Good news for gamers; unlike the yesteryears, today you can get incredibly powerful laptops capable of gaming at incredibly affordable prices. Computer technology has advanced such that more efficient hardware can now be manufactured at lower costs, which leads us to amazing budget picks for laptops.
Whether you’re a casual gamer or hardcore FPS competitive gamer, this selection of affordable laptops promises great value so that you get your money’s worth for your gaming needs.
The TUF A15 has a great midrange GTX 1660 GPU for its entry model, which pairs well with the optional 120/144Hz refresh rate panel that’s Full HD and IPS to push out good frame rates even at ultra settings on games. However, the thermal design is not the best, which may lead to high temperatures and necessitate louder fans when throttled.
In terms of physical design, the TUF is built well with a tough and functional design. While it does not go for the thin-and-light route, it has a durable build quality, with a solid chassis that can take some knocks here and there. Overall, it packs a good amount of value for such a low price, albeit with some compromises.
Asus TUF A15 Specifications
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 15.6-inch, FHD (1920 x 1080), 144Hz, Anti-glare display
Weight: 2.3 kg
Ports: 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x RJ45 LAN port, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support DisplayPort, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C support DisplayPort
Dimensions: 35.9 x 25.6 x 2.28 ~ 2.45 cm
Who is it for?
If you are shopping for a value-for-money gaming laptop, you should highly consider the ASUS TUF A15. Instead of Intel chips, it features the new AMD Ryzen 5 4600H Processors, which are optimised for lower power consumption, and also cost less than Intel chips for the same performance output. Because of this, you get power savings and longer battery life for the 90Wh battery.
The viewing experience of this Nitro 5 is amazing with a 15.6-inch FHD IPS screen in a thin bezel design. Its viewing angles are large, allowing you to view the screen at different positions. With high brightness and superior colour accuracy to offer the best visuals, graphic designers just as well as gamers will appreciate the visual experience.
Aside from that, a feature that makes this a nice gaming laptop to pick up is the keyboard, which offers satisfying feedback when being typed on. It also has a colourful backlight which enhances your gaming experience. The only minor gripe to the Nitro 5 is the plastic build which, though sturdy, may smudge easily with fingerprints.
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-57-536D) Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5-11400H
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 15.6-inch, 1920x1080 pixels (FHD), IPS with Acer ComfyView, LED-backlit
Weight: 2.2 kg
Ports: 1x USB Type-C, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x RJ-45, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x 3.5mm headphone/speaker jack
Dimensions: 363.4 (W) x 255.0 (D) x 23.9 (H) mm
Who is it for?
Under the hood, the Acer Nitro 5 packs a very capable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, which no doubt will make games look and run great at high settings. You can rest assured that even the most graphically demanding games can run on it with smooth frame rates, which is why we recommend this laptop for those who play games that need high specifications, or even for those that perform tasks like editing photos and videos.
Housing an AMD Ryzen processor and a discrete NVIDIA RTX series graphic card, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming offers effortless computing and gaming experience. Its 15.6-inch IPS display delivers vivid images with 100% sRGB at a blazing-fast refresh rate of 165Hz.
The integrated 2W speakers with Nahimic Audio keep you fully immerse in the wonderful virtual world. Besides that, the 4-zone RGB backlit keyboard with a number keypad is both responsive and aesthetically cool.
Ports: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 (support data transfer only), 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x Ethernet (RJ-45), 1x Headphone/microphone combo jack (3.5mm)
Dimensions: 359.6 (W) x 251.9 (D) x 24.2 (H) mm
Who is this for?
For a budget gaming laptop under RM3000, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 is a no-brainer. Not only are you getting a pair of performance-driven CPU/GPU, but you’re also getting a high refresh rate FHD screen and an amazing pair of stereo speakers. However, do note that this Lenovo laptop is on the heavy side, weighing around 2.25kg.
With a relatively acceptable weight of 2.4kg, the Legion 5 is easy to carry around all day whether you’re at work or at home. Under Auto-Optimization mode, the system intelligently optimises its gaming performance with dynamic CPU/GPU power distribution. You can now enjoy maximum frame rates on the 15.6-inch FHD display of the latest AAA titles thanks to the Auto-Detect mode.
The AMD Ryzen 5 5600H chip should get your work done on your laptop smoothly without compromising on the battery life. You can also expect this gaming laptop to last up to 8 hours with support for Rapid Charge Pro. Moreover, its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU is said to perform well with the most popular games at native resolution with playable frame rates.
Lenovo Legion 5 (15”, Gen 6) 15ACH6H Specifications:
Ports: 2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 1x headphone/mic combo, 4x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x RJ-45
Dimensions: 363.06 (W) x 259.61 (D) x 23.57 – 26.1 (H) mm
Who is it for?
It’s not all work and no play when you’re chilling with the value-for-money Lenovo Legion 5. If you want to heavily depend on your laptop during work and also for entertainment, the Legion 5 is a suitable general-purpose laptop for your daily needs.
Positioned as a value-for-money gaming laptop, the Victus by HP Laptop 15 touts a powerful AMD Ryzen 5 processor and a discrete NVIDIA RTX series graphic card. For a seamless experience, this sleek machine comes with updated thermals and an HD camera with Temporal Noise Reduction.
Having the feat of squeezing a larger screen into a smaller frame, this ultra-thin, barely visible bezel gives you a beautifully efficient design and immersive view. Moreover, the B&O dual speaker is decent for both work and entertainment.
Victus by HP Laptop 15-FB0032AX Specifications
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600H
GPU:NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050
Display:15.6-inch diagonal, FHD (1920 x 1080), 144 Hz, 9 ms response time, IPS, micro-edge, anti-glare, 250 nits, 45% NTSC
Ports: 1x SuperSpeed USB Type-C® 5Gbps signaling rate (DisplayPort™ 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge); 1x SuperSpeed USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate (HP Sleep and Charge); 1x SuperSpeed USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate; 1x HDMI 2.1; 1x RJ-45; 1x headphone/microphone combo; 1x multi-format SD media card reader
Dimensions: 357.9 (W) x 252.0 (D) x 23.5 (H) mm
Who is this for?
The Victus by HP Laptop 15 runs triple-A titles effortlessly in a sophisticated and refined design. You can enjoy elite gaming performance on a thin and light profile with amazing battery life. Furthermore, you can now worry-free about the lack of ports as you get a complete collection of essential interfaces at both sidewalls.
The recent Dell Inspiron 15 is powered by the latest and greatest 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, which has better performance yet better power efficiency than its predecessor. By default, the laptop packs 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD for a seamless and responsive system.
Weighing at only 1.65kg, the Dell Inspiron features a 15.6-inch FHD display that can support FHD resolution at 250 nit brightness. Interface-wise, it has a full collection of ports including USB Type-C, USB 3.2, HDMI and others.
Ports: 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port with DisplayPort 1.4 (on 12th Gen Processor configured with Type-C), 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port (on systems configured with Type-C), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports (on systems configured with non-Type-C), 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x headset (headphone and microphone combo) port, 1x HDMI 1.4 port
Dimensions: 358.5 (W) x 235.56 (D) x 21.07 (H) mm
Who is this for?
The Dell Inspiron 15 is inexpensive, lightweight and relatively thin. The combination of the latest Alder Lake processor and integrated Intel UHD Graphics has no issue handling your work and play. However, you can only expect casual gaming and not the demanding triple-A titles. It also supports Wi-Fi 6 technology for lightning-fast Internet speed.
Slim and lightweight, the Acer Aspire 5 is an all-rounder laptop that meets most student needs. It packs a 14.0-inch IPS FHD display covering a 45% NTSC colour gamut and a wide view angle of up to 170 degrees.
Surprisingly, this Aspire laptop is equipped with a large 16GB DDR4 RAM while most competitors would only offer 8GB RAM as standard at this price point. For connectivity, it comes with most essential I/O ports, including USB Type-C, HDMI and RJ-45 ports.
Acer Aspire 5 Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-1255U
GPU:Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Display:14" display with IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology, Full HD 1920 x 1080, Acer ComfyView™ LED-backlit, TFT LCD 16:9 aspect ratio, 45% NTSC colour gamut Wide viewing angle up to 170 degrees
Ports: 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports with one featuring power-off USB charging, 1x USB Type-C™ port: USB 3.2 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps) Support DisplayPort over USB-C, Thunderbolt 4, USB charging 5 V; 3 A, DC-in port 20 V; 65 W, 1x Ethernet (RJ-45) port, 1x HDMI® 2.1 port with HDCP support, 1x 3.5 mm headphone/speaker jack, supporting headsets with built-in microphone
Dimensions: 328.1 (W) x 221.2 (D) x 17.9 (H) mm
Who is this for?
For most students, the Acer Aspire 5 should be enough for their studies and casual gaming. Although it doesn’t come with a discrete GPU, this laptop has no issue in handling light to medium gaming. The 12th-generation Intel Core i7 is excellent in basic computing workloads and multitasking for which most students will use their laptops.
Shopping for a value-for-money gaming laptop? The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 certainly need to be on your consideration list. It comes with the powerful yet power-efficient AMD Ryzen 7 series processor which attributes to long-lasting battery life.
The 144Hz IPS screen makes every game scene fluid and vivid. You also get Dolby Atmos stereo speakers and a backlit chiclet RGB keyboard, bringing you more immersive gameplay.
Ports: 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C support DisplayPort™/G-SYNC, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, 1x RJ45 LAN port
Dimensions: 354.0 (W) x 251.0 (D) x 22.4 - 24.9 (H) mm
Who is this for?
The ASUS TUF Gaming is undoubtedly an ideal candidate for a budget gaming laptop. Not only do you get a discrete NVIDIA RTX graphics card but also a 144Hz display with Adaptive-Sync technology. For connectivity, it also packs a good number of I/O ports including USB Type-C, HDMI 2.0b and RJ45.
Delivering potent performance to game on, the MSI Thin GF63 equips the 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor and an NVIDIA RTX 30 Series graphic card for maximum efficiency in gameplay, multi-task work and productivity.
This MSI laptop features a 144Hz IPS-level thin-bezel gaming display, bringing you the most vibrant visuals without missing a beat. Other than that, its advanced cooling system is fine-tuned to be noticeably quieter and cooler even under the most exciting gameplay.
The MSI Thin GF63 is an ideal laptop for work and play. The reasons are straightforward. Under the hood, it is powered by a performance-driven pair of CPU/GPU with upgradable RAM and storage sizes. The 144Hz FHD display is superb for almost all the latest AAA titles. The responsive single backlit keyboard and the complete set of high-speed interfaces come in handy for your coding and office tasks.
add_circleEngineered with the advanced cooling system
add_circleHigh-quality stereo speakers
remove_circleHeavy and bulky
remove_circleComes with small SSD storage
Enjoy consistent high-end performance during every gaming experience with the latest Dell G15. The new Alienware-inspired thermal design features dual air intake and ultra-thin fan blades ensuring optimal cooling even in the most intensive action.
The 15.6-inch 120Hz 2-sided narrow bezel display delivers smooth and vivid visuals, keeping you fully immerse in the virtual world. We also love its responsive yet comfortable Orange-backlit keyboard with a numeric keypad and G-Key.
Ports: 3x SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port with Display Port Alt-Mode (USB4® Type-C port with Display Port Alt-Mode available with NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™3060 graphics and above), 1x HDMI 2.1 port, 1x Headphone/Mic port, 1x RJ45 port
Dimensions: 357.26 (W) x 272.11 (D) x 26.9 (H) mm
*Based on 5525 model, specs may vary depending on model type
Who is this for?
With the next-gen AMD Ryzen processor, the Dell G15 is an ideal machine for both programming and gaming. It comes with a great keyboard with a numeric keypad so you can write code and play games effortlessly. The industry-leading thermal design keeps the device cool all time, preventing the core components from overheating during your productivity and gaming peak.
- Gaming Laptop vs Desktop PCs
We all just want a simple machine to game on. But it’s common knowledge that the same budget you spend on a laptop often gets you a much better performing Desktop PC. Is that worth trading for portability? We don’t know.
Here, we break it down to you clearly on pointers that you may have missed on Gaming Laptops vs Desktop PCs.
- Should You Get a Gaming Laptop?
Portability – You can always carry a gaming laptop around, as they come in a compact form. Even more so is that there are many lighter gaming laptops to choose from now.
Pre-built – You can just buy a gaming laptop and be good to go, no need to worry about selecting each of the specs, especially if you don’t know how to do so.
Performance – Laptops have a comparative performance to desktop PCs nowadays and can handle more demanding tasks just as well.
Limited customisation options – You can only make minor (or even no) customisation of the internal components, due to the manufacturer’s internal design and limited space.
More expensive – Gaming laptops tend to be more expensive than desktops with equivalent components.
Limited I/O support – Laptop users have to make do with whatever is provided and have less support for connecting to external devices such as monitors.
- Should You Get a Desktop PC?
Cheaper to build – Desktop PCs for gaming are cheaper as the overall price of the individual components tends to be less than the price of an equivalent gaming laptop.
Easy to customise – PCs are highly modular and upgradable. You can easily repair, replace or upgrade to your heart’s content any components as long as you have what is required.
Last longer – Desktop PCs can last longer because of the easy replacement of parts and better cooling system achievable with desktop setups.
Less portable – Desktop PCs are hefty and cannot simply be put in a backpack and taken anywhere.
Advanced knowledge required – To get the right desktop PC that works well, one needs to be knowledgeable about PC components and which are best for their needs.
Costly to upgrade – There are many components and hardware available to upgrade in a PC, either for performance or aesthetic purposes. These may drive up the overall expenditure on your PC.
- Tips on Choosing the Best Budget Gaming Laptop
With this list, you may now have enough money to spend on a proper gaming laptop. But, are you really stretching as much as you can for your budget? Make sure to check our guide on choosing a gaming laptop, as well as these few tips before splurging on one.
Check if you can upgrade your RAM and storage for your laptop. This option may come in handy if you're reluctant to spend so much at once on a laptop with higher RAM and storage.
Think hard about that touchscreen. Do you really need it? Not only would you be paying for a feature that you may not use often, but having it also drains the battery of your laptop.
Look at the size of your laptop. Most of the time, the bigger a laptop's screen size, the more powerful its processor is. So, make sure to leverage on that.
Test the laptop's keyboard as well. This is so you avoid cramps and needing to pay for another keyboard too.
It may be tempting to just spend it all at once on a gaming laptop. But, having a budget suitable for you is more important. So, think and shop wisely!