Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Under $500 – Reviews, FAQs, and Guide

Once you enter the gaming world, you’ll see that everything revolves around gaming hardware.

Although gaming laptops are popular nowadays, most of them are quite expensive.

After plenty of research and considering the alternatives, we have put together what we consider to be the best laptops under $500 for gaming in 2021.

Best Gaming Laptops Under 500 dollars

Quick Overview: Top 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 in 2021

Whether you are a PC gamer or not, you probably hear a lot about gaming laptops. They’re different from regular laptops because they don’t only have advanced hardware for a laptop, but also cool features that make gaming easier and more fun (even when you’re not playing on it).

If you need a more serious gaming machine and can’t spend more than $500, you’d be much better off getting a gaming desktop (check out this $500 gaming PC build).

So, if you’re interested in getting a gaming laptop but you want to save money, here are some of the best cheap gaming laptops under 500 dollars.

ALSO CONSIDER: Review of gaming laptops under $600

This list has been compiled looking at a variety of factors including performance, weight, display quality, battery life, and price. The below table contains a full summary of our findings for each laptop.

Acer Aspire 5 3200U
Acer Aspire 5 3200U
  • To handle all your low-end games it has a decent processor.
  • At low, to medium settings, it has enough RAM to run games easily.
  • Resolution (1920 x 1080) Full HD Display
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Dell Inspiron 15.6
Dell Inspiron 15.6
  • Using Intel Graphics is good enough to run HD games.
  • More than 6-7 hours of decent battery timing.
  • Touchscreen laptop.
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HP Flagship 15.6
HP Flagship 15.6
  • The screen of the laptop is 15.6″ (39 cm)
  • Discrete Graphics 8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
  • More than 8 hours of best battery timing
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Dell Inspiron 15.6
Dell Inspiron 15.6
  • Easily handle the most daily cores.
  • Intel Core i5-7200U (7th Gen) with turbo boost up to 3.1 GHz
  • Touchscreen laptop with the SSD of 256 GB
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2018 HP 7200U
2018 HP 7200U
  • Touchscreen Laptop with 15.6 inches of screen.
  •  Intel Core i5-7200U (7th Gen) turbo boost up to 3.1 GHz
  • 2TB Hard disk drive and 8 GB memory
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Acer Aspire 5 8265U
Acer Aspire 5 8265U
  • Thin-and-light gaming and office laptop 
  • Full Hd 15.6 inches widescreen.
  • It features the Intel Core i5-8265U (8th Gen) processor
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2018 Dell Inspiron 15 5000
2018 Dell Inspiron 15 5000
  • Very decent build quality and such a smart exterior design.
  •  It is featured with the Intel Core i5-8250U (8th gen) and 8GB of RAM
  • Dedicated Advanced Micro Devices graphics.
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Acer Aspire E 15
Acer Aspire E 15
  • It is much lighter than it looks.
  • Finger-friendly and smooth keyboard.
  • A huge touchpad enhances its look.
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2019 Newest HP 8250U
2019 Newest HP 8250U
  • Intel i5-8250U Quad-core
  • Touchscreen and Wide Display of 15.6 inches.
  • Best Stereo speakers, DVDRW, and Intel Ultra HD graphics.
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Lenovo 15.6
Lenovo 15.6
  • HD LED display of 15.6 inches Screen Resolution (1366×768)
  • It is featured with AMD FX-7500 Quad-Core processor.
  • Best for rendering of HD videos (720p and 1080p).
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The gaming industry is one of the biggest in the world.

Note: There are plenty of good gaming laptops that are also capable of managing heavy games:

Not too long ago, people would have to pay a considerable sum of money to get a decent gaming machine.

The reasons are debatable.

Some might argue the lack of competition, some think it was due to the lack of technological advancements.

Fun Fact: Gaming Industry is bigger than Hollywood and Bollywood Combined!

Anyhow, luckily for us, this is no longer the case.

In-Depth Review

So without any further ado, let us get right into it.

Best Acer Gaming Laptop under $500

Acer Aspire 5 3200U - Best Acer Gaming Laptop under $500

  • It features AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Processor.
  • It has 4GB DDR4 Memory and 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD.
  • It has a bright 15.6 inches FHD IPS Display with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080.
  • It has 1 USB 3.1, 2 USB 2.0, and 1 HDMI port.

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The CPU and the GPU are two of the most essential things when it comes to gaming performance. It’s not made for light gaming with the Acer Aspire 5, the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Processor gives enough power to handle all your high-end games. Furthermore, the AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics allows you to enjoy games at a higher frame rate and great visuals. Apart from gaming, these are good enough for processor-intensive tasks such as video and photo editing.

Storage and RAM

The Acer Aspire 5 comes with DDR4 4GB RAM and 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD. This is for the base model that is around $350. However, you can always upgrade these at a later date as they are both upgradeable. 128GB solid-state drive might be a bit less considering you play a lot of games, and the RAM would be good enough to run games at low to medium settings with a good frame rate.

Keyboard and Display

This entry-level gaming laptop has a full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The 15.6 inch IPS Display provides the gamer with crisp image quality so you can take gaming to another level. The keyboard is backlit to provide the precision you need even in complete darkness. You also get up to 7 hours of battery life!

Related Guide: Best keyboard for gamers

Connectivity and Warranty

This budget laptop comes with a USB 3.1, a couple of USB 2.0, and an HDMI port. These are not extraordinary but do get the job done. You don’t get any USB Type-C port either, so that’s a bummer. Moreover, you get a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty with it.

What makes it a good gaming laptop?

Acer Aspire 5 3200U is powerful & portable which makes it one of the best budget gaming laptops under the $500 price range. It comes with great ergonomics making it easy to hold.

To sum it all up, you get a pretty good deal with the Acer Aspire 5 comes with Windows 10 Home operating system and costs around $350, especially if you are a beginner.

BONUS: It also supports Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi.

  • Great value on money.
  • Powerful AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor.
  • Considerably powerful.
  • Good battery timings.
  • Portability.
  • No USB Type-C port.
  • Average build quality.

Best Performance Laptop Under 500

Dell Inspiron 15.6 -7200U - Best Performance Laptop Under 500

  • It features a 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7200U processor and Intel HD Graphics 620.
  • It has 8 GB DDR4 Memory and 256GB SSD.
  • It comes with a 15.6-inch True-life HD display with 1366 x 768 resolution.
  • It has two USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI port, and a headphone jack.

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The Dell Inspiron 15.6 inch laptop is mechanized by the 7th generation Intel Core i5-7200U dual-core processor. To provide the gamers with extraordinary gaming performance, this laptop comes with Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated graphics. It is good enough to run popular games like Fortnite and Apex Legends at a good frame rate.

Storage and RAM

This gaming machine comes with DDR4 8GB RAM and a 256 GB solid-state drive. Most of the popular games come with a minimum RAM of around 6-8 GB. Therefore, you would be good with this laptop, considering it has 8GB RAM. Moreover, a 256 GB hard drive is adequate for gaming. You might need an upgrade after some time, though.

Keyboard and Display

Although this budget laptop comes with thick bezels, it does have a beautiful 15.6-inch 1366×768 True-life HD display. It does not have a backlit keyboard and is a bit traditional in style. The image quality is excellent, and the battery timing is over 6-7 hours too.

Connectivity and Warranty

As far as the connectivity is regarded, this laptop comes with a couple of USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, and an HDMI port. It has excellent Bluetooth connectivity and a headphone jack, as well! For your convenience, Dell provides buyers with a year-long warranty with a pre-installed Windows 10 Home operating system.

In a nutshell, apart from no dedicated graphics card, it is a great laptop with commendable specifications and a low price of just about $400.

  • Excellent speakers.
  • Adequate storage and RAM.
  • No backlit keyboard.
  • No dedicated graphics card.

Excellent Functionality

HP Flagship 15.6 - Excellent Functionality

  • 15.6-inch screen HD WLED Touchscreen Display with a resolution of 1366 x 768.
  • 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U 2.40 GHz processor.
  • 8GB DDR4 Memory with 1TB HDD.
  • 1 USB 3.0 port, dual USB 2.0 ports, and multi-format SD slot.

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The HP Flagship does complete justice to the “flagship” in its name, thanks to the 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U processor. Not only does it allow the laptop to support heavy games, but it also runs them smoothly. The graphic card is something that you might need to consider upgrading. It comes with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 which might support low to medium-end games at a fair frame rate. But anything extra, you are looking forward to a couple of hundred dollars more for a good graphics card.

Storage and RAM

The HP Flagship comes with the traditional hard drive rather than the super-fast SSD. This version of the laptop has a 1TB HDD, which is good enough for games but is outdated technology. However, it still has 8 GB DDR4 RAM, which is the recommended memory for most, if not all, games.

Keyboard and Display

This touchscreen laptop comes with a regular keyboard but a 15.6-inch screen HD WLED-backlit display which is a touchscreen too. You can use the mouse pad or just touch the screen directly to give commands to the laptop. It can come in handy (pun intended) while playing games too!

Connectivity and Warranty

Surprisingly, the HP Flagship still comes with a SuperMulti DVD burner which is quite rare these days. In addition to this, you get a dual USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0, and a multi-format SD card slot. Moreover, the 1-year exclusive warranty is a plus too!

Ultimately, the specs are good enough to run games. It does have a DVD Burner too, which is quite uncommon. The lack of an SSD and a decent graphics card is a major drawback for a gaming laptop that costs over $400.

  • Excellent speakers.
  • Superb battery performance.
  • Windows 10 operating system.
  • No SSD.
  • Lack of a decent graphic card.

Highly Practical

Dell Inspiron 15.6 - Highly Practical

  • Intel Core 7th Gen i5-7200U 2.5GHz dual-core processor (3.1GHz with Turbo Boost).
  • 256GB SSD and 8GB DDR4 Memory.
  • 15.6-inch HD touch screen display with a resolution of 1366 x 768.
  • Wide connectivity and 802.11ac WiFi.

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This model of the Dell Inspiron series is a complete package. It comes integrated with the Intel Core 7th Gen i5-7200U 2.5GHz dual-core processor which jumps up to 3.1GHz with Turbo Boost. It is good enough for gaming or any other task. It is quick in rendering and exporting large files and works like a charm. The only problem is that it still comes with Intel HD Graphics 620 rather than a dedicated graphics card for gaming. You might have to consider that before getting one.

Storage and RAM

As far as these are concerned, this laptop does not compromise on it. It has a decent-sized 256 GB SSD, which is reasonable for its price and is up to date. Moreover, the 8 GB RAM meets the minimum threshold for enjoying new games at a good frame rate. You also have the option to upgrade when you feel like it.

Keyboard and Display

The Dell Inspiron 15.6 inch laptop comes with a traditional keyboard. There is nothing fancy about it. However, it has a 15.6-inch HD display with a screen resolution of 1366 x 768. The best part is that it is a touch screen with a 360-degree hinge, which allows you to fold it. Therefore, it is a 2-in-1 laptop.

Connectivity and Warranty

This laptop comes with dual USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, a mic-in/headphone-out audio jack, an HDMI port, and wireless b/g/n Bluetooth 4.0. The warranty is not surprising. You get the standard 1-year manufacturer’s warranty with Windows 10 Home operating system.

Nevertheless, this laptop is a great option due to its practicality. It comes with all the necessary gaming components except for a good graphics card, but the 360-degree hinge design adds to the device’s ergonomics.

Overall, Dell Inspiron 15.6 is a great combination of portability and performance which is why it is one of the best gaming laptops in the price range of $500.

  • Fully flexible with the 360-degree hinge.
  • Perfect for multitasking.
  • The display is not very bright.
  • Ordinary sounding speakers.

Best Value On Money

2018 HP 7200U - Best Value On Money

  • Intel Core i5-7200U 2.50 GHz (up to 3.10 GHz with Turbo Boost).
  • 8GB DDR4 SDRAM and 2TB HDD.
  • 15.6-inch HD SVA WLED-backlit touchscreen with a resolution of 1366 x 768.
  • A lot of options for external connections, including a card reader.

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The HP 7200U comes with the typical Intel Core i5-7200U 2.50 GHz processor. The Turbo Boost technology can boost up the clock frequency from 2.50 GHz to a whopping 3.10 GHz. Performance-wise, the CPU does a reasonably good job. However, the conventional Intel HD Graphics 620 is where you would probably need an immediate upgrade. This graphic card is not bad but is not good enough to run high-end games smoothly at a higher frame rate.

Storage and RAM

This gaming laptop comes with an 8GB DDR4 SDRAM which is not only quick but powerful too. It is perfect for enjoying more premium games at medium graphics if not more. However, it does not have an SSD. It still comes with the old 2TB HDD. It is an ample amount of storage, but the transfer speeds are nowhere as fast as that of an SSD.

Keyboard and Display

The keys on this laptop are comfortable to use and do not make a lot of noise. These are the traditional membrane keys but feel premium. However, the keyboard is not backlit. As far as the screen size is concerned, it comes with a 15.6-inch HD WLED-backlit touchscreen. It has a resolution of 1366 x 768 and supports a 10-finger multitouch. Therefore, multitouch would never be a problem with this laptop.

Connectivity and Warranty

The HP 7200U has several connectivity options. It comes with a dual USB 3.1 Generation 1 port, single USB 2.0, one HDMI port, an RJ-45, and a headphone-out/microphone-in jack. Moreover, it also has a multi-format card reader and a DVD writer. It also comes with the standard 1-year warranty. It also supports 5Ghz WiFi.

Related Guide: Best gaming routers in 2021

Therefore, for just around $500, you get a great touchscreen laptop with a range of external connectivity options.

  • Wide connectivity.
  • Large HDD.
  • Windows 10.
  • No dedicated graphics card.
  • The keyboard is not backlit.

Optimum Performance For $500

Acer Aspire 5 8265U - Optimum Performance For $500

  • It features the 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8265U processor.
  • 15.6-inch FHD Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
  • 1 USB 3.1 Type C, Dual USB 3.1 ports, a USB 2.0 Port, and an HDMI Port.
  • 8GB DDR4 Memory with 256GB SSD.

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Unlike the previous laptops mentioned in the article, the Acer Aspire 5 8265U is powered by the 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8265U processor. It is comparatively more powerful and effective. It helps to load applications faster and keep them running smoothly. The only shortfall in this laptop is the Intel UHD Graphics 620. It is not optimized for hardcore gamers but gets the job done at a mediocre level or light gaming.

Storage and RAM

Along with a newer generation CPU, this laptop comes with a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD. It is better and faster than the standard SATA SSDs and has a credible capacity as well. The 8GB DDR4 memory is similar to the other budget gaming laptops for under 500 dollars, and more than enough to enjoy your favorite games.

Keyboard and Display

The Acer Aspire 5 8265U comes with a similar backlit keyboard like the one in Acer Aspire 5 3200U. It is comfortable to use and has a premium finish to it. The screen, however, 15.6-inch full HD IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and thin bezels. It also has a battery time of over 9 hours which is excellent considering that a similar laptop lasts for around 6-7 hours at this price range.

Connectivity and Warranty

This laptop comes with a USB 3.1 (Type-C) port, dual USB 3.1 ports, one USB 2.0 port, and an HDMI port that supports HDCP. Moreover, it also has a fingerprint scanner for added protection and works very well with Windows 10 Home. The warranty is identical to that of the Acer Aspire 5 3200U with just a 1-year guarantee.

Conclusively, if you want some additional specifications and an improved processor as compared to the Acer Aspire 5 3200U, this laptop is what you need. The best part is, it costs just under the price range of $500!

  • Excellent value on money.
  • Fingerprint scanner and USB Type-C connector.
  • Powerful processor and great battery life.
  • Comes with the standard Intel UHD Graphics 620.

Great For Multitasking

2018 Dell Inspiron 15 5000 - Great For Multitasking

  • 8th Gen Intel Quad Core i5-8250U processor.
  • 15.6-inch true-life LED-Backlit FHD touchscreen display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
  • 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM and 1TB hard drive.
  • Dual USB 3.1, one USB 2.0, and an HDMI port.

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Similar to the more high-end performance laptops, the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 comes with an 8th Gen Intel Quad Core i5-8250U processor. This updated processor beats its predecessor i7-7500U with an average 26% increase in overall performance. Despite being such a powerful laptop, it still comes with the Intel Integrated 620 Graphics. Therefore, you’re looking forward to spending a bit more cash on a better graphics card for extreme gaming.

Storage and RAM

This powerful gaming laptop comes with an 8GB DDR4 SDRAM. It is good enough to run games like Fortnite, PUBG, Apex Legends fairly smooth. Moreover, there is enough storage as well as it has a 1TB hard drive in this version. Although the capacity might be huge, it is still not nearly as good as an SSD.

Keyboard and Display

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 comes with a Backlit Keyboard which is a treat to the gamers. The keys are soft and smooth and have the perfect distance for gamers to travel comfortably. The display is more than just good for gaming. Although it is not an IPS display, the 15.6-inch screen True-life LED full HD display does wonders as well. In addition to it being clear and vivid, it is also a touchscreen with support for multitouch.

Connectivity and Warranty

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 features a couple of USB 3.1 ports, a USB 2.0, an HDMI port, and Bluetooth 4.2. Moreover, the stereo speakers sound exceptionally well, and you have a headphone jack if you want to connect an external speaker or earplugs. It has the standard 1-year official warranty as well!

Overall, for just over the $500 price range, you get an exceptionally powerful laptop with sufficient connectivity.

If you are looking for better options then you should check out our guide on gaming laptops in the $1200 price range.

  • Impressive performance.
  • Extraordinary speakers.
  • A bit dim screen.
  • Traditional HDD and graphics card.

The Best Battery Life

Acer Aspire E 15 - The Best Battery Life

  • It features 8th Generation Intel Core i3 8130U Processor.
  • 15.6 inches FD widescreen LED-lit Display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
  • 6GB Dual Channel Memory with 1TB hard drive.
  • It has a battery life of over 13 hours.

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The Acer Aspire E 15 features the 8th gen Intel Core i3 processor which allows lag-free computing for everyday gaming. As it is the 8th generation, it can handle games pretty well and allow smooth gameplay without any glitches. The Intel HD 620 integrated also allows the gamers to play medium-end games at a reasonable framerate and high-end games at a lower framerate.

Storage and RAM

This budget gaming laptop comes with 6GB dual-channel RAM, which makes it feel speedy and handles the gaming load. It is 2 GB lesser as compared to almost all the other budget laptops mentioned, but this one costs much less too. It also comes with a 1TB HDD. However, if you have a few more bucks to throw in, you can get a 256 GB or a 512 GB SSD version as well. You can always upgrade these by accessing the compartment underneath the laptop.

Keyboard and Display

Similar to the other more expensive laptops, the Acer Aspire E 15 comes with a standard keyboard too. It has soft clicks and low noise and contains the Numpad too. Talking about screen size, however, is a 15.6-inch full HD widescreen display and it has thick bezels that can be a bummer. The best thing about this laptop is the all-day battery life. It lasts over 13 hours after a single complete charge which is shockingly good.

Connectivity and Warranty

The Acer Aspire E15 has one USB 3.1 Type C port (which supports ultra-fast data transfer), dual USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 2.0 port, and an HDMI Port with HDCP support. Oh, it has a headphone jack too! Similar to the other Acer Aspire models, this affordable package has a 1-year official warranty also.

Hence, it is safe to say that the Acer Aspire E15 is one of the most affordable & cheap gaming laptops that you can get right now.

  • Very affordable.
  • Exceptional value on money.
  • There is a need for a better graphics card.
  • Performance may decrease over time with updates.
  • Not ideal for high-end games.

Perfect For Fortnite & Apex Legends

2019 Newest HP 8250U - Perfect For Fortnite & Apex Legends

  • It is powered by Intel Core i5-8250U quad-core processor up to 3.40 GHz.
  • It comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB SSD.
  • 15.6-inch WLED backlight HD touchscreen display.
  • Over 10 hours of battery life.

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The HP 8250U comes equipped with the Intel Core i5-8250U quad-core processor which is efficient and dynamic. It allows you to play processor-intensive games smoothly and at a faster pace. In support, it features the Intel UHD 620 integrated graphics processor to allow games to be played at a higher framerate. However, it is still not as good as other dedicated graphic cards out there.

Storage and RAM

This cheap gaming laptop has the standard 8GB DDR4 RAM found in laptops at a similar price bracket. Not only is it good enough for everyday gaming, but it performs exceptionally well while gaming. It also has a 128GB SSD for storing all your data. Although it has the SSD rather than the HDD, this version has just 128 gigs of storage which is pretty low especially for gaming. You might have to spend a bit to get more significant capacity.

Keyboard and Display

The keycaps on the keyboard have a premium finish to them which feels incredibly comfortable. However, there is nothing extraordinary about it. Similarly, the HP 8250 comes with a 15.6-inch full HD display with a resolution of 1366 x 768. Besides, it is a touchscreen laptop with moderate bezels all around.

Connectivity and Warranty

For connectivity, this cheap gaming laptop comes with a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port, a DVD drive, an SD card reader, a headphone jack, an HDMI port, and a LAN port for a stable connection. Also, similar to other HP products, you get a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer as well.

In a nutshell, for just around $500, you get a premium high-performance gaming laptop that can handle most of your games at a good frame rate.

2019 Newest HP 8250U is the best laptop for Fortnite, Apex Legends, and other high-performance games. The built quality is also sturdy which makes it one of the best laptops for gaming and school.

For more options, you can also check our new guide on the best Fortnite gaming laptop under 500.

  • Premium build quality with a sleek design.
  • Touch screen with great speakers.
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620.
  • Low SSD storage.
  • Common graphics card

Excellent Graphics Performance

Lenovo 15.6 - Excellent Graphics Performance

  • It comes with AMD FX-7500 2.10 GHz Quad-Core processor.
  • 8GB DDR3 SDRAM and 1TB hard drive.
  • 15.6-inch HD LED Display with 1366 x 768 resolution.
  • Dedicated AMD Radeon R7 graphics card.

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The Lenovo 15.6 inch laptop is an all-rounder when it comes to the CPU and the GPU. It is powered by the AMD FX-7500 2.10 GHz Quad-Core processor which goes up to 3.30 GHz with Turbo Boost. Moreover, it has a dedicated AMD Radeon R7 graphics card. With both of these combined, an excellent gaming experience with a high frame rate and medium to high settings is inevitable.

Storage and RAM

Although it has a 1TB HDD, it still comes with 8GB DDR3 SDRAM. Therefore, you might need to switch to an SSD as these have about 10 times higher transfer speeds, if not more, than the traditional HDD. The RAM, on the other hand, is enough for handling most of your processor-intensive games.

Keyboard and Display

Lenovo 15.6 has a similar keyboard to all the other cheap gaming laptops but without the backlight mentioned in the article. As far as the screen size is concerned, it has a 15.6-inch HD LED Display and a pixel density of 1366 x 768. The crisp image quality, along with Dolby Audio is a perfect combination for a gamer.

Connectivity and Warranty

This laptop comes with a USB 3.0 port, dual USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, VGA, headphone output/microphone combo, and a 2-in-1 card reader. Just like all the other laptops, it has a year-long warranty as well.

Therefore, for a bit under $500, Lenovo 15.6 becomes a competitive option, thanks to the dedicated graphics card, overall performance and comes with Windows 10 operating system. That’s why it’s listed on our list of most affordable gaming laptops.

  • Dedicated graphics card.
  • Elegant design.
  • It has a poor battery life of just around 5 hours.
  • The keyboard is not backlit.

Gaming Laptop Under $500
Buyers Guide

A laptop is a great investment, considering that you have to spend a few hundred dollars to get one.

Therefore, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind before buying the best gaming laptop in this budget.

Gaming Laptop Under $500 Buyers Guide


The processor is the most crucial part of any computing system. It determines how fast your computer will process data. It can have a great impact on how smoothly your games run and how well you can play. Therefore, it is necessary to look at the processor before spending your money on a laptop. Generally, most of the high-end games recommend at least the Core-i5 processor to handle the games properly. However, it does not mean that you can not play games with an older processor. You still can, but the experience will not be as good as in core i5.

In a $500 budget, this is more or less what you will find in most of the laptops. Any newer version would cost you way more. Hence, you must choose the fastest processor that you can within your budget.

Graphics Card

The next most important thing that determines your gameplay experience is the graphics card. You need a dedicated graphics card to enjoy smoother gameplay with a higher framerate to make it buttery smooth.

Typically, you get an Integrated Graphics unit on a budget like this one. However, you can still find laptops that offer better graphics cards. Therefore, a graphics card and the RAM combined with it are what will determine the smoothness of your games. Modern 3D games require an excellent dedicated graphics card to enjoy games in high settings.

Picking the right graphic card for the gaming laptop is hard so make sure you keep a decent graphic card at the top of your priority list. NVIDIA or AMD graphic cards are enough for the most popular games available today.


The third most important thing is the RAM of a computer. The greater the RAM, the more data a computer can store while playing games and load it up faster. It prevents the gameplay from feeling laggy and glitchy.

How Much Ram Do I Need in My Gaming Laptop? Check out HP Tech Takes which has covered all the topics related to it.

In a $500 budget, you will see that most of the laptops offer 8 GB of RAM. This is the bare minimum requirement in 2021. Anything low would hurt your gaming experience. Also, DDR4 RAM is better than the older ones, so make sure you get hold of one of these.

Does more RAM improve the laptop gaming experience? Check out the video:

Display and Resolution

Another significant factor that you need to keep in mind before buying a laptop is the display and resolution. A screen with a brighter display and more vivid colors would make the experience much more enjoyable. Similarly, with a greater pixel density, you would be able to see a crisper image. It can also assist you in gaming where colors assist you, for instance, in determining enemies.

Plus an HD screen will have a far greater impact on how good your favorite games look.

Moreover, you can also find touch screen laptops within the same budget. However, although it is a matter of personal preference, I would still not recommend getting one as a touch screen is not as functional in professional gaming, and it decreases the overall display quality too.


The capacity and the type of storage that come with the laptop are also something you need to take into account. After all, the high-end games in 2022 are anywhere between 50-100 GB. Some even go over 100 GB. Therefore, you need sufficient capacity to store all these games along with other personal data on your laptop.

The next thing that you need to see is what type of storage comes with the laptop. It is highly recommended that you choose a laptop with an SSD rather than an HDD as these have higher transfer rates and can make the loading times considerably faster. Nevertheless, if you choose an SSD, you need at least 256 GB of storage. On the other hand, if you choose an HDD, you need at least 500 GB of storage. These are because you only play a few games.

Connectivity and Battery

The last significant thing that you need to consider is the connectivity options with the laptop and battery time. You need a laptop that has sufficient options for connectivity, especially one that comes with a USB Type-C port as it is becoming the standard now. Ethernet port, HDMI port, SD card reader, are some other ports that you might have to look into.

ALSO CONSIDER: What is the best ethernet cable for gaming and streaming?

Next, you need a laptop that has decent battery life. You don’t plug in the laptop every couple of hours as it is very inconvenient and kills the purpose of the laptop if you have to stay at a place and have it plugged in. Anything over 3 hours of gaming would be good enough at this price bracket.

Is A Gaming Laptop Under $500 Worth It?

Of course, cheap laptops can be a gamble. If you’re not familiar with the price point, 500 USD is an incredibly low budget for a gaming laptop. As with most things in life, you usually get what you pay for. I’m going to assume that most of you who will be reading this article are looking for a laptop to play newer games with medium to high settings at a decent frame rate. At 500 USD, these are going to be some hard expectations to fill.

If you’re a student and you want to get a cheap gaming laptop under $500, most of the laptops on this list will do the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Core-i5 processor good for gaming?

In 2022, Core-i5 processors are a bare minimum requirement for most games. Therefore, it is good enough to enjoy the game.

How much RAM is mandatory for gaming?

There is no such thing as mandatory for gaming. You can play games with any reasonable RAM. However, from a gaming perspective, you need at least 8 GB of RAM to run games smoothly.

What is the best company to get a dedicated graphics card from?

Although highly debatable, the top companies that make the best graphics cards for gaming are Nvidia and AMD.

Can you run games without a dedicated graphic card?

Yes. You can run games without a dedicated graphics card but at lower settings and a lower frame rate, comparatively.

How to upgrade RAM and storage on a laptop?

The procedure can be different for different laptops. However, the general method is to open the compartment beneath the laptop and replace or add the parts you want to. Make sure you do not damage the laptop in the process.

Whats are the best refurbished gaming laptops under $500?

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L has a 15.6” full HP IPS display and an AMD Ryzen 3 3200 Dual CPU. It has an AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Processor. It uses 4GB of memory and runs on Windows 10. All these features make it one of the best-refurbished options in the 500 dollars range.


With this list of the best gaming laptops under 500 USD, make sure you get the most suitable among them and have the best gaming experience of your life!

It is suggested that let us know which one you picked in the comments below and share this article with your friends on social media.


7 thoughts on “Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Under $500 – Reviews, FAQs, and Guide”

  1. The Acer Aspire 5 earns its place at the top spot of the best laptops under $500 page due to its strong h Gen Coreperformance, bright 10 display and long battery life, all for an affordable price. Although the Aspire 5 is much thinner than its sibling, the Aspire E 15, the Aspire 5 boasts enough room for a battery that lasts nearly 9 hours on a charge.

  2. I ready have Macbook pro 2017 late edition but wanna switch on Windows again. My Husband has recommended me Lenovo 15.6. Would it be a good choice for me in office and home use?

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    It would be great to find a 144 hz laptop under 500 Or, I will have to go up to 800 !

  4. i think this model Acer Aspire 5 3200U would be a really great choice for my recent graduated son to gift him on his birthday.

  5. Avatar

    Here’s the cold hard honest truth: you’re not going to find a great gaming laptop under $400. If you need a more serious gaming machine and you can’t spend more than $400, you’d be much better off getting a gaming desktop. If you absolutely need a laptop that will serve you well for gaming, though, you’re going to want to spend a little more.

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    I ready have Macbook pro 2018 late editions but wanna switch on Windows again. My Husband has recommended me Lenovo 17.6. Would it be a good choice for me in office and home use? what did you think?

    • Luqman Khan

      It really depends on what is your purpose with that laptop, if it is for work, Macbook is great, or is it for gaming? Go for windows!


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