Best Gaming Laptop Under $900 - 2018 Reviews and Top Picks

Those looking for the best gaming laptop under $900 have come to the right place as we did all the research for you. Now, all you need to do is choose the one that’ll suit your needs.

Finding The Best Gaming Laptops Under $900

Searching for the top gaming laptop under 900 dollars was a bit of an undertaking. Fortunately, we found the best ones in this range relatively quickly.

At this price range, your gaming performance on a laptop should start rivalling that of current-gen consoles, in addition to the portability and convenience of a laptop PC. If gaming is your only concern and you don’t need to game on the move, we highly recommend taking a look at our build guides.

The laptops you’ll go over below are our favorite laptops you can buy for under $900. A good case could be made for purchasing any one of them, but the Acer Aspire VX 15  is easily our top pick in this price range.

Acer Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop

Contender Breakdown

namestoragescreencpugpuramRating
Power In The ProcessingProstar Clevo Gaming Laptop N855HJProstar Clevo Gaming Laptop N855HJ1TB HDD15-inch TN display at 1080pQuad-Core Intel Core i7-7700HQNvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB GDDR5 VRAM)8GB DDR44/5
Pure PerformanceMSI GL62M 7RE-407 Performance Gaming LaptopMSI GL62M 7RE-407 Performance Gaming Laptop256 GB SSD15-inch “IPS” display at 1080pQuad-Core Intel Core i5-7300HQNvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB GDDR5 VRAM)8GB DDR44.25/5
No CompromisesAcer Aspire VX 15 Gaming LaptopAcer Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop256 GB SSD15-inch IPS display at 1080pQuad-Core Intel Core i5-7300HQNvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB GDDR5 VRAM)16GB DDR44.5/5
#1

Prostar Clevo Gaming Laptop N855HJ

TECH SPECS

  • Storage
    1TB HDD
  • Screen
    15-inch TN display at 1080p
  • CPU
    Quad-Core Intel Core i7-7700HQ
  • GPU
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB GDDR5 VRAM)
  • RAM
    8GB DDR4
  • 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 1 USB 2.0 Port, 1 USB Type-C Port
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Windows 10

This contender for the best gaming laptop under $900 puts everything into its CPU power, with an i7 for just $800. It has two main tradeoffs in turn: a poorer display and a weaker GPU.

To understand why not having IPS is a downside, we need to give a quick lesson on monitor tech. TN panels have poorer color reproduction, but generally enjoy faster response times. They’re also cheaper, making them far more common in the PC space than IPS panels.

The emergence of IPS panels is relatively recent, but as more people in the PC space care about high color range and visual quality, it’s become a staple of laptops in this range and high-end monitors. IPS also makes more practical sense on laptops, since it boasts better viewing angles.

If you’re used to TN panels, the lack of IPS in this one shouldn’t bother you too much.

As far as the CPU/GPU trade off goes, the GPU in this build has a 20% performance deficit when compared to its cousin, the 1050 Ti. While normally such a performance tradeoff would discourage us from listing this one at all, there’s one big reason we opted to keep it up:

CPU-intensive games and applications. Most titles won’t benefit from an i7 versus an i5, but a few CPU-intensive games will, and CPU-intensive applications certainly will.

Older titles in particular tend to utilize the CPU more than the GPU, and if your tastes trend a little older, this laptop should serve you well.

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#2

MSI GL62M 7RE-407 Performance Gaming Laptop

TECH SPECS

  • Storage
    256 GB SSD
  • Screen
    15-inch “IPS” display at 1080p
  • CPU
    Quad-Core Intel Core i5-7300HQ
  • GPU
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB GDDR5 VRAM)
  • RAM
    8GB DDR4
  • 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 1 USB 2.0 Port
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Windows 10

This gaming laptop comes in at just around $800 and focuses mostly on gaming performance. Its gaming performance is the same as our champion actually and, if not for the numerous tradeoffs made to get that price-performance, it’d be our top pick.

Positives out of the way first:

The i5/GTX 1050 Ti combination should beast through modern games. 720p max should be possible in any game, with 1080p medium-high in most of them as well.

There’s also plenty of configuration options if the onboard SSD isn’t enough for you, but getting extra storage will cost you. This is a common downside for high-end laptops, though, and not something I can really fault this particular model for.

What I can fault it for is the advertising.

The display is advertised as “IPS-level”. While it does seem to offer better viewing angles, user reviews indicate that it is still a TN panel, which won’t offer the full gamut of color reproduction to those that matters to.

Additionally, the lack of a USB Type-C port may be a downside for those using newer smartphones or USB Type-C peripherals.

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#3

Acer Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop

TECH SPECS

  • Storage
    256 GB SSD
  • Screen
    15-inch IPS display at 1080p
  • CPU
    Quad-Core Intel Core i5-7300HQ
  • GPU
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB GDDR5 VRAM)
  • RAM
    16GB DDR4
  • 3 USB 3.0 Ports, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C Port, 1 USB 2.0 Port
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Windows 10   

Our overall winner is aptly nicknamed No Compromises, because it doesn’t seem to make any.

It offers the best gaming performance in this price range without sacrificing on Type-C or panel type. Thanks to the extra money that goes into it, it’s also able to put more into RAM.

On the RAM note- 16GB is realistically far more than any common user or gamer should need, but it is nice to have just in case you need it.

With great gaming performance, color reproduction, viewing angles and build quality, No Compromises is really the best gaming laptop under $900. At least, it is in our opinion.

The only real downside of the laptop, aside from the price skirting right under 900, is the fact that the SSD is still small for a lot of user’s needs. There’s no HDD option offered on Amazon, so if you want to expand your storage you’ll need to buy a separate drive on your own.

In our opinion, this is a minor downside at best when compared to the other builds. This is the best-built gaming laptop you can get in this range, so that’s why it’s our top pick.

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What do I want in this price range?

Before you settle on what you want, here’s a few

Console parity performance on the go

The GTX 1050 Ti in these builds are roughly equivalent to a desktop GTX 1050, which is more than powerful enough for a great 1080p gaming experience. With a few compromises where necessary, any game should be playable at 60FPS with good visuals.

While you are paying significantly more for this performance than you would for a PS4 or a desktop PC build, you also get to take it on the go. This should be plenty incentive for most.

Great CPU and GPU power

Fortunately, we’re entering the tier where people aren’t going to pawn off crappy “core” components on you. All the CPU and GPUs present in this price range are pretty respectable, so you shouldn’t have to deal with anything less than a Quad-Core i5 processor.

One of our laptops even offers an i7, for those of you interested in that kind of thing.

Quality displays

IPS displays start coming into more prominence at this price range, thanks to their superior color reproduction and viewing angles. Due to a laptop’s nature as a portable PC that may be used in any number of scenarios, that kind of flexibility is desirable.

If you can afford it, we highly recommend selecting one of the IPS options we’ve listed above.

How do I choose?

Ultimately, what makes the best gaming laptop under $900 depends on your preferences and what matters most to you.

Power In The Processing is ideal for users who play CPU-intensive titles. One popular CPU-intensive title that comes to mind is TF2, a relatively old game with surprisingly high CPU requirements thanks to its dozens of major updates over the years.

Pure Performance is for users who only care about gaming performance, and not much else. It does offer the best gaming performance you’ll get in this price range, for $100 less than our top pick, but it sacrifices an actual IPS panel and Type-C support to do so.

No Compromises is for users who want to make...well, guess. In addition to the best gaming performance in the range, it doesn’t skimp on the display or USB ports to make that happen.

What’s Your Choice?

At the end of the day, though, PC gaming is always about user choice. There are no “wrong” answers here- just go for the laptop that fits your needs!

Which one did you choose? Need more help deciding? Let us know in the comments below!

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