The Best Gaming Laptop Under 500

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Shall we delve into interesting territory? A lot of gamers have gaming desktops rather than gaming laptops, and this got me to wondering – why is that? Are gaming laptops worth the time? And will you get the gaming experience you want on one of them? Let’s wade into murky territory – for me, at least – and take a close-up of the best gaming laptop under 500 dollars. Granted, you’re not going to be playing heavy duty games on these machines, but they’ll see to your base gaming and other general computing needs just fine.  If you’re not into laptops, why not check out the best gaming PCs under 500?

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Gaming Laptop  Number 1: The Cheerleader

She’s perky, she’s sweet and she makes you want to take a peek under the hood. She’s the Toshiba Satellite C55-A5245 15.6-Inch Laptop. Yes, her processor (the Intel Core i3-3110M 2.3 GHz Processor) doesn’t support turbo boost, but so what? The i3 is a dual-core CPU which features hyperthreading, Ivy bridge architecture and a 3MB L3 cache. This means a faster gaming performance when you need it most. Yes, these are budget gaming laptops – they aren’t going to run your latest games on their highest settings – but for an entry level gaming, the cheerleader should do fine. It features four hours of battery life, a 15.6 inch and a 500GB HDD. BUT it has mobile Intel HD graphics GPU which has 64MB of memory. That’s probably the weakest GPU you could get for any kind of gaming set up. Not good. Perhaps this little number is redeemed by it’s processor and that it has Windows 7 instead of 8 (especially if you’re accustomed to the old OS), nevertheless it’s only got 4GB DIMM RAM. That’s easily remedied by buying a little extra.

According to Warren L. Jones: “It’s thin, light weight and runs nearly four hours on a full charge.”

Budget: $449.99

Gaming Laptop Under 500
Gaming Laptop Under 500

Gaming Laptop Number 2: The Prom Queen

All dressed up and ready for a night out at the dance or in your hotel room. The ASUS K55N-DB81 15.6-Inch Laptop has an AMD A-Series Quad-Core A8-4500M 1.9 GHz processor. Quad-core is kind of a misnomer here. The processor only has two floating-point cores, and can’t really compare to the i3 from our friend the cheerleader. However, it does have a turbo boost function and will go in for some light gaming. On the positive side, our prom queen features the AMD Radeon HD 7640G GPU which supports DirectX 11. That’s way better than the Intel HD Graphics GPU from out ‘brainless’ cheerleader. It will gladly play newer games on low and medium settings, whilst waving, smiling and flaunting it’s faux diamond tiara. And it’s got something else the Toshiba doesn’t: 6GB of DDR3 RAM. Sigh in relief with me. 750 GB HDD and a 15.6 inch screen, this gaming laptop trumps our pom-pom waggling cheerleader in every aspect except the processor.

xplics says: “Far Cry 3 runs great, as do a few other PC games I tried out. Just please keep in mind this laptop is not made for gaming so do not expect some of the newer games coming out to run on maximum settings.”

Budget: $399.99

Gaming Laptop Number 3: The Sexy Librarian

The HP 2000-2b19wm 15.6-Inch Laptop PC Core Processor with 1MB L2 cache for core. That’s about the only good thing I can say about this processor. Much like a librarian, she has memory but she’s slow to get things going. You’ll do better with the i3, but they can’t all be cheerleaders, now can they? However, the librarian has an integrated AMD Radeon HD 6310 GPU which runs games at low to medium settings and is better than both the Toshiba and the Asus alike. It’s got a 320GB HDD which seems like a rather arbitrary size to me. Why go small if you can go big? Perhaps our librarian is shy? But her memory is just fine at 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM. For those who aren’t keen on the Windows 8 Operating System, stay away, but for those of you who aren’t easily intimidated, the HP might be worth the effort. It’s also got a 15.6 inch screen and has 3 USB ports. Maybe not as sporty as the cheerleader, or as together as the prom queen, but don’t disregard this gaming laptop. Especially not for this price!

According to Rovert2000: “A bit mixed about windows 8, but laptop is pretty good. Video performance is decent, occasionally a bit laggy. Not too bad for the price.”

Budget: $320.51

The Best Gaming Laptop Under 500:

Here’s the verdict; don’t be torn. The cheerleader and the sexy librarian are worn. For this price, the prom queen wins yet again. She’s not called that for no reason, you know. Shall we review?

  • The Toshiba rocks it with an i3 CPU
  • BUT the cheerleader falls flat on her face with a GPU slow enough to make Boston Rob weep
  • The Asus has a slower CPU but a GPU that kicks butt and enough RAM to support your games
  • The librarian lacks motivation in the CPU department but delivers with a more powerful GPU
  • The cheapest is the HP

The prom queen is the clear winner because she provides more ‘bang for your buck’. Excuse the torrid pun. If you want a gaming laptop for under 500, then she’s the choice for you. The Asus doesn’t fall around like the Toshiba and her processor isn’t slower than a snail on ice block like the HP’s. So, go out and get yourself a prom queen today – you won’t do better than this for a gaming laptop under 500.

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One Response

  1. Dan
    | Reply

    great article, as always…thanks Caitlin!


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