Are Budget Gaming Laptops Really Worth It?

Acer gaming laptop

In the last few years, major manufacturers put a lot of effort into making gaming laptops affordable. We have seen many budget gaming laptops that cost less than a thousand bucks.

Related: 5 Best Gaming Laptops Under 750 Bucks.

A few years back, a budget gaming laptop wouldn’t have been a good choice. That’s because they used to cut more than just money. And most of them offered mediocre performance and featured low-quality displays.

Nowadays, there are many decent low-cost laptops for gaming. While they won’t provide you the feel of a Premium rig, the overall gaming experience is decent for the money.

Budget gaming laptops were bad

Gaming laptops are powerful, portable computers that allow you to play games and perform other demanding tasks on the go. A budget laptop on the other hand offers the bare minimum to get your work done on the go. So establishing a middle ground between the two is a bit hard.

Traditionally, budget gaming rigs have often failed to deliver what they were meant to do: a decent gaming experience. Most featured entry-level GPUs, and cheap low-quality displays. And the manufacturers often used cheaper build materials in order to cut costs. Combined, a budget gaming laptop couldn’t really satisfy an average gamer.

Cheap gaming laptops have gotten better

Thanks to the lower production costs and design improvements, budget gaming laptops are now commendable in terms of performance and build quality. Most budget gaming laptops nowadays feature a decent GPU and display. Plus, the build quality has also gotten much better. Especially since last year, we have seen many well-designed gaming laptops costing no more than 1000 dollars.

Take Acer Nitro 5 for instance. The model had been rated poorly just a few years ago. But now it’s become one of the most popular picks for budget gamers. Under 800 dollars, it offers an i5 processor and a powerful RTX3060 GPU, along with a bright, fast refreshing display and decent build quality.

Acer Nitro 5 is an excellent budget gaming rig, a truly worhty performcer.
Acer Nitro 5 – one of the best budget gaming rigs.

Production cost always goes down

To design a new laptop, manufacturers have to put a lot of money into research and development. But as a laptop model matures, the cost that goes into R&D gets much lower. Money is then just spent on production and marketing. So over time, all laptops tend to become cheaper to produce, and as result come with a cheaper price tag.

More competition

As portable gaming rises in popularity, more companies are entering the market. This increased competition has led to lower prices as well as more innovations.

How much should I spend on a gaming laptop?

Gaming laptops cost more than conventional ones, that’s no news. There are even some premium, high-performance gaming rigs that cost more than three grand.

But frankly, you can find a good entry-level gaming laptop for under a thousand bucks. There are many cheaper gaming laptops that offer an excellent balance between design and performance – excellent for moderate gaming and other resource-intensive tasks. So for budget buyers, we think a thousand dollars is enough for a gaming laptop. You just have to find the right balance between performance and design.

Is a 500 dollar gaming laptop worth it?

No. It’s rare to find even one brand new gaming laptop at such a low price. You can however get a used gaming laptop under 500 dollars. Head over to eBay, you’ll find many used laptops in excellent conditions at very low prices.

Consider Buying a used laptop

Under a low budget, used laptops are excellent choices. This is because electronics tend to quickly lose value over time. You can get a used laptop with higher configurations at a much lower cost. And under 750, the performance you’ll get from a brand new laptop won’t likely even surpass a used, older, high-performance laptop.

You can also check out our picks for used and new budget gaming laptops here.

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