Buying a new laptop no longer means shelling out hundreds. Or even thousands of dollars if all you really need is a system that will let you browse the internet, and do some light gaming.
Technology is constantly improving to bring you budget laptops that can not only play HD videos.
But they’re now fast enough to run popular game titles, like Minecraft. And they come with all the expansion ports you need for work, and entertainment.
We’ve got 3 amazing things for you today: 8 phenomenal laptops that’ll leave you drooling. Insider tips that will serve you well (no matter what budget laptop your shopping for). And a request.
Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
- Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
- The Run Down
- The Ideal User for Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200 Dollars
- What You Can Expect from Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200 Dollars
- What to Look for in Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
- Gaming Laptops Under 200 Are Inexpensive and Light-Weight
- Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200 and the Intel ‘Braswell’ Review
- The Intel HD Graphics 400 Card in Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
- The Best Screen Resolution for Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
- The Best FPS for Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
- How Much RAM Do I Need to Play Games on Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
- How Much Hard Drive Space Do I need on Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
- The Laptop Expansion Ports on Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
- The Maximum Battery Life of Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
- Cheap Gaming Laptop Under 200 Dollars: Build Quality
- Here’s the Difference Between Windows 10 vs Google Chrome Laptops
- The Research Method
- 8 Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200 Dollars-Review
So first, if you already know what you’re looking for in cheap gaming laptops under 200 dollars. Here are the top picks:
Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200 Dollars-Comparison
|Gaming Laptop||Display Size||CPU||Graphics Card||Storage||Weight||Price|
|HP (14-an013nr) 14-inch||14-inch||1.8GHz AMD Quad-Core E2-7110 APU||Integrated AMD Radeon R2||32GB eMMC Flash-based storage||3.86-pounds (1.75kg)||Check|
|HP Stream 11||11-inch||1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3060, Dual Core||Integrated Intel HD Graphics 400||32GB eMMC Flash-Based||2.6-pounds (1.18kg)||Check|
|Lenovo N22||11.6-inch||1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3050, 2MB Cache||Integrated Intel HD Graphics||64GB eMMC Solid-State Drive||2.8-pounds (1.28kg)||Check|
|Asus C201 Chromebook 11.6-inch||11.6-inch||1.8GHz Rockchip Quad-Core RK3288||Integrated Rockchip Mali T764||16GB Flash Memory Solid State||2-pounds (0.9kg)||Check|
|Acer Chromebook 11 11.6-inch||11.6-inch||2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840||Integrated Intel HD Graphics||16GB Flash Memory Solid State Drive||2.4-pounds (1.1kg)||Check|
|Samsung Chromebook 3 11.6-inch||11.6-inch||1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3050||Integrated Intel HD Graphics||16GB SSD, 1600MHz Memory Speed||2.5-pounds (1.13kg)||Check|
|Asus Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6-inch||11.6-inch||1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3060, 2M Cache||Integrated Intel HD Graphics||16GB Flash-Based Storage||2.2-pounds (1kg)||Check|
|Asus Chromebook C300SA 13.3-inch||13.3-inch||1.6GHz Intel Celeron, Dual-Core N3060||Integrated Intel HD Graphics||16GB Flash Memory Solid State||3.1-pounds (1.4kg)||Check|
The Run Down
Secondly, an extremely tight budget doesn’t mean limited options. As we said, the rapid speed of technology has decreased the price of computing hardware, considerably.
This means choices are far better than ever. And with a little digging. It’s easy to find laptops equipped with the performance, and features you need for daily tasks. (And a little gaming.)
If you want actionable tips on:
- what specs to look for
- whether or not these laptops are really for you
- what to look for in a gaming laptops under 200 dollars
- or whether a Windows laptop or a Chromebook will best suite you
We’d love to help you answer these questions in this guide.
Maybe you have a little more to spend, and you’d like to see more features. No worries. You’ll find links along the way to articles with more sophisticated gaming laptops. With the best options for your budget: like this one below.
(Keep an eye out for helpful PRO TIPS along the way.)
The Ideal User for Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200 Dollars
We know it’s inaccurate to call these gaming laptops. Integrated graphics cards. And the lack of a robust CPU and RAM make them pale shelters for the role.
For now, let’s agree to overlook their limitations. And focus on their abilities.
You are enticed by these systems because you’re a smart, frugal user shopping for a laptop to browse the internet.
You want enough power to work in Microsoft Office. Watch YouTube. Edit videos/photos. Do some light programming. And, even play some games.
PRO TIP #1: These laptops are perfect for the student, business person and light gamer.
What You Can Expect from Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200 Dollars
It’s true that any budget will requires sacrifices.
But, cheap gaming laptops under 200 dollars not only get you an HD display.
You can also expect…
- 2-4GB of RAM
- a durable flash storage system
- Micro SD card slots for expansion
- full Windows 10, or Google Chrome OS
- And the latest Intel or AMD processor tuned toward energy proficiency
Some Chrome based laptops even come with one year of FREE Microsoft Office 365. Or BONUS Google Drive storage.
What to Look for in Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
PRO TIP #2: The key to finding the top budget laptop for gaming or anything else. Is to get the best configuration of hardware. With the fewest drawbacks.
Gaming Laptops Under 200 Are Inexpensive and Light-Weight
A large screen size may be the perfect desktop replacement. But it makes for a lousy travel companion. (And, it sucks-up more battery power than a unit with a modest size display.)
Regardless of the size you choose, you want a budget laptop that can comfortably sit on your lap as you work.
A laptop between 10 and 15-inches will easily stow away in your backpack or briefcase. And, It should weigh less than 5-pounds. Sure, you’ll lose some functionality to maintain the light weight. But it will make your life easier by being the perfect travel companion.
Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200 and the Intel ‘Braswell’ Review
The great news is cheap gaming laptops under 200 are unlikely to be your primary computer. Or one you’ll be using for an extended period. So, the sluggish performance from the underpowered processor won’t be too unbearable.
That said, AMD and Intel each produce a line of low-cost, entry-level processors. Per usual, Intel has the better product as AMD laptops fall short of the ones powered by Intel. (And they’re not much cheaper than Intel systems.)
The most common Intel CPU is from the Braswell family. It features 2 cores, and consume 6-watts of power compared to the previous Bay Trail’s 7.5-watts.
- You’ll get the N3050, which has a clock speed of 1.6GHz (up to 2.16GHz).
- And the newer N3060 with a clock speed 1.6GHz (up to 2.48GHz).
- One example on the list features the N2840 chip with a clock speed of 2.16GHz (up to 2.58GHz). But, even though it only has a power consumption of 7.5-watts. You’re only getting slightly better performance than the N3060 CPU.
Here’s how these chips stack up against one another.
The Intel HD Graphics 400 Card in Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
Intel’s HD Graphics 400 card is an integrated graphics solution on the low-end of the Braswell series. At best. It’s suited for the least demanding games, like Minecraft and League of Legends.
Thankfully, gaming performance depends on the processor, and memory. So an underpowered graphics card won’t be too much of an issue for gaming at this level. (We share why in Pro Tip #3.)
The Best Screen Resolution for Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
For gaming, a 15-inch screen with 1080p hits a home-run almost every time.
Unfortunately, most budget laptops have bad quality screens. With poor color reproduction. And bad viewing angles.
A 1366 x 768-pixel resolution is what you’ll get in most cheap gaming laptops under 200 dollars. The performance won’t be hypnotic. Fortunately, some units do come equipped with Full HD. Making them a bargain at this price.
The Best FPS for Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
In general, the power supply, processor and graphics processing unit work together to determine a laptop’s frames per second (FPS).
Logicalincrements.com can show you how to increase the FPS on your laptop, regardless of the components you’re working with.
How Much RAM Do I Need to Play Games on Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
Released in 2007, 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM is the bare minimum you need to run Windows well. It won’t feel as responsive as 6 or 8GB. And you won’t always be able to multi-task with several browsers open. But it’ll provide the memory you need for everything else you want to do.
How Much Hard Drive Space Do I need on Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
Overall performance depends on a laptop’s storage capacity.
You can expect to get up to 32GB of space in these systems (16GB is closer to the average figure you’ll see.)
But after you factor in the space taken up by the operating system. And the apps you need to actually get work done. You’re often left with a lot less.
Depending on the manufacturer. You’ll get an eMMC, flash-based storage (eMMC solid-state drive) storage solution. While, you get the durability and energy efficiency of true SSD. It holds back on performance.
You may also get a system with flash memory solid state drive. But again. It’s not true SSD.
PRO TIP #3: Aim for a laptop that lets you upgrade the processor, graphics card, RAM, and install an SSD for better gaming performance as your budget allows. This will also improve gaming performance.
The Laptop Expansion Ports on Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
When you consider the somewhat limited functionality of budget laptops in this space. Expansion slots suddenly become highly coveted.
A great budget gaming laptop will have some combination of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. HDMI. Combo Headphone/Mic Jack. HD Webcam. MicroSD Card Reader. Integrated speakers. Bluetooth 4.0. And it should be equipped with the current 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.
The Maximum Battery Life of Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200
Since portability is a factor in your decision to shop for these laptops. A long battery life is absolutely crucial to your productivity.
Fortunately, most of these machines will give you a range of about 10-hours of battery life per charge. (5-hours is the absolute minimum you should settle for in this space.)
Cheap Gaming Laptop Under 200 Dollars: Build Quality
Just because you’re being frugal doesn’t mean this is something you should ignore. A durable construction becomes especially important if your laptop will travel with you.
Typically, the business models are going to be a lot more sturdy than the consumer class. The design won’t be as elegant. But they are built to be tougher. And internals are easier to access.
Here’s the Difference Between Windows 10 vs Google Chrome Laptops
The great news is many familiar brands build both. And they all want to provide the best Windows and Chrome experience for under 200 dollars.
Windows 10 Laptops Under 200 Dollars
Built around power sipping Intel platforms. Basic computing won’t be much of a strain on 11-inch ‘mini’ laptops.
You’re provided with 32-64GB of storage. And up to 4GB of RAM for activities like internet browsing. Watching YouTube. And listening to music.
But, for the privilege of less heft. The trade-off will be sacrificing things, like:
- screen quality, (you usually only get a dim TN panel)
- materials used in constructing the chassis aren’t always top-shelf
- and you’ll have to deal with the generally, unreliable quality in terms of both build quality and performance to get in under $200.
If you won’t carry your system around often, a full-size model with a 14 to 15-inch display is definitely the way to go. It offers the most real-estate when it comes to screen size to get work done.
PRO TIP #4: If you’re buying a laptop in this market primarily for school. We recommend a Windows laptop. Unlike Chromebooks, they’ll be able to run all your software.
Chromebooks Under 200 Dollars
Acer was the first laptop manufacturer to introduce Chromebooks in 2011. Developed by Google, one of the most attractive features is their affordability. And the fact that all your apps and documents live on The Cloud, instead of on your system.
Chrombooks use the Chrome OS, which is a Cloud based operating system that doesn’t take up more space than necessary, like Windows and Mac OS X. This makes Chromebooks faster. And more battery efficient than a laptop.
They also come pre-installed with Google goodies like: Gmail, Maps, Drive and Youtube. And, you won’t have to keep up with updates since they’re performed automatically.
PRO TIP #5: While checking emails and responding to Facebook won’t pose a challenge. These aren’t powerful systems. They feature unimpressive hard drives. And running standard desktop software will send them to task.
(Make sure you’re connected to the internet to take advantage of Cloud services.)
Need more information to help you decide between a Windows laptop and a Chromebook? Click here.
The Research Method
There are many best-selling brands with cheap gaming laptops under 200 dollars competing for your attention, which makes you the winner because competition often = a better laptop for YOU.
For good or bad, hardware configurations are about the same across brands. The discrepancy comes when you consider factors like design. Weight. Screen size. Screen clarity. Processor performance. And battery life.
These picks are based on maximum hardware configurations. Best all-round performance. User experience. At least 100 Amazon reviews. At least 3.8 out 5 stars. And, a $200 or lower price point when this guide was published. (Admittedly, the HP (14-an013nr) 14-inch is a bit over the $200 price objective. We want to show the added functionality it offers for just a few dollars more to help you make the best decision possible.)
Now, from among the most progressive brands we bring you: Acer, Asus, HP, Samsung and Lenovo.
8 Cheap Gaming Laptops Under 200 Dollars-Review
For your convenience, we divided the laptop options into two sections. In the first section are 3 Windows laptops under 200 dollars. And, rounding out the list are 5 Chromebooks under 200 dollars.
Windows 10 Gaming Laptops Under 200 Dollars
Okay. So, the first of the cheap gaming laptops under 200 is a bit over the $200 mark. But this 14 x 10 x 1-inch model makes our list for the value it provides. Power users won’t be blown away by the speed. But the CPU provides more performance than you get on most machines for the price. Web browsing is good with 4GB of RAM. And BONUS! The RAM and storage are upgradable. Unfortunately, the display is glossy, which casts lots of reflection and glare. And the screen could be brighter when compared to other laptops in this category. But the keyboard and trackpad are superb to use.
Looking for a reliable, simple solution for everyday use? This is one of the cheap gaming laptops under 200 that we really like because the 8 x 9 x 1-inch chassis is portable enough to easily fit one your lap, and into your lifestyle. With its laser focus on work, the system is relatively fast. With quick starts and fast shutdowns. Image quality on the TN panel is acceptable for what it is. Unfortunately, RAM and storage are not upgradable. Cloud services and expansion ports are going to be your new best friends.
This 9 x 12 x 1-inch laptop is a compact portable that’s a good all-rounder earning it the third spot on this list of cheap gaming laptops under 200. Students and business users will appreciate the sturdy design. Which includes a spill-resistant keyboard. The 4GB of RAM can cope with daily tasks. But will struggle when multiple windows are open. Unfortunately, RAM and storage are not upgradable. But business users will appreciate Windows 10 Professional, which comes pre-installed to offer a wider array of options than Home editions.
Gaming Chromebooks Under 200 Dollars
Looking for cheap gaming laptops under 200 dollars that can deliver a great Chromebook experience? How about one with the right combination of hardware to make for a powerful machine by Chromebook standards? The touchpad is functional and well designed. And the 4, round, rubber stoppers on the bottom of the 11 x 8 x 1-inch chassis keeps it from sliding around when you’re pounding away at the keys. It’s a subtle touch that earns this incredibly, lightweight machine a spot on the list. The screen, however, features odd viewing angles and weird contrasts. But it’s still passable for watching movies during train rides. And battery life is an exceptional 10+ hours.
It’s an 8 x 12 x 1-inch Chromebook with just what you need from cheap gaming laptops under 200 dollars (and nothing more). It feels lightweight. But not in a cheap way. The low resolution 1366 x 768 display doesn’t come with Full HD. But the IPS technology makes images look brighter, and more crisp than the TN panels which are popular at this price point. The keyboard is comfortable to use. And the trackpad is spacious. But not as quick as we’d like. Overall, you’re getting a good value if you don’t expect too much.
Released 5 years ago, this petite 11 x 8 x 1-inch unit delivers just what you need in cheap gaming laptops under 200 dollars. It’s a focused Chromebook that offers an inexpensive, portable way to get online fast. Noteworthy features include a spill-resistant keyboard. Students and commuters will appreciate the lightweight plastic which belies a sturdy construction. Some keys have been optimized to pull dual-duty so the keyboard doesn’t feel cramped. And in spite of not having a fan. The system doesn’t feel particularly warm during extended use.
Designed for the educational market, this little unit is built to be a bargain. The sturdy 12 x 1 x 8-inch chassis can stand punishment. Thoughtful design features include a spill resistant keyboard, (something only found on more expensive machines). And, the long rubber foot under the body not only holds the Chromebook in place during heavy typing sessions. It doubles as a handle to make it easy to cart around without accidentally dropping it. Even though it’s one of the cheap gaming laptops under 200 dollars, the keys return a refined feel that’s distinctive at this price.
This 9 x 13 x 1-inch Chromebook is incredibly sleek and lightweight for one of the cheap gaming laptops under 200 dollars. To maintain productivity. Asus gives you phenomenal battery life at almost double that of an 8-hour work day. Start-up time takes mere seconds. The full-size, one-piece keyboard returns a comfortable and solid typing feel. But the display is the system’s Achille’s heel. Colors appear washed out. But images are not all-together terrible.
Budget gaming laptops are designed with low-end parts that fulfill the minimum Windows requirements. This means they may not always have the performance required for hardcore gaming.
Still, you’re getting amazing power for the cash with the specs you need for web browsing. Writing papers for school or work. Operating a couple Windows apps. And, a little light gaming.
Here’s the simple request: Just give these laptops a chance to surprise you.
We’d love to continue this conversation about cheap gaming laptops under 200 dollars in the comment section below. If you want to add something to the article, you can contact us here.