The Best $500 Laptop on Amazon


– Hey guys, this is Austin. It’s always fun to check out the $5,000 laptops of the world, but in reality, this
is what you should buy. At $500, this ASUS Vivobook F510UA, which is a wonderful,
easy-to-remember name, has a lot going for it. Inside, there’s an Intel 8th
Generation Core i5 8250U, and that’s kind of a big deal
at this kind of price point. These new U series processors are a huge step up in performance, and it’s really nice to
see them trickle down to even fairly affordable
laptops like this. With a full quad-core CPU on board, you’re getting so much better performance than any kind of older budget option. That Core i5 can boost
up to 3.4 gigahertz, which should be more than enough performance for most people. The only real downside is
that you’re not going to have any kind of dedicated graphics for gaming, but if that’s something
you’re interested in, the Acer Aspire 5, which I’ve
talked about many, many times, is going to a better option. Remove a few screws on
the back of the laptop, and you’re going to get access to, well, basically everything you might
want, including the memory, which is going to come
with eight gigs by default, but it’s going to be super-easy
to upgrade that to 16 gigs, assuming you didn’t have to pay $90 to pick up another stick of RAM, but, I mean, the option’s there. The base model of the laptop,
which is what I have here, is going to run you $510 on Amazon. Now that’s going to get you a standard one terabyte
mechanical hard drive, but there’s also going
to be an empty M.2 slot if you want to upgrade with an SSD. Now interestingly,
Amazon actually does sell another SKU of this laptop which just has that SSD installed. It’s going to be 128 gigs as well as the one terabyte hard drive. It’s going to cost you $600. That doesn’t sound crazy, except that you can
actually do it yourself for a lot cheaper, which
is exactly what I did. This is a 128-gigabyte ADATA SSD that I was able to pick
up for just under $40. Now if you don’t mind
opening up the laptop and reinstalling Windows, it’s going to be an easy way
of saving yourself 50 bucks if you want the extra speed. And trust me, if you’re
buying this laptop, spend the extra $40. It is going to be so, so much faster. With the SSD upgrade paired
with that eight gigs of RAM as well as quad-core CPU, you’re looking at a very
reasonably powerful computer, especially considering the price. Now I know especially when it gets into creative applications
such as video editing, that’s going to make
this a lot more usable. I know especially if it
was me a few years ago when I was first starting out, I would’ve absolutely killed
to have a laptop like this that was going to be so cheap. While we’ve got the laptop opened, you’ll also be able to see the Wi-Fi card, which is not only easy to
upgrade if you ever want to, but it’s a pretty solid card in itself. You’re going to be getting
dual-band AC Wi-Fi, and that speaks to a lot of
my thoughts on this laptop. The ASUS engineers did a good job of picking a pretty
solid list of components, and they didn’t really
cut any major corners with the laptop design. The only real issue here is actually going to be
with the battery life. With only a 42 watt-hour cell, it’s going to give you
a decent battery life. ASUS claims about eight hours, and while that’s going to
be a little bit ambitious, it could be better,
especially considering that there’s all this space up here which could totally be used for battery, although I assume that that’s probably for some higher-end version where they would stick the dedicated GPU. At this price, the design
is going to be all plastic, and that’s not really necessarily
going to be a bad thing. It’s pretty well-built. There’s going to be a
little bit of screen flex, but there’s not a whole lot
if you actually go ahead and press down the keyboard. It is a fairly well-built laptop. Port-wise, it’s a good selection. You’re going to be
getting three USB-A ports, a USB-C, as well as
HDMI, a headphone jack, and an SD card reader. If you’re not catching the trend yet, it’s not going to be spectacular, but there’s really no corners cut. It’s going to be a good selection of pretty much everything you need. Like most laptops in 2018, you are going to be getting
a Windows Precision Touchpad. As you expect, it works
well, there’s solid tracking, and you’re also going to be getting support for all the
different Windows gestures. Essentially at this point, most of these Windows Precision Touchpads are going to be very equivalent. There’s going to be minor differences in the actual surface area and stuff, but it’s going to be totally fine and so much better than
old-school trackpads. A really nice touch is the addition of a fingerprint sensor
built into the trackpad. Now I’m not a huge fan of the positioning. It’s going to get a little
bit in your way here, but the good thing is is
that it’s going to have full support for Windows Hello, which makes logging in much, much simpler. Honestly, this is something
I like to see on any laptop, so it’s especially nice to see it on something that’s going
to be so affordable. The keyboard is going to be classic ASUS, so it’s going to have a fairly light touch without a lot of feel, but importantly, they completely nailed
not only the layout, but also the spacing between the keys. Now it would be nice to
see some backlighting, but again, we’re talking
about a $500 laptop here. While it might not look
impressive on paper, the display on this guy
is actually pretty nice. It is a 15.6-inch panel with
a 1920 by 1080p resolution. Now that resolution might not
sound all that impressive, but especially when you put it compared to other laptops
in this price range, especially a lot of the Acer panels, this is going to look so much better. It might not be the
brightest thing in the world, but the color and especially the contrast are a lot better than
what you would expect at this sort of price point, and that even includes the bezel. Even though it’s going to
be a 15.6-inch display, the actual overall footprint of the laptop is actually pretty small. – But it’s not exactly going to
be the best solution in the world. – What’s also not the best
solution in the world are going to be the speakers. So they sound okay, but they especially get
tinny at higher volumes, and a lot of that is because not only are they not all
impressive in the first place, but they’re also going to be
on the underside of the laptop, which means that you should probably just get a pair of headphones. At around $500, this really does feel like a solid sweet spot. Spend even $100 less,
and you’re going to be seriously sacrificing on performance, whereas when you start to spend more, you’re going to get nicer things like build quality and stuff, but you’re not going to see any kind of massive performance gains until you get into a much
more expensive system. The main thing is, though, is that you should definitely
upgrade with the SSD. It’s going to make a huge difference over the stock hard
drive, but beyond that, there’s no wonder that so many people are picking this guy up on Amazon.

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