That’s pretty cool that you want to become a PC gamer.
Steam gamers need a pre-configured laptop to run their games smoothly. The best laptop is one that can handle the graphics settings you want, as well as being portable and long-lasting.
A large selection of games can be found on STEAM. You can access nearly 30000 thousands of games instantly and play or share them with 100 million new friends.
Since Steam contains low- to high-end graphics games, playing these games flawlessly on a laptop is not easy.
After testing over 35 laptops, from budget gaming laptops to expensive ones, I have listed the top 5 affordable cheap laptops that run Steam games flawlessly and smoothly.
It’s true that you will be shown quite a few laptops in different browsers or online. I promise you that the ones listed will perform better than the others without a doubt.
- Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15 – 15.6″ FHD Display, AMD Ryzen 5 5600H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage
- Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 – Intel Core i5-10300H | NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop GPU | 15.6″ FHD 144Hz IPS Display | 8GB DDR4 | 256GB NVMe SSD
- ASUS TUF Dash 15 – 15.6” 144Hz FHD, GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, Intel Core i7-11370H, 8GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6
According to the STEAM authority playing steam games on laptops needs some specific requirements. these are…
|Steam Laptop Requirements|
|OS: Windows 7.1sp1 or above ( 64-bit operating system required)|
|Processor: Intel core i3-2100 or AMD equivalent|
|Memory: 8 GB RAM|
|Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7870 (2GB) or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 (2GB)|
|Storage: 45 GB available space|
|OS: Windows 10 64 bit|
|Processor: Intel Core i7- 3770k or AMD FX 8350 Wraith|
|Memory: 16 GB|
|Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 480 – 1920 by 1080 or NVIDIA GTX 970 -1920 by 1080|
|Storage: 55 GB of available space|
How to Choose a Cheap Steam Compatible Laptop?
There is more to buying a laptop than just looks. Desktop computers are convenient if you want to play at home all of the time. But if you want something a little bit more flexible, portable and that takes up less space, a gaming laptop is exactly what you should be considering.
The question is what exactly should you look for on a gaming laptop? The fact that there are so many out there makes choosing the right one quite difficult. We’ll look at everything you need to know about gaming laptops so you can make an informed decision about buying the right laptop that runs STEAM at a low price.
Consider the following essential keys if you want to get a high-quality budget gaming laptop….
- Graphics chips.
- Refresh rate
- RAM and storage capacity
- Good keyboard and trackpad
Any gaming laptop desktop or laptop’s graphics card is the most critical component. It handles all of the latest and greatest game renderings such as APEX LEGENDS, and FORTNITE, and ultimately determines how smooth your game is or how many frames per second you are able to play.
If you need a graphics card, the NVIDIA GTX 1650 is the right choice.
A laptop’s refresh rate is usually 60Hz or 60 frames per second, which is fine for general use, such as watching movies. However, faster refresh rates are needed for gaming.
If you want to get the most out of your graphics horsepower, get a laptop with a 144 Hz screen or higher.
CPU: The graphics chip is definitely the most critical component of any gaming system. The CPU or the processor is not far behind and this is used for pretty much everything in your computer whether it’s starting up an application. It can calculate more things per second.
It is actually used for all of the complex game logic that works behind the scenes in gaming.
It is always helpful to have a CPU that can support intense games like Battlefield V, Warzone, Call of Duty when you are using a high frame rate screen.
The AMD Ryzen processor is the most powerful gaming processor.
RAM and Storage Capacity: More RAM allows you to have more applications open at the same time.
Storage, on the other hand, is of course used for sorting all of your favorite titles. These days you should look for an SSD that has at least 256GB of storage for the most optimal results.
SSDs have an insane speed boost over HDDs.
Keyboard and Trackpad: These days all of the trackpads on gaming laptops tend to be quite functional, but the keyboard is arguably more significant because you are probably going to be using a mouse or gamepad all the time when you are using it for gaming.
So you should have a keyboard that feels like it has a comfortable amount of key travel. Of course it will be better if it is RGB.
Cheap Laptop to Play Steam Games
Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3
After a month of testing, I can tell you that this is one of the most affordable cheap laptops for gaming on STEAM. Its biggest advantage is undoubtedly its gaming performance.
This laptop is equipped with 6-core AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs operating at both base and boosted frequencies that allow it to run smoothly and easily handle multitasking tasks.
For the price, the most powerful configuration with RTX 3050 Ti graphics card and 4 GB of video memory onboard rocked at 75 watts of total graphics power.
Let’s take a look at some elementary parts’ performance now.
A well-balanced display has always been an imperative factor for any gamer. There is always a choice to be made between 1200 dollars and high performance and poor screen or gorgeous screen and poor performance.
But in Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3, this issue is a little bit different. I don’t know how they managed to keep the price so low with the laptop being so amazing. Its screen is actually alright.
There is a 15.6-inch IPS panel with a 120 Hz refresh rate and a 170-degree viewing angle. The 250% brightness level and 45% National TV Standard Committee (NTSC) game coverage are not suitable for professional work but in gaming, it is more than enough.
Thermal and noise level: As it has a 1650 ti graphics card, It will not overheat your system under load. During my test, I got warm but not excessively hot. The keyboard and palm rest area were relatively cool.
In terms of noise level, I registered only 29 decibels in silent mode which is barely audible. When playing games this was louder, 41 decibels in the highest performance mode.
Battery: the battery capacity has been upgraded in the 5th edition. In my test, I got 6 and a half hours at the highest spending time, which I thought was fair.
Keyboard and touchpad: Lenovo has a long tradition of making some of the finest keyboards in the industry. With the Lenovo Ideapad gaming 3, each keystroke has distinctive feelings, and keys are very tactile with 1.5 mm of key travel.
My fingers can find the correct places quickly on the keyboard. The only concern point is it has no RGB lighting but you can find blue-colored backlit adjustable to 2 levels of key brightness.
The precision touchpad is smooth plastic, it clicks down anywhere and worked fine. I don’t normally use a touchpad, preferring a regular mouse.
Gaming performance: I’m surprised at how well the 1650 ti performs. Playing some of the popular games at a high resolution like GTA 5 (135 FPS), Battlefield V (130 FPS), cyberpunk 2077(65 FPS), DOOM(80 FPS), Warzone (75 FPS), Minecraft, Apex Legends (120 FPS), World of Tank(130 FPS) and Fortnite(110 FPS), I got the highest result with dynamic fps.
Overall I am happy with the Lenovo gaming 3 and it is one of the most reliable and cheapest laptops that can run STEAM games.
Acer Nitro 5
The Acers Nitro 5 is another budget-friendly gaming laptop that runs Steam smoothly. I think you are getting a lot for that price when it comes to gaming performance. The RTX 3050 ti can push a really high frame rate at 1080p.
You are also getting really high build quality with a fantastic keyboard for gaming as well as typing or making notes as well. The upgrade options are even more plentiful.
The powerful Nitro 5 has everything you need like visual intensity, boosted performance with AI, and optimized power.
Keyboard and touchpad: The keyboard on Nitro 5 is pretty comfortable with 1.5 mm key travel. I enjoyed typing on it. The keys are medium-soft edge.
The trackpad is plastic-built but still feels fairly smooth. I still prefer using the laptop with a mouse
This laptop has a 15.6″ 1080p and 144Hz display. Unfortunately, it does not have a MUX switch to disable Optimus. Although the color gamut was lower at some point. But you don’t need to be concerned. The contrast level was good.
You can get a brightness level of up to 260 nits. The authority claims that the screen response time is 3ms. But I did not get to that level. It was ok for that price and it was ahead of TUF A15.
Screen uniformity and color accuracy are assessed. Delta E is a measure of how the human eye perceives color difference with a value of less than 1 being completely unnoticeable. And a value between 1 and 2 being barely perceptible. I measured an average Delta E of 2.83 which is acceptable.
The brightness was fairly uniform across the screen.
Thermal and clock speed: I have run a stress test of both GPU and CPU load up to the most extreme case. Both temperatures were around 90 degrees without a cooling fan. I also tested keeping a cooling pad and the temperature was 60.9 degrees on average.
With turbo boost on, the clock speed was 4.1 Hz, which was being hit.. So I got full performance in some cases even with GPU under load. It is surprising that Intel’s CPU clock speed always performed better than AMD’s.
Gaming performance: First and foremost it is a gaming laptop. it handled most of the games. The game ran at a decent frame rate at its native 1080p resolution and with at least high graphics settings.
You should be able to play even the latest and upcoming games. you might have to settle for medium or even low settings. Sometimes it depends on the game and what frame rate you are after. In the Time Spy benchmark, this edition got a 3DMark score of 3948, which is quite impressive. 3DMark predicts how the laptop will perform in real-world games.
Fortnite played well in its maximum Epic settings averaging around 45 fps and 70fps in high mode.
Cyberpunk 2077 was tested and I got around 60fps. the doom eternal runs perfectly in medium-high at 60fps which is a good deal for a STEAM gamer. I enjoyed playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 49fps with the high preset settings.
Asus TUF dash f15
Asus brings for the first time a budget gaming laptop that didn’t expect to get an RTX 3050 and a 144Hz display. This will render the specs extremely fast, as well as some upgrades.
Display: There is a gorgeous 15.6″ IPS Full HD display with a pretty high refresh rate at 144 Hz. The brightness level of 300 nits was as promised.
For this price and with this hardware, it is the best option available.
Keyboard and touchpad:
1.7 mm key travel makes typing a little clicky with a single zone of RGB keyboard backlighting. There are three levels of brightness for each key. I have not had any problems with it.
You don’t need to worry about accidentally pressing the power button since it is separated from the keyboard.
Precision touchpad clicks down anywhere and works fine. I have no complaints.
Battery backup is fantastic with 4 cells and 76 Wh. I got 8 hours out of my test. To boost battery life, turn off the GPU option, which disables the Nvidia discrete graphics.
Thermal and clock speed:
On average, the temperature performance in gaming mode and turbo mode was 71.1%, with no throttling occurring during playtime.
During playtime, the clock speed was just above 4.1 Hz.
With 1920 by 1080 resolution and medium to high settings, the TUF dash f15 provides excellent gaming performance.
The most enjoyable games were GTA 5 90 fps, Fortnite 110 fps, Minecraft 130 fps, cyberpunk 60 fps, Apex Legend 90 fps, Mafia 90 fps, Withcher3 85 fps.
If you switch over to turbo mode, you can get a slight increase in frames.
HP Pavilion Gaming laptop 15
It is difficult to build a PC right now. So pre-built laptops are good to go with online gaming platforms like Steam. For the price, this is a very good deal.
In addition to its Ryzen processors and Nvidia graphics, it comes with some serious performance under the hood.
HP Pavilion is not normally thought of as a gaming lineup. HP usually uses the Omen series for gaming. But HP seems to have moved away from that focus. The HP Pavilion has good specs for gaming.
This is why it’s called HP Pavilion Gaming. This is interesting since they managed to cut the price down and make it more affordable, yet it still performs like one of their top gaming laptops.
Keyboard and Touchpad:
During regular use, there was some flex to the keyboard, but it wasn’t noticeable. Typing experience was fine. The keys respond softly.
I had no problems with the touchpad.
Better battery life:
I tested the HP Pavilion with the keyboard lighting off, background apps disabled, and screen brightness at 50%. It lasted for about 6 hours.
For the size of the battery, it’s not too bad compared to others like MSI GL65 and ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR 15.
Thermal and clock speed:
Using the cooling pad improved the performance of the CPU, but I did not find any thermal issues with the GPU.
I got 3.9 GHz during the test. With the all-core turbo boost on, you can reach 4.1 GHz.
Best Gaming performance:
Firstly, I have tested some demanding graphics in games like Battlefield 5 in campaign mode at ultra settings and it performed really well at 71 frames per second. For FarCry 5, I was able to play 78 frames per second.
I also tested Shadow of the Tomb Raider at high settings and achieved the highest result with 67 frames per second on average. ASUS Zephyrus, Dell G3, and MSI Bravo lagged behind.
On average, Forza Horizon 4 played at 91 frames per second, Witcher 3 at 58 frames per second, and GTA 5 at 112 frames per second.
MSI GF 63 THIN
The MSI GF63 THIN is a much better choice for gamers who lack the financial resources to purchase an expensive one.
For steam games and school, this is the most reliable and cheapest laptop. You will feel comfortable using the budget-friendly laptop.
It features a windows 11 operating system as well as containing all the latest tools, apps, and sound which is a great deal.
Screen: The screen comes with a 15.6″ Full HD IPS display with a 60 Hz refresh rate. Tests at the budget showed an average refresh rate. The color gamut was good enough. An advantage of this is that there is a 720p webcam that works perfectly. It is a positive side of live gaming online.
The red-backlit touchpad and keyboard looked high-quality. On the whole, I enjoyed typing on it as the keys and keystrokes felt pretty comfortable. On the other hand, the one-handed touchpad performed smoothly. But the bottom of the touchpad was a bit jittery.
Thermal and clock speed: Although the thermal performance in the multi-core test was limited to 45 watts, the single-core performs better. Because this laptop under a single core threaded workload can boost its clock speed to 4.7Hz occasionally.
Gaming performance: I doubted whether it would perform well. But MSI surprised me.
Having played DOOM, Cacodemons, and some other heavy games, I would call it admirably done. During playtime, I got about 72 fps on average sometimes more sometimes less though. I did not find any frame dips at any point. While gaming, the GPU and CPU also hit 80 celsius.
As for the most popular game, Players Unknown Battleground (PUBG), it was stuck at 62 frames per second and I was very satisfied with that performance.
In other games like CS: GO (110.29 FPS), Far Cry 5 (around 55 FPS), Witcher (above 61 FPS), DOTA 2 also ran at around 55 FPS, which to me was quite acceptable.
You will get faster performance after a few upgrades.
Based on all of the performance, I would say that the MSI GF63 is one of the most affordable laptops for STEAM gaming.
Know Better About Laptop That Can Run Steam
STEAM will provide you with some extra advantages whereas for other gaming platforms these are quite impossible.
Some conveniences: For many gaming sites, it is tedious to redownload or install. But on STEAM you don’t have to face such issues. STEAM provides you with auto-updates and the ability to roll back to older patches at will.
- Very useful for installing games on an upgraded rig
- Steam is built with library management in mind, so so you can easily find any genre of games in a single list.
- Using Steam Overlay, you can communicate with your friends and browse the internet without switching to other social media site.
Unlike torrent sites, Steam offers the reliability of seeding older or obscure games.
For games owned less than 14 days and played for less than 2 hours, STEAM will not ask for a refund. It has been effective at combating fraud because it protects users from fraudulent traders.
Steam gives the opportunity to sell games daily and every week at the beginning, middle, and end of the week.
Typically, games drop in price around the six-month mark. Discounts can range from 10% to 50%.
FAQs About Steam Compatible Laptop
How many games does steam have so far?
Can I get steam games free?
What is the most popular steam game right now?
What is the most profitable steam game?
There is no such thing as 100% perfection in this world. In order to get the maximum, one or more things have to be sacrificed. Wishing you can find what you seek.
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