5 Best 15 Inch Gaming Laptops under $1700 in 2017

Everybody has their own preferences and for some that means not having a screen larger than 15.6”. Whether it’s down to saving weight, money, personal preference or just wanting to run games on Ultra high settings at a lower resolution we’ve come up with the best 15.6” gaming laptops under $1700.

The most recent hardware survey done by Steam indicates that 36.5% of users use a 1920×1080 resolution, first by a long margin. This alludes to the fact that 15 inch displays on laptops are the sweet spot for many people when determining which size is right for them.

Top 5 Best 15 Inch Gaming Laptops under $1700

1. Acer Predator 15 G9-591-70XR

Acer Predator 15 G9-591-70XR Front ViewThe various different models of the Acer Predator keep showing up in our top 5 guides and there’s a good reason for that. They’re fantastic gaming laptops, with often better specs than anything else on the market, and the Acer Predator 15 G9-591-70XR is no different.

In this price range the Intel i7-6700HQ is the king, which is exactly what the Predator has. Throw in 16GB of DDR4 RAM and you’re looking at a formidable duo.

Impressively, the laptop is able to squeeze a Nvidia GeForce GTX980M into its chassis. Only very few laptops in this price range have a 980M which provides a nice point of difference and proves Acer is serious about gaming laptops. The 980M provides roughly a 30% performance boost over the 970M and can mean the difference between playing on Ultra or High graphics settings.

Acer has opted for a dual hard drive setup, with both a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive for storage and then adding in a 256GB SSD for those quick load speeds. It’s interesting to note that most gaming laptops in this price range have a 128GB SSD, so the extra space is definitely a welcome addition.

Similar to most other gaming laptops in this price range, the Predator comes equipped with a 15.6” Full HD IPS display, showing the action in consistent, clear color, even from wide viewing angles.

The Predator has stuck with its traditional, aggressive black and red look with this laptop. The lid and base of the laptop are finished in matte black, whilst the vents are painted a metallic red color, contrasting with the red WASD and arrow keys of the keyboard.

Additionally, features such as ‘Predator Dust Defender’ help stop dust build up by alternating airflow directions and ‘Predator FrostCore’ which allow you to place an extra Cooler Master fan in the disk drive bay for additional air flow are designed with serious gamers in mind.

The Predator is able to push out a 6-hour battery life which is very impressive given the components that need to be powered. The downside of such components is that this laptop weighs 7.5 lbs meaning it’s definitely on the bulkier side and not great to carry around.

Ports include, 1 x Thunderbolt, 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, Ethernet Port, SD Card Reader, Optical Drive.

Specifications

  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX980M
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD + 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive
  • 15.6” Full HD IPS 1920 x 1080 Display
  • Windows 10
  • 6 Hours battery life
  • 7.5 lbs
  • [table width=”500″ align=”center” style=”table-bordered” colalign=”center|center”]
    Pros,Cons
    GTX980M, Quite Heavy
    Good Battery Life, Thick/Bulky
    Bigger than average SSD,
    [/table]

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    2. MSI GE62 Apache Pro-001

    MSI GE62 Apache Pro-001 Front ViewThe MSI GE62 Apache Pro-001 is the big brother of the Ghost Pro-002 that comes in at #3 on our list. It’s no secret that MSI is considered to be one of the best gaming laptop makers, and you’re about to see why.

    The beefy Intel Core i7-6700HQ Skylake processor and 16GB of DDR4 2133MHz RAM provide the basis for the grunt of the laptop, ensuring you can easily multi-task with multiple applications with no issue at all.

    A respectable Nvidia GeForce GTX970M means you’ll be able to run most games respectably on Ultra settings at 1080P resolution which is impressive in its own right.

    A massive talking point around this laptop is the huge 512GB SSD hard drive that is included alongside the 1TB 7200RPM hard drive. With 128GB being the standard SSD size in this price range, MSI has gone ahead and tripled it in the Apache Pro.

    The included display is a 15.6” Full HD IPS display with wide viewing angles. It’s a well-built screen that gets the job done and looks good in the process.

    MSI laptops always look pretty good and the GE62 Apache Pro is no different. Finished in a dark brushed aluminum, the Apache Pro has the look of class. A full-sized SteelSeries backlit keyboard with numeric pad provides some great tactile feedback and is nice to type on for extended periods of time.

    Weighing in at 5.3 lbs the Apache is about average in terms of gaming laptops, it’s not super heavy but it’s not light either. Additionally, an average 4-hour battery life gives you just enough time to find a charger during those intense gaming sessions.

    Interestingly, the Apache Pro comes with a Blu-ray burner, not commonly found in gaming laptops. It also comes preinstalled with Windows 10 64 bit.

    Ports include, 1x Thunderbolt, 1 x HDMI, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, SD Card Reader, Ethernet Port, Headphone + Microphone Jacks, Bluray Burner.

    Specifications

  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX970M
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD + 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive
  • 15.6” Full HD IPS 1920 x 1080 Display
  • Windows 10
  • 4 Hours battery life
  • 5.3 lbs
  • [table width=”500″ align=”center” style=”table-bordered” colalign=”center|center”]
    Pros,Cons
    Massive SSD, Average battery life
    Bluray Burner, Average weight
    [/table]

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    3. MSI GS60 Ghost Pro-002

    MSI GS60 Ghost Pro-002 Front ViewThe MSI GS60 Ghost Pro-002 gaming laptop is unique in the way that it’s incredibly slim for a gaming laptop. Usually, due to the components inside, gaming laptops are bulky and ugly, but the GS60 bucks the trend and measures at 15.3 x 10.5 x 0.8 inches, putting it on the slim side of the spectrum.

    Under the hood, you’ll find an Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6GHz Processor based on the new Skylake architecture which provides benefits over previous generations mainly in multi-tasking, video transcoding, and gaming. Combine this with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and you can be sure you’ll never blue screen due to lack of available memory.

    The Nvidia GeForce GTX970M brings the new generation graphics performance, providing a 15% increase in effective speed over the previous generations GTX880M graphics card.

    The GS60 Ghost Pro-002 has the standard hard drive setup that is seen within this price bracket. A 1TB 7200RPM hard drive for storage, paired with a 128GB SSD to speed up those slow game load screens. Whilst 128GB isn’t huge, it still means you can put your top 5-10 games on it, as well as your operating system, for quick load times.

    Displaying your games is a 15.6” Full HD IPS display that looks crisp at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Its IPS panel provides wider viewing angles, which can be useful if people are ever watching you play games.

    Designed with the typical gamers look in mind, the GS60 002 is a mix of a matte black exterior, with a brushed aluminum base. Included is an easy to type on SteelSeries fully-backlit keyboard that has excellent tactile feedback.

    With slim gaming laptops, one of the biggest issues is the heat of the components and that’s why the Ghost Pro-002 comes with ‘cooler boost 3’ technology which efficiently draws heat from both the CPU and GPU to reduce heat generation.

    As a result of its slim design, the Ghost Pro-002 weighs in at a measly 4.2 lbs, making this laptop very easy to carry around with you if you need to transport it, whilst an above average 4.5-hour battery life gives you more than adequate time to find a nearby charger if you need to continue your gaming session.

    Ports include, 1 x Thunderbolt, 1 x HDMI, 3 x USB 3.0, SD Card Reader, Headphone + Microphone Jacks, Ethernet Port.

    Specifications

  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX970M
  • 16GB RAM
  • 128GB SSD + 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive
  • 15.6” Full HD IPS 1920 x 1080 Display
  • Windows 10
  • 4.5 Hours battery life
  • 4.2 lbs
  • [table width=”500″ align=”center” style=”table-bordered” colalign=”center|center”]
    Pros,Cons
    Slim and lightweight, Speakers aren’t fantastic
    Good specs, Some bloatware pre-installed
    [/table]

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    4. Alienware AW15R2-6161SLV

    Alienware AW15R2-6161SLV Front ViewWhenever gaming laptops are brought up, Alienware is always a name that gets thrown into the ring. We’re about to see why the AW15R2-6161SLV has its hat thrown into the ring.

    I’m starting to sound like a broken record now when talking about CPU and RAM but the Alienware also has an Intel Core i7-6700HQ and 16GB of RAM. You can take comfort in the fact that at least with all of the laptops having the same CPU and RAM that they’re using the best specs for the job.

    Again, a Nvidia GeForce GTX970M is the driving force in the graphics department, allowing you to play newer games on High and Ultra settings at a decent FPS.

    Storage wise, a large 256GB SSD gives an advantage over other gaming laptops with only 128GB of storage. Additionally, the 1TB 7200RPM hard drive gives you ample storage space.

    The Full HD 15.6” display looks nice and has an IPS panel for wide viewing angles, giving you the flexibility to play games from different angles, i.e. if you connect a controller and want to sit back and play.

    From a design perspective, I think the Alienware laptop does leave a lot to be desired, its got a matte black finish with orange accents in the typical Alienware fashion, but is super chunky. Forget this laptop resembling anything that could be considered slim, this is a laptop that you sit on the desk as a desktop replacement.

    The beast weighs 7.1 lbs making it a mission to carry around with you. Surprisingly, though, it still manages a 5-5.5 hour battery life which is very respectable.

    Ports include, 2 x Thunderbolt, 4 x USB 3.0, 2 x HDMI, SD Card Reader, Ethernet Port, Headphone + Microphone Jacks.

    Specifications

  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX970M
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD + 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive
  • 15.6” Full HD IPS 1920 x 1080 Display
  • Windows 10
  • 5 Hours battery life
  • 7.1 lbs
  • [table width=”500″ align=”center” style=”table-bordered” colalign=”center|center”]
    Pros,Cons
    Big SSD, Very bulky
    Huge amount of ports, Chunky Design
    Good Battery Life, No Optical Drive
    [/table]

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    5. ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS74

    ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS74 Front ViewAsus has become a leader in the gaming laptops field lately with the advent of the “Republic of Gamers” line of laptops. Specifically aimed at gamers, the ROG laptops pack a powerful punch and today we look at the Asus Rog Strix GL502VT-DS74.

    Again we find an Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor paired with 16GB of RAM. This is definitely the sweet spot for this price range and the best that you’re going to get.

    A powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX970M gives you the ability to play newer games on top settings, even able to smoothly run certain games on Ultra settings.

    A fairly standard 128GB SSD + 1TB 7200RPM hard drive storage setup is included and more than enough for most people. It does lack the bigger SSD sizes of some of the other gaming laptops in the top 5 list but is still enough to put your Operating System + 5-10 games on it.

    The screen of the STRIX is a 15.6” Full HD display with IPS panel which has improved color reproduction and display.

    The laptop lid is brushed aluminum and displays the Asus ROG logo. The base of the laptop is finished in matte black and has orange accents. I especially love how they’ve changed the default blue of the USB 3.0 ports to orange to suit the design of the laptop. The ROG Strix has a gaming keyboard that offers tactile feedback and is fully backlit for those late night gaming sessions.

    The GL502VT-DS74 is ultra portable and is just 0.94 inches thick. It is incredibly slim which is very impressive from a gaming laptop. A Hyper Cool Duo-Copper cooling system uses heat pipes and a dual fan system to cool the CPU and GPU independently to stop your laptop overheating.

    Despite the slim look, the laptop still weighs 6.2 lbs which isn’t super heavy but is an unfortunate characteristic of gaming laptops. It still manages to achieve a 5-hour battery life, however.

    Ports include, 1 x Thunderbolt, 1x Mini DisplayPort, 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI, SD Card Reader, Ethernet Port, Headphone/Microphone Jack.

    Specifications

  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX970M
  • 16GB RAM
  • 128GB SSD + 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive
  • 15.6” Full HD IPS 1920 x 1080 Display
  • Windows 10
  • 5 Hours battery life
  • 6.2 lbs
  • [table width=”500″ align=”center” style=”table-bordered” colalign=”center|center”]
    Pros,Cons
    Good Specs, Heavy
    Very Slim, No Optical Drive
    Great Design, Could have a bigger SSD
    [/table]

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    That concludes our 15-inch gaming laptop buyers guide. Hopefully, you have a better understanding now of what to look for in a 15-inch gaming laptop. If you have any questions please drop a comment in the section below.

    If you have read through this top 5 guide and think you might prefer a gaming laptop with a bigger screen size then you can also check out our Top 10 Best Gaming Laptops under $1500 guide.

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