Best Budget Gaming Laptops to buy in 2024

best budget gaming laptop in 2024

If you’re a gamer on a budget, you might think that getting a decent gaming laptop is out of your reach. But don’t worry, there are plenty of affordable options that can run the latest games without breaking the bank. In this blog post, we’ll show you some of the best budget gaming laptops to buy in 2024, based on our research and testing.

What to look for in a Budget Gaming Laptop?

Before we dive into our recommendations, let’s go over some of the key features and specs to look for in a budget gaming laptop. Here are some of the most important factors to consider:

GPU

The graphics card is the most crucial component for gaming performance. You’ll want a dedicated GPU, not an integrated one, to handle the graphics-intensive games. The latest generation of GPUs from Nvidia and AMD are the RTX 40 series and the RX 7000 series, respectively. However, these are mostly found in high-end laptops that cost over $1,500. For budget gaming laptops, you’ll likely have to settle for older or lower-end GPUs, such as the RTX 30 series or the RX 6000 series. These can still run most games at medium to high settings, depending on the resolution and refresh rate of your screen.

CPU

The processor is also important for gaming performance, especially for CPU-heavy games like strategy or simulation titles. You’ll want a fast and powerful CPU that can keep up with your GPU and avoid bottlenecks. The latest generation of CPUs from Intel and AMD are the 13th Gen Core and the Ryzen 7000 series, respectively. However, these are also mostly found in high-end laptops that cost over $1,500. For budget gaming laptops, you’ll likely have to settle for older or lower-end CPUs, such as the 11th Gen Core or the Ryzen 5000 series. These can still handle most games well, as long as they have enough cores and threads (at least four cores and eight threads).

RAM

The memory is another important factor for gaming performance, as it affects how fast your laptop can load and run games and applications. You’ll want enough RAM to avoid stuttering and lagging issues, especially if you multitask or run multiple programs at once. The minimum amount of RAM you’ll need for gaming is 8GB, but we recommend going for 16GB or more if you can afford it. This will give you more headroom and future-proofing for newer and more demanding games.

Storage

The storage is where you’ll store your games and files on your laptop. You’ll want enough storage space to fit all your favorite games and have some room left for updates and downloads. The type of storage is also important, as it affects how fast your laptop can boot up and load games. You’ll want a solid state drive (SSD), not a hard disk drive (HDD), to enjoy faster speeds and lower noise levels. The latest type of SSD is the NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD, which offers blazing-fast transfer rates and lower latency. However, these are also mostly found in high-end laptops that cost over $1,500. For budget gaming laptops, you’ll likely have to settle for older or lower-end SSDs, such as the NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD or the SATA SSD. These can still offer decent speeds and performance, as long as they have enough capacity (at least 256GB).

Display

The screen is where you’ll see your games come to life on your laptop. You’ll want a good-quality display that can deliver sharp images, vivid colors, and smooth motion. The size of the display depends on your personal preference and portability needs, but most gaming laptops have screens between 15 and 17 inches. The resolution of the display affects how detailed and crisp your games look on your screen. The higher the resolution, the better the image quality, but also the more demanding on your GPU. For budget gaming laptops, you’ll likely have to settle for lower resolutions, such as Full HD (1920 x 1080) or QHD (2560 x 1440). These can still offer good visual fidelity, especially if they have high pixel density (at least 141 PPI). The refresh rate of the display affects how smooth and fluid your games look on your screen. The higher the refresh rate, the better the motion clarity, but also the more demanding on your GPU. For budget gaming laptops, you’ll likely have to settle for lower refresh rates, such as 60Hz or 120Hz. These can still offer decent gameplay experience, especially if they have low response time (below 5ms).

Resolution

The number of pixels on your screen that determine how sharp and detailed your images are. The higher the resolution, the better the image quality, but also the more demanding on your GPU. The most common resolutions for gaming laptops are Full HD (1920 x 1080), Quad HD (2560 x 1440), and Ultra HD (3840 x 2160). We recommend getting at least a Full HD display for gaming, as anything lower will look blurry and pixelated.

Refresh rate

The number of times your screen updates per second that determine how smooth and fluid your motion is. The higher the refresh rate, the better the motion quality, but also the more demanding on your GPU. The most common refresh rates for gaming laptops are 60Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz, 240Hz, and 360Hz. We recommend getting at least a 120Hz display for gaming, as anything lower will look choppy and laggy.

Response time

The time it takes for your screen to change from one color to another that determine how fast and responsive your input is. The lower the response time, the better the input quality, but also the more prone to ghosting and artifacts. The most common response times for gaming laptops are 1ms, 3ms, 5ms, and 10ms. We recommend getting at least a 5ms display for gaming, as anything higher will look blurry and delayed.

Panel type

The type of technology used to create your screen that determine how accurate and consistent your colors and contrast are. The most common panel types for gaming laptops are TN (twisted nematic), IPS (in-plane switching), and VA (vertical alignment). TN panels are the fastest and cheapest, but they have poor color accuracy and narrow viewing angles. IPS panels are the most balanced and popular, but they have moderate response times and backlight bleeding. VA panels are the best for contrast and blacks, but they have slow response times and color shifting. We recommend getting an IPS display for gaming, as it offers the best overall quality.

Battery life

The battery life is how long your laptop can run on a single charge. You’ll want a long-lasting battery that can keep your laptop running for hours, especially if you travel or game on the go. However, battery life is often sacrificed for gaming performance, as gaming laptops tend to have powerful components that consume a lot of power. For budget gaming laptops, you’ll likely have to settle for shorter battery life, such as 4 to 6 hours. These can still offer enough juice for casual gaming or web browsing, especially if they have power-saving features or modes.

Best budget gaming laptops in 2024

Now that you know what to look for in a budget gaming laptop, let’s take a look at some of the best options available in 2024. We’ve selected these laptops based on their price, performance, features, and reviews. Here are our top picks:

Gigabyte G5 2023

This is our best budget gaming laptop for most people, as it offers a great balance of performance, features, and value. It comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD, and a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a 144Hz refresh rate. It can run most games at high settings with smooth frame rates, and it has a sleek and sturdy design with RGB lighting and a full-size keyboard. It also has decent battery life, lasting up to 6 hours on a single charge. It costs $999.99 at Best Buy.

Asus ROG Flow X13 2022

This is the smallest and most compact budget gaming laptop on our list, as it has a 13-inch screen and weighs only 2.9 pounds. It comes with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM, a 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD, and a 13-inch Full HD display with a 120Hz refresh rate. It can run most games at medium settings with decent frame rates, and it has a sleek and portable design with a flip-and-fold hinge and a touch screen. It also has good battery life, lasting up to 10 hours on a single charge. It costs $1,199.99 at Amazon.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3

This is the best budget gaming laptop under $800 on our list, as it offers solid performance and features for a low price. It comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD, and a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a 60Hz refresh rate. It can run most games at medium settings with acceptable frame rates, and it has a simple and durable design with blue accents and a backlit keyboard. It also has average battery life, lasting up to 5 hours on a single charge. It costs $699.99 at Lenovo.

Acer Nitro 5 17.3 2022

This is the best budget gaming laptop with a large 17-inch screen on our list, as it offers immersive gaming experience and ample screen space. It comes with an Intel Core i5-11300H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD, and a 17.3-inch Full HD display with a 144Hz refresh rate. It can run most games at high settings with smooth frame rates, and it has a bold and aggressive design with red accents and a full-size keyboard. It also has decent battery life, lasting up to 6 hours on a single charge. It costs $879.99 at Best Buy.