Best Gaming Laptop Under $700 - 2018 Reviews and Top Picks

Finding the best gaming laptop under $700 wasn’t easy, but here we are. In the following article, we’ve narrowed it down to three main choices and what you choose will depend on your personal preference.

Finding The Best Gaming Laptops Under $700

It’s not easy to shop for a gaming laptop. There’s a few inherent sacrifices right off the bat: namely, price/performance and thermals.

Despite that, we’ve worked hard to find the best-performing, best-built and best gaming laptop under 700 dollars. You won’t quite get console-tier performance in this price range yet, but you will get a very solid PC gaming experience with some adjusted settings.

Our three contenders are fairly diverse. No two look quite the same and each have their respective trade-offs, which we’ll detail further later in the article.

However, our top pick is the Dell Inspiron 15 we’ve given. When it comes to pure, raw gaming performance, it outstrips all the others in this price range...with some sacrifices.

Lenovo IdeaPad 700

Contender Breakdown

namestoragescreencpugpuramRating
The EntrantLenovo IdeaPad 700Lenovo IdeaPad 7001TB HDD15-inch IPS LCD at 1920x1080Quad-Core Intel Core i5 6300HQNvidia GeForce GTX 950M (4GB VRAM)8GB DDR4 RAM4.2/5
The GiantAsus X756Asus X7561TB HDD17-inch LED-Backlit at 1920x1080Dual-Core Intel i5-6200UNvidia GeForce GTX 950M (2GB VRAM)12GB DDR4 RAM4/5
The PowerhouseDell Inspiron 15 7000-7559Dell Inspiron 15 7000-7559256GB SSD15-inch IPS LED-Backlit at 1920x1080Quad-Core Intel Core i5 6300HQNvidia GeForce GTX 960M (4GB VRAM) 8GB DDR3L RAM4.5/5
#1

Lenovo IdeaPad 700

TECH SPECS

  • Storage
    1TB HDD
  • Screen
    15-inch IPS LCD at 1920x1080
  • CPU
    Quad-Core Intel Core i5 6300HQ
  • GPU
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M (4GB VRAM)
  • RAM
    8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 1 USB 2.0 Ports
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Windows 10

The cheapest of our options on this list still manages to be an interesting, well-rounded machine. The Lenovo IdeaPad 700, called here The Entrant, is a fairly powerful solution in this price range for fairly little.

The Entrant boasts an amazing quad core i5 processor and a powerful, onboard GTX 950M card. Performance-wise, it’s well above the best gaming laptop under $600 and isn’t beaten until just under $700.

It also packs 1TB of storage, which is plenty for gaming on the go- a solid 8GB of fast DDR4 RAM. This means that multitasking should be a breeze on this system and media consumption should be easy, too.

In return for those great entry-level specs and its beautiful IPS display, however, The Entrant suffers in a number of key areas. It’s using a slow laptop HDD, doesn’t have Type-C and has a mere 4 hour estimated battery life.

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#2

Asus X756

TECH SPECS

  • Storage
    1TB HDD
  • Screen
    17-inch LED-Backlit at 1920x1080
  • CPU
    Dual-Core Intel i5-6200U
  • GPU
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M (2GB VRAM)
  • RAM
    12GB DDR4 RAM
  • 2 USB 2.0 Ports, 1 USB 3.0 Port, 1 USB 3 Type-C Port
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Windows 10

The Asus X756 is the “big” option in this price range, offering a 17-inch laptop display, a full numeric keypad and even USB Type-C. We’ll call it The Giant.

Now, if size is a necessity for you, this will probably be your most favored machine in this price range. That’s okay- comfort is important and sometimes those extra inches really do count.

In addition to its larger physical size, The Giant offers a ton of RAM and drive space. Unfortunately, the 12 GB RAM is really just showing off- laptops, even laptops playing games, will never realistically hit that level of memory consumption.

Because of 8GB being the realistic limit for the foreseeable future, 12GB just comes off as unnecessary in a laptop that's already making too many sacrifices.

From a pure gaming standpoint, The Giant begins to show more cracks. It has the weakest CPU in this price range and still uses the 950M instead of the 960M of our champ.

This means it will be the overall weakest performer of our builds, even though it’s the largest and may even look the nicest to some of you. While it is the best “big” laptop you’ll get in this price range, we really only recommend it if that’s what you need in a laptop.

Otherwise, it may be worth looking elsewhere.

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#3

Dell Inspiron 15 7000-7559

TECH SPECS

  • Storage
    256GB SSD
  • Screen
    15-inch IPS LED-Backlit at 1920x1080
  • CPU
    Quad-Core Intel Core i5 6300HQ
  • GPU
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M (4GB VRAM)
  • RAM
    8GB DDR3L RAM
  • 3 USB 3.0 Ports
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Windows 10

Dell’s Inspiron line is one of the most well-known in laptops and for good reason: these are good computers. This Dell Inspiron, which we’re calling The Powerhouse, is no different.

The Powerhouse was chosen as our best gaming laptop under $700 for one very simple reason: its raw gaming performance exceeds that of all of its rivals in this range. It shares a processor with our entrant, but has a GPU- the 960M- with massive performance improvements over the 950M of the other builds.

In addition to pure gaming performance, the machine itself is no slouch either. It has a great, high-quality IPS display and a whopping 10 hour estimated battery life.

The Powerhouse really shows off a lot for a $700 laptop, but that’s where its main downside comes in. It’s technically the best gaming laptop under $700 but chances are you aren’t going to find it for much more than a dollar lower.

In addition to the higher price versus its competition, it’s also curiously using slower RAM and has no Type-C support. While the RAM shouldn’t make much of a realistic difference at this level in general performance, the lack of Type-C in 2017 is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser.

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What do I want in this price range?

Before buying any PC, it’s important to ask yourself what you’re actually looking for in a given price range.

Great build quality and hardware features

Obviously, anything you're willing to buy here should be well-built and come from a reputable provider. All of the gaming laptops we've listed above fit that description.

Extra hardware features include stuff like IPS panels, which allow superior viewing angles and color reproduction. Another big one people like in a laptop lately is USB Type-C compatibility, since all the latest smart devices are using them.

Fair gaming performance.

If you're spending an extra hundred, you should rightfully expect much better performance from these PCs than the ones in the $500-$600 price range.

Fortunately, this is the case. CPUs here are packing twice the cores and both GPU options are far superior to entry-level laptop graphics.

Your gaming performance can finally start pushing 1080p at low to medium settings, depending on the game, which is great on a smaller display.

More than enough power for basic browsing, multitasking, productivity- you know, laptop stuff

Last but not least, your gaming laptop should also be an enjoyable device in general to make use of. When you aren't gaming, this machine should offer an easy, comfortable solution for browsing the web on the go or watching Netflix in bed.

How do I choose?

Ultimately it comes down to how much money you have, like most things in life.

If you can't go much higher than $600, The Entrant or The Giant are the obvious choices. Unless you really need that bigger screen, though, we recommend The Entrant if price is your concern.

By going a bit higher, though, you can go for a truly great gaming laptop with only a few minor flaws. The Powerhouse may not win by a whole lot, but it still wins by being the best gaming laptop under $700.

What’s Your Choice?

You may choose differently and that's fine. What laptop here has most stricken your fancy?

Whichever laptop best suits your needs is the real best gaming laptop under $700. Our choice was The Powerhouse, but what's yours?

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