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Best Gaming Laptop Under 1500

You raised some money on the side and decided to buy the best gaming laptop for under $ 1500? I must tell you that the choice in this price range is good, but if you have a limited budget, you can find a reasonable offer below $ 1000.

So what should you expect from a gaming laptop that costs under $ 1500?
This mid-range laptop comes with a discrete graphics card of the latest generation from AMD or NVIDIA. In addition to a “good” graphics card, it’s necessary to have uniform quality and performance of other elements; processor, screen, memory, cooling system, and storage space. So there should be no bottleneck as this can negatively affect the laptop’s overall performance.

For $ 1500, you can get a pretty decent laptop that will run the most demanding AAA games, at least on low detail settings, for enjoyable gaming. Of course, for more money, you will also get the opportunity to play on high detail settings, but $ 1500 is a hot spot where you get the most for the money invested.

The best gaming laptop under $ 1500 must meet the following criteria:

  • aesthetically appealing,
  • lightweight due to portability,
  • processor (CPU) capable of keeping up with the graphics card without bottlenecks,
  • minimum 16 GB DDR4 fast memory and 1TB PCIe NVMe Gen3/Gen4 SSD,
  • gaming discrete graphics card,
  • well-executed cooling,
  • quality display with a high refresh rate,
  • decent battery life.

Five best gaming laptops under $ 1500

Picture

Name

Spec

Price

Best Overall

ASUS ROG Strix G15

  • Display : 15.6'' FHD, IPS, 300 Hz

  • CPU : AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

  • GPU : RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6

  • RAM : 16GB (2x8) DDR4-3200 

  • SSD : 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2

  • WiFi : 802.11 ax, BT: 5.1

  • Weight: 5.07 lb (2.3 kg)

  • WxDxH: 13.94 x 10.20 x 0.89 in

Runner Up Perf.

Runner Up Perf.

Runner Up

Acer Predator Helios 300

  • Display : 15.6'' FHD, IPS, 144 Hz

  • CPU : Intel Core i7-11800H

  • GPU : RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6

  • RAM : 6GB (2x8) DDR4-3200

  • SSD : 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2

  • WiFi : 802.11 ax, BT: 5.1

  • Weight: 5.51 lb (2.4 kg)

  • WxDxH: 14.3 x 10 x 0.9 in

Best Value

MSI Pulse GL66

  • Display : 15.6'' FHD, IPS, 144 Hz

  • CPU : Intel Core i7-11800H

  • GPU : RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6

  • RAM : 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3200 

  • SSD : 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2

  • WiFi : 802.11 ax, BT: 5.1

  • Weight: 4.63 lb (2.1 kg)

  • WxDxH: 14.13 x 10.20 x 0.94 in

ASUS TUF Gaming F15

  • Display : 15.6'' FHD, IPS, 144 Hz

  • CPU : Intel Core i7-11800H

  • GPU : RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6

  • RAM : 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3200 

  • SSD : 1 TB PCIe NVMe M.2

  • WiFi : 802.11 ax, BT: 5.2

  • Weight: 5.07 lb (2.3 kg)

  • WxDxH: 14.13 x 10.08 x 0.96 in

Best Compact

MSI Stealth 15M 

  • Display : 15.6'' FHD, IPS, 144 Hz

  • CPU : Intel Core i7-11375H

  • GPU : RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6

  • RAM : 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3200 

  • SSD : 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2

  • WiFi : 802.11 ax, BT: 5.1

  • Weight: 3.73 lb (1.7 kg)

  • WxDxH: 14.1 x 9.76 x 0.63 in

1. ASUS ROG Strix G15

ASUS ROG Strix G15 Gaming Laptop - Best Under 1500


Pros


Cons

  • Good design and build

  • Excellent performance

  • 300 Hz refresh rate

  • Can be charged via USB-C port

  • Battery life

  • Good audio

  • Price considering the possibilities

  • No webcam

  • No biometric authentication

  • Some outdated USB ports

  • No SD card reader

Asus ROG Strix G15 (G513QM-EB94)

Display

15.6 inches, 1920 × 1080 px (16:9, 141 ppi), IPS, 300 cd/m2, 1000:1 contrast, 3 ms response time, viewing angles 178 °/178 °, 300 Hz, anti-glare

CPU

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX Mobile Processor (8-core/16-thread, 20MB cache, up to 4.6 GHz max boost)

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, ROG Boost up to 1802MHz at 115W (130W with Dynamic Boost) 6GB GDDR6

RAM

16 GB (2×8) Samsung , DDR4-3200, Max Capacity : 32GB

SSD

512 GB, M.2 PCIe Gen3 NVMe, Samsung

Network

Realtek 1 GbE LAN, Mediatek MT7921 Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1

Connectors

1× HDMI 2.0b
1× USB-C 3.2 (DP, 100 W)
3× USB 3.2 Type-A
1×  RJ-45 LAN
1x  3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

Other

Aura RGB lighting, Aura Sync Light Bar, additional M.2 slot

Battery

90 Wh, power supply 280 W

Dimensions (W x D x H)

13.94" x 10.20" x 0.89"

Weight

2.30 kg (5.07 lbs)

OS

Windows 10 Home

First Impression

The new Asus ROG Strix G15 series is more compact than the previous model (about 7% smaller) and comes with the NVIDIA RTX 3000 graphics cards. If you want a gaming laptop that’s real eye candy with powerful performance, don’t go any further than the Asus ROG Strix G15.

The laptop case is solid plastic made, with an aluminum screen cover dominated by the illuminated ROG logo. The screen cover is connected with particular hinges that aren’t visible from the outside. The maximum screen opening angle is up to 140 degrees.

The laptop’s base is slightly larger than the screen, and you will notice that there’s no webcam because Asus wants the edges of the screen to be as thin as possible. However, suppose a webcam is essential to you. In that case, Asus also offers unique software that allows the laptop to use the camera from your mobile phone for video communication (Link to MyAsus).

Asus ROG Strix G15 Back - Best Gaming Laptop Under 1500

Keyboard

Asus opted for the TKL keyboard without the numeric keypad but with additional keys on the top left and right. At the top are dedicated buttons for volume adjustment, microphone control, cooling profile (Silent, Performance, Turbo), and a button to call the Armoury Crate control center. Dedicated multimedia keys are located on the right side of the keyboard.

The keyboard is illuminated in four zones, and in addition to the keyboard, a light strip is placed under the front edge, which complements the aesthetic atmosphere when it comes to laptop lighting. WASD keycaps are entirely transparent. Below, you can see the mechanism for moving the keys. The key mechanism isn’t mechanical, but it’s pretty correctly done and comfortable for longer work.

Below the keyboard is a larger touchpad with integrated buttons that works excellent. For gamers, the touchpad is unnecessary to comment on because they use some of the better gaming mice.

ASUS ROG Strix G15 Gaming Laptop Keyboard - Best Under 1500

300 Hz 1080p IPS panel

The test Asus Strix G15 had Sharp’s Full HD (1920×1080) IPS panel, with an excellent color gamut and an impressive 300 Hz refresh rate. Of course, support for VSync is taken for granted, and the response of only 3 ms will be appreciated by gamers who play fast competitive games. So, there will be no ghosts or blurring in fast-paced action scenes. In addition to this model, Asus also offers a WQHD (1440p) screen, but with a lower refresh rate of “only” 165 Hz.

CPU AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX is a mobile processor for powerful laptop gaming configurations. CPU is based on the Zen 3 architecture (the latest AMD Cezanne generation), with eight physical cores running at 3.3 GHz to a turbo mode of 4.6 GHz. The suffix X in the processor designation indicates the possibility of overclocking.

The Ryzen 9 5900HX also comes with an integrated Radeon RX Vega 8 graphics card with 8 CU and a clock speed of 2100 MHz. In addition, the integrated memory controller supports DDR4-3200 MHz. The AMD Ryzen 9 mobile processor is a potent processor that you can easily overclock from Asus’ Armoury Crate software.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

Installed RAM

The Strix G15 comes with 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM (2x 8GB), which will be enough for all the gaming challenges. Quality DDR4 3200 Mhz memory comes with a Samsung signature, but Asus may put components from different vendors with similar specifications depending on the stock status.

Storage

Strix G15 comes with a built-in M.2 NVMe Gen3 SSD capacity of 512GB. The concrete model PM991a is signed by Samsung with a sequential read and write of 3100/1800 MB/s. Also, there’s another M.2 slot to expand storage space. So there’s no room to set up a 2.5” SATA 3 HDD or SSD.

GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop (GA106M)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile (for laptops) is based on the GA106 Ampere chip and comes with 6GB of GDDR6 video memory. RTX 3060 Mobile is a graphics card with a 192-bit memory bus and is closest in performance to the older RTX 2070 mobile, which means comfortable gaming in 1080p challenging AAA games.

The GeForce RTX 3060 GPU for laptops can range from 60 W to 115+ W. Depending on TGP, core speed is 900 MHz to 1283 MHz (boost at 1700 MHz), and GDDR6 VRAM is declared at 14000 MHz (8 x 1750 Mhz). In addition, the graphics card supports DirectX 12_2 and Shader 7.0. Asus Strix G15 opted for the RTX 3060 with 130 W TGP.

Asus ROG Strix G15 GPU-Z

Temperature

Armory Crate - Best Gaming Laptop Under 1500

Asus has cooled the laptop via its excellent Armoury Crate software (you can also access it via the corresponding button above the keyboard). The software has the following profiles: windows (for daily work without heavy load), silent, performance (set as a standard profile), turbo, and manually adjusted. On the standard profile, you can expect moderate noise around 44 dB, while the noise rises to 50 dB on the turbo.

Temperatures aren’t great, but it’s challenging to remove a large amount of heat from powerful components, as with any gaming laptop. During gaming, the processor and graphics card reaches temperatures above 80 ° C, which is the limit of acceptability for a gaming laptop. Thanks to the intelligent cooling system, the noise level is within reasonable limits.

Connectors and more

With the Asus Strix G15, I like that most of the connectors are on the back, which allows for neater cable routing. There are enough ports, although there are no ports on the right and only two USB Type-A and one audio jack on the left.

The following connections come from the left:

  • 3.5 mm Combo Audio Jack
  • 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A

Asus ROG Strix G15 Left

The following connections come from the back:

  • power plug
  • HDMI 2.0b
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support DisplayPort/power delivery
  • RJ45 LAN port

Asus ROG Strix G15 Back View

Asus Strix G15 has built a MediaTek MT921 chipset that supports WiFi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.1

It’s also imperative that the laptop work much longer when powered by only a 90 WHrs 4-cell Li-ion battery. So, when you turn off the external power, Asus Crate activates the Silent profile, where the screen refresh rate drops from 300 Hz to 60 Hz.

Under conditions of moderate use, the autonomy time can be almost 6 hours, which is a great result. Of course, if you reach for a demanding game, the laptop will drastically reduce the autonomy time. Despite its compact design, the G15 has fast battery charging technology that can quickly charge as much as 50 percent of power in just 30 minutes on the plug. You can charge the laptop via the included 240W adapter or the USB-C port with a 100W.

Summary

The Asus ROG Strix G15 is a compact laptop but powerful enough to play the latest games. You will be delighted with its appearance, performance, and options. The only real drawback may be the lack of a webcam and more connecting ports, but everything else favors this excellent gaming laptop.

2. Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300 - Best Gaming Laptop Under 1500


Pros


Cons

  • Well built and fairly compact

  • Powerful hardware

  • Excellent performance

  • 144 Hz refresh rate

  • Extremely bright display

  • Thunderbolt 4

  • Lots of configuration options

  • Not per-Key RGB Keyboard

  • Short battery life

  • Too much bloatware

  • No SD card reader

  • No biometrics

  • Poor audio

Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH315-54-760S)

Display

15.6 inches, 1920 × 1080 px (16:9, 141 ppi), IPS, 300 cd/m2, 1000:1 contrast, 3 ms response time, 144 Hz, anti-glare

CPU

Intel Core i7-11800H, Mobile Processor (8-core/16-thread, 24MB L3 cache, up to 4.6 GHz max boost)

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, Boost up to 1525MHz, 105W, 6GB GDDR6

RAM

16 GB (2×8) Samsung , DDR4-3200

SSD

512 GB, M.2 PCIe Gen3 NVMe, Samsung

Network

Realtek 1 GbE LAN, Intel Killer WiFi 6 AX1650i, Bluetooth 5.1

Connectors

1× HDMI 2.0
1× USB-C 3.2 (DP, TB 4, 100 W)
2× USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A

1× USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
1×  RJ-45 LAN
1x  3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

Other

Kensington lock slot, Keyboard Backlight, additional M.2 slot

Battery

59 Wh, power supply 230 W

Dimensions (W x D x H)

14.3" x 10" x 0.9"

Weight

2.40 kg (5.51 lbs)

OS

Windows 11 Home

First Impression

Although Helios 300 is intended for gamers, the design isn’t too colorful and irritating. It gives the impression of solid construction with wisely dosed details. The cover is aluminum-made, and in the middle is the Predator Helios logo that will glow when the laptop is powered.

Acer has also left the option to turn off the logo lighting. Also, you can see the work of Acer around the cooling system because there are openings for ventilation on almost all sides.

Keyboard

The full-size RGB keyboard looks nice, and the keys are well lit but won’t distract you. Unfortunately, there will be nothing from the RGB lighting per key because you only have 4-zone RGB lighting available. You can adjust the brightness via Acer’s PredatorSense software. There’s also a dedicated button on the numeric keypad to activate PredatorSense.

You can also see the Turbo button on the left side, releasing hot air when the laptop is under heavy load/heating. The keyboard cover is also aluminum for a more excellent look and greater durability. The touchpad is big enough, and I have no complaints about it because it does a great job, but the advice is to use a quality gaming mouse.

Acer Predator Helios 300 Keyboard - Best Gaming Laptop Under 1500

144 Hz IPS panel

The Acer Helios 300 has an IPS display with a refresh rate of 144 Hz and a response rate of 3ms, an excellent choice for a mid-range gaming laptop. The 1080p resolution will not overload the RTX 3060, and older games will indeed run smoothly at maximum refresh rate. A pleasant surprise is the quality of the screen, which is quite bright so that you can use it outdoors without any problems.

The colors in the games look pretty vivid and faithful, but they can look washed out and unconvincing in dark scenes due to limited contrast. However, considering the purpose, you will be more than satisfied with the quality of the screen. In addition to this screen, Acer also offers variants with a resolution of 1080p and refresh rates of 165Hz and 360Hz, but I would not recommend the latter due to limited hardware performance.

CPU Intel Core i7-11800H

With Intel’s Core i7-11800H, there aren’t many surprises. It’s faster than the previous 10th generation processor but also competitive with AMD competition. The Intel Core i7-11800H is a state-of-the-art octa-core processor for laptops and mobile workstations. It belongs to the 11th generation and integrates eight Willow Cove processor cores (16 threads thanks to Hyper-Threading).

The primary clock speed depends on the TDP setting and is 2.3 GHz at 45 W. Single-core boost can be as high as 4.6 GHz, while all cores can run up to 4.2 GHz.The CPU also has an improved UHD Graphics iGPU with 32 EUs similar to Iris Xe iGPUs.

Intel’s CPU has a 24 MB Level 3 cache and supports DDR4-3200 memory. In single and multi-threaded performance, the Core i7 11800H is similar to the Ryzen 7 5800H (Zen 3, 3.2 – 4.4 GHz, 16 MB L3). Therefore, the 11800H is very suitable for even very demanding tasks. The processor is fast for gaming, but you will not be disappointed even if you are a content creator, programmer, or artist.

Core i7 11800H CPU-Z

Installed RAM

Acer Predator Helios 300 has both memory slots filled with 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM (2x 8GB), which will be enough for all the gaming challenges on this laptop. Quality DDR4 3200 Mhz memory comes with a Samsung signature, but Acer may put components from different vendors with similar specifications depending on the stock status. The maximum RAM you can install is 64GB (2x 32GB).

Storage

Helios 300 comes with a built-in M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe SSD with a capacity of 512 GB. Samsung PM981a is Gen 3 SSD with sequential read and write speeds of 3000/1800 MB/s. There’s another empty M.2 slot for installing the second NMVe SSD. It’s also possible to expand storage by one 2.5” HDD/SSD.

GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop (GA106M)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile (for laptops) is based on the GA106 Ampere chip and comes with 6GB of GDDR6 video memory. RTX 3060 Mobile is a graphics card with a 192-bit memory bus and is closest in performance to the older RTX 2070 Super Mobile, which means comfortable gaming in 1080p challenging games.

Since the screen on the Helios 300 has a 1080p, the RTX 3060 will easily cope with most AAA titles with high FPS. Core Speed is 900 MHz to 1283 MHz (boost at 1700 MHz), and GDDR6 VRAM is declared at 14000 MHz (8 x 1750 Mhz). In addition, the graphics card supports DirectX 12_2 and Shader 7.0.

RTX 3060 Laptop

Temperature

Unfortunately, high temperatures under load are standard in all gaming laptops. In most games, after half an hour, the GPU reached a temperature of almost 80° C, while the processor reached 85° C, which is quite hot. I advise you to get a good cooling pad to bring the temperatures to an acceptable level.

Connectors and more

The power plug is located on the back of the laptop. All other I/Os are scattered on the sides.

Helios 300 Left Side

On the left is:

  • Kensington lock
  • RJ45 Ethernet jack
  • 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A,
  • 3.5mm audio combo jack

Helios 300 Right Side

On the right:

  • Mini DisplayPort,
  • HDMI 2.0
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A,
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C: (up to 10 Gbps), DisplayPort over USB-C, Thunderbolt 4, USB charging 5 V; 3 A

In addition to having a 1GbE network port, wireless connectivity is also excellent. The Intel Killer WiFi 6 AX1650i wireless adapter supports WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. The WiFi performance of the laptop is fantastic, reaching almost 700 Mbps when in the same room.

The specific model has a battery of only 59Wh, which isn’t a significant capacity for a gaming laptop. Of course, this capacity will not bring a long autonomy time without a charger. Expect almost 4 hours of typical work when using the Internet but drastically less when gaming. In addition to its small size, the battery’s durability is also affected by the bright screen, which is pleasant to look at but consumes the battery quickly.

Summary

Predator Helios 300 is quite attractive considering the implemented hardware and price. Gaming design, solid RGB keyboard, and excellent performance lure gamers, programmers, content creators, and other users who want a desktop replacement. We can take the low battery life as the only drawback if you move the laptop often. Everything else is at the laptop level that every gamer would want for this price.

3. MSI Pulse GL66

MSI GL66 Pulse - Best Gaming Laptop Under 1500


Pros


Cons

  • Good-looking design

  • Solid build quality 

  • Excellent performance

  • Full-size keyboard with numpad

  • IPS display with 144 Hz refresh rate

  • Easy to upgrade

  • Fairly affordable

  • Mediocre battery life

  • Webcam has poor image quality

  • Only 512 GB storage

  • Hot and noise under load

  • Single-zone RGB keyboard

  • Dull colors

MSI Pulse GL66 (11UGK-001)

Display

15.6 inches, 1920 × 1080 px (16:9, 141 ppi), IPS, 300 cd/m2, 1000:1 contrast, 3 ms response time, 144 Hz, anti-glare

CPU

Intel Core i7-11800H, Mobile Processor (8-core/16-thread, 24MB L3 cache, up to 4.6 GHz max boost)

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, Up to 1365MHz Boost Clock, 85W, 8GB GDDR6

RAM

16 GB (2×8GB) Hynix , DDR4-3200

SSD

512 GB, M.2 PCIe Gen3 NVMe, Kingston

Network

1 GbE LAN, Intel Intel WiFi 6 AX201, Bluetooth 5.1

Connectors

1× HDMI

1× USB 2.0
1× USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C
2× USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A

1×  RJ-45 LAN
1x  3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

Other

Keyboard Backlight, additional M.2 slot

Battery

53 Wh, power supply 180 W

Dimensions (W x D x H)

14.13" x 10.20" x 0.94"

Weight

2.1 kg (4.63 lbs)

OS

Windows 10 Home

First Impression

With its appearance, Pulse GL66 immediately associates it with its gaming nature. It comes without overemphasized details and colorfulness, as you may be used to with something that has a gaming purpose. MSI decided on a combination of gray and black plastic of good quality. You can see the textured base from the bottom, which also looks nice and serves to dissipate heat.

The upper side is made in titanium gray with a discreet MSI Dragon logo so that the laptop can fit into a business office. The MSI GL66 is modern and portable, with 4.63 lbs (2.1 kg). It has a sleek, clean case with a distinctive MSI design and a gaming keyboard with transparent key edges.

Under the MSI Pulse GL66 label, you can choose from many different configurations with a wide range of prices, so you can indeed find an option for yourself.

Keyboard

The full-size 99-key keyboard is of reasonably satisfactory quality for gaming purposes. Unfortunately, it only has one RGB lighting zone, which means you can illuminate the keyboard in only one color at a time. The touchpad is of standard quality and can be used for simple operations if you do not have a mouse.

 

MSI GL66 Pulse Keyboard - Best Gaming Laptop Under 1500

144 Hz IPS panel

The MSI Pulse GL66 comes with a 15.6-inch IPS screen with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 (1080p) and a refresh rate of 144 Hz. The color rendering is accurate, but they look a little dull. Also, the viewing angles are not great if you are looking at an angle of 45 degrees or more. Luckily the screen is not too dark, with 337 cd/m2. There will be no problems for gaming, but if you are a fan of movies, video, or image processing, bypass this model.

CPU Intel Core i7-11800H

The Intel Core i7-11800H is a state-of-the-art octa-core processor for laptops and mobile workstations. It belongs to the 11th generation and integrates eight Willow Cove processor cores (16 threads thanks to Hyper-Threading). The primary clock speed depends on the TDP setting and is 2.3 GHz at 45 W. Single-core Boost can be as high as 4.6 GHz, while all cores can run up to 4.2 GHz.

Intel’s CPU has a 24 MB Level 3 cache and supports DDR4-3200 memory. In single and multi-threaded performance, the Core i7 11800H is similar to the Ryzen 7 5800H (Zen 3, 3.2 – 4.4 GHz, 16 MB L3). Therefore, the 11800H is very suitable for even very demanding tasks. The CPU also has an improved UHD Graphics iGPU with 32 EUs similar to Iris Xe iGPUs.

Core i7 11800H CPU-Z

Installed RAM

MSI Pulse GL66 has both memory slots filled with 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM (2x8GB), which will be enough for all the gaming challenges on this laptop. Quality DDR4 3200 Mhz memory comes with a Hynix signature, but MSI may put components from different vendors with similar specifications depending on the stock status.

Storage

The Pulse GL66 comes with a built-in M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe SSD with a capacity of 512 GB. Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AI is entry-level Gen 3 SSD with sequential read and write speeds of 1300/700 MB/s. Although much slower than other PCIe NVMs, the Kingston model is faster than classic SATA SSDs. There’s another empty M.2 slot for installing the second NMVe SSD. It’s also possible to expand storage by one  2.5” HDD/SSD, but in that case, you have to install a smaller battery which I wouldn’t recommend.

GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Mobile

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Mobile for laptops is currently the second-fastest (after RTX 3080) Ampere graphics card for notebooks. It’s based on the GA104-770-A1 Ampere chip and offers 8 GB of GDDR6 graphics memory with a 256-bit memory bus. It supports PCIe 4.0 and is available in two different TGP variants from 80 W to 125 W. The GPU supports eDP 1.4b to connect an internal monitor.

Performance depends on TGP settings and laptop cooling. It should be similar to the old RTX 2080 Super Mobile and, therefore, the most suitable for 4K gaming. Of course, you should not compare this mobile GPU to the desktop variant of the similar name RTX 3070, which is much faster.

RTX 3070 Mobile GPU

Temperature

Unfortunately, the dark side of this laptop is the high temperatures under load. The cooling system struggles (and noisily) to keep the GL66 Pulse thermal under control. In most games, after half an hour, the GPU reached a temperature of almost 85 ° C, which is on the limit of acceptable.

The processor also reached a range of mid to upper 90 ° C, which is too hot and likely results in reduced performance. I advise getting a good laptop cooler if you opt for this MSI model.

Connectors and more

There are no connectors on the back of the laptop because there are exhaust vents.

MSI GL66 Pulse Left Side

On the left side, we have the following ports:

  • power supply
  • (exhaust vent)
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A,
  • USB 2.0 Type-A

MSI GL66 Pulse Right Side

On the right side, we have the following ports:

  • 3.5mm audio combo jack
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A,
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C,
  • HDMI 2.0,
  • RJ45 Ethernet jack

From the network connection, in addition to the RJ-45 1GbE LAN port, the MSI Pulse GL66 also comes with WiFi 6 standard (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.2. With the power cord removed, the laptop reduces the clock speed of the NVIDIA GPU to save battery power. For gaming, you can expect just over an hour before reaching the charger.

You can expect about 5 hours without charging if you mainly use the Internet. So the battery is of average and predicted life considering the power under the hood. It takes about 80 minutes to charge it from 5% entirely.

Summary

The MSI Pulse GL66 and its almost sleek design stand out from the competition in the market. Although the GPU is limited to 85W, this is done to save battery power and reduce heating. Nevertheless, the laptop heats up well, and I warmly advise you to get a good cooling pad. The price is perfect for a gaming laptop with RTX 3070. The lowest I could find.

Gaming performance is excellent, but professionals should look for another solution due to the unconvincing colors of the IPS panel. The 512GB primary drive will quickly squeeze you in, so I recommend adding another M.2 NVMe or USB Type-C external drive. So, at a reasonable price, you get a top-quality RTX GPU, 16GB of dual-channel memory, a decent gaming keyboard, and a solid battery life considering the laptop’s power.

 

4. ASUS TUF Gaming F15

Asus TUF Gaming F15 - Best Gaming Laptop Under 1500


Pros


Cons

  • Asus TUF design for gamers

  • Powerful hardware

  • Excellent performance

  • 144 Hz refresh rate

  • Thunderbolt 4

  • Lots of configuration options

  • Poor color accuracy

  • Not per-Key RGB Keyboard

  • Average webcam quality

  • No SD card reader

  • No biometrics

  • No charging over USB-C

ASUS TUF Gaming F15 ( TUF506HM-ES76)

Display

15.6 inches, 1920 × 1080 px (16:9, 142 ppi), IPS, 300 cd/m2, 3 ms response time, 144 Hz, anti-glare

CPU

Intel Core i7-11800H, Mobile Processor (8-core/16-thread, 24MB L3 cache, up to 4.6 GHz max boost)

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, Up to 1630MHz at 90W (95W with Dynamic Boost), 6GB GDDR6

RAM

16 GB (2×8GB) Micron , DDR4-3200

SSD

1 TB, M.2 PCIe Gen3 NVMe, Hynix

Network

1 GbE LAN, MediaTek MT7921 WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2

Connectors

1× HDMI 2.0b

1× USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C w/ TB4 and DP
3× USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A

1×  RJ-45 LAN
1x  3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

Other

Kensington Lock, Keyboard Backlight, additional M.2 slot

Battery

90 Wh, power supply 200 W

Dimensions (W x D x H)

14.13" x 10.08" x 0.96"

Weight

2.3 kg (5.07 lbs)

OS

Windows 11 Home

First Impression

The Asus TUF series of laptops are known for not having fancy accessories and looks, but the emphasis is on build quality, reliability, and performance. The top cover is coated with matt aluminum, while the rest is solid plastic. The whole construction works solidly and reliably.

The palm rests and keyboard are not as luxurious as in the expensive ROG series, but Asus made an effort to decorate the plastic with various textures and irregularities. All in all, the design seems quite tempting if you like a discreet gaming laptop.

Keyboard

TUF F16 has a decent full-size keyboard but no RGB lighting per key. Feedback from the primary QWERTY keys is satisfactory with moderate loud rattling. The arrows are now smaller and more cramped than those on the latest-generation model.

The lighting is single-zone, so if you like more luxurious lighting, you have to look in the direction of more expensive models. The touchpad is of reasonably good quality with dedicated mouse buttons. Using it is pretty pleasant and quiet, but I recommend using a quality gaming mouse.

 

ASUS TUF Gaming F15 keyboard - Best Gaming Laptop Under 1500

144 Hz IPS panel

The 144 Hz IPS panel on the TUF series is satisfactory, but the response time, color, and contrast are not as good as those on Asus’ more expensive Zephyrus or ROG models. Nevertheless, the panel is more than suitable for gaming. Refresh rate and response speed are more emphasized than color accuracy. So, if you need some image processing, you will have to connect the laptop to a better external monitor.

If you use a laptop outside, you will not be happy because the backlight is quite dim, the colors look washed out, and there is an irritating glare. The bottom line is that you don’t need to use a laptop outdoors if you don’t have to.

CPU Intel Core i7-11800H

The Intel Core i7-11800H is a state-of-the-art octa-core processor for laptops and mobile workstations. It belongs to the 11th generation and integrates eight Willow Cove processor cores (16 threads thanks to Hyper-Threading).

The primary clock speed depends on the TDP setting and is 2.3 GHz at 45 W. Single-core Boost can be as high as 4.6 GHz, while all cores can run up to 4.2 GHz.The CPU also has an improved UHD Graphics iGPU with 32 EUs similar to Iris Xe iGPUs.

Intel’s CPU has a 24 MB Level 3 cache and supports DDR4-3200 memory. In single and multi-threaded performance, the Core i7 11800H is similar to the Ryzen 7 5800H (Zen 3, 3.2 – 4.4 GHz, 16 MB L3). Therefore, the 11800H is very suitable for even very demanding tasks. The processor is fast for gaming, but you will not be disappointed even if you are a content creator, programmer, or artist.

Asus TUF Gaming F15 CPU-Z

Installed RAM

Asus TUF F15 has both memory slots filled with 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM (2x8GB), which will be enough for all the gaming challenges on this laptop. Quality DDR4 3200 Mhz memory comes with a Micron signature, but Asus may put components from different vendors with similar specifications depending on the stock status.

Storage

TUF F15 comes with a built-in M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe SSD with a capacity of 1 TB. Hynix HFM001TD3JX013N is Gen 3 SSD with sequential read and write speeds of 3500/2300 MB/s. There’s another empty M.2 slot for installing the second NMVe SSD. There’s no possibility of installing an additional 2.5” SSD / HDD device.

GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop (GA106M)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile (for laptops) is based on the GA106 Ampere chip and comes with 6GB of GDDR6 video memory. RTX 3060 Mobile is a graphics card with a 192-bit memory bus and is closest in performance to the older RTX 2070 mobile, which means comfortable gaming in 1080p challenging AAA games.

Depending on TGP, core speed is 900 MHz to 1283 MHz (boost at 1700 MHz), and GDDR6 VRAM is declared at 14000 MHz (8 x 1750 Mhz). In addition, the graphics card supports DirectX 12_2 and Shader 7.0. Asus opted for the RTX 3060 with 90 W TGP. The graphics performance in the games is almost identical to the average gaming laptop with RTX 2070 or RTX 2060 desktop.

Asus TUF F16 GPU-Z

Temperature

In most games, the GPU reached a temperature of almost 80° C, while the processor reached 83° C, which is quite hot but still in an acceptable range. At the same time, we set the cooling system to Turbo mode, which brings more noise of about 50 dB. When it comes to gaming laptops, I highly recommend that you get a good cooling pad to bring the temperature down to an acceptable level. In addition, you will reduce the noise of the cooling system.

Connectors and more

There are no connectors on the front and back of the laptop. All other I/Os are scattered on the sides.

Asus TUF F15 Left Side

On the left is:

  • power plug
  • RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet jack
  • HDMI 2.0b
  • 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A,
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C w/ DisplayPort over USB-C, Thunderbolt 4, no laptop charging
  • 3.5mm audio combo jack

Asus TUF F15 Right Side

On the right:

  • Kensington Lock
  • USB-A 3.2 Gen. 1

From wireless communication are available Wi-FI 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 provided by MediaTek MT7921, which directly competes with the usual Intel AX200/201. Although the transfer speeds are stable, they don’t reach the same values that you get with Intel’s wireless model.

As for the battery, it turned out pretty well with the 90 Wh variant. You can get more than 7 hours of moderate work using the Internet with integrated graphics from this battery capacity. When gaming, you can expect a little more than an hour and a half of autonomy, but for this purpose, you use an external power supply for better performance.

You cannot charge the battery via the USB-C port, and regular charging via the included 240W adapter will take about an hour and a half.

Summary

The Asus TUF F15 is suitable for more conservative gamers in this mid-range under $ 1500. Appealing design, Thunderbolt 4 connection, PCIe 4.0, RGB keyboard lighting, good build quality, and excellent gaming performance are advantages. The only drawback is the poor color accuracy, but it won’t bother gaming but some professional work.

5. MSI Stealth 15M 

MSI Stealth 15M - Best Gaming Laptop Under 1500


Pros


Cons

  • Sleek and compact 

  • Powerful hardware

  • Comfortable keyboard

  • Decent performance

  • 144 Hz refresh rate

  • Thunderbolt 4

  • MicroSD card reader

  • Screen isn’t colorful

  • Poor battery life

  • Not per-Key RGB Keyboard

  • Gets hot during gaming

  • No biometrics

  • Poor audio quality

MSI Stealth 15M (A11UEK-009)

Display

15.6 inches, 1920 × 1080 px (16:9, 142 ppi), IPS, 300 cd/m2, 3 ms response time, 144 Hz, anti-glare

CPU

Intel Core i7-11375H, Mobile Processor (4-core/8-thread, 12MB L3 cache, up to 4.8 GHz max boost)

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, Up to 1357MHz Boost Clock, 65W Maximum Graphics Power with Dynamic Boost, 6GB GDDR6

RAM

16 GB (2×8GB) Samsung , DDR4-3200

SSD

512 GB, M.2 PCIe Gen3 NVMe, WD SN750

Network

1 GbE LAN, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1

Connectors

1× HDMI 2.0

1× USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C w/ TB4 DP, Power delivery
2× USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A

1x  3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

Other

Keyboard Backlight, microSD reader

Battery

52 Wh, power supply 150 W

Dimensions (W x D x H)

14.1" x 9.76" x 0.63"

Weight

1.7 kg (3.73 lbs)

OS

Windows 10 Home

First Impression

If you are a fan of a powerful but compact gaming laptop, MSI has created a line of thin and light laptops called Stealth 15M. Its design attracts gamers who like their laptops to work (unnoticed) in the office and not reveal their real gaming purpose. Placing a powerful configuration in a small housing is challenging regarding thermal solutions and achieved performance.

The design is simple and would be too modest for a gaming laptop. The entire construction is done in black matte plastic with the MSI Dragon logo on the lid, which is also unobtrusive. So, MSI chose the good name Stealth because it will hide your gaming preferences from the prying eyes of colleagues in the office.

Keyboard

Due to its compact size, there was no room to install a fancy RGB keyboard, but anyway, the laptop’s design tries to disguise the gaming purpose. So the keyboard doesn’t have RGB lighting per key, mechanical switches, macro buttons, etc. It’s a simple membrane TKL keyboard with the top row of media keys that you activate via the Fn key.

Typing is quite comfortable if you are doing something outside of gaming. At the same time, the keyboard is relatively quiet and pleasant to work with, even after a long time. The touchpad is also precise and comfortable, so there are no complaints.

 

MSI Stealth 15M Keyboard - Best Gaming Laptop Under 1500

144 Hz IPS panel

The MSI Stealth 15M comes with a 15.6-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1080p and a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Black and gray shades are well displayed, but glare and low light still exist, mainly if you use a laptop outdoors. The screen brightness could have been better than the registered 255 nits.

If you are looking at the screen at an angle of 45 degrees or more, count on the washed colors. The color display itself is not accurate enough in regular operation, but all this will not be a problem if you use the laptop the most for gaming. However, you will need to use a quality external monitor for more serious work where color accuracy is required.

CPU Intel Core i7-11375H

MSI opted for the Intel Core i7-11375H for its lightweight gaming laptop. It is a top quad-core CPU for thin and light laptops for games and mobile workstations. It integrates four Willow Cove processor cores (8 threads thanks to HyperThreading). The primary clock speed depends on the TDP settings and can vary from 3 GHz (28 W TDP) to 3.3 GHz (35 W, as in the case of MSI Stealth M15.)

Two cores can run up to 4.8 GHz, and all four can reach a maximum of 4.3 GHz. Also, the 11375H comes with a generous 12MB level 3 cache. Other features include support for PCIe 4.0 (four-band), AI hardware acceleration, partial integration of Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 and WiFi 6 into the chip, and improved Intel Iris Xe graphics card from all 96 EUs.

Core i7 11375H CPU-Z

Installed RAM

MSI Stealth 15M comes with both memory slots filled with 16GB of DDR4-3200 RAM (2x8GB), enough for this laptop’s gaming challenges. Quality DDR4 3200 Mhz memory comes with a Samsung signature, but MSI may put components from different vendors with similar specifications depending on the stock status. The maximum RAM capacity is 64GB (2x32GB).

Storage

Internal storage options are limited to only one M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot. The specific model came with a 512 GB WD SN530, a mid-range NVMe SSD instead of the higher-end SN750 series. WDC SN530 sequential read and write speeds are still very good at around 2400 MB/s and 1750 MB/s. Therefore, there’s no possibility of internal expansion of storage space due to the compact size, so keep this in mind before buying.

GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop (GA106M)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile (for laptops) is based on the GA106 Ampere chip and comes with 6GB of GDDR6 video memory. RTX 3060 Mobile is a graphics card with a 192-bit memory bus and is closest in performance to the older RTX 2070 mobile, which means comfortable gaming in 1080p challenging AAA games.

The GeForce RTX 3060 GPU for laptops can range from 60 W to 115+ W. Depending on TGP, core speed is 900 MHz to 1283 MHz (boost at 1700 MHz), and GDDR6 VRAM is declared at 14000 MHz (8 x 1750 Mhz). In addition, the graphics card supports DirectX 12_2 and Shader 7.0. MSI Stealth 15M opted for the RTX 3060 with 65 W TGP.

MSI Stealth 15M GPU-Z

Temperature

In real life gaming, the GPU easily exceeds 75° C, while the processor has reached a maximum temperature of 90° C, which is quite hot. At the same time, the cooling system is quite noisy but at an acceptable level. Of course, you shouldn’t expect lower temperatures due to the design and size of the laptop. When it comes to gaming laptops, I highly recommend that you get a good cooling pad to reduce temperature and noise.

Connectors and more

There are no connectors on the front and back of the laptop. All other I/Os are scattered on the sides.

MSI Stealth 15M Left Side

On the left laptop side is:

  • power plug
  • MicroSD card reader
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A,
  • 3.5mm audio combo jack

MSI Stealth 15M Right Side

On the right laptop side is:

  • HDMI
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A,
  • USB 3.2 Gen. 2 Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 4, DisplayPort, and Power Delivery

From wireless communication are available Wi-FI 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 provided by Intel AX201. If you’re worried that you don’t have an RJ-45 port for an Ethernet network, you still get an RJ-45 to USB-A adapter in the retail box.

As for the battery, you can’t expect a long time of autonomy from its 52 Wh. The average running time is about 6 hours using a WLAN. Under load, the operating time is reduced to about 1 hour. Charging the battery from empty to full takes about 1.5 hours via a 150W adapter. In addition to the adapter, you can charge the battery via the USB-C port, but slower.

Summary

The MSI Stealth 15M performance is quite good considering its size, design, and weight of only 3.74 lbs (1.7 kg). Excellent processor, RTX 3060, Thunderbolt 4, MicroSD card reader, and charging via USB-C port are advantages of this fast and light laptop. As for the upgrade, you will be limited to only one M.2 slot and two SODIMM memory slots.

The screen is good for gaming, although it has that unpleasant glare if you use it outdoors. So, if you want a laptop that will successfully hide its gaming orientation, the MSI Stealth M15 will be an excellent choice for you.

Conclusion

From these five laptops for games under $ 1500, you can probably choose the right one for yourself. All laptops are for gaming, but you can use them for other creative work. If I have to recommend it, it would be the Asus Strix G15, a real gaming gem in the true sense of the word and the best thing you can find under  $ 1500.

The MSI Pulse GL66 is real competition as you get powerful hardware with the RTX 3070 for an affordable price, even though it doesn’t look as attractive as the Strix G15. Please note that all laptops heat up during intense gaming, and it would be good to get a cooling pad. This accessory will provide you with pleasant gaming without the fear of overheating and prolonging the life of your hardware pet.

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