Written and Researched by Lauren Petlock 12/29/2016
The gaming computer scene is at one if its highest points in the last two decades, and at the top of that mountain there stands one clear winner; Gaming Laptops. A decent gaming laptop can be the entry way to an otherwise very closed off and confusing hobby, and has the ability to level the playing field for many gamers. Unlike gaming desktops, these compact gaming machines are able to be used just about anywhere and at any time. They can be the foot in the door for gaming enthusiasts not wanting to learn about every little piece of a computer. With a laptop, you simply plug and play. The freedom these tiny computers give the user is unparalleled to any invention on the gaming side of tech in a very long time.
A complaint many customers have when searching for a good gaming laptop that is able to compete with high-end desktops, is the price. With the rise in numbers of gamers, comes a higher demand for computers. This has led to a very flooded and misinforming market when it comes to finding the absolute best bang for your buck. Well fear not, soon to be gamer, as we have you covered!
We have scoured the internet and market for the truly shining winner in budget gaming laptops. After many hours of dedication and research, we believe that we’ve compiled the resources and information to help even the most cautious buyer comfortable and assured that they are getting the best laptop for their budget.
We gladly present to you:
*Top 10 Gaming Laptops under $1000 Bucks*
(This list is in no particular order after the Top 3, and simply compares the best of the best under $1000)
1.Asus ROG GL552
Starting off this list with one of 2016’s top contenders, and one of the best gaming laptops to ever exist.
~Screen and Design~
The Asus ROG GL552 is boasting a stunning 15.6 inch 1080 full high definition display with a smooth matte finish for those perfect viewing angles. Its /beautiful chassis has a matte finish, as well, with a brushed aluminum accent. The design of this powerhouse just screams premium, and you would be hard pressed to find a more sleek and modern computer inside of this budget ( Or any budget for that matter). Weighing in at just under 6 pounds puts the ROG in the middle of the pack when it comes to the overall footprint of the device, and doesn’t do any of the design work any justice however. Its dimensions also leave something to be desired as it is a little more chunky than it’s competitors. Coming in at 15.1 x 10.1 x 1.3 inches makes it marginally larger than other computers in this range, and once again, leaves something to be desired.
~ Touchpad and Keyboard~
Where the Asus ROG GL552 falls a little short on its weight and overall size, it runs ahead of the pack when it comes to its touchpad and keyboard design. Its edgy red backlighting under the keyboard fits so well with the rest of the design, and makes it look like this thing was forge in the depths of mount doom (Seriously, this thing looks awesome). Whilst having gamers in mind Asus decided to add a little extra light under the W, A, S, and D keys as well. The benefits of that small touch may go unnoticed by some, but when there is 30 seconds left of your match and you have demon spawn rushing at you from all sides, knowing which keys are which is critical. The black plastic keyboard is snappy and responsive due to their attention to detail. While it isn’t a full mechanical keyboard with hotkeys, leather suede arm rests, and a burrito warmer, it will get the job done well enough for most gamers. The ROG managed to cram a full 10 key numpad on the right side of the keyboard, but considering the fact that space isn’t plentiful when it comes to building laptops, the keys have been shrunk to about half of the standard size. Unfortunately the touchpad didn’t receive the same premium treatment as the keyboard, and lacks the addition of some beautiful red backlighting. Actually, the touchpad lacks anything premium as it has average travel distance, a semi-smooth feel, and no extra features to be found. A shame, seeing as the keyboard is so perfect for what this laptop is, that Asus dropped the ball on the touchpad.
~ Computer Specs~
In terms of IO and ports, the ROG is kind of a mixed bag. While some its features like the USB 3.1 port with a type C connector are cutting edge with todays tech, other things like its dual layer DVD drive just make no sense on a computer meant for gaming. While it may be nice to have an optical drive for movie watching, it is not what gaming oriented customers want from this product. It also sports three standard USB ports, two of them being USB type 3.0 and the other being a type 2.0. Having an HDMI output is a nice added feature alongside the ethernet and SD ports allowing you to take your game to the next level. Overall I have very mixed feelings about the IO ports on this device, and it really makes you wonder where Asus was trying to go with them.
Inside this powerhouse lies the Intel Core I7-6700 HQ CPU, a formidable processor in the eyes of many gamers. Memory wise it has more than enough RAM for even the most intense gaming experiences at 16GB. As games and productivity applications get larger the need for more RAM increases, and it was nice to see asus take an extra step here. The ROG has a massive 1TB hard drive for storing all of your media and files, and should prevent you from having to invest in a backup drive any time soon. Although an SSD would have been nice, Asus had to be able to make this computer affordable, so the lack of its addition is understandable.
Asus’s ROG GL552 is a mixed bag at times, but its gaming performance is rock solid. With dead features like the dual layer DVD drive, and lack of a mini display output, it makes you wonder what exactly Asus was trying to accomplish with this machine. On the other hand it’s beautiful backlit keys and High-End processor make the ROG a gaming monster, being able to play most modern games at 1080P with moderate to high settings. For those of us who want to game, and aren’t bothered by this computer’s small mishaps then this could be a solid choice for you.
*Amazon Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/GL552VW-DH71-15-Inch-Discrete-GeForce-Metallic/dp/B01578ZKPO/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1483634120&sr=1-1&keywords=asus+rog+gl552
2. Dell Inspiron 15 7000
A quick look at a conservative gaming machine, built for the majority.
~Screen and Design~
The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 takes a more subtle approach to nearly all of its design elements than some of the other laptops on this list. It could be a benefit for some, and may sway them towards this choice more than others. The 15.6 inch full 1080p display on the Inspiron is amazing and deserves the praise it gets. With full rich color and accurate representation, there is little to be desired when it comes to the screen. The Inspiron is encased in a soft touch matte black finish that is nice on the eyes and hands. Dell even decided to include this silky smooth material on the palm rests by the keyboard, and it is a much appreciated feature. Coming in at 15.1 x 10.4 x 1 inches and weighing just under 6 pounds puts the Inspiron in the middle of the pack when it comes to footprint as well. Far from being impossible to take with you on the go, it is still slightly too heavy for comfort.
~Keyboard and TouchPad~
Some may say that dell missed the mark on the keyboard and touchpad, but I digress. Although it could have been implemented better with less travel time when pressing a key and a slightly larger form factor, it simply does what it needs to do. You won’t be writing home about the keyboard on this laptop, but for an average gamer, it should be more than enough to complete that quest or avoid an arrow in the knee. The touchpad is average as well, which will be a recurring theme in this list. At this price range touchpads are unfortunately usually looked over, with companies trying to fit as much gaming oriented hardware in as possible.
On the right side of the device you will notice a single USB 3.0 port, followed by a Gigabit ethernet port an SD card reader and a Kensington Lock slot. If you look at the left side you will see an additional pair of USB 3.0 ports and a headphone/microphone jack.Having three USB 3.0 ports in this day and age is almost a necessity for a computer gamer, and will allow for more options when choosing your gaming accessories. I would have loved to see an HDMI output on this device for connecting to an external monitor but at just under $700 you’re getting one of the best experiences for the price. The trend of exceptional price to performance ratio continues on with the hardware inside of the laptop as well. The Inspiron is packing an Intel Core I5-6300 HQ clocked at 2.3 GHz, one of last years top processors. Having a respectable amount of 8GB of RAM storage ensures that no matter the task, the Inspiron will be able to handle it effortlessly. There is no such thing as too much storage, and dell has adopted that idea by fitting a massive 1TB hard drive inside of this small form factor laptop. More than enough to store all of the World of Warcraft expansions with some room to spare, dell has you covered on the memory side of things.
The Dell Inspiron is an all around great machine. With its wonderful soft touch surface, ensuring the customers utmost comfort during long raids, and note taking alike. The screen is gorgeous and is a very nice feature to have at the $700 price point. The definitive low point of this laptop (for me at least) was its keyboard and touchpad. While some gaming laptops are taking this part of the design in new and exciting directions, Dell has decided to take a more user friendly and recognizable approach. While it isn’t a deal breaker, some innovation regarding the keyboard would have been very welcome. The Inspiron has some very respectable specs for its price point, beating out some laptops that cost a couple hundred more. Costing around the same price as it would cost to build a similar desktop, all in a portable form factor is one of my favorite things about the Inspiron, and it may be one of yours as well.
*Amazon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Inspiron-i7559-2512BLK-Generation-GeForce/dp/B015PYZ0J6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483655335&sr=8-1&keywords=dell+inspiron+15+7000
3. Acer Aspire v15 Nitro Black Edition (2016)
A truly powerful gaming machine at a price that is hard to beat.
~Screen and Design~
To say that this laptop is an elegant piece of machinery, would be an understatement. The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro has it all design wise, and refuses to pull any punches. We are going to be starting off with the smooth black matte finish which Acer is known for, encompassing the chassis. The design is so simplistic, yet it DEMANDS your attention. While other laptops in this price range rely on led lighting and edgy logos to stand out from the crowd, Acer took a different approach, and provided us with this beautiful breath of fresh air. The bright aluminum hinge metal and logo stand out sharply against the smooth contrast of the black, and catch the eye of anyone looking your way. Simply put, if you want to look fancy while blasting aliens in the face at your local coffee shop then look no further. Acer continues the trend of excellence with its 15.6 1080p LCD panel that the Aspire V15 houses. The screen gets ridiculously bright, and its overall sharpness is hard to match. Acer has my vote in the screen and design department, What about yours?
~Keyboard and TouchPad~
It is amazing what a little LED backlighting under the keyboard can do for the overall product. The great thing about the Nitro V15 is that the backlit keyboard isn’t even a key feature, it is simply a nice little addon that Acer threw in. While some backlit keyboard come off harsh, edgy, or overwhelming the Nitro’s lighting invites the user in with its soft and subtle glow. The keys themselves although could be better. They have a certain squish to them that is very common with laptops, due to its chiclet style keyboard. Not the worst, but they could be better. The touchpad however, is one of the better ones on this list. With useful features such as being able to zoom in or out by pinching the corners are welcome, and the overall responsiveness to your touch in general is great. The bottom left and right corners serve as your mouse buttons, and they supply a satisfying click when struck.
Featuring a full fledged Nvidia GeForce 960M, the Nitro V15 is ready for whatever game you want to throw at it. Complementing the GPU is the Intel Core I7-6700HQ processor. There is a reason many gamers choose this processor over the long list of Intel’s other options, it is because the 6700HQ’s price to performance ratio is so amazing and is able to compete without spending top dollar. The V15 Nitro has a good amount of IO ports, with two USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, HDMI, and a Gigabit Ethernet port all along the right side. Flanking the left side is an additional USB port, alongside an SD card reader and a Kensington secure lock feature. Overall the Specs leave little to be desired in the way of mobile computer gaming.
Out of our top Three laptops, the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro has to be my personal favorite. The just isn’t really anything bad I can say about this budget friendly laptop (coming in at just under $1000) besides its subpar keyboard. From the warm and friendly backlighting under the keyboard, to it’s high-grade Nvidia GeForce 960M GPU that is perfect for couch gaming, there is just very little to complain about. Acer has finally stepped their game up, and wants us to take notice. The only question I have, is how can they possibly follow this gaming beast up with a better product? Only time will tell.
*Amazon Purchase Link:https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-VN7-591G-70RT-15-6-Inch-Gaming/dp/B00WJSQRNK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483658279&sr=8-2&keywords=Acer+Aspire+v15+Nitro+Black+Edition+%282016%29
( For the remainder of this list we will give you the short and sweet details about the remaining laptops. We have gotten our top 3 out of the way, and we felt that those were the only computers that deserved all of the praise received. Don’t get us wrong, these remaining 7 are no chumps, but they don’t stand out as much from the crowd as the previous laptops.)
4. HP Pavilion 15 Gaming Laptop
- Intel Core I7-6700HQ processor for an amazing amount of multitasking capabilities. This CPU is also very helpful for processor heavy games like The Shadow of Mordor and will ensure they run smoothly.
- Full high definition 15.6 inch 1080p screen for beautiful picture quality
- Edgy green and black design with green backlit keys (seriously this thing looks like it crawled out of a sci-fi movie)
- A Large 1TB hard drive for storing all of your games
- A Very dim screen brightness making it hard to see clearly outside
- A Small battery that hinders Battery life and portability
- A slower than average transfer speed on the hard drive itself
Overall a very cool looking laptop with many features to boot. It has the same problem as many other laptops in this price range, which is having to cut corners. The terrible battery life for HP Pavilion 15 is living proof of that, and keeps this from being a great laptop like the top 3 were. Don’t get me wrong though, This thing is a beast when it comes to gaming. As long as you are using moderate to high setting, you should be completely capable of playing most games that are out today. If you can deal with its slow transfer speeds and a smaller battery, the HP Pavilion 15 Gaming Laptop will blow you away with its stellar gaming performance for an affordable price.
5. Alienware 13
- Stunning Alienware customization featuring several full RGB LED interchangeable lighting.
- A full fledged Nvidia GeForce 960M GPU for intense firefights and orc slaying
- Small and lightweight form factor allowing for easy portability
- A sleek and sexy design, featuring a premium looking brushed aluminum
- A massive 500GB SSD for faster loading times and quicker transfer speed
- The smaller 13 inch display falls short of the average 15.6 inch display size in this price bracket
- Low resolution screen coming in at only 1366 x 768
The Alienware 13 is a stunning machine to say the least. Dell has the design almost perfect on their Alienware line, and they demand your attention mostly with the multiple customizable RGB LED sections on the laptop. This computer is for those of us who want full control over how their computer looks at any given time, and Alienware delivers on that promise. The screen however just left a bad taste in my mouth, with its low end resolution and smaller size. It is the only complaint I really have with this device, as the rest of the specs are so outstanding. If you are the kind of gamer that wants one of the best looking and most customizable laptops on the market, then the Alienware 13 may just be for you.
6. Lenovo Y-700 14 inch
- Powerful JBL speaker nesting inside of this laptop make for an unbeatable audio experience
- A beautiful red on carbon fiber design that has a rugged and reliable feel
- Small form factor and footprint while still boasting a larger display
- 15.6 full high definition 1080p display with crisp visuals
- An Intel Core I7-6700 HQ CPU for all of your multimedia needs
- A weaker than average AMD GPU makes this laptop fall behind in gaming power
- The cooling fan vents tend to get a little on the warmer side
- Small battery life is a bit of a hindrance for someone on the go
What pops out to me the most with the Lenovo Y-700 14 Inch is its outstanding audio quality. Housing a full set of JBL speakers is no small feat, yet Lenovo pulled it off. The rich deep bass you get from a grenade exploding your enemies, or the high wine of you spacecraft taking off never gets old on this laptop. The rugged carbon fiber skin on the Y-700 s almost as awesome as the audio quality (Almost!) and gives a very strong and modern vibe to the whole device. If only Lenovo had managed to cram in higher grade AMD GPU, this would finally have been Red Team’s time to shine. For a lover of music and games alike the Lenovo Y-700 14 inch has you covered.
7. Asus F55UA-EH71 15.6 Inch
- A very respectable 5 hours of battery life should get most users through their day
- 8GB of DDR3 RAM is an awesome addition in this price range, and will allow eve the most demanding programs to run flawlessly
- Intel Core i7-6500U clocked at 2.5GHz adds a satisfying snappiness to the device
- A large amount of IO ports including an HDMI output port for gaming on an external monitor
- Weighing only 5.1 pounds this is one of the lighter gaming laptops available
- No dedicated graphics card means that no high end games can be played on this device
The Asus F55UA-EH71 15.6 Inch is a very powerful and impressive machine, boasting many features that are not available on other gaming laptops. With an average of over 5 hours of battery life this Asus portable gaming computer beats out most of its competitors. The only drawback to this laptop is the fact that it has integrated graphics. It can still handle light gaming and some older titles like The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion, but wouldn’t be able to play titles like the Witcher 3 or DOOM. For anyone who want a budget oriented gaming laptop that has all of the features that the competition doesn’t then I would have to suggest the Asus F55UA-EH71 15.6 Inch.
8. Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV 13.3-inch
- Super thin and portable weighing in at only 2.8 pounds make this an ultra portable gaming laptop
- A Skylake CPU and Graphic processor means that this computer can tear through mid range pc titles
- Over 8 hours of battery life guaranteeing that you will never run out of a charge half way through the day
- Only 128GB of internal SSD storage means that you may have to invest in an external storage device
- Louder than average fan noise while under heavy load
The Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV 13.3-inch is a compelling laptop. Its insanely lightweight design makes portability a breeze, and the thin form factor means it can fit in just about any large purse or backpack. With a Skylake CPU and GPU this laptop can game with lighter titles but you will be missing out on some of the bigger triple A titles. Someone who is interested in this computer isn’t worried about play BattleField 1 on ultra settings though, and are more interested in a quick game of CS: GO on their bus ride to work. For the ultimate portable laptop that is capable of a decent gaming experience, look no further.
9. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG 15.6-inch
- Under $500 making this an EXTRMELY budget friendly gaming laptop
- The sleek brushed aluminum design makes this computer stand out from the crowd
- 256 GB SSD drive for storing games and media while benefitting from decreased load times
- An average battery life of 9.3 hours makes it one of the best laptops on the market battery-wise
- Less than average keyboard and touchpad may upset some users
- An overall dim screen that simply just does not get bright enough
I am personally very impressed with what Acer managed to do with this insanely budget friendly laptop. The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG 15.6-inch is not going to beat something like Acer’s ROG line in raw gaming performance, but instead takes its small wins in other categories. The amazing price to performance ratio of this laptop makes it very hard to resist, and why should you resist it? With a 256GB SSD drive and an amazing 9.3 hours of screen o time, this computer is well worth its price.
10. MSI GE62 APACHE-276
- Full and wide array of IO ports including a mini display output port
- An above average GTX 950M Graphics processor allow this to stand up with the bigger contenders
- A massive 1TB hard drive make an external drive an unnecessary relic of the past
- The short battery life of this laptop hinder it in portable usage capabilities
- Comes preloaded with a ton of unnecessary bloatware that slows down the general performance of your device.
The MSI GE62 APACHE-276 is a very solid gaming laptop regardless of the price range. Most laptops in this range have a long list of cons, but is hard to find one here. While unnecessary bloatware is time wasting and annoying to delete, for most it isn’t a deal breaker. The GPU is only one generation behind, but in laptop terms that factor is negligible. The 1TB internal hard drive is a very nice addition to this already well rounded computer, and may just be the cherry on tpo for this jack-of-all-trades laptop.
So there it is guys and gals, our definitive list of all the best gaming computers you can buy right now for under $1000 bucks. I hope that you found this article not only informative, but enjoyable to read as well. We hope for you to have the best of luck in your budget laptop hunt, and hopefully you can take some of our considerations into perspective when you decide to make your purchase.