There are finally some great gaming laptop deals happening in the US this week, making it a great time to pick up a powerful gaming laptop for under £1000 / $1000. We’ve even rounded up a couple of RTX 2060 models in this price range, which is pretty good going considering they often cost a lot more. So, to help you find the best budget gaming laptop deal possible, we’ve rounded all of our top picks below for both UK and US buyers.
As with any kind of PC component, the more you spend, the more you’ll get out of your new gaming laptop, but the deals we’ve found below should all be able to play games to a reasonable standard as long as you keep the quality settings in check.
Most gaming laptops only come with GTX 1650 or GTX 1660 Ti graphics chips at this end of the price spectrum, but these should be perfectly fine for popular online shooters, 2D indie games and older 3D titles. We’ve even found a couple with Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics chips in them for a bit of ray tracing, too, if you really want the best graphics performance possible for your money, so read on for all of the best budget gaming laptop deals happening in the UK and US this week.
A lot of the very best gaming laptops still cost several thousands of pounds / dollars, but as long as you’re happy with playing games on lower quality settings or just want something that will let you tend to your Stardew Valley crops on the go, then you can do all that and more on a machine that costs a heck of a lot less. You’ll also find more information about what to look out for in a gaming laptop at the bottom of the page, but for now, here are the best budget gaming laptop deals around right now.
Best budget gaming laptop deals in the UK
This AMD-based gaming laptop puts in a pretty good showing for £749, as you not only get one of AMD’s new 4th Gen Ryzen CPUs, but you also get a 120Hz refresh rate display (which is double that of the similarly specced HP Pavilion below) with full AMD Freesync support for super smooth, tear-free gaming, and a light(ish) 1.8kg chassis. Well worth the extra cash over the HP, in our eyes.
Down from £850, this HP Pavilion laptop is a decent bargain for those after some light gaming on the go. It’s a bit lighter and less gamery looking than the Acer Nitro below, and has a brand-new AMD Ryzen processor to boot.
Pretty much identical to the Acer Aspire 7 above, only with an Intel Core i5 processor instead of a Ryzen. The same problems exist: 256GB is a bit stingy for your storage, and the GTX 1650 won’t be playing the top games forever, but again the price is good enough to consider if your budget will go no further.
This Lenovo Legion 5P is a great alternative to the MSI GF65 below. It only has a Core i5 processor, but it’s one of Intel’s brand-new ones so it should still be perfectly capable of delivering fast gaming speeds when paired with its powerful RTX 2060 graphics chip. Plus, it’s got a 144Hz refresh rate instead of a 120Hz one. It’s a touch heavier, but this is still an exceptionally well-specced laptop for the money.
Best budget gaming laptop deals in the US
$30 off today, this Asus TUF FX505GT is a great entry-level gaming laptop for those on a budget. While its processor and graphics card aren’t as new / powerful as the Acer Nitro 5 below, this is still a decent deal if you’re looking to spend as little money as possible on a portable gaming machine.
This large Acer Nitro 5 has some very good specs for a laptop of this price, including a brand-new Intel 10th Gen processor and a large 512GB SSD. Its GTX 1650 graphics chip isn’t hugely powerful, all told, but it is considerably cheaper as a result.
This MSI GF65 Thin model is a great buy for $949, as it’s not only got the same graphics chip as the Asus below, but it also comes with a 120Hz refresh rate, too. Sure, its processor isn’t as new or as powerful, but this is well worth considering if you’re in the market for a new gaming laptop.
Without doubt, the star of the show here is the RTX 2060 chip, which is pretty damned good on a laptop of this price. Sure, the screen only has a 60Hz refresh rate rather than something a bit beefier like 144Hz, but if you want those ray tracing effects, then 60Hz will do you just fine.
How to get the best budget gaming laptop deal:
To help you get a great budget gaming laptop deal, there are a whole bunch of things to think about. First up, consider the size of the laptop. Generally, gaming laptops come in two sizes – 15.6in and 17.3in. You may think that bigger is better, but we’d caution you against this. Firstly, the whole point of getting a gaming laptop rather than a desktop is portability, and 17.3in models just aren’t that portable. Secondly, if you’re seeing a cheap price on a 17.3in laptop, it could very well be quantity over quality. Remember that you can always output your gaming laptop to a monitor or TV if you want a bigger and better picture.
Then there’s the age-old AMD vs Intel debate. As a rule of thumb, AMD CPUs tend to be (slightly) slower and (much) cheaper, while Intel CPUs are more expensive but nippier. Still, if it’s a choice between a Ryzen 5 and an Intel Core i3, then you should opt for the former.
As for graphics chips, it’s a similar picture between AMD and Nvidia, too. Once again, AMD is the cheaper option here, but Nvidia chips are a lot more common (and more powerful to boot). We’d recommend a minimum of an AMD Radeon RX 5500M or an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti if you want your laptop to last a good couple of years playing games at decent speeds and quality settings.
You should also look for a laptop that has at least 8GB of RAM, and ideally 16GB if you can find one. If you do opt for 8GB, dig into the details and see if you can add another 8GB stick yourself later on. This is the difference between a laptop with accessible RAM slots and those that have RAM soldered on.
Finally, it’s important to think about storage. Pretty much all gaming laptops come with fast SSD storage, but the amount included can vary wildly. Getting a 256GB model will undoubtedly be cheaper, but think about the kind of games you want to play and see how far that will take you. If you can, try and get one with two drives or a large, single SSD so you can have lots of games installed at the same time.
Gaming laptop displays also tend to be pretty weak on budget gaming laptops, even if their specs sound reasonable. If we haven’t reviewed the model ourselves, then look at customer reviews and see if common complaints emerge – screen ghosting, colour accuracy or low contrast. Generally, IPS displays tend to have the best colour reproduction, while TN panels are fast and often considered better for esports and competitive games, but often aren’t as accuracy as their IPS counterparts. You can read more about all the different types of panel in our gaming monitor panel types explained article if you want to find out more.
Then there are other niggles like fan noise or excessive heat under the WASD keys. Again, if we haven’t reviewed it, look at other customer reviews to see if these are particular problems. There’s no gaming laptop that runs completely silently, but some are much louder than others. These are all things that might make you wish you’d spent a bit more in the long run.
Finally, while gaming laptops are great for portability, when you’re at home, you may want to treat it like a desktop replacement. If you do, then why not have a read of our best gaming mouse, keyboard and headset guides as well to make sure you’re kitted out with the best peripherals to help you get the best out of it?
And if you’ve somehow made it to the bottom of this page and decided, ‘Nah, I’m going to stick with my PC for the time being,’ then be sure to check out our other regularly updated deals round-ups where we cover the best Graphics card deals, Gaming monitor deals, SSD deals and CPU deals of the last seven days.