Help Me, Laptop: I Need a Lightweight Gaming Rig on a Budget

It's hard to game on a budget. Games require powerful GPUs that are expensive and bulky. But forum user ws479099412 is willing to compromise power if they can get a good price.

They asked
for a recommendation on a laptop that costs less than $1,000, weighs under 5 pounds and can be used for gaming. They already conceded that they may have to give up on getting an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU in favor of a light workstation card like an MX150 to get that size. We wouldn't do that personally, but hey, who are we to judge?

Fortunately, there are a few options out there for ws479099412, some of which sell for way cheaper than $1,000. However, I think spending the most you can will get you more gaming performance in the long run.

What are the best options? Let's dig in:

Lenovo Yoga 720

After a bunch of searching, I think the ideal computer for ws497008412 is the Lenovo Yoga 720. It starts at $950 and weighs 4.6 pounds. While that's heavy for a 2-in-1, it's still below ws479099412's weight requirement. But most importantly, this laptop has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, which will play most games, though not at the highest settings.

The 15.6-inch, 1080p display is bright and vivid, though the base model comes with only 256GB of SSD storage, so you'll want an external hard drive to hold your Steam library. The other base-model specs include 8GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5-7300HQ CPU.

Acer Nitro 5 Spin

Ws479099412 mentioned that they were looking into the Acer Nitro 5 Spin, and it seems like a great choice. The caveat here is that we haven't had the opportunity to review that machine, so I can't vouch for it. The Nitro costs $949 and comes with a GTX 1050, a 15.6-inch display, 8GB of RAM and an 8th-Gen Intel Core i7 CPU.

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That's a newer processor than the Yoga has, which is nice, though most games are GPU-bound, so you shouldn't see a huge difference when gaming. The Nitro weighs 4.9 pounds, so it's just under ws479099412's weight limit.

Acer Aspire E15 (E5-576G-5762)

If you're looking to save money and don't care about how your games look, I don't understand you, but I have an option for you. This Acer Aspire E15 (E5-576G-5762) is just $599 and comes with an Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and an Nvidia MX150 GPU.

That GPU won't touch the GTX 1050, but it should be fine for less-intensive games, like Overwatch and World of Warcraft. Most games won't look great on this machine, though, and if you're serious about gaming, you'll consider a laptop with at least a GTX 1050.

Credit: Laptop Mag