With changing times, a lot in life is becoming more expensive and difficult to achieve. Fortunately, though, a few good things are also getting more attainable—such as a quality gaming laptop.
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.
- Our Picks: 10 Best Gaming Laptop Under $2000 for 2021
- 1. ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 (Most Recommended)
- 2. Acer Predator Triton 500 (Recommended)
- 3. New Alienware M15 R3 (Best 144Hz)
- 4. MSI GS75 Stealth (Best 17-inch)
- 5. ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 (Gaming & Multitasking)
- 6. MSI GE66 Raider 15-inch Gaming Laptop
- 7. Razer Blade 15 (Premium Build)
- 8. Acer Predator Helios 300 (Best 240Hz)
- 9. MSI GS66 Stealth (Best Lightweight)
- 10. MSI GE75 Raider 17-inch (i7-10875H)
- Why Choose a Gaming Laptop With NVIDIA RTX 2021
- Is It Worthwhile Getting an Affordable Gaming Laptop?
- Choosing a Screen Size for Gaming
- Must-Have Features in Best Gaming Laptops Under $2000
- Enough Said
Our Picks: 10 Best Gaming Laptop Under $2000 for 2021
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!
Best Gaming Laptop Under 2000 – Recommended Specs
|Processor||10th Generation Intel Core i7-10875H
6-Core Processor (Up to 5.1 GHz)
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER
8GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
|Memory||16GB DDR4 2933MHz Memory|
|Storage||1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Display||15.6″/17.3” Full HD (1920 x 1080)
300Hz 3ms IPS-Type Display
|Weight||Under 6 lbs.|
|Battery||Up to 8 Hours|
|Keyboard||4-Zone RGB Backlit Keyboard|
|OS||Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
1. ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 (Most Recommended)
Desktop-level RTX gaming laptop with enhanced cooling
The ROG Strix series is a juggernaut in the realm of RTX gaming laptops, and the 17.3” ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 promises to energize you with its infectious enthusiasm.
Driven by an Intel Core i7-10875H processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, and NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super graphics with 8GB of dedicated memory, this laptop is well-equipped to support the most intense of games like a pro.
ASUS calls it a “desktop-level” gaming laptop, and it indeed seems that way. The cooling mechanism is desktop-class too, with the enhanced “HyperCool Pro” system employing two 12V fans and an anti-dust technology to dissipate heat.
This ASUS machine has a superb display. The FHD screen possesses a refresh rate of 300Hz, a color gamut of 100% sRGB, and a response time of 3ms. Alongside, it also has an AHVA gaming panel (Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle). The latter offers an IPS-Type advantage, letting you enjoy the imagery and proceedings on your screen from multiple viewing angles.
Helping you stay connected to the internet is the provision for Intel Gigabit Wifi 6. The laptop also has several in-built USB ports to allow you to connect to peripherals, including USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C ports. There is also an HDMI 2.0B port and a mini display port, so that you can plug in to a high-resolution external display for presentations or larger-than-life gaming extravaganzas. Does it offer an RGB backlit keyboard? You bet. The ASUS AURA RGB keyboard (4-Zone) that comes with this laptop is immensely pleasing, adding a distinct edge to your gameplay.
The ROG Strix series is a choice worth making for your foray into the world of RTX gaming laptops; it brings to the table the assurance of ASUS with an individualistic vogue of its own.
2. Acer Predator Triton 500 (Recommended)
The processing chamber consists of an Intel Core i7-10750H 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 300Hz and a response time of 3ms. The screen is quite bright at 300 nits and has a color gamut of 100% aRGB.
Since this laptop has a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super 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 E3100G and Killer DoubleShot Pro Wireless-AX 1650i.
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.
3. New Alienware M15 R3 (Best 144Hz)
But the New Alienware M15 R3 is hands down one of the best available options that you will likely come across in the market.
Not only does this gaming device pack in all the latest features, it also comes for a slashed price of under $2000, perfect for the ones who have a set budget.
This is one of the thinnest and ultra-light devices with a stunning 15” display to enhance your overall gaming experience for the better.
Paired with up to 10th Gen. Intel Core i7 processors, this is hands down one of the best available gaming devices you can purchase.
The device also supports NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU along with 512GB SSD for storage and 16GB RAM for memory.
4. MSI GS75 Stealth (Best 17-inch)
With stunning design and looks, along with the latest functions, you are setting yourself for the best experience beyond questions.
The combination of the Intel Core i7-10875H processor along with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 is what makes it worth the while. If you are not much into a very thin and sleek device, this packs all the latest innovations that you would need.
Aside from the processor, the 17.3” FHD display makes your gaming experience something out of this world.
The device is also programmed with 512GB SSD along with 32GB SDRAM for an even more effortless performance like never before. The RGB-backlit keyboard further enhances your gaming experience up by a notch.
5. ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 (Gaming & Multitasking)
It goes without saying that ASUS ROG or the Republic of Gamers is known for their amazing gaming laptops but if you want one within your budget, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 is hands down one of the best options.
Not only does the device look stunning with its durable build, it also does pack in some of the latest features and functions that assure smoother gameplay.
The best thing about this device is likely the 15.6” FHD 240Hz display with wide viewing angles and better color payoff.
If you are not someone who likes to compromise on the performance, this laptop got you covered on that front too. The combination of the Intel Core i7-10875H with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER makes it a worthy purchase.
As for the storage and memory options, it is equipped with 1TB SSD along with 16GB RAM for smoother performance without any glitches.
6. MSI GE66 Raider 15-inch Gaming Laptop
MSI is known for their durable and heavy duty functional laptops and the MSI GE66 Raider 10SF-285 is the perfect example for that.
This gaming laptop has undergone some of the toughest military grade tests to test out its amazing durability unlike anything else.
As for the performance of the device, it is devised with the amazing Intel Core i7-10875H processor along with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 for an even better gaming experience.
The connectivity options of the device are just as amazing, ensuring that you never have to compromise on your games.
The 15.6” FHD display packs in wide angle viewing so you can enjoy your games without any hassle.
As for the storage and memory options, it comes with 512GB NVMe SSD along with 16GB SDRAM for an even better performance unlike anything else. It is what you need to tame all your gaming needs.
7. Razer Blade 15 (Premium Build)
If you want a blend of stunning looks and even better functions, the Razer Blade 15 is one of the best gaming laptops in 2020.
This device is quite a bit different than the rest in terms of the configurations and the kind of performance that you can experience.
The 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor along with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with the Turing GPU architecture assures seamless gaming without any kind of glitches through the process.
If you never want to compromise on the efforts you put into your gaming, this takes care of everything for you.
Pair everything with the 15.6” FHD display along with the amazing 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM for an even better experience beyond choice.
It ensures to take care of all your gaming needs without any extra efforts. It functions like butter for an improved gaming experience.
8. Acer Predator Helios 300 (Best 240Hz)
When talking about the best gaming laptop under $2000, the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-736J stands out in the market.
It has a standard design like many of the other devices in the Predator series, featuring a stunning 4-zone RGB backlit keyboard for easier navigation and enhanced gaming experience.
This one features a standard 15.6” FHD widescreen IPS-type display with 240Hz refresh rate and 3ms overdrive response. It also has 300 nits brightness and 100% sRGB for smoother gaming experience beyond expectations.
It is also integrated with the 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H along with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU for smoother gameplay. Even this one is backed by the 4th Gen All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan for optimal thermal management.
The ports and connectivity options in the device is also pretty good. It is equipped with HDMI 2.0, MiniDP, USB 3.2 Type C Gen 2 port along with USB 3.2 Gen 1 and Gen 2 ports. It runs on the Windows 10 Home operating system.
9. MSI GS66 Stealth (Best Lightweight)
It comes with a standard all back design which has been tested to last and has a very flexible design.
As for the processors, the device is powered by the Intel Core i7-10875H processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU for an effortless performance even with some of the heavy duty games.
It comes with the VR Ready features so you can take your gaming expertise up by a notch.
Aside from everything, the device also comes with 512GB SSD for storage and 16GB RAM for an smooth gaming without any glitches. If you have been looking for a mid range gaming laptop with all the latest features, this beast packs it all in.
10. MSI GE75 Raider 17-inch (i7-10875H)
The device has a very conventional MSI design but it is the features and functions of the device that make it worth the while.
If you are on the lookout for good performance and durable body, this packs in both. This gaming laptop is powered by Intel Core i7-10875H processor along with NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 graphics processor for improved visuals and effortless gaming unlike anything else.
The best thing about this device is the stunning 17.3” FHD display along with the combination of 512GB SSD and 16GB SDRAM for an even better experience unlike anything else.
Even this one sports the unique RGB-backlit keyboard for an enhanced gaming experience. As for the device design, it is pretty hefty but portable.
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Why Choose a Gaming Laptop With NVIDIA RTX 2021
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 Best Gaming Laptops Under $2000
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.
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 2021 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.