Best cheap gaming laptop 2023on February 15, 2023 at 16:10 Tech Advisor


Dedicated gaming laptops are a modern marvel, allowing you to play AAA titles wherever you go. But the sort of internals and display required for the best experience usually means parting with a lot of cash.

It’s easy to spend upwards of $2,000/£2,000 for a top-of-the-line gaming laptop, but did you know it’s possible to get a great device for less than half that? This article aims to showcase what’s on offer for under $1,000/£1,000, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

This article showcases some of the best cheap gaming laptops around, which each of the 10 entries featuring a summary and link to a full review. They’re ranked, but those higher in the list might not necessarily be right for you, and we can recommend them all.

Some compromises are inevitable at this price point, but most people will be happy with a slightly less powerful processor or more functional design in exchange for a big saving. It means you should have enough spare money to buy some games and accessories.

Here are 10 of the best affordable gaming laptops you can buy in 2023.

Best cheap gaming laptops 2023

1. Asus TUF Gaming A15 – Best overall


Impressive CPU & GPU performance

Attractive 1440p display

Decent battery life


Underwhelming build quality

Poor trackpad

Price When Reviewed:

From £1,199 | Model reviewed £1,499

The Asus TUF laptops have been a great go-to for budget gaming for a long time and the new A15 is no exception, despite a slightly higher starting price at the moment.

An AMD Ryzen 7 CPU from the latest 6000 Series combines with powerful Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU to deliver excellent gaming performance. The 15.6in, 1440p display is another highlight, complete with a 165Hz refresh rate.

However, Asus has confirmed that a 300Hz option is on the way, plus configurations using the RTX 3070 and 3070Ti. The latter should make the A15 significantly cheaper than £1,000/$1,000.

You’ll also get a decent keyboard, solid range of ports and even decent battery life when you’re not gaming. If you can live with mediocre build quality and a poor trackpad, the A15 is a great option.

Read our full

Asus TUF Gaming A15 (2022) review

2. MSI Prestige 15 A12UC (2022) – Best value for money


Solid performance

Lots of ports

Attractive design



Unusual keyboard layout

Underwhelming trackpad

Mediocre display

While the MSI Prestige 15 costs over $1,300 in the US, less powerful configurations are available for as little as £699 in the UK. For that price, you’ll struggle to find anything better suited for gaming.

An 12th-gen Intel Core i5 processors and RTX 3050 Ti graphics are nothing special and no longer the latest versions, but they deliver solid performance across the board – including some demanding titles. As expected, that’ll take a slight hit on battery power, but you can get a few hours of gaming (or much longer on other tasks) from a single charge.

Other highlights include a great keyboard, lots of ports and a lightweight design – at 1.69kg, it’s more portable than many gaming laptops. A sleek, minimalist aesthetic also means you might be happy using this as an everyday laptop too.

Provided you don’t mind the unusual keyboard layout and disappointing trackpad, that is. The 15.6in display is decent, but you’ll find much better elsewhere, and it’s limited to a 60Hz refresh rate.

However, if you can look beyond those drawbacks, this is an impressive, affordable gaming laptop that’s worth considering.

Read our full

MSI Prestige 15 A12UC (2022) review

3. Dell G5 15 Gaming – Best battery life


Impressive battery life

144Hz refresh rate



Chunky design

Display lacks colour

Poor keyboard & trackpad

Price When Reviewed:

From £1,149 | Model reviewed £1,349

Alienware laptops are too expensive to appear in this list but Dell does have affordable gaming laptops in the rest of its lineup.

The G5 isn’t flawless but makes the most sense for the cheaper models. We tested a Core i7 model with an RTX 2060 but you can get an AMD Ryzen 5 with a Radeon RX 5600M for a very reasonable price.

Like others, the screen is a bit washed out but has a 144Hz refresh rate and other components are solid, too. Plus battery life is decent for a change.

A chunky design is acceptable but we would prefer the keyboard and trackpad to be better.

Read our full

Dell G5 15 Gaming 5500 review

4. Acer Nitro 5 (AN515) – Best performance


Impressive 1080p gaming

Solid keyboard

144Hz refresh rate


Mediocre battery life

Display lacks colour

Price When Reviewed:

From £749 | Model reviewed £1,149

The Acer Nitro 5 is one of the most affordable gaming laptops around, and it has great components despite that price.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 is a top-notch mainstream graphics card that’ll handle anything at 1080p, and the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H is a great CPU for multi-tasking and work. The keyboard is comfortable and the laptop is cool and quiet.

Of course, the low price does mean compromise elsewhere. The screen, although 144Hz, is washed-out and the battery life is poor. You don’t get many extra features either. But if you want an affordable gaming laptop with good core performance, this is a good choice.

Read our full

Acer Nitro 5 (2021) review

5. Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro (2022) – Best 16in


Great 16in display

Thin and light, but still sturdy

Solid battery life

Decent performance


Poor keyboard

Underwhelming speakers

More powerful alternatives are available

Price When Reviewed:

From £799 | Model reviewed £970

If you’re in the market for a cheap gaming laptop but still crave that large display, the IdeaPad 5 Pro is for you. Its 16in panel comes in at a resolution of 2560×1600 and has a 120Hz refresh rate.

It’s undoubtedly the highlight of this device, but by no means the only reason to buy it. The combination of Ryzen 7 and RTX 3050 delivers solid gaming performance – all but the most demanding games are comfortably playable.

Compared to most gaming laptops, it’s also impressively slim and lightweight. That makes it easy to take anywhere with you, but the device doesn’t feel flimsy. It also doesn’t really look like a gaming device, something many buyers will appreciate. Battery life isn’t sacrificed either.

The keyboard and speakers aren’t the best, but you’ll probably be connecting external accessories while gaming, anyway. If you can look beyond those inconveniences, the IdeaPad 5 Pro is definitely worth considering.

Read our full

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro (2022) review

6. MSI GF63 Thin (2022) – Solid all-rounder


Impressively affordable

Relatively thin and light

Decent gaming performance

Great keyboard


Can’t handle most AAA games

Many rivals are faster

Display and battery life could be better

Price When Reviewed:

From £699

If the main advantage of buying a gaming laptop (rather than a desktop PC) is portability, the latest GF63 Thin is a a great option. MSI has managed to get all the fundamentals of a solid gaming experience into a 15.6in device that’s just 0.5in thick and 1.86kg.

Most lighter laptops are limited to discrete GPUs, but the Nvidia RTX 3050 here means most mid-range games are well within reach – especially when combined with 12th-gen Intel CPUs. However, you will struggle if demanding titles are your thing.

Other highlights include a decent port selection and great keyboard, meaning this Windows 11 machine could easily be used as your main laptop. However, that Full HD IPS display isn’t as impressive as we’d hoped (despite the 144Hz refresh rate), while battery life is mediocre.

Given its affordable price point, it’s certainly worth considering the GF63 Thin. But other options in this chart might be a better pick for you.

Read our full

MSI GF63 Thin (2022) review

7. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i – Best Keyboard


Attractive design

Great keyboard

120Hz refresh rate


Limited ports

Small SSD

Display lacks colour

Price When Reviewed:

From £699

The IdeaPad goes gaming and Lenovo’s cheapest model is the best starting with a GTX 1650 for enough graphics grunt and a Core i5 that’s good enough for daily use.

It’s also impressive how nice the 3i looks and it’s also quiet with a decent keyboard, too.

There’s a lot to like including a 120Hz refresh rate but the usual compromises are found here such as a pallid display, single-channel memory and a small SSD.

Generally, these are acceptable downsides so the IdeaPad Gaming 3i is a good choice if you can’t afford anything more expensive.

Read our full

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i review

8. Acer Nitro 5 (A517) – Best Big Screen


Large 120Hz screen

Powerful components


Display lacks colour

Small SSD

Price When Reviewed:


Best Prices Today:

£779.00 at Amazon

Just squeezing in under our price limit, the Acer Nitro 5 is a great choice if you want performance and don’t mind so much about portability.

We’ve tested the 17in model here which is something of a desktop replacement, but will fit in a large backpack if you do need to take it somewhere. You can also look out for the 15in A515.

The highlights here are up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 along with a 120Hz refresh rate giving you smooth gaming performance.

Just bear in mind that the screen doesn’t have the best colour performance and there’s only a 256GB SSD to store games.

Read our full

Acer Nitro 5 (A517-51) review

9. HP Omen 15 – Best Processor


Full-fat GPU

Large SSD

Dual-channel memory


Display lacks colour

Soft keyboard

Mediocre battery life

Price When Reviewed:

From £1,099

Best Prices Today:

£1,119.99 at Amazon

It’s a tad over our price cap but only just and well worth considering if your budget will stretch.

Apart from its new design, the HP Omen 15 is very powerful with a brilliant AMD Ryzen 7 processor and Nvidia’s GTX 1660 Ti graphics card that not even a cut down Max-Q version.

That’s a lot of performance for your money and, furthermore, you get dual-channel RAM, a huge 1TB SSD and other specs like Wi-Fi 6. 

We’d like a better screen as it’s a little bit washed out but does offer a 144Hz refresh rate so the Omen 15 is still a solid choice at this price point.

Read our full

HP Omen 15 (2020) review



What graphics do I need in a gaming laptop?

The graphics card is a key component in any gaming laptop, as it does most of the work when you’re playing a game.

A more expensive graphics card generally means better performance (usually measured in frames per second), so try to get the best you can afford.

Nvidia and AMD are the major players here, although only their high-end laptop GPUs offer premium features such as 4K gaming or ray tracing for more realistic lighting effects.

One trap you want to avoid on gaming laptops are integrated graphics, where the GPU is simply a part of the main processor. These are plenty good enough for everyday tasks and are capable of some light gaming, they’re unsuitable for any more demanding titles.


What processor do I need in a gaming laptop?

While the GPU is doing a lot of the work, a solid CPU shouldn’t be overlooked. That’s especially true if you want to use the laptop for work as well as gaming.

AMD has a long association with gaming laptops, and the latest Ryzen 7000 Series certainly doesn’t change that. But you definitely shouldn’t rule out Intel, with 13th-gen Raptor Lake CPUs another significant step forward.

As with graphics cards, get the best one you can find and check our full reviews for our benchmark tests to see how well they perform. 


How good does the display need to be?

Among cheap gaming laptops, you’re unlikely to find a 4K or even QHD screen resolution. However, Full HD is fine for most laptops, and the modest resolution will help you get fast frame rates even without most powerful components. 

Something to look out for is a high refresh rate screen. Many budget gaming laptops offer 120Hz or 144Hz – significantly higher than the 60Hz that’s standard on regular laptops. Everything feels and looks smoother at high refresh rates, and this could give you a crucial advantage over other players.

However, it’s worth noting that high refresh rate displays on cheap laptops can make sacrifices when it comes to colour accuracy. It’s unlikely you’ll get both in a device under $1,000/£1,000.


How much memory and storage do I need?

Processors and graphics cards get most of the attention when it comes to performance, so it’s easy to overlook memory (also known as RAM) and storage (usually eMMC or SSD).

These are areas some laptop makers downgrade compared to flagships, but try to avoid it if possible. Even with the best CPUs and GPUs in the world, insufficient RAM or a lack of storage space means performance will suffer.

As with other components, the more the better for both RAM and storage – especially if you want to download and play lots of demanding games. SSDs are faster than HDDs or eMMC standards, but you might not get much capacity. 


What other things should I consider in a gaming laptop?

After the GPU, CPU, memory, storage and screen, the keyboard is probably the next most important. Make sure it’s easy to use and comfortable to type on.

You’ll probably want to plug in a gaming mouse or connect a controller rather than using the trackpad, but it’s

It’s also worth noting that cheap budget laptops have a couple of potential advantages over high-end models, primarily due to their thicker chassis. The chunkier design means more space for ports, meaning connectivity is often better than more expensive options. 

It also means more space for a battery and, combined with lower power components and Full HD displays, you could get longer battery life. Just remember, performance on battery power won’t be as good as when you’re connected to the mains.

Gaming, Laptops

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