Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3i Webcam
The 720p shooter in the IdeaPad Gaming 3i took images that look like they came from a flip phone.
The test shots were pixely and blotchy to the point where all of the detail in my hair was a blur. It translated the blue tape on the wall behind me into pure black. To top it off, the poor contrast nearly blew out most of the window, save for a few patches of outside greenery. If you plan on streaming, take a look at our best webcams page.
How Did We Choose These Budget Gaming Laptops
Obviously, price is key when it comes to budget gaming laptops, so we kept the list to models as close to or below $1000. These notebooks are from well-known brands available through major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart, as well as their own online stores.
Also critical to making the list was the inclusion of a capable discrete graphics card, as integrated graphics really cannot handle graphically demanding games. Manufacturers clearly market these laptops for gamers, so they often include touches like neon-backlit keyboards and gaming hotkeys.
Where Are The Laptops With Amd Graphics Cards
Your guess is as good as ours. A few gaming laptop SKUs offered the RX 5000-series cards, but they were thin on the ground. But AMD has promised RX 6000, Big Navi mobile GPUs will be on their way to gaming laptops in the first half of this year, but so far we haven’t seen them in the labs.
Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 . He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he’s back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.
With contributions from
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Where To Find The Best Gaming Laptop Deals In The Uk And Us
In the UK, Amazon, Currys, Very, AO and Argos are some of the most popular online retail sites to find gaming laptop deals. But if you’d prefer to buy from dedicated computing and hardware suppliers you can usually find some real bargains over at CCL, Scan Computers, Laptops Direct and eBuyer.
In the US, Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart and Sam’s Club are the usual go-tos for gaming laptop deals. Those looking to buy from alternative tech and computing suppliers can also land some big savings over at Newegg, TigerDirect and Staples.
Best Budget Gaming Laptops 2022
ByRich Edmondslast updated 2 June 22
We’ve looked at the best gaming laptops, but not everyone has $2,000 to drop on a new notebook. You’re going to be paying a premium for gaming laptops because of the dedicated GPU and how the notebook internals need to be designed. We’ve rounded up some of the best budget gaming laptops right here that don’t cost too much but can play your favorite PC titles.
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Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 16 Rtx 3060 Qhd Gaming Laptop $1199 Was $1570
- 16-inch QHD display is gorgeous
- Perfect hardware configuration for its price point
- Comfortable keyboard
- Ideal laptop for both gaming and productivity
One of our favorite gaming laptops to come along in recent years, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a great upgrade over standard 1080p gaming laptops if you want a crisper picture. With its 16-inch 1600p display, this gaming laptop fits the bill, giving you a noticeably better resolution to work with but without the refresh rate limitations that usually come with 4K displays.
The highlight of this design is the sleek frame and QHD display, but its got the hardware where it counts, too. Its AMD Ryzen 7 processor packs eight cores, which is great for productivity and multi-tasking. Its no slouch for gaming, either, with its beefy GeForce RTX 3060 GPU. Better still, youve got 16GB of RAM double the amount that you usually see on laptops.
The display has a 240Hz refresh rate as well, so you dont have to worry about the screen being unable to keep up with all that muscular hardware when youre playing at higher framerates. If you you want a muscular gaming laptop thatll last for years and years, it doesnt get much better than this.
Th Lenovo Legion 5 15
Lenovo relies on pure AMD power for its current Legion 5 15. The device is currently on the shelves for just under 1,000 Euros, which is a really good argument for buying it.
The Lenovo Legion 5 15 is a well-rounded gaming notebook without a lot of frills and offers solid gaming performance with a current AMD Ryzen CPU paired with an AMD Radeon GPU.
Our review unit is currently not available in North America, and availability is rather limited in general. Amazon has RTX equipped models at more than $1,000.
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The Best Cheap Gaming Laptops For 2022
Grab power now! Check out the best low-cost, GeForce- and Radeon-equipped gaming notebooks we’ve tested in our labs. We’ve got all the buying advice you need to land a fierce, fast-running bargain.
Im one of the consumer PC experts at PCMag, with a particular love for PC gaming. I’ve played games on my computer for as long as I can remember, which eventually led me to building and upgrading my own desktop. Through my years here, I’ve tested and reviewed many, many dozens of laptops and desktops, and I am always happy to recommend a PC for your needs and budget.
Hp Gaming Pavilion 15
The $799 base model of the HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0046nr has an Intel Core i5-9300H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 3GB of VRAM. The $909 model we reviewed, the 15-dk0046nr, has an Intel Core i7-9750H processor with 12GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM.
Meanwhile, the $889 model gives you an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU with 6GB of VRAM.
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Tl Dr These Are The Best Budget Gaming Laptops:
Display: 16.1 FHD IPS 144Hz | CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD | Weight: 5.11 pounds | Size: 14.54″ x 9.76″ x 0.91″
The HP OMEN 16 is a powerful gaming laptop with an extremely attractive $1,200 price tag. It strikes a great balance of CPU and GPU performance. And thanks to the quality components inside, you won’t be paying too much for one part of the system that is going to get consistently bottlenecked by another. It also has a few upgrades from the OMEN 15 model including longer battery life and a slightly larger screen.
The Intel Core i7-11800H inside provides high performance and the instant responsiveness youll need for some solid 1080p gaming. Then theres the impressive 144hz display and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics processor. This will ensure you can enjoy 1080p gaming at high speeds without having to dial back any graphics settings. With a convenient four zone RGB keyboard, USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, and WiFi 6 connection, all you’ll need is a mouse and maybe a headset to get up and running with your favorite games.
What Screen Size Is Best For A Gaming Laptop
This will arguably have the most immediate impact on your choice of the build. Picking the size of your screen basically dictates the size of your laptop. A 13-inch machine will be a thin-and-light ultrabook, while a 17-inch panel almost guarantees workstation stuff. At 15-inches, you’re looking at the most common size of the gaming laptop screen.
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Things To Consider When Buying A Gaming Laptop Under $500
Each of the below considerations should be taken into account when shopping for a gaming laptop under $500 specifically. If you are looking for a more general list of considerations that apply to gaming laptops of any budget, take a look at the Things To Consider section of our best gaming laptops page.
Q: Is 8gb Ram Enough For Gaming
If you only need memory specifically for playing games, 8GB of RAM should be sufficient at the settings most cheap gaming laptops can handle. Most budget laptops, including many in this list, only ship with 8GB to keep costs down but often feature replaceable memory so you can upgrade your memory capacity over time. That may be necessary if you plan to multitask, stream to Twitch or YouTube, or push the envelope with graphics settings. Once your memory becomes full, you may experience slowdowns, stutters, or even crashing.This may not be the case for much longer, though. The Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 feature 16GB of RAM. Its a safe bet that this will be the target for game developers going forward. A laptop with 8GB may not be run to the latest and greatest games in 2-3 years. If you want your laptop to last, you will likely want to spend a little extra and upgrade to 16GB of RAM. Short of that, take the time to consider whether it can be upgraded over time should this prove too limited.
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Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3i Keyboard And Touchpad
Typing on the IdeaPad Gaming 3is shallow keys wasnt as unpleasant as I expected, as each key delivered a somewhat clicky feedback. The keyboard was comfortable to type on thanks to the way it dips into the chassis and the texture of the palm rests below.
I sped through 77 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which is just short of my current 78-wpm average. The keys felt pleasantly heavy to click on, but would have benefited from more key travel.
Unfortunately, the keyboard doesnt have any RGB-key lighting. Instead, it is stuck with one color: a light blue, which matches the font of the keyboard. The color isnt bad, but when the font of the keyboard matches the backlighting, it tends to look gross .
The touchpad was pleasantly soft and smooth and offered a decent click on top of that. Windows 10 gestures, like two-finger scrolling and three-finger tabbing, worked well thanks to the Windows Precision drivers.
Dell Flagship G15 Ryzen Edition Gaming 15 Laptop
Think of how much a gaming laptop with a processor that cooks along at a base 3.3GHz and can max boost up to 4.2GHz would have cost just a couple of years ago. Then take a deep breath when you realize that you can score that kind of speed for under $900 in the form of the Dell Flagship G15 Ryzen Edition Gaming 15 Laptop.
The AMD 6-Core Ryzen 5 5600H processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card team up with a sharp 120Hz display and super-responsive backlit keyboard to create a gaming computer that we frankly cant believe still lives in the sub-$1000 price zone. An Alienware-inspired Thermal Cool System is the cherry on the sundae, and it will help keep the Dell Flagship G15 Ryzen Edition speeding along for a long time to come.
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Rtx 2060 And Gtx 1660 Ti Options
In our tests, the WASD keys on the Lenovo Legion 5i with a GTX 1660 Ti graphics processor ran at least 10 degrees warmer than those on the Asus TUF Gaming A15 and the HP Omen 15, and its not possible to max the fans using Lenovos included software. In addition, the model we tested, which has a six-core Core i7 processor and 8 GB of RAM, posted weaker performance in our tests compared with our top picks, which have eight-core Ryzen 7 processors and 16 GB of memory.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 has RTX 2060 Max-Q graphics and performed similarly to our top picks in testing. But its surface temperatures were uncomfortably warm and its fans sounded sickly, and although maxing the fan speeds in Asuss software is possible, its unintuitive.
The successor to our previous pick, the Acer Predator Helios 300 posted by far the best performance for the price of all the models we tested this year. But like the Lenovo Legion 5i, its WASD keys also ran about 10 degrees hotter than those of our top picks, and its keyboard has a flaw that we considered to be a dealbreaker: Unless you press firmly in the middle of each key, it may not register the keystroke. We had issues typing and gaming on two different units, and we found numerous reports of the same problem in owner reviews.
The Dell G5 15 and the MSI GF65 Thin ran too hot in all our tests, even with their fans maxed.
Best Cheap Gaming Laptop 2022
Buying a new gaming laptop often means parting with a lot of cash. There are various reasons for this, whether its a powerful processor, high-end graphics or a top-of-the-line display. However, you might be paying more for a brand name or ultra-portable design, features many people can do without.
Indeed, you dont necessary have to pay top dollar to get a great gaming laptop these days. In this article, we review and rank the best available cheap gaming laptops you can buy.
These affordable models might not be the most eye-catching or portable, but compromises are is necessary. Theyll still deliver the great gaming performance you want, while leaving enough spare cash to buy some games and accessories.
Were setting our price cap at £1,000/US$1,000 here but some will be available for a lot less than that. Under £500/US$500 is desirable but unlikely as key components such as a proper graphics card are just too expensive. Its not a hard and fast rule, though: we may include some laptops that are slightly more expensive.
If you really are strapped for cash and looking for the best gaming laptop under £500/US$500 then check out our budget laptop chart. That has the same price limit, but some devices still have the option for discrete graphics cards. They wont be the most capable, but should be able to run some less demanding games.
Below are the best cheap gaming laptops weve reviewed and ranked. See below that for detailed buying advice if you need some more guidance.
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The Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Right Now
TheDell G5 15 SE is currently our top overall pick for the best cheap gaming laptop in 2022. Looking for solid endurance? The G3 15’s got you covered lasting over 7 hours on our battery test. The all-AMD system also delivers solid performance across the board.
The HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0046nr is a great combination of style, power, and endurance. Plus, it comes in well below $1,000. We were particularly impressed with its agile SSD and it stays cool while gaming and lasts almost 6 hours on a charge.
The MSI Alpha 15 and Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i are our honorable mentions. The first features both an AMD processor and graphics card, it marks the chipmaker’s return to gaming laptops. While the other is equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. Both are great entries but don’t hold up to the systems on this list.
See our picks for the best cheap gaming laptops of 2022 below.
The Dell G5 15 SE is a great mainstream gaming laptop thanks to its wild CPU performance, awesome battery life and bright 15.6-inch display. With its AMD processor, the system continuously blew out the competition. The notebook also impressed with its battery life, lasting over 7 hours. Throw in an AMD graphics card that can hold its own on even the most demanding AAA titles and you’ve got a certified winner.
See our full HP Gaming Pavillion 15-dk0046nr review.
See our full Asus TUF Gaming FX705 review.
Is The Best Gaming Laptop Under 500 Usd Worth Buying
When looking for the best gaming laptop under 500 USD, one needs to be aware of the various restrictions that such a budget puts on your available options. At this pricing, you really are only going to be able to get older and weaker hardware with entry-level gaming performance, though if youre only going to be playing older, less demanding games, this may not be a problem. These are truly cheap gaming laptops, and arguably stretch the definition of what constitutes a gaming laptop quite a bit.
We suggest you have a quick skim through our Things to consider when buying a gaming laptop under $500 section below to get a quick overview of the market in this price bracket so you can make the best choice.
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Quick Gaming Laptop Shopping Tips
- Focus on the GPU: Most games are dependent on the GPU, and those arent upgradeable. If you splurge on a powerful GPU now, youll be gaming comfortably for a few years.
- You can upgrade some parts later: While the best CPUs for gaming and GPUs are almost always soldered down, most gaming laptops let you replace the RAM and storage, so you can buy cheaper now and add more memory and a bigger hard drive or SSD down the road.
- Battery life will probably be bad: Very few gaming notebooks get 8 hours or more on a charge, and you need the power supply to get the best gaming performance anyway. However, we’ve seen some strong times from AMD’s Ryzen processors, and Nvidia suggests its improved Optimus technology may help turn the tide.
Best gaming laptops at a glance