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Best Gaming Laptops on a Budget



Do you always find yourself having to game on the go? Do you want the flexibility to 360 no scope noobs any place, any time? Is the Nintendo Switch too baby shit for you? (It’s not; get over yourself.) Then a gaming laptop is the way to go. PC gaming has thrived in recent years, giving PC gamers access to fantastic exclusives, early releases, and the largest VR library in the industry. Gaming laptops are also perfect for those of us who don’t have space for a desktop, or who want the mobility of a laptop with the power of a gaming PC. Oftentimes, that can cost a small fortune. But we’ve got you covered, with the eight best gaming laptops for your budget—half of them under $1,000.

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Best for Penny Hoarders

Acer Nitro 5 AN515 15.6″ FHD Gaming Laptop



$779.00 (20% off)

While the Acer Nitro 5 is the cheapest gaming laptop on this list, it’s still a completely sufficient machine. It’ll work with all your Steam games and still offer pretty good visuals, making it an option with a lot of power for those who need to limit their spending.

Best for Multitaskers

Acer Aspire 7 15.6″ FHD Casual Gaming Laptop



$704.99 (22% off)

With similar power to the Nitro 5, a better processor, and a more toned-down look, this laptop is a really solid pick for those searching for both a work and gaming hybrid. It also includes a fingerprint reader, which is always convenient.

Lenovo IdeaPad L340 15.6″ FHD Gaming Laptop



A thin, convenient design and a fantastic 1TB of storage make this Lenovo a work horse that will have you up and gaming with ease in no time. While the design doesn’t scream gamer, the price of this laptop for the power is a smart trade-off.

HP Omen 17″ FHD Gaming Laptop

A recent sale and significant price cut brings this HP gaming laptop down to the under-$1,000 range. Its more gamer-centric design and 17-inch screen is ideal for those looking for a bigger, bolder display.

Best for Light Packers

ASUS ROG G531GT 15.6″ Gaming Laptop

This Asus shows off a thin design with some red flair and carbon fiber texture. It has extremely smooth gameplay and great power for long gaming sessions.

Best for VR Buffs

Dell G5 15.6″ FHD Gaming Laptop



The G5 is right in that sweet spot for a lot of people. While it’s a little larger and chunkier than some of the other models on this list, the design is still definitely impressive. The processing power works very well—even with VR—making this a more affordable, higher-end laptop, while only sacrificing a bit on the ease of transport.

Dell Alienware M15 15″ Gaming Laptop



The new M15, while not the thinnest laptop on this list, definitely gets down there. Its thin size is coupled with that Alienware design flair, including customizable LEDs and some slick embezzled edges. Smooth processing power and a quieter cooling system make this a great option for gamers with more cash.

Razer Blade 15.6″ FHD Gaming Laptop



This Razer model is one of the thinnest, slimmest laptops on the market. While it is pricier than the other models on the list, this option has impressive processing and graphical power, and is extremely light—making it incredibly portable.

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Where to Travel This Fall

Main Street storefronts in North Adams

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Whether we want to admit it or not, summer is coming to a close. The good news: You can finally tackle all those outdoorsy to-dos you’ve been meaning to get to but have avoided because of the heat, crowds, and humidity.

So, open those windows and breathe in some crisp autumn air—it’s time to get out in nature. To help steer you from the crowds and toward a better autumn experience, we’ve rounded up eight great options for under-the-radar places to visit this fall.

1. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Sunset at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

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Above the mitten is the Upper Peninsula (UP), Michigan’s often-overlooked northern region that’s easily one of the most naturally beautiful areas in all of the Midwest. The UP, which touches three of the five Great Lakes, is a forested region with trees that burst into color each fall.

A can’t-miss spot is the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, with rock arches, pristine cliffs, and crystal clear water impressive enough to post on your feed. Visit during fall and the already stunning landscape comes to life for a final show before the area’s harsh winter rolls through.

2. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Forested hills rolling landscape

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We can’t exactly call a National Park under the radar, but let’s be honest—unless you live in the Mid-Atlantic area, it’s unlikely you’ll be too familiar with Shenandoah. The 200,000+ acre area of protected lands is absolutely stunning year-round, especially during the fall, where the landscape is a sea of colorful foliage.

With endless hikes and a ridge-line parkway drive that offers plenty of impressive views, this park is a sure-bet for fall travelers looking for a new and memorable destination.

3. North Adams, Massachusetts


Nicole Franzen

Massachusetts, like most of its Northeastern neighbors, becomes engulfed in color from late September through early December. But the reason North Adams lands on this list is specifically for the ultra cool Tourists, a new hotel and riverside retreat inspired by the classic American motor lodge and reimagined into a chic, 48-room property where good design and the great outdoors meet.

With nature trails and a pool on the property—along with a farm-to-table restaurant and cocktail bar—there’s no shortage of opportunity to get cozy and embrace the changing season.

4. Bend, Oregon


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Though Oregon is indeed an evergreen state, there are still plenty of opportunities to see changing colors each fall. East of Portland, over the Cascade Mountains and in the high desert of Central Oregon, sits Bend, a haven for beer nerds and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Drake Park, in the center of Bend, has a serene landscape accented by maples that turn red each fall. Another spot to check out is Mirror Pond, the namesake of Deschutes Brewery’s most well-known beer.

5. The Gunks, New York

Aerial Road Trip in Minnewaska State Park Preserve

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The Shawanagunk Mountains, known simply as “The Gunks” to rock climbers, are a modest range north of New York City extending from the Catskills to the New York/New Jersey border. The Gunks offers hiking, camping, fishing, and of course, climbing.

Stay at the 150-year-old Mohonk Mountain House and enjoy a bit of luxury, or hit the rock for yourself and get a unique perspective among a forest of changing colors.

6. Mount Mansfield, Vermont

Autumn trees over dirt path in forest

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Each fall, the entire state of Vermont becomes a tourist attraction for leaf-peeping enthusiasts. Luckily, the state is sizable, filled with winding mountain roads and quiet historic towns.

Mount Mansfield offers the opportunity to get a bird’s-eye view of the region via the aptly named Sunset Ridge Trail. When combined with the Long Trail and CCC Road, the loop lasts just over six miles and reaches a top elevation of 4,342 feet. From that height you’ll have a 36o-degree view of all of Vermont’s fall landscape.

7. Dixie National Forest, Utah

Cedar Breaks National Monument

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Dixie National Forest is located in the heart of one of the world’s most unique natural areas. The lesser-known national forest spans nearly two million acres, reaching 170 miles across Utah, and still few outside of its home state have ever heard of it.

Among iconic red sandstone formations, expansive desert landscapes, and towering mountains, you’ll find a range of vegetation that really comes to life in autumn—especially at elevation, where pinyon pine and juniper trees give way to aspens.

8. Lawrenceburg, Kentucky


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Lawrenceburg, located 25 miles west of Lexington, is a small historic town with a big bourbon footprint—it’s home to both Four Roses and Wild Turkey. The town of 10,500 is also home to multiple acclaimed wineries, and reportedly a number of apparitions too, so plan your visit near Halloween, sign up for the local ghost tour, and really make the most of the experience.

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