So, you’ve decided to invest in a podcasting laptop and even agreed on a $500 budget.
But here’s the problem:
It’s incredibly tough to choose the best laptop for podcasting if you don’t know what exactly to look for in a podcasting laptop.
Lucky for you, we’ve already done the legwork and reviewed the five best podcasting laptops under $500 in this guide. We’ve tried covering the absolute best options with stunning performance, portability, battery life, and value for money.
Plus, an in-depth buying guide is in place to help you invest in the right podcasting laptop for your needs. Let’s dive in.
Best Laptops for Podcasting Under $500 – Quick Picks
If you’re in a hurry, here are our top recommendations for podcasting laptops under $500:
Best Overall: Dell Inspiron 15
This laptop offers a fast-speed Intel Celeron N4020 processor with 16GB RAM and fast-speed M.2 SSD, making it a great podcasting laptop to consider.
Budget Option: ASUS VivoBook 15
This laptop packs an 11th-generation processor with 8GB RAM, a USB Type-C port, a 1080p display, and 128GB SSD to make it the best budget podcasting laptop available.
Reviewing the Best Laptops for Podcasting Under $500
Below we’ll review the topmost podcasting laptops for under $500 in detail.
1. Dell Inspiron 15 – Best Overall
This laptop packs a high-quality 15’6″ display with 720p resolution to provide a great experience when recording and editing podcasts.
Its thin bezels make the display even more appealing, allowing you to see more on less.
Packing the Intel Celeron N4020 processor, this laptop also does well in terms of performance.
This processor offers up to 2.8GHz clock speed to handle your podcasting tasks effortlessly.
Plus, it offers ample 16 GB RAM for seamless multitasking, meaning you get a well-upgraded podcasting machine right off the bat.
Other than that, this laptop ditches the traditional HDD and treats you with the latest NVMe M.2 SSD for maximum data transfer speeds.
Also, this storage drive provides a 1TB data backup to ensure you never run out of storage space. So, storage-wise, this laptop is a beast.
Further aiding its versatility is its support for wide connectivity options.
For instance, you get three USB-A ports with an HDMI port, a power jack, a headphone jack, and an SD card reader – ensuring you can connect your podcasting equipment easily.
Overall, we believe it’s the best laptop for podcasting under $500, thanks to its big-size display with versatile connectivity options and decent RAM and storage support.
- Ample 16 GB RAM
- Modern-day NVMe M.2 SSD for storage
- Value for money
- Runs the latest Windows 11
- Could be more portable
2. ASUS VivoBook 15 – Budget Pick
This VivoBook has a stunning 15.6-inch display that provides enough viewing area to use your podcasting editing tools efficiently.
Plus, the display offers incredible details with 1080p resolution.
However, the upper and lower bezels are thick, making the laptop look less premium.
It also packs the latest 11th generation Core i3 processor with up to 4.1GHz speed for smooth processing.
With its effective Turbo clock technology, this processor can handle any task you throw at it.
Plus, this processor is paired with 8GB RAM to provide a smooth podcasting experience.
So, you’ll rarely face a glitch when recording or editing your podcasts.
Speaking of the portable drive, get either USB-A or USB-C, as this laptop supports both USB-A and USB-C ports.
To be precise, it offers three USB-A ports along with one USB-C port, an HDMI slot, and power and headphone jacks.
Moreover, Asus packed all this beautiful hardware inside a premium-looking chassis that compliments you when you carry it around.
Despite all the powerful hardware, this laptop only weighs 3.97 pounds, making it a great portable option for podcasting laptops.
Overall, we believe it’s the best budget laptop for podcasting under $500, as it offers a recent-generation processor, a high-resolution display, and a premium-looking design under a budget.
- Lightweight and portable
- Latest-generation processor
- High-resolution 1080p display
- Support for USB Type-C peripherals
- Thick bezels
- Poor webcam
3. Lenovo IdeaPad 3i – Most Sleek
This Lenovo notebook also packs a large 15.6-inch display with 1080p resolution.
But what sets it apart is its display’s IPS technology that provides wider viewing angles for a more convenient podcasting experience.
Plus, its 4-sided narrow bezels give it a premium and modern look with a more available viewing screen.
Further, this IdeaPad is equipped with a 12th-generation Core i5 processor to provide blazing-fast processing speed.
Plus, it packs 8GB RAM to provide a seamless multitasking experience.
If you feel its memory is too limited, you can upgrade it later on.
Other than that, you also get the Intel Iris Xe graphics card to edit your video podcasts effortlessly.
This laptop also performs well in terms of design and aesthetics.
It’s exceptionally slim at just 19.9 mm, making it easy to carry around in a backpack.
Moreover, it offers dual-array microphones and Dolby audio to provide crystal-clear podcast recordings.
Overall, we believe it’s the most sleep podcasting laptop under $500, thanks to its slim and lightweight design.
- Offers a USB Type-C port
- Supports Dolby audio sound
- Fast 12th generation processor
- Trackpad could be larger
4. HP Touchscreen Laptop – Touchscreen Pick
This touchscreen laptop packs an 11th-generation Core i5 processor with 12GB RAM to seamlessly handle your podcasting tasks, be it recording or editing podcasts.
Its PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD offers blazing-fast data transfer speeds to fasten your workflow.
But unfortunately, its storage size is limited to 256GB, which could be an issue in the long run.
Besides that, this notebook is coupled with a 720p display with 15.6-inch screen size.
Though it has fewer details than a 1080p display, it supports the touchscreen feature to make your podcasting experience more convenient.
You also get various connectivity options, including two USB-A ports, one USB-C port, an HDMI port, an SD card reader, and power and headphone jacks.
Overall, we believe it’s the best touchscreen podcasting laptop under $500, thanks to its touchscreen feature, support for USB-C port, and fast-speed processor.
- 12th generation Core i5 processor
- Supports touchscreen
- Fast-speed NVMe M.2 SSD drive
- Limited storage space
- Display resolution is limited to 720p
5. Acer Aspire 5 – Versatile Connectivity
Last but not least, this Acer laptop houses a powerful AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor with 8GB RAM. This means its hardware is already great, and you don’t need to upgrade it anytime soon.
This means its hardware is already maxed out, and you don’t need to upgrade it anytime soon.
Acer also blessed this laptop with a PCIe SSD drive that transfers your podcast data faster than you can blink your eyes.
It offers 256 NVMe SSD to store your podcasting data. You can always get a portable drive if you feel you need more storage.
Besides that, it packs a beautiful 15.6″ display with 1080p resolution and support for IPS technology, making it a decent treat for your eyes.
Moreover, Aspire 5 includes all main connectivity options, including a USB 3.2 Type-C port and 2 USB 3.2 Type-A ports.
You also get ethernet and HDMI ports along with power and headphone jacks.
Overall, we believe it’s the best podcasting laptop under $500 for its versatile connectivity options that make it easy to connect your podcasting equipment to your laptop.
- Stunning 15.6″ display with IPS
- 8GB RAM for seamless multitasking
- Fast-speed 256GB SSD
- Relatively thick bezels
Things to Consider When Choosing a Best Laptop for Podcasting Under $500
Below are the most important factors to consider when deciding on a podcasting laptop under $500.
DAW refers to Digital Audio Workstation.
It’s a type or program used to produce, record, and edit audio.
A DAW software plays a significant role in podcasting by letting you record and put together audio tracks for listeners.
Before choosing a podcasting laptop, know which DAW program you’ll use.
It will determine what processor, RAM, and operating system to look for.
Explore its system requirements on the Internet and ensure your laptop meets its minimum specifications.
A good podcasting laptop lets you record and edit podcasts like a charm.
You may be editing audio and video, requiring a powerful laptop with a fast processor and sufficient RAM.
The processor or CPU of a laptop determines how fast it processes data and produces the required results.
We recommend a newer-generation Core i5 or Core i7 processor for podcasting laptops.
The faster your processor is, the more seamlessly you can edit your podcasts.
RAM or memory is another crucial hardware part that impacts the overall performance of a laptop.
We recommend a minimum of 8 GB RAM for podcasting laptops.
The more RAM your laptop has, the more processes and files it can handle simultaneously.
The display of your laptop will significantly impact your user experience. A laptop’s display has many aspects, including screen size and display quality.
A podcasting laptop with a bigger screen will provide a larger viewing area to record and edit your podcasts comfortably.
Generally speaking, laptops with a screen size of over 15 inches are suitable for podcasting (15.6 inches is a popular screen size).
But you can also get away with a laptop with a 14-inch display for better portability.
When choosing a podcasting laptop, ensure it supports a large display resolution to show more pixels on its screen.
Most laptops under $500 offer 1080p display resolution, which is good enough for most users. Moreover, laptop displays with a higher viewing angle are preferable for wide viewing.
Podcasts in video format take up a lot of storage space.
If you wish to store and edit large podcasts on your laptop comfortably, ensure it has at least 512GB of storage.
You can also get away with a 256GB storage laptop, but its storage will fill up quickly, as system files and programs alone take up to 50 GB of space.
A portable storage drive can be an excellent low-storage solution but will be less convenient.
Another important thing to consider when choosing a podcasting laptop is the type of storage it has.
Two major types of storage are HDDs (hard disk drives) and SSDs (solid-state drives).
The SSDs are generally faster than the HDDs, so they’re preferable for podcasting laptops.
Thankfully, most laptops nowadays come with SSDs, but a few still use traditional hard disk drives.
We recommend SSD-based laptops for fast data transfer speeds.
When setting up your podcast studio, you might want to connect multiple cameras and mics to your laptop for convenient data transfer.
Once all those video and audio files are saved on your laptop, you can put them together and bring your podcast to its final form.
But connecting all the podcasting equipment to your laptop will require multiple USB ports, as most cameras and mics are USB-based.
So, it’s preferable to consider a laptop with multiple USB ports.
If it doesn’t have enough of them, you can use an extension to add more USB ports to your laptop.
Your laptop’s operating system will significantly impact your user experience.
It will determine what programs you can use on the laptop.
The most widely used operating systems are MacOS and Windows, and both of these are perfect for podcasting laptops.
But laptops running MacOS, i.e. MacBooks, tend to be quite expensive and don’t fall under the $500 budget (unless purchasing a refurbished or used version).
So, Windows laptops are perfect podcasting laptops under $500.
MacBooks require specialized programs that are quite costly as well. Whereas Windows gives you more control over the apps you can use, many free programs are available for Windows.
If you want to carry your podcasting laptop along wherever you go, portability is an important thing to consider.
Generally speaking, how portable a laptop is depends on its weight. Most laptops nowadays weigh between 2-8 pounds, depending on their size and hardware components.
Considering the kind of hardware you need for podcasting, most podcasting laptops under $500 weigh between 2-5 pounds.
With that at hand, we recommend choosing a podcasting laptop that doesn’t weigh more than 3-4 pounds.
Lastly, battery life is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a podcasting laptop.
As a podcaster, you might use your laptop round the clock for recording, editing, and marketing podcasts. Also, you might want to carry your laptop along with you wherever you go.
So, a laptop with long-lasting battery backup is preferable.
Most laptops under $500 offer up to 5-6 hours of battery life. Though it’s not top-notch, it’s satisfactory for most podcasting needs.
Finding the right podcasting laptop can be challenging, especially when you don’t want to spend over $500.
In this guide, we reviewed and compared the 5 best laptops for podcasting under $500, so you can equip yourself with a great laptop to power your podcasts. Until next time, cheers!