Looking for a gaming laptop but don’t fancy splashing out a four figure sum? spend most of your time working and just want something that can handle casual gaming when you’re on the move?
If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions the following post might be of interest to you.
We’ve set ourselves a £500 (ish) budget and set about finding the best gaming laptops available right now for under £500.
Best Gaming Laptop Under £500 »
What we like – HDMI, Nvidia GT525M, 8GB Ram, 750GB Hard Drive
Best deal – View Deal at Ebuyer.com
Details – When it comes to outright value for money there’s very little that comes close to the AH531. It’s a generously equipped multi purpose laptop that’s capable of performing everyday tasks such as web browsing and office productivity and due to the inclusion of Nvidia’s GT525M chipset will also run modern games. It’s not a gaming powerhouse but you’ll be able to play most games at moderate settings. Add to this an Intel i5-2450M CPU, 8GB of ram and a very generous 750GB hard drive and you’ve got a laptop that’s our current pick in the value gaming category.
Key features include:-
i5-2450M - The i5 processor used in the AH531 is a second generation Sandy Bridge item that has a base speed of 2.5GHZ and a maximum “turbo” speed of 3.1GHZ. It provides ample processing power and is frugal enough to allow the AH531 to run for more than six hours on a single charge (performing mixed tasks).
Nvidia GT525M - The GT525M used in the AH531 is in essence an under clocked GT540M. It’s at the lower end of Nvidia’s mobile graphics card line up but it still able to handle modern games. It won’t satisfy hardcore gamers wanting to run high setting and high resolutions but is perfect for casual gamers and those content to play games on more modest settings.
8GB of Ram and 750GB Hard Drive – The inclusion of a full 8GB of ram is astonishing on a laptop costing under £500 and allows the i5 to run Windows 7 smoothly. We were also impressed by the 750GB storage capacity of the AH531 at a time when the majority of sub £500 laptops tend to ship with anywhere between 320GB and 640GB.
HDMI – Nowadays, we expect all but the cheapest laptops to have HDMI ports but a surprisingly large number still don’t. Fortunately, Fujitsu have included a HDMI socket which simplifies connection to large screen TV’s should you fancy taking your gaming or video watching onto a bigger screen.
A Close Second Place »
What we like – USB 3.0, i5-2450M, GT525M, HDMI
Best deal – View Deal at Dell.co.uk
Details – The Dell Inspiron 15R has been relegated to second place simply because it costs ten pounds more than our £500 budget allows. However, it would be somewhat unjust not to mention it at all as it represents a viable alternative to the Ah531 and ten pounds is hardly a big difference (..just about buys lunch nowadays).
The Dell can’t boast such impressive ram figures with only 4GB as standard. It also has a smaller 640GB hard drive but goes some way to compensate for these slight shortcomings by using the slightly better Intel HM67 chipset and more importantly newer USB 3.0 ports which are considerably faster than legacy USB 2.0 ports. The Dell also has a better WLED (white LED) screen which could prove important if your gaming sessions tend to last hours and not minutes.
Rams relatively cheap nowadays (4GB modules cost around £15) and is easy to fit. Therefore, if you’re likely to be connecting to external devices and would subsequently benefit from the extra speed offered by USB 3.0 ports the Dell Inspiron 15R is a good choice.