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Cheap gaming laptops: Top picks under $1,000

Gaming is an expensive hobby, which unchecked can put a serious dent in your wallet, especially when it comes to gaming notebook. But who says that the right rig has to cost an arm, a leg and the soul of your firstborn? Fortunately for the fiscally-conscious gamer, there are sub-$1,000 notebooks that can run graphically-taxing games at solid frame rates.

Whether you're looking for a gift for the gamer in your life or want an affordable way to frag on the go, here are the best gaming laptops under $1,000. And if you're looking for even more savings, check out our gaming laptop deals page.  Not looking for a gaming rig at all? Check out our best laptops page.

Black Friday gaming laptop deals: What to know

The holidays are right around the corner, and you know what that means? Even more savings on gaming laptops. But that doesn't mean you have to wait until Black Friday to start raking in the savings. As the season nears, there are plenty of Black Friday deals pouring in. We're expecting to see deals on some of our favorite gaming laptops, including the Alienware m17 R2 and the Lenovo Legion Y7000.

Dell G3 15 (2019)

(Image credit: Future)

1. Dell G3 15

The best cheap gaming laptop overall

CPU: 2.2-GHz Intel Core i5-9300H CPU | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: 8GB/128GB SSD/1TB 5,400-rpm HDD | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6/1920 x 1080

The G3 15 is a great refresh of an already impressive, affordable gaming laptop. It has solid performance paired with a great gaming utility on top of awesome battery life for a gaming laptop. Plus, it tears through most games at impressive frame rates and you get a nice comfortable keyboard to play on. Overall, the G3 15 is the cheap gaming laptop to get if you're on a tight budget.

See our full Dell G3 15 (2019) review

Best Performance: MSI GF63 8RB

2. MSI GF63 8RB

Strong performance for the price

CPU: 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H CPU | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: 16GB/256GB M.2 PCIe SSD with a1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6-inch/1920 x 1080

Relatively slim and lightweight
Fast performance
Dim and dull display
Low-travel keyboard
No gaming utilities

The MSI GF63 is designed for people who want to game, but don't want to spend a fortune to do so. You get solid performance from its Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia graphics. It offers excellent performance at a reasonable price allowing you to play most modern games at low settings. It's a great choice for an entry-level player.

See our full MSI GF63 8RB review.

Best Overall Budget Gaming Laptop: Dell G7 15

3. Dell G7 15

Good looks, long battery life

CPU: 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H CPU | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU with 6GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: 16GB/1TB 5,400-rpm HDD | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6/1920 x 1080

Relatively slim and lightweight
Fast performance
Dim, dull display
Below-average battery life

Meet the G7 15 . Visually, the G7 15 is cut from a different cloth than either the Inspiron or the Alienware brands, giving the laptop an identity of its own. And it offers solid overall performance for all your multitasking needs. But more importantly, thanks to its Max-Q GTX 1060, you can expect good frame rates on AAA titles on medium to high settings.

See our full Dell G7 15 review.

Best Value: Acer Nitro 5

4. Acer Nitro 5

Stellar performance at an affordable price

CPU: 2.4-GHz Intel Core i5-8300H | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1650 with 4GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: up to 8GB/512GB SSD | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6-inch/1920 x 1080

Solid specs for a budget laptop
Stays cool under pressure with customizable fan controls
Plenty of ports for peripherals
Bulky size
Finicky trackpad
Weak audio

Starting at $699, it's going to be hard to find a more affordable gaming laptop than the Acer Nitro. For the price, you get a 9th Gen Core i5 CPU and an Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU, which is enough to play most games on low or medium settings. Keep in mind that such a low price point means that some sacrifices must be made. But if you want to spend as little money as possible for a gaming rig, the Nitro 5 is the way to go.

See our full Acer Nitro 5 (2019) review

Best Versatility: Acer Nitro 5 Spin

5. Acer Nitro 5 Spin

Sleek convertible with entry-level power

CPU: 1.8-GHz Intel Core i7-8550U | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050 with 4GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: up to 8GB/256GB SSD with a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6-inch/1920 x 1080

Stylish, versatile design
Comfortable keyboard
Bright, vibrant display
Good keyboard
Graphics could be better for price
Gets toasty while gaming

The Acer Nitro 5 Spin delivers solid multitasking power, good battery life, a comfortable keyboard and oodles of versatility thanks to its easily convertible design. An Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU means that you can play most games at low or medium settings. It's a solid choice for games looking for an affordable gaming system that does more than play games.

See our full Acer Nitro 5 Spin review.

Best 17-inch: Asus TUF Gaming FX705

6. Asus TUF Gaming FX705

Strong performance, vivid display, great price

CPU: 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-8300H CPU | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: 8GB/128GB PCIe m.2 SSD with a 1TB 7,200-rpm hard drive | Display Size/Resolution: 15.6/1920 x 1080

Vivid and crisp 144-Hz display
Comfortable keyboard
Excellent performance
Poor webcam
Weak speakers

The TUF Gaming FX705 is a good choice for anyone who wants a large, midrange gaming laptop. The FX705's 17.3-inch, 144-Hz display is vivid and detailed, and its Core i7 CPU and GTX 1060 GPU provide excellent all-around performance. The laptop also has a comfortable keyboard with customizable lighting, plenty of ports and over 4 hours of battery life, which is impressive for a gaming laptop at any price point.

See our full Asus TUF Gaming FX705 review

Best Design: Lenovo Legion Y530

7. Lenovo Legion Y530

A sleek, slim budget gaming laptop

CPU: 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H CPU | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM | RAM/Storage: 32GB/256GB PCIe NVMe SSD with a 1TB 7,200-rpm hard drive | Display Size/Resolution: 17.3/1920 x 1080

Sleek, stylish design
Thin bezels
Strong overall performance
Solid port selection
Good value
Dull display
Dismal webcam
Middling graphics

The Lenovo Legion Y530 is the Porsche of budget gaming laptops. Its minimalist design and blackout color scheme give it a suave look you'd associate with tuxedo-clad, big-screen villains. Outside of its stately good looks, you get a gaming notebook that offers a wide range of ports and a solid graphics card. It's a very good choice for casual gamers who want a sub-$1,000 laptop with a button-up design that can blend in -- and even impress -- no matter the setting.

See our full Lenovo Legion Y530 review

Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.