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.
Instead, they offer an enticing alternative to the computers at the other end of the spectrum (i.e., the shiny ones with their many frills, easily setting you back by $2000 and above).
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.
- Is It Worthwhile Getting a Budget Gaming Laptop?
- Our Picks: 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000 for 2020
- 1. Dell G5 15 SE 5505 – Best Dell Gaming Laptop Under $1000
- 2. Lenovo Legion 5 – Best Lenovo Gaming Laptop Under $1000
- 3. MSI Bravo 15 – Best MSI Gaming Laptop Under $1000
- 4. Dell G5 15 5500 – Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000 with i7-10750H
- 5. Dell G3 15 3500 – Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000 with i5-10300H
- 6. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i – GTX 1650 Ti Gaming Laptop Under $1000
- 7. MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-252 – Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000 with 512GB SSD
- 8. ASUS TUF A15 – Best ASUS Gaming Laptop Under $1000
- 9. Omen by HP 15t – Best HP Gaming Laptop Under $1000
- 10. Acer Nitro 7 AN715-51 – Best Acer Gaming Laptop Under $1000
- Must-Have Features in Budget Gaming Laptops Under $1000
- Closing Note
Is It Worthwhile Getting a Budget Gaming Laptop?
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 for 2020
In this (near) exhaustive list of the best gaming laptops under $1000 2020, we have reviewed the very finest offerings in this space and highlighted their relative pros and cons.
1. Dell G5 15 SE 5505 – Best Dell Gaming Laptop Under $1000
The Dell G5 15 SE 5505 lets you fine-tune your game settings as per your requirements, thereby building a highly personalized hardware- and software environment.
This laptop also offers you a simple interface (Ace library science) to access all the game-related information that you need.
Look at this in tandem with the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H processor, 256GB SSD, and AMD Radeon RX 5600M graphics, and you have a laptop that can fuel satisfying gaming experiences without frowning.
Looking for best ryzen laptop? Check out the Top 10 Best AMD Ryzen Laptops 2020
The 51Whr-battery supports quick charging; you can also choose to get a 68Whr if more extended use on a single charge is high up on your priority list.
A dual-fan cooling system does a decent job of bringing sustainability to your gameplay. The only downside is the basic RAM support of 16GB.
Dell has managed to keep the display and sound at par with contemporaries in this price range. So, you get an FHD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
The Nahimic Sound Center brings you a terrific degree of in-game control through voice commands and visual sound tracking.
Dell hasn’t traditionally been associated with flashy design or build. With its foray into the gaming world, Dell has kept its essence intact while investing heavily in style and sophistication.
This laptop, for instance, boasts of a premium metal finish and a lightweight chassis of 5.51lbs (with a thickness of 0.85”).
Supporting your online gaming experience is compatibility with Killer RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet; it helps maximize throughput while lowering lagging. Note: While the basic model does not offer a backlit keyboard, you can opt to have one.
2. Lenovo Legion 5 – Best Lenovo Gaming Laptop Under $1000
The Lenovo Legion 5 is hands down one of the best available gaming laptops that you can buy for yourself in case you want a good quality gaming laptop on a budget.
It packs in some of the best features, including the stunning design with a hinged back that make it easier for you to play along for a long period of time without much hassle. The best thing about the laptop is likely both the processor and the overall efficiency in the performance.
It is equipped with AMD Ryzen 4000 series processors which make your gaming and content creation experience a lot smoother than you could even imagine. Pair that with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU and you have a beast of a device with some of the best features that you possibly couldn’t even comprehend in the first place.
The device is also equipped with 15.6” FHD IPS display with a refresh rate of 120Hz for a smoother gameplay unlike anything else. As for the storage and the memory options, it packs in 512GB SSD along with 8GB RAM for smoother performance.
3. MSI Bravo 15 – Best MSI Gaming Laptop Under $1000
MSI is a brand that is synonymous to gaming laptops. Although their devices are naturally quite expensive, the MSI Bravo 15 is a device that you wouldn’t have to cry over.
It packs in some stunning features that you wouldn’t regret spending your coins on.
The combination of the AMD R5-4600H processor along with the AMD Radeon RX5500M graphics make this one of the best budget friendly devices that you could possibly come across.
The design of the device is more or less the same and nothing out of the box. It does come with an extra RGB-backlit keyboard which further makes your life a lot easier.
As for the display, the device has a 15.6” FHD display for smoother gameplay without any complaints as such.
Coming round to the storage and the memory options, it comes with a combination of 512 GB SSD along with 8GB RAM for an even smoother gameplay beyond your expectations.
In case you have been on the lookout for a budget friendly but smoother performance gaming laptop, this is the one you need in your life.
4. Dell G5 15 5500 – Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000 with i7-10750H
The Dell G5 15 5500 packs in the latest processor but comes for a fairly affordable price point.
The device is equipped with the 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H processor which ensures smoother gaming experience without any hassle at all. Not just that, it also sports the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU for an even more effortless gaming experience beyond your expectations.
Coming off of the storage and the RAM configuration, the device further packs in 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD along with 8GB RAM, which is not the most but then again, you are getting one of the best processors, so you can’t necessarily complain about the same.
The look and feel and the overall design is a lot different and comes with a stunning interstellar dark cover with blue linings that adds a very premium look to the device.
It doesn’t support the USB-C port, so that is a downside that you have to makedo with. It runs on the 64-bit Windows 10 operating system, if that was something you needed to know about.
5. Dell G3 15 3500 – Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000 with i5-10300H
Next up on the list is another Dell product. Pretty shocked, right? Well, Dell does have a wide range of gaming laptops that majority of the people aren’t even aware of, the Dell G3 15 3500 is an example of just that.
Unlike the prior one, this one packs in the 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10300H processor for an even better user experience beyond your expectations.
The design of the device is also quite sleek and lightweight, which is different than some of the standard devices that you come across.
That aside, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU further escalates the overall user experience to the next level without any complaints at all. In case you have been looking for smoother gameplay without any glitches, this is hands down the one you need.
The 15.6” FHD display also supports 60Hz refresh rate and ensures stunning viewing angles beyond your comprehension. Lastly, for the storage and memory options, the device comes programmed with 256GB SSD along with 8GB RAM which is not the most but enough to suffice your gaming demands without any hassle at all.
6. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i – GTX 1650 Ti Gaming Laptop Under $1000
The best cheap lenovo gaming laptop under $1000 is the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i.
This is one of those devices that come with a stunning and unique design that is not signature of the majority of the Lenovo devices that you possibly come across.
The curved edges give it a very premium look and feel. As for the performance and the overall specs, the device is powered by the 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10300H Processor along with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU for effortless gaming experience beyond your expectations.
The 15.6” FHD display further comes with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, which ensures smoother visual experience and crisp color payoff.
As for the storage and memory options, it supports 256GB SSD along with 8GB RAM for effortless gaming experience on a budget.
The device also comes with the 64-bit Windows 10 operating system pre-installed, ensuring smoother experience in effortless gaming on a budget.
It also supports majority of the connectivity ports that you would likely need for a smoother gaming experience. This device is perfect if you tend to stream games online.
7. MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-252 – Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000 with 512GB SSD
It boasts of a vivid display with a refresh rate of 120Hz and a thin-bezel design for maximum immersion.
While the refresh rate is less than optimal for those used to 144Hz, it should still render AAA games satisfactorily when paired with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti graphics card. With over seven hours of battery life, it is simple to use this laptop on the go without being tethered to a power station.
Build-wise, this device is rather heavy at 8.25lbs. However, its profile measures only 0.8”—a comfortable thickness for backpacks. You can also enjoy the splendid cooling that MSI is renowned for, ensuring that your gaming endeavors last a good, long time without running into lags and delays.
8. ASUS TUF A15 – Best ASUS Gaming Laptop Under $1000
Are you a Ryzen aficionado? The ASUS TUF A15 TUF506IU-ES74 gaming laptop is a brilliant pick to enjoy the glamour of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics with the competence of an Ryzen 7 4800H processor.
This 15.6” laptop is fitted with 16GB 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 1.02” and 4.85lbs.
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!
9. Omen by HP 15t – Best HP Gaming Laptop Under $1000
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 i7-9750H processor, 8GB RAM, a 256GB 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 5.31lbs, 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.
10. Acer Nitro 7 AN715-51 – Best Acer Gaming Laptop Under $1000
The Acer Nitro 7 AN715-51-70TG is a 15.6″ full-purpose gamer infused with a ninth-gen Intel i7-9750H processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics, Waves MAXXAudio for superior sound quality, and a gorgeous backlit keyboard.
The processing set up is supported by 8GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, and battery backup of up to seven hours. This is adequate for many modern gaming titles at reasonable settings.
The GTX graphics guarantee an impressive A/V experience, together with the FHD screen (with an IPS panel and narrow bezel of 0.29″).
This laptop makes it simple to work on multimedia projects or unwind with a film of your choice. Also, the brightness setting of 300 nits and color gamut of 72% NTSC create a vivid, accurately rendered display.
Note: The GPU comes with less dedicated memory than some others on this list—up to 3GB.
One of the highlights of the Acer Nitro is its all-metal look and feel. Not only is it sturdy but also attractive.
The chassis weighs around 5.51lbs and is stylishly slim at only 0.78″. Suffice it to say that things look as good as they feel, especially when you also take into account the red-backlit keyboard and its pro-gaming, tactile design.
Interestingly, the keyboard has a dedicated key for NitroSense as well as highlighted WASD and arrow keys.
Notably, Acer has made this offering extremely well-connected. Not only do you have access to 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi (dual-band at 2.4GHz and 5GHz), but you can also avail of a full array of ports for your devices and peripherals.
For instance, there is a USB 3.1 Type C port supporting data transfer up to 5Gbps, two regular USB 3.1 ports, as well as an HDMI to connect to external displays. The laptop also has an inbuilt HD webcam with support for Super High Dynamic Range (SHDR).
- 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500
- 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $2000
- The Best Cheap Gaming Laptops of 2020
- Top 10 Best ASUS Gaming Laptops
- Top 10 Best MSI Gaming Laptops
Must-Have Features in Budget 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 G7 15 7590 with its Nahimic Sound Center for voice-led in-game control and the Lenovo Legion Y545 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 GF65.
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.