Whats the best laptop to buy in $500 budget?

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Aug 28, 2017
Hello, I'm currently using a $200 laptop from pawn shop I bought two months ago. The speed of this is pretty good not fast and not slow. I'm thinking of buying a new laptop, I'll use for everyday use only and zero gaming. I just want it for social media, doing surveys, watching videos, running multiple tabs, and downloading a couple program/software. Are any of these laptop I found online researching perfect for my needs and will it be faster than my current laptop? Plus the one I'm currently using has a horrible display and only four hours or less of batteries.

This is my laptop I'm typing in: http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/8495700

This is one of the laptops I'm considering to buy from bestbuy: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-15-6-touch-screen-laptop-intel-core-i3-8gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-jet-black-woven-texture-pattern/6090904.p?skuId=6090904

Laptops I found from staples: https://www.staples.com/HP-17-bs061st-17-3-Laptop-Computer-7th-Generation-Intel-Core-i3-1TB-SATA-HD-8GB-DDR4-Windows-10-Intel-HD-Graphics-520/product_2721077 , https://www.staples.com/Dell-i3567-3465BLK-15-6-Laptop-Computer-Intel-i3-128GB-SSD-8GB-DDR4-Win-10-Intel-HD-graphics-620/product_2677755

Will any of these be perfect for everyday home use, better than my current laptop or Am I better getting a desktop? Where is the best place to buy a cheap fast everyday computer? Amazon, Bestbuy, Staples or other store? Thanks in advanced.
This is going to be a case of 'win some - lose some'...

Laptops is this price range are typically:

a) Refurbished. Doesn't mean they're bad, but they may show visible signs of wear and the warranty (if any) is usually down to a few months. They also tend to be business machines featuring the bare minimum in terms of specs - especially the screen resolution and RAM capacity;

b) Available with only 4GBs of RAM, which isn't a lot these days, but going from DDR3 to DDR4 should help;

c) Available with only mechanical hard disks. If you are used to SSDs, it's going to be very painful to 'go back'.

Considering your current HP (SSD, touch-screen, and 12GBs of RAM) it's going to be next to impossible to improve on those specs at $500. Note, however, that the UserBenchmark result includes a comment to the effect that your current CPU setting is sub-optimal (throttling at 79 %) suggesting that you might gain some improvement by increasing the maximum processor state to 100 %. This has no effect on the "horrible display" but that's the only aspect you can rectify yourself.

If you can 'live with' 8GBs of RAM (DDR4), there is this $500 Acer from Amazon US:

Only draw-back is the absence of an SSD - you get a 1TB mechanical spinner instead. Highlights include a 7th-gen i5 CPU and a 1080p display.

As for desktops, there are a few affordable All-In-Ones with 8GBs of RAM but they're all refurbished business machines. New AIOs come with 4GBs of RAM and mechanical HDDs only. Here's a $450 Dell AIO from BestBuy:

No SSD and low on RAM, but you do get a 21" 1080p touch-screen, and RAM can be expanded to 16GBs when you have some spare cash. Traditional desktops in this price range follow the same pattern. If you happen to be very tech-savvy you might be able to build a suitable desktop for $500 yourself, but this will involve some extensive digging on various sites, e.g. eBay and pcpartpicker.com.

If you have to choose between the three laptops in your opening post, I would recommend the Staples HP - a slightly better screen resolution in a larger screen and 7 to 9 hours of battery life.


May 27, 2016

If it's just for home use a desktop. If performance is a big factor you will always be better off with a desktop. If yiu'd like I can part out one for 500 see if that's any good for you?

Did it anyway One using an APU and one using a 1050. Though you will need to have the BIOS on both updated which might cost $10.

APU: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/FkmW3b

1050: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/6XpNP3
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