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The 5 Best 17-Inch Gaming Laptops Under $1500: Ultimate Guide

17-inch gaming laptops have come a long way from being expensive, bulky slabs of dorky plastic!  Now, gaming laptops have (mostly) matured and you can get a great machine for a great price!  The following are the best gaming laptops that can be had for a reasonable $1500 or less!

The Top-Rated 17-Inch Gaming Laptops Under $1500

Editor's PickLaptopRating
Top PickAcer Predator Helios 30090%
Runner-UpMSI GL75 Leopard88%
Budget PickAcer Nitro 584%
Best AestheticsAsus ROG Strix G90%
Best No-NonsenseSager NP7877DW87%

Top Pick: Acer Predator Helios 300

TheAcer Predator Helios 300 may not be the unequivocal best at any one particular thing, but it is a well-rounded machine that pases the ultimate test – user reviews – with flying colors!  Thousands upon thousands of happy customers have reviewed this laptop and it gets some of the most consistently high marks of any notebook in existence!
Noteworthy components include an Intel i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, 1/2TB NVME and 8GB memory – more than enough to shred through any modern game at low-to-high settings at 1080p.  The body is made of a subtle-yet-attractive dark grey plastic and is just a hair under 1-inch thick.  

The package is rounded-out with a 4-zone RGB keyboard and awesome thermals that keep your new baby cool for extended gaming sessions.

Runner-Up: MSI GL75 Leopard

So maybe the MSI GL75 Leopard doesn’t actually pounce, but what it does do is bring amazing gaming performance for a great price!  And it looks good doing so – the black body is just over an inch thick and doesn’t look much like a gaming rig, and the red keyboard backlighting and accents won’t do anything to undermine that stealth aesthetic! 

More importantly, the components check all of the right boxes as well!  Included is a 10th-gen Intel i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti,1/2TB NVME and a whopping 32GB of memory!  Also, a 16GB Micro SD Card for some reason!

If you need an absolute powerhouse of a multitasking rig, you can’t do any better than this for under $1500!

Budget Pick: Acer Nitro 5

While the premise of this list is budget laptops, the Acer Nitro 5 deserves a special nod for it’s especially-price conscious offering!  While it is fair to say that this model is a budget iteration of our top pick, it does come with some distinct differences that actually give it an advantage in some ways and make it a compelling alternative, regardless of budgetary concerns.

First and foremost, the body looks and feels exactly the same, save for a palette swap – whereas the predator is dark gray and has RGB lighting, the Nitro is black with red lighting.  Some will find this more attractive; all will acknowledge the lower-cost components!  Next, and perhaps more importantly, a downgrade from 512GB of NVME to 256GB – this takes you from modest all the way down to slim – but you can buy a 1TB NVME for under $100 dollars and come out with an upgrade, still saving a massive chunk over the Predator!  

Finally, an outright upgrade to an RTX 2060 means improved gaming performance and ray tracing support!  

Only time will tell if this laptop is as beloved as it’s big brother, but it’s presently an absurdly good deal and hard to recommend against!

Best Aesthetics: Asus ROG Strix G

If you’re a gamer and you don’t care who knows it, the Asus ROG Strix G might be the best choice for you!  Asus’ ROG line has been well-known for years due to their brash, arguably gaudy line of products that pack features gamers crave into slim, sleek packages.  They even have a mobile phone line that follows this aesthetic!  

The Asus ROG Strix G fits right into the collections with it’s brush-textured sculpting, obliquely angular keys and bold branding.  No one would call this an ugly machine by any stretch of the imagination, but no one is going to suspect you’re using this thing to crunch numbers or send reports!

If you want a great gaming rig that screams “gaming rig”, you really can’t go wrong with it!

Best No-Nonsense: Sager NP7877DW

Sager NP7877DW

No one will suspect a thing

If you want a gaming rig that no one will believe is a gaming rig, check out the Sager NP7877DW!  From the outside, this is one of the most unassuming laptops you will ever see – the veritable sleeper.  The slim-but boxy black body has virtually no personality whatsoever, and wouldn’t even register as a personal machine to most people; it screams “I’m a member of a corporate fleet, please return me to the docking station when finished”.  

But therein lies the true beauty – under the hood is the most powerful gaming machine on this list!  Boring details will be spared, but the keys here are a rare 8-core Intel i7 (most mobile i7’s are the 6-core variant) and an RTX 2060.  

But back to the aesthetics – even the green keyboard backlighting doesn’t look “gamer green” somehow!  And the Sager logo looks somehow generic and professional at the same time.  What’s going on here?  Is this all intentional?  If so, bravo!  If not – doesn’t matter!  Buy this thing if you want to be an undercover gamer!

What to Look for in a 17-Inch Gaming Laptop Under $1500

There are a wide variety of components that can be fit into such a big chassis and it’s hard to know what’s what!  Not to worry – assume that every laptop on this list has been fully vetted!  What you should focus on are the following:

Aesthetics

No one should judge a book by it’s cover, but a laptop’s style is something that permeates every aspect of it’s being and therefore you must choose a laptop that looks and feels right to you!  All of the notebooks on this list are generally accepted as attractive machines, but you should do your best to get one you’re proud to be seen with!

Portability

Most big laptops aren’t especially well-suited for travel and are best looked at as desktop replacements.  However, if you want to be able to take your laptop with you, make sure you’re getting one that is thin and well-built!

Bonuses

Many laptops come with bells and whistles that really add to the price tag – but not necessarily to your satisfaction.  For example, do you really need a laptop with 7.1 surround sound speakers if you usually play with headphones on?  Do you need per-key RGB lighting or would you prefer a uniform backlight if it saves you enough money to buy an extra game or two?  These considerations are completely subjective, but worth taking note of.

Last Updated on January 23, 2021