Gaming is an expensive affair—there’s no denying it. A pro-game computer can be ridiculously pricey, especially when you factor in the cost of peripherals, external displays and gaming controllers. While desktops and top-of-the-class game laptops can be atrociously expensive, many brands have now come up with budget offerings.
Getting a gaming device in less than $1000 can be tricky. You must be prepared to sacrifice a few potentially important things like that fancy 4K monitor or a top-of-the-rung RTX graphics card with artificially enhanced imagery and real-time ray tracing.
Many cheap gaming laptops also tend to cut corners in build quality, resulting in poorly constructed hinges, faulty keyboards and boring displays.
That said, it is possible to find a budget-friendly gaming laptop that offers a good mix of reliability and performance. Leading tech giants have come up with affordable gaming solutions that don’t need you to burn a hole in your wallet.
The primary thing is to have your priorities set and pick a trustworthy product that doesn’t end up feeling like a cheap but useless purchase.
- Minimum Requirements in a Good Cheap Gaming Laptop
- Our Picks: Top Cheap Gaming Laptops 2020
- 1. Dell G5 15 SE – Best Dell Cheap Gaming Laptop
- 2. Lenovo Legion 5 – Best Lenovo Cheap Gaming Laptop
- 3. MSI Bravo 15 – Best MSI Cheap Gaming Laptop
- 4. ASUS TUF A15 – Best AMD Cheap Gaming Laptop
- 5. Acer Aspire 5 – Best Cheap Gaming Laptop
- 6. HP OMEN 15 – Best HP Cheap Gaming Laptop
- 7. Dell G3 15 3500 – Cheapest Gaming Laptop 2020
- 8. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i – Cheapest Lenovo Gaming Laptop
- 9. HP Pavilion Gaming 17 – Best 17 Inch Cheap Gaming Laptop
- 10. MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-252 – i7-9750H Cheap Gaming Laptop
- Closing Note
Minimum Requirements in a Good Cheap Gaming Laptop
Cheap or not, there are some compromises you should never make in a laptop dedicated to gaming. Here is a basic layout of the bare minimum to look for to avoid regretting your purchase decision in record time:
- Capable processor: You want at least an Intel Core i5 CPU to handle demanding titles. If you want to save some money, you can also get an AMD equivalent. It is important to choose well since you cannot upgrade your CPU as easily as the memory or storage.
- Competent graphics card: Get an NVIDIA GTX 1650 graphics card or above, depending on your budget. You will need this to ensure your content gets rendered satisfactorily.
- Ample memory and storage: At least 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD is essential. If you get little storage space, you will be in serious trouble stocking gaming paraphernalia that can easily take up 50GB or more. One option is to get secondary storage, such as an HDD or a cloud-based drive.
- Bright display: What good would a gaming laptop with a dull display be? You need at least an FHD monitor, ideally with IPS support. In-Plane Switching will allow you to play from different positions without compromising on the image quality.
Okay, is there anything you can skimp on when you want to keep your purse strings as tight as possible? Many users find they can do without a long battery life; most gaming laptops don’t offer much unplugged juice even when they are expensive.
You might also want to skip on features like per-key backlighting for the keyboard, as a single backlight with WASD keys can serve you well.
Our Picks: Top Cheap Gaming Laptops 2020
We have consolidated some of the finest gaming computers that don’t need you to rob a bank.
1. Dell G5 15 SE – Best Dell Cheap Gaming Laptop
That is not necessarily the case and the Dell G5 15 SE is one of the best examples of what a branded cheap gaming laptop is like.
But, the cheaper price point doesn’t necessarily mean that you compromise with the quality of the device. It is equipped with a 15.6” FHD anti-glare non-touch display with a screen resolution of 1080p.
As for the processor, the device is powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H Mobile Processor with Radeon graphics for effortless gaming without any complaints.
If you tend to stream online games more, this is the best option. The device is also programmed with 256GB SSD for storage and 8GB RAM for memory options.
In case you are wondering about the OS, it supports up to Windows 10 Pro 64-bit. It also has a backlit keyboard for heightened professional gaming feel.
2. Lenovo Legion 5 – Best Lenovo Cheap Gaming Laptop
The device has a very premium and sturdy design with an all-black casing for an expensive looking device.
It is also equipped with a standard 15.6” FHD IPS display with a screen resolution of 1080p and 60Hz refresh rate. It also comes with narrow bezels on the sides that help improve the screen to body ratio as well.
Alongside that, the combination of the 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H Processor along with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU that ensures improved productivity and performance for effortless gaming.
This is perfect for heavy duty gaming, especially because of the storage options. It is integrated with 256GB SSD for storage along with 8GB RAM for memory.
3. MSI Bravo 15 – Best MSI Cheap Gaming Laptop
Coming round to the next option, it is one of the bestsellers from MSI. The MSI Bravo 15 is everything the brand stands for – effortless gaming experience and durable design.
But, it comes with a very affordable price point, which is quite unlikely when you come across an MSI device.
This gaming laptop is equipped with a 15.6” FHD IPS display with thin bezels on the side. It also packs in a screen resolution of 1080p and 120 Hz refresh rate for smoother frame display while playing.
The powerful AMD Ryzen 5 4600H processor along with AMD Radeon RX5500M GPU provides with true to life colors and cinematic experience beyond your expectations.
The device also ups the game with the 512GB SSD and 8GB RAM for storage and memory options, which is a lot more than what you get in some of the standard gaming laptops in the same price range.
4. ASUS TUF A15 – Best AMD Cheap Gaming Laptop
Available at an under-$1000 price, the 15.6” ASUS TUF A15 gaming device is a good mix of performance and sustainability.
It is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics.
Since the memory is easy to upgrade, you can personalize the system to your requirements without much of a hassle.
On one charge, this 5.07lbs computer runs unplugged for up to 8.7 hours—a good deal for anyone who wishes to play on the go.
Build-wise too, it is a reliable computer, adhering to military-standard construction (MIL-STD-810H) and supporting torture-testing for the keyboard up to 20-million keystrokes.
Keeping the inner components cool and functioning at their optimum is anti-dust technology and self-cleaning fans.
Gamers demand an engaging audio-visual experience, and this device delivers well. You get DTS:X Ultra audio with high-fidelity sound and an FHD monitor that has a refresh rate of 144Hz.
5. Acer Aspire 5 – Best Cheap Gaming Laptop
Priced at less than $650, the 15.6” Acer Aspire 5 is one of the most budget-friendly gaming laptops you can purchase.
It comes with an Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, a 512GB SSD, 8GB RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics.
This is a comfortable configuration for casual to moderate gaming. Thanks to the FHD display with IPS support and Acer Color Intelligence, all your content gets rendered brightly and accurately.
There’s even a blue-light filter designed to reduce eye strain. What about the sound output? Well, the Acer TrueHarmony technology ensures superior audio with close attention to volume and bass.
Acer has included plenty of connections in this good-looking 3.97lbs laptop with its stylish aluminum top cover.
You can avail of USB Type C ports, HDMI as well as Intel Wi-Fi 6. Plus, since it can run unplugged for up to 9.5 hours, traveling is convenient.
6. HP OMEN 15 – Best HP Cheap Gaming Laptop
Not only does the device come with all the latest features, it also sports an updated design for a comfortable gameplay.
Priced under $1000, the device comes equipped with a stunning 15.6” FHD display for crisp and clear visuals for smoother gameplay.
Not just that, the device is also powered by the 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU for effortless gaming experience without any complaints.
Pair that with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM for storage and memory and you have got yourself a beast for enjoying some of the latest heavy-duty games.
7. Dell G3 15 3500 – Cheapest Gaming Laptop 2020
With a sturdy all-metal chassis with the blue trimmings, this is one of those devices that you can’t do without.
For one of the cheapest prices for a gaming laptop, the device also comes equipped with a 15.6” FHD anti-glare LED-backlit display with a screen resolution of 1080p and a refresh rate of 60Hz.
As for the processor, the device is powered by the 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10300H processor along with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU for smoother gameplay and effortless online streaming without any buffer in between.
Lastly, the device is integrated with 256GB SSD along with 8GB DDR4 RAM for storage and memory.
8. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i – Cheapest Lenovo Gaming Laptop
The curved edges and the durable design make this a device worth looking into.
In case you do want some of the latest features, this device has got that covered for you as well. The 15.6” FHD display allows you to enjoy a smoother gameplay and visuals without any obstruction.
The device also comes with a combination of Intel Core i5-10300H processor with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU that has been programmed to allow you with an effortless gaming experience with crisp visuals for an improved gameplay.
Aside from that, this gaming notebook computer from Lenovo is also integrated with 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD along with 8GB RAM for smoother performance.
9. HP Pavilion Gaming 17 – Best 17 Inch Cheap Gaming Laptop
In case you want to enjoy some real time-tracing within a budget price, this device is hands down here to provide you with the best experience.
Unlike all the other ones, this one packs in a 17” FHD display for a bigger and better experience but within a budget.
It is powered by the 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10300H Processor along with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 to ensure effortless gameplay and realistic graphics.
The device has been programmed to provide you with a sustained gaming experience, even with some of the heavy-duty games include Fortnite and PUBG. It is integrated with 256GB SSD along with 8GB DDR4 RAM for storage and memory.
The device is secured with BIOS recovery and runs on Windows 10 Home operating system.
10. MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-252 – i7-9750H Cheap Gaming Laptop
It’s run by an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 8GB RAM (up to 64GB), a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA GTX1660 Ti graphics.
That’s enough processing prowess to support most modern AAA titles at satisfying settings. The display, built as per a thin-bezel design, is also vivid and engaging, perfect for both gaming and other multimedia-centric activities. Note: The monitor offers a refresh rate of 120Hz.
If you value portability, you will enjoy the lightweight build of this compact device: it weighs just 4.10lbs and is about 0.85” thin. You can easily slide it into a backpack and be good to go. A backlight keyboard with anti-ghosting and a long-lasting battery life of over seven hours further add to the mobility.
- Top 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000
- 10 Best ASUS Gaming Laptops 2020
- 10 Best MSI Gaming Laptops 2020
- Top 10 Best Laptops Under $500
The demand for cheap gaming computers is constantly on the upswing. Leading computing brands and tech giants like Asus, MSI and Dell have invested in building pocket-friendly gaming machines that come in at less than $1000.
In fact, some makers have managed to come up with devices that cost less than $700 but support some modern gaming titles. While it is natural to expect that some corners will be cut, the end experience is quite competent in many of these offerings.
While selecting a cheap gaming laptop, remember to prioritize what matters the most to you. Needs vary across audiences, and you don’t want to end up with a computer that doesn’t suit your lifestyle.
For instance, if you want to purchase a gaming laptop that lets you travel and play on the move, then the Acer Aspire 5 can be a brilliant choice. But those who value durability and sustainability might delight in the ASUS TUF A15. Likewise, your topmost concern might be audio output and sound quality or build and construction.
With prices falling and new models catering to specific audience demands, the gaming world just became more tempting than ever. See you in the arena.