In this article, we discuss the ins and outs of premium—well, relatively so— best gaming laptop under $1500 to help you arrive at a considered decision regarding their purchase.
We have also assembled some of the finest options in the marketplace today that deliver excellent performance at a budget-friendly price.
Until not too long ago, gaming on a laptop was a distant dream. People preferred desktops for the sheer magnitude of processing power, superior specs and high-quality graphics—something that seemed impossible to attain in a laptop.
With time, however, not only have gaming laptops become a reality, but they have also become very popular.
Today, you can play most high-end games on laptops and experience desktop-level enjoyment. While many of these devices are expensive—upwards of $2000 or $2500—some can be purchased at less than $1500 as well.
Table of Contents
- Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500: ASUS ROG Strix G16 (GeForce RTX 4060, Intel Core i7-13650HX)
- Quick Checklist for a Top-notch Gaming Laptop Under $1500
- Should You Purchase a Gaming Laptop Under $1500?
- What to Look for in an Under $1500 Gaming Laptop
- What is Refresh Rate & Why is it Important in a Gaming Laptop?
- Final Word
Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500: ASUS ROG Strix G16 (GeForce RTX 4060, Intel Core i7-13650HX)
With a superior heat dissipation mechanism and powerful processing, the 15.6” Asus ROG Strix G16 is a sensible gaming laptop that is also cost-effective.
It is driven by a speedy Intel Core i7-13650HX CPU, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 graphics.
The 165Hz FHD screen is fitted with an IPS panel for optimal viewing comfort.
Asus has equipped this laptop with ROG Intelligent Cooling thermal system with adjustable fan modes to ensure efficient cooling and long-term sustainability.
Thanks to anti-dust technology, the inner components of this computer stay protected from wear and tear even after charged up gaming.
Quick Checklist for a Top-notch Gaming Laptop Under $1500
While hunting for a 144Hz gaming laptop, ensure you also have your eye on:
- A high-speed processor (Intel Core i5 and above): This is critical to fuel your high-adrenaline gaming sessions. A high refresh rate won’t serve you well unless your CPU can back things up.
- A dedicated GPU: Integrated graphics are unlikely to be ample for fast-track gaming. Look for a laptop with a dedicated GPU (e.g., NVIDIA GTX). If you have the budget, you can also explore NVIDIA RTX GPUs and experience brilliant visual effects with real-time ray tracing.
- An anti-glare screen and an IPS panel: Since you are investing in a high-refresh-rate monitor, chances are you will be staring at the screen for long hours. An anti-glare panel and IPS compatibility (In-Plane Switching) will keep your experience strain-free and comfortable across viewing positions.
- Anti-stutter technology (NVIDIA G-SYNC or AMD FreeSync): While the best way to avoid screen tearing or stuttering is to invest in a laptop with an optimal refresh rate (144Hz or at least 120Hz), you can also explore technologies like NVIDIA G-SYNC or AMD FreeSync. These technologies reduce screen tearing and ghosting by synchronizing the display panel with the graphics card. So, the monitor will update only when the card sends a frame, thereby keeping the two in sync irrespective of the frame rate.
- A superior sound system: Games with fast-changing movements tend to rely heavily on sound for building realistic, captivating worlds. A laptop with acoustics that complements the 144Hz display will help you derive the best results.
Should You Purchase a Gaming Laptop Under $1500?
Cheap gaming devices span a wide spectrum of prices—from as little as $500 to $1000. When you get home a laptop close to $1500, you are investing in the moderately-priced range, which means you will still get access to many top-of-the-rung features.
Powerful processing and engaging graphics—the two mainstays of gaming—are in full form in such laptops. This makes them great picks for anyone who loves gaming but also wishes to save some money.
The pros notwithstanding, cheap gaming machines are not suitable for everyone. You should buy a budget gaming companion only if:
- You like gaming, but are not, let us say, obsessed with experiencing the highest level of gameplay attainable.
- You are willing to compromise on some specifications, such as the refresh rate, available storage or portability. For instance, few budget gamers can offer a refresh rate of 240Hz, more than 512GB of storage or an ultra-light chassis of 4–5lbs.
- You are open to the idea of upgrading to a pricier laptop in the near future if and when your requirements change.
- You are not a stickler for immersive sound. While some laptops under $2000 now offer distortion-free audio, it remains a challenge for most gaming notebooks. This can in no small part be attributed to the high-speed fans that laptops require for heat dissipation. Desktops and premium laptops tend to have more efficient (and less noisy) cooling systems, which contribute to better audio.
- Note: Surprising as it is, you can also find gaming laptops in the range of $800–$1000. Some of these devices are simply everyday computers that you can also use to play some games—at moderate settings at best. But it would be pushing it too far to expect such devices to give you the adrenaline rush of immersive graphics or the breakneck speeds that form the backbone of many AAA games.
What to Look for in an Under $1500 Gaming Laptop
Truth be told, these laptops are not really “budget”. However, they are relatively inexpensive when compared to the higher end of the spectrum with computers exceeding $2500 in pricing. That said, they still need to deliver ample power for your gaming pursuits. When you are out looking for a gaming laptop that can meet your needs, ensure that it satisfies these criteria:
A competent CPU
Most laptops in this space have an Intel Core i7 processor, which proves capable of supporting contemporary games like PUBG and Fortnite. You can also look for an AMD equivalent; AMD processors are especially gifted at multitasking and also come in cheaper.
It is important not to settle for a mediocre processor since doing so will seriously limit your gameplay and the range of settings you can enjoy. It is also helpful if the CPU supports overclocking. As for the number of cores, you can settle for a processor that has four or six; there is little point in doing overkill here.
Adequate RAM and storage
Aim to get at least 16GB RAM and 512GB of storage. Ideally, the laptop should offer an SSD (solid-state drive) for superior read/write speeds and swift loading. SSDs also tend to have more longevity and quick booting, both of which are helpful for intensive pursuits like gaming. An even better option is to get a mix of SSD and HDD (hard disk drive).
That way, your primary gaming files that can benefit from a quick boot-up can rest on the SSD, while the rest of your stuff can go on the HDD. However, not many under-$1500 laptops offer this combination storage yet.
Some laptops offer easy upgradeability for the memory and storage through easy-to-access slots. This comes in handy when you wish to upgrade the specs of your laptop but avoid investing in a whole new device—a scenario all too common for gamers.
Effective heat dissipation
Gaming is a CPU-draining pursuit and generates immense heat. Unless the laptop has a functional heat dissipation mechanism, the build-up will affect your experience. Look for cooling systems that utilize good airflow. Innovations such as anti-dust keep the innards cool and working at their optimum. Some laptops in this league offer aeroblade fans for faster air circulation.
Dedicated graphics card
This is pretty much mandatory if you wish to play high-end games at high-end settings. Integrated graphics simply won’t cut it for games that involve multiple transitions, details, special effects, etc.
While an NVIDIA GTX card can support many contemporary games, you can also look for an NVIDIA RTX card. Some under-$1500 gaming laptops do offer the grandeur of RTX, complete with real-time ray tracing, better performance, and artificial intelligence.
A bright and engaging display is a prerequisite for a laptop to qualify as a gamer. Look for an FHD display with a narrow-bezel design for minimal external interference. It is recommended to get a 15.6” screen (at least) or a 17” one, depending on your requirements.
While the former is more portable and better suited to outdoor events, the latter is closer to a desktop experience. Also, check that the screen has an IPS panel (In-Plane Switching). This will be important to let you view the screen from various angles/positions, without encountering distortion.
An important parameter of the display is the refresh rate or the number of times in a second that your screen refreshes. A good metric is 144Hz; you will be hard-placed to find 240Hz laptops in this price range. Also, aim to get a rich color gamut (100% sRGB is superb), a quick response time (close to 3ms) and a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080.
Gaming is an endeavor that needs plenty of connections—from controllers and mice to keyboards and external displays. Ensure that the laptop you purchase has an assortment of USB ports, HDMI, display ports, and compatibility with Wi-Fi and LAN. Some notebooks support Killer Wi-Fi that helpfully optimizes your internet bandwidth, directing it toward your game.
Rich audio output
What is a great game without terrific sound? Since much of modern gameplay relies on high-quality audio, the laptop should support good sound, rich bass, and ample volume. In the under-$1500 range, you can find laptops with Bang & Olufsen audio, DTS: x Ultra surround sound and fine-tuning technologies for minimal distortion and noise. Even when the laptop is compact and portable, smart design can ensure that sound quality does not get affected.
A full-purpose keyboard with smart keys, anti-ghosting, and backlighting can make gaming more enjoyable. You can find laptops with per-key backlighting even in this price range, though more choices abound in the zonal-lighting segment. Also, check that the keyboard is sturdily built and torture tested since it will be getting plenty of animated activity during gaming.
Dependable build and construction
If portability is important to you, it is possible to find cheap gaming laptops weighing 5–6lbs. Otherwise, even if the laptop is heavy and space-consuming, it is paramount to check that it is dependably built, with well-made hinges and components, and long-lasting polish.
Nothing is a worse eyesore than a gaming laptop, supposedly all-powerful, with shoddy design and a flimsy chassis. If aesthetics matter to you, search for accents and highlights, brand logos, and stand-out patterns. Some laptops have metallic top covers for extra glamour.
The above parameters are essentials in any gaming laptop worth its salt. No matter how budget-conscious the purchase, you should guarantee that these criteria are met so that you can enjoy fluid and uninterrupted gameplay. Remember that you may have to give up on certain features that are characteristic of portable laptops, such as long battery life. Or, you may not get too many color choices that are common with some contemporary notebooks focused on style.
What is Refresh Rate & Why is it Important in a Gaming Laptop?
The refresh rate of a laptop is defined as the number of times in one second that the screen updates itself.
A higher refresh rate is preferable for gaming because it lets you see more frames per second. The result will be a smoother video with higher precision and more responsiveness.
So, while the standard refresh rate for laptops is 60Hz (which means 60 times in one second), you are likely to find this lacking for heavy-duty gaming. For the latter, the recommended metric is 165Hz.
But wait—can the eye really detect a difference between a monitor with a 60Hz, 144Hz and 164Hz display? You bet! Yes, if you don’t intend to use your laptop for serious gaming and only ever play low-key games without fast-moving objects, you might get along fine with a 60Hz display.
But for gameplay at high frame rates—where the fun truly belongs—you need a monitor that can update itself swiftly and let your eyes track movements realistically. This becomes almost imperative to play shooter and fighter games; it is less significant for strategy-oriented games.
Note that the refresh rate is distinct from the response time which is the number of milliseconds it takes for a pixel to change color. But yes, this is also a crucial metric for a gaming laptop.
If your display has a high response time and a low refresh rate, but you try to play a game at maximum frame settings, you are setting yourself up for stuttering and screen tearing.
Have you decided on your gaming laptop yet? As times change and video games evolve further, gaming machines are also working harder to deliver gratifying experiences.
The market is resplendent with productive competition, where giants like Dell, MSI and HP are matching wits with innovative players like ASUS and Acer.
It isn’t straightforward to offer dazzling performance with engaging graphics at a budget-friendly price. However, the evolution of design technologies and architectures has helped bridge the gap between cost and future-friendliness to a large extent.
When shopping for your gaming soulmate, a good way to start is by enlisting your priorities.
For instance, you might covet a gaming machine that, along with cost effectiveness and a 165Hz display, also adapts well to outdoor marathons and peer-events.
Whatever you do, remember this: once skill and tact are accounted for, your game can only be as good as your gaming machine.