A search for laptops under $500 turns up a wide range of choices, starting with smaller, netbook-like hybrids and moving up to full-size, mainstream PCs with a budget price tag. Assuming you want a full-featured PC, chances are that you’re looking for either a small, ultra-portable, low-power secondary machine or a full-sized computer that’s basic yet reliable. Since the criteria for each are different, a final choice comes down to one thing: Which laptop is the best value for my money?
To evaluate the best laptops under $500, I didn’t just look at price; I also considered performance, design, brand reliability and reviews from professionals and consumers. A handful of promising contenders emerged, including the Acer Aspire E15, the Lenovo Yoga 2 11, the Acer Aspire Switch 10 and the Asus Transformer Book T100.