Seeking a gaming laptop under 500 dollars may be a little challenging because of the budget restriction. But, do not worry. We have gathered a list of gaming laptops that are under a 500 dollar budget.
Whether you are a student, employee, or a developer, do not deny that a fast and steady gaming laptop would be a big help for whatever work you are doing. But sadly, most good gaming laptops that offer superior specifications are too expensive for some.
Therefore, we are here to help you by presenting you with a list of cheap gaming laptops that will satisfy your gaming experience. Take note that at the time this article is written, the gaming laptops that are featured were under $500. Prices may vary in the future.
What To Expect
If you are looking for a gaming laptop that handles games that demand higher specification, then a cheap gaming laptop is not the one for you. You have to increase your budget more for you to play higher resolution games.
Bear in mind that you can still play newly released games with these laptops by adjusting the game settings. For a couple of gamers that do not mind playing games in low graphics and just like to enjoy gaming, these options will work just fine for you.
As long as you can enjoy playing games with your friends, why not consider a cheaper option. With the understanding that you can only play older games or less intensive games smoothly, let us continue with the best 500 dollars gaming laptops that will be worth considering buying.
Full HD Display
With a budget of 500 dollars for a gaming laptop, you will see plenty of brands that offer a full HD display or 1920 x 1080 resolution, which makes your gaming even more suspenseful and exciting.
A $500 gaming laptop can give you a 15.5-inch display screen, which is pretty sweet for a cheap laptop. But for those who prefer a smaller screen size, there are also lots of options offered for you.
AMD Ryzen Processor
The best budget gaming laptop mostly has an AMD Ryzen 3 CPU processor which is not bad but also not good since it is an older version. Another alternative you can consider is the 8th generation Intel Core i3-8145U which is a pretty decent option than AMD because it has a 27% higher efficiency speed.
The SSD or Solid State Drive is the standard storage option for the best budget gaming laptops. SSD offers you faster performance than HDD. It also consumes less power, which helps your gaming laptop to have longer battery life.
Decent Battery Life
For most gamers that prefer using gaming laptops to desktop, longer battery life is a must. It is quite bothersome to charge your gaming laptop from time to time. Mostly, when you are in a competitive gaming session, the moment your laptop’s battery dies, get ready to hear some flaming from your teammates.
One of the advantages of better budget laptops than the other high-end gaming laptops is that a cheap gaming laptop has energy-efficient components. These affordable gaming laptops have longer battery life compared to more expensive laptops.
GPU or Graphics Processing Unit plays a massive part in your gaming laptops. These graphics cards will help you play your favorite game without lagging and a smooth gaming experience. It might still be hard to find a $500 gaming laptop that offers an excellent quality Graphics processing unit.
Most gaming laptops under 500 dollars have an integrated Graphics processing unit, which means that it would be hard for you to play games that are up to date with high frame rates. If you want to play games that demand higher specifications, then a 500 dollar budget will not be enough. Therefore, we listed selected cheap laptops that can run games.
Top 6 Budget Gaming Laptops Under $500
Looking for a satisfactory level gaming laptop that is under 500 dollars is quite challenging. In this article, we featured a list of cheap laptops that can run games. The market is getting competitive day by day. They offer us lots of options depending on the budget you got.
The gaming laptops that are featured in this very article were the best laptops we could gather on the market that can decently handle games. Though keep in mind that these laptops may not run the games that you want to play. Especially those games that demand high specifications to run smoothly.
Bear in mind that before spending your hard-earned money on a gaming laptop, always look at the specifications of the gaming laptop that you’ve been eyeing to buy and compare it to the minimum PC requirements of the game you want to play.
Acer is a well-known brand that offers us remarkable quality of a budget laptop with superior specifications. Wayback in 2019, Acer released the Aspire 5 is one of the best budget gaming laptops that only cost around 500 dollars. This gaming laptop fits perfectly for gamers who have a tight budget.
Aspire 5, which is incidentally also the best laptop for Sims 4, comes in a beautiful silver color finish. Compared to other budget laptops out there, Aspire 5 will surely stand out when it comes to appearance. This gaming laptop is also slim making it easier and more convenient to carry around anywhere you like.
When it comes to Aspire 5’s specification, it is pretty decent given its price. With a pretty powerful processor and RAM, you can even play GTA5 with this laptop, given that GTA requires higher system requirements. It has a 15.6-inch Full-HD IPS display, and also offers color intelligence that reduces eye strain for those who stays on their screen for too long.
- 15.6” LED IPS full HD display
- AMD Ryzen 5 4500U CPU
- AMD Radeon Graphics
- 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD
- 10-hour battery life
If you are a student or an employee who has to bring their laptop all the time, then Lenovo Ideapad 3 might be the one for you. It has a perfect slim design that just weighs around 3.3 pounds. This is a perfect choice for gamers who like to have all the newest features and hardware but also on a tight budget.
This gaming laptop has a 14-inch full HD display that has an anti-glare coating which is a huge must for people who stay on their laptops for too long. It is also a huge must for gamers since we all know that gaming sessions might take 6 to 12 hours. It also has small bezels which makes gaming and movie marathons much more enjoyable.
This gaming laptop has a decent Ryzen 5 processor and 8GB of RAM which is pretty decent. You can play most less intensive graphic games without experiencing any lag. You can also play superior games that demand high system requirements in low or average gaming settings.
- 14” IPS anti-glare full HD display
- AMD Ryzen 5 3500U CPU
- AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPU
- 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD
- 8-hour battery life
If you are looking for an affordable all-purpose laptop that will fit your work and entertainment demands, then you might want to check ASUS VivoBook 15. For its price of around 500 dollars, you will get one of the best budget laptops that is worth buying.
It offers a 15.6-inch full HD LED display that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which will surely make your gaming experience a lot more immersive. It also has a pretty powerful processor that will allow you to play most of the games smoothly.
It also comes with the Windows 10 operating system, which makes it compatible with every PC game that you like. This laptop can handle newly released computer games effortlessly. This laptop also hardly heats up even with playing heavy games continuously.
- 15.6” anti-glare full HD display
- AMD Ryzen 5 3500U CPU
- AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPU
- 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD
- 7-hour battery life
Asus also produces some of the best laptops for World of Warcraft. Check them out here.
HP 14-CF0014DX is also one of the best budget gaming laptops that only cost around 400 dollars. Given its affordable price, it can only handle games that do not have high system requirements. This gaming laptop has an i3 intel core processor, which isn’t the best choice for a processor if you want to play the latest games with good graphics.
This gaming laptop’s processor is pretty outdated. It will be hard for this laptop to handle most of the games. So do not expect much from this gaming laptop, especially if you are a hardcore gamer that demands hardcore graphics. This laptop has a 1266 x 768 display. If you compare it to other laptops mentioned above, it is pretty low.
This laptop comes with a 128SSD, which gives you pretty decent storage. Pretty decent considering that it has an affordable price. But keep in mind that this gaming laptop’s screen is pretty small in size, which only has a 14” display compared to other gaming laptops in this list that offers a 15.6” display screen.
- 14” bright view wLED HD display
- Intel Core i3-7100U CPU
- Intel HD 620 integrated GPU
- 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD
If you are looking for an affordable gaming laptop that can run games like Fornite or Apex Legends at a fair frame rate, then Dell Inspiron might work for you just fine. It has a pretty decent processor and a graphics card that will let you enjoy games that only have an average system requirement. It all depends on the game setting, anyway.
This 500 dollar gaming laptop comes with a pretty powerful 8GB RAM and 256 SSD. Considering that most of the well-known games only demand a minimum of 6-8GB, which is not bad for its affordable price.
Even though this affordable gaming laptop has thick bezels, it still gives you a 15.6-inch display 1366 x 768, which is pretty decent to accommodate good graphic quality games. It also does not have an aesthetically pleasing backlit keyboard, which is not a requirement for gaming laptops.
- 15.6” touchscreen HD display
- Intel Core i5-7200U CPU
- Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU
- 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD
- 5-hour battery life
Are you looking for a gaming laptop that is convenient to bring anywhere? A gaming laptop for Minecraft and many other non-demanding games as easy as ABC, then the HP14 will probably work for you. This gaming laptop can handle most of the games and programs without experiencing any lag.
HP 14 also offers a decent amount of SSD that makes installing games and applications much faster and easier. It also gives a lot faster load time for games and applications, which is also a huge plus. The only disadvantage of this gaming laptop is that it only has 256 storage makes it easier to fill up if you install plenty of games, but still, you can always buy an external hard drive.
This gaming laptop has Windows 10 operating system, which is meant to be convenient to use. Most games are compatible with this operating system since it is the latest operating system by windows. The only downside of this is that you can only install applications that are available in the Windows Store, but there are also guides online to follow to get out of S mode.
- 14” bright view wLED touchscreen display
- AMD Ryzen 3 3200U CPU
- AMD Radeon Vega 3 GPU
- 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
$500 Gaming Laptop Buying Guide
Given the budget restriction, it might be a little hard to know what to expect from a gaming laptop under 500 dollars. An affordable gaming laptop will surely not give you the best gaming experience ever. It doesn’t have a bleeding-edge performance or a high-class looking design, and you might also compromise a few features.
But that doesn’t mean you cannot look for other cheap gaming laptops that offer decent performance. You do not have to settle for less. You can always try and try until you see the best gaming laptop for you that will fit your budget. We listed a few things to remember when you are going to buy a gaming laptop with only $500 in your pocket.
The processor is the most critical part of whether a gaming laptop or computer. It is the one responsible for how fast your gaming laptop will be. Having an inferior processor will make your gaming laptop pretty unstable makes playing games laggy. But if you have a pretty decent processor, then you will enjoy lag-free gaming. Always look at the processor before spending your hard-earned money on a gaming laptop to avoid regrets.
Most superior games demand at least a Core i5 processor to smoothly run the game, but it still depends on the game settings. Though you can play games with an old model processor, the gameplay will not be as smooth if you have an i5 processor. Therefore, for a decent gaming experience, choose a gaming laptop that has at least an i5 processor.
With a 500 dollar budget, these featured gaming laptops on the list are probably the best options. More recent versions of processors will cost you more. As much as possible, choose a decent processor that will fit your budget as much as possible.
The other most important thing for you to have an excellent gaming experience is the graphics card. What’s the sense of playing high-end games if you cannot enjoy the graphics? Superior games mostly offer their players eye-pleasing game sceneries, so it will be a bummer to miss that.
With a budget under 500 dollars or within 500, you can mostly get an integrated graphics unit. But if you can be patient enough to look for more options, you can still find a gaming laptop that offers a better graphics card. Most modern 3D games demand an excellent quality graphics card to be enjoyed in high settings.
Looking for the best budget gaming laptop under 500 dollars that offers an excellent graphics card is pretty hard. So always keep in mind that if you want to play high-end games that have excellent graphics, make sure the gaming laptop you will be buying has a pretty decent graphics card.
If you have a greater RAM, it will be easy-breezy for you to store games while playing, which means your game will load much faster. Greater RAM also prevents the gameplay from being laggy and glitchy, which is a huge must especially, for gamers who play competitive games such as League of Legends, Valorant, DOTA2, and many more.
For a 500 dollar budget, most gaming laptops you would see offer 8GB RAM at maximum, which is the bare minimum requirement this 2021 anyway. Anything below 8GB will cause a negative impact on your gaming experience. We suggest that at least get the DDR4 RAM, which is better than the older ones.
The storage capacity that comes with the gaming laptop your planning to buy should be considered first. The high-end games in 2019 are between 50-100 GB. There are only some that go beyond 100GB. Choose a gaming laptop that offers you the storage where you can install the games you want along with the other applications you have to install.
You also have to consider the type of storage the gaming laptop you want to buy. We highly recommend you to choose a gaming laptop that has SSD instead of HDD. SDD offers a faster game loading and a quicker installation of games or applications. If you choose an SSD, you have to get at least 256 GB of storage. While on HDD you need to have 500GB of storage.
Here’s a guide on everything you need to know about hard drives.
If you want to have an immersive gaming experience, then you must consider the display resolution before buying a gaming laptop. A brighter display and vivid colors would make your gaming experience much more enjoyable.
For you to get a neater image, your display must have a greater pixel density. It also helps you in a game where colors are a huge part of that game. Also, an HD screen will give you the best gaming experience. Imagine playing your favorite game on a high-resolution display? That would be so cool.
There are also touch-screen gaming laptops within 500 dollars of budget. If you are interested in buying touch-screen laptops, you might want to consider the 2020 HP 14-inch HD gaming laptop. But the touch-screen feature is not necessary for gaming. It is all up to you, and it all depends on your preference.
As much as possible do not settle for gaming laptops that have 1366 x 768 display resolution, unless you do not have a budget of course. There are plenty of affordable gaming laptops that have a display resolution of 1080. It is also excellent for watching shows on Netflix or working on your computer for a couple of hours.
You may also consider opting for a gaming PC instead of a laptop. Often, this is a more affordable option while giving you much better hardware specs. Here’s a list of the best gaming PCs under $1000.
With a more or less 500 dollars budget, you are limited to get a new Windows 10 or Chrome Operating system. Considering that even the cheapest Macbook Air 2020 will be way out of your price range. In this case, you have to decide whether to use a Windows Laptop or Chromebook.
Chrome Operating System is lightweight. It can run even on the most basic hardware but still offer an exceptional suite of abilities and applications that will help you in your day to day life. It also now supports Android applications, which is nice.
The Windows 10 Operating system requires more intensity to operate smoothly. Windows OS supports plenty of software compared to Chrome OS. Also, the windows operating system is being improved regularly. Meaning you will get the best software Microsoft can offer even after many years.
Style: Convertible vs Clamshell
A 500 dollar laptop has two varieties, which are the traditional clamshell laptops or dynamic 2-in-1 convertibles. If you are looking for an affordable gaming laptop, then go for the clamshells type, though it only provides a traditional laptop experience with a keyboard and a screen that isn’t touch-screen. But if you prefer a touch-screen gaming laptop, then go for the convertibles.
If your laptop will mostly stay on your desk, clamshell laptops are fine. But, make sure that you keep yourself comfortable by using an ergonomic PC gaming chair. Alternatively, if you like to sit and lie down around the house, treat yourself to the best Xbox gaming chair.
For gamers that prefer using gaming laptops over desktops, decent battery life is a must. It is annoying for some gamers to charge their gaming laptops from time to time. Since it is quite inconvenient to stay in one place to have your laptop plugged in, it also defeats the purpose of buying a portable gadget. For a $500 gaming laptop, three and above hours of the battery can work.
The last important thing that has to be considered when choosing a good gaming laptop is the connectivity options and battery life. Choose a gaming laptop that can offer a USB Type C port, which is slowly becoming the standard now, Ethernet, HDMI, SD card reader, and some other ports that might be useful for you.
At the very least, your laptop should have a USB port should you wish to connect a sleek gaming keyboard or the lightest gaming mouse you found on Amazon.
Is it worth it to buy a gaming laptop under $500?
Looking for a cheap gaming laptop that is worth buying may be challenging. Given the budget restriction, you cannot expect it to run most graphic-intensive games at higher frame rates. Though, you can always change the game settings that will work for your gaming laptop.
For a 500 dollars budget, which is pretty cheap, you must lower your expectations to avoid disappointments in the future. To make it clear, we are not underrating the gaming laptops under 500 dollars. They are the best option for gamers who have a tight budget.
If you have a little more cash to spare, however, we highly recommend indulging yourself with a better $800 gaming laptop that will have better specs and make for a better gaming experience.
What games can I play on a cheap gaming laptop?
A $500 gaming laptop can only handle older games like CS GO, League of Legends, Minecraft, etc. It will be hard for these laptops to run newly released games or games that demand higher specifications. But there is still a huge possibility that some cheap gaming laptop can run these demanding games, but it will become laggy and not that enjoyable to play.
Can I use an Intel Core i5 CPU for gaming?
Yes, you can. Core i5 processors are the minimum requirement for most games these days. It can still allow you to have a fair gaming experience. Although, you might want to lower your game settings for you to experience a smoother gaming session.
How much RAM do I need for gaming?
It all depends on the game that you would like to play. There are games that you can still run with any reasonable RAM. But most newly or trendy games these days, you need at least 8GB of RAM to run games smoothly.
What are the best graphics card brands?
The top companies that offer us the best graphics cards for gaming are either NVIDIA or AMD. It is still debatable since a lot of other underrated companies can also give us good quality graphics cards.
Is it possible to play games on a laptop with an integrated GPU?
Yes, it is possible for you to play games with an integrated graphics card. But you must lower the game settings and lower the frame rate so that it can be at least playable.
How can I upgrade the storage and RAM on my gaming laptop?
The procedure varies from different gaming laptops. But the general method is to open the compartment of your gaming laptop beneath so that you can either upgrade or add the parts you want to. To make sure you don’t damage your gaming laptop, seek a technician’s help.
We now have presented you with a list of gaming laptops under 500 dollars. All of these gaming laptops have decent specifications and performance for the budget that you have. These gaming laptops can still offer you a promising FPS and can run plenty of games in a low to medium game setting with smoother gameplay.
Again, if you are a gamer that only has a 500 dollar budget for building a gaming setup, perhaps a computer would be a great option since it can offer you a whole lot better specifications than gaming laptops could offer with a restricted budget. These options are fine if you are not a hardcore gamer and only play non-demanding games.
However, some gamers prefer using gaming laptops instead of computers because of their portability. If you do prefer gaming laptops instead of a computer, then buy either of the top two options that are presented in this article.