Top 5: Best Gaming Laptops Under $500

In Laptops, Reviews by Branton16 Comments

top 5 laptops for gaming under 500

Need a laptop that can handle some light gaming for under $500? This list is all about the top 5 best laptops you should consider!

Although laptops under $500 aren’t usually considered “gaming laptops”, and they won’t be able to run the best games on the highest settings (or even close), you’ll still be able to do some light gaming while you’re on the go!

Spending around $500 on a laptop is going to get you something that can run games on low to medium settings, anywhere you want – as long as there is power. You won’t be able to get a laptop with a discrete graphics card at this price, so expect everything on this list to have integrated graphics.

Some of the most popular games like DOTA2, Minecraft, CS:GO, and Rocket League will run almost flawlessly, but games like GTA:V or Fallout 4 would definitely give these laptops some trouble.

Let’s get down to our picks of the best gaming laptops under $500! We’ll start with the cheapest, most bare-bones gaming laptop you can get for under $500, and we’ll work our way to the absolute best one you can get.

#5

Asus X551MAV

For way less than $300 you can get an extremely basic laptop which will put out enough power to do some gaming in between classes, or meetings.

For this price you really have to expect some compromise, and there is quite a bit, especially when compared to some of the other laptops on this list.

But, if you’re looking for an extremely economical laptop that could be used for casual browsing and some light gaming, this is the perfect unit. You can even get it for as low as $250, if you don’t mind sacrificing the DVD/CD drive.

Pros

  • Built-in mic & webcam
  • Built-in CD drive
  • Integrated WiFi
  • Good Value

Cons

  • No Bluetooth
  • No backlight on keyboard
  • Will only run basic / old games

Specs

  • Processor: Intel Celeron N2830 @ 2.1GHz
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD UMA graphics
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3L
  • Storage: 500GB 5400RPM HDD
  • Display: 1366 x 768, TN, 15.6″
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Weight: 4.7 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 4 hours

#4

Acer Aspire E5-571-588M

The Acer Asprie E5-571 is a great laptop for a student on a students budget, who also wants to game out from time to time.

It features a significantly better processor than the ASUS X551, as well as upgraded integrated graphics. The i5-4210U runs at a base clock of 1.7GHz, but can reach up to 2.7 when the turbo kicks in. Yes, your laptop is would be turbo powered.

Popular games like Minecraft, and DOTA2 or even CS:GO would run well on the E5-571. If you’re looking to spend around $400 on a laptop to use for gaming, this should be the one you pick.

Pros

  • Built-in mic & webcam
  • Built-in CD drive
  • Backlit Keys
  • Integrated Bluetooth & WiFi

Cons

  • Will have trouble with newer games

Specs

  • Processor: i5-4210U @ 1.7GHz
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD 4400
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3L
  • Storage: 500GB 5400RPM HDD
  • Display: 1366×768, TN, 15.6″
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 4 hours

#3

Lenovo G50

The Intel powered Lenovo G50 boasts a moderately powerful (for a laptop) i5-4210U, which processes at a reasonable 1.7GHz. Combined with that there is 6GB of RAM, a large 1TB (5200rpm) internal harddrive and an integrated Intel HD 4400 Graphics chipset.

You’ll be able to play games like Skyrim and GTA V in 720, and you’ll be able to pull 30fps most of the time. Honestly, you can’t expect much more from a laptop in this price range.

The G50 is a decent entry-level/budget gaming laptop, but it falls short of the #1 spot by not offering a good enough price vs performance ratio.

Pros

  • Built-in mic & webcam
  • Dolby Advanced Audio
  • Less than 1 inch thick
  • Built-in CD/DVD drive
  • Integrated Bluetooth & WiFi

Cons

Specs

  • Processor: i5-4210U @ 1.7GHz
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD 4400
  • RAM: 6GB DDR3L
  • Storage: 1TB 5400RPM HDD
  • Display: 1366×768, TN, 15.6″
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 hours

#2

Lenovo Z50

The Z50 is a step-up from the G50 and it offers more powerful components all-around. From the more powerful AMD A10-7300, to a faster grade of GDDR3L RAM.

On the outside, the Z50 is identical to the lesser-ranked G50, which is great if you’re a fan of a metal-looking laptop.

The Z50 is going to be able to handle games like CS:GO, DOTA2, Minecraft and other popular titles on “high” settings while pushing 40+fps. It’s definitely a great buy, as far as laptops under $500 go.

Pros

  • Built-in mic & 720p webcam
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Dolby Advanced Audio
  • Less than 1 inch thick
  • Built-in DVD/RW drive
  • Integrated Bluetooth & Wifi

Cons

Specs

  • Processor: AMD A10-7300 @ 1.9GHz
  • GPU: Integrated Radeon R6 Kaveri
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3L
  • Storage: 1TB 5400RPM HDD
  • Display: 1366 x 768, TN, 15.6″
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 6 hours

#1

ASUS X550ZA

The ASUS X550ZA is a great entry-level laptop which works pretty good for gaming, and will allow you to do anything else you would want to do on a laptop.

Featuring a 2.5GHz AMD A10 CPU, 8GB of 1600MHz RAM and an integrated Radeon R6 Kaveri GPU, this little laptop surprisingly only weighs 5.1 pounds, but it still packs a punch and will run the majority of games on medium settings, some newer games like Fallout 4 or Just Cause 4 might cause some issues.

If you’re in the market for a kickass laptop in the $500 range that’s also going to work well for gaming, then the ASUS X550ZA should definitely be your top contender.

Pros

  • Powerful AMD CPU & Integrated graphics
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Built-in mic & 720p webcam
  • Built-in CD/DVD+RW drive
  • Integrated Bluetooth & WiFi

Cons

Specs

  • Processor: AMD A10-7400P @ 2.5GHz
  • GPU: Integrated Radeon R6 Kaveri
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3L
  • Storage: 1TB 7200RPM HDD + 128GB SSD
  • Display: 1366×768, TN, 15.6″
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Weight: 5.1 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 hours

Conclusion

Not everyone can justify spending massive amounts of money on a gaming computer, especially if you’re going to school or you’re on a fixed income. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy PC gaming, it just won’t be at it’s finest.

I hope our top 5 gaming laptops under $500 list helped you come to a decision. If you’re still left with questions, feel free to ask them below!

Any other input you might have is also welcomed, just drop your thoughts in the comment section below!

Author

Branton

The first game I ever played on PC was Ultima Online way back in 1999, since then I've been hooked on PC gaming and putting together awesome builds! Thanks for stopping by!

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16 Comments on “Top 5: Best Gaming Laptops Under $500”

  1. they definitely are. I have the Asus X550ZA and it’s a really good laptop. but I paid pretty much double what it’s listed here for

  2. Hey Boss,

    i was going to be building the 400+ PC but now room is a problem so I’m looking to get a laptop instead. mostly to run wow and LoL, for sure LoL. what you think my options are ? will say like $500 mark…even used

    1. Hey Mr2Grey,

      Laptops in the $500 range aren’t usually ideal for gaming, but for a little more you can get one that’s actually pretty decent. This $579 Acer Aspire is a prime example, and it’s probably the best $500-ish laptop you could get right now. It comes with an i5 5200u, a 2GB GeForce 940m graphics card, 8GB of RAM and a decent 1080p screen. It would let you play WoW & LoL basically maxed out @ 60fps most of the time.

      Or for just shy of $500 you could get the Asus X550ZA which comes with an AMD A10 7400p processor running integrated R6 Kaveri graphics to an alright 720p screen. It would also work for WoW & LoL, but you’d be playing on low / medium and getting around 30fps.

      Another option would be to check local PC stores as they might have some half decent refurbished laptops on sale.

  3. Boss you rock man! I’m going to check out that Acer aspire one and see if i can make it work 🙂 thanks again man, great help keep it up

      1. Hey man, going to college soon and looking to buy a laptop. I’d love to be able to play games such as rocket league and csgo. Do you know if the MacBook Air i7 8gb intel hd graphics 6000 would let these 2 games run smoothly? If not any other macs that could run these games? I’m just looking for a laptop mostly for college work. But also gaming here and there. I’d love for it to be a lighter laptop not bulky. Thanks

        1. Hey Dave,

          Generally speaking, I have to suggest against MacBooks as they’re seriously overpriced for what you’re getting – and what you’re getting is an apple with a bite taken out of it for a logo 🙂 Honestly man, you would be much better off going for a Windows-based laptop with similar specs as you would no doubt be spending significantly less, leaving you with more money leftover for Ramen 😀 Take this Asus K50 for instance, it comes with an i7, a discrete GTX 960m graphics card, 8GB of RAM, a 15.6″ screen and a 512GB SSD for $1000 less than a 13.3″ MacBook Air with similar specs without a discrete GPU – oh, the 15.6″ Asus laptop is only 1lb heavier and just slightly thicker (0.12″ / 0.30cm) than a 13.3″ Macbook Air. At the end of the day, the Asus laptop would perform way better than what you were expecting, for way less than you were ready to pay.

          I hope that helps!

  4. How much better would the 579$ Acer Aspire Or The Asus x550ZA

    Compared to the ASUS X550ZA you have here.

    And what are the top games it could run with best setting for FPS.

  5. Do you have a recommendation on the cheapest I could go to run CS:S decently? Many of us still love it, its not dead! 🙂

    1. Hey Bob,

      Now that takes me back! Any of these laptops should run CS:S really well. The lowest you’d want to go is the #5.

  6. Yo I need your help Brandon. I am looking for a gaming laptop for $800 or less and I can’t find anything. I’ve been searching for months but the problem is that I live in Canada so basically everything is 25% or more cost. Please help I just need a really good gaming laptop for $800. Thanks

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