Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000, Top 5 (September 2011)
For under $1000 you can find pretty powerful laptops for gaming, here are TOP 5 of them. These notebooks are ranked mostly by their raw gaming performance, not by durability, customer support, build quality, warranty and so on. Unfortunately I didn't include less known gaming laptop brands and custom barebone notebooks in this "Best gaming laptops under $1000" list, you can sometimes find good laptops for very cheap by looking around on smaller manufacturer websites.
#1 ASUS G53SW-XA2 Republic of Gamers
By the specs, ASUS G53SW-XA2 is by far the best gaming laptop under $1000, no other laptop in this price range have a high end NVIDIA graphics card and also a Full HD display. Dual-core Sandy Bridge i5 processor is not the fastest, it can be even found in ~$550 non-gaming notebooks. Reminder: this is a very heavy laptop, it is not very portable.
#2 HP Pavilion dv6-6170us
HP Pavilion dv6-6170us has a quad-core i7 processor, but it's video card is much weaker than GTX 460M. Like all following laptops, this HP has a 1366x768 pixel display. It's fine for people who are used to lower resolutions, but a 15.6 inch laptop should have little bit higher resolution. There are positive things too, this HP has two USB 3.0 ports and a Blu-ray player.
#3 Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 with Intel Core i7
Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 with an Intel Core i7 is pretty similar to #2 HP, but Lenovo has weaker graphics card. AMD HD 6770M on HP Pavilion dv6 is faster because Lenovo uses crippled GT 555M which is comparable to GT 550M. Normal GeForce GT 555M would be faster than Radeon HD 6770M. I suggest getting i5 version of Lenovo Y570, i7 is not worth +$150 (IMO).
#4 Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 with Intel Core i5
If you are not into multitasking and other processor heavy things, then getting Lenovo Y570 with i7 would be pretty pointless. Laptop with a NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M for ~$750 (from Amazon.com) is not a bad deal at all if you are looking for a cheap gaming notebook.
#5 Lenovo IdeaPad Y470
Lenovo IdeaPad Y470 is an extremely fast laptop for the size, it is possibly the second best 14 inch gaming notebook in the world. The pricier and much heavier Alienware M14x (latest one with NVIDIA GT555M) is the most powerful 14" gaming laptop, according to Alienware.