Gaming remains one of the most demanding activities you can throw at a laptop—which is why they require the latest and most powerful components. The best gaming laptops are portable powerhouses packed with the latest top-shelf components from Intel, AMD and Nvidia. And gaming laptops often have a display with a fast refresh rate, useful for smooth, responsive gameplay.
The best gaming laptops also pack great features like comfortable and responsive keyboards, with surprising key travel and subtle backlighting for gaming in the dark. Many have high resolution displays—either a 2K display (also referred to as 1440p) or a 4K display—and fast refresh rates, which lead to smoother gameplay and lower input lag. The input lag is an important criteria during competitive gaming, when you want every edge you can get against your opponents.
We’ve rounded up nine of the best gaming laptops available now. All of these models make the cut for their combination of components, features and design. Not a big gamer? Don’t forget to check out the best 2-in-1 laptops for something a little more work and school appropriate.
- Best Gaming Laptop Overall: Razer Blade 15 Advanced
- Best 17-Inch Gaming Laptop: Dell Alienware X17 R2
- Best Casual Gaming Laptop Under $500: Acer Aspire 5
- Best Budget Gaming Laptop: HP Victus 15.6-Inch
- Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,000: Acer Nitro 5 15.6-Inch
- Best Mid-Range Gaming Laptop: Dell G15 5520
- Best Small Gaming Laptop For Students: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
- Best 2-in-1 Gaming Laptop: Asus ROG Z13
Best Gaming Laptop Overall
High-End Hardware In A Streamlined Chassis
CPU: Intel Core i7-12700K | RAM: 16GB DDR5 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 | Refresh rate: 240Hz | Battery: Up to 5 hours | Weight: 2.8 pounds
Best for: Playing the latest games at high detail and high frame rates.
The Razer Blade 15 Advanced features the best mobile gaming hardware money can buy. From its Intel 12th-generation Core i7-12700H processor to its fast 240Hz 2K display, this laptop is stacked with power. (Razer sells a similar config via its own site, but with the slightly newer Core i7-12800H chip.) The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card gets big gains in performance over lower tier cards by using Nvidia’s Ampere architecture, which delivers higher frame rates, finer detail settings and better handling at high resolutions. Inside, the Blade 15 Advanced has 16GB of RAM, 1TB of fast storage and a capable and quiet cooling solution to keep you gaming for hours.
With a solid design, this stylish laptop has a sleek finish on every surface and a minimalist chassis with a thin-bezel display. The revamped, comfortable keyboard has new, bigger keycaps and snappy responsive switches, making for more accurate typing and gaming over longer sessions. Razer’s classy Chroma backlighting highlights the keyboard, and makes this a distinctly gamer laptop. Battery life isn’t extensive with such a high-end configuration, but you can get a solid few hours of play away from a power socket.
- High-end components
- Excellent build quality
- Runs cool and quiet
- Limited battery life, especially when gaming
Honorable Mention: Powerful All-AMD Gaming Rig, No Sticker Shock
Lenovo Legion Slim 7 AMD Advantage Edition
CPU: AMD Ryzen 6900HX | RAM: 16GB DDR5 | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 6800S | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 16-inch | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 | Refresh rate: 165Hz | Battery: Up to 12 hours | Weight: 4.5 pounds
Best for: Playing games at high detail and high frame rates for many hours at a time.
The Lenovo Legion Slim 7 bucks the usual trends of high-end gaming laptops by offering great performance alongside long battery life and a strong complement of components—all at a more mid-range price. Armed with AMD’s latest CPU and GPU technologies and their efficient process nodes, the Legion Slim 7’s 12-hour battery life extends well beyond the typical handful of hours most gaming laptops can manage. Throw in additional smart power management technologies (like AMD SmartShift, which helps maximize performance without impacting battery life) and you have a very capable machine that can game for hours at a time without difficulty. While the 6800S is not going to compete with the most high-end GPUs out there, it is more than enough for playing most games at high detail settings and frame rates.
This laptop’s bright and vibrant screen can hit 350 nits brightness, and its 2K resolution delivers crisp text and clear pictures. The 165Hz refresh rate ensures whatever you’re playing will look buttery smooth, especially when playing at higher frame rates, and the 1TB of NVMe SSD storage means this laptop will start up fast and your game load times will be kept to a minimum. In spite of its slim moniker, at 4.5 pounds this is a relatively heavy laptop—but not as much so as some competitors. Nonetheless, the Legion Slim 7 is portable enough to carry around with you when the gaming mood strikes.
- Powerful and efficient components
- Impressive battery life
- Vibrant 2K screen, with a high refresh rate
- Lacks flagship GPU power
Best 17-Inch Gaming Laptop
Big, Bold And Beautiful Display
CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H | RAM: 32GB DDR5 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 17.3-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 360Hz | Battery: Up to 5 hours | Weight: 6.8 pounds
Best for: Playing esports and high-paced action games at high frame rates.
With a giant 17-inch screen and powerful components, the Dell Alienware x17 R2 rivals desktop gaming rigs—and it does so in a more portable chassis than many of its contemporaries at similar sizes. This laptop’s Intel Core i7-12700H CPU and 16GB of DDR5 memory give this model impressive general compute power, and combined with one of the most powerful mobile GPUs ever, theNvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, this becomes a stellar gaming laptop with all the power you need to play anything.
One drawback: The display is only 1080p, a relatively low resolution for a high-end laptop. But where some gaming laptops target higher resolutions, this one goes for boosting frames. With its 360Hz refresh rate, this laptop makes high-speed games look gorgeously smooth, and if you’re playing against other players, it gives you an edge by lowering your response time and input lag. Battery life isn’t extensive, and you’ll only get around an hour of gaming time without plugging in the power cable, but it does stay pretty cool due to advances in Dell’s cooling technologies. The laptop’s styled aesthetics scream “gamer” at anyone who dares look its way, and it’s heavy enough that you won’t want to lug it around all day, but playing on a desk will give you a desktop-like gaming experience.
- Big, super-fast display for competitive gaming
- High-end hardware can play anything at high frame rates
- Gorgeous design
- Poor battery life
Honorable Mention: An AMD Driven Gaming Powerhouse
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX | RAM: 16GB DDR5 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 17.3-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 360Hz | Battery: Up to 5 hours | Weight: 7.3 pounds
Best for: Playing the latest games at high frame rates.
If you’re an AMD fan, or want something just a tad more modest and affordable than the x17 R2, then the Alienware m17 R5 is a great alternative. It comes packing AMD’s flagship mobile gaming processor, the eight-core 6900HX which offers comparable performance and greater efficiency than the Intel 12700H. When paired with the powerful Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti, this 17-inch gaming laptop delivers excellent performance, helping to hit high frame rates in any game. With a 1080p display, you won’t be taxing the GPU too hard, so you’ll be able to set all in-game settings to the maximum whilst still enjoying smooth, high FPS. That makes this an excellent laptop for playing high paced esports games, where higher frame rates can help you win games by lowering input lag.
The overall design is attractive and understated, too, helping to avoid some of the over the top ‘gamer’ styling of other gaming laptops. It is very heavy, though, so you won’t want to haul this around with you all day. Battery life isn’t great either, with only an hour or two of game time away from a power socket. Consider this more of a gaming desktop replacement that you can take with you to LAN parties, and you’ll have an amazing gaming experience whatever you want to play.
- Big 1080p display with a very high refresh rate
- Powerful hardware helps play any games at high FPS
- Understated, classy design
- Very heavy
- Poor battery life
Best Gaming Laptop Under $500
A Low-Cost Config For Less-Demanding Casual Games
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Graphics: AMD Radeon 7 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 15.6-inches | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 11 hours | Weight: 3.9 pounds
Best for: Casual esports and indie gaming.
Most gaming laptops are priced around the $800 mark, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a gaming laptop if your budget is lower. The Acer Aspire 5 isn’t a gaming-laptop per se, but its AMD Ryzen 5500U processor with onboard Radeon Vega graphics and 8GB of RAM is enough compute power to handle casual, indie and esports games. It’ll even play less-demanding, older AAA games, though you may need to adjust the settings given this system’s specs.
The prosaic 1080p display ensures the onboard graphics processing isn’t stressed too much when playing games at native resolution. The 256GB of SSD storage is more than enough for Windows and a handful of even modern games. This laptop has Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, as well as a built-in 720p webcam. It also has great battery life, lasting over 11 hours of mixed usage or well over five when gaming. This isn’t a gaming laptop on paper, but it can play less demanding games reasonably well for a low price.
- Good for casual, less-demanding games
- Cool and quiet even when gaming
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Onboard graphics are underpowered for AAA gaming
- Limited storage for bigger game libraries
Best Budget Gaming Laptop
Affordable Yet Packed With Real Power
CPU: Intel Core i5-12650H | RAM: 16GB DDR4 |Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Weight: 5.1 pounds
Best for: Playing casual esports and indie titles.
The HP Victus comes in a range of configurations, so if you want something more powerful than the budget option below, you could opt for this more aggressive design. It features the same high quality chassis and double digit battery life, but uprates the hardware to an Intel Core i5-12650H CPU, and more importantly, the Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti graphics chip. This GPU is much more powerful, not only delivering higher detail settings and frame rates in traditional games, but it also comes with tensor and RT cores, which allow users to enable ray tracing (in supported games) and take advantage of deep learning super sampling to increase frame rates without sacrificing visual quality.
The display is 1080p and 144Hz, but as a pre-configured Best Buy system, you don’t have the same upgrade options as the HP store. However, you do get an affordable laptop with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, so it’s an all round better configuration that will look and feel more responsive in whatever games you play.
- Plenty of RAM and storage space
- Fast display
- Relatively heavy
Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,000
Won’t Break Your Wallet
CPU: Intel Core i5-12500H | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Battery: Up to 5 hours | Weight: 5.1 pounds
Best for: Gamers who need performance without breaking the budget.
The Acer Nitro 5 packs a strong selection of components, with more memory and a faster display than other models at this price. The Nitro 5 has a 12th-generation Intel Core i5-12500H, 16GB of DDR4 system memory, and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics. This combo of components won’t perform at the same level as the Core i7 or Core i9 series with RTX 3070 Ti graphics, but it still has a respectable punch for full-blast gaming. The display has a fast refresh rate of 144Hz, so animations and gameplay render smoothly and multiplayer games have a faster response time.
One trade-off on this model: Weight. This model weighs 5.5 pounds, still portable but heavy enough that you’re less likely to pop it into your backpack. The dual speakers on the Nitro 5 support DTS:X Ultra spatial audio. The gaming-friendly keyboard has four zones and highlights the WASD and arrow keys to make keyboard gaming easier. The webcam is 720p, which is not as good as on some competing laptops in this range. The battery life is rather unimpressive too, but in a compact laptop with powerful hardware, that’s not too surprising.
- Display supports fast frame rates
- Capable CPU and GPU combo
- Heavy weight
- Only 720p webcam
Honorable Mention: A Less Expensive Configuration For Gaming
CPU: Intel Core i5-12500H | RAM: 8GB DDR4 |Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Battery: Up to 11 hours | Weight: 5.1 pounds
Best for: Gamers looking for a basic gaming system with a not-so-basic screen.
The HP Victus is an entry-level gaming laptop with a good processor and a great entry-level GPU. It has enough performance to deliver excellent frame rates in esports games, and with a 144Hz display, animations look smooth and fluid and you won’t be giving up any response time to gamers with more expensive laptops. Since you’re buying from the HP store, there’s also the option of changing up the display for one with greater brightness and a faster response time. Thanks to the improved efficiency of its Intel 12th-generation CPU, this model has a reasonable six hour battery life for video playback and up to 11 hours of mixed use. The laptop’s thermal design is optimized to keep the components cool through long gaming sessions. The keyboard has an HP Omen Gaming Hub key and is matched with a bigger-than-usual keypad.
The HP Victus is among the handful of entry-level gaming laptops priced between the $500 to $1,000 range. And when it goes on sale, it can be a real steal. Since this model is sold in the HP store, if you want to add more memory, improve the GPU, or increase your storage capacity, you can make some tweaks there—just watch the price tag as it will rise accordingly.
- Fast display
- Low price
- Capable computing power
- Lower-end graphics
Best Mid-Range Gaming Laptop
Step-Up Processor And Fast Display
CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H | RAM: 16GB DDR5 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Battery: Up to 9 hours | Weight: 5.9 pounds
Best for: Playing the latest AAA games at ultra detail settings.
The Dell G15 5520 doesn’t cut corners. This iteration has a 12th-generation Intel CPU, 16GB of system memory and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card—a capable array of components to handle AAA and esports gaming at high frame rates. The overall laptop has a solid build, with an atypical split-level design. It also has strong battery life, making it a great portable gaming machine for taking on the road with you.
While the display is an unremarkable 1080p resolution, it does have a fast 120Hz refresh rate to provide competitive gameplay in fast games and smooth animations in slower games. It also supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth, and has four USB ports (one Thunderbolt 4/USB Type-C and three USB Type-B 3.2 Gen 1), which makes it easy to connect all of your peripherals, accessories and controllers. This model can dynamically adjust performance by activating Game Shift, a technology first seen in Dell’s Alienware line. Game Shift pushes the fans’ speed to maximum to help keep processors stay cool and run efficiently while gaming.
- Attractive design
- Strong battery life
- Underwhelming display
Honorable Mention: A Powerful CPU With A Fast, High-Res Screen
CPU: AMD Ryzen 6900HS | RAM: 16GB DDR5 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 | Refresh rate: 165Hz | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Weight: 4.2 pounds
Best for: Highly detailed gaming while on-the-go.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 offers a potent combination of powerful gaming hardware and lengthy battery life, letting you play your games at high detail settings on its native 1440p resolution, no matter where you go. It’ll last for up to 10 hours of mixed usage away from a power socket, so five hours of gaming should be more than possible. With a half terabyte of SSD storage too, you’ll have plenty of space to store your expansive game library.
At just over four pounds, this isn’t a light laptop, but it’s not super heavy either. You could easily carry it around in a backpack and break it out when you want a game, or it could sit comfortably on your lap if you’re trying to play on a train or plane. The rich display isn’t just 1440p resolution, it has a 165Hz refresh rate, too, so when you’re playing higher paced games with lots of action, or especially if you’re playing competitively, this will give you a real edge by improving your reaction time and lowering input lag.
- Powerful combination of components
- Strong battery life
- Fast and detailed display
- More expensive than some mid-range options
Best Small Gaming Laptop For Students
Good At Everything—And A Sharp Screen, Too
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS | RAM: 16GB DDR5 | Graphics: AMD Radeon 6800S | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 14-inch | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 | Refresh rate: 120Hz| Battery: Up to 10 hours | Weight: 3.8 pounds
Best for: Gamers after a solid all-around gaming machine with a fast, high-resolution display.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is one of the best all-around gaming laptops ever made. It has strong components for high-performance gaming, a gorgeous display with a fast refresh rate, and plenty of ultra fast storage for quick game load times. With its smaller 14-inch display, the chassis is both sleek and light, with an understated and classy design which looks good for gamers and serious students alike. The 2K display means text and graphics are sharp—helpful when writing papers in between gameplay. And at 3.6 pounds, this laptop can go to class or to your friend’s dorm room just as easily as it can stay on the desk at your home.
The Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU is more energy efficient than previous chip designs, which means this laptop can get a reasonable battery life. It has Dolby Atmos support for decoding spatial entertainment audio, and a built-in microphone with noise cancellation is a handy inclusion if you don’t have a gaming headset nearby. The Radeon 6700S is one of AMD’s energy-efficient RDNA2 graphics, which further enhances battery life without sacrificing gaming performance. Between its professional look, moderate size and plenty of gaming horsepower, this laptop is the perfect companion for a hardworking student gamer—or even a mobile professional who appreciates gaming in their downtime while on the road.
- Clean aesthetic
- Strong performance in esports and AAA games
- Long battery life
- A bit expensive for the configuration
Best 2-In-1 Gaming Laptop
Play Laptop And Tablet Games Wherever You Go
CPU: Intel Core i9-12900H | RAM: 16GB DDR5 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 13.4-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Battery: Up to 8 hours | Weight: 2.6 pounds
Best for: Playing a mix of traditional and touchscreen games.
When is a gaming laptop not a gaming laptop? When it’s a gaming tablet. The Asus Z13 packs powerful gaming components inside a very portable and compact chassis—making it great for impromptu gaming sessions wherever you go. The laptop has up to eight hours of battery life, which is more than typical gaming laptops but not quite as much as some as the best battery performers in the category.
Its 13.4-inch touchscreen lets you play PC games as well as games designed for touchscreen tablets, too; just fold the keyboard away when it’s not needed. With its high-end Intel 12th generation processor, the Z13 is a great machine for getting some work done if you need to. It does reportedly get pretty warm during heavy gaming sessions, and its hardware leans more towards esports and older games if you’re looking for high frame rates, but it’s still a very capable little machine—and at this size, a truly portable gaming laptop.
- Solid performer for its size
- Light weight
- Highly portable design
- Portable design more expensive
- Gets hot during gameplay
Best Gaming Laptop Deals You Can Buy Today
With so many gaming laptop configurations, it’s easy to find great alternatives to the picks above on sale. Here are some additional deals worth considering.
Great Performer, High-Resolution Display
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is a contender as one of the best all-round gaming laptops, but it just loses out to some of its leaner, more affordable competition. This configuration has an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card and a fast 165Hz display—top-tier components which can play any game you want at high frame rates. Save $300 at Best Buy and buy it for $1,950.
Boosted, Latest-Generation CPU For This Solid Gaming Laptop
This iteration of the Acer Nitro 5 is a dramatically more powerful version of our pick above, featuring an Intel Core i7-12700H, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD configured striped together in RAID 0 for faster performance. Save $325 and buy it now at Amazon for $2,075.
A Powerhouse Laptop, Even With A Last Generation CPU
ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition
It might have a last-generation CPU, but the AMD Ryzen 9 5980HX was the most powerful mobile CPU of its generation. Combine that with the ultra-capable AMD Rzadeon 6800M graphics and a fast refresh rate 166Hz 2K display, and you have a gaming laptop that’s ready for anything you can throw at it—at the price of a mid-range laptop. Save $300 at Best Buy and pay $1,400 now.
A Gaming Laptop For Around $500
The Lenovo Ideapad 1 is one of the best laptops you can buy around the $500 mark. But this particular model is also great for casual indie and esports gaming with its AMD Ryzen 5700U that has eight onboard AMD Vega graphics cores. It also has a 512GB SSD and 12GB of RAM, giving this machine impressive general performance. Save $250 and buy it now from Best Buy for $530.
Save $250 On This High-End Gigabit Laptop
The Gigabit Aorus packs an Intel Core i7-12700H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics. This powerful combination pairs with a fast 144Hz display, so you can play games at high frame rates with ultra smooth animation. Get 17% off and pay $1,250 at Best Buy.
What’s The Best Graphics Card For Laptop Gaming?
The graphics card or chip is the most important component in a gaming laptop, helping to drive higher resolutions, higher frame rates and higher detail settings than any mainstream laptop can manage.
At the most entry-level end of the spectrum, for casual esports and indie games, integrated graphics may suffice, but better to find an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 or AMD Radeon RX 6400—either is a great option. These GPUs are perfect for simple 1080p gameplay at high frame rates and low detail settings. If you want to play more demanding games, step up to Nvidia’s GeForce 3060 Ti or 3070 Ti, or an AMD Radeon RX 6700M. For 4K gaming look for the best graphics card you can afford (Nvidia’s 3080 Ti or AMD’s 6800M represent the top models available now).
Is $1,000 A Good Price For A Gaming Laptop?
The best general purpose laptops usually start around $1,000 and that’s not too dissimilar for gaming laptops. With that kind of laptop, you typically get a solid 1080p gaming machine which won’t be the best for the latest and greatest games, but will give you great frame rates in esports games.
If you want to play at higher resolutions, aim for a model priced around the $1,300 mark; though again, the higher you go, the better performance. The best gaming laptops can cost $2,000 or more, with many of the most elite models costing north of $3,000. So your budget is your only limitation once you get into the high-end models.
All that said, if you time it right and buy one of the best gaming laptop deals available during a big sale, you can grab much more powerful gaming laptops for around the $1,000 mark, especially if you make do with a last-generation flagship which still offers excellent performance.
Do You Need A High Refresh Rate Display?
High refresh rate displays are a great way to improve your gaming experience, especially if you’re playing esports or older games at higher frame rates. With a high refresh rate display and a high frames per second, you can enjoy smoother animations and a more responsive gaming experience, with limited input lag. That means that as well as making your games look and play better, it can actually make you play better too, giving you a light performance advantage in competitive gaming.
Higher refresh rates are often a more beneficial upgrade than a higher resolution, especially on the smaller displays on most gaming laptops. While you won’t see a huge difference between 1080p and 4K on a 15-inch screen, you will be able to tell the difference between 60Hz and 144Hz. The difference between that and 240Hz or 360Hz isn’t as pronounced, but you should still be able to feel it, even if it isn’t super obvious.
Is A 13-Inch, 15-Inch Or 17-Inch Gaming Laptop Better?
When it comes to gaming immersion, a larger screen will almost always deliver a better experience. There’s a reason there are gaming monitors that can stretch as big as 49-inches in 2022: it’s an amazing gaming experience. You don’t get anything that big on gaming laptops, with the largest typically maxing out at 17-inches. That’s still an impressive size for a gaming laptop, though, and it’ll certainly give you a more engaging gaming experience than a 13-inch model.
But you need to factor something else in with gaming laptops: portability. A bigger screen means a bigger, heavier, less wieldy laptop, and it often has worse battery life too.
A 17-inch gaming laptop isn’t really designed to be played on the go; it’s just a portable gaming desktop, really. You’ll get bigger and better hardware in the largest systems too, with generally greater performance because the thermal headroom is greater. But you won’t want to be using it to try to play on a bus or train ride.
Meanwhile, 13-inch gaming laptops are the most portable, offering true on the go gaming and often with good battery life, too. But the hardware will be weaker.
For a good middle ground, the latest crop of 14-inch and 15.6-inch gaming laptops offer excellent performance and much improved portability over their larger 17-inch cousins.
Pick the size, shape, and performance profile that’s right for you.
Is A Gaming Laptop Worth The Money?
If you are looking to play games on your laptop more than anything else, then yes, absolutely. You’ll get much better performance out of a gaming laptop than you will a more general-purpose laptop. On top of that, gaming laptops will also give you a much more responsive and fluid gaming experience, with high refresh rate and low response time displays helping to reduce input lag, ghosting, and screen tearing, which can be a real problem on non-gaming laptops.
Gaming laptops are also future proofed where non-gaming laptops aren’t. With a powerful graphics chip, the best gaming laptops of today will still be able to play the latest games in years to come. While they might not be able to hit the highest detail settings anymore, non-gaming laptops without a decent GPU just don’t be able to play them at all.
Who Makes The Best Gaming Laptops?
Modern gaming laptops are more mainstream, with many of the players in all-purpose laptops having a contender among gaming systems, too. You’ll also find a number of brands that specialize in systems fine-tuned for gaming.
The best brands for gaming laptops today include Razer, Asus, Acer, Dell Alienware, MSI and Lenovo. Most of these manufacturers have gaming laptop lines, but some also have options not branded as for “gaming” that can capably play games as well. Some companies focus on designs that are both lightweight and powerful, while others go all-in with more powerful systems that can rival some gaming desktops.
Do I Really Need A Gaming Laptop?
Gaming laptops aren’t a necessity for anyone, especially if you don’t do much gaming at all. In fact, if you don’t plan to use your new laptop primarily for gaming, you’ll get a lot more value for money by looking at more mainstream laptops without a dedicated GPU: Their battery life is better and they tend to have more vibrant displays designed for movies and office work.
If you are a gamer, though, and want to spend most of your time on your laptop gaming, then you should definitely consider it. The latest gaming laptops offer amazing performance that rivals some powerful desktops, and they almost all come with fast displays so you get a smoother and more responsive gaming experience.
Gaming laptops also come with handy features like smart power switching technologies that maximize efficiency and performance so make sure your games are playing at their best without sapping too much battery life or outputting too much heat. Speaking of which, most gaming laptops have excellent cooling, too, to make sure your system stays relatively cool and doesn’t get too noisy while playing (although some gaming laptops can still get loud).
Most gaming laptops have good quality keyboards too, since a responsive keyboard can make all the difference in some games. Still you may want to add an external gaming keyboard and also a gaming mouse as touchpad gaming is notoriously difficult.
What CPU Do You Need For Gaming?
Intel and AMD are the main processor brands used for any computer, and the only two you want for a gaming computer. Their chips have gone through huge revolutions in design and performance potential in recent years. Chips continue to gain in efficiency and battery life is better than ever.
Although CPU performance isn’t the keystone of gaming performance it once was, it’s still important to have a good CPU, and some games, like F1 22 and Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) that really benefit from it.
The specific performance of the CPU in your laptop will depend as much on the system’s cooling as it will the CPU model, but as a general rule, you want a gaming laptop with a recent-generation CPU. For AMD laptops, that’s a Ryzen 4000, 5000, or 6000 chip. For Intel, it’s 11th or 12th generation. In both cases, though, you’ll get a much better CPU if you can stick to the AMD Ryzen 6000 and Intel 12th-generation ranges, as they made big leaps in performance and efficiency over their predecessors.
The types of games you play has a big impact on the type of processor you need. If you’re a casual gamer or playing simpler indie games, then you likely won’t need anything too powerful.