The best budget gaming laptop


Assumptions for optimal performance

Processor: Intel Core i7-11800H

144 Hz, 15.6-inch, 1920x1080 resolution display

A 6-GB VRAM Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card

The following is my current weight: 4.94 pounds.

16 GB of RAM

14.25 x 10.75 x 0.75 inches

A 512 GB Solid State Drive

Battery life: 6.3 hours under test

This list is intended for gamers who also require a laptop for school or business, and whose primary concern isn't running the latest games at their highest graphical settings in ultra-high definition (UHD) or 4K resolution, rather than the opposite. Most new games can now be played at 1920 x 1080 resolution and 60 frames per second on a $1,500 gaming laptop with high settings or better. Classic and less-demanding current titles, as well as most new games, may be played on medium settings on even the cheapest models that cost approximately $800. If you want exceptional performance, you don't have to shell out $2,000 for a more powerful gaming laptop.

Where they fall short: Every budget gaming laptop we’ve evaluated has had at least one severe issue. Some overheat, while others have shoddy construction and dull displays with poor viewing angles, to name a few flaws. All gaming laptops are big, hefty, and have limited battery lives compared to ultrabooks and other more portable choices.

Blue and white lit keys on the Acer Predator Triton 300, our selection for the best affordable gaming laptop.

The reason we like this one: It's hard to beat the value offered by the Acer Predator Triton 300 (PT315-53-79FG) when it comes to gaming. It's capable of running the vast majority of new games at resolutions greater than medium while still delivering reasonable frame rates. It has a high-refresh-rate display and a comfortable RGB keyboard, and it keeps its most-touched surfaces cool during extended gaming sessions. If you're playing a game and the laptop's fans are running at full blast, you'll find it impossible to hear anything even if the speakers are turned up to maximum level. If you've never worn headphones while gaming, the Triton 300 will make you do so.

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