Cheap Gaming Laptops: Buying Guide – Choosing the best cheap gaming laptop is not easy. If you have a very tight budget, you run the risk that the model you choose will not be able to handle the latest games on the market. And if you’re looking for a better one, the price will skyrocket before you know it.
For this reason, in this analysis of cheap gaming computers, we explain the keys to being successful when buying a cheap gaming laptop. Let’s start!
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If you don’t have much computer information, you may not know very well what characterizes a gaming laptop.
Aren’t they just like any other laptop? Aren’t all computers good for gaming?
A gaming laptop has a series of features that give it extra power compared to other notebooks, such as those used for more everyday tasks, such as browsing the Internet, working with office software or watching movies. And series.
And more specifically, this power is mainly focused on the graphic section. That is what best defines a gaming laptop: it has a graphics card capable of running more or less demanding games.
But not only that. They also have a good processor and a high-resolution screen, so you can fully enjoy the visual effects.
Finally, gaming laptops also tend to have better quality keyboards and cooling systems capable of dealing with high temperatures.
The design is also usually more attractive in this type of equipment, although this does not have any practical effect.
Is it Worth Buying a Gaming Laptops?
If you have not yet decided to buy your gaming laptops, especially if you do not have much budget, you will likely ask yourself this question.
Not in vain, there are other options to be able to play, and many of them are also cheap: buy a console, buy a desktop computer or assemble one by parts, wait until prices drop or until we have saved up to buy a better PC.
To help you with these doubts, below we are going to present the main advantages and disadvantages of buying a gaming laptop:
- you can play anywhere
- They offer enough power to play most video games
- In addition to gaming, they are used for other demanding tasks, such as video editing or graphic design
- They have a higher quality and resolution screen than other laptops
- Its materials are better and offer more resistance
- They do not offer the upgrade and expansion options of a desktop PC
- They are bigger and heavier than regular laptops
- consume more battery
How to choose the best gaming laptops?
This article offers you some suggestions with which you will surely be right when buying a gaming laptop.
But if you want to assess other options and make a reasoned decision, you can find the main keys that you must consider in this section.
The processor or CPU is one of the essential components in any laptop or desktop computer.
This component is the one that will give you the power and speed necessary to execute all tasks smoothly.
Until recently, most laptops mounted Intel processors, but the emergence of AMD in the sector has made the latter more and more frequent. And within each manufacturer, we can find different lines or ranges:
Celeron: The lowest range, focused on users with a meagre budget who will not use their laptops very intensively. It is not recommended for gaming.
Pentium: These processors are somewhat more powerful than the Celeron. Suitable for users who want to play only occasionally or old or undemanding games.
I3: They offer a good balance between price and performance. Coupled with a sound graphics card, it can provide a solid gaming experience.
i5: This line is the dominant one. It is recommended for medium budgets and offers enough power not to limit the graphics card.
i7: i7 processors are high-end for gaming. They are also recommended for video and photo editing and graphic design. We advise that you buy a model with one of these CPUs only if it does not force you to cut back on the graphics card.
i9: For three years, the most exclusive laptops for gaming mount these processors. The best option offered by Intel is usually meaning of high prices. It has eight cores, two more than its younger brother.
AMD mainly has a range of Ryzen processors (3, 5, 7 or 9) and AMD Athlon’s essential range. Check the best AMD processors here
You should also look closely at the model name to see if it has a letter at the end, such as a U or a T. These processors are specially designed to consume little energy. Therefore they are not the best for gaming, but they are cheaper, making them almost unavoidable in more inexpensive laptops
This component is the one that will determine your gaming experience the most—even more than the processor.
Although the former is more common, it is possible to find graphics cards (or GPUs) from Nvidia and AMD Radeon.
You can also find lower-power graphics chips explicitly designed for laptops in cheaper laptops, such as Nvidia’s MX-series and microprocessors that integrate the CPU and graphics chip into a single component (so-called AMD APUs).
RAM is another essential aspect of any gaming laptop since games consume a lot of memory.
To play with peace of mind, it is recommended to have at least 16 GB, although if you are looking for a cheap model, you will probably have to settle for 8GB.
In most laptops, you can add more memory, add new modules, or replace the ones that come standard with others of greater capacity.
It is an effortless operation to perform, and if you don’t dare, you always have the option of taking your laptop to a computer store and having it done there.
HDD and SSD Hard Drives
When it comes to storage, there are usually two alternatives: laptops that only have a traditional hard drive (HDD) and a solid-state drive (SSD).
HDDs are much slower and cheaper, so they tend to have a higher capacity.
Therefore, these drives are usually used to store documents and multimedia files (photos, movies, music…), while SSDs are ideal for installing the operating system and some programs and games.
However, you must be clear that having an SSD will not influence the games’ performance or the quality of its graphics. Only waiting times will be reduced when opening them, moving from one map or mission to another, etc.
I advise choosing a laptop with an SSD as long as this does not mean sacrificing quality in the most important components, such as the processor, graphics, and RAM.
As for the capacity, the HDD should not go below 500 GB. And if it is 1 TB or more, better. The SSD, on the other hand, can be only 250 GB, which is enough to install Windows, although if you can afford a 500 GB, the better.
The screen is often overlooked, a grave mistake considering how important it is that our games look good.
In this sector, there are several aspects that you must take into account:
Size: Most gaming laptops have a screen size between 15 and 17 inches. Logically, a 17-inch will allow you to immerse yourself more in your games. Still, these laptops will also be more prominent and heavier, which can be inconvenient if you carry them with you often and consume more battery. In general, 15.6 inches is a good middle ground.
Ideally, the resolution should be at least 1920 x 1080p (Full HD). However, as in other sections, if you have a meagre budget, you will have to settle for 1366 x 768 in most cases. If you want a higher resolution instead, like 1440p or 4K, remember that you’ll also need a powerful enough processor and graphics card, or else you’ll have to lower the detail level of games a lot, and you still might not be able to get them to go. Fluid enough.
Refresh rate: The standard figure is 60 Hz, which will be sufficient for almost all gamers. It is possible to find screens with 120 Hz or 144 Hz, but as with the resolution, the higher it is, the more powerful the laptop must be to move games at those speeds.
Nvidia G-Sync and AMD Free-Sync: These are technologies designed to synchronize the graphics card and the screen’s refresh rate, thus avoiding jerks and other visual defects. They are instrumental, but they are only present in high-end laptops.
Touch screens: Although this functionality can be beautiful, it is better to avoid it since it consumes a lot of battery, and after all, you will usually play with a keyboard and mouse.
Best Gaming Laptops Brands
It is the quintessential gaming brand. This firm specializes in the video game sector and manufactures motherboards, graphics cards, peripherals, and laptops aimed at gamers.
Every year, it launches many new models for all budgets, with innovation as one of its main objectives.
It also tends to focus a lot on the design of its products, which it endows with a very recognizable aesthetic.
Asus is another manufacturer that offers a wide variety of laptops.
Some of their proposals are pretty affordable, but we can also find the laptops of the Republic of Gamers (ROG) line, which sponsors some of the best professional gamers in the world.
With an exquisite design, Acer notebooks tend to focus on users who are more concerned about their pockets.
It is a well-established brand in the laptop sector, which is a plus of confidence if we decide on one of its models.
This is another brand that sells laptops of all ranges: cheap to premium.
Where it stands out the most is in the latter. On the other hand, its cheaper models do not usually have an excellent value for money, although we can also find some exceptions.
HP is one of the oldest and most recognizable firms in hardware and computing, which is a guarantee, although it also carries a certain premium for its products.
This Chinese company manufactures everything from home appliances to smartphones and, of course, laptops.
It has not been in this sector for as long as other competitors, but in recent years it has launched interesting bets, such as its Legion models.
An aspect to highlight is the guarantee and after-sales service of its products.
Dell / Alienware
The gaming laptops of this brand can be found under Dell or Alienware, as it has baptized its line of computers focused on the gaming public.
The models under the name Dell do not usually shine for their quality or price, quite the opposite of the Alienware, which offers some of the best features today.
So far, the buying guide to help you choose a laptop that fits your budget. We hope it has been helpful to you. If you have any queries or need to ask about a specific model before buying it, you can use the form below, and we will help you decide.