Whilst every mode of activity has transformed through the last two decades, playing games have also gone through a massive transition. Long gone are the days when the streets and parks were used to be filled with children at late afternoon who had played, chat and fight over sports issues.
Nowadays, there is a large number of kids, teens, and adults, who are playing video games on their machines while sitting inside their homes. Not only this, a huge percentage of students and teenagers are those who turn towards their laptops at night and play engaging games for hours, sometimes multiplayer challenges are also held.
Cheap gaming laptops have made their lives even easier by providing useful resources at affordable rates. This article discusses the 7 best & cheap gaming laptops under $500.
What To Look For In A Best Under $500 Gaming Laptop?
Let’s be reasonable! A killer gaming laptop machine is laden with exquisite graphics, sound, and speed cost a lot! If you are eyeing at an under $500 gaming laptop, you certainly have to tradeoff over multiple things. It may be the display, performance, sound or battery life. Low price gaming laptops may not be hardwired to play the recent games on them but you can surely enjoy those which are a year or so old.
It is hard to find a laptop with a Core i7 processor in this price range, therefore, it would be great to go with Core i5 CPU.
An affordable gaming laptop should have some capabilities which include a RAM of at least 4 GB, higher is better because games demand a good chunk of RAM to be utilized.
Laptops come into the market with different screen sizes, it all depends on your need and budget, but remember! The bigger the screen, the bigger the laptop is and the heavier it will be. Screen size is crucial for games like Battlefield and Assassins Creed.
There are two types of display types available in laptops, that are, IPS and TN panels. IPS is the preferred one, as it enables the viewer to watch the screen from any angle with the same picture quality.
An SSD saves loading time and process data very fastly and rapidly as compared to their counterpart HDD. One thing shall not be ignored that SSD doesn’t impart any influence on the graphics. So, it is thus a secondary component especially for a gaming laptop as it can be added later. It is also one of the only possible alterations you can make later.
Storage capacity should be at least 500 GB if it comes with HDD but a laptop with SSD provides better gaming experience. So it is preferred to buy a laptop with SSD or buy and install it later.
Graphics card is the most important component of a gaming machine but having a laptop with high performance graphics card in this budget is not possible. Expecting a laptop with a dedicated graphics card in a price tag of less than $500 is unjust too. So it is recommended to get a laptop with comparatively better graphics capabilities.
The battery with more cells can deliver power for a long time. Obviously, the power of the laptop and the use necessarily influence the actual duration of runtime.
In our view, you shouldn’t even consider long battery timing as a feature for the gaming laptop because the battery will tend to get drained of charge when you start playing demanding games on them, whatsoever.
Top 7 Best Budget Under $500 Laptops
Check out the list below, for the best cheap gaming laptops for the money.
Best Cheap Laptops Under $500 Reviews
In this detailed buying guide, we have written reviews, advantages, and disadvantages of each gaming laptop. So without any further delay, let’s start with the detailing.
1. Dell Inspiron i5575 A217SLV-PUS (Best Budget Gaming Laptop For Students)
A great take for just a shy below $500, this laptop features comprehensive performance and decent exterior. The performance parameters are lit by the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U 2.0 GHz Processor with 6 Mb Cache and 8GB DDR4 RAM.
Together, they bring about a processing speed that is both speedy and unproblematic. The processor sits between the expensive i7-8550U & i7-7500 processors in terms of handling workload.
The other crucial requirement of a gamer is a good graphics card and this is accommodated by the Integrated graphics with AMD APU which is similar to the Masterly NVIDIA GeForce GTX as far as performance is related.
There seems to be no compensation on this part neither on the exterior. It may be a plastic body but the design is made slick by rounding up the edges. The keyboard and keypad are responsive and quite easy to use. Touch gestures work fine without urging the need for repetitive touches. The size of the touchpad is of the issue.
It is wide enough but not tall so you might find your hand going out of the prescribed area often. It is also available in a backlit keyboard which increases the grace of this laptop.
The 15.6’’ screen provides an acceptable display of 1920 x 1080 pixels and has a twisted nematic LCD panel which is great for gaming displays, however, are characterized by worst viewing angles which were not the case in this laptop. The vertical viewing angles though were bad and the colors seem to experience a total transition.
The battery timing is somewhere between 3-5 hours which is good and the speakers are loud and accurate. The gaming sounds can be heard as they are meant to be heard in the headphones. One noticeable thing about this machine is the reduced amount of bloatware.
There are only a few programs that came with useless files and that is a big advantage when compared with the others. The durability of this laptop and the high performance makes it a good purchase for approx $430.
- Amd Ryzen 5 2500U mobile Processor with Radeon Vega8 Graphics
- 8GB 2400MHz DDR4[32GB], (additional memory sold separately)
- 1 TB 5400 RPM [SATA] (HDD), Tray load DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD)
- 15.6-Inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare, LED-Backlit Display
- Be more productive. Windows 10 is the best for bringing ideas forward and getting things done
- Max Memory: 16 GB
2. ASUS VivoBook F510UA [Best Lightweight Laptop Under 500$]
Extracting some feature from its predecessor, this laptop is yet another exciting gaming laptop bedecked with outstanding performance parameters.
The 1.5 GHz eighth Gen i5-8250U processor offers nothing less than a flashy and swift processing speed and can be upgraded all the way up to 3.4 GHz if the game is particularly complex and demanding.
Not only it allows game playing at good frame rates but can also be used for extensive software running and browsing. The 1 TB HDD and 8 GB DDR4 RAM further augment the gameplay.
There is an empty SSD slot that can be utilized to increase the speed even more. It costs a shy above the $500 mark but is worthy to be included in the list. The UHD 620 Graphics card has the capability to play mediocre to semi-hardcore games.
The display is a powerful and full HD 1920×1080 pixel with no color bleed and reflections along with precise viewing angles. Like the Dell Inspiron 15, it contains absolutely no errors regarding viewing angles.
Asus Vivobook comes with the ASUS proprietary visual optimization visual technology which provides the display according to the task at hand. It even features custom display filters like Eye-Care, Vivid and Normal.
For a $500 machine, who can think of including such features but ASUS has managed to pull off a screamer in this regard. The design is not far behind either. In fact, it may be argued to be even better than the performance parameters.
It weighs only 3.7 pounds and comes with a brushed metal chassis which is glossy and slick to the sight. The ultra-narrow 0.3’’ bezel gives an alluring 80% of screen-to-body ratio.
Thanks to the slimness of these, you can now consume while of the 15.6’’ of the screen display area.
As for the ports, it contains 3 USB ports and 1 USB C-Type Port with 1 HDMI and SD Card slot. The ports are evenly spaced on both sides of the laptop. The keyboard is the state-of-the-art Ergonomic which minimizes muscle strain and to be used easily by two-handed typists.
Had it been backlit, the gamers could refer to it as heaven including everything they can wish for at such price. The speakers are loud and accurate as well.
Battery timing is 5-6 hours which is shorter than the Acer Aspire but in close competition with others of its competitors.
- Powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i5 8250U 1.6GHz (Turbo up to 3.4GHz) processor
- 14.2 Inches Wide, 0.8 Inches Thin and portable footprint with 0.3 Inches Nano edge bezel for a stunning 80% screen to body ratio
- 15.6 inches Anti glare full HD display with ASUS splendid software enhancement
- 8GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB HDD
- Ergonomic chiclet keyboard with fingerprint sensor, Windows 10 Home
- Comprehensive connections including USB 3.1 Type C (Gen1), USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI; Lightning fast 802.11AC Wi Fi keeps you connected through any congestion or interference
3. HP Notebook 15-AY191MS [Cheap Touch Screen Laptop Under 500]
Another laptop which can surely fulfill your gaming needs. Not offering outrageous features as the pro gaming laptops but certainly providing a budgeted solution for running all of the older games.
Equipped with a 7th Gen Core i3-7100U 2.40 GHz processor, 8 GB DDR4 RAM and is capable to provide glitch-free gameplay. The RAM and processor are powerful enough to allow multiple jobs carried out at the same time; be it extensive browsing like collecting info to formulate this article or creating multiple excel spreadsheets, it will respond without a noticeable delay.
The Intel HD Graphics 620 card further smoothens up the task at hand. The overall gaming performance, though, lags behind the Acer Aspire E15. The exciting feature is the 15.6’’ display screen which is sensitive to touch.
Yes! You can get a touch screen on a laptop of fewer than 500 bucks.
It provides a resolution of 1366×768 pixels and sharp display while you play video games or watch movies. The 1 TB HDD storage is there to store your media files and other stuff of your use.
As for the ports, it contains the standard USB ports, SD card slot, and HDMI port. The design if this laptop is slim and stylish however, it is fashioned out of plastic but the built is strong and can be carried anywhere.
The keyboard is a bit stiff and hard to use. The actuation force is very high which makes typing uncomfortable. The laptop runs on Windows 10 so you don’t have to worry about update alerts that sprawl up the screen when you tend to install a latest game or software. Also, the amount of bloatware is near to non-existent.
The speakers are at the bottom of the laptop and this placement doesn’t help with the sound quality. The sound gets obstructed when the machine is placed on a platform. The quality of the speakers is also not that good but that is too much to ask for a $500 machine.
You also have the benefit of a DVD burner in this laptop which is largely ignored by the latest manufacturers.
- 15.6" HD WLED-backlit Touchscreen Display (1366 x 768), 10-finger multi-touch support
- 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U 2.40 GHz
- 8GB DDR4 Memory; 1 TB HDD Hard Driver
- SuperMulti DVD burner, HDMI, HD Webcam, Bluetooth 4.0, DTS Studio Sound, Intel HD Graphics 620
- 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, 1 802.11b/g/n, Multi-format SD Slot, Win 10 Home 64-bits
Check these Best 2 in 1 Laptops Under $700, might fascinate you.
4. Dell Inspiron i3567 [Best Touch Screen Laptop Under 500]
This is the second laptop of the Inspiron series which provides good fulfillment of the gamers’ needs. It may not be among the best-looking and chic laptops in the market but stand out among its competitors from the inside.
The 7th Gen 7130U 2.7 GHz processor with a 3 MB cache makes certain that your gaming desires are satisfied. It can be upgraded to 3.1 GHz. Coupled with it, are the features of 8 GB RAM and an Intel HD 620 Graphics card that adds up to the gameplay ease for the users.
It features 1 TB general HDD (Hard Disk Drive). SSD can be added at extra cost which can load games at a swift rate and run them without delays.
The 15.6’’ screen is touch-sensitive which is a big plus in such a low price. Other than that, the 1366×768 resolution does not accommodate for a sharp display.
It has a battery capacity of 40 WHr which corresponds to a battery timing of about 4 hours that is on the lower side when we compare it with its competitors.
The port assembly is elementary with the placement of USB ports, Ethernet port, SD Card reader and HDMI on both sides of the laptop.
The laptop does not have a CD/DVD Drive that may come as a shock for some potential buyers but the trend of transferring and installing files have shifted towards USBs which may make this a small issue.
The design is slim but the body is plastic that is much prone to breaks than the metallic bodies. As a whole, this machine is suitable for low to medium gaming but extensive office work and tasks related to studies.
- Intel Core i3 (7th Gen) 7130U / 2.7 GHz Dual-Core, Cache-3 MB, Speed 2133 MHz - 2400 MHz
- PROCESSOR: CPU-Core i3, Processor Number i3-7130U 7th Gen, Manufacturer-Intel, Clock Speed-2.7 GHz
- DISPLAY: LED backlight, 1366 x 768 (HD), Widescreen Display, Monitor Features-anti-glare
- AUDIO & VIDEO: Intel HD Graphics 620, Stereo speakers, microphone. Audio Codec-Realtek ALC3246, Features-MaxxAudio
- Ports: Headphone Jack -Yes, Number of USB Ports-3, Number of USB 2.0 Type A-Ports 1, Number of USB 3.0 Type A Ports 2, Number of HDMI-1. Additional Port: Headphone/microphone combo jack. Note: This laptop does not include a built-in DVD/CD drive.
5. HP High Performance Business Flagship Laptop
Offering a lightweight and high performance gaming solution is what this laptop can be referred to which is available in only $499, this machine lives up to the expectations of the gamers regarding a budget gaming laptop.
The killer feature of this model is the AMD A9- 9420 3.0 GHz processor and 2 TB HDD which is perhaps the most being offered in the models discussed before. A 3.0 GHz processor is surely a beast when it comes to running games and doing multitasking.
It won’t allow for any slowdown and frustration while regular usage. The storage is vast. Though it is RPM rated but still, such a memory is a bonus for a cheap laptop. You can store all your movies, songs, software and games in the memory. The color of the chassis is black with aluminum covered hinges that give a decent look.
The keyboard is not backlit but the keys are very well spaced and soft to use and it creates no problems for typists.
AMD Radeon R7 Graphic card is an enhanced facilitator when it comes to providing color-accurate displays. It can support mediocre to semi-heavy games with full effect.
Alongside, it provides strong image quality for internet usage, live streaming and watching a movie on the media player. It runs Windows 10 and contains a rewritable DVD Drive.
The port assembly mimics the Dell Inspiron with both sides incorporating ports. It includes two 3.0 USB ports, 1 2.0 USB port, 1 HDMI and 1 RJ-45 port. There is no SD Card reader included in this model.
The speakers offer a good audio quality both on while watching a video or listening to hip hop songs. It beats several models in the battery timing by providing a charge capacity of 7 hours.
The weight is 4.7 pounds which is also lighter than most. Had the touchpad been a little larger and the storage SSD, it would have been entitled as a killer machine.
- 15.6" Touchscreen display BrightView glossy screen maintains the vivid colors in your photos and videos. Typical 1366 x 768 HD resolution.
- AMD A9 Processor Powerful 7th generation performance lets you work with multiple applications without crippling slowdowns
- 8GB system memory for multitasking Adequate high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once. 2TB hard drive for ample file storage space Holds a sizeable collection of digital photos, music, HD videos and DVD-quality movies. 5400 rpm spindle speed for standard read/write times.
- AMD Radeon R7 Integrated graphics chipset with shared video memory provides solid image quality for Internet use, movies, basic photo editing and casual gaming.
- Windows 10. HP TrueVision HD Camera Video chat with vibrant clarity, even in low light. Re-Writable DVD Drive Watch and write DVDs using the integrated optical drive.Wi-Fi:1x1 802.11ac WLAN Bluetooth:Yes Modem:n/a Ports/Slots Ports:2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Data Transfer Only), 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ-45, 1 x Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack
6. HP 14-CF0014DX [Best Laptop Under 500 Dollars]
Classy on the outlook and powerful from the inside, this gaming laptop is another HP family member to eye for. There always seem to be one model that defies its price tag from every angle and this model is certainly that type of a machine.
It has a slim silver body with rounded edges for enhanced royalty. The thickness decreases from top to the bottom which is a great styling feature. There is a long silver hinge that runs through the length of the laptop instead of two small ones at sides.
The screen is 14’’ with a resolution of 1366×768. It may be a lower resolution than the full HD 1920×1080 pixels of a Dell laptop but offers similar performance in terms of colors and sharpness.
The processor is 7th Gen i3-7100U paired with 8 GB RAM which accounts for gameplay at decent frame rates. The processor is only a shade older than the latest 8th Gen so is fast and responsive.
The Graphics card is an Intel Core 2.4GHz which is standard in use. It features a 128 SSD storage capacity which can be argued for comparative advantages. While it is more speedy than the normal HDD, space is way less than what other competitors offered (1 TB usually). You have the option to add more disk space or use USB Drives but that means external interference and chances of viruses being transferred to the laptop.
The keypad is very good and ideal for gaming controls and typing. The touchpad is vast and offer multi-finger gesture but unlike the Dell Inspiron 15.
This 14 Inch HP laptop, however, received the highest number of a 5-star rating among all the enlisted ones.
- Windows 10 operating system Windows 10 brings back the start menu from Windows 7 and introduces new features, like the edge web browser that lets you markup web pages on your screen
- 14" Display bright View glossy screen maintains the vivid colors in your photos and videos. Typical 1366 x 768 HD resolution. Wled backlight
- 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U mobile Processor smart dual-core, four-way processing performance for HD-quality computing
- 8GB system Memory for advanced multitasking substantial high-bandwidth RAM
- 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD) while offering less storage space than a hard drive, a flash-based SSD has no moving parts, resulting in faster start-up times
7. HP Pavilion – Best Gaming Laptops For College Students
Another HP laptop that has found its way in this list. Its striking feature is the touch screen. Consider the royalty and luxury this grants to the user experience in under $500.
You can play around with your files and tabs with the movement of your fingertips! But this doesn’t take anything away from the performance parameters of this laptop. It features a 7th Gen i3-7100u 2.4 GHz processor and an 8 GB DDR4 RAM that work coherently to bring about great processing speed.
You can play mediocre to semi-demanding games on this laptop. The storage capacity is equivalent to ASUS VivoBook an Acer Aspire which is handy. The 15.6’’ backlit screen offers a resolution of 1366×768 which is close to HD. The game settings can be set to medium for smoother gameplay.
It is, in fact, the heaviest model of the entire list. The keyboard and touchpad are responsive and comfortable to use while the audio quality is at par with what a $500 laptop must offer. The port assembly includes 3 USB Ports, 1 HDMI, 1 RJ-45, 1 SD Card reader and a DVD Player that works fine. The Graphics are assisted by the Intel 620 Card which is mediocre and unproblematic in performance. It can run Metro and Deus Ex on acceptable frame rates.
- Excellent multitasking power with a 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U; 2.40 GHz
- 8GB DDR4 SDRAM memory, and a spacious 1TB 5400 RPM SATA
- 15.6 in diagonal HD SVA WLED backlit touchscreen (1366 x 768), 10 finger multi touch support
- Multi format digital media card reader and a built in DVD drive
- Full sized island style keyboard with an integrated numeric pad and 1.5mm key travel
Possibilities Of Upgrading A Laptop
You might get surprised as in the article of best gaming laptop buying guide, I interrupted you with the topic of possibilities of upgrading a laptop but it is the information that you must keep in mind while making a fresh purchase.
What will happen when your laptop starts to have trouble with the games?
It must be in your knowledge that unlike a desktop computer, the possibilities of upgrade ( change of components ) of a laptop are very limited.
For simplicity, there are only 3 main feasible alterations you can make in your machine:
- Add RAM
- Add SSD
- Change the hard drive
If you read and understands the above-mentioned list well, you must have noticed that it is not possible to change the graphics card and processor later!
So, when you’re buying a gaming laptop, your priority should be to buy the gaming beast with the largest possible graphics chipset and CPU.
For info: Although people use the external graphics card to give a boost to their laptops but it is neither a good idea and nor a feasible plan by keeping in mind the Price, technology, performance/price ratio and etc.
- Best Wireless Gaming Headsets
- Best SmartWatch For Teenagers
- Best 17 Inch Laptops Under $1000
- Best Hoverboards For Kids
- Best SmartWatches For Teenager
Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API