Usually, when you’re a college student, you’re on a budget. You don’t need extra loans in your life and you definitely have a ton of other things you can spend your money on, but you also need a laptop. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on getting a great laptop for college as there are still some really amazing, high quality products that can be purchased for less than $500. We did the tests and the research so you don’t have to and we have below the list of the best cheap laptops for college students in 2016 – all of them priced under $500.
What will you get? You will get a high performing, high quality laptop that can handle projects and videos, that will have no trouble letting you browse the internet and get a perfect experience and more. However, these are not gaming laptops, so if you want to play current gen computer games, you won’t really get too much from them. But for everything else, they are a steal and you really can’t beat the price! So let’s check out these amazing laptops under $500 for students!
HP Pavilion x360
Although not really my favorite type of products, I know that some prefer lightweight, combo types of laptops and the HP Pavilion x360 is the best option for a low price. A 2-1 combo (laptop and tablet), it’s almost too good to be true: even though it has a small display of just 11.6-inch, it is Touch Screen enabled, has a powerful 2.16 GHz Quad Core Intel processor and 4GB of RAM. It also offers a lot in terms of storage space with its 500GB hard drive.
It comes with Windows 8.1 installed and has a battery life of up to 4 hours, 360° flip-and-fold design that allows great flexibility and overall, as I said, it’s almost too good to be true. As a downside, I would consider the lack of an optical drive (so it can’t read CD/DVD) but it is compatible with optional external recordable CD/DVD drives, which is a bonus since most are not.
So if you are looking for a small laptop, this should be your choice: it has good graphics, the sound quality is great and it does any job flawlessly. Perfect for college students looking for a new laptop that packs a punch and doesn’t cost a fortune!
We’re moving a bit higher in terms of size and performance with an Acer Ultrabook that is in my top 3 ultrabooks – and it has an excellent price too! Even though it doesn’t have the best processor on the market (i3-2367M processor running at 1.4 GHz), it still does its job flawlessly. The 13.3-Inch HD widescreen display is powered by 4GB of RAM and in terms of storage, it’s simply spectacular for an Ultrabook: 320GB SATA hard drive 20GB SSD. That should be enough for most students!
It is super lightweight at just 2.6 pounds, it has Bluetooth and runs everything you need from school pretty fast (docs, MSOffice applications, photos, videos etc). The battery life is advertised to last up to 5.5 hours, but with your Brightness high and the WiFi on, 3.5 hours would be more realistic – and it’s still a good number! As cons, the fan seems to be a bit noisy, but apart from that, the laptop is solid and durable.
So if you’re looking for an Ultrabook that is light and smaller than a regular laptop, the Acer S3-391-6046 is the product we’d recommend!
HP Flyer Red
If you want to bring up the style, then this laptop from HP is what you’re looking for. Coming in what I would call a “regular” size – 15.6″ display, it offers everything a student could wish for from a laptop. The AMD Quad-Core A6-5200 processor runs at 2.0GHz, it has 4GB of RAM and plenty of storage space thanks to its 500GB HDD. It also offers a SuperMulti DVD Burner, which is a nice bonus!
This is actually a bundle – a really nice one – so if you get it following the link below, you will also receive the similarly colored laptop sleeve, a great looking HP mouse and 8GB Red Flash Drive. That’s really extra value for your money – not to mention that at the moment of writing this article, it’s available on a discounted price on Amazon – $222 less than its regular price, so hurry to get it. It’s the best it can get!
No, we’re not HP fanboys, but it just happens for their laptops to fit perfectly in the budget/performance category and we couldn’t ignore high quality products just to keep the brands varied… So here we are with our final recommendation, a solid 15.6″ laptop for college students. It comes with Windows 8.1 64-bit and runs on an AMD Quad-Core A8-6410 which delivers great performance for the tasks you need. It has 4GB of RAM and the biggest storage space on this list – 750GB.
It is a bit heavy as it weights 4.8 pounds – but it’s worth carrying around, but unfortunately it doesn’t have Bluetooth if that’s something you need. As one reviewer said: for this price, you can’t beat this laptop. And we totally agree: it offers great quality for a low price. If you get it, make sure you update your drivers too as it might increase stability and performance!
These would be our recommendations of cheap laptops for college students – all are under $500 at the moment of writing (but we doubt that the price will go up – maybe except for the Red Devil that we loved so much) and we are sure you’ll find your favorite on this list. So you’ll surely make your best buy so far!