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Notebookcheck's Top 10 Laptops under 500 Euros

October 2020 Update. Here you will find the best notebooks under 500 USD/Euros reviewed by Notebookcheck. Our list of top models is regularly updated, maintained and commented on and should assist in purchase decisions.
Florian Schmitt, Tanja Hinum (translated by Andreas Osthoff),

Many notebooks from different brands are now offered in the price range of less than 500 USD/Euros. They are all aimed at bargain hunters and canvass for customers by offering great gigahertz and gigabyte figures. However, there is a big risk that the customers may ignore far more important components. The following rankings might be interesting for your purchase decision as well:

Every month Notebookcheck reviews many devices from the lowest price segment. Just like their premium colleagues, they have to go through many measurements and analysis. The following table shows an overview of the best Windows-based budget notebooks and convertibles (> 10 inch, no Chromebooks) reviewed by Notebookcheck in the previous 10 months. If ratings are equal, the latest review is listed first. The table can be sorted by clicking its headers and filtered by entering text in the text field above it (e.g. "matte").

Note: The cheapest street price at the time of the last revision of this article applies to the following list. The sales prices shown in the following table and in the price comparison with the individual articles are automatically updated daily and can therefore differ!

Best Notebooks under 500 Euros as of October 2020

Pos.
Date
Rating
Image
Model
Height
Weight
Size
Resolution
Screen
Best Price
1
10/2018
83 %Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
Intel UHD Graphics 615
4 GB Memory, 64 GB eMMC
8.3 mm523 g10"1800x1200glossy
2
09/2019
83 %Acer Swift 3 SF314-54-P2RKAcer Swift 3 SF314-54-P2RK
Intel Pentium Gold 4417U
Intel HD Graphics 610
4 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
17.95 mm1.6 kg14"1920x1080matte
3
07/2020
neu!
79 %Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14IIL05Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14IIL05
Intel Core i3-1005G1
Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
19.9 mm1.6 kg14"1920x1080matte
4
08/2019
79 %Chuwi LapBook ProChuwi LapBook Pro
Intel Celeron N4100
Intel UHD Graphics 600
4 GB Memory, 64 GB eMMC
13.4 mm1.4 kg14"1920x1080glossy
5
11/2019
78 %Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R6WWAcer Aspire 5 A515-43-R6WW
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 2000/3000)
8 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
18 mm1.8 kg15.6"1920x1080glossy
6
07/2020
78 %Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 11IGL05Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 11IGL05
Intel Celeron N4020
Intel UHD Graphics 600
4 GB Memory, 64 GB eMMC
17.5 mm1.1 kg11.6"1366x768glossy
7
77 %Acer TravelMate Spin B1 B118-G2-RN-P7EDAcer TravelMate Spin B1 B118-G2-RN-P7ED
Intel Pentium Silver N5000
Intel UHD Graphics 605
4 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
23.3 mm1.5 kg11.6"1920x1080
8
01/2020
77 %Asus M509DA-EJ153TAsus M509DA-EJ153T
AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 3
8 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
22.9 mm1.8 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
9
01/2020
76 %Lenovo Ideapad S145-15API 81UT002XGELenovo Ideapad S145-15API 81UT002XGE
AMD Athlon 300U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 3
4 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
19.9 mm1.9 kg15.6"1366x768matte
10
75 %LincPlus P1LincPlus P1
Intel Celeron N4000
Intel UHD Graphics 600
4 GB Memory, 64 GB eMMC
16 mm1.4 kg13.3"1920x1080glossy

Top 10 of the previous 10 months at the time of writing, current articles are listed first
Link: all reviewed notebooks under 500 Euros (~$554), ordered by total rating

Editors' Comments

1st - Microsoft Surface Go

Microsoft Surface Go
Microsoft Surface Go

So affordable and already a high-quality convertible! The Microsoft Surface Go already starts for less than 500 Euros, but this version is shipped without physical keyboard. You can either use a Bluetooth keyboard or the optional Type Cover, which will increase the price noticeably. The storage is also limited on the base model at just 64 GB, and Microsoft charges a hefty premium for the 128 GB option. You can at least use the microSD reader to store more data.

The quality of the magnesium case is excellent, the Surface lasts long on battery, and you get a bright as well as high-contrast screen. The performance is not that bad, either. You notice that the Surface Go is no real notebook when you look at the ports, because one USB-C port will have to suffice.

2nd – Acer Swift 3 SF314

Acer Swift 3 SF314
Acer Swift 3 SF314

The Swift 3 SF314 is a 14-inch notebook with a slim chassis, which leaves a good impression: A matte screen, decent battery runtime, keyboard illumination, quiet cooling, and low temperatures are among the advantages. Only the dark screen and the low amount of RAM are drawbacks. Windows 10 Home is preloaded, but limited to apps from the Windows store out of the box. You can remove this limitation via free update.

This notebook offers a good balance between price, performance, and features, so the Swift 3 really deserves a spot in our Top 10 ranking.

Pricecompare

3rd – Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14

Lenovo's IdeaPad 3 14IIL05 managed to score a decent 79 percent in our review, and thus secured a spot in our top 10 list. Its main benefits are the matte display, its fast SSD, and its decent Wi-Fi performance. In addition, the device remained fairly quiet and cool overall.

Lenovo’s IdeaPad 3 14IIL05 is a simple office notebook with reduced portability due to its small battery.

As great as that matte display might be the underlying panel is simply not bright enough, which is our main gripe with this device. There are some other limitations as well, none of which are deal-breakers though.

Pricecompare

4th - Chuwi LapBook Pro

Chuwi LapBook Pro
Chuwi LapBook Pro

Chuwi is known for its extremely affordable laptops that sometimes offer features you would not expect in this price range. The LapBook Pro, for example, has a metal chassis, a decent keyboard including keyboard illumination, and an IPS screen with pretty good color gamut. You can also expand the limited storage via M.2 SSD and we like the battery runtime.

The Wi-Fi performance is average at best, the memory is cannot be upgraded and is a bit limited at 4 GB. The screen is glossy, pretty dim, and lacks contrast ratio. You should also consider that the Chuwi LapBook is not available in every country, so you might have to import it, which is more complicated in terms of purchase and warranty cases.

Pricecompare

5th - Acer Aspire 5 A515

Acer Aspire 5 A515
Acer Aspire 5 A515

If you already have an operating system or you decide to get a slightly smaller configuration, then you can already get the Acer Aspire 5 A515 for less than 500 Euros. In return, you get a powerful AMD Ryzen 5 3500U in combination with an SSD for storage. The processor cannot utilize its full potential and the port selection is a bit limited, but the sturdy case and the good input devices can compensate for that.

Pricecompare

6th – Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 11IGL05

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 11IGL05
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 11IGL05

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 is a 11.6-inch convertible that can be purchased for around 300 Euros. It is silent and offers good battery life – an intriguing combination for not a lot of money. Unfortunately, the notebook’s performance is fairly poor, and it will take quite long to finish various tasks.

The storage device is based on eMMC technology and this quite slow overall. Thus, this cheap SKU is not necessarily worth purchasing. For around 100 Euros more you get twice the storage based on modern SSD technology as well as a faster processor. Most users will benefit from this upgrade.

Pricecompare

7th - Acer TravelMate Spin

Acer TravelMate Spin B1
Acer TravelMate Spin B1

The second generation of the TravelMate Spin is once again a convertible, which is originally designed for the education sector, but it might also be interesting for private users. It is very affordable for a convertible with touchscreen and pen support, there is no fan, and you get a pretty good display. The latter convinces with good color accuracy and the high resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The case still leaves a very robust impression.

It is unfortunate that Acer once again uses a glossy display surface, and the low system performance is a drawback even for this price range. Overall, the TravelMate Spin B1 still performs well and interested users should give it a look, since the battery runtime is long.

Pricecompare

8th – Asus M509DA

Asus M509DA
Asus M509DA

Asus equips the M509DA with a Ryzen APU with quite a lot of performance for this price range. it has no problems with office and web-based applications. The notebook does not get very warm and the fan is either silent or at least not very loud.

You do have to live with the dim and low-contrast display, the below average battery runtime, and the missing Ethernet port. The slow Wi-Fi transfer rates are another drawback.

A 512 GB SSD, however, is a serious argument in this price segment and you also get a two-year warranty.

Pricecompare

9th - Lenovo IdeaPad S145

Lenovo IdeaPad S145
Lenovo IdeaPad S145

The Lenovo IdeaPad S145 is a 15-inch laptop for simple office workloads. The price is pretty appealing and the AMD Athlon CPU provides more performance than usual in this price class. You can even add another drive if you want, it does not get very warm and always stays quiet.

The display is no highlight, but rather dark and with a low contrast ratio. it is still okay for the price range though. The short battery runtime is another drawback, and you do not get a keyboard illumination. Still, if your budget is limited and you want to maximize the performance, the  notebook is still worth a look.

Pricecompare

10th - LincPlus P1 Laptop

LincPlus P1
LincPlus P1

The LincPlus P1 is not really powerful, but that's not what the Celeron N4000 is made for: You get a decent keyboard with large keys, a sturdy aluminum chassis (!), the display manages a decent contrast ratio and there is no fan, so you always have a silent device. It is also possible to expand the storage.

You should not hope for a USB-C port though, which is not available. The webcam is hardly usable, either. You basically get a very affordable laptop that looks better than it really is. If the limited performance is sufficient for you, but you still want a good looking machine, the LincPlus P1 is still worth considering.

Pricecompare

Top 10 in Comparison

Size Comparison

360.2 mm / 14.2 inch 234.9 mm / 9.25 inch 22.9 mm / 0.902 inch 1.8 kg3.97 lbs364 mm / 14.3 inch 248 mm / 9.76 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 1.8 kg3.97 lbs362 mm / 14.3 inch 256 mm / 10.1 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 1.9 kg4.08 lbs327.1 mm / 12.9 inch 241 mm / 9.49 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 1.6 kg3.53 lbs323 mm / 12.7 inch 228 mm / 8.98 inch 17.95 mm / 0.707 inch 1.6 kg3.53 lbs324.2 mm / 12.8 inch 209 mm / 8.23 inch 13.4 mm / 0.528 inch 1.4 kg3.15 lbs317 mm / 12.5 inch 212 mm / 8.35 inch 16 mm / 0.63 inch 1.4 kg3.12 lbs291 mm / 11.5 inch 211 mm / 8.31 inch 23.3 mm / 0.917 inch 1.5 kg3.31 lbs281.7 mm / 11.1 inch 198 mm / 7.8 inch 17.5 mm / 0.689 inch 1.1 kg2.5 lbs245 mm / 9.65 inch 175 mm / 6.89 inch 8.3 mm / 0.3268 inch 523 g1.153 lbs

Test Results

Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003Acer Swift 3 SF314-54-P2RKLenovo IdeaPad 3 14IIL05Chuwi LapBook ProAcer Aspire 5 A515-43-R6WWLenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 11IGL05Acer TravelMate Spin B1 B118-G2-RN-P7EDAsus M509DA-EJ153TLenovo Ideapad S145-15API 81UT002XGELincPlus P1
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
44 (22, 22)
43 (22, 21)
39 (21, 18)
42 (21, 21)
36 (18, 18)
38 (20, 18)
41 (21, 20)
45 (24, 21)
43 (23, 20)
36 (20, 16)
Response Time Black / White *
25.6 (11.6, 14)
28 (16, 12)
24 (14, 10)
29 (15, 14)
25 (14, 11)
25 (14, 11)
31 (18, 13)
14 (10, 4)
17 (9, 8)
29 (17, 12)
PWM Frequency
1020 (99)
200 (90)
178 (10)
250 (60)
5 (20)
250 (20)
192 (90)
250 (20)
Screen
Brightness middle
456
258
292
297
250
270
295
226
218
264
Brightness
426
252
260
268
228
259
260
212
207
256
Brightness Distribution
88
90
80
77
83
76
78
84
80
84
Black Level *
0.31
0.16
0.36
0.625
0.205
0.195
0.485
0.645
0.25
Contrast
1471
1613
811
475
1220
1385
466
338
1056
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.3
5.1
6.92
5.23
5.65
3.98
3.98
7.76
12.12
7.36
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
3
19.99
19.36
9.53
13.7
8.46
8.25
12.44
23.06
12.72
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.1
5.13
4
4.45
3.53
2.12
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.4
2.5
3.94
6.72
6.32
2.57
4.63
9.11
15.09
8.74
Gamma
2.24 98%
2.5 88%
2.83 78%
2.38 92%
2.45 90%
2.3 96%
2.3 96%
2.11 104%
2.32 95%
2.41 91%
CCT
6687 97%
6829 95%
6737 96%
7015 93%
7287 89%
6332 103%
6727 97%
9905 66%
18082 36%
8741 74%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62.3
37
36
63
38
43
62
40
35
62
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
96.8
58
56
96
59
67
94
63
55
95
Noise
off / environment *
30
30.7
30.2
30.2
30.3
30.3
Idle Minimum *
30
30.7
30.2
30.2
30.3
30.3
Idle Average *
30
30.7
30.2
30.2
30.3
30.3
Idle Maximum *
30.3
30.7
30.2
30.2
31.1
30.3
Load Average *
31.6
31.6
30.2
34.8
40.7
30.8
Load Maximum *
31.6
33.6
30.2
39.5
40.8
32
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
44
34.4
39.4
44.5
35
37.4
39
33.7
34.5
36.2
Maximum Bottom *
43
34.2
39.7
49.5
36.1
41.4
38.9
36.1
33.8
33.9
Idle Upper Side *
26
27.4
28.2
33.3
28.1
27.2
26.4
24.9
23.9
26.8
Idle Bottom *
24.4
27.1
30.3
33
30.3
27
27.1
27.4
25.9
25.4
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
771
951
1061
H.264
384
594
WiFi v1.3
448
570
359
491
466
555
520
334
270
370
Load
180
157
130
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
2.88
5.6
3.2
3.3
3.7
2.4
3.6
3.5
2.8
2.9
Idle Average *
4.8
7.6
6.2
6.1
6.2
4.5
5.7
6.2
4.8
7.7
Idle Maximum *
7.5
9.8
7.2
8
8.4
4.6
6.5
6.6
4.9
8.2
Load Average *
16.9
25.1
30
17.3
31.1
12.8
13.5
32
23
13.8
Load Maximum *
23.8
24.4
50
25.7
43.1
14.3
14.3
29
24.5
14.5

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Acer Swift 3 SF314-54-P2RK
HD Graphics 610, Pentium 4417U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
3472 Points ∼51%
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14IIL05
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i3-1005G1, WDC PC SN520 SDAPMUW-256G
2610 Points ∼38%
Chuwi LapBook Pro
UHD Graphics 600, Celeron N4100, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2991 Points ∼44%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R6WW
Vega 8, R5 3500U, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
4570 Points ∼67%
Asus M509DA-EJ153T
Vega 3, R3 3200U, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
4380 Points ∼64%
Lenovo Ideapad S145-15API 81UT002XGE
Vega 3, Athlon 300U, Samsung PM991 MZALQ128HBHQ-000L2
4524 Points ∼66%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
UHD Graphics 615, Pentium 4415Y, 64 GB eMMC Flash
741 Points ∼12%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-54-P2RK
HD Graphics 610, Pentium 4417U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
2196 Points ∼36%
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14IIL05
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i3-1005G1, WDC PC SN520 SDAPMUW-256G
3221 Points ∼53%
Chuwi LapBook Pro
UHD Graphics 600, Celeron N4100, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1918 Points ∼31%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R6WW
Vega 8, R5 3500U, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
3317 Points ∼54%
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 11IGL05
UHD Graphics 600, Celeron N4020, SanDisk DA4064
1811 Points ∼30%
Asus M509DA-EJ153T
Vega 3, R3 3200U, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
3065 Points ∼50%
Lenovo Ideapad S145-15API 81UT002XGE
Vega 3, Athlon 300U, Samsung PM991 MZALQ128HBHQ-000L2
2821 Points ∼46%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
UHD Graphics 615, Pentium 4415Y, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1334 Points ∼3%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-54-P2RK
HD Graphics 610, Pentium 4417U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
996 Points ∼3%
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14IIL05
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i3-1005G1, WDC PC SN520 SDAPMUW-256G
2167 Points ∼6%
Chuwi LapBook Pro
UHD Graphics 600, Celeron N4100, 64 GB eMMC Flash
652 Points ∼2%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R6WW
Vega 8, R5 3500U, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
2686 Points ∼7%
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 11IGL05
UHD Graphics 600, Celeron N4020, SanDisk DA4064
589 Points ∼2%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 B118-G2-RN-P7ED
UHD Graphics 605, Pentium N5000, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
721 Points ∼2%
Asus M509DA-EJ153T
Vega 3, R3 3200U, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
2097 Points ∼5%
Lenovo Ideapad S145-15API 81UT002XGE
Vega 3, Athlon 300U, Samsung PM991 MZALQ128HBHQ-000L2
1612 Points ∼4%
3DMark
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
UHD Graphics 615, Pentium 4415Y, 64 GB eMMC Flash
4186 Points ∼6%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-54-P2RK
HD Graphics 610, Pentium 4417U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
4179 Points ∼6%
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14IIL05
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i3-1005G1, WDC PC SN520 SDAPMUW-256G
7888 Points ∼12%
Chuwi LapBook Pro
UHD Graphics 600, Celeron N4100, 64 GB eMMC Flash
3187 Points ∼5%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R6WW
Vega 8, R5 3500U, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
9110 Points ∼14%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 B118-G2-RN-P7ED
UHD Graphics 605, Pentium N5000, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
3033 Points ∼5%
Asus M509DA-EJ153T
Vega 3, R3 3200U, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
7154 Points ∼11%
Lenovo Ideapad S145-15API 81UT002XGE
Vega 3, Athlon 300U, Samsung PM991 MZALQ128HBHQ-000L2
5655 Points ∼8%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
UHD Graphics 615, Pentium 4415Y, 64 GB eMMC Flash
39091 Points ∼4%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-54-P2RK
HD Graphics 610, Pentium 4417U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
35756 Points ∼3%
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14IIL05
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i3-1005G1, WDC PC SN520 SDAPMUW-256G
59168 Points ∼5%
Chuwi LapBook Pro
UHD Graphics 600, Celeron N4100, 64 GB eMMC Flash
29350 Points ∼3%
Asus M509DA-EJ153T
Vega 3, R3 3200U, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
65202 Points ∼6%
Lenovo Ideapad S145-15API 81UT002XGE
Vega 3, Athlon 300U, Samsung PM991 MZALQ128HBHQ-000L2
56097 Points ∼5%
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Florian Schmitt (Update: 2020-10-14)