The best affordable gaming laptops

Since the introduction of Nvidia’s Pascal architecture in 2016, gaming laptops have become more powerful.

This is thanks to mobile versions of GPUs like the GeForce GTX 1060, GTX 1070 and GTX 1080, which have produced somewhat comparable performance to their desktop counterparts.

The trend has continued with this year’s GeForce RTX 20 series of mobile GPUs.

Manufacturers have also continuously refined the cooling of components to manage thermals more effectively, resulting in smaller form-factors for gaming laptops across the board.

Overall, however, laptops made for gaming are still significantly more expensive than gaming desktops.

Fortunately, manufacturers are aware of this and offer a range of these devices at affordable prices.

To see how much you would have to pay for a decent laptop that features discrete high-end GPUs, we compared several gaming laptops that sport graphics from this year’s GeForce 16 series.

Prices are taken from Takealot and Evetech.


Acer Predator Helios 300 – R22,449

Acer is reputable for its selection of gaming products in its Predator line-up.

Given the best-selling status of the 2018 Predator Helios 300 on Amazon, we’ve added its successor to this list, despite the laptop carrying a slightly heftier price tag than the rest.

The 2019 Helios 300 boasts a 144Hz 1,920 x 1,080 IPS display to show off the visual performance of its GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card.

The gaming aesthetic is still present in the design of the 2019 edition of the Helios 300, with a black and teal finish replacing the black and red from last year.

PCMag says the Helios 300 brings “unbeatable gaming performance for the price”.

Acer Predator Helios 300
Display 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS 144Hz
Processor Intel Core i5-83000H 4.0GHz
RAM 8GB DDR4
Storage 1TB HDD
Graphics GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6
Battery 58.7Whr
I/O 1 x USB-A 3.1, 1 x USB-C 3.1, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x Mini DisplayPort,                                      1 x Audio/Microphone jack
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0

Predator-Helios-300


MSI GF63 – R18,299

The GF63 is a lightweight, clean-looking black and red laptop with an aluminium brushed lid and plastic interior.

It comes with a 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 panel running at 60Hz.

In its review of the GF63, PC Gamer compliments the laptop’s lightweight design and narrow screen bezels. It also notes that during testing, thermal throttling was not detectable.

The version indicated here comes with an i7-9750H processor, GeForce GTX 1650, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD storage and 1TB hard drive space.

Because the GF63 only uses one fan, it is less noisy at idle than similar laptops in this range.

MSI GF63
Display 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS 60Hz
Processor Intel Core i7-9750H 4.5GHz
RAM 8GB DDR4
Storage 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Graphics GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
Battery 51Whr
I/O 3 x USB-A 3.2, 1 x USB-C 3.2, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Audio/Microphone jack
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0

MSI-GF63-


HP Omen 15 – R20,499

The HP Omen 15’s full HD screen has a thin bezel, which makes for a slick and stylish viewing experience.

The display panel’s refresh rate of 144Hz will ensure that your gaming experience is smooth at higher frame rates, which should not be an issue for most new titles, thanks to the GTX 1660 Ti with 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM.

It also features an i7-9750H, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB of SSD storage and a 1TB hard drive.

Notebook Check calls the HP Omen 15 “Well balanced” and commends its long battery life, owed to the huge 70W battery pack.

HP Omen 15
Display 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS 144Hz
Processor Intel Core i7-9750H 4.5GHz
RAM 8GB DDR4
Storage 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Graphics GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6
Battery 70Whr
I/O 3 x USB-A 3.1, 1 x USB-C 3.1 with Thunderbolt 3, 1 x Mini DisplayPort,                            1 x Audio/Microphone jack
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0

HP-Omen-15


Dell Inspiron G5 – R20,999

The Dell Inspiron G5’s chassis is made from aluminium, providing a rugged, but refined build quality.

It features a 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS Display.

Cnet calls the G5 “one of the best mainstream gaming laptops you can find”, attributing its praise to exceptional performance and a “travel- and user-friendly design”.

This unit comes with an immense 24GB of DDR4 RAM, which will be handy for effective multitasking.

Other specs include an i7-9750H processor, GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM, 256GB of SSD space and a 1TB hard drive.

Dell Inspiron G5
Display 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS 60Hz
Processor Intel Core i7-9750H 4.5GHz
RAM 24GB DDR4
Storage 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Graphics GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
Battery 60Whr
I/O 3 x USB-A 3.1, 1 x USB-C 3.1, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x Audio/Microphone jack
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2

Dell-G5-


ASUS TUF Gaming GX705DT – R16,599

ASUS’s TUF range is aimed at gamers who emphasize substance over style, with an emphasis on powerful components and a simple external design.

This edition of the GX705 has a golden accent finish with a brushed metal lid.

Laptop Mag highlights the “vivid and crisp” 144Hz display, which is surrounded by a thin bezel.

The review also states that the GX705 boasts “excellent overall performance”.

A point to note is that all of the ports of the GX705DT are located on the left side, which clear the opposite side of the laptop of any peripheral cables or devices.

This iteration sports an AMD Ryzen 7-3750H processor, GeForce GTX 1650 graphics, 12GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB hard drive.

ASUS TUF FX705DT
Display 17.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS 60Hz
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 3750H 4.0GHz
RAM 12GB DDR4
Storage 1TB HDD
Graphics GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
Battery 64Whr
I/O 2 x USB-A 3.2, 1 x USB-A 2.0, with Thunderbolt 3, 1 x HDMI 2.0,                                      1 x Audio/Microphone jack
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2

ASUS-TUF-705DT-595x400


Lenovo Legion Y540 – R16,199

The Lenovo Legion Y540 offers good gaming capability in a sleek, understated design for those that require a system that also needs to be used in professional environments.

This edition sports a large 17.3-inch Full HD Anti-Glare IPS-Level Display that comes with a 144Hz refresh rate.

The specifications include an Intel i7-9750H processor, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and 8GB of memory.

Laptop Media calls Lenovo the “king when it comes to mid-range laptops” and says the Legion Y540 “does not disappoint”.

Lenovo Legion Y540
Display 17.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS 144Hz
Processor Intel Core i5-9300H 4.1GHz
RAM 8GB DDR4
Storage 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Graphics GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6
Battery 57Whr
I/O 3 x USB-A 3.1, 1 x USB-C 3.1, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x Mini Displayport 1.4,                                1 x Audio/Microphone jack
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0

Lenovo-Y540-


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The best affordable gaming laptops