Laptops that cost under $500 often make significant compromises, whether in performance, screen quality, or battery life.
There are exceptions, though — machines that manage to have almost everything you’d want in one of the best laptops at an impressive price discount.
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5:
Finding a 13-inch laptop for under $500 is nearly impossible. That’s a shame, as it’s the most popular size for a laptop.
But it’s not actually impossible thanks to Chrome OS, and the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 manages to come in well under $500 and provide impressive performance, 2-in-1 flexibility, and great value.
That places this Chromebook at the top of our list.
Impressively, there’s a 10th-gen Intel Core i3-10110U CPU inside, which is plenty fast for Chrome OS.
The 4GB of RAM is enough for good performance and moderate multitasking prowess, and 64GB of storage is sufficient if you make effective use of the cloud.
It should be no surprise that it’s a Chromebook that occupies this category.
Also, the Chromebook Flex 5 is a lot of computer for a little bit of money.
Best Windows Laptop Under $500: Acer Aspire 5:
Acer’s Aspire 5 has improved significantly in its recent iteration, bringing better performance, build quality, and battery life.
The latest model is priced slightly higher right now, but it often comes in at under $500 with a 10th-generation Core i3-1005G1U CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, and a 15.6-inch Full HD display.
That’s a lot of machine for not a lot of money.
Better yet, this is a well-built budget laptop that inspires confidence in hand, and its keyboard and touchpad punch way above its class.
Battery life is also a plus, with the Aspire 5 competing with laptops costing far more money.
The 15-inch 1080p display on the Acer Aspire 5 is very good for the price as well, though you’ll have to jump just outside the $500 budget to add touch-screen functionality.
Since this isn’t a 2-in-1 though, that is less of a concern for this sort of money.
Best 2-in-1 Laptop Under $500: Microsoft Surface Go 3:
Microsoft’s Surface Go 3, now in its second generation, is the baby of the Surface range — but that doesn’t mean it’s not a capable little machine.
Starting at a price well under our $500 limit, you might think that this is a little too cheap even for what we’re looking at, but you’d be mistaken.
Borrowing many of the excellent features from its more costly siblings like the Surface Pro 8, the Surface Go 3 is a sturdy, well-built detachable 2-in-1 that works just as well in tablet mode as it does as a laptop.
You will need to shell out a little extra for the Type Cover and pen if you want the full laptop and tablet experience, but that does leave you with the option of upgrading later if you want to spread out your costs.
And, although its screen isn’t quite as detailed as something you’d find on a dedicated tablet like the iPad, it’s still one of the best we’ve ever seen for a convertible laptop at this price point.
The Surface Go 3 isn’t the fastest device in the world either, but the tablet packs a decent battery life and at this price point, you aren’t going to find a Windows 2-in-1 laptop that can better it.
Best Detachable Laptop Under $500: Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3:
If you’re on a budget and want a detachable tablet that can meet your web browsing and light productivity needs, look no further than Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet 3.
It’s an attractively priced tablet, often coming in at $299, and best of all it includes a kickstand cover with a usable keyboard and touchpad.
That makes the Chromebook Duet 3 one of the best value buys we’ve seen, coming in at hundreds of dollars less than competitive tablets once you spend the money on a keyboard cover.
Performance is mediocre, but it’s fast enough for the tasks you’ll ask it to perform, and the display is surprisingly good for the money.
It’ll run your favorite Android apps, and offers one of the best browsing experiences on a tablet.
Culled from Digitaltrends