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Best Thin Laptops under $500 [2020 Review]

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Ever wondered how thin your laptop should be? Well, we suppose you understand that thinner is more often lighter. And lightweight laptops are easy to handle whether you are a student commuting to school, college or just heading to work; your choice will always affect your comfort.

Best Thin Laptops Under $500

If you mind how thin your laptop should be, we’ve assembled a list of some of the best thin laptops on a $500 budget.

Brand
Best Overall
Lenovo IdeaPad 120s
Best Compact
Dell Inspiron 11 3000
Best Lightweight
HP Stream 11
Product
Lenovo Ideapad 210s 11.6 inch HD Flagship Laptop
2018 NEW Dell Inspiron 11 3000 11.6" HD...
HP Stream Laptop PC 11.6" Intel N4000 4GB DDR4...
Processor
1.1 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2.56 GHz Pentium
1.1 GHz Intel Celeron
RAM
2 GB
4 GB DDR3L
4 GB SDRAM
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Lenovo IdeaPad 120s
Product
Lenovo Ideapad 210s 11.6 inch HD Flagship Laptop
Processor
1.1 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
RAM
2 GB
Rating
Price
Best Compact
Brand
Dell Inspiron 11 3000
Product
2018 NEW Dell Inspiron 11 3000 11.6" HD...
Processor
2.56 GHz Pentium
RAM
4 GB DDR3L
Rating
Price
Best Lightweight
Brand
HP Stream 11
Product
HP Stream Laptop PC 11.6" Intel N4000 4GB DDR4...
Processor
1.1 GHz Intel Celeron
RAM
4 GB SDRAM
Rating
Price

1. HP Stream 11 – Best Lightweight

HP Stream Laptop PC 11.6' Intel N4000 4GB DDR4...

The HP Stream 11 is one of the best budget notebooks in the market. It’s stylish, small and fanless, weighing 2.74 pounds. One of the most defining design aspects of the HP Stream 11 is the fact that HP made it available in a number of colorful options.

You can opt for either magenta or cobalt blue, which is an impressive touch of elegance at this price point. The HP Stream is cheap enough to compete with a Chromebook. It packs an Intel Celeron N2840 similar to what Chromebooks have but on the flip side suffers slower cold-boots.

Even so, it makes a workhorse for real-work computing tasks such as web browsing, word processing, and lightweight productivity work.

Pros

  • Great price – low
  • Bright and colorful design
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Solid performance
  • Sports 1TB cloud storage and 1-year Office 365 subscription

Cons

  • Half decent display
  • Slow-boot-up times
  • Limited onboard storage

Verdict

If you’re thinking budget laptop and don’t want to yield to the Chrome OS side, the HP Stream 11 is a great Windows option to run to. It’s inherently cheaper than most Chromebooks, is portable, has a great design, and tops it off with great audio.

Finally, for users looking for a reliable travel companion, they’ll find the 0.7 inches easy to fit in a bag and 2.74 pounds weight light on their shoulders. In many respects, the HP Stream 11 borrows its aspects from the sublimely thin industry-leading HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptop.

HP Stream Laptop PC 11.6" Intel N4000 4GB DDR4...
  • 11.6" HD Display
  • 32 GB eMMC storage: An embedded Multimedia Card provides reliable flash-based storage
  • Dual-core Intel Celeron N4000 processor

Related: Best laptops for Finance Majors

2. Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1- Best Compact

2018 NEW Dell Inspiron 11 3000 11.6' HD...

On top of being Dell’s current cheapest laptop, the Dell flaunts a candy red plastic clamshell design that’s hard to miss from a mile away. Users can also opt for other color options including blue, gray or white.

Compared to other laptops in its price point, such as the HP Stream 11, it’s 0.82 inches height and 2.84 pounds is a bit on the larger side. Well, that’s nothing above the average notebook size of 1.0 inches and 3.0 pounds so it should also be easy to carry it around. On the bright side, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 makes up for that loss by being convertible which means flexible.

Also, the budget system is a decent performer for a sub $200 budget system. It packs an anemic 6 hours 29 min battery which should allow you almost full day’s work.

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Great battery life
  • Decent audio
  • Includes HDMI port
  • Touchscreen display
  • Core m3 processor

Cons

  • Dim display
  • Relatively short battery

Verdict

In addition to being slim, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 comes with a touchscreen display and Intel Core m3 processor that outperforms lower-powered competitors with Intel Celeron, and Atom processors.

While we didn’t like the few wrinkles it comes with, for instance, 1366 by 768 resolution and relatively short battery life, for the price it sells for, those are only small compromises. That said, it should be a favorite among teenagers and students for its aesthetics and parents for its price.

2018 NEW Dell Inspiron 11 3000 11.6" HD...
  • 11.6" HD touch screen provides clear images at 1366 x 768 resolution. LED backlighting provides a...
  • 7th Generation AMD A9-9420e Processor. It can Respond to Your Basic Demands to the Intensive Ones...
  • 4GB 2400MHz DDR4 Memory Which is Beneficial for it Enhances Your Laptop’s Multitasking Capability.

3. Lenovo IdeaPad 120s – Best Designed

Lenovo Ideapad 210s 11.6 inch HD Flagship Laptop

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the Lenovo is its impressive design and USB-C ports. It mostly averages on other features like battery life, display, audio, and performance. In terms of dimensions, it measures 0.71 inches at its thickest point and tips the scale at 2.53 pounds in weight.

Size matters, it easily compares to the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (3162) (0.78 inches). That means it should not present any problems commuting with it to college or work. However, our biggest gripe that could seek it unworthy is the 2GB memory available for its base configuration.

If you can get at least 4GB configuration, which is at par with what we recommend for Chromebooks, then you have yourself a deal.

Pros

  • Impressive build quality and stylish design
  • Futuristic ports, including USB-C
  • Sleek, compact chassis
  • Office 365 subscription for 6 months

Cons

  • Washed-out screen
  • Narrow viewing angles
  • Poor webcam
  • Only 2GB RAM

Verdict

The Lenovo IdeaPad 120s is a well-designed laptop, but the performance and battery life considered, it doesn’t unseat our Editor’s Choice budget Ultraportable, the Acer Swift 1 (offers IPS screen, better performance).

Still, we recommend it as a handy go-to-laptop for everyday apps. Ideally, it’s a great starting point for your kids if you prefer them joining in through Windows 10. We recommend it for users on a tighter-than-tight budget just like the Inspiron 3162 and Stream 11.

P.S. It performs better than the two, but we prefer their screens and keyboards. The Acer Aspire 1 still remains a better choice if you don’t mind topping up a few extra dollars.

Lenovo Ideapad 210s 11.6 inch HD Flagship Laptop
  • 11.6" (1366 x 768) HD Energy-efficient LED backlight display, Intel HD Graphics 500
  • Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core processor, 1.10 GHz Base up to 2.0 GHz, 2GB RAM, 32GB eMMC
  • Stereo Speakers, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Webcam, Media Reader

A lover of MacBook Air and the Dell XPS line of laptops, Liam has been researching and writing as a guest blogger for numerous websites for over 10 years. Now, he blogs about tech trends, PCs, laptops, gadgets, and other emerging gadgets on FancyAppliance.com.