Notebookcheck

Notebookcheck's Top 10 Budget Gaming Laptops

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

August 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 August 2019

Pos.RatingDateImageModelHeightWeightSizeResolutionScreenBest Price
182%07/2019
neu!
HP Omen 15-dc1020ngHP Omen 15-dc1020ng
Intel Core i5-9300H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop)
8 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
25 mm2.3 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
283%05/2019Dell 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
385%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
478%06/2019Asus 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
578%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
680%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
782%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
885%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
982%07/2019
neu!
HP Pavilion Gaming 17-cd0085clHP Pavilion Gaming 17-cd0085cl
Intel Core i7-9750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q
16 GB Memory, 256 GB NVMe
25 mm2.8 kg17.3"1920x1080matte
1084%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

1st – HP Gaming Pavilion 15

HP Gaming Pavilion 15
HP Gaming Pavilion 15

The Gaming Pavilion 15 is a 15-inch budget gaming notebook equipped with a powerful Core i7-9750H, a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 256 GB SSD. As such, it offers a lot for its low price. The cooling system is also well made, and so is the color-accurate 144 Hz display. Battery life is decent.

Things we did not like about the device were its poor connectivity and the display lid’s sturdiness, or rather lack thereof.

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Pricecompare

2nd – Lenovo Legion Y540-15

Lenovo Legion Y540-15
Lenovo Legion Y540-15

Thanks to a 6-core CPU and a powerful GeForce GTX 1660 Ti the Legion Y540-15 is one of the most powerful budget gaming notebooks. Our review model also featured 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB large PCIe SSD. Maintenance options are decent, and the noise level is comparatively low. Sound performance is decent as well.

In order to receive a higher overall rating, we would have wished for a higher battery capacity and better connectivity (no Thunderbolt, no card reader).

Pricecompare

3rd – Lenovo Legion Y540-17

Lenovo Legion Y540-17
Lenovo Legion Y540-17

Like the Legion Y540-15 the Legion Y540-17 offers a similarly astonishing price-performance ratio. While most manufacturers include no more than a GeForce GTX 1650 in their $1300 gaming notebooks the Legion Y540-17 features a powerful GeForce GTX 1660 Ti in addition to its 144 Hz display and its fast NVMe SSD.

The reasons why our overall rating was not any higher include the high level of noise under 3D load as well as the lack of Thunderbolt 3.

4th – HP Omen 15

Amazing price-performance ratio: HP Omen 15
Amazing price-performance ratio: HP Omen 15

If you are in the market for a gaming notebook with an amazing price-performance ratio the HP Omen 15 should definitely be on your list.

Our review unit came with a Core i5-9300H, a GeForce GTX 1650, and a 512 GB PCIe SSD for just 1,000 Euros. Low emissions, decent battery life, and simple maintenance are also high on the list of benefits. Drawbacks include the dim display lacking in color space coverage as well as the lack of Thunderbolt 3.

Pricecompare

5th – 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

6th – 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

7th - 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

8th - 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

9th - 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

10th – HP Pavilion Gaming 17

Surprisingly quiet: HP Pavilion Gaming 17
Surprisingly quiet: HP Pavilion Gaming 17

While most gaming notebooks get fairly noisy under load the HP Pavilion 17 surprised us with a comparatively quiet system noise and low temperatures, which indicates a pretty decent cooling system. We also liked the 17-inch notebook’s sleek design.

Drawbacks include the lack of Thunderbolt 3, the lid’s overall rigidity, maintenance, and sound.

Pricecompare

Top 10 in Comparison

Size Comparison

413 mm / 16.3 inch 305 mm / 12 inch 21.95 mm / 0.864 inch 2.9 kg6.35 lbs405 mm / 15.9 inch 282 mm / 11.1 inch 25 mm / 0.984 inch 2.8 kg6.08 lbs399.8 mm / 15.7 inch 279.4 mm / 11 inch 26.6 mm / 1.047 inch 2.7 kg5.95 lbs399 mm / 15.7 inch 290 mm / 11.4 inch 26.3 mm / 1.035 inch 2.8 kg6.15 lbs390 mm / 15.4 inch 266 mm / 10.5 inch 27 mm / 1.063 inch 2.4 kg5.29 lbs365 mm / 14.4 inch 260 mm / 10.2 inch 26 mm / 1.024 inch 2.2 kg4.85 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 263 mm / 10.4 inch 25 mm / 0.984 inch 2.3 kg5.11 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 256 mm / 10.1 inch 23.4 mm / 0.921 inch 2.4 kg5.24 lbs

Measurement Results

HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
HP Omen 15-dc1020ng
Dell G5 15 5590
Asus TUF FX705DT-AU068T
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060
HP Pavilion Gaming 17-cd0085cl
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
16.4 (8.4, 8)
8.8 (4, 4.4)
18 (8.4, 9.6)
40 (21.2, 18.8)
45 (22, 23)
41 (20, 21)
48.4 (24, 24.4)
36.8 (18.8, 18)
42.8 (22.4, 20.4)
31.6 (14, 17.6)
Response Time Black / White *
10.4 (5.2, 5.2)
12 (6.8, 5.2)
12.8 (7.6, 5.2)
29.6 (17.2, 12.4)
30 (17, 13)
30 (16, 14)
32.8 (18, 14.8)
24 (14, 10)
36 (19.6, 16.4)
19.6 (10.8, 8.8)
PWM Frequency
21740 (99)
Screen
Brightness middle
345
299
286
251
234
316
299
328.7
312.9
299.6
Brightness
324
290
282
232
219
294
284
318
296
285
Brightness Distribution
86
89
87
76
82
84
88
91
88
86
Black Level *
0.42
0.29
0.19
0.17
0.17
0.32
0.24
0.51
0.37
0.33
Contrast
821
1031
1505
1476
1376
988
1246
645
846
908
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.3
3.7
3.57
6.2
8.6
3.39
4.98
4.91
5.49
3.68
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
2.8
7
7.5
18.6
17.49
5.56
7.67
10.15
8.78
8.05
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.1
2
1.31
4.8
4.06
2.14
3.7
4.27
3.99
3.15
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.2
4.1
4.51
4.2
8.55
3.17
4.58
3.9
4.7
3.8
Gamma
2.31 95%
2.19 100%
2.36 93%
2.32 95%
3.02 73%
2.39 92%
2.55 86%
2.13 103%
2.29 96%
2.12 104%
CCT
6476 100%
7166 91%
7411 88%
7454 87%
7802 83%
7098 92%
6397 102%
6911 94%
6779 96%
7240 90%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60.5
59.3
64
36.5
37
51
57
55.6
56.3
58.1
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
94.9
91.5
98
57.4
59
89
87
84.7
86.1
89.8
Noise
off / environment *
28.2
29.3
30
28.8
30.4
30.8
29
28
28.4
28.2
Idle Minimum *
29.3
29.3
30
28.8
30.4
30.8
29
28
31.1
30.1
Idle Average *
29.3
29.3
32
29.5
30.4
30.8
31
28
31.1
30.1
Idle Maximum *
29.3
29.3
34
31.1
33.4
32.2
32
31.3
31.2
30.1
Load Average *
32.3
35.7
44
35.2
42
38.6
36
33.4
43.2
34.2
Witcher 3 ultra *
34
44.2
50
35.2
44
42.8
45.3
34.2
Load Maximum *
41.2
45.6
52
41
48.7
44.8
46
46.2
50
43.8
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
46.7
42.7
48
40.3
51.5
41.6
47
42
53.4
42.6
Maximum Bottom *
53.7
52.7
56
48.5
48.3
38
44
51.2
51
49
Idle Upper Side *
23.8
33.1
36
23.9
27.2
31.7
30
31.8
29.6
34
Idle Bottom *
23.7
41
38
24.6
27.4
29.5
28
35.4
30.2
39.4
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
522
240
311
951
890
815
789
815
695
H.264
317
202
482
506
485
WiFi v1.3
290
145
220
385
463
469
340
402
346
339
Witcher 3 ultra
60
59
Load
76
76
68
71
168
124
52
49
59
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
6.8
14.5
19
4.04
3.5
3.9
7
6.3
4.9
5.4
Idle Average *
10.7
18.5
22
7.2
6.9
9.6
10
11
8.1
9.2
Idle Maximum *
12.5
20
30
11.4
8.5
12.2
18
11.5
16.5
13
Load Average *
87.2
81.6
79
80.8
127
59
79
89.8
109.2
85.9
Load Maximum *
191.4
208.1
201
144.5
179
80
128
130.7
175.2
182.2
Witcher 3 ultra *
121
132
134
93.6
98
102
124.6
107.9

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
11615 Points ∼43%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
12884 Points ∼48%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
12263 Points ∼46%
HP Omen 15-dc1020ng
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
8075 Points ∼30%
Dell G5 15 5590
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, KBG30ZMS128G
13912 Points ∼52%
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%
HP Pavilion Gaming 17-cd0085cl
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
11904 Points ∼44%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
15913 Points ∼45%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
17291 Points ∼49%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
16162 Points ∼46%
HP Omen 15-dc1020ng
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
11257 Points ∼32%
Dell G5 15 5590
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, KBG30ZMS128G
16013 Points ∼46%
Asus TUF FX705DT-AU068T
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 3550H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
10635 Points ∼30%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U, SK Hynix HFS128G39TND
7640 Points ∼22%
Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
13743 Points ∼39%
HP Pavilion Gaming 17-cd0085cl
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
16005 Points ∼46%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+) (sort by value)
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
53.1 fps ∼39%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
53.1 (min: 50, max: 58, 99th percentile: 51) fps ∼39%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
55.1 fps ∼41%
HP Omen 15-dc1020ng
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
37 fps ∼27%
Dell G5 15 5590
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, KBG30ZMS128G
60 fps ∼44%
Asus TUF FX705DT-AU068T
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 3550H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
33.3 fps ∼25%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U, SK Hynix HFS128G39TND
20.6 fps ∼15%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
26 fps ∼19%
Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
37 fps ∼27%
HP Pavilion Gaming 17-cd0085cl
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
48.5 fps ∼36%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
95.2 fps ∼38%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
109.6 fps ∼44%
HP Omen 15-dc1020ng
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 9300H, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
62.2 fps ∼25%
Dell G5 15 5590
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 8750H, KBG30ZMS128G
105.2 fps ∼42%
Asus TUF FX705DT-AU068T
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 3550H, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
59.1 fps ∼24%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U, SK Hynix HFS128G39TND
33.2 fps ∼13%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
51 fps ∼21%
Lenovo Legion Y7000P-1060
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
73.1 fps ∼29%
HP Pavilion Gaming 17-cd0085cl
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
92.1 fps ∼37%
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Florian Glaser (Update: 2019-09- 4)