Are you looking for the best gaming laptops under $1000? There are so many high-end options out there. The possibility of getting a cheap laptop for gaming probably didn’t even occur to you. However, if you are on a budget and are looking for a pretty awesome laptop, you’re in the right place.
The gaming industry has long been focused on two major platforms: PC and consoles. Consoles have their own branches from different companies, such as Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation line, among others. PC, on the other hand, has long been the popular choice for “older generation” gamers.
While consoles do have their perks, there is nothing to beat gaming with a mouse and keyboard. The crisp responsiveness and the gorgeous visuals available on PC gaming cannot be matched by console variants. A prime example is how PC was running games at 60fps years ago, and consoles like the PS4 are still running theirs at 30.
So, if you do happen to be in the market looking for a good gaming laptop on a budget, well done. You have picked the Master Race of gaming platforms, and it is bound to serve you well. Generally, we would recommend that you be ready to blow some cash if you want to get the best experience out of your games, but we understand that times can be tough for many of you.
The Top 5 Gaming Laptops Under $1000
Being on a budget and still wanting to pursue your passion for gaming is quite commendable of you, so we want to help you out as much as we can. This is why we want to ensure that you have the best experience for your money’s worth that you possibly can. In terms of the best gaming computer under 1000 that 2016 has to offer you, we have got to start the list off with the phenomenal ASUS ROG GL752VW gaming laptop.
Overpowered and Underpriced – ASUS ROG GL752VW
We didn’t think the ASUS would have too much to offer when we first took a look at it. Priced at just under $1000 for the mid-range spec, we assumed it would have some pretty mediocre specs. Running games like Far Cry 4 at highest settings would have been the most it could do. Boy, were we wrong.
The ROG is a pure gaming rig meant for the budget gaming laptop crowd, and it shows. The laptop looks and feels absolutely gorgeous. It has a slight indent on the middle of the lid to give it a more “badass” appearance, which really works for it. It isn’t small either – a nice full HD 17.3” screen complements the design in a way that we haven’t seen in other laptops.
Even better, the screen is a matte design so that there is some glare resistance. Thinking about sitting down in the park and playing some Tomb Raider? Go ahead, the ROG can give you brilliant visuals outdoors in the daytime.
We also found out that the laptop had a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive. As you might know, gamers like you and I need huge storage space options to ensure that we don’t get the dreaded “Getting low on disk space” error while installing a massive game like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The terabyte of space was more than enough to keep us satisfied, but it didn’t end there. A 128GB SSD of the M.2 variety is available in an easy-slide panel. Super-fast load times for the biggest, baddest games? Check.
The keyboard was another source of interest. One of the most ergonomic, well-designed out there in terms of gaming laptops for professionals. Backlit with red keys and 1.8mm of travel, this was a responsive design that truly blew our minds.
Finally, the big clincher. The GPU. The Graphics Card. The Holy Grail of PC gaming. A powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M GDDR5 card with 2GB of VRAM is available on the ROG. For just over $1000, this is upgradeable to 4GB. Not a bad tradeoff. All of these specs in conjunction with the GameFirst III tech that forces a connected network to prioritize the flow of your game data make the ASUS ROG our top pick for the best gaming laptop under 1000 out there.
Now that we’ve zoomed in to our #1 pick, let’s take a look at a summary of our top #5.
Reviews of the Top 5 Laptops <$1000
1.) ASUS ROG GL752VW
The ASUS ROG is our top pick for the best budget laptop for gaming, and with good reason. It features a powerful 6th generation Intel Core i7 processor that can run the most demanding games smoothly and with ease. It clocks in at 2.6GHz. A 17.3” screen size is a little heavy and big, but also provides great visuals with a matte, glare-proof display and 1920×1080 full HD resolution. This display is supported by a powerful 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics card, which can be upgraded to 4GB for a little over the $1000 price limit we have set.
Along with these and the 16GB of prime DDR4 RAM, it makes use of GameFirst III technology for better latency while playing online. Storage space is maximized as well using the 1TB mechanical HDD that can store all of your game installs with ease. Booting up and starting games is really easy too because of the nice 128GB SSD that comes with the laptop. An easy access panel allows it to be upgraded as needed.
- 6th gen i7 processor
- 16GB RAM
- Good graphics card
- Large screen size
- Online play is easy
- Backlit keyboard
- Tends to be heavy
- Sub-$1000 model has low GPU
2.) Acer Aspire E 15
The Acer Aspire E15 is our second favorite cheap gaming laptop. The great Intel Core i7 processor is of the 6th generation and can handle most of the games of today without breaking too big of a sweat. Clocking in at 3.1GHz, this is a powerful one indeed. There is a cheaper option with a 6th gen i5 CPU instead, for the more budget-oriented gamers out there.
This laptop also has a nice, decent 15.6” display, which reduces the weight when compared to our top pick. Of course, it isn’t nearly as good looking when it comes to game, although the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX is able to support the graphical demands of most modern games with no problems on the full HD screen of the Aspire.
We put this laptop in our number two spot because of the value for money. $700 for a 6th gen processor, a high-end GPU and 8GB of DDR4 RAM (upgradeable to 16GB) makes for a pretty awesome cheap gaming laptop. When paired with the sweet 1TB of HDD space as well as the 256GB SSD, this deserves our second spot.
- Good processor
- Small, light design
- Good GPU
- Upgradeable RAM
- Value for money
- Smaller screen size
- No backlit keyboard
- Only 2GB of VRAM
The Inspiron series has never failed to impress when it comes to their performance, and the i7559 is no different. The model number boasts the type of processor it holds within – a powerful 8thread quad-core Intel Core i7 6th generation CPU clocked at 3.5GHz, which is one of the best we have seen so far. It is more than capable of handling the scarily demanding games of today, that’s for sure.
In addition to this, the laptop has a 16GB DDR3L RAM capacity. It isn’t the latest technology, but the size of the RAM means that multitasking, streaming and recording gameplay are all going to be pretty smooth. No upgrades can be done to the RAM, although none will be needed for quite a while. The hard disk is a hybrid, with 1TB of HDD space as well as a small 8GB SSD for faster booting and load times.
We also fell in love with the 15.6” LED screen, which featured anti-glare technology for gaming on the go. The display was aa full HD version supported by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5 VRAM which is one of the absolute best in the business, more than capable of running modern titles at Ultra High graphics settings.
- Fast, awesome processor
- High capacity RAM
- High-end VGA
- High capacity HDD
- Light design
- Higher 128GB SSD is stuck behind a paywall
- RAM technology isn’t the latest
- Small capacity SSD
This gaming laptop by Dell is one of the cooler models that we have seen. While it was nowhere near our top pick, we still think that it is a pretty solid option for the gamer looking for a good budget laptop for games. The Intel Core i5 processor is of the 6th generation and can handle most of the newer games on the market with ease, especially since it can be clocked up to 3.2GHz.
We also noticed a pretty cool RAM, 8GB of DDR3L, although the problem was that it wasn’t upgradeable past 8GB, because of technological barriers. The 15.6” display was one of the better features, with a FHD resolution of 1920×1080 along with anti-glare technology built into it. This was supported by a wonderfully efficient and powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M VRAM with 4GB of GDDR5 graphics processing memory.
A 256GB SSD is included in the package, but no other HDD, meaning that storage space is a little tight. Your best bet is to get this laptop along with an external hard disk drive that you can connect to it via the USB3.0 ports on the laptop.
- Powerful processor
- Amazing VGA
- High capacity SSD
- Anti-glare display
- Small and light
- Smaller RAM, not upgradeable
- No HDD space
The Aspire V15 Nitro Black is a special edition from Acer that has some pretty great specs. For example, it features a powerful Core i7 processor from Intel, 6th generation of course, that can be clocked at about 2.6GHz. An 8GB RAM is also present but is upgradeable to 16GB because of the dual channel DDR4 technology in the system.
1TB of hard disk space is available for some really high capacity storage, although the laptop doesn’t have an SSD included with it, which led to slightly slower boot and load times for applications and game data. However, the VGA more than made up for it – an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with 4GB of performance that supported a full HD 15.6” screen.
- Great processor
- High-end VGA
- Upgradeable RAM
- Lightweight design
- High capacity HDD
- No SSD
- Smaller screen size
- Not the greatest RAM
What to Look for in a Gaming Laptop
Now that you know you need a budget rig, and you’ve seen a prime example of one of the best laptops for playing games on the market right now, you are probably wondering what you need to look for. Chances are you’re gearing up to go out there right now and start picking the ultimate gamer’s rig for your wallet’s limits. Well, here are some of the main features you need to look and ask for in a gaming laptop.
The Graphics Card Needs to be Lit
Well, here comes the first DUH! in this section. You need to have a great GPU if you want to run games like Battlefield 1 at the highest graphics settings. There are two major schools of graphics cards, the AMD brand and NVIDIA. Picking between them can be pretty tough.
The range that you are presented with is huge indeed, and there are many different models out each year. Since you’re on a budget, you will want to compare the prices versus the specs of the different options, as well as any performance and benchmark tests you can find.
Something to remember is that most of your spending needs to be focused around the graphics card. There are different tiers, and the price hikes in each tier relate differently to the corresponding boosts in performance. For example, spending an extra $100 in the mid range might give you a pretty large boost, while the same boost might cost upwards of $300 in the higher tier.
Get Yourself a Beautiful Processor
AMD vs Intel. You know of the battle already. It has been raging for years now. At present Intel is way ahead of the competition, but there is a chance that AMD could make a comeback. The Core series of Intel processors has some of the craziest technology in the world of gaming right now.
Remember that your CPU spec will come in “generations”. The higher the number on that, the better. A 6th generation Core i5 could perform the same as a 5th generation i7. If you can afford it, try to get a CPU of the i7 variety, but an i5 is going to be more than enough for most games to run at Ultra setting without any problems. Don’t spend too much money on your processor. There are other components out there you have to think about as well.
RAM through Your Budget Constraints
Your RAM is another core part of your gaming experience. If you’re on a budget, 8GB should be more than enough for all your games. While you might have to tweak the settings every now and then for the best performance, an 8GB DDR3 or DDR4 RAM is going to serve you well.
If, however, you plan on streaming your games as you play them, or you want to multitask at college, you might want to opt for 12 or 16GB of RAM instead. Application switching becomes much faster with a better RAM. If possible, get aftermarket RAMs for a cheaper price after receiving your new laptop!
Hard Drive on Point
Okay so you have two options here – capacity or speed. An SSD is going to give you blinding speed for a higher price and a far lower capacity. The top gaming laptops under 1000 this year have a combination of the two. A traditional HDD is cheaper, has more capacity, but is typically slower and prone to more errors than its modern counterpart.
Ideally, a laptop with a combination of the two, like our top pick for the cheapest gaming laptop 2016, is what you should be looking for. Games now are usual >40GB in capacity, so a 1TB HDD will not go amiss. Again, you can buy a pretty great HDD for your laptop after purchasing it. Save your money!
Get a Boss Screen
But don’t venture too far in this regard. The bigger your screen size, the less portable your laptop will be. Sure, having a large screen is great for visuals, but it also means that lugging that monster around in a laptop bag is going to be a chore and a half. The perfect balance between screen size and portability lies in the 15.6” to 17.3” range.
Don’t go for 4K resolution. It might be tempting, but if it is just going to make it harder for you to afford other components, it’s a waste of money. Want to see some 60 to 120fps games running on your laptop? Stick with the good old FHD display.
So now you know what to look for when you are in the market for the best gaming laptops on budget 2016. You know the specs and the hardware you need to prioritize, and you know how important different components are, as well as their contribution to your setup. Above all, you have some examples of laptops that will serve you very well indeed when it comes to your obsession with PC gaming. While getting a laptop for gaming on a budget is a good idea, you should also thing about looking for a desktop computer to do some hardcore playing on, if you’re into that sort of thing. With a proper gaming rig at home, you won’t need to blow that much money on a laptop that can do the same thing. Also, try to purchase an external keyboard and mouse so that you don’t wind up ruining your keys for good after mashing them all the time!