Article Updated 29th September 2022
It is not difficult to find a gaming laptop under £1000. Manufacturers rolled out the new Intel 12th-Gen chips with vim and vigour, and with that, we've seen a predictable price drop in 10th-Gen and 11th-Gen mobile CPUs. Better still, 12th-Gen laptops are now under £1000, too, as manufacturers are able to predict consumer demand much easier. Besides this, the GPU market is looking great in the long term, as we predicted, and GPU prices are coming down. Discreet GPUs in laptops were also affected by the GPU crisis, and things are returning to normal at last.
That said, with the market still in a state of relative flux for the most part, the savings might not be that great with certain manufacturers/vendors, which means we'll still have to box clever to get as much spec as possible for our budget.
Let's talk about specs (baby).
Rather than turn this into a shootout based on price alone, the important thing you want to know is, of course, specifications. With specifications you can match up the laptop to the types of games you play (or want to play). As well as gaming, you might also want to use the laptop for work or study, so we are going to need a decent performance from the processor, and enough memory to boot along the usual suspects, Office 365, Microsoft Teams and other standard fayre apps.
12th-Gen + RTX 3050 for the win
The best value to be had in mobile processors right now is Intel's 11th-Gen and 12th-Gen range. MSI have done great things with the 12th-Gen, and although the some of the higher spec MSI Katana GF76 laptops are out of budget, they are well worth a look if you want the latest CPU technology in your laptop, an RTX 3070 Ti and extra RAM.
CCL has been hacking prices according to availability and pricing offered by vendors, with hundreds lopped off the MSI Katana GF66, which houses the Intel Core i7 12700H Processor and GeForce RTX 3050.
As you can see from the below table (courtesy of CPUBenchmark.net), the Core i7 12700H sits nicely between the Ryzen 7 5800H and Apple M1 processors.
When paired with an RTX 3050 and 8GB DDR4 RAM, you can expect to see high framerates and smooth visuals in 1080p gaming.
Not to be sniffed at, the combination of hybrid 14 Core processor, single core Boost as high as 4.7 GHz, and the rock-steady performance of the RTX 3050 provides gamers with an incredibly good entry point for under £1000.
There are a couple of laptops available with similar specifications, and they are all (as of right now) sitting pretty under £1000.
If you want to push the upper limit of the budget a little, the HORIZON Skyline 15.6" GTX 1650 is a good option. Although you're not getting an RTX graphics card, you are still able to hit great FPS in 1080p gaming with Medium-High graphics in modern games. This is partly thanks to the 12th-Gen Intel Core i7-12700H and its clever handling of workloads.
- Microsoft Windows 11 Home
- 16GB Kingston DDR4 RAM
- 500GB Solid State Drive
- Intel Core i7 12700H 2.7GHz CPU
- Built-in Wi-Fi
With plenty of RAM for gaming and creative work, as well as the solid performance of the 14 Core 12th-Gen Alder Lake processor, the Horizon Skyline is tough to beat (if not a little over budget).
If you're in the market for a laptop under £1000, the above laptops represent excellent value, with next-gen chips, and a good amount of memory for gaming and productivity. This means you can expect excellent framerates in demanding AAA titles, and superior E-Sports performance. Increase your budget slightly, and you can take home a shiny new 12th-Gen laptop, with a little more power and punch, though.
If you're happy dropping down to 11th-Gen (and you should be, considering their benchmarks), it's well worth looking at the Core i7 11800H processor, and paring with an RTX 3050 Ti. Consider the ASUS FX506HEB 15.6" RTX 3050 Ti Core i7 Laptop for example. This will get you over 60 FPS in 1080p Ultra in games like Red Dead Redemption 2, and will happily sail along at these high framerates in Call of Duty Warzone, too.
Whilst gaming might be at the top of your list, all of the above laptops are superb workhorses with Office applications and even video editing/graphic design. So, as all-rounders, the value is well and truly there.