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Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000 / $900 / $800 / $700 (April 2013)

Updated on July 2, 2013

Are you looking for a decent budget gaming laptop for less than 1000 dollars, that can nicely play all new games? Then you have come to the right place, because here is a list of best gaming laptops for the price: $1000, $900, $800 and $700. The following laptops were chosen by their gaming performance, other things like battery life, weight or brand name weren't as important. All these notebooks have an adequate dedicated graphics card, so you don't have to worry about bad performance in modern games.

Best gaming laptop for around $1000

The Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 is currently the best gaming laptop that you can find for under $1000. No other notebook in this price range has an Intel Core i7 CPU, dual GeForce GT 650M graphics cards and a very nice Full HD screen. Most of the current and near-future games should be fluently playable at high settings on this Lenovo IdeaPad Y500. The NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI configuration is usually faster than single high-end NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 15.6-Inch Laptop

Amazon.com

Intel Core i7-3630QM 2.4GHz, up to 3.4GHz with Turbo Boost

8GB of DDR3 SO-DIMM memory installed

1TB (1000GB) 5400RPM SATA hard drive

Dual NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI

15.6" LED backlight Full HD display (1920 x 1080)

Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit)

Best gaming laptop for under $900

For $900, it's hard to find anything faster than Lenovo IdeaPad Y500. This specific version of IdeaPad Y500 has less RAM and a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. You have to decide if these 2 things are worth the extra 100+ dollars. If you want better battery life and a quad-core CPU, then consider Lenovo Y580, it has a lower resolution display though.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 15.6-Inch Laptop

Amazon.com

Intel Core i5-3230M 2.6GHz, up to 3.2GHz with Turbo Boost

6GB of DDR3 SO-DIMM memory installed

1TB (1000GB) 5400RPM SATA hard drive

Dual NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI

15.6" LED backlight Full HD display (1920 x 1080)

Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit)

Best gaming laptop for under $800

This Acer Aspire V3-571G-9683 isn't as good for gaming as the two more expensive Lenovo laptops, but all newer games should still run pretty well on it. This notebook is equipped with a good quad-core Intel Core i7-3630QM processor and pretty nice mid-range NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M graphics card (it is based on GeForce GT 645M).

Acer Aspire V3-571G-9683

(Midnight Black)

Amazon.com

Intel Core i7-3630QM 2.4GHz, up to 3.4GHz with Turbo Boost

6GB of DDR3 SDRAM memory installed

500GB (5400RPM) SATA hard drive

NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M 2GB DDR3

15.6" CineCrystal LED-backlit display (1366 x 768)

Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit)

Best gaming laptop for under $700

Compared to the Acer Aspire V3-571G-9683, this Samsung has a slightly less powerful graphics card. Other specs of Samsung Series 3 NP350V5C-T01US are very similar to the Acer, but the Samsung notebook is much cheaper.

Samsung Series 3 NP350V5C-T01US 15.6-Inch Laptop

(Titan Silver)

Amazon.com

Intel Core i7-3630QM 2.4GHz, up to 3.4GHz with Turbo Boost

6GB of DDR3 SDRAM memory installed

500GB SATA hard drive (5400 RPM)

AMD Radeon HD 7730M with 2GB of VRAM

15.6" LED-backlit display (1366 x 768)

Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit)

Not that powerful for the price

Here are some popular laptops that aren't that good for gaming (for the price). First one is ASUS N56VJ-DH71, overall it is a very good laptop, quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, Full HD display etc, but it misses one thing - a good graphics card. NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M isn't what you expect in a $950 gaming laptop.

Second one is Acer Aspire V5-571PG-9814, it has an intel Core i7-3537U processor and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 710M graphics card. Seems nice? But it is not, the i7 is actually a dual-core and the video card is not really strong. This touchscreen laptop is not suitable for gaming, it was never intended for that.

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    • oliverz330 profile image

      oliverz330 4 years ago

      Nice selection of laptops. I own an ASUS G73SW which I bought 2 years ago. It has similar specs like your 1st choice for $1000. Mine was $1300 2 years ago and it's still doing its job. Anyway, thx for sharing the info with us!

    • profile image

      lntrepid 4 years ago

      Also, I'd like it to be able to run StickE without any lag. Thanks in advance ~

    • profile image

      lntrepid 4 years ago

      Greetings, I'm looking for a computer <900-1000ish that can run CS:GO and BL:R well, and also can handle those games whilst being recorded by Action! or ezvid, preferably cheap. I was thinking about the Acer Aspire V3-571G-6622, can you give me some advice? Also, I prefer a Win7 computer.

    • profile image

      faris-sher-9 4 years ago

      @Unavailable LM: Hi i was wondering if the acer could run minecraft at high settings like captainsparklez and other youtubers who do videos?And also does it have a full HD Anti-Reflective Display by any chance ? and last question would league of legends run well on it with a good connection?

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 4 years ago

      @filip-knezevic-1291: The Acer is recommended if you want a higher resolution display and don't mind the large size of the laptop. Samsung has a quad-core processor, so it is more future proof. These 2 laptops have graphics cards with very similar performance, maybe Samsung's Radeon HD 7730M is little bit slower in some games, but in games that use more than 2 cores it's faster. However, because of Acer's higher native resolution you sometimes have to lower some graphics settings.

      There is also Acer Aspire V3-771G-9456 if you want a tiny bit slower quad-core processor and a larger/higher res. display.

    • profile image

      filip-knezevic-1291 4 years ago

      @Unavailable LM: So, since the Acer Aspire V3-571G-9686 and this samsung are the same price, which one would you recommend as more powerful and capable of playing high end games?

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 4 years ago

      @yuepeng-khang-1: Acer Aspire V3-571G-6622 is probably the cheapest laptop that should run Skyrim at high settings with 30 FPS.

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 4 years ago

      @filip-knezevic-1291: Samsung Series 3 NP350V5C-T01US is pretty powerful and currently under $700. The Witcher 2 is one of the most demanding games out there, can't comment how well will it run.

    • profile image

      filip-knezevic-1291 4 years ago

      @Unavailable LM: Would this computer be able to run The Witcher 2 or games with those requirements well? And by well i mean at least medium specs. With a budget of 750, maybe up to $780. What would be the best option for a laptop? I mean, good for gaming and durable? I owned Lenovo and HP laptops, and both did pretty bad. They were both under 650 on special deals, but proved to be not worth the money at all.

    • profile image

      yuepeng-khang-1 4 years ago

      hey, i've been looking for lists of good cheap gaming laptops and i was wondering which of the laptops you listed could run The Elder scroll: skyrim at high settings while still being playable.

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 4 years ago

      @filip-knezevic-1291: Acer Aspire V3-571G-9686 is more future-proof and it has better performance in programs and games that use more than 2 cores, but it only has a 1366 x 768 screen. See my reply to "defecine".

      I don't exactly know when Acer Aspire V3-771G-6485 comes out, but it is available for pre-order. It's not much better than V3-771G-6851, it only has a +0.1GHz processor and slightly faster graphics card.

    • profile image

      defecine 4 years ago

      Hey I have been looking to buy a new laptop for playing mmo games like WoW and I was looking to buy one in the 700$ range and when looking at that acer you recommended is it better than Acer Aspire V3-571G-9686. also are there any good laptops in the 600$ range for gaming. thanks!

    • profile image

      filip-knezevic-1291 4 years ago

      @Unavailable LM: Aha. Thanks for your reply! What about Acer Aspire V3-571G-9686? He is literally $30 more expensive, but has an i7 procesor. Would that perform significantly better than this acer? Btw, When is the new version of V3-771G-6851 coming out? I might just wait for that one to come out if it is going to be better than this one.

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 4 years ago

      @Unavailable LM: Improved version of Acer Aspire V3-771G-6851 comes out soon, I'll update this list too.

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 4 years ago

      @filip-knezevic-1291: Sorry, but these 3 laptops you found aren't suitable for gaming. There are few alternatives for under $700. First is Samsung NP350V5C-T02US, it is cheaper and it has about the same gaming performance of Acer Aspire V3-771G-6851, but it has a lower resolution display and smaller HDD. Second one is MSI CX61 0NF-257US, it has a slightly faster graphics cards, however its display is again smaller and with lower resolution.

      Acer and the alternatives should run your games at medium settings, maybe except The Witcher 2.

    • profile image

      filip-knezevic-1291 4 years ago

      Hi, I noticed that its been a while since you posted these laptops, and now there are laptops available with similar specs, but significantly cheaper ($50-$130 cheaper). I was trying to find reviews for these few laptops that I found IMO eqaully good, but couldn't find them. Maybe you would know if they would be a good substitute for these laptops. I was thinking about buying this Acer, but ran into a Toshiba Satellite L955-S5370N, Toshiba Satellite L875D-S7343, and HP Envy dv6-7218nr . These are just some that I found. I also found some HP's but they run on the AMD processor which i heard is miserable and not even consider it for gaming. The games I was hoping to be able to play in at least medium specs were The Witcher 2, Diablo 2, Starcraft 2, Fifa 13, Far Cry 3 etc.

      Would love to hear your opinion on this! Could any of these laptops be a good and cheaper substitute? Or is there a new one aroudn under $700 you could recommend?? and if none of them are good enough, can this Acer run these games?

      Thanks a lot!!!

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 4 years ago

      @defecine: It depends. Acer Aspire V3-771G-6851 is better if you want a large desktop replacement with a higher resolution display and bigger hard drive. However V3-571G-9686 would be better for multitasking and for playing games that use more than 2 processor cores.

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 4 years ago

      @Unavailable LM: Here's a useful site:

      http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Lap...

    • profile image

      nuramohammed26 4 years ago

      @Unavailable LM: Okay then, but do you have another suggestion on another laptop worry similar configuration but cheaper than the Y580?

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 4 years ago

      @nuramohammed26: I can't find it cheaper either. It was $819.99 in December, you can see Amazon.com price history from here:

      http://camelcamelcamel.com/Lenovo-Y580-15-6-Inch-L...

    • profile image

      nuramohammed26 4 years ago

      I have been trying to get a decent laptop that will play all these recent games like FAR CRY 3, BLACK OPS 2, FIFA 13, BATMAN ARKHAM CITY, and from your lens i think the Lenovo Y580 is the perfect candidate.I tried checking amazon and a couple of online store but the cheapest i could get is $850, please do you know where i can get it cheaper? thank you in advance

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 4 years ago

      @Unavailable LM: The current cheapest can do it better.

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 4 years ago

      @gage-gerdeman: Even the cheapest laptop in this list should handle the game (at low settings).

    • profile image

      gage-gerdeman 4 years ago

      my current computor can't handel Guild Wars 2. Which one of these computors could handle it? (The cheapest possible one)

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 5 years ago

      @andrew-voutsinas: Acer Aspire V3-771G-6851 should give around 40 FPS at medium settings and 30 FPS with high settings. Lenovo Y580 approximately 60 FPS at medium and 50 FPS at high settings. These rough estimates are from here:

      http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-640...

      http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-66...

      Most people consider 30 FPS smooth, but it depends on person to person.

    • profile image

      andrew-voutsinas 5 years ago

      Hey guys, I am looking to play Skyrim at 42 fps. Which laptop would be best for this out of the last two? And is 42 fps good?

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 5 years ago

      @SlenderMan: I suggested Lenovo Y570 because I have seen some nicely specced versions on sale for $699, Y570 also has a slightly more powerful graphics card. But now it has been pretty much replaced with Lenovo Y580, so I updated the article and also removed the Acer for now. It's because little bit better Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 21512KU has dropped in price recently.

    • profile image

      SlenderMan 5 years ago

      @Unavailable LM: Thank you for the reply. I decided on between your two suggestions under the $700 category. Why do you suggest the Lenovo Y570 is better than the Acer Aspire V3-571g? Sorry for asking a lot of questions. Just not tech savvy and don't want to waste money on something that won't work.

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 5 years ago

      @SlenderMan: What kind of laptop are you looking for? They are two very different laptops. Acer is a big and heavy desktop replacement with a good graphics card, Alienware M11x is a very small, almost a netbook-size gaming laptop. But performance wise Acer is slightly better than latest M11x with GeForce GT 540M.

    • profile image

      SlenderMan 5 years ago

      Which is better? Acer Aspire v3-571G-6602 or Alienware m11x? Debating on which I should buy.

    • profile image

      maxidef 5 years ago

      very interesting lens.

      Congrats.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice!

    • Unavailable LM profile image
      Author

      Unavailable LM 5 years ago

      @mikerobatkins: I don't know why manufacturers put slow HDDs in these laptops, cheapest 7200RPM hard drives cost only $5-$15 more.

    • profile image

      mikerobatkins 5 years ago

      Is there a particular reason why most of these things are slowed down by 5400 rpm HDD?

    • profile image

      jeremiah-sprague-7 5 years ago

      Great article, you guys really did a good job of putting it together and had great support for each laptop, I feel a lot more informed now. Keep it up!

    • profile image

      bigticketbargains 6 years ago

      Nice lens was hoping to see the $500 listed in main article looks like it stopped at $649. But nice lens wtg.

    • profile image

      papercranes 6 years ago

      Hey, nice lens. I especially like the Asus one. Thanks for the recommendations.