Esports is one of the biggest industries in the US with games like Fornite leading the way. It makes a revenue of $139 billion a year, which is more than Worldwide box office, music streaming and album sales, NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL combined. Even Netflix considers the gaming industry a bigger threat than HBO.
Because of this huge demand for games, demand for better consoles, screens, and gaming laptops has been on the rise. This has resulted in gaming laptops that are state-of-the-art and that fetch a very high price tag. But there are gaming laptops that are cheap with basic features needed for gaming.
So how do you know whether a cheap laptop will handle a demanding game? The buying guide below will show you what to look for when purchasing a gaming laptop, while the review will indicate the best gaming laptops that are cheap.
Buying Guide for Best Cheap Gaming Laptops
It can be hectic to determine the features that you want in a gaming laptop, considering the myriad of specifications that they come with. However, there are some features that you must ensure a gaming laptop has. Otherwise, you will not be able to play even the most basic of games. Here are some features to look out for.
A good affordable gaming laptop needs to have a RAM of at least 8GB, but the best memory is 16 GB RAM, particularly for live streaming.
Your laptop requires a processor that is sufficiently robust to avoid limiting the GPU. Great processors include a hexa-core Intel Core i7-8750 processor or Intel Core i5-8300H. Since the additional cores in the i7 lack any considerable effect on gaming, both choices are great.
3. Video Memory (VRAM)
A VRAM is a video memory dedicated to a graphics processor. There are GTX 1060 Max-Q and GTX 1060, both of which come in dual versions: a 6GB and 3GB. But the GTX 1050Ti is a single version of 4GB. When you are using a laptop with a resolution of 1080p, a VRAM of 4GB will suffice. The best cheap laptops have 4GB and 6GB VRAM.
The graphics processor of a gaming laptop cannot be upgraded. The GTX 1060 Max-Q and the GTX 1060 both support VR, while there is limited support for VR in the GTX 1050 Ti. The GTX 1060 Max-Q and the GTX 1060 will also reach the 60 fps threshold when you play Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on maximum settings. On the other hand, the GTX 1050 Ti barely reaches 31 fps.
A good drive reduces game load times and speeds up boot times. That is why SSDs are recommended. Some gaming laptops can have a storage of 1TB and no SSD, but it would be beneficial to add the SSD after purchase. Ideal size for the SSD would be between 128 and 256 GB.
Review of Best Cheap Gaming Laptops
1. Lenovo Legion Y530
High-end gaming laptops developed by Lenovo are well designed and thought out. The same qualities are applied to the Legion Y530 that has a 1080p display that measures 15.6 inches. It also as a RAM of 16GB, ROM of 1TB, and Core i7 processor. Its housing is pretty basic and black, but the design is unique. Lenovo has avoided congesting all ports on one side and instead placed them behind the hinge. In spite of the unique look, the Legion Y530 has a thickness of 1 inch only. Moreover, it has a GTX 1050.
2. HP Omen
This HP Omen has a GTX 1050, which means that the graphics are excellent. It has an Intel Core i7-8750H that powers 12GB RAM and a 1TB HDD. Its screen measures 17 inches and has a resolution of 1080p. It lets you play the latest games like Fortnite, Overwatch, and PUGB.
3. Acer Nitro 5
Acer Nitro 5 has some outstanding features, including an Intel Core i5 2.30GHz processor, 8GB RAM, 15.6-inch 1080p display, and 256GB SSD. It has deep user control overcooling, suitable gaming performance, and decent battery life. But it lacks the aesthetics that some gamers might want to look for in a gaming laptop. The keyboard is basic and the laptop is quite heavy.
4. Asus TUF Gaming FX504
The Asus TUF Gaming FX504 is affordable and costs about $699, a price that is hard to see in a gaming laptop of its specifications. It comes with an 8th Gen Core i5 CPU as well as Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU, which is sufficient to play the majority of the games on medium or low settings. But the price is low and you will have to compromise on some features. For instance, the storage is slow, the battery life below average, and the display bland.
5. Acer Predator Helios 300
The Acer Predator Helios 300 provides an outstanding value proposition. It sells slightly over $1000 and comes with GTX 1060 6GB graphics card, which can lock down 60 fps at almost maximum settings in the majority of the games. While it does not have G-Sync screen feature, you can get one with 144Hz refresh rate. Also, it has a 256GB SSD that you will need to expand. But these drawbacks are minor compromises when you keep in mind its affordability. The 1060 GPU version of this laptop has a 144Hz screen, 256GB SSD, and 1TB HDD. It also comes with a free mousepad and mouse.
6. Dell Inspiron 15 7567
Dell Inspiron 15 7567 is a cheap laptop that lets you enjoy great games that are less demanding. It has a GTX 1050 Ti, which is a bit of an upgrade from the GTX 1050. But keep in mind that both graphics card cannot withstand the latest games on maximum settings. However, if you only want to play lightweight games or don’t mind playing the latest games with low settings, this laptop is for you. Moreover, it has a powerful 74 Whr battery that can last for up to four hours, depending on use.