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5 of the Best HP Laptops Under $500
October 13, 2019
Looking for a great laptop at an affordable price doesn’t have to mean sacrificing all the benefits of the pricier models. There are some versatile options in the budget range of under $500 that include features like excellent portability, compactness, light weight, long battery life, efficiency, and connectivity options. All 5 of the best HP laptops under $500 in this guide contain ideal combinations of these key characteristics.
Things to consider when buying your laptop
If you are thinking of buying a new laptop for under $500, you’ll want to take into account a few other important criteria, besides your budget, of course.
Compact and lightweight
Within the range of laptops built with budget and value in mind, you’ll find slimmer, more compact, and lighter models. They often have a smaller footprint, ranging around an inch or so tall, with a screen size of 11 to 15 inches, and weighing about 5 lbs on average.
One of the best features about smaller-sized, lighter laptops is that they’re more portable. They free you from your desk or home office and let you take them wherever you need to work or play - whether it’s across the room or across the city. Not having to worry about power cables is another convenient perk.
Because they’re smaller and more portable, they’re also especially efficient. While battery life varies depending on model, configuration, application usage, and other factors, all of the budget models that we’ll cover offer a long battery life of at least 9 hours or more. In addition, some feature “fast charging” capabilities that charge up your battery in about an hour. Having a long battery life is a particularly useful feature when you’re trying to work, collaborate, or perform on-the-go.
While larger-sized systems such as desktops have the room for more high-performance features, laptops can still offer the best performance and efficiency features for their smaller and more portable profiles. For instance, all of these laptop models offer a minimum of 4GB memory (RAM), and some with more, as well as 128GB of storage, which are both enough to run most basic programs and productivity applications.
They’re also equipped with an ideal amount of processing power to meet the requirements for just about all users, whether it’s for work, educational, or entertainment purposes. They feature either Intel® or AMD® processors, including central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs/graphics cards), that will more than meet performance needs for your budget laptop.
Having excellent connectivity is important if you’ll be traveling around with your HP laptop, whether that’s down the street or across the country. Look for models that offer wireless internet connectivity options such as the latest 802.11 a/c WiFi adapters and Bluetooth 4.2.
1. HP ProBook x360 11 G3 EE notebook PC
Our first entry is the compact, yet versatile HP ProBook x360 11.6-inch G3 EE (education edition) laptop. This laptop is our thinnest rugged convertible, with a 360-degree hinge allowing it to flip and fold into four modes including notebook, stand, tent, and tablet. It’s perfect for both educators and students alike, giving you the freedom to choose which mode works best for teaching and learning in class and on the go.
Power through the day
The HP ProBook x360 has an 11.6-inch diagonal High Definition (HD) SVA eDP LED-backlit touch screen display. It’s equipped with the latest Intel processors, including a quad-core Intel Celeron® N4100 CPU and an Intel UHD Graphics 600 GPU as well as a solid 4GB RAM and 128GB of solid-state drive (SSD) SATA storage. Its extremely long battery life of up to 16 hours and 30 minutes – the longest among rugged convertibles – helps you power through the day.
Built for anywhere, anytime learning
Work or learn wherever you need to with reliable wireless connectivity via dual-band 802.11ac (2x2) WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 technologies. You can use the RJ-45 port to access your stable wired network and push system updates through the optional charging carts. Other ports include USB 3.1, Gen 1, HDMI, and 3.5 mm mic and speaker ports to let you connect to multi-generation devices and displays, as well as streamline cabling, power delivery, device charging, and data transfers.
Portability and durability
At only 0.78 inches high and with a weight of 3.17 lbs, this laptop is thinner than its predecessor. Yet it’s durable enough to survive everyday bumps with shock-absorbing molded rubber trim, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3, and a reinforced power port. It’s also reassuringly passed HP’s Total Test Process, a 76-cm drop on concrete, and MIL-STD 810G, and has an easy-to-grip (and clean) resin design. The full-sized, minor spill- and pick-resistant keyboard can be wiped down repeatedly with common household cleaning wipes making it a winner with not only teachers and parents, but also anyone valuing cleanliness.
2. HP Pavilion 15t laptop
Our next model is one of the best HP laptops for under $500. The HP Pavilion 15t laptop is part of the HP Pavilion trusted brand of laptops designed with both performance and mainstream features in mind. It’s also one of the HP Pavilion 15 laptop series of stylish powerhouses that are slim enough to take anywhere, while being hearty enough to help you balance work and play throughout your day.
Solid processing power
This budget-conscious, yet solidly performing laptop has an Intel Core 8th Generation i5-8265U quad-core processor and an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics card, which handles both gaming and programming capabilities. It also has 4GB RAM and a huge 1TB of HDD storage with 16GB Intel Optane™ memory. Intel Optane is the technology that builds a bridge between DRAM and storage to help provide a smart and responsive computing experience.
Its 15.6-inch diagonal Full-High Definition (FHD) IPS BrightView WLED-backlit display furnishes you with a nice, large screen size to accomplish more of your work or entertainment activities. Watch videos, edit photos, and connect with family and friends with all the power and surface area that you need to get things done. Connectivity won’t be an issue thanks to 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5 support as well as the appreciably long battery life of up to 9 hours and 15 minutes and a video playback battery life of up to 8 hours.
Stylish and functional
Though it’s larger than the previously mentioned model, this laptop still boasts a slim profile with a height of 0.89 inches and a carry-able weight of 4.69 lbs. The HP Pavilion 15t is as stylish as it is functional. A smooth, modern all-metal finish gives it a refined look, and every detail is crafted for both design and comfort including the elevated, full-size island-style keyboard in natural silver and an HP Wide Vision HD camera with dual array digital microphone in mineral silver.
3. HP Pavilion x360 14t laptop
Another budget-friendly yet functional and power-packed model in the best HP laptop lineup is also part of the HP Pavilion brand. The HP Pavilion x360 laptop - 14t is a compact model featuring the perfect balance between power and portability. It has an 8th Generation dual-core i3-8145U processor and Intel UHD Graphics 630. It also offers more memory with 8GB of DDR4-2400 RAM and 256GB of PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD storage.
Enjoy a desktop-like experience
Your photos and videos fill more of the screen with the 3-sided micro-edge 14-inch diagonal HD SVA WLED-backlit multitouch display of the HP Pavilion x360 14t, so you can see and do more. It’s also outfitted with a full-sized island-style keyboard to provide a desktop-like experience anytime, anywhere. With a new hourglass shape and 360-degree hinge, you can open your laptop quickly and easily from all three sides to work, write, watch, or play.
Portability and connectivity
This HP Pavilion offers up to 10 hours and 30 minutes of long-lasting battery life. It also supports battery fast-charge, which recharges your laptop approximately 50% within 45 minutes when your system is off and using the provided HP adapter. And at only 3.5 lbs. and 0.78-inches thin, it’s highly portable. So you can take it wherever you need to, including school, the office, at home, or on-the-go.
Four modes for freedom and movement
Its size and battery life aren’t the only features that make it portable. Like the aforementioned HP ProBook x360, the HP Pavilion x360 is a convertible model that offers more than the traditional laptop; the detachable, easily adjustable, and distinctively engineered hinge rotates 360-degrees to blur the line between laptop and tablet with a mix of portability and immersive multimedia features. You can take on any type of work or entertainment by cycling between the four unique and convenient viewing modes that include:
- Default laptop
- Detachable tablet
- Hands-free, folded stand
- Optimized-for-touch screen tent
And if you need to change modes often, don’t worry about the hinges. They are each encased in metal for protection against the elements and particulate damage during outdoor usage. They’re also lifespan tested across tens-of-thousands of adjustments, openings, and closings.
4. HP Chromebook 14-inch laptop
Another 14-inch model in our lineup is the HP Chromebook 14-inch laptop. It features the latest AMD processors, including a dual-core A4-9120C APU and an AMD Radeon™ R4 graphics card for smooth and responsive performance for your daily tasks.
And there is a decent 4GB of onboard RAM and 32GB of reliable, flash-based eMMC internal storage to help power your day. The display is a 14.0-inch diagonal HD SVA anti-glare WLED-backlit display, so you can enjoy your work or entertainment with the quality and high-definition detail of 1-million pixels.
Power your day
You’ll appreciate the rock-solid connectivity with Bluetooth and the latest dual-band 802.11 a/c WiFi adapter offering up to 6 times faster connections than 802.11n 1x1. And you can take on your day without having to worry about recharging thanks to an ample battery life of up to 9 hours and 15 minutes.
Take it anywhere
At 0.72 inches tall and weighing only 3.4 lbs, this thin and light laptop is exceedingly portable so you can take it virtually anywhere. Its sleek design features a flexible 180-degree rotating hinge so that you can easily share your screen.
Easy-to-use Chrome OS
This HP Chromebook gives you the best of Chrome OS. Most likely you’re already familiar with Google’s Chrome browser, so it will be a breeze to learn the basics of the new OS. This easy-to-use, efficient operating system was designed for security and speed, so you can enjoy a seamless online experience and easy access to all of your favorite Android apps via the Google Play Store. So you’ll have the power you need coupled with exciting entertainment and productivity features to do even more.
This is the perfect laptop to deliver your daily dose of entertainment with a powerful audio experience. It includes dual HP speakers that deliver a rich, authentic sound and are custom-tuned in collaboration with experts at Bang & Olufsen (B&O).
This HP Chromebook also features HP TrueVision HD camera, so that you can video chat with vibrant clarity, even in low light. And with the micro SD card reader you can insert a micro SD card to increase your system’s storage for more photos, movies, or music, or access any content that you have stored on an existing card.
5. HP Laptop 17z touch optional laptop
Our final entry in the best HP laptop under $500 list is actually a 17.3-inch display. The HP Laptop 17z touch optional laptop features a 17.3-inch diagonal HD+ SVA anti-glare WLED-backlit display for a rich and immersive surface area to work with and on. This is such a cost-effective model that you can even upgrade to the WLED-backlit touch screen or the FHD IPS display and still stay under your $500 budget.
Reliable, responsive performance
This HP Laptop 17z offers the power to browse, surf, stream, and do loads more with high-performing AMD processors in the form of a dual-core AMD Ryzen™ 3 3200U and an AMD Radeon™ Vega 3 graphics card. It also has lots of memory and storage with 8GB RAM and a 1TB SATA HDD so you can easily store (and enjoy) your favorite photos, movies, and music.
Long-lasting battery life
Crafted for enduring performance, this 17.3-inch laptop has a long-lasting battery that keeps you connected, productive, and entertained throughout the day. You’ll get up to 8 hours with the HD panel, and up to 6 hours and 45 minutes with the FHD display. Battery life on video playback is up to 7 hours with the HD display, and up to 5 hours 45 and minutes with the FHD display.
Sleek and portable
Though it’s a 17-inch laptop, its dimensions are not as cumbersome as other 17-inch models. It’s still under an inch tall, at 0.96 inches, and weighs a portable 5.63 lbs. You also won’t mind taking it anywhere with its sleek, stylish, and eye-catching design. With a beautiful brushed keyboard and color-matched hinge, this HP Laptop 17z looks as good as it performs.
Find the right model for you
When it comes to finding the best HP laptop under $500, the ultimate arbiter is you and your preferences. Though you may be limited by the amount that you’re looking to spend, there are a variety of available models so that you can choose from among precise features or benefits, as well as by specifically sized displays. To find even more laptop styles and configurations, check out the HP store.
About the Author: Jolene Dobbin is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Jolene is an East Coast-based writer with experience creating strategic messaging, marketing, and sales content for companies in the high-tech industry.