After many hours of research and in-depth review of about fifteen models, we have selected the 3 best cheap gaming laptops of the moment. Among them, it is the HP Omen 15 (dc0044nf) that wins our preference.
If it reaches the threshold of maximum price that we have set for this comparison ($1,272.00), it does not propose less a configuration that remains very modern and will force you to less graphic concessions on the most greedy games, not to mention that it avoids most of the pitfalls that are generally encountered in entry-level PCs: moderate temperature, beautiful finishes, autonomy and consistency in the choice of components.
The best inexpensive gaming laptops
It was difficult, in this first section, to look at a too low price range, inevitably sowed with pitfalls (unbalanced configuration, mismanaged heating, dubious material quality …). The first two PCs of our selection are therefore available in a budget of around $1,272.00 €.
And despite this price, they are very powerful, even with gourmet games, as long as you do not mind sometimes to make some graphic concessions.
Dell G5 15 Gaming : the best very cheap
We open our selection with a computer proposed by Dell, which has the merit of avoiding a large number of traps usually encountered in this price range.
Despite its categorization gaming, it has a sober design, with a rather qualitative magnesium alloy shell for a PC at this price, matte black finishes decorated with light touches of blue, and a ventilation grille a little thick at the back giving it an average weight of 2.8 kg.
Under the PC, there are two thick rubber bands that help keep it in place, but also raise it slightly, distributing, in fact, much better ventilation. So, it has the big advantage of almost not heat, even in gaming use.
It has a 15.6-inch Full HD screen displaying a colorimetry rather well controlled, even if it pulls to yellow. On the other hand, its antireflection coating is not very effective and its brightness a little feeble. As a result, it becomes almost unreadable in the sun.
Its keyboard, on the other hand, is backlit and quite responsive, with a nice typing both in office and gaming. His wrist rest is generally considered very soft and comfortable.
In this release, it displays an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, a GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of dedicated memory, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB HDD hybrid hard drive and 256GB SSD. This is a configuration that allows you to run all current games, even if graphics concessions will have to be made for the greediest, if you want to maintain a correct number of IPS and a certain fluidity.
But we could say that, even more than a laptop gaming, it is a versatile gaming-oriented PC. Indeed, it incorporates the Optimus technology, which allows to switch to a configuration in which your battery saves a little for notebook use, the GTX 1050 Ti then leaving room for Intel UHD 630 energy-saving. You can achieve about 6 hours of autonomy for a “standard” use, and a little more than 1h30 in gaming.
Finally, its connectivity is rather complete, with 1 HDMI, 3 USB 3.0, 1 USB-C and 1 SD card reader.
In the end, here is a PC that, although presented as a gamer, is nonetheless a versatile computer particularly suitable for gaming and has the merit, for this price range, not much heat.
HP Omen 15 (dc0044nf) : the very cheap alternative
The HP Omen 15 remains a reference. Light, small, powerful, affordable: its qualities are numerous.
The version we offer here is the HP Omen 15-dc0044nf, which has the advantage of being quite recent (autumn 2018), which guarantees you good compatibility with current games.
Its design, unlike the Dell, displays it directly as a PC gamer. There is indeed a plastic shell of quality, with a grooved texture on the lid and around the keyboard, all in rounded shapes. But, especially, we find the keys of red colors, at the keyboard, and in the affixing of the logo on the shell, which has long been typical of gamer computers.
It displays a full HD screen again, with a fairly effective antireflection treatment. His keyboard is backlit and very responsive.
On the component side, this time it includes an Intel Core i5-8300HQ processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB graphics card, and 8GB of RAM, with a hybrid hard drive 1 TB and 128 GB SSD. If the graphics card is as powerful, the processor is a little less than the Dell G5, so concessions will be made faster.
And since it was clearly designed for a gaming purpose, its connectivity is rather well supplied: there is 1 HDMI port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.1 port, 1 combined headphone / microphone jack, 1 RJ-45 port and 1 multi-format SD card reader. On this point, this PC won the race against the Dell, despite the absence of USB-C.
Its weight of 2.4 kg makes it rather easily transportable. On the other hand, its autonomy is less than that of its competitor, with a maximum stamina of 4.75 hours in standard use.
In the end, if a Core i7 processor is not a must for you, this laptop is an example of balance, which will allow you to play many games without making too much concessions. Lighter and sleek than the Dell, it could also seduce you with its design.
The best cheap gaming laptops
In this second section, devoted to PCs around 1000 €, we have retained only one model, which has imposed on us by its control of the heater and its bright and contrasted screen.
Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-51-7075) : the best cheap
We now come to a computer almost become mythical in the world of gaming, in a declination published in 2018, which allows it to be offered today at a very reasonable price given the performance it offers.
In terms of design, it is in line with the Predator range, with an assertive gaming look, both in its colors and shapes. With its metal frame, however, it is very solid. But suddenly, it still weighs 2.7 kg.
Its Full HD screen is of quality, and displays a good contrast and an excellent brightness. Its colorimetry, if it lacks fidelity, as on any computer gaming, is pretty well controlled, and never pulls to yellow or red. It is also especially at this level that it differs from previous models.
Because, on the component side, it is very similar to the Dell G5: Intel Core i7-8750H 6 core processor, GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB, 8 GB of RAM, and 1 TB hard drive and 128 GB SSD. is very well mastered.
Its backlit keyboard is rather responsive, with a relatively short run, which makes it very pleasant for gaming sessions.
On the other hand, its connectivity is a little weak for a PC exclusively thought for the game: 1 HDMI port, 2 USB 2.0 ports and 1 USB 3.0 port. It’s a shame not to find USB-C.
Its autonomy, finally, is rather average, since it reaches about 5 hours. However, this remains reasonable compared to other gamer laptops offered at this price.
In the end, this laptop does not bring much new compared to previous models in terms of power, but it has the merit of almost no heat, and have a brighter and contrasted screen, which can be done reveal more comfortable for extended play sessions.
In conclusion, which notebook PC gamer to choose?
If we were to recommend only one model, it would be without hesitation the HP Omen 15 (dc0044nf) , which stands out in our selection by its latest graphics card, its calibrated screen with a correct anti-glare and brightness, control of the heater and its great autonomy.
However, if your budget does not exceed 900 €, the Dell G5 15 Gaming is the best low cost option. It displays good performance in game and benefits from Nvidia Optimus technology, allowing it to switch to a more energy-efficient configuration when you do not use it in gaming, which also helps him to better control his heating.
Finally, the Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-51-7075) , while not more powerful than the Dell G5, incorporates a screen with brighter and more contrasted display, which can offer a real difference in comfort on the long term.