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Best Budget Gaming Laptop

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Best Budget Gaming Laptop

 Acer Predator Helios 300

It feels like every time we update our gaming laptop recommendations, the Acer Predator Helios 300 always comes out on top in the budget category. This laptop is still priced at around $1,000 for the GTX 1060 6GB model, making it still the best value gaming laptop on the market. So let’s go through why this remains the case...
 
If you want something with a GTX 1060 6GB inside, around $1,000 is about as low as it gets, but Acer hasn’t compromised much to hit that price point. You’re still getting a full Core i7-8750H processor, unlike a quad-core Core i5 model in some other budget offerings. You’re still getting a 1080p 144Hz display with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
What you’re not getting with the Helios 300 compared to more expensive models is mostly in the design. This isn’t a massive system but it’s not overly slim, there’s no crazy RGB keyboard effects and no slim bezels, and the battery life is nothing special. But Acer has made those sacrifices to deck this system out with the best hardware and that’s why it remains the best entry-level gaming option.
There are some other models that do get pretty close, the Asus TUF FX504is one such example. It’s not quite as good as the Acer and ~$100 more expensive right now, but if you’re checking prices in the future and the FX504 ends up in a good spot, it’s one we’d consider. For those after a 17-inch model, the Acer Aspire 17 is one to check out.
... there is one direction we wouldn’t go in, and that’s to buy anything below a GTX 1060 6GB.
However there is one direction we wouldn’t go in, and that’s to buy anything below a GTX 1060 6GB. This GPU is the sweet spot to get the most gaming performance. If you opt for something like the GTX 1050 Ti, you might end up saving $250 or so, but the 1060 is easily more than 50% faster. And as you go lower in price, laptop makers tend to strip back features like storage, RAM and the CPU, so overall you end up with a lower quality product. Save up and drop $1,000 on the Helios 300 and you’ll be much happier with your purchase long term.
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