When it comes to scratching your itch for fun, gaming consoles and TVs — though excellent options for entertainment — don’t come close to the versatility and raw power that dedicated gaming laptops offer. They can do it all. Not only do they have better specs for gaming and a great display for movies, but for the working professional in need of a portable home office centerpiece, there’s no better purchase. With gaming laptop deals that start at only $550, you’re practically getting three — a console, TV, and portable workstation — for the price of one, and that’s without the discount. Take home one of these Acer, HP, MSI, Dell, and Razer gaming laptops from our favorite retailers and take your efficiency to a whole new level.
The Acer Nitro 5 is one of the best budget-friendly gaming laptops on the market. For its price of only $547 on Newegg, you’re getting more than what you think you’re paying for. Its 15.6-inch screen delivers images in Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, so you’re getting the full experience of any game you play. The IPS panel display does sacrifice contrast, but in return, you’re getting excellent color accuracy and broad viewing angles that don’t tarnish the quality regardless of angle. The built-in graphics card is the AMD Radeon RX 560. Arguably the closest competitor to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050, you can play moderately intensive games with absolutely no problems. Even on the highest settings, the Acer Nitro 5 can handle Just Cause 4 with an average 30 frames per second, while Overwatch clocks in at over 110 frames per second.
For general processes, the Acer Nitro 5 uses an AMD Ryzen 5 processor that comes with 8GB of RAM. It can handle multiple tasks simultaneously better than a regular Intel Core i5 can, so you can keep your games, movies, and documents open without worrying about the laptop slowing down. And your files won’t boggle your storage either. The laptop comes with a 1TB HDD installed, so you can store a plethora of important documents, movies, and saves without needing to clear them out for quite a while. If you’re on a budget but don’t want to pay for something subpar, the Acer Nitro 5 won’t disappoint. It’s now on sale on Newegg for only $547, letting you save $110 off its retail price.
For a hundred bucks more than the Acer Nitro 5, you can splurge on the HP Pavilion gaming laptop and save $100 with one of the most trusted computer brands around. The HP Pavilion also has a relatively large 15.6-inch screen that produces games and movies in Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, so visual quality is never compromised by pixelation and blurring. With an IPS display, you’re getting the best possible viewing angles from any position with incredibly color-accurate hues and shadows in exchange for stronger contrasts. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 is just a hair weaker than the AMD Radeon RX 560, but its reputation as a standard for gaming displays is still as justly prominent as ever. Most games will run on 30 frames per second at least, with some even going upward of 100 frames per second on above-average settings.
In terms of processing power, the HP Pavilion utilizes the AMD Ryzen 5 processor that, when coupled with 8GB of RAM, proves to be a powerful machine. It can handle numerous basic and moderate programs without slowing down your productivity with the infamous fun-killer — lag. As for storage, it’s somewhat more limited than the Acer Nitro 5’s 1TB HDD, but the 256GB SSD is miles faster than the former, allowing you to cut time spent moving, copying, and saving files. However, for you to fully get the most out of the laptop, an external hard drive won’t hurt. If you want a reliable gaming laptop that looks neat in the streets but is a beast under the hood, the HP Pavilion is one you can trust. It’s currently on sale on Best Buy for only $650 from its retail price of $750.
When picking out laptops, specs are a factor, but nothing comes close to the priceless value of five-star reviews — which, of course, the MSI GF75 has more than enough of. Boasting the largest display of our roundup with an impressive 17.3-inch screen, you’re getting the widest view available, making it a decent TV substitute for its cinematic value alone. Visuals are pumped out in Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution with the use of IPS panels, giving you great optics no matter where you’re positioned with sensational color accuracy that’ll leave you glued to your seat. The MSI GF75 takes graphics a bit more seriously than the previous two options with its GeForce GTX 1650 as well. It can produce incredibly fast frame-per-second rates on most — if not all — of your games, even at the highest settings.
As for the MSI GF75’s processor, it uses an Intel Core i5 with the standard 8GB of RAM to keep you playing, working, and feeling smooth throughout the day, even with multiple windows open at the same time. Like the HP Pavilion, this laptop also comes with a 256GB SSD for all your storage needs with quicker transfer speeds than an HDD. Its biggest flaw is its weight of 7.5 pounds, making it a mild pain to lug around. But if you don’t mind the exercise or are firmly settled in one space, this shouldn’t be an issue. The MSI GF75 is an excellent choice for the gamer with a passion for action. You can find it on Adorama where it’s on sale for only $699.
If the previous four laptop deals weren’t good enough, but you’d prefer to stick to a $1,000 budget, then the Dell G3 15 is a must-buy for its price. It comes with a 15.6-inch matte screen in Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, as with all the previous entries, and also has anti-glare technology that virtually eliminates any weakness to the sun or bright lights. This allows you to work and play, sunrise to sunset, wherever you want. Just like the MSI GF75, the Dell G3 15 uses the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 to deliver superb graphics with all your games so that you can play games and watch movies just as the visual directors designed them, more so with its IPS panels. Unfortunately, the built-in sound is a bit grainy and weak, so if you want the full audio-visual experience, you’d be wise to invest in a separate dedicated speaker to complement the laptop.
For its processor, the Dell G3 15 uses a ninth-generation Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM that lets you handle multiple programs and windows with relative ease and minimal lag. In terms of storage capacity, the Dell G3 15 has all the other laptops on our list beat by a mile. If you can’t choose between the Acer Nitro 5’s 1TB HDD or the others’ SSD, with the Dell G3 15, you get both. With a 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD, you’re getting immense storage space. You can use the boot 128GB SSD for your important files and store all your auxiliary and large applications in the additional hard drive for peak organization. If you want to make a smart investment on your entertainment and home office, you can’t go wrong with the Dell G3 15. It’s currently on sale on Dell’s store for just $750.
If you want an impeccable laptop from a well-trusted brand that prioritizes efficiency, productivity, and portability while still being able to play casual games on the side, then the Razer Blade Stealth 13 is a fine choice. The 13.3-inch screen is the smallest on the list, making it the most portable laptop that we are featuring without sacrificing too much visual quality. While the graphics aren’t the most stunning and limit the number of games you can play with the built-in Nvidia GeForce MX150, it can still handle simple games that aren’t too hardware-intensive like small indie games and League of Legends, while heavier games need to be at their lowest settings. It also uses an IPS display, so you don’t have to worry about unfavorable angles.
Where the Razer Blade Stealth 13 really shines is in its processing power. It’s the most robust in terms of potential output on our list with its Intel Core i7 processor with a humongous 16GB of RAM. With this, you can be running enough intense programs to fill up your taskbar, and it would still be working as if it were fresh out of the box. It also comes with a 256GB SSD, so you can store all your important documents and files safely — and, more importantly, quickly. If you need to bring it around with you, it only weighs a minute 2.9 pounds, making it nearly as light as a tablet. For the working professional who needs a fun outlet now and then, the Razer Blade Stealth 13 is a top-notch choice for $1,300 on Best Buy, scoring you a whopping $300 in savings.
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