The under- 700$ laptop market is a hard place to find something you can actually game with unless you only play esports titles such as CS:GO and Rocket League. Mainly because laptops at this price range don’t come with any type of dedicated graphics, so you’re reliant on the processor’s built-in GPU. This heavily restricts the graphical settings you can use, as well as the resolution you can play at (if you want playable framerates).
However, we’ve come up with a list of the 5 best gaming laptops you can purchase right now for under 700 dollars. These notebooks aren’t going to break any performance records, but we made sure you get the best bang for your buck. Our top pick is the ASUS ZenBook 14 since it packs a very capable Ryzen 5 4500u processor and an NVIDIA GeForce MX350 dedicated graphics card.
1. ASUS ZenBook 14
Our top pick, since it is pretty much one of the only laptops under 700 dollars that comes with some kind of dedicated graphics. Granted this is just an MX350 GPU and it is not that much faster than some of the integrated graphics found on Intel Ice Lake and Tiger Lake processors. However, it has one primary advantage- CUDA support, which means you can use the MX350 for accelerating video editing in software like Premiere Pro.
Plus, it games better since the MX350 has its own dedicated high-speed VRAM that is a) separate and b) much faster than regular system RAM. The ZenBook 14 also packs a 256GB SSD, resulting in a system that feels zippy and responds instantaneously whether you’re navigating folders or opening programs/ webpages. The 6-core Ryzen 5 4500u processor has excellent single and multi-threaded performance, it’s more than capable of playing any modern game. The only real demerit we found in the ZenBook 14 is the fact that you can’t manually upgrade its RAM (but the SSD is upgradable).
2. Acer Swift 3
A sleek notebook with a powerful processor and all the latest features such as 802.11ax Wi-Fi, Full HD IPS display, USB Type-C with charging, NVMe storage, etc. All this for under 700 dollars, what’s not to like? The Ryzen 7 4700U processor has 8 cores (no SMT however) and 7 Vega GPU cores. It handily beats Intel’s Ice Lake Core i7-1065G7 in both single and multi-threaded workloads.
The combination of a power-efficient chip and a relatively large battery results in a battery life that often extends beyond 8 hours with moderate usage, so you should get 4 to 5 hours of gaming in esports titles. This laptop is not intended for AAA games, and it is mainly designed for light photo/ video editing, indie gaming, etc. As long as you understand its limits and use it accordingly, it will serve you well.
3. ASUS VivoBook S13
Want a budget gaming laptop that is also ultrabook levels of thin & light? Check out the VivoBook S13 from ASUS, it looks and feels like a MacBook Air minus the exorbitant price tag. And the performance isn’t too shabby either because these laptops pack an Intel 10th generation Ice Lake quad-core with hyperthreading. If you’re a college student or small business owner, this is the ideal laptop for you. It can do work, play, movies, and more. Finally, there is ample memory and storage with 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB PCIe NVMe drive. This should ensure excellent performance for at least 2 to 3 years.
4. Dell Inspiron 15 5593
Ah, the good old Dell Inspiron. A favourite among college students and home computer users across the world, this little 15” notebook is what comes to mind when you hear the word laptop. It is basic, has everything the average PC user needs, and is reliable. Want something to type your articles on? This is it. Want to gift a laptop to someone who needs a computer but isn’t exactly a power user? This is it. Plus, it is ideal for light gaming if you’re just interested in older AAA games and esports titles. The Intel Core i5 -1035G1 with 10th generation HD graphics can hold up pretty well in games as long as you keep the eye candy turned down.
5. Lenovo Yoga C740
A 14” touch notebook that feels rugged, is slim, and has great battery life. On top of that, the FHD display has touch support so you can use it for creative work like drawing, taking notes, logo design, Photoshop, etc. And since it is a “Yoga” model, this laptop has a 360° folding hinge, and is a 2-in-1. You can use it in tent mode to share content. Laptop mode to type articles and work on spreadsheets. Or tablet mode for when you need to draw something (or kick back and relax on the couch while watching a movie). The top firing stereo speakers sound excellent, and the keyboard has good travel with crisp tactile feedback.
Note: If you can stretch your budget just a tiny bit beyond 700 dollars, the ASUS TUF 15” gaming laptop delivers class-leading performance with a GTX 1650 dedicated graphics card. It will blow any sub- 700$ dollar laptop out of the water in terms of gaming performance by a factor of 1.5 to 2 times, for barely a couple dollars more.