When talking about gaming laptops, we usually turn to the likes of Razer and Asus’s ROG series for ultimate performance. While these gaming laptops can handle most things you throw at them, they are relatively expensive at more than $1,000.
What if you only want a capable laptop for casual and light gaming? There are actually a lot of great options on the market and we are going to review some of them in this article.
Acer Aspire E15
We can’t talk about affordable laptops for casual gaming without talking about Acer. The company is not only very successful with its Predator line of serious gaming laptops but also with its E series laptops for everyday users. The Acer Aspire E15 is a good example of a laptop that provides you with a nice balance between value and performance.
As the name suggests, the Aspire E15 comes with a 15-inch screen. The one you want is dubbed E5-575G-57D4, with an Intel Core i5 7200U processor and a dedicated graphics card, the NVidia GeForce 940MX. This may not be NVidia’s most powerful dedicated GPU, but it is certainly more than capable of running titles such as Drift and Burn 365 on your web browser.
You also get up to 12 hours of battery life, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD. All of these features are yours for just a little under $550, which makes the Acer Aspire E15 one of the best laptops on the market when it comes to price to performance ratio.
Dell Inspiron 15
Another great 15-inch gaming laptop to consider is the Dell Inspiron 15. The laptop is much closer to our $1,000 limit than the previously discussed Acer Aspire E15. The Inspiron 15 now retails at around $800. That said, you get so much more for your money.
For starters, you get Intel’s top-of-the-line Core i7 7700HQ processor for maximum performance. You also get NVidia’s latest generation GPU with the GTX 1050Ti. Of course, you get a crisp and vibrant 15-inch screen with IPS panel now that Dell has decided to include the new panel as standard (the same model used to come with the inferior TN panel).
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The only compromise you have to make when opting for the Dell Inspiron 15 is the battery life. You only get around five hours of normal use from the built-in battery, and the power brick that comes with this laptop is not necessarily compact either.
The HP 15 is known for its reliability and simple design. The HP 15-ba043wm is actually a great laptop to opt for if you’re looking for good price-to-performance ratio and you want to spend no more than $500 on the gaming laptop. Similar to the previous two options, the HP 15-ba043wm also comes with a 15-inch screen and discrete graphics. This time, however, you get AMD’s A10-9600P processor and the seventh generation Radeon R5 Bristol Ridge GPU.
At less than $450, it is difficult to beat the HP 15-ba043wm in terms of value. You even get a touchscreen LCD panel with the laptop, which makes it an absolute bargain.