Buying Guide Best Cheap Gaming Laptops under $500 in 2021

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops under $500 in 2021 [Top Rated]

Are you looking for a cheap gaming laptop under $500? We have covered the best gaming laptops under 500 dollars you can buy in 2021.

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You have set a budget of $500 for buying a cheap gaming laptop? We are here to find the best gaming laptop under this price range. With a budget of 500 dollars, you can get decently well-managed hardware and good battery life. The most important component for a gaming laptop is a dedicated graphics card, which is impossible in this price range. All of the laptops arrive with an integrated GPU.

Typical gaming laptops do cost more than that. But if you are a casual gamer, this budget is okay. Do not expect high-end gaming because most of the AAA titles are almost unplayable. But definitely, casual gaming is possible. In this article, we will try to find out the best gaming laptops under 500. But it is a very tough task to do. Without any further delay, let’s get started!

Recommended: Best Budget Laptops under $400

Compare Best Gaming Laptops under 500 dollars

This section compared the top 3 gaming laptops named Acer Swift 3, Acer Aspire 3, and Lenovo Ideapad 3, respectively. All of them, Acer Swift 3 is our primary recommendation with the most power Ryzen 7 4500U chipset followed by Acer Aspire 3 with 10th generation i5 processer.

You can also consider Ideapad 3, which arrives with a slightly older Ryzen 5 3500 processor. All three laptops are loaded with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. These laptops accumulate 15.6-inch Full HD panels at the front. Let’s check out a quick comparison between the top 3 laptops:

RECOMMENDED
Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop, 14" Full HD IPS, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Hexa-Core Processor with Radeon...
AFFORDABLE PRICE
2020 Acer Aspire 3 15.6" Full HD 1080P Laptop PC, Intel Core i5-1035G1 Quad-Core Processor, 8GB DDR4...
ADDITIONAL CHOICE
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14" Laptop, 14.0" FHD 1920 x 1080 Display, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor, 8GB DDR4...
Name
Acer Swift 3
Acer Aspire 3
Lenovo Ideapad 3
Processor
AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
Intel Core i5-1035G1
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
GPU
Radeon RX Vega 6
UHD Graphics G1
Radeon Vega 8
Display Size
15.6-inch
15.6-inch
15.6-inch
FHD Resolution
RAM
8GB DDR4
8GB DDR4
8GB DDR4
Storage
256GB SSD
256GB SSD
256GB SSD
RECOMMENDED
Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop, 14" Full HD IPS, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Hexa-Core Processor with Radeon...
Name
Acer Swift 3
Processor
AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
GPU
Radeon RX Vega 6
Display Size
15.6-inch
FHD Resolution
RAM
8GB DDR4
Storage
256GB SSD
AFFORDABLE PRICE
2020 Acer Aspire 3 15.6" Full HD 1080P Laptop PC, Intel Core i5-1035G1 Quad-Core Processor, 8GB DDR4...
Name
Acer Aspire 3
Processor
Intel Core i5-1035G1
GPU
UHD Graphics G1
Display Size
15.6-inch
FHD Resolution
RAM
8GB DDR4
Storage
256GB SSD
ADDITIONAL CHOICE
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14" Laptop, 14.0" FHD 1920 x 1080 Display, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor, 8GB DDR4...
Name
Lenovo Ideapad 3
Processor
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
GPU
Radeon Vega 8
Display Size
15.6-inch
FHD Resolution
RAM
8GB DDR4
Storage
256GB SSD

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops under $500 in 2021

Here is the list of best gaming laptops available under 500 dollars, which can buy in 2021:

#1 Acer Swift 3 – Overall Best Gaming Laptop under 500

Acer Swift series is our first choice for the best gaming laptops under $500. This is a power-packed device bringing AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor under the hood. This is a Hexa-core processor manufactured on 7nm FinFET technology, making it a perfect choice for gamers. The CPU can handle casual games at higher settings or high-end games at low to medium graphics. The CPU is integrated with AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 GPU, a competent graphics card for gaming.

Discount: $55.00
Acer Swift 3
2,201 Reviews
Acer Swift 3

  • Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080p FHD
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
  • Graphic: AMD Radeon RX Vega 6
  • RAM: 8GB LPDDR4
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD

Moreover, the laptop adopts 8GB LPDDR4 RAM coupled with 256GB SSD storage. This is a good combination considering the budget segment. You can additionally use external storage if you want to store large files. The computer is made of a strong aluminum design and very lightweight, weighing only 2.65lbs. The body construction is solid and long-lasting. It further adds a backlit keyboard and fingerprint sensor to enhance security.

It packs a 15.6-inch Full HD panel at the front, offering a traditional 60Hz refresh rate. All the basic connectivity ports are present on this device, and it supports WiFi to make the connectivity more efficient and faster. The battery life is impressive, either. It can last 6-8 hours in normal usage, which can be reduced to 4-5 hours while gaming. Overall, it is a perfect device for gaming if your budget is limited to 500 dollars only.

Pros
  • Marvelous Performance
  • Powerful Ryzen 5 Chipset
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Fingerprint Sensor
Cons
  • No Major Issue Found

#2 Acer Aspire 3 – Runner Up

Acer Aspire 3 is another powerful device suitable for gaming if you have a limited budget. With a price tag of fewer than 500 dollars, it offers great value with compelling hardware. The laptop boasts the latest 10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, clocking at a basic clock speed of 1.0GHz. But Intel’s Turbo Boost technology helps it go as high as 3.6GHz while performing demanding tasks. Undoubtedly, it is a potent processor to handle power-hungry games combined with integrated Intel UHD Graphics G1 graphics cards.

Acer Aspire 3
136 Reviews
Acer Aspire 3

  • Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080p FHD
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1035G1
  • Graphic: Intel UHD Graphics G1
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD

The provided internal storage is up to 256GB offering faster SSD and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. It is worth noting that RAM is upgradable up to 12GB, always a good thing to take care of heavy tasks such as gaming. There are appropriate I/O ports, including  2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 1xHDMI, 1x headphone jack, and a standard non-backlit keyboard with a 10-key number pad.

Further, it comes with Stereo speakers to produce adequate sound output. There are some drawbacks as it doesn’t offer an SD card reader and no optical drive. As far as gaming is concerned, it is a good combination to deliver an optimal gaming experience under the price tag of $500. Being a Windows machine, you can access all the advanced gaming features running on Windows 10 Home out of the box.

Pros
  • Reasonable Price
  • Latest Core i5 Processor
  • Acceptable Display
Cons
  • No Micro SD Card Reader
  • The touchpad could have been batter

#3 Lenovo Ideapad 3 – Value for Money

This is another budget gaming-focused device with decent hardware loaded inside. The Lenovo Ideapad 3 is a Windows 10 running device, and it is powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, which is the predecessor of 4500U. But it can handle games pretty well. This is a quad-core processor clocking at 2.1GHz, but it can be overclocked to 3.7GHz using the Turbo Boost mode.

Lenovo Ideapad 3
3,684 Reviews
Lenovo Ideapad 3

  • Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080p FHD
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
  • Graphic: AMD Radeon Vega 8
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD

There is no compromise made in graphics performance as it has integrated Radeon Vega 8 Graphics offering eight cores. As you might be aware, the graphics card is crucial for smooth gameplay. Furthermore, it features a 14-inch Full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution display with thick bezels. It is a good-looking computing machine, and a backlit keyboard makes it more user-friendly.

Speaking of the memory, it packs 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD storage. A webcam comes with a physical shutter to avoid security concerns and a fingerprint scanner for conventional single-tap unlocking. It has all the basic ports and connectivity ports, including WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1. This could be an easy pick if you do casual multitasking and some light gaming. That is what you can expect from a laptop under $500.

Pros
  • Compelling Ryzen 5 Processor
  • Sufficient Storage
  • AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
  • Physical Shutter for Webcam
  • Fingerprint Reader
Cons
  • Plastic Body
  • Average Battery

#4 Acer Aspire 5 Slim – Best Selling Gaming Laptop

Acer Aspire 5 Slim is another popular device in the budget segment. In fact, it is best selling laptop on Amazon with a rating of 4.6, which shows the popularity of this device. The good thing is that it can be used for gaming due to its solid performance. Hence, you can get decent gameplay on this machine. If you love to play games, this is one of the best choices for you. It is also powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Quad-core Processor.

Acer Aspire 5 Slim
31,647 Reviews
Acer Aspire 5 Slim

  • Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080p FHD
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
  • Graphic: AMD Radeon Vega 8
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD

This is the latest chip from AMD with up to 3.7GHz clock speed. You can’t get better configurations at this price, which integrates the AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics card. This combination of hardware produces good gaming performance. Besides, it packs 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD storage. This memory combination is a good combination to escape any potential bottleneck. It further borrows the backlit keyboard with a durable design.

There is a 15.6-inch Full HD display at 1920 x 1080p resolution with decent viewing angles and clear visuals. The battery life is average, which can last for 3-4 hours. But that is the problem with most of the laptops under this price range. All in all, it is a durable gaming machine under 500 dollars and beats the expectations of a casual user.

Pros
  • Full HD IPS Display
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Satisfactory Performance
Cons
  • Windows Locked in S Mode
  • Wobbly Touchpad

#5 HP 15 – Best from HP

HP is a well-known laptop manufacturer, and this list won’t be completed with HP Laptop. The HP 15 is a budget-centric gaming laptop available under $500. This is powered by the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor, a dual-core chip offering base clock speed up to 2.6GHz and overclocked up to 3.6GHz. The chipset surely seems to be very well positioned for light gaming. On top of it, there is an integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega 3 GPU at 3200Mhz.

HP 15
539 Reviews
HP 15

  • Display: 15.6-inch 1368 x 768p HD
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
  • Graphic: AMD Radeon RX Vega 3
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD

Both CPU and GPU deliver optimal performance, and you can easily run low-power-consuming games. In addition, the memory capacity is 8GB DDR4 coupled with 256GB of SSD storage. Hence, this is a good combination, given the price range. The build quality is also acceptable, but it sports a plastic body. It shouldn’t be a problem as construction is very well maintained. It is famous for producing durable laptops and no exception with this device either.

Moreover, a 15.6-inch panel at the front portion with 1366 x 768p screen resolution. It would have been better if the company had provided a Full HD display. Another drawback of this laptop is that memory is not upgradeable, which means you have to bear only installed RAM. HP fans can definitely consider it with crossed fingers. There are batter options available in the market, but this is the best offering from HP.

Pros
  • Decent RAM & Storage
  • Sturdy Build Quality
  • Acceptable Performance
Cons
  • Improvements required in resolution
  • Bloatware Preloaded

#6 Asus Vivobook 5 – Stylish Design

Asus Vivobook arrives with a slim body and attractive-looking design as well as a decent pair of hardware. However, it is not as powerful as the above-mentioned laptops. But sufficient for light gaming. Please avoided this if you are a regular gamer. It houses a comparatively less powerful 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU, a dual-core processor with a base clock speed of 1.2GHz, and a Turbo frequency of 3.4GHz.

Discount: $20.00
Asus Vivobook 5
3,882 Reviews
Asus Vivobook 5

  • Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080p
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-1005G1
  • Graphic: Intel UHD G1
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB NVMe M.2 SSD

The chipset is manufactured on a power-efficient 10nm processing node delivering a balanced performance. The integrated GPU is Intel UHD G1, which stands behind Radeon Vega 8 and Intel Iris Plus graphics. However, it is not a powerful gaming laptop, but games are playable with low to medium graphics. It further packs 8GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. The front portion sports a 15.6-inch Full HD display with great viewing angles.

It has a sturdy design with an 88% screen-to-body ratio. The keyboard is also backlit, making it easy to use in dark conditions. the Windows 10 Home operates this device in S Mode. Unfortunately, it lacks the optical device, which is an uncommon feature most modern laptops avoiding nowadays. Wrapping it up, this is even a more affordable gaming option under 500 dollars.

Pros
  • Impressive Eye-Catching Design
  • Super Sharp Display
  • Stable Execution
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Fingerprint Sensor
Cons
  • Lacks of Storage
  • Windows 10 in S Mode

#7 Dell Inspiron 15 3593 – Best from Dell

If you are a dell fan, this is for you. However, it doesn’t match the criteria of a gaming laptop, but some games are playable. So, if you are hardcore games, batter to consider other laptops with more powerful gaming options. This laptop uses 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 combined with Intel UHD graphics. This chipset offers a dual-core CPU clocking at 1.2GHz, expandable to 3.4GHz in Turbo Boost mode.

Dell Inspiron 15 3593
231 Reviews
Dell Inspiron 15 3593

  • Display: 15.6-inch 1366 x 768p
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-1005G1
  • Graphic: Intel UHD G1
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe M.2 SSD

The good thing about this laptop is that it has enough space to store important files. Because it offers 256GB SSD storage, that can be upgraded with the provided M.2 slot. An 8GB of memory helps to process data efficiently. Speaking of the design, it is a typical dell look with a plastic body. Being a plastic design, it doesn’t seem that attractive, but it is durable. Additionally, the laptop runs on Windows 10 Home out of the box.

There is a 15.6-inch HD panel at 1366 x 768p resolution. Where most of the other laptops offer Full HD display, it lacks behind with HD panel. All the necessary connectivity ports are available. The company is also offering a Mousepad in the package. It weighs 4.85 lbs on the heavier side compared to the laptops in the same segment. This device is suggested to the particular audience that loves to use Dell laptops. Otherwise, there are much better options available mentioned above.

Pros
  • Adequate memory
  • Solid Constructed Body
  • Good Performer
Cons
  • Only HD Display
  • Predictable Design
  • Lagging Issues

#8 HP 17 (renewed) – Optional

If you are fond of using HP laptops, HP 17 is there to serve you. It has the largest display and potent processor, the best combination for gaming under this price range. The laptop is a beast performer packed with an Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor and Intel UHD G1 graphics. There is a 17.3-inch Full HD display at 1920 x 1080p resolution. The bigger display means you have more space to access the content.

HP 17
238 Reviews
HP 17

  • Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080p
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1035G1
  • Graphic: Intel UHD G1
  • RAM: 12GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1TB SATA HDD

It offers more than enough storage of 1TB at the storage front, offering an HDD drive. Comparatively, HDD is slower storage compared to SSD. The RAM offering is 12GB, which will never let you feel the memory shortage while playing games. It runs on Windows 10 operating system, which is pre-installed, and a backlit keyboard gives more flexibility to use it at night. There are necessary ports available and fast charging support to change this device rapidly.

However, it is not a brand new device, but an Amazon renewed machine. So, you have to compromise if you want great gaming performance. This could be an ideal gaming choice under $500 if you want a bigger display and strong performance. The only downside is that it is a used laptop but in acceptable condition. Because Amazon manages refurbishment, we should expect great quality control.

Pros
  • Bigger & Sharper Display
  • Compelling Processor
  • More than Enough RAM
  • Optical Drive Support
Cons
  • Refurbished Piece
  • HDD Storage

Buying Guide – Essential Things to Consider Buying a Gaming Laptop under $500

A Powerful Processor

The processor is a very crucial part you should give importance to buy gaming laptop at any price range. Most of the high-end games require a powerful CPU in order to deliver a smooth game. With the price range of $500, you have limited options available, but still, you can get a decent processor. We recommend you to go for at least an i5 10th generation processor, which is suitable for lag-free gaming.

But if you are looking for an AMD chip, you should pick AMD Ryzen 5 chipset. There is the latest 4000 series available if you can slightly stretch your budget. It provides flawless gaming and multi-tasking. I am pretty sure you won’t regret paying those extra bucks once you start using Ryzen 5 4500U-powered gaming laptop.

Graphics Card

Graphics card is another important part of any gaming laptop. If it is a dedicated one, it works like a charm to enhance the gaming performance. Unfortunately, no laptop under $500 offers a dedicated GPU. All of them rely on the integrated graphics card, which is good for casual gaming.

But AAA titles are nearly unplayable on these laptops. The budget laptops mostly rely on the CPU rather than the graphics card. If you have a heavy gamer, you should increase your budget to at least $700 to $800 for a decent laptop to fulfill the demand for intensified gaming. Altogether, it is recommended to pick a laptop with a powerful processor if you want to buy a decent gaming laptop for under 500 dollars.

RAM & Storage

The Random Acess Memory, AKA RAM, is another important component that helps to process data. It becomes essential to buy a laptop with more RAM. Most of the laptops under $500 offer 8GB RAM, which is sufficient to avoid any bottleneck. But you can look forward to more RAM if you are thinking of purchasing a laptop for a long time. With the evolution of the tech industry, usage of memory is increasing significantly.

Modern games consume more memory due to the imposition of heavy graphics. If there is an option available with more, you should prioritize it but don’t compromise with the processor. The storage helps to store data. We recommend going for at least 256GB, and it should be SSD, which offers a faster transfer rate. You can additionally buy an external drive to solve the problem of storage. Since the budget is minimal, most laptop manufacturers offer subordinate storage.

Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQ)

Is it essential to have a dedicated GPU for a gaming laptop?

Yes, a dedicated GPU is very important for heavy gaming. But if you a casual gamer, integrated GPU is more than enough. Most of the high-end gaming laptops are expensive. Hence, if your budget is $500, you should rely on the CPU for gaming.

What is the best cheap gaming laptop?

There is no such thing exists like “cheapest gaming laptop.” The more money you spend, the more powerful gaming laptop you will get! But if you are talking about value for money, Acer Aspire 3 could be a good choice. If you can slightly stretch your budget, Acer Swift 3 might offer a better value.

Can you use a gaming laptop for everyday use?

Yes, why not! All the mentioned laptops are pretty much proficient in handling day-to-day tasks. In fact, most of the mentioned laptops are designed for casual multitasking. Subsequently, you can do informal gaming on these laptops.

Conclusion – Which is the best gaming laptop under $500?

Given a minimal budget of $500, there are only a few options available that fit in the gaming category. Even those options offer conservative hardware, which is not sufficient for intensive gaming. But we have tried out best to find you the best gaming laptop under 500 dollars. Hopefully, it will help you to make your decision. If you are still confused, we suggest you go for at least Acer Swift 5, which offers a very powerful Ryzen 5 4500U.

It slightly positions above 500 dollars, but those extra bucks are worth spending on a budget gaming laptop. But if you say you have a very tight budget, you can go for Acer aspire 3 available under the suggested price range. It has the latest 10th generation i5 processor, which will help you with casual gaming. Apart from that, there are other options available, which can be considered for light gaming.

In conclusion, the suggested budget is not ideal for gaming. Either you can increase your budget, or you have to bear with casual gaming. But if you occasionally do gaming, you can pick the laptops mentioned above. Overall, you have to make the final decision. We have listed those devices which we find worthy under $500. If you think we have missed a laptop that deserves to be a part of this list, you can definitely name it in the below comment section.

Disclaimer Before making any purchase, please verify the product configurations. We can't guarantee 100% accurate information.

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