The best laptops under £500: get a stunningly cheap laptop deal now

T3's picks for best laptops under £500 – get the perfect, affordable laptop for you right now

best laptops under £500

If you're needing the best laptops under £500, we're going to direct you straight to them – we want to help you find the perfect laptop for you, one that's going to offer up plenty of portability and power without breaking the bank.

Shopping for laptops under £500 doesn't necessarily mean you have to settle for a product that's in any way sub-par, but you do need to shop carefully: make sure you're not buying anything too underpowered or out of date.

Just because you don't have a massive budget doesn't mean you can't get yourself a very, very decent notebook indeed – and that's where our hand-picked list of the best laptops under £500 comes in. Now is a great time to buy too, with plenty of deals and offers from the big retailers.

So don't disappear into a swamp of jargon and specs in your search for the best laptop under £500 in the UK for you: consult our guide instead and take the stress out of shopping as you look for a new device.

You're not going to be getting the most powerful or the most feature-rich of laptops – there really is only so much £500 can get you – but at the same time we think you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how many great specs you can bag at an affordable price point. From vibrant displays to surprisingly robust CPUs, 2020 has plenty of choice to offer laptop buyers with less money to spend.

So as you browse around the various deals and offers that retailers have made available, take a look some of our helpful tips and advice on buying a new laptop, then dive straight into our very best picks. Enjoy!

Cheap laptops: How to choose the best laptop under £500 for you

Buying a new laptop can be a daunting task – even more so when you're trying to find the right model to fit under a specific price limit, as we are here. A lower price range often means less powerful components, but it doesn't mean you have to settle for a cheap, throwaway product.

With more impressive components now dropping in price, affordable laptops are boasting far more powerful specs, so your money goes further. It's not going to be a portable gaming beast or a media powerhouse, but you'll have enough grunt under the hood for surfing, editing documents and streaming from your favourite services.

Apple MacBooks are out of the question at this sort of price, but fortunately Windows 10 has evolved to run very well indeed on less high-end hardware. We've also included a couple of our favourite Chromebooks in the list (but remember Chrome OS requires everything to be done on the web, and you won't be able to run traditional desktop programs).

Down at this end of the market, prices fluctuate regularly, and retailers will often throw in special deals to tempt buyers, so don't be surprised if some of the these prices go up and down – spend some time shopping around to work out who's got the best laptop for you at the best price.

The best laptops under £500 on the market today

Dell Inspiron 15 5570 best laptops under £500 2020

The Dell Inspiron 15 5570 is the best laptop under £500 available today.

1. Dell Inspiron 15 5570

The best laptop under £500 on the market

CPU: Intel Core i3-7130U (1.5GHz/2.7GHz dual-core)
Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
Storage: 1TB HDD
Reasons to buy
+Plenty of local storage available+Expansive, high-res screen
Reasons to avoid
-On the larger and heavier side

If you want to get as much for your money as you possibly can, then we'd point you towards the Inspiron 15 5570 from Dell – a company that knows what it's doing with laptops. For your cash you get a very generous 15.6-inch screen, 8GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage space, so there's plenty of room for storing photos, music and movies locally.

The laptop looks the part too, and could pass for something much more expensive, though you only have one colour choice: platinum silver. USB ports abound, and there's also a HDMI connector for hooking up another screen, as well as an SD card reader. You'd be hard pressed to find a laptop that has such good looks and such high specs for less than £500.

Lenovo IdeaPad S340 best laptop under £500 2020

The Lenovo IdeaPad S340 looks and feels more expensive than it actually is.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

2. Lenovo IdeaPad S340

A reliable computer for everyday computing

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 5405U Processor
Screen: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
Storage: 128GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Looks the part in three colours+Costs way under £500 now+A laptop that's going to last
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most powerful at this price point

Stylish looks, impressive specs, a sharp 14-inch screen... what's not to like about the Lenovo IdeaPad S340 as you search around for the best laptop under £500? This is definitely one of the contenders, primarily for the style and durability of this excellent all-rounder, which comes running Windows 10 S.

Okay it's not the most powerful computer in the world – we're shopping at under £500 here, remember – but with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage on board it's going to cope with your day-to-day computing needs no problem at all. The laptop is available in blue, pink and grey (shown above).

Microsoft Surface Go

(Image credit: Microsoft)

3. Microsoft Surface Go

Microsoft shows the rest how it's done

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y Processor
Screen: 10-inch, 1800 x 1200 pixel resolution
Storage: 64GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Impressively portable+Very useful accessories+Tablet/laptop hybrid
Reasons to avoid
-Small-ish screen

The Microsoft Surface Go can go anywhere, do anything (as far as day-to-day computing goes), and with the optional Surface Typecover can do double duty as a laptop and a tablet. Don't forget the optional Surface Pen too, which can come in really handy with Windows and its apps.

In your search for the best laptop under £500, this is well worth considering if you value portability over power – it really is a pleasure to carry around and use, and you will get plenty of change from that £500 (perhaps to buy an accessory or two).

HP Pavilion 14 best laptop under £500 2020

The HP Pavilion 14 is a great all-round laptop, and is available for under £500.

4. HP Pavilion 14

A champion of the all-rounders, and worthy best laptop under £500 challenger

CPU: Intel® Pentium® Gold 4415U Processor
Screen: 14-inch, 1366 x 768 pixel resolution
Storage: 128GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Slim and lightweight+Good battery life+Solid all-round hardware spec
Reasons to avoid
-After Windows 10 install, not much local storage space

You're going to see a lot of very good HP laptops under the £500 bracket, all with slightly different and vaguely confusing codenames. What we like about this particular model, though, is the way it combines a good all-round hardware package with a generous-sized screen, too, which is great for movie playback.

Also to the laptop's credit is the B&O audio system (again useful for watching films on the go) and the generous number of ports, including HDMI out and USB-C.

Last but not least, it's quite a looker too, with silver and white your colour choices. One to consider if you're after an all-rounder that can deal very happily with your everyday computing tasks. Simply put, one of the best laptops available today for under £500.

best laptops under £500 HP Stream 14 2020

The HP Stream 14 offers a compact system for basic computing at a very low price point.

5. HP Stream 14

The best laptop under £500 for basic computing and stunning value

CPU: Intel Celeron N3060
Screen: 14-inch, 1366 x 768 pixel resolution
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly cheap+Strong battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Basic hardware

If you really don't want to spend much money at all but do want to land a stylish, lightweight laptop under £500, then you should definitely consider the HP Stream 14, which retails for a bargain price point.

You don't get powerful hardware for that money, with 4GB of RAM, 32GB eMMC storage, and 14-inch 1366 x 768 resolution screen your lot, but the system's battery life is competitive – and if you simply need a small system for basic computing on, why do you really need anything else?

The HP Stream 14 also comes with a 1-year subscription to Office 365 and a 1TB OneDrive account, too, so it offers superb value for money.

Lenovo Yoga 530 best laptops under £500

Lenovo Yoga 530

6. Lenovo Yoga 530

The best laptop under £500 for those who want 2-in-1 computing

CPU: Dual-core AMD Ryzen 3 2200U (2.5GHz-3.4GHz)
Screen: 14-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution
Storage: 128GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Rotating hinge for the 14-inch display+Pick a colour to match your style
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best for demanding tasks

We've been fans of the Lenovo Yoga series for a while now, and the Yoga 530 series proves you don't need to spend a ton of cash to get yourself a quality Windows 2-in-1. The specs are very attractive for the price, and should help you breeze through everyday tasks no problem at all.

Then you've got all the party tricks the 2-in-1 brings to the table – like that rotating hinge on the 14-inch screen, or the support for a stylus (which you'll need to buy separately). Very good value for money and very versatile too, which makes it one of the best laptops under £500 today in 2020.

Acer CB3-431 Chromebook best laptops under £500 2020

The Acer CB3-431 Chromebook is not just insanely light and portable, but it is also one of the best laptops under £500 going. 

7. Acer CB3-431 Chromebook

Stunningly light, this is the best laptop under £500 for portability

CPU: Intel Celeron N3160 (1.6GHz quad-core)
Screen: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
Storage: 32GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Speedy, secure, low-maintenance OS+Big, high-resolution display
Reasons to avoid
-Everything is run from and stored on the web

If you can do all your computing on the web – watching Netflix, working in online office apps and email clients, checking social networks – then Chromebooks represent excellent value for money, and this one is a worthy entrant in our best laptops under £500 list.

You can't install desktop programs on them, but you don't need to worry about large software updates, or antivirus software, or your system slowing over time.

The 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage you get with this Acer laptop should be enough for Chrome OS, as all you're doing is running a web browser. Meanwhile, the screen is relatively large, and offers a higher resolution than many other laptops at this price point.

HP 250 G6 best laptops under £500 2020

The HP 250 G6 is a budget buyer's ideal laptop under £500. 

8. HP 250 G6

An affordable laptop under £500 with serious aspirations

CPU: Intel Core i5-7200U 65
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 167
Screen: 15.6”, HD (1366 x 768)
Memory: HDD/SSD. 128GB SSD
Battery: 31Wh
Reasons to buy
+Strong performance for a budget model+Impressively long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Build quality isn't HP's best

HP makes another instalment on this list of best laptops under £500 with the HP 250 G6, a model that boasts some pretty respectable specs – making it ideal for everyday tasks including casual web surfing, editing docs and streaming, but not much more.

Its display could be a little sharper and a little brighter, but with a powerful battery at its disposal this laptop is unlikely to run out of battery even if you're away from a power socket for most of the day. It won't blow you away, but it's reliable, and that's all you need at this price point.

Acer Aspire 3 A315-51 best laptops under £500 2020

Another cracking laptop under £500 deal, the Acer Aspire 3 A315-51 delivers a robust design and plenty of connectivity options.

9. Acer Aspire 3

A budget model, with a sprinkling of premium

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Processor
Memory: 8 GB DDR4 (2133 MHz)
Storage: 1TB HDD (5,400 rpm)
Screen: 15.6” Full HD display
Connectivity: 2xUSB 2.0, 1xUSB 3.0, 1xHDMI, 1xEthernet, 1xSD Card Reader
Reasons to buy
+Robust design+Huge 1TB hard drive+Myriad connectivity options
Reasons to avoid
-Battery life isn't great

Just because your budget has topped out at £500 doesn't mean you're bound to low-end components. That  AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Processor means the Acer Aspire 3 can handle any casual task, and even deal with some light (and we mean light) gaming, too.

That 15.6-inch Full HD display is very generous for a laptop in this range, and its surprisingly sharp too, while that 1TB HDD, despite not being as fast as an SSD, is huge and provides loads of storage space. 

The only thing that isn't ideal is the system's battery life, which at just 4.5 hours is definitely not use-all-day-off-one-charge capable. Providing you're happy carrying your charger with you, or you're using the system primarily from a desk plugged in, then this negative point can be mitigated.

ASUS VivoBook F407MA 14 best laptop under £500 2020

The 256GB SSD installed in the Asus VivoBook is very generous at this price point, providing plenty of fast storage.

10. ASUS VivoBook F407MA 14

The best laptop under £500 for those who want big, fast storage

CPU: Intel® Pentium® Silver N5000 Processor
Memory: 4 GB DDR4 (2400 MHz)
Screen: 14-inch (HD Ready 1366 x 768p)
Reasons to buy
+Big, fast 256GB SSD storage+Very portable+MicroSD card reader
Reasons to avoid
-CPU isn't the fastest

The ASUS VivoBook F407MA 14-inch laptop is certainly one of the more basic models in this best laptop under £500 guide, but it still has a few tricks up its sleeve that make it an attractive budget model.

The spacious and fast 256GB SSD storage, for example, is one of the most generous drives on offer in a system this cheap, while the fact that it comes with a suite of useful extras – like a built-in MicroSD card reader, VGA webcam, and ICEpower audio system – means it's very versatile too.

Battery life isn't the best and the CPU is strictly light computing only, but for the price, which is well below £500, you can't really ask for more.

Asus Flip C302 best laptops under £500 2020

The Asus Flip C302 is one of the best laptops under £500 for Chrome OS fans.

11. Asus Flip C302

The best laptop under £500 for Chrome OS in versatile form

CPU: Intel Core dual-core m3-6Y30
Memory: 4 GB
Storage: 64GB
Screen: 12.5-inch (HD 1920 x 1080)
Reasons to buy
+2-in-1 form factor+Lightweight Chrome OS software
Reasons to avoid
-Skimps a little on specs

Our second Chromebook in our best laptop under £500 list for 2020 is yet more evidence of just how far £500 can take you – or in this case much less. Not only is it an excellent laptop, it doubles up as perfectly functional tablet too, thanks to the 2-in-1 form factor.

You don't get all that much in terms of internal specs or storage, but remember that this is a Chromebook: all the heavy lifting is done on the web, so you won't see any system slowdowns, and you don't need to worry about installing security software or setting up backups.

Also of note is the 10-hour battery life, another reason why this is definitely worth a place on our list of the best laptops under £500 on the market in 2020.

Best laptops under £500 2020

While it's the most powerful of machines, the Acer Switch 3 is still a very versatile portable machine.

(Image credit: Acer)

12. Acer Switch 3

An affordable little 2-in-1 alternative

CPU: 1.10GHz Intel Pentium Quad Core N4200 - Intel Core i3 7100U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505
Screen: 12.2-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 IPS LCD touchscreen
Storage: 64GB - 128GB eMMC
Reasons to buy
+Decent 1,920 x 1,200 IPS LCD touchscreen+Great Surface Book 2 alternative+Very affordable price

When it comes to finding a laptop under £500, the 2-in-1 option often proves to a consistently reliable route. Of course, there are bigger and more expensive choices - such as the powerful Surface Book 2 - but the Acer Switch 3 is a really impressive little machine considering its price point. This plucky little tablet might not be as meaty when it comes to processing power with its Intel Core i3 7100U CPU, but its 12.2-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 IPS LCD touchscreen is vivid and responsive.

There are lots of configurations you can get that adjust the RAM size, processing speed and display type - so be careful for rising prices if you start settling on a beefier setup - but the basic 4GB model is still a decent little alternative if you want modest specs that'll serve a student or freelancer who require a reliable 2-in-1.

Best laptops under £500 2020

Being on a low budget doesn't mean bad hardware and the Switch 3 is a testament to that. 

(Image credit: Acer)

13. Acer Swift 3

Great battery, a nice design, and more, all for around £450.

CPU: Intel Core i3-8130U 2.2GHz
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
Screen: 14-inch LCD, Full HD
Storage: 128GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Good trackpad+CPU and SSD mean it's quite fast+Good connectivity

Like the Switch 3 above, the Swift 3 – somewhat confusing, we admit – offers a larger display and slightly improved specs for about the same price, minus the 2-in-1 form factor and touch screen. The i3 CPU, combined with the SSD, offer good performance for a cheap machine, crunching less processor-intensive tasks with ease while providing good battery life. 

Unlike some other cheaper laptops, the touchpad on the Swift 3 is actually nice to use, offering smooth scrolling and mouse movements, which is important due to the lack of touchscreen. The port selection is good, too, boasting an HDMI, three USB-A, one USB-C, and more. All in all, this is a good budget pick.

Budget laptops 2020 under £500.

The iPad is something we all know and love at this point and it just might work as a laptop for some.

(Image credit: Apple)

BONUS: Apple iPad

While it's not technically a laptop, it might work just as well for some.

CPU: Apple A10 Fusion Chip
Screen: 9.7-inch 2048x1536 Retina Display
Storage: 32GB or 128GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Great portability+Enormous app selection+Sleek design+Long battery life

Now... this starts with the obvious caveat that, unlike the others on this list, the iPad is not actually a laptop in the true sense of the term. However, for some people – especially those who only need to perform lighter tasks – it might just suffice. Apple also sells larger iPads (like the Pro) but those are more expensive. 

The base-level iPad starts at £319 for the 32GB model and goes up to £409 for the 128GB model (both WiFi-enabled). The rub is that, to get any actual work done, you'll need a third-party keyboard, which adds £50+ to the overall price. The Apple Pencil, which is useful for drawing, is another £89. So it's all about tradeoffs. 

At the end of the day, if your needs are more geared towards light text editing, drawing, emails, browsing the web, and watching Netflix, it's worth considering an iPad.