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Best budget gaming laptop 2024

Find the best budget gaming laptop for your needs with our pick of the best in 2024, with options from Asus, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo and more.

Three of the best budget gaming laptops on a pink gradient background

The best budget gaming laptop offers you a balance of performance and price, in a portable package that lets you game away from home. But with so many bheap gaming laptops under $1,000 now on the market, how do you know which ones are any good? Well, we’ve tried and tested them for you, looking at graphics card and CPU speed, screen quality, and battery life. The products on this list aren’t necessarily the best gaming laptops ever, but they’re solid performers for the money you’ll pay.

Cheap gaming laptops are usually built with lower-end components and cost-saving materials, but there can still be well-made models that give you the performance you need. Particularly if you’re into more esports-focused titles, such as CS2 and Valorant, the lower graphics requirement of those games means you can grab a bargain laptop and not compromise on your gaming performance.

Meanwhile, if you like to work remotely, disabling the second GPU and using the CPUs integrated graphics can often see you through the day with the laptop barely sipping power away from the battery, but you can always turn it back on for heavier workloads.

At this price range, you’ll want to be careful with balancing cheaper components with longevity – often, it can be better to opt for an older but higher-spec laptop. Below, we have a selection of recommendations for the best cheap gaming laptop under $1000 (around £1000).

Why you can trust our advice ✔ At PCGamesN, our experts spend hours testing hardware and reviewing games and VPNs. We share honest, unbiased opinions to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.

Gigabyte G5 2023

Best budget gaming laptop for most

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Gigabyte G5 2023 specifications:
CPU Intel i5-12500H
GPU RTX 4050 6GB GDDR6 75W
RAM 16GB DDR4 dual channel
Storage 512GB PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD
Screen 15.6-inch, 1920×1080 144Hz
Reasons to buy
  • Well-rounded specs
  • Slimmed down construction
  • Upgradable storage and RAM
Reasons to avoid
  • Speaker quality isn’t great
  • Only 512GB of storage

The Gigabyte G5 is a well-balanced laptop with RTX 4060 graphics and 16 GB DDR6 VRAM that will offer good levels of performance at 1080p for several years yet, as long as you are realistic about settings in the latest AAA games.

An ace up the RTX 4000 series is the introduction of DLSS 3 frame generation which improves the smoothness of the experience for games that support it, making better use of the 144hz display. You can even play Cyberpunk 2077 with ray tracing at respectable framerates, something that was almost unthinkable on lower-end laptops just a few years ago. If you play esports titles, you’ll have no issue running them flat-out at the native refresh rate and resolution.

The G5 is equipped with 16GB DDR4 RAM, and while not at the cutting edge, the 12th gen Intel i5-12500H with its 4 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores will make short work of gaming and productivity workloads. At 512GB, the SSD is a little on the leaner side, but you can upgrade to the best SSD for gaming if you need more storage later down the line.

The 2023 G5 has seen a size reduction of 22% from the last generation, with no sacrifice made to the screen size or performance, which makes it great for fitting in a backpack. On the downside, the battery life is only around 5 hours in a mixed workload of writing, light photo editing, and browsing, which means you need to stay close to a power outlet.

Asus ROG Flow X13 2022

Best small budget gaming laptop

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Asus ROG Flow X13 2022 specifications:
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
GPU Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti 4GB
RAM RAM 16GB LPDDR5 dual channel
Storage 1 TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0
Screen 13.4-inch, 1900 x 1200, 120Hz
Reasons to buy
  • Extremely portable
  • Desktop rivaling CPU
  • 16:10 aspect ratio
Reasons to avoid
  • CPU outclasses GPU

The ASUS ROG Flow X13 can often be found on sale below $1,000/£1,000. It’s a productivity monster, with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS to make short work of any CPU load. Powering the visuals is the RTX 3050 Ti which can tap into features such as DLSS 2 to get games running at faster speeds to make use of the 120Hz display.

The Flow X13’s display is in the 16:10 aspect ratio, which isn’t common to see in this price range outside of ultrabooks. The extra vertical distance goes a long way with productivity and reading and makes the 13.4-inch display feel quite expansive for its small footprint. If you find it a little small to use at home though then you might find a great alternative in our top picks for the best gaming monitors.

The integrated 680M of the Ryzen CPU is no slouch itself and can quite closely hold its own with the 3050 Ti in games that don’t support Nvidia-exclusive features. You might find you get better battery life running lighter titles off of the iGPU.

It is somewhat of a strange pairing though, the 6900HS was at the top end of the mobile AMD CPU stack in 2022 and it massively outclasses the GPU which tells us that the Z13 most likely has work applications that require CUDA cores in mind and gaming being a secondary feature. But game they do and we won’t complain about having a top-class ultrabook for under $1000.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3

Best budget gaming laptop under $800

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Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 specifications:
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 6600H
GPU RTX 3050 4GB
RAM 8GB DDR5 2666Mhz
Storage 256GB (US) / 512GB (UK) NVMe SSD
Screen 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 120Hz FreeSync
Reasons to buy
  • Efficient CPU
  • Fast FreeSync 120Hz Display
  • Well-priced
Reasons to avoid
  • 8GB of RAM

Lenovo makes just about every laptop imaginable but one of their most popular is the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 and for good reason. Whilst its specs might be on the lower end, so is the price as it can be had for $699.99 (£695).

The RTX 3050 won’t so much as flinch when it comes to older esports titles and will make good use of the 120Hz display. Any dropped frames will get smoothed out by the FreeSync display for a consistent and tear-free gaming experience.

If you’re away from the plug, Lenovo claims you can get up to 13.5 hours of battery life watching videos (with the brightness down) by just using the AMD 6600H which is an extremely efficient CPU with an equally impressive integrated iGPU, the 660M which can also play many games in its own right.

The US version however only comes with a 256GB SSD which hurts its value proposition somewhat but this is easily user-replaceable. Also upgradable is the RAM which at 8GB is pretty paltry, even for basic workloads such as browsing and light photo editing so you will want to grab another 8GB stick at some point. This will offer even more performance as you will be running your RAM in dual channel so you will see quite the uplift in framerates.

Acer Nitro 5 17.3” 2022

Best big-screen budget gaming laptop

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Acer Nitro 5 17.3” 2022 specifications:
CPU RTX 3050 4GB GDDR6 95W
GPU Intel i5-12500H
RAM RAM 16GB DDR4 dual channel
Storage 512GB PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD
Screen 17.3-inch, 1920×1080, 144Hz
Reasons to buy
  • Large high-refresh-rate screen
  • Good battery life
Reasons to avoid
  • Pricey for the specs
  • Dim display

If you need a lot of space for work or want your mobile gaming to be as immersive as possible, the Acer Nitro 5 is a good buy. You might struggle to run the latest and greatest with the RTX 3050 graphics card, but it’s enough for lighter esports titles, and with modest settings, especially at 1080p. The 144Hz panel is smooth, but we found it a little dim for playing games or working in bright environments.

The 16GB of RAM will let you engage in varied workloads too without a hitch, be it 3D modeling, photo editing, and having multiple documents open. The aesthetics, whilst gamer-inspired are quite subtle.

All that extra space offers you ample cooling and a 90 Whr battery that returns some impressive battery life so you should be confident in a full day’s work if you’re just using the iGPU. It also means that Acer has been able to include an open 2.5” hard drive bay with an included SATA cable, meaning you’ll be able to expand the storage with a still fast and cheap SATA SSD.

HP Victus 15

Best budget gaming laptop with AMD graphics

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HP Victus 15 specifications:
Storage 512GB (US) / 256GB (UK) SSD
Screen 15.6 inch 1920×1080 144Hz
Reasons to buy
  • Plenty of ports
  • Efficient performer
  • Fast screen
Reasons to avoid
  • 16GB RAM costs extra

If you run Linux, you’ll be well suited with an AMD machine too as the open-source drivers for AMD are some of the best and most stable on the OS. No matter the operating system, your games will look great on the solid 144Hz display with the Radeon RX6500M pushing the frames. The 6500M isn’t going to set any records but most esports titles and older games will run well.

If you do a lot of typing you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the quality of the keyboard at this price point. The keys are nice and tactile and you also get a numpad, which some people can’t live without.

Letting the HP Victus down is its single channel 8GB of RAM which seriously hampers your performance. Upgrading to 16GB is highly recommended and doesn’t cost much extra. The UK version also only gets a 256GB SSD, whereas in the US you get 512GB.

Asus Chromebook Vibe/Flip CX55

Best budget gaming Chromebook

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Asus Chromebook Vibe/Flip CX55 specifications:
CPU Intel i5-1135G7
GPU Intel Iris Xe
RAM 16GB LPDDR4X dual channel
Storage 512GB (US) / 256GB (UK) SSD
Screen 15.6-inch, 1920×1080, 144Hz
Reasons to buy
  • 144Hz display
  • 3 months GeForce Now and Amazon Luna+ (US only)
  • Convertible
Reasons to avoid
  • No dedicated GPU
  • Limited native ChromeOS games

Graphics Intel Iris Xe

CPU Intel i5-1135G7

RAM 16GB LPDDR4X dual channel

Storage 512GB (US) / 256GB (UK) SSD

Connectivity 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (type A), 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (type C), 1 x HDMI, Headphone/microphone 3.5mm jack, MicroSD card reader

Screen 15.6-inch, 1920×1080, 144Hz

Dimensions (W x D x H) 14.08 x 9.48 x 0.73 inches (35.76 x 24.08 x 1.85 cm)

Weight 4.30 lbs (1.95 kg)





It’s no secret that computer components have soared in price over the last few years and one of the potential solutions to remedy this is via cloud streaming with services such as GeForce NOW, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Amazon Luna. This is where the Asus Chromebook Vibe C55 Flip positions itself in the market.

Provided you have a good enough internet connection, you can have a great gaming experience. The 144Hz display delivers a smooth experience and almost makes you forget you’re on an affordable Chromebook.

Being a Chromebook, you get all the Android niceties such as Google Assistant and being able to run Android apps natively. Steam also recently improved the gaming front-end performance on ChromeOS so gaming has never been better for Google’s desktop OS. A lot of Android games play much nicer with a controller and luckily for you, we’ve already taken a look at the best PC controllers.

It would be great to have a dedicated GPU at this price bracket. As ChromeOS game support is so limited you may not mind, but it reduces its useability as a dual booting machine. It’s also unfortunate that at a similar price, the UK version only gets a 256GB SSD.

Best budget gaming laptop FAQ

Is it better to buy a new budget laptop or an older better-spec model?

In general, it is often better to check the secondhand market or the discount section of retailers for older, higher-range laptops at a low price, than buy a brand-new budget laptop. That’s because higher-range models often come with better screens, build quality, keyboards and other core features, with it only the CPU and graphics that are meaningfully outdated – and even then it’s often not that big a difference in performance.

However, as with any secondhand product, you need to be careful it has been taken care of and that things like the battery haven’t been completely worn out. Also, even if you’re buying new but old tech, there’s still the chance there have been some more significant changes in the feature/quality of a product year-on-year. An older model might have significantly slower/worse screen technology, a heavier/bulkier design with a small trackpad, or significantly worse CPU/GPU performance. The exact situation will vary greatly depending on the two models you’re comparing, so inevitably you’ll have to do a bit of research for the models you’re looking at.

Can you get good laptops for under $1,000, $800, $600?

Yes, to all of these. You can get laptops that do the job at all these price ranges. However, there are limits. Under $800 gaming performance drops off. You’re probably not looking at higher than an RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, which can play esports games at 1080p with high settings but can’t cope with much more than that. Drop to under $600 and you’re looking at an RTX 3050 GPU, which will only play esports titles at 80fps average with low detail settings. Still, that’s enough to be somewhat competitive and you can still get a 144Hz screen at this price.