If you wanted a decent portable computer a decade or so ago, you’d have had to fork over thousands of dollars. Luckily, the technological advancements have made laptops relatively cheap (especially compared to fully decked-out PCs) while still maintaining solid physical characteristics and specs. Nowadays, it is relatively easy to find a decent laptop that won’t set you back more than $500, with various notable brands vying for the top spot.
If you’re primarily concerned about the budget, you will have to make some concessions in build quality and capabilities. A 15-inch laptop that doesn’t cost a lot might come with a flimsy cooling system and relatively cheap external materials, making it more likely to crumble under heavier use.
Most modern laptops have switched from bulky spinning hard drives (HDDs) to the new solid-state drives (SSD). While this radically improves performance, it typically presents a challenge where a machine doesn’t have a vast memory bank to store data. On the other hand, an inexpensive laptop might have a sluggish CPU with an integrated GPU, making it less suited for specific industries and tasks. Understanding the tradeoffs of a budget laptop will make it much easier to choose one that suits your needs and requirements.
In this list, we’ll take you through all the laptops that can offer the most bang for your buck. While some laptops will be more budget-friendly, others are more suited to users who need portability and peak performance.