Gaming laptops are synonymous with hefty price tags, but that doesn’t mean you can’t score a gaming laptop under $1000. The best gaming laptops under $1000 may neither be the prettiest laptop you can buy but it’s assured to be the most powerful one for the price.
If you are looking to buy a gaming laptop in 2021 without burning a hole in your pocket, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find the best laptop that we can find under the price tag of $1000.
A gaming laptop can be quite useful when one wants to do gaming on the go. The punch that a gaming laptop packs also delivers when you’re engaged in creative work, so they’re great for photo and video editing.
They may not be able to provide as good of a value as PC but the portability makes up for it. Do note all the information provided here has been taken from the website of the laptop manufacturer and can be subject to change as the manufacturer pleases.
How to choose a laptop in 2021?
Below are multiple points one should be careful before choosing a gaming laptop on a constrained budget:
Set a target performance
When you’re working with a constrained budget, it’s important to have an end-game in mind. The target performance may be playing all the AAA games released in 2020 and before at 1080p resolution, or playing all the AAA games from 2017 and before at 1440p.
If you’re buying a laptop to play new and trending games, cross-check the requirements and the specs of the laptop to make sure you can run it. However, at $1000, you won’t be able to future proof your laptop.
Get the best GPU
A GPU is the heart of a gaming laptop as it processes all the graphics. The GPU should be your first consideration while purchasing a gaming laptop. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the better. So opt for the latest GPU with most VRAM you can get under $1000.
The RTX series has been making quite a buzz in the gaming laptop industry due to its ray-tracing capabilities. However, under $1000, you can simply bid adieu to the sweet dream of running games with ray tracing. Nonetheless, an RTX GPU will perform better than a GTX GPU as long as you pay the mark-up.
Don’t skimp on the processor
A CPU is equally important as a GPU. For a gaming laptop, opt for at least an Intel i5 or a Ryzen 5. The AMD Ryzen processors are rocking the laptop market right now with their off the charts performance, thanks to the insane multi-core performance. They provide the best bang for your buck. However, the selection is not as liberal as intel powered laptops.
8 GB of RAM is the bare minimum you need to play any game in 2021. In fact, most AAA games in 2021 such as cyberpunk 2077 require 12 GB of RAM to run smoothly. Nonetheless, don’t ever look at a laptop that has less than 8 GB of RAM. A lot of gaming laptops also feature expandable RAM slots that allow you to expand the RAM down the line, so keep a lookout for the same.
Opt for SSD over HDD
Always choose a laptop with a solid-state drive. SSD don’t have moving parts to store your data like an HDD and can be much faster to load. An SSD will load a game, or any program for that matter, much faster than an HDD. However, since modern AAA games are enormous in size, it’s always good to have expandable storage with an extra SSD slot or an empty HDD slot.
Opt for a higher refresh rate over a higher resolution
Always choose a screen with a higher refresh rate. The difference between 60Hz and 90Hz can be the difference between night and day. For competitive gaming, especially for first-person shooters, you can even go up to 120Hz or 144Hz. For the resolution, 1080p is the industry standard and a $1000 gaming laptop can’t push beyond 1080p without compromising on the FPS. Furthermore, most modern games and specs are built to prioritize FPS over resolution.
15” is the most popular screen size in the sub $1000 range of gaming laptops and it’s adequate for pretty much everyone. 17” is often too big and 13” may prove to be too small to fit decent specs. On the subject of touch screens, avoid them at all costs. Unless you have some special use case for touch screen for like designing or architecture, the touch screen no use in a gaming laptop and just wastes battery.
Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000
1. MSI gl63
MSI is known for their great motherboards and gaming laptops, so coming from MSI gl63 laptop comes at the price of $1000, this laptop is able to provide a sleek and thin design for easy portability.
The laptop comes with a 9th generation i7 processor. The laptop is able to provide ample processing power for all the games that you throw at it and its graphic ability is aided by a GTX 1050 graphic card. The best part of this desktop is the 120Hz display with which you can play fast-paced games and have an upper edge.
With a 120 hertz display, you can have up to 120 frames per second that can make the game even more immersive. The laptop provides extensive connectivity ports and has an impressive battery life for a laptop of its size. You can take this laptop out for the day without a charger.
The Battery backup lasts up to 8 hours with mixed-use, even while gaming you can get up to four hours. Probably one of the shortcomings of this laptop is the low amount of RAM. Out of the box, the laptop has only 8 gigabytes of RAM under the hood.
However, that’s not a total deal-breaker as there is an expandable RAM slot. So you can easily insert an extra RAM stick for $40. The storage department is handled by a 256GB Nvme SSD, which is pretty low but easily upgradeable.
The thickness of the laptop is 0.85inch which is really thin for a gaming laptop. Although the laptop has the edgy look of a gaming machine, it’s subtle enough to pass in an official setting.
Next up is HP Omen 15, a VR ready gaming laptop. The Omen laptop comes with a 10th generation i7 processor and an Nvidia GTX 1650 TI GPU. You can run popular games like PUBG and Overwatch pretty easily with 100+ FPS. However, the screen is capped at 60 Hz refresh rate which is a shame since the hardware is capable of running games at much higher frames. For storage, there’s a 512 GB SSD which can be easily upgraded. The same can be said about the 8 GB RAM.
The laptop comes with a 15.6 inch full HD anti-glare display and has a resolution of 1920×1080. There are no complaints against the port selection. You get two USB 3.1 ports, one USB type c port, 1 HDMI port, and one mini display port and if you know about VR you will know that all of these are necessary for a VR setup and this laptop can support VR which makes this the perfect portable VR set up.
If you’re looking for a discrete gaming laptop perfect for both work and play under $1000, then the Lenovo IdeaPad l340 is the one for you. It’s powered by a 9th Gen i5 Processor, GTX 1050 GPU and 8 GB of RAM. The storage is backed by a 512 GB NVME SSD, which can be easily upgraded along with the RAM.
There isn’t anything special about the specs, they’re pretty good for the price but not out of the box. The reason why this laptop has secured a place on this list is its subtle looks. If you turn off the keyboard backlighting, it looks like a completely average laptop, perfect for the gamers who don’t want to stand out in school, office, or the cafe.
There is nothing rather different about the panel used on the laptop as it is a full HD IPS display with the resolution of 1920×1080 . The battery backup is pretty awesome and it can last upto 8 hours. The thickness is pretty impressive as well, measuring just under 1 inch.
It’s quite portable and you can carry it around all day long. Lenovo gaming laptops can provide a great gaming experience on triple-A games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare. The laptop has great connectivity with 2 USB 3.11 ports, 1 USB 3.1, type c port but you do miss out on thunderbolt 3 with the type c.
If you can spend a little bit over $1000, you can get yourself a full blown gaming laptop with no compromises on the specs. We’re talking about a 10th Gen i7, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB NVMe SSD drive.
These specs are not just enough to provide a banger performance for the AAA titles of 2021, but also to future proof it for a few years. On top of that, you also get a sweet RGB backlit keyboard.
The most interesting feature of this laptop is the 144-hertz display panel provided making sure that you can hit a high frame rate in your favorite game. The laptop also provides something that Acer calls 3D aero blade technology which enables one of the best airflow designs available in the market which makes the laptop keep cool under high pressure.
However, it’s not all good. There had to be some compromises to match the price and the built quality is what suffers. The design is big and bulky. It looks generally outdated and is not fit for carrying around. The body is made from scratchy plastic which is not pleasant to touch.
Nonetheless, all things said and done, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is one hell of a deal.
CPU: Intel i7-10750H
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB
RAM: 16GB DDR4 in Dual Channel configuration
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080 IPS (144Hz refresh rate)
The next laptop is the G3 15 from Dell which comes at an attractive price tag for $900 for the starting model. The base model features a 9th Gen i5 Processor paired with Geforce GTX 1660 TI GPU with 6 GB VRAM.
The laptop has 8 gigabytes of RAM in its base model; this is nothing too impressive but is easily upgradable. About the display, it’s an IPS 15.6 inch full HD display capped at 60Hz. The cheapest model comes at $800 only, it may not be able to run present-day games at highest settings but you can still run triple-A games with low to medium-level settings.
The laptop also comes with 512 GB SSD which makes the opening and running task snappy. On top of that, you have an empty slot for adding an HDD. For the price, the laptop is a nice performer and is a great value for your bucks. But the low price has its cons which makes the laptop have a missing USB Type C port.
CPU: Intel Core i5-9300H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 TI 6 GB
RAM: 8GB DDR4 (2,666MHz)
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare LED-backlit
If you are familiar with the computer market then you know that AMD has been on a streak with its processor which is probably the best that the market has to offer right now. The Asus TUF A15 is the perfect specimen of what a Ryzen CPU can do in a budget gaming machine.
Asus laptop comes with the new AMD Ryzen 5 processor, paired with GTX 1650 GPU and 512 gigabytes of SSD. There’s 8 GB onboard memory, which can be expanded up to 64 GB. There are two SSD slots and one HDD slot that are easily accessible to upgrade the storage.
The display supports a refresh rate of 144Hz and the specs can easily keep up with it. One thing that Asus knows how to do is design a laptop and thanks to that this laptop has a premium-looking design with the backlit. It is also said to have military standard construction for durability and the laptop has a dual fan set up to keep the laptop cool under load and can provide you consistent game experience.
The best part of this laptop is its price tag. In retail, it costs just over $1000 but it’s often on sale and you can nag one of it for $800. For $800, you’re getting a Ryzen powered gaming laptop that can play all the AAA games in 2021. This is probably the best deal available in the market right now If you’re looking for a laptop under $1000 with an AMD processor.
If what you want an AMD-based 17-inch laptop then MSI 17 bravo is the laptop for you. It is power by a 7nm AMD Ryzen 74500H processor and accompanying it is 16 gigabytes of RAM. The laptop is powered by the AMD Radeon RX 5500M, an AMD equivalent of GTX 1650 or GTX 1660 that can easily play Red Dead Redemption 2 and the highly anticipated, upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. The laptop comes with 512GB SSD, but it can be easily upgraded.
The center of attraction is the 17” display that supports 120Hz refresh rate. Playing games is an absolute delight on a screen as big as this. The design of the laptop is reminiscent of the old MSI red and black theme that goes throughout the laptop.
It has its own presence in the room as a gaming laptop. Sadly, due to its sheer size and weight, you won’t carry it around a lot. The laptop is built using plastic due to its huge dimensions the laptop flexes a bit little but it will not break easily.
If you’re shopping for budget-friendly laptops then the Acer nitro 5 needs to be mentioned, a solid gaming laptop under $800. The laptop comes with the stunning and powerful i5 eighth-generation processor and it is accompanied by Nvidia 1650 TI GPU.
The laptop has a 15.6 inch full HD IPS display panel that supports up to 60-hertz refresh rate. The gaming laptop also comes with two PCI-e slots and one slot is open for the easy upgrade in the future also there is one slot available for a 2.5-inch hard drive bay. The device has a backlit keyboard, has turbo cool boost technology fans, and has dual exhaust ports to provide the best cooling and keep the temperature of the laptop low. The laptop also has 4 USB 3.0 ports.
There are a few noticeable compromises that Acer has made in order to keep the price low. For starters, the display is under par and just doesn’t feel quite as good while playing video games. The body is also quite bulky and built out of cheap-feeling material.
CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-8300H (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.0GHz)
For a budget gaming laptop, you can also take a look at ROG Strix G by Asus that makes quite an attractive laptop for its price. In fact, it’s the best-looking laptop on this list.
The laptop comes with an Intel i5 quad-core processor and it is paired with 1660 ti GPU which allows new triple AAA games to run smoothly. Under the hood, there’s a 512 gigabyte SSD storage and 8 GB of RAM.
Yes, the RAM is low but you can upgrade it for a more powerful gaming experience. The panel is a 15.6 inch full HD IPS display which supports the refresh rate of 120Hz. The laptop has a bright display and a matte finish which is quite nice to look at.
The laptop also offers high-grade audio experience with clear and rich audio this laptop comes with 2 fans technology which also has an anti-dust coating on the fans, these fans allow the laptop to remain cool under high strain tasks and increases the longevity of your laptop for years to come by keeping it internals dust-free
The Dell G5 15 packs quite a bang for the buck. The laptop is powered by Ryzen 7 CPU which can outrun intel i7 in multi core tasks such as gaming. The graphics are powered by AMD Radeon RX 5600M with 6GB GDDR4 VRAM.
Coming to laptops, Radeon graphics are good but certainly not the best, but the CPU makes up for it. There’s 16 GB on board memory in dual channel configuration and a 512 GB SSD to handle the storage, both of which are easily accessible and upgradable.
Where the laptop shines the best, are its visuals, the laptops come with the 15 inch full HD IPS panel that supports up to 144-hertz gaming. For the price, the built quietly is subtle yet pretty good with no room for any major complaints.
Today we presented you with 10 best gaming laptops under $1000 that give you the best bang for your buck. All laptop presents in the list can run most Triple A game at around medium to high settings with pretty ease. On top of that, they’re all top contender for creative work as well, so 3D modelling, video editing and photo rendering is just a walk in the park.
Manufacturers often have to make a few sacrifices when they’re working in a constrained budget. In a gaming laptop, the built quality is often the prey of these shortcomings. These laptops are tuned for raw performance, so don’t expect an ultra book level finish here.