Best Gaming Laptop in 2017

Last Updated: August 2017

We work hard to provide our readers with the most up to date gaming laptop recommendations for gamers at every budget! We are continously updating this page with the latest and greatest in gaming laptop technology, just choose your budget below and check out our best gaming laptop recommendations!

Most Recommended
ASUS ROG G752VT-DH74 17-Inch Gaming Laptop

We have spent more than 50 hours researching & writing our gaming laptop recommendation page and we have found the Asus ROG G752VT to be the best gaming laptop for the majority of people, as it combines features and performance with a fantastic design and build.

The Asus G752 will play the majority of games on high settings and also features a stunning 17-inch 1080 IPS screen with G-Sync. If you have the budget, you really can’t go wrong with the Asus ROG G752VT as it really blows everything else out of the water.

Design9
Performance9.5
Features9.5
Battery Life9

Pros:

  • Big display screen
  • Awesome looks and style
  • An additional 256GB SSD storage for faster OS boot-up & game load-times – Sweet!
  • Intel Thunderbolt III technology for faster data transfers (up to 20Gbps)

Cons:

  • Big and heavy – Don’t even imagine carrying this one around everywhere you go (although it will turn a lot of heads in awe if you do)!
  • The sound quality could have been slightly better for something this pricey
  • It doesn’t fly like an alien spaceship, sigh!

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Table of Contents

Best Gaming Laptop under $2000

If you’re considering buying a gaming laptop that costs anywhere near $2,000, you’d obviously want to be extra-serious about your hunt for the right machine. And there are quite a few options even in this price segment.

But it’s truly a lot of work, and it can sometimes get downright confusing to make your pick. We understand that because we all have friends who’ve been in that situation, and sometimes we ourselves have bared through the dilemma. So, we decided to go through them all (or well… most), and bring it down to 4 really worthy options.

You can rest assured that these are some of the best gaming laptops in the $2,000 or below price segment. And to arrive at these 4 options, we’ve gone through the specs of various laptops, the overall customer feedback they had received (both positive and negative), and the expert/critic comments as well.

Without further ado, let’s just jump right in to the list of the 4 best gaming laptops under $2,000.

Brand & Model
Owner Rating
5 Star Rating
Price
ASUS ROG G752
8.0 (150+ reviews)
60%
Check Price
Acer Predator 15
8.6 (150+ reviews)
70%
Check Price
MSI GS60
8.4 (120+ reviews)
60%
Check Price
MSI GT72
8.6 (150+ reviews)
65%
Check Price

*5 Star Rating: this is based on the percentage of consumers who rate the gaming laptops 10/10.

ASUS ROG G752VT-DH74 17-Inch Gaming Laptop

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.5GHz) quad-core processorASUS ROG G752VT-DH74 17-Inch Gaming Laptop
  • RAM: 24GB Ultra-Fast DDR4 SDRAM (2133MHz bus speed)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 6GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 17.3″ Full HD IPS Matte Display Panel with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 8.8 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (7200 RPM) SATA HDD + 256GB PCIeG3 x4 NVMe SSD

View extended features

It seems as though Asus almost went overboard with this one, but one look at this high-performance laptop, and your definition of a true gaming laptop will change.. or let’s just say.. “get updated”.

The ASUS ROG G752VT-DH74 looks dandy, much like a spaceship in fact; and once in your hands, it starts to feel like one too. Wouldn’t it be cool though if it was accidentally dropped off on the Earth by an alien and found by some geek that loves quirky yet gorgeous & powerful gadgetry? Oh well, legendary things like that don’t happen anymore; but at least this one leads our wild imaginations! J

It also packs a wide range of the latest, top-of-the-line hardware components, but it’s quite big (to accommodate the mighty 17.3-inch display, and to provide enough breathing room for the internal components so as to not explode in heat) and heavy. So, if you’re looking for something powerful to play with while being on the move, this one’s going to be a tricky bet.

This sub-$2,000 beast of a gaming laptop also features two cooling fans, one dedicated for the CPU and the other for the GPU. Asus is also highlighting the uniquely designed dust-release thermal funnels as part of these cooling fans, which claim to expel dust out of the machine so as to help maintain the laptop’s performance and prolong its lifespan. That’s something new – nice little piece of [not so techy] tech.

The HDD + SSD combo, with both offering generous amounts of space and higher/newer specs will run the system and the game (of course) blazing fast – exactly what a gamer wants, especially upon purchasing a gaming laptop costing almost $2,000.

Another important point to note is that the laptop has 4 memory slots, 2 of which are free leaving some room to add another up to 40GB of extra DDR4 RAM if you’d ever want it. Unfortunately, you can’t upgrade or change the batteries yourself, without Asus’s involvement.

If you have the budget, you can’t really go wrong with the well-received Asus ROG G752VT-DH74 as it really blows everything else out of the water.

Design9
Performance9.5
Features9.5
Battery Life9

Pros:

  • Big display screen
  • Awesome looks and style
  • An additional 256GB SSD storage for faster OS boot-up & game load-times – Sweet!
  • Intel Thunderbolt III technology for faster data transfers (up to 20Gbps)

Cons:

  • Big and heavy – Don’t even imagine carrying this one around everywhere you go (although it will turn a lot of heads in awe if you do)!
  • The sound quality could have been slightly better for something this pricey
  • It doesn’t fly like an alien spaceship, sigh!

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Acer Predator 15 G9-591-70XR 15.6-inch Full HD Gaming Laptop

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.5GHz) quad-core processor with 6MB CacheAcer Predator 15 G9-591-70XR 15.6-inch Full HD Gaming Notebook
  • RAM: 16GB Ultra-Fast DDR4 SDRAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 4GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 7.5 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (7200 RPM) SATA HDD + 256GB SSD

View extended features

The Acer Predator 15 G9-591-70XR is very serious about a fun experience – It’s a Predator after all! The laptop looks rather simple design-wise, but the red and black combo is thoughtfully done sporting accents at the right places; and so it passes the eye-candy test. But that’s not all!

As mentioned above, Acer got really serious about ‘having fun & getting entertained’ part with this one. This gaming laptop is very good for games as far as the hardware specifications are concerned, but it took things up a notch with ‘Predator SoundPound’. It’s basically a combination of two thumping speakers, a subwoofer to add some “Hell Yeah!” mood to the thumps, and the Dolby Audio surround sound system. Talk about great audio clarity, and this one delivers with its head held high.

Acer has packed in some more neat, cool features with this sub-$2,000 gaming laptop to provide good value for the money. And that’s a big plus, in our opinion. Worthy of mention here is the ‘Killer DoubleShot Pro’ (so that you can use both your Wi-Fi and the LAN/Ethernet cable simultaneously to minimize network performance lags).

A lot of customer reviews have highlighted that Acer has to tighten up on its quality control measures so as to ensure that most units shipped out are free of defects. The common complaint that Acer’s Predator series of gaming laptops has faced is about the ambient noise coming from the internal components every now and then. These are not catastrophic issues, but can get really annoying at one point.

Overall though, the Acer Predator 15 G90591-70XR will entertain you for sure, especially with its high specs and the host of sound/audio offerings.

Design9.5
Performance9
Features9
Battery Life9.5

Pros:

  • Cool, stylish, looks – The red & black combo is just awesome!
  • Great battery life for a gaming laptop
  • Predator SoundPound set of enhanced sound system is nice

Cons:

  • The display panel on this does not have NVIDIA G-Sync, it only supports G-Sync

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MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 4K-238 15.6” 4K Slim Gaming Laptop

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.5GHz) quad-core processorMSI GS60 Ghost Pro 4K-238 15.6%22 4K SLIM GAMING LAPTOP
  • RAM: 16GB Ultra-Fast DDR4 SDRAM (2133MHz bus speed)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 6GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 15.6″ UHD 4K eDP IPS Matte Display Panel (3840x2160p resolution)
  • Weight: 4.2 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (7200 RPM) SATA HDD + 256GB PCI-E Gen3.0x4 NVMe SSD

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This gaming laptop available for under $2,000 is very simple in its looks & style. But let that not fool you into writing it off as a gaming laptop, because it’s a ghost for real what with its super-light-weight at just 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg) and a neatly-finished slim build body.

On the inside however, the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 4K-238 speaks a whole different tale. The first thing you notice upon opening the flap and powering it on is the insanely awesome 4K display. Who doesn’t love the fact that their screen can cast superfine details in all its glory!

Right below the screen sits this very elegantly designed multi-colour backlit keyboard. At first, we thought that it came right out of a kid’s cartoon show; but when we saw it, we couldn’t look elsewhere for a while. You can also customize the colour settings on this one – Nice!

You’d probably think that something packed with such high specs and a 4K display within a slim body that’s also really light in weight would not be built in a solid manner. We know we did, and boy were we proven wrong about that assumption!

The MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 4K-238 packs the punch in literally all the departments except for its appearance, but that’s alright given its light weight, which basically means you can carry it around anywhere. However, having said, it’s fair to expect the machine to heat up a little during intense gameplay. MSI does feature Cooler Boost 3 though (the dual fan cooling system, nothing fancier than that) to address that, but it can only do so much.

Despite featuring high fidelity speakers (by Dynaudio) and an integrated subwoofer, some customers have complained that the audio output could be much smoother. The machine features some nifty software though to help play around with the settings a little until you can find what your ears enjoy.

Design8.5
Performance9.5
Features9
Battery Life9

Pros:

  • Super Light Weight at 4.2 pounds
  • Superfine 4K display
  • Great build quality

Cons:

  • This laptop doesn’t sport the “looks” of a sub-$2,000 gaming laptop
  • The MSI & GamingGSeries logos on the back are rather big and not really that appealing in design

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MSI GT72 Dominator G-831 17.3″ Gaming Laptop

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.5GHz) quad-core processorMSI GT72 Dominator G-831 17.3%22 GAMING LAPTOP
  • RAM: 16GB Ultra-Fast DDR4 SDRAM (2133MHz bus speed)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 3GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 17.3″” FHD Anti-Glare IPS Wide View Angle Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 8.4 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (7200 RPM) SATA HDD + 128GB SSD

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The MSI GT72 Dominator G-831 gaming laptop priced under $2,000 is not a great-looker or a head turner, but it does dominate in the sense that it’s quite powerful. But it’s also quite big and heavy. That should come as no surprise though given that this beast sports a 17.3” HD display. But as would you notice in the model reviewed right above this one, MSI has the capability to build light weight laptops. So, why not do the same with this one! Yep, we understand how it works but hey, we sure can make a wish or two, yes? J

The NVIDIA GeForce 970M dedicated graphics card sure is a powerful one, but it sports only 3GB of Video RAM which may not be sufficient for some players. However, there’s G-Sync to help ease things a bit, if required. On the storage front, you get only a 128GB SSD flash storage. For this price, we’d expect it to ship with the 256GB variant.

Further… While MSI claims to be No. 1 in Gaming, the MSI GT72 Dominator G-831 gaming laptop kinda falls short both by appearance and some specs. Having that said, MSI builds gaming laptops of great quality and this one is no different. It also performs as well as it promises to.

Design8.5
Performance9
Features8.5
Battery Life9

Pros:

  • Great audio quality and output
  • The graphics card with even just 3GB VRAM performs surprisingly well
  • Big screen

Cons:

  • 128GB SSD was a bit disappointing
  • The looks could definitely be a lot better

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$2,000 Range – Best of the best

We hope that we’ve been able to help you with the narrowed down choices. We could have easily recommended just one or two of these, but it’s better to have more than just 2 options to choose from.

However, our personal favorite is ASUS ROG G752VT-DH74 17-Inch Gaming Laptop (#1 on this list) that costs just under $2,000 and provides us with more than sufficient hardware specs in almost every department and its super-awesome good spaceship looks. On the other hand, the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 4K-238 15.6” 4K Slim Gaming Laptop is a great option with its 4K display and super-light-weight too, if you want to show off a powerful beast in your control everywhere you go.

Our best gaming laptops for under $1,500: Top Picks

$1,500 is also a good bit of cash, so when you’re looking to buy anything priced at around that much, you want to be sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck – especially a gaming laptop, since it’s not a purchase you make every now and then. So, you want something that’ll last a while, which means it better have good specs and also be robust, reliable & durable.

And there are quite a few options off late that actually serve these needs, but not all of them are worth the price point. So, we set off on the quest to narrowing it down to 4-5 really good gaming laptops for under $1,500. Go through the list and the details below. We hope you can find something that you’d really like to lay your gamer hands on.

So… Let’s get digging, eh?

ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS74 15.6 Inch FHD Gaming LaptopASUS ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS74 15.6 Inch FHD Gaming Laptop Review

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.5GHz) quad-core processor
  • RAM: 16GB Ultra-Fast DDR4 SDRAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 6GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card) with DirectX 12 support
  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD Matte Wide View Angle Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 4.8 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (7200 RPM) SATA HDD + 128GB Next Generation NVMe PCIe SSD

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By the shape of it, the Asus ROG Strix GL502VT-DS74 (God save us from these weird, incomprehensible code names) doesn’t look like a gaming laptop; but take a closer look and you simply fall in love with this gorgeous sub-$1,500 ultra-portable gaming machine – almost a work of art.

This mean looker also packs a mean punch with 16 Gigs of ultra-fast DDR4 RAM and 6 Gigs of dedicated graphics memory. That coupled with its powerful processor (that can process at up to 3.5GHz) are sure to give you a thrilling gaming experience in a slim, light weight format (at just 0.94-inch thickness and 4.8 pounds).

Now you’d think that something that powerful and also compact would cause heating issues, but Asus knows gaming laptops really well and have powered this one too with the Hyper Cool Duo-Copper cooling system to improve cooling efficiency as the CPU and the GPU have a dedicated cooling fan each.

[Pro-tip:] You can further reduce laptop heat dissipation by slightly reducing the Max CPU Power Output in the Power Options (accessible by clicking on the Battery icon in the system tray). Doing this most likely won’t hurt how well your game renders… as this baby is quite powerful anyway.

There is one glitch though… Some users have reported that the fans make a noticeable sound during hard-core gaming sessions. That’s why we’ve given you the “Pro-tip” above so you can play without getting annoyed or compromising on the performance.

Other than that, it sports a Next Generation 128GB SSD for faster boot times and quicker application/game launches. Plus it has a really responsive backlit keyboard. Most people would fall in love with the orange WASD gameplay buttons, but we didn’t. We feel they should have just decked these keys up in the borders, but well to each his own.

Having said that, we have to admit… This is one awesome gaming laptop considering the sub-$1,500 price point. You can’t really go wrong with this one.

Design9.5
Performance9.5
Features9.5
Battery Life9

Pros:

  • Great, sharp styling
  • Super light-weight for the heavy power it packs
  • The audio output is surprisingly better

Cons:

  • Possibly noisy cooling fans, but we’ve [hopefully] sorted that out for you
  • The SSD could have sported double the flash storage – We’re really just being greedy now though!

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ASUS ROG G751JY-VS71(WX) 17-Inch Gaming LaptopASUS ROG G751JY-VS71(WX) 17-Inch Gaming Laptop Review

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-4720HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.6GHz) quad-core processor with 6MB Cache
  • RAM: 16GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 4GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 17.3″ Full HD Matte Display with 1920x1080p resolution (with built-in G-Sync hardware)
  • Weight: 8.4 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (7200 RPM) SATA HDD

View extended features

The Asus ROG G751JY-VS71(WX) looks, touches and feels like a machine from the future (including its rather sharp display). The 17” big daddy is mighty in more than ways than one. Throw virtually anything at it, and it manages really well despite the facts that it doesn’t sport the most powerful Core i7 processor and doesn’t have an SSD either.

But let that not fool you into writing this one off. You can use it either as a gaming latop or treat like a full-blown workstation. This one will handle it all. And to dissipate all the heat that it could possibly generate, this one sports the now-standard dual cooling fans – one for the CPU and the other for the GPU.

On the downside however, the Macro keys are oddly-positioned (above the main keyboard). A lot of people are going to be hitting the wrong key when going for the Escape key. That’s no biggie, but this gaming laptop is. It’s huge, but it’s also very heavy. Forget portability with this one, at least the painless kind. But ignore that, and you’re making a good investment in this despite the lack of SSD (because that can be added on later, as needed).

Design9.5
Performance9
Features8.5
Battery Life9.5

Pros:

  • Amazing, futuristic looks
  • Powerful machine
  • Big display – More action to enjoy!

Cons:

  • Very heavy (8.4 pounds OMG!)
  • The sound quality isn’t much to speak about
  • No in-build SSD offered

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MSI GE72 Apache Pro-070 17.3 Inch Gaming LaptopMSI GE72 Apache Pro-070 17.3 Inch Gaming Laptop

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.5GHz) quad-core processor
  • RAM: 16GB Ultra-Fast DDR4 SDRAM (2133MHz bus speed)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 3GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 17.3″ Full HD eDP Non-Relfective Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 6 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (7200 RPM) SATA HDD + 128GB NVMe PCIe Gen3x4 SSD

View extended features

Priced under $1,500, this gaming laptop by MSI is as good as it promises to be. Simply that. The MSI GE72 Apache Pro-070 may not turn heads at all, given its very simplistic design. But don’t fret, because this one is all about what counts most – the power inside.

With a high-end 6th Generation Intel (which is still the latest in the market, by the way) Core i7 quad-care processor coupled with 16GB of RAM and 3GB of dedicated graphics RAM further supported by 128GB of flash storage (SSD), this one has the potential to beat almost anything out of the water.

Other than all of that, this machine is packed with the standard MSI offerings – Nahimic Virtual Surround Sound System and the Cooler Boost 3 dual fan cooling system. The interesting, and possibly the most important, highlight here though is its light weight for a 17.3-inch gaming laptop at just 6 pounds. Now, that’s what’s really cool about it.

Design8
Performance9
Features8.5
Battery Life8.5

Pros:

  • Light-weight for its size at just 6 pounds
  • Very practically designed & functioning

Cons:

  • Average looking laptop given the price

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Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition Gaming LaptopAcer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition Gaming Laptop review

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.5GHz) quad-core processor (6MB L3 cache)
  • RAM: 16GB Ultra-Fast DDR4 SDRAM (2133MHz bus speed)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 17.3″ Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 6.8 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (5400 RPM) SATA HDD + 256GB NVMe PCIe Gen3x4 SSD

View extended features

The Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition (we’re skipping writing the endless product code again) sports simple yet elegant looks – kinda like a professional use laptop, but handles high-end games pretty well too; and for the display size it has, it’s rather light weight at 6.8 pounds.

It’s a decent machine that’s priced way under $1,500 for a gaming laptop – the specs are pretty high-end (16 Gigs of RAM, 4 Gigs of dedicated graphics memory, 256GB of flash storage). That makes it a very good value for money.

But there must be a catch, you say? Well, there is one – the build quality may not be top notch. Most users who’ve tried upgrading the hardware inside (RAM, for instance) complain of one thing – that it’s a pain to do the upgrade as you’d need to disassemble almost the entire machine. And while they’re at it, some of them have also noticed (and have complained) that the motherboard is kinda fragile and weak. That’s not good – It’s a “motherboard” of a pretty high-end laptop.

Design8.5
Performance9
Features8.5
Battery Life8

Pros:

  • Neat, simple, professional, sleek, elegant design (yep, the adjectives just keep coming)
  • Great value for money
  • Good audio output, thanks for 4-speaker Surround Sound system, Acer TrueHarmony Plus and Dolby Audio

Cons:

  • Build quality could be better
  • The battery isn’t replaceable, although the battery back-up isn’t bad (but don’t play high-res games when running it on battery power)

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Acer Predator 15 G9-591-70VM 15.6-inch Full HD Gaming LaptopAcer Predator 15 G9-591-70VM 15.6-inch Full HD Gaming Laptop Review

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.5GHz) quad-core processor (6MB Cache)
  • RAM: 16GB Ultra-Fast DDR4 SDRAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 3GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 7.5 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (7200 RPM) SATA HDD + 128GB SSD

View extended features

The Acer Predator 15 G9-591-70VM seems to have been made for gaming with a passion what with its sleek looks and a host of audio output enabling systems. The one thing Acer missed in that regard is the 3GB of dedicated graphics memory. Just 3GB? For a sub-$1,500 gaming laptop? Like seriously?

The Predator ProZone backlit keyboard looks really nice though with special accented lights for the WASD and the arrow keys. That almost gives it a cockpit look and feel – Get ready to play!

The other thing to take notice of here is Acer’s Predator SounPound 4.2 System comprised of two built-in stereo speakers, a subwoofer under the hood and Dolby Audio Surround Sound system. Talk about getting immersed in your game – just short of VR, this one makes it happen; whether it’s with games or movies.

Design9
Performance9
Features9
Battery Life9.5

Pros:

  • Great audio quality and output
  • Really nice keyboard, and also the accented lights for the WASD and the arrow keys

Cons:

  • It could have offered more graphics RAM for the price

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$1,500 Range – Best of the best

If we have narrow it down to one, it’d be a tough battle for us – between Asus ROG Strix GL502VT-DS74 (#1 on the list above) and Acer Predator 15 G9-591-70VM (#5 on the list). We’d probably end up going with #1 simply because it’s really powerful for the below-$1,500 price tag it commands. Plus it’s gorgeous. Which one are you considering among these options? Let us know in the comments section below!

ASUS ROG G750JM-DS71 17.3- inch Gaming Laptop

ASUS ROG G750JM-DS71 17.3 Gaming Laptop

First impressions upon unboxing the ASUS G750JM-DS71 is that it is a robust laptop (aluminum casing) with an ergonomically contoured design, and a brushed black metal finish. This laptop was one of our top picks because it is specifically made for “high power” users such as video editors, animators, developers, graphic designers and not least, gamers! We tested it with Sony Vegas Movie Studio as well as InDesign which is notoriously slow and didn’t have any problems. We decided to move on to the fun stuff!

We wanted to test the most demanding games (as well as a couple of the most popular) with this laptop to see what it’s limits were. Needless to say that games like Diablo 3, WoW and Skyrim weren’t a problem at all with the settings on high. We had the settings maxed out for Call of Duty Advanced Warfare and the machine didn’t batter an eyelid– frame rate clocked consistently at 50 to 60 fps. All in all, video quality is there and this laptop will do pretty much anything you require of it, although you’ll want to invest in some quality external speakers. It’s worth keeping in mind that the battery doesn’t last particularly long (only a couple of hours whilst gaming).

  • Screen: 17.3” at 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor: 2.4 GHz Core i7-4700HQ
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
  • Memory: 12GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Connectivity: 802.11 a/c WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 4 x USB 3.0
  • Optical Drive: DVD Super Multi
  • Battery Life: 3.5 hours
  • Dimensions: 16.10″ x 12.50″ x 2.0″
  • Weight: 9lbs (4.1kg)

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ASUS ROG G751JT-CH71 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop

ASUS ROG G751JT-CH71 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop

The ASUS G751JT-CH71 has been designed with fervent portable computer gamers in mind, as well as those who require powerful machines capable of handling resource hogging software like Adobe CS6, DAZ3D and Zbrush. At first glance the laptop has a unique shape and style that is easy on the eye, although it does so without being extravagant. It has red accents and in particular, a red backlit keyboard that really stands out without being too bright.

We tested multiple games and found that the frame rate almost never dipped below 50-60 fps. This is partly thanks to the stable overclocking allowed by ASUS TurboMaster technology. We didn’t have any lag or latency issues with Crysis 3, Diablo 3, WoW, and even Advanced Warfare. We decided to try out a couple of our favorite flight simulators too which included IL2: Cliffs of Dover and DCS: P51D Mustang. We are happy to say that both performed well, although IL2 still needed a little tweaking, but we believe that to be an issue with the game rather than the laptop.

  • Screen: 17.3” at 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX970M 3GB GDDR5
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Connectivity: 802.11 a/c WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 4 x USB 3.0
  • Optical Drive: DVD Super Multi
  • Battery Life: 4.5 hours
  • Dimensions: 12.50” x 16.40” x 0.90”
  • Weight: 8.4lbs (3.8kg)

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MSI GT70 Dominator-2293 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop

MSI GT70 Dominator-2293 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop

Right out of the box, it’s easy to see that the MSI GT70 has been fitted with all the bells and whistles to try and keep the average gamer’s attention. It has a bulky, durable design, which actually works out to be surprisingly ergonomic. We did like the backlit keyboard which is fully configurable from software included on the laptop. We didn’t waste too much time testing the usual business basics as this computer will be able to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it.

Moving on to games, we tested a few of our current favorites, and discovered that the machine isn’t lacking at all. The GTX970M graphics card (which is popular among laptops in this category) is perhaps the best graphics card for laptops in this price range. The hyperthreading and 3.5ghz capability also allows the laptop to stretch its legs during the toughest gaming moments. We played Total War Attila and Battlefield 4, both of which consistently provided frame rates of 60 fps. WoW had a frame rate of 90 fps during normal game play, around 60 fps for regular sized raids (10 to 25 people), although did slow a little when there were many more people about such as in cities.

  • Screen: 17.3” at 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor: 2.50 GHz Intel Core i7
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX970M 3GB GDDR5
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Connectivity: 802.11A WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 2 x USB 2.0 & 3 x USB 3.0
  • Optical Drive: DVDRW
  • Battery Life: 4.5 hours
  • Dimensions: 16.85” x 11.34” x 2.17”
  • Weight: 8.6lbs (3.9kg)

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SAGER NP8651 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop

Sager NP8651 Gaming Laptop

The Sager NP8651 15.6” is a great gaming laptop for people looking for a lighter and more portable option than the majority of contenders in this price bracket. This can be achieved due to the 15.6” screen and the lack of an optical drive. Unwrapped, this laptop has a sleek business-like look to it, with its simplistic design and brushed black aluminum casing. It has one blue power indicator light, and a modest white LED keyboard backlight.

The laptop performed well with our “resource hog” test which included Sony Vegas Movie Studio, Photoshop and multiple browsers. Moving on to games, we decided to test out an old favorite GTA 5 for this test and with all settings at high, the laptop performed exceptionally. We also played WoW and found frame rates to consistently hover between 60 and 90 fps. One particular area we were amazed at is how cool the laptop remained during intense gameplay. This is a smart little laptop that packs a big punch.

  • Screen: 15.6” at 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor: Haswell CoreTM i7-4720HQ (2.6GHz – 3.6GHz)
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX970M 3GB GDDR5
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Connectivity: 802.11bgn WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 3 x USB 3.0
  • Battery Life: 4.5 hours
  • Dimensions: 10.67” x 15.60” x 0.98”
  • Weight: 5.5lbs (2.5kg)

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Alienware 17 ANW17-2136SLV 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop

Alienware 17 ANW17-2136SLV Gaming Laptop

There are a number of Alienware 17 models available, although the ANW17-2136SLV model has been designed to be a somewhat slimmer 17.3” gaming laptop – one reason it lacks an optical drive. It’s still a large laptop though, and if the optical drive is a concern, there are a couple of models that include a DVDRW slot drive. After unboxing and plugging in, we can see that the laptop has aggressive styling in addition to a solid accent light (on the front and track pad) which can be modified from the system.

This is designed to be a powerful laptop so we didn’t spend too much time testing for business use, although it’s safe to say that it will handle any video editing, graphic design or animation software you need. We tested a number of games (namely Far Cry 4, CoD Advanced Warfare and Wow) and found that frame rates were solid and stayed between 50-60fps even on high/ultra settings. During particularly demanding periods of the games, the frame rate did drop a little but this is to be expected. One advantage of the Alienware line of products is the Alienware Graphics Amplifier which can be purchased at extra cost.

  • Screen: 17.3” at 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz A10-5757M
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX970M 3GB GDDR5
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Connectivity: 802.11a/c WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 3 x USB 3.0
  • Battery Life: 4.5 hours
  • Dimensions: 16.93″ x 11.49″ x 1.35″
  • Weight: 8.3lbs (3.8kg)

If you’re sick of playing the latest games on low or medium settings, investing in one of the best gaming laptops under $1500 mentioned here will fix that problem. We tested 16 laptops in total in this category (that we could get our hands on), and believe you’ll have a hard time buying anything better when it comes to price vs performance. Finally, if we had to choose a favorite, it would either be the ASUS G751JT-CH71 or MSI GT70.

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Our best gaming laptops under $1,000: Top Picks

Here are our top 7 gaming laptops for a budget of $1,000, after reviewing a wide range of gaming laptops within this price range we finally concluded that these were the best, based on their performance in-game, laptop specification & benchmarking results. Our recommendations are updated every quarter to keep on top of the latest tech updates & gaming demands.

Sifting through tens of options and settling on a few of the best gaming laptops costing under $1,000 is a hard task. So, we’ve done the heavy lifting by going through the specs of them all, the general customer feedback they’d received and the critic/guru reviews & comments; and we’ve narrowed it down to 6 for you.

Before we begin though, let’s quickly go over the most important things to look for in gaming laptops for under $1,000.

First and foremost is the Graphics RAM. You’ll need a dedicated graphics card if you want to play the latest games even in medium graphics settings. To support the graphics card or GPU, you’ll need a laptop computer with a fast (yet power efficient) processor and a good amount of RAM.

Please also note that laptops aren’t exactly meant for gaming, but we humans believe in pushing boundaries. That’s fine but it comes at the expense of something. In case of a sub $1,000 gaming laptop (or of any price segment for that matter), the battery life won’t always be very high and the machine will heat up. So, you have to be careful to find a laptop that can balance it all out for your needs.

Oh and what is a gaming laptop without some great display and audio, right? While a 4K display screen might be far-fetched in today’s age (especially for under $1,000), a 1920x1080p or Full HD resolution display would do just fine. As for the audio, stereo speakers are an absolute must… but aim for something better than just plain stereo speaker offerings.

With the basic nitty-gritties sorted out, let’s jump right in to our list of the best gaming laptops under $1,000.

  1. Asus ROG GL552 Gaming LaptopASUS ROG GL552VW-DH71 15-Inch Gaming Laptop

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • RAM: 16GB Ultra-Fast DDR4 RAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX960M 2GB GDDR5 with Full DirectX 12 Support (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD IPS Display Panel with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 5.6 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (7200 RPM) SATA Hard Disk Drive

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Inspired by the visual appeal of the F-22 Stealth fighter jet and sporting a fine, metallic finish, the uniquely designed ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH71 is a mean & powerful gaming laptop that means serious business. It’s not only good looking, it’s also a star performer of a gaming laptop costing just under $1,000.

Complemented by Asus’s GameFirst III Technology (to help reduce gameplay lag) and featuring NVIDIA’s G-Sync feature atop its GTX960M 2GB DDR5 Dedicated Graphics RAM and a whopping 16 Gigs of ultra-fast DDR4 RAM, this gaming laptop will handle almost anything you throw its way. To ensure that you have an immersive experience, Asus made the screen practically anti-glare with the IPS matte display running at 1080p Full HD resolution and accompanied it with the SonicMaster technology in the speakers department to blast out rich, crystal-clear audio.

Design9.5
Performance9
Features8
Battery Life8.5

Pros:

  • Value for money
  • Lightweight & portable

Cons:

  • Lacks SSD, so boot times will be slightly high
  • The touch pad feels a little ‘cheaply made’ compared to the rest of the laptop

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  1. Dell 15.6 Inch Gaming LaptopDell Inspiron i7759 Gaming Laptop

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i5-6300HQ 2.3 GHz (6M Cache, Turbo Boost up to 3.2 GHz) quad core processor
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3L RAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5 with Full DirectX 12 Support (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD Anti-Glare LED Backlit Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 5.67 Pounds
  • Storage: 256GB Solid State Drive

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The new Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK 15.6” Full HD gaming laptop is, as Dell claims, truly optimized for both higher productivity and gaming entertainment. This sub-$1,000 gaming laptop is one of the best in the segment due to an impressive 4 Gigs of dedicated graphics RAM by NVIDIA GeForce and a 256GB Solid State Drive. OS (Windows 10 64-bit) boot times are fast (15-17 seconds on average) and the usage of this machine is snappy with fast responses thanks to the SSD only offering. There is, however, an empty HDD slot available if you want to add some SATA storage.

Dell seems to have thought this one through quite well. While pricing it way under $1,000 for a gaming laptop and powering it up with some really good hardware specs, they’ve also tried to keep things cool with two cooling fans and three exhausts, because heating is a major issue with any gaming laptop… even today.

Note: read our review of the Dell Inspiron i7559 here.

On the aesthetics front, the Dell Inspiron i7559 looks rather sleek & smart and weighs 5.67 pounds, which isn’t heavy for a powerful beast of a gaming laptop. The anti-glare wide-angle Full HD IPS display is pretty sharp, and it sports stereo speakers along with a subwoofer both of which are powered up with Waves MaxxAudio Pro. We’ve been enjoying playing Fallout 4 at full resolution with this one.

Design9.5
Performance9
Features8
Battery Life8.5

Pros:

  • 256GB SSD equals faster loading times
  • 4 Gigs of dedicated graphics RAM

Cons:

  • Only 8GB of RAM
  • Bloatware – Fortunately, there isn’t a lot of it but it’s still there

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  1. Acer Aspire VN7 591G 70RT 15.6 Inch Gaming LaptopAcer Aspire VN7 Gaming Laptop

  • CPU: 4th Generation Intel Core i7-4720HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz) quad core processor
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR3L RAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB Dedicated Graphics Card
  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD Widescreen LED Backlit IPS Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 5.29 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (5400 RPM) HDD

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This gaming laptop for under $1,000 looks simple and neat but it doesn’t feel very premium. However, for the price tag, it’s a pretty powerful machine that can clock up to 3.6GHz on Turbo Boost mode. Add to that 8 Gigs of RAM and 4 Gigs of dedicated graphics RAM, and you have a potential machismo that’s actually quite a strong jack of all trades.

At 5.29 pounds, the Acer Aspire VN7-591G-70RT is a light weight gaming laptop sporting a 1080p Full HD LED display and lots of storage. It also has a backlit keyboard if gaming in the dark is how you like it. At least that’s how we like it.

Design9.5
Performance9
Features8
Battery Life8.5

Pros:

  • Light Weight
  • 4 Gigs of dedicated graphics RAM

Cons:

  • 4th Gen Intel processor – It’s 2016 already!
  • The build quality could have been much better for the price

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  1. Asus K501UW-AB78 15.6-inch Full-HD Gaming LaptopAsus K501UW-AB78 Gaming Laptop

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6500U 2.5 GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz) processor
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M Integrated Graphics Card
  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD Anti-Glare Matte Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 4.4 Pounds
  • Storage: 512GB Solid State Drive

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The Asus K501UW-AB78 that’s available in Glacier Grey with a metallic design looks stylish and feels premium. It’s extremely light weight compared to the other best gaming laptops under $1,000 we’ve covered here. With a Smart Dual Fan Cooling system and Asus’s own IceCool Technology, the laptop will show all its might but still stay calm cool. So, your comfort is taken care of, especially if you’re a couch gamer who can go on for hours at a stretch. Asus is also throwing in a 1-year Accidental Damage Protection cover for the USA and Canada with this one.

This sub-$1,000 gaming laptop (sadly) lacks a dedicated graphics card, but attempts to make up for it with NVIDIA’s Optimus technology that automatically tweaks how the graphics are processed depending on what you’re doing. Obviously, it won’t be able to do what a dedicated graphics card could do though. However, the processor on this one is quite powerful and it sports a Solid State Drive with 512GB to help speed things up. However, it’s probably best to play your favorite games on this one in low res settings.

Design9.5
Performance9
Features8
Battery Life8.5

Pros:

  • Extremely Light Weight
  • 512GB Solid State Drive for faster processing and quick OS-boot times

Cons:

  • No dedicated graphics card
  • Just 8 Gigs of RAM (Why not throw in at least 16GB to make up for lack of a dedicated graphics card!)

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  1. Alienware AW13R2-1678SLV 13 Inch FHD Gaming LaptopAlienware AW13R2 Gaming Laptop

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i5-6200U 2.3 GHz (3MB Cache, Turbo Boost up to 2.8 GHz) dual core processor
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3L RAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 2GB GDDR5 (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 13 inch FHD IPS-Panel Anti-Glare 350-nits Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 4.63 Pounds
  • Storage: 500GB Hybrid SATA Hard Disk Drive + 8GB (SSD) Flash Cache

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At just under $1,000 for a gaming laptop, Alienware AW13R2-1678SLV may not pack the most punch as far as the hardware specs are concerned, but it’s for sure a hardcore gamer’s delight. There’s something about Alienware’s unique design that one can’t take their mind off of it. At least we failed, oh and we’ve tried.

Alienware (or should we say Dell) has been innovating on this gaming line of laptops and claim to have made the thinnest and lightest Alienware thus far. It sure is pretty light, but then again it also sports just a 13” display. However, with a decent processor and the hybrid storage offering 8 Gigs of flash cache, the Alienware is engineered for heavy duty gaming. That’s also supported by copper heat sinks to help reduce the heating letting you play your favourite games without facing significant performance issues.

Design9.5
Performance9
Features8
Battery Life8.5

Pros:

  • Hybrid Storage including 8GB SSD
  • Small size (13”) so it’s more portable and something to flaunt while carrying on the streets
  • It’s an Alienware 😀

Cons:

  • More RAM would have been awesome
  • More Dedicated Graphics RAM would have been awesomer

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  1. Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-592G-71ZL 15.6-inch Full HD Gaming LaptopAcer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7 Gaming Laptop

Key Specs of the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-592G-71ZL 15.6-inch Full HD Notebook:

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (6MB L3 Cache, Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz) quad core processor
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDRS (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD Widescreen LED Backlit IPS Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 5.1 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (5400RPM) SATA Hard Disk Drive

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The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-592G-71ZL gaming laptop looks sleek and attractive to the eyes. The build quality is pretty good too. And the specs on this one are above average but nothing astounding for a gaming laptop costing almost $1,000. The red LED light bar at the top portion of the keyboard glows when you’re playing games. While some of us in our team here felt that it was distracting, most of us loved it because it looks very cool and distinctive, especially because Acer isn’t known as a gaming laptop brand yet.

This beast would have been beastlier if only it sported a Solid State Drive and some more RAM. However, for the price it commands, it offers good value for your money. Acer has also equipped this one with Coolboost technology, which lets you manually control how much cooling is needed while you enjoy your games. Geeks are likely to love that tinkering ability.

Design9.5
Performance9
Features8
Battery Life8.5

Pros:

  • Great value for the money
  • Attractive design and premium build up

Cons:

  • Lacks Solid State Drive
  • Just 8 Gigs of RAM (You can double it up by paying another $200 though)

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So there you have it – the best gaming laptops for under $1,000.

We’re in love with the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 series (7559) 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop (#2 on this list) that costs way under $1,000 and provides us with more than sufficient hardware specs in almost every department. Which one would you be going for and what made you arrive at your decision? Let us know in the comments, and happy gaming!

MSI GE60 Apache Pro-003 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop

MSI GE60 Apache Pro-003 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop

MSI laptops have become highly regarded amongst gamers of all types, and the GE60 Apache Pro is a particular favorite. This is one laptop we have been looking forward to reviewing and as soon as we removed it from the box, saw that we weren’t going to be disappointed. It has a contoured shape, with a brushed metal finish and red accents. We liked the blue indicator lights, and especially the multi colored LED backlighting for the keyboard which is configurable. It’s quick to start up as can be expected and after getting set up, we started with our usual tests.

It has no qualms running multiple applications (including resource hogging programs such as CyberLink Powerdirector which we tested), although video editors have the option of adding a further 8gb of ram. It performed superbly with all the games we tested (including CoD Advanced Warfare and Diablo III), although does respond better with the settings on medium or high as opposed to ultra (Diablo had no problems on high, but CoD had to tweaked). We also liked the sound quality thanks to the Dynadio speakers. All in all, this would be a great buy for less than $1000.

  • Screen: 15.6” at 1920x 1080 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor: 3.2 GHz Core i7-4700HQ
  • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GTX860M
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Connectivity: 802.11bgn WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 2 x USB 2.0 & 2 x USB 3.0
  • Optical Drive: DVD Super Multi
  • Battery Life: 5 hours
  • Dimensions: 15.10″ x 9.90″ x 1.50″
  • Weight: 5.3lbs (2.4kg)

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ASUS ROG GL551JM-EH74 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop

ASUS ROG GL551JM-EH74 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop

ASUS have been making some great laptops over the last couple of years with the GL551 series being particularly popular. Upon boxing, the laptop has a minimalist design with a matte finish, but looks very well made. We particularly liked the red backlit keyboard (which in our opinion should come standard with all keyboards). Right off the bat, it was easy to see that multitasking or using resource hogging programs won’t be an issue thanks to the 16gb ram.

We jumped straight into testing a couple of our favorite games  (Battlefield and Total War) and found that it did well on medium to high settings (more so with Total War), and didn’t show any latency issues. The laptop did get hot pretty quick, but stayed at a reasonable temperature so the fan is doing it’s job properly. We weren’t fond of the touchpad that came with it, although for gaming and regular use we always use a wireless mouse anyway. For the money, this is a great machine although you’ll be forced to opt for the 256GB solid state drive unless you want to spend a couple hundred more bucks.

  • Screen: 15.6” at 1920x 1080 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4710HQ 2.5GHz (Turbo to 3.5 GHz)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 3 x USB 3.0
  • Optical Drive: DVDRW
  • Battery Life: 5 hours
  • Dimensions: 15″ x 10″ x 1.3″
  • Weight: 6lbs (2.7kg)

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Lenovo Y50 15.6-inch Touchscreen Gaming Laptop

Lenovo Y50 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop

The Lenovo Y50 is available in a number of different models, although we chose the 59426255 model due to the touch screen design. There is another cheaper model that comes without the touchscreen but many people had complains with the OEM screen. There were less complaints with this model, and the functionality of a touchscreen (which is what Windows 8.1 was designed for when it comes down to it) gives it the upper hand.

Unpacking the laptop, it has a very simple finish which isn’t anything to shout about, but is nicely contoured and has a smart red backlit keyboard. The laptop is a bit thinner as it lacks an optical drive (which might be a pro or a con depending on your preferences). It performed well with our usual business use tests and we particularly liked the option to use the touch screen in addition to our wireless mouse (the touchpad isn’t a big plus). We tested a few of our favorite games and it did surprisingly well with the settings on medium/high, although Watchdog needed the settings tweaked a bit.

  • Screen: 15.6” at 1920x 1080 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor: 2.4 GHz Core i7-4700HQ
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Connectivity: 802.11 a/c WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 1 x USB 2.0 & 2 x USB 3.0
  • Battery Life: 4 hours
  • Dimensions: 10.37″ x 0.94″ x 15.24″
  • Weight: 5.3lbs (2.4kg)

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MSI GT70 Dominator-895 9S7-1763A2-895 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop

MSI GT70 Dominator-895 9S7-1763A2-895 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop

This laptop has been around for around a year which has brought the price down under a grand. However, this puts it into contention for gamers looking for a work horse on a budget. Right out of the box, the rugged design is noticeable as it’s both heavier than other laptops and looks as though it could survive a warzone. We really liked the backlit keyboard which can also be configured.

It’s worth noting that since this laptop is a little older, you should consider adding more RAM and upgrading the hard drive for a faster one. Otherwise it works very well as a regular use laptop, in addition to a gaming one. We tested a couple of games, one of which was Far Cry 4. It was able to very easily manage 60 fps with AA and shadows turned off, and at high settings which is rare in this sort of price range. One thing we especially liked was the ability to manually turn the fan on to 100%.

  • Screen: 17.3” at 1920x 1080 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor: 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 4800MQ Quad-Core
  • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GTX870M
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Connectivity: 802.11bgn WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 2 x USB 2.0 & 3 x USB 3.0
  • Optical Drive: DVD Super Multi
  • Battery Life: 5 hours
  • Dimensions: 16.85″ x 11.34″ x 2.17″
  • Weight: 8.6lbs (3.9kg)

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ASUS N550JK-DS71T 15.6-inch FHD Touchscreen Gaming Laptop

ASUS N550JK-DS71T 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop

We decided to test this laptop as we’ve become interested in gaming laptops that have touch screens (which makes them fun for regular app games in addition to the usual favorites like Call of Duty and Battlefield). Out of the box the laptop has an aluminum finish which is pretty basic, but the design is both sleek and practical. From the get-go, the N550JK-DS71T is a fast machine which performed all of our basic tests perfectly (multitasking and using programs such as Photoshop and Sony Vegas Movie Studio which are known to slow down the CPU).

We tried a couple of games (World of Warcraft and Transistor) and didn’t have any problems running both on medium to high settings. We didn’t like the trackpad although this can be mitigated by using a wireless mouse, and the 8GB ram could be upgraded if you use particularly demanding programs or need to use multiple programs at once. This model does come with a 16GB ram option, although costs a couple of hundred bucks more. Overall, this is a good option for business, casual browsing and gaming.

  • Screen: 15.6” at 1920x 1080 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4700HQ 2.4GHz (Turbo 3.4 GHz)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX850M
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Connectivity: 802.11 a/c WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 3 x USB 3.0
  • Optical Drive: DVDRW
  • Battery Life: 5 hours
  • Dimensions: 10″ x 15.10″ x 1.10″
  • Weight: 6lbs (2.7kg)

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Best Gaming Laptop under $900

Buying a budget friendly gaming laptop? How does something under $900 sound? That’s the right price segment to seek a gaming laptop in if you’re on a tight budget. It’s the right segment because you get something that can be used to play high-end games without breaking the bank.

Now that also usually means that you may have to forego playing your favorite new games in high-res settings. But worry not! We’ve done a good bit of digging and found two gaming laptops priced under $900 that are still very good options to consider. After all, we’re hard-core gamers and we have to have the best, yes?

We’re assuming you said yes in your head. If so, let’s check them out right away.

MSI GL72 6QD-001 17.3″ Gaming LaptopMSI GL72 6QD-001 17.3%22 GAMING LAPTOP Review

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i5-6300HQ 2.3 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.2GHz) quad-core processor
  • RAM: 8GB Ultra-Fast DDR4 SDRAM (2133MHz bus speed)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M 2GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 17.3″ Full HD eDP Non Reflective Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 6 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (7200 RPM) SATA HDD

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MSI is rather notorious for not building great looking laptops, at least in our view. But what MSI is one of the very best at is building great gaming laptops. And in all fairness, this one is in the same league. Sure the specs aren’t that high but then neither is the price. This gaming laptop costs under $900, for which price it’s a great deal.

The build quality of this gaming machine is rock solid, although (and this is actually slightly ironical) the plastic used, especially around the screen, can feel a bit flimsy – not that big of an issue though. Now if you’re a gamer in the dark, we hate to break it to you but the MSI GL72 6QD-001 doesn’t feature a backlit keyboard. Oh and there’s one more bad news if you’re a couch gamer – the placement of the speakers is in the front, under the frame housing the keyboard and the CPU, so the audio can actually get muffled.

However, the audio output of this sub-$900 gaming laptop is very good, both quality and volume-wise, for this price range. And that’s also facilitated by MSI’s Nahimic technology that claims to deliver Virtual 7.1 sound quality/output. The now-standard dual fan cooling system (one for the CPU and the GPU each), called Cooler Boost 3, is available in this laptop too.

Some users have reported playing high-end games in Ultra settings without a hitch or significant heating issues with this one, and that’s a major plus. Then there’s the big 17.3-inch screen to have an enjoyable experience with the games. On the downside though, a lot of users have reported shorter battery life but it’s not really fair to expect a laptop to deliver a longer battery life while playing games. Plus, it lacks an SSD, the presence of which would have catapulted this laptop to do much better business.

Overall though, if $900 is the most you’re willing to pay for a gaming laptop, the MSI GL72 6QD-001 is one of the best options out there.

Design8.5
Performance9
Features9
Battery Life9

Pros:

  • Great, solid build
  • Big screen
  • Can play most games in High/Ultra settings – Pleasantly surprising!

Cons:

  • Not great looking for a gaming laptop
  • No SSD (the laptop doesn’t suffer from the absence of it though for the most part)
  • Odd placement of the speakers

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Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition Gaming LaptopAcer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-592G-71ZL 15.6-inch Full HD Notebook Review

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.6GHz) quad-core processor with 6MB L3 Cache
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD Widescreen LED-backlit Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 5.1 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (5400 RPM) SATA HDD

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The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-592G-71ZL gaming laptop looks simple and elegant. The lid cover that it ships out with gives a royal appearance to this powerful laptop (considering the price segment) and has a nice texture to it too. It’s got a backlit keyboard and a Red LED Light Bar as well (right at the top/beginning of the keyboard side of the machine).

The tech-specs of the components in this laptop aren’t on the high-end side, but a lot of users have satisfactorily reported being able to play high-end games even in High/Ultra settings. On the downside though, there’s only a provision for adding on an SSD (but not the actual flash storage component/card), and upgrading the RAM on this one can be a bit of a pain given that you may need to disassemble almost the entire machine.

But given the price of under $900, for a gaming laptop, the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition looks very neat and also packs a mean set of hardware components that together deliver a truly entertaining experience that you’d expect from it.

As one of the users wrote in their review, “Long story short, if you’re looking for something portable with the latest hardware in it without completely breaking the bank, this is a good bet.” We definitely agree with that statement.

Design9.5
Performance9
Features8.5
Battery Life8.5

Pros:

  • Sleek, attractive look and feel
  • 4-speaker Surround Sound system, Dolby Audio and Acer TrueHarmony Plus together ensure that great entertainment is delivered

Cons:

  • Irreplaceable battery (although the battery life is pretty good)
  • No in-built SSD offered
  • Painful if considering a RAM upgrade

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Deciding on which one’s a better bet was very hard, and we almost called it a tie between these two. But, the MSI GL72 6QD-001 lost it marginally due to the odd placement of the speakers. So, we’d go with the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition gaming laptop that’s available for well under $900.

Best Gaming Laptops under $800

Ok, so you have a max budget of $800? No problem! It’s one of the starting price ranges for great decent gaming laptops. A gaming laptop under $800 may not be able to play all the high-end games in high-resolution settings but will work really well with quite a few titles (Minecraft, Counter Strike, Need for Speed, etc. come to mind). It will, however, be able to play just about any game in medium settings; so as far as choosing your favorite game titles is concerned, you’re most likely well covered.

With that in mind, we searched around to find the best gaming laptops that $800 (or less) could buy for us. There are quite a few, but we found the following 3 to be really worth considering and picking from.

So, 3… 2… 1… Here we go…

Dell 15.6-Inch Gaming LaptopDell 15.6 Gaming Laptop Review

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i5-6300HQ 2.3 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.2GHz) quad-core processor
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3L SDRAM (2133MHz bus speed)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 15.6-Inch Full HD IPS, Wide-Angle, Anti-Glare Screen with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 6 Pounds
  • Storage: 256GB SSD

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At the outset, the Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK looks like just about any other Dell Inspiron laptop – simple and professional-styled. Dig in though, and it’s quite a powerhouse for a gaming laptop costing under $800.

With 8 Gigs of RAM (but it’s DDR3 and not DDR4, sadly) and 4 Gigs of dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics card, this Skylake processor sporting machine is a beast on its own. Then, there’s 256 Gigs of SSD flash storage. So, you can throw games such Battlefield 4 and Skyrim at it and have no issues playing them. Newer games such as Witcher 3 may play in low to medium settings, but hey remember the old adage, “You get what your paid for”; and in all honesty, you’re actually getting really good value for your money with this one.

Dell sure seems to have thought this one out really well – It plays games & handles entertainment requires with ease, can be used to do general everyday work, has a decent cooling system (dual fan cooling and three exhaust zones), and is fairly compact at 1” thick & not so heavy at 6 pounds.

However, there’s one little (well, it’s not so little) caveat here. The build quality is rather not premium. The plastic frames on this one, especially around the edges (where different frames get attached to one another), don’t snap back on to their places once off; and this is evident in many of the reviews you’ll read on this laptop. It’s almost as though the product team behind this one said, “Ok team, we have to build a gaming laptop for under $800 as the target price point, let’s do a great job at it!” Nice, but it seems that the Quality Control person on this team didn’t do their job well. Now it’s possible that this may have been the case with just one or a few specific batches, but a company like Dell is expected to do better, right?

So, if you’re going to make this really powerful sub-$800 gaming laptop your next ‘play machine’, you’re going to have to be very very gentle with it. The same goes for the keyboard too, which is fortunately a backlit one for easier gaming in the dark, but you’ll need to be careful about how hard you press the keys on it.

Design8
Performance9
Features9
Battery Life9.5

Pros:

  • Good battery life
  • Plays just about any game (in Medium settings), and a lot of popular games even in High settings
  • Pretty compact and easy to carry around
  • Great value for money!

Cons:

  • Only SSD (256GB) and no SATA HDD
  • Build quality OR Quality Control in general needs to be improved for this one
  • The audio output can be jarring sometimes, at high volume levels

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Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-591G-73Y5 15.6-Inch Full HD Gaming LaptopAcer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition Review

  • CPU: 4th Generation Intel Core i7-4720HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.6GHz) quad-core processor
  • RAM: 8GB DD3 RAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M 4GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD Widescreen LED-backlit Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 5.3 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (5400 RPM) SATA HDD

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The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-591G-73Y5 gaming laptop, by its looks, is classy yet professional. Its light at 5.3 pounds and that shows in its slimness too, which makes this baby very portable. But don’t forget the charger at home when you step out with it as the battery life (as reported by a lot of buyers) isn’t great – 2 hours of video viewing over Wi-Fi and just about as much while playing games too.

It does pack some decent hardware along, although the Intel Core i7 quad-core processor on this one is a 4th Generation one. To add to that, it doesn’t feature a Solid State Drive nor does it provide an additional empty slot to add one. And that means two things – first, the boot times for Windows and also some games won’t be great; and second, if you treat it like a desktop CPU, it’ll start to overheat and perform slowly. A lot of buyers have remarked about the latter one in their reviews.

So, is this gaming laptop costing just under $800 worth the money? Well, form factor wise, it wins. The audio output and display are quite good. And so is the build quality. It also performs well for the most part – you can play a lot of the popular, newer games with it (although some at Medium settings)… but just be careful not to throw anything and everything at it.

Design9.5
Performance9
Features8
Battery Life8

Pros:

  • Sleek, attractive look, feel and good build quality
  • Fairly light weight, thin and quite portable

Cons:

  • No in-built SSD. No additional slot to add one either (but you can swap the HDD with an SSD if you want to)
  • 4th Generation machine (plus no SSD) makes it a rather expensive deal for the price
  • Tons of bloatware reported by a lot of buyers too
  • Battery life isn’t so good!

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MSI Computer CX72 Gaming LaptopMSI CX72 Laptop Review

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i5-6300HQ 2.3 GHz quad-core processor
  • RAM: 12GB Ultra-Fast DD4 RAM (2133MHz bus speed)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 940M 2GB GDDR5 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 17.3″ HD+ Non-Reflective Display with 1600x900p resolution
  • Weight: 6 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (5400 RPM) SATA HDD + 128GB SSD

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The MSI Computer CX72 6QD-208US is not only weirdly named with the “Computer” branding in its name, it’s also designed a little weird – The speakers are at the bottom in the front. This could be a nightmare for couch gamers. Oh, and is almost always the case with MSI’s laptops, it’s designed for gamers but doesn’t look like a gaming laptop. This one priced at just about $800 doesn’t even have a backlit keyboard.

So, what does it have for it to have been included in this list really? Ok, let’s see… 12 GB of ultra-fast DDR4 RAM, 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6300HQ quad-core processor, 128GB of flash storage (SSD) in addition to 1TB of SATA Hard Disk Drive, and a large 17.3” Non-Reflective display that looks great. Plus it supports 4K display output if you can get the right 4K-HDMI cord. How does that sound? Let’s be honest here… It’s pretty impressive in almost all the departments that matter for a gaming laptop priced at about/under $800.

Now let’s be honest about the dark side of this “Computer” (we’re still baffled by that branding) – The battery life is quite poor so forget taking it around although it weighs just 6 pounds, the battery isn’t replaceable either, and the audio quality isn’t much to talk about. While MSI has surely packed in some good specs with this sub-$800 gaming laptop, they’re far from the mark with it.

Design8.5
Performance9
Features9.5
Battery Life8

Pros:

  • Support for 4K display output
  • 12 Gigs of DDR4 RAM, plus 128 Gigs of SSD for faster operating power
  • Large, nice display screen

Cons:

  • Irreplaceable battery (plus, the battery life is quite bad)
  • Badly designed – very un-seeming of a gaming laptop

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Picking one in this category wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t easy either as each of these have some significant caveats. However, despite having the not-so-sturdy edges, the Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK 15.6-inch Full HD gaming laptop priced under $800 (#1 in the list) is the winner for us, thanks to packing in some really powerful and well-performing hardware.

If none of these have impressed you, you may want to increase your budget by just about $100-200 to find something that really clicks well with you. However, do let us know in the comments below about your favorite from this list and if you have any questions as well.

Best Gaming Laptops under $700

When looking for the best gaming laptop for under $700, we’re really pushing it to be honest. At this price range, you’ll most likely end up compromising on something or the other, and most likely in gaming resolution output and/or performance.

But then they also say, “Seek and you shall find!” So we thought, “That makes sense, let’s dig around” and we did. And we found 4 laptops that can be considered to be gaming laptops. You can rest assured that for this price segment, these 4 provide great value for money. With that in mind, let’s check out what specs differentiate one from the others and get ready for some gaming soon…

MSI Computer C CX61 Gaming Laptop

Key Specs of the MSI Computer C CX61 Gaming Laptop:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4210M 2.6 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.2GHz) dual-core processor
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3L SDRAM (1600MHz bus speed)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT920M 2GB DDR3 VRAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 15.6-Inch HD Non-Glare Screen with 1366x768p (16:9) resolution
  • Weight: 5.3 Pounds
  • Storage: 750GB HDD (5400 RPM)

The MSI Computer C CX61 gaming laptop, very unlike of MSI’s usual notoriety (in our opinion), actually looks pretty good. It does look like it’s made for professional use rather than a gaming laptop though what with its thick body and simple styling. But let that not fool you for this sub-$700 gaming laptop packs a real punch. Despite its thickness, it’s actually fairly light in weight.

With 8 Gigs of DDR3 RAM and 2 Gigs of dedicated DDR3 Graphics RAM, you can still play high-end games like Skyrim, Fallout 4, Dark Souls 3, and GTA-V. While you can only play some games in high settings and most others in medium settings, that shouldn’t be a point of worry given that this gaming laptop costs way under $700. It scores really high functionality-wise, and that makes it a good choice… except it doesn’t ship with the Microsoft Office Suite. But we gamers don’t really want that anyway, right?

Plus, the audio output of the C CX61 is good both for gaming as well as watching movies; but the laptop itself can get loud at times during high intensity gaming. However, you can switch your gameplay to medium or low settings to strike a balance there.

Another thing that you can do (and we really like this) is you can upgrade to an Intel Core i7 processor later on. So this laptop can really last a long time – A big plus! In fact, try adding an SSD to this machine, and make it perform faster & better. MSI seems to have really thought one this out, and we’re giving it a big thumbs up.

Pros:

  • Upgrade-able processor without needing to buy a new motherboard
  • Plays almost every high-end game (most in Low-Medium settings)
  • Fairly light in weight
  • Great value for money!

Cons:

  • This laptop is quite thick
  • It can get quite loud while playing high-end games

Lenovo Z70 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop

Key Specs of the Lenovo Z70 17.3-Inch 80FG00DBUS Gaming Laptop:

  • CPU: 4th Generation Intel Core i7-5500U 2.4 GHz
  • RAM: 8GB DD3L SDRAM (1600MHz bus speed)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 840M 2GB Graphics RAM (Dedicated Graphics Card)
  • Display: 17.3″ Full HD Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 6.6 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (5400 RPM) Hybrid HDD with 8GB of flash/cache memory

The massively-sized Lenovo Z70 80FG00DBUS gaming laptop looks nice, sleek and is sturdily built. The edges are kinda sharp, but nothing that’ll really cut through your hands. The HD screen display is quite good, as is the sound output thanks to the JBL-designed speakers that pump out Dolby Stereo audio. It’s rather heavy at 6.6 pounds, but considering the screen size, that argument becomes void.

Specs-wise, this sub-$700 gaming laptop most notably features a Hybrid HDD with 8GB of SSD/flash memory. That’s certainly not a true SSD and you don’t get to decide what processes & applications get to leverage the flash/cache memory, but it’s a tad bit better than the standard SATA HDD.

A big complaint we have is the touchpad being skewed towards the left, which is probably because of the dedicated number pad at the right side of the keyboard. Some users have also complained about Lenovo installing bloatware and even possibly adware. Let’s just admit… it’s annoying and a pain in the wrong place, but such is the nature of things these days. You can uninstall unrequired programs though – that’s the best fix as of now.

Overall, the Lenovo Z70 80FG00DBUS is, in reality, one of the best gaming laptops for under $700 today.

Pros:

  • Great looking, slim design laptop
  • Quite powerful for the price segment
  • Hybrid HDD + SSD/flash memory

Cons:

  • Lenovo bloatware and adware
  • Weak battery life, so you better stay plugged

Toshiba Satellite S55-C5138 15.6 Inch Gaming Laptop

Key Specs of the Toshiba Satellite S55-C5138 15.6 Inch Gaming Laptop:

  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7-6500U 2.5 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.1 GHz) processor
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3L RAM (1600MHz bus speed)
  • Graphics Processor: Mobile Intel HD graphics with shared graphics memory
  • Display: 15.6″ Widescreen TruBrite LCD Display with 1920x1080p resolution
  • Weight: 4.8 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (5400 RPM) SATA HDD

Looks wise, the Toshiba Satellite S55-C5138 looks posh despite the shiny looking Silver casing. It’s also a light weight laptop plus the battery life is fairly decent (ranging from 5 hours to 6+ hours, depending on settings & usage), both features that make it a portable laptop.

For a gaming laptop priced under $700, this one actually offers good value for money especially considering that it features the latest Intel Skylake processor. Where that power gets negated slightly is in the fact that there’s no dedicated graphics card.

But, to be honest, it doesn’t look like Toshiba meant to project this one as a gaming laptop. It’s meant to be a daily use machine, and scores well on being an entertainment friendly device with sharp display and good audio output. However, given the fairly decent specs, you should be able to play mid-to-high end games (although mostly in low settings).

The real downside is with the fact that the fans on this laptop are quite noisy, especially during gaming, watching HD movies, and while editing large images. This may not be a big deal to some people, but it can get annoying pretty soon.

Pros:

  • Intel’s latest 6th Generation Skylake Core-i7 processor
  • Backlit keyboard

Cons:

  • No dedicated graphics card

Acer Aspire V3-572G-54S6 Gaming Laptop

Key Specs of the Acer Aspire V3-572G-54S6 Gaming Laptop:

  • CPU: 4th Generation Intel Core i5-4210U 1.7 GHz (Turbo boost up to 2.7 GHz) dual-core processor
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3L RAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 840M 2GB Graphics RAM (dedicated graphics card)
  • Display: 15.6″ WLED Backlit Display with Acer CineCrystal technology (1366x768p resolution)
  • Weight: 7 Pounds
  • Storage: 1TB (5400 RPM) HDD

This Acer Aspire gaming laptop looks simple and neat, but the design is unlikely of a gaming laptop. In fact, the design makes it look like it’s from 2008. The touchpad doesn’t have any buttons, so you’re left with only tapping to click; and it’s also skewed towards the left. However, the build quality is rather good.

Specs-wise, it’s not the best gaming laptop that $700 can buy, which is why we were not sure whether or not to include it in this list. But then, you throw just about any game at it, and they all play up fairly well. Of course, you’ll need to switch the resolution settings from low to medium to high depending on the games you want to play. And it doesn’t heat up as much.

A major problem that a lot of consumers have faced with this laptop is that exactly post the warranty, it starts propping up issues. In all likelihood, it’s just something that Acer needs to worry about and improve their quality control as these things don’t happen to every Acer laptop of every unit of this model. So, if you’ve used or played with an Acer laptop before and have liked it, then you may consider this one.

Pros:

  • Plays just about any game at different resolution settings

Cons:

  • Quite heavy
  • 4th Generation processor

To us, it looks like it’s easy to spot the best gaming laptop for under $700 – we’re going with the MSI Computer C CX61 Gaming Laptop. It’s got just about the perfect balance of aesthetics, functionality, power/specs, and value for money. At this price range, that’s what you’re anyway looking for.

MSI Computer C CX61 Gaming Laptop

https://www.amazon.com/MSI-CX61-2QC-1654US-9S7-16GD51-1654-15-6-Inch/dp/B00VRKV7I6/ref=sr_1_7?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1470938682&sr=1-7&keywords=laptops&refinements=p_n_intended_use_browse-bin%3A9647497011%2Cp_72%3A1248879011%2Cp_36%3A2421888011

Lenovo Z70 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop

https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-17-3-Inch-Laptop-Windows-80FG00DBUS/dp/B012B6YQF0/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1470938682&sr=1-1&keywords=laptops&refinements=p_n_intended_use_browse-bin%3A9647497011%2Cp_72%3A1248879011%2Cp_36%3A2421888011

Toshiba Satellite S55-C5138 15.6 Inch Gaming Laptop

https://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Satellite-S55-C5138-1920×1080-Laptop/dp/B019H50Z8A/ref=sr_1_3?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1470938682&sr=1-3&keywords=laptops&refinements=p_n_intended_use_browse-bin%3A9647497011%2Cp_72%3A1248879011%2Cp_36%3A2421888011

Acer Aspire V3-572G-54S6 Gaming Laptop

https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-V3-572G-54S6-Gaming-Laptop/dp/B00MM2WA8O/ref=sr_1_10?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1470938682&sr=1-10&keywords=laptops&refinements=p_n_intended_use_browse-bin%3A9647497011%2Cp_72%3A1248879011%2Cp_36%3A2421888011

Our best gaming laptops for under $600: Top Picks

Acer Aspire V5-552P-X404 15.6-Inch Touchscreen LaptopAcer Aspire V5-552P-X404 Gaming Laptop

The Acer Aspire V5 model comes in a number of variations, although the V5-552P-X404 in particular is a great buy for those on a budget. The laptop has a sleek “cool steel” plastic finish and is one of the newer styles of laptops that offer touchscreen (which let’s face it, is the only thing Windows 8.1 was designed for). Design is minimalist and very functional although we were not a fan of the touchpad this can be mitigated with a wireless mouse.

The laptop is quick to start up and load programs, and doesn’t show lag during typical usage (even with multiple browser windows open) which makes it a good choice for business use. It easily managed a few of the games (including online games like Elder Scrolls) we tried on it, although we had to get creative with the settings (low) for the more demanding games to run smoothly. Overall, it’s a pretty good choice for those looking for a well-rounded laptop on a shoestring.

  • Screen: 15.6” at 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz A10-5757M
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 8650G
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Connectivity: 802.11bgn WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 2 x USB 2.0 & 1 x USB 3.0
  • Battery Life: 4.5 hours
  • Dimensions: 15” x 10.1” x 0.9”
  • Weight: 4.85lbs (2.2kg)

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Asus X550CA-SI50304V 15.6″ Laptop

The Asus X550CA-SI50304V has been around for almost a year, but is still one ofAsus X550CA-SI50304V Gaming Laptop the best choices for gamers looking for a cheap laptop. One thing we noticed right out of the box is that it runs much quieter than other laptops, and has a streamlined design that may prevent dirt build up. It comes with Windows 8 as standard although offers 8.1 as a free upgrade. Once we installed 8.1 and tested it with a few different types of software, we discovered that it seems quick enough and doesn’t have too much trouble managing multiple windows although could do with a little more RAM (possible to add an additional 2GB).

It is worth noting that for people who use a lot of resource hogging programs that the settings can be tweaked so it runs faster, but we didn’t run into any issues on default. It worked well enough with a couple of games we tested (Total War and WOW) although the settings need to be on the low side. We were especially impressed with the sound quality thanks to the Sonic Master sound system alongside Asus AudioWizard.

  • Screen: 15.6” at 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8 (upgradable to 8.1)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-3337U – 1.8GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 500GB
  • Connectivity: 802.11n WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 1 x USB 3.0 & 1 x USB 2.0
  • Optical Drive: DVDRW
  • Battery Life: 4 hours
  • Dimensions: 9.9” x 15” x 1.25”
  • Weight: 5.1lbs (2.3kg)

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Lenovo G50 15.6-Inch Laptop (80E501B2US)

Lenovo G50 15.6-Inch Laptop

The Lenovo G50 series of laptops come in a range of models, although for the purpose of this test, we chose the newer 80E501B2US version. It doesn’t come across as a particularly striking laptop, although has some great features for the amount it costs and is definitely a top sell.

After getting set up, there were no problems at all with the standard business programs (we even tested Cyberlink PowerDirector), in addition to running multiple tasks. We tried a few games with this machine to really see what it was capable of and it performed quite well, although still needed the settings to be knocked back a little to take full advantage of the dual core processor. This was one of our favorites and one we happily recommend.

  • Screen: 15.6” at 1366 x 768 pixels (with LED backlight)
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-5500U 2.4 GHz
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Connectivity: 802.11 A/C WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 2 x USB 2.0 & 1 x USB 3.0
  • Optical Drive: DVDRW
  • Battery Life: 5 hours
  • Dimensions: 15.12″ x 10.43″ x 0.98″
  • Weight: 4.62lbs (2.1kg)

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HP Envy 15-j075nr 15.6-Inch Notebook

HP Envy 15-j075nr 15.6 Laptop

We chose this laptop particularly for its processor, which is a popular choice for gamers looking for a budget gaming machine. Out of the box is has a minimalist, slick appearance although is clearly designed for functionality over aesthetics. We had to upgrade to Windows 8.1, which can be annoying, but with a quick Internet connection it isn’t a problem. Once we were operational though, we did the usual tests and found that we weren’t found wanting for standard business use.

In terms of gaming, we tested several games and found that it managed to hold its own although still required lower settings. It had particular difficulty with a flight simulator (ILF2) although to be fair, even the most expensive gaming laptops have trouble with it – which could be down to poor programming rather than the machine. Owners of this laptop have been able to add an additional 8gb of ram that has assisted with gaming exponentially. This is definitely an affordable laptop not to pass over.

  • Screen: 15.6” at 1366 x 768 pixels (with LED backlight)
  • Operating System: Windows 8 (upgradable)
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz AMD Quad-Core A10-5750M
  • Graphics: Radeon HD 8650G
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 750GB
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 3 x USB 3.0
  • Battery Life: 6.5 hours
  • Dimensions: 9.87″ x 14.94″ x 1.10″
  • Weight: 4.7lbs (2.1kg)

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Acer Aspire V3-572P-540V 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop

Acer Aspire V3-572P-540V Laptop

At this price range Acer do make a number of great laptops for both work and pleasure. Alongside the V5, the V3-572P-540V model has touchscreen capability that makes it easier to use certain apps and programs on Windows 8.1. Out of the box, it’s easy to see that this laptop is a little heavier than others we have tested, but this comes across as durable rather than impractical.

The laptop performed all our basic tests well and would be a great tool for school and business use. It also worked well with the games we tested (Transister, Skyrim and WoW) on modest settings, although we did have to remove or disable some of the software that came with the machine to make it perform, as it should. All in all, this is another worthy mention that won’t disappoint.

  • Screen: 15.6” at 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4210U 1.7 GHz
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4400
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 2 x USB 2.0 & 1 x USB 3.0
  • Battery Life: 7 hours
  • Dimensions: 15.02″ x 10.08″ x 1.24″
  • Weight: 6.1lbs (2.7kg)

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All in all, if you’re looking for the best gaming laptops under $600, you could do a lot worse than choosing the options above. We were pleased with our tests and in particular liked the Lenovo G50 and Acer’s, although all are fair game. Keep in mind that not as many laptops come with optical drives these days; so if that’s a factor then make sure to watch out for it when ordering.

Our Best Gaming Laptops under $500: Top Picks

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Our Best Gaming Laptops under $400: Top Picks

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Our Best Gaming Laptops under $300: Top Picks

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Gaming Laptop Buyer’s Guide 2017

When it comes to buying a gaming laptop, you obviously want to research a little deeper than you would while looking for an everyday casual use laptop. And that’s because they have to be powerful and equipped to do best what you’re buying them for – intense hardcore gaming for long periods of time and having fun while you’re at it.

Titles such as The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine, Fallout 4: Far Harbor, and Doom are leading the pack, and deservingly so. The graphics in each of these games is top of the line and the gameplay so incredibly engaging, your heart leaves you no choice but to aspire for the best experience. However, most of us are on a budget, and each of us has a different price range we’re willing to pay/afford for that experience.

That’s why it becomes imperative to not only look for a good brand, but also know what features/specs to look for, and understand them properly… all while finding them in a price range that works best for you.

So, let’s get right down to the important details, and understand more about the core components that are crucial when you’re considering buying a gaming laptop.

Graphics Card (GPU)

GraphicsA graphics card is the most important consideration you need to mull over when considering a gaming laptop. Two of the largest brands offering graphics cards are NVIDIA and AMD, each offering a wide range – from low-end to really high-end.

As logic would have it, the higher you’re willing to spend on a graphics card, the better the performance that you’ll get out of it. Even paying a small amount extra could make a massive difference in the gameplay, so it’s best not to be too tight with your budget, but don’t spend beyond a certain extra either

Given that the amount of visual detail & information processed by GPUs, you’d do well with a dedicated graphics card instead of an integrated graphics card (which borrows from the RAM of your system). Without a dedicated graphics card, you may as well kiss your laptop gaming dream goodbye!

For today’s gaming laptops, some of the popular graphics cards from NVIDIA GeForce are GTX 960M, GTX 980M and GTX 1080 SLI. From the AMD Radeon stable, the most regarded graphics cards are RX 490M, R9 M290X Crossfire and R9 M395X. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI is considered top of the line, but it’s quite pricey too. Most of the other cards mentioned above are quite decent too but it’s also important to note that very few laptops ship out with AMD graphics cards.

You also need to consider the amount of VRAM these graphics cards have. 2GB of VRAM (or G-RAM) is good enough to start with, but strive to go for higher memory if you have a higher budget. Depending on what graphics card your gaming laptop has, you may or may not be able to play games in ultra-high display resolution. 1080p (1920 x 1080) is HD resolution, and will support most of your gaming needs, sometimes at low-to-mid settings.

Memory (RAM)

RAMThe RAM of your gaming laptop is almost just as important as the graphics card memory as the RAM stores the real-time memory – game files, settings, etc. 8GB DDR3 RAM or DDR4 RAM should suffice, especially if you’re buying a gaming laptop having a fairly capable dedicated graphics card; but 16GB of RAM can be a definite plus.

DDR4 RAM is the next generation (a step-up from DDR3) of RAM, and it’s usually considered to be ultra-fast. But, again, with a good graphics card, this won’t make a big difference. So, DDR3 RAM is very good too.

Another important consideration while buying a gaming laptop you need to keep in mind is that you can always upgrade or increase your RAM later. Laptop manufacturers will often try to sell you a custom upgrade offering you higher RAM, but they also tend to charge a premium price for it. So, you may skip the upgrade while buying the laptop and upgrade the RAM later on, if required.

Processor (CPU)

CPUThe CPU is the brain of your gaming laptop, which provides the much-needed horsepower to play high-end games like Assassins Creed 4, Battlefield 4, etc or to do literally anything with your laptop. Also, if you’re into P2P (peer to peer) gaming or multi-player gaming, a powerful CPU is integral to ensuring a smooth gaming experience – keeping a track of dozens of the players playing simultaneously in the gaming environment without causing a performance lag.

The two market leaders for CPUs are Intel and AMD. However, Intel is way ahead of the race, especially since the launch of the company’s latest 6th Generation Skylake series of processors that pack a mean punch over anything else out there.

Ideally, while buying a powerful gaming laptop, you want to go for an Intel Core i7 quad-core (6th Generation) CPU with a clock speed of at least 2.4GHz. However, if you’re on a budget and are alright with playing games in medium settings, you can consider a gaming laptop with an Intel Core i5 dual-core CPU as well. Whether you select a system with i7 or i5, a quad-core CPU is what you should be going after. To identify a quad core, just notice HQ or HK in the suffix of the CPU name in the specs. Core i3 is an absolute no-no for a gaming laptop.

So while the higher the numbers for the CPU the better its performance [such as i7 > i5 and 3.1GHz > 2.6GHz], it’s usually smart to spend more on the graphics card and RAM than on the CPU/Processor as the former two will do most of the heavy lifting while playing games.

Storage / Hard Drive

HardriveMost gaming laptops now-a-days start out by offering a sufficient 500GB storage capacity, but you’ll also find some that offer a whopping 1TB (1024GB) of storage space. You don’t really need so much space unless you record your gameplay to watch later, but how often does anyone really do that?

Instead, consider a gaming laptop offering a 500GB SATA HDD (Hard Disk Drive) [which is the standard offering] along with an additional 8GB or 16GB SSD (Solid State Drive). SSDs deliver a far superior performance (up to 3x) than their SATA counterparts – faster boot times and quicker game load speeds, for instance.

Don’t even think about a 500GB SSD though, unless you’re considering selling one of your kidneys.

A gaming laptop with an 8GB SSD is quite good but nothing beats 16GB. There are some laptops that may offer 256GB SSD and no SATA HDD, but those are fairly expensive too, which you can consider if you have the budget.

Fortunately, though, most laptops are designed in such a way that you can switch storage drives fairly easily. So you can always upgrade from an HDD to an SSD in the future. For the time being, you can choose a gaming laptop with 1TB storage space @ 7,200rpm disk rotation speed. That way, you’re not only assured of good performance, you also get to store 20-30 games, given that most new-age high-end games eat up about 20GB each.

An alternate way to solve this dilemma is to buy a laptop that offers both an HDD as well as an SSD [Hybrid] – You can store the games on your HDD, but the games will load up [quicker] using the power of the SSD.

Battery Life

If gaming while on the move is how you pass your time, then you have no choice but to pay attention to the battery life while selecting your gaming laptop. In fact, even if you play games on the couch (and far away from a power outlet) at home, you’ll need something having a higher endurance. Ideally, you want to have a battery having 8+ hours of endurance, but even 6 hours may suffice.

Smaller screens usually are more battery-efficient than their larger display counterparts. Also, you may consider playing your games in low or medium settings so as to put much less pressure on your system (which requires battery/power to perform) while on the move.

However, don’t forget that the world is still far from having the desired battery life, just like the case with our smartphones is. Oh the menacing horror! To circumvent this problem, you may want to carry an external power bank to charge the battery when required OR buy a laptop with an upgraded (but costlier) extended battery that protrudes out at the back of the laptop and adds to its weight too.

Display / Screen

MonitorAs far as displays are concerned, the more pixels one sports, the clearer/sharper the pictures are going to be. A gaming laptop will typically start out at 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels), which is HD resolution. And that’s usually more than sufficient in most cases as it’s a good balance between good imagery and cost effectiveness. Most laptops ship out with IPS display panels, which are good with wider viewing angles while ensuring good color reproduction.

Higher resolution displays such as 3K display and 4K display that are catching on in popularity are definitely much better options (exponentially better, to be honest) but they’re both very expensive and require much more power from your graphics processor. For example, a 4K display requires the GPU on your gaming laptop to work 4 times harder since 4K is ‘4 x 1080p’ resolution.

It’s truly a matter of personal preference, but we strongly recommend sticking with a 1080p resolution display screen since it’s simply the most practical option out for there at least as far as gaming laptops are considered.

You may also be in dilemma over choosing between a glossy screen and a matte screen. While a glossy screen will display the colours and contrast more vibrantly, the display surface will suffer from the ever-annoying glare.. a lot. On the other hand, the matte display may suffer a bit on the vividness aspect, at least you’ll be spared from the reflective glare. Again, this is a matter of your personal preference. Most laptops, however, claim to have anti-glare displays.

A lot of gaming laptops now provide display panels having support for NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology that helps deliver an overall smoother experience. So, watch out for that one while reviewing the hardware & display specifications of your next purchase. Please note that G-Sync is useful with displays of up to 1080p resolution only (not higher) and in laptops having an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card.

Coming to the Touchscreen, it’s usually best to avoid one since it’s going to end up eating more battery power from your laptop and leave nasty finger smudges over time; unless you intend to use your laptop as a 2-in-1 (tablet cum laptop) or you play Candy Crush a lot. J

We finally come to the size of the display screen. Simply put, bigger display sizes are heavier, bulkier (so less portable), and require comparatively more battery power to perform the same tasks. But a bigger display (17-inches or above) is a gamer’s delight. While on the opposite end, laptops sporting a 13 or 14-inch screen will be the most portable and light weighing option, they’ll usually not be powerful enough to be considered as a respectable gaming laptop (with very few exceptions such as some Alienware 13 laptops).

The 15-inch display provides the best balance in terms of satisfactory screen real estate and portability. You truly can’t go wrong with that one.

Let’s quickly also go over a few more considerations you’d want to make while deciding on your next gaming laptop.

  1. Check out the keyboard thoroughly to make sure that you feel comfortable about them. The last thing you want is a fairly expensive device that’s rendered unusable because you just can’t seem to want to be the Mozart (sorry for the silly Pianist reference) of your gaming laptop. A backlit keyboard is a good plus too.
  2. If Candy Crush and/or World of Warcraft are the kind of games you want to play, you either want to skip buying a gaming laptop or consider buying a low to mid-end one. You really don’t need to spend the big bucks unnecessarily. It’s only wise to be money smart!
  3. Find a laptop that looks good. It doesn’t need to look like a space ship or some sort of high-tech multi-dimensional security briefcase. A simple yet elegant looking, neatly-designed and well-built laptop is the best thing to buy. Shell out any extra bucks on more power that’ll help you with an awesome gaming experience instead.
  4. You may want to buy a gaming laptop even if it doesn’t have a DVD drive or a Blu-ray disk drive. Most gaming laptops either don’t have them or don’t emphasize on this feature since almost every game out there is sold/available as a downloadable from the internet. You can always buy an external DVD drive or Blu-ray disk drive later on.
  5. Choose a laptop that offers good after-sales support just in case you face any issues. The brand really doesn’t matter, but some brands simply tend to offer better support than the others. Usually, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer and Dell (including Alienware) offer varying but overall decent levels of support.

With the most important part covered above, we hope that you’ve gained a fair amount of understanding regarding your purchase decision of a gaming laptop. Let’s now check out a few laptops that passed most of our tests. To accommodate your needs while showing you affordable, value-for-money options, we’ve categorized them according to price ranges. Let’s check them out.

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