Laptops

7 Best Gaming Laptops Under $2000: Reviewed & Compared

Modern games with gorgeous visuals have hefty system requirements. If you want smooth, lag-free gameplay with high-quality graphics, a cheap laptop just isn’t going to cut it. However, that doesn't mean you have to remortgage your home to pay for a good gaming laptop, either.

There are plenty of great options out there in the $1500 - $2000 range, and a budget of $2000 should be more than sufficient to bag you a machine with excellent gaming performance - as long as you shop smart.

Expectations of Gaming Laptops at this High Price Point

The $1500 - $2000 price range is widely considered to be the ‘sweet spot’ when it comes to gaming laptops. It’s enough to get you top-tier specs, but not so much that you’re wasting cash on unnecessary hardware and features that make little difference.

Expect high-end specs like top-tier dedicated graphics card, late gen Intel core processors, high-end displays, and plenty of RAM.

A good laptop in this price range should be able to handle any RTS, FPS, or RPG you’re running with excellent performance and minimal lag. It should also be able to handle other demanding, non-gaming programs, like professional-level video and audio editing tools, with ease.


Features to Look for In Gaming Laptops Under $2000

Processor

A high-end CPU is arguably the most important factor that impacts the overall performance of a gaming laptop.

At a minimum, you’ll want to make sure you choose a laptop with a processor that meets the minimum system requirements of the games you intend to play, but that shouldn’t be an issue in this price range.

Popular PC gaming titles like Fortnite and PUBG require an i5 processor or equivalent at a minimum, but with a budget of $2000, you should be aiming for better than that.

I’d recommend an Intel Core i7 processor or above with a fast base clock speed. The AMD Ryzen 7 is a possible alternative, but it doesn’t quite match the i7 when it comes to raw gaming performance. The Intel Core i7 outperforms the AMD Ryzen 7 in almost every game.

GPU

There are (broadly) two types of laptop GPUs: integrated and dedicated. Integrated GPUs are built into your CPU, whereas dedicated GPUs are separate, standalone units.

Dedicated GPUs are also far superior when it comes to gaming performance, so they’re essential in a good gaming laptop. Don’t settle for an integrated GPU at this price range.

I’d recommend choosing a laptop with a dedicated NVIDIA GPU (as opposed to AMD), with at least 6GB VRAM. Something like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or above should be good enough for most games, but if possible, you could go for even-better graphics cards like the GTX 1080 or RTX 2070.

RAM

RAM speed & capacity makes a difference in gaming performance too. The more RAM a gaming laptop has, the better it’ll perform in most games. At an absolute minimum, I’d recommend aiming for 8GB RAM - that should be sufficient to meet the minimum system requirements for nearly all PC games.

However, ideally, you should really be aiming for double that. With a budget of $1500-$2000, 16GB+ RAM should be easily achievable. 32GB is even better. Anything above that is probably unnecessary but would be a nice added bonus.

Thermal Performance

Games demand a lot of resources from your laptop, and that makes your GPU and CPU run hot. The last thing you want is to choose a laptop that’s prone to overheating under pressure. That’s why it’s important to look at the thermal performance before you make a decision.

The best laptop for gaming under $2000 will have a powerful cooling system to aid with heat dissipation and keep your laptop cool while you’re gaming. You can get an idea of how powerful the cooling technology is by looking at the TDP (thermal design power) rating. The higher the TDP, the better.

Storage Space

You should also look at the storage space. There are two types of laptop hard drives: SSD and HDD. SSD drives are generally more reliable and offer better performance than HDD drives, so they’re pretty much essential if you’re looking for a good gaming laptop.

The hard drive's actual space capacity isn't a huge deal, but the more, the better. I'd recommend choosing a laptop with at least 256SSD or more. 512GB or 1TB SSDs would be even better.

If you have to settle for 256SSD, you might want to get an extra external hard drive to store big gaming files when you run low on space.

Battery Type & Life

If you’re someone who enjoys gaming on the go, and you won’t always have access to a power outlet, battery life is going to be a big priority.

When you’re shopping around for gaming laptops, look at both how long the battery lasts on one charge cycle and the charging time. The best gaming laptops will have a battery life of 5+ hours and rapid charging.

Screen Size & Display

If you want to enjoy a true gaming experience, you’ll need to choose a laptop with a decent display and a suitable screen size.

A 17-inch screen will give you that big-screen experience and allow you to enjoy cinematic cutscenes to the fullest, but the tradeoff is that it also makes your rig a little bulkier and less portable.

On the other end of the spectrum, a 13-inch screen is probably a little too small for most gamers' tastes - you might find yourself squinting at this screen size. A 15-inch screen is a good compromise between display size and portability.

Most options in this price range will have at least full HD displays (1080p) for high-resolution gaming, and the best gaming laptops under $2000 will offer 4K resolutions.

Another essential display factor to look out for is the refresh rate. A greater refresh rate means smoother transitions and less lag in-game. I’d recommend looking for a laptop with around 120Hz refresh rates or above.

Portability

One of the advantages laptops have over desktops is that they're portable, but some laptops are more mobile than others. If portability is important for you, make sure you look at the weight rating of any laptop you’re interested in before you buy it.

A good lightweight laptop will be less than 10lbs, but some extra lightweight models can be as low at 6lbs or less.

Just remember: portability typically correlates negatively with specs. Smaller, more portable laptops generally have worse specs and less power. You’ll have to decide whether or not that tradeoff is worth it for you.


7 Best Gaming Laptops Under $2000 Reviewed

1. Razer Blade 15

On Sale Today
Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop 2020: Intel...
  • More power: The 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H...
  • Ray-tracing: The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with...
  • More frames: Incredible performance paired...
  • Thin and compact: The CNC aluminum unibody...

Our Top Pick

Screen Size

15.6 Inches

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q

Processor

Intel Core i7-10750H 6 Core

RAM

16GB

Storage

512GB SSD

Battery Life

N/A

First up is the Razer Blade 15 Base model, our top pick for the best 144hz gaming laptop under $2000.

The Blade 15 is an absolute beast. It has pretty much everything you want to see in a gaming laptop in this price range and scores top marks across the board, with outstanding connectivity, a stunning display, and superior build quality.

The top-of-the-line NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 dedicated GPU with Max-Q design and Turing architecture ensure cinematic-quality on even the most visually-intense games. It also boasts a powerful 10th Gen Intel i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD for rapid loading times.

The 144Hz Full HD display is perfect for high-FPS gaming, with a high refresh rate of 144Hz, as well as 100% sRGB color support for accurate visuals.

The screen is large enough at 15.6”, and the thin-bezel display means you don’t lose any screen space. Razer has done a great job with the build quality too. The CNC aluminum unibody frame is durable and lightweight, and the laptop itself is compact and lightweight enough to easily carry around in your backpack when you’re on the go.

Other factors we liked about the Razer Blade 150 include the customizable backlit keyboard, precision-glass touchpad, and extensive port availability. 

The touchpad, in particular, is very good. In fact, a video reviewer from Infinity Labs calls it "one of the best Windows trackpads on the market right now."

The laptop also comes complete with several USB-A and USB-C ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, Ethernet, and HDMI connectivity.

Unfortunately, the official battery life doesn't seem to be listed, but most reviewers point to it being around 5-7 hours, which isn't bad.

My one gripe is that it gets a little hot when running games or other resource-intensive tasks like video rendering, so make sure you keep it somewhere well-ventilated.

Good
  • Powerful processor
  • Excellent connectivity
  • High-end GPU
  • Ultra-compact design
  • Excellent build quality
Bad
  • Mediocre thermal performance
  • Mediocre speakers

2. MSI GE75 Raider

2020 Premium MSI GE75 Raider Gaming Laptop,...
  • 【CUSTOMlZED, Professional Upgraded to: 】...
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i7 Processors,...
  • 17.3 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-Level...
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1,...

Best 17-inch gaming laptop under $2000

Screen Size

17.3 Inches

GPU

6GB GeForce RTX 2060

Processor

Intel Hexa-Core i7-10750H

RAM

32GB

Storage

512GB SSD | 1TB HDD

Battery Life

N/A

If you prefer gaming on a bigger screen, the MSI GE75 Raider might be more your speed. It’s the best 17-inch gaming laptop under $2000 that we’ve come across, with a stunning 17.3" FHD IPS 144Hz display for a truly cinematic gaming experience.

Like the Razer Blade, it features a 10th Gen Intel-i7 CPU for superior processing power, as well as a 6GB GeForce RTX 2060 GPU and a bucket load of storage space. It also has a whopping 32GB DDR4 RAM.

While SSDs outperform HDDs when it comes to loading times, the tradeoff is that they also tend to be more expensive, so many gaming laptops that feature SSDs come with limited storage space. Not so with the MSI GE75 Raider.

With both a 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, you get the best of both worlds—the speed of an SSD with the additional extensive storage space of an HDD.

Another great thing about the GE75 Raider is that it comes bundled up with MSI's exclusive Dragon Center software.

This software allows you to control and customize your laptop through one unified system. You can record game highlights, adjust in-game settings, optimize your battery life, adjust the keyboard lighting, and activate the one-click gaming mode to optimize your machine for the games you play.

You can also take advantage of the MSI-exclusive crosshair to aim better in your FPS games or use the Sound Tune feature to optimize your mic and speakers for noise cancellation. And speaking of sound, the MSI GE75 also features 5-times bigger Giant Speakers with high-res audio from Dynaudio.

Oh, and did I mention that it looks incredible? The 3D dragon along the back looks awesome, as does the SteelSeries RGB gaming keyboard with silver-lining print.

Good
  • Stunning display
  • Excellent CPU & GPU
  • Dragon Center software
  • Excellent performance at max settings
Bad
  • Bulky

3. Lenovo Legion 5i (64 GB version)

2020 Lenovo Legion 5i 17.3" FHD Gaming Laptop...
  • ▌Upgraded ▌Seal is opened for upgrade...
  • 17.3" FHD (1920x1080) WVA 300nits Anti-glare,...
  • 64GB 2933MHz DDR4 Memory for full-power...
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5...

Best Lenovo gaming laptop under $2000

Screen Size

17.3 Inches

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti

Processor

Intel Hexa-Core i7-10750H

RAM

64GB

Storage

2TB PCIe SSD | 2TB HDD

Battery Life

N/A

If you’re a fan of the Lenovo brand, check out the Legion 5i, which we think is the best Lenovo gaming laptop under $2000. This is another big and beefy laptop with a large 17.3" FHD screen and a fleet of top-tier specs.

With a whopping 64GB DDR4 RAM, it has more RAM than any other laptop on this list - more than double that of the MSI GE74 Raider. It also has an enormous amount of storage space with both a 2TB PCIe SSD and a 2TB HDD. That’s a total of 4GB worth of available storage; enough to last even the most prolific gamers a lifetime.

In terms of design, it lacks some of the bells and whistles common to other gaming laptops, like RGB lighting and backlit keyboards, but if you prefer a subtler aesthetic, it’s a great choice.

The biggest tradeoff with the Legion 5i seems to be the battery life. The official battery life isn’t stated on the Amazon product page, but reviewers report it being less-than-impressive. Expect around 2-3 hours of regular use at a maximum before you need to recharge.

The laptop is a good value for the price. It fits in my backpack nicely, and has plenty of power to do whatever tasks I need, be it moderate gaming, video editing, or programming.” - Lenovo reviewer

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this laptop for casual gamers looking for something that will double up as both a gaming and a work laptop - especially if you work in video editing, 3D design, or any other profession that requires you to work with large file sizes.

Good
  • Large screen
  • Huge storage capacity
  • Lots of RAM
  • Great processor
Bad
  • Poor battery life
  • Bulky charger

4. Acer Predator Triton 500

Acer Predator Triton 500 Thin & Light Gaming...
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7 9750H 6 Core...
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Graphics with 6 GB of...
  • 15. 6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED...
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory & 512GB PCIe NVMe...

Most portable gaming laptop under $2000

Screen Size

15.6” Inches

GPU

GeForce RTX 2060

Processor

Intel Core i7-9750H

RAM

16GB DDR4 RAM

Storage

512GB SSD

Battery Life

8 hours

Moving onto the Acer Predator Triton 500. Weighing in at around four and a half pounds, this is our top pick for the most portable gaming laptop under $2000.

It’s ridiculously thin and lightweight, which makes it easy to carry around with you and game on the go. Like most laptops on this list, it boasts a top-tier GPU (the GeForce RTX 2060) and a powerful i7 processor.

The thermal performance of the Triton 500 is excellent thanks to the revolutionary 3-fan cooling system with 4th Gen all-metal AeroBlade 3D fans and 5 copper heat pipes. As long as you keep it on a flat surface, it should keep your rig icy-cold even under heavy loads.

My favorite thing about this laptop, though, has to be the keyboard. It’s an RGB mechanical keyboard that feels as satisfying as it looks.

The keys are ultra-responsive, and the programmable colors look great. There's also a nifty 'turbo' button right at the top that makes it easy to instantly overclock your CPU when you need to eke out that little bit of extra juice.

Acer has also done a great job with the sound here. The laptop features dual built-in speakers, MaxxAudio sound technology, and hyper-realistic 3D audio.

Good
  • VR Ready
  • Excellent battery life
  • Super lightweight and portable
  • Overclock button on the keyboard
  • Great thermal performance
Bad
  • Noisy fans

5. OMEN by HP

OMEN by HP 2019 15-inch Gaming Laptop, 9th...
  • Hyper-realistic graphics: NVIDIA(R)...
  • OMEN command center: Easily turn up your...
  • Cutting-edge gaming performance: Play the...
  • Super-fast processor: 9th Generation Intel(R)...

Best value for money

Screen Size

15 Inches

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070

Processor

Intel Core i7-9750H Processor, 6-Core

RAM

16 GB

Storage

512 GB SSD

Battery Life

13 hours 15 minutes

If you’re looking for the best value for money, look no further than OMEN by HP. Overall, we think the OMEN offers a better dollar-to-performance ratio than any other gaming laptop on the market in this price range.

It boasts a top-tier GeForce RTX 2070 GPU, 9th Gen 6-core Intel i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. All that for a little over $1500? Yes, please.

The graphical performance on the OMEN is second to none thanks to a triple threat of NVIDIA hardware specs. The ultra-powerful 8GB dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX with Max-Q design, cutting-edge NVIDIA Turing architecture, and NVIDIA G-sync technology all work together to provide incredible realism, top-tier performance, and sharp, stutter-free gaming visuals.

The 15.6-inch display features IPS anti-glare panels and a 144Hz refresh rate, ensuring smooth gameplay and great visuals from any angle.

There are plenty of ports for all your gaming peripherals, including 3 USB-As, a USB-C, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, headphone/mic port, and mic jack.

HP’s OMEN also has the best battery life of any gaming laptop on this list. With a reported battery life of up to 13 hours and 15 minutes of mixed usage, it’ll see you through from dawn ‘till dusk. This makes it the ideal laptop for students and gamers who don’t always have access to a power outlet.

Good
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Enormous battery life
  • Powerful gaming performance
  • Excellent GPU
  • Extensive connectivity
Bad
  • Mediocre heat dissipation

6. Alienware New M15

Alienware New M15 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" 144hz...
  • Alienware thinnest notebook ever for gamers...
  • Premium build high-end materials like...
  • Advanced thermal technology Alienware...
  • Game longer than ever a lithium Ion 76Whr...

Most stylish gaming laptop under $2000

Screen Size

15.6 Inches

GPU

NVIDIA RTX 2060 6GB

Processor

Intel Core i7-9750H

RAM

16GB

Storage

512GB SSD

Battery Life

N/A

Next up, we have what we believe to be the most stylish gaming laptop under $2000, the Alienware New M15. Alienware is a gaming laptop brand known for its unique, alien-themed designs, and the M15 is no exception.

This lean, mean, gaming machine is super stylish. The unmistakably prestigious Alienware logo jumps out at you in bright orange, the engraving on the back is a nice touch, the FX lighting is incredible, and the overall shape and design of the laptop is unusual (but in a good way).

It’s also Alienware’s thinnest notebook ever, making it perfect for gamers looking for a portable notebook that doesn’t sacrifice performance.

But it doesn't just look like something out of a science fiction movie; it performs like one too, with an arsenal of cutting-edge, futuristic technologies to take your gaming performance to the next level.

For example, the advanced Tobii eye-tracking technology uses sensors to track your head pose and gaze as you play. If it notices you’re not looking at IU elements, they’ll fade away to bring you deeper into the game.

You can also take advantage of their eye-tracking tools to monitor your performance, measure your map awareness, and learn when you need to pay more attention to the clock. Everything can be controlled and tweaked in the Alienware command center.

Good
  • Stylish design
  • Recognizable brand
  • Advanced eye-tracking technology
  • Excellent GPU & CPU
  • Ultra-thin
Bad
  • Poor battery life
  • Noisy fans

7. Asus ROG Strix Scar II

Asus ROG Strix Scar II Gaming Laptop, 15.6”...
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6 (base: 1215...
  • Intel Core i7 8750H Hexa core processor
  • 144Hz 3ms 15.6” 1920x1080 IPS type display
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM | 512GB PCIe SSD |...

Best with colored keyboard

Screen Size

15.6 Inches

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070

Processor

Intel Core i7-8750H

RAM

16GB

Storage

512GB SSD

Battery Life

N/A

Last but not least, we have the Asus ROG Strix Scar II. This is our favorite gaming laptop under $2000 that comes with a colored keyboard.

The keyboard layout is optimized for gaming, with a larger-than-average space bar to make it easier to hit and 4 additional hotkeys for your keybinds. It also features ROG's Overstroke technology and excellent key travel distance (1.8mm) for improved responsiveness. It's well-built and durable enough to last 20-million keystrokes.

This laptop also features RGB backlighting. If you find the RGB colors a bit flashy for your tastes, you can turn them off or adjust the backlighting so that it's all one color.

But it’s not all about the keyboard. The ROG Strix Scar II should be powerful enough to run even the most resource-demanding games thanks to the 8th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM.

The narrow-bezel, 144Hz display and GeForce RTX 20-series graphics card ensure excellent visual performance; the build quality is excellent, and the anodized gunmetal gray exterior finish looks sleek and stylish.

It's also VR ready with breakthrough VR immersion technologies and an array of VR-ready ports, including USB Type-A, Type-C, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, RJ45 Ethernet, and an SD card slot.

Good
  • Great keyboard
  • Excellent GPU
  • Stylish finish
  • VR-ready
Bad
  • Fans are loud
  • Small touchpad

Extra Gaming Laptop Specs to Consider

Operating System

Gamers have a choice of two central operating systems: Mac and Windows. The question of which of these two OS's is better for gaming is the subject of fierce debate - no platform is definitely better than the other, and it really comes down to personal preference. Some gamers are sworn Mac-enthusiasts, whereas others are Windows purists.

However, if you're unsure which is right for you, I'd recommend Windows, if only because there is a more comprehensive selection of games compatible with Windows OS than with MacOS.

USB Type Ports

Different gaming laptops will come with different types of USB ports. USB-A ports are the standard USB ports most of us will be familiar with. USB-C and Lightning ports are newer, smaller types of ports preferred for their rapid data transfer rate, smaller size, and ability to carry 100W of power.

If you plan on plugging in plenty of peripherals, like a gaming mouse, external keyboard, and video capture card, you’ll need to make sure you choose a laptop with enough ports for the job.

VR Ready

VR-ready gaming laptops are laptops that are powerful enough to support VR goggles and applications. They typically have faster graphics cards and better processors. If you plan on using your laptop to run VR games, make sure it’s VR-ready.

Optical Drive

While most modern games are downloadable, some PC games still need to be installed via a CD/DVD. In this case, you'll need a disc drive. Some gaming laptops come with optical drives, whereas others don't, so make sure you think about whether you'll need one before you make a purchase.

Connectivity

Another critical factor to consider is connectivity. When you're gaming online, the strength of your connection can have a significant impact on your in-game performance. To make sure you have a strong internet connection at all times, I'd recommend choosing a laptop with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi 6 support or 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Keyboard

Don’t forget to think about the keyboard too - it makes a big difference. When you spend hours everyday gaming on your laptop, your wrists can get worn out pretty quickly. That’s why it’s important to choose a keyboard with good ergonomics to minimize the strain on your wrist. The keyboard should also offer solid tactile feedback and plenty of key travel.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How does a display with a better refresh rate improve the gaming experience?

The refresh rate is a measure of how quickly your display can refresh an image. A higher refresh rate means more frequent pixels, which leads to smoother transitions and less lag while gaming. Just like with FPS, the higher the refresh rate, the smoother your game will appear.

Do gaming laptops with Intel processors perform better than those with AMD Ryzen?

Different people will have different opinions about which is better, but we’d argue that Intel processors are better for strictly gaming due to higher clock speeds.

Can I run VR on any gaming laptop?

No. VR applications tend to be very graphically demanding, so to run VR smoothly, you'll need a gaming laptop with a good CPU (minimum i5+ or equivalent; i7+ recommended) and GPU (NVIDIA GTX 1060+ or equivalent).

What graphics card do I need for 4k gaming?

Many graphics cards can support 4K resolutions, but if you want to run games at 4K resolution with a decent frame rate (60fps+), I’d recommend at least an RTX 2080 / GTX 1080 Ti, but a 2080 Ti would be even better.

How do I take good care of expensive gaming laptops?

Ensure you install all Windows updates frequently, install good antivirus software, and routinely delete all unwanted files and clean up your hard drive. You should also store your laptop safely and keep it on a flat, smooth surface with sufficient ventilation to prevent overheating.

Where is the best place to start browsing for good gaming laptops under $2000?

Amazon should probably be your first port of call as you’ll find a wide range of gaming laptops on there at reasonable prices. You can also check your local hardware/PC stores or buy direct from the manufacturers.


Conclusion

Alright, that concludes this guide to the best gaming laptops under $2000. Hopefully, you’ll find something suitable for you in this list. If you're still unsure which gaming laptop to go for, I'd definitely recommend the Razer Blade 150. It’s the best gaming laptop under $2000 and won’t let you down.