Our comparison table only shows our top 5 picks. You can find the other recommendations within this article.
Every gamer who is serious about their gameplay wants a top-tier gaming laptop.
Most of those will cost you more than $1500, and it can go as high as $5000.
Many gamers are students, and if they aren’t wealthy, it becomes tough for them to afford a high-end gaming laptop.
Fortunately, these days there are some budget gaming laptops on the market that can be bought for as little as $500. They won’t be able to run games on maximum settings, but you’ll still be able to play many popular games on low to medium settings.
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.
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.
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 games.
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.
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.
The Acer Aspire will cost less than $400 and rest assured it’s a capable entry-level gaming laptop with great battery life.
It ships with Windows 10 Home and it’s available with an Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated graphics. Although a dedicated GPU would be desirable, it’s difficult to find in this price range.
On top of all that, it has a good-sized 256GB SSD and has much better than average battery life. What more do expect from a gaming laptop? It is certainly had some nice features for such an affordable price.
It’s undoubtedly one of the best laptops Acer has ever manufactured at this price, 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 very happy with it so far.
The ASUS VivoBook F510UA is an ordinary budget gaming laptop that’s available on Amazon for around $500.
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 decent 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. The SSD upgrade will increase the laptop price.
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. 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. The very thin bezel also allows the laptop to be physically smaller and weight less with the same display size. This is a bonus for portability. 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.
This latest Inspiron notebook from Dell offers impressive specifications for the sub-$500 market. Dell are more known for their business machines, but this budget laptop offers a whole host of multimedia features, ideal for gaming. A 15.6-inch touchscreen HD display is also widescreen with Dell’s True-Life system of picture quality.
Taking a look inside the laptop, you will see components just as high-quality as the latest 7th Generation Intel Core i3-7100U duo-core mobile processor. The system only packs 6GB of DDR SDRAM, but this can be expanded up to 16GB if you need more.
The graphics on this laptop are easily managed by the Intel HD 620 chipset which should handle older games without too much trouble.
Perhaps the most impressive feature at this price is the huge 1TB hard drive, ensuring that you are unlikely to be short of space for all those games and the related data. The laptop features a smart black casing which looks sturdy. Although comfortable to use, the keyboard lacks the backlighting which you find on many similar spec models.
To conclude, a good keyboard which is easy to use for long periods. This would make a great budget laptop for both gaming and college work.
Here comes the sibling of HP 15 Touch which is on top of best cheap gaming laptops under $500. This laptop is very much similar to other HP 15 inch laptops, but this one has some upgraded features which are a bonus for gamers.
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 they don’t compare 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.
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. With a bright and 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.
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.
The ASUS VivoBook F705MA is currently one of the best cheap gaming laptops under $500. It’s amazing how many features they packed into this machine for the low-budget price.
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 was first launched in March 2016, and since then it’s on top charts. It’s a solid mid-range gaming notebook that packs an SSD, 7th Generation processor, and DDR4 memory.
This VivoBook is lightweight and has a battery life of between 5 and 9 hours. This makes it a good portable computer for people who travel a lot or carry their laptop in a backpack.
Also when it comes to GPU, the integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 isn’t the best one but will get the job done. If you want a solid, affordable laptop that can play most games reasonable well, this is a great option.
Here’s another variant of the HP 15″ laptops and it has some unique features and decent specifications. For example, this laptop has a DVD burner, which is rare in recent models.
The 1TB hard drive will store your games and related data easily, no matter how many games you have. The stereo speakers are strong for a laptop in this price range.
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 7th generation processor, 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.
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.
The HP Pavilion x360 is a powerful and unique laptop in the sub $500 category. This laptop offers a decent set of specifications in a sturdy yet attractive product that weighs in at under five pounds.
This laptop isn’t just about good looks though. The display offers a 14-inch HD touchscreen with support for 10 finger multi-touch. The only complaint with the screen tends to be a lack of brightness when using in bright sunlight.
Since this laptop is a convertible, it can be used in several different configurations. The so-called tent configuration shown in the image above is great for streaming video or giving presentations.
For gaming performance, this Premium Notebook offers a 8th-generation Intel Core i3 chipset with 8GB of RAM. The hard drive that comes as standard is a 500GB mechanical disk but you can upgrade to a 128GB SSD drive if you wish.
The integrated graphics use the Intel 620 UHD and can run many of the popular games at a low to medium graphics setting.
Overall this laptop ticks all the right boxes when it comes to a budget gaming PC. It may also be suitable for college or school work though, because of the touch screen and pen support.
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.
Well, now that you’ve checked our entire article of best cheap gaming laptop under 500, I believe you know which one will suit you best. We have also compiled buying guides for best gaming laptops under $1000and $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.
Marcus has a graduate degree in computer engineering and has many years of experience in cutting-edge technology research and development in both startups and Fortune 500 corporations. In his free time, he enjoys RTS gaming.
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