Here’s a rundown of our review process for laptops:
Do you need a gaming laptop or a daily use laptop? Can it be plugged in the power plug or you carry it around all day long? Do you need a big screen?
Let’s break it down.
1. Form factor
This refers to what is made of (preferably metal over plastic), physical shape, size and dimensions. Usually laptops like Alienware are seriously heavy builds made for gamers and they won’t require to be moved around. And that’s for a reason, actually two: gamers are lazy (kidding, we are not!) and second, these laptops are damn heavy!
These bad boys have a lot of horse power under the hood. They may look bulky as hell but they deliver astonishing performance.
Usually the latest processor (i7 most likely or some fancy-pantsy AMD), 16 or more GB of RAM and of course a dedicated video card most probably an Nvidia GeForce 970 or up. So if you are a gamer then this kind of high-end, multi-thousands dollars laptop will cut it for you.
On the other hand if you are the business person type and you are in and out, most of the time not even home but in business trips, traveling up and down then you need a portable laptop, probably not that great on performance but definitely great on battery. Maybe an Apple laptop with more than 17 hours of battery life will be great to have. Check Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch (2015).
For kids and teenagers everything works. Until they break it.
Which is not entirely impossible. There are so many budget laptops and we review a lot of them. Mainly for the simple reason that we are cheap bastards. We just love cheap and great stuff so be assured we will get you covered. Great laptops under 500 dollars? Not a problem! Best gaming laptops for under 1,000? A bit of a squeeze but we've got you covered!
What’s under the hood, stays under the hood.
Oh well, it doesn’t stay with us since we will digg into each component and every corner of your laptop to find the pros and cons for you. We are so restless when it comes to performance. We strive to add performance benchmarks for each and every laptop we review because a little bird told us you like numbers. As much as we do!
What you should look in terms of performance? The answer is simple, the newest CPU, as much RAM as you can get and the latest and greatest video card. A great SSD to replace the old and clunky HDD will be great as well. However it comes down again to what you need the laptop for. Usually 8GB and a i3 CPU should be good enough for the majority of us. In fact I am using a Lenovo Thinkpad with a 4 GB RAM and i3 to write these reviews and it works perfectly. Not that kind of laptop to carry around but definitely a solid laptop to work on. Plus it has a fingerprint scanner for log in which is pretty neat for a 7-8 years old laptop.
A dedicated video card is always great to have but you have to ask yourself, do you really need it? If you do video editing (more likely you will do that on a desktop and not on a laptop) or design work then you may need something powerful like the video cards from Nvidia but it’s rarely needed something powerful for a daily use laptop except when you are a gamer and even in that case the chances are you are already using a powerful desktop for that.
What is really a great computer component to have is a SSD instead of HDD. We upgraded all our computers to SSD and gosh doesn’t it worth every penny?!? Plus, SSDs became so affordable nowadays that it makes a lot of sense to get them.
The quality of the screen is probably that one thing to seriously look into.
4K or a high-resolution screen (HD, HD+ or full HD) screen with no glare (matte and not glossy) and a great view from any angle – an IPS LCD panel would be great (unless you don’t want your boss to see you’re watching Youtube and not working!).
Add a great contrast, colors and superb colors can really make a difference. Also some people prefer convertible laptops so in case you like touch screens then a 2-in-1 laptop should be your option. If you don’t like fingerprints magnets, then don’t go for that.
The idea is to spend some time and see what you need. If you leave in the south and you spend easily 60-70 % of the time out in the sun, we recommend you to look into matte screens above 200 cd/and for glossy more than 250 cd/m. There is always a difference between measured numbers and the manufactures ones so make sure you get those numbers from reviews and not from the manufacture specs which we found so many times to be way off.
We cannot just stress enough how important the battery is.
It doesn’t even matter if you move a lot and you need the laptop unplugged for the whole day or only a few hours. The truth is a laptop should be portable; it’s portable by nature. Otherwise you would buy a desktop and not a laptop. The longer it stays charged the better.
If you can get a 18 hours one for a great price then go for it! Another thing to look is if the battery is hot swappable meaning if you can change it easily. You can have multiple batteries, all charged and ready to be used in your long trip. Or if you have just one, that’s fine too. It’s great to know you can replace by yourself the battery and don’t need to go to a computer shop to get it replaced. Saving money makes sense no matter how rich you are.
5. Ports, connectivity and everything else
It was a time when having one or two USB ports on a computer was more than enough. With the explosion of smartphones and so many gadgets USB powered nowadays, having at least three USB ports is a must. If you have a type C USB, the one that helps gadgets charge faster it’s even better. Also having one HDMI (standard preferably but mini or micro will do it too) and an Ethernet port is great as well. It all ads value by making your life easier when you need them. Great to have!
802.11ac Wi-fi and a Bluetooth 4.1 – who won’t want these. But we are really getting into funky stuff now and unless you’re a computer nerd like us you may not even heard of these, nor do you need them. Still, a high-speed connectivity is a must, no matter what. So make sure you read the specs to know what you get.
Some people who spend a lot of time at the computer may want something to protect their eyes. There is a feature called BluelightShield that reduces the blue light the monitor generates and it’s really helping your eyes to get fewer strains and stay healthier. Look for it when buy your laptop. We believe there will be more and more laptops coming with BluelightShield in the near future.
One thing you may want to consider is how easy is to upgrade the hard drive and the memory.
A lot of laptops come with a compartment door at the bottom of the laptop so you can change or upgrade these but not all laptop models. We just love being able to upgrade easily but this may not be your thing. It’s a matter of personal preferences.
All in one, it’s a lot of things to look at and they all have their individual weight, some are more important than others. Check the specs, get your hands on and ask the store clerk as many questions you can before you buy. If you buy online you can still go and check the laptops you like at BestBuy or your store. At least this is what we do.
And now let's just jump into reviewing the top best laptops for gaming under 1,000.
We truthfully struggled finding 10 gaming laptops under 1,000. At the bare minimum we looked to have:
Laptops changed a lot over the last years and it’s so much about them that it can be overwhelming sometimes. That’s why a buyer’s guide can be so helpful. There are many things to consider but it all comes down on how do you plan to use it.
This is the only Acer that made it to our top. We couldn’t find anything else from Acer though we like the brand a lot. Starting with this laptop we are jumping straight to the i7 Intel Core processors class. This Acer comes with a 4th generation, Intel Core i7-4720HQ Processor (2.6 GHz) which is not necessarily bad but we have had other much better reviewed today. It’s somewhat medium to low in our top, the major drawback being the price, which is a bit steep for what offers under the hood. Costs $939 at the moment of writing.
Similar to the Dell laptop we just reviewed it comes with a 15.6 inch screen, 8GB RAM and an identical 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M. As you will gonna see from the next reviews, this kind of specifications are widely shared among our top best gaming laptops we review today. The difference is made mostly by processor generation, RAM, screen size and price. Things like the number of supported monitors and battery life come next but this may be just us being too picky.
Acer Aspire V15 VN7-591G-70RT, the Nitro Black Edition, features an Intel Core i7-4720HQ Processor (2.6 GHz), 8 GB DDR3 RAM, a 1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive, 15.6-Inch Screen and like the previous laptop we reviewed, a dedicated 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M. Comes with Windows 8.1 and it has a 4-hour battery life. Not so excited about the battery life but it’s a strong machine, amazing for gaming and we could live with that.
With a 6th Gen i5-6300HQ Intel Quad-Core Processor up to 3.2GHz, this 15.6-Inch Dell Gaming laptop is the only one in our top with a 5th generation Intel processor, all others being equipped with the newest i7 Intel CPUs. As we already mentioned, we had a really rough time filling all ten positions in our top best gaming laptops under 1,000 dollars. However, the laptop comes in two versions, this one we reviewed and another one with an Intel Core i7 but only 8GB SSD and a 1TB HDD for only $60 more. We decided over the first just because of the drive – SSDs are much faster than the older school HDD. Worth mentioning that there is room for a secondary HDD/SSD drive just in case you need more storage.The strongest asset is the 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M. A 4GB Nvidia vard in a laptop is not that common and this is a great sign the laptop will deliver high gaming performance. It has preinstalled 64bit Windows 10 Home Edition, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, each of these being a pretty decent choice. But what made us choose it, after all, is the price, well bellow everything else in our top. At the moment of this review, it sells for $739 which is really a steal for what is has under the hood.
It comes with a 15.6-inch monitor which is not the greatest but not necessarily bad. Big screens for laptops can bring up the price pretty easily. It would have been great if it would have had an additional video connector for a secondary monitor. Despite the regular screen size, it comes with FHD anti-glare IPS wide-angle display supporting up to 1920×1080 resolution. Not too shabby. Sometimes it’s hard to find that kind of resolution even into a desktop monitor. It’s pretty bulky, heavy and thick, far away from the current models of laptops. Still, if you plan on not moving around too much, it can be a decent choice at the right price.
The battery is kind of standard providing up to 6-7 hours life when used for web browsing and other not intensive tasks. It goes down to 2-3 hours of intense video games playing. It will take you through the day if you don’t play on doing anything crazy. Comes with 3 USB ports and one HMI connection making it easy to connect a secondary monitor.
It’s easily upgradable due to the bottom panel which comes off easily giving you access to SSD and RAM.
All in one, Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK is a decent gaming laptop to get if you don’t have the money to go above the 800 dollars mark, nor the desire to play the latest video games that require a newer CPU, better RAM and a newer video card. It’s not that light to carry around weighting 6 pounds but you may still be amazed of how great it feels in hand.
With an Intel Core i7-6500U Skylake 2.5GHz (Turbo up to 3.1GHz), Dual Core processor, 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM running at 2133 MHz and a dedicated videocard NVIDIA GTX965M 2GB GDDR5, ASUS K501UW-AB78 looks like a great laptop to have. The struggle is in regards the RAM and the video card which could have been better. If you could get the upgraded version with 16GB RAM and 4GB videocard, that would help.
From the specs we liked was the 512 GB SSD (M.2 format, basically a micro version of SSD) and the fact that the laptop very light, in fact, the lightest laptop we review today with only 4.4 pounds. It’s running on Windows 10 64Bit which is great and it comes with a bunch of features probably the most noticeable is the Asus SonicMaster which is supposedly delivering a great sound.
ASUS K501UW-AB78 has a nice finish and form size, it feels solid, well-built without beeing too bulky or too heavy to keep it on your lap for nonintensive use like web browsing for example. I will run smooth parallel processes, even the high intensive ones like video and photo editing due to the powerful 6th generation Intel CPU (Dual Core only, unfortunately, still OK) and the lighting fast SSD will make everything work like a breeze. On a freshly installed OS, the boot up is up to 15 seconds, which is amazing for a computer.
It features two video cards, NVIDIA GTX965M dedicated to video games and an Intel integrated one. The second one will kick in and the laptop will run at cool temperatures when you are not playing video games or when is not under heavy load. This way the laptop stays cool and quiet. Lovely.
Talking now about things we didn’t like, probably the most annoying one is the screen, the bezel is a bit too big and it feels a bit flimsy plus, is not IPS which kind of is the defacto these days. The second thing that bothers us is the trackpad, get a mouse if you don’t want to go insane. Clearly not the best trackpad we ever saw. The power cable is short and the power adapter is kind of big – not a big deal if you don’t move around too much. The sound is a tiny bit lower than we expected though is quite alright quality wise.
Overall is a great looking laptop with an amazing matte non-reflective screen and an Eye Care app installed to lower the eye strain risk, running quiet and cool with a good touch responsive backlit keyboard and delivering a medium to high performance even at 8GB RAM which is upgradable to 16GB if you need more horse power. We felt we did a bit of injustice having this laptop on the 8th place but the fact that it comes with only Dual Core CPU, 8GB of RAM and only 2GB video card hold us back from ranking it higher. Still, it may be one of the best gaming laptops to buy for the money if you can get over the poor quality screen and the bad trackpad. Solution: connect an external monitor through the HDMI connection and install a mouse.
We review today the non-SSD version of Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK features an impressive 6th generation Intel Quad Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz and a 4GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M video card, making this laptop a pretty solid choice for video gamers on a budget. Comes with 8 GB RAM installed and the chance to add an additional 8GB Module of 1600MHZ DDR3 memory. This version has 1TB HDD which didn’t get us too excited if we have to compare with other laptops that come with SSD but on the plus side, 1TB gives you a lot of space and it will last you long so overall isn’t that bad. Worth mentioning that the drive is a hybrid HDD (M.2), meaning it will run faster than most hard disk drives. However M.2 does not support PCIe/NVM SSD, so caution when upgrading.
You can also pick the SSD model but with i5 CPU instead of i7 though it will cost you less money to upgrade the drive instead of the CPU.
Comes preinstalled with Windows 10 64bit Home Edition. You may want to upgrade to the Pro version if you want to get more juice out of it but for the majority of us, the Home Edition is perfectly fine so chances are you will be OK with it.
Everything about this laptop it’s somewhat an improvement from the previous laptop we reviewed though there are some drawbacks as you will see later. Good FHD 15.6 inches anti-glare matte screen, fast boot and a decent though a bit on a quieter sound. Sleek design yet a bit on a cheap side, it comes with a nice rubbery touch which you will love first and hate later when the dust and fingerprints start taking over.
Performance wise, the GPU handles the latest games like Fallout, Witcher or GTA at medium to high details at with an average 30-40 FPS. We pretty much all come from desktops so trading power for mobility isn’t an easy thing, however this laptop delivers on promise.
The trackpad and the keyboard may not be the best in class and we kept seeing trackpad issues with pretty much all the laptops we reviewed. The easy solution is to use a mouse, which we think you will use anyway for gaming. It comes with a full keyboard and that deserves extra points.
Despite of the cheap feel some people may complain about, Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK looks like an enjoyable companion to take out for a cafe business meeting, to library or whatever your days are taking you. The red vinyls are a nice touch and they make the laptop look modern and stylish. It feels solid and durable but light enough to carry around when needed.
Should you need to add more RAM or swap in a new hard drive, the one screw back panel makes upgrades a breeze.
The battery handles a couple of hours of gaming and even longer with lighter use. The battery options allow optimization.
This laptop runs a bit on the hot side, temperatures like 85-90C are pretty common but it’s something to expect from such a tiny machine running games, some of them at maximum video settings. Same with the internet connection, more precisely the wi-fi, may not be the best in class but poor internet connection is something we see in a lot of laptops – if you are a serious gamer you will have the laptop connected through an Ethernet cable anyway so I wouldn’t be worries about the wi-fi too much. The only problem is that the internet cable connector is on the right side of the laptop, where you usually have the mouse so the cable might get in the way.
We’ve got a little surprise for you. While we are all about brands, trying to stick to what we know, trustworthy names in the industry, we discovered a laptop that it’s definitely not a well-known brand, welcome to Eluktronics! We must say, it has a funny name but, boy oh boy, haven’t we gotten a serious player here!
Eluktronics is a manufacturer of premium performance PC’s and an authorized Value Added Reseller (VAR) for most other PC brands. Eluktronics is listed in Delaware, based on the short description we could find it is apparently a small business serving customers with custom build computers featuring well-known computer components from brands like HP, Intel, etc. It may not be Dell or Lenovo but we believe the great things have humble beginnings.
But how come we’ve got Eluktronics featured in our top? Let’s just say we couldn’t find any noticeable difference (except positive) when we compared Eluktronics to other laptop brands. This laptop is powered by a 6th Gen Intel® Core i7-6700HQ (2.6GHz/3.5GHz) Quad Core Processor, 16GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM (1 Dimm) and one 512GB Eluktro Pro M.2 Solid State Drive (SSD) SATA III. This should say it all. However, the video card only a 2GB GDDR5 VRAM Nvidia® GeForce GTX 960M. Not necessarily bad but a bit bellow expectations. We feature 2GB, 4GB and one laptop with 8GB video card in this comparison review today so just because of that, Eluktronics N151RD1 Pro fits in the mid to low range.
The price is exactly at our 1,000 dollars limit at the time we wrote this review so this better be great. Here some things:
– The trackpad has a nice textured feel and is nicely responsive.
– The backlit keys have a rubber-ish feel and they are great.
– It will play games at 1980 x 1060 resolution on ultra just perfect.
– US company, US customer service. Points for that.
– it’s fast, feels great in hand, well-built, not too light, not too heavy.
We review today two Lenovo models, Lenovo Y700 and Lenovo i7. Though the names are kind of close, i7 performs better and has more under it hood. Let’s talk first about Y700. Lenovo i7 comes up right after Y700.
The model we review sells with a quad core, sixth generation Intel i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz CPU, 12 GB RAM, 256 GB M.2 SSD (attaches with one M2X3 screw) and a 2GB NVIDIA GeForce 960M video card. Comes preinstalled with Windows 10.
Features a wide angle full HD display with great colors and brightness. The JBL speakers and Dolby Home Theater create an immersive gaming environment, perfect for hearing the opponents steps when playing shooters so you are always prepared to counterattack.
It has medium to high end gaming performance and the thermal cooling does a great job keeping the system running on low temperature though it gets loud on heavy load.
It has a nice premium finish with a backlit keyboard for night gaming with good keystrokes with dimming settings and numeric keypad.
There are a couple of things we noticed, you might not like as well. The keys are too close and if you have big “sausage” fingers (like our editor does!) it might be hard to type, though for games to be honest is not much typing. If you can easily work with A, S, D and W you are pretty much setup. The trackpad for this model (what’s new?) is not that great, not so responsive. The battery is a hit or miss, yours might be better than others, we noticed it can last no longer than two hours of continue gaming. On the other hand, the majority of laptops are pretty bad for gaming in terms of battery. Most likely you will keep it plugged. Quick tip, it’s better to let your laptop run on its battery from time to time to avoid destroying the battery cells.
If you plan to pop in a HDD just be aware there is no SATA cable coming with the laptop so you will need to purchase separately.
The last thing we aren’t big fans of are the bloated software and this laptop specifically comes with a lot of them. You will have some uninstall work to do right off the bat if you like your computer clean and nice.
Other than that, Lenovo Y700 is a decent laptop that delivers on its promises, performing medium to high in all recent games. We tested it playing Witcher and Fallout and we’ve got a decent steady 50-60 FPS on medium to high video quality. For the current price of $925, you will get a great laptop to keep you busy gaming for years to come. Congrats if you already plan to purchase it.
Alright, let’s now review the bigger brother of Y700, Lenovo i7 which we must say, couldn’t have a more confusing name (brings confusion with Intel i7). Anyway, here goes our review.
Lenovo i7 ships with a quad core i7 6700HQ running at speeds up to 3.5GHz thanks to the Turbo Technology and the L3 6MB Cache, both pretty impressive and desirable for gaming and more important for laptops. It’s also powered by a whooping 16 GB DDR4 with 2 hard drives, a 1 TB SATA Hard Drive and a 256 GB SSD hybrid HDD. There is no optical drive, however it comes with a card reader for MultiMediaCard, SD Card, SDHC Card and the new SDXC Card – if you are a photographer, you will love that.
The graphics card is best in class NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M with 4GB RAM providing a great gaming experience. While GTX 950M runs only on 128bit memory interface bandwidth it has 640 CUDA Cores and the BoostBase Clock is 914 + MHz. It delivers blasting speeds up to 80 GB/sec (Memory Bandwidth). For a laptop this is truly impressive.
It features a 15.6″ Full HD Anti-glare IPS LED backlight widescreen (aspect ratio: 16:9), in our opinion a solid choice for gaming but not only. Photographers, vlogers and pretty much anyone would love it. We use Dell screens to write these reviews and while out there might be better screens, we are satisfied with the Dell quality. BTW the screen for Lenovo i7 has also a HD camera which it’s always great to have for Skype calls, vloging and so on.
The keyboard is backlit and comes with a numeric pad and a multi-touch touchpad.
It’s a slim format, easy to carry around if needed. The battery is good for up to 6-8 hours when you don’t play games and 3-4 hours of continuous play. It’s not worst and not necessarily better than other laptops we reviewed. We just wish we could find something that runs at least 6 hours straight on a battery charge but none of our top laptops provide that much juice for hard core gamers, unfortunately.
We also found the keyboard is a bit hard to type, nothing biggie but good to know beforehand.
Overall not a bad laptop but not the best in class either. It got pros and cons but it delivers enough power to play the latest games without sacrificing performance over price. A good choice if you don’t plan to play the latest titles at the maximum video quality. If you get it, please let us know how it works for you.
Dell Inspiron i7559-3763BLK is the last Dell laptop we review today, the latest and greatest out of all three but let’s what’s under the hood.
Dell Inspiron i7559-3763BLK it’s powered by a Quad Core 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ, runs on a 4GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce 960M [960M4G], comes with 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM and 1 TB SATA drive. It truly is a beast. It comes in multiple versions, touch screen & 4K available too if you are into that. However, what we review today is the non-touch screen, 1080p version.
Let’s start with the form and look. It’s plastic made but sturdy built, light and portable (5.7 pounds only, add probably 2 more pounds with the charger brick) and it does look beautiful with the black, grey and red combinations. The HD screen is great with enough indoors brightness though we might not be able to use it in a bright sunny day. The backlit low profile full keyboard with nicely spaced out keys makes this laptop a delight to use at night. Although we didn’t have any issues with the fact that the spacebar is not lit, we ought to drop a note. Also the keys felt a bit loose. It is easily upgradable with one-screw bottom panel that gives fast access to hard drive and RAM if you feel like adding more horse power.
While we couldn’t have much to complain about the keyboard, it’s a bit of a different story when it comes to the trackpad. It clicks even when not meant to do it, like when you scroll and the pre-installed drivers are not that great and you may need to hunt for something better. Despite that, the size is reasonable and is responsible enough to make you use it. Not that bad after all.
The sound is a mixed bag, not the best but not necessarily the worst. Let’s just say it’s loud enough. Since laptops don’t feature fully sized speakers, we don’t really expect the same sound you would get from a set of external speakers. However we really do appreciate a good soundcard in our machines and we believe Dell does a great job usually so all good on this side.
It is has two fans and an impressive ventilation system so it’s no wonder how such a powerful machine manages to stay cool and quiet even under a decent work load. The laptop got warm and noisy when playing Call of Duty but less than what we noticed with other models.
Dell Inspiron i7559-3763BLK boots quite fast, comes with 3 USB 3.0 ports, one of them being a quick charge type that will charge your device even when the laptop is turned off. That comes in handy when you need your phone charged but you are not doing anything with the laptop. Keep it close but charge on.
One thing we don’t like is to buy a laptop and then lose time uninstalling bloatware. The good thing about Dell Inspiron i7559-3763BLK is that we couldn’t find anything that we want to uninstall and that is great. Straight to install some games and play!
With a battery life varying from 3 to 6 hours, depending on the load, this laptop fits in the mid tier, definitely not that portable as we want it to be. Based on the laptop size we expected a bigger battery.
Our silver winner, ASUS G751JL ships with 4 cores 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7-4720HQ Processor, 16 GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB HDD Storage (plus an additional SATA II HDD baydrive – sorry, we hoped for a 6Gbps SATA III) and an impressive 17.3 inches 1920*1080 pixels LED-lit screen. Comes preinstalled with Windows 8.1. Since Windows 10 is not a free upgrade anymore you might be stuck with 8.1 unless the seller upgrades the future models to 10.
The huge 17.3 inches FHD wide angles screen provides amazing HD graphics. It’s also anti-glare so it’s less reflexive. This laptop is big, heavy but beautiful. It is most likely the heaviest we reviewed today. It feels solid and it may not be that portable. It has a modern matte black finish with a metallic accent on the lid. The illuminated ASUS logo looks great as well.
The cooling system composed of two fans with large vents at the back, works great, being able to dissipate the heat, keeping the temperature a low levels even when playing games like Fallout 4, The Division or Rainbow Six Siege, games heavy on video processing. We weren’t practically able to hear the fans when doing web browsing but they became louder eventually when we played video games. One thing we noticed is that the heat sinks may be hard to reach and clean.
The backlit keyboard (only one choice of light color) is comfy, easy to type with sturdy well built and well spaced out keys. It has a nice rubbery touch to it and it doesn’t look like it’s a too much of a magnet fingerprint. It also doesn’t get hot after long hours of use. We liked it has dedicated keys for Nvidia Shadowplay recording button and Steam. Those clearly come in handy. ASUS gaming center key is good to have too though we don’t think you will use it that much. The recording button is right above the escape key so it take a bit of practice to not confuse them, especially in the night or when in a rush.
The touchpad is rather big than small, a bit too close maybe to the keyboard. That might just be us, you may find it just fine. It features a decent battery life with a solid dock connection but the charger connector seems a bit lose.
ASUS G751JL comes preinstalled with some bloatware like Macafee but even so, the system bootup is blazing fast. It took us only 12 seconds to have the laptop running. That is fast!
If you plan on playing video games on high to ultra video settings, ASUS G751JL is for you. The specs are solid and this laptop lives up to it’s promises delivering at least 40 FPS for most of the games (no stutter on our end). The 16GB RAM comes handy and the large screen helps a lot. The speakers are loud and clear.
Our top gaming laptop for under 1,000 undisputed winner, priced at $799 at the time of this review, MSI GP62 Leopard Pro-870, comes with a Quad Core Intel Core i7-6700HQ Processor (2.6-3.5GHz), a whooping 16GB (8G x2) DDR4 running at 2133MHz, and 256GB M.2 SATA SSD drive. Talking about power, huh? Anyway, the graphic card is only a 2GB NVIDIA Geforce GTX960M GDDR5, which is not necessarily the worst but not a topper for sure. But wait the best part is yet to come – this laptop comes with a stellar 17.3 inches Full HD eDP Non Reflection dot matrix display, providing 20% more contrast level and 20% more brightness, running at 1920×1080 resolution. 1920×1080 is the resolution we found in all the laptops we review today so is not something new, however we could only find two 17.3 inches laptops under 1,000 and we love the idea of having a big screen, works great for games but not only. The bigger the screen the better. And by the way it supports two monitors.
Little known fact, did you know MSI is the official brand for the participants at eSports tournaments? Those League of Legends championships you use to watch on Twitch, might be played on this very laptop! We couldn’t have found a better slogan than MSI’s: “Made to move. Ready for battle.”, MSI GP62 Leopard Pro-870 is a beast and you can take it out, great!
Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty and see how this laptop stacks against the other contenders. Beside the technical specs we already mentioned, this laptop comes with a lot of bells and whistles like the sound, a Nahimic Virtual Surround Sound, used in the military which give a true 7.1 surround experience. Not many laptops under 1,000 bucks can brag with that. The second thing, very important for a laptop, is the cooling system. MSI GP62 Leopard Pro-870 comes with Cooler Boost 3 which is supposed to keep everything cool and smooth. The third thing that impressed us is the DDR speed, it comes with DDR4-2133 MHz comparing to the old version of RAM, DDR3 which can only deliver 1600 MHz,over 30% faster performance than previous generations. We have only four laptops powered by DDR4 in our top and this is one of them.
Talking about the form factor, MSI GP62 Leopard Pro-870 comes with a full backlit keyboard, with light dimming controls, which works perfect for night and day gaming (bring it on!), has a whole bunch of vents so the cooler boost will keep everything at low temperature, all of this while making the laptop look like an alien spaceship. Kidding on the side but this piece of technology really looks like out of this world – gorgeous futuristic design, solid build and stylish finish. Talking about the best bang for the buck, for well bellow under one thousand dollars, we truly believe you couldn’t have found a better use for your money.
MSI GP62 Leopard Pro-870 will handle everything you throw at, even the latest and greatest games. And even if you feel you need more power, guess what, you can upgrade to 32GB RAM. Wait, what?!? The only drawback we could have found is that it only has one hard drive port. The best part is that it supports the newest drive form factor, M.2. If you install a SATA III M.2 SSD you won’t need anything else anyway, SATA III M.2 SSD will make everything so fast including the system boot, making any additional hard drive installation unnecessary. And SSD drives are becoming so cheap lately that you can easily buy a 1TB 2.5 inch SSD for probably even less than $200 if you are still thinking 256 GB that comes with won’t be enough.
There is actually one more thing that is kind of bad but this is more for the tech savvy people who want to upgrade the hard drive, in order to upgrade it you will need to remove a sticker that will void your warranty. You can also bring it an authorized MSI store and they will install it for you, most likely for free if it’s still in warranty. Not necessarily a biggie but it was worth mentioning.
All in one, you’ve got one of the laptops in your hands (on your lap or on your desk) that won’t only play hard-core games flawlessly but any software will run with ease, no hiccups and anything to make you regret your purchase. Good job if you’re thinking on buying MSI GP62 Leopard Pro-870, it won’t disappoint you.
Our pursue to find the best gaming laptop under 1,000 dollars was such a roller coaster, and how could it be other than that since we only present the best of the best, the top best 10 laptops here?
Asus G751JL which came on the second place wasn’t that far from our winner, MSI GP62 Leopard Pro-870, basically it was a RAM thing, MSI GP62 Leopard Pro-870 comes with a newer version, DDR4 while Asus G751JL uses DDR3. There is a 30% speed increase for MSI GP62 Leopard Pro-870 and that made it a clear winner.
However, the things weren’t that simple between the 2-nd and 3-rd place. Simple put, Asus G751JL won by a hair just because of the bigger display.
It wasn’t an easy pick but the larger screen made us chose it. We know how it sounds but we believe a larger screen can make a huge difference. Dell lined up with 3 impressive laptops from the i7559 series, 3763BLK, 2512BLK and 763BLK deliver blasting speed making the video games play smooth and nice but they are inferior to our topper, MSI GP62 Leopard Pro-870.
The CPU, the video card, the RAM and the features are the major specs differentiating our top 10 gaming laptops. We’ve got only one laptop with an i5 (Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK) while the rest of them are i7, various generations from 4th to 6th. The video cards are all Nvidia which we think is the best brand as we speak anyway, though you might disagree (hello ATI fans!).
For some of the laptops we couldn’t find all the specs, some are missing the RAM speed, which is a crucial factor, after all, details about the battery life, dimensions and so on. Sorry about that but some sellers are not doing a great job providing all these details as they should.
Windows 10 is clearly the winner, 6 out of 10 laptops come with Windows 10 preinstalled, the rest fo them have 8.1 which is a decent OS though we think 10 is much better.
We tried to add as many features as we could find but in some cases like for Dell Inspiron i7559-3763BLK and Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK it wasn’t that much to be added – again just a poor job on the seller side.
We hope you know now after reading our comparison reviews what to buy or if not, at least hopefully you have a better idea what to look for in a laptop.