Best Laptop under $500.

Jun 3, 2018
Hello. There have already been multiple forms created about this topic but mine is a little different from the others I have read so thats why I still went ahead and created this one. I am a session musician who travels a lot and I need a good laptop that I can take with me on the road. I have a good background In technology so I know a lot about desktop systems but I am having trouble picking a laptop system. I want something that Is fast for music recording and something that can handle video editing and photoshop. I barely game so the graphics card is not a very big problem but If i could fit something into the budget that could run some games that would be kind of cool. storage is not really a problem for me either as I have a spare laptop 1TB hard drive laying around. Thanks and I hope I was specific enough. the more RAM the better also as I sometimes run virtual machines. I was thinking about a lenovo t440 or something of that nature but I am sure some of you could have better suggestions. Also the cheaper the better obviously.


The following 15.6" Asus laptop is just slightly over your budget at $510. the thin bezel around the screen makes it closer to the size of a 14" laptop. It also has a quad core i5-8250u CPU; the "u" means it is an ultra low voltage CPU so this CPU operates at a max of 15w of power. Though manufactures are allowed to configure the max power consumption between 10w (which means the CPU runs at lower clockspeed) and 25w (which means the CPU can run at higher clockspeed). I do not believe you are allowed to configure the power consumption yourself though. At the standard 15w envelop, the CPU basically runs at about 2.4GHz, but can burst up to 3.4GHz for a very limited amount of time as long as the CPU is not running too hot.

The least expensive new laptop with a dedicated GPU (the nVidia mx150) is the following 15.6" laptop for $570. It has the same i5-8250u CPU as the Asus laptop, though it does not have thin bezels so it is the size of a typical laptop with a 15.6" screen. It does have a 256GB SSD so that makes booting and launching any programs that is installed on the SSD much faster compared to a hard drive. Based on some of the comments, a 2.5" hard drive can be installed, but you need to order a kit to do so. The mx150 is considered to be a mainstream dedicated GPU. It's performance is between that of a GTX 950m and GTX 960m. If this was 2016 instead of 2018 then it would be considered to an "entry level" gaming GPU.
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