Best Laptop under £500 UK – Full Guide for 2021

When looking for a new laptop, it can be difficult to even know where to start. For those with a £500 budget to buy a laptop, it can be even more difficult. If you’d rather spend a little less, then check out these £400 laptops.

To find the right laptop, you just need to look at the specifications to ensure that you’re getting something that can meet your usage needs. That just means enough memory, storage space and a competent processor that can cope with all your daily tasks.

So if you’re looking for a decent, powerful laptop that is within your budget, then you’re in the right place. Let’s take a look at some of the best laptops under £500, and some of the top deals you can find today.

Best Laptop under £500 UK

ProductImageScreen SizeSpecsGet More Info
ASUS VivoBook X413EAASUS Full HD VivoBook X413EA-EK080T 14-inch Laptop (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 10, Full HD Screen)14 inch8GB/512GBCheck Price at Amazon
Microsoft Surface Go 2Microsoft Surface GO 2 10 Inch 2-in-1 Laptop and Tablet PC, Silver (Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, Windows 10, 2020 Model), with Surface Go 2 Type Cover, Poppy Red10.5 inch4GB/64GBCheck Price at Amazon
Dell Inspiron 3000New Dell Inspiron 3000 15.6-inch FHD LED Backlight Laptop, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor with Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, 8 GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Waves MaxxAudio Pro, Win 10, Black15.6 inch8GB/256GBCheck Price at Amazon
ASUS C433ASUS 14 inch Chromebook Flip C433TA Full HD Touchscreen Convertable Laptop (Intel Core M3-8100Y, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB eMMC, Chrome Os, Backlit Keyboard)\14 inch8GB/128GBCheck Price at Amazon
Lenovo Ideapad 5Lenovo Ideapad 5 i3 8GB 128GB 15.6 GREY15.6 inch8GB/128GBCheck Price at Amazon
HUAWEI MateBook D 15HUAWEI MateBook D 15 - 15.6 Inch Laptop with FullView 1080P FHD Ultrabook PC (AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 Home, Multi-screen Collaboration, Fingerprint Reader), Space Grey15.6 inch8GB/256GBCheck Price at Amazon
HP Pavilion x360HP Pavilion x360 14-dw1012na 14 Inch Full HD Touch Screen Convertible Laptop, Intel Pentium Gold 7505, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, Windows 10 Home - Silver14 inch4GB/128GBCheck Price at Amazon
Lenovo Thinkpad (Refurb)Lenovo ThinkPad T450 14.1' i5-5300U 8GB 256GB SSD WebCam WiFi Bluetooth USB 3.0 Windows 10 Professional 64-bit PC Laptop (Renewed)14.1 inch8GB/256GBCheck Price at Amazon
Acer Aspire 3 A315-23Acer Aspire 3 A315-23 15.6 Inch Laptop (AMD Ryzen 3 3250U Mobile Processor, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Full HD Display, Windows 10, Black)15.6 inch8GB/256GBCheck Price at Amazon

ASUS VivoBook X413EA

ASUS Full HD VivoBook X413EA-EK080T 14-inch Laptop (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 10, Full HD Screen)

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 14 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Processor: Intel Core i5 processor | Battery Life: 7.5 hours

One of my favourite laptops under £500 you can purchase right now is an ASUS Vivobook. They tend to create affordable laptops for those looking for something that’s entry level and simple to use.

The best feature of this ASUS Vivobook is in its overall build and design. Although the shell of the laptop isn’t the highest quality, it’s a slim device with a 14 inch display. This is matched by an impressive battery life for a budget laptop.

In terms of processor, it makes the step up from a standard Intel Celeron CPU to an Intel i5 processor. This is a simple quad-core processor, and it should be more than enough for the majority of day to day tasks that you’ll be doing on your laptop.

Obviously this is an affordable laptop, and there are small sacrifices that you’ll have to make. The screen is full HD, though to be honest, you do sacrifice a higher quality IPS display in favour of a solid CPU and extra storage. But, it does have decent specs which means it’s a strong contender in all areas.

With 8GB of RAM and a good amount of storage (it comes with 512GB of SSD) to match, this could be the right laptop for your needs. It’s well made with a good CPU, and it should last you a good while too. It does fluctuate a little in price, but it’s usually available around the £500 mark.

Pros

8GB makes it more powerful than 4GB of RAM models.
Competent laptop that’s ideal for completely daily computing tasks.
Full HD display is good and provides a crisp picture.

Cons

The plastic casing isn’t as high quality as an aluminium shell.
The mic quality could be a little better but it’s not awful by any means.

Overall Verdict – For people looking for the best budget laptop, it’s difficult to find anything better than the ASUS VivoBook X413EA. It’s hard to beat for the price.


Microsoft Surface Go 2

Microsoft Surface GO 2 10 Inch 2-in-1 Laptop and Tablet PC, Silver (Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, Windows 10, 2020 Model), with Surface Go 2 Type Cover, Poppy Red

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 10.5 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Processor: Intel Pentium Gold processor | Battery Life: 7 hours

At the lower price points, you tend to compromise a little on portability. If this is something you need, then the Microsoft Surface Go 2 might be enough for you. It weighs around 0.8KG with the cover, which means you can take it with you anywhere.

The minimal storage space will be a big factor for many people, and it might lead some to avoid it altogether. But you can look at various different cloud storage options online, even at Adobe’s own Creative Cloud, which can offer space for those looking to edit and design graphics.

It’s lacking a little bit in the battery life department, which isn’t a rarity when it comes to laptops with a touch screen. A poor battery life has been the main flaw in the Surface series, and it’s probably something Microsoft are going to improve in the future. So whilst it’s not faultless, it’s going to to suit some people perfectly.

To get what is essentially a high performing tablet an attachable keyboard for less than £500 is pretty difficult. But the Surface Go 2 manages to deliver a thin and light device with good performance. It works well for most basic computing tasks, and works perfectly for the average person.

Pros

Full HD touch display.
Comes with an attachable keyboard.
Micro SD card slot.

Cons

Underpowered unless you go for a more expensive upgrade.
Too small for hours of use.

Overall Verdict – An all-rounder that can be used for anything, from casual web browsing all the way through to word processing.


Dell Inspiron 3000

New Dell Inspiron 3000 15.6-inch FHD LED Backlight Laptop, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor with Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, 8 GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Waves MaxxAudio Pro, Win 10, Black

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 15.6 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 | Battery Life: 8 hours

This new Dell Inspiron 3000 is available at a good price, and if you can find the right deal, then it’ll come equipped with a lot of storage space. It also has 8GB of RAM, which is ideal for both casual users and for those who are looking for a little extra power.

It also has a good Ryzen 5 processor in it, which is on par with the i5 processor made by Intel. Generally, you’ll want to be looking for a quad-core processor like this if you can afford it. You can be sure that it’s going to perform well and won’t get slowed down by multiple programs being open.

If you need to connect a lot of devices to your laptop, then this is perfect. It has a lot of different connection ports, which will suit you if you hate Apple’s complete abandonment of ports in general. This has several USBs, an ethernet connection and a HDMI port too.

You can also fast charge this laptop up to 80% battery in less than 60 minutes, which makes it ideal for using on the go. Plus, it has a long battery life when you consider its affordable price, and it should be sufficient to see you through a full day without having to worry about recharging it.

You can actually get this laptop for £50 cheaper if you’re willing to sacrifice memory. However, I’d recommend that you stick with the 8GB RAM model, as this is going to make multi-tasking better and just provide a better experience overall.

So, it’s a good slimline portable laptop. It’s a little under 2KG in weight – not the lightest, but still easy enough to carry with you. The Dell Inspiron 3000 will suit those looking for quite a simple budget laptop that manages to deliver a great experience all-round.

Pros

For the price, this laptop has great specs & a sufficient amount of storage.
If you’re looking for a laptop with a long lifespan, then this would be a good choice.
Quick start up times are impressive.

Cons

Comes with a lot of bloatware installed.
No backlit keyboard if you’re using it in the evening.

Overall Verdict – The Dell Inspiron 3000 is the best laptop you can currently find under £500. With a good graphics card and strong performance, there’s not much it can’t do.


ASUS C433

ASUS 14 inch Chromebook Flip C433TA Full HD Touchscreen Convertable Laptop (Intel Core M3-8100Y, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB eMMC, Chrome Os, Backlit Keyboard)\

Operating System: Chrome OS | Screen size: 14 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB eMMC | Processor: Intel | Battery Life: 6 hours

Another pretty good option if you’re looking for a laptop around the £500 mark is the ASUS C433. ASUS make some great cheap laptops, especially if you want to make the most out of your money.

For those looking for a convertible laptop, then the options are limited when you have a lower budget. You’ll easily have the ability to flip this laptop round into tablet mode and use it as a touchscreen, giving you the best of both worlds.

The reason why I’ve included this model in the list is primarily because of the competent and stylish design. With a high quality screen made with slim bezels, it’s a lightweight option that you can easily carry around with you. The the 360 hinge, you can easily put it in any position you want.

When it comes to power, the C433 has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage. Although eMMC typically isn’t as fast as an SSD drive, it’s still suitable for the majority of people who don’t need to store a ton of files.

Many people nowadays use cloud storage (Google Drive etc) to store many of their files anyway. So if you’re one of these people that can deal with minimal internal storage, then it might pay to opt for a laptop like the ASUS C433.

Pros

The C433 has a very crisp display, on par with much more expensive laptops.
This laptop runs on the Chrome OS, which is going to be best suited to casual users and those looking for a simple device to check their emails daily.
This laptop has great connectivity.

Cons

The laptop has 128GB of eMMC storage, which isn’t going to be enough to store pretty much anything.
Like other Chromebooks, you won’t be able to access apps like Netflix and more.

Overall Verdict – If you want a good laptop for casual use every day, then the C433 could be right for you. Chromebooks are designed for those comfortable with using cloud storage, so don’t worry about the lack of storage too much.


Lenovo Ideapad 5

Lenovo Ideapad 5 i3 8GB 128GB 15.6 GREY

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 15.6 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB SSD | Processor: Intel Core i3 processor | Battery Life: 8 hours

I’m quite a big Lenovo fan, especially when you compare the quality of their products to other brands like Acer. You can often find great deals on some Lenovo models, with the Ideapad offering some of the best value for money deals.

The Lenovo Ideapad is a sturdy, durable laptop that has the power to perform efficiently. The 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and the Intel Core i3 processor should be more than enough for most people, even if you plan to use your laptop for heavy programs.

The Ideapad focuses more on practicality than it does on its appearance. It’s quite lightweight at less than 1.7KG, and its slim design means it’s very easy to pack up into a backpack or satchel. It also has up to 8 hours of battery life too, which is around the average for most laptops within this price point.

This model would be a great choice for students, as it’s relatively cheap yet quite powerful. Overall, if you want a stable laptop that’s going to be good for writing documents and organising your week, then the Ideapad might be another good option for you.

Pros

The Lenovo Ideapad has a long battery life, perfect for spending hours browsing the web for a full day without needing to recharge.
The laptop uses a AMD Radeon Vega 3 GPU, which gives it some high quality graphics.
It provides really good value for money for those looking for budget laptops.

Cons

It doesn’t have a very good mic, meaning it’s not the best for those who are looking to make a lot of video calls.
In addition to this, the speakers give it quite a tinny sound. So, if audio is a big factor for you, then it might be best to look elsewhere.

Overall Verdict – The Ideapad is one of Lenovo’s cheaper models, but that doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on quality.


HUAWEI MateBook D 15

HUAWEI MateBook D 15 - 15.6 Inch Laptop with FullView 1080P FHD Ultrabook PC (AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 Home, Multi-screen Collaboration, Fingerprint Reader), Space Grey

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 15.6 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 | Battery Life: 7 hours

A good choice for those looking for a powerful laptop without paying the top level prices is the Huawei Matebook D 15. It’s a solid laptop with a 256GB hard drive and an ample amount of RAM.

Instead of using an Intel Core i3 processor like other budget laptops, it instead uses an AMD Ryzen 5 processor. This is a fairly decent quad core processor, and it’s how they manage to offer low cost laptops – AMD tend to be a little cheaper than Intel.

As well as this, it also uses a AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPU. When you combine this with the fairly good quality of the display, then the laptop can produce some nice graphics. It also has a fairly long battery life when compared to other similar priced laptops.

This is a pretty good laptop that you can find within your budget. Although Huawei look like they’re going to be focussing on more premium laptops nowadays, that doesn’t mean to say that you should ignore this model. It’s good value for money.

Pros

The Matebook D 15 is a well designed laptop that’s slim and quite nice aesthetically.
The 4-core and 8 thread processor that drives this thing is pretty capable.
It also has some other good innovative parts about the laptop, including a fingerprint reader and multi-screen collaboration.

Cons

The touchpad of this laptop is very responsive, much more than most other laptops, and can get a bit frustrating after long hours of use. It takes a while to get used to it.
For some reason, the camera is in the keyboard as opposed to at the top of your screen. So, prepare to have a double chin on your Skype calls.

Overall Verdict – Although some don’t like the brand, the Matebook series has produced some good deals. They tend to be great for casual web browsing, they’re lightweight and they’re make up some of the best laptops under £500.


HP Pavilion x360

HP Pavilion x360 14-dw1012na 14 Inch Full HD Touch Screen Convertible Laptop, Intel Pentium Gold 7505, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, Windows 10 Home - Silver

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 14 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB SSD | Processor: Intel Pentium | Battery Life: 7 hours

For those looking for a standard laptop with a decent amount of memory, the HP Pavilion is probably going to suit. Sure, it isn’t going to win any awards for its appearance as it’s extremely basic, but it has got all the right parts to make it work well.

The Pavilion 15 has 4GB of RAM – this stands for Random Access Memory. The RAM that your laptop has will impact how fast your laptop runs, and its ability to open several programs at the same time.

When you start a program, your file moves from your storage to your RAM, so it is easily accessible for the laptop. Different files and programs will use different capacities to run, and for some people, a 4GB laptop may struggle to run your programs comfortably.

If you use apps like Photoshop, then this can use a lot of memory. It could be worth looking at a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM if this is the case, with a little more power than the x360 has to offer.

It’s important to consider the memory, but also the hard drive too. It also has 128GB of storage space, which is about the minimum I’d recommend for the average person to store all their files comfortably. It also has a display that uses IPS technology in its LCD design, meaning that the colours it shows are very vibrant on screen.

Along with this, the laptop uses an Intel Pentium processor and has touch-screen technology, for those that want the ability to use a stylus with their laptop. Flipping it over into tablet mode is easy enough, and it’s nice to use as a touch screen in the evenings whilst watching TV.

Like most HP laptops, you can charge it from dead to 50% in just 45 minutes with their fast charge system too. A full charge should be enough to see you through a full day.

So, if you’re fine with the metal exterior (it wouldn’t be my first choice of aesthetic, but many do like it) and you want a good functioning laptop, then I’d advise you to look at this HP Pavilion model.

It has an excellent build quality, an easy to use touch screen and it’s reliable too. If you’re on a budget, it’s the best choice if you’re looking for something with the capabilities of a premium laptop.

Pros

The Pavilion x360 has a very high quality touchscreen which is very responsive.
If you’re after a device that’s easy to navigate, then this could be it.
This laptop has a very responsive keyboard, which is essential if you’re going to spend a lot of time typing.

Cons

The speakers of this device aren’t quite up to par with the rest of the competition.
Another part of the laptop which isn’t great is the webcam, which isn’t of a decent quality.

Overall VerdictThe HP Pavilion x360 is one of the best laptops that you can buy for less than £500.


Lenovo Thinkpad

Lenovo ThinkPad T450 14.1' i5-5300U 8GB 256GB SSD WebCam WiFi Bluetooth USB 3.0 Windows 10 Professional 64-bit PC Laptop (Renewed)

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 13.3 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: Intel | Battery Life: 7 hours

For those that don’t mind getting a secondhand laptop, then one of the best options you can go for is a Lenovo Thinkpad. There’s a good reason why the Thinkpad has become the most popular laptop amongst businesses in the last few years.

It’s a workhorse – it has a good 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, which is more than enough for most people’s daily activities. You will also get an i5 Processor, which should give you laptop the ability to run fast and proficiently.

Many businesses and other institutions (universities etc) use the Lenovo Thinkpad as their laptop of choice, primarily because of its performance. Plus, they know that they are going to have a minimal amount of problems with the Thinkpad, so you won’t need to rely on the warranty too much.

Fortunately for us, this means there are always a ton of refurbished Thinkpad deals around the £500 mark. So if you’re searching for a premium laptop but don’t quite have a premium budget, then the Lenovo Thinkpad would be an awesome choice.

Pros

If you’re a student looking for a budget friendly laptop, then this is one of the best options for you.
This laptop comes with a good amount of RAM & an Intel Core i5 Processor.
It has a very responsive keyboard, which is typical for a Thinkpad.

Cons

Some people won’t be looking for a refurbished laptop, and might be put off by this.
Because it’s a second hand model, it probably won’t have a good battery life in comparison to a newer laptop.

Overall Verdict – Getting a refurbished Thinkpad is a great idea if you’re searching for serious power for a lower price.


Acer Aspire 3 A315-23

Acer Aspire 3 A315-23 15.6 Inch Laptop (AMD Ryzen 3 3250U Mobile Processor, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Full HD Display, Windows 10, Black)

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 15.6 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 | Battery Life: 7.5 hours

When you’re browsing for a good value laptop, you can be pretty sure that there will be an Acer Aspire within your price range. It’s Acer’s bestselling range, and they’re known for being one of the most reliable cheap laptops out there.

This laptop is the little brother of the Acer Aspire 5, and it’s slightly more affordable than the 5 too. But you’re not compromising a whole lot in quality, as they’re very similar to one another.

It comes with a full HD screen, and at 15.6 inches in size, it’s large enough for you to watch Netflix or YouTube on. You usually won’t find a great display with a cheap laptop, so this one really breaks the mould in that respect.

In a more practical sense, it has enough power with the AMD processor and enough RAM that will be just about enough for people looking for something to use daily. It has 256GB of SSD storage space, so you’ll need to make the most of your cloud storage with this model if you have a lot of files.

For the price, the Aspire also has a pretty strong battery life too. It’s a simple enough design, but it’s very durable. It also has plenty of ports for you to make use of, with 3 different USB ports you can connect to.

However, it is also pretty heavy (it weighs a little less than 2kg). I’d also personally prefer IPS panels as opposed to the TN panels that it uses. It also comes with Windows 10S installed, so you’ll want to switch out of that at sone point.

But aside from this, it’s really not a bad choice. So if you’re looking for a Windows laptop with a good display, then look no further than this Acer Aspire model.

Pros

The quality of the display and audio of this laptop is above average.
The display works to emit minimal blue light, which is better for your eyes.
This Acer Aspire also has a very solid battery life to match the rest of the laptop.

Cons

The main thing I can see with this laptop is that it’s pretty weighty, and therefore not really portable.
The touchpad of this device isn’t that responsive, and it’s quite flimsy too.

Overall Verdict – Another great value laptop, the Acer Aspire 3 is a safe choice for those looking to find a balance between power and cost. Though it is one of the best budget laptops, it may not have enough power for some.


Laptop Buying Guide – Common Questions Answered

Which laptop brand is best?

Thought I’m personally not one to focus on the brand too much, you can’t go wrong with any of the top brands. This is generally HP, Lenovo, Dell, Apple. Slightly beneath these in terms of quality is ASUS, and then Acer. Though by opting for one of these two cheaper brands, you can sometimes get a more powerful laptop.

Which laptop lasts the longest?

The Lenovo Thinkpad has a really good reputation for being a laptop that lasts a long time, which is why I recommend looking for a refurbished model. Aside from this, Lenovo laptops in general tend to have a really long lifespan. So if you need a laptop that will last you a long time, then it might be worth opting for a Lenovo.

What should I check before buying a laptop?

It doesn’t matter what laptop you buy, you just want to make sure it fits your criteria. This means that you’ll want to get the right screen size for your preference. You’ll want to check that it has enough memory (RAM) and storage (SSD, HDD or eMMC) for your needs and that the processor is of an acceptable quality. Finally, you’ll want to check things like connectivity, to ensure you can connect it easily to your devices (HDMI, USB etc).

What is a good storage amount for a laptop?

If you’re in the market for a laptop and you’re not sure how much storage you need, then you’re not alone. Many new buyers don’t know exactly how much space they need on their laptop. The truth is, for the majority of people you won’t need much space, as many people store their files on cloud storage nowadays anyway (via Google Drive or another means). If you’re still not sure, then opt for a laptop with 256GB of SSD storage.

What month is best to buy a laptop?

Typically, September has always been the best month to purchase a laptop. However when you really look at prices, then April and May can also prove to be a good time. Then, thinking about Black Friday, November and December can also prove to be good, just before Christmas. But the reality is, you can find good laptop deals at any time of the year!

Conclusion

Overall, hopefully I’ve given you some ideas to think about if you’re interested in getting a laptop. The budget of £500 should be enough to get you something of decent quality and that will last you a few years.

When buying your laptop, remember to look at the specifications beforehand to ensure that you know what you’re getting. Doing just a little research beforehand can make a massive difference later down the line.

But if you have £500 to spend, this is almost enough to buy the cheapest Macbook second, which is what many people do. However, it is possible to buy a laptop that is as powerful as an Apple laptop for a much cheaper price.

Plus, with many cheaper brands, you can actually make upgrades yourself a few years later if you need to. However, for most people, these laptops should provide you with enough power to get the job done.

About Alex

Hello, I'm Alex and this is my website, Spacehop. I started the site as a way to talk about myself, and a few years later we're now a team of 6! I still work full time at a major PC retailer in the UK, and I'm a bit of a tech whizz (self-proclaimed, unfortunately!).

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