Best Gaming Laptops Under 500 – (High-Performance Ranked List)

| Last Updated On: February 25, 2021
 
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$500 is not a lot of money to get a beast gaming laptop. This budget might be suitable for gamers who already own a gaming console or gaming PC and want a portable machine for casual gaming as well.

Or maybe you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a gaming machine. Plus not everyone has the budget to get an expensive gaming notebook, and they want to have the experience of gaming on their everyday machines.

You cannot expect a high-end gaming laptop that will run games at 1080p@60fps in this budget, but thanks to AMD’s Ryzen processors, which created a competitive environment in the market and made it possible to find the best gaming laptop under 500.


Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 – Every Specification In Detail Below:


Image Name Price Rating Specs
Our Choice Acer Aspire 5
Slim Laptop
  • Display: 15.6″ FHD 60Hz
  • Processor: Dual-Core Ryzen 3 3200U
  • Graphics: Vega 3 Mobile
  • Ram: 4GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 6-7 Hours
Best Value Lenovo
IdeaPad 3
  • Display: 14.0″ FHD 60Hz
  • Processor: Quad-core Ryzen 5 3500U
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8
  • Ram: 8GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 5-6 Hours
Premium Pick ASUS F512DA
EB51 VivoBook 15
  • Display: 15.6” FHD 60Hz
  • Processor: Quad-core Ryzen 5 3500U
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8
  • Ram: 8GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 4-5 Hours
HP Notebook 14
  • Display: 14″ HD Touch-Screen 60 Hz
  • Processor: Dual-Core Ryzen 3 3200U
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 3
  • Ram: 8GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 5-6 Hours
Lenovo Flex 14
Convertible Laptop
  • Display: 14″ HD Touch-Screen 60 Hz
  • Processor: Dual-Core i3-8145U
  • Graphics: Intel UHD 620
  • Ram: 4GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 7-8 Hours
Dell Inspiron 15
5000 Laptop
  • Display: 15.6” FHD 60Hz
  • Processor: Dual-Core i3-8145U
  • Graphics: Intel UHD 620
  • Ram: 4GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 4-5 Hours
Fast Dell
Latitude E5470
  • Display: 14″ FHD 60Hz
  • Processor: Dual-Core-Core i5 6300U
  • Graphics: Intel HD 520 Graphic
  • Ram: 8GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 5-6 Hours
HP Premium
  • Display: 15.6″ HD
  • Processor: Dual-Core-Core i3 7100U
  • Graphics: Intel HD 620 Graphic
  • Ram: 4GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 7-8 Hours

Best Gaming Laptop Under 500


Here are some of the best budget gaming laptops under 500. The performance of these laptops is a great value for money, and some of them might even surprise you considering their price and the quality of gaming performance they provide for their price.

Most of these laptops will be able to handle modern games at low-medium settings at 720p resolution. You should not expect anything more than that. These laptops are also great for general usage and productivity tasks like using photoshop and adobe premiere.


#1 – Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop


– Specifications:

  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Processor.
  • AMD Radeon Vega 3 graphics.
  • 6 hours battery life, 12GB DDR RAM.
  • 15.6 inches full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit IPS display.
  • White backlit mushy chiclet key style keyboard.

– Advantages:

  • Decent Webcam.
  • Excellent built-in microphone.
  • White backlit keyboard.

– Drawbacks:

  • Noisy keyboard.
  • Does not have dedicated touchpad click buttons.

Acer Aspire 5 Slim is our first pick in this series. This notebook has powerful gaming capabilities for its price and comes with a slim body and an excellent 15.6” screen. The Acer Aspire 5 Slim is slightly flimsy. However, it is not going to bother you if you have nothing to compare it to, but it is of slightly loser structure than other laptops.

It features a Ryzen 3200U processor along with Vega 3 graphics which is a decent combination for casual gaming and day-to-day multiplayer gaming. Installed RAM is 12GB, which is expandable as it has an empty RAM slot. 256GB SSD is preinstalled, and an extra hard drive or SSD can be installed later on.

The construction quality is fine, the hinges are good, and it is made of aluminum. It comes with a decent I/O, and there are 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.1 port, an HDMI port, and an ethernet port. USB-C is missing from this laptop.

The touchpad is great, and it comes with a good, mushy chiclet key style keyboard, which feels good on fingers. There’s another thing to keep in mind that this laptop comes with Windows 10 S mode on, which you’ll have to disable manually by going into settings.

– Our Verdict:

This surely is an amazing gaming machine for its price. It comes under a very budget-friendly price tag, which makes it one of the best cheap gaming laptops under 500.


#2 – Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14″ Laptop


– Specifications:

  • Powerful AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor with Radeon Vega 8 graphics.
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD.
  • 14” Full HD display.

– Advantages:

  • Powerful processor.
  • Available in multiple colors.
  • Quite fan even under sustained loads.
  • Webcam privacy shutter.
  • Excellent Stereo Speakers.

– Drawbacks:

  • Only one 4GB RAM is Upgradable to 8GB. The other 4 GB RAM stick is soldered with the motherboard.
  • Screen color reproduction is not very good.
  • Brightness is low.

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is another amazing laptop in our best gaming laptops under $500 series. It’s a very slim profile, well-built laptop. Lenovo has kept the design simple, yet beautiful. There are no fancy textures, no complex stuff, just plain professional design.

It has a stereo speaker setup, which sounds surprisingly good and loud. The bezels on the screen are thin, but the screen has a fat chin at the bottom, which is common for laptops in this price range. Lenovo has done an amazing job with the thermals of this notebook as it does not get very hot even while gaming, and the fan runs super quiet.

The laptop is decent enough for 720p medium-high settings gaming. The only drawback is the screen color reproduction and brightness. You cannot use this laptop outdoor in daylight. The Windows on this laptop as well comes with S mode enabled.

– Our Verdict:

This laptop has a powerful processor, which is an amazing choice for you if you perform CPU-intensive tasks. However, if you are an outdoor user of laptops, this laptop is not for you as it has a very poor screen brightness, which makes it nearly impossible to work in outdoor environments.


#3 – ASUS F512DA-EB51 VivoBook 15


– Specifications:

  • Powerful AMD Quad Core Ryzen 5 3500U Processor.
  • AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics.
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • 15.6” Full HD display.

– Advantages:

  • Available in multiple colors.
  • USB-C port.
  • Excellent keyboard.
  • Quite fan even under sustained loads.
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Fingerprint sensor.

– Drawbacks:

  • No trackpad on-off indicator.
  • Bad viewing angles.
  • Below-average battery life.
  • All plastic build

The ASUS VivoBook 15 is another amazing and beautiful gaming laptop on a budget. It comes with a 4 way NanoEdge bezel display with an excellent screen to body ratio which makes the laptop display look very beautiful. ASUS has implemented the keyboard lift hinge design, which elevates the keyboard for a better typing experience when you open the display. The Keyboard itself is white backlit.

It comes with a powerful AMD quad-core Ryzen 5 3500U processor, which is great for CPU intensive tasks. The included GPU is AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics. The combination of CPU and GPU is good for average competitive gaming, and you can also play modern games on low to medium settings by lowering the resolution to 720p.

The RAM setup is the same with this notebook as well, where 4GB RAM is soldered with the motherboard, and you can only replace the other 4GB module with an 8 GB module and get the total RAM to 12 GB.

– Our Verdict:

This laptop has the same, powerful processor which is good for you if you perform CPU-heavy tasks. It’s good for average gaming and lightweight for portability. However, the viewing angles are not very good, and it might be difficult to use in outdoor environments.


#4 – HP Notebook 14


– Specifications:

  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Processor.
  • AMD Radeon Vega 3 graphics.
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • 14.0-inch HD baklit touch screen.

– Advantages:

  • Touch Screen.
  • Excellent trackpad.
  • Amazing value for money.
  • Lightweight.

– Drawbacks:

  • The display is not 1080p.
  • No backlit keyboard.

HP Ryzen 3 14” laptop is another amazing choice in the budget gaming laptop series. It comes with a Ryzen 3 3200U, which is a weak processor but is an amazing value for money. The included GPU is AMD Radeon Vega 3. The combination of GPU and CPU is good for low-end gaming.

You cannot expect too much from this laptop, but it delivers amazing performance considering the price. It comes with 2 RAM slots, and RAM can be upgraded to 16 GB which is more than enough by today’s standards. By adding an extra RAM stick, the performance of this laptop increases by up to 40%, which is amazing.

This machine also comes with Windows 10 S, which you can upgrade for free if you have a Microsoft account. The installed storage is a 256 GB NVMe SSD, which is upgradable by replacing it with a bigger SSD. This Laptop comes with a touch screen if you prefer that.

This machine is amazing if you want to do light, day to day tasks like browsing, watching movies, using Microsoft office, and some casual gaming. However, if you want to perform some CPU heavy tasks, this might not be the best choice.

– Our Verdict:

This laptop is an insane value for money. It performs amazingly on casual games and comes with a touch screen for a very low price. It’s an amazing choice for you if you prefer touch screens on laptops.


#5 – Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop


– Specifications:

  • Intel Core i3-8145U Processor.
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620.
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM.
  • 128GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD.
  • 14.0-inch HD baklit touch screen.
  • 2 USB-A ports, 1 USB-C port, a card reader, HDMI port, and an audio jack.
  • Fingerprint Reader.

– Advantages:

  • Touch Screen.
  • 2 in one convertible.
  • Backlit keyboard.
  • Fingerprint reader.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Silent keyboard.

– Drawbacks:

  • Plastic build.
  • Color reproduction is not great.
  • The display is not 1080p.

Lenovo Flex 14 is an entry-level convertible laptop that is a part of Lenovo’s IdeaPad line. It’s a 2 in 1 laptop, which means it can convert from a traditional laptop to a tablet in a matter of seconds.

The design philosophy of Lenovo Flex is very good. It is mostly made up of plastic, but overall it feels extremely sturdy. The top surface of the notebook is very grippy with an almost rubberish feel to it. The display has minimal bezels but has a large chin, which serves as a grip when using it in a tablet form.

It features an Intel Core i3-8145U, a power-efficient CPU that gives an incredible battery life on this notebook. This CPU comes with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, which is a decent GPU for casual and competitive gaming. You won’t be able to play 1080p games on Lenovo Flex as the screen resolution does not allow it.

Flex comes with 4 GB RAM, which is soldered to the motherboard. You may need to upgrade your RAM to at least 8 GB as 4 GB is just not enough even for day to day tasks by today’s standards. An extra RAM slot is provided for up-gradation.

– Our Verdict:

If you are looking for a convertible laptop on a budget, this is the right choice for you. Lenovo Flex has some modern looks to it, and it works flawlessly in laptop and tablet mode.

The battery life is in the 6-hour range, which makes it an amazing choice for portability. The pre-installed 4GB RAM is not enough, which you might want to upgrade for a smooth gaming and productivity experience.


#6 – Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Laptop


– Specifications:

  • Intel Core i3-8145U Processor.
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620.
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM.
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD.
  • 15.6″ Full HD anti-glare display.
  • 3 USB-A ports, no USB-C port, a card reader, HDMI port, and an audio jack.
  • Fingerprint Reader.

– Advantages:

  • Dell Mobile Connect for seamless smartphone integration.
  • Automatic turn off the feature for keyboard backlit
  • Fingerprint sensor.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Speakers are loud and clear.
  • Full HD Anti-Glare display.

– Drawbacks:

  • No USB-C port.

Dell Inspiron series has always been my favorite in low budget laptops. The series provides you an overall good experience for the price with the amazing build quality. The laptop we are talking about right now is Dell Inspiron 15-5584.

This Inspiron comes with an 8th gen Intel Core-i3 8145U processor, which is an entry-level 8th gen processor and is very power efficient to ensure amazing battery life. The build quality is good. It’s not all metal, and there is a lot of plastic, but as far as plastic goes, it’s very sturdy.

It also has a fingerprint sensor, which doubles as a power button. The notebook runs pretty quietly unless you put a lot of load on it. There’s only one 4GB RAM module installed, but there’s an extra slot if you ever want to upgrade your memory. It features Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated GPU, which is good enough for low to medium-end gaming.

Dell Inspiron 15-5584 also comes with Dell Mobile Connect software, which lets you use your phone for SMS and calls on your laptop. It also enables screen mirroring of any Android or iOS device right on your Inspiron.

– Our Verdict:

Dell Inspiron series laptops are always a good choice when considering a low budget. The Inspiron 15-5584 is an amazing value for its price and delivers promising performance.

Plus, it has more than 8 hours of battery life, which means you will only have to charge it once a day. Plus, an antiglare display ensures excellent outdoor visibility so that you can use it on a rooftop or in a park, even in bright sunlight.


#7 – Dell Latitude E5470


– Specifications:

  • Intel Core i5-6300U.
  • Intel HD Graphics 520.
  • 8GB RAM.
  • 256GB SATA SSD.
  • 14″ HD display.
  • 3 USB-A ports, no USB-C port, a card reader, a smart card port, HDMI port, VGA port, and an audio jack.

– Advantages:

  • Wide port selection.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Trackpoint.
  • Fingerprint reader.
  • Amazing speakers.

– Drawbacks:

  • No USB-C port.
  • Big screen bezels.
  • Old CPU and GPU.

Dell Latitude E5470 is the oldest one in our today’s laptop list, but it is for a reason. It is one of the best laptops for its price. There are not any groundbreaking features here, but it is not without a certain charm.

What you get when you invest in a Latitude like this guy, there’s a certain level of certainty and reliability. This thing is solid, and it’s durable and adequate in nearly every way.

It packs an Intel Core i5-6300U processor with 8 GB RAM, and a 256GB SATA SSD is included, which can be upgraded later on, or a new hard drive can be installed for more storage.

There are thick bezels on the display, but the screen itself is very good, with great viewing angles. So you might have to sacrifice the beauty here for a good display.

The thing which this notebook does better than every other laptop on our list is its port selection. It has nearly every kind of port you’ll ever need. A card reader, USB A ports, smart card port, HDMI port, and even an old fashioned VGA port.

– Our Verdict:

It’s a good overall notebook but won’t perform as well in games as other laptops on our list. If you use your laptop mostly for business and want to do some side gaming, then this could be the right choice for you.

Port selection is the main thing that extinguishes this notebook from others. So if you still have that VGA projector at your office, this notebook got you covered.


#8 – HP Premium


– Specifications:

  • Intel Dual-Core i3-7100U 2.4GHz Processor.
  • Intel HD Graphics 620.
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM.
  • 1TB SATA SSD.
  • 15.6-inch HD WLED-Backlit Display.
  • 3 USB-A ports, no USB-C port, a card reader, HDMI port, an RJ-45 port, and an audio jack.

– Advantages:

  • Big touchpad
  • Big palm resting area.
  • Excellent web camera.
  • Excellent build quality.

– Drawbacks:

  • Below average speakers.
  • No SSD.

HP is a great and trusted company when it comes to laptops. It always delivers what it promises and has gained the trust of millions of customers over the years. HP Premium 15.6-inch is another great notebook from the company.

It comes with an Intel Dual Core i3-7100U 2.4GHz processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU. The combination is not going to give you more than 30 FPS in modern AA titles, but it’s going to get the job done in competitive multiplayer gaming on low-medium settings.

The screen bezels are average, and they are not too big and not too thin as well. The viewing angles are also great and suitable for outdoor use.

There’s one thing to notice here that it is the only laptop on our list that does not include an SSD pre-installed. So you might want to get an SSD as soon as you get the notebook because hard drives are simply very slow to use as the main Windows drive.

– Our Verdict:

This is an overall good laptop, but not having an SSD pre-installed does not make this notebook ready to go. Plus, it only comes with 4 GB RAM pre-installed. So you might need to upgrade the RAM as well for a smoother overall experience.

Gaming performance is average, and for productivity, it’s an excellent choice. The looks and build quality is amazing and makes this notebook a charm to own.


Is It Worth It To Buy A Gaming Laptop Under $500? – (What To Expect)


$500 is not an easy price to get a gaming laptop. It is not possible to get a laptop that can run all the latest AAA titles or even some old ones like Witcher 3 at 60 frames per second.

Image of Dell Laptop Playing DOOM Video Game

But you can still get a gaming machine that can run you all gaming titles at least at the lowest settings. I’ve also owned a low-end gaming laptop in the past, and I used to play all the games on it, some of them even under 20 fps.

So it is worth buying a notebook under $500 if you don’t set your hopes too high and are ready to drop some (sometimes a lot of) frames in games.

More Reading:
High-End Asus Gaming Laptops
Gaming Laptops For Sims 4 In 2021


Look For A Decent GPU


GPU is the most important component to consider when it comes to games. Now you are not going to get an RTX GPU or even a GTX 1600 series GPU in this price range, but there are still are some decent GPU options available in our current budget.

Thanks to AMD Ryzen series processors, which come with Vega 3 and Vega 8 graphics, which have pushed up the dedicated GPU gaming in laptops. Vega graphics can handle all modern games at least at low graphics, and they are far better than Intel’s integrated chipsets like Intel HD 620 or Intel HD 520.

Image of GPU and CPU Inside a Motherboard

Intel HD graphics have also pumped up their integrated graphics capability in the latest 10th and 11th gen CPUs, but they are not available in our current budget. So always go for Vega graphics when you have to choose between Vega and Intel HD graphics.

Also, try to look for any low-end dedicated Nvidia GPU like Nvidia MX 250 or even MX 150, which can be found in this price range. A dedicated GPU is always better than the integrated one in handling games.


The Processor Is Good Enough


The processor is also very important for games and general productivity use. Make sure you get a decent processor if you want your laptop to run smoother for a longer period of time.

In this budget, you should look for any Core i3 or Ryzen 3 processor. You can even get a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 but make sure when you get the 5 series, and the GPU is also good enough. Because our main focus here is gaming and a good processor should not rule out a good GPU.

Image of two laptops on the desk

In Intel, you should look for at least a 7th gen Core i3 processor if there is no dedicated GPU. Because 7th gen Core processors come with Intel HD 620 graphics, you should not settle for less than that.

However, if you are getting a dedicated GPU like Nvidia MX 150 or MC 250, then you can settle for a 6th gen processor. And on the AMD side, try to get a 4th gen Ryzen 5 processor as they come with an amazing graphic capability. The lowest you should go for is 3rd gen Ryzen 3 processors.


Display And Resolution


The display size is totally your choice. Some people may like 14 inches, and some may like 15.6 inches, and these 2 are the easiest choices you are going to get in this budget. A display bigger than 15.6 inches is hard to get in our current budget.

CGI Image of Dell Laptop

Now let’s talk about display resolution as you cannot play 1080p games in this price budget, so a 1080p display is not necessary to consider. However, a 1080p display will give you a better overall experience other than gaming. For example, It will look great when watching a Netflix movie.

Try to go for an anti-glare and bright display for a better outdoor capability. Some notebooks come with very low brightness, and it becomes hard to use them outdoors. So make sure to test the laptop in outdoor environments before making a decision.


RAM & Battery Life


RAM is also a very important component to consider. Make sure that you should not settle for anything less than 8 GB because 4 GB RAM is not even enough for everyday use, like browsing a website or watching a YouTube or Netflix video.

Image of Laptop playing Netflix

But the good part is, RAMs are upgradable. So if you are getting a better deal with 4 GB RAM, get it and upgrade it later. RAM should be upgraded to at least 8 GB and even 12 GB for a better multitasking experience.

It is to keep in mind that games should not be played on the battery as they drain the battery very fast and reducing their overall life span. On normal usage, battery life should be more than 5 hours so that users can use the notebook for a complete day without worrying about charging the laptop again.


SSD Storage On The Go


You might not know it yet, but SSDs are now the most important component of any gaming or even general laptop. SSDs make your notebook very smooth, which a Hard Drive can never do.

Image of Laptop Ram Slots

A 128 GB SATA or NVMe SSD is good enough for Windows but make sure to get an extra SATA hard drive or an external hard drive for storing games, movies, TV Shows, and other media files. 1TB external hard drive should be enough to store most of your media.

It is to keep in mind that M.2 NVMe SSDs are much faster than the SATA ones. So you should prefer an NVMe SSD. But if that is not available, a SATA SSD would do the job as well. But never go for Windows installation in hard drives.


What Type Of Games Can You Play Under $500 Gaming Laptops?


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant, Apex Legends, PUBG, and fortnight can be played on medium to high settings. Modern AAA titles like Battlefield 5, Witcher 3, GTA 5, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey can be played on low to medium settings on 720p resolution.

There’s something to keep in mind that you cannot expect all games to run at 60fps on a cheap budget gaming laptop as these laptops are simply not built for high-end gaming. You should keep your hopes low and enjoy all the games these notebooks could play.



Final Verdict:

Buying a laptop under $500 might seem like a difficult task and confusing for most people. We’ve prepared this very list to reduce your confusion and picked some of the best gaming laptops for you.

All of these notebooks are top-notch and can play all games on at least the lowest settings. You can pick any one of them and have peace of mind.

These laptops provide the best combinations of GPUs, CPUs, and SSDs for smooth gaming performance and excellent day to day productivity. If you still have some confusion or have any questions about these laptops, feel free to ask us in the comments section below.


Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – What is the best gaming laptop under 500?

The best gaming laptop, in my opinion, is Acer Aspire 5 Slim. It offers a great screen, a good processor, an excellent graphics card, and a 1080p display, which is great for general usage as well.

Outdoor visibility of the screen is also great, and you can upgrade RAM and SSD whenever you want. Its white backlit mushy chiclet key style keyboard also feels great to type on. It would have been great if it included a USB-C port, though.

#2 – Can you get a good gaming laptop for 500?

Yes, it is hard but getting a good gaming laptop is possible on this budget. This list includes some of the best notebooks you can get in this price range. You cannot expect 1080p@60fps gaming here, but if you keep your hopes not too high, getting a good gaming notebook is possible in this budget.

#3 – What should I consider more while looking for a 500 USD gaming laptop?

Your first priority should be GPU and then CPU. A good GPU will run all the games efficiently, and a good CPU is necessary for other productivity tasks as well. A dedicated GPU is always better than the integrated one, so try to get your hands on an Nvidia dedicated GPU first; otherwise, AMD Vega graphics are also excellent.

An SSD should also be on your priority list as modern laptops are not complete without an SSD. Both NVMe and SATA SSDs are fine, but you should consider getting an NVMe first.

#4 – How long do 500 dollar gaming laptops last?

I’m currently sitting on a 2011 gaming laptop, which was under 500 dollars at that time. These things do last a lot for general usage if you take care of them, but for games, usually 2-3 years is enough time.

Like my Dell notebook won’t even start modern AAA titles as there is no driver support from Nvidia for my dedicated GPU. However, it is still able to play DOTA 2, Counter-Strike, and Starcraft 2 on the lowest settings at around20-30 fps with some major frame drops.

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