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We’ve reviewed more than 20 gaming laptops overall to get down to the best gaming laptop under $1000. It wasn’t easy, as there are a lot of companies vying for this space.
With a budget under $1000, you can put together a great desktop build that you can use for gaming and will provide you a better gaming experience, since parts are a little more affordable.
One thing to note, we had to make some cuts on here, none of the laptops in our top five have an optical drive – as there is a slow death of optical drives. You can find our post on the best external optical drives here – should you need one.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Gaming Laptop Under 1000
- OUR TOP PICK: Acer Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop
- RUNNER-UP: MSI GL62M Gaming Laptop
- Dell Inspiron i5577-7700BLK-PUS Gaming Laptop
Comparison of the Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000
Our Top Pick
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Ultimately we can only recommend five that are below $1,000 – to include any more would be a waste of your time
Well…we also included one that is just slightly over the $1k budget at this time. If you’re willing to bend your budget slightly, it is a great buy.
We haven’t focused much on laptop battery life. Looking for long battery life in a gaming laptop is like finding a unicorn. Our main focus is on what really matters – the GPU.
All of these laptops below have the i7-7700HQ processor, a pretty good processor overall (a 3DMark CPU Score of 9980). The Versus website has a pretty good summary.
All of these laptops also run Windows 10 64-bit Home edition. So let’s get on with our review of the best gaming laptop under $1000!
Review of the Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000
ACER Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop
If you like sports cars, then you won’t be able to take your eyes off the Acer Aspire VX 15’s design. It is a sleek design that is somewhat like the rear of a Lamborgini Aventador.
This is the best gaming laptop under $1000 right now.
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor (Up to 3.8GHz)
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen IPS display
The first thing we noticed about the design of exhaust vents on gaming laptops is that they are similar to a sports car’s rear side. We also like the brushed metal matte finish of the case.
It has those gaming pedigree looks but is not as flashy as the very high-end gaming laptops like the ACER Predator 21X. That gaming laptop is beyond words to describe.
However, you cannot compare an orange to an apple. A $9,000 gaming laptop, of course, is built entirely different from this gaming laptop under $1000. Performance is also on a different scale.
But let’s talk more about the VX 15 and what makes it our top pick for the gaming laptop under $1000.
First off, you have a powerful processor in the Intel i7-7700HQ with four cores and eight threads that can go at the maximum clock speed of 3.8 GHz. Nothing new here, as the other laptops on this list have the same processor.
It has 16 GB of RAM, and is still upgradable to 32 GB max – the 16 GB of RAM is best-in-class for our list.
Want a buttery smooth gaming experience even on high settings? The VX15 has you covered with a 4 GB DDR5 GTX 1050 Ti dedicated graphics card for your gaming needs.
It’s not all gravy for this laptop though. When it comes to storage, you are somewhat limited out of the box.
This gaming laptop only has a 256 GB M.2 SSD card installed, and if you want an HD drive, then you need to purchase it as an upgrade for around another $90 for a 2 TB HD (and install it yourself).
It does not have an optical drive either, but neither do any of the other laptops on our list.
This gaming laptop only has a three-cell Li-ion 4605 mAh Internal battery. So, you just have a few hours of gaming, and you already need to plug it into a wall socket.
This gaming laptop has all the necessary ports you’d need; (1) USB 3.1 Type-C port, (2) USB 3.0 ports, (1) USB 2.0 port, (1) HDMI, and (1) 3.5mm combo jack. It would have been great if ACER added the Mini Display and Thunderbolt, which are becoming a necessity for laptops nowadays.
MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US Gaming Laptop
MSI describes this gaming laptop to be thin and light, but is that enough to take this laptop lightly?
- Display: 15.6" Full HD eDP 1920x1080 | Operating System: Windows 10 . Gb LAN
- Processor: Core i7-7700HQ (2.8 - 3.8 GHz). Visualize key system information so that its clear...
Another gaming laptop under $1000 comes from MSI. Their thin and light GL62M 7REX-1896US is just 2.2 kgs; this is still light considering that the chassis is steel, and it measures 383 x 260 x 22~29mm , with a 15.6” screen. This laptop is portable yet powerful.
The processor is an i7-7700HQ Kaby Lake chip, capable of running 2.8 GHz – 3.8 GHz, the memory is just 8 GB, which should still be sufficient to play. With that extra cash, RAM can be updated.
What we like most is that it has a 4 GB DDR5 GTX 1050Ti Dedicated VRAM – we’re focusing on GPUs to get the best gaming experience possible.
Now, compared to the laptops that have GTX1050s (clock speed is 1354 MHz), this gaming laptop’s GPU has a clock speed of 1,493 MHz. So even with high settings, you can still get good fps from this laptop.
Battery life would depend on how you are using this laptop. You can easily switch modes by pressing FN+F7 or by going to the Dragon Center.
This gaming laptop uses 128 GB SSD 3rd Gen PCI-e for your operating system and has another 1 TB hard drive for your files. The same as the Dell Inspiron, it would have been better if they put at least 256 GB SSD so your games can be installed on the SSD, not on the hard drive.
The GL62M 7REX may be thin and light, but it can stay cool, even if you play games for hours. It has its exclusive Cooler Boost 4 technology that uses dual fans and about 6-7 heat pipes to make sure this machine does not throttle.
For ports, you have LAN (RJ45), mic-in, headphone-out (SPDIF), one type-C USB3.0, two type-A USB 3.0s, one type-A USB 2.0, a Mini DisplayPort, HDMI (supports 4k @30 Hz), and a card reader. This gaming laptop also supports wireless connections through 802.11 ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v4.2.
The keyboard is made by SteelSeries and is built to last. It has two options for backlight, either white or red.
3. Dell Inspiron i5577-7700BLK-PUS Gaming Laptop
A multi-purpose laptop that has enough power not just for gaming, you can also rely on this gaming laptop for school and work tasks.
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core (6 MB Cache, up to 3.8 GHz)
- 12 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 up to 32 GB (additional memory sold separately)
Dell has its gaming lineup through Alienware and some XPS laptops, and recently they released gaming laptops under their brand name. The Dell 15 i5577-7700BLK-PUS is one of the many gaming laptops under $1000 that you can find on Amazon.
Dell is so confident of this laptop’s capability that they even added the word “Gaming” to it. Though originally, the Inspiron lineup was meant for the office/school market.
So what makes this laptop worthy of being purchased by a gamer? First, off you have a Kaby Lake based processor and an Intel i7-7700HQ, running at 2.8 GHz and 3.8 GHz on Turbo. They also have 12 GB of DDR4 memory and can support up to 32 GB max.
This gaming laptop can play modern game titles in the market smoothly since it has a 4 GB GTX 1050 DDR5 dedicated VRAM. At the same time, it will be good for people in college or working. The battery life is also good since it can run for more than six hours before needing to be plugged into a wall socket.
The keyboard is backlit, but unlike the common RED backlight for most gaming laptops, this one uses white LEDs.
It offers large enough storage with dual storage devices (1 TB 5400 RPM hard drive and a 128 GB SSD). We have to say this though, 128 GB is not much for installing games, so most likely, you will be forced to put your games on the hard drive, which is not going to be a good idea since it is 5400 RPM with no SSHD option.
An advantage this laptop has is the cooling system; it has dual fans with three exhausts and 186 thermal fins, so even when gaming or using this laptop over an extended period, you are sure to have your system cool.
Another thing that would be nice to have is a USB type-C and the Thunderbolt 3-port. Although this gaming laptop offers three USB 3.0 ports (one with PowerShare), an HDMI port, an SD card reader, a Kensington Security lock, and a LAN port, it also lacks the Mini DisplayPort.
The display is a bit subpar since it only has a 15.6” Twisted Nematic panel that supports the 1920×1080 resolution. It would have been nice if they used IPS for better viewing angles and color.
This gaming laptop has a solid build; the chassis is made of metal that makes it a bit heavy, as it weighs 2.56 kgs and measures 15.7 x 10.43 x 0.99 in.
4. MSI GL72M 7RDX-800 Gaming Laptop
It’s game on! Paint the town red with this gaming laptop from MSI. If you’re looking for the widest display around but still keeping performance in check, the GL72M is for you.
- Display: 17.3" Full HD eDP Non Reflection 1920x1080 | Operating System: Windows 10
- Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.8-3.8GHz)
Low price doesn’t mean poor quality, as this gaming laptop from MSI is packed with the specifications just right for gamers.
This gaming laptop is powered by an Intel i7-7700HQ with 8 GB of RAM that can be upgraded to 32 GB.
The 7RDX-800 has a 17.3” screen with 120 Hz refresh rate, and It has a 2 GB GTX-1050 DDR5 dedicated VRAM to give you a smooth gaming session.
The keyboard may not be mechanical, and we're not huge fans of red-colored keys. It is backlit though, so you can use this even at night or in a dark room.
You don’t have to worry about storage either. This gaming laptop has more than enough space for your games. It has a 128 GB M.2 SSD for your operating system backed up by a 1 TB 2.5” hard drive. While this hard drive operates at only a 5400 RPMs, it is a SSHD drive which Seagate reports is actually very fast.
During an intense gaming session, your rig stays cool with two cooling fans and its CoolerBoost 4 technology to keep the CPU cool.
Like its predecessors, this monster is very portable at 16.5 in x 11.30 in x 1.15 in and ~ 1.26-in thick. it weighs just under six lbs (2.7kgs).
Connectivity is not a problem for this machine. It has a USB type-c port, two USB 3.0s, one USB 2.0, a Mini DisplayPort, RJ45 for a wired connection, HDMI that supports 4k @30 Hz and of course, a mic-in and headphone out.
This gaming laptop can go on without an AC adapter for hours; it has a 41WHr, six-cell Lithium-ion battery.
5. Prostar Clevo N855HJ Gaming Laptop
Would you buy a gaming laptop from a company who’s just starting to make a name in the world of computers, let alone in the world of gaming?
The Prostar Clevo may change your mind.
- 15.6" Full HD (1920x1080) Matte Type Display; HDMI output; 2 Mini DisplayPort 1.2; 1 USB 3.0...
- Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz, Processor (Max Turbo Frequency 3.8 GHz), 6 MB Smart Cache: Windows...
Prostar is a company founded in 1992 and has been selling quality laptops since then. The Clevo N855HJ is one of their latest gaming laptops. The brand name is unknown to many, Most people have not heard of them before and we just recently came across their laptop in search of a gaming laptop under $1000.
So let’s find out if this gaming laptop is worthy of its price. The Clevo N855HJ is not as flashy as the other laptops from MSI, ASUS, and other major brands, but it is packed with components that a gamer would like to have in their gaming laptop. It might be able to go toe to toe with an ASUS ROG.
This gaming laptop measures 14.88″ x 10.51″ x 0.98″, weighs 5.51 lbs (about 2.5 kg), and has a 15.6” matte-type screen. It runs on a 62 Wh, six-Cell Lithium-Ion battery.
If you look under the hood of this gaming laptop, you’ll see how powerful this is despite the simple design. For its CPU, it has an i7-770HQ with a 3.8 GHz clock speed when on turbo. The GPU is also not that bad with a GTX 1050 DDR5 2 GB dedicated VRAM. And for its memory, it has 16 GB DDR4 2400 Hz that can still be upgraded to 32 GB max.
This gaming laptop under $1000 uses a 256 GB M.2 SSD and a 1 TB 5400 RPM hard drive.This is more than enough to store your games and files without using an external drive. Although, a faster 7200 RPM hard drive would have been a better option.
There are a lot of ports for this gaming laptop. It has one HDMI port with HDCP, two Mini Display 1.2 ports, one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 type-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, one headphone jack, one microphone jack, and an RJ-45 LAN port. Unfortunately, there is no Thunderbolt 3 port for this gaming laptop.
As a conclusion, if you are looking for a gaming laptop under $1000, this is a good buy. However, if you are looking for something with more angst to it, then you’re better off with going further down this list.
Budget Stretcher Gaming Laptop
6. ACER Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
Look we couldn’t in good conscience not put the following laptop. For just a little bit over the $1k budget, you’re getting a much better graphics card.
Take gaming performance to a whole new level! Get the best bang for your buck with the ACER Predator Helios 300.
- Latest 7th Generation Intel Core i7 Processor 2.8GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.8GHz |...
- Latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
There probably are lots of laptops out there who would brag about how they can outclass the competition. However, the Acer Predator Helios 300 will beat most of gaming laptops in its price range.
The Helios 300 is just a little over $1000 as of this writing. And it is definitely a better choice over the N850HK1 Pro. It has a solid metal chassis made of aluminum and is matte finished except for the top of the lid, which has a brushed metal finish.
But this is not the reason we picked it as a top choice on this list of gaming laptops. The processor installed in this gaming laptop is a Quad Core Intel i7-7700HQ that has a six MB L3 cache that can go up to 3.8 GHz. It has a 16 GB DDR4 2400 Hz RAM expandable up to 32 GB.
The main reason this is part of this list is the GPU. The Helios 300 has a 6 GB DDR5 GTX 1060 which is VR-ready. For a small relative amount you’re getting a way better GPU overall. This machine is mean and vicious when it comes to gaming, thus, the name Predator, beating the competition by a mile.
Frame after frame the colors looks lifelike and vivid with its 15.6-inch IPS screen backlit by LED. It supports 1920×1080 native resolution. If you are playing games, you can set the graphics to full without having any issues. One reminder though, if you are planning to connect it to a 4K external monitor, the GTX 1060 can reach its limits easily. 4K would need a higher graphics card, such as a GTX 1070.
The Helios 300 keeps the internal components with its dual fans and large vents on the rear side. You can also monitor the performance of your machine and fine-tune the fan performance using ACER’s PredatorSense application.
This gaming laptop comes out of the box with only the 256 GB SSD, and if you want an HD drive, then you need to purchase it as an upgrade for another $90 or so for a 2 TB HD (and install it yourself). .
Upgrading the memory and storage is easy, you have two easy-access hatches, one for the 2.5-inch drive and another for the DIMM Sockets.
You have a backlit keyboard with black keys except for the WASD that is red, It is a full keyboard layout complete with the number pad.
The Predator Helios 300 measures 15.4 x 10.5 x 1.5 inches; which is slightly bigger than other mainstream gaming notebooks. The ASUS ROG Strix GL553VD (15.1 x 10 x 1.2 inches, 5.6 pounds) and the Lenovo Legion Y520 (15 x 10.4 x 1 inches, 5.6 pounds) are a bit smaller. However, the Helios 300 is a tad lighter at only 5.5 lbs. Now all this good stuff is just a little over the $1k mark at the time of this review and is backed with ACER’s two-year limited warranty. Talk about bang for your buck!
Just a small write up here about battery management. Most laptops now have battery apps that you can modify to extend your battery life as long as possible.
There are articles out there on how to care for your battery.
We subscribe to the fact that software can fail sometimes.
The only way to truly guarantee your laptop battery is not getting charged is to remove it entirely when connected to a power supply.
- Charge the battery to 40-50% and then remove the battery.
- Place the battery in a ziplock bag and if you have one, put one of those silica packs you may have lying around.
- Put the battery in the freezer. This may sound extreme, but the constant temperature is the best for keeping your battery fresh.
Obviously, this is really only for if you keep your laptop plugged in for a long time.
You don’t want to have to defrost your battery every time you want to use your laptop.
If you do use the freezing technique, make sure to take the battery out every month or so and use it. Lithium batteries still like to get cycled.
A simpler method is to just pull the battery out (after the computer is powered down) and leave it beside your laptop.
If you use your laptop consistently, you need the handiness of the battery ready.
We found that this is the best way to preserve battery life. Regardless of what any other article says, it has shown to provide continuously longer battery life.
Gaming laptops under $1000 can be considered as entry-level for gaming.
Nowadays, games are becoming a burden to keep up with, specifications-wise. In the years to come, most likely the GTX 1050s might not be able to run games even in low to medium settings, but as always – technology keeps improving. So start saving up for your next laptop gaming rig!
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Thanks for reading. We also have an in-depth post on the best gaming laptops under $1500 and $ 1300 that is worth checking out.