Last Update: Mar 11, 2019

5 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000

Pubished 17:35 PM
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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 a smooth gaming experience. The real question is, do they need to break the bank?

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

1

Besr Choice: Acer Nitro 5

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Key Features:

  • RAM: 4 GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ (3.5 GHz)
  • Storage: 1 TB
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4 GB)
  • Display: 15.6” (1920 x 1080)
  • Weight: 5.95 lbs

Acer Nitro 5 Review

Acer’s Nitro 5 is a laptop that features a bright and colorful display with great gaming performance – but, despite the smoothness of the gameplay, there can be some ghosting during these ultra-high setting sessions.

Like many gaming laptops, the Nitro 5 features a backlit keyboard; you may have to get used to this one as some of the keys are smaller than those on other laptops. Just like the Lenovo, the touchpad isn’t too fantastic either – but let’s be real, who can game without a mouse?

Now, the price point for our customized options, the 1 TB SSD and the 4GB RAM, comes in at $999. If you are aiming for a lower-priced version, the 128GB SSD comes in at just $749.

Like most gaming laptops, a con when it comes to this laptop is heat management; it’s just the price you have to pay for a portable gaming system. If you’re concerned, why not look into some of the best laptop cooling pads to ensure your sessions are cooler than you’ll look gaming on the Acer Nitro 5.

+Pros
  • Full HD
  • Great port selection
  • Bright and colorful display
  • Cool boost technology
-Cons
  • Ghosting during some games
  • Weak touchpad
  • Heat management
2

Premium Choice: Lenovo Legion Y520

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Key Features:

  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-7300 HQ (2.5 GHz)
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4 GB)
  • Display: 15.6” (1920 x 1080)
  • Weight: 5.28 lbs

Lenovo Legion Y520 Review

Just like the HP Pavilion, Lenovo won’t be the first company on your mind when looking for gaming laptops to purchase. The Y520 is just under $1,000 and is a well-built laptop for its price point.

It is made up of a solid case, sturdy keys, and smooth hinges, making this is a sturdy piece of kit you can rely on when you need to throw it into your backpack in a hurry. It has a decent amount of storage for you casual gamers, and the i5 processor allows for smooth gameplay when it comes to most titles.

If you aren’t happy with the specs on this model, there are plenty of upgradable components to suit your needs if you wish to invest a little more money into the Y520. To add to this value for money laptop, the Harman speakers offer great sound for those who want to unplug from bulky headphones for a while.

A downside to the Lenovo Y520 is the dedicated buttons on the trackpad which aren’t reliable, but for the specs, performance, and price of this Lenovo, you can’t go wrong.

+Pros
  • Well built laptop for the price range: great hinge, keys, and case
  • Plenty of upgradable components
-Cons
  • Dedicated buttons on the trackpad are not great
3

Best Value: HP Pavilion 15-cx0020nr

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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.

+Pros
  • A large keyboard with great feedback
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight
-Cons
  • No built-in optical drive
  • SDRAM not upgradable
4

Best for Traveling: MSI GV62 8RD

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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.

+Pros
  • Runs games smooth in full HD
  • Comfortable keyboard with minimal noise
-Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Internals warm up fast
  • Cool boost technology
5

Best for Work: Dell G5 15 5000

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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.

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

Best Gaming Laptops Under 1000: Buying Guide

 

Get an SSD

Speed is more important than the memory when looking for cheaper gaming laptops.

RAM

Ensure it is upgradable, and don’t settle for lower than 8 GB.

Avoid Touch Screens

Laptops will cost more just for this feature.

GPU

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.

how to clean gpu fans 4 red fans lined up

Consider resolution

Aim for a high-resolution display to get the most (visually) out of your laptop.

CPU

Look for at least an Intel Core i5 (7300HQ) processor for better performance.


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.

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.

 

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