Looking to buy a new laptop without breaking the bank? We have some great news: There are some really good laptops out there that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Although Chromebooks can also be a good choice when on a budget, our focus is on Windows laptops that deliver reliable performance at an affordable price, usually starting under $500.
These laptops might not excel in resource-intensive tasks but are fast and powerful enough for basic computing needs and everyday use, meaning they are good for many people, from students and teachers to casual users and professionals with light workloads. Here are our top picks for the best budget laptops available on the market.
The Acer Aspire 5 is one of the best laptops you can find in the budget segment. It is available in three display sizes, 14, 15.6, and 17.3 inches, and various configurations, including options under $500. The Acer Aspire 5 may lack the fancy features and the sleek design seen in premium laptops, but it does a fantastic job handling basic everyday tasks, like web browsing, word processing, or streaming movies. Overall, it is a great entry-level laptop with good build quality, excellent performance, decent multitasking capabilities, and solid battery life, all within an affordable price range.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is another laptop that stands out in the budget category, offering excellent performance and features for its price. It has a beautiful 15.6-inch display, a modern design, good build quality, a range of connectivity options, and impressive audio capabilities. Whether watching movies, listening to music, or participating in virtual meetings, this laptop ensures a satisfying audio experience. There are many configurations to choose from, starting at under $500, making the IdeaPad 3 a great pick for those seeking a reliable and affordable Windows laptop for everyday use.
The Dell Inspiron 15 is also worth checking out when shopping for an affordable laptop. It runs on Windows 11, and you can get it in different configurations at a price starting under $400 (or even less when there are discounts) for the basic model at Dell. If you want better performance, you can choose a combination of processor (Intel or AMD), RAM, and storage capacity in line with your budget and needs and get a great machine for about $500-$600. With a generous 15.6-inch display, solid performance, a variety of ports, and a comfortable keyboard, the Inspiron 15 certainly offers a good value for money.
See the Inspiron 15 models at Dell.
While the standard retail price for the HP Pavilion Aero 13 starts at about $900, it frequently receives discounts that bring it under $500, presenting an attractive opportunity for those on a budget looking for a capable, stylish, and highly portable laptop. With a vibrant 13.3-inch display and weighing less than 2.2 pounds, the Pavilion Aero 13 is undoubtedly built with style and portability in mind, making it an excellent option for users on the go. But, despite its lightweight build, it doesn't compromise on performance. Powered by AMD Ryzen 5, this small laptop really packs a punch when it comes to handling everyday tasks.
See the Pavilion Aero 13 at HP.
The ASUS Vivobook 15 is another budget-friendly Windows laptop that doesn't skimp on performance and basic features. It has a 15.6-inch full HD NanoEdge display for an immersive viewing experience. It also comes with a full-size backlit keyboard and a reliable touchpad. You can get the basic configuration – Intel Core i3, 8GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage – for under $500, but if you're looking for more power and storage, an upgrade to the Intel Core i5 variant with 16GB of RAM and spacious 1TB storage is available for less than $600, which is still a great deal for all this laptop offers.
See the ASUS Vivobook 15 at Amazon.
Please note that the prices mentioned in this blog were as of 1/22/2024 and may change at any time.
Whatever laptop you pick, don’t forget to protect it with reliable laptop insurance covering accidental damage, theft, and other potential disasters that can happen at any time. A sudden drop, a coffee spill on the keyboard, or a power surge by lightning can make your new device unusable and lead to a costly repair or replacement. Laptop insurance can save you a lot of money, time, and hassle when accidents happen.
See what our comprehensive laptop insurance covers and get a free quote!