Notebookcheck

Notebookcheck's Top 10 Budget Gaming Laptops

July 2020 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.
Florian Glaser, 👁 Douglas Black (translated by Andreas Osthoff),

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 July 2020

Pos.
Rating
Date
Image
Model
Height
Weight
Size
Resolution
Screen
Best Price
184 %
06/2020
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89FDell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
AMD Radeon RX 5600M
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
21.6 mm2.4 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
283 %
07/2020
neu!
Lenovo Legion 5 15IMH05HLenovo Legion 5 15IMH05H
Intel Core i5-10300H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
26.1 mm2.5 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
383 %
05/2020
Asus TUF A17 FA706IU-AS76Asus TUF A17 FA706IU-AS76
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
26 mm2.6 kg17.3"1920x1080matte
483 %
06/2020
Asus TUF A15 FA506IV-HN172Asus TUF A15 FA506IV-HN172
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile
8 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
24.9 mm2.2 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
582 %
11/2019
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 2019Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 2019
Intel Core i7-9750H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
21 mm2.6 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
682 %
11/2019
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-79TYAcer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-79TY
Intel Core i7-9750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile
8 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
23.2 mm2.3 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
781 %
02/2020
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5CP6VSchenker XMG Core 15 GK5CP6V
Intel Core i7-9750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile
16 GB Memory, 500 GB SSD
26 mm2 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
881 %
07/2020
MSI Bravo 17 A4DDRMSI Bravo 17 A4DDR
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
AMD Radeon RX 5500M
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
23 mm2.2 kg17.3"1920x1080matte
981 %
07/2020
neu!
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LIAsus ROG Strix G15 G512LI
Intel Core i7-10750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
25.8 mm2.3 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
1081 %
06/2020
Acer Nitro 5 AN517-52-77DSAcer Nitro 5 AN517-52-77DS
Intel Core i7-10750H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
24.9 mm2.2 kg17.3"1920x1080matte

1st – Dell G5 15 SE

Dell G5 15 SE
Dell G5 15 SE

After years of stagnation AMD is finally back in the mobile gaming segment. One of the best examples is the Dell G5 15 special edition. While its Radeon RX 5600M performs roughly on the same level as a GTX 1660 Ti the Ryzen 7 4800H is faster than almost every single one of its Intel competitors.

Unfortunately, the G5 15 suffers from high temperatures and noise emissions under load, which at least in part can be blamed on its poor cooler. In return, battery life was more than adequate.

Pricecompare

2nd – Lenovo Legion 5

Lenovo Legion 5
Lenovo Legion 5

Thanks to its GeForce RTX 2060 the Lenovo Legion 5 15IMH is one of the most powerful gaming laptops in this budget top 10 list. The rest of its internal hardware is fairly impressive as well. Our review unit, priced at around 1,200 Euros at the time of writing, featured 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB large PCIe SSD, and a 120 Hz panel. As a bonus, the 15-inch laptop offered decent battery life.

A better rating could have been achieved by improving connectivity (no Thunderbolt, no card reader).

3rd – Asus TUF A17

Asus TUF A17
Asus TUF A17

Like many other notebooks in this top 10 list the Asus TUF A17 features an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H. Combined with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti the laptop has no issues playing modern games smoothly. The 17-inch budget notebook also features a fast 120 Hz display and a large battery.

Downsides include among others the device’s very high noise emissions under 3D load and its poor color space coverage.

Pricecompare

4th – Asus TUF A15

Asus TUF A15
Asus TUF A15

The smaller 15-inch sibling to the TUF A17 is called – surprise, surprise – TUF A15, and its pros and cons are almost identical. Unlike the A17’s GTX 1660 Ti the A15’s similarly powerful GeForce RTX 2060 comes with support for Raytracing, although that might not be relevant for all gamers.

Similar to the A17 we liked the A15’s high-contrast 144 Hz display and its good battery life, and disliked its poor color space coverage and connectivity (no card reader, no Thunderbolt 3).

Pricecompare

5th – Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 2019

Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 2019
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 2019

The Mi Gaming Laptop by Xiaomi is what we would consider a typical underdog. Even though it was made for the Chinese market it might be worth purchasing as EU or US citizen despite import costs and a lack of software localization. After all, you can get a Core i7-9750H, a GeForce RTX 2060, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and an NVMe SSD for less than $1,500. Cut corners include Thunderbolt 3 and no more than a single external video port as well as extremely high noise emissions under load.

In return, you get a solid good-looking well-made case with decent input devices, great sound, and a pretty good 144 Hz panel. Overall, its price-performance ratio is excellent.

6th – Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300
Acer Predator Helios 300

At around $1,500 the Predator Helios 300 barely made our Top 10 budget laptop gaming list. The 15-inch gaming laptop offers a Core i7-9750H paired with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, which should suffice to run all current games smoothly on high to maximum details on its integrated 144 Hz FHD display. All things considered the case is well made.

Battery life and connectivity, on the other hand, are in need of improvement.

Pricecompare

7th – Schenker XMG Core 15

Schenker XMG Core 15
Schenker XMG Core 15

Its RGB-backlit keyboard aside the Schenker XMG Core 15 is rather discreet overall. Its visually inconspicuous case does not make the slightest hint at the gaming prowess contained within. For around 1,500 Euros you get a Core i7-9750H paired with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. Thanks to its moderate weight and its small footprints (slim bezels) the 15-inch laptop is even somewhat portable. We also liked the very fast 144 Hz display.

On the flip side we find topics like connectivity, sound, and battery life. However, the biggest issue of them all are the Core 15’s high noise emissions under load.

Pricecompare

8th – MSI Bravo 17

MSI Bravo 17
MSI Bravo 17

An all-round carefree package for AMD fans: the MSI Bravo 17 with 7 nm Ryzen 7 4800H and 7 nm Radeon RX 5500M. The latter performs similar to a GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 Ti.

For a 17-inch device, the predominantly metal case is comparatively lightweight and compact. Unfortunately, its small size results in high noise emissions under 3D load. Other downsides include the dim display with poor colors and comparatively poor connectivity.

Pricecompare

9th – Asus ROG Strix G15

Asus ROG Strix G15
Asus ROG Strix G15

The ROG Strix G15 G512LI is 15-inch budget gaming notebook equipped with a Core i7-10750H and a comparatively slow GeForce GTX 1650, considering its price and compared to its competition. Furthermore, we also find 16 GB of RAM and a large 512 GB SSD, which are on a par with its rivals. The RGB band at the bottom of the case that lights up three sides of the laptop is definitely a unique selling point.

Downsides include poor battery life, a not particularly wide display opening angle, and last but not least the fact that the laptop comes without a webcam.

Pricecompare

10th – Acer Nitro 5 AN517

Acer Nitro 5 AN517
Acer Nitro 5 AN517

While the 15-inch version of Acer’s Nitro 5 barely failed to make this list the 17-inch edition scored high enough to secure 10th place. Our particular 1,500 Euro SKU of this budget gaming laptop featured powerful components (Core i7-10750H, GeForce RTX 2060) as well as an RGB keyboard and a long battery life of up to 11 hours.

Downsides include poor connectivity and image quality. The dim 120 Hz display suffers from poor color space coverage.

Pricecompare

Top 10 in Comparison

Size Comparison

403.5 mm / 15.9 inch 280 mm / 11 inch 24.9 mm / 0.98 inch 2.2 kg4.85 lbs399 mm / 15.7 inch 269 mm / 10.6 inch 26 mm / 1.024 inch 2.6 kg5.73 lbs397 mm / 15.6 inch 260 mm / 10.2 inch 23 mm / 0.906 inch 2.2 kg4.95 lbs363.1 mm / 14.3 inch 259.6 mm / 10.2 inch 26.1 mm / 1.028 inch 2.5 kg5.42 lbs365.5 mm / 14.4 inch 254 mm / 10 inch 21.6 mm / 0.85 inch 2.4 kg5.35 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 244 mm / 9.61 inch 26 mm / 1.024 inch 2 kg4.39 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 275 mm / 10.8 inch 25.8 mm / 1.016 inch 2.3 kg5.07 lbs364 mm / 14.3 inch 265 mm / 10.4 inch 21 mm / 0.827 inch 2.6 kg5.73 lbs361.4 mm / 14.2 inch 254.2 mm / 10 inch 23.2 mm / 0.913 inch 2.3 kg5.09 lbs359 mm / 14.1 inch 256 mm / 10.1 inch 24.9 mm / 0.98 inch 2.2 kg4.8 lbs

Test Results

Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Lenovo Legion 5 15IMH05H
Asus TUF A17 FA706IU-AS76
Asus TUF A15 FA506IV-HN172
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 2019
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-79TY
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5CP6V
MSI Bravo 17 A4DDR
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LI
Acer Nitro 5 AN517-52-77DS
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
20.4 (10.8, 9.6)
26 (12, 14)
22.4 (11.6, 10.8)
34 (16, 18)
8.8 (4.4, 4.4)
15 (8, 7)
8.8 (4.4, 4.4)
40 (19.2, 20.8)
33.6 (18.4, 15.2)
35 (17, 18)
Response Time Black / White *
10.8 (6.4, 4.4)
17 (8, 9)
19.2 (9.6, 9.6)
24 (13, 11)
12 (6.8, 5.2)
9 (5, 4)
10.4 (5.2, 5.2)
29.6 (16.4, 13.2)
27.6 (15.6, 12)
26 (14, 12)
PWM Frequency
198.4 (99)
Screen
Brightness middle
292
301
264.8
280
316
325
324
264
271.2
263
Brightness
290
277
253
254
295
310
296
244
252
246
Brightness Distribution
77
77
90
88
87
82
88
88
79
85
Black Level *
0.27
0.26
0.31
0.15
0.23
0.255
0.27
0.23
0.53
0.47
Contrast
1081
1158
854
1867
1374
1275
1200
1148
512
560
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.99
5.12
4.73
5.89
3.84
4.28
4.07
3.85
5.04
5.07
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
6.11
8.86
18.89
19
5.69
8.42
6.39
9.13
16.07
20.5
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
3.02
4.88
4.64
4.79
1.64
1.45
1.49
3.4
4.26
4.9
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.3
3.47
1.4
4.08
3.66
5.01
4.01
1.95
3.4
2.55
Gamma
2.25 98%
2.37 93%
2.16 102%
2.33 94%
2.62 84%
2.6 85%
2.6 85%
2.52 87%
2.09 105%
2.37 93%
CCT
7047 92%
7062 92%
6641 98%
7303 89%
7165 91%
7678 85%
7350 88%
6371 102%
7079 92%
6446 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
58.1
37
38.4
37
60
60
59
42
37.8
37
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
89.7
57
59.3
58
92
93
91
60
59.5
59
Noise
off / environment *
28
30.7
28.7
30.2
30
30.2
30
30
27.7
30.2
Idle Minimum *
28
30.7
28.7
30.2
31
31
30
33
34.2
30.2
Idle Average *
28
30.7
30.5
30.2
32
31
31
34
36
30.2
Idle Maximum *
28
30.7
32.5
30.2
42
31
33
35
36.6
30.2
Load Average *
28
36.6
42.5
40
52
41.5
48
39
44.3
41.5
Witcher 3 ultra *
50.6
47
50.1
49
59
46.7
51
48
47.9
44.5
Load Maximum *
50.6
50.9
53.4
49
59
46.9
51
52
49.3
44.6
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
53
46.3
47.6
42.9
51
52
48
48
46.2
50.6
Maximum Bottom *
57.6
44.4
50.8
49.9
57
46.3
59
50
53.6
53.8
Idle Upper Side *
27.4
28.1
33
27.8
27
24.8
27
25
27.4
26.6
Idle Bottom *
31
29.4
29
27
25
25.4
28
26
28.6
27.8
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
671
848
543
587
370
298
364
464
797
661
WiFi v1.3
372
433
512
370
264
210
216
314
271
396
Load
87
84
196
116
48
73
44
75
81
120
H.264
554
322
202
439
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
6.5
3.2
7.4
5.4
10
17.2
9
9
5.7
5.4
Idle Average *
10.6
8.3
10.5
10
13
22.6
12
10
9.3
9.8
Idle Maximum *
11
8.7
17
10.5
20
25.5
18
13
20.9
10.9
Load Average *
84.1
82
103.7
135
100
88
86
69
105.1
104
Witcher 3 ultra *
152.9
151
128.1
144
159
126
128
94.5
134.3
Load Maximum *
180.4
195
183.2
147
196
177
173
214
160.8
193

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
16652 Points ∼56%
Lenovo Legion 5 15IMH05H
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i5-10300H, Samsung PM991 MZALQ512HALU
13745 Points ∼46%
Asus TUF A17 FA706IU-AS76
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, R7 4800H, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
14010 Points ∼47%
Asus TUF A15 FA506IV-HN172
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, R7 4800H, Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
14757 Points ∼50%
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 2019
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-9750H, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
15004 Points ∼51%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-79TY
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
12903 Points ∼44%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5CP6V
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 500GB
13267 Points ∼45%
MSI Bravo 17 A4DDR
Radeon RX 5500M, R7 4800H, Toshiba KBG30ZMV512G
11461 Points ∼39%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LI
GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, i7-10750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
9710 Points ∼33%
Acer Nitro 5 AN517-52-77DS
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-10750H, WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-1T00
14191 Points ∼48%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
21400 Points ∼55%
Lenovo Legion 5 15IMH05H
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i5-10300H, Samsung PM991 MZALQ512HALU
17255 Points ∼45%
Asus TUF A17 FA706IU-AS76
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, R7 4800H, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
18607 Points ∼48%
Asus TUF A15 FA506IV-HN172
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, R7 4800H, Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
17390 Points ∼45%
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 2019
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-9750H, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
18262 Points ∼47%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-79TY
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
16344 Points ∼42%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5CP6V
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 500GB
17351 Points ∼45%
MSI Bravo 17 A4DDR
Radeon RX 5500M, R7 4800H, Toshiba KBG30ZMV512G
16271 Points ∼42%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LI
GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, i7-10750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
14000 Points ∼36%
Acer Nitro 5 AN517-52-77DS
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-10750H, WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-1T00
18057 Points ∼47%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+) (sort by value)
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
66.1 (min: 62, max: 70) fps ∼47%
Lenovo Legion 5 15IMH05H
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i5-10300H, Samsung PM991 MZALQ512HALU
68.3 fps ∼48%
Asus TUF A17 FA706IU-AS76
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, R7 4800H, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
55.6 (min: 53, max: 60) fps ∼39%
Asus TUF A15 FA506IV-HN172
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, R7 4800H, Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
60.5 (min: 51, max: 68) fps ∼43%
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 2019
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-9750H, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
60.6 (min: 50) fps ∼43%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-79TY
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
54.6 (min: 48, max: 62) fps ∼39%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5CP6V
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 500GB
54.2 (min: 42) fps ∼38%
MSI Bravo 17 A4DDR
Radeon RX 5500M, R7 4800H, Toshiba KBG30ZMV512G
45.4 (min: 38) fps ∼32%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LI
GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, i7-10750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
40.1 (min: 37, max: 44) fps ∼28%
Acer Nitro 5 AN517-52-77DS
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-10750H, WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-1T00
63 fps ∼45%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
Dell G5 15 SE 5505 P89F
Radeon RX 5600M, R7 4800H, Samsung PM991 MZ9LQ512HALU
103.6 (min: 92, max: 110) fps ∼38%
Lenovo Legion 5 15IMH05H
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i5-10300H, Samsung PM991 MZALQ512HALU
124.8 fps ∼46%
Asus TUF A17 FA706IU-AS76
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, R7 4800H, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
103 (min: 98, max: 108) fps ∼38%
Asus TUF A15 FA506IV-HN172
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, R7 4800H, Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
105 (min: 90, max: 115) fps ∼39%
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 2019
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-9750H, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
113 (min: 95) fps ∼42%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-79TY
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
93 (min: 84, max: 103) fps ∼34%
Schenker XMG Core 15 GK5CP6V
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile, i7-9750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 500GB
101 (min: 84) fps ∼37%
MSI Bravo 17 A4DDR
Radeon RX 5500M, R7 4800H, Toshiba KBG30ZMV512G
72 (min: 55) fps ∼27%
Asus ROG Strix G15 G512LI
GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Mobile, i7-10750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
76.1 (min: 71, max: 80) fps ∼28%
Acer Nitro 5 AN517-52-77DS
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile, i7-10750H, WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-1T00
108.9 fps ∼40%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Notebookcheck's Top 10 Budget Gaming Laptops
Florian Glaser (Update: 2020-07-28)