8 Best Cheap Gaming Laptops 2023: Top Picks from Leading Brands

The adrenaline rush, the chase, the sweet scent of victory – gaming evokes many emotions in thousands of players worldwide. No wonder gaming laptops are more popular than ever! Not too long ago, a capable multimedia device would have cost you nothing less than $1,500. However, the rising competition and popularity of video games have reduced prices. You can now find some excellent choices on a budget – $700 onwards.

We don’t deny you miss out on certain things when you cut costs drastically in the gaming landscape. Budget machines will not offer an Intel Core i9 CPU or RTX 40 series graphics (although a few options by ASUS are exceptions to this).

You may also miss higher-res screens and struggle with finding an ergonomic keyboard. Some compact models may compromise with thermal management, causing overheating. But the good news is that brands like Dell, Acer, and MSI counter many of these limitations to make budget gaming a delightful experience in its own right.

8 Best Cheap Gaming Laptops 2023

We have collected some of the best picks from top brands, including ASUS, Dell, and HP. They won’t cost you a fortune, but the experience will be enjoyable.

09/25/2023 10:28 am GMT

ASUS value-for-money gaming machines

Home to the beloved ROG series, ASUS is one of the most impressive gaming brands today. It combines performance with value for money – just what budget-seekers need. The ASUS TUF F15 will cost you only $699.99. And yet, it offers an Intel Core i5 CPU, an RTX 2050 graphics card, and anti-dust tunnels for sustainable heat management. This military-standard laptop has an FHD screen with a 144Hz refresh rate and 7.1-channel surround sound.

Can you go a little higher? The ASUS ROG Strix series is worth your attention as it packs a powerful punch at reasonably affordable rates. For instance, the ASUS ROG Strix G16 ($1,300) runs on an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and RTX 4060 graphics. The gorgeous FHD display has a refresh rate of 165Hz, 100% sRGB color, Dolby Vision, and Pantone validation. Wi-Fi 6E ensures a smooth and consistent digital gaming experience. 

You can opt for a 15″ size to get by for around $1,000 – the ASUS ROG Strix G15. It involves a few bargains – an AMD Ryzen 7 processor and RTX 3050 – but even so, the performance is commendable for the price. ASUS also throws in a super display with a 300Hz refresh rate and quick upgradability with a pop-open screw.

MSI Cyborg for cheap gaming

MSI is known for reliable and sturdy laptops that withstand rugged use with time. The 15.6″ MSI Cyborg manages to be cheap at around $760. It is a satisfying purchase, equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor, RTX 2050 graphics, and 16GB RAM. The FHD display has a standard 144Hz refresh rate to render modern games without distortion and irritating delays.

Acer Nitro for high-performance gameplay

Purchasing an Acer Nitro laptop lets you enjoy premium features like DTS: X Ultra audio and a 4-zone RGB backlit keyboard at affordable prices. The Acer Nitro 5, powered by an Intel Core i5 processor and RTX 3050 graphics, is a worthwhile option for gaming at medium to high settings. It costs just $770, which makes it a sweet deal.

For those who prefer a large-screen experience, the Acer Nitro 16 for approximately $1,149 is brilliant. It even offers a MUX switch to get a performance upswing by disabling the integrated graphics. Acer also provides a low-disturbance display by maximizing the screen-to-body ratio.

HP Victus for reliable gaming sessions

Our pick is the HP Victus range – a fiery yet cheap series for A/V lovers. It bundles B&O audio, temporal noise reduction, and multiple color options.

The HP Victus 15t is available at just under $1,000. This laptop, run by an Intel Core i5 processor, an RTX 3050 GPU, and a 512 GB SSD, supports contemporary titles. You will bring home the age-old durability of HP blended with modern-day style and function – promising, indeed.

Dell affordable gaming laptops

When you think of Dell gaming offerings, Alienware is generally top of mind. But the tech giant also has cheaper devices in this category, like the Dell G15, priced at $799. It is a nifty machine driven by an Intel Core i5 processor and RTX 3050 graphics. The best part about selecting Dell for multimedia pursuits is its focus on sustainability – in heat dissipation and design. Efficient cooling is mandatory for a gaming laptop to last out the tide, and this one uses four heat pipes and thin-blade fans to keep things cool.

This range also comes with backlit keyboards (one-zone and four-zone) and plenty of customization settings with Alienware Command Center. 


Is a cheap gaming laptop worth it?

Don’t let the ‘affordable’ tag stop you from exploring this bucket. Brands like Acer and MSI have experimented with cost-effective gaming laptops and how! You can count on dependable performance led by Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and discrete graphics cards from the RTX 30 range. Alternatives like the Acer Nitro 16 also offer backlighting to spruce up your gaming den.

A word of caution – many tech brands announced new gaming laptops at CES 2023. These models will use the most recent NVIDIA 40 GPUs, 13th-generation Intel CPUs, and the latest AMD Ryzen processors. Getting a future-ready gaming machine will help you enjoy a performance upswing during modern AAA games. The trick here is to choose well and wait for the right deal.

Which brand is your best bet for affordable gaming laptops?

Several high-quality options exist for pocket-friendly gaming machines. Brands like ASUS, MSI, and Acer are some of the leading picks. However, the brand that works for you depends on your priorities and requirements for extra features like four-zone keyboard backlighting and immersive audio.

A MUX switch can offer a performance boost of up to 10% and is available in laptops like the Acer Nitro 16 for around $1,149. An ASUS machine is slightly more conservative in design and build standards but has a lower price tag. 

Is an RTX graphics card essential in a budget gaming laptop?

Serious gamers cannot do without discrete GPUs; integrated graphics will not cut it during demanding games involving special effects and transitions. You have a sweet deal if you get a cheap gaming laptop with an RTX graphics card from the 30 or 40 line-ups.

Of course, an older GTX 1650 card is still a good option and will support many modern games. But the bottom line is that budget-friendly options exist with RTX GPUs – for instance, Acer Nitro 5 and ASUS TUF F15. You don’t want to miss out on the glamour of ray tracing and imagery enhanced by artificial intelligence.

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Deboshree Bhattacharjee

Deboshree is a technophile who loves capturing the evolution of digital devices and how they change our everyday. She is also a communications specialist who has worked with leading names in education, parenting, and consumer goods. Her work has appeared in many digital publications, magazines, and blogs.

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