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8 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1,000 For Midrange Full HD Gaming

By Vaidyanathan Subramaniam / January 9, 2019

Gaming laptops are becoming more and more affordable and OEMs are introducing more powerful components at wallet-friendly prices. In the sub-$1,000 segments, we find gaming laptops that offer a good balance of features and performance and the available offerings in this segment should be sufficient as long as you don't play at extreme settings or resolutions higher than FHD.

Most laptops in this segment offer the Intel 8th generation Core i7-8750H CPU and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti GPU. It is also possible that some laptops offer Core i5 chips or even earlier generation Intel CPUs as well but we'd suggest sticking to the latest one possible given the vast improvements in performance and efficiency. The GeForce 1050 Ti sits snugly between the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1060 and offers excellent FHD gaming at high settings at a comfortable 60 fps. Of course, this depends on the level of graphics textures in the game and what fps you are actually targeting.

We often find OEMs including at least a basic SSD in this price range but some notebooks come with the traditional HDD drive with space to add an SSD, which we think is something you should be doing without hesitation. The build quality of most of these laptops are great and many offer advanced cooling solutions to prevent thermal throttling. However, as soon as you buy one of these, we suggest that you take some time and update all onboard software to ensure that you're not compromising on performance and security updates.

So, with the above information, we hereby present the 8 best gaming laptops under $1,000 for 2019 to increase your gaming pleasure.

1. Asus FX504

The Asus FX504 is one of the best laptops under $1,000 and offers excellent hardware for the money. The build quality of the laptop is excellent although, the red accents might put off some who prefer a more minimalistic outlook. Powering the FX504 is an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The GTX 1050 Ti is great for medium to high gaming at 1080p and will run most modern titles with ease. Those who wish to use the laptop for productivity will also find enhanced GPU acceleration due to the CUDA cores in the GPU. The FX504 also offers excellent audio output thanks to the support for DTS 7.1 and DTS Headphone:X.

You will not find much to complain about regarding the Asus FX504 but you might experience slow performance out of the box. If this occurs, just reinstall Windows from scratch on the SSD and everything should be fine.

2. MSI GV62 8RD-200

The MSI GV62 is an affordable gaming laptop under $1,000 with Intel Optane memory. Intel Optane is a storage acceleration technology that allows you to speed up your HDD by acting as a temporary storage buffer for fast data access in a NAND storage. Thus, games and apps load faster than a conventional HDD and you need not invest in expensive large-capacity NVMe drives. The MSI GV62 is powered by the Intel Core i5-8300H, which is really good for gaming and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti offers enough muscle to enable smooth 1080p gaming. The GV62 comes with MSI's suite of enhancements including Cooler Boost, Nahimic 3 Audio, and a built-in Steelseries mechanical keyboard with red backlit switches.

One thing we've noticed about the MSI GV62 is that there is a huge performance difference when running on battery versus when running via main power. A drop in performance is expected in most laptops but the MSI GV62 shows an abnormally large drop in performance. Therefore, you might require to adjust the power plans to suit your usage. Also, the partitioning scheme of the local storage is somewhat odd and power users will want to erase all partitions and start from afresh to reclaim valuable storage that is actually hidden as a recovery partition.

3. Acer Aspire 7

The Acer Aspire 7 packs a lot of performance for the price and is a perfect mobile gaming companion. The Aspire 7 is powered by the Intel Core i7-8750H hexacore CPU and comes with 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD along with a 1 TB HDD. The GTX 1050 Ti offers excellent performance for midrange gaming and you will see no trouble in running the latest games at FHD at acceptable frame rates. The GTX 1050 Ti is also great for providing GPU acceleration in productivity apps you will notice a nice performance improvement from your previous setup. The Aspire 7 also bundles in a Windows Hello-compliant fingerprint reader and dual microphones for enhanced Skype calling. Additionally, you also get a USB 3.1 Type-C port for expanding the laptop's connectivity.

The Acer Aspire 7 offers excellent performance for the money and you will not regret the purchase. However, the laptop has a few niggling issues. The display is vivid enough, but the average brightness is just 200 nits, which makes it not very usable outdoors. It also has some issues in waking up properly from sleep, but that can be addressed via BIOS updates.

4. HP Omen 15

HP's Omen range is built to cater to the needs of gamers across all budgets and the Omen 15 offers a good choice for those looking at a reasonable midrange gaming option. For a smidge above $1,000, the Omen 15 offers very good hardware that enables lag-free operation. The Core i7-8750H is a great 45W chip for multi-threaded performance and gaming while the GTX 1050 Ti handles graphics with ease. The Omen 15 comes with 12 GB of fast 2666 MHz RAM and offers up to 10 hours of battery life. Cooling is adequate for the specs and throttling is not a concern at all. The keyboard offers a good tactile feel and 26-key rollover that allows for anti-ghosting. The build quality is good and HP has included single-panel access for upgrading the HDD, SSD, and RAM.

While the HP Omen 15 offers a good assortment of features, it does not come with a fingerprint reader that is fast becoming a standard on most modern laptops. The keyboard is also not the easiest to read under low light and some might find the red backlight a bit repulsive.

5. Dell G5 Gaming

The Dell G5 is the latest in the series of gaming laptops from Dell that offers an alternative to the more powerful Alienware brand. The G5 offers a range of customization options for the RAM, SSD, and a second storage device. If you prefer keeping the budget under $1,000, you can go ahead with the basic configuration and add-on components later depending on need. The Dell G5 is powered by the latest Intel 8th generation Core i7-8750H CPU that can boost up to 4.1 GHz. Gaming is taken care of by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The 56-Wh battery life is okay-ish for regular use but we would have preferred Dell offer a larger capacity battery. All connectivity options are taken care of including the presence of a USB 3.1 Type-C Thunderbolt 3 port.

While the stock configuration of the Dell G5 is sufficient for basic gaming, be prepared to shell out more if you want to really equip the device. For that reason, we recommend buying the least RAM and storage variant then upgrading using compatible after-market parts if needed.

6. Lenovo Legion Y520

The Lenovo Legion Y520 offers a signature Windows experience. This means no bloatware or unwanted apps to slow down the device, which is rare to find in an OEM laptop. The Lenovo Legion Y520 is powered by the Intel Core i5-7300HQ CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The CPU is from the previous generation but is highly capable of driving most modern games and is also highly power-efficient. You also get a USB 3.1 Type-C port that further adds to the connectivity. Like many other Lenovo laptops such as the ThinkPad series, for example, the Y520 offers a great keyboard that is comfortable for typing as well as long gaming sessions. The build quality is good and there is no noticeable flex. The adequate cooling ensures there is no CPU or GPU throttling even at load.

However, the Lenovo Legion Y520 does cut corners in order to keep the price low. The screen is not very bright and hence, using it outdoors is not an ideal experience. Although the colors are great, using the laptop's display for photo editing or color correction is a strict no-no. The battery life also could have been better and don't expect the battery to last more than 4 to 5 hours while gaming.

7. Acer Predator Helios 300

Those who wish to have a good performing gaming laptop that has excellent specs but still retails under $1,000 will find their needs met with the Acer Predator Helios 300. The Helios 300 offers everything one expects from a good gaming laptop including a 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD, and an overclockable GTX 1060 GPU. The laptop features a 15.6-inch FHD 144 Hz display that offers a great gaming experience devoid of any tearing. The keyboard is backlit and the color is much more subdued than most other gaming laptops. There are also multiple lighting zones that can light up according to the game. Acer has incorporated a new dual Aero Blade 3D cooling system with five heat pipes that help keeps the CPU and GPU cool under load.

Acer includes the PredatorSense software that gives an overview of the innards of the laptop and allows you to easily overclock the GPU. The major problem with this laptop is that the included power supply is inadequate for long hours of gaming at ultra settings and the laptop starts borrowing power from the battery. This makes the battery die after some time and the system starts to throttle due to lack of adequate power. If you are a power user though, you can work around this issue by undervolting the CPU and GPU.

8. MSI GL73 8RD-282

It is not often that we find gaming laptops close to $1,000 sporting 17-inch displays but the MSI GL73 seeks to defy convention. The GL73 offers excellent gaming performance and the latest components including the Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The standout feature of the GL73 is its screen. You get a 17-inch FHD 120 Hz screen that offers super-smooth frame rates giving you an edge in fast-paced FPS games. MSI laptops are known for their excellent keyboard and sound and the GL73 does not disappoint. Port selection is plenty and along with a USB 3.1 Type-C port, you also get an mDP out for connecting compatible external displays in addition to the HDMI port. The GL73 feels a bit bulky but that enables adequate cooling and heat dissipation.

The MSI GL73 allows for easy upgradation and we recommend adding an SSD for better performance. You also get MSI Dragon Center for easy overclocking of the CPU and GPU.

Final Thoughts

Dear readers, those were our recommendations for the best gaming laptops under $1,000 available in 2019. At this price range, expect excellent midrange gaming performance but be sure to check if you're getting the latest components as OEMs are still selling last generation laptops for around the same price. Looks-wise, many gaming laptops in this price tend sport overly gaming looks so have other options handy if you also intend to use these laptops for professional use.

We hope that this article has helped you in deciding on a good gaming laptop under $1,000. As always, let us know if you have any doubts or would like to suggest any other model we should include and we will get back at the earliest.

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