The Best Cheap Gaming Laptop

The Best Cheap Gaming Laptop

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Our pick

Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL

Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL

The best cheap gaming laptop

The Predator Helios 300 offers excellent performance for a low price, and it’s the only laptop with our recommended specs that keeps cool enough. Plus, it has more memory and a high-refresh-rate screen.

Buying Options

$1,900* from Newegg

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,072.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is the only gaming laptop with our recommended specs that keeps its components, and the surfaces you touch most often, cool enough during games so it won’t overheat or burn your fingers. Plus, it comes with useful extras like 16 GB of RAM and a high-refresh-rate screen. Its keyboard and trackpad are responsive and comfortable, and the laptop is easy to upgrade if you want more storage in the future. But its fans issue an annoying whine during gaming, its battery won’t last a full day, and it comes with a ton of bloatware. We recommend the PH315-52-78VL model with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti graphics processor with 6 GB of dedicated memory, an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 16 GB of RAM, a 256 GB solid-state drive, and a 15-inch 1920×1080 144 Hz display. No other laptop we’ve tested provides as much gaming performance for the price.

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Budget pick

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-54-51M5

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-54-51M5

Cheaper, less powerful

The Acer Nitro 5 is the best gaming laptop under $1,000, but it won’t play more demanding games for as many years, and its screen isn’t as nice. It has much longer battery life, though, if you need to use your laptop for work and for non-gaming tasks.

Buying Options

$815* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $830.

If you want a gaming laptop for less than $1,000, get the Acer Nitro 5. Its weaker graphics won’t play all the newest, most demanding games as well and it doesn’t support VR, but it is powerful enough for classic titles and less demanding modern games. The Nitro 5 keeps cool enough; although its default fans are a bit less annoying than the Predator Helios 300’s, they’re just as loud when running at max speed. The keyboard and trackpad are solid, but the Nitro 5’s screen isn’t as nice—reds and greens look dull, and the display has a standard 60 Hz refresh rate. The Nitro 5 has a few hours more battery life than the Helios 300, though, which is more convenient for students who need their laptop to get through a full day of classes. But its lid has a bit more flex, and the Nitro 5 comes with just as much bloatware as our top pick. We recommend the AN515-54-51M5 model with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics processor with 4 GB of dedicated memory, an Intel Core i5-9300H processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 128 GB solid-state drive, a 1 TB hard drive, and a 15-inch 1920×1080 60 Hz display.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL

Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL

The best cheap gaming laptop

The Predator Helios 300 offers excellent performance for a low price, and it’s the only laptop with our recommended specs that keeps cool enough. Plus, it has more memory and a high-refresh-rate screen.

Buying Options

$1,900* from Newegg

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,072.

Budget pick

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-54-51M5

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-54-51M5

Cheaper, less powerful

The Acer Nitro 5 is the best gaming laptop under $1,000, but it won’t play more demanding games for as many years, and its screen isn’t as nice. It has much longer battery life, though, if you need to use your laptop for work and for non-gaming tasks.

Buying Options

$815* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $830.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter
Keyword: The Best Cheap Gaming Laptop

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