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Best Gaming Laptops For Under $500 (Oct 2022)

Gaming laptops are designed for gaming, so it’s expected that these are going to be more powerful than any standard office laptop. It’s also expected that they’re going to cost more money too. You’re probably thinking about spending at least a couple thousand dollars for a decent one, right?

But what if we told you that you can buy the best gaming laptop under $500? These budget gaming laptops may not even come close to the powerful high-end laptops, but they can still satisfy your gaming needs on-the-go.

What are the best gaming laptops under $500, and just how good are they compared to the high-end brands?

NameSpecs
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Hexa-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM (Upgradeable)
Storage: 256GB SSD
Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 7 Graphics
Display: 14-inch Full HD IPS Display
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Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U 2.1 GHz Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage: 256GB SSD
Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 7 Integrated Graphics
Display: 14-inch Full HD IPS Display (250-nits)
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HP Pavilion 14Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U 2.1 GHz Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage: 256GB SSD
Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 7 Integrated Graphics
Display: 14-inch Full HD IPS Display (250-nits)
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HP ‎15-dy2024nrProcessor: 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.2 GHz)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 2666 MHz RAM (Upgradeable)
Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD (Upgradeable)
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Display: 15.6 Inch Full HD IPS Anti-Glare Display
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Dell Inspiron 14 5410Processor: Intel Core i3-1125G4 Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 3.7 GHz)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM
Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics (UHD)
Display: 14-inch Full HD Anti-Glare LED backlit Display with Narrow bezels
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HP 17z-cp000Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Hexa-Core 2.1 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM
Storage: 256GB SSD
Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 7 Graphics
Display: 17.3-Inch HD+ WLED-backlit Display with 1600 x 900 Resolution (250-nits)
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HP Pavilion X360Processor: 10th Generation Intel Dual-Core Core i3-1005G1 CPU (1.2GHz up to 3.4GHz)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 2933MHz
Storage: 256 SSD
GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics Card
Display: 14-inch HD SVA Anti-Glare micro-edge WLED-Backlit Touch Screen (1366 x 768)
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Acer Aspire 5CPU (Processor): AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor (2.6 GHz up to 3.5 GHz), 2 Cores, 4MB L3 Cache
RAM: 12GB DDR4
Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
GPU: Integrated with AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics
Display: 15.6 inch Full HD Widescreen (1920 x 1080) LED backlight IPS Display
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ASUS VivoBook 15CPU (Processor): AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor (2M Cache, up to 3.6Ghz)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 2933MHz
Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 10 graphic
Display: 15.6-inches FHD LED
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ASUS VivoBook 15 ThinCPU (Processor): 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Storage: 128GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics
Screen: 15.6 inch Full HD (1920×1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display
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Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Best Gaming Laptop Under 500

Considered as the best gaming laptop under $500, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 gives you a lot of value and power without compromising features.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 offers tremendous value for money by offering the most powerful specs you can get in a laptop under $500 that too without compromising on any other features!

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 is powered by AMD Ryzen 5 5500U. This CPU has 6 cores and integrates beautifully into the Radeon Vega 7 Graphics on the chipset.

The laptop also comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB NVMe SSD, which should give you enough speed and power to run non demanding games without waiting too long to load.

The display of the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 is just as impressive as the hardware underneath. The laptop comes with a 14-inch full HD display (IPS Panel) so it has wide viewing angles with vivid colors. It also has a backlit keyboard, which makes for easier typing at night.

Note that the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 might cost more than $500 in some parts, but it doesn’t exactly kill your budget either.

If you want a machine that’s both great for office productivity that allows you to play your favorite games, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 should be on top of your list.

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Hexa-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM (Upgradeable)
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 7 Graphics
  • Display: 14-inch Full HD IPS Display
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home 64-bit OS
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 hours
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs

Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15

Lenovo Ideapad 3i Best Gaming Laptop Under 500

Another Lenovo laptop on this list is the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15. It’s not powered by AMD Ryzen like the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14, but instead, it comes with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor. Hence, the “i” on the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15 name.

The screen is also bigger than the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14, measuring at 15.6 inches with touchscreen capability. This should give you a better and more intuitive gaming experience.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15 comes with a backlit keyboard and fingerprint scanner with Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Connectivity, so you can do some online gaming without getting lag.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15 is guaranteed to run on Windows 11, so they should be able to use the new Game Mode feature of the OS.

If you can’t get your hands on the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14,

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15 Laptop:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.2 GHz)
  • RAM: 12GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • Display: 15.6-inch Full HD IPS Touchscreen display
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 hours
  • Weight: 3.7 lbs

HP Pavilion 14

HP Pavilion 14 Best Gaming Laptop Under 500

HP (Hewlett Packard) is known for making some of the best office productivity laptops and now they’re venturing into gaming laptops. The company manufactures high-end gaming laptops and budget gaming laptops as well.

The HP Pavilion 14 is their entry for gaming laptop under $500, and it’s impressive enough for the price you’re paying.

It’s a sleek, compact, and lightweight laptop that comes with a 14-inch screen. The HP Pavilion 14 weighs 3.1lbs and is about 0.6 inches thin, making this the most ultraportable budget gaming laptop on this list.

But a budget gaming laptop is only as good as what’s underneath, right? Well, the HP Pavilion 14 comes with a six-core AMD Ryzen 5 processor with 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon Vega 7 Integrated Graphics, and 256GB SSD for that extra speed.

Such power underneath this great gaming laptop, and it will only cost you $499. This makes it a great choice for students and travelers who want the power of a gaming desktop inside their backpacks.

Hardware Specifications of HP Pavilion 14 Laptop:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U 2.1 GHz Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 7 Integrated Graphics
  • Display: 14-inch Full HD IPS Display (250-nits)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home (Free upgrade to Windows 11)
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs

HP ‎15-dy2024nr

HP ‎15-dy2024nr 15-inch Best Gaming Laptop Under 500

Another entry from HP into the budget gaming laptop market is the HP ‎15-dy2024nr. The name is a handful, but don’t let this title fool you.

The HP ‎15-dy2024nr is capable enough of running games such as CS:GO, GTA 5, and Fortnite without issues. Even if you can’t run them at high settings, don’t worry because the games will run and look just as beautiful at lower settings. All thanks to its 1080 IPS display.

The HP ‎15-dy2024nr is a good budget laptop with decent specs and is capable of running most games at low or medium settings.

Let’s talk hardware first. The HP ‎15-dy2024nr comes with an Intel Core i5 that can be clocked up to 4.2GHz using Turbo Boost Mode. It comes with an 8GB RAM and 256GB NVMe SSD for storage. Multitasking should not be an issue here because you run most games at 60FPS, and carry out multiple office productivity tasks at the same time.

Hardware Specifications of HP 15-dy2024nr 15-inch Laptop:

  • Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.2 GHz)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 2666 MHz RAM (Upgradeable)
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD (Upgradeable)
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • Display: 15.6 Inch Full HD IPS Anti-Glare Display
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 hours with fast charging
  • Weight: 3.75 lbs

Dell Inspiron 14 5410

Dell Inspiron 14 5410 Best Gaming Laptop Under 500

Dell has always been associated with the best gaming laptop, and this is all due to their Alienware lineup. But they’re just as good at manufacturing cheap gaming laptop under $500 or so.

For their entry into the affordable gaming laptop market, we have the Dell Inspiron 14 5410. It may not be an Alienware laptop, but the Dell Inspiron 14 5410 is just as impressive.

The Dell Inspiron 14 5410 comes with an Intel Core i3 processor, backed by 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. The processor may be a little underwhelming but don’t be fooled. This is a 4-core processor which can be boosted up to 3.7GHz. This power should allow you to run non demanding games without any difficulty, or even some of the most modern games on low to medium settings.

The Dell Inspiron 14 5410 comes with a backlit keyboard, a large trackpad, and a beautiful 14-inch FHD display with almost zero bezels. It comes in an all-metal exterior, which is atypical of most cheap gaming laptops on this list or in the market.

If you need more power on this laptop, you can upgrade the RAMA and storage drive too. This laptop should last you four to five years, and should make fore a more serious gaming machine that’s portable.

Hardware Specifications of Dell Inspiron 14 5410 Laptop:

  • Processor: Intel Core i3-1125G4 Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 3.7 GHz)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM
  • Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics (UHD)
  • Display: 14-inch Full HD Anti-Glare LED backlit Display with Narrow bezels
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 hours
  • Weight: 3.2 lbs

HP 17z-cp000

HP 17z-cp000 Best Gaming Laptop Under 500

The third entry from HP into the roster of the best gaming laptop under $500 is the HP 17z-cp000, considered as one of the highest performing laptops in the market.

The HP 17z-cp000 comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 processor with Integrated Radeon Vega 7 Graphics. You’re getting enough gaming power from the CPU and the onboard GPU, backed by 8GB of RAM and 256GB NVMe SSD. You can run GTA V on scaled down settings at 60FPS, which is a feat in itself. Much like the Dell Inspiron, the HP 17z-cp000 can be upgrade (RAM and SSD), so future-proofing won’t be an issue here.

For its display, the HP 17z-cp000 comes with a 17.3-inch HD+ display that gives off sharp visuals and vivid colors. The laptop itself is sleek and lightweight even for its size, so that’s a huge bonus. If you want to play games on the go, or just have something powerful to bring around on trips, the HP 17z-cp000 is the perfect gaming laptop under $500.

Hardware Specifications of HP 17z-cp000 High Performance 17-inch Gaming Laptop:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Hexa-Core 2.1 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 7 Graphics
  • Display: 17.3-Inch HD+ WLED-backlit Display with 1600 x 900 Resolution (250-nits)
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 hours with fast charging support
  • Weight: 4.5 lbs

HP Pavilion X360

HP Pavilion X360 Best Gaming Laptop Under 500

When it comes to productivity and gaming, the HP Pavilion X360 gives you the best of both worlds. Not to mention this is the only convertible gaming laptop on this list.

Not only is it one of the best gaming laptops under $500, but it’s also one of the best touch screen laptops under $500.

The HP Pavilion X360 comes in three different colors: silver, blue, and black. But regardless of the color you choose, you’re getting a powerful gaming laptop under $500.

This is a touchscreen laptop with a 14-inch display. it’s powered by an Intel Core i3 processor with a base clock speed of 1.20GHz and can be maxed up to 3.50GHz. To support the processor, the HP Pavilion X360 is also equipped with 8GB DDR4 SDRAM and a 256GB NVMe SSD.

The HP Pavilion X360 has a long lasting battery life, spanning up to 9 hours of continuous backup. Of course, with gaming, you might be running less than that but should still get you a few hours in when you can’t plug in.

Specifications

  • Processor: 10th Generation Intel Dual-Core Core i3-1005G1 CPU (1.2GHz up to 3.4GHz)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics Card
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 2933MHz
  • Storage: 256 SSD
  • Screen: 14-inch HD SVA Anti-Glare micro-edge WLED-Backlit Touch Screen (1366 x 768)
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs. (1.6 kg)
  • Battery: Life Up to 8 hours

Acer Aspire 5

Acer Aspire 5 Best Gaming Laptop Under 500

Acer may be one of the top contenders for high-end gaming laptops, but they’re also quite popular in the budget gaming laptop market.

Their entry is the Acer Aspire 5, and is considered one of the best gaming laptop under $500. It comes in a metal casing, so it’s durable enough to handle travel stress. It’s also a thin and lightweight notebook that packs a lot of power underneath the hood.

The Acer Aspire 5 comes with an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U with a frequency of 2.6GHz and can be boosted up to 3.5GHz. The GPU is an integrated AMD Radeon Vega 3, so it should allow you to play games at high FPS.

The display is a 15.6 inch full HD widescreen LED-backlit IPS that gives you up to 1920x1080p resolution. You get enough color clarity and sharper contrasts for games, videos, and images.

The storage is a little bit on the underwhelming side of things as it comes with a 128GB PCIe SSD, but it is backed by 500GB HDD. Rest assured that you’re booting on the SSD and storing files on the HDD. For games, you should be able to store them on your SSD so they run faster.

Is it the best gaming laptop in the market? It’s competitive, to say the least. Is it as good as the rest of the other gaming laptops under $500 on this list? The Acer Aspire can give them a run for their money.

Specifications of the Acer Aspire 5

  • CPU (Processor): AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor (2.6 GHz up to 3.5 GHz), 2 Cores, 4MB L3 Cache
  • GPU: Integrated with AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics
  • RAM: 12GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
  • Screen: 15.6 inch Full HD Widescreen (1920 x 1080) LED backlight IPS Display
  • Weight: 4.19 pounds (1.90 kg)
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 hours

ASUS VivoBook 15

ASUS VivoBook 15 Best Gaming Laptop Under 500

For the budget-conscious gamer, the ASUS Vivobook 15 is a gaming laptop that costs under $500 and we’ll tell you why it should be on your shopping list.

The ASUS Vivobook 15 is a capable device that comes in a sleek and lightweight design, so lugging this machine around shouldn’t be a hassle. The ASUS Vivobook 15 weighs 3.53lbs or 1.6kg, making it one of the most compact gaming laptops around.

Don’t let the size fool you because there’s a lot of power underneath. It has an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor with a base clock speed of 1.1GHz with maximum speed of 3.6GHz.

The ASUS Vivobook 15 comes with an AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD. Both RAM and SSD can be upgraded, so future-proofing this beast shouldn’t be a problem.

It may not be the best gaming laptop under $500, but it’s competitive enough that it made its way on this list. The display of the ASUS Vivobook 15 is a 15.6-unch FHD LED Display with max screen resolution of 1920x1080p and 80-percent screen-to-body ratio.

As for the battery life, you’re getting about 8 hours on standby, about 6 to 7 hours on web browsing or office productivity, and about 4 to 5 hours for playing video games.

All in all, the ASUS Vivobook 15 is a robust and decent gaming laptop under $500. It’s not exactly a game changer, but it should get you the best of both worlds for productivity and light gaming.

Specifications

  • CPU (Processor): AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor (2M Cache, up to 3.6Ghz)
  • GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 10 graphic
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 2933MHz
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Screen: 15.6-inches FHD LED
  • Weight: 3.53 pounds (1.6 kg)
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 hours

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin Best Gaming Laptop Under 500

Last but definitely not the least is the ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin. This is considered the best budget gaming laptop if you want to play Minecraft or any light gaming because of its amazing 15.6 inch full HD display with an 88% screen-to-body ratio.

It’s also one of the best choices for both students and professors because it can run Google Meet and other conferencing software without a hitch.

The ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin’s power should not be underestimated. The laptop comes with an 10th generation Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor with a 4MB cache memory. The processor can run up to 3.4GHz on boosted speed, making it the best ASUS gaming laptop.

To supplement the processing power, you’re also getting 8GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage. You also get some free slots for memory and storage for future upgrades. You may not be able to upgrade the GPU as you would with your own gaming desktop, but having the ability to upgrade storage and RAM on a laptop is simply amazing.

It has a lovely ergonomic backlit keyboard with a fingerprint sensor-activated via Windows Hello, an outstanding feature at this price range.

Specifications

  • CPU (Processor): 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Screen: 15.6 inch Full HD (1920×1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display
  • Weight: 3.75 pounds (1.7 kg)
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 hours

Gaming Laptop Buying Tips

We’ve now given you a list of the best gaming laptops under $500, but how do you decide on which one’s the right one for you?

There are several things to consider here if you want to get the best gaming laptop that should meet your productivity needs and light gaming needs.

Here are a few things that you can consider when you’re deciding between which of the best gaming laptops on this list is the right one for you.

GPU / Video Card

Not all video games are made equal, and it’s not exactly reassuring to know that the latest video games right now need more power than usual to guarantee the best gaming performance possible.

For the gaming laptops under $500, you’re getting integrated or onboard video cards with limited VRAM. But it doesn’t mean that you’re getting gimped here either.

If you want to purchase a gaming laptop, you should keep an eye out for those with dedicated video cards (as opposed to integrated graphics), but you’ll end up paying more.

RAM

Most of the gaming laptops on this list have about 8GB of RAM. Very rarely will you ever see a cheap gaming laptop with more than 8GB of prebuilt RAM. If you need to add more RAM into your laptop, you should keep an eye out for models that will allow you to upgrade the RAM.

A few things to consider here would be your warranty. In case you upgrade your RAM, some manufacturers void your warranty. If this is something that concerns you, you’re better off with purchasing a gaming laptop that already has the desired RAM you need.

Screen Size

Obviously, you’re not getting screens with 300Hz refresh rates like you would with the more expensive gaming laptops and you’re not exactly getting curved screens here either like you would with a gaming desktop.

But with a budget laptop, you should always go for the Full HD Screen resolution. All of the gaming laptops on this list have Full HD resolution, so that shouldn’t be an issue. On average, you’re settling for at least 14-inch displays on a budget and hover at about 15.6 inch screens. We do have a 17-inch screen laptop on this list, but they’re uncommon for the price bracket.

If you really want more resolution or a higher refresh rate for your games, you can always attach an external monitor.

Display capabilities are also affected by the GPU and CPU power, so it goes without saying that a cheap gaming laptop will not have maxed out display features. Higher refresh rates need higher VRAM and higher CPU power, so that means you need a dedicated GPU. This means that you’re going to spend more than $500.

Processor

For budget laptops under $500, don’t expect to get the high-powered processors. You’re more or less getting 10th or 11th generation Intel CPUs or AMD Ryzen 3’s or 5’s. Make no mistake since these processors are still capable of carrying out productivity tasks (photo editing, light video editing, and so on), and some light gaming.

It’s also rare for many gaming laptops to be able to upgrade CPU power. Other laptops that cost more than a few thousand dollars can’t even give you this capability.

You can upgrade RAM and storage, but never CPU power. If you want to upgrade CPU, you’re better off with just going for stationary PC gaming. You can overclock CPU with Turbo Boost technology, but that’s about it.

Size and Weight

Gaming laptops are not meant to be light, but manufacturers can try their hardest to make it so. If you do get such laptops that weigh less than 3lbs, you might not be able to do some gaming at all.

For size and weight, other laptops that are intended for gamers will average at about 4lbs to 5lbs, but you’ll find other laptops with a thin and light design that could still run games.

A gaming laptop is merely a portable machine that allows you to stay entertained while on the go, or carry out various tasks without being slowed down.

Accessories

If you want to take your gaming experience to a next level on a budget laptop, you’re going to want to buy accessories.

Accessories will include an external mouse, an external keyboard, and a laptop cooling pad. While these are unnecessary, using a separate mouse and keyboard will definitely help your laptop last longer. You don’t get to abuse the trackpad and prebuilt keyboard when you’re gaming.

Most of the budget gaming laptops we’ve listed on this article have your usual USB Type C port, some USB 3.0 slots, USB 2.0 Slots, HDMI-support, and more. Accessorizing should not be an issue here. It just boils down to how much you can fit in a messenger bag or a backpack.

Gaming Performance

The sad and unfortunate reality of a gaming laptop under $500 is that you’re not going to play games at high FPS most of the time (unless the titles are a couple of years old), and even so, that’s pushing the button. An even more affordable laptop will not be able to support heavy games, so that’s also something to consider. The price bracket of $500 to $1000 is already stretching it thin enough as it is, especially if you’re looking for a budget laptop with the complete package.

For some of these laptops, they can run GTA V on low to medium settings, hovering at about 40FPS minimum. Going for high or ultra settings when you play non demanding games might get you more than 60FPS, but if it’s something like GTA V, then you’re going to deal with about 20FPS or so.

If you’re into online gaming, you might be able to play World of Warcraft or even Final Fantasy XIV without scaling the graphics down too much.

If you can push your budget to something higher, like let’s say $1000 or so, you should be able to expand your choices because there are many gaming laptops within that price range that can give you a better gaming performance.

A good gaming laptop that’s under $1,000 or so will allow you to run high end games at medium settings. And that’s the cold hard honest truth here with buying an affordable laptop. If you want to do more gaming at higher FPS, go for the more expensive laptops.

Color Replication

Again, high end games won’t look as good on a cheap gaming laptop as it would on expensive laptops. But even on a $500 budget, the gaming laptops here can still get you sufficient color gamut if you just want to play games. If you want to do other work, like video editing or photo editing, you might not be able to find a laptop with 100% sRGB.

Battery Life

An affordable gaming laptop will not have a long battery life. On average, you’re getting between 6 and 9 hours of standby time. Web browsing or office-related tasks might last you for 5 hours or so, and gaming will have you running no more than 3 to 4 hours.

Even the best budget gaming laptop will not guarantee a long battery life, but the lifespan should be more than enough to help you do things unplugged.

Storage

All of the gaming laptops we installed here come with an SSD installed, but they’re not as sizeable as the more expensive gaming laptops that come with an Nvidia GeForce GTX dedicated GPU.

But still, you should still be able to run games without wasting too much time on the loading screen.

For gaming laptops within the $500 price bracket, you’re getting between 128GB and 256GB NVMe SSD. It’s not that much if you’re playing games that occupy close to 100GB storage (we’re looking at you, Call of Duty).

But even if there are laptops of the same specs here, not all of them can be upgraded. If you are concerned with storage, go for the laptop that allows for storage upgrade.

A new SSD with 1TB or 2TB storage capacity should cost you a couple hundred dollars, but you need to make sure that the laptop can accommodate such size.

It’s not exactly uncommon for these gaming laptops to be able to upgrade to 1TB SSD, but still check with the manufacturers.

Aesthetics and Others

The last thing that you should ever consider for a gaming laptop under $500 is their aesthetics. Color choices are not going to affect the gaming performance, but how the laptop is built will matter more.

For example, a gaming laptop with a metal housing will probably have issues with heating and cooling, even if you have a lot of fans installed on the machine. Take into consideration that if you do go for metal laptops, rest assured that they will be heavier by more than a couple of pounds for non-metal laptops of the same specs.

The laptops on this list should also have a backlit keyboard, which help you type or game at night but they’re not going to be of mechanical build like you’d see on the more expensive gaming laptops. Again, you have to pay more than a few hundred dollars above your budget if you want a mechanical and backlit keyboard.

The Bottom Line

There you have it, the best gaming laptops under $500 and that’s saying something. These are all coming from the best brands in the industry, so you don’t really have to worry about the quality or the entire build of the laptop.

Playing games on a budget laptop should not be an issue as long as you play non demanding games. Otherwise, your machine will struggle with the latest games. If you want to game at higher FPS and at higher settings, you need a more serious gaming machine and those will cost you more than $500.

James Stephenson

james stephenson profile picJames is a gaming and tech enthusiast. He has been playing computer games since the Commodore 64 days in the 80s. He has worked as a Broadcast Engineer with BBC News and knows a thing or two about building, fixing, and playing with PCs.

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