I’m aiming for the top budget gaming laptop of 2023 after testing three this year, and all of them are under $1,000.
Affordable Gaming Laptops Priced Below $1k
As a laptop expert, I thoroughly tested these gaming laptops, evaluating every aspect important to gamers, from triple-A performance to battery life. The contenders for this year’s best affordable gaming laptop are the HP Victus 16, the Acer Nitro 5 (now known as Nitro V 15), and the MSI Cyborg 15.
In my analysis, the competition is tight between the HP Victus 16 and the Acer Nitro V 15, but I don’t believe in standoffs. One of them must come out on top.
Let’s explore which gaming rig claims the title of the “best affordable gaming laptop of 2023.
What Gaming Laptops Did We Test That Are Affordable?
As stated earlier, we tested the HP Victus 16, the Acer Nitro V 15, and the MSI Cyborg 15.
The chart below displays the processor and graphics information for each laptop. It also shows the scores for Geekbench 6 and 3DMark’s Time Spy, assessing CPU and GPU performance, respectively. (Higher scores indicate better performance for those unfamiliar with the metrics.)
The MSRP for all three laptops is approximately $999, so if you notice a higher price, wait for it to decrease.
Top Performance in The Affordable Gaming Laptop Category for 2023
Every gaming laptop undergoes rigorous benchmarks in Mashable’s lab, pushing them to their limits.
The HP Victus 16 slightly outperformed the Acer Nitro V 15 with an average frames per second (fps) of 95 compared to the Nitro’s 92 fps. As for the MSI Cyborg 15, it doesn’t even come close to the league of the HP and Acer gaming laptops.
However, it’s essential to mention that the top positions shifted when we retested the Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark with DLSS enabled. This feature utilizes AI upscaling for improved image quality without excessively taxing the internal components.
The Acer Nitro V 15 achieved an exceptionally impressive score of 123 fps. The HP Victus 16 also showed a commendable boost in performance, though not as striking, reaching a of 110 fps.
Enabling DLSS helped the MSI Cyborg 15 catch up to its faster competitors, achieving a score of 113 fps. Nevertheless, I prioritize native rendering over DLSS, making the HP Victus the winner.
Top Display in the Affordable Gaming Laptop Category for 2023
Each of the three laptops compromises in some way with its display, and they won’t earn any awards for their screens. The trio exhibits a deficiency in brightness, with some being worse than others. Check out the brightness scores below (as claimed by their respective companies).
Acer Nitro V 15 features a 15.6-inch, 1080p display with a 144Hz refresh rate at 250 nits.
HP Victus 16 boasts a 16.1-inch, 1080p display with a 144Hz refresh rate at 300 nits.
MSI Cyborg 15 comes with a 15.6-inch, 1080p display with a 144Hz refresh rate at 250 nits.
The HP Victus 16 offers a larger and slightly brighter screen. A 50-nit difference might not seem significant, but I assure you, I’ve noticed the distinction. The screen on the HP Victus 16 surpasses all three.
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