Notebookcheck

Notebookcheck's Top 10 Budget Gaming Laptops

Florian Glaser, 👁 Douglas Black (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 01/25/2018

June 2019 Update. The following article contains a list of the best budget gaming notebooks reviewed by us. This overview will allow you to find the right notebook that fits your budget and requirements quickly and easily.

The following top 10 list of budget gaming notebooks contains the best notebooks reviewed by Notebookcheck that meet two criteria. First of all, given that this is a list of budget gaming notebooks the price shall not exceed 1500 USD/Euros (keep in mind that these are live prices, and that they are subject to change on a daily basis). And second, the laptop has to be equipped with at least an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU. This entry-level GPU is what most games released in the last two years seem to require to run smoothly at around 30 FPS in FHD resolution (1920x1080) and a high level of details. Some of the notebooks at the top of the price bracket contain more powerful GPUs, like a GTX 1050 Ti or even GTX 1060. The former is usually capable of running the same games smoothly at more than 45 FPS in FHD and high quality. Other Notebookcheck top 10 lists for gaming notebooks:

The following table lists the best budget Windows-based gaming-capable notebooks reviewed by us in the last 12 months. In case of identical ratings we list the newer model first. The table can be sorted and rearranged by clicking on the headers, and can be filtered by using the input box above the table (e.g. “matte”).

Note: The cheapest street price at the time of the last revision of this article applies to the following list. The sales prices shown in the following table and in the price comparison with the individual articles are automatically updated daily and can therefore differ!

Best Budget Gaming Laptops as of May 2019

Pos.RatingDateImageModelHeightWeightSizeResolutionScreenBest Price
185%05/2019
neu!
Dell G5 15 5590Dell G5 15 5590
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
23.7 mm2.7 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
285%01/2019Medion Erazer X6805-MD61085Medion Erazer X6805-MD61085
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
16 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
33 mm2.5 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
385%06/2019
neu!
Asus TUF FX705DT-AU068TAsus TUF FX705DT-AU068T
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop)
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
26.6 mm2.7 kg17.3"1920x1080matte
485%12/2018Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
AMD Radeon RX 560X (Laptop)
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
27 mm2.4 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
585%10/2018Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750HLenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop)
16 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
21.95 mm2.9 kg17.3"1920x1080matte
685%11/2018Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
16 GB Memory, 256 GB NVMe
26.9 mm2.4 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
785%08/2018Dell G7 15-7588Dell G7 15-7588
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
16 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
24.95 mm2.6 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
884%11/2018Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
16 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
29.9 mm2.9 kg17.3"1920x1080matte
983%05/2019
neu!
Asus ROG GA502DUAsus ROG GA502DU
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q
8 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
20.4 mm2.1 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
1083%05/2019Acer Aspire Nitro 5 AN515-54-53Z2Acer Aspire Nitro 5 AN515-54-53Z2
Intel Core i5-9300H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop)
8 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
27 mm2.2 kg15.6"1920x1080matte

1st – Dell G5 15 5590

Performance hit: Dell G5 15 5590
Performance hit: Dell G5 15 5590

Dell’s Dell G5 15 5590 managed to score first place in our budget gaming top 10 mainly thanks to its blazingly fast GeForce RTX 2060 with Raytracing support. In addition, our review unit also came with a fast six-core Intel CPU (Core i7-8750H) and two storage devices (SSD + HDD).

However, the display turned out to be a two-edged sword. While its black level and contrast ratio were decent its maximum brightness, color space coverage, and response times were anything but. On the plus side it features a backlit keyboard, a Thunderbolt 3 port, and a long battery life.

Pricecompare

2nd - Medion Erazer X6805

Performance hit: Medion Erazer X6805
Performance hit: Medion Erazer X6805

Medion's Erazer X6805 is one of the most powerful gaming laptops in this Top 10 ranking thanks to the Coffee Lake CPU and the full-fledged GeForce GTX 1060. The other specs are good as well: The SKU for 1400 Euros is equipped with 16 GB RAM as well as 256 GB PCIe SSD storage.

Contrary to some rivals, the Erazer does not offer a slim-bezel design, but the 15-inch model scores with a sturdy chassis as well as mechanical keyboard including RGB illumination instead. You also get a decent sound quality and a fast Wi-Fi chip. A better place in the ranking is prevented by the battery capacity, the fan control as well as the port situation (no Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3.1 Gen.2). We would also like better maintenance options.

Pricecompare

3rd – Asus TUF FX705

Well-balanced: Asus TUF FX705
Well-balanced: Asus TUF FX705

Equipped with Nividia’s GTX 1650 and AMD’s Ryzen 5 3550H the Asus TUF FX705DT is primarily aimed at users with a keen sense for a perfect balance between performance, emissions, and price without the necessity for the best of the best in either of these categories.

In addition to its FHD IPS display we also liked the compact case, the NVMe SSD, and the laptop’s incredible battery life. In return, connectivity and Wi-Fi performance turned out to be comparatively poor.

Pricecompare

4th - Acer Nitro 5 AN515

AMD Power: Acer Nitro 5 AN515
AMD Power: Acer Nitro 5 AN515

Acer's Nitro 5 is a multimedia laptop with a gaming design and a 15-inch screen, which offers a lot of system performance for a fair price.

The design of the Nitro 5 AN515-42 screams gamer, but the manufacturer tried to find a good balance between an attractive price tag and solid performance figures for modern games. Contrary to the majority of manufacturers, Acer does not use an Intel/Nvidia combination, but AMD hardware. The Ryzen 7 2700U and the Radeon RX 560X are pretty much unbeaten for less than 1000 Euros. Great: RAM and HDD can easily be replaced via maintenance hatch.

Pricecompare

5th - Lenovo Legion Y730

A heart for gamer: Lenovo Legion Y730
A heart for gamer: Lenovo Legion Y730

The Legion Y730 reaches long battery runtimes – which is rather unusual for this segment – and a surprisingly good sound quality.

Lenovo uses a dedicated GeForce GTX 1050 Ti in combination with a Core i7-8750H and 16 GB DDR4-RAM. The Y730 also offers two storage slots (M.2 & 2.5"), a 1080p screen based on the IPS technology, and a Thunderbolt 3 port. The case of the 17-inch system is quite subtle.

Pricecompare

6th - Lenovo Legion Y7000

Full of features: Lenovo Legion Y7000
Full of features: Lenovo Legion Y7000

Similar to the IdeaPad 720S, the gaming laptop Legion Y7000 offers a slim-bezel design. Potential buyers get a lot of features for about $1100 including a Core i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060, 256 GB SSD storage, and 16 GB DDR4 memory.

Great: Compared to similarly powerful laptops, the Y7000 manages pretty long battery runtimes. The drawbacks include the long response times of the 1080p screen, the somewhat complicated maintenance and the missing Thunderbolt 3 port.

Pricecompare

7th - Dell G7 15 7588

Dell G7 15 7588
Dell G7 15 7588

Besides the Dell G5 5587 (P9), the Dell G7 15 7588 provides a great price-performance ratio. Other manufacturers only ship their sub 1000 Euro machines with quad-core CPUs and a GeForce GTX 1050 (Ti) at best, our review unit was equipped with the hexa-core Core i7-8750H as well as the powerful GTX 1060 Max-Q. The striking design and the comprehensive port selection (Thunderbolt 3) should also be appealing for gamers.

The 15-inch system manages good battery runtimes, despite the powerful hardware, which is pretty rare among gaming laptops. The chassis quality is also better compared to many rivals. A "very good" verdict is prevented by the mediocre keyboard, the weak sound performance, the slow card reader, and the low color gamut of the 1080p display.

Pricecompare

8th - Gigabyte Sabre 17

Sabre-toothed tiger: Gigabyte Sabre 17
Sabre-toothed tiger: Gigabyte Sabre 17

Gigabyte's Sabre 17 W8 is a 17-inch budget gamer with a powerful Core i7-8750H CPU and Nvidia's high-end GPU GeForce GTX 1060. 16 GB DDR4-RAM and a 256 GB SSD are also respectable for this price point. This is also a good description for the good cooling system and the responsive 120 Hz display, even though the color accuracy suffers a bit. The battery runtime is also decent.

We were not happy with the WLAN performance as well as the sound; the two speakers sound extremely tinny.

Pricecompare

9th – Asus ROG GA502

AMD meets Nvidia: Asus ROG GA502
AMD meets Nvidia: Asus ROG GA502

The ROG Zephyrus G GA502DU combines an AMD CPU (Ryzen 7 3750H) with an Nvidia GPU (GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q) – a combination that we have not seen very often in notebooks in the recent years. However, its score of 83 % in our test as well as the fact that it made our top 10 list are living proof that the “experiment” went very well overall.

On the plus side we find a slim case with narrow bezels, a high energy efficiency (long battery life), and simple maintainability. On the downside, we have to mention the poor display (brightness, color space coverage, etc.), connectivity, and a high noise level under 3D load. Some users are also going to wish for a firmer keyboard and touchpad feedback as well as a faster Wi-Fi modem.

Pricecompare

10th - Acer Nitro 5 (Nvidia)

Price-performance champion: Acer Nitro 5
Price-performance champion: Acer Nitro 5

The Nvidia SKU of the Nitro 5 is a bit more expensive than its AMD counterpart (P5), but it also offers much more performance. Our test sample is the entry-level model with the Core i5-9300H, GeForce GTX 1650 and 512 GB SSD, which offers a great price-performance ratio for about 1100 Euros. The long battery runtime, slim bezels, and the cool palm rests in all scenarios are other advantages.

However, potential buyers will have to live with the meager sound, limited ports (no Thunderbolt 3, no card reader), and the display. The 60 Hz screen is pretty dim and only covers a small color gamut.

Pricecompare

Top 10 in Comparison

Size Comparison

418.5 mm / 16.5 inch 288.7 mm / 11.4 inch 29.9 mm / 1.177 inch 2.9 kg6.46 lbs413 mm / 16.3 inch 305 mm / 12 inch 21.95 mm / 0.864 inch 2.9 kg6.35 lbs399.8 mm / 15.7 inch 279.4 mm / 11 inch 26.6 mm / 1.047 inch 2.7 kg5.95 lbs385 mm / 15.2 inch 265 mm / 10.4 inch 33 mm / 1.299 inch 2.5 kg5.62 lbs390 mm / 15.4 inch 266 mm / 10.5 inch 27 mm / 1.063 inch 2.4 kg5.29 lbs389 mm / 15.3 inch 274.7 mm / 10.8 inch 24.95 mm / 0.982 inch 2.6 kg5.8 lbs363 mm / 14.3 inch 255 mm / 10 inch 27 mm / 1.063 inch 2.2 kg4.76 lbs361.2 mm / 14.2 inch 267 mm / 10.5 inch 26.9 mm / 1.059 inch 2.4 kg5.31 lbs364.3 mm / 14.3 inch 273.4 mm / 10.8 inch 23.7 mm / 0.933 inch 2.7 kg5.91 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 252 mm / 9.92 inch 20.4 mm / 0.803 inch 2.1 kg4.63 lbs

Measurement Results

Dell G5 15 5590
Medion Erazer X6805-MD61085
Asus TUF FX705DT-AU068T
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060
Dell G7 15-7588
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
Asus ROG GA502DU
Acer Aspire Nitro 5 AN515-54-53Z2
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
45 (22, 23)
38.4 (18.8, 19.6)
41 (20, 21)
48.4 (24, 24.4)
36.8 (18.8, 18)
42.8 (22.4, 20.4)
38.8 (16, 22.8)
9 (5, 4)
34 (17.2, 16.8)
42 (20.8, 21.2)
Response Time Black / White *
30 (17, 13)
29.2 (16.8, 12.4)
30 (16, 14)
32.8 (18, 14.8)
24 (14, 10)
36 (19.6, 16.4)
26.8 (14.4, 12.4)
8 (6, 2)
28 (17.2, 10.8)
26.8 (16, 10.8)
PWM Frequency
20490 (99)
21740 (99)
25000 (20)
21280 (34)
Screen
Brightness middle
234
270
316
299
328.7
312.9
250.9
326
240.1
238
Brightness
219
269
294
284
318
296
246
309
231
226
Brightness Distribution
82
86
84
88
91
88
89
82
85
83
Black Level *
0.17
0.32
0.32
0.24
0.51
0.37
0.34
0.27
0.34
0.27
Contrast
1376
844
988
1246
645
846
738
1207
706
881
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
8.6
5.1
3.39
4.98
4.91
5.49
7.34
9.11
4.2
4.11
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
17.49
9.25
5.56
7.67
10.15
8.78
28.66
14.14
17.8
6.89
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.06
3.25
2.14
3.7
4.27
3.99
4.42
2.62
4.09
3.76
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
8.55
4.16
3.17
4.58
3.9
4.7
6.8
11.17
2.8
1.78
Gamma
3.02 73%
2.53 87%
2.39 92%
2.55 86%
2.13 103%
2.29 96%
2.164 102%
2.28 96%
2.2 100%
2.41 91%
CCT
7802 83%
6860 95%
7098 92%
6397 102%
6911 94%
6779 96%
6780 96%
12475 52%
6925 94%
6311 103%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37
54
51
57
55.6
56.3
36
76
38.4
36
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
59
82
89
87
84.7
86.1
56
100
60.4
57
Noise
off / environment *
30.4
29
30.8
29
28
28.4
28.1
30.5
28
30
Idle Minimum *
30.4
29
30.8
29
28
31.1
29
32.1
29.4
30
Idle Average *
30.4
32
30.8
31
28
31.1
29
32.1
31.9
31
Idle Maximum *
33.4
35
32.2
32
31.3
31.2
29.2
32.3
33
33
Load Average *
42
45
38.6
36
33.4
43.2
40.6
42.9
41.2
46
Load Maximum *
48.7
56
44.8
46
46.2
50
49.8
48.8
55.7
49
Witcher 3 ultra *
47
44
42.8
45.3
49.8
53.8
46
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
51.5
43
41.6
47
42
53.4
48.6
35
55.8
47
Maximum Bottom *
48.3
55
38
44
51.2
51
51.4
34.3
58.2
50
Idle Upper Side *
27.2
28
31.7
30
31.8
29.6
24
30.1
33.4
24
Idle Bottom *
27.4
30
29.5
28
35.4
30.2
26.8
30.5
33.6
25
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
890
503
815
789
815
656
411
916
1044
H.264
506
485
320
WiFi v1.3
463
270
469
340
402
346
452
321
482
486
Load
168
98
124
52
49
132
84
123
88
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
3.5
10
3.9
7
6.3
4.9
5.5
9.3
7.4
5
Idle Average *
6.9
13
9.6
10
11
8.1
7.6
14.8
8.6
7
Idle Maximum *
8.5
21
12.2
18
11.5
16.5
9
22
39.1
11
Load Average *
127
101
59
79
89.8
109.2
94
63
65.9
89
Load Maximum *
179
176
80
128
130.7
175.2
154.4
187
141.3
132
Witcher 3 ultra *
126
98
102
124.6
116.3
106.9
90

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Dell G5 15 5590
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, KBG30ZMS128G
13912 Points ∼52%
Medion Erazer X6805-MD61085
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
10351 Points ∼39%
Asus TUF FX705DT-AU068T
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 3550H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
7942 Points ∼30%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U, SK Hynix HFS128G39TND
5316 Points ∼20%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
7049 Points ∼26%
Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
10343 Points ∼39%
Dell G7 15-7588
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, SK hynix SC311 SATA
9936 Points ∼37%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
10404 Points ∼39%
Asus ROG GA502DU
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 3750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
10792 Points ∼40%
Acer Aspire Nitro 5 AN515-54-53Z2
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
8073 Points ∼30%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Dell G5 15 5590
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, KBG30ZMS128G
16013 Points ∼51%
Medion Erazer X6805-MD61085
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
13648 Points ∼44%
Asus TUF FX705DT-AU068T
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 3550H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
10635 Points ∼34%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U, SK Hynix HFS128G39TND
7640 Points ∼24%
Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
13743 Points ∼44%
Dell G7 15-7588
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, SK hynix SC311 SATA
13296 Points ∼43%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
12678 Points ∼41%
Asus ROG GA502DU
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 3750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
12279 Points ∼39%
Acer Aspire Nitro 5 AN515-54-53Z2
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
11828 Points ∼38%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+) (sort by value)
Dell G5 15 5590
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, KBG30ZMS128G
60 fps ∼47%
Medion Erazer X6805-MD61085
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
39.5 fps ∼31%
Asus TUF FX705DT-AU068T
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 3550H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
33.3 fps ∼26%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U, SK Hynix HFS128G39TND
20.6 fps ∼16%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
26 fps ∼20%
Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
37 fps ∼29%
Dell G7 15-7588
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, SK hynix SC311 SATA
37 fps ∼29%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
24 fps ∼19%
Asus ROG GA502DU
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 3750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
48.8 fps ∼38%
Acer Aspire Nitro 5 AN515-54-53Z2
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
35.4 (min: 28) fps ∼28%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
Dell G5 15 5590
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, KBG30ZMS128G
105.2 fps ∼49%
Medion Erazer X6805-MD61085
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
72.1 fps ∼34%
Asus TUF FX705DT-AU068T
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 3550H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
59.1 fps ∼27%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U, SK Hynix HFS128G39TND
33.2 fps ∼15%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
51 fps ∼24%
Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
73.1 fps ∼34%
Dell G7 15-7588
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, SK hynix SC311 SATA
62 fps ∼29%
Gigabyte Sabre 17-W8
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
53.9 fps ∼25%
Asus ROG GA502DU
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 3750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
83.9 fps ∼39%
Acer Aspire Nitro 5 AN515-54-53Z2
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
61.1 (min: 51) fps ∼28%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Notebookcheck's Top 10 Budget Gaming Laptops
Florian Glaser (Update: 2019-06-24)