Best cheap gaming laptops under $1000 (mid-2020)

Quality laptops on a budget.

Stock Photo by Sunil Sanjel from Pexels

Gaming laptops have some advantages over a desktop setup. They are compact for those that don’t have space for a giant tower and monitor and are portable, allowing gamers to play where they are most comfortable. Gaming laptops can vary in price and specs like their full-sized counterparts. Not everyone has the budget for a top tier set up or even the high-end laptops. Cutting costs also means reducing quality and performance. But there are still good laptops available for under $1000.

At a glance:

  • Acer Nitro 5
  • Lenovo Legion 5
  • Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop
  • MSI GF63
  • Asus TUF FX505DT

The main costing will be of things like graphics cards and CPUs. This means games may have fewer frames than a higher quality one and may struggle with graphically demanding games. If you’re hoping to run Red Dead Redemption 2 at max graphics and get over 100 frames, you might want to consider increasing your budget. If you’re hoping for a laptop that can run most games at a decent rate and spare your wallet some pain, here are the best options on the market now based on specifications and hardware. The following laptops are not in a particular order. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Acer Nitro 5 

Image via Acer

Released in March 2020, the Acer Nitro 5 is a reliable gaming laptop measuring 15 inches. There are a few variations that modify the specs of the laptop, but also change the price. At the base level, the Acer Nitro 5 has a fast SSD and 8GB of RAM. If you need a little more, it can go up to 16GB and a terabyte HDD on top of an upgraded SSD. It has an Intel i5 core and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, giving it more than enough muscle for good Fortnite plays.

Lenovo Legion 5 

Image via Lenovo

Lenovo is an interesting brand that made some good impressions. The Lenovo Legion 5 is similar to the Acer Nitro 5 above with the same NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. Instead of an Intel processor, the Lenovo laptop comes with an AMD Ryzen 7-4800H. AMD makes quality products, rivaling Intel processors in terms of power and speed. The Lenovo Legion 5 boasts a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. As long as the settings are right, 120Hz is more than enough. 

New Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop

Image via Dell

Besides its Alienware brand, Dell has its own gaming laptops with less notoriety behind them. The Dell G5 15 is the newer version of the G3 15 from last year. The New Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop is another with some variety and options available. Most come with a 10th Generation Intel Core i5 or an AMD Ryzen 5 mobile processor. For those with Intel processors, it has GeForce GTX 1660 Ti or GTX 1650 Ti, which are better than some of the previous options and will yield better graphics outputs. For AMD processors, it offers the AMD Radeon RX 5600M. All models come with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-252 

image via MSI

MSI is a familiar brand for gamers, and GF65 Thin 9SD-252 is part of their thin series of gaming laptops. The thin series cuts some of the extra features from laptops to decrease the price while keeping some quality. This has one of the better processors, an Intel i7. Coupled with a GTX 1660 Ti and a powerful 512GB SSD, it is a powerful laptop for its price. It also has a nice backlit keyboard and a 120Hz monitor. The keyboard is only red, so don’t expect to change the color. Additional RAM can be added, and the command center allows players to control the fan speed and priority in case it starts to run a little warm.

Asus TUF FX505DT

Image via Asus

Asus is another gaming brand that rarely reaches outside that niche. The Asus TUF FX505DT is a slightly older model, released in summer 2019, and still remains a strong contender for its budget price for the same or equal specifications as the previously listed models. Like the ones above, the Asus TUF FX505DT has a GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The base version has an AMD Ryzen 5, but this can be upgraded to a Ryzen 7. It does raise the price, however. This model also has the same 120Hz refresh rate to help keep the game looking as nice as it runs. The keyboard is a little bland compared to other models, which may annoy players a bit.

There is not a lot of variety between the best laptops. All of them have similar specifications, similar sizes, with nearly the same graphics card. The main difference comes down to processors of choice, and sometimes graphics. The best laptop for you may depend entirely on your budget.

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