Help Me, Laptop: What's the Best Cheap Gaming Laptop?

Making the switch to PC gaming will almost always cost much more than any console out there, and unlike the console world, there are just too many laptops to choose from.

A user on the Tom's Guide forums, hhhjaam, is struggling with a similar dilemma. 
hhhjaam writes, "I am looking to buy a good gaming laptop within $500 - 800 range that will stay good for [the] next 2 or 3 years."

Have no fear, hhhjaam, Laptop is here!

We're going to give you a couple of suggestions and discuss the differences between each laptop, but if you'd like to go down the cheap-gaming-laptop rabbit hole yourself, we also built a detailed buying guide just for such a situation.

The $749 Lenovo Legion Y530 sits at the top of the list for this price range. It's packing an Intel Core i5-8300H processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB HDD and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB of VRAM. Aside from being gorgeous with its slick design and thin bezels, this baby can run Rise of the Tomb Raider above 30 fps on High settings. Plus, all your games can be enjoyed on the laptop’s great 2-millimeter travel keyboard. Although the battery lasts just under 5 hours.

There's the
Dell G3 15 Gaming, which also starts at $749 with the same exact specs, but for an extra $50 you can toss that mechanical hard drive for a 256GB SSD that will allow for faster boot-up times. Its bezels are a lot thicker than the Legion's, and its keyboard isn't as good due to its lower 1.2mm travel, but the G3 15's battery life lasts under 7 hours, which is nearly 2 hours longer than the Legion's.

MORE: Best and Worst Laptop Gaming Brands

If you’re willing to break your budget just a little bit, the MSI GV62 8RE ($949 at the time of writing) could benefit you with its beefy GTX 1060 with 3GB of VRAM. It scored a 7.3 out of 11 on the SteamVR Performance test, making virtual reality not only possible, but actually look good. It does have a comfortable 1.7 mm travel keyboard, but its battery dies only a little after 2 hours.

These are just a few of the best-bang-for-your-buck cheap gaming laptops. Let us know if you choose among one of these or if you had another in mind!

Credit: Laptop Mag

Rami Tabari

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.