10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $2000 2020
Who said fantastic gaming costs a bomb?
The computing landscape has come a long way from when gaming on a notebook was viewed with biting skepticism.
How could a compact device like a laptop support a demanding pursuit like gaming? And, even if it could, would the experience be enjoyable at all? Today, not only has gaming on a laptop taken the world by storm, but many fans swear by the portability and flexibility that comes with the experience.
No longer do you need to be tethered to a workstation or glued to your chair at home to delight in the joys of gaming. Enjoying the thrill and the adrenaline rush of defeating your foes on the arena is possible—and also affordable—on modern gaming laptops.
The rising competition and increasing demand for portable gaming have led to a favorable turn of events for the audience.
But here is the best part: many of these gaming devices are available at under $2000. (Yes, that is not bad at all for a gaming machine that lets you forget you are playing on a laptop!)
When NVIDIA announced the RTX card in late 2018, the gaming world was taken by storm. The newest addition to NVIDIA’s list of powerful GPUs promises the benefits of a whole-new architecture—Turing—and support for the fascinating technology of real-time ray tracing.
It also allows for graphics to be enhanced by artificial intelligence, all in all creating a compelling experience that is high on both performance and glitz.
Not surprisingly, many top laptop manufacturers instantly grabbed the opportunity to offer gaming laptops equipped with the RTX graphics card.
They also improved upon the specifications of these laptops (when modeled from existing versions) to accommodate smarter displays, more powerful CPUs, and sound systems that could rival the glamour of the graphics.
But while we are convinced that many top brands persevered to come up with offerings that could be easy on the customer’s wallet, not many seem to have succeeded.
If you are a gaming enthusiast—but of course you are, or you wouldn’t be here—you might be keen to experience the difference that an RTX GPU can make to your gameplay. Fortunately for you, some major laptop manufacturers have managed to create products that, while not inexpensive, come in at under $2000.
This is a (somewhat) attainable price point for ardent gamers who are eager to play the latest, RTX-special versions of their favorite games. Remember—it is also an investment that will get you a ticket to the world of uninterrupted 4K gaming and be the rightful promotion from your familiar GTX graphics card.
- Why Choose a Gaming Laptop With NVIDIA RTX 2020
- Is It Worthwhile Getting an Affordable Gaming Laptop?
- Choosing a Screen Size for Gaming
- Must-Have Features in Budget Gaming Laptops
- Our Picks: 10 Best Gaming Laptop Under 2000 of 2020
- 1. ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GU502GW-AH76
- 2. MSI GE75 Raider-286 Gaming Laptop
- 3. Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-75DE
- 4. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW-AB76
- 5. Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-7746
- 6. ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR III (15/17-inch)
- 7. MSI GS65 Stealth-483
- 8. Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop
- 9. Alienware M15 AWYA15-7947BLK-PUS
- 10. HP Omen 17-cb0090nr Gaming Laptop
- Enough Said
Why Choose a Gaming Laptop With NVIDIA RTX 2020
If you have been a gaming aficionado for a while, chances are you already have a top-notch gaming laptop or desktop, perhaps with NVIDIA GTX graphics. The apple of the previous-GPU generation’s eye, an NVIDIA GTX card delivers fantastic performance suitable for most contemporary games. Why then must you opt for a gaming laptop with NVIDIA RTX—considerably more expensive than its older sibling? Well, there are three concrete reasons we find hard to counter:
- Superior gaming technology, especially real-time ray tracing: There is no match to this. Currently, the NVIDIA RTX card is the only GPU that provides real-time ray tracing, or the ability to make in-game lighting mimic the behavior of light in real life. The shadows, special effects and glamour you will experience with this are unparalleled. Many leading game makers like Mundfish (Atomic Heart) and EA/DICE (Battlefield V) have already announced new game versions that will employ this technology. So, it is an option between missing out and jumping on.
- Graphics enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI): Once again, NVIDIA RTX cards fine-tune gaming graphics using AI. The GPU uses DLSS (deep learning super sampling) to provide superior graphics that elevate any gaming experience.
- 4K gaming and playing at the highest frame rates: This is where even toughened GTX cards tend to falter. While they are capable of running most AAA games at moderate settings, you will find a palpable uptick when you play using an RTX card. The latter claims to up the performance by six times, thanks to its superior memory bandwidth, a greater number of cores, and unique architecture.
Is It Worthwhile Getting an Affordable Gaming Laptop?
Short answer: yes, but as long as you define “affordable” with clear disclaimers. Long answer: you can find amazing gaming laptops under $2000. However, finding equally competent notebooks at less than $1000 will be daunting and rather disappointing.
Gaming is an enthralling experience and deserves more than a gaudy chassis, ill-built components, and constant breakdowns. Affordable gaming laptops make sense only when they offer speed, efficiency and durability.
Many brands also provide upgrade options to allow you to expand the memory and the storage when your requirements change.
Another major advantage of gaming on a laptop is easy access to communities. You can quickly tap into tips on how to ace a particularly difficult level.
Rule of thumb: do not get a gaming machine that cuts too many corners only to boast of an attractive price.
Ideally, the laptop of choice should support external displays, mice, gaming consoles, etc. Certain things are deal-breakers, such as a poor heat dissipation mechanism and shoddy build.
Simply put, if you focus single-mindedly on your wallet, you might be left with a laptop that neither supports any AAA games nor works for standard pursuits like multimedia editing or business tasks.
After all, there is only so much you can compromise when it comes to settings. Playing immersive games like Fortnite on the lowest settings can quickly cease being fun.
Choosing a Screen Size for Gaming
An important consideration while selecting the right gaming companion is settling on the screen size. In the marketplace today are multiple options spanning various screen sizes—from sleek and compact to huge and imposing. The most common sizes are 15.6” and 17”, although you can also find some 14” and 18” systems.
Most gamers find the 15.6” size a good balance of power and portability. It offers plenty of real estate in which to render your content, but it is not so heavy as to limit your traveling and outdoor gaming marathons.
Professional gamers and those who intend to play out of stationary settings might prefer the 17” screen size. Undoubtedly, there is much more space and oodles of glamour. Remember, though, the larger area comes with added bulk and, often, a heftier price tag.
Along with the screen size, you also need to consider the resolution. This will determine the level of detail you experience on the monitor.
A satisfactory resolution will minimize the loss of detail—something that can make or break a game on the battlefield. Even on a smaller screen, do not settle for a resolution lower than 1920 x 1080. You can opt for a 2560 x 1440 resolution as well, depending on your requirements.
A 4K monitor (3840 x 2160) can truly mesmerize audiences, but it makes sense to invest in one only if your laptop also offers an RTX graphics card.
Must-Have Features in Budget Gaming Laptops
Coming in at less than $2000 is quite a feat for gaming laptops that do not compromise on performance. When you are out shopping, ensure your chosen pick meets the following criteria:
- A CPU that can support AAA games: Look for an Intel Core i7 processor or above to ensure that you can comfortably play modern AAA games. A powerful processor that supports overclocking will lend you the speed and efficiency you require to facilitate a demanding pursuit like gaming. (You can also look for an equivalent AMD Ryzen processor. These CPUs are great at multitasking and are also less expensive than their Intel counterparts.)
- Ample memory and storage: Along with a speedy processor, you should also ensure that the laptop is equipped with at least 16GB RAM. Anything under this will affect the smoothness with which your games get executed. As for storage, many gaming laptops in this price range offer SSD (solid-state drive) storage of around 512GB. An SSD provides many advantages over a traditional hard disk drive (HDD), especially in terms of read/write speed, the heat generated, and longevity. Some laptops also offer combination storage where you can enjoy the benefits of a high-speed SSD for gaming and good old HDD for other data like photos and videos.
- Reliable heat dissipation mechanism: This is critical for a gaming laptop to be sustainable over time. Significant heat is generated during gameplay, which needs to be dissipated efficiently to prevent slowdown and eventual wear and tear of internal components. Modern laptops employ innovative technologies like anti-dust tunnels and aeroblade fans to dissipate heat and keep things cool.
- A dedicated graphics card: You cannot do without a superior GPU if you intend to dive deep into the world of virtual reality. Gaming demands a high level of detail, vis-à-vis colors and special effects, and this is not attainable through integrated graphics.
You can get an NVIDIA GTX card; it renders most gaming content just fine. However, some under-$2000 laptops also offer NVIDIA RTX cards. These cards open up the world of real-time ray tracing—a rewarding technology that helps in-game light to mimic the behavior of light in real life. Not surprisingly, it makes a tremendous difference to games that involve multiple effects and transitions. RTX cards also employ artificial intelligence to enhance the imagery, thus delivering a further upswing to your play.
- Visually rewarding display: Look for an FHD monitor that supports IPS (In-Plane Switching) and has an anti-glare panel. IPS compatibility helps you to view the proceedings from different positions without running into distortion. This wide-angle viewing is beneficial to gamers who don’t wish to crowd right in front of the monitor, especially when playing in groups. An anti-glare panel can be very helpful in lowering eye-strain that can otherwise develop after long hours of gaming.
Many modern laptops utilize a narrow-bezel design for the monitor. This optimizes the available screen space, limits external interference, and creates a more compelling experience. If visual immersion matters to you, seek out a laptop with a high screen-to-body ratio (greater than 80%).
Another crucial aspect of the display is the refresh rate. You need a rating of 144Hz for optimal performance. This parameter decides the number of times your monitor refreshes in a second. Preferably, you also want a swift response time (3ms is terrific). Not to be confused with the refresh rate, this is the number of milliseconds a pixel takes to change colors. Note: It is rare to find an under-$2000 notebook with a refresh rate of 240Hz, but who can tell? Perhaps we will get there soon!
- Distortion-free audio: It is often mistakenly believed that laptops skimp on quality audio due to a lack of ample space. However, gamers cannot do without superior sound, especially when sound effects form the crux of many a game. Look for a laptop that delivers high-quality audio. Bang & Olufsen is a reliable audio provider, guaranteeing an immersive auditory experience. If you intend to use your machine for VR (virtual reality), you should also check the support for surround sound. The audio output through the headphones must live up to expectations.
- Sturdy build and construction: A high-quality gaming machine should exude the power it hosts within. A reliable build adds to the portability and dependability of your laptop, ensuring that you can travel with it without the fear of damage. A good guideline to look for is military-standard construction (torture tested in varying temperatures, altitudes, etc.).
Note: You will be hard-pressed to find ultra-portable gaming laptops in this price range without compromising on performance. However, options exist in the weight range of 4–5lbs.
- Sufficient device support and connectivity options: Gamers require a full array of connections, including USB ports, HDMI, display ports, and support for Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Getting a laptop thus equipped guarantees that you can plug into any devices or peripherals you may need, such as keyboards, external display, gaming controllers, and mice. For online gaming aficionados, a strong and consistent internet signal is a prerequisite—something that the latest Wi-Fi standard (e.g., 802.11ac) can facilitate. Some laptops also provide support for Killer DoubleShot Pro that helps optimize the available bandwidth for your gameplay.
- A gaming-friendly keyboard: The keyboard is arguably the most frantically used component of a laptop, subject to animated play sessions and cutthroat competition. In the under-$2000 bucket, you can find excellent RGB keyboards with per-key backlighting. The lighting is programmable and supports a host of brilliant colors for added razzmatazz. You should also check that the key-travel distance is comfortable for you. Many manufacturers torture test the keyboards for keystrokes; keystroke durability of 20-million is a great metric to seek.
The above features are mandatory in a quality gaming laptop. Apart from these, you can customize your purchase based on individual needs. For instance, not many notebooks in this league offer much unplugged usage.
Gaming is a draining pursuit for the processing compartment, and deriving much battery backup is difficult. However, some computers do have a battery life of around 5–8 hours.
If you wish to indulge in gaming on the go, you can check out line-ups by Acer and HP. Other features on offer are the latest innovations like eye-tracking technology (e.g., Tobii). Whether or not you choose to embrace them will depend on your degree of passion for the arena, not to forget the available budget.
Our Picks: 10 Best Gaming Laptop Under 2000 of 2020
The marketplace is crowded with gaming laptops of all shapes and sizes, with most top manufacturers deeply invested. The competitive environment constantly breeds innovation—a situation that is very favorable for audiences.
From Asus to Acer, Dell to HP, you can find gaming computers that allow you to play exciting games like PUBG and Fortnite like a dream. Who would now believe that not too long ago, the potential of gaming laptops was viewed with rampant apprehension?
We have consolidated some of the finest picks for you that offer the moon but don’t cost more than $2000. Quite the dream!
1. ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GU502GW-AH76
This under-$2000 device boasts of powerful Intel Core i7-9750H processing, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics, and a refresh rate of 240Hz.
The RAM support is 16GB, while the available storage is as much as 1TB (SSD). It comes with a Pantone validated display that brings greater color accuracy to your gameplay.
Playing on this laptop is an engaging experience, thanks to the screen-to-body ratio of 81% made possible by the narrow bezel. Plus, the FHD monitor is fitted with an IPS panel so that you can enjoy smooth visuals from multiple viewing positions.
ASUS has persevered to ensure sustainable gaming with an effective cooling mechanism and adjustable fan modes.
This laptop employs anti-dust technology to reduce the wear and tear of inner components. At 4.4lbs and 0.74”, this is a highly portable device, suitable for outdoor gaming endeavors.
2. MSI GE75 Raider-286 Gaming Laptop
This computer runs on an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
You can enjoy scintillating NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 graphics as also a narrow-bezel visual experience. The FHD monitor has a wide color gamut of 100% sRGB and 72% NTSC, which brings vividness and detail to your gaming sessions.
The refresh rate of 144Hz lets you make the most of games with frequent transitions and multiple special effects.
MSI is famous for its hallmark construction, and this Raider is no less glorious. A reflective diamond-cut trim and 3D dragon-spine design come together to help the laptop hold its own in a crowd. The red anodized finish is also charming, enabling this gamer to exude the power it holds within.
3. Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-75DE
The processing chamber consists of an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD—well-suited to AAA games.
On the display front, you get an FHD monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz and a response time of 3ms. The screen is quite bright at 300 nits and has a color gamut of 72% NTSC. Since this laptop has a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, you can enjoy features such as real-time ray tracing.
Acer is particularly focused on delivering a connected experience. It has equipped this laptop with Killer Gaming Network E2500 and Killer DoubleShot Pro Wireless-AX 1650. This is a blessing for lovers of online gaming competitions. Further facilitating an edge on the arena is the RGB-backlit keyboard with terrific customization options.
4. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW-AB76
It is powered by an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics.
This configuration is perfect for most modern AAA games. You get to enjoy an FHD display with a refresh rate of 144Hz, a color gamut of 100% sRGB, and a response time of 3ms. The performance is kept sustainable by the superior cooling mechanism, comprising 12V fans and anti-dust tunnels.
This laptop is also highly portable at 0.62” and 4.6lbs. Since its chassis is built from a military-grade magnesium alloy, you can comfortably carry it along without the risk of damage.
5. Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-7746
The 15.6” Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-7746 is a fine example, with its Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics, and Waves MAXXAudio sound.
Supporting the processor is 16GB RAM, along with a 512GB SSD. The monitor delivers a refresh rate of 144Hz, a brightness of 300 nits, and a fast response time of 3ms.
This Acer computer also offers a programmable RGB keyboard to elevate your gameplay. Also notable is the inclusion of Killer DoubleShot Pro for bandwidth maximization during gaming.
Bonus: Although this is an incredibly powerful gaming laptop, it can run unplugged for up to eight hours. This increases its portability quotient, which, at 5.51lbs and 0.7”, is already quite good.
6. ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR III (15/17-inch)
You get to unlock access to a cool Shadow Drive. Another spectacular provision is the RGB-backlit keyboard with 4-zone lighting (ASUS AURA). The Aura Sync light bar wrapped around the chassis makes your gaming experience truly phenomenal.
Driven by a ninth-gen Intel Core processor (up to i9-9880H), up to 32GB RAM, and NVIDIA RTX 2070 graphics with as much as 8GB of dedicated memory, this computer is perfect for top-of-the-class gaming sessions that don’t stop for anyone or anything.
The power is incredible and, thanks to the intelligent 3D-Flow-Zone design and anti-dust tunnels, so is the cooling. Note that the storage space on offer is a 1TB SSD in addition to 1TB SSHD (FireCuda).
We love how powerful this laptop looks! It has a sleek profile (1–1.03”) and a lightweight, gunmetal grey chassis (5.7lbs and 6.2lbs for the 15” and 17” models respectively). The design is an outcome of ASUS’s partnership with BMW Designworks Group.
The beauty, fortunately, transcends to the display. The 15” model offers a refresh rate of 240Hz (and a response time of 3ms)—a major improvement over the current troop of 144Hz computers and a blessing if you are looking to improve your reaction time.
Besides these stellar specs, the overall display is also quite competent. You get an FHD screen with a 100% sRGB color gamut and an IPS panel. Complementing the display is the sound—enhanced by the Smart Amp technology—that delivers greater bass and volume.
The laptop also offers several USB ports and an HDMI along with support for 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5, 2×2) and Bluetooth 5.0. The RangeBoost Wi-Fi is much stronger than you may have been used to which makes it a Godsend for those who like online gaming.
|ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR III Specs|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz - 4.5GHz)|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB) GDDR6|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 2666MHz|
|Storage||1TB SSHD (8GB Cache) FireCuda|
|Display||15.6/17.3-inch 240Hz FHD (1920 x 1080) 100% sRGB|
|Operating System||Windows 10 (64-bit)|
7. MSI GS65 Stealth-483
It has a 240Hz display that makes gaming at the highest frame rates fluid and absorbing. This laptop also boasts of a thin bezel design (4.9mm or 0.19”). The borders are so thin that the resulting screen-to-body ratio is as high as 82%. This makes all your gaming experiences a great deal more immersive.
This product is part of the MSI Stealth series and, like its peers, offers efficient performance. It is fueled by a ninth-gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
The latest-gen CPU adds considerably to the performance; the claims are up to 10% wins over the previous generation. Interestingly, this computer also delivers ample unplugged usage—almost eight hours—and then permits convenient charging using a slimmer power adapter. Neat!
The GPU—NVIDIA GeForce RTX2060—is top-notch, enlivening a captivating world of real-time ray tracing and graphics enhanced by artificial intelligence.
It helps that the rest of the display configuration lives up to the elegance of the RTX graphics. An FHD screen fitted with an IPS panel (and an anti-glare panel) does full justice to your content.
The response time is a bit disappointing when compared to some other options on this list; it stands at 8ms.
Looks-wise, you are likely to be impressed by all the gold doing the rounds. The sleek hinges are gold-trimmed, and the exhausts also use a golden design.
The glass touchpad—which, by the way, is 35% larger than in older models and supports 10+ gestures—sets off the gold beautifully.
The flip side? This device is rather heavy at 6.98lbs, although the profile is lean at 0.7”. Perhaps not an ideal pick for mobility seekers, but definitely a worthy option for gamers in general.
|MSI GS65 Stealth-483 Specs|
|Display||15.6-inch FHD 240Hz 8ms 1920x1080|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX2060 6G GDDR6|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-9750H (up to 4.5GHz)|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 2666MHz|
|Storage||512GB NVMe SSD|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro (64-Bit)|
8. Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop
It uses Windows Hello to support instant facial unlock. No more fretting about identity theft when gaming in collaborative settings!
The customizable RGB lighting (Razer Chroma) that covers 16.8 million colors and several preset profiles is also very charming and adds to the beauty of the gameplay.
The latest Razer blade is driven by a ninth-gen Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 16GB RAM (expandable), a 512GB SSD, and GeForce RTX 2060 graphics (up to GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q).
To its merit, this computer is compatible with external GPU cores, and this translates into extra power that gamers will love. A 2.5″ SATA slot makes it easy to extract some additional storage.
On the display front, this system provides an FHD screen with a refresh rate of144Hz. (If you get the advanced model, you can enjoy the thrill of 240Hz and a 4K touch screen with an OLED panel.)
The color gamut is also a full 100% sRGB which guarantees that all your content is rendered in complete detail.
In the looks department, you have quite a good-looking machine. It has a sleek profile that measures 0.78″ and a fairly light chassis weighing 4.63lbs.
You will be hard-pressed to find a contemporary with matching specs that has dimensions to rival this. The unibody construction uses CNC aluminum which makes it reliable for long-term use.
The design uses a black anodized finishing with green accents and the classic triple-headed snake of Razer. One word? Head-turner!
|Razer Blade 15 RZ09-03006E92-R3U1 Specs|
|Processor||9th Gen Intel Core i7 9750H 2.6GHz/4.5GHz|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (6 GB GDDR6)|
|Memory||16GB 2667MHz RAM|
|Storage||512GB Solid-State Drive|
|Display||15.6-inch 144Hz Full HD|
|Operating System||Windows 10|
9. Alienware M15 AWYA15-7947BLK-PUS
This 4.76lbs laptop comes with a unique command center that lets the user fine-tune overclocking as well as other gaming settings.
Driven by an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA RTX 2060 graphics, the new Alienware also supports Tobii tracking. This inventive technology lets you immerse yourself in the game through intuitive gestures like the head pose and eye movement.
On the display front, you get an FHD monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz and 300 nits brightness. The keyboard is also a winning feature, with its per-key AlienFX lighting and a precision-point glass touchpad.
10. HP Omen 17-cb0090nr Gaming Laptop
It has almost desktop-replacement power: an Intel i7-9750H processor, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics.
The FHD screen, equipped with an IPS- and an anti-glare panel, delivers a refresh rate of 144Hz. But here’s the best part: both the memory and the storage are incredibly easy to upgrade with the memory slots provided.
This 12.4lbs computer comes with Bios recovery and protection for enhanced security and about 5.5 hours of battery backup.
The sound department deserves a special mention. Not only do you get surround sound (DTS: x Ultra) in headphones, but you can also delight in Bang & Olufsen audio through the speakers.
- 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000
- Top 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500
- 10 Best Core i9 Gaming Laptops
- Best Gaming Laptops (Top 10 Picks)
- Top 10 Best ASUS Gaming Laptops
- Best MSI Gaming Laptops (Top 10)
If you have decided to invest in future readiness in a fast-changing gaming world, congratulations! As you probably already know, nothing in the gaming sphere stays for long without meeting competition, battle, and, in many cases, overhaul.
Getting a gaming laptop with NVIDIA RTX 2020 might equip you to be ready to face the new future.
The gaming laptops in our list are all hard-working; they endeavor to provide you the optimal mix of performance, graphics, efficiency and sustainability.
Additionally, they manage to be relatively cheaper than some of their contemporaries. The offerings by ASUS, Acer and MSI are especially trendy, managing to capture the essence of the RTX without losing sight of the big picture.
Lenovo and Dell are also sound choices to make, with unique features like exceptional acoustics and upgradable batteries respectively.
You may argue that $2000 hardly seems like a bargain, and we agree! However, it is not too steep a price to pay for gamers who crave exquisite graphics detailing and aspire for seamless 4K gaming. No free lunches exist in the world, after all.