Are you searching for a quality laptop that will be efficient and powerful enough for your next college semester, but having trouble finding anything affordable? If so, we are here to help you find the right laptop by pointing out some of the best laptops for college students under $500.
The average college student does not require a super computer to get their basic research and homework done; and you probably don’t either. Finding something affordable is crucial for students living on low incomes or grants; but we’ve found some really great options that will get you through school on a reasonable budget!
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Laptop
While the average student does not need a super computer, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself in order to maximize your college laptop’s utility:
- How frequently will you need to carry your laptop? The answer affects how much weight you’ll be willing to carry around.
- Do you need any special software suites; such as MS Office; or features, such as a backlit keyboard?
- How many hours do you need the battery to last? Will you have opportunities to charge the laptop in between uses?
Top College Laptops Under $500 Overview Chart
College Student Laptop Must-Haves
When seeking the best laptops for college students under $500; you need to decide the difference between what you absolutely need, and what would be nice as a bonus. The following listed items are must haves for college students.
- Battery Life. You need a long enough battery life to last you through classes.
- Weight. You do not want to tire yourself out carrying a 9 lb. machine around in addition to books.
- Screen Size. If you have trouble seeing; or need to multitask in class frequently, you probably need a relatively large screen; 15 inch or larger.
- Keyboard. You need a keyboard that is large enough that it does not make your hands cramp when you type on it for extensive periods of time. If you have classes that are frequently darkened, you should consider a back lit keyboard.
3 Best Laptops for College Students Under 500 Bucks Reviews
The HP Pavilion x360 Touch Screen Laptop with an 11.6” screen is a versatile, powerful and convenient machine, that is absolutely perfect for the student that is constantly on the go. It is equipped with a 360 degree flip screen; so that you can use the touchscreen without the keyboard being in the way; or lock it into stationary mode with the keyboard facing you for typing up papers or chatting.
As far as internal hardware goes, it is equipped with a 2.17GHz processor speed with Turbo Boost up to 2.42GHz; and a 4GB system memory and a 500 GB hard drive. It runs Windows 8 of course; as it is the most recent operating system meant to be used with touch screen technology.
A 1-year trial of Microsoft Office is provided upon purchase; giving you the time to save up and use your student discount to purchase the full suite if need be. This laptop is easily the best laptop under $500 that’s powerful enough to handle a college students needs without any immediate upgrades.
The Lenova Thinkpad X140e is yet another fantastic option for college students who need to transport their laptops frequently from place to place. This is another compact model with an 11.6” screen. Its keyboard is large enough that it is comfortable and easy to use for long periods of time.
The internal hardware on this model includes a 1.50 GHz AMD A Series processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive; all of which are powerful enough for research, web browsing, and some video/audio manipulation. All of this is wrapped up in a 3.9 lb. package. This model runs Windows 7 Professional; meaning that you get the benefit of MS Office being pre-installed; as well as some other benefits.
The HP Stream 13 Laptop makes the top three list of the best college laptops under $500 for a variety of reasons. To begin with, its screen is slightly larger than the top two; at 13.3”. It weighs in at an incredibly light 3.4 lbs.
This model is internally equipped with a 2.16 GHz Intel Celeron processor, 2 GB DDR3L SDRAM and a 32 GB hard drive; making it a slightly less powerful machine than the top two; but still efficient enough to accomplish basic tasks. Students should have no problem performing research, working on homework or engaging in some light gaming. It runs Windows 8.1 operating system; making it one of the most well updated laptops for under $500 right now.