10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000 2020
Great gaming, terrific prices
The world of computers has come a long way from the time when gaming laptops cost the moon and a handful of glittering stars.
Today, you can lay your hands on budget gaming devices that fuel powerful play without requiring you to break the bank.
Many game-friendly laptops in a comfortable and easy-to-use form factor now come in at under $1000; in no way are these machines shoddy or driven by patchwork.
In the world of budget gaming, commitment is crucial for success. This is why the brands that lead the game have identified their areas of commitment and endeavor to stick to them.
For example, if durability and reliability drive HP, companies like Acer and ASUS focus on being in vogue with the latest trends. Dell has maintained its enviable commitment to flexibility by bestowing its product line-up with features that enhance ease of use.
Lenovo, on the other hand, is focusing on creating a fascinating blend of the traditional and the contemporary, by making premium possible at low prices.
While inter-brand differences abound in the marketplace, the best gaming laptops have one thing in common: efficient and sustainable processing that does not compromise on detail.
Before heading out to purchase a gaming companion, your wallet rather fidgety in your pocket, we recommend you analyze and weigh your options.
Table of Contents
- Is It Worthwhile Getting a Best Gaming Laptop Under 1000 Dollars?
- Our Picks: 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000 2020
- 1. Lenovo Legion 5 (Most Recommended)
- 2. ASUS TUF Gaming A15 (Recommended)
- 3. OMEN by HP 15-dc2010nr (i7-10750H CPU)
- 4. Acer Nitro 5 AN515-44 (GTX 1660Ti GPU)
- 5. MSI GF75 Thin (Best 17-inch)
- 6. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i
- 7. HP Pavilion 16-a0020nr Gaming Laptop
- 8. Lenovo Legion 5 (Intel) Gaming Laptop
- 9. ASUS ROG Strix G15 Gaming Laptop
- 10. Dell G3 15 3500 Gaming Laptop
- Must-Have Features in Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000
- Closing Note
Is It Worthwhile Getting a Best Gaming Laptop Under 1000 Dollars?
When gaming laptops were first launched, they were met with considerable suspicion and apprehension. Gaming was such a CPU-draining activity. Could laptops ever be powerful enough to support gameplay without irritating lags and cumbersome breakdowns?
With time, however, not only have gaming laptops proved their mettle, but they have also become more affordable.
Today, it is possible to find budget gaming laptops that come in at around $1000 but offer the entire pro-game paraphernalia.
Investing in a budget gaming laptop can be the right decision for you if:
- You are passionate about gaming but watching your budget. Many laptops in this space, especially by leading brands like MSI, Asus and HP, offer a huge chunk of features from backlit keyboards to premium design. Some of these notebooks stretch the limits by even throwing in features like n-key rollover, multiple display modes, and long battery life.
- You are looking for a portable gaming computer. Several budget gaming notebooks weigh in the range of 4–5lbs, which makes them easy to lug along. They also come with other features to boost portability, such as USB ports, display ports, and a robust build.
- You are comfortable playing at low to medium settings. Let us face it, while many laptops in this league are driven by topnotch processors and have ample storage space, they may not be able to provide a refresh rate of 144Hz, per-key backlighting, a 4K OLED display, or the razzmatazz of an NVIDIA RTX card. You might have to skimp on some settings, especially if you opt for a low-RAM machine (around 8GB) or a laptop with a refresh rate of 60Hz–120Hz.
- You want to use your laptop as a multi-purpose device for activities like multimedia editing, watching a movie, working on school assignments, or an office computer. If you don’t want to invest in an out-and-out gaming laptop, a budget machine is your best bet. It will give you the best of both worlds: gaming and what lies beyond.
- You want to upgrade as you go. Some budget gamers come with the provision to upgrade the specs such as the RAM, storage, etc. For instance, many HP computers have single-panel access for upgrades. The advantage is that you don’t need to pay much upfront but can get a more powerful configuration if your budget allows it in the future or your needs warrant it.
- You want to keep your options open to accommodate innovations in the gaming arena. This is one space that keeps experimenting with new technologies. If NVIDIA RTX cards and Tobii eye-tracking are all the rage now, you might soon see more laptops with refresh rates as high as 240Hz. If you wish to wait it out and invest in a fancier gaming laptop in the future, a budget laptop can be your best bet for the present.
Our Picks: 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000 2020
In this (near) exhaustive list of the 10 best gaming laptops under $1000 2020, we have reviewed the very finest offerings in this space and highlighted their relative pros and cons.
1. Lenovo Legion 5 (Most Recommended)
It offers brilliant performance, thanks to the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics and Harman Kardon audio.
Additionally, it delivers on mobility and audio-visual grandeur. Here are the specs: 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD.
Display-wise, you can opt for Dolby Vision along with 100% sRGB. Else, you can stick to an FHD monitor that comes with IPS, anti-glare, a refresh rate of 120Hz, and a brightness of 250 nits.
Another triumph for this computer comes with mode-switching—from hybrid to quiet. Based on the need of the moment, the voltage requirement to the CPU changes; this keeps things sustainable for longer.
This 5.5lbs computer uses anti-smudge, talcum-injected materials and has a long-lasting battery life of up to eight hours. Plus, the power adapter is incredibly light and lets you charge up to 50% in less than half an hour.
Our Most Recommended Gaming Laptop: Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-72XD (Under $1200)
The 15.6” Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-72XD is a fantastic all-rounder gaming laptop driven by an Intel i7-10750H processor and NVIDIA RTX 2060 graphics with 6GB of dedicated memory.
It offers an FHD display with a refresh rate of 144Hz, which is optimal for most contemporary gaming titles and lets you enjoy finely nuanced gameplay. The DTS X Premium sound system benefits majorly from the technological fine-tuning by Acer True Harmony.
On the processing front, you get support for up to 16GB RAM, storage space of 512GB (SSD), and battery backup of up to six hours. But the highlight is the efficient cooling system that employs AeroBlade metal fans to dissipate heat quickly. This keeps your machine sustainable and performing at its optimum for long, uninterrupted hours.
Adding to the visual prowess of this laptop is the IPS panel that lets you view the proceedings from various viewing angles. The monitor has a brightness of 300 nits and a color gamut of 72% NTSC. Note that the screen resolution is 1920 x 1080.
In the connectivity department, this laptop supports Killer Double Shot Pro wireless and has an inbuilt USB 3.1 port (Type C). An HD webcam supports Super High Dynamic Range (SHDR) and offers a resolution of 1280 x 720 for crystal-clear video calling or interactions with your gaming comrades.
A special mention for the look and feel of this Predator: it exudes plenty of style! The black chassis is complemented by red accents and geometric lines, reflecting both charisma and raw power.
The backlit keyboard (iron-red backlighting) adds to your overall enjoyment of the game. Note that this computer packs in about 5.51lbs. It is also not exactly lean at 1.1”.
2. ASUS TUF Gaming A15 (Recommended)
Are you a Ryzen aficionado? The ASUS TUF A15 FA506IH-AS53 gaming laptop is a brilliant pick to enjoy the glamour of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 graphics with the competence of an Ryzen 5 4600H processor.
This 15.6” laptop is fitted with 8GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an FHD screen with a refresh rate of 144Hz.
You can enjoy the comfort of an IPS panel while gaming with your peers; you needn’t huddle in front of the screen to get the best view.
This is a sturdily built gaming laptop that adheres to the MIL-STD-810H military standard of construction. You can move with it effortlessly, assured that it can withstand the grind of travel. That said, it retains a compact and sleek profile of 0.98” and 5.07lbs.
Of particular note is the RGB backlit keyboard that is torture-tested for 20 million keystrokes. Add to that anti-dust technology for cooling, and you have a computer that exudes sustainability. Here’s looking forward to many long hours of uninterrupted gaming!
3. OMEN by HP 15-dc2010nr (i7-10750H CPU)
The 15” Omen by HP 2020 allows you to control pretty much everything, from CPU overclocking to the memory, with a single-panel access to the machine’s internals and an intuitive command center. (The panel is held on by only a few screws and requires little by way of handiwork during upgrades.)
As is, the laptop features some stellar specs: an Intel i7-10750H processor, 8GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA GTX 1650Ti graphics. The FHD display offers IPS-support, glare protection, and an optimal resolution of 1920 x 1080.
Although this is a budget gaming machine, it offers a fantastic backlit keyboard (two zones, dragon red).
The 26-key rollover helps maximize the strength of your reflexes while gaming, thus giving you a winsome edge on the arena. We also adore the sound system; the audio output is 3D and spatially accurate.
Note that this laptop weighs 5.26lbs, which is heavier than some others on this list. It does, however, provide several USB ports, the latest Wi-Fi standard (802.11), and display ports to provide a connected experience to gamers.
4. Acer Nitro 5 AN515-44 (GTX 1660Ti GPU)
Not only does the device feature a stunning and powerful AMD Ryzen processor, it is also integrated with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU.
In case you are particular about finding the best gaming laptop within a budget, this is it.
The device features a 15.6” FHD widescreen LED-backlit IPS display for high resolution gaming without any hindrance. It also produces true to life colors with crisp display that allows you to experience your games in high quality.
The Acer Nitro 5 is integrated with 256GB SSD for storage along with 8GB RAM for smoother gaming experience. It also features the Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX200 802.11ax for wireless connectivity. The device runs on Windows 10 Home operating system.
5. MSI GF75 Thin (Best 17-inch)
If you are particular about your budget but don’t want to compromise on the features, the MSI GF75 Thin is hands down one of the best options.
It has a stunning all-black design with red backlit keyboard that allows you to have an unparalleled gaming experience.
The device also features a 17” FHD display with 144Hz refresh rate for higher than life gaming experience with a bigger screen.
In case you are particular about the processor and such, the device is powered by the Intel 10th Gen. i7-10750H hexa core processor along with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU.
As for the storage and memory, it is integrated with 512GB SSD for storage along with 8GB RAM for memory. It runs on the Windows 10 operating system.
6. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i
For budget-watchers, the competent 15.6” Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i is also a good choice for a gaming device.
It comes with an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 8GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics.
Broadly speaking, the specs are suitable for gaming as well as multimedia content creation. Moreover, sustainability is pretty good too.
A dual-fan and vent cooling mechanism manages to keep your device running at an optimum during extended gaming hours.
Let’s talk about the visuals. The FHD display, which is compatible with IPS, supports a refresh rate of up to 120Hz.
The narrow-bezel design is especially useful in letting users experience engaging imagery. And oh, there’s a top-placed webcam too, complete with a privacy shutter for extra security during video calls.
A hallmark of this 4.8lbs device is its brilliant keyboard with dedicated media keys and a large trackpad. The importance of smooth keystrokes in the heat of the game cannot be overstated. (There’s also a full-size number pad.)
7. HP Pavilion 16-a0020nr Gaming Laptop
HP’s worthy gaming laptop, the 16” HP Pavilion 16-a0020nr wins at expanding your viewing area without sacrificing portability.
HP has managed to fit a 16″ micro-edge screen in a 15″ chassis; this device weighs only 4.78lbs.
Running this laptop is an Intel Core i5-10300H CPU; the specs include 8GB RAM, 512GB of space (SSD), and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics. Suffice it to say that the performance is adequate for a good degree of gaming.
The highlight of the FHD display is the screen to body ratio of 80%. So much more space to see things unfold! Note that you get a color gamut of 45% NTSC and a rather low refresh rate of 60Hz. However, the monitor is compatible with IPS and comes fitted with an anti-glare panel.
What about the portability quotient? HP scores ample points for the backlit keyboard and long-lasting battery (10.5 hours on mixed usage). Rapid charging ensures you can power up to 50% charge in only 45 minutes.
8. Lenovo Legion 5 (Intel) Gaming Laptop
This is quite a powerful device, run by an Intel Core i7-10750H and offering 8GB RAM, 256GB of storage (SSD), and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics.
It also delivers Dual Burn Support—an innovative technology that combines the CPU and GPU to improve the frame rates and sharpen the imagery. It has a promising display, too: an FHD screen, IPS, and Dolby Vision. (Check this laptop on Lenovo Official Website)
As a brand, Lenovo really scores on the accessibility front. The keyboard is super charming; it offers soft-landing switches, 100% anti-ghosting and RGB backlighting. This makes it very gaming-friendly while reducing the chances of developing finger cramps!
Quite a lightweight computer at 5.51lbs, this laptop comes with HDMI ports for plugging into external displays.
9. ASUS ROG Strix G15 Gaming Laptop
Another affordable gaming laptop that intelligently combines performance and portability is the 15.6” ASUS ROG Strix G15.
Run by an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD, this laptop is fitted with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card
It is a virtual-reality-ready machine, offering an FHD display with an optimal refresh rate of 144Hz for ultimate gaming experiences.
The portability-boosting features of this device include Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 ax) for smooth internet connectivity.
This is sure to find favor with digital gaming enthusiasts. With a weight of 5.29 lbs and a 1” profile thickness, it is a good traveler for a computer of its caliber.
The provision of HDMI output allows you to plug into external displays, while the five hours of battery backup facilitate some unplugged usage.
You can also enjoy an RGB backlit keyboard that adds a distinct aura of dazzle to all gaming endeavors.
10. Dell G3 15 3500 Gaming Laptop
The 15.6” Dell G3 15 3500, powered by an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, is an affordable gaming laptop on which you can rely.
It is equipped with 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card—a configuration that should suffice for casual gaming pursuits.
You get an FHD display with a brightness of 220nits and an anti-glare panel. While the refresh rate is low at 60Hz, it is possible to opt for a 144Hz panel that also offers a narrow bezel design.
This 5.18lbs and 0.85” laptop is well-suited to multimedia pursuits on several fronts. For instance, the dual-fan cooling system lends a good degree of sustainability during intense, CPU-draining tasks.
With Nahimic 3D Audio, the sound output is guaranteed to be immersive. You can also choose to have an RBG backlit keyboard (4-zone) and Killer Wireless 1650, depending on your commitment to gameplay and budget.
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- Top 10 Best ASUS Gaming Laptops
- Top 10 Best MSI Gaming Laptops
Must-Have Features in Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000
Fortunately, shopping at a bargain price does not—and should not—mean you have to cut corners. When you are scouting for a gaming partner, make sure it has the following features:
- CPU: You need an efficient and speedy processor to run your games smoothly. Ideally, an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor or an equivalent AMD Ryzen CPU will do the job well. Besides the CPU, you also want the RAM support to be at least 8GB.
Look for sufficient storage space too, as gaming can be a data-intensive pursuit. Think of all the files that most modern-day games require, from sounds to visuals and special effects.
It makes sense to look for an SSD as there are considerable wins in read/write speeds over the traditional hard disk drives.
This setup lets you utilize the hard disk storage for regular files, heavy-duty data, etc., while the SSD can contribute directly to speeding up booting times and the overall gaming performance.
- GPU: Most AAA games demand dedicated graphics. Integrated graphics are unlikely to make the cut when you crave immersive visuals and time-sensitive effects.
Many budget laptops come packed with NVIDIA GTX 1650 cards. This graphics card is based on the Turing architecture and provides a significant fillip from the GTX 1050 card that used to be common in budget gaming laptops.
What about an AMD laptop? Well, it is rare to find dedicated graphics in budget AMD laptops, primarily since they already operate at low costs.
- Cooling mechanism: Since gaming lets out considerable heat, it is imperative to get a laptop with a trustable cooling system.
You need a heat dissipation mechanism that keeps both the CPU and the GPU cool, thus preventing slowdown or, worse, breakdown.
A strong cooling system also extends the longevity of your laptop since it keeps the sensitive components functioning at their optimum.
- Display: This is perhaps the most obvious aspect you need to look for in a gaming laptop. It is all about what you see, after all, that lets you defeat foes on the battlefield.
In the $1000 price bucket, you can expect an FHD display with IPS and anti-glare provisions. Don’t settle for a screen resolution lower than 1920 x 1080 as you will then be left wanting for precision and detail.
The color gamut offered is also crucial since it will decide the range of colors you see in your content. Anything upwards of 45% NTSC is good, although a 100% sRGB color gamut would be tremendous.
Another important consideration here is the refresh rate or the number of times in a second that the screen refreshes the image.
While 144Hz is the gold standard for refresh rate, you should be able to find laptops that offer 60Hz–120Hz in this price range.
Along with this metric, also check the response time or the number of milliseconds it takes for a pixel to change the colors. A good standard is 3ms.
- Sound: Good-quality audio is a prerequisite for a gaming laptop. So many special effects and crucial junctures in games rely on audio, after all.
Even in affordable laptops, you can find fine audio with large speakers and innovative technologies.
Seek 3D output and good volume. Your computer should also be able to play great sound when on the run.
- Build and design: This one is a factor of your usage patterns. If you intend to carry your laptop along with you on travels, meetings, etc., you need a lightweight computer with a slim profile.
This will allow you to slide the notebook into a backpack and get going. You can find budget gaming laptops weighing 4–5lbs, with profiles under 1”.
It is also useful to look for robust construction, screen protection (glass), etc., so that the laptop can handle transit without incurring damage.
Many top manufacturers also focus on giving their gaming line-up an attractive appearance—a blend of the powerful and the distinctive. You can find laptops with dragon logos, eye-catching backlighting, metallic covers, and brushed patterns.
- Connectivity: You want your laptop to be equipped with a full array of USB ports to support your devices like keyboard, mice, etc. If the computer has a Type-C port (Thunderbolt), you can enjoy rapid data transfer and quick charging.
Along with USB ports, gaming laptops should also possess display ports and HDMI to permit you to connect to external displays. You might need a larger-than-life screen on multiple occasions, such as gaming competitions.
Check that the computer supports a consistent, updated Wi-Fi standard like 802.11ac, Ethernet and LAN. Some machines offer compatibility with Killer Ethernet that prioritizes your gaming traffic to deliver a stellar online performance.
- Keyboard: This one is critical for any gaming laptop as it’s your basic weaponry for any game. You should explore backlit keyboards with a comfortable key-travel distance and n-key rollover.
Budget gaming laptops usually provide single backlighting in colors like red or white. Backlighting by zones is rare in this segment, while per-key effects are restricted to premium machines.
The right keyboard should also come with a comfortable trackpad, well-defined arrow keys, and WASD keys.
- Battery backup: A long-lasting battery isn’t usually common with gaming laptops since they pack in way too much power to guarantee much unplugged usage.
However, if battery life is one of your priorities, you can find cost-effective gaming laptops that can run for around seven hours on a single charge.
We bet this list has you feeling a great deal more excited about that $1000 cutoff! Indeed, if you are an ardent gamer looking for a powerful CPU and GPU in conjunction with enchanting graphics and sound, a budget of $1000 is no longer paltry.
In this list, we have covered the best gaming laptops with alluring price tags, all of them offering satisfying and reliable performance.
Some of them also manage to throw in a few bells and whistles, such as the Dell G5 15 5500 with its Nahimic Sound Center for voice-led in-game control and the Lenovo Legion 5 with its eye-care mode for reduced blue light emission.
The latter also packs in high battery backup to emerge as one of the best bets for seekers of portability. In achieving this end, it is joined by other picks like the MSI Bravo 15.
Ultimately, there remains only one golden rule for acquiring a gaming laptop best suited for you: identify what you cannot do without (read brute force, a high refresh rate, a portable build, etc.) and then maximize your resources to fulfill this quest.