When it comes to purchasing a new gaming laptop, especially if this is your first time investing in one, it might be difficult to know where to begin. Particular specifications like the display, internal hardware, battery life, and other components that power it all are all things to think about. Sure, certain gaming laptops allow for upgrades and swapping out parts but it’s not always possible. With that said, it’s much better to get the things you want upfront and plan ahead on how you can make sure that they will last you for the years to come. A good initial step is to prioritize the features that are most important to you. If you don’t know where to start, our buyer’s guide on how to buy laptops for gaming in 2021 is here to help you out.
Before we start talking about the specs of a gaming laptop, it’s important to set a budget for how much money you’re willing to invest in your first gaming rig. To do that, you have to keep in mind two things: design and performance. Figuring out these two things will help you significantly in narrowing down your choices when it comes to deciding on a laptop that will give you the best gaming experience possible.
If you’ll be playing games that are not too demanding with their graphics or you don’t mind lowering the resolution settings of your games, an entry-level model or a modest mid-range gaming laptop might be a good option for you. These models will be considerably cheaper and won’t put a hole through your wallet.
Not to mention, most entry-level models these days are also packed with a lot of modern features that are sure to give you a solid gaming experience. For under a thousand bucks, you can easily get a decent gaming machine that should be able to play most mainstream games or AAA titles today.
However, if you’re planning to play games that would require a higher graphics card or you simply just want to play your games in the highest settings, then you might have to shell out more money on a high-end laptop if you want the full experience of these types of games.
If you’re on a budget but would like to upgrade your gaming rig in the future, you can opt to get a laptop that will let you replace some of its parts like its graphics card for a more powerful one. This way, you won’t have to completely throw out your old notebook and just save up on replacements for upgrades instead.
Whether you’re playing the most demanding AAA games or keeping up with the current trends in games like Fortnite or PUBG, I’m confident you’ll want to play them at the highest frame rate your gaming laptop’s panel permits. This is something that a dedicated graphics chip can help with.
The graphics hardware in a gaming laptop is the most important feature because it dictates which games can be played and at what settings. In most cases, you won’t be able to upgrade your laptop’s graphics processor. So it’s best to get the best GPU your money can afford. Unless you don’t mind playing games on the lowest settings possible all of the time, the graphics card of your chosen laptop is something you shouldn’t skimp on.
However, buying a laptop with the most advanced graphics card isn’t necessary too. You can easily buy a gaming rig with a decent graphics card for under $1000 that will provide you with fantastic gaming experiences if you are willing to compromise a little.
As a recommendation, a laptop equipped with GTX 1660 Ti or even a GTX 1650 should suffice for today’s AAA game titles without costing you a lot. But if you have no problem with spending a bit more, then we suggest opting for a laptop that has the latest RTX 30 series for the ultimate gaming sessions.
The processor in your gaming laptop, like the GPU, isn’t something to overlook as well. Especially since many games, especially those in the MMORPG and RTS (real-time strategy) genres, are CPU intensive. Due to many AAA titles requiring quad-core CPUs at a minimum, dual-core processors are something you should avoid when shopping for a gaming rig.
At the same time, a Core i7 or Core i9 CPU is more crucial for processor-intensive tasks such as video or photo editing and media production work than for gaming. As a result, looking for these kinds of CPUs isn’t required. With the 10th Generation Intel CPUs that are widely available in inexpensive gaming laptops these days, a Core i5 CPU is more than plenty and will provide enough power.
When it comes to RAM, a gaming laptop with 8GB of RAM is what we would suggest for a smooth experience both for gaming and normal day-to-day tasks on your computer. Most gaming laptops have 8GB as the standard anyway so finding one won’t be too much of a chore. If you can afford it, I highly suggest going for 16GB of RAM instead.
Every now and then, though, you might see budget-friendly gaming laptops that do offer 16GB of RAM. But these are still pretty rare so it’s best not to get your hopes up. Keep in mind, a lot of gaming laptops have replaceable RAMs too so it’s totally okay if you can’t get a 16GB right away. You can just consider this as an upgrade in the future.
Is it better to have a hard disk or an SSD? Why not combine the two? Some low-cost gaming laptops just include a hard disk. However, the majority of gaming laptops additionally have a tiny SSD that serves as a boot drive. It’s not unusual to see a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD coexisting in the same system.
You may observe faster loading speeds if you upgrade to a larger SSD, but this will cost you a lot more money. Storage, like RAM and GPUs, is frequently upgradeable in gaming laptops as well. If you require more storage, you can add a 2TB or larger hard drive.
With that being said, for the best gaming performance, I recommend going with a dual-drive system. The operating system and a handful of your most-played games should go on the smaller SSD, while the remainder of your games and other programs that don’t require quick loading times should go on the larger, more cost-effective hard drive.
Most gaming laptops offer display sizes from 15 inches to 17 inches. However, there are also other factors that come into play when it comes to choosing the right display on a gaming rig apart from the size of the screen. I’ve listed some of them below.
Resolution. More pixels shown on the screen means a higher resolution, which can result in a crisper image. High-end gaming laptops may offer 1440p or 4K screens instead of the typical 1080p, but the technology required to run games at these resolutions will almost certainly increase the price.
Refresh rate. When it comes to this feature, the higher the better. The action on-screen can appear smoother and simpler to follow with a higher refresh rate display. It accomplishes this by redrawing the image at a faster rate. This technology is used in many gaming laptop displays, with some boasting refresh rates of 120Hz or 144Hz. If you like to play FPS games, you’ll benefit a lot on a screen with a higher refresh rate.
7. Battery Life
It’s not unusual for gaming laptops to only have 5-7 hours of battery life before you have to reach out for the charger when you’re playing, given that games take a toll on your laptop’s overall power. But if you’re someone who spends their time out and about throughout the day with your laptop, consider looking for models that offer 8-10 hours of battery life so you won’t have to worry about your laptop dying while there is no power outlet nearby.
While gaming laptops tend to have the usual chunky, black design with colorfully lit RGB keyboards, some gamers prefer a more subtle aesthetic and one that’s not so in-your-face. Especially when you’re planning to bring it to work or use the laptop in a professional environment.
So whether you’re a student or an employee working in a corporate setting, the size, shape, and color of the gaming laptop you’ll be purchasing are important factors to consider. Luckily for you, many brands have recently jumped on the trend of releasing thinner and sleeker yet powerful gaming laptops so that you wouldn’t worry about the portability and overall look of your laptops anymore.
In addition, some manufacturers have also released gaming laptops with a variety of colors to choose from if you’re wanting to stray from the standard black rig. Whatever aesthetic you’re going for, there is surely a laptop for you.
Whether you’re a casual gamer or a serious one, buying a gaming laptop can be an overwhelming experience. This is especially so if this is your first time. Along with the amount of information you need to take in, the market is also constantly releasing new gaming machines which makes it tough for gamers to settle for one specific model.
So with that being said, it’s very important to keep in mind the things you want to prioritize over certain aspects of the device. If you want the best of the best, you’re going to have to spend a lot of money in order to get that. But if you don’t mind sacrificing some of the specs to save money, then there are a ton of great options for you to choose from as well.
Whichever you choose, I hope our guide on how to buy laptops for gaming in 2021 has helped you out in making a well-informed decision.
Have you already bought your own gaming laptop? Was our guide helpful? Let me know in the comments section below if you have any suggestions, insights, or questions to ask. I would love to hear all your thoughts!
The HP Pavilion gaming laptop is an entry-level model that features a solid Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GPU, as well as a speedy SSD and long battery life. At the same time, it’s housed in a fairly stylish and lightweight chassis. While the display quality could be better, this gaming rig’s excellent mix of hardware, power, and endurance made it one of the best entry-level gaming laptops under $1000 on the market. If you want to learn more, check out our entire review below.
If you’ve been on the hunt for an entry-level gaming laptop, the HP Pavilion is an excellent choice that will certainly not disappoint. As previously stated, this model features a powerful and fast Intel Core i7 processor, as well as an Nvidia GeForce GPU, responsive SSD, and long battery life, all packaged in a very beautiful green and black chassis.
The design is something to be appreciated too. It’s not too gaudy or screams “look at me, I’m a gaming laptop!”. It’s sleek enough to be used in a more professional setting while still maintaining a unique look that doesn’t look tacky.
Despite its low price, the Pavilion isn’t something you should underestimate. This gaming machine comes with some impressive specs, allowing it to run games at high frame rates with ease. It also boasts plenty of endurance, with a battery life of around 6 hours, which should be more than adequate if you’re more into casual gaming.
Apart from gaming, this compact computer also works pretty well with both school and office activities as well as day-to-day tasks.
If thermal throttling is what you’re concerned about, the Pavilion manages to sustain a comfortable temperature when gaming. Overall, the HP Pavilion is a strong contender for one of our list’s best budget gaming laptops. So, if you’re looking for a strong entry-level gaming laptop, this one comes at a great price point and has a stylish design.
Features & Specifications
Dimensions: 10.08 x 14.17 x 0.92 inches
Product Weight: 4.92 pounds
CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q
RAM: 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,666MHz
Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB 7,200-rpm HDD
Operating System: Windows 10 Home
Display Size: 15.6 inches
Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 IPS display
Ports: 1 SuperSpeed USB Type-C (DisplayPort), 2 SuperSpeed USB Type-A, 1 DisplayPort, 1 HDMI 2.0, 1 RJ-45, 1 headphone/microphone combo jack
Battery: 52.5Whr 3-cell lithium-ion
Camera: HP True Vision 720p HD camera
Keyboard: Backlit keyboard
Check Out HP’s Preview Of The Pavilion Gaming Laptop Below.
Without a doubt, one of my favorite things about the HP Pavilion is its design. I truly appreciate that this doesn’t have a bold aesthetic that will catch a lot of unwanted attention. Instead, it’s just edgy enough to provide a good balance between professional and gaming. Not to mention, I find this more lightweight compared to other gaming laptops at the same price point.
Additionally, design-wise, the Pavilion also isn’t your typical gaming laptop. The chassis is black with lovely emerald accents, rather than the usual black-and-red theme you must already be tired of seeing everywhere. If green’s not your color, HP also offers a variant with purple accents as well. Personally, I highly prefer the latter but that’s just my taste.
Upon opening the laptop, you’ll notice an illuminated keyboard and a set of uniquely-shaped speakers. The screen size is the usual 15.6 inches with slim bezels around it. Though I feel like the bezels could be trimmed a bit more, but it’s no deal-breaker.
You’ll also find a generous amount of ports with the HP Pavilion. A USB 3.1 Type-A port, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet RJ-45 port, and an SD media card reader are located on the laptop’s left side. On the right side, there are two more USB 3.1 Type-A connections as well as connectors for headphones and power.
The Pavilion 15 comes with a 4GB VRAM Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. You should be able to play mainstream games like Far Cry 5 without a hitch at the laptop’s highest graphics settings (1080p with Ultra settings). With games like Cyberpunk 2077, though, you may want to adjust your resolutions and expectations a bit. But, for a laptop at this price, this is to be expected, and it’s still quite impressive in my opinion.
In lower fidelity titles, the Ryzen 5 5600H processor helps push better frame rates in my opinion. It’s not the most powerful of AMD‘s new 5000 series mobile CPUs, but with six cores, 12 threads, and a boost frequency of up to 4.2GHz, it’s more than capable of performing a wide range of tasks outside of gaming.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the HP Pavilion gaming laptop excels so well at multiple tasks. It readily performs activities like transcoding 4K films and other media production tasks without a fuss, keeping many tabs open in Google Chrome doesn’t interrupt its smoothness. This laptop boasts excellent hardware that’s ideal for non-gaming tasks, thanks to its 16GB of RAM.
A refresh rate higher than 60Hz is practically required if you’re into esports or just a competitive gamer in general. Many higher-end gaming laptops in the market come with a 144Hz refresh rate, but obtaining the same rate on an entry-level model under a thousand bucks is even more difficult. This is where the HP Pavilion shines as it offers a 144Hz refresh rate for a fairly budget-friendly price.
Though, keep in mind that the base model is capped at 60Hz. So if you’re willing to shell out an extra hundred dollars, you can easily get the 144Hz variant. Given that this Pavilion can play first-person shooters and MOBAs where fine graphics aren’t a priority at speeds above 100 frames per second, 144Hz is a must-have. So I have to commend HP for adding it to one of their entry-level models.
One of the great things worth noting with the HP Pavilion is that it doesn’t overheat or get so hot to the point you need to constantly sit right next to your AC system. Overall, It’s safe to use the Pavilion on your lap for regular tasks. Casually browsing the internet shouldn’t pose a problem with heating and the laptop and keyboard will still be quite comfortable to use.
When gaming, you can expect it to get a bit warm but not hot enough to make you want to run your hands under cold water. Internally, the components, particularly the processor, are kept at a safe temperature for the most part. As a rule of thumb, the lower the average temperature, the longer the CPU will last and you will be able to use the laptop for the years to come.
Our Least Favorite Things
Don’t get me wrong, the display on the HP Pavilion isn’t terrible. It definitely can do some good with a bit of improvement but it’s not that bad. The display could be brighter and for games that are really heavy on the graphics department, you might want to keep your expectations low on this one.
But at the same time, it’s quite understandable for a gaming laptop at this price point to not have the best display in the market. Manufacturers usually cut the costs on display quality as this is one of the most expensive aspects of creating a gaming laptop.
In A Nutshell
Now that we have finished discussing the things we liked and disliked about the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop, here’s our narrowed-down list of the good and the bad with this particular gaming rig. The 15.6-inch, 1080p screen on the HP Pavilion isn’t the brightest or most colorful, but it still manages to give acceptable visual quality.
You won’t have any trouble seeing minute details when watching movies or playing video games. They’re pretty sharp, crisp, and the color accuracy isn’t bad either. However, when compared to other budget gaming laptops, the Pavilion falls short in terms of brightness. To be more specific, it only averaged 241.2 nits.
But don’t let this set you back. For affordable gaming laptops, the display quality is usually the main feature manufacturers skimp on to keep it low-cost since this is one of the most expensive components when creating a gaming laptop.
Lightweight compared to other gaming laptops within this price range.
Solid battery life for casual gaming.
Gaming performance is quite excellent.
Picture quality could be brighter.
Our Final Verdict
Despite being an entry-level model, the HP Pavilion gaming laptop delivers excellent 1080p gaming performance for a wide range of games. You may need to keep the graphics settings on medium or low for certain games, but for the price, you won’t be disappointed. This will surely be enough to satisfy a lot of casual gamers.
Have you already bought the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop? Or are you still contemplating it? Was our review helpful in your purchasing decision? Let me know in the comments section below if you have any suggestions, insights, or questions to ask. I would love to hear all your thoughts!
Without a question, the Dell G5 15 SE is one of the best gaming laptops you can buy for the money. It isn’t the most lightweight or most powerful gaming laptop on the market, but with a price tag of just under $1,000, an AMD Ryzen processor, and an RX 5600M graphics chip, you’ve got yourself a solid gaming rig. This particular Dell gaming laptop is also miles ahead of its competition within the same price category thanks to other fast components like fast RAM, an NVMe SSD, and a 144Hz refresh rate display. If you’d like to know more about this impressive device, just keep scrolling to read our full review of the Dell G5 15 SE Gaming Laptop.
Affordable gaming laptops are so in demand these days. Especially with the pandemic still ongoing, people are reaching out to play their favorite games as a way to cope with the numerous lockdowns we have faced. Along with the rise of demand for games, so does the demand for PC parts and gaming laptops and consoles.
Not to mention, gone are the days when you had to spend $2000 just so you can game on the go. This is where the Dell G5 15 SE comes in.
This gaming rig is a crowd favorite among gamers and an overall outstanding gaming laptop thanks to its strong CPU, long battery life, and bright 15.6-inch display with a 144Hz refresh rate. Additionally, due to its AMD Ryzen 5000 H-series processor, this gaming system routinely outperforms its competition without a fuss.
The battery life of this gaming laptop was also excellent, lasting well over 7 hours. With that and an AMD graphics card capable of handling today’s most demanding AAA games, you’ve got yourself a capable gaming rig that won’t break the bank. Furthermore, this gaming laptop includes a display screen that is sharp and colorful enough for the price, as well as a very ergonomic keyboard to operate.
In terms of design, I personally like it. It’s not the sleekest looking laptop out there (nor the most lightweight, either) but I appreciate how the chassis is painted in gleaming silver. It’s a welcome change from the traditional red and black colors associated with gaming laptops.
On top of all that, the Dell G5 15 SE offers a large number of ports, allowing you to connect all of your important devices. Overall, it’s no surprise that this gaming laptop ranked first on our list of the best affordable gaming laptops in 2021.
Features & Specifications
Dimensions: 14.4 x 10 x 0.85 inches
Product Weight: 5.51 pounds
CPU: 1.6GHz AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
GPU: 6128GB AMD Radeon RX 5600M
RAM/Storage: 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz / 512TB SSD
Display Size: 15.6 Inches
Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080, 144Hz
Operating System: Windows 10 Home (1909)
Networking: Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1, Ethernet
Ports: 1 x USB-C, 3 x USB-A, 1 x mini DisplayPort, 1 x combo audio
Keyboard: Backlit Keyboard
Color: Supernova Silver Cover
Check Out Dell’s Product Preview Of The G5 15 Below.
Honestly, there’s nothing particularly outstanding with the Dell G5 15 SE’s design. It’s quite straightforward, simple, and can easily blend into a professional setting. I do appreciate that it doesn’t sport the in-your-face gaming aesthetic a lot of gaming manufacturers tend to strive for with their products. This one’s more subtle and the silver chassis is definitely enough to make it stand out from the usual dark colors.
To put it simply, the G5 15 SE is a rather plain-looking laptop with a few design embellishments that don’t scream “look at me, I’m a gamer.” It’s no head-turner and the lid has the most of these flourishes. It’s silver with a metallic gleam, carved with two vertical lines, and topped with a gleaming Dell logo.
The overall design is otherwise fairly modest, with gray plastic on the bottom panel and a plain black keyboard deck that does have RGB illuminations you can tinker around with. Personally, I don’t mind if a gaming laptop has bold, eye-catching colors or numerous RGB lights, as long as it’s not overdone or tacky. But the subtlety in the G5 15 SE is something else.
Whether that’s a good or bad thing is completely up to you. If you prefer gaudy, gaming colors, then this kind of style the G5 15 SE sports might not be for you. But if you want a gaming laptop that you can also use for work or in public without catching too much attention, then this is a nice balance.
In terms of size, the G5 15 SE doesn’t stand out much as well. Weighing at 5.51 lbs, it isn’t particularly bulky, but it’s definitely not small or light either. Most gaming laptops I’ve seen at this price point also share the same weight and size, more or less. It’ll take a bit more effort in carrying this around with you but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Also, I noticed that with more affordable gaming laptops, the size of the model is one of the few things you’ll most likely have to compromise on. Packing such powerful hardware in a thin and light chassis is usually more commonly seen in premium and high-end gaming laptops. So if you’re on a budget, it’s much better to focus on the gaming performance of these laptops rather than the size.
When it comes to gaming performance, the Dell G5 15 SE certainly didn’t disappoint. The fundamental components of the Dell Gaming G5 15 SE are well-matched and even graphics-heavy games run pretty smoothly on this gaming rig.
The Intel six-core CPU, Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics, and 1080p LCD display work together to produce flawless frame rates in the latest games at high settings that’s sure to satisfy a lot of casual gamers. We’re not talking about the absolute pinnacle of a buttery-smooth gaming performance but this is definitely a solid experience either way.
If you’re looking for something more, you’ll need a more powerful GPU and a monitor that refreshes at 120Hz or higher. Not to mention, a bigger budget too. In any case, frame rates in the 60 to 70 fps range when set to ultra detail are highly enjoyable. However, they also show that using a high refresh panel with this setup is practically pointless.
With that said, the Dell G5 15 SE is a pretty solid contender among entry-level gaming laptops. It’s competent and capable enough to make sure that you get a nice gaming experience out of this rig for the years to come.
The display on the Dell G5 15 SE is about what you’d expect from an entry-level gaming laptop. But with a few quirks. Its 1080p Full HD resolution is an excellent match for the modern components inside its chassis. However, the highlight of the display is the 144Hz refresh rate which allows you to have smoother-looking gameplays. Though the base model of this laptop comes with just a 60Hz refresh rate.
Keep in mind, reaching 144fps will be pretty near impossible with the latest AAA titles but this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re more of a casual gamer. The overall visual quality is likewise rather high, and the screen does get quite bright when set to its maximum brightness.
Gaming laptops don’t always have the best battery lives, which is understandable since playing games tend to drain batteries faster than your normal day-to-day tasks. The Dell G5 15 SE, on the other hand, provides some of the best battery life I’ve seen in a gaming laptop. This model easily lasted 7 hours, though this can vary depending on how frequently you use it.
Under heavy load, most gaming systems fall short of the 4-hour mark, but the G5 15 SE performed admirably. Especially if you think about how affordable this laptop is.
Our Least Favorite Things
No product will ever be completely perfect and the Dell G5 15 SE is no exception to that. One major concern that you might want to keep in mind with this particular gaming laptop is that thermal throttling is a bit of an issue here.
Under stress, the laptop becomes noticeably heated, both on the underside and in hot patches surrounding the keyboard. So this is something to keep in mind in case heating is an issue with you. However, this isn’t a problem exclusive to this model. Most affordable and low-cost gaming laptops seem to encounter this problem as well. I guess a better cooling system is a luxury and a privilege?
In A Nutshell
Now that we have discussed the things we liked and disliked about the Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop in this review, here’s a narrowed-down list of the good and the bad with this particular gaming rig.
Amazing CPU & GPU performance.
Solid battery life.
Terrific RAM & storage.
Expect some bloatware.
Not the most lightweight design.
Our Final Verdict
Overall, the Dell G5 15 SE exceeds expectations for an entry-level gaming laptop. It sports a subtle design that doesn’t look tacky, provides a terrific gaming performance thanks to its AMD chip, has plenty of ports, and pretty decent battery life. This computer is also not limited to gaming. You can easily use this for your professional work or everyday tasks as well. Although a few compromises were made to keep this gaming rig affordable, it still provides outstanding value for the money.
Have you already bought the Dell G5 15 SE? Or are you still contemplating it? Was our review helpful? Let me know in the comments section below if you have any suggestions, insights, or questions to ask. I would love to hear all your thoughts!
Gaming laptops used to be pretty pricey back in the day. However, if you’re on a tight budget, there are now several excellent options for you to choose from. You can buy decent gaming laptops for under $1000, but the best deals tend to go quickly due to limited stocks and the ongoing scarcity of microchips. When you do discover a laptop, it’s usually equipped with the latest AMD or Intel processors, updated entry-level graphics as well as displays with higher refresh rates. Who says you have to pay high-end prices to game, right? So, if you’re looking for a budget computer for your PC gaming on the go, we’ve compiled a list of the best cheap gaming laptops in 2021 for you.
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Why You Don’t Have To Pay More For A Gaming Laptop
Sure, having the most expensive laptop available in the market has its perks, but sometimes, it is also not the most ideal. These days, it’s no longer necessary to drop $2000 on a decent gaming laptop. A lot of gamers can get through with their gaming needs just fine even with budget-friendly computers that are under or just a little over a thousand bucks.
With AMD making a comeback in the gaming laptop market and Intel introducing its latest 10th Gen Comet Lake H-Series processor, there are plenty of options to explore. Apart from that, on a 1080p screen, which is the type of display seen in most gaming laptops, powerful graphics cards don’t give substantial performance boosts. Therefore, they’re not worth the extra expense you’ll be splurging on them.
Despite their low pricing, these budget laptops can do almost everything their more high-end counterparts can, including high refresh rates, RGB keyboards, support for VR headsets as well as playing AAA games at high frame rates will be no fuss at all.
You’ll be able to enjoy the most popular games like Fortnite, PUBG, and Minecraft in high definition. So shopping for your next or first-ever gaming laptop will be hella fun with these new modern features laptop manufacturers are now offering.
Don’t get me wrong though, a budget gaming laptop still costs a good penny. $1000 is no easy money. However, you can still save a lot of money by looking for refurbished models from stores like Amazon or Best Buy. Not to mention, these gaming laptops also frequently fluctuate in price whenever there are holidays coming up.
So without further ado, let’s head onto our top picks for the best cheap gaming laptops in 2021 for people on a budget such as yourself.
Our Top Recommendations
1. Dell G5 15 SE
Because of its powerful CPU, long battery life, and bright 15.6-inch display, the Dell G5 15 SE is certainly a crowd favorite among gamers as well as an overall excellent gaming laptop. This particular gaming rig consistently outperformed its competition thanks to its AMD Ryzen 5000 H-series processor.
The notebook’s battery life was likewise impressive that will surely last you over 7 hours. That, plus the AMD graphics card that can handle even the most demanding AAA games of today, you’ve definitely got yourself a winner. On top of that, this particular gaming laptop also boasts a display panel that is both crisp and vibrant, as well as a very comfortable keyboard to use.
Personally, I also really like the shimmering silver paint on the hood. It’s a nice break from the usual red and black colors you see that are so common with gaming laptops. Additionally, the Dell G5 15 SE also offers a generous amount of ports, which allows you to connect all of your necessary devices. With all that being said, it’s no wonder why this gaming laptop has topped our list of the best cheap gaming laptops in 2021.
The Acer Nitro 5 is a tough one to beat if you’re seeking for a gaming laptop at a shockingly low price. The Nitro 5 provides an amazing battery life, a powerful AMD Ryzen 5-4600H processor, and a terrific keyboard that’s comfortable to use for little under $850.
However, like other recent AMD-powered laptops, this one’s real claim to fame is its battery life. In case you’re unaware, the Acer Nitro 5 has a battery life of a whopping 11 hours and 9 minutes! This is quite unheard of in a gaming laptop, especially in this price range. The Nitro 5 delivers really impressive gaming performance. Especially for a laptop in this price category, and it’s all thanks to its AMD processor.
However, because of the Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU, you might have to play AAA games at lower settings in order to get reasonable frame rates. Apart from that, just like with any other budget-friendly gaming laptops, some compromises will have to be made. One example is a dimmer display. But for a gaming system for just under $850? At this point, you can’t possibly complain.
The Acer Nitro 5 is also available in two sizes: 17.3 and 15.6 inches. With entry-level gaming laptops, a 17-inch affordable gaming laptop is pretty rare at this point. The majority of gaming laptops under $1,000 only feature 15.6-inch displays. Keep in mind though, the larger 17-inch screen on the Nitro 5 are currently priced at just a little over a thousand dollars.
Features & Specifications
Dimensions: 14.31 x 10.04 x 0.94 inches (15.6-inch display)
Product Weight: 5.07 lbs
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5-4600H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB of VRAM / NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050
The HP Gaming Pavilion is another solid entry-level gaming laptop that will surely impress you. This particular model boasts a powerful and fast Intel Core i7 processor as well as an Nvidia GeForce GPU. It also has a responsive SSD and long battery life, all of which is housed in a very stylish green and black chassis.
Despite its relatively low price, the Pavilion isn’t something you shouldn’t underestimate at all. This gaming rig is equipped with some powerful specifications, allowing it to play games smoothly at high frame rates. It also has plenty of stamina, with a battery life of approximately 6 hours which should be more than enough for a casual gamer.
Apart from that, if heating is a concern, the Pavilion also manages to keep a reasonable level of coolness while gaming. All in all, the HP Pavilion is a serious contender for one of the best budget gaming laptops on our list. So if you’re searching for a powerful entry-level gaming laptop, this one comes at a terrific price point and a design that doesn’t look tacky.
The MSI GF63 is an excellent pick for a gaming laptop for those who are just starting on their gaming and have a pretty limited budget. Its Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia graphics card is sure to deliver an excellent gaming performance that will allow you to play the most recent and mainstream games on relatively low settings while maintaining a pretty low price.
But don’t worry! Owing to the Nvidia GeForce 1050 Ti GPU it has inside in its chassis, the GF63 can play most games smoothly and without a fuss. Its best feature, though, is its Core i7 CPU, which puts it a step ahead of the competitors on most fronts. Overall, the GF63 is a reliable gaming laptop with good performance at a reasonable price.
However, I would suggest this laptop for the most casual gamers who aren’t requiring anything demanding. But if you game on an above-average basis then I would suggest looking at the other options on this list.
Features & Specifications
Dimensions: 14.13 x 9.99 x 0.85 inches
Product Weight: 4.10 lbs
CPU: 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H CPU
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of VRAM
RAM/Storage: 16GB/256GB M.2 PCIe SSD with a1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive
Even if you’re on a budget, obtaining a gaming laptop that has a larger screen than the usual 15.6 inches is possible, albeit quite rare. This is where the Lenovo Legion 5 comes in, offering you a 17-inch variant so you can have a more immersive gaming experience. The 17.3-inch Full HD display gives you plenty of room to appreciate the amazing graphics of your games while allowing you to see minor details more clearly.
But if you want to save more money, there is also a 15.6-inch display variant that is readily available for you. The display also has a peak brightness of 300 nits, making it easier to see even in bright conditions. What’s more, if you’re a competitive gamer, you’ll be happy to know that Lenovo offers a reasonably priced customization option to go from a 60Hz to a 144Hz display panel.
The system is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor and an RTX 3050 graphics card, giving it more than enough power to play a wide range of Full HD games without a hitch. However, the 256GB of storage might be quite limited and won’t be enough for a large game library, so you may want to look for more storage or consider an upgrade before clicking the check out button.
Features & Specifications
Dimensions: 14.27 x 10.26 x 0.89 inches (15.6-inch display) / 15.7 x 11.41 x 1.03 inches (17.3-inch display)
When you travel a lot and you’re planning to game on the go, a 15-inch laptop might be a better option for you than a model with a 17-inch screen. A 15-inch display provides a good balance of portability and the screen isn’t too little that it will be difficult for you to see the little details of what you’re doing. Plus, it won’t definitely feel as heavy as if you’re carrying a tank.
Enter the Gigabyte G5. This particular gaming rig has a 15.6-inch display with a 144Hz refresh rate, which provides a decent gaming performance you’ll need as you’re gaming on the go. To be more specific, the Gigabyte G5 is powered by an Intel Core i5-11400H processor and an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, allowing it to produce exceptional frame rates at 1080p.
On top of that, the Gigabyte G5 also boasts 16GB of memory, allowing you to conduct a few background chores while gaming without experiencing any troubles.
With its loud and bold design, there’s no mistaking that the Acer Predator Helios 300 is certainly a laptop made for gamers. Some of you might like this look, some may not. It really depends on your personal preference.
On paper, the Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop appears to be a fantastic choice. It comes with incredibly strong technology, as well as easy hookups for larger displays, a screen with a rapid refresh rate, and a full number pad on its keyboard.
Apart from that, because of its concentration on balancing performance and pricing, the Predator Helios 300 has consistently been a superb entry-level gaming laptop to plenty of gamers. This upgraded model also now offers a 240Hz display and a toned-down design (which I personally think is for the better) while being able to keep the costs relatively low.
Features & Specifications
Dimensions: 14.3 x 10.5 x 0.8 inches
Product Weight: 5.5 lbs
CPU: 10th-gen Intel Core i7-10750H at 2.60 GHz, 6 cores
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
RAM/Storage: 16GB / 512GB SSD
Display Size: 15.6-inch
Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Solid gaming performance.
Doesn’t heat up too much and stay cooled while gaming.
On the pricier side compared to other models in this list.
When it comes to choosing the best cheap gaming laptop for yourself, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to get the most bang out of your buck. So to make sure you achieve that, here are some considerations you might want to take note of.
Whether you want to play the most demanding AAA titles or keep up with the latest trends in games like Fortnite or PUBG, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to play them at the highest frame rate your gaming laptop’s panel allows. A dedicated graphics chip can help with this. It’s a good place to start if you want to get serious into laptop gaming.
The graphics hardware in a gaming laptop is the most significant aspect because it determines what games you can play and at what settings you can play them. For the most part, you won’t be able update the graphics processor on your laptop. And if you save money on the purchase, you’ll have to buy a new computer sooner than you expect to keep playing the new games being released every year.
With that being said, the graphics card is definitely something you shouldn’t skimp on. Unless you really don’t mind playing games in ultra low settings all the time. However, that’s not to say that you should also go all out in getting the most expensive graphics card possible. Gone are the days when you need to get the latest or most high-end graphics card in the market for a good gaming performance.
For a bit of compromising, you can easily get a laptop model with a solid graphics card for under $800 that will give you amazing gaming experiences without a hitch.
So what are your options?
For a newbie, finding the best graphics card available might be quite difficult. So, after doing some research, I discovered that the Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti still has the best price-to-performance ratio in terms of the more affordable graphics chips. On the other hand, the GTX 1650 is still the best entry-level GPU for most games.
AMD, on the other hand, offers two interesting choices that you might also want to consider. The AMD Radeon RX 5500M is a good alternative, providing performance that is comparable to Nvidia’s GTX 1650 Ti and GTX 1660 Ti. Furthermore, the RTX 5600M delivers performance that is also pretty close to the GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2060.
Just like the GPU, the processor of your chosen gaming laptop isn’t something that should be overlooked as well. Especially when a lot of games, particularly those under the MMORPG and RTS (real-time strategy) genres, pummel the CPU. Dual-core processors are no longer available in new gaming laptops thanks to certain AAA games that now require quad-core CPUs at a minimum.
However, you should also keep in mind that a Core i7 or Core i9 CPU is more important for processor-intensive jobs like video or photo editing and media production work than it is for gaming.
So with that said, it’s definitely not a necessity to exclusively look for these type of CPUs. A Core i5 CPU is more than enough and will offer you plenty of power with the 10th Generation Intel CPUs that are quite prevalent in affordable gaming laptops these days.
In addition to that, Core i7 of the same generation is a powerful six-core or eight-core CPU that may prove to be too much for gamers who are on a budget. So, as much as possible, get a Core i5 or i7 CPU with solid four cores instead. On the other hand, getting a six-core chip is also pretty nice.
When it comes to RAM, 8GB is definitely the minimum you should go for when shopping for your new gaming laptop. Especially if your budget only allows you to spend a thousand bucks. Not to mention, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a gaming laptop that will go any higher than that. But that is also more than enough for the casual gamer who plays mainstream titles.
Every now and then, you might also find a low-cost gaming laptop that will offer you 16GB of RAM. This is actually the most ideal for the majority of gamers, but since we’re on a budget, you also have to manage your expectations and be ready for some compromises unless you’re willing to shell out more money.
On top of that, a budget-friendly laptop with 16GB of RAM is still the exception rather than the rule in this price bracket. There are also laptops you might find that have upgradeable RAMs which can be pretty great if you do manage to get your hands on one. So that’s definitely something worth looking into as well.
However, do note that even if you can upgrade the RAM, the laptop may come with memory modules in both slots. This will require you to replace them both if you decide to make an upgrade later. With that in mind, I still recommend getting everything you require right away rather than skimping today and deciding to upgrade later.
In laptops under $1,000, you’ll easily find both traditional hard drives (HDDs) and faster (but lower-capacity) solid-state drives (SSDs). Although this is more frequent with 17-inch laptops, sometimes, certain 15.6-inch models may include a small-capacity SSD boot drive alongside a secondary-storage platter hard drive to give an additional boost in overall gaming performance.
With that said, it’s also worth noting that most gaming laptops in the budget range usually come in with 15-inch screens as well. In any case, if you can find and afford this option, I highly suggest going for a dual-drive setup for the best gaming performance possible.
The operating system as well as a few of your most-played games can reside on the smaller SSD, while the rest of your games and other programs that don’t necessarily need speedy loading times can be placed on the larger and more cost-effective hard drive.
Not to mention, if you’re not already aware, it’s also possible to split your game libraries between these two disks. This will make organizing your stuff pretty easy. Apart from that, some low-cost gaming laptops will allow you to install a second drive in an empty internal 2.5-inch bay. That may be the most cost-effective option too. 2.5-inch hard drives with sufficient capacity may be found for just under a hundred bucks.
Display Size & Resolution
As previously stated, most gaming laptops under a thousand bucks have a screen size of 15 or 15.6 inches. This size is a smart compromise in terms of more than just cost. Don’t get me wrong, gaming on the largest laptop screen available is sometimes the best way to truly immerse yourself in your favorite games and appreciate their incredible graphics.
However, if you’ve ever tried traveling with one of these devices or looked for a laptop bag that can accommodate both it and its massive power adaptor, you might reconsider your options. Many of these gaming rigs weigh six pounds or more, and even the lightest ones will surely burn a hole through your wallet.
Overall, when it comes to displaying size, 15-inch gaming laptops strike an excellent mix between screen size and portability, and they will ideally meet your budget. However, if you discover one with a 17-inch screen that is well within your budget, go ahead and get it.
When it comes to the native resolution of your gaming laptop, 1080p is something you should keep an eye out for. And you shouldn’t really go any lower than that or else you’ll end up with terrible display resolutions for gaming.
Fortunately, high refresh rate panels with 120Hz or 144Hz are now available on some laptops in this price range. This is a pretty great thing if you love playing first-person shooter games like Overwatch or PUBG. Keep in mind that the higher the refresh rate, the smoother the animations appear, as long as the frame rate is similarly high.
All in all, while these budget-friendly gaming laptops in our list aren’t the sleekest or light-weight in terms of design, small sacrifices and compromises are necessary with these models in order for manufacturers to keep them at an affordable cost. However, these gaming laptops will also surely provide you the performance you need to enjoy gaming while yet leaving you with enough cash to acquire more games you want to try out for yourself.
Have you already bought your own gaming laptop? Did your pick make it into our list? Was our list of the Best Cheap Gaming Laptops 2021 helpful? Let me know in the comments section below if you have any suggestions, insights, or questions to ask. I would love to hear all your thoughts!
There are a lot of things that make up a good gaming mouse. The right buttons in the right spots can easily help you in using your skills or switching out weapons before your enemy can even see you coming. Good supporting software can also enhance the performance of your chosen gaming mouse, letting you tailor it to your exact style of gameplay. Furthermore, a mouse that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand as well as a powerful sensor, increases the flow of your games. As a result, makes your strikes more accurate and fun. However, with so many options available, selecting the ideal one for you might be difficult. So without further ado, here’s our gaming mouse buyer’s guide for you today.
The Difference Between A Gaming Mouse And A Regular Computer Mouse
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not a gaming mouse is worth the money, here is a good place to start.
To get the most out of your gaming setup, you typically would want to get the best gaming mouse possible to help you achieve that. This is especially so if you have a very competitive playstyle. Some hardcore gamers can be quite prickly with the peripherals they use. And how could they not when these are the things that could sometimes be the difference between victory and defeat?
Some of you might think that a good graphics card is enough but in truth, that’s not the case at all. No matter how powerful your computer is, if your peripherals can’t keep up with your fast-paced games and your attacks, you might just see yourself on a losing streak. So it’s truly important that you treat each of your gaming peripherals with the same care and attention you do as the rest of your gaming setup.
With that being said, investing in an excellent gaming mouse will greatly assist you in bringing triumph and glory to yourself or your team. A true gaming mouse compared to your regular computer mouse, will get you a lot more than just the ability to point and click.
These peripherals are designed with gamers in mind especially. Whatever type of game you’re playing, owning a good gaming mouse will seem like an extension of your own hand. Because of that, most models will come with enhanced sensors, remappable buttons, a wider DPI range, and other helpful features that are sure to take your gaming experience to the next level.
Things To Consider
As previously stated, choosing the best gaming mouse that will suit your playstyle among the endless options available on the market can be a tough task. Other factors to consider include how the mouse will feel in your hand depending on its shape and form, the overall design, remappable buttons and their placements, the quality of the sensor, and so much more.
These minor details, however insignificant they may appear, can have a huge impact on your overall experience. On the other hand, brands sometimes would make exaggerated claims on their gaming mice and end up not performing as well as stated. So to make sure that you get your money’s worth, here are some things you might want to keep in mind and eye out for.
If you’ve been playing PC games for a while now, you’ve most likely already heard about the long-running argument about whether a wired or wireless gaming mouse is better for your gaming. It’s almost the same thing with gaming headphones and some of the concerns actually overlap between these peripherals.
But at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. Some players like the reliability corded gaming mice provide. Meanwhile, some gamers just love the complete wireless experience without having to fuss over the limitations a cord could bring in terms of mobility.
However, up until recently, the vast majority of gamers believed that wired gaming mice were still superior to their wireless counterparts. Because a corded mouse is physically plugged into your PC, you won’t have to worry about encountering latency issues or even running out of battery life. Not to mention, response time was just objectively better.
But that was until 2016 when Logitech dropped one of their best products to date. With the launch of Logitech’s G900 Chaos Spectrum that year, the performance gap between wired and wireless gaming mice began shrinking. The G900 was one of the first wireless mice to properly keep up with wired gaming mice in terms of speed and performance.
Wireless gaming mice technology has continued to advance and evolve since then. Major gaming companies like Corsair and Razer have now developed both wired and wireless versions of their popular gaming mice, with no compromises in terms of features and capabilities. Not to mention, this provides their customers the option of choosing which type of mouse they want.
Because both wired and wireless gaming mice come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages, the debate between wired and wireless mice just goes on and on. So the answer is never a definite one. But one thing is for sure, there’s no right or wrong answer. Everything comes down to your personal preference and gameplay.
Size, Shape, & Weight
Gaming mice, as you may know, come in a variety of designs and sizes. In fact, some models allow you to disassemble it or remove components of it to customize its overall shape and weight to your preferences. So, if the sensation of your gaming mouse under your palm is bothering you, you may quickly switch it up for more comfort if your chosen model has this specific feature.
Other gaming mice, usually the high-end ones, tend to have removable weights. These weights resemble little steel tablets. The overall feel and amount of drag can be changed by adding or removing these weights from the slots inside the mouse’s body. Some models even go the extra mile for this, allowing you to configure the height, the pitch of the palm rest, as well as the center of balance.
Another design feature some gaming mice have is swappable panels. These panels can offer a good number of remappable buttons you can customize according to your playstyle and are typically tailored to cater to a certain type of game genre.
These kinds of adjustments are made to ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible when using your gaming mouse and you can use it for hours on end. After all, when you’re gaming, one of the things you’ll be holding the most is your mouse.
It’s also worth noting that most gaming mice are designed for right-handed users. As a result, if you’re a lefty, you might have a hard time finding a mouse that’s made for you. Fortunately, several manufacturers offer ambidextrous designs that will appeal to a wider range of consumers.
The two most prevalent types of sensors found in gaming mice are “optical” and “laser.” Each variety has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s up to you to decide which you prefer over the other. Trying out a mouse in person or relying on reviews and online forums for people’s own experiences is the easiest approach to figure out how it feels in various play situations.
In cheaper gaming mice, optical sensors are widespread, as they provide high tracking sensitivity and tend to map well on a variety of surfaces, including textured ones like fabric. Laser sensors, on the other hand, can map onto multiple sorts of surfaces at the same time. This includes smooth or glossy surfaces, which optical sensors may find difficult to detect. Keep in mind that some laser sensor types can also be sensitive to rough surface textures.
However, this isn’t anything that should be overly concerned about. You may quickly resolve any surface tracking issues with your mouse’s sensor by using a very inexpensive mousepad.
The software supporting your gaming mouse is equally as vital as the shortcut buttons and other useful features in your mouse’s compartment. Every large and little gaming company has developed its own mouse-control software, which you can adjust to your liking. Advanced macro programming is usually included as well.
In many cases, the software also lets you control and customize a gaming keyboard made by the same company. As a result, it may be advantageous if your peripherals are all from the same manufacturer for improved compatibility.
In addition to recording macro commands, these software dashboards allow you to activate premade, game-specific profiles, develop your own profiles, and even adjust any RGB patterns and illuminations your gaming mouse may have. Non-gaming settings are another useful feature that certain software may have. This enables you to leverage the programmability of your mouse in Microsoft or Adobe apps for professional purposes.
Overall, the availability (or lack thereof) of dedicated software can be the deciding factor between low-end and high-end gaming mice. In fact, some low-cost gaming mice will ship without any software. If you don’t have such software, you’ll only be able to change mouse commands within a game or in your PC’s native mouse settings. For some, this isn’t a big deal, but it’s something to consider.
The most crucial element to consider when purchasing a gaming mouse is how comfortable it feels in your hand. There are many various sizes of mice available on the market, and weight and shape are important factors you can’t overlook. Aesthetics and other features can be added later. After all, no one wants a nice-looking mouse that they can’t use because it’s too unpleasant to operate. After you’ve decided which models are best for your hand, you can start thinking about which attributes will help you the most as a player.
Have you already bought your own gaming mouse? Was our gaming mouse buyer’s guide helpful? Let me know in the comments section below if you have any suggestions, insights, or questions to ask. I would love to hear all your thoughts!