Best Gaming Laptops under $500 in 2021 – Buying Guide

  • 19-Mar, 2018 09:59:07 AM

Gaming laptops are known to be expensive and out of the rich of many people. Right? Wrong! There are some gaming laptops that are affordable. However, finding these is not usually easy. Do not worry, we have done all the research and compiled a list of the best gaming laptops under $500 in 2021. Before that, we will guide you on how to choose a good gaming laptop. What must it have? What can you compromise on? You will learn all this and much more. We know that what may be perfect for one person may not suit another and that is why we give several options to choose from.

Read on and find out more about these laptops that will not only be great at gaming but also help you do the things you need to in your day to day life. It does not matter whether you are a student, office worker or developer; these laptops will prove useful to you.

Things to consider when choosing a gaming laptop

1. CPU

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is what many refer to as the brain of the computer. A gaming laptop should have a powerful processor.

There are two main brands that are currently battling for the title of the best CPU. These are AMD and Intel. The latter is the most suitable for gaming computers because their processors are powerful and have great performance but there are some powerful AMD processors as well. In order to determine the right CPU to get, it is important to understand the terms used to describe processors.

First is the brand identifier which will be something like core i3, i5 or i7. These are indicative of the features the CPU has. The higher the number, the more powerful the CPU is. Gamers should get a laptop with processors no less than i5.

Another term you will find is the generation indicator. This is shown by four numbers followed by a letter U or any other, for example 3240U. The first indicates the generation of the CPU with 2 for Sandy Bridge (2nd generation), 3 for Ivy Bridge (3rd generation), 4 for Haswell (4th generation), 5 for Broadwell (5th Generation) and 6 for SkyLake (6th Generation).

The other three numbers in the generation indicator show how powerful the processor is in relation to others in the same generation. Though the letter U at the end is common, it is not the only one used. There are processors with letters HQ, K and so on. These are the product lines that show whether the processor is unlocked or optimized in some aspects. The best gaming laptops under $500 usually have U or HQ otherwise they will be too costly.

The CPU speed is another important attribute which is measured in Gigahertz (GHz). Gaming requires high speeds and you should get the highest CPU possible.

2. Graphics card

The job to be done by the graphics card is to process data and transmit it to the monitor. In gaming the speed at which this happens is very crucial. Therefore, it is important to get a laptop with powerful graphics. It should have a dedicated video memory (VRAM) for it to be powerful. The more the VRAM the better, but for laptops under $500 you will find 4GB VRAM which is enough for running most games.

There are many options when it comes to choosing graphics cards but the best gaming laptops have either the AMD Radeon R7 Graphics or the Intel HD Graphics 620 that have the same power. They have great gaming performance and support DirectX 10. With either of these in your laptop you will enjoy your gaming time maximally.

3. RAM

For RAM the higher the better. A good gaming laptop should never have anything less than 6GB RAM. This makes it possible to handle memory tasking games. You can buy a laptop with more RAM but this may be too expensive. It is advisable to go for one with just enough RAM (about 8GB) and then you can advance the RAM later if you wish to. It will be cheaper this way because manufacturer tend to overcharge laptops that have additional RAM.

Best Gaming Laptop under $500

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HP Business 15.6-inch HD Touchscreen, AMD Quad-Core A12, 8GB RAM, Radeon R7 graphics

ASUS VivoBook FHD Laptop, Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 620

HP Pavilion 14" HD Notebook, Core i5-7200U, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 620

Dell Business Flagship Laptop PC 15.6", Core i3-7100U, 6GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 620

Acer Aspire E 15 15.6-Inch FHD Notebook, Core i3-7100U, 4GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 620

1. HP 15.6-INCH ($449)

Equipped with all the right features, this is the best gaming laptop under 500. It comes with Windows 10 64-Bit Home Edition installed and is ready for action. The AMD Quad core A12-9720P processor is the powerhouse that runs this computer. It has a frequency with a boost of up to 3.6 GHz and is supported by the AMD Radeon R7 graphics. It has a high performance that makes it possible to run most games on the laptop.

HP 15.6-inch

The 15.6 inch LED screen is backlit and touch sensitive. There is a wireless mouse provided for better controls while the two DTS studio sound speakers provide immersive gaming. The 8GB DDR5 RAM is coupled with a 1TB SATA HDD to give the best storage options.

HP 15.6-inch

CPU

AMD Quad-Core A12-9720P 2.7 GHz (up to 3.6GHz, 2MB cache)

RAM

8GB 1866MHz DDR4 SDRAM

Screen

15.6 inch HD Touchscreen, Resolution 1366×768 pixels

Graphics

AMD Radeon R7 graphics

Hard Disk

1TB SATA Hard Drive

Rating

Price

$899.99

Buy on Amazon

2. ASUS VivoBook FHD Laptop ($500)

This is a 500 dollar gaming laptop like no other. In place is the powerful i5-8250U 8th generation Intel core processor. It has a turbo boost for speeds of up to 3.4GHz. Aiding this is an 8GB DDR4 RAM and the Intel UHD 620 graphics. The visuals are smooth and so is everything else on this laptop thanks to the great performance it has. Stay connected with USB 3.1 port which has very fast data transfer speeds.

ASUS VivoBook FHD Laptop

The screen on this laptop is 15.6” long and has anti-glare properties and the ASUS NanoEdge display technology. It gives crisp and clear visuals with optimized sharpness and contrast.

All this power in the machine is packaged in a sleek and light-weight laptop. The bezel is really small and the laptop gives an FHD wide view with an 80% screen to body ratio. You will have a larger view on a smaller and sleeker laptop.

ASUS VivoBook FHD Laptop

CPU

Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz (Turbo up to 3.4GHz)

RAM

8GB DDR4

Screen

15.6″ Full HD anti-glare, Resolution 1920×1080 pixels

Graphics

Intel HD Graphics 620

Hard Disk

1TB SATA Hard Drive

Rating

Price

$699.00

Buy on Amazon

3. HP Pavilion 14″ HD (2018 Newest) $487

Powered by the 7th Generation i5-7200U processor, this is one of the best gaming laptops under $500 in 2018. It has a frequency of up to 3.1GHz. The graphics card in place is the Intel HD graphics 620 which has 4166MB dedicated RAM. The RAM running all other processes is the 8GB DDR4 while the ROM is a 1TB SATA hard drive.

HP Pavilion HD Notebook 2018

The 14” screen has a WLED backlit. The keyboard is also backlit making it easy to work in dark environments. The laptop has many ports including a USB Type C port for fast data transfers and a headphone output/microphone input jack that makes immersive gaming possible.

With the long battery life of this laptop, you can keep playing for hours on end. The manufacturer promises up to 7hours and 45minutes of video playback.

HP Pavilion 14″ HD 2018

CPU

Core i5-7200U Processor, 2.50 GHz, max turbo 3.1 GHz

RAM

8GB DDR4

Screen

14.0-inch Brightview WLED-backlit, Resolution 1366×768 pixels

Graphics

Intel HD Graphics 620

Hard Disk

1TB SATA Hard Drive

Rating

Price

$686.00

Buy on Amazon

4. Dell Business Flagship Laptop PC 15.6 ($469)

The dual core 7th generation i3-7100U is the processor inside this powerful gaming laptop. This is aided by an integrated Intel HD graphics 620 which makes playing demanding games seamlessly. The 6GB DDR4 RAM and the 1TB hard drive make startup and other activities on the laptop fast and provide lots of storage space.

Dell Business 15.6 HD LED-backlit Touchscreen

To see all your gaming activity, the 15.6” screen has TrueLife HD and is touch sensitive. It is backlit and gives clear images thanks to the high resolution it has. For data transfers, options include USB 3.0 port and Bluetooth 4.0 technology support.

Dell Business Flagship

CPU

Core i3-7100U

RAM

6GB DDR4

Screen

15.6″ LED-backlit Touchscreen, Resolution 1366×768 pixels

Graphics

Intel HD Graphics 620

Hard Disk

1TB SATA Hard Drive

Rating

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Price

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5. Acer Aspire E 15 E5 15.6 Inch ($349)

Inside this solid machine is the best of Intel. The processor is the i3-7100U with 2.4GHz speeds and 3MB L3 cache. This performs really fast and for better gaming, it is aided by the Intel HD Graphics 620 which gives clear images on the screen. This is 15.6 inches long and has LED backlight which supports ColorBlast by Acer which means that everything looks as natural as possible with its original color.

Acer Aspire E 15

The RAM in place is 4GB DDR4 while the ROM is a 1TB HDD with speeds of 5400RPM. Retrieving and storing data is really fast which means that this laptop has a great performance.

The only thing that beats great performance while gaming is gaming for long with the same great performance. With the 12-hours battery life, this laptop makes this possible.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5

CPU

Intel Core i3-7100U Processor (2.4GHz, 3MB L3 cache)

RAM

4GB DDR4

Screen

15.6″ Full HD Widescreen, Resolution 1920×1080 pixels

Graphics

Intel HD Graphics 620

Hard Disk

1TB SATA Hard Drive

Rating

Price

$399.99

Buy on Amazon

Bottom Line

The laptops above are meant for people who take gaming seriously. No matter who you are at other times, gamers have one thing in common. They need a computer that can really give them great performance. The best gaming laptop under $500 must have capable graphic cards so as to ensure that the images on the screen are clear and vivid.

The RAM and CPU have to be equally as powerful while the storage space should be enough for memory-demanding gaming software and other files. The screen should be large enough and it should have a high resolution so images are clear and vivid. If you often play away from a power source, then getting a laptop that keeps its charge for long is a great choice.