Best UK Gaming Laptops for Under £500
The old saying of “what you pay for is what you get” is commonly phrased in the PC gaming world but despite this, there is 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 3 models that are meet our strict criteria of being able to run the most popular games at decent speed.
We have looked at many laptops under the 500 pound 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 WoW, FIFA, PUBG, Fortnite, CoD, GTA, Overwatch and more.
Top 3 UK Gaming Laptops that Come in Under £500
After hours of research and testing we proudly give you three 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. ASUS M509 15.6-inch Laptop – [Editors Pick]
(note on unpredictable pricing: this laptop can sometimes cost a little over the £500 review threshold)
For our top rated UK gaming laptop for under £500 we have chosen the impressible ASUS M509 as our top rated pick. This machine has a vibrant 15.6 inch display and packs a whopping 20GB RAM, Radeon gaming card and a fast 256GB SSD.
When you add the decent AMD CPU and responsive keyboard to the mix you have a cheap gaming laptop that is both dependable and able to PC games at decent settings – PLUS the brand is ASUS which is famous for constructing high powered laptops at low prices.
We found it difficult to find a competitor that comes close to this M509 gaming beast. For this spec and price point we believe there is no current cheap gaming laptop that can rival it. Don’t forget too, that it weighs just 1.8 kg making it both portable and lightweight enough to be carried around to a friend’s house so you can game in a LAN.
- AMD Ryzen 3 CPU for fast processing – crucial for gamers
- Download FIFA, Call of Duty or other top games direct to the 256GB SSD
- 20GB of system RAM which is usually only found in machines costing £1,000 plus
- AMD Radeon Vega graphics card for smooth display rendering
- Responsive backlit keyboard so you can play games all night if you want
- The price can sometimes fluctuate to just over £500
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2. Dell Inspiron 15 3000 15.6 Inch FHD
The laptop range from Dell and probably best associated with business use but the Inspiron 15 3000 doubles up as a great budget gaming laptop and you get all the benefits from purchasing from one of the best computer manufacturers around.
This laptop boasts a full HD anti-glare display at nearly 16 inches and the built quality is super impressive – Dell build laptops to last and this little power house also boasts a nifty Radeon Vega 8 Graphics card which just puts it in our gaming category. The added 3.1 USB ports add further functionality, you can add USB hubs or connect to external displays with ease. If you are looking for a cheap multi-purpose laptop then the Dell Inspiron is solid choice.
- Bright, crystal clear display that renders full HD at good speed
- AMD Ryzen 5 CPU which is an upgrade on previous models
- Extra ports that connect to more external devices – want to add another monitor?
- Waves MaxxAudio Pro is a good sound software that maximises audio quality
- Stylish case with attractive looking bevel trim – this laptop oozes quality
- The 8GB RAM is adequate but a big step down from the 20GB ASUS
3. HP 14″ EliteBook 745 G3 Ultrabook (Refurbished)
Our only refurbished budget gaming laptop is the HP EliteBook that we have managed to secure under our $500 budget rules. We have double checked and there is good standard warranty on this product and should not put you off if you are considering buying a cheap but powerful gaming laptop.
The 14 inch screen may be a little too small for some but it is a very sharp display and one of the brightest screens around for the money thanks to the super Radeon R6 Graphics 8GB mobile card that really propels this laptop above its station as a budget model.
There is ample room for storing games and office apps such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint giving the EliteBook 745 G3 Ultrabook added versatility that some users would really appreciate.
- Big SSD of 512GB – perfect for downloading games and other apps like Netflix, iPlayer etc
- Prefer an Intel CPU? The A10 inside the box is quick and runs at low temperature
- HP is a solid brand and has a good reputation when it comes to gaming computers in the UK
- Peace of mind purchasing with a full comprehensive warranty
- Quality components inside the laptop which aids prolonged use over time
- Not everyone will like that this a refurbished model
4. HP 15s-eq0031na White 15.6 inch Laptop
Hidden away is this white HP gaming laptop that features a nice big 15.6 screen and bling white casing that looks fantastic and shows off the responsive keyboard that has plenty of space between the keys. Best suited for mobile gaming, this laptop is light and although lacking in top end specced components has a good graphics card (Radeon) and fast Ryzon 5 CPU.
The 8GB of RAM is average – not great or bad depending on whether you are a first person shooter fan (Call of Duty, Fortnite, Destiny) or strategy or building gamer who loves nothing more than building a new town in Minecraft or exploring a new world.
For streamers, the display is very good – @ 1080p HD shows on Amazon Video, YouTube and Netflix stream well and the added Miracast functionality is a welcome bonus.
- The white casing has a retro MacBook feel about it and looks fantastic
- Good CPU and graphics card that run well in tandem with the 8GB RAM
- It’s a HP so expect good additional features like Bluetooth, Miracast and long battery life
- At 1.69KG this is the lightest gaming laptop in our best gaming laptops UK under £500 category
- Not powerful enough for top end gaming
5. Lenovo V14-ADA 14-inch Laptop
Another great deal from MESH (leading UK computer store) is the Lenova V14-ADA with 8GB of RAM and standard 256GB SSD storage, with an option to upgrade to 1TB. This is a solid, good all-round laptop that could be used for playing online games rather than a dedicated gaming laptop.
The CPU is fast without breaking any benchmark records and whilst the graphics card is decent, we feel that this laptop would be OK for low to mid level game settings. Anything that requires serious processing power might leave this laptop lagging behind the ASUS and Dell for example.
If you like playing World of Warcraft then this laptop should be fine apart from busy dungeon raids or hectic PvP battles where screen lag could cause some issues. Overall, a solid, dependable laptop good for games that require low resources in order to run well.
- The AMD Ryzen 3 3250U CPU is fast and quiet even when the laptop is running continuously
- No real let down components to this laptop, everything is a 7/10
- The screen is sharp, colours are rich and pixels bright
- Nice looking laptop in a neutral grey casing – would not look out of place in an office environment
- Mesh are a solid brand with good reputation for customer service
- Will not be any good for high powered gaming due to low frame rate per second (FPS)
Why are Gaming Laptops Expensive?
Its 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”.
5 Point Checklist for Buying a Bargain Gaming Laptop
1. RAM: Check the memory spec of the laptop, does it have at least 4GB Ram?
2. Display: Want sort of graphics card does it have? Look for an NVIDIA or GeForce based card with at least 4MB RAM.
3. CPU: The “engine” of the laptop, make sure the processor is at least an AMD Ryzon 5.
4. 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.
5. 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.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our top three picks for best gaming laptop for under £500. Each laptop reviewed has its own merits and although the number one pick is a great all round device, if the Acer was a little bit cheaper it would romp home because it is a pure gaming laptop with the best hardware inside.