Gamers require something more from their machines, and that can be tough to find when you need a portable solution at a certain price point. The best gaming laptops under $1000 tend to open things up although there are features you may have to do without. Before we get to the top options under a grand, we’re going to talk about what you should expect from laptops in this class.
Things to Consider When Choosing Gaming Laptop Under $100
Are you a Casual or Hardcore gamer?
When you sit down for a gaming session, do you opt for E.V.E. Online or head over to Miniclip? How you game is the first step to finding the right laptop for the job. While every laptop on our list meets a specific set of requirements, you certainly won’t need 16GB of RAM if you play browser-based titles or PC classics.
No matter what types of games you play, there will be a few drawbacks in this range. While there aren’t as many cuts as you’ll find with laptops under $500, it’s rare to find a machine with a QHD panel or even a fingerprint scanner.
Gaming laptops used to be notorious for their underwhelming power. While you can find the best Intel chip in today’s portable PC’s, things aren’t as rosy in the memory department. That’s where the types of games you play should be taken into account along with the system requirements of your machine.
If you’re new to the scene, you’ll notice there is a huge difference at times between the minimum and maximum requirements listed on the back of the box or online. Those numbers make things pretty clear-cut, but other factors can dramatically increase or decrease performance as well. We’re not going down that rabbit hole today but will focus on two components instead with memory and the processor.
No laptop should fall into the “gaming” category unless it has at least 8GB of RAM. That’s our baseline and will cover a wide variety of casual titles. Obviously, some games require more power so look for laptops with 16GB or ones that allow you to expand if you play hardcore titles.
As for the processors, things are fairly simple as most gaming laptops under $1000 use Intel chips. While the generation matters, so does the cache and amount of cores. 8th generation processors are the newest, and the i7 lineup is their best, but you can compare processors for yourself with this handy tool from Intel.
Laptops in the gaming class generally top out around 17-inches although most have 15.6-inch displays. There’s a good reason for that, as bigger isn’t always better for gamers with laptops – especially if you’re on a budget. Unfortunately, the best gaming laptops under $1000 limit your choice of resolution as well. You won’t find any UHD panels in this class, so you’ll need to settle for FHD, otherwise known as 1,920 x 1,080.
NVIDIA treats their graphics cards like Intel does their chips when it comes to generations. When you’re trying to compare a GTX 980 to a GTX 1060, it can be tough if you’re new to the game. Thankfully, NVIDIA has plenty of tools that allow you to compare chips and there are resources online which benchmark the popular GTX 1050 Ti and every other processor under the sun.
Battery Life & Storage
Storage capacity for laptops in this class ranges from 256GB to 2TB. You’ll also get to choose between solid-state drives and HDD’s although the former is considerably faster than the latter. Hybrid options are a possibility, and you can always upgrade through external means if things get tight.
One thing you can’t upgrade is the battery. A laptop with quick charging capabilities is nice, but not when the battery goes flat in 4-hours. Battery life is one thing that’s sacrificed in the world of gaming laptops although there are a few exceptions to the rule. If you plan to game on the go where you’re away from a wall socket, have battery life at the very top of your list.
While every machine we chose for our list will have a USB 3.1 port, some will have several. USB Type-C ports are a possibility in this range as well, but you may be hard pressed to find one that’s Thunderbolt compatible. There are always trade-offs, and they tend to fall into the “Extra” category with budget-friendly laptops.
Gamers may not have much use for a fingerprint scanner, but ports are essential and so are webcams. It’s an overlooked area, and one to keep in mind if you plan to stream your gaming sessions and don’t have a dedicated Vlogging camera for gaming. The same goes for audio. Most gaming laptops will offer up something special in that regard although you can’t always believe the hype.
9 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000 You Can Buy in 2020
HP Omen 15 15-dc1020nr
Gaming Performance and Looks
Also known as the 2019 HP Omen model, this gaming laptop features compact and light design. The chassis is still pretty aggressive in looks (with the red face and X mark), but you’ll notice a smaller bezel around the screen and an aluminum keyboard deck combined with a plastic bottom panel to make the laptop lighter and more portable.
The 1080p 15.6” FHD IPS Anti-Glare micro-edge WLED-backlit screen uses a 60Hz panel, which isn’t amazing but good enough. The display is supported by a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (6 GB GDDR5), which offers decent performance and does a pretty good job with modern games.
Under the hood, you’ll find a 9th Generation Intel i7-9750H Processor with 6-Core that goes from 2.6GHz up to 4.5GHz for top gaming performance. Also, the laptop is equipped with 8 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (upgradeable) and 256 GB M.2 SSD.
The 2-zone backlit keyboard is nice to use, with illuminated WASD keys so it’s easier to find them. Finally, the battery is supposed to hold for up to 10 hours (according to HP), but if you run demanding games, it will drop to about 5 hours.
- Badass design
- Solid build
- Internals are easy to access
- It’s easy to upgrade it
- Powerful configuration
- Runs modern games
- Audio supported by Bang & Olufsen
- The charger tends to heat up
- The laptop also gets hot
- Keyboard lights can’t be turned off
MSI GF63 Thin 9SCX-615
Excellent for Single-Player Games
This gaming laptop from MSI features 15.6” Full HD IPS monitor, which works on 60Hz and 45% of NTSC, meaning that you will see pretty decent color scheme, which, along with very thin bezel, will make your gaming experience much more enjoyable.
To allow you to completely experience your games, MSI GF63 is equipped with an excellent Intel Core i5-9300H processor which has working range of 2.4-4.1 GHz.
Accompanying that, there is very good NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, which will let you play even more demanding games.
As for the system memory, this gaming laptop features 8GB of DDR4 RAM which works on 2666 MHz. There are 2 additional sockets, with total upgradability up to 64GB of system memory.
Apart from that, there is an excellent amount of storage space, featuring total of 512GB NVMe SSD space, which, in combination with very good CPU, gives you really short loading screens and faster game performance.
- Very well-designed display
- Excellent processor
- Very good graphics card
- Pretty decent amount of system memory
- Excellent amount of storage
- Doesn’t perform too well in online games
Lenovo IdeaPad L340
Perfect for More Demanding Software and Most Games
L340 IdeaPad model from Lenovo features 9th generation Intel Core i7-9750h CPU, which allows very fast performance, even with the most demanding games and software.
To even further enhance that, there are 8GB of DDR4 system memory, allowing you to run multiple processes at the same time, without losing the level of performance.
All that is followed by 1TB HDD and an additional 256GB NVMe SSD storage, allowing you to install a lot of games and ensures fast start-ups and loading screens.
To help with graphical performance, L340 is equipped with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, which allows you to experience smooth and fast gameplay.
And to further enhance the overall experience, there is a 15.6” FHD IPS Display that supports 1920 x 1080p resolution and comes with anti-glare technology, 250 nits, and 45% color gamut, allowing you to experience excellent color scheme.
Apart from that L340 features a 720p HD webcam with the ability to use privacy shutter, so you will be able to play with your friends or stream your gameplay.
Battery life is pretty decent since it lasts for around 9 hours with continuous work, which is enough for even the most hardcore gamers.
- Top-quality processor
- Excellent amount of storage
- Pretty decent display
- Very good graphics card
- HD webcam
- Not so good GPU for the most demanding games
Acer Predator Helios 300
Another Winner from Acer
Acer made waves when they first introduced their Predator lineup, and it’s still going strong today. The Helios 300 is an affordable version of their gaming laptop and one that’s built for VR straight out of the box.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is in line with the best gaming laptops where it counts. It has a Core i7-9750H processor along with 16GB of RAM and is deemed “VR Ready” to boot. That’s due to the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti which comes with 6GB of RAM. While the 256 SSD is a bit of a letdown, it does have an extra slot when you need to expand.
Other highlights of this PC include a 15.6-inch FHD panel, a backlit keyboard, and an excellent cooling system that will keep you gaming long into the night. The battery life is also solid on this one despite its specifications.
- GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
- Core i7 and 16GB of RAM
- VR ready
- Slick design
- Not much storage
- No Thunderbolt support
HP Pavilion 15-dk0042nr
Best Pick for Gaming
As another great addition to the HP Pavilion series, 15-dk0042nr comes with the advanced thermal management option, which keeps your device cool all the time, without increasing the noise.
Accompanying that, there is a really fast Intel Core i5-9300h CPU, which has 4 cores, each working on 2.4GHz, with the possibility to overclock it up to 4.1GHz by using Intel’s Turbo Boost.
When it comes to additional gaming performance, this model features Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, which has 4GB GDDR5 graphic memory, allowing you to enjoy graphically-realistic games, without too much FPS drop.
That experience is even improved with 15.6” Full HD IPS Anti-Glare WLED Backlit Display with Micro-Edge design and 144Hz refresh rate.
To boost the power even further, there is total of 12GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM, with the possibility to upgrade with 2 additional slots.
There are also 512GB of Intel® Solid State Drive internal storage, as well as an additional 32GB Intel® Optane™ memory.
Apart from that, this model comes with built-in bios recovery and protection, which will keep your laptop protected at all times.
- Advanced Thermal Design and IR Sensors
- Very good CPU
- Excellent GPU
- Perfect Display
- Built-in Bios protection
- Keyboard backlight turns off automatically
ASUS ROG G531GT
Gaming Laptop with the Best CPU
ASUS ROG G531GT comes with Intel Core i7-9750H mobile CPU of the latest 9th Generation of Intel processors.
With a total of 6 cores, each working on 2.6GHz, with the option to use Max Turbo Frequency to upgrade it to 4.5GHz, as well as 12MB Smart Cache and 12-way processing, it allows you to completely enjoy your favorite games, without losing the performance.
This gaming laptop features 15.6” FHD display, with energy-efficient LED Backlight, which along with the excellent NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB GDDR5 graphic memory, allows you to fully experience all those beautiful games.
To even further enhance that, there is a total of 16GB DDR4 SDRAM, working on 2666 MHz, to give you even smoother gameplay.
As for the available storage, there are 1TB HDD and 512GB SSD storage, which are capable of giving you much faster loading times and make sure you always have free space.
As a nice addition, there is already installed Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge browser.
- Perfect CPU for gaming
- Excellent GPU
- A lot of storage space
- Nice amount of RAM
- Pre-installed Windows 10 64bit
- Some users experience irritating fan noise
Acer Nitro 5
Perfect Choice for Long Gaming Nights
Nitro 5 from Acer comes with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card, which has 4GB of GDDR5 memory, which allows your games to run on optimal performance at all times.
It has an FHD display with IPS technology and LED Backlight, which allows you to fully experience the graphics of your games.
To enhance the overall performance, Nitro 5 features Intel Core i5-8300 mobile CPU, which comes from the 8th Generation of Intel Quad-Core Processors with 8-way processing and Turbo Boost option.
Along with that comes 12GB of DDR4 RAM, which works on 2400MHz, which allows you to perform multiple tasks at the same time, without losing performance.
As for available storage, Nitro 5 comes with 256GB PCIe SSD, which allows you fast loading times and extremely fast start-up times.
When it comes to connectivity, there are HDMI port, Wireless AC and Gigabit Ethernet LAN port, allowing you to connect anywhere, anytime.
Apart from that, it comes with HD Webcam, decent battery life (as for a gaming laptop), up to 5.5 hours and Windows 10 Home OS.
- Very good graphics card
- Pretty decent processor for gaming
- A lot of system memory
- Decent battery life
- Already installed Windows 10 Home OS
- Limited storage
Asus TUF FX505DT
Gaming Laptop with the Best GPU
TUF FX505DT gaming laptop from Asus comes with Nvidia GeForce GTX1650 graphic card with 4GB of graphics memory, that works on 1395MHz (can be boosted to 1560MHz) and TDP of 50W.
Accompanying that, there is an excellent AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H CPU with 4 cores, allowing you to have very good performance in games.
The display is Full HD 15.6”, with IPS technology and very thin bezel, which works on 120Hz refresh rate, allowing you to respond in a timely manner to actions in your games.
This gaming laptop is equipped with an 256GB NVMe SSD, which drastically improves boot times and reduces the amount of time you have to spend on loading screens.
As for the system memory, there is a total of 8GB DDR4 RAM, which gives you smoother and faster performance.
Apart from that, this model comes with Windows 10 Home operating system, meaning that you will get all essential apps. Also, it has Gigabit wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 support for great connectivity.
- Excellent gaming GPU
- Very good Quad-Core Processor
- A decent refresh rate of 120Hz
- A good amount of system memory
- Comes with Windows 10 Home
- Sound in games could be better
Dell G5 15
Very Versatile Gaming Laptop
G5 15 gaming laptop from Dell comes with the latest 9th Generation Intel Core i5-9300H CPU, allowing you to experience excellent performance in your games.
Along with that comes NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5 graphics card, which is capable of processing even the most graphically-realistic games without problems.
To boost up the performance, there are 2x4GB of DDR4 RAM memory, which works on 2666MHz, making it possible to perform multiple tasks at the same time.
G5 15 includes 1TB of 5400 rpm 2.5” SATA HDD, as well as 128GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD storage, allowing you to have speedy loading time and to have enough space to install all your games.
Apart from that, this versatile gaming laptop comes with Windows 10 Home, with all the essential software, meaning that you won’t have to bother to download everything you need.
The display is 15.6” Full HD, with supporting resolution up to 1920 x 1080 and IPS of 300 nits. It has a 4-Cell Battery which works on 60 WHr.
- Excellent graphics card
- Very good processor
- A good amount of storage space
- Really good display
- Pre-installed Operating System
- It has some heating issues