Once one of the most expensive laptops in the portable computing segment, now the best Ultrabook under 500 dollars still delivers a light-and-thin design.
Sturdy build quality.
A solid-state drive.
And an ultra-low-voltage processor powerful enough to handle your daily tasks, without compromising battery life just like more expensive units.
Ultrabooks are the thinnest, lightest and longest-lasting notebook class ever, representing the best example of what a laptop can be. And set a new standard among the laptop line.
They are best suited for users who privilege a super-stylish design that’s as functional as it is lightweight over the ability to use an optical drive and multiple ports. (Although, you still get a handful of ports to hook up to the latest peripherals.)
Best Ultrabook under 500
- Best Ultrabook under 500
- What Are Ultrabooks?
- What the Ideal User Expects from the Best Ultrabook under 500
- Here’s Exactly What to Look for in the Best Ultrabook under 500
- Form-Factor of the Best Ultrabook Under 500
- Screen Size of the Best Ultrabook Under 500
- The Processors in the Best Ultrabook Under 500
- RAM in the Best Ultrabook Under 500
- Storage in the Best Ultrabook Under 500
- Optical Drive in the Best Ultrabook Under 500
- The Keyboard on the Best Ultrabook Under 500
- The Touchscreen on the Best Ultrabook Under 500
- The 2 Choices for Best Ultrabook Under 500 Are…
- The Research Method
- Best Ultrabook under 500-Reviews
If you already know what you’re looking for in the best Ultrabook under 500. Here are the top picks:
Best Ultrabook under 500-Comparison
|Samsung Chromebook 2 (XE503C32-K01US) 13.3-inch||2GHz Exynos 5 Octa 5800||Intel HD 4000||4GB DDR3L-SDRAM||16GB SSD||Check|
|Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 12.5-inch||0.9GHz ‘Skylake’ Intel Dual-Core M3-6Y30||HD Graphics 515||4GB DDR3||64GB Solid-State Flash Memory||Check|
|Samsung Chromebook Plus 2-in-1 Convertible Touchscreen (XE513C24-K01US) 12.3-inch||2GHz Rockchip RK3399 Hexa-Core OP1 ARM||Internal Graphics||4GB DDR3||32GB Flash Memory Solid State||Check|
|Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi (Detachable Touchscreen) 12.5-inch||Intel Core M-5Y10 (up to 2GHz)||Intel HD 5300||4GB DDR3 SDRAM||128GB iSSD||Check|
The Run Down
We’ve put together a list of 4 of the best Ultrabooks under 500 currently available. Along with an informative guide to help you zone in on the hardware and specs that matter to you.
Throughout this guide. You’ll see a detailed rundown of the most important specs, benefits and perks.
If you want actionable tips that’ll help you:
- learn more about Ultrabooks under 500
- find out what the Ideal User Expects from an Ultrabook under 500
- know Exactly What to Look for in the Best Ultrabook under 500
- decide between Chromebook and Windows based Ultrabooks under 500
We’d love to help you answer all of these questions in this guide.
Not what you’re looking for? No worries. You’ll find links along the way to articles that feature different laptops within the same price range. And the best options for your budget: like this one below.
(Keep an eye out for exclusive PRO TIPS along the way.)
What Are Ultrabooks?
Trademarked by Intel, they were first introduced in early 2011 to take back the market-share the laptop industry was then losing to smart devices and Apple’s MacBook Air.
Any laptop can be designated an Ultrabook, so long as it meets these criteria defined by Intel. They must:
- be less than 0.7-inches for designs using a 13.3-inch screen or smaller
- but, no more than 0.8-inches for designs utilizing a 14-inch screen or bigger
- and convertibles get no more than a 0.9-inch tolerance
- run a Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage (CULV) processor
- get at least 5-hours endurance from a single charge
- resume from SLEEP mode in 8 seconds or less
- have at least a USB 3.0, or Thunderbolt port
- and should have Wi-Fi connectivity
PRO TIP #1: Storage, RAM, screen size, connectivity and weight limits have not been standardized. So, prepare for these to vary wildly in the market.
What the Ideal User Expects from the Best Ultrabook under 500
At this price, you can expect value. The speed of technology has made the same luxurious features found in $1,500 Ultrabooks a few years ago available at a fraction of the price today.
For less than $500 you can get an Ultrabook with:
- 4GB of RAM
- Full HD screen
- that can boot up in under one-second
- with newer generation Intel Core i processors
The reason you’re shopping for the best Ultrabook under 500 dollars is because you’re a power user looking for an unobtrusive, mobile device that’s light and fast.
You need to get resource-heavy work done, like running engineering programs, or designing software. Mostly, you expect a gorgeous design, and a sturdy build quality at a decent price.
Here’s Exactly What to Look for in the Best Ultrabook under 500
Form-Factor of the Best Ultrabook Under 500
You can get one with either a standard clam-shell or convertible design with the addition of sensors once found only in smartphones.
The latest versions integrate touchscreens and even come with voice command.
PRO TIP #2: Highly mobile users will appreciate an 11 to 13-inch form-factor. About the size of a mini laptop, these highly portable units have more power than a mini laptop with better display.
Screen Size of the Best Ultrabook Under 500
There are larger sizes. But you’ll find that Ultrabooks are primarily grouped in 11 to 15-inch categories (screen-size measured diagonally). The standard screen size is 13.3-inches.
PRO TIP #3: The bigger the screen, the heavier the machine. But what a large Ultrabook lacks in portability and comfort, it makes up for with a larger display (perfect if you spend long hours in front of your laptop.)
The Processors in the Best Ultrabook Under 500
Ultrabooks are not power sippers. But, you’ll find them powered by Intel’s snappy, CULV platform in the Core i3, i5, and i7 families.
RAM in the Best Ultrabook Under 500
While 8GB of RAM is almost always ideal for a modern laptop. 4GB on Ultrabooks under 500 dollars should be good enough for what you need to do, depending on the type of user you are.
PRO TIP #4: It never hurts to look for a system that will allow you to upgrade RAM in the future regardless of the class of laptop you’re shopping for.
Storage in the Best Ultrabook Under 500
To save weight, and for faster system performance. Ultrabooks only feature Solid State Drives (SSDs). The speed of your Ultrabook depends on the storage size. The best Ultrabook under 500 dollars has a 16-64GB SSD, or 128GB-256GB of space.
Optical Drive in the Best Ultrabook Under 500
While we’re on the topic of storage, many of us still require an Optical Drive to run applications.
Unfortunately, to maintain a slim and lightweight design. You won’t find this feature on Ultrabooks, (or many new systems across the laptop spectrum for that matter).
The Keyboard on the Best Ultrabook Under 500
The slimmer chassis design of an Ultrabook will limit key travel. But the comfort level during typing is still superior to that of tablets, thanks to the addition of full-size, chiclet-style keyboards.
The Touchscreen on the Best Ultrabook Under 500
If you are willing to spend a bit more, you can get one with a few different 2-in-1 form-factors that incorporate touchscreen technology.
These are usually better built than other Windows based systems in this class.
PRO TIP #5: For better user experience, buy an Ultrabook with an IPS (In-Plane Switching) display. You’ll get wider viewing angle, and enhanced color quality.
The 2 Choices for Best Ultrabook Under 500 Are…
The Chromebook Ultrabook
One of the most attractive features of a Chromebook is its relatively affordable price. For less money than you might expect, you can:
- check emails
- watch movies
- listen to music
- edit documents
- browse the internet
- and respond to Facebook
These types Ultrabooks mainly come with 11 or 13-inch displays. They rely heavily on web-based apps and Cloud services to get work done. Which means the Windows programs you’re used to won’t be available.
But the Chrome operating system they come with is easy to use, and designed to handle light duty computing. You also get pre-installed Google goodies, like Gmail, Maps, Drive and Youtube.
But, these are not powerful systems. Running the standard desktop software will send them to task.
PRO TIP #6: Chromebooks are like Android phones with full laptop functionality. You’ll never have to worry about updates as they are performed automatically. (Be sure you’re connected to the internet to use Cloud services.)
The Windows Ultrabook
But what if a task requires resources not provided by the web? The biggest draw for a Windows Ultrabook is that the Windows system has been around much longer than Chromebooks. As such, you get more:
- more apps
- more photo and video-editing options
- you can even run Chrome on the system if you want
- more types of file support and more hardware options
- useful plugins like Flash and Java to view the websites that support these plugins
- flexibility with browser choices (the Chrome OS system forces you to use the Chrome browser)
- access to way more resources and programs that go back decades, like applications for almost anything you can imagine
Unfortunately, even an entry-level Windows Ultrabook will cost more than a comparable Chromebook (although, Windows based notebooks are rivaling Chrombooks with similar specs in price lately).
PRO TIP #7: Here’s a link to laptopmag.com’s head-to-head feature comparison of Chromebooks and Windows laptops if you need more information to help you decide which system is right for you.
The Research Method
These picks are based on a price margin between $400 and $500. Best all-round performance. User experience. At least 100 Amazon reviews. And at least 3.5 out of 5 stars at the time of this review.
Now, from among the most progressive brands we bring you amazing laptops from: Asus and Samsung
Best Ultrabook under 500-Reviews
With the same 12.72 x 8.8 x 0.65-inch chassis as its predecessor. This new version continues to deliver the sweet spot between price and capability with more apps, like AirDroid. Greater offline usability, and useful improvement to propel it near the top of the Chromebook class. The plastic surface is reinforced by a metal frame. Storage is large for a Chromebook at 16GB. Also large is 4GB of RAM. And the 2GHz Exynos 5 Octa 5800 processor, which will give you the power to complete daily tasks with over 10 browsers open. Moved to the sides of the system, ports now fall easily to hand instead of being located on the back. The integrated Intel HD 4000 GPU is best suited for in-browser games. But the new concave, chiclet-style keys gives a solid keystroke feel. While the trackpad still delivers the same smooth tracking and gesture support. You can expect about 7-hours of battery life.
It may be one of the more expensive Chromebooks out there. But it makes the list of best Ultrabooks under 500 dollars for its rich premium features, which include a 12 x 8.3 x 0.5-inch aluminum body construction. A Full HD touchscreen with wide angle views. A comfortable backlit keyboard reminiscent of the MacBook Pro. And 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC flash storage, which is more than you’ll find on your average Chromebook. (You can expand the local storage up to 512GB with the microSD card slot.) The two hinges allow the lid to rotate a full 360 degrees so you can use it in Laptop, Tent, Stand, and Tablet mode. You can expect around 10-hours of battery life.
If you don’t need Windows. And you’ve been looking for a Chromebook that can run both Android apps. And Chrome OS. Here it is. This 11 x 8.7 x 0.6-inch example delivers a laptop experience. With a thin, premium, aluminum chassis. A keyboard. And 2400 x 1600-pixel resolution. With IPS technology that a brighter display than most. And you get the versatility of a 2-in-1 convertible. With a flexible 360-degree hinge that lets you turn the system into a slate with a Samsung Pen that feels intuitive to use. But the typing experience will leave you longing for a traditional laptop. You can expect 7-hours of battery life.
Right away, you’ll notice that the 12.1 x 7 x 0.5-inch aluminum body is as beautiful as it is thin. One of the ways Asus achieves this is with a fan-less design. The other is with the small Intel Core M-5Y10 processor. Which is not only powerful enough to get your daily work activity done (with several browsers open). But afterward. It’s competent enough to play games, like Hearthstone. The Full HD display delivers excellent color reproduction. With a bright touchscreen. And you also get a responsive keyboard. With an, albeit, small, yet usable touchpad. You can easily expect up to 7-hours of run time.
Thank you for making it to the end of this guide. We covered a lot of information. Hopefully it will prove to be a valuable resource to you as you shop for the best Ultrabook under 500 dollars for you.
The sub-$500 category will leave you with quite a few choices when it comes to Ultrabooks with the features and design qualities you long for.
We’d love to continue this conversation with you about what make the best Ultrabook under 500 dollars in the comments section below.