The Best Laptops Under $500

The Best Laptops Under $500

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that cost less than $500 are few and far between, and trying to find a decent one can be a lofty task. In order to create a budget laptop, manufacturers often sacrifice performance, bog down its products with bloatware, or dumb-down the design in order to keep costs low. But we believe that shouldn’t have to sacrifice these creature comforts for the sake of a good buy. That’s why PCMag has rounded up some of the best $500 laptops that have come through our labs.

The cheapest laptops out there belong to the netbook category: 10.1-inch widescreen computers that run on Intel Atom or AMD Dual-Core E-350 processors. They act as great mobile devices, but features are usually limited to how many ports there are, but some netbooks, like the HP Pavilion dm1z, include embedded 3G to increase their mobile value.

If you’re more the multitasker, a netbook’s small screen may not be the way to go. The Asus K52F-BIN6 provides a 15.6-inch screen for multiple windows and it has a full size keyboard, plus numeric keypad. The Intel Pentium dual-core P6200 may be a bit dated and if you’re planning on doing anything heavier than web browsing and word processing, then you may want to bump up the processing power.

For those who need a little more push behind the hardware, the Lenovo G560-0679AKU is a fine candidate. Its Core i3 processor is a fast one and combined with 4GB of memory, it will be a productivity master’s delight. The Lenovo G560 does come with a caveat, there’s an excessive amount of bloatware that could slow down your startup time to a crawl, but there’s an easy fix. Simply go into the Control Panel from the start menu and you can get rid of any software you don’t want/ need.

Below is a list of our top-rated value laptops that have been lab tested and analyst approved.

Netbooks

Intel’s latest dual-core Atom processor is what makes the 10-inch Asus EeePC 1015PEM special.

With the latest dual-core Atom processor, high-resolution screen, and a great user experience, the Samsung NF310-A01 is our new Editors’ Choice for netbooks.

“Acer Aspire One D260-1270 : Angle”Acer Aspire One D260-1270
$399.99 direct

Thanks to a few above average specs, like a 320GB hard drive and a long lasting battery, the Acer Aspire One D260-1270 stands out among a crowd of look-alike netbooks.

The HP Pavilion dm1z is next step in netbook evolution, as its new AMD Fusion APU proved you can have great battery life without sacrificing speed.

Lenovo ThinkPad
$413 street
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The Lenovo ThinkPad X100e is an ideal netbook for business, complete with speedy AMD parts, business software tools, and fantastic user experience.

EeePC 1215N
$500 street
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Asus updates the EeePC 1215N with Nvidia’s Optimus and dual-core Atom processor, making it the fastest netbook on the market.

Laptops
Lenovo G560-0679AKU
$499 street

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The Lenovo G560-0679AKU gives you an Intel Core i3-370M dual-core processor, 500GB hard drive, and a variety of ports, all for a wallet-friendly price of $599.

Acer Aspire AS5253-BZ661
$469.99 list
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The Acer AS5253-BZ661 desktop replacement laptop is a compelling play on price and battery life, using a netbook-based AMD Fusion APU to lead the charge.

$479.99 list
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If your pockets are small and needs limited to Web browsing and word processing, then the Asus K52F-BIN6 laptop will happily provide.

Toshiba Satellite L645-S4102
$429.99 street
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The Toshiba Satellite L645-S4102 mainstream laptop may not look like much, but it’s well positioned in the market given its price and capabilities. :

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