If you want a solid gaming laptop with the latest processor, graphics card, and solid-state drive, but hate spending too much cash, you’ve come to the right page. The Acer Nitro 5, Dell G7 15, and Asus ROG Zephyrus G GA502 offer solid gameplay without having to break the bank. Right now, all three are on sale with as much as $227 off.
– $780, was $880
Gone are the days when you have to spend at least $1,000 for a good gaming laptop. If you’re on a tight budget but demand quality portable gaming, then the Acer Nitro 5 could be your best option. It’s not the sexiest looking machine out there – in fact, it looks rather plain – but this laptop aces it where it really matters: Performance. Right now, you can get it for just $780 instead of $880 at Best Buy – a huge $100 off the price.
The Acer Nitro 5 is rather understated for a gaming laptop. As mentioned, it’s not particularly stylish, nor does it have the multicolor LEDs of premium gaming laptops. Nevertheless, it comes with stylized cooling vents and a red luminous keyboard so you can still distinguish it from ordinary business laptops. Its keyboard is precise and comfortable to use and features WASD keys that are boldly outlined in red. It features a small number pad, too. The touchpad is pretty good as well, and is responsive and precise with support of Windows 10 multitouch gestures. Unfortunately, its build quality isn’t the best. We noticed a fair bit of flexing when we applied pressure to it, and at 1.1-inch thick and about 6 pounds, it’s not exactly travel-friendly. At least it’s got plenty of ports for peripherals, including one USB 3.1 Type-C, two USB 2.0 Type-A, one USB 3.0 Type-A, an SD card slot, HDMI out, and a headphone/mic combo jack.
Acer also outfitted the Nitro 5 with solid specs despite being a budget gaming laptop. Equipped with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 8GB of RAM, we enjoyed a steady 44 frames per second on medium graphics settings when playing Far Cry New Dawn, and 43 frames per second in Middle Earth: Shadow of War. While these numbers aren’t exactly mind-blowing, they are quite decent for an entry-level gaming laptop.
The Nitro 5 may come at a budget-friendly price but Acer certainly didn’t skimp on its gaming performance. Get it for only $780 at Best Buy today.
– $878, was $1,105
As we bid adieu to Dell’s entry-level Inspiron Gaming line, we say hello to the promising new G Series brand, including the G7 15. So how does it compare to its predecessor? For starters, it looks nothing like any of Dell’s past offerings (it certainly doesn’t compete with the stunning extraterrestrial aesthetic of an Alienware laptop). The Dell G7 15’s sports-car-like design is still positively eye-catching, though. It also offers impressive audio and solid midlevel gaming performance. However, it’s far from perfect, as its dim display and lackluster keyboard leave a lot to be desired. Right now, this budget gaming laptop is available at Dell’s official website for $878 instead of the usual $1,105 – a huge $227 off.
The Dell G7 15’s paint coat finish has a subtle pearlescent sheen that helps highlight the bright blue Dell logo in the center. Its rear vent with its blue highlighting gives the impression of speed, and its black aluminum chassis seems pretty sturdy. It’s not the most portable of gaming machines though, as it weighs in at 6.3 pounds. Port selection is quite extensive. On the right, you’ll find two USB 3.1 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, HDMI 2.0, and a headset jack. There’s an additional USB 3.1 port on the left alongside an Ethernet port, a 2-in-1 card reader, a Noble lock slot, and the power jack.
The G7’s 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD display is a bit disappointing, and so is its keyboard. Averaging 232 nits, it’s not the brightest screen out there, and color reproduction is also lacking at 62% of the sRGB color gamut. The same thing goes with its island-style keyboard. While its blue font and brilliant cerulean backlighting are very pretty, the typing experience it offers just isn’t that good. With a shallow 0.94 millimeters of key travel and a decent 61 grams of actuation, the keyboard made typing a bit uncomfortable. At least its front-firing speakers are surprisingly potent for the price, capable of filling a medium-sized room with rich, well-balanced audio.
Armed with a 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, and 4GB of VRAM, the G7 is more than capable of playing games on high settings. Multitasking won’t be a problem either, as it was able to easily handle multiple Google Chrome tabs open while other programs ran in the background. For solid gameplay on a budget, the Dell G7 15 should be worth serious consideration. Get it for $878 on Dell’s official website.
– $1,050, was $1,200
For $1,050 (a huge $150 less than its normal retail price of $1,200), you’ll get a strong GTX 1660 Ti GPU, lengthy battery life, and a sleek and sexy design with the Asus ROG Zephyrus G GA502. Even though it has a middling AMD processor and a lackluster display, we still recommend the Zephyrus G if you’re after solid gaming experience for relatively less money.
The aluminum chassis of the Zephyrus G has a textured brushed finish that’s quite fetching. The glossy ROG logo is bedecked with red backlighting that faintly lights up. The screen is surrounded by super-slim bezels, and at 4.5 pounds and 14.2 x 9.9 x 0.8 inches, the Zephyrus G is incredibly light and slim. This laptop is outfitted with a decent number of ports, including an RJ45 Ethernet port, an HDMI 2.0 port, three USB 3.1 port, one USB Type-C port (DisplayPort 1.4), and a headphone jack. Although its 15.6-inch display is rather dull and dim compared to your average budget gaming laptop, it packs a 120Hz refresh rate for buttery-smooth gameplay. Its keyboard offers a very comfortable typing experience with the inclusion of palmrests, and the Windows precision drivers-powered touchpad is equally easy to use.
This laptop is armed with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU with 6GB of VRAM. In our test, it was able to blaze through Shadow of the Tomb Raider at its highest graphics setting and at 36 frames per second. We did notice an occasional stutter and glitch, but not enough to ruin the overall experience. Moreover, its AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor with 16GB of RAM was able to seamlessly juggle multiple Google Chrome tabs open with five 1080p-YouTube videos while Shadow of the Tomb Raider ran in the background, making this a great work laptop as well.
Boasting an awesome streamlined design and above-average GPU performance that’s slightly marred by a subpar display, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G GA502 is a great pick for a budget gaming laptop. Get it for a huge $150 off at Best Buy right now.
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