Best Gaming Laptops under $1500 for 2018
When the very first of these portable laptops were launched, they were thought to be all about business.
Serious work, office related work or just the basic tasks you needed to get done on the go. However, it wasn’t long before things evolved for the better and these laptops became the ultimate necessity. More advancements led to the invention of the Gaming Laptops.
These are designed specifically for handling the long hours of extensive gaming sessions that require a whole lot more of RAM, enhanced graphics, better cooling mechanisms and much more than the basic laptop is designed to give to an average user.
Top Picks for the Best Gaming Laptops under $1500 in 2018
- 1. Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK 15.6 Inch FHD Laptop NVIDIA Gaming GeForce
- 2. CUK ASUS ROG G752 Gaming Notebook Pc
- 3. ASUS ZX53VW 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
- 4. Lenovo Ideapad 700 – 15.6-Inch FHD Gaming Laptop
- 5. Alienware AW15R3-5246SLV-PUS 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
- 6. HP OMEN 15 15.6″ FHD IPS Display Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i7
- 7. ASUS ROG G751JY-VS71(WX) 17-Inch Gaming Laptop
- 8. MSI GE62 Apache Pro-001 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
- 9. CUK MSI GL62M Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor Gamers Laptop
- 10. ASUS ROG STRIX 15.6-inch G-SYNC VR Ready Core i7 Gaming Laptop
A gaming laptop offers many precise movements, and a quicker response, that eventually gives you an edge on the game. You cannot turn a standard gaming laptop into a complete gaming version, hence the importance for gaming professionals cannot be any less emphasized.
Amongst the huge array of options, selecting the right one can be a mind boggling experience. In this article, we have selected the top 10 best gaming laptops under $1500, that are designed to provide you the ultimate gaming experience.
Let’s take a look at these beauties:
Gaming Laptop Buyers Guide Questions
Selecting a regular laptop for home, office or studies, is no easy job. Likewise, choosing one for gaming is even harder, in fact. With the latest specs being introduced every day, colors, sizes, features, designs, and even brands, it’s simply not easy to pick out the right one.
Usually, the specifications are written in the form of a seemingly irrational set of numbers and digits that may sound completely nonsensical to a new gamer. This often makes things tougher than ever, especially for those new to gaming.
Hence, we are here to help you select a gaming laptop of your choice and the one that best suits your requirements.
To better understand what these machines are capable of, let’s take a look at the essential features of the best of the gaming laptops and go through them one by one.
Key Features of Gaming Laptops
The gaming keyboards come with the GPU that is one of the basic elements that distinguish a standard keyboard from the gaming type. All graphics including images, pictures, videos, and in fact everything that you can view on that screen is backed by the quality of the GPU.
Generally, all gaming laptops have a dedicated graphics card that also comes with its discrete VRAM. The VRAM should be about 4GB at least, for a happy gamer. Usually, the laptops come with the NVIDIA graphics card that is the most common GPU for giving you crisp, sharp and enhanced picture quality.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 is the common GPU for producing sharp images, however, it cannot beat the results of the GeForce GTX 1080. If you wish to play hardcore games on your laptop that require better graphic support, then this one is your best bet. It also works great for the virtual reality games.
The CPU is responsible for about everything you wish to achieve with your laptop. The control, speed, performance, everything is dependent on the type of CPU the laptop comes with.
For the best performance, make sure to select a 6th Generation Core CPU, as it is the latest generation. The most futuristic series was the Skylake that was launched in 2015. Today, however, the latest Kaby Lake Quad Core chip is about to be launched that will be the future for these.
This is vital for a better performance and a longer battery life. If you are looking for buying some of the slightly older versions, then the i5 is a must, below that you will get the slowest performing CPU, that may be unfit for most of your games.
The Quad Core i7 processor, however, is our recommended processor for high-speed gaming.
Make sure that you are getting at least about 8 GB of RAM on your laptop. There are many options that offer 16 GBs as well. That is great! However, anything below 8GB is a big NO!
SSD Vs. HDD
SSDs are highly preferred due to the high speed and quick loading. The lags or hitches are minimal, and data transfers are really fast. However, the SSD always comes at a great cost.
So, if the budget is constrained, you may go for the 1TB hard drive with about 7200 rpm speed. Still for the best results look for one that has the SSD as well as a hard drive. This will give you more space and keep your laptop ever fast.
The gaming laptops often come with a lower battery life. Keep in mind the more the features, the larger the size, the earlier your battery will go. Since all these elements require more energy, look for an energy-efficient model or one that comes with a longer battery life, especially if you are looking for a more portable option.
However, many times a larger battery could add to the weight of the unit. A wise option could be to look for a power pack, to take along the unit that makes it portable, hassle-free, and quite feasible for traveling.
You will find many options in the markets that have panels for supporting the NVIDIA G-SYNC. This feature is great for reducing the impact of ghosting and graphic aberrations, often in the form of tears from the display. Generally, the rate for refreshing is 60Hz, however many of the top grade versions also offer around 120Hz that reduces the impact of any lag or undesirable effects.
Many of the recent laptops come with subwoofers or surround sounds that enhance your experience. Especially useful for those virtual reality games, or even if you settle down for a movie with your friends.
Make sure to check out the sound system of the laptop even if you do not intend to use it and love your headphones, there may be times you need it.
The gaming laptop’s connectivity offers an enhanced experience of gaming as well for all other things you may need the laptop for. Here are some of the basic connections it needs to provide to the user:
- USB Ports: As a bare minimum the gaming laptop must have a least of 3 USB ports.
- The HDMI port: This is always a plus, as it gives you a virtual reality experience at its best.
- Ethernet Port: Moreover an Ethernet port lets you stay connected all through the game without any disruptions or annoying connectivity issues. Very useful for online gaming.
- Other Ports: SD card slot, VGA-out, etc.
A typical budget gaming laptop may cost you anywhere between $800 to a maximum of $5,000. The difference can be subject to an array of features, design differences, size, weight and other attributes we’ve just looked at above.
The best tip is to go for the one that offers the most value for your money. If you have the budget, and affordability is not an issue, you may go through the premium choices of the pro-gamers too. But always make sure to spend wisely. A very expensive machine may not necessarily be the best. Do your homework before taking the splurge!
We have categorized some of the features based on the prices for your ease here:
- Gaming Laptops above $3000: The higher the budget the more features you can afford. You will find laptops with about 4 SSDs, upto 54 GB of RAM and 1080 GPU and 8GB VRAM with SLI configuration on your graphics card.
- Gaming Laptops between $2000 – $3000: Include the Quad Core processors i7 and about 16 GB RAM. There is SSD, higher screen resolution and also SLI configuration for graphics. The most notable feature is that the lap or tearing are minimal in these.
- Gaming Laptops between $1000 – $2000: Usually include the Quad Core Intel i7 processors and about 16GB RAM. There are both the SDD as well as the HDD space and these have a display of about 1080p.The NVIDIA GTX also included may give you about 6GB or more of VRAM.
- Gaming Laptops Under $1500: Under this range, you can easily find good laptops that come with an Intel Core i5 as well as the 6th generation Intel Core i7 processors. They may have about 8GB of RAM, 1080p display and a 1TB hard drive. The NVIDIA GeForce can also be there giving you about 2GB or even 4GB of VRAM.
- Size and Weight
The size and weight of the laptop determine its portability. Since the gaming laptops are feature packed machines, with a heavier storage and better cooling systems, these tend to be heavier than most regular laptops.
You may have to use your laptop bag or hold it carefully while traveling; however, the features and other benefits often outweigh this consideration.
One thing, you can take care of in this respect, however, is the display screen size. The more the size, i.e. if it is between 17-18 inches, the least portable the laptop may be. It will provide a bigger benefit, but not so easy to carry.
So if you plan to keep it fixed and leave it on your gaming desk or room, then the size is not a problem. However, if you wish to take it with you to work or college, etc. then you will find others about 13- 16 inches in size that are often lighter and portable.
The portability, in fact, can be measured based on these terms:
Display Screen Size Portability Level
17-18 inches Least portability
15 inches Medium portability
13-14 inches Ideal portability.
For a good graphical display, you need to have at least 1920 x 1080 display resolution. This is the bare minimum we are talking about, you can always go above if the budget allows.
For even enhanced results, look for the QHD types with 2560 x 1440 and even the 4k types with 3840 x 2160.
Many of the newer versions offer a touch display. This feature may be good for the basic games, however, the professional gamers may find it not quite a must-have feature for their laptop.
Matte Vs. Glossy Display
The matte or glossy feel does not impact the quality or gaming experience, however, it is more about the user’s preference. If you are more comfortable and find the matte look appealing, go for it!
The only observation users have highlighted about this aspect is the distracting reflective feel on the glossy panels. However, many are still unbothered by the fact and love the shiny panel.
The laptop comes with a touchpad, which serves as the mouse. However, since gaming requires extra precise movements and ultra-responsiveness, you will feel the need of an external gaming mouse. Click here to check out the latest gaming mouse that is designed to help you take your game to another level.
The keyboard is one of the vital components of a gaming laptop. It has to be not just comfortable for the user, but also ultra-responsive and precise. Many keyboards come with an adjustable backlighting feature that looks cool and is great for getting the game on in the dark.
The gaming keyboard is quite different than the normal standard keyboard, it often has macros and hotkeys that can be customized for actions. Check out this complete guide about the types of gaming keyboards that will help boost your performance.
Here are some additional details you need to be mindful about the keyboard:
- The depth of the keys should ideally lie somewhere between 1.5 and 2mm.
- Backlighting can often be customized. It is, in fact, best if you can tweak the brightness at least, if not the color of the light. This enables you to adjust the lighting and avoid it from causing a glare or undesirable effects.
- Each key must ideally have a press-down force requirement of about 60gms. Lighter force requiring keys may actually inhibit your performance.
Warranty and Accidental Coverage
These laptops are not cheap! Since you are spending so much on the quality, always ensure the warranty is there. It must be a minimum of about 1 year. Amazon.com also offers accidental coverage for many of these laptops. It can be purchased with the unit for 3 or 4 years, depending on your preference.
This is one key element that distinguishes a gaming laptop from a standard one. Since it uses a whole lot of features and the processor has to work hard, a lot of heat is produced. These laptops require effective cooling systems to keep the unit from overheating and accidental burning.
Many of the laptops employ the fans that take away the hot air from the internal components of the laptop and keep it cool. One factor to look into is that the fans often produce a lot of annoying noise. It can be really irritating for the user and may distract you from the game. So, ensure that you are buying a silent one or one that produces minimal noise that may be ignored in the background.
You will find a number of manufacturers and seller of these laptops. Which is the best brand? It is actually all a matter of choice. You will find great options by ASUS, DELL, Alienware, HP, MSI, Lenovo and many others. We have discussed the top rated models of the top grade brands in the earlier section of this article.
So if you are stuck between two similar laptops by different manufacturers, often the decision can be best made based on the looks, style, and even color.
How do you want your laptop to look? While it is not one of the basic features, it may be a huge influence in your decision. Gamers like it cool and catchy. You invest in a gaming laptop, often you may want to flaunt it, or make sure that it looks good to the eye or goes with your entire gaming equipment.
Many of the manufacturers are coming up with striking colors, designs, and also external (often personalized) skins. It may add to your costs, but again, who doesn’t want a personalized laptop?
For more about the gaming laptops, read on here.
Maintenance of the Gaming Laptop – Tips and Tricks
- Make sure the vents aren’t blocked by dust particles or any other item. Keep it clean and make sure to clear out the vents, whenever required, using the compressed air cans.
- Do not use the laptop on a pillow, bed or lap. Keep it always on a flat surface, preferably a gaming desk. This way the vents will stay open so the air can easily be vented out.
- Make use of the cooling pads for keeping it nice and sort of elevated for the vents to be exposed. This way the hot air can easily be dissipated out of the system.
- On the hotter days, try to limit the usage. Or take the laptop to a cooler place or room and use it there.
Prevent External Damage
- The laptops are rather sensitive. Use the laptop bag for transportation and handle with care.
- Use a gaming mouse and/or gaming keyboard with your laptop to minimize the chances of shocks and pressure impacts.
Other Essential Tips
- Avoid running unrequired processes on your laptop when not needed.
- Do not overcharge. Make sure to plug out the charger as soon as the system is completely charged.
- Minimize the number of installations. The lesser the number of installations on your laptop the more space and faster the system.
- Before gaming, ensure to close down all backend processes. Since gaming requires a faster performance, any backend programs can slow you down.
- Make sure to keep the food and drinks away from your game. Spills can be very damaging.
How Do Gaming Laptops Differ From Standard Laptops?
The basic difference between the two is that the gaming laptops have a Dedicated processor for high performance required in the games. While the standard laptops have mobile processors.
Other features that distinguish a gaming laptop from a normal one include:
- Cooling Mechanism: The gaming laptops are better equipped for faster cooling mechanisms, unlike the standard ones. This feature is particularly important to let the user stay as relaxed and comfortable as can be during the intense gaming hours.
The gaming laptops hence, have fans and various vents for cooling and for letting a continuous air to pass through.
- Better color resolution: The colors are more enhanced often with the use of a dedicated graphics card. Hence the images and videos are clearer, sharper and better than the standard laptops.
- A higher screen resolution: For a better gaming experience.
- The Keyboard: The keys give a more accurate feedback as compared to the standard types.
Can You Upgrade A Gaming Laptop?
Upgrading the laptop is not an easy task. The laptops – both standard and gaming types – are not designed to be opened for up gradation. Tempering with the processor and other essential components will also take away the warranty it comes with.
Although upgrading the desktop CPU was a great way to boost performance, the laptops are sealed. Hence, opening the seal may cause more trouble than doing good. Hence, it is always better to buy a futuristic type, rather than thinking about upgrading your laptop later.
Do You Need A Separate Gaming Keyboard And Mouse With A Gaming Laptop?
The gaming mouse and keyboards are basically designed specifically for gaming. Since the gaming laptops already have specialized keyboards with the hotkeys, often customizable and precise, an additional keyboard may not be a requirement.
Still, it depends on the type of laptop you own and the functions you like. The usage frequency also matters, if you are not a habitual player, then an additional mouse and other accessories may not be required. However, for professional gamers, the more advanced the hardware, the better the game.
Basically, the advanced gaming mouse and keyboard are there to help with the precise movements and higher response time.
As for the mouse, the laptops usually come with a trackpad. Many gamers prefer the mouse that gives a better control and precision. Hence a gaming mouse is always a plus with the laptop.
Are Gaming Laptops Compatible With Most Games?
In general; yes since the gaming laptops are made for games, they are pretty compatible with most of the games. However, to be on the safe side and to acquire a better idea of specific game compatibility, we suggest you check the game specs as well as online reviews for each laptop. Many users have clearly mentioned the types of games they’ve tried and played on each type of laptop.
What Should You Look For When Choosing A Gaming Laptop?
Buying a gaming laptop is definitely not an easy task. It is always better to have done some research about the top rated types and the features of each. We have already covered the basic elements or features to consider, in the article. Here are a few more things which will help you in selecting the right gaming laptop:
- When going through the reviews for knowing about the games your laptop is compatible with, make sure to check for the higher end games. If it says that you can play the basic types of the games, then it is about as good as a standard, normal laptop.
- You can always omit the touch screen if low on the budget.
- A standard gaming laptop has about 14” – 16” screen resolution. This also makes it small, and quite portable enough to be taken with you. The larger screens about 18” give a better experience, but the size is not so portable.
- The keyboard must be as comfortable as can be. You may be spending hours gaming on your new laptop.
- Gaming laptops with an SSD storage are faster and always a better choice.
- The HDMI port and NVIDIA GeForce are additional features that work great to make your game as realistic as can be.
Which One to go for?
The Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK 15.6 Inch FHD Laptop NVIDIA Gaming GeForceis our top pick for the year. It is the best gaming laptop that gives you all the functionalities and features such as 8GB SDRAM, a backlit gaming keyboard, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics and the SSD storage.
Plus, it is also available at a great price! It takes very little time to load a new game or boot the system with Windows 10 operating system, your gaming setup is just complete, with this one. You can also enjoy complete surround sound with the subwoofer and computer speakers. This makes it the best for all virtual reality games. Highly recommended and a must buy for all the passionate gamers.
The CUK ASUS ROG G752 Gaming Notebook PC is our premium recommendation. The quality, features, looks, and speed, are simply outstanding. If you do not have a budget limitation, then this one gives you a gaming experience of a lifetime.
The setup comes complete with the SSD, NVIDIA GeForce, Quad Core processor and G-SYNC. You can enjoy all your virtual reality games and a pixel perfect graphical display on this one. The processor is super-fast, make loading and booting simple and quick at all times.
It also includes the chamber cooling that keeps the heat away even if you use it all day long. A remarkable manufacture and the top choice of the pro-gamers.
Take a look at the ASUS ZX53VW 15.6″ Gaming Laptop, NVIDIA, the option that gives you the greatest value. With an 8GB RAM and an SSD storage, this one is a highly responsive design and gives you a smooth and fast performance.
At such an amazing price, it is almost a dream come true for most aspiring gamers. The look, style, and HD display make it one of the most desirable options for the gamers and hence, highly recommended by us. Another attractive feature is the WASD keys and backlit keyboard that increase your control and give you a great performance on every game.
The right gaming gear and laptop are an essential equipment for a gamer no matter how experienced you may be. The precision, quick response, higher performance and enhanced graphics make gaming into an experience you can never enjoy on a common, standard laptop.
While there are hundreds of options, features and with the ever changing technology, designs, and additional details, these laptops may come with. Choosing the right one that is the most comfortable for you and your lifestyle is fundamental in getting started.
Choose wisely, and invest where it pays. We hope the guide was helpful for you in selecting the right fit for your gaming needs. Unleash the beast on your very own gaming laptop and enjoy an experience of a lifetime.
For more tips on getting the right gaming laptop, check out this web page.