The old-school opinion that you need to spend big bucks in order to get online and game with your friends is no longer true.
Components are getting cheaper, smaller, and more powerful. This, in turn, results in a higher performance level across the board, including devices in the budget category like the ones we will talk about here.This article is for those with a specific budget of $200 or under. If you have a higher budget, head over to this article for our gaming laptops under $500 and gaming laptops under $1000.
***Also Note - Some of these models may be slightly over $200 as price variations occur when buying online and in shops.
What To Expect At This Budget Price Point
Now for under $200, you shouldn’t expect to get a high-end gaming rig. At this price, laptops will not be able to cope under the strain of competitive gaming or high-end AAA+ games on ultra-settings.
They will, however, be able to access most games on a lower graphics setting. This is a laptop for those that like to indulge in a bit of gaming but aren’t quite ready to fork out for a high-end machine.
Buying Guide: How To Choose A Gaming Laptop Under $200
Screen Size & Display
The first thing you should consider before buying a gaming laptop is the size of the screen and the quality of the display. This is usually a case of deciding which you would rather sacrifice.
Both the size of the screen and the quality will affect the battery life. If you want a longer battery life, a smaller screen running at a lower resolution will last you longer.
If you want quality, you might get a smaller screen at a higher resolution. If you want size, you might get a larger screen at a lower resolution.
RAM & Storage Space
Your RAM and Storage Space are both different forms of computer storage. Your RAM is the support player in your laptop. It creates shortcuts for your other components to follow when they undergo complex tasks. This makes them work faster, run smoother, and, all in all, will give you a better user experience.
Storage is the physical storage where your files and data are kept. It usually comes in two separate forms. SSD and HDD. SSD is very expensive but runs faster than anything else, and HDD is a cheap form of storage with huge capabilities. An HDD with 2TB storage is usually cheaper than 246GB of SSD.
Your processor is the brain and control room, the bridge of the starship. This is where all the complex decisions are made. A strong processor is a key to any computer. The stronger the processor, the easier it will find every task you throw at it.
Your processor should be the component you focus on when looking at a laptop. Aim as high as you can up the product line and as recent as you can too. AMD and Intel are the only producers of processors worth their salt, so look for their products.
Obviously, the component most people will think about when they are looking at gaming laptops or computers Is the GPU or Graphics Processing Unit. This is the part that is going to control your visuals during your games. The stronger your graphics card, the higher quality you can set your game to, and the smoother it will run.
Battery Type & Life
Luckily, battery tech has come on leaps and bounds just in the last five years. Nowadays, even a budget-friendly laptop can have excellent battery life. Figuring out what battery life and type you want is another step you should take. If you need to be untethered from an outlet for a decent period of time, you will want to make sure that your battery can handle it.
Design & Portability
Unfortunately, to lower the cost, most budget-friendly laptops tend to sacrifice a little in terms of design. You will probably be looking at plastic or aluminum casings.
Portability is another thing to consider. Strong components are heavy, so the more capable your machine, the heavier the machine usually. To lower weight, you will either have to sacrifice power, or you will have to spend more on space-saving components.
Sometimes the only thing that can sway the balance in a decision when two laptops are tied neck and neck is the extra features that they can offer. Things like 2 1 functionality, quick-charge batteries that can charge your laptop from 0-80% in an hour, or fingerprint security can all have their own merits.
Finally, when purchasing a laptop, you should always look for ones with good warranties and a strong brand behind them. This means that when they go wrong… and every laptop has the potential to do so, you will get the help and customer service that you want.
5 Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Under $200 Reviewed
1. Simbans TangoTab
- 3 FREE BONUS ITEMS INCLUDED - A high-quality...
- PRE-INSTALLED OFFICE APPS - The tablet comes...
- PREMIUM 10 INCH TABLET with SUPERIOR CPU -...
- HIGH RESOLUTION SCREEN, LARGE DISK and TV...
Our Top Pick
Our top pick falls to an unusual offering from Simbans. This laptop has 2 in 1 functionality, allowing it to be changed from a tablet into a computer and vice versa. This makes it really easy to use in a wide variety of situations.
Like most 2 in 1 laptops, the TangoTab is extremely light and portable, with a separate keyboard that connects magnetically. You get 3GB of RAM on board and 64GB storage space. Running Android 9, you will be able to play all of the latest mobile games.
You get a 10 inch IPS HD Screen, which gives vivid colors from almost any angle. You also get a 10-megapixel camera on the rear, which means you can capture moments on the go.
You can easily stay in touch with your friends and family by downloading apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Skype also works perfectly with the built-in microphone and 2 Megapixel front camera.
2. Acer C720-2844
Intel Celeron Dual
Our next offering comes from Acer, a brand we all know and trust to make incredible gaming laptops. This particular model is actually a Chromebook, which runs Google OS. This is a really efficient way of speeding up a budget laptop as it isn't full of all the usual bloatware that you get with a Windows or Mac.
In terms of components, you get an Intel Celeron dual-core processor, which is more than enough. You then get a support team made up of 4GB RAM and a 16GB SSD to back it up.
You get a chassis, which is very stereotypically Acer, with brushed aluminum and black bezels and keys. It looks smart, and it feels well made. It will withstand being thrown into a backpack and take off to school.
The screen is beautiful, too, with immersive colors and dark blacks that make gaming really enjoyable.
The keyboard is nice to type on too, you get a nice throw, and every key has just the right amount of spring to make moving around a breeze. The keys don’t feel crowded like on some other Chromebooks.
You also get the added benefits of using a Chromebook. They are almost impervious to malware and hacking, and everything is automatically uploaded and protected on the cloud.
3. RCA 11 Delta Pro
- VERSATILE: Get the best of both worlds and...
- SPEED: 1.3GHz 4 Quad-Core Processor. 1366x768...
- BUILT-IN: 2GB RAM, 32GB Flash Storage Memory...
- FOR WORK OR PLAY: Stay efficient with Android...
Best Renewed Laptop Under $200 for Light Gaming
Intel Celeron Quad
A great way to get a laptop that performs way above the price tag is to look for one on Amazon Renewed. This service takes laptops that are ex-display or have been returned, cleans them up, and then sells them for a lower price.
The items are always pristine and are a bargain if you can find the laptop you want. The RCA 11 Delta Pro is an example of this.
This 2 in 1 laptop-tablet comes with an insane spec list. You have a Quad-Core Processor backed up with 2GB of RAM. You also get 32GB of storage. The screen displays a great variety of colors at a surprising level of brightness, making this the perfect choice if you regularly work in low lighting locations.
The detachable keyboard has very low latency, making it perfect for gaming, especially if you set the tablet up in stand mode. You even get touchscreen capabilities, which allow for a huge range of different uses.
- 【Thin&Light Weight】: HBESTORE laptop has...
- 【Powerful CPU for Entry Level Laptop】:...
- 【Environmental Protection Material】:The...
- 【Original Win10 OS】Every laptop has an...
Best Cheap Laptop for Kid-friendly Gaming
Intel Atom x5
For those looking for a cheap gaming laptop to give to their younger kids, you can't go wrong with this specifically designed model from HBESTORE.
This thin and lightweight laptop is the perfect entry-level machine for youngsters. It has an Intel Atom x5 core, which can handle everyday tasks and low-end gaming without breaking a sweat. There is 2 GB of RAM, which should be more than enough for your kids, and a 32GB storage solution.
The laptop also comes installed with built-in WIFI, Bluetooth, and even has a 1.3MP front camera. The keyboard is also full-sized, which is always nice when we are looking at smaller form saving machines.
The whole laptop is incredibly lightweight too. Weighing just under 1kg and coming in at only 0.7 inches thick, your kids should be able to carry it around without a problem.
5. RCA Viking Pro
- VERSATILE: Get the best of both worlds and...
- SPEED: 1.3GHz 4 Quad-Core Processor....
- BUILT-IN: 32GB Flash Memory...
- FOR WORK OR PLAY: Stay efficient with Android...
Most Versatile Gaming Laptop Under $200
If you need a versatile gaming laptop, one that performs exceptionally well in every situation, you should look at buying the Viking Pro from RCA.
RCA has been making incredible budget-friendly laptops for years, and we have suggested their previous models in numerous other articles. This laptop has 2 In 1 functionality, a touchscreen, a quad-core processor, and even a detachable hard drive.
In both laptop and tablet form, the Viking shines. It loads instantly and can handle intensive tasks with relative ease. The battery recharges quickly, and the whole machine hardly weighs a thing.
You also get a camera on the back and high-end Bluetooth and wifi, which allows you true freedom to move around without being tied down with a lousy wifi signal.
Renewed vs. Certified Refurbished Gaming Laptops
Renewed laptops are laptops that have been used before and then returned to amazon. A third party team then cleans them up, both physically and virtually. They are then sold on to customers at a bargain price.
Certified Refurbished laptops are the same as renewed, but the work has been carried out by Amazon and comes with a much better guarantee and warranty.
Cheap Gaming Laptop Maintenance
As with all laptops, maintenance is relatively simple, and if done regularly, will prevent you from having to do any serious maintenance or from ruining your machine.
Simply keep your laptop away from heat and dust, power it down correctly, and install updates when they pop up.
Now and then, you might want to use an aerosol cleaner to dust your laptop's ports and fans. This little bit of effort could potentially lengthen your laptop's life-span significantly.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What is the cheapest gaming laptop brand?
There is no particular brand that wins this. Most computer brands have their own budget model.
What’s the difference between a Chromebook and a laptop?
A Chromebook runs a different operating system Chrome OS. This is much more similar to a tablet than a computer and allows for a higher speed and power as you have removed a lot of the bloatware found in a windows laptop.
How long do cheap $200 gaming laptops last?
A cheap $200 laptops could last you anything from 2-5 years, depending on how much you use it and how well you maintain it.
What types of games can I play on a $200 laptop? Can cheap gaming laptops run Fortnite?
Most high-end mobile games can be played on a cheap gaming laptop, so you should be able to run popular games like PUBG and Fortnite, albeit on lower settings.
Where is the best place to buy these budget gaming laptops?
We always advise our readers to head over to Amazon to get their budget gaming laptops. The delivery returns and warranty policies are always better there.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a lot more information than when you started. We do this research to save you time and money. By picking one of the laptops on our list, you will be ensuring that you are buying a laptop with a high level of quality and ability.
If you are not decided, our buyer's guide should help you carry your own research out by giving you the factors we use to rank and review the laptops ourselves.
If you feel a little bit lost, we suggest you buy our top pick, which is the laptop we think will suit 90% of our readers, the Simbans TangoTab.
Holly Curell is a US-based freelance writer & editor extraordinaire. With over a decade of writing technical manuals, blog articles, & even company communications, Holly has a passion for providing value to readers on everything she knows about tech-related topics. When she’s not writing, Holly enjoys reading, hiking, wine, & wandering the aisles of Trader Joe’s. Holly is currently based out of North Carolina, where she lives with her husband Ken & their three children.