Best Gaming Laptops for $1000 – Which Ones to Buy? Which to Avoid?
Hey! How’s it going Dave2D here. And this is a comparison between the $1000 gaming laptops in mid-2017. Now, choosing one of these things is not super easy, you have to make compromises, of some sort. You’re not going to have like an 800$ laptop, that’s super thin, with the 12 hour battery life and like amazing performance. It’s just not going to happen. You have to figure out what you find most important in your decision. And also what you don’t care about as much and then make a purchase decision based off of that. Ok, in no particular order we have the Asus GL 553. This is one of very few laptops with the black and orange color scheme. It has an RGB keyboard and it has a metal top surface. We have the Dell Inspiron 7567, it’s been redesigned for 2017, comes in red or gray and it feels very solid. This thing is dense. Next is the 2017 HP Omen. I haven’t done a video on this refreshed version, it’s so similar to the 2016 model and it’s also very similar to the HP Pavillion this year. Then we have the MSI GE62. This is one of the very first Pascal based laptops on the market.
It also has a metal top lid with that MSI dragon logo. Next up is the VX-15 from Acer. This has a more traditional gaming laptop aesthetic. I don’t love the color but I do like the design language that they’re going for. We also have the SABRE 15 from Gigabyte. This is their least expensive gaming laptop and there’s no red color accents at all. It’s also based off of a Clevo barebone’s laptop. And then lastly we have the Lenovo Y520. Not too much red on this one. The exterior is all black and it’s kind of low-key but the inside has red accents. And the way that I do my comparison videos, if you haven’t seen them before, I kind of go through several categories and then choose a winner in that category based on these laptops.
Alright, let’s do this. Alright, the first thing is build quality and at this price point you’re not going to get top tier build quality. I’d much rather have a well engineered plastic chassis then a poorly made metal one. My top pick is the Dell 7567, this thing’s built like a tank. The chassis is rock-solid. It’s actually weird to have toughest thing feels for this price point. The ASUS GL 553 I’d say comes in second place. It’s got an aluminum top panel, plastic bottom, but well built. The Lenovo Y520 and the ACER VX15 are also really good choices, both of those are built well. Ok, the next thing i want to talk about is screen quality. The thing I need to mention though is that this laptop, the Dell 7567, this originally launched with a TN panel. It was pretty bad, and Dell realized that they made a huge mistake and they now actually ship with IPS panels. So I mean it’s still not the best of the bunch but it’s significantly better than what they used to have. The winner here is the MSI GE62. Close runner-up would be the GL 553.
They’re more expensive, so you’re paying a bit of a premium to get a better screen. But if you’re looking for something that’s brighter or more color accurate in that 1000 $ price range, these are my top two picks. The rest of them are actually pretty similar. I’d say that the Dell with its new IPS panel comes out a bit ahead for color accuracy, but they’re noticeably not as good as the two leaders. The HP Omen and the Dell 7567 both have 4k panel options. The 4k Omen panel looks pretty good. It is a PenTile display. The 4k Dell panel is better. Also if you want, you can upgrade all of these panels, not just the ones on the table, but the ones that are off frame right now, but you can take all the panels out if you want and then purchase them on eBay and replace them. Now, it’s not an easy process but it can be done. So if you’re stuck with a laptop that doesn’t have the best screen, you can pick up some really bright and really color accurate panels on eBay and do it yourself.
Ok, so here’s a chart of what ports and drives these devices have. At this price point, none of them have Thunderbolt 3 support. They’re all upgradable like you can open them up and add memory and storage drives. But the one that’s easiest to upgrade is the Dell 7567. There’s a single screw to get inside and it just straight up feels like it was built for the user to open it up. The Saber 15 or the Clevo has the most number of ports, but some of those are located on the bottom right, so it can get a little cluttered.
Also the Asus and the MSI have optical drives, if you need them. Now in general all of these have good connectivity and good port selection, but I’ve had to choose a winner it would be the MSI GE62. In terms of the keyboard, all of them have a decent keyboard. None of them are bad per se. My favourite keyboard would probably be the MSI. It’s a solid keyboard with zoned RGB backlighting. And then second place I’d say would go to the Lenovo Y520. Trackpads are a different story. Both of those laptops I just mentioned with good keyboards have not-so-good trackpads. My favorite trackpad is the Dell 7567: plastic surface, windows precision drivers, good button mechanism.
I like this one. To be honest I don’t feel like any of the other ones are as good. Maybe the tracking on the Sabre 15 is similar, but I much prefer to click on the Dell over the dedicated buttons on the Sabre. Ok, so performance is dependent on two things. First are the components, so the faster components you have the better performance and then the second thing is how well those components are cooled. So if you don’t cool them properly, they just won’t run as well.
You need to have a mixture of the two to have like the “best performance”. So, all of these laptops come in, well most of them, come in two configurations in i5 and i7. If you’re just playing games the i5 is perfectly fine, but if you also edit videos I would totally upgrade to an i7. So, all of these laptops are running a KabyLake i7 and the best thermal performance goes to the Dell 7567. I have a tough time getting this thing to throttle. It’s cooled really well. I kind of ranked them in order from best to worst in terms of how hot the CPU gets when it’s running the 3DMark stress test and then here’s some scores from Fire Strike. Now, keep in mind that these temperatures are from a benchmark, right? Regular gaming or video editing won’t push the laptop as hard but this gives us a rough idea.
While we’re here, I might as well talk about fan noise and these are all running Kaby Lake processors so for the most part they’re pretty efficient. The fans don’t always need to run when the laptops are idling. These are the measurements I took and it’s a pretty close battle for first place. I think it’s a toss-up between the Dell and HP Omen. In terms of speakers, the two leaders are the Lenovo and the Dell. The Dell sounds better, it has a sub so if you’re watching videos or playing games you can hear the lower frequencies better.
It’s not super heavy bass but it is there. The Lenovo has a better location for the speakers. It’s up on top so it projects upward and to the sides, so the stereo effect is very pronounced. If you want positional audio for games, and you don’t want headphones or you can’t use headphones, these are very usable. The ASUS also has nice speakers as well. Ok, let’s talk battery life. Here’s a chart and the leader here is the Dell. It’s a big battery, it’s significantly bigger than some of the other models here. Now all of these are measured on a 1080p screen. If you upgrade to a 4k panel the battery life will be lower. And in case you’re wondering like how I run my battery tests, I set my laptops to 250 nits, if the laptop can even get to that brightness, but I set it to 250 and I run the script that does web browsing and text input in this loop. Ok, the last category is value and I think the winner for just sheer value is the Lenovo Y520.
For 850 bucks you’re able to get a 1050Ti, which is a really powerful chip for games and you’re still getting your 2-year Lenovo warranty and stuff. The Dell and the Acer are also really good but every laptop here has some strengths and weaknesses, so you can’t really go wrong choosing any of them. If you’re wondering what my top choices amongst these, it’s the Dell 7567 and like I mentioned everyone choice is a little bit different. My preference is for a bigger battery and really good build quality and they kind of nailed that. This only applies though for the new IPS panel. If they didn’t have that new panel I would have gone for the Acer VX-15. Now, if you’re one of those people that have the TN panel, it’s not that big of a deal, I mean it is not as good as this new IPS panel, but you always have the option of going to ebay and doing that whole swap thing that I mentioned earlier.
It’s really not that expensive and it’s not too difficult on this particular model and you can get some really good panels for like a hundred bucks. Now, the other thing I want to mention. 3 laptops that I do not recommend purchasing: first is the Samsung Odyssey, I have a review unit, I will not be doing a review on it. It’s $1,500. It’s way too expensive for what that product is. I think it’s overpriced. I think it’s – I mean – it’s a fine laptop it was $1000 not 1500. The other thing is that this laptop here the MSI GE62. It has a younger sibling called the GL62 and you might be tempted to purchase the GL, because it’s cheaper than this one, but the fans on that thing are super loud, the screen is significantly worse. Save up for the GE62 if you want the MSI. The other thing is do not purchase a laptop with a GTX 960M right now unless it’s like a huge discount because the performance difference between the 1050 to 1050Ti and a 960 is way too big to ignore. You do not want to purchase a 960M just to save a couple bucks.
You will get longer like lifespan with this laptop if you pick up a 1050. It will last you longer in terms of like gaming years. So if you can save up for 1050 or 1050 TI. I hope you guys enjoyed this video. Thumbs if you liked it subs if you loved it. I’ll see you guys next time..