Laptops Under $500

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Laptops Under $500

With technology continually dropping in price and evolving, you might be surprised to find out how much computing power you can get with you money. Laptops at $500 or under offer adequate processor speed and system memory for basic daily tasks and everyday computing, such as streaming YouTube videos and music; writing papers for class or keeping up with social media.

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15.6" Full HD Windows Laptop (Intel Core i5-1035G1 @ 1.00GHz, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Intel UHD G1) Model 81WE00ENUS (2020)
95%
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15.6" Full HD Windows Laptop (Intel Core i5-1035G1 @ 1.00GHz, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Intel UHD G1) Model 81WE00ENUS (2020)
Given the specs, our projected price for the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15.6"" Full HD Windows Laptop (Intel Core i5-1035G1 @ 1.00GHz, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Intel UHD G1) Model 81WE00ENUS (2020) is $614.9. The Ice Lake Intel Core i5-1035G1 @ 1.00GHz has a CPU Score of 156 while the Intel UHD G1 has a CBU score of 304. Don't let the fact that this CPU is listed at 1.0 GHz make you think it is noticably slower than previous Whisky Lake i5 CPUs at 3.4 or more GHz. The boost clock is still 3.2 GHz, and Intel claims that this architecture can actually perform around 18% more calculations per cycle.
$439 $499
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MOTILE THX Performance 14" Full HD Windows Laptop (AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Vega 3) Model M141 (2019)
85%
MOTILE THX Performance 14" Full HD Windows Laptop (AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Vega 3) Model M141 (2019)
The Motile M141 comes in three colors- black, rose gold, and silver. It is a Walmart exclusive brand, with a tie-in to THX. It has a lightweight and surprisingly rigid chassis, and has very decent specs for its MSRP. Our projected price is actually a little bit higher than MSRP ($368 vs. $349), and this laptop is frequently discounted even lower. Despite the THX tie-in, the sound in the Motile isn't particularly noteworthy (get it?). The screen is adequate, and the Ryzen 3 is just on the right side of decent. The 4GB of RAM is a little less than we'd like to see, and the 128GB SSD is fast relative to a mechanical drive, but not gigantic. Overall, this is very good for a cheap laptop. The combination of a 3rd generation Ryzen CPU and SSD means that it is relatively zippy, which is about all you can as for in this price range.
$329 $350
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Samsung CB4 Chromebook, 11.6" HD Display, Intel Celeron, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, Intel UHD Graphics 600, Model XE310XBA-K01US
85%
Samsung CB4 Chromebook, 11.6" HD Display, Intel Celeron, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, Intel UHD Graphics 600, Model XE310XBA-K01US
Samsung's CB4 line of Chromebooks is built to be affordable, with long battery life and decent performance. It has some Macbook hints with an aluminum top, but the body is plastic, which is to be expected in this price range. The Celeron 3000N is a decent CPU, and is enough horsepower to let you open up multiple tabs. It should be much faster than the MediaTek based systems. The only real obvious negative is the lack of a touchscreen. If you need one, you need to look elsewhere.
$199.99 $219
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BJ's Wholesale
Updated Sep 20, 2020
Acer Aspire 5 Slim 15.6" Full HD Windows Laptop (AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Vega 3) Model A515-43-R19L
80%
Acer Aspire 5 Slim 15.6" Full HD Windows Laptop (AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Vega 3) Model A515-43-R19L
Based on the specs, our projected price for the Acer Aspire 5 Slim is $419.11. It should be a decent lightweight system. The Ryzen 3 3200U is an adequate CPU, and the integrated Vega 3 graphics are decent as well. Don't expect to be playing high end games at 60FPS, but you should be able to play more modest games at 30+ FPS. The 4GB of DDR4 RAM is a little less than we'd like to see, but this is a budget system, so the compromise makes sense. The 128 GB SSD is also a little smaller than we would like, but at least the SSD should keep the system feeling decently fast.
$421
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