Being on a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t get a great laptop. On the contrary, if you have a budget of $500, you can find a great laptop that does everything you need it do (and more). If you are looking for an affordable laptop that will take your mobile computing to the next level, don’t worry!
With these 5 laptops all under $500, you’ll get the BEST bang for your buck without boring a hole in your pocket. Have a look and take your pick:
#1: Toshiba Satellite L455D-S5976 Notebook PC
Toshiba Satellite L455D-S5976 – this laptop is beefed up with an AMD Sempron SI-42 2.1 GHz Processor. For those of you who are not aware of it, that means you get the computing and processing power of most basic desktop computers while on the go!
The processor goes hand in hand with 2 GB of DDR2 memory – making sure that this laptop can handle even the most detailed applications and programs that leave other laptops and netbooks in dust. Not to mention it also comes with a GENUINE Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit operating system.
YES, the Toshiba Satellite L455D-S5976 gives you a lot of processing power to deal with difficult software, graphics and video, as well as multi-tasking. With the 250 GB SATA hard drive that it has, you won’t have any problems finding space for those digital pictures, programs, games, and everything else in between.
And like icing on top of the cake, the Toshiba Satellite L455D-S5976 comes with its guns blazing…boasting a 15.6 HIGH-DEFINITION capable wide screen LCD display that comes with a 1366 by 768 native resolution. This makes sure you don’t miss out anything when you are watching movies, playing games, etc.
My Review: I grabbed the Toshiba Satellite L455D-S5976 as a backup to my desktop computer and for out-of-town use. And let’s not beat around the bush. Here’s my conclusion: this gives you great bang for your buck!
True, this is NOT a light system. It’s heavy and I find it a little challenging to use when on an airplane. BUT when it comes to speed and processing power, the Toshiba Satellite L455D-S5976 is top notch! The keyboard is also fantastic. I never had any problems with it. I highly recommend that you add 2 GB RAM – taking it to 4 GB RAM. This will beef up the system even more.
As for the HD TruBrite Screen, I’m giving it 2 thumbs up. The videos and images – they’re all crisp and clean. And with the price – below $500, the Toshiba Satellite L455D-S5976 is a steal!
#2: Acer AS5742Z-4685 15.6-Inch Laptop
If you are looking for a laptop that gives you powerful performance, comes with the latest connectivity technology, and beefed up with rich media features…giving you a fast and responsive PC experience, look no further.
The Acer Aspire AS5742Z Notebook is everything you need!
With the 15.6 inch HD Cine Crystal Wide Screen LCD Display, you can enjoy cinematic brilliance while you are on the go.
At the core of the Acer Aspire AS5742Z Notebook, you will find the Intel Pentium Dual Core processor that can keep up with your daily computing tasks like sending and receiving email, surfing the internet, doing your homework, etc. without any hassle!
With its operating system – Windows 7 Home Premium, you can do everyday tasks way easier than usual. PLUS, the Office Starter 2010 gives you new ways to deliver your best work.
In the connectivity department, the Acer Aspire AS5742Z Notebook is no push over. With the 802.11b/g/n WiFi CERTIFIED wireless connectivity and Gigabit Ethernet LAN, you will always be connected with your friends, email, favorite websites and social networks ALL THE TIME!
My Review: Being an advanced computer user who has been looking at different laptop models before I settled for the Acer Aspire AS5742Z Notebook, I dug deep into all of the specs of about 10 different models. And I concluded that this Acer laptop gives me the BEST value. The price is well over $300 over our family laptop, BUT it’s worth every single penny.
The screen is crystal-clear and REALLY bright. The top cover as well as the spots where you place your wrists come with a very nice texture, which makes fingerprints and smudges almost invisible.
The p6100 is an EXCELLENT budget processor. This blows the similarly priced Athlon II Mobile processors out of the water and it’s ahead of the old Core 2’s out there. As for the battery life, it’s at 3.2 hours while I’m browsing the internet and while working with Outlook and Microsoft Word.
The keys come with a great feel. The way it is designed…you really can’t get food or other small objects between those small in-between spaces.
The Pros In A Nutshell: Crystal-clear LCD screen. Fast computer power. Great for multi-tasking. There’s not a lot of UNNECESSARY software installed. Lightweight and the keyboard is easy to use.
The Cons In A Nutshell: Good BUT not great battery life. The price point is a little steep. BUT believe me, it’s worth every penny.
Summing it all up, the Acer Aspire AS5742Z Notebook is a EXCELLENT buy at $500 range. If it goes on sale for $300 to 350, do yourself a favor and don’t miss your chance to buy it!
#3: Toshiba Satellite C655-S5119 15.6-Inch Laptop
The Toshiba Satellite C655-S5119…
– Comes beefed up with 15.6-inch TruBrite Display. And with a resolution of 1366 by 768 PLUS an aspect ratio of 16:9, you get excellent color, depth, as well as quality in your images, videos, etc.
– Has the 2.0 GHz Intel Pentium p6100 Dual Core Processor with a 3 MB L3 Cache. This makes short work of processing applications, programs, etc. that leave other laptops lagging behind!
– The 320 GB SATA hard drive (with 5400 RPM) makes sure you will ALWAYS have space for those video games, programs, music tracks, pictures, documents, and everything else in between.
– 3 GB of installed DDR3 RAM (1066 MHz, which is expandable to 8 GB) gives you enough memory to keep up with the Toshiba Satellite C655-S5119’s processing power.
With all of the integrated Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking features, you get 5 times the performance as well as double the wireless range with 802.11n-compatible routers compared to 802.11g networks.
My Review: The Toshiba Satellite C655-S5119 – it doesn’t have HDMI, no microphone, no web cam, etc. Long story short: it doesn’t have the typical bells and whistles of a laptop. BUT so what?! This Toshiba laptop is NOT built to look good…it’s built from the ground up to perform and I’m MORE than pleased with it in the performance department.
The central processing unit (CPU) comes with 3M cache, which is EXCELLENT for multi-tasking. And all of the components are rated highly on the Windows Performance Index. The display is bright and nice. The keyboard – I LOVE it. Summing it all up, while it doesn’t have the typical ‘add ons’ that make a laptop ‘look good’, the Toshiba Satellite C655-S5119 surpasses your average laptop when it comes to performance!
BUT still, I need a web cam, which is easily remedied by buying a Logitech 2 mega pixel Web Cam Pro 9000 that comes with a built in microphone. I got it for 35 USD. So for $365 ($330 for the laptop and $35 for the webcam), the Toshiba Satellite C655-S5119 is a steal!
#4: ASUS A52F-XA1 15.6-Inch Entertainment Laptop
Some Techy BUT Jaw Dropping Details
– Comes with Intel Pentium Dual Core P6100. A very POWERFUL budget processor that can handle your daily computing needs with ease. This is beefed up even MORE with the 4GB of DDR3 1066MHz DRAM, 2 slots (which is upgradeable to 8 GB).
– The 320GB Hard Drive (5400 RPM) gives you enough storage power for your pictures, videos, programs, video games, and MORE. And the Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) Operating System helps you get your usual job done EASIER!
– The 15.6-Inch HD Display (with a resolution of 1366×768) makes sure you don’t miss anything when playing video games, watching movies, etc. You get all the crystal-clear details you want!
– And to make the deal even sweeter, it’s beefed 1 Year Accidental Damage Warranty and 1 Year Standard Warranty Included.
My Review: For surfing the internet, creating documents with MS Word, light online and video gaming (yes folks, Plants Vs. Zombies!), watching movies on Youtube.com, etc. the ASUS A52F-XA1 laptop is top notch!
For those of you who are NOT aware, the P6100 processor is a 2-GHz Core i3 BUT without the hyperthreading. Now, for a laptop, which is NOT expected to multi-task heavily or use a highly threaded application, the lack of hyperthreading is not really much a deal.
Now, the processor of the ASUS A52F-XA1 laptop is even designed on the same processes as the Core i3. And with the built in memory controller as well as other efficiencies found in the Core i3 style design, it’s just as fast as the 2.5 GHz Core 2 Duo. Long story short, you get an amazingly fast processor (for a laptop) as well as a competent GPU (that’s Graphics Processing Unit) which can easily and smoothly take on 1080p playback!
The processing power – this is the strongest point of the laptop. The weakest point, though, is the relatively slow hard drive. Now the WD Scorpio Blue with 5400 revolutions per minute is REALLY good for a laptop. BUT compared to a good desktop hard drive at 7200 revolutions per minute or SSD, it’s a little behind. Still, this is NOT a biggie.
By the way, the blue clicking noise of the hard drive, as it turns out, is pretty normal. This is the sound made by the drive’s head parking or moving around, which is an energy saving feature. Don’t worry. It’s NOT defective.
When it comes to reliability, ASUS’s laptops and computers are on top of the pack. Looking at Square Trade’s reliability index and other laptop magazines that run reliability articles, you can easily find ASUS at the second or first place. And the ASUS A52F-XA1 laptop did NOT disappoint.
#5: HP G62-340us 15.6-Inch Laptop
If you are looking for a laptop that gives you excellent value day in and day out, one that you can count on when it comes to productivity and entertainment in high definition, then the HP G62-340us 15.6-Inch Laptop is yours for the taking!
Whether you want to edit photos, create videos easily, access your email and other common applications with one touch keys, the HP G62-340us 15.6-Inch Laptop is MORE than up to the task. And it’s NOT just stylish! It also comes with a fingerprint-resistant finish…those fingerprints and smudges won’t ruin your laptop’s looks!
– Beefed VISION Technology from AMD with AMD Athlon™ II Dual-Core Processor for Notebook PCs P340. A pretty powerful processor that can handle your daily computing tasks.
– Comes with Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit Operating System. This gives you the latest that Windows has to offer – ease of use for your most commonly used programs and unrivaled accessibility.
– 15.6″ diagonal High-Definition HP BrightView LED Display (with a resolution of 1366 x 768) guarantees you get crystal-clear, crisp, and excellent images and color.
– The dimensions of 5.50 lbs; 14.72″ x 9.70″ x 1.25″/1.44″ makes the HP G62-340us 15.6-Inch Laptop REALLY portable…allowing you to take it with you no matter where you are.
– The 3GB of memory works hand in hand with the processor…allowing you to work with multiple applications at the same time.
– With the Light Scribe Technology, you get to burn custom labels on your CDs and DVDs as well as store thousands of photos in your hard drive!
My Review: Before anything else, let me make one thing clear: the HP G62-340us 15.6-Inch Laptop is NOT the thinnest or lightest laptop out there in the market. It’s pretty standard looking. The specs are modest. HOWEVER, when it comes to performance, the HP G62-340us 15.6-Inch Laptop is no push over!
It’s powerful enough to do most of the tasks that a basic computer user wants to do…and it does it without breaking a sweat!
The Pros In A Nutshell
– I like the keyboard – it comes with a Chicklet-style and it’s easy to type on.
– Touchpad response…it’s pretty smooth and easy to use. BUT look at the Con below.
– The display is really clear.
– The HP G62-340us 15.6-Inch Laptop is fast enough for most of your daily computing tasks.
– The wireless technology and connection it comes with is fast and strong.
– The fan is quiet. No irritating sound.
– And last BUT not the least, it doesn’t get very hot when on your lap.
The Cons In A Nutshell
– The case’s design is very basic and NOT attractive.
– The touchpad’s button – it’s stiff and really hard to push.
– It comes with a lot of HP software installed in it. While it may appeal to novice users who want those toolbars, picture managers, etc. installed, advanced users who know they don’t really need that much software may find it irritating.
In conclusion, HOWEVER, I’m giving the HP G62-340us 15.6-Inch Laptop 2 thumbs up. This is an excellent laptop especially at the price range.