Why Does Research Matter?
Just because a laptop is marketed as "budget" doesn't mean that you want to simply throw your money away without doing any research! There are a lot of factors to consider in choosing a budget laptop, such as memory, processor speed, screen size and display quality, battery life, and a comfortable keyboard and trackpad. You don't want a laptop that will be super slow straight out of the box nor one that will die on you within a week. We researched the best budget laptops, comparing the most important specs, to bring you the top under $500 recommendations for 2018!
Why is the Acer Aspire E Series Editor's Choice?
The Acer Aspire E Series that we've chosen comes with 4 GB of memory standard but you can choose to get it with up to 32 GB of memory. Not only that, but you can also easily upgrade the RAM thanks to a convenient compartment door that's located on the back of this laptop. No need to struggle with opening the entire computer up to make adjustments! It has a backlit keyboard which means typing under your covers in bed at night won't be a problem. It also fits in a dedicated numeric keyboard to make life easier.
The Asus VivoBook offers a better audio experience than most budget laptops. It features dual speakers with 9cc speaker chambers under your palm rest result in audio being directed towards the user. The battery life is impressive, lasting up to 12 hours. While overheating and fan noises are annoyingly familiar to anyone who has ever used a laptop, this laptop is pleasantly quiet, dispersing heat passively without a noisy fan and nearly no moving parts. The keyboard is comfortable to use and the trackpad is silky smooth.
What's Great About the HP Stream 14?
The HP Stream 14 is a great choice for students, coming with a 1-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365. Additional perks include 1 TB of OneDrive storage and 60 free minutes of Skype per month for one year. Users love the bright candy colors that add some extra style. Choose blue, purple, or gray, each with a contrasting white keyboard. Remove the bloatware to free up extra storage space on your computer. For even more storage, you can use the USB port to support an external hard drive or the SD card slot for an SD card.
What Does the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S Offer?
The Lenovo IdeaPad 120S is our most budget-friendly choice, costing under $200. Users reported that it's good for day-to-day activities. It feels solid and durable despite its light weight. Users particularly love Lenovo's commitment to removing most third-party apps that otherwise clog memory and that most people don't want anyway, instead leaving just McAfee LiveSafe and Microsoft Office. The desktop upon starting is clean and uncluttered. Battery life is 7 to 8 hours before this computer needs to recharge. The 11.6-inch anti-glare display features 1366 x 768 HD resolution. Windows 10 Home comes with the Windows Cortana digital personal assistant.
We all like the idea of getting a good deal and saving money. If an under $500 laptop fits your lifestyle or at least your budget, deciding on which to purchase just got a heck of a lot easier thanks to our convenient comparison guide. If you can afford to spend a bit more in this category, the Acer Aspire E Series is our Editor's Choice! While budget laptops might not offer all the bells and whistles that higher priced laptops provide, they can certainly be plenty good enough for work, web browsing, and other daily computer-based activities that you enjoy.
If you are looking for more electronics on a budget, checkout our Must Have Gadgets under $25 article!