The best budget gaming laptops of 2023

Tech specs are usually overrated when it comes to picking a PC but not when it comes to gaming systems. Purchasing a cheap gaming laptop is definitely a case where you have to get the most bang for the fewest bucks without sacrificing your gaming experience. It’s a careful balance, though, as doubling your RAM or getting a better graphics card will impact your budget. 

The closer you get to the $1,000 price point, the more likely you’ll be able to get more than just the basic gaming laptop specs: maybe a newer processor, 16GB of RAM, or a 512GB solid-state drive. However, if you’re watching every dollar, you’ll have to make do with those bare minimum specs.

Two other important considerations are weight and battery life, neither of which is a gaming laptop’s specialty. The notebooks on this list fall on either side of the 5-pound mark, but if you’re planning to take the laptop with you on the go often, a lighter system might be of greater importance to you. You also shouldn’t expect miracles when it comes to battery life, as more powerful components being pushed to the max by PC games will chew through a charge. However, if staying unplugged as long as possible is crucial, serious consideration should be given to the Acer Nitro 5’s superior battery numbers.

Choose this budget gaming laptop…

If you want…

Asus TUF A15

A well-rounded and budget-friendly gaming laptop. It’s built with a Ryzen 7 6000 series CPU and GeForce RTX 3050Ti graphics card.

Dell G15 Ryzen Edition

A gaming laptop with the most value. With a Ryzen 5 5600H CPU and GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, the Dell G15 Ryzen Edition is the most bang for your buck.

MSI Sword

An affordable, Intel-based gaming laptop. You can choose either an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU to power your MSI Sword.

Acer Nitro 5

A gaming laptop for beginners. Its low price and modest components make it a great choice for anyone just starting to get into PC gaming or kids and teens who want their own gaming laptop.

HP Omen

To customize your laptop for under $1,200. If you’re willing to stretch your budget just a little, you can take advantage of some great customization options from HP and Omen.


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