The great $500 laptop challenge

With a $500 budget and a list of rules, we sent some CNET editors out to find the perfect budget laptop.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Retail only: HP Envy 4-1105dx, $499
Selected by: Scott Stein

This HP Envy 14 ultrabook is compact and has a touch screen. It's only got a Core i3 processor, but it has a 500GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM. The presence of touch and a thin design matters more to me for productivity. PCs are in transition now anyhow, but I actually prefer touch over a faster PC that lacks it when you're using Windows 8. (We reviewed a similar model last year, when it cost $679.)

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

 

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