We’ve reviewed more than 20 gaming laptops overall to get down to the best gaming laptop under 1000 dollars. It wasn’t easy, there are a lot of companies vying for this space.
With a budget under $1000, you can put together a great desktop build that you can use for gaming and it would provide you a better gaming experience since parts are a little more affordable.
One thing to note, we had to give on something here, all of the laptops in our top 5 do not have an optical drive – as there is a slow death of optical drives. You can find our post on the best external optical drives here – should you need one.
Ultimately we can only recommend five that are below $1,000 – to include any more would be a waste of your time
Well…we also included 1 that is just slightly over the $1k budget at this time. If you’re willing to bend your budget slightly, there is one that is a great buy.
I haven’t focused much on laptop battery life. Looking for long battery life in a gaming laptop is like finding a unicorn.
Our main focus is on what really matters – the GPU.
All of these laptops below have the i7-7700HQ processor, a pretty good processor overall (a 3DMark CPU Score of 9980). The Versus website has a pretty good summary.
All of these laptops also run Windows 10 64 bit Home edition.
So let’s get on with our review of the best gaming laptop under 1000 dollars!
Read the full description below the grid.
Best Gaming laptop under $1000 (Top 5)
5. MSI GL72M 7RDX-800 Gaming Laptop
It’s game on! Paint the town red with this gaming laptop from MSI.
If you’re looking for the widest display around but still keeping performance in check, the GL72M is for you.
- Display: 17.3" Full HD eDP Non Reflection 1920x1080 | Operating System: Windows 10
- Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.8-3.8GHz)
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA's GTX 1050 2G GDDR5
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400MHz | Hard Drive: 128GB SSD M.2 SATA + 1TB (SATA) 5400rpm
- Special features: Cooler Boost 4 | Steel Series Keyboard | Nahimic Audio Enhancer| Steel Series Single Color Red Backlight
Low price doesn’t mean poor quality, this gaming laptop from MSI is packed with the specifications just right for gamers.
This gaming laptop is powered by an Intel i7-7700HQ with 8GB of ram that can be upgraded to 32GB.
The 7RDX-800 has a 17.3” screen with 120hz refresh rate, and It has a 2GB GTX-1050 DDR5 dedicated VRAM to give you a smooth gaming session.
The keyboard may not be mechanical, and I am not a big fan of red colored keys. It is backlit though so that you can use this even at night or in a dark room.
You don’t have to worry about storage either. This gaming laptop has more than enough space for your games. It has a 128GB M.2 SSD for your operating system backed up by a 1TB 2.5” hard drive. While this hardrive is only a 5400 RPM drive, it is a SSHD drive which Seagate reports is actually very fast.
During an intense gaming session, your rig stays cool with two cooling fans and its CoolerBoost 4 technology to keep the CPU cool.
Like its predecessors this monster is very portable at 16.5 in x 11.30in x 1.15 inches and ~ 1.26in thick. it weighs just under 6 lbs (2.7kgs).
Connectivity is not a problem for this machine. It has a USB type-c port, two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, a Mini Display port, RJ45 for a wired connection, HDMI that supports 4k @30hz and of course a mic-in and headphone out.
This gaming laptop can go on without an AC adapter for hours; it has a 41WHr, 6-cell Lithium-ion battery.
4. Prostar Clevo N855HJ Gaming Laptop
Would you buy a gaming laptop from a company who’s just starting to make a name in the world of computers, let alone in the world of gaming?
The Prostar Clevo may change your mind.
- 15.6" Full HD (1920x1080) Matte Type Display; HDMI output; 2 Mini DisplayPort 1.2; 1 USB 3.0 Gen2 (Type-C)
- Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8 Ghz, Processor (Max Turbo Frequency 3.8GHz), 6MB Smart Cache: Windows 10 Home
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 w/2GB GDDR5; 16GB DDR4 2400MHz
- 256GB M.2 SSD + 1TB 5400RPM Hard Drive; Intel Wireless-AC 3168 + Bluetooth
- Single Color Backlit Keyboard, 2.0M FHD Video Cam, 1 Year Premium Warranty
Prostar is a company founded in 1992 and has been selling quality laptops since then. The Clevo N855HJ is one of their latest gaming laptops released. The brand name is unknown to many, I have not heard of them before and I just recently came across their laptop in search of a gaming laptop under $1000.
So let’s find out if this gaming laptop is worthy for its price. The Clevo N855HJ is not that flashy like the other laptops from MSI, Asus, and other major brands, but it is packed with components that a gamer would like to have in their gaming laptop. It might be able to go toe to toe with an Asus ROG.
This gaming laptop measures 14.88″ x 10.51″ x 0.98″ and weighs 5.51lbs (about 2.5kg) and has a 15.6” matte type screen. It runs on a 62Wh, 6-Cell Lithium-Ion battery.
If you look under the hood of this gaming laptop, you’ll see how powerful this is despite the simple design. For its CPU, it has an i7-770HQ with a 3.8Ghz clock speed when on turbo. The GPU is also not that bad it has a GTX 1050 DDR5 2GB dedicated VRAM. And for its memory, it has 16GB DDR4 2400hz that can still be upgraded to 32GB max.
This gaming laptop under $1000 uses a 256GB M.2 SSD and a 1TB 5400rpm hard drive; this is more than enough to store your games and your files without using an external drive. Although, I have to say that a faster 7200rpm hard drive could have been a better option.
There are a lot of ports for this gaming laptop it has one HDMI Port with HDCP, two Mini Display 1.2 Ports, one USB 2.0 Port, one USB 3.0 Type C Port, two USB 3.0 Ports, one Headphone Jack, one Microphone Jack and an RJ-45 LAN port.
Unfortunately, there is no Thunderbolt 3 port for this gaming laptop.
As a conclusion, if you are looking for a gaming laptop under $1000 this is a good buy. However, if you are looking for something with more angst to it, then you’re better off with going further down this list.
3. Dell Inspiron i5577-7700BLK-PUS Gaming Laptop
A multi-purpose laptop that has enough power not just for gaming, you can also rely on this gaming laptop for school and work tasks.
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core (6MB Cache, up to 3.8 GHz)
- 12GB 2400MHz DDR4 up to 32GB (additional memory sold separately)
- Dual drives with 128GB Solid State Drive + 1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive , No Optical Drive option
- 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Display
- Windows 10 Home 64-bit English
Dell has its gaming lineup through Alienware and some of the XPS laptops, and recently they released gaming laptops under their brand name. The Dell 15 i5577-7700BLK-PUS is one of the many gaming laptops under $1000 that you can find on Amazon.
Dell is confident of this laptop’s capability that they even added the word “Gaming” to it. Though originally, the Inspiron lineup is meant for the office/school market.
So what makes this laptop worthy of being purchased by a gamer? First, off you have a Kaby lake based processor, this laptop has an Intel i7-7700HQ, running at 2.8Ghz and 3.8Ghz on Turbo. They also have 12GB DDR4 Memory and can support up to 32GB max.
This gaming laptop can play modern game titles in the market smoothly since it has a 4GB GTX 1050 DDR5 dedicated VRAM. At the same time, it will be good for people in college or working; battery life is also good since it can run for more than 6hours before needing to be plugged into a wall socket.
The keyboard is backlit, but unlike the common RED backlight for most gaming laptops, this one is using white LEDs.
It offers large enough storage; it has dual storage devices (1TB 5400 rpm hard drive and a 128GB SSD). I have to say this though, 128GB is not much for installing games so most likely you will be forced to put your games on the hard drive which is not going to be a good idea since it is 5400 RPM with no SSHD option.
An advantage this laptop has is the cooling system; it has dual fans with three exhausts and 186 thermal fins, so even when gaming or using this laptop over an extended period, you are sure to have your system cool.
Another thing that would be nice to have is the USB type-C and the Thunderbolt 3 port. Although this gaming laptop offers 3 USB 3.0 ports (one with PowerShare), HDMI port, an SD card reader, a Kensington Security lock, and a LAN port, it also lacks the Mini Display port.
The Display is a bit subpar since it only has a 15.6” Twisted Nematic panel that supports the 1920×1080 resolution; would have been nice if they used IPS for better viewing angles and color.
This gaming laptop has a solid build; the chassis is made of metal, that said it is a bit heavy, it weighs 2.56kgs and measures 15.7 x 10.43 x 0.99 in.
2. MSI GL62M 7REX-1896US Gaming Laptop
MSI describes this gaming laptop to be thin and light, but is that enough to take this laptop lightly?
- Display: 15.6" Full HD eDP 1920x1080 | Operating System: Windows 10 . Gb LAN
- Processor: Core i7-7700HQ (2.8 - 3.8 GHz). Visualize key system information so that its clear at a glance.Mini mode display system information on a small size window
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4G GDDR5.AC Adapter:150 W adapter
- RAM: 8GB (8G*1) DDR4 2400MHz | Hard Drive: 128GB M.2 SATA + 1TB (5400RPM)
- Special features: Thin and Light Chassis | Steel Series Red Backlight with Anti-Ghost key + silver lining | Nahimic 2 Surround Sound System
Another gaming laptop under $1000 coming from MSI. Their Thin and light GL62M 7REX-1896US is just 2.2kgs; this is still light considering that the chassis is steel, it measures 383 x 260 x 22~29mm and has a 15.6” screen. This laptop is portable yet powerful.
What’s inside this gaming laptop?
The processor is an i7-7700HQ Kaby Lake chip, capable of running 2.8Ghz – 3.8Ghz, the memory is just 8GB, which should still be sufficient to play. With that extra cash, RAM can be updated.
What I like most is that it has a 4GB DDR5 GTX 1050Ti Dedicated VRAM – we’re focusing on GPU’s to get the best gaming experience possible.
Now, compared to the laptops that have GTX1050s (clock speed is 1354mhz), this gaming laptop’s GPU has a clock speed of 1,493 MHz. So even with high settings, you can still get good FPS from this laptop.
Battery life would depend on how you are using this laptop you can easily switch by pressing FN+F7 or by going to the Dragon Center.
This gaming laptop uses 128 GB SSD 3rd Gen PCIe for your operating system and has another 1TB hard drive for your files. Same as the Dell Inspiron, it would have been better if they put at least 256GB SSD so your games can be installed on the SSD, not on the hard drive.
The GL62M 7REX may be thin and light, but it can stay cool even if you play games for hours. It has its exclusive Cooler Boost 4 technology that uses dual fans and about 6-7 heat pipes to make sure this machine does not throttle.
For ports, you have LAN (RJ45), Mic-in, Headphone-out (SPDIF), one TYPE-C USB3.0, two TYPE-A USB3.0, one TYPE-A USB2.0, MINI-DISPLAYPORT, HDMI (supports 4k @30hz) and a card reader. This gaming laptop also supports wireless connections through 802.11 ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v4.2.
The keyboard is made by SteelSeries and is built to last; it has two options for backlight either white or red.
Best Gaming Laptop under 1000 dollars
1. Acer Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop
If you like sports cars, then you won’t be able to take your eyes off the Acer Aspire VX 15’s design. Sleek design that is somewhat like the rear of a Lamborgini Aventador.
This is the best gaming latop under 1000 dollars right now.
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor (Up to 3.8GHz)
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen IPS display
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- 16GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD
- HDD upgrade kit available (2.5" bracket with SATA and power cable). Contact Acer support for your complimentary kit.
First thing I noticed about the design of gaming laptops’ exhaust vents is that they are similar to a sports car’s rear side.
I also like the brushed metal matte finish of the case.
It has the Gaming pedigree looks but not as flashy as the very high-end gaming laptops like the Acer Predator 21X. That gaming laptop is beyond words to describe.
However, you cannot compare an orange to an apple. That will not work, a $9,000 gaming laptop, of course, is built entirely different from this gaming laptop under $1000. Performance is also on a different scale.
But let’s talk more about the VX 15 and what makes it our top pick for the gaming laptop under $1000.
First off you have a powerful processor, it has an Intel i7-7700HQ with four cores and eight threads that can go at the maximum clock speed of 3.8Ghz. Nothing new here, as the other laptops on this list have the same processor.
It has 16GB RAM, and it is still upgradable to 32GB max – the 16GB of RAM is best in class for our list.
Want a buttery smooth gaming experience even on high settings? The VX15 got you covered; it has a 4GB DDR5 GTX1050Ti dedicated graphics card for your gaming needs.
It’s not all gravy for this laptop though, when it comes to storage, you are somewhat limited out of the box.
This gaming laptop only has a 256GB M.2 SSD card installed, and if you want an HD drive, then you need to purchase it as an upgrade for another $90 or so for a 2TB HD (and install it yourself).
It does not have an optical drive as well, but neither do any of the other laptops on our list.
This gaming laptop only has a 3-cell Li-ion 4605 mAh Internal battery. So, you just have a few hours of gaming, and you already need to plug it into a wall socket.
This gaming laptop has all the necessary ports you’d need; (1) USB 3.1 Type-C port, (2) USB 3.0 ports, (1) USB 2.0 port, (1) HDMI, (1) 3.5mm combo jack. It would have been great if Acer added the Mini Display and Thunderbolt which is becoming a necessity for laptops nowadays.
Budget Stretcher Gaming Laptop
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
Look we couldn’t in good conscience not put the following laptop. for just a little bit more over the 1k budget you’re getting a much better graphics card.
Gaming performance to a whole new level! Get the best bang for your buck with the Acer Predator Helios 300.
- Latest 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor 2.8GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.8GHz | Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- Latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen IPS display, Red Backlit Keyboard
- 16GB DDR4 DRAM Memory & 256GB SSD | Extra empty expandable hard drive slot for 2.5" hard drives
- Up to 7-hours of battery life
There probably are lots of laptops out there who would brag about how they can outclass the competition. However, I’d put my bets on the Acer Predator Helios 300 to beat most of the gaming laptops in its price range.
The Helios 300 is just a little over $1000; it is currently sold on Amazon for around $1050. And it is definitely a better choice over the N850HK1 Pro. It has a solid metal chassis that is made of aluminum and is matte finished except for the top of the lid which has a brushed metal finish.
But this is not the reason why I picked it as my number one for this list of gaming laptops within this price range.
The processor installed in this gaming laptop is a Quad Core Intel i7-7700HQ that has 6MB L3 cache that can go up to 3.8Ghz. It has a 16GB DDR4 2400hz ram expandable up to 32GB.
The main reason this is part of this list is the GPU. The Helios 300 has a 6GB DDR5 GTX 1060 which is VR ready. For another $50 you’re getting a way better GPU overall.
This machine is mean and vicious when it comes to gaming, thus the name Predator; beating the competition by a mile.
Frame after frame the colors looks lifelike and vivid with its 15.6inch IPS screen backlit by LED. It supports 1920×1080 native resolution. If you are playing games you can set the graphics to full without having any issues; a reminder though if you are planning to connect it to a 4K external monitor, the GTX 1060 can reach its limits easily. 4K would need a higher graphics card such as a GTX 1070.
The Helios 300 keeps the internal components with its dual fans and large vents on the rear side. You can also monitor the performance of your machine and fine tune the fan performance using Acer’s PredatorSense application.
This gaming laptop comes out of the box with only the 256GB SSD, and if you want an HD drive, then you need to purchase it as an upgrade for another $90 or so for a 2TB HD (and install it yourself). .
Upgrading the memory and storage is easy, you have two easy-access hatches, one for the 2.5-inch drive and another for the DIMM Sockets.
You have a backlit keyboard with black keys except for the WASD that is red; it is a full keyboard layout complete with the number pad.
The Predator Helios 300 measures 15.4 x 10.5 x 1.5 inches; which is slightly bigger than other mainstream gaming notebooks. The Asus ROG Strix GL553VD (15.1 x 10 x 1.2 inches, 5.6 pounds) and the Lenovo Legion Y520 (15 x 10.4 x 1 inches, 5.6 pounds) are a bit smaller. However, the Helios 300 is a tad lighter at only 5.5 lbs. Now all these good stuff is just around $1050 at the time of this review and backed with Acer’s two-year limited warranty. Talk about bang for your buck!
Just a small write up here about battery management. Most laptops now have battery apps that you can modify to extend your batteries life as long as possible.
There are articles out there on how to care for your battery.
I subscribe to the fact that software can fail sometimes.
The only way to truly guarantee your laptop battery is not getting charged is to remove it entirely when connected to a power supply.
Charge the battery to 40-50% and then remove the battery.
Place the battery in a ziplock bag and if you have one put one of those silica packs you may have lying around.
Put the battery in the freezer. I know this may be extreme, but constant temperature is the best for keeping your battery fresh.
Obviously, this is really only for if you keep your laptop plugged in for a long time.
You don’t want to have to dethaw your battery every day you want to use your laptop…
If you do use the freeze technique, make sure to take the battery out every month or so and use it. Lithium batteries still like to get cycled.
A simpler method (and frankly the one I use) is to just pull the battery out (after the computer is powered down) and leave it beside my laptop.
I use my laptop enough that I need the handiness of the battery ready.
I found that this is the best for keeping the battery life. I don’t care what any other article says. I’ve continuously have had longer battery life than any of my friends.
Gaming laptops under $1000 can be considered as entry level for gaming.
Nowadays, games are becoming a burden to keep up with specifications-wise. In the years to come most likely the GTX 1050s might not be able to run games even in low to medium settings, but as always – technology keeps improving. So start saving up for your next laptop gaming rig!
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Thanks for reading
We also have an in-depth post on the best gaming laptops under 1500 and 1300 that is worth checking out.