The best laptops available for under $500 as of 2015 are the ASUS EeeBook X205TA, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 and the Acer Aspire E5-471-59RT, according to LaptopMag.com. The EeeBook and Aspire laptops run Windows 8, while the Chromebook uses Google's lightweight Chrome OS.
The ASUS EeeBook X205TA is considered one of the best laptops ever at its price point of $200. It features an 11-inch screen, a 1.7-gigahertz Intel CPU and 2 gigabytes of onboard RAM. This laptop has 32 gigabytes of local flash storage, but this is augmented by a full terabyte of cloud storage provided by the manufacturer. Its light weight of only 2.16 pounds and long battery life make it an excellent choice for those seeking an extremely portable computer for basic tasks.
The Toshiba Chromebook 2 is an attractive, lightweight laptop that is designed in a style reminiscent of Apple's MacBook laptops. It is more expensive than some other products using Chrome OS, but the extra price helps cover amenities, such as the model's 13-inch Full HD display and upgraded Skullcandy speakers. The major drawback of this device is that, like all Chrome OS models, it is essentially useless without a network connection.
Acer's Aspire E5-471-59RT has a retail price of just below $500, but it is one of the most powerful laptops available for that price. It features an Intel i5 processor and a 14-inch display. The Aspire also has an impressive battery life of 8 hours, making it a good choice if computing power and longevity are major requirements.