The best gaming laptops under $1500 offer a smooth and highly immersive gaming experience to enjoy your favorite games. They can run almost every game out there at high graphics settings, thanks to the powerful hardware that powers them.

Gaming laptops in this price range come with high-end Intel and AMD CPUs with powerful Nvidia RTX 3060 or 3070 or AMD equivalent GPUs. That makes them capable enough to run all the AAA titles launched this year, and they will also be able to run all the upcoming games for the next few years.


Also, if you are buying a gaming laptop for any other intensive workloads like photo and video editing, then the gaming laptops under $1500 can handle that too. We have all sorts of options on our list, including ones that excel at gaming and can handle other power-demanding tasks. We have a gaming laptop with a large 17-inch screen on our list if you are looking for that, or maybe you are a student looking for a thin and light gaming laptop with full-day battery backup to take to college and enjoy games in your free time, we have recommendations for you too.

We have considered the requirements of all types of users and accordingly have options on our list covering all the different use cases. You can check them out below.

Note – Checking the TGP Rating of the laptop GPU is very important when shopping for a gaming laptop in 2021. We have mentioned the TGP rating of GPU for each laptop on our list along with the other specs, so you don’t have to do that painful task to go looking for it elsewhere. But, if you plan to purchase any gaming laptop not mentioned here, then make sure to compare its TGP rating with other models you are considering.

Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500 – Our Top Picks

1. Asus ROG Strix G15 (2021) – Our Top Pick

Asus ROG Strix G15 - Editor's choice: best gaming laptop under 1500 dollars of 2021

Key Features:

  • Flagship AMD CPU
  • Max-P RTX 3060 GPU
  • 300 Hz color-accurate display
  • RGB Light Bar
  • Long battery life

The Asus ROG Strix G15 has a lot going for it compared to other options on our list, and therefore it is our most recommended gaming laptop under $1500 right now.

It is powered by an unlocked AMD Ryzen 9 processor, which beats even the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i9 processor in multi-core workloads. Accompanying the flagship-grade AMD CPU is the maxed-out RTX 3060 GPU along with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. These are the best specs you’ll find on a gaming laptop under $1500, and as you would expect, it can run any game out there in high or ultra settings at 1080p resolution at smooth frame rates.

To further smooth out the gaming experience, it offers a 15.6-inch full HD display with a 300 Hz refresh rate. That might be overkill for a gaming laptop, but it is also the highest refresh rate display you’ll find in a gaming laptop at this price range. Moreover, it’s also a 100% sRGB panel making this gaming laptop a good choice for professional content creation as well.

Its superb RGB keyboard and large trackpad further sweeten the deal, and its large 90 Whr battery that can last up to 12 hours on a single charge (that’s obviously while doing non-intensive tasks) makes it an incredible value for the price.

Hardware Specifications of Asus ROG Strix G15 (G513QM-EB94):

Processor AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX (8-cores, Up to 4.6 GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM (Upgradable)
Storage 512GB PCIe SSD
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 6GB DDR6 Graphics (115W TGP)
Display 15.6 Inch Full HD IPS-Type display with 300Hz refresh rate
Operating System Windows 10 Home 64-bit OS
Battery Life Up to 12 hours
Weight 5.0 lbs

2. MSI GL66 15-inch Gaming Laptop – Runner up

MSI GL66 15 RTX 3070 Gaming Laptop Under $1500

Key Features:

  • RTX 3070 with 8GB VRAM
  • 144Hz display
  • RGB keyboard
  • Effective and less noisy cooling system
  • Lightweight (less than 5 pounds)

For about the same price, the MSI GL66 15 is our runner-up pick of gaming laptops under $1500 because it has an RTX 3070 GPU inside!

But upon checking, we found that RTX 3070 is a low-powered (Max-Q) variant with a TGP of just 85W. What it means is, although the MSI GL66 looks like a more powerful gaming laptop, it will be outperformed by the Asus ROG Strix G15 (our top pick) in most games because it has a higher TGP RTX 3060 GPU.

But, if you’ll be using your laptop for graphics-heavy tasks like video editing or CAD and 3D rendering, then this MSI GL66 will handle it better because it has higher 8GB VRAM and more CUDA cores than RTX 3060. Besides GPU, the laptop features the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, which is also a very capable CPU, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the latest games at high settings on this gaming laptop as well.

Apart from hardware, though, there’s nothing extraordinary about the MSI GL66, but we also do not have anything to complain about. Its design is mostly similar to other MSI gaming laptops, and it also features an RGB backlit keyboard. And, since it has a lower TGP GPU inside, it is slightly thinner and lightweight than the Strix G15, and its cooling system is also comparatively less noisy.

Hardware Specifications of MSI GL66 Gaming Laptop (11UGK-001):

Processor Intel Core i7-11800H (8-cores, Turbo up to 4.6 GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM (Upgradable)
Storage 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 8GB DDR6 Graphics (85W TGP)
Display 15.6 Inch Full HD 144Hz display
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 5 hours
Weight 4.6 lbs

3. Lenovo Legion 5 15 – Most Affordable Option (Under $1200) 

Lenovo Legion 5 15 Gaming Laptop Under $1000

Key Features:

  • Powerful gaming performance
  • 165Hz full HD 100% sRGB screen
  • Full size RGB keyboard
  • Ergonomic ports placement
  • Great value for money

Now, if you are looking for a good bargain, then this Lenovo Legion 5 15 undoubtedly is the best bang for the buck. For the price that’s well below $1200 ($1,049.99 at Amazon), it offers excellent performance for gaming and other tasks, along with features that would make you question some of the other gaming laptops under $1500 mentioned here!

It has an AMD Ryzen 7 processor inside paired with 16GB RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, so its specs look right in line with other gaming laptops, right? Well, its GPU is a step-down, and it’s an RTX 3050 Ti with 4GB VRAM. It definitely could not match the performance of RTX 3060 in Strix G15 (our top pick) and RTX 3070 in MSI GL66 (our runner-up choice), but it would still be able to run all the latest games, albeit at medium settings.

But, do note that the RTX 3050 Ti inside this Lenovo Legion 5 15 is a Max-P variant, and it would outperform many expensive thin and light gaming laptops with RTX 3060 Max-Q, coming up later in the list. That makes this gaming laptop an exceptional value for the price!

Apart from great performance, it features a full-size RGB keyboard and a 165Hz refresh rate display with 100% sRGB color coverage, making it fit for both gaming and professional editing work.

But, its 5.2 pounds of weight is quite heavy, and its charging brick is also pretty big. Besides that, though, this gaming laptop is well worth its price.

Read our full Lenovo Legion 5 15 review

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo Legion 5 15 Gaming Laptop:

Processor AMD Ryzen 7 5800H (8-cores, Turbo up to 4.4 GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4 (Upgradable)
Storage 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB DDR6 Graphics (Up to 95W TGP)
Display 15.6 Inch Full HD IPS 165 Hz display with 100% sRGB (300-nits)
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 6 hours
Weight 5.2 lbs

4. Acer Nitro 5 17-inch Gaming Laptop

Acer Nitro 5 17 - Best 17 inch Gaming Laptop Under $1500

Key Features:

  • Large 17 inch 144 Hz display
  • Power-packed internals
  • Spacious 1TB SSD
  • Powerful cooling system
  • Loud stereo speakers
  • Very heavy
  • Loud fans

If there’s a gaming laptop that offers the most immersive gaming experience under $1500, then it has to be this one. The Acer Nitro 5 with its large 17-inch 144 Hz screen is what you need if you are looking for a dedicated gaming computer to enjoy your favorite games.

Now, if you don’t know, Acer Nitro is the company’s budget line of gaming laptops, and that means its chassis is made up of plastic, but it’s a very well-put-together notebook, and its aluminum lid adds a premium touch to its design. The overall look, however, is still mostly similar to the previous Nitro 5 gaming laptops, but there are less red accents now across the design, which I think looks much better.

Inside, it has an 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 processor with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, and it provides 16GB RAM and a spacious 1TB of SSD that can accommodate your complete game library.

Now, the RTX 3060 on this Nitro 5 has 95W of TGP, which falls in the middle of its TGP range (60 – 115W), so it’s not a low-powered Max-Q GPU, and it favors performance over battery life.

So, the performance of this gaming laptop is top-notch, and it’ll be able to run almost every game you throw at it, but just like every other 17-inch laptop, it’s not meant for frequent travelers. Its battery hardly lasts for 3 hours on a single charge, and its nearly 6 pounds of weight is hefty.

But, oh boy! Gaming on this laptop is such an amazing experience. Its large display makes every scene in the game look beautiful and more immersive, and that’s all you need to unwind after a long day at work.

Hardware Specifications of Acer Nitro 5 17 (AN517-41-R0RZ):

Processor AMD Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core CPU (16 Threads, 3.2 – 4.4 GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4 3200MHz (Upgradable)
Storage 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 6GB DDR6 Graphics (80 – 95W TGP)
Display 17.3 Inch Full HD IPS 144 Hz (Matte) display
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 5 hours
Weight 5.9 lbs

Asus TUF Gaming F17 – An affordable alternative

Asus TUF F17 - Affordable high performance 17 inch Gaming Laptop
Asus TUF F17 Gaming Laptop

If you want to get the same large screen gaming experience by paying less, then the Asus TUF F17 is another excellent 17-inch gaming laptop to consider.

It costs less than $1300, but it still offers comparable specs and features to the Acer Nitro 5 17” mentioned above.

So, it has an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 8-core processor with 16GB RAM, comparably small but adequate 512GB SSD, and slightly less powerful RTX 3050 Ti GPU with the TGP of 75W (Max-P).

The performance it delivers feels more or less the same as the Nitro 5, but you’ll get slightly less FPS in more demanding titles on this gaming laptop. But, that slight difference can be evened out by reducing a few settings a bit, and its 144 Hz screen does an excellent job to further smooth out the experience.

Apart from that, you do get an RGB keyboard, loud and clear sounding speakers, and all the required ports on this gaming laptop too.

5. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Value for Money

Acer Predator Helios 300 - Best Gaming Laptop Under $1300

Key Features:

  • Great performance & efficient cooling
  • Fast 144 Hz refresh rate screen
  • 4 zone RGB keyboard with Numpad
  • Easily upgradable
  • Great value for the price
  • Below average battery life
  • Subpar audio quality

Here’s another beast from Acer and it’s one of the most value for money offerings from the brand because of the sheer amount of performance it offers for the price. For less than $1300, it gets you almost similar specs to the other more expensive entries here – the latest gen Intel Core i7 processor along with Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU.

The RTX 3060 here is also not a low-powered variant. It is a Max-P RTX 3060 with 90W of TGP and it can turbo boost up to 105W almost topping off its TGP range.

So, as you would expect, the gaming experience that this notebook delivers is right in line with other gaming laptops present here, despite being almost $200 less. Moreover, it also offers 512GB SSD for storage and 16GB of RAM to run multiple demanding programs at once without any issues.

However, its battery does not last long enough, which means you’ll have to carry your laptop charger with you all the time. But, that also means carrying almost 7 pounds of weight on your shoulder and that’s not ideal if you’ve to commute with your laptop everyday. Also, the audio output from its stereo speakers is quite okay. You’ll have to invest in good gaming headphones to enjoy gaming on it.

Still, the Acer Predator Helios 300 offers a lot of value for the price. With a 144 Hz full HD display, 4-zone customizable RGB keyboard and extensive wired and wireless connectivity options, it is one of the best high-performance 15-inch machines you can get for under $1300 right now.

Read our full Acer Predator Helios 300 review

Hardware Specifications of Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-54-760S):

Processor 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H 8-Core CPU (2.3 – 4.6 GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4 3200MHz (Upgradable)
Storage 512GB SSD (Upgradable)
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 6GB DDR6 Graphics (90W TGP)
Display 15.6 Inch Full HD IPS LED-backlit 144 Hz 3ms display
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 6 hours
Weight 5.0 lbs

DEAL ALERT: Gigabyte Aero 15 with 4K OLED Screen (100% sRGB), i7-11800H, RTX 3060 (Max-P), 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD for $1799 $1399 from Newegg

If you are looking for a gaming laptop that’s apt for 4K video editing or high-resolution photos, then this Gigabyte Aero 15 with a 15-inch 4K AMOLED display is available at a great bargain right now at Newegg.

It features the latest 11th Gen Core i7-11800H processor with 8-cores paired with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD storage, and dedicated Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU with 105W TGP.

These are very powerful specs to play all the latest games, but its high-resolution color-accurate OLED display makes it an excellent choice for content creators. Know that it’s not a high refresh rate display, so gaming on this laptop wouldn’t be as enticing, but for those who prefer more eye candy, this laptop has it the best.

6. MSI Stealth 15M Gaming Laptop – Thin & Light

MSI Stealth 15M Thin & Light Gaming Laptop

Key Features:

  • Sleek and slim design
  • Lightweight
  • Great gaming performance
  • Tactile keyboard & smooth trackpad
  • Flipped motherboard design makes upgrades possible by professionals only

If you are looking for the thinnest gaming laptop under $1500, the one that can also pass in a meeting room without looking too flashy, then MSI Stealth 15M is for you.

It is the thinnest gaming laptop on our list at just 0.6”, but not necessarily the smallest of its size. Razer Blade 15, the next option on our list, is a bit compact 15-inch notebook. However, if you want the most portable and lightweight gaming laptop, then the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 coming up later on our list is the most compact and light gaming laptop, but it costs a little over $1500.

So, if you are looking for a thin and light gaming laptop, then the next few options are going to be interesting for you, so keep reading.

Coming back to the Stealth 15M, it indeed looks beautiful in its slim all-metal outfit, but as expected, the performance does take a bit of a hit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a very capable machine, but the 11th Gen Core i7 processor inside is a quad-core chip, and its RTX 3060 GPU is also a low-powered Max-Q variant.

It can still run all the latest games and deliver a smooth gaming experience, and its 144 Hz 1080p screen aids a lot in that.

Overall, the MSI Stealth 15M is one of the best thin and light gaming laptops in this price range, with a work-centric design and decent 5 hours of battery backup on a single charge.

Hardware Specifications of MSI Stealth 15M Gaming Laptop (A11UEK-009):

Processor Intel Core i7-11375H Quad-Core CPU (Up to 5.0 GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage 512GB SSD
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 6GB DDR6 Graphics (90W TGP)
Display 15.6 Inch IPS-level 144 Hz display (1920 x 1080)
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 5 hours
Weight 3.7 lbs

7. Razer Blade 15 – Most Premium Option

2020 Razer Blade 15 Premium Gaming Laptop

Key Features:

  • Premium CNC-milled aluminum chassis
  • Most compact 15-inch gaming laptop
  • Color accurate display
  • Decent audio quality
  • Great value overall

If you’ve always loved MacBooks for their premium design, then this Razer Blade 15 comes as close as a Windows laptop could get to such a premium look and feel. In fact, it is often called the Windows replacement for MacBooks.

But MacBooks aren’t cheap, and so is this Razer Blade 15!

The fully specced 2021 Razer Blade 15 will cost you over $3000, and its base variant starts at $1699, making it out of reach if your budget is locked at $1500. Thankfully, last year’s Razer Blade 15 is still available, and we think it’s a great bargain right now.

Of course, being a year-old model, its internals will also be from last year, and accordingly, it has a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with six cores and a GTX 1660 Ti GPU with 6GB VRAM. While these specs are in no way slouch, but in comparison to the other gaming laptops here, it’s a much less capable machine.

But, it would still be able to handle all the latest games just fine, and you can even use it for professional photo or video editing work since its 15-inch screen has pretty decent color coverage.

Apart from that, you get a beautifully designed laptop with the chassis built from a CNC-milled aluminum, so it feels luxurious inside out, and its keyboard, trackpad, and speakers all feel great, too—adding up more to the premium experience.

All in all, if you want to buy a premium thin and light gaming laptop for cheap, then this 2020 Razer Blade 15 is still a mighty powerful machine for gaming and work.

Hardware Specifications of Razer Blade 15 Base:

Processor 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core CPU (2.6 – 5.0 GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4 (Upgradable)
Storage 512GB SSD (Upgradable)
Graphics Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB DDR6 Graphics
Display 15.6 Inch Full HD 120 Hz display (100% sRGB)
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 5 hours
Weight 4.5 lbs

8. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 – Portable Powerhouse

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Ultraportable Gaming Laptop

Key Features:

  • Most portable gaming laptop
  • Excellent performance
  • Color accurate display with 144 Hz refresh rate
  • Up to 10 hours battery life
  • Competitively priced
  • Runs a bit hot while gaming

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 made a lot of heat when it launched last year, as it put many expensive tower PCs to shame through its outstanding performance. This refreshed 2021 model packs even more powerful specs in the same compact 14-inch chassis, making it the most portable and lightweight gaming laptop under $1500 of 2021.

It boasts an AMD Ryzen 9 processor inside with 8-cores clocked up to 4.6 GHz, which can beat even hefty Core i9 laptops in some stress tests. Accompanying the powerful CPU is the 16GB RAM with spacious 1TB SSD storage and Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU. As you might have guessed already, the RTX 3060 in the Zephyrus G14 is a low-powered Max-Q variant. But, that’s alright!

It still has enough oomph to handle every game out there in high settings. Moreover, it also features a beautiful 144 Hz full HD screen, and it is Pantone validated for color accuracy, so it is also a great choice if you are a content creator.

But, where this gaming laptop outshines every other laptop on our list is, its battery lasts for up to 10 hours on a single charge, and it weighs just a little over 3.5 pounds! Meaning, you can travel with this machine, work on it on the go, and in your free time, you can plug the charger and enjoy all your favorite games on it.

So, if you are a student or someone who travels a lot with a laptop, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is the one we recommend to you. Although its $1550 MSRP is slightly higher than your set budget of $1500, we think it’s still worth every single penny.

Read our full Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review

Hardware Specifications of Asus ROG Zephyrus G14:

Processor AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS (8-Core, Up to 4.6 GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4 3200 MHz (Upgradable)
Storage 1TB SSD (Upgradable)
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 6GB DDR6 Graphics (60 – 80W TGP)
Display 14 Inch Full HD 144 Hz IPS display (100% sRGB)
Operating System Windows 11 Home
Battery Life Up to 10 hours
Weight 3.6 lbs

9. Dell G15 Ryzen Edition Gaming Laptop

Dell G15 Ryzen Edition Gaming Laptop Under $1500

Key Features:

  • High performance specs
  • Effective cooling
  • Fast 165 Hz screen with good color coverage
  • Bulky design
  • A bit wobbly trackpad

If you want to get the vibes of gaming on an Alienware laptop without spending a premium, then this Dell G15 gaming laptop is for you. It takes a lot of cues from Alienware for its design and the hard-core performance that it delivers with efficient cooling.

Now, this is the Dell G15 “Ryzen Edition,” meaning it has an AMD Ryzen processor beneath running the show. It also comes with the latest-gen Intel processors, but we recommend the AMD models because they are cheaper and offer better performance overall.

So, it is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, and just like most other laptops in this price range, it is paired with an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU.

Now, this laptop has pretty big dimensions, and it also has a hunch on the back housing its I/O and large air vents. Some people might find it ugly, but this design allows the hardware inside to perform at its full potential. The GPU inside has a maxed-out TGP, and the CPU also maintains comfortable temperatures while gaming or doing any other intensive tasks.

Dell has also thrown a fluid 165 Hz full HD screen to the mix to make the gaming on this beast even more enjoyable, and it is a 100% sRGB panel, so this laptop is also fit for color-accuracy tasks.

With a battery life of up to 10 hours (thanks to AMD’s unmatched efficiency) and a price that often mingles around $1200, the Dell G15 Ryzen Edition is a no-brainer choice if you don’t mind its bulk.

Hardware Specifications of Dell G15 Ryzen Edition:

Processor AMD Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core CPU (3.2 – 4.4 GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4 3200 MHz (Upgradable)
Storage 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (Upgradable)
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU 6GB DDR6 VRAM (115W TGP)
Display 15.6 Inch Full HD 165Hz Anti-Glare display (100% sRGB, 300-nits)
Operating System Windows 11 Home
Battery Life Up to 10 hours
Weight 5.3 lbs

10. HP Omen 16 Advantage Edition

HP Omen 16 Advantage Edition Gaming Laptop

Key Features:

  • Powerful AMD CPU & GPU
  • Large 16 inch screen with 144 Hz refresh rate
  • Excellent RGB keyboard
  • Up to 10 hours battery life (thanks AMD SmartShift)
  • Loose hinge makes screen wobble

Want to enjoy gaming on a large screen but do not want the excessive bulk that comes with it, then our last option on the list – the HP Omen 16 is sure to entice you. It is a 16-inch gaming laptop that weighs nearly 5 pounds, which is the perfect middle ground between a standard 15-inch notebook and large and heavy 17-inch laptops.

However, it’s not just about the size. The Omen 16 is among the very few gaming laptops that wear the “Advantage Edition” badge by AMD, meaning it’s sure to run most games at around 100 FPS, come with at least 144 Hz display for gaming, and have about 10 hours of battery life for everyday work! What more can you ask for in a gaming laptop?

So, it features all AMD hardware inside, which includes the latest AMD Ryzen 7 processor and Radeon RX 6600M GPU. The GPU has 8GB of DDR6 VRAM, and it is tuned to perform at its max TGP. You can expect this GPU to deliver comparable performance (better in some cases) to the Nvidia RTX 3060.

Moreover, since it has both CPU and GPU from AMD, it can use AMD’s SmartShift technology to channel more power to either CPU or GPU, depending on the workload. This helps the laptop handle the task at hand better and conserve the battery power simultaneously.

Overall, the HP Omen 16 Advantage Edition is another excellent gaming laptop under $1500 with cool AMD tricks up its sleeve that results in a good balance between performance and battery life for this gaming notebook.

Hardware Specifications of HP Omen 16 Advantage Edition:

Processor AMD Ryzen 7 5800H (8-Core, Up to 4.4 GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4 3200 MHz (Upgradable up to 32GB)
Storage 1TB SSD (Upgradable)
Graphics AMD Radeon RX 6600M GPU with 8GB DDR6 VRAM
Display 16.1 Inch Full HD 144Hz IPS display with 100% sRGB
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 6 hours
Weight 5.2 lbs

7 Must Have Things in a Gaming Laptop Under $1500

You don’t have to settle for less when you spend $1500 on a gaming laptop. Here are the 7 of the most important specs and features you must have in your next gaming laptop to get the smooth and most immersive gaming experience.

At least quad-core CPU

With an incapable CPU, it does not matter how powerful other components are in your gaming laptop, it will always feel slow. While gaming is a more GPU-intensive task, having at least a quad-core CPU in a gaming laptop will ensure that the CPU does not become a bottleneck for the powerful GPU in your gaming laptop. For under $1500, though, you’ll be able to buy a gaming laptop with six-core and even eight-core Intel and AMD CPUs, which are best if you want to play the latest AAA games at the best possible frame rates or run any professional editing software.

RTX 3060 or its AMD equivalent GPU

Although $1500 is considered “mid-range” when it comes to gaming laptops, and it will get you only an RTX 3060 gaming laptop, you wouldn’t feel duped by its performance. The Nvidia RTX 3060 or AMD equivalent Radeon RX6600M are very capable GPUs supporting advanced features such as Ray Tracing. They can run every game launched this year at high graphics settings and will be able to run all the new upcoming games for the next 4-5 years. If you are buying a gaming laptop that costs above $1200, you should aim for these GPUs to make your purchase worthwhile. And, as I mentioned at the beginning of this guide, don’t forget to compare gaming laptops based on their GPU TGPs.

Minimum 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD

Less RAM and storage capacity can cripple any gaming laptop. Even though your CPU and GPU can deliver much better FPS in your favorite games, they wouldn’t be able to perform at their full potential due to less RAM. To avoid such issues, make sure your next gaming laptop has at least 16GB of RAM. And, for storage, aim for at least 512GB SSD. These days, most modern games easily size over 100GB, and that would fill up a 256GB SSD with just two games! So, having 512GB or more storage would be ideal for a gaming laptop in 2021. But, you should know that RAM and storage are upgradeable on most gaming laptops, so your priority should be to get a better CPU and GPU in your gaming laptop, even if that means settling with less than our recommended RAM and storage.

Fast refresh-rate display (w/ optional Nvidia G-sync or AMD FreeSync support)

You got the gaming laptop with the best possible hardware you can get within your budget, and it delivers over 100 FPS in most games, great, but playing it on a standard 60 Hz display wouldn’t deliver you the best experience, especially in fast-paced games. To get the best gaming experience, a fast refresh rate display is necessary. If you don’t know what the display’s refresh rate is, it can be defined as the number of times the display refreshes in a second. A 60 Hz display refreshes what’s on-screen 60 times in a second, 144 Hz display refreshes the picture 144 times in a second, likewise for 165 Hz, 240 Hz, and 300 Hz screens. If you’ve been playing games on a 60 Hz screen until now, then by switching to a fast refresh rate screen, you’ll be able to feel the luxury of high refresh rate gaming.

That does not mean you should spend all your money to get the gaming laptop with the highest possible screen refresh rate. In reality, most of these gaming laptops with 300 Hz and 360 Hz refresh rate displays do not even make sense. Laptop hardware isn’t powerful enough to run modern games at such high frame rates, and if the laptop’s hardware cannot match the FPS in games with the screen refresh rate, then the high refresh rate screen is useless. For an under $1500 gaming laptop, 144 Hz is the bare minimum to get, and at most, a 240 Hz screen is more than enough. If you are getting more, it’s good but know that there are no gaming laptops in this price range that can run modern games at over 250 FPS.

Apart from refresh rate, also check the response time of the display panel, which is the time an individual pixel takes to change the color. Less than 5ms is good enough, but having a 3ms response time is considered ideal for gaming to not face issues like ghosting.

A good cooling system

Although modern CPUs and GPUs are designed to resist up to 100° Celsius temperatures, having them run at 75-90° range is ideal for the laptop’s longevity and to not face issues such as CPU or GPU over throttling. For that, you need an effective and efficient cooling system to allow the powerful hardware to perform at its max potential during long gaming sessions and keep the key touch areas like the keyboard at comfortable temperatures.

Also, gaming laptop fans can get pretty loud. Look for gaming laptops with a special fan design (curved or thin fins) to reduce noise levels, around 50-55 decibels fan noise is considered good for a laptop while gaming.

Comfortable and Tough keyboard

Keyboards on gaming laptops take a lot of beating. You start pressing keys with extra force to relieve the frustration of getting killed by the same enemy again and again. You press the spacebar with your thumb and keep jumping around in the game with the joy of killing the whole enemy team alone. Being a gamer, I do that a lot, and I know many of you’ll be able to relate. So, the gaming laptop keyboards need to be tough enough to withstand such heavy key presses of winning or frustrated gamers. Apart from that, having the WASD keys distinct in color or font from the rest of the keyboard will help you identify them quickly without taking your eyes off the screen. There are gaming laptops under $1500 that allow users to customize the color of individual keys or different zones or certain key sets by using their proprietary software.

Apart from that, you can look for features like user-programmable keys or N-key rollover in your gaming laptop keyboards if you are a professional gamer or streamer.

Well-built chassis

Most gaming laptops in the $1500 price range are generally well-built, but you should still assess the build quality. At this price range, you can expect laptops to come with all-metal chassis or at least have a lid or keyboard deck made up of metal to increase the overall rigidity of the machine.

Also, make sure to check the screen hinges, especially if you are considering buying a large screen laptop (16-inch or 17-inch). They should be strong enough to handle the weight of the display. Also, check if it’s loose because that can make the screen wobble which would be very annoying while typing and playing games.

That’s all!

In this guide we rounded up the best gaming laptops in the midrange price bracket of $1100 upto $1500. If you want to explore other options, you can check out our guide on the best gaming laptops under $1000 right now, which can also run all the latest games at just slightly lower FPS than the gaming laptops under $1500.

If you don’t mind playing games at medium settings, then have a look at our budget gaming laptop picks that offer an RTX GPU and fast refresh rate screen for almost half the price than $1500.

We hope that this guide helps you to buy the best gaming laptop under $1500 for yourself. If you have any more questions, let’s talk in the comments section below—we give prompt replies!


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