We get it, not everyone can have the best gaming hardware. Lucky those that have the luxury of enjoying new Triple-A games in all their glory and sorry for those that can’t. However, what if we tell you that you can still enjoy gaming today despite being on a tight budget? Seemingly acting as blessings from the gaming gods themselves, there are now several cheap gaming laptops on the market that are serviceable for modern gaming.
While they may not be necessarily powerful, they can certainly provide good value for money. With that being said, here are our picks for the top 3 budget/cheap gaming laptops of 2023. Take note that they aren’t in any particular order and have a price range of just below $1000.
1. Acer Nitro 5
The Acer Nitro 5 is a great all-around gaming laptop that offers a good balance of performance, features, and price. It has cultivated an excellent reputation for itself as a great value-for-money gaming laptop, and chances are, it will be the first you’d hear as a recommendation whenever you ask for one.
It’s powered by an Intel Core i5 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card, which can handle most modern games at medium to high settings. The Nitro 5 has a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a 144Hz refresh rate, which is great for gamers who want smooth gameplay and even frame rates.
Furthermore, the Acer Nitro 5 also has an excellent battery life that can last more than your average gaming laptop. Its build quality may not be fantastic, but it is certainly an appealing option especially if you are tight in budget.
2. Asus TUF Gaming A15
The Asus TUF Gaming A15 is another great option for budget gamers. It’s powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card. In terms of performance, this device ranks atop the available cheap gaming laptops today. While it can be compared to the Acer Nitro 5 in terms of overall quality, the Asus TUF Gaming A15 seemingly edges it out in terms of graphical fidelity.
The TUF Gaming A15 also has a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a 144Hz refresh rate. Furthermore, it’s built to be durable, with a MIL-STD-810H military-grade construction. It will not easily break and can withstand several slips and drops. That said, it is best that you still be careful handling this compact gaming laptop.
3. Lenovo Legion 5
The Lenovo Legion 5 is a bit more expensive than the Acer Nitro 5 and the Asus TUF Gaming A15. However, it offers a number of extra features that make it a good choice for serious gamers. It’s powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card. Furthermore, it has a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a 240Hz refresh rate. By those things alone, you can clearly see that Lenovo Legion 5 is much more powerful than the other two entrants.
On top of that, the Legion 5 also has a number of other features that gamers can certainly find useful and appealing. For one, it has a backlit keyboard and a built-in subwoofer which can enhance the user’s overall gaming experience. If you have the money for it, the Legion 5 is what we recommend the most among the three.
All three of these cheap gaming laptops are great options for budget gamers. They all offer good performance, features, high refresh rates, and good build quality. Again, they may not be excellent per se, but they are serviceable as great alternatives for today’s gaming landscape.
Pros and Cons of Budget/Cheap Gaming Laptops
Here are a few pros and cons that you should be aware of whenever you are buying budget/cheap gaming laptops:
Pros of Budget Gaming Laptops
Gaming laptops are portable, which means you can take them with you wherever you go. This is a big advantage for gamers who want to be able to game on the go.
Contrary to the belief of many, gaming laptops are now becoming more affordable. It is certainly much cheaper than building a sub-optimal gaming PC. That said, this makes them a more attractive option for budget-minded gamers.
Gaming laptops often come with features that are not available on PCs, such as backlit keyboards, built-in speakers, and high-refresh-rate displays. These features can make gaming more enjoyable and immersive.
- Ease of use
Gaming laptops are easier to set up and use than PCs. This is because they come with everything you need to get started, including a keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
Cons of Budget Gaming Laptops
Gaming laptops can get hot, and fast at that. In fact, they are more susceptible to overheating than any average PC gaming build. This can be a serious problem if you’re gaming in a warm environment.
- Battery life
The amount of time you can use gaming laptops is significantly shorter than on PCs. After all, gaming laptops have batteries while PCs can run for as long as you want as long as there is power/electricity. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that they use more power to run demanding games, thus, quickly draining their batteries.
Gaming laptops are not as easy to upgrade as PCs. This is because they often use proprietary components that are not available on the open market. Simply put, their components aren’t as accessible as gaming PCs. You cannot just simply upgrade graphics cards or anything.
So, what do you think of our top cheap gaming laptops of 2023? Do you agree with them? Perhaps you already have one of them at home? Feel free to use the comments section below to share your thoughts.
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