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Best gaming laptops for less than $1,000

Ace Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop is reasonably

Ace Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop is reasonably priced and has a super-thin cooling fan. Credit: CBS Interactive

Gaming laptops running Nvidia's top-end graphics cards are now readily available — for a price. But you've got a bit of a wait ahead of you before their prices drop below their current $1,500 level. The good news is the prices on older laptops with Nvidia's GeForce GTX 10-series GPUs started dropping long ago. CNET recommends these four machines, all of which are well-configured 15.6-inch laptops that go for less than $1,000.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: section editor Dan Ackerman and senior editors Joshua Goldman and Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit

Dell G5 15
CNET rating
(out of 5)
4 stars out of 5 (excellent)
THE GOOD It offers good entry-level gaming performance with extras like Thunderbolt 3 as well as memory and storage that's easily upgraded or expanded.
THE BAD Some might find the color, contrast and brightness of the full high-definition display disappointing.
THE COST $699.99
BOTTOM LINE One of the best entry-level gaming laptops you can buy despite being just a minor update from its predecessor.

Lenovo Legion Y530
CNET rating
(out of 5)
4 stars out of 5 (excellent)
THE GOOD It delivers on entry-level gaming performance and has a useful design that makes it as good for travel as it is on a desk hooked up to a monitor, keyboard and mouse.
THE BAD The display is somewhat dim with dull color. The keyboard might be a little too soft for some.
THE COST $823.99
BOTTOM LINE It provides one of the best mixes of performance and design you can find.

Acer Predator Helios 300 (17-inch)

CNET rating (out of 5)
3.5 stars out of 5 (very good)
THE GOOD The Nvidia 1060 graphics card is overclockable, and cooling is assisted by a patented super-thin fan. For a 17-inch VR-ready gaming laptop, the price is reasonable.
THE BAD You can find the same GPU in 15-inch systems that cost less. The part-plastic body is a yawn.
THE COST $999.99
BOTTOM LINE Acer packs a lot of unique features — and a big screen — into this midpriced laptop.

HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop

CNET rating (out of 5)
3.5 stars out of 5 (very good)
THE GOOD The laptop has a respectable mix of components for solid performance for both everyday tasks and gaming. The design is nicer than most other mainstream gaming laptops.
THE BAD HP's configuration options are limited compared to its competitors. There are no gaming-oriented extra features, beyond its green glowing keyboard.
BOTTOM LINE You'll find solid gaming performance and just enough of an edge to keep things interesting.

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