Building your own gaming rig will always give you the maximum possible performance. But there’s one thing that PCs can’t genuinely deliver: portability. Even if you build the most small-form-factor PC in the world, you’ll still need a monitor, peripherals, and a power outlet near you to get things going.
Though high-tier laptops that rival the performance of state-of-the-art desktop PCs exist, they tend to cost a fortune. If you have a gaming PC or console waiting for you at home or simply don’t have the budget to splurge for a portable gaming machine that’s too heavy to carry around comfortably, cheap gaming laptops can be the solution to all of your problems. It’s almost impossible to find a true “gaming” laptop below the $200 price range, but you can still find options that can handle the lightest of gaming habits.
Most laptops at this price range cut some essential corners for comfortably running games, but this makes them incredibly light in return. The ones that ship with ChromeOS or FreeDOS take advantage of not including a Windows license, which can significantly bump up their price tags. You can easily install Linux on the machines to make them more suitable for gaming, but remember that they’ll all just be powerful enough to smoothly run games with extremely low system requirements, which makes up the majority of the indie titles or emulators.
Here’re some of the best budget gaming laptops that should help you get your daily dose of gaming.
Achieving an ultrabook-level thinness in this price range is possible. Though you may need a cooling pad while running games, ASUS VivoBook L203MA’s Intel N400 processor and Intel UHD Graphics 600 GPU should be more than enough for daily tasks.
The L203MA comes with an 11.6-inch 768p HD display and a 64GB eMMC storage. The storage may not be enough to store your favorite films or music, but it shouldn’t be a problem in the age of streaming. The 4GB of RAM could be limited to multitaskers, but that’s a common sacrifice in this price range.
The laptop’s hinges allow it to spin in a 180-degree angle, which makes consuming content on it while laying down a blast. The keyboard has a nice touch to it and feels reliable. L203MA ships with Windows 10 S, which is a simpler version of any Windows 10 version. You’ll only be able to download programs from the Windows Store, however, which can be limiting at times.
Estimated size: 11.37 by 8.04 by 0.70 inches
Weight: 2.54 pounds
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