When it comes to gaming, no device can beat the complete experience you get from playing on a desktop computer. However, today, with the ever-changing day-to-day scenarios, you definitely need something versatile for gaming purposes, and a good quality laptop may be just the solution. Of course, you have your budget constraints; while this makes finding the desired gaming laptop a bit difficult, the task certainly isn’t impossible to accomplish. In fact, with so many new models being introduced by established and fairly new brands alike, finding the best gaming laptops under $500 can be easier than you imagine.
The following is a list of the 7 best budget gaming laptops under $500 compiled by our experts after thorough research of the wide range of options available in the market today. These laptop models come with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages, and their specifications and features also differ based on the brand and pricing. There are some models that come with relatively advanced features for a few extra bucks, while others tend to be quite basic for the price tag.
Also Read: Best Laptops under $500
Ultimately, the decision is up to you, the user; whether you are a student looking for your first gaming laptop or an avid gamer in need of under $500 gaming laptop to add to your devices, you are most likely to find a suitable device from this list.
Top 7 Best Gaming Laptops under $500
|Model||Check Latest Price||Processor||RAM||Storage|
|ASUS VivoBook F510UA||Intel Core i5-8250U||8GB||1TB HDD|
|Lenovo IdeaPad 330||Intel Core i3-8130U||8GB||1TB HDD|
|Acer Aspire 5 (A515-54-51DJ)||Intel Core i5-8265U||8GB||256GB SSD|
|HP Pavilion 15||Intel Core i5-8250U||8GB||1TB HDD|
|Dell Inspiron 15 5000||Intel Core i5-8250U||8GB||1TB HDD|
|HP 15-DA0002DX||Intel Core i5-8250U||8GB||128GB SSD|
|Acer Aspire E 15||Intel Core i5-8250U||8GB||256GB SSD|
Note: At LaptopDiscovery, we intend to make the buying process of our visitors as simple as possible, and therefore we offer various awards to the laptop after researching and testing them. Below you’ll find a recommended laptop and a laptop that offers the best value for money. If you want to jump to our awarded laptop directly, then you can click the button below.
In-Depth Review of Gaming Laptops under $500
1. ASUS VivoBook F510UA Gaming Laptop
Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6″ Anti-glare full HD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Weight: 3.7 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 5 hours
ASUS laptops have always been known for their extraordinary performance, and the brand’s VivoBook range of laptops are designed to be a perfect combination of looks and performance. The F510UA Nanoedge Laptop from the range is specifically designed to cater to today’s fast-paced lifestyle of individuals, and at a price of under $500, this could just be the gaming laptop you are looking for.
The F510UA is a remodeled version of the brand’s previous VivoBook range of laptops, and in this variant, the device has become even more sleek, stylish, and elegant. The chassis of the laptop is made from brushed metal and comes with a shiny coating, in glittering grey, which is attractive to the eye.
One unique feature of this VivoBook is the implementation of the company’s NanoEdge bezel, which gives the device an excellent 80% screen-to-body ratio, and this lets you enjoy a complete gaming experience. This version is also designed to be lighter and thinner than its predecessors, with a 0.8-inch profile and weighing just 3.7 pounds, which makes it a compact model that can be carried along during your travels easily.
The ASUS F510UA Laptop comes with a 15.6-inch full HD screen equipped with anti-glare coating. This is a WideView display that comes implemented with the company’s Splendid software enhancement. Since you get a full HD screen in this gaming laptop under $500, you will be able to utilize the complete visual capabilities of the games you play, and as mentioned before, the NanoEdge bezel further enhances your experience with the outstanding screen-to-body ratio.
The Splendid technology enables you to view content in four different modes: Vivid, Normal, Eye-Care, and Manual, so you can adjust the settings depending on the game you play. The larger display also makes the viewing angles better. TrueLife Video technology is another implementation from ASUS, and what this does is enhance the various display features, like contrast and sharpness, thus producing realistic and vibrant images and videos for the ultimate gaming experience.
The laptop is powered by the latest and advanced 8th generation Intel Core 1.6 GHz processor, which is capable of going up to 3.4 GHz in Turbo mode. In addition, you get an 8 GB RAM and 1TB HDD, both of which make multitasking easier, along with providing enough storage space for your games. The graphics you get with the device is Intel UHD 620 graphics, which delivers decent gaming performance, allowing you to play averagely demanding games, but is not suitable for hardcore gaming.
One noticeable downfall of the ASUS F510UA is its battery life. The device is able to last only up to 5 hours on a single full charge, which is significantly low for a laptop with these specifications. Also, this reduced battery life will hinder your gaming progress quite a bit.
When you look at the options you have for the best gaming laptops under $500, you will see that not many models come with the latest processor and good specs. While this ASUS device excels in these aspects and more, it lags in terms of battery life, which is a huge letdown.
2. Lenovo IdeaPad 330 – Under $500 Gaming Laptop
Processor: Intel Core i3-8130U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6” HD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Weight: 4.85 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 5 hours
The IdeaPad 330 from Lenovo may not be the most suitable gaming laptop available out there, and certainly not the most exciting option there is in terms of specifications and features, but it is if you are looking for the best gaming laptop in a budget of under $500. Designed exclusively to be a budget-friendly option, the IdeaPad 330 is a series of notebooks available with different configurations based on your budget.
The IdeaPad 330 gaming laptop, despite being under $500 price range, carries a classy and elegant design. The device certainly looks stylish with its dual-tone interior. Though the chassis is made of plastic, the fact that it comes with a matte finish makes it look like metal, making it appear sleek. The laptop, overall, feels sturdy, but at 4.85 pounds, this is one relatively heavier model in this price range. As a result, carrying it around could be a problem for many, especially for frequent travelers.
The IdeaPad 330 is available in screen sizes 14, 15, and 17 inches, where the configurations for each differ, and so does the pricing. The model we are reviewing comes with a 15.6-inch screen with HD resolution (1366 x 768) and an energy-efficient LED backlight. The lack of a full HD resolution is obviously because of the cost factor, and this restricts your ability to revel in clear graphics from your games. The device is also not the best in terms of viewing angles.
Powered by 8th generation Intel Core mobile processor, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 performs great, making proper multitasking, high-quality entertainment, and faster performance possible. Of course, the other variations of the laptop come with different processors, including AMD, giving you an opportunity to choose the one that you know will best suit your gaming needs. Our model comes with 8 GB of system memory and 1 TB HDD, both providing ample storage space for your latest games. For graphics, you get Intel UHD Graphics 620 and can enjoy medium-intensive gaming.
The device has only average battery life, up to only 5.5 hours which really is not sufficient for gaming purposes. The IdeaPad 330 comes with useful components and some impeccable features for its price. However, there are areas that where the device could make you hesitate to choose it as your gaming laptop.
3. Acer Aspire 5 (A515-54-51DJ) Gaming Laptop
Processor: Intel Core i5-8265U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 15.6″ Full HD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Weight: 3.97 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 9.5-hours
When you think of buying a portable and powerful laptop model on the market then the Acer Aspire 5 is the one you can trust. This versatile gaming laptop under $500, houses the 8th generation Intel Core i5-8265U with the clock speed up to 3.9GHz. This processor is capable to tackle any job given to it without any system slowdown. This 8th-gen i5 processor surpasses the 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor in multi-threaded performance.
That means you enjoy low to medium level gaming on this laptop easily. The 8GB RAM and the 256GB SSD provide faster processing and reliable storage respectively. There are hardly any gaming laptops under a budget of $500 that comes with SSD storage. But this laptop from Acer includes the 256GB SSD for faster and reliable storage of data.
Also with the installation of SSD on the system, you can expect faster system booting time and quicker application load time. Now let’s see what the Acer Aspire 5 has to offer in the display. The laptop comes with the latest narrow bezel design along the two edges of the screen. The 15.6 inches Full HD IPS display is featured with the Acer Color Intelligence to offer crisp and vivid visuals.
With the in-built Acer BlueLightShield, you can keep your eyes free from strain by cutting out the blue light. Enough of the specifications and features that the laptop has to offer let’ take an insight into the build of the laptop. The chassis measures out to be 14.3 x 9.9 x 0.7 inches and weighs somewhere around 3.97 pounds, which qualifies the laptop to be called as a portable model.
The exterior is made of the silver aluminum, which gives the Aspire 5 a premium and modern look. The center spot at the lid of the laptop is occupied by the Acer logo, which adds to the charm. The other features include a backlit keyboard with the number pad, although the size of the keys of the Numpad is not standard (smaller in size). The Aspire 5 embeds a finger reader into the top left corner of the touchpad for faster login into the system. It’s worth it that you get such amazing features in a gaming laptop less than 500 dollars.
4. HP Pavilion 15 Laptop
Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6″ Full HD IPS | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Weight: 4.21 lbs | Battery Life: up to 7 hours
As one of the most renowned brands in the laptop world, HP has introduced various ranges and series of laptops, and the Pavilion range happens to be one of the successful ventures from the brand. Pavilion range of HP laptops are typically available in different segments, from gaming to office, and more. This particular iteration is a huge improvement from its predecessors, both in terms of design and specifications.
While the design is similar to the previous iterations of Pavilion laptops in terms of simplicity, this version, however, comes with a few evident changes. The device now has a smoother and sharper look, which gives it a cleaner appearance. Though the chassis is made of plastic, a standard in budget-friendly sub-$500 gaming laptops, it looks like metal in the overall finish, giving the laptop a premium look and feel. The dual-tone interior further enhances the aesthetics of the HP Pavilion 15, and the whole product looks quite similar to the more premium laptop ranges from the brand, like the Envy.
The machine has a slim profile and weighs around 4.2 pounds. Yes, there are lighter devices in the under $500 price range, but this one doesn’t feel too heavy when carrying, which is probably due to its slim and streamlined design, and therefore, would be a great accompaniment for traveling.
This particular Pavilion model comes with a 15.6-inch IPS touchscreen full HD display. With full HD display, what you get is a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080, which simply means you get to play your games with high-quality graphics without any compromise. The availability of touchscreen in this configuration opens new possibilities for you in your gaming arena. The color representation of the laptop is really good, and so is the contrast level. However, brightness isn’t the strong point of this device, as a result of which using it outdoors may not be ideal.
The HP Pavilion 15 is powered by the 8th generation Intel Quad-Core processor, which can make the device perform really well in different respects. With the HP Pavilion, you are allowed to choose between different processor options based on your needs and the pricing changes accordingly. In terms of performance, this device is one strong performer, thanks to the latest processor, and along with the 8 GB system memory and 1 TB HDD, storage space is ample and transfer speeds are reasonable.
The inclusion of Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 makes the device a viable option for casual gamers. Similar to the processor, you can also choose your device’s graphics and upgrade to an advanced option for more intensive gaming, and this, of course, comes with varying costs. One of the highlights of the HP Pavilion 15 is its battery life, which approximately lasts up to 8 hours, perhaps the longest in the category. Overall, this improved HP Pavilion version is sure to tick most of your boxes for the best gaming laptop under 500 dollars.
5. Dell Inspiron 15 5000 – Best Gaming Laptop under $500
Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6″ LED-Backlit Full HD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Weight: 2.65 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 5 hours
Just because you are on a strict budget for buying a gaming laptop under $500, it doesn’t mean you should settle with a model with low specs, limited features, and absolute basic design. The Dell Inspiron 15 5000, with its high-performance processor and other useful features, is a fireball you can rely on, but there are certain areas where it lags a bit.
This sub-$500 gaming laptop model from Dell is quite bland in terms of design. There is nothing attractive or unique about the overall design of the laptop, except for the dual-tone finish in the interior, which looks a bit decent. In fact, this has been the case with almost all of the Inspiron laptops from the brand, and the same trend is continued with this product as well. The chassis is made of plastic, as expected, and the silver finish gives it a decent look. Despite the lack of attractive design, the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is a durable laptop, and weighing around 4.9 pounds, the device belongs to the mid-range weight category.
The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 has a 15.6-inch touchscreen LED-backlit full HD display, and this lets you make full use of the screen’s clarity on all the games you play. Furthermore, the display comes implemented with Dell’s TrueLife technology, which further enhances clarity, making your visuals more vivid, crisp, and lifelike. Hence, you are guaranteed amazing visual experience during all your gaming sessions. Similar to the other models on our list, this laptop also will not do very well in an outdoor setting.
Powered by 8th generation Intel Quad-Core processor and with a system memory of 8 GB, the Inspiron 15 5000 is a great option for constant multitasking, viable for both work and play. The Integrated Intel 620 Graphics allows for moderately intensive gaming, including the latest games, and you can expect reasonable quality levels with the same. The battery life of this cheap gaming laptop is not impressive, lasting just for about 5 hours with a full charge, which is disappointing in comparison with its rivals.
6. HP 15-DA0002DX Gaming Laptop
Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB SSD | Display: 15.6″ Touchscreen | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | Weight: 3.9 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 6 hours
HP is one of the leading brands to have long been known for the quality of its products, and the company has been constantly working towards providing the right and best solutions for varied user needs. With their 2019 Newest 15.6” Touchscreen Laptop, the brand has brought to its customers a powerful device equipped with the latest technology.
The new model touchscreen laptop from HP comes in the popular two-tone design, with a silver finish on the exterior and classy black on the inside, giving the laptop a decent yet unique look. The design, on the whole, is really basic; for a budget gaming laptop under $500, like this one, we would have loved some tweaks done to the design to achieve a sophisticated look. The unit itself looks bulky, but weight only around 3.9 pounds, keeping it on the lighter end.
This particular HP laptop comes with a 15.6-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1366 x 768. What this indicates is that you only get an HD display instead of full HD, which brings down your whole gaming experience to a considerable level. The display also comes WLED backlit, and while the widescreen display is capable of delivering better visuals, the touchscreen functionality, which is perhaps the biggest attraction for this model, is just basic.
The HP 15-DA0002DX Laptop is powered by the Intel Quad Core i5 processor. As you would be aware, quad-core processors are capable of delivering better performances than dual-core processors, which is exactly what you get with this device. The inclusion of an 8th generation processor makes the device powerful, which in turn makes gaming (whatever is supported by the graphics) easy and efficient. The 8 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD are good enough storage solutions, and the inclusion of SSD rather than HDD in a gaming laptop under $500 makes an even better choice. As always, the Intel UHD Graphics 620 enables casual gaming, and the device can last between 6 and 8 hours for gaming with a full charge.
7. Acer Aspire E 15 Gaming Laptop
Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 15.6″ Full HD | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150 | Weight: 5.27 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 15-hours
Think about the durability in laptops and Acer would be the brand that comes to mind for many individuals because such is the standards maintained by the company over the years. The Aspire E 15 from the brand is a fresh combination of simple design, useful features, and functional components that are quite hard to find in moderately priced laptops available today.
The Aspire E 15 is one of the best budget gaming laptops under $500 price range that deserves your attention. Though a bit chunky in its looks, the overall design of the device is quite attractive and stylish, especially the metallic textile pattern. This is also the only laptop in the category to come in a variety of colors. It is made from textured plastic, which, obviously, makes it look and feel less durable than a laptop with metal chassis. However, it has to be mentioned that the laptop, similar to most other models from Acer, is quite sturdy and well-built. A huge drawback of this gaming laptop model is that it is neither portable nor compact, because of its weight (5.27 pounds), making it the heaviest laptop on our list, and the device isn’t thin either.
The Acer Aspire E15 comes equipped with a 15.6-inch full HD widescreen display, which gives your games the quality they are intended to have, thus providing you with enhanced gaming experience. To provide users with a richer experience, the device uses Acer’s ExaColor feature, which basically produces color accuracy. While almost all other gaming laptops in under $500 price range come with viewing angle challenges of some sort, the off-angle viewing of this device is much better than the rest of the crowd.
The laptop is powered by the latest 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor that can reach up to 3.4 GHz in clock speeds. This specification gives the device more power, increased battery life, and thus, better functionality in whatever task you choose to do. It has 8 GB dual-channel memory and 256 GB SSD, which deliver decent transfer speeds.
Perhaps the best part of the laptop is its graphics; the Acer Aspire E 15 comes with NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics, which, despite being an entry-level specification, offers good gaming performance, certainly better than the usual integrated graphics that comes with such budget gaming laptop models. All in all, this is definitely a treat for those of you looking for the best gaming laptop under 500 dollars price range for casual gaming.
What you saw above are gaming laptops under 500 dollars that provide complete value for the amount you pay. Each of these laptop models tends to be better than the other in terms of design, specs, features, and other aspects, and therefore, choosing a laptop that comes as a mix of everything you are looking for totally depends on your needs and preferences.