In this article, we’ve targeted gaming laptops that range between $800 and $900. In the best case, these laptops are equipped with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card down to the GeForce GTX 940MX, 6 to 8 GB of RAM and Skylake processor either i7 and i5.
We know that of the mandatory level it is to us to have a good graphics card to run the games of today, and that the processor and RAM are there mainly to support the work of GPU throughout the gaming process.
We’ve written about the best gaming laptops under $1000 but what if even now after Christmas and the New Year holidays you still didn’t find your dream laptop for gaming, don’t be spooked. We have something for you too.
We’ve written about the cheap gaming laptops as well but in case you want to be more strict and bold of a gamer and you can’t settle with a low graphics card or the integrated one, we’re going to talk about the 5 best gaming laptops under $900.
Table of Contents
- Best Gaming Laptops under $900 Dollars 2017
- #1. Asus Rog 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop (Intel Core i5 6300HQ, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD 7200 RPM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with 2G/4G GDDR5 VRAM, Windows 10)
- Products from Amazon.com
- #2. 2016 Acer Aspire V Nitro VN7 15.6″ Flagship Full HD Gaming Laptop PC
- #3. ASUS ZX53VW 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
- #4. 2017 HP Pavilion 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Laptop, Windows 10-Silver
- #5. Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition VN7-792G-79LX 17.3-inch Full HD Notebook (Windows 10)
- How to Choose a Gaming Laptop Under $900
- Products from Amazon.com
Best Gaming Laptops under $900 Dollars 2017
The laptop we cherish in this week is the Asus from the ROG (Republic of Gamers) series: ASUS GL551VW. Also, we’ve prepared the other four very proficient, strong and versatile laptops that have the well-deserved place among the 5 Best Gaming Laptops under $900. We’re going to give a punctual, detail-oriented description about the GL552 and describe why is it the one laptop that deserves to be on our list. Also we will unpick the most memorable components and feature and describe a few downfalls, but not downbreakers whatsoever.
The laptop sports some very decent components and features that are worth the mention. This 15.6-inch gaming machine supports resolution up to 1920 x 1080 pixels and has a FHD screen. It boosts sufficient gaming experience as a result of NVidia GeForce GTX 960M with 2GB DDR5 video memory. It also sports quad-core Intel Core i5-6300HQ 2.3GHz that goes up to 3.2 GHz in its turbo mode and 8GB of RAM. The laptop has a lot more to offer and we’re going to further discuss it below.
#1. Asus Rog 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop (Intel Core i5 6300HQ, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD 7200 RPM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with 2G/4G GDDR5 VRAM, Windows 10)Asus uses this model to find the best definition for reunion of elegant and sinister.
It is one of very classy laptops with a smooth and beautiful looking design, just like the most of the ROG series laptops. The chassis consists of a sleek-brushed aluminum, dyed in a midnight like black color.
In the center of the chassis, you will be able to see the ROG symbol, symbol that appears on the newest generation gaming laptops of the ROG series. The etched insignia of ROG glows and it gives bold, catchy accent on the whole laptop. The design is very original and futuristic, despite the fact that this laptop belongs in the mid-priced range.
The under part of the laptop is made of the sturdy plastic just like the other parts of laptop. However, this is not some kind of a cheap plastic that you will find.
Moving on, after you open the laptop, you will see a plastic frame around the 15.6-inch FHD screen, surrounding it. The keyboard deck is also covered in a brushed aluminum before it meets the rest of the plastic build that surrounds the rest of the laptop.
There’s a keyboard with backlights in sinister, evil-like red color just like the ROG symbol in the center of the chassis. This being said, this laptop has an extremely high accent focused on the gaming from the outside just like from the inside. This laptop isn’t any more futuristic and avant-garde than the other models in the price range and beyond.
However, I assume that Asus made this laptop to be built sturdily and strong where it actually matters, compared to the prior models.
The laptop weights 6 pounds which is 2.7kg. I’m going to be very judgmental about this one. It is quite understandable that laptops with more sturdy build have to handle chunkier components and so do the more demanding games available on the market.
Finding a perfectly thin and featherweight like laptop simply won’t work if you’re trying to get the best out of it. This laptop is not the thinnest kind of laptop and it definitely won’t feel comfortable to wear it in a bag over your shoulder or in hand in general. Most of the gamers nowadays are targeted students who want to use their laptops in studying purposes or have fun with their gamer friends outside.
You will have trouble with that, as a result of a chunkier built.
The dimensions of the laptop are 15.04 x 10.04 x 1 inches which describe the chunky nature of this model. Nevertheless, the laptop still goes in a range of more lightweight laptops compared to the competition. Obviously, the brushed aluminum also contributes to the laptop being quite heft.
The chassis also holds only one exhaust vent on the laptop’s left side. Despite that, the outlets pump out concentrated amount of air, and keep the laptop mostly cool.
Keyboard and Touch Bar
Like mentioned already, and like the law of the vast majority of gaming laptops says, the GL551VW features backlit keyboard with flowing light colored in the sinister red color.
The keys are quite large yet there is just enough space for the num pad on the right side of the laptop. The backlights, indeed, contribute to a more deadly, dangerous look that compliments this gaming laptop. Additionally the WASD keys are marked with a special red color. Asus really wants ROG series to stand out from the crowd, as it keeps pointing out the gaming attitude this laptop possesses.
Speaking of the quality of keyboard, it felt very comfortable to use. Asus has made keyboard seem very advanced, and beyond that they made sure that the keys feel cushy to click at, type on without causing major typing mistakes. I think that the keyboard style will also appeal to people who have to type a lot. Overall the machine offers stable, deep and responsible keyboard that doesn’t make too much noise when typing.
The touch bar delivers some nice results too. While the vast majority of gamers prefers to have the mouse plugged in their system, in order to avoid the annoying, unpleasant mistakes that can carelessly occur with the palm of the hand on a touch bar the touch bar still delivered great results. It has a very smooth surface and is responsive on touch. It also offers multi clicking features that make most of the work, especially when surfing the net a whole bunch easier.
There are not complaints about the keyboard or touch bar and they yield very good results.
The system has a 15.6-inch FHD display that looks very good.
The resolution that is supported is 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is more than enough to have a great view of what you’re doing on the computer.The LED anti-glare screen offers a lot in terms of quality. What we know for sure is that we’ve been using this laptop for hours and our eyes didn’t get tired, neither did we have a headache.
The display is full of vivid, wonderful colors that are sharp and clear. You won’t see stuttering or colors that run out and make an unpleasant view. The screen is comfortable for watching movies and regular videos and of course playing games.
For gamers who would like a perfect crisp gaming visuals you’d be more than surprised of how good the viewing angles of this laptop are. This means that the viewing angles are more than wide, which is sufficient for gamers who would like to see the greater picture of gaming.
There’s more, the G series of this model allows you to connect your laptop up to 3 more monitors in case that you are a multi tasker.
Compared to the older models, the GL551VW features an enhanced version of audio capabilities that will make gaming much better experience. The enhanced audio includes a better, higher but more clear audio output that makes you simply feel divine. The ones that enjoy the most in the music can allow themselves to play the loud music from Youtube while gaming, without too many buzzing sounds coming out from the speakers.
The machine also comes with proficient audio tools that give the better sound-quality, preset modes for movies and games, and professional-grade audio processing. The system also comes with high-quality microphone and headphones that are used with delight in the online gaming conversations.
The laptop that overheats easily is not a good gaming laptop. Instead, it will only make you very rageful, and it will destroy your gaming experience.
Fortunately, the GL551VW comes with many enhancements and amongst them is the cooling system enhancements. In the world of preeminent gaming, the ROG series put a lot of work for their laptops to outcome cool, without too many temperature oscillations. In our endeavors in Witcher III, GTA V and Fallout the temperature remained decent, and the laptop was very cold around the keyboard and vent itself. Despite serving only one tiny vent, the laptop still has great cooling system.
Additionally, the cooling thermal system worked silently most of the time. The laptop succeeds to keep a quiet note and doesn’t increase the buzzing sounds of fans while the high-demanding games are running. Compared to the other models, the Asus still stands out and that’s why it’s one of the 5 best gaming laptops under $900.
This is probably the only feature that we deeply disliked.
The manufacturer information says that the laptop can last up to 9 hours, but we gamers know that the portability and battery life are some things that laptops gladly sacrifice in order to boost a perfect gaming ambient.
Depending on a model, the 6-cell Li-ion can last between 3 and 4 hours. It certainly depends on usage of the laptop. Surfing the net it lasts around 4 hours. For some people it is enough, for some not. The batteries that mostly stand out from the sea of ordinary and short are the batteries built in the Acer laptops. I’ve had a chance to test some that could last up to 7 to 9 hours.
However, gaming laptops can’t be proud for a long battery life.
We’ve mostly talked about the outside performances and design of the laptop that took our breaths away. However, the outside look is not what boosts our favorite games to the highest potential.
Let’s get started with the graphics card. Despite the fact that this is a mid-priced laptop, having a chance to sport a NVidia GeForce GTX 960M with 2 GB GDDR5 dedicated memory is a spot on. We’ve carefully chosen the laptops that are capable with running some of the best games of today but still not have to extend the range of their wallet.
This being said, the graphics card will be able to run some of the games such as Battlefield, Witcher III, Far Cry 4 and the Metro games. It will also run the older games without a problem on higher settings. Currently, the leading graphics cards are the 10-series graphics card designed with Pascal’s Architecture, but I don’t think that they will essentially come to life in lower-budget gaming laptops. Most of the games are going to be run from a medium to high settings, and some of them on ultra settings. Being able to host a graphics card that is that strong but yet not too expensive is a true jackpot to me.
The processor is a bit older, but still gives the sufficient power for enjoying either gaming and other ways of entertainment there are on this laptop. The system sports a 6<sup>th</sup> generation (Skylake) Intel Core i5-6300 quad-core processor, that goes up to 2.3 GHz and in turbo mode up to 3.2 GHz. Perhaps, it would be more compatible with the graphics to see an i7 model of a processor. However, it seems that this price can’t buy them together.
The processor capability is supported with a 8GB DDR4 RAM. If you’re stricter gamer, you’d probably want to boost this machine on 12-16GB because more RAM gives more room in terms of gaming. Sometimes, RAM can even save the day when some game demands more than your graphics card can take.
For storage, I was quite disappointed not to see an SSD drive. Mostly, because their performance is very smooth and fast. Having an operating system installed inside an SSD drive would make gaming much easier. Mostly because the overall system would have enough strength to perform smoothly. However, knowing the price of these performance boosters, even a 1TB 7200 RPM mechanical hard-drive is more than enough for the gaming performances and other things needed from a laptop.
The system also has a preinstalled Windows 10 along with some Asus’ programs and features that help the better work of the laptop.
Things that I didn’t like
Like most of us, I think that Asus deserves a bit stronger battery life. Even though personally I feel that 3 to 4 hours is okay. I’m hoping that the manufacturers overcome the problems with battery and make a more durable, stronger battery. The first laptop I used 7 years ago and it had the same battery life as this laptop.
The over-attached look of the laptop. All the crimson and sinister red look of the laptop looks indeed enchanting. However, I think that the ROG lighting logo would be just enough, without the super strong keyboard it has.
The lack of SSD is a huge downfall for this generation of laptops. The lack of this component isn’t anything too crucial for the overall performance of the laptop but, it can certainly help boost the overall work of the laptop. These drives are generally expensive and the time will pass until the larger storage laptops enter the market at a reasonable prices.
Reason for Recommending
I’d recommend this laptop to everyone who is looking for a laptop that costs more than $700 and less than $1000. Also, to the people that know that in the future will replace the model with something better. It offers a good balance of performance and price in order to produce essential good-quality gaming in the mid or higher settings.
SummaryAsus GL551VW is a great mid-ranged budget laptop that offers high variety of features and settings that can give you a memorable gaming time.
The reason it is the first laptop of out 5 best gaming laptops under $1000 is because of a mid-ranged but strong graphics card, gaming design and an amazing IPS panel screen that offers 178-degree viewing angles. It lacks some features like a more durable battery and an SSD drive but has everything an average gamer is looking from a gaming laptop to please his gaming adventures and more.
It features various components, a very popular and attractive design and many more things.
The 15.6 inch screen with an IPS panel is more than you need for perfect gaming experience. IPS panels are known for its vivid and clear colors and great viewing angles. Having a laptop that easily fits the IPS panel among great components is a money-well spent, especially if you can play games on it.
It also offers 1080p, 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution for a wide, clear and vibrant picture whether are you gaming or watching movies.
Aside from a LED backlit keyboard with cushy and deep keys, the laptop has a smooth, brushed touch pad with very responsive features and a possibility of multi-clicking. The chassis of the laptop is also very attractive and it features a good-quality gaming laptop that stays in the budget.
It weights 2.4kg which is the upper limit of not too chunky laptops. It may be hard to carry it around, but it will still be not too heavy if it’s put in a proper laptop bag. Just like our winner, Acer Aspire V Nitro VN7 has NVidia GeForce GTX 960M for great high-end experience with popular games of today and tomorrow, but instead it has a 4<sup>th</sup> generation i7 quad-core processor of 2.6 GHz.
Just like the most laptops in the range, Acer Aspire V also has 8 GB of RAM that are easily extendable to 16GB, and 1 TB hard-drive – this is something we’ll have to get used to in this price range.
Unlike the Asus, this laptop has a more durable battery life for better experience surfing and watching movies without being interrupted by a low-battery warning.
Things that I Like
- The design of the laptop reflects more of its ordinary laptop look than the gaming one. Unlike the ROG GL551VW that has an over-attacking design, the Acer’s biggest gaming design aspect is the illuminated keyboard that looks very nice.
- The laptop features a slimmer and thinner design despite its chunkier build. It fits easily everywhere and is a well-welcomed guest in the LAN parties.
- It is a good combination of portability, components, battery life and price.
- IPS panel screen.
Things that I didn’t like
- The lack of the SSD ruins the fun with this laptop as much as with the previous one.
Reason for Recommending
If our first pick has been sold out, or you just don’t like such an attacking look, Acer Aspire V features all the same components with a touch of a slim and sleek design that is more than wanted on laptops nowadays.
Acer Aspire V Nitro keeps a fair balance of price and great performances that allows you to play some of the most demanding games without having to spend above $1000. Good-quality gaming laptop that supports other kinds of use is very difficult to find, especially because gaming laptops range higher in prices.
We know that there are people who just can’t give much money for laptop. We also know that every gamer deserves to play the best game. Asus ZX53VW is a less attacking laptop than its ROG companion, and it still does great job as a gaming laptop. The chassis looks attractive with an ASUS symbol etched in the center. The sides of the chassis are colored in a dark red color.
When you open the laptop, you’ll see a deep, cushy red keyboard that still resembles of a gaming one. The laptop features the Intel Core i5-6300HQ processor with 2.3 GHz and ability to boost up to 3.2 GHz. Just like the previous laptops it sports GTX 960M for great gaming experience and unforgettable saved games. The laptop looks like a replacement for the ROG series laptop.
We understand that some people don’t want to stick out in the public too much. As for the storage, there’s an extremely fast 512GB solid-state drive with smooth performance, fast accessing, and swift transfer speeds.
The laptop that stores 512 GB has more than sufficient storage to please the needs of the most demanding games that there are. The laptop has 8 GB of RAM as well. The laptop weights 2.5kg which is more or less a lot, but still not too much to encounter several troubles when carrying it.
The laptop also has a 15.6 inch diagonal screen and supports 1920 x 1080 resolution, and a more than durable battery. People that want to power an Xbox or a PS4 inside this laptop, it represents the best inexpensive solution.
Things that I like
- More than anything, I like the 512 GB SSD, and I think that this storage solution will appeal to the most of the gaming society, which will determine why this laptop takes the place in 5 Best Gaming Laptops under $900. The smooth-running solid-state drive is an utmost solution compared to the sturdy, heavy and slow mechanical hard drives.
- The laptop sports 4GB dedicated memory in the GTX 960M unlike the other model of Acer already mentioned above. This doesn’t make significant different, but additional frame per second looks like a great solution for everyone who cares about the gaming ambient so much,
- It can run Dark Souls 3 on ultra settings with 30 frames per second. 30 frames per second is still an accepted ratio when it comes to the high resolution and demanding games. Essentially, FPS above 40-45 is the best but, 30 FPS still provides good gaming experience without too frequent lagging and stuttering.
- The laptop possesses all the essential gaming components without featuring the ultimate gaming look.
Things that I didn’t like
- I can’t point out anything that sticks out too much as an issue. The system represents great desktop replacement on a far decent and respectful price. However, I wish that it opens a bit easier. If there was a problem to arise, it is quite challenging to open the laptop in order to clean it or check the mechanical parts of the components.
- The laptop unfortunately has very noisy fans and the audio output is not much better so when overheated the laptop becomes one noisy mess under the pressure. Cooling systems are very important and noisy fans are easily solved with increased volume. In this case a pair of good-quality gaming headphones solves the problem.
Reason for recommending
The machine is more than sufficient for giving great gaming experience without bringing the unexpected costs forward. If you’re looking for a model that features less of the ROG style and more of an ordinary style, this laptop is for you, especially if you can’t go above $800
The Asus ZX53VW gives a very mean punch to the competitions. With 6th generation Intel processor and GTX 960M it still managed to sport a solid-state drive of 512 GB.
Knowing that the laptops with SSD are much faster and smoother than the laptops with mechanical hard-drives this laptop is an absolute must have on your deck. Additionally the laptop is completely proficient in running the games that easily boost the hype, and make you want to try out the best games.
Asides from the gaming, the laptop greatly boosts watching videos/movies, entertainment and running sturdy programs such as the Photoshop, Illustrator and Video editing software.
If you’re not fan of Acer and Asus laptops, and they are just sold out to you, this is the next model that is recommended. The essential difference between the laptop we’ve already written about and this is that this laptop features a higher processor on it. When the graphics card is of lower quality, the laptop needs to have the necessary components to back it up, and this is what the Intel Core i7-7500U is for.
It runs at 2.7GHz and boosts in the turbo mode up to 3.5GHz which is very impressive. The graphics card is the NVidia GeForce GTX 940MX that is significantly lower than the 960M but it has 4 GB of dedicated memory on it. It may not be able to produce the high end gaming ambient cards beyond this make, but it will be able to run the older games on lower settings.
Unlike the other gaming laptops, this one comes up to 16GB of RAM. 16GB is more than enough to run your favorite games and go where your graphics card can’t or can insecurely go. The laptop also features an amazing battery with up to 8 hours of battery life. The keyboard feels cushy and comfortable and the touch bar fast and responsive.
The keyboard is also backlit which is great for gaming in the dark. For storage, this laptop has a 1 TB 5400rpm SATA mechanical hard-drive. This is a little downfall, but it will do a decent job keeping all the necessary data in it.
Things that I liked
- Touch screen is something that is not often seen on gaming laptops, but HP always tries to surprise its users.
- Backlit keyboard gives a gaming ambient to this casually looking laptop.
- Durable battery life for uninterrupted actions of watching movies, surfing the internet and playing less of demanding games.
Things that I didn’t like
- 1TB 5400rpm SATA drive.
I was looking forward to see a stronger GPU than GTX 940MX, but it has 4 GB of dedicated memory so it’s something. As a result of a hard-drive, the laptop runs decently slower than its competition and even the basic actions including booting can take very long.
Reason for Recommending
The laptop is slower than our other choices, and we recommend it only if you can’t settle for the better option. Despite the slower, and lower performance it can still provide good gaming experience and run some games that don’t demand the highest components possible.
Not the best combination of the components and price. However, the HP Pavilion 15 will suffice basic usage requirements and running more or less performance-requirements games on reasonable, and respectful settings.
Featuring the high resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a large screen with vivid and vibrant color shapes, the machine also features an Intel Core i7-6700HQ Skylake processor with 2.6 GHz and 6MB cache. The processor can boost turbo mode for more demanding processes up to 3.2 GHz. The RAM is dual-channeled DDR4 8GB and amazing 4 GB NVidia GeForce GTX 960M.
The only downfall I noticed is the 1TB 5400rpm SATA mechanical hard-drive, but it doesn’t affect the general performance of this laptop. Just because this is our last featured laptop, it doesn’t make it any less proficient.
Starting from the full HD screen, long, durable and lasting battery life of 7 hours and longer, innovative, attractive and gaming slim design with great cooling features this laptop will take your breath away. Furthermore, we will see some more features that this laptop can offer and say what we like the most and not on this model.
Things that I liked
- Innovative outside look is what makes this laptop better than the rest. It doesn’t have a too gamer-like gesture, but it still has a red backlight on the keyboard that looks just amazing. It is also much slimmer than the other models which makes it easy to fit in a laptop bag and carry around.
- Full HD screen with a 17.3 inch diagonal screen presents a lovely picture to look at. It is also featuring full, vivid and sharp color that decorate the output.
- Skylake i7 processor is very innovative along with GTX 960M. It is not a frequent find to see such features on a laptop with this price tag.
Things that I didn’t like
- 1 TB 5400rpm SATA, from the same reason as mentioned above, in the HP Pavilion laptop.
- The laptop is not too mod-friendly.
Reason for Recommending
If you’re a fan of Acer laptops, you’re looking for a long life battery, gaming mannered look and a great balance of good-quality components, this is the laptop you must buy.
In the sea of the casual, gamers demand laptops with great performances, great look and great output. On top of everything, they are looking for a smooth-running machine that will obey all their wishes and respect. In a combination of a 4GB GTX 960M graphics card and a Skylake processor, Acer Aspire V17 offers great variety of features that are of utmost importance to every gamer, along with a great price tag.
How to Choose a Gaming Laptop Under $900
When we’re choosing a gaming laptop that stays in the given budget dictated by our wallet, we have to keep the following things in our mind;
Choosing the graphics card that will be sufficient in performing high demanding actions in games without risking its life but being able to play games at respectful settings, and reasonable frames per second. We have focused in the range between GTX 940MX to GTX 960M varying from 2 GB to 4 GB, as AMD doesn’t have a competitive graphics card at this moment.
For the processor we’ve mostly focused on the 6<sup>th</sup> generation i5 processor and i7 processor (Skylake). It is important to find a model that will have a processor that handles multiple processes without sweat. The RAM varies between 6GB and 16GB, but I believe that 8GB is more than enough to support everything that the graphics card can’t.
About storage, the best option is having 1 to 2 solid-state drives varying between 256GB and 512GB. However, this option is not fully operating in the laptops of this budget. For now, you will need to settle with 1 TB mechanical hard-drives that don’t run as smoothly as the SSD drives.
The 5 gaming laptops under $900 possess most of these features and are our best choices of gaming laptops with this price tag in the early 2017.
The 5 Best gaming laptops under $900 are a great combination and balance of reasonable components for playing games and other kinds of entertainment, innovative and sleek designs along with great output screens and audios. Most of these laptops have great cooling settings and some unfortunately don’t. There’s not a perfect gaming laptop, as at least one of every that we’ve tested had at least one issue that could affect the gaming experience in a negative manner.
This being said, the 5 best gaming laptops under $900 represent laptops that despite the small defects strive to produce great gaming experience. As a result of their versatility even the strictest, most professional gamers can settle for these mid-ranged desktop replacements.