6 Best Gaming Laptops Under 1200: (2023 Guide & Reviews)

best gaming laptops under 1200 dollars buyers guide

The best gaming laptops under 1200 dollars are a complete arena of games if your hands land on the right choice. In fact, these portable beasts can take on the AAA games that are on graphics steroids. Despite the fact that a $1200 gaming laptop can be a little expensive for some of you but it also pays the price by offering the specifications of your dreams.

Whereas, the components like the GeForce RTX 3050Ti graphics card and AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor are what these are admired the most for.

That’s the reason that modern titles can stand these gaming laptops at 1080P settings. Of course, other components play their part too in allowing such machines to sit at the performance peak.

However, expecting a long-lasting battery life from these gaming laptops under $1200 can be a mistake. A battery time of 4-5 hours is what you’re getting during gameplay. Whereas, the ergonomics here are fantastic and can attract anyone a first glance. Now that the main things are clear to you, let’s mention these worthy gaming laptops under 1200 dollars.

How We Picked the Best Gaming Laptops Under 1200 Dollars?

Going through internet sources that include user reviews and some youtube videos was the main thing involved when hunting for the $1200 gaming laptops. Prior to that I also used my knowledge to stumble upon some of my brains to put forward the right gaming machines in front of you as I have been working laptop testing expert for almost 5 years now. It took around a day time period to completely compile the list and put them forward in front of us for reviews.

Best Gaming Laptops Under $1200 Reviews

Acer Nitro 5: (best gaming laptop under $1200)

Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-77KG Gaming Laptop | Intel Core i7-11800H | NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti Laptop GPU

Despite the fact that we have some gaming laptop companies out there claiming fairy tails for their customers, Acer is doing exactly what they say.

The Acer Nitro 5 is a follow-up of the claims made by the company having the Intel Core i7-11800H processor. The CPU itself is capable of a 4.6GHz max clocking speed which allows it to hunt down the heaviest of processes.

Whereas, the FPS is more like on steroids because of the latest GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card. Surprisingly, a GPU like this one can stand against graphics-hungry titles with pride.

The 16GB RAM followed up with a 1TB SSD storage levels up the multitasking to the peaks with no lag whatsoever.

Luckily, 8 hours of long-lasting battery is more surprising to us here because as far as I know, most gaming laptops aren’t able to acquire such power.

On top of everything, the Acer Nitro 5 gives you a 2-year warranty alongside customer service just in case anything goes wrong. Regardless, the Acer Nitro 5 has also an affordable model which is listed in the best gaming laptops under $1000 list.

The Good

  • Wider screen
  • load bearing capability on its peak
  • Battery survives longer
  • Easy to upgrade
  • warranty offered
  • Worth the price tag

The Bad

  • The display has still some room for improvements

Hop over to our gaming laptops under $1300 just in case you haven’t found the right one here.

Lenovo Legion 5: (best gaming laptop under $1200)

Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD Display, AMD Ryzen 7 5800H, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti

Can a gaming laptop under $1200 do better than cheaper ones out there? The answer is undoubted yes because it gives you what you have been wishing for.

This makes us question the hardware components and whether the Lenovo Legion 5 is standing on the next level with a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card to take on the graphics-hungry games.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor sits at the Legions 5 core for a furious clocking speed alongside 16GB RAM for extreme multitasking. In addition to that, 512GB of storage stores your programs and it’s a solid-state drive(SSD).

Whereas the bezel-less 15.6-inch display is made for crystal clear image delivery, having a 144Hz of refresh rate and below 3ms response time.

On average a single charge can get you 5-6 hours of gameplay time that gets possible because of the 1 Lithium Polymer battery inside the Legion 5.

So taking this beast into consideration is recommended as the durability and specifications are worth the $1200 price tag.

The Good

  • Highly durable
  • Good battery time
  • Powerful
  • Good looking

The Bad

  • Fan gets louder
  • Dim display

Also read: Best budget gaming laptops

ASUS ROG Strix G15: (best gaming laptop under $1200)

ASUS ROG Strix G15 (2021) Gaming Laptop, 15.6†144Hz IPS Type FHD Display, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, 8GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD

There’s no other way around on the graphics card side when it comes to these gaming laptops except for the GeForce RTX 3050 or the ti version of it. Yes, the ASUS ROG Strix G15 also has this GPU for hardcore gaming.

The same is the case for a processor here because the AMD CPUs are what you can find on most of them. On this specific model, the Ryzen 7 4800H is killing it with its 4.2GHz speed.

Furthermore, the 512GB SSD and 8GB RAM are playing their part here which I am not in favor of in the case of the RAM. However, the SSD does pretty well inside our Strix G15 model.

The display is the same as the others with a 144Hz refresh rate alongside a lower response time. In general, the screen is pretty much better than most of the beasts out there on the market.

The battery life is also good, calculated at 4-5 hours, and can be extended to 6 hours depending on what you aim to do on this 1200 dollar gaming laptop. Looking at all of these decent specs, this can’t get any better than for playing games in 1080P settings with ease.

The Good

  • Nicely designed
  • Powerful
  • Rich display
  • satisfying battery life

The Bad

  • RAM capacity is below our expectations

ASUS TUF Gaming A15: (best gaming laptop under $1200)

ASUS TUF Gaming A15

This one is rolling out straight out from ASUS with the most durable design that looks absolutely awesome. From top to bottom, the TUF Gaming A15 is a great gaming laptop with the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, a CPU that takes on the processes like a boss.

However, the TUF Gaming A15 is still stuck in a GTX GPU series having the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti inside.

However, the 16GB RAM is what makes it better than the ROG Strix G15 model. Yet the storage capacity is the same as the other $1200 laptops on the list with 512GB of room. But the SSD factor of it covers it up by adding the performance value to this machine.

Moreover, the screen has rich features, this includes the refresh rate, response time, and resolutions that are meant for hardcore gaming fans.

On top of that, the battery life here stands out more than the many models mentioned on a $1200, roughly, it touches the 7 hours mark. However, it can be squeezed out to 8.7 hours but this depends on what tasks you’re performing on this mid-range budget flagship.

Except for the graphics card, the TUF Gaming A15 is overall powered with the finest components for gaming, the exterior of it looks great and is worth having.

The Good

  • No lag overall
  • Nice exterior
  • Good for 1080P
  • High-quality picture quality

The Bad

  • Normal connectivity options

Worth a read: best gaming laptops under $800

MSI GF65: (best gaming laptop under $1200)

MSI GF65 Gaming Laptop: 15.6" 144Hz FHD 1080p, Intel Core i7-10750H 6 Core, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB, 512GB NVMe SSD

The 2nd last recommended gaming beast has its own perks from MSI. The model GF65 is as powerful as it looks. Matter of fact, it comes with a better GPU than all the other options that have, GeForce RTX 3060 is what it’s offering.

A 6 Core processor from intel here shows more efficiency with higher clocking speed when you play your favorite games.

Whereas, the RAM here is 16GB, and combined with the SSD storage of 512GB that makes it a multitasking beast also.

As for the ergonomics, the MSI GF65 is unique on its own with some nice chassis, an MSI logo on the back of the lid, and the base is organized perfectly. Shortly enough, it looks amazing and puts a great impact on your gaming experience.

However, the battery life is the worst of all with only a few hours of survival mark. Overall regardless of a few disadvantages, the MSI GF65 can do a lot better for the heaviest graphics games out there.

The Good

  • Top-notch GPU inside at a low price
  • Powerful processor
  • Multitasking beast.
  • Ergonomic

The Bad

  • Battery life is unexpectedly the worst.

Worth a read: best gaming laptops under $700

HP Pavilion 16: (best gaming laptop under $1200)

HP Pavilion Gaming 16 Laptop

Lacking in a few things but standing out in many, the HP Pavilion 16 is what it’s claimed to be. With the GTX 1650 Ti graphics card and Intel Core i5-10300H processor, this gaming laptop can play modern games in 1080P settings.

However, the RAM is not meant for a $1200 budget because the 8GB capacity is lower than the ideal memory. Whereas, the SSD is the companion of this beast, holding on a 512GB of room for your game’s data.

On top of that, the design looks awesome and looks more attractive, have the lid and base separated pretty nicely. The green LED lights on the keyboard spice up the Pavilion 16 even more.

Regardless, the screen size is standing at 15.6-inches alongside all the latest features that can be found on a best $1200 gaming laptop. This means that experiencing some nice stuff on the HP Pavilion 16 is waiting ahead for you.

The Good

  • GPU and CPU are powerful
  • 10 hours battery life
  • Attractive ergonomics
  • Variety of connectivity options

The Bad

  • Memory is not that good

Worth a read: best gaming laptops under $500

Factors To Keep in Mind Before Selecting A Gaming Laptop For $1200

You already know what specifications these gaming laptops have but still, there are some things that may not be clear to you like:

Importance of graphics Card

A powerful GPU is undeniably the games-breaking component that a powerful laptop must have if your intention is pure higher-level gaming. This means that a powerful graphics card like RTX 3050 or 3060 which is found on these beasts delivers the highest frames per second. As a result, you can play the most realistic games easily. However, there are more factors involved in this but a powerful GPU is the prior one.

Other specs knowledge is also important

Digging deep down into the other specs like CPU, RAM, HDD, etc can’t be ignored at all because they also define the power of your gaming laptop. For a 1200 dollar gaming laptop, 16GB of RAM must be on your wishlist because if you go below that, it’s not worth it. Similarly, CPUs like AMD Ryzen 7 4800H or a similar one from intel are something that can change the gaming experience dimension for you. Whereas SSD must not be exceptional because of you need your games to be smooth, it will enhance the performance further as compared to HDD.

A legit screen is mandatory

After making the checklist of all the components that I mentioned, they can be useless without having a rich screen on your gaming laptop for under $1200. The features criteria must be a 15 – 16 inches screen size, 144Hz refresh rate, 1920x1080P resolutions, and 1ms response time. If the brightness of the screen isn’t brighter, that’s fine as long as the picture quality is up to the mark.


How much RAM do I need for gaming?

16GB of RAM is what a gaming laptop must have especially when your intentions are to play some modern games. However, 8GB can limit the number of games that you can play on your laptop.

Is GTX 1650 good for gaming?

Comparing the GTX 1650 with other Nvidia Predecessors, it can be a complete beast for modern games and also the latest titles released in the upcoming years. A gaming laptop with such a GPU or similar to it can turn it into a complete monster when it comes to 1080P settings.

Is 144Hz good for a gaming laptop?

144Hz on a laptop’s screen goes beyond your expectations. Responsive and smooth gameplay is a common thing for a laptop having such a refresh rate. Plus the cinematic part of the games looks pretty realistic when a laptop has such a refresh rate.

About the author

Erick Rowan

Hi, this is Erick. I can't resist testing Laptops, Gaming PCs, and cameras. Being a photographer and gamer, I am always eager to try something. I am reviewing and helping people for almost 7 years with my experience with the mentioned technologies and I'll keep doing this till the end.

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