Best Gaming Laptops under $1500

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- Last Updated: January 11, 2021
Gaming laptops can be quite expensive. However, between hunks of desktop PCs and regular laptops made for everyday tasks, buying a gaming laptop is one of the best choices for a gamer.

Not all gaming laptops are made equal. The perfect gaming laptop for you depends on what features you are looking for in a laptop. Gaming requires a lot of specifications. Therefore, most gaming laptops tend to be quite pricey. However, don’t let that stop you from being a full-fledged gamer because there are some best gaming laptops under 1500 dollars.

Are Gaming Laptops Worth It?

Ok. Here we go. When there are so many other laptops that have perfectly good specifications, why would you go for a pricey gaming laptop? Is it even worth it? Well, the answer is, yes, gaming laptops are definitely worth it.

If you are serious about gaming at all, gaming laptops are the best choice. They have components that are specifically there to improve your gaming experience. While you can play games on normal laptops, you wouldn’t be able to play high-end games that require a lot of specifications in them. If you do play them, you’ll have to sacrifice enjoying some of the best things about a game such as visuals.

On the other hand, when you can use gaming PCs that can virtually be upgraded forever for better and faster components, why would you look for a gaming laptop that will keep you stuck on some components like the CPU as long as you move on to the next laptop? 

While gaming PCs are the best for serious gamers who thrive off the big screens and faster gaming, they have a huge disadvantage when it comes to portability. So, if you want to carry your games wherever you go, PCs would not be able to do that for you. That’s why you should go for an awesome gaming laptop that would give you the ability to play any game on the go wherever you are.

So, if you are a serious gamer, we suggest you buy a gaming laptop rather than a normal laptop. The gaming experience you get from these laptops is absolutely worth the price.

That being said, let’s get into our list of best gaming laptops under $1500.

Best Gaming Laptops Under 1500 Dollars (2020)

Gaming Laptops Buying Guide

When you buy a laptop for gaming, you should be careful about its specifications and features all the while taking into account your budget. We want you to have the best gaming laptop. So, here are a few tips you can use to buy the best laptop that would make gaming a breeze.

For the best gaming experience, you need to consider some factors such as the GPU, RAM, Display, and more on a laptop. Some of these components can easily be upgraded while some, such as the CPU or display cannot be upgraded. So, when you buy a laptop, you need to make sure that the components that cannot be upgraded have the necessary specifications you need for your gaming.

So, how do you choose the best laptop under $1500 for gaming? Here are some quick tips you need to keep in mind when looking for a gaming laptop;

  • Buy a laptop that has a good GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). You can’t upgrade GPUs on a laptop. So, buy a laptop that has a sufficient GPU and you’re good to go for three or four years.
  • Go for high-speed displays for faster gaming. A screen with 1920 X 1080 resolution is the fastest (144Hz). However, 4K screens win the title for best resolution although they are not that fast. So, think hard about what you want. Is it speed or resolution?
  • Buy a laptop that allows you to upgrade RAM and storage. You shouldn’t have to worry too much about this because most gaming laptops are easily upgradable.
  • Larger RAMs of 8 or preferably, 16 GB are better for gaming because most games tend to be very demanding about RAM space.
  • Get a laptop with both SSD and HDD storage. Gaming laptops with SSDs are more expensive. But, if they are within your budget, by all means, go for it. SSDs make gaming faster. However, an HDD can also do the job quite efficiently.
  • If you plan on moving your gaming laptop around too much. (Which really is the point of buying a laptop), go for a 15 inch or less screen. Smaller laptops are easy to carry around and can fit in any backpack. Another plus about a small-screened laptop is that they don’t weigh much.
  • Test the keyboard. Make sure that the keys feel good and do not require extra effort to press.

Things to Consider While Buying a Gaming Laptop?

Here are some things you need to look for when you buy a gaming laptop:

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)

GPU is basically the heart of your gaming laptop. It takes care of all the awesome images you see in a game. Most games are dependent on the GPU for graphics. So, for the best gaming experience, you need to have a good enough GPU.

When you buy a laptop, you need to be extra picky about the GPU. Why? Because it cannot be upgraded. Buy a laptop with a GPU that can handle a lot. That way, you’ll get awesome graphics for a few years.

Before you buy your laptop, think about what kind of gamer you are. Would you describe yourself as a beginner level gamer, medium level gamer, or an experienced gamer? According to the types of games you play, you may or may not need the best GPU out there.

If you play games that are big on visuals, you need a good GPU. But, if you are into more minimalistic or older games, you may get by with a GPU like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 or GTX 1060. The best GPU for your gaming depends on what games you play.

CPU (Central Processing Unit)

For your game to work really well, you need to have an efficient CPU. CPU is the brain of the computer and will handle all tasks regarding the computer. When it comes to games, CPU controls the physics and calculations of the game including NPCs (Non-Player Character). So, while your gaming laptop should have a good GPU, it’s equally important to have a high-performing CPU.

So, how do you know if a CPU of a laptop is efficient for gaming? There are some specific characteristics that you should look for including the number of cores and clock speed.

For gaming, the ideal CPU is Core i5 or Core i7. You should definitely steer clear of anything less than this. Core i3 is not a match for modern games which demand high performance. Core i5 is alright. But, if you can afford it, always buy a laptop with Core i7 for gaming.

How many cores do you need for an ideal gaming laptop? We suggest a Quad-core. It’s the best type of processor for demanding games. Always avoid dual-core processors. These CPUs won’t be able to handle a modern game. Try to go for a laptop with a Quad-core or more.

Another factor you should consider is the clock speed of a CPU. If a CPU has clock speeds of higher numbers like 3.4 GHz, it means that the laptop is faster. And fast is what you need for gaming. A clock speed like 2.6 GHz can make a huge difference to the speed of the laptop. So, try to find a laptop with higher clock speed.

RAM

Choosing a RAM with enough space is required if you want the best from a gaming laptop. Although you don’t need to be extra picky about this as with GPUs and CPUs, you still need to buy a laptop with at least an 8 GB RAM. Gaming is RAM intensive for the most part and a 4 GB RAM is not going to be anywhere near sufficient.

However, as you can easily upgrade a RAM, you can go with whatever you can afford right now. A 16 GB RAM is the desired RAM for a gaming laptop. So, you can add a 16 GB RAM to your laptop later in the future as the need arises.

Storage

When it comes to storage, most gaming laptops include both an SSD and an HDD. SSD is an important component of a gaming laptop as they make laptops faster. They can transfer files in an instant and this makes gaming even faster.

However, most budget gaming laptop under $1500, may not include an SSD. SSDs are expensive and can add to the price of a gaming laptop, making it a not so much budget-friendly option. However, hard drives are alright for gaming even though you lack that extra speed given by SSD.

If a laptop with an SSD is not within your budget, go for a 1 TB hard drive. The recommended speed of hard drives for gaming laptops is 7200 rpm. A 5400-rpm hard drive will slow up your game.

As you can easily upgrade storage as well, you can move on to a larger hard drive later if you want.

Display

For an outstanding gaming experience, a laptop should most certainly have a good display. Your laptop may have good graphics, but you’ll never see it if your display is not good enough.

A good display should have a minimum resolution of 1920 X 1080 for clear and sharp images. Anything lower looks very much underwhelming. You can also opt for a newer 4K display. These will give sharper images with striking colors.

The refresh rate of a display is also a factor that affects the speed of gaming. Most gaming laptops will offer a 1080p resolution with a 144 Hz display. This is sufficient for gaming. But, if you are going to opt for a 4K display, you should know that higher resolution displays tend to have lower refresh rates. So, you need to choose between speed and resolution. Which one is the best fit for your need? If you are alright with having a little less resolution, we suggest going with the faster choice.

Whatever you do, keep in mind to avoid touch screens at all costs. These are unnecessary for gaming laptops and can affect battery life. Touch screens can also reduce the quality of the image offered by the display. You can also choose if you want a glossy or matte display. It totally depends on your preference. However, glossy screens can cause reflections that may be distracting.

You should also consider the size of the screen. While a 17-inch laptop will be tempting, a 15 inch or 14-inch screen will give you more portability. Laptops with smaller screens will be easy to carry around in backpacks and will not be as heavy as a larger laptop.

Keyboard

As a gamer, you have to have a keyboard that makes typing easy and simple. For typing to be easy, there are some factors a keyboard needs to have. If a keyboard doesn’t give these features, it may potentially slow your gaming significantly.

The first thing you need to check is how easy it is to press a key. You don’t need your keyboard to be extra squishy or too stiff. So, what is the sweet spot between too squishy and too stiff? An ideal keyboard will give you firm feedback when pressed. For this, there should be a minimum depth of 1.5 mm and a maximum depth of 2 mm. Additionally, for a keyboard to be efficient and optimal, the minimum force required to press a key should be around 60 grams.

Anti-ghosting and n-key rollovers will keep track of the key combinations you use for completing multiple actions in a game. So, when you press a combination of certain keys for a cool action in an action game, the keyboard will track and register them.

Another cool feature that you may want to look for is backlighting. Backlighting can be a great addition that makes your laptop look awesome. The best thing is that you can customize it. With specific software, you can turn your keyboard into your own light show. This software can also be used to keep track of your statistics such as your kill rate.

Other factors you need to consider when buying a gaming laptop

The above specifications are absolutely important for a gaming laptop. So, when you buy a laptop, consider those factors first. However, for ease of use, you need to think about the following aspects of a laptop as well.

Size and portability

The point of buying a gaming laptop is its portability. However, if you buy a laptop with a large screen, you are not going to be able to take it everywhere. While large laptops mean more immersive visuals (because of the large screen) and hard components that won’t be easily broken, they can weigh a lot. Some laptops can weigh up to 7 pounds. So, if you want a large laptop, by all means, go for it. But keep in mind that carrying a laptop that weighs over 7 pounds can easily become a burden.

Smaller gaming laptops have that sleek look and weigh next to nothing. So, although the screen may not be larger than 14 or 15 inches, you’ll find that these laptops are very easy to be carried around. So, unless you are not planning to move your laptop too much, we suggest you go for a smaller laptop.

If you are a PC gamer, you are used to the larger screen and it may be more appealing to buy a gaming laptop with a larger screen. Plus, larger laptops tend to be more powerful than their smaller fellows. However, if the laptop is more powerful, it is going to be less portable.

Cooling system

Because gaming laptops are almost all about high performance, the components can get heated pretty quickly. Components like the GPU and CPU are especially vulnerable to heat and usually, the best-performing components will emit the most heat. As heat can damage components and even slow down gaming, it is important to choose a laptop that has a good cooling system.

Most laptops incorporate different components for optimal heat dissipation like heat sinks, cooling fans, and having a metal chassis. A heat sink is a conductor that takes the heat away from the CPU. Because these have wider surface areas than CPU, heat dissipation is high. Similarly, some laptops have a metal chassis that does the same job. Because the surface area is larger, the metal, mainly copper allows better heat dissipation.

Cooling fans are also important in providing heat dissipation. They can draw cool air into the laptop or pump out the hot air inside the laptop to the outside. For optimal functioning, always choose a laptop that has a good cooling system to protect the components from heating too much.

Battery life

Gaming laptops don’t usually have good battery lives. As games depend on performance, they can reduce the battery lives of laptops significantly.

A gaming laptop will last about an hour at most. So, you would have to keep the laptop plugged in while you play games. If you don’t keep it plugged in, you wouldn’t get the full use of the GPU. Even when you use gaming laptops for other tasks, it wouldn’t last more than a few hours.

So, if you need a laptop that lasts at least 8 hours, a gaming laptop is not going to be that. If a gaming laptop lasts that long, you are sure to get a dim, muddy display. And, sacrificing the visuals are not going to make your gaming laptop worth it.

FAQs

1. Is it possible to use a gaming laptop for everyday use?

Yes. You can do everything including browsing, content creating, and more using gaming laptops.

2. What is the best processor for gaming?

A Core i5 or Core i7 can be used for gaming. However, Core i7 is the ideal option for gaming.

3. Should I buy a gaming laptop with a touch screen?

Gaming laptops are starting to include touch screens. However, having a touch screen can reduce the quality of the display significantly. So, avoid gaming laptops with touch screens.

4. Should I go with a 4K display? Or, should I stick with 1080p?

It’s a question of preference. If you prefer a superb display over speed, get a 4K display. 4K display can only have a 60 Hz display rate. So, for faster gaming, we recommend the very much efficient and beautiful 1080p display that also supports 144 Hz and higher refresh rates.

5. Are gaming laptops worth it?

It depends. Are you a serious gamer? If you are, a gaming laptop is definitely worth it. However, if you are not an avid gamer, a normal laptop will be efficient for use.

Conclusion

So, what is the best gaming laptop under 1500 dollars? The answer to this question depends on your preferences. The laptops we’ve included here are some of the best gaming laptops under $1500. Your dream laptop can be one of these.

Before you choose a gaming laptop, think about what you need first. Most of these laptops also allow you to customize hardware. So, if you can afford it, you can choose to customize your gaming laptop as well.

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