On a budget and need a good performing laptop under £500? We have compiled a list of the best performing laptops on the market today, that won’t break your bank balance.
1. Acer Swift 3
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 14-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) ComfyView IPS | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD
- Powerful for the price
- Stellar battery life
- Boring looks
- Down-firing speakers
While you may have been convinced that ‘budget Ultrabook’ was an oxymoron up until this point, the Acer has turned this common misconception on its head with the Swift 3. That’s because the company has taken the all-aluminum chassis of the Acer Swift 7 and stuffed some more affordable components inside for everyone to enjoy. It doesn’t run macOS, but the Acer Swift 3 does put the age-old MacBook Air to shame in about every other regard, including the nigh-unbeatable price tag. Of course, in the process of demolishing the competition, Acer did have to cut a few corners in order to keep the price so impressively low. So although you can’t expect much in the way of an Ultra HD display or quality onboard sound, the performance benchmarks alone give even the Surface Laptop a run for its money.
2. HP 250 G6
CPU: Intel Core i5-7200U 65 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 167 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6”, HD (1366 x 768) | Storage: HDD/SSD. 256GB SSD
- Strong performance for a budget model
- Impressively long battery life
- Build quality isn’t HP’s best
- Not much to look at
HP makes another instalment on this list with the HP 250 G6, a model that boasts some pretty respectable specs making it ideal for everyday tasks including casual web surfing, editing docs and streaming, but not much more. Its display could be a little sharper and a little brighter, but with a powerful battery at its disposal it’s unlikely to run out of battery even if you’re away from a power socket for most of the day. It’s not going to blow you away, but it’s reliable, and that’s all you need at this price point.
3. Asus Chromebook Flip
CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare | Storage: 64GB eMMC
- Elegant tablet mode
- Tactile keyboard
- No out-of-box Android app support
- Middling speakers
When it comes to the best Chromebook laptop, you have a choice between two stark alternatives. There’s the premium Chromebook Pixel, which we list further down this page, and then there’s the excellent Asus Chromebook Flip C302, which combines premium features in a much more affordable package. For many people, Chromebooks are excellent and affordable laptops that are perfect for students, and the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 is easily one of the best Chromebooks, and one of the best laptops, money can buy. It comes with an Intel Core processor, full 1080p display, touchscreen, backlit keyboard and USB-C port.
4. Acer Switch 3
CPU: 1.10GHz Intel Pentium Quad Core N4200 – Intel Core i3 7100U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.2-inch, 1920 x 1200 IPS LCD touchscreen | Storage: 64GB – 128GB eMMC
- Excellent build quality
- Superb value
- Tricky hinged stand
- No good for games
If you want the Microsoft Surface Book 2 but you want to spend a lot less, the Acer Switch 3 2017 is definitely the your best option. It’s designed around essentially the same concept as the Surface Book 2 and it’s a less capable thanks to slightly lower power innards, but for most tasks it’s a brilliant little machine. What’s more, to add further value this 2-in-1 laptop/tablet comes with the keyboard upgrade which means no little extras to pay for. As usual it comes in several different versions, with USB Type-C, 8GB RAM, an IPS display and Intel Core i3 7100U CPU coming with the more expensive option.