The UK's best cheap gaming laptops – Daily Mail

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Best Buys Team
Gaming laptops are known for being expensive. We investigate if it’s possible to find one that offers top performance without breaking the bank.
There’s no avoiding the fact that gaming laptops are pricey pieces of tech. Even the very latest Playstation or Xbox consoles won’t set you back as much as most gaming laptops. Of course, it’s understandable when you think about it: Premium graphics cards, powerful CPUs, sizeable RAM and storage, the latest tech AND portability. It all adds up.
And these are gaming-specific features that a normal laptop just doesn’t possess.
But we have some good news… we’ve rounded up the seven best performing, cheap gaming laptops on the market in the UK (according to us, anyway) – so we’ve done the heavy lifting for you.
When it comes to gaming laptops, the sky’s the limit for how much you can spend. Between the initial laptop purchase and all subsequent hardware upgrades, software and gaming accessories… each of these elements play a crucial role in rendering a stellar gaming experience — at a price.
Top-of-the-line gaming laptops can set you back anywhere from £2,000 to £4,500. Anything less than this is considered cheap. And any new high-spec laptop under £1,000 is almost a miracle.
Still too spenny? It might be worth considering a refurbished laptop – there are plenty on the market, just make sure to do your due diligence first.
Not all gaming laptop features are an absolute necessity. If you want to cut down on costs, it’s best to look for one that includes only the bare basics of what you need. See below for the most crucial elements to consider when purchasing your gaming laptop.
A CPU (core processing unit) is one of the basic hardware components in any laptop. Opting for a newer-generation CPU is important for gamers, as older-gen CPUs tend not to be supported by the latest software and games. Models such as the 10th and 11th-gen i5, i7, and i9 Intel CPUs are ideal for gaming, as are AMD Ryzen 5, 7, and 9 CPUs.
A dedicated graphics card is a must for any gaming PC — be it a cheap gaming laptop or not. However, the more powerful your GPU (graphics processing unit), the pricier the laptop. As such, the best way to save on a gaming laptop is to opt for a model with a GPU just sufficient enough for your needs. Check your game designs and editing software specs for an idea of the graphics card you need.
A refresh rate is the number of times your monitor refreshes the image on your display per second. A faster monitor refresh rate is important for gaming due to the ever-changing nature of game visuals. Most standard monitors offer a 60 Hz refresh rate, equalling 60 refreshes per second. Faster refresh rates of 120Hz, 144Hz and 240Hz are ideal when gaming, as these offer more accurate, smoother visuals and less tearing, ghosting and lag.
RAM is the primary memory your laptop uses to quickly access critical data, such as game startup files. The more RAM, the better. Or, rather, the more RAM, the faster your games will load and run. The best cheap gaming laptop should feature at least 8GB of RAM, with 16GB and over being ideal. Secondary hard drive storage space can also help your laptop run faster, especially if it is an SSD-type drive.
Gaming accessories such as headsets, mice, external drives, mics and the like, can take up a lot of ports. Be sure your laptop has enough inputs to handle your demands. Also, make sure that it offers plenty of port connection types — including USB-A (preferably faster 3.0), USB-C, micro-USB, HDMI, 3.5mm audio and Thunderbolt. You don’t want to be left unable to use your tools!
If you’re looking for a solid, powerful gaming PC that will age well, the Gigabyte G5 laptop is a sure winner. Though it may not be a looker, it’s what’s inside that counts — and let us tell you, this GeForce 30 Series gaming laptop packs a punch.

Featuring both the newly-released 11th-gen Intel i5 11400H CPU and NVidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB GPU, it’s a steal for under £1,000. The ample 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM, Thunderbolt inputs, and 144 Hz HD display are just the cherries on top.
If you’re looking for a laptop to play moderately-demanding games on, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 laptop is ideal. Featuring a cost-effective yet powerful AMD Ryzen 5 5600H CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB card, it’s no pushover.

This powerful little laptop can handle a multitude of games and tasks, packing 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD to boot. Costing little more than a standard laptop, it’s also a very economical pick.
On a budget but after an Intel CPU? Look no further than the Asus TUF Dash F15. This ultra-cheap gaming laptop features both a relatively new 10th-gen Intel i5 CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 card. One of its most notable features is its 144 Hz monitor, usually only available on higher-spec gaming laptops.
If you’re looking for the best specs at the lowest price, the MSI Katana GF66 is an impressive contender. This powerful gaming laptop boasts the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB card and 11th-gen Intel® Core™ i7-11800H processor for under £1,000. Other notable features include its stylish chassis, Kensington lock slot, webcam killswitch, and sizable 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD.
Buildable Alienware gaming laptops such as the M15 R5 Ryzen are all the rage but, by the time you select each component and add them together, they can set you back considerably. But did you know that Dell, which acquired Alienware, offers an impressive lineup of buildable gaming laptops that are more budget-friendly?
Its G-Series features the best cheap gaming laptops as a base, such as the G15 Ryzen Edition laptop. Starting at £699, you can then pick from various AMD Ryzen CPUs, Nvidia 30 Series cards, RAM and storage sizes to build your ideal gaming setup.
This exclusive HP Pavilion gaming laptop bundle from Argos is excellent value for money, and perfect for young gamers. Including a free HP gaming mouse and headset, it’s got everything to get them started. Oh, and the laptop itself isn’t too shabby, either.
In fact, it’s one of the best cheap AMD Ryzen 5 gaming laptops out there. Featuring an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 card, 8GB of RAM, and sleek acid green and black finish, it’s sure to delight. It’s also ultra-lightweight for that schoolbag, weighing just 1.98 kg.
While when it comes to work, study, or online shopping you might be able to get away with a standard 14” inch screen, for anyone who takes gaming seriously – a bigger screen is likely preferred, and for obvious reason. The bigger the screen, the more detail you’re exposed to and the easier it is to be absorbed in the game.
Featuring a massive 17.3” display, when it comes to cheap big screen gaming look no further than the Acer Nitro 5. Not only does its huge monitor offer pristine visual quality, its other specs, such as an 11th-gen i7 Intel CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050Ti 4GB card, and 16GB RAM, aren’t too shabby either. A great option for those die-hard gamers on a limited budget.
Rendering game visuals is one of the most intensive tasks a PC can do. Gaming laptops feature dedicated graphics cards and are worth the money if you intend to play any intensive games. A dedicated/discrete graphics card, such as an AMD or Nvidia GPU, is considered necessary for many of the newest games. It’s not optional.
A fast CPU that clocks top speeds is also ideal. Besides these components, gaming laptops often feature other nifty but pricey hardware and software — for example, faster refresh rate monitors, the latest Windows 10/11 OS, cooling systems, a rugged chassis and backlighting.
Bottom line: anyone who takes gaming seriously needs a proper gaming laptop.
Honestly? Going into this one we were worried. Renowned for being pricey, we weren’t sure we’d be able to find gaming laptops worth their salt, for under £1,000. Thankfully, we’ve discovered seven winners – each boasting features to make your gaming endeavours more successful – and enjoyable.
When it comes to the top cheap high-spec gaming laptops, our favourites are undoubtedly the Gigabyte G5, MSI Katana GF66, and the Dell G15. These affordable Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 Series gaming laptops are ready to take on almost any gaming task.
Looking for similar performance on a larger screen? Opt for the 2022 Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54 and enjoy 17.3” worth of engrossing visuals.
On more of a budget? We suggest giving the ASUS TUF Dash F15 laptop a go, whilst for kids our top choice is the ultra-lightweight HP Pavilion gaming laptop bundle from Argos.
Prices updated on 04/07/2022. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.
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