The best laptops under £500 in 2024

Top picks and affordable powerhouses. What's The Best's experts pick the best laptops for under £500 for every budget

The best laptops under £500

by Kyle Purves |
Updated on

You don't need to spend excessive money to get the best laptop; plenty of brilliant laptops are under £500. These excellent laptops are more than enough to find something dependable that doesn't sacrifice too much for its value.

While gaming laptops can get expensive, a few can run games with less intense graphics without issues. They're also quite good for student work, especially if heading to university has already dented your budget.

The best laptops under £500 in 2024 at a glance:

Best under £500: ASUS Laptop Vivobook 15 - View at Amazon
Best budget laptop: MESH Computers ASUS Vivobook 15 X1500EA - View at Amazon
Best large screen under £500: Acer Aspire 3 17.3-inch i3 - View at Argos
Best performance: MSI Modern 15 15.6" Laptop - View at Amazon

We've gathered some of our favourite laptops under £500 and rated them based on their strengths and weaknesses. We've accounted for their storage space, processors, and screen size.

This way, whether you're looking for an affordable addition to your home office or just a device for casual use, you'll find something perfect.

Best laptops under £500 in 2024:

Please note: All prices correct at time of writing. Prices, stock and deals subject to change without notice.

Best laptop under £500

ASUS tends to produce excellent budget laptops, and this is a great example of it. For a solid all-rounder, you can count on the ASUS Laptop Vivobook 15. The 512GB SSD is a fair bit of storage for the price, and when combined with the processor, you can access your files in a flash. It even looks quite good too, making a laptop you can take with you to work or class.

The shortcoming of the ASUS Laptop Vivobook 15 is its graphics card. It's far from ideal for gaming, so you'd probably need to stick to titles such as Minecraft.


  • Good sized SSD means fast load times and plenty of space
  • Excellent RAM spec plus the i5 CPU means this will handle heavy workloads
  • Light and well-engineered


  • Standard GPU - not ideal for mid to high-level gaming

Best budget laptop under £500

The ASUS Laptop Vivobook 15 featured at the top of our list, but this one has a different spec. The 1TB SSD is massive for this price. Plus, it has a staggering 20GB of RAM - the best here by far. The processor is an Intel Pentium Gold 7505 - not as fast as an Intel i5, but respectable nonetheless.

But, where this deal stands out is the bundled extras - making this the ideal one-stop-shop laptop if you need a reliable machine to get working on as soon as possible. There's a pouch for protection, a wired mouse and a copy of Norton 360 antivirus. Perfect.


  • Massive SSD means fast load times and plenty of space
  • Excellent 20GB RAM spec will keep the Pentium Gold CPU ticking over nicely
  • The bundle deal includes a sleeve, mouse and antivirus - so you'll be good to go right out of the box


  • CPU is okay, but not as good as an Intel i5

Best large screen laptop under £500

One of the best qualities of any Windows laptop is how portable it can be while keeping a large enough screen for your entertainment needs. Here, we have that huge screen at a whopping 17.3-inch - plus it's still a lightweight machine - so you can lug around all that power and storage without breaking a sweat.

Also, if you need to download large files or simply need a lot of storage, the Acer Aspire 3 is ideal for you. The SSD here is a whopping 1TB - a feature not normally seen in this price bracket. Already a wonderfully cheap laptop, Acer has also put a respectable Intel i3 processor inside, plus 8GB of RAM - so this is certainly not skimping on the rest of the specs.

While Acer says this will last up to 9 hours on a single charge, some users say this is a little optimistic. So, take your charger with you and expect it to last a working day but not much more - depending on how you use it, you may get close to the 9-hour mark though.


  • Brilliant storage for a laptop in this price range
  • Large screen yet lightweight and sturdy build - practical and great for entertainment on the go
  • Battery life will see you through the working day and a little more


  • Lots of USB ports - but no USB-C

Best laptop under £500 for processing power

Portable, powerful, and beautifully designed, the MSI Modern 14 laptop is perfect for studying or office work thanks to its lightweight design and slick aesthetics.

At 14 inches, this small but mighty full-HD laptop is a bargain at less than £500 and has enough processing power to handle all basic tasks with ease.

As for any GPU capabilities, the standard Iris Xe integrated graphics are lacklustre and aren't going to offer much in ways of performance, but for most - a graphics card isn't a priority.


  • Great for portability
  • Excellent 12th generation Intel i5 CPU
  • Good 512GB storage


  • Standard GPU

Best laptop under £500 for sound

The ASUS Vivobook 16 polishes its overall spec to perfection. The overall build is very lightweight, so you won't be weighed down with it in a backpack. Plus, it's quite slim, so space shouldn't prove to be an issue either.

It's also got bonus points in convenience, thanks to the numerous ports along the sides - including USB-C. And now to the sound - thanks to ASUS SonicMaster hardware and software this can really packs a sonic punch with a well-tuned sound profile all-round.

Lastly, that generous 16-inch screen will tilt up to 180 degrees, so this is going to be a comfortable laptop to use for watching movies or YouTube while you're out and about.


  • A large and vivid screen means this is a great laptop for anyone spending a long time working or watching videos
  • Light for a 16" model - so excellent portability for your entertainment and gaming
  • A good number of USB ports and types for maximum connectivity


  • Battery life is a little average, depending on use

Best hybrid Chromebook laptop under £500

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3 ChromebookLenovo

Chromebook laptop meets tablet with the IdeaPad Duet from Lenovo. It has a traditional laptop configuration for when you need it - however, when you want to go mobile, you can use the screen from the keyboard and use it as a tablet via the touchscreen. There’s a pen included for note-taking on this touchscreen, too. Neat, right?

Regarding performance, the CPU and 8GB RAM work in cahoots with the 128GB eMMC memory to give a snappy and quick application loading and file recall. So, whether you are using it for day-to-day life admin, study or taking notes in a meeting, the IdeaPad will be right there with you.

As a hybrid between a laptop and a tablet, the Duet 3 is light and comes in under 1kg - this is perfect for throwing in your bag for commuting or travel. It’ll also tuck nicely into a drawer and keep your desk clear until called upon.

Additional merit to the Duet 3 is its 12-hour battery, bright 2K screen and smooth, efficiently operated Chrome operating system.


  • Light and compact - take this anywhere and the battery will last too
  • Laptop and tablet hybrid - touchscreen convenience when you need it
  • Nippy performance on daily tasks


  • Not a powerhouse for heavier tasks

Best Dell laptop under £500

A great choice for office workers and students the Dell Inspiron 3520 Laptop has a balanced set of features and specifications. Storage-wise, the Inspiron 15's 512GB of SSD storage is generous enough, but it's that 120Hz screen that brings a smooth and vivid look to the whole package - ideal for a bit of entertainment when you're not working. The Intel i5 processor is a great mid-range CPU too - making this is a great Dell at the right price.

If you're looking for a cheap laptop that can handle Microsoft Word documents, Google, YouTube and everyday tasks - none of those are going to be a problem for the Inspiron 15.


  • Excellent 15.6-inch 120Hz display makes for a smooth and satisfying user experience
  • Trademark Dell quality and reliability - a laptop you can rely on
  • Despite being a solid Dell build, it's quite light at under 2kg


  • The CPU is average - if you're looking to crunch serious numbers, look for a higher spec

Best HP laptop under £500

HP remains the brand of choice for its sturdy, reliable computers and other tech. This Laptop PC 15s-fq5021sa is lightweight with the trademark HP build quality. It's slim and packs a 15.6" screen, 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM - all in all, that's a really well-rounded spec. The star here is the Intel Core i5 processor which makes this a laptop choice for all but the most power-hungry users out there.

We particularly like the inclusion of an anti-glare screen and super thin bezel. That screen is a thing of beauty. The full-size numeric keypad is ideal for anyone inputting figures and a built-in HD camera will keep you connected with colleagues, friends and family.


  • Excellent processor will keep up with all of your computing tasks
  • The thin bezel and anti-glare coating make the 15.6" screen a joy to use
  • Sturdy and reliable HP build quality


  • No backlit keyboard

Best Lenovo laptop under £500

This Lenovo IdeaPad Slim is light and powerful. We particularly like the screen, as it's got a blue light filter for reduced eye strain. This particular model comes in Abyss Blue too for a nice twist from the usual laptop colour schemes.

Inside, this has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. You have 8GB of RAM - about average for this price point. But the Intel Core i7 processor will really crunch those numbers - and that goes for everything from office tasks to gaming and entertainment apps too. As this is a sub-£400 machine you shouldn't expect a dedicated laptop gaming graphics card - but all in all this is one of the best machines you'll find for gaming at this budget.


  • Blisteringly fast for the money, thanks to the Intel Core i7 CPU
  • High-end specs at an affordable price
  • 15" display with eye care features means you can avoid eye strain


  • No backlit keyboard

Best laptop under £200

Lenovo's IdeaPad 1 laptop excels in the ultra-low budget range, given that it's a full-HD laptop with 128GB of SSD power. Simple, but effective for long-term studying, the IdeaPad 1 brings plenty to the plate with solid build quality an excellent full-HD screen and solid performance at its price.

The sheer lightweight design of the IdeaPad 1 laptop is remarkable and is perfect for lugging to and from lecture halls and office blocks alike.

Of course, at its price, there are sacrifices, and the weak 4GB of RAM and low CPU performance aren't great. But if you don't plan on gaming anytime soon, this is the perfect laptop under £400 for you.


  • Incredible value
  • Good for browsing and office work
  • Light and portable


  • Lacking exceptional performance power

Best laptops under £500 in 2024: Buyer's guide

When searching for a laptop under £500, it's essential to prioritise key features to ensure you get the most value for your budget. Firstly, focus on the processor speed, aiming for at least an Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processor. These processors provide a good balance of performance for everyday tasks. Additionally, consider a laptop with a minimum of 8GB of RAM to ensure smooth multitasking. A responsive system - 4GB can be acceptable for light use, such as web searching and streaming YouTube.

Opt for a laptop with at least 256GB of storage capacity. This ensures you have enough space for your operating system, applications, and essential files. Alternatively, consider a Chromebook, which uses Google's cloud storage.

A Full HD (1080p) display is recommended for a clear and immersive visual experience. A higher resolution screen will enhance your overall computing experience, whether working on documents, streaming videos, or browsing the web.

Top security tips for your laptop

Protecting your laptop is essential to protect your data and maintain digital privacy. One of the first things you can do is to enable full-disk encryption to ensure that even if your laptop is stolen, your files remain unreadable without the encryption key.

Though it can be a bit of a hassle at times, we strongly recommend that you regularly update your operating system, software, and antivirus programs to patch vulnerabilities and defend against emerging threats.

If you can, avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, as they can be vulnerable to hacking attempts; if you must connect to one, use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet traffic. The best VPNs are adept at keeping your private info from the wrong hands and allowing you to access streaming content from other countries.

Other tips include:

• Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. 'Password123' is easy to remember but isn't good enough.

• Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments, as phishing attacks are a common tactic used to compromise laptops. Caution is always advised unless you expect an attachment from a trusted source.

• Enabling a firewall to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic, further fortifying your laptop's defences against unwanted access.

Remember that your physical security matters, too. Keep your laptop in a secure location when not in use, and consider using a laptop lock to prevent theft. Stay vigilant, practice safe browsing habits, and prioritise cybersecurity to ensure your laptop remains safe from potential threats.

Best laptops under £500 in 2024: FAQs

Can I find a laptop under £500 suitable for work and entertainment?

Laptops under £500 can indeed cater to both work and entertainment needs. To strike a balance, consider models that offer a mix of performance and multimedia capabilities. Look for laptops with integrated graphics suitable for casual gaming and smooth multimedia playback.

Reputable brands often provide budget-friendly options with features tailored for various tasks.

Moreover, pick laptops with user-friendly interfaces and a decent selection of ports (USB, HDMI), ensuring compatibility with various peripherals, including TVs and external monitors, and a mouse and keyboard.

Can you still game on a laptop under £500?

You can, but you must be conscious of what you're trying to play. Modern games are very graphically intensive and demand a lot of space, both factors that a budget laptop struggles to keep up with.

There's no easy fix for the GPU either; a graphics card is easily one of the most expensive individual parts, and not every laptop can be opened up and have its parts replaced. You'll need to stick to simple games or titles from at least a few years back, but you'd be surprised how much you can play and run decently on a laptop under £500. But remember - even the latest and greatest laptops can suffer from slow-down depending on software, settings and more. So, we've put together a simple guide on how to make your Windows laptop run faster.

Why is my laptop fan getting noisy?

Two main factors affect how hard your laptops have to work and, in turn, how noisy they are. The first is what you're doing on the machine; if you're pushing the specs to their limit and trying out a more strenuous game or having several dozen tabs open online, the processor is struggling to keep up and needs the fans to keep it from overheating.

Speaking of overheating, external temperature is the second factor. If it's a hot summer day and your laptop has been basked in the sun, the fans must work extra hard to keep anything from being damaged.

Kyle Purvesis a Commercial Content Writer for What’s The Best, with an avid interest in all things gaming and tech.

They’re well-versed in reviewing a variety of tech products, with a soft spot for speakers and earphones. They’re also no stranger to hunting down the best savings, always wanting to get the best deal possible. Outside of work, they can often be found playing through an RPG, listening to Japanese noise rock, or trying to catch up with their ever-expanding list of shows and anime to watch. If possible, they try to play Dungeons and Dragons a couple of times a week, but getting six adults to be free at the same time is easier said than done.

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