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Buying guides for the best 14″ laptops under $500
If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly laptop that won’t break the bank, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all of your options. You are likely dealing with questions such as what features to look for and how much value each item holds. Finding a balance between features and affordability can be difficult – but don’t fret, we have got good news!
We did the research so you don’t have to, in this post we will share our top 14″ picks of laptops under 500 dollars. Take advantage of our expertise in finding superior products within this price range to help bring clarity while shopping around.
Top 6 best 14″ laptops under $500 to buy in 2023
*Note: Score is based on our AI score (Editor’s choice and rating)
What are 14″ laptops?
A 14″ laptop is a type of computer that features a 14-inch display. This type of laptop is typically preferred by students, professionals, and business travelers due to its portability and convenience. A 14″ laptop offers the perfect balance between being lightweight and having enough screen real estate to be productive.
Benefits of 14″ laptops under $500
- Portability: Most laptops under 500 are much lighter and more compact than their desktop counterparts, making them easier to carry around during travel or when you’re on the go. This makes them great for students who don’t have the luxury of a fixed location or those who need to work while they’re away from home.
- Ease of Use: Laptops usually require less set-up time and offer an intuitive user interface which makes them easier to use than desktops, making it possible for users with little to no technical knowledge to be able to operate one without confusion.
- Connectivity Options: If you find yourself always on the move and in need of connecting with your friends, family, and colleagues, laptops under 500 usually come with a variety of connectivity options such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth which allows you to access the internet and other networks wherever you are.
- Affordable Price: Laptops bought for under $500 offer great value for money when compared to their more expensive counterparts. With many models offering similar specs from manufacturers like HP, Acer, and Dell, you can get great performance without breaking the bank.
- Performance: Although they may not be able to offer the same power as higher end systems, laptops under 500 are still capable of performing basic tasks such as surfing the web, streaming videos, or running software programs like Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop. For those who do not need the latest and greatest specs, these systems are more than enough.
- Longer Battery Life: Many laptops under 500 come with extended battery life so you can work or surf the web for longer periods of time without needing to be plugged into a power source. This is great for those who need to stay productive while on long trips or who don’t have access to an outlet.
- Wide Variety: There are many different models available when it comes to laptops under 500, so you’re sure to find something that fits your needs as well as your budget. Whether you want a laptop with great graphics capabilities or just one that will help you write papers and browse the web, there are plenty of options available.
- Upgradeability: Many laptops under 500 come with removable components such as RAM and hard drives, allowing you to easily upgrade your system when needed without needing to buy a new laptop. This gives you plenty of room for growth in the future should your needs change.
Pros and Cons of 14″ laptops under $500
- Cost-Efficient – Laptops under 500 are usually budget-friendly and provide good value for money as compared to laptops that cost more than 500 dollars.
- Portable – A laptop under 500 will be lighter in weight, making it easier to take with you on the go. This is especially important if you need a laptop for travel or work purposes.
- Connectivity – Most laptops under 500 come equipped with WiFi and other necessary connections, allowing you the ability to stay connected online wherever you go.
- Versatility – With a laptop under 500, you can do just about anything you would normally do on a higher priced model, such as browsing the internet, writing emails, or streaming movies and music.
- Limited Performance – While laptops under 500 can be used for basic tasks, they may not have the same level of performance as more expensive models do when it comes to gaming, video editing, or other intensive tasks.
- Reduced Battery Life – As laptops under 500 tend to be less powerful than their higher priced counterparts, they will usually have a shorter battery life as well.
- Low Quality Components – Many cheaper laptops come with lower quality components such as older processors and lower RAM compared to more expensive models. This can lead to slower performance and reduced reliability over time.
How to use 14″ laptops?
- Connecting to the Internet: Before you can use your laptop, you must first connect it to a reliable internet connection. This can be done either wirelessly or through an Ethernet cable. If connecting wirelessly, make sure that your router is powered on and within range of the laptop. Once connected, test the connection by opening a web browser and visiting a website such as Google.
- Installing Software: Once your laptop is online, you may want to take advantage of its storage space by installing some software programs or applications. Most laptops come with some built-in software already installed, but if there are any specific programs or applications that you need for work or entertainment, they should be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website or an app store.
- Setting up Security Features: It’s important to set up security features on your laptop in order to keep it safe from hackers and malware attacks. You should enable a firewall, install anti-virus software, and conduct regular scans for any malicious programs or viruses. Additionally, you can use passwords and encryption to protect sensitive information stored on the device.
- Connecting External Devices: Laptops are great for connecting external devices such as cameras, microphones, printers, scanners, and more. Many of these devices come with cords that connect directly to the laptop’s USB ports or headphone jack. Make sure that all drivers are installed before attempting to use any of these devices.
- Customizing Settings: Finally, take some time to customize your laptop’s settings. This includes setting a wallpaper, changing font sizes, and colors, and enabling or disabling certain features. You may also want to configure power-saving settings in order to extend the battery life of the device. With these tips in mind, you should be ready to start using your laptop!
Common mistakes when using 14″ laptops under $500
- Ignoring the laptop’s display size: Many people underestimate how important display size can be when buying a laptop. A small display can make it difficult to read text, watch videos, or do other tasks that require visual attention.
- Skimping on RAM: RAM (random access memory) is an essential part of any computer and without enough of it, your laptop will struggle with multitasking and performing basic functions such as web browsing or watching movies. Make sure you get at least 4GB of RAM for a decent laptop experience under 500$.
- Not considering battery life: Battery life is especially important if you plan to use your laptop away from a power source often. Look for laptops with at least 6 hours of battery life.
- Not checking the processor: The processor is the brainpower behind your laptop and a slow processor could mean a lot of lag and frustration. Check for laptops with Intel Core i3 or higher processors to ensure you get decent performance.
- Choosing an incompatible OS: Depending on what type of software you plan to use, it’s important to make sure that the laptop you buy has an operating system (OS) that is compatible with the programs you want to run. For example, if you need Windows-specific software, then look for laptops running Windows 10 instead of Chromebooks or Macbooks which are not compatible with all types of software.
- Overlooking storage space: A laptop with a small storage capacity will soon become full and you won’t be able to store all of your data. Look for laptops that have at least 256GB of storage space.
Factors to consider before buying 14″ laptops under $500
Processor: The processor is the most important part of your laptop and should be one of the most important factors you consider before buying. Look for a laptop with an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor at least.
RAM: Random Access Memory (RAM) is essential for multitasking and running multiple applications simultaneously on your laptop. Make sure you get at least 8GB of RAM with any laptop under 500 dollars to ensure smooth performance.
Storage: Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSD) are two types of storage that laptops come equipped with. SSDs are faster but pricier, so if budget is an issue, go for an HDD which offers enough storage for everyday tasks.
Graphics: For basic video editing or gaming, you will need to invest in a laptop with an integrated graphics processor such as Intel HD or AMD Radeon. Look for laptops that offer a dedicated GPU if you want better performance.
Screen Size and Resolution: A good screen size is essential to enjoy your media content on the go. Look for at least a 14-inch display with a higher resolution such as Full HD (1920 x 1080) or 4K (3840 x 2160).
Battery Life: The battery life of your laptop should be sufficient enough to meet your needs during travel or other activities away from the wall socket. Consider buying a laptop with at least 6 hours of battery life.
Operating System: Your operating system is the backbone of your laptop, and you should consider what OS you need on your device. Windows 10 is a popular choice among consumers, but macOS and Chrome OS are also viable options depending on your needs.
Connectivity: Make sure you buy a laptop with all the ports necessary for connecting to external devices or accessories such as USB-C port, HDMI port, or audio jack, etc., to make data transfers easy. Additionally, WiFi support should be present for easier Internet access.
Weight: One of the most crucial factors when it comes to laptops is portability. Look for a lightweight laptop that won’t weigh down your backpack or take up too much space in your bag.
Warranty: Most laptops come with a standard 1-year warranty, but you should look for extended warranties that offer extra protection if something goes wrong with the laptop. This will help you save money on repairs and replacements in the future.
Brand: It’s always wise to look at reliable brands like Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, etc. when looking for quality laptops under 500 dollars. They have years of experience in providing high-quality devices and their customer service is top-notch.
Price: The price should be taken into account as it determines how much you can get out of your budget laptop. Look for discounts or sales on popular models to get the best value for your money.
Style: Apart from the design, look for laptops that come in various colors and styles to suit your tastes. Choose a laptop that has been designed with ergonomics in mind to ensure you stay comfortable when working on it for long periods of time.
Customer Service: When you’re shopping for a laptop, it’s important to consider the customer service offered by the manufacturer. Look for companies that have good customer support so you can get help if something goes wrong with your device.
Material: The material of the laptop should also be considered when purchasing one. Laptops made of plastic are usually cheaper, thinner, and lighter; however, metal laptops tend to be more durable and longer lasting. Decide which one suits your needs better before making a purchase.
Tips to use 14″ laptops
- Use a secure password- Make sure to create a strong and unique password to protect your laptop from unauthorized access.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks- Public Wi-Fi hotspots are often unsecured, so it’s best to avoid using them when possible.
- Create regular backups- Backing up your files on a regular basis is important in case of data loss or hardware failure.
- Keep software updated- Keeping software up to date helps ensure that you have the latest security patches installed on your laptop.
- Use an antivirus program- Installing an antivirus program can help keep you safe from viruses and malware threats online.
- Don’t leave your laptop unattended- Leaving your laptop in public or unsecured areas can put you at risk of theft or data loss.
- Keep personal information secure- Make sure to store sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, securely on your laptop.
- Don’t click on suspicious links- Be careful when clicking on links online, even if they come from trusted sources. They could be malicious and lead to a virus infection.
- Disable Bluetooth connections- Keeping Bluetooth connections turned off when not in use reduces the risk of unauthorized access to your device.
- Power down when not in use- When you’re done using your laptop for the day, be sure to power it down and remove any external storage drives. This will help protect your data from unauthorized access.
- Disable auto-login features- Disabling auto-login features on your laptop can help keep your account secure when you’re not around.
- Turn off file sharing options- Turning off file sharing options can help prevent unwanted visitors from accessing data stored on your laptop.
Is 14″ a good size laptop?
It depends on what you plan to use the laptop for. If you want to do a lot of gaming, then getting a larger laptop with more powerful components may be a better option.
However, if your main purpose is basic web browsing and office applications, then a 14-inch laptop may be perfect for your needs. It can provide good portability and still have enough screen space for comfortable viewing. Battery life will also likely be better than in larger laptops, making it ideal for those who need to stay productive while on the go.
Ultimately, the best size laptop depends on your unique needs, so consider all the factors that are important to you before deciding which size is right for you.
Which age range of laptops is best?
When it comes to choosing the best laptop for your needs, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The right laptop depends on what you will be using it for and your budget.
Generally speaking, laptops in the mid-range age range (2-3 years)are a good option as they offer a balance of affordability and performance. These laptops usually have good specs such as plenty of RAM, decent processor speeds, and solid graphics cards so they can still handle most applications with ease.
If you’re looking to save money or don’t demand high levels of performance, then an older laptop may be suitable for your needs. However, if you want top end performance for gaming or intensive multitasking, then a newer model may be a better choice.
Ultimately, the best age range for a laptop for you depends on your budget and desired specifications.
We understand that finding the best laptops under $500 can be a daunting task. We hope that our list of the 14″ best laptops under $500 has given you a good starting point in your search for the perfect laptop for your needs. Remember to consider all of the factors we discussed when making your decision and, most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!