Notebookcheck

Notebookcheck's Top 10 Budget Gaming Laptops

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

July 2018 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 July 2018

Pos.RatingDateImageModelHeightWeightSizeResolutionScreenBest Price
192%06/2018
neu!
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97WhDell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Intel Core i5-8300H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
8 GB Memory,  SSD
17 mm1.9 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
285%05/2018Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 7300HQ 1060Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 7300HQ 1060
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
23 mm2.7 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
385%05/2018Asus GL703GE-ES73Asus GL703GE-ES73
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
16 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
23.9 mm2.7 kg17.3"1920x1080matte
485%04/2018Acer Nitro 5 Spin NP515-51-86CXAcer Nitro 5 Spin NP515-51-86CX
Intel Core i7-8550U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
17.9 mm2.2 kg15.6"1920x1080glossy
585%07/2017HP Omen 15-ce002ngHP Omen 15-ce002ng
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
16 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
25 mm2.6 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
684%06/2018
neu!
Dell G5 15 5587Dell G5 15 5587
Intel Core i5-8300H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
24.95 mm2.9 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
784%11/2017Acer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TUAcer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TU
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
23.95 mm2.4 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
884%11/2017Asus GL503VD-DB74Asus GL503VD-DB74
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
16 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
23 mm2.2 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
984%08/2017Medion Erazer X6603Medion Erazer X6603
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
16 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
28.8 mm2.6 kg15.6"1920x1080matte
1083%03/2018Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76
Intel Core i7-8550U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
21 mm2.3 kg17.3"1920x1080matte

1st – Dell XPS 15 9570

Ahead of its competitors: Dell XPS 15 9570
Ahead of its competitors: Dell XPS 15 9570

With a huge margin, the 2018 Dell XPS 15 landed in 1st place in our Budget notebook top 10 list. In addition to its great battery life, we also loved its narrow display bezels, its input devices, and the pleasantly slim high-quality case that helped the device to pull away from its competitors.

Even though strictly speaking the XPS 15 is an allrounder it managed to perform exceptionally well in our gaming benchmarks. The combination of Core i5-8300H and GeForce GTX 1050 turned out to be a perfect match for light and occasional gaming. Especially if you travel often and thus require a high level of portability. And don’t even get us started on the XPS 15’s great design.

Pricecompare

2nd - Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop

Insider tip: Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop
Insider tip: Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop

The Mi Gaming laptop from Xiaomi offers the most powerful GPU in this comparison and manages to secure the first spot in our ranking.

The 15-inch system is designed for the Chinese market, but a purchase might still pay off for EU or U.S. citizens despite the import costs. Our test model for less than 1500 Euros is equipped with a Core i5-7300HQ and the GeForce GTX 1060. 8 GB DDR4-RAM and 128 GB SSD storage is not very generous though. We can see other cost-cutting measures at the ports (no Thunderbolt 3, slow card reader).

However, the Mi Gaming Laptop offers a sturdy, nicely designed and premium looking chassis with surprisingly good input devices and a more than decent sound. The 1080p IPS panel is not bad either except for the mediocre response times. Overall, the price-performance ratio is excellent.

Pricecompare

3rd - Asus ROG Strix GL703GE

Coffee Lake update: Asus ROG Strix GL703GE
Coffee Lake update: Asus ROG Strix GL703GE

Asus' GL703GE with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is designed for users that are not satisfied with average levels of performance. Asus also includes a good 1080p display for the 17-inch system.

The G-series is among the pioneers of gaming laptops from Asus. The manufacturer recognized the trend more than 10 years ago with the G1s and G2p and delivered suitable hardware for gamers. It was all about getting the highest levels of performance into a notebook and manage the emissions at first (the first G75x models were especially good), but nowadays it is all about tailor-made solutions for different user groups. The GL703GE is targeting users looking for a balanced package between performance, emissions, and price, without setting any benchmarks in one of the three disciplines.

Pricecompare

4th - Acer Nitro 5 Spin NP515

Comes with convertible features: Acer Nitro 5 Spin NP515
Comes with convertible features: Acer Nitro 5 Spin NP515

Acer's Nitro 5 Spin with Core i7-8550U, 1080p screen, and a GeForce GTX 1050 proves that convertibles can be used for gaming as well.

The 15-inch laptop is a really versatile system thanks to the 360° hinges. You can still use the Nitro 5 Spin for gaming thanks to the unusual concept. The mobility is also okay except for the glossy (but at least very bright) display. You will have a hard time to find a competitor with longer battery runtimes.

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Pricecompare

5th - HP Omen 15

Gaming for all: HP Omen 15
Gaming for all: HP Omen 15

The Omen 15 started what can only be described as a price war for the most affordable yet most powerful gaming notebook, and the 2nd edition is still at the forefront of this battle.

“Gaming by HP” - an all too familiar slogan today, but a mere few years ago it would have been unthinkable. HP joined the upbeat gaming hardware market around three years ago by introducing their first gaming notebooks. The Omen 15, based around Nvidia’s GTX-10-series of GPUs, was HP’s big breakthrough: aggressively priced high performance manufactured into a fairly compact case. The HP Omen 15 had much to offer: 120 Hz display, decent audio performance, and a wide variety of ports to name a few. An important detail for our review unit at hand: it features a GTX 1060 Max-Q graphics card: a GTX 1060 variant optimized for low power consumption and consequently low heat emissions. Overall performance can thus not keep up with a regular GTX 1060; see our extensive review for more details.

Pricecompare

6th – Dell G5 15 5587

Langläufer: Dell G5 15 5587
Langläufer: Dell G5 15 5587

The Dell G5 15 5587 surprised us with a very long battery life and a very well-made case, which is fairly uncommon for this category

On the inside, a GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q makes for very moderate levels of noise while gaming. The notebook also features two storage devices (M.2 & 2.5”), a 15-inch FHD IPS display, and a Thunderbolt 3 port.  The notebook’s design is very clearly geared towards gamers.

Pricecompare

7th - Acer Aspire 7 A715

Only slightly more than 1000 Euros: Acer Aspire 7 A715
Only slightly more than 1000 Euros: Acer Aspire 7 A715

If you want to spend less than 1000 Euros (~$1244), the Aspire 7 might be just the right notebook for you. Equipped with an Intel quad-core CPU and a GTX 1050 GPU it is capable of running most current games smoothly in FHD.

The time-honored Aspire series can be found right behind the Predator and Nitro series in Acer’s current line-up. These notebooks are equipped with powerful hardware and are thus one of the best ways to get high performance at a low price. The Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TU reviewed by us combines an Intel i5-7300HQ CPU (45 W quad-core) with a GeForce GTX 1050, a small 128 GB SSD, and a large conventional hard drive. And while the device lacks USB 3.1 Type-C, the total package is quite decent overall.

Pricecompare

8th - Asus ROG Strix GL503VD

Asus GL503VD: multimedia notebook with gaming ambitions
Asus GL503VD: multimedia notebook with gaming ambitions

Plenty of performance at an affordable price point - the Asus GL503VD is a 15-inch multimedia-notebook in disguise.

The GL503VD-DB74 is immediately recognizable as a gaming notebook, and it offers adequate gaming performance at a reasonable price point of less than 1000 Euros (~$1244). In our review, we found most games to run smoothly in FHD resolution and high details, and we were particularly fond of the bright display with its matte surface. Other pros worth noting: RAM, SSD, and HDD are accessible via the maintenance flap and can be easily replaced and/or upgraded.

Pricecompare

9th - Medion Erazer X6603

All you can ask for: Medion Erazer X6603
All you can ask for: Medion Erazer X6603

The Erazer X6603’s approach is to take a sledgehammer to crack a nut: Intel i7 quad-core CPU, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU, SSD and HDD, and 16 GB of RAM leave nothing to be desired.

But it is not only its internal hardware that is worth mentioning. In our review, the Medion Erazer X6603 impressed us with low surface temperatures and low noise emissions. Port distribution and input devices were more than decent, and most games ran smoothly at very high details, thanks to its GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card.

Pricecompare

10th - Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD

Versatile: Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD
Versatile: Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD

Despite the low-power CPU Core i7-8550U, which can execute up to eight threads simultaneously thanks to Hyper Threading, the Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD also works as a gaming platform.

Priced at little more than 1000 Euros, the Asus system is shipped with a GeForce GTX 1050 and solid state drive. The quality of the Full HD display can compete with the rivals. You also get decent battery runtimes, usable speakers, and low noise emissions. The nice and subtle chassis design will find fans as well.

Pricecompare

Top 10 in Comparison

Size Comparison

Measurement Results

Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 7300HQ 1060
Asus GL703GE-ES73
Acer Nitro 5 Spin NP515-51-86CX
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
Dell G5 15 5587
Acer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TU
Asus GL503VD-DB74
Medion Erazer X6603
Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
49 (25, 40)
53.2 (26.4, 26.8)
11.6 (6, 5.6)
36 (18, 18)
43.2 (21.2, 22)
33 (16, 17)
49 (25, 24)
36.4 (16.4, 20)
46 (36, 10)
30.8 (15.6, 15.2)
Response Time Black / White *
30 (16, 14)
41.6 (23.6, 18)
8.8 (6, 2.8)
26 (15, 11)
31.2 (16.4, 14.8)
24 (14, 10)
36 (20, 16)
26.2 (14, 12.4)
29 (17, 12)
23.2 (13.2, 10)
PWM Frequency
961 (10)
21550 (99)
26040 (25)
20000 (90)
21010 (99)
2174 (90)
119 (99)
Screen
Brightness middle
413
283
331.1
345
304
229
267
315.9
252
376.2
Brightness
378
269
312
332
289
224
250
304
246
355
Brightness Distribution
86
87
86
92
86
87
82
88
94
89
Black Level *
0.29
0.23
0.31
0.28
0.26
0.28
0.31
0.37
0.23
0.42
Contrast
1424
1230
1068
1232
1169
818
861
854
1096
896
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.44
4.68
2.86
5.85
3.46
6.1
4.65
4.9
7.83
4.21
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
4.46
8
6.35
11.87
7.72
12.2
8.2
9.7
15.5
8.31
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.48
2.5
2.66
6.12
3.95
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.48
4.32
4.3
8.11
2.46
5.68
2.65
3.8
7.11
5.5
Gamma
2.43 91%
2.36 93%
2.268 97%
2.48 89%
2.38 92%
2.4 92%
2.44 90%
2.24 98%
2.19 100%
2.335 94%
CCT
7006 93%
7612 85%
7034 92%
6741 96%
6915 94%
6989 93%
6820 95%
6847 95%
7930 82%
7056 92%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62
57
75
60
59
36
38
55
35
57
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
96
87
100
93
91
57
59
84
55
87
Noise
off / environment *
30.3
30
28.2
30.4
30
30.3
30.4
28.3
30.9
28.3
Idle Minimum *
30.3
30
28.2
30.9
30
31.1
30.4
30.6
30.9
28.3
Idle Average *
30.3
34
30
30.9
33
31.1
30.8
30.8
30.9
29
Idle Maximum *
30.3
38
32
30.9
37
34.2
30.8
32.8
31.6
29
Load Average *
37.1
44
36
42.6
41
34.9
33.6
37.6
38.5
36.7
Witcher 3 ultra *
43.3
50
48.8
42
42.7
47
44.7
Load Maximum *
43
55
48.8
45
50
44
43.4
53.5
40.8
42.8
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
55
46
58.6
46
47
50.2
41.6
60.4
44.3
46
Maximum Bottom *
49.1
52
59.4
47
54
57
42.5
55.2
39.5
56.2
Idle Upper Side *
30.5
32
35
29.6
36
28.6
29.7
32.4
24.8
28.6
Idle Bottom *
28.7
32
37
24.6
40
28.9
29.4
36
24.6
37.6
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
386
347
750
256
705
592
647
340
WiFi v1.3
942
275
286
397
198
391
336
348
257
265
Witcher 3 ultra
62
Load
114
80
47
113
80
133
94
73
46
53
H.264
265
371
224
325
306
227
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
2.9
10
12.8
4.1
18
4.9
4
8.2
4.7
5.06
Idle Average *
5.8
13
18.1
7.4
23
8.5
6.9
11.1
7.6
10.3
Idle Maximum *
7.5
19
24.7
8.6
30
9.1
9.4
11.8
9.2
10.7
Load Average *
77.5
68
98.4
66
85
90.7
72.6
81
81
83
Load Maximum *
107
136
114.6
87
158
144
122
123.3
112
99.9
Witcher 3 ultra *
84
110
122.5
96
110
95.11
92.4

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
5687 Points ∼21%
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 7300HQ 1060
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7300HQ, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
9249 Points ∼35%
Asus GL703GE-ES73
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
7074 Points ∼26%
Acer Nitro 5 Spin NP515-51-86CX
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
4746 Points ∼18%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
8949 Points ∼33%
Dell G5 15 5587
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8300H, SK hynix SC311 M.2
9405 Points ∼35%
Acer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TU
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7300HQ, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
5346 Points ∼20%
Asus GL503VD-DB74
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, ADATA SX7000NP 256 GB
5440 Points ∼20%
Medion Erazer X6603
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
6567 Points ∼25%
Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5411 Points ∼20%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
7974 Points ∼27%
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 7300HQ 1060
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7300HQ, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
11106 Points ∼37%
Asus GL703GE-ES73
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
9097 Points ∼30%
Acer Nitro 5 Spin NP515-51-86CX
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
6446 Points ∼21%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
11902 Points ∼40%
Dell G5 15 5587
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8300H, SK hynix SC311 M.2
12044 Points ∼40%
Acer Aspire 7 A715-71G-53TU
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7300HQ, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
7466 Points ∼25%
Asus GL503VD-DB74
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, ADATA SX7000NP 256 GB
7465 Points ∼25%
Medion Erazer X6603
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
9308 Points ∼31%
Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
7474 Points ∼25%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+) (sort by value)
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
22.7 fps ∼20%
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 7300HQ 1060
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7300HQ, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
40.3 fps ∼35%
Asus GL703GE-ES73
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 8750H, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
26 fps ∼23%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
34.6 fps ∼30%
Dell G5 15 5587
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8300H, SK hynix SC311 M.2
34.9 (min: 29, max: 39) fps ∼30%
Asus GL503VD-DB74
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, ADATA SX7000NP 256 GB
22 fps ∼19%
Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
25 fps ∼22%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
Dell XPS 15 2018 i5 FHD 97Wh
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8300H, Lite-On CA3-8D256-Q11
39 fps ∼21%
Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 7300HQ 1060
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7300HQ, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
72.8 fps ∼40%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
63.2 fps ∼34%
Dell G5 15 5587
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8300H, SK hynix SC311 M.2
58.3 fps ∼32%
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Florian Glaser (Update: 2018-07- 2)