Top 9 Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 2022 [Most Powerful Options]

Budget gaming laptops that could power through modern games of 2022.
Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 - Featured Image

The best gaming laptops under $500 do not come with a dedicated graphics chip because of the budget constraint, but the integrated graphics on the latest Intel and AMD processors have gotten remarkably better at handling games.

As a result, even budget laptops costing under $500 have become capable of gaming and can run games like Minecraft, Sims 4, Fortnite, and GTA V!

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However, note that these cheap gaming laptops are only good for casual gaming and if you don’t mind playing games at reduced graphics settings and resolution.

Also, if you are buying these laptops to play the latest AAA titles like Cyberpunk 2077 at high settings, then note that these budget laptops are too underpowered to run such games, even at the lowest graphics settings. To play those games, you’ll need a gaming laptop with a dedicated GPU.

The cheapest good gaming laptop with an entry-level RTX 3050 or 3050 Ti GPU will cost you around $800. If you can extend your budget, we’d highly recommend getting one of the best gaming laptops under $800 from our guide. It’ll be a lot better at handling modern games.

But, if you want a laptop for just casual gaming and playing less demanding games, these sub-$500 budget gaming laptops mentioned below would get the job done for a lot cheap for you.

Best Gaming Laptops Under $500 – Top Picks

  1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14Our Top Pick
  2. Dell Inspiron 15 3525The Most Powerful Option
  3. Dell Inspiron 15 5510The Most Powerful Intel Laptop
  4. HP Pavilion 14Thin & Light
  5. Acer Aspire 5Great Value for Money
  6. HP ‎15-dy2024nr 15-inch LaptopBest Seller
  7. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 17 High Performance 17-inch Laptop
  8. Dell Inspiron 14 5410Powerful & Svelte
  9. HP 15-ef2126wm 15-inch LaptopStupendous Value

1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 – Our Top Pick

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 - The Best Budget Gaming Laptop Under $500 of 2022

Key Features:

  • Powerful performance with 6-core AMD CPU
  • Quite and efficient cooling system
  • Comfortable backlit keyboard
  • Lot of ports & latest Wi-Fi 6 for reliable internet connectivity
  • Long battery life

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 offers tremendous value for money by packing one of the most powerful processors you can get in a laptop under $500 for gaming in an easy-to-carry ultraportable form factor, and that too without compromising on any essential features!

It is powered by AMD’s latest Ryzen 5 5500U processor, which has six cores, and it integrates powerful Radeon Vega 7 graphics on the chip. The powerful CPU paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB of fast NVMe SSD makes IdeaPad 3 14 capable of running most modern games at smooth frame rates. Moreover, both the RAM and storage drive are easy to access on the laptop, so you can upgrade them to make this laptop’s performance even better after purchasing.

Along with great performing hardware, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 also features an excellent display and keyboard. It has a 14-inch full HD display, and it’s an IPS panel, so it offers wide viewing angles and produces good colors. The keyboard on this laptop is also an absolute delight. It is comfortable to type for long hours, and it features backlit keys, so you can even enjoy gaming on this laptop at night.

Overall, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 is the complete package under $500. It is powerful enough to enjoy gaming on it, and its portable chassis and long battery life also make it great for everyday use.

We don’t think there’s any other laptop in the market right now that can match the performance and features that the IdeaPad 3 14 offers for the price.

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14:

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5500U Hexa-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM (Upgradeable)
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 7 Graphics
Display14-inch Full HD IPS Display
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home 64-bit OS
Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
Weight3.5 lbs

DEAL ALERT: Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 w/ Ryzen 5 5500U, 8GB RAM & 256GB SSD for $519 $449 from Walmart

If you would like to enjoy gaming on a slightly bigger 15-inch display, then the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 with 15.6-inch full HD display is on discount right now.

It comes with the same six-core AMD Ryzen 5 CPU and you also get the same amount of RAM and storage capacity on this one, so performance-wise there wouldn’t be any difference in both the laptops. But, if you want a bigger display on your laptop and a keyboard with numeric pad, then you can get the IdeaPad 3 15 for almost same price right now.

2. Dell Inspiron 15 3525 – The Most Powerful Option

Dell Inspiron 15 3525 high refresh rate display laptop under $500 for gaming

Key Features:

  • Smooth 120Hz display
  • Power-packed with Newest 6-core AMD CPU
  • Spacious 512GB SSD storage
  • Good build quality
  • Long battery life
  • No backlit keyboard
  • No Fingerprint scanner

If you are looking for a laptop that offers the maximum performance and best gaming experience under $500, then this Dell Inspiron 15 3525 laptop is for you.

It rocks the most powerful processor you can get in a laptop in this price range, and it is among the rarest of rare laptops under $500 to come with a fast 120Hz refresh rate display!

The heart of the matter, though, is AMD’s latest Ryzen 5 5625U processor, which is also a six-core CPU, but this one has slightly higher clock speeds than the Ryzen 5 5500U in the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 (our top pick), so you’ll get slightly better FPS in games on this laptop.

However, that performance gain comes at the cost of many things. You don’t get a backlit keyboard on this one, and it also does not have a fingerprint scanner, so no Windows-Hello enabled quick logins here. Also, the laptop is all plastic built, which does not look and feel good in the hands, but it is very well-built, just like you would expect from a brand like Dell.

Besides its few shortcomings, the laptop is a pretty good package, and it gets all the basics right with exceptional performance and full HD 120Hz display, all the required ports and slots, and also good enough battery life for everyday use.

Hardware Specifications of Dell Inspiron 15 3525:

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5625U Hexa-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.3 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM (Upgradeable)
Storage512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 7 Graphics
Display15.6-inch Full HD 120Hz Anti-Glare WVA Display
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home 64-bit OS
Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
Weight3.7 lbs

3. Dell Inspiron 15 5510 – The Most Powerful Intel Laptop

Dell Inspiron 15 5510 High Performance Gaming Laptop with Intel Processor

Key Features:

  • Powerful Intel H-series CPU with Iris Xe graphics
  • Nearly border-less display
  • Full-size backlit keyboard
  • Lot of ports
  • Future proof with upgradeable internals

Although you’d get more performance per buck by going with AMD, but for any reason if you prefer Intel, then this Dell Inspiron 15 5510 is the most powerful Intel-powered laptop you can buy under $500 for gaming.

It’s also one of our most recommended budget gaming laptops because it incorporates Intel’s high-performance Core i5-11320H H-series CPU with powerful Iris Xe graphics, which is cut above than the Core i5-1135G7 processor powered laptops found in this price range.

It is also very premium looking laptop with an aluminum casing on its lid and it also comes with a very beautiful looking 15.6-inch full HD display with ultra thin bezels.

You also get a backlit keyboard on this laptop and also decent amount of ports and the fastest Wi-Fi 6 support for reliable internet connectivity while gaming.

It comes with the latest Windows 11 operating system pre-installed, so this laptop will be able to take advantage of the new Game Mode in Windows 11, which smartly prioritizes system resources for better FPS in games.

Overall, the Dell Inspiron 15 5510 is another excellent gaming laptop under $500 if you prefer Intel processor.

Hardware Specifications of Dell Inspiron 15 5510 Laptop:

ProcessorIntel Core i5-11320H 2.5 GHz Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.5 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM (Upgradable)
Storage256GB NVMe SSD (Upgradable)
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe Graphics
Display15.6-inch Full HD WVA LED-backlit display
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 7 hours
Weight3.6 lbs

4. HP Pavilion 14 – Thin & Light

HP Pavilion 14 Thin & Light Gaming Laptop Under $500 for Students

Key Features:

  • Premium & compact design
  • Powerful graphics performance from 6-core AMD CPU
  • Fingerprint scanner with Windows Hello support
  • Upgradeable RAM & SSD
  • Long battery life with fast charging
  • No backlit keyboard

The HP Pavilion 14 is a compact powerhouse offering the most powerful specs you can get under $500 in the small and lightweight 14-inch form factor. It is also the most ultraportable gaming laptop option on our list, weighing just 3.1 pounds and only 0.6 inches thin. If you are a student or business owner or an employee who travels a lot every day, this is a worth considering option for you.

It’s a very well-built laptop with aluminum used to make its lid cover and keyboard deck. Note that its base chassis is still plastic; however, the use of aluminum adds a lot of rigidity to its body. The added rigidity also helps it to deliver a satisfyingly tactile typing experience. However, its keyboard layout is typical of most small-sized HP laptops featuring a column of navigation keys on the right, which will take time to get used to and it’s also non-backlit. But rest-assure typing on it is a very comfortable experience, which makes up for all its shortcomings.

However, what it has inside matters the most, right? So, it is also powered by the six-core AMD Ryzen 5 processor, just like our top pick, and it is paired with an 8GB of RAM running in dual-channel for maximum performance and an SSD for the extra speed boost. With such powerful hardware, it almost defies its primary purpose of being a thin and light productivity machine. That said, it is a very well-suited laptop for power demanding jobs like gaming and media editing.

For just $499, this HP Pavilion 14 is undoubtedly one of the best budget gaming laptops for students or frequent travelers with powerful enough hardware to play most new games.

Hardware Specifications of HP Pavilion 14 Laptop:

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5500U 2.1 GHz Hexa-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 7 Integrated Graphics
Display14-inch Full HD IPS Display (250-nits)
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home (Free upgrade to Windows 11)
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
Weight3.1 lbs

ALTERNATIVE CHOICE: HP 14-fq1025nr 14-inch Laptop

HP 14-fq1025nr Laptop

If you would like to save some of your hard-earned money, then you can also consider HP’s 14-fq1025nr laptop. It offers the exact same hardware specifications as the HP Pavilion 14 for a little less asking price, but the design of this laptop isn’t as sleek and beautiful, and it’s also an all-plastic built laptop. That said, it’s still a very well-put-together device and would last for years if you take proper care of it. With all the other features and hardware same as the expensive HP Pavilion 14, the HP 14-fq1025nr is a steal deal and perfect option for the gamers who can’t stretch their budget all the way up to $500. | See it on Amazon

5. Acer Aspire 5 – Great Value for Money

Acer Aspire 5 15 AMD

Key Features:

  • 6-core AMD prowess for gaming
  • IPS display with good color reproduction and wide viewing angles
  • Extensive ports selection
  • Backlit keyboard with numeric pad
  • Reliable wireless connectivity with Wi-Fi 6 for online gaming

No list of budget laptops is complete without Acer Aspire 5 in it. This laptop has been consistently topping the charts of the budget laptops segment by offering more powerful hardware and better features than its competitors for the price.

It comes in a lot of different variants with both Intel and AMD options, all priced under or around $500.

This particular variant of Acer Aspire 5 that we recommend for gamers shopping under $500 comes with the same AMD Ryzen 5 six-core processor as the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 (our top pick), and it is also paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. So, this is also one of the most powerful laptops you can buy in this price range, and you’ll be able to play all your favorite games on it, thanks to its powerful Radeon integrated graphics.

Apart from performance, this Acer Aspire 5 is also a very well-built and designed laptop with a slim and stylish look. Its lid and keyboard deck have a brushed aluminum finish, which looks premium, and the bezels around its 15-inch full HD IPS display are also relatively small to give it a modern look.

With all the other amenities like a backlit keyboard, all the essential ports and slots, and the fastest and newest WiFi 6 and Bluetooth connectivity, the Acer Aspire 5 is jam-packed with powerful hardware and great features to delight gamers on the budget.

Hardware Specifications of Acer Aspire 5 (A515-45-R74Z):

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5500U Hexa-Core Processor (2.1 – 4.0 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 7 Integrated Graphics
Display15.6-inch Full HD Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display (250-nits)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 11 hours
Weight3.8 lbs

6. HP ‎15-dy2024nr 15-inch Laptop – #Best Seller

HP 15-dy2024nr - Best Selling 15 inch Budget Gaming Laptop

Key Features:

  • Newest Intel CPU with Powerful Iris Xe graphics
  • Vivid display with wide viewing angles
  • All the required ports & slots
  • Newest & fastest Wi-Fi 6 connectivity
  • Easy to upgrade internals
  • Average battery life but supports fast charging

If you are not interested in any bells and whistles and want to buy a laptop that feels fast with everyday work and allows you to play games like CS:GO, GTA 5, and Fortnite without any issues, then this HP 15-dy2024nr laptop is for you.

It does not have the most powerful specs you can get in a laptop at this price range, nor is it loaded with any extraordinary features. In fact, it even misses out on a backlit keyboard! Yet, it is top selling laptop in the $500 price range right now. The part of the reason behind that is its reliable performance.

It is powered by the newest 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, which is a quad-core chip that can clock up to whopping 4.2 GHz in turbo boost mode. The CPU is accompanied by an 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD for storage. It can handle multitasking with everyday used programs with no stress, and it will also be able to run most modern games at around 60 FPS since it has Intel’s most advanced integrated graphics yet – Intel Iris Xe embedded on the chip. Not to mention, it will also be able to handle photo editing and light video editing work if there ever comes a need.

Overall, the HP 15-dy2024nr is an excellent all-around performing laptop under $500. Along with a capable set of specifications for gaming, it also checks many other right boxes. It has a 1080p IPS display, HP’s True Vision webcam with dual-array microphones for video conferences, the newest Wi-Fi 6 support, and a host of ports to connect your peripherals.

Hardware Specifications of HP 15-dy2024nr 15-inch Laptop:

Processor11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.2 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 2666 MHz RAM (Upgradeable)
Storage256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD (Upgradeable)
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe Graphics
Display15.6 Inch Full HD IPS Anti-Glare Display
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 7 hours with fast charging
Weight3.75 lbs

7. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 17 High Performance 17-inch Laptop

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 17 High Performance 17-inch Gaming Laptop Under $500

Key Features:

  • Large & immersive 17″ display
  • Powerful & efficient AMD processor
  • 512GB storage
  • Decent I/O ports selection
  • Newest Wi-Fi 6 wireless connectivity
  • Relatively compact & lightweight for 17-inch laptop (under 5 pounds)
  • No backlit keyboard

This Lenovo IdeaPad 3 17 laptop is a perfect affordable desktop replacement that promises to provide very stable yet power-packed performance for gaming along with home or office use. It offers the latest AMD Ryzen 5 processor with integrated Radeon Vega 7 graphics which makes it an able laptop for gaming. It can run games like GTA 5 at around 60 fps with scaled-down graphics settings, which is not at all bad for the laptop that costs under $500. It comes with 8GB of RAM to take care of the multitasking and offers a spacious 512GB of SSD for storage, both of which are easy to access and upgrade.

The laptop sports a 17.3-inch HD+ display which offers colorful and sharp visuals. As far as the design and looks of the laptop are concerned, the laptop looks neat and sleek and is quite compact and lightweight than most other 17-inch laptops.

To wrap up things, this laptop from Lenovo is a very affordable and powerful gaming laptop and is surely one of the best options if you are looking for a 17-inch gaming laptop under $500.

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo IdeaPad 3 17 High Performance 17-inch Gaming Laptop:

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5500U Hexa-Core 2.1 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM
Storage512GB SSD
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 7 Graphics
Display17.3-Inch HD+ Display with 1600 x 900 Resolution (250-nits)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 7 hours
Weight4.6 lbs

8. Dell Inspiron 14 5410 – Powerful & Svelte

Dell Inspiron 14 5410

Key Features:

  • Premium all-metal exterior
  • Stunning display with tiny bezels
  • Newest-gen Intel CPU with powerful integrated graphics
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Lift up hinge for better airflow to cool internals

We know not everyone here is looking for a laptop with the most powerful specs under $500. Many of us just need a laptop with enough performant hardware to handle everyday work and light gaming and one that is built well enough to last for 4-5 years. If you come under this category of people, this Dell Inspiron 14 laptop is for you.

It is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. These sound like decent specs for an everyday work notebook but modest for gaming, right? Well, the Core i3 processor inside of this Dell laptop has 4 cores, which is faster than more Core i3 dual-core processors and this processor has also high turbo boost frequency of up to 3.7 GHz. Moreover, it is Intel’s newest 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPU, so it has powerful integrated graphics that would be able to run most modern games without any problem.

The laptop also features a lift-up hinge, so it lifts from the back when you open up the lid for better airflow. This helps it run cool when playing games for an extended period.

Apart from great performance, the laptop is also quite feature-rich with an excellent backlit keyboard, smooth large trackpad, and beautiful 14-inch FHD display with slim bezels. Also, it is among the very few laptops in this price range that has an all-metal exterior.

So, the Dell Inspiron 14 is made to stand the test of time. And, with its exceptional build quality, latest-gen Intel CPU, and upgradeable RAM and storage drive, it is yet another excellent ultraportable laptop under $500 for frequent travelers who wants to enjoy gaming after a long work day.

Hardware Specifications of Dell Inspiron 14 5410 Laptop:

ProcessorIntel Core i3-1125G4 Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 3.7 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM
Storage256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
GraphicsIntel UHD integrated on chip
Display14-inch Full HD Anti-Glare LED backlit Display with Narrow bezels
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
Weight3.2 lbs

9. HP 15-ef2126wm 15-inch Laptop – Stupendous Value

HP 15-ef2126wm 15-inch Laptop - Excellent Cheap Gaming Laptop Under $400

Key Features:

  • Powerful & efficient AMD processor with 6-cores
  • 1080p display
  • Good battery life
  • Wide range of connectivity options
  • Comfortable full-size keyboard
  • Very attractive pricing
  • No backlit keyboard

For the most budget-conscious buyers among us, this HP 15-inch laptop offers the same powerful hardware as the best laptops in this price range but for a lot less than them!

For under $400, this 15-inch laptop from HP offers the AMD’s newest Ryzen 5 processor with powerful integrated Radeon graphics, and it is paired with the 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. So, despite its low price tag, there’s no compromise on the performance, and you’ll be able to enjoy most modern games on this laptop without any problem.

The display is often what’s compromised generally in such aggressively priced budget laptops, but the 15.6-inch full HD display on this laptop is also pretty good. Although it uses a low-quality TN panel which does not get as bright as some other laptops mentioned here, but its full HD resolution is appreciable, and overall it’s good enough for indoor usage and gaming.

You don’t get the backlit keyboard or convenience of fingerprint logins on this laptop as expected. And its blue and silver color scheme is also not something that everyone would like. But for the price, we really can’t complain as it offers plenty of value by getting all the essential things right at such a low price tag.

Overall, if you cannot long your budget to the extreme of $500, this HP 15-ef2126wm laptop offers similar gaming performance to the most powerful laptops mentioned here for $100 less!

Hardware Specifications of HP 15-ef2126wm 15-inch laptop:

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5500U 6-Core Processor (12 Threads, 2.1 – 4.0 GHz)
RAM8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsAMD Radeon Graphics
Display15.6-Inch Full HD Anti-Glare Display (250-nits)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 7 hours
Weight3.7 lbs

That concludes our list of most recommended gaming laptops under $500 right now.

As mentioned earlier, we recommend spending up to $800 on your gaming laptop if you can because gaming on laptops with dedicated GPU will always be better than these budget laptops that depend on the CPU’s integrated graphics to run games.

Recommended: Top 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000

But, if you can’t spend more and still want to enjoy playing all the new games, then the laptops listed above are going to be your top choices under $500 for gaming.

All the laptops on our list have the newest generation Intel and AMD CPUs with multiple cores and powerful integrated graphics, which is very important since these laptops do not have discrete graphics chips. And they also have enough memory and come with SSD storage for optimal performance to play games and other demanding workloads.

AMD Ryzen 5 5500U Vs. Intel Core i5-1135G7 – Integrated Graphics Gaming Performance Comparison

Lastly, if you have any questions, please ask us in the comments below. Also, tell us which budget gaming laptop did you end up buying.

We hope that this gaming laptop buying guide helps you buy the best gaming laptop under $500 for yourself.

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16 comments
  1. Hello, I’m looking for a laptop around $500 that can handle a game such as Ark Survival evolved at decent graphics and can run at decent fps what do you suggest?

    1. Hi Collin,
      I would recommend you to spend a bit extra and get the Acer Aspire E 15 laptop for yourself. It would be perfect to run this type of games.

      1. There are a lot of Acer Aspire E 15 Laptops is there any chance I could get a link to which one you are talking about?

        1. Look for Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762. It is also mentioned in this article in the end as the best gaming laptop around $500.

  2. My laptop just died and I’m in need of a new one, not really looking for extreme portability, would like one that can smoothly run video games any suggestions?

    1. If you are planning to play less demanding games, then the Acer Aspire 5 is a great option that weighs less than 3 pounds. However, if you are looking for a laptop to run graphics intensive games then I would recommend you to spend a little extra and get the Acer Aspire E 15 as it comes with a dedicated Nvidia GPU.

  3. What laptop would you recommend for playing steam games? I want to get skyrim and fallout 4 on a laptop.

    1. If your budget allows get the Acer Aspire E 15. It comes with dedicated GPU so it will be good for such games.

  4. Looking for a laptop for college, and for light gaming on the go (League of Legends, Minecraft, maybe Tera or HotS). What should I go for? I already have a PC for higher end games.

    1. I would recommend you to spend extra $50 and get the Acer Aspire E 15 laptop that we have mentioned at the end of this guide. It would be best for college and light gaming.

  5. We’re buying a computer early next month. We absolutely will not buy a used or refurbished machine after having really bad experience twice. We are in our 60s and are not gamers. So my question is, are these laptops new and what kind of warranty does it come with? We’re looking to keep the price under $500. Mostly all we do is google and email. Again it doesn’t mention if these are new or used. Maybe you could send me a link for new computers only if you would. Lastly is there an extended warranty, if not maybe we should consider best buy or Walmart. Thanks.

    1. Hi,

      Most of the laptops listed here are new and the ones that are refurbished are mentioned with the “Certified Refurbished” tag. We don’t recommend people used or old laptops here.

      Anyways, I would recommend you to buy this Acer Aspire E 15 laptop for yourself. It costs $379.99 on Amazon right now and it comes with 1 year of warranty and 90 days of software support.

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