March 11 2019

Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000

The holiday season has just ended, and there’s a whole bunch of new, on sale graphically-taxing games out there you want to buy. Your bank is running low, and there’s no way you’re going to find a new gaming laptop for under $1,000 that can handle those new titles you want to play.

❌ Wrong! ❌

Gaming laptops are renowned for being expensive as they are built to ensure you have smooth gaming experience. The real question is, do they need to break the bank?

We know the struggle of balancing quality with the cost; that’s why we have listed the best gaming laptops under $1,000, all while considering how they perform to ensure you get the best gaming experience out of your value laptop.

Best Choice: Acer Aspire 7

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful Intel Core i7 processor
  • Full HD IPS display for stunning visuals
  • Easily upgradeable
  • The screen isn’t very bright

Key Features:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4.1Hz)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB)
  • Storage: 128GB SSD & 1TB
  • Display: 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080)
  • Weight: 5.15 lbs

Acer Aspire 7 Review

The Acer Aspire 7 is a top-tier gaming laptop that falls in the sub-$1,000 range. Built with an Intel Core i7-8750 6-core processor, Acer did not cut corners with this beast—or did they? Despite the fact that this gaming laptop comes equipped with a sexy IPS panel display, the mid-brightness and reduced color coverage could be a deal-breaker.

Albeit, the brightness is only really noticeable when outdoors in a brighter environment. So, if you’re a gamer who likes to game outside or on-the-go, you’re going to have to wack the brightness up to full-on this Acer Aspire gaming laptop.

Compared to the Acer Predator gaming-focused line of computers, the Acer Aspire 7 takes a minimalistic approach that could be mistaken for any old laptop. But don’t be fooled; the keyboard is still backlit and the graphics card is powerful enough to run many demanding games. Armed with an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, 24GB of DDR4 RAM, and dual-storage, there’s a reason it’s our best choice gaming laptop under $1,000.

When it comes to the temperature, it doesn’t get excessively hot compared to some of the other laptops we have reviewed—with CPU/GPU temps reaching around 60-80 degrees°C. If, however, you don’t want to deal with sweaty palms as you game, you should invest in one of the best laptop cooling pads to ensure that your gaming sessions are cooler than you’ll look gaming on the Acer Aspire 7.

Premium Pick: Acer Predator Helios 300

Pros & Cons

  • Stunning display quality
  • Highly upgradeable
  • Bloatware

Key Features:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H (Up to 4.1GHz)
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080)
  • Weight: 5.51 lbs

Acer Predator Helios 300 Review

Speaking of the Acer Predator line, our premium pick gaming laptop under $1,000 is the Acer Predator Helios 300—a laptop that balances cost and power very well. Matching the Acer 7, this gaming computer comes with a 144Hz IPS display that provides stunning image quality and superb gaming performance. Thankfully, the brightness (324 nits) on this one is much better than our best choice option when gaming outdoors, so go catch some rays while you game!

When it comes to the build quality, it’s decent—though a long way from a fully aluminum laptop. Made up of tough keys and smooth hinges, we forgive the matte black plastic finish on our premium pick laptop. Size-wise, it’s far from the slimmest laptop on our list at 10.47 x 15.35 x 1.05-inches. Though this just adds to the build quality, making it a sturdy piece of kit that you can definitely rely on for gaming.

As for the performance, the Acer Predator Helios 300 fires up fast and runs like a boss owing to its Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD. While gaming, the GTX 1060 GPU does a fantastic job of ensuring your gameplay is as smooth as possible when gaming at 1080p.

Alas, the Helios 300’s only nuisance is that the cooling fans sound like a vacuum cleaning. Albeit, for the specs, performance, and the price point, you really can’t go wrong with the Acer Predator Helios 300.

Best Value: HP Pavilion 15-cx0020nr

Pros & Cons

  • A large keyboard with great feedback
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight
  • No built-in optical drive
  • SDRAM not upgradable

Key Features:

  • RAM: 8 GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8300H (4.0GHz)
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB)
  • Display: 15.6” (1920 x 1080)
  • Weight: 5 lbs

HP Pavilion 15-cx0020nr Review

No, we didn’t make a mistake here; we know that HP’s Pavilion series is supposed to be for casual use, we were just as surprised as you are. HP laptops aren’t the first thing that people think of when looking to buy a gaming laptop, but hear us out as it’s on our list for a reason.

The HP Pavilion 15 won’t run every high-end title on ultra-high settings, and with no built-in optical drive you won’t be playing any of your old hard-copies, but for its price, it does a pretty good job at handling a lot of games.

Besides, we don’t want to leave casual gamers off the list who don’t require a high-end gaming laptop to play The Sims. As mentioned, many games are playable on the Pavilion 15, especially when you overclock the GPU, allowing for a small boost in the FPS which can make a significant difference in how games perform.

The downside is that, like many cheaper gaming laptops, after long gaming sessions the CPU peaks, heating up significantly. However, you won’t suffer from this issue if you know how to clean your laptop fan regularly.

Finding a laptop that doesn’t feature the typical red color-scheme is refreshing, so if you’re tired of red, you’ll be relieved to know that the HP Pavilion 15 comes with an “acid green” color scheme.

With the green color backlighting, this keyboard gives a toxic waste feel in a dark room; it can be Halloween all year with this laptop! However, if you dislike green, there are other HP Pavilions with the different color schemes, but get ready to pay up.

Best for Traveling: MSI GV62 8RD

Pros & Cons

  • Runs games smooth in full HD
  • Comfortable keyboard with minimal noise
  • Short battery life
  • Internals warm up fast

Key Features:

  • RAM: 8 GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8300H (4.0GHz)
  • Storage: 16GB + 1TB (5400RPM)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti (4GB)
  • Display: 15.6” (1920 x 1080)
  • Weight: 4.8 lbs

MSI GV62 8RD Review

Like many budget laptops, the MSI GV62 features the typical grey-and-red color scheme, but you can’t deny that it is a sleek looking laptop. The red backlit keyboard is compact and comfortable with minimal noise, and weighing in at only 4.8 lbs, you can take it anywhere and game with ease.

Just, maybe not for a long time without becoming an outlet warrior, so make sure you have an outlet nearby. Its Intel i5 processor is suitable enough to run games in full HD; however, despite the 4 MSI Cooler Boost fans, internal components heat up fast which can cause throttling after long periods of gameplay.

Don’t worry too much though, as this MSI comes with cool boost technology allowing you to take control of the fans. If you are a fan of that (get it, are you a fan of fans?), you should take a look at some of the best MSI gaming laptops available.

We’ve all been so stuck into a game that we don’t even know how much time has passed. Usually, this is measured by how loud the fans are, yet when it comes to the MSI GV62 the fans create minimal noise, even after hours of non-stop gaming.

Best for Work: Dell G5 15 5000

Pros & Cons

  • Colour-rich display
  • Power for a good price point
  • Heavy laptop
  • Temperamental trackpad

Key Features:

  • RAM: 8 GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H (4.10 GHz)
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1050TI (4 GB)
  • Display: 15.6” (1920 x 1080)
  • Weight: 5.76 lbs

Dell G5 15 5000 Review

Coming in just short of the $1,000 budget, the Dell G5 15 5000 offers upgradable RAM (up to 32 GB), SSD (1 TB), and a second hard drive for even more storage at an extra cost – sometimes it’s worth paying a little extra so you can play all the games you have saved to your Steam wishlist and more.

You also have the option to choose from a black or red exterior for variety, and despite red being a common theme in gaming tech, we won’t deny that the red looks great on this laptop – besides, the black costs an extra $80! However, if you have the additional cash to pay for cosmetic upgrades, maybe you should save up a bit more money and get one of the overall best gaming laptops. The difference in price isn’t that much, and you’ll stay happy for a long time.

The Dell G5 can run most graphically demanding games and is a fast piece of kit due to its Intel Core i7 8th gen processor – you can throw any game at this thing on high settings and the graphics will still be top notch. To ensure your files are safe, Dell has included a fingerprint reader for extra security, without the additional cost.

The G5 is one of the heavier laptops on our list, and just like the Acer and Lenovo, the trackpad is temperamental, but you shouldn’t be too concerned about these features when looking for a gaming laptop within this price range.


Best Gaming Laptops Under 1000: Buying Guide

Get an SSD

Speed is more important than memory is, when looking for cheaper gaming laptops. If you’re looking to reduce the loading screen times and boost the overall performance of your gaming sessions, check out the best SSD for gaming there is.


If you have no idea how much RAM you need for gaming, worry not. We advise you to ensure that it’s upgradable, and don’t settle for lower than 8 GB. 16GB would be ideal, however.

crucial green ram sticks

Random Access Memory also differs by brand type and manufacturer. Most gamers are actually clueless about this and only care about the size of the storage they are getting. If you’d like to get into even more specifics, check out some of the best RAM cards for gaming.


The most important part of any gaming rig. Take a look at some of the best graphics cards for gaming and aim to have them in your laptop when you make the purchase.

When buying a GPU, it’s very important that is has enough processing power and VRAM to run your favorite titles. If you plan to use the same GPU five years from now, don’t settle for a budget option. Get a gaming laptop with a high-end card that’ll carry you for the next couple of gaming years.

Consider resolution

Aim for a high-resolution display to get the most (visually) out of your laptop. Furthermore, you could get one of the best gaming monitors there is, and enjoy the games you want to play outside of the limitations your laptop screen imposes.


Aside from the GPU, CPU is probably the most important part of your gaming rig. They work simultaneously and are dependant on each other. For example, if you get a mid-tier processor, you should aim for one of the best graphics cards under $300.

i9 cpu held in hand

However, if you decide to go for a really high-end GPU, you won’t be able to utilize its full potential without investing in the best gaming CPU on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Gaming Laptop Under $500?

Finding a good-quality laptop for under $500 is extremely difficult. Cheaper gaming laptops likely won’t run the most recent titles, but here are some that will try:

  • 2019 HP 7th Gen AMD A6-9225
  • HP 7th Gen AMD A6-9225
  • ASUS VivoBook F510UA – on sale for just over $500

How Much Does a Decent Gaming Laptop Cost?

It’s pretty difficult to state what a decent gaming laptop would cost as a decent laptop depends on the specs (CPU, GPU, RAM). However, quality usually comes with a price, so anything over $1,000 will give you a decent piece of kit to play the latest titles on.

Gaming Laptop with Soldier on Screen

We know finding a gaming laptop for the under $1,000 mark can be tough, but what if your budget is a little different? If you can make your budget a bit bigger, you might want to consider looking at some of the best gaming laptops under $1500.


Having a great laptop for your gaming sessions doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Believe it or not, you can even get the best gaming laptop under $1000 and still be able to run all the latest titles with max settings. Sounds impossible, right? Well, it isn’t. Try out the Acer Predator Helios 300 and see for yourself.


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Courtenay Smith