People often think that a good gaming laptop would cost them somewhere around the $2500-$4000 range. But you would be surprised to know that some really decent gaming laptops can be bought for under $2000 easily. So if you are in the same budget range, then here is a list of the best gaming laptops under the $2000 budget for you.
But people aren’t wrong, because some of the most powerful gaming beasts go for exorbitant prices. Take the ASUS ROG Mothership, for instance, that laptop or more like desktop replacement costs in the $6500 price range. But that kind of performance is unnecessary for gaming at 1080p high graphics settings.
You can easily get over 60fps at high or customized graphics settings with a $1500 laptop. In fact, the new generation of processors by Intel and AMD costs less and performs better.
The new AMD 4000 series mobile CPUs are not only great when it comes to performance but energy efficiency too. Laptops armed with the new AMD CPU are not only priced decently but they are also powerful.
Take something like the Zephyrus G14, one of our favorite gaming laptops, for example. It has an NVIDIA RTX 2060 Max-Q and an AMD Ryzen 4900HS. The laptop has better scores on the common benchmarks than Intel CPU laptops. The best part, it only costs under $1500!
With the CPU and GPU combo, you can game at 60FPS on ultra settings at 1080p. What more could anyone want than to play their favorite games at maxed-out graphics settings?
So if you are someone who is under the budget of $2000, check out these laptop reviews from our list below. But first a short buyer’s guide on what you should expect from a laptop under that budget.
Gaming Laptop Buyer’s Guide
$2000 is not a small budget. For that much, you can build a rather powerful gaming rig if you wanted to. But we are talking about laptops here. Gaming laptops are expensive, the same specs that you will get on a PC worth $2000 you can only find on a laptop that would cost a lot more.
If you want to achieve more than 60FPS on high graphics settings, something like a GTX 1060 would suffice. But that is an older generation GPU, these days you can buy the GTX 1650 Super and GTX 1660Ti at the same price.
A GTX 1650 laptop with either one year older generation or the newest generation CPU by either Intel or AMD would cost under $1000. Which is not bad, this laptop will run games smoothly at medium to high settings.
But for $1450-$1500 you can buy a laptop with the newest generation CPUs along with an RTX 2060. This combo will ensure that you can run all games smoothly over 60FPS with relative ease.
But if you want something more powerful, an RTX 2070 Super GPU powered laptop might be available in the $1800-$2000 price tag. With that GPU you can run all games at ultra settings over 60FPS without hitches.
So the amount you pay will determine the GPU you land, but this just shows you do not need to spend a lot of money to play games on decent frame rates.
With AMD releasing its Ryzen CPUs at half the price than Intel last year, it made an impact. What happened was that Intel did not have any competition in the CPU market for years and had gotten too comfortable. They raised the prices of CPU without worries, but Ryzen came and saved us gamers from exorbitant prices.
The new Intel CPUs and AMD CPUs cost way less and perform better than previous generations. The Ryzen 4000 series mobile CPU powered laptops cost way less than Intel 9th Gen laptops.
They also perform better, with better thermals, and can achieve better scores on benchmarks as shown by the Zephyrus G14. This has made the CPU side of the market a bit flexible. You can find a Ryzen 9 4900HS laptop, like the Zephyrus G14, going for less than $1500.
That is an 8-core, 16-thread CPU that can achieve some significant results. So you do not have to spend a lot to get a good laptop CPU.
Now the battery life depends on the components as well as the power of the battery installed by the laptop manufacturer. You can check out the juice a battery has in the specifications.
But one thing that we have noticed is that the new generation CPUs do not consume too much power. There are many laptops that can prove that statement.
Since you are not getting a high power consuming GPU like the RTX 2080 in the price bracket, battery life should be decent. While gaming a gaming laptop should run at least 5 hours at full brightness on the screen.
With lower loads, you might stretch the battery life further to a 7-hours of battery life. So Battery life will depend on the wattage of the battery and the load you put on it.
Best Gaming Laptops Under $2000 Reviewed
The ASUS Zephyrus G14 is something just spectacular. We think ASUS really did knock the ball out of the park with this one. Amazing performance, aesthetics, and price all in one package.
The Zephyrus G14 might have been one of the first laptops to introduce the Ryzen 4000 Series mobile CPU. As soon as it came out, the whole tech community went haywire with the results. The benchmarks proved that Intel had finally been shown the door.
The performance was not the only thing that this laptop was capable of, the thermals were remarkable. Even under the heaviest of loads, it was doing better than some of the best Intel CPUs in the market at that time.
What was more surprising, the battery life on this thing was better than any gaming laptop out there. You can get 6-hours easy on this laptop while gaming. If that does not tell you about the power efficiency of the laptop than nothing else would.
The best part, the laptop itself is not beefy or big even in the slightest. It is a light, portable, and stylish gaming laptop. The laptop looks amazing, the back cover has a special feature that just makes it look even better.
The perforated back cover has LED’s on it on which you can put up your name or customize a logo for it. This takes personalization to the next level. Want your name flashing on the back cover while using the laptop? Go ahead and show who this gaming laptop belongs to.
Powered by an NVIDIA RTX 2060, you can play the games the way they were intended to be played. Turn up the graphics to high or ultra and still receive great performance in games. You can bet to get some decent FPS performance on this laptop.
The CPU is what won it, its crown though. The Zephyrus G14 has an AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS, an 8-core, and 16-thread CPU that just slays benchmarks. The best part, the thermals on this are better than some laptops that cost way more than this.
This AMD CPU laptop can overthrow some top contenders easily when it comes to benchmark scores. Even in real-time performance, the laptop is fast, fluid and can perform CPU intensive tasks easily without breaking a sweat.
The laptop is super slim as well, it is a 14-inch laptop with a beautiful display. The display has super thin bezels but is a result of shortening the bezels so much, Zephyrus G14 does not have a webcam.
But if you bought this laptop for gaming, we doubt you will be using the webcam a lot. But it has become one essential need in these days, during the pandemic where people are working from home.
Lastly, the laptop costs only $1500, and even lower on the BestBuy link. So what else do you want? Outstanding performance and superb style for that much, it is a steal if you ask us.
The Razer Blade 15 is one of the thinnest laptops in the world right now. It is armed with an NVIDIA RTX 2070 Max-Q variant that can run games with the ray-tracing feature enabled on high to ultra graphics settings.
Razer has one of the most sold peripherals in the market, but their laptops are also very powerful. The Razer Blade 17 Pro is one of the most powerful gaming laptops in the market and is quite expensive as well.
The Razer Blade 15 has its own achievement as one of the thinnest laptops in its class. The 15″ laptop by Razer houses an Intel 10th Gen CPU and an RTX 2070 GPU.
The combination of both the CPU and GPU works wonders as you can not only run games on this thing but render or do CPU heavy workloads with relative ease.
This beautiful and stylish laptop by Razer is costly though, but worth its price. The 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H in the laptop is a 6-core, 12-thread CPU that has a base clock of 2.6GHz and can boost to 5GHz if provided with ideal conditions.
the GPU is the mobile variant of the RTX 2070 by NVIDIA, a pretty powerful GPU in its right. So running any game on ultra graphics-settings is as easy as it can get.
Without worries just crank the in-game graphics settings to ultra and you should see 90FPS+ on the FPS counter. If that does not appeal to you as a gamer, then we don’t know what else will. Oh, maybe the RGB backlit keyboard and the glass trackpad might interest you then.
The Razer Blade 15 also features a Thunderbolt 3 port if you want to connect a dock to the laptop for extra displays. The laptop is priced at $1900 on Amazon and Razer’s official site. If you want something cheaper, you can go for the RTX 2060 Max-Q variant as well, which might cost you $100-$150 less.
The Acer Nitro 5 2020 seems to be doing way better than any of its previous models. If we had any complaint about this laptop, it would have to be its really low battery timing and low brightness screen.
So this laptop costs under $1000 and if you are going for the base model it should retail for something around $800. This laptop is good in its base model only, the only upgrade we would suggest is for RAM.
Otherwise, keep the specs to the base model because once you cross the price tag of the base model there are other better laptops out there from other brands in that price point.
The screen has 250-280nitts brightness, which is not a lot, to be honest. The dark areas seem much darker on this laptop screen. But this was to be expected of a basic 60Hz refresh rate panel.
The base model laptop has a GTX 1650 GPU by NVIDIA, which is not the best GPU out there. A supermodel would’ve been much better. But with this GPU you can play games at medium graphics settings with ease and get 60FPS average.
The CPU is really good though, its an AMD Ryzen 4600H mobile processor with 6-cores, 12-threads. The CPU boosts easily to 4GHz and the thermals on this thing are way better than those of the previous models.
This just shows that the Ryzen 4000 series mobile CPUs are much better at handling the heat and are efficient. The laptop can run CPU intensive tasks efficiently as well.
Other than the screen brightness, the biggest problem this laptop might have is the battery life. While gaming you get only 3-hours of battery time.
So if you are okay with the battery life and the low brightness, which is not a huge sacrifice for the price point, you will be getting a decent gaming laptop.
Who does not know the Acer Predator series of products? They were the ones who brought beastly laptops in the market without regarding the size limitations of laptops.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a different take than what Predator laptops are mostly about. It is not as beefy and thick, and the best part, it is reasonably affordable too.
With an NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti and an Intel 9th Generation 9750H CPU, the laptop can run games at maxed-out graphics settings. The CPU is a 6-core, 12-thread processor that can easily reach clock speeds of up to 4.5GHz.
The laptop uses 16GB of RAM, installed in a dual-channel setup. It also has 512GB of NVMe storage for fast boot-up and loading times.
The laptop barely costs over $1100 on Amazon, and it is not a bad deal in the least. The CPU and GPU combo is great, if you want to play games you will not be disappointed in the least
The display has a 144Hz refresh rate, which is really good. It is not only better than the typical 60Hz display, but also better than 120Hz refresh rate panels.
It has brightness levels of 300nit which is not very bright, but not that dim either. This can be the upgrade you are looking for in gaming laptops.
5 – MSI GS66 Stealth
MSI is one of the biggest computer hardware manufacturers that have made some of the best motherboards in the market. The B450 Tomahawk has been acclaimed as one of the best AM4 motherboards due to the quality VRMs installed on it.
The MSI GS66 Stealth 2020 is true to its name of Stealth. The previous models lacked the stealth aspect as it had golden accents which were anything but stealth. They made the laptop stood out, with the golden accents and golden logo on the back.
But the GS66 Stealth 2020 is all black, even the logo is black and is barely visible. Now the performance of this laptop has increased as well. The GS66 Stealth 2020 houses a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H, which is a 6-core, 12-thread CPU. The base clock of the CPU is the same as the Core i7-9750H
The model we had which cost around $1549 on Amazon had an RTX 2060 GPU. Anything more than that in the GPU upgrades would take the costs well over $2000.
The RTX 2060 is a competent GPU and can easily overpower the likes of GTX 1070, which itself is a great gaming GPU. So you are getting raytracing goodness comparable to one of the best GTX GPUs.
Paired with the CPU, the GPU can outperform most other laptops in the same price category. You will easily get above 60FPS on high to ultra graphics settings in most AAA titles on this laptop.
The GS66 by MSI has been hailed a really good laptop when it comes to battery life. It is not as great as the Zephyrus with its AMD Ryzen 4000 series mobile CPU, but great nonetheless.
How can we forget the Lenovo Legion series of gaming laptops on the list? Although most of the Legion laptops are pretty expensive, the Y540 easily falls in the under $2000 category.
Looking at the laptop it feels that Lenovo Legion series has come a long way from how it used to look like. The Y540 is slim, elegant, and feels like a solid gaming laptop.
The laptop has a GTX 1650, which is not the most appealing GPU for a laptop at this price point. With just a $100 more you can go for the Zephyrus G14 which has an RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU.
The laptop has a decent CPU though, a 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H which is 6-core, 12-thread CPU. It has base clock of 2.6GHz and a boost clock of 4.5GHz. So if the game is CPU intensive, you can bet it will run it without any trouble.
The GPU is the only bad thing we could find on the Lenovo Legion Y540, otherwise, it is a really decent laptop. If we were to upgrade anything on this laptop, it would definitely be the GPU.
Storage-wise, this laptop is great, it has 1TB of SSD for bootup and 1TB HDD for storing huge files. It also has 32GB of DDR4 RAM, which feels overkill. If we were to configure this laptop, getting rid of the 1TB HDD and installing just 512GB SSD and 16GB of DDR4 RAM would be great.
This would save you plenty of money to upgrade on the GPU that this laptop requires. The build quality and thermals of this laptop feel really good, the keyboard is backlit but not RGB. For that, you might have to buy a different model from Lenovo.
For the price, is this build worth it? No. That is why Lenovo allows you to customize your build on their site.