Best HP Laptop Under $500

Share this content

This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase.

Finding the perfect laptop can feel overwhelming, especially within a tight budget. HP offers a diverse range of options, but navigating the sub-$500 category requires careful consideration.

This article dives deep into the details of a specific HP laptop under $500, analyzing its strengths, weaknesses, and suitability for various user needs.

By the end, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision about whether the HP 15 laptop aligns perfectly with your requirements or not.

Understanding Your Needs

Before we delve into the details of the HP 15 laptop, take a moment to assess your primary laptop usage scenarios. Here’s a breakdown of ideal processor and RAM configurations for different needs:

Basic tasks (web browsing, email, light productivity): A Pentium processor with 4GB of RAM is sufficient. Check out the best laptops for bill pay and browsing.
Everyday tasks (streaming, document editing, video conferencing): Aim for 8GB of RAM and a processor like the AMD Ryzen 3 or Intel Core i3.
More demanding tasks (light gaming, photo editing): Up your game with 8GB of RAM and a processor like the AMD Ryzen 5 or Intel Core i5.

The specific HP budget laptop we’ll explore in this article boasts a generous 16GB of RAM, exceeding the base requirement for most everyday tasks. However, the processor, an Intel Pentium N200, falls into the basic category.

Best HP Laptop Under $500 Hp Laptops

HP Laptop Under $500
The Best HP Laptop Under $500Find more HP laptops for you!
Dimensions L x W x H (inches): 14.11 x 9.52 x 0.78
Processor: Intel Pentium N200 4 Cores
Memory: 16 GB DDR4-3200 MHz
Operating system: Windows 11 Home in S Mode
Display: 15.6″ (1280 x 720p)
Hard Drive: 128GB SSD and 128GB USB 
Ports: 2 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 x HDMI 1.4 b, 1 x Headphone/mic combo, 1 x AC smart pin 21.
Webcam: HP True Vision 720p HD camera


Multitasking Master: With a whopping 16GB of DDR4 RAM, this HP 16GB RAM laptop excels in handling numerous programs simultaneously. Switching between applications will be a smooth and seamless experience, allowing you to multitask with ease.

Storage Solution: The combination of a 128GB SSD and an additional 128GB USB storage drive offers a well-rounded balance. The SSD delivers lightning-fast boot times and application loading speeds, while the USB drive expands your storage capacity for documents, photos, or videos. This gives you the best of both worlds: speed and space.

Productivity Suite Included: One year of Microsoft Office 365, pre-installed on this laptop, provides access to essential tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive cloud storage. This is a significant perk for students and professionals who rely heavily on these applications for their work or studies.

Long-lasting Battery Life: The advertised 11 hours and 45 minutes of video playback time translates to impressive on-the-go usability. You can work or stream content for extended periods without the constant worry of finding a charging outlet. This makes it ideal for students who spend long hours in libraries or professionals who travel frequently for work.

Lightweight and Portable: Weighing in at a mere 3.74 pounds, this laptop is a dream come true for those who prioritize portability. Whether you’re carrying it to campus, the office, or on your travels, its lightweight design ensures effortless mobility.

Clear Communication: The integrated 720p HD camera with dual microphones facilitates clear video calls and online meetings. Whether you’re connecting with colleagues, classmates, or family, this laptop ensures effective communication with crisp visuals and audio.

Windows 11 Home in S Mode: This version of Windows prioritizes security by focusing on Microsoft-approved apps. While it restricts the installation of some software, it offers a streamlined and potentially safer experience, particularly for students or those less comfortable navigating complex settings. It’s a good choice for those who primarily use web-based applications or Microsoft products.



Processor Power: The HP 15.6 laptop Intel processor n200 (Intel Pentium N200) is adequate for basic tasks but might struggle with demanding applications like video editing or high-end games. If you anticipate using your laptop for more resource-intensive tasks, you might need to consider an HP model with a more powerful processor like the AMD Ryzen or Intel Core series.

Display Quality: The 15.6-inch HD display offers a decent viewing experience. However, user reviews mention limitations in viewing angles and potential glare issues. If you frequently watch movies or work in bright environments, this could be a drawback. Consider your usage scenarios and prioritize a higher-quality display if necessary.

Windows 11 Home in S Mode: While S Mode offers security benefits, it can be restrictive for users who rely on specific non-Microsoft applications like Chrome or Photoshop. Removing S Mode is possible but can be a complex process. If you require unrestricted software installation, explore alternative HP models available outside of S Mode.

No Touchscreen or Backlit Keyboard: This HP 16GB RAM laptop lacks these features, which some users might find desirable, especially for tasks like photo editing or working in low-light conditions.

Limited Storage Expansion: The additional 128GB USB storage, while convenient, is not as fast as the internal SSD. Consider using cloud storage or an external hard drive for extensive file storage needs, especially if you plan on storing large media files.

In-Depth Look at Windows 11 Home in S Mode

Windows 11 Home in S Mode offers a streamlined and potentially more secure experience. Here’s a closer look at its pros and cons:

Enhanced security: S Mode restricts software installation to the Microsoft Store, reducing the risk of malware infections.
Streamlined interface: With a focus on Microsoft-approved apps, the interface is less cluttered and easier to navigate, especially for novice users.
Improved battery life: S Mode can potentially contribute to slightly longer battery life due to reduced background processes.
Limited software options: You can only install apps from the Microsoft Store, which might not include all the software you need, particularly specialized programs.
Removing S Mode can be complex: While possible, the process of switching out of S Mode can be cumbersome and involve potential security risks if not done correctly.

Making the Perfect Choice: Putting it All Together

zgQ341pEY0G9MaL 1

The ideal HP laptop under $500 boils down to aligning your needs with its capabilities. This specific laptop excels in multitasking, storage flexibility, portability, and battery life. It’s a solid choice for students, casual users, and those who primarily focus on web-based activities and basic productivity tasks.

However, if you require more processing power for demanding applications, prioritize a high-quality display, or rely on specific non-Microsoft software, consider exploring alternative HP models within the sub-$500 range, like the HP Pavilion series, or look for models outside of Windows 11 Home in S Mode.

Final Thoughts: HP 15 Laptop

Despite the limitations in storage expansion through the USB drive, you can always consider adding an external hard drive for a significant storage boost. Upgrading the RAM in this specific model might not be feasible, but some HP laptops within this price range offer user-upgradeable RAM slots.

Ultimately, the best HP laptop under $500 is the one that seamlessly integrates with your workflow and usage patterns. By carefully considering your needs and weighing the strengths and limitations of this particular laptop and its alternatives, you’ll be well on your way to making an informed decision that empowers your digital life.

Share this content

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter