The best cheap Windows laptops and Chromebooks you can get now under $500

The best cheap Windows laptops and Chromebooks you can get now under $500

In search of the best Laptop to the Windows or Chrome OS (aka Chromebook) under $ 500? Good luck. Because an unprecedented number of people suddenly have to work from home, or worse, have lost their jobs, The sale of PCs and accessories has increasedThis makes it almost impossible to find a cheap laptop or Chromebook that is even in stock, let alone one that is worth buying. This coupled with supply chain problems that also arise from the Corona virus Breakout has made finding affordable laptops more difficult than ever. Nevertheless, I have compiled a list of models that are still available for less than $ 500 and should be shipped within at least 10 days.

I will try to keep this list up to date, but please don’t hate me if it is out of date. Some online shopping sites make it impossible to find out what’s in stock and what’s not – not just for technology, but for everything – and what can be shipped to you in a timely manner. I will try to make web trawling less of a hassle for you so that you have time to do more important things. However, please note that the shipping times may vary depending on where you live. I live in New York, so my recommendations may be based on a best case scenario.

Also try to resist buying out of desperation – don’t spend $ 500 on a laptop, for example, because cheaper ones aren’t available. Buying a need-it-now laptop can be like grocery shopping when you’re hungry. $ 500 is a lot of money, and you’ll likely stick to it for at least three years if the statistics that Intel and PC manufacturers throw at us are correct. If it only takes a few months to recover, look for possible places to buy refurbished products and explore nonprofit or educational discounts if you are eligible.

If you suspect you’re holding onto your new laptop for a while, check to see if you can expand your budget to accommodate a little more memory or a processor with more cores than you otherwise considered. Even better, if you are familiar with it, you should consider one with a removable battery, upgradeable memory and storage, or both. Also, hopefully you won’t be stuck at home forever. Remember to consider whether you want something more portable with decent battery life in the future.

You can add external storage at some point later. However, if your internal storage is the slow spinning hard drives found in many cheap laptops, even faster external storage is unlikely to speed up Windows or application loading. (You can often set up a system to boot from a fast external solid-state drive.)

And finally, when you replace an old laptop that Windows stops working, Consider turning it into a Chromebook.

The best cheap Windows laptops and Chromebooks you can get now under $500 1


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As long as you live up to your expectations in terms of options and specs, you can still do a lot with a budget model, including good battery life and a relatively light case.

A ray of hope is that you don’t have to be satisfied with a conventional clamshell laptop with a fixed display and keyboard. You can get a convertible (also known as two-in-one) – A laptop with a screen that turns over to turn the screen into a tablet, position it for convenient streaming, or create a presentation. Please note that all convertibles have touch screens, which are a prerequisite for operating the tablet.

One thing you won’t find: a MacBook or another Apple laptop. Even one iPad Air Once you buy the optional keyboard, you’ll get over $ 500 (however, if you’re looking for sales on the tablet or keyboard, it can result in a lower price) which is over budget. A Base model iPad however, with an inexpensive Bluetooth keyboard and a cheap stand for the iPad, this could be enough.

It is easier to find cheaply Chromebooks This makes it one of the most popular categories of budget laptops on the market, although we also see a lot more Chromebooks in the $ 500 to $ 1,000 range. This is because Google’s Chrome OS isn’t nearly as performance-hungry as Windows (see specifications). So you can get by with a low-end processor, slower memory, and less screen resolution or memory – just a few of the components that make a laptop expensive.

The downside, however, is that while Chrome OS isn’t as performance-hungry as Windows, Chrome and Google apps are unfortunately more of a storage issue than expected. If you work with the processor too little or have less space available, the system will still feel slow. And Chrome OS is a completely different experience than Windows. Make sure the apps you need have a Chrome app before you take the plunge.

However, since they are cloud-first devices, not much space is required. This also means that most of the time you are on the Internet, writing, streaming videos or playing Android games fits well. (To play Android games, make sure you get a model with a touchscreen.)

Continue reading: Best Chromebooks for 2020

However, for a cheap gaming laptop, you still have to break the $ 500 budget for performance. The cheapest affordable laptops suitable for a solid gaming experience – even with moderately powerful discrete graphics processors – will get you closer to $ 700. Here are ours Recommendations if you are looking for the best gaming laptop.

However, if you want to live up to date, you can use cloud gaming services such as: Google Stadia It allows you to play games on laptops with specifications that are less than $ 500.

Things to consider:

  • While Chromebooks can run Chrome OS-specific and Android apps, some users need a full Windows operating system to run larger applications such as video editing suites. This means a faster processor with more cores, more memory – 8 GB is the bare minimum – and more memory for applications and the operating system itself. Many of them have 4 GB or 6 GB, which in connection with a rotating hard drive can also lead to very slow Windows experiences.
  • Solid-state drives can make a big difference in how fast Windows performance feels compared to a spinning hard drive, but they also increase the price. So if your budget is expanding a bit and you need more storage space, consider moving from the basic storage options to a 128GB SSD.
  • In this affordable price range, you have to pay attention to the screen terminology in the technical data: For this reason, an “HD” screen may not always mean a really high-resolution screen. HD, ie 1,920 x 1,080 pixels per screen, has been retronymized as “Full HD” so that marketers can continue to sell displays with a lower resolution (1,280 x 720 pixels per screen) as “HD”. In Chromebooks, “HD” usually refers to a 1366×768 pixel screen. Another common complaint I see concerns “washed out” displays with poor viewing angles. Unfortunately, this is one of the compromises you have to live with. Many of them use TN (Twisted Nematic) screen technology, which is cheap but more.
  • Pay attention to the networking. Inexpensive models with older chipsets may only support Wi-Fi 3 (or 802.11b / g / n). Wi-Fi 3 is limited to 2.4 GHz channels, which are slower and have a shorter range than newer chipsets with 5 GHz support for Wi-Fi 4 (also known as 802.11ac). The specifications on the purchase pages are not always correct. So if you see a model that doesn’t appear to have Wi-Fi 4, check the manufacturer’s website before excluding it. Keep in mind that Chromebooks mostly work over the Internet. Therefore, the speed and stability of the WLAN is crucial.

Given all the specs and options – from battery life to storage space, screen resolution, screen size, core processor performance, to general machine and battery performance – these are some of our top tips for the best Windows laptops and Chromebooks of the year 2020 under the $ 500 budget along with its pros and cons.

Continue reading: Best laptops, desktops and tablets for designers and creatives in 2020

Sarah Tew / CNET

For less than $ 400 (though high-end configurations can exceed the $ 500 price limit), this Acer Chromebook is practically a bargain. It’s a thin and light laptop, but it’s sturdy and has great battery life. In addition, it has a fingerprint reader and Citrix certification for IT-oriented companies.

Acer

With 8GB of memory, a quad-core i5-8265U, a real HD display and a 1TB hard drive, this 14-inch two-in-one is a pretty good price for a two-in-one One device that lasts a little longer than the rest of the cheap models.

Asus

This goes in and out quickly. The cheaper Core i3 configuration was sold out, then the slightly more expensive AMD Ryzen 5 model went. Now it’s due to a Ryzen 3 2200U, 1 TB hybrid storage, 6 GB storage and a real HD screen.

Sarah Tew / CNET

For its price, the 15-inch Chromebook from HP offers good components and functions, as well as a comfortable keyboard with number pad and a fantastic battery life. This model only uses Wi-Fi 4 networks (2.4 GHz). Take this into account. It is not a problem if this is all that supports your home. However, if you have a relatively fast internet connection and a Wi-Fi 5 router (or better), you may be frustrated with the slow or less reliable performance of this model behavior when you are far from an access point.

Read our review of the HP Chromebook 15 (2019).

Dell

For around $ 460, you get a classy 15-inch laptop with an appropriate configuration – an Intel Core i3 processor, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD storage and a real HD display.

Asus

Get the basics down for around $ 300 with this attractive, functional Chromebook – a Celeron N3350 processor, 4 GB of storage, and 32 GB of storage. It doesn’t have a real HD screen, only 1,366 x 768 pixels, but the text should still look pretty sharp because it’s only 14 inches wide.

Read our preview of the Asus Chromebook C423.

Lenovo

The sleek, elegant Lenovo IdeaPad 330, with a decent configuration for $ 350, with 8 GB of RAM, the latest-generation dual-core AMD processor, and 256 GB of storage is suitable for this class.

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