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The best cheap gaming laptop deals under $1000 for May 2021

cheap gaming laptop deals
(Image credit: Future)

You'll find all of this week's best cheap gaming laptop deals all neatly laid out and compared right here on this page. Looking for something on a shoe-string budget? Perhaps you have a little more change to spend to get something with a little more power. Well, no matter what you're looking for we've got cheap gaming laptop deals for all types of gamers here. This week especially we've got some fantastic sub-$700 machines in particular which are just perfect if you're looking to buy your first rig or just want something for casual use. 

You'll find machines from all the top brands featured on our list this week - Acer, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and MSI to name just a few. We always find our cheap gaming laptop deals recommendations from trusted retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, and Newegg, and we're also very careful to curate only the top picks so that you won't get a machine that isn't worth your hard-earned cash here.

Prices start at $589 but we're going to be ranging all the way to $1,000, for those of you looking for something a little beefier this week. We've also thrown in a few honorable mentions just beyond our $1,000 budget too - many of which we've reviewed on our best gaming laptop buyers guide, just to give you some high-end options. While we're still waiting for those RTX 3000 cards to become commonplace on laptops, you'll find plenty of recent graphics cards and processors in abundance here alongside generous helpings of RAM and fast SSD storage. We've heavily curated our list to show only good gaming laptop deals for the price, so feel confident when browsing.

Just below the list of our top picks, you'll also find some recently updating buying advice. This leverages our expertise here at TechRadar and aims to give you a little more guidance if you're unsure about what laptop to buy or how much to spend. It'll also give you a quick overview of which retailers offer the best deals, and which times of the year are especially good for sales.

This week's best gaming laptop deals

Cheap gaming laptop deal of the week

Dell G3 15 gaming laptop: $1,189.99 $783.99 at Dell
Save $406 -
With a GTX 1660 Ti, Intel Core i5-10300H, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD, this Dell G3 15 is packing in some serious components for the money. The graphics card is especially good here, being a component that's not commonly seen for under $800 on most machines.View Deal

Gaming laptop deals under $700

HP Pavilion 15.6-inch gaming laptop: $589 at Walmart
For those really on a budget this week, you'll find a cheap and cheerful HP Pavilion 15 at Walmart that can handle a spot of casual gaming for under $600. With an Intel Core i5-9300H processor, GTX 1650 graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD, you're not getting the latest specs here, or the fastest, but they will load up a surprisingly large library of games and play them with lowered settings. View Deal

Dell G3 15 gaming laptop: $859.99 $636.99 at Dell
Save $223 -
Those looking for cheap gaming laptop deals on a budget will be hard pressed to find a better option than this newly discounted Dell G3 15 this weekend. While the Intel Core i5-10300H processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD are fairly standard for the price, this one's also got a GTX 1650 Ti - a better graphics card than you'd expect to see at this price.View Deal

MSI GF63 15.6-inch gaming laptop: $729.99 $649.99 at Best Buy
Save $80 -
A big price cut makes this MSI GF63 a very competitive gaming laptop deal indeed this week. Inside it's packing an Intel Core i5-10300H processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and a GTX 1650 graphics card too, making it a fairly well rounded 'budget' gaming laptop. It's not quite as good value as the Dell above, but it's probably the next best option if the above is sold out.View Deal

Lenovo L340 15.6-inch gaming laptop: $649 at Walmart
This Lenovo at Walmart packs in an Intel Core i5-9300HF processor, 8GB of RAM, a GTX 1650 graphics card, and most impressively a 512GB SSD. These specs are a little older now, especially the processor, but that is one very large capacity SSD for the money, and makes this one a good option for those really on a budget this week.View Deal

HP Pavilion 15.6-inch gaming laptop: $699.99 at HP
This HP Pavilion comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H - a very powerful processor for the money and the latest on the market. That's joined by a 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and a GTX 1650 graphics card, making this one a great casual gamer that will handle plenty of intensive applications on the side too.View Deal

Asus TUF F15 gaming laptop: $799 $699 at Microsoft
Save $100 -
Here's a gaming laptop courtesy of Microsoft that'll get you some decent performance and come well under budget too. With a 512GB SSD, Intel Core i5-10300H, GTX 1650 graphics card, and 8GB of RAM, this one's got a little bit more space on those drives than you normally get with more budget gaming laptops.View Deal

Gaming laptop deals under $800

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15.6-inch gaming laptop: $809 $719.99 at B&H Photo
Save $90 -
Here's another good cheap gaming laptop deal featuring a GTX 1650 Ti graphics card - this time at B&H. With a 256GB SSD, this one doesn't have quite the same drive space as the HP above, but its Intel Core i5-10300H and 8GB of RAM are otherwise identical performance-wise.
View Deal

Dell G3 15 gaming laptop: $1,189.99 $783.99 at Dell
Save $406 -
With a GTX 1660 Ti, Intel Core i5-10300H, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD, this Dell G3 15 is packing in some serious components for the money. The graphics card is especially good here, being a component that's not commonly seen for under $800 on most machines.View Deal

Gaming laptop deals under $900

Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop: $934.98 $832.99 at Dell
Save $97 -
This Dell G5 15 packs in exclusively AMD components and because of that you're getting your hands on an extremely well-rounded and great value machine. With a Ryzen 5 4600H, RX 5600M graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD, this one's going to be capable of great frame rates at 1080p. 

View Deal

Lenovo Legion 5 15.6-inch gaming laptop: $849.99 at Walmart
The combination of a Ryzen 5-4600H, GTX 1660 Ti, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD makes this Lenovo Legion 5 a really solid mid-range gaming laptop deal. If you're looking for something with a powerful CPU and big drive for all those games, then this is a very good option indeed.View Deal

Gaming laptop deals under $1,000

HP Omen 15.6-inch gaming laptop: $1,099 $999.99 at HP
Save $100 -
If looks are as important to you as performance with gaming laptop deals, then definitely consider this gorgeous HP Omen. This range of machines are some of the most premium offered by HP and the RTX 2060, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and Intel Core i5-10300H ain't half bad either. If you need a little more RAM or space on those drives, however, check out the options just down below.View Deal

Acer Nitro 5 15.6-inch gaming laptop: $999.99 at Microsoft
You'll bag yourself an RTX 2060 graphics card, Intel Core i7-9750H, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD with this upgraded Acer Nitro 5 at Microsoft. Those are slightly older components now but make no mistakes about it, this is one fast machine for the money, and one that'll handle most games at 1080p no problem.View Deal

Asus TUF 15.6-inch gaming laptop: $999 at Walmart
This Asus TUF is a little older now, but if you're looking for a powerful gaming laptop deal that'll handle relatively high settings, it'll definitely still do the job. With an RTX 2060 graphics card, Ryzen 7-3750H, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, this one's capable of pushing out some serious frames per second.View Deal

Gaming laptop deals over $1000

Lenovo Legion Y540 15.6-inch gaming laptop: $1299 $1084.94 at Walmart
Save $210 -
This Lenovo Legion sure is pricey, but a huge discount from Walmart manages to bring it down to our budget this week. With an RTX 2060 graphics card, Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD, this machine is a little older now but still capable of pushing some very high performance on all those latest games - and should do for some years to come too.View Deal

Lenovo Legion 5 15.6-inch gaming laptop: $1,099.99 at Newegg
While there's no saving this week on this Lenovo legion 5, it's a really powerful machine and a worthy contender if you've got the cash. With an RTX 2060, Ryzen 7-4800H, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, this one's definitely got a ton of power under the hood and while not the latest spec anymore, is still great value. View Deal

Frequently asked questions

Where should I look for cheap gaming laptops?

Generally speaking, the most reliable retailers that have plenty of options and the best prices are Best Buy and Amazon, although Dell and HP often have great sales on Holiday events like Black Friday. You might get lucky on Ebay or another auction site, but we definitely recommend picking up your cheap gaming laptop from one of the big official retailers, as you're sure to be getting a decent warranty, as well as the latest components more or less. 

Newegg, B&H Photo, and Adorama are also worthy mentions, and definitely worth a quick comparative glance. They don't tend to price match quite as well as Amazon and Best Buy however, unless they're doing a closeout deal.

Here are some quick links to the best gaming laptop deals retailers, in case you want to head over to their sites and check them out yourself.

  • Best Buy - often has the best gaming laptop deals nationwide.
  • Amazon - great marketplace options, plus exclusive gaming laptop deals.
  • Dell - only sells own brand, but excellent price cuts all year round.
  • Lenovo - particularly good for flash sales around Black Friday.
  • Newegg - often not the best, but occasionally has gold.
  • HP - great options for cheaper gaming laptops especially.
  • Acer - often sells out, but another great cheap option.
  • Adorama - has lower-priced options mostly.
  • B&H Photo - another top contender and a viable alternative retailer.

What should I look for in a cheap gaming laptop?

This is completely subjective, depending on what type of games you want to play and what kind of level of performance you want. Specs-wise, we'd recommend determining the level of specs you need by checking out the recommended and minimum system requirements of your favorite or upcoming games. This can give you a general idea of what you need, as well as stop you from buying that new gaming laptop that's not going to be able to play new releases.

Just for good measure however, we'd recommend the following as a minimum if you're strictly on a budget:

  • Minimum - Intel Core i5 (9th gen) / AMD Ryzen 5 (3rd gen) processor or later
  • Minimum - Nvidia GTX 1050 / AMD RX 560x graphics card or later
  • Minimum - 8GB of RAM
  • Optional - 512GB solid-state drive
  • Optional - 120Hz refresh rate display monitor

Anything lower than the above and you'll tend to struggle with modern games at 1080p settings. You can, of course, get away with lower-level or older components if you're just planning on playing older games, but for new releases, definitely consider the above as a bare minimum.

How much should I spend on a cheap gaming laptop?

Again this is completely subjective based on your requirements, but in our opinion the best bang for the buck machines tend to sit around the $700 to $900 price range. 

You can of course go lower but you'll often encounter machines that simply aren't designed for gaming or quite frankly up to the task. It can be tempting to pick up a cheaper ultrabook with a Core i7 or Ryzen 7 processor and tons of RAM but remember these don't come with the dedicated graphics card or cooling requirements you'll need for proper gaming. 

When's the best time to pick up a gaming laptop deal?

Luckily for gamers on a budget, gaming laptop deals tend to be a weekly feature over at most of the big retailers so there's always plenty to chose from. That said, there are definitely high points throughout the year, namely big sales events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon Prime day which can yield great results for those willing to wait.

Our top tip - do your research. Narrow down which model and specs you want and check-in at your favorite retailers each week. Alternatively, let TechRadar simply do all the work for you and become a regular visitor to this page or our dedicated deals feed.

The best cheap gaming laptops of 2021

Acer Nitro 5

1. Acer Nitro 5

A competent laptop for budget gamers

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 (9th-generation); AMD Ryzen 5 - 7 (3rd-generation) | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 2060 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS | Storage: 256GB - 512GB SSD

User controllable fans
Good battery life
Decent gaming performance for price
Thick display bezel

The Acer Nitro 5 is squarely aimed at the portable PC gamer who doesn’t need every bell and whistle on their machine and might not be able to afford them even if they did. Still, it packs some quality hardware under the hood with specs ranging from the Core i5-10300H GTX 1650 variant, all the way to machines with a Core i7-9750H and RTX 2060 inside. The design has a rather generic gaming laptop aesthetic, however, and the bezel on the display is definitely on the thicker side. Cheap gaming laptops don't generally tend to feature bezel-less designs though, unlike similarly priced ultrabooks.

Read our full review: Acer Nitro 5

Dell G3 15

2. Dell G3 15

Budget gaming in style

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 (10th-generation) | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 – GTX 1660 Ti | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS | Storage: 256GB - 512GB SSD

Great performer for the money

If you’re looking to save some cash on your next gaming laptop, the Dell G3 15 will provide a competent gaming experience while costing much less than the competition. The laptop comes equipped with more than serviceable Nvidia graphics behind a fine, 1080p display, almost betraying its awfully affordable price point. Just don't expect an overly fancy design or aesthetic - these come with a plastic chassis. For cheap gaming laptops, the G3 range offers a variety of different builds and specs, so it's worth checking out different configurations before you settle. 

Read the full review: Dell G3 15


(Image credit: MSI)

3. MSI GF63 Thin

Premium specs in a thin profile at an affordable price point

CPU: Intel Core i5 - i7 (9th-generation) | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD | Storage: 256GB - 512 SSD

Sharp, colorful bezel-less display
Very affordable
Brushed aluminum top
Limited configurations

The MSI G563 Thin is one of the cheap gaming laptops to beat, alongside the Nitro 5 and Legion 5. It generally sits comfortably in the lower price brackets alongside its aft mentioned competitors but somehow manages to pack everything into an attractive, part metal chassis - a rarity at this price point. Specs are around the ballpark you'd expect with an entry-level machine - starting at a 9th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU and an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. MSI state this design has thin bezels, although don't expect too much with the display on the baseline model - it's still got a chunky bottom bezel and runs at a fairly pedestrian 60Hz.

Dell G5 15 5590

(Image credit: Dell)

4. Dell G5 15

Dell's mid-range competitor

CPU: Intel Core i5-i7 (10th-generation) | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti - RTX 2060 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS | Storage: 256GB - 512GB SSD

Multiple configurations
Solid graphics performance
60Hz refresh rate on baseline model

The Dell G5 15 is Dell's shot at providing a slightly more up-market gaming laptop versus the entry-level G3 15. That said, the baseline models barely retail for more than the G3 so it really comes down to personal taste which one you go for if you're on a budget. The G5 15's do have a higher potential spec, however, and you'll also be getting a 120Hz to 144Hz display on the more expensive configurations, albeit in a slightly bulkier and still fully plastic chassis. Note - The listed specs here are for the standard Intel equipped machine, although there is also a special edition featuring exclusively AMD components.

Read the full review: Dell G5 15

ASUS TUF Gaming A15

(Image credit: Asus)


High-end specs at mid-range prices

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 - 9 (4000 series) | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 - RTX 2060 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS | Storage: 256GB - 1TB SSD

The cheapest RTX laptops
New AMD processors
So-so cooling

One of the shining lights in the mid-range cheap gaming laptop market is the ASUS TUF A15, which debuted earlier this year complete with the latest 4000 series AMD Ryzen processors. It's pretty chunky and features a fairly no-nonsense aesthetic that's decidedly budget in outlook in our opinion but we can't argue with the level of specs on offer for the money here. It's currently one of the cheapest ways to pick up an RTX 2060 equipped laptop, which retails for around $999, although you can opt for a baseline version that packs a GTX 1660Ti and goes for around $850. Overall you should expect excellent performance for the money here, although the cooling could be a little better as this laptop runs fairly hot and the fans are quite loud.

Read our full review: Asus TUF A15

(Image credit: HP)

6. HP Pavilion Gaming 15

A more affordable machine from HP

CPU: Intel Core i5 - i7 (10th-generation); AMD Ryzen 5 - 7 (4000 series) | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 -1660 Ti | RAM: 8GB - 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD | Storage: 256GB - 512GB SSD

Solid performer
Striking design
Below average webcam quality
Poor display

The HP Pavilion 15 is the slightly more budget-focused gaming laptop range from HP (the other being the long-serving OMEN laptops). As is the standard fare with cheap gaming laptops, the HP Pavilion is a decidedly no thrills, fairly stripped back affair that focused on packing in as many up-to-date components as possible for the money. This year's iteration comes with the latest processors from both Intel and AMD, although you tend to be able to find last year's components still available at many retailers for a cut down price. Probably the main selling point for the HP Pavilion 15 is its design, which will appeal to those who want a slicker, thinner chassis over the normally bulky laptops at this price point.

Not quite what you're looking for? Maybe our other laptop articles will have what you need.

If you're buying a gaming laptop, you don't want to clutter it with all your everyday computing needs. For something cheap and portable, check out our favorite cheap laptop deals from this week. If you want to even cheaper, check out the best laptops under $500. You can also add extra port functionality to your gaming laptop with these awesome USB-C hubs and docks, or take control of your gaming experience for less with our top picks of the cheapest Xbox One controller deals