The best cheap laptops under $500

Looking for a cheap laptop to accompany you in all circumstances? Here is our selection of the best laptops under 500 euros.

The TOP 3 of the best cheap laptops

L’option Chromebook

Acer Chromebook 314 2021 (CB314-1HT)

  • decent performance
  • Very good autonomy
  • Chrome OS

The best compromise

Dell Inspiron 15 3511

  • Dell quality
  • A powerful Ryzen processor
  • A certain modularity

Good value for money

Asus Vivobook R415JA

  • A neat design and finish
  • A good keyboard
  • A little weak autonomy

If at Frandroid, we test more state-of-the-art computers (therefore quite expensive), we do not forget that not everyone has the means (or the desire) to turn to a high-priced laptop. Fortunately, the last few years have seen great progress in the power and quality of entry-level laptops. The popularization of SSDs in particular has brought better responsiveness and ease of use, even on a low-cost laptop PC.

Check certain points before buying: avoid like the plague all machines with less than 4 GB of RAM and less than 128 GB of storage, which are often found in supermarkets. These often don’t even have enough space to install Windows updates.

How to find a cheap laptop?

It is becoming more and more complicated to find a good laptop to recommend under the 500 euro mark. We would also tend to advise you to increase your budget a little, to go up to 600 or 700 euros. But at less than 500 euros, it’s not impossible to equip yourself either! Recognized brands such as Asus, Huawei or Acer offer really affordable models.

so here’s our small selection of inexpensive laptops. Keep in mind that prices change regularly, and that there are often several configurations for the same model of computer, which inflates or decreases the bill.

While we mostly chose Windows-powered machines, Chromebooks are also a great choice for those on a budget. Luckily, we also have a guide to the best Chromebooks. If you are looking for a laptop for students, go to our dedicated selection. Want a big screen? You will find what you are looking for in our comparison of 17-inch laptops.

And if you do decide to up your budget, be sure to check out our recommendations for the best laptops under $1,000.

Dell Inspiron 15 3511 The best compromise

Dell Inspiron 15 3511

  • Dell quality
  • A powerful Ryzen processor
  • A certain modularity

Available at€579 on Fnac

Known among other things for its XPS 13, Dell also offers many very interesting entry-level models. L’Inspiron 15 3511 is a great example of a cheap laptop. So yes, it’s a bit over the $500 mark, but if you can put in the extra $50 effort, you’ll get Dell quality. Granted, the all-plastic build isn’t the sexiest, but the chassis is solid and there’s easy access to RAM and storage for those who want to add more later.

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The configuration used is surprisingly muscular given the price: we thus find 8 GB of storage and a 256 GB SSD. But it is above all the processor Intel Core i5-1135G7 which holds our interest. The latter offers very decent performance as well as a more than solid autonomy which exceeds 8 hours in video playback. The 15.6-inch screen, on the other hand, is singularly lacking in brightness, even if we appreciate its Full HD definition.

In short, if you are looking for a large screen and a computer comfortable with office automation, look no further. And in the event of a problem, Dell’s excellent after-sales service is a significant advantage. As always with Dell, many configurations are available, do not hesitate to search the various e-commerce sites.

Where to buy The
Dell Inspiron 15 3511 at the best price ?

Asus Vivobook R415JA Good value for money

Asus Vivobook R415JA

  • A neat design and finish
  • A good keyboard
  • A little weak autonomy

Available at€509 on Fnac

Less known than the ZenBook PCs from the same manufacturer, the Asus Vivobook range is not without interest. If its finish is obviously less neat, it generally retains a pleasant design and good manufacturing quality. Features found on this Vivobook R415JA.

With its diagonal of 14 inches and its weight of 1.6 kg, it remains indeed relatively nomadic. We also appreciate its well-stocked connectivity (4 USB ports, HDMI output and micro SD card reader) and a comfortable keyboard, rare at this price level.

The screen is clearly the laptop’s weak point, with low brightness and above all a somewhat limited HD definition. On the other hand, office performance is solid thanks to the Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor accompanied by 8 GB of RAM. On the autonomy side, we will last about 5 hours on a charge, so it is better not to forget your charger. Too bad, however, that the latter does not use a USB-C connection.

The Vivobook R415JA-BV356T is therefore not perfect, far from it, but it offers good value for money for anyone looking for a compact and affordable laptop.

Where to buy
Asus Vivobook R415JA at the best price ?

Huawei MateBook D 15 (2021) A comprehensive and affordable 15-inch PC

Huawei MateBook D 15 (2021)

  • Quality design and chassis
  • Good connection
  • Pleasant Full HD panel

Available at549 € sur Huawei

Huawei has become an interesting brand for its laptops. The brand, somewhat forced to abandon smartphones, has thus largely developed its “MateBook” range which benefits from excellent quality-price ratios. The 2021 MateBook D15, chosen in its smallest configuration, that is to say with an Intel i3 SoC, thus remains below the 500 euro mark. With the i5, it will be around 550 euros, but you have to watch the promotions.

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Source : Huawei

It is therefore a 15-inch PC, in a 1.5 kg aluminum alloy chassis. Its design is noticeably reminiscent of the old MacBook Pros of the 2010s. The finishes, given the price, are very respectable. The screen itself, in Full HD, is quite sufficient to enjoy your favorite content and work comfortably. Of course, the i3 is not a thunderbolt, but at less than 500 euros, it “does the job”… As often with Huawei, we regret that the webcam is hidden in a key on the keyboard, which gives a unflattering angle in video.

We particularly appreciate the connectivity, very complete, with in particular a USB-C port, two USB-A 3.2 Gen1, but also an HDMI port and a headphone jack. The 65 W of the charger (USB-C) allows fast charging. And good surprise: you will benefit from Wi-Fi 6, which is rare in this price range. A good laptop for surfing the net and doing occasional work.

Where to buy The
Huawei MateBook D 15 (2021) at the best price ?

If you want a smaller computer, also take a look at the MateBook D14 which is also under 500 euros, depending on the configuration.

Where to buy The
Huawei MateBook D 14 (2021) at the best price ?

Acer Chromebook 314 2021 (CB314-1HT) L’option Chromebook

Acer Chromebook 314 2021 (CB314-1HT)

  • decent performance
  • Very good autonomy
  • Chrome OS

Available at€230 on Fnac

If you are looking for a portable PC and your budget is limited, looking at Chromebooks can be interesting. These are generally very affordable, in addition to offering decent performance thanks to a very light Chrome OS.

Despite its low price, the Acer CB314 offers a far from ridiculous technical sheet, with a Pentium Silver N5030 processor accompanied by 8 GB of RAM. Chrome OS is primarily designed for cloud use, but the internal storage is only 64 GB.

If the machine is relatively compact for a 14-inch PC, the finish does not leave lasting memories, with in particular a keyboard that lacks rigidity. Connectivity is provided with 4 USB ports (including two in USB-C format). For HDMI, however, you will have to go through a USB-C adapter. A micro SD card reader completes the picture and can be used to expand storage if you are cramped on the SSD.

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Finally, we are more than satisfied with the autonomy: the CB314 thus exceeds twelve hours on a charge. It also has the good taste to use a USB-C socket, which allows you to swap the imposing block provided for a more compact one.

In short, it’s a good little Chromebook, simple and efficient. If you’re looking for a bigger screen, its cousin theAcer CB317 offers almost identical features, but with a 17-inch screen.

If these three laptop models are not for you, we advise you to take a look at the HP Pavilion 14. These are sold, depending on the configuration, around 700 euros, but very often benefit from large discounts which can bring them back around 500 euros.

How to choose a cheap laptop

Cheap laptop: what to expect?

Under the bar of 600 or 500 euros, laptop manufacturers are forced to make major concessions to keep a modest budget. Then, it’s up to the brand to make the sacrifice it deems most appropriate. The quality of the screen? The amount of memory? The processor ? It’s up to you to choose the element that seems the least important to you. We find that a good screen contributes more to the pleasure of use than a slightly more efficient chip. The difference is often more noticeable in the first case than in the second. In any case, you will come across plastic frames: do not expect very high quality finishes and materials.

AMD processors in laptops?

Once frankly bad, mobile processors have made a remarkable comeback in laptops for two years. And for good reason, the Ryzen 4000 and 5000 processors offer very good performance, consume little and above all cost much less than their Intel equivalents. They are more and more commonly used in computers under 500 euros. No need to avoid them, quite the contrary.

What is Windows 10 S?

Windows 10 S does not exist. It’s actually “Windows 10 in S mode”, it’s the name of Microsoft. If it is long and not really sexy, it has the merit of highlighting the fact that it is a deactivatable mode of Windows 10, and not a full version of the OS. The main change is the inability to install applications not from the Windows Store. The mode is also less greedy, which allows it to work better on modest machines. This simplifies use, but also limits the range of possibilities.

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