Best Laptops Under $500

There are some great laptops out there these days, but who says you need to spend big bucks to get a great device? Is it possible to buy a great laptop on a budget and still get everything you need? Let us show you the best laptops on a budget.

Today we're going to look at six, sub-$500 laptops that will give you everything you need for great mobile computing.

All the stores you're we have recommended don't engage in grey importing, either, so you can be sure of your warranty.

Samsung Chromebook

ChomeOS isn’t like your ordinary operating system. It’s based entirely around a web browser, with very little emphasis placed on files actually being stored on your physical drive. You don’t install software on a ChromeOS machine, you install apps from the Chrome Store. You don’t open Office on the Chromebook, you run Google Drive and Google Docs. It’s essentially a cloud-based laptop.

The Samsung Chromebook packs in an 11.6-inch screen, as well as its own 1.7GHz Dual-Core Exynos 5 chip, much like the ones it makes for tablets.

Specs

Size: 11.6-inches (1366x768) OS: Chrome OS Processor: 1.7GHz Dual-Core Exynos 5 RAM: 2GB Price: $345


Acer Chromebook C7

The Acer Chromebook is the smaller of the two Chrome OS laptops on the market right now.

Measuring 11.6-inches and packing a 4-hour battery capability, the Acer Chromebook is a great, cheap second laptop.

It weighs 1.4 kilograms, runs a Celeron Processor and has 320GB of internal storage, complimented by 100GB of Google Drive storage.

It's still running Google ChromeOS, and as we mentioned earlier, it's based entirely around the web browser, with the software all being replaced by apps from the Google Play Store.

Specs

Size: 11.6-inches (1366x768) OS: Chrome OS Processor: 1.10GHz Intel Celeron RAM: 2GB Price: $299


Asus VivoBook

The Asus VivoBook is a great line-up of products to bring the Taiwanese manufacturer into the new world of Windows 8 laptops. The S56CM-XX097H is no exception, and it's great for those on a budget.

For $494, you get a 1.8GHz Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 320GB hard disk with a small SSD for caching to make the laptop faster on boot, as well as a 15.6-inch screen.

The VivoBook also comes with dedicated graphics in the form of a 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT635M for gaming on a budget.

Specs

Size: 15.6-inches (1366x768, 16:9) OS: Windows 8 Processor: 1.8GHz Intel Core i3 RAM: 4GB Price: $494


HP Pavillion Chromebook

HP was a bit late to the Chromebook party in Australia, but it's still a great, big-screened device that won't break the bank.

It’s called the HP Pavilion Chromebook, and it’s packing Google’s Chrome OS, along with very similar specs to the Acer Chromebook C7: dual-core 1.1GHz Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard disk with and additional 100GB of Google Drive cloud storage.

The 14-inch screen makes the Pavilion the largest Chromebook currently out on the market, compared to the 11.6-inch screens on the Acer and Samsung models. The Pavillion also has HDMI-out.

Specs

Size: 14-inches (1366x768) OS: Chrome OS Processor: 1.10GHz Intel Celeron RAM: 2GB Price: $398


HP Envy 4-1001TU

While it wins zero points for the creativity of its name, the HP Envy 4-1001TU is a great laptop on a budget.

It costs $492 and gets you a 14-inch (1366x768) screen, a 1.4GHz Intel Core i3 Processor, a 320GB SATA hard disk, 4GB of RAM and Beats Audio speakers. Other bells and whistles include a card reader and Bluetooth.

It also runs Windows 7 if Chrome OS isn't your thing.

Specs

Size: 14-inches (1366x768) OS: Windows 7 Home Premium Processor: 1.4GHz Intel Core i3 RAM: 4GB Price: $492


Toshiba Satellite

It feels like as long as there have been laptops, there have been Toshiba Satellites. It's a trusted and reliable brand that you can count on, and this one — the C850D/01S — won't break the bank.

It's $497, making it the most expensive cheap laptop we have in our roundup, but with that you get a dual-core 1.4GHz AMD processor, 4GB of RAM, a 15.6-inch screen and a 500GB SATA hard disk.

It also comes with shared graphics capabilities thanks to the AMD Radeon HD 7310. Shared graphics aren't as good as dedicated cards, however.

The Satellite is also packing Windows 8, so you can be as up to date with your operating system as possible.

Specs

Size: 15.6-inches (1366x768, 16:9) OS: Windows 8 Processor: 1.4GHz Dual-Core AMD RAM: 4GB Price: $497


What's your favourite laptop under $500? Let us know in the comments!


Comments

    One other avail at Aldi this sat the 27th, is a medion unit. Its always a bit weird considering Aldi tech, but just one to add to list ( torn between this and a nother on this list for my next acquisition for the home/media/girlfriend pc, as my Mac travels with me. )

    Medion akoya 15.7" notebook
    Core i3 2.5ghz
    1366x768 res
    4gb ddr3
    500gb
    DVD multi burn
    Bluetooth 4
    Usb3
    Hdmi out
    Wifi

    Just one to add. Anyone had any experience with medion tech?

    Edit: I may have forgot to say the price, $499

    Last edited 24/04/13 10:49 am

      What's the price on it? It would have to be considerably cheaper because I've read lots of bad stuff on Medion tech.

        Just added that to the post. 499.

        So u have herd alot of bad stuff eh?

          From memory Medion is mostly rebadged stuff. I remember awhile back some Medion PC's were actuallly rebadged MSI motherboards.
          That being said though I've not heard of anything bad about them. Granted buying Medion stuff at Aldi can be hard to get at times due to limited stock.

    i wouldnt call a chromebook a laptop...i dunno, when i think of a laptop im thinking of something thats a full featured portable desktop. a chromebook...isnt.

      Same here, I've never understood the concept of a chromebook. "It looks like a laptop, feels like a laptop, but it doesn't function like a laptop".

        I think chromebook is good concept if the price is under $200

        I have one which I use extensively every day for uni. I love the hell out of it.

        Having said that, I have come to think that 'laptop' is perhaps the wrong designation for it. It's really the size and specs of a netbook, but without all the resource hungry software and os dragging it down. And the cloud has many advantages for all the complaints people make about offline access.

        It should really be called a "cloudbook". It's what netbooks should have been in the first place.

      Functionality of a netbook, in the price and form factors of a laptop.

        I've used both and I can tell you the functionality way outstrips a netbook. Not to mention the way in which you can do what you want without constant lag and memory issues.

        This is not meant to be a laptop, nor to replace one. Implying that it should is like saying that a tablet is there to replace all other computers; it's just a new weapon to your arsenal. I personally would never recommend anyone buy one without a 'normal' laptop as their main / home machine.

        But above all, I would say this: use one, then complain. Don't be an armchair commentator.

    I'd love to see the best ultra portable laptops under 700... Just saying :-)

    I've been hunting a sub 500 laptop/notebook whatever and finished up unable to decide between the Toshiba sat pro C850 8G, 500G Dr Win8 @ $429
    ASUS X55a K55A B830 8G, 500 G , Win8 @ $429

    Amazing EBAY Deals

    Hi, when I click on the link for the Asus Vivobook it takes me to Harvey Norman where it says the price is $694. Does anyone know where I can get it for $494 as posted here.

      Try The Good Guys: http://www.thegoodguys.com.au/buyonline/Asus_S200_11.6in_Celeron_Touchscreen_Notebook_S200E-CT209H

        That's not the same laptop. The one in the article has a 15.6 inch screen, 4Gb's of ram and a dedicated video card.

        The one you linked does not.

        Does anyone know where to get the S56CM-XX097H for less than $500?

        Thanks in advance.

        That one has a Celeron processor not a i3, and has half the ram. It's a good deal for basic stuff (Celeron processor won't do much, but ASUS make good hardware,) though not anywhere near as good as the Vivobook listed in the post if it was indeed less than $500.

    Try: http://www.thegoodguys.com.au/buyonline/Asus_S200_11.6in_Celeron_Touchscreen_Notebook_S200E-CT209H

    How about an Acer Aspire E1

    2.2ghz Pentium (Dual Core)
    Intel HD Graphics
    15.6" HD LED
    2gb RAM
    500gb HDD
    DVD SuperDrive
    5.5 hrs. battery life

    All for $433

    bhphotovideo has always done well forme at this price point. Well below the $1000 duty cap for importing, and when you're saving $200-$300 in this category you're getting a hell of a better machine than the local $500 offering.

    No Source of pricing. Chrome Books are Duds, just get a Android Tablet.

    Laptops are still too expensive. If the PC industry wants to thrive they'll have to price range their high end laptops up there with tablets and phones.

    I bought a month old medion 15.6inch i3 laptiop from someone who, it turned out, loathed Win 8. I played with it for awhile and was immediately impressed with the machine and Win 8 This model - the 6234 - is a pleasure to use. The keyboard feel eats the Toshiba Satellite. My wife has now grabbed the Medion and refuses to give it back. So I'm stuck with her Toshiba. BTW, the Medion runs Ubuntu really well. This is my main OS, though I have a Macbook as well. The Medion is a far better bit of kit than anything else in my house. Will have to buy another one, and flog off everything else.

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