For all those gamers, stuck in a dilemma and confused with the various options available, and with features where each manufacturer is trying to beat the other, and newer innovations hitting the market practically every single week….this sure is a tough call you need to take when you are investing as much as $1000 to $1200.
While making an informed decision regarding a gaming laptop, there are a few points that you will need to bear in mind. The top 3 things would be:
The processor of the laptop – imperative to speed in gaming
The Graphics Card available and the options for add-ons
Memory and storage capacity of the laptop
We will run you through the top 5 gaming laptops priced in the range of 1000 to 1200 dollars in details based on ratings, and also give you a brief on some of the others worth considering.
#1 ASUS ROG G751JL 17-Inch Gaming Laptop -$1022.00
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The ASUS ROG G751JL is an absolute gamer’s delight with incredible features. This ASUS series belongs to the ROG (Republic of Gamers) series, which is every serious gamers dream machine at an astoundingly affordable price of just $1022.00
The ASUS ROG G751JL 17-Inch Gaming Laptop gives a whole new dimension to mobile gaming. It comes with a 5th-get Intel Core i7 processor and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M graphics. This state-of-the-art gaming machine helps you enjoy every moment of the game, and also record all you winning moves with easy and short-cut keys. You can savour every moment with full HD gaming, with a 178 degree wide-view angle display and an antiglare coating. Some of the prominent USPs of the ASUS ROG G751JL 17-Inch gaming laptop feature:
Sleek and sturdy aluminium body
One-piece backlit key board, makes gaming ultra fun with the lights out
Shortcut key to gaming centre with options of four different gaming modes
Macro Keys and quick access / shortcut keys
High end, superior function graphics card
High speed CPU and GPU fans ensure a cool system even if over clocked
HD Sound, with ROG technology, helps you choose the right sound based on where you are gaming
Multi-media compatible with a HDMI and USB ports.
Now that you have seen the features, lets examine this ASUS ROG G751JL 17-Inch Gaming Laptop, with its pros vs. cons.
The biggest pro in favour of the ASUS ROG G751JL 17-Inch Gaming Laptop is its cost. Well under $1200, it is comparable to some of the higher end gaming laptops.
Memory of 16GB DDR3L MHz SDRAM, up to 32 G and up to 1 TB storage.
2-in-1 card reader
Performance and speed guaranteed, as it comes with a one-year replacement warranty.
Lightweight, weighs only about 4 kilos
Backlit red keyboard which is ultra responsive
Seamless multi-media interface and scope for add-ons like the Eagle eye laser mouse, gaming mouse pad, Circumaural or blue tooth surround sound head sets, universal laptop docking station and many other innovative accessories
While it is an out and out dream for a gamer, its function as a computer leaves much to be desired with limited USB and HDMI ports. And its weight could be a deterrent for usage other than gaming. Some points to bear in mind:
Performance as the machine ages
Software and OS compatibility issues with gaming centre apps, could make installation and set-up cumbersome
Speed could be a factor
Cost for only an exclusive gaming machine
In conclusion, if you are a serious gamer and gaming is your passion, then the ASUS ROG G751JL 17-Inch Gaming Laptop is one of the most pocket friendly devices your money can buy.
# 2 MSI GT70 Dominator-895 9S7-1763A2 - $1,199
The second place in our list of the top gaming laptops under $1200 goes to MSI GT70 Dominator -895 9S7-1763A2-895 17.3-Inch Laptop with NVIDIA 870m. A hard core gamer’s best choice, this MSI GT70 Dominator -895 9S7-1763A2 gaming notebook comes with a 17.3” display screen, Windows 8 OS, Full HD anti-glare LCD monitor with LED backlight.
With high-level NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M graphics the MSI GT70 Dominator -895 9S7-1763A2 gives you a gaming experience that is absolutely the top-end. The Cooler Boost 2 technology gives better cooling with lesser noise. The attractive keyboard with full color LED key lights gives your machine the ultimate gaming look. Here is a closer look at the technical specifications of the MSI GT70 Dominator -895 9S7-1763A2, which make it a rather compelling buy.
17.3 inches display monitor
2.7 GHz Intel core i7 processor with an 8 GB RAM
A memory speed of 1600 MHz
2 USB 2.0 ports and 3 USB 3.0 ports
Weighs approx. 14.3 pounds
802.11bgn high speed wireless connector
All the above features make the MSI GT70 Dominator -895 9S7-1763A2 a definitive choice for a gaming laptop, which is high on experienced and well priced at under $1200. But before you actually make the purchase here are some of the pros and cons you might deem necessary to weigh before taking the call.
Seamless connectivity through blue-tooth, Wi-Fi and multiple USB Ports for all types of gaming accessories
Superior quality Graphics Card – best in its range with 870m
Surround sound with a built-in sub-woofer; again an innovation in this class of gaming notebooks
Top-of-the-line high end steel series keyboard adds to the sleekness and desirability of the machine
Compatible with accessories of multi-brands
Great price to pay for a mobile gaming platform and easily available add-ons that are easy to install
Wi-Fi connectivity at times could be an issue when you are running multiple programs.
Does not have an exclusive mSATA slot
HDD upgrade possible only at the cost of voiding guaranty
Only Windows 8 OS when there are notebooks in this range with Windows 10
Shutting down the laptop when multiple windows are open is a bit of a challenge and also drains the battery pretty fast
Despite being well advertised, the cooling is a bit in-adequate considering gaming
The exterior durability of the MST GT70 Dominator -895 9S7-1763A2 also is a bit lacking
As objectively discussed above, the MST GT70 Dominator -895 9S7-1763A2 is a great buy when it comes to the high-end graphics and it does boast of the best-in-its-class of graphics. That is only if you can over look the other hitches with respect to upgrades, battery life and shutting down issues. The price point and compatibility with accessories also make it a very attractive proposition for serious hard-core gamers.
# 3 CUK MSI Computer 15.6-Inch Laptop GE62 - $1159.99
The CUK MSI Computer 15.6-Inch Laptop GE62, with a 16GB RAM, 256 GB SSD and 2TB HDD, priced at an affordable $1159.99 is complete value for money in its class of gaming notebooks. This dream laptop for gamers has a sleek and stylish body and weighs approximately 10.2 pounds, one of the lightest in its category.An extremely user-friendly machine with a Windows 10 OS comes with a 15.6-inch screen. The CUK MSI Computer 15.6-Inch Laptop GE62, from the Apache series is feature loaded, prominent among them being:
The GeForce GTX 960M with an impressive 1080p gameplay makes playing challenging games like Shadows of Mordor, Far Cry 4, and EVOLVE a dream.
With the NVIDIA Maxwell™ architecture you get 60% faster performance than the previous-generation GeForce GTX 860M.
The true colour technology, gives your screen a whole new vibrant feel
Faster performance with the 5th Gen Intel Core i7 processor
Seamless integration with 2 USB 3.1 ports, 4 USB 3.0 ports, 1 Mini Display Port, 1 HDMI 1.4 port, 1 RJ-45, 1 Card Reader (SD/XC/HC) enabling cross platform gaming
This machine too has the impressive steel series backlit keyboard with anti-ghost key.
This feature-loaded notebook is very tempting, but a closer look at the pros and cons will help in making the right decision.
The price point is a definitive clincher for this CUK MSI Computer 15.6-Inch Laptop GE62
The weight and compactness make it even more compelling as it is lighter to carry and very slim
With its multiple ports, and top of the line WI-FI and Bluetooth connectivity, upgradation and accessorizing is a breeze, adding more value to the ultimate gaming experience.
This also helps in cross platform gaming where you can hook-up your PC or your gaming console, and play on all 3 machines
The next gen graphics in the CUK MSI Computer 15.6-Inch Laptop GE62, take your gaming experience to an all-new high.
The Steel series backlit key board adds to the visual appeal of the machine
The speed and memory of both SSD and HDD make playing with multiple windows open, a dream
If you are migrating from a 17” screen to a 15.6” screen, this could be a tad disappointing
The CUK MSI Computer 15.6-Inch Laptop GE62 takes a just that much longer as opposed to other machines to start and to shut down, so all you have to do is wait patiently for that extra minute
All brands of accessories do not work as effectively on this as claimed
To summarize, this laptop can definitely be a great buy if you are looking for a multi-media graphic experience exclusively for gaming, One cannot expect too much functionality from this otherwise. Also the battery life might be something to consider. But all said and done, it is a decent option among gaming laptops under $1200.
#4 Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition - $1030
The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-591G-745K, is billed as one of the fastest gaming laptops in the under $1200 category of gaming laptops. This laptop from Acer, one of the pioneers in laptops, comes with 4th Generation Intel core i7 processor with 2.5 GHz speed. With a Windows 8.1 OS, this 15.6” Full HD machine is a delight for all professional gamers. Four built-in stereo speakers, microphones SD card reader and multiple USB ports and HDMI ports all add to the professional gaming experience. Given below are some of the technical specifications:
16GB DDR3 Random Access Memory
HDD of 1 TB with SATS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M Graphics
3 USB 3.0 ports
Weighs around 5.29 pounds
Approximately 4 hours of battery life
All these attractive features come in a sleek and slim, and lightweight black body, which makes this one of the lightest in its class of gaming laptops.
With all the above features, there is a lot going for the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-591G-745K and here are some of its pros and cons vis-a-vis the other gaming laptops priced under $1200.
The feature rich Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-591G-745K is from one of the leading brands of laptop manufacturers. It has some rather compelling aspects like:
Sleek and elegant design
Full HD scree with solid graphics
High end Graphics processor with a 2000 MB separate graphics RAM
Backlit keyboard has strong keys while adding to the aesthetics
Lightweight and easy to carry
Can be used effectively for other purposes as much as gaming
Priced competitively and accessories too are extremely pocket friendly
High speed processor with great memory and storage which incredibly improves the gaming experience
While the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-591G-745K comes with the great Acer pedigree, there are aspects that you need to be sure of before taking a call. Some areas that would need attention are:
Battery Life – You will need a power point at hand for extended sessions of gaming as the battery drains out real fast.
Wi-Fi reception is poor
Takes a long time to re-boot, and suddenly shuts down without prior warning when there are compatibility issues
In a nutshell, the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition VN7-591G-745K is a great machine to go with when it’s only gaming and not multi-tasking you are looking for. Its graphics, speed and sleek look definitely add to its values as a great gaming laptop priced under $1200.
#5 Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga15 20DQ001KUS - $1049
TheLenovo ThinkPad Yoga15 20DQ001KUS is one of the latest in terms of sleekness, flexibility and contemporary design. It is not purely a gaming laptop, but can also double up as your mobile office due to its smooth multi-functionality. It comes with an Intel Core i5, 2,2 GHz processor, 8GB DDR3L SD RAM, 180 GB SSD and an NVIDIA GeForce 840M graphics. The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga15 20DQ001KUS comes with Windows 8.1 OS
Some of the notable features of the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga15 20DQ001KUS, are listed below:
At 7.2 pounds is one of the lightest gaming laptops in this category
Can be used in 4 modes – Laptop, Tent, Tablet and Stand
Backlit lift & lock keyboard
8 hours battery back up
The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga15 20DQ001KUS has a magnesium-alloy frame and heavy-duty, scratch- and smudge-resistant Dragontrail display, which ensure its ability to withstand heavy-duty gaming.
The light and sleek design literally makes it a road warrior’s delight.
This lean and mean machine has a lot going for it in terms of design and look. Add to it the ability of an effective OS, and the Lenovo
ThinkPad Yoga15 20DQ001KUS can be used for work and play equally. Let’s look at how all these features stack up compared to the others available in the market and see its pros and cons.
The sleek design and stylishness make it an ideal student laptop and if you are a gamer than this is surely the laptop for you.
Can withstand rough handling with its aluminium alloy case and scratch proof monitor
Can be used as a tablet as well as in tent mode
Very proactive key pad, making it a gamer’s delight
High speed processor and long battery life
Responsive mouse pad and touch screen
Seamless connectivity and compatibility across all devices
Despite being feature rich, there are a few glitches in the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga15 20DQ001KUS that need to be checked out before you make the final choice:
It does not have a DVD Drive and you need to plug-in a USB one
The Lenovo software isn’t very popular and can be tricky in terms of compatibility with your gaming apps
Does not have an Ethernet port so you are completely dependant on WI-FI or a USB driver for internet
In summary, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga15 20DQ001KUS is a good option among the gaming laptops in the price category of below $1200. However, the issues with the existing Yoga series and the delicateness of the machine though it is very durable, are points to look at before taking the final call.
Besides these top 5 compelling choices there are some more that you can consider, which we have listed out for you here.
MSI GE72 Apache Pro-003 17.3" -$1123.20
This is a gaming laptop with an Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor, NVIDIA GeForceGTX960M Graphics, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD and Windows 10 OS. In addition, the features working in its favor is the exceptional DVD Super Multi Killer Gaming Network, the patented Steel Series Full-color backlight Keyboard with Anti-Ghost key and the superior quality sound with silver lining Multi Touch Dynaudio Tech Speakers and woofers.
#6 HP Envy 17-j130us 17.3” - $999.99
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The HP Envy 17-j130us 17.3” Touchsmart Laptop with Beats Audio has become the rage since its launch in January 2014. The envy series is popular for its elegance, style and slim looks, and have caught the imagination of the yuppie group. It is a great laptop for gaming as well, but would be more of a mobile office than a gaming console. It comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, 12 GB installed memory, 1 TB HDD, a battery life of a little over 4 hours, Windows 8.1 OS and an Intel HD graphics 4600.
Tell us which gaming laptop attracted your attention the most. Also let us know if there is a laptop that we have missed out on, but which you feel deserves to be mentioned.