Need A Budget Gaming Laptop? Here’s What To Look For

Budget Gaming Laptop

Most gaming laptops are thousands of dollars, but it doesn't have to be that way for you. Here's what to look for in a great budget gaming laptop.

Are you interested in getting a gaming laptop but aren't willing to spend thousands of dollars? Well, it looks like you're in luck. We've done the research and have concluded that it is entirely possible to buy a great gaming laptop for under $1,000. The truth of the matter is quite simple. Most expensive gaming laptops have a lot of parts, features, and other miscellaneous add ons that you don't need. You don't need a light-up keyboard, or an ultra high definition screen, or a fancy fingerprint scanner. Don't get me wrong, all that stuff is cool, and if you're willing to spend the extra cash, go for it. But this article is for the people who are going for practical gaming laptops. Laptops that can run the best of games, all the while fitting in a classroom or work setting.

Graphics Card

When it comes to gaming, you'll need a solid graphics card. A decent graphics card will let you run most games on medium to high settings. We recommend you check out the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, with a minimum of 6GB of memory. This particular option is most likely going to bring the overall cost of your gaming laptop to around $1,000. If you're willing to spend a few hundred more, the 1660 Ti is even better. We do understand that you're on a budget, however, so if you want to keep the overall total below $800, take a look at the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 Ti. It's an older graphics card, but it gets the job done well. You'll be able to run virtually any game you want, but don't expect to play in ultra-high quality. 

Processor

Processors go hand in hand with graphics cards. Without a decent processor, you won't be able to run much. We recommend looking towards Intel. Either a Core i5 or a Core i7 will do, but make sure they're at least the eight generations. Anything earlier, and you'll have trouble running heavier games. As for memory, try to aim for 8GB of memory alongside a 256GB SSD (otherwise known as a solid-state drive) at the very least. Some people find that a combination of a 128 GB SSD and a moderate hard drive work great too. 

Upgrades

It's important to keep in mind that memory can be easily upgraded on laptops. Graphics and processing power are not easily upgraded. With this in mind, we recommend that you put more of your budget towards the latter. But that doesn't mean you should get horrible storage! A lot of games have large download sizes, and if you get terrible storage, you'll have to delete and download games all the time to simply switch between titles. It may be confusing, but try to balance out your budget so that graphics and processing power are your number one priority, and your memory is a moderately close second. 

Peripherals

Budget gaming laptops are not going to come with fancy peripherals. This means no light-up keyboards, no ultra HD monitors, and no high definition sound systems. Your gear will be good, but not the greatest. This is okay, though. A lot of budget laptops have included dedicated ports for higher quality peripherals. This means you can buy your laptop and use what it's got built-in until you can afford to buy fancier peripherals (if you wish to do so anyway). 

Gaming Features

If you're looking for gaming-related features for your budget unit, we recommend getting simpler things. A simple backlit keyboard is an excellent example. You don't need flashing lights that are a million different colours. As long as you can see the WASD keys, you're good to go. 

We don't recommend spending hundreds of dollars on a mouse either because most heavy-duty games require a controller anyway! You can get a cheap controller from most tech stores or one that's been used pretty easily. 

Some Recommendations


For Higher Budgets - Upwards of $800

Acer Predator Helios 300

We recommend this particular unit because it's A) under $1,000 and B) It's an excellent gaming laptop. This option should run anything you want to run, and more. We've listed some specs below. 

Laptop

Features

  • Comes standard with an 8th Generation Intel Core i7
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • 4.1 GHz
  • HD Screen
  • Full-Day Battery Life

Lenovo Legion Y540 Gaming Laptop

This particular unit is just under $1,000 and has some pretty spectacular specifications.

Laptop

Features

  • Comes standard with an Intel Core i5-9300H

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

  • An entire TB of hard drive storage.

  • SSD included.

For Lower Budgets - Below $800


MSI GF63 Thin 9SC-614

This particular unit is for those with lower budgets. It's fast, sleek, and a very respectable option.

Laptop

Features

  • Intel Core i5-9300H

  • NVIDIA GTX 1650

  • SSD Included

  • 4.1 GHz

Acer Nitro 5

A decent unit that will run anything you tell it too.

Laptop

Features

  • 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7300HQ 

    • Yes, I know we said anything below the 8th generation should be avoided, but this is an exception. 

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

  • Full-day battery life

  • High definition monitor

Final Thoughts

We hope this article helped you find the budget gaming laptop you were looking for. Best of luck to all those now diving into the virtual worlds of gaming. Cheers!

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