In this comprehensive article, we have culled out a list of the top ten best gaming laptops under $1500 that also offer a refresh rate of 144Hz.
Computers, in their atavistic avatars, may have been used exclusively for number crunching and data computation. But in modern times, one of their core purposes in life is helping you escape reality by immersing yourself in an alternate, fascinating world. Or, in other words: gaming.
With more and more computer manufacturers jumping on the video-game bandwagon, the marketplace is replete with gaming laptops that help you contest with foes on the battlefield and emerge as the victor.
For a gaming device to offer you a competent mix of performance and A/V merits, it must have both a high-speed processor and a display with an optimal refresh rate.
While the former helps you run the latest AAA titles, complete with all the CPU-heavy paraphernalia they require, the latter is essential to minimize stutter and ensure that the games get rendered as the makers intended them.
It is in achieving this combo that many brands struggle. This is why locating a high-performance gaming laptop with a refresh rate of 144Hz, and a price tag that doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet is an immensely tall order.
Most of these laptops are from the stables of reputed computer manufacturers and promise sustainable, reliable gaming experiences.
But before we dive into this mesmerizing world, let us find out something crucial about the world of gaming: the importance of refresh rate and how to locate a computer that knows it too.
- What is Refresh Rate & Why is it Important in a Gaming Laptop?
- Quick Checklist for a Top-notch Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500
- Minimum Specs to Look for in an Under-$1500 Gaming Laptop
- Our Picks: Top 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500 of 2019
- 1. Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL Gaming Laptop
- 2. Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-72EV Gaming Laptop
- 3. ASUS ROG Strix G GL531GV-PB74 Gaming Laptop
- 4. MSI GL63 9SEK-612 Gaming Laptop
- 5. HP OMEN 17-cb0030nr 17 Inch Gaming Laptop
- 6. MSI GL63 9SDK-614 Gaming Laptop
- 7. Lenovo Legion Y740 Gaming Laptop
- 8. MSI GF63 Thin 9SC-066 Gaming Laptop
- 9. Dell G7 15 7590 Gaming Laptop
- 10. Alienware m15 Gaming Laptop
- Ready, Set, Game On!
What is Refresh Rate & Why is it Important in a Gaming Laptop?
The refresh rate of a laptop is defined as the number of times in one second that the screen updates itself.
A higher refresh rate is preferable for gaming because it lets you see more frames per second. The result will be a smoother video with higher precision and more responsiveness.
So, while the standard refresh rate for laptops is 60Hz (which means 60 times in one second), you are likely to find this lacking for heavy-duty gaming. For the latter, the recommended metric in 2019 is 144Hz.
But wait—can the eye really detect a difference between a monitor with a 60Hz, 120Hz and 144Hz display? You bet! Yes, if you don’t intend to use your laptop for serious gaming and only ever play low-key games without fast-moving objects, you might get along fine with a 60Hz display.
But for gameplay at high frame rates—where the fun truly belongs—you need a monitor that can update itself swiftly and let your eyes track movements realistically. This becomes almost imperative to play shooter and fighter games; it is less significant for strategy-oriented games.
Note that the refresh rate is distinct from the response time which is the number of milliseconds it takes for a pixel to change color. But yes, this is also a crucial metric for a gaming laptop.
If your display has a high response time and a low refresh rate, but you try to play a game at maximum frame settings, you are setting yourself up for stuttering and screen tearing.
Quick Checklist for a Top-notch Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500
While hunting for a 144Hz gaming laptop, ensure you also have your eye on:
- A high-speed processor (Intel Core i5 and above): This is critical to fuel your high-adrenaline gaming sessions. A high refresh rate won’t serve you well unless your CPU can back things up.
- A dedicated GPU: Integrated graphics are unlikely to be ample for fast-track gaming. Look for a laptop with a dedicated GPU (e.g., NVIDIA GTX). If you have the budget, you can also explore NVIDIA RTX GPUs and experience brilliant visual effects with real-time ray tracing.
- An anti-glare screen and an IPS panel: Since you are investing in a high-refresh-rate monitor, chances are you will be staring at the screen for long hours. An anti-glare panel and IPS compatibility (In-Plane Switching) will keep your experience strain-free and comfortable across viewing positions.
- Anti-stutter technology (NVIDIA G-SYNC or AMD FreeSync): While the best way to avoid screen tearing or stuttering is to invest in a laptop with an optimal refresh rate (144Hz or at least 120Hz), you can also explore technologies like NVIDIA G-SYNC or AMD FreeSync. These technologies reduce screen tearing and ghosting by synchronizing the display panel with the graphics card. So, the monitor will update only when the card sends a frame, thereby keeping the two in sync irrespective of the frame rate.
- A superior sound system: Games with fast-changing movements tend to rely heavily on sound for building realistic, captivating worlds. A laptop with acoustics that complements the 144Hz display will help you derive the best results.
Minimum Specs to Look for in an Under-$1500 Gaming Laptop
Can an inexpensive gaming laptop really be worth it? Traditionally, gaming machines have drilled deep holes in pockets, thanks to their powerful specifications and use of latest technology. But today, you can easily find a top-notch gamer at a fairly affordable budget of under $1500. However, here is a rule of thumb: watching your budget does not mean cutting corners. When you are out exploring this market, ensure to look for the following minimum specs:
- Processor: You want an Intel Core i5 and above (or an equivalent AMD Ryzen). This is essential to get the power to fuel most present-day games. Also, look for RAM of at least 8GB and storage space to the tune of 256GB, preferably an SSD. You can consider getting a laptop that offers combination storage of SSD and HDD. Besides a capable processor, also remember to check the heat dissipation mechanism. This will be critical to let your computer support long gaming sessions without suffering from over-heating or breakdown.
- GPU: An NVIDIA GTX graphics card will render your gaming imagery satisfactorily. Ensure that the GPU has ample dedicated memory. If you have the budget, you can get an RTX graphics card. This offers several additional features such as images enhanced by artificial intelligence. RTX can make a tremendous difference if your favorite games involve several special effects.
- Display and Sound: Look for an FHD screen (15.6” or more) with a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080, a good color gamut, and a refresh rate of 120Hz or above. It is also helpful to have an IPS panel and an anti-glare provision as gaming can quickly get very straining for the eyes. Depending upon your budget, you can seek out 4K or OLED displays. It is also crucial to get an accurate sound system as several games rely heavily on nuanced audio. Check for stereo-sound and fine-tuning technology for higher volume and lower distortion.
- Build: This will depend largely on how you plan to use your laptop: as a stationary entertainment device or a portable gaming companion. For the latter, aim to get a system with a weight of 5lbs or lower, a thin profile, and damage-proof construction. Many gaming laptops also tend to be striking to look at (read metallic body, geometric patterns), so consider that if aesthetics are important to you.
- Connectivity: Gamers need access to a host of connectivity options to stay in touch with peers, competitors, etc., especially for online gaming and competitive events. Ensure your chosen laptop has USB ports, display ports, and compatibility with a reliable Wi-Fi standard.
- Other pro-gaming technologies: While not mandatory, certain technologies like eye tracking and network optimization can boost your advantage in the arena by leaps and bounds. One thing you don’t want to miss out on is a keyboard with backlighting (zone-wise or per-key). Lighting can be a deal-maker (or breaker) when things get fiery.
Our Picks: Top 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500 of 2019
We have designed the list to suit a variety of need and priorities—from cost-effectiveness and superior battery life to additional gaming features sought out by pros.
One of the finest all-rounder gaming laptops in this budget is the 15.6” Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL. It is fueled by a ninth-gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 16GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics.
This beauty of a machine is adept at supporting most popular AAA games. It packs in an FHD display with a refresh rate of144Hz, a response time of 3ms, and Waves MAXXAudio technology for sound.
All three contribute toward creating a smooth gaming experience even when the gameplay involves swift transitions and special effects. The screen resolution offered is an optimal 1920 x 1080, with a brightness of 300 nits for a pleasant viewing experience.
Besides providing gamers with a competent processing chamber and a glorious display, this Acer laptop also offers a well-connected playing environment, complete with Killer Ethernet, Killer DoubleShot Pro Wireless-AC, and several USB and display ports, including a Type-C one.
Take note, if you are planning on getting a gaming machine to take to marathons and outdoor events, this one can pass muster. It weighs a fairly manageable 5.07lbs and has a thickness of 0.9”. Plus, it can last unplugged for about six hours, which is decent for a laptop with these specs.
|Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL Specs|
|Processor||9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H (Up to 4.5GHz)|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 2666MHz|
|Storage||256GB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Display||15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080)|
|Battery Life||Up to 6-hours|
With specs comparable to its sibling in #1, this one is equipped with the additional perk of a GeForce RTX 2060 GPU. It also offers more storage space—a 512GB SSD—for your gaming paraphernalia.
Display-wise, you are likely to be pleased with the FHD screen with a 144Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, and 300 nits brightness. In the connectivity department and provisions for device support, too, this computer fares brilliantly: several USB ports, display ports, and reliable support for Wi-Fi connectivity.
A particularly delightful feature of this gaming machine is its RGB keyboard with 4-zone lighting. Plus, the concave-shaped keycaps and distinctive keys for customizations simplify operations to keep your focus on what matters most.
It is worth mentioning Acer’s efforts at sustainability by utilizing a fourth-gen metallic AeroBlade fan to dissipate heat. Since intense gaming is often synonymous with immense heat, this ensures you can play on undisturbed for long hours.
Also, since this laptop is quite portable and sleek (5.07lbs, 0.9”), you can set it up anywhere and immerse yourself in an alternate world. Neat!
ASUS has lent this laptop a top-notch cooling mechanism that uses thin fan blades (33% thinner than standard designs) to increase the airflow and dissipate pent-up heat faster. Not only that, but this laptop also has anti-dust tunnels that help improve its overall useful life significantly.
With this kind of investment toward keeping things sustainable, it’s no wonder that the processing configuration is top-rung too.
You will find an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics. Bonus: You can switch among Turbo, Balanced, and Silent modes of operation depending upon the ongoing task. Talk about a laptop with intuition!
What about the display? Overall, the FHD screen with an IPS panel (to support distortion-free viewing from various angles) makes for pleasant viewing.
The one downside is the refresh rate of 120Hz—a tad less than some others on this list. This can become a limitation if you typically tend to play games with frequent transitions and minute details.
This ASUS ROG Strix is also slightly bulky at 5.28lbs and 1”, although it does offer good connectivity options to maintain portability.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-9750H Processor|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2666 MHz|
|Storage||512GB PCle SSD|
|Display||15.6″ FHD (1920×1080)|
|Dimension||14.2 x 10.3 x 1 in|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|Keyboard||Illuminated Chiclet 4-Zone RGB|
The 15.6” MSI GL63 9SEK-612 laptop comes with a dragon-spine look and highly portable chassis that weighs only 4.8lbs.
While it has a perfectly capable processing chamber—an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU—it also packs in a worthy display with a full 100% sRGB color gamut. The addition of an NVIDIA GeForce RTX2060 graphics card ensures that you can enjoy all the latest games in their truest avatar, including the ones that utilize RTX-exclusive features like real-time ray tracing.
The RAM support is adequate at 16GB, and the storage space is a combination of a 256GB (SSD) and 1TB HDD. Refresh rates are optimum at 144Hz, which means you will enjoy more fluidity during gaming.
Keeping you going for several hours is a mission with this laptop, and it employs a full-blown heat dissipation system to guarantee this.
Check this out: there are dual fans, as many as four exhausts, and seven heat pipes to keep the innards of the laptop cool! We highly recommend this gaming laptop if you crave longevity along with power.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6 – 4.5GHz speed)|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX2060 (6GB GDDR6)|
|RAM||16 GB DDR4 SDRAM|
|Storage||256GB NVMe SSD along with 1 TB HDD|
|Display||15.6” 144 Hz FHD IPS-level display, 72% NTSC, 100% sRGB|
|Dimension||15.07 x 10.23 x 1.16 in|
Inside the processing chamber, you will find an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, complemented by 16GB RAM, 256GB storage (SSD), and a 1TB hard drive. This heavy-weight gamer uses an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card with 6GB of dedicated memory for the ultimate playing experience.
On the display front, you get an FHD screen with an IPS panel and a full screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. This proves just right for most contemporary games, rendering images without loss of detail.
Since this laptop is intended to be used as a stationary gaming station, it is rather low on portability.
The body weighs as much as 6.54lbs, while the profile is about 1.1” thick. But what it misses out on mobility it scores on several other fronts. Easy upgradability depending upon your needs and an advanced cooling system are our favorites.
The HP brand name comes with a reassuring sense of dependability, and the OMEN makes the most of this, while adding a competitive edge in style and potential.
|Processor||9th Generation Intel core i7-9750H Processor|
(6 cores, 2.6GHz up to 4.5GHz)
|Graphics||NVIDIA RTX 2060 (6GB GDDR6)|
|RAM||16GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (upgradeable)|
|Storage||256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
1TB 7200 RPM SATA HDD
|Display||17.3” diagonal FHD display|
144Hz refresh rate (1920×1080)
|Dimension||11.61 x 15.94 x 1.06 in|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
A 15.6” computer with a powerful Intel Core i7-9750H processor and a 144Hz display, it also brings to the table a customizable gaming keyboard (with per-key RGB lighting) and a superior cooling system. The keyboard has translucent key edges for added comfort as well as razzmatazz.
Bonus: The laptop’s compatibility with the MSI App Player makes it simple to sync your gaming experience between the computer and your mobile phone.
Specs-wise, MSI has things sorted. The processor receives ample support from the 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD (with 1TB HDD) and NVIDIA GeForce GTX1660Ti graphics.
You should be able to pursue your favorite games as well as work on heavy-duty multimedia projects with efficiency.
That said, there is no compromise on the portability front since the chassis weighs only 4.8lbs—light enough for you to carry the laptop around for gaming events.
Like its sibling at #4, this laptop also boasts of the dragon-spine look and an effective exhaust system. You can comfortably bid adieu to fretting about overheating when you are in the thick of the game.
|Processor||9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6 to 4.5 GHz)|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce GTX1660Ti (6GB GDDR6)|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 (2666 Mhz)|
|Storage||256GB NVMe SSD + 1TB (7200Rpm)|
|Display||15.6” IPS display (1920×1080)|
|Dimension||15.07 x 10.23 x 1.16 in|
|Battery||6 cell (51Wh)|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
The 15” Lenovo Legion Y740 is a budget-friendly laptop that goes the extra mile to facilitate super-fast gaming. For instance, it is driven by a ninth-gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD (with 1TB HDD), and up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics. The battery can last unplugged for about five hours.
These spectacular specs are matched by a fabulous display: an FHD screen with NVIDIA G-SYNC, a refresh rate of 144 Hz, brightness of 500 nits, and Dolby Vision HDR400 for extra clarity and finesse. The display is also fitted with an IPS panel and an anti-glare screen to ensure that eye fatigue gets you down not!
One of the highlights of this Lenovo machine is its modern build. Not only is the aluminum chassis sturdy and good-looking but it is also lightweight at 4.85lbs. The Corsair iCUE ambient system lighting adds flair to the overall look and feel.
We particularly love the water-repellent keyboard with 100% anti-ghosting. Ah, finally, a machine that understands the importance of hydration for gamers!
|Processor||Up to Intel Core i7-9750H Processor|
|Graphics||Up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (6GB GDDR6)|
|RAM||Up to 32GB DDR4 SDRAM|
|Storage||Up to 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Display||15.6″ FHD IPS display (1920 x 1080)|
|Weight||Starts at 4.85 lbs|
|Dimension||14.2” x 10.5” x 0.88”|
|Battery||57 Wh, 3 cells|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro|
The brushed aluminum front cover sets expectations for all things glamorous, and MSI does not disappoint. Fueled by an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 16GB RAM (up to 64GB), and a 512GB SSD, this portable laptop weighs only 4.10lbs and measures 0.8” in thickness. In this incredibly mobile package, it manages to fit in an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 GPU and several USB ports for connectivity.
But the real winner here is the excellent battery life: over seven hours! This is truly astonishing for a gaming laptop with a configuration as powerful as this. Put the overall portability together with the unplugged usage, and you have the best pick for a travel-intensive lifestyle.
Display-wise, the FHD screen manages to please with its IPS panel, thin-bezel design, and full resolution of 1920 x 1080. However, the refresh rate and the color gamut are below par at 60Hz and 45% NTSC respectively.
This is a hiccup if you are looking for a precise display with support for a wide range of colors. However, at a price only slightly over $1000, this laptop still makes complete sense as an investment for casual to moderate gaming.
|MSI GF63 Thin 9SC-066 Specs|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz - 4.5GHz)|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 4G GDDR5|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 2666MHz|
|Storage||512GB NVMe SSD|
|Display||15.6-inch FHD (1920*1080)|
|Battery Life||Up to 7 hours|
Powered by an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD (with a 1TB HDD), this computer well showcases Dell’s commitment to gaming. Included is a dedicated GPU—the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 6GB of dedicated memory—and a dual-fan heat dissipation system. Particularly noteworthy is the Nahimic Sound Center that delivers audio aligned with your game. Yes, including in-game visual sound tracking!
The Dell G7 also scores points for being robust and street-smart. It has a premium metal finish and sleek body weighing 5.5lbs. The battery supports quick charging, thereby letting you power up when on the move.
Note: While the default battery is a 60Whr one, you can also opt for 90Whr for extra mileage. Another great addition to this laptop’s gaming armory is the support for Killer Networking.
The result is next-to-none jittering or lagging during gameplay. If you are passionate about online gaming, you can also experience content prioritization so that nothing takes precedence over your game. (This translates into an edge on the battlefield when you are participating in competitive gaming.)
The Alienware m15 brilliantly combines several modern-age gaming technologies including, per-key RGB LED lighting (AlienFX), Tobii eye-tracking, and a superior cooling system with 8-phase voltage regulation. The eye-tracking is especially delightful, allowing gamers to utilize subtle motions like head pose and eye position.
If you are likely to be using your computer for long hours, the heat dissipation system with specially designed fan blades will come in handy. (There is a 10% and 20% diameter increase in the CPU and GPU fan blades respectively).
This Dell laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5-9300H processor, 8GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics.
But the stand-out is the gorgeous display. You can opt for the 240Hz panel which comes with a 100% sRGB color gamut and 300-nit brightness. Or, how about an OLED 4K display? The cherry on the cake: this Alienware maintains a high degree of mobility with a weight of 4.7lbs and a resilient industrial design.
This makes it perfect as an all-rounder gaming laptop that also suits anyone looking for a multimedia- or design partner.
Ready, Set, Game On!
Have you decided on your gaming laptop yet? As times change and video games evolve further, gaming machines are also working harder to deliver gratifying experiences.
The market is resplendent with productive competition, where giants like Dell, MSI and HP are matching wits with innovative players like ASUS and Acer.
It isn’t straightforward to offer dazzling performance with engaging graphics at a budget-friendly price. However, the evolution of design technologies and architectures has helped bridge the gap between cost and future-friendliness to a large extent.
When shopping for your gaming soulmate, a good way to start is by enlisting your priorities.
For instance, you might covet a gaming machine that, along with cost effectiveness and a 144Hz display, also adapts well to outdoor marathons and peer-events.
In this case, you should zero down on a laptop with good battery back-up (#8). If casual gaming is more your cup of tea, you can save some precious dollars by getting #6 or #9. For a future-ready gaming machine equipped with stellar features for professionals and competitive gamers, we would recommend #1, #2 or #3.
Whatever you do, remember this: once skill and tact are accounted for, your game can only be as good as your gaming machine.