7 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1200 Reviewed 2021

This guide is for all the gaming freaks out there who’re on a budget yet want a laptop that’d suffice all their gaming needs. There are a ton of options available in the market but as much as it is a blessing to have all these options around, I guess it creates a lot of confusion for an average buyer. 

You don’t need to do that effort anymore. The following list of the 7 best gaming laptops under $1200 has been put together after a lot of scrutiny and research.

Performance

The Dell G5 15 is second to none in terms of its performance. It is loaded with a powerful 9th generation core i7 CPU that effortlessly handles all the demanding tasks.

This laptop allows you to have uninterrupted, smooth, and lag-free gameplay. The 16 GB DDR4 RAM and a processor that can be clocked up to 4.6 GHz facilitate a trouble-free performance of the laptop. Moreover, the laptop features a dual-fan cooling system which eliminates heating up during intense gameplay.

Graphics and Display

The anti-glare full HD 15.6″ display of this laptop renders a fully immersive gaming experience with 300 nits brightness level and a stutter-free screen refresh rate of 144 Hz. The screen resolution 1920×1080 enhances screen clarity and never lets you miss a speck of detail in your games.
 
The laptop is powered by a dedicated DDR6 6 GB VRAM paired with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card that delivers a phenomenal display and smooth gameplay.

Storage and Battery Life

The laptop is sufficiently loaded with a 512 GB SSD storage that is upgradable up to 1 TB with an additional storage slot, so storage is never going to be a problem with this laptop.

The battery life had me stunned because the laptop can function unerringly for up to 8 hours of intense performance. At most, it can go on up to 10 hours of wireless performance which is amazing for a gaming laptop. 

The laptop houses all the ports at the backside to eliminate any distractions whatsoever. It features 1 USB 3.2, 2 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI port 2.0, 1 Thunderbolt 3, and 1 Ethernet port.

Pros
  • Impressive battery life
  • Strong GPU
  • Minimal heat up issues
Cons
  • Response time is high
  • Display: 15.6″ FHD, 120 Hz
  • Processor: 10th Generation Intel Core i7
  • Response Time: 5ms
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
  • Storage: 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD
  • Battery Life: 7h

Performance

Razer Blade 15 is a beast of a gaming laptop with immense power that comes with its 10th generation Intel core i7 processor. The hexacore processor supports a turbo boost up to 5.0 GHz.

The processor plus the 16 GB RAM is sufficient to run any AAA games without breaking a sweat. You can enjoy your games at maximum setting and this powerhouse won’t disappoint you.

However, the laptop does experience a heat up especially the top part of the chassis just around the screen.

Graphics and Display

The display of the laptop is a 15.6 inch full HD screen with a thin bezel that renders it a very sleek and classy look. With the 1920×1080 screen resolution along with a screen refresh rate of 120 Hz, the laptop promotes fluid gameplay so you don’t have to miss any action on the screen anymore.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti card for graphics can run any AAA titles with an insanely fast visual experience. The display is crisp and clear. You’ll even notice details you’ve never seen before and there’s no major screen bleeding overall.

Storage and Battery Life

The laptop is loaded with a 256 GB Flash memory (SSD) which is quite enough honestly. But if you want to unleash the beast this laptop is, then you may consider upgrading it via an open M.2 3×4 slot for easy SSD up-gradation. 

The laptop can easily function wirelessly for up to 7h while performing normal day-to-day tasks. However, being the powerhouse it is, consumes a lot of battery while gaming and intense tasks and may last 4 hours or so in such conditions. Moreover, it supports 2x USB Type A, 2x Type C ports, and more!

Pros
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Clear and crisp display
  • Fast charging
Cons
  • Heats up a lot while gaming
  • Display: 17.3’ FHD, 144 Hz
  • Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i5
  • Response time:
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 1650Ti 
  • Storage: 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD
  • Battery: 5 hours

Performance

This laptop is a treat for all the budget gamers out there. It is engineered with a 10th generation Intel Core i5-10300H processor which outperforms the core i7. The processor can be clocked up to 4.5 GHz. 

Additionally, the astounding 32 GB RAM at this price point is the defining feature of this gaming laptop. It can run all the intense games at maximum settings all thanks to its incredible RAM capacity. 

The laptop doesn’t experience any major heating issues even while running heavy games which is another plus point for it.

Graphics and Display

The laptop has a Full HD 17.3-inch display that accounts for a fully immersive gaming experience. The screen is anti-glare and functions at a resolution of 1920x1080p. The refresh rate of the screen is 144Hz which then again guarantees lag-free motion. 

The graphic card loaded in the GPU is NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti paired with a dedicated 4 GB VRAM. The performance is also aided by Integrated Intel UHD Graphics. Overall, the graphics and display are all for a crisp, clear, and phenomenal gaming battle.

Storage and Battery Life

The laptop has been customized with a 1 TB SSD memory that leaves no room for an upgrade. The SSD memory offers a better performing CPU overall and so your laptop will never be short of storage.

The battery life is mediocre, to be honest. During demanding tasks and intense gaming battles, this laptop will not be able to function beyond 4h wirelessly. But since it has an extremely powerful CPU as well as GPU, the battery drain is kinda justified. Besides, Bluetooth, USB, USB type C, Ethernet, HDMI are some of the supported ports of this laptop.

Pros
  • Offers smooth gameplay
  • Unbeatable for the price
  • Matchless CPU performance
Cons
  • Battery life is not too good
  • Display: 14” FHD, 60 Hz
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7
  • Response Time: 14ms
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 1650 
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM
  • Battery Life: 11 hours

Performance

This laptop by ASUS is another budget-friendly option that’ll be quite sufficient for your gaming needs. It is powered by a very efficient AMD Ryzen 7 processor with 8 cores and 16 threads. The laptop exhibits a lightning-fast task processing speed and is super responsive to every command.

The 16 GB RAM enhances the performance of the laptop even more. So it can run almost every game at max settings without any lags. The laptop is powerful enough to run multiple programs and applications at once. 

Graphics and Display

The laptop is constructed with a full HD 14-inch display that functions at a screen resolution of 1920x1080p. The display delivers excellent colors, clarity, and details. The screen refresh rate being at 60 Hz is not very top-notch but still workable though.

Talking about the graphics card that is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 backed by a 4 GB VRAM that renders enough fire to fuel all your demanding games.

Storage and Battery Life

The laptop is loaded with a fast SSD storage of 512 GB that aids in better performance of the laptop. Also, it allows more storage of data as well as it is great for major gaming applications and backups.

The battery life of this laptop is splendid and something I didn’t expect at all. The laptop can function without any aid for 11 hours during normal tasks. While for gaming and intense performance, the laptop may still last for 8 hours which is very unlikely for a gaming laptop. The laptop houses 2x USB Type-A, 1x USB type C, 1x HDMI, 2x USB 3.2 Type C ports.

Pros
  • Excellent battery life
  • Sturdy and durable build
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Fans are loud
  • Display: 15.6” FHD, 144Hz
  • Processor: 10th Generation Intel Core i7
  • Response Time: 3ms
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM
  • Battery: 6 hours

Performance

The Helios 300 is an all-rounder by Acer that delivers desktop-like performance. It is equipped with a combination of 10th generation core i7-10750H 6 core processors. 

The Turbo Boost Tech can overclock the 2.6 GHz processor to an insane 5.0 GHz speed. The 16 GB DDR4 RAM also enhances the speed and performance of the CPU and renders a killer performance overall. The laptop features 4th Gen AeroBlade Fan Tech that minimizes excessive heating up of the machine and also eliminates noise.

Graphics and Display

The display of this laptop is based on a 15.6” Full HD screen with a 1920x1080p resolution. The phenomenal screen refresh rate, as well as response time, is what makes this laptop the best one on the list. The refresh rate of 144 Hz and an amazing response time of 3ms is like a dream come true at this price point. 

The graphics of this machine are par excellence without a doubt. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 card paired with a dedicated 6 GB of VRAM delivers the most realistic graphics and uninterrupted gameplay.

Storage and Battery Life

The device is loaded with 512 GB of SSD memory which is an absolute cherry on the top. And that’s not it. You can upgrade the storage easily via 1 open slot for SSD memory. 

The battery life is absolutely in line with the kind of power giant it is. It can run up to 5 hours of intense gaming while the maximum battery life reported is that of 6 hours and 30 minutes, to be exact. The battery timings are commendable for a gaming laptop. one USB Type C, one USB 3.2, two USB 3.2, and one HDMI 2.0 port is supported in this best budget gaming laptop.

Pros
  • CPU temperature remains stable
  • Turbo boost is very effective
  • Responsive and fast
Cons
  • Fans are loud during Turbo mode
  • Display: 15.6’ FHD, 144 Hz
  • Processor: 9th Generation Intel Core i7
  • Response Time: 5ms
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM
  • Battery: 8 hours

Performance

This gaming laptop is adequately equipped with a 9th generation processor. The processor consists of 6 cores and is an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU that paves the way for smooth gaming. The hexacore processor is overclocked up to 4.50 GHz to provide an incredible boost to your system.
Overall, the laptop is ideal for running modern game titles without experiencing any freezing or lagging issues at all.

Graphics and Display

The laptop boasts an incredibly rich and dynamic IPS display on a 15.6’ full HD screen with a resolution of 1920x1080p. It delivers smooth and stutter-free visuals with the aid of a 144 Hz screen refresh rate and a screen response time of 5ms that will allow you to crush your opponents in the game with a timely response.

The laptop also features a dedicated 4GB of VRAM that creates a powerful graphic processing unit. The GPU is equipped with a GeForce GTX 1650 card that effortlessly delivers crisp and detailed graphics and allows you to enjoy your favorite games the most.

Storage and Battery Life

A 512 GB SSD memory is integrated into the CPU that offers sufficient space for most games. An SSD memory takes the performance of any CPU one step ahead which is why most gaming devices are equipped with the same.

The battery life is commendable, ASUS has done a tremendous job in creating a machine that can run without power plugs for up to 8 hours during normal function. During gameplay, the battery life may be reduced to 6/7 hours which is still laudable. Additionally, a USB 3.2, a USB 2.0, and an HDMI port are functional in this laptop.

Pros
  • Good battery life
  • Runs AAA games smoothly
  • RGB keyboard
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Display: 17.3” FHD, 144 Hz
  • Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i5 
  • Response time: 3ms
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM
  • Battery: 8 hours

Performance

ASUS TUF Gaming is built to serve all your gaming needs within a budget. This gaming laptop is powered by 10th gen Intel Core i5 quad-core CPU paired with an 8 GB DDR4 RAM (upgradable) that performs well enough for entry-level gaming. It can even run intense games but with tweaked settings so don’t expect a fully immersive experience in that case. 

It features a cooling system that promotes thermal throttling and brings down CPU temperature to normal. However, you may have to deal with a loud fan speed because of that.

Graphics and Display

The screen size of this laptop is 17.3 inches with an IPS-type display. The screen refresh rate and the response time, both are impressive at this price point. Who could expect a 144 Hz refresh rate and a 3ms response time for a device under 1000 bucks?

The laptop houses a dedicated GPU with a 4 GB VRAM paired with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Graphics. The screen looks very high resolution and delivers crisp visuals. The detailing is fantastic for games.

Storage and Battery Life

The laptop can store up to 512 GB of SSD memory and runs everything pretty fast and smoothly. It is a good deal for the price. The loading times are noticeably better with an SSD. So you can easily run most of your games with this device.

The battery life is great for the price. Since the laptop doesn’t have an intensively performing CPU, I was expecting a better battery life but anyway, 8 hours is still good enough for a device that offers gaming capability. Besides, one USB 3.2 Type C, two USB 3.2 Type A, and one USB 2.0 Type-A ports are available.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Graphics and display is unbeatable for the price
  • No major heating issues
Cons
  • Fans are loud and noisy

Best Gaming Laptops Under $1200 - Buyer's Guide

Purchasing the best gaming laptop under 1200 bucks can be easier than expected if and only you know the rudiments of making the perfect purchase for a laptop. It’s no secret that a gaming laptop needs an extremely powerful CPU as well as excellent graphics. But not everybody knows what a powerful CPU and GPU means. And that’s okay!

Processor

There can simply be no compromise on the processing unit of a gaming laptop. A gaming laptop should be equipped with a Core i5 processor at least. Core i7 and i9 will be even better options but also more expensive. You can easily find an i7 processor in an affordable range but a Core i9 under $1500 is almost impossible to find at the moment.
 
The majority of laptops on this list are 9th generation or higher with a Core i7 processor which means they all are ideal options.

Graphics

Nobody likes to play games with a crappy display or graphics either. And that makes it quite obvious that you need a decent graphic card to run intense games. 
 
Some of the good options that perform well and can be found within a pocket-friendly range are NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, GTX 1650Ti, GTX 1660, RTX 2060, and RTX 3060. Most of the laptops under 1200 will be equipped with these graphics cards and they do deliver great graphic quality.

Moreover, always look for a laptop with a dedicated GPU. A GPU takes the load off of a CPU and so promotes a better, faster, and lag-free performance of the device. Consequently, your gameplay will be smooth and uninterrupted.

Refresh Rate and Response Time

A 144 Hz screen refresh rate delivers a far better-performing display and visual experience than the standard 60 Hz refresh rate. If you want fluid gameplay and crispy clear visuals then, don’t settle for a lesser refresh rate.
 
Also, 5ms is considered to be an ideal response time for gaming laptops but of course, you cannot get everything when you’re on a budget. Anyhow, I’ve tried my best to include laptops that have a lesser screen response time but you may have to compromise on that if you wanna stay within your budget.

Display

A display screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution is mostly preferred by gaming enthusiasts. The size also matters in gaming. some games like Warzone or Resident evil are played better on a small screen. i.e 11.6 inches or 14 inches, however, free mode games like GTA give you a better experience with a large laptop screen. i.e 15.6 inch.

FAQ’s

Who makes the best gaming laptops?

I cannot label one company as the best manufacturer of gaming laptops because there are many. There’s cutthroat competition among these manufacturers because they always strive to build a product with the best specs at competitive prices. However, ASUS, Razer, Alienware, and Acer are some of the manufacturers that make the best gaming laptops.
 
As far as my opinion is concerned, Razer tops the list. They have the most powerful CPUs paired with equally strong GPUs while the durability and design remain uncompromised as well. So yeah, gaming laptops from Razer are a foolproof option.
 

Which is the no.1 gaming laptop?

Well, again there can’t be one name out of hundreds of options provided by several manufacturers in the market. And also, it depends a lot on the priorities of the buyer because only you know what exactly you’re looking for in a gaming laptop.
 
However, some of the very popular options among expert gamers are ASUS ROG Zephyrus Z14, Acer Nitro 5, and Alienware m17 R4 (2021). But of course, these are not entry-level laptops and you won’t find any of them under 1200 bucks.

What is the best gaming laptop under 1200?

You can find many entry-level gaming laptops under 1200 bucks. The best ones, in my opinion, are those that are equipped with adequate processors and GPU for the price range. And by that, I mean laptops with quad-core or Hexa core processors from i5 or i7 range and dedicated GPUs.
 
The 2021 Flagship ASUS TUF FX505GT is one such option. Other than that, many other amazing options have been mentioned on the list as well.
 

Which gaming laptop should I buy in 2021? 

If you’re on a budget, then some of the best options for you are MSI 2021 Flagship GF75, 2021 Flagship ASUS TUF FX505GT, and Acer Predator Helios 300. But if you can ditch your budget, then go for Acer Predator Helios 500, Razer Blade Pro 17, or ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14.
 
But above all of that, set some priorities for what you need from your gaming partner. What’s the minimum processing power that you want? Or what graphic capacity are you expecting in your gaming machine? What kind of budget do you have? All of this makes a huge part of your final decision.

Leave a Comment

You cannot copy content of this page