Best Laptops Under 500 Dollars
Finding laptop computers for under 500 dollars ($500) can be a tricky task, especially since only a few years ago their average price was $650-$750. Fortunately finding best laptops for under $500 dollars is fully possible.
This is because an increasing number of retailers - both online and offline (in 'brick and mortar' shops) - have broken into the budget laptop market in the past couple of years. And as long as you realise that you won't be able to get every feature you want for a sub-$500 laptop, you should be able to find a good deal.
Tips to remember
The various tips below give some pointers to remember in your hunt for a good deal, and also suggest some retailers to check out who have some very reputable budget ranges. Then we give a couple of specific examples of best laptops under $500 dollars to get you started.
- What exactly do you need?: Work out your exact needs for a new system and then don't spend more on upgraded components and extras. For example, if you are mainly using your laptop for word processing, then a good processor and memory (RAM) would be useful, whilst the hard-drive size wouldn't be as important (and you wouldn't need a dedicated graphics card). By making these kinds of choices before shopping, you'll be less tempted to spend more and upgrade your system when you don't need to.
- Coupons and Discounts: All major retailers usually have dozens of different coupon and discount codes floating around at any one time. Using a search engine to find these coupon codes is fairly simple too: if you are interested in (for example) a Dell XPS laptop, search for "Dell XPS laptop coupon code" and you'll find hundreds of websites which have coupons or discounts available to you. This can be a great way to get the exact same system for a lower price!
- Shop Around: This sounds obvious, but many consumers tend to make a purchase straight away when they visit a reputable retailer and see a 'good deal'. However it's important not to rush into buying. We suggest that when you find a system you like the look of, you search around other retailer's websites to see whether they have a similar system at a lower price. The computing business is a very competitive industry, hence chances are good that a competitor might have a similar system for a lower price! See the bottom of this list for three reputable retailers to cross-check to potentially get a better a deal (But unless there truly is a brilliant deal offered by one of them, don't only search on there three retailer's websites and nowhere else. At the very least, hunt for some coupon codes before purchasing.)
- Three laptop retailers: Dell, HP and Toshiba are all very reputable laptop manufacturers, who all have sub-$500 laptop ranges which are of a high quality. We suggest that you hunt around on their websites - taking into account the above tips - to get started on finding a great laptop for under $500.
Our Top Picks
We have visited Toshiba and HP and selected two sub-$500 laptops and compared them to help you get started in your laptop research. Please note that the systems are correct as of 28th August 2010. Also remember to follow the above steps and to hunt around for coupon codes and better deals once you find a system that you like.
Toshiba Satellite T215D-S1140 Laptop - $469.99
- 11.6" Screen
- AMD Athlon II Neo K125 Processor
- 2GB RAM
- 250GB hard-drive
- HDMI slot - a HDMI slot allows you to connect your laptop to an external digital display device, for example a television (naturally the TV must also have a HDMI slot). This can be a very useful feature since you can watch video (which is stored on your laptop) via your TV.
HP G62t Laptop (Basic version) - $479.99
- 15.6" Screen
- Intel Dual Core P6000
- 2GB RAM
- 250GB hard-drive
- No HDMI slot
Overall the choice depends on your specific needs. The HP has a better processor and bigger screen than the Toshiba, although it is slightly more expensive and the Toshiba comes with a HDMI port too (which HP charge $15 extra for). The HP with a HDMI slot would be almost $495, which is $25 more than the Toshiba. If your budget is high enough, then the HP might be a better deal. Although if your budget is a little lower and you want the HDMI feature at no extra charge, the Toshiba is a great deal. Happy shopping!