(and one laptop that’s over $500, too)
The convenience and portability of a laptop makes them a must-have item for anyone looking to surf the internet outside the confines of a smartphone or tablet. But the massive gains in integrated graphics means you can play Fortnite on minimum recommended settings on every single one of these laptops, and on some of the i-series processors you can play Overwatch, too. Do I recommend playing Fortnite at its barest possible minimums? Not really. But there are tons of other games you can play, like Hearthstone for example, and you probably have Fortnite on console anyway.
Plus even the cheapest laptops can run productivity software like Microsoft Word, or at the very least, Google Docs. Times have certainly changed, and cheap laptops no longer feel like the cheap, disposable hunks of plastic they were just a few years ago.
If you just want a laptop for the convenience and ease of use, consider one of the following. I went ahead and added some that in over the $500 cut-off, just for the sake of expanding your available options. It might be worth dropping more money if you want a competent gaming laptop that won’t break the bank.
Dell Inspiron 15.6-inch Laptop
Dell Inspiron 15.6-inch for $449
If you’re looking for a no-frills laptop with a quality screen and plenty of storage, this Dell Inspiron packs an Intel Core i5-7200 CPU and a full 1080p screen. It also has a number pad, so you can easily balance your budget like a real accountant. It even has a DVD-RW drive. When’s the last time you saw one of those?
Lenovo ideapad 330s 15.6-inch Laptop
Lenovo ideapad 330s 15.6-inch for $419
This ideapad 330s is another great pick for a cheap laptop. With an Intel Core i5-8250U processor and 16GB Intel Optane memory, this is a great little laptop to pick up on the cheap.
HP 15 Touchscreen 15.6-inch Laptop
HP 15 Touchscreen 15.6-inch for $349
This particular HP 15 has an Intel Pentium N5000 Processor, but it also has a DVD drive and a touchscreen, making it a great low-cost travel companion. You might not think you need a touchscreen, until you have one, and then it’s legit hard to go back. Fortnite might be a bit of a stretch, but it will run plenty of other low-impact games.
HP Pavilion X360 15.6-inch Touchscreen 2-in-1 Laptop
HP Pavilion X360 15.6-inch Touchscreen 2-in-1 Laptop for $479
I love 2-in-1 laptops, because they take the best of two nice products, smash them together, and made something greater than the sum of its parts. The tablet is perfect for surfing, reading, or watching streaming video, and then you can switch to laptop mode to go on Twitter and easily complain about the Netflix movie you just watched.
HP 15-da0032wm 15.6-inch Laptop
HP 15-da0032wm 15.6-inch Laptop for $429[extremely Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused voice] Now let me tell you what this HP 15 is packing: Intel Core i3-8130U processor, 4GB SDRAM Memory, 16GB IntelOptane Memory, 1TB Hard Drive, DVD drive, we’re talking some serious value.
HP 15.6-inch Realtree Xtra Camo Laptop
HP 15.6-inch Realtree Xtra Camo Laptop for $359
Duck hunting is a great way to spend a morning, especially if you live for the flavor of wild game (I know I do). The problem is, most laptops are flat colored, meaning ducks can spot them from a mile away. Not this HP laptop. You can cruise the web for the most delicious duck recipes while you sit in wait. Fortnite on this camo laptop will work, but just barely.
Lenovo ideapad 330 15.6-inch Laptop
Lenovo ideapad 330 15.6-inch Laptop for $249
The least expensive laptop on this list is also the least powerful. With an Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM, it will handle your normal web surfing, streaming, and word processing needs, but not a whole lot else. Fortnite? I’d probably pass, but it’s worth trying. However, it’s a $250 laptop, and let’s be honest, you use your computer for 90% surfing the internet anyway, so why break the bank?
HP Pavilion 17.3-inch Laptop
HP Pavilion 17.3-inch Laptop for $499
The biggest laptop on this list saves a little by including an AMD processor under the hood. A 17-inch full HD display, full-sized keyboard and spacious 1TB of storage makes this a great back to school or kick-around-the-house budget laptop.
Dell G3 Gaming 15.6-inch Laptop
Dell G3 Gaming 15.6-inch Laptop for $799
Hey wait a second, this one isn’t $500 or less! Well, that’s true, but I added it anyway. This is a gaming laptop, with a GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 128GB SSD for the OS and 1TB HDD for storage. This is a fantastic computer for 1080p gaming and the deal is too good to ignore.
Seth Macy is IGN’s tech and commerce editor. Or is it editor, tech and commerce? Sort it out on Twitter @sethmacy.