This excellent Windows laptop is under $500, and it's perfect for back-to-school

As the tech expert of my family, people often ask me about which laptop they should buy. Before running through their specific workflow and needs, I always ask about their budget. I also emphasize that getting a good Windows laptop in 2023 is going to cost at least $500. You can find PCs for less than that, but I don't recommend many of them.

The HP ENVY x360 15 normally costs around $800, but right now you can get it through Best Buy for $500. It is a heck of a lot of laptop for that price. It's dipped down to $500 before, but I've never seen it for less than that.

HP ENVY x360 15 | was $800 now $500

HP ENVY x360 15 | was $800 now $500

This laptop is worth its normal price of $800, but at $500 it's a steal. It features a 15.6-inch FHD display that supports touch and runs on an AMD Ryzen 5 7530U processor. Pair those with a sleek design and a thin body and you have a perfect laptop for back-to-school.

HP's ENVY lineup is a step down from the company's well-known Spectre range, think premium without being pricey. The ENVY x360 15 has a sleek design, a slim body, and is a lovely choice for everyday computing. It's also a convertible laptop, so you can flip it around into different postures, such as tent mode or display mode.

The ability to charge the PC from 0 to 50% in about 30 minutes is a nice feature not normally seen in the price range. Wi-Fi 6E and a 5MP IR camera that supports Windows Hello are also nice to see in a laptop under $500.

Why I recommend this deal

Finding a solid laptop for under $500 is difficult. There certainly are budget-friendly PCs, but you usually have to give up a lot to reach that price point. Laptops that cost under $500 usually have poor displays or limited specs that are felt when fighting against sluggish performance. That's not the case with the HP ENVY x360 15.

The 15.6-inch screen of the ENVY x360 15 looks nice and supports touch. The laptop's AMD Ryzen 5 7530U processor and Radeon graphics should be enough for everyday computing. It's not a powerhouse by any means, but it's more than what you'd expect from a device in this price range.

The included 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage on this discounted model are a bit low, but again, they're reasonable for the price you're paying. I would argue that the HP ENVY x360 15 at its retail price of $800 is worth it, so $500 for it is a steal.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at