People are used to staying whether they’re a desktop or console gamer (and of course, enduring the ensuing PC master race jokes), but sometimes your PC needs to be a little bit more mobile than a typical desktop.
Maybe you want to have one computer for work and play, or you’re looking for something you can take with you on long trips or meetups. Whatever the reason, there is such a thing as a gaming laptop that’s under $1500 dollars, and we’ve curated a few top picks that might interest you.
- ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop – Great choice for maximum portability, as this is likely the most compact gaming laptop available. It features an RTX 2060, i7 8th gen, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD.
- Lenovo Legion Y7000 – A clean, sleek laptop that offers lots of connectivity and power without necessarily broadcasting that its been built for gaming. Most ports conveniently located on the back for easy wire management. Offers 1TB HDD plus 128 GB SSD, GTX 1060, i7 8th gen, and 16GB of RAM.
- Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best for someone who already has a hard drive and just needs somewhere to run it, since this comes with only 256GB of SSD but has an expandable storage slot. Includes GTX 1060, i7 8th gen, and 16GB RAM.
Who Should Get This?
A gaming laptop under $1500 isn’t a computer for just anyone. If you just plan on browsing the web, then this laptop will be way more powerful than you will ever need and be a waste of money.
However, if you plan on playing multiplayer video games or games with intensive graphics, these recommendations are definitely for you. With features like a dedicated GPU, extra RAM, and fans that can keep up with your gameplay, a gaming laptop is designed inside and out for gamers.
Additionally, some people who work in fields that require rendering (video editing, animation, etc) and graphic modeling may be interested. Although these laptops are not marketed to these industries, they tend to have specifications that can keep up with the intensive workload.
Gaming Laptop Under $1500: What to Consider in 2020?
Processor & Graphics Card
The number one thing to consider when purchasing a gaming laptop is the processor and graphics card since it will support all of your activities. In particular, the laptop should feature a dedicated, not integrated, graphics card. If it does not, you will quickly feel a performance cap.
There are many laptops that are sold with less than 8GBs of RAM these days, and that’s definitely not acceptable for a gaming rig. Most laptops branded as “gaming” won’t offer less than 8GB, but you should consider whether you want the standard 8 or think it’s worth upgrading to 16.
Size & Resolution
Most gaming laptops are on the heavier side, so a few extra ounces for a bigger screen may or may not matter to you. However, keep in mind what you prefer- especially if you already have a large monitor on your desktop, it may be hard to transition to a smaller screen. 15.6″ and 17″ are the most commonly available sizes.
Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500: Our Picks for 2020
This is a laptop that defies convention and innovates to bring you something better. It’s extremely thin for a gaming laptop, and the 15.6″ screen offers small bezels on all sides. The customizable RGB keyboard is placed unconventionally at the bottom rather than the top of the computer, which allows you to sit further back and leaves extra space for the fans. The hardware specs are no joke either, with an i7 8th gen, NVIDIA RTX 2060 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM.
- Most compact gaming laptop available.
- Extremely portable, weighing only 4.85 lbs.
- 512GB of SSD.
- 2x USB-C 3.1 ports, 3 standard USB ports, and an HDMI 2.0 port.
- RGB keyboard isn’t fixed to one color, you can customize it how you choose.
- No ethernet port, and two of the standard USB ports are 2.0 (the other is 3.1)
- Storage is large for an SSD, but may be limited to those who have a lot of games or who are coming from larger HDD drives.
- The keyboard location may be awkward to adjust to at first.
The Lenovo Legion combines a great design with a powerful interior. The silver case hides an 8th generation i7 chip, 1 terabyte of HDD with 128 GB of SSD storage, and 16GB of RAM. It also packs in an NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics card. This laptop has smaller bezels around the top and edge than most other gaming models, and features a single middle hinge rather than two edge hinges.
- Great amount of storage space in HDD, plus a little bit of SSD helps your games run faster and smoother without forcing you to use an external drive.
- Plain silver and black design may appeal to those who don’t care for typical RGB gamer setups.
- Most ports are located on the back for easy wire management.
- Ethernet, USBC, HDMI, Displayport Mini, and more are included on the back. There are standard USB ports on the sides of the laptop as well.
- This laptop is definitely on the bulkier side at almost 5.2 pounds and an inch thick.
With the classic red and black body, this laptop almost screams “designed for gaming”. Even the keyboard is backlit in red, and WASD has additional red accents. With a 144 Hz refresh rate, Full HD screen, and GTX 1060 graphics, your games will never look better. The processor doesn’t disappoint either- 8th gen i7 runs at 2.2 GHz to 4.1 GHz. 16 GB of RAM helps you out in the background, and special metal fans keep the laptop cool.
- Ports include ethernet, HDMI 2.0, SD card reader, and USB C. There are 3 total USB ports for your mouse, controller, or other peripheral.
- Expandable storage slot allows you to add your own 2.5″ SSD or HDD drive.
- Comes with an SSD, which will boot the computer and your games in the blink of an eye.
- Two of the USB ports are 2.0, only one is 3.0.
- Comes with limited storage- only 256 GB of SSD. It will be fast, but if you want to store more games you’ll need to make use of the expansion slot.
Gaming on your laptop will probably never be quite like gaming on your PC or custom rig, and that’s understandable. But there are some tricks for getting the best experience that will help you out. You can try some of TechRadar’s tips, or some from MakeUseOf, which includes instructions for everything from cleaning to overclocking your gaming computer.
There are quite a few great gaming laptops available on the market that costs less than $1500, ranging from minimalist to RGB lightshow designs. Whether you plan on using it only for gaming, a combo of gaming and work, or for creative designing, these recommendations should keep up with everything from the latest AAA titles to your old favorites.
Chris is a lifelong tech enthusiast with a broad range of interests including coding, data analysis, traveling, and more. He used to work as a software programmer immersing himself in the world of codes, now he finds it more interesting talking to real people.