The 7 Best Laptops for College Under $500 Reviewed

laptop for college student under $500

If you are in the market for a new laptop for college, then chances are strong you are on a budget. While you can find laptops under $500 dollars, it’s hard to know which one meets your needs. We found the seven best laptops that will fit most budgets.

Many of the affordable laptops right now are actually Chromebooks that use Google Chrome as the operating system. However, these offer a different experience with a minimalist approach. We focused on laptops using one of the tried and true operating systems, including both Windows and macOS. The two main operating systems offer more usability and still give incredibly easy access to Google Chrome.

Furthermore, Chrome has a tendency to be power-hungry but is so frequently used for the wide expanse of internet-based software, so you will find options on this list capable of handling the workload. Find everything you want and need in the right price range to make college a little easier, at least tech-wise. Take a look.

Best Laptops for College Under $500

1. HP 14-inch Touchscreen Home and Business Laptop

HP 14-inch Touchscreen Home and Business Laptop

The HP 14″ Touchscreen Home and Business Laptop offers everything you need for school on a tight budget. While the price is just at the top of most budgets, it offers far more than you would think possible for the price. For one, you get a fast Ryzen 3-3200 processor ready to power up quickly and keep the computer working quickly.

Second, the computer comes with a whopping 8 GB of RAM, which translates to running multiple apps or browser tabs with ease. Add in 128 GB of memory on a solid-state drive (SSD) for storage and speed. While it’s not the most memory, most people use cloud or external storage as it’s affordable and readily available.

Next, the computer offers a 14-inch size, a built-in HD webcam with a microphone, a fingerprint reader, and a built-in media reader for easy photo transfer. As with all HP computers, it runs Windows 10 in S mode, but it’s free to switch to Windows 10 Home. It also includes an energy-efficient LED backlight screen. Additionally, it weighs just over three pounds.

The size is perfect to fit in most backpacks or messenger bags. It’s big enough to keep two apps open and on the screen at once. Moreover, it’s a large enough size to make online virtual meeting easy on the eyes along with everything else you try to do on the computer.

HP 14' Touchscreen Home and Business Laptop Ryzen 3-3200U, 8GB RAM, 128GB M.2 SSD, Dual-Core up to 3.50 GHz, Vega 3 Graphics, RJ-45, USB-C, 4K Output HDMI, Bluetooth, Webcam, 1366x768, Win 10
1,559 Reviews
HP 14" Touchscreen Home and Business Laptop Ryzen 3-3200U, 8GB RAM, 128GB M.2 SSD, Dual-Core up to 3.50 GHz, Vega 3 Graphics, RJ-45, USB-C, 4K Output HDMI, Bluetooth, Webcam, 1366x768, Win 10
  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Processor (2.60 GHz base clock, up to 3.50 GHz max boost clock, 4 MB Cache, 2 Cores) Smart dual-core, four-way processing performance for HD-quality computing
  • 14" Touchscreen, typical 1366 x 768 HD resolution. Natural finger-touch navigation makes the most of Windows 10. Energy-efficient LED backlight screen
  • DDR4 2400 MHz RAM Memory with Solid State Drive (SSD) combo brings the muscle for gaming, creating, and advanced multitasking, so you can do it all, anywhere. To smoothly run your games and photo- and video-editing applications, as well as multiple programs and browser tabs all at once
  • 1x Headphone-out & Audio-in Combo Jack; 1x Built-in HD webcam with microphone; 1x Built-in fingerprint reader; 1x Built-in media reader for simple photo transfer; 1x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert; 1x HDMI 1.4b 4K Output; 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C; 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A. 12.75 x 8.89 x 0.78 in (323.85 x 225.81 x 19.81 mm), 3.25 lbs. (1.47 kg)
  • Realtek RTL8821CE 802.11b/g/n/ac (1x1)(19a) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 and RJ-45 LAN Ethernet combo. Connect to a Wireless-AC router for nearly 3x the speed, more capacity and wider coverage than Wireless-N. Backward-compatible with all other Wi-Fi networks and hotspots

2. Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop

Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop

If you thought Apple laptops were out of your price range, you are right. However, you can buy a renewed or older version in your range. The Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop is a renewed product but absolutely up to the task at hand. Apple makes computers with hardware built to last for at least a decade. Honestly, you will outgrow the available operating systems before the computer will die!

One problem with Mac is the storage, and with this one, you only get 128 GB, which isn’t a lot but more than sufficient with all of the other storage options available today. Moreover, the battery will last for around ten hours, depending on what you are doing on the computer. Furthermore, it comes with everything you know and love from Mac, including affordable software, a built-in camera, Siri, FaceTime, Safari, and so much more.

With a new 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, your Mac and Wifi will run faster than you thought possible. Mind you, this doesn’t come with the new M1, but it also is around half the price! As for computer memory, this comes with four gigabytes, perfect for running a few apps at once with quality speed.

Moreover, the computer weighs just under three pounds, and it’s slim too! At 13.3 inches, the screen size is more than adequate for any task, although bigger is better until it’s time to travel. Mind you, this option does not come with Retina as that often comes with a much higher price tag, and you still get 1440 x 900 resolution on an LED-backlit display.

Sale
(Renewed) Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (Intel Core i5 Dual-Core 1.3GHz up to 2.6GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0)
3,292 Reviews
(Renewed) Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (Intel Core i5 Dual-Core 1.3GHz up to 2.6GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0)
  • Renewed products look and work like new. These pre-owned products have been inspected and tested by Amazon-qualified suppliers, which typically perform a full diagnostic test, replacement of any defective parts, and a thorough cleaning process. Packaging and accessories may be generic. All products on Amazon Renewed come with a minimum 90-day supplier-backed warranty.
  • Up to 12 Hours of Battery Life, OS X Mavericks
  • 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor , Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz
  • 13-Inch LED-backlit Display; 1440x900 Resolution; Intel HD Graphics 5000; 802.11ac Wi-Fi

3. ASUS VivoBook Flip 2020 Premium Thin and Light 2-in-1 Laptop

ASUS VivoBook Flip 2020 Premium Thin and Light 2-in-1 Laptop

If you are looking for a two in one laptop with a very affordable price tag, you need the ASUS VivoBook Flip 2020 Premium Thin and Light 2-in-1 Laptop. You can even pick from three different sets of stats for more or less memory. If you already prefer saving on the cloud or using an external drive, then this will offer plenty of memory at 128 GB. It offers a touch screen display with a flip design, too, offering more functionality.

The only reason this option is lower on our list is because the screen is only 11.6 inches, which is sufficient but still small. If you need multiple items up on the screen at once, visibility will be a little difficult. The computer offers 4 GB of memory and offers flash memory for extra speed.

Next, the computer includes Windows 10 in S mode, which is streamlined for security and performance. You can only get apps from the Microsoft Store, and it requires Microsoft Edge for browsing security. You can switch to Windows 10 Home if you prefer. It also includes Microsoft Office 365 Personal.

You will love that this laptop comes with an HD webcam and building microphone along with stereo speakers. It also has Bluetooth, and you can enjoy music for up to 8 hours thanks to fantastic battery life. Add in a free micro SD card for even more storage too!

ASUS VivoBook Flip 2020 Premium Thin and Light 2-in-1 Laptop I 11.6' HD Touchscreen I Intel Core Celeron N3350 I 4GB RAM 64 GB eMMC 128G SD Card I Office 365 Win 10 + 16GB Micro SD Card
67 Reviews
ASUS VivoBook Flip 2020 Premium Thin and Light 2-in-1 Laptop I 11.6" HD Touchscreen I Intel Core Celeron N3350 I 4GB RAM 64 GB eMMC 128G SD Card I Office 365 Win 10 + 16GB Micro SD Card
  • 【Upgraded Powerful Storage】: 4GB DDR4 SDRAM Memory, 64GB eMMC flash memory, and 128G SD Card.
  • 【ASUS VivoBook Flip Intel】: Intel Celeron Processor N Series, Intel Dual-Core N3350, 1.1 GHz base frequency, up to 2.4 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 2 MB L2 Cache, 2 Threads
  • 【ASUS VivoBook Flip 11.6】: 11.6 inch HD ( 1366 x 768 ) Touchscreen Display; Integrated Intel HD Graphics 500
  • 【External Ports and Slots】: 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack, 1 x Media Card Reader
  • 【Operating System】: Windows 10 in S mode. Integrated HD Webcam, Stereo Speakers with Array Microphone, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth, Microsoft Office 365 Personal, up to 8 hours battery life, Accessory Including a Delca 16GB Micro SD Card