Gamers unite!! If you have been searching for an expert’s review on some of the most pocket friendly and efficient gaming laptops out there in 2018 trust me, this is the place to be. Investing in a good laptop can be tricky especially if you are looking for a laptop that can be used for multiple purposes. You might want a gaming laptop that you can also use for work or other forms of entertainment occasionally. Considering the number of choices available in the market, it may seem difficult to find a great gaming laptop as it is. Add a tight budget to the equation and the problem gets even worse. So if you are struggling with a similar dilemma, worry no more.
In this article you will find everything you need to know about the best performing gaming laptops under $500. And just in case you want to venture out on your own after reading this article, you will also find a quick guide on what to look for in a good gaming laptop. Now, let’s get started, shall we?
Top 7 Best Gaming Laptops under $500
Although you can’t expect too many advanced features in devices of this budget, the ones listed here seem to be a cut above the rest in terms of performance. Additionally the guide should help you decide what features you should look for in a good gaming laptop. This list has been made after comparing several laptops and looking specifically for laptops that can be used with gaming as prime objective.
#1 Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG Laptop
The first gaming laptop to make it to this list is the Acer Aspire E5- 575G-53VG. This Acer beauty comes with a 6th Generation intel core. The i5-6200U is a processor that is ideal for gaming with its processing speed of up to 2.8GHz. The laptop comes complete with the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX to ensure that your gaming experience is uncompromised. With an NVIDIA graphics card, you cannot go wrong as far as gaming is concerned. The 8GB memory and 256GB SSD perfectly complement the processor. If you are looking for a semi lightweight device that you would want to carry around, Acer Aspire is the one for you.
At only around five pounds, it is one of the lightest gaming laptops out there. However, there has been no compromise on the screen size. Its rich 15.6″ full HD display gives a real life sort of touch to all your games. The keyboard comes with backlight to ensure you can game on, anytime, anywhere. Speaking of anytime, the Li- Ion battery on this one is of 2800mAh and the battery life is a decent 12 hours on full charge which is really promising. The windows 10 OS allows ease of use. All in all, this one is worth every penny and had to be at the top of the list.
#2 Dell 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
It is impossible to miss a Dell laptop while listing out affordable devices. Hence keeping this tradition alive and giving Dell credit where it is due, Dell 15.6″ gaming laptop is the next on this list. Complete with Intel i5-6300HQ quad core, this gaming laptop has a processor speed of 2.3 GHz. Rest assure that this laptop will certainly not leave you stuck or lagging in the middle of a game. Turbo speed of up to 3.5 GHz makes this laptop one of the best performing laptops. Being a part of the inspiron series by Dell, this laptop can easily oscillate between gaming and work. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M gives you best in class gaming experience backed with a 8GB RAM, sufficient for most games.
If you wish to invest in a laptop that can be used for work and play, this is the right choice for you. The 15.6″ display can be adjusted for gaming or work mode. The IPS panel and anti glare screen ensure that your eyes do not feel fatigue even after long work or game sessions. The only complaint with this laptop is that the quality of the touchpad is not the best. But in this budget range, it is easily one of the best gaming laptops.
#3 Lenovo Ideapad 15ABR
The next gaming laptop to make it to this list is the first of the three Lenovo laptops to be on this list of best. Lenovo seems to really get what a real gaming experience should be like. At an affordable price too. Equipped with a 1TB hard disk and 8GB RAM, you can never complain of this one slowing down or getting stuck. The processor is a 2.7GHz AMD Quad core processor with Windows 10 Operating system. Looking at these specifications, it can easily be categorized in the list of best laptops for most gaming applications.
The 15.6″ high definition display has AMD Radeon graphics which make the picture quality quite good. The battery life is decent with its Li-ion battery made of 2 cells and can be expected to last for 4 hours. While it may not be the best battery life on this list, the weight on this one is only around 5 pounds which is sort of a trade off here. If you are looking for a pocket friendly laptop for gaming and light entertainment, this one would be a great choice.
#4 ASUS VivoBook F510UA
The ASUS ViviBook F510UA is a clear winner on this list in terms of processors. Isn’t it a delight to have the 8th generation Intel i5 core? Complemented with 8GB RAM and 1TB storage, at just about 3.6 pounds, this laptop is ideal for travel. The display may not be the best, it more than makes up with its stylish design and color.
This sleek laptop has a 14″ screen full HD display. If you want to work and play on the go, this is one of the lightest laptops in this price range. Special attention has been paid to the design of the keyboard n this one. The ergonomic chiclet and finger print sensor technology is something ASUS can be proud of. The battery can easily last up to 5 hours on full charge. Moreover the sleek design with a thickness of 0.7″ makes it a good looking piece of technology. This laptop also has the NanoEdge technology by ASUS which makes the display stand out from the rest of the devices on this list. The star grey color body gives this laptop a trendy chic look.
#5 HP Premium A6-9220
With a battery life of up to 6.25 hours, this HP laptop has to be one of the best travel friendly laptops on this list. Weighing a little over 4 pounds, this laptop is a piece of art in itself. The signature AMD dual core processor performs with 2.50GHz speed. For gaming, the AMD Radeon is an absolute yes.
Its 15.6″ high definition screen is a WLED with backlight making it quite convenient for eyes of all ages. Night gaming is indeed a pleasure with this laptop. Above all the movie viewing experience with this one is quite rich. With a thickness of just 0.9″, this sleek beauty is quite impressive for this price. The simple design makes it a classy laptop to own. While its 4GB RAM and 500GB hard disk may not be the best out there, it performs reasonably well for its price.
#6 Lenovo Z50 – 15″
If you are looking for a high performance and reliable gaming laptop within a small budget, the Lenovo Z50 is made just for you. With an upgraded 16GD RAM and 1TB hard drive, this one won’t fail you, whether it is work or gaming. The 64 bit windows 10 system gives you a reliable 5 hours of battery life on full charge.
For the gamer in you, AMD FX-7500 will not fail to impress. The overall experience of movies and gaming is excellent with its 15.6″ screen. With full high definition and backlit WLED display, it is one of the best screens in this price range. For all your night gaming sessions, the Lenovo Z50 is one of the best devices available. Additionally the Lenovo Z50 comes with Dolby home theatre sound system which is mind blowing. The overall gaming experience with this laptop can be said to be comparable with some of the high price gaming laptops. The design can be considered aesthetically pleasing while not being over the top.
#7 Lenovo Edge 15
The last gaming laptop to make it to this list is yet another creation by Lenovo. The Lenovo Edge 15 is easily the edgiest of all the laptops listed in terms of appearance. The reason will be clear when we talk about the touchscreen feature on this one. While all the other gaming laptops are still a standard notebook with keyboard input, this one is a 2-in-1. The Lenovo Edge has the i3 intel dual core with 2.2GHz frequency which is quite good for a gaming laptop of this price range. This is also the only laptop on this list with an intel 5500 graphics. This is supported by 6GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive. This might not be suitable for hard core gamers, but if you are looking for an occasional indulgence in games, this laptop is perfect. Weighing slightly over 5 pounds, this laptop can be easily carried around in a backpack.
The 15.6″ diagonal full high definition screen is one of the best for viewing. Moreover the 1080pi display enhances the details on screen making it great for watching movies or while playing games. The keyboard has the signature Lenovo backlight making it easy to use at anytime of the day. With the windows 10 operating system, this one can handle both work and gaming with equal ease. Just to make things clear, this laptop is most suited for people who wish to indulge in gaming only occasionally.
What to look for in a good gaming laptop under $500
Now that we have discussed some of the most notable laptops for gaming under $500, you might also feel the need to check some other options out for yourself. If you wish to explore a little more and be certain that you are spending on the right product, here is a quick guide which should be your checklist while finalizing your choice. The range of choice is plenty in the market and it might get really confusing to pick one.
With gaming as the specific purpose for which you would want to use your laptop, while not compromising on the ability to work, here is a list of the most important things to pay keen attention to. Although there might be other features you want to look for, these are the ones you should absolutely not miss.
1. Graphic Card
The first and the most important component of a gaming laptop that you must consider is the graphic card. For having a quality gaming experience, it is necessary to have a graphic card that can support latest games while ensuring that you can play seamlessly. Nobody wants their latest games to have a feel of some bad 80s video games. Considering that the gaming graphics have improved considerably in the past decade, it is advisable for you to pick a laptop with a graphic card that can support most of the latest games and updates. While you can’t expect real life like graphics with a gaming laptop in this price range, you can still adjust the settings on your games to make them look decent. NVIDIA or AMD graphic cards are often sufficient for most popular games available today. However, make sure you keep a good graphic card at the top of your priority list while choosing a gaming laptop.
The next thing to keep in mind while investing in a good gaming laptop is the performance. Performance mainly depends on the processor and the RAM. While the processor decides the speed of performance, the RAM will define the efficiency. Breaking it down, higher the frequency of the processor, the better it will be for your gaming. This frequency is in GHz range and for a gaming laptop in this budget you can hope for a 2.5 GHz or higher.
In addition to the processor speed, another factor to be considered is the core, if the laptop has a dual or quad core. It simply means that the laptop is equipped with 2 and 4 processor core chips respectively. The last aspect of the performance of the gaming laptop is its Random Access Memory or RAM. The processor is not of much help without a good RAM. Again the higher the RAM, the better the processor will perform. Look for a 4GB or higher RAM as it is the minimum requirement for most new games. An 8GB RAM is ideal for gaming, however a tradeoff can be done with a 6GB RAM and decent processor. Remember that the processor and the RAM together will decide how well your gaming laptop will perform.
3. Battery life
Let’s be realistic here. While most laptops offer a battery life of as high as 8 hours in this age, we can’t expect the same for gaming laptops in this price range. When given a choice between a better processor and graphic card and long lasting battery life, all manufacturers invariably choose the former and rightly so. However, you can easily find a good gaming laptop with around 4 hours of battery life. This is about the same battery life as most of the entries on this list. Often times a higher battery life would mean lesser attention to the gaming capability in terms of processor or RAM, so be wise while considering a laptop with exceptionally promising battery life. These days it is not really difficult to find a charging point on the go, so you could compromise a little on the battery life if you can get another feature that is a must have.
Yet another compromise that you may have to make to fit your budget is the screen. It may be the size or resolution of display. While most of the laptops listed here are with a full high definition screen, other gaming laptops in this budget may not be the same. For an excellent and vivid gaming experience, visuals play a major role. Like every gamer, you may wish to enjoy the game with life like visuals which it is designed to have. But considering that these gaming laptops here are going to cost a lot less than most other laptops, some leeway needs to be given on the screen requirement. A 15″ screen with a full HD or even without an HD display should be sufficient for a near real life experience with any game. Another fact to remember is that with an increase in the screen size, the overall size of the laptop increases. This would make it less handy during you LAN gaming sessions. Not to forget it also adds to the weight of the device and the battery consumption partly. If you are keen on having night gaming sessions quite often, it is good to invest in a laptop that has a backlit screen to cause less damage to your eyes.
This brings us to the next specification to keep in mind while picking a gaming laptop, literally. If you are planning to use your gaming laptop for long LAN gaming sessions with your friends, you would certainly want to invest in a laptop that weighs about 5pounds or even less. Some of these laptops may weigh even as less as 3lbs which makes them ideal for travel. Although the weight of a gaming laptop is not of very high priority, it is still something you should keep in mind. The sole reason being a bulky device may not encourage you to carry it around. Hence you will see that most devices on this list are some of the lightest gaming laptops under $500.
The last aspect that must be given great importance while buying a gaming laptop is the storage capability. We all know that games are space consuming and most recent games require at least 500GB for installation to begin with. Considering this, to have an excellent gaming experience, 1TB is what most experts recommend. However, you could still be able to live by with 500GB, provided you don’t mind restricting your choice of games and stay away from updates. While it might be a little much to expect a storage capacity of over 1TB, you can still settle for a laptop with this kind of storage if you are willing to make some compromises elsewhere. Ideally an SSD is what you should be looking for. But an HDD of at least 1TB should also do just fine.
Having looked at some of the best gaming laptops under $500 and the things that you must pay attention to while choosing the right device, it is evident that the options are plenty. A great gaming laptop has a powerful graphic card, a large RAM to complement it and a processor that can take care of running a game.
All other features like screen resolution, audio quality, battery life and weight are secondary when compared to performance. However it is not difficult to find pretty good specifications despite the low price. The most important tip is to underline the specifications that you simply cannot compromise on and then make feasible tradeoffs based on your other needs.
It is good start by having realistic expectations from a device in this price range. If you are looking to run certain specific games, ensure that the specifications meet the minimum requirements of the games.
Summing it all up, there is certainly no scarcity of choices for good gaming laptops that are light on the pocket yet perform quite well. With the right priorities you should be able to find a gaming laptop that is perfect for you. Also, hopefully this list and guide has helped you to do just that.
- 1 Top 7 Best Gaming Laptops under $500
- 2 What to look for in a good gaming laptop under $500
- 3 In conclusion