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The best cheap gaming laptops 2020

Best Gaming Laptop in 2020
The best cheap gaming laptops can provide good performance while staying on budget, but finding them can be a daunting task and with AMD making a resurgence in the gaming laptop space and Intel releasing its 10th Gen Comet Lake H-Series processor, there are a bunch of viable choices to consider. And despite their prices, these cheap laptops can do just about everything their more powerful brethren can, including supporting VR headsets and playing AAA titles at solid frame rates.

The best cheap gaming laptops right now

The Lenovo Legion Y545 is currently our top overall pick for best cheap gaming laptop. Powered by a Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti GPU and an Intel Core i7 CPU, the Y545 delivers solid gaming and overall performance without putting a hurting on your wallet. We're also fans of Lenovo's understated design, which can transition from work to play with minimal effort. 

Looking for extreme endurance? Then you should check out the Dell G3 15 laptop which lasted over 6 hours on our battery test. The latest refresh of the system, this new laptop offers powerful performance on the gaming front. And best of all, it comes with Alienware Command Center, so you can customize several features of the laptop. 

Speaking of Dell, check our our exclusive review of the recently refreshed Dell G5 15 SE. Although the all AMD gaming laptop is currently $1,199, we're expecting a price drop in the near future. We're excited about this system as it delivered stellar overall performance and battery life as well as solid gaming performance. 

The HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0046nr is a great combination of style, power and endurance. Plus, it comes in well below $1,000. We were particular impressed with its agile SSD and it stays cool why gaming and lasts almost 6 hours on a charge. 

The MSI Alpha 15 and Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i (15-inch) are our honorable mentions. The first features both an AMD processor and graphics card, it marks the chipmaker's return to gaming laptops. While the other is equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. Both are great entries, but doesn't hold up to the systems on this list.

What to Look for in a Gaming Laptop Under $1,000

While the most powerful gaming laptops will run you a bit more than $1,000, there are plenty of ways to maximize your budget and get the most from your gaming experience. Before we look in-depth at the best gaming laptops under $1,000, let’s peek at the critical factors you should take into account on your search.

1. Choose a powerful CPU & dedicated GPU
For around $1,000, you should be able to afford a new Intel i5 or i7 (or AMD equivalent) processor and dedicated graphics cards such as a GeForce GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti. With the exception of one or two less expensive models, all the laptops on our list have at least an i5 processor and dedicated GPU.

2. Make sure you’ve got enough RAM & storage.
RAM is essential for maximising your gaming performance. That’s why we recommend at least 8 gigs for a solid experience. In terms of storage, an SSD ensures the fastest load times, but it’ll likely cost you in terms of space. Want the best of both worlds? We recommend an SSD + HDD combo, which provides quick boot times and plenty of room for your game library .

3. Go with a reputable brand.
There are tons of electronics makers out there, and they all like to think they’re the best. But this simply isn’t the case. Choosing a laptop from top brands like ASUS and Lenovo ensures quality control, and these models typically come with excellent warranties against defects. Still unsure? Check the rating section on popular sites like Amazon to see how each laptop measures up.


The MSI GF65 has the Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card, a GPU found in many of the best gaming laptops under $1500. It also has the hardware to match the powerful graphics card and a 120Hz thin bezel display.

Let’s start with the most important question. How good is the RTX 2060? If you compare it to the GTX 1650, another common graphics card in this price range, you’ll see that the RTX 2060 has 68% higher effective speed. If you look at the frame rates you can expect with the RTX 2060, you’ll notice that it will run almost all games at 60+ fps on ultra graphics settings. Have a look yourself at the benchmarks for different games on this notebook.

When you look at the MSI GF65, you know it’s a gaming laptop. It has a red illuminated keyboard that feels great for both typing and gaming. On the back, there’s the red MSI dragon logo and rear exhausts to keep the laptop cool. The dedicated thermal solution does keep the temperatures down, even during long gaming sessions, but be prepared for a rather loud fan noise.

The screen is a 15.6-inch IPS display with 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution. It has a refresh rate of 120hz. This means you can run games with 120fps, perfect for competitive games where fast reactions matter. The biggest downside of the screen is inaccurate colors. It covers only 56% of the sRGB color spectrum, so it’s not suitable for work that demands accurate colors.

As with most powerful gaming laptops, the battery life is considerably lower than ordinary multimedia laptops. If you are going to be playing for a longer time, you better have it plugged in.

Summary: The MSI GF 65 has amazing specs for the price. It’s an excellent choice if you are looking for a gaming laptop under $1000 and can handle some fan noise.


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