If you're diving into PC gaming for the first time, you might be wondering what kind of machine you need. Many gamers would say a desktop is the way to go. But what if you want to be able to play games from anywhere?
A budget gaming laptop can provide that portability, and our experts here at DealNews can help you find your ideal device for an affordable price. We'll walk you through the specs you need for your gaming laptop, as well as the kinds of accessories that will take your gaming to new levels. Once you know what to look for, check out the best gaming laptop deals our experts have found below.
Tips for Buying Budget Gaming Laptops and Accessories
Choose the Best Gaming Laptop for YouBest High-End Gaming Laptop: If money is no object, look for a top-tier gaming laptop like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. Look for these specs to get a fast, smooth gaming experience:
- Memory: Go for models that contain between 12GB and 16GB of DDR4 RAM.
- Processor: High-end gaming laptops should have the latest Core i7 CPUs if you're shopping Intel. Expect many to have 10th-generation processors, denoted as either Comet Lake or Ice Lake architecture. However, note that Intel recently announced its 11th-generation processors with Tiger Lake architecture, as well. Gaming laptops made with the latest AMD processors (currently the Ryzen 4000 Series) are an alternative. They can provide a better bang for your buck, as they often cost less and can even outperform their Intel counterparts.
- Display: Aim for at least a 15" display. No matter what kind of gaming you'll be doing, odds are it's going to look better and be more enjoyable on a bigger screen.
- Graphics: Opt for a discrete GPU from NVIDIA, preferably a Quadro RTX model; it'll have more computing power and ray-tracing capabilities.
- Storage: Choose a model with a solid state drive, which will offer high speeds and have a price determined by its storage size. Be sure to take into account everything you'll need to put on your gaming laptop — SSDs may function best when filled to less than 70% capacity.
- Memory: We recommend at least 8GB of RAM. This should be enough to eliminate most bottlenecks without requiring you to pay a premium.
- Processor: Keep an eye out for laptops that feature AMD Ryzen CPUs, such as the 3rd-generation Ryzen 5 4600H, as it'll provide decently high performance at a lower price tag.
- Display: Again, you'll want at least a 15" display if you're planning to engage in any serious gaming.
- Graphics: Since gaming is still the goal, it's best to go for a discrete GPU. Stick with NVIDIA, but look for a laptop with a GeForce GTX to help save some cash.
- Storage: Though SSDs tend to be pricier than traditional hard disk drives, they offer many perks. If you can find a model within your budget that contains an SSD, it's worth it, especially if it has the capacity to handle your operating system, plus additional programs and games.
- Memory: Don't settle for anything less than 8GB of RAM unless you're a super casual gamer. And even then, 8GB will still serve you better.
- Processor: Opt for AMD Ryzen CPUs, even if you have to go with a previous generation. You'll still get a bigger bang for your buck over Intel in most cases.
- Display: However you game, you'll want a 15" screen. Don't skimp on screen size just to cut costs.
- Graphics: If graphics aren't important to you, you can go for an integrated card, especially if you aren't planning to play any super-intensive games. Otherwise, aim for a GeForce GTX discrete card.
- Storage: You might be better off opting for an HDD if you're looking for a budget-friendly model. However, SSDs are absolutely available at lower price ranges. Just note that you might end up sacrificing the amount of storage if you do decide on an SSD. Consider checking out a hybrid drive, which is noted as an SSHD and falls between the two extremes — it's more like an HDD with a little SSD added on.
Gaming Accessories to Get You Started
Consider a separate monitor. If you want an added display, be sure that your GPU has the capability to meet your desired settings. Samsung has a gaming monitor lineup with FreeSync-friendly models, but if you want to look elsewhere, the Dell, HP, and Acer brands also have solid recommendations.
Don't forget the headphones! These can provide better audio fidelity than most built-in laptop speakers. Plus, headphones can help reduce noise complaints, whether they're from neighbors, friends, or family. If you want to splurge, HyperX is an elite brand designed for pro gamers. If you're not concerned about that, Corsair comes highly recommended for budget sets.
You may want an external mouse and keyboard. Casual gamers probably won't need these, though all gamers can benefit from devices that alleviate wrist pain. Look to brands like Razer and Logitech to offer highly reviewed mouse and keyboard models.
Best Deal Under $1,000
Lenovo Legion 5 Ryzen 7 15.6" Gaming Laptop
Shipping: Free shipping
Lowest By: $201
Ant Online via eBay brings us the faithful Lenovo Legion 5 3rd-Gen. Ryzen 7 15.6" 144Hz 1080p Gaming Laptop at $201 off (or 18% off if you have a preference for percent based valuation). Specs include a 3rd-Generation AMD Ryzen 7 4800H 2.9GHz 8-core CPU, 16GB RAM, 256GB NVMe SSD, 15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p) 144Hz IPS display, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GPU. The graphics card is on the lower end of the Nvidia line but considering we're talking about 1080p gaming here and taking into account the rest of the specs, it's a fairly capable looking laptop indeed.
Best Budget Laptop
HP 15t 10th-Gen. i5 15.6" Laptop
Shipping: Free shipping
Lowest By: $180
HP has deemed it absolutely necessary to knock $180 off their HP 15t 10th-Gen. i5 15.6" Laptop, settling on a nice $499.99. It features a 10th-Gen. Intel Core i5-1035G1 1GHz Ice Lake quad-core CPU, 15.6" 720p LED display, 12GB RAM, and 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD + 16GB Intel Optane memory. Given the lack of a dedicated graphics card, this isn't fit for visually demanding games but a decent processor, solid amount of RAM, and an SSD should allow it to do alright for more compute heavy titles.
Pro-tip: Make sure to manually select the 16GB Intel Optane memory on the configuration screen otherwise you'll end up with none.
Top Monitor Deal
Samsung 49" 1080p 144Hz Curved Monitor
Store: Microsoft Store
Shipping: Free shipping
Lowest By: $50
It is said that ultra widescreen gaming, much like high frame rate gaming, is a revelation once seen and thusly cannot be unseen. You may find out for yourself, since the Microsoft Store has the Samsung 49" 1080p 144Hz QLED Curved Gaming Monitor marked down from $899 to $699, which is $100 under our mention from last November and the best price we could find now by $50. It has a 3840x1080 native resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, USB 3.0, DisplayPort, and 2 HDMI inputs, and is tilt, height, and swivel adjustable. Do keep in mind that you'll need some very powerful hardware to really get the most out of playing at this absurd resolution while maintaining a high frame rate.
Top Accessory Deal
Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000
Shipping: Free shipping w/ Prime
Lowest By: $9
If you're looking for a cheap way to step up your cursor pointing game, Amazon has an option that might very well be of interest. Microsoft's Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000 is currently $7 off, down from $17 to $10, and at a price that's the lowest we could find by $9. It's got an ambidextrous design and up to 15-foot range although you'll need to supply your own AA batteries. It's a relatively simple mouse in terms of features but sometimes that's all you need.
Top Computer Desk Deal
FurnitureR Zen 47" Computer Desk
Store: Home Depot
Lowest By: $108
Home Depot takes our current pick for desk of choice with the FurnitureR Zen 47" Computer Desk. It's 43% off, amounting to what is the best price we could find by a rather significant $108. It features a black finish metal base, supports up to 150-lbs., and measures 47.2" x 23.6" x 29.5". You'll need to opt for pickup to avoid a $55 shipping fee.