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Cheapest Gaming Laptop under 500 – For Best Gaming Experience

Cheapest Gaming Laptop under 500 – For Best Gaming Experience
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While buying a budget gaming laptop there are 2 basic questions you need to ask: “Will you be using it for something else other than gaming?” and “What kind of games you want to play on it?”

At $500 you cannot expect the laptop to give you a world-class experience, but these 5 laptops which I have listed here are all good enough to play action-packed games on it. These laptops are not actually made for gaming, these budget laptops are usually for web surfing and movie watching. So finding ones that can hold up well during hard-core gaming sessions is very difficult to find.

Nonetheless, I do my job seriously. And I have found out 5 cheapest gaming laptop under 500 (you may also like: cheapest laptop under $300) that will make playing latest games a joy even on a budget. Hope you find your match in this list.

1. ASUS VivoBook F510UA: Our Choice for the Best Cheap Gaming Laptop under 500

The latest entrant by Asus in the $500 budget laptop market, this 8th generation machine is a perfect replacement to PC. In the era of ultra-thin and light laptops, this one gives a lot of competition to the likes of Lenovo Yoga 920.



Features


• 15.6 inches’ anti-glare screen
• 1920 x 1080 pixels’ resolution
• 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz processor
• 8GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB HDD
• The weight of just 3.7 pounds

Design

Compared to the previous VivoBooks, F510UA is better looking, slimmer and thinner. And significantly cheaper too. I was amazed at how did they manage to fit in so many specs in a laptop that is priced so low.

It’s a grab, really.

The laptop has a thickness of just 0.8 inches which will make it slide into any backpack easily. Asus has been smart at cutting costs where it does not matter compromising. Apart from the lid which is a gorgeous shiny metal grey, the entire laptop is made from plastic. The shiny coating gives an illusion of an all-metal body but it is not for real. The design inspiration has been clearly drawn from MacBook Air, but the vitals are still in the same place as the previous VivoBooks.

It is definitely beautiful and solidly built. Enough to attract the masses.

Display

VivoBooks already are well-known for their great displays and this machine with its full HD will only win more fans.

Like me!

The F510UA uses the IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology for its vibrant colors and crystal clear images. This tech is seen only in high-end notebooks, so I am pretty impressed. The full HD screen is incredible for movies (check here for the best laptop for watching movie), games and even mundane office tasks. And the viewing angles! Oh my god!

In fact, the NanoEdge display of the Asus F510UA gives you more screen space over the bezel. 80% screen-to-body ratio is the unique feature of this laptop. Asus claims that they have used their in-house creation called the Splendid Visual Optimization technology but I don’t see any difference between the laptop’s display and any other entry-level IPS panel display. So that could be a marketing gimmick.

There are also pre-installed display modes like Manual, Normal, Vivid and Eye-care. Combine these settings with the ASUS Tru2Life Video technology and you have a visual treat. The display also has intelligent sensors which automatically adjusts the parameters like brightness, contrast, hue, and sharpness to produce the perfect picture.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The keyboard and touchpad are made of the same plastic material as the rest of the body. so they don’t give a luxury feel exactly but that does not mean it’s all bad. The keyboard and comfortable and has a decent key travel.

The laptop is compact overall but the keyboard and touchpad are big and have just the right size measurements. The letters and numbers are perfectly sized and placed neatly. Though Shift key is of the same size as rest of the keys, Enter and Backspace are larger. Some keys are hard to hit but after you get used to it, the keyboard is terrific.

The touchpad is also fairly good. It does not give that instant feel, but it is still quite above average.

Speakers

For gamers, full-time or part-time, multimedia is the ultimate stop. The laptop has to be undeniably good in audio and video quality. I have already told you all about the video. Now, let’s discuss the audio.

The laptop has 2 built-in stereo speakers which have a powerful audio output. While checking for the audio, I tested the speakers by playing everything – heavy bass, accustomed mids, and even high treble tracks. The laptop sounded pretty clear on all occasions.

Connectivity and Storage

Because of the wafer-thin size, you will not find a lot many ports on the laptop. There is no optical drive and 3 USB ports. Out of this one is USB 2.0, one is 3.0 and one is 3.1. There is also a full-size HDMI port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and an SD card slot. Wireless connectivity is through the 802.11ac Wi-Fi. There is no Ethernet port.

There is a lot of storage space on this VivoBook. Along with 8 GB memory, you get a 1 TB storage in the form of HDD. It is slower than SSD but there is an m.2 2280 slot next to the HDD which you can use for throwing in an SSD and boost speed.

Graphics

Equipped with UHD 620 graphics, the typical midrange ultra-thin laptop graphics, there is not much room for 3D gaming. With the processor and the dual-channel RAM of VivoBook, the gaming options are limited.

You can play the games smoothly but you will have to make sure your settings are on low to medium and the resolution is also at the lowest. The performance is smooth when you run the games that are not too taxing on the hardware. But heavy games bring down the frames per second to below average.

Battery Life

With the efficient and robust 8th generation chips, the battery of VivoBook is quite good. The Asus F510UA stays on for 5 to 6 hours on a single full charge. It just took me 2 hours to charge it to 100%. I plugged it in when it was completely discharged. Now, that is really fast.

When I say it lasted a good 5 hours, I am talking about continuous usage including a movie session on live streaming and web surfing. It might seem that the battery life is a little lower when compared to other suave ultra-portables, but considering the price, the laptop held up really well.

Webcam

Like other laptops in the same segment, VivoBook has a front facing VGA camera. The camera is decent, nothing extraordinary. It captures a proper image during daylight but fails to capture details under the night light. The webcam is not exceptional but at the same time, it is not bad either. It falls in the neutral category.

Pros
  • Premium design
  • Good audio quality
  • Latest processor
  • 1 TB storage
Cons
  • Absence of SSD
  • The keyboard is not backlit

See What the Customers are Saying

Conclusion

    With 1000 GB storage, decent battery life and 8th gen processor this laptop is worthevery penny. Yes, there are a few problems here and there like low gaming performance but gaming is still possible. For an entry-level notebook, this laptop does an amazing job.

2. Lenovo IdeaPad 330: The Runner-up

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 looks enough attractive form the outside. Do the insides match the outside? Well, find out all here.

I am a fan of large screens and lightweight laptops. This one provides both. And a lot more.



Features


• 17 inches’ anti-glare screen
• HD resolution of 1600 x 900
• 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U Quad-core processor
• 8GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB HDD
• The weight of 6.17 pounds
• Intel UHD Graphics 620

Design

To keep the weight and cost on the lower side, the laptop has been built entirely of plastic. But it does not look cheap and plasticky. In fact, when I first saw it I did not realize its plastic until I touched it. The surface does not scratch easily which is a huge plus point. This balances the plastic body actually.

The matte-finish plastic does its best to look like metal and it does get successful up to an extent. But at more than 2 kg, it cannot be called easily portable. After some time, you are going to feel the weight on your back.

A thick black bezel runs around the display and the plastic hinge covers the almost entire width of the display. You can fold the lid up to 180 degrees which comes in handy when you want to work while sitting cross-legged on the bed or sofa.

Display

With the resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels, the display is bright enough for the office and home usage, but not that good for outdoor usage. Overall the display is kind of ok. The colors look washed out most of the time. the viewing angles are also decent. But if you expect to see things clearly beyond 45 degrees’ angle, then you will be disappointed.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The IdeaPad 330 is a huge laptop. The 17-inch chassis is roomy. And so accordingly the keyboard and the trackpad are roomy too. There is plenty of travel space between the keys and they do not require more than the necessary amount of force to press. Typing is very fast and easy with the keyboard and will not require much time getting used to.

There is no backlighting but there are lights to indicate whether Caps lock and Number Pad are on. Now to the trackpad. That is an entirely different story. It is nowhere as good as the keyboard. And when I tried to install the Precision drivers, the trackpad became inoperable. Ultimately, I resigned and started using a wireless mouse.

Speakers

The speakers are facing downwards which is the most inappropriate space for an audio output. But unfortunately, majority laptops have it that way. The down-firing speakers are feeble. They are audible but very weak. In a quiet room, the vocals are clear. For mid to high frequencies, the speakers are all right. Anything beyond, they will give up.

Connectivity and Storage

All the ports are on one side of the laptop. On the left of the body, you will find two USB ports, an HDMI port, a card reader, an Ethernet port, and an audio jack. All other sides of the laptop are bare. The right side only has an optional DVD drive.

Most of the laptops have USB ports on either side because you need to wire the mouse on the right side. All ports being on left, attaching the mouse becomes the most inconvenient. And I also feel that just 2 USB ports are not enough. There is a lot of stuff you want to connect to the laptop. One more would have been better.

There is enough storage space in the 1 GB of HDD but it only has a speed of 5400 RPM. The CPU and RAM are too slow. So if you don’t like a lag, like me, then you can easily put in an SSD in the laptop anytime and have fun. An SSD in place will make the laptop 10 times faster.

Battery Life

The battery is a bad mark on this laptop. It is not absolutely worst, but it not up to the mark. On a full charge, I was able to squeeze in only 3 hours before I had to charge the laptop again. And I was not doing any difficult task. I had 6 tabs open in Microsoft Edge, the Bluetooth was off, screen brightness was at 60%, 2 apps were being installed in the background and I was typing in a doc.

This squeezed the laptop in just 3 hours. if you bring the brightness level lower, you can make it work for a little more but it is not a comfortable option.

Pros
  • Can be upgraded easily
  • 17-inch display
  • Great keyboard
  • 1 TB storage
  • Lots of ports and connectivity options
Cons
  • Bad webcam
  • Below average battery life
  • Poor trackpad
  • Slow HDD

See What the Customers are Saying

Conclusion

    Along with the battery life, I did not like the webcam also. Thought he microphone is quite good for video calls. The laptop does not hold up during gaming sessions too. It goes out of capacity for this one. With slow HDD this laptop is only good for a great task performance on a tight budget. Also, the screen size and compact laptop size is a joy.

3. Dell Inspiron 15 5000

Just because you are on a budget you should not have to trade the important stuff. But that is what will be the case with Dell Inspiron 15 5000. The processor is quite good which makes it a workhorse, but apart from that nothing else comes at the top.
You will see.



Features


• The screen size of 15.6 inches
• Screen resolution of 1920 x 1080
• Newest Intel 8th Quad Core i5-8250U processor with 3.4 GHz
• 8GB DDR4 2400 MHz RAM and 1TB 5400 RPM HDD
• The weight of 2.65 pounds
• Intel UHD Graphics 620

Design

Design-wise the laptop is a bland rectangular blob. Yeah. It’s silver plastic with a reflective Dell logo on top. There is no aesthetic value to the design. It is really bland to look at. The lid has 15.6 inches of screen with an offensively thick bezel surrounding it.

The brushed metal look also does not do anything to improve the appearance. The keyboard has all black island-style keys. The power button is on the right above the keyboard. The laptop is 1.2 inches thick and has a fair share of ports and also an optical drive.

Display

The display is as bad as the design. Sure, the screen is 15.6 inches and the resolution is 1080p but it does not behave like that. It looks blurry and dim.

And god forbid you to switch on anything Marvel.

The spider web on Spiderman’s suit was very difficult to make out. Gamora’s green skin had a white tint. Red was all over washed out. Even on Spiderman’s suit. Actually, it kind of appeared brownish. The blue skies appeared grey and the skin of Thanos had a bluish tinge.

The RGB measure was just 675 which explains the poor display and color quality. The panel measured a meager 175 nits when I tested it for brightness. As a matter of fact, this model is even dimmer than the 2017 touchscreen Inspiron.

Pathetic.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The black keys on the silver-body have a key travel of 1.4 mm. the pressure required to press the key is 73 grams but they feel a little cheap and loose. They feel shallower than they are and that is why the keyboard becomes uncomfortable. I have noticed that while typing my error rate increased by 2%.

The touchpad is plastic and same color of the body. It is bouncy and roomy with 4.1 x 3.1inches in measurement. The trackpad is responsive and it recognizes all the gestures perfectly. It is smooth.

Speakers

The speakers on Inspiron 15 5000 are pretty loud. It is very easy to fill a medium sized silent conference room. I also tried to play the music of all kinds. And the general test result was that the drum and vocals are clear but the bass lines don’t stand out. The laptop has a Waves MaxxAudio Pro preinstalled which has equalizers and dials to adjust the audio. But personally, I liked the default better.

Connectivity and Storage

Being a slim design, the laptop has its fair share of ports and connections. There is an HDMI port, three ports for USB 3.0, a headphone jack, an Ethernet jack, and an SD card reader. On the right side, there is also a disc drive for those who like to play old movies and games from discs.

While the storage space is a lot on this machine, the speed is another thing. Configured with 1TB 5,400-rpm HDD, the laptop is slower than those which have SSDs.

Graphics

The laptop has a dedicated graphics card which will give you a definite boost on Photoshop. But nothing else.

Gaming is not nearly comfortable with this configuration. Of course, you can play less taxing games on it. But for hardware-hungry labels, even the lowest settings will give out.

Webcam

The Dell Inspiron has a 720p camera but doesn’t get your hopes high. It takes really dark pictures. The eyes look shadowed and brown looks black when you try to take a selfie with this camera. Though the background was properly lit in my selfie. But on the other hand, I was darker than usual.

Battery Life

A mainstream laptop with the configurations Inspiron has should have a battery life of 8 hours or more. But this one died after 5 hours and 8 minutes. This battery life was after the full usage of the laptop. I had the highest graphics benchmarks, video running and at the same time, I was browsing the web. During a less stressful use, the system can run longer. But it will never reach 8 hours.

Pros
  • High-quality performance
  • Affordable laptop
  • Loud audio
  • 1 TB storage
Cons
  • Poor screen display
  • Bland design
  • Average battery life

See What the Customers are Saying

Conclusion

    The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is affordable and has high performance. But at the same time, you have to make do with poor display and average battery life. You cannot take the laptop without its charger. It is risky. The overall experience that I had with the laptop was great.

4. Acer Aspire E 15

For a low-priced laptop, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H sure packs a punch. It has got everything you can wish for in a budget laptop. You will have a hard time finding another laptop which is so good, has so many specs and is priced at such an attractive price.



Features


• The screen size of 15.6 inches
• 1920 x 1080 screen resolution
• 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8130U Processorup to 3.4 GHz
• 6 GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB mechanical HDD
• The weight of 5.27 pounds
• Intel HD Graphics 620 card

Design

The specifications on this laptop are pretty impressive, but design-wise this system is plain looking. The laptop is heavy and thick and suffers from the old-school thick bezel. Of course, it is grey, sleek and professional looking. It is made completely of plastic but the brushed texture gives it a metal finish which is quite deceptive.

The chrome Acer logo on the lid also gives it a premium look. The laptop is bulky and heavy but the weight is properly distributed across all areas of the laptop. Because of that, it becomes ergonomic and easy to carry. The build is solid overall. Though it is not metal there is nothing flimsy about the laptop.

Display

The display is non-touch, sharp but not very colorful. The laptop manages to make the deep burst of colors in a video look drab. The skin tones appear to be pale and the tones get mixed up. But on the bright side, details are awesome.

I was able to make out the details of the military medal on the uniform of Louis Zamperini in the trailer of Unbroken: Path to Redemption. While watching a movie or equivalent content, I was able to see each and every curl of hair, wrinkles on the skin of actors and fine streaks on the clothes. But these details don’t look that vividly colorful.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The laptop contains a full keyboard with keys placed at a travel distance of 1 mm. this makes it comfortable but not perfect. I like a key travel of 1.5 mm which aids my typing speed. Again there is a bright side to this too. The keys on the number pad are also spacious. The keys have an actuation force of 72 grams and have the perfect depth.

I was able to achieve my personal best in typing test. The touchpad is also equally responsive and large. It measures a proper 4.1 x 3inches and reacts quickly to the gesture controls of Windows 8.1.

Speakers

The E 15 E5-576-392H has loudspeakers but poor sound quality. The vocals sounded hollow and distant to me. And when I turned up the volume the speakers started to distort at just 60% volume.

Beyond that, your ears will bleed!

Even the treble becomes piercing. The biggest problem with music on this system is that the instruments overpower the vocals. So the voice becomes distant and the instruments sound loud and distorted.

Connectivity and Storage

The assortment of ports is excellent. It is kind of a necessity in a budget laptop under $500 in the true sense. The right side has all new world meets the old one going on. You will find a USB 2.0, a DVD drive and a headphone jack. There is also a power connector on the same side.

While on the left you will find a USB 3.1 type-C port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet output, a VGA port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a Kensington lock. There is also an SD card reader on the front of the laptop.

The storage of the laptop is managed by a slow 5400 RPM 1TB hard drive. But the good news is that it can be replaced with an SSD easily whenever you want.

Graphics

For a budget machine, the graphics performance is good. It does not have the chops to play the latest games but it is not impossible. The Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU was able to play a racing game at 56 frames per second without any lag. It can keep pace with whatever you throw at it. Not that is a feat not all can achieve.

Battery Life

Acer claims that the laptop will give a battery life of over 13 hours. But it did not set any records even nearer to that number. Very few devices offer a 6-cell Li-Ion battery (each 2,800 mAh) which should make its battery life exceptional. Of course, it is above average. But definitely nowhere near 13 hours.

Upon continuous usage at 150 nits and Wi-Fi surfing, the laptop lasted a good 8 hours and 45 minutes. It takes only 2 hours to get it to full charge. So in a way it did not disappoint. Just did not support the claims made.

Webcam

Acer E 15 does not raise any bar when it comes to the webcam. The images I captured through the camera are lifeless and appear to be dull. When I looked at the same photo on a colorful monitor, I realized that dark colors all go towards black and light become white. It was horrible.

The details captured were decent but there was the distinct amount of graininess to it. But it would be better if you can attach an external webcam to this machine. The existing one is not that great.

Pros
  • Long battery life
  • Spacious keyboard and big touchpad
  • Many ports available
  • Strong performance
Cons
  • The display could have been better
  • Underwhelming webcam
  • Old-school design

See What the Customers are Saying

Conclusion

    The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H gives a solid performance, good battery life and a huge range of connectivity options. For a laptop that is priced below $400, this one is definitely highly recommended by me. The gaming session was good and the design is normal but sleek. If the display had been brighter, there would not have been anything to complain about.

5. Lenovo IdeaPad 15 Y700

You can consider the Lenovo IdeaPad 15 Y700 as an entry level gaming laptop under 500. And it does its job pretty good. Now I am not saying it does not have its foibles. But they are not deal breakers. As a matter of fact, you can easily overlook them. Like I did!



Features


• The screen size of 15.6 inches
• 1920 x 1080 full HD screen resolution
• Intel Quad-Core i5-6300HQ 2.3 GHzProcessor up to 3.2 GHz
• 8GB 2133 MHz DDR4 RAMand 128 GB SSD + 1TB 5400 RPMHDD
• The weight of 5.73 pounds
• NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M

Design

The laptop has a chic design. the gaming laptop definitely looks like one. And not just a budget one. It looks like a high-end gaming machine. I am in love with the black and red. The lid is constructed from aluminum which has a criss-cross pattern brushed along. The texture with a Lenovo logo and two ridges look like a sophisticated luxury car.

The screen has a thick bezel surrounding it but in this case, it looks good. That’s new!

The keyboard is all red and black with a soft-touch finish. The top portion has 2 aluminum speaker grills beside the hinges. The design is absolutely lovely, just a tiny problem. It is a fingerprint magnet. So all you cleanliness freaks out there, keep a cloth near you. All the time.

Display

I love to see upgradations in laptops. After the previous version’s lackluster display, Lenovo has upped the game with Y700. There is a lot of much-needed brightness in the 1920 x 1080 full HD screen. The light meter gave a reading of whopping 263 nits.

Really impressive.

This newly improved brightness definitely helped when I started watching 1080p trailers. I could see every hair, every skin crease, and every other detail on the screen. The deep reds and bronze were really great and accurate. Though I did notice some yellowish tinge on white objects.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The Y700 has a full-size island-style keyboard. The keys are all smiley shaped and the basic gaming keys – W, A, S, and are illuminated a little brighter than the other ones. It makes it very easier to find them. Though with other keys backlit, there is not much difference between them and others. But it is still good.

The keys are all bouncy with 1.5 mm travel and actuation of 50 grams. The keys feel spongy, not like the firm bounce we are used to. The Synaptics touchpad is measured at 4.1 x 2.7 inches which is huge and responsive. The bottom corners have the respective mouse clicks which are delivered with satisfaction.

Speakers

The collaboration with JBL has been a very smart move by Lenovo. The top JBL speakers with bottom fitted subwoofer pump out a well-balanced loud noise. There is a preinstalled Dolby software which has 5 audio settings – Music, Dynamic, Gaming, Movie, and Voice.

The vocals, instruments, bass everything sounds just great. And that too only at 60% volume. But at maximum volume, things started to go downhill fast. It was all blaring and distorted. And above all the chaos, the vocal was barely audible. It became tinny.

But the gameplay is a completely different story. During the gaming session, it performed outstandingly. The crackling sounds, a puff of air, rustling, everything was clearly audible.

Connectivity and Storage

The laptop has enough ports to satisfy everyone. On one side there are 2 USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, and a secure lock slot. On the other side, you have a card reader, a USB 2.0 port, a power port, and a headphone jack.

The combination of 128 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD is fast. Really fast. You will never have to complain about lags or storage.

Graphics

You can play the hottest games on this machine and it will be awesome. On high settings, you get an fps of 61, at medium you get 72. On very high you can hit 38 fps. Every little detail is visible on the screen and the movement is as smooth as butter. I had an amazing time.

For a budget laptop, this machine plays really well.

Battery Life

On continuous web surfing, the laptop lasted a good time of 4 hours and 16 minutes. Which is not much by today’s standard. It did not reach the average of 5 hours even. But it is a problem which can be overlooked when you compare other specs.

Webcam

The 720p webcam is not as fantastic as the display. The stills are passable. The images are sharp and the camera captures all the details. But the problem starts when you look at colors. My skin looked ashy and the deep blue of my shirt came out as turquoise.

Pros
  • Incredible performance
  • Vivid and loud audio
  • Crisp display
  • Attractive chassis
Cons
  • Bad battery life
  • Heats up while gaming
  • Loud fan

See What the Customers are Saying

Conclusion

    • Lenovo IdeaPad 15 Y700 is a solid choice for gamers. And you won’t have to compromise on meals for this one!

The great display, poor battery life, sleek looks, and great graphics are totally worth it. The audio is impressive too. There is no hard reason to not buy this machine.

Final Thoughts

When in a tight budget, things can get a little tough. But that does not mean you have to compromise on gaming with a laptop under 500 bucks. Of course, you are not going to have a celebration. But a little less on the bar and you have your favorite game play session on weekends. My research was totally based on gaming performance. Hopefully, you found your buddy in here.

Related article that you may also like:
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About Mark Hanson

Hi, this is Mark Hanson (M. Tech, from the University of Arizona) is a tech geek and the chief editor of https://justinrange.com/ from Tempe, Arizona. Our aim is to provide you with genuine information, guide and reviews about the best products you wish to buy and help to save your hard-earned money. We review honestly to ensure that you may select the right product that could fulfill your requirements.

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