12 Best Cheap Gaming Laptops under $500 – 2018

TOP PICK
HP Notebook 15-ay011nr 15.6-Inch Laptop (6th Gen Intel Core i5-6200U Processor, 8GB DDR3L SDRAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 10), Silver
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG Laptop, 15.6 Full HD (Intel Core i5, NVIDIA 940MX, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Windows 10)
ASUS X555DA-WS11 15.6-inch Laptop (AMD Quad Core A10-8700P 1.8 GHz, Turbo to 3.2 GHz, 8GB GDDR3 RAM, 1000 GB Hard Drive, Windows 10), Dark Grey
Dell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718SLV Signature Edition 15.6-Inch Laptop (i5-4210U Processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home), Silver Black
2016 Acer Aspire 15.6-inch High Performance Touchscreen Laptop, Intel 5th Gen i5-5200U CPU, 8GB Memory, 1T HDD, HDMI, Wifi, Windows 10,Black
BLW's Score
92
91
90
86
85
MSRP
$428.05
$549.99
$449.00
$583.19
Currently not available
Processor
Intel Core i5 6200U 2.3 GHz (2.8 GHz Turbo Boost)
Intel Core i5 6200U 2.3 GHz (2.8 GHz Turbo Boost)
AMD A10-8700P 1.8 GHz (Turbo to 3.2 GHz)
Intel Core i5-4210U 1.7 GHz (2.7 GHz Turbo Boost)
Intel Core i5-5200u 2.1 GHz (2.7 GHz Turbo Boost)
RAM
8GB DDR3L
8GB DDR4
8GB DDR3L
8GB DDR3L
8GB DDR3L
Hard Disk
1TB HDD
256GB SSD
1TB HDD
1TB HDD
1TB HDD
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
15.6" FHD (1366 x 768)
15.6" FHD (1920×1080)
15.6" HD (1366x768)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 520
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
AMD Radeon R6
Intel HD Graphics 4400
Intel HD Graphics 520
OS
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Weight
4.65 pounds
5.27 lbs
6.75 pounds
5.3 pounds
4 pounds
Battery Life
6 hours
9 hours
5 hours
5 hours
5 hours
TOP PICK
HP Notebook 15-ay011nr 15.6-Inch Laptop (6th Gen Intel Core i5-6200U Processor, 8GB DDR3L SDRAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 10), Silver
BLW's Score
92
MSRP
$428.05
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i5 6200U 2.3 GHz (2.8 GHz Turbo Boost)
RAM
8GB DDR3L
Hard Disk
1TB HDD
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 520
OS
Windows 10
Weight
4.65 pounds
Battery Life
6 hours
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG Laptop, 15.6 Full HD (Intel Core i5, NVIDIA 940MX, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Windows 10)
BLW's Score
91
MSRP
$549.99
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i5 6200U 2.3 GHz (2.8 GHz Turbo Boost)
RAM
8GB DDR4
Hard Disk
256GB SSD
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
OS
Windows 10
Weight
5.27 lbs
Battery Life
9 hours
ASUS X555DA-WS11 15.6-inch Laptop (AMD Quad Core A10-8700P 1.8 GHz, Turbo to 3.2 GHz, 8GB GDDR3 RAM, 1000 GB Hard Drive, Windows 10), Dark Grey
BLW's Score
90
MSRP
$449.00
More Information
Processor
AMD A10-8700P 1.8 GHz (Turbo to 3.2 GHz)
RAM
8GB DDR3L
Hard Disk
1TB HDD
Display
15.6" FHD (1366 x 768)
Graphics
AMD Radeon R6
OS
Windows 10
Weight
6.75 pounds
Battery Life
5 hours
Dell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718SLV Signature Edition 15.6-Inch Laptop (i5-4210U Processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home), Silver Black
BLW's Score
86
MSRP
$583.19
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i5-4210U 1.7 GHz (2.7 GHz Turbo Boost)
RAM
8GB DDR3L
Hard Disk
1TB HDD
Display
15.6" FHD (1920×1080)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 4400
OS
Windows 10
Weight
5.3 pounds
Battery Life
5 hours
2016 Acer Aspire 15.6-inch High Performance Touchscreen Laptop, Intel 5th Gen i5-5200U CPU, 8GB Memory, 1T HDD, HDMI, Wifi, Windows 10,Black
BLW's Score
85
MSRP
Currently not available
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i5-5200u 2.1 GHz (2.7 GHz Turbo Boost)
RAM
8GB DDR3L
Hard Disk
1TB HDD
Display
15.6" HD (1366x768)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 520
OS
Windows 10
Weight
4 pounds
Battery Life
5 hours
Every gamer who is serious about their game play desires a professional gaming laptop.

Most of those will cost you more than $1500, and it can go as high as $5000. 

Most of the gamers are either students or jobless, and in case they aren't wealthy, it becomes tough for them to afford a high-end gaming laptop.

Anyways, these days there are some budget gaming laptops on the market that can be bought for as less as $500. They won't be able to run games on maximum settings but for sure on low to medium graphics.

Acer Gaming Laptop Review

These are decent gaming notebooks from top manufacturers and will certainly help you kick start your gaming career.

With so many 4k games on the market, a professional gamer simply can't do it without a high-end gaming laptop.

In the past, there were many games with average graphics that could be played on an all-purpose laptop, but if you run 4k games on them, they would start heating within seconds.

So if you're in need of brand new gaming laptop and are quite low on budget then here we have listed 12 of the best and cheap gaming laptops under $500.

Things to consider before buying a $500 Gaming Laptop

First of all, you should decide the game or games you will be playing on it.

That's the most important thing you should decide before buying a gaming laptop and to be completely honest, $500 notebook might not be able to play games like Fallout 4 and GTA 5 smoothly, but professional games like Counter Strike: GO, Dota 2, World of Warcraft, League of Legends and Minecraft should run just fine.

Anyways, once you have decided the games, check their hardware and software requirements. Always know the specifications you need for your games as it becomes very easy to find your new budget gaming laptop.

Acer LOL

You should also get the processor that is powerful as it has everything to do with performance. Other than processor, graphics card and RAM is something that you should look for; you at least need 8 GB of RAM to play most of the average games of 2017.

Graphics card is mostly included in high-end gaming laptops, and here you will have to adjust with the integrated graphics. Battery life is yet another important aspect in case you attend LAN parties or desire to play games while traveling.

Since we're discussing budget gaming laptops under $500, you will have to compromise on a few things like backlit keyboard and full audio quality as they are only available for high-end gaming notebooks. In case you need a more powerful laptop then check out our guide of best laptops under $600.

Our Top Picks for Budget Gaming Laptops under $500

1. HP Notebook 15-ay011nr

HP Notebook 15-ay011nr

Specs:

  • ​Intel Core i5 6200U
  • ​8GB DDR3L RAM
  • ​1TB HDD

​​The HP 15-ay011nr is an affordable gaming laptop that packs the latest hardware and can deliver smooth performance while playing games. Its full HD display is ideal for multimedia purposes as well as basic computing tasks.

It's a good replacement for your desktop and thanks to its 6th generation processor; it can run high-end games effortlessly. It has a premium metallic design and sharp display which makes it attractive and desirable, both at the same time.

It's highly known for its fluid performance and its affordable price.

So if you're looking forward to buying the best gaming laptop under $500, you have got it right here. It's mostly preferred by multi-tasking users as well as gamers, and it's among the best-selling laptops of 2016.

It isn't a gaming laptop but who says we can't use it for playing games? Well, it will handle your games with ease, and I don't think that one could find anything better than this for $450.

Overall, it's what anyone would be hoping for, but it's simply a gem from HP, and you should grab it as soon as you can.

2. Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM

Specs:

  • ​6th Generation Core i5 Processor
  • ​8GB DDR4 RAM
  • ​256GB SSD

​​The Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG will cost just little more than $500 and rest assured it's an unbeatable gaming laptop and has a great battery life.

It uses Windows 10 along with other bloatware that's pre-installed, and unlike other notebooks, it packs a NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card.

Most of the gaming laptops under $500 here include integrated GPU but this one is a unique device, and you won't believe it also includes a backlit keyboard.

On top of all that, it uses SSD over HDD and has 12 hours of battery life which is simply unbelievable. Well, what more do expect from a gaming laptop? It is certainly as best as it could get for such affordable price.

It's undoubtedly one of the best laptops Acer has ever manufactured, and I have personally done research on this like never before. I had to recommend a cheap gaming notebook to my 14 years old nephew, and this is what I chose for him.

It's a perfect option for those gamers who want to focus on games without worrying about the battery life. My nephew has been jubilant with it so far, and after using for more than three months, he could barely find any flaws.

3. ASUS X555DA-WS11

ASUS X555DA-AS11

Specs:

  • ​AMD Quad Core A10-8700P
  • ​256GB SSD
  • ​8GB RAM

​​The ASUS X555DA-WS11 is an ordinary budget gaming laptop that's available on Amazon for around $400.

It can be used to play GTA 5 and CS GO at moderate settings, which is a good thing and you can imagine its performance from that. 

It includes pre-installed Windows 10 and has a long lasting battery life. It's available in two different variants where you can choose between SSD or HDD; I'd prefer going with SSD if you're serious about gaming or you could go with HDD in case you have lots of movies and games to save.

Its hardware is impressive, and there are some connectivity options and ports for all your needs.

The keyboard is an ordinary one and nothing new, its design is usual ASUS exterior, and I think that's fair for such price.

Overall, I believe you'd be happy while playing games on it as it'll only run you $400. It boots up pretty quickly and comes with some bloatware which you will have to get rid of as soon as you use it.

Other than that, its display is praised by many reviewers as it doesn't glare at all. Overall, it's a good choice for gamers and even those who don't like to use headsets as it boasts loud and clear sound quality.

4. Dell Inspiron i5558-5718SLV

Dell Inspiron i5558-2859BLK

Specs:

  • ​4th Generation Core i5 processor
  • ​8GB RAM
  • ​1TB HDD

​​The Dell Inspiron i5558-5718SLV was first released in a Signature Edition on November 27, 2015. It's among the best sellers of 2016 and will surely be loved in 2017 as well.

It has many outstanding features like backlit keyboard, touchscreen display, and MaxxAudio stereo speakers. It's loved by many users including long-time Apple users, and as a laptop enthusiast, I would say, I enjoyed using it.

It came with Windows 10 and just within minutes of setup; it was fully ready for me. Its display is pretty responsive, and I can assure you that as I have a good experience when it comes to touchscreen laptops.

It's a slim and lightweight gaming laptop and can be real easy to carry around in a backpack. I was playing Dota 2 on it for more than 4 hours, and it was running quietly and smoothly without any heating issues.

Its stereo speakers were pretty nice considering the price and other than for gamers, it is also the best laptop for college students and people in business. Overall, Dell has won my heart with this gem, and I would highly suggest it people looking for a cheap gaming laptop.

5. HP 15-ay013nr Gaming Laptop

HP 15-BA009DX

Specs:

  • ​Intel Core i5 6200U
  • ​128GB SSD
  • ​8GB DDR3L SDRAM

​Here comes the sibling of HP 15-ay011nr which is on top of best cheap gaming laptops under $500. The HP 15-ay013nr is very much similar to its sibling, and there's barely any difference between them.

Many people compare it with HP Envy 15, but I would choose this any day over Envy 15 as it's got the latest graphics, good performance, well-spaced keyboard and 1080p display.

It's a beautifully designed notebook with almost no cons and has been given four stars on most of the review websites. It packs a full HD 15-inch display that should satisfy you while playing games, and even from side angles I'd say it's pretty fantastic.

To be completely honest, HP isn't my favorite brand when it comes to laptops, but with these recent models, they've amazed me.

I have used Lenovo, ASUS and Dell notebooks but I can't compare them with this one when it comes to performance and exterior quality. It's pretty attractive as it apparently looks like an aluminum build, but when you touch it, you'll realize it's a high-quality plastic.

Overall, it's a great performer that comes with a sharp display and is certainly an excellent value for money.

6. Premium Acer Aspire High Performance Laptop

Premium Acer Aspire Review

Specs:

  • ​Intel Core i5-4210U
  • ​8GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • ​1TB Hard Drive

​​I know the name of this gaming laptop sounds weird as there's no model number or anything of that sort. Well, it's called the Premium High-Performance laptop from Acer Aspire series, and I can assure you it's an excellent laptop for the money.

I have personally used and owned plenty of laptops, and I will ask you stop going through more reviews and only go with it. I recently purchased 4 of them for my employees as I know I can count on them. It comes with Intel's integrated graphics, and it should be able to handle your games.

It has an excellent touch and works very well with Windows 10. Other than having DVD writer, sharp display, backlit keyboard and clear audio, it's also designed nicely. I have seen many complain about its build quality as it's made of plastic, I don't think that has anything to do with your gaming needs.

So all in all, it's one of the best budget gaming laptops under $500, and you'll fall in love with it.

7. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Series i7347

Dell Inspiron Review

Specs:

  • ​4th Generation Intel Core i3-4010U
  • ​4GB DDR3L RAM
  • ​500GB HDD

​The Dell Inspiron i7347 is a 13-inch 2-in-1 convertible notebook that can be used by casual gamers as well as college students.

Many compare it with 12-inch Dell XPS, but I'd like to clear it here that they are both very different kind of laptops. It is quite bulky and more powerful, and that's exactly what we need in a gaming laptop.

Unlike other gaming notebooks in this list, it has an Intel i3 processor which is kind of outdated, but that's what you're getting in this. This particular device is offered in several different configurations, and one could also buy with an Intel i5 processor for some additional bucks.

If portability is all you need, then nothing can beat this model from Dell Inspiron series. As I can see on Amazon, most of the certified buyers are happy with the purchase, and they are highly recommending it to people who are mostly on the go.

Also, if you're in need of a new tablet, I wouldn't recommend you this, and you should just buy a tablet. Overall, it's light and fast, and I could barely find any real issues in it.

8. ASUS F556UA-AS54 Laptop

ASUS F556UA-AB54 NB

Specs:

  • ​Intel i5-6200U
  • ​256GB ​SSD
  • ​8GB DDR3L RAM

​​The ASUS F556UA-AS54 is yet another one of the best cheap gaming laptops under $500 in 2017. It's available in two attractive colors, dark blue, and gold.

It's a high-quality device with a full-size keyboard, and even though it's a laptop, it feels like an ultrabook.

It might look like an aluminum plated but don't be fooled as it's built using the plastic only. It's a solid mid-range gaming notebook that packs SSD, 6th Generation processor, and DDR4 memory. 

It was first launched in March 2016, and since then it's on top charts. The gold color variant is very popular among the gamers and the only downside I noticed was the lack of backlit keyboard.

It can be a perfect graduation gift for students as it packs everything they will need in college and also comes for a pretty reasonable price. Also when it comes to GPU, it isn't the best one but will still get the job done. All in all, it packs great hardware, fast performance and is totally worth it.

9. HP 15-ay018nr

Specs:

  • ​Intel Core i7-6500U
  • ​256GB ​SSD
  • ​8GB DDR3L SDRAM

​Here comes another sibling of HP 15-ay011nr and it's a lot stronger than its siblings.

To be honest, it's going to cost you around $600, but if you can afford it, I'll say look no further and grab it. It contains extremely high-end specification as any professional gaming laptop. 

Best of all is, its Core i7 processor which has no match as of now, and it also comes with 256 GB SSD which is a significant upgrade.

It's a highly recommended option for graphics designers and video editors as it has all the power they'd ever need.

Most of the recent games including GTA 5 are nothing for this gaming notebook, and it's super-fast when it comes to performance. Other than 6th generation processor and SSD its DDR4 memory also plays a significant role in making it faster.

Its boot time is less than 3 seconds which is seriously unbelievable. In case you desire a high-end gaming device for an affordable price, this will certainly meet your needs.

10. Lenovo Ideapad 300 80Q70021US

Lenovo Ideapad Review

Specs:

  • ​Intel Core i5 6200U
  • ​8GB RAM
  • ​1TB HDD

​​Laptops from Lenovo IdeaPad series are undoubtedly the most reliable ones, and one can surely rely on them. For just under $500, the Lenovo Ideapad 300 will rock your gaming world.

It has a beautiful and sleek design which makes it look impressive and sturdy. Like most of the Lenovo laptops, this one is also quiet and yet very powerful, it's available for a great price and highly recommended to businessmen who love to play games in their free time.

It's preloaded with everything including drivers, and its sound is pretty loud, thanks to integrated Dolby stereo speakers.

I recently bought this for my wife on Prime Day as she was using my three years old Lenovo G500s. When I first got my hands on it, I was pleased with it, but once I started using it, I found the settings were reverted to it.

Anyways, I had my tech guy look at it real quick and what he found was the issue in Windows 10. So I had him reinstall the Windows with correct settings, and it's been working great since then.

11. HP 15-an050nr

HP Star Wars Special Edition Review

Specs:

  • ​Intel Core i5-6200U
  • ​6GB RAM
  • ​1 TB​ HDD

​​The HP 15-an050nr was specially built for Star Wars fans and has been designed and themed correctly. Fans were super excited when HP first launched this, and they all love its power and great looks.

Its build quality seems very sturdy, and after looking at the photos you might think, it has a backlit keyboard, but it doesn't really. It could have been a great gaming laptop with a backlit keyboard for sure and other than gaming; it's also an excellent choice for music production.

 Every aspect of this notebook is lovable and not just its design; it has to be the dream laptop of every Star Wars fan.

Let's forget about the design here and talk about its graphics and performance. It's a solid performer just like other HP gaming laptops listed here, and it features Intel's integrated graphics.

While installing, you will be asked if you want to use "Cortana" which is a Windows version of Alexa and Siri. It's totally up to you, and I think every Windows 10 user should give it a try. All in all, it's the best Star Wars Edition gaming laptop under $500.

12. Dell Inspiron i5545-2500sLV

Dell Inspiron Review

Specs:

  • ​AMD A10-7300 APU 1.9GHz
  • ​8GB DDR3L RAM
  • ​1TB HDD

​The Dell Inspiron i5545-2500sLV is an ordinary model that comes with a non-touchscreen display and features the latest hardware. It can be a pretty nice budget gaming laptop that is perfect for light gaming and also features a comfortable backlit keyboard.

With this one, you should not expect a high-end gaming notebook as it's just an average option. Its battery life is somewhere between 2 to 3 hours, and it uses a unique charger which is hard to find on the market once it's damaged. It's one of the thinnest gaming laptops listed here, and I like its sturdiness.

When I was reviewing it on my Vlog, I was impressed with the things it has to offer including its backlit keyboard and high-quality build.

Its touchpad can get little slow while using the multi-touch feature and it did show some heating signs while playing games on it. Other than that, everything works well, and it's a good present for your loved ones.

Conclusion

Well, now that you've checked our entire article of best cheap gaming laptops under $500, I believe you know which one will suit you best. We have also compiled buying guides for best gaming laptops under $1000 and $1500

Whatever you choose, just make sure that it'll be able to run your favorite games, and you should also handle it with care, so they last for a long time. If you still have any doubts, feel free to let us know through comments, and you could also use our expert advice feature to explore more great options for yourself.

This post was last updated on July 18th, 2018 at 07:42 pm

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