If you are a gamer you’ll know there is usually quite a big stigma related to gaming laptops versus desktops. While this may be the case, the reality is that many budget laptops are perfectly suited for casual gaming playing older games that don’t have high system requirements.
Below we have listed some of the best gaming laptops under $500 based on on our own research from many trusted sources and review websites. Although your options and performance may be limited, there is nothing to stop you from enjoying a top gaming laptop under $500 today.
Acer Aspire 5
The Acer Aspire 5 is a very popular budget laptop that includes a AMD Ryzen 3 processor and Radeon Vega 3 integrated graphics. It also includes 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid state hard drive. Don’t expect to be able to multitask or play any newer games though – its specs are still very limited and mainly suited to much older games. What any dedicated gamer though will tell you is about gaming on a budget is that there are so many old classic games out there to play that it easily makes the latest and greatest next generation titles seem like a waste of money.
- AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor (Up to 3.5GHz)
- AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics
- 15.6 inches full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS screen
- Windows 10 in S mode
- Alexa Enabled
- 3.97 lbs weight
- Up to 7.5 hours battery life
The Lenovo Ideapad 3
The Lenovo Ideapad 3 is another popular cheap gaming laptop that unfortunately only has 14-inch screen. Its Radeon 8 graphics surely make up for this though which framerates that are as much as double the Vega 3 framerates. It has an AMD Ryzen 5 processor which is quite a big upgrade from the Ryzen 3. Expect to be able to play games such as Skyrim on high graphics which is not bad at all for a budget gaming laptops. Reviewers also noted that it had pretty bad viewing angles and a flimsy touchpad. Again, you won’t be able to play any next generation games, but this Lenovo comes a lot closer than most competitors. Popular games such as League of Legends will also run like a dream so competitive gaming is definitely possible.
- AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Mobile Processor
- Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
- 14.0-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) screen
- Dopoundsy High Quality Audio
- Q-control to switch between battery saving and performance modes
- 8GB DDR4 RAM
Microsoft Surface Go 2
The Microsoft Surface Go 2 might not be the first laptop that comes to mind when you think of gaming. Thanks to its Intel UHD Graphics 615 though it is still capable of playing older games without too many problems. That said, you might have to really dig out the classics if you decide to go ahead with this laptop as its Intel based graphics can’t really compete with the AMD based competitors. If potability is your main concern and you don’t mind only playing much older classic PC games, then Surface Go 2 is a great option nonetheless.
- Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y
- Intel HD Graphics 615
- Only weights 1.2 pounds
- 10.5-inch touchscreen
- Battery life up to 10 hours
Source: Tom’s Guide
Despite the limitations of getting a cheap gaming laptop for under $500 there are certainly enough options out there to fulfill your needs if you do the right research. Our recommendation is to check as many sites as possible before making your buying decision to make sure you have all angles covered and all possible laptop units reviewed. If you do this, there is a high chance you will find the best laptop to suit you needs completely.
The our best tip we can give is to try and find old games that gamers still rave about today instead of trying to chase the latest graphically intensive games. There are thousands of incredible games that people still play today from 20 years ago and more if you only take the time to go out and do your research.