Are you looking for the best budget gaming laptop 2021? In this guide, we go through the top 5 budget gaming laptops on the market.

AnxietyTech is a international media group and leading digital publisher providing in depth reviews without bias. All of the gaming laptops mentioned are tested and reviewed individually.

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops

Laptop Images

Laptops

Features

Rating

Price

Acer Predator Helios 300

  • 15.6"

  • Intel i7 10750H

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

MSI Alpha 15

  • 15.6"

  • AMD Ryzen7 3750H

  • AMD Radeon RX5500M

Acer Nitro 5

  • 15.6"

  • Intel Core i5-9300H

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

ASUS TUF A17

  • 17.3”

  • AMD Ryzen 7 4800H

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

Lenovo Ideapad 3

  • 15.6"

  • Intel Core i5 10300H

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

1. Acer Predator Helios 300.

Acer Predator Helios 300This is undoubtedly one of the best budget gaming laptops. It comes with the 10th generation Intel Core i7 6-core processor which boasts up to 5.0 GHz. It already has the Windows 10 Home 64 bit installed, saving you some serious hurdle. The overclockable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 is a great choice of video card and this one comes with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM.

The monitor is large enough for you to enjoy the vivid graphics of your game of choosing, coming at 15.6 inches and a full HD resolution.

In terms of memory, the laptop comes with a 16 GB DDR4 dual-channel memory stick and a 512 GB NVMe SSD drive. What this means is that you can expect the laptop to turn on, power off, and restart in a matter of seconds while also boasting some serious performance capabilities. To top it all up, the keyboard is backlit with 4-zone RGB lighting.

Overall this is our best cheap gaming laptop in our guide. It provides enough graphics power for mainstream gaming and you get more bang for your buck compared to other laptops.

PROS

  • RGB zoned keyboard
  • Big vents on rear and sides
  • Professional looking laptop
  • Doesn’t come with much bloatware
  • Excellent gaming performance with Intel Core i7 processor.
  • Handles games like CoD warzone on high settings

CONS

  • When under heavy load the fans do get loud
  • Battery life is weak

2. MSI Alpha 15.

MSI Alpha 15This is another convenient solution for those of you looking for a reliable gaming laptop. The device, much like the Acer model, has a 15.6-inch screen that comes with full HD resolution, providing a crisp and enjoyable graphic display. The video card is the AMD Radeon RX5500M 4G GDDR6 4K and it works at 60 Hz.

It’s also worth noting that the laptop comes with a 512 GB NVMe SSD drive which improves its overall performance as well as the speed at which it powers up, shuts down, and restarts.

The laptop has Windows 10 installed which will surely save you time and money going forward. It also has two USB 3, second-generation ports for quick data transfer. Apart from that, the design is fairly straightforward and it doesn’t resemble the Acer in any way.

Overall it’s behind most gaming desktops as expected, but it has a good graphics card which is different to most that have nVidia graphics.

PROS

  • AMD Radeon RX 5500M GPU is faster than most GTX 1650 competitors
  • Design is sleek
  • RGB keyboard is configurable per key

CONS

  • Noisy fans
  • CPU performance isn’t great
  • Speaker quality isn’t good

3. Acer Nitro 5.

Acer Nitro 5This is another great laptop brought to you by Acer. The Nitro 5 has the overall gaming appeal and a nice red backlighting on the keyboard that activates upon touching any of the buttons. It comes with the 9th generation Intel Core i5-9300H processor that works at up to 4.1 GHz.

The screen boasts full HD graphics and it is 15-inches large. It’s also backlit. The video card is the classic GeForce GTX 1650 that has 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM. This graphics chip is found in most laptop screens in this price range.

The cheap laptop also comes with 256 GB of SSD space, improving its overall speed and performance, though not as much as the previous two models we talked about.

All in all, this amazing laptop is a great choice for those who look for something more affordable and yet powerful enough to sustain an enjoyable gaming experience.

PROS

  • Storage is expandable
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Great battery life
  • Gaming performance is great for price
  • Doesn’t get too hot under load

CONS

  • Keyboard is hard to read
  • No microSD or SD slot

4. ASUS TUF A17.

ASUS TUF Gaming A17The first thing to know about this laptop is that it comes with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 video card boasting 4GB GDDR6 graphics. The base working line is 1380 MHz, though it can be boosted up to 1515 MHz.

The processor is a solid quad-core AMD Ryze 7 supporting up to 4800H. This should be more than enough for the majority of the new games coming out. More interestingly, the laptop comes with a massive display at 17.3 inches. It supports full HD resolutions.

The 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, as well as the 1 TB of HDD, mean that you wouldn’t have to worry about space or speed as the combination should provide you with both. The keyboard is RGB backlit and it’s rated for 20-million strokes. This is another great solution that comes at a more expensive price range compared to the Nitro 5 but it also boasts better characteristics when it comes to modern laptops.

PROS

  • Amazing performance and graphics
  • Stellar battery life
  • Keyboard is comfortable
  • 1TB SSD large storage
  • Colorful keyboard backlighting

CONS

  • No biometrics
  • No SD card slot

5. Lenovo Ideapad 3.

Lenovo Ideapad 3This is a laptop that comes with 8GB of RAM as well as 256 GB of hard disc space plus another 256 GB of SSD. Again, you can rest assured that it will boot up pretty quickly and you will be able to pull off some quick restarts when you need them.

The cheap gaming laptop is equipped with a 10th generation Intel Core i5 process. This quad-core processor is supposedly better than the i7 which works at 8850H. The base frequency is 2.5 GHz but it can go up to 4.5 GHz thanks to the Intel Turbo Boost Technology.

The screen is a 15.6-inch one with full HD resolution capacity and it also comes with 120 HZ in-plane switching technology. Another important consideration is the video card. The Ideapad 3 comes with the GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR6 one by NVIDIA and it’s a standard gaming video card that should be able to support the majority of games with proper settings. It’s equipped with a Windows 10 home edition that comes with 64 bits and an integrated HD webcam that also has a privacy shutter.

Overall the Ideapad 3 might be closer to a gaming notebook. That doesn’t mean gaming notebooks are bad, but its more of a business laptop than some of the cheap gaming laptops in our guide.

PROS

  • Competitive pricing
  • Robust, durable build
  • Comfortable typing experience
  • Lots of memory
  • Decent gaming performance

CONS

  • Screen could be brighter

  • Average battery life

What features should you look for before getting a cheap gaming laptop?

  • Make sure the build is a solid laptop and it’s not flimsy
  • Good battery life
  • Powerful graphics card
  • High screen resolution and screen size
  • Powerful performance from CPU
  • Ray tracing
  • Comfortable keyboard

Is a 500 dollar gaming laptop worth it?

No it’s not worth it. It’s unlikely to have any graphics card solution, it’s also likely to have a budget CPU running into issues when gaming. Cheaper machines also don’t come with things such as a long battery life or much CPU power. You’ll struggle to play your favorite games and most modern games won’t even start. Even for casual gamers, you should stick to the laptops in our guide as a minimum. This way you get an affordable machine and still be able to play games.

How much does a decent gaming laptop cost?

A good gaming laptop will cost between $800-1000. The very best gaming laptops can cost closer to $3000. High end gaming laptops have vast performance differences, but nearly all laptops struggle with heat issues and won’t be able to compete with desktop based gaming systems. The best gaming laptop should be able to handle demanding games for long periods of time.

Is 8GB RAM enough for gaming?

Yes 8GB RAM is enough. For some newer games, they may require up to 16GB. Most budget gaming laptops come with atleast 8GB. Premium gaming laptops tend to come with closer to 16GB. The Helios 300 is a good example of an affordable gaming laptop that has 16GB of RAM and offers solid gaming performance.

Should I go for a CPU Intel Core or AMD?

In my opinion a CPU AMD Ryzen made is better than Intel. Whilst a Intel core i7 10750h might offer decent performance, you’ll also overpay. When going with a new gaming laptop I recommend sticking to AMD. They’re superior for things like video editing too and I recommend them in a budget laptop.

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