Here’s the deal: You don’t need to spend a lot of money to play awesome games! But with hundreds of options, finding a powerful and affordable gaming laptop can be tricky. That’s why we’ve created this expert buying guide to show you the best cheap gaming laptops you can buy! We’ve tested over 40 new products and selected the top budget laptops. All of them offer a great mix of performance and value. Ready? Let’s do this!Gaming Laptop BasicsCheap Gaming Laptops - BudgetCheap Gaming Laptops - High-End
All right, let's take a quick look at what you need to know when buying your gaming laptop. Here are the most important specs to look for. By the way, you’ll find them again below for each reviewed laptop so that you can easily compare products.
You guessed it: This is the diagonal size of the laptop’s screen, measured in inches.
The number of pixels the screen has. Higher resolution means more image detail.
The most important hardware component. Only great laptop GPUs made this list.
This is the GPU’s 3DMark score which helps to objectively compare products.
Another vital hardware component for gaming. Only great CPUs made this list.
This is the CPU’s Geekbench which measures the processor’s performance.
The laptop’s memory is important for gaming. It’s also known as RAM. More is better.
You can get classic hard drives or faster solid state drives (SSD). More space is better.
Good to know since you’ll want to plug in your smartphone, keyboard, mouse, etc.
No power, no fun. This is the average time the laptop lasts on a full charge.
Pretty straight forward: How light or heavy is the laptop? Lighter is of better.
Length, width, and height in inches – all partying together! Will that laptop bag fit?
All right, let's take a look at the best cheap gaming laptops you can buy. All featured laptops on this page can play current games on medium to high settings and deliver an all-around fun experience. So if you're trying to save some money, these budget gaming laptops will get the job done and offer really solid performance.
The MSI CX62 is a great, lightweight, and capable laptop. The best part? It's one of the top cheap gaming laptops you can find that's still powerful enough to run current games. You get a nice NVIDIA Geforce 940M graphics card and a very capable Intel Core i5-6300HQ Quad Core processor - all in a compact and cool-looking body.
We liked that this product offers a lot of pro features that you usually wouldn't find in a budget laptop. This includes a non-glare display, MSI's multi-monitor technology (powering up to three displays), and more. Nothing about this laptop feels cheap, except for the price (and that's a good thing)! MSI is known to make high-quality products and the CX62 is no exception.
Of course, this is an entry-level gaming laptop and you should expect that some games have to be played on medium settings. However, you can expand this laptop later. For example, it has a second RAM slot for additional memory and an m.2 slot for a solid-state drive. Overall, this is a very good budget laptop with plenty of features at a great price point.
The first thing you'll notice about this new HP gaming laptop is the exclusive Star Wars design. On the outside, the laptop features Star Wars engravings and a backlit, Jedi-red keyboard. But that's not all: The laptop comes pre-loaded with a ton of digital Star Wars items! You get rare wallpapers, screen savers, concept art, and original trilogy storyboards from the Star Wars archives. Plus, you can customize all system sounds with built-in audio files from the movies (think R2-D2 and light sabers).
All right, so this laptop's design is really fun, but let's look under the hood: We loved the wide-angle FHD display which has touchscreen capability. This comes in handy for quick browsing, drawing, and more. Having a touchscreen is very unusual at this price point and it's a really fun feature to have!
Current games run well on this laptop, including Fallout 4, new World of Warcraft expansions, etc. It's also very light and has a great battery life. All in all, the Hewlett Packard HP Star Wars Special gaming laptop is a great budget choice that we highly recommend.
The Acer Aspire V Nitro is a very affordable gaming laptop that still manages to pack a punch. It features excellent specs for its price, plus a kick-ass design.
The laptop features a powerful combination of an Intel Core i5 processor and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M GPU. It's a great hardware combination which ensures that you can play most games on medium to high settings. These specs also offer great online multimedia performance. We also really liked the high-quality, secondary features of the laptop: It has a backlit keyboard, very good built-in speakers, and fast 802.11ac WiFi.
Another feature to point out is the very good battery in this laptop. On minimal activity, with the screen brightness turned down you'll actually be able to hit 9 hours of battery life. When watching movies and when gaming the battery life is reduced to about 5 hours, which is still very respectable.
Overall, the Aspire V Nitro is a very good choice. It's definitely one of the most capable budget laptops you can buy. There's a lot of bang for your buck here!
The ASUS X555UB is a great and very cheap laptop. It includes the excellent 6th-generation Intel Core i7-6500U: The processor offers 2.5GHz speed but you can tune it to 3.0GHz with Intel's Turbo Boost technology. You also get a new LED backlit display which looks bright and sharp, even in direct sunlight. In short, this laptop is awesome.
Games are powered by the laptop's GeForce GT 940M GPU (2GB dedicated video memory), paired with 8GB DDR3L 1600 MHz RAM. It's a smart combination for this price class, capable of playing most games flawlessly. Besides the gaming performance this laptop made it to this top list because of its many additional features. We like the large 1TB storage which is very future proof. Additionally, ASUS packed this laptop with lots of connectivity: You get ultra-fast 802.11AC Wi-Fi, two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 ports, Bluetooth 4.0, plus HDMI and VGA ports. It's great to have such an abundance of ports.
Lastly, this laptop includes ASUS's "IceCool" technology which cools the area around your hands for extra comfort. In short, this is powerful, light, and cool gaming laptop that's a great choice for budget buyers!
The new Dell Inspiron is a top gaming laptop that features a thin, red-and-black design at a great price.
The laptop offers the brand new 6th generation Intel Quad-Core i5-6300HQ processor and Nvidia very good GeForce GTX 960M gaming GPU with a whopping 4GB of memory. Together, this hardware combination offers excellent performance for this price, running modern games well on medium to high settings.
We also liked the fast solid state drive, the sharp FHD IPS wide-angle display, and the 6-cell battery which delivered over six hours of performance. All this is packaged into an only one-inch thick body. Speaking of the laptop's case, it includes two cooling fans, three exhausts, plus large vents to keep temperatures low. Cooling is top notch! The Dell Inspiron is a well-built gaming machine that combines smart engineering and great aesthetics.
It should also be pointed out that the backlit keyboard and the laptop's trackpad are very precise and responsive. They work great for games. Lastly, we liked the option to expand the storage: There is room for one additional 2.5" SATA HDD/SSD drive if you'd like to upgrade later, which is always good to have.
The Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition is Acer's new flagship gaming laptop series. The custom configuration shown here offers great performance in a thin format, plus a very cool design. Let's talk details!
The three most important hardware components of this laptop (namely CPU, GPU, and RAM) work well together to deliver excellent budget gaming performance. The 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7-4720HQ quad-core processor actually clocks in at over 10,000 points in GeekBench, which is a great score for this price. You also get 8GB of DDR3 RAM, plus Nvidia's acclaimed GeForce GTX 960M with 2 GB GDDR5 VRAM. It's a very good combination, in our opinion, allowing you to run a lot of current games on high to very high settings with steadily high FPS.
A quick tip: No matter which budget gaming laptop you choose, definitely give Intel's Turbo Boost technology a try. For the Aspire V15 Nitro, for example, it lets you boost the processor's speed from 2.6GHz to 3.6GHz. This leads to very noticeable performance gains!
Overall, the Aspire V15 Nitro is an amazing and cheap laptop. We love the slim design of the Black Edition. Most importantly, this laptop runs games really well. It's one of the best choices in this price class!
"Glacier Grey" is what ASUS calls the colors of this laptop's metal. We like both the name and the actual design because this laptop looks simply amazing! You'll notice that the entire body is made from a fantastic-looking, brushed aluminum. It a very premium design that also helps to keep the laptop cool.
Let's take a look under the hood: The new ASUS Metal performed well in our gaming tests. It runs all PC games we threw at it flawlessly at medium settings. The laptop is powered by Intel's 6th-generation Core i7-6500U. Of course, you can tune the CPU from 2.5GHz up to 3.1GHz with Intel's TurboBoost for even more performance. The laptop's GPU is a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M. There's a good reason why most budget gaming laptops include this card: It offers a great price-to-performance balance and very long lifespan. The laptop's specs are topped off with 8GB of RAM and a generous 512GB SSD storage. It's a solid combination that runs games well.
We also liked that the laptop, despite its very thin 0.8 inches, features a lot of connectivity. You get two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0, a LAN jack, HDMI, plus a card reader. It's a great setup, leaving no modern ports left to be desired. Speaking of modern, the ASUS Metal also sports a very good anti-glare display, plus dual fan cooling to keep the laptop running smooth during gaming sessions.
You really get a lot of bang for your buck with this budget laptop. It's a smart and affordable choice that still offers solid specs for its low price.
The Ideapad Y700 is the newest mid-level gaming laptop from Lenovo, offering great performance at an affordable price. The laptop features a very slim, one-inch form factor, plus an amazing CPU and GPU combination. You'll love this gaming machine! Let's talk details, shall we?
If you're looking for a cheap gaming laptop to buy, the Ideapad Y700 should be at the very top of your list. It has an amazing price-to-performance balance, one of the best of all budget laptops we've reviewed. The Ideapad features the very fast Intel Core i7-6700HQ at 2.6 GHz, which clocks in at over 10,000 points on Geekbench. This ensures that you have plenty of CPU power to multi-task and play games on high settings. The CPU is cleverly paired with the popular NVIDIA GeForce 960M. It's currently the best mobile graphics card for people on a budget.
We also liked the five or more hours battery life, the generous 1TB storage, and the powerful JBL speakers with a high-quality subwoofer. You'll notice the speakers the moment you open the laptop since they are designed perfectly into the body (in red), right under the screen. The Y700 really has a lot to offer! From an optical perspective (pun intended) the laptop features a sharp and bright IPS screen with anti-glare coating.
So what's the verdict here? In short, the Lenovo Ideapad Y700 is one of the best gaming laptops you can get at this price, period. It runs current PC games well, offers awesome audio, and has a high-end design.
All right, let's talk about higher-end affordable gaming laptops: Spending a little extra will give you two things: First, your gaming laptop will perform much better for high-end games on max settings. Second, your laptop will be much more future-proof so that you can enjoy games a few years down the line. In short, if you have a little extra budget, it's definitely a smart choice to get one of the higher-spec gaming laptops reviewed below. Let's talk details!
The ASUS ROG is a great choice if you're looking for a balance of price and performance. It includes a powerful 6th-generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor, combined with the excellent NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M. The GTX 960M GPU is the newest model, offering full DirectX 12 support - a very nice feature to have.
You also get a nice bump up in other specs, including a whopping 16GB of RAM (which is great for memory intensive games and multi-tasking) and a generous 1TB hard drive. These high-end specs make the ASUS ROG a very convincing gaming laptop at a cheap price.
On the outside of the laptop, you'll notice the stunning looks of this gaming machine. The design is inspired by the F-22 stealth with smooth lines and angled surfaces. This laptop looks as great as it performs. Under the hood, you get the 1TB HDD that's supported by an m.2 PCIe SSD. This combination ensures that the operating system can prioritize intensive programs and games as needed, leading to a much smoother experience.
All in all, the ASUS ROG is a very good and very cheap gaming laptop. It really includes everything you need.
The MSI GL62 is a new budget gaming laptop that's feature-rich and affordable. Let's see what's inside!
You get the powerful Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core Processor, a nice amount of memory (16GB DDR3), and the super-popular NVIDIA Geforce GTX 960M. It's a perfect hardware combination that allows for a low price point and lots of power for gaming. That's the reason you'll find these specs in so many top budget laptops.
We loved the laptops performance, power consumption, and cooling. Everything is well balanced and engineered to support gaming. The laptop is also quite light and features a streamlined, black design.
In terms of connectivity, there is little to be desired. The MSI GL62 includes one USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 each, two USB 3.0, a Mini Display Port, the obligatory HDMI port, and a multi-format card reader (SD/XC/HC). The internal SSD can be upgraded easily if you intend to do so.
So what's the verdict? This laptop is a great mid-to-high-range choice that offers very good gaming performance and can be bought at an affordable price.
The MSI GE62 Apache Pro is a kick-ass gaming laptop. Just be careful not to mix it up with the similarly named (and similarly awesome) MSI GL62, reviewed above.
Like many other top cheap gaming laptops that we tested, the MSI GE62 includes the great Intel Core i5-6300HQ Quad Core processor. This CPU works perfect for current games and can easily be stepped up from 2.3 to 3.2GHz, using Intel's Turbo Boost technology. Unlike some other budget laptops we recommend, this one has a more powerful GPU though. You get the amazing NVIDIA Geforce GTX970M with 3G GDDR5. As you can see from the GPU's 3DMark score above, it's a very, very fast gaming graphics card with plenty of room for current games on high settings.
The laptop also features an excellent LAN card (Killer Gaming Network E2400) which provides blazing fast internet and low latency for online gaming. All these excellent hardware choices add up to one great laptop. The MSI GE62 Apache Pro is amazing and a beast when it comes to gaming performance. Highly recommended!
Last, but certainly not least, we needed to include the HP OMEN (model 15-5210nr). It's an incredibly powerful and fun gaming laptop that's also very affordable.
So what hardware is inside? Well, you get the popular Intel Core i7-4720HQ 2.6 GHz processor, capable of handling current games on high settings. The CPU is paired with the excellent and highly-recommended NVIDIA GTX 960M GPU. It's an amazing graphics card that offers high gaming performance at a great price. All that is combined with a very fast 256GB solid-state drive and a high-quality screen. The HP OMEN delivers a very good hardware combination for the price.
We also liked HP's updated battery optimization technology, which offered more than five hours of excellent performance on medium to high brightness. Best of all, this laptop is lightweight and slim. It's actually one of the lightest (4.68 lbs) and thinnest (0.6 inches) affordable gaming laptops we've tested! There's really a lot to like about this machine. It's powerful, light, slim, cheap, and looks great.