Today I’m going to show you the best gaming laptops under $1000. As of March 2019, LaptopBlogger has analyzed nearly every available gaming laptop under 1000 on the market.
In this guide, you will find affordable gaming laptops that offer impressive graphics, smooth frame rates, and excellent audio.
The best part? All that without worrying about lag or heating problems.
So without further ado, here are the best gaming laptops under $1000:
Note: A gaming laptop under 1000 will give you good gaming performance. But if you want the latest in gaming laptops such as 144hz displays and 60+ fps on any game, the laptops in this list below are simply not enough. Then you might need to consider a gaming laptop under 1500. If you, on the other hand, just want to play non-demanding games, a gaming laptop under 500 will be plenty enough for you. And if you are unsure what to look for in a gaming laptop under $1000, check out the buying guide here at the end of this article.
#1 Best gaming laptop under $1000: Acer Predator Helios 300
The Acer Predator Helios 300 has everything you’ll need for some flawless gaming performance for under $1000. It has a 144Hz display, the best graphics you can get for the money and an i7 processor from the latest generation.
This is a sleek high-performance gaming notebook with a pleasing design. The case is made of plastic with aluminum details. The weight is around 5.6 pounds (2.5 kg), considerably lower than some of the more bulky gaming laptops in this price range. I like that for such a powerful gaming notebook; it feels mobile and lightweight. It has all the necessary ports and also more modern ports like USB 3.1 Type C.
The only issue with the design is that under high load, it can get quite hot, especially at the bottom of the laptop, and the fans can be a bit loud.
The red illuminated keyboard is great. When you press down the keys on the keyboard, it makes almost no noise. It is backlit and has a nice WASD highlight.
The screen is a Full HD LED-backlit IPS display with a refresh rate of 144Hz. It has great response time (<20ms) and vivid colors. The improved refresh rate of 144Hz makes everything smoother and is especially useful in competitive games where a higher refresh rate could provide a small advantage.
The graphics card is the Nvidia GTX 1060. With the GTX 1060, you’ll play almost every games smoothly on high/ultra graphics settings. Have a look yourself, at the end of this NotebookCheck article for the frame rates you’ll get with this graphics card.
The CPU in this laptop is the Intel Core i7-8750H. It is a considerable improvement from the best of the last generation. If you compare the CPU Mark you’ll notice the following:
The Acer Predator Helios has also 16GB DDR4 RAM. With powerful components like these, there’s no doubt you’ll get some excellent gaming performance.
But before you go ahead and get this notebook, make sure to notice that the 256GB fast SSD is the only storage included. So if you know you will store a lot of files, you might need to buy additional storage.
Summary: With a pleasing design, a powerful processor, the best graphics card for the price and plenty of RAM, the Acer Predator Helios 300 has everything you need for a great gaming experience.
|256GB SSD||Only 256GB of memory|
|Amazing price for the specs||Fans are loud under high load|
|Mobile and lightweight||Runs hot under high load|
#2 Run the latest games with ease: Asus TUF FX504
The Asus TUF FX504 has the latest hardware that will run AAA titles on ultra settings with ease.
It has the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. This graphics card with 6GB VRAM runs the latest AAA titles on high – ultra graphics settings with good frame rates. Have a look at the frame rates you’ll get at the end of this article over at Notebookcheck.
It also comes with an 8th gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor. Combined with the 16GB DDR4 2666Mhz RAM, it’s powerful enough to run any program you throw at it with ease. The combination of a 1TB HDD and a 256GB SSD allows for plenty of storage and really quick load and boot times from the SSD.
The Full HD screen has a refresh rate of 120Hz. This means you can play competitive games at 120 fps for better response and a smoother gaming experience.
The build quality of the Asus TUF FX504 is good but it does lack some ports. It doesn’t come with a thunderbolt or a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port. Another minor issue to be aware of is that the sound quality of the speakers is average at best. The speakers lack bass and are unimpressive when watching movies. Luckily this is often a non-issue since most of the time you have a headset anyway.
As with most gaming laptops with hardware as powerful as the one in this laptop, expect to mostly use it plugged in. The battery life is pretty good for being a gaming laptop but you can still only expect around 2 hours of gaming before you need to charge.
Summary: The Asus TUF FX504 comes with a Nvidia 1060 graphics card that will run almost any game on ultra. It also has a 120Hz display and a fast 256GB SSD. These specs would normally cost way more than $1000 so take advantage of this amazing deal before it is to late:
|Nvidia GeForce 1060 grapics for under $1000||No Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 Gen2 port|
|Fast 256GB Solid State Drive||Poor speakers|
|120Hz Screen with crisp visuals|
#3 Excellent Gaming Performance: Dell i7577-5241BLK-PUS
If you are looking for the perfect alternative to our winner, then the Dell i7577-5241BLK-PUS is a perfect choice. And here is why:
The design is sturdy with a professional look. The weight is 6 pounds (~2,7 kg), so it is on the heavier side, but the build quality is excellent.
But what really makes the Dell i7577 stand out is the hardware.
Inside you’ll find the most powerful graphics card you can get in any gaming laptop for less than $1000, the Nvidia GTX 1060. This is a graphics card with 6GB VRAM that runs the latest AAA titles on high – ultra graphics settings with good frame rates. Have a look at the frame rates you’ll get at the end of this article over at Notebookcheck.
The CPU is the Intel Core i5-7300HQ, a fast CPU that will give you some excellent gaming performance. And you’ll also get both a 1TB HDD and a 128GB SSD.
This means you can be sure even the most demanding programs will run smoothly.
But this is not a perfect gaming laptop.
The RAM is only 8GB. It’s enough for gaming, but the standard in this price range is 16GB RAM. And as with most gaming laptops, you’ll only be able to play for 2-3 hours before you need to plug it in.
Summary: The Dell i7577-5241BLK has all the hardware you need for the best possible gaming experinece for under a grand. It only got 8GB RAM. But with the best graphics card in the price range, you can overlook it.
|Excellent gaming performance||Only 8GB RAM|
|Best graphics card for under $1000||On the heavier side (6 pounds)|
|128GB solid state drive|
#4 Best Nvidia 1050Ti Gaming Notebook: HP Omen 15
The HP Omen has a metal chassis with excellent build quality. The keyboard has a nice layout that feels good for both typing and gaming, The color combination of black keys with red letters makes it a bit harder to read compared to more traditional colors. It’s easy to open it up and upgrade the RAM or the SSD.
The screen is full HD IPS Display. It’s a good screen but nothing above the average IPS display. The biggest drawback of the screen is the low brightness.
Inside the HP Omen 15, you’ll find an Nvidia 1050Ti graphics card, a 128GB SSD, a 1TB HDD, and an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H. It only comes with 12GB RAM (compared to the standard of 16GB RAM), but it is fast 2666Mhz RAM.
With a 52.2 Wh battery, don’t expect a very long battery life. Usually, it drains from 100 to 0 in under 2 hours of gaming. Another minor issue is that the fans can be quite loud when gaming.
Summary: The HP Omen 15 is an overall good gaming laptop with a nice design and powerful hadware. The screen, however is not on par with the two laptops above and that’s why it’s our #4 on the list of the best gaming laptops for less than 1000.
|Excellent build quality||Dim display|
|Fast DDR4 RAM||Short battery life|
|Easy to upgrade||Fans can be loud during load|
#5 Professional Looking Gaming Laptop: Acer Aspire 7
If you are looking for a gaming laptop with a bit more professional and discreet look than the ordinary flashy gaming beasts, have a look at the Acer Aspire 7. This laptop has a design that can fool you to think it’s just another business laptop but it has powerful hardware that allows you to enjoy the latest games.
It’s a rather lightweight laptop with a weight of just above 5 pounds. The build quality is solid and it comes with a backlit keyboard. Some people might have a hard time to adjust to the Acer Aspire 7’s keyboard. With a really low key travel, it can feel mushy to people that prefer a less shallow and clear click.
The outer chassis is made of plastic with a brushed aluminum finish. The downside with this design is that the aluminum on the back is a fingerprint magnet.
The Acer Aspire 7 has 8GB DDR4 RAM, a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. These specs combined with the latest gen (gen 8) Intel Core i7-8750H processor makes for some excellent performance. It’s a blazing fast laptop that can handle demanding programs with ease.
The screen is a full HD IPS display. It’s an overall decent screen, but it has lower brightness than the average. Compared to the standard fo 250+ nits, it comes short with a screen brightness of only 200 nits.
You can play almost any game smoothly on this laptop thanks to the Nvidia GeForce 1050Ti graphics card. The battery life is short due to the small 48Wh battery so for longer gaming sessions, you better have it plugged in.
Summary: The Acer Aspire 7 has a clean, professional look but have the hardware to run the latest games smoothly.
|Appealing professional-looking design||Dim screen|
|8th gen i7 CPU||Short key travel|
|Sturdy build quality||Back of the laptop is prone to fingerprints|
#6 The All-arounder: MSI GV62 8RD
MSI’s latest budget gaming laptop comes with a nice, classic MSI look, powerful hardware, and an affordable price. But you better have it plugged in.
The look of this is what you have come to expect from MSI. On the back, you have a brushed aluminum design with the red MSI dragon logo in the middle. It has a red illuminated keyboard that shows this is a laptop made for gaming.
With 16GB DDR4 RAM and a super fast NVMe SSD, it will boot and load programs almost instantly. It does have a rather slow 1TB HDD for storage but if you want to load something really quickly save it on the 128GB SSD. If you want to run a CPU demanding program, it can handle it with ease thanks to the 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor.
Just like most of the laptops on the list, it comes with the Nvidia GeForce 1050Ti graphics card. The 1050Ti will run most games smoothly but if you really want to hit 60 fps on the latest games, consider getting a laptop with the 1060 GPU.
The biggest drawback of this laptop is that the performance tends to drop when you have it plugged out.
Summary: The MSI VD62 has a nice design and powerful hardware, but you can get better performance for the price.
|Well-designed||Slower when not plugged in|
|Super fast NVMe SSD||Only 128GB SSD|
|Powerful 8th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU|
#7 The Budget Choice: Acer Nitro 5
The Acer Nitro 5 has everything you need to look for in a budget gaming laptop, and you don’t have to spend the full $1000 for it.
With an aggressive design with clean lines, large fan exhausts and a sturdy dark red hinge, you know that this is a machine made for gaming. The red-backlit keyboard feels great and is well laid out. The big issue with it is that fingerprints show up quite quickly. The speakers have a decent sound, and the 1080HD screen is high quality providing clear images with accurate color.
The CPU is the recently released (7th gen), Intel Core i7-7300HQ. It’s a processor that will handle everything from gaming to demanding applications such as video editing software. The RAM is only 8GB, compared to the standard 16GB in this price range. But it is the latest generation of RAM, DDR4, so it runs fast. And you’ll also get a 256GB solid state drive for that super fast boot and load.
Unfortunately, there’s no HDD, so all the included memory is the 256GB from the SSD. But you can always buy external storage.
With a considerably cheaper price, the graphics are a bit weaker than the standard in this price range. But the Nvidia 1050 is still a capable graphics card in many games as you can see on the benchmarks here.But make sure to have a good look at your favorite games because not all will run smoothly with a GTX 1050.
Summary: Everything you need in a budget gaming laptop. The Acer Nitro 5 has a quality design, fast performance, and a decent graphics card. But with only 256GB storage, you might need to buy additional storage if you want to save a lot of files on it.
|Excellent price||Only 256GB storage|
|Good display||Fingerprint show up quite quickly|
|Strong processor||Only 8GB RAM|
#8 Ultra HD Resolution: Dell Inspiron i7559-3762GRY
Yes, it is true. There is finally a gaming laptop with an Ultra HD display available for under 1000. The screen is not perfect. It could have been a bit brighter, but when you use it, you notice something. It is miles ahead of ordinary 1080p screens.
The excellent screen is just one of the many great things about the Dell Inspiron i7559-3762GRY.
The design reminds of the other Dell in our lists modest and professional look. In fact, this is the same laptop but with a better screen and stronger hardware.
The graphics card is the standard if you want to have the best in this price range, the GTX 960M with 4GB dedicated memory for gaming. The included SSD is mostly used to speed things up. The combination of the solid i7-6300 quad-core processor, the SSD, and the 8GB fast (2133mhz) ram makes this laptop blazing fast for the money.
I don’t personally think Amazon can keep the price for a laptop like this under 1000 for very long. So don’t hesitate, buy it from Amazon today to buy a 4K gaming laptop for a bargain price.
Don’t expect to play demanding titles in 4k resolution on high settings (you need to spend considerably more than 1000 for that). However, just having a UHD screen and solid hardware for the price is plenty enough to make the Dell Inspiron i7559-3762GRY our #8.
|UHD Resolution||Screen could have been brighter|
|Solid Hardware||8GB ram is on the lower side|
|Loads and boots quickly||No optical drive|
What to look for in a gaming laptop for under $1000 – the ultimate buying guide
When searching for a cheap gaming laptop under 1000, the number one thing to take into consideration is the graphics card. It’s the graphics card that will make or break your next gaming notebook. I like to classify the graphics card found in gaming laptops in three groups.
The three types of graphics cards
Some “gaming” laptops have integrated graphics cards. They are not really gaming laptops but they are in some cases advertised as laptops for gaming. Maybe they have a flashy design or lots of RAM. But with an integrated graphics card, the gaming performance is terrible. To spot an integrated graphics card, look at the specs for the words integrated or the Intel HD series of graphics cards, or the Radeon R series of graphics cards. If you see something like Intel HD5500 or Radeon R6, stay away, it’s not meant for gaming.
Here is a comparison of dedicated graphics card vs. an integrated graphics card, with stats courtesy of Userbenchmark.com.
With these numbers, you’ll probably understand why I am so against gaming laptops with integrated graphics, in fact, I have a whole section in my article on gaming laptops under $500 on why there are no gaming laptops with integrated graphics. If you spend money on a computer for gaming with an integrated graphics card, you are wasting your money. Here, at LaptopBlogger I guarantee you we’ll never recommend a laptop with an integrated graphics card for gaming.
At the beginning of this article, I clearly stated when the list was updated. This is necessary for you, so you know if this source is up-to-date. What’s a suitable component in a gaming laptop is constantly changing and what was the best a couple of months ago is probably not the best today. This article is updated at least once every month so you can be sure you always have the most current information. Examples of outdated graphics cards are the Nvidia 9XX series of graphics cards. They work fine for gaming, but Nvidia has released the 10XX series of graphics cards that are far better. Have a look at the difference between the Nvidia 960M from the past generation compared to the Nvidia 1060 of this generation. The results speak for themselves.
The only graphics cards I recommend in a gaming laptop under $1000 is the Nvidia 1050 Ti and the Nvidia 1060. There are some exceptions, if a laptop with an old graphics card has an awesome feature like UHD resolution, I may still recommend it but generally only go for laptops with an Nvidia 1050 Ti or better. AMD has recently released some interesting graphics cards, which we’ll soon see in more and more gaming laptops under $1000 and I’ll let you know right here my AMD recommendations once they have been included in more laptops.
If you want to play the latest games smoothly, you’re going need at least 8GB of RAM. With 8GB RAM you meet the recommended requirements for pretty much every PC game out there. More RAM won’t increase the frame rates in games. But if you do a lot of multi-tasking like running a game, your web browser with some tabs and your voice communication program simultaneously, 16GB RAM might be good as an affordable gaming laptop with 16GB RAM will allow everything to run smoothly without lag. If you want to futureproof your system, you can go a bit overkill and get 32GB of ram, but for most people, 16GB will be just fine. You can often buy more ram and install it without any hassle in most modern gaming laptops.
There are two types of hard drives you’ll want to keep your eyes on, the classic HDD and the much faster Solid State Drive (SSD). Most notebooks for $1000 offer an HDD, an SSD or a combination of the two. Think about how much storage you’re going to need and if you want the speed of the SSD.
If you find a great gaming laptop with an SSD for under $1000, but get disappointed that the memory is too small, don’t fret. Even if it’s rather common with just 256GB of space, it’s easy to buy an external hard drive or store your files on the cloud. Many laptops even have the option to install an SSD, so if you go for a laptop with just an HDD, you can often easily install an SSD whenever you want.
The processor (CPU) is the component that does all the calculations you’ll need in games and programs. And most modern games require a potent processor. I recommend a good Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. They are powerful enough to run any program you throw at it and are fairly energy efficient.
Gaming laptops are not made for long battery life; they are made for the best possible portable gaming performance. Almost every gaming laptop under $1000 can only last around 2 hours when gaming. This is because the hardware in a gaming laptop require far more power than the hardware you’ll find in a regular laptop. Some gaming laptops might last longer when used for web surfing or watching movies but if you go for a gaming laptop, be prepared to have it plugged in.
The first thing you can check when it comes to the design of the laptop is the general aesthetic of the laptop. Some gaming laptops look flashy and are the perfect machines to bring with you on a LAN and other looks very professional so you can bring them to a professional setting without anyone raising an eyebrow. But looks are not everything when it comes to the design of the laptop; it should also be portable and have good heat management and portability.
If you want to carry your sub $1000 gaming laptop with you, then you’re going to need a portable laptop. Gaming laptops are naturally a bit heavier than ordinary laptops, but there are plenty of sleek and portable gaming notebooks on the market. A good weight to aim for is around 5 pounds for a 15-inch laptop.
Many gaming laptops tend to get hot. Common areas you’ll notice heat issues is underneath it and over the touchpad area. Most laptops will run fine even if they are a bit warm, but if you have it on your lap, you’ll quickly notice when it gets hot on some models. A common way of reducing heat issues is buying a laptop cooling pad or an external laptop fan.
Make sure the gaming laptop have all necessary ports for a good gaming experience. Examples of ports you’ll need are USB ports for adding USB sticks, an external mouse, or any device you connect via USB. It’s also good with an HDMI port so you can connect the laptop to a screen.
A top-rated gaming laptop in the 1000 dollar price range should have a good full HD display. The colors should be accurate, and the brightness should be good enough to see what’s happening on the screen anywhere.
Keyboard and touchpad
A common mistake in finding laptops for under $1000 is looking too much into the trackpad. You will most likely have a better gaming experience with an external mouse anyway so don’t bother too much about the touchpad quality. Many gamers prefer an external keyboard for gaming laptops, they often have more space, and if you are a fan of mechanical keyboards, it’s almost a must since not many laptops have a mechanical keyboard. But the fact is that many gaming laptops under $1000 have an excellent keyboard that feels like a breeze to type on and are also very accurate for gaming. When looking at the keyboard, make sure it’s backlit if you want to use your laptop in dark places.
Most gaming laptops have decent speakers. They are good enough for games but if you want the best possible music experience you probably need to get a good pair of headphones or good external speakers.
How do I find a gaming laptop that fit all these requirements for under $1000?
That’s the easy part. You are already here! So, just scroll up or click here to get to the start of the list and look at the best gaming laptops under $1000. These are handpicked and have everything you’ll need for a gaming laptop in this price range.
No matter what gaming laptop you decide to go for from this list, you can’t go wrong. I have researched almost every gaming laptop in the 1000 price range and narrowed it down to these seven laptops. If you pick any of the laptops above, you will have a powerful and future-proof gaming laptop. It will run all your favorite games at high frame rates at best possible graphics settings.
I enjoyed writing this list, but it took me several hours of writing and even more time doing all the research. If you got any info that might benefit your hunt for the best gaming laptop, I would love to have you share my website on your favorite site or social media site. But now you have a more important task. If you haven’t already, pick the best gaming laptop under 1000 for you and enjoy the best of portable gaming!