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The best cheap gaming laptops in 2020

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops
(Image credit: Future)

We've compiled a list of the best cheap gaming laptops because we know gaming is an expensive hobby. With all the games and peripherals, it can get pricey really fast.  And while everything else can cost a pretty penny, who says that the right rig has to cost an arm, a leg and the soul of your firstborn? Fortunately for the fiscally-conscious gamer, there are cheap gaming laptops that can run graphically-taxing games at solid frame rates without putting a serious dent in your wallet.

Whether you're looking for a gift for the gamer in your life or want an affordable way to frag on the go, here are the best cheap gaming laptops under $1,000.

Here are the best cheap gaming laptops you can buy today

  1. Lenovo Legion Y545
  2. Dell G3 15
  3. HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0046nr
  4. MSI GF63 8RB
  5. Dell G7 15
  6. Acer Nitro 5
  7. Acer Nitro 5 Spin
  8. Asus TUF Gaming FX705
  9. Lenovo Legion Y530

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops: Lenovo Legion Y545

With its understated good looks, surprising powerful gaming and overall performance and comfortable keyboard, the Lenovo Legion Y545 is our top cheap gaming laptop. (Image credit: Future)

1. Lenovo Legion Y545

The best cheap gaming laptop overall

CPU: 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-9750H CPU | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU with 6GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: 16GB/128GB SSD | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6/1920 x 1080

Elegant, understated design
Great gaming and overall performance
Comfortable keyboard
Below-average battery life
Runs hot when gaming

The Lenovo Legion Y545 offers strong gaming and overall performance with understated, business-ready looks — all for an affordable price. Thanks to an Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti GPU and an Intel Core i7 CPU, the Legion Y545 is the best cheap gaming laptop, keeping its competitors at bay. Instead of a flashy light show, Lenovo opted for an sophisticated, subtle design, allowing it to fit in an office setting or a LAN party. 

And despite its price, the laptop also delivers a bright, vibrant display, comfortable keyboard and excellent audio. In short, it's the cheap gaming laptop to beat. 

See our full Lenovo Legion Y545 review.

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops: Dell G3 15 (2019)

The Dell G3 15 (2019) offers stellar battery life and strong performance.  (Image credit: Future)

2. Dell G3 15

Great performance and helpful software

CPU: 2.2-GHz Intel Core i5-9300H CPU | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: 8GB/128GB SSD/1TB 5,400-rpm HDD | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6/1920 x 1080

Strong overall performance and graphics
Good battery life
Great gaming software
Dull display

The G3 15 is a great refresh of an already impressive, affordable gaming laptop. It has solid performance paired with a great gaming utility on top of awesome battery life for a gaming laptop. Plus, it tears through most games at impressive frame rates and you get a nice comfortable keyboard to play on. Overall, the G3 15 is the cheap gaming laptop to get if you're on a tight budget.

See our full Dell G3 15 (2019) review

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops: HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0046nr

The HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0046nr is a cheap gaming laptop that offers solid power and great battery life. (Image credit: Future)

3. HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0046nr

Stellar performance and battery life on a budget

CPU: 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-9750H CPU | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: 12GB/256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6/1920 x 1080

Affordable
Solid gaming and overall performance
Runs cool while gaming
Great battery life
Dim, somewhat dull display

The HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0046nr is an entry-level gaming laptop with a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GPU, with an agile SSD and great battery life, all wrapped up in a striking, fairly portable design. Its combination of specs, power and endurance earned the laptop a place on our top cheap gaming laptops under $1,000 page. 

See our full HP Gaming Pavillion 15-dk0046nr review.

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops: MSI GF63 8RB

With such great performance, the MSI GF63 8RB belongs on your cheap gaming laptop list. 

4. MSI GF63 8RB

Strong performance for the price

CPU: 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H CPU | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: 16GB/256GB M.2 PCIe SSD with a1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6-inch/1920 x 1080

Relatively slim and lightweight
Fast performance
Dim and dull display
Low-travel keyboard
No gaming utilities

The MSI GF63 is designed for people who want to game, but don't want to spend a fortune to do so. You get solid performance from its Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia graphics. It offers excellent performance at a reasonable price allowing you to play most modern games at low settings. It's a great choice for an entry-level player.

See our full MSI GF63 8RB review.

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops: Dell G7 15

The Dell G7 15 is a cheap gaming laptop that offer good looks and long battery life. 

5. Dell G7 15

Good looks, long battery life

CPU: 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H CPU | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU with 6GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: 16GB/1TB 5,400-rpm HDD | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6/1920 x 1080

Relatively slim and lightweight
Fast performance
Dim, dull display
Below-average battery life

Meet the G7 15 . Visually, the G7 15 is cut from a different cloth than either the Inspiron or the Alienware brands, giving the laptop an identity of its own. And it offers solid overall performance for all your multitasking needs. But more importantly, thanks to its Max-Q GTX 1060, you can expect good frame rates on AAA titles on medium to high settings. It's a great cheap gaming laptop. 

See our full Dell G7 15 review.

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops: Acer Nitro 5

The Acer Nitro 5 is a cheap gaming laptop with stellar performance.

6. Acer Nitro 5

Stellar performance at an affordable price

CPU: 2.4-GHz Intel Core i5-8300H | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1650 with 4GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: up to 8GB/512GB SSD | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6-inch/1920 x 1080

Solid specs for a budget laptop
Stays cool under pressure with customizable fan controls
Plenty of ports for peripherals
Bulky size
Finicky trackpad
Weak audio

Starting at $699, it's going to be hard to find a better cheap gaming laptop than the Acer Nitro 5. For the price, you get a 9th Gen Core i5 CPU and an Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU, which is enough to play most games on low or medium settings. Keep in mind that such a low price point means that some sacrifices must be made. But if you want to spend as little money as possible for a gaming rig, the Nitro 5 is the way to go. 

See our full Acer Nitro 5 (2019) review

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops: Acer Nitro 5 Spin

The Acer Nitro 5 Spin is a cheap gaming laptop with loads of versatility.

7. Acer Nitro 5 Spin

Sleek convertible with entry-level power

CPU: 1.8-GHz Intel Core i7-8550U | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050 with 4GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: up to 8GB/256GB SSD with a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6-inch/1920 x 1080

Stylish, versatile design
Comfortable keyboard
Bright, vibrant display
Good keyboard
Graphics could be better for price
Gets toasty while gaming

The Acer Nitro 5 Spin delivers solid multitasking power, good battery life, a comfortable keyboard and oodles of versatility thanks to its easily convertible design. An Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU means that you can play most games at low or medium settings. It's a solid choice for games looking for a cheap gaming system that does more than play games.

See our full Acer Nitro 5 Spin review.

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops: Asus TUF Gaming FX705

The Asus TUF Gaming FX705 is a cheap gaming laptop that's large and in charge. 

8. Asus TUF Gaming FX705

Strong performance, vivid display, great price

CPU: 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-8300H CPU | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: 8GB/128GB PCIe m.2 SSD with a 1TB 7,200-rpm hard drive | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6/1920 x 1080

Vivid and crisp 144-Hz display
Comfortable keyboard
Excellent performance
Poor webcam
Weak speakers

The TUF Gaming FX705 is a good choice for anyone who wants a large, midrange, yet cheap gaming laptop. The FX705's 17.3-inch, 144-Hz display is vivid and detailed, and its Core i7 CPU and GTX 1060 GPU provide excellent all-around performance. The laptop also has a comfortable keyboard with customizable lighting, plenty of ports and over 4 hours of battery life, which is impressive for a gaming laptop at any price point.

See our full Asus TUF Gaming FX705 review

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops: Lenovo Legion Y530

The Lenovo Legion Y530 serves up premium design on a cheap gaming laptop.

9. Lenovo Legion Y530

A sleek, slim budget gaming laptop

CPU: 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H CPU | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: 32GB/256GB PCIe NVMe SSD with a 1TB 7,200-rpm hard drive | Display Size/Resolution: 17.3/1920 x 1080

Sleek, stylish design
Thin bezels
Strong overall performance
Solid port selection
Good value
Dull display
Dismal webcam
Middling graphics

The Lenovo Legion Y530 is the Porsche of budget gaming laptops. Its minimalist design and blackout color scheme give it a suave look you'd associate with tuxedo-clad, big-screen villains. Outside of its stately good looks, you get a gaming notebook that offers a wide range of ports and a solid graphics card. It's a very good choice for casual gamers who want a cheap gaming laptop with a button-up design that can blend in -- and even impress -- no matter the setting.

See our full Lenovo Legion Y530 review