Top 5: Best Gaming Laptops under $1000 in 2018

Updated: September 8th, 2018Author: BrantonCategory: Laptops, Reviews11 Comments

best gaming laptops under 1000
best gaming laptops under 1000

For less than $1000 you can get a great gaming laptop capable of playing pretty much anything. Take a look at our top 5 gaming laptops under $1000, and I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for. That’s to say, finding the best gaming laptop doesn’t have to be difficult.

If you’re the kind of person who is constantly on the go, but you also need your fix of AAA PC gaming, a good gaming laptop might be exactly what you need. When I say a “good” gaming laptop, I don’t mean something littered with flashing LED lights and the body of a stealth bomber; but one that has good specs and will perform well in games first and foremost. I think you’ll see what I mean below.

There are countless benefits to having a laptop capable of both work & play, mobility is the biggest benefit by far. That said, if you’re buying a laptop primarily for use at home, why not consider getting your own gaming desktop instead? You’ll get much more power for around the same price, which means you’ll be cranking graphics settings a lot higher than on most of the laptops below.

If you have any questions about anything on the list, or you want to know if the laptop you’ve picked is good, feel free to ask me in the comment section

#5

Asus VivoBook M580VD

The ASUS VivoBook M580VD is a great entry-level gaming laptop that can easily handle most AAA games on low-mid settings in 1080p.

The performance is what you’d expect from a laptop running an Intel i5 and a GTX 1050. That’s to say; it’ll work awesome for games like CS: GO or Overwatch, but in AAA titles you’ll have to turn the settings down to low or mid for the best experience – similar to a console.

The cooling leaves a lot to be desired, and this isn’t a laptop you want to use for extended gaming sessions without a good cooling pad. Using it on a bed or another surface that might restrict airflow is not recommended for long periods of time.

The M580VD doesn’t feature the typical gamer-inspired aesthetics that most of the other entries on this list will. Instead, Asus adopted a more minimalist and professional look by going with brushed aluminum over LEDs and matte black. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the color, but that might just be me.

For storage, there’s a 256GB SSD. This gives you quick boot up times, but a limited amount of space to play with. If we’re talking your average AAA game, it’ll only take a few before you’re out of space. Because of that, you might want to consider picking up an external HDD or SSD. 

All-in-all, the VivoBook M580VD serves as a good choice for light gaming in the office, or while you’re on a break at school. I wouldn’t recommend it over the other options unless you really want/need the “professional” look.

The Good
  • Slim form factor
  • Brushed aluminum finish
  • Included SSD
  • Decent audio
  • Decent in-game performance
The Bad
  • Not the best cooling
  • Paying a premium for the “professional” look
Specs
  • Processor: Intel i5 7300HQ
  • Graphics: GTX 1050 2GB
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 1920×1080 | 15.6″
  • Connectivity: 2x USB 2.0 | 1x USB 3.0 | 802.11 A/C WiFi
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Weight: 5.10 lbs
  • Battery: Lithium ion

#4

MSI GL62M 7RD-1407

MSI’s GL62M 7RD-1407 is essentially the same as the #5 pick aside from a few key points – primarily price. 

The GL62M 7RD-1407 (I’m just going to say “this laptop” from now on) will easily handle games like CS: GO and Overwatch on mid-high settings without an issue. But, more graphically intense/AAA games will give it issues on anything higher than low-mid in most cases. 

It’s cooling is much better than the VivoBook M580VD and does not get anywhere near as hot. I would imagine this is thanks to a slightly larger set of fans. 

The design of this laptop (told you) is more geared towards gamers than our #5 pick. Featuring a black finish, an angular design, and a nice big MSI badge on the back. There’s also a slight red accent along the bottom/rear. 

Connectivity-wise, this laptop features a total of 4 USB ports for hooking up whatever you might need. It also comes with your standard audio jacks and an HDMI port. 

When it comes to storage, there’s a 256GB SSD loaded in here which is pretty standard in 2017. It doesn’t give you a ton of room for games, etc., but it does allow for very quick boot times when compared to an HDD. I would suggest getting an external HDD or SSD if you’re going to be playing a lot of different games.

At the end of the day, the MSI GL62M- 7RD-1407 is a solid choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive gaming laptop with great features. The included i5 7300HQ, GTX 1050, and 8GB of RAM will be sure to handle most games you want to play.

The Good
  • Good CPU
  • Decent graphics card
  • SSD storage
  • 1080p low-high settings in AAA games
  • Built-in 720p webcam
The Bad
  • Only 256GB of storage
  • Somewhat loud fans
Specs
  • Processor: Intel i5 7300HQ
  • Graphics: GTX 1050 2GB
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: 256GB M.2 SATA SSD
  • Display: 1920×1080 | 15.6″
  • Connectivity: 1x USB 2.0 | 3x USB 3.0 | 1x HDMI | 802.11 A/C WiFi
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Weight: 5.29 lbs
  • Battery: Lithium ion

#3

Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK

Just when I thought laptop model numbers couldn’t get any more difficult, along comes the Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS. I’m not even going to attempt to type that again.

It features a 1TB HDD, a 128GB SSD, an Intel i7 7700HQ and a 2GB GTX 1050. This is an extremely balanced option in my opinion, especially if you’re trying to keep the budget down to a minimum. 

Cooling-wise, this laptop is similar to the previous mention and most after it will be as well. Nothing spectacular here.

The design definitely shouts “Dell” and it looks like pretty much any other non-XPS Dell laptop you’ve seen outside of some red accenting. Personally, I really enjoy the look and feel of this laptop, the bit of red really pops and makes it feel like a gaming laptop without making you embarrassed to pull it out around non-gamer friends. 

Coming to storage, there’s both a 1TB HDD and a 128GB SSD in this build – much better for a gaming laptop than the previous mentions. The 1TB HDD will give you a ton of space to store games and the like on while the SSD will serve as an awesome primary boot drive. This is my preferred configuration, and I’m glad to see it in a laptop at this level.

All-in-all, the Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS serves as a formidable upgrade to the previous two mentions and fits perfectly into the middle spot of this list. It’s not amazing, but it’s not terrible either. It’s very much an okay laptop. 

The Good
  • Tons of storage (Best on the list)
  • Good CPU
  • Decent graphics card
  • Built-in 720p webcam
  • 1080p low-high settings in AAA games (will vary per game)
The Bad
  • Battery gets hot over extended use
  • Limited USB options
  • No 3.5mm microphone jack
Specs
  • Processor: Intel i5 7300HQ
  • Graphics: GTX 1050
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: 1TB 5400RPM HDD + 128GB SSD
  • Display: 1920×1080 | 15.6″
  • Connectivity: 3x USB 2.0 | 1x HDMI | 802.11 A/C WiFi
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Weight: 5.7 lbs
  • Battery: Lithium ion

#2

MSI GL62M 7RE-407

The MSI GL62M 7RE-407 is the bigger brother of the previously mentioned GL62M 7RD-1407. Instead of a GTX 1050, you’re getting the much more powerful GTX 1050 Ti and significantly more gaming potential with it.

Other than the upgraded graphics card, this and the GL62M 7RD-1407 are essentially the same things. They both run the same CPU, the same RAM, the same storage configuration, same screen, and have the same shell.

It’ll easily handle AAA games on mid settings (about the same as consoles) and will have no problems with most other tasks you want to do outside of heavy content creation. The GTX 1050 Ti is a huge upgrade over the GTX 1050 that’s been in all of the builds up to this one.

Since there’s only a 256GB SSD in this laptop, you’ll want to strongly consider purchasing yourself an external HDD or SSD to expand your storage levels. 256GB will work great if you’re playing just indie games and anything small, but when you start installing AAA games, you’ll see that 256GB disappear very fast.

The MSI GL62M 7R3-407 is an awesome upgrade over the previous mentions in this list due to its included GTX 1050 Ti. The #3 spot blows it away regarding processor and storage, but those don’t make a good gaming laptop like a strong GPU does.

The Good
  • Good graphics card
  • Good CPU
  • SSD storage
  • 1080p mid-high settings in AAA games
  • Built-in 720p webcam
The Bad
  • Only 256GB of storage
  • Loud(ish) fans
Specs
  • Processor: Intel i5 7300HQ
  • Graphics: GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: 256GB M.2 SATA SSD
  • Display: 1920×1080 | 15.6″
  • Connectivity: 1x USB 2.0 | 3x USB 3.0 | 1x HDMI | 802.11 A/C WiFi
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs
  • Battery: Lithium ion

#1

Acer Aspire VX 15

The Acer Aspire VX 15 (now that’s a name I can deal with) is the best laptop you can buy for under $1000. Not including laptops that may or may not be on sale. 

The power included in the VX 15 is through the roof when it comes to a sub-$1000 laptop. You’re getting an Intel i7 7700HQ, a GTX 1050 Ti, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 256GB of SSD storage – seriously, that’s some insane power. 

This build can easily handle AAA games on mid settings (some on high) and will storm through less graphically intensive games without an issue. Something like Overwatch will easily run at 60fps+ maxed out on this laptop. 

For cooling, this build is incredible, even for extended gaming sessions. It’s easily the best option regarding cooling when it comes to anything on this list. 

The design is something I love. It reminds me of my old Alienware M17X R3 and really gives off that gamer-vibe. The keyboard is backlight, but only by a single color – “Iron-red.” 

For storage, you’re only getting a 256GB SSD, but when you consider everything else in this laptop and the cost of it, that starts to seem awesome. Still, I would suggest buying yourself an external HDD or SSD to increase the amount of storage you have access to. 

At the end of the day, the Acer Aspire VX 15 is the best gaming laptop you can buy for under $1000. It comes with above-par graphics, above-par processing and a ton of RAM. If you wanted to use this laptop for some light content creation, that would be completely possible. 

The Good
  • Powerful i7 CPU
  • Good Graphics Card
  • Lots of RAM
  • GTA: V “high” settings 40-50FPS
  • Plenty of Storage
  • Built-in 720p Webcam
The Bad
  • Limited amount of storage
Specs
  • Processor: Intel i7 7700HQ
  • Graphics: GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: 256GB M.2 SATA SSD
  • Display: 1920×1080 | 15.6″
  • Connectivity: 1x USB 2.0 | 2x USB 3.0 | 1x USB Type-C |1x HDMI | 802.11 A/C WiFi
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Weight: 5.51 lbs
  • Battery: 3-cell lithium ion

Conclusion

If you’re a budget-minded gamer who needs a laptop capable of playing modern games with good graphics and performance, I hope you were able to find your laptop above. If the laptops above are still outside of your price range, why not take a look at my Best Laptops (for gaming) under $500 list?

There’s also 1 honorable mention that I feel I have to add here. It’s just a bit above $1000 but is definitely worth the cost. That mention is the Acer Predator Helios 300. This beast of a laptop comes with an i7 7700HQ, a 6GB GTX 1060, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 256GB SSD and all on a 15.6″ platform that weighs less than 6 pounds. Even I’m blown away by that. 

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, if not just a hard surface.

You might want to consider getting yourself a mouse also, gaming with a trackpad can be a nuisance at best. Since there are so many mice on the market, I’ve put together top 5 lists for both mice under $50 and mice under $100. You’re almost guaranteed to find the mouse you need within one of those lists. 

When it comes down to it, $1000 is going to get you a solid mid-range gaming laptop that should last you a long time. That being said, if you’re looking at a gaming laptop primarily for use at home, then you might be better off by building or buying your own gaming desktop instead. You’ll get a lot more power for the same price, at the expensive of mobility.

In any event, I hope my list of the top 5 gaming laptops under $1000 helped you find what you need!

Have any questions? Comments? Leave them below! 

About the Author

Branton

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Hey there! I'm Branton, the founder and lead editor here at PC Game Haven. Since our launch in 2015, we've helped thousands upon thousands of gamers build their dream desktops, find the perfect peripherals, and more. Thanks for stopping by!

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Hey Branton what do you think fo the Acer Nitro 5? It seems to be a good laptop for the price, but it is any other better at similar price? I found it on BestBuy at $800 the GTX 1050 ti version.

Asher
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Asher

What is the best gaming laptop for 1200-1399$ I can get out there?

Ryan
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Ryan

why are these laptops so much more expensive in Canada then what you say they are?

Mikel
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Mikel

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