Best Gaming Laptops on a Budget

With each new generation of hardware, laptops get more powerful. Thanks to better and more efficient manufacturing processes, laptop producers are able to put high-performance components into their gaming laptops without having to worry too much about cooling. For example, you can use last generation’s GT960M cooler to cool down a GT1070M. Furthermore, performance gets better within the same segment, meaning that this year’s mid-range will be on par with the last year’s high-end. This is why we can get cheaper laptops for gaming purposes without losing too much on graphics details, compared to more expensive older models.

In this article we will check out 3 “inexpensive” laptops that are a good fit for gaming, among other things.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000

This is a true gem! A laptop without it’s equal. For the price of around $700 USD, you get the freshest components available on the market. This laptop will run anything and have power to spare most of the time. You can get it in different variants, but this version is the best bang-for-buck. In it you get:

Intel Core i5 6300 HQ 3.3GHz Boost;

8GB DDR3;

256 GB SSD;

GeForce GTX960M ,2GB VRAM;

15.6 inches Full HD IPS;

Windows 10;

The laptop comes with everything you need, including the operating system. You could say it is a plug & play system. The build quality is very good for this price range and so is the cooling system containing both CPU and GPU in the 70 degrees c levels. The screen is decent, sharp and has good viewing angles thanks to the IPS panel.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is quite a cheap laptop and for the price has by far the best overall price/performance ratio on the market.

Asus ROG GL552VW-DH71

Now, this is a purebred gaming laptop. A bit less conspicuous than its more expensive cousins, but there is still enough of that ROG red color that makes it so easily recognizable. The build quality is what you’d expect from Asus – superb. Compared to Dell, Asus’s budget machine costs ~$300 USD more, but it also gives a bit more:

Intel Core i7 6700HQ 3.5GHz Boost;

16GB DDR4;

1TB HDD;

GeForce GTX960M, 2GB VRAM;

15.6 inches Full HD IPS;

Windows 10;

Like Dell, Asus’ laptop comes with the latest Windows 10 installed, so it is plug & play ready as well. However, it has two times more RAM than Dell and it is DDR4 instead of DDR3, what makes it more future-proof. It has larger storage space – 1TB, but it is much slower than the SSD in Dell. Display-wise it’s all pretty much the same, Full HD IPS panel enables crisp colors and good viewing angles. Cooling is standardly well executed, something we got used to by Asus.

Basically, for additional $300, you get more CPU power, more storage and more RAM. This will be enough even for more demanding work, such as 3D rendering, video compression, modelling, etc.

HP Star Wars Special Edition 15-an050nr

The best place to start from when describing this piece of geekery is at the very end. For as low as $470 USD you get a decent laptop capable of Full HD gaming with a Star Wars themed livery. There are, of course, more powerful configurations available from HP’s Star Wars line, but this one is the most interesting, as it is so affordable. For the price you get:

Intel Core i5 6200u 2.8GHz Boost;

6 GB DDR3;

GeForce GT 940M, 2GB VRAM;

1TB HDD;

15.6” Full HD IPS;

Windows 10;

Same as with the previous two models, you get Windows 10 and anti-glare 1080p IPS screen. In difference to Dell, just like Asus, HP comes with a standard 1TB mechanical hard disk drive. However, it has noticeably weaker CPU – a power efficient “U” model and the least RAM memory of the three. All of it is understandable, given the price of the laptop. No doubt the biggest customer base for this laptop is among Star Wars fans (and there are a lot of them).