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 f them are discounted. Prices may fluctuate over time, but we recommend taking advantage of deals whenever you can. 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 latest AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors, starting with a Ryzen 5 5500U at the base level. That’s a very powerful processor with six cores and 12 threads, and it can boost up to 4GHz, 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 you’ll have to watch your budget when choosing them.

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, and if it fits your budget, that’s the first update we’d recommend. You can also add touch support if you’d like. 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. A lot of 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. A particularly nice one is pale rose gold, simply because it has 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 $419.99, and that’s a very good price for what you get here.

    HP Laptop 15z
    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.

For starters, it comes with Intel’s 11th-generation Tiger Lake processors, and the base configuration includes an Intel Core i5-1135G7. That’s already a powerful CPU featuring four cores, eight threads, and boost speeds up to 4.2GHz. This processor can easily handle all kinds of day-to-day tasks, and it’s made even better by the integrated Iris Xe graphics. There are upgrade options here, though, including an optional NVIDIA GeForce MX350 GPU. However, this will blow past the $500 budget. Aside from that, you get 8GB of RAM as the standard configuration and a 256GB SSD, too. That’s a fantastic combination at this price.

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. There’s one configuration missing in this model, which is the option for a Full HD display with touch support, which the AMD version offers.

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. 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 15 is similar, but different in a few ways compared to its AMD sibling. It’s slightly thicker and heavier, measuring 19.82mm in thickness and starting at 3.86lbs, though it’s not exactly a huge difference. It also comes in a few different colors, including a dark grey version and a warm gold variant that has a dual-tone look, similar to the pale rose gold of the AMD variant.

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 sull-size SD card reader. However, it also adds support for Gigabit Ethernet, giving you a faster way to connect to the internet if your Wi-Fi is unreliable or slow. With the AMD version, you’d need an adapter for a wired internet connection.

While its processors are arguably not as fast and it’s missing some options, the Intel version of the HP Laptop 15 is still one of the best laptops for under $500. It comes with benefits like an Ethernet port and optional NVIDIA Graphics if you can stretch your budget.

    HP Laptop 15t
    This Intel version of the HP Laptop 15 has the latest Tiger lake processors and includes Gigabit Ethernet.

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Best convertible laptop: HP Pavilion x360 11

HP Pavilion x360 11

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 11, which is a tiny laptop that’s still fairly capable.

In terms of performance, it comes with an Intel Pentium Silver N5030 processor, which has four cores and four threads, with boost speeds up to 3.1GHz. This is admittedly a low-power processor, but it can still handle day-to-day tasks like browsing the web, watching videos, or writing up documents. You also get 4GB of RAM – just enough to run Windows 11 – and a 128GB SSD for storage. Again, this isn’t a mind-blowing setup, but it’s good enough for basic use, and the inclusion of an SSD instead of eMMC is great.

As the name suggests, this pavilion x360 comes with an 11.6-inch display, which is much smaller than your typical laptop. 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. This small size is also great for a convertible as it makes the laptop much easier to handle and flip around when needed. It’s also easier to hold with one hand to use as a tablet.

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 a facial recognition.

Being that it’s such a small laptop, the Pavilion x360 11 is also one of the most portable devices on this list. It’s 17.78mm thin, and it weighs just 2.6lbs, making it very easy to carry around anywhere. This laptop only comes in a silver color, so you don’t get customization options as you do with some others.

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 far from the most powerful laptop, the HP Pavilion x360 11 is a great little machine if you value portability and versatility. It can handle day-to-day tasks without much of an issue, and it’s modern enough to support Windows 11.

    HP Pavilion x360 11
    The HP Pavilion x360 11 is an ultrraportable laptop with the versatility of a tablet and an affordable price.

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Best 14-inch laptop: HP Laptop 14

HP Laptop 14 on green background

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. Unsurprisingly called the HP Laptop 14, this is a more portable but still capable version of the laptops at the top of this list, and it’s still one of the best options for under $500.

Starting with performance, the HP Laptop 14 comes with Intel’s 11th-generation Core processors, this time starting with the lower-end Core i3-1115G4. This model has two cores and four threads, and it can boost up to 4.1GHz to handle day-to-day tasks. There are upgrade options available with a Core i5, but you’ll have to watch your budget. Regardless, this is still a solid entry-level processor. On a brighter note, you still get 8GB of RAM by default, as well as a 256GB SSD, making this a solid laptop overall.

The display is very much in line with what we’ve seen from other laptops on this list. It’s a 14-inch panel this time, but the base configuration is the same 1366 x 768 resolution as most other laptops on this list. Again, the upgrade to Full HD is recommended, and at the current price, it’s still within the budget. What you can’t do get is get a Full HD touch screen, as the touch option is only available with the standard HD display.

Once again, the webcam is a 720p webcam, which means it’s usable for video calls, but not ideal. It’s also not a Windows Hello camera, and there’s no fingerprint sensor onboard either. This is all standard for laptops in this price range (HP or not), and it’s the best you’ll get for under $500.

Moving on to the design, the HP Laptop 14 is once again a very standard-looking laptop. It’s a plastic laptop, and it’s fairly thin and light, measuring 18.03mm and weighing 3.24lbs. That makes it a bit easier to carry than some of the larger laptops. It seems that most of HP’s laptops have at least one unique color option available, and in this case, it’s “indigo blue”. You can also get it in black or silver, but I’m a big supporter of more unique colors, personally.

Aside from aesthetics, the HP Laptop 14 comes with a solid supply of ports, although they’re distributed in a very uneven way. On the right side, there’s one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, HDM, a headphone jack, and the barrel charging port. Meanwhile, the left side only has the full-size SD card reader, which is certainly an odd decision. Depending on the peripherals you try to connect, you may have trouble using all the available ports since they’re all packed together.

Despite that, this is a solid 14-inch laptop, and it gives you a more portable, but still solid experience.

    HP Laptop 14
    This 14-inch HP laptop 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

HP Laptop 17 on blue 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 17t 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 Athlon 3150U, which is a fairly basic processor. It has two cores and four threads, and it can boost up to 3.3GHz. However, because the laptop is very cheap right now, you can upgrade to a Ryzen 5 5300U, with double the cores and threads, plus faster clock speeds, and still be within the budget. There are also further upgrades if you can afford it. 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.

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. There’s no Windows Hello support of any kind, either, whether that’s with facial recognition or a fingerprint sensor.

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 19.82mm is still fairly thin for an affordable laptop of this size. Like most other laptops on this list, the HP Laptop 17 comes in black or silver, as well as two other colors. One is evening blue and the other is “snowflake white”, and they’re both a bit more unique if you want something that looks different.

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 solid performance and a large screen that can be a big help for multitasking and productivity in general.

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

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Best Chromebook: HP Chromebook x360 14

HP Chromebook x360 14 on purple background

Chromebooks have become increasingly popular devices in recent years, and they’re especially prominent in an affordable price range like this. Chrome OS is a very lightweight operating system, so it runs well even on low-end hardware, and it’s also cheaper to license than Windows. That means many Chromebooks can sometimes have features you wouldn’t find on an equivalent Windows laptop. One of the best Chrome OS laptops HP makes is definitely the Chromebook x360 14, and right now, it’s available for under $500.

In terms of performance, the HP Chromebook x360 14 comes packing an Intel Core i3-1125G4, and that’s a quad-core, eight-thread CPU that can boost up to 3.7GHz. This is a big step up from the more common Core i3-1115G4, featuring double the cores and threads, so it’s a much better processor than you may initially think. On top of that, you get 8GB of RAM and a minimum of 128GB of SSD storage. Paired with a lightweight system like Chrome OS, this should make for a very snappy experience across the board.

The display is one area where the HP Chromebook x360 really stands out from the pack. Not only is it a convertible, meaning you get touch support and a glass screen, it’s also Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080). Almost all the laptops on this list give you the option to get a Full HD display, but you have to pay extra for it, and it rarely includes touch support. Here, you get everything, and it’s all standard. It still maxes out at 250 nits in brightness, so it won’t be the best outdoors, but this is still a fantastic display.

However, the camera is still in line with  what other laptops on this list offer It’s a 720p camera, so it’s good enough for basic use, but not fantastic. Chrome OS doesn’t support advanced facial recognition as Windows does, so that’s not included either, but this is the only laptop so far that includes a fingerprint reader. This makes it much easier to unlock the laptop without having to type in a PIN every time.

As for the rest of the design, this is also one of the most modern-looking laptops on this list. It measures 16.51mm in thickness, and it weighs 3.35lbs, which isn’t bad at all for a 14-inch convertible. On the other hand, unlike most other laptops on this list, there aren’t any color options for this one. It’s a somewhat dark silver tone, and that’s the only option you get.

Finally, we come to the ports, and this is another area where this laptop is more modern than others on this list. It has two USB Type-C ports, but these ones actually support power delivery and display output, and it’s actually the default method for charging. You also get one USB Type-A port, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. The absence of HDMI is a bit of a bummer as you’ll need a USB-C, but that’s not uncommon with many thin laptops nowadays.

Overall, this is one of the best laptops on this list in many ways. It has a sharp display, solid performance all around, and even some niceties like a fingerprint reader. For under $500, this is one of the best laptops HP makes.

    HP Chromebook x360 14
    The HP Chromebook x360 14 has a Full HD touchscreen and solid performance for all kinds of day-to-day tasks.

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Best Chromebook clamshell: HP Chromebook 14b

HP Chromebook 14b on gray background

If you don’t want a convertible and you’d rather have a simple clamshell Chromebook, then the HP Chromebook 14b is another great choice. It’s not as capable as the convertible we mentioned above, but it also has a lower base price, and it still has some advantages over many of the Windows laptops on this list.

Powering the HP Chromebook 14b is an AMD Athlon Silver 3050C, which is a relatively low-end processor with two cores and two threads and boost speeds up to 3.7GHz. This isn’t a very powerful processor by any means, but it should do the job fine if you’re running Chrome OS. You also get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, and once again, that should be fine for use with a Chrome OS laptop. It is a bit disappointing to not see an SSD being used instead, but this should still offer a solid experience.

The display is a highlight for this laptop, too. Just like the convertible above, this Chromebook comes with a Full HD (1920 x 1080) panel by default, and that means images and text will look crisp and clear. It also supports touch, even though you can’t rotate the screen around. Like every other screen we’ve looked at so far, though, it maxes out at 250 nits of brightness, so that’s something to keep in mind if you want to use it outdoors.

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. There’s no infrared-based facial recognition since Chrome OS doesn’t support it, but 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 Chromebook 14b is very close to the convertible above. It’s just as thick, measuring 16.51mm, and it weighs roughly the same 3.35lbs, too. In fact, HP says the dimensions are the exact same across the two models. It also comes in a plain dark silver color, and you can’t choose anything else, which is common with many of HP’s Chromebooks.

As for ports, the HP Chromebook 14b is packing. You get two USB Type-C ports – both with power delivery and DisplayPort – two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, and a headphone jack. 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.

While it’s not up there in terms of performance, the HP Chromebook 14b has some strong points that make it one of the best choices if you want an HP laptop for under $500.

    HP Chromebook 14b
    The HP Chromebook 14b is a clamshell laptop with a Full HD touchscreen and solid connectivity options.

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Best for young students: HP Chromebook 11 G8 Education Edition

HP Chromebook 11 G8 on 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 11 G8 Education Edition is one of the best, offering solid performance and a durable design.

Starting with the internal specs, we have an Intel Celeron N4020 processor powering the experience on the Chromebook 11 G8. This is a fairly low-end processor with two cores, two threads, and boost speeds up to 2.8GHz, but it should be good enough for a young child to do basic tasks on it, especially running Chrome OS. 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 as sharp as some of the more expensive Chromebooks on this list, but considering the size of this screen, that shouldn’t be much of a problem. 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. And unlike the bigger laptops, there isn’t a fingerprint sensor, either, so you’ll have to type in your password to unlock the laptop.

Coming around to the design, it becomes obvious that the HP Chromebook 11 is designed for younger children. It has a rugged design with bumpers all around the edges and corners reinforced with metal so it survives 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 18.8mm in thickness and 2.91lbs, it’s still very 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 fairly solid selection here, especially considering the size of this laptop. You get two USB Type-C ports with power delivery and DisplayPort, two USB Type-A ports, a microSD card reader, and a headphone jack. That covers quite a few needs, and while the lack of HDMI may be an issue to some, it’s not a likely use case for the audience for this laptop. It also makes sense considering the laptop itself is small.

It may not make sense for everyone, but the HP Chromebook 11 G8 is a solid laptop for younger children to use at school and for entertainment.

    HP Chromebook 11 G8 Education Edition
    The HP Chromebook 11 G8 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

Kunal Khullar
Kunal Khullar

PC building enthusiast currently exploring the gaming industry. My love for tech began at an early age and I also have a keen interest in photography, music, PUBG Mobile, automobiles and a knack for keeping things clean. Email: [email protected]