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CheckMag | Gaming doesn't have to be expensive: 4 great gaming laptops for under $1,500

Best budget laptops for under $1,500 (Source: Unsplash)
Best budget laptops for under $1,500 (Source: Unsplash)
While gaming laptops under $1,500 are budget-friendly, it doesn't imply compromising your ability to run the latest titles and enjoy an immersive gaming experience. If you're seeking excellent gaming performance at an affordable price, consider these four laptops to ensure you maximize the value for your money.

1. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 - Powerhouse performance in a compact package

Asus refines the ROG Zephyrus G14, integrating the latest components from AMD and Nvidia to cater to both gamers and creators. Featuring Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, the laptop delivers good performance within its compact size.

Despite slight limitations in combined workloads due to its size, smooth gameplay at QHD resolution is assured. With its 14-inch form factor, the ROG Zephyrus G14 packs a punch with the Ryzen 9 7940HS CPU and GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, alongside a 165 Hz Mini-LED panel.

The Mini-LED panel excels in gaming, boasting impressive color accuracy and customizable illumination options. Though efficient cooling mechanisms are in place, noticeable fan noise, particularly under Turbo mode, is present. While battery life is average, solid performance is maintained, although slightly reduced on battery power.

With just the right balance of GPU power and a highly efficient gaming-centric CPU, this laptop is a top choice for gamers willing to invest between $1000 and $1500.

2. Acer Nitro 16 – Battery champion

Packing strong performance, a vibrant display, and great battery life (particularly for a gaming laptop), the Acer Nitro 16 offers an impressive package at just under $1,500.

Equipped with a Ryzen 7 7735HS and GeForce RTX 4070, both running at consistently high clock speeds, this laptop delivers the necessary power for demanding tasks. Its fast PCIe 4 SSD (1 TB) ensures ample storage space and short loading times.

Temperature management remains effective, with the laptop maintaining a moderate level of background noise when configured optimally. The built-in IPS display (16 inches, 2560 x 1600 pixels, 165 Hz) impresses with its work-friendly 16:10 aspect ratio and excellent brightness levels.

With a full battery charge (90 Wh), the Nitro 16 offers impressive real-life run times of around 9 to 10 hours - a noteworthy achievement. Additionally, users benefit from the convenience of charging via USB-C adapter (minimum 65 watts, 20 V), as both USB-C ports support Power Delivery, eliminating the need for the bulky proprietary PSU (330 watts) at all times.

3. Lenovo Legion Pro 5 - AMD vs. Intel

Lenovo presents an intriguing choice with the Legion Pro 5 series, offering two variants priced below $1,500 USD each. The Intel Core i7-13700HX model pairs with RTX 4060 graphics, while its AMD counterpart, featuring the Ryzen 7 7745HX, boasts RTX 4070 graphics. While the Intel variant boasts approximately 10 percent faster CPU performance, it sacrifices around 15 percent in GPU performance compared to its AMD counterpart. Despite this discrepancy, both options share an identical chassis design.

For users prioritizing CPU prowess, the Intel option may hold appeal, while those placing greater importance on GPU capabilities will likely favor the AMD variant.

Given its primary focus as a gaming laptop, the Legion Pro 5 16” is best suited for users opting for the AMD configuration, benefiting from the faster RTX 4070 graphics. As modern games mainly rely on GPU performance, any incremental CPU advantages offered by the Intel variant would yield minimal impact on the overall gaming experience.

4. Asus ROG Strix G16 – A noise-free gaming laptop

Equipped with the mobile Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080, the Asus ROG Stix G16 strikes a fine balance between performance and cooling, particularly at a price point below $1,500. This laptop is a powerhouse wrapped in an aesthetically appealing package, promising an immersive user experience.

Notably, it introduces a unique prospect: noise-free gaming. Its preconfigured Silent Mode maintains playable FPS levels while minimizing fan noise. However, it's essential to acknowledge a potential downside - the presence of coil whine, particularly noticeable during performance boosts, possibly emanating from the voltage converters.

The battery of the Asus ROG Strix G16 boasts a 90 watt-hour capacity, suggesting promising runtimes away from the power socket. However, in the WiFi web surfing test with active graphics switching, the notebook surpasses nine hours. Yet, once the GeForce RTX 4080 comes into play, runtimes experience a noticeable decline. Under heavy load, the battery lasts merely one hour in certain scenarios.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 03 > Gaming doesn't have to be expensive: 4 great gaming laptops for under $1,500
Triet Le, 2024-03-18 (Update: 2024-03-18)