The first thing to realise when it comes to searching for a cheap gaming laptop is that perfection is extremely hard to find. For systems with the most up to date features, and the best graphics processors, you really do need to be looking at the biggest and brightest laptops on the market.
However, if your bank balance is looking a little too meager for you to be considering a seriously expensive piece of kit right now, there are plenty of really great budget gaming laptops on the market. You may have to make a few compromises here and there, but on the whole, the cheaper systems are still far in advance of standard notebooks, and offer plenty of sophisticated features.
If you are on the hunt for a cheap gaming laptop which can handle the newest releases, without breaking the bank, it is still a good idea to look to the leading brands. In fact, top manufacturers like Asus and Lenovo continue to produce innovative and powerful laptops, at affordable prices.
This is a guide to the best cheap gaming laptops on the market right now.
At the very reasonable price of $1099, the Asus ROG GL551JW-DS71 is widely considered to be the best budget gaming laptop on the market. It performs extremely well for this price, and it offers an enhanced build credibility, particularly in comparison to other cheap systems. Whilst it comes with a slightly less sophisticated screen than some of the alternative choices, state of the art cooling components keep the system ticking over nicely, even after prolonged use.
The Asus ROG GL551JW-DS71 has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card, with an impressive 2GB of dedicated memory. Plus, there is an Intel Core i7-472HQ processor, a roomy 1TB hard drive, and 16GB of RAM. Whilst the system performs much better in terms of dealing with heat, particularly in comparison with other budget laptops, a degree of heat should still be expected. This is an issue which contemporary laptops have yet to deal with, but the technology is getting better all the time.
If for any reason, you cannot make the Asus ROG GL551JW-DS71 your first choice, the Lenovo Y50 is a very worthy substitute. It is a superb laptop, especially for one of the cheaper choices, and it actually has very similar features to the Asus. However, it is pricier than its rival, and reportedly has a pretty poor screen. According to users, the Lenovo Y50 screen tends to produce over-saturated images.
This cheap gaming laptop costs $1100, and for this price users get to enjoy an Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics card, and 4GB of dedicated memory. It also has a 1TB hard drive, and 16GB RAM. Whilst it certainly stands up to the Asus in terms of overall performance, and comes with one of the best keyboards on the market, the Y50 seems to strain more when asked to give a little extra.
You know that you can trust Acer when it comes to affordable gaming systems which perform well and can handle all of the most sophisticated releases out there. The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-591G-73Y5 has a robust Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor, 8GB RAM, and an Nvidia GTX 860M graphics card. This gaming system can pretty much deal with anything that you might want to throw it at, so opt for the Acer if you are on the hunt for impressive specs.
With 8GB RAM, the Acer Aspire V15 does perform with gusto, but it strains when asked to deal with more than a few larger applications. Whilst it does not offer the best level of performance on the market, it is an affordable and capable piece of kit, which is ideal for keen gamers. However, if you are hoping to buy a system which offers the opportunity for advanced upgrades, you might want to look at something a little more flexible.
Taking Care of Your Purchase
It does not matter which cheap gaming laptop you choose, because it is still essential that you treat it with the love and respect that this kind of technology deserves. For example, laptop screens can be very fragile, and need to be gently wiped with a soft cloth during cleaning. If you are an extreme budget, there are also some cheap gaming laptops available options available for under $500, although these are far and few between.
If your keyboard tends to collect little bits of dust and grime, compressed air is a cheap and easy way to remove it. The last thing that you want to do is spend a chunk of your salary on a sophisticated gaming system, only to poke away at the keys, and break it within a month.
Looking to Make Some Changes
The bottom line is that gaming laptops simply do not match desktop systems for upgrade potential and performance. There is very little to be done about this, because laptops need to retain their portability in order to have an advantage. However, a lot of systems allow users to switch out the hard drive and RAM, so there are ways to make changes.
In many ways, it is difficult to beat the Asus ROG GL551JW-DS71 for performance and affordability. It offers robust specs, which are very impressive for the price. It is well constructed, has an ergonomically designed keyboard, and manages to stay fairly cool under pressure. It might not be perfect in every way, but it is a great choice.