In the past articles, we recommended several laptops around 300 dollars, which could meet the basic needs of the office, but their performances do not meet the demands of many games. Today, we recommend several gaming laptops around 500 dollars. They will meet most of all the mid-range and low-end games needs because many mid-range games can only be played at medium resolutions settings. Hence, it can be said that the laptops costing around $500 are good fits for the users who don’t pursue high-end gaming experience, but enjoy playing older games.
The integrated graphics that APU platform uses have better gaming performance than that of Intel processor. The gaming laptops around $500 usually adopt APU platform in order to get better graphics performance. At first, I didn’t think there were laptops with discrete graphics at around $500. Fortunately though, we found Acer F5-573G-56CG , which is equipped with i5-6200U CPU and GTX940MX graphics. At slightly higher price of at around $550, this is what we recommend as a better choice.
Next, we will recommend five laptops at $500 price point, which were carefully selected. We believe that the following are the best configured laptops at this price. We hope the information is helpful as you make your choice.
The recommendation: Acer F5-573G-56CG
Acer F5-573G-56CG may be an expensive looking laptop. However, the price tag is quite reasonable. This model looks fancy, but when you examine its specifications closer, you will find it’s more than a mid–range notebook. Let’s take a closer look at this notebook to find out if it’s what you may be looking for.
The Acer F5-573G-56CG utilizes the new Intel Core i5-6200U processor. This processor is one of Intel’s sixth-generation processors that were released September in 2015. Its dual core has a base speed of 2.2 GHz and the turbo maxes out at 2.7 GHz. Because this processor is relatively new, there are very few benchmarks available as of yet. However, in terms of performance, the i5-6200U most likely will fall in the upper range of i5 processors. When you consider i5 models are excellent for heavier use, it is safe to assume that the stability will be excellent. Hence, the power users will be satisfied.
This system has 8GB of DDR4L SDRAM. It can be upgraded to the maximum of 16 GB of memory, so you do have the ability to double the RAM capacity. You may not wish to do this right away though as 8 GB should be sufficient to start with for most applications.
One of this machine’s weak points is its storage. Don’t get me wrong because it’s not that bad. It is just that by today’s standards, a 1000 GB hard drive with a speed of 5400 RPM does not seem small. You can store hundreds of games and movies on a terabyte drive. The fact that the drive speed is only 5400 RPM does not win any extra points though; the newer 7200 RPM hard drives and SSDs easily outperform this drive.
Gamers, however, will be glad to know that this laptop has a dedicated graphics card. Released in 2015, the GeForce 940MX with 4GB DDR5 VRAM is obviously faster than the Intel HD integrated graphics series. What this means is that almost any of your games will run smoothly on this laptop. However, some games with very heavy graphics will need to have the setting decreased and the resolution set to the minimum. You can expect the games that are considered to be demanding, such as Assassin’s Creed, Unity, and Thief, to have approximately 30-40 frames per second as long as the settings have been set low.
Ports include 3 USB ports, two of which are USB 3.0. There is also an HDMI output for external monitors.
This laptop does not have an optical drive. Of course, you can utilize an external DVD drive to this notebook through the USB 3.0 port.
The Acer F5-573G-56CG caters to those users who are looking for some performance; it truly is a modern laptop. The new Core i5 processor, along with the dedicated graphics engine GTX 940MX and 8GB of RAM make this a powerful unit for gaming. The one bad thing, of course, as stated before, is a slow, small hard drive. Not having a DVD on board might also bothers some customers. The price tag on this Acer is not too bad, so overall, I would recommend this unit for anyone looking for an affordable laptop.
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG
One of the more distinct and low-priced laptops available on the market today is the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG. For around $550 this 15.6” graphics-equipped laptop, comes complete with Windows 10 preinstalled and a full HD display screen. Additionally, it has a Nvidia GeForce 940MX 2GB DDR5 video card, a backlit keyboard and supports a 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM and Intel i5 core processor. The i5-6200U which is included in the i5 CPU is the new, sixth generation intel processor.
This particular laptop is a great solution for regular tasks such as emailing, creating documents in Word, Excel spreadsheet calculations, surfing the internet and watching movies (even the Ultra Hi-Definition ones) or gaming. With its 8GB DDR4 RAM, you won’t suffer from performance problems, even if you are running several apps together. We think Acer deserve a standing ovation for incorporate a 256GB SSD into the Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG, rather than using a much more measured hard drive storage.
Surely, the GeForce 940MX is not a gaming-class notebook video card and it performs better than systems with integrated graphic processors. Apart from the feature mentioned above, the 940MX has 2GB of GDDR5 video memory which is better than the 2GB DDR3 of the 940M model, for a bit of extra FPS rate boost. In overall, the GeForce 940MX is made in a way that makes it to easily run many of the popular game titles but some demanding games need the resolution and graphic detail settings decreased in order to have a smooth gaming experience.
This averagely heavy 5.3 pounds notebook has a chassis made of plastics, keyboard deck with glossy finish and the display lid having a texture finish. Asus says it 2800mAH 6-cell battery can work for 12 hours but you can expect to use it for 10 hours and this depends on your tasks. This time is a good period for backing up files especially for those the mainly use their laptop on the go.
The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG has some promising technical specifications and performance and rates as a reasonably good laptop. It comes preinstalled with Windows 10 and everything else you might expect from a great day to day usage laptop. The Acer is by no means one of the more premium choices, but it will offer you enough power to get the job done without any compromise on specification. At the price around 550 dollars, the Acer Aspire E is a good performer and a great choice that won’t damage your wallet.
Best Gaming Laptop under 500 comparison:
|Models:||Acer F5-573G-56CG||Acer E5-575G-53VG||Lenovo Ideapad 310||ASUS X555DA-AS11||HP 15-ba040nr||Lenovo Z51|
|Size||15.6 inch||15.6 inch||15.6 inch||15.6 inch||15.6 inch (TouchScreen)||15.6 inch|
|Display Resolution||1920 * 1080||1920 * 1080||1366*768||1920 x 1080||1366*768||1920 x 1080|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-6200U||Intel Core i5-6200U||AMD A12-9700P||AMD A10-8700P||AMD A10-9600P||Intel Core i5-5200U|
|Graphic Card||GeForce 940MX 4GB DDR5 VRAM||GeForce 940MX 2GB DDR5 VRAM||Radeon R7(Bristol Ridge) *||Radeon R5 Series||Radeon R6 Kaveri||AMD Radeon R7 M360|
|Ram||8GB DDR4||8GB DDR4||12GB DDR4||8GB DDR3||8GB DDR3||4GB DDR3|
|Hard Drive||1TB 5400RPM||256GB SSD||1TB 5400RPM||256GB SSD||1TB 5400RPM||1TB 5400RPM|
2 x USB3.0
2 x USB3.0
|1 x USB3.0
1 x USB 2.0
2 x USB 3.0
1 x USB3.0
1 x USB 3.0
4-cell lithium ion
6-cell lithium ion
Up to 5 hours;
3-cell lithium ion
4-cell lithium ion
|Weight||5.07 lbs||5.46 lbs||4.8 lbs||5.1 lbs||6.8 lbs||5.06 lbs.|
|Dimensions||15 x 10.2 x 1.1||15 x 10.2 x 1.2||14.92 x 10.24 x 0.9||15 x 10.1 x 1||15.12 x 10.02 x 0.95||15.12 x 10.43 x 0.98|
|OS||Windows 10 64 bit||Windows 10 64 bit||Windows 10 64 bit||Windows 10 64bit||Windows 10 64 bit||Windows 10 64 bit|
|More information||More information on Amazon||More information on Amazon||More information on Amazon||More information on Amazon||More information on Amazon||More information on Amazon|
* The performance of Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge) is slightly higher than the dedicated GeForce 930M.
At the center of this laptop is the most recent generation of AMD quad core Kaveri platform. The Lenovo IdeaPad Z50 is not a 3D gaming laptop. However, it works very well for daily multimedia entertainment tasks and productivity. With a cost of a little under $500, this laptop still offers many features that make it a good buy.
This laptop, with its solid slim design, is directly aimed toward those consumers seeking a budget laptop. The manufacturer has used solid black coloring and a brushed aluminum design, along with soft touch materials to make this laptop appear more expensive and robust than other laptops in its class.
At the heart of the machine is the AMD A10-7300 Quad-Core Processor, with delivery processor speeds between 1.9GHZ to 3.2 GHz. That is enough power to run your daily office and the majority of multimedia entertainment tasks without causing lag. This laptop gives smoother and faster performance when compared to other laptops in its price range, thanks to the combination of the 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows 8.1 as the operating system and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. The IdeaPad Z50 works well with the majority of modern office and productivity applications.
The laptop uses the AMD Radeon R6 Graphics as graphics engine, which is able to handle some modern games and multimedia without noticeable delays. The display is a High Definition TFT Color LCD, which is 15.6 inches. It supports 1368 x 768 pixels native resolution with an average brightness of 200 nits. It is not designed for 1080p HD video content or for playing detailed 3D games. However, when viewing 720p video content or streaming movies from Netflix, this display, along with its LED back-lighting, gives fairly natural and crisp colors.
You get a lot of memory with the Z50 laptop. The 1TB of Serial ATA hard disk drive running at 5400RPM allows for a great deal of document and multimedia storage.
This laptop is easy on the pocket book, and comes with a full numeric keypad and a full non-backlit, black keyboard.
You can expect up to five hours of battery runtime from the 4-cell Lithium Cylinder 2200mAh battery that the laptop uses as a power supply.
You will not find multi touch screen technology on Lenovo Z50 laptop. However, the portable design, along with its large storage capacity and full connectivity features, makes this laptop, which sells for around $599, a good value for your hard-earned money. If you’re considering a new laptop be sure to take a look at the Lenovo 15.6 inch laptop.
HP Envy TouchSmart m6-n113dx (Certified Refurbished)
The first available laptop on the market utilizing the AMD FX “Kaveri” processor, which was launched earlier this year, was the HP Envy TouchSmart m6-n113dx, with its 15.6 inch touch screen. This chip from AMD, which was long awaited, finally allows AMD to compete directly with Intel in the higher-end notebook CPU category.
The AMD FX 7500 quad-core, at up to 3.3GHz is used in this unit. In terms of CPU speed and power consumption, it is comparable to the Intel Core i7-4500U/4510U dual-core. Both of these chips have been optimized for use in low profile notebooks. The CPU performance of both chips, according to AMD, are very similar. This is been confirmed with PassMark benchmarks of (~3750 vs ~3900 points in Intel’s favor). This means that, in reality, there is sufficient power for daily tasks and the demanding needs required for video and photo editing, as well. It should be noted that in the integrated graphics department, the Radeon R7 series IGP used in the FX 7500 is noticeably better than the results found with the i7’s Intel HD 4400, with over a 50% in 3DMark benchmarks advantages being claimed. This means you should be able to increase your graphics settings and resolution up from the lowest settings, however, mid- and high-end gaming are still better played with dedicated video cards. With display resolution up to 1366×768 pixels, the display is slightly less than other laptops in the price range, which have a sharper resolution at 1920×1080. This makes the pixel count one of the downsides of this unit.
Besides the new CPU and touch screen, the m6-n113dx has 6 GB of RAM memory, which is enough for most computing scenarios. There is a 750 GB hard drive with a speed of only 5,400rpm; this is a bottleneck for this system’s performance. It also comes with a numeric pad and a backlit keyboard, integrated click buttons utilized by the advanced Control Zone touchpad, and Windows 8-specific touch gestures, which gives the system a little extra support. The stereo speakers also have a separate subwoofer.
The battery capacity is stated as 2,200 mAh, however, we have no further information on actual battery life. The chassis is 1.2 inches thick, made of glass-fiber construction, and has been painted in a natural silver color with soft-touch paint. Even though the unit lacks a DVD, it is a little heavy weighing in at 6.1 pounds.
All in all, the m6-n113dx is a good value for your money; at around 550 dollars, it is not as costly as the corresponding Intel i7.