Nowadays, computers are used for almost every task. Besides office work, you will need them for gaming, graphic design creation, and everything else that requires a computer. However, laptops are not cheap. Most of them come at high costs, but this doesn’t mean that you will never be able to enjoy the comfort of a home PC. There are several good models that you can buy for as low as $500 or even less. So, if you’re in the market for a new laptop and don’t want to break the bank, here’s a list of the best laptop for working from home under $500 that you can get without emptying your pockets.
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Let’s start with the basics. What should you look for in a budget laptop? Obviously, there are no rules that will apply to everyone, but if you take into account our tips and recommendations, this may help you choose your next laptop.
√ Screen size
The first thing you should consider is the size of your future laptop. Let’s say that there are two types of users – those that like small laptops, and those who prefer laptops with larger screens. But even if you use a compact notebook more often than not, sometimes it can be hard to work with such a device on the go. A larger screen will facilitate working from different positions, but also enable you to watch videos or play computer games in better quality.
√ Screen Resolution
Another important factor that many people tend to overlook is the resolution (or density) of the display. This means the number of pixels spread across the screen’s surface, giving it its sharpness and clarity. When choosing a budget laptop, it’s important to check the display resolution. Even if you don’t plan to watch high-definition movies on your laptop, a higher resolution can still be very beneficial when watching videos or browsing the web.
When buying the best work from home laptop under 500, the processor is one of the most important features you should take into account. The best laptops for students have a dual-core or quad-core processor. Such processors provide enough power to perform basic tasks, such as editing documents or browsing the web without significant issues. Therefore, when looking at the model numbers, look on the second line to make sure it says i3/i5/i7 rather than Pentium, Celeron, or something like that. However, in case you are a heavy gamer, you should consider buying a laptop with a high-end quad-core processor and an integrated graphic card.
Most people tend to overlook the built-in camera when buying a budget laptop for themselves or their children. After all, who needs it? But even if you can’t use your notebook as a webcam, having one is still pretty helpful. You might think that no one will want to chat with you through video chatting software such as Skype, but it’s not true! A simple conference call app can turn your computer into an effective communication tool. Also, don’t forget that the built-in camera will help you with video chats and Skype conferences with your family, which is great for those who don’t have a webcam with them, or simply prefer using a notebook.
√ Ram & Hard drive memory
If you are not looking to spend too much on your laptop, 2GB of RAM should be enough for basic tasks such as web browsing and document editing. However, if your work requires more intensive use of different programs simultaneously (for example working on several documents at once), then it would be best to choose a model that comes with 4GB of RAM.
You should also consider the hard drive capacity because it has an impact on how many files can be stored in your laptop’s local storage. The storage size also depends on the type of work you will be doing with your notebook. If you don’t plan to keep large media files on your laptop, then a 500GB hard drive should be enough for most people.
√ Operating system (OS) & Software
Another important aspect is the operating system. At the moment, Windows is the most popular OS, so it is understandable that many people want to have a laptop with this OS pre-installed (especially given its low cost). However, if you are interested in some specific software or don’t like Microsoft products, then you can go with Apple’s MacOS.
√ Size & Weight
The size and weight of the laptop are also important aspects to consider when choosing a budget laptop. If you plan on carrying it around quite often or moving around a lot, then there is no need for you to buy a heavy or bulky device. However, if you mostly use your computer at home or in other stationary environments, then it’s not necessary for you to pay attention to its portability.
In this first segment, we review six of the best laptop for working from home under $500 on the market as of now:
Starting off our review is the Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L Slim Laptop. If you are on a budget but looking for a powerful, peak performance, portable, and flexible laptop, this model should be your preferred choice. It features a thin and lightweight design for premium looks and better mobility. Better still, the laptop has an aluminum top cover for style and durability. Designed to support Windows 10 in S mode, the laptop can deliver reliable performance while browsing, allow you to save your files in your favorite cloud, and give you the power to access most laptop applications.
√ 4GB DDR4 Memory reduces the power consumption while allowing for fast data transfer.
√ The budget laptop is suitable for working and play.
√ The Acer TrueHarmony technology enhances the quality of the sound by bringing you deeper bass.
× The keyboard backlight turns off after some time.
Another budget laptop from Acer is the Aspire 5 A515-46-R14K Slim Laptop. Similar to our number one option, this model features a slim design, which means that it is stylish and an excellent option for a portable laptop. Besides that, the laptop is compatible with Alexa. Thus, you can use Alexa for operations such as creating lists, checking the calendar, playing music, reading news, answering questions, and so much more.
√ The smooth aluminum top cover features a beautiful and tactile finish.
√ The laptop provides the ability to control the fan’s speed using the “Fn + F” keyboard shortcut.
√ A fingerprint reader ensures safety by providing access to specific persons.
× Not the best choice for gaming or programming
Introducing the ASUS F512JA-AS34 VivoBook 15, it is a sleek laptop that features a classic slate grey finish. The laptop is a suitable choice for those in need of a portable laptop, thanks to the new frameless four-sided NanoEdge display that minimizes the dimensions for a smaller footprint. Adding to that, this laptop features a high-quality lithium-polymer battery that keeps you working longer without the need for recharging. The ASUS SonicMaster is another addition that enables the laptop to provide powerful audio coupled with deeper bass.
√ Long battery life.
√ Backlit keyboard works quietly and it is comfortable to type on.
√ The fingerprint reader functions smoothly.
× Poor viewing angles.
Responding to the need for a portable and high-performance budget laptop is the HP 14-fq1021nr, 2021 Laptop. This laptop features a Windows 10 Home operating system that makes it easy to use. Adding to that, it integrates Wi-Fi 6 (2×2) and Bluetooth 5.0 for a smooth wireless experience and 3times faster file transfer compared to Wifi 5. Suitable for those who need a laptop for working or learning remotely, this model has a HP True Vision 720p HD camera and dual-array digital microphones.
√ Dual custom-tuned speakers provide exceptional stereo quality audio.
√ The laptop provides reliable and speedy performance.
√ It has plenty of viewing angles while it provides sharp and bright images.
× The display is not a touch screen.
If you prefer the Dell brand, you should consider the Dell Inspiron 3583 15” Laptop when looking for the best budget laptop. Besides affordability, the budget laptop has a powerful processor, RAM, and dependable storage that allows it to handle most tasks. Designed to assure you of comfort and safety when using it over prolonged periods, this laptop has a 15.6” anti-glare LED screen meant to protect you from eye strain.
√ Lightweight and well made.
√ The laptop delivers a smooth and quiet performance.
√ It runs fast and provides excellent graphics
× The keyboard isn’t backlit.
Concluding our review is the 2021 HP 14 inch TouchScreen HD Laptop. This model is an ideal choice for those who need a portable budget laptop, thanks to the high-capacity battery that recharges for approximately 1.5 hours. The laptop features Intel UHD graphics allows it to stream 4K content smoothly and play your favorite games. Also, it supports wireless connections, thanks to the Wifi 5 (2X2) and Bluetooth 5.0.
√ True vision HD camera provides vibrant clarity video chats even in low light.
√ A noise reduction software allows for crystal clear audio when recording or video chatting.
√ The keypad types quietly.
× The initial setup tends to be a little bit complicated.
We finish off by answering some of the hard questions about the best laptop for working from home under $500:
Q1. What to do if your budget laptop doesn’t have an Ethernet port?
A. In case you need a notebook for working in the office and its lack of Ethernet is going to be a problem, then I recommend buying an adapter that will let you use your ethernet cable with the USB port.
Q2. Is it possible to upgrade a budget laptop?
A. There are two ways of upgrading a laptop: you can install an SSD drive or replace the RAM and processor units on your own (both should be easy enough). However, when choosing a budget Windows-based computer, there is little you can do on your own since it’s almost always sold with Windows installed. Therefore, the only option left is to install the OS of your choice and configure the computer to suit your needs on your own.
Q3. Is a touchscreen necessary?
A. A touchscreen is not something you should take into account when choosing budget laptops for simple tasks, such as web browsing or document editing. This feature adds a lot to the price of a device and is not necessary for most users. In my opinion, it would be better to save your money for something that can really improve your notebook’s performance (such as an SSD drive).
Q4. Do budget laptops have built-in webcams?
A. Yes, almost all models sold on the market have built-in webcams. However, their quality is highly dependent on its price tag and some laptops may have cameras that are not of the best quality.
Q5. Is gaming on a budget laptop possible?
A. There are also interesting options for people who like gaming. However, there are many limitations that should be taken into consideration – the screen size and resolution will not impress as much as on higher-end devices and better-equipped laptops can offer better performance in general when it comes to games. If you have a tight budget, then you can still find perfect options.
There are many other important aspects that should be taken into consideration when choosing a laptop. These can include things like the weight and size of your laptop, its battery life (if you will be using it on the go), hard drive capacity, and other features.
All in all, I hope that this article helped you to choose the best laptop for working from home under $500 and that you found it useful.
Good luck choosing!
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