Best Laptops for Working from Home under $500

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Finding the best laptop for working from home for under $500 may seem incredibly hard. Considering that mainly at this price point, you will find many laptops that significantly compromise in one way or another.

This could be either by including a crappy screen or by a processor that can barely do basic tasks like web browsing. So to find the best laptop for working from home under the pile of below mediocre laptops is undeniably challenging.

So to make things easy for you, we have picked out the best laptops for working from home that is under $500 and will perform well in basic web browsing tasks and get the job done with zoom calls.

What kind of laptop do I need for working from home?

Here are the things you should look for when buying the best laptop for working from home for under $500.

CPU: An Intel Celeron Processor should be fine for basic tasks like writing a Word document or working on a spreadsheet. However, if you are someone who multitasks and works with multiple chrome tabs open with some other apps like Spotify running in the background, then we recommend something like a Core i3 or AMD Ryzen.

If your work includes something demanding like video rendering or coding, then you would definitely need a powerful processor, where something like a Core i5 or a Ryzen 5500u should be perfect.

GPU: If your workflow includes writing Word documents or working on spreadsheets. Then you should be able to get away with basic Intel Integrated Graphics. However, if your workload includes GPU demanding like video editing, you should look for something like AMD Radeon Integrated Graphics or Intel UHD Graphics.

RAM: You should look for at least 8GB RAM, which should be more than enough for most work applications. However, if you work with 30 chrome tabs open while having other programs running in the background, then you should go for 16GB RAM. 

Furthermore, if you plan to do any creative work like working on Premiere Pro or doing some Programming, then we recommend you get at least 16GB RAM.

Storage:  This one is quite subjective. It completely depends on how many files you plan to store. Word documents and spreadsheets won’t take much space, so you would be fine with a 128GB SSD. However, we recommend that at least 256GB SSD. 

Though, it’s one of those components that you can upgrade down the line if you feel like it, so you can save money right now and buy it later.

Display: In terms of the resolution, we recommend at least a 1080p display. However, considering we are on such a limited budget, you should be fine with something like 768p for basic office work.

As for the size of the device, It also depends on what you are comfortable with. We recommend 14 inches as it’s the sweet spot for portability and a decent size. You can get an 11-inch laptop that is small and compact, but it will most likely have a crappy screen and a cramped keyboard.

Something bigger, like the 15.6”, can be great for content consumption and multitasking, but you will get that at the cost of getting a heavier laptop.

Asus Chromebook Flip C433 | Best Chromebook Laptop for Working from Home under $500

Asus Chromebook Flip C433

CPU: Intel Core m3-8100Y | GPU: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 | Display: 14” 1920×1080 touch supported | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Battery: 48Wh | OS: Chrome OS


You would be forgiven to think that the Asus Chromebook Flip C433 is a premium laptop for over $1000 thanks to its all-aluminum chassis that makes it fairly light, around 1.5kg, gives the Flip C433 great rigidity and overall quite a premium feel. 

Though one thing that we got to complain about when it comes to the build quality is that though hinges are quite solid, they make the display stiff. Which ultimately requires you to apply slightly more force to move the display.

As for the performance, the Flip C433 excels at daily basic tasks such as web browsing and video playback on Youtube without hiccups. The 8GB RAM is ample for opening dozens of chrome tabs while working on a word document. 

And the 720p webcam also does a great job in online zoom meetings. It also will last comfortably during your entire work day thanks to its 10hrs battery backup.

Though displays under $500 are usually not the brightest, the C433 is one of the dimmest displays at 180nits, making it unsuitable for outdoor use. On the contrary, the C433 display also produces crisp and vivid output and works as a great 2in1 thanks to its convertible touch screen.

The typing experience is great for the most part, thanks to its well-spaced-out keys and clicky feedback on the short travel keys, though what sucks about this keyboard is that it hard to read when you turn on the backlit in a lit room. As for the touchpad, it is what you would expect, with smooth and accurate tracking.

Like any Chromebook, a MicroSD slot is the only expandable available on this laptop. But overall, if you want a laptop that excels at daily web browsing and zoom meetings that would last you the entire day on a single charge without breaking the bank, the Asus Flip C433 is one of the best laptops for working from home for under $500.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent performance
  • Decent battery life
  • Premium built quality
  • Stiff hinges
  • Keyboard hard to read with backlight

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Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14″ FHD Laptop | Best Overall Laptop for Working from Home under $500

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14"

CPU: Ryzen 5500U | GPU: Radeon Integrated Graphics | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Display: 15.6” 1920×1080  | Storage: 256GB SSD | Battery: 45Wh | OS: Windows 10/11


The Lenovo Ideapad 3 14” is hands down one of the best laptops for working from home under $500 when it comes to performance. The Ryzen 5 5500u is exceptional in providing outstanding muli-threaded performance. 

The 6-core processor not only excels at casual tasks like web browsing or watching Youtube or Netflix, but it can take on demanding tasks with relative ease. If you want a machine that can help you do creative work in your free time, like video editing, the Lenovo Ideapad 3 got you covered. 

You can also upgrade its 8GB RAM thanks to its two RAM slots, or if you think the 256GB SSD is not enough for you, you can just install a SATA hard drive to add bulk storage cheaply. The keyboard is also great for typing on for hours, and the touchpad is responsive and accurate. 

The display is one of the best in our entire lineup, with decent color reproduction and acceptable brightness that goes up to 330 nits which makes it usable outdoors in daylight, though it doesn’t have good viewing angles. The battery life varies with your use, but if you mostly do less demanding tasks like working on a spreadsheet, the battery will last around 8 hours.

The chassis is entirely made of plastic but doesn’t compromise the device’s overall durability. It feels solid and doesn’t feel fragile like some cheap budget laptop. The down-firing speakers on this laptop are not the most amazing out there so we prefer you use headphones. Also, it weighs slightly heavier than other budget laptops weighing around 1.6kg,

But if your priority is only performance, you can’t go wrong with the Lenovo Ideapad 3 14”.

Pros & Cons

  • Very capable CPU
  • Great display
  • Great battery Life
  • Heavier than the competition
  • Speakers are meh

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Acer Aspire 5 A515-56  Laptop

Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-32DK

CPU: Core i3 1115G4 | GPU: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4X | Display: 15.6” 1920×1080  | Storage: 128GB SSD | Battery: 48Wh | OS: Windows 10/11

If you want a Windows laptop with a sleek and premium chassis while also providing decent performance, then you can’t go wrong with the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56. The core i3 is sufficient for web browsing and working on Google Docs while listening to a podcast on Spotify. However, what hampers its performance is its limiting 4GB RAM.

This device is practically unusable with 4GB RAM, so if you plan to buy this laptop, buy an additional 4GB RAM stick to install it in its additional RAM slot. Furthermore, if you also plan to upgrade the limiting 128GB SSD, you can do so with ease thanks to its SATA drive bay and replaceable M.2 drive slot.

The display is not the greatest either, producing washed-out and bland colors while also struggling to get bright enough at 250 nits. However, not all is bad about Aspire 5. It has an excellent full keyboard that provides an amazing typing experience thanks to its keys that actuate fairly easily. Though the trackpad is known to be kinda rattly in some SKUs, it feels smooth and tracks quite accurately. The battery life on the other hand, is not the greatest but definitely serviceable, lasting around 7 hours on casual use.

The speakers are excellent that produce crystal clear mids while lacking in the bass department. Still, they get the job done in occasional zoom meetings along with its webcam that produces grainy but usable quality.

The Aspire 5 is not the greatest in terms of performance. However, if you simply can’t compromise on the build quality, you definitely gotta look into the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56.

To learn more about the device, you can read our detailed review.

Pros & Cons

  • Great build quality
  • Decent performance
  • Great ports
  • Display is dim and washed out
  • Rattling trackpad
  • Insufficient RAM out of box

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Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i Chromebook 

Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i

CPU: Core i3 1115G4 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X | Display: 13.3” 1920×1080  | Storage: 128GB SSD | Battery: 51Wh | OS: Chrome OS

The Flex 5i is an excellent choice for someone looking for a capable convertible Chromebook on a budget. The Flex 5i provides an excellent performance thanks to its i3 processor and 8GB RAM, which makes multitasking a smooth and great experience. 

Apart from the excellent performance what also makes the Flex 5i great for zoom meetings is its 720p camera that features a privacy shutter, so you can hide your camera if something comes up during a meeting. Furthermore, the upward-firing speakers on the Flex 5i create crispy and clear mids along with noticeable bass. 

The keyboard is excellent for typing thanks to its keys that have decent travel and provide great tactile feedback. However, one minor annoyance we have with this laptop is that it replaces the CAPS button with a search button. This means that you must use the shift key every time you want to capitalize something, and you would often find yourself hitting the search button habitually when trying to capitalize something.

The display is serviceable and has acceptable color reproduction, though, as expected from a budget laptop, it’s quite dim. Battery life is amazing, though, comfortably lasting around 10 hours with ease.

The Flex 5i is for you if you want a Chromebook that provides excellent performance while also lasting the entire day. Making it one of the best laptops for working from home for under $500.

Pros & Cons

  • Good performance
  • Great battery life
  • Decent keyboard
  • Clean design
  • lack of a dedicated CAPS key can be annoying
  • The touchpad surface is a bit rough
  • Display is dim

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Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-32DK Slim

CPU: Ryzen 3200u | GPU: Vega 3 Graphics | RAM: 4GB  | Display: 15.6” 1920×1080  | Storage: 128GB SSD | Battery: 49Wh | OS: Windows 10/11

The Aspire 5 slim is the cut-down version of the Aspire 5 A515-56 with its slower Ryzen 3 CPU and a smaller battery. This obviously makes the Aspire 5 slim cheaper than its bigger brother.

It features an excellent keyboard that provides excellent typing feedback thanks to its keys that actuate fairly quickly. Along with that the Touchpad is great too, offering a big smooth surface that tracks accurately. The speakers on the Aspire 5 slim are also quite good, outputting clear mids while also being quite loud. 

The display is also what you would expect with washed-out colors and low brightness, but it’s definitely usable for regular work like working on spreadsheets or word documents. The multitasking capability is severely affected by its lackluster 4GB RAM. Similar to the Aspire 5 A515-56, you would need to buy an additional  4GB RAM stick separately to take advantage of the Ryzen 3 full multitasking potential.

The I/O is disappointing on the Aspire 5 Slim, where it only has a single USB 3.2 port and no USB C port, which is disappointing for a modern laptop. Furthermore, it features USB 2.0 port which has quite limited bandwidth for something like transferring big files on a USB flash drive.  And to top it all off, it lacks a USB C port which is even present on the cheapest Chromebook available on the market.  

But if you want a device with a premium chassis with just enough performance capability, then Acer Aspire 5 Slim is the one you have to go with. Since it’s one of the best premium feels laptops for working from home for under $500.

Pros & Cons

  • Great Build quality
  • Decent battery life
  • Great expandability options
  • Nice keyboard
  • Okish display
  • Insufficient RAM
  • Average webcam
  • No USB C ports

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HP 14 Laptop

HP 14" Laptop

CPU: Ryzen 5500u | GPU: Radeon Integrated Graphics | RAM: 8GB  | Display: 14” 1920×1080  | Storage: 256GB SSD | Battery: 41Wh | OS: Windows 10/11

The 14-inch HP is quite similar to the Lenovo Ideapad 3, especially in specs. It also packs in Ryzen 5500u, a 6-core multitasking beast that not only takes on casual tasks like web browsing and writing a word document with ease but can also take on light multi-threaded workloads like video editing or code compiling. Though the true potential of the 5500u is held back by poor power delivery, not allowing it to reach its true potential.

The HP also features a nice keyboard that might feel mushy at first but get the job done quickly thanks to its quicker actuation and nice feedback. The Touchpad is not the greatest. Though it’s quite smooth and tracks fairly accurately, it sucks at palm rejection, so you might accidentally move the cursor while typing. The battery life is fine on the HP, where it lasted around 8 hours with ease.

Where HP 14” falls short is its terrible display, where it struggles to get bright enough while also producing washed-out colors that makes the HP 14 inch a bad choice for content consumption. Furthermore, despite having a metal lid and keyboard deck, the HP 14” has questionable build quality, where we saw noticeable flex in the chassis.

The HP 14” also offers solid expandability like the Ideapad 3 capability, along with serviceable speakers and webcam. Overall, the HP 14 is another solid option you should consider if you prioritize performance.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent performance
  • Decent battery life
  • Great expandability
  • Questionable built quality
  • Dull display

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HP Chromebook 11A G8 Education | Best Compact Laptop for Working from Home under $500

HP Chromebook 11A G8 Education

APU: AMD A4-9120C | RAM: 4GB  | Display: 11.6” 1920×768  | Storage: 32GB eMMC | Battery: 47Wh | OS: Windows 10/11

Now we are entering cheap Chromebook territory, where you have to lower your expectations when buying a laptop at the cheapest price. The HP Chromebook 11A G8 is one of the cheapest you can get.

Despite having a low price tag, the 11A G8 offers surprisingly great chassis quality despite being built with plastic. This means that if you are clumsy or share this laptop with your kid, and you manage to drop it, it will do just fine for the most part. 

If your workflow requires only 2-3 tabs open without opening other apps in the background, then you should be fine with this laptop. As its low-powered AMD CPU isn’t the greatest when it comes to multitasking. This is further solidified with its 4GB RAM, which doesn’t leave much room for opening multiple tabs either. This laptop is perfect if you work on one application simultaneously and don’t really multitask.

An 11-inch laptop has a small keyboard that is quite cramped and could lead to accidental strokes as you type faster due to its smaller keys. The keystrokes feel just fine, and they can get the job done.  The touchpad is really awful with tracking that feels off and rough surface. We recommend you use an external mouse when you plan to work on this laptop.

The speakers and webcam are what you would come to expect from a cheap laptop, and all we have to say about them is that they are better than having nothing. The Display is decent at this price point, where it gets noticeably bright, though it still doesn’t have the greatest colors. It also has a great battery life, where it will last you the entire day with relative ease, lasting around 10 hours with ease.

To sum it all up, The HP 11a G8 is best for you if you work on one application at a time.

Pros & Cons

  • Decent display
  • Great build quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Super cheap
  • Crappy touchpad
  • Cramped keyboard
  • Lacks USB 3.2 Type-A port

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Lenovo IdeaPad 3 11 Chromebook Laptop | Best Laptop for Working From Home under $500 in terms of Battery Life

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 11 Chromebook Laptop

CPU: Intel Celeron N4020 | GPU: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 4GB  | Display: 14” 1920×768  | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Battery: 42Wh | OS: Chrome OS

The Ideapad 3 11 by Lenovo offers exceptional battery last with a catch. The Ideapad 3 Chromebook is easily a 2-day laptop with its battery lasting around 20 hours with relative ease. This is thanks to its efficient Celeron processor that sips power. However, that results in a not-so-great performance.

You may experience hiccups while doing something a bit demanding, like loading up a 1080p video on youtube, which would send down a shock in this poor Celeron spine, leading it to freeze for a bit and then resume playback. However, it still gets the job done when working on word documents or a long spreadsheet. So be gentle when using this laptop.

As for the typing experience, it’s proven to be better than other Chromebooks by providing satisfying clicky feedback due to its short travel keys that allow you to type more quickly. It can be forgiven for not having a backlit at this price point. Besides, it provides a decent typing experience. So that’s fine at least. The touchpad is not good, it suffers with tracking, and its surface doesn’t feel smooth and the clicky buttons require slightly more pressure to actuate which makes it quite unpleasant to use them.

And the display is not the greatest either, with bland colors and lacks sharpness while also being quite dim. In the end we will say that, if you do nothing but the basic bare minimum of writing simple word docs, then you should be fine with this laptop, though we won’t recommend buying it unless you find it for really cheap.

Pros & Cons

  • Exceptional Battery life
  • Decent keyboard
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Awful display
  • Awful touchpad
  • Experience occasional hiccups on demanding tasks

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Lenovo – 14e Chromebook

Lenovo - 14e Chromebook

APU: AMD A4-9120C | RAM: 4GB  | Display: 14” 1920×768  | Storage: 32GB eMMC | Battery: 57Wh | OS: Chrome OS

The Lenovo 14e Chromebook is one of the cheapest 14-inch laptops you can buy. Unlike other cheap Chromebooks in our lineup, this one features a 1080p display that may not have the best colors, but it gets quite bright, and a 1080p display has a higher pixel count. It has decent built quality with a metal lid and plastic chassis, which sets it apart from cheap-feeling Chromebooks. 

The 14e also features a great keyboard that has well-spaced out keys that have short travel and allow it to provide nice tactile feedback. If by any chance you manage to spill a drink on this, you will be fine as the keyboard in the Lenovo 14e is spillproof, making it perfect for clumsy people.

The trackpad is one of the better ones I have seen in a while when it comes to cheap Chromebooks, and it’s definitely serviceable. The battery life is also quite good, comfortably lasting around 8-10 hours.

But this somewhat decent experience comes at a price. And that is performance. The AMD dual-core processor suffers when you throw something slightly demanding like video playback and completely freezes up. Also, we won’t recommend this laptop for taking zoom calls because it also struggles to run on this. Ultimately, this is the best laptop for working from home for under $500 as long as your workflow only involves working on Word documents or working on at most 3 chrome tabs.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent keyboard
  • Good built quality
  • Decent battery life
  • Display could have been better
  • Processor can suffer in video streaming
  • Zoom is phincky

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Is 8GB RAM enough for Working from home?

When finding the best laptop for working from home for under $500, we recommend you get at least 8GB RAM. This will allow you to multitask and open multiple chrome tabs and apps with no issues. 

However, if your work includes something hardware demanding like video editing or code compiling, then we recommend at least 16GB RAM. Though you could get away with 8GB RAM, you might experience occasional slowdowns.

 If you plan to buy any of the Windows Laptops we mentioned above, you can upgrade them to 16GB by getting an additional 8GB RAM stick.

What is the best Dell laptop to Work from Home?

The Dell Latitude 7490 14 is the best Dell laptop for working from home for under $500. We didn’t include this laptop in our lineup because it’s refurbished. However, it packs in a powerful 8th gen Intel i7 processor and has 16GB RAM, which should be plentiful for multitasking.


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