Gaming on a budget gets considerably cheaper as time passes. At this moment in time, a nice laptop that can game on medium settings can be bought for around $500. While these laptops can’t run AAA titles, they can still handle light gaming easily. They can run games such as Minecraft and CSGO at low settings at around 60 fps.
The Best Laptops for Gamers for Less Than $500 in 2020
On this list you will find laptops that can easily handle gaming or laptops that can handle the bare minimum, such as web browsing. While it can be a bit difficult finding a machine that is perfect for your purpose, this list should help a lot. Here is the GizmoFusion list of best 11 of those laptops, and everything you need to know about them.
ASUS VivoBook F510QA (You will not find better in this price range)
CPU: AMD A12-9720P | GPU: AMD Radeon R7 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 Memory | Display: 15.6-Inch FHD 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Battery: Up to 6Whr | Dimensions: 14.2 x 10.1 x 0.8 in | Weight: 4.41 lbs
Enormous amounts of storage
Some problems with updates
There are many things about this laptop that stand out. Great CPU? Yes. Lots of RAM? Yes. Full HD display? Yes. Radeon R7 graphics? Yes! This machine has it all for the price.
This laptop has a quad-core A12 AMD processor, which is great and glides through gaming and everyday tasks such as internet browsing.
Here is something very remarkable though. The most important thing when looking for a gaming machine is a good graphics card, as that is what will determine the frames per second (FPS) that the laptop runs the games at, and this PC has it.
For this laptop, it is the AMD Radeon R7. While other GPUs on this list are decent, this is the best one. The R7 is designed specifically for games such as Fortnite, Minecraft, CSGO, and other similar titles. It will run them consistently at a smooth 60 fps at low settings. This is the best possible GPU for laptops at this price range that doesn’t compromise other specs.
This laptop also has great memory. It has 16GB of DDR4 RAM, meaning that multitasking will be a breeze. You will be able to, as an example, watch YouTube, type in MS Word, and listen to music on the laptop at the same time. Also, if you decide to create animations or edit photo/video content, the memory will come in very handy.
Another marvelous detail about this laptop is the storage. There is one terabyte of HDD storage and 256GB of SSD storage. This is lots of storage for all your games and files, whether it be videos or projects.
One thing to keep in mind is that the laptop is not insured by ASUS.
Overall, this laptop is great for mostly gaming, since it has very good raw CPU and GPU power, but the laptop can also easily handle heavy amounts of productivity workloads, such as animation, and editing different content.
I placed the laptop at the number one spot because of the great CPU and GPU for gaming, the amount of RAM for multitasking, and the great storage of both a fast SSD for the Operating System and games and a spacy hard drive for programs and other files.
Acer Aspire 5 (Editor’s Second Pick)
CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 Memory | Display: 15.6-Inch FHD 1920 x 1080 IPS 60Hz | Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD | Battery: Up to 9.5Whr | Dimensions: 14.31 x 9.86 x 0.71 in | Weight: 3.97 lbs
Horrible noise when at full load
This laptop “aspires” to be one of the best gaming laptops under $500. It has a superb 8th generation Core i5 with respectable integrated graphics, fantastic storage, and a brilliant IPS display. Honestly, what more could you want?
This laptop is another one you can find for this price range that is powerful. It is very versatile because of its specs, making it easy to stay on top of gaming, and school/work.
It has a recent 8th generation Intel Core i5, which is a solid CPU. It is in fact considered a high-end CPU and will help both with gaming and productivity.
Integrated into it is the Intel UHD Graphics 620, which is a solid GPU. It can handle gaming almost as good as the AMD R7 in the ASUS VivoBook laptop, but it still runs simple games at low settings at a consistent 30-40 FPS.
It also has 8GB of DDR4 memory, which isn’t 16GB as in the VivoBook, but you can still be multitasking by working on different projects at the same time.
It has a great SSD memory. The laptop houses 256GB of NVMe SSD storage. NVMe meaning the fastest possible SSD read and write speeds. Booting up with this laptop will be fast, and copying files in the PC will be a breeze.
As with all laptops on this list, it is decent for light gaming, but this one stands out since it allows us to do productivity tasks, such as video/photo editing, and animation. It has a 1080p IPS display which means that it outputs vivid, accurate, and bright colors.
The battery life for this laptop is great, coming in at 9.5 work hours. That is a nice amount, allowing to game and work for a big chunk of the day.
Something that is important to say is that you will probably need headphones when gaming on this PC. It sounds like a jet engine when running at full load, so you better bring the noise-canceling headphones, or have a device that sounds like a leaf blower.
Overall, this laptop is a great machine for someone that wants a laptop that is great for gaming but also wants to utilize the laptop for productivity, such as editing photos and videos, and generally use it for school/work and still have the capability to game on the machine.
It is also the laptop with the best display on this list, since it is IPS, and that gives the best colors out of any display.
HP 15.6″ Touch Screen Notebook (3rd choice has a good CPU & GPU but falls way short in some places)
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U | GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 Memory | Display: 15.6-Inch 1366 x 768 Touch Screen | Storage: 128GB SSD | Battery: Up to 6Whr | Dimensions: 14.8 x 9.7 x 0.9 in | Weight: 3.88 lbs
Great CPU/GPU combo
Bad battery life
Only 128GB of storage
This is a great laptop that has a powerful CPU and GPU but has many drawbacks that take it farther away from the number one spot on this list.
This HP laptop houses a Ryzen 5 3500U processor. It is an immensely powerful CPU with integrated AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics. Vega 8 graphics are more powerful than the Radeon 7 found in the VivoBook, allowing light gaming at low settings at 60 FPS.
It also has 8GB of DDR4 memory for multitasking. Being able to browse the web and, for instance, edit videos at the same time is very helpful.
By pure performance, this laptop is the best on this list, however, there are several things that take away from the experience. For instance, the laptop has 128GB of SSD storage.
While this might seem like enough, it’s surprising how fast it fills up. Nowadays, games can be anywhere from 20GB to 80GB. Fortnite as an example is a 25GB game. Games are not the only thing on the computer though. System files, programs, and personal files will use up the 128GB space quickly.
Another thing to note is the battery life. It’s not that great on this laptop. The battery life is 4-6 work hours and will be less if you spend time gaming on it.
Lastly, the laptop has a 768p display. These days, 1080p displays are the standard of laptop and monitor screens, and 768p is needlessly low, especially with the great GPU the laptop has.
Overall, this laptop is great for raw gaming power, it just has some drawbacks, such as bad battery life, not a lot of storage, and the 768p display, but if those are not deal breakers, this is a great laptop for you.
Dell Inspiron 2020
CPU: Intel Core i5-1035G4 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 16GB DDR4 Memory | Display: 14-Inch 1366 x 768 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Battery: Up to 3Whr | Dimensions: 14 x 10.2 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 4.6 lbs
Tons of RAM
Amazing battery life
This Dell laptop has some decent specs, and a great battery life. It also has good storage, and lots of RAM.
It has an Intel Core i5-1035G4 CPU which is a great, high-end CPU. It has Intel UHD Graphics built-in. Being honest, it isn’t the best graphics chip out there, it is pretty average. Still, it can run games at low settings at around 30-40 FPS.
It has a huge amount of RAM, clocking in at 16GB of DDR4 memory. Again, it is enough for multitasking, and editing photo/video content.
It also has 256GB of SSD storage. That’s enough for all of your games, programs, and files. Being SSD, it makes it so the boot times on the machine are incredibly fast.
With a fantastic CPU, lots of RAM, and tons of SSD storage, this laptop would be better suited for productivity tasks, such as animation, video editing, photoshop, etc., but it can still be utilized for light gaming.
The only thing to complain about it is the 768p display. Again, in this day and age 1080p displays are pretty much a must nowadays.
Overall, this is a great laptop for productivity. While it can do some light gaming, it is most suited towards creativity/productivity type tasks because of its 16GB of memory, great CPU, and SSD storage. However, it can still handle some light gaming, such as CSGO at the lowest settings at around 30-40 FPS.
Asus VivoBook F705QA
CPU: AMD A12-9720P | GPU: Radeon R7 Graphics | RAM: 8GB DDR4 Memory | Display: 17.3 inch 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 1TB HDD | Battery: Up to 6Whr | Dimensions: 16.2 x 10.6 x 0.9 in | Weight: 4.6 lbs
Great CPU and GPU
1TB of storage
Nice amount of RAM
Runs hot at full load
Battery life is short
This is the second Vivobook on this list, and it is also a great laptop for this price range. With a great CPU and GPU combo, good RAM, a nice display, and tons of storage, this laptop is sure to catch your eye.
The main stars of the show are the AMD A12 quad-core processor, and Radeon R7 graphics. That combo will smoothly run games at 30-60 FPS at low settings and glide through tasks that require CPU/GPU processing.
It has 8GB of DDR4 memory for advanced multitasking, allowing for both browsing the web, and using programs for productivity.
It also houses a whole terabyte of hard disk storage. While it isn’t SSD storage, meaning it won’t be as fast, it is a considerable amount of storage for games, and other files. A whole terabyte will last a very long time.
The laptop uses a beautiful 1080p full-HD display, which is the standard nowadays and looks great on the huge 17.3-inch panel.
One thing to complain about is that the laptop gets very hot, and funnily, when it runs at full power it is hard to keep on your lap. Another thing is that the battery runs out very fast, especially when gaming.
Overall, this machine is great for gaming because of its CPU and graphics card. It will handle easy games such as Minecraft, CSGO, Terraria, and Fortnite and can run them at the lowest settings at 40-60 FPS.
It can also handle light productivity workloads with the nice amount of RAM it has. It also has a huge amount of storage, so if you plan to store a lot of files on your PC, this laptop is for you.
Lenovo IdeaPad S340
CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U | GPU: Intel UHD 620 Graphics | RAM: 12GB DDR4 Memory | Display: 15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Battery: Up to 8Whr | Dimensions: 14.1 x 9.6 x 0.7 in | Weight: 3.96 lbs
512GB of SSD storage
Great amount of RAM
Runs hot at full load
This is a laptop with a nice CPU, a decent GPU, lots of memory, a nice display, and half a terabyte of fast SSD storage.
The laptop houses a powerful, high-end Core i5 8th generation processor with average Intel UHD 620 graphics.
It is complemented by the 12 GB of DDR4 RAM which is enough for lots of multitasking and can handle many programs at once.
It also has massive amounts of storage. With a 512GB SSD, it has all the storage you need at a great speed. It can fit games, programs, and files, and will last for a long time.
It uses a 1920x1080p full-HD display, which is always great, and will produce high-quality images. Also, it has a nice battery that runs for 8 hours.
The only thing to complain about in this laptop is that based on the reviews it runs hot at full load. Overall, there isn’t much to say about this laptop, other than that it has a good CPU, and lots of memory, and massive amounts of SSD storage.
This is great for productivity, as the CPU will make your processes faster and the RAM will let you multitask easier. The SSD storage will allow you to save/copy/write files faster than a HDD.
Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6″ Laptop
CPU: AMD A9-9425 | GPU: AMD Radeon R5 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 Memory | Display: 15.6 inch 1366 x 768 | Storage: 1TB SSD | Battery: Up to 5Whr | Dimensions: 14.96 x 9.99 x 0.94 in | Weight: 4.63 lbs
16GB of RAM
1TB of SSD storage
Bad battery life
The laptop has a lower than average CPU and GPU combo, and a 768p display, but it has a great amount of RAM and a whopping 1 terabyte of SSD storage.
The AMD A9-9425 CPU is only a dual-core, meaning that you won’t be able to do anything highly demanding on this laptop, and it has a below-average integrated GPU, the Radeon R5 graphics. For gaming, this laptop is not ideal, it can run games like CSGO at low settings at around 30-40 FPS.
It has a 768p monitor, which of course is not good. It is low resolution and produces blurry images.
The good things about the laptop are the memory and the storage. It has 16GB of DDR4 memory, meaning you can do multitasking, such as photo editing and browsing the web, although the CPU will limit the speed of your productivity.
The best thing about this laptop is the 1TB SSD storage. SSDs are fast, and 1TB is a lot. This is one area where the laptop shines. It makes the boot-up times fast, and allows you to store endless files on the drive, without worrying about storage for a long time. The battery life is also pretty bad on this computer, reaching only 5 work hours.
This laptop is not the best for gaming, the CPU and GPU are not great for even the least demanding of games, but it is great for productivity tasks because of 16GB of memory and 1TB SSD. Being able to store files without worrying about not enough storage is great, and if you plan on doing that, this laptop is for you.
Dell Latitude Gaming Laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5-4310U | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M | RAM: 16GB DDR3 Memory | Display: 14-Inch 1366 x 768 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Battery: Up to 4Whr | Dimensions: 9.3 x 13.3 x 1.1 in | Weight: 4.3 lbs
512GB SSD storage
Superb battery life
Older generation CPU
Can only be bought refurbished
Overall, this laptop is great with its Core i5, GeForce 720M, and insanely good battery life.
It isn’t perfect, that is for sure. The processor is not the latest gen, and the RAM is only DDR3. The pros outweigh the cons by a lot, though. This pro is the NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M. The 720M is designed with gaming in mind and will be able to run titles like Fortnite and Minecraft with low settings at 60 FPS.
Now, more about the other specs. The Core i5 is only the 4th generation, but it still works nicely, and will not interfere with the GPU by bottlenecking it.
The memory is not the greatest, but it is decent. There are 16GB of DDR3 RAM. Yes, it is the older generation, it’s only DDR3 RAM, but at this price range, it’s a compromise that must be made.
What is not a compromise, however, is the storage. 512GB of SSD storage is great. It is nice to see an older laptop with an SSD. 512GB is enough for hundreds of games and files and will have blazingly fast boot-up times.
It has a 768p display, which is another thing that is not good about this laptop. It produces blurry images and overall, 768p is very outdated.
Another remarkable thing about this laptop is the battery life. 67 hours is a sizeable number, don’t be fooled by it just yet. If you start gaming on this computer non-stop, the battery life will be much shorter, around 20 hours. Granted, it has to do with the low-end display on this laptop, nevertheless, being able to game for 20 hours without recharging is terrific.
Overall, the laptop is great for gaming because of its processor and graphics card. The dedicated NVidia GPU really adds a lot of gaming performance to this laptop and will allow you to play games at low settings at around 60FPS, but there are many things that take away from the experience, such as the bad display, and the older generation DDR3 RAM.
ASUS 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
CPU: AMD A12-9720p | GPU: AMD R7 Graphics | RAM: 4GB DDR4 Memory | Display: 15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 128GB SSD | Battery: Up to 3Whr | Dimensions: 14.2 x 9.6 x 0.8 in | Weight: 3.69 lbs
Good CPU/GPU combo
Great battery life
Very little RAM
Only 128GB of storage
This laptop has a nice array of specs with lackluster RAM and storage.
Here is the good about this machine. The specs are an AMD A12 quad-core CPU, which is not bad at all, and smoothly goes through multiple tasks at once.
Integrated into it are the AMD R7 graphics, which is a decent chip for light gaming. Those two will be good for light low setting gaming at 60 FPS.
The laptop also has a great 1080p full-HD display, which is always nice to see. It produces quality images at a high resolution.
Onto the bad now. The laptop only has 4GB of RAM. This works fine if you’re just gaming, but when multitasking, you might notice slowdowns, and loading times longer than satisfactory when using multiple applications.
Another con is the storage. 128GB of SSD storage is only good for a couple of games, programs, and files. It won’t be enough for lots of games and programs, and the storage will run out very quickly.
All in all, the laptop has a nice CPU and graphics card for gaming, and if you’re just planning to do that, then you should be fine, but when it comes to productivity, both the RAM and storage greatly slow down the laptop when doing work.
Lenovo 330 15.6″
CPU: Intel Celeron N4100 | GPU: Intel UHD 600 Graphics | RAM: 8GB DDR4 Memory | Display: 15.6 inch 1366 x 768 | Storage: 1TB HDD | Battery: Up to 5Whr | Dimensions: 14.1 x 10.2 x 0.9 in | Weight: 4.85 lbs
1TB of HDD storage
Below average CPU/GPU combo
5-hour battery life
The laptop has a below-average CPU and GPU combo, with 1TB of storage and 8GB of RAM.
This laptop honestly is not that great for gaming, unless you don’t mind running the lightest of games at the lowest settings. Intel Celeron CPUs are known to be low performing and have bad integrated graphics, in this case the Intel UHD 600.
It will only allow you to play very low demand games, such as browser flash games since the laptop just won’t be able to handle modern 3D games such as CSGO.
It also has a 768p display, which is always a bad thing, producing blurry images, and only a 5-hour battery life, which gets shorter when playing games on it.
The only good things about the laptop are the RAM and the storage. It has 8GB of DDR4 memory, allowing for more multitasking, such as typing in Word and browsing the internet, and 1TB of HDD storage, for all files, such as photos, videos, and programs.
Overall, this laptop is not that good for gaming, the specs are not great, but it is decent for basic workloads, such as browsing the web, using programs such as Microsoft Office, and flash games.
Dell Inspiron Touch Screen
CPU: Intel Core i5-7200U | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch HD (1336 x 768) Touch screen | Storage: 256GB SSD | Battery: Around 2-3 hours | Dimensions: 19.5 x 13.7 x 3 inches | Weight: 4.85 lbs
Good amount of RAM
Short battery life
The last laptop on the list is a Dell Inspiron. It has an Intel Core i5-7200U laptop CPU. It is a powerful CPU for tasks that require heavy processing power. It is a great laptop CPU with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU, it is definitely one of the better-integrated GPUs in laptops and can handle low-end games such as Minecraft and CSGO.
As for the RAM, 8GB of DDR4 RAM is always enough for advanced multitasking and switching between apps.
It has 256GB of SSD storage which is a decent amount considering the fact that it is SSD storage, allowing for much faster transfer speeds and very quick boot times (compared to traditional hard disk drives).
The display is lackluster however, coming in at only 768p resolution. The standard for laptop screens is 1080p, but this is a compromise to be made with the specs that this laptop has. The battery on this laptop is also not the best, at only 2-3 hours. It really isn’t much and is another compromise.
With a maximum budget of $500, which laptop should I choose to play games on?
The ASUS VivoBook F510QA is the best on the list for a multitude of reasons. One of the reasons is pure gaming power. The CPU and GPU of the machine deliver high performance for gaming tasks. Being able to play games such as CSGO, Fortnite, Terraria, Minecraft, and others at low settings at a consistent 60 FPS.
It also performs great when using the laptop for productivity. It has a large amount of RAM. The 16GB of DDR4 memory is very helpful when multitasking. As an example, you can be watching YouTube/browsing the web at the same time as editing a video without a problem.
It also has great value for the price of storage. 256GB of SSD storage is already great, but an extra terabyte of HDD storage just puts everything together, giving you a lot of freedom on what to do with your files. It’s enough for all of your games, programs, and all of your files, such as video, photo, audio, text, etc.
Lastly, it has a 1080p monitor which is always great, as it produces high-quality images. The high resolution makes the image quality sharp and clear, and if you plan on using the laptop for editing photos and videos, the high resolution will definitely benefit you.
We also have some other reviews of gaming laptops within different price ranges. If this is something that may interest you can you find them here.
James Cosgrove has been the lead writer at GizmoFusion since 2019. He has a huge passion for the latest technology and gadgets. He loves to talk and write about this interest. He hopes that visitors to the website will find his reports informative and helpful when it comes to making the best choices for their needs.