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The Best Laptop Under $500

Updated Dec 10, 2022
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Lots of laptops cost less than $500, but it’s hard to find a cheap one that doesn’t totally suck. We’ve researched and tested hundreds of cheap Windows laptops and Chromebooks over the years to find decent models, and we also have advice to help you shop smart when prices fluctuate and our picks go out of stock.

Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook (13″), the best chromebook

Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook (13″)

The best Chromebook
With excellent performance for its low price, a great keyboard and trackpad, and a compact, light body, the Lenovo Flex 5i is the Chromebook to buy.
We recommend
Asus Chromebook Flip C536 (C536EA-BI3T3), a 15-inch option

Asus Chromebook Flip C536 (C536EA-BI3T3)

A 15-inch option
The Flip C536 has a large, 15.6-inch screen and a built-in number pad, but it’s too large and heavy to travel with frequently.
Another good choice
Acer Aspire 5 (A514-54), the best windows laptop under $500

Acer Aspire 5 (A514-54)

The best Windows laptop under $500
Unlike most cheap Windows laptops, the Aspire 5 (A514-54) is fast, compact, and light, and it has a decent 1080p display and good battery life.
We recommend
ASUS VivoBook 15 F515EA, the best 15-inch windows laptop

ASUS VivoBook 15 F515EA

The best 15-inch Windows laptop
If you want a 15-inch screen, the best option is the Asus VivoBook 15 F515EA. This model is fast, plus it has a decent 1080p screen and a reliable keyboard and trackpad.
Another good choice
Asus VivoBook 15 F513EA-OS36, another decent laptop

Asus VivoBook 15 F513EA-OS36

Another decent laptop
The VivoBook 15 F513 has solid performance, a decent 1080p display, and a comfortable keyboard and reliable trackpad. But its battery life won’t last a full day of work or classes.
Another good choice
Acer Aspire 5 A515-45, an option with long battery life

Acer Aspire 5 A515-45

An option with long battery life
The Aspire 5 A515-45 has solid performance, a great screen, a responsive trackpad, and long battery life. But it’s big and heavy, and its keyboard is only okay.
Another good choice
Apple iPad (9th generation), more portable and easy to use

Apple iPad (9th generation)

More portable and easy to use
If you favor portability over screen size, the iPad works for browsing the web and doing light note taking or writing. It’s not good for more complicated tasks, though.
Another good choice

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