If you need a gaming laptop but work on a moderate budget, we’ve rated and reviewed seven of the best gaming laptops under $1,000 to help you find the right option for your needs.
Gaming laptops will always be trumped by dollar-for-dollar pre-built, custom-made gaming desktops. However, desktop computers are not viable options for gamers who need a more portable option. And luckily, there are decent gaming laptops in the ~$500-$1,000 price range.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at seven of the best gaming laptops under $1,000 that are currently available. We’ve rated the seven laptops below based on their gaming performance and the price tags they come in to give you a good idea of what kind of value they offer. So if you’re on a moderate budget and looking for a solid gaming laptop, one of the options listed below should work for you.
1. Lenovo Legion 5 15.6″
The best gaming laptop under $1,000
- Ryzen 7 5800H processor
- NVIDIA RTX 3050Ti
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
Our Rating: 8.9 /10
The Lenovo Legion 5 is our current pick for the best gaming laptop under $1,000. This Lenovo gaming laptop comes with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor, an RTX 3050 Ti GPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. It also comes with a larger 15.3″ 1080P 165Hz screen.
With the Ryzen 7 CPU, RTX 3050 Ti GPU, and 16GB of RAM, you’ll be able to max out any game you throw at this laptop. Not to mention, the addition of the 165Hz refresh rate display will provide an incredibly smooth gaming experience.
The only downside to this Ryzen 7 gaming laptop, though, is that it technically doesn’t cost less than $1,000. Rather, it comes in at ~$1,050. For that extra $50, though, you get a better processor, better GPU, more memory, and a higher refresh rate than the options listed below.
So in the end, if you have ~$1,000 to spend on a new laptop and can bump your budget just another $50, this laptop will give you a much better hardware configuration than any of the other under $1,000 laptops for games out there.
2. ASUS ROG Strix G15 15.6″
Our final selection
While the aforementioned Lenovo Legion 5 was our pick for the best option under $1,000, the ASUS ROG Strix G15 is no slouch. That makes it also cost just under $1,000, so if you’re on a strict budget, this ASUS gaming laptop might be your best bet.
This laptop comes with an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor, an NVIDIA RTX 3050 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. Its screen is a 15.6-inch screen that has a resolution of 1080P and a refresh rate of 144Hz.
Compared to our top pick, the ASUS ROG Strix G15 has a slightly weaker CPU and GPU, half the memory, and a slightly slower refresh rate. And, it’s only ~$50 cheaper. This is why we recommend choosing the Lenovo Legion 5 instead of it. Not to mention, the Acer Nitro 5 listed below has nearly identical specs and you can get it for almost $200 less.
However, if the price of the ASUS ROG Strix G15 were to drop, it could be an option worth considering. But for now, it’s our finalist choice.
3. Acer Nitro 5 15.6″
Best Value Gaming Laptop Under $1,000
Despite being a bit cheaper than some of the other options on this list, the Acer Nitro 5 is currently one of the best gaming laptops under $1,000.
The Acer Nitro 5 comes with an Intel Core i5-10300H processor, an RTX 3050 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB NVME SSD. It also has a 15.6″ 1080P display that has a 144Hz refresh rate.
The combination of the i5-10300H and the RTX 3050 GPU is enough to maximize virtually any game on a 1080P display. And the 144Hz refresh rate will make games run much smoother. This is especially true for competitive games that rely on split-second decisions like Rocket League, COD, Fortnite, etc.
However, the only downside to this Acer gaming laptop is that it doesn’t come with a lot of storage out of the box. The 256GB SSD is fast, but probably not big enough to accommodate the average PC gamer’s library. However, you can always grab an extra 2.5″ drive and add it to the Helios 300 if you need more storage.
However, the bottom line is that with the i5-10300H processor and RTX 3050 GPU, the Helios 300 will not provide as much performance as the Lenovo Legion mentioned above. However, it’s ~$200 cheaper, so you can save a bit of money without also sacrificing a lot of performance.
4. Pavilion HP 15.6″
Best budget gaming laptop
If you don’t have much more than $700 to spend, but need a 1080P laptop that will let you play virtually any game smoothly, then this HP Pavilion gaming laptop is worth a look.
At just under $760, it’s one of the more affordable options on this list. This HP Pavilion comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H processor, a GTX 1650 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. And it has a 15.6″ 1080P 60Hz screen.
That’s not bad for a ~$750 gaming laptop, as that’s a powerful enough hardware configuration to be able to max out most games, and for more demanding titles, play them on medium settings.
So the bottom line is, if you’re short on cash and don’t have the budget to get the aforementioned Acer Nitro or Lenovo Legion, this HP Pavilion laptop is a solid alternative.
5. Lenovo Ideapad L340 15.6″
Honourable Mention #1
As mentioned above, the Lenovo Ideapad L340 is one of the cheapest options on this list. It’s priced at just under $700 and has an Intel Core i5-9300H, a GTX 1650 GPU, 8GB of DDR4 memory, and a 512GB SSD. It also comes with a 15.6″ 1080P 60Hz display.
While we picked the ASUS TUF FX505DT as our top budget pick, the truth is that it could make a strong case for the L340 instead. The L340 comes with a slightly better processor and larger SSD for a slightly lower price.
However, we felt that the FX505DT’s 120Hz refresh rate helped give it an edge over the L340. However, if you don’t need the highest refresh rate and find yourself gaming on a 60Hz screen, then the L340 would be the better choice.
6. ASUS ROG G531GT 15.6″
Honourable Mention #2
One option you might want to consider if you don’t have enough to get the GT75 or the Acer Predator Helios 300, is the ASUS ROG G531GT.
It comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, a GTX 1650 GPU, 8GB of memory, a 512GB SSD, and a 15.6″ 1080P 60Hz display.
While it doesn’t have a higher refresh rate display, it’s one of the more affordable laptops out there with a new 9th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU. And the GTX 1650 that it comes with will help power whatever game you throw at it.
We believe that ASUS TUF FX505DT and Lenovo Ideapad L340 offer a better price-performance ratio. But, if you need a higher-end processor for more CPU-intensive tasks and don’t have the money to get the GT75, the ASUS ROG G531GT would be a good alternative.
7. Dell G3579 15.6″
Honourable Mention #3
If you’re looking for a very affordable gaming laptop that gives you enough performance to run your favourite games at 1080P, you might want to consider the Dell G3579.
At just over $600, this Dell gaming laptop comes with an Intel Core i5-8300H processor, an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti GPU, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and a 15.6″ 1080P display.
These specs won’t be enough to max out today’s top titles, but this system will be able to run any game on at least lower settings. For popular non-demanding games like League of Legends, Dota 2, and Rocket League, this laptop will be able to run them smoothly.
And, for games like Fortnite, PUBG, and Apex Legends, you’ll be able to run them on this laptop at low to medium settings with decent frame rates.
So if you’re short on cash, but need a solid gaming laptop, the Dell G3579 is worth a look.
Need a solid gaming laptop under $1,000?
While we always recommend that gamers build their gaming PCs so they can get the most out of their budgets, we also know that certain users will need the mobility that a laptop offers. If you’re interested in building your PC, check out our guide to the best cheap gaming PCs that are built for under $1,000 to see the difference in hardware you can get. And, if not, and you need a gaming laptop, one of the affordable gaming laptops listed above should work for you.