The Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000 – November 2018
With so many options in today’s world, finding the perfect gaming laptop no longer seems like an uphill battle. Finding one in your price range, however, may take a bit more research. Not only do you need it to fall within budget but it also needs to perform to your expectation.
When looking for the right gaming laptop for you, there are a few key things to keep an eye out for. In any gaming laptop, the CPU is going to be key to your top end performance. If you expect to play lesser demanding games like League of Legends or Fortnite, then an i5 CPU is fine. If you plan to attack the more performance intensive titles like Witcher 3 or Battlefield, then the i7 will become more necessary.
What about the GPU? For those intense graphics enthusiasts who still want to play their games at a moderate frame rate, you’re going to need to shell out a bit extra. Anything lower than GTX 1050 Ti simply isn’t going to cut it.
Luckily for you, we’ve done all the research necessary and come up with what we believe to be the best performing gaming laptops under $1000.
What’s not to love about a laptop with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor, and legendary Harman certified speakers that fully immerse you into whatever game you might be playing? Absolutely nothing! With the Lenovo Legion Y520, you get all of this and more at a very reasonable price.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, though a bit outdated, is nothing to sneer at. You shouldn't expect to witness any games in 4k resolution, but rest assured a 1920x1080 resolution, on medium to high settings, is guaranteed at a respectable frame rate.
Intel Core i7’s may be the current standard for gaming laptops but a 7th generation Intel Core i5-7300HQ is more than enough power to keep up with current games, allowing you to easily run even the most demanding applications. It clocks in at 2.5GHz with a turbo speed of 3.5GHz with 4 cores and 4 threads. The i5 allows for a cut in the overall cost enabling Lenovo to provide all the other goodies encased within.
8GB of RAM comes standard with the Y520 but we highly recommend an upgrade to 16GB if you plan to run multiple programs or applications at once. Though it may be good enough for enthusiasts, the more memory hungry apps could eat into your gaming experience causing undesirable lag.
The machine is chock full of customization options allowing changes to your active keys, cooling features, and network priority. Strategically placed fans and vents keep hot air flowing outward, preventing overheating issues during longer gaming sessions. No need for headphones as the Harman Audio with Dolby Premium sound is quite possibly the best you’ll get on a laptop of this caliber.
As far as storage goes, the Y520 comes with a 256 M.2 SSD which should load all applications and games at lightning speeds. It may be prudent to install an additional SATA SSD or HDD for those with a more extensive gaming library. With this laptop, you can expect a USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 3.1-C port, an HDMI port, and an ethernet port.
It may not be a content creator’s dream machine but for the gamer on a budget, you can’t go wrong with this affordable powerhouse.
Finding a gaming laptop with a high rate of performance, while providing a larger than 15" display, all for a price under $1000, isn't an easy task. That is unless you're the MSI GL72M 7RDX-800.
Like most modern-day gaming laptops, the GL72M comes with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ which provides top-level performance at speeds of 2.8GHz overclocking at 3.8GHz.
The dedicated Nvidia GTX 1050 outperforms the GL72M's predecessor, which used a GTX 960M, by approximately 30%. Allowing the GL72M a steady 1920x1080 resolution and great visuals at medium to high settings.
Unlike the other laptops on this list, the MSI GL72M comes with a 17.3" HD display. Though this allows for a wider viewing during activities, in order to lower the total cost, MSI had to opt into a TN panel as opposed to the more standard IPS.
The Cooler Booster 4 technology keeps the laptop relatively cool. There are 7 heat pipes that funnel out the heat from the underside of the laptop which should prevent heating complications during longer gameplay periods.
This being a member of the MSI Steel Series line, the GL72M features a backlit gaming grade keyboard. A 1.9mm key travel distance and anti-ghosting allow the GL72M's keyboard to stand toe to toe with most mechanical gaming keyboards in today's market.
Created more with developers in mind, the HP Pavilion 15 Gaming Laptop is the all-in-one solution for the on-the-go worker who loves to game in their downtime. If you’re looking for a gaming laptop that doubles as an everyday productivity machine, then this is it.
Internally you’re looking at an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor with Intel Optane memory. This provides 6-cores, 8-threads with speeds ranging from 2.2GHz up to a whopping overclocked 4.1GHz. It comes with an admirable Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU that shines through on the native 1920x1080 display at medium to high settings on most games. The 16GB DDR4 RAM is perfect for multitasking or those looking to do a bit of media editing and streaming.
The HP Pavilion 15 comes with a 1TB 7200RPM SATA HDD for storage but does offer an SSD model pricing in at $1099, if you’re willing to adjust your budget. An SSD does offer faster loading speeds for boot up and gaming so it may be a wise decision moving forward. However, the Intel Optane memory does do its job rather well in the performance department.
This particular gaming laptop comes with an anti-glare display, perfect for those gamers who prefer their productivity outdoors. The body is a solid matte black with a green LED backlit keyboard. It won't turn any heads at a LAN party but gamers know that its what's on the inside that counts.
The HP Pavilion 15 weighs in at about 5lbs which is seemingly common among gaming laptops packed for power and performance. With three USB 3.1 ports, you shouldn't have an issue finding a place for your iPhone, a mouse, and a possible external keyboard or hard drive. It also possesses a USB 3.1-C, HDMI port, and an ethernet port. Claims 9 hours of battery life through mixed-use but expect closer to 3 if your intended use is for continuous gaming.
Okay, so we cheated a little.
The Acer Predator Helios 300, does go slightly over budget but makes its way onto this list for good reason. It comes fully packed with so many high-performance goodies, that to omit it over a few extra bucks seems ludicrous. Inside you’ll find a 4-core, 8-thread processor in the i7-7700HQ not unlike the other laptop on our list, the MSI GL72M 7RDX-800. A GTX 1060 GPU that can play even the most demanding games in 1920x1080 resolution with respectable frame rates, on high settings, without issue. It even comes standard with 16GB of DDR4 RAM for all your multitasking needs.
Aesthetically, the classic red on black color scheme the Predator line is known for makes its return. A premium design when compared to most laptops of its caliber and includes 2 USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, and a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C connection. It also comes with an ethernet port and single HDMI port in case you want to connect it to a desktop monitor or HDMI TV.
When it comes to storage, the Helios 300 houses a 256GB M.2 SSD and ships with a cradle ready for installation of an additional or replacement 512GB or 1TB SSD. 256GB offers a fast boot and game loading speeds but may be a bit too small for modern games. We suggest upgrading once you can afford to do so.
The Helios 300 runs rather cool through everyday use but even with dual fan cooling, may run a bit hot during continuous gaming sessions. The display is not as vibrant as the more higher-end models but still remains a full-HD display with IPS technology and shouldn’t affect your gaming enjoyment.
The battery life has been reported to last around 7 hours through standard use, though it shouldn’t be expected to last that length of time during continuous gaming. The laptop weighs 5.95 lbs or 2.7kg which is kind of heavy but should not be unexpected considering the amount of hardware it's packing.