gming laptops

Best Gaming Laptops under $500 Amazon

Gaming laptops can cost more, but even top brands like HP, Asus, and Dell offer budget-friendly and entry-level models for the people who want to game on the go with a minimum budget. For this list, I tried to keep my picks for budget gaming laptops under $500.

The budget laptop demand is not easy to guide. Many cheap laptops are praised with an attractive price tag waiting to be bought, but not all live up to their promoted features and performance. And with so many more people needing an extra device to manage school and office work from home, manufacturers have been quick to adjust.

8GB of RAM is the minimum for any gaming PC. With 8GB RAM, you can play most released games without any problems, but some games might not play at the highest quality, and you might have to shut down other applications.

16 GB RAM is considered the best for playing the highest versions of games on laptops. However, AMAZON offers many reasonable laptops under $ 500 that are the best for playing games

At a Glance:

Our Recommendations for Best Gaming Laptops on Amazon under $500

DesignLaptopsRetailer
Best PickMSI Stealth 15M Gaming Laptop
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Asus Vivobook 15 Thin and Light 15.6" FHD
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Staff PickLenovo IdeaPad 3 Laptop
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Budget PickLenovo IdeaPad 1 Laptop
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Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
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MSI Stealth 15M Gaming Laptop

Best Pick
MSI Stealth 15M Gaming Laptop

15.6″ 144Hz FHD 1080p Display, Intel Core i7-11375H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB, 512GB SSD, Thunderbolt 4, WiFi 6, Win10, Carbon Gray (A11UEK-009)

Designed to be thin and light for gamers to carry around every day for games, study, or work. A promising gaming laptop.

Review

The MSI Stealth 15M is a gaming laptop from MSI. Like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, we get what MSI is doing here. It offers gamers another thin and light gaming laptop with Nvidia RTX 3000 series’ prowess. After all, if Asus can pull it off, so could MSI.

The MSI Stealth 15M’s light and thin design, along with an easy keyboard and a good port selection, is a superb start. And if gaming laptops were evaluated only on those metrics, we’d happily recommend them because it does a decent job of getting you through gaming at medium settings.

Sadly, in terms of ray-tracing performance, battery life, and heat management, it also leaves something desired. Although usually, those aren’t huge deal-breakers to gamers, it has targeted the same market as the new Zephyrus G14 with its similar specs and formed factor while also being slightly more expensive and less powerful.

Our Recommendation

We happily recommend the MSI Stealth 15M. The MSI Stealth 15M gaming laptop is powered by an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, taking on today’s most popular games with these performance graphics. MSI’s sole Cooler Boost Technology confirms optimal thermal excess.

Featuring state-of-the-art fans and heat pipes, get the airflow you need for gaming. But while it does win in form factor, making it a great Ultrabook-cum-gaming-laptop candidate, it falls short on performance and disappoints in battery life. It’s a favorable new entrance into the gaming laptop circle but not fully ready to lead the action yet.

MSI Stealth 15M Gaming Laptop Specifications

  • Series: Stealth 15M A11UEK-009
  • Brand:                                     MSI
  • Specific Uses for Product:      Multimedia, Personal, Gaming
  • Screen Size:                           15.6 Inches
  • Operating System:                 Windows 10 Home
  • Human Interface Input: Keyboard
  • CPU Manufacturer:                Intel
  • Card Description:                  Dedicated
  • Color:                                    Carbon Gray
  • Connectivity Technology:     Bluetooth, WI-Fi, USB, HDMI

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • Good mid-range performance
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Decent port selection

Cons

  • Poor battery life
  • Ray-tracing performance is sad
  • Heat management is atrocious
  • Speakers are mediocre
  • Plain appearance

Asus Vivobook 15 Thin and Light 15.6″ FHD

Asus Vivobook 15 Thin and Light 15.6" FHD

Asus Vivobook 15 Thin and Light 15.6″ FHD, AMD Quad-Core R3-3200U CPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 128G SSD, AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics, Windows 10 in S Mode, F512DA-DB34, Slate Gray

  • Powerful AMD Quad-Core r3-3200u Processor
  • AMD Radeon Vega 3 discrete graphics with Windows 10 in S mode
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB SSD
  • Ergonomic backlit chiclet keyboard with fingerprint sensor activated via Windows

ASUS Vivobook 15 Review
One of the best sub-$500 laptops

ASUS is at the top of the list when I think of less-priced laptops. The Vivobook lineup delivers a full set of features at a very low price. I’ve been using the Vivobook 15 for the last couple of weeks to see whether or not it’s worth your money. The Asus Vivobook series consists of budget to mid-range laptops to complement the higher-end and more expensive Zen Book series.

With a generous port selection, fingerprint reader, decent camera, comfy keyboard, and expected performance, the Vivobook 15 makes a strong case in the sub-$500 market. Battery life is a letdown, and the screen isn’t overly colorful, but these are easy to look past compared to the drawbacks of many other budget laptops on the market.

The keyboard here is surprisingly good. Still, I’m not too fond of the smaller chiclet shape, but the ample 1.4mm key travel, three-stage backlight, and number pad make up for it. If you’re buying a budget laptop for essays and drafts, this one should be quite easy to get used to.

Individual navigation keys are appreciated. For a 15-inch laptop, the Vivobook 15’s plastic chassis is pleasantly light at about 3.5 pounds. The ASUS Vivobook 15 is quite better than many other budget laptops.

It has a comfortable keyboard and touchpad, fingerprint reader, FHD display, high RAM and SSD, and tons of ports with USB-C. Battery life is poor, and the display isn’t powerful, but I would recommend this over the IdeaPad 3 15 and Acer Aspire 5.

You should buy this if…

  • You want to pay less than $500 for a laptop
  • You want a comfortable keyboard and touchpad
  • You want a 15-inch display with an FHD resolution

You shouldn’t buy this if…

  • You want to game or get into specialized work on your laptop
  • You want all-day (8+ hours) battery life
  • You want a 15-inch laptop that’s as thin and light as possible

Asus Vivobook 15 Thin and Light 15.6″ FHD Specifications

  • Series:                                     Vivobook 15 F512DA
  • Brand:                                   ASUS
  • Specific Uses for Product:      Multimedia, Personal, Business
  • Screen Size:                          15.6 Inches
  • Operating System:                 Windows 10 Home
  • Human Interface Input:          Keyboard
  • CPU Manufacturer:                 AMD
  • Card Description:                    Integrated
  • Color:                                      Slate Gray
  • Connectivity Technology:       Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI

Pros

  • Lots of ports
  • Lightweight build
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Backlit keyboard with number pad
  • A decent performance from Core i3

Cons

  • The display isn’t overly colorful
  • Battery life doesn’t impress
  • Short AC adapter cable
  • Speakers on the quiet side

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Laptop

Staff Pick
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Laptop

14.0″ FHD Display, AMD Ryzen 5 5500U, 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage, AMD Radeon 7 Graphics, Windows 11 Home, Abyss Blue

  • The IdeaPad 3 14-inch laptop has 4-side narrow bezels that let you see more of the FHD (1920 x 1080) screen for wider viewing angles and less clutter.
  • Quieter and cooler with brilliant thermals, plus you can calibrate working with Q-control, with three ways to match your performance needs.
  • Protect your webcam lens and ensure your privacy with the built-in privacy shutter.
  • WiFi 6 (2×2 802.11 ax) and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, plus USB, USB-C, and HDMI ports.

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 Review

At around $500, the IdeaPad 3 14 is a good option, having an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage. This review unit is available on Amazon.com with Windows 10 installed. Except for the OS choice, there are no customization options for this Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14.

But it’s worth noting that smart laptop users can change one of the two unsoldered 4GB RAM sticks for an 8GB RAM stick and bump the total RAM to 12GB. However, please do this at your own risk, as it could violate your warranty.

More about gaming: I’ve tested games like Warface, Fortnite, and Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. They played well on low settings. This laptop isn’t bad for that. What it won’t run that well will be games like call of modern duty warfare, but I’m sure with overclocking and enabling parked cores, even that can be played.

The laptop screen is 60hz so playing these games at 60fps looks smooth. It is a good laptop for work and school. It’s pretty powerful, and it’s also good for light gaming. I recommend it. Lenovo’s IdeaPad 1 14 proves that you can have a decent, and even enjoyable, Windows 10 experience on an under-$300 laptop, as long as you don’t need USB-C ports and can do with a basic processor.

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Laptop Specifications

  • Laptop Class:                       Budget
  • Processor:                           AMD Ryzen 5 5500U
  • Processor Speed:                2.1 GHz
  • Series:                                 Ideapad 3 14 Laptop
  • Brand:                                  Lenovo
  • Specific Uses for Product:   Personal
  • Screen Size:                        14 Inches
  • Operating System:               Windows 11
  • Human Interface Input:        Microphone
  • Card Description:                 Integrated
  • Color:                                 Abyss Blue
  • Hard Disk Size:                  256 GB
  • Processor Count:                1

Pros

  • Great performance
  • USB-C port included
  • Sturdy chassis
  • Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
  • Integrated fingerprint scanner
  • Users can upgrade RAM (at their own risk)

Cons

  • Lackluster speakers
  • Dull display

Lenovo IdeaPad 1 Laptop

Budget Pick
Lenovo IdeaPad 1 Laptop

14.0″ HD Display, Intel Celeron N4020, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage, Intel UHD Graphics 600, Windows 11 in S Mode, Ice Blue

There is another best option for a gaming laptop. Though it has more price, but it’s worth is more than its price.

Lenovo’s IdeaPad 1 14 Review

  • Lenovo’s IdeaPad 1 14 proves that you can have a decent, and even enjoyable, Windows 10 experience on an under-$300 laptop, as long as you don’t need USB-C ports and can do with a basic processor.
  • This Ideapad 1 laptop is powered by an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, and 164 GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage.
  • Microsoft 365 is included (1-year subscription); includes a free 3-month trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – Play over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows PC; includes iconic Bethesda games, new day-one titles, and the EA Play on PC catalog.
  • Enjoy videos or browse online on a large 14″ HD display panel rimmed by thin bezels while Dolby Audio delivers crystal-clear sound through the built-in dual stereo speakers.
  • Light and slim, this Windows 11 laptop computer (S mode) weighs just over 3 lbs and is less than 1 inch thick.

WiFi 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity; ports include 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 12 (Type-A), microSD Card Reader; HDMI; Microphone / Earphone Combo

Lenovo IdeaPad 1 Laptop Specifications

  • Series  Ideapad:                    1 14 Laptop
  • Brand:                                    Lenovo
  • Specific Uses for Product:     Personal
  • Screen Size:                         14 Inches
  • Operating System:                Windows 11
  • Human Interface Input:           Microphone
  • CPU Manufacturer:                 Intel
  • Card Description:                    Integrated
  • Color:                                    Ice Blue
  • Hard Disk Size:                     64 GB

Pros

  • Crisp 1080p display
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • HDMI port
  • Multiple color options
  • Lightweight
  • Long battery life and snappy storage

Cons

  • No USB-C ports
  • Dim 220-nit screen backlight
  • It uses a relatively slow AMD Athlon Silver processor

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, Vega 3 Graphics, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode, A515-43-R19L, Silver

  • 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports & 1 HDMI port with HDCP support
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Backlit Keyboard; Up to 7.5 hours battery life
  • Windows 10 in S mode. Maximum power supply wattage: 65 Watts

Acer Aspire 5 review

An Affordable Laptop that’s Enjoyable to Use

Are you in search of low priced laptop? Don’t want to spend more than $500? Acer Aspire laptop should be at the top of your list, and aspire laptops take the top slot in Amazon’s list of best-selling laptops. The model we observed for this review is the best of both worlds. It’s cheaply priced, and it delivers good functionality.

Acer Aspire 5 laptop fills an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. It is among the most costly in the Aspire line. But actually, it was expensive. Acer provides the hardware at rock-bottom pricing.

A quick tour of Amazon tells that alternatives from HP, Lenovo, and Dell are typically more expensive. It owns an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor with good working at a low price. It fills four cores and eight threads with 80 execution units.

The Acer Aspire 5 avoids common budget laptop snags. Windows laptops sold at this price severe cuts. They may have a dual-core processor, just 4GB of RAM, or a tiny 128GB hard drive. This laptop delivers the basic minimum for a Windows 11 experience and does so at a price just tens of dollars more expensive than less capable options. That makes it hard to beat for $499.

Our Recommendation

With its reasonable price, sound performance, and strong build, the Acer Aspire 5 is a great budget option for most people.

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop Specifications

  • Series:                                     A515-43-R19L
  • Brand;                                     Acer
  • Specific Uses for Product:      Multimedia, Personal, Business
  • Screen Size:                         15.6 Inches
  • Operating System:                  Windows 10 Home S
  • Human Interface Input:           Keyboard
  • CPU Manufacturer:                 AMD
  • Card Description:                  Integrated
  • Color:                                     Silver
  • Hard Disk Size:                     128 GB

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Rugged build
  • Great keyboard
  • Good selection of ports

Cons

  • Annoying bloatware comes pre-installed
  • The touchpad is a little hard to use

Conclusion

You can also choose among the following listed gaming laptops on Amazon.

  • Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop $319.22.
  • Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R5ED Gaming Laptop $499.99.
  • Asus Vivobook 15.6” $318.00.
  • Flagship HP 14” Laptop $275.
  • ASUS Vivobook 15 Thin and Light Laptop $425.
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15.6” $235.30.
  • Dell Inspiron 15.6 Inch $449.
  • HP 14” Laptop $275.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are gaming laptops under 500 worth it?

Ultimately, though, no $500 gaming laptop is going to give you an ideal gaming experience.

Can a normal laptop be used for gaming?

A gaming laptop can do anything a normal laptop can do. Like we said at the start, a gaming laptop is pretty much like any other laptop in that it has a CPU, temporary storage space (RAM), permanent storage space (hard drive, SSD, or cloud storage), and more.

How much RAM do I need for gaming?

Most games recommend 16GB of memory for speedy, high-performance play. Having this much RAM in your computer will allow you to change what games you play, and avoid issues with lag and stuttering. At an absolute minimum, 8GB is usually a good starting point for most games.

Is Lenovo good for gaming?

Legion is at the core of Lenovo PC gaming and has something for every type of gamer, including VR-ready models and rigs for eSports. Every Lenovo Legion laptop comes preloaded with up to Windows 10 Pro. With a boardroom-ready aesthetic and Windows 10 Pro, Legion makes a great laptop for gaming and work too.

What happens if you game on a non-gaming laptop?

About 90% of the gaming experience depends on the GPU. If you have a discrete GPU, you can run any game on your non-gaming laptop, but if you don’t have a discrete GPU, you will face trouble during the game. Other factors like thermal design, CPU, and RAM also affect the gaming experience.

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