The Best Gaming Laptops For Under $1000

Best Gaming Laptops For Under $1000

Gamers tend to favor powerful PC builds over gaming laptops, but in either case, you are going to be parting with lots of cash to get decent gaming performance. While you may get more bang for your buck in a $1000 gaming PC you can't argue with the convenience and space-saving a gaming laptop offers.

With a wider range of options these days, it does seem easier to find better-priced gaming laptops. We have been on the lookout for some of the better deals in this price range.

Below we have picked what we consider being the best gaming laptops you can buy for under $1000 with the odd one just creeping over that price cap and a budget option thrown in too. The selections come from a variety of manufacturers with varied specifications, but they all offer excellent gaming performance and would also make solid general use laptops too.

Things To Look For In a Gaming Laptop

 

SSD - A solid-state drive is crucial in laptops today as they can keep heat and noise levels down when compared to their older brothers. Slower HDDs can negatively impact your gaming experience, whereas an SSD will speed up your loading times and generally make your laptop experience a pleasant one.

IPS Panel - When it comes to saving money, an IPS panel isn't the first thing you would think of. That being said, IPS displays are becoming more and more readily available to PC gamers and laptop gamers alike. IPS brings about better color reproduction, which in turn brings better color accuracy and image quality. Sure, an IPS may generally have a slower response time, but the viewing angles will be superior, and it will give you a satisfying display for your games.

Powerful GPU An underpowered graphics card will ruin your overall gaming experience, but it is important to remember you are limited in this price range with what is available. The higher-end gaming laptops in this list feature GPUs that can handle most, if not all, AAA titles in high settings. The ones lower down may need some settings tweaks to ensure you get the best experience possible, though.

RAM - A good amount of RAM will go along way with such a compact system, and you should aim for a minimum of 8GB DDR4 RAM for gaming in 2019. Gaming can sometimes be highly RAM intensive, but 8GB should be enough inside a gaming laptop. If your laptop features a better GPU than a 1050Ti, then it could be worth upgrading the RAM to 16GB, future-proofing your gaming laptop.

Our Best Gaming Laptops For Under $1000

Product Details
ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop

  • cpu: Ryzen 7 - 3750H
  • gpu: GTX 1660 Ti
  • ram: 16GB DDR4
  • storage space: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • screen size: 15.6”
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ASUS ROG G531GT

ASUS ROG G531GT

  • cpu: Intel i7-9750H
  • gpu: GTX 1650
  • ram: 8GB DDR4
  • storage space: 512GB SSD
  • screen size: 15.6"
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Sager NP6855

Sager NP6855

  • cpu: Intel i7-9750H
  • gpu: GTX 1650
  • ram: 16GB DDR4
  • storage space: 240GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
  • screen size: 15.6"
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MSI GF63 Thin

MSI GF63 Thin

  • cpu: Intel i7-8750H
  • gpu: GTX 1650
  • ram: 16GB DDR4
  • storage space: 512GB SSD
  • screen size: 15.6"
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Acer Nitro 5

Acer Nitro 5

  • cpu: Intel i5-7300HQ
  • gpu: GTX 1050 Ti
  • ram: 8GB DDR4
  • storage space: 256GB SSD
  • screen size: 15.6"
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The Best Gaming Laptops For Under $1000 Breakdown

#1

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop

The Asus TUF laptop doesn't look all that great from the outside but once flipped open it resembles what you would expect from a gaming laptop. It is comprised mostly of plastic with a brushed aluminum taking place around the keyboard which does add some style points to the design. If it was constructed of steel or something "TUF," then we would see this relatively light (2.1 KG) gaming laptop turn into quite a hefty beast. Despite its plastic construction, there is little give in the chassis, and the screen does feature nice thin bezels around its edge. The keyboard is probably the nicest aesthetic feature with a custom futuristic look and of course the RGB lighting accents the black keycaps well.

Asus boasts about the virtual 7.1-channel surround sound, but it is nothing to shout about. With the TUF laptops, ASUS installed their new anti-dust-cooling system which is specifically designed to push the dust out of your laptop through a separate route which stops vents clogging up and your laptop overheating as easy. The dust fan can be controlled via a function key on the keyboard too, giving you greater control over the lifespan of the machine.

This TUF Gaming is on the higher end of gaming laptops for under $1000; in fact, it is slightly over budget. Despite being a little over the desired $1k its components are worth that little bit extra with it packing a 2.3 GHz Ryzen 7 - 3750H. The Cpu can be boosted to 4 GHz, and when you pair this with the 1660Ti GPU, you are getting some seriously good gaming performance. When you have a Ryzen chip, it is important to support it with adequate RAM, and this build features 16GB of DDR4, which is more than enough. This gaming laptop features a reasonable 256GB SSD to store the operating system and your games. The SSD is supplemented by a 1TB HDD to store all of your media files and work. Moving on to the display, the 15.6-inch screen (at 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution max) may seem underwhelming, but it is a typical spec for gaming laptops in this price range. Despite its small size, this screen has an IPS panel for some excellent picture quality, and it will enhance your viewing angles in case you use your laptop for watching TV. The screen features a 120HZ refresh rate meaning you get silky smooth, responsive gaming.

For the price, this is a pretty decent deal for a gaming laptop seeing as it can handle games on high settings with ease. The design isn't the best, but it does have some saving features like its futuristic keyboard. For raw gaming performance, it is easily the best gaming laptop on this list, but due to its power, it may run out of battery quicker than you think when playing. If you are deadset on a gaming laptop in this price range, then the TUF is one to consider.

#2

ASUS ROG G531GT

The ROG G531GT gaming laptop from Asus certainly looks unique from the rest with them adopting a squared-off design. One thing to note with this one is how much better it looks from the outside when compared to the TUF gaming laptop, and that is just down to the outer chassis resembling brushed aluminum. It is mostly all plastic just like the others, but it does feel solid, which is unsurprising as it is slightly heavier than the TUF at 2.4 KGs. The screen has nice thin bezels as you would expect from a modern laptop, but there is also an angular cut out bit from the bottom which is some strange ROG design choice that I don't think adds anything to the overall aesthetics.  We see the same Asus keyboard on this laptop with RGB lighting also included. It may be the same look, but the keycaps didn't seem to contrast with the rest of the chassis as well as the TUF laptop.

As you would expect from a ROG Strix product, its main feature is RGB. Yes, the keycaps light up, but there is also RGB lighting illuminating the edge from beneath. Just like in the TUF, we see the anti-dust tunnels which spit out as much dust from inside as they can, improving the lifespan of the laptop.

This is another high-end gaming laptop, but for me, it plays second fiddle to the TUF selection thanks to its less powerful GPU. Despite this not having a 1660Ti it is still graphically capable of great things, and when you pair this with its i7-9750H, you are in for a satisfying gaming experience. The CPU runs at 2.6GHz and is supported by 8GB of RAM which should have been more for a laptop of this price, but you always have to pay for that RGB lighting. Storage isn't the best either with the ROG Strix featuring just a single 512GB SSD. The SSD will run like a dream, and you will have a very fast loading laptop, but this space will take no time at all to fill up. If this is going to be your primary computer, consider getting an external drive for all your movies, pictures, and files. The display is another IPS panel. However, this time it is only 60Hz, which isn't a problem, but it is underwhelming when you consider how close in price this is to the TUF gaming laptop. The screen is 15.6" with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 which is typical for this price bracket.

Despite not being the best in this category, it is still a highly powerful gaming laptop which does come under budget. The design is a big hit and miss, which is unusual for a ROG Strix product; however, the RGB lighting does claw back some design points for Asus. Overall a solid gaming laptop in terms of performance, and it will give you a great experience but whether the illumination is worth it is down to your preferences.

#3

Sager NP6855

Sager may not be a familiar brand, but their premium laptops do gain quite good reviews, and they offer relatively decent value in terms of specifications. The Sager NP6855 gaming laptop offers a good mixture of features; however, its design lets it down slightly with a boring looking plastic approach to the chassis. Despite being constructed entirely of plastic, it feels sturdy, and as you can imagine doesn't weigh too much (2.1 KG). It is a very thin gaming laptop despite not advertising as such, and the bezels aren't the slimmest we have seen. The keyboard follows the rest of the design and is kind of basic, but it does feature backlighting, which is the only noticeable 'gaming' design feature.

With two extra cores and a clock speed of 2.6GHz, this gaming laptop features a better CPU than the Asus TUF gaming laptop, which is impressive. However, the GTX 1650 is inferior to the 1660Ti hence why this laptop features further down. Despite the GPU this gaming laptop is really good and backs up this power with 16GB of RAM and has one of the better storage solutions on the list with 240GB SSD being backed up with a 1TB HDD. One of the best things about this laptop is the fact it features an IPS display which has a refresh rate of 144Hz, bringing you some crystal-clear, responsive imagery.

Despite being a bit unattractive for a gaming laptop, it does pack some punch under the hood and can go further than just a pure gaming laptop with the specs also making this a viable workstation. This is slightly over budget but could definitely be worth it.

#4

MSI GF63 Thin

The GF63 Thin from MSI has one of the lowest profiles on the list, hence its name. The overall design is quite plain, but the black brushed aluminum does give this laptop some style. The construction is top drawer from MSI, and the real metallic top and keyboard cover adds to its premium feel. Despite being made of sturdier stuff, this gaming laptop is only 1.86 KG making it one of the lightest on the list. As you would expect from a laptop labeled "thin" it has thin bezels around its display with a camera in the top bezel and a logo down on the bottom. There isn't anything unique about the design, but the laptop does have subtle angles, making it look better on the eye than the ROG Strix gaming laptop. The keyboard is pretty standard aside from featuring a custom MSI font and red backlighting which fits in well with the rest of the design.

The main feature from this laptop is what MSI calls Cooler Boost 5, which handles the thermal side of things quite efficiently. Cooler Boost achieves excellent thermal performance with dedicated heat pipes for the CPU and GPU along with four exhausts and two fans.

This is a high-end laptop without a doubt, but again its specs suffer when comparing to the slightly more expensive Asus TUF gaming laptop which has come out on top by a country mile. That isn't to say this thin profile gaming laptop isn't worth a look at though, in fact, quite the opposite. The CPU inside this machine runs at 2.2GHz and can even be boosted to run at 4.1GHz if you desired. When you pair this i7 with the GTX 1650, you get reliable gaming performance that can handle a variety of AAA games. Thankfully this gaming laptop features 16GB RAM, which is more than enough and the storage solution isn't too bad either with 512GB of SSD space. The display is unfortunately only 60Hz, but the screen is 15.6" with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, which is typical for this price.

Even though the Asus TUF edges this out, this is still a good gaming laptop from MSI. The performance is good enough to let you play your favorite titles comfortably, and its solid construction makes the laptop feel very durable. The overall design to this thin profiled gaming laptop is sleek, and the brushed aluminum looks superb.

#5

Acer Nitro 5

You might be right in thinking an Acer Nitro is a monitor range (and it is), but it is also the name of some of Acers laptop range. The design on the Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop is simplistic but quite attractive, and the dark brushed aluminum works well with the red accents through the design. This laptop has sharp angular corners and gives off the impression it's not just an ordinary laptop. The bezels around the display aren't particularly thin, and this machine has some heft to it weighing the most in the list at 2.5 KG. The keyboard has an interesting rounded off design to the keys which looks fantastic when paired with the iron red backlighting.

The first thing to note is this has the lowest specs on the list, and it is more of a budget option with it retailing for under $700. Despite being more of a budget gaming laptop, it still has a reasonable i5 processor that runs at 2.5GHz. In the graphics department, we see a GTX 1050Ti which may not be the most powerful card on the market, but when you factor in the small screen size, it will handle a variety of AAA games in various settings. There is only 8GB of RAM featured in this laptop which isn't the best, but it is just about the lowest we would recommend. Like all of the laptops in the list, this one also features an IPS display for crystal clear images, enhanced colors, and of course better viewing angles.

For a premium gaming experience in this price bracket, you would always favor the Asus TUF in the list, but for those on a budget that don't mind a compromise, this could be a contender.

Is a Gaming Laptop Worth It?

Yes and no, the fact is some gamers prefer the convenience of a laptop as they are incredibly portable. High-end laptops will cost you a fortune, and it will always be better for your budget to go with a full PC build. But you could have limited space or are forever on the go and want to take that gaming station with you. If you are considering a PC build but don't want the hassle of physically building it then you can always go for a prebuilt computer that costs the same as these laptops yet offer much more bang for your buck!

The gaming laptops in this list do vary in power, but they all offer a solid gaming experience and when you factor in the small screen size. You are going to get some FPS benefits from this too when compared to your average PC user. The components in these laptops will handle AAA games with ease in general with maybe only the Acer Nitro needed some settings tweaks for optimal performance.

Gaming laptops will continue to drop in price like the rest of the PC tech so there should be a steady stream of decent deals coming through. For pure performance, there was a gaming laptop that came out as a clear winner, and that was the Asus TUF gaming laptop. The Asus TUF packs a serious punch and will handle games in high settings like it is nothing.

 

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