When you’re looking for the best gaming laptop under $1500, there are a lot of different factors to consider. What are the specs on the laptop, compared to how well its built? Is the screen high enough resolution for the size? How does the keyboard hold up over time?
Lucky for you, Gadget Review is here to answer all those questions and more with our guide on the best gaming laptops you can find for under $1,500 today!
- 1 Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500
- 2 #1 Pick Acer Predator 15 G9-591-70VM
- 3 #2 Pick ASUS ROG GL752VW-DH74
- 4 #3 Pick MSI GE62 Apache Pro
- 5 #4 Pick ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW
- 6 #5 Pick Alienware 17
- 7 Key Factors and Features to a Good Gaming Laptop Under $1500
- 8 Mistakes to Avoid
- 9 Which Gaming Laptop Under $1500 is Right For Me
Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500
|Acer Predator 15 G9||ASUS ROG GL752VW||MSI GE62 Apache Pro||ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW||Alienware 17|
|Rank||#1 - Editor's Choice||#2 Best Design||#3 Best All Around||#4 Best Display||#5 Best Graphics for the Money|
|Processor Type/Speed||Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz||Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz||Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz||Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz||Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GTX 970M 3GB||Nvidia GTX 960M 4GB||Nvidia GTX 970M 3GB||Nvidia GTX 960M 2GB||Nvidia GTX 970M 3GB|
|Available RAM||16GB DDR4||16GB DDR4||16GB DDR4||16GB DDR4||8GB DDR4|
|Storage (SSD/HDD)||128GB/1TB||128GB/1TB||128GB/1TB||PCIe 512GB/1TB||128GB/1TB|
|Weight||8.7 lb||6.6 lb||5.3 lb||4.6 lb||8.3 lb|
|Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080||3840 x 2160||1920 x 1080|
|Battery Life (avg)||5:30||5:00||3:20||6:25||7:30|
|Price (as configured)||$1,499.00||$1,222.34||$1,494.00||$1,499.00||$1,399.00|
|Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now|
#1 Pick Acer Predator 15 G9-591-70VM
Price: $1,449.00 | Features: 16GB of DDR4 RAM, Nvidia GTX 970M GPU
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Best gaming laptop value, hands down.
If you’ve been reading our other articles on the subject, you already know how much I absolutely love Acer’s line of Predator gaming laptops.
Sleek, high quality, and a spectacular cost-to-power ratio, these laptops exceed all expectations set by competitors in this space by several leaps and bounds. The Predator 15 is no different, stuffed with a sixth generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor, 16GB of RAM, and a GTX 970M graphics card.
For the money you simply won’t find a better value out there, and with Acer’s continued dedication to adding on as many bells and whistles as possible, any laptop with the Predator label is sure to be a hit.
#2 Pick ASUS ROG GL752VW-DH74
Price: $1,222.34 | Features: 17.3″ FHD display, 128GB SSD
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Light and portable with an attractive design.
ASUS has put a lot of its chips in the ROG basket over the past five years, and although there have been some major misfires along the way (mainly in the desktop department), it seems these days the company is finally getting the art of making a solid gaming device down to a science.
This dedication is more apparent than ever in the ROG GL752VW, which somehow manages to run an Nvidia GTX 960M 4GB GPU and 16GB of DDR4 RAM, all while weighing in at a (comparatively) light profile of just 6.6lbs.
If you’re looking for a solid value gaming laptop that won’t weigh you down the next time you’re shuffling through airport security or gaming at a cafe, this is the machine that will do it better than anything else out there.
#3 Pick MSI GE62 Apache Pro
Price: $1494.99 | Features: Nvidia GTX 970M 3GB, colorful chroma-lit keyboard
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The 3GB GTX 970M packs a serious graphical punch.
MSI has spent a lot of time and engineering dollars nailing down its Apache line of gaming laptops, and it’s obvious that the investment has paid off in spades.
The Apache Pro 15 is a solid gaming laptop that delivers on all fronts, offering many of the same specs you would expect out of this tier, along with extra features like a chroma-lit keyboard that really sets it apart from the rest of the competition on shelves right now.
The Apache features a sixth generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor and the 3GB flavor of GTX 970M, which means it’s just powerful enough to run any game on high-to-ultra settings without skipping a frame.
#4 Pick ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW
Price: $1,499 | Features: 4K UHD touch-capable display, PCIe 512GB SSD
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The ZenBook triumphs with a 4K display and huge SSD.
The ZenBook Pro expertly toes the line between where ultrabooks end and true gaming laptops begin, with many of the best specs pulled from both categories and combined into one feature-rich machine.
With an all aluminum chassis, a sixth-gen Core i7-6700HQ processor and 16GB of RAM, the ZenBook comes equipped with nearly identical specs to the rest of the options on this list.
The only reason the ZenBook – with its 4K touch-ready screen and PCIe 512GB SSD – isn’t at the top of our list is that of all the options here, it also has the weakest internal GPU of the bunch. The Nvidia GTX 960M 2GB is no slouch of course, but when you consider this laptop is sharing the same space with contenders that have a 970M 3GB for $300 less, it’s clear that this laptop has almost all of the bases covered, with just a few that could be a bit more powerful to bring it to near perfection.
All that in mind, if a 4K touchscreen on its own is enough to get you excited, this is definitely the pick for you.
#5 Pick Alienware 17
Price: $1,349.00 | Features: GTX 970M 3GB, 256GB SSD/1TB HDD combo
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Best graphical power for this price tier.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a list of the best gaming laptops out there without an appearance from the company who essentially created the category in their labs back in the early 2000’s: Alienware.
While Alienware may be slipping in some areas, it’s still one of the best when it comes to knowing what gamers care about the most and catering to it with everything they’ve got. In the case of the Alienware 17, it rounds out the list as the cheapest laptop that also happens to come with the most powerful GPU: the GTX 970M 3GB.
With less VRAM it may sound like the 960M is the better choice, but as you can see the 970M nearly doubles the capability of its little brother in 3DMark 11 testing. This alone is enough to get the Alienware 17 the last spot on our list, not to mention its other top-notch features like the 16GB of DDR RAM or 256GB of onboard SSD storage.
Key Factors and Features to a Good Gaming Laptop Under $1500
- As per the standard these days, all the best gaming laptops we’ve recommended in this list come with Intel’s quintessential workhorse – the Core i7-6700HQ.
- This processor is popular because it gets the job done and is highly optimized for almost all games currently on the market.
- While AMD does offer similarly powerful CPUs, the amount of optimization built around the sixth-gen Core i line of processors is enough to keep them firmly in first place.
- While most mobile gaming enthusiasts will tell you that 8GB is “fine” for what you need it to do, optimally you’ll want to include 16GB of RAM in your next laptop.
- It’s not required and doesn’t matter as much on the gaming side, but if you want to do a lot of tasks at the same time (Netflix and Hearthstone, for example), having a little extra RAM to go around never hurts.
- When shopping under the $1,500 range, the best GPU you could hope to get at that price point is going to be the GTX 970M with 3GB of DDR5 memory.
- Like the i7-6700HQ, Nvidia’s line of “M” branded graphics cards are full on workhorses, and are extremely well-optimized for the task of gaming on the go.
- Although it may not seem like much, the gulf between the 960M 4GB and 970M 3GB is pretty substantial, with around 75% more power generated by the latter.
- If you can, try to get an SSD (solid-state drive) for your next gaming laptop.
- While they aren’t an absolute necessity, they’re great for speeding up your loading times between maps or levels, and can also survive more punishment if your laptop happens to take a fall.
- Either way, you should always have a backup HDD that’s at least 500GB (1TB preferred) to hold all your games.
- This is a bit of a divisive area for most gamers, due to one big question: how much time will you really spend gaming on the road?
- If you game at home a lot, you can always save money on your machine by plugging into an external monitor
- If you’re going to game on the road often however, you might want to invest more in the screen so you have the best viewing/gaming experience possible no matter where you are.
- In the end, this is only a question that you can answer on an individual basis, so make sure you consider all your options before making a final purchase.
- In general, the build quality of a machine will encompass three different features: the keyboard, the trackpad, and the case.
- Both the keyboard and the trackpad need to be solid and capable of taking a lot of abuse, because unlike the hard drive or RAM, replacing the keyboard on your laptop is next to impossible without buying a new unit altogether.
- Last, you want to be sure the actual shell of your laptop is made from solid plastic, or optimally a combination of plastic and aluminum. These materials can withstand a lot of punishment over the years, and won’t give out the next time you accidentally shove your laptop off the table and onto the floor.
Mistakes to Avoid
Cheap Build Quality: All the high-end specs in the world won’t mean much if the build quality of your laptop is so poor that the whole system breaks after one drop. Laptops need to be able to survive the risks of the road, and when shopping on a budget it’s important to strike a balance between the specs you want and the quality you know you deserve.
Don’t Splurge on the Screen: As we’ve noted in previous articles on the subject, one of the biggest mistakes people make when buying a new laptop is spending too much on a screen they may only end up using half the time. Yes, laptops are made for mobile, but gaming laptops can also work just as well on your desktop as they do at the local coffee shop. As such, remember that you’ll have a screen back home to plug into, and as long as that monitor is high quality you can save money on the laptop by outputting the video signal to compensate.
Which Gaming Laptop Under $1500 is Right For Me
Each gaming laptop under $1,500 on this list has its ups and downs, and none are going to be 100% perfect for every type of gamer. If you want a solid all-around experience with minimal worries about build quality, the Acer Predator 17 can do almost no wrong.
If you’re dead set on a 4K display the ASUS ZenBook could be the right choice, and if all you care about is raw power for the price, the Alienware 17 fills out that niche all the same. Inevitably it all comes down to the features you care about most, and which laptop is able to tick off the most boxes on your checklist!