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The best desktop computers under $500

You don't have to break the bank to upgrade your home computer setup. Here are the best desktop computers under $500.
January 20, 2021
desktops under 500 acer cover

When it comes time to upgrade your home computer, there are plenty of factors to consider. We love powerful devices here at Android Authority, but we also love saving money. It can be a challenge to find the right mix of value and power, but desktop computers are more powerful than they’ve ever been. If you want to maximize the bang for your buck, here are the best desktop computers under $500 that you can buy.

See also: The best gaming PC desktops

We’ve done our best to grab options from all of the top manufacturers. You’ll find a good mix of processing power, as well as a selection of sizes to fit perfectly on any desk. There’s even a Chromebox on the list in case you want to give Chrome OS a shot.

The best desktop computers under $500

Editor’s note: We’ll be sure to add new affordable desktop computers to this list as they launch.

HP All-in-One 22

desktops under 500 hp all in one

This option from HP skips the standard tower design that you’ll find throughout this list. Instead, it opts for a handy all-in-one design. Everything you need is packed into one lightweight package, powered by an AMD Athlon Gold 3150U processor and AMD’s Radeon graphics. HP’s 22-inch all-in-one also features 4GB of memory and a 256GB SSD. You won’t have to worry about sacrificing peripherals in the slim body either, thanks to four total USB-A options and an HDMI port.

The HP All-in-One 22 also includes a mouse and keyboard to complete your desktop setup for under $500.

Dell Inspiron 3880

desktops under 500 dell inspiron 3880

Dell’s Inspiron 3880 desktop isn’t quite as compact as the HP All-in-One, but it packs a spec sheet that’s tough to top for the money. You’re looking at a 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a large 1TB hard drive. Intel supplied the GPU for this Inspiron as well. Additionally, the desktop promises a 16% smaller footprint than in previous iterations. Dell matches HP’s under $500 offering with four rear-mounted USB-A ports, but it packs an additional four on the front for maximum flexibility.

You can also grab the Inspiron 3880 with a Core i5 or Core i7 processor, though both will push you past $500.

Acer Aspire TC-875-UR12

desktops under 500 acer aspire 875

The next desktop computer available for under $500 is Acer’s stout Aspire TC-875-UR12. It’s one of the only options on this list that will allow you to tap into a powerful 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor. You’ll also have 8GB of RAM to work with and a 1TB HDD, which helps to save some cost. If you don’t need a Core i5 power, Acer offers more affordable Core i3 configurations as well. The Aspire TC-875-UR12 features a speedy Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port, or you can stay wireless with Wi-Fi 6 instead.

You won’t get a keyboard or mouse with your purchase, but the Aspire TC-875 is ready for wireless speed thanks to Bluetooth 5.1

Intel NUC Frost Canyon

desktop computers under $500 intel nuc frost canyon

Most affordable desktop computers on this list find themselves under the $500 threshold based on weaker specs. Not the Intel NUC Frost Canyon. Instead, this pint-sized computer makes the list for having almost no specs at all. You’ll get an Intel Core i5 processor for your money and a small form factor, but the rest is up to you. Intel’s tiny design allows for up to 64GB of RAM with a 2.5-inch drive bay and M.2 2280 slot for added storage. You’re looking at Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 to keep you connected as well.

ASUS Chromebox 4

asus chromebox 4

This next desktop computer for under $500 is completely unique among the others on this list. The ASUS Chromebox 4 is the only option you’ll find here without Windows 10 onboard. Instead, you’re working with Chrome OS and an absolutely remarkable number of ports. ASUS chose a tiny footprint for the Chromebox 4, yet managed to add five USB-A ports, a USB-C option, two HDMI ports, and more. It packs an Intel Core i3 processor under the hood as well, paired with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD — more than enough to make the cut.

HP Pavilion desktop

desktop computers under $500 hp pavilion
Best Buy

You may have already ruled out the HP all-in-one as a good option for under $500, but you might find the Pavilion more to your liking. It returns to a familiar tower design, holding an Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD under the brushed silver exterior. You should be well pleased with the available ports, though the Pavilion is only equipped with Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2.

On the bright side, you’ll get a wired keyboard and mouse with your purchase. All that’s left is to find yourself a monitor.

Lenovo IdeaCentre 5i

lenovo ideacentre
Best Buy

If you couldn’t care less about a disc drive, Lenovo’s IdeaCentre 5i is the pick for you. It’s one of the few full-sized desktops on this list that bids DVDs and CDs farewell, but you won’t find too many other sacrifices here. Lenovo crafted one of the better desktop computers for under $500, putting a stylish spin on a very familiar spec sheet. Intel’s Core i3 processor and UHD graphics make another appearance. You’re also getting a familiar 8GB of RAM and a 1TB HDD.

Acer Aspire TC-895-UA91

desktop computers under $500 acer aspire 895

The last option on today’s list of the best desktop computers under $500 is a slightly fancier sibling to Acer’s other Aspire model. The Aspire TC-895-UA91 is a taller, slimmer version of the TC-875, though this model offers a slightly different spec sheet. For starters, you’ll only get Intel’s Core i3 CPU to work with, and a 256GB SSD to hold all of your important files. Blistering Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 should keep you chugging along with 8GB of RAM in the background. Acer’s Aspire TC-895 is one of the more stylish options on the list as well, with a brushed finish and shiny gold details.