Finding the best gaming laptop under $1300 isn’t hard as compared to finding them under 700 or 300. The reason for this lies in the complexity of such laptops.
Truth be told, gaming laptops are more expensive for a number of reasons. First, they are meant to run graphics-intensive games that require more processing power, memory, and last but not the least, a graphics processor that has the capability of running intense gaming codes.
So, under 1300, you should be expecting laptops having NVIDIA 1060 up to 3000 series with processors either AMD Ryzen 7 5000 series or Intel’s Core i7 10th generation. Anything above these is most welcome but you shouldn’t accept anything below them.
The List of Best Gaming Laptops Under $1300
Our Top Pick
|Acer Nitro 5 |
Features: 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, 15.6″ Full HD IPS 144Hz Display, 16GB DDR4, 256GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, Waves MaxxAudio, Backlit Keyboard
|Acer Predator Helios 300 |
Features: Intel i7-11800H processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 15.6″ Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, 16GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, Killer WiFi 6, RGB Keyboard
|Razer Blade 15 |
Features: Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, 15.6″ FHD 1080p 120Hz, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, CNC Aluminum, Chroma RGB Lighting
|ASUS TUF Gaming F17 |
Features: 17.3” 144Hz Full HD IPS-Type, Intel Core i7-11800H Processor, GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, 16GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe SSD, Gigabit Wi-Fi 6
|MSI Stealth 15M |
Features: 15.6″ 144Hz FHD 1080p Display, Intel Core i7-11375H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB, 512GB SSD, Thunderbolt 4, WiFi 6, Win10
|Lenovo Legion 5 |
Features: 15.6″ FHD IPS Screen, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Processor, 16GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti, Windows 10
|HP Pavilion 17 |
Features: Intel Core i5, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Windows 10 Home
|Dell Gaming G3 15 |
Features: 15.6 Inch FHD, Intel Core i7-10750H 10th Gen, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6
The following list has laptops with similar specs but of course, they differ in the manufacturer, architecture, and other accessories. All of these do make quite a difference for an avid gamer.
Let’s delve in.
1. Acer Nitro 5 – Best Gaming Laptop Under $1300
While shelling out $1000+ can be a risky business, I feel completely satisfied with my purchase due to its stellar quality speakers, lightweight design, and mouth-watering refresh rate that keeps my gaming hours smooth as butter.William, Gamer and Reviewer
The Acer Nitro 5 has to be the best laptop in this range for gamers. It isn’t the sleekest one among them but it isn’t that bulky at all.
The laptop comes with Core i7-9750H, which is kind of a letdown for the price but hey, this processor isn’t run of the mill. It has the capacity to power all that intensive activity during your game. The heat produced by it is considerable. However, when you have the cooling mechanism of Acer, you shouldn’t worry about it.
The fan does start talking when you jack up the performance but that should be normal for gaming laptops. All that work and no noise? How is that plausible?
Coming straight toward its graphics card, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 plays all modern AAA titles with little hiccups. You should expect frame rates ranging from 60 to all the up. But you might wanna reduce things over for the sake of getting rid of the noise.
The RAM and hard drive are promising, too, in terms of performance. I mean you seldom find a 16GB RAM with RTX 2060. The only letdown here is a small SSD storage. 256GB is not enough for heavy games that occupy 200 GBs for starters.
Since it’s a gaming laptop, you’ll find the usual constants of a backlit keyboard, quirky design, and a strong built. Nothing extraordinary there.
But what’s really extraordinary is its 144Hz refresh rate LCD panel that provides the chance for an immersive gaming experience. The colors aren’t that good but who cares when you’re a gameplay geek?
About the speakers, why would you use them anyway when you have your gaming headphones? Its speakers are better than most of the models with the ability to churn out bass even under 100Hz, but still, need improvement.
Connectivity options with one come in all sizes and shapes. The battery is disappointing with only 4 hours of life as compared to the advertised 8 hours.
Watch the following video by TechTeamGB for more in-depth details about Acer Nitro 5.
- Speedy SSD
- Extraordinary speakers
- High refresh screen
- CPU gets heated considerably
2. Acer Predator Helios 300 – High End Gaming Laptop Under 1300
Although I would definitely limit the exaggeration, the hardware capabilities are impressive at such a price point. In addition to this machine’s powerful graphics card from the 30 series, it’s also equipped with a superb thermal control system.Noah, Gamer
My caption says it all. The Acer Predator helios 300 is THE BEAST.
First off, the Intel i7-11800H says a lot about its processing power. The 11th generation CPU alone comes at a price of $500 or more. With 16 threads and 8 cores, it will run your tasks at the speed of light. Ahem. Overstating its capabilities would be a waste of time because it already has garnered a lot of attention.
Coupled with it is the NVIDIA RTX 3060 – a complete behemoth of a graphics processor. Experience AAA titles at their full capacity on a panel that has a 144Hz refresh rate. The colors are better than the ones I reviewed about. For what it’s worth, it can run games from 1080p to 4K.
However (and obviously), you should expect a performance drop in terms of fps when you load games in 4K. There aren’t many options available at that. But the likes of Shadow of Tomb Raider, and Red Dead Redemption 2 can be played at around 30fps.
When it comes to 1080p, the fps go from 40 (Microsoft Flight Simulator), all the way up to 100 (Hitman 3).
With 16GB RAM to support quicker game loading, you get a 512GB SSD – a much-needed inclusion since your games are heavy.
There’s an RGB keyboard, worthy speakers, a dedicated “Turbo” key to increase the performance at the expense of fan noise, and a clean Predator UI.
Connectivity options include three USB A 3.2, A USB-C 3.2, an HDMI, and Ethernet. The battery doesn’t last longer than 4 hours on gaming.
Watch the following unboxing video by Ben G for more in-depth details about Acer Predator Helios.
- Phenomenal gaming experience
- Clean UI and Turbo option
- Better cooling system
- 11th generation CPU
- Noisy fans
3. Razer Blade 15 – Latest Laptop Under $1300
Aside from its lovely appearance, it is also highly functional on the inside since the design boasts hardcore gaming vibes, while its software is finely tuned to give you optimized frame rates through its mid-tier dedicated graphics card.Danny, Hardcore Gamer and Streamer
The Razer Blade 15 is a demon in the skin of an angel. It outperforms its contemporaries with its sleek design, superior performance, and most of all, its built.
The 10th gen Core i7 processor from Intel sorts out processes into multiple channels for smoother operations. With a clocking power of 5 GHz with its Turbo and 6 cores, you’re bound to experience gaming like never before on a laptop.
But the real deal under the hook is its separate NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660, which is an older version than the laptop I reviewed above. However, it delivers its share of promise by running well-known AAA titles at max settings.
I’m talking about Battlefield 5 in 80fps, The Witcher III in 70fps, and so on in 1080p. Yes, the more you go up, the fps drop. For example, in the same 1080p, if you play Warhammer 2, you’d get a mere 50fps, which is not bad but not great as well. The Red Dead Redemption 2 will play at 30fps and that reduces to 27fps when you jack the resolution up to 1440p. At 4K, it reduces further down to 19fps.
So, overall, the performance of the graphics card is commendable only if you’d like to play heavy titles in 4K, all the while compromising on the fps. Which you won’t, I know. It’s better to stick at 1080p.
Even its 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD do not help in that case. It’s safe to say that the laptop is for medium titles run on high.
Furthermore, what I like about this one is its design. It is subtle, sleek, and almost as if it’s a general simple laptop. You can pretty much carry it to your office and no one would know about it.
The aluminum case does more than look good. It dissipates heat efficiently, thus, giving you a cooler chassis than ever.
I experienced nothing wrong with the keyboard, touchpad, or 120Hz screen. My only grievance has been its poor, poor audio quality plus the fact that I can’t use it on my lap because of its heat.
- High fps on midrange games
- Lovely design and strong built
- No bloatware
- Better battery timing than most
- Expensive for its specs
- Slow speakers
4. ASUS TUF F17 – Most Powerful Laptop Under $1300
If you’re into big-screen gaming laptops, the Asus TUF F17 is for you. With a 17.3” 144Hz IPS panel, it takes you inside the game for what it’s worth.
Its performance is absolutely drool-worthy. With an 11th gen Core i7 processor that can handle multiple processes within its wider bandwidth and thread gamut, you should expect your games to run as smoothly as they can.
The GeForce RTX 3050 Ti takes things multiple steps further because it has the power to run 971 from the top 1000 graphics-intensive games with minimal lag. The 16GB DDR4 and 512GB SSD give more than their share of power. However, the SSD should have been at least 1TB for this price and power.
Still, it can run Call of Duty Cold War at 90fps with these specs even if you don’t consider the upgrade. Other AAA titles run smoothly as well. But the moment you play further high-demanding games like Dying Light 2, Red Dead Red Redemption 2, CS: GO, Call of Duty, the fps drop to 40 on 1440p. To increase it, you’d have to reduce the resolution.
If you’re an avid gamer that has this kind of budget and wants for a screen like this, doing that shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Let me tell you though that upgrading this laptop is super easy and fun. I’d highly suggest you do so to increase the performance even more.
There’s also a dedicated Turbo mode to turn on, but that will increase the noise further as the fans would roar to keep up with the building heat.
Connectivity-wise, the laptop won’t disappoint you with its Thunderbolt 4 support, Type-C, and more. Connecting 4K TVs and monitors won’t be a problem at all.
- Multiple heat pipes for cooling
- Unorthodox design
- Huge 144Hz screen
- Easily upgradable
- Low SSD space
5. MSI Stealth 15M Gaming Laptop
The newest addition to the MSI family, the MSI Stealth 15M Gaming Laptop is probably the lightest gaming machine that comes with the latest NVIDIA card. You’d love every bit of its gaming regime.
We’re talking about the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060. A card that can run all popular games you know of in the highest settings. No lag, no jitters, just smooth bliss.
Expect running Microsoft Flight Simulator at 44 fps, which is more than enough as compared to other laptops. At 1080p, the Red Dead Redemption runs at 78fps, which again, is superior. I can go on for infinity about this card because it’s worth it.
I mean take things seriously to the next level by playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 29fps on 4K. How’s that for a gaming laptop?
Obviously, for a machine that works this much, heating up is normal. You’d experience its chassis heating up. But the real deal is its cooling system that already dissipates a huge amount of heat before you feel the residue warmth. With 2 fans, 6 pipes, and ultra-thin blades, the temperature would remain bearable.
That’s about the graphics card. The CPU is the fastest too. Under the hood, the split-second performance is offered by multiple threads and cores of Intel Core i7-11375H. This is 11th gen, to be correct. Coupled with 16GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD, the performance just gets better.
As you might know until now, everything about this laptop is top-notch. The latest chips and cards make it one of the most sought-after gaming laptops.
All of that is packed in a brushed aluminum housing an RGB keyboard, a 144Hz screen, a responsive touchpad, and nearly all connectivity options. However, the speakers did not impress me, neither did the position of the touchpad.
What impressed me beyond its performance is the Dragon Center with its convenient tweaking systems.
- A design worth paying for this much
- Latest chips mean peak performance
- 144Hz screen
- Super light for a gaming laptop
- Subpar speakers
- The screen could have been brighter
6. Lenovo Legion 5
The Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop has nowhere near an impressive body but it has a noteworthy performance.
The AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor starts this impressive performance by utilizing its 16 threads and 8 cores. You’d get snappy multitasking and games, which is quite evident from its CPU Mark of 19,165, according to CPUBenchmark.net. This much power beat the Core i7 9th and 10th generations — both stand at 12000 and 11000 CPU Mark, respectively.
Talking about its graphics processing ability, the NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti might not be as superior as the one I talked about above, but it sure is promising. You can play Red Dead Redemption 2 in 1080p at 58 fps, Just Cause 4 at 74fps, and Far Cry 5 at 94 fps. At 1440p, the GTA V runs in 75fps, which is quite impressive. At 4K, it drops to 46fps, almost half but certainly not bad.
Normally these days, the gamers mostly rely on 1080p because it’s all about getting more fps than trying for better graphics. The latter can wait but certainly not your headshot.
The laptop comes with 512GB SSD — a much-needed addition as the AAA games all take a lot of space. The 16GB DDR4 RAM with its 3200 MHz power is more than enough for this configuration. Anything less would have reduced the performance but anything more would have increased the power consumption.
You can increase the memory but why do when this much works great already.
The screen is heavenly with 300 nits brightness at a 144Hz refresh rate. This is better than most of the panels available at similar price points.
If that justifies the price, so would its built quality with a superior RGB keyboard and a worthy touchpad. However, I’d have loved if the design team had placed Numpad a bit to the right because it gets in the way of typing. That’s my only grievance.
- Awesome keyboard
- Bright screen than most
- 144Hz screen
- Impressive CPU
- Mediocre design
- Gets heated
7. Dell Gaming G3 15
The Dell Gaming G3 15 has everything to be a complete package for office work and average gamers. I repeat, average gamers and not professional ones.
If you spend some 3 to 4 hours gaming daily and don’t want to spend a lot of money or just steer away from the technical complexity, then you must consider this laptop.
The Core i7-10750H delivers the third most demanding CPU with a CPU Mark of 12,512. With its 12 threads and 6 cores, the clock speed reaches 2.6 GHz. Again, for the average gamer, this is nothing short of a miracle. The CPU delivers optimum performance. You can take things a step further by applying Turbo to it. It will jack up to 5.0 GHz – a formidable speed, indeed.
I’ve already talked about the card, which is NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti. The performance is phenomenal in 1080p for games like Total War, The Witcher III, and Hitman 2. At 4K, things seem a bit gloomy as the Red Dead Redemption 2 only returns 27fps.
As you can see, apart from the AAA title, the games of the past fair well with this device. The RAM and storage space is the same as most of the laptops here at 16GB and 512GB, respectively.
While these things are already discussed, the laptop takes an edge when it comes to its impressive material. It’s solid, bulky, and heavy — almost for people who like to throw things here and there.
The keyboard is impressive only for light works. It is backlit but at the same time, a bit clunky. I didn’t like how huge the charging adapter is. But I do like its superior anti-glare screen that lets you see minute details without hurting your eyes.
The battery is pathetic. I shouldn’t even talk about the batteries of gaming laptops because they’re always disappointing. Come to think of it, why shouldn’t it be that way when the laptop uses so much of its power to run graphics-intensive games.
- Strong built
- Easy-on-the-eyes screen
- 144Hz screen
- Game Shift mode to control fan speed
8. Newest HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop
The Newest HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop has an unorthodox, almost bizarre, look. But under the hood, it means business for office goers and not-so-serious gamers just like the laptop above.
The NVIDIA 1650Ti is a tad bit slower than the 1660 Ti. For example, it runs The Witcher III at 45fps, which is less than the latter. Also, you can’t run a lot of games in the 4K. So far, the Wolfenstein: Youngblood runs at 35 fps in 4K.
The CPU is obviously not impressive at all if you compare it with the rest of the laptops in this list. The Intel Core i5 10th gen with its 2.50 GHz clock power has an average CPU Mark of 8, 764. This is lower than the same Core i5 9th generation. It has 8 threads and 4 cores, which justifies the performance.
However, considering its specs and price point, the laptop does not seem to miss a point. For heavy 4K video editing, you can blindly trust it.
The 8GB RAM works well. I just don’t understand why it has a 256GB SSD. Such low storage space could mean only one thing: You’d have to buy an external hard drive or spend extra to replace this one with a 512GB SSD.
I like the cooling system and the fact that the vents are at the back and quite large. But on peak performance, you should expect the fans to go completely bonkers. That is actually understandable.
The keyboard returned no problem for me. The touchpad did, unfortunately, in terms of response (only a minute bit). It feels cheap and does not feel rubbery or fluid.
It has a commendable screen but with only a 60Hz screen, which is a letdown, to be honest.
The connectivity options are many.
- Durable and strong
- Large keyboard area for comfortable use
- Anti-glare screen
- VR ready
- Low refresh rate
- Bizarre design
Frequently Asked Questions – $1300 Gaming Laptops
Need some advice? I’ve got just the thing! Read on for common questions and my answers.
Is a $1300 laptop worth it?
You won’t regret spending $1300 as long as you get an excellent deal, such as a 30 series dedicated graphics card from Nvidia that has ray tracing as well as massive VRAM. Furthermore, since multi-core CPUs are becoming increasingly relevant nowadays, be sure to either buy a Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 laptop from the latest generation so that you will not encounter bottlenecks.
Gaming laptops have more demand than normal ones. They consume more power because they have components that demand as such. That translates into only a few hours of battery juice. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about your laptop running only 4 to 5 hours on gaming.
These laptops can also get noisy, which is also to be considered. However, what you can’t compromise on when you’re spending this much money are the chipsets and graphics cards. You should aim at Core i7 if your budget permits and NVIDIA 3060.
I’ve listed the best gaming laptops under $1300 with this configuration above. Good luck choosing!