The 3 Best Budget And Cheap Gaming Laptops - Spring 2024: Reviews (2024)

Updated May 14, 2024 at 02:25 pm

By Thomas Szwedska

The 3 Best Budget And Cheap Gaming Laptops - Spring 2024: Reviews (1)

overview 14 comments

Shopping for a gaming laptop can be challenging, as gaming is a demanding task with many requirements. First and foremost, you need to look for a system with a powerful CPU, a dedicated GPU, and a good cooling system to reach high, consistent frame rates. You'll also want a laptop with a high-quality display to see a clear image in fast-paced games, a comfortable keyboard that won't cause fatigue on long gaming sessions, and a fast SSD to reduce loading times. These things add up, making gaming laptops far more expensive than your typical thin, light ultraportables. That said, good budget options are available, costing around $1,000 or less. Below is a list of a few we've tested to get you started. The list is short for now but will grow as we review more laptops.

We'vetested over 110laptops, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the bestbudget gaming laptops and the best cheap gaming laptops you can get. You can also check out our recommendations for the best budget and cheap laptops, the best laptops for college, and the best gaming laptops.


  1. Best Budget Gaming Laptop

    ASUS TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition (2023) 8

    The 3 Best Budget And Cheap Gaming Laptops - Spring 2024: Reviews (7)

    Gaming

    8.6

    Portability

    6.1

    Variable Refresh Rate

    FreeSync

    Typing Quality

    8.0

    Thermals And Noise

    5.9

    Serviceability

    8.4

    See all our test results

    The best budget gaming laptop we've tested is the ASUS TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition (2023). This 16-inch all-AMD system pushes high frame rates in demanding AAA games, giving you a smooth and immersive gaming experience. The base configuration costs around $1,000 USD; you get a Ryzen 7 7735HS CPU, a Radeon RX 7600S GPU, a 165Hz FHD display, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. Faster configurations are available if you're willing to pay more. Both the 165Hz FHD and the more costly 240Hz QHD panel support variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing.

    This laptop feels sturdy and provides easy access to the internals for repairs and upgrades. There are two storage drive slots—upping storage capacity will probably be necessary since 512GB (or even 1TB) isn't a lot these days. You can also replace the wireless adapter, as the existing module only supports Wi-Fi 6. Ports include four USBs (two As and two Cs), a true HDMI 2.1, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and an Ethernet port. Thermal throttling isn't a problem, but the laptop gets hot and loud. Unfortunately, this is a rather bulky laptop, so it isn't the best for on-the-go use, and the battery lasts only a little over an hour when gaming.

    See our review

  2. Best Cheap Gaming Laptop

    Lenovo LOQ 15 (2023) 8

    The 3 Best Budget And Cheap Gaming Laptops - Spring 2024: Reviews (13)

    Gaming

    8.7

    Portability

    5.7

    Variable Refresh Rate

    FreeSync

    Typing Quality

    7.5

    Storage Drive Performance

    9.3

    Thermals And Noise

    7.2

    Serviceability

    7.6

    See all our test results

    Our best cheap pick is the Lenovo LOQ 15 (2023), a 15.6-inch model available with AMD Ryzen CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs, up to a Ryzen 7 7840HS and RTX 4060, respectively. Every configuration can deliver a smooth gaming experience at 1080p, though you'll have to play with the settings a bit on the lower-end RTX 3050 models to get over 60 fps. The RTX 4050 and 4060 models can handle 1440p gaming; we recommend the latter, as the RTX 4050's 6GB VRAM is very limiting at the QHD resolution. Display options include two FHD (60Hz and 144Hz) panels and a 165Hz QHD panel. We recommend one of the high-refresh options for gaming, as they'll provide better responsiveness and support VRR to reduce screen tearing. The 144Hz panel's response time is rather slow, so you'll likely see some ghosting in fast-moving scenes.

    As for the rest of the device, the laptop feels relatively sturdy despite being entirely plastic. The keys have a lot of travel and don't require much force to actuate; they just lack tactility, so it's sometimes hard to know if you've actuated a key. Port selection is great; you get three USB-As, one USB-C (not Thunderbolt or USB4, unfortunately), an HDMI 2.1, and an Ethernet port. RAM and storage are user-replaceable, so you can upgrade later on. There's no fingerprint sensor or facial recognition camera, though we don't expect such features at thisprice.

    It's worth noting that our top pick, the ASUS TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition (2023), is currently on sale, making it an overall better value than the Lenovo. However, if you want to spend as little as possible,the RTX 3050 configuration ofthe Lenovo LOQ 15 (2023)is still cheaper;you can find that model on Lenovo's website here.

    See our review

  3. Best Cheap Gaming Chromebook

    Acer Chromebook 516 GE (2022) 13

    The 3 Best Budget And Cheap Gaming Laptops - Spring 2024: Reviews (19)

    Gaming

    5.1

    Portability

    7.6

    Variable Refresh Rate

    No

    Typing Quality

    7.5

    Storage Drive Performance

    5.2

    Thermals And Noise

    9.1

    Serviceability

    6.0

    See all our test results

    The best gaming Chromebook we've tested is the Acer Chromebook 516 GE (2022). Unlike Windows gaming laptops, this device runs Chrome OS and is designed specifically for cloud gaming services like NVIDIA GeForce NOW. Cloud gaming means that all the processing takes place on NVIDIA's server—or whichever company provides the service—and the image is streamed to your device, like any other video streaming service. The laptop comes with a three-month trial of GeForce NOW. You can play games from the Google Play Store; know that these titles are made for smartphones and tablets running on an ARM processor, so they might not always run properly. Also, some of them lack keyboard, mouse, and controller support.

    The laptop feels well-built, and while it's on the bulkier side, it isn't too heavy. It sports a nice 16-inch QHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate. It gets bright enough for use in most indoor settings, and its response time is good, resulting in a clear image in fast-moving scenes. The keyboard feels spacious, doesn't get hot under load, and has RGB backlighting. Don't get too excited; it only has a single lighting zone. You get Wi-Fi 6E and an Ethernet port, which is great because cloud gaming performance heavily depends on your internet connection. Battery life is short at around six hours of light use or an hour of gaming, so keep the charger close.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • ASUS TUF Dash F15 (2022): The ASUS TUF Dash F15 (2022) is a good alternative to the ASUS TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition (2023). The F15 is very similar to the A16 in design and build; however, it's available with Intel CPUs and NVIDIA 30-series GPUs. You can probably find it at a lower price than the A16; the problem is finding one because it's a discontinued model. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 14, 2024: Minor text changes to reflect availability and pricing.

  2. Apr 15, 2024: Small text update to provide information regarding sales. No change in recommendations.

  3. Mar 15, 2024: Replaced the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (2021) with the Lenovo LOQ 15 (2023) because the LOQ 15 is better and easier to find. Removed the HP Victus 15 (2022) from the Notable Mentions because it's discontinued and hard to find. Added the ASUS TUF Dash F15 (2022) as a Notable Mention.

  4. Feb 22, 2024: Replaced the ASUS TUF Dash F15 (2022) with the ASUS TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition (2023) because the F15 is discontinued and hard to find.

  5. Feb 07, 2024: Minor text edits for clarity. No changes in product picks.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the bestbudget gaming laptops you can get. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptopwins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you prefer to make your own decision, here’s the list of all of our laptop reviews. Keep in mind that most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it’s best to see the full review for information about other variants.

The 3 Best Budget And Cheap Gaming Laptops - Spring 2024: Reviews (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Aron Pacocha

Last Updated:

Views: 5380

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Aron Pacocha

Birthday: 1999-08-12

Address: 3808 Moen Corner, Gorczanyport, FL 67364-2074

Phone: +393457723392

Job: Retail Consultant

Hobby: Jewelry making, Cooking, Gaming, Reading, Juggling, Cabaret, Origami

Introduction: My name is Aron Pacocha, I am a happy, tasty, innocent, proud, talented, courageous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.