Quoting what Steve Jobs has said before, it is hard to make a budget laptop which is not a piece of junk for the Apple Inc.; we can assume it ourselves that finding a budget laptop which is not a piece of junk although its brand is not Apple will probably also give us a hard time. Although it has been said that choosing laptops under 500 dollars or even lower should not be centered on the specs of the laptop but more on the purpose of the laptop, we are still allowed to hope for getting the best specs as possible of a laptop in that range of price.
One of the specs which many of us with a limited budget would consider unnecessary and get rid of from the list about what the new laptop should have is the optical drive. Although depending on why you need the laptop for, you might still need to consider getting a laptop with an optical drive for playing or burning CDs/DVDs. Maybe you are still not able to imagine why to obtain a laptop with an optical drive is necessary for the time being but there is a chance of you regretting not getting a laptop like this in the future. So, to prevent that from happening, if the money you have is still able to cover for a laptop with an optical drive, buying that laptop would be better.
Another spec of laptops which is not much considered to have is the right ports for HDMI, Ethernet, and USB. These ports are quite necessary to have as not having them is plausible to cause you a hard time. For example, if the laptop you buy does not have the USB port, you will end up going through a long only for transferring data from your laptop to another device or vice versa.