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Best gaming laptops under $1,000 in 2023
Best gaming laptops under $1,000 in 2023
Want to game but don’t have the money to buy premium gaming laptops under $1,000? Not to worry, there are tons of great options out there for the budget. Even budget gaming laptops nowadays can sport some pretty decent CPU and GPU performance. As is the case with any budget option, you can expect to make some compromises like dialing back those Ultra graphics settings to hit the 60fps sweet spot.
the important thing is that you make a Correct Settlement. We’ve put together a list of the best gaming laptops under $1,000 to help you with that search. (Note that laptop prices can fluctuate and at times one of our picks may cost over $1,000.) We’ll keep adding more budget gaming options as we find them. And if you’re lucky enough to find some extra pennies tucked under the couch cushions, we’ve added a pick for those who can stretch their budget a little further.
For more recommendations on gaming laptops, check out our roundup of the best gaming laptops at all prices. Plus, before you buy, take a look at our roundup of the best laptop deals, updated weekly—it just might help you save even more!
Acer Nitro 5 AN517 – Best Overall
- Strong CPU/GPU pairing for the price
- Large 1TB SSD with room to add a second drive
- decent battery life
- quiet operation
- Plastic chassis is bulky and heavy
- low light
- So-so keyboard and tiny touchpad
- awesome webcams
With its massive 1TB SSD storage, powerful performance, and impressive battery life, the Acer Nitro 5 has a lot to offer. Typically, gaming laptops have short battery life due to the power-sucking hardware inside. Nitro 5 no. The machine boasts of a massive 96 watt-hour battery that lasts up to eight hours on a single charge. That’s a great number, especially for a gaming laptop with a large screen. Average battery life for most gaming machines is anywhere from three to six hours. It also runs surprisingly quiet.
The Nitro 5 doesn’t lag behind in the performance department either. It is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage. It performed well in 3DMark’s Time Spy and Port Royale benchmarks, among the other RTX 3060 machines we compared it against. The laptop also produced a respectable 107 FPS when running rise of the tomb raider Benchmark. Although the plastic chassis is on the chunkier side and the keyboard leaves a bit to be desired, the Nitro 5 is definitely worth considering if it’s a reliable performer at a reasonable price point.
HP Victus 15 – Best budget option
- great price
- good keyboard and touchpad
- respectable processor performance
- Can handle most games at 30 fps
- general design
- disappointing build quality
- Unattractive 144Hz display
- 60 fps is often out of reach
The HP Victus 15 might not be as powerful as some of the other options on this list, but what it lacks in performance, it makes up for by being extremely affordable. It’s also one of the cheapest options we’ve seen that still offers discrete graphics—albeit an older GTX 1650 model. Even though 60 frames-per-second is out of reach in most modern games on this laptop, you can still play them at low graphics settings. If you’re really strapped for cash but want a discrete graphics card to give you a boost, the HP Victus 15 is worth your consideration.
Asus VivoBook Pro 15
– great display
- good productivity performance
- Superb performance
- rugged design
- great battery life
- boring aesthetics
- Impressive 720p webcam
- unreliable fingerprint scanner
- bad port selection
The Asus Vivobook Pro 15 lives up to its “Pro” title with its excellent price-to-performance ratio. Packed with a Ryzen 7 CPU, RTX 3050 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB M.2 NVMe hard drive, this laptop gives you the power and performance of high-end options for a lot cheaper. But the feature that sets the VivoBook Pro 15 apart from the rest of the pack on this list is the gorgeous 15.6-inch OLED display that offers clear visuals and almost perfect contrast ratio.
True, its design is not different, but this laptop is not like that. Asus isn’t trying to beat premium laptops here in terms of design or build quality. Instead, they want to load this laptop with so much power that the design doesn’t even matter—and they’ve succeeded. The Asus VivoBook Pro 15 gives you the power and features of more expensive midrange laptops for the price of a budget-friendly option.
Read our full ASUS VivoBook Pro 15 OLED Ultra Slim Laptop review
Dell G16 – Best for work and play
- strong performance for the price
- Versatile and bright 16-inch 16:10 QHD display
- thunderbolt 4 on board
- bulky, boring design
- mechanical keyboard, small touchpad
- grainy 720p webcam
- lots of fan noise
If you’re able to stretch your budget, the Dell G16 is a great laptop for work or play. It crushed the competition in the processor department. This means it has plenty of power for everyday tasks like office productivity, video chatting, checking e-mail and more. This laptop also turned in 131 fps while running rise of the tomb raider Benchmark. For hardware, it has Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage. The G16 isn’t the flashiest laptop we’ve ever reviewed, but it gets the basics right and that’s what really counts. If you’re looking for a laptop that you can work and play on, there’s no better choice than the G16.
how we tested
The PCWorld team puts each Windows laptop through a series of benchmarks that test GPU and CPU performance, battery life, and more. The idea is to push the laptop to its limits and then compare it with others we’ve tested. Below, you’ll find an analysis of each test and why we run them.
- PCMark 10PCMark 10: PCMark 10 is how we determine how well a laptop handles light tasks like web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, and more.
- handbrake: HandBrake is more intensive than PCMark 10. It basically measures how long it takes the laptop’s CPU to encode a hefty 30GB file.
- Cinebench: Cinebench is a short stress test of the CPU core. It does this by rendering a 2D scene in a short amount of time.
- 3dmark: 3DMark checks whether 3D performance keeps up with the times by playing a graphics-intensive clip.
- gaming tester benchmark each gaming laptop using a number of titles.
- video rundown test: To gauge battery life, we loop a 4K video using Windows 10’s Movies & TV app until the laptop runs out.
What should you look for in a budget gaming laptop?
When it comes to choosing the right gaming laptop, it really depends on what you want to do with it. Are you planning to play a lightweight indie title? stardew valley (no shade, I love this game) or something more demanding like cyberpunk 2077, Are you going to use the machine for work as well as play? It’s possible to get reliable performance out of a gaming laptop that costs very little, but you’ll need to take a close look at the individual components. You don’t need a powerful GPU for anything Fortnite, If you don’t mind dialing down the in-game visual settings from Ultra to more-reasonable High to Medium settings, you can run most new games very well even with an entry-level graphics card at 1080p resolution. Are. You’ll almost certainly need to do this to hit 60 frames per second in modern games on gaming laptops under $1,000, but the good news is they should still look good, especially on laptop displays.
- GPU: The thing about the GPU is that it can’t be swapped out and upgraded later, so you need to be really picky about which one you choose, as this component will determine how well your machine runs. Kind of runs the game. Luckily, you don’t need the best of the best to get reliable gaming performance. The GTX 1650 is an entry-level GPU that’s affordable and good enough for 1080p gaming with mid-to-high graphics settings. That said, expect lower frame rates on newer titles. If you’re looking for a bit more power, the more modern RTX 3050 and 3050 Ti are the preferred options and are commonly found in gaming laptops under $1,000. You can occasionally find a deal on an RTX 3060-powered laptop for under $1,000, but they’re relatively rare.
- CPU: Like the GPU, the processor can’t be upgraded, so you’ll want to be selective. For Intel, we’d recommend the 11th Generation Intel Core i5 or i7. For AMD, you’ll want to spring for a Ryzen 4000 or 5000. A processor with at least four cores is good, but six cores or more is better.
- to hit: You need at least 8GB of RAM. If you can afford 16 GB RAM, go for it. Memory is normally upgradeable, so you can always swap it out and add more later.
- storage: Storage affects how many games and applications you can install on your laptop. Like RAM, storage is often upgradeable and can be swapped out later. However, you should aim for at least 512GB of SSD storage and a hard drive, as AAA titles tend to eat up a lot of space. SSDs make games load faster, as the data is stored on chips rather than on spinning disks.
- Show: 1080p is what you’d expect in this price range, with either a 60Hz or 144Hz (preferred) refresh rate. Budget gaming laptops don’t always have the best displays, as their manufacturers tend to cut corners to keep costs down. If you have a dim display, you can always choose an external monitor to plug into.
- battery life: Generally speaking, gaming laptops are known for poor battery life. This is because they use a lot of power. They also tend to be heavier than other laptops because they require more space for the heatsink and other cooling components. Depending on usage, most will run for four to six hours on a single charge. That said, there are some exceptions. The HP Envy 14 (pictured above), for example, hit the 15-hour mark during our battery tests.
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