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This is one of 3 articles dedicated to laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros:

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

Are you a Creative Pro that wants an Apple Macbook?

No problem, we have articles to help you find the best Macbook for your needs:
1. How you can choose the best Apple Macbook 12
2. How to choose the best Apple Macbook Air 13
3. How to choose the best Apple Macbook Pro 13
4. How to choose the best Apple Macbook Pro 15

Summary: Best Mid-Range Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros

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

  1. Both: GTX 1660 Ti: Best under $1100
  2. Both: Sleeker looks + GTX 2060
  3. Both: RTX 2070 Max-Q Thin & light, 8 RAM/storage configurations
  4. Both: RTX 2070 Max-P, 17.3″ display

The Best Laptops For Your Money?

By that, I mean the laptops that offer the best gaming and overall 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 laptop for my budget and needs?

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.

A reminder:

My recommendations in this article are based on the prices that I saw on August 28th 2019. 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.

Best Laptop for both for less than $1100

About the MSI GL63 9SDK-610

– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $1094.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Gamers:
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 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. Look into the RTX 2060 or 2070 laptops below for more gaming performance.

Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB + Intel Six-Core CPU:
Equipped with a Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660 Ti, (6GB VRAM GDDR6) dedicated graphics card and a powerful Intel Core i7-9750H Six-Core CPU, the MSI GL63 offers unheard of gaming performance at this price point.

The newer 16xx and 20xx generation of Nvidia graphic cards, for notebooks, offer significantly better graphic performance than the previous 10xx series, allowing you to run games with higher levels of visual quality, higher framerates and higher FPS rate, thanks to the new Nvidia Turing architecture featured in the Geforce 16xx and 20xx series.

To give you an idea, the Geforce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB performance is similar to the old Geforce 1070 mobile, while consuming less power!

Creative Pros:
Specs wise, this laptop checks all the boxes: Powerful six-core CPU, 16GB of RAM, GTX 1660 Ti graphic card with 6GB of memory, 512GB of high-performance storage and a 1080p display with an IPS panel.

Its main downside? The looks. It screams: I’m a gaming laptop. If this isn’t an issue for you, then it is a great machine for the price.

If, on the other hand, you’d rather have a laptop with more subtle looks, see my recommendation below.

Pros:

  1. Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660 Ti dedicated video card with 6GB of GDDR6 memory. Not a Max-Q variant, this is the full performance version.
  2. Powerful Intel Core i7-9750H Six Cores / 12 threads 2.6-4.5GHz
  3. 16GB (2x8GB) of DDR4 2666MHz
  4. 512GB SSD which greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  5. Empty 2.5″ drive bay, allows you to add a hard drive or 2.5″ SSD for additional storage
  6. RAM can be upgraded to 32GB (2x16GB) or 64GB (2x32GB)
  7. 1x USB 3.1 Type-C
  8. 3x USB 3.0 ports
  9. Fully customizable Per Key RGB backlit keyboard
  10. Numpad
  11. Ethernet RJ45 port.
  12. SD card reader
  13. 1x HDMI 2.0 and 1x Mini-Displayport 1.2
  14. Windows 10
  15. 720p HD webcam
  16. 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD display
  17. IPS display panel which means you get a more accurate color reproduction, better contrast and large viewing angles
  18. 3ms response time and 120Hz refresh rate
  19. 802.11ac WiFi
  20. Bluetooth 2.0
  21. Good keyboard layout
  22. Fairly lightweight for a gaming laptop: 4.8lbs

Cons:

  1. No optical drive
  2. Battery life is on the lower side, as expected from a gaming laptop

Best Laptop for both under $1300

About the Lenovo Legion Y540

– $1299.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Gamers and Creative Pros:

Compared to the model above, you get a slightly more powerful graphic card, the RTX 2060 6GB. You also get twice the storage capacity, with a 1TB SSD.

Maybe just as importantly, you get a powerful laptop that doesn’t look like a gaming laptop! Its looks are subtle and sleek!

Pros:

  1. Subtle, sleek looks, doesn’t scream “I’m a gaming laptop”
  2. Small screen bezels
  3. Nvidia Geforce GTX 2060 dedicated video card with 6GB of GDDR6 memory.
  4. Powerful Intel Core i7-9750H Six-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.6-4.5GHz CPU
  5. Empty 2.5″ drive bay allows you to add a 2.5″ hard drive or SSD
  6. 1TB SSD which greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  7. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light.
  8. RAM can be upgraded to 32GB (2x16GB) or 64GB (2x32GB)
  9. 3 x USB 3.0 Type-A and 1x USB Type-C
  10. Backlit keyboard
  11. Numpad
  12. Ethernet RJ45 port.
  13. 1x HDMI 2.0 and 1x Mini-Displayport
  14. Windows 10
  15. 720p HD webcam
  16. 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD display
  17. 144Hz refresh rate
  18. 802.11ac WiFi
  19. Bluetooth
  20. Keyboard with full-size arrow keys

Cons:

  1. No optical drive
  2. No card reader
  3. Missing the “Enter” key on the numpad
  4. Battery life is poor, expect 3-4 hours.

RTX 2070 Max-Q Thin & light, 8 RAM/storage configurations

About the Sager NP8957

Choose your RAM/storage configuration: – Click here to configure and see price on Amazon


Note that while my default recommendation is the 16GB RAM/ 512GB SSD model, you can pick whichever configuration you prefer.

Gamers:

Compared to the model above, you get a more powerful graphic card, the RTX 2070 8GB. Note that this is the Max-Q variant, so while gaming performance is definitely above the RTX 2060, it’s below that of gaming laptops equipped with the RTX 2070 Max-P. If you want the higher performance RTX 2070 Max-P, see my recommendation below.

Creative Pros:

The main advantage for Creative Pros is the additional dedicated graphic memory, with the 8GB RTX 2070. This allows you to handle 4K or even 8K video editing.

If you would prefer a larger 17.3″ display, see the model below.

I recommend 

Pros:

  1. Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 Max-Q dedicated video card with 8GB of GDDR6 memory.
  2. Powerful Core i7-9750H Six-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.6-4.5GHz CPU
  3. 16GB (2 x 8GB) or 32GB (2 x 16GB) of DDR4 2666MHz RAM.
  4. Some models only: 1 or 2 TB high capacity hard drive.
  5. 512GB or 1TB PCie NVMe SSD which greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  6. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light.
  7. RAM can be upgraded to 32GB (2x16GB DDR4 2666MHz) or 64GB (2x32GB)
  8. 2x USB 3.1 Type-C
  9. HDMI 2.0 and Mini Displayport outputs
  10. 2x USB 3.0 Type-A
  11. Multicolor RGB Backlit keyboard
  12. Numpad
  13. Ethernet RJ45 port.
  14. SD card reader
  15. Windows 10
  16. 720p HD webcam
  17. 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD display
  18. IPS display panel which means you get a more accurate color reproduction, better contrast and large viewing angles
  19. Intel 802.11ac WiFi
  20. Bluetooth
  21. Two dedicated mouse buttons

Cons:

  1. No optical drive
  2. Battery life is on the low side

Worldwide Shipping alternative

If you live outside the USA and want a good alternative, this Legion Y740, with the same CPU/GPU configuration, 16GB of RAM (1x16GB, you can easily add a 16GB stick), a 512GB SSD + 1TB hard drive, is a great alternative.
– $1999.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Both: RTX 2070 Max-P, 17.3″ display

About the Asus ROG Strix Hero III G731GW-DB76

– Click here to see the price on Amazon
$1989.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Gamers:

Compared to the model above, you get a more powerful graphic card, the RTX 2070 8GB MAX-P. Note that this is NOT the Max-Q variant, so while gaming performance is definitely above the RTX 2070 Max-Q.

Do you want a gaming laptop with a RTX 2080? Take a look at the High-End Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros article.

Creative Pros:

Compared to the model above, performance is similar, although sustained performance may be higher thanks to the larger chassis.

You get a larger 17.3″ display. If you prefer smaller displays and would rather save money, see the model above.

Do you want a laptop with a more powerful 8-core CPU? Take a look at the High-End Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros article.

Pros:

  1. Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 Max-P dedicated video card with 8GB of GDDR6 memory.
  2. Powerful Core i7-9750H Six-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.6-4.5GHz CPU
  3. 16GB of DDR4 2666MHz RAM.
  4. 512GB PCie NVMe SSD which greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  5. 1TB hybrid hard drive
  6. 17.3″ Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light.
  7. 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time
  8. RAM can be upgraded to 32GB (2x16GB) or 64GB (2x32GB)
  9. 1x USB Type-C with Displayport support
  10. HDMI 2.0 and Mini Displayport outputs
  11. 3x USB Type-A ports
  12. Backlit keyboard
  13. Numpad
  14. Ethernet RJ45 port.
  15. SD card reader
  16. Windows 10
  17. 720p HD webcam
  18. 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD display
  19. 802.11ac WiFi
  20. Bluetooth
  21. Two dedicated mouse buttons
  22. Card reader

Cons:

  1. No optical drive
  2. Battery life is on the short side, expect 4 hours of web browsing.
  3. Not exactly lightweight at 6.28lbs

Conclusion

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

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.