Games today need a lot of power to run properly, and this power does not come cheap. A good gaming laptop would generally cost over $900, but you can find laptops for less that could still satisfy the requirements of a casual gamer. Given below are five of the best budget gaming laptops you can find at present.
HP Pavilion DV6-6135DX
Available for less than $450, the HP Pavilion DV6-6135DX is technically a desktop replacement laptop. However, it is packed with enough power and performance to work as a good gaming system as well, including a Blu-ray drive. Its A-Series accelerated processing unit from AMD is not very powerful, but what matters more is its auto-switching graphics system, which can handle most modern games. However, overheating is a big problem for this laptop.
The HP Pavilion DV6-6135DX has an A8-3500M processor with a base speed of around 1.5 GHz and a turbo speed of 2.4 GHz. It is fitted with 6GB DDR3 RAM, which is enough memory for running games today. The processor’s new Llano technology works in a way similar to Intel’s Sandy Bridge, allowing the laptop to switch from the integrated AMD Radeon HD 6620G graphics unit to the more powerful AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics card.
Notable features of this laptop include:
- Blu-ray drive
- 6 GB RAM
- Powerful GPU
- Auto-switching graphics system for better battery life
Click here to read more about the HP Pavilion DV6-6135DX
Lenovo IdeaPad Y570
The next option is also a desktop replacement, but the Lenovo Y570 is more powerful than it looks. Its boring black exterior masks its impressive performance. Powered by the Intel Core i5 processor, the Y570 offers the processing performance that the HP Pavilion DV6-6135DX cannot provide. In terms of graphics performance, the Y570 has an NVidia GeForce GT 555 card that delivers enough juice for running modern games. The laptop’s switching graphics technology saves battery life too.
The $500-laptop can play most modern games with good performance. It gives around 60 fps with Crysis, and performs significantly better than the Dell XPS 15Z, although it does suffer in terms of battery life. This desktop replacement is good enough to power the needs of any performance enthusiast thanks to its good i5 processor and one of the best graphic cards available in this price range.
The notable features of this laptop are:
- Powerful Nvidia GPU
- Graphics switching technology for battery life
- Second-generation I5 processor
Click here to read more about the Lenovo IdeaPad Y570.
Acer Aspire AS3830TG-6431
Unlike the desktop replacements mentioned above, the Acer Aspire A3830TG-6431 is a slim and portable ultra-book. It is similar to the Lenovo Y570 in that it too lacks the exterior finesse of its competitors. Unlike the prettier Samsung Series 9 and Apple Macbook Air, the Acer Aspire A3830TG-6431 has a rather utilitarian look. However, it has some great specs, with an Intel core i5 processor and a decent NVidia graphics card. Of course, its power does make the Aspire heavier than other ultrabooks, but it offers good battery life and comes at an affordable price of around $499.
The 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 2410M processor used inside the Aspire is significantly more powerful than other ultrabooks. The laptop also comes with an NVidia GeForce GT 540M graphics card, which is rare among other competitors that only offer integrated Intel graphics cards. The NVidia Optimus feature helps retain the battery life of the laptop by switching graphics cards whenever necessary.
The gaming experience is a little dulled out in the Acer Aspire when compared to desktop replacement laptops because of its small 13-inch screen. The edges of the screen look a little bland as well, but the Aspire offers great performance in a market segment where companies value small size rather than performance.
Given below are some of the best features of this laptop:
- Ultraportable design
- Good batter life
- Considerable processing power for an ultrabook
- Decent Nvidia GPU
Click here to read more on the Acer Aspire AS3830TG-6431.
Toshiba Satellite P755-S5269
The Toshiba Satellite P755-S5269 does cost more than $900, but offers enough gaming performance for its price. The 15-inch desktop replacement laptop comes has an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor. The switchable NVidia graphics card does very well as a gaming GPU. With bigger dimensions and weight, it is not as portable as other competing desktop replacements. However, it is a great choice for those who want to play games, edit audio or video, or do anything that uses its powerful processor.
Priced at around $999, the Toshiba offers a processing performance that beats the Lenovo Y570 and Dell XPS 15Z. While processing power may be important, it is not enough to deliver a good gaming experience. Graphics performance is more important, and this is delivered by the Toshiba through its NVidia GeForce GT 540M discrete graphics card.
Given below are its main features:
- Strong processing power
- Good Nvidia graphics card
- Auto-switching system for battery life
Read more about the Toshiba Satellite P755 here.
Dell XPS 15Z
Dell’s XPS Series is only behind Alienware in terms of power and performance. Although it is usually considered more of a business laptop, the serious power inside an XPS laptop cannot be ignored. The XPS 15Z in particular has powerful specs. It looks as amazing as an Apple Macbook Pro and costs around half as much, but just makes it under the $900 line at $880. It gets the usual Intel quad-core processing power, but its NVidia GeForce GT 525M graphics card has enough juice to run most modern intensive 3D games. The screen comes with a resolution of 1,920 X 1,080, which is quite impressive and adds a lot to the gaming experience. However, its widescreen resolution of 1,366 X 768 pixels is also noteworthy.
The laptop has an Intel Core i5 processor, which holds its own. The 6GB of DDR3 RAM is enough for running the most intensive programs, including Photoshop CS5, which opens in around 4 seconds. One of the best things about the Dell XPS 15Z is that it does not sacrifice external looks for performance. It looks just as gorgeous as the $2,000-plus MacBook Pro with its high-grade aluminium enclosure. On the downside, it lacks a Blu-ray drive and it is fitted with a 500 GB hard drive, which is not as spacious as the 750 GB hard drives you get on most other laptops.
Here are the main features of this laptop:
- Sleek and refined exterior design
- Large, high-resolution screen for better gaming experience
- Powerful processor and GPU combination
Click here to read more about the Dell XPS 15Z.
You can also read more about the best gaming laptops in our gaming laptop buying guide right here.