Top 5: Best Gaming Laptops under $1000

In Laptops, Reviews by Branton7 Comments

For under $1000 you can set yourself up with a great gaming laptop capable of playing pretty much anything. Take a look at our top 5, and I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for.

If you’re the kind of person who is constantly on the go, but you also need your fix of PC gaming, then a gaming-grade laptop might be something you need. What makes a laptop “gaming-grade”? Well, the biggest difference is going to be the dedicated graphics card that a gaming laptop will have, as opposed to a non-gaming laptop which will only use integrated graphics.

There are countless benefits to having a laptop capable of both work & play, but if you’re buying one primarily for home-use, why not consider building your own gaming desktop instead? You’ll get exponentially more power for around the same price, which means you’ll be cranking games a lot higher than on any of the laptops below.

I’m sure you’re already getting tired of reading my rambling, so let’s get down to reviewing our top 5 laptops for gaming under $1000! If you have any questions, be sure to leave them in the comment section!

#5

Acer E5-573G-52G3

Acer’s E5-573G-52G3 is an economy level gaming laptop that works well for taking notes, pounding out homework, and getting a round or two of CS: GO in between everything else.

The design is going to appeal to your inner minimalist, and it’s not too flashy while still looking great.

The biggest differences that you’re going to notice between this laptop and one priced closer to $500 is the fact that this guy has an Intel Core processor and a discrete graphics card. Cheaper laptops will generally use an AMD processor and take advantage of AMD’s integrated APU for graphics. AMD isn’t bad, but you’re almost always going to get more power from an Intel combined with a dedicated graphics card.

Although the E5-573G isn’t the most powerful laptop on the list, it does pack enough punch to handle games like DOTA2, CS: GO, LoL, or anything along those lines with 0 problems whatsoever. It’s also capable of handling newer games, but only on medium settings and around 30fps instead of 60.

If you’re a budget-minded gamer who needs a solid laptop for work/school as well as some casual gaming in-between, then the Acer E5-573G-52G3 will deliver lots of bang for your buck.

Pros

  • Built-in 720p webcam
  • 1TB of storage
  • 3 USB ports
  • Decent in-game performance
  • Good Value

Cons

  • No Optical Drive

Specs

  • Processor: Intel i5 5200U @ 2.2GHz
  • Graphics: GeForce 940M 2GB
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3L
  • Storage: 1TB 5400RPM HDD
  • Display: 1920×1080, TN, 15.6″
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Weight: 5.29 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 hours

#4

Asus K501LX-EB71

A gaming laptop that isn’t primarily dark? What? Not only that, but the Asus K501LX-EB71 also packs enough power to handle new games on med-high settings while maintaining a high level of mobility at just 4.4 pounds.

One major downside right off the bat is that the K501LX only offers up 256GB of SSD storage. Yes, it’s SSD instead of HDD, but it’s only 256GB.. Or roughly 3-4 AAA games. You would definitely want either an external HDD, or an external SSD for extra space.

Other than the lack of storage, the K501 is a solid mid-level gaming laptop that steps away from the traditional “gaming” look and leans more toward the “premium” look. The sleek aluminum body is complimented by a dark blue top, and it looks great.

It features an Intel i5 5500U processor at 2.4GHz, a GTX 950M discrete graphics card, and 8GB of RAM. The K501 uses Asus’s proprietary cooling system which aids in keeping the unit cool, but it can get loud when the system is pushed.

At the end of the day, Asus made the K501LX-EB71 with the gamer on a budget in mind. The type of gamer who might need to use their laptop for both work, and play.

Pros

  • SSD instead of HDD
  • Built-in 720p webcam
  • Backlit Keys

Cons

  • Only 256GB of storage

Specs

  • Processor: Intel i5 5500U @ 2.4GHz
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 950M 2GB
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3L
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 1920×1080, TN, 15.6″
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Weight: 4.4 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 6.5 hours

#3

MSI GP62 Leopard Pro

The MSI GP62 Leopard Pro is a really strong mid-level gaming laptop that gives you what you need to game out, but not much more.

It features a sleek black “brushed aluminum” finish that really makes this laptop look great while making it slightly more durable than a plastic alternative. One downside is that the keyboard is not backlit.

The GP60 boasts more than enough power to play games like Skyrim almost completely maxed out (ultra settings, v-sync off) while maintaining 60fps; thanks to it’s powerful i5 4210H processor, GTX 950M graphics card and 8GB of RAM. Although, more intensive games like GTA: V or The Witcher 3 might still need to be run on medium – high settings. Anything like DOTA2 won’t even be an issue.

Unlike the Asus K501LX, storage is not much of an issue with the GP60 Leopard and it comes equipped with a 750GB HDD that runs at a reasonable 5400RPM. No, 750GB isn’t really a lot, but it’s definitely more than enough for a gaming laptop. If you do need more, grab yourself an external SSD.

One complaint is that the battery area of the Gp60 gets excessively hot if you’re gaming for extended periods of time without using a cooling pad. So, if you do decide to go with this laptop, I would strongly suggest grabbing yourself something like the Cooler Master NotePal X3 or X-Slim.

Overall, the MSI GP60 Leopard-1053 is a solid mid-range gaming laptop for the budget minded gamer. It gives you ample power to enjoy newer games and will support titles yet to be released in 2015.

Pros

  • Built-in 720p webcam
  • Built-in DVD drive
  • 4 USB ports
  • Better in-game performance over #4 & #5

Cons

  • Battery gets hot over extended use

Specs

  • Processor: Intel i5 4210H @ 2.9GHz
  • Graphics: Geforce GTX 950M 2GB
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3L
  • Storage: 750GB 5400RPM HDD
  • Display: 1920×1080, TN, 15.6″
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Weight: 5.29 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 3 hours

#2

Lenovo Y50 59418222

Lenovo’s Y50 is a top contender for the fastest gaming laptop under $1000 and has more than enough power to manage any modern game without a hitch.

The first thing you’re going to notice about the Y50 is it’s amazingly sleek metal body and it’s really attractive “brushed steel” look. Click through the screenshots and you’ll see what I mean.

It’s also able to boast the best sounding audio out of all the options on this list by featuring powerful JBL speakers and even a small sub. Laptop speakers usually don’t deliver the best audio experience, but this beast is definitely an exception.

The Y50 is equipped with an Intel i5 4200H processor that puts out a reasonable 2.8GHz to 4 cores, 8GB of RAM and a GTX 860M discrete graphics card. Performance-wise it is a powerhouse and very capable of playing games like Mad Max or GTA: V on high settings with decent frame-rates.

You’re only going to get about 3 hours of charge out of the battery, but if you’re using any laptop for gaming, you want it plugged in to take advantage of every ounce of power anyways.

All-in-all, the Lenovo Y50 is easily one of the most powerful gaming laptops under $1000, and also offers up some of the best integrated speakers that you can get out of a laptop in this price range. You definitely won’t be disappointed.

Pros

  • Best Speakers on This List
  • Built-in 720p webcam
  • Lots of Power
  • Looks Amazing

Cons

  • No Optical Drive
  • Low Battery Life

Specs

  • Processor: Intel i5 4200H @ 2.8GHz
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 860M 2GB
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3L
  • Storage: 1TB 5400RPM HDD
  • Display: 1920×1080, TN, 15.6″
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 3 hours

#1

Asus ROG GL551JW-DS71

When you pick the Asus ROG GL551JW-Ds71 you get a laptop that is very capable of handling the most hardware intensive games with relative ease – for a laptop.

It’s running a potent 4 core 8 thread Intel i7 4720HQ processor at 2.6GHz and up to 3.6GHz when you need it. The ROG also boasts a 2GB Geforce GTX 960M graphics card, and Asus even managed to pack in a whole 16GB of RAM which will help a lot if you plan to stream.

Storage you say? How about 1TB in an HDD and another 128GB from an SSD? How’s that for your laptop storage?

Like all of the other laptops in the list, the Asus ROG also has a built-in 720p webcam and bluetooth 4.0 support. The GL551JW-DS71 also comes loaded with a DVD±RW/CD-RW optical drive, just in case.

Even though it comes in at just over $1000, the Asus ROG GL551JW-DS71 is the best gaming laptop you can get around this price range. It comes fully loaded with all the options you could want, and it’s more than capable of handling games like The Witcher 3, GTA: V on med-high settings with relative ease.

Pros

  • Powerful i7 CPU
  • Good Graphics Card
  • Lots of RAM
  • GTA: V “high” settings 40-50FPS
  • Plenty of Storage
  • DVD/CD Burner
  • Built-in 720p Webcam

Cons

  • Weighs 9.3 pounds

Specs

  • Processor: Intel i7 4720HQ @ 2.6GHz (Turbo to 3.6GHz)
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 960M 2GB DDR5
  • RAM: 16GB DDR3L
  • Storage: 1TB 7200RPM HDD + 128GB SSD
  • Display: 1920×1080, TN, 15.6″
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Weight: 9.3 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 4 hours

Conclusion

If you’re a budget-minded gamer who absolutely needs a laptop capable of playing modern games with decent graphics, then any of these options will work, some better than others. If these laptops are still a little above your price range, why not take a look through our Best Gaming Laptops under $500 list?

One thing you should always keep in mind while gaming on a laptop is: don’t restrict your airflow. It might be convenient to put your laptop on a pillow on your lap or something and game out, but trust me, that’s a bad idea and you’re slowly smothering your laptop. You should almost always use a cooling pad when actively gaming on your laptop.

You might want to consider getting yourself a mouse also, gaming with a trackpad can be a nuisance. Why not check out one of our top 5 best gaming mice reviews?

When it comes down to it, $1000 is going to get you a solid mid-range gaming laptop that should last you at least a year. But, if you’re looking at a gaming laptop primarily for home use then you might be better off by building your own gaming desktop. You’ll get a lot more power for the same price, at the expensive of mobility. I hope our Top 5: Best Gaming Laptops under $1000 list helped you find what you need and come back soon!

Did you find this post useful? Why not leave a comment and let us know what you think? 

Author

Branton

The first game I ever played on PC was Ultima Online way back in 1999, since then I've been hooked on PC gaming and putting together awesome builds! Thanks for stopping by!

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7 Comments on “Top 5: Best Gaming Laptops under $1000”

  1. The Lenovo y50 looks so good. I was only going to spend like $700 on a laptop but now im going to save more for the y50

    1. Awesome Mikel, good to hear. The Y50 has some pretty crazy speakers for a laptop, and quite a bit of power to boot. I think it’s also the best-looking laptop on the list, followed closely by MSI’s GP60.

    1. Hi Ryan,

      That’s because our prices are in USD (US $) due to the vast majority (80%+) of our readers being from the USA. Sorry about any confusion that may have caused.

    1. Hey Asher,

      If you don’t mind a 15.6″, the MSI GE62 6Qf is on sale right now for $1299 and it’s a pretty crazy laptop. i7 6700HQ, GTX 970m, 12GB of RAM and a 1080p IPS screen.

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