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Best gaming laptop under $700: 5 budget gaming laptops 2023

We hand pick the best budget gaming laptops for $700 and under

Updated: Jun 30, 2023 2:27 pm
Best gaming laptop under $700: 5 budget gaming laptops 2023
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After the best gaming laptop under 700 USD? We’ve picked out the choice options so you don’t have to. We will be looking at five gaming laptops from a range of manufacturers that are the best currently available in this price range; which one is right for you will depend on your specific needs and priorities.

We score each laptop based on the performance of its GPU and CPU in games, the quality of its display, and also other features like its RAM, storage, weight and size to help you make your decision. If budget isn’t the most important consideration for you, then consider reading our main best gaming laptop page instead.

The Contenders for the best budget gaming laptop under $700 in 2023

Lenovo Legion 5 (RTX 3050 Ti, Ryzen 5 5600H)

Lenovo Legion 5 RTX 3050 Ti

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti

RAM

8GB DDR4

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6″

Acer Nitro 5 (144Hz, i5-12500H)

Acer Nitro 5 RTX 3050

CPU

Intel Core i5-12500H

Graphics

Nvidia RTX 3050

RAM

8GB DDR4

Storage

512GB SSD

Screen Size

15.6”

Max Refresh Rate

144Hz

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (120Hz, Ryzen 5 5600H, RTX 3050 Ti)

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 5600H

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

Graphics Card

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti

RAM

8GB DDR4 RAM

Storage

256GB SSD

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

FHD

MSI GF75 Thin (GTX 1650)

MSI GF65 Thin

CPU

Intel Core i5-10300H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

17.3”

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop (AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H)

ASUS TUF FX505DT 1

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

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Best gaming laptop under 700 USD: our top picks


In-depth Review

Best gaming laptop under $700 all-round

Lenovo Legion 5 (RTX 3050 Ti, Ryzen 5 5600H)

Lenovo Legion 5 RTX 3050 Ti

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti

RAM

8GB DDR4

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6″

Pros
  • RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU option for cheap
  • powerful CPU option for the price
  • 120Hz refresh rate for cheap
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • only 8GB of RAM

This Lenovo Legion 5 is an absolute steal for the money. Coming equipped with a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card and an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H CPU, this is the easily the most powerful gaming laptop you’ll find in this price range.

The Ryzen 5 5600H beats the Intel Core i5-11300 in terms of raw FPS power in-game, plus gives it a longer battery life (you can expect at least 7 hours on the more energy saving settings).

On top of all this, you get a lovely 120Hz maximum refresh rate for the 1080p screen, which is as fast as you’ll need in most newish games with these components to be honest, unless. If you’re looking for higher frames, consider spending a bit more money (see our best gaming laptop under $1,000 guide or even best gaming laptop under $1,500 page).

You only get 8GB of RAM, but that’s pretty standard in this price range. Still we’d recommend upgrading your laptop RAM to 16GB to improve performance in both web browsing and gaming.

Gaming laptop under $700 with the best CPU & refresh rate

Acer Nitro 5 (144Hz, i5-12500H)

Acer Nitro 5 RTX 3050

CPU

Intel Core i5-12500H

Graphics

Nvidia RTX 3050

RAM

8GB DDR4

Storage

512GB SSD

Screen Size

15.6”

Max Refresh Rate

144Hz

Pros
  • a powerful Intel Core i5-12500H CPU for cheap
  • 144Hz display for a budget price
  • decent webcam for the price
Cons
  • only 8GB of RAM
  • runs hot

This Acer Nitro 5 comes equipped with an RTX 3050 laptop graphics card, which is obviously less powerful than the RTX 3050 Ti that other selections on this page come equipped with, however it makes up for it with the most powerful CPU you’ll get for the price – a mighty Intel 12th gen laptop CPU – the Core i5-12500H.

The 144Hz maximum refresh rate of the display is another feature that you’ll struggle to find for the price. Although you’re unlikely to achieve this level of FPS in most new/somewhat demanding games with this hardware, on older titles or on lower graphical settings you can still make good use of it.

You’re still limited by 8GB of RAM (though this can be easily upgraded as discussed) but the 512GB SSD storage is decent for the price.

A 120Hz gaming laptop under $700 with RTX 3050 Ti

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (120Hz, Ryzen 5 5600H, RTX 3050 Ti)

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 5600H

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

Graphics Card

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti

RAM

8GB DDR4 RAM

Storage

256GB SSD

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

FHD

Pros
  • RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU option for cheap
  • powerful CPU option for the price
  • 120Hz refresh rate for cheap
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • only 256GB SSD
  • no Thunderbolt support or SD card reader

The IdeaPad Gaming range is from Lenovo is less of a prestigious line than the Legion series of laptops, however this thinner and lighter machine still comes equipped with a juicy Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti laptop graphics card, plus the same AMD Ryzen 5 5600H as our top pick.

You make a bit of a sacrifice in terms of the storage – a 256GB SSD is a bit low by anyone’s standards, though you can upgrade this yourself at a later date, or just use an external SSD. On the plus side, this is a cheaper laptop than the Legion, as well as being more portable. It has decent build quality and still comes with a 120Hz maximum refresh rate display.

You get the standard port selection (2x USB 3.0-A, 1x USB 3.1-C, HDMI port, and audio/mic combo jack) plus the typical 8GB DDR4 RAM for this price point.

A 60Hz gaming laptop under $700 with GeForce GTX 1650 GPU

ASUS TUF Gaming A15 (GTX 1650)

ASUS TUF Gaming A15 1650

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 4600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GTX 1650

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

144Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

Pros
  • AMD CPU good for low-level workstation tasks
  • 144Hz screen
  • 512GB SSD
  • very long battery life
Cons
  • not thin or particularly portable
  • narrow color gamut

The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 comes in a variety of SKUs (i.e. specific configurations) at the budget level, and this version comes with a Ryzen 5 4600H processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. The Ryzen processor is the best available on this budget, though it should be noted that the GTX 1650 Ti is superior to the vanilla GTX 1650 this machine comes with, which means this laptop cannot claim to have the best gaming performance in terms of FPS at this price point.

As discussed, the 144Hz display is a feature that is hard to come by in this price range. Whilst you will not be able to play the latest, most demanding games at speeds that touch 144FPS, older games such as CS:GO or COD will certainly be able to reach these levels if you don’t mind playing on medium-low settings. This means for gamers interested in playing competitively on these fast-paced titles for whom effective frames are paramount, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is a very attractive contender.

On top of this, the 512GB SSD and very long battery life (expect around 8 hours doing taxing non-gaming tasks) also put it ahead of some of the other offerings on this page, assuming you don’t mind the somewhat chunky build of the laptop.

Finally, the color gamut of the screen may be somewhat narrow, making it unsuitable for color work, however, the contrast ratio is good and brightness levels do the job, making it a fine machine for gaming.

A 120Hz, 17-inch laptop with a 512GB SSD

Best gaming laptop under $700 all-round

MSI GF75 Thin (GTX 1650)

MSI GF65 Thin

CPU

Intel Core i5-10300H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

17.3”

Pros
  • 17.3” display for a budget price
  • 512GB SSD
  • relatively quiet fans
  • relatively lightweight
Cons
  • narrow color gamut
  • upgrading RAM breaks warranty

At the time of writing the MSI GF75 17.3 inch version is out of the price range of this guide, however, we have seen it reduced to around the $700 level and if you can catch it at this price it is by far the best laptop listed on this page for fast-paced online gaming. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card is not as good as the GTX 1650 Ti listed on some of the 60Hz laptops on this page, however, combined with the Intel Core i5-10300H CPU it still does the job on most games, provided you don’t mind playing on medium-low settings.

There are however three big selling points to this laptop. Firstly, the 120Hz screen means for competitive shooters it has the capability to actually display the higher FPS needed. Secondly, the 17” screen is a rarity on this budget, and if you desire the extra real estate on your screen this is a great budget option. Thirdly, the 512GB SSD is again something you are unlikely to see come as standard on most sub-$700 gaming laptop. As we typically recommend upgrading any laptop that comes with a 256GB SSD, buying this admittedly more expensive laptop becomes a bit more cost-effective when you consider you don’t have to pick up another SSD separately.

This budget gaming laptop has a narrow color gamut, but that is to be expected at this price range. If you want to upgrade the 8GB of RAM (something we generally recommend), be advised that this will void the warranty. The MSI GF75 does however have relatively quiet fans for a gaming laptop, and is also lightweight considering its larger display. All-in-all, if you can get this laptop for a price around the $700 mark, we cannot recommend it enough.


Things to consider when buying a gaming laptop under $700

Is the best gaming laptop under 700 USD worth buying?

Although there are cheaper gaming laptops on the market (see our best gaming laptop under $500 page for the absolute bottom rung), if you’re looking for the best gaming laptop under 700 USD you still need to have realistic expectations of the restrictions your budget puts on the available products. If you’re only interested in less graphically demanding or older games, then $700 may cover your needs just fine, but if you’re interested in playing newer, more demanding titles at anything other than the minimum graphical settings, then you’ll need to seriously reconsider your budget. If of course you’re not much fussed with gaming, then you can afford your budget to be cheaper (see our best laptop under $400 guide for example).

Realistic expectations of gaming performance

The portability advantages of laptops, coupled with the engineering challenges of putting powerful components into a laptop’s chassis and effectively cooling them, mean you typically pay at least 50% more on a laptop compared to a desktop computer for the same Frames Per Second (FPS) in-game.

The unfortunate reality is that, when you reach as low a price as $700 for a gaming laptop, you cannot expect to get any sort of decent performance on the most demanding of games. Gaming laptops of this price range are generally limited to playing older games on higher settings, or newish games on the lower settings. You will generally have no problem playing undemanding strategy games like Crusader Kings III of course, even though they are new releases. If you need more than this from your machine then we would advise either spending more (take a look at our best gaming laptops for under $1,000 page) or alternatively consider a desktop PC you can build yourself for $700 or a prebuilt computer, for under $800.

Maximum refresh rate

Around the $700 mark, it becomes a bit harder to find gaming laptops with a 120Hz refresh rate, and 144Hz gaming laptops are rare indeed (though not unheard of). Although 120Hz+ displays can be found on laptops at this price point, they often make sacrifices in other areas such as the GPU or CPU. The most common refresh rate you will find under $700 is 60Hz, and this is not suitable for competitive, fast-paced shooters – the maximum 60FPS will put you at a considerable disadvantage.

Although at higher refresh rates (between 240Hz and 320Hz for instance) the subjective difference becomes less noticeable, the difference between 60Hz and 120Hz is night and day. 100Hz laptops, if you can find them (they tend to be rarer) are definitely an acceptable compromise, even for playing online shooters, but we cannot recommend you go with a 60Hz laptop if this is the genre of game you play. For single-player RPGs or strategy games however – 60Hz should suffice for laptop gaming on a budget.

Resolution

You won’t find a gaming laptop with a resolution above 1920 x 1080 for several hundred dollars more than this price point. 1080p remains the resolution most competitive gamers who play fast-paced online shooters use regardless though, so for many this won’t be much of a negative.

Hard drive and RAM

Besides the rare exception, 256Gb is the largest SSD you can hope for in a gaming laptop if your budget is limited to $700. Generally, we’d argue that 256GB for an SSD is too small a size to be practical: many games can need over 50GB to be installed on your computer, and this doesn’t leave a lot of room, particularly once you consider the space taken by the operating system. Consequently, we’d advise as a general rule upgrading your SSD to a larger one or adding an additional SSD or HDD.

The same is true for RAM – you won’t find higher than 8GB here and we’d strongly advise upgrading this to 16GB or higher.

Color replication

Although you can get a decent enough color gamut for playing games on in this price range, 100% sRGB replication is unlikely, as is much expectation for color accuracy. This means that none of the laptops below would really be suitable for color-accurate design work in addition to gaming, even if they have the CPU power to run the applications well enough.

Temperature

Given the relatively low-pwered components in these low-budget machines, you’re unlikely to suffer much from overheating or thermal throttling, but  just in case you can always pick up a cheap laptop cooling pad or laptop stand to help reduce this.

Some of our other gaming laptop articles

In-depth laptop reviews

‘Best of’ brand guides

‘Best of’ price guides


Final Word

This has been our guide to the best gaming laptop under 700 USD in 2023. We hope that this has helped you decide which gaming laptop is right for you. If you are somewhat more flexible on your budget, take a gander at our other laptop guides for different budgetary constraints which are listed in the recommended articles alongside this page.

To recap, our best selection, if you’re after a 120Hz gaming laptop is the MSI GF75 Thin with GTX 1650 GPU. If you want something with a bit more power and don’t mind being capped at 60Hz, then consider the 60Hz ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop with GTX 1650 Ti graphics card.

If you are thinking twice about choosing a gaming laptop over a desktop PC, have a look at our guides on high-end desktop builds for under $700 and also the best pre-built PC for under $800.

If there are any specific laptops you want to see reviewed that we have not yet covered, do let us know in a comment below.


Best budget gaming laptop under $700 FAQs

What is the best gaming laptop under 700 dollars?

At the time of writing the MSI GF75 Thin with GTX 1650 is the best gaming laptop available for around $700 though the ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop with AMD Ryzen comes a close second. If you don’t mind restricting yourself to a 60Hz display then you could also consider the ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop which comes with a 1650 Ti for more GPU power for the price.

How good is a $700 gaming laptop?

$700 is below what we’d generally recommend spending on a gaming laptop if you’re looking to play the latest games on anything over the lowest graphical presets – typically we suggest saving up for a $1,000 gaming laptop where possible. Alternatively, if you don’t really need the portability of a laptop, consider going with a gaming PC for around $500 or $800 – which will give you much more power for your money. If you don’t mind playing on the lower settings or are only interested in playing less demanding games, then $700 may do you just fine.

What is a good budget laptop for gaming?

Different people have different definitions of what classes as a budget gaming laptop, though at WePC we’d describe anything below $1,000 as ‘budget’. We have buyers guides on the best gaming laptops for under $500$600$700, and $800, so be sure to check out whichever matches your personal budget.

What Is The Cheapest Gaming Laptop?

The cheapest gaming laptops available can be found around the $500 mark, though the actual games these machines can play is fairly limited. If your definition of gaming laptop requires that it can play the latest, most demanding games on low-medium settings at a respectable FPS then $1,000 is the cheapest you can realistically pay. If you’re not so focused on graphically impressive games or don’t mind playing them at the lower settings then gaming laptops for $600, $700, and $800 also exist.

Is 8GB enough RAM to play games?

8GB of RAM will be sufficient to play many older games to an enjoyable standard, and will meet the minimum requirements of many more recent games as well. In order to ensure you can play more modern titles to a good standard though, and to browse the web with a decent number of tabs open, we would always recommend upgrading to 16GB RAM where possible.

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