The Best Laptops You Can Buy Under $500

There's no shame in buying a cheap laptop. As tablets and smartphones steadily erode the market for notebook computers, manufacturers are responding with more-impressive low-priced models. From 11-inch ultrabooks that are less expensive than many phones (but whose keyboards are better for writing e-mails), to a 17-inch PC that does everything but gaming, here are the best affordable laptops currently available.