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Best cheap laptops: We rate the best-sellers that you can buy right now

$313.50 $349.99
Best deal at: amazon.comAmazon.com
Best cheap laptops: We rate the best-sellers that you can buy right now
Best cheap laptops: We rate the best-sellers that you can buy right now
$313.50 $349.99

8.5 Total Score
EXCELLENT

In this list, every budget machine (which we’ll define as Windows laptops costing $500 or less) is definitely a product of compromise – corners carefully cut here and there to hit that sweet price point.

PROS
  • Great value
  • Very affordable
  • Nice looking
  • Excellent battery life
CONS
  • Limited storage

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We found some good deals for $500 or less.

When shopping for a good, yet affordable laptop, many things can go wrong. In that case, you need the best knowledge of what you’re buying…and maybe, why you should not. In this list, every budget machine (which we’ll define as Windows laptops costing $500 or less) is definitely a product of compromise – corners carefully cut here and there to hit that sweet price point.

All notwithstanding, they’re usable, likeable, performant and offer real value for the buck.

All you have to do is look out for one that checks most boxes for your needs – and doesn’t saddle you on crucial features (or doesn’t have them altogether) that you might regret in a year. We’ll show you what to look out for to get a knack of your tasks by highlighting which budget laptops among the best-sellers currently listed at popular online stores are worth buying.

We haven’t necessarily tested these specific machines (we’ll let you know if we have by linking to specific review pages), but we’ve seen enough related ones to have a good idea of the pros and cons.

We will focus in 14-inch and larger laptops, because part of the great should be getting a decent-sized display. Beware that the retailers’ lists change constantly, so we’ll recheck the top sellers frequently to update you on the latest trends. Read on to learn about the features that matter for any laptop you’re eyeballing.

The best cheap laptops for under $500

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L

$349.99
$313.50  in stock
15 new from $313.50
Free shipping
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Amazon.com
as of February 21, 2020 9:45 am

One of the best laptop Deals from Amazon Prime Day all through to Black Friday and Cyber Monday is still a tempting buy for budget buyers. This Aspire 5 features a bright 15.6-inch 1080p IPS display, a capable AMD Ryzen 3 3200U CPU, and integrated Radeon Vega 3 graphics card core that you can use for light gaming. 

However, you’ll have to do with a paltry 128GB SSD storage and just 4GB of RAM, although in our review of this particular A515-43-R19L notebook, we found that its stablemates in the Acer Aspire 5 line (including the Core i5-powered A515-54-51DJ) packs significantly longer battery life.

One of the best laptop Deals from Amazon Prime Day all through to Black Friday and Cyber Monday is still a tempting buy for budget buyers. This Aspire 5 features a bright 15.6-inch 1080p IPS display, a capable AMD Ryzen 3 3200U CPU, and integrated Radeon Vega 3 graphics card core that you can use for light gaming.

However, you’ll have to do with a paltry 128GB SSD storage and just 4GB of RAM, although in our review of this particular  A515-43-R19L notebook, we found that its stablemates in the Acer Aspire 5 line (including the Core i5-powered A515-54-51DJ) packs significantly longer battery life.

Read Digital Weekly’s Review

Features

CPU: AMD dual-core Ryzen 3 3200U
Memory: 4GB DDR4 SDRAM
Storage: 128GB SSD
Display: 15.6-inch, 1920×1080 IPS LCD
Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon Vega 3
Connectivity: One USB 3.0 Type-A port, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, HDMI, Gigabit ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Dimensions: 14.31 x 9.74 x 0.71 inches
Weight: 3.97 pounds

Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ

$512.98  in stock
10 new from $512.98
4 used from $409.99
Free shipping
SEE IT
Amazon.com
as of February 21, 2020 9:45 am

If you need something better over the AMD-powered Aspire 5 that’s currently our top pick for best bargain-priced laptops, this particular configuration (which we recently reviewed) is notably pricier at around $500, but it’s great overall value if you’re looking for that extra productivity power.

A major highlight in this model is the quad-core Core i5 processor and longer battery life. We found it to be slightly slower compared to some of its competitors during CPU-tests, but hey, we’re staring at a quad-core CPU in a $500 laptop.

You’ll also like the roomier 8GB RAM when multitasking and the 256GB SSD storage is much better than the lean 128GB drive in the cheaper base model. Also, the slim and trim profile, and its nearly all-day battery life makes it right for the money.

Read Digital Weekly’s Review

Features

CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U
Memory: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM
Storage: 256GB SSD
Display: 15.6-inch diagonal width, 1920×1080 resolution
Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD 620
Connectivity: One USB 3.1 Type-C, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, one USB 2.0 Type-A, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit ethernet, HDMI
Dimensions: 14.3 x 9.9 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3.97 pounds

Lenovo Flex 14 81SS000DUS

$579.99
$528.98  in stock
23 new from $528.97
7 used from $484.11
Free shipping
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as of February 21, 2020 9:45 am

This 2-in-1 convertible is priced a little above out maximum, but we’re tempted to mention it for what is held inside: a Ryzen 5 Pro 3500U processor. This AMD chip isn’t easy to come by – Lenovo is one of the few companies using Ryzen mobile CPUs so far. For a while now, AMD has claimed that the Ryzen 5 Pro 3500U is faster than Intel’s Core i5-8250U, meaning, it’s a powerhouse that can easily handle mainstream productivity.

What gives the Ryzen chip an edge over the comparable Intel chip is an integrated Vega GPU, which should be a lot more powerful than the intel UHD 620 graphics that comes with the Core i5-8250U.

Again, the configuration is generally good, with tons of RAM (12GB isn’t a common treat), storage and an included pen for the touchscreen. It is a 360-degree convertible, so you can use it as a clamshell laptop, tablet, or a portable movie screen. 

Read Digital Weekly’s Review

Features

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3500U
Memory: 12GB of DDR4 RAM
Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD
Display: 14-inch diagonal width, 1440 x 900 touchscreen
Graphics: Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
Connectivity: One USB 3.1 Type-C, two USB 3.1 Type-A, HDMI, SD Card reader, audio jack
Dimensions: 12.9 x 9 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3.52 pounds

Lenovo Ideapad 330

$317.99  in stock
9 new from $317.98
Free shipping
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Amazon.com
as of February 21, 2020 9:45 am

For those needing something for business, the Ideapad 330 looks like a solid buy. It packs an AMD A9-9425 chip, 8GB Ram, 256GB SSD storage and AMD Radeon R5 graphics. That may sound quite common place, but it adds an optical drive to the spec-sheet and its battery life is great too.

However, you’ll have to do with a 720p (1366-by-768) resolution screen, while its competitors in this list offer 1080 res-screens. Not a deal-breaker though.

The fact that it packs powerful components and a unique purple color makes it an excellent choice for small businesses, students and general use. All isn’t bad, but we would’ve preferred a sharper full-HD (1920-by-1080) display.

Features

CPU: Dual-core Intel 7th-gen AMD A9-9425
Memory: 8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage: 256GB SSD
Display: 15-inch 1366×768 screen
Graphics: AMD Radeon R5
Connectivity: Two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, HDMI, SD memory card, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Dimensions: 10.24 x 14.89 x 0.9 pounds
Weight: 4.85 pounds

ASUS VivoBook 15 F512DA-EB51

$549.99
$478.69  in stock
20 new from $449.99
7 used from $438.48
Free shipping
SEE IT
Amazon.com
as of February 21, 2020 9:45 am

Asus has something good for everything, whether it’s gaming, business, college or business.

With this thin and light VivoBook, you’re getting a quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 CPU, which is more than enough for everyday computing chores such as web browsing and Office, the additional 8GB or RAM and 256 SSD storage make for smooth multitasking.

Its 15.6-inch display isn’t a touchscreen, but it boasts full-HD resolution and an anti-glare coating.

The integrated Radeon Vega 8 graphics core will do the job as far as basic photo editing goes, while the USB-C port will let you connect a speedy external storage drive.

Read Digital Weekly’s Review

Features

CPU: Quad-core AMD Ryzen 5-3500U
Memory: 8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage: 256GB SSD
Display: 15.6-inch 1920×1080 anti-glare screen
Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
Connectivity: One USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 1 USB 3.0 Type-B, 2 USB 2.0, HDMI, microSD memory card reader, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth
Dimensions: 14.1 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches
Weight: 3.5 pounds

Buying on budget? Shop smart

Having listed the kinds of cheap laptops we’d actually recommend; you should have enough knowledge to shop for yourself. Just keep in mind the priorities, whether it’s display size, storage capacity, weight or more, and you should be able to score a good deal.

OUR PICK

Best Cheap Laptops

US 1+
8.5

EDITORS RATING

8.5/10

Pros

  • Great value
  • Very affordable
  • Nice looking
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Limited storage

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