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Best gaming laptop under $1000 in 2024 – our top picks

Here ae the best gaming laptops for under one thousand dollars today.
Last Updated on January 9, 2024
The best gaming laptop under $1000 featuring the msi logo.

If you’re looking for the best gaming laptop under $1,000, we’ve got you covered.

Finding a gaming laptop at under one thousand dollars can be a little tricky, as it takes a bit more knowledge and expertise about laptop components to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. For instance, at this price range, you’re not going to find the very latest GPUs, CPUs, or RAM. What you’ll likely see are 30-series GPUs, 11th or 12th Gen Intel CPUs, and typically DDR4 RAM. The good news is that these are still great, and are more than enough for most AAA-titles in 1080p.

And on the subject of the resolution, the screens you’re getting here will typically be 1080p or maybe 1440p, with higher refresh rates of 120hz +. That’s a step up from what we’ve seen with some of the best gaming laptops under $800 for instance.

All in all though, if you’re sticking to a budget of $1000, you should be able to find something great for gaming on the go. We’ve selected what we think are some of the standout options available on the market today so you can kick off your search in the best way possible, plus, we’ve also shared our expert advice on what to consider before making your final choice.

Let’s get to it then! Here are what we think are the best gaming laptops under $1000 that are well worth considering.

Products at a Glance

How we picked

We’ve used our expertise to find and research the best gaming laptops under $1,000, creating our list by considering specifications, features, value for money, and anything else that caught our attention. We regularly update our selection to ensure you’re seeing the very latest options available today. Make sure to stay tuned for future updates!

Our Recommended

Best gaming laptop under $1000 in 2024 – our top picks

1
PROS
  • RTX 4050 GPU
  • Plenty of storage
  • 32 GB RAM
CONS
  • Display is not that bright

We think one of the best gaming laptops under $1000 is the MSI Thin GF63. In fact, it’s actually one of the best RTX 4050 laptops too, and quite a rare find for this price range. The Taiwanese laptop manufacturer has stuck to this model since its 2018 debut. But this iteration released in 2023 has newer chipsets, including a more recent CPU and GPU. 

This model is powered by the Core i5-12450H processor. With its eight cores and 12 threads, this processor will play most games at 1080p. As for gamers, video editors, and anyone using a laptop for heavy tasks, the icing on the cake is the processor’s 4.4 GHz maximum turbo boost. As for the GPU, the laptop features an RTX 4050. With its 6GB VRAM and DDR6 memory, this GPU packs enough power to play the latest titles smoothly, such as Starfield.

The display is a 15.6-inch full HD screen. Although there’s only a 61.5% coverage of the sRGB space, this screen has a 144Hz refresh rate. With 285 Nits of maximum brightness, this laptop is best suited for indoor usage.

When it comes to storage and RAM, you’ll get a 2TB SSD and 32 GB of RAM. With these, you won’t have to upgrade for a few years, at least not the RAM. 

In terms of the design, a lot has stayed the same. This unit has a brushed aluminum top and palm rest. The chassis is also thin, as its name suggests, especially as it’s only 0.85 inches thick. As a result, the GF63 weighs only 4.1 lbs. The keyboard is decent and has a solid red backlight. In summary, it’s a well-rounded laptop offering decent performance for a gaming laptop under $1,000.

2
PROS
  • RTX 3050 Ti GPU
  • 120 Hz display
  • Screen has anti-glare coating
CONS
  • Low SSD storage
  • Low RAM

The 2022 version of Lenovo’s Ideapad Gaming 3i laptop has some exciting features. Over the years, this model has remained Lenovo’s most affordable gaming laptop. As the laptop is packed with good hardware, it is safe to say that it is on par with some of the best Lenovo gaming laptops.  

This model has an Alder Lake processor, the core i7-12700H. Thanks to the architecture of this processor, there are six performance cores and eight efficient cores. Those 14 cores also translate to 20 threads with a maximum turbo frequency of 4.7 GHz.

As for the GPU, it comes packed with the RTX 3050 Ti. Although it has a 4GB VRAM, it suffices for several AAA titles, especially at 1080p resolution. Lenovo also ensured optimization for heavy tasks with a TGP of 85W. 

The display on this unit is a 15.6-inch IPS panel. Luckily, the screen has an anti-glare coating to complement the 300 Nits brightness for those planning to use the laptop outside. The screen’s 120Hz refresh rate is a significant upgrade from the 60Hz found on older versions of this laptop. If you want a bigger display, you might want to consider checking out the best 18-inch laptops

Lenovo scored points for the cooling. Two fans expel heat from the plastic chassis through vents on the left, right, and rear sides. The keyboard has decent key travel and a blue backlight for working in the dark. Although this laptop has 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB SSD, both RAM and storage are upgradeable.

Overall this is a great option for most people looking to experience high frames per second gaming at 1080p at a reasonable price point.

3
PROS
  • Good battery life
  • Powerful processor
  • 17.3 inch display
CONS
  • SSD is only 512 GB
  • Good battery life

The 2022 version of Asus’ TUF gaming laptop is next on our list. While this laptop comes in a roomier but pricier 17.3-inch screen size, Asus has made it affordable. The good news is this laptop doesn’t compromise on quality to fit into the given price range. 

This laptop has a Core i5-12500H processor. Thanks to its 12 cores, 16 threads, and base 2.5 GHz frequency, it works fast enough for productivity-focused tasks. Users can also benefit from the processor’s 4.5 GHz maximum frequency if they want more power. Paired with the correct GPU, this processor will play the most demanding games today.

Speaking of the GPU, this laptop has a 4GB RTX 3050 card. Don’t worry about the low VRAM, as it is enough to run most of the latest titles smoothly at 1080p resolution. 

The display is vivid enough for a 17.3-inch screen. The LED-backlit screen also has a 144Hz refresh rate, which is important for gamers. While it makes for faster reaction times during gameplay, it also makes for overall smoother scrolling and mouse motion. This screen also has adaptive sync support, which reduces frame rate loss and stuttering when paired with a monitor. 

The chassis is well-designed, and the rear vent is bound to impress with its futuristic look. The port selection is also on point, with virtually every I/O port present save for an SD card reader. One advantage of this laptop is its battery life, which lasts up to 6 hours of browsing and basic tasks. For its price, it works fine for both gaming and non-gaming scenarios.

4
PROS
  • Powerful processor
  • RTX 3060 GPU
  • Decent storage and RAM
CONS
  • Storage may be low for some users

We think one of the best gaming laptops under $1000 for 1440p gaming is the excellent HP OMEN 16. It’s not every time you find a Core i9 laptop in this price range, but that’s what HP has managed to pull off. This HP OMEN 16 has other exciting features apart from its processor, such as its GPU; the RTX 3060. In fact, it can be put along the lines of some of the best RTX 3060 laptops due to its performance.  

The Core i9-12900H was released in 2022. Its 14 cores and 20 threads make it one of the best CPUs for multitasking. Also, its maximum turbo speed of 5 GHz underlines its position as one of the most powerful 12th-generation processors available. Gaming is pleasantly smooth, especially for CPU-intensive games like Red Dead Redemption 2. 

For GPU-intensive games, there’s a 6GB Nvidia RTX 3060 card on the motherboard. Thanks to its 115 TDP, this card is built with high performance in mind. With mid to ultra graphics presets, this laptop can play popular titles without lagging. Despite the GPU’s high TDP, there’s a robust cooling system to keep it from throttling. 

As for the display, it has a 16.1-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio IPS display with thin bezels. Its 1440p resolution and 165Hz refresh rate mean this laptop’s display is both clear and responsive. The display also has 100% sRGB coverage, which translates to accurate color representation.

The aesthetics are pleasing to the eye. On the top lid, there’s an Omen logo with a gradient design paired with a matte black overall finish. The bottom cover is plastic and accounts for the laptop’s 5.19-pound weight. The 16GB of DDR5 RAM and 1TB SSD are both upgradeable. This laptop is right down the alley of anyone on a budget looking at 1440p gaming.

5
PROS
  • RTX 3050 Ti GPU for 1080p gaming
  • 16GB RAM
  • 144 Hz screen
CONS
  • Storage will be low for some users

For a gaming laptop under $1000 for 144hz gaming, we’d say the best option right now is the Acer Nitro 5. This model has maintained a constant presence on the market since 2017. However, this more recent version has newer components. It comes with a 144Hz screen, something that is perfect for competitive gamers. The Nitro 5 ticks that box while remaining in the low-budget class.

The Core i5-12500H processor suffices whether you’re gaming or using the laptop for productivity-based tasks. For tasks that require high processing power, this CPU can max out its frequency at 4.6 GHz.

The GPU is a 4GB Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti. Even though the VRAM is not that much, you can still play most titles at 1080p smoothly. 

As for the display, it is a 15.6-inch screen. Although it covers around 50% of the DCI-P3 space, its 144Hz is a fair compromise. The IPS panel is also bright at 314 Nits, making it usable outdoors. The keyboard remains unchanged as this unit comes with the Nitro 5’s signature red backlit keyboard.

Still, Acer made some design improvements in this unit. Unlike its predecessor, this one has some cutouts between the keyboard and the screen to allow for more air intake. The hinge is also different and makes the laptop easier to open. The 16GB of RAM is enough, but you might need to upgrade the 512GB SSD offered in the laptop. 

Things to consider when looking for a gaming laptop under $1,000

Finding a gaming laptop for under one thousand dollars can be tricky, especially as you want to ensure you’re getting the most value for money out of typically older-gen components. Here’s a few things to consider before diving in to your purchase and what you can expect to see at this price range.

GPU and CPU

If you’re going for a gaming laptop, the main thing you need to consider is the GPU and CPU. For $1,000 or less, you can’t expect to get the latest GPU or CPU like the NVIDIA RTX 4000 series or the Intel 13th-gen processors. However, you should still aim for at least an RTX 3000 series GPU paired with an Intel 12th-gen CPU.

If you want an RTX 4000 series GPU, you will need to increase your budget and select from some of the best gaming laptops under $1500. And if you want to go all in by doubling your budget, you can check out our picks for the best gaming laptops under $2000.

Storage

You want to aim for at least 2TB of storage. However, in the given price range, you will mostly come across laptops featuring 1TB SSD. This will be enough for some users, but considering the file size of the latest AAA games, it can get filled quickly.

RAM

For 1000 dollars or less, you can easily find a laptop packed with 16GB of RAM. This is what most games require these days, so you won’t have to worry about upgrading. However, don’t settle for anything less than this, as you will struggle to run games otherwise.

Battery

Gaming laptops are all about portability, and there is nothing worse than getting a laptop only to find that it requires charging after every hour. Therefore, make sure to get a laptop that can last for at least three to four hours.

Screen size

Anything above a 15-inch display is considered fine for a gaming laptop. If you go below that, things will look small. Furthermore, ensure that the laptop you’re getting has a high refresh rate screen, something like 120 Hz or 144 Hz. If you’re planning to use it outdoors, make sure its display is not dimmer than 300 nits. But for indoor usage, you’ll be fine with a display that falls below this range.

Weight

The weight of your laptop is going to matter a lot, as carrying around a heavy laptop is something you’ll get tired of quickly. Therefore, go for a sleek laptop that is not bulky. Furthermore, some laptops come with a heavy power brick, which can further add up to the weight. Therefore, take this into consideration as well while choosing a gaming laptop under $1,000.

However, if you decide to get a laptop with a bigger display size, it will weigh more, but that is the cost you’ll need to pay for a bigger and better display.

Our Verdict

We think that the MSI Thin GF63 is the best gaming laptop under $1000. It features an RTX 4050, which is a part of NVIDIA’s latest lineup of GPUs, and the Core i5-12450H, which is an excellent processor for gaming and other everyday tasks. The laptop also features a 2TB SSD paired with 32GB of RAM, which makes it even better.