These are the Best Cheap Gaming Laptops you can buy right now!
Finding the best cheap gaming laptop that fulfills all your needs without burning a hole in your pocket can prove to be a herculean task. With eCommerce portals filled to the brim with various SKUs from various manufacturers, you can easily spend hours on end looking for the best laptop that packs in the right hardware required for your favorite games. And the process doesn’t end there.
I, for one, make it a point to go through a couple of reviews for each shortlisted notebook before opening my wallet, which adds another few hours to the process. And for someone who isn’t keeping track of the latest developments in the gaming laptop space, those hours can quickly turn into days. If you don’t want to bother with any of this, then you’re in the right place. Here are our top picks for the best cheap gaming laptops (under $1,000) that you can buy right now!
Navigate this guide to the best cheap gaming laptops:
- Top pick: Lenovo Legion 5
- Most affordable: Acer Nitro 5
- Great display: ASUS TUF Gaming A15
- RTX On: HP Omen Laptop 15 (15-EK0019NR)
- AMD all the way: Dell G5 SE
- Most portable: MSI GF63
Top Pick: Lenovo Legion 5
Powered by AMD’s Ryzen 7 4800H processor, the Lenovo Legion 5 is the most well-rounded affordable gaming laptop in the market right now. Priced at $999.99, the laptop packs in Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD. The Lenovo Legion 5 features a 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz high refresh rate display with minimal bezels on three sides.
The laptop includes a full-sized keyboard with RGB backlighting and a layout similar to current-gen Thinkpads for a great typing experience. And it has a large offset trackpad that supports Windows Precision drivers for accurate tracking and smooth multi-finger gestures. The Lenovo Legion 5 packs in a respectable 80Wh battery, a substantial array of I/O ports, and a couple of useful software from Lenovo that will help you push the laptop to its limits while gaming.
Speaking of which, the laptop can comfortably run older AAA titles like GTA V and Witcher 3 at well over 60 FPS on average with all the graphics settings maxed out, while newer AAA titles like Metro Exodus and Borderlands 3 run at around 50 fps on average at high graphics settings.
Most Affordable: Acer Nitro 5
Priced at just $599.99, the Acer Nitro 5 is the most affordable gaming laptop that you can get right now. It’s powered by Intel’s 9th-Gen Core i5-9300H processor, coupled with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD. Unlike the Lenovo Legion 5, which has a subtle design, the Acer Nitro 5 goes for a gamer-y aesthetic with angular edges and a loud red/black color scheme.
The laptop also includes a 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) display, but it’s capped at 60Hz. Given its price tag, Acer has made a couple of other compromises on the Nitro 5. Its build quality isn’t as premium as some of the other notebooks in this post, its keyboard is limited to a single backlight color, and it has a much smaller 57Wh battery. However, none of these things detract from the laptop’s gaming performance.
The Acer Nitro 5 is capable enough to play older AAA titles like Witcher 3 at an average 61 FPS on high settings, and newer titles like Far Cry New Dawn on high/medium settings at an average 50 FPS. When it comes to eSports titles like League of Legends and Rocket League, the laptop can easily push a consistent 60 FPS at high settings.
Great Display: ASUS TUF Gaming A15
Although the Lenovo Legion 5 is our top pick as it offers the most well-rounded package, if you’re someone who doesn’t wish to compromise on the display, then the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is for you. While the laptop isn’t as powerful as the Lenovo Legion 5, it offers a stunning display with some decent mid-range hardware.
The laptop is powered by AMD’s Ryzen 5 4600H chip, coupled with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 SPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD. It has a 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz IPS display, which is slightly brighter and more vivid than the panel on the Lenovo Legion 5.
Despite the weaker hardware, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is no slouch when it comes to gaming. The laptop can run older AAA titles like GTA V and Witcher 3 at an average 60 FPS at high settings, and newer AAA titles like Far Cry New Dawn and Metro Exodus on high/medium settings at an average 50 FPS. While the laptop’s gaming performance is similar to that of the Acer Nitro 5, it offers better build quality, a more premium display, and an RGB keyboard to justify its higher price tag.
RTX On: HP Omen Laptop (15-EK0019NR)
The HP Omen Laptop (15-EK-0019NR) is the only laptop on this list that packs in an Nvidia RTX 20-series graphics card, and it barely even made the cut. The laptop is currently retailing for $999.99 on HP’s website, and it features an Intel Core i5-10300H processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 256GM M.2 NVMe SSD.
The laptop packs in a 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz high refresh rate IPS display, a TKL keyboard with a single colored backlight, and a 70.9Wh battery with fast charging support. To accommodate the premium GPU, HP has cut some corners when it comes to the laptop’s build quality and design. But if you can look past these shortcomings, the laptop can offer the best gaming performance among all the options mentioned in this list.
The HP Omen Laptop (15-EK-0019NR) can comfortably run modern AAA titles like Metro Exodus and Far Cry New Dawn on high/medium settings at over 80 FPS, while older titles like GTA V run at well over 100 FPS at high settings. It goes without saying that you won’t experience any difficulties playing eSports titles on this laptop.
AMD All The Way: Dell G5 SE
The G5 SE is the most affordable entry-level gaming laptop from Dell, which is also the only laptop on this list to feature an AMD processor and graphics card. The laptop is powered by the Ryzen 5 4600H processor and the Radeon RX 5600M GPU, coupled with 8GB of DDR4 memory and a 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD.
The Dell G5 SE features a 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) display that’s capped at 60Hz, a full-sized keyboard with a single-colored backlight, and a decent selection of I/O ports. The laptop is backed by a 51Wh battery, and it features a design similar to other laptops in the Dell G5 Series. While its design may look a bit dated, the laptop more than makes up for it in terms of performance.
When it comes to modern AAA titles, the Dell G5 SE manages to run games like Borderlands 3 and Metro Exodus on medium/high settings at a solid 70 FPS on average. Older titles like Witcher 3 run at well above 90 FPS on medium/high settings.
Most Portable: MSI GF63
The MSI GF63 is the most compact and lightweight budget gaming laptop on this list, making it the perfect choice for anyone looking for a portable gaming laptop. The laptop is just 0.9-inch thick and weighs a mere 3.92 pounds, which is quite compact for a gaming laptop in this price range.
It’s powered by Intel’s 9th-Gen Core i7-9750H processor, which is paired with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD. Despite its compact form factor, the laptop packs in a 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) display that’s capped at 60Hz, a fair selection of I/O ports, and a 51Wh battery.
The MSI GF63’s gaming performance is comparable to that of the Acer Nitro 5. The laptop manages to push an average of 60 FPS in older AAA titles like Witcher 3 at medium/high graphics settings. Newer titles like Far Cry New Dawn and Borderlands 3 run at around 50 FPS at medium/high settings.
If gaming isn’t one of your top concerns, you should definitely check out our list of the best laptops you can buy in 2020. Or if you want to go with a Chromebook, here are the best Chromebooks you can buy in 2020.