10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 in 2021

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You may be wondering, how can you find a gaming laptop under $500?

When it comes to gaming laptops, there are plenty of options available for a beginner gamer in this price range.

However, not all of them offer the same quality and value for money.

With this amount of budget, it is important to know what you are getting, and what games you will be able to play on your new machine.

As such, we’ve compiled a list of some affordable gaming laptops that will get your game on without breaking the bank.

10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $500

1. Asus VivoBook 5

Asus VivoBook 5
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU (4M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
RAM: 8 GB DDR4
Storage: 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Display: 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel
PROS
  • Lightweight
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Wi-Fi 5 supported
  • Comfortable keyboard
CONS
  • Not for high-end gaming

In addition to its attractive design and slim form, the Asus VivoBook boasts a decent selection of hardware. Despite its limitations, it is suitable for light gaming.

In terms of its configuration, it includes an Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor with a base clock speed of 1.2GHz and a turbo speed of 3.4GHz. 

Thanks to the 10nm processing node, the chipset provides users with even performance across the board. Despite its lack of power, it can play games requiring low to medium graphics.

Moreover, it comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage which is an SSD. The front of the device has a 15.6-inch display that offers superior viewing angles. A screen-to-body ratio of 88% provides a sturdy design. 

Overall, this is one of the most affordable gaming options under $500.


2. Dell Inspiron 15 3593

Dell Inspiron 15 3593
CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G1 1.20GHz Dual-Core Processor (4MB Intel Smart Cache, up to 3.40GHz)
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display: 15.6 HD Non-Touch ‎1366 x 768
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics
PROS
  • High performance
  • Highly portable
CONS
  • Plastic build

Those who are fans of Dell and looking for a more powerful, affordable laptop should consider the Inspiron 3593. The laptop is not for high-end games, but most of the basic games are playable on this laptop.

The Intel UHD graphics and a Core i3 processor operate this laptop. The CPU of this chipset runs at 1.2GHz, with the ability to be turbo-boosted to 3.4GHz. This laptop comes with a lot of storage space for important files. 

The M.2 slot allows it to be upgraded with additional 256GB SSD storage. Data processing is more efficient with 8GB of memory. 

Plastic designs aren’t particularly impressive but are durable. In addition, Windows 10 Home comes pre-installed on the laptop. The monitor has a 1366 x 768p resolution and measures 15.6 inches in diameter. 

This laptop lacks behind most other laptops in terms of HD panels, while most others offer Full HD displays. This laptop has all the essential ports for connectivity. 

With a weight of 4.85 lbs, it is heavier than similar laptops in its field. Devices like this are recommended for people who enjoy using Dell laptops for gaming.


3. Acer Aspire A515-44-R93G

Acer Aspire A515-44-R93G
CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 4300U Quad-Core Mobile Processor (Up to 3.7GHz)
RAM: 4GB DDR4 SDRAM
Storage: 128GB NVMe SSD
Display: 15.6 Full HD (1920 x 1080) Acer ComfyView Widescreen LED-backlit IPS
PROS
  • DDR4 RAM supported
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Decent performance
  • IPS display
CONS
  • Storage capacity is low

Acer Aspire A515-44-R93G is another gaming laptop under 500 that you should consider. A few features make this laptop stand out, such as a more robust processor, backlit keyboard, etc. 

Moreover, the laptop highlights Ryzen 3 4300U chipset, so you can enjoy various mid-level games. As part of the package, you get a quad-core processor that runs at 2.7GHz with a boost up to 3.7GHz for high-stress tasks. 

Added to this is an integrated AMD Vega 5, providing decent performance for heavy tasks. 

You can also utilize its 4GB SDRAM with a speed of 2666MHz so that you can process more efficiently. An SSD with a capacity of 128 GB is available for storage. The screen on the front measures 15.6-inches and has a 1920 x 1080 resolution. 

The laptop you see here features a Full HD resolution, rare for laptops in this price range. Moreover, it is compatible with an HD webcam, making it useful for video conferencing and remote working.


4. HP 15

HP 15
CPU: AMD Ryzen(TM) 3 3200U, Dual-Core, 2.6 GHz base clock, up to 3.5 GHz max boost clock
RAM: 8 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM
Storage: 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Display: 15.6-inch diagonal HD BrightView micro-edge, WLED-backlit display (1366 x 768); 82% screen to body ratio
GPU: ‎AMD Radeon Vega 3
PROS
  • 82% screen to body ratio display
  • Arsenic-free display
  • Lightweight
CONS
  • Might run hot

We couldn’t complete this list without HP Laptop since it’s a well-known laptop manufacturer. With a price under $500, the HP 15 is a budget-friendly gaming laptop. 

The Ryzen 3 3200U processor powers this machine, a dual-core processor with an overclocking speed of 3.6GHz and a base clock speed of 2.6GHz. There is no question that this chipset is very well suited for light gaming. 

A Radeon RX Vega 3 GPU is also included at 3200 MHz for more enjoyable visuals. You can easily run games with low power usage on the provided CPU and GPU, which deliver optimal performance. 

Additionally, the device has 8GB DDR4 memory with 256GB storage. Considering the price range, it is a good addition. Despite the device being plastic, it should be hard to break because the construction is highly maintained. 

It’s no secret that HP produces durable laptops, and the same is true with this model. Additionally, it contains a 15.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768p on the front portion. Unlike other laptops, this one does not allow you to upgrade the memory, which means you only have access to installed RAM.


5. 2021 Newest Dell Inspiron 3000

2021 Newest Dell Inspiron 3000
CPU: Intel Celeron Processor N4020 (2 cores, 2 Threads, 4MB Cache, up to 2.8 GHz)
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Storage: 128GB PCIe NVME M.2 Solid State Drive
Display: 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Non-touch
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics
PROS
  • LED-backlit
  • Great stereo speakers
  • Excellent screen resolution
CONS
  • Plastic build

Among the world’s leading laptop manufacturers, Dell’s Inspiron 3000 is well worth picking up. With a price of less than $500, it offers some good configurations. There is a 15.6-inch HD panel on the front of this laptop, with a resolution of 1366 x 768. There is a good display quality for this laptop.

Furthermore, it comes with 8GB RAM, which is enough for various projects, and the battery can last for 4-5 hours. It also supports acoustically-powered speakers that produce good audio quality for watching videos or listening to music. 

This model comes with 128GB of SSD storage. The RAM & storage provided is both of the types we might assume from an entry-level laptop. The build quality of this laptop is normal for its category. 

There is a lot of plastic in its construction which gives it a bulky appearance. A dual-core, equally threaded Intel Celeron N4020 processor powers the laptop. 

It is a simple processor clocked at 1.6GHz base speed and up to 2.8GHz at its top speed. This laptop offers decent value with various features, considering its price tag of just under 500 dollars.


6. Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Lenovo IdeaPad 3
CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3250U
RAM: 4GB DDR4
Storage: 128GB SSD
Display: 15.6 HD (1366 x 768)
GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 3
PROS
  • Upgradeable
  • Narrow side bezels
  • Crystal-clear sound
  • Sturdy build
CONS
  • No fingerprint reader

In terms of gaming and other basic tasks, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 laptop does well at its price point.

Additionally, there is an expansion slot for RAM, which offers up-gradation. With the AMD Ryzen 3 3250U processor, you can multitask smoothly and at a proper frame rate. As far as battery life goes, it is excellent. 

The battery life can last between 5-6 hours even with 80% plus brightness. Despite heavy use, it remains cool, which is another good thing about the IdeaPad 3 model. As a result of the great keyboard, typing is also a pleasure. The touchpad also works well as advertised. 

Further, it offers a sliding cover that enhances the user’s privacy to view nothing without the user’s consent. In addition to this, the build quality seems sturdy, but still, it is lighter in weight.

This machine has all the necessary connectivity ports. If you plan to perform moderate tasks, this device is an excellent choice.


7. Asus Chromebook Flip C433

Sale
Asus Chromebook Flip C433
CPU: Intel Core m3-8100Y Processor (up to 3.4 GHz)
RAM: 8GB LPDDR3
Storage: 64GB eMMC SSD
Display: 14 inch Touchscreen Full HD 1920x1080 4-way NanoEdge
PROS
  • Backlit chiclet keyboard supported
  • Super-fast performance compared to the competition
  • Highly portable
  • Optimal build quality
CONS
  • Limited storage

If you are searching for a basic gaming laptop, then you can prefer the Asus Chromebook Flip C433. In the laptop’s case, there’s a Core M3-8100Y processor, which will allow you to run various games. 

Its chipset is powerful enough to handle most of the tasks a Chromebook can perform. This CPU has a dual-core architecture and four threads, so it is very common. 

Intel’s Turbo Boost technology overclocks its two cores to a maximum of 3.40GHz. In addition, this laptop comes equipped with a UHD Graphics 615 GPU that helps perform better visual tasks.

A combination of this hardware results in a fluent experience. The 14-inch Full HD display can be converted to 360 degrees and features a 1920 x 1080p resolution. Thus, you can use it as a tablet for your work whenever necessary. 

Convertible mechanisms are usually useful for specific tasks, like drawing, sketching, etc. There is 8 GB of memory as well as 64 GB of eMMC storage in this device. These are very good specifications for a Chromebook. It offers an enhanced typing experience with its backlit chiclet keyboard.


8. HP 2019 14″

HP 2019 14
CPU: 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U mobile
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Display: 14 inches 1366 x 768 HD
PROS
  • Four-way processing performance
  • BrightView glossy screen
CONS
  • Old model

If you’re looking for a lightweight and affordable gaming laptop, the HP 2019 laptop is perfect for you. While it’s not as powerful as other expensive models, it’s not a flop either. At this price point, expecting a high-end gaming laptop is not wise. Nevertheless, some of its features are impressive.

Compared to other gaming laptops, this one performs exceptionally well. It has a 128 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i3 7100U processor, which renders top-notch performance. 

All these features result in multitasking with no lag or slowdown. The device is largely free of moving parts, meaning it starts up quickly. According to the manufacturer, it takes 6-7 seconds to boot up. Additionally, it has an SD card slot so that you can expand the storage space. 

Further, it offers a 14 inches large display with 1366 x 768 pixels resolution. Watching movies and doing other visual work will be a pleasant experience on HP 2019 because of the high-quality display.


9. Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14

Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14
CPU: Intel Celeron N4020
RAM: 4GB DDR4
Storage: 64 GB M.2 PCIe SSD
Display: 14 inches HD (1366 x 768)
PROS
  • MicroSD card reader supported
  • Built-in dual stereo speakers
  • Narrow bezels
  • Lightweight
CONS
  • Low storage

IdeaPad 1 is among the best laptops by Lenovo that comes under 500. In front of IdeaPad 1 is a 14-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768. The display has a maximum brightness of over 300 nits, due to which direct sunlight will be no problem for it. 

The top of the screen is coated with anti-glare material that minimizes the reflections. It features only a very narrow bezel surrounding the sides. Further, there is an Intel Celeron N4020 processor inside of this laptop containing dual cores and threads. 

It has been seen in many laptops so far. Turbo boost frequency enables you to reach a clock speed of 2.80Ghz. Likewise, it has a graphics processor UHD Graphics 600, which handles graphics-related tasks. 

Multitasking is possible thanks to its 4GB RAM and 64GB PCIe SSD. SSD makes the laptop perform much better because they are faster than HDD.

However, you’ll soon run out of storage space unless you upgrade the laptop’s storage.


10. Acer Chromebook 311

Sale
Acer Chromebook 311
CPU: Intel Celeron N4020
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Display: 11.6 HD Touch IPS
PROS
  • Touchscreen
  • Versatile 360° hinge
  • Long-lasting battery
  • HD IPS panel
CONS
  • The display size is small

Acer Chromebook 311 is the final product in the list of best gaming laptops under 500. This 2-in-1 laptop comes with the Intel Celeron N4000 processor, containing two cores and threads. It can reach clock speeds of up to 2.60GHz by utilizing turbo boost technology. 

As a result, it has more than enough power to handle all standard tasks and moderate gaming. In addition to the Intel UHD Graphics 600 integrated GPU, this Chromebook also offers an 11.6-inch display. 

Both GPU and CPU cores use 14nm SuperFin technology for power efficiency. Acer has enhanced the image quality further with ComfyView technology. You will also notice an improved display’s color accuracy with this unit. 

For video conferencing and other purposes, you will find a web camera on the top of the screen. Moreover, this laptop comes with a backlit keyboard for an enhanced experience.


What to look for in a laptop under 500 dollars?

If you are looking for performance, a laptop under 500 dollars will generally not have the same quality as its at least a little more expensive alternatives. This amount of budget is minimum that allows playing most of the latest games.

Of course, you are getting much more than in a laptop under $400, only for one hundred dollars more.

You should also consider the amount of storage you need and what size monitor do you prefer. As well as battery life – all these factors will affect how powerful a device can be while still being affordable.

CPU

AMD processors tend to offer more value than their Intel alternatives due to a better price-performance ratio. Simply always look for the newer versions of these processors.

Storage

One of the most important factors you should look for in a budget gaming laptop is enough storage to ensure that your machine can run more than one game at once without having to constantly delete your old games.

You need minimum storage between 256GB and 512GB, with SSD being preferred over HDD.

Display size

The larger the monitor, the more immersive your gaming experience. The most popular sizes are 15 inches and 17 inches.

Battery Life

Usually, a laptop with a mediocre battery life can be an annoyance while you’re on the go or when you need to use it for extended periods of time without access to power.

But when it comes to a gaming laptop, you want to use it always connected to a charger. Energy supply is necessary to maintain that parts of your laptop are working at 100% of their power.

Graphics

Graphics is the most important part when choosing a gaming laptop. You shouldn’t expect to get a laptop with a high-end GPU for 500 dollars, but at least a mid-range or even an entry-level GPU will run your games at a higher FPS rate with higher than minimum graphics settings.

As far as graphics go, you are best off getting a laptop with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or better. This is enough for Minecraft, Sims, many other popular games.

Bottom Line

This was your ultimate list of the top 10 best gaming laptops you can get with a budget of less than $500. With this list, you should be able to get the right laptop.

500 dollars is considered a very low budget for a gaming laptop, but it is definitely possible to find a decent laptop for a beginner gamer.

But if you are able to lift your budget with an extra hundred, it is worth checking the list of gaming laptops under 600 dollars.

Just keep in mind to have a list of priorities drafted down to help you make a rational buying decision. 

Alex Berg

Alex Berg

Founder, writer, editor-in-chief at LaptopTalks. Starting LaptopTalks is like a dream come true, combining two of his passions – writing and technology. Even in his free time, you can often find him by his gaming laptop playing the latest video games.

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