This year we are in a bit strange position. The new midrange GPUs have not been released yet – the Nvidia mobile GTX 1050/Ti GPUs. Those who are looking for a $800-$900 gaming laptop are left with two options: The old GTX 960M models which have bad performance/price ratio compared to what achieved with the new GPUs, OR, refurbished or old vastly discounted GTX 970M models, maybe even GTX 980M equipped models.
For example, the Alienware 15 with an I7-6700HQ and a GTX 970M can be found for $1000 refurbished from Dell.
The new Asus FX502VM is a basic gaming laptop with a GTX 1060 3GB. No reviews yet, but it’s probably very similar to the Asus GL502VM, only with a 3GB GTX 1060 version, no GSync and maybe a non-IPS display. However, for $1000 this is a very good deal. The display can always be replaced later on.
If you don’t need the OS, the Clevo P650RP6 can be found for such a price, and personally I think it is a better machine, with more connection ports and better cooling system.
The E5-575G is Acer’s low midrange gaming laptop. The previous generation with a GT 940MX and an I5-6200U (review here) left good overall impressions on me, mostly because the good performance/price ratio and overall quiet operation. The new E5-575G model upgrades the GT 940MX to a GTX 950M GDDR5 which should be considerably faster and actually, pretty close to the GTX 960M, since it’s the same chip with the same VRAM, but a bit lower clocks. Moreover, this model comes with a 250GB SSD alongside the 1TB HDD, which is a very good storage solution.
The new Kaby Lake I5-7200U comes with a new iGPU and built-in hardware 4K playback support.
However, the previous generation model review also showed that the E5-575G laptop, with its one fan and small cooling system, gets a bit warm under high system load, especially the CPU and GPU. I’m not sure this model is exactly the same, but if it is, the hotter GPU’s performance may be limited under serious gaming load.
Last thing, as far as connection ports go, I’m not sure what is actually implemented. Yes, there is an HDMI port, but is it an HDMI 2.0? because otherwise, 4K displays@60FPS are out of question.
Generally, this model packs a good combination of performance and features for the price and that’s why I posted it, but for those who can wait, I’d recommend waiting for some review to clear things up. Also, I would wait for the new models with new AMD Polaris / NVidia Pascal to show up.
+ Relatively high performance for the price
- No thunderbolt 3, no DisplayPort, no HDMI 2.0
- TN panel (though not the worst)
The Acer E5-575G lower end model, with a GT 940MX GDDR5, I5-6200U CPU and 1080p display. This specific version comes with a 1TB HDD (probably a slow one), but you can add a cheap m.2 SSD or replace the HDD with a 2.5″ SATA SSD.
This model tends to get relatively hot in exchange to lower noise. You’ll find no special ports like mDP, HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 3, but it does have USB type-C port. The 1080p display is an ok TN panel. It’s not a good panel, but also not the worst of them (like the one that was in the Lenovo Y50 and Asus FZ50VW), so I’d say that for that price of $420, it is acceptable, if you really can’t/won’t spend more.
+ Relatively quiet
+ M.2 slot alongside 2.5" SATA
- No DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 3