Best Small Laptops Under $500

Small laptops are the perfect tool when you need a laptop on the go. Whether you’re carrying it from class to class, home to the office, or on the go at work, these laptops are not only small (some of them are the size of a piece of paper!) but very affordable.

These laptops stay small and light through their simplicity; they’re not the fastest for heavy streaming, video editing or high octane gaming, but will easily handle simple, everyday tasks such as checking emails, writing documents, scrolling through social media, streaming Netflix, and more.

With that being said, if you need a device to handle your simple tasks, a small laptop might be the way to go.

To help you easily search through your options, I’ve reviewed nine of the best-selling small laptops under $500.

Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 11.6-Inch HD (1366 x 768) IPS Display, MediaTek MT8173C Processor, 4GB LPDDR3, 64 GB eMMC, Chrome OS, 81HY0000US, Blizzard White

Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop

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  • Price: $243.47
  • Size: 11.5 x 8.48 x 0.77 in
  • Weight: 2.64 pounds

Chromebooks are any small laptop powered by the Google Chrome operating system. They are one of the most popular choices for students and working professionals using Google Docs to collaborate and share documents. They’re also the easiest laptop to set up; just turn it on, sign into Google, and you’re ready to go.

The Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 laptop is one of the higher-rated Chromebooks on the market, and is touted as having “high-end features for a low price.” Users frequently comment on its speed and quick response time compared to other small laptops.

This Chromebook also has a flexible 360-degree hinge and will easily change between laptop and tablet, depending on your needs. Its 10-point touchscreen is responsive and makes it easy to navigate in tablet mode. You’ll be able to zoom in, out, and select between different windows with ease.

There are very few downsides to this computer. It is made of plastic which makes it a bit delicate for use by small children, but durable enough to carry around every day in your backpack.

Pros:

  • 10-hour battery life
  • 100 GB Google Drive storage
  • Processor (CPU) speed up to 2.48 GHz
  • 360-degree hinge rotation

Cons:

  • Not a very sturdy build


Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible Laptop, Celeron N3060, 11.6" HD Touch, 4GB DDR3L, 32GB eMMC, C738T-C7KD Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible Laptop, Celeron N3060, 11.6″ HD Touch, 4GB DDR3L, 32GB eMMC, C738T-C7KD

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  • Price: $199.99
  • Size: 11.57 x 8.03 x 0.78 in
  • Weight: 2.76 pounds

This Chromebook is great for the Google lovers out there who may want to spend a little less on their laptop. Like the Lenovo Chromebook C330, this Acer model also has the capability of converting from a laptop to tablet with the 360-degree hinge and also features a 10-point touchscreen for easy tablet use.

Its wide-view angle screen makes this laptop comfortable to look at when collaborating with groups of people as colors stay vivid from all angles.

With this Chromebook model, you will also have an added 100 GB of Google Drive storage space included with your purchase. While connected to the internet, documents are backed up automatically and saved in a safe place.

Its processor speed will boost up to 2.48 GHz to facilitate in faster downloads and streaming. Unlike many laptops, users found that this laptop stays fast and responsive over its lifetime.

Pros:

  • 10-hour battery life
  • 100 GB Google Drive storage
  • Processor (CPU) Speed up to 2.48 GHz
  • 360 Degree hinge rotation

Cons:


Samsung Electronics XE500C13 Chromebook 3 2GB RAM 16GB SSD Laptop, 11.6"
Samsung Electronics XE500C13 Chromebook 3 2GB RAM 16GB SSD Laptop, 11.6″

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  • Price: $124.00
  • Size: 11.37 x 8.04 x 0.7 in
  • Weight: 2.54 pounds

This Chromebook is one of the cheapest small laptops, priced at an astonishing $124.00. It’s a great option if you want to try out a small laptop without investing too much money in it. While it’s an admittedly simple small laptop, it has enough power to handle any simple task.

This small and inexpensive choice stands out for its impressive battery life of up to 11 hours, making it possible to use throughout the entire day without stopping to charge it.

The water-resistant keyboard makes it great for kids who may want a laptop to play learning games or use to study. This laptop will not convert to a tablet, however, which may limit many of the apps that kids can use on it. It will also not lay flat at 180 degrees.

This is also the only laptop on the list with less than 4 GB RAM; however, most users don’t seem to mind, as it works well for most people’s needs. Like most small laptops, it has 1.6 GHz of processor speed, but does not have the option to boost like other devices do.

  • Very affordable
  • Water-resistant keyboard
  • 11-hour battery life

Cons:

  • 2 GB RAM
  • 1.6 GHz
  • Does not convert to tablet
  • No touchscreen


2019 New Lenovo 300e Flagship 2-in-1 Business Laptop/Tablet, 11.6" HD IPS Touchscreen, Intel Celeron Quad-Core N3450 up to 2.2GHz, 4GB DDR4, 64GB eMMC, Windows 10 S/Pro, Choose Flash Drive 2019 New Lenovo 300e Flagship 2-in-1 business laptop/tablet

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  • Price: $215.99
  • Size: 11.83 x 8.36 x 0.92 in
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds

This laptop is a great choice if you are looking for a sturdy device that can endure some bumps and a greater amount of transport. It’s thicker and heavier than the ultralight models, which gives it the strength to tolerate going with you from class to class or to a business site.

Like many other models, this laptop converts easily from laptop mode to tablet, or anywhere in between to fit your needs.

It also features a large touch screen of 11.6” and an HD camera for video calls with family or business partners and handles streaming and downloads with up to 2.2 GHz processor (CPU) speed.

Windows 10 in S mode is pre-installed, saving you the trouble of installing it yourself. Some users found set up a bit slow when updating the operating system, but if you want the Windows OS then it’s a minor annoyance.

Overall, users have a positive experience using this laptop, especially at this price point.

Pros:

  • Sturdy build
  • HD webcam
  • 360-degree hinge
  • 8-hour battery life

Cons:

  • Slower set ups and updates


New Lenovo 130S 11.6" HD Laptop, Intel Celeron (2 core) N4000 1.1GHz up to 2.6GHz, 4GB Memory, 64GB SSD, Webcam, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB 3.1, Windows 10, Office 365 Personal 1-Year Included

New Lenovo 130S 11.6” HD Laptop

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  • Price: $191.88
  • Size: 11.3 x 7.9 x 0.7 in
  • Weight: 2.54 pounds

This laptop is one of the smaller, thinner, and lighter choices on the market, which is great if you need a device that will be easy to take with you on the go.

While it is one of the smaller choices on the market, it comes with one of the biggest “extras” packages that you can find with a small laptop. Windows in S mode is preinstalled, and comes with a free one-year subscription to Office 356, giving you access to Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets, PowerPoint, and more. You will also have 1 TB of cloud storage to keep all of your documents, photos, music, and videos stored in a safe place.

Keep in mind that this subscription only lasts for one year, and you will need to purchase your own subscription to continue using it the following year.

This laptop also does not convert to a tablet, and does not have a touch screen.

Pros:

  • Small and lightweight
  • One-year Office 365 subscription
  • 1 TB cloud storage

Cons:

  • No processor (CPU) speed above 1.1 GHz
  • Laptop mode only


ASUS VivoBook L203MA Ultra-Thin Laptop, 11.6" HD, Intel Celeron N4000 Processor (up to 2.6 GHz), 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, USB-C, Windows 10 in S Mode, One Year of Microsoft Office 365, L203MA-DS04ASUS VivoBook L203MA Ultra-Thin Laptop, 11.6”

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  • Price: $208.49
  • Size: 11.3 x 7.6 x 0.67
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds

This laptop is one of the slimmest that you’ll find at only 0.67 inches thick. It’s about the size of a piece of A4 printer paper, and weighs the same as a book, making it a good choice for something light, thin, and easy to carry.

While this laptop is small and lightweight, special attention has been paid to the keyboard. Its full-sized ergonomic keyboard makes it a comfortable laptop for typing on. That’s a big plus if you spend a lot of time writing emails or drafting documents from your laptop.

This laptop is also notable for its high-resolution display. Its 1920×1080 pixel display gives this laptop a sharper, richer, and deeper image than you’ll find on other devices at this price point.

There is a lot going for this device but does not have the 360-degree hinge capability to convert to a tablet.

Pros:

  • Ultralight and ultrathin
  • 1-year subscription to Office 365
  • Full-sized ergonomic keyboard
  • High resolution 1920 x 1080 pixel display
  • Up to 10-hour battery life
  • Processor (CPU) Speed up to 2.6 GHz

Cons:

  • May not be very rugged
  • Only 180-degree hinge rotation


HP ProBook x360 11 G3 EE 11.6" 2-in-1 HD Touchscreen Laptop Business Education Laptop (Intel N4000 Dual-Core, 4GB DDR4 RAM, 64GB eMMC, UHD 600) Type-C, HDMI, Bluetooth 5.0, RJ-45, Windows10 Pro HP ProBook x360 11 G3 EE 11.6″ 2-in-1 HD Touchscreen Laptop

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  • Price: $239.75
  • Size: 11.91 x 8.19 x 0.78 in
  • Weight: 3.19 pounds

This laptop is one of the more rugged choices that you’ll see on the list. It’s bigger and heavier than other small laptops thanks to its sturdy construction and is fitted with a molded rubber trim, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and a pick-and-spill resistant keyboard.

That makes it a great choice if you want to provide the kids with a laptop/tablet and not worry about juice drips or pieces of the keyboard going missing.

Preinstalled Windows 10 Professional makes it easy to navigate and the processor (CPU) speed of up to 2.6 GHz handles video streaming or simple gaming without interruptions.

The 360-degree hinge makes it easy to convert this from a laptop to a tablet, or however you like to use your device.

Pros:

  • Rugged enough for frequent transport
  • Pick-and-spill resistant keyboard
  • 360-degree hinge rotation
  • Processor (CPU) Speed up to 2.6 GHz

Cons:

  • Bigger and heavier than some other models


Lenovo 130S-11IGM 11.6" HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 1-Year Office 365, Windows 10 in S Model - GrayLenovo 130S-11IGM 11.6″ HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 1-Year Office 365, Windows 10 in S Model – Gray

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  • Price: $187.99
  • Size: 11.3 x 7.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 2.54 pounds

This is a good-looking laptop with a sleek design. It’s thin at only 0.7 inches and tapers out to be even thinner at the edge of the keyboard, a shape that is similar to a MacBook Air.

Windows 10 in S mode is preinstalled on your computer and comes with a one-year subscription to Office 365, a very nice extra at this price point. If you need a laptop for use outside, its outdoor screen will reduce glare and create a sharper image when outdoors and in bright light.

With a 180-degree hinge it has some flexibility and will lay flat on a table if you need it to, but it cannot change into a tablet and does not have the touch-screen that some people may need.

Note that while most small laptops have speedy 802.11ac wireless capability, this laptop only has 802.11bgn. Most users won’t notice the difference, but if very fast wireless capability is important to you, this is a feature to note.

Pros:

  • Thin and light
  • Outdoor screen
  • 1-year subscription to Office 365

Cons:

  • 802.11bgn wireless capability


HP Stream 11-Inch Laptop, Intel X5-E8000 Processor, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, Windows 10 Home in S Mode with Office 365 Personal and 1 TB Onedrive Storage for One Year (11-ak1010nr, Royal Blue) HP Stream 11-Inch Laptop, Intel X5-E8000 Processor, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, Windows 10 Home in S Mode with Office 365 Personal and 1 TB Onedrive Storage for One Year (11-ak1010nr, Royal Blue)

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  • Price: $179.99
  • Size: 11.1 x 7.6 x 0.7 in
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds

This laptop is the smallest on the list and nearly the lightest. Its small measurements are similar to an A4 piece of paper, so if you’re looking for small and light this is one of the best choices.

It comes with Windows in S mode preinstalled, and for a small laptop it has big extras: a 1-year subscription to Office 365 and 1 TB of OneDrive storage. In addition to these extras, it also has one of the fastest processor speeds with bursts up to 2.7 GHz.

This HP laptop is also advertised as having a long battery life—up to 9 hours and 15 minutes of video playback.

This laptop is, however, not very flexible. If that’s important to you, you’ll be disappointed as it lacks even the 180-degree hinge capability that almost every other device on the list has. If it’s not a problem for you, great!

Pros:

  • Very small and light
  • 1 year of Office 365
  • 1 year of 1TB OneDrive storage
  • 9+ hours of video playback on a single charge
  • Processor (CPU) Speed up to 2.7 GHz

Cons:

  • Laptop mode only
  • No touch screen


Buying Guide

These days, most of us have multiple tech devices to accomplish our daily tasks: laptops, smartphones, tablets, and more. Small laptops are gaining popularity as a simple and highly portable device for working on the go. Not only are they small and lightweight, but they are more affordable than ever.

Not every small laptop is created equally, however, and you’ll want to choose one that is tailored to your needs. Small laptops vary in size, weight, flexibility, operating systems and more, which can make choosing the right model feel overwhelming. To make things easier, this guide breaks down the options to look for in a small laptop to help you choose the best model for you.

What are the advantages?

Price- Small laptops are very inexpensive, with many quality options coming under $300 or even $200! You won’t need to invest a lot of money into your small laptop.

Size– With some variation in the sizes, you can find laptops as small as an A4 piece of paper while still boasting an 11.6” screen. Their small size makes it easy to pack away in a backpack or large handbag and keeps a home office looking tidy.

Weight– Their simple design makes it possible to find models that weigh as little as 2.2 pounds, about the weight of a book. You’ll barely notice the few extra pounds in your bag.

Battery life- These little guys can go all day on a single charge. Most models range between 8-10 hours of battery life, while a few models are able to power through 11 hours of usage.

Flexibility: Many models have a flexible hinge, making it possible to lay your laptop flat at 180 degrees, or even turn the screen 360 degrees to go into tablet mode with a touchscreen.

What are the disadvantages?

Build quality– Small laptops won’t be as rugged or sturdy as some of the larger laptops you may be used to, as developers seek to create an ultralight device. You may need to handle your small laptop more carefully.

Less powerful- Small laptops are designed to accomplish simple everyday tasks, such as writing emails, taking notes, browsing the internet, checking social media, and streaming Netflix. They will not easily handle heavy online gaming or large video edits like a bigger, more powerful computer. If you have specialized heavy work that you do, you may not be able to do it on your small laptop.

What are some of the best small laptops on the market?

There are many different kinds of small laptops on the market. Fortunately, I’ve already reviewed some of the more popular models on the market, which you can read about here [can link to the previously drafted product guide].

Which laptop is best for me?

The best choice for you is going to depend on what features you want in a small laptop.

Travel– If you travel a lot, you may want a laptop that is small in size and lightweight, but rugged enough to handle the bumps and jostling in your backpack—such as the HP ProBook x360 11 G3 EE 11.6″ 2-in-1 HD Touchscreen Laptop.

Secondary and college students- Many schools recommend a Chromebook for classwork as the Chrome OS makes collaboration and sharing documents simple through its use of GoogleDocs. When you’re connected to the internet, Chromebooks will also back up your work automatically to GoogleDrive, reducing the risk of losing your work. One popular option is the Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop.

For kids- For small children, consider a laptop that is stronger and has a spill-proof keyboard. 2-in-1 laptops would also be a great choice, as many learning games are more compatible in tablet mode. Tablets are also easier for children to balance and handle. HP ProBook x360 11 G3 EE 11.6″ 2-in-1 HD Touchscreen Laptop.

What features should I look for in a laptop?

2-in-1/convertible: Many small laptops are 2-in-1 or convertible, which means they have a 360-degree hinge that allows the screen to rotate from laptop mode to tablet mode. In tablet mode, you’ll also be able to use the touchscreen to navigate between programs on your device. It’s important to note that laptops that don’t rotate 360 degrees rarely have the touchscreen option.

Size– Small laptops vary somewhat in size, and the size that is best for you will depend on personal preference. The very small sizes, such as the [link:  HP Stream 11-Inch Laptop, Intel X5-E8000 Processor, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, Windows 10 Home in S Mode with Office 365 Personal and 1 TB Onedrive Storage for One Year (11-ak1010nr, Royal Blue)] will be easy to pack away, while the [link: 2019 New Lenovo 300e Flagship 2-in-1 business laptop/tablet] has larger dimensions and an 11.6” screen.

RAM– Random Access Memory, or RAM acts as the computer’s short-term memory. It makes the computer work quickly and helps you run and change smoothly between different programs on your computer. Most small laptops have 4 GB RAM, more than enough for simple tasks, but some very inexpensive options such as the [link: Samsung Electronics XE500C13 Chromebook 3 2GB RAM 16GB SSD Laptop, 11.6] only come with 2 GB RAM.

GHz- Gigahertz, or GHz for short, tells you how fast the computer processor (CPU) works. Pretty much every small laptop has a baseline of 1.6 GHz, with many models offering bursts of speed when the computer needs it. The [link: HP Stream 11-Inch Laptop, Intel X5-E8000 Processor, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, Windows 10 Home in S Mode with Office 365 Personal and 1 TB Onedrive Storage for One Year (11-ak1010nr, Royal Blue)], for example, offers bursts of up to 2.7 GHz, while remaining at 1.6 GHz for the majority of the time.

Screen resolution: Most small laptops in this price range have a display resolution of 1366 x 768, which isn’t bad for a laptop at this size and price range. The ASUS VivoBook L203MA Ultra-Thin Laptop, 11.6” stands out with high resolution 1920 x 1080 pixel display, and could be a good choice if you want a sharp image for photo editing or video streaming.