In order to assist you choose the best alternative for your needs if you need a gaming laptop but have a moderate budget, we’ve reviewed and ranked seven of the greatest gaming laptops under $1,000.
Dollar-for-dollar, pre-built and custom gaming desktops will always surpass gaming laptops in terms of performance. Desktops, however, are not a good alternative for gamers who want something more portable. And fortunately, you can find good gaming laptops in the $500–$1,000 range.
We’ll examine seven of the best gaming laptops currently on the market that cost less than $1,000 in this list. In order to give you a clear indication of the value they provide, we’ve ranked the seven laptops below based on their gaming performance and the price tags they carry. So, if you’re searching for a reliable gaming laptop and have a moderate budget, one of the choices below should be a good fit.
Lenovo Legion 5 15.6″
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 display.
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 in-game experience.
The one down side of this Ryzen 7 gaming laptop, though, is that it technically doesn’t come in at under $1,000. Rather, it comes in at ~$1,050. However, for that extra $50, you get a better processor, a better GPU, more memory (16GB instead of 8GB), and a higher refresh rate than the options listed below.
So, in the end, if you’ve got ~$1,000 to spend on a new laptop and you can bump your budget up just another $50, this laptop is going to give you a much better hardware configuration than any of the other sub-$1,000 gaming laptops out there.
ASUS ROG Strix G15 15.6″
While the Lenovo Legion 5 listed above was our pick for the best option under $1,000, the ASUS ROG Strix G15 isn’t that far behind it. It does come in at just under $1,000, too, so if you have 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. It’s display is a 15.6-inch screen that has a 1080P resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate.
In comparion to our top pick, the ASUS ROG Strix G15 has a slightly weaker CPU and GPU, it only has 8GB of RAM (versus 16GB for the Lenovo laptop), and has a slightly slower refresh rate. And, it’s only ~$50 cheaper. That’s why we recommend choosing the Lenovo Legion 5 over it. Not to mention, the Acer Nitro 5 listed below has nearly identical specs and you can grab it for nearly $200 less.
However, if the price were to come down on the ASUS ROG Strix G15, it might be an option worth considering. But, for now, this 144Hz laptop is our Runner-Up pick.
Acer Nitro 5 15.6″
Despite being quite 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 are enough to max out pretty much any game on a 1080P display. And, the 144Hz refresh rate will make games run much more smoothly. This is especially true for competitive games that rely on split-second decisions like Rocket League, COD, Fortnite, etc.
The one downside of this Acer gaming laptop, though, is that it doesn’t come with much storage out of the box. The 256GB SSD is fast, but it probably isn’t large enough to accommodate the average PC gamer’s library. You can always grab an additional 2.5″ drive, though, and add to the Helios 300 if you need more storage.
The bottom line, though, is that with the i5-10300H processor and RTX 3050 GPU, the Helios 300 won’t provide as much performance as the Lenovo Legion listed above. However, it does come in at ~$200 cheaper—so, you can save a bit of money without sacrificing too much performance.
ASUS TUF F15 15.6
If you don’t have much over $700 to spend, but you need a 1080P laptop that will allow you to play pretty much any game with no problems, then this ASUS gaming laptop is worth checking out.
At just under $715, it is one of the more affordable options on this list. This HP Pavilion comes with an Intel Core i5-10300H processor, a GTX 1650 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. And, it has a 15.6″ 1080P 144Hz display.
That’s not bad for a ~$700 gaming laptop, as it it a powerful enough hardware configuration to where you should expect to be able to max out most games, and, for more demanding titles, play them on medium settings.
So, the bottom line is that, if you’re strapped for cash and you don’t quite have the budget to get the Acer Nitro or the Lenovo Legion listed above, this ASUS laptop is a solid alternative.
Lenovo Ideapad L340 15.6
As mentioned above, the Lenovo Ideapad L340 is one of the cheapest options on this list. It comes in at just under $700 and sports 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 did choose the ASUS TUF as our top budget option, the truth is that you could make a strong case for the L340 in its place simply because it is nearly $100 cheaper.
However, we felt the ASUS TUF’s 144Hz refresh rate helped give it the edge over the L340. If you don’t require the higher refresh rate, though, and you’re fine gaming on a 60Hz display, then the L340 would be a solid alternative.
ASUS ROG G531GT 15.6″
One option you might want to consider if you don’t quite have enough to get the Lenovo Legion 5 or the ASUS ROG Strix G15, 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 is one of the more affordable laptops out there with a new 9th Generation Intel Core i7 CPU. And, the GTX 1650 that it comes with will help it push any game you throw at it.
We do think the ASUS TUF and Lenovo Ideapad L340 offer a better price-to-performance ratio. But, if you require a higher-end processor for more CPU-intensive tasks and you don’t have the money to get the GT75, the ASUS ROG G531GT would be a nice alternative.
Dell G3579 15.6″
If you’re looking for a very affordable gaming laptop that will give you enough performance to run your favorite games at 1080P, you might want to consider the Dell G3579.
At just a little 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 with no problems.
And, for games like Fortnite, Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider, and Elden Ring, you’ll be able to run them on this laptop on lower-to-medium settings with a decent framerate.
So, if you’re strapped for cash, but you need a solid laptop for gaming, the Dell G3579 is worth checking out.