As video games continue to evolve and adapt to newer and more advanced technologies, devoted gamers are finding it extremely hard to keep up with the insanely significant increase in the prices of computer hardware. But contrary to popular belief, purchasing a capable gaming laptop doesn’t necessarily have to equate to a serious dent in your wallet. With that being said, we’re here today to showcase some of the best gaming laptops that you can get for under $1,000.
Top 5 Best Gaming Laptop Comparison Chart
Our Top Picks
The Dell G5 15 has been successfully able to level the playing field for gamers who are restricted by a budget by offering Intel’s processing powerhouse, the 8th Generation Core i7-8750H. This 6-core CPU features a 9MB cache and it can muster a clock speed of 3.9 GHz with turbo boost.
With a 1TB 5400RPM hard drive and a dual-drive 128 boot, you’re granted an incredible loading speed for data and applications. Not only that, but this also helps stretch the battery life and enhance the machine’s shock resistance.
Equipped with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and its 4GB GDDR5 of graphics memory, this gaming laptop provides a completely vivid and sensory visual experience, making your gameplay crystal clear and detailed to perfection.
The G5 15 comes with 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory that can be updated to 32GB if you want. However, additional memory is sold separately. You should know that having 32GB of RAM is a bit overkill and won’t really be noticeably effective to your gaming experience.
Powered by Waves MaxxAudio, the two front-firing, tuned speakers guarantee an excellent and improved sound clarity and imaging that won’t only add to the gameplay, but will also enhance the viewing and mega-tasking for a completely immersive experience.
The keyboard is built with a number of layers for extra reinforcement. That doesn’t mean that you’ll have a hard time pressing buttons. The precision behind this keyboard ensures that every click counts. Moreover, it features 1.4mm of keystroke travel and some backlights that add to the gaming ambiance.
One of the strongest suits of this laptop is its quick-charge battery. In a matter of just 15 minutes, the battery charge will increase by 25%, which means that the battery will be fully charged in just a single hour, so you won’t have to miss on your long-awaited Battle Royale.
You can easily plug into an external monitor via the full-size HDMI 2.0 port. The port also supports 4K definition for a better and more detailed gaming experience. Additionally, this rig features 2x2 WLAN that supports long-range 802.11ac WiFi and will help you connect to .11ac routers.
Unlike many other laptops on the market today, you can easily access this laptop and tinker with its components through the single-screw bay door whenever it’s time to install newer add-ons or if you wish to make some updates.
As described by the manufacturer and many of its users, the Legion Y530 from Lenovo is “stylish on the outside and savage on the inside”. At just 5.1 pounds, this gaming laptop has been able to achieve a great balance between heavy-duty hardware required to deliver great performance and practical portability.
The Y530 is powered by the 8th-Gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of dedicated video memory. There are many other specifications options that allow you to customize this laptop based on your budget and requirements.
This laptop features a 15.6" IPS LED screen with slim bezels. It also features an anti-glare coating on the top to reduce eye strain and eliminate reflections. Like most gaming laptops within its price range, the Y530’s screen provides an HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
The Legion Y530 comes with Harman speakers that are powered by the Dolby Audio Premium Technology, allowing it to adjust the audio dynamically to deliver a home theater audio quality and a surround sound experience. It also features boosted bass and enhanced volume.
Great care was taken to completely eliminate any performance-related issues caused by heat as the dual-channel thermal system provides individual GPU and CPU cooling, four thermal vents for better airflow, and 70 fan blades per channel for a silent and cool run.
The latest edition of gaming laptops from HP is among the most reasonably priced gaming rigs on the market. The HP Pavilion comes with the Intel Core i5-8300H 2.3GHz CPU, which can reach a maximum processing speed of 4GHz with turbo boost and it features 8MB of cache.
The Pavilion sports a 1TB 7200RPM SATA hard drive and 8GB of DDR4-2666 SDRAM. However, its performance could have been far superior if it wasn’t lacking SDD, but we can’t really complain considering that it comes at just under 700$. The laptop can also handle another 8GB RAM stick.
You’ll be able to take on the latest video games and enjoy a saturated and highly detailed gaming experience with a 4GB GDDR5 discrete GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU. But you should be wary that both the GPU and the CPU can’t be upgraded unless you’re a professional.
Couple all of that with a stunning FHD micro-edge display with IPS, along with the two front-firing speakers equipped with HP Audio Boost and B&O PLAY tuning, and you’re guaranteed extreme gameplay immersion with visual and auditory fidelity that efficiently makes every detail pop.
This gaming laptop is rocking a pretty cool design with its shadow black color finish and its sharp edges. It also feels extremely sturdy and well-built. You shouldn’t have a hard time traveling with the laptop as it weighs a little over 5 pounds, which is fairly acceptable as per the standards of gaming laptops.
The HP Pavilion features a full-size, island-style backlit keyboard with a numeric keypad and HP Imagepad. Further, the laptop supports Bluetooth 5 and 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. Furthermore, its SD media reader slot will allow you to use SD memory cards with ease.
For gamers that care about aesthetics as much as benchmarks, the Nitro 5 from Acer has got the looks that kill. This laptop is rocking a hard-edged design that feels very futuristic with some super sleek lines and angels.
The 7th-Gen Intel Core i5-7300HQ 2.5GHz CPU powering this machine grants it great power that will allow you to play the latest AAA video games at middling settings very smoothly and quickly. With turbo boost technology, the clock speed of this CPU can reach up to 3.5GHz.
Like most gaming laptops of its price range, the Nitro 5 is housing the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory, which allows you to play demanding games at moderate graphics settings with no problems or FPS drops.
The two built-in stereo speakers within this laptop provide great audio quality as they’re equipped with Dolby Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony Sound System for a clear and more immersive hearing experience.
You don’t have to worry about this laptop overheating as the dual cooling fans are equipped with Acer Coolboost technology that helps achieve greater fan speeds and better cooling ability, as a result. Further, this technology grants you full control over the cooling process for situations when you need an added boost.
The keyboard is illuminated with a bright red backlight for gamers who prefer to play in the dark. The 3220 mAh, 4-cell, Li-ion battery is capable of powering this laptop for up to 8.5 hours without the need for a single charge.
Other features include an SD card reader, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN, 802.11ac WiFi with 2x2 MIMO technology, Bluetooth 4.0, and a 720p HD webcam that features a relatively high dynamic range.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop combines the power of the 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H CPU (Up to 4.1GHz) with the that achieved by 6GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory from the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, along with 16GB of RAM, to provide you with a beastly performance that can tackle modern video games with ease.
The Predator sports a 15.6" full HD IPS display with a supercharged refresh rate of 144Hz that will speed up the FPS for a smooth 2D motion scene. Further, such a rapid refresh rate helps shorten the time taken to render frames and it lowers the input lag, giving you much faster and smoother gaming experience.
This laptop is equipped with the PredatorSense gaming control panel which offers users complete control and customization of gaming features such as the system temperature, system fan speed, and the CPU fan speed.
A strong selling point that helps this laptop garner a lot of attention from extreme gamers is that its VR ready, so they can just plug in their VR headset and enjoy a surreal, 3-dimensional experience within the world of their favorite video game.
With Acer True Harmony and Dolby Audio Premium, you’ll be able to enjoy audio with high fidelity. Also, the iron red backlit keyboard will ensure that night-owl gamers hit the right keys during their gameplay.
Tips for Buying a Gaming Laptop
Pointing out the various factors to consider before buying a gaming laptop would probably take us forever and a day to go through. To make it short and sweet, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Modern video games are heavily dependant on the GPU as it’s primarily responsible for sending images to your monitor. Depending on how powerful your graphics card is and how much video memory it has, the quality and the appearance speed of the images will vary. While it’s preferred to go for discrete GPUs, it’s not necessary to achieve a great performance.
Some of the graphics cards that you’re more than likely to find within laptops that are under $1,000 include the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 and the AMD Radeon RX 500X Series graphics cards. For VR experience on a budget, you’re going to be looking for the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 cards.
While GPUs are more concerned with visuals, a CPU’s main focus is on the overall performance of the computer. It’s also important to know that if the performance of your CPU isn’t sufficient, it can negatively affect that of the GPU no matter how strong it is.
To guarantee a heavy-duty processor, you need to stick with Intel as it’s less than likely to find an AMD CPU in a gaming laptop. Also, don’t go for anything that’s below a Core i5 and keep in mind the number of cores and the clock speed.
While the 8th Generation processors are what’s sought after nowadays, the 7th-Gen ones are still highly effective and they cost a lot less. Additionally, you need at least 8GB of RAM to ensure that your rig can handle intensive games.
Even for a budget-friendly laptop, you shouldn’t waste your money on anything lower than an HD screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. It’s quite hard to find a 4K (3840 x 2160) or even a QHD (2560 x 1440) gaming panel for under $1,000.
As far as the choice between matte or glossy screens, this decision is based mainly on your personal preference as there isn’t really a difference in price between the two. However, if you’re like most gamers who enjoy playing video games in the dark, a glossy screen is going to be much more enjoyable than a matte screen.
It’s a bit of a hassle to find a cheap gaming laptop that provides top-notch audio quality. However, most laptops come with a preinstalled audio software that gives users the ability to enhance the sound quality coming out of the speakers. For example, HP’s Bang & Olufsen's audio software or Dolby Audio Premium found in a lot of Lenovo and Acer laptops.
Ideally, you’d want to go for a laptop that bears a solid state drive. SSDs are super fast compared to HDDs. This shouldn’t be a problem as a lot of cheap gaming laptops have solid state drives. You should keep in mind that while SSDs are incredibly fast, an HDD will offer you more storage space.
There are, however, a number of laptops that offer both drives such as the Dell G3 15. This allows you to have the best of both worlds. You can use this to keep your operating system on the SSD for faster booting and keep your video games stored on the HDD.
It’s not easy to invest your money on a gaming platform that you’re not completely certain about, especially when you’re on a budget. However, two of the most impressive platforms on our list that we can wholeheartedly vouch for are the Dell G5 15 and the Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptops. Both laptops offer devastatingly powerful hardware that will allow you to play your favorite games smoothly and in VR mode if you wish so.