6 Best Laptop For Programming Under 500$ - Buying Guide

Are you looking for the best laptops for programming under 500$? Or maybe you're a heavy computer user that's constantly on the move and needs the best laptop that can deliver. Whatever your reason is, with all the options available right now in this competitive market, it can get confusing as to what laptop would be best suited for your requirements. Therefore we tidy up everything by presenting only a handful of viable options which can help us make an informed decision regarding what kind of computer we'll end up buying.

With the advancements in technology, life has become very much simpler and work has become very much easier. Laptops have a direct impact on our lives and we all use them on a daily basis. There are many different models available in the market and it is very difficult to choose from all of them. This article is going to provide you with a list of the best laptops for programming under 500$.

Which Best Laptop For Programming Under 500$?

The HP Pavilion 13 is one of the best budget laptops for programming and weighs about 1.3 kg, making it easy to carry around with you. Equipped with an Intel Core i5-8265U processor clocking at 1.6 GHz. You can quickly move from screen to screen without waiting on this laptop while its 8 GB RAM offers enough space to download multiple files simultaneously.

Also Read: 8 Best Laptop For Programming Under 1000$

1. Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Best Laptop For Programming Under 500$

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (model 3501) is an affordable Windows laptop that's great for basic computing needs. Powered by Intel's latest processor, this Dell PC feels speedy and has enough graphical horsepower for casual games and media consumption. The budget laptop's display is okay for general productivity, media consumption, and Internet browsing activities; however, it doesn't reproduce accurate colors but rather consistent hues across the board -- in certain instances where only one color is supposed to be featured prominently on-screen. We spotted the same situation with its keyboard (for programmers) although the unit itself remains okay-feeling to type on despite having limited space key travel. You're able to comfortably use it as a desktop replacement because of its lightweight design and thin profile combined with low operating noise.

Here at Intel, we have lithium-ion batteries. We know your battery life is important to you. This particular battery is 3.2 x 1.9 x 0.8 inches in dimension and less than half a pound in weight. You can easily pack it with you wherever you go, as it’s small and light enough to fit into most bags or pockets. Be sure not to lose it though since this battery is not replaceable by the customer! As for the power adapter for this battery, it's 11 inches in length. So when you're traveling, it won't be taking up too much space or weighing down your luggage.

Our Dell Inspiron 3000 has a 1080p IPS display, an Intel Core i3-1115G4 CPU, Intel UHD Graphics for 11th Gen processors, 8GB of RAM, and 256 GB SSD storage. You can also find a cheaper 720p TN panel option. However, we don't recommend it because it won't look as crisp and it has worse viewing angles. If you're looking for better multi-thread performance for more demanding processing tasks or heavy multitasking then you might want to upgrade the CPU to an Intel Core i5-1135G7 or i7-1165G7 instead. This notebook also comes with an NVIDIA GeForce MX330 discrete GPU, but we would only recommend that you get this one if the performance gain over Intel's integrated Iris Xe graphics is minimal (the difference would have to be under 10%).

The Inspiron 15 3000 is an affordable laptop for multimedia use. It has a below-average display, but the good sound quality from its speakers and solid battery life make it suitable for both audio and video streaming. However, it's better off as a secondary machine if you want to be able to edit photos full time since its processor is slow. The laptop's portability benefits users who travel frequently, but the lack of ports on the sides limits ergonomics if you need to use peripherals without being right next to an outlet.


👍 Good Build Quality

👍 Affordable

👍 Professional Laptop

👍 Fast NVMe SSD


👎 No USB-C port and HDMI is limited to 1080p resolution

2. HP 15-dy1036nr Best Laptop For Programming Under 500$

HP's 15 Series line of laptops is the more affordable alternative to its premium Envy and Spectre line of Ultrabooks. The latest HP 15-dy1036nr showcases the downward trend in price that is also reflected in dedicated graphics, increased storage space, better performance, and a comfortable keyboard making it a great choice for those looking for a high-end laptop without emptying their wallets as much as they would if they went for an HP notebook at the top end of their product range.

The HP 15 is pretty thin and light, coming in at 3.5 pounds, which is heavy enough not to feel too lightweight but still light enough to work with all day without getting a sore lower back. We do recommend that you take breaks as you go about your day because sitting for long hours can lead to health problems that can really affect your productivity down the line. Of course, if you don't want to enjoy some comfort now, then eventually what we've been trying to warn you about won't matter anyway because it will catchup with you eventually and haunt you when your hard work doesn't seem like it's paying off and when no one else takes the time to lend a helping hand along the way.

The brushed aluminum lid is anodized in a silver tone that feels nice and smooth to the touch. Plus, its sturdy construction helps sustain minimal flex when you touch the chassis. So it’s not flimsy like some other models out there. When you flip it open, it uses a micro-edge screen, which means there are slim bezels on all sides and again a larger viewing area.

At this price point, the port selection is excellent, with one USB Type-C and two Gen 1 ports for data. Not only does the travel charger come in handy for recharging its battery quickly, but it gives you another option for power outlets wherever you go thanks to its high-energy wires that allow it to charge faster than most other chargers out there.

The 1920 x 1080 LED-backlit IPS display features an in-plane switching (IPS) panel with a viewing angle of 90/65. This may be due to the fact that it offers impressive viewing angles, though we noticed a slight decline at about 220 nits which are below our comfortable indoor average of 250 nits. We also observed that this laptop can produce a lower amount of brightness when compared to what we’d like to see, but it’s still bright enough for indoor use. If you intend on using this device outdoors, you might want to go for another option just to be safe.

The HP 15-dy1036nr may come across as a little large at first glance, but is actually fitting of its true power and performance. The 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 gives it great speed and efficiency matched with a strong performance that stacks up to the competition such as last year's HP Chromebook 14. Its 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage are by far superior in comparison to being paired with a spinning hard drive that can cause super long load times for avid gamers wanting to play AAA titles on the move. For graphics, you'll get an Intel UHD graphics card that can handle basic tasks in stride but is no match for any serious gaming enthusiast.

The HP 15-dy1036nr is great for its efficiency. It comes with a 41WHr, 3-cell battery and supports fast charging, reaching 50% charge in 45 minutes. On typical use at 50% brightness. However, it can last for 8.4 hours but if you lower the brightness everything drops to just over 5 hours long. It’s more than enough time for some short international flights and if you need more you can always reduce the brightness.


👍 Good Build Quality

👍 Value For Money

👍 Strong Laptop Performance

👍 Easy To Carry


👎 Lacks a backlit keyboard

3. ASUS VivoBook 15 Best Laptop For Programming Under 500$

When it comes to finding a budget laptop that suits your needs, you want to be sure it can do both work and entertainment without any issues. You may be surprised at how many cheap devices are advertised but fail to deliver on specific features or actually end up useless. ASUS is a trusted name in the budget laptop space that has been around for years, and its VivoBook lineup has impressed us with its performance across several iterations of models. We tested out the VivoBook 15 over the last few weeks to find out how it stacks up against other similar devices.

The ​ASUS VivoBook (F512JA-AS34) that I have in the lab for review comes with a 10th Gen Intel Pentium i3-1005G1 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB solid-state drive. This exact model with a 15.6-inch FHD display costs roughly $450-$520 on most major online retail sites, including Amazon, Newegg, and Walmart.

There are definitely some notable drawbacks to the VivoBook 15 in terms of performance especially when you take into consideration its ultra-budget price. First up is battery life, which only lasts for about 5 hours and 37 minutes during our PCMark 10 testing. This number can also decrease when using the laptop for more demanding tasks where it will run down a little faster resulting in around 4 ½ hours of use on a single charge. Also, an annoyance would be the AC adapter cable length being too short as that may make it difficult to find a nearby outlet depending on your setup.

The 1920x1080 screen is a nice touch with no color bleeding noticed (the laptop also has limited under-screen lighting) while streaming photos or watching video locally. Heavy tasks like photo editing will have a chance to strain the CPU. However, it’ll do relatively well when combined with 8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD to remain fluent in most day-to-day computing tasks like word processing and email.


👍 Good Build Quality
👍 12GB RAM
👍 Value For Money
👍 Slim Design

👎 Lacks a backlit keyboard

4. HP Stream 14 Best Laptop For Programming Under 500$

HP has brought back their popular HP Stream lineup of laptops, at a price point under $300! Our review model sports a quad-core Intel Celeron processor and an Intel graphics card. The only drawback to this laptop is that it doesn't have any storage options - but then again, that's the point when you consider one it starts at only $299 on Amazon. Downside-free, HP Stream 14 laptops can be found in several other configurations through various online retailers.

The speakers on the laptop (found along the top of the device and at the bottom) are loud and clear in output, however, lack bass from time to time. This is a trade-off to produce audio befitting its budget status. At maximum volume, there is a bit of static present which may or may not interfere with your listening experience depending on what you're hearing.

On the right side of HP Stream 14, you find a headphone and microphone combo jack, two USB ports, and one type C USB port. The power adapter connector is on the back left side and there's an open HDMI slot at the back right.

We weren't able to get our 3DMark test to run on some extreme-budget laptops. But we were able to get our GFXBench 5.0 benchmark up and running on the HP Stream 14. The same couldn't be said for the other laptops in our comparison (the chart only shows results from the HP Stream 14). But rest assured that the numbers were as ho-hum as you'd expect. Budget laptops equipped with integrated graphics chips have come a long way. But still can't really play games well or handle anything too graphics intensive.

When you see a chip built by Intel Celeron listed in a laptop's spec list, you're likely to get basement-level performance. Combine that with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and you'll find that the HP Stream 14 can't handle even moderately complex tasks without some amount of hassle.

It is true that HP's device doesn't necessarily expect you to run high-demanding apps or games locally, but rather use cloud-based features like streaming services like Netflix or gaming platforms like PlayStation Now (as it's in the name, after all). That would require a stable internet connection wherever you go. This isn't always accessible when you're on the move though.


👍 Good Build Quality
👍 Affordable
👍 Amazing Design
👍 Just Good For Programming


👎 Only 4GB Ram

5. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 Best Laptop For Programming

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is a touch-enabled convertible laptop with a thin and light design, its battery life is enough to go through a typical workday. It also has a good keyboard that feels great to type on and a reasonable-sized touchpad. The Flex 5 laptops speakers sound like just about any other laptop computer I've used, getting probably 70% of the way there. Its screen does not get very bright for environments with lots of lights or windows pulling in natural light. Fortunately, its display produces accurate color; however, the screen's maximum gamut isn't really broad and shows colors will look washed out if anything but the black text is displayed on white background.

We tested the model with a 14-inch 1080p IPS display, an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB NVMe SSD. You can get it with various Intel and AMD mobile CPUs, 4GB to 16GB of memory, and 128GB to 1TB of fast NVMe SSD storage. The lowest-end models are more than adequate to run a few web apps or watch videos while the high-end Intel models have dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX330 graphics providing more power for light computational tasks but not for AAA gaming.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a great option for portable media viewing. It boasts long battery life and its tablet mode works very well as a touchscreen input device - although the screen could use some higher resolution. The audio quality is good enough to enjoy music on the go, though they don't perform well during louder moments due to their lack of volume. I like that the screen is durable, but it would be nice if it was brighter when you are in direct sunlight or somewhere with harsh lighting.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a good laptop for productivity with a 15.6-inch HD display. However, you may have to turn down some settings while playing games due to its integrated graphic card. Which doesn't perform that well, even with older titles. You can get a variant of this laptop with a dedicated graphics card. But it won't be able to run AAA titles smoothly on high settings. The 5-hour battery life is pretty average, and the design feels rather bland compared to other laptops in its price range. Despite this, the keyboard feels great to use and there's also a good selection of ports available.


👍 Good Build Quality
👍 Amazing Performance
👍 Lightweight and portable
👍 Long Battery Life


👎 Bit Expensive

6. Acer Aspire 5 Best Laptop For Programming Under 500$

Acer Aspire 5 The Acer Aspire 5 earns its rightful place at the top spot of the best laptops under $500 with its strong 8th Gen Core i3 performance and bright 1080p display for an affordable price. Although the Aspire 5 is thinner than its sibling, the Aspire E 15, boasts enough room for a battery that lasts nearly 9 hours on a charge.

Don't let the price fool you, the Aspire 5 sports a premium look and it's quite aesthetically pleasing! The Acer logo shines through in metallic form at its center, rather than being a glossy piece embedded in the chassis, which gives it a particularly premium feel. Long story short if you like your laptop to stand out from the rest then this is just for you. The top of the lid features two-line accents on each end, but there is one issue that we noticed: In our case, both had projected slightly too far and were found to annoyingly rub against our palms when typing. Plus not only was the placement off but we found that the lid wasn't aligned correctly with the body.

If you're looking for an inexpensive notebook PC, the Aspire 5 is a good place to start. At approximately $400, this notebook offers a lot to work within the way of specs and performance while still remaining budget-friendly. Equipped with a quad-core Intel Core i3-8145U processor and 4GB of RAM, this machine is capable of running up to 30 Google Chrome tabs and four 1080p videos at once before slowing down or stalling.

In addition to reliable performance, the Aspire 5 machine also has long battery life. After it continually ran at a brightness of 150 nits for the duration of 8 hours and 51 minutes, this laptop's battery lasted longer than either the average budget laptop (7:06 ) or both the Aspire E 15 (8:48) and HP 14 Laptops (6:12).

The Aspire 5's 720p webcam has some fun options, but the images it produces are on the grainy side. Even so, the colors looked good, with reds and yellows standing out nicely against my blue shirt. The static background for video calls is a nice bonus. The low light sensitivity limits where you can shoot video conversations though and my room were one of these areas.


👍 Long Battery Life
👍 Amazing Performance
👍 Best Laptop For Programming Under 500$
👍 Full HD Display
👍 Portable


👎Questionable build quality

What Things To Consider When Buying Best Laptop For Programming Under 500$

Even though there are a ton of laptop makes and models out there, some of which are specifically marketed to programmers, it can be hard to find the right laptop for you. After all, we all have different needs - whether that's with the level of portability or performance we want. And each potential user may have their own unique preferences as well. Some might prefer a glossy display while others swear by matte displays. Some might want an ultra-light device while others are content with a little more weight on their shoulder provided they get additional battery life. There are so many factors to consider when choosing your next device.

1. Display

When it comes to a computer and what's on your screen, maybe it doesn't look like much at first but now think about this. You're going to be looking at the display of your laptop most often out of everything in your office. And for a developer, their screen shows their clear vision into their craft so that they can effectively get things done! So when picking out a new laptop and deciding on which exact one is best for you. Consider these things so that you don't settle just for any old device with a mediocre display.

Big Built-In Screen:

If you're using your laptop for programming. Make sure you get a really big screen because it will give you more space to use as a developer. And keep in mind that if your screen is small it could lower productivity and also cause some strain on your eyes! An even better idea is to choose a 16:10 aspect ratio display which is better for development and when working with applications like Visual Studio Code specifically. In addition, if possible opt for a 4K resolution so that your screen won't look grainy and instead will be clear, sharp, and have great contrast too!

Also, touch screen displays or 2-in-1 laptops don't have much utility for programmers. They're not worth the additional cost unless you plan to use your computer for other purposes… Like watching cat videos

External Display Support:

Most computers today feature a year. This is handy for people who often work with several documents and sources open at the same time in multiple windows. However, switching back and forth between an external monitor and a built-in screen can slow you down considerably as well. If you need to connect two or more external monitors, make sure your computer has the hardware capable of doing so since most entry-level devices only support one port thus making use of this feature impossible.

You should have a Thunderbolt 4 connection alongside an HDMI port so you can use two separate monitors while they're simultaneously being used.

2. Processor

When you're considering processors, you should understand there are more factors than just performance. When you're choosing a processor to install in your new computer, think about how long it will be before you'll need (are willing) to upgrade. And keep in mind that different models of the same processor can have very similar numbers even though they were manufactured by different chipset manufacturers and the underlying architecture or CPU technology used may vary.

Do you use multiple applications simultaneously, with several instances of each app? Do you work with lots of data, spending hours compiling them? If that's the case, you should prioritize core count over raw processing power. But if you focus on just one program, a processor with high clock speed might be worth it.

Regardless of the programming, you decide to learn, we advise you get a mid-tier CPU at the lowest. Entry-level options such as the Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 may be limited when it comes down to completing tasks within certain time frames, resulting in a lot of frustration for you as you wait for your laptop to compile or render in peace.

3. RAM

Whether you're buying a laptop or desktop computer. You'll want to make sure that it has at least 8GB of DDR3 or DDR4 RAM which is the minimum recommended amount. This may be enough for light, simple office work and most casual web surfing but not nearly enough if you'll be using your computer for high-end gaming or professional image processing such as editing photos and videos with software like Photoshop or programming, for instance. If it's within your budget you should always get a 16GB option in place instead as it will help ensure that your machine runs as smoothly and quickly as possible.

Just like RAM, if you bought the 8GB option and feel that you need more in your future laptop, don't get a model that has soldered or fixed RAM. Otherwise, when it comes time to improve your system's memory capacity. You're going to have no choice but to purchase a whole new machine instead.

4. Storage

If you want your computer to perform quickly and efficiently. You should go out and buy an SSD. In 2022, 256GB is the bare minimum for computers but it's better to have a 512GB SSD or more. All computer users can benefit from an SSD with more capacity today. If you have to settle for a hard drive that's combined with an SSD drive, then make sure there is at least a 256GB SSD drive available where you keep your OS, apps, and current work on the SSD for easy access. The faster HDD can be used to store archived data or larger files.

5. Battery Life

If you're always on the go, you may want a laptop with a battery that will last all day long. Some of the currently reigning champions of this category include the Apple M1 MacBook Pro and HP Envy 14. Besides battery life, consider a laptop that accepts power delivery so you can use a power bank to charge it while on the road.


Choosing the best laptop for programming is not an easy task, there are a lot of things to consider. For example, we have to check out the type of software we will be using, the software needed for the laptop, and if it has enough RAM, processor, etc. Here we have compiled a list of the 6 best laptops for programming which are suitable for programming and software development purposes. In the list, we have given the pros and cons for each laptop. We hope you will be able to find your best laptop for programming here.

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