Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 of 2022 – Futurism

Science & Technology

While technology is always evolving, it can be disheartening to invest in an expensive gaming laptop, only to find a couple months later that your new computer can’t keep up with the latest games.
If you’ve felt this disappointment or simply don’t have the funds to sink into a full gaming setup, then finding the best gaming laptop under $500 is a great way to enjoy your hobby without emptying your wallet. Also, when your current laptop can no longer keep up with top games on the market, it doesn’t hurt quite as bad to shell out for a replacement. Take a look at the best gaming laptops under $500.
— Best Overall: 2022 Newest Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
— Best Budget: Lenovo Ideapad 3i Laptop (2022)
— Best for Gaming and School: Newest Dell Inspiron 3510 Laptop
— Best with Windows 10: HP Notebook 15.6-Inch HD Laptop 
— Best Touchscreen: ASUS vivobook Laptop
In order to select the best gaming laptops under $500, we started with the price limit in mind. The overall best gaming laptops fall well outside of this price range, with some costing over $2,000. My experience with setting up PCs and laptops helped to choose products with the ‌specs to keep up with some of the most popular games enjoyed by the gaming community.
This foundation of experience helped me to extensively research a wide range of products using key specifications, including the RAM, graphics processor, hard drive, screen size, and any extra features, like a touchscreen or fingerprint scanner that could be used for work and recreation outside of gaming. Gaming laptops needed at least 8 GB (gigabytes) of RAM to qualify for this list in order to keep up with modern games. I prioritized a solid state hard drive, as well as a dedicated graphics processor, which improve the speed and quality of gameplay. Finally, I looked for screens with good resolution, while keeping in mind that a laptop should be lightweight and portable. Find out more about how we test gaming equipment.
Why It Made the Cut: This lightweight laptop comes with the latest security features and can be used at home or on the road.
Specs:
Graphics Card: Integrated
RAM: 8 GB (gigabytyes)
Hard Drive: 256 GB Solid State Drive
Pros:
— Built-in fingerprint reader
— Slim design is easy to pack or carry
— Backlit keyboard for easy navigation in dim lighting
— Pre-installed Windows 11 operating system
Cons:
— Integrated graphics card limits video processing power
Get the latest functionality and security with the 2022 Newest Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop. It features a built-in fingerprint reader so users don’t need to rely on a password to keep information safe. It’s lightweight, making it easy to carry, and the slim design allows users to tuck the laptop into a bag or backpack without a problem. While this computer does have an integrated graphics card which limits the graphics processing power, it also has 8G B of RAM and a 256 GB solid state drive to help improve the processing speed.
Gamers get the Windows 11 operating system pre-installed on this gaming laptop, and they can take advantage of the backlit keyboard for fast-efficient keyboard navigation in dim lighting conditions. The quad-core CPU is a rare find in a laptop under $500, and it is the main reason why this device can function effectively as a gaming laptop, as well as a more generalized computer for school, work, binging hit shows, or relaxing with a movie.
Why It Made the Cut: Gamers won’t need to squint to see this large, 15.6-inch laptop screen.
Specs:
Graphics Card: Dedicated
RAM: 8 GB
Hard Drive: 256 GB Solid State Drive
Pros:
— Fingerprint identification
— Dedicated graphics card improves gameplay
— Affordable price
— Works with Android apps
Cons:
— No touchscreen
Some gamers need the latest technology to stay ahead of the competition in fast-paced first-person shooters and action games. But that isn’t the case for many avid gamers who prefer a slower RPG experience or even turn-based strategy games that don’t demand a significant amount of processing power. The Lenovo Ideapad 3i Laptop is ideal for the latter. It’s an affordable gaming device with a dedicated graphics card and 8 GB of RAM.
With an 11th Gen Intel Core dual-core processor that gets up to to 4.1 GHz in speed, it’s more than enough for gamers who want to enjoy the immersion offered by new RPG titles. The 128 GB solid state drive offers improved speed over a mechanical hard drive, and it works with Windows 11. This model is compatible  with Bluetooth and comes with a battery that lasts up to 12 hours.
Why It Made the Cut: Designed for gaming but suitable for school work, this Dell gaming laptop features 16 GB of RAM.
Specs:
Graphics Card: Integrated
RAM: 16 GB
Hard Drive: 128 GB Solid State Drive
Pros:
— Anti-glare 15.6-inch LED screen
— Built-in webcam and microphone for zoom lessons
— Long battery life
— Slim, lightweight design
Cons:
— Integrated graphics card limits video processing power
The Newest Dell Inspiron 3510 Laptop relies on 16 GB of RAM for increased operating speed and flexible use between gaming, school, work, and general computer functions. It’s lightweight and has a slim profile that makes it easy to pack the Dell laptop into a backpack or bag during the commute from home to school. The laptop also boasts a long battery life to help users get through a class without needing to search for an available outlet.
While the integrated graphics card helps the computer conserve battery power during use, it reduces the overall speed and operating power by relying on the CPU for graphics processing. However, this system is more than enough for many popular games, and it’s also effective for online lessons or calls with the built-in webcam and microphone. The gaming laptop even has a 15.6-inch anti-glare screen, so gamers aren’t hindered by glare in the middle of a match.
Why It Made the Cut: Using a tried and tested operating system, like Windows 10, helps gamers jump back into their favorites without navigating new features.
Specs:
Graphics Card: Dedicated
RAM: 8 GB
Hard Drive: 256 GB Solid State Drive
Pros:
— Dedicated graphics card improves gameplay
— 15.6-inch HD screen
— Pre-installed Windows 10 operating system
— Long battery life
Cons:
— Slow CPU can hinder processing power
This HP Laptop offers users the convenience and familiarity of the well-known Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 comes pre-installed and ready to go, though there will probably be a few items to set up the first time the computer is used in order to personalize the settings. Like all laptops, this HP device is intended for portability. Users can take advantage of the long battery life to finish important games on the road or kick back and watch a favorite show in their downtime.
The gaming laptop has a dedicated graphics card to help improve the visual quality of TV, movies, games, and other media. It also reduces the strain on the already slow CPU, allowing gamers to get the most out of their top games without needing to rely on the CPU for the graphics processing power. The laptop boasts an impressive memory for the low price, including 256 GB solid state hard drive and 8 GB of RAM.
Why It Made the Cut: Take advantage of the touchpad or touchscreen to quickly and efficiently navigate through menus, tabs, and more.
Specs:
Graphics Card: Dedicated
RAM: 8 GB
Hard Drive: 256 GB Solid State Drive
Pros:
— Touchscreen for convenient control
— Dedicated graphics card improves gameplay
— Improved security and performance with Windows 10 Home S Mode
— Three-year warranty on RAM and SSD
Cons:
— Slow CPU can hinder processing power
One of the more innovative features to be included on many new laptops is a touchscreen that allows the user to interact with the content on screen in much the same way they would with a smartphone or tablet. The ASUS vivobook Laptop includes this feature, allowing gamers to navigate through game menus without needing to touch the mouse. After gaming, the touchscreen can also be effective for browsing web content or simply interacting with the general computer functions.
The laptop is designed with a dedicated graphics card and 8 GB of RAM to facilitate fast-paced gameplay. It also has a 256 GB solid state hard drive to store game data and other important files or programs, while making use of the upgraded Windows 10 Home S Mode operating system with improved security and performance. However, it’s important to mention that the laptop has a slow CPU, which is common for laptops under $500.
Computers are not always the easiest to understand, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience buying gaming laptops or peripheral equipment, like keyboards and headsets. To find the best gaming laptop under $500, you should learn more about the most important product specs, including the graphics card, RAM, hard drive, and CPU
One of the first things to consider when you are looking for a new gaming laptop under $500 is the graphics card. You can use an integrated graphics card which will typically help increase the battery life, but may not be able to keep up with the demands from some of your favorite games. For high-intensity games, it’s recommended to invest in a laptop with a dedicated graphics card.
Dedicated graphics cards provide the processing power to display a game’s graphics, instead of relying on an overloaded CPU to work with an integrated graphics card to process the same information. This not only improves the visual quality of the game, but it can also increase the overall processing speed for smoother gameplay.
RAM (Random Access Memory) is a term that is thrown around a lot, but many people have no idea what it means or why RAM is important for a gaming laptop. Put simply, RAM is essentially the short-term memory of the computer. While the hard drive provides the long-term memory for storing programs and essential functions, the RAM provides the necessary memory to run these functions. Which means that when you have five tabs open on the web browser, music playing in the background, a spreadsheet pulled up on a second screen, and you are ‘taking a break’ to scroll Instagram or Twitter, you are relying on the laptop RAM to provide the necessary memory for each of these simultaneous functions.
If your RAM is high enough, then the laptop will be able to function at regular speeds, despite the demand you are putting on the system. However, if the RAM is too low, then your system will slow down, taking longer to complete each additional task. Given that gaming requires a computer to manage at least the video, audio, and gameplay processes, it’s recommended to have at least 8 GB of RAM for gaming.
As mentioned above, RAM is only one component of the laptop’s memory. The hard drive is the other essential piece that stores the operating system, programs, and other essential functions in the computer’s long-term memory. Mechanical hard drives were the market standard for many years, but as technology has continued to improve, these hard drives have begun to be pushed out of the market in favor of solid state hard drives (SSDs).
The CPU (central processing unit) is typically referred to as the brain of the laptop. It is intended to perform calculations, assign tasks to various components of the system, and execute the tasks. If the laptop has an integrated graphics card, then the CPU is also responsible for performing graphics calculations, requiring the CPU to work at a faster pace to keep up with the demand.
If you have a dedicated graphics card, then the CPU doesn’t need to keep up with the graphics calculations while running every other function in order to operate your favorite game. CPUs contain multiple cores which distribute the calculations, allowing the CPU to handle multiple tasks at the same time, with some products having up to eight cores. However, you will need to settle for a slower CPU if you are looking for a gaming laptop under $500.
RAM stands for random access memory, and it helps the computer handle the demand of operating more than one program or running more than one function at the same time, like playing music through a wireless Bluetooth speaker while sifting through 10 open tabs on Chrome or FireFox. Video games typically require a high amount of RAM for the video, audio, gameplay, and network connectivity, so on average you should try to find a gaming laptop with at least 8 GB of RAM.
RAM is used to increase the overall processing speed of the computer, so if you have a game that needs 8 GB of RAM to operate and your computer only has 4 GB, then by upgrading the RAM to 8 GB, you can increase the frames per second (FPS). However, if you already have the recommended amount of RAM to play a game, then increasing the RAM won’t have a significant effect on the FPS.
When it comes to RAM, it’s recommended to have at least 8 GB of RAM for a gaming computer. However, if you already have a laptop that you really like, you don’t need to look for a new product. Increase the RAM by adding additional memory modules to existing slots or replacing the currently installed RAM module. This is a job computer-savvy individuals can handle on their own. If you are uncomfortable with removing the bottom of the laptop to access the RAM, then consider taking it to a local computer repair store to have the RAM upgraded by a professional.
The price of a high-end gaming laptop can exceed $2,000, but for products with a cap of $500, you can expect to pay about $250 to $500. If you are looking to have a semi-permanent setup at home, then consider investing in a top gaming keyboard or one of the best gaming headsets to improve your gaming experience.
The 2022 Newest Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop is a great option for gaming on the road with a lightweight design and slim profile that’s easy to pack and carry. If you are more interested in the immersion modern game visuals can create at a great price, then take advantage of the Lenovo Ideapad 3i Laptop.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.

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