Affordability or Quality? A tough choice indeed! We are often limited by our budget, but the latest innovations and evolutions of technology have put high-performance gaming laptops within the reach of budget users.
Why settle for less when you can have that sweet spot of performance you seek without the high price tag? Today, brands are competing to provide value-packed performance laptops that are both affordable and reliable.
To help you out, I have curated a list of 10 best gaming laptops under 500 dollars that I have personally tested and reviewed.
So, whether you are a seasoned gamer looking for a backup or a novice diving into your first adventure, you will definitely find your ideal gaming rig in the guide below.
Without any further ado, let’s dive deep into the world of amazing gaming laptops that provide the perfect blend of performance and affordability.
- Top 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 Reviewed in 2023
- 1. Acer Aspire 5 – Best Acer Gaming Laptop Under 500
- 2. ASUS VivoBook 15 – Best ASUS Gaming Laptop Under 500 Dollars
- 3. Lenovo Chromebook Flex i3 – Best 2-in-1 Gaming Laptop Under $500
- 4. HP Notebook – Best Affordable Gaming Laptop Under 500
- 5. Microsoft Surface Go – Best Premium Gaming Laptop Under 500
- 6. HP 17 Laptop – Best HP Gaming Laptop Under $500
- 7. HP Pavilion Laptop – Best Budget Gaming Laptop Under $500
- 8. Lenovo IdeaPad 3i – Best 12th Gen Gaming Laptop Under 500 Dollars
- 9. Dell Inspiron 15 – Best Dell Gaming Laptop Under 500
- 10. Dell Inspiron 14 – Best 14 Inch Gaming Laptop Under 500
- How to Select the Best Gaming Laptop Under $500 in 2023: Buyer’s Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up!
Top 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 Reviewed in 2023
Here’s a quick look at our top picks in 2023.
|1.||Acer Aspire 5||AMD Ryzen 3 3200U||4 GB DDR4|
|2.||ASUS VivoBook 15||Intel i3-1005G1||8 GB DDR4|
|3.||Lenovo Chromebook Flex i3||Intel i3-10110U||4 GB DDR4|
|4.||HP Notebook||Intel Core i3-1005G1||8 GB DDR4|
|5.||Microsoft Surface Go||Intel Core i5-1035G1||8 GB DDR4|
|6.||HP 17 Laptop||Intel Core i3 11th Gen||4 GB DDR4|
|7.||HP Pavilion Laptop||Intel Pentium N5000||16 GB DDR4|
|8.||Lenovo IdeaPad 3i||Intel Core i5 12th Gen||8 GB DDR4|
|9.||Dell Inspiron 15||Intel Celeron N4020||16 GB DDR4|
|10.||Dell Inspiron 14||Intel Core i5-1235U||8 GB DDR4|
Can’t find what you were looking for? Perhaps if can tune your budget up a notch, you will find a more suitable laptop for your needs in our guide to best gaming laptops under $700.
Now, let’s take a look at the amazing features of these gaming beasts and what they actually have to offer you.
1. Acer Aspire 5 – Best Acer Gaming Laptop Under 500
Acer Aspire 5 is one such laptop that grabbed my eye when I was looking for the best gaming laptop under 500.
Acer is a renowned name in the computer industry that has manufactured reputable laptops, PCs, and other hardware, especially in relation to gaming. The Aspire 5 is one of their most versatile editions.
This laptop is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 3 processor that provides exceptional performance and speed for all your needs. Whether you need the laptop for personal gaming or professional tasks, it won’t let you down.
Powered by Radeon Vega graphics, this laptop offers a higher gaming performance compared to the integrated graphic chips in other laptops. Hence, you can enjoy your favorite games in your free time.
The laptop is also equipped with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD storage that add to its superfast performance and provide a reliable gaming experience.
With a backlit keyboard and extensive connectivity options, the applications of this laptop expand, and the ease of use also increases.
You can run your favorite apps and games on the Windows 10 operating system. Though it comes in S more, you can easily switch out of it for free.
One of the most versatile gaming laptops renowned for its unmatchable performance and functionality. The Acer Aspire 5 is considered the ultimate laptop for gaming under 500.
2. ASUS VivoBook 15 – Best ASUS Gaming Laptop Under 500 Dollars
If you are more prone to Intel processors, I can totally respect that. Intel’s performance is undisputed when it comes to long and consistent operations, and they have made their name in the gaming industry as well.
When looking for a good gaming laptop under 500 dollars, it is difficult to miss the ASUS VivoBook 15.
The laptop comes with a Full-HD 15.6-inch display coupled with Intel UHD graphics and amazing performance that allows you to enjoy your favorite games and complete your professional tasks all in one place.
ASUS is a reputable name in the laptop world, especially in the gaming industry. The VivoBook 15 is their value-packed edition that strongly competes with other budget-friendly laptops for the top spot.
It is often considered the most premium gaming laptop for low-budget users. The laptop has a sleek and stunning finish and comes with a wide range of attractive features.
Equipped with a 10th Gen Intel processor, the laptop provides exceptional performance which is further enhanced with superfast memory and storage.
Furthermore, the lightweight design of the laptop adds to the portability and makes it convenient for you to take the laptop outdoors. Hence, you are not limited to enjoying your favorite games only in 4 walls.
Without a doubt, ASUS VivoBook 15 is definitely worth considering when looking at economical laptops for gaming. Its exceptional power and features make it a worthy option.
3. Lenovo Chromebook Flex i3 – Best 2-in-1 Gaming Laptop Under $500
If you are looking to save money and go for the laptop that offers the most in terms of affordability without compromising on quality, then you won’t find any better than the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3.
One of the best 2-in-1 laptops comes with a 10th Gen i3 processor and impressive specs which include 4 GB DDR4 RAM and 64 GB of SSD storage.
Although the storage is a bit limiting, you can use the SD card slot to expand the storage and increase your options.
The laptop is 360 degrees convertible which means you can use it both as a laptop and as a tablet device. The ChromeOS gives you a way into Google Play Store, allowing you full access to all Android games and apps.
So, if you were finding your mobile screen limiting for some games, this is your chance to dominate. You will be able to set new records and reach soaring heights with this amazing gaming device.
But that’s not all, the laptop also comes with the versatility of a modern device. It offers the latest connectivity options and allows you to keep up to date with modern trends. The sleek finish also makes it perfect for professional use.
One of the best 2-in-1 laptops for gaming under 500 dollars that comes with impressive specs and offers some of the best features you can find in a low-budget laptop.
4. HP Notebook – Best Affordable Gaming Laptop Under 500
HP is certainly the most renowned laptop and computer brand that no one is unfamiliar with. They have a wide range of devices that touch every hardware piece that is related to computers. It is very difficult to doubt their competence.
So, when it comes to gaming laptops, one should never underestimate their budget-packed models. The ASUS Notebook 15 is one such laptop that comes with a 10th Gen Core i3 processor coupled with 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 256 GB SSD storage.
Although the base frequency of the processor is at 1.20 GHz, you can boost it up to 3.40 GHz with the overclocking ability allowing you to unleash the true potential of games.
The gaming performance is further enhanced by the Intel Smart Cache memory which prevents unusual crashes and breakdown of some of the more demanding games.
With a 15.6-inch display HD display, you will be able to fully immerse in your favorite games without a worry in the world.
One thing you should definitely take into account is that even at a price this low, the laptop offers double the memory and storage as compared to its competitors.
Not only this, it offers all of the latest connectivity options that include a Type C port as well for connecting your latest devices with the laptop.
One of the top choices when you are searching for the best HP laptop for gaming under $500. With impressive RAM and storage, you have all the power you need to play most of your desired games in this budget.
5. Microsoft Surface Go – Best Premium Gaming Laptop Under 500
So, if you are more of a professional guy only seeking occasional breaks and need a laptop that can provide the best solution for both worlds, the Microsoft Surface Go is definitely worth a look.
Hailed as one of the most versatile gaming laptops under 500 bucks, this amazing device certainly exceeds one’s expectations.
It is equipped with a PixelSense display which is unmatched both in clarity and color reproduction, providing you most vibrant and crisp visuals you can expect.
The touchscreen interface coupled with ChromeOS provides a perfect platform for playing your favorite Android games.
The laptop is equipped with a 10th Gen Core i5 processor combined with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and 256 GB of storage which certainly exceeds what one might expect in this price range.
These specs are more than enough for anyone who is looking for some serious performance.
However, the screen size is a bit limiting for those who are after PC Games like Call of Duty or Watchdogs. But, if you are more into classics and strategy games, this laptop will satisfy your cravings.
A premium-grade laptop designed for excellence both in performance and in visuals. The portability of this laptop is unmatched.
If you have a lower budget, then perhaps you should consider taking a look at our list of best gaming laptops under 400.
6. HP 17 Laptop – Best HP Gaming Laptop Under $500
So, if you are one of those gamers who want to enjoy the most immersive gaming experience without making a deep hole in your wallet, you will find this HP 17 Laptop perfect for your needs.
This laptop comes with a whopping 17.3-inch display size with HD+ resolution that offers stunning visuals and crisp graphics to ensure an immersive and captivating gaming experience.
Combined with an 11th-generation processor and Ultra-HD graphic chipset, the laptop ensures that you are able to run your favorite games and enjoy them to the fullest.
Not only this, but the laptop also comes with a long-lasting battery that will last throughout the day and let you play games even outdoors or away from a power socket.
Adding to this, with superfast 4 GB DDR4 RAM and high-performance 256 GB SSD storage, this device guarantees superior performance for complex needs.
The laptop also features extensive connectivity options providing you with 7 ports and the latest undisputed wireless connectivity.
With 8 hours of battery life and fast-charging capability, the laptop really pushes the boundaries of productivity and provides you with a perfect platform for both work and play.
Personally, I love this laptop, but I have placed it at 6th rank because some users find the large screen size inconvenient. The stunning visuals and massive display make it one of the best laptops for gaming under 500.
7. HP Pavilion Laptop – Best Budget Gaming Laptop Under $500
This laptop is a special and exclusive edition designed for gamers and professionals alike. It comes in a Scarlet Red design with a stunning body and impressive performance.
With a superfast processor and amazing performance capabilities, the laptop can handle the toughest of tasks and provide you with a satisfactory gaming experience.
This experience is enhanced by the 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 1 TB of SSD superfast storage that provide unmatchable performance and functionality.
With the latest Operating System, you not only can play PC games but also run Android applications on this laptop.
The visuals are beyond impressive. The laptop has a diagonal HD display and offers 220 nits of brightness supported with BrightView technology. You get amazing color reproduction that will truly take your gaming graphics to a whole new level.
Furthermore., the laptop is also equipped with the latest connectivity options and is Miracast compatible.
As a gift, there is nothing better for a gamer. You will absolutely stand out at the party and develop a special spot for yourself in the heart of the person you are giving it to.
A perfect gift for gamers and professionals alike. The HP Pavilion is an amazing choice for those who are looking for budget gaming laptops under 500.
8. Lenovo IdeaPad 3i – Best 12th Gen Gaming Laptop Under 500 Dollars
Unlike other laptops on the list, this one stands out with its 12th Gen Core i5 processor which takes the performance beyond superior and ensures you have all the power you need to run some of the advanced games.
With a 15.6-inch Full-HD display and Iris Xe graphic interface, you will get to experience amazing visuals and immersive gameplay.
The laptop is hailed for its high color accuracy and contrast which are pushed to their absolute limit with a 4-sided narrow bezel design, giving you much more screen space to enjoy.
It is also considered an essential laptop for your business needs. The sleek design and stunning lightweight body of the laptop are considered one of the thinnest, which ensures high portability and convenient traveling.
The most amazing feature is certainly the 3 months free Xbox Game Pass you get which gets you access to most of the advanced games for free.
Moreover, the extensive connectivity options provide faster data delivery and ensure you can connect to multiple devices at once.
One of the most premium laptops for gaming comes with exceptionally great visuals and excellent performance capabilities. Certainly, a choice worth considering.
9. Dell Inspiron 15 – Best Dell Gaming Laptop Under 500
The laptop comes with an Intel Celeron Processor that has 2 cores and 2 threads and the base frequency can be overclocked to 2.8 GHz which provides excellent performance for handling complex tasks.
Combined with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and 1 TB of superfast SSD storage, you have monstrous performance in your hands that will allow you to play demanding games.
With a 15.6-inch Full-HD Anti-Glare Display, you will be able to enjoy high-quality graphics with vibrant and crisp visuals.
The laptop also offers a wide range of connectivity options including the latest ports, headphone jack, and card reader.
With the latest Operating System at your disposal, you will be able to enjoy the latest applications and games. The Windows 11 OS also provides you access to Android games.
The laptop is compact and portable. It comes with a long-lasting battery life that gives an 8-hour usage time. So, you can take the laptop out without worrying about the charge.
The latest model of Dell Inspiron 15 comes with massive storage space and high-speed RAM that really pushes the boundaries of performance and provides you with an exquisite gaming experience.
10. Dell Inspiron 14 – Best 14 Inch Gaming Laptop Under 500
With a 12th Gen Core i5 processor combined with 8 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD storage, the laptop is a powerhouse and ensures you get the highest possible performance when needed.
The processor has 10 cores and 12 MB Cache memory which can push the base clock speed up to an amazing 4.4 GHz, allowing you to experience highly demanding games.
With a 14-inch 2K display that features 200 nits of brightness and is supported by ComfortView technology, you get the most vibrant and colorful gaming visuals.
Adding to this, the laptop provides you with the latest technological connectivity ports which include 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports that offer both DisplayPort functionality and power delivery.
One often feels a lack in the laptop when it comes to sound quality, but with Dell Inspiron 14, you get amazing audio quality combined.
You will also love this laptop as a business professional as it makes conference calling a breeze. Equipped with an HD camera, a dual array of microphones, and smart AI technology that reduces background noise, you can hold your calls with confidence.
The Dell Inspiron 14 is definitely one of the best laptops for gaming under 500. With amazing specs and an unmatchable visual performance, you the best gaming experience you can expect.
How to Select the Best Gaming Laptop Under $500 in 2023: Buyer’s Guide
I believe $500 is a good budget and you can find some really good gaming laptops in this price bracket. However, there are certain features that you need to prioritize since you can’t get everything within $500.
So, to help you out, I have curated this buyer’s guide to the unique needs of a gamer in this budget range. This guide will provide detailed insights into features that actually matter when you look for a gaming laptop under $500.
Power & Performance
Gaming cannot exist without a powerful processor. You need to have a reliable processor that can handle complex information to ensure efficient gaming performance.
While the choice of AMD and Intel remains under never-ending debate, I personally believe AMD provides better gaming performance.
However, with a 500-dollar budget, you can find some really good intel processors that have multiple cores and threads and support heavy-duty performance.
Although dedicated graphic memory is still a rare concept in this range, you may find some integrated graphics like Radeon Vega, Intel UHD, and Intel Iris Xe that provide impressive graphic performance.
Memory & Storage
The standard RAM you should go for is 4 GB DDR4 RAM which would be easy to get in this budget. But if you find options with 8 GB or 16 GB capacity they are even better.
RAM is an essential component of your system that enhances gaming performance and allows you to play demanding games with high graphic settings.
It combines with the dedicated graphic memory to create shared memory for a reliable gaming experience.
As for storage, the HDDs are now considered an outdated version. You should always go for SSDs that not only provide fast and reliable access to information but also keep your data secure.
The SSDs enhance the overall performance of your laptop. A game installed on an SSD drive will give much better performance and will be less prone to crashing or breaking during gameplay as compared to an HDD drive.
If you are a passionate gamer, then you will always want to play games fully equipped as a gamer.
Action and Adventure games that feature first-person or third-person gameplay require an external mouse. So, you must ensure that your laptop comes with the latest connectivity options including both wired and wireless connectivity.
These ports will also add to the versatile functionality of your laptop, ensuring you can handle other day-to-day tasks and meet your professional needs.
Compactness & Portability
One of the main reasons people opt for a gaming laptop and not a gaming computer is for portability. It would all go to waste if you had a heavy and bulky laptop that is difficult to carry around.
Modern laptops come in slim and lightweight designs that are easier to carry around while providing better power and efficiency as compared to their ancestors.
Hence, you must ensure that the laptop meets your needs for portability and compactness while considering other features.
They mainly depend on screen size and resolution, but you should also pay attention to the brightness nits your screen is offering and what kind of display you have.
If you want to enjoy an immersive gaming experience, make sure you have an IPS display with wide viewing angles. The more nits of brightness you have in the display, the better gaming visuals you will experience. Never compromise on this feature.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a $500 laptop run Fortnite?
While you won’t be able to run the game on full specs, you can definitely run it on medium settings. The laptops we have discussed above come with amazing specs that exceed the minimum requirements for Fortnite.
2. What is the best gaming laptop under $500?
While the choices can vary depending on personal preferences, I believe Acer Aspire 5 to be the ideal option. The laptop offers amazing performance and is powered by a Radeon Vega graphic interface.
3. Is A Gaming Laptop Under $500 Worth It?
Absolutely! While a $500 gaming laptop may not offer ultra-high settings on the latest games, it can provide a decent gaming experience. So, budget-conscious users can enjoy some of their favorite games.
To sum it all up, navigating the world of gaming doesn’t require you to empty your bank account.
As we have explored together, there are numerous options that are available under the 500-dollar bracket, and they promise a memorable gaming experience.
Whether you want to play some of the latest trends like Fortnite or want to enjoy your old favorite games in high graphics, the best gaming laptops under 500 bucks can provide an excellent experience.
If I were to recommend one, I would definitely ask you to go with Acer Aspire 5 considering the amazing power and performance capabilities and also the plethora of versatile features it offers.
Here’s to your many new exciting gaming adventures that lie ahead, without a hefty price tag!