Best cheap gaming laptop

Gaming & Accessories

Cheap gaming laptops are an affordable and convenient way to play your favorite games on the go while still getting the same computing power as gaming consoles and lower-tier PCs.

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Which cheap gaming laptop is best? 

There is a lot to consider when looking for a gaming laptop. Because gaming is such an expensive hobby, laptop price is a top consideration for most buyers. However, gaming laptops do not have to cost a fortune, and it is possible to find one that is cheap but still with the power you need. 

To find the best cheap gaming laptop, you must know what you want out of your device. There are many different types that offer different pros and cons, like processing power and screen size. Once you decide on the features you need, there are plenty of high-quality laptops that will meet your budget. 

What to keep in mind when buying a cheap gaming laptop

Gaming laptops are much different than traditional laptops because they offer faster processing speeds, more memory and better graphics. While your budget may be your main consideration, it’s important to think about other aspects, such as graphics cards, screen size and cooling systems.

Best laptop graphics card for gaming 

Graphics cards, or GPUs, are the lifeblood of any gaming computer, and they determine whether your system will have a smooth look and feel while gaming. If you are a serious gamer looking for an inexpensive laptop that doesn’t skimp on power, you’ll need to look for higher-grade graphics cards, like the ones from Nvidia. Nvidia GeForce graphics cards have consistently outperformed competitors like AMD. 

Laptop screen size

If you’re looking for a gaming laptop and you’re a gamer-on-the-go, screen size is especially important. Most gaming laptops have a 15-inch or 17-inch screen size, so you might consider a more travel-friendly laptop with a smaller 14-inch screen size for portability. Displays are measured in hertz, which indicates how many frames per second (FPS) a screen can handle. The higher the hertz, the higher the frames and the better image quality your game will have. 

Gaming laptop cooling system

Unlike traditional gaming PCs, gaming laptops don’t have the open space to provide the ideal airflow needed to cool the system. Therefore, cooling systems are very important. A good cooling system will prevent critical components like the CPU and graphics cards from overheating and becoming damaged. 

Best cheap gaming laptop

HP Pavilion Gaming 15

HP Pavilion Gaming 15

What you need to know: This is a great option if you want to game at 1080p resolution. Also included is a powerful thermal cooling system that keeps the laptop from overheating during long gaming sessions.  

What you’ll love: This is one of the cheapest base models available with tons of customizable configurations. 

What you should consider: The lackluster 60-hertz display means your games won’t process as many frames as other models, which leads to slightly worse graphics. 

Where to buy: Sold by HP

ASUS Tuf Dash F15 Gaming Laptop

ASUS Tuf Dash F15 Gaming Laptop

What you need to know: The 240-hertz monitor combined with a powerful GeForce RTX 3070 mobile graphics card makes for smooth overall gameplay.

What you’ll love: The white model is beautifully designed, featuring light gray accents and a stunning island-green backlit keyboard. 

What you should consider: This model has no webcam, which may deter those looking to use this laptop for both work and play. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

MSI Alpha 15

MSI Alpha 15

What you need to know: This gaming laptop from MSI is capable of reaching triple-digit frame rates. This can lead to a stunning image quality in games like “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” and “League of Legends.”

What you’ll love: The premium design features a multi-colored RGB backlit keyboard for extra flare. The fast AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor combined with a 144-hertz full HD display makes for smooth overall gameplay. 

What you should consider: Some users report the laptop is not as lightweight as they would prefer, but it is still portable. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Acer Nitro 5

Acer Nitro 5

What you need to know: With one of the cheapest starting prices on the list, this laptop still offers surprisingly strong computing power. Complete with a Ryzen 5 4600H processor, you’ll easily reach 60 frames per second in certain popular titles. 

What you’ll love: The Nitro 5 makes for a great gaming laptop and comes with built-in Alexa, making it a good choice for multitasking gamers.

What you should consider: With only a 256GB SSD, storage is limited. Furthermore, there is no SD slot, so uploading content on this device will be difficult.

Where to buy: Sold by Acer and Amazon

Dell G5 15 SE

Dell G5 15 SE

What you need to know: The Dell G5 is relatively inexpensive and has high enough specs to get the job done for most gaming titles. 

What you’ll love: If you’re looking for a gaming laptop that doesn’t scream “gamer,” this is the one for you. The design is stylish, yet discreet compared to other gaming laptops.

What you should consider: Even with a 144-hertz display, you won’t be able to generate that high of a refresh rate on top-tier games. This can make for less than desirable gameplay. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i

What you need to know: The IdeaPad is a solid option in the cheap gaming laptop market, saving you money in many areas, compared to Lenovo’s higher-tier Legion brand.

What you’ll love: The installed ethernet port allows you the option for a faster, more stable connection when plugged in directly to a modem.

What you should consider: Like many other options in this price range, the graphics capabilities leave a lot to be desired — especially for the slightly higher price. 

Where to buy: Sold by Lenovo 

MSI GF65 Thin

MSI GF65 Thin

What you need to know: This is MSI’s answer to the MacBook Air, but for gamers. As the name suggests, the GF65 is less than an inch thick and weighs about 4 pounds, making it an ideal choice for travel. 

What you’ll love: The powerful Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card can deliver stunning graphics on the 144-hertz 1080p display. 

What you should consider: The design is rather plain with chunky bevels and a red-backlit keyboard that isn’t RGB friendly. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300

What you need to know: While the Helios 300 comes in at a slightly higher price than its competitors, in this case, you get what you pay for.

What you’ll love: With the higher price comes incredible specs like a 10th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card. With this computing power alongside the 144-hertz display, you have a true gaming machine.

What you should consider: The price of the Helios comes in at a higher cost than others in the cheap gaming laptop market.

Where to buy: Sold by Acer and Amazon

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Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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