Finding the Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Under $500

Last Edited: July 9, 2017 by

Finding-the-Best-Cheap-Gaming-Laptops-Under-$500

Welcome to our weekly updated pro guide to the best cheap gaming laptops available for under $500 based on sales, pure hardware power, retailer discounts, professional reviews, and benchmarks.

Cheap gaming laptops are as mythical as unicorns in the eyes of most gamers and finding them online can be a real chore. We spend hours of research every week scouring the web for the top mobile game stations and list them right here for anyone on the hunt for a new mobile machine. These affordable gaming laptops may not be able to play the most modern games on the highest settings, but that doesn’t detract from the glory of being able to game on the move without coming even close to breaking the bank. Either way relative to the amount of games out there (golden oldies and recent titles included) you’d be surprised how the amount of games you can play stacks up against those that you can’t. These budget computers will cruise through popular games like Minecraft and DOTA 2 without breaking a sweat as well as many newer titles.

Our top level guide to the best gaming laptops of 2016 /2017 also offers an overview of all budget netbook hardware if you need to compare specs for any laptop.  More power users will want to checkout our guides to the best gaming laptops under $1000 , the best gaming laptops under $1500, our, if you can afford it, our guide to the best VR-Ready and high-end gaming laptops featuring gaming laptops powerful enough to max out more demanding games. If you aren’t a gamer then you’ll want to head over to our standard guide to laptops under $500 for non-gaming laptops or forever hold your peace. Desktop users will want to read our guide to the best budget gaming desktop PCs instead.

Top Picks >> Under $500 >> Under $600 >>


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Budget Gaming Laptops Under $500 – Top Picks

If you are new to computing we suggest checking out LaptopMag’s laptop buying guide for a low down on some questions you should be asking yourself. These gaming laptops are all either currently on special on or are serious bargains in their own right, offering some ball busting deals for the budget mobile gaming connoisseur. Although we’ve tried to keep all our options under the $500, in some cases saving up a bit more can lead to a serious boost in performance, and in these cases we’ve snuck in a few top gaming laptops under $600 to keep your options open if you want the best value for your money in terms of raw performance.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inchAcer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inch

Although priced slightly higher than $500, the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 has earned our top pick in the budget gaming category thanks to its dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card which offers more than twice the performance of competing laptops with only integrated graphics units. The Aspire E 15  will run titles such as Overwatch, Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 on low to medium settings with graphics performance more than double than competing integrated graphics based laptops below. The E 15 offers a max resolution of  1920×1080, although this will need to be set to 1366 x 768 to retain a frame rate of over 30fps when playing more demanding games. The NVIDIA GeForce 940MX offers slightly better performance than a 940M card and, unlike some of its competitors, the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 features faster GDDR5 video memory instead of GDDR3. Acer have also fitted the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 with the latest generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor, which is powerful enough to handle more hardware intensive apps and games. While it features a superfast solid state drive, storage space is slightly too small for modern games which can take up over 40GB of storage space once installed. You might want to consider upgrading the size of your SSD or purchasing a 7200rpm external hard drive for more storage space. We are also impressed with the Full-HD display which offers good image quality and vivid colors for gaming or streaming your favorite series. Acer claims that the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 will give you 12 hours of battery life off of a single charge, however this would be under ideal conditions and not while gaming or while using hardware intensive applications. Despite this fact, we are still very impressed with the battery life that it offers as most laptops in this price range will barely offer you 4 hours of run time.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Pros

  • Dedicated NVIDIA graphics
  • Seventh generation CPU
  • Superfast SSD
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Full-HD display
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Small SSD
  • Average keyboard
  • Not the easiest to upgrade
  • Acer bloatware

Summary

The Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 is a budget friendly gaming and multimedia laptop that offers a fast SSD and dedicated NVIDIA graphics.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inch
$579.99
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(as of 21-08-2017 15:53 UTC) Details

Lenovo Ideapad 510 80SR002SUS 15.6-inch laptop

Lenovo Ideapad 510 15.6 Inch

The Lenovo 510 is another budget friendly gaming option that is packed with an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX. More than that, it brings a design edge to the budget gaming laptop category that makes it an attractive option for students or business users who require additional portability. Its key feature is its dedicated graphics which helps it to outperform those laptops with integrated graphics. The 940MX allows you to play great titles such as DOTA and Counter Strike: GO on high and ultra settings with great frame rates. However, it will struggle with 2017 titles such as Mass Effect Andromeda and Ghost Recon Wildlands, which will have to be run at lower settings and lower resolution, although this is not a deal breaker as laptops that will run these games flawlessly will easily cost over $1500. It features a sixth generation (Skylake) Intel Core i5-6200U processor which is backed up by 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB hard drive. We’d recommend replacing your DVD Drive with an SSD if you have no need for it as the 1TB hard drive is relatively slow at only 5400 RPM. It also features a Full-HD IPS display which should offer better viewing angles than regular TN displays. The audio of the 510 is handled by renowned audio manufacturer Harman Audio and the speakers offer crisp audio while you game away from your speakers. Despite the IPS display, some users reported less clarity than more high-end displays, and some users also reported possible Wi-Fi issues and a weak touchpad. If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, however, these trade-offs are more than worth it.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 4.8 lbs

Pros

  • Backlit keyboard
  • Dedicated NVIDIA graphics
  • Lightweight / slick design
  • Good audio quality
  • Skylake-based Intel i5 CPU

Cons

  • Possibly Wifi issues
  • Average touch pad
  • Keyboard feels cramped
  • Slower storage drive
  • Not for hardcore gamers

Summary

The Lenovo Ideapad 510 80SR002SUS offers a dedicated NVIDIA GPU at a very attractive price, however, it will struggle with newer games and higher settings.

Lenovo Ideapad 510 80SR002SUS 15.6-inch
$699.99$587.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 21-08-2017 16:31 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-52RJ 15.6-inch laptop

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-52RJ

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-52RJ is another great option from Acer, who recently have been on a mission to prove themselves as the king of the ultra-budget gaming laptop market. Thanks to numerous recent releases which feature dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 940M graphics, Acer have taken the lead as the best brand for budget-conscious gamers. While you can easily play Counter Strike: GO and the ever popular DOTA, it will struggle with those newer titles. If you were hoping to play the newest 2017 titles with brilliant graphics then you will have to look at a higher-end laptop as the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-52RJ will only handle low settings with lower resolutions. Similar to the E5-575G-57D4 above, it features 8GB of DDR4 RAM, though it replaces the fast SSD with a slower 5400 RPM hard drive. This offers four times the storage space while taking a huge knock when it comes to speed. Still, it may be an attractive option for those looking to add an SSD into their optical drive slot using a hard drive caddy or the available M.2 slot. It has however received some negative feedback for its shallow keyboard, and an average display with limited viewing angles and lower brightness levels, although trade-offs are to be expected with such powerful hardware at such a low price. All in all the E 15 E5-575G-52RJ is an excellent option for the budget conscious gamer who doesn’t mind running those newer titles on lower settings.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.75 hours battery life
  • 4.92 lbs

Pros

  • Dedicated NVIDIA Graphics
  • Sixth generation CPU
  • Full HD Display

Cons

  • Bad display viewing angles and brightness
  • Shallow keyboard
  • Slower storage drive

Summary

The E 15 E5-575G-52RJ packs such powerful hardware for the price it's easy to overlook it's minor flaws.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-52RJ 15.6-inch
$588.89
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(as of 21-08-2017 16:34 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG 15.6-inchAcer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG 15.6-inch

Although priced a bit higher than most alternatives in this guide, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG is a budget friendly gaming laptop that offers incredible value for money. It previously carved its place as a permanent feature in our top picks of the year thanks to it’s generous hardware, which includes a 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor and 8GB of RAM, easily enough to cope with day-to-day tasks with ease. While many similarly priced laptops offer the NVIDIA GeForce 940M processor, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG is equipped with the GeForce 940MX graphics card. The 940MX offers 20% better performance than the original 940M and will run most modern games on low to medium settings while still offering good frame rates. Needless to say, it will trump any integrated graphics units by a mile. A solid state drive also offers lightning fast Windows 10 boot and game loading speeds, although the 256GB of storage space is quite small for modern gaming titles. We recommend replacing the DVD Drive with a 1TB HDD to increase the storage space or replacing the SSD with a larger one if you can afford it. While many laptops under $600 are still being offered with maximum resolutions of 1366 x 786, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG has a Full-HD display. The display offers good viewing angles, vivid colors and a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080. A big draw card for the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG is its amazing battery life – users can expect up to 12 hours off of a single charge while browsing the web or working in Word, although expect that to be drastically reduced when gaming. Overall, the E5-575G-53VG is hard to compete with if raw hardware power is what you are after. You are after the fastest laptop possible, right?

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Pros

  • SSD
  • NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU
  • Excellent battery life
  • Price
  • USB Type-C

Cons

  • Limited storage space
  • Plain design

Summary

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG is a budget friendly gaming laptop that offers powerful hardware at an extremely attractive price. The storage space is limited to just 256GB and we recommend upgrading to a bigger drive.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG 15.6-inch
$549.99
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(as of 21-08-2017 15:58 UTC) Details

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Budget Gaming Laptops Under $500 – More Options

Lenovo 110-17IKB 17.3-inchLenovo 110-17IKB 17.3-inch

The world of gaming has grown over the years, however some users still prefer playing some of the classic titles on the market. While the Intel HD Graphics 620 won’t win any performance awards, it will allow you to play some great titles such as Diablo III, Age of Empires II or Command & Conquer Red Alert 3. You will also be able to play the popular 2016 release Overwatch on medium settings. While the HD Graphics 620 GPU will run Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2, it is not recommended as you will have to run it on the lowest settings and on the lowest resolution. However, if the classic games are more up your alley then this laptop is well worth considering. Powering the Lenovo 110-17IKB is a seventh generation Dual Core Intel Core i5-7200U processor and 8GB of DDR4L RAM. This will allow you to easily run most applications, however some design applications will leave the Lenovo 110-17IKB feeling a bit sluggish. The drawback of many budget friendly laptops is the use of slower 5400rpm mechanical hard drives. While it offers 1TB of storage space, it will mean that your games will take longer to load and Windows will never boot as quickly as with a solid state drive. You can upgrade the storage drive to a faster SSD, however, they are still quite pricey when looking at larger drives. The larger display makes it more comfortable for gaming and even for everyday tasks, however it is not a Full-HD display and you will have to make do with the native 1600 x 900 pixel resolution. This isn’t the end of the world, however, and you will still be able to enjoy your favorite 720p movies and series.

  • , 1600 x 900 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 3 hours battery life
  • 6.15 lbs

Pros

  • Large display
  • Kaby Lake processor
  • Price
  • Ample storage space

Cons

  • Integrated graphics
  • Average audio
  • Poor battery life
  • Slower 5400rpm HDD
  • Only two USB ports

Summary

The Lenovo 110-17IKB offers a large display for gaming and watching videos, however the slower hard drive and integrated graphics are not designed for hardcore gamers.

Lenovo 110-17IKB 17.3-inch
$509.85
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(as of 21-08-2017 15:49 UTC) Details

HP 15-ba043wm 15.6-inchHP 15-ba043wm 15.6-inch

Ideally, a gaming laptop should feature dedicated graphics, however, this doesn’t mean that you can’t game on a laptop with dedicated graphics. The HP 15-ba043wm features a seventh generation Radeon R5 Bristol Ridge GPU with up to 4.25GB of shared video memory. Its R5 graphics boasts a GPU clock speed of 800MHz (Boosted) and will allow you to play some of the best classic titles and even some of the Twitch chart toppers such as CS: GO and League of Legends. You will even be able to play GTA V and Battlefield 4 if you don’t mind playing those games on lower settings. If you are more of a browser-based gamer, then you will love the responsive touchscreen that will allow you to play your favorite games without the need of the laptop’s trackpad. The display offer great visuals and will allow you to enjoy vivid colors while gaming or streaming media. But don’t expect a Full-HD experience, as you will have to make do with a HD 1366 x 768 display. Powering the laptop is a seventh generation Quad-Core AMD A10-9600P processor, 8GB of DDR3L RAM and a large 1TB hard drive. Though, as with most budget laptops, you will get a slower 5400rpm hard drive. However, seeing as more and more of us are moving over to digital copies of our games it makes sense to remove the DVD drive and replace it with a HDD caddy and a good SDD. This will allow you to reap all the major benefits that an SSD offers for gaming and day-to-day use.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.5 hours battery life
  • 4.73 lbs

Pros

  • Quad-Core AMD CPU
  • Radeon R5 GPU
  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Large amount of storage

Cons

  • Integrated graphics
  • Slower 5400rpm hard drive
  • Not for serious gamers

Summary

The HP 15-ba043wm is an affordable AMD-based laptop that is great for the browser-based gamer or casual gamer who doesn’t mind playing games on lower settings.

HP 15-ba043wm 15.6-inch
$599.00$449.00
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(as of 09-07-2017 11:55 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire E E5-575-53EJ 15.6-inchAcer Aspire E E5-575-53EJ 15.6-inch

It’s no secret that dedicated graphics cards offer far better performance than integrated graphics, however, this doesn’t mean that you can’t game on laptops without dedicated GPUs. This is due to the fact that Intel has come a long way with their integrated graphics and Blizzard have even mentioned that almost 25% of all Overwatch players are playing the game on a system with integrated graphics. While Overwatch is a newer title, don’t expect to play titles such as Mass Effect: Andromeda or Battlefield 1 on high settings or with great frame rates. The Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU is more suited to classic games and will run popular older titles such as World of Warcraft and Diablo III. Powering the Acer Aspire E E5-575-53EJ is a seventh generation Dual-Core Intel Core i5-7200U processor and 8GB of DDR4 memory. This will easily cope with everyday tasks and will even allow you to use more intensive applications such as Adobe Photoshop or CorelDRAW. You can upgrade the RAM to 16GB as the Acer Aspire E E5-575-53EJ features an empty slot, however, this is not necessary for most users. The Full-HD display is impressive for its price tag and the fact that you can set it to a maximum of 1920 x 1080 pixels makes it far more suited to streaming high definition media. The Acer Aspire E E5-575-53EJ also features an SSD storage drive, which will mean super fast Windows boot speeds and much faster application loading times than traditional storage drives. However, the installed SSD only features 256GB of storage space, which will fill up quickly if you intend on installing loads of games or if you have a larger media collection. You can upgrade the storage drive at home, however larger SSDs do come with larger price tags and you might instead want to consider a good external storage drive for your media files.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6.5 hours battery life
  • 4.92 lbs

Pros

  • Seventh generation processor
  • Full-HD display
  • Fast AC WiFi
  • Affordable price
  • USB 3.1 Type-C

Cons

  • Integrated graphics
  • Not for hardcore gamers
  • Smaller storage drive

Summary

The Acer Aspire E E5-575-53EJ might not run the latest and greatest games, but it will still allow you to play some great classic titles and catch your favorite Netflix or Amazon Prime shows and movies.

Acer Aspire E E5-575-53EJ 15.6-inch
$469.99
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(as of 04-06-2017 23:39 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron i5555-2866SLV 15.6-inchDell Inspiron i5555-2866SLV 15.6-inch

Not everyone can afford to spend upwards of $700 on a gaming laptop. But thankfully for companies like Dell, users have a choice of cheap laptops that allow for casual gaming. Being a budget laptop, don’t expect premium build quality, so expect a bit of display and keyboard flex. The integrated Radeon R6 Carrizo graphics chip won’t win any awards, but it will allow gamers to enjoy titles such as Counter strike: GO and Diablo III. But upcoming titles such as Battlefield 1 and COD: Infinity Warfare will struggle with frame rates even on the lowest of settings. Powered by a Quad Core AMD A10-8700P processor and 8GB of RAM, the Dell Inspiron i5555-2866SLV will easily cope with your day-to-day tasks. The RAM also powers the Radeon graphics chip and while it will cope fine, we do recommend upgrading the RAM for better performance. The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample space for games and multimedia files, but users who are after better performance should look at purchasing an SSD. The audio is quite average, but the software does allow for a bit of tweaking to get the audio right. The 1366 x 768 display is rather average, but users can still enjoy video streaming at 720p. The 10-finger touchscreen is fairly responsive and allows for users to effortlessly navigate around Windows 10. So if you are on a tight budget and after a laptop for work and casual gaming then the Dell Inspiron i5555-2866SLV is worth considering for its price.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4 hours battery life
  • 5.34 lbs

Pros

  • Quad Core processor
  • 6 Core R6 GPU
  • 10-finger touchscreen
  • 1TB hard drive

Cons

  • Display and keyboard flex
  • Integrated graphics
  • Average battery life
  • Average display quality

Summary

The Dell Inspiron i5555-2866SLV is an everyday laptop that can be used for casual gaming. But the display is average and won’t win any awards for quality and brightness.

Dell Inspiron i5555-2866SLV 15.6-inch
$458.98
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(as of 21-08-2017 15:55 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron I5559-1747SLV 15.6-inchDell Inspiron i5559-1747SLV 15.6-inch

Dell is known for their line of budget laptops, which are popular with budget conscious buyers who are after laptops that offer more than just word processing and Internet browsing. While many users would shy away from the Intel i3 range, the Skylake series offers similar performance and clock speeds than some of the 4th and 5th generation Intel i5 processors. The bonus of the new Skylake series is that it features the newer and more powerful Intel HD Graphics 520 chipset that will offer users similar performance to the GeForce 820M from NVIDIA. This means users will be able to run newer gaming titles with acceptable frame rates on lower settings. While older and classic titles will run on higher settings. The processor and GPU are backed by 6GB of RAM, which is more than enough for everyday tasks or casual gaming. But for users who are looking for a machine that will be able to run more hardware intensive apps, the Dell Inspiron I5559-1747SLV can be upgraded with a maximum of 16GB of RAM. The touchscreen display offers vibrant colors and sharp details for casual gaming and multimedia, while the viewing angles are average as it is not equipped with an IPS panel. But it is equipped with a responsive touchscreen that makes surfing the web and navigating around media a breeze. Ample storage space is offered by the 1TB mechanical hard drive, but due to its price users will have to make do with the slower 5400rpm drive speed. Overall the Dell Inspiron I5559-1747SLV is a great laptop that can be used for casual gaming.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 7 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Pros

  • Touchscreen display
  • Skylake processor
  • 6GB of RAM

Cons

  • No dedicated GPU
  • 5400rpm hard drive
  • No dedicated trackpad buttons

Summary

The Dell Inspiron I5559-1747SLV offers good value for money and its 6th generation Intel graphics means it can run more modern titles than some of its contenders.

Dell Inspiron I5559-1747SLV 15.6-inch
$479.99$399.99
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(as of 21-08-2017 16:02 UTC) Details

ASUS X555DA-WB11 15.6-inchASUS X555DA-WS11 15.6-inch

While not a gaming machine at heart, the ASUS X555DA-WS11 does allow users on a budget to experience games at lower resolutions. Featuring a Quad-Core AMD A10 APU, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a 1TB hard drive this machine delivers great day to day performance. The RAM features an unusual configuration with 4GB being onboard and the other 4GB being standard laptop RAM in a single slot. The AMD Radeon R6 GPU allows for acceptable frame rates for newer games, however they will need to be run at lower graphical settings. The 1366×768 LED backlit display offers decent contrast and good color representation and together with the ASUS SonicMaster sound makes for a great multimedia experience. The newer generation A10 processor has half the power consumption of its predecessor, meaning a small improvement for the poor battery life. But the drawback of the new A10-8700P processor is that it has a lower operating frequency than its predecessor. ASUS has also addressed the lack of Bluetooth and have added Bluetooth 4.0. The X555DA-WS11 manages to offer great value for your money as well as good gaming performance and stylish looks.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 4.48 lbs

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Good sound quality
  • Great price
  • Ample Storage Space

Cons

  • Lower clock speed
  • Average battery life
  • Maximum 8GB of RAM

Summary

While not the most powerful gaming laptop this machine delivers acceptable gaming performance at a very reasonable price.

Asus X555DA-WS11 15.6-inch
$449.00$440.00
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(as of 21-08-2017 16:04 UTC) Details

DELL-Inspiron-15-5000-i5545-2500sLV-15.6-inch

DELL Inspiron 15 i5545-2500SLV 15.6-inch

The DELL Inspiron 15 5000 i5545-2500sLV, with its elegant brushed aluminium design, looks sleeker and more professional than many plastic bodied competitors and features a slicker design than the E5-551-T5SV and almost identical hardware . Despite a 15-inch screen, the i5545-2500sLV is thin and lightweight enough for daily travel. Being a budget laptop, its screen suffers from slight glares and limited viewing angles but this won’t hinder day-to-day use. The Quad-Core AMD APU A10-7300 along with 8GB of RAM does a really good job of running daily tasks, and the integrated AMD R6 graphics enables it to run old games at high settings and even some modern games at medium to low settings. However, laptops with integrated graphics are not without their limitations, and this laptop is mainly suited for running slightly older games as opposed to next gen eye popping visuals where framerates will suffer. One benefit of the integrated graphics is that the system runs cool and quiet even under stress, so there’s no need to buy a cooling pad. Regular typists will love the full Keyboard with a 10-key number pad , multi-touch Trackpad and the impressive backlight for gaming in the dark. To speed up startup it is recommended that you replace the pre-installed AntiVirus software with a lighter one. The i5545-2500sLVs shortcomings are acceptable trade-offs as a budget gaming laptop for its powerful specs, exceptional looks and bargain price.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 5.2 lbs

Pros

  • Solid Build
  • Smooth Performance

Cons

  • Trackpad Placement
  • Lack of RAM Expandability

Summary

The Dell Inspiron i5545-1250sLV 15-Inch features a solid build with great performance in both casual use and gameplay, but the trackpad placement is awkward and there is no way to add extra RAM to improve performance.

Dell Inspiron i5545-1250sLV 15.6-Inch
$512.99
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(as of 21-08-2017 16:13 UTC) Details

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Top Gaming Laptops Under $600

HP 15-ay011nr 15.6-inchHP 15-ay011nr 15.6-inch

Although dedicated graphics are always the dream, not all of us can afford to splurge. There many options out there with integrated graphics that will play many of the most popular games on the market on top of every golden oldie under the sun. HP is known for their line of budget laptops, which are popular with budget-conscious buyers who are after laptops that offer more than just word processing and Internet browsing. Powered by a Skylake Intel Core i5-6200U processor with Hyper-Threading and 8GB of RAM, the HP 15-ay011nr will cope with everyday tasks and casual gaming with ease. The new Skylake series features the newer and more powerful Intel HD Graphics 520 chipset that will offer users similar performance to the GeForce 820M from NVIDIA. This means users will be able to run some newer gaming titles with acceptable frame rates on lower settings while older and classic titles will run on higher settings. The GPU relies on shared memory and while the 8GB of RAM is adequate, we recommend upgrading to 12GB or 16GB of RAM to maximize the performance. The Full-HD display offers vibrant colors and sharp details for casual gaming and multimedia. While many laptops under $500 feature a lower resolution display, the HP 15-ay011nr boasts a maximum resolution of 1920×1080. Ample storage space is offered by the 1TB mechanical hard drive, but due to its price users will have to make do with the slower 5400rpm drive speed, But the hard drive can easily be swapped out for a solid state drive or a 7200rpm mechanical drive.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 4.73 lbs

Pros

  • Full-HD display
  • Battery life
  • Skylake processor

Cons

  • Integrated graphics
  • Limited storage space
  • 5400rpm HDD

Summary

The HP 15-ay011nr is a great budget gaming laptop that offers a decent hardware for casual gamers.

HP 15-ay011nr 15.6-inch
$559.99$536.00
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(as of 21-08-2017 15:58 UTC) Details

Lenovo 300-17ISK 80QH 17.3-inchLenovo 300-17ISK 80QH 17.3-inch

When it comes to laptops under $500 it is usually quite rare to find a laptop that sports a larger 17.3-inch display. The Lenovo 300-17ISK 80QH is one of these rare laptops that sports a larger than industry standard 15.6-inch display. Not only does it allow for a more comfortable viewing experience, the larger size of the laptop also makes it more comfortable to work and play games on as you get a larger palm rest. To make the 300-17ISK 80QH more affordable, Lenovo have used a more budget friendly display panel and the Lenovo 300-17ISK 80QH only offers a maximum resolution of 1600 x 900. However, you will still be able to enjoy your favorite movies and series at 720p. The Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU will allow you to play classic games on higher settings, however, games that were released after 2015 will have to be set to low to ensure that your frame rates don’t drop too low while gaming. The GPU should offer similar performance to NVIDIA’s entry-level GeForce 920M dedicated GPU and is intended for the casual gamer. While running titles such as Battlefield 1 or COD: Infinity Warfare is a far stretch on this laptop, you will be able to play titles such as World of Warcraft, Diablo III and CS: Go with decent frame rates. Powering the Lenovo 300-17ISK 80QH in an Intel Core i5-6200U processor and 8GB of DDR3L RAM, which will even allow you to run applications such as Adobe Photoshop with ease. The Skylake processor supports DDR4 RAM, however the motherboard that Lenovo has used will only support DDR3L and this should be kept in mind if you intend on upgrading the RAM to the maximum supported 16GB. If you want to play newer titles and don’t mind a smaller display, then we recommend looking at the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inch, which offers a newer processor and a dedicated NVIDIA GPU.

  • 17.3 inch, 1600 x 900 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.75 hours battery life
  • 6.61 lbs

Pros

  • 17.3-inch display
  • Skylake processor
  • Faster AC WiFi
  • Price
  • Ample storage space

Cons

  • Integrated graphics
  • Slower 5400rpm HDD
  • Only one USB 3.0 port

Summary

The Lenovo 300-17ISK 80QH offers decent hardware for the casual gamer and the larger display is great for streaming your favorite HD 720p media online. However the integrated graphics limit which games the Lenovo 300-17ISK 80QH can run.

Lenovo 300-17ISK 80QH 17.3-inch
$529.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 21-08-2017 15:49 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire E5-575G-59EE 15.6-inchAcer Aspire E5-575G-59EE 15.6-inch

Gaming laptops under $500 usually only offer integrated Radeon or Intel graphics chip sets, which are fine for casual gaming. But Acer has released a budget friendly gaming laptop that features an NVIDIA 940MX. The 940MX offers gamers 25% better performance than the 940M and will easily run titles such as Overwatch and Star Wars Battlefront with decent frame rates. While the 940 series is an entry level graphics card, the Acer Aspire E5-575G-59EE can be connected via USB 3.1 Type-C to an external GPU dock for use with a powerful desktop graphics card. The Acer Aspire E5-575G-59EE sports a 6th generation Intel core i5-6200U processor and 8GB of RAM, which will run everyday tasks with ease. Users can easily and cheaply upgrade the RAM to a maximum of 32GB for a massive improvement in performance. To cut costs Acer has gone with a 5400rpm mechanical hard drive, which trades off speed for ample storage space. But users can easily upgrade their storage drive to a much faster hybrid drive or even a solid state drive if the budget allows for it. The anti-glare display offers great visuals and bright colors, but like most laptops in this price category it only offers a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768. But users can connect an external monitor or TV via the HDMI or VGA ports.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.75 hours battery life
  • 5.29 lbs

Pros

  • NVIDA GeForce 940MX
  • Price
  • Skylake Core i5 processor
  • USB 3.1 Type-C

Cons

  • 5400rpm drive
  • 1366 x 768 display
  • Heat while under load

Summary

The Acer Aspire E5-575G-59EE offers powerful hardware and next generation connectivity for its budget friendly price tag.

Acer Aspire E5-575G-59EE 15.6-inch
$569.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 18-06-2017 10:09 UTC) Details

Aspir- E5-573G-56RG

Acer Aspire E5-573G-52G3 15.6-inch

The Acer Aspire E5-573G-52G3 has the second most powerful graphics card available in our guide and is capable of handling demanding work-related applications and running most modern games at reasonable settings. However, some users reported issues with a flaky touchpad and too much bloatware requiring a fresh install of Windows as well as an average quality TN display. It features a Nvidia GeForce 940M dedicated graphics which, far faster than the AMD and Integrated chips usually found in most competitors at its price. On the downside, it sports a cheap plastic casing, which seems to be trade off for its powerful hardware. It features a 15.6-inch matte screen with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080. Despite the high resolution, its TN panel received negative reviews from some buyers for poor image clarity which may be a large drawback for some who might want to up their budget for an IPS display. Powering the E5-573G is a core i5-5200U processor, which is the latest mid-range Broadwell CPU from Intel along with 8GB of Memory and a 1TB HDD. This hardware packs enough punch for everyday tasks and also for rendering most of today’s games at medium settings. Working alongside the 940M is Intel’s HD Graphics 5500 which conserves battery by coming to action while doing regular, less graphics-intensive tasks. The battery life will normally last over 5 hours, but expect it to drop to under 2 hours while gaming.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 3.5 hours battery life
  • 5.29 lbs

Pros

  • Powerful graphics
  • Windows 10
  • Full-HD Screen
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Battery not removable
  • No Optical Drive

Summary

The Acer Aspire E5-573G-52G3 15.6-Inch packs a powerful Nvidia 940M graphics card, solid build quality and a Full-HD screen with Windows 10 at one of the lowest prices we've ever seen for a dedicated mobile Nvidia GPU.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-573G-52G3 15.6-inch
$599.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 21-08-2017 16:17 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire E5-575G-562T 15.6-inchAcer Aspire E5-575G-562T 15.6-inch

To further their lead in the budget friendly gaming market, Acer have released the Acer Aspire E5-575G-562T. Unlike the other Acer laptops in this guide, this laptop features a much more powerful NVIDIA graphics card, which will allow you to play those newer games on higher settings. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M might be from the previous generation of NVIDIA GPUs, but don’t let this fool you, it is still capable of running some of the best games from 2017 on medium to high settings. While it might feature an older GPU, the same can’t be said about its new seventh generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor. You also get 8GB of DDR4 RAM which offers better performance than the older DDR3 RAM used by older laptops. Acer have even gone as far as to fit the Acer Aspire E5-575G-562T with both a superfast M.2 SSD and a slower 1TB 5400rpm storage drive which can be used for storage. Though the SSD only offers 128GB of storage space, making it less than ideal for installing your favorite games onto it. The Acer Aspire E5-575G-562T also features a Full-HD display, however some users have mentioned that if you view the display slightly off center the picture will rapidly fade, which is common for TN displays. There has also been mention of a flimsy trackpad, though if you are gaming then we hope that you are using a good mouse. Despite, this laptops minor issues, it is still a great gaming laptop for the budget conscious gamer.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Pros

  • Dedicated NVIDIA GTX GPU
  • Seventh generation i5 CPU
  • Both SSD and 1TB mechanical drive
  • USB Type-C port

Cons

  • TN display
  • Poor viewing angles
  • Tiny SSD

Summary

The Acer Aspire E5-575G-562T offers great performance for its attractive price and while the display does not offer the best viewing angles it should not put you off this laptop.

Acer Aspire E5-575G-562T 15.6-inch
$629.99
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from NewEgg
(as of 04-06-2017 23:59 UTC) Details

Conclusion

This brings our list of the top cheap gaming laptops under $500 to a close. For those with a few more dollars to spend be sure to head over to our other guides covering the best gaming laptops for more powerful machines that will up the ante and take your gaming experience to the next level. If you’re looking for some new games to download in wait for your new machine our guides to the best free MMORPGs and best paid MMORPGs might help kill the time, or if you are an action lover our guide to the best FPS games for some trigger relaxation. Check back soon for more awesome laptop deals and gaming glory.

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