10 Best gaming laptops under 1200 in 2022

By Rhett Wilson •  Updated: 01/27/22 •  23 min read

The gaming industry is gaining much ground currently, and developers are coming up with highly realistic games that will keep you playing for hours. But not just any laptop or computer can run these games; they require a powerful machine to handle its needs.

Laptop systems under 1200 dollars can handle high-end games, but you still have to be careful while you go out to get a gaming system, as there are tons of available options. Here are our expert top picks of the best gaming laptops under 1200.

A lot of parameters were considered to rank these laptops, like the display, GPU, and storage system, to assist you to get a good gaming laptop.

Here is a list of our top gaming laptops available for under 1200 dollars.

Top Best Gaming Laptop Under 1200

1. MSI GF65 LAPTOP

Key Features

  • Display screen: 15.6 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Processor: 2.6GHz Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Graphics Coprocessor: NVIDIA RTX 3060

The MSI brand has been in the technology business for a long time and has come up with very good products, and one of these products includes the MSI GF65 gaming laptop, which comes with a stunning design and appearance.

MSI GF65 uses the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, and its graphics processing unit (GPU) is powered by the NVIDIA second generation RTX architecture for super real ray-traced graphics, and it also has cutting edge AI features.

The GF65 system is fueled by the tenth generation Intel Core i7 processor, well-installed to give you maximum efficiency and experience during gameplay. This processor also allows you to multi-task easily, and be very productive.

With its 15.6-inch 144Hz display, it delivers a lightning refresh rate, for you to have a vibrant and smooth game section with your laptop.

Taking your gaming experience through the roofs, and keeping you stuck in front of your laptop screen.

You have high-speed connectivity with the MSI GF65 gaming laptop.

Experience wireless connectivity in a much faster way, with its Wi-Fi 6 latest technology, and you don’t have to worry about the heat when playing for long hours.

It has the latest cooler and large internal pipes for an efficient cooling process in the compact chassis.

While playing games, immerse yourself in lossless music, and enjoy the premium audio quality of the Hi-Resolution Audio. Listen to your sounds the way you intended.

Pros
  • Most powerful
  • Lightweight
  • Beautiful machine
  • This is a graphics powerhouse
  • It has a cooler booster
Cons
  • Laptop runs cool, but still needs improvement

2. LENOVO LEGION 5

Key Features

  • Display screen: 15.6 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Processor: 3.2 Ryzen 7
  • Graphics Coprocessor: NVIDIA GeForce RTX
  • Storage: 512GB SSD

Lenovo Legion 5 is specially built for gaming performance, it is the best platform for experiencing recent AAA games.

You will find a powerful AMD Ryzen 7 processor, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics in its clean and compact chassis, including the 16GB DDR4 RAM, and an NVMe solid-state drive of 512GB.

The performance of the Legion 5 is optimized by the advanced Legion AI Engine, powering the revolutionary Legion Coldfront 3, and Q Control.

The 15.6-inch FHD display performs at a refresh of up to 165Hz with less than 3ms response time, and it features a 100% RGB color accuracy.

The Legion 5 supports Dolby Vision and AMD FreeSync premium. You are also going to enjoy new Nahimic 3D audio for gamers.

This gaming system offers a plethora of amazing performance options for gamers worldwide in the smallest form of design.

With the recent generation AMD Ryzen mobile processor, you will get a combo of super-fast frame rates with strong battery life.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series graphics bring second-generation ray tracing, third-generation AI tensor cores, and you are going to experience a huge leap in graphical performance.

Enjoy fast, and deep colors on the full high-definition display screen, at 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Also, the distinct Lenovo Legion AI engine dynamically changes the power within the GPU and CPU, so you can enjoy more of your recent AAA games.

This engine is the most ground-breaking gaming solution yet. Part of its stunning design is its textured side grips, installed to keep you well-rested for high performance.

It is strong, sturdy, and built with stainless steel headband and Legion’s world-class aesthetics. Legion made this system so comfortable by using soft and high-quality padding.

As a gamer, you recognize the importance of prompt response to your keypads while playing your game.

This system uses the Legion TrueStrike keyboard that delivers a superior layout with dedicated media keys, larger direction keys, a number pad, and a one-piece trackpad.

Keep yourself in the game.

Pros
  • Great product
  • Good overall performance
  • Backlit keyboard
  • High build quality
Cons
  • Not really for hard-core gaming

3. ACER NITRO 5 LAPTOP

Key Features

  • Display screen: 17.3 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Processor: 4.6GHz Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Graphics Coprocessor: NVIDIA GeForce RTX

With the Acer Nitro 5, you can dominate your game among friends. The Nitro 5 system has a great performance that meets long battery life with the Intel Core i7 processor of up to 4.6GHz.

This processor also holds eight cores, sixteen threads, and 24MB Intel Smart Cache.

Acer Nitro 5 houses the recent NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, which features 4GB dedicated memory, and this graphics is powered by the new ray-tracing cores, streaming multiprocessors, and tensor cores, that supports the DirectX Ultimate for the best gaming experience, and performance.

Explore your games in a full high-definition detailed 17.3-inch widescreen display, with LED-backlit, and a resolution of 1920 x1080.

The system has a refresh rate of 144Hz and a screen-to-body ratio of 80%. Its internal specifications are specified by 16GB DDR4 RAM but have two RAM slots, and it can be upgraded up to 32GB.

The solid-state drive is sized 1TB, you have two PCle M.2 slots or one 2.5-inch hard-drive by available.

Prioritize your gameplay with the Killer DoubleShot Pro with Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6. It lets you use multiple connections at the same time, and you have full control over priority traffic to increase throughput, control, and speed.

Intense gaming can generate a lot of heat from your computer, and this system takes care of that with its efficient Acer CoolBoost technology; this cooling system increases the fan speed by 10%, and your CPU cooling by 9%, which is better than the auto-mode, increasing the system’s thermal performance by 25%.

The NitroSense UI can be initiated using the dedicated keyboard button and you can visualize your system’s component performance, including the power plan, loading performance, fan speed, and temperature.

Pros
  • Uncompromised battery power
  • Ultimate performance
  • Sleek design
  • Impressive screen
Cons
  • Slight heavyweight

4. SAMSUNG GALAXY BOOK PRO

Key Features

  • Display screen: 13.3 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Processor: 2.8 GHz Apple
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD

Gaming laptops can be more like cell phones when they have pc power and are as thin as smartphones.

Joining the latest Intel 11th generation CoreTM processor with Windows 11 operating system, the Galaxy Book Pro has come out strong, and it is designed on the Intel EvoTM platform.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro is a system that weighs less than 2 lbs, so it is the perfect mixture of productivity and portability.

Download large files quickly using Wi-Fi 6, which is three times faster than your normal Wi-Fi. You can also stream and watch your favorite movie anytime on the go and you will do all these with the sound technology of Dolby Atmos audio.

With the Samsung Galaxy Book, you will do it all in a fast.

Everything looks really amazing while you play games on this quality AMOLED screen Galaxy Book.

Enjoy vibrant viewing always, anytime you put on your game face. You can still enjoy the quality game time while in direct sunlight; the system automatically reduces the harmful blue light, protecting your eyes.

It is sleek, beautiful, ultra-thin, and it has a dual-color design. The Galaxy Book Pro is one of the lightest laptops you can find out there that won’t weigh you down.

Power up to twenty hours while on a full battery, and when your system is down, you can quickly recharge with the light and small charger.

The system allows you to do your gaming on a larger screen, and quickly pair up with other devices. You can control other devices with just a tap using Samsung SmartThings.

Its camera also has features that will improve your look either during a business conference video call, or just a casual call with friends.

Pros
  • Strong battery power
  • Easy on the eyes
  • Screen is beautiful
  • Solid quality
  • Amazing sound quality for a thin laptop
  • Backlit keyboard
Cons
  • Sometimes has slow performance

5. LENOVO LEGION 5 17.3″ GAMING LAPTOP

Key Features

  • Display screen: 17.3 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Processor: 3.3GHz Ryzen 5
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Graphics Coprocessor: NVIDIA GeForce GTX

The Lenovo Legion is one of the most powerful gaming laptops in the laptop store. The Legion is rated at 1920 x 1080 resolution, and boasts impressive clarity, and color. It has an anti-glare energy-efficient screen.

This system is made with the AMD Ryzen 5, and a Hexa-core, twelve-way processing that provides top efficiency power to go.

The sound system features the Nahimic 3D audio with an inbuilt webcam and speakers. The size of a laptop’s RAM matters a lot when talking about gaming. In the system, there is plenty of bandwidth RAM capable of smoothly running your games, as well as multiple programs.

You can save files quickly, and store much more data. It has plenty of storage, advanced communication power, backups, is very good for major or intensive gaming, multiple servers, and others.

Lenovo also installed a backlit keyboard that allows you to enjoy comfortable, and accurate typing, while you are even in the dark or in dim lighting.

To make the graphics top-notch, this laptop system has the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics with a dedicated video memory that provides daily quality images for gaming, photo editing, internet surfing.

You also have access to lots of ports, including the USB Type A, USB Type C, HDMI, headphone jack, and SD card reader. Have a better experience with the Lenovo Legion 5, and enjoy a worthwhile gaming experience.

Pros
  • Sound gaming laptop
  • Excellent graphics
  • Good keyboard system
  • Great product
Cons
  • Doesn’t have a touchscreen

6. NEW HP PAVILION LAPTOP 

Key Features

  • Display screen: 15.6 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Processor: 4.1 GHz AMD
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 2TB SSD
  • Graphics Coprocessor: AMD Radeon Graphics

HP has released a true gaming beast machine. The HP’s newest Pavilion system has a huge memory and storage capacity of 32GB DDR4 RAM for improved high bandwidth, so you can easily switch to any of your applications, and a 2TB PCle solid-state drive for fast boot times and data transfer.

You will experience a super-fast processor, and graphics with the AMD Ryzen 7, an eight-core, 1.8GHz base frequency, and boost frequency of 4.3GHz with an integrated AMD Radeon graphics. Enjoy a crystal clear, and seamless display on a 15.6-inch diagonal full high-definition, 1080pixel, and micro-edge BrightView display.

This system has a lot of ports to boost connectivity to make your gaming experience even better. You have a super speed USB Type A, Type C, card reader, HDMI, and power jack for fast charging.

Other outstanding features include Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 6, and sound audio with dual speakers, to give you the best connectivity for exciting gameplay.

Pros
  • High processor speed
  • Sufficient RAM and storage space
  • Laptop lightweight
  • Fast performance
  • Has a good number of ports
Cons
  • Not a touchscreen

7. ASUS ZenBook FLIP 13

Key Features

  • Display screen: 13.3 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Processor: 2.8 Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Graphics Coprocessor: Intel Iris Xe Graphics

The elegant ASUS ZenBook Flip 13 is an all-new laptop design with a combination of extreme portability and versatility. Its sleek nano-edge display and 360-degree hinge make the Flip 13 OLED extra compact.

Utilizing the ASUS pen stylus, this smooth touchscreen supports high levels of pressure sensitivity, providing an advanced experience for casual creativity, and editing using any application.

To suit the connectivity needs of most gamers, the slim 13.9mm chassis houses a wide range of input and output ports, including the Thunderbolt 4 meant for easy connectivity.

The 11th generation Intel Core processor gives you the best performance for on-the-move productivity and visual creativity.

ASUS OLED portable laptop delivers exceptional, detailed, and realistic visuals, with a cinema-grade color gamut; this means that the colors displayed are more vivid and richer.

The Flip 13 can maintain good color reproduction at any brightness level, to enable you to adjust the screen’s brightness to fit your environment.

The system also emits far less harmful blue light than most gaming systems, and this helps to improve visual comfort, allowing you to play games for long hours comfortably.

An AI noise-canceling technology is also integrated to isolate background noise, to give the best communication experience.

It has a storage allocation of 1TB PCle solid-state drive, and 16GB RAM for improved performance, which is also capable of handling current AAA games, so you don’t miss out.

Stay productive and happy with fast charging, and a long-lasting battery system. Do not compromise on performance.

Pros
  • Fast and responsive
  • Thin and light
  • Safe for long use
  • Decent battery life
  • High picture quality
Cons
  • Wi-Fi functions slow under high pressure

8. MYTRIX TUF GAMING LAPTOP

Key Features

  • Display screen: 17.3 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Processor: 2.6 GHz Core i5
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Graphics Coprocessor: GeForce RTX 3050

If you are geared for serious gaming, and a high-quality experience then the Mytrix TUF laptop is one of the best options for you.

The TUF gaming system is a well-loaded gaming laptop that keeps you always ready for action and can be used for gaming, streaming, and a lot more other activities.

It is armed with the 11th gen Core i5 processor, with twelve threads, and six cores to help you tear through intensified gaming, streaming, and heavy multitasking.

You can take your creative projects to the next level with the GeForce RTX laptop, get the best responsiveness at the lowest latency.

With a system powered by professional GeForce graphics, gamers can reach their targets quicker, react faster, and have enhanced precision through modern technologies to measure and optimize the system’s latency for competitive gaming.

To help you play your games at a professional speed, the display’s refresh rate synchronizes with the system’s GPU frame rate to cancel lagging, or stuttering, and prevent visual tearing for smooth gameplay.

Use the numerous connectivity ports to connect your TUF laptop to other gadgets for a better gaming experience.

It has a thermal lasting cooling that sustains the reliability of the system for long-term use, increasing the lifespan of your laptop.

Get ready to play your games with its uniform RGB backlighting desktop-style keyboard structured for gaming.

Pros
  • Powerful laptop
  • Effective cooling system
  • Quality display
  • Perfect keyboard
  • Made for gaming
Cons
  • Not a core i7

9. 2021 HP 17t LAPTOP

Key Features

  • Display screen: 17.3 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1600 x 900
  • Processor: 2.8 GHz Core i7
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Coprocessor: Intel Iris Xe Graphics

Another one of HP products that has made its way into this list is to give out a really high bandwidth, enabling it to run all your software, and applications without stress.

You have access to an unlimited amount of game choices, including the most recent game; this system can take it all.

The PCle NVMe solid-state drive has also been upgraded to 1TB, to allow you to transfer your data so fast, and gives you enough room for storage.

The 11th generation Intel Core i7 processor has eight threads, four cores, and a base frequency of 2.80Hz.

This system also comes with inbuilt security features to enhance your privacy and keep your laptop inaccessible to another.

Play your games on a 17.3-inch HD BrightView touchscreen, and combined with an Intel graphics, every game you play on this system will look as real as you can imagine. It’s also good for movies, photos, and streaming.

Boost your experience by exploring various connectivity options like HDMI, Wi-Fi 6, USB Type-A and C, Bluetooth 5, and several others.

Experience high-performance for all your entertainment.

Pros
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Perfect audio quality
  • Top connectivity features
  • Effective touchscreen
  • Superfast performance
Cons
  • Keyboard is not so nice but has backlit.

10. DELL INSPIRON 15

Key Features

  • Display screen: 15.6 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Processor: 2.8 GHz Core i7
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Graphics Coprocessor: Intel Iris Xe Graphics

Dell has always been amongst the best products in the market that also has powerful and cheap gaming laptop systems.

The Inspiron 15 has the latest eleventh generation Intel Core i7 processor at 2.80GHz, with 12MB, and four cores. The 15.6-inch touchscreen anti-glare display is built to give you the best entertainment time with not just your games.

It has the Intel Iris Xe graphics for stunning graphics quality. Webcam and microphone are suitable for school, home, professionals, online lectures, remote learning, and commercial use.

Dell Inspiron 15 is loaded with 32GB DDR4 RAM for full power performance, it can easily handle multitasking and smoothly run any of your favorite recent games.

Coupled with its 512GB solid-state drive, there’s nothing you can’t do, and no software you can operate. It also offers a quality experience for web browsing, videos, remote work, or study.

Windows 10 professional at your service, and also high connectivity technology, like the wireless -AC, and Bluetooth 5, USB 3, USB 2, HDMI, card reader, and microphone jack to keep you comfortable.

Pros
  • So fast
  • Large storage
  • Good gaming laptop
  • Amazing screen and size
  • Portable enough
Cons
  • Fair battery power, but Ok

A Guide to Get the Best Gaming Laptops Under 1200

Graphics Card

GPU or graphics card is part of the elements you cannot overlook when selecting a gaming laptop.

When your system has a sound graphics card, it helps you see every image on your screen with no delay, and this is a really tough process when talking about playing games due to the many actions all happening simultaneously.

Storage

Storage is a vital factor when performing tasks like gaming, due to the large size requirement.

Recent laptops are built with hard disk drives (HDD), solid-state drives (SSD), or a combo of both. But the SSDs are much preferable. For $1200, go for an SSD of at least 512GB, nothing less.

Battery 

Gaming takes up a lot of battery power compared to other processes, so you will have to consider the battery capacity of the laptop you are about to get.

The battery life of your gaming system has to be high enough for you to enjoy quality game time without plugging it into an AC source. You should get a laptop with powerful battery life at $1200.

GPU

The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) makes your laptop system run fast. You buy an Intel Core i7 1Oth gen or AMD Ryzen processor system within the 1200 dollars price range.

Connectivity

All gamers would love to have a wide range of connectivity options at their reach as it allows them to connect extra monitors or other devices; keyboards, game controllers, etc.

You have to think of the devices you will want to use while playing your games, and make sure you look to buy a laptop that can accommodate that connectivity.

Display

You need to have a laptop with a good display, more than 60Hz refresh rate, and use it for really long hours, without it affecting or straining your eyes.

Latest laptops are designed with quality anti-glare screens to protect your sight.

RAM

Laptops around $1200 mostly come with 16GB RAM. The higher your RAM size, the faster your laptop will run, and it also determines its level of efficiency. $1200 laptops have a 32GB RAM upgrade capacity.

FAQs

How much RAM do I need for gaming?

For most recent games, a RAM of at least 16GB is recommended for a fast and powerful performance during your game time. Getting a laptop system with such high RAM specifications will allow you to play any game you like, without you experiencing any stuttering or lagging issues. Either on AAA games or old games, you are good to go. But if you can’t afford a laptop with that high specs, you can go for 8GB RAM systems, you will be able to play some recent games comfortably, but not all games.

What are the best gaming laptops under 1200?

There are sound and powerful systems within the 1200 dollar price range, but you have to be careful in selecting. Some of these laptops include the MSI GF65 gaming laptop, Lenovo Legion 5, Acer Nitro 5, Samsung Galaxy Book Pro, 2021 Lenovo Legion 5, HP Newest Pavilion, ASUS ZenBook Flip 13, Mytrix TUF F17, and the  Dell Inspiron 15.

How good is Alienware?

Alienware is not just powerful gaming rigs, they are also reliable and incredible, but really expensive to get. Although, if you like to go all out to get the best gaming experience, you can go for Alienware, and you will definitely be satisfied. They are actually worth the price, and you won’t regret getting them. Alienware is such a good gaming computer, they are popularly known to be in the category of high-end systems.

Is it better to get a gaming laptop or PC?

Not all desktops are cheaper than laptops. You can find some desktops computers in the market with a very high price range. Desktops have a much better price-to-efficiency ratio. A sound gaming rig might cost a lot more than laptops that are expensive, but you will get good value for your money. Considering bigger screen size to performance rating. When looking at long-term costs, desktops win.  But desktops are not portable, and that’s where laptops have an upper edge.

How much is a good PC for gaming?

Typically, a gaming computer will cost around $500 to $1200. But it’s difficult to get quality laptops around a low price fit for high-end games. If you want to majorly focus on hardware-intensive games, with frame rates of 60 plus, then you might need to spend as high as $2000 to get a powerful system designed for that purpose. The actual price of laptops depends on what you need in a system.

Final Verdict

Gaming laptops are not just like your regular laptop systems, you have to know the right specifications your laptop has to possess to enjoy your games comfortably.

Our top picks can guarantee you a very good game time, and they are all worth every penny. Games are meant for entertainment, so you ensure you get entertained.

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Rhett Wilson

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