Less than 500 euros, which cheap computer to choose?

A student laptop should be versatile, offer an attractive price/quality ratio, offer maximum connectivity, be light and above all, and as inexpensive as possible. Here is our buying guide for finding the rare pearl.

In this buying guide you will find a selection of Notebooks suitable for student use and on display at the lowest possible price. So we limited ourselves to a selection of laptops that do not go beyond the limits 500 EUR.

Acer Swift 1 – Amazon Credit / Acer

At this price, compromises are mandatory: with some exceptions, do not forget about ultra-fast portable models, powerful models or even those that allow you to play the latest games in 4K. When we talk about cheap laptops for students, which model allows Writing lessons, designing presentations, and editing photos or videosIt’s often necessary to be satisfied with a 15.6-inch model at most, integrated graphics, and it’s sometimes delivered with Windows 10S instead of Windows 10 Home, or even a Chromebook. But whichever solution is chosen, students like it broadcast video It can go on in the cold on Netflix.

What are the best laptops under $500?

  • Lenovo IdeaPad Duet
  • Acer Aspire 3 (A315-58-35UP)
  • Dell Inspiron 15 (3511)


  • very low price
  • high autonomy
  • removable keyboard
  • Many ways to use
  • very small dimensions

we don’t like


It can be used as a tablet, to watch streaming movies anywhere (from Youtube, Netflix, Disney +, etc.), or as a laptop, using the keyboard, to do your calculations or work in Word (thanks to Google Play Store), The IdeaPad Duet is a Chromebook that offers great flexibility of use, particularly thanks to the dorsal crutch. On the other hand, the laptop proves to be very durable and its low profile format makes it possible to carry it anywhere without effort. All for less than 300 euros!

Release date in France: end of 2020

Its technical sheet:

  • Processor: MediaTek P60T
  • GPU: Mali G72
  • Memory / Storage: 4 GB / 64 GB
  • Screen: 10.1 inch FHD (1920 x 1200 pixels)
  • Fingerprint Reader: No
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Number of USB C/A Ports: 1/0
  • Battery: 27 Wh
  • Wi-Fi / Bluetooth: 5 (ac) / 4.2
  • Weight: 450g (without keyboard) / 920g (with keyboard)

Its main feature: Its modularity and rear stand make it easy to use in tablet mode.

Its main drawback: One USB C port.

his family : The IdeaPad Duet 5, offered at 499 euros in Boulanger, has a larger screen (13.3 inches) and better quality (OLED technology), as well as a Snapdragon processor, two USB ports and Wi-Fi 6. The IdeaPad Duet 3 10IGL5, in the meantime, takes the concept of Small-format laptop with detachable keyboard, but this time under Windows (429.99 euros at Darty).

Its main competitors: Laptops sold between 200 and 300 euros almost always include only 4 GB of memory and up to 128 GB of storage. On the other hand, its screen with a diagonal of 14 or 15.6 inches only supports the lower resolution (HD, or 1366 x 768 pixels), it is never touchable and can not be separated from the keyboard. Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet is very unusual from this point of view.


  • Good viewing comfort
  • modern therapist

we don’t like

  • No USB-C port
  • micro webcam definition


The Aspire 3’s 11th generation Core i3 processor is enough to run the simplest office applications (Word, Excel, Internet browser, etc.) in good conditions, as well as multimedia sites and applications (VLC, Windows Media Player, Netflix, Youtube, Spotify, etc. ). Of course, due to the very low price of the configuration, some equipment is absent or limited.

Release date in France: early 2021

Its technical sheet:

  • Processor: Intel Core i3-1115G4
  • Graphics Processor: Intel UHD Graphics
  • Memory / Storage: 4 GB / 128 GB
  • Screen: 15.6 inch Full HD
  • Fingerprint Reader: No
  • Webcam: VGA (640 x 480 pixels)
  • Number of USB C/A Ports: 0/3
  • Battery: 36.7Wh
  • Wi-Fi / Bluetooth: 5 (ac) / 5.0
  • Weight: 1.7 kg

Its main feature: More efficient processor than Intel Celeron or Intel Pentium models.

Its main drawback: No USB C port, only VGA webcam.

his family : For 100 euros more, Acer offers the Aspire 3 with 8 GB of memory and an SSD twice the size (256 GB).

Its main competitors: The Asus Chromebook C523NA-A20460, which was sold for 389.99 euros on Amazon, runs on Chrome OS. It is equipped with a 15.6-inch Full HD touch screen which can simplify some processing and use of some applications, such as Youtube or Netflix.


  • Good viewing comfort
  • Fast processor for this price
  • Wifi 6
  • SD memory card reader

we don’t like

  • No ethernet connectors


15.6-inch HD display, 11th generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB NVMe SSD, all in Windows 10 Home: it’s hard to do better under the €500 mark! Add to this a microSD card reader, an HDMI output and 3 USB ports (two USB 3.2 standard and one USB 2.0), and you get a very complete laptop for studying in excellent conditions. We also appreciate that wireless data transfers take place at a high speed, thanks to Wi-Fi 6.

Release date in France: early 2021

Its technical sheet:

  • Processor: Intel Core i3-1115G4
  • Graphics Processor: Intel UHD Graphics
  • Memory / Storage: 8 GB / 256 GB
  • Screen: 15.6 inch Full HD
  • Fingerprint Reader: No
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Number of USB C/A Ports: 0/3
  • Battery: 41 Wh
  • Wi-Fi / Bluetooth: 6 (X) / 5.0
  • Weight: 1.85 kg

Its main feature: The equipment/price ratio is excellent.

Its main drawback: There is no USB C port.

his family : This Inspiron is also available with 11th-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 chipsets (the latter, which sells for €799 on the manufacturer’s website, includes the relatively fast Iris Xe graphics chip).

Its main competitors: The Huawei Matebook D 15 2020, currently offered at €499 on Amazon, has equipment similar to that of the Dell Inspiron 15. And if it has the advantage of carrying a USB C port and a fingerprint reader, its processor is only 10th generation and may raise the position of the webcam Users who want to use it regularly (read our review of the Huawei Matebook D16) are pissed off. In a completely different fashion, the HP Chromebook x360 14c-ca0012nf, which sells for 499 euros at Boulanger, has a 14-inch HD touch screen, which can be rotated 360 degrees to use the laptop as a large tablet. This configuration also contains complete equipment (fingerprint reader, microSD reader, USB C charger, key to disable the camera).

Chromebook: A Windows Alternative for Students

If you don’t mind using something other than Windows as an operating system, some models Chromebooks They can be attractive alternatives to the above laptops. Knowing that these Chrome OS laptops Usually Cheaper than its Windows counterparts or offers more interesting technical characteristics at an equivalent price. In addition, it allows the use of downloadable applications on a file Google Play Store Overall good for the battery. So they can perfectly Suitable for studentswho will use it all day long.

Student prices for a laptop

Most laptop manufacturers offer special prices for students on their sites.

However, to get a synthesis of all offers, it is recommended to create an account on the sites every day where student beans. There are offers for configurations from Apple, HP, Dell, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, Microsoft and Huawei.

Other discounts are offered on accessories from Google, Logitech, Targus, and more. Unidays also offers discounts at Fnac, Darty, or Cdiscount. Of course, to register, you must have a student card and an email address associated with your school. Once you validate your registration and choose an offer, you will receive the necessary codes to use on the manufacturer’s website.

Laptop or tablet?

If you have to use your laptop regularly for text entry, it’s best to configure it with a keyboard, preferably with a backlight for work in the evening. However, if you want to relax while watching movies while streaming, a model with a detachable keyboard or a tablet that you can add a keyboard to may be more practical to use. In the latter case, it may be a magnetic model that the manufacturer sells specifically for a tablet or any Bluetooth keyboard.

What are the basic accessories?

Often a few tens of euros are enough to make your life easier when using your laptop.

  • the mouse With or without wires, it’s easy to find small field mice that can simplify laptop use for those who have some issues when it comes to dealing with a touchpad extensively.
  • it is lifeA: Although an external keyboard is not easy to use on the go, it may provide better typing comfort than a laptop keyboard when working at home.
  • USB hub : More or less complete, at home or on the go, this accessory is practical when your laptop only has, for example, a USB Type A port and you have to connect a mouse, a printer and a USB key at the same time. With this small external box, you can also add an Ethernet port, a memory card reader, a DisplayPort video output, etc. to your configuration.
  • protective cover : Scratching a new laptop is never going to be fun. Also, you can put it in a safe place when you have to move it.
  • Headphone / Headphones Notebook speakers – with a few rare exceptions – don’t perform very well. Bass is often very compressed and may lack strength if you want to listen to music or watch a streaming video. A wired or Bluetooth headset can overcome the problem.
  • External battery : If you have to use your laptop all day, the battery probably won’t be enough. To avoid running out of fuel, an external battery can be useful for laptops that can be recharged via the USB C port.

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