The safest way to buy anything expensive, particularly when it comes to electronics, is to make an informed decision based upon things that you have read on the internet. Ultimately, you need to read reviews. There are two ways that you could do this, you can search Google for a review of a specific product or you can find a place which has dozens of detailed reviews and ratings compiled in the same place. If you do the former you are likely to result in a bias review written by a marketer who takes a commission for making a sale.
So, we did the groundwork for you. Using Amazon, we identified the top rated laptops based on the average customer rating out of five starts to suit a variety of budgets, with the only condition that a laptop has to have had at least 10 customer reviews in total. As a result we can present two fantastic laptops which can officially been considered the two top rated laptops under $500! Both of these systems represent great value for money, and it is truly difficult to choose between them! Simply click on any image to see the Amazon product listings for these laptops.
Lenovo G560 Series 0679ALU 15.6-Inch Laptop
The best rated laptop is actually this, the Lenovo G560, with a massively impressive 11 perfect 5 star reviews from a total of 13 reviews. This sits pretty at the very top of the list of best rated laptops under $500 when the top rated netbooks are disregarded. It is, simply, a fantastic laptop for the money. A power Intel P6200 will comfortably deal with all but the most advanced modern software packages, a genuine 16:9 widescreen 15.6 inch HD screen enables superior movie watching and gaming, whilst 4GB of RAM means that no system memory upgrade will be required for some time!
Lenovo are experts at releasing low cost laptops which miss out the pointless unnecessary rubbish and concentrate on budgeting entirely for the provision of powerful and reliable components. Other great features include an integrated webcam, stereo speakers, and a numeric keyboard. Lenovo laptops have a unique selling point too, they use facial recognition technology for the login!
Simply open up your laptop, and if it recognizes you it will let you straight onto your desktop without requiring you to login! You can even encrypt sensitive files, to be opened only by you or your identical twin. A fantastic laptop which retails at $499.99, can be found on Amazon for just $418.00 at time of writing, and is probably worth over $600 when compared with similar laptops in higher price brackets. Oh, and it looks great too, as you can see by the images! A sleek yet highly simple design makes it conservative enough for business yet trendy enough for the coffee shop. This laptop was also selected for our article Best Multimedia Laptop Under $500.
HP ProBook 4525s XT950UT 15.6″ LED Notebook
Next up with have the fantastic HP ProBook 4525s, a laptop which has a fantastic average customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 across a large sample of over 40 customer reviews! It shouldn’t be a surprise either, this laptop is easily worth the usual retail price of $599.99 despite being available for less than $450 at time of writing. The major selling point is without a doubt the powerful 2.2GHz AMD Athlon II P340 processor.
This laptop ticks all the boxes when it comes to the basics, a decent ATi Mobility Radeon HD 4250 graphics chip, a 7200 rpm 320GB SATA hard drive, an integrated 2MP webcam, and bluetooth and wireless built in. It has everything that you need, and more than you could usually expect with a low budget. Perhaps the only dissapointment is the 2 GB of RAM, but this can be extended all the way up to 8 GB at little cost should you ever find the laptop slowing with age!