Greatest gaming laptops below $500 of 2022

Up to date Sep 6, 2022 8:39 AM

At their greatest, gaming laptops provide {powerful} specs, high-resolution shows, and quick refresh charge screens. Sadly, the very best gaming laptops price hundreds of {dollars}. If cash is not any object, you may pay an amazing amount of cash and get an unbelievable machine in return. Nevertheless, most of us should suppose extra pragmatically and that’s the place the most effective gaming laptops below $500 are available in.

Many people don’t have the luxurious of spending some huge cash on a brand new laptop computer. On this planet of gaming laptops, spending much less cash means you could have a shorter window of taking part in the most recent AAA video games at excessive specs earlier than you’ll must improve once more. Should you’re keen to place issues about constancy apart, although, you may get a wonderfully good laptop computer that ought to play a good variety of PC video games for as little as $500. Will all of them look nice and run effectively? Most likely not, however they’re nonetheless enjoyable to play. The most effective gaming laptops at this value level provide the most gaming energy potential on a shoestring funds.

How we selected the most effective gaming laptops below $500

I’ve been booting up video games on Steam for so long as I can bear in mind, and have written about computer systems for greater than a decade on websites like Fashionable Science, Gear Patrol, and CNN Underscored. I’ve examined all method of PCs and laptops to seek out the most recent and best units. To seek out the most effective gaming laptops below $500, a difficult job, I researched what sort of {hardware} you might be able to buy with such a funds. With that info in-hand, I chosen the person picks based mostly on third-party opinions and shopper suggestions.

The most effective gaming laptops below $500: Opinions & Suggestions

Discovering a superb laptop computer for below $500, not to mention one able to taking part in video games, is a critical problem. As you’ll see, most of our picks fall effectively below the fundamental requirements we set for gaming laptops. Make no mistake: These are compromise picks that can assist you make the most effective of a lower than supreme state of affairs. With $500, we’d advocate individuals buy a console for gaming, an iPad for normal computing, or maintain out for a serious sale like Prime Day or Black Friday within the hopes of getting a uncommon deal on a dearer gaming laptop computer.

Greatest general: Acer Aspire 5 Slim

Purchase it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the minimize: The Aspire 5 Slim’s Ryzen 3 3350U will guarantee you may play lots of the business’s hottest video games on low settings.


  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3350U
  • GPU: Radeon Vega 6
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display measurement: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • Dimensions: 14.31 x 9.74 x 0.71 inches
  • Weight: 3.97 kilos
  • Connectivity: USB-C 3.1 Gen 1, USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 x 2; HDMI 1.4b, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1


  • Expansive 15.6-inch FHD show
  • First rate port choice
  • 8GB of RAM


The most recent model of the Acer Aspire 5 Slim options an expansive 15.6-inch Full HD IPS show, AMD Ryzen 3 3350U quad-core processor, and 8GB of RAM. (For $40 extra, you may bump that as much as 12GB of RAM.) The laptop computer additionally options Radeon Vega 6 graphics and a 256GB SSD, so video games ought to run and cargo shortly. There’s additionally a spacious trackpad, a full keyboard with a row of quantity keys, and a numeric keypad on the fitting.

Moreover, the Acer Aspire encompasses a USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port, an HDMI port with HDCP assist, Wi-Fi 6, and as much as 8 hours of battery life. It’s a superb mixture of specs, battery life, and value—and must be sufficient to run video games like Fortnite and Minecraft.

Greatest for video modifying: Asus Vivobook 15

Asus Vivobook 15 is the best gaming laptop under $500 for video editing.

Purchase it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the minimize: The Vivobook 15’s mixture of the Intel i3, UHD graphics, and 8GB is sufficient to edit memorable household trip movies.


  • Processor: Intel i3-10054G1
  • GPU: Intel UHD
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Display measurement: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • Dimensions: 14.1 x 9.1 x 0.78 inches
  • Weight: 3.75 kilos
  • Connectivity: USB-C 3.2, USB-A 3.2, USB-A 2.0 x 2, HDMI, microSD, WiFi, Bluetooth


  • First rate port choice
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Fingerprint sensor


Video modifying on an reasonably priced laptop computer isn’t supreme, however the Asus Vivobook 15 offers customers with a decently-powerful expertise. The laptop computer encompasses a 15.6-inch Full HD show, an Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor, an Intel UHD GPU, and 8GB of RAM. That’s ok for primary video modifying and colour correction of quick clips for social media—simply don’t anticipate to edit any video apart from Full HD or decrease.

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The Asus Vivobook 15 additionally encompasses a 128GB SSD, a touchpad and keyboard, and USB-C 3.2, so you may shortly switch video recordsdata to and from exterior units. You additionally get an HDMI port, USB-A 3.2, and USB-A 2.0 for connecting extra peripherals.

Greatest for varsity: Dell Inspiron 15

Dell Inspiron 15 is the best gaming laptop under $500 for school.

Purchase it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the minimize: The Dell Inspiron 15’s easy design is nice for schoolwork, and might play a sport or two between examine classes.


  • Processor: Intel i3-1115G4
  • GPU: Intel UHD
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display measurement: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • Dimensions: 14.11 x 9.27 x 0.74 inches
  • Weight: 3.82 kilos
  • Connectivity: USB-A 3.0 x 2, USB-A 2.0, HDMI, SD card, WiFi, Bluetooth


  • Large, snug 15.6-inch show
  • First rate measurement SSD
  • SD card slot


Should you want one thing easy to energy by note-taking, analysis papers, and shows, the Dell Inspiron 15 (3511) is a wonderful possibility. After all, you’ll wish to take breaks—and there’s no higher strategy to unwind than with video video games. Dell’s reasonably priced laptop computer options an Intel Core i3 processor, UHD graphics, and 8GB of RAM to energy by video games like Rocket League and Counter-Strike: GO. The Inspiron 15 additionally encompasses a 256SSD, supplying you with loads of storage to avoid wasting these important college tasks and obtain your favourite titles from Steam.

Greatest for streaming: Lenovo IdeaPad 3i

Lenovo IdeaPad 3i is the best laptop under $500 for streaming.

Purchase it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the minimize: The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i options Intel Iris Xe graphics, 512GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM, making it a robust possibility for gaming and streaming.


  • Processor: Intel i3-1115G4
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display measurement: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • Dimensions: 14.26 x 9.98 x 0.78 inches
  • Weight: 3.75 kilos
  • Connectivity: USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 x 2, USB-A 2.0, HDMI 1.4, SD card, WiFi 5, Bluetooth


  • Display can fold flat
  • 512GB SSD
  • Intel Iris Xe


The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i continues to be nowhere close to probably the greatest gaming laptops out there but it surely offers pretty spectacular efficiency for its extraordinarily reasonably priced value. It  options an Intel Core i3 processor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and 8GB of RAM, supplying you with the parts essential to broadcast your video games to the world. It might not be the smoothest expertise, however you need to begin someplace. The IdeaPad 3i additionally encompasses a 512GB SSD, HDMI, two USB-A 3.2, and a 45Wh battery, which ought to get you thru a full day of utilization with gentle to medium use.

Greatest 2-in-1: Dell Inspiron 14

Dell Inspiron 14 is the best 2-in-1 gaming laptop under $500.

Purchase it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the minimize: Dell’s Inspiron 14 packs in decently {powerful} specs for the worth in a pretty 2-in-1 design.


  • Processor: Intel i3-1115G4
  • GPU: Intel UHD
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display measurement: 14-inch FHD (1366 x 768)
  • Dimensions: 12.77 x 8.77 x 0.75 inches
  • Weight: 3.58 kilos
  • Connectivity: USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 x 2, USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI 1.4b, SD card, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1


  • 2-in-1 design
  • Small, transportable design
  • USB-C and SD card


For only a smidge over our $500 funds, the Inspiron 14 2-in-1 encompasses a 14-inch HD touchscreen show, an Intel Core i3 processor, Intel UHD graphics, and 8GB of RAM. That’s sufficient energy to run a number of functions and browser tabs easily. Extra importantly, it’s ok to offer us our gaming repair—and the 256GB SSD is a lot large to obtain free-to-play and different widespread titles. The Inspiron 14 additionally encompasses a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port for energy supply and knowledge switch and two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports. It additionally options an SD card slot, rounding out one of many sleeker, extra refined choices on our record.


Q: Can a $500 laptop computer run Fortnite?

The best strategy to verify your laptop computer can play Fortnite is to verify the sport’s minimal required specs. The Battle Royale is mostly pleasant to all kinds of computer systems, so if you happen to personal one thing older or much less {powerful}, you need to be advantageous on decrease settings. 

Listed here are the advisable and minimal system necessities for Fortnite:

Advisable System Necessities
Video Card: Nvidia GTX 960, AMD R9 280, or equal DX11 GPU
Video Reminiscence: 2 GB VRAM
Processor: Core i5-7300U 3.5 GHz, AMD Ryzen 3 3300U, or equal
Reminiscence: 8 GB RAM or greater
OS: Home windows 10 64-bit

Minimal System Necessities
Video Card: Intel HD 4000 on PC; Intel Iris Professional 5200
Processor: Core i3-3225 3.3 GHz
Reminiscence: 4GB RAM
OS: Home windows 7/8/10 64-bit or Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

Q: Is a gaming laptop computer good for college students?

Whereas gaming laptops can deal with on a regular basis duties, they aren’t essentially the best choice for college students. Gaming laptops are typically bigger and heavier than laptops made for work, making them a burden to lug round campus. College students who carry their laptop from class to class could not get sufficient battery life on a single cost to make it by a full day of college. They’ll additionally get uncomfortably scorching after prolonged use, so it’s possible you’ll not be capable of use them in your lap in particular conditions.

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Q: Can you employ a “regular” laptop computer for gaming?

Broadly talking? Certain. Actually, it depends upon what you wish to play. A productiveness laptop computer made for work and normal computing, just like the picks above, is normally able to taking part in some video games utilizing its discrete graphics chip. They’ll solely play some video games, and sometimes on decrease settings, although.

Lots of immediately’s high AAA titles require extra {powerful} CPUs, GPUs, and a specific amount of RAM. Should you personal an older machine, your laptop computer could not meet that sport’s minimal necessities. You’ll most likely not have a superb time taking part in a Name of Responsibility or Murderer’s Creed sport on the common work laptop computer. That stated, there are many nice indie video games that don’t require a ton of graphics processing energy.

We advocate shopping for a laptop computer particularly for gaming if that’s one thing you intend to do each day. As we talked about, gaming-specific laptops are completely able to performing different duties, like phrase processing and internet looking. Nevertheless, not all normal laptops, significantly fashions on the decrease finish of the spectrum, are able to taking part in the most recent video games.

The very fact of the matter is, you may’t actually get a brand new devoted gaming laptop computer for $500. For reference, our record of the most effective low cost gaming laptops highlights robust techniques that price lower than $1,000, and it usually options fashions which can be 1-2 years outdated. Most of our picks are funds productiveness laptops that occur to supply respectable processing energy for his or her costs. Few, if any, characteristic a devoted graphics card, which you’d must play lots of the largest video games. Those who work will solely run on low or medium settings.

In case you are buying this gadget particularly for gaming, there are a lot of different units that can give you a significantly better expertise for that very same $500. Although they are often exhausting to seek out, we’d advocate any of the present sport consoles over these laptops, together with the PS5, Xbox Collection X, Xbox Collection S, and Nintendo Swap. You may also contemplate the 2022 iPad Air, which offers entry to an more and more massive library of video games due to sport streaming companies like Xbox Recreation Move. Within the realm of PCs, you might be able to construct a funds desktop gaming PC for round $500 utilizing older and/or used elements. This can be tougher than previously attributable to pandemic-era provide constraints, however it’s not exterior the realm of risk.

If in case you have your coronary heart set on a laptop computer, or want a extra holistic gadget, listed here are the fundamentals of choosing a laptop computer so you can also make your personal alternative:


The central processing unit, or CPU, is the beating coronary heart of any laptop. It performs the computations your laptop makes to run packages and carry out varied duties, from phrase processing to modifying images. A pc’s true efficiency depends on plenty of elements, however the two best methods to gauge the ability of a CPU, particularly, are the chip’s computing cores and its clock pace. Clock pace, proven in Hz, measures the variety of computations or “cycles” the processor could make every second. For instance, a CPU with a clock pace of two.8Ghz executes 2.8 billion cycles per second. 

In the meantime, compute cores give your processor the flexibility to deal with a number of duties on the identical time. Broadly talking, extra cores means higher multitasking, particularly with extra processor-intensive duties like encoding video.

When discussing the most effective, we anticipate trendy Home windows laptops to characteristic an eleventh or twelfth Technology Intel Core i5 or i7 processor with 6-8 processor cores, or an AMD Ryzen 5 processor with 6-8 cores. Since we’re laptops with the tightest of price constraints, you’re extra prone to see the older model of essentially the most primary processors out there, akin to a Tenth-Technology Intel Core i3 processor, or one thing from AMD’s Ryzen 3000 sequence. If compelled to decide on, it by no means hurts to sacrifice bells and whistles for a primary laptop computer with a superb CPU. The processor, greater than every other part, determines how lengthy your laptop computer will carry out at its peak stage.

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The graphics processing unit, or GPU, is a vital part in any gaming laptop computer and makes it potential to render graphics in 2D and 3D. Should you’re working with high-resolution video and artwork, a GPU takes a number of the pressure off the CPU and makes rendering every little thing a lot quicker.

Usually, gaming PCs characteristic devoted graphics playing cards–a second processor to deal with visible processing for video games, video encoding, and different duties with a number of … effectively, graphics. Two firms, Nvidia and AMD, make devoted graphics playing cards for desktops and extra compact variations for laptops. Sometimes, you’ll discover a really massive laptop computer with a “full-size” desktop graphics card. These laptops usually weigh greater than it’s best to carry in your again each day.

For the needs of this record, nevertheless, we’ll deal with built-in graphics, which is a small processing chip constructed into your laptop computer’s CPU. Built-in graphics are designed to carry out primary graphics processing, akin to internet looking and streaming video. They aren’t designed to deal with new video games or different GPU-intensive work. Within the present gaming panorama, there are many video games that may run acceptably effectively on built-in graphics, however no sport will look nearly as good or run with out hiccups on built-in graphics, particularly the built-in graphics on a low-end processor.


Random entry reminiscence, or RAM, provides your functions a spot to quickly retailer knowledge, and shortly entry it once more if crucial. In case your workflow includes utilizing a number of functions directly, you’ll need a laptop computer that gives extra RAM. Producers typically enable customers to improve their RAM earlier than they make a purchase order, and typically even after. 

For gaming, we advocate 16GB on a brand new machine, because you usually can not add RAM to a laptop computer. This gives you the area to run extra intense video games whereas performing different duties, like operating streaming software program. Once more, although, for $500 or much less you’ll probably should accept 4GB or 8GB.


As with devoted gaming screens, the most effective gaming laptops could make video games look nice with sharp, vibrant shows. Avid gamers could need a bigger display, because it helps construct immersion, particularly in a short lived area. If we needed to spotlight one measurement particularly, it will be 15 inches. At this measurement, the display is massive sufficient for a snug gaming expertise, but it surely doesn’t make your laptop computer too large to hold all day. Some gaming laptops provide 17-inch shows, however that’s solely a superb measurement in case your laptop computer spends most of its time on a desk.

No matter measurement you land upon, likelihood is it should characteristic a 1080p (Full HD) display. A 1080p show will make your video games look sharp sufficient and guarantee your laptop doesn’t buckle below the pressure. If you need a show that’s 1440p (Quad HD) or 4K (Extremely-Excessive Definition) and presents a excessive refresh charge, you’ll have to take a look at a dearer gaming laptop computer with a extra {powerful} GPU.

Battery life

Individuals purchase gaming laptops to allow them to play video games anyplace, however the PC battery life can restrict that promise considerably. The exhausting fact is that gaming laptops don’t provide the most effective battery life. Even the most effective, costliest fashions gained’t get by a full day of heavy use.

With our present picks, which don’t have devoted graphics playing cards, you may very well see higher battery life than a terrific gaming laptop computer—a small vibrant spot. That stated, your laptops will burn by battery a lot quicker when taking part in video games than different duties, so you need to be strategic about how a lot you play. Maintain one eye in your battery indicator and the opposite looking out for out there shops.

Ultimate ideas on the most effective gaming laptops below $500

The excellent news is that trendy processors with built-in GPUs have gotten extra {powerful} yearly, making it potential to play video games like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox on a variety of machines. That stated, the most effective gaming {hardware} you should buy for $500 shouldn’t be a laptop computer. It’s a console or a pill. If you need a gaming laptop computer that can make your video games sing, you’ll should spend considerably extra. 

Should you’d prefer to know extra about shopping for a gaming laptop computer that delivers nice efficiency and worth, try a few of our different explainers on the subject, together with the most effective gaming laptops and the most effective low cost gaming laptops. They could be costly, however a terrific laptop computer will final 5 years or extra, whilst you could solely get a few good years out of those suggestions.