Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500 - 2018 Reviews & Top Picks

It took some time, but we found the best gaming laptop under $1500. We found three of them, in fact. Keep reading to find out which one is the best for you.

Finding The Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500

We’ve put in the work to find the top gaming laptops under $1500, and we’ve come out of it with 3 great options for you to choose from.

Each laptop we recommend has its own respective downsides and upsides, but what’s most important is their gaming performance. In this range, you’ll find that performance is superb, surpassing that of the PS4 Pro while still having all the benefits of a compact laptop PC.

For detailed information on the gaming performance of these laptops, click here.

When it comes down to it, any of these laptops are capable of giving you a great gaming experience. Ultimately, the best 1500 dollars laptop is actually a matter of personal preference: ours is Gigabyte’s option, which we’ve nicknamed the Refined Giant.

To learn about why we’ve chosen the Refined Giant over the others and how they all line up, keep reading to learn more about the contenders.

ASUS ROG Strix GL502VM

Contender Breakdown

namestoragescreencpugpuramRating
Sleek & Slim ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VMASUS ROG STRIX GL502VM128 GB SSD + 1TB HDD15-inch LCD display at 1080pQuad-Core Intel Core i7-7700HQNvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB VRAM)16GB DDR44.25/5
Refined GiantGigabyte P57Wv7-KL3 NotebookGigabyte P57Wv7-KL3 NotebookM.2 256 GB SSD + 1TB HDD 17-inch IPS display at 1080pQuad-Core Intel Core i7-7700HQ Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB VRAM)16GB DDR44.5/5
RGBeastMSI VR Ready GE72VR Apache Pro-009MSI VR Ready GE72VR Apache Pro-009M.2 256 GB SSD + 1TB HDD17-inch IPS display at 1080pQuad-Core Intel Core i7-6700HQNvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB VRAM)16GB DDR44/5
#1

ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VM

TECH SPECS

  • Storage
    128 GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Screen
    15-inch LCD display at 1080p
  • CPU
    Quad-Core Intel Core i7-7700HQ
  • GPU
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB VRAM)
  • RAM
    16GB DDR4
  • 3 USB 3.0 Ports, 1 USB 3.1 Type C
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Windows 10

The Sleek & Slim is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a sleek, slim gaming laptop. In addition to being the slimmest member of this roundup, it’s also the cheapest, without sacrificing any of the gaming performance.

Unfortunately, the Sleek & Slim does come with a few downsides for its lower price. First and foremost, a lack of an IPS panel means it will have worse color reproduction and worse viewing angles, which can be a bit problematic on a laptop.

Secondly, the SSD in this build isn’t M.2, so it will be a bit slower than the SSDs in other laptops. Finally, the thin and light build means that this laptop will be less durable than other options on this list.

Those downsides aside though, the Sleek does come with some other upsides. It has a red backlit keyboard, ensuring usability in the dark and its panel is said to be “wide-view”, somewhat alleviating the viewing angle issue typical of non-IPS displays.

Plus, it’s only $1400! If you’d like the same great gaming performance while saving a hundred or so, this is a viable option.

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#2

Gigabyte P57Wv7-KL3 Notebook

TECH SPECS

  • Storage
    M.2 256 GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Screen
    17-inch IPS display at 1080p
  • CPU
    Quad-Core Intel Core i7-7700HQ
  • GPU
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB VRAM)
  • RAM
    16GB DDR4
  • 3 USB 3.0 Ports, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C Port
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Windows 10

Our winner, however, is the Refined Giant. This is because it’s the strongest overall of our lineup, but what makes it that way?

First and foremost is the gaming performance it boasts, which is the best you can get in this price range. The other laptops offered here perform the same, but they make other compromises in order to reach that.

The Refined Giant doesn’t really make any compromises. It’s a beast of a laptop, with a 17-inch IPS display that ensures the best viewing and gaming experiences you can get on a laptop.

In addition to the great display, the SSD within is a step above, too, offering twice the storage of our entry-level option and a boost in speeds by utilizing M.2 instead of SATA.

Aesthetically, the Refined Giant also fits its name. It has a larger, firmer build and a tasteful, white-backlit keyboard.

The only real downside of note is the touchpad, which people report poor experiences with. Let’s be real, though: if you’re gaming on a laptop, you should be using a mouse anyways.

If you can afford it, the Refined Giant can’t be beat. We highly recommend it.

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#3

MSI VR Ready GE72VR Apache Pro-009

TECH SPECS

  • Storage
    M.2 256 GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Screen
    17-inch IPS display at 1080p
  • CPU
    Quad-Core Intel Core i7-6700HQ
  • GPU
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB VRAM)
  • RAM
    16GB DDR4
  • 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 1 USB 2.0 Port, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C Port
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Windows 10

Last, but not necessarily least, is the RGBeast.

Right off the bat, the RGBeast throws everything into presentation. With 17-inch IPS display and a customizable RGB-backlit keyboard, it’s abundantly clear that this laptop is made to be a pleasure to look at.

In addition to the great aesthetics, it boasts an M.2 SSD and the same great gaming performance we come to expect from options in this price range. The only real performance compromise is a marginally less powerful CPU.

Why, then, is it rated lower than the other two options on this list?

Inconsistency. While this is a great candidate for the best gaming laptop under $1500, there appears to be a number of manufacturing defects that users can end up with, like a faulty backlighting system.

This is greatly unusual for MSI, a manufacturer who has a great reputation in laptops and PC hardware alike. While these defects should all be covered by warranty, and MSI is generally pretty good with its customer service, it isn’t the user’s job to worry about the reliability of their laptop.

Everything should just work.

This, in addition to its higher price, makes the flaws much harder to swallow. It may be better on paper than the other two options here, but its flaws are real and can’t be ignored.

We’d love the RGBeast- and, in fact, it’d be our top pick- but the possibility for hardware issues makes it impossible to recommend as our top option. We still recommend it, but be sure that you have another computer in case the first unit you receive needs to be returned.

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What do I want in this price range?

Before deciding on a laptop, make sure you know what you want in this price range.

IPS Display

An IPS display ensures the best color reproduction and viewing angles, which means a more vibrant gaming and viewing experience. Wider viewing angles are great, too, since you’re likely to use a laptop in all kinds of positions versus just a desk, like you would a desktop.

Keyboard Backlighting

Keyboard backlights have been a staple of laptops for years now and are even becoming more prevalent on desktop setups with the rise of RGB. Regardless of color or spec, keyboard backlighting ensures that your keyboard stays useable in dark environments, even for people who don’t have their keys memorized.

Nothing’s worse than spawning in a game, placing your fingers where you think your WASDs are and accidentally triggering an important ability. Backlit keys make sure that you always know exactly where your fingers are, even if you aren’t an expert.

Reliable Hardware

Ideally, you want something that won’t immediately break if dropped and with good enough build quality to last you a good long while. This means plastic, flimsy laptops are a no-go.

Fortunately, one of the laptops we’ve recommended here fall under that category. There is one that is thin and light, but, even then, it’s still solidly-built and should serve you well.

How do I choose?

When it comes down to it, here’s how it breaks down.

The Sleek & Slim will have amazing gaming performance and a low price, but will sacrifice IPS and M.2 to do so. Its form factor is ultimately a matter of preference, but we prefer them a little thicker.

The Refined Giant is more expensive, but has a larger, professional sense of presentation. This, plus the M.2 and IPS boost, make it ideal for those who want a solidly-built machine for gaming and working on the go.

The RGBeast is focused on eyecandy and makes a minor performance compromise to do it. It’d normally be our winner, but the possibility for hardware problems drops its rating by quite a bit.

If you’re willing to deal with the possibility of warranty and returns, though, it’s the best laptop on this list.

What’s Your Choice?

Ultimately, there’s no wrong answer here. All of these are amazing laptops and could all be considered the best gaming laptop under $1500.

Our pick, though, is the Refined Giant.

What’s yours?

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