Finding the Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Under $500

Last Updated: February 18, 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 2015 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 guide to the best gaming laptops under $1000 and our guide to the best high-end gaming laptops featuring more good 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, or,  if you are also considering a desktop, our best gaming PCs and best cheap gaming PCs guides over at DesktopcomputerNinja.

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

Not everyone can afford to spend upwards of $1000 on a gaming machine. Although priced a bit higher than most alternatives around it’s price range, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG is a budget friendly gaming laptop that offers such good value for money hardware at an extremely attractive price it has carved its place as our top pick of the year. The 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor and 8GB of RAM will cope with day-to-day tasks with relative 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 allow for casual gaming 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. While the solid state drive offers lightning fast Windows 10 boot and game loading speeds, the 256GB of storage space is quite small for modern gaming titles. We recommend upgrading to a 512GB or 1TB SSD to increase the storage space while retaining the fast speeds or swapping out. 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 life reduced when gaming.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • 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
from $549.99 $524.98 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 23:11 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.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 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
from $507.39 $507.38 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 22:58 UTC) Details

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

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 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.

Specs

  • 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
from $559.99 $459.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 23:09 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.

Specs

  • 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
from $449.00 $437.80 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 23:06 UTC) Details

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

When looking for a budget friendly gaming laptop that offers brilliant battery life, then consider looking at one of the latest offers from Acer. The Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 offers the casual gamer or the gamer on a budget a great platform on which they can enjoy their favorite gaming titles. Sporting a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card, the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 will run titles such as Overwatch, Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 on low to medium settings. However this will mean setting the resolution to 1366 x 768 to retain a frame rate of over 30fps. The NVIDIA GeForce 940MX also offers slightly better performance than the standard 940M card and unlike some of its competitors, the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 features GDDR5 video memory instead of GDDR3. Acer have 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, it 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.

Specs

  • 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
from $549.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 23:16 UTC) Details

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Budget Gaming Laptops Under $500 – More Options

Dell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718SLV Signature Edition 15.6-inch

Dell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718SLV Signature Edition 15.6-inch

Dell has a huge reputation for quality products at affordable prices. The Dell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718SLV Signature Edition is a powerful machine sporting a Quad-Core Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 1TB of storage space and a crisp, clear Full-HD LED-backlit display. The Audio Waves MaxxAudio, which comes standard on most Dell machines, produces rich and immersive sound. The somewhat mediocre graphics are understandable at this price although the Intel HD 4400 is still able to run most games on lower settings as well as Photoshop or other editing software. This is a great machine for casual gamers and professionals alike and currently Amazon are selling it at almost a 50% discount.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.3 lbs

Pros

  • Full HD Display
  • Amazing sale price
  • 10-finger multi-touch
  • Excellent Audio quality
  • Ample storage

Cons

  • Touchscreen unresponsive at times

Summary

A powerhouse laptop with great audio and full HD screen at an amazing price on sale.

Dell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718SLV Signature Edition 15.6-inch
from $439.98 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 23:00 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.

Specs

  • 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
from $469.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 23:00 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.

Specs

  • 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
from $399.68 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 23:12 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.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 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
from $499.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Walmart.com
(as of 18-09-2016 23:19 UTC) Details

HP 250 G5 X9U07UT#ABA 15.6-inchHP 250 G5 X9U07UT#ABA 15.6-inch

HP have been around for many years and their budget friendly line of laptops have always been a firm favorite among those on tighter budgets. The large 15.6-inch size makes it slightly more comfortable to work and game on and it also weighs in at 4.32 pounds, which is a bit lighter than most 15-inch laptops. While the HP 250 G5 X9U07UT#ABA is not exactly a purpose built gaming laptop, its hardware will allow for casual gaming. The Skylake based Intel Core i5-6200U processor and 8GB of DDR4 RAM will allow for you to undertake everyday tasks with ease and will even handle more intensive multitasking. The Intel processor features an Intel HD Graphics 520 graphics chip, which offers similar performance to the NVIDIA GeForce 820M but without the dedicated graphics memory. While newer games will struggle to achieve good frame rates, you will be able to run popular titles such as World of Warcraft, CS: GO, Diablo III and Dota 2 on mid to high settings. For its price you will have to settle for an entry-level display panel, which offers a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768. While the image quality is crisp and the colors are vivid for HD video streaming, the viewing angles and the contrast are quite average. The audio is quite clear and is powered by DTS Studio Sound technology. This will offer you immersive and crisp sound for music or while enjoying the latest block buster movie. The Solid state drive allows Windows 10 to boot in seconds and gives you the edge when loading games over the alternative 5400rpm mechanical drives that many of its competitors offer. But with only 256GB of storage space, you will have to look at an external storage drive for larger multimedia collections.

Specs

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

Pros

  • Intel Skylake processor
  • Superfast SSD
  • Lighter than most 15.6-inch laptops
  • Crisp audio

Cons

  • Integrated graphics
  • Limited storage space
  • Entry level display panel
  • Not suited for hardcore gamers

Summary

The HP 250 G5 X9U07UT#ABA offers decent hardware for its price, but the display and the integrated Intel graphics make it more suited for casual gaming.

HP 250 G5 X9U07UT#ABA 15.6-inch
from $599.99 $499.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Newegg.com
(as of 17-01-2017 06:01 UTC) Details

Acer-Aspire-E5-551-T5SV-15.6-inch

Acer Aspire E5-551-T5SV 15.6-Inch 

If an Nvidia based laptop is a bit of an overkill for you, take a look at the Aspire E5-551-T5SV which offers similar features for a $100 less, although it’s integrated graphics is only suitable for playing older games. It has no-frills design with a 15.6 inch 1366 x 768 display and an AMD A10-7300 Quad Core processor along with integrated Radeon R6 graphics. The only difference between it and the E5-551-T374  listed below is that it comes with 4GB of RAM and 500GB storage, which is half of what the E5-551-T374 offers but for quite a bit less. However, due to less power hungry hardware, the E5-551-T5SV has a longer battery life of 7 hours which is exceptional for a laptop of its price. If you work with big programs or do a lot of multitasking, you can use the extra RAM slot to add up to 16GB of Memory, but for normal tasks and low-level gaming the default setup should be more than enough. That said, moderate level gamers will want to upgrade the memory to for best performance.  Also note that the R6 graphics is the latest mid-range integrated GPU on AMD systems, and it can run games better than Intel Integrated competitors. For what they’re paying, most users and casual gamers should be more than happy with the E5-551-T5SSV. The only complaint most people had about this laptop was that it ran Windows 8 OS, which does take some time getting used to if you are coming from an older OS, although with a free Windows 10 upgrade now here most of these complaints are now obsolete.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 5.51 lbs

Pros

  • Professional Design
  • Decent Graphics Performance
  • Battery Life

Cons

  • Windows 8
  • Low Memory

Summary

The Acer Aspire E5-551-T5SV 15.6-inch features an attractive design with respectable performance for a budget gaming system, but the RAM is relatively low for a system of this type and Windows 8 delivers a less than stellar user experience.

Acer Aspire E5-551-T5SV 15.6-inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 22:56 UTC) Details

Acer-Aspire-ES1-731G-P1LM-17.3-inch

Acer Aspire ES1-731G-P1LM 17.3-inch

The midnight black ES1-731G-P1LM, a new mid-range laptop from the Aspire series, looks stylish and is quite thin and portable for a 17-inch laptop. However, carrying it around could be a problem given it weighs a hefty 6.61 lbs. It has large ergonomic, well-spaced keys with a 10 key numeric keypad, and a responsive, user-friendly multi-touch touchpad. It offers up to 4 hours of battery life on a charge, which is above average considering its large size and low price. The TFT screen has a native resolution of 1600 x 900, and adequately portrays details in images and texts. However, the display doesn’t have a wide viewing angle like the high-end IPS panels, and the colors can get faded when viewing from sharp angles at the side of the display. The internal hardware features an Intel Pentium N3700 Quad-Core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 820M 2GB graphics card capable of decent frame rates for most modern gaming titles. It’s equipped with a 500GB 5400PM for storing games and other media. All in all, the ES1-731G-P1LM is an excellent performer for its price making this one of our top recommendations because it will provide better framerates than most top performing AMD based laptops under $500, and it also sports a larger screen for gaming and movie watching. While this is a great machine for basic gaming, due to its relatively slower processor it is outperformed by many competitors in less graphic intensive tasks.

Specs

  • 17.3 inch, 1600 x 900 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 4 hours battery life
  • 6.61 lbs

Pros

  • Decent Design
  • Respectable Specs

Cons

  • Display Quality
  • Audio Quality

Summary

A great budget machine, the ACER ASPIRE ES1-731G-P1LM 17.3-INCH delivers respectable performance but sacrifices were made in both the display and the audio speakers to keep the price low.

Acer Aspire ES1-731G-P1LM 17.3-inch
from $474.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from BHPhotoVideo.com
(as of 26-07-2016 12:01 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.

Specs

  • 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
from $479.99 $399.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 23:09 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron i5555-2843SLV 15.6-inchDell Inspiron i5555-2843SLV 15.6-inch

Dell needs no introduction, they are a proud American company who have been on the market for years. They also own Alienware and are known for their high-end gaming laptops, but for the budget conscious gamers who can’t afford the high prices, these laptops can be out of reach.But fear not, Dell has a range of affordable laptops that are great for the casual gamer and easy on the bank account. The mid-range AMD Quad Core A10-8700P processor and 12GB of RAM allow the Dell Inspiron i5555-2843SLV to make easy work of basic day-to-day tasks. While most gaming laptops feature dedicated graphics cards, the Dell Inspiron i5555-2843SLV only has an integrated Radeon R6 graphics chip. The Carrizo architecture R6 chip will allow casual gamers to enjoy such titles as Counter Strike Go and Diablo 3 with frame rates over 30fps. Newer and more hardware intensive games will run on the lowest settings and with lower frame rates. The storage drive offers ample storage space for users with collections of older games and larger multimedia libraries, but will offer slower Windows boot and game loading times. We recommend upgrading to a faster 7200rpm mechanical drive or a solid state drive for better performance. Overall the Dell Inspiron i5555-2843SLV is a budget friendly laptop for casual gamers and is great for small businesses and college students.

Specs

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

Pros

  • Quad Core processor
  • 12GB of RAM
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Price

Cons

  • No dedicated graphics
  • Dell bloatware
  • Only one USB 3.0 port

Summary

The Dell Inspiron i5555-2843SLV offers casual gamers a powerful budget friendly laptop, but expect loads of Dell bloatware.

Dell Inspiron i5555-2843SLV 15.6-inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 23:11 UTC) Details

Dell-Inspiron-15-i3543-6000SLV-15.6-inch

Dell Inspiron 15 i3543-6000SLV 15.6-inch

Dell is known for their quality products at affordable prices. The Dell Inspiron 15 i3543-6000SLV is a powerful budget machine sporting a Broadwell i5 5200U processor and an NVIDIA GeForce 820M graphics card with 2GB of dedicated video memory. But with only 4GB of DDR3L RAM and a 500GB hard drive it won’t win any awards. But the storage device and the RAM are both easily accessible and can be swapped out for 8GB of RAM and a SSD or Hybrid SSHD hard drive. Equipped with a 15.6-inch LED-backlit TN display it only offers a maximum resolution of 1366×768 and the viewing angles and colors are not the greatest, but are better than expected at this price point. Unlike the Signature Edition, there is no touchscreen display. But it does come with a dedicated graphics card, which is rare at this price point. But being an entry level NVIDIA card it will have to run newer games on low settings in order to retain framerates above 25fps. Certain older titles will run on medium to high graphics and is a step above most of its competitor’s offerings. The Audio Waves MaxxAudio, which comes standard on most Dell machines, produces rich and immersive sound. All in all it is not a bad laptop for everyday use and for the casual gamer on a tight budget.

Specs

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

Pros

  • NVIDIA GeForce 820M
  • Easy to upgrade
  • Good value
  • Excellent Audio quality

Cons

  • Slow and small Hard drive
  • TN display
  • Only 4GB of RAM

Summary

A great budget laptop with great audio and dedicated graphics, the Dell Inspiron 15 i3543-6000SLV does well with everyday tasks and light gaming. But it is recommended to upgrade the RAM and hard drive for better performance.

Dell Inspiron 15 i3543-6000SLV 15.6-inch
from $474.90 Read Reviews Order Now
from Newegg.com
(as of 26-07-2016 11:37 UTC) Details

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Top Gaming Laptops Under $600

Acer-Aspire-E-15-E5-574G-52QU

Acer Aspire E5-574G-52QU 15.6-inch

The Acer Aspire E5-574G-52QU is another powerful budget Acer laptop featuring an Nvidia GeForce 940M. It features a slick white design reminiscent of a more expensive Macbook with a relatively thin and lightweight frame to boot. It’s 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U Skylake processor bring the latest generation of CPU architecture  along support for DDR4 RAM, although only  8GB of DDR3 RAM is included along with a 1TB HDD. Users reported cool and quite operating and an above average battery life of 4-5 hours under medium load. For ultimate performance power users recommend purchasing an additional RAM stick to fill it’s available slot as well as an SSD hard drive, after which the E5-574G-52QU will happily compete with many laptops twice its price with superior graphics performance to boot.

Specs

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • No optical drive
  • Battery not removable
  • White shell is prone to dirt

Summary

The Acer E 15 E5-574G-52QU 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 E5-574G-52QU 15.6-inch
from $613.04 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 23:04 UTC) Details

Lenovo-ThinkPad E555-20DH002TUS-15.6

Lenovo ThinkPad E555 20DH002TUS 15.6-inch

The Lenovo ThinkPad E555 20DH002TUS is the latest to join Lenovo’s entry-level business laptop segment. The Thinkpads have graced corporate offices for many years and the E555 20DH002TUS continues this trend by offering a business-class design packed with essential hardware to take care of daily tasks whether at school or the office. The look and design is very professional without all the shiny bells and whistles seen on high-performance ultraportables and it’s built with a sturdy plastic material with an all-around matte finish. It’s equipped with Lenovo’s popular AccuType keyboard which many Lenovo fans swear by. Powered by an AMD A8-7100 Quad-Core processor, this system is designed for business use along with web browsing, document editing and multimedia playback. If you are a professional who occasionally plays casual games to blow off steam, the 20DH002TUS is equipped with the new AMD Radeon R7 M260DX capable of handling some recent titles at medium settings. Of course, don’t expect to smoothly run triple A title games like Arkham Knight, Witcher 3 and Far Cry 4, but you can try them at low resolutions and low graphics settings if you’re more into gameplay than visual enhancements. It has 4GB of Ram expandable up to 16GB, and 500GB of storage, which is less than some Acer and Dell competitors. Despite a few lacking features, the E555 20DH002TUS is well specced laptop for the price thanks to a stellar design and the best mid-level AMD powered graphics available for its price.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.18 lbs

Pros

  • Anti-glare Matte Screen
  • Decent Gaming Performance

Cons

  • Lower RAM and Hard Drive Specs
  • Dated Design

Summary

The Lenovo ThinkPad E555 20DH002TUS features an attractive build that may seem dated to some and while it features decent entry-level gaming performance, its hard drive and RAM specs are lower compared to the competition.

Lenovo ThinkPad E555 20DH002TUS 15.6-inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 19-02-2017 07:08 UTC) Details

ASUS X550ZA-WB11 15.6-inch

ASUS X550ZA-WB11 15.6-inch

While not a gaming machine at heart, the ASUS X550ZA-WB11 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 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. On the downside ASUS did not include Bluetooth and the battery life leaves much to be desired. The X550ZA-WB11 manages to offer great value for your money as well as good gaming performance and stylish looks.

Specs

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

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Ample storage space
  • Great price
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • No bluetooth
  • Poor battery life

Summary

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

Asus X550ZA-WB11 15.6-inch
from $520.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 23:04 UTC) Details

HP 15-an050nr StarWars Special Edition 15.6-Inch

HP 15-an050nr StarWars Special Edition 15.6-Inch

This IS the droid you are looking for! HP has made many a Star Wars fan happy with the 15-an050nr Star Wars Special Edition featuring stylish Star Wars dark side graphics on the outer shell and around the keyboard, exclusive Star Wars digital content such as a Kylo Ren BIOS screen and exclusive Star Wars footage. Spec wise it’s no Death Star however it features a decent Intel Core i5, 6GB of DDR3 RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Newer games will run however on lower graphical settings thanks to the Intel HD Graphics 520 but older games should be no problem on higher settings. The 15-an050nr will breeze through most day to day applications and should be perfectly capable of running even demanding apps like Photoshop or even After Effects. If you are a Star Wars fan and especially a Dark Side fan, the HP 15-an050nr Star Wars Special Edition is a no brainer, and as long as you don’t expect full graphical settings will serve you well.

Specs

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

Pros

  • Awesome Starwars design
  • Starwars digital content
  • Great price
  • Good performance

Cons

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Sub par gaming performance

Summary

Star Wars fans will love the design and digital content however the Intel integrated graphics won't run all the Star Wars games on full graphics.

HP 15-an050nr StarWars Special Edition 15.6-Inch
from $699.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 23-02-2017 23:03 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.  You may also want to checkout our partner guide to the best gaming headsets on HeadphoneNinja. 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 of 2015 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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