When looking for gaming laptops, if your budget is flexible then you should definitely look at our review of a diverse range of laptops that might interest you. The price range is set from $400 to $800 and each model has something unique to offer.
There are models which can play almost any modern AAA game titles, and there are low budgets build which will play most of the MMO games and less demanding games without any stutter. It depends on what your budget is, as well as the type of games you may want to play.
At the upper end we have the $800 configuration with the latest i5-7300HQ or i7-6700HQ both of which would ensure that the CPU is never a bottleneck while you are fighting the hardest boss fight of Dark Souls 3, for example. Also the most common GPU, the GTX 1050 and the 1050Ti, makes sure all the details are rendered at the highest setting when playing at the 1080p resolution. Ideal for all genres of gaming and also productivity tasks, these are definitely worth the price.
On the flip side, if you want to just have fun playing with your friends you know fully well that most games like DOTA2, League of Legends, Counter Strike or Overwatch don’t require you to have the best hardware to get the job done. This is where the low end options will come into picture. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money and if you still want to have fun play the less demanding titles this is the perfect sweet spot for you.
It largely depends on your needs and preferences while picking any of the models listed below. However, no matter which one you pick, you are guaranteed to have fun gaming without having the regret of having spent more than what was necessary.——-
Cheap Gaming Laptops recommendation:
1, MSI GL62M 7RE-407 15.6”
This is a product which we have reviewed before and in quite a bit of depth too, needless to say it catches every gamer’s attention and gets complemented a lot. At $900 this is not surprising but rather something you’d expect. Often laptops even at the mid-to-high range market suffer a lot of design flaws being overly verbose and vibrant. MSI fortunately knows how to design with perfect aesthetics and appeal.
It has an i5-7300HQ which is a 4-cores/4-threads processor at 2.8GHz (turbo up to 3.5GHz) with 6M of L3 cache and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. The most influential components, however, are the Nvidia GTX 1050Ti and the 256GB M.2 SSD. The GTX 1050 Ti is comparable to a GTX 970M, it can beat GTX 1050 and GeForce GTX 965M by around 30%, you can play most games at medium to high even ultra setting at 1080p. ((Benchmarks) This is so close to being the gamer’s ideal laptop that you will cringe when you see that it has a TN panel display. The Achilles’ heel for any gamer will be this 1920 by 1080 panel which has poor color reproduction and poorer viewing angle. Although the response time is reportedly faster than IPS panel, most would have preferred an IPS panel.
Moving a little lower, you will see a that there is a Cooler Booster button which you can click to get better cooling manually, if you don’t mind the extra noise. This feature from MSI ensures that you don’t lose any of the computational horsepower that the 1050Ti or the 7300HQ has to offer, in the name of thermal throttling.
Ports are abundant for all type of peripheral like 2 USB 3.0, 1 Type-C, 1 USB 2.0, a mini-display port and an HDMI port. Also available are the 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.1 technology, which is fairly obvious to expect.
The keyboard is from steelseries, and although it is not a mechanical keyboard it will get the job done without any complains. At 2.4kg or 5.3 pounds this is a heavy laptop but considering the amount of computational horsepower it packs, this is understandable. It is however, much more portable than a full desktop if you are planning on LAN parties or gaming for a weekend at your friend’s place.
2, ASUS VivoBook Pro N552VW
This particular model of VivoBook Pro comes loaded with feature the most impressive one being its 4K display. That’s right, at $820 Asus offers a 3840 by 2160 15.6” IPS panel that has gotten its competitors sweating bullets.
Powering it is an i7-6700HQ at 2.60GHz (turbo up to 3.5GHz) which is a 4-cores/8-threads processor with a single core performance similar to that of the MSI laptop we just saw but a significantly better multicore performance not that many applications would use it. We also have the usual 8GB of RAM and a disappointing hard disk drive of 1TB. There are several other variants of this model with an SSD and few other tweaks if you want to get something more suited to your needs.
The GPU is a GeForce GTX 960M, which, admittedly, is a weak GPU. Playing most games at medium to low setting at 1080p (Benchmarks) is the best you can get out of this card. However, seeing that the laptop comes with a 3840 by 2160 (4K) display, it is heart breaking to run games at a lower resolution. Also higher resolution at only 15.6” display size may not be the best thing to have. The Windows DPI scaling is a fiddly thing to tweak and without it the images will still be sharp and crisp, but they will be so small that you will have trouble making out all the details.
As far as connectivity goes, this laptop comes loaded with 3 USB 3.0, 1 USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C, an HDMI and a mini display port along with the RJ-45 and other usual suspects. Aimed more for productivity with high resolution and powerful processor, this laptop can help you out with video-editing and other CPU intensive tasks. Interestingly, games like Minecraft would perform better since they are CPU intensive.
3, Acer Aspire VX5-591G-5652
We have seen MSI’s gaming oriented laptop with great gaming performance and underwhelming display and we have seen Asus VivoBook with high resolution but with only a 960M. Now, comes Acer which tries its get the best of both world. The first thing that you might notice about it is not the performance but the beautiful red accents on the body casing and also on the backlit keyboard.
Inside it we have an i5-7300HQ which we have already seen in our MSI laptop and is hardly ever reported as a bottleneck for most games. We also have 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a GTX 1050 with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, a combination which packs quite a punch when it comes to portable gaming solutions. The GTX 1050 is comparable to a GTX 965M, it can beat GTX 960M by around 30%, you can play most games at medium to high even ultra setting at 1080p. (Benchmarks), Also the display is a 1920 by 1080 resolution, 15.6” IPS panel providing pleasant colour reproduction and wider viewing angles. All of this comes at a price tag of $800.
In our opinion, this configuration is the best bang for your buck when compared to other VX15 series. Of course, there is also a 256GB M.2 SSD to further reduce any bottlenecks you may suffer. Weighing little over 2.6kg this has a little heft to it but that is expected given the hardware crammed into it. Thanks to the cooling solution from Acer the temperature is kept low enough to not cause any discomfort to the user or any throttling whatsoever.
For connectivity we have all the usual suspects, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, 1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, and last but not the least, USB 3.1 Type-C (gen1). We also have the usual 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.1.
4, Dell i5577-5335BLK-PUS
In terms of specifications, it is almost identical to Acer Aspire VX5-591G-5652 that we just reviewed but design wise they both are poles apart. The Inspiron i5577 doesn’t come with a verbose design typical of a gaming laptop. This is not a bad thing necessarily as it makes this much more suited for a professional corporate-like environ.
The one difference between this and Aspire VX15 is that it uses an older generation Skylake processor. The i5-6300HQ is not a weak processor by any means. It has the same 4-cores/4-threads with 6M of cache but being clocked at a lower 2.30GHz for base speed and 3.20GHz when it has the turbo-boost enable means that it has about 10% lesser performance when compared to i5-7300HQ.
Moving over to other specifications, we have 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a GTX 1050 with 4GB of VRAM. Further improving the performance is a 256GB SSD for storage. The display is a 1920 by 1080 resolution IPS panel with 15.6” diagonal size and an antiglare coating. Again, gaming from medium to high setting is not going to be a problem with this configuration.
The differentiating factor of this laptop is its design, it too has red accents throughout its plastic casing but the lid has a rubber finish with a red logo. Very professional looking but with a gaming specification.
Next up for connectivity, it comes with 3 USB 3.0, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port and an SD card reader. The lack of USB 3.1 or type-C is a little disappoint. Also we see wireless 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.1. At the exact same price of Acer Aspire VX15, that is $800, at the time of this writing, it is quite a good bang for your buck. The difference is mostly in aesthetics of the two different designs.
5, Dell i7559-763BLK
Now here’s an old school laptop from the Dell inspiron series which is similar to the i5577 we just saw but with a 960M instead of a 1050. Other than the GPU it is almost identical in terms of hardware specifications with the Inspiron i5577.
It has an i5-6300HQ with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD and the now familiar red on black accents make it equally appealing. The Achilles heel of this laptop is of course its weak 960M which at least in raw benchmarks gives 70% the performance of a 1050. In actually gaming, it doesn’t perform any better and this is the reason one might suggest not buying this laptop especially with price tag of $750 only $10 less than its GTX1050 counterpart.
That said, the prices do fluctuate and if you can get it at anywhere close to $650 it will be worth your money. Moving on to the display, it is a 1920 by 1080 15.6” display with antiglare coating. It is an IPS panel and that means good viewing angles and decent color reproduction.
For wireless we have 802.11 ac and the Bluetooth. Other connectivity options include 3 USB 3.0, HDMI port and an Ethernet port. All of this hardware weighs around 6 pounds or 2.7kg which makes it the heaviest laptop on the list so far.
All in all, not a bad laptop if gaming is not a concern but wait for it to go on a sale.
6, Asus ZX53VW
Asus has again captured our attention by offering more at the same price as its competitors. At first it looks just like an older generation laptop with an i5-6300HQ and a GTX960M and it is older hardware no question. That only helps bring down the price of the Asus ZX53VW to $800 without having a large impact on your wallet.
Looking at the technical specs we get an Intel 6th gen i5-6300HQ that we have seen in a couple of more laptops on this list. Not particularly impressive, the i5-6300HQ can still handle most workloads being dumped on it and even CPU intensive games like Minecraft can be handled very well. We also have the typical 8GB of RAM and 1920 by 1080 resolution panel of 15.6” diagonal length and antiglare coating.
The next important thing to consider in this laptop is its GPU and storage. We have a GTX 960M for medium to high gaming performance. Not only is the GPU quite decent for lightweight, portable gaming but also the storage is insanely large, it has a 512GB SSD to provide plenty of space for your Steam library in it. The keyboard and the body has red on black accents and, of course, the lid has brushed metal finish, giving a very premium look to the model.
The Windows installation on this laptop is Microsoft Signature Image, which is just a fancy way of telling consumers that it comes with no other preloaded software made by the OEM but just the clean Windows 10. Most of our reader are savvy enough to do their own clean install of Windows so this is not a big deal, but is still it can save your valuable time and effort.
For connectivity, we have the usual 1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 and 1 Type-C port and also an HDMI and an Ethernet port. It comes with 802.11 ac and weighs 5.5 pounds.
For connectivity, we have the usual 1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 and 1 Type-C port and also an HDMI and an Ethernet port. It comes with 802.11 ac and weighs 5.5 pounds. A good companion for on-the-go computing and gaming.
7, Lenovo IdeaPad 700
The next in our line of mid-ranged laptops is the Lenovo IdeaPad. It has the specifications of a decent $720 laptop which includes our most frequently spotted Intel i5-6300HQ, a beefy 12GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD for storage. The gaming performance is pretty limited by the GTX 950M (4GB VRAM) and is something that could have been improved upon, especially given the laptop’s price point.
The laptop however is much more productivity oriented than the gaming. The extra RAM and a true quad-core CPU are perfect for spinning virtual machines or using visual studios, which can crash severely even with 8GB of RAM. Video editing on it is also going to be a breeze, at least if you are working with 1080p resolution. Which brings us to the native display which is a 1920 by 1080 15.6” panel which is again pretty standard.
The GPU is just barely powerful enough to play Overwatch and other similarly demanding games at 1080p resolution at medium to high settings. Not something you may want to play Doom or GTA V at high settings, but it is still powerful enough for LAN parties and Counter Strike tournaments.
Now covering the usual ground for peripheral connectivity, we see 2 USB 3.0, a single USB 2.0 an HDMI and of course Ethernet port. The entire thing weighs 5.1 pounds and is very thin considering the amount of hardware crammed into it.
8, ASUS X756
When reviewing the Dell i7559-763BLK we said it was priced a little too high for it is worth. Well Asus X756 has priced their product at $635 with similarly performing specs but, sadly enough, with no SSD and using a 950M GPU.
The X756 has an i5-6200U which is an ultra-low powered 2-cores/4-threads processor with 3M cache and is clocked at 2.30GHz with turbo-boost up to 2.80GHz. Honestly not the best processor on the list in terms of performance but it can get the job done. Not to mention, the low powered CPU can increase the battery performance.
Moreover, we have 12GB of RAM as primary memory for the device. This is where, we think, Asus didn’t really think it through. Typical 8GB of RAM would have been enough for a machine this powerful. Even enough you want to spin up some VMs which can consume all of the RAM the CPU is still going to be a bottleneck. Asus would have done a better job if they would have invested into the CPU instead of expanding the RAM.
Speaking of which, we have a GTX 950M fueling our gaming needs this time and as we have discussed before, it can manage most fast-paced and MMO games without any problem. However, in terms of raw benchmarks the 950M looks quite meagre and you should not expect it to play Doom at 60FPS at high setting or any other similarly demanding games.
The attention seeking detail, however, is the 17.3 inch, 1920 by 1080 resolution display. It also makes the device weigh 5.9 pounds. For storage 1TB of HDD provides enough headroom but as we all know by now – An SSD is irreplaceable.
Ports for various connections include 2 USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port also included is a Type-C port, an HDMI port and a VGA port. The wireless option is an older 802.11bgn.
After including an SSD upgrade of about $40 this is still a pretty good deal at well under $700. Not a gaming PC but still quite a performer. If you just want to enjoy the casual DOTA2 match or a friendly Counter Strike game with your friends, this is right up your ally.
9, Acer Aspire F5-573G-510L
Now here is a tough competitor to the IdeaPad 700, the Acer Apsire F5 model mentioned here is priced at $700 about $20 cheaper. The cost cutting is of course there, Acer has used a weaker CPU but there are advantages too, let’s look a little closer at the Aspire F5-537G-510L.
Powered by Intel i5-7200U clocked at 2.50GHz and turbo-boost up to 3.10GHz and has 2-cores/4-thread and 3M cache in it. This is not anywhere near i5-7300HQ in multicore performance but the single core workloads are handled just as well as the 7300HQ. RAM is quite spacious at 12GB providing plenty of room for multitasking and having many applications running simultaneously.
The GPU is a 950M whose performance as already discussed is limited to less demanding games from medium to high setting at 1080p resolution. Despite the meagre gaming performance there’s actually lot of storage available for storing games, more accurately, a 1TB HDD for storing larger programs and media files and also available is a 128GB SSD on which you might want to install Windows along with your other frequently used programs that you might want to open quickly.
This laptop is more of a standalone device than a complement to your desktop PC. It has a reported battery life of 8-9 hours of continuous use and the overall coverage of storage and gaming (although with a weaker GPU) means that you can use this budget laptop for almost all of your computing needs from prolonged binge-watching of your favorite TV shows to casual gaming.
It has all the usual ports, 2 USB 3.0, a single USB Type-C another USB 2.0, HDMI and of course Gigabit Ethernet. Next up, we also have 802.11ac dual band wireless and Bluetooth 4.1 for wireless. The device weighs 2.4kg or 5.3lbs which is midway gaming and casual computing devices.
10, Acer Aspire 17.3” Laptop
About $80 cheaper than the Acer Aspire F5, this 17.3” laptop tries to make up for the lack of a powerful GPU with a larger display.
It has an i5-7200U, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD for storage which gives almost similar performance as the Aspire F5, but without the additional 1TB of storage. Moreover the GPU that is powering this large display is a 940MX which performs not nearly as good as the 950M so comparing it with a GTX 960M or a 1050 would just disappoint you. You should know that while buying a budget laptop. Even an $80 budget cut can lead to drastic fall in performance.
The battery life is also a mere 5.5 hours which may work well for discontinuous use over an extended period of time but is not nearly as good as the Acer F5. The display, however, is a large 17.3” display with standard resolution of 1920 by 1080. This is the last effort by Acer to distinguish it from the other competitors.
At $620, other manufactures don’t offer any better price to performance than the Acer Aspire and, in fact, it is competitively priced with similarly performing devices. It is just that the price point of $700 sees a remarkable improvement in performance. That is just the way the market is segmented.
The weight of the laptop is 6.83lbs owing to the large display. We also have 1 USB 3.1 (Type-C) port, 2 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0 ports. Also included is a VGA and an HDMI port. For wireless 802.11 ac along with Bluetooth 4.1.
If you are severely constrained on the budget or if you are not into hardcore gaming then it worth saving some extra bucks and getting this instead of a gaming laptop.
11, Acer Aspire 15.6” E5-575G-53VG
This is almost identical with the 17.3” Aspire we just had a look at but with few obvious and a few subtle difference. First and foremost, it is priced at $650 which in our opinion is a little higher for what it is worth, but since summer sales are round the corner its prices are very likely to drop and you might be able to pick one up for really cheap.
The processor is an i5-6200U which is considerably weaker than the 7200U of the next generation. People often say that Kaby Lake has no improvement upon the older Skylake processor line up and it is certainly true in many cases. However, when it comes to laptops where out of the box frequencies matter the most, Skylake’s lower clock-speeds are a major disadvantage.
There’s 8GB of RAM and Nvidia 940MX and of course a 256GB of SSD making it perform well enough for multitasking and lightweight gaming. A major advantage of this over the 17.3” model we reviewed is that it has a longer 10 hours of battery life time.
Display is a full HD 1920 by 1080 resolution display and for connectivity we have one USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 USB 3.0 a single USB 2.0 and an HDMI port. Also available are 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.1
While we are trying to save a few buck by going for a little older hardware, I think it is worth mentioning that an even older version with broadwell i5-5200U processor is also available and you can get it for $550 here which has a 940M instead of a 940MX and no SSD but instead comes with a 1TB HDD. We thought it’d be interesting to show to our readers how generation upgrades actually influence the products.
12, Lenovo IdeaPad 510
As we drop our budget to $550 this particular model stands out more vividly than any other. It has an i5-6200U processor and the same Nvidia 940MX GPU that we have seen so often on this list. This one, however is cheaper than any other in our list while still maintaining good performance.
The RAM is our usual 8GB sized and the display is a 15.6” IPS panel with antiglare coating and matte finish at a native resolution of 1920 by 1080. The raw computational power of the system may be less but has the sleek design, long battery and premium look and feel to it that you can sit for hours on the end and be productive on this machine.
Lenovo has taken care that the display is pleasing to the eye, color reproduction is good enough for a $900 gaming laptop while being a much lighter than one at 4.8lbs.
It does come with an optical disk drive where, if you wish to, you can install an SSD and have a much more responsive system than the out-of-the-box 1TB HDD has to offer. Lightweight gaming such as League of Legends and other less demanding games can be handled well enough by the 940MX as well.
Ports for peripheral include 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, a VGA an HDMI and the RJ-45 port.All in all, it is a good product for what it is worth, while also not being too excessive and bulky. Quite well-balanced, really.
13, Lenovo IdeaPad 310
The last member of our long list is an AMD oriented laptop for really low budget of $440. We an AMD APU, more precisely the A12-9700P which is powerful enough to stream content or play less demanding games at the 1366 by 768 resolution of the native display. It also has 1TB of HDD storage and 12GB of RAM.
The 15.6” display does look a lot grainy at the low resolution and is not something you’d want to game. If, however, you are looking for a laptop for your children so the family can play video games together then this maybe a good options. For people who wants to fiddle with the hardware or just want a laptop in addition to their PC without losing too much cash this is something worth considering.
However, if you are an enthusiast or a power user or a gamer we strongly suggest you to invest a little more or else you will be disappointed by its performance. It has an HDD, the platform is ancient and the screen resolution way outdated.
The device weighs 4.8 pounds and has 5 hours of reported battery life. It does have wireless 802.11 ac which was quite rare considering the time when it was released.
Making a sound decision depends not only on what you want but also on where you are right now. Running task manager and looking at your current resource utilization may help you detect where the bottlenecks are and how best to invest in your future purchases.
An SSD is almost always necessary and next to it is the GPU if you are into gaming. The CPU is not likely to be a bottleneck if you are not a power user and even Chrome is not going to crash if you open 10 tabs with only 8GB of RAM.
Invest only after looking at the data and not just going by the look and feel and personal recommendations.