Gone are the days when one had to sit in front of a desktop or gaming console to enjoy games. Now, you can find gaming laptops that can support even the heaviest of titles. However, gaming laptops don’t come cheap.
The best gaming laptop needs good RAM, space, memory, graphics card, and sound. If you ever search for the best gaming laptop, you will be surprised at how expensive they can get.
But, do not let the price worry you as we have selected the best gaming laptops under $500 reviewed each one for you.
They offer amazing specs and support most titles, if not all.
Let’s dig in!
Before we give you details, we thought a comparison table might just help you make a quick decision.
Best Gaming Laptop Under $500 Comparison Table
- Best Gaming Laptop Under $500 Comparison Table
- Top 8 Best Gaming Laptop Under $500 You Should Buy 2021 Reviews
HP15.6’ Touchscreen Laptop
|(4.1 / 5)|
Dell Inspiron 15 5000
|(3.5 / 5)|
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
|(4.3 / 5)|
ASUS VivoBook F510UA
|(3.4 / 5)|
HP Flagship 17.3 inches Laptop
|(3.3 / 5)|
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IKB
|(4 / 5)|
ASUS Vivobook F705QA
|(3.5 / 5)|
Panasonic Toughbook CF-53
|(5 / 5)|
Now that we’ve summarized each one in the comparison table let’s get into each one in a bit more detail.
In the review section, we’ll be comparing these eight best gaming laptops based on their performance and specifications. We have highlighted all the features to help you make an informed decision.
Top 8 Best Gaming Laptop Under $500 You Should Buy 2021 Reviews
1 HP15.6’ Touchscreen Laptop
HP is known to be one of the most reliable brands out there and this beauty does not fail.
Decent, reliable and fairly equipped is what comes to mind while looking into the HP i5-8250U. Its 15.6 inches, 1366 x 768 HD touchscreen makes it quite attractive. You might not have to use the touchscreen while gaming but it can make a lot of difference to your overall experience. Plus, it is WLED backlit.
But that’s not all; the processor is i5 quad core with 1.6 Gigahertz of power that will support a variety of titles. It packs in a UHD 620 graphics processor.
For storage is a 128 GB SSD drive, this model has an SD card reader so you can enhance the storage.
On the side, there’s a DVD RW drive. Very few laptops today use these drives, however, they may come in handy if you need to write CDs. But, remember that this device looks a bit bulky
You’ll also find stereo speakers with the option to plug in external ones. The built-in set of speakers is pretty good if you ask us.
It has the latest Microsoft OS, which is of course Windows 10 Home – but with its memory capacity you can run parallel operating systems as well.
We enjoyed using the Bluetooth. It connects smoothly. Plus, gamers who like to stream to Twitch will enjoy it even more thanks to a high quality webcam and HDMI port. Plus, the battery is good offering up to 10 hours of run time. However, we noticed that the battery drains quickly when you use it to play games.
It’s only available in silver but there are a ton of third party skin options if you want to get creative.
- Has a separate numeric keypad.
- Screen size offers color and clarity
- Plenty of connection options
- The speakers are loud
- May not support the latest titles
- The battery is not very reliable
2 Dell Inspiron 15 5000
If you are one of those people who really look into each and every inch of a laptop and consider the smallest details before you decide to buy one, you’re in for a surprise. The Dell 15 5000 will blow you away!
It has a 15.6 inch HD backlit full HD touchscreen with true life colors. Not many people pay attention to the screen but it can be the difference maker when it comes to gaming.
Intel’s integrated 620 graphics card ensures you can play most games on the device.
Its 8th Gen i5 quad core processor offers 1.6 GHz of power with a 6MB cache, this means it’s better than an i7-7500U by an average of 26%.
That’s not all …
Instead of a DDR2 you get an 8GB DDR4 SD RAM and a whopping 1TB SATA hard drive. We have a feeling you’re already planning what to do with all that space once you’re done gaming.
The keyboard is backlit, that’s a plus and the laptop has dual band wireless along with Bluetooth 4.2.
On the top, you’ll find an integrated widescreen HD webcam. Ports include an HDMI output, a 2.0 USB port, 2 3.1 USB ports, and stereo speakers with MaxxAudio Pro.
The OS is a Windows 10 Home 64 bit. However, the battery isn’t very good offering only up to 4 hours when playing games.
- Simple, user friendly ergonomic design.
- Easy to handle at under 5 pounds
- Features good stereo speaker quality.
- Does not have a USB C-Port.
- Does not offer high FPS
3 Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
Unleash your creative power with this portable yet powerful laptop from Acer. It supports an i3 8145u 8th generation processor with up to 4 GHz of processing power.
You’ll find that it delivers on every aspect of daily computing and gaming.
With a 4GB DDR4 instead of a DDR2 memory it has a 128 GB PCIe NVMe SSD option.
Let’s move on to the screen, it’s a 15.6 inch full HD 1920 x 1080 widescreen with LED backlight and an IPS display, which supports a UHD 620 graphic capability.
You’ll find that the visuals are crisp and sharp while the bezel is thin, which means you get more screen space.
You won’t find a regular DVD RW on this model due to its thin and compact design but what Acer has given is multiple ports including an HDMI port with HDCP support and multiple types of USB ports include one C Gen.
The Acer Aspire 5 Slim comes with Windows 10 in S Mode as standard OS. You will also like its two built-in stereo speakers along with microphones that make streaming a breeze.
- Has a lithium ion battery which gives you a straight run of 9.5 hours
- Is lightweight at just 1.8 KGS i.e. 3.97 pounds
- Looks very good
- The screen is not very good especially from wide angels
- The WiFi card is of poor quality
4 ASUS VivoBook F510UA
If you are into aesthetics then this ASUS laptop will have you hooked.
This is a powerful budget machine that comes with an Intel Core i5 7200U processor offering 2.5 GHz of power going up to 3.1 GHz.
At only 14.2 inches wide and just 0.8 inches thin, it’s pretty portable. Plus, 0.3 inches of NanoEdge bezel gives it a stunning 80% screen to body ratio!
ASUS has built in a full HD 1920 x 1080 15.6 inches anti-glare screen with a wide view display. You will be able to enjoy a great view, no matter how you use the screen.
Let’s move on to the hardware, you’ll find an 8GB DDR4 RAM and a massive 1 TB HDD. The keyboard has a Chiclet keyboard and a fingerprint sensor. Some users may take a little while to get used to the laptop, but you will enjoy gaming once you get comfortable using this beauty.
It comes with all the ports that you need including the traditional USB port. The latest Type C port is also there in addition to an HDMI cable.
Plus, it runs for about 5 hours when gaming but it may not be able to support a lot of titles since it does not have a dedicated graphics card. The manufacturers are selling it as a gaming laptop but it’s only suitable for light games.
Also, we didn’t like the sound quality much.
- Has immersive screen display
- Excellent Bluetooth and WiFi connections
- The keyboard is spacious and nearly soundless
- You may require PSU extension cables.
5 HP Flagship 17.3 inches Laptop
It comes with a 17.3 inches HD and WLED backlit display. Hence, get your hands on this beauty if you are looking for a laptop with a large screen. Despite the large screen, it offers up to 7.5 hours of runtime and weighs under 6 lbs, hence you will not have much of a problem in carrying it.
Its glossy screen has BrightView technology that coupled with 1600 x 900 resolution ensures you love what you see on the screen. Every detail in the game will be clearly highlighted. However, some users feel that the screen may be too bright.
The processor is an Intel Core i5 7200 U which has a processing capability of up to 3.1 GHz.
It comes with a 6GB DDR4 RAM with 1 TB HDD hard drive and also has a DVD and CD burner installed.
On the other side, you’ll find both an HDMI port and a USB 3.0 output port along with an Intel HD 620 Graphics card and LAN expansion slots.
It comes with Windows 10 OS that works smoothly. In addition to gaming, you can enjoy movies and songs on this thanks to its incredibly loud dual speakers offering DTS studio sound.
- The huge screen looks great
- The keyboard is full size and has a numeric pad
- Quite good at multitasking
- The front facing webcam is VGA
- The keyboard is not backlit
6 Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IKB
This model from Lenovo has a premium finish which makes it a good option for users who want an attractive laptop. Its 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor offering 2.5 GHz of processing power ensures it can run a large number of games.
Inside the machine, you’ll find an 8GD DDR4 memory. This is enough to run most games. It will especially come in handy if you’re a heavy user and run multiple programs all in one go, so needless to say this is definitely for the multi-tasker.
Let’s have a look at the screen and display now.
The IdeaPad 320 has an HD screen resolution with a 15 inch display that uses anti-glare technology. You will enjoy playing games a lot as it offers great views from all the angles.
Top that up with its Dolby Audio optimized speakers and we have a laptop that’s made for gaming. Its Windows 10 Home OS is easy to use thanks to Cortana, which works as a personal assistant.
- The touchpad has been redesigned to support multi-finger gestures
- Comes in a sleek unibody chassis with playful tone-on-tone platinum grey
- Has been treated with a protective finish
- Has an optical drive
- The hard disk can be a bit slow to respond
- The battery life is not very good
7 ASUS Vivobook F705QA
The ASUS F705 offers aesthetics and performance both in the same package, with an efficient AMD A12 processor, it might just be the ideal budget gaming laptop making it one of the best gaming laptops under $500.
Its processor is an AMD quad core A12 offers up to 3.6 GHz of power. However, one department it truly excels in is the screen. It features a 17.3 inches large HD+ display with 1600 x 900 capabilities and a matte finish.
We played some titles and loved what we say. The speed was great and we didn’t complain of headache or other such issues. Its powerful 8GD DDR4 memory makes it suitable for gaming. Plus, the 1 TD FireCuda physical hybrid HDD storage is enough.
As standard, ASUS offers Windows 10 Home on this device with a backlit Chiclet keyboard. It has all the important ports including an HDMI port, a traditional UBS port, and a USB C port.
We noticed that it runs for about 7 hours even when gaming, hence you will not have to worry about running to a charger every few hours. However, it may be a good idea to give it breaks as it lacks powerful fans and may heat up if you continue to use it for extended hours.
- Quite easy to maintain as it is light in weight
- The WiFi connection is quite strong
- Looks pretty good
- Heats up pretty quickly
- Sounds from the speakers come from the bottom so they get muffled.
8 Panasonic Toughbook CF-53
This top of the line portable carry laptop from Panasonic has an Intel Core i5 – 4310U dual-core processor which gives you 2.0 GHz processing power that is enough to run some old and new titles.
The company is not known for making laptops but this beauty will surely leave you impressed as it is quite durable and has a unique shape.
It features an 8 GB memory that ensures the laptop works smoothly. Plus, its 500 GB physical HDD is enough to install multiple games and apps. It is not designed as a gaming laptop but it can be used to play some light titles.
The screen size is apt 14 inch LED backlit with anti glare technology offering 1366 x 768 resolution.
It’s meant for rugged use and has security features including an HDD user password and a Kensington cable lock slot amongst other security knick knacks.
Panasonic have included Windows 10 Pro as standard software on this device.
- Unique, briefcase-like design makes it easy to handle
- Is meant for tough, rugged use
- The WiFi range is phenomenal
- Quite heavy at about 19 pounds
- Is not easily upgradable
These were the eight best laptops under $500; however, some might be slightly above the $500 mark.
You’ll find that most will do the job just fine, but if it were up to us we’d chose the new 2019 HP 15.6’ Intel Quad Core i5-8250U.
Not only does it have a touchscreen but also a separate numeric pad. Similarly, the screen size is a comfortable 15.6 inches which is pretty good. You can also choose a model with a larger screen size but they may be harder to manage.
With 8GB DDR4 RAM, it will play most games. However, remember that most gaming laptops under $500 will not support the latest gaming titles as they require a dedicated graphics card.
You can, however, choose an affordable laptop and upgrade it as desired to get more out of the machine. So, look at the options discussed above and pick one that suits you the best.