Laptop technology has changed and evolved in recent years. Inexpensive laptops come with large internal memories, fast processors and great screens for everyday use. We judged our picks for the best laptops under $500 based on the following categories: ease of use, memory, speed and overall value.
Dell Inspiron l14R-1440TMR ($500) Link
This affordable Inspiron model comes equipped with a 500GB hard drive, 4GB RAM for speed, 1.3MP webcam, Intel Pentium processor and a great battery life. The laptop comes equipped with the Windows 7 processor, which is user friendly and fast for multitasking. Typically, we do not expect to see a laptop loaded with 500GB of memory for $500. The large hard drive is perfect for storing thousands of photos, music and video without ever having to worry about running out of space. Weighing only 5lbs and measuring 1.2″ thick, the Inspiron is portable and is the perfect solution for working while on the go.
HP G62-371DX ($430) Link
This entry level HP laptop is an excellent additional or travel computer. A large 500GB hard drive and 3GB of RAM ensure plenty of storage space and multitasking power. The laptop comes equipped with the AMD Turion II dual-core processor for speed and performance. However, do not expect speeds as fast as the quad-core processors found in most desktops and higher end laptops. We liked that ease of use, three USB ports and the multi-card reader. The downsides? The battery, like most HP laptops, overheats and runs much shorter than the advertised time of 4-hours. Overall, you get plenty of features including built in Wi-Fi, DVD drive and plenty of power for an inexpensive laptop.
Asus K52F-BIN6 ($480) Link
As someone who is always looking for the best tech deals, I have recommended Asus laptops for nearly every level of computer user. This laptop is user friendly, comes equipped with a large 15.6″ screen, plenty of memory (500GB hard drive), 3GB RAM, Wi-Fi and comes with plenty of extras. The best feature is that this Asus laptop is customizable up to 8GB of RAM for extra power. However, the base 3GB is plenty for most users. The downsides? The .3MP webcam is grainy and is largely outdated by newer technology. Overall, if you are looking for an affordable laptop with plenty of power and the ability to expand RAM, then the Asus K52F-BIN6 is a great choice.
Acer Aspire 17.3″ ($499) Link
Acer is the Hyundai of the tech world, inexpensive, but delivers solid performance. This Acer laptop comes equipped with 4GB of RAM, 320GB hard drive, Wi-Fi, 1.3MP webcam, multi-card reader and a large screen. In addition to the ease of use with the Windows 7 operating system, the large 17.3″ screen is perfect for someone transitioning from a desktop to a laptop. The large screen has good clarity for the price range. This laptop is great for multimedia use, as well as productivity. However, the Intel HD graphics card leaves some room to be desired when it comes to gaming. Overall, this is a great deal if you are looking for a large screened laptop with plenty of power for a bargain price.