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Top 3 Best Budget Gaming Laptops (2018)

Most people prefer to game on desktop computers or consoles like Xbox or Playstation, but laptops can be pretty good too. Today we are going to look at the best budget gaming laptops. They are obviously much more portable, easy to move around and fast to setup. However overheating is a persistent issue with high performance laptops. But at the end of the article I will show you guys some products that can help with that. And there will also be some other gear you might want to get for your gaming laptop.

These budget gaming laptops are also good for 3D modeling and video editing. Especially with multiple layers and effects. Other things that require a lot of computer resources are also doable.

# Gaming Laptop Platform Processor Memory Graphics Harddrive Battery Price
1 Acer Aspire VX 15 Windows 10 Intel i7 7700HQ 3.8GHz 16GB DDR4 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 256GB SSD 6 hours $999
2 HP Pavilion 15 AW167CL Windows 10 AMD A12-9700P 2.5GHz 12GB DDR4 AMD Radeon R7 256GB SSD 7.5 hours $599
3 ASUS X555DA Windows 10 AMD A10-8700P 3.2GHz 8GB DDR3 AMD Radeon R6 1TB HDD or 256GB SSD 6 hours $460

 

#1 Acer Aspire VX 15

Acer Aspire VX 15 Best Budget Gaming Laptop

Platform Processor Memory Graphics Harddrive Battery Price
Windows 10 Intel i7 7700HQ 3.8GHz 16GB DDR4 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 256GB SSD 6 hours $999

First off we have the Acer Aspire VX 15, which is a 15.6 inch budget gaming laptop that runs on Windows 10. It has a 7th generation Intel i7 processor that can go up to 3.8GHz, 16GB of DDR4 memory and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card.

Basically this means that it’s an excellent gaming laptop. You can play a lot of games including new ones like Battlefield 1, Call of Duty WW2 or Destiny 2. These games can be played at medium or high graphics settings.

The only downside with this laptop in my opinion is that it only has 256GB SSD harddrive. That’s not a lot of storage space out of the box. However, you can add another 2.5″ SATA harddrive. But you have to request the harddrive mounting kit from Acer. They will actually send it to you for free if you live in the US or Canada.

The laptop design itself is quite nice, it looks very sleek and modern. The Acer also includes a backlit keyboard. The battery life is estimated at 6 hours when idling. But when surfing the web or watching a movie it’ll maybe last 3-4 hours. While gaming or rendering graphics it might be closer to 1-2 hours. This is fairly normal from my experience.

In terms of connectivity it has very fast Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0 and for those who might still need it, a gigabit ethernet port. It also has 3 regular USB ports and one USB 3.1 port. Additionally it has an HDMI port for a second monitor, and of course a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones.

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#2 HP Pavilion 15 AW167CL

HP Pavilion 15 AW167CL

Platform Processor Memory Graphics Harddrive Battery Price
Windows 10 AMD A12-9700P 2.5GHz 12GB DDR4 AMD Radeon R7 256GB SSD 7.5 hours $599

Next up we have the HP Pavilion 15 AW167CL. It’s also a 15.6 inch budget gaming laptop with Windows 10. The specs are quite good but still lower than the Acer VX 15, but so is the price.

This HP laptop has a 7th generation AMD A12-9700P processor that can go up to 2.5GHz in clock speed. It also has 12GB of DDR4 memory and an AMD Radeon R7 graphics card.

It should be able to run some of the same games as the Acer, but not necessarily the latest games like Battlefield 1. You might have to go to lower graphics settings on some games that have higher graphics requirements.

It has a 256GB SSD drive for file storage, so the same as the Acer. I recommend getting an external USB harddrive if you need more space. Battery life is estimated at around 7.5 hours when idling, and less if you’re actually doing stuff with the laptop. But in my opinion it’s not that important for a gaming laptop.

The HP Pavilion 15 also has very good Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0 and an ethernet port if you need to plugin the laptop directly to your local network.

The design of the laptop is fairly standard, however it has a nice golden color, which is a bit different than the usual black or silver. It has a backlit keyboard as well so you won’t be sturggling to find the keys in the dark.

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#3 ASUS X555DA

ASUS X555DA

Platform Processor Memory Graphics Harddrive Battery Price
AMD A10-8700P 3.2GHz 8GB DDR3 AMD Radeon R6 1TB HDD or 256GB SSD 6 hours $460

And finally we have our cheapest option with reasonable specs, the ASUS X555DA. Once again, it is a 15.6 inch budget gaming laptop also running Windows 10. The X555 has an AMD A10-8700P processor rather than an Intel processor. This CPU can be clocked up to 3.2GHz, and performs similar to sixth generation Intel i5 processors.

The X555 also has 8GB of DDR3 memory, which is slower than DDR4 memory, but still very usable. The graphics card on this laptop is the AMD Radeon R6 which is lower performance than the R7 and GeForce graphics cards from the previous laptops, so you probably won’t be able to play all of the latest games. However it should run games like CS:GO, Garry’s Mod or League of Legends on medium graphics settings just fine.

When it comes to file storage the X555 has two options, either a 256GB solid state drive or a regular 1TB harddrive. For the 256GB SSD, which is much faster than the 1TB harddrive but obviously smaller, you have to pay about 10 dollars extra.

The design of the laptop looks fairly good but it’s still a pretty standard design. It does not however have a backlit keyboard, although they do mention an ergonomic design and some sort of cooling feature for your hands. But to be honest I’d rather they would have invested in keyboard backlighting. The battery is supposed to also last 6 hours when idle, which is pretty standard.

The X555 is a starter budget gaming laptop. If you want something affordable with good performance, and you enjoy slightly older games, then this laptop is definitely a decent choice.

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EXTRA GEAR: Overheating Protection

Cooler Master Notepal U2 Plus Laptop Cooling Pad

With laptops, overheating can become a problem especially if you’re playing video games or rendering 3D graphics or high definition videos in editing software for longer periods of time.

Overheating is worst when the air gap between the bottom of the laptop and the surface is very small or non-existant. This prevents the fan from properly cooling the laptop. But even if you have the laptop on a solid surface like a desk, overheating can still become an issue.

So to protect your budget gaming laptop from overheating you want to increase that air gap for better air flow underneath the laptop. There are probably some decent do-it-yourself solutions to this that aren’t too hard to accomplish.

But personally I am a bit lazy, so I just went ahead and bought myself a Cooler Master NotePal U2 PLUS laptop cooling pad. It raises the laptop a bit and has two USB powered fans for extra cooling. But even without the fans running, simply having better air flow underneath helps to decrease my laptops temperature by several degrees.

You can get it from Amazon for around 29 dollars. Click here!

 

EXTRA GEAR: Budget Gaming Headset

Creative Sound Blaster Tactic3D Rage Headset

If you’re a gamer, you probably also want to get a gaming headset for your budget gaming laptop. Personally I prefer wireless headsets whenever possible, and the Creative Sound Blaster Tactic3D Rage is the only decent one I found for under $100. I have actually bought it myself, and use it pretty often as well.

The audio quality is OK considering the price, although it has perhaps a bit too much bass. Microphone quality is good enough, and it has decent wireless range. The only real complaint I would have is that the top arch of the headset becomes painful after a few hours of wearing.

Overall, it’s a good quality headset considering the cost, which tends to be around 70-85 dollars on Amazon. Click here!

 

EXTRA GEAR: Budget Gaming Mouse

Logitech M705 Wireless Mouse

One more thing you might want to grab is an external mouse. Personally I use the Logitech M705 wireless mouse on my laptop. It’s fairly cheap, around 25-30 dollars on Amazon.

Basically this mouse has a great battery life, good ergonomic design, two extra configurable buttons on the left side and a scroll wheel that can be set to scroll really fast.

It’s not a hardcore gaming mouse, but it’s good, simple, reliable and affordable. I personally recommend it for a budget gaming laptop setup. Click here to buy!

 

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