Looking for a cheap laptop to accompany you in all circumstances? Here is our selection of the best laptops under 500 euros.
TOP 3 of the best laptops under 500 euros
If by nature, we tend to test machines at the cutting edge of technology and therefore quite expensive, we do not forget that not everyone has the needs (or the means) to turn to a laptop. at a high price. Fortunately, the last few years have seen great progress in the power and quality of entry-level laptops. The popularization of SSDs in particular has brought responsiveness and ease of use, even on a low-cost laptop.
Check certain points before buying: avoid like the plague all machines with less than 4 GB of RAM and less than 128 GB of storage, which are often found in supermarkets. These often don’t even have enough space to install Windows updates.
Where are the good laptop deals?
The shortage of components has hit the entry level hard, with prices being revised upwards and configurations reduced in an attempt to keep prices reasonable. It is therefore becoming more and more complicated to find a good laptop to recommend below 500 euros.
Here is our small selection of inexpensive laptops. While we mostly chose Windows-powered machines, ChromeBooks are also a great choice for those on a budget. That’s good, we have a guide to the best ChromeBooks.
Want a big screen? You will find what you are looking for in our comparison of 17-inch laptops.
And if you decide to increase your budget, do not hesitate to consult our recommendations of the best laptops under 1000 euros.
Dell Inspiron 15 3511 The best compromise
- Dell quality
- A powerful Ryzen processor
- A certain modularity
Available at €449 on Amazon
Known among other things for its superb XPS 13, Dell also offers many very interesting entry-level models. L’Inspiron 15 3511 is a great example of a cheap laptop. So, of course, the all-plastic construction is clearly not the sexiest there is, but the chassis is solid and there is easy access to RAM and storage for those who want to add more later.
The configuration used is surprisingly muscular given the price, we thus find 8 GB of storage and a 256 GB SSD. But it is above all the Intel Core i3 processor that holds our interest. The latter offers very decent performance as well as a more than solid autonomy which exceeds 8 hours in video playback. The 15.6-inch screen, on the other hand, is singularly lacking in brightness, even if we appreciate its Full HD definition.
In short, if you are looking for a large screen and a computer comfortable with office automation, look no further. And in the event of a problem, Dell’s excellent after-sales service is a significant advantage. As always with Dell, many configurations are available, we recommend this one.
Asus Vivobook R415JA The inexpensive and compact laptop
- A neat design and finish
- A good keyboard
- A little weak autonomy
Available at 419 € on Cdiscount
Less known than the ZenBook PCs from the same manufacturer, the Vivobook range is not without interest. If its finish is obviously less neat, it generally retains a pleasant design and good manufacturing quality. Features found on this Vivobook R415JA.
With its diagonal of 14 inches and its weight of 1.6 kg, it remains indeed relatively nomadic. We also appreciate its well-stocked connectivity (4 USB ports, HDMI output and micro-SD card reader) and a comfortable keyboard, rare at this price level.
The screen is clearly the laptop’s weak point, with low brightness and above all a somewhat limited HD definition. On the other hand, office performance is solid thanks to the Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor accompanied by 8 GB of RAM. On the autonomy side, we will last about 5 hours on a charge, so it is better not to forget your charger. Too bad, however, that the latter does not use a USB-C connection.
The Vivobook R415JA-BV356T is therefore not perfect, far from it, but it offers good value for money for anyone looking for a compact and affordable laptop.
Acer Chromebook 314 2021 (CB314-1HT) The Chrome OS Option
- decent performance
- Very good autonomy
- Chromium OS
Available at €229 on Amazon
If you are looking for a portable PC and your budget is limited, look at the side of the ChromeBook can be interesting. These are generally very affordable in addition to offering decent performance thanks to a very light Chrome OS.
Despite its low price, the Acer CB314 offers a far from ridiculous technical sheet, with a Pentium Silver N5030 processor accompanied by 8 GB of RAM. Chrome OS is primarily designed for cloud use, but the internal storage is only 64 GB.
If the machine is relatively compact for a 14 inch, the finish does not leave lasting memories, with in particular a keyboard that lacks rigidity. Connectivity is provided with 4 USB ports (including two in USB-C format). For HDMI, however, you will have to go through a USB-C adapter. A micro-SD reader completes the picture and can be used to expand storage if you are cramped on the SSD.
Finally, we are more than satisfied with the autonomy: the CB314 thus exceeds twelve hours on a charge. It also has the good taste to use a USB-C socket, which allows you to swap the imposing block provided for a more compact one.
In short, it’s a good little Chromebook, simple and effective. If you are looking for a larger screen, its cousin the Acer CB317 offers almost identical features, but with a 17-inch screen.
How to choose a cheap laptop
Cheap laptop: what to expect?
Under the bar of 600 or 500 euros, manufacturers are forced to make significant concessions to keep a modest budget. Then, it’s up to the brand to make the sacrifice it deems most appropriate. The quality of the screen? The amount of memory? The processor ? It’s up to you to choose the element that seems the least important to you. We find that a good screen contributes more to the pleasure of use than a slightly more efficient chip. The difference is often more noticeable in the first case than in the second.
AMD in laptops?
Once frankly bad, mobile processors have made a remarkable comeback in laptops for two years. And for good reason, the Ryzen 4000 and 5000 processors offer very good performance, consume little and above all cost much less than their Intel equivalents. No need to avoid them, quite the contrary.
What is Windows 10 S?
Windows 10 S does not exist. It is actually “Windows 10 in S mode”, this is the name of Microsoft. If it is long and not really sexy, it has the merit of highlighting the fact that it is a disabling mode of Windows 10, and not a full version of the OS. The main change is the inability to install applications not from the Windows Store. The mode is also less greedy, which allows it to work better on modest machines. This simplifies use, but also limits the range of possibilities.
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