Best Gaming Laptops Under $1,000

Today I will be talking about the best gaming laptops under $1000. For this ranking I’ve tested a dozen budget gaming laptops to see their performance. One thousand dollars is the minimum for getting decent gaming laptops that allow you to play comfortably any of the latest games.

You can buy cheaper ones but if you can afford to get a gaming laptop for a grand then I suggest you buy one of the laptops from this ranking.

My focus is on performance and value. To me, harmonious design is the most important characteristic in purchasing a laptop in this price range. It is disheartening to purchase a laptop for this amount of money and the performance doesn’t match expectation.

5 Best Gaming Laptops for Under a Thousand Bucks

With my information I aim to set accurate expectations for the readers. They should be aware which laptops will keep up with the most demanding of the current games and which will adequately run a single online MOBA. After that I aim to provide information on how each individual part of the computer may interact with other parts.

I am personally frustrated when computer companies put the newest processors into a laptop with no dedicated graphics and 2GB of RAM (exaggerating a bit here) and call it a gaming machine. I assess building value by looking at how the pieces of hardware will work with the other components.

  • Performance in Games 90%
  • Features 85%
  • Quality & Design 80%
  • Total 85%

Why is this the Editor’s pick?

For less than $1000, you’re getting an excellent gaming laptop in all areas. It’s ready to play the latest games on high settings with smooth gameplay. There’s enough power in the processor and graphics card to run any game you’d like to and the worst-case scenario would have you dropping the settings to medium in order to increase the performance. I haven’t found any games where that’s really necessary, including the power-hunger Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds.

I haven’t found any games where it’s really necessary to lower the settings to achieve adequate functionality, including the power-hunger Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds.

How do the Specs shape up?

The GL62M 7RDX-1408 comes with 8GB of RAM which is the recommended amount for today’s games. It means your laptop won’t suffer from bottlenecking data and your game will be smoother as a result. As long as you’re not multitasking whilst playing games that are intensive for your CPU or graphics card, you won’t have any problems.

Having a processor and graphics card of this quality means that you won’t have to worry about upgrading for at least a couple of years. You may well get 4-5 years out of it before it becomes completely outdated.

A good gaming laptop requires a big hard drive these days, because of the ever-increasing space demands of AAA games.

1TB of storage should let you have plenty of games installed, as well as room for lots of screenshots and photos/movies.

The backlit keyboard means you’ll be able to stay up 24 hours a day admiring the awesome graphics on your new 17.3″ screen!

Gaming Performance

You’ll be able to play any game you want to, with most of them on Ultra/High graphics settings. What settings you pick depends entirely on whether you prefer more performance or wonderous graphics. This is only really applicable to multiplayer games though as you won’t need the extra performance in most single-player games.

This video shows a list of five of the most popular online multiplayer shooters. Every game runs in double or triple digit frame rates. PUBG is known for being too big of a beast for many systems but it runs perfectly fine on this rig.

The Bottom Line

This is the laptop I’m looking forward to upgrading to. The hardware inside it is well worth the money and you won’t need to worry about buying another laptop for the foreseeable future. I don’t have anything negative to say about the ‘7RDX and it has the perfect mix of components for a great price.

  • Performance in Games 93%
  • Features 65%
  • Quality & Design 80%
  • Total 79%

Why is this the Alternative pick?

Acer’s Aspire VX 15 actually has some better hardware than the Editor’s pick, but its one flaw is the hard drive space of 256GB. In my opinion (and experience) it’s not enough space for an enthusiastic gamer. You’ll have the power to play AAA games on high/ultra settings but you’ll have to pick and choose which games you have installed at any given time. On one 256GB hard drive, I have Skyrim, Elder Scrolls Online and a few indie games installed and I’m left with only 37GB.

This sounds like a big negative but it’s not too much of a hassle to make more space when you need to. The rest of the hardware is excellent and if you’re willing to use an external hard drive, you’ve already eliminated the VX 15’s problem. It’s also worth noting that the hard drive is a solid state drive, so the games you do have installed will run faster and smoother than ever.

How do the Specs shape up?

You can expect to play any AAA title with excellent settings and have a smoother performance. The processor is as good as the ‘7RDX and the VX 15’s graphics card is better. You’re also getting double the amount of RAM than most games need. It will allow you to have multiple things open without your laptop having issues and, in the future, if the RAM bar is raised to 12 or 16GB then you’re still good to go.

The dual fan cooling should mean that your lap won’t be heated up like a slab of beef and will keep your system in working order for longer.

Gaming Performance

Here’s an excellent video of 25 AAA games being run with this laptop’s hardware. They’re all demanding games and they all run really well with these system specs. You won’t need to worry about looking at system requirements when checking games out (except for the hard drive space needed) and you’ll be getting the most out of every game you play.

Even if you favor performance over graphics, like I do, you can still enjoy the best textures and effects that most of these games have to offer.

The Bottom Line

The model was almost the Editor’s Pick but the 256GB hard drive space lets it down. The hard drive is a Solid State Drive, though and the rest of the hardware is excellent. If you don’t buy an external hard drive for it, you can expect to have 3-4 big games installed at one time before you need to delete others to make room. If you don’t play games that require a lot of space then this laptop will probably last you a decade!

  • Performance in Games 80%
  • Features 85%
  • Quality & Design 66%
  • Total 77%

Why is this the Budget pick?

The processor and graphics card aren’t as powerful as the previous two entries, but it’s still a pretty good gaming machine, overall. There’s plenty of storage (1TB Hard drive) and RAM (12 GB). It comes with the standard 15.6″ screen with 1920×1080 resolution as well.

How do the Specs shape up?

Even though this is the budget pick, the specs shape up very nicely. There’s no weak area in the hardware and it’s good enough to run most games on at least medium settings.

Gaming Performance

Watch Dogs 2 is a game with fairly high requirements and it can be an intensive work out for your machine. This system will run Watch Dogs 2 at almost 40 fps on average, which is more than adequate in a single player game.

Overwatch is another popular game out now and you’ll be able to get a steady 50-57 fps on high/ultra settings with the Ideapad’s Intel i5 6300HQ and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking to save a bit of money, it may well be worth going for the budget pick. It’s a decent gaming machine in its own right and the only difference between this machine and the others is that the processor and graphics card are a little weaker.

What this means in the long term is that in a couple of years time you may struggle to play certain games on low settings (if you’re looking for 60 fps, for example).

There should still be a plethora of new games that you can run on medium settings but the older the hardware, the less time it will last you, in general.

  • Performance in Games 94%
  • Features 80%
  • Quality & Design 85%
  • Total 86%

Why is this the Upgrade pick?

The ASUS FX502VM-AS73 is my choice for the upgrade pick because you get a boost in the graphics card area, great RAM (16 GB) whilst also retaining a good processor. It’s an investment in the future, really, as it just ensures you’ll be able to keep up with the latest releases for longer.

How do the Specs shape up?

To give you an idea of the difference between Nvidia’s 1050 Ti, which the Alternative Pick comes with, and NVDIA’s 1060, present on this system. This comparison shows you’re getting an increase of 75% in many areas, especially in the texture and multi-rendering areas.

There’s not much to say about the screen size and resolution as it’s the standard 15.6″ with 1920×1080. You’re also getting the standard 1TB hard drive which should be more than enough for your gaming needs.

It’s worth mentioning that this ASUS model comes with 16GB of RAM. It should be a long time before games require anything higher as standard, and it also means you’ll be able to watch videos while playing games, for those necessary Dark Souls walkthroughs.

Gaming Performance

You can play almost any game available today on high/ultra high settings and this system will breeze through it. Games like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds will give you around 60 fps, most of the time. Other competitive online games like Battlefield 4 and War Thunder will also run very smoothly too. This video shows how these games will look and play using this system’s specs.

This rig was designed with an intelligent thermal design, so even if you are playing everything on maximum settings, you shouldn’t notice a big increase in heat.

The Bottom Line

You shouldn’t need to upgrade this machine for some time and it makes for a good investment if you can afford the extra pennies! This is one of those gaming systems you can probably brag about and make other people jealous.

The hardware is great and is more than adequate for today’s AAA games. There’s also room for the next few years worth, too.

  • Performance in Games 85%
  • Features 90%
  • Quality & Design 80%
  • Total 85%

Why is this the Niche pick?

Overall, it’s not as powerful as some of the other gaming laptops on this list. What it sets it apart though, is its much higher maximum resolution, at 3840×2160 and the LED touchscreen. You’ll have the option of playing games in a very high resolution, as well as a useful screen for digital artwork.

The fact that it’s touch based will also benefit you if you’re artistic and even if you’re not, the touch screen is a lot faster than using the track pad for normal browsing and the like.

How do the Specs shape up?

The processor and graphics card shape up very nicely and you shouldn’t have any problems running today’s games. The increased resolution can make some games prettier whilst also giving you a competitive edge in others. Having 16GB RAM is a lot more than you’ll probably need but if you like having multiple things going on at once, you’ll appreciate it.

There’s plenty of hard drive space and it uses 8GB on a separate solid state drive to access the more frequently used data faster.

Being able to reach out and play videos or close websites with your fingertip is also pretty cool and once you’ve gotten used to it you’ll probably loathe to give it up!

How good is it for gaming?

It runs one of the latest shooters, Overwatch, very well as seen in this video. This rig gets over 60 fps constantly and it’s a very smooth gaming experience. You can play most AAA games with medium settings and many of them on high.



Touch screen technology has come a long way since the bad old days and if you do want to play touch screen games, you’ll have a blast.

The Bottom Line

It’s a good system for gaming and multitasking, but if the touch screen doesn’t appeal to you, it would be better to choose the Editors or Alternative pick.

If you like the idea of being able to use the screen to navigate the internet, or even play mobile games on your laptop, then this may be the best buy for you. The hardware isn’t bad, it’s actually quite good. You’re just getting a less powerful processor and graphics card for your money, in exchange for a touch screen and more RAM.


The kind of gaming laptop you can get for around $1000 means you can enjoy the latest and greatest games with the best of them. These systems will last you for at least two years and if you’re happy to play on lower settings, it will last you longer than that!

Each of these systems has a great mix of technology vs costs and that’s why they’re on this list.

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