5 Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 in 2021

by CT | Last Updated: April 2, 2021

Is it even possible to get a good gaming laptop under $500?”

The answer is yes, and no.

You’re going to have to sacrifice some things to be able to play the newest games on a cheaper laptop, but you can definitely get a good machine for that price.

If you’re willing to spend slightly more, your gaming experience will be slightly better – check out the best gaming laptop under 600 dollars. 

Best Gaming Laptops Under $500

1. Acer Aspire 5

“Powerful $500 Gaming Laptop”

Top Pick
2021 Newest Acer Aspire 5
  • Slim Laptop 15.6" FHD IPS Display
  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200u (up to 3.5GHz)
  • Vega 3 Graphics
  • 8GB RAM DDR4
  • 256GB PCIe SSD
  • Backlit KB,WiFi,HDMI
  • Windows 10 w/Ghost Manta Accessories
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The Acer Aspire 5 is a visible upgrade compared to other Acer machines. It’s 15.6 inch screen is full HD (1920×1080) with an LED backlist IPS display.

You get an AMD Radeon Vega 3 graphics card which will easily support gaming and other heavy use.

The Aspire 5 comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM for even more multitasking and gaming capabilities.

This gaming laptop comes with nicely built keyboard that has a number pad. It comes with multiple USB ports, an HDMI to give you easy access to plug in headsets and other gaming accessories.

The Aspire 5 battery can manage around 7.5 hours of normal use like internet browsing, listening to music and doing office-based work.

2. Lenovo IdeaPad 330

Great Value for a $500 Gaming Laptop

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is a well-designed, high performance and portable notebook

The body is made of aluminum which makes this laptop look like it is expensive, even though it comes in under $500.

The IdeaPad 330S has a complete HD IPS panel using a resolution associated with 1920 x 1080. Also, you will find an HD TN panel with a resolution of 1366 x 768.

The Hard disk of 1TB gives you adequate space to store your important games, videos, and other files.

If you’re looking for a laptop computer that has great usability, power-driven performance and ergonomics without sacrificing any features for the price point, the Ideapad 330 is a great option.

3. Dell Inspiron 15 5575

“Outstanding Display & High Performing Processor”

Dell Inspiron 15 5000
  • 15.6" Full HD Display
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 Processor
  • 8GB DDR4 Memory
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • HDMI, Webcam, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Windows 10 Home
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The Dell Inspiron 15 offers a Full HD 15.6 inch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution. It has Anti-glare technology as well, to help keep you from straining your eyes.

This model weighs only 4.7 pounds which is ideal for the traveling gamer.

The graphics of this Dell machine are usually powered by Intel UHD Graphics. You should get around 4 to 6 hours of heavier work with this gaming machine.

4. ASUS VivoBook F512JA

“Great Combination of Beauty and Performance”

ASUS VivoBook 15
  • 15.6” FHD Display
  • Intel i3-1005G1 CPU
  • 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD
  • Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint reader
  • Windows 10 Home in S Mode
  • Slate Gray
  • F512JA-AS34 Model
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The VivoBook F512JA has a sleek, modern look and spacious but comfortable keyboard.

The VivoBook F512JA produces decent audio, but is predictably lacking in the bass department.

The screen has been called into question by quite a few owners. It’s not great, to say the least. However, by sacrificing on screen quality, you do get 10th Gen Core i3 with 8GB DDR4 RAM which should help you run a few games, although maybe not the latest ones.

It comes with Intel UHD Graphics, which doesn’t really compete with the VEGA graphics card.

5. Acer Aspire 3

“Great Multitasking Ability”

Acer Aspire 3
  • 15.6" LED HD Laptop AMD Ryzen 3 2200U Radeon Vega 3 Graphics
  • 1TB Hard Drive
  • 8GB DDR4 Memory
  • 802.11ac WiFi
  • USB 3.0, Webcam, SD Card Reader, HDMI, Ethernet
  • Windows 10 Home
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The Acer Aspire 3 is a great option for those on the hunt for an affordable laptop. It comes with AMD Ryzen 3 2200U processor that has Vega graphics and 1TB of storage space, making it perfect to take your favorite movies or games wherever you go without worrying about losing them!

The 1366 x 768 resolution won’t provide the most sharp images, but it will mean that this laptop can run games easier

A lower resolution display will make your laptop run faster because it requires less work from the GPU. A 1080P panel would also increase the cost of a machine, so you can always scale back and get a cheaper machine with the Aspire 3.

What Should You Look For in a $500 Laptop?

You’ll find a good gaming notebook computer under the price range of $500. But, typically you’ll be playing games that require lower bandwidth. You would not necessarily have the ability to play AAA collection games, merely Indie collection or CS GO and Minecraft.

If you were to trying playing AAA series video games, these lower-end devices might end up overheating, experience some graphics issues and could end up freezing or powering off.

You’d be able to enjoy old PC video games, high definition video tutorials, edit videos, manage performance-driven requests or applications. For day-to-day responsibilities and an average gaming experience, a 500 dollar laptop wouldn’t normally be an issue.

If you’re looking for a more high-powered machine, you’re going to want to check out some higher-level gaming laptops.

I’d really recommend spending at least $800 on a laptop for gaming, so here are some of our recommendations if you’re ready to increase your budget a little:

Buying Guide Tips

Everyone has got his/her favorite brands, and that’s no different when it comes to laptop brands.

There are also some other selections such as the dimension of the hard disk drive, systems pre-installed, storage area, optical drive, reasonable card, shades, and body weight. But understand their gaming abilities would be your first priority.

Gaming laptops have become better as notebook systems offer up different features and ever-increasing functionality benchmarks.

If your next computer purchase is a gaming laptop, you should think about or look into these five things to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Graphics Cards

The Graphics card is going to be one of the more important features to look at when you’re considering any gaming laptop.

You will want a high-end Graphics card with dedicated RAM to handle all of the latest video games. Integrated graphics just won’t be in a position to process all of the sophisticated top features of modern 3-D video games.


Most high-end game-playing laptops now include at least Core-i5, and I wouldn’t recommend going below that for a gaming computer. Your CPU will regulate how fast your notebook computer will work and process info, so it’s obviously another crucial component of your mobile gaming computer. I would select the fastest processor rate that you could afford.


Another essential feature from the gaming laptop is usually RAM, and it will determine how much your computer can handle at any given moment.

You need at the very least 8GB of Memory to play just about all games, but countless gaming laptops right now include 8 or more gigs of memory.

DDR4 will undoubtedly be faster.

SSD Hard Drives

Many gamers choose SATA HDD, SSD gives them higher functionality, especially for excessive bandwidth applications like multi-player games. Recent gaming laptop computers are now using several hard drives that may offer up for the Terabytes of storage area.

SSDs are most likely the continuing future of game playing, but these are very costly. SSDs don’t have any moving parts so that they are considered more reliable than a typical hard drive with movable elements that may crash.

Display and Visuals

If you are a gamer, you know this one was going to be included. Top-quality gaming laptops today come with 1080p screens, but if you’re on a budget, you can sacrifice on the display to get a more reliable RAM and disk drive.

Battery Life

And lastly, if you’re always on the road, make sure you pay attention to the battery life of these machines.

Can You Play the Latest Games On These Laptops?

Modern games have a tendency to look increasingly more like reality. That is done via extraordinary 3D models.

If the price range is your major concern, you will want to consider getting a lower resolution screen to reduce glitches and lagging, as a lot of the cheaper laptops come with less “horsepower”.

With all gaming laptops, you may experience some heat when used a lot, so it’s a good idea to invest in a cooling mat so your machine doesn’t get warped from the heat or shut off during play.

CT loves marketing, entrepreneurship, and learning about the latest tech. She blogs about laptops has always been a nerd at heart from the young age of 8 when she got her first computer. She now owns multiple machines and spend 10-15 hours a day on them learning about tech and working from home.