Best Budget Gaming Laptop 2023: Our Top Picks

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best budget gaming laptop

If you're after the best budget gaming laptop, we've got you covered with a few standouts right here.

We've compiled this list of gaming laptops based on the specs, reviews, and features they offer, as well as, of course, price.

Finding the best budget gaming laptop can be a little tricky, as by design these laptops have to have high-performance capabilities, but that being said there are a few options out there that we think are worth considering.

Plus, stick around to the end of the article where we've tackled some of the most pressing frequently asked questions and highlighted an upcoming budget gaming laptop.

Let's get to it!

Best Budget Gaming Laptop

Best Budget Gaming Laptop Under 800 - HP Pavilion 15-ec1001na

Best Budget Gaming Laptop HP
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Image Credit: HP
Brand: HP | Display Size: 15.6 inches | Resolution: 1080p | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | CPU: Intel Quad Core i5-9300H (2.4 GHz - 4.1 GHz) | Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1650 | OS: Windows 10 | Weight: 2 kg

The HP Pavilion 15-ec1001na gaming laptop looks to be a popular choice out there, and we can see why.

Alongside its NVIDIA GTX 1650, you'll find a dual-fan system for enhanced cooling combined with rear vents to maximise airflow.

Read More: How To Keep A Gaming Laptop Cool

You're getting a 60hz refresh rate here, which we think is a decent amount for a gaming laptop if you want to stick to a budget, but not miss out on that super smooth, fast-paced gameplay experience.

The display itself is IPS, again, a real winner with both colour and viewing angles, and one of the best panel types for gaming.

And finally, when it comes to design, we think the HP Pavilion makes a real statement and looks awesome.

Best Budget Gaming Laptop ACER - Acer Nitro 5

Best Budget Gaming Laptop Acer
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Image Credit: Acer
Brand: Acer | Display Size: 15.6 inches | Resolution: 1080p | RAM: 8GB | OS: Windows 10 | CPU: 9th Generation Intel Core i5-9300H Processor | Storage: 512 GB SSD | Refresh Rate: 144hz | Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1650 | Weight: 5.07 lbs

This Acer Nitro 5 is another highly-rated choice on the market, and it packs some similarly impressive specs to our first entry on the list.

Interestingly though, this laptop features a staggeringly high refresh rate of 144hz combined with full HD - meaning you can enjoy anything from racing games to first-person shooters confident that you won't miss anything.

Read More: Best Laptops For Sims 4

As for looks, we think it's great and fits in with that gamer aesthetic nicely, especially when paired with similar black/red gaming accessories.

Another quality laptop, we think this Acer Nitro could be a worthy addition to your setup.

Best Budget Gaming Laptop ASUS - Asus TUF F17

Best Budget Gaming Laptop Asus
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Image Credit: Asus
Brand: ASUS | Display Size: 17.3 inches | Resolution: 1080p | RAM: 8GB | OS: Windows 10 | CPU: Quad-core Intel Core 15-10300H Processor | Storage: 512 PCle SSD | Refresh Rate: 144hz | Graphics: GeForce GTX 1650 Ti | Weight: 5.73 lbs

This ASUS TUF F17 gaming laptop is another great budget choice if you're looking for a solid all-rounder.

Alongside its impressive 144hz refresh rate and IPS display, you're also getting a few design features that make it stand out in all the right ways.

Read More: Are Gaming Laptops worth it?

The keyboard itself is RGB, there are a huge amount of ports available, and if you're interested in expansion and upgrading, you'll be able to and then some with this machine.

On top of that, this ASUS TUF laptop lives up to its name with military-grade construction, meaning that you can take this anywhere with a whole new level of confidence.

Best Budget Gaming Laptop Lenovo - Lenovo Legion 5 15.6 Inch

Best Budget Gaming Laptop Lenovo
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Image Credit: Lenovo
Brand: Lenovo | Display Size: 15.6 inches | Resolution: 1080p | RAM: 8GB | OS: Windows 10 | CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H Processor | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Refresh Rate: 120hz | Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1650 | Weight: 2.3kg

Lenovo makes some of the best gaming laptops around and the Legion 5 is a fantastic machine with some impressive specs to its name.

A 120Hz refresh rate should be great for gaming, and with full HD it should deliver the goods when playing games like Fortnite, Warzone and more. Thanks to its anti-glare IPS screen you'll be able to game even in well-lit rooms.

Read More: Best Laptop For Diablo III

8GB RAM ensures this laptop will be able to run most games at standard settings, which is why we'd recommend opting for 8GB over 4GB RAM in laptops.

At only 24mm thin, this is a seriously slim gaming laptop too, making it a great call for taking on the go.

One of the more minimally designed entries on the list, we think this Lenovo Legion ticks a ton of boxes for a great budget gaming laptop.

Best Budget Gaming Laptop MSI - MSI GF63 Thin 10SCXR-426

Best Budget Gaming Laptop MSI
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Image Credit: MSI
Brand: MSI | Display Size: 15.6 inches | Resolution: 1080p | RAM: 8GB | OS: Windows 10 | CPU: Intel Core i5-10300H | Storage: 256 GB NVMe SSD | Refresh Rate: 60hz | Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1650 | Weight: 3.42

The MSI GF63 Thin may be a couple of years old, but it does we think it's a solid choice if you're sticking to a budget.

You're not getting the super-fast refresh rates like some of the others on the list, but for the price, you'll still have 60hz, 1080p, 8GB RAM and also the familiar NVIDIA GTX graphics card.

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If you're wondering how many GBs a laptop should have, this MSI GF63 is the answer. With 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, the laptop will ensure you still experience a high-quality gaming experience, at a lower price.

For casual gamers who may want to dip into laptop gaming and test the waters, we'd say this MSI laptop could be a great option.

Best Budget Gaming Laptop Dell - Dell G15 Gaming

Best Budget Gaming Laptop, Dell G15
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Credit: Dell
Brand: Dell | Display Size: 15.6-inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels | RAM: 8GB | OS: Windows 11 Home | CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600H Processor | Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD | Refresh Rate: 120Hz | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050

Dell creates some of the best gaming monitors and premium gaming laptops, but the Dell G15 proves they can make some excellent budget gaming laptops too.

Under the hood, you're getting an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor and 8GB of RAM which should provide a solid amount of power while gaming.

Read More: Best Laptops For Minecraft

This laptop also features a Full HD, 120hz display, which means you should be able to experience high-quality, fast, and fluid gameplay.

The Dell G15 is even equipped with Game Shift technology to enable performance mode while gaming.

Is a GTX 1650 good for gaming?

The NVIDIA GTX 1650 is a solid mid-range graphics card that is commonly found in many budget gaming laptops.

With this graphics card, you should be able to play most current AAA titles at 1080p and 60fps on medium settings and games released pre-2015 on maximum settings.

With ever-evolving technology and increasing graphics, this card should also run upcoming AAA games on playable fps for approximately the next 2-3 years.

Is 8GB RAM enough for a gaming laptop?

8GB of RAM should run most modern games with no issues, so if you're choosing a budget gaming laptop, we'd recommend getting at least 8GB of RAM as a safe bet.

While some of the most advanced games nowadays may state that they require 16GB of RAM for optimal performance, they should still run with 8GB on medium settings.

Is an i5 processor still good for gaming?

The Intel Core i5 is a fantastic mid-range multipurpose processor and continues to be a popular option when it comes to gaming, especially with every new generation bringing with them multiple exciting improvements.

The i5 should hold up well with most takes including heavy-duty gaming and thanks to being a lot cheaper than an i7 processor, it is a go-to option for many budget gaming laptops.

Is a 60Hz refresh rate good for a gaming laptop?

Refresh rate refers to the number of times the screen refreshes itself every second, so with 60Hz the screen will redraw itself 60 times per second.

Read More: Does A High Refresh Rate Matter?


60Hz will allow you to play games at 60fps, 120Hz at 120fps and so on. We'd say 60Hz is still strong for casual gaming and will allow for smooth gameplay.

If you're looking to play on the competitive scene, you may want a laptop with upwards of a 120Hz refresh rate.

What is the best screen size for a gaming laptop?

When it comes to a gaming laptop's screen size, a 15-inch display is usually the most popular, as it provides a larger display while maintaining portability potential.

If portability is less important to you, a 17-inch display may be preferable to allow for maximum immersion while playing.

Should I Buy A Laptop Or PC For Gaming?

Laptops are becoming increasingly more powerful and efficient, however, the PC still takes the crown when it comes to sheer power for gaming.

Although, for many, a gaming laptop is a solid option over a PC thanks to its slim, lightweight build and high portability.

Ultimately, which one you should go for depends on what you're specifically looking for, if you're after a powerhouse that stays in one place then we'd say go for one of the best gaming PCs.

But if you're looking for something that you can play games on and easily travel around with, a gaming laptop is likely the best option for you.

Read More: Best Gaming Laptop: Top Picks From Budget To Premium

How much RAM do you need for gaming?

The RAM in gaming laptops starts at 8GB, and it can run games. However, 16GB RAM is more preferable as it would give better performance. Further, you will be able to run apps in the background and it won't affect your gaming.

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