The Best Affordable Gaming Laptops Of 2022

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It can be a task and a half to find a gaming laptop that's capable of playing all the games you love and won't completely empty your bank account. There are gaming laptops on the market that cost $3,000 or even over $4,000, but there are also reasonably priced gaming laptops. Keep in mind, an affordable gaming laptop is in a different price range than simply an affordable laptop.

There are plenty of super inexpensive laptops out there, but they usually aren't able to handle even the least demanding games. In order to play video games on a laptop, you have to meet certain internal spec requirements — and those beefier specs add up quickly. The most important spec to consider when searching for a gaming laptop is the graphics card. This is because you can often swap out or add extra RAM and storage, and most newer CPUs can handle whatever you throw at them, but you can't upgrade your GPU.

ASUS TUF Gaming F15

The ASUS TUF Gaming F15 is the most affordable gaming laptop on this list. Despite its low price, it has some pretty powerful internal specs. There's an Intel Core i5-10300H processor with speeds up to 4.5 GHz and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4 gigabytes of dedicated GDDR6 RAM, all working together to create silky graphics and speedy performance.

Then, you'll start off with 8 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM and 512 gigabytes of storage via an NVMe M.2 SSD, but there's room to upgrade once you've saved up the money. You can swap out either of your existing sticks of RAM for one or two with a higher capacity. There's an extra slot for another M.2 SSD, too, giving you plenty of future storage space for all your favorite games.

The 1080p 15.6-inch display is large and sharp enough to fully immerse you in any game, but there's also an HDMI 2.0 port in case you want to connect your laptop to a TV. The IPS-type display can reach refresh rates up to 144Hz, and there's a built-in 7.1-channel surround sound experience, so you're all set to game away on your laptop without connecting another display.

In addition to that HDMI port, there's also an Ethernet port, one USB 2.0 Type-A port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, a 2.5mm audio jack, a Kensington lock, and the proprietary power port. The 90Wh battery lasts over 12.5 hours with just video playback. The TUF Gaming F15 is also equipped with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, Windows 11 Home, a keyboard with RGB backlighting, and it weighs over 5 pounds.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i

Lenovo has some great laptops in general, but the company also has a few that are specifically designed for gaming, including the IdeaPad Gaming 3i laptop. This 2021 series laptop has a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12500H with speeds up to 2.5 GHz and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050. The GPU from NVIDIA is powered by Ampere with new Ray-Tracing Cores and Tensor Cores, which helps your in-game graphics look more realistic.

The IdeaPad Gaming 3i is a pretty hefty laptop — weighing in at 7.7 pounds — that houses an improved cooling system with larger ventilation rates than the previous generation. There are also 8 gigabytes of DDR4 SDRAM inside, along with a 512 gigabyte M.2 TLC SSD for storage and the Windows 11 Home operating system. For ports, this laptop comes with one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port (Thunderbolt 43, DisplayPort 1.4), one HDMI 2.0 port, an RJ-45 Ethernet port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, an audio jack, and a DC-in port.

Whether you're playing games or watching movies, everything looks crisp on the 15.6-inch IPS display, which has a 1080p resolution and a refresh rate of 120Hz. Depending on how bright your screen is or what you're doing on the IdeaPad Gaming 3i, the battery can last up to nine hours in between charges. If you're pressed for time, a quick 15-minute charge gives you a 40% battery boost.

Acer Nitro 5

The Acer Nitro 5 provides specs powerful enough for new games, but depending on how large your favorite game files are, you might end up needing to take advantage of the extra M.2 SSD slot sooner rather than later. By default, you'll have 8 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM — and 4 gigabytes of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM — and 256 gigabytes of storage through an NVME SSD. However, you can swap out one or both of your RAM sticks for a maximum of 32 gigabytes of RAM, and there are two total PCIe M.2 SSD slots as well as one 2.5-inch hard drive bay available.

With a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10300H and a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, you'll be able to play games smoothly and experience immersive elements, like ray-tracing. Plus, your games will look fantastic on the 15.6-inch IPS LED-backlit display with a 1080p resolution, thin bezels, and a 144Hz refresh rate to eliminate screen tearing chances. When your game demands more work from your laptop, Acer's CoolBoost technology increases fan speed by 10% and cooling for your CPU and GPU by 9%. There's a dedicated NitroSense Key on the keyboard that lets you visualize all the details of cooling, loading power, and more.

For some of the more boring — but still super important — details, Acer's Nitro 5 laptop supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, comes with Windows 11 Home, weighs just over five pounds, and has a maximum battery life of 11 hours, a red-backlit keyboard, and built-in support for Alexa. The Nitro 5 also has two built-in stereo speakers with DTS: X Ultra Audio, which creates a 3D spatial landscape and a much more immersive gaming experience. Then, you've got one HDMI 2.0 port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, a DC-in port, an Ethernet port, and an audio jack.

HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15

At just under five pounds, the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 is a thin, lightweight option that's still powerful and budget-friendly. The 9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H processor inside can reach speeds up to 2.4 GHz — up to 4.1 GHz with Intel's TurboBoost tech — and NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1650 GPU works hard to make your games look sharp and realistic. The 15.6-inch micro-edge display also helps your games look great, with 1080p resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate.

HP's Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 has wide vents that maximize airflow and an IR sensor keeps your laptop cool to the touch. If the included 8 gigabytes of DDR4 SDRAM and 256 gigabytes of storage via an NVMe M.2 SSD isn't enough for you, you can swap out the RAM and add another M.2 SSD. Depending on whether you're playing games, watching videos, or just browsing the internet, the battery can last up to eight hours — but definitely expect that to be lower if you're only playing games.

As far as ports go, HP's Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 has one HDMI port, an RJ-45 Ethernet port, one media reader slot, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, an audio jack, and three USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports (two that can only transfer data, and one that supports HP Sleep and Power). The laptop supports Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2, comes with Windows 10 Home installed, and has a full-size backlit keyboard with a 10-key numeric keypad on the right side.

HP Victus

Many of these laptops feature a processor from Intel, but the HP Victus opts for an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor with a max speed of 4.4 GHz. Then, as seen in many other gaming laptops, the HP Victus sports a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU for silky smooth graphics. It's super easy to manage and customize everything within this laptop with the included OMEN hardware and OMEN Gaming Hub.

The 15.6-inch IPS display has micro-edge bezels, which lets you see more of your screen, and combines a 1080p resolution with a max 144Hz refresh rate to reduce lag, image ghosting, and screen tearing. HP's Victus gaming laptop has 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM, 4 gigabytes of dedicated RAM for the graphics card, and a 512-gigabyte NVMe M.2 SSD. With all those specs, you can expect up to eight hours of battery life, and a 30-minute charge can get you from zero to 50%.

Despite having a full-size keyboard, an enlarged touchpad, and a 10-key number pad, the HP Victus barely weighs over five pounds and has a thin, compact design. If you're playing for long periods of time or a particularly demanding game, the updated thermal design should keep your laptop consistently cool. You can hook up a mouse or mechanical keyboard with one of the two USB Type-A ports or the USB Type-C port. Then, there's an Ethernet RJ-45 port, the proprietary power port, an audio jack, an HDMI 2.1 port, and a media card reader.

Dell G15

Dell's G15 laptop is the first on our list to break $900, but when you see its specs, you'll understand why. First off, it pairs an AMD Ryzen 7-5800H CPU — with speeds between 3.2 GHz and 4.4 GHz — with a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti that has 4 gigabytes of dedicated GDDR6 RAM. Then, there's a 1 terabyte PCIe SSD and a whopping 32 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM.

All of those specs work together to make one powerful machine that's capable of handling anything you throw at it, including the most demanding video games. The 32 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM is particularly rare to see in an affordable gaming laptop. Having that much RAM reduces memory latency and increases memory throughput to maximize the processor's performance, which in turn, reduces overall lag while you're gaming.

While everything's working seamlessly below the surface, your favorite games and TV shows look great on the 15.6-inch anti-reflective screen with a 1080p resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The Dell G15 supports both Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth, weighs just under 5.5 pounds, and has a red backlit keyboard, stereo speakers, and a Windows 11 Home operating system. Then, there's an Ethernet port, an HDMI 2.1 port, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, one USB 3.2 Type-A port, one USB 3.2 Type-C port, an audio jack, and a proprietary power port for charging.

MSI Bravo 15

MSI is one of the more popular brands in the gaming laptop market, but many of their laptops are incredibly expensive. Luckily, MSI's Bravo 15 is relatively affordable while still delivering pretty powerful performance. Inside, there's an AMD Ryzen 7-5800H processor with a max speed of 4.4 GHz, an AMD Radeon RX 5500M GPU, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and a 512-gigabyte NVMe SSD. NVIDIA is the go-to option for many gaming laptops, but AMD's GPU in the MSI Bravo 15 is slightly more affordable and still able to handle the newest, most demanding games.

All your internals stay cool with MSI's exclusive thermal solution: Cooler Boost 5. There are six heat pipes — which have a larger internal diameter than the previous version — and two fans to keep MSI's Bravo 15 laptop cool to the touch. Though the laptop is pretty heavy at just over 8 pounds, it has a thin form factor. The 15.6-inch IPS-Level display has thin bezels, a 144 Hz refresh rate, and 1080p resolution.

This laptop is VR-ready, runs the Windows 11 operating system, supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 6 for lower overall latency, and has Nahimic in-game 3D surround sound for a more immersive gaming experience. Then, you'll be able to connect all the peripherals you want with two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port, one HDMI port that supports 4K at 60Hz, one RJ-45 Ethernet port, one USB 2.0 Type-A port, and an audio jack.

MSI Katana GF66

Teetering around the $1000 price tag, MSI's Katana GF66 remains one of the brand's most affordable gaming laptops, especially for the powerful specs you get in exchange. Much of the laptop's gaming power is a result of the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12650H processor — with a max speed of 4.7 GHz with TurboBoost — and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU. The graphics processor from NVIDIA is powered by Ampere and has new Ray-Tracing and Tensor Cores that allow for the most realistic ray-traced graphics, and therefore, a super immersive gaming experience.

With Dynamic Boost 2.0 technology, the MSI Katana GF66 is able to deliver the necessary power between the GPU, GPU memory, and CPU for optimal performance at all times. The 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM is plenty for multitasking and gaming, and there's 512 gigabytes of storage via an NVMe SSD. Then, the Katana GF66 also features the same Cooler Boost 5 system as the Bravo 15, with two fans, six pipes, and MSI's exclusive thermal grease.

MSI's Katana GF66 laptop is almost half the weight of many of the other laptops on this list, weighing in at only 4.85 pounds. That said, it doesn't skimp on internal specs or the display. The 15.6-inch IPS-Level display has a 1080p resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate. It also has plenty of ports — an HDMI 2.0 port, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port, an Ethernet port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, an audio jack, a DC-in port, and one USB 2.0 Type-A port.

Lenovo Legion 5

While Lenovo's IdeaPad Gaming 3i we mentioned earlier is a great budget option, Lenovo's Legion 5 is slightly more expensive — but won't break the bank — and offers a better overall gaming experience. Inside, there are 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM, an AMD Ryzen 7-5800H processor, and 512 gigabytes of storage with an NVMe SSD. For a gaming laptop, the Legion Five is surprisingly thin and light, weighing in at just over five pounds.

The Legion 5's GPU of choice is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, featuring 2nd Gen Ray-Tracing Cores and 3rd Gen AI Tensor Cores — put simply, this results in your games looking more realistic and accurately showing reflections. The display also plays a part in realistic-looking games. This laptop has a 15.6-inch IPS-Level display with a 165Hz refresh rate, a three millisecond response time, 1080p resolution, and 100% sRGB color accuracy.

Overall, a fully-charged battery might last you about six hours, but it'll recharge quickly and stay cool for long periods with an intelligent intake system and a dual-fan design with quad-channel exhaust systems. You'll also get support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, a TrueStrike keyboard with four-zone RGB backlighting, two 2W speakers with Nahimic Audio, the Windows 10 Home operating system, and a ton of ports — two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports (both with DisplayPort 1.4 and one with power delivery), an audio jack, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, an Ethernet port, and a proprietary power port.

Acer Predator Helios 300

The Acer Predator Helios 300 has an aesthetically pleasing 15.6-inch IPS display with a 144 Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, and 1080p resolution. Inside, you'll find an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H processor with eight cores, 16 threads, and speeds up to 4.6 GHz. Pairing this CPU with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 makes for a powerful gaming combination, ready to take on all of your favorite games — old or new.

There's a 512 gigabyte PCIe Gen 4 SSD, along with an additional slot for an extra M.2 SSD and one 2.5-inch hard drive bay available if you want to add extra storage in the future. Then, there are 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM, but you can swap these out for a max of 32 gigabytes of RAM. Acer's Predator Helios 300 has a special Predator Sense key on the keyboard that lets you overclock, customize RGB backlighting, and monitor your overall system.

The Predator Helios 300 includes Intel Killer DoubleShot Pro technology to let you use Wi-Fi 6 in conjunction with Ethernet for maximum speed and throughput. In addition to the Ethernet port, there's also an audio jack, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port (DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 4), one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (power-off charging), an HDMI 2.1 port, and a Mini DisplayPort 1.4 slot.

With its 5th Generation AeroBlade Fan with 89 blades, the Predator Helios 300 is able to increase air intake and keep your system cool at all times. This laptop runs the Windows 11 Home operating system, weighs a mere 5.07 pounds, has Alexa functionality built-in, and includes DTS:X Ultra speakers for a 360-degree surround sound experience.