Best Gaming Laptops Under $1,000
Gaming laptops can put a serious dent in your wallet, with some of the fancier models costing upward of $3,000. 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 some sub-$1,000 notebooks that can run graphically taxing games like Forza Horizon 4 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey at solid frame rates.
And thanks to Nvidia's 1050 Ti GPUs, you can hook up an Oculus Rift and jump into the virtual realm. However, some companies like Dell and Gigabyte are outfitting their rigs with Nvidia GTX 1060 Max-Q GPUs so fans of the HTC Vive can also get in on the fun. Best of all, you can use all that money you just saved to splurge on a top-notching gaming keyboard or mouse. But if you're looking for a bit more power, Nvidia's new RTX chips are on the way, including some that will give gamers a serious bump without draining their bank accounts. And speaking of saving a few bucks, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the Lenovo Legion Y7000. It's a little above the $1,000 limit at $1,099, but this 4.5-star Editor's Choice machine delivers a host of premium features at an affordable price.
If you're curious how these laptops rank by brand, check out our Best and Worst Gaming Laptop Brands to see how notebook manufacturer handles gaming systems. And if you're looking to save even more money, check out our roundup of best deals of the month and free PC games.
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.
Best Overall Budget Gaming Laptop: Dell G7 15
Dell recently phased out its entry-level gaming-laptop series in favor of something more exciting and powerful. 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.
Key Specs: 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
Best Performance: MSI GF63 8RB
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.
Key Specs: 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
Longest Battery Life: Dell G3 15 Gaming
Planning on spending hours upon hours handing out beatdowns in Fortnite or Call of Duty? Check out the Dell G3 15 Gaming laptop, which lasted an impressive 6 hours and 37 minutes on our battery test. Gamers also get a system capable of kicking out some solid frame rates and good sound, thanks to a GTX 1050 Ti GPU and some powerful speakers. And at 5.2 pounds and 0.9 inches thick, this is one of the thinnest entry-level gaming laptops available.
Key Specs: CPU: 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-8300H CPU * GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM * RAM/Storage: 8GB/126GB SSD with a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive * Display Size/Resolution: 15.6/1920 x 1080
Best Value: Asus TUF Gaming FX504
Starting at $699, it's going to be hard to find a more affordable gaming laptop than the Asus TUF Gaming FX504. For the price, you get an 8th Gen Core i5 CPU and a Nvidia GTX 1050 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 FX504 is the way to go.
Key Specs: CPU: 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-8300H * GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050 with 2GB of VRAM * RAM/Storage: up to 16GB/1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive * Display Size/Resolution: 15.6-inch/1920 x 1080
Best Versatility: Acer Nitro 5 Spin
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. A 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.
Key Specs: 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
Best 17-inch: Asus TUF Gaming FX705
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.
Key Specs: 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
Best Design: Lenovo Legion Y530
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.
Key Specs: 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