Many laptops are made especially for gaming purposes, though they can be extremely expensive due to several features.
Yet, many gamers usually stick to a tight budget when purchasing a gaming laptop.
After examining the market for gaming laptops, we selected the 3 best gaming laptops under $500. In order to make these selections, we considered each device’s affordability, durability, performance, and unique features.
In this article, we give a brief overview of each of these gaming laptops under 500 dollars, emphasizing the benefits and drawbacks of each. Then, we compare these laptops to each other, noting which laptops we think are most worthwhile. Finally, we offer our thoughts about the future of affordable gaming laptops.
- Powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz (Turbo up to 3.4GHz) processor
- 14.2" wide, 0.8" thin and portable footprint with 0.3" NanoEdge bezel for a stunning 80% screen-to-body ratio
- 15.6" anti-glare Full HD display with ASUS Splendid software enhancement
The Asus VivoBook F510UA can be purchased on Amazon for $471.74.
This laptop has a 15.6-inch, full-HD display that features anti-glare technology.
Also, this laptop uses the 8th generation of Intel’s i5 processor, has 8GB of RAM memory, and a 1TB hard disk drive (HDD).
It comes with the Windows 10 Home operating system and has a battery life of up to 5 hours. It weighs 3.7 pounds.
The Benefits of the Asus VivoBook F510UA
The Drawbacks of the Asus VivoBook F510UA
- 15.6" 1366 x 768 LED Backlight, HD Anti-Glare Display, Intel HD Graphics 500
- Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core processor, 1.10GHz (with Max Turbo Speed of 2.40GHz), 4GB DDR3L SDRAM system memory (expandable to 8GB), 1TB HDD
- 1 x DC-in port, 1 x Ethernet port, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x headphone/microphone jack, 1 x USB 2.0 port, 1 x USB 3.0 port, 10/100Base-T Fast Ethernet
The Lenovo Ideapad 320 can be purchased on Amazon for $249.99.
This laptop has a 15.6-inch screen and an Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core processor.
It weighs 4.8 pounds and comes with the Windows 10 Home operating system, which is ideal for gaming.
This screen delivers 1366x768 resolution and also features anti-glare technology.
The Benefits of the Lenovo Ideapad 320
The Drawbacks of the Lenovo Ideapad 320
- Chromebook runs on Chrome OS - an operating system by Google that is built for the way we live today. It comes with built-in virus protection, updates automatically*, boots up in seconds and continues to stay fast over time. (*Internet connection is required)
- All the Google apps you know and love come standard on every Chromebook, which means you can edit, download, and convert Microsoft Office files in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides
- With the Google Play Store, you can access a rich library of apps, games, music, movies, TV, books, magazines, and more, all from your Chromebook
The Acer Chromebook R 13 can be purchased on Amazon for $367.
It runs on Chrome OS, which is an operating system created by Google.
It features a 13.3-inch full HD touchscreen. This laptop can be transformed into a tablet, maximizing the use of the touchscreen.
This Acer laptop has a MediaTek Quad-Core processor and offers 12 hours of battery life.
It has a SD card reader that allows you to expand the memory on this device, though there is also 32GB of onboard storage.
This laptop weighs 3.28 pounds.
The Benefits of the Acer Chromebook R13
The Drawbacks of the Acer Chromebook R13
How Do these Gaming Laptops Compare?
Our Thoughts on the Future of Gaming Laptops under 500
It’s clear that gamers want affordable laptops, though we think these will look much different in the future.
In the short term, we think gaming laptops under 500 will become faster, more dynamic, and more powerful machines. As new products are released, the price of older products drops, and customers are able to take advantage of many features that are still cutting-edge.
In the deeper future, we think touchscreen technology will dominate the market for gaming. We see this technology being integrated not only on screens but on keyboards, as many gamers like pressing buttons on a device that is away from the screen. For some games, using your hands could interfere with gameplay. This also makes a cursor and mouse necessary.
In this sense, we don’t necessarily think gamers in the near future will abandon traditional laptops but will rather want them in the form of hybrid laptops. This way they can play some kinds of games using the touchscreen and other types of games using a more traditional form.
Even further, we think gaming companies in the future might focus less on the laptop than on computer accessories. We envision keyboards and mice undergoing many innovations as soon as virtual reality technology takes off. Future gamers might want gaming accessories that are more hand-held and integrated with their body than ever before.
All of this is to say that it’s difficult to predict the direction of the gaming industry, as it’s dependent on whatever technology is available. Additionally, the gaming industry depends on developers actually making games for new platforms. It doesn’t matter if touchscreen technology is available if none of the games taking advantage of it are appealing to gamers.
Asus VivoBook F510UA
Lenovo Ideapad 320
Acer Chromebook R13
Our Technology Can Be Addicting
In this sense, while we think some current laptops offer glimpses of the future of gaming, we don’t think you should become too reliant on their interfaces. This could lead to disappointment in the future if these interfaces are drastically altered in order to support new technologies.
This brings us to an important point regarding our relationship to technology. It seems that technology is neither good nor bad, but simply what we make of it. If we abuse it or depend on it too heavily, then it can do us harm and burn us. Similarly, if we form a balanced relationship with it, it will only benefit us, enriching our lives and giving us happiness.
Many modern gamers are in an abusive, volatile relationship with their laptop, hitting it and throwing things at it after some games but clinging to it desperately when it runs out of power. Furthermore, some gamers become so addicted to the games they play that the software starts controlling their life, resulting in degenerating health, damaged relationships, and poorly managed finances.
If your connection to gaming has developed in this way, it’s important to take a step back and consider a break. In this period, reestablish a balanced, grounded, and realistic relationship with your laptop and games.
Make these new intentions known whenever you game again, as repetition can lead to permanent change.