The best gaming laptops continue to improve with more advanced features, better designs, stronger internals, and even improved battery life. And in addition to those premium gaming laptops, budget gaming laptops are also reaping the rewards. You can now have cheap gaming laptops that chew quickly through modern titles at 1080p, and some can even deliver high frame rates while they’re on it.
Many of the best cheap gaming laptops manage to strike such a healthy balance between performance and affordability thanks to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 16 Series graphics processors, which deliver a high level of performance while having a modest power consumption that doesn’t make the laptop batteries moan under pressure. Even some high-end graphics processors have found their way to laptops for budget gaming.
Best Cheap Gaming Laptops
So, whether you are just looking for an affordable machine that can keep up with the occasional game or want to have a lot on a laptop that can deliver 1080p at 144fps, you will find something for you here.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
A thin and light gaming laptop with an exceptional battery life
For those who are looking for something slim and attractive, our choice is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. When it comes to the best gaming laptops, the Zephyrus is modest in white or gray with a minimalistic design. But with AMD’s Ryzen 4900HS and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q in our review unit, you get strong overall and gaming performance. It might not be the best performer on the market in terms of graphics performance, but it’s the best value for the money for most people.
The battery life is also exceptionally long for a gaming notebook, and the keyboard is clicking and comfortable. However, the fan sometimes turns off, even if you’re sitting on the desktop, and this system is not equipped with a built-in webcam.
Lenovo Legion Y545
A decent gaming laptop with a price of just over $1000
The Lenovo Legion Y545 offers strong gaming and overall performance with a subdued, business-like look – all at an affordable price. With an Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti GPU and an Intel Core i7 CPU, the Legion Y545 is the best low-cost gaming laptop that keeps its competitors at bay. Instead of a flashy light show, Lenovo opted for a sophisticated, subtle design that makes it fit in an office environment or a LAN party.
The laptop’s discreet Nvidia graphics chip delivers a surprising amount of power, with above-average results. And if you’re not gaming, the laptop’s Core i7 processor is more than capable of creating spreadsheets, making light video edits, and, of course, watching movies on the beautiful 1080p screen. And despite the price, the laptop also delivers a comfortable keyboard and excellent audio. In short, it’s one of the best cheap gaming laptops.
Dell G5 15 SE
Excellent gaming laptop performance for a budget price
If you’re looking for an affordable but well-prepared gaming laptop, the Dell G5 15 SE 2020 is worth considering. Its un-flashy name hides a highly capable machine clad in a rather neat and modest chassis. And despite its price, it can keep up with some more expensive gambling laptops, especially at 1080p. You can expect very playable framerates in the form of Shadow of the Tomb Raider when running at maximum settings.
Dell has chosen to deal with an all AMD configuration, with a Ryzen 5 4600H or 4800H taking care of the processor tasks, and the Radeon RX 5600M taking care of the graphics. With up to 16GB RAM and 1 TB of SSD space, the Dell G5 15 SE 2020 is a highly capable gaming laptop. You will have to pay $1,049 for the best specifications, but that price also gives you a fast 144Hz refresh rate display. A plastic case may not scream ‘premium,’ but it still looks pretty sharp and can even perform double tasks as a powerful work machine when needed.
HP Pavilion Gaming 15
Stellar performance and battery life on a budget
HP Pavilion Gaming 15 is an entry-level gaming laptop with a powerful AMD Ryzen 5 4600H and an Nvidia GeForce GPU, featuring a nimble SSD and excellent battery life, all packaged in an eye-catching, freely portable design. The combination of specification, power, and endurance earned the laptop a place on our best gaming laptops under $1000.
The Pavilion 15 isn’t for relying on because it’s a budget system. It has some powerful specifications, which means the notebook can play games at reasonable frame rates. And with nearly 6 hours of battery life, it has the stamina to spare. It also stays pretty cool during gaming. Still, if you’re looking for a surprisingly powerful entry-level model at a great price, the HP Pavilion 15 should be at the top of your list.
Asus ROG G531GT
Thin and light gaming laptop
If you’re willing to add some weight to your gaming laptop, the ROG G531GT offers an excellent set of specifications for the money. Although the G531GT often drops below $1,000, it features a six-core Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. These are precisely the kind of specifications you need to look for in a modern laptop. This ROG also comes with the same GTX 1650, which you’ll find is the standard for gaming laptops in this price range. The G7 is slimmer and leaner, but the extra RAM and storage space provides some additional value.
Strong performance for the price
The MSI GF63 is designed for people who want to play but don’t want to spend a fortune on it. You get a reliable performance from the Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia graphics. It offers excellent performance at a reasonable price, which allows you to play most modern games at low settings. It is a perfect choice for the best cheap gaming laptops.
But don’t sleep, the MSI can play most modern games thanks to the Nvidia GeForce 1050 Ti GPU that is housed in it. However, its strongest point is the Core i7 CPU, which makes it a step ahead of the competition. The GF63 is a solid laptop and offers excellent performance at a low price. However, this is a laptop for more casual gamers. People looking for more robust performance should look for a cheap gaming laptop with slightly more powerful specifications.
Acer Nitro 5
Another powerful laptop from Acer
Nitro 5 is yet another laptop from Acer in this list, and it comes from Acer’s one of the most popular Nitro series launched specifically for gaming. Speaking of design, it’s finished in black with a red accent, which makes it look as good as it performs. It features a 15.6-inch full-HD (1080p) IPS LED-backlit display that delivers stunning images from a wide-angle. It comes with a 9th Gen Intel Quad Core i5-9300Hprocessor paired with 16GB RAM. To take your gaming to the next level, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card is available.
As far as storage is your main concern, it comes with 256GB SSD drive, which may not be enough for many, but it allows you to upgrade the storage space through the available hard drive bay. To improve performance in intense work sessions, Acer CoolBoost technology features dual fans. And to provide a better multimedia experience, it features Waves MaxxAudio and a red-backlit keyboard. Overall, this is one of the best cheap gaming laptops.
Acer Predator Helios 300
The best value for money
The Predator Helios 300 is one of the most affordable laptops if you want to work on the Kali Linux system. We have now written about this laptop for multiple software, making it versatile for almost anything you would need on your laptop. It has a 15.6″ inch full-HD widescreen LED-Backlit IPS display machine with an exceptionally good looking backlit keyboard. To add more, it runs on Intel i7-10750H 6-Core Processor, which is an excellent experience in general.
It runs on 16GB DDR4 RAM, which seems to be an excellent gateway for Kali Linux. The storage capacity is about 512 GB NVMe SSD. If you want to put an extra HDD space or just another SSD, this laptop has an additional lock on the back panel. You can customize it as you like. To add more to the fantastic display, it features an incredible NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card with up to 6GB of GDDR5 memory.
Acer Aspire 7
Decent gaming and overall performance
Acer Aspire 7 is a powerful yet portable laptop with enough power to play titles like Far Cry 5 and Overwatch. We see the same processor in other devices on the list, an Intel’s Core i7-9750H. The processor has a clock speed of 2.6 GHz, but can Turbo Boost up to 4.5 GHz. The GeForce GTX 1050 comes with a total of 3GB VRAM, which is enough for casual gamers.
The combination of 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB makes this laptop a real performance beast. You don’t have to worry about lagging or huge rendering times when using high-end apps like Premier or Da Vinci Resolve. 512GB is also a fair amount of storage space. Overall, this is one of the best cheap gaming laptops under $1000.
MSI GF65 Thin
Thin and powerful gaming laptop
If you are someone who has to travel a lot, you prefer a portable gaming laptop. The MSI’s GF65 Thin is your perfect choice under $1000 if you are looking for impressive performance to play popular titles such as GTA V, gaming-grade hardware, and utility-oriented design. Like the devices mentioned above, this MSI laptop also uses an Intel Core i7-9750H, a base clock speed of 2.6 GHz.
You should also note that the processor can reach up to 4.5GHz on Turbo Boost. 6GB GDDR6 VRAM from NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti can also give you top-class graphics performance. One of the not-so-major parts of the laptop is the RAM and storage allocation. 8GB DDR4 RAM is enough for most games, but you need to limit the quality to the basic settings. On the contrary, MSI has 512GB of full SSD storage, which makes a huge difference.
The company has a super-cool display included with the package. The 15.6-inch full-HD (1080p) display has a 120Hz refresh rate, apart from the 1920 x 1080 resolution. In combination with the thin bezels on both sides, the panel provides a stunning and immersive gaming experience. Overall, this is one of the best cheap gaming laptops.