Not all models of gaming laptops are made equal, and there are many potential issues to look out for when shopping around. With that said, let’s take a look at the list of best gaming laptop under $1500!
For this price range, you will frequently see similar specs in terms of graphics card power to cheaper laptops. The key differences here will be in the processors and RAM jumping up to the next level, as well as significant extras geared at gamers.
This price range is one of the last tiers were budgeting becomes a concern, and you can usually expect very high end specs no matter what brand or model you prefer.
So what sets them apart from each other? Picking the perfect gaming laptop to meet your needs means comparing more than just the amount of RAM. You’ve got to look at the thickness, weight, design, keyboard lighting options, included software, and speaker sound quality.
Below we look at eight best gaming laptops under $1500 in 2021 that vary widely in terms of size, battery life, and keyboard / touchpad design.
The Lineup At A Glance
Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500 In 2021
Acer Predator Helios 300 – Solid Specs
Although bulkier and heavier than many other gaming models, Acer’s Predator line still offers top-notch specs for gamers.
That weight doesn’t prevent this model from having the aesthetic that gamers crave either, with stylish red and black exhaust ports. Throw in fully customizable RGB lighting and you’ve got a very pretty machine to look at during marathon online sessions.
While it doesn’t quite match the graphics card of the refurbished ASUS ROG, you still get a GTX 1660 Ti and 16GB of RAM here in a completely factory new machine. In other words, you’ll be playing everything at 60FPS on any settings, and VR will run smoothly in most cases.
The screen is also worth mentioning, which is a full IPS display with G-Sync for a crisp and clear image no matter what angle you set the laptop. From desk to lap to resting on a pillow on your bed, the display is still going to look great while playing anything from Civilization VI to Battlefield 1.
Buyers who reviewed the laptop often mention the ability to easily swap out the optical drive with an extra FrostCore fan to stay cool during long weekend games.
Hardware Specifications for Acer Predator Helios 300
CPU: 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor | Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM | RAM: 16 GB | Screen: 15. 6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS display | Storage: 512 GB| Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 3 hours | Weight: 5.29 lbs
HP Omen 15 – Inexpensive Gaming
Want the power of a machine that seems like it cost several grand but is usually available for a very reasonable cost?
HP’s Omen line has you covered with a VR-ready laptop that can be bought for significantly less money than many of our other contenders.
If you’re looking to jump into high end gaming, this is a great place to start.
You get some nifty extra features as well, like a four zone RGB keyboard, although the zones aren’t customizable like with with more expensive models.
At just under 6 pounds this isn’t the thinnest model, but it is sturdy and will withstand normal wear and tear.
Note that the Omen line of laptops comes in several different configurations. An upgraded version of this model appears on our list of best gaming laptops under $2,000 as well.
Hardware specifications for HP Omen 15
CPU: Intel i7-9750H Processor | Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti (6 GB)| RAM: 8 GB RAM| Screen: | Storage: 256 GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 3 hours | Weight: 5.34 lbs
Asus ZenBook 13 – Portable Gaming
The big draw to theAsus ZenBook 13 is it’s non-standard size and weight. This is a full sized, 13” gaming laptop — that also happens to be the lightest offering in our lineup of contenders.
With the sleek design and full HD display, you get a very attractive laptop that still manages to cram in a lot of hardware for playing games on high settings.
There’s really only one downside here over the other models — due to the thinner chassis, they downgrade the GPU to a NVIDIA GeForce MX250. Although technically still a dedicated graphics cars, it won’t be as good as the Nvidia GTX series.
You may be able to get some lower end virtual games to run, but this system will struggle with the latest titles, so it’s meant more for a standard gaming laptop. But it does solve the portability issues of gaming laptops and you can easily carry this around wherever you go.
Hardware specifications for Asus ZenBook 13
CPU: Intel Core i7-10510U |Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX250 | RAM: 16 GB RAM | Storage: 512 SSD| Screen: 13.3 inches; 1920 x1080 resolution| Storage: 512 GB SSD|Operating System: Windows 10 Pro | Battery Life: 11 hours | Weight: 2.8 lbs
Dell G5 15 – Dual-fan Cooling System
The Dell G5 15 gaming laptop’s performance is supported by 9h generation Intel Core i7-9750H processor which ensures users can load games smoothly without any lag.
Another feature of the laptop that boosts its smooth performance is the RAM size of 16 GB DDR4. Users can also look forward to the 1256 GB of storage sufficient for storing most of our favorite games.
The 15-inch FHD LCD display that offers users with a wide range of angles to view running games on. The graphics card is NVIDIA and the quality is sufficient for an intense gaming experience.
Dell G5 15 has an anti-glare system in place which prevents the brightness of the screen from being directly reflected in the eyes of users.
Its keyboards are also really comfortable allowing you to play long hours without your fingers swelling up.For its battery, the Dell system does not fare badly but has the same life expectancy as that of other gaming laptops. It can last for a period of 7 hours with pure gaming.
Lastly, it has an advanced cooling system allowing you to play games without having to hear the distracting noise of fans.
Hardware specifications for Dell G5 15
CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core I7-9750h | Graphics: Nvidia Geforce Gtx 1650 with 4GB GDDR5 Graphics | RAM: 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM| Screen: 15. 6-Inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED backlight Non-Touch narrow Border IPS display| Storage: 256GB SSD and 1TB SATA HDD| Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 7 hours | Weight: 8.58 pounds
Lenovo Legion Y540 – Good All Around
The finish is a thing of beauty with the aluminum black color offering a high-end look.
With an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and its 16GM RAM space, the system enables users to multitask across various programs and files without interruptions. You also get 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD for all your data and media.
If you require more storage even with the large capacity of the inbuilt ones, the presence of several USB ports allows you to add an external drive.
Like the Dell G5 15 laptop, the Lenovo Legion Y540 also has an anti-glare system in place preventing gamers from having to feel the force of the screen’s brightness.
The 15.6 inches screen has Full HD IPS and the presence of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics ensures the provision of clear visuals. Gamers also have a range of angles to view their games.
The laptop’s display also has thin bezels of 0.3 inches thereby ensuring you have more picture and less frame.
Now, all these features of the system are made available within a lightweight casing of 5.1 pounds.
On a full charge, you have over 6 hours of battery life which is better than what the Dell 7855 G7 15 offers.
Hardware specifications for Lenovo Legion Y540
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H Up | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5 | RAM: 24 GB RAM | Screen: 15. 6” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS anti-glare display | Storage: 1TB HDD + 512 GB SDD | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 5 hours | Weight: 9.38 lbs
CyberpowerPC Tracer III – Mechanical Keyboard
Most gaming laptops feature some sort of RGB lighting capacity, but they typically have soft chiclet designs on the keyboards.
CyberpowerPC Tracer III breaks that trend and gives you the satisfying sound and sturdy construction of a mechanical keyboard.
While using a compact design, you still also get the full 10 key side section as well!
Despite that huge advantage over other contenders, you don’t lose out on any of the other hardware components needed for a great gaming experience.
With a spacious SSD, plenty of RAM, and a high end CPU + GPU combo, this unit will play anything you throw at it without losing frame rates!
Hardware specifications for CyberpowerPC Tracer III
CPU: Intel i7-9750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti | RAM: 8 GB RAM | Screen: 15.6″ FHD IPS Anti-Glare Led Display| Storage: 240 GB SSD | Operating System: Win 10 Home | Battery Life: 2.5 hours | Weight: 11.77 lbs
Alienware M15 – Stylish And Thin Option
So here’s the thing — most gamers straight up don’t need the new RTX cards at this point since they’re big and bulky. However, the Alienware M15 is one of the few exceptions.
If you prefer a thinner machine that still packs a punch with the NVIDIA RTX 2060, you can’t go wrong here with this Alienware model.
This thin and stylish laptop features a sturdy metal chassis and a sleek, stylish build.This unit has an interesting design because at first, it seems like it doesn’t include nearly the same level of port options as other gaming models… until you turn it around.
To save space and get this beast under 5 pounds, several of the ports are on the back instead of the side.
There’s really only one downside here — make absolutely sure to install some CPU heat measuring software and get a laptop cooler for this model, because it runs very hot.
Quite a few buyers have noted it gets hot enough to occasionally shut down while gaming if you don’t monitor the heat! I guess that’s the downside to making your gaming laptop portable, you sometimes forget to include an efficient cooling method.
Hardware Specifications for Alienware M15
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H| Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 2060 6GB | RAM: 16 GB RAM | Screen: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) display, 144Hz refresh rate and 300-nit brightness| Storage: 512 GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 6 hours| Weight: 4.76 lbs
MSI GV62 8RD-276 – Budget VR
With a shiny new RTX graphic card and a stylish Steel Series red keyboard, this model doesn’t lack in either style or substance.
Want to try out VR devices like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive? This is a great way to do it without emptying out your checking account.
This model from Xotic is typically available around $100 – $150 cheaper than our other picks, so this is basically your “budget” VR option (with “budget” being a relative term of course).
To achieve that lower price, the manufacturer dropped down to the 8th gen i7 processor. It also comes with a 1TB HDD which is really useful for storing non game files.
Hardware specifications for MSI GV62 8RD-276
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H| Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti 4GB| RAM: 16 GB RAM | Screen: 15. 6 Inches Full HD eDP IPS-Level 45% NTSC | Storage: 128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD| Operating System: Win 10 Home | Battery Life: 2 hours | Weight: 4.4 lbs
Acer Nitro 5 – Entry Level Gaming Laptop
The Acer Nitro 5 is probably the go to gaming laptop if you’re on a budget. The laptop is very cheap and affordable and it has the right specs needed to play the latest AAA titles. Although, its specs may not be high enough to run it in ultra high graphics.
The laptop features a 9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H Processor which is pretty powerful. Despite being an i5 it can still handle most AAA titles without a hitch especially if it’s backed by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card.
The laptop is very stylish with its reddish-black design and eye-catching red backlit keyboard. The display also offers an FHD widescreen resolution to immerse yourself in gaming.
And unlike most gaming laptops, the Acer Nitro 5 has a large battery life of 7 hours making it very convenient to carry around. You’ll be able to game, even without relying on a charger for a few hours.
Hardware specifications for Acer Nitro 5
CPU: Intel Core i5-9300H Processor | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM| RAM: 8 GB RAM| Screen: 15″ Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit Display| Storage: 256 GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 7 hours | Weight: 5.07 lbs
ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop – Upgradable Specs
ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop is an amazing gaming laptop especially if you plan to use for the long term. The laptop has fairly powerful initial specs and you can upgrade them later if you simply want more RAM or storage space.
This gaming laptop features an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of SSD storage. These specs are pretty powerful in their own right but you can even go further.
The RAM is upgradable up to 32 GB and it has an extra 2.5 drive for your storage , you can upgrade it to an SSD of course, so that’s 2 TB of SSD space for all of those large game files.
Hardware specifications for ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop
CPU:Quad-core AMD Ryzen 7 3750H Processor | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6” Full HD (1920×1080) 120Hz IPS-Type display| Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 5 hours | Weight: 4.85 lbs
Picking The Best Gaming Laptops Under 1500 – 2021
Many laptops in below $1500 range will give you decent enough specs to play any game with stable frame rates at medium – high settings. The question here is — do you need to go all the way up to $1500?
At this price range, 7th and 8th gen processors become the standard, and you should expect at least 16GB of RAM.
Between those specs and the GTX 1060 – 1070 graphics cards, you are virtually guaranteed to run anything you can find on Steam without any slowdowns. That can be a boon for more than just gaming as well.
Faster processors mean better ability to use other programs besides just graphics-intensive games. For those who mix audio, edit animated videos, use CAD programs, and so on, these are all solid picks for work, school, and gaming.
What Should A Gamer Avoid At This Price Range? (GTX, I5, I7)
Some manufacturers and online sellers haven’t caught on to the fact that graphics technology has massively increased in the last few years. You may find systems with specs that are now low to mid range that are still selling for around $1500.
A system with 8GB of RAM should be simply unacceptable if you are going to drop this amount of money. There are plenty of laptops with that amount of onboard system memory that can be purchased at much lower prices.
On the graphics card front, anything beneath a GTX 1060 shouldn’t even be in your consideration at this price, unless you don’t care about VR.
If you are going to pick a laptop with a GTX 1050 or 960MX, you could save yourself several hundred dollars by finding a less expensive model.
The only potential trade off there is finding a system in this price range with maximum RAM and larger hard drives at the cost of a less powerful video card. While you don’t get as much graphical power for VR applications, you also won’t have to spend money on memory upgrades down the line.
How Far Can I Upgrade From Here?
For the most part, upgrading the graphics card or processor isn’t going to be a viable option in a gaming laptop. They just aren’t designed with that kind of modular replacement in mind, which is why you should go for the best graphics card possible at your budget.
The RAM is a whole different story, however. While most of these models will hover around 16GB, they typically can be upgraded all the way to 32GB and in a few cases even a whopping 64GB.
Don’t forget to leave money in your budget for the peripherals and for more expensive extras like a VR setup, either! VR games are becoming increasingly popular and the price on VR gear is coming down over time.
When buying a VR device such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, keep in mind that the GTX 1060 graphics card is where you will get a stable experience.
If you want the absolute best in graphical capabilities and no slow downs on the latest VR games, you should seriously consider a GTX 1070 instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should a good gaming laptop’s battery last?
The best gaming laptops are those that can last for 6 to 8 hours on high performance. However, in terms of life expectancy, the gaming battery should last for at least 3 years before it becomes time for a change.
Do all gaming laptops overheat?
The answer is no. Not all gaming laptops have the problem of overheating. But even with that, the gaming laptops are particularly made to handle the pressure of high performance, unlike normal laptop systems. So, the heat should not affect the system from performing its intended function.
Which laptop brand is best for gaming?
There isn’t one brand that’s dedicated for gaming but multiple. These brands are Acer, MSI, Alienware, and Razer. But this doesn’t mean that other brands are bad for gaming as well because Asus with their Zephyrus, Hp with their Omen, and Lenovo with their Legion are also good picks for gaming laptops.
So the answer depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for some affordable entry-level laptops, then you might want to go with Acer. Their Acer Nitro 5, is an amazing entry-level laptop that comes at an affordable price. Plus it’s upgradeable so you can just top it off later if you’ve saved enough money.
When it comes to power, you might want to go with ASUS, their Asus Zephyrus G14. It’s a very powerful laptop and it’s currently one of the best gaming laptops on the market when it comes to specs. Just don’t expect it to be cheap because this will lower your bank account significantly.
Are gaming laptops good for everyday use?
Yes. You can do most everyday tasks better and faster than other laptops thank the high specs of gaming laptops. You’ll also be able to multitask more effectively since you can run multiple tables and programs at once without problem.
The downside to gaming laptops is the battery life, so you really can’t take a gaming laptop to a coffee shop and work there, especially if charging areas are at a demand.
There’s also the weight. Most gaming laptops are big and bulky. This means carrying them around takes a lot of effort and stamina which makes them a bad everyday laptop for people who are always on the move.
Do Gaming laptops last longer than normal laptops?
Yes. Laptops in general last for about 3 to 5 years. Gaming laptops on the other hand are expected to last at an average of 5 years which gives them a much longer lifespan.
This is to be expected because gaming laptops are also built to be durable and last a long time. After all, they are expensive pieces of hardware and it would be a shame if a few bumps could destroy it.
There’s also the added benefit that they have more powerful specs initially. So even if those specs degree over time, they’re still powerful which helps it from getting obsolete and unused.
Are Gaming Laptops future proof?
Any product that keeps getting updated with newer models with better specs is not future proof. So it’s a “NO”. Gaming laptops aren’t future proof but their usefulness does last for a very long time.
Because of their powerful specs, the majority of gaming laptops are years ahead of other laptops in terms of capabilities. They may be a little more expensive but these extra capabilities will ensure that you can still use your gaming laptop even after a few years.
In fact, they might still be able to compete with other mid-spec laptops after a few years. The MSI GE75 Raider for example sports a 10th Gen i9 laptop, this laptop will still be ahead of other non-gaming laptops even after a few years simply because it has a powerful i9 processor.
Ensuring A High End Gaming Laptop Experience
Any of these five portable gaming rigs will easily offer you a top notch gaming experience, whether you are a turn-based strategy junkie or a fan of the online MOBAs.
Which of these picks do you think is the best gaming laptop under $1500? Let us know which one you plan on ordering, and be sure to leave us a comment if you’ve found any other killer rigs at this price we should look at!