9 Best Gaming Laptops Under 1200 Dollars

The gaming industry has been thriving for the last few years. With new AAA titles with next-gen graphics and gameplay launching every year, gaming has gained extreme popularity. It has reached milestones that no one could even think of in the last decade. This has caused an increase in demand and sales of gaming laptops and PCs.  If you too are looking for the best gaming laptop under 1200 dollars, then you are at the right place as we have covered a wide range of gaming laptops under $1200 that is ideal for running the latest games.

With the advancement of gameplay graphics, a newer generation of graphics cards like NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series or their pocket-friendly GTX series have come to the market. Even AMD has been releasing their powerful Radeon Rx series of graphics cards.

And the introduction of mobile versions of these products has helped them to be compressed into laptops. Today, gaming laptops containing these powerful graphics cards and backed with the latest generation processors from Intel and AMD have been introduced in the market for everyone’s convenience.

Also Read
Also Check, the best Laptops with i7 Processor and 16GB RAM for multi-tasking and business purposes.

What Should You Consider Before Buying Gaming Laptop Under $1200?

RAM

The greater amount of RAM will mean better performance and faster loading of software. Greater RAM storage is a good friend of every genre of gaming. The best gaming laptops under 1200 dollars mostly come with 16GB of RAM installed in them. Most laptops have a maximum upgrade capacity of 32GB.

Storage

Storage is an important factor in tasks like gaming and editing purposes due to its large size. Modern-day laptops offer larger size hard disks (HDD) or the relatively smaller but extremely high transfer speed compared to HDDs, namely, solid-state drives (SSD) or a combination of both.

If you want greater storage but do not want to put pressure on your wallet, go for the HDD-only variants. If you want high transfer speed and faster loading of software and have no need for large storage capacity, you can go for SSD-only variants.

If you have money to spare, you can go for the HDD+SSD variants, which will give you both storage capacity and speed.

CPU

CPU is what makes the computer run. You can get Intel i7 9th or 10th generation or AMD Ryzen variants in laptops under 1200 dollars in the new generation of laptops.

GPU

GPUs are required for graphics-related purposes like gaming and graphical rendering. Modern-day laptops under 1200 dollars are equipped with powerful GPUs like NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1650 or GEFORCE GTX1660Ti, RTX 20-series, and other variants.

Display

A good display is required even on laptops. It will help if you look for screens that you can use for prolonged hours without straining your eyes or give you FPS that you desire. Modern-day laptops come with good quality anti-glare screens.

In general, laptop screens have a refresh rate of 60 Hz. But if you have some money to spare, you can go for 120Hz variants, which can be beneficial for gaming purposes.

Battery life

The primary advantage of a laptop is its portability. You cannot find an electrical socket everywhere to plug in your PC; thus, you will need to rely on battery backup. New generation laptops are designed to deliver both performance and battery life. There are efficient power-saving modes that can increase your battery life, but it also gives you the option to prioritize performance over battery life.

So here are our nine choices for gaming laptops under 1200 dollars.


Best Gaming Laptops Under 1200 Dollars

Image Product Features Price
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

  • 8Core AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS
  • 16GB RAM
  • 1TB PCIe SSD
9.7

 

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ROG Zephyrus M Thin and Portable Gaming Laptop ROG Zephyrus M Thin and Portable Gaming Laptop

  • 144Hz Full HD IPS
  • GTX 1660 TiQ
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
9.5

 

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Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • 16GB DDR4
  • 256GB NVMe SSD
9.1

 

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MSI GF75 Thin 9SC-027 17.3 MSI GF75 Thin 9SC-027 17.3″

  • Intel Core i7-9750H
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650
  • 512GB NVMe SSD
8.8

 

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Omen by HP 15-Inch Gaming Laptop, Omen by HP 15-Inch Gaming Laptop,

  • Intel i7-9750H
  • NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti (6 GB)
  • VR Ready
8.6

 

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Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop

  • Intel Core i7-9750H
  • 256GB SSD and 1TB SATA
  • 16 GB RAM
8.2

 

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Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

  • RTX 2060 6GB
  • 16GB Dual-Channel DDR4
  • 512GB NVMe SSD
8

 

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MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062 MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062

  • Intel Core i7-10750H
  • RTX2070 
  • 512GB NVMe SSD
7.7

 

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Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop

  • RTX 2060
  • 144Hz refersh rate
  • 16GB RAM
  • Chroma RGB Lighting
7.4

 

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1. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

120hz Display
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

Features

  • 8Core AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS
  • 16GB RAM
  • 1TB PCIe SSD

 

Asus stands tall when it comes to gaming laptops. The company so far has released various gaming laptops that are quite successful commercially. The reason why Asus laptops have high demand is less price and better configuration. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is one of its own kind, let’s have a look at this $1200 gaming laptop.

Performance

Starting with the performance, which is the primary focus of gaming laptops, Zephyrus G14 has an 8 Core AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS 2.3 GHz which gives a tough competition to the i7-10750H processor. You’ll be able to play all the latest games such as Cyberpunk and more.

It comes with 16 GB DDR4 RAM and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q that enhances the overall performance of the laptop. If you are already a gamer, you must know how important graphic card is for gaming. But this one is ideal for graphic designing, music production, and gamers of course.

Design

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Asus ROG has seriously nailed it!!! The design is simple yet attractive, all credits to the sturdy design which gives it a look of a gaming laptop. The back panel of the laptop is actually an AniMe Matrix LED display which takes customization of the laptop to a whole new level. The chassis of Zephyrus 14 is made up of magnesium alloy while the bezels around the screens are of plastic, which is quite usual.

 

Display

The display is 14 inches, which makes the laptop a bit smaller than the usual laptops, thus promoting portability.

The resolution is 1920 x 1080  and the refresh rate is 120hz, which is best for gaming laptops, making them faster. Zephyrus 14’s panel exhibits 117% of the sRGB color gamut with 323 nits brightness superior to that of Dell G17 and Razorblade 15

Storage & Battery backup

The laptop comes with a storage of 1TB SSD, which is comparatively better than a traditional HDD storage type. Moving forward to the battery life, the laptop can run for more than 10 hours, for web surfing, watching movies, and normal office work at a lower brightness. Usually, gaming laptops do not tend to have such a vast battery life even for normal usage, but Zephyrus stunned us here.

 

 

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

Pros
  • Great performance
  • Portable and long battery life
  • Great display and audio
Cons
  • No webcam

 

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2. ASUS ROG Zephyrus M Thin

144Hz Full HD IPS
ROG Zephyrus M Thin and Portable Gaming Laptop

Features

  • 144Hz Full HD IPS
  • GTX 1660 TiQ
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM

 

Another amazing creation of Asus is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M Thin which is almost a similar version of the one which we reviewed above, but there are some differences. As the name suggests, this laptop is best for portability.

Performance

Let’s start with performance, as it matters the most when it comes to gaming laptops. The laptop has a dedicated GPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM which is super amazing for playing games on high settings. Furthermore, it has an Intel Core i7-9750H, a Hexa core processor which offers an improvised clock speed and better L3 cache rate.

The dual-channel memory stick is 16GB DDR4 RAM and is easily upgradeable, however, the 16GB stick is more than enough if you aren’t a heavy multitasker. Lastly, the 1TB PCIe SSD will help you to load programs, copy-paste files, and store important data efficiently and quickly.

Design

The laptop is beautifully crafted by the product designers at Asus. Unlike the Zephyrus 14, this one does not come with a LED back panel. The chassis is made up of metal, while the rest of the laptop is made up of good quality plastic that won’t break off easily unless you play WrestleMania with your laptop every Sunday :p.

Display

Moving on to the display, it has 15 6” Full HD (1920×1080) IPS Type Pantone Validated Display which has a refresh rate of 144hz and 3ms response time. The display emits vivid colors, making the laptop ideal for graphic designers as well as gamers.

Battery backup

Expecting a better battery life from a laptop is like waiting for a ship at the bus stop. Gaming laptops are infamous for poor battery life, and we advise you to always play games while charging the laptop. Playing games directly on the battery will ultimately decrease battery health. The laptop offers a battery life of up to 4 to 5 hours of normal usage.

ROG Zephyrus M Thin and Portable Gaming Laptop

Pros
  • Powerful GPU
  • Thin and portable
  • Dual-Channel RAM
Cons
  • Heating issues
  • A little expensive

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3. Acer Nitro 5

Bang for your buck
Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

Features

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • 16GB DDR4
  • 256GB NVMe SSD

 

Acer is one of the best-selling laptop brands that provide excellent specifications in a limited budget. The company is famous for the affordable laptop segment, but that doesn’t mean we will underestimate its gaming laptop segment.

Performance

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop is a best-selling budget gaming laptop under $1200. Under the hood, it has an Intel Core i7-9750H 9th gen processor with 6 cores with a clock speed of 4.5 GHz, and 12MB of cache.

Moving on to the processor which is essential for gaming, Acer Nitro 5 didn’t disappoint us and has integrated a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM which is solid for gaming on ultra graphics quality. On the other hand, it has 16GB DDR4 RAM, which allows you to multitask and play games without frame drops.

One major drawback of this laptop is the storage. Nitro 5 comes with only 256GB of SSD storage which is not even enough to install even 2 games properly. You’ll have to purchase an external HDD drive or SSD storage if you plan to extend your game collection on this laptop.

Design 

There’s no wow factor in the Acer Nitro 5’s design. The budget gaming laptop is made of plastic but gives the laptop a gaming laptop feel. Nitro 5’s hinges are strong even though it is made up of plastic, and the backlit keyboard is perfectly sized for a better typing experience.

Display

The laptop is available in two screen sizes, 15.6 inches, and 17.3 inches, most gamers prefer a bigger screen size, but the price difference of the sizes is quite a lot. Here we are talking about the 15.6-inch variant, which is Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit display with a 144Hz refresh rate.

Battery backup

Once again I would say, expecting a better battery backup from the laptop is not a good idea. However, Nitro 5 doesn’t disappoint here and provides a battery backup of 4 to 5 hours maximum on power-saving mode. I have tested this laptop for 1 month, and couldn’t game for more than 2 hours on battery, but normal browsing, movies, and office work can be done for more than 4 hours as aforementioned.

 

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

Pros
  • High-quality display
  • Powerful CPU and GPU
  • Good battery
Cons
  • Mediocre speakers
  • Insufficient storage

 

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4. MSI GF75 Thin

Thin Bezel
MSI GF75 Thin 9SC-027 17.3

Features

  • Intel Core i7-9750H
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650
  • 512GB NVMe SSD

We know MSI because of its top-notch motherboards, monitors, graphics card, and gaming laptops of course. The company has gained immense popularity for its gaming laptop, one of them being MSI GF75 Thin which is one of the best gaming laptops under $1200 enhancing portability and providing the best gaming experience to all types of gamers.

Performance

Taking off with its processor, MSI  GF75 thin has the same processor as that of Acer Nitro 5, Intel Core i7-9750h. The laptop has a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 [Max-Q] 4G GDDR5 graphics card, sufficient for enhancing your overall gaming experience.

GF75 has 16GB RAM DDR4 2666MHz, which is upgradeable up to 64 GB, and a storage of 512 GB which is also upgradeable. You can do multitasking, play games like Forza horizon, Fortnite, PUBG PC, Valorant, without frame drops or any glitches.

Design

The design of the laptop is very much similar to Nitro 5 but doesn’t have cut edges and thick chassis. As the name suggests, GF75 thin has a thin chassis made up of sturdy material.

Display

Thin bezels and a Full HD screen of 1920×1080 produce a vivid picture and make it look amazing from all angles. You’ll experience a gaming experience like never before with MSI GF75 thin gaming laptop.

Battery backup

This 1200 dollar gaming laptop offers a battery life of nearly 5 hours and less than that while gaming. However, you can adjust the battery settings for longer battery life, and make sure you are connected to the charger while gaming.

Overall, this budget gaming laptop has everything you will need to play games on high-quality graphics.

MSI GF75 Thin 9SC-027 17.3

Pros
  • Per key RGB light by SteelSeries
  • Accurate color representation
  • Super responsive 144Hz display
  • Powerful GPU
Cons
  • The cooling system is not satisfactory
  • Mediocre battery life

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5. Omen by HP 15-Inch Gaming Laptop

Best design
Omen by HP 15-Inch Gaming Laptop,

Features

  • Intel i7-9750H
  • NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti (6 GB)
  • VR Ready

 

If you want superior gaming performance at a pocket-friendly price, then this laptop is for you. After all, HP is known for making budget gaming laptops without making many compromises.

Performance

The laptop is powered by an Intel i7 9th generation processor paired with 8GB of RAM. You get GTX1660Ti with 6GB VRAM to handle all the graphics demanding games. As for storage, you get 256GB of SSD, which is less in terms of size. You get Windows 10 Home pre-installed.

The Omen command center allows you to boost your CPU performance and boost your gaming experience easily. You can play Fortnight, PUBG, and Overwatch and more games without any quality issues.

Design

The overall body is made of plastic, and the metal lid has a matte finish. The keyboard is backlit; thus, you can work and play games at night as well. The words “OMEN” are written on the hinge.

The overall 0.8” thick laptop falls on the heavier side with 5.4 pounds. An interesting feature is that you get VR support on this laptop. So, get ready to dive deep into the newest VR games.

Display

The laptop has 15.6-Inch diagonal FHD IPS Anti-Glare micro-edge WLED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080) with amazing viewing angles.

Battery backup

The laptop offers a battery backup of fewer than 5 hours, which is quite normal for gaming laptops. Overall, the laptop is pretty decent with amazing configuration, thus making it an ideal choice in gaming laptops under 2000 dollars.

Omen by HP 15-Inch Gaming Laptop,

Pros
  • Overall gaming performance
  • Affordable
  • Speedy SSD
Cons
  • Battery life not satisfactory
  • Mushy keyboard
  • Issues while connecting to 5Ghz WiFi

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6. Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop

Best Storage
Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop

Features

  • Intel Core i7-9750H
  • 256GB SSD and 1TB SATA
  • 16 GB RAM

 

Dell is a reputed brand when it comes to laptops and accessories. Its subsidiary Alienware is best known for its gaming laptops, but Dell too has some high-end gaming rigs that will blow away your mind.

Performance

With its powerful hardware and amazing screen, Dell G5 overshadows its competitors easily. The robust plastic chassis contains an Intel Core i7 9th generation paired with 16GB of RAM. As for GPU, you get NVIDIA GTX 1650 with 4GB VRAM.

This product gives you lots of space to store your games and other files. This variant comes with 256GB of SSD and 1 TB of HDD. You will get Windows 10 pre-installed when you buy this product.

Display & Design

Even though the laptop comes at a pocket-friendly price, no compromise has been made on the screen. The 15.6” 1080p screen is colorful and bright and prevents any screen tearing while playing games.

Weighing 5.5 pounds, the overall body is 0.9 inches thick. This falls on the heavier side, but it is justified because of the hardware it packs.

Battery

The laptop does not have promising battery life. We recorded a battery backup of just 3.5 hours after a full charge.

Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop

Pros
  • Great CPU performance
  • Great battery life
Cons
  • Chunky design
  • Sharp speakers

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7. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

144Hz 3ms IPS Display
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

Features

  • RTX 2060 6GB
  • 16GB Dual-Channel DDR4
  • 512GB NVMe SSD

 

This is one of the top metal-clad gaming laptops without any serious limitations. This is one of the best gaming frame rates and has improved battery backup than its predecessors. This is one of the most outstanding choices for a portable gaming PC.

Performance

With its GEFORCE RTX 2060 6GB VRAM and i7 9th generation with 16GB RAM, there is no game till now that cannot be played on this laptop in High-Ultra graphics. The 144Hz display allows the GPU to deliver to you the best performance it can give. As for storage, this device comes with 512GB SSD; thus, you will face zero stutters while loading textures.

Design

All of its features are packed in an aluminum chassis. The overall design is sturdy, but the front and rear corners are sharp. The logo on the lid is backlit, giving amazing gaming vibes. The overall design is clean and has all the necessary I/O ports.

The laptop has a well-placed RGB backlit keyboard, which is very comfortable during fast-paced gaming. The lighting on the keyboard can be customized using PredatorSense.

Display

The 1080p 15.6-inch screen has a refresh rate of 144Hz and with an input lag of only 3ms. It is a great combo to get the edge in competitive gaming. The screen delivers smooth visuals even outside gaming.

Battery

The battery backup while gaming is approximately 2.5 hrs, but normal usage can extend the battery life to up to 5 hours. Overall, Acer has done a really good job on this gaming laptop.

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

Pros
  • Excellent gaming performance
  • 144Hz screen
  • Huge storage expansion opportunities
  • Clean design compared to its predecessors.
Cons
  • Chassis can get hot under load
  • Sharp corners

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8. MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062

RTX 2070 8G GDDR6
MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062

Features

  • Intel Core i7-10750H
  • RTX2070 Graphics
  • 512GB NVMe SSD

 

Another worthy laptop from MSI on our list of best gaming laptops under $1200, a company that is highly reputed for making dedicated gaming laptops.

Performance

Equipped with Intel Core i7 10th generation processor and 16GB RAM backed by NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2070 GPU with 8 GB VRAM, this is the ultimate gaming beast that you can carry anywhere. It comes with 16GB  DDR4 RAM which enhances the overall multitasking experience. 

Design and Build

All the features are packed inside a plastic yet robust and premium-looking chassis. The lid is made of aluminum. This variant is inclined towards the thicker laptops with a weight of 2.30 kg and 27.5 mm thick. The keyboard has two different lighting modes. One is constantly red, and the other is RGB. The touchpad is big and smooth and has dedicated left and right-click buttons.

Display

MSI Leopard has a 15.6-inch 144Hz Full HD panel, providing the best gaming experience that its equipped GPU can provide. The screen has a resolution of 1920x1080p with an aspect ratio of 16:9. The bezels are very thin, providing a sleek modern look. 

Battery

The battery life of the laptop is not as good as the specifications. However, while using the laptop for lighter tasks, you can dim the screen and disable the CPU boost.  Most probably you will only get a battery backup of 4 hours.

If you are a hardcore gamer and often stream your gameplays on your channels, this 1200 dollar gaming beast is for you.

MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062

Pros
  • Per key RGB light by SteelSeries
  • Accurate color representation
  • Super responsive 144Hz display
  • Powerful GPU Under Budget
Cons
  • The cooling system is not satisfactory
  • Mediocre battery life

Check Price on Amazon


9. Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop

Chroma RGB Lighting
Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop

Features

  • RTX 2060
  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • 16GB RAM
  • Chroma RGB Lighting

 

Razer has always been famous for producing top-notch gaming equipment. This laptop, being on the expensive side, can dominate any PC game released to date. The overall build is highly stylish. So, if you want a luxurious gaming laptop, then this is the right product for you.

Razer has lived up to its reputation by packing some of the most powerful mobile hardware in an extremely elegant design. It contains the best Intel Comet Lake H processors and RTX GPUs.

The model we are talking about is equipped with a Hexa-core i7 10th generation CPU backed by RTX 2060. This can handle all sorts of gaming and graphical tasks with zero difficulties. As for storage, this variant comes with a 512GB SSD. With this hardware, it can dominate any AAA titled games.

All of this is packed in an aluminum chassis with excellent heat dispersion and a premium finish. Even with all of the heavy hardware, the device is only 0.78” thin, and there is no compromise in the ports.

Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop

Pros
  • Superior performance
  • Great design
  • Top-mounted speakers
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Battery life not satisfactory

Check Price on Amazon


Wrapping Up

One thing you need to keep in mind is that if you compare your laptop to a desktop with similar specs, you will see that the desktop performs a bit better. Don’t think that your laptop is faulty. To make these laptops more portable, manufacturers have to reduce the size of the components like CPUs and GPUs to make them fit in the chassis. Also, the cooling fans are relatively smaller and less powerful than those of a desktop. For this, the performance between a desktop and a laptop with the exact same specs differs by about 5 to 15%. You will always have the option to overclock your laptop to reduce the difference. But this is not recommended as over-exerting an overclocked laptop will definitely damage it.

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