A cheap gaming laptop is the dream of everyone who loves PC games, needs the portability of a laptop, but can’t afford to pay $2,000 for the privilege. Fortunately, as top-of-the-line gaming laptops have advanced, it has also become possible to find a cheap gaming laptop with better performance for the price than ever before.
A cheap gaming laptop doesn’t have to be embarrassingly poor quality or a marginal performer anymore. You can get a cheap model with a 7th-Gen Intel processor and a mid-range NVIDIA GeForce GPU for around $700, whereas not too long ago, it would have been well over $1,000.
You still need to know what to look for. What should you consider when buying a cheap gaming laptop?
Between the CPU and graphics processor (GPU), you need to have enough power to run processing-intensive games. If any gaming laptop you’re considering doesn’t have at least a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, you’re probably going to experience multiple episodes of disappointment. While the GPU is what gives you the power to display complex graphics, shackling the laptop with a slower CPU is going to show up in your game play.
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That being said, the laptop’s GPU is the business end of game processing power. Games require complex number crunching and fast performance in order to keep up with the demands of modern gaming. A fast GPU with gobs of video RAM will make all the difference in game performance.
Because laptops are more closed systems than towers, you are mostly married to whatever combination of CPU and GPU that comes integrated into the laptop. You should expect high-end gaming laptops will have high-end CPUs an GPUs and have correspondingly high prices.
The trick with a cheap gaming laptop is to get at least a Quad Core i5 processor and the fastest GPU and the most RAM you can afford.
If you’re unsure on where the GPU you’re considering ranks in the world of GPUs, go to NoteBook Check to find out.
The sweet spot for laptop memory these days is 8 GB, but getting a laptop with 16 GB may make a big difference in game play performance, particularly if you stream games. Probably as important as getting 8 GB of RAM is making sure that the laptop you’re buying is capable of being upgraded. You may not be able to afford 16 GB now, but if the laptop can’t be upgraded then you will never even have the choice to go to 16 GB or more no matter how much you want to.
Games on your PC load from your storage device and games may also read and load more information during the game. Because of that, you want the fastest drive you can afford to handle that information transfer. Your goal should be a solid state drive (SSD), but they are much more expensive than spinning hard drives that are storage bargains. Consider buying a laptop that has the capability to support both or one that can be swapped between a hard drive and an SSD. That way you can use a fast SSD just for games and a regular cheaper hard drive for other programs or you can start with a HDD and swap to an SSD when you can afford it.
One of the reasons you want a cheap gaming laptop is for its portability and the ability to play games untethered from an outlet. That makes battery life an important consideration. Battery life is a physics thing. If you want longer battery life, you need a bigger battery. Bigger batteries are heavier and take up more space. What is a reasonable number of hours for a battery to last for your game play? That will determine your requirement and then you can factor battery life into your choice. The model we looked at has a general use battery life up to 12 hours with a more realistic heavy gaming life of 6 hours or less.
It’s all about size and resolution when it comes to a laptop display. A larger display with better resolution will provide a better gaming experience.
Large displays have the drawback of making a laptop heavier, less portable, and more expensive.
Full HD resolution is completely reasonable for most games and is very affordable. 4K Ultra HD resolution still lacks content and is much more expensive.
Your best bet to hit the price you want for a cheap gaming laptop is to go with a mid-size screen like 15.6 inches with full HD 1080p resolution.
Arguably, the most commonly desired keyboard feature among gamers is backlighting. If you’re gaming in low light conditions, it’s nice to have. Beyond that having a keyboard that is responsive to the touch is very important.
If you’re lucky you will be able to hear sound from a laptop. Laptops are not known for their audio prowess. Your best bet is to get a nice set of headphones or external speakers. If you get headphones, your family will thank you.
Let’s face it, you’re probably not going to use the trackpad for gaming. Of course it depends on where you’re trying to play. If you don’t have room to use a mouse, then the trackpad will be the input device of necessity. A trackpad with plenty of features that can mimic a touchscreen will make using it for game play much better.
Good gaming laptops have more powerful CPUs and GPUs than general use and consequently they generate a lot of heat. Laptop are designed to remove that heat to protect the processors, but depending on how your use them, you may inadvertently block the airflow. To prevent damage to the laptop, you may want to use it on a tray or buy a laptop cooling pad.
We searched gaming forums, manufacturer sites, consumer sites, social media, customer review site, and retail sites to find the most popular and highly rated cheap gaming laptop.
Take a look at our choice and see if this budget gaming laptop is the best gaming laptop for your needs!
Cheap Gaming Laptop: Top Rated Entry-Level Budget Gaming Laptop
If you’re looking for a cheap gaming laptop, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-75MD 15.6-Inch Full HD Notebook in Obsidian Black is an excellent choice. It features a 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, a powerful mid-range NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics processor, a full 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of SSD storage. Its 15.6-inch Full HD widescreen display has LED backlighting for the best in game play graphics. In addition to all that it even has an integrated 8X DVD-Super Multi Double-Layer Drive and blazing fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi featuring MU-MIMO technology. Crafted for a clean and smooth look, its cross-hairline IMR finish gives a metallic visual effect with a soft tactile feel that makes it comfortable in your hands. It It has a unique undercut design on the front and rear edges that not only give it a slimmer look, but also make it easier to open with just one hand. This budget gaming laptop gives you more power, more battery life, and more gaming entertainment possibilities all while on the go.
Cheap Gaming Laptop: Features
- 15.6-inch gaming laptop with a 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor with 4 MB of L3 cache and running at 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.5 GHz
- NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2 GB of DDR5 VRAM
- 8 GB of DDR4 Dual Channel RAM
- 15.6-inch Full HD 1080p widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio) LED-backlit LCD display supporting Acer Color Blast Technology
- Acer ColorBlast Technology more than 2X the colors of average laptops for more true-to-life images and Acer ExaColor improves the richness of colors by tuning color temperature and contrast value
- Display’s BluelightShield feature reduces blue-light emissions from the screen for less eye strain and reduced fatigue while gaming
- 256 GB SSD
- Acer’s Precision Touchpad gives you touchscreen-like accuracy and control
- 8X DVD-Super Multi Double-Layer drive (M-DISC enabled)
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi featuring MU-MIMO technology
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Gigabit internet
- Built-in HD Webcam (1280 x 720p) supporting High Dynamic Range (HDR)
- Acer True Harmony High Performance Sound System with two integrated stereo speakers delivers lifelike, rich audio through a one-of-a-kind speaker design that limits audio distortion, produces amazing bass, and boosts volume
- 6-Cell Li-ion battery (2800 mAh) with up to 12-hours battery life
- Convenient compartment door makes it easy to upgrade the SSD and RAM
New USB Type-C port provides ultra-fast data transfers and quick device charging
- Weighs only 5.27 lbs.
- Windows 10 Home operating system
- 1 – USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps)
- 2 – USB 3.0 (one with power-off charging)
- 1 – USB 2.0
- 1 – USB C
- 1 – HDMI with HDCP support
- 1 – Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45
- 1 – SD card reader
- Fast 7th Gen processor
- Budget priced
- Surprisingly good audio
- High-quality construction and materials
- Touchy trackpad
- Vent on bottom could be problematic depending on surface
- Heavier than some
Cheap Gaming Laptop
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You don’t have to pay $1000 to get a passable gaming laptop that will give you a lot of enjoyment for most games. You can’t beat a gaming laptop for its portability and ease-of-use. We sincerely hope that this article has provided you with valuable information that helps you choose the best cheap gaming laptop for your needs!