The PC gaming market is flooded with newer and more efficient hardware which has the gaming community psyched since the Nvidia Pascal release in 2016. Given all of this, it is curious to see how many budget gaming laptops still use the older GPUs, mostly GTX 950M and 960M. We will see as we look closely at individual laptops, how good of a performance they pack for the aforementioned budget. The most crucial deciding factor other than the GPU, will be high speed storage, CPU and of course, the display.
However, one thing should be made clear, laptops at any price point will never give a good a bang for your buck next to a PC build with a similar price tag. For the given budget of $700, you can easily build a decent gaming PC with GTX 1060 or better that will play most games at 1080p at high settings. This article solely concerns itself with the laptop market. If you already have a PC and need a secondary device for light gaming and casual use or if you absolutely need a portable gaming device then should you consider getting one of these.
Best Gaming Laptop under 700 comparison:[table “16” not found /]
The Best Choice: Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop
Acer too has its fair share in the gaming laptops series with its Nitro 5 which made its entry in the much competitive gaming laptop segment- the mid-range gaming category.
Talking about the build, the red theme is what is focused on the exteriors. The lid is of brushed metal and an overall aesthetic touch is present. The hinges could have been somewhat smoother but it was not a major concern to look up for.
The Nitro 5 has a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a card reader, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port and an HDMI port. The USB 2.0 ports were quite surprising though and least expected. It does not have a DVD drive or a DisplayPort output. The keyboards looked good with regards to typing, but taking gaming into consideration since it’s a gaming laptop, the keys failed to deliver. Something with more rigidity would have made sense especially when it came to hardcore gaming. The trackpad too was decent enough but failed in terms of rigidity.
When it comes to display, the Nitro 5 has a 1080p IPS panel but lacks Nvidia G-Sync or a high refresh rate. Poor colour reproduction is highly visible when it comes to the Nitro 5’s display but the viewing angles were considerably far better. The speakers too failed to impress and were somewhat of a disappointment considering the price. Nothing more than the ordinary.
The GPU unit is a Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 with 4 GB of dedicated memory. The processor is a core i5 7300HQ which is a mid-range processor. It lacks Hyperthreading, hence the performance is not very impressive though decent.
The Final Verdict
The Acer Nitro 5 is a solid gaming device at this price point but lacks features to have the “wow” element. Though the processor and GPU are decent enough to run most modern games on a 1080p screen, the keyboard and display was a let down by all means. If you cannot afford other mid-range gaming laptops, then the Acer Nitro 5 is not a very bad choice either!
ASUS TUF Thin & Light Gaming Laptop (FX504)
The TUF gaming laptops have got its name which was derived from the company’s motherboard naming. The TUF laptops aim at the mid-range of gaming laptops available in the market. The TUF laptops claim to be more reliable and last longer when compared to the alternatives in the same price segment.
When it comes to design, Asus has included all the looks and patterns of a true gaming machine. The placement of the trackpad and keyboards are just in place to make this laptop one of the best in terms of this aspect.
The screen is of a 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 1920*1080. The FX504 lags behind in terms of the display because it only has a low quality 60Hz TN panel. Regarding this specification, it lacks good colour reproduction and also the viewing angles are not great.
The rig is powered by Intel Core i5-8300H paired with 8GB DDR4 RAM. The processor can be turbo boosted up to an impressive 3.9 GHz making it one of the fastest laptops in this segment. The Graphics unit is a 2GB variant of the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 GPU. The GPU configuration could have been improved but the one inside is good enough to get lag free performance from latest titles. The storage is of 1TB FireCuda Storage which up to 5x faster than traditional HDD . The SSHD along with the FX504 also adds to the advantage of this laptop over others due to the faster data transfer speeds and faster loading of applications. This laptop can also be upgraded to 32 GB of RAM.
The keyboard is also sturdy and backlit enabled. The other ports in the laptop are 2 USB 3.1 ports, a USB 2.0 port and an HDMI port with a micro SD card reader. The best part is that all the ports are aligned on the left side leaving space for the free movement of the mouse on the right. The laptop also runs on Windows 10 OS out of the box. The sound system is an impressive 7.1 surround sound which adds to the overall appeal of the device.
The Asus FX504 is indeed one worthy laptop considering the price tag it carries along. The biggest advantage is the ergonomics of this laptop that lets you experience good gaming. The hardware is decent too but the GPU could have been improved. The worst aspect was the display, but if you do manage to find the right position, well that issue could be resolved too. Overall, an amazing mid value gaming machine worth the price.
DELL INSPIRON 7567 Gaming Laptop
The 7567 comes in 4 different models and colour combinations of red and matte black. DELL has been known to provide gaming laptops in the mid-range segment and the 7567 too does deliver on papers. When it comes to real life, let’s find out.
It houses an Intel 7th Gen Core i5-7300HQ processor with 8 GB of DDR4 SDRAM. With the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050Ti GPU and 4 GB of GDRR5 dedicated video RAM, modern games worked flawlessly on this laptop. The display, however, was a disaster with the narrow field of view and discolouration problems. Finding the display’s sweet spot is very hard and time-consuming. The screen size is of 15.6 inches Full HD Display with a resolution of 1920 * 1080p. It has Anti-glare LED Backlit display too.
The keyboard felt nice to use and was backlit. The trackpad, however, had many issues like even registering false touches. Your best option would be to use the gaming mouse for a better experience. It has 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI port and a storage space of 256 GB SSD along with optical drive and card reader. The Dell Inspiron 7567 comes preloaded with the Windows 10 Home 64-bit. The battery life could have been vastly improved taking into consideration that it died with just 5 hours of watching videos.
THE FINAL VERDICT
If you wanted a budget gaming laptop, then this might be the right choice provided you are willing to sacrifice the display and the trackpad. Keeping both these negatives aside, the 7567 is worth the consideration.
DELL INSPIRON 7000
The Inspiron 7000 is yet another mid-range gaming machine from the popular laptop manufacturers.
Housing an Intel 7th Generation Quad core i5-7300HQ clocked at 2.5 GHz and which can be turbo boosted up to a massive 3.5 GHz, The 7000 has a solid configuration. To top it all off, it also comes with 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB of Hard Drive capacity with an rpm of 5400. The GPU unit is also a solid Nvidia GTX 1050 with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM.
The decent spec of this gaming laptop does allow you to play all the modern games with ease, though maybe not at full resolution with maximum settings. The front-facing speakers were pretty amazing although we thought it would just be another mediocre speaker set.
The Display is a 15.6 inch with a resolution of 1920*1080p. The screen is LED backlit with IPS technology and Anti-Glare functionality. Though the display looked good on papers, in reality, it lacked colour reproduction when compared to other laptops. The sharpness and viewing angles were just decent enough and not something the laptop could brag about.
The Inspiron 7000 came bundled along with Windows 10 Home 64-bit edition. It also consists of a 2 in 1 card reader, Bluetooth 4.2 and three USB 3.0 ports. The keyboard performed well in terms of gaming and the backlighting was just right. The trackpad too did not feel uncomfortable but could have been improved.
The Inspiron 7000 is a decent performer in the price category. Dell could have improved its display and also done something about the laptops slow hard drive space. But when it comes to budget gaming laptops, you can expect some flaws here and there. Overall, a neat package with big rooms for improvement.
MSI GL62M 7RD-1407 Gaming Laptop
The 1407 is the lower end version of the 1408. The only difference being the processor both of these houses. MSI gaming laptops are known for customer satisfaction and this laptop is one of the best deals that you can get that comprises of a GTX 1050 GPU.
The laptop is sleek and slim. It does not look like a typical gaming laptop and can be carried around for other uses too. The screen size is of 15.6 inches with an FHD screen and IPS panel. Also, the screen resolution is a solid 1920* 1080p. The processor is an Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor known for its gaming capabilities and also the ability to drain the battery fast. The 1407 houses 8 GB of DDR4 RAM which is sufficient for your gaming needs, but if you tend to do a lot of professional work, you might have to think of upgrading it. The GPU is a Nvidia GTX 1050 but with only 2GB of VRAM.
The storage is a 256 GB SSD drive which is pretty fast but at the same time not sufficient if you have a lot of files. You would definitely want to consider buying a hard disk. The MSI GL62M 7RD-1407 has 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port and a USB type C port. It also packs along standard Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Webcam but lacks an optical drive. The 1407 also comes along with 4 speakers and a subwoofer. Also bundled along is Windows 10 OS.
If you are tight on budget and wants to have a gaming laptop with a great affordable GPU, by all means get the 1407. If you can stretch your budget a bit, you might find other good deals in the same segment. Altogether, a decent buy with a complete value for money.
ACER ASPIRE E15
One among the laptops that do not make you realise how little you paid for it, the Acer Aspire E15 has all the rights to be a great cost effective laptop. Price aggressively, the Aspire E15 does know how to give competition to its peers.
Starting off with the design, the build is mainly plastic but it does feel robust enough to be carried around every time. The metallic texture pattern of the lid adds to the look and feel of the laptop. This laptop has a lot of connectivity options ranging from a USB 3.1 Gen1 port, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, a VGA port and a USB 2.0 port. It also includes a 3.5 mm audio jack.
The keyboard and trackpad feel good when used on a regular basis too. The keyboard is spaced well and not cramped up like you see on other laptops. The backlighting of the keyboard is perfect as well. The screen size is the standard 15.6 inch with a resolution of 1920*1080p. The colour reproduction was surprisingly amazing at this price but the contrast could have been slightly better. The sound speakers were the spec in which the Aspire E15 faltered. Acer could have improved the speakers and you might prefer your headphones most of the time.
The processor was a solid Intel Core i5-8250U with 8GB of RAM. This combination performs well even when compared with the higher budget laptops. The GPU is a Geforce MX150 which by all means is far better than the usual integrated Intel GPUs. You can even play some latest titles with the resolution and details lowered down. The laptop comes with a Windows 10 OS and also claims to have a battery life of up to 15 hours.
THE FINAL VERDICT
The Aspire E15 is one of the few laptops that you can consider as a bang for the buck. It performs well above than what it is priced at and is definitely a solid buy. When you consider aspects like the processor, GPU and display along with the battery life, the E15 is definitely eye catchy by performance though not so much by looks.
LENOVO IDEAPAD 320 Gaming Laptop
The Lenovo Ideapad is a very reasonable laptop at a reasonable price. The main highlight being the RAM, the 320 is something people look out for.
The display is a 15.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1920*1080p. The Display is also LED Backlit with the Anti-Glare display. The display serves its purpose well but the colour reproduction and viewing angles could have been a tad bit better.
The processor is an AMD FX-9800P which can be boosted up to 3.6 GHz with an AMD Radeon 530 GPU. The VRAM of the Ideapad 320 is 2GB GDRR5 which is sufficient to play modern titles at decent frame rates but the settings of heavier titles would have to be lowered to enable smooth gameplay. RAM specifications were top notch with a massive 12 GB DDR4 memory. The hard drive capacity of the Ideapad 320 is 2 TB which is more than sufficient to hold all your files though it is way slower than an SSD.
The laptop has a Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 port, a headphone/audio jack, 1 ethernet port and a DC in port and an HDMI port. The laptop also offered a battery life of up to 8 hours usage time which is good when compared to its peers in this segment. Also, the Ideapad 320 comes pre-installed with the Windows 10 Home edition.
THE FINAL VERDICT
If you want a decent well-built laptop at a good price, then the Ideapad 320 might be the one you are looking at. The RAM it houses is simply outstanding but the GPU unit could have been improved to a slightly higher level as to match the RAM performance. This is pretty lightweight when compared to other devices and can be carried around with ease. Overall, a solid buy worth checking out.
Dell Inspiron 15.6” 7559 (4K Display)
Dell has made some very interesting decisions with this model. First and foremost is the pricing, at the time of this writing Inspiron 7559 is priced at around 800 dollars and comes packed with an i5 6300HQ, an Nvidia Geforce GTX 960M and 8 GB of DDR3L memory. The storage comes in the form of 1 TB 5400RPM + 8 GB SSD Hybrid Drive leaving a vacant slot for an extra 2.5” storage drive, if you need to add a ssd for the laptop.
In terms of build quality and aesthetics, the laptop has a black soft rubber finish with beautiful red accents. The rubber finish is present around the Dell logo as well as the interiors surrounding the touchpad and the keyboard. Although initially quite appealing and luxurious this will easily get scuffed and scratched. Dust sticks to the surface it and can get annoying at times. On the other hand, being consistent with the finish, the display is a 3840 x 2160 (4K) IPS panel with a beautiful matte finish which provides decent antiglare.
As mentioned before, the CPU is an i5-6300HQ with 6M of cache, clocked at 2.30 GHz which can turbo up to a respectable 3.2GHz.Disappointingly there’s only 8GB for main memory, however, there are two RAM slots only one of which is populated with an 8GB stick. So upgrading to 16GB is easier.
But how well does it game? The GTX 960M comes with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Popular games like DOTA2 or League of Legends can be played well over 60 FPS on average and minimum frame rates are not below 40. Even modern titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare are playable at 40 to 50 FPS provided the settings are turned to medium. As the screen resolution of 1920 by 1080 is crammed into a 15.6” display there is really no point in turn on antialiasing with the pixel density fairly high. This argument is valid for most laptops on this list.
As is typical with a laptop display, the colour gamut is quite terrible on this otherwise decent display. This is a shame as the system has enough computational horsepower for smoothly editing 1080p and 1440p videos or doing other colour sensitive work. Apart from the colour gamut fiasco, Dell has done decent job on the display, with wider viewing angle and matte finish it is perfect for gaming events and LAN parties or even outdoors. The display has a little flex to it owing to the poor build quality.
Audio solution on this model is again a very budget conscious one. The speakers are placed a little above the keyboard just underneath the lid. The higher frequencies do tend to break a lot when the volume is turned to a maximum. Additionally, there is an extra of subwoofer at the bottom which again is not that great of an audio solution. The keyboard and touchpad does look and feel cheap but are enough to get the job done.
For connective we have our usual HDMI, Ethernet port and 3 USB 3.0 ports and Wireless 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.0. Battery life, as you might expect with a 74WHr Lithium ion battery. To summarize, this is the final verdict for the Dell Inspiron 7559
- M.2 SSD of 256 GB for faster read-write operations.
- Powerful CPU for a snappy and responsive user experience.
- Keyboard area doesn’t overheat under heavy workloads.
- Decent build quality for the price point.
- Wide viewing angles with a decent 4K IPS panel.Cons:
- Slow and buggy touchpad.
- Still uses a slower DDR3L RAM instead of DDR4.
- Quite heavy at 2.6kg with a bulky 130 W power adapter.