People who buy gaming laptops under $500 keep in mind that the laptop will be more useful for playing older games than the new ones. You should buy this laptop only if you’re not looking to play anything more than the shooter games of older generation, WoW, LoL and Minecraft. If you’re a girl, you can greatly manage with simulator games such as The Sims and other.
Buying this cheap gaming laptop will use for your business and in case you have a child yearning for playing games you can always give him/her to fill their gaming needs. Basically little children are not looking for a too much of a gaming challenge and there’s no need to cut their dreams. The biggest reason of this is a graphics card that shares memory. Not just that if it dies it damages the whole laptop but it also shares memory with the rest of the system which makes running games a mission impossible.
Other than that, the best and the most legit reason for buying a gaming laptop under $500 is because it’s simply the only option left and you’re in a hurry to find a new model for you. In case you’re expecting to earn more in the future, perhaps, you should be patient and let the time flow decide that you need a new gaming laptop.
Table of Contents
Should I Buy Gaming Laptops under $500?
The truth is that you shouldn’t. There’s no such thing as a perfect gaming laptop even in the $1000 range, even in the $1500 range. If expensive laptops can’t provide the best, how do you expect a $500 laptop to meet all of your requirements.
There’s not the best gaming laptop under $500, they consist of various downfalls that are merely disappointing in the gaming industry. Not just they don’t run too fast but they are prone to breaking after a short time and being useless completely.
If you can’t afford a more professional and sturdy model of a laptop that you aim to use for gaming then you’re looking for replacements knowing that these laptops can’t go far and beyond in running the most proficient games.
The laptops will have a lot of flaws that will sooner or later get on your nerves and there’s nothing you can do about it as you’re getting what you’ve paid for.
Outcome of Gaming Laptops under $500
There’s no special outcome, except that you’re simply running out of time.
Good things about these machines are good amount of RAM and processors. However the integrated graphics card needs to be handled with care and attention also, the storage containing a 5400 rpm SATA disc is slow even when it comes to loading Windows. You will see that after a while, the laptop will get tired with getting so stressed and pressured which will result in it working slower than usual.
In best case, these laptops can handle 1.5 years of gaming and perhaps something more in terms of business and a regular day to day use. The laptops should be capable of running photoshop programs with more or less lag while the CAD edition programs will encounter troubles running on these laptops. Just like mentioned before as a result of great processors the laptops can handle more than an average person would think they can.
An additional equipment includes a mouse mostly because the touch bars of these laptops are on a low note. The good pair of headphones replaces the buzzy speakers that are implemented in the laptop for the most of the time and a cooling pad that can with ease be placed under the laptop and support the cooling fans in their thermal settings.
If you’re a gamer, you will know that you will need a good cooling system that will prevent the laptop from heating, as heating is an apocalypse rider that gets rid of a laptop in the shortest time manner.
Best Gaming Laptops under $500
When we’re buying the gaming laptops, the biggest trait we focus on is the triangle of graphics card, processor, RAM, and occasionally we put an accent on storage as well.
We imagine what all will our powerful machine handle and with how much of ease, and then we check the price tag and get completely disappointed with the fact we will never, or at least in the nearest future be able to purchase this dreamy machine.
In case we need laptop urgently, and we don’t expertise at gaming as the gaming professionals that run the Youtube and Twitch channels but we want to have an occasional gaming adventure we turn to the cheaper desktop replacement.
At times, the best solution for a great gaming time is the desktop computer itself, but for people that are often away from the home, a laptop with couple of gaming utilities provides great safeguard when it comes to transferring computer and much more.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the use of cheap gaming laptops and help you find the right model that will suffice playing older games, probably the ones that came out before 2010 and some after.
The laptops have good processors, sufficient amount of RAM, good amount of storage and a fancy design. Keep reading this article in order to find out more about our winning model and the 4 replacements that you will easily fall in love with if you’re looking for a budget friendly gaming challenge.
1. Lenovo Z50-75: the Winner
I’m not a fan of AMD components but I loved the smell and sound of quality and victory this laptop gives.
Seriously, who knew that a laptop under $500 can run such proficient selection of games on medium and high settings. Not just that, the laptop comes in a very lovely design, has a good amount of storage and moreover a 16GB of RAM.
Perhaps that’s too much because this is a more than a budget laptop but faced with an obstacle such as R7 integrated graphics card, RAM is that best friend who always gets you out of travel.
Moving on, we’ll describe the most important features of this laptop, including design, display, audio, keyboard and touch bar, battery and performance. As a bonus we’ll give you a reason why should you buy this laptop as a recommendation.
Featuring slight differences compared to the IdeaPad Z50-70 the Z50-75 comes with a wonderful and attractive case that will definitely leave you speechless. The vast majority of low budget laptops come in plastic cases without anything that could stand out from the crowd. The laptop case is dyed in a black color with brushed, high-quality plastic with shiny reflection, on the side, you will see a white Lenovo sign that represents the firm of the laptop.
The laptop is opened with ease and represents you with a 15.6-inch screen along with a large, cushy keyboard that is very comfortable with fingers. There’s also a touch bar and a numeric pad with large keys on the right side of the keyboard. It is rare that the laptops of this price range come along with numeric pad on the right side, despite the fact it’s a 15.6 inch laptop.
We’ve fallen in love with the design of this laptop that simply astonishes, there’s not much that these laptops can offer in terms in performance, but the design is top 10. I don’t personally care about the design of the laptops, it’s understandable that these laptops don’t have the gaming superior design, but laptops that can offer superb performance while still being capable of running a happy selection of games.
At 5.2 pounds the machine is relatively lightweight, easily eligible with the traveling on longer distances, in the fullest bus on cold weather, the biggest flattering and relief is provided with the laptop that fits easily in the bag and doesn’t cause weighting issues when carrying around. The dimensions are also acceptable, meaning that the laptop is very sleek and slim compared to other models that are available among the competition. If you’re looking for a model that provides great time using, along with a fancy and slim design and utmost availability Z50-75 is the model to definitely compliment your table.
Keyboard and Touch Bar
If you’ve decided to take a mid-ranged laptop with severally low price tag, you’re looking for a decent balance between the gaming creed and business operations, as much as the day to day use that includes surfing the web, watching movies and videos as much as checking the regular occasions on social media. In that case the keyboard and touch bar play great role, same like the more expensive models. However, the touch bar also plays important role as games played on this model are far less demanding than the Asus ROG models and MSI G series models.
The Z50-75 has a very large and lovely keyboard. However, it feels quite wavy on touch which is a bit disturbing. Also, the model has crunchy keyboard that is very loud when loud typing. All in all what feels lovely on this laptop is being able on getting 100 WPM speed with minimal typing errors. This is what feels good on these laptops, because they are compatible for typing fast and accurate. Specially it will appeal to gamers in the offices who need to use the laptops in business needs and avoid the unnecessary expenses in the enterprise.
About the touch bar, it’s just a casual, ordinary touch bar that handles the daily task proposed by the user. Among the a bit slower response time and accessability, it reacts pretty fast, moves smoothly and swiftly and handles all tasks despite being a low budget mouse replacement.
They are not the selection of input options that are given on far better laptops but they are very handy in a not stressful term of using without too much pressure and rush.
The 15.6 inch display is very often seen on better ranged laptops, but with such strong laptop that’s very frequent. However the laptop this low ranged supports the 1366 x 768 resolution with full HD+ resolution and a LED-backlit display.
You will see the large selection of vivid colors and vibrant textures that compliment the display. Without too much hassle you will be able to watch your favorite movies, videos and enjoy the color accuracy, relatively good viewing angles (considering that you won’t play too much demanding games, and get to enjoy the regular day to day use. The display responds respectfully fair with the mouse,
The display will provide you with a clear images and relatively predictive. The laptop features games of older generation but 15.6 inches diagonal, and LED screen make even old games with outdated graphics look nicely. It is a rare find to greet a laptop with such good display settings or at least respectful compared to the vast majority of laptops.
The stuttering and disfunction are traits this laptop has due to its low price profile. The audio utilities give a lot of buzzing output but luckily only when the volume is increased very high.
Knowing that laptops with low profile comes with poor audio quality and speakers that just don’t satisfy the musical needs of its users, especially, inside the games manufacturers keep providing great quality headphones that can replace the bad quality audio utilities.
Considering the fact that the laptop runs on R7 integrated graphics card that shares the memory with RAM, the heating is very weakened. The laptop can regularly overheat but only if it’s exposed to a lot of stress. That’s why the laptop shouldn’t be exposed to too much pressure.
A 4-cell LiOn batteryis supposed to give 5 hours, but instead it is a set of very disappointing, small and tiny battery that does nothing but give stress.
Instead, if you ship the high level of brightness on your laptop the machine won’t survive more than 1 and half up to 2 hours. Reason for that is that the laptop integrated graphics card that heats easier than the ones with the dedicated memory. However nowadays $500 can’t buy a dedicated graphics card so low profile gamers will have to find a way to satisfy with them with the modesty.
All in all, in decent settings that are more power safe friendly you will find yourself using that laptop for 3 hours. That’s enough to complete some job or watch a movie in order to relax. We’re hopefully to see the enhancements in battery lives even in the low budget laptops in the future.
We’ve finally come to the performance section, the section everyone has been waiting for. The laptop is structured with the AMD utilities that are definitely not my favorite, as you can see the highly ranged laptops seldom appear to have comparable AMD settings that can compete with Intel’s components. Perhaps, the reason is because this laptop is far low for gaming just like the other 4 laptops, but we’ve made our way to find the most gaming friendly machines so far.
Let’s start with the processor. The Z50 sports the quad-core multitasking component the AMD FX-7500 APU processor with 2.1 GHz with turbo boost frequency that can raise up to 3.30 GHz. This is perfect for playing games that are old, but not that old. It will raise on 3.30 GHz automatically when it feels it’s exposed to more stress than usual.
Along with its beastly, multitasking and operations handling power, there’s 16 GB DDR3 RAM with 1600 MHz. That’s right, you read it correctly, 16 GB of RAM. This is maybe a mistake in terms of putting the pieces together. Knowing that you have an integrated graphics card that can’t handle anything better than The Sims, pretty much, why in the world would you pursue the 16GB RAM computer?
The answer is simple, despite the shared memory the RAM is usually trouble saver. When the laptop struggles to run some game RAM supports the graphics card in running it. Meaning that, being able to handle more than the laptop is allowed to is the capability and ability of the RAM and we’re very thankful for it.
We will talk about the graphics here. There’s nothing special to say about an integrated graphics card with shared memory. Graphics that is mostly responsible for laptop dying before it’s supposed to, but the R7 graphics card is something more than just a blame taker.
It allowed us to play games such as The Sims 4 and Star Wars: The Old Republic on high settings, without the stuttering and lags. We were pretty amazed with the power and ambient this graphics card provided us. Additionally, the laptop can run Mortal Kombat X on medium settings. However the optimal setting for good and brutal fun is at low settings.
There are endless possibilities for gaming even in the low performance laptop and soon enough you’ll realize that there are far more games that you can run than those that you can’t run. You probably won’t find a better graphics card on the market in terms of integrated graphics card, and you won’t find a better laptop in general.
The storage is ensured with a 1TB SATA drive with 5400 rpm. The storage is understandable and despite the medium to low transfer speeds and accessing speeds you will be able to store a lot of games, videos and programs. When gamers are going for a gaming laptop they don’t settle without the SSD or at least 1TB 7200 rpm drives but this is something the $500 can’t buy.
The system has preinstalled Windows 10 64 bit Home and it appears to be without the unnecessary programs and other bloatware that slows down the computer. The system is clean instruction so you won’t have to deal with programs that additionally slow the machine. This being said, beside the several problems with display, audio and heating, the performance makes it up to it without a problem. You just have to be careful not to overheat the computer.
Things that I didn’t like
Obviously I didn’t like the integrated graphics card and the low speed storage. But at this budget no one can settle for better, and more importantly, these laptops are not dedicated to the people who are trying to make miracles with it.
The crunchy keyboard noise made me go nearly insane. I don’t like noisy keyboards but at times I can be very sensitive and that can annoy me pretty fast.
I wish that the battery lasts a bit longer in order to prevent the unnecessary shut downs.
Reason for Recommending
If you’re an ordinary, occasionally gaming student or worker and you’re more of aiming for a companion who will help you study and/or work and sometimes accompany you in the gaming endeavors, this laptop is for you. You can easily carry it in the bag to the desired café or a library. It doesn’t make trouble in the bag and is fairly wonderful.
In the world of the ever growing gaming industry, every child and an adolescent is looking for a nice add on to the house. The Z50-75 despite the wonderful chassis, sleek and slim design has performance not worth the ROG, G series, Omen and Dominator series.
The integrated graphics card falls back behind the 950M and higher. It is understandable, however the laptop is still powerful enough to handle multiple tasks at once, play at reasonable settings and provide the great entertaining time for its user.
Just like every laptop, this one comes with the several downfalls but they don’t significantly affect the gaming to the point you have to return it. With a little technical knowledge, understanding for the laptop pricing, you can achieve great things with the Z50-75 from Lenovo.
2. Asus X540LA-SI30205P
Asus X540LA is a fairly respectful desktop replacement for people that are looking for a balance of productive and attractive laptop with a little touch of gaming perspective.
Running at such low price it succeeds to unite various good-quality components that are necessary for the essential day to day work and business operation. For people who like to play old fashioned games that don’t eat the graphics card and the processor, this model just suits for you.
Asus X540LA comes in an attractive chassis of silver grey color that feels very smooth and sleek on touch. When you open it, you’ll see a 15.6 inch screen and a large keyboard with additional numeric pad to the right side, extremely likely for everybody who types or fans of gamers who like to play multiplayer games, of course, of the older generation.
So like we said, the effect of the laptop cover looks as brushed aluminum however it’s just a silver plastic with the asus sign proudly etched in the middle of the laptop. The 15.6 inch diagonal screen offers 1366 x 768 maximal resolution and full HD+. The laptop has an intel Core i3 5th generation processor 2,2 GHz, 4 GB DDR3 RAM and an Intel integrated graphics card.
As such, laptop perfectly fits in the regular daily use and the beneficial manner of it is the 1TB of storage that allows multiple storage of valuable data. Although the laptop doesn’t promise the most efficient high end gaming time, it will handily support regular day to day and business operations including school and playing low end games that came out years ago.
If you don’t have money, but you’re a gamer who urgently needs a laptop, this one is for you.
Things that I liked
- 1TB of storage on a laptop that belongs to a low budget, low range selection is a spot on. On regular basis, these laptops have maximally 500GB HDD without additional storage extensions. Having an urge to store files, this laptop is extremely handy for that.
- Although the laptop is low ranged it is the most quiet machine you can get with this price tag. On an additional note, it doesn’t get too hot, so you’re safe from unintentional graphics turning off and overheating that can result in a catastrophe one way or another.
- Responsive trackpad, smooth and speedy and extremely affordable laptop is a rare find. The students will love the sound of quality coming out from this laptop.
Things that I didn’t like
- A lot of bloatware generally slows down the laptop and moreover isn’t necessary at all.
- Low battery life is often seen on laptops and it isn’t a too big downfall if you’re looking forward to being attached to the electrical plug.
Reason for Recommending
This laptop is the best affordable option despite its expensive looking design and the components placed in it. Should you use it just for surfing, a bit of games and office suite, the laptop offers far beyond its competitors can offer.
Asus has always aimed to find the most handy machine that can meet the demands of its users. Such is Asus X540LA, a silent beast that cuts sharply and precisely through the new era of technology on a very affordable price. The set of components set on it allow the user to experience perhaps old fashioned but yet still high quality gaming, without lagging, stuttering and buzzing. It is not a too high resolution system but it is a worthy desktop replacement and a must have technology companion for gamers and students.
3. 2017 Newest Dell Inspiron
If Dell could’ve release any fancier but a budget laptop it would be this newest Dell Inspiron for the 2017 year. Another great gaming laptop under $500. Coming in a wonderful silver chassis with the black HP sign embedded in the center, the newest Dell Inspiron reminds of what MacBook Pro looks like today. However, this low budget machine has much more to offer than the silver lining and a breath taking design only high class has.
Another 15.6 inches screen features the Full HD FHD display with the maximal supporting resolution 1920 x 1080 guarantees a clear picture with vivid textures that looks wonderful to look at. The picture is sharp and clear, and what more, it is big enough for gamers to have full concentration.
Additionally, the laptop has a large, cushy and comfortable keyboard that is backlit. The laptop offers great gaming ambient appearance, but too bad that it has only Intel’s integrated graphics card – Intel HD 520 with the shared memory.
With utmost disappointment not everything that is beautiful runs perfectly smooth, at least in terms of gaming. It is a well-known fact that this laptop won’t run the most famous games especially from these years.
However, not some of the best laptops from our lists can run absolutely all games on ultra. As soon as you accept it, you’ll realize that there are far more games that you can play than those that unfortunately you can’t.
Handling multiple operations and processes like always the 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U Dual-Core Processor with 2.3 GHz frequency is there to compliment this laptop with its amazing power. It can run much higher in its turbo mode that activates up to 2.8 GHz, which is great.
There are also 8GB RAM to support the shared memory graphics card and a 1 TB storage 5400RPM mechanical hard drive. Running a bit slower, but not a deal breaker whatsoever. The laptop also has good audio quality and a respectfully durable life.
Things that I liked
- The silver lining accompanied with a beautiful, fashionable design left me speechless. I love laptops that look like this, and are certainly different than monotony black color that is available on all laptops.
- Syncing with XBOX 1. If you’re a gamer, and I suppose you are, you’ll find this extremely useful. Being able to play the laptop synchronized with the Xbox console will make you fall in love with this laptop even more.
Things that I didn’t like
- The backlights on keyboard fade after a minute, so unless you like to move your touch bar every 60 seconds, you should consider finding a way to extend this time.
- The laptop would look much greater with the dedicated graphics card.
Reason for Recommending
If you’re looking for an affordable Dell desktop replacement with so many features and a new looking design, the newest 2017 Dell Inspiron is just for you.
Being balance of the new and proficient, Dell Inspiron is a model that will compliment your desk and with the power of its processor allow you to handle multiple operations. It’s a combination of great, wonderful design that amazes you each day more, great battery life, high resolution and strong components that are eligible from everything, starting from the day to day use and surfing to working and gaming.
4. 2016 Newest Dell Inspiron 15
A bit older than the previous model, the Dell Inspiron 15 coming from the last year features combination of Intel HD and AMD processor combined together to bring budget laptops in the outstanding gaming state- as much as possible.
The laptop has an AMD A8 processor that ranges from 2,2GHz to 2.9GHz, Intel HD graphics card and 6GB of RAM. Quite affordable for regular use and low end gaming. The laptop can surprisingly run World of Warcraft on over 50 fps and many more games that come from an older generation.
The supported resolution is 1366 x 768 pixels on this 15.6 screen but the displayed picture is still of great quality. I fell in love with the stunning appearance of this laptop. However I like the silver lining more.
Things that I liked
- Just like the previous model, I fell in love with the wonderful and stunning design that isn’t the top priority of laptops this inexpensive. Other than that the laptop is inexpensive and worth every cent.
- The reliability and functionality this laptop offers are far beyond comparable. If you’re looking for an affordable model of laptop that can meet all of your demands and exceed from your expectations this is the one.
Things that I didn’t like
- The laptop has very short battery life ranging up to 3 hours, eventually 3 hours and half.
- Due to the slow hard drive, the laptop runs slow and it can take it several time before the windows starts. This is a result of lower rpm mechanical hard drives.
Reason for Recommending
If you can’t afford the 2017 edition, why not afford the 2016 one. With all the possible features this laptop has, it’s perfectly eligible for gaming and business usage. Perhaps this is the laptop for you, if you’re prone to gaming, traveling and multitasking.
Laptop for every occasion that utilizes great features, components and offers great performance for everyone starting from students to the serious workers. Although it has the integrated graphics card with the shared memory, this laptop is very functional and can run some of the older games on high settings.
5. HP 15-ay013nr
Another gorgeous laptop with the silver lining smells of new, fresh and powerful.
This is the last laptop from our list, but certainly not any less important than its comrades. This 15.6 inch screen supports full HD and has resolution of 1920 x 1080 which provides great screen with sharp and clear display and vivid textures. It has great audio quality and a large cushy keyboard.
The solid state drive and DVD Writer are a revolutionary new components on these inexpensive models. The laptop stores 128GB in the solid state drive and runs fast and efficiently. Other than that, the laptop has a Core i5-6200U dual core processor with 2.3 GHz with turbo boost up to 2.8 GHz for more multitasking operations. There’s also an integrated graphics card and 8GB of DDR3 RAM
Things that I liked
- Attractive design with very stunning silver lining. The laptop hits the sweet spot and will definitely not go unnoticed in the cafe or library.
- The solid state drive, even with this low storage has not been often seen on the budget laptops. However, seeing a laptop that sports one is definitely sweet news.
Things that I didn’t like
- Poor quality touch bar isn’t responsive and isn’t as smooth as it seemed at first.
- There’s a lot of annoying bloatware on it.
Reason for Recommending
This laptop has everything an ordinary laptop user with tight budget would need. Not just the attractive look but also set of lovely components including the SSD drive that is more than essential in today’s technology world. I’d recommend it because it’s lightweight, lovely and smooth running.
For less than $500, this laptop will allow you to play some older but also newer games thanks to the i5 processor, and 8 GB of RAM, and also enable you to use it for the regular operations. The smooth and fast running is enabled by the 128 GB solid state drive that is great add on in the inexpensive laptops. Other than that, it has a large display, cushy keyboard and good speakers and more importantly the durable battery life.
With the HP’s laptop, our list has come to the very end. By now, you see that there is not a perfect gaming laptop, especially with this given budget.
I recommend these laptops only if you’re in the urgent need of a laptop, and wanting to provide some gaming for yourself in the process. Other than that you can check our other gaming laptops in the list and perhaps find something for yourself.
The biggest downfall to these laptops is the lack of graphics card with the dedicated memory, which has its own internal cooler and offers high framerate per second for the vast majority of newer games.
If you’re looking for a laptop that can run fallout 4, Witcher 3 and newer games than that, then you should look at our other roundups and find something for yourself.