Top 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 (Updated 2021 Review)

An Exclusive List of the Top Gaming Laptops under $500 with Features, Pricing, Pros, Cons & Comparison. Select the Best Gaming Laptop per your Requirements:

Gaming laptops are laptops that are designed for gaming. With video games becoming ever more popular, so have the gaming laptops that tend to focus on graphical processing power more than anything else.

In this tutorial, we will be looking at the top 10 gaming laptops that cost under $500. While all laptops perform differently, they all can run a variety of games helping everyone from the casual gamer to the more committed gamer to get a solid rig on a budget.

best Gaming Laptops under $500

Most Popular Gaming Laptops For 2021

The gaming laptop market is huge. This comes as no surprise as gaming laptops are some of the most fun and ultimately capable machines around.

Known for cramming the latest technology in one complete package that does not skimp on the eye candy, gaming laptops offer the creme de la creme with a price to match.

Fact check: A market report by Credence research shows that in 2018, it was worth 18.10 Billion and is set to grow by some 21.6% CAGR during the forecast period which runs up to 2027.
Market Report by Credence Research

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However, not all gaming laptops have to break the bank. In fact, gaming laptops can be quite affordable with numerous options coming in at under $500. Of course, here, you can find a wide range of different laptops from the very basic units, to something more advanced that can handle quite a workload.

In this tutorial, we will look at 10 options that cover pretty much every possible combination. Some laptops will focus on display, and others on processing power. As with everything else, understanding what is most important to you will help you to make the smartest choice for you.

Pro-Tip: If you need to make compromises, then look for things that can easily be upgraded later such as RAM.

Why?

Laptops come in all shapes and sizes. Some items, like the processor and video card, are there to stay and cannot be changed or upgraded. Other things such as RAM and the hard drive / SSD (Solid State Drive) can be upgraded with relative ease. Few others, like the monitor, can be bypassed entirely by hooking up an external monitor.

Laptop Buying Tips

When it comes to buying a gaming laptop, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration, perhaps more than the others.

Here are some things to keep in mind and what they mean for your new gaming rig:

Video Card: Video games require more video processing than the other tasks thereby making video cards as one of the more important things. A dedicated video card with its own memory is always going to be a better option than an onboard one that uses RAM.

RAM: The more RAM you have, the more things you can load into your memory. While most laptops come with 4GB of RAM, splurging in this department can help you go a long way in running more high-end games. You might want to check how easy it is to add more RAM, however, do be careful of voiding product warranty.

Screen: Full HD resolution is always going to look sharper than HD resolution. If the games you want to play support full HD resolution, then this is something you might want to consider splurging on. Of course, you can always hook up a Full HD monitor if your laptop does not come with one.

Processor: Faster processors are able to handle bigger workloads with more ease. Upgrading your laptop’s processor after purchase is not done easily, so this is something that should get your attention.

Extended warranties and care packages. Sometimes, things go wrong and when they do it is nice to know that you are covered. Whether its an extended warranty or a care package directly from the manufacturer, buying coverage can save you from trouble down the line.

Accessorize: Gaming accessories, whether its a controller or a mechanical keyboard can give you an advantage in the field. Some keyboards also come with macro buttons thereby allowing you to unleash combinations by pressing a single button.

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List Of The Top Gaming Laptops

  1. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop $319.22
  2. Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R5ED Gaming Laptop $499.99
  3. Asus VivoBook 15.6” $318.00
  4. Flagship HP 14” Laptop $275
  5. ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop $425
  6. Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15.6” $235.30
  7. Dell Inspiron 15.6 Inch $449
  8. HP 14” Laptop $275
  9. HP 15.6” HD Touch-Screen Laptop Notebook Computer $429
  10. ASUS VivoBook F510QA 15.6” $424

Comparison Of The BEST Gaming Laptops

ModelOur RatingsProcessorRAMHard DiskOSPriceBuy Link
Acer Nitro 5Star_rating_5_of_5AMD Ryzen 5 2500U quad-core processor (Up to 3 6GHz) |8GB DDR4 Memory1TB 7200Rpm SATAWindows 10 Home $499.99Buy
Acer Aspire 5Star_rating_4_of_5AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Processor (Up to 3.5GHz); 4GB128GB SSDWindows 10 in S mode$319.22Buy
Asus VivoBookStar_rating_4_of_5AMD Quad-Core A12 9720P4GB DDR4128GB SSDWindows 10 in S mode$318.00Buy
Flagship HPStar_rating_3_of_5Intel Pentium Gold 4417U4GB DDR4128GB SSDWindows 10$275.00Buy
ASUS VivoBook 15 Think and LightStar_rating_4_of_5AMD Quad-Core R5 3500u8GB DDR4256 GB SSDWindows 10 Home$479.00Buy

#1) Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R5ED Gaming Laptop

Best For Users who want to show the world how serious they are about gaming.
Price: $499.99

Nitro

As one of the more expensive options on the list – Nitro5 comes with a lot of bang for the buck. Not many compromises are made here, with the top-end specs included in a low-end price. The lack of SSD may be a put-off for some, however, you cannot argue with the price.

Features

  • Backlit keyboard
  • 4GB dedicated VRAM
  • Full HD Screen

Cons

  • No SSD Drive
  • Thick Bezels

Technical Specifications

OSWindows 10 Home
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 2500U
RAM8GB DDR4
GraphicsAMD Radeon RX 560X 4GB GDDR5 VRAM
Battery Life48Wh 3220mAh (7 hours)
Hard DiskHDD 7200RPM
Storage1 TB
Display15.6 inches 1920 x 1080
Weight5.07 lb

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#2) Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

Best For Users who want a decent size screen and the ability to work and game in different environments.
Price: $319.18

Acer Aspire

Acer Aspire 5 Slim delivers some top-end features on a budget. With a full high definition screen and a backlit keyboard, these are not the features that you usually find on budget laptops. The 4GB of RAM can leave you wanting for more, but it offers a nice compromise when everything is considered.

Features

  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Full HD Screen
  • Acer TrueHarmony

Cons

  • 4GB RAM

Technical Specifications

OSWindows 10 in S Mode
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 3 3200U
RAM4GB DDR4
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 3
Battery Life3320 mAh (7 hours)
Hard DiskSSD
Storage128GB
Display15.6 inches 1920 x 1080
Weight1.80 kg

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#3) Asus VivoBook 15.6”

Best For Users who want a solid laptop that gets the job done without breaking the bank.
Price: $318.00

Asus VivoBook 15.6

With a price that is very budget-friendly, one has to expect to make a few compromises and this can be the case with the Asus Vivobook. While the users will be happy to know that the unit comes with a Full HD panel, somethings have got to give. Having said that, the laptop is quite good looking and perfect to carry around.

Features

  • Full HD screen
  • SSD Drive
  • 0.3” NanoEdge bezel

Cons

  • 4GB RAM
  • The battery is not as powerful as the other options.

Technical Specifications

OSWindows 10 in S mode
ProcessorAMD Quad-Core A12 9720P
RAM4GB DDR4
GraphicsAMD Radeon R7
Battery Life42WHr 6 hours 43 minutes
Hard DiskSSD
Storage128GB
Display15.6 inches 1920 x 1080
Weight5.52 lbs

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#4) Flagship HP 14” Laptop

Best For Users who want a basic laptop that is ultra-portable and still feels good.
Price: $275

HP Flagship 14

At such a lowly price, the Flagship HP 14” is one of the cheapest options on the list. Beautifully designed with an ash silver keyboard frame, this laptop lacks many of the gaming-focused features of its competition, yet still includes an SSD drive and the capability of processing 4K video.

Features

  • Higher DPI than some of the other options.
  • Ultra-portable form factor.

Cons

  • No Full HD resolution.
  • The budget processor may struggle.

Technical Specifications

OSWindows 10
ProcessorIntel Pentium Gold 4417U
RAM4GB DDR4
GraphicsIntel HD 610
Battery Life41 Wh Li-ion
Hard DiskSSD
Storage128GB
Display14” 1366 x 768
Weight3.15 lbs

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#5) ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin And Light Laptop

Best For Users who want to run more resource-intensive games with ease in a nice looking package.
Price: $479.99

ASUS VivoBook 15

As far as gaming laptops go, this unit is one of the better options on offer. With a quad-core processor and 8GB of RAM, you will be able to run more resource-intensive games on this laptop. The Full HD screen should also help you to get images that are more crisp and detailed.

Features

  • Larger SSD capacity than the competition.
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Quad-core CPU

Cons

  • No backlit keyboard.
  • Integrated graphics card.

Technical Specifications

OSWindows 10 Home
ProcessorAMD Quad Core R5 3500u
RAM8GB DDR4
GraphicsAMD Radeon RX Vega 8
Battery Life37 WHr
Hard DiskSSD
Storage256 GB
Display15.6 inches 1920 x 1080
Weight3.5 lbs

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#6) Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15.6”

Best For Casual gamers on a budget looking for a solid laptop.
Price: $235.30

Lenovo Ideapad S145

At half the price of the competition, the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 offers some serious competition with a few compromises along the way. There is no SSD or Full HD screen here i.e. not many games will run at full settings. What you do get is one neat laptop and the reliability Lenovo is known for.

Features

  • Generous storage space
  • Anti-glare screen
  • Dolby Audio

Cons

  • No Full HD panel
  • Mediocre battery life
  • No SSD Drive

Technical Specifications

OSWindows 10 Home
ProcessorAMD A6 9225
RAM4GB DDR4
GraphicsAMD Radeon R4
Battery Life30WHr (4 hours)
Hard DiskHDD
Storage500GB
Display15.6 inches 1366 x 768
Weight4.08 lbs

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#7) Dell Inspiron 15.6 Inch

Best For Users looking for a solid, well-built, and fast laptop.
Price: $449.00

Dell Inspirion 15.6

The Dell Inspirion range has been around for quite some time now. It has amassed a following making somewhat of a staple when it comes to both budget and high-end laptops. This version offers a value-driven proposition for those looking to purchase a solid laptop.

Features

  • Intel Core i5 CPU
  • 8GB RA
  • Touchscreen Panel

Cons

  • No Full HD screen
  • Integrated graphics card.

Technical Specifications

OSWindows 10 Home
ProcessorIntel Core i5 7200U
RAM8GB DDR
GraphicsIntel HD 620
Battery LifeNA
Hard DiskSSD
Storage256GB
Display15.5 inches 1366 x 768
Weight4.85 pounds

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#8) HP 14” Laptop

Best For Users who want a very portable laptop at a decent price.
Price: $275.00

HP 14

With a 14” screen, the HP 14” laptop makes for a very portable machine. The Intel Pentium Gold processor means you will not be able to run the latest high-end games, however, with an HD 14” panel you will get a higher DPI (Dots Per Inch) than many of the other laptops on offer.

Features

  • Lightweight and ultraportable.
  • Dual speakers
  • Type-C USB port

Cons

  • Budget processor
  • No Full HD display

Technical Specifications

OSWindows 10
ProcessorIntel Pentium Gold 4417U
RAM4GB DDR4
GraphicsIntel HD 610
Battery Life41 Wh
Hard DiskSSD
Storage128 GB
Display14 inches 1366 x 768
Weight3.09 lbs

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#9) HP 15.6” HD Touch-Screen Laptop Notebook Computer

Best For Users looking for an allrounder that is able to handle a decent load without a sweat.
Price: $429.00

hp 156

This laptop goes one step above the entry-level components to offer the users a well-rounded machine. With a Ryzen 5 CPU and 8GB of RAM, this laptop can handle a heavier load than many of its competition. The HD panel might be a letdown for some users, however, for the budget-friendly price it packs a lot of punch.

Features

  • Mid-range processor
  • 8GB of RAM
  • SSD drive for fast load times.
  • Touchscreen

Cons

  • No Full HD screen
  • No backlit keyboard

Technical Specifications:

OSWindows 10 Home
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 3500U
RAM8GB DDR4
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 8
Battery LifeNA
Hard DiskSSD
Storage128GB
Display15.6 inches 1366 x 768
Weight3.88 lbs

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#10) ASUS VivoBook F510QA 15.6”

Best For Users who want a strong and fast laptop that is able to handle multi-tasking without suffering.
Price: $424.00

Asus Vivobook

The Asus VivoBook certainly has a lot to offer. At 16GB, this machine is certainly the most generous in the RAM department. With 2 hard drives, you will also have plenty of storage space available. The CPU offers decent performance with Radeon R7 offering enough performance to let you play a range of different games.

Features

  • 16GB of RAM
  • Has SSD + HDD
  • Full HD panel

Cons

  • CPU is not the lastest generation.
  • No backlit keyboard.

Technical Specifications

OSWindows 10 in S mode
ProcessorAMD Quad-Core A12 9720P
RAM16GB DDR4
GraphicsAMD Radeon R7
Battery Life6 hours
Hard DiskSSD + HDD
Storage256GB + 1TB
Display15.6 inches 1920 x 1080
Weight4.41 lbs

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Conclusion

When it comes to buying a gaming laptop under $500, there are quite a few options one can go for. The most important thing is to first understand what type of gaming you want to do, then try to understand which compromises you are willing to make.

Suggested reading =>> Best Gaming Laptops In India

Top Overall Winner

As far as gaming laptops go, we have to crown Acer Nitro 5 as the overall winner. With a dedicated video card running 4GB of GDDR VRAM, a full HD display, and a backlit keyboard, it has everything that a gaming laptop should have.

Sure, the mechanical hard drive is a bit of a downer but everything considers it as one tradeoff that we are willing to make.

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Review Process:

  • Time Taken To Research This Article: 8 Hours
  • Total Products Researched: 10
  • Top Products Shortlisted: 10
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