While many gamers prefer a desktop computer to use for gaming, it can be nice to have something more travel-friendly. That’s where gaming laptops come in. They can offer the power and resolution you want for gaming, but are portable so you can take them with you.
When you’re looking into purchasing a gaming laptop, it may seem as if some are expensive. Based on our research, there are five amazing gaming laptops under $2,000 if you’d rather stick to a lower budget. Take a look at our roundup of the best gaming laptops under $2,000 below.
- Best Overall: ASUS ROG Strix G16 (2023) Gaming Laptop
- Cheapest: Bmax X14 Pro 14.1″ Laptop AMD Ryzen 5 3450U
- Best Looking: Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-54-760S Gaming Laptop
- Largest Screen: MSI Raider GE77Hx 17.3″ QHD 240Hz Gaming Laptop
- Best Specs: Alienware M15 R6 VR Ready Gaming Laptop
#1 Best Overall Gaming Laptop Under $2,000: ASUS ROG Strix G16
- 16inch FHD screen with 165Hz
- GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card
- Intel Core i9-13980HX processor
- 16GB DDR5 RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD
- Wi-Fi 6E connectivity option
- Windows 11 comes installed
The ASUS ROG Strix G16 tends to run slightly more than $2,000, there are many sites that have offered deals and coupons. We’ve seen the laptop for less. This high-performance laptop has a 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13980HX processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU — offering a 240hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. Not bad for a laptop.
Windows 11 is also installed and included at no extra cost. Be wary that the laptop only comes with 16GB RAM and 1TB of storage. While this is decent in the short run, serious gamers will want to consider upgrading to 32GB RAM soon.
The Asus also has superior cooling technology because it features Thermal Grizzly’s Conductonaut Extreme liquid metal on the CPU. There is a third intake fan to offer extra airflow to work with the thermal paste, providing a decent cooling solution. This is perfect if you run intensive games with high-quality graphics, and will keep your laptop from overheating. Some users have noted that this can make the laptop a bit loud when gaming.
The features don’t stop there. The ASUS ROG also offers Dolby Vision, a slim 90% screen-to-body ratio for viewing, and Adaptive-Sync compatibility, which aids in reducing input lagging. Overall, this laptop is a solid option and should be considered if you’re looking for a more affordable gaming laptop.
Check out the ASUS ROG Strix G16 and see if it is the perfect fit for your gaming needs.
|This laptop has a fast refresh rate for ultimate gaming.||The 16GB of RAM is decent, but we recommend more.|
|The laptop comes with an extra fan to keep it cool during long gaming sessions.||The fans on the laptop can be fairly loud during intensive gaming sessions.|
|The 90% screen-to-body ratio makes gaming feel more realistic|
Best Specs on a Gaming Laptop: Alienware M15 R6
First, let’s mention the best part about the Alienware M15 R6 laptop — it’s VR capable. If you want to play a lot of different virtual reality games, the Alienware M15 is one of the best options out there. It also comes with 1Gb of Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6, so you can network with friends and other gamers with ease.
Alienware is an incredibly popular gaming laptop brand, and many gamers swear by its options. Not only does the M15 have high-end specs, but the laptop itself is sleek and has a futuristic design with a backlit keyboard and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 to offer beautiful and clear graphics during gameplay. The 15.6-inch screen offers an HD display and has a 360hz refresh rate with a 1ms response time.
The Alienware M15 includes an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 8-core processor, 32GB RAM, and 1TB of storage. This is a significant upgrade from the 16GB of RAM that other gaming laptops offer. Overall, this premium gaming laptop is still budget-friendly for most but comes with a futuristic design and high-quality specs for picky gamers.
Check out the Alienware M15 R6 and see if it is the perfect fit for your gaming needs.
|This laptop offers VR capabilities.||The 16GB of RAM is higher than the bare minimum, but we recommend adding more.|
|The laptop has a fast 360hz refresh rate.|
Cheapest Gaming Laptop: Bmax X14 Pro 14.1in
The Bmax X14 Pro laptop is a decent option for people looking for an affordable but high-quality gaming laptop. With a 14.1-inch screen display, it’s slightly smaller and lighter than some of the other options on this list, but it’s great for gamers watching their wallets.
Even with budget pricing, the Bmax X14 has an AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3450U CPU and 8GB SSD. While we typically would recommend at least 16GB as a baseline, sacrifices have to be made when on an extreme budget. Luckily, it’s still fairly speedy and can handle games like Minecraft and Portal with ease — according to some reviewers.
The biggest pro about the Bmax X14 Pro is that it’s lightweight – weighing only about three pounds. The backlit keyboard is also bright, so this is a great travel option based on size, weight, and ease of use. While the memory can’t be increased, this can be a great option for kids or teens as a gaming laptop, or a backup gaming laptop for travel.
Check out the Bmax X14 Pro and see if it is the perfect fit for your gaming needs.
|This laptop is the most affordable option on this list.||You can’t add an external SSD to increase memory.|
|It’s lightweight and extremely portable.||The laptop may struggle with larger games.|
|The screen is small and compact if you want to store the laptop easily.|
Best Looking Gaming Laptop: Acer Predator Helios 300
- Blistering fast display, and extreme gaming performance
- Flexible enough to seamlessly multitask
- State-of-the-art cooling technology
- Latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 with DirectX 12 support
- Up to16GB DDR4 memory and 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD
The Acer Predator Helios 300 laptop is a great in-between laptop for gamers on a budget who don’t want the cheapest option on the list. It has a 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU and a multi-zone RGB keyboard, for gamers who love multiple colors on their keyboard.
The 15.6-inch screen has a Full HD (1080p) LED-backlit display. It provides a 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time, making gaming lag a thing of the past. This helps offer some of the most beautiful gaming experiences you’ll ever want. The laptop is a bit heavier, clocking in at around five pounds. The black aluminum it’s made of makes it look sleek and modern. It includes three USB 3.2 Type-A ports, an audio jack, and a Thunderbolt 4, just to name a few ports.
One of the biggest cons that some users have noted is the keyboard. Many reviews stated that the keys are small and can become unresponsive over time unless you type incredibly hard. There also isn’t an SD or microSD card slot, so you’ll have to work with the storage you’ve already got.
Check out the Acer Predator Helios 300 and see if it is the perfect fit for your gaming needs.
|This laptop has the most ports out of all the other options on this list.||There is no way to add more memory since there isn’t another SD slot.|
|The keyboard is incredibly bright and flashes different colors.|
|The screen offers 1080p viewing and a backlit display|
Gaming Laptop With the Largest Screen: MSI Raider GE77Hx
The MSI Raider GE77Hx is the best gaming laptop under $2,000 for those who love a sleek design and large screen. It has a powerful specs sheet, a QHD display with a 240hz refresh rate, and a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 12800HX 16-core processor. These features make it easy to play graphic-intensive games, live stream, video edit, and more.
The laptop contains 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, which is standard for most gaming laptops. If you need to load more games or software and that’s not enough space, you can install an external SSD or HDD. The 17.3-inch screen display covers a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. This means your games and videos will be vibrant and vivid, without sacrificing speed and realism.
While the specs are incredible, the laptop truly shines in its design and feel. It’s basically luxury — offering an RGB strip at the front base, a thin bezel display, and an RGB keyboard, which all look stunning in daylight or in the dark. It’s modern and offers a bit more style for those who enjoy that. A quick con to note is that some users have reported that the laptop gets extremely hot when playing graphic-heavy games. So we suggest purchasing a cooling pad or keeping the laptop off your legs.
Check out the MSI Raider GE77Hx and see if it is the perfect fit for your gaming needs.
|This laptop offers a unique design and is one of the best looking models we’ve seen.||The laptop is large and heavy, which may not work as well for traveling.|
|It has an SSD slot so you can install an external option if needed.||This laptop can get hot enough to warm up your legs.|
|The screen has a thin bezel display for ultimate viewing pleasure.|
How to Pick the Best Gaming Laptops Under $2,000: Step-by-Step
Before you purchase a new gaming laptop, remember these considerations.
Let’s dive deeper into why these features are so important.
Playing video games on your laptop usually consumes a lot of RAM. While many laptop experts recommend at least 8GB of RAM for regular laptop work, we suggest choosing a gaming PC with at least 16GB of memory. If your laptop doesn’t have enough RAM, your computer may lag and have poor performance during gaming.
While some budget gaming laptops will come with a single hard drive (usually 1TB), we recommend trying to find one that includes a small SSD in addition to the hard drive. This will help you keep more games on your laptop.
Having a clear and vivid picture when gaming is important for many gamers, especially those who want to see exactly what they paid for. While it’s extremely rare to find a laptop that runs a 720 x 1280 display, we don’t recommend picking one that does. Instead, try to get a laptop that has at least a 1920 x 1080 display. If you can get a laptop with 4K resolution (3840 x 2160), even better. The better the resolution of the screen, the more you’ll pay, so keep that in mind.
While this list is the best gaming laptops under $2,000, some people may not want to spend that amount right away. If you’d prefer to stick to under $1,500, or even under $1,000, it’s possible. Keep in mind that the price usually reflects the quality. If you’re fine with your laptop not having all of the gaming bells and whistles, you’ll be able to stick to a $2,000 and under budget easily.
Part of gaming on a laptop means using the keyboard that’s already provided. You’ll want to make sure that the laptop you choose has a keyboard with gaming features, like backlights and anti-ghosting features. Again, these aren’t mandatory, but are really nice to have if you game quite a bit.
What to Know Before Buying the Best Gaming Laptops Under $2,000
While many high-end gaming laptops can cost $2,000 or more, brands have started offering budget-friendly gaming laptops as well. Before you buy a gaming laptop, you should keep the size of it, the resolution of the screen, and other components in mind.
Other important items include the CPU and GPU. These aid in handling the laptop’s main functions, like displaying graphics on the screen. While smaller or lighter laptops are easier to travel with, that shouldn’t be your biggest priority. For gaming laptops, the lighter it is, the more likely it can’t handle more intensive games. Instead, look for plenty of storage, decent audio and graphics, and a 1080p screen, at the very least.
Using Gaming Laptops Under $2,000: What it’s Like
Luckily, gaming laptops are more affordable now that they’re becoming more popular. There are many gaming laptops on the market that are under $2,000, and our list just scratches the surface. With brands like Acer, Alienware, and ASUS creating high-quality laptops for an affordable price, it won’t be long before budget gaming laptops take over as a great option for gamers, workers, and streamers alike.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©antoniodiaz/Shutterstock.com.