Top 6 Best Budget Laptop Under $500 for 2022

With hundreds of different models and a huge range of prices, buying a new laptop can be a bit intimidating. And while it can be difficult to tell the difference between an expensive and an affordable laptop, their functionality and usability will vary. Fortunately, with such a wide range of models available, there are plenty of high-quality laptops you can buy for under $500. In fact, it might even be worth it to grab one for yourself as an additional tool for work and game play.

If you are looking for laptops under $500, here are the best budget laptops you can buy right now. Plus, if you’re not entirely sure what to look for in a good budget laptop — other than price — go through our buying advice, right down to our recommendations. This advice is based on our years of testing and review experience to find out what to expect from laptops under $500. It will also tell you what to look for if you want to continue your budget laptop search yourself.

Use these picks to sort through the competition. Because there are so many cheap laptops that aren’t worth it, try not to make hasty decisions when buying.

Gateway GWTN141


Gateway was known for its low-cost desktops and laptops in the 90s. In 2020, the brand was revived for a new lineup of laptops and tablets sold exclusively through Walmart. Those models were recently updated with 11th-gen Intel processors and we tested both the 15.6- and 14.1-inch models. The latter gets our vote as an inexpensive alternative to getting schoolwork done, while being light enough to walk around campus all day.

What grabs attention is the Intel Core i5 processor that delivers reliable performance even when paired with cheap components. The keyboard is comfortable but not backlit, and the touchpad isn’t the most accurate. Plus, the built-in fingerprint reader is hit-or-miss. Still, it has plenty of ports so connecting a mouse or external display isn’t a problem and the full-HD display is decent too, all things considered. Plus, the battery lasted less than 10 hours in our streaming video test.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

Chrome OS

The Lenovo Chromebook IdeaPad Duet is essentially the Chrome version of the first Microsoft Surface Go. Like the Go, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a 10-inch tablet with a detachable keyboard and touchpad—making it a compact touch screen laptop. Unlike Microsoft, however, Lenovo includes a keyboard. The Lenovo Duet is essentially a smaller, though less powerful, Pixel Slate that makes more sense for more people with the price of a cheap laptop that’s in line with what people expect a Chromebook to cost.

However, the Chromebook Duet’s screen is small, so if you’re using it regularly at a desk, we recommend attaching an external monitor to its USB-C port. You’ll probably also want to connect a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Acer Aspire 5


The Acer Aspire 5 15-Inch Clamshell is one of the best laptop deals available. This sub-4-pound Windows laptop includes an AMD Ryzen 3 3350U processor, 4GB of memory, and a speedy 128GB SSD. This budget laptop also has a USB 3.2 Gen 1 USB-C port, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, Ethernet and an HDMI port.

The Acer Aspire also has a backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader for quick sign-in – rarities at this price. The 4GB of RAM and 128GB of solid-state drive storage doesn’t allow you to open multiple programs or too many browser tabs at once, but you can add more of the two down the road.


Lenovo IdeaPad Chromebook Flex 5 2-in-1

Chrome OS

This Lenovo laptop is somewhat small with a 13-inch, Full HD display, but this Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 convertible laptop offers convenience as well as excellent performance and battery life for the money, thanks to an Intel Core i3-10110U processor Thanks, 4GB of memory and 64GB of SSD storage. The Lenovo Flex isn’t a great choice for outdoor use, as the display is quite dim.

asus vivobook 15


Amazon currently offers an older Core i3 8GB model for under $450, a reasonable price for a Windows laptop with an Intel Core processor. You’ll also see listings with 4GB of RAM, but that’s too little memory for Windows, which is barely met at 8GB. Don’t confuse it with the thinner, lighter, more expensive Asus VivoBook S15.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 2-in-1 Laptop


The Windows version of the Flex Two-in-One has the beefed up specs needed to run Windows (at least on a Chromebook), though probably not quite as fast—the dual-core Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM are the reason. Price is low. But it has a bigger Full HD screen than the Chromebook model.


What to look for in a laptop less than$500 ?

While Chromebooks can run Chrome OS-specific and Android apps, some require a full Windows OS to run heavy applications, such as video-editing suites. If you want a decent video editing laptop, the HP Chromebook with an Intel Celeron processor delivers 5.4 times higher-resolution video editing than the original HP laptop. With that comes a need for a faster processor with more cores, more memory – 8GB of RAM is the minimum – and more storage for applications and operating systems. A lot of these have 4GB or 6GB, which, in conjunction with a spinning hard disk, can make for a frustratingly slow Windows laptop experience. But demand for Chromebooks is increasing, so if your Chrome needs to go beyond the basics you should consider paying more for more memory and a faster processor.

  • A lot of Windows laptops in this category use AMD Athlon and lower-end A series or Intel Celeron and Pentium processors to hit the low price. I really don’t recommend going with a Ryzen instead of a Core or an Athlon instead of a Celeron/Pentium: Windows is too heavy for them, and in combination with 4GB of memory having so many of them, you can find them very slow. Best you can get from.


  • Because of their low prices, 11.6-inch Chromebooks are attractive. The Samsung Chromebook has a great screen and around 10 hours of battery life. But we don’t recommend that size for any but the youngest students. And if you’re both going to be looking at screens over and over again for distance learning, 11 inches can get really tight.


  • SSDs can make a big difference in how much faster Windows feels compared to a spinning hard disk, but they also drive up the price. So if your budget can stretch a bit and you want more storage, you can consider stepping up from the base storage options to a 128GB SSD.


  • In the budget price range, when it comes to specifications you have to watch out for screen terminology: An “HD” screen may not always be a truly high definition screen. HD, which has a resolution of 1,920×1,080 pixels, is called “Full HD”, so marketers may refer to low-resolution displays (1,280×720 pixels) as HD. In Chromebooks, HD usually refers to a screen with a resolution of 1,366×768 pixels. On the upside, the boom in 14-inch laptops narrows it down to this price range, allowing for more FHD options in size.


  • The complaint I see most often is about displays looking “washed out” with poor viewing angles. Unfortunately, it’s one of trade-offs: a lot of these use TN (twisted nematic) screen technology, which is cheap but meh.


  • Focus on networking. Cheaper models with older chipsets may only support Wi-Fi 3 (or 802.11 b/g/n). Wi-Fi is limited to 3 2.4GHz channels; They’re also slower than recent chipsets with Wi-Fi 4 (aka 802.11ac) that also adds a 5GHz channel. I haven’t seen any laptops in this price range with Wi-Fi 6, the latest version; Chances are you won’t have a Wi-Fi 6 access point to connect to, so you probably won’t miss it anymore. Specifications on shopping sites aren’t always accurate, so if you see a model that doesn’t have Wi-Fi 4, double-check on the manufacturer’s site before canceling. Remember, Chromebooks are primarily designed to work over the Internet, so Wi-Fi speed and stability are important.


Taking all the specifications and options into consideration – battery life, storage space, screen resolution, screen size, core processor performance, general machine and battery performance – you’ll find some of our picks for the best Windows laptops and Chromebooks of 2022 under a $500 budget. Top options. Listed above, along with their pros and cons.

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