Playing video games doesn’t have to be expensive.
If you don’t have the money to afford the premium gaming laptops, there are more affordable options available, like the best gaming laptop under 500 dollars.
If you have a higher budget, please check out: best gaming laptops
You don’t have to worry because even if they are more affordable than premium gaming laptops, they have enough power to run any type of game you want.
If you are on a tight budget, here are some of the best and the most affordable laptops that you can buy for gaming.
Just because you have a smaller budget doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to game on a laptop. There are several great options when it come to buying a gaming laptop under $500. In this roundup the 25pc crew reviews the 3 best gaming laptops under $500.
- 1 Best Gaming Laptop Under 500 Dollars: A Review
- 2 How to Buy a Gaming Laptop on a Budget
- 3 How We Made Our Picks
- 4 Final Verdict
Best Gaming Laptop Under 500 Dollars: A Review
1. HP 14″ Premium FHD IPS Laptop
HP is not a popular brand when it comes to gaming, but the new 2020 HP 14″ Premium FHD IPS Laptop is definitely one of the most affordable gaming laptops that you can buy right now.
Its specifications are powerful enough to run most of the games that you want to play.
The HP 14″ Premium FHD IPS Laptop comes with a powerful 10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G4 processor with 1.1GHz up to 3.7GHz frequency.
It gives you enough power to stream, surf, and play high-resolution games, as well as browse on the Internet all at the same time without experiencing lags or delays.
You can also edit photos and videos faster, and you can move from one program to another smoothly.
The HP 14″ Premium FHD IPS Laptop has a 14-inch FHD IPS BrightView display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution.
It provides crisp and clear images for you to enjoy the graphics of your games fully.
Other hardware features include two USB 3.1 Type-A, one USB 3.1 Type-C, one Media Card Reader, and one HDMI 1.4b.
Along with its Intel Core i5 CPU, it comes with the 10nm Ice Lake GPU and an upgraded 8GB DDR4 RAM that lets you open multiple applications and games without lags and delays.
It also has a 128GB SSD so you can save files and store data faster.
The HP 14″ Premium FHD IPS Laptop has a very thin and light build with a weight of about 3.24 pounds and a height of 0.7 inches.
As such, you can take this laptop anywhere you want and play games.
2. Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15.6″ Laptop
When it comes to budget laptops and computers, Lenovo is always one of the best options.
Known for its sturdy laptops and computers, Lenovo managed to create a decent gaming laptop for people who are on a tight budget.
The Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15.6″ Laptop is a pretty decent gaming machine that you can use on the go.
The size of the laptop is pretty decent for a gaming machine since it has a 15.6-inch display.
Its body material is plastic or polycarbonate, so they managed to reduce the weight, so it would be very portable.
To be precise, it weighs around 4.1 pounds.
The Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15.6″ Laptop comes with a 7th Generation AMD Core A6-9225 processor with two cores, 1MB cache and up to 3.0GHz max turbo.
The specifications are good enough to perform streaming, video editing, and playing high-resolution games.
It also comes with a 15.6-inch HD display with a 220nits anti-glare feature as well as an AMD Radeon R4 graphics card.
For basic multitasking, the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 comes with a 4GB DDR4-2133 RAM and 500GB HDD to store all of your files.
Other hardware features include one USB 2.0, two USB 3.1, one HDMI, 4-in-1 card reader, 802.11 AC with Bluetooth 4.2, and headphone and mic combo.
The only downside of this laptop is the 4GB RAM.
You will need to upgrade it to at least 8GB for the laptop to be a decent gaming machine, as most games would eat up a lot of memory space.
3. ASUS 15.6″ X555QA Laptop
ASUS is another known brand when it comes to high-performance and affordable laptops.
Whether it is for games or just general tasks, their laptops are definitely one of the best in terms of value and specifications.
The ASUS 15.6″ X555QA Laptop is one of their latest models explicitly designed for gaming.
The ASUS 15.6″ X555QA Laptop is a gaming machine introduced as a cheaper and more affordable alternative to the ASUS F510UA 15 that runs with an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor.
It runs with an AMD A12-9720P 2.7 GHz up to 3.6 GHz quad-core processor along with an AMD Radeon R7 graphics card.
AMD processors are made for gaming, so it provides an edge over the ASUS F510UA 15.
It features a 15.6-inch Anti-glare HD display with 1920 x 1080 pixels.
The ASUS 15.6″ X555QA Laptop comes with an 8GB DDR4 memory to provide better multitasking and 128GB SSD for faster storage and retrieval of data.
It is also upgradeable, so if you want to play a particular game and your RAM and storage are not enough, you can improve them anytime.
Other hardware includes Bluetooth 4.0, 802_11_AC, HD audio with stereo speakers, card reader, fingerprint reader, webcam, one USB 3.1 Type-C, one USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, HDMI, and integrated speaker and microphone.
How to Buy a Gaming Laptop on a Budget
When you're on a budget, you usually have to compromise some aspect of the thing you are buying. At under $500, you will likely need to compromise between processor speed, hard drive space, RAM, video/audio quality, and other factors. Here's what you should consider when deciding between which budget gaming laptop is best for you.
RAM or random access memory is arguably the most important thing to consider when buying a laptop for gaming. In simplest terms, more RAM equals more speed, thus a smoother gaming experience. You will generally want at least 8GB of RAM to have a good gaming experience. For any sort of streaming, you're going to want even more.
One thing to consider with RAM however is whether you can update your current device. There may be some laptops(like the Acer Aspire) which comes with low RAM but has other good features. You can buy more RAM however and install it on the device.
You have likely heard of Intel and AMD. These two are the biggest players when it comes to processors. Consensus is that Intels are generally better than AMDs in this regard. The i3,i5 and i7 are considered the best CPUs for gaming.
Hard Drive: SDD vs HDD
When it comes to hard drives you have soft disk drives (SDD) and hard disk drives (HDD). Generally SDDs are much better for gaming as they minimize download times on your computer. For under $500 however, you are most likely going to need to settle for an HDD. Luckily, it is easy to upgrade your HDD to a SDD in the future.
How We Made Our Picks
ValueGamers does the research so you don’t have to. We scoured the web for the best gaming laptops under $500 and compiled this list based on the following criteria:
- If there were multiple reviews of the product online
- It was Amazon Prime eligible
- It had at least 20 reviews on Amazon
After meeting our criteria, we got to dissecting every aspect of our master list and bucketing each device into what each is best for. A laptop may be great but it may not be great for your situation, and that is where we are trying to find the most value for you, our reader.
The best of the best gaming laptop under 500 dollars on this list would be the ASUS 15.6″ X555QA Laptop.
In terms of specifications, it is clearly superior, especially the AMD processor and graphics card that is made specifically for gaming purposes.
The HP 14″ Premium FHD IPS Laptop is pretty good with its Intel i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, but the display is too small for gamers.
It’s pretty decent, but the 14-inch display is not enough to provide a more immersive gaming experience.
The Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15.6″ Laptop is a decent gaming machine with an AMD processor and graphics card, but the 4GB of RAM is too low.
Although you can make an upgrade, it is still below the capabilities of the ASUS 15.6″ X555QA Laptop, and the price is almost the same, so it is not really a good choice.