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The best cheap laptops you don’t have to wait a month for


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Looking for the best laptop for   (aka a Chromebook) under $500? It looks like the supply of cheap portables has finally regained some stability, though price gouging remains an issue. There still isn’t a surplus of terrific deals, but they don’t seem to be going out of stock as rapidly as they did at the height of the initial coronavirus outbreak-induced work-from-home rush when PC and accessory sales spiked, making it nearly impossible to find a cheap laptop or Chromebook that’s even in stock. The grim reality of unprecedented job losses keeps the demand for ultracheap hardware strong.

Here’s my list of models that are still available for under $500 and that should ship within at least 10 days. I’ll try to keep this list current, but please don’t hate me if it gets out of date. Some online shopping sites make it impossible to figure out what’s in stock and what’s not — not just for tech, but for everything — as well as what can be shipped to you in a reasonable amount of time. Keep in mind, though, that shipping times may depend on where you live. I live in New York, so my recommendations may be based on a best-case scenario.