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Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 2020

You will get plenty of laptops under $500 but there are a few important factors to consider when it comes to buying laptops for college students. Huge storage is the main criterion. Great battery capacity, portability, budget and rugged design are the other needed factors.  When you start attending college, you need a laptop that can help you with your studies and do the assignments given in the variety of subjects or courses you take up.  This is a time when you have not started making money on your own, so you would preferably look for a laptop that fulfills the aforementioned objectives but does not burn a hole in your pocket.

Here is a list of the best laptops for college students under $500 in 2020.

See also: Top best laptops for video editing to buy in 2019

Buying Guide

Modern educational systems have moved to the digital platform and college students are found using their laptops even in their classrooms. In some cases, parents are looking to buy the best laptop for their children. Students themselves will be searching online to find the laptop to suit their needs. The very nature of this segment is such that you wouldn’t want to spend more than $500 on the machine. There are a few key specifications and features which need to be considered in a laptop that is selling below $500. You can find some very good laptops at this price.

  • Processor: You would want a decent processor for your student laptop. An Intel i5 processor or even a later generation i3 processor would do the job. Unless you have chosen subjects in college that require heavy graphics work, all your other requirements can be met with these processors. Don’t go below these.
  • Storage: The general understanding is that the students will have a lot to store on their laptops for future reference. If you are entering college for a three-year course, you would want your laptop to store all the information for this entire duration. You must ensure that the laptop you want to buy has at least 1TB of storage space. A decent RAM of 8GB should be sufficient.
  • Laptop’s Weight: This is a critical input. As a student, you will be carrying the laptop around a lot within the campus and off it. While buying a laptop, make sure it is not too heavy. If it can be kept at around 5 pounds and below that, you should be better off.
  • Battery: Battery life is very critical for your laptop as a student. If you are going to take it to the classrooms and later to the library, you will want the battery to last at least 8 to 9 hours. You can put it to charge as soon as you return to your living quarters and work with the charger connected. This will make sure you have a 100% battery power when you leave for college. Check the battery life with the seller.
  • Screen Size: The screen size on the laptop used by students is not very critical. Since your budget is also below $500, look for all other specs described above and if all those boxes are ticked, then a 15-inch display is good enough. Even if you have to compromise with a slightly smaller size than that, you should take it.

10 Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 2020

 Standard Laptop For College Students With Excellent Features

ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 Business laptop

Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 2019

This is one of the best laptops for college students that meet all the needed criteria. It is packed with excellent battery life. And this is what especially made it really excellent. ASUS has powered this laptop with Intel Core 7th generation i5 7200U dual processor with 8GB RAM and 1TB HDD storage. This laptop is designed to be portable, durable and powerful. The big 15.6-inch screen size is amazing. The laptop can run for 9 hours with just a single full charge. It weighs just 5.22 pounds, so you can easily carry it with you everywhere.

Why You Should Buy This?

  • It is a great laptop for college students who need a device that can last for several hours at a stretch
  • Multiple ports allow you to connect to multiple peripherals at the same time
  • It is a powerful and durable device that also ensures portability for professionals who would like to carry it to different places
  • The 7th Gen Intel Core i5 7200U dual-core processor lends the device fast speed and good performance

ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Large 15.6-inch display
  • Long-lasting battery (9 hours)

Cons

  • Not an ideal laptop for gamers
  • Grainy output on the webcam

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Best Laptop For College Students With Excellent Battery Life

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM

Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 2019

This is another one on the list of the best laptops for college students.  It boasts an amazing battery life of up to 12 hours. This is highly impressive as it does not require you to carry the charger everywhere. The hardware specification of this laptop is amazing and this thing made it ideal for college students. The specification includes the latest Intel Core 7th Generation i3-7100U Processor at 2.4GHZ, 4GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD and the powerful Intel’s HD Graphics 620 graphics card.

The screen size is the same as the above laptop. It has a 15.6 inch full HD display of 1920 x 1080 resolution. This laptop weighs only 5.27 pounds.

Why You Should Buy This?

  • This is a budget laptop that provides good value for the money you invest in it
  • Apart from a solid build, the laptop boasts of a very eye-catching design
  • It uses the most upgraded version of the Intel Core 7th Generation i3-7100U Processor which ensures reliable performance
  • It has the maximum number of connecting ports you can expect in a laptop and also features a DVD writer

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • High-definition and colorful display
  • Very good sound system

Cons

  • Average build and design
  • The viewing angles are quite narrow

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Best Convertible Laptop With Lightweight Design

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA 12.5 inch

Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 2019

Another great laptop for the college students to include on our list. It has a very lightweight design that made it ideal to carry everywhere. This is a 2-in-1 laptop that you can convert between a laptop and tablet when required. The battery life is excellent which allows you to work for a stretch up to 10 hours. Other specifications include Fast Intel Core M 2.2Ghz processor, 4GB RAM, 64 GB storage(upgradable to 256 GB), excellent 12.5-inch touchscreen, backlit keyboard, solid build quality, 10 hours of battery life and the Intel HD Graphics 515 Shared. It weighs just 2.6 pounds, so carrying it everywhere with you is really an easy task.

Why You Should Buy This?

  • The laptop doubles up as a tablet and serves the functions of both the devices very well
  • It has the design of a high-end laptop, similar to a Macbook, and the components work very well too
  • It is one of the most compact laptops around and can be carried around without any difficulty
  • The 360-degree convertible hinge is a feature you would not find on most laptops in this range

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA 12.5 inch Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Light in weight and portable
  • The display screen is very vibrant
  • Backlit keyboard

Cons

  • The speakers produce middling sound
  • No multi-touch features in the trackpad

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Best Ideapad With great storage option

Lenovo IdeaPad 310

Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 2019

If you are looking for an IdeaPad, then this is definitely one of the best options to look for. Lenovo Ideapad comes with different configuration and you can choose the one that suits your need. Among all, the Lenovo Ideapad 310 is the best one that will come under $500. And this is what makes it one of the best laptops for college students under $500 2020. The specification of this laptop includes Intel Core i5-7200U CPU at 2.5 GHz, standard 8GB RAM, and 1 TB HDD storage option. The screen is 15.6 inch HD of 1366 x 768 resolutions. The screen uses the TN technology for a better result.

Why You Should Buy This?

  • Those who engage in a lot of typing-related work should benefit from the solid and smooth keyboard it offers
  • If you have been looking to invest in an IdeaPad, this is one of the best you will get in the market
  • This is an apt machine for people who like to use their laptop as their primary storage device
  • Its solid construction and steady hinge makes it an ideal laptop for people who use it for office work daily

Lenovo IdeaPad 310 Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy and comfortable keyboard
  • Large storage space
  • Low heat emission rate

Cons

  • Average build quality
  • Poor battery life

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Best laptop for college students From HP

HP 17 Premium Laptop – 17.3″

Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 2019

If you are looking for a bigger screen laptop at a lesser price, this HP 17 Premium laptop is just ideal for you. It has a big 17.3 inch HD screen size of 1600×900 resolution. This laptop is powered by the Intel Core i3-6006U 2.0 GHz processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD and the Intel HD Graphics 520. It runs on Windows 10 Home, so you will be entitled to enjoy several great features. Overall, this is definitely one of the best laptops for college students that come under the perfect budget.

Why You Should Buy This?

  • This laptop is suitable for college students who like to work on a large-sized screen
  • The Intel Core i3-8130U processor ensures fast performance even when you do multiple things at a time
  • It comes with a 1 TB 5400 RPM SATA hard drive which gives you enough space to store your assignments and other data
  • If you need a laptop to play mid-range games along with doing your college assignments, this would be a good buy for you

HP 17 Premium Laptop - 17.3

Pros

  • Large 17.3″ display
  • Works very fast
  • Good screen resolution

Cons

  • Does not run high-end games
  • Slightly bulky

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 Budgeted Laptop For The College Students

Lenovo Ideapad 110

Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 2019

Another great laptop for college students from Lenovo. Lenovo Ideapad 110 is an excellent choice that comes with a bigger screen at a lesser price. The screen size is 15.6 inches but you do not have to pay even $400 to get it. So, this is definitely a great budgeted laptop. But lesser price does not indicate low configuration. The configuration is just ideal for college students. The specification of this Ideapad includes Intel Pentium 4405U Dual-Core processor at 2 GHz, 6GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB HDD storage, Intel HD Graphics 510, 15.6 inch HD display of 1366 x 768 resolution and more. It weighs just 4.8 pounds to make it highly portable.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • If you have just stepped into college life and are looking at buying a budget laptop that fulfills a variety of functions wells, you might invest in this one
  • The passive internal cooling system works well for people who need to use it for long hours without the use of an external cooling device
  • For the price it comes at, the display quality is good and should come in handy while doing multimedia based assignments
  • The keys have sufficient travel distance between them and help in making the typing process comfortable

Lenovo Ideapad 110 Pros & Cons

Pros

  • A nicely textured exterior
  • Well-equipped hardware
  • Multiple ports including a card reader slot

Cons

  • Gets a little slow at times
  • Not adequate at multi-tasking

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Best Laptop For College Students With Excellent Storage And Performance

DELL INSPIRON I3567 5664BLK PUS 15.6

Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 2019

If you are looking for a great laptop with multi-tasking ability, this is the ideal choice for you. This laptop is designed with all the high-end features to make it really powerful. The multi-tasking ability ensures you can accomplish all your tasks in less time hassle-free. The specification of this Dell laptop includes an Intel Core i5-7200U processor at 2.5 GHz, 8GB RAM, 2TB HDD storage, Intel HD graphics 620 and the amazing15.6-inches wide touchscreen display. The display has a resolution of 1366×768. Other features include Stereo speaker, MaxxAudio, built-in media reader, backlit keyboard, etc. The best part of this laptop is its excellent performance. In other words, this is a great combo under $500.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • This is a good laptop when you need to do a variety of tasks at the same time in the college
  • The Intel Core i5-7200U processor contributes to its ability to multi-task and work fast without any glitches
  • Apart from being a good companion for day-to-day requirements, it provides good entertainment options
  • The laptop is convenient to be carried around

DELL INSPIRON I3567 5664BLK PUS 15.6 Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great storage capacity
  • High-definition web camera
  • Multiple ports along with a DVD writer

Cons

  • Absence of 802.11AC Wi-Fi support
  • Does not run high-definition games

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Best Laptop With Great Display

Lenovo IdeaPad 510

Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 2019

If you are a big fan of Lenovo and wish to have something from Lenovo only, then this Ideapad 510 can be a great choice for you. It has all the needed specifications and features required by a college student. Excellent battery life, great storage option, portability, etc. are present in this laptop. The specification of this laptop are: it is powered by an Intel Core i5 7200U processor clocked at 2.7 GHz, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, 4GB NVIDIA GT940MX graphics card and the big 15.6-inch LED-lit full HD display. The display has 1920×1080 resolutions to allow users to enjoy everything smoothly. This laptop can run all types of software with ease. So, you can use it for just anything.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • If a good display is one of the most important factors for you while buying a new laptop, then this would be a good choice for you
  • Its Graphics Processor Unit works well for college students who like to indulge in a bit of gaming during breaks
  • The Core i5 CPU is efficient at multi-tasking
  • The HD webcam is useful for students who do video-conferencing sessions with teachers or their classmates frequently

Lenovo IdeaPad 510 Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Upgradable RAM and HDD
  • The screen offers a sharp display
  • The audio system is very good

Cons

  • Average build
  • Mediocre battery life

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Great Budgeted Laptop From Dell

DELL I3567-3636BLK-PUS Inspiron Touchscreen

Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 2019

This is a great laptop from Dell which is available on Amazon within $400. However, a lower price does not come at the cost of quality. Rather you can be assured to enjoy a smooth performance from this laptop. The high-end configuration is definitely the reason for great and smooth performance. The specification of this Dell laptop is listed here. It is powered by the 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U Dual-core processor at 2.4 GHz, 8GB DDR4 SDRAM, 1TB HDD, Intel HD Graphics 620 and the 15.6-inch LED-LCD touch screen of 1366 x 768 resolution. Overall, this is a great laptop for college students who are on a tight budget.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • The 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U Dual-core processor does not disappoint when it comes to speed and high-quality performance
  • This is a good budget laptop but one that would help you do your college assignments efficiently
  • The MaxxAudio facilitates good audio performance
  • The memory is large enough to cater to the storage space needs of a college student

DELL I3567-3636BLK-PUS Inspiron Touchscreen Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High-end configuration
  • Large 15.6” display
  • Competent webcam

Cons

  • Quite slow while multi-tasking
  • No fingerprint scanner

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Best 2-in-1 laptop For college students With Smaller Screen

ASUS Q304UA 13.3-inch 2-in-1 Touchscreen laptop

Best Laptops For College Students Under $500 2019

This is a 2-in-1 touch screen convertible laptop that you can use as a tablet and laptop both. The screen size is smaller than other mentioned laptops here but performance is pretty impressive. You can complete all kinds of college tasks easily on it. Its specification includes 6th gen Intel Core i5-6200U processor at 2.3GHz and it can be turbo up to 2.8 GHz, Intel HD Graphics 520, 6 GB RAM and 1TB HDD storage. The 360-degree flip and fold design allow users to keep the laptop anyway they want. The screen is very bright having an LED-backlit display of 1920 x 1080 resolutions. It weighs just 3.31 pounds which makes it highly portable.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • College students who prefer a notebook computer over a bigger and bulkier system should be happy to use it
  • The 1024 GB hard drive enables users to store a large amount of data
  • The 6GB DDR4 SDRAM and a 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7200U Dual-Core 2.5GHz processor enable multi-tasking
  • The in-built fingerprint reader works smoothly in terms of providing easy access

ASUS Q304UA 13.3-inch 2-in-1 Touchscreen Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Quite lightweight
  • Sleek exterior
  • Good storage

Cons

  • Average screen size
  • Does not feature an optical drive

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See also: Top best gaming laptops under $1000

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will there be a compromise in quality since the laptop is priced below $500?

No, not necessarily. A laptop that is priced below $500 will offer the same functions and performance as any other laptop. The price of the laptop keeps increasing as higher-level processors or incremental features are added. To some extent, there are other features like the material used for the construction of the body of the laptop which can impact the price. The life of the machine is a consideration too. There will be no reduction or compromise in the performance.

2.  Can I buy a refurbished laptop if I am getting below $500?

It is an individual choice. You are taking a risk when you buy a refurbished laptop. As a student, you may not be able to afford to buy another machine if this fails. You should invest in a new laptop from a reputed manufacturer. There is a warranty attached to the new laptop, usually for 1 year. For a small fee, you may be able to extend this for more time as well. You won’t get such facilities with a refurbished laptop.

3.  What is the highest level of processor I can expect in a laptop below $500?

It can depend on the manufacturer or brand. You may be able to find a 6th or 7th generation Intel i5 processor for the price range you are suggesting. You may not be able to find the next level i7 processors at this price. There may be laptops with AMD processors which are considered equivalent to the Intel chipsets.

4.  Will I get a free carrying case along with the laptop?

Most brands include a backpack along with their laptops. Users carry on their backs and their logos are printed prominently on the backpacks. This gives them indirect publicity. Therefore, giving away a free backpack is very much the norm these days.

5.  Can I pay for the laptop using my credit card?

You should be able to. Check the listing on the seller’s page. Check if your credit card has balance credit available to cover the laptop’s price. Do remember credit cards charge a huge interest while making repayments, especially when payments are delayed. Unless your credit card issuer offers the EMI facility with lower rates of interest, it makes no sense to buy using your credit card.

Conclusion

These are the 10 best laptops for college students under $500 in 2020. Now that you have had a look at the different laptops you get in a specific budget (under $500, in this case), you must go for the one which has the features that you think are essential in a device you would be using throughout your college years. All the laptops mentioned above are equipped with high-end configuration.

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