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Best Budget Gaming Laptop 2023

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Getting one of the best budget gaming laptops means you don't have to sacrifice the PC gaming lifestyle. The Asus TUF Dash 15, for instance, is one of the best gaming laptop deals around but there are plenty more to get you gaming on the cheap. Click to jump to detailed looks at our picks for the best budget gaming laptops, or just check the list below:

TL; DR – These are the Best Budget Gaming Laptops:

Buying a gaming laptop usually comes with the severe financial strain of spending $2,000 and up. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of good and affordable portable gaming machines out there. And these cheap gaming laptops aren’t the poorly built and anemic GTX 1650-powered notebooks of yesteryear. You can find a quality machine equipped with even mid-range to high-end CPUs and graphics cards to play all the latest and best PC game releases.

Don’t get us wrong. There are plenty of cheap gaming laptops that are not up to task. Thankfully, we’ve done all the comprehensive testing and research, finding some true gems. These rigs offer high refresh rates, decent resolutions, powerful processors, and plenty of memory to take on all the action. Check out our top picks below – and click here to see them in the UK.

With Father's Day coming up, maybe a budget-friendly gaming laptop is just the gift you need to show how much you care. There are also plenty of Father’s Day deals on tech and gaming, so you're bound to find the ideal present.

Best Cheap Gaming Laptops

1. Asus TUF Dash 15

Best Budget Gaming Laptop

Asus TUF Dash 15Asus TUF Dash 15 A budget laptop with an Intel Core i7-12650H CPU and Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics ready to cruise at 144Hz when 1080p gaming.

Combining affordability and quality components, the Asus TUF Dash 15 is a remarkable gaming laptop. For under $1,200, this machine surprises you with a 12-gen Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics that will shine when playing esports and most other games in 1080p/144Hz. A MUX switch is even included, which reduces latency between the GPU and display to boost performance. However, the screen is duller, and the colors aren’t as vivid as we’d like to see.

With a name like TUF, you’ll be glad to hear this gaming laptop is built tough too. No chintzy and creaky plastic here. Instead, a sheet of aluminum covers the screen lid helping elevate and simplify its design while still remaining thinner and lighter than your average gaming laptop. You also get loads of ports, including a Thunderbolt 4, so plugging in other peripherals is simple.

2. Dell G16 Gaming Laptop

Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500

Dell G16 Gaming LaptopDell G16 Gaming Laptop With a 13th Gen Core i7 processor, RTX 4050 graphics, and 16GB DDR5 RAM, this affordable QHD+ laptop can handle almost any game.

The Dell G16 Gaming Laptop continues to stretch the limits of $1,500 by packing in the latest tech to deliver a gaming beast. Running the whole shebang is a 13th gen Intel Core i7 processor, bringing significantly more performance than the G16 2022 model’s 12th gen CPU. And the Nvidia RTX 4050 graphics offer a similar experience to the RTX 3060 we saw last year, but it consumes less power.

Besides those processors, Dell’s newest G16 model is very similar to its previous, with a 16-inch screen running at a QHD+ resolution and 165Hz refresh rate featuring G-Sync for crisp, smooth graphics. You still get the same 16GB of fast DDR5 memory, and storage has once again been left to the wayside with a 512GB SSD. There’s also the wedge-shaped chassis and hinge forward design, echoing the look of Dell’s higher-end Alienware models, and that’s a good thing.

3. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3

Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,000

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 This low-cost gaming laptop offers a Full HD resolution, a high refresh rate, and quality internals ready for competitive online gaming.

You might think it’s impossible to find a quality gaming laptop under $1,000, but the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 does just that. With it, you get a 15.6-inch IPS panel toting a Full HD resolution for a clear field of view, though the lackluster 250-nit brightness means you won’t want to play in super bright spaces. Aiding that picture quality while you game is a 120Hz refresh rate with FreeSync for some silky smooth frames in whatever you pick up during game deals events.

The power behind that screen is an Nvidia RTX 3050 GPU and AMD Ryzen 5 6600H processor with six cores capable of hitting decently high speeds. With that pairing, you should have no issue getting into competitive online play with games like Apex Legend and Overwatch 2. It’s even packing 16GB of DDR5 memory to run multiple applications and once and live stream your game’s action, while the surprising 1TB of SSD storage ensures you have ample room for game data and speedy boot times.

4. Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

Best Budget Everyday Gaming Laptop

Acer Predator Triton 300 SEAcer Predator Triton 300 SE A thin, lightweight rig with a Full HD display offering an Intel Core i7-12700H processor, Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics, and 16GB DDR5 RAM perfect for everyday tasks and 1080p gaming.

If you’re enamored by sleek yet powerful gaming laptops, like the Asus Zephyrus G14 and Razer 14, but couldn’t see yourself spending $2,000 or more, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is a solid budget alternative. This rig boasts a clean, bordering on professional-looking chassis—similar to its more expensive contemporaries—that’s thin and light enough to take anywhere. You’ll also appreciate the bright 14-inch Full HD display capable of a 165Hz refresh rate for butter-smooth frames while taking down enemies in your favorite games.

Don’t let its plain looks fool you, as the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE packs some serious heat under the hood between its Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia RTX 3060. That means it’s more than capable of hitting those high frame rates in Full HD and even delivers ray-traced graphics. The 16GB of DDR5 memory ensures your games run well and lets you multitask like the boss you are, though it might be in your best interest to upgrade the limited 512GB of storage.

5. Legion Slim 7 Gen 7

Best Budget 1080p Gaming Laptop

Legion Slim 7 Gen 7Legion Slim 7 Gen 7 For 1080p gaming on the cheap, this laptop delivers tear-free graphics at up to 165fps thanks to an AMD Radeon RX 6600S GPU and FreeSync support.

The Legion Slim 7 Gen 7 has no problem taking advantage of speedy frame rates in Full HD on its 16-inch IPS display. You get slightly more vertical resolution than 1080p with a 16:10 aspect ratio, but either way, your games will cruise at 165Hz, while FreeSync support eliminates distracting screen tearing and stuttering. Keeping up with those frame rates is the Radeon RX 6600S graphics, and it’s though not necessarily a hair-raiser, it’ll work seamlessly with the Ryzen 7 processor and display.

To prevent interruptions in the action from overheating, there are cooling solutions, like two fans and tons of ventilation, all packed into a surprisingly thin, portable chassis. It even includes a feature often lost in budget laptop models: a flashy full-size RGB keyboard. If you’re concerned about connections for your extra peripherals like a gaming headset or controller, this rig is packing ports that include an HDMI 2.1, two USB-C, and an SD card reader, though there’s no ethernet.

Where to Get the Best Cheap Gaming Laptops in the UK

It is definitely possible to game on a budget, and these magnificent laptops will certainly help you get there. Thankfully the vast majority of laptops on this list are also available to purchase in the UK, with just the one exception. Otherwise, take your pick, as there are plenty of great options to choose from.

Omen 16HPOmen 16 Best Budget Gaming Laptop£1,029.00VictusHP Victus Best Cheap Gaming Laptop£899.99G15Dell G15 Best Cheap AMD-Powered Gaming Laptop£749.00Legion 5iLenovoLegion 5i Best Budget 17-inch Gaming Laptop£799.00TUF Dash 15AsusTUF Dash 15 Best Cheap Everyday Gaming Laptop£799.00Predator Triton 300AcerPredator Triton 300 Best Budget 144Hz Gaming Laptop£949.99

What to Look for in a Cheap Gaming Laptop

Below we've sketched out which graphics card and what other specs you need in a cheap gaming laptop. We also go over the main features to consider when shopping for a cheap gaming notebook.

For screen resolution, a 1080p and some 1440p displays hit the sweet spot between price and required GPU beefiness. It is really the only option for a value-oriented gaming laptop. Even if you could score a cheap laptop with a high-resolution 4K panel, the GPU inside won't be able to run games at that resolution, so prepare yourself for 1080p and some 1440p gaming.

When it comes to storage, try to steer clear of laptops with a lone solid-state drive. Heck, even a model with a 256GB SSD offers barely enough space to keep multiple games installed and at the ready, so you might be stuck getting a system with a slower, yet much more spacious, spinning hard drive.

One more thing: just because it's a laptop doesn't mean you need to take its name literally. The best experience with a laptop usually isn't on your lap but at a desk. Do yourself a favor and check out our guide to the best gaming desks to find one to suit your needs – and perhaps a laptop cooling pad to boost your performance—and don't forget to check out the best gaming chairs to sit in with your new laptop.

Kevin Lee is IGN's SEO Updates Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam.

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