It is not difficult to find a gaming laptop under £1000. Manufacturers have rolled out the new Intel 12th-Gen chips, and with that, we've seen a predictable price drop in 10th-Gen and 11th-Gen mobile CPUs. Hence the selection available for under a grand. Besides this, the GPU market is looking great in the long term, as we predicted, and GPU prices are coming down (albeit slower than we'd all like). 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. And 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.
11th-Gen + RTX 3050 Ti for the win
The best value to be had in mobile processors right now is Intel's 11th-Gen range. Although MSI have done great things with the 12th-Gen, the MSI Katana GF66 is out of budget, but well worth a look if you want the latest CPU technology in your laptop. CCL has been hacking prices according to availability and pricing offered by vendors, with as much as £500 lopped off the MSI Pulse GL66, which houses the Intel Core i7 11800H Processor and GeForce RTX 3050 Ti.
As you can see from the below table (courtesy of CPUBenchmark.net), the Core i7-11800H sits nicely between the Ryzen 7 and Apple M1 Max processors.
When paired with an RTX 3050 Ti and 16GB DDR4 RAM, you can expect to see these kinds of benchmarks in 1080p gaming: -
- Red Dead Redemption 2 (1080p Ultra) 66 FPS Average
- Call of Duty Warzone (1080p Max settings) 80 FPS Average
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla (1080p Ultra) 30 FPS Average
(Results may vary)
Not to be sniffed at, the combination of an octa-core processor, single core Boost as high as 4.6 GHz, and the rock-steady performance of the RTX 3050 Ti provides gamers with an incredibly good entry point for under £1000.
There are a couple of laptops available with the above specifications, and they are all (as of right now) sitting pretty under £1000. The best recommendation at this spec would be the Gigabyte G7:
If you want to spend a little less than the upper limit, the MSI Pulse GL66 is a good option. The MSI GL66, however, only has 8GB RAM, but offers a significant saving over the Gigabyte G7 if you're willing to make the sacrifice (or upgrade the RAM after purchase).
Though it is also worth mentioning that the G7 has a bigger display at 17.3", versus the 15.6" of the GL66.
RTX 3060 laptops under £1000
Better still, if you envisage some serious gaming in your future, then the RTX 3060 laptops like the Gigabyte G5 KC (Intel Core i5-10500H) is going to provide all the action you want.
If you're in the market for a laptop under £1000, the above laptops represent excellent value, having 10th and 11th-Gen Intel chips, and a good amount of memory (16 GB DDR4). 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, though.
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.