Gaming rigs are all the rage right now, and you can build a pretty capable rig for less than a PHP 50,000. While these rigs are powerful, power can’t get you far. As in, literally. Gaming desktops are not portable, especially when you consider the extra peripherals and accessories — keyboard, monitor — you need to bring with you.
For those who want something versatile yet powerful, gaming laptops are the way to go.
Whether you’re looking for a secondary computer to take your games with you, or are looking to upgrade from your old laptop, here are some of our gaming laptop choices that won’t break the bank.
Since each gaming laptop can have multiple variants, we put a price range for most of the models. Some laptop variants exceed the (arbitrary) P80K budget; we note this accordingly, and talk about the options that are below this.
Acer Nitro 5
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Acer’s Nitro 5 series has been one of the most bang for the buck budget gaming laptops in recent years, offering a great processor paired with a pretty good graphics for gamers who want to take their games on the go.
At its lowest configuration (just P45,999), the Acer Nitro 5 2020 model packs a 10th gen Intel Core i5 processor (i5 or i7), with a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. The video card is a decent NVidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti.
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i
P46,995 to P59,995
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We’ve reviewed the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i a few weeks ago and it hit all the checkmarks of a budget gaming laptop — and a good one at that.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i has a 10th gen Intel Core i7 processor, a fairly decent NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. All this for just PHP 59,995. The only kicker is the 2-hour battery life, which is pretty common in all gaming laptops.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i does have other configurations, including a cheaper 10th gen i5 with an weaker NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. This will suit you if you don’t need that much power.
Lenovo Legion 5/5i
Lenovo’s dedicated gaming brand Legion also has a solid budget laptop contender with the Legion 5. There are a ton of options for this line — 12, by our count. Whatever your price range, there’s a lot of solid choices for you.
The Legion 5 comes in either 4th gen AMD Ryzen processors or 10th gen Intel Core processors (they’ll be called Legion 5i).
At its lowest configuration, at P52,995, you get a Ryzen 5, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an NVidia GeForce GTX 1650. At its highest configuration, for P78,995, you get bumped up to an Intel Core i7 and an RTX 2060.
The battery is slightly bigger compared with its cousin, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i. It's got 80wh compared to the 45wh on the latter.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
If you’ve been reading tech news early in the year, chances are you might have heard about the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. What makes the Zephyrus G14 unique is the AniMe Matrix LED display on its cover — a futuristic decorative element that makes your laptop look distractingly cool for anyone staring at it — but its specs are what you really need to look at.
The Zephyrus G14 was the first laptop to feature AMD’s fourth-gen Ryzen mobile processor. Its models range from a Ryzen 5 4600HS up to a Ryzen 9 4900HS. For graphics, you can go from an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060.
However, the high-end models of the Zephyrus G14 can climb up to six digits in price. For a sweet spot of P74,995, you can get one with a Ryzen 7 processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and an NVidia GTX 1650 Ti with 4GB of video memory.
In terms of display, all models of the Zephyrus G14 have a 14-inch FHD IPS panel with a gaming-ready 120Hz.
Asus ROG Strix G15
From P64,995 to P99,995
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If you prefer an Intel processor, Asus offers the ROG Strix G15 line. In terms of looks, the Asus ROG Strix screams gaming, with RGB accents on the cover and bottom of the laptop.
The G15 has a 15-inch FHD IPS display (hence the G15 name) with up to 240 Hz refresh rate with 3ms response time for that esports edge. Depending on the model, it can rock up to 10th gen Intel Core i7 processor and up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card. You can also load it up with up to 16GB of RAM.
The cheapest model clocks in at P64,995, with a 10th gen Intel Core i5, 512GB of space, 8GB of RAM, and an NVidia GeForce 1650 Ti with 4GB of dedicated video memory. A variant at P79,995 bumps that up to an i7.
Asus TUF A15
If the G14 or Strix G15 is a bit too much for your budget, you might want to consider Asus’ TUF A15 laptop. The Asus TUF A15 is definitely one of the best-spec’ed laptops on this list.
The TUF A15 has up to a Ryzen 9 4900H processor with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card if you max out your P80K budget. This is paired with 8GB of RAM with a dual storage setup of 1TB of hard drive space and 512GB of PCIe SSD.
But even at its lowest priced spec, at P51,995, you'll already get a 4th gen Ryzen 5, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of space, and an NVidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti with 4GB.
You may want to watch for this laptop’s 15-inch FHD IPS panel, though, especially if you’re a graphic designer. While it has a 144 Hz refresh rate, reviewers have noted that it's not as color accurate as other displays. But if that's not so important to you, this is a very good deal.
MSI Alpha 15 (A4DEK)
The MSI Alpha 15 is powered by a 4th gen AMD Ryzen processor, and in this list, it’s the only one with AMD Radeon graphics. For P64,995, you get an AMD Ryzen 7, a whopping 16GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD space, and an AMD Radeon 5500M with 4GB of video RAM.
It also has a 15.6-inch FHD IPS display with a speedy 144 Hz refresh rate and support for AMD FreeSync. Need to bling up your keyboard? The MSI Alpha 15 also features a Steelseries pad that lets you customize the RGB backlights per key.