In the modern day and age, laptop and gaming are two things that are known for not mixing well together often, and while gaming laptops are slowly catching up with the desktop counterparts, the gap is still there, and giving up the mobility of a laptop doesn’t seem like something everyone wants to do.
With that out of the way, it’s pretty safe to say that the market is filled with some of the best gaming laptops that are available at the moment, laptops that are actually capable of matching the performance of full sized gaming computers. However, the one important thing that you should know that the laptops can cost quite a lot of money.
Believe it or not, some desktop grade gaming laptops actually cost more than the desktops themselves, and that kind of money isn’t something that is available with everyone. Well, don’t you despair, the good news is that there are some pretty decent budget laptops available in the market that are known to get the job done in just the right way.
Sure, you may not be able to find the best hardware in them, but everything that you get is good enough to let you game in peace. In order to make things easier for our readers, we have decided to carefully pick 7 of the best budget gaming laptops that they can buy and use them as per their requirements.
These laptops will serve you well in your gaming, and other tasks that you may want to undertake on them, the good thing is that these laptops will allow you to game on respectable framerates, and you will be able to pick your pockets intact.
So, we are going to take a look at the 7 best budget gaming laptops, and in order to make things easier for the readers, we have decided to split each review in different parts starting from build quality, display, battery life, and gaming performance.
This will make it easier for the readers to switch back and forth when it comes to reading the review. So, now that we have all the formalities aside, we can finally go ahead and check the best budget gaming laptops. Let’s begin?
Best Budget Gaming Laptop Under 1000 in 2018
1. Acer Aspire VX 15 – Rating 4/5
The first laptop that we decided to look at is the Acer Aspire VX 15, now Acer is one of those companies that earned quite a name for itself by creating some really amazing laptops that are both affordable, and can offer some decent performance in gaming as well.
Sure, this laptop is no match for the Acer Predator X21, but the difference between the price for both laptops is stark. Let’s not waste any more time, and take a look at the first budget gaming laptop in details.
First things first, a lot of people actually concern themselves with just how good the build quality of a laptop is. Well, for starters, we are rather surprised to see just how good the Acer Aspire VX 15 is built. Normally, Acer is known to keep the Aspire series very sublime, however, the VX 15 has all kinds of curves that make it one of the better looking laptops that are currently available in the market.
Keep in mind that the laptop clearly speaks “gamer” from every single term and angle, and that is a good thing because it makes the laptop stand out from the rest of the flock. The overall build quality is pretty solid, and while plastic is the major player in the build quality, the laptop doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy at all.
Sure, we should let you know that the laptop is somewhat thicker than what the standard has become in the market, but if you are okay with it, then the laptop shouldn’t really bother you. Overall, Acer has done a really good job with the VX 15 in terms of the design language.
It’s just the right amount of flashy without losing too much of a class that is important to have in modern day laptops.
While the majority of world is moving towards displays that offer resolutions like WQHD, and even 4K, Acer decided to keep things simple and straight and decided to use a 1080p panel in the Aspire VX15. Now the important thing here is that a lot of people will find this decision strange, however, you should know that a lower resolution display will only help the laptop be more efficient when it comes to battery.
The VX15 uses a full HD, anti-glare, IPS display, making it one of the best displays around in terms of colour reproduction as well as viewing angles. The display measures 15.6” inch diagonally, and is easily one of the best looking displays on the laptop.
Doesn’t matter if you are gaming or watching videos, the colour reproduction, brightness, and sharpness is just the right amount of amazing, and it just looks extremely well done.
The Acer Aspire VX15 uses a 5- cell lithium ion battery that is theoretically able to provide battery life of up to 6 hours, however, one should keep in mind that the real life performance is obviously going to be a lot different, especially when you are talking about battery life during gaming.
In our testing, we managed to squeeze 3 hours of battery life during gaming, and about 5.5 hours of battery life during our average use. Something that isn’t bad at all. So, as far as the battery life is concerned, we don’t really hold the right to complaint.
Now comes the important part for the majority of users, the gaming performance on the Acer Aspire VX15, well, it’s our right to tell you that the VX15 is a laptop that is armed to teeth for the price that it comes at. The laptop comes equipped with a Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti with 4 gigs of VRAM, Intel Core i7 7700 HQ, 16 gigs of DDR 4 RAM, and 256 gigs of SSD.
All of this combines together, and makes an amazing gaming laptop that gives amazing performance through and through, and smashes through most of the games at respectable settings. Sure, you may not be able to max out the modern games, but if you are someone who prefers to play Overwatch or other similar games, then you’re going to have a good time.
- Solid performance through and through.
- Great value of money.
- Top of the line specs.
- Gorgeous design and build quality.
- 256 GB may not be enough storage for everyone.
2. Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7567 – Rating 3.5/5
Dell happens to be one of the companies that are known to produce some of the finest laptops known to the industry, and their Inspiron series is a testament to that. This series is something that is good for both gamers, and for people who want the best of both worlds while maintaining the budget, the series has a lot to offer.
The laptop we are looking at today is the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7567, this is a budget gaming laptop that just came out fairly recently, and packs a pretty punch. So, let’s not waste any more time, and look at it.
The thing about budget laptops is that they are usually left out when it comes to having a nice build quality, however, the good thing is that such isn’t the case when it comes to the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7567, it is one of the better looking laptops that are available in the market.
Not just that, it’s actually really sturdy too; while the entire build quality of the laptop is a wonderful mix of high quality metal, and plastic, the laptop is just the right amount of heavy, and thanks to the overall quality construction, doesn’t really flex when you do it.
Just make sure you don’t go around throwing it at everything that you see in your way, and we’ll be more than okay with it.
Now when it comes to the display on the Inspiron 7000, the things may look somewhat odd to some of our readers. For starters, the laptop offers a TN panel instead of IPS, and has a native refresh rate of 60 hertz. You lose some amount of accurate colour representation, but the native 1080p resolution makes up for it.
The screen itself diagonally measures 15.6”, and is non-reflective to make things easier for you while gaming, or consuming media content. The display is just the right amount of good, because it allows us to game without really causing a lot of issues to begin with.
In all honesty, given the price range, it’s really hard to blame Dell for what they have done with the display here. Sure, it’s nothing super high end, but just take a look at the price you’re paying for this laptop, and then compare.
Now comes the battery life; if you are wondering whether or not you’ll be able to use the laptop for longer time without really compromising much on the battery, the good news is that you will. During our testing, the battery life managed to reach 7 hours of continuous usage.
Now in case you are wondering, our testing involved a mixture of gaming, Netflix, as well as some word processing, so keep in mind that your mileage will definitely vary based on how you use the laptop.
Still, we have nothing but good things to say about the average battery life.
The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7567 is by no means armed to teeth, however, the good news is that the specs are still pretty decent to begin with. For starters, you get an Intel Core i5 7300 HQ, 8 gigs of DDR 4 RAM, a 4 GB GTX 1050, and 1TB + 8GB hybrid drive.
Now for most games, this is more than enough on 1080p, and you can pretty much run majority of major AAA games with great ease, however, if you do run into issues, you can always lower down the settings to an extent, and enjoy the gaming experience.
Another thing you should know is that the laptop is in fact available in higher spec versions as well, but you are going to need to spend more money on that variant if you wish to.
The real gripe that we have is that the SSD isn’t included in the mix, however, we believe that you can expand the storage fairly easily since the laptop is rather easy to open, and pretty user serviceable.
- Great price to performance ratio.
- Looks epic, and has a nice build quality.
- Amazing battery life.
- Decent specs with easy upgrade path.
- Display uses a TN panel.
- This particular model doesn’t ship with an SSD.
3. HP Omen 15 2017 – Rating 5/5 (Editor’s Choice)
HP kind of surprised everyone when it finally came up with their own line up of gaming laptops; the company known for creating products like Pro Books and Elite Books finally had some amazing laptops available for gaming.
The product we are looking at is an armed to teeth HP Omen 15 2017, it’s one of the best gaming laptops in the market at this point. Keep in mind that this one actually belongs to the gaming line up, so you’re not going see some ordinary looks. As a matter of fact, you’re going to be getting a lot. Let’s have a look.
HP is known for great build quality in their laptops, and the Omen isn’t all that different to be honest, for starters, the whole laptop is black and red with decent build quality, and despite plastic being a major element here, we can assure you that the laptop doesn’t feel like it’s going to break. As a matter of fact, the laptop happens to be pretty solid in terms of build quality.
While the Omen is pretty sleek, the emphasis on black and red makes it even better, and another thing that you should keep in mind, unlike some other laptops that are just over the top, the HP Omen isn’t something that will make people question your decision to go with the Omen in the first place, mainly because it’s not over the top.
Much like the majority of other laptops in the market, the HP Omen 15 2017 also comes with a 15.6 inch display, the resolution here is 1080p, however, if you want to spend more money, you can actually get the same laptop with 4K.
For those wondering, it is an IPS screen with anti-glare, meaning that the screen won’t annoy you when the light falls onto it, something that is always welcomed addition when it comes to screens in general. Considering how it happens to be an IPS panel, the colour reproduction, and the viewing angles are perhaps the best we have seen on any laptop in a long, long time.
Needless to say, the HP Omen 15 2017 has definitely the best displays that we have had the chance to see on a laptop. It’s sharp, crisp, and has some spectacular colour reproduction to begin with.
When it comes to gaming laptops, battery life is something that gets questioned a lot, and it actually makes sense too because if you are buying something for gaming on the go, you are going to want to have some really good battery life.
After testing some of the same laptops, we have realized that modern chips have made the battery life a lot better than it used to be in the old days, allowing laptops to deliver more power and consume less amount of battery.
Keep in mind that the advertised battery life is something that is concluded under certain environment and methods, however, the good news is that we managed to squeeze out 5 hours of battery life from this laptop.
While it isn’t the best that we have seen, the good news is that despite the slim profile, the HP Open 15 does have a pretty decent battery life, and should last you for hours of work. Something that we are thankful for.
The laptop that we got was armed with some pretty amazing specs, for starters, we have the Intel Core i7 7700 HQ, Nvidia GTX 1050 with 4 gigs of RAM, 1TB HD with 512 GB of NVMe SSD storage, and 16 gigs of DDR4 RAM.
Needless to say, the specs are top of the line, and for anyone who wants to game at 1080p shouldn’t really have any problems. The laptop can easily handle most modern, well optimized AAA titles with decent settings, and pretty good graphics as well.
Keep in mind that the laptop does get hot and loud during gaming, but it doesn’t thermal throttle at all, which is indeed a commendable factor. As far as the performance is concerned, we really don’t have any complaints whatsoever, and we find this laptop to be pretty powerful.
- Comes with pretty amazing specs.
- Great battery life.
- The red and black design is very minimal.
- Performs brilliantly in majority of games.
4. Lenovo Legion Y520 – Rating 4/5
The next budget gaming laptop on our list is from Lenovo; the company is known for creating some of the best budget gaming laptops in the market, and while you may question Lenovo’s quality control, there’s no denying that they have improved a lot over the past couple of years.
Lenovo’s Y series of laptops is usually reserved for their gaming laptops, and the one we have today is called the Lenovo Legion Y520. It’s a pretty impressively packed laptop with some nice features, and looks to go with.
Does it fit the other gaming laptops in the list? Well, it’s find out
A lot of people in the past have complained about Lenovo missing out on good build quality, and in all honesty, this isn’t the case with the Legion Y520, as a matter of fact, this is one of the best designed, best looking, and premium feeling laptops that are available in the market. The thing about gaming laptops is that they are required to be thick and bulky.
This design choice allows them to have a lot better thermals because that way, they can easily dissipate heat and remain relatively cool during gaming sessions. In you are wondering if the laptop is unapologetically big, the good news is that it’s not. It’s just the right amount of bulky, making it the best choice for anyone who’s willing to buy a gaming laptop.
Now when it comes to the display on this laptop, you need to know that things are looking rather promising here. For starters, we are dealing with a 15.6” IPS panel that comes with anti-glare tech, and also has full HD resolution. While anti-glare is something that a lot of people consider as gimmicky, the good news is that it doesn’t bother you if you are using your laptop outside.
Considering how we’re dealing with an IPS display here, we are pleased to announce that the viewing angles, sharpness, colour reproduction, as well as contrast is top notch. While IPS displays have a case of slightly higher response time, the display on the laptop shouldn’t really bother anyone while gaming, or even consuming content.
So, all in all, we have absolutely no complaints with the display whatsoever.
Battery life is something that serves as a really important factor when it comes to gaming laptops, especially when you are planning on gaming. Now one thing that you should know about battery life on laptops is that the suggested manufacture timing isn’t always accurate. That’s because those ratings are taken in a fixed environment with a fixed usage.
Real life mileage is always different; it is either more than suggest number, or less than suggested number. The battery life on the Lenovo Legion Y520 is actually not that bad, it manages to last 4 hours on moderate usage, and while it definitely isn’t the best, it’s more than enough for some users.
Still, we wish it was somewhat better considering how majority of similar spec laptops are performing really well.
Now we look at the gaming performance of this laptop, something that pretty much the entire audience is more interested in knowing. Well, in case you are wondering, the laptop performs rather well in 1080p gaming situations.
You are getting an i5 7300 HQ, 8 gigs of DDR4 RAM, 4 GB GTX 1050 Ti, and 256 GB of SSD; all of these good things combined together make up an epic gaming laptop for the price you’re paying. During our testing, the majority of games ran really well, and some really intensive games did run as well, however, we did have to change the settings just the right amount to make sure that frames don’t drop all that much.
- Offers fairly decent specs for the price you’re paying.
- Good thermal and acoustic performance.
- Sublime and simple looks with the right amount of aggressiveness.
- Can have multiple configurations as well.
- 256GB out of the box storage is limited.
5. ASUS ROG Strix GL553VD – Rating 3.5/5
It’s pretty safe to say at this point that Asus is known as one of the companies that have served as the keystone in making the computers more and more better ever since its inception. The company is responsible for releasing some of the finest hardware when it comes to gaming and computing in general.
Much like a lot of other desktop centered manufacturers, Asus decided to try their luck with gaming centered laptops, and considering how the company was already very well versed in the laptop industry, it proved rather fruitful.
The offering we are looking at today is called the Asus ROG Strix GL553VD; it’s one of the company’s feature packed motherboard with good specs, and a decent price tag. Let’s have a look.
Much like the majority of laptops in the ROG Strix lineup, the GL553VD is designed like it belongs on a gamer’s desk, however, there is enough minimalism to allow people to carry the laptop everywhere, and use it business meetings without really raising eyebrows.
Sure, the red and black colour scheme is heavily emphasized, and the typeface isn’t something we commonly see on the laptops, but knowing Asus, it’s all done very tastefully. As for the build quality itself, we can’t really complain.
Asus is known for being one of the best when it comes to using good quality material, and even if they choose something like plastic, they do it in a way it doesn’t feel cheap. Needless to say, the build quality of the GL553VD is one of the best that we have seen in a very long time, and there’s not a lot of flex around the screen or on the wrist rest area either. So, as far as the build quality is concerned, we have no issues whatsoever.
When it comes to displays, the good thing is that Asus has been pretty solid with displays, they have created some of the finest consumer displays; whether you’re talking about their ROG series of displays, or the standard ones, things have been pretty good.
So, when we first laid eyes on the display on this laptop, we did so with high hopes because we knew that Asus can’t go wrong. The good news here is that the display happens to be amazing, however, the laptop is using an LCD display instead of the LED lit display. This is something that is very strange considering the price in mind.
In addition to that, the full HD display is being marketed as an IPS-like display that has some really, really good viewing angles, but we suspect that the display isn’t true IPS, which is a shame considering the price tag you’re paying for this laptop.
One thing we can confirm is that the display is really good when it comes to colour reproduction, brightness, contrast, and viewing angles. So, while it isn’t IPS display, it doesn’t make you feel that you are missing out on a lot.
It’s pretty safe to know that battery life is something that happens to be extremely important when it comes to gaming laptops, and even standard laptops. Mainly because laptops are all about portability and ease of access, meaning that there’s no point in buying a laptop if you’re going to remain tethered all the time.
The good thing is that batteries are getting better and better with each passing day, and while the battery on the Gl553VD isn’t groundbreaking, it still managed to perform really well. In our standardized testing of gaming, Netflix, and word processing, the laptop managed to stay on for up to 4.5 hours.
Keep in mind that the suggested battery life is 5 hours, but we still managed to be 30 minutes behind, something that isn’t a big deal because this is something that is considered fair.
Gaming performance on the Asus GL553VD is definitely a strong point, the laptop is pretty beefy in terms of specs, the model we chose came with a 4 gigs GTX 1050, Intel Core i7 7700HQ, 16 gigs of DDR4 RAM, and 1TB hard drive.
While some desktop users may say that these specs aren’t enough, the good news is that the laptop is more than able when it comes to chewing through majority of games on 1080p. Sure, you may have to compromise on the settings here and there, but other than that, there is nothing much to complain.
However, keep in mind that the GL553VD does not ship with an SSD, if you want the SSD along with a better graphics card, you can go for the GL553VE for a slightly higher cost. In case you are wondering, you can add the SSD yourself later on if you wish to. So, that’s an option too.
- Pretty decent design that will please the gamers.
- Good battery life.
- Great specifications.
- Decent battery life.
- Base model doesn’t ship with SSD.
- Display isn’t IPS.
6. MSI GE62 APACHE-264 – Rating 4/5
We are almost done with our list with one more laptop left after the one we are looking at right now, and we must say that this has been one of the best journeys so far. Reviewing all these wonderful laptops from a variety of different manufacturers has been an absolute pleasure.
The good thing is that all of these laptops are competing with one and the other mainly because there is some amount of similarities present. With that said, the laptop that we are looking at right now is called the MSI GE62 APACHE-264.
MSI’s weird name scheming is something that we never liked because we’re pretty sure there have been other APACHE laptops in the past with different specs. However, we are not here to judge laptops based on how they are named or what they are called.
Let’s not waste any more time, and take a look at why the MSI GE62 APACHE-246 has made its way into the list.
MSI has always been one of those companies that focus heavily on the build quality, whether you are buying their desktop grade components, or their laptops, one thing is for sure, the company isn’t known to compromise on the build quality.
This is a good thing because this makes the customers trust the manufacturers even more, and the manufacturers are thus able to maximize their profits. The build quality and design on the MSI GE62 APACHE-264 remains impressive as ever.
The laptop is designed with gamers in mind, and does carry over the aggressive looks, and beneath all that aggressiveness, there is a subtle class that will make it easier for you to carry the laptop everywhere you want. As for the build quality, it remains solid without a doubt.
Whether you’re buying a laptop for gaming, consuming media, or just productivity, it’s safe to say that you need a display that’s good enough. The display on the MSI GE62 APACHE-264 is pretty good for what it offers, but you need to keep in mind that we are dealing with a display that is marketed as IPS-like.
This only means that the display isn’t true IPS, and this is something that you should keep in mind. Rest assured, not a lot of people would be able to tell the difference between what we have here.
Moving on to the battery life, we have had some pretty solid battery lives in some of the other laptops that we have seen, so we’d expect the battery life here to be pretty decent as well. Luckily, it’s pretty good. During our testing, we realized that the battery can last us around 5 hours, however, one thing that you should keep in mind is that your mileage will definitely vary.
This is mainly because different users have different uses for the laptop, and while some use the laptop heavily, we also have people who don’t use the laptop as much.
The MSI GE62 APACHE-264 shares the specs with the majority of laptops in the list, and while the specs are largely identical, the good thing is that the performance remains solid through and through. For those wondering, the laptop comes equipped with Intel Core i7-7700HQ, 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD, NVIDIA GTX 1050 4GB.
There is no SSD in this particular model but you can always install one with great ease; as for the gaming performance, the laptop easily chewed though the majority of games we threw at it with respectable frame rates to begin with.
- Decent gaming performance.
- Pretty nice battery life.
- Solid, quality construction.
- Great looks.
- Display isn’t IPS.
- There’s no SSD in this model.
7. GIGABYTE Notebooks Sabre 15K-KB3 – Rating 3/5
The last laptop on our list is something that is from Gigabyte, normally, the company is known for creating some great gaming hardware in the modern computer market, but recently, the company have started releasing some really good gaming laptops in the market that don’t really cost that much and manage to have some pretty decent specs.
With that said, the laptop at hand today is the GIGABYTE Notebooks Sabre 15K-KB3, it is one of the budget oriented laptops that are available in the market, and offer some nice additions like an RGB keyboard, and pre-loaded Windows 10. So, let’s not waste any more time, and start looking at the laptop itself.
Gigabyte happens to be one of those companies who have a pretty good emphasis on the build quality, whether you’re buying their components or their laptops, the build quality and design has always been great. The good thing about the Sabre is that despite being a gaming laptop, the looks are very subtle, and simple.
There isn’t a lot of aggressiveness going on, and in all honesty, if it wasn’t for the RGB keyboard, it would have been difficult to tell whether or not we’re dealing with a gaming laptop. As for the build quality, although the laptop is largely made out of plastic, the construction is solid, and there is only a very small amount of flex that goes into the laptop itself.
Needless to say, we can assure you that the laptop won’t bend or flex to an extent of breaking, so, that’s for sure.
After seeing some of the mediocre display in the past, we had our expectations low because it is always better to not expect much than to look for something good and not have it. Luckily, the good thing about the Sabre is that it uses a 15.6-inch anti-glare, IPS display that looks amazing, and apart from the good looks, it has an amazing colour reproduction.
In addition to that, the screen also happens to have some really good viewing angels, something that we have expected from the IPS display. All in all, Gigabyte has done a pretty good job with the display on this laptop, and in all honesty, we can’t really complaint much about the display.
It’s nearly perfect for gaming, watching movies, or generally consuming content; the display is more than enough for the majority of purposes.
While the laptop looked promising as anything in our initial testing, the battery ended up being disappointing. Despite the fact that we are dealing with a 4,200 mAh battery, the laptop is still not good enough when it comes to handling the overall battery life.
In our standard testing of gaming, Netflix, and word processing, the battery lasted around 3 hours; perhaps the weakest of all the battery endurances that we have done so far. However, despite this middling battery life, the good thing here is that battery is user replaceable and Gigabyte allows the consumers to change the battery themselves, giving them some amount of freedom to begin with.
While the battery life was rather middling, we are pleased to announce that such isn’t the case with the overall gaming performance. As a matter of fact, the Sabre is really good with gaming. You get 16 gigs of DDR4 RAM, an Intel Core i7 7700HQ, 1TB hard drive, 256GB SSD and a 4GB GTX 1050Ti. These specs are more than enough for anyone who wants to game at 1080p.
Our gaming tests revealed that the games ran really, really well on 1080p, some medium to high settings, and some games did require the toning down of the graphics. Still, the gaming performance was actually solid, through and through, and we couldn’t ask for anything better.
- Good looking IPS display.
- Decent gaming performance.
- Minimalist design.
- Good build quality.
- Middling battery life.
So, there you have it, folks. 7 best gaming laptops tested and compared. It wasn’t an easy task mainly because all of these laptops are so identical, but finding a winner wasn’t that difficult to begin with. For this comparison, the best budget gaming laptop has to be the HP Omen 15 2017.
It managed to remain the best well rounded laptop in the market, and offered a lot of good things, and not a lot of cons to go along with them The laptop performs solid in every aspect of this review and our testing methodology, and remains a winner through and through.