Are Gaming Laptops Worth It In 2022? Or a Waste of Money. When will gaming laptop prices drop

For the best gaming experience on an inexpensive gaming laptop, you want to make sure you have the most affordable graphics power right from the start as it can’t be upgraded afterwards, unlike memory or storage.

Best cheap gaming laptop under 400,000 for 2022

Good entry-level graphics chips mean great performance for less money.

You can find decent gaming laptops ranging from $ 700 to $ 400,000, but good deals tend to disappear quickly due to limited inventory due to a shortage of microprocessors. However, you can still find reliable gaming laptops with AMD or Intel processors, a newer entry-level discrete graphics card, and displays with faster refresh rates.

This means that you are not limited to low definition games on these machines, and you can get an immersive experience by playing games like Fortnite, Minecraft, Apex Legends, CS: GO, and PUBG. It still costs a dime a dozen to get an inexpensive gaming laptop, but thrifty gamers can save even more money if they’re searching for the best cheap laptop deals for a refurbished or open box from the likes of Best Buy, Amazon, Micro Centrum, and Woot .

The recommendations below are based on our reviews and testing, and are designed to help you get the perfect gaming experience on a cheap laptop. And if you want to improve your gaming and work-at-home experience, you can have a look at inexpensive gaming hardware to help you with that. We’ll keep updating this list of the best cheap gaming laptops as you browse for new products. Also, if you need help deciphering what specs to look for on a good cheap gaming laptop, head down the list for buying advice.

Dell G15

Dell has streamlined its G Series gaming laptops from three models to just one – and it’s all for the best. Instead of decoding different functions and the quality differences between them, there is only one case with different configurations with 11th Gen Intel CPU or AMD Ryzen 5000 H series CPU. All processors can be paired with up to 6 GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 8 GB DDR4 RAM or 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 256 GB SSD or 512 GB SSD. They’re basically the more budget-friendly version of those from the Alienware department, but they can still play the latest AAA titles. Prices have risen and fallen recently due to delivery issues, so if you’re a player on a budget you may have to wait for the best deal. This gaming laptop has eight USB ports and the laptop comes in two colors.

it’s easy to forget these two when the CPU and graphics card are the heroes. Unfortunately, this means that this could be an area where laptop manufacturers are making subtle cost reductions that you may not notice. For example, RAM may be slower speed, or be single-channel rather than dual-channel.

What is a Gaming Laptop?

Let’s start with the basics. A lot of people think they know what a gaming laptop is but don’t really know. A gaming laptop differs from a standard laptop in three aspects: specifications, case design, and price.

Standard laptops – those used in offices and homes – are simple and focused on the average user. They have a simple design and lower graphics processing power.

In contrast, gaming laptops are designed to meet the high demands of video game processing. As heavier games are made each year, the requirements are increasing and these laptops are needed to support them. So they have strong dedicated GPUs, high-end CPUs, and generally better hardware combinations.

In terms of housing, the developers give these laptops a fancier and more “sci-fi, high-tech” look to stand out from ordinary laptops. Their design includes features such as RGB backlit keyboards, a durable body, machine-like textures, etc.

And of course, when such a product is produced, prices are naturally higher. But the fact that they are often overpriced is also true. But overall, is the price worth it? Let’s answer that.

Are Gaming Laptops Worth It?

The answer to this question, of course, comes down to your personal needs, desires, and budget.

Gaming laptops are worth buying as long as they are in line with your gaming and usage goals. If you want a portable and more powerful gaming experience that can also be tweaked a bit, this type of laptop is a good choice.

For example, if you travel a lot, portability may be important to you. Likewise, you may have other priorities, and as long as the gaming laptop meets your priorities, it’s worth the money. However, it’s better with the console if your goal is just to play.

Like all things, gaming laptops have their pros and cons – let’s take a look at them in detail.

The port selection is a bit weird. You get one USB 2.0 Type-C port and two standard USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports. The laptop is also quite light at 4.4 pounds.

Laptop deal buying tips

If you’ve purchased laptops on the Internet before, you likely realize that there is a wide variety of laptop configurations available.

The processor is a good place to start. Purchase laptops with Intel 10 series or later chips, such as Core i5-10510U or Core i7-11800H (for even more information, see our 10th Gen Intel Mobile Processor Buying Guide); or go with an AMD Ryzen processor (but not an AMD Athlon or A-series chip). Avoid laptops with Pentium or Celeron processors, unless it is a Chromebook (with Chrome OS). You’ll also need to pay attention to gaming laptops as some GPUs like the RTX 3050 Ti don’t offer much of a boost over their RTX 2xxx series cousins, and Nvidia has dropped the Max-Q label on some low-power options. A cheat sheet with CPU and GPU in a laptop can help you with smart shopping.

The display resolution is a real challenge. If you see a laptop labeled “HD” that means 1366 by 768, and it is often not worth your time for a laptop under 13 inches, unless the offer is absolutely unique. What you want is “Full HD” or “FHD” which means 1080p.

Don’t buy laptops with less than 4GB of RAM or 128GB of SSD storage – although on a Chromebook this setup is acceptable. We’ve got more explanations in our laptops compared to the Chromebook Buying Guide, as well as our guide on how to buy an inexpensive no-screw laptop. Also, be careful with eMMC memory, which we don’t recommend for a Windows laptop but works fine on a Chromebook.

Reviews can be helpful. Even if you can’t find an overview of your specific configuration, try the related models. They often give a good idea of ​​the build quality and performance. Also buy from trusted brands. Amazon’s daily laptop deals are currently full of brands that we’ve never tested or talked to (Broage, Teclast, DaySky, Jumper), and it’s worth being cautious.

Most older laptops will run Windows 10, and that’s fine – there’s no rush to upgrade. Windows 10 in S Mode, while annoying, can be easily disabled if you find it on an inexpensive laptop. If you want to buy a Windows 10 PC with the intention of upgrading to Windows 11, we recommend starting here with a list of older laptops that qualify for Windows 11.

Updated January 26 with additional offers and removing expired offers.

In addition to the new design, the HP Omen 15 is very powerful thanks to the genius AMD Ryzen 7 processor and the Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, which is not even a downgraded version of Max-Q.

Aren’t gaming laptops — Razer’s included — already expensive?

Most Razer gaming laptops, such as the Blade 15 Advanced, Blade Stealth 13, and Blade 17, are some of the more expensive offerings on the market. This is especially true of top Razer laptops with RTX 30 series graphics cards and 360Hz screens, which are already expensive in a compressed gaming laptop chassis.

But with the continuing shortage of tokens, these prices will rise even more. The unavailability of GPUs has made gaming laptops and off-the-shelf systems even more expensive in the past two years, and this demand is unlikely to decline for at least another year.

Why are the prices going up?

gaming laptops

Photo: Razer

The lack of chips was triggered by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global supply chain, which resulted in the closure, relocation or reduction of production of many factories. The domino effects were huge as well. For example, the auto industry started ordering fewer chips early in the pandemic, assuming people would travel less – and therefore car sales would be lower.

But the opposite happened: people made more use of their cars to avoid public transport because of pandemic fears. The impact is expected to cost the auto industry around $ 210 billion in revenue alone – so it’s understandable why auto makers have started placing massive future orders for silicon to guarantee future supplies.

Automakers were then forced to place massive orders ahead of time to accommodate the huge shortage. But the real problem is that two-thirds of the semiconductors on the planet are made in Taiwan, specifically by a company called Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC). To make matters worse, Taiwan has been hit by the worst drought in half a century this year – a serious problem considering the 170,000 metric tons of water used each day by Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science Park, the area where most of the country’s semiconductor factories are located. (Officials at the Taiwan Irrigation Agency went so far as to organize a rain worship ceremony in March.)

This severe shortage has further raised the prices of gaming components like CPUs and graphics cards, along with long lags like high refresh rate 4K gaming monitors. And when we add the nature of generational enhancements to things like DDR5 RAM, next-gen GPUs capable of 4K real-time ray tracing, and upcoming CPUs using innovative new architectures, rising prices are no surprise.

In short, gaming laptops have shorter battery life, heating issues, and are more expensive than regular laptops. They offer limited usability in situations where you can benefit from a larger battery or better portability in standard laptops.

Mid-Range Laptops: $600-750$

Now, this is the area where most laptop buyers land. If you are looking for a laptop, it is very likely that you will find the one for you in this regard. Here you have laptops that bring together the best of both worlds; affordable performance.

Laptops at this scale do much more than just browsing the web or streaming movies. You can expect casual play, light photo / video editing, coding and heavy use of MS Office on these laptops. These laptops are perfect for working professionals who need to manage corporate spreadsheets, developers, content creators with fairly light editing requirements, graphics and students. What’s more, they can also act as home computers for the whole family to use.

In summary, the laptops found here are versatile devices that, in principle, can easily cope with most tasks and will certainly meet the requirements of the average user.

Without further ado, here are our picks for some mid-range laptops for you.

1. Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS

  • Display: 15.6 inch IPS display with 1920 × 1080 LED backlight
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • Memory: 256 GB NVMe SSD
  • Graphics: Intel XE Graphics
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home

Price: $ 619.99 (exact since last checked on Amazon)

2. HP Pavilion x360 14”

  • Display: 14 inch FHD 1920 × 1080, edge-to-edge multi-touch glass display
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • Memory: 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Graphics: Intel Iris XE
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home

Price: $ 679.99 (exact since last checked on Amazon)

3. Lenovo Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 Laptop

  • Display: 14 inch FHD 1920 × 1080, 10-point IPS touchscreen
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon graphics
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
  • Operating system: Windows 10

Price: $ 699.00 (Exact since last checked on Amazon)

High-End Laptops: $800-$1000

We are now officially in the big leagues. If money doesn’t matter and you want the absolute best, laptops here are without a doubt the right ones for you. Laptops in this area are absolute beasts that can handle almost any task you throw at them.

These laptops are excellent, high-quality, efficient and user-oriented machines that are a pleasure to operate. The physical markers in this category are solid build quality, excellent fit and finish, and fine workmanship. They have exceptional battery life and can last for days or use intensively. High-end laptops also have decent graphics capabilities, supporting 3D scene rendering and playing the latest games.

High-performance workstations are commonplace in this category. To clarify, these laptops can certainly go through huge spreadsheets, documents, and other files without breaking a sweat. Therefore, any serious professional can use the premium laptops listed here in his workspace. Most of all, they can undoubtedly count on their laptops to give them unparalleled performance and portability. Not to mention going through some heavy photo / video editing is a breeze for these laptops. Of course, all this also comes at a high price.

Here are a few of the best Windows laptops that are sure to make you fall in love with them.

1. Dell XPS 17 9710

  • Display: 17-inch UHD + InfinityEdge touchscreen (3840 × 2400 pixels)
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR4x
  • Storage: 1 TB SSD
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • Processor: Intel Core i9-11900H processor
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro

Price: $ 3,739.99 (exact since last checked on Amazon)

2. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15.6”

  • Display: 15.6 inch FHD QLED touch screen (1920 × 1080)
  • RAM: 16 GB LPDDR4
  • Storage: 512 GB
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 1065G7 processor
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro

Price: 400,029.44 (exact since last check on Amazon)

3. Zenbook UX581

  • Display: 15.6 inch 4K UHD (3840 × 2160) touchscreen
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1 TB PCIe SSD
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-10750H
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro

Price: 3,500,069.99 (exact from last check on Amazon)

Gaming laptops have an average battery life of 4-5 hours. Even though it varies by model, it’s best not to expect anything over 4 hours.

Best cheap gaming laptops 2022

Asus TUF Gaming A15 – Best Overall

Asus TUF A15 (FA506)

  • Pros
    • 144 Hz refresh rate
    • Robust CPU / GPU
    • Colorful design
    • Limited memory
    • The display has no color
    • Best Price Today:

    Asus TUF laptops have long been a great choice for budget gaming, and the A15 is no exception.

    It may not have the best overall result due to screen color, but this is common with inexpensive gaming laptops. It’s Full HD and 144 Hz, and importantly, it is supported by excellent components for little money.

    You can get the AMD Ryzen 5 and Nvidia GTX 1650 for just £ 699, making it a great value, with the Ti model not much else. You just have to accept fairly basic specs elsewhere, unless you’re in the US.

    This blue color also has more sparkle than its competitors.

    Dell G5 15 Gaming – Best Battery Life

    Dell G5 15 for Gaming 5500

    • Pros
      • Impressive battery life
      • 144 Hz refresh rate
      • Robust CPU / GPU
      • Massive design
      • The display has no color
      • Poor keyboard and trackpad
      • Best Price Today:

      Alienware laptops are too expensive to appear on this list, but Dell has affordable gaming laptops on the rest of its lineup.

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

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

      The chunky design is acceptable, but we’d have preferred the keyboard and trackpad to be better.

      Acer Nitro 5 (AN515) – Best Performance

      Acer Nitro 5 (2021)

      • Pros
        • Impressive game in 1080p resolution
        • Solid keyboard
        • 144 Hz refresh rate
        • average battery life
        • The display has no color
        • Best Price Today:

        The Acer Nitro 5 is one of the cheapest gaming laptops, and despite the price, it has great components.

        The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 is a top-of-the-line mainstream graphics card that can handle anything at 1080p, and the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H is a great processor for multitasking and work. The keyboard is comfortable and the laptop is cool and quiet.

        Of course, the low price means a compromise elsewhere. The screen, though 144 Hz, is blurry and the battery life is low. You don’t get a lot of extra features either. But if you want an inexpensive gaming laptop with good core performance, this is a good choice.

        Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i – Best Keyboard

        Lenovo IdeaPad for 3i Gaming

        • Pros
          • Attractive design
          • great keyboard
          • Refresh rate 120 Hz

          How to choose a cheap gaming laptop

          Laptops are complex machines, so you need to think carefully when purchasing one, especially when purchasing a dedicated gaming laptop. Here are the key things to pay attention to and consider before hitting the buy button.

          Graphics card

          For gaming, the graphics card is a critical component of a laptop as it does most of the work while you play the game.

          Better graphics card = better performance (more frames per second), so as a rule, get the best graphics card you can afford.

          There’s plenty to choose from from both Nvidia and AMD, but don’t expect too much from a cheap gaming laptop. Probably the GeForce GTX model, although you can get something like the RTX 2060/3060 if you have more to spend and thus get ray tracing.

          Typically, these will be laptop versions of the same full desktop adapters. Not all are created equal as some devices contain lower wattage versions of the cards – they used to be labeled Max-Q for Nvidia, but the company has removed that system now, so sometimes you’ll have to delve into the specs or read reviews to know exactly what’s inside.

          One of the pitfalls you want to avoid is integrated graphics where the GPU is just part of the main CPU. While they may be decent enough for gaming if you buy the right CPU, they aren’t suited to demanding gaming performance, so it’s unlikely we’ll have one here.

          Asus TUF gaming laptops


          While the GPU does most of the grunt, it’s still important to get a powerful gaming CPU – and if you want to use your laptop for work when you’re not gaming.

          Right now, AMD is king of the castle with its Ryzen processors, but Intel-based laptops are still good if you find a model you especially like.

          According to your graphics cards, get the best you can find and check out our full reviews in our benchmarks to see how well they are doing.

          Read our guide to buying processors for more information.


          In the market for cheap gaming laptops, you are unlikely to find a 4K screen resolution or even Quad HD. However, Full HD is fine for laptop display sizes, and modest resolution will help you get high FPS even though you don’t have the most powerful components.

          Note the high refresh rate as many inexpensive gaming laptops offer either 120Hz or 144Hz – at least twice the traditional 60Hz refresh rate for smooth motion and higher potential frames per second. Not only does it look better, it can give you an edge over other players.

          However, these displays are usually a bit of a disappointment when it comes to areas of performance like color. This is just part of the sacrifice in purchasing a cheaper gaming laptop.

          Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Gaming

          Memory and storage

          it’s easy to forget these two when the CPU and graphics card are the heroes. Unfortunately, this means that this could be an area where laptop manufacturers are making subtle cost reductions that you may not notice. For example, RAM may be slower speed, or be single-channel rather than dual-channel.

          This is an acceptable way to achieve these budget pricing to some extent, but check the specs of the specific model you are purchasing.

          Laptops are complex machines, so you need to think carefully when purchasing one, especially when purchasing a dedicated gaming laptop. Here are the key things to pay attention to and consider before hitting the buy button.

          The best cheap gaming laptop

          The A15 offers great performance for a low price, and its WASD keys stay cool enough. Additionally, it has an RGB keyboard and a high refresh rate screen.

          Buying Options

          * At the time of publication, the price was 400,000 .

          Recommended configuration

          Editor: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Screen: 15.6 inch 1920 × 1080 144 Hz
          Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti with 6 GB VRAM Libra: 5 pounds
          Memory: 16 giga bytes Dimensions: 14.1 by 10.1 by 1 inch
          Storage: 512 GB SSD Battery Life Tested: 7.3 hours

          Every cheap gaming laptop comes with compromises, but the Asus TUF Gaming A15 (TUF506IU-ES74) doesn’t sacrifice things that make gaming fun. Even in newer games, it provides solid gaming performance for the price. It also keeps the most-touched surfaces cool during long gaming sessions and has a high refresh rate screen that looks good. It also has good battery life (as for a gaming laptop) and is easy to upgrade if you need more storage space in the future. But its fans are loud during gaming, there’s no way to manually run the fans at full speed for extra cooling if you need to, and some owners have reported issues with the A15 trackpad.

          Horizontal bar graph comparing keyboard temperatures over the course of a game for the cheap gaming laptops we tested. Two of our picks are at the top of the chart in blue and six of our contest entries are in black below.

          After 30 minutes of Tomb Raider, the Asus TUF Gaming A15 had the coolest WASD keys in this category, followed by our runner-up, the HP Omen 15. (While we tested the other models listed here with default fan settings, we tested the MSI GF65 with the maximum number of fans.)

          With the default fan settings, the TUF Gaming A15 kept the worst-hit WASD keys as the coolest of any laptops with equivalent graphics we tested this year. After playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider for half an hour, these keys measured 87 ° F, which was neutral and not even warm to my fingers. In the same test, the internals of A15 were in the warmer end, with the CPU at 104 ° C and the GPU at 82 ° C. We observed similar surface and internal temperatures in our Overwatch testing. Despite such high internal temperatures, we didn’t experience any performance drops that would indicate thermal throttling in games, and the A15 kept its cool where it counts.

          Like many of the other cheap gaming laptops we tested this year, the A15 has a vent on the right side, on the back, which can blow warm air over your right hand. We barely noticed warm air during in-game testing, and we don’t expect it to be a major problem.

          Red and blue horizontal bar graph comparing indoor temperatures over the course of a game for the eight low-cost gaming laptops we tested. The entries for two of our types are highlighted in yellow.

          Despite the A15’s higher internal temperatures, we didn’t experience any thermal throttling in our gaming and performance tests of this laptop. (We tested the other models listed here with the default fan settings, but tested the MSI GF65 with the maximum number of fans.)

          Our pick: Flaws but not dealbreakers

          Settings page interface for Asus TUF Gaming A15, our pick of the best cheap gaming laptop.

          You can choose from four performance settings in Asus’ software, but you can’t manually blast the fans from there.

          Asus’ Armory Crate software allows you to choose from four performance modes – Performance, Turbo, Silent, and Windows – but it doesn’t offer the ability to just blast the fans for maximum cooling like our other types do. We prefer more control over laptop fans, but since the A15 keeps the surfaces you touch most often cool enough, this drawback isn’t a hindrance.

          As with most gaming laptops, the A15 fans can get quite loud during intense gaming. We found that fan noise was more or less average among the laptops we tested this year, with a bit of annoying high timbre when the fans were running at full speed.

          Close up on the Asus TUF Gaming A15 trackpad and red backlit keyboard, our pick of the best cheap gaming laptop.

          While the A15 trackpad responded to gestures, clicks, and taps in the vast majority of our tests, we found a few complaints in owner reviews about trackpad sticking or unresponsive. We were able to recreate the problem by doing multiple (and multiple) tasks simultaneously, trying to move the trackpad pointer, but in the same situation we didn’t encounter any problems with the external mouse. This seems to be a driver issue – we hope Asus fixes it in a future update – but it’s quite rare and easy to work around that we don’t consider it to fix the problem.

          The A15 ships with the usual amount of bloatware – it’s not overwhelming as with our budget pick, but we still recommend removing junk either one program at a time or using the Windows Refresh utility. If you decide to start over, you may need to download some important drivers and software again from the Asus website.

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