The Best Gaming Laptop Under $500 You Can Buy Right Now

Are you looking for a budget gaming laptop that still meets your needs? If so, you’ll be glad to know that it is possible to find a gaming laptop under $500!

Over the last few years, gaming laptops have become increasingly popular. And brands such as Lenovo, Dell, HP, and Acer rule the roost when it comes to gaming laptops.

If you’re looking for a new gaming laptop under $500, you will find countless options that you can readily purchase online or at your local computer retailer.

However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when purchasing a gaming laptop. Specifically, there’s something you should know about these affordable laptops.

What might that be? Let’s find out.

The Truth About Buying a Gaming Laptop Under $500

While buying a gaming laptop under $500 might seem like a steal, there’s something you should know. You probably won’t be able to play the newest games on a gaming laptop under $500.

That being said, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a good gaming laptop for $500 or even less.

Fortunately, many laptop manufacturers offer entry-level chips that still allow for some high-quality gaming at a low price.

However, you should realize that these gaming laptops still won’t run more demanding games. You will have to play older or lower quality games, instead.

So if you want to play the latest games, you don’t need to spend an absolute fortune. Instead, increase your budget a little and look for gaming laptops somewhere in the range of $600 to $800.

What Should You Look for in a Gaming Laptop Under $500?

Are you content to play older titles or keep your games on the lowest performance settings? Then investing in a gaming laptop under $500 might be right for you!

Here are a few things you should consider before buying a gaming laptop under $500 (or, really, any gaming laptop):

Performance matters

You probably already know that a good graphics card is the most crucial thing in a gaming laptop. Therefore, the graphics card is the first thing you should look at when thinking about buying a gaming laptop under $500.

Keep in mind that some laptop graphics cards can’t handle 3D imagery. Research your chosen laptop, and the games you want to play most, thoroughly before making a purchase.

Know your priorities

You shouldn’t make a high-definition screen your priority if you’re looking for the best gaming laptop under $500. Instead, you should aim for a better graphics card.

Why? Because these features substantially improve gaming performance.

While a better screen might improve the look of your favorite games, it won’t do anything to prevent lag or improve the graphics from the source. If you’re on a budget, you need to prioritize what’s on the inside of your new laptop first.

Memory is king

The random access memory (or RAM) your laptop offers is also an important factor. You should keep in mind that you won’t be able to load and play your favorite games if your device has less than 4 gigabytes (GB) of memory.

Therefore, you should choose a gaming laptop that has at least 4GB or 6GB of memory. If it fits in your budget, though, you should aim for as much memory as possible.

How to Get the Most from Your Budget-Friendly Gaming Laptop

Even if you can’t afford the newest and most powerful gaming laptop on the market, you can still make your laptop gaming experience exciting and pleasurable with these simple tips:

Less is more

Choose games that have less-demanding specifications as they will run far better on an older or cheaper laptop. That means playing games from past years or games that do not require high-end graphics.

Many games also have the option to turn down the graphics quality, frame rate, or make other adjustments. While you won’t get the best visuals, you might still be able to play some newer titles this way.

Resolution is key

For the best performance, you should turn down your monitor’s resolution setting. In fact, drop down the resolution as much as possible.

Also, go to the in-game menu and turn down the detail levels, and remove fancy effects, such as water ripple effects, detailed shadows, and anti-aliasing.

Need for speed

With time, your laptop will slow down as you install more software and games. But you can make your computer run a bit faster by using Disk Cleanup (for PC systems).

If you do a quick search, you’ll also find several free and paid disk cleanup programs available. However, many tech experts agree that the built-in cleanup tool works just as well, if not better, than these other programs.

Clear it all away

You also need to make sure that you aren’t running extra programs when playing a game, as they will consume memory and other resources your game needs to run correctly.

So, before booting up your chosen game, close all your unneeded computer apps.

You can also use the Task Manager to see which apps are consuming the most disk space, memory, and CPU at the moment. You might be surprised to see just how much power those little extra programs use!

Get smart

Games can not only tax inner-hardware components but can also drain your laptop’s battery. One easy way to help conserve power is to dim the brightness of your screen as much as possible.

Of course, you should always keep your power cord handy for those moments when your battery gets dangerously low. The last thing you want is to lose all your progress!

How We Reviewed Options for the Best Gaming Laptop Under $500

To find the best gaming laptop under $500 currently on the market, we compared various features (RAM, processor, operating system, connection ports, etc.), specifications, and customer ratings.

While we looked at all different brands and models, well-known brands with reputations to match ultimately took the lead.

Our Top 10 Picks for the Best Gaming Laptop Under $500

Below, we’ve compiled our list of the top 10 budget-friendly gaming laptops currently available. Hopefully, this will help you choose the right gaming laptop under $500 that fits both your budget and your gaming needs!

Again, though, it’s important to note that laptops in this price range generally won’t be able to handle modern games. If you want to play new releases, you should raise your budget and purchase something a bit more expensive.

That being said, the laptops on our list are not only ideal for light gaming but are also perfect for other day-to-day activities. Our list is in no particular order, so make sure to check them all out:

1. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H

Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i3 8130U Processor 2.2 GHz (Up to 3.2GHz)
  • 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED lit Display
  • 6GB Dual Channel Memory, 1TB HDD and 8x DVD
  • Up to 13.5 Hours of battery life
  • Windows 10 Home. Operating System Architecture 64-bit

This Acer laptop comes with the 8th Generation Intel Core i3 processor for great energy efficiency and seamless computing for your day-to-day tasks.

It also features Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 that is more dynamic and energy-efficient than the previous generation.

What’s more, the 15.6-inch display produces clear, rich, and beautiful images that are a treat to watch. In addition, this Acer laptop offers up to 13.5 hours of battery life that gives you a lot of power to play and work all day.

It features Acer True Harmony technology that delivers clear sound when streaming movies or music. This technology also ensures that games are more engaging and immersive.

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H laptop comes with multiple USB 3.0 and 3.1 Type-C ports for fast data transfer. Also, the USB 3.0 port can charge your devices even when your laptop is powered off.

Finally, this laptop can deliver faster wireless performance with 802.11ac featuring MU-MIMO technology.

On Amazon, this gaming laptop under $500 scores a rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars. In fact, it’s a solid performer and meets the needs of many reviewers.

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The majority of buyers say that the device has a great battery life and is a fast laptop with lots of ports.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Plenty of ports
  • Strong performance

Cons

  • Bulky design
  • Heavy weight

2. Acer 17.3″ Laptop

Acer 17.3" Laptop (7th Gen. Intel Quad Core N4200...
  • The Acer laptop is equipped with a super-fast Intel Quad Core processor, which provides more than enough power for office, home work and games.
  • A large and superfast 256GB SSD provides more than enough space for your data and applications
  • Features: 8 GB DDR3 RAM, HD Webcam, HDMI, Headphones, Microphone, RJ-45, USB 3
  • The laptop device is quietly cooled and very light, so nothing stands in the way of relaxed work / internet surfing any more
  • Windows 10 Prof. 64-Bit is completely installed with all drivers, as well as an Office package

This laptop runs on Intel’s Quad-Core processor, which provides sufficient power for some games and work. Additionally, it has a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) that provides sufficient space for your applications and other data.

Other features of this Acer laptop include 8GB of RAM, multiple ports, Bluetooth-connectivity, and a built-in webcam. On top of that, the laptop is both lightweight and easy to carry.

On Amazon, this gaming laptop under $500 has a rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars. One reviewer says that they use this device for playing games and it works great.

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Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Good for both work and play
  • Clear screen quality

Cons

  • Limited functionality

3. ASUS Vivo Book 11.6″ Light Laptop

ASUS VivoBook L203MA Ultra-Thin Laptop, Intel...
  • Efficient Intel Celeron N4000 Processor (4M Cache, up to 2.6 GHz)
  • 11.6” HD (1366 x 768) Display with HD webcam
  • Compatible with Google Classroom; run Google Classroom on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer 11
  • 64GB emmC Flash Storage and 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Windows 10 in S mode (upgradeable to Windows 10 Home)

At just 2.2 pounds, this laptop’s light weight and compact design offer easy mobility wherever you go.

The 180-degree hinge allows the laptop to lay flat, making it easier to share content with colleagues and friends. Plus, it features a desktop footprint that’s smaller than a sheet of printer paper.

The ASUS Vivo Book 11.6″ Light Laptop features 4GB of RAM, 64GB of flash storage, and Intel processors.

Apart from this, the device features Tru2Life technology for optimized screen contrast and sharpness. The built-in ASUS Splendid screen technology also provides accurate, rich colors for any type of content.

This ASUS laptop includes 802.11ac Wi-Fi for swift data transfer speeds and stable connections. It also has an ergonomic keyboard for added comfort.

This laptop features one HDMI port and two standard USB 3.1 ports for optimum compatibility and convenience.

On Amazon, this gaming laptop gets a rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars. Reviewers say that it is a great laptop and works perfectly for their needs.

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Pros

  • Polished, clean design
  • Screen-boosting technology
  • Versatile 180-degree hinge

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Dark webcam

4. Lenovo Ideapad 320

2018 Newest Lenovo Ideapad 15.6" HD Premium High...
  • 15.6" HD display with 1366 x 768 resolution; AMD Radeon R7 graphics
  • AMD A12-9720P Quad core processor with 2.70 GHz in base, and Turbo to 3.6 GHz.
  • 8GB DDR4 memory; 1TB 5,400rpm HDD hard drive provides plenty of storage; DVD-RW
  • 802.11AC WiFi; Bluetooth 4.1; 10/100/100M gigabit Ethernet; 1 USB Type-C port and 2 USB 3.1 ports; 4-in-1 memory card reader; 2-cell lithium ion battery
  • Weighs 4.85 lbs. and measures 0.9" thin, Windows 10

This Lenovo laptop runs on Windows 10 and features a 15.6-inch display with HD resolution. It also has an energy-efficient, LED-backlit screen.

The Lenovo Ideapad 320 comes with 8GB of system memory for advanced multitasking. Plus, it has a 1TB hard drive for sufficient file storage space.

This laptop features an AMD Radeon R7 processor, which provides great image quality for casual gaming, basic photo editing, films, and Internet use.

Additionally, it has a built-in media reader that supports SDHC, Multi Media Card, SDXC, and SD memory card formats.

Other key features include two USB 3.1 ports, one USB Type-C port, a full keyboard, and microphone/headphone combo jack. In total, this laptop weighs 4.85 pounds.

This product has an Amazon rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars. Reviewers say that this gaming laptop under $500 offers the best bang for your buck.

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Pros

  • High-quality keyboard
  • Sturdy and durable design

Cons

  • Poor webcam quality
  • Heavy design

5. HP Laptop 14-df0010nr

HP 14-inch Laptop, Intel Pentium Silver N5000...
  • PROCESSOR: Intel Pentium Silver N5000 Processor, Quad-Core, 1.1GHz up to 2.7GHz.
  • DISPLAY: 14-inch diagonal FHD IPS anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080).
  • MEMORY: 4 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (not upgradable).
  • SOLID STATE DRIVE: 128 GB M.2 Solid State Drive.
  • BATTERY LIFE: Up to 10 hours and 15 minutes (video playback); up to 8 hours and 45 minutes (wireless streaming).

This 14-inch HP laptop has a stylish, sleek, and slim design. It’s equipped with a 128GB M.2 SSD and offers up to 8 hours of battery life.

Apart from this, this HP laptop runs Windows 10 Home and is powered by an Intel Pentium N5000 processor.

The HP Laptop 14-df0010nr features a 14-inch display with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Finally, it has an HP True Vision HD camera that allows you to make clear video calls.

On Amazon, this gaming laptop under $500 scores a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. One reviewer said that the screen and performance components are better than anticipated.

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Another customer said that the laptop is light and thin, and the screen quality is outstanding.

Pros

  • High-quality screen
  • Light and thin design

Cons

  • Slower processing
  • Short battery life

6. Dell Inspiron 15 I3567-5949BLK-PUS Laptop

Dell Inspiron 15 I3567-5949BLK-PUS Laptop (Windows...
  • 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7200U mobile processor
  • 8GB system memory for advanced multitasking, 256GB solid state drive (SSD)
  • Typical 1366 x 768 HD resolution. Natural finger-touch navigation makes the most of Windows 10. Energy-efficient LED backlight.
  • Intel HD Graphics 620, Windows 10 operating system
  • This laptop does not include a built-in DVD/CD drive. Weighs 5.07 lbs. and measures 0.9" thin

You can improve your workflow and easily finish your daily projects with this Dell laptop. This computer houses an Intel Core i5 processor that seamlessly handles system tasks, and has 8GB of memory for quickly loading program functions.

This Dell laptop features a 256GB SSD for spacious and dependable file storage. But the best part is that it’s designed with gamers and multimedia enthusiasts in mind.

It comes with a 15.6-inch backlit touchscreen display, runs on the Windows 10 operating system, and features an Intel HD Graphics 620 processor.

Additionally, the Dell Inspiron 15 I3567-5949BLK-PUS Laptop includes an Ethernet LAN network port, two USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth-connectivity, stereo speakers, a multi-format media card reader, and a web camera, among other things.

This laptop has a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Reviewers say that it is well worth the cost, is easy to set up, and runs very fast.

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Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Easy to set up
  • Touchscreen capabilities

Cons

  • Poor wireless performance

7. Acer Aspire 3 A315

This Acer laptop runs Windows 10 Home and is powered by an Intel Core i5-7200U 2.5 GHz processor. It also features 6GB of RAM, an Intel HD Graphics 620 processor, and a 256GB SSD.

This Acer device is a great choice for an affordable gaming laptop under $500. Other features include two speakers, an HDMI output port, and an 802.11ac wireless connection.

At 4.63 pounds and with a 15.6-inch display, though, this laptop is pretty heavy for the size. Plus, with only 6.5 hours of battery life, this gaming laptop doesn’t offer the power needed to get through a long gaming session or workday.

This gaming laptop currently holds 3.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Most of the reviewers like this product because of its good build quality and excellent performance.

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Pros

  • Good overall performance
  • Decent build quality

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Basic display
  • Heavy for its size

8. Microsoft Surface Go

Microsoft Surface Go (Intel Pentium Gold, 8GB RAM,...
  • High res 10 inch PixelSense: Display designed to be viewed, touched, and written on
  • Lightest surface yet, starting at 1.15 pounds. Touch: 10 point multi touch
  • All day battery life, with upto 9 hours of unplugged power. Ambient light sensor
  • Runs Windows 10 Home in S Mode, streamlined for security and superior performance
  • Includes multi tasking USB C, fast charging surface connect, and headphone jack. Use it in Laptop, Tablet or Studio Mode

What’s so amazing about this Microsoft device is that it works well with Microsoft Office apps like Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. For added versatility, you can also use it in studio, tablet, or laptop mode.

Yes, you can play mobile games like Candy Crush Saga on this device. But, unfortunately, you will not be able to play state-of-the-art video games on the laptop.

Apart from this, the device is designed for the newest Office 365 and Windows operating system. It’s streamlined for superior performance and security.

The Microsoft Surface Go weighs 1.3 pounds and is the lightest and smallest Surface model yet. You can easily fit this small device in your bag, making it perfect for everyday tasks.

The Microsoft Surface Go also includes a headphone jack, fast-charging Surface Connect, and multitasking USB-C port.

This Microsoft laptop features a 10-inch PixelSense display with a touchscreen that is ideal for binge-watching, working, and browsing.

What’s more, it has nine hours of battery life and a powerful Intel processor. This Microsoft device can run software apps, such as Office or casual games, without any problems.

This Microsoft device has a rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon. One customer says that they use it to work on Office documents, watch Netflix, and browse the web, and the laptop works perfectly well.

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Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Runs all Windows apps
  • Three different operating modes
  • Touchscreen capabilities

Cons

  • The screen is very small
  • Small storage capacities
  • Mostly only works for mobile games

9. Winnovo V146 Notebook

This laptop is easy to carry, lightweight, and thin, making it perfect as both a casual gaming laptop and a backup work computer.

The Winnovo V146 Notebook is powered by an Intel Atom Cherry Trail Z8350 Quad-Core processor. It has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of ROM (read-only memory) that you can expand to 128GB using a micro SD card slot.

It has a 14-inch display which offers a great viewing experience for videos and more. Also, you will be happy to know that this Winnovo laptop has many ports for all of your devices and projection needs!

This device supports USB 3.0 and 2.0, Wi-Fi, mini-HDMI, and Bluetooth 4.0. And it is great for casual gaming. However, the battery only lasts up to six hours on one charge.

This laptop has an Amazon rating of 5.0 out of 5 stars. One reviewer says that it is a great budget laptop, the body of the laptop feels strong and sturdy, and the screen quality is great.

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Pros

  • Nice responsive keyboard
  • Good screen quality
  • Compact and portable design

Cons

  • Low memory allowance
  • Shorter battery life

10. Dell Inspiron 15.6″ Touchscreen Laptop

Dell Inspiron 15.6 Inch HD Touchscreen Flagship...
  • Powered by 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7200U mobile Processor smart dual-core processing performance for HD-quality computing. 15. 6" Led backlit touchscreen with True-life HD. Lets you enjoy your...
  • 8GB of DDR4 memory is available to run games, programs and more. 256GB SSD for fast start-up while still has plenty of storage space for your documents and programs.
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 for outstanding gaming and streaming video. Hdmi? Port lets you view videos, photos and games right on your HDTV or larger screen
  • Integrated Bluetooth 4. 0 technology. Permits short-range wireless data transfers at up to 30' With other Bluetooth-enabled devices, including speakers, printers and phones. Windows 10 Home...
  • Laptop is no DVD Optical Drive.

This Dell laptop boasts a 15.6-inch touchscreen with a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels.

It comes with an Intel HD Graphics 620 processor for gaming and is powered by a 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor. Additionally, this device has 8GB of RAM for powering basic programs and games.

Apart from this, it includes a specialized SSD for better shock resistance, quieter performance, quicker responsiveness, and longer battery life compared to traditional hard drives.

This gaming laptop under $500 holds an Amazon rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars. Most reviewers say that it’s easy to set up and performs well for their needs.

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Pros

  • Sleek, attractive design
  • Good overall performance
  • Touchscreen capabilities

Cons

  • Low screen resolution
  • Weak speakers

Build Your Own Gaming Laptop for Under $500

Can’t find a gaming laptop under $500 that you love? Well, you’re not entirely out of luck.

Did you know that you can also build a gaming laptop at an affordable price?

To build your own gaming laptop, you’ll need components like a hard drive, power supply, optical drive, motherboard, processor, RAM, video card (graphics card), and exterior case.

Of course, building a computer of any kind (especially a laptop) isn’t easy! You should make sure you understand exactly what you’re getting yourself in to before getting started.

But if you’re interested, here’s a basic guide for building a gaming laptop on a budget.

Which Gaming Laptop Under $500 Should You Choose?

While each gaming laptop under $500 mentioned above is slightly different, they all offer a delicate balance between performance and affordability.

Overall, they’re excellent gaming laptops that will make playing more casual games fun and exciting.

As we’ve said several times, though, a gaming laptop under $500 might not live up to your expectations. If you want to play the latest, greatest gaming titles on your new computer, you should consider saving up for something closer to $800.

But if you’re in the market for a budget-friendly laptop that you can use for a little bit of work and play, any of the models mentioned above will serve you well!

What’s your favorite budget-friendly gaming computer? Do you have any tips or tricks for making games run smoothly on a cheaper laptop? Let us know in the comments below!

Last update on 2022-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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