The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1, with a 7th-generation Intel processor, touch display, and convertible design, is the best laptop you can buy between $300 and $500.

Best overall

Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1

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This laptop is powered by a 7th-generation Intel Core m3 processor with a clock speed up to 2.60GHz, and it has 4GB of DDR3 RAM. You'll have no problem dealing with a medium work load, including web browsing, word processing, and video watching. The convertible design allows you to use the laptop as a tablet, and the 11.6-inch touch display has a 1366x748 resolution. This laptop starts at about $430.

Bottom line: The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 is the best overall laptop you can buy between $300 and $500.

One more thing: Choose from silver, red, black, or blue colors to best suit your style.

Why the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 is the best

Despite a budget price, you want your laptop to be a multipurpose machine — the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 is just that.

Dell has marketed this laptop as one that can keep up with your active lifestyle. It is built with durability in mind — rigorous heat, hinge, keyboard, and battery tests were done to ensure your Inspiron lasts as long as possible.

The 11.6-inch touch display has an LED backlight and a 1366x768 resolution — not the highest resolution, the but price must be made up somewhere. The display is responsive to touch and has good color and plenty of brightness. Flip the lid back for tablet mode, or keep it somewhere between for tent mode or stand mode.

The processor is a new, 7th-generation Intel Core m3-7Y30 with a clock speed up to 2.60GHz, and rounding out performance is 4GB of DDR3 RAM. This laptop will be able to handle web browsing, word processing, and video watching without a problem. The 500GB SATA hard-disk drive can be coupled with optional cloud storage options if you run out of room.

Adding to the versatility of this laptop are the ports. Included is an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, and a microSD reader. This configuration starts at about $430.

Best convertible

Lenovo Flex 4

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Coming in at about $500, the Lenovo Flex 4 is the best option for you if you're looking for a convertible laptop. The 0.82-inch (2.08cm) chassis fits nicely in your hands when in tablet mode, and the 14-inch display with a 1920x1080 resolution reacts precisely to touch. Get a 6th-generation Intel Core i3 processor with a 2.30GHz clock speed, 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 500GB hard-disk drive powered by a 52.5WHr battery that will get you through most of a workday.

Bottom line: For the best convertible laptop between $300 and $500, check out the Lenovo Flex 4.

One more thing: If your battery runs low, get a full charge in only about 2.5 hours.

Best AMD CPU

Lenovo Z50-75

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This laptop is available at a great price — about $350 — normally reserved for lower-performance machines. Inside you'll find an AMD FX-7500 processor with a clock speed up to 3.30GHz, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 1TB hard-disk drive. This thing will power through your day's workload and even have enough juice for some light gaming with Radeon R7 graphics. The display is a sizeable 15.6 inches with a 1366x768 resolution, and, for ports, you're getting one USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, one HDMI, one VGA, one SD card reader, and one Ethernet.

Bottom line: For the best laptop between $300 and $500 with an AMD processor, check out the Lenovo Z50-75.

One more thing: Despite its price and features, this laptop remains relatively thin at just under one inch.

Best non-convertible

ASUS VivoBook X541

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Coming at you with a 6th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB hard-disk drive, it's hard to believe this laptop comes in at about $500. The 15.6-inch display has a 1920x1080 resolution and a matte finish to reduce glare — plenty of brightness and deep color allows you to use this laptop just about anywhere. Ports include one USB Type-C, one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, one HDMI, one VGA, and one Ethernet. The entire thing is only 1.1-inches (2.79cm) thick and weighs 4.4 pounds (2kg), not bad considering what you're getting inside.

Bottom line: If you want a classic laptop design, the ASUS VivoBook X541 is your best option.

One more thing: Can't live without an optical drive? This laptop has a DVD/CD-RW burner.

Conclusion

Looking for a great convertible laptop? Check out the Lenovo Flex 4. If you love primarily using a tablet but want to be able to connect to a keyboard and touchpad, check out the ASUS Transformer Book Chi. If convertible laptops aren't your thing, have a look at the ASUS VivoBook X541, but for the best overall laptop out there under $500, go with the Dell Inspiron 11 3000.

Best overall

Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1

See at Dell

This laptop is powered by a 7th-generation Intel Core m3 processor with a clock speed up to 2.60GHz, and it has 4GB of DDR3 RAM. You'll have no problem dealing with a medium work load, including web browsing, word processing, and video watching. The convertible design allows you to use the laptop as a tablet, and the 11.6-inch touch display has a 1366x748 resolution. This laptop starts at about $430.

Bottom line: The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 is the best overall laptop you can buy between $300 and $500.

One more thing: Choose from silver, red, black, or blue colors to best suit your style.