10 Best Laptops Under 500

Wally Nowinski
editor

Our experts used the PerfectRec decision engine to comb through our laptop database and find the best laptops under 500 available in 2024. Here are our top picks.

Our criteria for the best laptops under 500:

  • Budget: We focused on budget and budget only. These are the best laptops in our database under $500.
To consider others factors, try the PerfectRec decision engine to get your personalized laptop recommendation
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10 Best Laptops Under 500

1
Acer 14”

Swift 3

BEST RATING
Battery Life:
4.7
General: B+, Gaming/3D: B, Eng/Design: B+
Size: 14"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Thin, very light
Battery: Very Good

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Expert Summary
The Acer Swift 3 comes at a lower midrange price with a solid balance of features for general consumers. Its Intel i5 processor and integrated Iris Xe graphics offer good performance for everyday tasks and some light gaming or creative work but aren't optimized for more demanding 3D, machine learning, or engineering software. Equipped with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, it should handle multitasking and ample data. The 14-inch IPS display provides decent color accuracy and viewing angles, though it's not the best choice for color-critical work. The laptop is quite portable, weighing under 3 pounds, and has a good battery life that can support typical usage for around 12 hours. Additionally, build quality and heat management are rated good, making it suitable for mobility and use in different environments. With a variety of ports including USB-C and Thunderbolt, connectivity is versatile, but the absence of an Ethernet port might be a drawback for some. A backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader enhance usability, although if you're looking for a laptop with a higher refresh rate, better speakers, or dedicated gaming features, other models may be more fitting.
Pros
  • Large storage space
  • Sufficient RAM for multitasking
  • Latest generation Intel processor
  • Integrated high-performance graphics
  • Lightweight and slim design
Cons
  • Moderate battery life
  • Lacks number pad on keyboard
  • Speakers are of fair quality
  • Not designed for intense 3D tasks
2
Lenovo 16”

IdeaPad Slim 5i

BEST RATING
Keyboard Quality:
4.4
General: B+, Gaming/3D: B, Eng/Design: B+
Size: 16"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Med. thick, med. heavy
Battery: Good

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Expert Summary
The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i, with a lower midrange price, offers a solid balance for everyday use with its Intel i5 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB storage; it should handle tasks like web browsing, office work, and media playback well. It has a 16-inch display using IPS technology for better viewing angles, and the resolution is sharp enough for clear visuals, although not the highest available. The battery life is average, not ideal for long periods away from power. This laptop is reasonably portable, but there are lighter options if portability is a priority. With a backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader, it includes features for convenience and security. Suitable for general use and lighter engineering tasks, this laptop won't excel in intensive gaming or complex 3D work due to its integrated graphics. If you're looking for a laptop to use primarily at a desk with occasional mobility, and your tasks are mainly productivity-focused without high-end gaming or professional creative work, the IdeaPad Slim 5i is a respectable choice.
Pros
  • High RAM capacity for multitasking
  • Backlit keyboard aids low-light use
  • Good portability for travel
  • Fingerprint reader for extra security
  • Decent battery life for daily use
Cons
  • Moderate storage capacity
  • Average speaker quality
  • Fair performance for engineering tasks
  • Display colors not very vibrant
3
ASUS 16”

Vivobook 16X

BEST RATING
Battery Life:
4.2
General: B+, Gaming/3D: B, Eng/Design: B
Size: 16"
Overall Performance: Fair
Portability: Med. thick, med. heavy
Battery: Good

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Expert Summary
The ASUS Vivobook 16X offers a balance between performance and price, being in the lower midrange category. It features a large 16-inch IPS screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio, suitable for productivity tasks but with a standard 60Hz refresh rate that's adequate for general use rather than fast-paced gaming. Powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS with integrated Vega 8 graphics, the laptop is capable of handling daily tasks and lighter creative workloads, though it's not designed for intensive gaming or high-end 3D rendering. Its battery life is suitable for several hours of typical usage, making it moderately portable at a bit over 4 pounds. The Vivobook 16X is equipped with 512GB of storage and 12GB of RAM, enhancing multitasking abilities. It also has a decent selection of ports including USB-C, HDMI, and an Ethernet port, plus a backlit keyboard with a number pad, enhancing utility for work and study. Overall, the Vivobook 16X is good for general use, fair for 3D/machine learning applications, and fair for engineering tasks.
Pros
  • Large 16-inch display
  • Reasonable battery life
  • Multiple USB-C ports
  • Number pad on keyboard
  • Good heat management
Cons
  • Heavy at over 4 pounds
  • No touchscreen or high refresh rate
  • Mediocre speaker quality
  • Limited color space coverage
4
Lenovo 15.6”

IdeaPad 5 15"

BEST RATING
Battery Life:
4.6
General: B+, Gaming/3D: B, Eng/Design: B
Size: 15.6"
Overall Performance: Fair
Portability: Thin, light
Battery: Very Good

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Expert Summary
The Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15" is a laptop with a lower midrange price, offering a solid balance for general use. It features a capable AMD Ryzen 7 processor with integrated Vega 8 graphics, which can handle everyday tasks and light gaming. With 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, it should run smoothly for most users but may not be ideal for intensive engineering applications or advanced gaming. The 15.6-inch IPS display has a standard resolution with touch capability but does not excel in color accuracy or contrast, making it less suitable for professional photo or video editing. Port-wise, it includes USB-C as well as HDMI, but lacks Thunderbolt support. The keyboard is backlit and there is a number pad, plus a fingerprint reader for added security. Battery life is reasonable with up to 11 hours of typical use, and at just over 4 pounds, it offers a good level of portability. It runs on Windows 11 Home and was released in August 2022.
Pros
  • Good portability
  • Solid general use performance
  • Backlit keyboard included
  • Touchscreen available
  • Decent battery life
Cons
  • Limited RAM for heavy tasks
  • Unsuitable for intensive 3D tasks
  • Average speaker quality
  • Screen not ideal for fast motion
5
Dell 13.3”

Latitude 5330

BEST RATING
Portability:
4.7
General: B+, Gaming/3D: B, Eng/Design: B+
Size: 13.3"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Med. thick, very light
Battery: Good

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Pros
  • Moderate battery life
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Multiple USB-C ports
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Windows 11 Pro
Cons
  • Average display quality
  • No touchscreen
  • Limited storage capacity
  • No dedicated GPU
6
Acer 15.6”

Aspire 5 15

BEST RATING
Portability:
4.3
General: B, Gaming/3D: B, Eng/Design: B
Size: 15.6"
Overall Performance: Fair
Portability: Med. thick, light
Battery: Good

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Expert Summary
The Acer Aspire 5 15 is a budget-friendly option with a 15.6-inch IPS display and a resolution that is standard for clear visuals, but not touchscreen enabled. It runs on an AMD Ryzen 5 processor with integrated graphics, which is capable for day-to-day tasks and light multimedia usage, but may not be as suitable for heavy gaming or intensive engineering applications. It offers a decent amount of storage and RAM for general use. The battery life is moderate, providing about 8 hours of typical use. It's relatively light and slim, which makes it somewhat portable. Also, it comes with Windows 11 Home pre-installed, has some convenient features like a backlit keyboard with a number pad and a USB-C port that supports charging. For more rigorous 3D or machine learning tasks, the performance may be limited due to the lack of a dedicated GPU. Additionally, while the color coverage is fair, professionals needing accurate color representation for tasks like photo editing could find it lacking. It does, however, have good portability and general use performance for everyday activities and multitasking.
Pros
  • Good general use performance
  • Lightweight and portable design
  • Has backlit keyboard and number pad
  • Both RAM and storage expandable
  • Good portability score
Cons
  • Average battery life
  • Fair speaker and build quality
  • Limited high-speed connectivity options
  • Screen colors not very vibrant
7
Acer 15.6”

Aspire 5 15

BEST RATING
Portability:
4.3
General: B, Gaming/3D: B, Eng/Design: B
Size: 15.6"
Overall Performance: Fair
Portability: Med. thick, light
Battery: Good

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Expert Summary
The Acer Aspire 5 15 is a budget-friendly laptop that is suitable for general use. It offers a solid 15.6-inch IPS display with a standard resolution ideal for everyday tasks and media consumption. Equipped with an 8th Gen Intel i5 processor and integrated Iris Xe graphics, it’ll handle daily work and light multimedia editing, but it may struggle with intensive 3D rendering, machine learning, or heavy engineering software. It’s relatively thin and lightweight for a 15-inch laptop, enhancing portability. Its keyboard is backlit and it includes a number pad, a plus for productivity. For connectivity, it has a variety of ports including USB-C, but it lacks higher-speed Thunderbolt options. The Aspire 5 offers modest battery life, which may necessitate carrying a charger for longer days. It’s a sound choice for users seeking an affordable laptop for general purposes, light multitasking, and media playback, but it’s not tailored for high-end gaming or rigorous professional applications.
Pros
  • Affordable with solid CPU
  • Decent general use performance
  • Good port selection
  • Backlit keyboard with number pad
  • Windows 11 Home installed
Cons
  • Average screen color coverage
  • Limited 3D and engineering performance
  • Average battery life
  • No touch screen
8
Lenovo 14”

IdeaPad 3 14"

BEST RATING
Operating Noise:
4.9
General: B+, Gaming/3D: B, Eng/Design: B
Size: 14"
Overall Performance: Fair
Portability: Med. thick, light
Battery: Good

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Pros
  • Large storage capacity
  • Ample RAM
  • Good battery life
  • Decent general use performance
  • Lightweight for portability
Cons
  • Basic processor
  • Integrated GPU limits gaming
  • No USB-C or Thunderbolt ports
  • Subpar engineering performance
9
ASUS 14”

Zenbook 14

BEST RATING
Portability:
4.6
General: B, Gaming/3D: B, Eng/Design: B+
Size: 14"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Thin, very light
Battery: Good

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Pros
  • High-resolution OLED screen
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Multiple USB-C ports
  • Good keyboard and trackpad
  • All-day battery life
Cons
  • Average speaker quality
  • Limited thermal management
  • Fair webcam quality
  • Moderate fan noise under load
10
BEST RATING
Operating Noise:
4.6
General: B+, Gaming/3D: B, Eng/Design: B
Size: 14"
Overall Performance: Fair
Portability: Med. thick, very light
Battery: Good

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Expert Summary
The Dell Latitude 14 7490 is a budget-friendly option with a solid build and respectable performance for general use. It has an Intel i7 processor, integrated Intel graphics, 512GB of storage, and 16GB of RAM, which should handle most day-to-day tasks comfortably. The 14-inch IPS display offers clear images at Full HD resolution and has touchscreen capabilities. Key features include a backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader, and a variety of ports including USB-C, HDMI, and Ethernet, although it lacks a number pad. It's fairly lightweight, conducive to portability, and has a good balance of battery life. This laptop may not be suited for intensive gaming or demanding engineering tasks as the graphics are on the basic side. It's well-suited for business users seeking reliability and functionality without stretching the budget.
Pros
  • Very good portability
  • Good battery life
  • USB-C charging supported
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Fingerprint reader for security
Cons
  • Fair 3D/machine learning performance
  • Fair engineering performance
  • Screen colors are fair
  • Moderate weight