Technology has paved the way for the replacement of older electronics with newer, advanced ones. Just as the process of evolution can never be stagnant, the breakthrough in technology can never be halted. With the emergence of newer technology, laptops today can be categorized into two categories, gaming, and non-gaming laptops.
What’s the difference between a gaming laptop and a non-gaming laptop? And what are the best gaming laptops available in 2023? Let’s have a look!
Although one can play games on a non-gaming laptop, the experience won’t be as enjoyable and thrilling as it is on a gaming laptop, as the GPUs of non-gaming laptops are not as potent as those on gaming laptops.
Gaming laptops are better than non-gaming ones because gaming laptops are designed to deliver high performance. Such laptops possess more efficient hardware, as it has to support features of games incorporating high-end graphics.
Additionally, the hardware of such laptops is upgraded and able to run all sorts of high-end software, and games, to be precise.
In a hurry? Here are our top 3 picks when it comes to the best gaming laptops under $1200 in 2023!
Why are Gaming Laptops so Expensive?
We have often heard that gaming laptops are insanely expensive. However, what we fail to realize is that such laptops are designed so that they have to offer immaculate features that are impossible to achieve at low prices. Delivering exceptional performance is a top priority for such laptops.
These laptops come with an extremely potent battery, which paves the way for the system to be durable when it comes to longer gaming hours, without running out of battery. It is pertinent to note that a powerful battery also ensures a better cooling system to ward off overheating. These laptops ward off extra heat when the system is overheated.
The higher cost is also justified because, unlike standard laptops, such laptops come with a graphic card that enhances the gaming experience to give an unforgettable, smooth and enjoyable gaming experience. The better the graphics card, the smoother the gaming experience.
To keep a gaming laptop running for a longer time, the manufacturers have to spend a hefty amount on preventing overheating, which is achieved by installing a sound, functioning cooling system, which can get quite expensive.
Is $1200 Good for a Gaming Laptop?
Keeping in view the features of a gaming laptop, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that $1200 is a good price for a gaming laptop. This is a relatively good price to pay because the expense is justified by the fact that these systems are manufactured to be potent while being designed into a small and compact space.
Choosing the best gaming laptop is often puzzling, especially when you do not know what features to look for to make the best choice.
To save you from the hassle, we’ve skimmed and scanned the best gaming laptops available in the market.
Below, we have reviewed seven immaculate gaming laptops of 2023 for you that will be your companion for many years to come. Let’s take a look at the Top 7 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1200 in 2023:
1. Lenovo ThinkPad E15 – Best Overall
This amazing laptop comes with a powerful Intel Core i5-10210U processor, with a base frequency of 1.6 GHz, which can be extended up to 4.2 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology. Although the processor is exceptionally high-functioning, the laptop offers a battery life of up to 11 hours, as the battery is made up of a 3-Cell 45WHr Li-ion lithium.
It comes with a 15.6 inch IPS anti-glare LED display, which offers super clear UHD graphics. Another great feature that this laptop offers is its enormous storage, high-bandwidth RAM, which can be upgraded to 16GB DDR4 memory, which is ideal for multitasking and ensures smooth running of simultaneous operations without slowing the processing down.
Why is this the best gaming laptop under $1200 in 2023?
What is better than a laptop that is both minimalist and provides a high-end performance? Lenovo ThinkPad E15 comes with a stylish metallic design on the outside and a power-packed machine on the inside.
This laptop is the best pick for buying a high-functioning gaming laptop under $1200, as it has a mighty processor with great battery life, all amalgamated into a decent, aesthetically pleasing design. It also offers seamless connectivity by featuring a USB-C port, ensuring quick data transfers.
2. MSI GF63 Gaming Laptop – Runner Up
This great laptop comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10300H Processor at 2.50GHz (4 Cores, 8 Threads, 8M Cache, up to 4.50), which offers excellent computing power to deliver an unmatched gaming experience.
The display of this laptop is ideal for gamers as it comes with a 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080), IPS-Level 60Hz 45%NTSC thin Bezel Display, providing outstanding graphics through its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q 4G GDDR5 graphics card. When it comes to storage, this laptop comes with an upgrade from its base, offering enormous storage, consisting of 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB PCIe SSD.
It also offers great connectivity as it uses Intel WiFi model 6 AX201, Bluetooth 5.1; 10-100-1000 connection of Gigabit Ethernet LAN, with USB and HDMI ports. This laptop also comes with a 3-In-1 design stylus, which means that it incorporates a stylus pen, ballpoint pen, and a USB 3.0 64GB flash drive.
3. LG Gram WQXGA Laptop – Premium Pick
This laptop features the latest 10th generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 Quad-Core processor to deliver excellent performance, with high-end graphics through Intel Iris Plus graphics technology.
It boasts 16GB RAM, which ensures outstanding performance. The user can enjoy crystal clear graphics via smooth 4K HDR video playback while offering thrilling 1080p gaming features. The lightweight display is made up of a 17-inch screen with the powerful WQXGA (2560×1600) resolution, which comes with an IPS display to deliver life-like visuals, without distorting any colors. It can be viewed at virtually any angle without giving an additional strain to the user’s eyes or neck.
This laptop offers outstanding connectivity with the Intel WiFi model 6 AX201 WLAN. It also comes with Bluetooth 5.0. Apart from delivering great visuals, it also offers a great audio experience to the users as it comes with 2x 1.5W stereo speakers.
Other features include an integrated HD webcam, and an aesthetically pleasing back-lit keyboard with a Thunderbolt 3 Interface. It also comes with a fingerprint scanner to ensure security and privacy.
Want to transcend into a world of immaculate gaming experience? You can do that with the Nitro 5, as this fantastic system not only comes with a stylish metallic design, but also offers a powerful performance. This laptop comes with a 9th generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor, which is strong enough to deliver seamless performance.
With a large 17.3″ full HD IPS LED-backlit display and NVIDIA GeForce GPU RTX 2060 graphics, this system offers a great Refresh Rate of 144Hz with a 3ms Response Time, ensuring both clarity and quick deliverance of exceptional graphics. It offers 16GB DDR4 2666MHz memory, and rapid storage with 256GB NVMe SSD (2 x PCIe M).
This laptop offers great connectivity with Intel Wireless-AC 9560 802.11ac Gigabit WiFi 5, LAN 10/100/1000, and Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port). It incorporates Acer CoolBoost technology with twin fans and dual exhaust ports to cater to overheating issues and expedite the performance and battery life.
This laptop makes the process of giving commands extremely seamless and enjoyable with the dedicated NitroSense Key, along with the WASD and arrow keys highlighted for smooth functioning. Apart from great visuals, the audio is even better as the system invigorates your gaming experience with the amalgamation of Waves MaxxAudio, and Acer TrueHarmony.
5. ASUS TUF Gaming F17 Laptop – Budget Pick
Want a gaming laptop that offers excellent features while being easier on the pocket? Search no more as ASUS TUF Gaming F17 is the right pick for you.
This machine allows you to gear up for seamless gaming while offering reliability and durability. The system is designed to deliver second-to-none performance, not only for gaming, but for streaming, and everything else you can think of, as the powerful combination of the 10th Gen Intel Core CPU and NVIDIA GeForce graphics is as good as it gets for a laptop.
The machine is extremely reliable and durable as it comes with an efficient self-cleaning cooling feature to sustain high performance. It also offers great connectivity as there are a lot of I/O ports on this laptop, which expedite the data transfers. The process of upgrading this device is extremely simple as this system comes with a chassis allowing faster access to storage and memory.
It is pertinent to note that it not only delivers a great visual experience, but also amazing audio as well, as it comes with two upgraded speakers with 2.7x deeper bass than previous generations to enhance your gaming experience. Another distinguished feature of this laptop is that it has already been exposed to spills, drops, extreme temperatures during its test phase, and has been proven to be durable and reliable by withstanding it all.
This laptop comes with a 15″ FHD widescreen display offering a great graphical experience, and offering phenomenal color accuracy. It offers refresh rates of 165Hz with 3ms response times.
The Legion 5 incorporates the Legion TrueStrike keyboard that is based on a superlative layout with separate keys for media, number pad, one-piece trackpad, and larger arrow keys. This laptop offers a compact, sleek design without compromising on the battery life, owing to the latest AMD Ryzen 7 5800H mobile processors, which would never let the user compromise on the gaming experience.
This laptop incorporates one of the most advanced gaming solutions, the Legion AI Engine, which offers an Auto-Optimization mode, which optimizes system performances with dynamic CPU/GPU power distribution by identifying your game launches. The cooling system of this laptop is quite effective, as it incorporates the Legion Coldfront 3.0, which ensures zero noise, despite gaming for longer sessions. It comes with a dual-fan design and improved thermal fins which offers seamless processing.
It offers outclass graphics with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU. The system makes use of Ampere, NVIDIA’s second Generation RTX architecture, including all-new Ray Tracing Cores, streaming multiprocessors, as well as Tensor Cores, to deliver highly realistic imagery to the user.
This system not only delivers great visuals but also offers an unmatched audio experience as well, with the immersive 3D audio specifically designed for gamers. The sound tracker in the system provides a visual indicator, pointing out the directions from which sounds are coming, which is a great addition to your gaming experience.
This laptop soars you to the world of gaming with the 11th generation Intel Core i7 processor, and impressive graphics via the Intel Iris Xe Graphics, which provide gamers a high level of graphic performance.
This laptop ends our list of the top recommended gaming laptops under $1200 due to its premium performance abilities, which feels like you have a portable PC in your hands. Apart from its strong processor, which we have already mentioned, it also has a FAST 512GB SSD storage drive, as well as a 16GB bandwidth, which provides for uninterrupted multitasking.
At the end of the day, laptops, regardless of their primary function, need to be portable to a certain degree. The HP Pavilion laptop lets you be as portable as you can with a laptop, with a long-lasting battery life of up to 8 hours. Plus, the HP Fast Charge capability takes you from yero to half-charge in just 45 minutes! Even though the HP Pavilion 15” ranks last on our list, it still made the list out of hundreds of laptops on the market. It is a recommended gaming laptop for those who are looking for a portable laptop that provides solid performance by a reputable brand.
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Gaming Laptop Under $1200?
In order to buy the perfect gaming laptop under $1200, the following factors must be taken into consideration:
The GPU or the graphics card is the most significant component to consider when buying a gaming laptop. The best GPU available in the market is the NVIDIA GeForce graphics card. The NVIDIA GeForce comes in several models. With that being said, there are plenty of strong AMD Radeon graphic cards as good as GeForce cards. Even an integrated Intel graphic card can be sufficient for many games out there.
It is equally important to check the resolution of your gaming laptop’s screen, as having a good GPU but a screen with a poor resolution spoils your gaming experience. A good laptop screen resolution is not lower than 1920 x 1080, also called FullHD.
Another important factor to keep in mind is how portable your gaming laptop is, and that depends on its size and weight. Gaming laptops usually come in two sizes, 15.6” and 17.3”. Although a larger screen offers a clearer vision, it often is heavier and not portable. So the best pick should be the one that gives an immersive experience, while also being light-weighted.
The refresh rate of your gaming laptop’s screen is another thing you shouldn’t underestimate. The higher the refresh rate of your laptop’s screen, the faster processing it offers, essential when playing competitive games online.
It is significant to choose a laptop with a suitable processor that goes well with your GPU. The best picks for a gaming laptop are either an AMD Ryzen 5, 7 or 9 models, or an Intel Core i5, i7 or i9 processor.
Just like the GPU and processor, it is equally important to choose a laptop that can offer sufficient system memory or RAM, or else your games can lag and ruin your gaming experience.
It is pertinent to note that every gaming laptop includes a keyboard, mostly with back-lit RGB. However, some laptops come with mechanical switches, instead of rubber switches, which are a good add-on.
Laptops come with a touchpad, however, if you’re an avid gamer, we recommend buying an additional gaming mouse to enhance your gaming experience.
Headsets and Speakers
For avid gamers, preference is always given to headsets as compared to speakers, as in online games, a headset enhances your gaming experience as it comes with a built-in microphone, allowing you to chat with other users and gamers.
The purpose of gaming laptops is to deliver seamless, high-end functionality to ensure a smooth, efficient gaming experience that can allow gamers to soar into a world of immaculate gaming.
Although gaming laptops are comparatively more expensive than non-gaming laptops, that does not mean that you have to say no to the avid gamer inside of you. If you have a budget of $1200, then there are some amazing options for you available in the market that won’t bust your budget. The ones we’ve listed in this list will not compromise on performance, portability, and other significant features pertinent for a seamless gaming experience.
Choosing your one and only gaming laptop is not an easy task, we know. However, it is one that you should definitely invest some time researching into, as chances are that your next gaming laptop will serve you for years to come. You want to find the gaming laptop that doesn’t only suit your set of requirements, but one that you can also afford to purchase without going broke. Our list of the top 7 best gaming laptops under $1200 in 2023 are all great options. Choose the one you like best and let’s start gaming!