The Top 4 Cheap Laptops – REVIEW From [A-Z]

There are some excellent laptop options available for less than $500 if you’re on a tight budget. While many laptops in this price bracket come with the same CPUs as more expensive models, they forgo a few features in order to reduce costs. Because gaming laptops and Apple MacBooks are often substantially more expensive, the recommendations in this article focus primarily on productivity and media consumption devices like Chromebooks and Windows laptops. Although the list is currently small, it will expand as we review new laptops.

IBM ThinkPad 3 15

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021) is the thinnest and lightest Windows laptop we’ve tested, and it has a battery life of over nine hours with light use, making it the finest laptop under $500 we’ve tested. A variant with an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage costs just a little bit more than $500. Web browsing, video playback, text processing, and spreadsheets are just a few of the common productivity tasks that the Ryzen 5 5500U is more than capable of doing quickly. Naturally, spending more money will get you a better configuration with a faster CPU or more memory, but for the majority of people with light workloads, this Ryzen 5 model is more than sufficient.

With a 15.6-inch 1080p IPS panel, the screen has plenty of room for multitasking. It is flicker-free and gets bright enough to be used in most circumstances, which helps prevent eye fatigue during long school or workdays. Although the keys seem roomy and tactile, they require some force to activate, making it quite taxing to type on for long stretches of time. There are two USB-A ports, a full-size HDMI port, and a USB-C port among its respectable selection of ports. The drawback is that you can’t output video to an external monitor or charge the laptop via USB-C.

Chromebook C340 from Lenovo

The Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020), a 2-in-1 convertible with a 360-degree hinge, is our top selection for a Chromebook. It feels well-built, especially for a gadget in its price category, and because to its small size, it’s lightweight and portable. You don’t need to carry around a special power adapter because the battery charges via USB-C and lasts slightly longer than 12 hours with light use. The included keyboard is pleasant to text on, and although being somewhat small, the touchpad is quick to all motions and gestures.

This laptop is available with either a Core i3 or Pentium Gold processor from Intel. Both processors are powerful enough to run Chrome OS smoothly, but the Core i3 is speedier. The drawback is that you can only receive a maximum of 4GB of RAM, so if you run too many tasks concurrently, you can notice some stutters and slowdowns. Although its 1080p display appears very sharp and offers plenty of space for multitasking, vision may be a difficulty in brightly light or sunny areas because it doesn’t become extremely bright.

Duet 5 Chromebook from Lenovo

We suggest the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021), a Chrome OS tablet with a kickstand and detachable keyboard, for watching movies and other media. With this design, you can easily snap the keyboard back on when you need to type and detach it to make the device easier to carry as a tablet. Its small size makes it portable, and its battery can play video for about eight hours, which is long enough to watch a few movies or episodes of a TV show.

Its 13-inch OLED panel sets it apart as a multimedia gadget. It has stunning blacks, just like all OLEDs, and it has brilliant colors, making it ideal for viewing in dim environments. The speakers get loud enough, but they sound a little artificial and lack bass. It’s best to go wireless if you wish to utilize headphones because the device lacks a 3.5mm headphone connector. The keyboard is a part of the gadget and is not an additional purchase. Yet typing on it doesn’t feel all that comfortable. It’s acceptable for a quick handful of emails, but not the ideal choice for a lengthy article.

Google Surface Go 3

The Microsoft Surface Go 3 (2021) is a Windows tablet with a built-in kickstand and a detachable type cover keyboard if you’re searching for something small that you can use for video consumption or web browsing on the go. The keyboard must be purchased separately, unlike the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021), but it’s worthwhile because Windows isn’t the most touch-friendly operating system and it helps guard against scratches on the display. The 10.5-inch IPS panel is a sharp display that becomes bright enough to be used in most environments. An superb 1080p webcam is located above the display, and there is also an IR camera for Windows Hello facial recognition rapid logins.

For basic web browsing, email, and video playing, the Intel Pentium Gold machine with 4GB of memory works OK. Nevertheless, don’t expect to edit a 4K film or play AAA games on it. A model with 8GB of memory is worth buying if you have a little extra money to spend above $500 because it will provide you a better desktop experience with fewer lags when multitasking. You’ll probably need to keep the charger close by because the battery only lasts for roughly seven hours of light productivity or little more than three hours of movie streaming.


We have listed what we believe to be the top sub-$500 laptops in the suggestions above. We take into account the cost (a less expensive laptop wins over a more expensive one if the price difference isn’t significant), comments from visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

Here is a list of every laptop we’ve reviewed for under $500, arranged by price from low to high, in case you’d prefer to make your own choice. The table only displays the results of the model we tested; for details on other variations, it is best to read the complete evaluation. Keep in mind that the majority of laptops come in a variety of configurations.

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