This is the holy grail for the gamer on the go: the cheap gaming laptop. But they’re deceptively tough to track down and with so many different manufacturers, specs and upgrade options it’s hard to know if you’re actually getting a machine which will deliver the gaming performance you want.
If you are willing to spend all the Bitcoins in the world on the best gaming laptop then you can easily bag yourself a Skylake-toting clamshell with a monstrous desktop-class GTX 980 GPU and an ultra high resolution screen, but if you're after a bit more of a bargain, you've come to the right place.
When it comes to specs, you probably don't want to go lower than a GTX 950M (or potentially a GTX 850M if prices are much lower) when you’re aiming for gaming performance that doesn’t make you want to rip off your own fingernails. Otherwise you're going to have to start making serious compromises on your graphical fidelity.
Fear not: there are still some great prices out there.
Some highlights this week: The Acer Aspire is a great deal at the moment. It may have a last-gen CPU, but it's got it where it counts and all for a great price.
That Dell Inspiron also looks good value too, with a chunky SSD and the best mobile graphics chip available in this price range as well.
15.6" screen | Core i5-5200U | GTX 950M | 128GB SSD/1TB HDD| $645
- The Acer Aspire is a stunning deal at the moment, offering the GTX 950M with a Core i5 Broadwell CPU, 15.6-inch 1080p screen, 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD. All that and it’s available with $254 off at Newegg for just $645.
15.6" screen | Core i5-6300HQ | GTX 960M | 128GB SSD/1TB HDD | $749
- Also at Newegg is this open-box Asus 15.6-incher. It’s rocking a more powerful GTX 960M graphics card and Skylake i5 CPU. Again you’ve got the 1TB HDD / 128GB SSD pairing and it’s good value with $150 off at Newegg where it’s just $749.
15.6" screen | Core i5-6300HQ | GTX 960M | 256GB SSD | $799.99
- The Dell Inspiron manages to fit in both a larger 256GB SSD and that same powerful GTX 960M GPU. It’s also got a lovely 1080p IPS screen too and you can check it out at Amazon where it’s $799.99.
15.6" screen | Core i7-6500U | GTX 950M | 256GB SSD | $799.99
- With a low-powered Skylake i7, GTX 950M and 256GB SSD this Asus K501UX should be able to deliver a genuinely decent level of battery performance for those gaming sessions away from the power socket. View this deal at Amazon where it's just $799.99.
15.6" screen | Core i7-4720HQ | GTX 960M | 128GB SSD/1TB HDD | $813.50
- There are a selection of used and refurbished versions of this Asus Republic of Gamers laptop available on Amazon, with a still-quality Haswell i7 processor, a 128GB SSD boot drive and a GTX 960M to power its 1080p screen. It's a great price for a quality machine, with prices at Amazon from $813.50.
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