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Finding the best gaming laptop under $500 that suits the need is challenging for many people. In this price range, you will not get many options when it comes to gaming laptops.
If you have this budget, make sure you know what you will get and what games you can play. As a result, we have compiled a list of the best options available today. Using this guide, you will find some of the most affordable gaming laptops that meet your needs.
The gaming laptops discussed here have various strengths and weaknesses and varying prices.
As we review products, we include specs such as GPU, CPU, RAM and more, so that you can choose what is best for you.
- 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $500
- Gaming Laptops Under $500 – Buying Guide
- How We Picked?
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $500
1. Asus VivoBook 5
RAM: 8 GB DDR4
Storage: 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Display: 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel
- Fingerprint sensor
- Wi-Fi 5 supported
- Comfortable keyboard
- 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 laptop.
2. Dell Inspiron 15 3593
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display: 15.6 HD Non-Touch 1366 x 768
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics
- High performance
- Highly portable
- 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
RAM: 4GB DDR4 SDRAM
Storage: 128GB NVMe SSD
Display: 15.6 Full HD (1920 x 1080) Acer ComfyView Widescreen LED-backlit IPS
- DDR4 RAM supported
- Fingerprint reader
- Decent performance
- IPS display
- Storage capacity is low
Acer Aspire A515-44-R93G is another gaming laptop 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
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
- 82% screen to body ratio display
- Arsenic-free display
- 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. Newest Dell Inspiron 3000
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
- Great stereo speakers
- Excellent screen resolution
- Plastic build
Among the world’s leading laptop manufacturers, Dell’s Inspiron 3000 is well worth picking up. 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 low price tag.
6. Lenovo IdeaPad 3
RAM: 4GB DDR4
Storage: 128GB SSD
Display: 15.6 HD (1366 x 768)
GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 3
- Narrow side bezels
- Crystal-clear sound
- Sturdy build
- 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
RAM: 8GB LPDDR3
Storage: 64GB eMMC SSD
Display: 14 inch Touchscreen Full HD 1920x1080 4-way NanoEdge
- Backlit chiclet keyboard supported
- Super-fast performance compared to the competition
- Highly portable
- Optimal build quality
- 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″
Display: 14 inches 1366 x 768 HD
- Four-way processing performance
- BrightView glossy screen
- 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
RAM: 4GB DDR4
Storage: 64 GB M.2 PCIe SSD
Display: 14 inches HD (1366 x 768)
- MicroSD card reader supported
- Built-in dual stereo speakers
- Narrow bezels
- Low storage
IdeaPad 1 is among the best laptops by Lenovo. 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
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Display: 11.6 HD Touch IPS
- Versatile 360° hinge
- Long-lasting battery
- HD IPS panel
- The display size is small
Acer Chromebook 311 is the final product on the list. 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.
Gaming Laptops Under $500 – Buying Guide
Every dollar counts when buying a laptop for this low budget – in this price range, you are getting better overall performance than in a $400 laptop. On the other hand, adding an extra $100 to your budget would allow you to pick a laptop for $600.
In this price range, you will definitely have many more options to run not only low-requirement games and applications but games that require more powerful hardware.
Of course, to have a machine that will last at least 2-3 years, would run AAA games, you will need to spend $1500 for this type of gaming laptop.
Before purchasing a gaming laptop within this budget, you should keep a few things in mind. These things include:
Any computer system would be incomplete without a processor. The speed of your laptop depends on the processor. The quality of your processor can greatly affect how well your games run.
Therefore, before buying a laptop, you should consider the processor. A Core i5 processor or better is generally recommended for playing high-end games. However, the older processor doesn’t mean you won’t be able to play games.
It’s still possible, but the experience won’t be the same as a Core i5. Most laptops will have more or less the same specs if your budget is $500. Anything newer will be considerably more expensive. It is therefore imperative that you purchase the quickest processor on your budget.
Next comes your graphics card, one of the most important things to consider for gaming. If you want your gameplay to be buttery smooth, you will need a graphics card with a high frame rate.
Integrated Graphics units usually come with a budget which can be an ideal choice for you. If you prefer a better graphics card, there are still laptops you can choose from with high-end graphics cards. However, if you wish to have a laptop with a high-end graphics card, you will require increasing your budget more. Because getting a high-end graphics card in a budget laptop is a bit challenging.
Thus, if you want to play games smoothly, you should invest in a graphics card and RAM that work together. If you want to play modern 3D games in high settings, you need an excellent dedicated graphics card.
Making the right choice of graphics card for your gaming laptop can be challenging, so make sure you consider a decent graphic card as your priority. With today’s most popular games, graphics cards from AMD or NVIDIA will be sufficient.
A laptop’s RAM is another important feature in a gaming laptop. While playing games, a laptop with more RAM can store more data and load it more quickly. High-speed RAM minimizes lag and glitches while playing. You will probably find that most laptops in this price range offer 8 GB of RAM.
8 GB of RAM is the absolute minimum required in 2022. In addition, DDR4 RAM is significantly faster than traditional RAM, so be sure to get one of anything low would hurt your gaming experience.
It is also important to consider the laptop’s capacity and the type of storage it comes with. Ultimately, high-end games in 2022 will have a storage capacity of 30 to 100 GB.
There may even be some games that go over 100 GB. Therefore, you must have enough storage space on your laptop to accommodate all these games and other data. What type of storage does the laptop have is the next thing you should evaluate.
Choosing a laptop with an SSD over an HDD will significantly improve your loading times since SSDs have high transfer rates. Nonetheless, if you choose a solid-state drive, you will need a minimum of 256 GB of storage capacity. However, if you decide to use an HDD, you’ll need a minimum of 500GB of storage.
Display & Resolution
The display and resolution are also important factors to consider when purchasing one. The user experience would be much more enjoyable with a brighter screen and vivid colors.
As well, a more dense pixel arrangement would produce a crisper image. Colors can also help you in games when, for example, they help you figure out your enemies. Moreover, a high-definition screen will dramatically improve the visual quality of your favorite games.
Also available within the same budget are touch screen laptops. Although a touch screen is a personal preference, I wouldn’t recommend getting one since it is ineffective for professional gaming, not to mention that it reduces overall display quality.
Connectivity & Battery
Your last consideration should be the laptop’s connectivity options and battery life. As the standard now is the USB Type-C port, you’ll want a laptop that has enough connectivity options. You might consider other ports, such as an Ethernet port, HDMI port, and SD card reader.
Your next step should be to find a laptop with long battery life. If you have to stay at a place and keep the laptop plugged in, you will be inconvenienced, and your laptop will not serve its purpose. Battery life for more than 3 hours is sufficient in this price range.
How We Picked?
Over the past several years, we have tested and reviewed various budget gaming laptops. We test different brand models throughout the year, evaluating each system’s battery life, performance, and usability.
Additionally, our experts test each product in everyday situations to see how it performs. The variety of laptops available today allows us to compare them with their competitors and with the average laptop in their price range.
Our goal is to test the laptop in an office or home environment to see how it would perform. In addition to using several industry-standard benchmarks, we conduct multiple in-house testing.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you spend $500 on a gaming laptop, you will likely receive a sub-standard product. The latest games will not run at anything other than the lowest graphics setting, and if they are particularly demanding, a laptop at this price will probably have trouble running them.
Defining a ‘budget’ laptop isn’t easy, but anything over $1000 would qualify – this is the price range where gaming laptops start.
It is debatable whether gaming laptops this cheap are suitable for gaming, but they exist and are labeled as such. Ultimately, it depends on the type of game and graphical settings you want to use. At the very least, you will have to spend $1000 to play the latest games at decent frame rates at medium settings.
This was our complete list of the gaming laptops that you can buy. I hope this list helped you find the right laptop. A beginner gamer should be able to find a decent laptop in this price range, which is an extremely low budget for a gaming laptop.
You may want to consider other expensive laptops if you have an extra hundred to spend. Now it’s up to you to decide which laptop is right for you.