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Best Cheap Gaming Laptops of 2024 [Expert Reviewed]

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops of 2024 [Expert Reviewed]

Budget Laptops

Are you ready to unlock the secrets of affordable gaming laptops and discover the best ‘cheap gaming laptop’ that fits your budget? In this article, we’ll guide you through the maze of options, ensuring you make an informed choice for an incredible gaming experience. Let’s dive in!

Top Picks for Cheap Gaming Laptops in 2024

someone gaming on a cheap gaming laptop

Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF: Best Budget Gaming Laptop for Most Buyers

Impressive Performance

The Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF packs a punch when it comes to gaming performance. Powered by a potent CPU-GPU combo, this laptop ensures that your games run smoothly without breaking the bank. With its mid-range graphics card and processor, you can expect to play the latest titles at respectable frame rates, providing an enjoyable gaming experience without stutter or lag.

Vibrant Display

One of the standout features of the Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF is its vibrant display. Sporting a Full HD (1920×1080) resolution, the laptop delivers sharp visuals with vivid colors. The 15.6-inch screen size strikes a perfect balance between portability and an immersive gaming experience. Whether you’re exploring open worlds or engaging in fast-paced battles, this laptop’s display ensures you don’t miss any action.

Sleek Design and Build Quality

Gigabyte doesn’t compromise on aesthetics and build quality either. The Aorus 15 BMF features a sleek and modern design, complete with RGB lighting to add a touch of style to your gaming setup. The laptop’s build quality is robust, and it feels sturdy, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of gaming on the go.

Enhanced Cooling

Keeping your gaming laptop cool is essential for consistent performance, and the Aorus 15 BMF excels in this regard. It comes equipped with an efficient cooling system that prevents overheating during intense gaming sessions. Say goodbye to annoying thermal throttling and hello to extended gaming sessions without any hiccups.

Ample Storage and Connectivity

This budget-friendly gaming laptop also offers plenty of storage space for your games and multimedia. You won’t need to worry about running out of space with the Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF. Additionally, it comes with a variety of ports, including USB, HDMI, and Ethernet, ensuring you can connect your peripherals and accessories without any issues.

Long-lasting Battery Life

While gaming laptops are not known for exceptional battery life, the Aorus 15 BMF manages to provide decent endurance. You can expect several hours of productivity or multimedia consumption on a single charge, making it suitable for both work and play when you’re away from an outlet.

In conclusion, the Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF earns its title as the “Best Budget Gaming Laptop for Most Buyers” by offering a compelling combination of performance, display quality, design, and cooling. Whether you’re a casual gamer or someone who enjoys more demanding titles, this laptop will not disappoint. It proves that you don’t need to empty your wallet to enjoy a fulfilling gaming experience.

MSI Cyborg 15 (2023): A Solid Alternative to the Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF

If you’re in the market for a budget gaming laptop and the Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF isn’t quite what you’re looking for, then the MSI Cyborg 15 (2023) presents itself as a compelling alternative. This laptop offers its unique set of features and advantages that might just align perfectly with your gaming preferences and needs. Let’s explore what sets the MSI Cyborg 15 apart and why it’s a solid contender in the affordable gaming laptop arena.

Impressive Gaming Performance

The MSI Cyborg 15 (2023) comes armed with a capable CPU-GPU combination that ensures impressive gaming performance. While it may not be the most powerful laptop on the market, it handles modern games with finesse, delivering smooth gameplay without excessive frame drops. This makes it a great choice for gamers who want to strike a balance between price and performance.

Unique Design and Customization

One of the standout features of the MSI Cyborg 15 is its unique design. Inspired by cyberpunk aesthetics, it’s a laptop that grabs attention with its futuristic and eye-catching appearance. The laptop also offers extensive customization options, allowing you to tweak the RGB lighting and tailor the look to your preferences. If you want a gaming laptop that stands out from the crowd, the MSI Cyborg 15 certainly delivers.

Quality Build and Durability

MSI is known for producing laptops with sturdy builds, and the Cyborg 15 is no exception. It feels robust and durable, designed to withstand the rigors of gaming on the go. This durability ensures that your investment in a gaming laptop will last for years to come.

Vivid Display with High Refresh Rate

The laptop features a vibrant display with a high refresh rate, which is crucial for an immersive gaming experience. The fast refresh rate ensures that the visuals on the screen are buttery-smooth, reducing motion blur in fast-paced games. If you’re into competitive gaming or simply want a visually pleasing experience, the MSI Cyborg 15 has you covered.

Ample Storage and Connectivity Options

Storage space and connectivity are crucial aspects of any gaming laptop, and the MSI Cyborg 15 doesn’t disappoint. It offers ample storage for your games and multimedia, and the variety of ports, including USB-C, HDMI, and Ethernet, ensures that you can easily connect your gaming accessories and peripherals without any hassles.

Balanced Audio

For an immersive gaming experience, audio quality matters just as much as visuals. The MSI Cyborg 15 delivers balanced audio, allowing you to hear the nuances of in-game sound effects and dialogues clearly. Whether you’re using headphones or the laptop’s built-in speakers, you’ll appreciate the audio quality.

In conclusion, the MSI Cyborg 15 (2023) is a solid alternative to the Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF, offering its unique blend of gaming performance, design, build quality, and customization options. It’s an excellent choice for gamers who want something distinctive and stylish without compromising on gaming capabilities. Make your gaming setup truly yours with this cyberpunk-inspired gaming laptop.

Lenovo LOQ 15: Best Gaming Laptop for the Very Tightest Budgets

When your budget is razor-thin, finding a gaming laptop that doesn’t sacrifice performance or quality can be a daunting task. That’s where the Lenovo LOQ 15 comes into play. It’s the best gaming laptop for those with the very tightest budgets, and it manages to provide an enjoyable gaming experience without breaking the bank.

Affordability Without Compromise

Lenovo has worked its magic to create a laptop that’s exceptionally budget-friendly without compromising on essential gaming features. The Lenovo LOQ 15 is proof that you can enjoy gaming without emptying your wallet. It offers a respectable level of performance that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve settled for less.

Balanced Performance

While the Lenovo LOQ 15 may not have the most powerful components, it still delivers solid gaming performance. It’s equipped with a mid-range CPU and GPU combination that can handle a variety of games at decent frame rates. Whether you’re into RPGs, FPS, or strategy games, this laptop can handle them with ease.

Compact and Portable

The laptop’s 15.6-inch display strikes a balance between screen size and portability. It’s compact enough to be easily carried around, making it a great choice for gamers on the move. You won’t feel burdened by a bulky laptop, and you can take your gaming adventures with you wherever you go.

Decent Display

The Lenovo LOQ 15 boasts a Full HD display, ensuring crisp visuals during your gaming sessions. While it may not have the highest refresh rate or the most vibrant colors, it still provides an enjoyable gaming experience. You’ll be able to appreciate the details in your favorite games without straining your eyes.

Long-lasting Battery Life

Surprisingly, this budget-friendly laptop offers decent battery life, allowing you to use it for tasks other than gaming. Whether you’re working on assignments, watching movies, or browsing the web, the Lenovo LOQ 15 won’t let you down in terms of endurance.

Essential Connectivity

For a laptop in this price range, it offers essential connectivity options. You’ll find the necessary ports like USB, HDMI, and Ethernet, ensuring that you can connect your gaming peripherals and accessories without any issues.

In conclusion, the Lenovo LOQ 15 is the best gaming laptop for those with the tightest budgets. It’s an excellent choice for gamers who want to dip their toes into the gaming world without making a significant financial commitment. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of high-end gaming laptops, it proves that gaming can be accessible to everyone, regardless of budget constraints.

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16: Best Budget Gaming Laptop With a 16-Inch Screen

For gamers who crave a larger canvas without breaking the bank, the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 emerges as the best budget gaming laptop with a spacious 16-inch screen. This laptop offers an immersive gaming experience with a larger display while remaining budget-friendly.

Expansive 16-Inch Display

The highlight of the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 is undoubtedly its 16-inch display. The larger screen size allows for a more immersive gaming experience, giving you a wider field of view and enhancing your overall gameplay. Whether you’re exploring open worlds or engaging in intense battles, the extra screen real estate makes everything more captivating.

Impressive Performance

While it’s budget-friendly, this laptop doesn’t skimp on performance. It features a capable CPU-GPU combination that can handle a variety of games with ease. The mid-range graphics card and processor ensure smooth gameplay, making it suitable for both casual and avid gamers.

Full HD Resolution

The 16-inch display comes with a Full HD (1920×1080) resolution, ensuring sharp and clear visuals. You won’t miss any details in your games, and text remains crisp, making it suitable for work or productivity tasks when you’re not gaming.

Decent Battery Life

Considering its larger display, the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 manages to offer decent battery life. While gaming laptops are not known for extended unplugged use, this laptop provides enough endurance for everyday tasks, multimedia consumption, and even some gaming on the go.

Cooling System

To keep things running smoothly during intense gaming sessions, this laptop is equipped with an efficient cooling system. Overheating is kept at bay, allowing you to game for extended periods without performance degradation.

Striking Design

Acer has incorporated its signature Predator design elements into this laptop, giving it a bold and aggressive appearance. If you want a gaming laptop that makes a statement, the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 won’t disappoint.

Ample Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the laptop offers a variety of ports, including USB, HDMI, and Ethernet. This ensures you can connect your gaming peripherals and accessories without any hassles.

In summary, the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 is the best budget gaming laptop for those who want a larger 16-inch display without breaking the bank. It combines an expansive screen with decent gaming performance, making it a compelling choice for gamers who value both visuals and affordability. Dive into your favorite games with an immersive experience on this budget-friendly gaming laptop.

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8: A Solid Alternative to the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16

If you’re considering the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 but want to explore an alternative that offers its unique set of features, the Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8 is a compelling choice. This gaming laptop provides a solid alternative with its own strengths and advantages, ensuring you make an informed decision based on your specific gaming preferences.

Powerful Performance

The Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8 is built to deliver outstanding gaming performance. It boasts a robust CPU-GPU combination that can handle even the most demanding games with ease. Whether you’re into high-end AAA titles or competitive esports, this laptop has the horsepower to deliver a smooth gaming experience.

High Refresh Rate Display

One of the standout features of this laptop is its high refresh rate display. With a refresh rate that goes beyond the standard 60Hz, you can expect buttery-smooth visuals in your games. The increased refresh rate reduces motion blur, providing a competitive edge in fast-paced games.

Excellent Build Quality

Lenovo is known for its durable build quality, and the Legion Pro 5i Gen 8 is no exception. It’s a sturdy gaming laptop designed to withstand the rigors of gaming on the go. You can trust that your investment will last, even with frequent use.

Immersive Sound

Audio is a crucial aspect of gaming, and this laptop delivers an immersive sound experience. Whether you’re using headphones or the laptop’s built-in speakers, you’ll appreciate the rich and clear audio, enhancing your gaming immersion.

Ample Connectivity Options

The Legion Pro 5i Gen 8 offers a range of connectivity options, including USB, HDMI, and Ethernet ports. This ensures that you can easily connect your gaming peripherals and accessories without any compatibility issues.

Sleek and Minimalist Design

While it may not have the aggressive aesthetics of some gaming laptops, the Legion Pro 5i Gen 8 features a sleek and minimalist design. It’s a laptop that you can comfortably use for work or productivity tasks without drawing too much attention.

In conclusion, the Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8 provides a solid alternative to the Acer Predator Helios Neo 16, offering powerful performance, a high refresh rate display, and excellent build quality. If you prioritize gaming performance and visual fluidity, this laptop is a worthy contender that caters to your gaming needs. Make an informed choice based on your preferences and requirements to enjoy an exceptional gaming experience with your budget-friendly gaming laptop.

Understanding Gaming Laptops

red keyboard on a cheap gaming laptop

The CPU-GPU Dynamics

To make informed choices when buying a gaming laptop, it’s crucial to understand the intricate relationship between the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). These two components are at the heart of gaming performance and can significantly impact your gaming experience.

1. The Role of the CPU

The CPU is often referred to as the brain of your laptop. It handles general tasks, such as running the operating system, managing software applications, and executing instructions. In gaming laptops, the CPU also plays a critical role in handling non-graphical game processes, such as physics calculations, artificial intelligence, and game logic.

While the CPU is essential for overall system performance, it is typically less critical for gaming performance compared to the GPU. In most games, the CPU’s primary responsibility is to prepare and dispatch instructions to the GPU for rendering graphics. This means that while a capable CPU is necessary, it doesn’t need to be the absolute top-of-the-line for most gaming scenarios.

2. The Importance of the GPU

The GPU, on the other hand, is the component that handles rendering graphics and 3D visuals in games. It’s responsible for generating the images you see on your screen, including characters, environments, and special effects. For gaming laptops, the GPU is often the most critical factor affecting gaming performance.

When selecting a gaming laptop, pay close attention to the GPU’s specifications, including its model and VRAM (Video Random Access Memory). A more powerful GPU can render complex graphics at higher resolutions and frame rates, resulting in a smoother and more immersive gaming experience.

3. The Balance Between CPU and GPU

In a well-balanced gaming laptop, the CPU and GPU work together harmoniously to provide optimal gaming performance. An imbalance, where one component significantly outperforms the other, can lead to bottlenecks, limiting the laptop’s overall gaming capabilities.

It’s essential to choose a gaming laptop that offers a balanced CPU-GPU combination based on your gaming needs. While it’s tempting to focus solely on the GPU for the best graphics, having a reasonably capable CPU ensures that non-graphical game processes run smoothly, preventing potential slowdowns or frame rate drops.

In summary, understanding the CPU-GPU dynamics in gaming laptops is vital for making informed purchasing decisions. While both components are crucial, the GPU often takes center stage in delivering immersive gaming visuals. However, a well-balanced combination of a capable CPU and GPU is essential for a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience, ensuring that your gaming laptop can handle both graphical and non-graphical game tasks efficiently.

The Price Factor

When it comes to buying a gaming laptop, price plays a pivotal role in determining your options and the overall gaming experience you can expect. Understanding how pricing impacts various aspects of gaming laptops is essential for making a choice that aligns with your budget and gaming requirements.

1. Budget Constraints

Gaming laptops come in a wide range of price points, from budget-friendly options to high-end models. Before you begin your search, it’s crucial to establish a clear budget. Determine how much you’re willing to spend on your gaming laptop, keeping in mind that while gaming laptops offer portability, they can be more expensive than their desktop counterparts with similar performance.

2. Balancing Performance and Cost

In the world of gaming laptops, there is often a trade-off between performance and cost. High-end gaming laptops with top-of-the-line components offer exceptional gaming performance but come at a premium price. On the other hand, budget-friendly gaming laptops may have limitations in terms of graphics, processing power, or display quality.

To find the right balance, consider the types of games you intend to play. If you’re into less demanding titles or esports games, a mid-range gaming laptop may offer excellent value without the need to splurge on the most expensive options. However, if you’re a hardcore gamer looking to run graphically intensive AAA games at the highest settings, investing in a higher-priced laptop with a powerful GPU and CPU is advisable.

3. Refurbished and Older Models

Another way to get more bang for your buck is to consider certified refurbished gaming laptops or slightly older models. These options can provide substantial savings while still offering solid gaming performance. Just ensure that the refurbished laptop comes with a warranty and has been thoroughly inspected and certified by the manufacturer.

4. Essential Features vs. Luxuries

When evaluating gaming laptops within your budget, prioritize essential features that directly impact gaming performance and experience. Key components such as the CPU, GPU, RAM, and display should take precedence. Consider what you absolutely need to enjoy your favorite games without compromise.

Luxury features like RGB lighting, high-resolution displays, or advanced cooling systems can enhance your overall experience but may come at an additional cost. Decide whether these extras are essential for you or if you’re willing to forego them to stay within your budget.

5. Long-Term Investment

Finally, think about your gaming laptop as a long-term investment. While budget constraints are essential, consider future-proofing your purchase by selecting a laptop that can handle upcoming games and software updates for several years. This ensures that your gaming laptop remains relevant and capable over an extended period, providing you with enduring gaming enjoyment.

In conclusion, the price factor is a critical aspect of choosing a gaming laptop. Determine your budget, balance performance and cost, explore refurbished options, prioritize essential features, and think about the long-term value of your investment. With careful consideration, you can find a gaming laptop that not only fits your budget but also delivers an excellent gaming experience tailored to your preferences.

Essential Features to Look for in a Cheap Gaming Laptop

cheap gaming laptop hardware

Processor and Memory

When hunting for a cheap gaming laptop, two crucial components to focus on are the processor (CPU) and memory (RAM). These elements significantly influence your laptop’s overall performance and its ability to handle your favorite games effectively.

1. Processor (CPU)

  • Multi-Core Performance: Look for a CPU with multiple cores, such as a quad-core or hexa-core processor. Games often benefit from multi-core CPUs, as they can handle various tasks simultaneously, improving overall performance.
  • Clock Speed: A higher clock speed (measured in GHz) indicates faster processing. While not the only factor, a combination of higher clock speed and multiple cores can lead to smoother gameplay.
  • Brand and Generation: Opt for well-known CPU brands like Intel or AMD. Additionally, consider the CPU generation; newer generations tend to offer better performance and efficiency.
  • Thermal Management: Gaming laptops can get hot during extended gaming sessions. Ensure that the laptop’s cooling system can effectively manage the CPU’s heat to prevent thermal throttling, which can slow down performance.

2. Memory (RAM)

  • 8GB Minimum: Aim for a minimum of 8GB of RAM. This amount is sufficient for most games and ensures smooth multitasking.
  • 16GB for Future-Proofing: If possible, consider a laptop with 16GB of RAM. It provides extra headroom for running more demanding games and applications in the future.
  • RAM Speed: While higher RAM speeds can boost performance, the difference is often subtle. Focus on capacity (8GB or 16GB) before prioritizing RAM speed.
  • Upgradeability: Some gaming laptops allow you to upgrade RAM easily. If your budget restricts you to 8GB initially, check if you can upgrade later for improved performance.

3. Balanced CPU and RAM

It’s essential to strike a balance between the CPU and RAM. An overpowered CPU with insufficient RAM or vice versa can lead to performance bottlenecks. Look for a gaming laptop with a well-matched CPU-RAM combination to ensure smooth gaming experiences.

4. Consider GPU and Storage

While the CPU and RAM are critical, don’t overlook the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and storage. A dedicated GPU enhances gaming performance, and an SSD (Solid State Drive) improves load times. These elements contribute to an overall smoother gaming experience.

In summary, when searching for a cheap gaming laptop, pay close attention to the processor (CPU) and memory (RAM). Look for a multi-core CPU with a reasonable clock speed and ample RAM (8GB minimum, 16GB for future-proofing). Strive for a balanced CPU-RAM combination to avoid performance bottlenecks. Additionally, consider the GPU and storage to enhance your gaming setup further.

Graphics

Graphics play a pivotal role in the gaming experience, and when considering a cheap gaming laptop, it’s essential to evaluate the graphics capabilities to ensure you can enjoy your favorite games without compromising too much on visual quality.

1. Dedicated GPU vs. Integrated Graphics

  • Dedicated GPU: If possible, opt for a gaming laptop with a dedicated graphics card (GPU). Dedicated GPUs provide significantly better gaming performance compared to integrated graphics. Look for GPUs from reputable manufacturers like NVIDIA or AMD, and consider models with at least 4GB of VRAM for better graphical fidelity.
  • Integrated Graphics: In some budget laptops, you may find integrated graphics, which use the laptop’s main memory (RAM) for graphics processing. While integrated graphics have improved over the years, they are typically not suitable for running modern games at higher settings. If your budget allows, prioritize a laptop with a dedicated GPU.

2. GPU Model and Performance

  • Research GPU Models: Familiarize yourself with GPU models and their performance benchmarks. Check online reviews and gaming forums to gauge how well a particular GPU handles the games you want to play.
  • Entry-Level GPUs: For a cheap gaming laptop, you’ll likely encounter entry-level GPUs, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 or AMD Radeon RX 5500M. These GPUs can handle many games at medium settings, providing a reasonable gaming experience without breaking the bank.
  • Consider Game Requirements: The GPU you choose should align with the requirements of the games you intend to play. If you primarily play less demanding titles or esports games, an entry-level GPU may suffice. For more graphically intensive AAA games, you might need a more powerful GPU.

3. Resolution and Refresh Rate

  • 1080p Gaming: Most budget gaming laptops come with Full HD (1920×1080) displays, which are excellent for 1080p gaming. This resolution strikes a balance between visual quality and performance.
  • Refresh Rate: Some budget laptops offer displays with higher refresh rates (e.g., 144Hz), which provide smoother gameplay. Consider a higher refresh rate if you prioritize competitive gaming or games that benefit from smoother animations.

4. Visual Settings and Game Compatibility

  • Adjusting Visual Settings: Even with budget GPUs, you can enjoy games by adjusting visual settings. Lowering in-game graphics settings can help achieve smoother frame rates on less powerful GPUs.
  • Game Compatibility: Check the compatibility of the games you want to play with the laptop’s GPU. Most games provide minimum and recommended system requirements, which can serve as a guide to ensure your chosen laptop can handle them.

In conclusion, when assessing the graphics capabilities of a cheap gaming laptop, prioritize a dedicated GPU over integrated graphics, if possible. Research GPU models, consider game requirements, and be open to adjusting in-game settings to optimize performance. Aim for a laptop that can comfortably handle the games you enjoy within your budget constraints, ensuring an enjoyable gaming experience without breaking the bank.

Display

The display of your gaming laptop is your window into the gaming world. It’s crucial to consider various aspects of the display when choosing a cheap gaming laptop to ensure an enjoyable gaming experience without compromising on visual quality.

1. Resolution

  • Full HD (1920×1080): For most budget gaming laptops, a Full HD resolution provides a good balance between image quality and performance. It’s ideal for 1080p gaming and ensures crisp visuals.

2. Screen Size

  • 15.6 Inches: Many budget gaming laptops come with a 15.6-inch screen size, which strikes a balance between portability and an immersive gaming experience. It’s a common choice for budget-conscious gamers.

3. Refresh Rate

  • 60Hz: Budget gaming laptops often feature a standard 60Hz refresh rate, which is suitable for most games. However, if competitive gaming or fast-paced titles are your focus, consider laptops with higher refresh rates, such as 120Hz or 144Hz, for smoother animations.

4. Panel Type

  • IPS (In-Plane Switching): IPS panels offer good color accuracy and wide viewing angles, making them suitable for general gaming and multimedia tasks. They provide vibrant and consistent visuals.
  • TN (Twisted Nematic): While less common in modern laptops, TN panels can offer higher refresh rates and lower response times. However, they have poorer color accuracy and narrower viewing angles compared to IPS panels.

5. Response Time

  • Low Response Time: A low response time, typically measured in milliseconds (ms), reduces motion blur and ghosting in fast-paced games. Aim for a gaming laptop with a response time of 5ms or lower for a smoother gaming experience.

6. Anti-Glare Coating

  • Anti-Glare Coating: An anti-glare coating helps reduce reflections and glare on the laptop’s screen, improving visibility, especially in well-lit environments.

7. Color Accuracy and Gamut

  • Color Accuracy: If color accuracy is important to you, look for laptops with good color accuracy, as measured by Delta-E (ΔE) values. Lower ΔE values indicate better color accuracy.
  • Color Gamut: Laptops with a wider color gamut (e.g., sRGB and AdobeRGB coverage) can display a broader range of colors, enhancing your gaming and multimedia experience.

8. G-Sync or FreeSync

  • G-Sync (NVIDIA) or FreeSync (AMD): Some gaming laptops support technologies like G-Sync (NVIDIA) or FreeSync (AMD), which synchronize the laptop’s refresh rate with the GPU’s frame rate to reduce screen tearing and provide a smoother gaming experience. While less common in budget laptops, it’s worth considering if available.

In conclusion, when evaluating the display of a cheap gaming laptop, prioritize a Full HD resolution for good image quality. Consider factors like screen size, refresh rate, panel type, response time, anti-glare coating, color accuracy, and support for adaptive sync technologies if they align with your gaming preferences. A well-balanced display ensures that your gaming laptop can deliver visually satisfying and immersive gaming experiences without straining your budget.

Keyboard and Touch Input

The keyboard and touch input are essential components of your gaming laptop, as they directly affect your gaming experience and overall comfort during long gaming sessions. When selecting a cheap gaming laptop, consider the following aspects related to keyboard and touch input:

1. Keyboard Type

  • Mechanical vs. Membrane: Mechanical keyboards offer tactile feedback and distinct keypresses, making them a favorite among gamers. However, they are less common in budget laptops. Membrane keyboards are more prevalent and can still provide a comfortable typing and gaming experience.

2. Key Travel and Actuation Force

  • Key Travel: The distance a key travels when pressed is known as key travel. Gamers often prefer laptops with keys that offer a comfortable amount of key travel for precise control.
  • Actuation Force: The amount of force required to register a keypress is the actuation force. A balance between actuation force and ease of pressing keys is essential for gaming comfort.

3. Backlit Keyboards

  • RGB Backlighting: Some gaming laptops come with RGB backlighting that allows you to customize key colors and lighting effects. While this feature may not be a necessity, it adds a touch of personalization to your gaming setup.

4. Anti-Ghosting and N-Key Rollover

  • Anti-Ghosting: Anti-ghosting prevents unintentional keypresses from being registered when multiple keys are pressed simultaneously. It’s crucial for gamers who need to execute complex commands.
  • N-Key Rollover: N-Key rollover ensures that every keypress is registered, no matter how many keys you press at the same time. It’s beneficial for gamers who demand precision and fast response times.

5. Touchpad and Touchscreen

  • Touchpad: A responsive and accurate touchpad is essential for general use and navigating the operating system. Ensure the touchpad is comfortable and provides smooth tracking.
  • Touchscreen: While touchscreen displays can be convenient for certain tasks, they are less common in gaming laptops. Whether you prefer a touchscreen or not depends on your personal preference and how you plan to use the laptop.

6. Customizable Macro Keys

  • Customizable Keys: Some gaming laptops come with customizable macro keys that allow you to assign complex commands or shortcuts. If you play games that benefit from macros, consider a laptop with this feature.

7. External Gaming Peripherals

  • External Keyboard and Mouse: While the built-in keyboard and touchpad are essential, many gamers prefer using external gaming peripherals, such as a mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse, for a more precise and comfortable gaming experience. Ensure that the laptop has enough USB ports to accommodate your peripherals.

In conclusion, when evaluating the keyboard and touch input of a cheap gaming laptop, prioritize factors such as keyboard type, key travel, actuation force, anti-ghosting, and N-key rollover to ensure a comfortable and responsive gaming experience. Additionally, consider whether features like RGB backlighting, customizable macro keys, and touchscreen functionality align with your gaming and usage preferences. A well-designed keyboard and touchpad enhance your overall satisfaction with the gaming laptop without exceeding your budget.

Battery Life

While gaming laptops are primarily designed for performance, battery life is still a crucial consideration, especially if you plan to use your laptop for tasks other than gaming, such as work, school, or entertainment on the go. Here are the key aspects to keep in mind regarding battery life when choosing a cheap gaming laptop:

1. Gaming Performance vs. Battery Life

  • Understand that gaming performance and battery life often have an inverse relationship. Gaming laptops tend to consume a significant amount of power when running graphically demanding games. While manufacturers may claim a certain battery life, it’s important to note that this estimation is typically based on light usage and not gaming.

2. Battery Capacity

  • Look for a gaming laptop with a higher battery capacity (measured in watt-hours, Wh) if you need longer unplugged usage. A larger battery can provide more power for non-gaming tasks and extend your laptop’s battery life.

3. Optimized Power Modes

  • Some gaming laptops offer power-saving modes that reduce performance to conserve battery life. These modes can be handy when using your laptop for non-gaming purposes, such as browsing the web or working on documents.

4. Gaming on Battery

  • Understand that gaming while on battery power will significantly reduce your gaming laptop’s battery life. It’s advisable to plug in your laptop when gaming for optimal performance and to avoid draining the battery quickly.

5. Fast Charging

  • Check if the laptop supports fast charging. Fast-charging technology can replenish your battery quickly when you need to use your laptop on the go.

6. Portability vs. Battery Life

  • Consider the trade-off between portability and battery life. Thinner and lighter gaming laptops may have smaller batteries, resulting in shorter battery life. Decide whether you prioritize portability or longer unplugged usage.

7. Battery Health

  • Proper battery maintenance is essential for long-term battery health. Follow manufacturer recommendations for battery care, such as avoiding overcharging and keeping the battery at moderate levels of charge when not in use for extended periods.

In summary, battery life is a critical consideration for a cheap gaming laptop, especially if you plan to use it for tasks beyond gaming. Look for a laptop with a decent battery capacity, consider optimized power modes, and be aware of the trade-off between gaming performance and battery life. Proper battery maintenance practices can also extend the lifespan of your gaming laptop’s battery.

Storage

Storage is a crucial aspect of your gaming laptop, affecting game load times, system responsiveness, and overall usability. When choosing a cheap gaming laptop, consider the following aspects related to storage:

1. Solid State Drive (SSD) vs. Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

  • SSD: SSDs provide faster data access and boot times compared to HDDs. They are the preferred choice for gaming laptops due to their speed and reliability. Look for a gaming laptop with an SSD as your primary storage drive. A 256GB or 512GB SSD is a good starting point for storing your operating system and frequently played games.
  • HDD: Some budget gaming laptops may come with a combination of an SSD for the operating system and an HDD for additional storage. HDDs offer more storage space at a lower cost per gigabyte but are slower than SSDs. They are suitable for storing less frequently accessed data, such as media files or older games.

2. Storage Capacity

  • Consider your storage needs when selecting a gaming laptop. If you have a large game library or plan to store a significant amount of media, opt for a gaming laptop with a larger SSD or an additional HDD for storage.

3. M.2 SSD vs. 2.5-inch SSD

  • M.2 SSDs are smaller, faster, and more power-efficient than 2.5-inch SSDs. Many modern gaming laptops use M.2 SSDs as the primary storage option. However, some budget laptops may still feature 2.5-inch SSDs, which are slightly larger but offer similar performance.

4. Expandability

  • Check if the gaming laptop allows for storage upgrades. Some laptops have additional M.2 slots or empty 2.5-inch drive bays that you can use to expand storage in the future.

5. Game Library Management

  • If your game library is extensive, consider using external storage solutions like external SSDs or HDDs. This allows you to keep your library accessible without overloading your gaming laptop’s internal storage.

6. Loading Times and Performance

  • SSDs not only improve game load times but also enhance the overall system responsiveness. Faster storage can lead to quicker boot times and reduced loading screens in games.

In conclusion, prioritize a gaming laptop with an SSD as the primary storage drive for faster performance and responsiveness. Consider your storage capacity needs and whether additional storage, such as an HDD, is necessary for your media files and older games. Evaluate the laptop’s storage expandability options to future-proof your storage needs. Properly managing your game library and using external storage can also help keep your gaming laptop running smoothly without compromising on storage space.

Wrapping Up

Choosing a cheap gaming laptop that meets your gaming needs while staying within budget is an exciting endeavor. By considering the essential factors discussed in this guide, you can make an informed decision and ensure a satisfying gaming experience:

  1. Processor and Memory: Prioritize a gaming laptop with a balanced CPU and RAM combination to handle your favorite games effectively.
  2. Graphics: Look for a laptop with a dedicated GPU for better gaming performance. Consider the GPU model and its compatibility with the games you want to play.
  3. Display: Opt for a Full HD display with suitable specifications for your gaming preferences, including resolution, screen size, refresh rate, and panel type.
  4. Keyboard and Touch Input: Evaluate the keyboard type, key travel, actuation force, and features like anti-ghosting and N-key rollover. Consider whether customization options and external gaming peripherals align with your gaming style.
  5. Battery Life: Keep in mind the trade-off between gaming performance and battery life. Choose a laptop with a larger battery capacity if you need longer unplugged usage.
  6. Storage: Prefer an SSD as your primary storage drive for faster load times. Consider storage capacity, expandability, and whether an additional HDD is necessary for your media and older games.
  7. Price and Budget: Establish a clear budget and prioritize features that matter most to you, such as gaming performance, display quality, or portability.
  8. Refurbished and Older Models: Consider certified refurbished or slightly older models to get more value for your budget.
  9. Game Library Management: Manage your game library efficiently and consider using external storage solutions for extensive game collections.
  10. Proper Maintenance: Follow manufacturer recommendations for battery and laptop maintenance to ensure long-term durability and performance.

By taking these factors into account, you can find a cheap gaming laptop that suits your gaming style, meets your performance needs, and provides an enjoyable gaming experience without breaking the bank. Happy gaming!

Cheap Gaming Laptop FAQs

Q1: What is the cheapest gaming laptop that’s good?

A1: The “cheapest” good gaming laptop can vary depending on current deals and availability. As of my knowledge cutoff date in January 2022, some budget-friendly gaming laptops known for offering good value included models from Acer’s Nitro series, ASUS TUF Gaming series, and the Lenovo Legion Y540. However, prices and availability change over time, so it’s essential to research current models and deals to find the best budget gaming laptop.

Q2: Is a $500 gaming laptop good?

A2: A $500 gaming laptop can provide a decent gaming experience for less demanding games and older titles. While it may not handle the latest AAA games at high settings, you can still enjoy gaming on a budget with reasonable performance. Look for laptops with dedicated GPUs and adequate RAM for the best experience in this price range.

Q3: Are budget gaming laptops worth it?

A3: Budget gaming laptops are worth it if they meet your gaming needs and expectations. They offer a cost-effective way to enjoy gaming without investing in a high-end gaming rig. However, it’s essential to research and choose a laptop that aligns with your gaming preferences and budget, understanding that there may be some performance limitations.

Q4: Can I use a cheap laptop for gaming?

A4: Yes, you can use a cheap laptop for gaming, but the gaming experience will depend on the laptop’s specifications and the games you want to play. Budget laptops with dedicated GPUs and reasonable CPU-RAM combinations can handle many games, although you may need to adjust settings for optimal performance.

Q5: Is $1000 dollars enough for a gaming laptop?

A5: $1000 is typically a sufficient budget for a mid-range gaming laptop that can handle most modern games at decent settings. You can expect good performance, a reliable GPU, and a Full HD display in this price range. However, high-end gaming laptops with top-tier components may still be out of reach at this budget.

Q6: Is a Chromebook good for gaming?

A6: Chromebooks are not ideal for gaming, especially for resource-intensive titles. Most Chromebooks run on Chrome OS, which has limited gaming compatibility compared to Windows. While you can play some browser-based games and Android games on a Chromebook, it’s not suitable for serious gaming.

Q7: Why are Chromebooks so cheap?

A7: Chromebooks are generally less expensive than traditional laptops because they have lower hardware requirements and run a lightweight operating system (Chrome OS). They prioritize web-based tasks and rely on cloud computing for storage and processing, reducing the need for high-end components and allowing manufacturers to offer them at lower prices.

Q8: Can you run Fortnite on a Chromebook?

A8: Running Fortnite on a Chromebook is challenging due to the limited gaming capabilities of Chrome OS. While some models with powerful hardware can technically run the game, the experience is often subpar, and Epic Games (Fortnite’s developer) does not officially support Chrome OS.

Q9: Can Chromebooks run Roblox?

A9: Yes, you can run Roblox on some Chromebooks that support Android apps from the Google Play Store. However, performance may vary depending on the specific Chromebook’s hardware. For the best experience, choose a Chromebook with decent specifications if you intend to play Roblox on it.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Fredrick Tendong; Unsplash – Thank you!

Grace Phillips

Grace has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. Currently, her writing interest draws her to SaaS and security for different businesses. In her spare time, she snuggle with her two cats, Ned and Toast.
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