Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 in 2020

(Image credit: ASUS)

People often think that to enjoy gaming on PC; you’ll have to drop a significant amount of cash. This can be true if the intention behind is to be competitive or to play the latest AAA titles at maximum settings. However, not everyone is ready to spend thousands of dollars on a gaming laptop. Some of us simply want a budget laptop for school or some light games. That’s why a budget-friendly gaming laptop is the best option for casual gamers with a tight budget. However, if you are in the market for gaming laptops under $500, you have definitely noticed how hard it’s to find a good one worth the money.

Even though finding a great gaming laptop for under $500 is a tricky task, we have gathered 5 laptops that we believe are the best at this price range. Nevertheless, before going after one of these laptops, you have to understand that they are not made for demanding games or intensive multitasking. This type of gaming laptop is designed primarily for web-browsing or for some light games.

For those who like to play e-Sport games, most if not all the laptops mentioned below will offer you a good gaming experience in games such as League of Legend, Counter-Strike Global Offensive..etc.

What you need to know before choosing any laptop.

The utilization of the laptop by each of us is different. Some of us want to stay in bed while gaming, whereas others prefer to take the laptop to school or at work. While this may sound obvious, it would be better for people who often are away from home to get a great laptop that is also lightweight and has a long last battery.

What you should focus on while choosing a gaming laptop is a good processor, graphics card, at least 4GB of RAM, and enough space for your games and software.

Here is our list of best gaming laptops under 500$ that we recommend.

Model
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15"
Most Affordable
Acer Aspire 5
Best Overall
Lenovo IdeaPad 3
(Runner-Up)
ASUS VivoBook
HP 14 (2020)
Design
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15" Laptop, 15.6" HD (1366 x 768) Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3250U Processor, 4GB DDR4 Onboard RAM, 128GB SSD, AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics, Windows 10, 81W10094US, Business Black
2020 Newest Acer Aspire 5 15.6" FHD Display, 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1(Beat i5-8265U), 8GB RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, WiFi 6, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 w/Ghost Manta Accessories
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14" Laptop, 14.0" FHD 1920 x 1080 Display, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, Narrow Bezel, Windows 10, 81W0003QUS, Abyss Blue
ASUS F512JA-AS34 VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray
2020 Newest HP 14" HD Screen Laptop, AMD Athlon Silver 3050U Processor up to 3.20GHz, 12GB RAM, 128GB SSD, HDMI, Webcam, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zoom Meeting, Online Class, Windows 10, KKE Bundle, Jet Black
Display
15.6 Inches HD (1366 x 768)
15.6 Inches Full HD (1920 x 1080)
14.0 Inches Full HD (1920 x 1080)
15.6 Inches Full HD (1920 x 1080)
14 Inches HD (1366 x 768)
Processor
AMD Ryzen 3 3250U
Intel Core i3-1005G1
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
Intel Core i3-1005G1
AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
Integrated Graphics
AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics
Intel® UHD Graphics
AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
Intel® UHD Graphics
AMD Radeon™ Graphics
RAM
4GB DDR4
8GB DDR4
8GB DDR4
8GB DDR4
12GB DDR4
Storage
128GB SSD
256GB PCIe SSD
256GB SSD
128GB SSD
128GB SSD
Weight
4.84 pounds
5.89 pounds
3.3 pounds
3.75 pounds
3.24 pounds
Model
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15"
Design
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15" Laptop, 15.6" HD (1366 x 768) Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3250U Processor, 4GB DDR4 Onboard RAM, 128GB SSD, AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics, Windows 10, 81W10094US, Business Black
Display
15.6 Inches HD (1366 x 768)
Processor
AMD Ryzen 3 3250U
Integrated Graphics
AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics
RAM
4GB DDR4
Storage
128GB SSD
Weight
4.84 pounds
Most Affordable
Model
Acer Aspire 5
Design
2020 Newest Acer Aspire 5 15.6" FHD Display, 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1(Beat i5-8265U), 8GB RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, WiFi 6, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 w/Ghost Manta Accessories
Display
15.6 Inches Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Processor
Intel Core i3-1005G1
Integrated Graphics
Intel® UHD Graphics
RAM
8GB DDR4
Storage
256GB PCIe SSD
Weight
5.89 pounds
Best Overall
Model
Lenovo IdeaPad 3
Design
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14" Laptop, 14.0" FHD 1920 x 1080 Display, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, Narrow Bezel, Windows 10, 81W0003QUS, Abyss Blue
Display
14.0 Inches Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Processor
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
Integrated Graphics
AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
RAM
8GB DDR4
Storage
256GB SSD
Weight
3.3 pounds
(Runner-Up)
Model
ASUS VivoBook
Design
ASUS F512JA-AS34 VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray
Display
15.6 Inches Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Processor
Intel Core i3-1005G1
Integrated Graphics
Intel® UHD Graphics
RAM
8GB DDR4
Storage
128GB SSD
Weight
3.75 pounds
Model
HP 14 (2020)
Design
2020 Newest HP 14" HD Screen Laptop, AMD Athlon Silver 3050U Processor up to 3.20GHz, 12GB RAM, 128GB SSD, HDMI, Webcam, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zoom Meeting, Online Class, Windows 10, KKE Bundle, Jet Black
Display
14 Inches HD (1366 x 768)
Processor
AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
Integrated Graphics
AMD Radeon™ Graphics
RAM
12GB DDR4
Storage
128GB SSD
Weight
3.24 pounds

Last update on 2020-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1-Acer Aspire 5 (Most Affordable)

When looking for a good laptop under a low budget, you will have limited options. Though most of the laptops at this price range are designed for ordinary people, the Acer Aspire 5 comes with some excellent features that set it apart from the others, which makes it worth considering, especially by gamers.

First of all, the Acer Aspire 5 comes with a clean and sturdy aluminum chassis. It also has a 47Wh battery, which offers around 6 hours of normal use. This laptop is powered by a Ryzen 3 3200U. The Ryzen 3 3200U comes with 2 cores with hyperthreading. It also has integrated graphics, which is Vega 3. The integrated graphic is capable of running games such as CS GO, League of Legends, and some other not demanding eSport games.

Moreover, this laptop comes with 4GB DDR4 RAM at 2400MHz along with 128GB NVMe SSD. Thanks to the SSD, the Acer Aspire 5 offers a fast and responsive system. Interestingly, the Acer Aspire 5, though, is the fact that it comes with additional slots for both hard drive and RAM. Adding another RAM module will provide a significant performance gain due to the dual-channel.

Besides, the Acer Aspire 5 has 15.6 inches IPS panel and keyboard with a white backlight. However, the touchpad on this laptop doesn’t feature any dedicated buttons. Nevertheless, considering its price, and the rest of the features, the lack of dedicated buttons is justified.

Ryzen 3 3200U, 4GB DDR4 RAM 2400MHz, 128GB NVMe SSD, 15.6 IPS Panel, 47Wh battery which offers around 6 hours of normal use, Aluminium sturdy chassis, browsing the web, dual memory channel with one empty slot as well as the hard drive, normal touchpad without dedicated buttons, keyboard with white backlight, AMD Radeon Vega 3

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2-Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14″ (Best Overall)

Lenovo is one of the trustworthy brands when it comes to laptops. And with the Lenovo IdeaPad 3, you are not only getting a great value for the money, but also an excellent casual gaming machine.

Unlike other laptops on this list, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 has an AMD Ryzen CPU which comes with 4 Cores and 8 Threads. This mighty CPU has Vega 8 as Integrated Graphic. The integrated graphic is powerful enough to run most of the eSport games at good conditions. You may have to lower the resolution or/and settings in games such as Apex Legends in order to have a better gaming experience, especially if you are after high FPS.

Furthermore, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 has brushed aluminium at the palm rest, while the bottom is made from plastic. Another interesting feature for your privacy protection that comes with this laptop is the webcam shutter. On the other hand, due to the small size of this laptop, it doesn’t feature a Numpad which can make it irritating for the interested buyers.

Therefore, whether you are a student that wants to game casually, or you simply don’t want to spend a significant amount of money, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 features great hardware which makes it an excellent option that worth checking.

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3-HP 14 (2020) (Runner-Up)

The HP 14 is another excellent option among these laptops. When choosing a laptop, you want all the essential features packed together, and that’s the reason why we have chosen this laptop.

With the HP 14, you will get 12GB of RAM. As we all know, browsers, and especially Google Chrome require a significant amount of RAM, especially if you run multiple tabs at once. So, with 12GB of RAM, you ensure that you will get a smooth browsing experience.

Further, the HP 14 has a stunning full black design chassis. It also has a webcam at the top middle of the screen. And in terms of connectivities, this laptop comes with  x USB 3.1, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Multi-format SD Card Reader

Moreover, for those who are interested in gaming, the HP 14 comes with Athlon Silver 3050U processor. This CPU has 2 Cores, and 2 Threads along with Radeon Vega 3 as integrated Graphic. With this type of features, it should be more than adequate for light games.

Overall, the HP 14 is a great laptop, mostly for students that are also casual gamers. It has most of the interesting features such as SSD, enough RAM and a decent processor while it’s reasonably priced.

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4-ASUS VivoBook

What is great about gaming laptops with a sleek design, is that they also can be used at work, or school without worrying about the appearance of the laptop. That’s why the ASUS VivoBook is among the best affordable laptops.

First and foremost, the ASUS VivoBook comes with a stunning full grey design, along with the ASUS logo on the rear. It has got a full HD 15.6 inches display and a clean keyboard with white backlight. Also, this laptop has some other excellent features that were missing on other laptops such as, lightweight, the ergo lift design, and left and right clicks buttons on the touchpad.

Furthermore, the astonishing design, and lightweight of this laptop is only one of its highlights. The ASUS VivoBook also comes with the 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor paired with 8GB of RAM. Plus, the responsiveness of this laptop will leave you impressed thanks to the NVMe SSD.

However, the overall storage is the real inconvenient with this laptop. The ASUS VivoBook comes with one 128GB SSD, which is relatively small. And if you consider the space occupied by the Windows, and the rest of the main software, you will face a lack of storage in a blink of an eye. Nevertheless, this storage could be more than adequate for you if your intention is browsing and installing some light games or/and software.

Therefore, if you want a good laptop that you can transport it with you with ease everywhere you go, then the ASUS VivoBook is the best option for this.

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5-Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15″

Even with a low budget, there is always a chance to get a newly released hardware. And with the new version of the Lenovo IdeaPad 3, you are about to have some excellent features.

Though the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is less powerful than other laptops mentioned above, the rest of the feature, as well as the build quality, makes it worth the attention. First of all, this laptop comes with a smooth and sturdy chassis which hide finger trips. It also offers fast booting and loading time due to the 128GB M.2 NVMe SSD.

Additionally, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 comes with a mediocre webcam at the top middle of the screen. Even though the quality of the image that the webcam offers are not that great, it’s still acceptable considering the price of the laptop. Plus, this laptop also has AMD Ryzen 3 3250U which is quite good for casual gamers.

However, there is something that holds this laptop from shining, and it’s the RAM. The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 comes with 4GB of memory only which is not enough, especially if we compare it to other similar options at this price range.

With this being said, Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a good option but not the best. Its price doesn’t justify the lack of other features such as bigger storage, or more RAM, which makes other laptops a better option when compared together.

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Bottom Line

There is always a chance to game regardless of the type of budget you are willing to spend. However, you should be aware of the type of result that you are going to get before making the last call on any laptop so you won’t be disappointed with your purchase.

Therefore, we hope that we have brought you the information that you were looking for, which will help you decide the right laptop for you. Also, don’t forget to leave us a comment letting us know which laptop has caught your attention. And if you are curious to know what type of desktop PC you can build with the same budget, you can visit our best gaming PC under 500$

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