If you are about to start college, you will probably need a laptop. But how can you choose the best laptop while on a student budget? Luckily, depending on what courses you are taking, it’s not always necessary to get the fanciest laptop. You will want to consider how fast the computer is, as well as screen size and weight, so you can fit it into your backpack and not get tired from carrying it around all day. Here are 7 of the best laptops for students under 500 USD. So why you wait, go and check all the 7 top rated laptops then select one for your student life.
What is the best laptop for under 500 for students?
What are the specifications of a good students laptop?
Curriculum: What is the student’s curriculum? Does the college require that the student have a particular type of laptop? Oftentimes a Chromebook is sufficient if all that’s needed is word processing, web browsing, and email. But if the courses are graphics-intensive, you will need a computer with a higher-end processor.
The classes determine what type of laptop is needed. I have talked to some essay writing students of essaywritingsolutions.co.uk, they confirmed me Chromebook is enough for writing essay, assignment and any course work.
Size: Ideally, a laptop would be able to fit into a backpack, which means the screen shouldn’t be bigger than 15.6 inches. But if the screen is too small, trying to view content might be uncomfortable.
Another important consideration is weight – you don’t want to schlep around a heavy laptop all day. It is good to aim for a weight of under 5 pounds, and you can find laptops much lighter than that.
Durability: A laptop with extra durability features is ideal for students. Look for a laptop with a spill-resistant keyboard that can handle being accidentally dropped a few times. A MIL-SPEC tested laptop will be nice and sturdy.
Battery Life: You don’t want your laptop battery to run down during the school day, so it’s important to choose a laptop with a battery life that can last your entire day. You should aim for a battery life of at least 6 hours, but 8 hours or more is better.
Operating System: First of all, does your school require you to have a computer with a specific operating system? If your school requires Windows, then a Chromebook won’t cut it. Windows computers are usually better for productivity.
However, a Chromebook might be sufficient for your needs. Chromebooks are usually the cheapest option, but sometimes you can find an inexpensive laptop that runs Windows as well.
7 Best laptops for students under $500 reviewed
This laptop runs Windows 10 Professional and is certified refurbished rather than new. Measuring 13.2 x 8.8 x 1.2 inches and weighing 3.75 pounds, it is small and compact, so you can carry it around school with ease.
Although this computer has a windows operating system, it does not come with Microsoft Office. If you need MS Office it will have to be purchased separately. This laptop can play DVDs, although it cannot burn them.
This computer has excellent sound quality and graphics as well as a good processor, so you should be able to use it for gaming if you want. It has a battery life of approximately two and a half hours.
The display on this laptop is anti-glare HD, with a 1366 x 768 resolution. The screen is 14”. It has four USB 2.0 ports as well as a VGA, an HDMI, and an RJ-45 port. Also featured is a built-in webcam.
- It runs Windows 10
- It can play DVDs
- It is good enough to use for gaming
- It is compact and lightweight
- Because it is refurbished, the price is lower than that of a new laptop
- There have been some reports of it not being proper refurbished quality
- Some people received a model without a webcam
Summary: If you don’t mind buying a refurbished laptop, this is a good deal on a good Windows 10 computer. Its small size and combination of features make it a good option for students.
This laptop is designed for rugged use, featuring reinforced rubber guards, easy grip handles, a 180-degree hinge, and a spill-resistant keyboard. With its small size and sturdy build, it is perfect for classroom use.
The ASUS Chromebook C202 has an 11.6” screen with a 1366 x 768 screen resolution. It measures 11.6 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches and weighs only 2.2 pounds, so it will be easy to carry around with you to classes.
This laptop has a battery life of up to 10 hours, so you can take it to classes throughout the day without it running out of charge. The screen has an HD anti-glare display, so you can easily see what is in front of you.
The key components of the ASUS Chromebook are easy to replace, so if something breaks it won’t be too difficult to fix it. The keyboard is built to be easier to type on than other keyboards and the computer has an SD card reader.
- It is built to survive spills and accidents
- It is small and lightweight
- It has a long battery life
- The keyboard is easy to type on
- This computer is easy to repair
- The small screen size might be annoying
- It doesn’t have a caps lock button or a disc drive
Summary: The ASUS Chromebook is small, lightweight, and sturdy, which makes it perfect for a student. It is reported to be better than other Chromebooks.
This is a Certified Refurbished laptop that has been tested to make sure it works like new. It runs Windows 10 Home in 64-bit and is designed for basic work functions.
This laptop has 12GB of RAM and a 15.6” HD screen with a 1366 x 768 resolution. It measures 10.8 x 16.5 x 1 inches and weighs 5.84 pounds.
The HP 15.6” Business Flagship Laptop has a battery life of about four and a half to five hours. It has 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. It has a USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports as well as an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, a headphone jack and an SD card reader.
This computer has a webcam and a DVD drive. It will serve you well when used for school work, but you will be disappointed if you attempt heavy gaming on it.
- It is inexpensive because of being refurbished
- It runs Windows 10
- It can play or burn DVDs
- It is good for performing basic work functions
- It has a large screen size
- It might be too heavy and bulky to carry everywhere
- It isn’t new
Summary: If you want an inexpensive laptop that runs Windows, this might be a good option for you. Designed for business use, it should be a decent student laptop.
Light, compact, and affordable with a battery life of up to 11 hours, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is a great option for school. You can take it to classes all day long without worrying about it running out of charge.
The Samsung Chromebook 3 has an 11.6” screen and HD picture quality, with a 1366 x 768 screen resolution. It has 2GB of RAM and 802.11ac WiFi.
This Chromebook is designed to be portable and durable, measuring 11.37 x 8.04 x 0.7 inches and weighing only 2.54 lbs. It has a spill-resistant keyboard and a casing and frame to make it easier to grip and able to stand up to being dropped.
The Samsung Chromebook 3 also has an ergonomically designed keyboard and image-enhancing technology that optimizes picture quality. It includes AirDroid connectivity, allowing you to connect an Android device and see calls, text messages, and app notifications on your Chromebook screen.
- It is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around
- It has a super long battery life of 11 hours, allowing you to use it all day long without charging
- It has a spill-resistant keyboard and durable casing
- It has great picture quality
- You can connect it to your Android device
- It is great for online activities but doesn’t have the storage capacity to do much else
- The screen resolution is okay, but not wonderful
Summary: The Samsung Chromebook 3 is an excellent option if you are looking for a small, portable, affordable laptop that can stand up to rough handling. If you are okay with a computer that uses a Chrome OS and not Windows, it might be perfect for you.
This Chromebook is small and durable, with a battery life of 10 hours, and comes with an abundance of Google apps for students and teachers. It just might be the perfect student laptop.
The Dell Chromebook 11 3180 has a sealed, spill-resistant keyboard as well as rubberized edges and drop protection, making it a great choice for kids. It also has a 180-degree hinge and a scratch-resistant glass screen, offering nearly unmatched durability.
Designed for education, this Chromebook comes with Classroom and other Google apps built for students and teachers. The Dell Activity Light allows students and teachers to interact in a non-disruptive way.
This Chromebook has an 11.6” screen and weighs 2.79 lbs. It has a headphone/microphone jack, a USD card reader, an HDMI port, and two USB 3.1 ports.
- It is small and lightweight, making it easy to carry around
- It is built for maximum durability
- It is built for education and has a bunch of helpful apps for students
- It has a long battery life
- It only takes about 5 seconds to boot up
- The small screen size could be a drawback for some
- It does use Chrome OS, so if you need Windows features it won’t be suitable
Summary: The Dell Chromebook 11 3180 is specifically built for students and might be the perfect student laptop.
This Chromebook is a great option if you don’t need or want Windows programs taking up space on your computer. It has a great battery life of up to 9 hours. Although it doesn’t come with Microsoft Office, you can edit MS Office files using QuickOffice Editor or Google Docs, or download Microsoft Office Online for free.
This laptop has a 15.6” screen with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. It has 4GB of DDR3L memory and 16GB of SSD. It features Intel HD Graphics and upward-facing dual stereo speakers as well as dual-band 802.11ac WiFi with MU-MIMO technology to give you a good internet signal.
The Acer Chromebook uses a Chrome operating system and has a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port as well as an HDMI port. It comes with an HD webcam that supports HDR and gives you 100GB of free storage for the first two years.
This laptop would be good for college, provided that you are okay with using Google Docs instead of Word. It doesn’t have a Caps Lock key or a disc drive, but the price is unbeatable. It weighs 5 pounds and measures 15.1 x 9.7 x 0.9 inches.
- The battery lasts up to 9 hours
- It has good image quality on the screen
- It has good WiFi connectivity
- It is relatively small and lightweight
- The price is very affordable
- It doesn’t have a CD or DVD drive
- It uses a Chrome OS and doesn’t offer Windows programs
Summary: If you don’t need Windows programs, the Acer Chromebook is a great, affordable option for a student laptop.
With a 14 inch screen, a 9-hour battery life, and weighing in at 3.75 lbs, this Chromebook offers a good compromise between having a screen that isn’t too tiny or being too heavy to carry. It has some nifty features and might be a good student laptop for you.
The HP 14 inch Chromebook has an HD SVA BrightView screen with a max resolution of 1366 x 768. It has a microSD media card reader and an HP TrueVision HD front-facing webcam with a microphone but does not have a DVD drive.
This Chromebook has 802.11ac WLAN and Bluetooth 4.0 and comes with a USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, a headphone jack and a microphone jack. It is silver colored.
The HP 14” Premium Chromebook measures 13.5 x 0.7 x 9.4 inches. It can be set up in seconds and is a great machine for the price.
- It has a long battery life of 9 hours
- It is lightweight enough to carry around, but the screen isn’t super tiny
- It has a webcam with a built-in microphone
- It starts up quickly
- It is inexpensive
- It doesn’t have a DVD drive
- The keyboard isn’t the best quality
Summary: If you are looking for a laptop light enough to carry to classes all day that also isn’t too small, the HP 14” Premium Chromebook might be the right one for you.
The Final Words (Summary)
Choosing a laptop for students is tricky. You have to figure out what specifications are required for the student and find the laptop with the best features for the price.
Weighing the pros and cons of Windows and Chromebook and finding the sweet spot of screen size and battery life might seem like a daunting task. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. With these tips, you will hopefully be able to find the best laptops for students under 500 dollars.