These are the best HP laptops under $500

These are the best HP laptops under $500

HP is one of the leading global laptop manufacturers catering to a wide range of audiences, including enterprise users, gamers, mainstream consumers, as well as creative professionals. At the same time, the company has a good range of laptops that can keep up with your daily needs without costing thousands of dollars. To help you find the right one, we’ve rounded up the best HP laptops you can buy for under $500. If you’re not only interested in HP and you have a slightly higher budget, you may want to check out our list of the best cheap laptops, too.

From entry-level Windows laptops to fully-loaded Chromebooks, there are quite a few options in HP’s lineup. Mind you, these won’t be on par with the most expensive laptops the company makes, but they can certainly get you by. Before we start, we do have to point out that these laptops are all under $500 at writing time, but many of them are discounted. Prices may fluctuate over time, but we recommend taking advantage of deals whenever you can, because that’s usually the only way you can get a truly good experience in this price range. Let’s get into the list.

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Best overall laptop: HP Laptop 15z

HP Laptop 15 2021

Beyond the well-known Spectre, Envy, and Pavilion series, HP makes a ton of laptops that are simply called “HP Laptop”. If you’re looking to buy one of these, the HP Laptop 15t is likely your best option, as it offers great value for the under $500.

Starting with performance, the HP Laptop 15z is powered by the AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors, starting with a Ryzen 5 5625U at the base level. That’s a very powerful processor with six cores and 12 threads, and it can boost up to 4.3GHz, which is very impressive. In addition to that, you get 8GB of RAM as the standard configuration, and the base storage is a 128GB SSD. That’s frankly fantastic for a laptop at this price, and it makes this a great choice for just about any task. There are upgrade options, but most of them will push you past the $500 mark.

Compared to the more expensive laptops, the display is one area where you’ll often see corners being cut with cheap laptops like this. The HP Laptop 15z comes with a 15.6-inch display and it has HD resolution (1366 x 768). That’s the standard when it comes to laptops in this price range, and you’ll see it a lot throughout this list. You do get the option to upgrade to a Full HD panel for just $10, though, and we’d absolutely recommend doing that if you can. You can also add touch support if your budget can stretch that far. The display reaches up to 250 nits of brightness, so it should be fine for indoor use, but it will struggle under sunlight.

Another trend we’re going to be seeing a lot in this list is 720p webcams. Some premium laptops still use cameras with this resolution, too, so it’s not surprising at all to see it here. It’s good enough for basic video calls and classes, and that’s all you should expect. You can always buy an external webcam later down the line.

Of course, the design is also not particularly interesting, but it’s about what you’d expect, too. This is a plastic laptop, and while that means it’s not super premium, at least you get a few color options to choose from. The pale rose gold or spruce blue models are particularly interesting, simply because they have a dual-tone look with the inside still being silver-colored. You can also get it in fully silver or black options. Laptops have thankfully been getting thinner and lighter, and this one measures just over 18mm in thickness and weighs 3.75lbs. That’s not too bad for a 15-inch laptop, especially an affordable one like this.

As for ports, the HP Laptop 15z does a great job of covering the basics. You get one USB Type-C port, two USB Tye-A ports, HDMI 1.4b, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD card reader. This should allow you to connect almost anything you might want to the laptop, though it’s not the most modern setup. For many users, though, it’s probably better than many premium laptops that only have Thunderbolt ports. The laptop charges with a proprietary barrel port, not USB Type-C.

Overall, this is a fantastic laptop if you want something affordable and capable. It has a large screen with space for multi-tasking and the internal specs can keep up with it. There are some updates we’d recommend making if you can afford it, but either way, this is one of HP’s best laptops for under $500. At least, as long as it’s on sale. It’s currently discounted to $449.99, and that’s a very good price for what you get here, plus you can get a couple of upgrades without breaking our barrier.

    The HP Laptop 15z is a very capable laptop with AMD's latest Ryzen processors and solid specs all around.

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Great Intel alternative: HP Laptop 15t

HP Laptop 15

If you like the idea of the HP Laptop 15z but you don’t like AMD processors, HP also gives you a solid Intel-based alternative. This is essentially a very similar laptop, but it does have some notable differences in the configuration, and it actually has newer processors from Intel’s 12th-generation, which is very rare in this price range.

The reason we still recommend the AMD model first is that even though the processors are newer, you can only fit the Intel Core i3-1215U in the $500 budget, which has just 6 cores and eight threads. It’s still going to give you a solid experience for the most part, but the AMD model is going to be a bit faster. Regardless, this processor can easily handle all kinds of day-to-day tasks. Aside from that, you get 8GB of RAM as the standard configuration and a 256GB SSD, too, which is actually a big improvement over the AMD model. 128GB of storage is fine at this price point, but it isn’t a lot, so this is very nice to have.

Similar to the AMD variant, the HP Laptop 15t comes with an HD (1366 x 768) display by default, which isn’t amazing. However, you do get the option to upgrade to a Full HD panel, which we’d recommend if your budget can accommodate it as it is much sharper. Aside from that, the display hits up to 250 nits of brightness just like the AMD version, too. In fact, all the display options are the same as the AMD model, including the ability to add touch support, if your budget allows it.

The webcam is also very much the same as the one on the AMD version of this laptop. It’s a 720p camera like all the other ones on this list, but HP does tout temporal noise reduction, so it might have slightly better image quality. There’s no Windows Hello support of any kind, either, and again, that’s something every laptop on this list will fall victim to.

Design-wise, the HP Laptop 15t is nearly identical to the AMD sibling, having the same overall size and weight. The only difference are the color options available, meaning it comes in silver or snow flake white. The latter model is still silver on the inside, but the outside is white, which makes it a bit more unique compared to most other laptops.

As for ports, this is one area where the Intel version comes out on top. It has all the same ports – one USB Type-C, two USB Type-A, HDMI 1.4b, headphone jack, and a full-size SD card reader. In almost every way except the processor and colors, this is the same laptop as the AMD version, and that’s not a bad thing.

While its processors are arguably not as fast, the Intel version of the HP Laptop 15 is still one of the best laptops for under $500. It’s got modern specs, a larger SSD, and a unique color option you can’t get with the AMD model, so there are certainly good reasons to choose this one instead.

    This Intel version of the HP Laptop 15 has the latest Alder lake processors and comes in different colors.

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Best convertible laptop: HP Pavilion x360 14

HP pavilion x360 14 on orange background

Finding a convertible in this price range is a bit difficult, especially outside of discounts and sales. If you want a convertible that costs under $500 right now, your best option is the HP Pavilion x360 14, which is a very capable laptop with the obvious benefit of having a convertible form factor.

In terms of performance, it comes with an Intel Core i3-1125G4 processor, which has four cores and eight threads, with boost speeds up to 3.7GHz. While is is a Core i3 model, it’s important to note that it’s not the same model you might find in other laptops, which would have half the cores and threads. This is still very much a capable processor that’s going to handle day-to-day tasks just fine for the most part. You also get 8GB of RAM and a large 256GB SSD for storage, so you’re honestly getting a pretty sweet deal for this price point.

As the name suggests, this pavilion x360 comes with a 14-inch display, and it comes in HD (1366 x 768) resolution, just like the laptops above. . However, this does have some benefits. For example, the standard HD resolution (1366 x 768) is much more suited for a small screen like this, so it’s not as big of a problem that it’s not Full HD. Upgrading to Full HD costs $40, and again,, we’d definitely recommend doing it if you can. Since it’s a convertible, both panels support touch, so that’s something you don’t have to worry about configuring.

For the webcam, as usual, we’re looking at a 720p camera, which does the job for video calls and classes, but it won’t make you look your best. There’s also no Windows Hello support, whether that’s with a fingerprint reader or facial recognition.

Design-wise, the Pavilion x360 14 is a bit more unique compared to the laptops we’ve seen so far, mostly because it uses a more modern design language, with smaller bezels around the display and more of a squared-off look compared to the curvy design of the laptops above. It’s thicker and heavier than those models, though, measuring 20.57mm in thickness and weighing 3.33lbs. That’s not terribly surprising considering it’s a convertible, but it’s worth noting.

Finally, we have ports, and there’s a decent supply overall for a laptop of this size. You get one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a microSD card reader, and a headphone jack. There’s also a proprietary barrel charger port since the Type-C port can’t charge the laptop. That port setup is in line with some larger laptops, so it’s not bad at all for this price.

While it’s not most powerful laptop, the HP Pavilion x360 14 is a great machine that still delivers very solid performance and has a nice-looking design. Considering ti has the additional perk of being a convertible, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best HP laptops you can buy right now.

    The HP Pavilion x360 14 is a deently powerful laptop with solid specs and the versatility of a convertible.

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Best tablet: HP Tablet 11

HP tablet in portrait mode on desk

The HP Pavilion x360 14 can be used as a tablet, yes, but what if you want a true tablet? Say hello to the HP Tablet 11, one of the few HP tablets that runs Windows 11. It’s a very portable device with a nice display while still being very affordable, and it’s very easy to recommend.

Performance-wise, the HP Tablet 11 isn’t quite on the same level as other laptops on this list, but that’s not to say it’s bad, either. It’s powered by an Intel Pentium Silver N6000 processor, which has four cores, four threads, and boost speeds up to 3.3GHz. It’s admittedly not as fast as other CPUs we’ve seen so far, but you do get 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, which gives you the right specs to get at least a solid experience with Windows 11.

What is the focus of this tablet is the display. It’s an 11-inch panel, and it comes in a tall 3:2 aspect ratio, which is ideal for tablets like this. It means it’s taller in landscape mode so you have more space for content on the screen, but it’s wider in portrait mode, which makes it a bit more usable. It’s also a very sharp panel, with 2.1K (2160 x 1440) resolution, which is much sharper than you’d expect from a cheap tablet. It also reaches 400 nits of brightness and covers 100% of sRGB, so you can use it outdoors and watch content on it with solid color reproduction.

Something else that’s very interesting about this laptop is the webcam. The HP Tablet 11 only has one camera, but it’s a camera that can rotate around so it’s pointing in front or behind the computer. It’s a 13MP sensor, which is far better than you’ll find in the majority of laptops at any price point, let alone this cheap. And that rotating mechanism is even more unique. Sadly, it still doesn’t have Windows Hello facial recognition, but the tablet does have a fingerprint reader, so that’s an advantage over most laptops on this list.

Design-wise, the HP Tabler 11 is the most portable device on this list. By itself, it’s just 8.13mm thin and it weighs 1.32lbs. When you add the soft front cover and kickstand cover, it goes up to 17.02mm and 2.32lbs, but it’s still lighter than anything else on this list. It also looks very different from the other laptops here, with a modern design with flat surfaces, so it actually looks very nice.

Being a tablet, ports are extremely limited compared to a regular laptop. All you get here is a USB Type-C port along with two Pogo pin connector, which are used for the detachable keyboard. There’s also a microSD card reader for storage expansion, though, and you can always use a USB-C hub if you need more ports.

The HP Tablet 11 is less about performance and more about offering a good experience, and it does that pretty well. With a sharp and bright display, solid specs, a great webcam, and a portable design, we have no trouble saying this is one of the best laptops HP makes under $500. And it’s one of the cheapest, too, at least with the ongoing discount.

    The HP Tablet 11 is a sleek tablet with a great display and webcam that's perfect for browsing the web and other basic tasks.

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Best 14-inch clamshell laptop: HP Pavilion 14

HP Pavilion 14-ec0023nr

If you want something a bit more portable than a 15-inch laptop but not overly small, HP also makes a great 14-inch laptop. The HP Pavilion 14 is a solid laptop with a relatively modern design and capable specs, and it’s a bit more portable than the larger options on this list.

Starting with performance, the HP Pavilion 14 comes with an AMD Ryzen 5  5500U, which is a fairly fast processor with 6 cores and 12 threads, capable of boosting up to 4GHz. That’s still a fairly fast processor for most kinds of day-to-day tasks. That’s backed up by 8GB of RAM, as well as a 256GB SSD, making this a solid laptop overall. There actually aren’t any configuration options available for these specs, but frankly, you’re getting a solid experience already, so you won’t need much more.

The display is a 14-inch panel, as you’d expect, but since there are no configuration options available, what you get is a Full HD panel. This is great news since many of the other laptops require you to pay extra, and it ensures you’re getting a great experience without having to worry about that at all. It’s still not a super bright display, reaching 250 nits, but at least it’s sharp and it should look great for indoor use.

Once again, we’re looking at a 720p webcam, which means it’s usable for video calls, but not amazing. It’s also not a Windows Hello camera, but at least this model does include a fingerprint reader, which gives it an advantage over most other laptops on this list.

Moving on to the design, the HP Pavilion 14 has one of the more modern-looking designs on this list, with its smaller bezels and more square-ish look. This model only comes in silver, so you don’t have any options to change how it looks, but to be fair, silver is the most popular colorway for laptops. At 3.11lbs of weight and 17mm of thickness, the HP Pavilion 14 isn’t impressively light, but it’s easy enough to carry around.

Aside from aesthetics, the HP Pavilion 14 comes with a solid supply of ports. On the right side, there’s one USB Type-C port, one USB Type-A port, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. Meanwhile, the left side only has a second USB Type-A port and a headphone jack. Depending on the peripherals you try to connect, you may have trouble using all the available ports since they’re all packed together.

While you don’t get a ton of ways to make this laptop your own, the configuration you get by default is already very good. If you’re shopping for a laptop under $500, this is definitely one of the best options from HP.

    The 1HP Pavilion 14 is a solid choice if you want solid performance in a portable package for less than $500.

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Best 17-inch laptop: HP Laptop 17z

Angled view of the HP Laptop 17z over red and orange background

If you’re on the opposite side of the spectrum and you want as large of a screen as possible for under $500, then the HP Laptop 17z is the best option for you. This is an AMD-powered laptop, and it’s available in a wide range of configurations so you can adjust it to your budget.

Starting with performance, the HP Laptop 17z starts with an AMD Ryzen 5626U, which is a fairly powerful processor with 6 cores, 12 threads, and boost speeds up to 4.3GHz. You can upgrade to a Ryzen 7 model, though that goes well past the $500 budget.  On top of that, by default you get a 128GB SSD for storage and 8GB of RAM, which ensure you’ll be able to run your daily apps without any issues. This is a great setup, especially for a 17-inch laptop in this price range.

Because of the significantly bigger display, the base configuration here actually has a slightly higher resolution than other laptops on the list. HP calls it HD+, which equates to 1600 x 900 resolution. This helps the display look a bit better considering it’s significantly bigger, but if you can afford it, we still recommend the upgrade to Full HD (1920 x 1080). One thing to note is that if you want touch support, you can’t go for the Full HD resolution.

To no one’s surprise, the HP Laptop 17 still includes a 720p webcam, which is the minimum allowed for a Windows laptop these days, though it does ahve temporal noise reduction, which should improve image quality a bit. No Windows Hello facial recognition is supported, as per usual, but you do gat a fingerprint reader, which is very nice to have.

As for the design, this is naturally one of the least portable laptops on this list, as you’d expect from a device with a 17-inch screen. It weighs 4.58lbs, so it’s certainly not a very light laptop, but 19.81mm is still fairly thin for an affordable laptop of this size. The HP Laptop 17 comes in black, silver, or white colorways, so you can choose what fits your preference the best. All of these are fairly subdued, but they’re unique enough to make a difference.

As for ports, the HP Laptop 17z is packed with a decent supply of them, though it could also be better. It has a similar basic port setup as most of the laptops on this list, including one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, and a headphone jack. However, it’s missing an SD card reader of any kind, and there’s no Ethernet either, even though there should be more than enough space for it. Also, most of these ports are on the same side of the laptop, barring one USB Type-A port and the proprietary barrel charger port.

Despite those odd decisions with the ports, this is still your best option if you want a 17-inch HP laptop for under $500. You get pretty good performance and a large screen that can be a big help for multitasking and productivity in general.

    The HP Laptop 17z gives you solid performance and a large screen that's great for multitasking.

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Best Chromebook: HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook

Front view of the HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook over a pink background

If you’re looking at cheap laptops, you’re bound to see a lot of Chromebooks, and we couldn’t go without mentioning a couple that you might like. The HP Pro c640 G2 is likely the best cheap Chromebook the company makes right now.

Powering the HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook is an Intel Core i3-1125G4 processor, and while that doesn’t sound impressive, we have to mention again that this isn’t your entry-level Core i3. This processor still has four cores and eight threads, and it can boost up to 3.7GHz, so it gives you very solid performance, especially with a lightweight operating system like Chrome OS. On top of that, you get 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, and that combination makes this a decidedly great Chrome OS laptop. It’s not premium, but it’s certainly very capable when you compare it to most other Chromebooks.

The display is a bit of a downside for this laptop, however, being a 14-inch HD (1366 x 768) panel. This really isn’t very high resolution, and while a 14-inch display can mask it a bit better than a larger panel would, it’s not terribly sharp. Still, it’s certainly usable, and it’s not that different from other laptops on this list.

We’re getting a bit repetitive with this, but once again, the webcam is 720p, and it should be decent for video calls, though not ideal. It has a physical privacy cover if you’re worried about people spying on you, but there’s no infrared-based facial recognition since Chrome OS doesn’t support it. However, you do have a fingerprint sensor making it easy to sign into the laptop whenever you need to use it. It’s significantly more convenient than typing in a password or PIN every time.

Design-wise, the HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook is about what you might expect, but it does have a benefit over most laptops on this list in that it’s made from aluminum. It helps this device feel more premium, and the design itself is fairly modern, aside from the unsightly plastic bezels around the screen. It measures 16.5mm thick and it weighs 3.26lbs, which isn’t overly light, but it makes sense for a metal laptop.

As for ports, the HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook is packing. You get two USB Type-C ports – both with power delivery and DisplayPort – two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. USB Type-C is the main charging method here, and as a bonus, the ports are evenly distributed on both sides of the laptop, so you should be able to plug in easily anywhere and use any peripherals you want.

Overall, the HP pro c640 covers most of the basics, with really solid specs for this price along with a slightly more premium design that includes a lot of ports and even a fingerprint reader. The display could be better, but this is still worthy of being considered one of the best HP laptops for under $500.

    The HP Pro c640 G2 Chrome is a clamshell laptop with very solid performance and a modern design.

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Best for young students: HP Chromebook 11 G9 Education Edition

Angled rear view of the HP Chromebook 11MK G9 Education Edition over a bright pink background

Chromebooks are especially popular among students, particularly younger children, so of course, HP has a few devices for that crowd, too. Among them, the HP Chromebook 11MK G9 Education Edition is one of the best, offering solid performance and a durable design.

Starting with the internal specs, we have a MediaTek MT8183 processor, the first and only Arm-based processor on this list. This is a processor with 8 cores and 8 threads, and it an boost up to 2GHz, which should result in decent performance overall for this price. Plus, Arm processors are generally pretty efficient, so battery life should be pretty good here too. You also get an impressive 8GB of RAM, making the multi-tasking experience that much better. There’s 32GB of eMMC storage, which isn’t impressive, but with Chrome OS being an operating system that heavily relies on the internet, it should be fine.

The display is a small 11.6-inch panel, and it comes in HD resolution (1366 x 768). That’s not super sharp, but considering this is a small 11-inch screen, it’s much more suitable than it would be on a 14-inch panel like the laptop above. It’s also worth noting that it’s not as bright, hitting a slightly lower 220 nits compared to the 250 nits of other laptops on this list.

Similar to other laptops on this list, the webcam is 720p, and just like every other laptop here, there’s no IR-based facial recognition. There’s also no fingerprint reader here, so biometric authentication isn’t possible at all.

Coming around to the design, it becomes obvious that the HP Chromebook 11MK is designed for younger children. It has a rugged design with bumpers all around the edges and corners so it can withstand some hard drops and bumps. On top of that, the keyboard is designed to resist liquid spills and any attempts to remove the keys, so even the most curious children can’t break it easily. At 18.88mm in thickness and 2.95lbs of weights, it’s still decently portable, albeit a bit chunky compared to some other 11-inch laptops. That’s a tradeoff for this durable design.

As for ports, there’s a decent selection, albeit not overly impressive. You get one USB Type-C port with power delivery and DisplayPort, one USB Type-A port, a microSD card reader, and a headphone jack. That covers a few use cases, but it’s not exactly expansive, and t’s a downgrade from its predecessor. Still, the audience for these laptops likely won’t have a ton of peripherals, so this is fine.

It may not make sense for everyone, but the HP Chromebook 11 G9 is a solid laptop for younger children to use at school and for entertainment.

    The HP Chromebook 11K G9 is a durable laptop with decent performance for young students.

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These are some of the best HP laptops that are available for under $500. Out of the above, we chose the HP Laptop 15 to be the best overall pick because of the fantastic performance you get even in the base models as well as the solid selection of ports on offer. As usual, all the Windows laptops we recommend are either shipping with Windows 11 or can be upgraded after the fact. The Windows 11 upgrade is free, so you can do it without a problem.

If you want to expand your options, we have a separate list of the best cheap HP laptops with a more flexible budget, which has a bit more variety. And if budget isn’t a problem for you, check out our list of the very best laptops you can buy right now, or even the best laptops with 5G if you want to be on the bleeding edge of tech.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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