5 Gaming Laptops Under 500 Dollars for the Budget Gamer

Gaming Laptops Under 500If you prize the ability to shove your gaming system into your bag and go. Gaming laptops under 500 dollars mean budget gamers also get a gaming laptop, too!

Video gaming is a 23+ billion-dollar a year industry. And if you’re anything like us, you’re an enthusiastic gamer.

But if you just can’t justify parting with thousands of dollars to play your favorite titles.

Innovations from leading laptop manufacturers, like Dell, Asus, Schenker and MSI make affordability in a portable gaming system less of an oxymoron than it used to be in recent history, with inexpensive laptops able to rival even some high-end desktops.

Gaming Laptops Under 500 Dollars

If you already know what you’re looking for in the best gaming laptops under 500 dollars. Here are the top picks:

Gaming Laptops Under 500 Dollars-Comparison

Gaming LaptopGraphics CardProcessorScreen ResolutionRAMStoragePrice
Asus F555LA-AB31 15.6-inchAsus F555LA-AB31 15.6-inchAsus F555LA-AB31 15.6-inchIntel HD Graphics 55002.1GHz ‘Broadwell’ Dual-Core i3-5010U1920 x 10804GB DDR3500GB HDD; DVD+/-RW/CD-RWCheck
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inch Best Laptops with an Optical DriveAcer Aspire ES 15 (ES1-572-31KW) 15.6-inchIntel HD Graphics 5202.3GHz ‘Skylake’ Intel Dual-Core i3-6100U1366 x 7684GB DDR3L1TB HDD; DVD-Super Multi Double Layer DriveCheck
Samsung Chromebook Plus 2 in 1 Convertible w Touchscreen 12.3-inch Best Laptop Under $600Samsung Chromebook Plus 2-in-1 Convertible Touchscreen (XE513C24-K01US) 12.3-inchInternal Graphics2GHz Rockchip RK3399 Hexa-Core OP1 ARM2400 x 16004GB DDR332GB Flash Memory Solid State; No Optical DriveCheck
HP Star Wars Special Edition (15-an050nr) 15.6-inchHP Star Wars Special Edition (15-an050nr) 15.6-inchIntel HD Graphics 5202.3GHz ‘Skylake’ Dual-Core i5-6200U1920 x 10806GB DDR3L1TB HDD; DVD SuperMulti BurnerCheck
Toshiba Satellite L505-GS5037 TruBrite 15.6-inchToshiba Satellite L505-GS5037 TruBrite 15.6-inchIntel Graphics Media Accelerator2.13GHz Dual-Core Intel i3-330M1366 x 7684GB DDR3500GB HDD; DVD Super Multi DLCheck

The Run Down

Good gaming laptops under 500 dollars are best suited for casual gamers who don’t mind playing older titles. You’ll be able to enjoy most low-end and mid-range games since they only require medium settings.

We’ve put together a list of 5 gaming laptops under 500 dollars currently available. Along with a handy guide so you can dial in the right mix of power and performance to help you discover what different manufacturer have in store for you.

Throughout this guide. You’ll see a detailed rundown of the most important specs, benefits and perks.

If you want actionable tips on:

  • what the ideal user expects from gaming laptops under 500 dollars
  • exactly what to look for in good gaming laptops under 500
  • or you just want to know what gaming laptops are available for 500 dollars

We’d love to use this guide to help you answer all of these questions.

Not exactly what you’re looking for? No worries. You’ll find links along the way to articles that feature different laptops within a similar price range. With the best options for your budget: like this one below.

MUST READ: Checkout the Top Picks of the Best Gaming Laptops under $200

(Keep an eye out for helpful PRO TIPS along the way.)

The Ideal User’s Expectation for Gaming Laptops Under 500 Dollars

The Ideal User’s Expectation for Gaming Laptops Under 500 Dollars

Gaming laptops under 500 dollars are not gaming rigs per se. But, they are constructed with the right combination of hardware to play some titles.

Users in this space understand that hardcore gaming and cutting-edge hardware no longer go hand-in-hand as it did in the good old days.

Which is good news. Now the hardware you need very much depends on the games you play. And you can get a good gaming laptop under 500 that’ll also run other resource exhaustive applications.

It simply requires striking the perfect balance between price and functionality.

PRO TIP #1: Finding out about the recommended system performance for the games you want to play will go a long way in helping you dial in the right combination of hardware for the laptop you want to buy.

Here’s Exactly What to Look for in Gaming Laptops under 500 Dollars

Portability

The dimensions of a laptop are usually categorized by screen size.

You want a laptop mobile enough to go with you everywhere. Yet powerful enough for the latest title.

For optimal game play, gaming laptops with at least a 15.6-inch screen are the most popular for a reason. They usually weigh between 4.5 and 6.5-pounds making them a considerably lighter travel companion than larger systems.

PRO TIP #2: Smart devices might be the popular choice for daily travelers. But serious game play requires a more powerful, and focused device.

The Display on Gaming Laptops Under 500 Dollars

Display

Here, we’re talking about the number of pixels on the screen. The more you have at your disposal, the sharper the game will look.

A Budget gaming laptop under 500 dollars will have a native resolution of 1366 x 768-pixels. It won’t look as good as laptops with higher resolution. But for a significantly cheaper price, it’s a reasonable trade-off.

PRO TIP #3: We recommend at least a 1920 x 1080-pixel display, also known as 1080p or Full HD. Some higher end laptops have even sharper screens. Also remember that the better the resolution. The shorter your battery life.

Graphics Card

A good gaming laptop under 500 will have a discrete GPU for a more enjoyable gaming experience.

Unfortunately, most Gaming laptops under 500 dollars only come with integrated graphics, which means the graphics card shares resources with the processor. Resulting in poor performance (some systems usually adopt an APU platform for better graphics performance).

Lifefhacker.com explains the performance gains of a discrete graphics card over systems with integrated cards.

PRO TIP #4: The better the GPU, the more expensive the system will be.

Processor

At this price, Intel’s Dual-Core i3 and i5 processors are what you’ll find powering these budget/mainstream laptops.

The price of systems with a Core i3 or i5 can seem really close together. But the difference is that a:

Core i3 is good when you want more power than an Atom-powered laptop. But don’t want to spend more than necessary. They also tend to be less expensive than Core M CPUs, which focus on achieving a longer battery life.

Core i5 is for when you want a mainstream laptop capable of offering more performance. You’ll get a faster laptop overall. This processor falls into Dual-Core and Quad-Core lines (many Core i5 laptops in this range will be Dual-Core).

PRO TIP #5: While the CPU contributes to the speed of your software. It’s hardly the deciding factor when it comes to overall system performance.

The RAM in Gaming Laptops under 500 Dollars

RAM

It’s the resource house into which your game is loaded. Temporary content is held there until you call it during game play.

The more you have, the faster your system can read, write and load additional content, making playing any game a more enjoyable experience.

Unfortunately, most gaming laptops under 500 dollars will only come with 4GB of DDR3 RAM.

PRO TIP #6: You’ll need at least 8GB to play modern games. Find out if RAM is upgradable on the system you want to buy so you can add more RAM later. You can find this information on the manufacturer’s website.

Storage

You can consider this feature even more important than processing speed.

The laptops at this price mostly come with a 500GB hard disk drive that spins at 5400RPM, which means the system will be slow.

If it’s within your means, a Solid-State Drive (SSD) is almost always the way to go. As opposed to your standard hard drive, you’ll get at least 3x the speed. And a much faster laptop.

Less expensive machines may offer an eMMC memory which is kinda like solid-state, but slower than the mechanical hard drive.

Space is at a premium with SSDs, however, making systems with a hard disk drive your second-best bet.

PRO TIP#7: A 1000GB hard drive is quite common on a budget gaming laptop under 500 dollars. Keep an eye out for these systems if having massive storage is a priority.

Optical Drive

If you’re the type of gamer who prefers loading games the old-fashion way with physical media. You’ll be happy to hear that most laptops at this price come with a DVD player you can slot those discs into.

Battery Life

Battery Life

Don’t take the manufacturer’s word for it. Instead rely on the experience from third-party reviews. (6-hours of endurance is really good for gaming spec laptops.)

The Research Method

These picks are based on best all-round performance. User experience. At least 100 Amazon reviews. And at least 3.5 out of 5 stars at the time of this review.

They are between a price point of $400 and $500 at the time of this review. And arranged in order from best specs and performance, to not bad for the money.

Now, from among the most progressive brands we bring you amazing laptops from: Acer, Asus, HP, Samsung and Toshiba

Gaming Laptops Under 500 Dollars-Reviews

1. Asus F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch

Asus F555LA-AB31 15.6-inchAsus F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch specs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What makes it one of the best gaming laptops under 500 dollars. Is that for not that much money. You get a decent, midrange, desktop replacement with Intel’s ultra-low-voltage, Dual-Core i3-5010U processor. 4GB of RAM. And a 500GB hard drive. Packed in the 10.1 x 15 x 1-inch chassis is a DVD player that’s able to read and write. And an ergonomically designed keyboard with IceCool technology for extra comfort during those long gaming sessions. Some trade-offs are the lack of solid-state-drive. And a keyboard that isn’t backlit. But you do get vibrant colors on the 1920 x 1080 display. You should expect to get around 4-hours of game play away from an outlet, which is decent for a budget laptop.

Asus F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch pros and cons

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

2. Acer Aspire ES 15 (ES1-572-31KW) 15.6-inch

Acer Aspire ES 15 (ES1-572-31KW) 15.6-inchAcer Aspire ES 15 (ES1-572-31KW) 15.6-inch specs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It makes it onto the list of gaming laptops under 500 dollars because it’s a passable choice for gamers on a budget with Skylake generation, i3 performance. The 10.2 x 15 x 1-inch chassis is somewhat bulky. But should fit comfortably in your backpack. The 1366 x 768-pixel screen is usable; images are clear. But viewing angles are narrow. You get 4GB of RAM, which is upgradable up to 16GB. 1TB of storage is massive. Spinning at only 5400RPMs, expect system start-up to be slow. The Intel Core i3-6100U is a low-end Dual-Core processor. But for light gaming, and day-to-day computer tasks. Power is sufficient. You can expect around 5-hours of battery life.

Acer Aspire ES 15 (ES1-572-31KW) 15.6-inch pros and cons

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

3. Samsung Chromebook Plus 2-in-1 Convertible Touchscreen (XE513C24-K01US) 12.3-inch

Samsung Chromebook Plus 2 in 1 Convertible w Touchscreen 12.3-inch Best Laptop Under $600Samsung Chromebook Plus 2-in-1 Convertible Touchscreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you don’t need Windows. And you’ve been looking for a Chromebook that can run both Android apps. And Chrome OS. This is one intriguing option for gaming laptops under 500 dollars. It’s an 11 x 8.7 x 0.6-inch example that delivers a laptop experience in a thin, premium, aluminum chassis. You get a keyboard. And a 2400 x 1600-pixel resolution display, with IPS technology that’s brighter than most. And you get the versatility of a 2-in-1 convertible thanks to a flexible 360-degree hinge that lets you turn the system into a slate. The Samsung Pen feels intuitive to use. But the typing experience will leave you longing for a traditional laptop. You can expect 7-hours of battery life.

Samsung Chromebook Plus 2-in-1 Convertible Touchscreen pros and cons

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

4. HP Star Wars Special Edition (15-an050nr) 15.6-inch

HP Star Wars Special Edition (15-an050nr) 15.6-inch

HP Star Wars Special Edition (15-an050nr) 15.6-inch specs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re a Star Wars fan, HP honors you with distinctive light and dark Force design elements on every visible surface of this 10.3 x 15.1 x 1-inch chassis. You get a backlit keyboard with letters that glow Empire red through the translucent letter shapes. Fans will appreciate the touchpad which has the Death Star locked in the cross-hairs of the X-Wing’s targeting computer. This mid-level system comes with a ‘Skylake’ gen, Dual-Core i5 processor. Unfortunately, it lacks gamer-level capabilities. But this can be remedied with 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce 940GPU. You also get 6GB of RAM, and 1TB hard drive. The 1920 x 1080 display is matte with surprisingly good viewing angles. You can expect around 5-hours of battery life.

HP Star Wars Special Edition (15-an050nr) 15.6-inch pros and cons

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

5. Toshiba Satellite L505-GS5037 TruBrite 15.6-inch

Toshiba Satellite L505-GS5037 TruBrite 15.6-inch

 

 

Toshiba Satellite L505-GS5037 TruBrite 15.6-inch specs

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a fair performer that’s best suited for the casual user. The 10.2 x 15.1 x 1.6-inch chassis houses a Core i3 processor, which produces low power. But it’s still capable of multitasking, while producing less heat than other systems. You get 4GB of RAM, which is upgradable up to 8GB. The Intel Graphics Media accelerator is only good for very very light gaming. Images are clear on the 1366 x 768 screen. The 500GB Hard Drive provides enough room for storing games and other media. But spinning at 5400RPMs means that performance is slow. You get a full, chiclet style keyboard with a number pad that delivers a comfortable typing experience. And, you can expect around 5-hours of battery life.

Toshiba Satellite L505-GS5037 TruBrite 15.6-inch pros and cons

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

Conclusion

Congratulations on making it to the end of this guide! That was a lot of information we covered. But we hope it helps you make the best decision as you shop for gaming laptops under 500 dollars.

Getting a good gaming laptop under 500 dollars means trading some features for others. It’s hard to get away from mechanical hard drives. And discrete graphics cards aren’t always easy to come by.

But you’ll still be able to get a great machine that’s able cruise through some awesome titles-even new ones-without breaking a sweat.

We’d love to continue this conversation about what makes the best gaming laptops under 500 dollars in the comment section below. If you want to add something to the article, you can contact us here.

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