Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500 in 2020
- Our best all-rounder $1500 laptop
- Fast and responsive display
- Software based performance management
- One of the best laptop cooling systems
- Uses the latest Intel processor
- Easy to upgrade memory
Do you want to play the latest and best AAA games the way they were meant to be experienced, but you’re worried that means draining your savings? We’re here to talk about some of the best gaming laptops under 1500 bucks. All of these gaming laptops will provide you with the performance you need to compete seriously and immerse yourself in the virtual worlds of your favorite games.
We’ll start off our list with reviews of 10 of our favorite gaming laptops. Then, we’ll look a little more closely at the important specs and features for a gaming laptop and directly address some of the questions we hear most for models under this price range.
- 10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500
- 1. Best Overall: Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
- 2. MSI GS65 Stealth-006 15.6″ Ultra Thin Gaming Laptop
- 3. ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop
- 4. Dell G5 i7-9750H 15 Gaming Laptop
- 5. HP Omen 15-dc1047nr Gaming Laptop
- 6. Lenovo Legion Y7000 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
- 7. Razer Blade 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
- 8. Alienware M15-15.6″ FHD Gaming Laptop
- 9. MSI GL63 9SDK-614 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
- 10. ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop
- Compare the Models
- Best Gaming Laptop under 1500 Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500
1. Best Overall: Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
The Acer Predator could very well be the prototype for the best gaming laptops under $1500. It provides a balanced but highly functional collection of specs that really represent the baseline for what you can expect from a model at around $1000. In other words, it's a gaming laptop that doesn't do anything exceptional but which gets everything right without any major deficiencies. It's one of the best balanced gaming laptops we've come across, and it happens to work in a pretty cool aesthetic too.
While this gaming laptop only comes with a solid state drive, it can be pretty easily adapted into a hybrid drive thanks to the accessible and open hard drive bay built in. The 6 GB of VRAM is a nice touch that can really plump up your graphical performance, and the backlit HD IPS display supports 144 Hz refresh rate along with a a 3 ms response time.
- Our best all-rounder $1500 laptop
- Fast and responsive display
- Software based performance management
- Sound courtesy of Waves MAXXAudio
2. MSI GS65 Stealth-006 15.6″ Ultra Thin Gaming Laptop
The Stealth from MSI feels like a noticeable upgrade to the Acer Predator gaming laptop, though it's an iterative evolution. The GTX is upgraded to an RTX for the sake of including ray tracing technology and some very cool artificial intelligence features present in the new Nvidia architecture, and the size of the SSD has been improved considerably to accommodate even more games on your laptop. And while it only includes 16GB of RAM, it can be upgraded to double that easily.
MSI boasts that you can get eight hours of heavy usage out of this laptop on a single charge, and that's pretty good considering some of the best components are packed into this laptop. MSI's trademark fan system - the Cooler Boost Trinity+ - ensures you won't have to worry about your laptop overheating even when you're in the middle of the most resource hogging AAA game around.
- One of the best laptop cooling systems
- Uses the latest Intel processor
- Easy to upgrade memory
- Respectable eight hour battery life
3. ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop
The inclusion of an AMD Ryzen 7 processor is a bit out of the ordinary, but the performance here certainly doesn't suffer. The display is anti-glare and sports a 144 Hz refresh rate, so you don't need to worry about tearing or stuttering ruining your game when you're right in the heat of it, and the bezels are barely present, providing you with a cleaner and more immersive experience whether you're jumping into a single player or multiplayer game.
The best thing is that this is a gaming laptop designed to last. The RGB keys are4 durable enough to survive 20 million keystrokes, but the coolest feature to fall under this category is easily the dual fan technology which makes use of self cleaning operations and two dedicated tunnels to regularly flush dust out of your laptop's system and keeping everything running at peak efficiency even after years of use.
- Well within the under $1500 budget
- Innovative anti-dust fans
- Virtual 7.1 surround sound
- Runs the latest Wi-Fi protocol
4. Dell G5 i7-9750H 15 Gaming Laptop
Dell may not be a top leader when it comes to manufacturing gaming computers, but that doesn't mean they don't have a good gaming laptop or two in the segment. The G5 15 is a pleasantly well balanced laptop that's designed in a way that it wouldn't look out of place at your office. But the specifications here are solid quality all the way through. The specs are about par for the course for this type of gaming machine, but it does include both a traditional hard drive and SSD drive for a hybrid storage system.
Dell clearly focused the philosophy of this laptop's design on aggressive gameplay. The sound system offers above average immersion (though you may benefit from a pair of headphones), and it supports a Killer ethernet connection so you can enjoy a stutter free and fair experience with the latest competitive online multiplayer games.
- Gaming prioritized ethernet connection
- Hefty hybrid hard drive
- Runs on the Alienware Command Center
- Utilizes a dual speaker system
5. HP Omen 15-dc1047nr Gaming Laptop
While you may have to keep a close eye on Amazon to get the Omen on the cheap (it retails over $1500 normally), it's a decision that will be well worth it. This is one of the best gaming laptops under $1500 we've seen in terms of performance, and it just so happens to be one of the coolest laptops to look at too. The inclusion of an RTX 2070 means that you can make the most of ray tracing technology in the latest games, and it also sports a newest generation Intel chip perfectly capable of keeping up.
And while this gaming laptop doesn't include keys with mechanical switches, what is there is still a pretty impressive piece of equipment. It offers anti-ghosting technology for 26 key rollover, so you can spend less time worrying about missed keystrokes even if you play in key heavy genres like real time strategy or MOBA games.
- Tested and tuned for VR performance
- Single panel upgrade access
- Latest and best GPU available
- Large blade motor with 3 phase motor
6. Lenovo Legion Y7000 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
The Legion Y1000 from Lenovo has made the smart choice of including a hybrid hard drive, so you don't have to sacrifice storage capacity for the sake of speed and durability or vice versa. Apart from that, the specs here are largely standardized. The Intel chip is the same one you'll recognize in practically every best gaming laptop under $1500, and that goes largely for the GPU as well.
But the Legion manages to set itself apart from the rest of the competition with its elegance. Bright and gaudy with sharp edges is often the design mantra for gaming laptop aesthetics, but the Legion Y7000 opts instead for a cool businesslike demeanor with its slender frame and the elegant white backlighting of the keys. And that extends to practical design as well. The keys here are responsive, ergonomic, and perfect for the intense demands of gamers.
- Understated and attractive design
- Excellent brightness of 300 nits
- Delivers 60 FPS speeds reliably
- Body weighs about 5 pounds
7. Razer Blade 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
The Razer Blade 15 has claimed the crown of the world's smallest 15.6 inch gaming laptop. It does a great job of keeping both the pounds and the thickness off, but it's also one of the best gaming laptops for its price and more than a worthy entry for our gaming laptops under $1500 list. The inclusion of a GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q graphics card puts it a leg above a lot of its contemporaries in terms of image quality, and the HD display is factory calibrated to make sure it offers the best color performance possible. Razer promises that it can cover 100% of the sRGB color spectrum.
This wouldn't be a Razer gaming laptop without some of the best backlighting around. The Razer Blade 15 can replicate 16.8 million color combinations on its single zone interface. And if you want to perform some advanced configuration with your machine, the Blade's benchmarks can be tweaked through the excellent Razer Synapse 3 control panel.
- Comes with no bloatware installed
- Blazing fast 1 GB ethernet connection
- The smallest frame for a 15 inch laptop
- Customizable RGB backlighting
8. Alienware M15-15.6″ FHD Gaming Laptop
Your favorite games are sure to look great on the Alienware M15 laptop. Despite being a reliable budget gaming laptop, it offers a well rounded suite of features and specs. That includes a 1920 x 1080 display with anti-glare coating as well as 6GB of RAM devoted solely to your graphical performance. A standardized Intel processor and a decent 16GB of RAM provide you with enough muscle to not have to worry about frame rates in all but the newest of games at the highest settings.
And as you might expect from a brand named Alienware, this gaming laptop looks a little out of this world. The laptop itself is gunmetal gray with pleasant curves that make it stand apart from more staid office laptops, but it never veers into the full on gaudy territory of some gaming laptops. The anti-glare IPS screen offer a maximum brightness of 300 nits.
- Includes three USB 3.0 ports
- Installed with Windows 10 Home
- Generous hybrid hard drive
- Only 17.99 millimeters thick
9. MSI GL63 9SDK-614 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
The cooling system on this MSI gaming laptop includes pretty standard specs for the most part: a quart terabyte NcME SSD, a 144 Hz IPS display, and 16 GB of memory are accompanied by pretty standard central and graphical processors. It also draws on the Killer Ethernet protocol to ensure a steadier and more reliable connection when you break out your favorite competitive or cooperative games. The keyboard itself sports an intricate design with bright and bold keys that really set it apart from the competition.
Color coverage is at 100% for the sRGB spectrum, and that standard memory of 16 GB can be upgraded to four times that size. The backlighting allows you to customize your laptop on a key by key basis so you can get incredibly creative and elaborate with your design. It's also available in a 17 inch model.
- Two fan, four exhaust cooling
- Smooth flowing 144 Hz display
- Uses the latest ninth gen CPU
- Lots of space for memory upgrades
10. ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop
Republic of Gamers is made for gamers who take their hobby seriously, and there's no better demonstration of that philosophy in action than the Zephyrus S gaming laptop. You should first get a hint that this is a monster of a laptop when you check out its military grade aluminum frame. It's crafted from sturdy materials, but ASUS has still managed to keep the design very slick and sleek, and it weighs in at less than a slim five pounds.
The GPU here is a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, and while it doesn't offer the cool new bells and whistles of the RTX chipset, it's a powerful workhorse of a processor through and through. The components on this gaming laptop are good, but RoG has put in the effort to make sure they stay that way too. While the chassis protects the guts from impact, the upgraded fans keep dust and heat at bay.
- Heavy duty chassis and fans
- Weighs less than five pounds
- Huge variety of physical ports
- 3ms response time, 144 Hz refresh
Compare the Models
|+ Best Overall: Acer||9th generation Intel Core i7-9750H||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti||16GB DDR4||256 GB SSD||15.6 inch FHD|
|+ MSI GS65 Stealth-006||9th generation Intel Core i7-8750H||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060||16GB DDR4||512GB SSD||15.6 inch FHD|
|+ ASUS TUF||AMD Ryzen 7 R7-3750H||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti||16GB DDR4||256GB SSD, 1 TB HDD||15.6 inch FHD|
|+ Dell G5 i7-9750H||9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650||16GB DDR4||256 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD||15.6 inch FHD|
|+ HP Omen 15-dc1047nr||9th generation Intel Core i7-9750H||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070||32GB||512GB SSD||15.6 inch FHD|
|+ Lenovo Legion Y7000||8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060||16 GB||128GB SSD, 1TB HDD||15.6 inch FHD|
|+ Razer Blade 15.6″||8th gen Intel Core i7-8750H||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q||16 GB||128GB SSD, 1TB HDD||15.6 inch FHD|
|+ Alienware M15-15.6″ FHD||8th gen Intel Core i7-8750H||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060||16GB||128 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD||15.6 inch FHD|
|+ MSI GL63 9SDK-614||9th gen Intel Core i7-9750H||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti||16GB||256 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD||15.6 inch FHD|
|+ ASUS ROG Zephyrus||9th generation Intel Core i7-9750H||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070||16GB||512 GB SSD||15.6 inch FHD|
Best Gaming Laptop under 1500 Buying Guide
The best laptops for gaming ( as well as gaming mice, gaming keyboards, and just about anything gaming ) are one of the more popular categories here at HotRate, and we’ve actually put together quite a few guides to finding the best gaming laptops at certain price points. For the sake of completion, we’ll cover the basics you need to check in terms of features and specs when shopping for a laptop in this price range, but we’ll pay special attention to the sort of specs and features you’ll find in the best gaming laptop under $1500.
Comparing Price Ranges
When we talk about a gaming laptops under $1500, we’re really looking at two tiers of laptops: those that hover right around a thousand dollars (which we’ll call entry mid-range) and those that come in with a price tag just above or below 1500 dollars (which we’ll call middle range). If you’ve paid attention to our review list, you may have noticed that there’s a lot of overlap between different specs and features at different price points.
With that in mind, we’re going to look at the most typical spec values at the entry mid-range and middle range levels. That way you can better evaluate in which qualities laptops perform above and below average for their price and more readily determine what price point is right for you.
Graphical Processing Unit
Entry: Nvidia GTX
Middle Range: Nvidia RTX
Since it controls graphical processing, the GPU is obviously going to be one of the most important hardware specifications to pay attention to when looking for a gaming laptop, especially under $1500. And while different model numbers are used in comparable gaming laptops, the big difference here is between the GTX and the RTX. And that’s what constitutes much of the price difference between entry and middle range models (it’s recommended by many that you spend about a third of your hardware budget on the GPU when building a gaming machine from scratch, and that applies pretty well to a pre-built laptop as well).
So what’s the big difference here? More than performance, it comes down to the latest and greatest technology to come from the big brains at Nvidia. The starring feature exclusive to the RTX is ray tracing – a way to dramatically increase the lighting in a scene that’s still in its earliest days of mainstream attention. It’s also capable of using artificial intelligence and procedural designing to really expand the world building immersion in games. These technologies are still early in their implementation, but they could easily color the next generation in a pretty major way.
With VR becoming more popular, it’s also worth taking into consideration whether you require your gaming laptop to be VR Ready and whether it can support the latest VR headsets.
Central Processing Unit
Entry: 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H
Middle Range: 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H
You’re not seeing double. The Intel Core processor line is almost always going to be present in a gaming laptop, and the Intel Core i7 processor is essentially the best model until you encounter the i9, which is more than most gamers will ever need (and too expensive to reasonably put in a laptop at either price point). The Intel i7 is generally considered the standard for quality gaming, and it should be capable of providing fast performance while your graphics card keeps pace with the image quality.
You may occasionally see gaming laptop models that use an Intel Core i7-8750H processor instead. That shouldn’t be too much of a concern. While these represent the eighth rather than ninth generation of the processor (the first number after the hyphen always signifies the generation), there wasn’t a major improvement following the 8th generation Intel Core. Just stay away from the seventh generation if you want the performance you deserve from your games.
You might also see AMD processors used. While they’re not as common at this under $1500 price point as Intel, they’re still decent CPUs for a gaming machine, and if they’re on our list here, you can rest easy knowing that the specs there are solid.
Entry: 16GB of RAM
Middle Range: 32 or 16GB RAM
In our guide to the best laptops under $2000, we discussed that 8 GB of RAM constituted the bare minimum of what you should look for when seeking out a solid gaming laptop, but we consider 16GB RAM the benchmark, at least for the gaming experience. RAM serves as the memory of your computer, storing pieces of information that will need to be readily accessed. That’s great when you’re trying to shorten your loading times, but there’s a point where the remembering your computer needs to do is outclassed by the RAM level.
32 GB of RAM is some nice icing on the cake if you’re looking to do some multitasking or work in a creative field in addition to gaming, but 16GB RAM should be quite enough for most gaming experiences, and it should stay that way even as the technology evolves. And if you ever reach a point where your memory isn’t up to task, upgrading most gaming laptops under $1500 is a pretty simple and rather inexpensive task.
Entry: 15.6 inch FHD
Middle Range: 17 or 15.6 inch FHD
When looking at the best gaming laptops under 1500, there aren’t a lot of options in terms of the display. Most laptops under this price are standardized at 15.6 inches, although you’ll find some larger than that (and some smaller, once you start to get under $1000). Moreover, you can expect no variance in the resolution. FHD is the standard in gaming laptops under $2000, and it’s only above that price that you start to see models that can deliver a true 4K gaming experience.
But just because you can’t get an FHD experience doesn’t mean that there aren’t qualities to pay attention to here. There are variances between screens that can’t be translated as raw, defined specs. An anti-glare surface can help you enjoy a high-end gaming experience clearly on your panel even if you’re out in the middle of the day, and that’s further enhanced by checking out the maximum brightness rating measured in nits. If you want more serious features, check for a gaming laptop that comes with blue light protection for the sake of your strained eyes.
Alternatively, you can always hook up to a 4k gaming tv for a more immersive experience.
Entry: 256 GB SSD
Middle Range: 512 GB SSD
Storage is one of those key specs where we start to see a lot more flexibility in what you’ll find. While the average gaming laptop under or around $1000 is going to not rely solely on a traditional hard drive, you will find a decent amount of hybrid models here. They’ll include both a solid state drive and a traditional hard drive as a way to blend together the speed and reliability of a PCIE NvME SSD and the capacity of a more traditional hard drive. That said, you’ll also find entry level models that offer just a PCIE NvME SSD.
Once you get to the higher end pricing for gaming laptops under $1500, you’re going to start seeing more SSD hard drives with a capacity of 512 GB or a gull terabyte. These are something you won’t find at all in gaming laptops under or around $1000. But just like with memory, storage is something you don’t need to worry too much about. While you need enough storage to easily store your favorite games, replacing a hard drive (or adding a new one to create a hybrid system) is pretty painless, and it’s not going to cost you much.
There’s unfortunately not always an easy way to tell whether a keyboard is good or not just by glancing at it, and what you prefer might not be reflected in the reviews you read. We recommend yo check out a keyboard to see how it handles if you get the chance. A powerful gaming laptop won’t mean much if the keys make it frustrating to play on. Take the time to stop by a store and try out the style first hand.
That said, while a lot of the best video games rely heavily on keyboards to handle gameplay, you don’t need to make it one of your top priorities when shopping for a gaming laptop. You can always invest in a wireless Bluetooth keyboard. You can find out more about them in our guide to the best wireless gaming keyboards of 2020.
On the surface, it may seem like stacking on a load of peripherals runs counterproductive to the convenient portability that a laptop provides, but some peripherals will be necessary for certain players. Every gamer is going to want to get the best gaming mouse. While the trackpads that come on these laptops are generally highly functional, they aren’t great for the needs of any serious games. Check out our guide to the best gaming mice to direct your search.
Headsets and headphones are a little more situational. If you’re a pro gamer or looking to coordinate in any serious multiplayer game, you’ll absolutely want to get a gaming headset. If you’re a single player gamer who finds themselves regularly in crowded situations (or is simply looking for a more immersive experience), you may want to seriously consider investing in a solid pair of headphones. There are many inexpensive and compact models tailored to the needs of gamers. Check out our list of the best gaming headset for more info.
Investing in an external keyboard will be a matter of personal preference. While keyboard build is one of the first considerations a manufacturer cuts when thinking about budget, these mid-range models offer pretty solid options by and large. But you won’t find the satisfying cadence of a dedicated mechanical keyboard out of the box, and many keyboards catered specifically to gamers offer great quality of life features like dedicated macro buttons.
Maintenance – 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 gaming 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Most Powerful Laptop of 2020?
It’s hard to say what the most powerful laptop is flat out, because there are so many brands to follow and so many hidden components of a computer to consider when trying to evaluate the best. For that reason, we encourage you to browse our review guide above and follow us regularly to stay up to date on the latest gadgets and goods.
What is the Best Gaming Laptop of 2020?
Even before you take into consideration the fact that we’re only looking at gaming laptops under $1500, we have a hard time turning our back on the HP Omen. It’s a very cool looking laptop that’s prepped for the latest graphical advances and has been meticulously tested to be compatible with the latest VR headsets. Add in that cool looking backlit keyboard, and you have a gaming laptop that would be great at practically any price.
What Are the Best Gaming Laptops?
If you want a laptop that you can primarily use to play games, there are a lot of options available to you. If you’re a bit tight on money, our list breaks down 10 of the best models under $1500. But if you’re willing to get a little more expensive, we also provide a guide to the best gaming laptop models under $2000.
What Are the Best Affordable Gaming Laptops?
If your budget is under $1500, the Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop would take our pick here. If you’re a gamer and you want balanced performance on everything from the latest games to multitasking at work and school, this laptop has you covered. Not only is it a gaming laptop around $1000, but it provides a balanced profile regarding everything from storage to memory to image quality.
You may also like our article on the best laptops under $800.
$1500 isn’t exactly cheap for most people, but once you find a laptop that can play your favorite games, it shold be able to easily stay with you for years to come. We hope you find the best laptop under your budget here, and if you decide you want to shop for some accessories for your new gaming rig, we encourage you to follow our buying guides in more depth.