The Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Under $1000 (Q4 2016)

top 4 best cheap gaming laptops under 1000

Building your own desktop is the way to go if you want to fully maximize performance for your money, however gaming on the go is becoming more and more attractive by the year with advancements in mobile hardware technology. We’ve done the thorough market research for you and compiled what we believe to be the current best cheap gaming laptops under $1000 to help you in making a smart choice.

Not so long ago finding a decent gaming laptop for under 1K that could keep up in current, demanding PC titles was a real tough assignment, but these days picking between a decent range of capable gaming notebooks on the cheap is a real proposition. Let’s get straight into our top 4 best cheap gaming laptops under $1000, each carefully hand-picked as representing the best bang for your buck right now:

Read on for a full breakdown of each of these 4 laptops and why they made the cut. We’ll also cover the notable specs of each machine and hint at what sort of specific gaming performance you can expect.


The Best Cheap Gaming Laptop Under $600

top gaming laptop under 600

Any cheaper than this and you’ll find it mission impossible to find a laptop capable of any sort of gaming. But with a budget of around 600 hard-earned buckaroos, your best bet right now is the Acer Aspire E 15 15.6″ Full HD Gaming Laptop which includes a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card (with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM), an Intel Core i5 processor, and a solid 8GB of the latest DDR4 RAM.

If those specs don’t mean much to you then all you need to know is that this is hands down one of the best cheap gaming laptops on the market right now in terms of bang for your buck.

Just a word of warning though – don’t expect anything over the top for the price. It’ll run older games very nicely, however when playing modern, graphically demanding titles you’ll have to play on low settings to have a smooth ride. And if it’s a real powerhouse of a game then even on low settings you can’t expect much of an experience.

Also, the Acer Aspire E 15 comes with a handy 256GB solid state drive for super-fast booting and loading. However, if you need more storage than this you’ll have to fork out for an additional external hard drive.

  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD Widescreen LED (1920 x 1080 resolution)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB DDR5 VRAM)
  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6200U Processor (Up to 2.8GHz)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • HDD: No
  • SSD: 256GB
  • OS: Windows 10 Home

Final Verdict

If you don’t mind playing modern games on low settings, or if you’ll primarily be playing older games, this is a great deal. Just know what you’re getting yourself into; don’t expect a high-end system.


The Best Cheap Gaming Laptop Under $800

top gaming laptop under 800

Moving on to the next machine in our top 4 best cheap gaming laptops for your money and we have the Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK. For roughly a couple hundred dollars more than the above Acer model you get quite a significant boost in gaming performance.

The stand-out component in this great value Dell gaming laptop is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX960M which is good enough to handle modern PC titles fairly well, and to be honest is the minimum mobile GPU I would personally get if you wish to play the latest games with your new laptop.

With the GTX 960M you can’t expect flawless performance on high settings, however on medium settings in demanding games you’ll get a nice experience, and it’ll dominate any older games. The 960M is also nicely future-proofed with a generous 4GB of VRAM.

It’s hard to recommend the above Acer over this one, as the clear gaming performance difference between the two machines is totally worth the couple extra hundred bucks in our opinion. Only go for the Acer if your budget is really tight and you just can’t afford this one (or you only play older games).

As well as the GTX 960M graphics card, the Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK has a very decent Intel Core i5-6300HQ Quad Core processor and 8GB of RAM (DDR3). It also comes with a 256GB SSD for super-fast storage and booting.

  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080 resolution) Anti-Glare LED
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6300HQ Quad Core (6M Cache, up to 3.2 GHz)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3
  • HDD: No
  • SSD: 256GB
  • OS: Windows 10 Home

Final Verdict

If you can find this model under 800 bucks the Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK is hands-down one of the best bang for your buck gaming laptops right now.


The Best Cheap Gaming Laptop Under $900

best gaming laptop 900

For an extra hundred or so we have the ASUS K501UW-AB78 which is similar in specs to the Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK but with a couple improvements. First of all, instead of an i5 processor you have a very powerful latest-generation (Skylake) Intel Core i7-6500U which not only helps with gaming performance but general system performance too.

The same 960M graphics card remains, which for under $1000 is the best mobile GPU you can get your hands on anyway. There’s a large 512GB SSD, 8GB of the latest DDR4 RAM (you can always upgrade to 16 though).

Gamers will also be happy to know it’s got decent cooling for being such a cheap-ish gaming laptop, thanks to what ASUS calls “Icecool” technology, which is just a fancy name for a well thought-out internal structure that helps keep the machine cool during intense gaming sessions.

  • Display: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080 resolution) Matte LED
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB
  • CPU: 6th-generation Intel Core i7-6500U 2.5GHz (Turbo up to 3.1GHz)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • HDD: No
  • SSD: 512GB
  • OS: Windows 10 Home

Final Verdict

Can’t go wrong for the price if you’re on the hunt for a great all-around mid range gaming laptop that’ll play the latest games quite well. ASUS laptops are (in our opinion) some of the best value for money going around and this model is no exception.


The Best Cheap Gaming Laptop Under $1000

best gaming laptop under 1000

Now to the single best laptop for gaming under 1000 which is arguably the ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS71.  Just a heads up – depending on current stock levels it sometimes dips ever so slightly over $1000, but even then it’s worth considering.

When it is under our 1000 cut-off though, it’s a no-brainer if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck and overall reliable gaming laptop for your hard-earned money.

The star of the show is of course the excellent NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 3GB video card which will give many gaming desktops a run for their money. Expect to play the latest games very nicely for a while to come.

It comes with a large 17 inch screen for an immersive gaming experience, good cooling capabilities, a large 1TB hard drive (no SSD but you can always add one), super-fast 6th generation i7 processor, and a large 16GB of 2133 MHz DDR4 memory. Oh yeah, and battery life is widely reported as great compared to other laptops in its class.

Besides quality insides, the design of the ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS71 does not disappoint either including a cool red LED backlit keyboard.

  • Display: 17.3″ Full HD (1920 x 1080 resolution) LED ( wide 160° viewing angle)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 3GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 6700HQ
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • HDD: 1TB (7200 RPM speed)
  • SSD: No
  • OS: Windows 10 Home

Final Verdict

The single best gaming laptop under (or around) $1000 right now made from a reliable manufacturer. Highly recommend for great gaming on the go for years to come.


Wrapping Up

So there we have it, the current top 4 best cheap gaming laptops for your money after thoroughly the current market. Hopefully this helps you make a wise purchase that’ll have you gaming on the go in style for years to come.

Let us know in the comments below what you think, or if you need an extra helping hand with picking the best gaming laptop under $1000. Good luck.

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