The Best Gaming Laptop for Every Budget in 2024

July 11, 2024 • Shannon Flynn


PC gaming can get expensive. Laptops tend to run a little cheaper, but even this category can quickly get pricey, and you’ll likely deal with some lower specs. That can make it hard to find the best gaming laptop for your budget.

Rest assured, there are affordable, good gaming laptops out there. To help you narrow down your decision, here are our picks for the best gaming laptops in 2024 for every budget.

Best High-End Gaming Laptop — ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17

ASUS is a mainstay in PC gaming, so it’s no surprise that the ROG Strix Scar 17 takes first place among gaming laptops. It comes in a few configurations, with prices ranging from just below $2,000 to above $3,000. That’s a lot, but some desktops can get over $4,000, and you get what you pay for here.

The ROG Strix Scar 17 features top-of-the-line graphics cards (GPUs) up to an Nvidia RTX 4090. Up to 35GB of RM and 2TB of solid-state storage sweeten the deal. It also has all the RBG lighting you could hope for in a proper gaming PC.

Admittedly, the Strix Scar 17 is big, loud and doesn’t have a great battery life. Still, its price isn’t all that bad considering the specs, making it one of the best gaming laptops around.

Best Gaming Laptop Under $2,000 — Razer Blade 15

Another familiar name takes the spot for the best gaming laptop for upper-mid-range budgets. The Razer Blade 15 can break the $2,000 mark with some extras, but its most basic option comes in just below $1,800.

The baseline Blade 15 comes with an RTX 4060, a 1TB solid-state drive (SSD) and 16GB of RAM. While not the flashiest combo on this list, those specs are more than enough to run today’s AAA games smoothly.

Like all Razer hardware, the Blade 15 comes with an added cool factor. It’s as sleek a design as you’ll find. It also has plenty of ports for gaming peripherals and a decent battery life. Its price means it’s not the best deal out there, but it’s a great option if you have the budget.

Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,500 — Alienware M15 R7

The best mid-range gaming laptop goes to the Alienware M15 R7. The M15 17 is a few years old now, but that means you can often snag it for less than $1,500 — a solid deal for what you get.

Like others on this list, the M15 R7 comes in a few configurations. You can get up to an RTX 3080, but a 3060 will keep you below the $1,500 mark. You’ll also get up to 32GB of RAM, 2TB of SSD space and a whole lot of ports. You can even choose between different batteries and wireless cards for added personalization.

Unfortunately, it’s getting harder to find these, given their age. The chassis is also plastic — likely to keep it within the average laptop weight of three to six pounds — which may feel cheap, given the price tag.

Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,200 — Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8

A newer and cheaper option is the Lenovo Legion Pro 5i Gen 8. While a ninth generation has since come out, the eighth-gen version is now available for less than $1,200, which is a steal.

The Legion Pro 5i has an RTX 4050 and 16GB of RAM — on par with laptops almost twice its price. It also has a high refresh rate and a lightning-quick 1TB SSD, making it an excellent option for competitive gaming. While it may not look the part as much as other gaming PCs, its performance is no joke.

As for downsides, the Legion Pro 5i is loud and doesn’t last long on one charge. That’s not ideal for a laptop but acceptable for a gaming rig if you want something cheaper than a desktop.

Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,000 — HP Victus 15

It’s hard to find solid gaming performance for less than $1,000, but not impossible. Enter the HP Victus 15. This dark horse made it onto our list of the overall best laptops under $1,000 and it’s just as impressive next to other gaming machines.

There are a few different versions of the Victus 15, with some going for as cheap as $600. You can get one with an RTX 3050 and 8GB of RAM for around $700. Admittedly, it has less memory and a smaller SSD (512GB) than most other gaming laptops, but you can’t beat it for the price.

The Victus 15 also doesn’t look as cool and may feel slightly clunkier than more expensive options. But on the other hand, you’re getting a 3050 for 700 bucks, so it’s hard to complain.

What If You Can’t Afford a New Gaming Laptop?

While $1,000 may not be much for a gaming laptop, it’s still too much for some buyers. Don’t sweat it if you can’t afford any of these, though. You can still get a solid gaming experience without buying a new laptop.

One option is to look for used hardware on sites like Facebook Marketplace, Mercari or eBay. Alternatively, you could adjust some settings to get more out of what you already have. Delete files you don’t need, update all your software and change your battery settings to “High Performance” to boost your computer’s speed a bit.

Even with these quick fixes, you may struggle to run newer, more processor-intensive games. The solution is to use cloud gaming instead of running things locally. You can get Xbox Cloud gaming for roughly $17 a month, which will let you stream games that your computer wouldn’t be able to run otherwise.

Find a Gaming Laptop That Fits Your Needs

Ask five people what the best gaming laptop is, and you’ll probably get five different answers. Everyone has unique preferences and budgets, but this list will give you a good idea of what to expect at varying price ranges.

You can easily spend over $3,000 to get a top-of-the-line machine for unparalleled performance. At the same time, you can grab a solid gaming rig for less than $1,000. Regardless of how much spending cash you have, there’s a laptop out there that fits your needs.