For long, laptop computers were a convenient way to do your work on the go, surf the internet, or watch a movie without being tied to your desk. PC gaming was reserved for their desktop counterparts. However, with the advancement of technology, smaller chips, lighter hardware, more efficient graphic cards, and the introduction of SSD hard disks, laptops are now packing enough power to stand toe-to-toe with any desktop computer when it comes to hardcore gaming.
A laptop for gaming even offers some significant advantages. Most of all, comfortability, mobility, and the chance to take your gaming with you wherever you go. On the downside, they are usually more expensive than similar desktop configurations and often lack the options to customize and upgrade. For these reasons, you need to be extra careful when trying to shop for the best gaming laptop. You need to make sure that the chosen machine will serve you for at least a few years since you won’t be able to improve it that much. At the same time, you have to think about your budget but still want to end up with one of the top gaming laptops.
To make this task easier on you, we tested many most prominent PC laptops for gaming and compiled a list of the best or them, sorted in four. budget tiers.
- What Are the Best Laptops Brands
- The Best Gaming Laptops Available Today
- Best Gaming Laptop Under $2000
- Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500
- Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000
- Best Gaming Laptop Under $500
- How We Test Gaming Laptops
- How to Find the Right Gaming Laptop
What Are the Best Laptops Brands
But first, let’s see what are the best laptop brands. Pay attention to the fact that some of the best brands are not that suitable for gamers. For example, there’s no denying the quality of Apple laptops, but if gaming is your priority, then they are probably not the best solution. On the other hand, some brands are not that widely known but are specialized in gaming and produce beastly machines that easily handle even the most demanding games.
The Best Gaming Laptops Available Today
Best Gaming Laptop Under $2000
1. Sager NP8378F2 17.3-Inch FHD 144Hz G-Sync Gaming Laptop
Good gaming laptops
The pride of Sager’s premium gaming laptop lineup, NP8378F2 will significantly set you back financially, but you’ll find out that it’s more than worth the money.
Everything about this laptop screams quality. It’s equipped with a 10th generation i7-10875H processor which can be boosted to bypass 5.0 GHz clock speeds. 8 powerful cores helped with 64GB of RAM it will make even the most demanding games run smoothly in 4k resolution.
GPU unit is not too far behind with NVidia’s GeForce RTX 2070 Super Series which is a gold standard in today’s gaming. For a laptop of this power and size, NP837F2 is surprisingly thin and light. This was made possible by thinner bezels that allow for a screen this big in a smaller frame. Additionally, this laptop supports up to 3 additional displays which can be essential for modern gaming as well as creative work. The keyboard is flawless, with N-key rollover and RBG colored keys. 3 USB 3.2 ports and Wi-Fi 6 networking technology ensure that you’ll have no issues connecting to other devices or players.
2. Dell Alienware M15 15.6 Inch FHD Gaming Laptop
Alienware laptops for gaming
Another high-end gaming laptop on our list, Alienware M15 is known as the “thinnest 15-inch laptop ever” and brings everything you may want from your gaming machine. 8h Gen I7 processor and 32GB DRR Ram are more than enough to provide a smooth and comfortable gaming experience and support multitasking if needed.
Full HD 15.6 inches 144 Hz screen has anti-glare features and is a delight to work on. Beautiful honeycomb-like chassis made of magnesium alloy is strong, sturdy, and provides excellent airflow capacity. Keyboard ahs RBG RGB customizable lighting for every key and Precision pad will serve you just fine in the absence of a mouse. Hig connectivity is ensured by several ports including USB 3.1, HDMI, Mini-Display port, Thunderbolt port, and Noble Lock port.
Best Gaming Laptop Under $1500
1. Asus TUF A15 Gaming Laptop 15.6″ 144Hz
Best asus gaming laptop
Although it lacks some of the power of the more expensive models Asus TUF 15 offers plenty of for its reasonable price. It’s capable of smoothly running the latest games on normal settings in native resolution. While it looks a bit robust, it’s very sturdy, stable, and durable. It also has an upper hand on high-end models in several categories, most importantly battery life, which according to our testing can last up to six and a half hours. More than enough for a decent gaming session. It has AMD Octa-Core Ryzen 7 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX1660 Ti graphic chipset, but it’s highly customizable, so you can upgrade some of the components to get even more punch. For example, you can fit Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU if you are looking for even more advanced graphics and ray-tracing capabilities.
2. MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062 15.6″ FHD
144hz gaming laptop
MSI GL65 Leopard will provide you with an opportunity to do some serious gaming while avoiding paying a premium price. Powerful 10th Gen Intel Core I7 processor will make sure that you can run your games without a hitch even if you have other apps such as Chrome open in the background.
Full HD 144 Hz IPS display with the support of Nvidia RTX 2070 is there to see that you don’t experience any lag while fighting the crucial battles. You can rarely find this kind of specs at this price and still have an SSD 512 GB hard disk and Hi-res audio. Additionally, this Leopard has thin bezels for more screen real estate and multiple ports for connecting with other devices. Keyboard has per-key lighting making it easier to play even in the complete dark.
Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000
1. MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-252 15. 6″ 120Hz Gaming Laptop
Best budget gaming laptop
MSI GF65 Thin is an upgrade over the previous model GF63 and although it’s one of the cheaper MSI’s gaming machines, it still packs enough power to deal with the latest games. As its name says, Gf65’s main draw is the design. Slick, thin, and very light, it’s a laptop that you can carry with you no matter where you are. The keyboard is simple with three levels of the red backlight, but it’s comfortable enough to serve you well even during multi-hour sessions.
Under the hood, you’ll find Intel Core I7 CPU and NVidia GTX graphics which are a norm in this price range. It also boasts a 1080p IPS display with a 120 Hz refresh rate. Battery should serve you for about four and a half hours of normal usage, but if you’re running a game that time drops significantly. So you’ll probably want to do your gaming while plugged in.
2. HP OMEN 15.6″ FHD IPS High Performance Gaming Laptop
Affordable laptop for gaming
If you’re looking for an all-round gaming laptop, capable of running the latest games but also performing at a high level at other tasks, HP Omen with 15.6″ display is the one for you. although it’s not very light, or thin for that matter, Omen still manages to look attractive and stylish.
For a price of under $1000, it brings more than enough power to satisfy your demands. 9th Gen Intel Core I5 processor and Nvidia GTX 1650 graphic chipset, may not be in line with the offerings of premium gaming machines, but they still provide smooth gaming without any lag. Multiple ports and WI-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are there for easy pairing with any device. 15-inch Omen is also available with AMD chipsets or RTX NVidia GPU, but at a higher price.
3. Acer Nitro 5 15.6 FHD Gaming Laptop
Gaming laptops acer
Although you won’t be able to run AAA games on ultra settings, Acer Nitro 5 will provide more than enough performance capabilities for casual gaming and any other task you may ask of it. It features more than satisfying the 9th Gen I5 Intel Core processor and NVidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU which have enough power to run most of the mainstream games on at least medium settings. this means that you’ll have no problem playing Fortnite, Rocket League, or Sims 4, for example. 15.6″ display has a 144 Hz refresh rate that is rarely seen in this class of laptops. It has all of the usual ports and connectivity options. It’s also surprisingly light and boasts a stylish design.
Best Gaming Laptop Under $500
1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14″ Laptop
Best gaming laptop cheap
Lenovo IdeaPad is perfect for users that are looking for the laptop for various daily tasks, but still want to engage in gaming now and then without breaking the bank. The smaller screen may not be the best option for gamers but it still comes with 1080p resolution so all the details in your favorite game will be clearly visible. AMD Ryzen 5 3500 processor and integrated graphics will handle most of the games except true premium titles. Battery life is impressive, and it can last up to 7 and a half hours. IdeaPad has all of the usual ports and connection features.
2. HP 14″ Touchscreen Laptop Computer
Touchscreen Laptop with AMD Processor
This is the first touch screen on our list. And while it lacks the power to run premium games, the touchscreen makes it possible to play some of the latest games that utilize these features. AMD Ryzen 3 processor and AMD Radeon Vega 3 GPU will enable you to play even some of the more demanding games albeit on lower settings. The basic version has only 8GB of DDR4 RAM memory, but you can opt for one with up to 32 GB. SSD hard drive will provide fast boot, but 256GB of storage may be a bit too small considering the size of modern games. However, the multitasking capabilities of this laptop are unmatched. So, if gaming is not your strict priority, this laptop may be the right pick for you.
3. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
Light and Thin Gaming Laptop
Another laptop that perhaps won’t satisfy hardcore gamers, but offers more than enough to the casual ones. Especially since most of the value of this laptop is concentrated in internal components, rather than chassis and build. AMD Ryzen 3 processor and AMD Radeon Vega 3 graphic chipset make for an excellent all-round performance even though it will struggle with some of the more demanding games. The good news is that this laptop is highly customizable so you may use it as a good starting point at this price and upgrade some of the components to make it more gaming-capable.
How We Test Gaming Laptops
Every laptop on this list (and plenty that haven’t made it) was put through the same testing process. The goal was, first of all, to determine how will it handle the latest and the most popular gaming titles. But, also how will it behave while doing it. Even if the computer’s hardware can support the most demanding games, it’s not of much use if it overheats, is too loud, has a subpar screen, or poor battery life.
We ran these machines though benchmarks (#DMark for example) while playing several games, but didn’t keep it just at that. We also used recognized benchmark tests such as Geekbench to determine processing power and performance. Also, we ran overnight battery tests with unplugged laptops and brightness set at 200 nits and cycled through various websites such as Twitch to check how long until it runs out of juice. We have also assessed the noise and heat levels while working under maximum load. Lastly, we check for sturdiness, build quality, and general feel of every gaming computer laptop tested.
How to Find the Right Gaming Laptop
Purchasing a gaming laptop, obviously, presents a significant investment. Especially if you want the machine that will have no problem supporting all the latest games. And, as we all know, every year we see new games appear demanding even more power and better performance. So, if you want a computer that will serve you for a decent amount of time be careful and think hard. Furthermore, every one of us has its preferred game genre and a specific gaming style. For example, if you plan on only playing Minecraft, you will do just fine with a regular run-of-the-mill laptop.
You should take it all into account when trying to decide on best buy gaming laptops. Here are several factors you should pay attention to while searching for the best gaming laptop deals.
The current laptop market is overflowing with options for gamers. And, every manufacturer is touting their own models, promising unrivaled performance and power. Still, getting the right gaming laptop is not as simple as just looking at the specs and price and ordering the chosen version. You have to be careful and take into account numerous factors, many of which we have mentioned above.
If you’re a hardcore gamer, you’ll need a hardcore machine. Playing AAA titles will certainly set you back financially and take a big chunk out of your budget. There are truly sensational gaming laptops out there like Sager NP8378F2 or Alienware M15, but as you can see quality comes with a price. On the other hand, deciding to pull the trigger on one of the best gaming laptops will give you peace of mind in knowing that you’ll be able to run any game you desire and won’t need an upgrade for a foreseeable time.
But, not all of us are obsessed with gaming. If you’re looking for an all-round laptop to perform the usual daily tasks, but still like and enjoy gaming at a moderate level, there’s no reason to spend all that money. Mid-tier laptops, such as MSI GF65 or HP Omen will do just fine. Don’t be fooled, even though they do not pack as much power as those in $1500 + category, they still provide excellent performance, durability, and comfortability.
You may, also, belong in the third category. Working people or students that primarily use their computers for work, internet surfing, and multimedia, but like to play a game every once in a while. If so, then you should look at the budget category below $500 and models like Acer Aspire 5 or Lenovo IdeaPad 3.
The list we put together above covers all of these categories and provides a good starting point for gaming laptop shopping. We tested a number of laptops that didn’t make the list but tried to make sure that the ones that are on it have the right combination of quality and value.