Looking for the best Acer Laptop under $500? The supply of cheap notebooks dried up when it hit parents that their kids weren’t going back to school, but now we’re past that hump it looks like supplies and prices have once again settled since the height of the initial coronavirus-induced work-from-home rush, when PC and accessory sales spiked. But the grim reality of unprecedented job losses keeps the demand for a budget laptop and other ultracheap hardware strong.
With the advancement in technology, cheaper options are appearing in the market, offering consumers great deals for laptops. Here’s a list Top 6 Best Acer laptop available for under 500, choose the one that best suits your needs.
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Top 6 Best Acer Laptop under 500
#1 – Acer Aspire 5
- 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED backlit IPS Display; AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics
- AMD Ryzen 3 3200U (2.60 GHz, up to 3.50 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 MB Cache, 2 Cores ), 3-cell lithium-ion, up to 6 hours battery life mixed-use
- RAM is upgraded to 8GB DDR4 memory for multitasking Adequate high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once
- Hard Drive is upgraded to 128GB SSD PLUS 1TB HDD provides massive storage space for huge files, so that you can store important digital data and work your way through it with ease. Enhance the overall performance of the laptop for business, student, daily usage
- 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port, 2 USB 2.0 Ports & 1 HDMI Port with HDCP support,802.11ac Wi-Fi; Backlit Keyboard; Up to 7.5 Hours Battery Life,Windows 10 in S mode. Maximum Power Supply Wattage 65 W + Laser USB External Cable
The Acer Aspire 5 has an excellent screen, a comfortable keyboard, and a reliable trackpad. It struggles with more than a couple of apps open, but adding memory to correct that is cheap, easy, and worth it, even if you’ve never upgraded a computer before.
- Processor: Intel Core i3-1005G1
- Screen: 15-inch 1920×1080 non-touch
- Memory: 4 GB
- Weight: 4.19 pounds
- Storage: 128 GB SSD
- Tested battery life: 6.5 hours
Why we like this one: If you need to run Windows apps or games, or if you prefer to work offline, we recommend the Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-378V because it’s the best Windows laptop under $500. (If that version is unavailable, the A515-54-37U3 is identical but has a slightly different processor that feels the same to use.) Its 15-inch 1920×1080 IPS screen offers better viewing angles and is much nicer to look at than that of any other cheap Windows laptop we tested. The Aspire 5 has a surprisingly comfortable keyboard and a reliable trackpad, and in our tests, it lasted about an hour longer on a charge than our other Windows picks.
The Aspire 5 is fast enough to handle common tasks, though you won’t be able to use multiple demanding apps and dozens of browser tabs at the same time unless you add more memory. It’s easy to upgrade—you need a Philips-head screwdriver to remove the bottom of the case, and you can simply add another stick of memory, which usually costs around $20. (Acer also includes a hard drive upgrade kit if you’d like to add more storage.) The Aspire 5 has one USB-C port (though it can’t charge via this port as more expensive laptops can), and in battery-life tests it lasted longer than the other Windows laptops we tested in this price range, surviving for 6 hours 42 minutes.
Where it falls short: The Aspire 5 is big and heavy, so it’s not especially convenient to use on the go. And like all inexpensive Windows laptops, it comes with unnecessary bloatware that takes up space and slows down performance. We recommend running Microsoft’s Refresh Windows tool as soon as the laptop arrives; this tool will remove all those unnecessary programs and make the laptop feel faster. The Aspire 5 also comes with Windows 10 in S mode—a version of Windows 10 that allows apps only from the Microsoft store and limits you to Microsoft Edge for web browsing. You can switch it to Windows 10 Home for free, which you’ll need to do if you want to use programs such as Zoom.
#2 – Acer Chromebook Spin 11
Display: 11.6 inches, 1366 x 768 | CPU: Intel Celeron N3350 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 500 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB eMMC | Weight: 2.96 pounds
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is one rather cheap yet reasonably practical 2-in-1 Chromebook. It may have a dim screen and not look particularly modern by standards, but for a price that’s under $400 it’s not a bad purchase. That’s because you’re getting a machine that you can use as a laptop and then flip round to view media or doodle on with an included stylus. Granted its middling spec isn’t going to amaze, but then Chrome OS doesn’t need a huge amount of power.
We’ve not reviewed the Acer Chromebook Spin 11, but our sibling site Techradar has, and it awarded the Chromebook a solid four out of five stars. It was prised for its durable frame, price, and a lack of frivolous features. But it received criticism for its less than impressive battery life and lackluster performance. However, this can all be overlooked thanks to its cheaper price and the fact that Acer does make decent Chromebooks. If you want a machine that you won’t have to worry about damaging while traveling or letting your kids use, this could be the machine to get.
- Cheap Chromebook
- Good for school or and basic work
- Very portable
- Poor spec
- Basic design
#3 – Acer Aspire 3
- 14 inch HD (1366 x 768) Widescreen LED-backlit Display, AMD Radeon R5, AMD A9-9420 (1 MB L2 cache, 1.8 GHz with Turbo Core Technology up to 2.7 GHz)
- RAM is upgraded to 12GB DDR4 memory for multitasking Adequate high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once
- Hard Drive is upgraded to 128GB SSD provides massive storage space for huge files, so that you can store important digital data and work your way through it with ease. It gives you enormous space to save all of your files. Enhance the overall performance of the laptop for business, student, daily usage
- 1 x HDMI, 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x 3-in-1 Card Reader, 1 x Security Slot, 1 x Power, 1 x Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
- Windows 10 Home in S Mode, easily switch to Windows 10 Home; No DVD; Legendary Backpack & Mouse Pad ($47.98 value)
Weight: 1.9kg | Size: 24mm thick | Battery life: 8 hours | Screen: 15.6-inch 1080p | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD | CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i3/i5 | OS: Windows 10 Home
It’s not possible to get a 15.6in Windows laptop with current-generation hardware for much less than this, and the Acer Aspire 3 (£380) still offers a good balance between affordability and usable design.
On the inside, crucially, you get one of Intel’s latest processors. It’s a tenth-generation Core i3 chip that’s got two cores, four threads and solid speeds, and it’s paired with 4GB of memory and a 128GB SSD.
It’s not the sort of specification that’s going to break speed records, but the current-gen CPU and the SSD allow the Acer to feel responsive when handling web-browsing, Skype chats, and Office applications – the kinds of tasks this system is designed for. These extreme low-end Intel chips are also still a step ahead of AMD, which hasn’t yet released Zen 2 chips at prices low enough to appear in laptops like this. The closest you’ll get is the aforementioned IdeaPad 5, which is over £400 for even a 14-inch screen.
The Acer serves up a serviceable Full HD screen along with good ergonomics: the keyboard is snappy and crisp, and the trackpad buttons do just fine.
The Acer’s speakers aren’t particularly punchy, and battery life is middling. The exterior has reasonable build quality, but the lid is weak – we’d definitely use a sleeve for protection. It’s a plain-looking machine, with black plastic throughout and a subtle pattern on the lid.
If you want more power, it’s possible to buy a £499 version of this machine with a Core i5 CPU. Cheaper models are also available without SSDs and with weaker CPUs.
For general-purpose computing, though, a new Core i3 chip has ample power – and the rest of the design is acceptable, especially considering the price. Aspire 3 is a solid option for slim budgets.
Pros: Solid 10th Gen Core i3 processor; 15.6in Full HD screen; decent keyboard
Cons: Underwhelming physical design; only two CPU cores; mediocre battery life
#4 – Acer CB3-431 Chromebook
- CPU: Intel Celeron N3160 (1.6GHz quad-core)
- RAM: 4GB
- Screen: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
- Storage: 32GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Speedy, secure, low-maintenance OS+Big, high-resolution display
If you can do all your computing on the web – watching Netflix, working in online office apps and email clients, checking social networks – then Acer Chromebooks represent excellent value for money, and this one is a worthy entrant in our best laptops under £500 list.
You can’t install desktop programs on them, but you don’t need to worry about large software updates, or antivirus software, or your system slowing over time.
The 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage you get with this Acer laptop should be enough for Chrome OS, as all you’re doing is running a web browser. Meanwhile, the screen is relatively large and offers a higher resolution than many other laptops at this price point.
#5 – Acer Switch 3
A Surface Book 2 alternative at half the price
CPU: 1.10GHz Intel Pentium Quad Core N4200 – Intel Core i3 7100U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.2-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 IPS LCD touchscreen | Storage: 64GB – 128GB eMMC
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is fairly expensive, but the Acer Switch 3 is a great alternative for far less money, making it the best laptop under $500 for fans of Surface Book 2’s features. This tablet is designed around basically the same concept as the Surface Book 2, even though it’s less adept because of its lower-power internals. For most tasks, however, it’s a plucky little machine. What this 2-in-1 laptop has over Microsoft’s ‘Pro’ and ‘Go’ models is that the keyboard is already included. Of course, the Acer Switch 3 comes in multiple configurations, with USB-C, 8GB of memory, an IPS touchscreen and an Intel Core i3 7100U processor coming with the more expensive option.
- Excellent build quality
- Superb value
- Tricky hinged stand
- Slower storage options
#6 – Acer Aspire 1
Windows 10 in a Chromebook
Key Specs: CPU: Intel Celeron N4000 Dual-Core| RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Screen: 14 HD (1920 x 1080) | Battery Life: 6:38 (hrs:min) | Weight: 2.43 pounds
The 14-inch Acer Aspire 1 A114-32-C1YA makes it to the Best Laptops under $500 list as the best choice for bargain hunters looking for an affordable, stylish and lightweight laptop for daily productivity, and one that offers the flexibility of Windows 10, something Chromebooks lack.
With the latest Aspire 1, Acer is offering a budget laptop with a stylish design that is both slim and lightweight, with a 1080p display that’s sharper than what rivals offer for the same price.
It scores well as a media consumption device, that will allow you to stream movies, watch videos, web browsing, and handle basic office tasks.
Is ACER worth buying?
The answer is yes. Just like Dell, Lenovo, HP, and other popular laptop brands, most of the important components of a laptop such as CPU, RAM, motherboard, etc. are outsourced to Intel, AMD, Hynix, NVIDIA, and others. Hence nearly every laptop is about 80% similar to parts sourced from the same factories in China and Taiwan.
The brand has made a name for itself with quality laptops that are priced attractively. If you think that low price translates to bad quality, then Acer would make you rethink your opinion. In 2018, it was the fourth largest laptop manufacturer. They continue to push the boundaries with new models that are ultra-thin, suitable for gaming and be one of the top choices of buyers.
Choosing a cheap Chromebook vs. a cheap Windows laptop
Our picks are for anyone who doesn’t want to or can’t spend more than $500 on a laptop. These models are good for anyone who just wants to browse the web, students who don’t need special software, and people who work at home only occasionally. If you need a more powerful laptop, take a look at our guide to the best laptops.
At this price, Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops because they’re faster at the things most people use a laptop for. They also tend to have better build quality, longer battery life, and superior screens, keyboards, and trackpads. Chromebooks don’t need antivirus software and don’t come with bloatware (unnecessary, manufacturer-loaded software that clutters the computer and slows it down). If you spend your computing time in a browser—checking email, using Google Docs, watching Netflix, or making Zoom calls—Chrome OS is all you need. But if you need specialized software for work or school, if you want to play Windows-specific games, or if you need to be able to work offline, you’re better off with Windows.
A Windows laptop under $500 can handle basic web browsing, light app use, and media consumption, but not much more. It buckles under a load of running three or four light apps at a time, so it isn’t great for heavy multitasking. Also, a cheap laptop may cost you more in the long term: Compared with an $800 laptop, it will feel worse in everyday use in two years, and you’ll need to replace it sooner. Even $550, if you can swing it, can buy you a faster computer that will last longer.
If you don’t need Windows, if you prefer Apple’s platforms, or if you mostly watch videos and play games, consider an iPad with a keyboard. Compared with a cheap Windows laptop, this combo is snappier when you’re banging out emails, watching movies, or taking notes, and whereas a Chromebook forces you to rely on web apps and Android apps designed for phones, you can find thousands of iPad-optimized apps and games. But an iPad-and-keyboard combo is not a complete replacement for a laptop.
How to find the best Acer laptop
There are several things you should consider when shopping for the best Acer laptop: here’s a good breakdown so that you can be armed with the best information before taking the plunge in buying a laptop.
Q#1: What’s your budget?
Typically, the more money you spend, the more powerful your laptop will be. The build quality will be better, and the display, battery life, and performance will likely be more impressive. However, there are some diamonds in the rough. You don’t always need to aim for a $1,000 to get the best Acer laptop. We suggest aiming for the $700 to $900 range to purchase a laptop that will provide you with buyer’s satisfaction. For example, the Acer Swift 3 listed here is less than $700 and provides better performance than many premium laptops.
Q#2: Do you want a 2-in-1 or a clamshell?
With a 2-in-1, you get to enjoy the luxuries of having both a laptop and a tablet. You can enjoy the display’s touchscreen features, and in some cases, you can use a stylus to add a new layer of fun. However, if you want a lower price and stronger-performing internals, you’ll be better off with a traditional laptop.
Q#3: How much battery life do you need?
Let’s face it — long battery life is awesome! Nothing is worse than your laptop dying on you too quickly. Now if you’re a homebody or you’re tied to a desk all day, maybe battery life is something you can sacrifice. But if you’re an on-the-go traveler, definitely consider laptops with long battery lives. Check out our longest-lasting laptops list.
Q#4: What specs do you need?
Don’t aim for anything less than a Core i5 CPU if you want quality performance. As for storage and memory, aim for 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. As far as screen quality, get a 1080p screen or higher.
If you’re a gamer or content creator, look for a laptop with discreet graphics.
Best Acer Laptop under 500 for you on a tight budget, the options above are the best on the market at such a discounted price. They have all the necessary features that people want in a good laptop and provide users with value for money. You can confidently place orders knowing that you have purchased a great laptop that will serve you for years to come. However, you don’t want to just take the budget into consideration – consider your needs. Maybe you want one to use for drawing, programming, or music production.