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The best cheap gaming laptops to buy right now
Great gaming laptops don’t have to be expensive. Whether you have a tight budget or can’t bear to spend thousands of dollars, there are a plethora of budget gaming laptops that will suit your needs.
What is “cheap,” though? Of course, the answer is relative, but we believe anything at around $1,000 or less can be considered affordable in the world of gaming laptops. We’ll stick to those price points, but there are some great options for less than a grand, just in case you feel like that much money is a bit too much. We’ll also order the options from pricier to most affordable, so you can quickly move to your preferred price range.
Also, keep in mind that some of these laptops are on discount at the time of this writing. They might move over the $1,000 threshold if the sales end.
How to pick the right cheap gaming laptop
Finding the right computer for your specific needs can be challenging. There are a lot of specs, features, and other factors to consider. Since we’re focusing on price, though, we would say the most important factor is your budget. Remember, this list of the best cheap gaming laptops is organized by price, with the most expensive open on top, and the last one being the most affordable. Find out what your budget is and make a decision accordingly.
You’ll also want to consider looks. After all, chances are each of you use computers for different reasons. If the PC will sit in a room, or casual environments, you can go all out with RGB lighting and gaming aesthetics. If you need to take your laptop to work or business meetings, you may want to pick one of the best cheap gaming laptops with a more traditional design.
Of course, specs matter too. No computer on this list comes with anything lower than an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 chipset. These are good-performing processors. If you’re often gaming or performing resource-intensive tasks, you might want to look for something more high-end, like an Intel Core i7 or Ryzen 7.
Also read: The very best gaming laptops around
You can throw battery life out the window with most gaming laptops, but you have better chances of a full day of battery with computers that have no dedicated GPU. There’s only one on this list. Funny enough, it’s also the most expensive!
Since this is for gaming, the screen also matters. You’ll want at least a 1080p definition, and as high a refresh rate as possible. Because these are cheap gaming laptops, you don’t get industry-leading display technology, but most get pretty good visuals.
The best cheap gaming laptops
Editor’s note: We’ll add and remove cheap gaming laptops to this list as new machines are released or updated with tweaks.
Razer laptops are well-designed, powerful, and come with a bunch of amazing features. Sounds expensive, right? Razer laptops tend to be very costly, but the Razer Book is their cheapest offering. It’s just a hair under $1,000, making it the best premium gaming laptop you can get on the cheap.
The Razer Book is great, featuring an all-metal chassis that will look great anywhere. You can’t geat raw power and a premium design for under $1,000, though. There are arguably much more powerful cheap gaming laptops on this list, as it doesn’t come with discrete graphics.
More: The best Razer laptops
That said, the lack of a dedicated GPU doesn’t mean you can’t game. The rest of the specs are still good. The base version comes with an 11th generation Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. You’ll also get a 13.4-inch 1080p screen with a 60Hz refresh rate. Additionally, the Intel Iris integrated graphics card is pretty good for some casual gaming. You can always get a Razer Core external GPU enclosure if you want to go all out, though.
In our review we found performance to be great, the display was bright and crisp, and battery life is stunning. You get an RGB backlit keyboard too!
MSI has long been known for making great cheap gaming laptops, and the MSI GF65 is an excellent example of that. We like recommending the version with the Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU. This is the only device on this list of the best cheap laptops with a 3060 GPU. None of the others beat this laptop’s video card, so if what you want is the most graphics performance you can get under $1,000, this is it.
This laptop’s MSRP is actually $1,099.99, but it’s almost always found discounted at $999.99, and we’ve seen it go as low as $849.99. The device features a 15.6-inch Full HD screen with a 144Hz refresh rate. While the build quality isn’t as good as the competition, you get a lot in other departments.
HP Omen 16-c0011dx
Another laptop that’s usually much more expensive but often found on a discount is the HP Omen 16-c0011dx, and it’s a great alternative. Usually $1,329.99, you can currently get this laptop for $999.99. It’s also one of the few laptops on this list to feature an AMD processor.
This device features an AMD Ryzen 7 chip, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti. The 16.1-inch screen is pretty large, and it features a 1080p resolution. It’s a great overall gaming laptop, and it’s certainly worth more than what you’ll pay for it.
Lenovo Legion 5
Here’s another option for those looking to get a cheap gaming laptop with an AMD Ryzen 7 processor. Additionally, you’ll get 8GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and an NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti GPU. The design is also pretty nice, as the laptop is mainly made of aluminum. You get a colorful backlit keyboard with RGB lighting.
Related: The best Lenovo phones
The display features a 15.6-inch panel with a Full HD resolution. What really makes this laptop special is the various ports on the sides, as well as the back. These include an Ethernet port, HDMI out, four USB ports, two USB-C connections, and a couple DisplayPort outputs.
If this sounds like a more expensive laptop, it’s because it actually is. The MSRP is $1,199.99, but you can usually find it at $949.99.
ASUS TUF FX706HE
ASUS is a trusted brand in the gaming industry, and the ASUS TUF FX706HE is definitely one of the best cheap gaming laptops you can find under $1,000. It’s actually often found on discount under $900, making this a crazy deal.
This device is also ideal for those who actually want a larger screen, as it features a 17.3-inch panel with Full HD definition and 144Hz refresh rate. The laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5 chipset, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and an NVIDIA RTX 3050 TI video card.
Of course, you’ll get a backlit keyboard, but the differently colored WASD buttons also add a nice touch for gamers. And while the design isn’t as garish as other gaming laptops, you can definitely tell it’s not a typical computer.
Dell G15 Ryzen Edition
Dell is actually a very important brand in the gaming industry, but the main brand isn’t the one taking the spotlight. It’s usually Dell’s sub-brand Alienware that takes all the attention, but there are some great cheap gaming laptops coming from Dell too. We like the Dell G15 Ryzen Edition.
As the name entails, the device comes with a Ryzen 7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and an RTX 3050 Ti GPU. The base configuration comes with a 256GB SSD, as well as a 15.6-inch display with a Full HD definition and a 120Hz refresh rate.
It’s a powerful device, and it’s currently priced under $850. That’s a really nice price to pay for all these features.
HP Victus 16-d0023dx
If you care for looks, the HP Victus is one of the best cheap gaming laptops around. It’s sleek and much more streamlined than most other gaming computers. In fact, it almost looks like a regular laptop, so you could probably take it to work with no one batting an eye.
Don’t mistake the common looks for an ordinary laptop, though. This is a pretty powerful machine, with an Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and an RTX 3050 GPU. The 16.1-inch display features a 1080p screen.
Alternatives: Take a look at these 2-in-1 laptops
The MSRP sits comfortably at $899.99, so there is no need for a discount. It would be nice to get an offer, though, and chances are they will eventually come, so you might get an even better deal if you’re patient.
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i
Prices continue to get lower, and now we’re done with the NVIDIA RTX 3000 series. Instead, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i features a GTX 1650. It’s not as powerful, but it can still run games at pretty good settings.
Read more: The best laptops for work and play
Other specs include an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. The screen is reasonably large at 15.6 inches, and the panel has a 1080p resolution. The design is very simplified, which is a common characteristic of cheaper gaming computers. It looks pretty nice and clean, though.
Acer Nitro 5
Things start getting real affordable with the Acer Nitro 5. While the MSRP is $779.99, this device is often on special, and right now you can get it for $699.99. You don’t lose much in terms of specs either.
Next: The best Acer laptops
Packed inside you’ll still find an 11th-generation Intel Core i5 and 8GB of RAM. You also get a GTX 1650 dedicated GPU, and the 15.6-inch Full HD screen has a 144Hz refresh rate. Those specs are impressive for a computer with such a low price tag, making this one of the best cheap gaming laptops around.
HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop
HP Pavillion Gaming Laptops start at a mere $599.99. Aside from the gaming aesthetics, which we know many of you love, you’ll get pretty good specs too. At least considering how little these cost.
For that money, you get a 15.6-inch 1080p 60Hz display, an AMD Ryzen 5 processor, and NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. You also get a USB-C port (not Thunderbolt 3), three USB-A 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, an ethernet port, and an audio jack. The laptop also has 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SDD.
It’s sturdy, the green accents aren’t overwhelming, and like the previously mentioned HP Omen, this budget gaming laptop rocks Bang & Olufsen speakers.
Why you should consider open-box gaming laptops
Another option is to pick up an open box device. When customers return products or display models get taken down, retailers usually sell them at discounted prices. Companies like Amazon, Best Buy, Micro Center, and Newegg have a selection of open-box and refurbished devices that often get sold for hundreds of dollars off the sticker price.
Sometimes you may have to physically pick these options up in-store, or they may have some minor wear and tear. But, if you keep your eye out, a well-placed deal can save you even more off of your budget gaming laptop or land you something more premium within your budget.
If you really need to take your gaming experience to the next level, you should level up with one of the best gaming keyboards or mice. Additionally, try to keep your laptop cool with one of the best gaming laptop coolers around.