A world of gaming laptops can be a tricky thing to navigate. With specs that often read like someone smashing their face against a keyboard and lots of different brands competing for your wallet, it can be difficult to choose the right laptop. So we̵7;ve done the research for you and limited the best of the best laptops out there based on price, features and performance.
What to look for in a gaming laptop
There can be a lot to review when it comes to laptops, but these are the most important things to keep in mind.
- Specifications / Performance: When it comes to games, the specifications are important. The reason “gaming laptops” is a term used today is that you need at least a decent graphics card (GPU) and processor (CPU) to run modern titles, and a lot of RAM as well (8 GB RAM is an absolute minimum, with 16 GB or more is usually recommended). It can be difficult to sort through all the specifications, but if you do not know computer hardware, then you can be sure that our choices have specifications and performance that match their price.
- Build quality: Gaming laptops are expensive, so you want to make sure they are built to last. A slightly cracked or damaged outer shell simply means a laptop that stops working earlier.
- Show: There are three important things to watch out for when it comes to portable screens: size, resolution and refresh rate. The size is self-explanatory, but it is important to note that the screen size is the most important thing that determines how big the laptop is in general. All choices on this list have either 1080p or 4K resolutions, but while 4K is nice to have, performance running games with the highest resolution affects. The refresh rate is quite simple, it just represents what frame rate the screen can, well, display. 60 Hz and 120 Hz are the most common for gaming laptops and display 60 FPS and 120 FPS respectively.
- Storage options: The two types of storage to watch out for are SSDs (SSDs) and hard drives (HDDs) – remember that SSDs deliver faster charging times while hard drives are cheaper. There are also non-volatile SSDs (NVMEs), which guarantee even faster charging times. The minimum storage space you want in a laptop game is 512 GB, but more is obviously preferred.
Best for most people: Acer Predator Helios 300
As a general choice, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is sure to make all players happy. The combined power of the Intel i7-1075H CPU, GeForce RTX 2060 GPU and 16 GB of RAM will run most games without any problems. It has 512 GB of NVMe storage and a 1080p, 15.3-inch screen with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. While the Helios 300 does not really offer anything amazing or unique, it is a solid laptop that handles most if not all of the games you throw at it.
Best for most people
Another good choice: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
Zephyrus G14 is another midrange that will handle most modern titles. The AMD Ryzen 7 CPU and GeForce GTX 1650 GPU are a good combination here, and there are plenty of storage options to choose from. You can also choose how much RAM you want (from 8 to 24 GB), ranging from 8 GB to 24 GB. Throw in the 14-inch 1080p screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate and a sleek aluminum chassis, and this laptop offers some great features for Award.
You can even program the top shell to display custom images or messages with its LED panel. And all of this is wrapped in a narrow shell 0.70 inches thick, so if you’re looking for something more portable at a decent price, this is it.
Slim but powerful: Razer Blade Stealth 13
Razer’s range of Blade laptops offer good performance for the price, and the Stealth line introduces a surprisingly thin but robust frame to house the impressive hardware. This laptop is only 0.60 inches thick, so it’s perfect for portability. The screen is a 1080p 13.3-inch 120 Hz panel that can also be upgraded to 4K if you do not mind an extra cost, downgrading to 60 Hz and lowering the battery life.
The hardware inside the Blade Stealth 13 does not disappoint either. Intel Core i7 processor combined with GeForce 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU and 16 GB RAM should easily handle most modern games with grace. The blade is also equipped with a 512 GB SSD and a fully customizable RGB keyboard.
Narrow but powerful
Best budget option: Acer Nitro 5
At just under $ 800, the Nitro 5 is the cheapest laptop on this list and is of course also the least powerful. While the Intel Core i5 CPU and GTX 1650 GPU will not blow you away, it is enough to squeeze out a decent performance in most games. 60 Hz, 1080p 15.6-inch screen covers most people’s needs and on the whole you get good specifications for the price. In addition to all this, the Acer Nitro 5 also packs away 512 GB of SSD storage and 8 GB of RAM.
While these aren’t great deals with specs that go far beyond the price range if you can’t afford the more extravagant options, the Nitro 5 is still a laptop.
A Configurable Beast: Alienware M17 R3
M17 R3 has a few different versions with different levels of specifications. And while the base model has specifications for running modern games, it does not have the space to store them with its 256 GB NVMe SSD. So we linked to the cheapest model that has at least 512 GB of storage. That means you get a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU and Intel Core i7 CPU under the hood – more than enough to run virtually any game. That model also comes with 16 GB of RAM and a 17-inch 1080p 144 Hz screen so that it covers all bases well, but if you want to get crazier, Alienware will definitely let you get crazier.
The highest specification of this laptop is first class with an Intel Core i9 processor and a GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU. This is a complete exaggeration (and not the last time we see that combination) but if you want to chase the top of the totem pole, Alienware gives a way. There is also the Alienware M15 R3 which offers the same specification options but with a 15-inch screen and a slightly lower price tag.
Exaggeration: MSI GT76 Titan DT
This laptop is the highest price point, the specifications on it are top of the line, and it would be difficult for anyone to push it beyond its limits when it comes to gaming. The GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU and Intel Core i9 CPU are some of the best available, not to mention 64 GB of RAM (which can be upgraded to 128 GB manually) and 2 TB of NVMe SSD storage. The screen is also suitably crazy at 17.3 inches and outputs a 4K image at 240 Hz.
MSI calls this laptop “Desktop Killer” and even if it’s just a marketing period, it’s also true. This laptop will easily compete with other advanced gaming computers. It’s even equipped with lots of customizable RGB lighting to boot. While most people really do not need a laptop so powerful, hey, it’s always nice to have the option.