ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Best Budget Gaming Laptops - Cheap Gaming Laptops under $800

Updated on June 25, 2015

Budget Gaming Laptops

Gaming laptops can be expensive! You can easily spend $2000 on a gaming laptop without even noticing. This guide will help you understand what is important to look for in a budget gaming laptop and what the key requirements are, which is essentially to play most games on medium settings and not cost the earth.

How much should a Budget Gaming Laptop cost?

Below we have identified the 5 best rated budget gaming laptops, they cover a price range of $587.99 to $799.99. This is the minimum cost to get a gaming laptop that will play most games on at least minimum settings. To be honest, if you have less money than this you are much better saving up to buy one of the ones below rather than spending your money on something cheaper that won’t be able to play the games that you really want to play. Any laptops below this price range have been discounted as they simply don’t have the graphics or processing power to call themselves gaming laptops. All of the laptops discussed below should be able to play newer games on medium settings and the higher end ones will handle them on high or more…

Key elements of a Budget Gaming Laptop

First let’s define exactly what we mean by a “Gaming Laptop”.

There are 3 key elements of a good gaming laptop:

  1. the graphics card
  2. the processor
  3. the screen

The Graphics Card

The graphics card is the most important element as this is what will allow you to play newer and more graphics intensive games. Any decent gaming laptop must have a dedicated graphics card as opposed to a built in graphics card. Built in graphics cards simply run the graphics using the laptops RAM, which doesn’t provide the power required to play anything but the simplest games. A dedicated card has its own independent source of video memory which will allow your gaming laptop to play whatever you like (depending on its specs of course…).

The graphics card on a gaming laptop will be the key determining factor as to whether you can play the game on low, medium, high or ultra graphics settings. You can have the best processor in the world, but if you do not have a decent graphics card you will be unable to play even a game with only mid range graphics. Whereas if you have a good graphics card you will be able to play most games even if you have a mediocre processor, though you may have to drop the settings a little.

Processor and Screen

The processor is important though as more graphically intensive games tend to also be heavy on the processor, so the graphics card and processor should go hand in hand for any budget gaming laptop.

The screen on a gaming laptop is also important for both size and resolution. The bigger the screen, the better the gaming experience will be, but it will increase the weight and make the gaming laptop less mobile. The higher the resolution, the clearer the graphics will be, but it will also drive the graphics card harder so can affect performance on lower end machines.

Any budget gaming laptop should have a minimum screen resolution of 1366 x 720 pixels, though the higher end ones will have 1920 x 1080 pixels and a minimum size of 15.6 inches though 17 inch and above will provide a better gaming experience.

Price of a Budget Gaming Laptop

As we are specifically looking at budget gaming laptops and are therefore restricted by price you are unlikely to get the best of all of the above and compromise will have to be made somewhere. We are going to concentrate on looking at the graphics card and the screen, this is because in general newer laptops with decent graphics cards have at least an i5 or equivalent processor which should be adequate for all but the heaviest gaming. All of the following budget gaming laptops have at least an i5 or equivalent processor.

Budget Gaming Laptop 1 - HP 15-p030nr

This is probably the lowest price decent budget gaming laptop on the market. It has a good entry level graphics card that should allow you to play most games on medium. It has a strong look and had Beats Audio include which provides added sound if you are not running this through any external amp or speakers.

8/10

Name
HP 15-p030nr with Beats Audio (Red)
Price
$587.99
Processor
AMD A8-5545M 1.7 GHz
Memory
8 GB DDR3L SDRAM
Graphics Card
AMD Radeon HD 8510G graphics 2GB
Screen size
15.6 inch
Max Screen Resolution
1366 x 768
Operating System
Windows 8.1
Weight
5.9 pounds

Budget Gaming Laptop 2 - Acer Aspire V15

STAR BUY!

This is an excellent machine and great value for money if you are on a restricted budget. It has a good mid range graphics card (GT 840M) which should allow you to play most games on medium to high. It also has a 1080p screen (1920 x 1080 pixels) which will provide even clearer and smoother graphics. It gets very well reviewed, particularly for performance and good build quality. Unless you are after a larger screen or a significantly better graphics card this is the one to go for.

10/10

Name
Acer Aspire V15
Price
$ 629.99
Processor
core i5 5200u 2.2 GHz
Memory
8 GB DDR3
Graphics Card
NVIDA GeForce 840M 2GB
Screen size
15.6 inch
Max Screen Resolution
1920 x 1080
Operating System
Windows 8.1
Weight
5.6 pounds

Budget Gaming Laptop 3 - Lenovo Z70

This gaming laptop provides a larger 17.3 inch screen so if screen size is important for you and you are less interested in the mobility of the machine this could be worth paying the extra for. It has a 1080p screen as well so you are guaranteed good results. It has the same processor as the Acer V15, so the choice here comes down to the extra $150 for the bigger screen. The build quality also gets very well reviewed.

9/10

Name
Lenovo Z70
Price
$ 779.99
Processor
core i5 5200u 2.2 GHz
Memory
8 GB DDR3
Graphics Card
NVIDA GeForce 840M 2GB
Screen size
17.3 inch
Max Screen Resolution
1920 x 1080
Operating System
Windows 8.1
Weight
6 pounds

Budget Gaming Laptop 4 - MSI GP60

In terms of graphics card and the ability to play more demanding games the MSI GP60 wins out of the 4 laptops as it has a more high end GT940M graphics card that would allow you to play most games on high. That said it is restricted by a 720p screen (1366 x 720 pixels) so the graphics will not look quite as good as some of the other options. That said this is a real powerhouse and would render any 3D graphics very well. Probably not as good value for money as some of the other options, however you just need to decide on whether the additional graphics capability is worth paying the extra for.

8/10

Name
MSI GP Series GP60
Price
$ 799.99
Processor
core i5 4210h 3.5 GHz
Memory
8 GB DDR3L SDRAM
Graphics Card
NVIDIA Geforce GT940M 2GB
Screen size
15.6 inch
Max Screen Resolution
1366x768
Operating System
Windows 8.1
Weight
5.3 pounds

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    Click to Rate This Article