Computing

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 (1366×768)
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 (1366×768)
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 (1366×768, 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 (1366×768)
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 (1366×768) 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 (1366×768)
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 (1366×768, 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!


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