Best Budget Gaming Laptops Under 1200 [2021] | Guide & Reviews

Gaming laptops can often be costly, and even the most passionate gamers can find them a bit pricey sometimes, compared to the features they offer. Gamers are often ready to pay any price in exchange for the most speedy gaming device they can acquire, but everyone has a budget.

Markets are filled with over-priced gaming laptops offering low-quality hardware that could not even run a slightly heavier game. Some don’t even last for more than a year! 

Budget gaming laptops are harder to find but making the most out of your money is a skill. While the norm out there is that “the more you pay, the more you get,” your decisions should now be economical and wise.

Whatever value you pay for your gaming device, if buying in 2020, you need to be conscious of every feature offered at that price. Along with other gaming expenses like product activations and buying that perfect rifle, it is crucial to saving money on one side to have enough for the other!

Many gaming laptops costing above 2000 USD are the ones that have the latest generation processor and the perfect chassis. But what if you’re told that on research, whatever products you get for 2000 USD, you can get the very exact specs in a processor and graphics processor for just under 1200 USD.  Or even under a thousand dollars! Instead of comparing the features and prices of every couple of laptops you come across, and become a “hardware versus price” human scanner, just go through the best picks below that we have gathered to give you a perfect list of the best gaming laptops under 1200 USD.

Highly Rated Picks – Top 10 Gaming Laptops Under 1200 Dollars

  1. ASUS TUF Gaming A15 Gaming Laptop
  2. Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop – AN 517-51-76V6
  3. Asus TUF FX505DT 15.6-inch FHD Gaming Laptop
  4. Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop
  5. Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop
  6. Sager NP6858EQ – High FPS
  7. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
  8. Evoo Gaming 15.6” Laptop
  9. ROG Zephyrus G15 (2020) Ultra Slim – GA502IU-ES76
  10. 2020 MSI GF75 Thin Gaming Laptop

1. ASUS TUF Gaming A15 Gaming Laptop

ASUS TUF Gaming A15 Gaming...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR6 Graphics (Base: 1380MHz, Boost:...
  • AMD Ryzen 5 4600H Processor (up to 4.0 GHz)
  • 15.6” 144Hz FHD (1920x1080) IPS-Type display
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD | 8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM | Windows 10 Home

This budget gaming laptop with an NVIDIA graphic and 8GB RAM costs just 750 dollars. ASUS has a name in gaming laptops, and indeed, the hardware quality is unquestionable. For the GPU-based games out there, this laptop has GTX 1650, which would suit any gamer’s needs best. 

With an IPS display and an incredible refresh rate of 144Hz on a 15-inch display, this gaming laptop is affordable and would make your gaming experience just as powerful even if your pocket is a little short! It has an anti-dust technology that would solve the issue for those who look for a long-lasting device. 

It has just the right balance between your gaming needs and the value of your money. The main catchy point for which this device is highly rated is its outstanding performance. If you wish to outperform the enemy and make your team win with the best killing streak, you have the best gaming laptop under 1200 USD right here!

Pros

  • Latest dust-clean technology
  • Long-lasting system
  • Best value for money
  • Good keyboard response

Cons

  • Low colors 
  • Loud fans

2. Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop,...
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor (Up to...
  • 17.3" Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit Display | 144Hz Refresh...
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory | 256GB NVMe SSD (2 x PCIe M.2 Slots - 1...
  • Wireless: Intel Wireless-AC 9560 802.11ac Gigabit WiFi 5 | LAN:...

The Acer Nitro 5 is right under the bar of 1200 USD, being highly rated because of its low price and many features. It is a 9th generation core i7 laptop with the perfect graphic processor containing an NVIDIA RTX 2060, which ensures your game graphics’ buttery running. With 16GB memory, this laptop offers you the memory mostly offered by inexpensive gaming systems. The VRAM offered is an incredible 6 GB, which usually runs every heavy game. 

The screen resolution is just as perfect as any expensive gaming laptop. It has a huge screen size of 17 inches and offers a high-definition display with the same response rate as the previous ASUS laptop on our list, which is 144Hz. Awe-inspiring is a battery life of 8 hours that can stretch up to 9 hours while you enjoy the gaming experience with full ease. 

This perfect budget gaming laptop comes with CoolBoost technology with dual fans for the system’s longevity, which will never let your device overheat. Talking of the keyboard, this one’s a backlit keyboard, which will ease gaming directions and give it the perfect game-centric look that you wish! It is the perfect hardware at the best price that can be offered, a long-lasting system with incredible battery life.

Pros

  • Cooling technology
  • User-controlled cooling
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Weak body
  • Sound issues

3. Asus TUF FX505DT 15.6-inch FHD Gaming Laptop

ASUS TUF FX505DT Gaming...
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB graphics (base: 1395MHz, Boost:...
  • Quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 r5-3550h processor
  • 15.6” 120Hz full HD (1920x1080) IPS-type display
  • 256GB NVMe SSD | 8GB DDR4 RAM | Windows 10 Home

This is another laptop rated higher than average with all the mid-range features a gamer can demand. It has a memory of 8GB RAM, which is not too high but not as low as below 4GB, which is pretty low for a gaming laptop. It is a perfect option for the people who aim for a “not-to-heavy” device while also making sure any heavy games do not make a device lag or heat up.

The best keyboard this price range can buy you, an RGB backlit with the best speed you can demand, a smooth performance while you direct yourself inside the gaming world. As for the graphics, at a price of just 741 dollars, this device offers an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, mostly found in high-priced gaming laptops. 

This gaming laptop has a “military standard construction,” which means high-portability and longevity of the best gaming laptop under 1200 USD. Durability is a huge factor for which gamers buy the most expensive devices, which you get here for just below 1000 dollars.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Good performance 
  • Good audio

Cons

  • Weak battery life
  • Weak graphics

4. Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop,...
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4.5...
  • 15.6" Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit display | 144 hertz...
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory | 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD (2 x PCIe M.2...
  • LAN: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port) | Wireless:...

This is another Acer Nitro 5 device in its latest series, which has fewer features than the version listed above, but just as much quality and return for money. It is another device made for mid-range gamers and offers many features for just a price of 999 dollars. This is a lower price for such an extensive range of features and such nice GPU settings. 

A 9th generation device with the speed of most high-priced devices has an HD display of a perfect 15-inch screen, a backlit display attracting many, with a response rate of 144Hz. Nowhere does this device fail to be an idea for mid-range or even high-range gamers. The specs are very similar to the pricey gaming laptops in the market. 

The list of high-level specs goes on to the system’s graphics, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, and a VRAM of 6GB. For all the gamers who play 3-4 hours on average, this device is overkill. It has a remarkable FPS of 80-86 per second while playing heavy games. In short, this device has much power at a low price and can run your favorite games on high graphics settings ideally.

Pros

  • Good value for the price
  • Good FPS
  • Good graphics

Cons

  • Weak fan performance
  • Weak body

5. Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop

Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop,...
  • Welcome to the next generation of gaming performance with the AMD...
  • Enjoy fast refresh and deep colors with a 144 Hz refresh rate and...
  • The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti GPU is a blazing-fast supercharger...
  • Get maximum performance via Dual Burn Support, which pushes the...

This Lenovo device is an affordable one with a new generation AMD Ryzen 7 processor.  It has improved hardware and a game-centric display. The display and screen resolution are selling points of this laptop. With again an IPS display and a 15-inch screen of 1920×1080. Such a screen is easily available for under 1200 dollars on many ASUS devices as well. 

Talking of speed, this gaming laptop runs most games at a 60 frame rate per second, which is ideal, considering its price. For the games with low graphic settings, this device is overpowered because it offers an NVIDIA GTX 1660, rarely offered at a price of below 1200 dollars!

The secret behind its perfect framerates is a technology known as the “Dual Burn Support.” The RAM is too much if you’re a mid-range gamer, you can easily have a whole library of your favorite light-GPU games and spend hours and hours in the gaming world (since the battery is extraordinary too!).

Pros

  • Good audio
  • Long battery life
  • Good framerate

Cons

  • Average graphics
  • Bad touchpad positioning

6. Sager NP6858EQ – High FPS

Sager NP6858EQ 15.6-Inch Thin...
  • Display: 15.6” Thin Bezel Full HD 144Hz, Wide View Angle (1920x...
  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core Processor |...
  • Graphic Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti 4GB GDDR6
  • Ram: 32GB DDR4 2933MHz | Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD

This Sager device is huge for its price. It has a huge RAM of 32 GB, which can cater to your gaming needs to the core. If needed, as there have been many demands relating to it, this laptop can be both a working and a gaming device. This dual-use makes it even more valuable and worthy in comparison to the price charged for it. 

It has a GTX 1650 GPU, giving you the right graphics performance even on high settings and not letting the FPS go down. The laptop has a multi-color keyboard making it even more appealing. The core quality of the keyboard is its smooth and untroubled response. 

It can easily run your games on a stable and constant FPS rate, so that is an area you should ease yourself. The battery life is also rated to be reliable and not deceiving what’s shown in the product description. With a speedy SSD and an incredible memory, this device is a complete gaming laptop and multi-purpose simultaneously for just 1200 dollars.

Pros

  • High and stable FPS
  • Lightweight
  • High-rated display
  • Much storage and hardware at a low price

Cons

  • Noisy fans
  • Shaky battery life

7. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

Acer Predator Helios 300...
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 5.0...
  • Overclockable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6 GB of dedicated...
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS display...
  • 16 GB DDR4 2933MHz Dual-Channel Memory, 512GB NVMe SSD (2 x M.2...

This Acer gaming laptop is a high GPU device with 6 GB VRAM and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, the latest generation of NVIDIA graphic cards. With the competition between AMD and NVIDIA ever-increasing, this version of graphics beats all with a speed none can match, not at least a gaming laptop worth 1200 dollars. 

With an LED-lit keyboard (backlit), this is the best affordable gaming laptop for sure. It offers a wide range of configuration options that allow you to personalize the gaming experience to no limits. A large number of ports and wireless medium availability enables the user to experience a shared gaming experience and get started anywhere, anytime. 

The color depth is admirable, and there have been no complaints relating to screens from past reviews, which means just as promised, the frame rate and response rate are incredible, and even on high titles, they run smooth and buttery. The sleek body is elegant and weighs 5 pounds, which is slightly more than other devices with this much hardware. The good part is, the hardware is highly durable, and you can enjoy any AAA title to the fullest.

Pros

  • Stable performance
  • Unique design
  • LED-lit keyboard
  • Good display features

Cons

  • Crash issues
  • If too old, it harms speed and performance

8. Evoo Gaming 15.6” Laptop

Evoo Gaming 15.6” Laptop,...
  • Gaming Laptop
  • 15.6" FHD 120Hz Display
  • Tuned by THX Display & Audio
  • THX Spatial Audio

With an AMD processor, this device is certainly cheap and made for a budget player. Because of a never-ending intel versus AMD debate, we know how AMD processors are often low priced while maintaining a nice clock speed. It has a huge RAM of 512 GB, which is mind-blowing compared to the price offered. 

With this amount of memory, it is sure that the device is multi-purpose rather than just suiting your gaming needs. Unlike most devices listed above, this one is much silent and has decent speakers. The fans are very less noisy.

Noisy fans are a big factor pulling the rating of most gaming devices down, undoubtedly most gaming devices heat up at times, and the cooling process should be as calm as possible. This EVOO gaming laptop is a very noiseless device apart from the game sounds that you love. 

The THX Spatial audio is a form of 360 degrees sound technology. The main selling point of this device is this audio feature. If you’re not a brand-conscious gamer and look for variety outside the names that dominate the market, you should definitely list this gaming laptop as an option.

Pros

  • Noiseless fan
  • Good speakers
  • The high frame rate at 1080p

Cons

  • Restricted graphics
  • Low battery life

9. ROG Zephyrus G15 (2020) Ultra Slim

ROG Zephyrus G15 (2020) Ultra...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6 with ROG Boost (Base:...
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS processor (up to 4.2GHz)
  • 15.6” 144Hz IPS-Type Full HD (1920x1080) display
  • 16GB 3200MHz DDR4 RAM | 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD | Backlit Precision...

This gaming laptop is an ultra-slim AMD Ryzen 7. It has an IPS display, a nice cooling system for the longevity of the hardware. Monitor performance is incredible. The response rate goes up to 140Hz on low graphics and light games. On high graphics, it is around 80Hz. Speed and response rate are the most well-rated factors in this device. In comparison to the price, there is rarely a budget gaming laptop offering this screen speed amount. 

 The response rate of the keyboard is just as smooth. The Precision gaming keyboard is backlit. The device overheats a little, but the cooling technology is highly reliable. For 3-4 hour gaming sessions, this laptop is the best option. However, for a longer gaming period on relatively heavy games, slight lagging issues have been seen. Such heating issues are more frequent in other devices costing 1000 dollars or a bit above. This laptop comparatively has much fewer issues in this regard. 

This gaming laptop is competent and high-performance. The body is strong, and the hinges/joints are very well-built. This makes the laptop body very durable. The chassis is also well-manufactured, and there are hardly any low ratings related to it. Such a powerful device for just a thousand dollars is definitely worth it.

Pros

  • Good monitor performance
  • Good keyboard response
  • High-rated for processor speed

10. 2020 MSI GF75 Thin Gaming Laptop

MSI GF75 17.3" Gaming Laptop,...
  • MSI GF75 17.3" Gaming Laptop, i5-10300H, 8GB, 128GB SSD+1TB

MSI is a higher quality brand and has a name in gaming devices. Mostly the MSI series are much expensive and offer quality hardware. This is one of the very rare budget gaming laptops by MSI. You should not miss this one opportunity and go all out for this masterpiece. From body to hardware, this one will make you outperform and never let you down. 

With a lower price, some minor compromises on color and graphics are required. But this is rare because from gamers of Sims to Valorant, such reviews haven’t much been heard. The device has a high screen-to-body ratio, enabling a perfect body position while enjoying your favorite games. 

Along with this, it is a highly portable device because of its lightweight and thin body. The screen is a huge 17.3 inches. The speed is, however, a bit low, being barely 2.3 GHz. For infrequent gamers, this is the best budget gaming laptop and will make you outperform many.

Pros

  • Good for budget gamers 
  • high screen to body ratio
  • Thin and light

Cons

  • Color-depth issues
  • Weak graphics at high-settings

The Substantial Components To Look At – Buying Guide

Processor

A sound processor isn’t an essential requirement of usual systems, but this part is of particular importance for a gaming laptop. A sound processor ensures the speed of games like Assassin’s Creed and other speedy games. An Intel Core i7 is the most recommended version, but many games run just as well on core i5. We should also keep in mind that even an i7 can give a laggy performance.

On the contrary, if you search for the right quality of even an i5 processor, your gaming laptop can have the best speed as required. Even more powerful laptops come with core i9 processors, which are a bit pricey. But the good news is, even the heaviest and GPU-intensive games are catered by an Intel core i7 easily. Luckily, we can easily find this quality in laptops costing under 1200 dollars. 

Graphics

Graphics are the most crucial aspect of a gaming laptop. While choosing the best gaming laptop for under 1200 dollars, some think that they’ll have to compromise on the graphics. However, AMD and even higher NVIDIA GTX high-quality GPUs can easily be found in higher brands like MSI and Aspire for just up to a thousand dollars! The ideal hardware contains NVIDIA GTX 1050 or 1060.

These are the necessary specs to look for if you’re a hardcore gamer and you wish to enjoy the most GPU-intensive games like Forza Horizon 4 and GTA V. An RPM of up to 5400 or above is ideal for best gaming. Conscious gamers always look for laptops like MSI and Razorblade, and here in our top picks, we have listed the best to make you choose the best affordable gaming laptop. 

Memory

Your laptop’s memory is a core concern when buying the best budget laptop in 2020. Usually, a RAM of 4GB works on a nice amount of games, but it is recommended for occasional gamers who aren’t very brand conscious. However, for gamers who never settle for less than the best, the essential requirement is 8GB RAM.

Recommended RAM specs can go up from 16 GB to 32 GB, making you forget there is a limit to how much you can download! Some games are so heavy themselves, and some have so many extension packs that you can’t always calculate RAM while playing. Such a device is hardly available at a low price. VRAM is also an important component. A 6GB of VRAM is recommended with 60 FPS to play almost any game you wish. 

Screen Resolution

Your screen resolution is the most attractive factor in a gaming device. A screen of 15 to 17 inches or above is ideal for gaming purposes. A resolution of 1920 x 1080 is recommended for most games. High dynamic panels and higher pixel resolutions come easily for under 1200 dollars on an average gaming device that can handle much GPU. The color-depth is also taken into account while you play the game.

The deep and saturated color you get, the better the gaming experience you’ll get. Another important factor is the refresh rate of your monitor. Usually, a response speed of 140 Heartz is recommended. You can easily find this on laptops under 1200 USD. 

Keyboard

A backlit keyboard is the basic need of a gaming laptop. Although the touchpad isn’t the most common need of a gamer, better positioning of the touchpad is also a key factor to notice while checking a device’s body. Another name for this is the “key travel” area that some users are conscious of. Key travel area means the keyboard’s design relating to how much space there is between the touchpad and keyboard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are gaming laptops a waste of money?

Gaming laptops are not a bad investment for a passionate gamer, and since this article aims to show you the best budget laptops in 2020, most of your money concerns will be sidelined here. Ordinary laptops can’t handle the load of a heavy game. The usual speed of everyday-use devices isn’t as much as the gaming laptops. The enthusiast gamers always prefer to invest a bit into their interests, and the hardware they get in return is extraordinary!

What laptops are suitable for gaming and work?

For users who are gamers but are finding such a multi-purpose device, a gaming laptop would have enough RAM for your office needs and a speed for your gaming needs as well. So buying a high-memory gaming device is the best option. A laptop with an excellent CPU and GPU should do the work.

Are gaming laptops worth it in 2021?

A laptop with the hardware that suits your needs, or one that costs just fine, which can be upgraded if your needs increase, is an excellent device to invest in. In 2020 many laptops have such mind-blowing features that gamers searching for a nice gaming laptop shouldn’t even think twice. You’ll be sure when you realize how good hardware you can get at a meager price.

Do gaming laptops last long?

Gaming laptops from renowned brands like Acer, MSI, or Dell last a long time and are portable. A laptop body is the first thing you should notice while buying if you aim for a long-lasting and portable gaming laptop. The longevity of a system also depends on the quality of the hardware.

How much should I spend on a gaming laptop?

Gaming laptops have a large variety of hardware to consider. It depends highly on your needs, how high the price can go. Gaming laptops range from below 500 to above 2500 USD. However, for an average mid-range laptop, you need to spend around dollar 800 to 1200. Usually, the limit is 1000, but an extra 200 is recommended if your gaming needs are high.

Conclusion

We can see that a lower price has minimum impacts on the quality of hardware you buy if you do the right research on system specs. Keeping in mind every component of the CPU and other features and having accurate graphics knowledge, you can easily outperform your gaming fellows by opting for the best budget gaming laptop. This article offers you a list to make your decision wiser for buying the best gaming laptop under 1200 dollars in 2020.

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