Gamers looking for the absolute best gaming laptop under 1000 dollars have come to the right place. Here you will find some of the best laptops designed for gaming at this price point. These laptops feature NVidia RTX graphics, a 1080p display along with fast AMD Ryzen and Intel CPUs.
In this article, I will walk you through why these great budget gaming laptops are top when it comes to playing the latest AAA games. However, with one or two of these models, you may have to tone down the graphics settings to enjoy the most immersive gaming experience.
Without further ado, let’s dive in
What Are the Best Gaming Laptops Under 1000?
Currently, the best gaming laptops under $1,000 are the Acer Nitro 5, Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3, and the ASUS TUF DASH 15. They all feature Intel Core i5 processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics. 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and they also offer good battery life.
There are other models such as the 15-inch HP Victus and the Dell G15 budget laptops. However, the top 3 picks have the most impressive overall features and handle heat much better.
ASUS TUF 15 (Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,000)
The ASUS TUF 15 is an incredible machine for budget conscious gamers looking for a new laptop that can handle modern games and offers a nice balance of performance and portability. I recently purchased the ASUS TUF for testing and passed it over to my daughter who loves it.
We loved the blazing-fast AMD Ryzen 7 6800H gaming processor, 16GB of RAM, and an NVidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, I found this combination to more than adequate and will ensure spectacular visuals to make the most power-hungry games run smoothly.
The TUF 15 comes with a 512GB SSD already installed which is more than enough to store all your games. It does have room to add a 2nd solid-state drive with the two open M.2 slots. When it comes to the specs, this budget laptop has everything you need to take on the most challenging tasks.
What also impressed me with the ASUS TUF is the IPS-Type FHD (1920×1080) 144 Hz display with adaptive sync technology. This feature helped to reduce screen tearing, stuttering, and juddering these are common issues in games on cheaper gaming laptops.
Like most budget gaming laptops at this price point, it features a backlit gaming keyboard with highlighted WASD keys. However, this model has anti-ghosting technology which is a must for gamers. The ASUS TUF keys are also nice and will deliver a good typing experience.
Ports are plentiful and especially for a gaming laptop under 1,000. Yet, due to being an AMD-based laptop, there’s no Thunderbolt port but ample for you to connect and charge powerful external devices. With a USB C, two Type-A USB ports, an HDMI 2.0b, and DisplayPort. So you can also connect an external display to enhance your gameplay even further.
Overall, I really like this ASUS TUF gaming Laptop and it would be all that you would need for a good gaming experience. and would make one of the great cheap laptops for Sims 4 gamers, and also perfect for playing games like Fortnite, GTA 5 albeit on lower-to-medium settings.
Acer Nitro 5 (Best Laptop With Intel CPU)
The Acer Nitro 5 is a very capable budget laptop under 1000 dollars with NVidia RTX graphics. With this model, Acer has proved once again that your gaming laptop does not have to be expensive for it to deliver a comfortable gaming experience when running your favorite games.
The model I tested has an Intel Core i5 12th Gen 12500H CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 4GB graphics card. Which I might add, is a combination that ensures most video games are playable and with advanced AI features such as ray tracing and DLSS.
On top of its good processors the Acer Nitro 5 has 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD). All amounting to a good and affordable gaming laptop. What’s more, it has a Thunderbolt 4 port and several other USB ports to connect all your powerful accessories.
Other worthwhile features include Killer Ethernet E2600 and Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 and these features will help keep you connected online, and there’s also a single-zone red backlit keyboard.
The only downside we found with the new Acer Nitro 5 is the display is a little dull. Though it does offer a high refresh rate (144Hz), and the Full HD resolution ensures clear images. On the upside, the Acer Nitro 5 can hold some of the biggest storage capacity with two M.2 drives (2 SSDs) plus a 2.5-inch hard drive bay available, so you will never be short on places to store games.
Overall, the Acer Nitro 5 is an excellent budget laptop that would be perfect for newbie gamers and powerful enough for handling AAA games. You get good budget NVidia graphics and a 12th Gen Intel processor. Good battery life and best of all. Acer’s Cool Boost 5 technology will ensure you get good thermal performance although it does get a tad noisy when under load.
Lenovo Ideapad 3 (Top Budget Laptop under 900)
A list of the best laptops under 1000 dollars would not be complete without the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15-inch gaming laptop. These are powerful gaming notebooks that would be perfect for users working within a tight budget but who want to ensure a smooth gaming experience.
Previously, I tested the Lenovo Ideapad with Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics and it was a nice experience. This is the updated version featuring more powerful specs. Lenovo has managed to incorporate an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card and a newer 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor which ensures that you’ll enjoy great graphics at speed.
We also liked the fact that this model has 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. Which is much more than what you will get with most cheap gaming laptops. There are also two M.2 slots, meaning you can upgrade the storage but the memory is single-channel and maxed out at 16GB of RAM.
The display offers 300 Nits of brightness and a 120Hz refresh rate. We found it not to be the fastest or the brightest. But ok considering this model comes in under $900. Still, it is a good choice for gamers looking for something a lot cheaper and capable of delivering 60-80 fps.
Other great features include a neat but snazzy Blue Backlighting Keyboard. As well as a good selection of ports, including a speedy USB 3.1 Type C which is great for charging devices. There are also two USB 3.0 Type A, HDMI 2.0, Ethernet RJ45, and the standard combo jack to accommodate your gaming headset, keyboard, or mouse.
Overall the Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3 is an affordable laptop with good battery life, speedy gaming processors, and NVidia RTX graphics. The only drawbacks are that the 120Hz display is not the fastest and memory is limited to 16GB. If you can get past that, the Lenovo Ideapad 3 would make an excellent investment for low-level gamers.
ASUS ROG Strix (Best Laptop Under $1,200)
The ASUS ROG Strix G is somewhat over budget but for gamers wanting a little more gaming oomph and can stretch to a higher budget. This model, is one of the best laptops under $1,200. For starters its cooling capabilities and stylish gaming keyboard is second to none.
With powerful features such as NVidia GeForce RT3060 graphics and AMD Ryzen 7 4800H 8 Core processor, you will enjoy the best gaming experience possible in any of the available cheap laptops out there. I thoroughly enjoyed the smoothness of this combo running COD Warzone.
The ROG Strix G we tested shipped with 16GB DDR4 RAM and a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive, more than enough storage and memory even for more aggressive tasks such as video editing. If that is you, know that your gameplay will look great on the FHD (1920×1080) 144Hz display.
Physical ports are also impressive, but no Thunderbolt port which I am confident you can get over. With a USB 3.2 Type-C, three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and an HDMI, you will have enough.
ASUS has also supplied a classy RGB gaming keyboard with customization through the Aura lighting system. It features N-Key Rollover and anti ghosting technologies so accurate keystrokes and zero missed keypresses. And the WASD keys are highlighted and four lighting zones.
Best of all, the ASUS ROG intelligent cooling system is known to be one of the best on any gaming laptop at this price point. Featuring an improved 89 fan blade design and three modes that you can switch between. From turbo to performance, mode helps to optimize the fan speed to give you the best possible frames in your games, something other budget laptops cannot match.
The ASUS ROG Strix G is a great gaming laptop and an absolute bargain. So if you are not fussed about the slightly higher price tag, you should seriously consider this laptop.
Lenovo Legion 5 (Best Laptop With 16GB RAM)
The Lenovo Legion 5’s have been a popular choice for entry-level gaming laptops. Every year, this lively gaming brand improves its models and their current crop of gaming notebooks is no different. I have tested a number of models from Lenovo and have never felt disappointed.
This model we have has the specs and affordable price tag to be a serious contender as one of the best budget laptops under $1,000 with 16GB RAM. On top of that capacity. I love the fact the gaming power of AMD Ryzen 5 and advanced NVidia RTX 3050 Ti graphics.
The hardware is concluded with a 1TB PCIe SSD. There are two M.2 drives so you can add a second 1TB SSD, which is more than enough storage for any serious user. The 16GB RAM installed on this device makes it possible to record and edit all your gameplay.
If you use the device for work with this spec (16GB RAM + 1TB SSD) you won’t have any issues with your apps and programs running simultaneously in the background, and your games as well. However, the display Lenovo supplied is less impressive, featuring a Full HD 120Hz display.
So not the fastest display. Nevertheless, I tested the Legion 5 with a 165Hz refresh rate and 1080p resolution and it seemed bright and my games looked good. What I also love about this model is there is no shortage of ports including HDMI, USB Type-C, and multiple Type-A ports.
Another great feature of all Lenovo Legion 5 laptops and not just the more expensive laptops, is the cooling system is up there with the best. So much so, one of their more advanced models is featured on our list of the best laptops with the best cooling system.
All that said, I was impressed with the Legion 5 I tested although it did cost $500 more. But for budget-conscious gamers, this cheaper laptop, the Legion 5 with an RTX 3050 Ti GPU and AMD Ryzen 5 CPU offers the best overall bang for your buck. One that should be on your radar.
HP Victus 15-inch (Best Laptop With 144Hz Display)
HP has been around since the beginning, so they must be doing something right. When I tested the HP Omen 15, I was very impressed and the HP Victus is very similar in many ways. However, the HP Victus series is a newer model with more budget friendly hardware and the HP Omen 15 is far more high-end in terms of specs and performance.
That said, the 15-inch model we have here has an AMD Ryzen 5800H processor that can rack up to 4.4Ghz and is paired with a top-of-the-line NVidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card. According to the Ultrabook here, this combination of CPU + GPU offers quite impressive gaming performance.
As for the screen, it is a 1080p thin-bezel gaming display with a 144Hz refresh rate. This will deliver an immersive and responsive experience. RAM capacity is huge with 32GB of DDR4 dual-channel memory that will ensure all your games and applications run smooth and stutter free.
There is also a larger than life 1TB PCIe SSD with two M.2 slots, so you can slip in an extra SSD. Again, this is an AMD-based notebook so no Thunderbolt ports but the ports it does have are ok considering it is a budget gaming laptop, two USB 3.2 Type-A, USB 3.2 Type-C, Gigabit RJ-45, and an HDMI. More than enough ports to accommodate all your gaming accessories.
One of the best features of the HP Victus is the Omen HUB software technology it comes with. It was this part that impressed me most when using the Omen 15 for playing games. In addition to improving lifespan, it also allows easy access to control fan speed and bandwidth usage.
Overall, this 15-inch laptop, the HP Victus is the perfect choice for light video gamers in 2023. You will get a lot of gaming power and it won’t cost a lot of money. So, in order to master all your gaming adventures, you must seriously consider this option.
Budget Gaming Laptops, What You Should Know?
For gamers looking for the best cheap gaming laptop under $1,000, should first consider the games they intend on playing. I mean, check out the minimum and recommended system requirements.
There are many high-quality entry-level gaming laptops that can play the latest games. Some are more powerful than others. So, carrying out this task first will ensure the model you choose has enough power or not too much power to handles the games or tasks it is intended for.
This may also save you money and especially if you only want a laptop to be able to run less-demanding games such as Minecraft, Roblox or The Sims 4. Once you know what specs you need, you can then find the most suitable laptop computer to suit your needs and budget.
What Makes A Good Cheap Gaming Laptop?
Most modern cheap laptops designed for gaming are able to run the latest games on low to medium settings. The laptops must have 8GB of RAM, with room to upgrade with more memory. The computer should also have a fast display, a 120Hz display would be a good option. However, if you want to play more demanding fps games then a display with 144 Hz refresh rate would be best.
Considering GPU performance is important with any laptop designed for gaming. The graphics card is responsible for rendering graphics in-game, and delivering higher the frames rates. However, not all users would need a dedicated GPU. Again this would depend on the games you play.
That said, if a dedicated graphics card is required then chosen gaming laptop with a low-end NVIDIA or AMD GPU like the GTX 1660 or GTX 1660Ti. Or AMD Radeon 6500M will handle most games on lower graphics settings. For better performance something like the NVIdia GeForce RTX 3050, 3050Ti or the more powerful NVidia RTX 3060 is great but will cost a bit more.
The processor is possibly the most important component besides the GPU. For a decent laptop with a reasonable price tag I recommend users do not consider a CPU older than Intel’s 10th Generation, either Core i5 of i7. A good gaming laptop under 1000 dollars would have either an Intel Core i5 11th Gen processor or AMD Ryzen 5000 series processor, or newer.
As for storage space, a 256GB SSD would be enough for most casual gamers. However, from my own experience I found a 512GB SSD is a good amount of storage for you not have to delete games of the computer. A 1TB SSD would off course be best, but the cost more.
All that said, here are my recommended minimum specs that would serve as a good laptop in the price range. I have also included the recommended specification too. One last final tip, some AAA games offer advanced features such as ray tracing, lifelike shadows etc in game. The gaming notebook would need an NVidia RTX graphics card for these features to be available.
|Best Budget $1000 Gaming Laptop Specs
|Minimum Graphics Card
|Nvidia GTX 1660Ti / AMD Radeon 5300M
|Intel i5 (10th gen) / AMD Ryzen 5 (3rd gen)
|8 GB of RAM DDR4
|Best Storage Space
|256 GB SSD NVMe
|Best Cheap Display
|120Hz Refresh Rate Display
|Best Gaming Laptop Under 1000 Specs
|Best Graphics Card (GPU)
|Nvidia GTX 1660Ti / AMD Radeon 5300M
|Ideal Processor (CPU)
|Intel i7 (11th gen) / AMD Ryzen 5 (5000 series)
|Best Memory (RAM)
|16 GB of RAM DDR4
|Best Storage Space
|512 GB SSD M.2 NVMe
|Best Gaming Display
|144Hz Refresh Rate Display
How To Check The System Requirements?
You can check the system requirements of the games you want to play. Either visiting the vendors website and search “system requirements”. Or visit the ever-popular website Game System Requirements. Who have the system requirements for most new and older games.
How Much Should I Spend On A Cheap Gaming Laptop?
How much you should spend depends on your gaming needs and what performance is needed. However, some of the best cheap gaming laptops can range from $600 to over $1000 that offer great performance for your money. For the right system it is worth spending up to $1,000 or even more. Either way, the computer you choose must offer enough power, so you don’t have to worry about experiencing lag or stuttering when using it.
Which Brand Makes The Best Gaming Laptop Under 1000?
Several brands are considered good when it comes to producing the best gaming laptops under 1000 dollars. They are as follows, ASUS is well known for its strong performance and robust build quality. Acer is a reliable laptop brand and known for its affordability. Lenovo, on the other hand, is better known for its high-end gaming features. With gaming laptops, like the Lenovo Legion 5. Lenovo also make great budget gaming laptops the Lenovo Ideapad range.
What to Expect with a 1000 Dollar Gaming Laptop?
With a gaming laptop under 1000 dollars you should expect to get a powerful processor, high-end graphics card, a good amount of RAM, and a decent SSD. Like an Intel Core i5 11th or an AMD Ryzen 5000 series processor. The graphics card should be a Nvidia GeForce GTX 16 series graphics card or higher, at least 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD with a 120Hz display.
Where to Find the Best Budget Gaming Laptop Deals?
When it comes to finding the best budget gaming laptop deals, the options can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a few reliable sources. For UK shoppers, Amazon.co.uk offers a wide range of laptops from different brands and retailers. Also, you can often find competitive pricing at other online retail stores like Curry’s or Box. In the United States, Best Buy and B&H Photo Video house major brands and you should also check out Newegg and Amazon.com. You can often find some great deals on affordable gaming laptops from these outlets.
What Games Can Be Played With A Cheap Gaming Laptop?
Cheap gaming laptops offer plenty of options for what games to play. Even with an inexpensive device, you can get quite a bit of performance. That being said, here are some titles that will work well. You can run FPS action titles like CS:GO without any problems. The same applies to eSports games like Dota 2, and League of Legends. While Overwatch rocks the third-person shooter genre with fantastic visuals and smooth gameplay even when running on modest hardware. You may have to lower the settings for more demanding games like COD Warzone.
Are Budget Gaming Laptops Worth It?
Budget gaming laptops are worth it and offer a great way to get into gaming without breaking the bank. You can often enjoy good gaming performance for under $1,000. Over the years, I have tested many budget notebooks and had so much fun. Even though they may have slower processors or graphics cards, they are still capable machines that can run modern games, and run them on decent settings with playable frame rates. You might not be able to play games on super high settings or maxed out resolutions but they will do a good job in most cases.
There you go my full recommendation for the best gaming laptops under 1000 dollars available right now. Hopefully you have found something here that suits your needs. If so, great. If not, at least you now have a better understanding of what you should look for and what to expect.
Just to recap, I love the look and feel of the ASUS TUF 15 and also offers decent battery life and has a nice tactile gaming keyboard. The runners up are the Lenovo Legion 5 and the Acer Nitro 5. They are equally powerful and are well built with impressive specs across the board.
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