When it comes to gaming laptops under 1500 dollars. You can expect an incredible amount of value.
But regardless of your budget. There’s much to consider before staking your hard-earned cash on a system you think might be the right fit for you.
The great news is there has never been a more exciting time for laptop gaming. It’s easier than ever to get a portable setup with the horsepower to run those desired AAA titles, fluently.
But you have to know where to splurge and where to be more reserved to get the best bang for your buck. Of course, this tidbit all comes down to your budget. And personal preferences.
Gaming Laptops Under 1500
- Gaming Laptops Under 1500
- The Run Down
- The Right GPU for Gaming Laptops Under 1500
- The Right CPU for Gaming Laptops Under 1500
- Fastest RAM Available for Gaming Laptops Under 1500
- Graphics Display Resolution for Gaming Laptops Under 1500
- Laptop Storage for Gaming Laptops Under 1500
- The Research Method
- 9 Gaming Laptops Under 1500 Dollars-Review
- 1. Asus GL752VW-DH74 17.3-inch (Metallic)
- 2. Asus GL702VM-DB74 17.3-inch
- 3. Asus GL502VM 15.6-inch
- 4. Asus FX502VM-AS73 15.6-inch
- 5. Acer Predator GeForce G5 79372AU 17.3-inch
- 6. Acer Predator Gaming GeForce G9 59372VT 15.6-inch
- 7. MSI-GE62VR Apache Pro-026 15.6-inch
- 8. MSI GT62VR Dominator-012 15.6-inch
- 9. MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-024 17.3-inch
If you already know what you’re looking for in gaming laptops under 1500 dollars. Here are the top picks:
Gaming Laptops Under 1500 Dollars-Comparison
|Gaming Laptop||Screen Size||Graphics Card||Processor||RAM||Price|
|Asus GL752VW-DH74 Metallic||17.3-inches||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB||2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ||16GB DDR4||Check|
|Asus GL702VM-DB74||17.3-inches||NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB VRAM||2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ||16GB DDR4||Check|
|Asus GL502VM||15.6-inches||NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB||2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ||16GB DDR4||Check|
|Asus FX502VM-AS73||15.6-inches||NVIDIA GTX 1060 3GB||2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ||16GB DDR4||Check|
|Acer Predator GeForce G5 79372AU||17.3-inches||NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB||2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ||16GB DDR4||Check|
|Acer Predator Gaming GeForce G9 59372VT||15.6-inches||NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB||2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ||16GB DDR4||Check|
|MSI-GE62VR Apache Pro-026||15.6-inches||NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB||2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ||12GB DDR4||Check|
|MSI GT62VR Dominator-012||15.6-inches||NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB||2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ||32GB DDR4||Check|
|MSI GE72VR Apache Pro-024||17.3-inches||NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB||2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ||12GB DDR4||Check|
The Run Down
Ultimately, you’re looking for a solid all-rounder that can keep up with your lifestyle, which requires a lot of research to be sure you don’t end up with a system you’ll regret.
To make your life easier. We’ve put together a list of 9 of the best gaming laptops under 1500 dollars currently available. Along with an informative guide to help you decide which components are worth your money.
Throughout this guide. You’ll see a detailed rundown of the most important specs, benefits and perks for gaming laptops under 1500 dollars.
If you want actionable tips on:
- what specs matter most
- which ones you can spend less on
- what kind of build quality to look for
- the resolution you need for gaming at this level
- or how to upgrade your existing laptop to get similar performance
We’d love to help you answer these questions in this guide.
Need something cheaper? No worries. You’ll find links along the way to articles that feature less expensive gaming laptops. With the best options for your budget: like this one below.
(Keep an eye out for helpful PRO TIPS along the way.)
The Right GPU for Gaming Laptops Under 1500
There’s no negotiating this one. A serious gamer needs a discrete graphics card.
If you’re into fast-paced action titles (like we are) NVIDIA’s G-Sync series is a useful asset that effectively eliminates screen tearing. So that what you end up with is a perfectly smooth gaming experience, with a 1:1 framerate.
Intel’s GeForce GTX 1060 uses G-Sync technology to bring you performance that’s nearly identical to that of its desktop counterpart. (It can be within 10% slower or FASTER than the desktop GPU, depending on the gaming laptop’s physical design.)
Here’s a range of NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 9x and 10x series graphics cards.
Take a look at how they stack up against each other:
Pro Tip #1: If you want gaming level performance from your old laptop. We recommend upgrading the GPU to at least a mid-range card since some games use more than 3GB of VRAM at 1080p.
The Right CPU for Gaming Laptops Under 1500
Combine a robust GPU with a beefy CPU, and you’re talking about a gaming powerhouse.
For a smooth and exciting gaming experience. A strong GPU needs an equally compelling CPU so system performance isn’t affected.
Accordingly, you want a gaming CPU with a minimum clock speed of 2.6GHz that can be overclocked to 3.4GHz. Some gaming CPUs automatically overclock to run at a steady speed. And deliver smooth performance.
PRO TIP #2: If you ever receive an error message telling you to check the video cable right before your laptop restarts itself. Those random reboots could be the result of a failing power supply.
But it could also be a sign that your GPU is too weak for the CPU.
Intel CPUs in Gaming Laptops Under 1500
Intel has no competition when it comes to the cost-to-value ratio of its processors.
Its Core i7 HQ and HK family of CPUs come with HyperThreading and TurboBoost technology. HyperThreading and TurboBoost maximize the amount of work your gaming laptop is able to do at one time.
Look for processors with Quad-Cores. They assist in performing more tasks, more efficiently than Dual-Core CPUs.
Skylake vs Kaby Lake
PRO TIP #3: If you’re upgrading your old laptop with a new CPU for gaming. Keep in mind that this also means replacing things like the motherboard and RAM.
Before you replace the CPU. Be sure the performance gain is worth the price.
We urge you to check out Laptopmag.com’s 13 ways to speed up your system before spending the money on a new processor.
Fastest RAM Available for Gaming Laptops Under 1500
RAM is all about capacity. Not speed.
Is 8GB of RAM Enough for Work and Play?
If you’re shopping on a budget, 8GB of RAM is a mid-range option that presents a great bargain. Most games (if well made) won’t require more. And you should have plenty of room left for work, too.
Pretty much every gaming laptop comes with the DDR4 standard. Not only is it a power sipper. But it’s fast and efficient.
PRO TIP #4: Always go for a system that will easily let you upgrade the RAM, as well as the GPU and CPU.
The Difference Between 16GB and 32GB of RAM
Of course, if you have a bit more to spend, 16GB of RAM is what you’re looking for. This is a high-end option that let’s you game with the confidence of knowing you’re ready for just about anything.
But if your gaming laptop will be pulling dual duty for work on something like video editing. You’ll be glad you invested in 32GB of memory.
PRO TIP #5: Before you start digging into your pocket to replace a bunch of parts. First, make sure the CPU and GPU are receiving adequate cooling by giving them a thorough cleaning, as well as the fans.
Still need to make upgrades to your laptop? PCworld.com wants to help you get it right.
Graphics Display Resolution for Gaming Laptops Under 1500
When you’re sitting up close to the screen, and playing a highly demanding game at that crucial level. It won’t matter if you have a 14 or 17-inch display. So long as it comes with a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution.
That and a great graphics card will totally upgrade your experience.
At this price, you can’t go wrong with either a 15 or 17-inch gaming laptop if total immersion is the goal. 15.6-inches is our recommendation for users that travel a lot. 17.3-inches is the perfect desktop replacement.
Laptop Storage for Gaming Laptops Under 1500
When budget is a concern, here’s where you can comfortably compromise without losing much by way of performance.
Almost all gaming laptops will let you upgrade the hard drive later. It only takes a bit of technical skill and a user’s manual.
The Hard Disc Drive in Gaming Laptops Under 1500
An HDD is the least expensive storage solutions there is. It can give you up to 1000GB (or 1TB) of space. But don’t get less than 750GB for this level of gaming.
PRO TIP #7: Since the hard drive handles the retrieving of information. It wouldn’t hurt to check the minimum hard drive speed for the games you want to play.
SSD Storage Drive in Gaming Laptops Under 1500
Why would you want a Solid-State Drive?
Simply put, ultimate performance requires SSD.
You can easily find 128GB SSDs on high-end laptops. Solid-state drives offer:
- up to 600MBps transfer rates
- lower power consumption, and heat output than HDDs
- blazing fast data transfer speeds that’s 10x faster than HDDs
- and, they’re more reliable than mechanical drives since there’s no moving parts
SSD Hard Drive Hybrid in Gaming Laptops Under 1500
This is by far our favorite storage solution.
Also known as Hybrid SSD, these options can be found in some mid-range gaming laptops. They offer an excellent cost-to-performance ratio. Along with a healthy mix of speed and performance.
A solid-state cache speeds up performance for things like bootup and loading games. While the HDD stores long-term information.
PRO TIP #8: We managed to collect many examples which feature a 128GB solid-state drive, paired with 1TB HDDs. Spinning at a herculean 7200RPM. It should provide enough space for all your games and personal data with no worries.
The Research Method
We pulled together a great assortment of 15 and 17-inch systems. Most of which come equipped with a mix of NVIDIA’s GTX 1060 discrete graphics card. Intel’s 6th Generation ‘Skylake’ i7-6700HQ processor. And all laptops have at least 12GB of DDR4 RAM.
These picks are based on maximum hardware configurations. Best all-round performance. User experience. A price margin between $1000 and $1500. At least 100 reviews on Amazon, and 3.9 out 5 stars at the time this guide was published.
They are listed in order from great deal. To not a bad buy for the money and specs.
From among the most progressive brands, we bring you: Asus, Acer and MSI.
9 Gaming Laptops Under 1500 Dollars-Review
On the surface, this 10.6 x 16.3 x 1.3-inch gaming machine doesn’t bear much difference to the Asus GL752VW-DH71, (which is about $250 cheaper). Among other things, they share the same 17.3-inch design. NVIDIA’s 960M graphics card. The same Skylake processor. And 6.6-pounds. So why does it make the list of gaming laptops under 1500? A closer look reveals subtle differences, like 4GB of VRAM, instead of 2. And a hybrid storage solution, with a 128GB SSD mated to a 1TB HDD. All of which add up to an ENORMOUS difference when playing AAA titles.
This is one of those focused gaming laptops under 1500 dollars that hits hard with the powerful GTX 1060 graphics card, which comes with a whopping 6GB of VRAM to deliver desktop-level gaming performance. And as if a 256GB M.2 SSD wasn’t enough. The 10.8 x 16.5 x 0.9-inch rig stops the show with a 1TB HDD. 16GB of RAM is more than most gamers will ever need. But just in case, Asus gives you the option to upgrade to 32GB. But we were truly impressed with the smooth 60 FPS second on the latest gaming titles, at 1080p.
This 10.5 x 15.4 x 0.9-inch powerhouse is the first Asus ROG series laptop to have the name STRIX affixed to it. That’s just one of the reasons why it makes it on our list of gaming laptops under 1500 dollars. Loaded with optimal features like NVIDIA’s 1060 GPU. The system delivers Full HD gaming at a near constant 60 FPS. The GL502VM proves that a gaming rig can be svelte, without being underpowered. Heat is often an issue with machines this small and powerful. Asus saves the day with a new dual thermal design. Two separate heat pipes, and fans to keep both GPU and CPU cool. But the chassis has a somewhat flimsy feel.
The 10.5 x 15.4 x 0.9-inch body may not boast the most exciting design for gaming laptops under 1500 dollars. But power users will appreciate the GTX graphics, which comes with 3GB of VRAM. And did we mention the new i7-7700 Kaby Lake processor? It’s enough to leave you marveling at the alchemy Asus must have performed to keep costs so low for this category. A 128GB SSD combined with an enormous 1TB hard disc drive, spinning at 5400RPMs rounds out the incredible features usually found on high-end machin.
Predator is Acer’s new line of gaming-centric laptops. At 16.65 x 12.66 x 1.56-inches, it has a body that Acer says was inspired by intergalactic battlecruisers. This is one of those gaming laptops under 1500 dollars that mean business. It features high-end components. Like NVIDIA’s GTX 1060 chip. A 256GB M.2 SSD. With a 1TB HDD. The Skylake i7-6700 processor keeps it on par with gaming laptops at this level. But the trackpad surface is not as smooth as we’d like for a gamer. All-in-all we hope good things for Acer’s latest entrant into this market.
The reason why this 11.8 x 15.4 x 1.5-inches Predator makes it onto our list of gaming laptops under 1500 dollars is because none of the wonderful components that went into making its big brother an outstanding gamer have gone missing. It’s all here in a smart package that’s easier to cart around. You would think the same great specs in a much smaller area would mean dealing with heat issues. But even after hours of playing. It still only gets slightly warm in the same area near the base of the LCD screen as the 17-inch model. Though the fans do a good job of cooling. We wish they were quieter.
The brushed plastic design of the 15.1 x 10.2 x 1.1-inch body gives it a look of being constructed of more substantial material. Which is one of the reasons why the GE62VR makes the list of gaming laptops under 1500 dollars. Gamers, and really anyone who spends time on this laptop will enjoy the comfortable and responsive feel of the SteelSeries keyboard and trackpad. But, even with help from the GTX 1060 card. Images are a bit dim. Yet bright enough to look good on the 1080p screen. Expect to stay tethered to an electrical outlet. To save weight the battery life is below average, (even for a gaming laptop at this tier).
It’s one of the first gaming laptops ever to receive NVIDIA’s Pascal graphics technology. This 15.3 x 10.5 x 1.6-inch gamer may be considered heavy for its size. But it makes it onto the list of gaming laptops under 1500 dollars because the power it packs results in superb performance. And you get massive storage in the form of a 256GB SSD, with a TB HDD. The Dominator gives you loads of functionality with a totally customizable, backlit keyboard. And VR capability. Anti-ghosting technology prevents input logjams during gaming’s most hectic moments.
MSI drops some incredible gaming performance into this 16.5 x 11 x 1.1-inch chassis. Which earns the GE72VR Apache Pro the final spot on the gaming laptops under 1500 dollars list. The ubiquitous GTX 1060 card may be NVIDIA’s low-end of the GeForce GTX 10 series offerings. But the frames-per-second it offers in this system is incredible. The Full HD, IPS panel produces excellent color quality. And when you’re not gaming. Intel’s Core i7-6700HQ delivers strong performance by splitting the processing workload up between 8 threads.
Thanks for making it to the end of this one. There was a lot of information covered. Hopefully, it will prove a valuable resource to you as you shop for gaming laptops under 1500 dollars.
There was a time when desktop computers dominated the gaming world. Propelling the shift is a new generation of gaming laptops that have made enormous strides in recent years.
We’d love to continue this conversation about what makes the best gaming laptop in the comments section below.