Finding the best gaming laptops under $500 might seem like an impossible task as many laptops these days cost much more than that.
However, we have researched far and wide to find the 10 best gaming laptops under $500 that you can buy to play games, whether you want to use it non demanding games like Terarria, or just want an affordable laptop for work/school and to play a few modern games.
Recently we also covered the 10 best prebuilt desktop gaming PC that money can buy, so be sure to check that out if you can afford to spend just around 1000 dollars rather than 500.
Without further ado, here are the best gaming laptops under $500 that you should consider.
10. HP 15.6inch HD Laptop
Coming in strong is the HP 15.6 inch HD laptop. This affordable gaming laptop has a 15.6-inch screen with 1366 x 768 resolution and features some impressive parts for a cheap gaming laptop.
One of the strong points about this laptop is that it has an AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 5 3500U Processor as well as AMD Radeon Vega 8 dedicated graphics card. With this graphics card, you will be able to play more graphically demanding games.
The cheap gaming laptop also comes with a 256GB SSD, SD Card Reader, and other basics like Bluetooth and built-in Wifi.
Keep in mind that this entry on the list is a renewed/refurbished budget laptop which is why you can get such a great gaming laptop for such a cheap price.
9. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a lightweight gaming laptop under $500 that acts like a PC as well as a tablet.
You can turn the screen around and hold it in one hand like a tablet for light gaming sessions and the less graphically demanding games. Additionally, you could switch it back to play some of your favorite games instead that require the mouse and keyboard instead.
The IdeaPad Flex 5 comes with an AMD Ryzen 3 5300U processor, integrated graphics, 128GB SSD, and an HD screen.
In conclusion, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is one of the best cheap gaming laptops money can buy and it’s great for entry-level gaming performance, watching Netflix in bed, or even doing remote work. Demanding games like the latest AAA FPS games might be a challenge for this laptop, but most games like Terarria and other indie games should be completely fine to play.
8. HP Pavilion Laptop
With a whopping 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 15.6 inch full HD display the HP Pavilion is one of the best gaming laptops under 500 dollars.
Although not as powerful as some high-end gaming laptops, playing games like Fortnite should be a breeze. Whether you are the type that prefers playing non-demanding games, or whether you prefer online gaming sessions, this laptop will run games smoothly on medium settings at least. This is the perfect gaming laptop for gaming enthusiasts.
The HP Pavilion also has a backlit keyboard which is nice for nighttime use. Additionally, for a laptop under 500 dollars, it has a long battery life of up to 9 hours when using it casually.
7. ASUS VivoBook 15 F515 Laptop
Featuring a 15.6 inch Full HD display (NanoEdge bezel), Intel Core i3-1115G4 Processor, and 8GB DDR4 RAM is the best cheap gaming laptop for students and personal use.
The ASUS VivoBook 15 is a budget laptop that comes pre-installed with the latest Windows 11 so you won’t need to spend hours updating after purchase. In addition, there VivoBook 15 has a backlit keyboard, long battery life, and can play most games on medium settings or higher.
The ASUS VivoBook 15 ships pre-set to Windows S-Mode, which is Window’s extra security mode. Users can easily disable this by following the instructions at the bottom of this page in the FAQ section.
6. Asus VivoBook 15 F512DA
Asus’s VivoBook 15 F512DA (not the same one as mentioned above) is one of the cheap gaming laptops on this list that sits in the middle when it comes to performance.
It ships with a powerful AMD Quad-Core r3-3200u Processor, AMD Radeon Vega 3 integrated graphics, and a large 15.6-inch HD display.
When it comes to budget laptops there is a limit to what can be placed inside. Storage space is often limited as SSD’s tend to be expensive, a dedicated graphics card is also often hard to find in cheap gaming laptops due to their size and price.
The Asus VivoBook 15 does ship with a backlit keyboard, which is still rare on budget gaming laptops.
If you just want something stable from a well-known brand with high quality components then this is the laptop for you.
5. HP Premium 14-inch HD Laptop
The HP Premium is one of the best gaming laptops under $500 and the newest HP laptop on the market. Buyers can choose between the standard 16GB RAM model, or they can lower their cost by going for the downgraded 8GB RAM model.
The 8GB RAM model is the cheapest gaming laptop on this list so if money is tight but you still want an enjoyable gaming experience, take a look at the HP Premium 8GB DDR4 RAM version.
Battery life is said to last around 8.5 hours, on par with most other laptops on this list. The only downside is that the HP Premium only ships with 64GB of storage space. This is still OK for older games or small indie titles, but don’t expect to run COD Warfare or Fortnite on this machine.
The HP Premium does ship in Windows S-Mode, which is an improved security mode designed by Microsoft which has some limitations. You can remove S-Mode by following the instructions in the FAQ section at the bottom of this page.
4. Dell Inspiron 15 3000
The Dell Inspiron 15 is one of the best budget gaming laptops you can get in today’s market. It is not an expensive gaming laptop but if you want a more serious gaming machine you can opt to upgrade it at an extra cost.
Dell Inspiron 15 ships with a whopping 512GB SSD of storage space, a built-in webcam, an Intel core processor, and integrated graphics which are good for video editing, watching movies, or enjoying a casual gaming experience.
Battery life is said to last up to 8.5 hours, however, it is recommended to keep it plugged in while gaming for the best gaming experience.
Like some other laptops mentioned in this list, the Dell Inspiron 15 has a 15.6-inch HD display which is standard these days.
Overall, if you are looking for a gaming laptop under $500 that can be customized a little bit, then go for the Dell Inspiron 15. The 512GB SSD, 15.6-inch screen, and replaceable battery already make the Dell Inspiron worth it.
3. HP Laptop 14-fq1025nr
The HP Laptop 14 is one of the best gaming laptops under $500 that boasts an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Mobile Processor and AMD Radeon Graphics.
Though designed for work and school, the HP 14 is still an excellent gaming laptop under $500 for those that want something multifunctional.
The laptop features a 14 inch HD Display with 8GB DDR4 RAM, integrated graphics, Windows 11 Home, and 256GB of solid-state storage space.
Despite not being as good as say a gaming desktop, the HP Laptop 14 is still the best budget gaming laptop for entry-level gaming performance, watching movies, and just enjoying what the indie gaming world has to offer.
2. Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-36UT Slim Laptop
Not to be confused with the Acer Aspire Slim listed below, this Acer Aspire 5 is a gaming machine with different parts and components.
The Acer Aspire 5 is the best budget gaming laptop that can easily play older games like Minecraft, indie games like Stardew Valley, and you can even play games like Fortnite.
This good gaming laptop is designed for light gaming so we would only really recommend it if you are the type that likes to play older games or less demanding games.
The Acer laptop features an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 depending on the bundle you choose. There is also a full HD display which is 15.6 inch. In addition, the integrated Intel HD graphics make for decent gaming performance but keep in mind that there is no dedicated graphics card with this laptop.
Buy this budget laptop if you are looking for something reliable that can play older games or indie games, watch Netflix, do homework, or do work-related tasks.
1. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
The best gaming laptop under $500 is none other than the Acer Aspire 5 Slim. The Acer Aspire 5 Slim is one of the affordable gaming laptops that has over 35,000 positive reviews.
Compared to other laptops, the Acer Aspire laptop comes packed with power. Shoppers can choose between various bundles where you can choose a different processor or add in things like a gaming headset or mouse.
Although not the most powerful gaming laptop in the world, the Acer Aspire 5 is great for students, business, or casual use like watching Netflix or browsing the web.
The Acer Aspire 5 boasts a long battery life of up to 10 hours, although that would be drastically reduced when playing games so keep that in mind.
If you are looking for a decent gaming laptop with decent gaming performance but also looks and feels great and can be used for work/school, then the Acer Aspire 5 is the one for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get Windows 10 out of S mode?
You can get out of S Mode quite easily, however, keep in mind that this is irreversible.
1. Go to Settings and then select Update & Security. (If you can’t find Settings, click the magnifying glass on the bottom left of your screen and search for Settings).
2. Click Activation from the left menu and then click “Go to the Store.” You will see this under the “Switch to Windows 10 Home / Pro” section.
3. Press the “Get” button under the “Switch out of S Mode” and wait for the process to complete.
Is a $500 gaming laptop worth it?
A $500 gaming laptop is worth it if you don’t need or want to play AAA games like the latest Call of Duty. These laptops are fine for older games and some indie games but keep in mind that they are cheap and therefore won’t be equipped with the best components.
Can a 500 dollar laptop run Fortnite?
Some budget laptops under $500 are able to play Fortnite but usually only on Medium settings or lower.
Is 8GB RAM enough for gaming?
Yes, 8GB should be enough for most games. Ideally you’d want to get 16GB if you do video editing or other heavy stuff but 8GB will do fine for gaming.
Is 4GB RAM good for gaming?
4GB is enough for older games or mobile games but you will want to aim for 8GB at the minimum or more.
What is considered cheap for a gaming laptop?
Anything under $600-$700 is considered a cheap gaming laptop. These are usually entry level gaming machines.
Is i5 good for gaming?
Yes, in some cases an i5 overpowers an i7 depending on the processor. An i5 is perfectly fine to use for gaming.