Best Cheap Gaming Laptops under $1000 for 2019

We are not telling you to replace your desktop gaming rigs with any of these gaming laptops. These are models that play your games on the go. Even with the latest gaming technologies like Nvidia Turing Max-Q graphics, gaming for under $1000 means checking only the important, never leave out features over elite, beastly specs.

We are talking discrete graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD alongside Intel i7 and i5 processors. Not to mention, VR-ready FHD displays on 15.6-inch screen sizes. We’ve not gone below these specs and neither should you.

After extensive research, pitting together top-rated gaming laptops under $1000, a high-performance graphics card, high 144Hz refresh rate, 16GB of RAM, and an i7 processor were the specs to beat for the top pick. In this case, Acer Predator Helios 300. It is a beastly machine for the price.

For a lower price, Dell G5587-5859BLK-PUS G5 gaming laptop is your go-to model. Though with 8GB of RAM, it is upgradeable to 32GB. It is also designed to achieve smooth gameplay with a GTX 1060 graphics card.

Top Pick - Acer Predator Helios 300

With GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and an i7-8750H processor, this model is made for speed and entry into the virtual reality world. It renders images with incredible accuracy preventing streaks even without investing in Max-Q technologies.

Acer Predator Helios 300

1. Acer Predator Helios 300: Best VR Ready Gaming Laptop Under $1000

Acer Predator Helios 300 comes at a super affordable price tag considering the features it brings to the table. At only 5.9 pounds, this laptop is ready to go anywhere. It immerses you in the gaming world with full HD LED-backlit IPS screen.

Its widescreen design means you don’t need to connect it to a monitor. It drives graphics from the latest modern titles thanks to 144Hz refresh rate. It sets the ground for which other laptops in the same price range should meet.

With GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and an i7-8750H processor, this model is made for speed and entry into the virtual reality world. It renders images with incredible accuracy preventing streaks even without investing in Max-Q technologies.

What we like most is that though, at a budgetary price, Acer Predator Helios 300 manages to have a premium look. It has a mix of metal and plastic around the bezels and chassis to showcase a nice well-thought out product.

Its cooling performance never goes unnoticed as it explores Aeroblade 3D fans to drive all that gaming heat away. Now you get to game cooler and longer for up to seven hours without recharging.

Flaws but not Dealbreakers

This model only comes with 256GB SSD storage only. You have to complement it with HDD for a balance of boot speeds and storage for your games.

         Pros

  • 16GB RAM offers fast game load up times
  • Ultra-smooth gaming with 144Hz refresh rates
  • It has the PredatorSense gaming control panel
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    Explores sRGB color gamut
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    It has a cool boost feature

Cons

  • Its USB type c does not support Thunderbolt

2. Dell G5587-5859BLK-PUS G5: Best Gaming Laptop with Max-Q

As a successor of the Dell Inspiron 15 7000, Dell G5 continues to offer remarkable features in an entry-level gaming laptop. With the help of Max-Q technology, it manages to be super slim at only 25mm without compromising on its gaming performance.

At the heart of this laptop is an 8th gen Intel Core i5-8300H that can turbo speeds up to 3.9GHz. It allows for overclocking while playing demanding titles. You won’t miss out on the latest entries. It also has a GeForce GTX 1060 of 6GB GDDR5 graphics which makes all the difference in a budget model.

We chose the full HD configuration with an anti-glare screen though you can get a 4K model for more. Since it is designed for portability, this model brings in its amazing sound experience with a combination of MaxxAudio and SmartByte. You just need to load up with the best gaming headphones and engage your rivals like a hardcore gamer.

What’s more, Del G5 will load data and run applications with decent speeds. It has 4GB of GDDR4 RAM, but you can expand that to 32GB for even better performance. You also get a host of ports from thunderbolt USB to gigabit ethernet to connect to enjoy superfast Wi-Fi speeds for online gaming.

Flaws but not Dealbreakers

Dell G5 is a fingerprint magnet, and it has thick screen bezels. We hoped we’d see improvements from the Dell Inspiron 15 7000, but it seems you still have to keep a microfiber cloth around if fingerprints irritate you.

           Pros

  • It has a metallic keyboard with 1.4mm key travel
  • Rigid chassis improves durability
  • It has a fingerprint scanner 
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    It has a Thunderbolt 3 port
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    It has front-firing Waves MaxxAudio speakers

        Cons

  • It runs loud and hot without a cooling pad

3. HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr: Best Gaming Laptop with Long Battery Life

Another gaming laptop at the center of entertainment is the HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr. Offering up to nine hours of battery life at a reasonable price. With Intel’s 8th gen i7-8750H processor, GeForce GTX 1050Ti, this model will not edge out competitors, but you won’t need to be upgrading anything any time soon in terms of RAM and storage.

This laptop offers 16GB of GDDR4 RAM together with 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD. It is at the center of balancing features as it gives you six cores for speedier processes which in turn stretches the battery life. You will fall for its bold design with a green backlit keyboard and a micro-edge display.

Although the chassis is plastic, all around the keyboard we have a metallic panel. It serves to enhance the stability and cooling of the machine. And except for the palm rest, the chassis does not attract fingerprints.

HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr boasts a 15.6-inch screen which combined with the discrete graphics and anti-glare technology; it is an epitome of stunning imagery. You can even buy a Windows Mixed Reality headset to enjoy virtual reality on an entry-level. 

Bang & Olufsen powers the audio capabilities of this laptop. It is impressive on its own, especially if you use it outdoors with a pair of headsets. We also found the trackpad useable for office work, which gives it a nice mix of gaming and office productivity.

Flaws but not Dealbreakers

If you look forward to using a different operating system other than Windows 10, sorry because HP Pavilion 15-cx0042nr is locked for that purpose. It might seem like a deal breaker but considering that most games are configured for Windows 10, it should not be a problem for most people.

         Pros

  • Powerful processor and graphics card
  • Bright, backlit screen
  • Long battery life up to nine hours
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    Thin edges for stunning display
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    Solid configuration of ports

      Cons

  • It is slightly heavy for its specs
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    RAM is not upgrade-able

4. Eluktronics N857EK1 Pro-X: Best for Gaming and Photo Editing

Eluktronics is a Taiwanese laptop brand that aims at offering gaming features for the price that other brands cannot meet. In the Eluktronics N857EK1 Pro-X, every spec has been picked instinctively to provide an immersive gaming experience.

First up is a powerful 8th gen intel core i7-8750H processor. Complemented by 16GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, it reaches excellent bootup speeds, data processing, and in-game loading. Your laptop will wake up faster, no need to wait more than a few seconds before continuing a game.

Whether you are a fan of Call of Duty or can’t wait to complete Grand Theft Auto V, you should be able to have the same experience as if on a high-end gaming rig. And on that note, its full HD resolution also supports extensive video streaming and photo editing.

Eluktronics N857EK1 Pro-X has also invested in a durable aluminum exterior and RGB-lit keyboard. You will like how nice it looks when you integrate the keyboard colors alongside gaming lighting on other accessories.

With two cooling fans, this laptop manages to stay cool though you still need a cooling pad for demanding games.

Flaws but not Dealbreakers

For most games, Eluktronics N857EK1 Pro-X gets very loud because of the fans. We didn’t know it was adjustable until we tried tuning down the power settings from 100% to 90%. Surprisingly, it does not affect game play, but it’s not a straightforward feature to think about for most people.

Pros

  • RGB backlit keyboard
  • Allows photo editing
  • It has superfast boot-up speeds
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    Comes with an HDD bay
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    It has a fingerprint scanner and Kensington lock

      Cons

  • The logo color does not change when keyboard color changes

5. ASUS TUF FX504GE-ES72: Best for Online Gaming

ASUS is a traditional PC maker, and we have come to expect only the best from this brand. Looking at the ASUS TUF FX504GE-ES72 gaming laptop, nothing could be farther from the truth. From the design to the memory, it is a model that does not beat corners.

The laptop brings you 1080p gaming for all your favorite AAA games. Its hardware specifications include a powerful Intel Core i7-8750H and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU. Together, these components drive full HD graphics while supporting work, school, streaming, and multitasking.

It benefits from Nvidia’s high bandwidth memory and ultra-fast FinFET which is expected of all GPUs of the 10-series. You can expect smooth gaming since it does not suffer backlight edge bleeding on its 60Hz IPS panel.

It can be overclocked to an impressive 3.9GHz speeds and thanks to its dual fans and anti-dust technology; it won’t require any extensive cooling. It explores HyperCool technology which includes a customizable CoolBoost function and an exclusive self-cleaning system. It eliminates through tunnels that help the fan run as new for the life of the laptop.

On this model, thermal efficiency is up to 27% when compared to gaming laptops in its class. We particularly like that it is optimized for gaming. Its RGB-lit keyboard comes with durable keys with a 20million click span. Not to mention, they offer 1.8mm key travel making them responsive for superfast entry of commands.

You get all the standard ports plus outstanding wireless connectivity with the help of MU-MIMO technology. It can prioritize online performance to enhance online gaming which is why it is a top recommendation for competitive gaming.

Flaws but not Dealbreakers

This laptop does not come with a hard drive but a slot for it. Before downloading any games, you have to buy and install lest you won’t have room for games such as Doom 4 which can take up lots of space.

      Pros

  • Durable steel finish
  • Slim design enhances portability
  • Can handle games and multitasking activities
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    Supports latest wireless protocols
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    Explores extensive cooling technologies

    Cons

  • It may need a re-installation of Windows due to bloatware 
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    Lacks Thunderbolt and a type C USB port

6. OMEN by HP 15-dc0030nr: The Most Stylish Gaming Laptop

OMEN by HP 15-dc0030nr ticks a long list of excellent features on budget gaming laptops. It offers a solid display and a slim profile that looks much like an ultrabook instead of a beastly gaming laptop.

Apart from having an 8th gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor and a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, this laptop also boasts a micro-edge WLED display. HP indicates that you can upgrade most stuff on this model including opting for a 1070 graphics card with Max-Q.

With 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, it is apparent the type of gaming you can expect including VR performance. It competes with our top model in terms of VR, but this one comes with both SSD and HDD instead of requiring you to install HDD when you receive your machine.

Its keyboard is gaming oriented with anti-ghosting keys. It offers 26-key rollover, and you will also never wonder which are the WASD keys because they are outlined properly. Better still, it is zone backlit with RGB lighting. It makes it easy to assign specific keys a particular color for instant recognition.

OMEN by HP 15-dc0030nr flaunts its gaming side, but it is not limited to playing. Use it for all other stuff and experience speed, comfort, and satisfactory performance.

Flaws but not Dealbreakers

Like most new laptops, this one comes with lots of bloatware. It may never need reinstallation of Windows, but it can impede speeds. If you find that yours is slow when you first start to use it, bloatware is mostly the culprit.

      Pros

  • High-quality metallic keyboard
  • It has narrow bezels
  • Separate mic and headphone inputs
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    Wide-angle display
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    Graphics card is upgradeable

    Cons

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    Not great in photo editing

7. MSI GF63 8RD-066: Best Lightweight Gaming Laptop

Most gaming laptops weigh over five pounds. But MSI has managed to provide the same performance listed here with a model weighing only 4.1 pounds making it the lightest of the list. It is also 0.85 inches thin. It fits easily in any laptop bag, and won’t call attention to you.

MSI GF63 8RD-066 is powered by a 6-core i7-8750H processor and a GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU. Being thin and light and with such hardware redefines gaming laptops expectations. It is your go-to if you game in e-sports competitions as it will provide equal performance to that of heavier laptops.

Its IPS-level panel provides life-like imagery. No complaints about streaks and faded out blacks since as it achieves distinct accuracy in every game.

With plenty of memory, this laptop is set for fast in-game processing speeds. It does, however, not have SSD. This will affect extensive multitasking, so you better stick to a few tasks at a time. But it has an M.2 2.5-inch drive bay that you can use to expand storage.

You will like that MSI GF63 8RD-066 offers up to seven hours of battery life. It offers flexible portability since it won’t die on you an hour after settling in the park.

Overall, this laptop offers reliability, convenience, and value for money.

Flaws but not Dealbreakers

Don’t hold your breath for features like a fancy keyboard with RGB lighting. This laptop leaves out any bells and whistles that could impact its thin and light design.

      Pros

  • It aims at improved portability
  • IPS-level display with life-like imagery
  • Durable aluminum lid
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    Offers 3D surround sound

    Cons

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    It does not come with SSD

Buying a Gaming Laptop Under $1000: Features that Matter 

Perhaps the best thing about buying a gaming laptop is that you can take your favorite titles with you. But it can be a costly adventure if you are looking for bleeding edge technologies. Some specs like a plastic casing over an expensive aluminum casing can be compromised.

But you can’t go for older cores and integrated Intel graphics cards just because you want it on the cheap.

Graphics Card

This is a hot topic among gamers. As the heavy lifter for images and textures, you need to look for midrange Nvidia and AMD GPUs if you expect to play most modern titles. It’s not a must to have maxed out GPU settings, but high FPS matters.

As of 2019, Nvidia GTX 1050Ti is as low as you can go without affecting gameplay. For virtual reality (HTC Vive and Oculus drive), you’ll want to go with GTX 1060. It allows you to opt for lower resolutions like full HD instead of 4K. With GTX 1060, you are ready to game into the future.

RAM

For safe gaming as well as handling other computing tasks, 8GB is our threshold on memory. RAM is not expensive and is upgradeable. Even if you don’t get a 16GB RAM laptop, you can do so after recovering from the initial costs of buying the laptop.

CPU

The processor, as they say, is the brains of your laptop. To prevent it from bottlenecking the GPU, Intel’s i7 and i5with an H, HQ or HK suffix is what you are looking at. Remember you cannot upgrade the CPU so make this choice wisely.

Go for both SSD and HDD

Usually, it is in the configuration of 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD. It is a perfect set up for budget gaming as it facilitates fast boot up and room for your games. Always look for a model with HDD slots such that you can upgrade for more storage.

Size and Resolution

Any gaming laptop should offer at least 15 inches of screen size if you wish to immerse yourself in the world of gaming without connecting to a monitor. When it comes to resolution, we always advocate not to go for anything less than full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels).

Refresh Rates

Full HD laptops offer 60Hz refresh rates to run smooth graphics. If you come across 144Hz laptop on a budget, go for it. You never know which title may require running at faster refresh rates.

Conclusion

Even as gaming laptops continue to make notable strides, we recognize that some are making serious steps to meet every day gaming needs. As cooling has always been a challenge in gaming, ASUS TUF FX504GE-ES72 goes all in with HyperCool technology and a CoolBoost function to boost the cooling performance of this laptop.

At this price range, a Thunderbolt port is rare to find, but Dell G5587-5859BLK-PUS G5 has included it among its other connectivity ports.

Finally, when weight is an issue, MSI brings us their ultra-portable; MSI GF63 8RD-066 with thin bezels for mobility.

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