Best Gaming Laptops Under $500
Luckily, with the laptops on this list, you don't have to break the bank.
Lenovo, Asus, and Acer produce some of the best budget gaming laptops under 500 USD. The extensive features and a multitude of uses has led to gaming laptops being preferred over consoles in today’s gaming world. But as the demand for gaming laptops rose, so did their prices.To help solve this issue, we scoured the web for affordable laptops with decent specs and could run some of the best games on the market.
A List of the Best Gaming Laptops Under $500
Not all of us can justify or afford that extra price tag for enhanced gaming capabilities, but none of us want to compromise on the best gaming experience either. Luckily, with the laptops on this list, you don't have to break the bank.The laptops we picked are:
- Asus VivoBook 15
- Lenovo V14
- Lenovo IdeaPad 3
- Acer Aspire 5
- 2020 HP 14-inch HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop
The Asus Vivobook 15 comes with a modern and minimalist design and excellent port selection encompassing both USB type-A and type-C, microSD reader, headphone jack, and HDMI output.📷It also comes with a fingerprint reader that allows you to login within a second using Windows Hello.But the best part is its 15.6” NanoEdge bezel display that gives you a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio. Couple that with the Radeon Vega 8 GPU, and you’re getting one of the best screens and GPUs for gaming laptops under 500!The 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, and quad-core Ryzen 5 CPU are just what you need to give you a seamless gaming experience on almost all games short of the demanding triple-A titles!
2. Lenovo V14
With a sleek and stylish design, the V14 packs gaming and professionalism into a lightweight package. It boasts:
- a 14” screen
- 8GB DDR4 RAM
- 256GB SSD storage
- 6 core Ryzen 5 processor at 2.3 GHz
- Radeon Graphics
Not only does the considerable RAM size and higher core count make your games perform better, but the SSD also considerably reduces your load times and gives you an excellent experience. The Radeon Graphics is the cherry on top, which can give you those smooth edges and excellent FPS in titles such as CS:GO in mid to low settings, and give you that competitive edge!
This shiny model comes in a unique steel blue color with grey keys that are sure to stand out, while still retaining a professional look suitable for school and/or work. It has a hinge that bends 180 degrees and it comes with Dolby Audio, giving you pristine sound quality and greater flexibility.Its specifications are similar to the VivoBook, in that it has:
- a 14” screen
- 8GB DDR4 RAM
- 256GB SSD
- Ryzen 5 3500U Processor
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is almost half a kilogram lighter than the VivoBook. Please note that its CPU base a base clock of 2.1 GHz which can make the FPS drop a touch in CPU-intense games such as Call of Duty. However, the AMD site lists the Ryzen 5 3500U's Max Boost Clock at up to 3.7GHz.
This laptop is currently a little over our budget and is listed on Amazon at $519.99 USD. However, for this laptop, the extra $20 might be worth it.
What makes the Aspire 5 unique is its IPS display that gives a wider viewing angle with excellent color accuracy at a full HD quality.This one also gives you a backlit keyboard and up to 7.5 hours of battery life, which makes it one of the most long-lasting gaming laptops under 500 dollars.With a Ryzen 5 3500U quad-core CPU and Vega 8 Graphics, it does the trick for most games, but its silver plastic appearance may seem less than appealing to some gamers.
With its clean and modern appearance, the HP 14 gives a premium feel to a low price gaming laptop. At a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, the HP 14 is the first touchscreen contender to this list, with a highly color-accurate BrightView 14” touchscreen panel.It also rocks a dual-core AMD Ryzen 3 processor, which - although relatively constrained - can make most less-demanding titles work with excellent FPS at mid to low settings.Similar to the Aspire 5, the HP 14 gives approximately 8 hours of battery life on regular use which allows you to roll an entire work/school day without your charger, and get back home to the games you’re dying to play! HP’s Fast Charge technology is another petal in the rose.Perhaps the only limitation to this device is its 8 DDR3 RAM, while most other laptops in a similar price bracket do offer DDR4.However, it makes up for that with an ultrafast 256GB SSD and an excellent 78% screen-to-body ratio, making it a fast and attractive device you’ll surely love!
Bonus: The $600 Acer Nitro 5
With a design that screams “gaming beast”, the Acer Nitro 5 is one of the best budget gaming laptops out there, coming in at just $100 over our $500 budget. However, the extra $100 might very well be worth it.With red backlights and an edgy, bulky design, it surely gives you that gamer’s vibe.Moreover, unlike the gaming laptops under 500, this one comes with:
- Intel Core i5-9300H Processor (Up to 4.1 GHz)
- 256 GB NVMe SSD
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
- 15.6” full HD display
- Built-in Alexa that makes it a robust and powerful gaming machine
To keep this beast cool, the machine comes with Acer CoolBoost technology comprising two fans and dual exhaust ports.Its input ports include 3 USB Type-A, a USB Type-C, Ethernet, headphone jack, and HDMI!
The items on this list were the best laptops we could find available on the market that could work for gaming under $500 USD. With that said, it is possible that these items might not be able to run the games you want to play.Before making any purchase, always compare the specs of the laptop to the minimum PC requirements of your desired games. For example, here is the Steam page for the recently popular Among Us:
Among Us Steam PC Requirements
Rest assured, all of the laptops above should be able to run games like Among Us or even slightly older games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (see requirements below).
However, if you are looking to run beefier games like Call of Duty Warzone or are looking for VR-ready systems, you're going to have to save up for a more expensive PC.
And there you have it, the best gaming laptops under 500 dollars. All with great specs and decent performance for the price.While they aren’t all killer gaming rigs (except the Nitro 5), they still promise excellent FPS and can run many games in low to medium settings with outstanding execution.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the items above include affiliate links to their product pages.
VP of Growth at HackerNoon, Town Crier at Ethermore
Owner of JPbound.com and Hacker Noon's VP of Growth by day, VR Gamer and Anime Binger by night