No one can argue the fact that PC is still the king when it comes to gaming, but if you want to have the option of taking your gaming device with you wherever you go and if you want versatility in movement while playing, a gaming laptop is the best choice for you. With the gaming industry in a constant uprise, there’s no wonder to the fact that more and more high-performance products of this kind appear each year, some of them even coming at decent, affordable prices.
As you can see in the comparison table above, we have done the proper research and ranked the top models out there that are perfect for gaming and that cost under $500. By doing this, we give the WoW and COD fans out there the possibility to play their favorite games without experiencing bothersome interruptions mid-game and without sacrificing their entire savings in order to make such a purchase.
|1. HP Notebook 15-AY011NR W2M74UA#ABA||2. Acer Aspire E5-575-33BM||3. HP Probook Premium High Performance A10-8700P||4. Dell Inspiron 15-5555 A10-8700P||5. Asus 17 17.3-Inch Laptop with Backlight Display|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||15.12″ x 0.95″ x 10.02″||15.02″ x 1.19″ x 10.2″||15″ x 0.9″ x 10.4″||15″ x 0.95″ x 10.25″||16.3″ x 1.2″ x 10.7″|
|Power Source||AC & Battery||AC & Battery||AC & Battery||AC & Battery||AC & Battery|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 520 with 4169 MB Total Memory||Intel HD Graphics 620||AMD Radeon R6||AMD Radeon R6||Intel HD Graphics 5500|
|Processor Model||Intel Core i5-6200U||Intel Core i3-7100U||A10-8700P||A10-8700P||Intel Core i5-5200U|
|Processor Frequency||2.3 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.8 GHz||2.4 GHz||1.8 GHz with Boost up to 3.2 GHz||1.8 GHz with Boost up to 3.2 GHz||2.2 GHz|
|Number of Cores||2||2||4||4||2|
|Number of Threads||4||4||4||4||4|
|Cache||3 MB SmartCache||3 MB SmartCache||2 MB||2 MB||3 MB|
|RAM Type||DDR3 SDRAM||DDR4||DDR3 SDRAM||DDR3 SDRAM||DDR3 SDRAM|
|RAM Size||8 GB||4 GB||16 GB||12 GB||8 GB|
|Hard-Drive Size||128 GB Solid-State Drive||1 TB||1 TB||1 TB||1 TB|
|Serial ATA Hard-Drive Interface|
|Hard-Drive Speed||560 MB/s Sequential Read; 400 MB/s Sequential Write||5400 RPM||7200 RPM||5400 RPM||5400 RPM|
|Display Technology||Full HD SVA Anti-Glare WLED-Backlit||ComfyView LED-Backlit Supports Acer ColorBlast Technology||Anti-Glare LED-Backlit||TrueLife LED-Backlit On-Cell Touchscreen||Anti-Glare LED-Backlit|
|Display Resolution||1920 x 1080 (HD)||1920 x 1080 (HD)||1366 x 768 (HD)||1366 x 768 (HD)||1600 x 900 (HD)|
|Battery Type||4-Cell Lithium-Ion||6-Cell Lithium-Ion||4-Cell Lithium-Ion||4-Cell Lithium-Ion||4-Cell Lithium-Ion|
|Battery Life||7 Hours and 15 Minutes||12 Hours||6 Hours||6 Hours||6 Hours|
Ports & Connectivity
|USB 2.0 Ports||2||1||2||2|
|USB 3.0 Ports||1||2||2||1||3|
|Ethernet||10/100/1000; RJ-45 Port||10/100/1000; RJ-45 Port||10/100/1000; RJ-45 Port||10/100/1000; RJ-45 Port||10/100/1000; RJ-45 Port|
|Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack||1||1||1||1||1|
|Platform||Windows 10||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 64bit||Windows 8.1||Windows 10 64bit|
|Optical Disk Drive||Super-Multi DVD Burner||8X DVD-Super Multi Double-Layer Drive||DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL||DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL||DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL|
|Audio||DTS Studio Sound||HD Audio||HD Audio with DTS Studio Sound||MaxxAudio||SonicMaster|
|Webcam||720p HD||720p HD||VGA; 720p HD||720p HD||VGA|
|Keyboard||Full-Size “Island Style” with Numeric Keypad||Backlit||Full-Size; Spill Resistant||International Keyboard||International Keyboard|
|Touchpad||Supports Multi-Touch Gestures||Supports Multi-Touch Gestures||On/Off Button; Supports Multi-Touch Gestures||Supports Multi-Touch Gestures||Supports Multi-Touch Gestures|
|Media Card Reader||SD, SDHC, SDXC||SD||SD||SD, SDHC, SDXC||SD, MMC|
|Security||Kensington Lock; fTPM 2.0||N/A||Kensington Lock; Trusted Platform Module||Kensington Lock||Kensington Lock|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||2 Years||1 Year||2 Years|
When looking for a gaming laptop that costs under $500 and that has an impressive performance, you won’t find anything better than the HP Notebook 15-AY011NR W2M74UA#ABA for sure. The 15.6-inch size screen is ideal for any type of task that you will do on the device. Best of all, it only weighs 4.65 pounds, so you will have an easy time carrying it with you in the backpack wherever you go. The Intel HD Graphics 520 with 4169 MB Total Memory graphics card that it features is able to display high-quality graphics. It comes with the high-end Intel Core i5-6200U processor that responds to and process all of the basic instructions incredibly fast. It boasts 8 GB of RAM and it comes with a highly performant 128 GB solid-state drive, these stats showing the power and speed of the unit. The sequential read of the SSD is 560 MB/s, and the sequential write is of 400 MB/s. The display resolution is of 1920 x 1080, so you can rest assured that you can view high definition videos on it whenever you want. In addition, the battery lasts for up to 7 hours and 15 minutes before the charger needs to be plugged back into the unit.
The Acer Aspire E5-575-33BM is our favorite gaming laptop that costs under $500 due to the fact that it’s extremely durable and it comes with impressive specifications that make it perfect for any game that you’ll want to play on it. It comes with a 15.6-inch screen and it boasts an impressive 1920 x 1080 resolution that will allow you to play high definition videos and see them with a perfect clarity. The Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics card of this model is able to withstand the demands of any game out there. It features the high-end Intel Core i3-7100U processor that has a 2.4 GHz frequency, this model being one of the best performing processors that Intel has produced in the last years. Another aspect that impresses about this unit is the fact that it features DDR4 RAMs. The size of the hard drive is of 1 TB, and the speed is 5400 RPM, so you can rest assured that the processes will go smoothly. In addition, the 6-cell lithium-ion battery of this unit can last for 12 hours.
The HP Probook Premium High Performance A10-8700P boasts a 15.6-inch screen size and it delivers a great display resolution of 1366 x 768. The Anti-Glare technology of the display ensures that your eyes won’t tire easily when you’ll be playing your favorite games. The high-end A10-8700P processor of this unit has a maximum frequency of up to 3.2 GHz. But what actually makes this model perfect for gamers is the fact that it features the AMD Radeon R6 graphics card, meaning that you will be able to play even the newest games without worrying about the quality of the graphics or the rate of frames per second. Also, another astounding element of this model is the fact that it features 16 GB of RAMs, so it’s guaranteed that it will run smoothly and without facing any problems. In addition, the 1 TB hard disk drive has a spectacular speed of 7200 RPM.
Just like the HP Probook Premium High Performance A10-8700P, the Dell Inspiron 15-5555 A10-8700P comes with the impressive AMD Radeon R6 graphics card and the A10-8700P processor. From this point of view, both laptops are equally great for gamers, but there are other elements that differentiate them, of course. This model delivers 12 GB of RAMs, the size of the hard disk drive is of 1 TB, and the speed of the hard disk drive is of 5400 RPM. The TrueLife LED-Backlit On-Cell Touchscreen display and 1366 x 768 display resolution will make using this cheap laptop a truly sensational experience. The battery lasts for up to 6 hours without the charger being connected to the unit. It weighs only 5.3 pounds, so you can easily take it with you wherever you go. In addition, due to the fact that it features the MaxxAudio, you can rest assured that it will deliver high-quality audio.
We continue our top with the amazing Asus 17 17.3-Inch with Backlight Display, a gaming laptop under $500 that features a large 17.3-inch screen and that delivers a display resolution of 1600 x 900 to make it a real pleasure for you to play, work, and watch movies or videos on it. This model comes with the Intel HD Graphics 5500 graphics card, so there won’t be a problem with the quality of the graphics when you’ll be playing on it. The Intel Core i5-5200U processor that it comes with has a 2.2 GHz frequency and it is able to respond fast to all the instructions that it receives. It delivers 8 GB of RAMs, and it comes with a 1 TB hard disk drive that has the impressive speed of 5400 RPM. The Anti-Glare technology of the display will make the experience of playing less tiresome for your eyes. In addition, the battery can last for up to 6 hours when it’s fully charged.
Gamers know the importance of the laptop they use and if they can get a great unit at a reasonable price, it’s a double win for them. Lenovo Z50 series is one of the best models available for purchase that is packed with some impressive technical features that deliver the ultimate gaming experience. It’s a 15.6” LED HD unit that uses an AMD FX-7500 Quad-Core processor that is able to support highly graphic games. The processor has a speed that reaches from 2.10 GHz to a turbo 3.30 GHz to ensure a real-life experience during any type of game. The RAM type on this device is DDR3 SDRAM with a RAM size of 8GB and 1 TB hard-disk drive for extended external memory. The gaming laptop works with Windows 10 operating system and comes with many external ports including 1 HDMI, 1 VGA, 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 and a headphone output/microphone input combo port. Also, it’s Bluetooth 4.0 compatible and includes a DVD-RW, a microSD card reader, and a webcam. The laptop is very thin, only 0.98” and weighs a little over 5 pounds so it’s very easy to transport and use.
As we have already mentioned, the fact that PCs are better suited for the gaming experience is an undeniable fact. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that all gaming laptops are the same and that their performance can’t be as impressive as that of the PC when it comes to gaming. On the contrary, if you know exactly what specs to look for, you will be pleasantly surprised to see how many models out there have the necessary specs to smoothly run the newest of games without sacrificing graphics quality or any other aspect.
Of course, when you’re on a budget, your search is going to be a bit more difficult. Just don’t panic and look for the best specs out there when it comes to the processor, the graphics card, the display, and the RAMs because these are the main stats that show if a certain model is going to run perfectly when you enter your favorite game or not.
The best part about quality gaming laptops is that they can be used in so many ways except for playing, these models being perfect even for those who need to run pretentious programs, and being great even for entertainment purposes like listening to music or watching movies. The end conclusion when it comes to these products is that they are ideal for pretty much anything you need from a laptop, their versatility, high performance, portability, and design making them a must have for both gamers and non-gamers.
There has always been a controversial debate regarding what product is better to use when it comes to gaming, the laptop or the desktop. A few years ago, it was very easy to answer this question, the desktop being the better choice to go with due to the fact that gaming laptops weren’t so advanced performance-wise. These units were a lot slower when processing commands, their graphic cards were weaker, and even the number of RAMs was inferior.
These days, it’s a lot more complicated to tell what type can serve a gamer best as both types boast an amazing overall performance, being capable of running even the most demanding games out there. Nonetheless, there are still big differences between them that make some people be more inclined to buy a certain type rather than the other.
For example, gaming desktops are widely preferred by those who are hardcore gamers and who don’t get out of the house that much as they offer the user the chance to build the PC as they like. On the other hand, laptops are better suited for those who are on the go often and who want to enjoy playing their favorite games no matter where they are. Of course, such units don’t allow the same level of customization as PCs do, being mandatory for you to buy a model that comes with all of the specifications that you want.
First and foremost, we have to praise these devices for the fact that they offer users the chance to upgrade the hardware with ease. As a gamer, you will most likely feel the need to increase the storage and other performance aspects of the unit, meaning that you need a product that allows for these changes to be made. Fortunately, top of the line models on the market generally come with four memory slots, allowing for the expansion of this spec. Also, they usually have options for more than one internal storage drive, so the user will be able to easily accommodate two or more storage drives with ease to make the gaming experience run smoothly and be more pleasurable. The best part is that their access panels make it incredibly easy to upgrade the components without needing to disassemble the entire unit. Of course, if you plan on doing these types of modifications to the product, you should know that they will most probably make the warranty become invalid, so it’s best for you to have patience until the warranty period is over in order to make them.
The products that are built for gamers pack highly performant components in them in order to run demanding games with ease. The main components that are usually of a superior quality when compared to traditional models are the graphics card, the processor, the generous memory, and the fast hard-drive or solid-state drive that allow high-speed access to data and apps. Due to the fact that they’re boasting incredible specifications, it’s easy to understand why owning such products is mandatory no matter how you plan to use them. Therefore, the advantage of having everything run fast and smooth can’t be overlooked.
Another advantage that these units have is the fact that they are long-lasting investments to go with due to the fact that they aren’t outdated as quickly as PCs are. The reason why this happens is because high-end models are built for increased performance, being perfect for tomorrow’s games and programs. Therefore, if you invest in such a product, you will surely keep it for years to come, and when a certain part becomes outdated, you can simply replace or upgrade it to make the unit work perfectly for an even longer period of time.
Of course, the most obvious advantage of owning a gaming laptop is the fact that it’s highly portable. This is a benefit that doesn’t come with owning a PC, those units having a fixed location and being difficult to move around because of their bulky and heavy construction. On the other hand, if you own such a product, you will be able to take the unit with you wherever you go, being able to work or play games even when you’re in a local pub, or when you visit friends. Therefore, their ingenious design and compact construction make them ideal for all modern people who want to have increased flexibility when it comes to the place where they play, work, or watch a movie.
The processor is the heart of the laptop, being ideal that you go with a model like the HP Notebook 15-AY011NR W2M74UA#ABA that has a highly performant Intel Core i5-6200U with a frequency of up to 2.8 GHz when the Turbo Boost mode is on, and that features 2 central independent processing units for the best gaming experience. Such a top tier processor is going to ensure that all the processes that are being performed will go fast and smooth and that the instructions given by the user will receive a fast response. What’s ideal for you to do when buying such a product, especially considering that your budget is limited, is to look for a processor that has at least 2 cores, and that belongs to a newer generation of models.
The graphics processing unit is what makes the difference between a gaming laptop and a traditional one, being mandatory for this component to be as new and highly performant as possible for highly graphic oriented games to run without problems. While it’s true that at the moment no other brand compares to Nvidia when it comes to graphics processing units when you’re on a budget you have to consider other viable options out there because the Nvidia models cost way too much. When it comes to this aspect, AMD is the leading brand after Nvidia, producing models that have impressively high frame rates and that have high-quality graphics. This is one of the reasons why the HP Probook Premium High Performance A10-8700P and the Dell Inspiron 15-5555 A10-8700P are among the best models out there, both of them featuring the impressive AMD Radeon R6 graphics card.
Storage is the key to success with these units, the best option for you being to choose a model like the HP Notebook 15-AY011NR W2M74UA#ABA that comes with a 128 GB solid-state drive. SSDs might cost more, but the difference in the time that it takes to load and launch a game, to wake from sleep, and to boot is immense when compared to the classic hard disk drives. Therefore, be smart and go with SSD to not waste valuable time on various processes when using the device.
Of course, you can’t skip the memory aspect when purchasing such a product, being preferably for the unit to have at least 8 GB of RAM for there to be enough breathing room when switching from the gameplay window to other programs that are open. Just imagine with what speed you will switch from WoW to Facebook if you’re on the HP Probook Premium High Performance A10-8700P, a model that comes with no less than 16 GB of RAM.
Laptop coolers are designed to offer additional cooling to these devices, ensuring that overheating won’t occur and that your gaming session won’t be ended by a sudden shut-down of the unit. However, know that it’s important to buy the right cooler if you don’t want to worsen the situation. What you must first establish before making a choice is to see how the air flows into and out of the unit. If the device has intake grills at the bottom, you should go with a cooler that sends the cool air upwards. If the unit sucks in air from the bottom, such a cooler will actually cause a more rapid overheating.
If your laptop sucks in the cooling air through the bottom part, then you have to place it on a flat and hard surface. Otherwise, the cooling process won’t be optimal and heat will build up, causing the surface to become hot and the temperature of the air that is sucked in to increase. However, this won’t happen if you proceed like we have taught you and place it on a flat and hard surface, such as a special laptop holder or a lap stand.
When overheating starts to become an issue, it’s clear that you have to take a look at the internal cooling. What you must do is to clean the fan that provides the cooling air to the graphics card and the CPU. Before you do this procedure, make sure that you check the user manual that comes with the unit to be able to easily access the parts that need to be cleaned. In case you don’t consider yourself up to this task, just take the device to a professional service and in one day or so it should be clean and ready for use once again.
In 2015, Hewlett-Packard split into two different companies, the one that we are talking about when we discuss laptops being HP Inc., a brand that is better known as HP. This American technology company develops and sells high-end hardware, having an impressive revenue of over $57 billion. For you to have a better idea on how great the quality of their products is, know that no less than two of the leading models that cost under $500 belong to them, more precisely the top of the line HP Notebook 15-AY011NR W2M74UA#ABA and the impressive HP Probook Premium High-Performance A10-8700P.
Acer is an IT and electronics developing company that has been founded back in 1976, and that has managed to make a name for itself mainly due to the durability of the products that they deliver. If you have ever had an Acer in your home, you surely know what we are talking about because even if the device might be outdated it still performs well and it doesn’t show any signs that it will shut down for good anytime soon. The model with which the Taiwanese company has impressed the most is the Acer Aspire E5-575-33BM, this top tier product boasting a perfect performance despite the relatively cheap price tag.
Another company that is well known among gamers and IT fanatics is Dell. Founded back in 1984, Dell has managed to take the leading spot on the PC and servers market for many years, these days still being among the best when it comes to delivering products of this kind. Looking at one of their best gaming laptops at the moment, the Dell Inspiron 15-5555 A10-8700P, it’s easy to understand why this company is enjoying such an immense success and why it doesn’t seem like they will ever be dethroned by another company.
Of course, you can’t discuss laptops without mentioning those produced by Asus, the Taiwanese IT company being among the most trusted and respected manufacturers of such products due to the high-performance models that they release and to their attention to detail and durability. Being founded back in 1990, Asus has managed to stay in the top by producing great products such as the cheap and impressive Asus 17 17.3-Inch with Backlight Display, a model that is highly popular among gamers everywhere.
When it comes to gaming models, the sweet spot to go with is a 15.6-inch screen because it’s ideal not only when it comes to how you play on the unit and how well you see the images shown on the screen, but because it shows that the model isn’t heavy and hard to move around with. Seeing how most models that have a 15.6-inch screen usually weigh around 5 pounds, it’s sure to say that they are highly portable and ideal for use by gamers that want to carry their gaming laptops in backpacks wherever they go. Of course, it’s alright to go with a 17.3-inch model like the Asus 17 17.3-Inch with Backlight Display as well because it doesn’t weigh much either, and the clarity of the images and ease of following them on the screen is still good.
Due to the fact that the graphics card is the component of the unit that controls and enhances how the graphics are displayed on the screen, it’s seen as one of the most important specs when it comes to gaming laptops. If you want to play some of the most recent games that have been released and that are highly demanding when it comes to graphics, it’s clear that you need a great quality graphics card. This is the reason why we gave a better rating to the HP Probook Premium High-Performance A10-8700P and the Dell Inspiron 15-5555 A10-8700P models, both of them featuring the highly performant AMD Radeon R6 graphics card. With products like these, you will enjoy a high image quality and high frames per second.
The processor model and frequency were two of the most important aspects that we took into consideration when we rated and ranked the best models on the market because they show how the unit will respond to and process basic instructions, and at what rate the transistors open and close. From this point of view, we gave the HP Notebook 15-AY011NR W2M74UA#ABA a plus because it comes with the highly performant Intel Core i5-6200U processor which has an astounding frequency of 2.3 GHz, being able to reach 2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost.
The number of cores represents the number of independent central processing units that are found in a single computing component. The higher the number of cores, the better, this being the reason why the HP Probook Premium High-Performance A10-8700P and the Dell Inspiron 15-5555 A10-8700P ranked so well, both of them having 4 cores.
The number of threads shows how many instructions can be passed through or processed by a single core. All the models in our top can pass no less than 4 instructions to a core, meaning that all of your commands will be fulfilled fast and with ease by them.
The RAMs represent the memory of the unit that can be accessed randomly. Better said, it shows that any byte of memory can be accessed without affecting the preceding bytes for all the processes of the computer to go fast and smooth. With RAM, it’s best to go with a generous size like the 16 GB offered by the HP Probook Premium High-Performance A10-8700P, but at the same time, you should take into account the fact that the Acer Aspire E5-575-33BM features DDR4 RAMs, which is a newer generation of RAM and a better-performing one as well.
When you look at our ranking of the best models on the market, you will notice that the top tier model features a 128 GB solid-state drive, which seems less that the 1 TB hard disk drive of the other models that preceded it. Don’t be fooled by numbers because there’s a good reason for this classification, the solid-state drive of the HP Notebook 15-AY011NR W2M74UA#ABA offering an amazingly fast access time and a lower latency when compared to its competitors. This is one of the main reasons why we had to give the number one spot to this product, the fast solid-state drive being perfect for those who are on the laptop the vast majority of the time and who play on a regular basis.
The display resolution is another essential element of a gaming laptop because is shows how many different pixels from each dimension can be displayed. To put it in simpler words, an impressive display resolution like 1920 x 1080 (HD) offered by the HP Notebook 15-AY011NR W2M74UA#ABA and the Acer Aspire E5-575-33BM is ideal because it shows that the user won’t have to scroll a lot when using the device. Of course, due to their display resolution, these models are capable of displaying high definition videos, this being another aspect that made us boost their rating.
The aspect of audio quality is another element that we put emphasis on when rating and ranking these products because we are aware of the importance of high-quality audio when playing a game. All the models in our top feature impressive capabilities from this point of view, so you won’t go wrong if you choose any of them.