Gaming laptops are often known for their incredible specs, powerful build, high-resolution displays and high-end performance. When purchasing, if there are no financial constraints, you can definitely choose the best gaming option with incredible performance in return for a huge sum of money, catering to all your gaming needs, but a lot of us have budget restrictions and have to think pragmatically.
In the gaming arena, spending less is proportional to having a shorter end of playing the top notch AAA games, at the highest specs. And with each kind of budget restrictions, you will have to compromise on one thing or other whether it be in terms of graphics, processor’s generation and even RAM. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stick to a bad performing laptop, just due to budget restrictions. You can actually, get a gaming laptop, for the best value your money can get.
But, the selection of the best gaming laptops in the competitive scenario of 2023, can be a little confusing and daunting. But, don’t worry, we have specifically curated this article for you to list out the top picks for the best gaming laptops under 500$ in 2023, so you can get the best experience for the money you put out on the table.
What should you consider before buying the best gaming laptop in 2023?
Before jumping right onto the top picks, let’s take a quick look at all the things you need to consider before buying the best gaming laptop under 500$ in 2023.
Screen Size and Resolution
Screen Size, for any kind of gaming laptop is really important, because you want to definitely have the best gaming experience with a wide field of vision. You don’t want to be settling down for a compact, small screen when you are in the modd to beat the highest gaming record. You can definitely go for a HD, or even better full HD screen, because these offer good viewing angles and screen resolution.
Performance Specs (CPU and Graphics)
Secondly, one of the key reason you choose a particular gaming laptops is due to it’s specs. You definitely want to make sure your touchscreen gaming laptop, will give you a great gaming experience without lag, and in a poor quality. This is ensured by the kind of graphics card you laptop has, and the kinds of interface it supports, so choosing the best specs for the price is really important.
For graphics, it is always advisable to choose a laptop with a dedicated video card with its own memory, as it is always going to be a better option than an onboard one using RAM. For processors too, faster processors are capable of handling bigger workloads with more ease. Since upgrading the processor and graphics is near to impossible after purchase, you should pay attention to it before buying.
The more RAM your laptop has, the more things can be loaded onto your memory. Usually a laptop below 500$ coime with a 4GB RAM, but this might not be the best case scenario of high end gaming activcities. But, unlike the processor and graphics card, RAMs are upgradable and are relatively easy to do so too.
Additional gaming accessories, whether it be a controller or a mechanical keyboard is always an ‘yes’ when it comes to gaming laptop, because they aid in making the gaming experience better. Sometimes, the keyboards also have macro buttons, letting you unleash combinations by just a press of a single button.
Top Picks for the Best gaming laptops under 500$
#1. HP Pavilion Gaming 15 – Best Overall
Our top pick for the best gaming laptop under 500$ in 2023, is the HP Pavilion Gaming 15. Featuring an AMD 2nd Generation Ryzen 5 3550H Quad-core processor, comparatively more powerful than some of the other options of laptops under 500$, it also comes with the Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics card. This level of dedicated graphics is possibly the best for it’s price range. And, most of our other selections here coming with integrated (iGPU) graphics, too. Laptop of this caliber is able to play most older / less-demanding games at low to middling graphical settings without much performance compromises.
Although, a little expensive than the budget range of 500$ we are talking about, we have seen a lot of discount offered on the HP Pavilion series from time to time, making the laptop affordable. The HP Pavilion series features a 60Hz 15.6” FHD IPS screen, which is basically the best you can get for this price bracket. The hard drive is of the standard 256GB size, and the SSD is also features, which a lot of the other laptops have too. It is recommendable to give the device an additional supplemental external hard drive, or either upgrading to a larger SSD in case you don’t mind losing your warranty.
Similar can be said for the 8GB of DDR4 RAM (although we suggest upgrading it to 16GB). Regarding the weight of the laptop, it is one of the heaview options standing at about 5 pounds, but still can be easily portable and carried on need. The provided keyboard is also backlit features, and the overall design has a degree of attractiveness to its style, making it a pretty cool gaming plus workplace laptop easily.
|Display||15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Widescreen LED-backlit Display|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-9300H|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 3GB GDDR5|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 SDRAM|
Pros and Cons of HP Pavilion Gaming 15
#2. ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light – Runner Up choice
The second on our list for the best gaming laptop under 500$ is the Asus F512DA-EB51 VivoBook. Boasting an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Quad Core CPU, alongside an AMD RX Vega 8 graphics card, this truly is a budget gaming beast. Even though, these core components don’t belong to the AAA level gaming performance, they’re nothing to be sniffed at, and are the main reason on why this level of configuration achieves runner-up position.
Not just the amazing core features, the ASUS Vivobook is also very lightweight and has a great overall design aesthetic. Weighing at about 3.50 pounds, it is probably the lightest on this curated list, and also the most slimline. It also features a great typing ergonomics, with the backlit keyboard, and very appropriate keyboard travel. Usually, the Vivobook is probably the best selection on our list here for the best sleek office laptop, capable of some light undemanding gaming, but it doesn’t come with an SD card reader, which might be a major turnoff for some people.
Boasting an AMD CPU and AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPU, the design along with a backlit keyboard is also attractive and stylish. It is available in a slate gray design, giving it a very modern look. Plus, the 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage are the standards along with the 1080p 60Hz display, considering this price range. It is advisable to supplement the SSD with an external HDD, too.
|Max. Refresh Rate||60 Hz|
|CPU||AMD Quad Core R5-3500U|
|GPU||AMD RX Vega 8|
|USB Ports||USB 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 (Gen 1 and 2), and/or Type-C|
Pros and Cons of ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light
#3. Dell Inspiron 15 5000 – Best Budget Pick
The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 series is also not a joke, when it comes to choosing the best gaming laptop under 500$ in 2023. It features a whooping AMD Ryzen 5 2500U CPU plus Radeon Vega 8 graphics. This might be a little bland, when compared to the other laptops on the list, but you have to understand that these components still make up a good and decent level of FPS performance on relatively non-demanding titles like Data 2, League of Legends, Rocket League or Crusader Kings 3, and so on.
This laptop also features a 8GB of RAM, which might be a tad less than the ideal specs, but is a decent enough standard for this particular price range. It is, however, always recommended to upgrade RAM if possible. The 256GB SSD is usually a small number for gamers, but again the price range plays a huge role. The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 has an ace up its sleeve in the form of an additional 1TB HDD, that you can put your non-competitive games and miscellaneous files onto, and then maximize the free space on the SSD for gaming – a welcome addition.
|Max. Refresh Rate||60 Hz|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 2500U|
|GPU||AMD Radeon Vega 8 (iGPU)|
|USB Ports||2 x USB 3. 1 Gen 1 1 x USB 2. 0 1 x HDMI 1 x Media Card Reader 1 x Combo Headphone/Microphone Jack|
Pros and Cons of Dell Inspiron 15 5000
#4. Acer Aspire 5 Slim – Best for overall gaming
The Acer Aspire 5 Slim, is also a great option, when it comes to getting the best gaming laptop under 500$. The newest version of the Acer Aspire 5 Slim boasts an expansive 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display, alongside AMD Ryzen 3 3350U quad-core processor, and 8GB of RAM. The budget gaming laptop also features a Radeon Vega 6 graphics and a 256GB SSD, that’s why the games should run and load pretty quickly and swiftly. The laptop also features a spacious trackpad, alongside a full keyboard with a row of number keys, plus a numeric keypad on the right.
Not just that, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim, also features a USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port, an HDMI port with HDCP support, Wi-Fi 6, giving upto 8 hours of battery life. It is also a great mix of specs, battery life, and price—and thus should also be enough to operate games like Fortnite and Minecraft.
|Display||15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 3 3350U|
|GPU||Radeon Vega 6|
|USB Ports||USB-C 3.1 Gen 1, USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 x 2; HDMI 1.4b, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1|
Pros and Cons of Acer Aspire 5 Slim
#5. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 – Best For Streaming
Last but not the least in our list, the Lenovo IdeaPad from 2020, also comes with a very amazing specifications which is quite similar to the Dell Inspiron 15 5000, for a very similar price range. Featuring the AMD Radeon Vega 8 integrated graphics alongside an AMD Ryzen 5 2500U CPU. This laptop also boasts the 8GB of RAM alongside a 15.6” 60Hz 1080p display, which is a pretty good spec details for a laptop in this price range.
The key difference narrows down to the two factors: the screen bezels and disk space. The display of the Lenovo IdeaPad 3, is kind of superior to it’s Dell Inspiron counterpart discussed before, in a way that the Lenovo Ideapad 3 features much narrower Bezels, letting in room for a more immersive gaming experience, watching films and so on. The Ideapad, however, is limited to its 256 GB SSD only, so an expansion might be needed an update with a larger SSD upgrade or an external HDD. But, in case you find the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U CPU version for around $500, buying the Lenovo Ideapad isn’t a bad decision.
|Display||15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe|
|USB Ports||USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 x 2, USB-A 2.0, HDMI 1.4, SD card, WiFi 5, Bluetooth|
Pros and Cons of Lenovo IdeaPad 3
Although a high-end, heavy-duty AAA supporting laptop, isn’t possible for under 500$, but you can get a decent enough laptop that can be used as either a work or school laptop, plus for usual and occasional gaming. The list we have curated above is a result of thousands oif reviews read online, plus about the requirements from a lot of customers. We have picked laptops from popular and well loved companies like, ASUS, Dell, and Acer in the gaming arena. We hope this article was useful and you now, have a fair share of knowledge on what to look for when aiming for the best low budget gaming laptop under 500$.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a good budget laptop for gaming?
The word ‘budget’ can be a little ambigious and can differ according to situations, though we would consider any laptop under 1000$ comes under a budget laptop. This too, come with a lot of constraints and personal preference and the best ones for this are from companies like Dell, HP, Lenovo and so on.
How good is a 500$ gaming laptop?
To be honest, any gaming laptop under 500$ is likely to get going to be fairly sub-par. You cannot expect a 4500 laptop to be able to play any of the latest games at anything other than the lowest graphical settings, and even if you do so, the game is bound to struggle if it is a high-demanding game. What we would advise is that, instead of buying a 500$ gaming laptop, you can save about 1000$ for a good enough gaming desktop setup or a laptop upto the price range.
Is 4GB RAM good for gaming?
Honestly, a 4GB RAM isn’t a sufficient amount of RAM to run the majority of games, even those that are slightly older. And, even if it can run the game, the are chances that the performance aren’t that good, hampering your experience. It is recommendable to get a laptop with at least 8GB RAM and above RAM for a good gaming experience.