Ok... Last computer Q I promise

So, to you guys, I must sound like a stupid broken record asking you guys computer question on YYE, instead of simply googling these things.

However, I beg to differ! And the reasons:

  1. All my previous Qs involved me saving money and setting the cp as the goal. And well… I don’t really have a steady income, and tend to have actual needs for the money that come up (real needs, not like a soda)
  2. I finally conjured a couple hundred by dog sitting for a week! So basically I’ll combine that money with Christmas money to buy a laptop!

So… My q is:
What’s the best laptop you can buy for no more than $500…
And I DID google this, however I found a lot of very confusing, non straight forward, marketing scam ridden, answers

And I trust you guys!

So thanks for your help, and feel free to throw in a couple higher than $500 answers, but that’s probably gonna be my limit.


What do you want to use the computer for? Gaming, work, music, just going on Facebook/YYE.

All of the above :smiley:

And I figure that’s not “totally” possible for my budget, however, I need a nice balance. I want it to be able to handle games (probably simpler ones), and itunes, and browsing like no ones business, so, yeah. just the all around best

But if I had to sacrifice something it would probably be gaming. Since currently minecraft is my only pc game I regularly play. So just something powerful enough for mc

$500 is hard to get a decent laptop, without breaking the budget.

You don’t need much ram to run mine craft, so 8gb is MORE than enough.

Get a low 500gb hard drive. It will save some money and if you ever needed more get an external.

Graphics card does not matter since you are not gaming.

Processor- depends on laptop

I would say to get azus. It’s a mid to upper brand as far as what you are going to get for your money. Get a small screen 17inch to keep cost down.

Let me see what I can scavenge up online and I will get back to you.

I don’t know how mine craft works with servers and how it is run since I am a xbox guy, but I love chrome books. Super cheap, solid hard drive and amazing processor. They just are very limited to what you can do. That solid hard drive though…

First things first, even if you aren’t gaming, I would still look into getting a budget gaming laptop.  Here’s why:

-In 95% of cases, adding a discrete GPU (Graphics card) and going back a little on your processor will give a large boost to performance.  Exceptions are basically 3d modelling, rendering, photo editing (Not video editing) and poorly coded programs.
-You have the ability to game if you want to

Here’s one that looks good on paper.  The AMD A8 should kill the i3 (Probably the best intel processor you’d get for <$500) in pretty much anything that supports more than 2 cores.  If it doesn’t, there shouldn’t be much of a difference anyways.  The 4GB of RAM is enough, and pretty good for a cheap laptop (If you absolutely need more, you could probably fit 8GB in without any trouble).  The ATI Radeon 7640G Mobile GPU is decent for a low end card, and should be more than enough for your purposes.  If you decide you do want to pick up gaming in the future, this card will let you scrape by for a few years.

Link for a few good laptops around $500.

if you want a really good laptop for the price that your looking for check the website wooters my dad bought his laptop there retail value would have been about $900 when he got It for about $400 on the website. also what do you want to do On the laptop because that can determine how much RAM you would need and what type of graphics and how many Gigabytes you would need. Like me I am searching for a personal laptop since i am a 4-H secretary I need to save up for one because I need a laptop I am able to type on aside from the school one I have. cause that one is taken away during the summer because the school owns it. So I would need one with more memory and more ram because I could care less about graphics.

Wow thanks! I’m actually looking at the one you posted a link to! It’s like $309 refurbished!

And if I add a cheaper GPU it’d be a total boss!

And Abby: I know. There’s a lot if things that I realize I don’t put in the op, but I figured that at such a budget price, there’d only be “so much” that would fit in that range. So I figured there’d be a “this is the best for the price”, but it seems that there’s quite a bit of variation (in quality to price ratio) from place to place.

Also, how’s the chromebook? Like the new $200 one? Would it only be good for just casual browsing? Or could it handle light gaming?

A Chromebook is not really good for anything other than web browsing, especially the $200 ones. They wont handle anything well at all. My 7 year old gaming PC would probably run it better.

good to know! I was trying to tell my folks this, because they were like “but Daniel, it’s so cheap, and it called a laptop… So… Just get that!”.

Haha, and I was like: “no… I must consult my fellow throwers about this matter… They shan’t lead me astray… And the chromebook probably stinks”

I might as well ask here so I don’t clog up the board…

I play this one game, and its at least 1GB+ to play. And for the HD graphics and stuff its lags on a Dell Inspiron (new ish, 2011 maybe)…

So yeah… That game, and papers, photos…

1GB? That must be a small game. Most games these days are at least 8GB…

Or maybe the addon was 1gb Lol…

Okay 1-5 GB game any suggestions.

Not much. Scribblenauts Unlimited is the only recent one I can think of. Like I said, most games are >8GB.

First off, I work at Best Buy and you can easily get an i5 for around $500 right now, with 6-8gb of ram and a 500gb+ hdd. If you are lucky you can find a floor model or open box and save a few bucks.

Just my 2 cents… You don’t need anything crazy. As stated above, an i3 or a8 will suffice but you can easily get those for $300-400 and can find a few i5 laptops for your budget.

Also, bcmaddog, you probably would want something similar to the OP. Realistically most dell inspirons are not the best out there and are on the lower end of the performance spectrum. Plus, just about anything on sale these days is gonna be the same if not better than the specs of a laptop from 2011

It’s not that easy to find an i5 laptop with 6+ GB or RAM for <$500. A large majority of your <$350 models still use PENTIUMS. Not even Core 2’s. Also, pretty much every single laptop with an i5 in it right now is AT LEAST $500. That is the absolute max of his budget. An i3 would offer the same performance in just about every application (Excluding the most absolute resource hogs), and a dedicated Graphics card will significantly improve performance in Minecraft and other games (The laptop I linked to is actually able to play Crysis 3), as well as just about anything that deals with graphics (Rendering, Photoshop, Digital Drawing, 3d modeling, CAD, etc…).

Please don’t take offense to what I’m going to say; working at Best Buy qualifies you for pretty much nothing in the tech world (I know there are exceptions). Generally in my experiences with Best Buy (and other big box tech stores), the workers have very limited product knowledge, and often do not understand the differences in the products they sell. In fact, one time my sister went to go pick up a USB Bluetooth dongle for me at CompUSA/TigerDirect and the salesmen kept trying to sell her USB WiFi Adapters. Only one guy in the store knew what it actually was.

Again, don’t take it as an insult, but most computer guys take electronic salesmans’ opinions with a grain of salt.

I hear a lot of truth in what both you guys are saying.

I was in sam’s club earlier, and saw an Acer 15.6 touch NB 8gb memory/1TB HDD for $599. So that combined with a with a discount or something, probably would be even cheaper!

So, I’ll probably look for something newer, and refurbished/on sale. While yours is way cheaper (and may even end up with what I’ll be getting), it wouldn’t hurt to save a little longer, and see if I can get some hater money to pay the difference :smiley:

Something I forgot to add; many cheap laptops have absolute junk chipsets. So while it may boast an i5, the motherboard in the computer is absolute garbage and wastes that power.

I see! So, what brands would you suggest to not buying (just in general)? I mean, the Acer was a supposed “$100” off, so it’s original price was “$699”, makin it more trustworthy, right?

Also, is when I go researching what other than the “memory” and “RAM” should I look for?
I’m pretty good at finding good deals, so being able to know what is cheap because its junk would be really helpful.

I feel like I would be more along the lines of the guys who actually know what they are talking about. I may not know everything, but realistically I know how to make a proper recommendation and understand what is a good option.

That being said, at my store we have at least 3 laptops with what I mentioned for AROUND $500 like i said, from HP and Samsung.

I agree on the “taking advice with a grain of salt” IF you are shopping at a store like HHGregg or a commissioned store. I pride myself on selling the proper solution for a customer, no more and no less. I’ll never talk someone into buying something that they don’t need.

Also, about those pentiums… the pentium processor has progressed exponentially over the years and is the next best processor to an i3, although they are not very good for much. I hate that they exist but at a price point around $300 it makes sense, an i3 is only like $20 more most of the time(at least on our shelves)

I wouldn’t say to stay away from any particular brands, but personally you can’t really go wrong with HP, Asus(FYI they’ve been making computer internals for a long time and are at the top of their game), Samsung, or Lenovo(IBM’s Brand).

Also. Low Price Guarantee at Best Buy. If you think its a little pricey, ask the sales associate to price match to other retailers, they have a tool to do so and shouldn’t argue about doing so if asked ;D at least I never do

Ill certainly check best buy out! The employees at ours seem pretty nice, so I doubt they’ll pitch a fit for helping me out

Also, thanks! This thread alone has already doubled my cp iq, and hopefully soon I’ll be fully tech-dependent :smiley: