Ryzen processors are a recent advent and are also a recent implementation within most mass-marketed laptops.
It makes sense that most brands are making the transition from Intel processors over to AMD Ryzen processors and that’s because they’re generally more efficient and can be more powerful in most cases too.
Unfortunately, the world is not the same as it once was and Intel is no longer the king of processor performance which is mainly due to falling behind on technological leaps that AMD has been making for a while now.
Basically, a Ryzen-based laptop will give you the energy efficiency and heat performance you need to have a really great portable laptop experience without any of the negatives.
With that in mind, we’re going to help you grab a bargain by listing the top 7 best Ryzen laptops that you can get for under $500 that are great for both gaming and productivity.
Powerful & Efficient – The 7 Best Ryzen Laptops for Under $500 (Grab a Bargain Now)
In case you wanted a quick snapshot of each laptop and what they’re good for, here’s the summary.
- Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop – Best All-Rounder
- ASUS F512DA-EB51 VivoBook – Powerful Multitasking & Gaming
- Lenovo IdeaPad 3 – Best Cheap Ryzen Laptop
- HP Pavilion 14 (2021) – Best Productivity
- Gateway GWTN – Best Novel Features
- Lenovo Flex 5 – Best Multi-functional 2-in-1 Touchscreen
- ASUS VivoBook 17 – Best Desktop Replacement
1. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop – Best All-Rounder
15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3200U (3.5GHz), Vega 3 Graphics, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode
The Acer Aspire 5 is a great laptop and is priced within our budget (with change leftover) meaning you could splash out on a dedicated wireless mouse too.
It’s built with portability in mind but isn’t so small that you’ll lose your viewing experiences which we think is a great middle-ground if you’re not sure what to go for.
It features a full HD IPS display meaning it’ll maintain pristine viewing quality regardless of the angle or tilt that you have your screen on and will be extremely bold in terms of color and brightness.
As an added point, 1080p is the perfect resolution for this screen size (in our opinion) as it’s high enough for good quality but not so high that you won’t be able to see anything on the screen e.g. making the text too small to read legibly.
It also comes with the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U clocked at 3.5 GHz which is a solid processor for both productivity purposes and to do some casual gaming on.
In fact, some of the most popular games such as League of Legends and the hit game Minecraft should perform without a hitch on low to mid specs.
In terms of RAM, it won’t set the world on fire, however, it has 4GB which is more than enough for most apps and programs meaning it shouldn’t struggle until you’re opening multiple things.
Lastly, we think the design is great as it comes in a slimline chassis which is great for portability and also has a back-lit keyboard making it great for when you’re burning the midnight oil for both work and gaming.
A solid all-rounder with a thoughtful design that allows for portability, working in the dark, and even allows for doing some casual gaming on it too.
2. ASUS F512DA-EB51 VivoBook – Powerful Multitasking & Gaming
15.6” Full HD, AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 5-3500U CPU (3.6GHz), 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 Home
If you need a laptop with power and performance, that’s within budget (just), and a monstrous Ryzen 5 processor to chew up whatever you throw at it then this is the laptop for you.
The Asus VivoBook is a beautifully crafted laptop that comes in a relatively lightweight design whilst still being able to deliver serious numbers.
It will be able to handle multitasking with the 3.6GHz Ryzen 5 processor and will also perform very well for games too.
You’ll also get a 15.6″ full HD screen with a matte finish which is great if you’re working in bright rooms and want to mitigate glare on the screen.
You may also be happy to know that you’ll get a generous amount of RAM (8GB) meaning you shouldn’t suffer too much when you have lots of Google tabs open or when you need to open a few different programs at the same time.
We also note that this laptop comes with a dedicated PCIe SSD meaning it will read, write, and load your games within milliseconds meaning you won’t need to find things to do whilst waiting as it simply shouldn’t be an issue.
Again, as with some of the other laptops mentioned, the VivoBook comes with a back-lit screen meaning you can work into the night without hindrance which we think is a nice addition.
Powerful gaming and multitasking machine that will chew up anything you can throw at it on a budget.
3. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 – Best Cheap Ryzen Laptop
15.6″ HD (1366 x 768) Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3250U Processor, 4GB DDR4 Onboard RAM, 128GB SSD, AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics, Windows 10
If you need a Ryzen laptop on a budget then the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 might fit the bill.
It comes in well under a budget meaning you’ll have enough left over for plenty of accessories such as a wireless mouse or a set of wireless headphones.
It features a 15.6″ HD screen which we should mention is 720p and not 1080p full HD — With that said, for the screen size, we don’t think this is a major issue especially since you’re paying so little.
It also comes with an AMD Ryzen 3 3250U processor which is clocked at 2.6GHz meaning it’s perfect for everyday browsing, creating spreadsheets, and using other basic software programs that you need to work with.
It can also handle games though they will need to be rather basic in terms of graphics or will need to be set to low graphics as it might lag otherwise.
It also has 4GB RAM which we think is more than enough for a general browsing machine or producing work with and you shouldn’t notice any slowness not unless you’re trying to use intensive programs like rendering software, etc.
Finally, we also noted the inclusion of a 128GB SSD meaning it will be snappy to boot up and should also load any programs rather quickly too.
The only drawback we could spot is that it doesn’t have a backlit keyboard meaning you’ll need a dedicated light if you’re working in the dark.
A great, cost-effective Ryzen-based laptop for general browsing and everyday usage.
4. HP Pavilion 14 (2021) – Best Productivity
14″ HD LED Touchscreen, AMD Ryzen 3 3250U Processor (Up to 3.5 GHz, Beats i7-7600U), 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Long Battery Life, Windows 10 Home
If you need a Ryzen laptop that is suitable for productivity purposes i.e. work, rendering and working with software, then the HP Pavilion is a suitable option as it’s chock full of powerful features.
It comes in a portable 14″ design meaning you can transport it easily, however, it’s also noted to have a rather large battery meaning you’ll be able to work without needing to be tethered all the time.
In terms of specs, it’s a really powerful laptop and comes with a Ryzen 3 processor clocked at 3.5GHz and a whopping 16GB of DDR4 RAM meaning it shouldn’t have any issues doing video rendering or other kinds of intensive work.
In your downtime, you’ll also be able to do a bit of casual gaming as the onboard Vega graphics as it’s known to work quite well for low to mid spec games.
We also appreciate the addition of a super fast SSD which means boot times for starting your laptop will be low and loading any programs or games will be blindingly quick.
The only notable drawback was the low resolution, it’s 720p rather than 1080p, however, for the size, we think this is the perfect resolution and also means games will run quicker too.
Perfect for resource-intense software such as Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Sony Vegas, music DAW, and other rendering programs.
5. Gateway GWTN – Best Novel Features
15.6″ FHD Ultra Slim Laptop Computer, Quad-Core AMD Ryzen 5 3450U up to 3.5GHz (Beat i5-8365U), 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, Fingerprint Scanner, Windows 10, BROAGE 64GB Flash Drive
If you have the need for novel features such as a stylus and a fingerprint scanner then you might want to consider this laptop from Gateway.
It’s becoming far more commonplace these days to see laptops with the option of a fingerprint scanner and that’s because it’s generally more secure than having to type in your passwords constantly.
As well as that, the stylus doesn’t just function as a stylus, it’s a 3-in-1 meaning it can also be used as a normal pen and also includes a USB 3.0 64GB memory card on it too.
In terms of the specs, it comes with a full-HD 15.6″ screen which is great for Zoom calls or watching movies on, not to mention the fact that the screen is also using IPS technology meaning it will look super bright in any lighting.
It includes a very powerful Ryzen 5 processor that is clocked at 3.5GHz and also has a whopping 16GB of RAM meaning you should be able to do some gaming on it too.
We also noted the 256GB SSD for storage which we think is okay, however, we would have preferred to see a little more — you may need a separate USB drive to boost this up.
A well-priced laptop (for the specs) that comes with handy novel features such as a fingerprint scanner for increased security and a stylus for touchscreen devices.
6. Lenovo Flex 5 – Best Multi-functional 2-in-1 Touchscreen
14″ FHD Touchscreen Laptop Computer, AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 3 4300U(Beat i5-8257U), 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD+500GB External HD, Windows 10 S
Touchscreen laptops are becoming much more popular and that’s because they give people another layer of interactivity to connect with their on-screen interfaces.
In fact, Lenovo has done a great job with this laptop in terms of responsiveness on the touch screen meaning it feels natural to use.
Because the screen flips all the way round it also means that watching videos or movies becomes more immersive, especially since you won’t have the keyboard in your vision.
The screen also boasts a full HD resolution and a glossy IPS panel with a brightness of 250 nits meaning movies or videos look great in whatever lighting you’re watching them on.
In terms of the specs, you’ll get a moderately powerful Ryzen 3 processor and 4GB of RAM to drive your browsing, movie-watching, and casual gaming habits.
It also includes a rather small SSD (128GB), however, they have compensated for this by including a 500GB external hard disk which is great for storing movies and photos on, or other bigger files.
Great for people who want touchscreen capability, excellent movie-watching experiences, and general browsing.
7. ASUS VivoBook 17 – Best Desktop Replacement
17.3″ FHD IPS LED Backlight Premium Laptop, AMD Ryzen3 3250U, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, USB Type-C, Windows 10
This Ryzen laptop is more an honorable mention than anything and that’s because it comes in just over budget by a smidgen (circa $10), however, we thought it was worth talking about due to the size.
It’s the only 17.3″ Ryzen laptop on this list and is one of the only ones you can get close to the budget of $500.
In our opinion, if you’re wanting a proper desktop replacement, then we think it’s always worth making the exception to get a slightly bigger laptop.
They can be a bit heavier, however, they’re generally better to work with as the viewing is easier because of the larger screen.
As well as that, this screen is full-HD and also comes with a bright IPS panel meaning it will look excellent regardless of how bright the room you’re working in is.
In terms of specs, it’s not too bad either as it comes with a solid Ryzen 3 processor which can boost up to a quicker speed for more demanding things, and it also comes with a large amount of RAM (8GB) which is great for multitasking too.
You also get a generously sized 256GB SSD which will work wonders for quick startup and load times.
The best Ryzen laptop that can replace a desktop in terms of size and experience.
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Ryzen laptops are a perfect solution for all your productivity, general usage, and gaming needs.
Better yet, they’re becoming far more popular meaning it’s relatively easy to find one that you can get for under $500.
Hopefully, you’ll now have a shiny new laptop that does everything you need it to with the help of our expert advice.
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