Virtual reality (VR) is a big trend in today’s gaming and computer world, what with the rapidly expanding library of games and programs.
However, not everyone can afford at least $2,000 to get a good VR-ready laptop complete with all the bells and whistles.
Thankfully, you can get an affordable VR-ready laptop if you’re on a budget, and still enjoy a good VR experience without breaking the bank.
When looking for a VR-ready laptop, the specs aren’t quite the same as an ordinary laptop. There are several pertinent factors in its hardware specifications that you need to consider.
Among the considerations you need to look for include the latest GeForce GTX dedicated GPU (from 1060 to 1080) you can afford, and a minimum of 8GB RAM.
You also need to consider the number and type of ports that can handle VR peripherals, which are different especially with the main VR headsets.
For example, the Oculus Rift setup ideally requires three USB 3.0 ports while HTC Vive headset works best with one USB port, and an HDMI 1.4 port or DisplayPort 1.2.
In order to render graphics in VR, getting a smooth frame rate is no small feat. This is why you need enough resources to ensure it is steady.
Display isn’t really much of an issue as most of the viewing will be through the VR headset. What matters is that the laptop is VR-ready and meets all the important specs.
The downside with VR-ready laptops is finding a good one on a budget, mainly because VR is resource-intensive, so the hardware should be able to truly support VR.
Nonetheless, there are a few VR-ready laptop options on the market.
Our roundup looks at the options you can get for a budget price that offer the right balance between power, smooth frame rates, and price.
As you check out the profiles of each of these laptops, bear in mind that ‘cheap’ doesn’t necessarily denote low quality.
You get what you pay for, but you can also find a good quality, budget VR-capable laptop.
Check out our top picks for the best cheapest VR-ready laptop that’ll fit into your budget.
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1. Acer Nitro 5
For an affordable price, the Acer Nitro 5 can be yours.
It features an 8th generation Intel Quad Core i5-8300H processor at 2.3GHz, expandable up to 4.0GHz, with great performance, 4GB DDR5 RAM, 256GB SSD, and an NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti on the GPU front.
The laptop also has three ports: HDMI, USB-C, USB 3.0, and two USB 2.0 ports so you can run your Vive or Rift headset, though not at very high settings.
Unfortunately, its battery doesn’t last long as it drains within a maximum of two hours of gaming, and 3 hours for regular tasks and browsing.
Acer also offers aggressive styling plus a red backlit keyboard and Dolby-powered speakers for an enjoyable, immersive experience.
- Decent performance
- Comfy keyboard
- Display isn’t bright enough
- Trackpad feels stiff sometimes
- Speakers’ output isn’t well balanced
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2. Lenovo Legion Y720
This is an immersive gaming laptop that lets you get into the action no matter where you are, thanks to its portability and powerful capabilities.
The 15.6” VR-ready laptop features a vibrant IPS display with immersive sound, and can handle any game you want, including VR experiences what with its 7th Gen Intel Core processor.
Its NVidia GeForce GTX 1060 discrete graphics card adds to the incredible gaming performance making it your ideal rig, which meets most intensive tasks like gaming or graphic design.
Not only does it deliver powerful performance, it’s also silent, with reduced boot up times and faster in-game loading thanks to its PCI-Express SSD storage.
The Y720 is also the world’s first Dolby Atmos laptop, so you’ll get breathtaking, moving audio that makes you feel like you’re inside the action as all sounds come alive.
The depth and richness of its audio quality makes it seem as if it’s moving in three-dimensional space.
You can also customize your settings using the Lenovo Nerve Sense, and adjust keyboard lighting for low-light gaming conditions, streamline audio, and customize hotkeys for hair-trigger gaming precision.
For VR support, the Y720 has one HDMI, 3 USB 3.0, DisplayPorts, and 1 USB-C Thunderbolt port, plus integrated Xbox One Wireless Controller support to game your way.
A multicolor, RGB zoned backlit keyboard offers different color combos so your laptop can shine bright or dim low, without sacrificing your gaming edge.
It also stays cool with its new and improved thermal design so that heat dissipates effectively via rear air vents and dual metal fans during intensive gaming.
The Lenovo Legion Y720 is designed to look great, engineered for resilience, and resists daily wear and tear, plus immersive gaming your way.
- Doesn’t overheat during gaming
- Great audio
- No SD card reader
- Storage may be too small for some gamers
Worth Reading :
3. Dell G3 15
Dell engineers its VR-ready laptops with specific, demanding needs of gamers in mind. From powerful discrete graphics cards to the latest processors, they make each experience real and intense.
The G3 15 is stunning from every angle, with a 15” screen that provides a wide-viewing angle and in-plane switching, plus an FHD anti-glare display.
The powerful NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card with 4GB GDDR5 memory allows you to game with crystal-clear detail at higher settings, and smooth gameplay for an immersive experience.
Its processor is an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8300H Quad Core, which can run up to 3.9GHz with Turbo Boost.
It also features 8GB DDR4 RAM expandable up to 32GB and 256GB SSD, which make boot times negligible as there’s plenty of room for games and downloads.
Aesthetically, this laptop features an LED backlit display, front-firing speakers with Waves MaxxAudio Pro for superior sound, and a slimline design for easier gaming on the go.
Enjoy better gameplay and more power, with responsive performance whether you’re streaming videos, gaming, or working on CPU-intensive projects.
Its dual fans also let the machine stay cool under pressure for uninterrupted gaming.
The G3 uses the Asynchronous Spacewarp feature to maximize Oculus Rift’s technical capabilities.
For connectivity, an HDMI 2.0 port with 60Hz 4k output, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, and SuperSpeed USB 3.1 with PowerShare are available for a truly immersive experience.
Although its battery doesn’t last for more than 4 hours, the G3 15 is ideal for enthusiast VR level, and you can run most of the recent PC games on it.
- Backlit keyboard
- Good battery life
- Stylish, simple, low-profile design
- Runs VR apps without issues
- Durable build
- Display may be dull
- No USB-C or Mini DisplayPort
4. Eluktronics P650HS-G
Eluktronics may not be among the laptop brands that you’ve known for years, because it isn’t marketed aggressively like other brands.
However, it offers a beefy GPU performance with its 7th gen Intel Core 17-7700HQ Quad Core processor, GeForce GTX 1060, 16GB DDR4 2400 MHz RAM, and SATA III drive 512GB.
These are pretty impressive performance specs compared to other VR-ready laptops on this list.
While SATA is slower than PCle or NVMe, the extra space makes up for the concessions it makes in performance.
You also don’t get bloatware like with other laptops, so you don’t have to keep installing or uninstalling unnecessary programs and software.
For VR gaming, the Eluktronics offers an HDMI 2.0 port, 2 Mini DisplayPorts v1.3, and two USB-C 3.1 ports, plus a Full HD IPS LED anti-glare display (1920 x 1080).
This laptop also lets you upgrade your SSD and RAM storage without voiding the manufacturer warranty, which is music to any gamer’s ears.
Other features include a full size RGB silver-lining backlit keyboard, Gigabit LAN, and Sound Blaster X-FI MB5 for great audio.
As much as it isn’t marketed like other brands, you still get unparalleled performance at an affordable price that rivals that of top gaming laptops in terms of VR apps.
- Large storage
- Premium look and feel
- Doesn’t overheat during gaming
- Has some backlight bleeding
- Fans can be noisy during extended gaming
5. MSI GP73 Leopard
This VR-ready laptop is re-engineered with an 8th generation Intel Core processor with a clocking speed of 2.2GHz, and NVidia GeForce graphics to juice your VR gear and gaming experience.
MSI’s impressive line of VR-ready and gaming laptop models make for a great choice, and the GP73 Leopard doesn’t disappoint.
Its GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card meets the recommended GPU requirements, with 6GB RAM, and 16GB DDR4 RAM that’s expandable up to 32GB.
The manufacturer claims the GP73 model offers Full HD even at 120Hz refresh rates, and 3ms response time, which will make gaming exciting as objects look sharper and gameplay is more fluid.
It’s a lightweight laptop with a weight of 5.95lbs, and packs a 17” FHD screen with 1920 x 1080 resolutions. It also has a 256GB SSD, and 1TB HDD for more storage space.
A mini DisplayPort and HDMI port are included along with one USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports.
The battery isn’t a good performer though as it lasts up to four hours, so you’ll probably need to keep it plugged into a power source.
Each hardware spec in this laptop’s keyboard is designed for VR gaming needs with tactile feedback, better response, multi-key input support, and optimum WASD zone for full command over gaming missions.
- Great value for the price
- Turbo mode delivers enhanced gaming experience
- Impressive refresh rates
- Has loud speakers
- Some users complain of high disk usage on startup
- Fans tend to be noisy in Turbo Mode
6. HP Omen 15 Series
With this VR-ready laptop, you can play the latest games including PUBG, Fortnite, and Overwatch from anywhere, without skimping on gaming performance.
It features an 8th generation Intel Core 15-8300H Quad Core processor, with 2.3GHz to 4.0GHz for great performance.
This VR-ready rig is powerful yet affordable, and comes in many variants in the Omen series, with a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU that has dedicated 4GB memory and 12GB RAM.
This supports Vive and Rift headsets, and together with its processor, you get enough power to meet all your gaming and non-gaming needs.
The 15.6” display packs a thin bezel IPS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, plus enough storage space to keep your large files what with the 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD.
You also get three USB 3.0 ports, a mini DisplayPort, and one HDMI output port, and its red backlit keyboard offers a responsive experience on a numpad touchpad.
HP says this model offers up to 10 hours of backup, though you don’t need to back it up, plus you can use it for browsing and working on documents or spreadsheets when you’re not gaming.
- Streamlined design
- Silent cooling system
- Clear, bright display
- Good loudspeakers
- Battery life is short
- Lid is plastic
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Each of these VR-ready laptops are budget-friendly, but also offer some top-end features which compensate for some of the concessions made to bring their prices down.
Remember, cheap doesn’t always mean “low quality”.
Elsie started off as a freelance business and tech journalist. Having written for publications like Lifewire, and WindowsReport, she has garnered immense exposure over the years. She is a certified social media expert with deep interest in internet marketing, ecommerce and information technology.