This is one of 3 articles dedicated to gaming laptops:

1. Best Budget Low-cost Gaming Laptops
2. Best Mid-Range Gaming Laptops (this article)
3. Best High-End Gaming Laptops

The Best Gaming Laptops For Your Money?

By that, I mean the laptops that offer the best gaming performance at a given price. Because if you’re about to buy a gaming laptop, you want the one that offers the best performance possible for your budget, right?

If you have the time to do research… but who does?

You don’t have the time to read or the knowledge to understand detailed laptop reviews and specifications and just want the answers? In other words, what you want to know is:
What’s the best gaming laptop for my budget?

So if you don’t have the time, don’t worry. We’re here to help you with this article.

The features that we evaluate in order to make our recommendations:

1. Price
2. Performance: CPU, RAM, Storage, Video Card and Wireless Adapter
3. Screen: Size, Resolution, Finish, Panel type, Brightness, Contrast, Viewing Angles and Color Accuracy
4. Portability: Dimensions, Weight, Real-life battery life during average web browsing?
5. Usability: Keyboard: Layout, Key size, Travel/Pressure, Key Shape and any additional Function keys. Touch pad quality, trackpoint, backlit keyboard, numpad, Operating System, which ports are offered, Webcam resolution, sound quality, optical drive, noise levels.
6. Reliability: How solid is the chassis and the screen hinges? Are the temperatures under load reasonable? Is the keyboard spill-resistant? Overall manufacturer long-term reliability? Is it easy to service the laptop?
7. Warranty: Warranty length? What does the warranty cover?

We then recommend laptops that offer the best overall features, at various price points.

Alternatives recommendations:

We also sometime suggest alternative recommendations, with clear explanations as to why they are interesting alternatives. That way, you can easily choose the best laptop to answer YOUR needs and desires.

Put all of this together and you get this article: The Best Mid-Range Gaming Laptops!

A reminder:

My recommendations in this article are based on the prices that I saw on July 25th 2018. Prices and availability change all the time. While I can’t keep up with ever changing prices, I do recommend to you what are in my professional experience the best laptops around a price point.

Leave a comment if you have a question, a suggestion and/or any feedback that you want to share.

Summary

Click on any of these links to jump to the section that interests you, or scroll down to see them all, in this order.

The Best Gaming Laptop for:

  1. Less than $1000
  2. Less than $1200
  3. Less than $1450

Best Gaming Laptop for less than $1000

About the Dell 15.6″ Inspiron 15 7000

Capable of handling games at 1080p (1920 x 1080 / Full HD) with high visual details.

With this gaming laptop, you can play pretty much any game at 1080p, with high or max details in most games. You may have to cut down visual quality a bit to get good enough frame rates, depending on how demanding the game is.

Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 6GB + Intel Quad-Core CPU:
Equipped with a Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060, (6GB VRAM GDDR5) dedicated graphics card and a powerful Intel Core i5-7300HQ or Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core CPU, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 offers unheard of gaming performance at this price point.

The newer 10xx generation of Nvidia graphic cards, for notebooks, offer significantly better graphic performance than the previous 9xx series, allowing you to run games with higher levels of visual quality, higher framerates and higher FPS rate, thanks to the new Nvidia Pascal architecture featured in the Geforce 10xx series.

To give you an idea, the Geforce GTX 1060 6GB outperforms the old Geforce 980M!

The new 10xx series graphic cards are much closer to their desktop counterparts in terms of performance as opposed to the previous series which had to be significantly cut down in performance to be integrated into gaming laptops.

Available in multiple configurations:

What I love about this laptop is that you can buy it in multiple configurations, allowing you to choose the configuration that you prefer!

1. Core i5-7300HQ, i5-8300H or Core i7-7700HQ CPU
All three of them are quad-core CPUs. There are two differences between them:

The first difference is that the Core i7 CPU offers Hyper-Threading, so that it can handle 8 threads, while the Core i5 doesn’t have Hyper-Threading and is limited to 4 threads. That makes no difference in gaming performance, but if you plan on also using your gaming laptop for demanding programs, such as photo or video editing, 3D rendering, etc., getting the model with the Core i7 will provide additional performance.

The other difference is the frequency: The Core i5-7300HQ runs at 2.5-3.5GHz, the Core i5-8300H at 2.3-4.0GHz and the Core i7-7700HQ runs at 2.8-3.8GHz. Higher frequencies = higher performance

2. 8GB (1x8GB) or 16GB (2x8GB) of RAM
8GB is still good enough for gaming. You can easily add another 8GB stick of DDR4 SODIMM RAM if you want to upgrade in the future.

16GB (2x8GB) means that you get dual-channel memory, for twice the memory bandwidth. Gaming performance will get a slight boost (~5%) but applications that benefit from more memory bandwidth (think workstation type applications, rendering, 3D, video/photo editing, etc.) will get a significant boost in performance.

16GB will also ensure that you have enough memory to run multiple applications without running out of memory. If 16GB isn’t enough for your needs, you can upgrade to 32GB (2x16GB).

Get the Dell Inspiron 7000

Core i5-7300HQ, 8GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM (Refurbished) : – Click here to see the price on Amazon
Core i5-7300HQ, 8GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM (Brand new) : – Click here to see the price on Amazon

Core i5-8300H, 8GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM : – Click here to see the price on Amazon
Core i7-7700HQ, 16GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM: B&H ($1099.00) – Worldwide Shipping

Pros:

  1. Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 dedicated video card with 6GB of GDDR5 memory.
  2. Powerful Intel Core i5-7300HQ Quad-Core 2.5-3.5GHz, Core i5-8300H Quad-Core 2.3-4.0GHz or
    Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-3.8GHz CPU
  3. Depending on your configuration you get either 1x 8GB or 16GB (2 x 8GB) of DDR4 2400MHz (2666MHz with Core i5-8300H CPU) RAM.
  4. 1 TB high capacity hard drive.
  5. Available configurations with a 128GB SSD which greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  6. M.2 slot support both the lower cost M.2 SATA III SSDs and the higher performance, but more expensive PCIe M.2 SSDs
  7. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light.
  8. RAM can be upgraded to 32GB (2x16GB DDR4 2400MHz). See our recommended RAM upgrades toward the end of the article.
  9. 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, with Thunderbolt 3 and Displayport 1.2 output
  10. 3x USB 3.0 ports
  11. Backlit keyboard
  12. Numpad
  13. Ethernet RJ45 port.
  14. SD card reader
  15. 1x HDMI 2.0a with support for 4K output at 60Hz
  16. Windows 10
  17. 720p HD webcam
  18. 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD display
  19. IPS display panel which means you get a more accurate color reproduction, better contrast and large viewing angles
  20. 802.11ac WiFi
  21. Bluetooth 4.2
  22. Great keyboard layout

Cons:

  1. No optical drive
  2. Hard drive is a 5400RPM hard drive : slower than 7200RPM drives and SSDs
  3. Battery life is on the lower side, expect 5-6 hours of web browsing.

Best Gaming Laptop for less than $1200

About the HP 15.6″ OMEN 15-dc0030nr

Capable of handling games at 1080p (1920 x 1080 / Full HD) with high visual details.

With this gaming laptop, you can play pretty much any game at 1080p, with high or max details in most games. You may have to cut down visual quality a bit to get good enough frame rates, depending on how demanding the game is.

– Click here to find the price on Amazon
– $1199.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 6GB + Intel Six-Core CPU:
Equipped with a Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060, (6GB VRAM GDDR5) dedicated graphics card and a powerful Intel Core i7-8750H Six-Core CPU, the HP Omen offers slightly better gaming performance and vastly higher performance all around, making this laptop ideal for gaming and heavy audio/video/photo/3D editing.

Pros:

  1. Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 dedicated video card with 6GB of GDDR5 memory.
  2. Powerful Core i7-8750H Six-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.2-4.1GHz CPU
  3. 16GB (2 x 8GB) of DDR4 2666MHz RAM.
  4. 1 TB 7200rpm high capacity hard drive.
  5. 128GB PCie NVMe SSD which greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  6. M.2 slot support both the lower cost M.2 SATA III SSDs and the higher performance, but more expensive PCIe M.2 SSDs
  7. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light.
  8. Small screen bezels
  9. RAM can be upgraded to 32GB (2x16GB DDR4 2666MHz).
  10. 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, with Thunderbolt 3
  11. HDMI 2.0 and Mini Displayport outputs
  12. 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
  13. Multicolor RGB Backlit keyboard
  14. Numpad
  15. Ethernet RJ45 port.
  16. SD card reader
  17. Windows 10
  18. 720p HD webcam
  19. 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD display
  20. IPS display panel which means you get a more accurate color reproduction, better contrast and large viewing angles
  21. 802.11ac WiFi
  22. Bluetooth 4.2
  23. Two dedicated mouse buttons
  24. Metal chassis
  25. Bang & Olufsen Dual Speakers

Cons:

  1. No optical drive
  2. Battery life is on the lower side, expect 5-6 hours of web browsing.

Best Gaming Laptop for less than $1450

About the Eluktronics Pro-X P957HR

Perfect for handling games at 1080p  (1920 x 1080 / Full HD)

With this gaming laptop, equipped with the powerful Geforce GTX 1070 8GB, you can play pretty much any game, old and new, at 1080p at a or close to maximum visual settings.

You also get a powerful Intel i7-7700HQ Quad-Core CPU and 8GB of RAM, this laptop can handle any game.

You can order the laptop with 8, 16 or 32GB of RAM and choose between a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB SSD. Of course, you can upgrade it yourself too. Note that it includes a 1TB hard drive, so you have more storage capacity for your games.

Weighting in at 4.9lbs and being only .67″ thick, this is a fairly lightweight and thin gaming laptop.

If you are looking for an even more powerful gaming laptop, check out The Best High-end gaming laptops.

 

– Click here to see the price on Amazon

Pros:

  1. Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 dedicated video card with 8GB of GDDR5 memory.
  2. Highly powerful Intel Core i7-7700HQ 7th gen Kaby Lake Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-3.8GHz CPU
  3. 8GB of DDR4 2400MHz RAM. Can be configured with 16 or 32GB.
  4. 1 TB high capacity hard drive.
  5. 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD which greatly improves the laptop responsiveness and booting speed. Can be configured to be 256GB or 512GB.
  6. M.2 slot support both the lower cost M.2 SATA III SSDs and the higher performance, but more expensive PCIe M.2 SSDs
  7. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect sunlight.
  8. Screen with a 120Hz refresh rate.
  9. RAM can be upgraded to 32GB (2x16GB DDR4 2400MHz).
  10. 5 USB ports in total: 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 3x USB 3.0 ports
  11. RGB backlit keyboard
  12. Fingerprint reader
  13. Numpad
  14. Dedicated left and right click buttons on the trackpad.
  15. Ethernet RJ45 port.
  16. SD card reader
  17. 1x HDMI and 2x DisplayPort output, for up to 4 active displays at once
  18. Windows 10
  19. 1080p Full HD webcam
  20. 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD display
  21. Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265 2×2 802.11ac WiFi
  22. Bluetooth 4.2

Cons:

  1. Hard drive is a 5400RPM hard drive: slower than 7200RPM drives and SSDs
  2. Limited battery life

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article on the Best Mid-Range Gaming Laptops!

I invite you to leave a comment, let me know what you thought of this article.

Do you think that I forgot a pro or a con for a laptop?

Perhaps you believe that there’s a better option than my recommendation and want my professional opinion.

A laptop might no longer be available or you may have some questions.

Just leave a comment below now and I’ll get back to you.