A Gaming Laptop Shopping Guide for Every Budget

Our gaming-on-the-go recommendations

A Gaming Laptop Shopping Guide for Every Budget
Photo by Jeff Hardi / Unsplash

Twitch streamers, casual gamers, competitive players, you name it; the global gaming market has reached incredible heights in the wake of COVID-19. With more engagement than ever before, recent market reports show that the gaming industry is expected to cross the $314 billion mark by 2026. This steady and speedy climb, of course, has also bolstered demand for consoles, computers, and gaming peripherals.

Thankfully, gaming has become way more accessible with today’s resources. Whatever price you’re aiming for, you can easily get yourself a setup that will let you enjoy the titles that fit your interests. Recently, though, more mobile gaming setups have started to gather steam. Whether it’s to play the indie delights of Undertale or the rather addictive Elden Ring, gaming laptops are popular options for their portability and performance. So, if you’re a gamer looking to treat yourself to a gaming laptop, here are some models with the best specs at every price point.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 - $2,799.99

Source: YouTube.

Should you have the budget for its premium pricing, nabbing yourself the Strix Scar 15 will guarantee you one of the best gaming laptops on the market. A powerful machine that has the muscle to run graphically demanding titles like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla with ease, the Strix Scar is perfect for serious gamers. Because this variant comes with a 15.6-inch screen with a 165hz refresh rate, 32GB RAM, a 1-terabyte SSD, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX 3.1GHz processor, and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 16GB graphics card, you won’t have to worry about screen tearing and lag. This means that you can enjoy epic titles on Ultra without compromising the image quality. You can also change the laptop graphics card if you want to upgrade it in the future. As an added bonus, this specific model is also less pricey than the hulking 17-inch model but doesn’t sacrifice power for a great gaming experience.

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro - $1,299.00

Source: YouTube.

The Legion 5 Pro sits more comfortably near the $1,000 mark, and you can even get it for less with a well-timed sale. It still boasts some meaty specs and can smoothly run the most popular games on Steam such as Apex Legends, Halo Infinite, and Cyberpunk 2077. These titles were top-sellers for Valve, which was reported to have 200,000 concurrent players in the past year but they’re also some of the most demanding. Thankfully for this model, you get the AMD Ryzen 7 5800U octacore processor with a max boost of 4.4GHz, the NVIDIA RTX 3070 8GB GPU, 16GB RAM, 1-terabyte SSD, and a 16-inch 2560 x 1600 screen. All in all, this ensures that the Legion 5 Pro can carry you through long campaigns or quick runs, without scrimping on the immersion.

MSI Katana GF66 - $749.00

Source: YouTube.

The MSI Katana cuts just well under the $1,000 mark among most retailers. This makes it a real steal as you still get a 15.6-inch screen with a 144Hz refresh rate, the Intel Core i5-11400H 2.7GHz processor, an NVIDIA RTX 3050 4GB GPU, a 512GB SSD, and 8GB RAM. Not only do these specs improve your gaming environment, the display is great for playing local co-ops that you can play with family or friends. Just in time for the gaming industry’s huge resurgence of couch co-ops like Overcooked, It Takes Two, and Rocket League, the Katana will give you practically the same experience as a larger monitor minus the bulk. Just remember, that some demanding titles may require the Katana to be perpetually plugged into the charger during gameplay. If you don’t do this, it may cause dips in the FPS, although, this isn’t too common.

With more console games porting over to PC and digital titles including more accessibility options, it’s the best time to finally get yourself that gaming laptop you’ve been eyeing.

Nowadays, you can even easily expand a laptop’s usability by attaching a gamepad or a mouse and keyboard. Plus, there’s practically a good model for every budget, so you can find the perfect fit for all your own gaming needs.


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