Best UK Gaming Laptops for Under £500
The old saying “what you pay for is what you get” is commonly phrased in the PC gaming world but despite this, there is an opportunity for UK PC gamers to shop online and find some hot deals on gaming laptops under £500.
Whilst this price point is considered on the low side, at PC PowerZone we have identified 5 models that meet our strict criteria of being able to run the most popular games at a decent speed.
We have looked at many laptops under the £500 bracket and found that many top brands like Dell, ASUS, HP, Acer, and Alienware shy away from producing high-powered laptops at this price point but if you dig a little deeper you can find many office standard laptops that are just as powerful as mid-range gaming PCs and will run top games like Cyberpunk, FIFA, PUBG, Fortnite, CoD: Warzone 2, GTA V, Overwatch 2 and more.
Although most gaming laptops around the £500 mark will struggle to play the most demanding games there is a way to get the most out of your gaming experience.
With modern developments, you can stream games directly to your laptop using a program like Geforce NOW.
This piece of software gives you access to some of the most powerful gaming hardware all without the expense of buying a powerful laptop.
Last update on 2023-12-04 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Top 5 UK Gaming Laptops that Come in Under £500
After hours of research and testing, we proudly give you five laptops that are priced under £500. Pricing is quite volatile at this price range, when we last checked all were under the target price with a couple of them having been heavily discounted.
We look for value for money, good specs, and feedback from real buyers who have made a purchase and are able to answer questions from potential buyers.
1. MSI Modern 15 15.6-inch Laptop – [Editors Pick]
(note on unpredictable pricing: this laptop can sometimes cost a little over the £500 review threshold)
This laptop is hard to beat for gamers who want to experience their favourite titles at their best without breaking the bank!
It’s packed full of features so you don’t miss out on anything and it still has enough power to take on any challenge you throw at it – all whilst looking cool in Classic Black!
This MSI Modern 15 B12M-026UK Laptop is a gaming dream come true, combining the latest technology with stylish design and convenience.
With an Intel 12th generation i7 processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, Intel Iris Xe graphics and a 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD, it has the power to run most modern games on low settings and even eSports titles without any problems. Plus, its ultra-lightweight of 1.7kg makes it easy to take on the go.
The laptop also features fast charging so you can get up and running again quickly as well as Type-C PD charging for convenient recharging whilst you play.
To top it off, there’s an HD type (30fps@720p) webcam and a 15.6″ FHD 60Hz display with IPS-Level technology for vibrant visuals and stunning clarity.
And with multiple I/O ports including 1x Type-C USB3.2 Gen 2 (support 20V PD-in), 1x Type-A USB3.2 Gen 2, 2x Type-A USB2.0, 1x Micro SD, 1x HDMI 1.4 and 1x Audio Combo Jack – you’re sure to have all your gaming needs covered!
- Lightweight & portable
- Fast charging & Type-C PD charging
- Powerful processor & graphics card
- Multiple I/O ports
- HD webcam & FHD IPS display
- Backlit Keyboard
- Amazing screen resolution & brightness even in sunlight
- No dedicated GPU
- Might struggle to run high-end games at the highest settings
- Storage is a little limited for a Laptop designed for gaming
2. Lenovo V15 Gen 2 15.6 Inch
If the MSI Modern 15 is not your style or you want a little bit more power then this might be the perfect choice for you. Look no further than the Lenovo V15 Gen 2!
This powerful machine packs an impressive punch with a 15.6-inch screen, Intel Core i5-1135G7 (11th Gen) quad-core processor, 8GB DDR4 SODIMM RAM, and 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD for maximum speed and storage capacity.
It also features Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics for high-quality visuals and dual array microphones for superior audio performance.
The V15 Gen 2 also includes a number of other features such as two 1.5W stereo speakers with Dolby Audio™, USB-C 3.2, USB-A 3.2 and USB-A 2.0 ports, HDMI port, headphone/mic combo jack, RJ45 Ethernet port and a long-lasting 5-6 hours battery life – perfect for those long gaming sessions!
Due to its lightweight design at just 1.7kg, you can easily take this laptop wherever you go without feeling weighed down or bulky in your bag or backpack.
But what really sets the V15 Gen 2 apart is its incredible performance capabilities; it’s fast enough to handle even the most demanding games with ease so you can focus on having fun instead of worrying about lag times or low frame rates ruining your experience!
With its powerful specifications, it has more than enough power to deliver an unbeatable gaming experience.
- Large 15.6-inch display
- High-performance Intel Core i5 processor
- Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- 8GB DDR4 SODIMM RAM
- 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
- Long lasting 5-6 hours battery life
- Not suitable for extremely demanding games that require more power than this laptop can provide
- No dedicated graphics card which may limit performance if playing certain types of games
3. ASUS Vivobook 14 P1411CEA 14 inch Laptop
The ASUS Vivobook 14 is a sleek and sophisticated laptop that comes in a beautiful slate grey color. With its 12-month warranty and MyASUS support, you can trust that this laptop is built to last.
The Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor with 8M Cache and a maximum speed of up to 4.2 GHz gives this laptop the power to handle any task you throw at it.
The 14.0-inch FHD display with a 60Hz refresh rate and 1920 x 1080 resolution provides crystal-clear visuals that are perfect for watching movies, browsing the internet, or working on detailed projects.
The 8GB DDR4 on board and 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD make multitasking a breeze and store all your important files with ease.
In terms of graphics, the ASUS Vivobook 14 P1411CEA is equipped with Intel UHD Graphics that provide stunning visuals for gaming or watching videos.
The laptop also has several expansion slots, including 1x DDR4 SO-DIMM slot, 1x M.2 2280 PCIe 3.0×2, and 1x STD 2.5” SATA HDD.
- Powerful Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor
- Beautiful slate grey color
- 12-month warranty with MyASUS support
- Clear and crisp FHD display
- Large storage capacity with 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD
- Windows 11 Pro operating system
- Expansion slots for added storage
- No discrete graphics card
- Limited RAM capacity
4. Lenovo V15 Ryzen 5 15.6 inch Laptop
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If you’re not interested in the Intel ecosystem or simply prefer AMD as the backbone of your laptop then this might be the perfect choice for you. The Lenovo V15 Ryzen 5 15.6 inch Laptop is equipped with high responsiveness, thanks to its M.2 PCIe solid-state drive (SSD).
You can connect to multiple peripherals with a range of I/O, including HDMI and two USB 3.0 ports, quickly switch between applications and enjoy seamless multitasking.
This laptop also has an RJ45 ethernet port for quick internet access. Allowing for the best online gaming experience possible.
The sturdy design ensures that the laptop remains reliable even when used for extended periods of time, while data protection is enabled via the software-based Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 which encrypts critical information so that you can work worry-free inside or outside the office.
For gamers looking to make use of this device however, there are some drawbacks to consider such as a poor quality trackpad and wide keyboard which can make typing difficult, as well as a lack of ports compared to other laptops on the market.
In addition, battery life could be more generous as it tends to drain quickly under heavy usage conditions.
This laptop is perfect for those looking to pick up a few extra peripherals along with their new laptop all within budget. As a pairing, this laptop with a larger monitor and a mouse will take your gaming experience to the next level.
- Dual drive storage enabling fast PC responsiveness
- Range of I/O and RJ45 ethernet port for easy connectivity
- Sturdy design ensuring reliability over extended periods of time
- Software-based Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 provides data encryption and protection
- Poor quality trackpad
- Difficult typing experience due to wide keyboard layout
- Not enough ports compared to other laptops on the market
- Low battery life
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5. ASUS Vivobook 15 X1500EA 15.6 inch Laptop
If you’re looking for the best budget option to get into gaming, then the ASUS Vivobook 15 X1500EA might be just what you need. The vibrant screen and popping colours make it an attractive choice for gamers who are looking to immerse themselves in their favourite games.
Though it won’t be able to run modern games, it performs well with eSports titles and is compatible with Geforce Now. To get the most out of your streaming services, you’ll need to purchase an ethernet to USB C port as this laptop lacks an ethernet port.
At 2kg, this laptop is on the heavier side of laptops we’ve reviewed recently but that’s a small price to pay for a laptop that’s ideal for students and gamers alike.
Although Windows 11 S comes preinstalled on the laptop, if you plan on downloading apps from outside of the Microsoft Store then you’ll have to upgrade to Windows 11 Home (this is free) which is still a great feature considering its price point.
- A vibrant screen and popping colours
- Compatible with Geforce Now
- Ideal for students and gamers alike
- Ability to upgrade from Windows 11 S to Windows Home at no extra cost
- Affordable price point
- Unable to run modern games
- Lacks ethernet port – must purchase an adapter if needed(price of a highly-rated adapter)
- On the heavier side compared to other laptops
Why are Gaming Laptops Expensive?
It’s practically impossible to buy a cheap gaming laptop and expect it to be able to play ALL the latest top 10 PC games, but why is this?
Games are very resource hungry and require a great deal of processing power, including a graphics card capable of rendering 3d at high speed and system RAM that enables the PC to process commands quickly enough for the games to feel responsive – in short, these components inside a gaming laptop are expensive to produce.
Even when you opt for cheaper brands such as AMD (CPU) the raw cost of these parts are expensive and to think that they have to be placed inside a small device like a gaming laptop I’m sure you can understand this is the reason why it can often be a struggle to find a good gaming laptop for under £500.
Don’t buy the first laptop you see. You may have landed on a real bargain buy, but it pays to do your own research and we recommend you perform the following check before you click that “add to cart button”.
For those of you really looking for price to performance and don’t plan on moving around much with a laptop be sure to check out our PC bundle buyers guide here.
6 Point Checklist for Buying UK Gaming Laptops for under £500
- RAM – Check the memory spec of the laptop, does it have at least 4GB Ram?
- Display – Want sort of graphics card does it have? Look for an NVIDIA or GeForce-based card with at least 4MB RAM. However, for most casual gaming cases, you can easily play eSports titles on the majority of Quad Core CPUs. The only time you need to focus on getting a laptop with a graphics card is if you plan on playing higher-end games.
- CPU – The “engine” of the laptop, make sure the processor is a Quad Core. This is to reduce the workload on a single core leading to better performance especially if the game you are playing has multi-core support.
- Reviews – Crucial at this level because cooling is a major issue. Read online reviews and check star ratings to ensure other buyers give good feedback.
- Audio – Sound is an often-neglected feature, but it shouldn’t be as laptop gamers nearly always wear headphones. Check reviews for sound quality and look for Dolby or Realtek audio if possible.
- Storage – With the size of modern games growing every year it is important to make sure you get either a very fast storage like an NVME SSD or go for a large capacity storage to hold more games.
The benefit of having a fast SSD is that you can put everyday games on it so they load faster and use something like an external hard drive to hold the majority of your steam library.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our top three picks for the best gaming laptop for under £500. Each laptop reviewed has its own merits and although the number one pick is a great all-around device, if the ASUS Vivobook 15 X515EA was a little bit cheaper it would romp home because it is packed with power however the MSI laptop takes the cake when it comes to gaming performance.