If you are on a limited budget, of course, you cannot expect your laptop to be a powerhouse or a gaming rig but still, £500 is a decent budget to get a speedy, fully functional laptop for work and home use. The best laptops under £500 can complete everyday computational tasks with ease. The key is to shop towards the upper end of this range, and you may get the best in-line model. But this isn’t the only criterion to make things work in your favour.
If your priority is to have a convertible or touchscreen display or cloud-based computing apps in your budget, you have to plan meticulously to get a value-for-money deal.
So how do you choose the best laptop for under £500?
The answer to it is it depends on your requirements. There is not one size that fits all the criteria that you can employ when buying anything, including laptops. However, there are specific parameters to analyze the specifications you can use to compare various models. But one thing that remains is to identify what matters to you the most.
If you just need a laptop to run basic applications such as MS Office, getting a top-end graphics card or processor will not make any sense. Or, if you want to use a laptop in a place or take it everywhere, you need to look at the screen size as it can add up to weight, which is a crucial aspect to look for when travelling.
If you consider a 17-inch screen, it’s a luxury, but it feels heavy in your bag. On the other hand, a 14-inch screen is more flexible but less comfortable during long working sessions.
Several best laptops under 500 UK but select touch screen or convertible only when you need it.
Look for the Key Features:
So, what specs to expect when buying a laptop under £500? Except for a one-generation old Intel Core i3 to i5 processor, 4 to 8 GB RAM and 128 to 256 GB SSD and Full HD display. But you must prioritize your needs first. Don’t expect top-of-the-line in this budget range, but you will still get most of your needs covered. If you have an extensive collection of pictures, movies etc., consider buying a large SSD. Heavy multitaskers focus on heavy RAM and intensive app users need a powerful processor.
A £500 laptop can offer plenty of ports and a decent integrated graphics card. However, professional content creators and designers won’t be able to benefit from these graphics.
Other factors to Consider:
Operating System: There are basically three operating systems: Windows, macOS and Chrome OS. Each has its own features, but Windows and Chrome OS are apt for your budget. Windows is ideal for students and professionals with extensive usage of Word or Excel. On the other hand, Chrome OS is suitable for basic use and entertainment. It is also quite affordable.
Screen Size: The best laptops under £500 are between 11 and 17 inches. Remember, the larger the size, the heavier the device will be, which can impact its portability.
Processor: The processor is the main component of the laptop to run apps and software. While most of the laptops in the £500 are budget models, you can still get decent processing power to finish all your desired tasks, including basic gaming. Aim for an Intel core i3 or i5 processor.
Storage: To save files and documents, you need sufficient storage to maintain the laptop’s performance. The minimum storage in most laptops is 32 GB, but if you plan to have more doc on physical storage instead of the cloud, get at least 64 GB.
Battery life: One of the benefits of laptops over desktops is that you carry them around anywhere without being plugged in. However, laptop batteries also run out with constant usage. And if you are performing multiple tasks simultaneously, it tends to drain quickly. In such a case, choose a laptop with at least 15 hours of battery life.
Weight: If you plan to carry your laptop along, consider the size and weight of the device. While most budget-friendly laptops are lightweight (between 700 gms to 1.5 kg), you may want to consider how much weight you can actually carry.
If you select a budget of less than £500, it means a compromise on performance. The best budget range is around £400 to £500, but if you can spare a little more (like £600), you can get an even better-quality laptop and features. At this price point, you will likely get better performance than other entry-level models. Stick to the higher end, and you will be able to see the difference in performance and build.