The best gaming laptops tend to cost at least $750, so finding a decent budget gaming laptop that packs in a GTX 1650, 512GB of SSD storage, and a 120 Hz 1080p display for just $550 on this Prime Day deal from AntOnline certainly warrants some discussion. Our normal pick for the best budget gaming laptop has similar components, but with a previous generation CPU and without the 120 Hz display, for $60 more.
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15.6-inch Bundle: was $969, now $549
This budget gaming laptop includes everything you need for a portable gaming experience: GeForce GTX 1650, Core i3-11300H, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and a 120Hz 1080p display. You also get three months of Xbox Game Pass and a (cheap) Lenovo M100 mouse.
The IdeaPad Gaming 3 won't set any records for performance, but it's a well-rounded budget system. It starts with a previous generation Core i3-11300H processor, a 4-core/8-thread part that runs at up to 4.4 GHz. That's plenty fast for gaming, and more importantly the CPU is joined by a dedicated graphics chip.
The GeForce GTX 1650 4GB represents Nvidia's budget tier, but it's still a step above the MX550 and other MX-series parts and should be good for 1080p medium to high gaming. In our desktop GPU benchmarks, the GTX 1650 still keeps pace with AMD's RX 6400. The laptop parts will be a bit slower, but not by much.
The graphics card powers a 120 Hz display, which will provide for a smoother user experience both in games and in general Windows use. You also get 512GB of M.2 SSD storage and 8GB of memory — not a lot in either department, but enough to get you started on PC gaming.
And if you're lacking in games to play, three months of Xbox Game Pass PC will give you access to hundreds of titles, including popular games like Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, Sea of Thieves, and many more — there are 441 PC games on the service right now.
All that for only $549.99? We're not likely to see a better budget gaming laptop deal until Black Friday rolls around in November.
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Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.