Touchscreen displays have taken the digital world by storm as they allow the user to interact with devices more intuitively. Also, with the increase in touch-based interaction on smartphones and tablets, a lot of us might prefer a laptop that comes with a touchscreen.
Although 500 dollars budget isn’t going to get you a powerful laptop that allows you to do high-end gaming and perform other graphics-intensive tasks such as game development, machine learning, 3D modeling, etc., however, it sure is decent for a device that can help you with your basic and less/medium resource-intensive tasks.
You can either increase your budget or check if the device you’ve chosen has all the features/specs you NEED for the tasks. A few computer experts at Freedom 251, who worked on the laptop under $800 list mentioned that the trick when buying a budget laptop is to make sure that it has everything you want.
- Advantages of Touchscreen Laptops
- Disadvantages of Touchscreen Laptops
- Best Touchscreen Laptops Under $500 in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Lenovo Ideapad 3
- 2. Best Runner Up: HP 14
- 3. Best for Artists: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
- 4. Best for Business: HP 14-inch
- 5. Best for Students: Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5
- 6. Best 2-in-1: Dell Inspiron 14 5481
- 7. Best Chromebook: Asus Chromebook Flip C434
- 8. Best Compact Laptop: Microsoft Surface Go
- Frequently Asked Questions
Advantages of Touchscreen Laptops
- Say Bye to Shortcuts: If it’s not your first laptop, then you must have spent the majority of your lives trying to work with keyboard shortcuts or hacks to make your lives easier. But with the usage of touch-based displays on a laptop, memorizing them is no longer a necessity. For instance, on a Windows machine, you no longer have to press ALT+F4 to close a window. You can click on the close button.
If you’re familiar with a touchscreen phone or a tablet (which you must be), then the experience will feel just as fluid and dynamic.Joanna Newsom, Freedom 251
- Helpful For Artists and Other Use cases: Having a touch feature adds more life into creative tools such as Illustrator, Photoshop, Paint, etc. Nonetheless, whether you’re writing down notes/articles or zooming into a picture while editing it, or are engaged in a serious video game battle, it adds a lot of versatility to your daily life.
- Quick And Straightforward Navigation: The touch-based laptops adds a new dynamic to your everyday work that the traditional laptops can’t. For instance, to close/minimize a window, you would have to use keyboard shortcuts or scroll your mouse towards those buttons, but with a touch-based display, you can press the buttons straight from your screen.
Disadvantages of Touchscreen Laptops
- Less portability: We researched around 60 different touch vs non-touch laptops and found out that the machines with touchscreen panels weighed slightly more than the normal non-touch clamshell models.
- Consumes More Battery: Based on our tests, we found out that most of the laptops that came with a touchscreen had a better display quality. To support high-quality visuals, there is a high-end dedicated GPU that consumed more battery. However, with laptops under $500, you won’t face an issue like this, as most of the models in this budget range come with integrated GPU.
- Less Usability: If you’re buying a 2-in-1 device under $500, then there won’t be an issue but, if you’re buying a traditional clamshell laptop with a touchscreen, then there could be a few usability issues. However, these are subject to use-cases. So if you have some tasks that you can use the touchscreen for, it is advantageous to you.
- Poor Viewing Angles and Fingerprint Magnet: Well, make the touch interaction smooth and, all the laptop brands add a glossy finish. That is why it shows reflections when viewing from different angles. Also, not to forget that such a finish attracts fingerprints when touched. However, that’s an old problem solved by a lot of newly launched models that come with high-quality displays.
Best Touchscreen Laptops Under $500 in 2021
|Lenovo Ideapad 3|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 4|
|Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5|
|Dell Inspiron 14 5481|
|Asus Chromebook Flip C434|
|Microsoft Surface Go|
Touchscreen panels are a bit expensive than the normal laptop screens. That’s why you shall notice that most of the touchscreen laptops that cost below $500 might not have a dedicated GPU or if they do have it, there’s some other aspect that might be compromised. However, if you’re looking out for the best options, consider the 500 dollar ballpark, then you’ll love this list.
1. Best Overall: Lenovo Ideapad 3
Quite often, the functionality offered by a touch screen laptop readily outweighs the slight bump in the price tag. However, the new Lenovo Ideapad 3 offers the best of both worlds, owing to the extremely affordable price tag and a highly relevant specs sheet.
For the given, sub-$500 price point, the IdeaPad 3 makes room for the Intel Core i3-1005G1 chipset. Despite being a dual-core SoC, it allows you to reach a decent-enough clock speed of up to 3.4GHz, in the turbo boost mode. Moreover, the exceptional single core performances followed by the availability of HyperThreading support allow you to indulge in basic MS-Office applications, creative designing, and media consumption.
The Intel UHD coprocessor comes forth as a reliable integrated unit, which is good enough for online gaming. However, the processor gets ample support from the 8GB DDR4 RAM. The best thing about the system memory is its ability to process files and data at 3200MHz, which comes across as top-notch multitasking and web browsing attribute.
Besides, Lenovo also houses a 256GB SSD with PCI-e compatibility. While the on-board storage capacity is nowhere enough to our expectations, it still justifies the entry-level price point. Not just that, the existing storage drive is also capable of booting the Windows 10 S Mode OS at enviable speeds.
What impressed us the most is the 15.6-inch display, perfectly complemented by the TruBrite visual enhancement! Despite the new IdeaPad 3 cutting corners in terms of resolution by offering 1366 x 768 pixels to rely on, the viewing angles are anything but dull. Besides, the touch panel is exceedingly responsive, which is a rarity for the sub-$500 clamshells.
As far as productivity is concerned, you get access to a standard keyboard without Backlit support with decent key travel for the writers and copywriters to rejoice. Furthermore, you also get hold of a serviceable HD webcam-microphone combo for staying connected, both personally and professionally. However, the IdeaPad 3 is still portable enough, courtesy of the 4.07-pound chassis and an extended, 9 hours’ worth of battery backup.
Despite being sleek and light, Lenovo makes room for a realistic connectivity suite, led by HDMI, Type-A, and the Wi-Fi 5 standard. Therefore, if you are fixated on a touchscreen display but do not have the budget to opt for premium notebooks and convertibles, the new Lenovo IdeaPad 3 seems like an ideal laptop to invest in.
- Future-proof processor
- Responsive touch panel
- High-speed RAM
- PCI-e storage drive for faster boot-ups
- S-mode OS for added power efficiency
- Not meant for power users
- Restricted storage space
2. Best Runner Up: HP 14
Not all budget laptops are a nightmare, and if you dig in just a little bit deeper, then you will be able to stumble upon a gem like HP 14-inch Laptop.
This laptop is armed with an AMD-powered, Ryzen 3 3200U processor which can handle as many as 20 google tabs without slowing down. The 8GB RAM is perfect for all your tasks. The 256GB SSD provides you with adequate storage and speed at the same time. It is amped with integrated Vega 3 graphics for light gaming needs.
This HP 14-inch Laptop definitely provides excellent color contrast and a glossy screen, which amps up your viewing experience. It also boasts a 1366 x 768 pixels display, which is good enough considering the price point. You can also enjoy playing modern games but in low-quality settings. This machine stays pretty cool under pressure and does not heat up easily.
The laptop’s keyboard is enjoyable to type on. However, it misses out on backlighting, which is quite common in budget laptops. The font on the keys is also pretty clear.
The design is a generic silver with a glossy HP logo stamped in the center. This is definitely the slimmest machinery amongst its competitors and weighs 3.25 pounds. This lightweight feature makes it extremely easy to carry around.
This laptop also features an assortment of ports located all over the laptop. It features one USB 3.1 Gen 1, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A, an HDMI 1.4b port, 2 USB 3.1 ports, an RJ45 Ethernet port, and a beloved headphone/microphone port.
A fully charged battery will last you for about 7 hours which is excellent. Isn’t it?
Overall, HP 14 Laptop offers you solid performance at a great affordable asking price. Its glossy display and capable AMD-powered CPU are the qualities only ever found in high-end premium laptops. This laptop will definitely satisfy most of your everyday needs.
- Solid performance
- Enough storage space
- Affordable price
- Responsive touch
- No backlit keyboard
- Not a Full HD display
3. Best for Artists: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
This Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is definitely the best one in the market. If you truly want a high-end premium laptop then this one is definitely your best shot.
With a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6300U processor, this renewed laptop is quick and runs very smoothly. The Intel HD 520 Graphics, though not super gaming-friendly, you can run most of the modern online games on it at medium quality settings.
It has 4GB RAM which is enough to fulfill all your daily requirements. It also features a 256GB SSD with a read speed of 928 MB/per second and a write of 449 MB/second. The transfer speeds are much faster than a traditional HDD. Not only would this device boot up in seconds but could also avoid delays in opening or fetching files from the storage unit.
It features a 12.3-inch screen with a full HD display and a screen resolution of 2736 x 1824, which beats the best in the market in terms of display quality. The laptop also has a great type of work keyboard with stylish fonts and excellent design. If you’re an art student or a drawing artist, you can use the Surface pen for sketching, drawing, etc., and other students in fields like Law studies, Medical school, and more might find it helpful for taking notes or researching.
This is an extremely portable travel laptop weighing just 1.3 pounds and is easy to carry around even with the added weight of a type cover keyboard. The best part about Surface Pro 4 is the kickstand, which allows the laptop to be perched on various surfaces in a myriad of positions.
Connectivity with this one is a little strange. The USB and Mini-Display ports are on the right-hand side when the Surface Pro is used with a keyboard. This means that when converted into a tablet, it will fall out from the bottom if it is used in portrait orientation.
The headphone/microphone jack is located near the top edge of the device. It also features 1 USB 3.0 port and the power brick connector itself comes in with a USB port. The Surface Pro 4 on a fully charged battery will run for only up to 4 hours. This device is definitely a great replacement for your traditional laptops and is a treat to use but it comes in at a hefty price.
- Best PixelSense display
- Perfect surface pen
- Powerful processor
- Fast performance
- Ergonomic kickstand
- Battery life of only 4 hours
- It’s a renewed laptop
4. Best for Business: HP 14-inch
If you’ve been searching for a laptop that will not only fulfill your daily life needs but also be a great business companion, then HP 14-inch touchscreen laptop with Ryzen 3-3200U is definitely your best bet.
This 14-inch laptop is packed with AMD’S best new CPU processor 2.6GHz Ryzen 3-3200U. A 12nm Zen+Processor drives it. It performs way better than the 14nm and 18nm and is lightning fast with less energy consumption. Also, the R3 chipset has 4 cores and 8 threads. This combination makes this laptop the perfect option for all your business and daily needs.
This laptop also features 8GB RAM, which is installed in two RAM slots. This dual-channel gives your laptop a 20-30% better performance compared to others in the market. With an 8GB RAM, you will perform professional tasks such as editing spreadsheets (highly suitable for accountants and finance majors) and graphics with greater ease.
The 256GB SSD included in the laptop also performs better than the traditional hard drives in the market. Although it isn’t fast as the models we’ve mentioned in our list of SSD laptops, it surely has better boot-up speed and can open files much faster than a traditional HDD.
This home and business laptop comes in with a 14-inch screen with LED lighting and 1366 x 768 resolution. It also features integrated graphics, which is Vega 3. With this graphics card, you will be able also to enjoy some light gaming with games. It also saves a lot of energy and still manages to deliver adequate graphics.
This laptop weighs only 3.25 pounds and is extremely easy to carry around. On both sides of the device is located one Type-C (USB 3.1 Gen), two Type-A (USB 3.1 Gen), one HDMI port, an audio jack port. It also features an HD webcam, BlueTooth version 4.2, and WiFi connectivity.
Long-lasting 8-hour battery life is great for working for long hours and even if you do run out of battery, HP’s fast-charging ability has got you covered. Featuring a solid performance and adequate graphics, it will definitely fulfill all your needs at a great affordable price.
- Solid performance
- LED backlighting
- Great display
- No fingerprint scanner
- Suitable for only light gaming
5. Best for Students: Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5
This laptop is designed to handle any situation that life throws at you. Be it computing, professional tasks, binge-watching, or basic gaming, the Ideapad Flex 5 from Lenovo has got you covered.
The Ideapad Flex 5 comes with an AMD Ryzen 3 4300U which is an extremely fast and responsive processor you can get on a sub $500 laptop. This also provides you with more protection when entering passwords or shopping online. The laptop also has Integrated AMD Radeon graphics to kick-in basic gaming.
It features 4GB RAM which is sufficient to perform your professional as well as everyday tasks. It also has 128GB of SSD storage. This not only provides you with adequate storage but also improves the speed of your laptop.
The laptop features a 14-inch screen with a Full HD resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels. This is perfect for an improved creative and productive entertainment system.
The keyboard is sleek and stylish with a decent typing feel. With touch support, you can jot down notes or draw or capture moments of your imagination on the Ideapad Flex 5. However, this does not have a stylus pen or we are not sure if it is stylus compatible.
This laptop offers great portability and weighs just about 3.62 pounds. The laptop features one HDMI Port, two USB 3.0 ports, one Type-C port, and an audio jack port.
It also has an excellent battery life of up to 10 hours. Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5 is definitely a style statement as well as a business essential. Its excellent battery life, great display, speed, and performance will for sure wow you!
- Amazing processor
- Great battery life
- Responsive touch
- Versatile connectivity
- Full HD IPS-level display
- 8GB RAM could be better
6. Best 2-in-1: Dell Inspiron 14 5481
The Dell Inspiron 14 5481 is a 2-in-1 convertible laptop and is your best shot at a convertible laptop under a budget. With its sleek design and unique features, it will definitely leave an impression on you.
It boasts an i3-8145U processor which is perfect for budget notebooks and Chromebooks. It does a perfect job of performing your everyday tasks with zero hassle, thanks to Intel UHD 620 Graphics.
It is equipped with a 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD. This provides you with adequate storage and great speed. It is also possible to open up the case and upgrade/swap the components yourself.
The touch-screen responds well to pokes and tabs. It features a 14-inch screen with an HD screen resolution of 1366 × 768 pixels. Although the resolution is not great, it’s one of the things you have to let go for its a great price.
Dell Inspiron 14 5481 features a great and accessible keyboard. Its one-piece touchpad is wide enough and well proportioned to assist multi gestures. This particular feature gives it an edge over traditional laptops.
Its tablet mode is handheld, a standing mode is with the keyboard facing down, and the tent mode with a hinge and the keyboard facing away from you. With all these modes, the touch also gets centered so you can easily interact with windows 10.
The model weighs 2.9 pounds and measures 0.8 × 13.2 × 9.2 inches. It also features an assortment of ports; namely one USB 2.0 port, one headphone jack, one HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, and an SD card reader. This model supports 802.11ac Wi-fi and Bluetooth version 4.2.
The battery life of this variant is better than what you’d expect from a traditional laptop. It lasts for about 8 hours. The Dell Inspiron 14 5481 2-in-1 convertible laptop is definitely better than its competitors in the market in terms of price. But it definitely cuts on some features to get to that price.
- 2-in-1 convertible design
- Responsive touch
- Great battery life
- Accessible and easy to work with keyboard
- Lacks USB Type-C Port
7. Best Chromebook: Asus Chromebook Flip C434
Your favorite Chromebook just got better with an updated design, display, performance, and battery life. This Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is one of the best Chromebooks money can buy you. It features a bright 14-inch touchscreen with a Full HD resolution of 1080p. Its color discrimination and the vivid display will definitely charm you.
The Chromebook Flip C434 comes with an Intel Core M3-8100Y processor, which gives you great speed. This processor combined with Intel HD Graphics 615 allows you to do multitasking with minimum lag.
The 4GB RAM provides you with enough oomph to perform web surfing with multiple open tabs. The model also comes with a 64GB e MMC storage which is great for storing your life moments, applications, and work updates.
The Chromebook Flip C434 keyboard provides you with a luxurious typing experience. The island-style backlit keyboard has largely spaced keys with stylish fonts and 1.3mm of key travel to enhance your typing experience.
No laptop at this price range looks as elegant as the Chromebook Flip C434. Its matte silver aluminum finish with chrome trim will behold you. It can flip full 360 degrees to convert into a tablet.
The laptop is slim and lightweight weighing just 3.1 pounds. It has an assortment of ports; namely 1 USB 3.1 Type-A port, 2 USB Type-C ports, 1 headphone/microphone jack, and a MicroSD card reader.
This Asus Touchscreen Chromebook is definitely better than its predecessors in terms of battery life. It lasts for up to 10 hours, which is perfect for students who are always on the run.
The Chromebook Flip C434 is definitely an improvement by Asus. It’s a standout model that provides you with a compelling reason to switch to chrome with its larger and better display and great battery life.
- Battery life of up to 10 hours
- Great display
- Solid performance
- Sleek and premium design
- Great keyboard
- A tad bit expensive
- Finicky touchpad
8. Best Compact Laptop: Microsoft Surface Go
Microsoft’s latest Microsoft Surface Go is better than you could ever imagine. If you’re looking for a perfect tablet but with a windows system installed, then this one is going to be your best pick.
The Intel Pentium Gold processor 4415Y is best suited for your everyday tasks such as emailing, web surfing, video playback, and document editing. Its 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD give your laptop the speed you desire and the ability to handle stress. The Intel HD 615 Graphics also does a pretty good job for light gaming.
The Surface Go’s display works well for the Windows 10 software. Performing tasks using only touches, such as internet browsing and stock trading, is a delight with the incredible 10 point multi-touch. The PixelSense touch display measures about 10 inches diagonally. It has a great resolution of 1800 x 1200 pixels.
The surface Pen also works well for drawing and scribbling down your notes.
The optional Surface Go Signature Type Cover keyboard attaches to the lower part of the body as soon as it is brought close to it. It features a backlit keyboard which becomes incredibly easy to use once you get used to its size. The overall comfort offered by this keyboard allows you to quickly type small documents and emails.
The front and rear camera of this laptop are excellent at clicking pictures with great attention to details. The front end camera also features a face unlock system usually seen in tablets.
This is the lightest laptop offered by Microsoft weighing only 1.15 pounds. It fits easily in your bag and provides you with great portability. It also has an excellent battery life of up to 9 hours which is suitable for most of the students.
If you want a small sleek portable laptop that looks and functions just like a laptop then Microsoft has you covered. For all the Windows fans out there, this is definitely a great replacement for your iOS tablets.
- Solid build
- Great display
- Backlit keyboard
- Great battery life
- Quite old processor
- Only 10-inch display
Frequently Asked Questions
Are touchscreen laptops easy to use?
Most of us today are accustomed to using touchscreen technology and hence having it on laptops is just a welcome addition. Hence, using the touch-screen laptop should not be difficult at all. In fact, even seniors prefer touchscreen laptops.
What is the difference between a touchscreen and a 2-in-1 laptop?
The touchscreen laptops come in handy with a keyboard but the screen has the features of a touchscreen. The 2-in-1 hybrid convertible technology laptops come in with a detachable keyboard that can be removed when you want to convert your laptop into a tablet.
Why would I want to buy a touchscreen laptop?
Touchscreens offer you a more intuitive and dynamic way to interact with your computer. It’s faster, easier, and definitely more enjoyable than using a regular mainstream laptop.
Touch-screen laptops are for sure the rage in the digital market. These laptops add a new dimension to your experience with your laptop. With solid performance, sleek designs, and better display features, these models will definitely wow you. Not only do these laptops make a great style statement, but they also behold you with their performance.
Along with great design and performance, they also come equipped with a great battery life which is much needed for people who are always on the run. With a lot of budget options available in the market today, you too can experience the power of touch!