Whether you are planning a big trip and you don’t have much money to spend on a laptop. Or you are looking for a second device to travel with you, so you don’t have to expose your main computer to the risks of traveling, the great news is you have options.
It is possible to find some excellent laptops for travel, do join us as we look at some of the things you need to pay attention to before you buy and recommend some of the best travel laptops under 500 dollars.
*The links in this page are affiliate links, that means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself. Take a look at our About Us page for more info on this.
How to choose a travel laptop
In the digital age, we have grown accustomed to a travel style that depends seriously on smartphones, apps. However, sometimes that won’t cut it, especially if you write a lot while you’re traveling. Fortunately, this demand for small, lightweight laptops has driven companies to make plenty of options which has driven the price down and it is now possible to find cheap laptops for travel.
But, with so many options, choosing the best travel laptop is not always stress-free. With so many components to look at, it is no surprise people can’t make up their minds. We have come up with a laptop buyer’s nuggets for travelers and digital travelers that should ensure you end up with an excellent laptop for your trips.
Are you prepared to start the process of purchasing a new laptop for travel? With so many devices accessible, and more coming out each month, it’s quite tough to filter out what’s essential, and what’s more of a gimmick.
In this write-up, we’ll go through seven vital factors you should consider when selecting your laptops.
What to pay attention to in a cheap laptop for travel
One of the paramount features of a laptop is its capability to slip into a laptop bag and travel the world with you. If you are worried about portability, your best bet is to look at laptops with a lesser screen dimension and thin, lightweight design. These types of laptops are often advertised as Ultrabooks, so you have that word in mind.
Or, more precisely, go for a laptop with a screen between 12 and 13.3 inches, and a weight which is not up to 1.5kg.
RAM (random access memory) is essential to computer performance, particularly if you do lots of multitasking on your device – like edit photos, write a word in docs, and surf the web all at once. The bigger the RAM you have, the quicker your laptop will be able to access data, and the more applications you can run effortlessly at any one time. 4GB of RAM is the least you can find these days. If you use much high-power software, get for 8GB RAM or more.
If you’re like most people that need travel laptops, you’ll possibly be staring at your laptop screen for hours daily. So ensure you choose a laptop with a screen that’s easy on the eyes while you view it. Glossier screens most times reflect surrounding light, so if you expect to be working outside a lot, have this in mind. Moreover, most touch screen laptops usually have a bright screen, so weigh up the merits and demerits.
Depending on how you want to use your laptop, screen resolution will also be imperative. 1920×1080 is a packed HD screen. This will give you excellent image quality and ample room to keep your windows in view.
Finally, when it comes to discovering laptop screen preferences, it’s important to head into a computer outlet and check them out in person. Tech specs don’t usually give a clear idea of the real user experience.
Once more, if handiness is essential to you (even if that means conveying your laptop from your desk to your couch!), battery life is worth considering. The reality of a laptop’s battery life is most times different from what the label says on the box. Due to reasons like screen brightness, the number of running apps, and the sort of programs you run will determine how long the battery runs.
Instead of concentrating on the number of hours the manufacturer put on the label. Look at the grade of the battery in Watt-hours (Wh) or milliamp-hours (mAh). The greater the number, the lengthier the battery will last.
Contemplate on the CPU (central processing unit) as it is the heart of your laptop. When it comes to CPU, you can’t get anyone more advanced than Intel’s Core-based range with a budget less than $500. New laptops will most likely comprise of Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7.
You will get Core i3 in entry-level laptops.
You will get Core i5 in standard mid-range devices.
While you find Core i7 in advance-end laptops. While Core i7 offers the most exceptional performance, it can lead to a bit of heat to emanate from the bottom of the device. Have this in mind if you plan to use your laptop. Especially on your lap, but it is advisable not to place it on your lap.
Not only will you need to ponder on the expanse of storage, but also the type of storage. Back in the day, hard disk initiatives were the favorite. With thinner, lighter laptops in fashion, hard drives are not as famous as they used to be. Instead, many laptop holders are opting for compact state drives, which are swifter, noiseless, and every best value laptop should have good storage.
USB 3.0 Ports
USB 3.0 ports are compulsory on a new laptop if you want to plug in and use exterior devices, such as external hard drives, mouse, and keyboards. Some fresh newly purchased laptops don’t comprise USB 3.0 ports, plus the new Macbook Pros. Keep this in mind before you go ahead and buy.
Best laptops for travel under 500 dollars
1. Asus VivoBook 15
- Slender and Lightweight.
- Awesome display panel.
- Decent performance.
- The price is affordable.
- No backlight in the keyboard.
- No display for Caps Lock.
- Audio quality could have been better.
- 15.6 inch full HD 4 way NanoEdge bezel display with stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
- Intel core i3-8145U processor (4M Cache, upto 3.9 GHz)
2. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
- Stylish design.
- A quick processor.
- IPS display with high brightness.
- Decent battery life.
- Works silently.
- Abysmal Performance of the AC adapter (discharging of the battery after fully charged).
- Poor Wi-Fi performance.
- Surfaces prone to fingerprints.
- 8th Generation Intel Core i3 8145u Processor (Up to 3.9GHz) | 4GB DDR4 Memory | 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- 15.6 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED backlit IPS display; Intel UHD Graphics 620
3. Lenovo IdeaPad 330s
- Decent keyboard.
- Upgradeable RAM and storage.
- 4-in-1 card reader.
- Well packed sized Ethernet.
- HDD or SSD options.
- Poor viewing angles.
- Keyboard has backlight shortages.
- Sluggish HDD.
- Poor quality webcam.
- The stock battery is too small.
- 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U mobile processor 1.6GHz ultra-low-voltage platform. Quad-core, eight-way...
- Typical 1366 x 768 HD resolution. Energy-efficient LED backlight display.
4. Dell Inspiron 15 3000
- Huge, vivid display.
- 16GB of memory.
- Trim, lightweight chassis.
- Aluminum cover.
- All ports positioned at the rear part of the sides.
- Awesome input devices.
- Twin band WiFi (802.11 ac).
- Good battery life.
- Silent operation.
- Prompt boot time.
- Feels brittle.
- Clickpad sometimes not too precise.
- Hot under complete load.
- No Gigabit Ethernet.
- Glossy, extremely reflective screen.
- Average vertical viewing angle.
- Peeling keyboard and trackpad.
- 15.6" diagonal Display Features 1366 x 768 resolution and utilizes True-life technology for crisp,...
- Get the processing power you need from a 7th Gen Intel Core i3 Processor. Multitask with confidence.
5. HP Flagship 15.6″
- Excellent display.
- Great system performance.
- Complete HD display.
- low running temperatures.
- Small power consumption.
- Upgradeable HDD and RAM.
- Bluish display.
- The fan is permanently on.
- No keyboard backlight.
- Lid susceptible to flexing.
- No USB Type-C.
- Narrow length and viewing angles.
- 15.6" HD WLED-backlit Touchscreen Display (1366 x 768), 10-finger multi-touch support
- 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U 2.40 GHz
Final thoughts on cheap laptops for travel
Gone are the days when a good laptop would cost you as much as $1,000. In this market, producers are inventing new ways to sell more than each other, including drastic price reduction.
It’s now likely to pick up a full-size or ultraportable Windows 10 notebook with a processor secure enough for use at home, church, institutions, or work, for around $500 to $600. It’s also possible to find full-featured Chromebooks and hybrid devices that give you both laptop and tablet functionality in one system for as little as $400.
You should be prepared to have concession, however. While it’s certainly possible to find a strong laptop with a 15-inch screen, you might have to make do with a fragile keyboard and touchpad. Likewise, you could buy an entirely made ultraportable that uses an underpowered CPU and a tiny hard drive to reach its low price.
The good news is that you’ll have to make fewer compromises with the budget laptops of today compared to the past.
Intel’s Atom, Celeron, and Pentium computers (which power most of the under-$400 laptop set) have advanced to the point that they can back most of your web browsing and basic productivity needs without feeling sluggish. The latest integrated GPUs can hold their own in browser-based Flash games and even some internet games like World of Warcraft.
If you take note of what we have explained carefully, you can get a long-lasting laptop with great function under $500. Share your views below if you have bought a laptop below $500 before, and did/is it serve/serving you well?