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Cyber Monday is one of the best times of the year to purchase your next laptop or tablet. Considerable discounts plus major brands equal unparalleled savings. Say you're working within a limited budget, though -- under $100 or under $500. I compared the best laptops by their standout features, including processing power, RAM, and operating system, to arrive at the best laptop under $500 and under $100 this Cyber Monday.
In the under $500 category, you get the highest savings on the HP Pavilion 15t-eg200 laptop. The 15.6-inch laptop is on sale through HP for $450 -- a markdown of $450 from its original $900 price. It comes with a Windows 11 Home operating system, an Intel® Core™ i5 processor, an Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics card, 8 GB memory, and 256 GB storage. It has a fingerprint reader, a long lasting battery that supports fast charging of about 50% in 45 minutes, and an HD wide vision 720p HD camera that's perfect for Zoom calls with noise reduction and integrated microphones.
The HP Pavilion 15t-eg200 comes preset in Natural Silver, but you can personalize it in Ceramic White, Fog Blue, Forest Teal, or Warm Gold with a $15 upgrade. You can choose to upgrade the processor and graphics if you'd like, for an additional cost ranging from $100 for the same i5 processor but an updated Nvidia graphics card, to $260 for an i7 processor and Nvidia graphics card. The storage, memory, and operating system can also be updated.
I would say that the element most worth upgrading, if you have the budgetary bandwidth, is the memory. Going from the preset 8 GB to 12 GB or 16 GB (for upgrade fees of $30 or $60 respectively) will help you do more at one time. My priority is making sure I don't have a lagging laptop. I want one that can handle many, many open tabs -- if that's your priority too, it might be worth the upgrade. You can still stay under $500 by prioritizing the upgrade that matters most to you.
An honorable mention in the under $500 range is the Microsoft Surface Go 2 laptop, which is currently $499 for a $100 savings. If you prefer a smaller touchscreen interface and a lighter machine with comparable specs to the Pavilion, this is for you.
If your budget is in the under $100 category, and you want the best value for your dollar, Best Buy's Asus E410 laptop is a good choice. While the Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM aren't top of the line, you still have a useable 14-inch display with a 12-hour battery life. You'll be able to accomplish everyday tasks. Best Buy includes Norton 360 Deluxe free for six months with the laptop.