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Best Cheap Gaming Laptop Under $1000 For 2021

The Best Gaming Laptops for 2022

Good entry-level graphics chips mean terrific performance for less money.

You can find worthy gaming laptops between $700 and $1,000, but good bargains tend to disappear quickly due to limited stock as a result of the microchip shortage. But, it is holiday shopping season and if you weren’t able to snag a Black Friday or Cyber Monday laptop deal, you can still find reliable gaming laptops with AMD or Intel processors, newer entry-level discrete graphics and displays with faster refresh rates.

That means that you’re not limited to low-res gaming on these machines and can get an immersive experience playing games like Fortnite, Minecraft, Apex Legends, CS: GO and PUBG. It still costs a pretty penny to get what’s considered an affordable gaming laptop, but frugal gamers can save even more money if they look for the best cheap laptop deals on a refurbished or open-box option from the likes of Best Buy, , Micro Center and Woot.

The recommendations below are based on our reviews and testing and aim to help you get your ideal gaming experience on a cheap laptop. And if you want to improve your gaming and work-from-home experience, you may want to look into some inexpensive gaming gear to help you do it. We’ll update this list of the best cheap gaming laptop options as we review new products. Also, if you need help deciphering what specs to look for on a good, cheap gaming laptop, jump to the bottom of the list for our buying advice.

The Asus Rog Strix Scar 15 Gaming Laptops Deliver Breathtaking Power Speed And Performance With 10th Gen Intel Core I9 Processors

The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 15 gaming laptops offer a solid gaming experience with their Wi-Fi 6, 10th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, and 2 SSDs. Thanks to their GeForce RTX graphics, you can expect enhanced visuals, making them some of the best gaming laptops to buy this summer.

Get them starting at $1,699 on Amazon.

What Do Specific Brands Offer

Each gaming laptop brand has a bit of special sauce. Some have specific hardware designs that stand out while others focus on custom software.

Here are a few to note:

Alienware – Alienware has gotten into the thin-and-light game with the Alienware m17, but also made its own desktop-class powerhouse wit the Alienware Area-51m. Dell also makes its own entry-levle machines.

Asus – Asuss Republic of Gamers brand has some slick designs. Its ROG Gaming Center software shares device information including temperature, storage and RAM usage, while the Armoury Crate program allows you to customize RGB backlighting. Asus also makes the Zephyrus G14, the best AMD laptop we’ve seen.

Acer – Acer is known for having affordable hardware, though it has wowed us with innovation like its ridiculous Predator 21X featuring a curved display and mechanical keyboard. The PredatorSense app lets you monitor your CPU and GPU usage and customize fan speeds.

HP – HPs Omen lineup has a classier design as of late, but maintains a gamer aesthetic. Its app is the Omen Command Center, which details GPU and CPU use, RAM utilization and a network booster that lets you prioritize bandwidth.

Gigabyte & Aorus – Gigabyte and its sub-brand, Aorus, offer some variety. Gigabytes tend to be lower-end with more color options, while the Aorus models are sleek and thin. Whichever one you go with, youll get Fusion software for RGB customization. Aorus machines have Command and Control for easy overclocking.

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Agree To Continue: Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

Every smart device now requires you to agree to a series of terms and conditions before you can use it contracts that no one actually reads. Its impossible for us to read and analyze every single one of these agreements. But we started counting exactly how many times you have to hit agree to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people dont read and definitely cant negotiate.

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro presents you with multiple things to agree to or decline upon setup.

The mandatory policies, for which an agreement is required, are:

  • A request for your language, region, and keyboard layout
  • Windows 10 License Agreement

In addition, there are optional items to agree to:

  • A Microsoft account for sign-in
  • Making a PIN
  • Device privacy settings: online speech recognition, Find My Device, Inking and Typing, Advertising ID, Location, Diagnostic data, Tailored experiences
  • Allow Microsoft to access your location, location history, contacts, voice input, speech and handwriting patterns, typing history, search history, calendar details, messages, apps, and Edge browsing history to help Cortana provide personalized experiences and relevant suggestions
  • Add name and email for Lenovo support and updates

Thats four mandatory agreements and 15 optional ones.

Most of the ports are around back, but the left side hosts this USB-C port and a headphone combo jack.The electronic switch for the webcam and a USB Type-A port are on the right side of the Legion 5 Pro.

The Best Gaming Laptop

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops in 2020

Asuss ROG Zephyrus G14 was our top gaming laptop pick for quite a while. It did just about everything right, and we werent sure whether Asus could ever replicate its resounding success. But somehow, the company managed to make the G14 just a bit bigger, and a heck of a lot better. In doing so, its created the ROG Zephyrus G15, the best 15-inch rig you can buy.

At just over four pounds, the Zephyrus G15 is one of the lightest 15-inch gaming laptops you can buy. But youre not making any compromises on performance for that portability: its powered by the top mobile chips that AMD and Nvidia have to offer, and includes a fast 165Hz QHD display. Together, those components can handle even the toughest AAA titles at QHD resolution. The panel has excellent color reproduction as well, so your games will look great.

But its not just the gaming almost everything else about the G15 is great, too. The audio has strong percussion and bass, the keyboard and touchpad have a satisfying click, the port selection leaves little to be desired, and the battery can last for a whopping eight and a half hours.

The G15 wont be the laptop for everyone. Theres no webcam, which is a significant oversight, and some may prefer something more affordable, or with a flashier aesthetic. But as a package, the G15 is the one to beat. Not only is it the best gaming laptop you can buy, but its also one of the best laptops you can buy, period.

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Best Gaming Laptop With A Big Screen

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: QHD | Weight: 6 pounds

Perhaps the biggest drawback of gaming on a laptop is screen size. This ROG rig goes a long way towards remedying the problem, thanks to a capacious 17.3-inch display that serves as a stunning window into your favourite virtual worlds. Its also great for content creation.

Pros Cons
This screen isnt just big, its also high resolution and speedy, rendering games at up to 165 Hz. A bigger screen means youll have to carry a whopping six pounds of laptop.
The GeForce RTX 3070 graphics controller is among the speediest currently available for laptops. For such a big notebook, youd think thered be more than just one USB port.
Beautiful design features include a programmable multi-coloured LED lighting system.

The Msi Stealth 15m Gaming Laptop Has A Discreet Footprint But Packs Powerful Components With Its Intel Core I7

While the MSI Stealth 15M gaming laptop could double as your workstation, its a force to be reckoned with considering its Intel Core i7-11373H and NVIDIA RTX 3060 processor. Its great for AAA games and eSports.

Get it for $1,265.48 on Amazon.

Which gaming laptop do you think youll go for this summer? Let us know!

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Asus Rog Zephyrus G15 Specs

  • 15.6-inch QHD 165hz non-touchscreen
  • Wi-FI 6 with Gig+
  • 90Wh battery
  • 200W adapter

There are three microphones, which had no trouble picking up my voice. They also have presets for game streaming, music recording, and conference calls. Those are handy, but theyre not enough to make the G15 a good choice for remote work because it doesnt include a webcam. The G14 also didnt have a camera Asus seems to have decided that webcams arent necessary on Zephyrus products. Its the one significant knock against a device that is basically perfect otherwise. Its also very odd to have such an advanced microphone setup and not have a webcam to go with it.

There are a couple other things to note about the G15s chassis. Like many other Asus laptops, the G15 has an ErgoLift hinge, which folds under the deck when the laptop is open and lifts the keyboard above the ground. This is supposed to create a more ergonomic typing position, though I cant say I ever noticed the difference. It does dig into your legs a bit if youre using the laptop on your lap, though. The G15s hinge isnt as sharp as some other hinges, but as a frequent couch user, its still not my favorite feeling.

The keyboard and touchpad are both greatThe lid and deck are made of magnesium-aluminum, with a wear-resistant coating.The lid is covered in a dot matrix design. There are 8,279 perfectly spaced perforations.The G15 is one of the longest-lasting gaming laptops weve ever seen

Best Gaming Laptop With An Egpu

The Best Cheap Gaming Laptop

Display: 13.4 4K IPS 120Hz Touchscreen | CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Internal Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 External | RAM: 32GB LPDDR4X | Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD | Weight: 2.9 pounds | Size: 11.8″ x 8.7″ x 0.6″

In most cases, powerful laptops are going to be stuck hovering near a desk and a power outlet because of the juice it takes to run them. So, even when they’re lightweight, their portable use can be hampered. The Asus ROG Flow X13 cracks that by using an eGPU, so you can have a high-performance gaming experience while you’re docked to the eGPU or you can enjoy its portability without an ultra-powerful graphics processor gulping down the battery. In fact, it got over nine hours in our battery test no small feat for a gaming laptop.

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What Do I Need To Know About A Gaming Laptop Gpu

The fastest graphics card currently available in a laptop is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 with the usual Max-Q variants. The Max-Q versions run at slower frequencies than their full-size siblings — that keeps down the noise and heat and allows them fit into thinner designs. RTX models also accelerate ray-traced rendering and provide intelligent upscaling where it’s explicitly supported. If your favorite games don’t use it, the lower-end Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti incorporates Turing, the last generation of Nvidia’s technology, without the extra cost or power burden of the RT cores.

The problem with the Max-Q, though, is that with its last-generation Optimus technology that’s still used by a lot of laptops, you have to reboot to switch between a dedicated GPU mode and a power-saving mode, which only uses the GPU for accelerating, not actually drawing the screen .

That means it can’t take advantage of adaptive refresh-rate technologies and it can negatively affect frame rates. So why not leave it on the GPU mode all the time? Because you’ll frequently get poorer CPU performance and even lesser graphics performance in games that balance CPU and GPU usage rather than going all-out on the GPU.

The Asus ROG Flow X13 with its optional sidekick the Mobile XG offers a blended option for gamers: The small, lightweight laptop has a powerful AMD Ryzen 5900HS CPU and an Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU for lightweight gaming, while the external dock incorporates an RTX 3080 mobile GPU and extra connections.

How About Battery Life

The short answer is not to count on your gaming notebook being super portable.

If youre using your laptop to play games, you need to keep your laptop plugged in to get the full performance out of your GPU. And if you dont, youll be lucky if your laptop lasts an hour gaming. In our testing experience, most gaming laptops last only a few hours on a charge when performing other tasks, but never as long as ultraportables without discrete GPUs. If you need something to last 8 hours while you work, it wont be a gaming notebook.

Some do last long, but thats often at the expense of the display, and you dont want to play all your games on a dark, dim or inaccurate screen.

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What To Look For In A Gaming Laptop In 2022

Gaming laptops arent cheap. Not only do they need to pack in a bunch of powerful hardware, but they also need to be durable, reliable, and boast a screen that can take a beating after years of unforgiving travel.

However, having the option to play all your favorite games wherever you go cant be understatedand the convenience of gaming laptops continues to make them one of the most popular products for PC gaming.

Unfortunately, shopping for a gaming laptop isnt nearly as easy as gaming on one. Hundreds of models have flooded the market over the past few years, and theres no shortage of marketing jargon to cut through before you can start comparing different models. However, understanding a few key aspects of a good laptop will make finding the perfect gaming laptop a breeze.

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Above all else, pay close attention to the graphics processing unit on your prospective rig. If it boasts a GeForce RTX 30 series GPU, youll likely be purchasing a device that will run popular games for years to come. Youll also want to look for at least an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 CPU, as these are powerful enough to play just about all of todays most demanding releases.

In short, pay close attention to the GPU, processor, and SSD of your prospective gaming laptop. Just keep in mind that, unless youre willing to break the bank, youll probably need to make a few compromises.

The Best Amd Gaming Laptop

Best gaming laptops that cost less than $1000

The ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition is one of the few gaming laptops youll find that includes both an AMD processor and an AMD GPU. Not to worry it delivers gaming performance on par with what youll see from laptops with Nvidias top GPUs. It also delivers one of the best gaming battery experiences weve ever seen it was able to maintain playable frame rates on Red Dead Redemption 2 for over an hour with no charger attached.

Speaking of battery, we averaged nine hours and 16 minutes of work use between charges, which makes the Strix G15 far and away one of the longest-lasting gaming laptops on the market. Thats doubly impressive because its powering a ton of flashy LEDs, including a per-key RGB keyboard and a colorful light strip around the front edge of the deck. If youre looking for a jazzy, bold design and youre all-in on AMD, the Strix G15 Advantage edition is a great gaming laptop for you.

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Cpu And Ram: The Brains Of The Operation

If the GPU is the heart of a gaming laptop, then the processor and RAM are the brain and hippocampus. Your laptop’s processor handles everything that doesn’t have to do with graphics, such as performing some of a game’s physics calculations and controlling its non-playable characters. It also affects the performance of all of your non-gaming applications, including your browser, OS and productivity apps. When picking out your CPU and RAM, keep the following tips in mind.

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Don’t Forget The Keyboard: Lighting And Layouts

One of the typical features that sets apart a gaming laptop is a colorful, backlit keyboard. These vary quite a bit from model to model, with more elaborate backlighting going hand-in-hand with higher prices and a higher general level of other components.

Almost all budget gaming laptops will employ single-color backlighting to keep costs down. The next step up is lighting programmable by zone, with three or four blocks of the keyboard independently customizable in different colors, but this is not common in budget machines. Keyboards with per-key, individually programmable lighting are the province of high-end machines only.

Also look at the key layout. Models with an isolated cluster of arrow keys or well-defined WASD keys get bonus points, in our book. Also, because most budget gaming laptops are 15.6-inch models, check for a dedicated number pad to the right of the main key area, if you prefer to have oneâor not, for that matter. Some machines of this screen size will have one, some won’t.

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The Processor: Yes It’s Important But Don’t Overbuy

Some of today’s games, especially in the MMORPG and real-time-strategy categories, tend to hammer the processor. New gaming notebooks no longer come with dual-core processors, for good reason: Some AAA games call explicitly for quad-core CPUs as a minimum.

That said, a maxed-out Core i7 or Core i9 CPU is less crucial for gaming than it is for processor-intensive tasks such as video editing and media-file production work. With the 10th Generation Intel CPUs that dominate budget gaming laptops at the moment, you’ll get plenty of pep even from Core i5 CPUs. A Core i7 of the same generation is actually a hefty six-core or eight-core processor that, we’d argue, is overkill for casual gamers who need to mind what they spend. So, our bottom line: Opt for a Core i5 or i7 chip with four true cores if you can a six-core chip is gravy.

Intel’s 10th Generation “Comet Lake” mobile processors had been making way for Intel’s 11th Generation “Tiger Lake” processors in 2021 models, with 12th Generation “Alder Lake” mobile processors expected before long in 2022, based on the debut of Intel’s 12th Gen desktop chips. The Tiger Lake-H processors have also launched in more premium gaming laptops, but are only starting to filter down to laptops priced below $1,000. You can often configure up laptops that start around $1,200 to include those chips, but then you’re leaving budget pricing territory. In the meantime, many new machines still use the 10th Gen Comet Lake Core-H processors.

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