There is no doubt that gaming is a very enticing hobby for many people, especially when there are so many AAA games to choose from, with the ever-growing volume of gaming companies that release new franchises which continue to raise the bar for graphical standards with each passing year.
The tremendous growth of polygon and HD textures in video games has necessitated the need for a gaming device that is capable of handling all the action without curbing the joy of gaming sessions due to lag spikes and choppy performance.
Quick Overview of the Top Picks:
So if you are someone that is on the lookout through numerous websites and articles to find the best pick to quench all your gaming needs, then I would needlessly say that your journey to find the best gaming laptop under 1200 bucks have come to an abrupt end because my tailored list of gaming laptops will surely hit the spot so you wouldn’t have to look anywhere else.
In order to keep the list as versatile, and flexible as possible, I made sure to include a wide variety of products from reputable brands that have had positive reviews in the past and come at very reasonable prices.
The List of Best Gaming Laptops Under $1200 in 2022
Our Top Pick
|Acer Nitro 5 |
Features: Intel Core i7-11800H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti GPU,17.3″ FHD 144Hz IPS Display, 16GB DDR4, 1TB NVMe SSD, Backlit Keyboard
|Lenovo Legion 5 |
Features: 15.6″ FHD Display, AMD Ryzen 7 5800H Processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti GPU
|HP Pavilion 16 |
Features: FHD 144Hz , Intel Core i5-10300H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD+32GB Optane
|MSI GF63 |
Features: Thin Bezel, Intel Core i5-8300H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650, 8GB, 256GB NVMe NVMe SSD, Cooler boost 5 ventilation, Steelseries keyboard with backlit,
|Lenovo Ideapad L340 |
Features: 15.6 Inch FHD IPS Display, Intel Core i5-9300H Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB Nvme SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
|Dell G3 |
Features: 15.6″ FHD IPS Anti Glare screen, 8th Gen Intel i5-8300H CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU
|HP 14 |
Features: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD Storage, 14″ Full HD Display, Thin & Portable, Micro-Edge & Anti-Glare Screen, Long Battery Life
Let’s get started with the list that has all the latest goodies like a powerful processor, a dedicated graphics card, and sufficient RAM; take a gander, will you?
In the life of a gaming enthusiast, there shouldn’t be any compromise when it comes to speed, and the Nitro 5 by Acer stands out because of its state-of-the-art hardware specifications and its HD display’s incredible refresh rate.
As the 17.3-inch Full HD IPS display panel sports nano edge bezels, the dazzling 144Hz refresh rate will amaze you with its super smooth video games, making it the perfect setup for competitive gamers who like to enjoy silky smooth video games.
With bigger price tags, comes premium speculations, under the hood this beast sports the latest 11th generation, Intel Core i7-11800H which has jaw-dropping clocking speeds of 4.8Ghz to handle all data coming directly from the Dedicated Nvidia Geforce RTX 3050 TI that is designed for hardcore gaming in mind.
Since the increasing demand for next-gen gaming, the HD texture has rendered our tiny hard drives inadequate to house all the games at once, but fret not, because the Acer Nitro 5 has a massive 1TB NVME SSD that is not only sufficient to hold all your precious data but its Gen3 speeds will ensure you get blazing fast read and write speeds which are complemented by a lofty 16GB DDR4 Ram that has 3200mhz frequency.
All these heavy-duty arsenals will leave any gaming device aching for a decent cooling solution, but that is not the case here, the Acer CoolBoost technology will splash away any unnecessary heat from its dual exhaust ports to prevent critical hardware damage or performance throttling.
Mashing keys and parrying the oncoming attacks in For Honor is never been so satisfying for me, the keyboard delivers a next-level experience and doesn’t feel clunky, although it doesn’t match an external mechanical keyboard feel, you can still expect a very tactile response. Moreover, the gaming setup has breathtaking Cherry red keyboard backlighting which gives off hardcore gamer vibes.
Moreover, if you want to monitor your laptop temperature or want to tweak the cooling system, you can use the NitroSense key which will let you customize the settings, giving you complete liberty over your gaming laptop.
It also has next-Gen super speedy HDMI 2.0 ports which you can use to connect to bigger screens to fully enjoy the benefit of DLSS 2.0 AI Supersampling. Moreover, for wireless connectivity, the Killer WI-FI 6 ensures you don’t face any input lags while keeping the pings to a bare minimum.
The downside is the lithium-ion cells which struggle to provide runtimes of only 4 hours, which drastically cut down the portability.
However, it still produces passable results for a gaming laptop with its next-generation hardware specs.
- Glamourous design
- Beautiful massive screen with a huge refresh rate
- WI-FI 6 support
- 1 zone keyboard backlighting
Lenovo Legion 5 – Best Lenovo Gaming Laptop Under $1200
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor
- Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
- Screen size: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080)
- Ports: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 4 USB, HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4, RJ45 Ethernet
- Dimension specification: 14.27 x 10.26 x 0.89 inches
- Weight: 5.29 pounds
“Wow” was my reaction when I held this laptop in my hands, the sturdy strong chassis, fully customizable keyboard, and the AMD technology rendered me spellbind as each and every aspect of this laptop is screaming premium quality and it is very hard not to keep things free from bias.
Its enthralling fast 15.6-inch display offers a full HD experience and watching movies on the 1920 x 1080p resolution gives off a splendid feel to the eyes of viewers.
What makes it so special is the fact that the screen has 100% sRGB output which is finely tuned by Dolby visions. Moreover, the 144hz refresh rate minimizes blurring in competitive video games while turning real fast or performing flick shots.
The 8 Core processor of Ryzen 7 4800H can handle multitasking Swifty with its lightning-fast processing. So you can play and stream on Facebook at the same time. Since streaming and gaming is CPU intensive, you can be assured that the Lenovo Legion 5 can handle it with ease with super snappy processing speeds combined with a dedicated 16 series Nvidia GTX 1660 ti which has a whopping 6GB GDDR6 VRAM so that you can play modern games at the highest settings.
Also read: Best Chromebooks
To minimize the stutters and frame rate drops, a 16GB DDR4 is necessary since most games nowadays have high requirements for RAM.
Moreover, the laptop has a massive 512GB SSD NVME storage capacity so that you can keep all your files, operating system, and games for faster transfer rates and minimal boot times.
In addition to this, the laptop has a unique feature known as Legion Coldfront 2.0, which is basically a heat dispersion system that significantly reduces the risk of your laptop wearing out early.
It is worth mentioning that the laptop performance is enhanced with a unique feature called Dual Burn support, which ensures that neither the GPU nor the CPU is bottlenecked and uses both equally without compromising the computational power of the laptop.
Made to survive, the keyboard is sturdy and has a premium finish. The per Key RGB setup lets you customize each and every key with the click of a button which is highly convenient.
The keys have anti-ghosting technology and come with a 1.5mm travel time giving off a tactile feel.
The battle-ready gaming beast houses USB ports ranging from USB Gen 3.1, USB type C, HDMI ports, as well as a super speedy power jack that charges the lithium batteries in no time.
The power department is a little bit flawed with shorter battery life, as it can only produce runtimes up to 5 hours while having the WIFI turned on and screen brightness to 50%. Needless to say, I have seen better gaming setups with better runtimes and this one doesn’t impress me as much but still given its price point it’s one potent gaming beauty.
Without any doubt, this is one of the best gaming laptops under 1200 I’ve used so far.
- Beautiful keyboard layout
- Neat and nifty design
- Plenty of ports to choose from
- No Thunderbolt 3 port
HP Pavilion 16 – Best Gaming Laptop Under $1100
- Processor: Intel Core i5-10300H 2.5GHz
- Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660TI with 6GB VRAM
- RAM: 8GB DDR4
- Storage: 512GB SSD
- Screen size: 16.1-inch diagonal FHD, 144 Hz
- Ports: 2x USB 3.0 Type A, 1x USB 3.0 Type C , 1x HDMI
- Dimension specification: 14.57 x 10.33 x 0.93 inches
- Weight: 5.06 pounds
Slick and stylish design, crisp B&O tuned audio with dual array digital microphone technology, the HP Pavillion 16.1 is one of its kind when it comes to a gaming laptop.
Although it has an odd display dimension of 16.1 inches, the Full HD feels huge while watching movies on it. The WLED backlighting helps a ton when playing games on it because it delivers a true to life colors without unusual fade-outs while sitting at odd angles.
Personally, gaming on 60hz feels so dull and laggy and after trying the 144hz refresh rate of this laptop I would never go for lower refresh rate screens. The HD display has an anti-glare coating that prevents reflections and gives off a matte look that looks extremely sober. Moreover, the screen has a 300nits brightness and is calibrated at 72% NTSC to provide an array of accurate color palettes.
In terms of performance, the laptop is armed to the teeth with 10th generation Intel Core i5-10300H which has a base clock 2.5Ghz which also supports multithreading.
Moreover, if you want to play AAA games like Metro Exodus, PUBG, Call of duty modern warfare, the dedicated Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660 TI can handle them at medium to high settings with Ray tracing capabilities turned off, obviously.
This beauty is very versatile since it comes with a dual-channel option that permits you to increase the memory RAM capacity of the system. However, the kit comes with only 8GB of DDR4 memory so upgrading it firsthand is a smart move.
As with the previous product, this one, too, has 512GB of NVMe SSD storage, but you also get 32GB of Intel Optane memory for faster boot times for your operating system.
The Keyboard is very power conservative as you can turn off the backlighting to save some precious battery juice. Although it has a single zone Green backlighting and there is no liberty to customize the colors.
Three-cell lithium polymer batteries are amazing in their ability to provide up to seven hours of battery life when the WIFI is on.
In contrast, you need to be aware of the fact that you won’t be able to reach the same levels of runtime when you’re doing heavy gaming tasks.
- Neat keyboard layout
- Decent battery life
- Superb hardware
- Reasonably priced
- Lacks WI-FI 6 support
MSI GF63 Thin – Best Slim Gaming Laptop Under 1200
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i7-8300H with 2.3ghz base speed – 4.0GHz Max
- Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 with 4G GDDR5 VRAM
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 2666MHz dual-channel SO-DIMM
- Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD
- Screen size: 15.6″ Fhd wide view NTSC Color Anti-Glare
- Dimension specification: 14.13 x 9.99 x 0.85 inches
- Weight: 7.48 pounds
Award the best gaming brand of 2018, the slim and sleek MSI GF63 is something you would cherish while carrying it with yourself because it’s just so lightweight and has fleeting handy features.
You wouldn’t go wrong with such a stunning 15.6inch Full HD display which is 45% NTSC calibrated to produce eye-popping colors. The maximum resolution of the display is 1920 x 1080 with little to no bezels all around the edges.
However, the only downside of the beautifully crafted gaming device is that it has only a 60hz refresh rate which might bother some gamers.
Powered by Intel Core i5-9300H, the four-core processor from Coffee lake architecture is a decent piece of engineering and an optimal choice for casual gaming. The laptop also has 16 series Nvidia Geforce Gtx 1650 which is a budget version of its successor GTX 1660.
The hardware specs are quite decent but the only thing it is lacking is the small 8GB DDR4 capacity which might hinder your gaming performance if you want to run them on Ultra settings, so upgrading the RAM should be your first priority. Overall for such a price range, this laptop is a flagship killer with such a good processor and dedicated graphics card.
Needless to say, the keyboard feels pretty genuine and doesn’t look like a standard laptop’s keyboard as it gives off professional gamer oriented keyboard vibes with its super comfortable tactile feel as well as blood-red keyboard illumination
Below the brushed aluminum chassis, there lies a robust cooler boost 5 technology that keeps the hardware chilled at all times and prevents your CPU/ GPU from over throttling which might result in hardware damage.
The 51WH battery has a runtime of 6 hours, all thanks to power conservative hardware speciations and 60Hz refresh rate.
- Stylish Aluminium body
- Astounding battery life
- Intelligent ventilation system
- Lacks Thunderbolt 3 port
- 60hz refresh rate
Lenovo – IdeaPad L340
- Processor: Intel Core i5-9300H Processor ( 4 Cores & 8 threads with 4.10ghz max boost)
- Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB VRAM
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM SODIMM
- Storage: 512 GB NVME SSD
- Screen size: 15.6 Inch FHD (1920 X 1080) IPS Display
- Ports: 2 x USB 3.1 USB-C HDMI LAN Headphone / mic combo
- Dimension specification: 14.3″ x 10.0″ x 0.9″ 363 mm x 254.6 mm x 22.9 mm
- Weight: 4.8 lbs
There is no doubt that Lenovo is one of the best laptop brands in 2022. The fifth one on my list is again from the Lenovo arena, one of the best gaming laptops under 1200 I’ve ever experienced. Bring the gamers out of yourself with the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 which has phenomenal hardware speculations at a decent price range. The quality of the laptop screams premium grading while the blue backlighting gives off casual gamer vibes
Its superiority is unmatched while using the 15.6inch screen and playing games like Doom Eternal felt very realistic and visually immersive. The colors were highly accurate and true to life without oversaturation, which is very visible on many laptops with cheap displays I have used in the past.
Like MSI GF63, this one also has the same features in terms of hardware, such as Nvidia GTX 1650 and a decent Intel Core i5-9300H as a processor, however, the only upper hand over the previous product is the lofty 512GB SSD which is lightning fast than a traditional hard drive.
It is usually hard to find such premium grade keyboard design at such price ranges, however, this one shocked me as the keys felt very responsive and had a very balanced travel time for a gamer laptop.
Moreover, the soothing blue touch of backlighting has a calming sensation written all over it.
For connectivity, the laptop has USB type C, 2 x USB Type-A, and the latest HDMI 2.0 port for media connectivity. However, it lacks an SD card reader and Thunderbolt 3 which is a massive letdown.
There is little to no portability on this laptop and you might as well call I a desktop since the battery runtime is abysmal and provides power for only 2 hours which is a majority disappointing and you want to carry the charging adapter with you all the time.
- Reasonably priced
- Herculean SSD storage
- Very lightweight
- Horrendous battery
Dell G3 Portable Gaming Laptop Under 1200
- Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i5 8300H Processor
- Graphics card: Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 with 4GB VRAM
- RAM: 8GB 2666 megahertz DDR4
- Storage: 256 GB (SSD)
- Screen size: 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Anti Glare
- Dimension specification: 10.16 x 14.96 x 0.89 inches
- ports: 1 x. USB 3.1 Gen 2, SuperSpeed USB 3.1, , 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 xRJ-45
- Weight: 5.57 pounds
Keep things simple and clean, the specialty of the Dell G3 is that it has noteworthy components without being too much flashy, as looks can be deceiving but don’t let this laptop fool you because it has plenty of aces up its sleeve.
Being considerably cheap on the price yet having a decent anti-glare 15.6-inch screen makes me wonder Dell actually took its time to create this piece of art. The bezels are thin and less annoying and the display quality is considerably better than its predecessors.
Sometimes being a budget laptop means you have to cut some corners, and in this case, the dedicated graphics are a bit short on the potential to produce frames on modern AAA games on high settings, so you might want to crank down the graphics settings to play games, although the Intel Core i5-8300H processor is super snappy and rev up its clocking speeds up to 4.0Ghz
The keyboard has faint blueish backlighting that doesn’t strain eyes even in the dimmest room, and casual gaming on this keyboard feels very comfy as the keys are spacious and you wouldn’t feel congested while typing or gaming really fast on it.
The laptop is super lightweight and weighs only 5.57 pounds. It also has the latest HDMI 2.0 which delivers a 4k 60FPS experience with its super-fast connection speeds.
Meanwhile, the Noble lock security jack keeps your laptop in place when you aren’t looking to keep it secure, and if you want to use the power share feature the laptop also has the USB 3.1 which has blinding fast speeds.
GO where the entertainment takes you, the laptop has a super high portability ratio due to very power-friendly hardware speculations which let the battery stay put for roughly over 6 hours which is tremendous for a gaming laptop.
- Reasonably priced
- Very lightweight
- Plenty of speedy ports
- 60hz refresh rate
Last but not the least, is the mouth-watering super lightweight, minimal 6.5mm bezel gaming laptop that is powered by AMD technology with a decent price tag, making it an ideal choice for any gamer that is on a budget.
The 14 inch has minimal bezels which, to be honest, is a neat feature that makes the screen look bigger. However, the Full HD display is as sharp as the manufacturer claims it to be but at such a price range, you can expect such quality. Although the screen has an Anti-glare coating to compensate for all its flaws as an added bonus.
Who doesn’t love AMD tech?. The HP 14 packs a punch with Ryzen 5 5500 U which is a mobile processor that is efficient enough to conserve battery life while having almost the same level of performance as a desktop-level processor.
In terms of graphics, the laptop lacks a dedicated graphics card but you can still use the Integrate AMD graphics card which is a decent piece that can let you enjoy modern games in modern settings. Additionally, you also get an 8GB DDR4 ram as well as 256GB SSD NVMe to keep the loading times to a minimum.
The keyboard has a nice feel and the metallic finish gives a pleasant vibe to its aesthetic aspect, however, the major caveat here is that it lacks keyboard backlighting and you will have to work with your muscle memory to know the layout of the keyboard. I feel as though the overall design and font are both quite neat, the travel time feels very balanced as well as being very satisfying to type on.
In spite of this, the silver lining here is that the laptop is compatible with the latest Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 technologies, which makes it unique among other popular laptops due to the lack of this technology in most of them.
The battery life is stunning and long-lasting as the huge lithium-ion battery can push its limits up to 8 hours, which means you will be busy all day long without having to look for a charging adapter.
- Amazing battery life
- Latest WI-FI 6 support
- Very lightweight
- Thin bezels
- Lacks keyboard backlighting
Game development is a pretty dynamic field, and the market for newer technologies often changes as time goes by. In any case, keeping track of the latest features and gimmicks can be both a difficult and tedious task.
Do you still have trouble choosing the best gaming laptop under $1200? Well, you can check my list of budget laptops in case if you have budget issues. If you’re a good budget, this list will be more helpful for you.
Nonetheless, I relish the opportunity to offer you my service so that you can save yourself the time and hassle of having to do all the work yourself through my professional expertise.
I am always happy to answer any queries and you are welcome to leave a comment if you have any.