Cheap Gaming Laptops

Looking to supplement your Steam account with a gaming laptop, but don't want to shell out $1,000+ for a top of the line PC? We have compiled a list of computers under a grand that will allow you to get your game on, just not at the highest quality settings. 

Gaming laptops are by no stretch of the imagination, cheap. For $1,000+ you can get a Blu-ray player, top of the line Nvidia discrete graphics chipset, and a slew of features. However, gamers on a budget may have to opt for a DVD drive or no optical drive at all, an ATI or lower-end discrete graphics, and a standard feature set. However, AMD's latest series of Llano A8 APUs, which contain the CPU and GPU on the same die, are a budget gamers dream budget. Laptops equipped with these chipsets can achieve playable frame rates on games like Crysis on a 1,024-by-768 resolution and Medium settings, like the HP Pavilion dv6-6135dx (40fps) and Gateway NV55S05u (36.7fps). Though, there is a trade off when it comes to day-to-day processing power; the AMD A8 APU is slower than Intel's lowest Core i-CPU offering, the Core i3, but unless you're planning on editing photos and videos on a regular basis the discrepancy between the two is negligible.

Of course having a dedicated AMD or Nvidia graphics chip is always the better (read: more expensive) option if you have the change to spare. Most manufacturers pair a more powerful and more expensive Intel Core i5 CPU with a dedicated chip, but occasionally you can snag a laptop with a cheaper AMD APU inside paired with a graphics chip; however, none have crossed our bench as of yet. Where the Pavilion dv6-6135dx and Gateway NV55S05u were under $700, Intel systems equipped with a GPU range from $750 and up—it all depends on the power of the parts and features thrown in.

Below are some of the best bargain gaming laptops that have come through the PCMag labs, they may not be able to play Crysis in 1080p with anti-aliasing turned up to 4x, but you can get away with playing Starcraft II with some textures and shading at medium quality settings.

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