Laptops

8 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

PC gaming has taken a considerable turn for the better and in the last few years and has begun to rival console games not only in story and gameplay but in performance and graphics. To get the most out of your favorite modern games, you need a laptop that can perform well and exceed minimum specifications.

This article will examine the best gaming laptops under $1000. This price range won't break the bank and can yield some high performance machines when you understand what you actually need.

What To Expect From This Price Point

When shopping for laptops in the $800 to $1000 range, you should expect quality and performance. However, you won’t get the best of all the pieces. There will be some features or options that are left off to help keep the price down.

Luckily, these factors are interchangeable between brands, so while one laptop might have an inferior CPU, the next may have a lacking graphics card. With options like these, you can pick the parts that are important to you and save money by choosing a laptop more in line with your specific needs.

For gaming laptops, though, you should look for a mid to high-tier CPU, a great graphics card with plenty of memory. Beyond these aspects, you can score a great performing laptop, even if it doesn’t light up or offer much in the area of ergonomics.


Features To Look For In Gaming Laptops Under $1000

Processor

The processor you pick will be one of the biggest factors of your rig. You want the best option you can afford. Right now, that would be the Intel i-series or AMD Ryzen series. Each has a few different models, including the i-3, i-5, i-7, or i-9 on the Intel side. The Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 are worthy competitors, too.

Dedicated GPU

When it comes to graphics, you want to squeeze everything you can out of the performance to get the fastest refresh rates, highest frames per second (FPS), and best color possible. To do this, you will want to find a laptop with a dedicated graphics card.

Nvidia offers some of the most affordable and high-end graphics available. The RTX 1060 is a standard that should be met or exceeded in your box.

RAM & Storage Space

To power your games, graphics and CPU, you need the right amount of RAM. Some games will require quite a bit of RAM to function properly. Anything over 4GB may be sufficient, but you should try to aim for at least 8GB or more.

When it comes to storage, speed and capacity are king. A solid state drive (SSD) is much faster than a standard hard disk drive (HDD). However, for storage capacity at a fair price, the HDD still reigns. Try to find a laptop with a high capacity SSD or a dual set up with a smaller SSD and larger HDD for speed and storage.

Battery Type & Life

In some instances, the battery may not matter as much, and to be fair, this is where you can skimp a little. When playing your games, the last thing you want is a dead battery. It stands to reason that unless you are on the go, you will be connected to the AC adapter.

However, for the other times, a good battery can make a difference. A 6-hour battery with a high-end laptop is acceptable. Anything over 8 hours is considered great and if you can afford it, grab it.

Screen Size & Display

It doesn’t matter how high the specs inside the computer are if you can't see well enough to appreciate them. For gaming, you want a larger screen size with a low-bezel display. HD through 4K screens are available in this price range.

When size is concerned, 14 to 17-inch displays are the norm. A few 13-inch screens will come into play, but these are rare. For the best cost effectiveness, stay in the 14 or 15-inch range.

Portability

The reason for choosing a laptop over a desktop computer is the size and portability. With a laptop you can take your games with you and aren’t tied to a desk and chair. However, the more a laptop packs in the case, the heavier it will become.

Finding the right balance in portability and weight is a personal call, but finding a laptop under 5 pounds in this price range isn’t difficult.

Other Features

The rest of the factors you will want to pay attention to are more about the peripherals and connectivity. The Operating System (OS), for example, should be the right one for the games you like to play. In almost all cases, this will mean Windows 10. There are some cases for MAC OS, but in general, the most popular games run on Windows.

You also want to make sure your laptop has the right ports for your needs. Two or more UBS 3.0 ports and at least 1 HDMI port should be the minimum. A wireless card that supports WiFi 6 or 801.11 AC is recommended when it comes to connectivity. The option to have an Ethernet connection isn’t a bad idea, either, though it isn’t as crucial.

Warranty

Finally, you will want to take a good look at the warranty. Laptop warranties aren’t very long-lived as a general rule. 1 or 2 years is about average and expected. However, you may also consider laptop insurance.

These policies cover more than just the components of your laptop and can protect your investment for several years against spills, drops, water damage, and even unusual wear and tear.


8 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000 Reviewed

1. ASUS ROG G531GT-BI7N6

On Sale Today
ASUS ROG G531GT-BI7N6 15.6" FHD Gaming Laptop...
  • Windows 10NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB...

Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000

Screen Size

15.6 In.

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

Processor

Intel i7

RAM

8 GB

Storage

512 GB SSD

Battery Life

4 Hours

Asus is a name that used to mean cheap parts and computers that might not last a year. In the last several years, though, the brand has gone under new ownership and turned things around. Now, they are among the best in the business for gaming laptops.

This model is easily the best gaming laptop under $1000. It would be tops in almost any price range. With an Intel i7 processor and 8GB of RAM, there isn’t much this computer can't do. Everything from web browsing to booting Adobe programs takes mere seconds, and office programs load almost instantly.

The dedicated graphics card is one of Nvidia's best, and the 1650 is capable of full HD graphics, 60hz refresh rates, and holds 50 - 60 FPS on almost every game. The graphics card itself has 6GB of RAM to power itself and independent fans to keep it cool.

The SSD is 512 GB and is more than enough for the Windows 10 OS and any games you want to install. Storage for videos, images, and downloads may be better suited on an external hard drive, but that won’t be an issue with the 3 USB ports, which will support external drives, wireless mice, or other USB peripherals.

You also get an HDMI and Ethernet port so you can use external monitors and dedicated internet lines while gaming at full capacity. The 1-year warranty is a little low, and customer service still isn’t the greatest, but they get the job done in the long run.

Good
  • Dedicated 6GB graphics card
  • Loads the OS and games in seconds
  • Ethernet or WiFi capable
  • Portable and stylish
Bad
  • 1-year warranty
  • Not the best customer service

2. ASUS TUF FX505DV-ES74

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 120Hz FHD...
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 8GB GDDR6  (Base:...
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3750H Processor (up to 4.0GHz)
  • 15.6” 120Hz Full HD (1920x1080) IPS-Type...
  • 512GB NVMe SSD | 16GB DDR4 RAM | Windows 10...

Runner Up

Screen Size

15.6 In.

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

Processor

AMD Ryzen 7 3750

RAM

16 GB

Storage

512 GB SSD

Battery Life

6 Hours

If the Republic of Gaming (ROF) series isn’t your style, perhaps the Asus TUF gaming series is more your speed. This is the big brother to the top pick and a decent runner up. If not for the higher price tag, it may well be the best gaming laptop out there.

Not only does it offer a 512 GB SSD drive, but it also has 16GB of RAM to power the machine and all the software. Windows 10 Home is installed and will boot, load, and start in less than 3 seconds. Adobe software, Internet, and updates in less than 10 seconds.

The best part is the AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, which powers the system and your games at blazing speeds. Combine that with the Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card, and you will think your 15.6-inch display is a movie theater screen.

Like our top pick and most modern gaming laptops, the only thing missing here is a DVD drive and a bigger battery. With 2 USB 3.1 ports, a USB 2.0 port, and an HDMI out, you can add external drives and devices as you see fit, though.

You still get the lowly Asus 1-year warranty, but with a small upgrade to a laptop insurance plan, you can be covered for almost anything for up to 4 years.

Good
  • Powerful performance
  • High-end graphics
  • Durable and rugged casing
  • Minimal start-up time
Bad
  • 1-year warranty
  • No DVD drive

3. MSI GF63 THIN 9RCX-818

MSI GF63 THIN 9RCX-818 15.6" Gaming Laptop,...
  • Display: 15. 6" Fhd (1920*1080), IPS-Level...
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050ti 4G GDDR5
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-9750h 2. 6 - 4. 5GHz
  • Memory: 8GB (8G*1) DDR4 2666MHz 2 Sockets;...

Best MSI Gaming Laptop Under $1000

Screen Size

15.6 In.

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 T

Processor

Intel Core i7-9750

RAM

8 GB

Storage

256 GB SSD

Battery Life

7 Hours

MSI is another gaming laptop manufacturer that works hard to keep costs down and product specs high. They also work on other hardware features to make their computers more alluring and longer-lasting.

The GF63 is a thin model and a lightweight gaming machine that packs a punch. It drops below $1000, barely, but has enough inside the casing to make it worth it. The GTX 1050 Ti graphics card produces some of the smoothest transitions and highest frame rates of any mid-range option.

The Intel i7 CPU powers the machine and all the hardware to make this beast perform better than you expect. With 8GB of RAM, there isn’t a game out there that it can't run, though some may render a little slower than you like. You will also need to upgrade the hard drive, possibly with an external storage option for your videos, screencasts, and downloads.

The 256GB SSD is big enough to hold the Windows OS and a lot of software, but as any gamer knows, downloads, game saves, and game files grow quickly. You also get the industry-standard 1-year warranty. It is advised to look into the 2 or 4-year insurance policies to supplement.

Good
  • 9th generation CPU chipset
  • Super fast start-up
  • Long battery life
  • Low bezel display for max screen viewing
Bad
  • 1-year warranty
  • SSD may be too small for gamers

4. Acer Nitro 5

Acer Nitro 5 15.6 FHD Gaming Laptop, 9th Gen...
  • Intel 9th gen Quad-Core i5-9300H processor...
  • [Professionaly Upgraded by CUE]** 16GB DDR4...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics with 4 GB of...
  • LAN: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45...

Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000 With SSD

Screen Size

15.6 In.

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

Processor

Intel Core i5-9300H

RAM

8 GB

Storage

256 GB SSD

Battery Life

4 Hours

Acer makes a compelling laptop with many high-end parts and manages to keep costs down while still being innovative. The Nitro 5 is one of the newest in their arsenal and takes a lot of pages from previous laptop’s playbooks.

The Nitro 5 is best known for its speed. With a 256GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM, it is easy to see why. However, the Acer laptops can leverage slower CPUs, such as the Intel Core i5, in this case, to perform just as well as the i7. While benchmark tests will show the latency, the end-user may not.

The biggest draw here, though, is the Acer audio. In what the company calls MaxxAudio, the speakers and audio cards are powerful, clear, and loud. You won’t miss anything in the game, while watching movies or listening to your favorite songs.

The battery leaves a little to be desired, giving you up to 4 hours of life. However, it does recharge quickly, usually in just a couple of hours. If you are in a long gaming session or streaming videos, you may want to leave it plugged in.

The standard laptop 1-year warranty is here, too, which may be enough for typical use. However, gamers and those using the laptop as a primary computer may wish to opt for extensions or laptop insurance plans.

Good
  • MaxxAudio produces high-quality sounds
  • Excellent frame rates and resolution
  • Can be upgraded
Bad
  • 1-year warranty
  • May not support all modern games

5. Lenovo Legion 5

Lenovo Legion 5 15.6" Gaming Laptop 120Hz AMD...
  • AMD Ryzen 7-4800H Octa-core
  • 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR6
  • Legion Ultimate Support

Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000 With AMD CPU

Screen Size

15.6 In.

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

Processor

AMD Ryzen 7-4800H

RAM

4 GB

Storage

512 GB SSD

Battery Life

6 Hours

Lenovo is best known for its office laptop superstar, the ThinkPad. However, with components and customers willing to pay for gaming machines, Lenovo makes strides to please everyone, and they do just that.

The Legion 5 is the latest Lenovo gaming laptop that features an AMD processor and some amazing specs. Out of the box, the laptop is great but can quickly become better with a few tweaks.

The AMD Ryzen 7 (4800) starts with a clock speed of 2.9 GHz but can be overclocked to 4.2 GHz. You also have a small 4 GB of DDR6 RAM installed, but for less than $100, you can quickly upgrade to 8 or 16GB. These two small tweaks will make the Legion 5 one of the most powerful gaming laptops around.

Combined with the Nvidia GTX 1650 and a 512 GB hard drive, you will have enough storage for all your videos and be able to see them in true high definition. The graphics are incredible, with darker darks and vivid colors.

When it comes to gaming, there aren’t many modern games that won’t play perfectly here, assuming you upgrade the RAM and make a tweak to the CPU, that small list will drop to zero. Of course, you still get a 1-year warranty, which is standard, though still disappointing.

Good
  • True HD resolution
  • Easily upgraded
  • Ideal storage capacity
Bad
  • 1-year warranty
  • Needs more RAM

6. Lenovo Ideapad L340

On Sale Today
Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming Laptop, 15.6 Inch...
  • A new dimension of gaming performance awaits...
  • Take it to the next level - With the latest...
  • A portal to a new sound dimension - hardwired...
  • Control your own fate - Game in 'quick' Mode...

Best Value Gaming Laptop Under $1000

Screen Size

15.6 In.

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

Processor

Intel Core i5-9300H

RAM

8 GB

Storage

512 GB SSD

Battery Life

9 Hours

Aside from the Legion series, Lenovo also produces the Ideapad. The L340 model is designed for extreme office use but makes an ideal sleeper gaming rig. It combines all of the features modern games require in a sleek and stylish case that flies under the radar.

With the Intel chipset, you get the Core i5 processor along with 8GB of RAM installed. These will power the machine and push any game you install to its limits. With the GTX 1650, you can expect full HD resolution and bring your games to life.

It also boasts a 512 GB capacity SSD for storing and retrieving your game files, office documents, and cat videos. No matter what you throw at this machine, it will handle it all. With WiFi-enabled, you can stream movies and browse the Internet and even download that latest patch.

The battery is improved over the Legion, offering you up to 9 hours of game time per charge. However, you still get the 1-year warranty, but you can upgrade to Legion Ultimate Support and get live help 24/7. Speak with technicians that have a gaming background so you can quickly get back in the game should anything go wrong.

Good
  • High definition resolution
  • Fast loading times
  • Dolby Audio included
  • Upgrades are optional
Bad
  • 1-year warranty
  • Battery takes a while to fully charge

7. 2019 Dell G3

2019 Dell G3 Gaming Laptop Computer| 15.6"...
  • The powerful 9th Generation Intel Core...
  • 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED...
  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 Memory for full-power...
  • 802.11 Wireless-AC + Bluetooth, 1 x USB 3.0,...

Best Dell Gaming Laptop Under $1000

Screen Size

15.6 In.

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

Processor

Intel Core i5-9300H

RAM

8 GB

Storage

512 GB SSD

Battery Life

4 Hours

Dell is a name in the computer industry that you know and have known for years. They build some of the best office space desktop computers ever created. After merging with Alienware, they began to develop even better laptops, and now the G3 is considered one of the best gaming platforms ever.

There are a few spots that Dell has cut some corners to save money. While the savings are shown in the final price, you may need to be made aware of them. Primarily, the biggest downside is the warranty. At only 1-year, which is standard, there are several upgrade options.

However, the cost of these upgrades is relatively high (sometimes up to half the price of the laptop). Secondly, the case is eye-catching but does have a few weak spots. The plastic bezel is easily cracked if mishandled. It also has reports of the display hinges coming loose, making the display wobble at times.

However, those two small things aside, the hardware inside is worth every penny. The best feature is that with a 512 GB drive and 8 GB of RAM, you can save and run any modern game out there.

You also get the GTX 1660 Ti for true HD graphics and stunning resolution. The GPU uses its own 6 GB of RAM, so it doesn't take away from the processing power and speed. Even with the Intel i5 instead of the i7 or i9, you won’t see much, if any, lag in games, videos, or streaming.

Good
  • Super realistic HD graphics
  • Lightweight design
  • Great storage and RAM
  • Low bezel display
Bad
  • 1-year warranty
  • Case design has weak spots

8. HP Pavilion 17-cd1010nr

HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 17-inch, Intel Core...
  • REALISTIC GRAPHICS: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650...
  • CUTTING-EDGE GAMING PERFORMANCE: Play the...
  • OMEN COMMAND CENTER: Easily turn up your...
  • BIOS RECOVERY PROTECTION: Automatically...

Best 17 Inch Gaming Laptop Under $1000

Screen Size

17.3 In.

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

Processor

Intel Core i5-4300H

RAM

8 GB

Storage

256 GB SSD

Battery Life

8 Hours

Since the late 90s, HP and Dell have gone head to head in every major computer market there is. The gaming laptop is no exception. The Pavilion series is still regarded as one of the easiest, affordable, and powerful laptops out there.

With a 17-inch display and plenty of power under the hood, it is easy to see why. Not only do you get the low bezel display with rich, stunning full HD, but the overall design keeps the display solid and wobble-free while you hack away at the keyboard.

This model also meets all of the requirements for most modern games and will exceed the recommended requirements for most of them. You will also find plenty of ports to add peripherals or devices as needed, including USB 2.0 and 3.1 ports, thunder cable ports, and HDMI.

The battery life is impressive, offering you an average of 6 to 8 hours without the cord. However, intense gaming sessions should still remain plugged in to prevent problems. The battery itself is an internal battery and requires some experience or expertise to get to without voiding the warranty.

That warranty, of course, is the standard 1-year warranty we are used to. It is highly recommended that you purchase laptop insurance. If buying through Amazon, take advantage of the extended warranty 2 or 4 year protection plan options.

Good
  • Ultra high definition
  • Largest display on this list
  • Supports every modern game
  • Can be upgraded
Bad
  • 1-year warranty
  • Internal battery

Gaming Laptop Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting

Caring for your laptop is a crucial step in your new machine's overall performance, appearance, and longevity. Care and maintenance aren't that difficult but should be done regularly. Here are the basic care and maintenance steps you should follow.

  • Make sure the battery is charged. A charging cycle should be done regularly. Allow the battery to completely drain at least once a month and let the charger recharge the battery to 100%. This will ensure longer battery life and performance.
  • Clean the laptop. Using electronics spray, canned air and clean, lint-free cloths, clean the case, ports, screen, and keyboard. Prevent spills from food and drink to get on the laptop and clean up anything right away that does happen to get on it.
  • Run diagnostics on the hardware and software regularly. This can be done with built-in software from the vendor of the operating system or 3rd party software. Make sure all programs and files are up to date and reading correctly.
  • Install, activate, and run anti-virus software. Even on Mac and Linux computers, viruses are a threat. It is better to have the anti-virus measures installed and updated than to run the risk of killing your investment with a virus or malware.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is the best gaming laptop brand for this price range?

While the specific brand labeled "best" will always be a debate, one thing is certain. The Asus Republic of Gaming (ROG) has dedicated its team to making affordable rigs with high-end parts available to everyone.

With machines that can run the latest and most modern games without issue at an affordable price, Asus is a name that is always in the discussion for best gaming laptop brand.

Are i7 laptops really better than i5 in terms of gaming performance?

According to bench tests of the two CPUs, the i7 outperforms the i5 in every important category to gaming. The i7 has twice as many threads, is significantly faster on 64-bit systems, and doubles the core count (8 to 4).

Because modern games require a lot of processing power, there is a notable difference between the two when playing the same game.

Are gaming laptops worth it? What are the main reasons you shouldn’t buy a gaming laptop?

If you are using the laptop for gaming and want the best experience, then yes, it certainly is worth it. Gaming laptops are flashy, eye-catching, and high performance machines.

However, you can get slightly lower specs and less flash for a lot less money if your needs are outside of gaming. Office work, artistic work (photos, video editing, etc.) can be accomplished with systems at half the price and lower performing CPUs, RAM, and video cards.

What graphics card do I need for 4k gaming?

If you want 4k graphics and have a 4k capable display, you need a 4k capable video card. More and more cards are appearing on the market with 4k capabilities. However, there are only a few that are worth their cost.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super and 2080 Ti are among the best. The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is also a worthy card that packs a lot of power along with 4k output.

Should I buy an ultrabook or gaming laptop?

Choosing between an ultrabook and a gaming laptop comes down to one question; do you want a laptop for work, speed, and portability, or do you want to play games?

While an ultrabook can play some games, each game's settings need to be tweaked, and some games won’t play at all. However, an ultrabook is light, super portable, and has incredible battery life for all your web surfing, document writing, and social media needs.

Where is the best place to start browsing for top gaming laptops under 1000?

A simple internet search will get you started on some of the best gaming laptops under $1000. However, if you are serious about buying, you may as well search what is actually available.

Amazon offers the best chance to get a great deal on a high-quality gaming laptop, and you will know right away if the model you are looking for is in stock, available, and when it can be delivered.


Conclusion

Choosing the right gaming laptop can be a chore. You want the best specs possible while keeping the cost low enough to be affordable. The best gaming laptops under $1000 is still a wide range of models, brands, and styles.

If you know what you need and plan to play some of the most modern games at the best performance specifications, you are in luck. The Asus ROG G531GT-BI7N6 is among the best of both worlds. It gives you plenty of speed, graphics, and performance at an affordable price.