How do we rate the Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000?
It’s difficult to imagine anything going for less than $1000 being termed as cheap but believe or not the $1,000 price point is perhaps as affordable as it gets as far as gaming laptops are concerned. PC gaming is very expensive, and we can even mention a couple of expensive gaming laptops that go for over $3,000 which is crazy, but it’s the price you have to pay to get the best graphics, refresh rates and so on that you require to run the best of games. Sadly, not all of us can afford to spare more than $3000 to get the very best gaming laptops, and this is where you have to get smart. This means compromising a bit to get a laptop that is within your price range without sacrificing so much in terms of specs and overall performance. The good news is that at $1000, you can still get decent gaming laptops as we are going to see in a short while.
But before all that, what are some of the key factors that you must consider even when you are struggling to stay within your budget?
Factors to Consider when Buying a Budget Gaming Laptop
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
You can compromise on so many things when looking for an affordable gaming laptop, but the GPU isn’t one of them. This is the component that processes the graphics of games you’ll be playing. It helps to process the images, animations, and everything else you see and interact with a game. Any serious gamer has to play some graphically-intensive games once in a while. With a poor GPU, your entire gaming experience will be ruined. You may find yourself downgrading the quality and specs of a game just so you can get it to run in your laptop. Even worse, you might find yourself incapable of playing certain games simply because your system is not up for the task.
Therefore, to future-proof your gaming system and get the most immersive gaming experience, you have to make sure that you are getting if not the best, then an above average GPU. Unfortunately, GPUs go hand in hand with pricing. For instance, laptops with Nvidia’s GeForce GPUs are likely to cost a lot more (for obvious reasons) as compared to systems using other GPUs.
RAM is just as vital as the GPU. Remember that your game loads onto the RAM, which means that the speed and size of your RAM will directly determine how well the game runs and the overall performance of your laptop. It’s for this reason that we encourage all gamers to get the best RAM they can get their hands on. For instance, with 16GB of RAM, you can expect even the most intensive of games to run smoothly in your system. An 8GB RAM will also perform reasonably well plus it’ll save you quite a lot of cash, but it may get overwhelmed considering how “heavy” games are becoming nowadays.
Of course, it would be nice to get Intel Core i7, but we understand that not everyone would be in a position to get GeForce GPU, 16GB of RAM and Intel Core i7 within a single unit. If that’s the case, then you can sacrifice a bit and go for the Core i5 which will still get the job done despite the fact that it won’t perform as brilliantly as its bigger brother.
A slow SSD results in longer load times and dents the overall gaming experience. Ideally, you should have a hybrid drive or a fast SSD for the files used frequently and a slower but larger hard drive for all the other files and are used less frequently. This enhances the entire experience making sure that everything is running smoothly.
If budget is an issue, we’d recommend you to go for a faster SSD which you can then upgrade in the future and even get an external drive later on. This makes sure that your current experience is not compromised, but instead, you get to enjoy your games as you save up for a better experience with upcoming games.
Other factors that you should also consider include:
- Battery life
- IPS display
- Portability (if you’re planning on carrying the laptop around)
1. Acer Aspire 7 Casual Gaming Laptop
Why Should You Buy it? Mention anything it is you need in a gaming laptop, and the Acer Aspire 7 Casual probably has it. Talk of powerful GPU, CPU, Display, and anything else. Acer has brought all these items into a single unit, and the best part is that they won’t milk you dry since the laptop costs just $920. It’s also the perfect choice for anyone who’s looking for an incredible gaming laptop that can perform equally well in other daily functions. To that end, Acer made sure that the laptop has a slim body for easy portability.
The Acer Aspire 7 is fitted with the 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor. This works side by side with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU. Even though the graphics card is not the best you can get, it stills performs very well facilitating the smooth running of all the best graphic-intensive games such as Battlefield V and Assassins Creed Odyssey. We have to put it out there that since the 1050 Ti is not the most powerful card, there is a possibility that it might not run newer upcoming games. As of right now, though, there is perhaps nothing this little beast cannot run.
The laptop comes with an 8GB RAM, which is really the best you can get at this price point. The laptop’s performance also gets a significant boost from the included 128Gb SSD. There is an additional 1TB HDD of your other storage needs. If you find the HDD too small for your needs, you can swap it with a bigger hard drive through the easy-to-access door to the HDD compartment.
Acer has also thrown a few extras to improve the overall performance and use of the laptop. For instance, logging into the laptop is as simple as scanning your fingerprint. The screen is a 15.6” Full HD IPS display (1920 by 1080). While the sound output features engineering genius from Dolby Audio premium and Acer’s TrueHarmony.
- Dual digital microphones for crystal clear audios
- USB 3.1 Type-C delivers up to 5Gbps data transfer speeds
- 2*2 MIMO wireless tech boosts data processing
- 4GB GDDR5 VRAM
- 7-hours battery life
2. Lenovo Legion Y520 15.6” FHD Gaming Laptop
Why Should You Buy It? The Lenovo Legion Y520 is another incredible gaming laptop that can have you exploring the open world of Days Gone for the most part of the night and wake up the following day to use the same laptop in preparing a report for your professor. What makes it stand out, even more, is how it features some of the best features any average gamer would ever need while still keeping the laptop at a very reasonable price.
The Legion Y520 features 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300 that delivers as much as 3.50 GHz. The processor is further enhanced by the 8GB Ram and the additional 128GB SSD while the primary storage is a 1TB hard drive.
The laptop is fitted with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti which is an old graphics card, but it still performs pretty well even with some of the latest games. You should expect the performance of this graphics card to drop slightly when playing more demanding games on ultra.
One of the repercussions of intensive gaming is overheating. To solve this issue, Lenovo has strategically placed the vents and fans to facilitate the continuous flow of air in and out of the laptop. The fans are also located closer to the processors and the graphics card to ensure that the performance of the laptop does not drop. If you require intensive cooling, you can activate the Extreme Cooling shortcut in the Lenovo Nerve Sense to keep the processors cool.
Since Lenovo made this laptop with versatility in mind, they were keen to design the laptop in a thin and lightweight nature to improve portability. That said, the laptop is just 25.8mm (1.01″) thick weighing only 2.5 kg (5.3lbs).
The major downside with the Lenovo Legion Y520 is that it offers between 3 to 4 hours max of run time.
- 15.6” FHD LED Lit Display (1920×1080)
- Red backlit keyboard
- Lenovo Nerve Sense allows you to customize the laptop and record your gaming
- Two 2W Harman speakers are engineered with Dolby Audio Premium for an immersive gaming experience
3. ASUS TUF Thin & Light FX504 Gaming Laptop
Why Should You Buy It? If you are looking for a gorgeous gaming laptop that can double up for other official or entertainment purposes, then the ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop is a great option.
The laptop runs on 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300 and 8GB of RAM. This delivers excellent performance for most of the standard games and an above-average performance when playing slightly demanding games. The 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive does a decent job of boosting the speeds and performance of the laptops. However, you are likely to struggle when playing the most intensive games on ultra, and you’ll probably have to reduce the settings to get them running smoothly.
The Asus TUF uses the GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card. The card is good enough to keep most of your games interesting, but you won’t find the visuals as vivid and impressive as they are in other high-end gaming laptops with a better graphics card.
The laptop is also ergonomically designed to support its versatility. The keyboard, for instance, is perfectly designed for comfortable use whether you are gaming or working, and it is also strong enough (20-million keystrokes) to remain functional even after prolonged gaming. Its overall construction is also sleek and sturdy enough for durability. It can easily fit into your backpack just in case you have official duties calling or if you are going for some serious group gaming with your colleagues down the block.
On the flip side, Asus was very economical in terms of ports. The laptop comes with only 7 connections i.e., three USB ports, One HDMI, Power port, headphone jack, and one Ethernet port, all of which are located on one side of the laptop.
- 8GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM
- 15.6” FHD IPS Display
- Gigabit wave 2 Wi-Fi delivering up to 1.73Gbps
- 256GB SSD M.2 SATA
- 4-5 hours of running time