To assist you in obtaining the best value for your money, we have evaluated budget gaming laptops using benchmark tests.
You need not exhaust your savings to purchase a gaming laptop. Certain cutting-edge features have gradually reduced costs in recent years. Hence, it’s possible to acquire a computer possessing a rapid solid-state drive, a display that refreshes at high rates, and a graphics processing unit suitable for gaming at 1080p, all for a sum below $1,500.
TheGamingLaptop scrutinizes and assesses a wide range of gaming laptops at every price point and a multitude of configurations. Their proficiency provides us with valuable insights regarding the kind of performance, build quality, and other characteristics that one can reasonably anticipate with a budget of under $1,500. We will indicate which systems deliver the most value in that price range.
It’s highly probable that laptops costing less than $1,500 will use Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4050 and RTX 4060 graphics cards. A majority of these systems should incorporate Intel and AMD’s latest processors (13th Gen Core for Intel, Ryzen 7000 for AMD). However, one might chance upon some exceptional deals involving last-gen technology.
We’ll delve into this topic in greater detail in the “What to Expect” section that appears farther down the page. Nevertheless, with one of the best gaming laptops below $1,500, one ought to be able to run games seamlessly at 1080p, with high or even ultra settings. However, if one decides to buy a laptop under $1,000, one may have to compromise on certain aspects such as the resolution and settings, albeit for some esports games.
In-depth Review of Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500
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1. Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition
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The Asus ROG Strix G15, which we previously evaluated at a price slightly above $1,500, has recently decreased in price while retaining the same features of an AMD Radeon RX 6800M graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB storage drive.
In our gaming suite, the Strix G15 Advantage Edition displayed an impressive performance in both gaming and productivity, comparable to laptops using Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3070.
Of particular note was the battery life, as it endured for an impressive 10 hours and 14 minutes during our battery test. This was a significantly longer time than most competitors and some recently tested ultrabooks. The device also remained cool to the touch in most areas. Although the display’s brightness could be enhanced, it is still usable. Keep in mind that the G15 does not have a built-in webcam, so you will need to provide your own. For gamers who desire a flashy look, the G15 is adorned with RGB lighting, including a strip on the bottom. The laptop even contains a few Easter eggs with AMD and Asus themes, located on the exterior and beneath the bottom plate.
2. Alienware m15 R7
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It’s a common misconception that mid-range laptops are lacking in quality construction, but that’s not always true. The Alienware m15 R7 stands out with its solid feel, despite being made of plastic. It’s a slightly heavier option for gaming on the go, but worth considering.
In terms of performance, the combination of an AMD Ryzen 7 6800H and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 held its own against Intel-based machines with the same GPU. With the right settings, Alienware can handle just about any game.
The Alienware m15 R7 is also efficient when it comes to non-gaming tasks. It clocked in at 8 hours and 57 minutes on our battery test, which involves web browsing, video streaming, and light graphics work. That’s impressive compared to most gaming laptops on the market today.
While it’s true that Intel-based laptops outperform the AMD-equipped Alienware on productivity benchmarks, the laptop’s luxury feel and high refresh rate make it a serious contender for those on a budget of under $1,500.
3. MSI Sword 15
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The MSI Sword 15 is a great option for those looking for a gaming laptop under $1,500. It has a sleek white design and comes with a variety of ports to connect peripherals and external storage.
Equipped with an Intel Core i7-12650H processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, the Sword 15 offers impressive gaming performance. However, the fans can get quite loud when the laptop is under heavy load, although they can be adjusted in the MSI Center.
This laptop also has room for upgrades, including a second M.2 PCIe SSD slot for future storage expansion.
While the Sword 15 may not be the most powerful for productivity tasks, it still has enough power to handle some work when needed. It’s worth noting that you’ll likely need to keep the laptop plugged in most of the time for optimal performance.
4. Acer Predator Helios 300
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The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a powerful gaming laptop with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. It also has a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display with a 144Hz refresh rate.
Read our full Acer Predator Helios 300 review
4. Asus TUF Gaming F15
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If you’re willing to spend up to $1,500, the Asus TUF Gaming i7-12700H offers impressive power and features. It comes with a Core i7-12700H and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, and for the added price, you’ll also get a 300 Hz display that’s great for esports gamers who need high frame rates.
In our tests, the TUF Gaming F15 outperformed many comparable laptops on benchmarks like the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark (highest settings, 74 fps), the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark (very high settings, 90 fps), and the Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmark (medium settings, 59 fps).
The laptop also performed well on most of our productivity tests, making it a decent workhorse when you’re not gaming. However, there are areas for improvement, such as the webcam and speakers, which may require additional equipment such as a gaming headset or external webcam.
What to Look for in a Gaming Laptop Under $1500
You should know that what to look for in a gaming laptop under $1500, let’s take a look at some of the best options on the market.
When looking for a gaming laptop under $1500, there are several things to consider. Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind:
The GPU, or graphics processing unit, is one of the most important components of a gaming laptop. It’s responsible for rendering images and videos in games. For under $1500, you should look for a laptop with at least an Nvidia GTX 1650 or an AMD Radeon RX 5600M GPU.
The CPU, or central processing unit, is the brain of the laptop. It’s responsible for running all of the programs and applications on the laptop. For under $1500, you should look for a laptop with at least an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 CPU.
RAM, or random access memory, is used to store data temporarily for quick access. The more RAM a laptop has, the better it will perform when running multiple programs or applications at the same time. For under $1500, you should look for a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM.
The display is another important factor to consider when looking for a gaming laptop. You should look for a laptop with a high refresh rate and low response time. A 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time are ideal for gaming.
Finally, you should consider storage when looking for a gaming laptop. A laptop with a solid-state drive (SSD) will offer faster load times and boot times than a laptop with a traditional hard drive. You should look for a laptop with at least a 256GB SSD.
Overall, there are plenty of great gaming laptops available for under $1500. When looking for a gaming laptop in this price range, it’s important to consider factors such as the CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, and display quality. The laptops listed above offer a range of options to fit different needs and preferences, from high-end performance to slim and lightweight designs.
Whether you’re a casual gamer or a professional esports player, you don’t have to break the bank to get a great gaming laptop. By considering your needs and doing some research, you can find a laptop that offers the performance and features you need at a price you can afford.
Frequently Ask Questions
What should I look for when buying a gaming laptop under $1500?
When buying a gaming laptop under $1500, you should look for a laptop with a good CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, and display quality. You should also consider factors such as build quality, design, and cooling system.
Can I upgrade the RAM and storage on a gaming laptop for under $1500?
Yes, many gaming laptops under $1500 have upgradable RAM and storage. Be sure to check the specifications and upgrade options before purchasing a laptop.
Is a 60Hz refresh rate good enough for gaming?
A 60Hz refresh rate is sufficient for most casual gamers, but if you’re a professional or competitive gamer, you may want to consider a laptop with a higher refresh rate for smoother gameplay.
What is the difference between IPS and TN displays?
IPS displays offer wider viewing angles and better color accuracy, while TN displays have faster response times but narrower viewing angles and less accurate colors. For gaming, IPS displays are generally preferred for better overall picture quality.
Are gaming laptops under $1500 suitable for VR gaming?
Yes, many gaming laptops under $1500 are capable of running VR games, but be sure to check the system requirements of the games you want to play and the specifications of the laptop before purchasing.
Michael Bizzaco is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware, from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for over ten years and has written for Dualshockers and Tom's Guide, and a bunch of other places on the world wide web.