listed below some excellent laptops that costs less than 500 dollars.

7. HP Stream Laptop PC 11-y010nr

HP Stream Laptop PC 11-y010nr


  • 1.6Hz Intel Celeron dual core processor
  • 16 GB emmc
  • 4GB RAM
  • 11.6 inch screen

This is a truly cheap laptop which is one of its major draws. It has a fun design that is all curves and no edges, and the blue color is also a cute addition. The design makes it great for kids, since the aesthetics will appeal to someone young. This is also a pretty compact laptop. It is very lightweight so you won’t get tired carrying out around which is always a plus point. It is also reasonably powerful; the dual core processor is capable of handling some basic tasks.

That being said, this is not a laptop for office going adults. It is pretty fragile and will break easily, also there is no optical drive so CDs can’t be used. The processor is also far too weak to handle more complex and advanced tasks so you will have to get an upgrade at some point. This is a good starter laptop, though.


  • One of the cheapest laptops out there
  • Cute design, perfect for kids
  • Compact and portable
  • Powerful enough for basic tasks


  • Extremely prone to breaking
  • No optical drive
  • Weak processor; useless for even slightly advanced tasks

Best Price

6. Acer Swift 1

Acer Swift 1


  • 8GB RAM
  • 1.1 GHz Intel processor
  • 64GB hard drive
  • 13.3 inch display

This is an incredibly light laptop that has quite a bit of storage space. 64GB is not a vast amount of space, but it is enough to let you keep a collection of movies and songs which is a decent amount of space overall. You also get a light and portable design as well as solid RAM that allows you to use this laptop heavily. Unlike the HP Stream Laptop, this laptop is something that proper users can buy and finish all of their tasks on.

There are a couple of things you should keep in mind, though. The low price is justified by a fragile build. This laptop both looks and feels quite cheap, and the battery life of just over nine hours is rather weak when you consider how long you might need to use it after a full charge.


  • Light design makes it easy to carry around
  • RAM enables extended use
  • Enough storage space for basic files
  • Price enables upgrades


  • Low battery life
  • Rather flimsy build

Best Price

5. ASUS 10.1” Transformer Mini

ASUS 10.1” Transformer Mini


  • 10.1 inch screen
  • 128GB SSD
  • 4GB RAM
  • 1.44GHz Intel Atom processor

This laptop has a very useful tablet mode. A lot of laptops do, but their screens are usually so big that using the tablet can be a hassle. This laptop has a ten inch screen, which is the perfect size for a tablet to bet. You also get the benefit of a one touch login which allows you to access your laptop a lot more easily. Also, this laptop has a very lightweight body, weighing in at less than two pounds. You can charge this laptop with a micro USB charger which is convenient because you don’t have to buy a separate charger from your phone.

A couple of problems you might have with this laptop are that the keyboard can be a little tough to type on, as well as the low quality video you will be getting. Overall, though, this is a fine laptop for the price and is certainly a solid buy.


  • Small screen makes tablet mode more useful
  • Micro USB charger enables power bank charging; boosts portability
  • Convenient one touch login
  • 1.7 pound body is extremely lightweight


  • Clunky keys
  • Doesn’t support high quality video

Best Price

4. Dell Inspiron 11 11.6″ HD LED Laptop Computer

Dell Inspiron 11 11.6" HD LED Laptop Computer


  • 11.6 inch screen
  • AMD Dualcore Processor
  • 32GB EMMC
  • 8GB RAM

This laptop is great for people that tend to work very long hours. This is because it has a backlit screen which is designed to reduce eye strain. You also get a very cool design with this product, something that a lot of other laptops skimp out on. Also, if you were worried about the ASUS Transformer Mini and its clunky keyboard, this laptop has a much better one that you can use. This is why it has been placed higher on this list!

You also get a pretty rugged build, one that can withstand turbulence and rough use with ease. You won’t have to worry about this laptop breaking down any time soon. However, you will have to contend with a glitchy trackpad which can be quite annoying for work that requires finesse. Also, the weak Bluetooth will be a problem for people that tend to transfer a lot of files.


  • Backlit screen reduces eye strain
  • Rugged, durable build
  • Aesthetically pleasing design
  • Soft keys make typing fun


  • Weak Bluetooth
  • Glitchy trackpad

Best Price

3. 2018 Lenovo Ideapad 320

2018 Lenovo Ideapad 320


  • 4GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Intel Celeron Dual Core Processor
  • 15.6 inch screen

When you boot this laptop up you will notice that it is ready to use within seconds. This is great for people that need to use their laptops suddenly and for important work. An added benefit is the ample storage space. Hundreds of gigabytes will definitely be enough to store all of the data you need, as well as some high definition movies and songs. For a laptop with so many features, as well as an amazing high definition screen and a long lasting battery, this laptop really is surprisingly cheap.

There are a couple of problems that prevented this laptop from being ranked even higher, though. The speakers aren’t very good which is a problem for audio lovers. Also, for all its benefits this laptop does not have a lot of RAM. This can decrease its usability, and take away a lot of value for money.


  • Large, high definition screen is great for movies
  • Quick boot up saves time
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Long lasting battery
  • Surprisingly cheap


  • Speakers put out low quality audio
  • Low RAM leads to lagging at times

Best Price

2. Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook

Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook


  • 32GB hard drive
  • 11.6 inch screen
  • 2.1 GHz Intel processor
  • 4GB RAM

A solid Chromebook that has many amazing features, this laptop’s most unique benefit is the 720p webcam. Laptop cameras have fallen out of fashion recently, but they might be making a comeback because this laptop is a great way to work and stay in touch at the same time. You also get compatibility with a lot of Windows apps which is convenient for people that don’t like the Google suite very much.

Another benefit of this laptop is the amazing touchscreen. It is responsive, durable and makes things a lot easier for you. The low laptop weight also helps make it better for on the go use, as does the 360 degree hinge that lets you use this Chromebook as a tablet. Chromebooks are popular among architecture students, but Microsoft surface book 2 is the best one among all Chromebooks for architects, don’t miss out our guide to laptops for architecture students.

You need internet at all times to use this laptop, though. This is a problem for on the go use because you would have to arrange mobile internet. You also don’t get a lot of battery life which will be a problem for on the go users.


  • High definition webcam
  • Weighs less than three pounds
  • 360 degree hinge enables mobile use
  • Many Windows apps make this laptop easy to use
  • Excellent touchscreen


  • Doesn’t work without internet
  • Poor battery life

Best Price

1. Acer Aspire E 15

Acer Aspire E 15


  • 1TB HDD
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i3 Processor
  • 6GB dual channel RAM
  • 15.6 inch display

This laptop is the best product on this list, and it’s easy to see why. The latest generation i3 processor lets you accomplish multiple tasks, and the terabyte of storage you get will feel like it is never going to run out! The processor also helps screens load very fast, and from a media perspective this laptop has great speakers which make it easier to enjoy movies and music. However, the screen is not very high quality which might be a problem.

The simple user interface and very long battery life round off the reasons why this product is the best that the market has to offer under five hundred dollars. If you want something that can be your main computer at a very affordable price, this laptop is definitely what you need to look into.


  • Phenomenal battery life; supports long hours of usage
  • Latest gen processor allows intense use
  • Very high storage capacity
  • Excellent speakers; audio has superior clarity
  • Very fast loading times
  • No unnecessary UI add ons


  • Slight low quality screen

Best Price

Consumer Reports for Acer Aspire E 15

Ellen J. Dan: I’m not that tech savvy, but this laptop seems to do the job. It’s perfect for someone like me who’s not that good with computers.

Cecil S. Helm: This is fantastic budget laptop. It helps me get my work done every day and is so dependable!

Susan B. Varley: This is honestly such a solid laptop. I can’t believe it was so affordable! Who says good things don’t come cheap?

Andrea J. Cannon: I honestly wasn’t expecting much because of the price. But boy did this laptop exceed my expectations! I’m so glad I bought this for myself.

Harry L. Russell: I needed to get my kid a laptop for his birthday but I didn’t have a lot of money. This laptop was well within my budget and my kid seemed pretty happy with it.

How to Buy Best Laptop Under $500?

This list proves that you don’t need to spend tons of money to get a quality machine. Quite on the contrary, a few hundred dollars should do the trick. The Acer Aspire E 15 has been almost unanimously chosen by consumers to be the leader of the pack, although all the laptops on this list have proven themselves as dependable, affordable purchases.

We care for you and know the value of your hard-earned money.

If you know what features to look in the laptop and where to find it, you can make a very good purchase under $500. In our buying guide and our list of the laptops, you will find all the questions answered and the best laptops under $500. We will walk you through all the questions in your mind in this buying guide.

What is the maximum processor I can find in a laptop under $500?

Most of the laptops that you will find in the market will have single-core or dual-core processors. These processors work fine with simple applications and programs. The problem arises when you start doing multitasking on your computer with some heavy applications or open a large number of tabs in your browser.

The system slows down and it becomes very irritating. There are a few options that offer core-i processors under the price tag of 500. If you are looking for a laptop that is fast, reliable and can support multitasking very well, then select the one with a core-i processor.

How much RAM should my system have?

RAM and processor together enable the laptop to work at a fast speed. When considering the RAM, you can rely on a RAM of 4 GB or higher. You can also upgrade the RAM later on if you feel your system is slowing down or taking too much time to boot and shut down.

How much storage space a laptop under $500 can offer me?

When you are considering a laptop under $500, you will come across models with 16 GB emmc, 64 GB, 512 GB or even 1 TB. Variations in storage capacity are often linked with other features of the laptop.  Sometime the laptop may offer you a great processor with low storage space. However, there are few models that offer large storage space with great processors and excellent other features.

Which operating system works well with low budget laptops?

Please be clear that you will not find a MAC book in this price range. You can either find Microsoft Windows 10 or Windows 8 in these laptops. A few laptops may also offer a Chrome OS. Both of these options work well. With windows, you can have added security features and windows are more user-friendly.

What variations I can expect in screen size?

Screen size can vary from 10 inches to 16 inches in models under $500. Selection of screen size comes down to two things. One is preferred screen size and the other is the rest of features being offered by that specific model.

Is the screen resolution satisfactory in this price range?

Do not expect high-end resolutions under this price range. The maximum you can find is HD or full HD with compromises on other features like processor or storage space. The screen will have thick bezels around them and not so great off-axis viewing angles.

Can I find touchscreen in this range?

Yes. We have a couple of laptops with touchscreen option in our list as well.

What is the quality of the keyboard in this range?

Most of the laptops in this range have a fine keyboard. Some models also offer you a numeric keypad and backlight as well. You will not need an external keyboard or a mouse with these models. All the models in our list have been carefully selected.

Is the built quality durable in this range?

You will find a variety of laptops in this range with low durability and have a beautiful design. We suggest that you buy a laptop which is durable and has the ability to go a long way with you.

Is the battery life satisfactory in this range?

Budgeted models have an average battery timing of around 6-8 hours. This is not so bad, considering the price range of these laptops.

Are these laptops too heavy to carry around?

You should expect a weight of around 3-4 pounds for a laptop in this price range. When you are selecting a laptop with more than 14 inches screen size, the weight is bound to go up. If you are looking for something lightweight and easy to carry around, consider selecting a laptop with a smaller screen size.

What connectivity options will I get?

All of these laptops have enough connectivity options to support your basic working. You can easily connect a couple of USB drives, printers or projectors with them. Some laptops may offer you an optical drive as well.

Are the speakers good?

With most of the models in this range, you will need additional headphones to have a great sound experience. However, these laptops do come with standard audio speakers. Some of the models in our list also have high-quality speakers.

Can I play games on these laptops?

With basic features, these laptops will only support basic games with no advance graphic, processor or RAM requirements. Built-in games will work well on these laptops.


You can do great work with a budget laptop as well. We are sure that after reading our buying guide and looking at all the options that we have provided, you are in a position to select the best laptop for you. our top 3 options are great for basic working and entertainment at the same time and they will give you the best return of your money.

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