OUR EDITORS INDEPENDENTLY RESEARCH, SELECT, AND RECOMMEND THE BEST PRODUCTS FOR REVIEW. AT TIMES (AND AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU), WE MAY RECEIVE COMMISSIONS ON PURCHASES MADE THROUGH OUR CHOSEN LINKS. WE WILL ONLY EVER PROMOTE THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES THAT WE TRUST AND 100% RECOMMEND. YOU MAY READ OUR FULL AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE POLICY FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Table of Contents
- Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500 in 2021
- 1. Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop
- 2. Acer Predator Helios 300
- 3. HP Pavilion 15-Inch Gaming Laptop
- 4. Asus TUF Gaming Laptop
- 5. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Laptop
- 6. Razer Blade 15-Inch Gaming Laptop
- Gaming Laptops under $1500 – A Buying Guide
Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500 for 2021 – Updated by Burbro Editors on January 19th, 2021
While many people believe that you can’t game on a budget, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s true that you can improve your gaming experience by spending thousands of dollars on a gaming setup; however, this isn’t realistic for many gamers.
A budget of $1500 for a gaming laptop is enough for you to get sufficient RAM, a good graphics card and a quality processor to run your games. While it may be tempting to spend more money to upgrade your setup, you can still have an incredible gaming experience from one of the best budget gaming laptops under $1500.
In this review, we’re going to look at the best gaming laptops under $1500 so that you can find a cheap gaming laptop that’s high-quality. We’ll also provide a buying guide for gaming laptops so that you can understand what to look for when choosing a laptop.
Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500 in 2021
If you’re looking for a gaming laptop, but your budget is under $1500, you’ve come to the right place. In this section, we’ll be reviewing the best gaming laptops under $1500 that you can use for gaming with your friends and family.
1. Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop
Best General Use Budget Gaming Laptop
If you’re looking for a high-quality gaming laptop, but you’re on a budget, you’ll be interested in the Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop. This laptop is fast and responsive, with a durable design and graphics that can be used for multiple online games. The Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop features a Core i5 processor along with 8GB of DDR4 RAM. It also comes with NVIDIA Graphics and a 4GB dedicated graphics card so that you can get better visuals while gaming. When you game, laptops tend to overheat because the computer is working hard to provide a good gaming experience. With the Acer Nitro 5 laptop, you’ll never have to worry about your laptop overheating because it comes with dual fans, which super cool the laptop. With the Acer Nitro 5 laptop, you’ll find that the keyboard is easy to use, which is ideal for any gamers. You’ll also be able to use the back-lit keyboard to see your keyboard and control your game, even in darker areas.
RAM: 8GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Processor: 9th Generation Intel Core i5-9300H Processor
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
Extras: MaxxAudio // Back-lit Keyboard // Dual Fans
2. Acer Predator Helios 300
A High-Performance Gaming Laptop
If you’re looking for a high-performance gaming laptop, you’ll want to look at the Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop. This laptop is sleek, easy to use, and powerful enough for any games you’ll need to run on your laptop. The Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop comes with a Core i7 processor and 16GB DDR4 RAM. It also comes with NVIDIA graphics and a 6GB dedicated graphics card to support better graphics while you’re gaming. With the Helios 300 gaming laptop, you’ll never have to worry about your laptop overheating. This laptop comes with AeroBlade 3D fans used to supercool the laptop and provide 45% better airflow than other fans of the same size. One of the things we like about the Acer Predator Helios 300 is that it has a sturdy build, ideal for gamers that use laptops. This means that you’ll carry your gaming laptop around without having to worry about breaking any parts.
RAM: 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Processor: 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
Extras: 3D Fan for Better Air Movement // Back-Lit Keyboard
3. HP Pavilion 15-Inch Gaming Laptop
The Best 15-Inch Gaming Laptop Under $1500
While there are many gaming laptops on the market, there aren’t many cheap gaming laptops that can meet the HP Pavilion 15-Inch gaming laptop’s power. This laptop has high-grade graphics, processing power and long battery life for better gaming. The HP Pavilion 15-Inch Gaming Laptop features 8GB RAM and quad-core processing for faster gaming. It also comes with up to 512GB SSD storage so that you can download your games. It also features NVIDIA graphics with a 4GB dedicated graphics card so you can have a better visual experience while gaming. With the HP Pavilion gaming laptop, you’ll never have to worry about the laptop overheating while gaming. This is because the laptop comes with extra-wide air vents for better airflow, and it also comes with enhanced thermal cooling to help the heat escape from the laptop. f you’re into Virtual Reality games, you’ll want to choose the HP pavilion 15-inch gaming laptop. This device has been tuned and tested to work with any VR game that you enjoy playing.
RAM: 8 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM
Storage: 256 GB PCIe nvme M.2 Solid State Drive
Processor: 9th Generation intel core i5-9300h Processor, quad-core, 2.4GHz up to 4.1GHz
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (4 GB GDDR5 dedicated)
4. Asus TUF Gaming Laptop
One of the Best Cheap Gaming Laptops
If you want a high-performance gaming laptop that’s cost-friendly, you’ll want to look at the Asus TUF Gaming Laptop. While this laptop is cheaper, it’s built with military-grade construction to ensure that the laptop is durable and lasts. The Asus TUF Gaming Laptop features 8GB DDR4 RAM and an AMD Ryzen processor for superior gaming performance. It also comes with 4GB dedicated graphics and up to 512GB of SSD storage to download your games onto your laptop. With the Asus TUF gaming laptop, you’ll find that this laptop is lightweight and weighs less than 5 lbs while measuring about 1 inch thick. While this laptop is lightweight and easy to carry, it’s made with durable military-grade construction, which prevents it from breaking when you carry it with you. You’ll also never have to worry about your laptop overheating because the Asus TUF gaming laptop comes with a hyper-cool technology that cools off the laptop before it begins overheating. This cooling technology also comes with anti-dust fans, which prevents the dust from getting into your laptop.
RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3550H processor
Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560x 4GB GDDR5
Extras: Dual fans with anti-dust technology // Red backlit keyboard rated for 20 million keystroke durability
5. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Laptop
A Sleek Budget Gaming Laptop
Another option for a cheap gaming laptop that you can use is the Lenovo IdeaPad gaming laptop. This laptop is lightweight and sleek looking while having all the power that you’ll need to operate your PC games. The Lenovo IdeaPad gaming laptop features a 15.6-inch screen with NVIDIA GeForce graphics so that you can have better graphics while gaming. It also comes with 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage, powerful enough to run the majority of video games on the market. When you’re using your laptop for gaming, you’ll want to choose a laptop with long battery life to ensure that you don’t need to be charging your laptop while gaming. With the Lenovo IdeaPad, you can game for up to 9-hours without recharging your gaming laptop. One benefit of using the Lenovo IdeaPad is that you’ll be able to game for hours without your eyes becoming tired. This is because it comes with the ‘Vantage Eye Care Mode,’ which eliminates the blue lights from your screen and counters your eyes’ strain.
RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
Processor: 9th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150
Extras: Advanced Dolby Audio // ‘Quick Gaming’ and Quiet Gaming’ Modes
6. Razer Blade 15-Inch Gaming Laptop
The Best 15-Inch Gaming Laptop Under $1500
If you’re looking for the best cheap gaming laptop, you may be interested in the Razer Blade 15-Inch gaming laptop. This laptop has a pretty sweet setup and is considered to be the best gaming laptop with a 15-inch screen. The Razer Blade 15-Inch gaming laptop comes with 16GB RAM and an i7 core processor for better gaming performance. It also comes with NVIDIA GeForce graphics and a custom backlit keyboard to see your gaming controls. The Razer Blade gaming laptop also comes with an aluminum unibody, which adds structural integrity and strength to the laptop. This design also makes the laptop thin and light, ideal for gamers that need to transport their gaming setup.
RAM: 16GB RAM
Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
Processor: 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 TI
Extras: CNC aluminum unibody // Full HD display // Custom Back-lit Keyboard
Gaming Laptops under $1500 – A Buying Guide
In this section of our laptop review, we’re going to take a look at some of the specs and features that you’d like in your budget gaming laptop. We want you to find the best laptop for your gaming needs, so we’ve created a comprehensive buying guide that you can use to find a gaming laptop under $1500 in 2021.
If this is your first time buying a budget gaming laptop, you may find this buying guide especially useful.
Here are some things to consider when purchasing a gaming laptop for $1500.
1. Screen Size
When choosing a gaming laptop, you’ll need to select a screen size for your device. The size of your laptop’s screen is based on your personal preferences, and everyone tends to gravitate towards a screen size that they’d previously owned.
The most common gaming laptop screen sizes are:
- 15 Inch (Medium) – If you like a larger screen, but you want your laptop to be lightweight, you may want to go with a 15-inch screen size. This screen is middle of the road for size and allows you to see your games without any issues while being small enough to carry around.
- 17 Inch – 18 Inch (Large) – When you want to see your game more clearly, you’ll need to choose a laptop with a larger screen such as the 17-inch or 18-inch screen size. While these laptops may be more challenging to carry around, they have more to offer in terms of graphics and allow you to see your games.
While the screen size is a personal preference, we recommend that you go with a medium to large screen size. Yes, it may take more to carry around, but once you’re gaming on your laptop, you’ll enjoy your game much more with a larger screen size.
2. CPU and RAM
If you want to have a better gaming experience, you’re going to need to choose a gaming laptop with a good core processor and sufficient RAM for you to operate your games. While the graphics (GPU) may add a lot of life to your gaming, the core processor (CPU) and random access memory (RAM) are the brains of your laptop and is what’s being used when you give your laptop a command in your game.
Many people believe that you can’t get a good gaming laptop for $1500; we’re here to say that it’s possible. With a $1500 budget, you’ll get a reliable core processor and enough RAM to operate most computer games on the market.
Here are some things to look for when choosing the CPU and RAM:
- Intel Processors – It may be difficult for you to find a gaming laptop with a processor besides Intel unless you choose to go with a custom set up. However, you won’t need to worry about the processors’ brand because Intel is a reputable company and makes a powerful processor for a lot of brand names.
- 7th Gen Core (or better) – Since your laptop will likely come with an Intel processor, you’ll want to make sure that it is at least 7th generation or newer. This will ensure that your laptop’s processor will last longer and be compatible with the majority of games that you enjoy playing.
- Core i5 (or better) – You’ll also need to choose a Core i5 or better processor. If you have a $1500 budget, you’ll likely be able to find a laptop with Core i7 or Core i9 processors which are good for gaming.
- Quad-Core – The number of cores that your processor has will determine how many tasks it can do at a given time. If your laptop has dual-core, it may be slow for intensive games, so you’ll want to look for a gaming laptop with quad-core processors.
- RAM Capacity – The RAM on your computer stands for Random Access Memory and is used for short term tasks, such as keeping tabs active while you’re not using them without the tabs crashing and needing to be reloaded. If you’re choosing a gaming laptop, you’ll want to make sure that you get at least 8GB of RAM so that your games can operate smoothly without slowing down or crashing while you play.
Since you’re looking for a gaming laptop under $1500, it may make it more difficult for you to find a laptop with all these features. However, there are several gaming laptops that are powerful enough to operate your games.
3. Graphics Card (GPU)
As we mentioned, the CPU and RAM of your laptop is like the brains and take care of all the operations, but the graphics are what you’ll be seeing while your game, so if your laptop doesn’t have a good graphics processing unit (GPU) then your games may not seem as fast or vibrant as you’d like.
Since you’re looking for a gaming laptop under $1500, you won’t get the best graphics card on the market, but you should be able to find a solid graphics card that can meet your gaming needs.
In most budget gaming laptops, you’ll find graphics cards such as:
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
- Nvidia GeForce MX150
- AMD Radeon RX 560X
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650
- Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050
While these may not be the best graphics cards for gaming laptops, they can provide good graphics for your gaming experience. You’ll also want to ensure that your gaming laptop comes with a dedicated graphics card with at least 4GB of storage so that you can operate more intensive games on your gaming laptop.
You can have a gaming laptop with a good graphics card and capable of providing stunning graphics while still having a visual experience below average. This is because your display size is wrong for the type of games that you’re trying to play, so the visuals will be crammed onto a screen that’s too small and make them choppy.
Here are some guidelines that you’ll want to follow while choosing your budget gaming laptop to prevent any poor quality graphics.
- Resolution – If you want good visuals for your games, you’ll wish to a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080, which is considered full HD resolution. While laptops with QHD resolution (2560 x 1440) and 4K (3840 x 2160) screens are more popular with gamers, you may not find this high-quality resolution for under $1500.
- Matte / Glossy Displays – Whether you like a matte display or gloss display for your gaming laptop will be a matter of preference. The Matte Display will have an anti-glare layer to them, which prevents background light from shining off your screen, but it’ll hide some colour contrast. With Glossy Display, you’ll have more vibrant colours, but you may need to deal with some glare on the screen, which can be tiresome while gaming.
- OLED Display – If you enjoy having vibrant colours and better visuals while gaming, you’ll want to go for a screen with Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) display. This will help make the blacks darker and provide more contrast while making the lines thinner so that you can see the objects on your screen more clearly while gaming.
There may be other displays that you can find in a gaming laptop; however, with a $1500 budget, it’s unlikely that you’ll come across different displays than the ones that we’ve taken a look at in this gaming laptop buying guide.
5. Hard Drive Storage
There’s nothing worse than trying to download a new game and realizing that your hard drive doesn’t have enough space for you to operate your new game. This usually means that you need to stop downloading the new game or deleting other games and files to create enough space on your hard drive to finish the download.
When choosing hard drive storage, you’ll want to ensure that you use SSD storage for your gaming laptop. The Solid State Drives (SSD) storage uses flash memory technology faster than Hard Drive Disc (HDD) Storage.
You’ll also need to choose the storage capacity for your solid-state drive, which will depend on the storage amount you need for gaming. There are various capacity options that you can choose, such as:
While it’s possible to get a gaming laptop with up to 8TB of storage capacity, it’s unlikely that you’ll get this much storage with a budget of $1500. If you’re looking for a gaming laptop for $1500, you’ll likely get around 256GB to 512GB of SSD storage.
We would recommend that you get as much storage as possible because it makes it easier for you to use your gaming laptop in the long run. After all, you’ll have more room to download large files.
As a gamer, there will be times when you need to transport your laptop, which means that you’ll need to choose a gaming laptop based on your lifestyle. After all, you don’t want to get a smaller laptop for portability if you’re never going out.
On the other hand, you may go visit your friends frequently and game at their house, which means that you’ll need a laptop that can be portable while giving you the graphics and screen size that you prefer.
Here’s how you can choose the best gaming laptop for portability.
- 17 Inch – 18 Inch – If you’re looking for a portable gaming laptop, you’ll want to choose something smaller than a 17-Inch laptop or an 18-inch laptop. These laptops are bigger, which makes them more difficult to carry around; however, it can be done if you find a good carrying case to protect your laptop in transport. If you’re able to find a carrying case for your gaming laptop, then the larger screen size will make your gaming experience more enjoyable.
- 15 Inch – 16 Inch – The 15-inch or 16-Inch gaming laptops are the middle of the spectrum because you get a larger screen size while having a laptop that’s easier to transport for a weekend of gaming at your friend’s house. These laptops could be considered a hybrid because they’re easily carried around while having a large enough screen that doesn’t cause you to strain your eyes while gaming.
Once you’ve chosen a screen size for your budget gaming laptop, there are other portability aspects you’ll need to look at, such as:
- Build / Structure – You’ll also want to take a look at the laptop’s build to ensure that it’ll last. If you’re a gamer, then you’ll need a laptop that’s got a solid build so that you can use the laptop wherever you go without worrying about the laptop breaking. If the laptop’s hinges or structure looks weak, you won’t want to use it for gaming because it may not last as long.
There may be other areas that you’ll want to look at when choosing a portable gaming laptop; however, these are some of the main features you’ll want to look at when selecting a budget gaming laptop.
7. Keyboard / Touchpad
Another important aspect of choosing a gaming laptop is finding a keyboard and touchpad that’s comfortable for your hands. Many people have a preference for the feel of the keys and the layout of their laptop’s keyboard, so it’s essential that you find a comfortable keyboard, especially if you’re gaming.
People will often choose a laptop with the same screen size as their previous laptop because this will allow them to have a keyboard with the same spacing between keys, which makes it feel more comfortable for their fingers while gaming.
There are other aspects to look at when choosing a laptop keyboard, such as:
- Key Travel – The term key travel refers to the distance between each key that you need to touch. If the distance is too far, it may feel uncomfortable to type on the keyboard or use the keyboard for gaming. A comfortable keyboard will have a key travel between 1.5mm and 2 mm in the distance.
- Key Actuation – You’ll also want to look at the amount of force you take to push the keys down. If the keys are stiff, this may delay your gaming experience or tire out your fingers, which can be frustrating. You’ll want keys that take between 60-80 grams of force for you to push them down so that they have a bounce to the keystrokes.
- Anti-Ghosting – If you play games requiring you to press several keys at once, you’ll want to find a gaming laptop with anti-ghosting keys. This will allow you to press multiple keys simultaneously and have them all register with the game that you’re playing.
- Customization – While it’s not essential for you to customize your keyboard, it can personalize your laptop and look cool. You may like to have keyboard backlighting with different colours or have the ability to replace the popular command keys on your keyboard with different coloured keys so that you can quickly see the game commands on your keyboard.
You may also enjoy using other features such as macro keys, but this is all up to your personal preferences. If you’ve been gaming for a while, you’ll know what features you like to have on your gaming laptop.
8. Additional Features
While we’ve covered some of the main features that you’ll want in your budget gaming laptop, it’s time to look at some non-essential features that can make it easier for you to use your gaming laptop.
Here are some additional features you may want to look at when you’re choosing a gaming laptop.
- Battery Life – When choosing a budget gaming laptop, you’ll want to make sure that you find a long battery life. If your laptop doesn’t have a long battery life, then you’ll always need to charge your laptop, which can be frustrating while gaming.
- USB Ports – You’ll also want to choose a laptop with multiple USB ports so that you’re never short on ports that you can use. We recommend that you choose a laptop with 3 USB ports or more so that you can plug in your gaming mouse, a USB receiver for keyboard and your phone.
- Headphone Jacks – As a gamer, you’ll need to make sure that your laptop comes with a headphone jack or else you’ll be stuck listening to audio from the external speakers. If you can’t plug in your headset and mic, then you may have trouble talking to your friends and family as you play your games.
- Fans / Ventilation – When you’re gaming, your laptop may tend to overheat, which is why you’ll need to find a gaming laptop with good fans and ventilation. If possible, you should look for a laptop with dual fans because they cover more area and make it easier for your laptop to cool itself.
These are some of the main features that you may want on your laptop to help customize it and make it feel more personal for your gaming sessions.
9. Brand Names
When you’re shopping for clothes, the brand may not be important as long as it fits. When it comes to gaming laptops, you’ll want to choose a laptop from a reputable company to ensure that you’re buying from a quality source.
Here are some of the most reputable computer manufacturers to choose from (listed in alphabetical order).
If you’re going to purchase a budget gaming laptop, we recommend that you purchase from one of the listed brands. While it’s possible to get a gaming laptop from other brands, the quality may not be the same unless it’s a custom set-up that you can’t get for under $1500.
As with any large purchase, you’ll want to make sure that your laptop comes with a warranty to protect you from any defects. While you’d like to assume that your laptop was put together properly, mistakes can happen, and a warranty is there to protect you.
We recommend that you purchase a gaming laptop with a warranty that lasts at least a year to ensure that you have more than enough time to set up your computer and clock a lot of hours gaming. This will help you find any minor issues with your budget gaming laptop before the warranty expires.
Budget Gaming Laptops FAQs
In this section of our article about gaming laptops under $1500, we’re going to look at some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that we came across while writing this laptop review.
Here are some of the FAQs about budget gaming laptops and gaming in general.
1. Are Budget Gaming Laptops Worth It?
It all depends on what you need from your gaming laptop. If you’re a serious gamer, then a budget gaming laptop won’t be worth it; however, if you enjoy gaming but don’t require state of the art equipment, then a budget gaming laptop will be more than enough.
There’s often a misconception that you can’t find a good gaming laptop for under $1500, but that’s not true. With a $1500 budget, you’ll find a reliable laptop with enough RAM, CPU, GPU and storage for you to operate your favourite games.
2. Do Budget Gaming Laptops Overheat?
Any gaming laptop will tend to overheat, especially if you’re playing intensive games. However, almost all gaming laptops come with built-in fans and ventilation to help prevent overheating and cool the laptop from the inside. If your gaming laptop doesn’t come with a built-in fan, we recommend purchasing a cooling pad for your gaming laptop.
3. Are Budget Gaming Laptops Good for Everyday Use?
4. Can You get a Good Gaming Laptop for Under $1500?
Yes. You can get a high-quality gaming laptop for under $1500. While it’s true that you’ll get better features and specs on a more expensive laptop, this doesn’t mean that a budget gaming laptop is trash or can’t be used. You’ll simply need to shop with a budget of $1500 and look for a laptop with specs and features that you need to play your games.
Summary – Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500
We hope that this review has helped you find the best gaming laptop under $1500. If you’re new to choosing gaming laptops, then feel free to use our buying guide to help you through the process of picking the best budget gaming laptop in 2021 for your needs.
Always remember to pick a laptop that comes with a warranty so that you can be protected from any manufacturer defects or issues that you may come across with your gaming laptop.