Best gaming laptops in 2021


Included in this guide:

1

Razer

Blade 15

2

Asus

ROG Zephyrus G14

3
Razer Blade 14 gaming laptop

Razer

Blade 14

4
Razer Blade 14 gaming laptop

Dell

G3 15

5
MSI GS66 Stealth RTX 3080

MSI

GS66 Stealth

6
Asus Rog Strix Scar 17 gaming laptop

Asus

ROG Strix Scar 17

7
Asus Rog Strix Scar 17 gaming laptop

Acer

Predator Helios 300

Razer and MSI gaming laptops on a blue background

(Image credit: Razer, MSI)

The only drawback to modern laptops is that they aren’t as easy to upgrade. Modern gaming laptops are svelte, fast, and light enough to tuck under your arm and take with you wherever you go, so you don’t have to rely on a so-called desktop replacement machine—those uncomfortably bulky notebooks that would break your knees if you used one on your lap—modern gaming laptops are svelte, fast, and light enough to tuck under your arm and take with you wherever you go. The best gaming laptops allow you to play high-end PC games on the go.

All of the features found in large desktop gaming rigs are included in the latest models, including powerful multicore CPUs, the latest Nvidia RTX 30-series and AMD Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs, as well as fast NVMe SSDs, plenty of RAM, and high-resolution, super high-refresh screens. On some models, you can even get mechanical keyboards, though we still recommend getting a proper keyboard and mouse for serious gaming.

In these silicon-starved times, there’s actually some good news for laptops: they’re often the quickest way to get the best gaming hardware—hello, GeForce RTX 3080. Stock levels have been good as well, though supply is starting to dwindle as we get closer to the times when manufacturers like to release newer models.

Check out the best budget hotels if you’re on a tight budget. While high-end gaming laptops can be costly, there are plenty of less expensive alternatives.

cheap gaming laptop dealsOver the years, we’ve tested hundreds of gaming laptops and keep this guide up to date with the latest models. .. Whatever you’re looking for in a laptop, you should be able to find it right here. The laptops listed below stand out as having the best combination of performance, portability, and price.

Best gaming laptops

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: RAZER)

Image 2 of 4

(Image credit: RAZER)

Image 3 of 4

(Image credit: RAZER)

Image 4 of 4

(Image credit: RAZER)

1. Razer Blade 15

The best gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU:
10th Gen Intel Core i7
GPU:
Up to Nvidia RTX 3080 Max-Q
RAM:
Up to 32 GB
Screen:
1080p @ 360 Hz, 1440p @ 165 Hz, or 4K @ 60 Hz are all viable options.
Storage:
Up to 1 TB SSD
Battery:
80 Wh
Dimensions:
Dimensions: 9.25 x 13.98 x 0.78 inches
Weight:
4.63 lbs

Reasons to buy

+Unparalleled build quality


+Wide range of CPU/GPU options


+Looks as good as it performs


+Great battery life

Reasons to avoid

Not the fastest RTX 3080 SKU


Trackpad can be awkward

Our favorite config:

Of course, the RTX 3080 is the big boi, but the Nvidia RTX 3070 will deliver fantastic frame rates in this slimline chassis, especially at the native 1080p res of the 144Hz screen. A 512GB NVMe SSD and 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM are also included.View Deal

The Razer Blade 15’s latest iteration improves on one of the best gaming laptops ever created. It has the same beautiful CNC-milled aluminum chassis as its predecessor, but it can now accommodate one of Nvidia’s latest RTX 30-series GPUs as well as an Intel 10th Gen CPU.

These new models boost graphics processing even more, with up to an 8GB RTX 3080 supported, which is incredible in such a small chassis. And we fell head over heels in love all over again. We tested the Razer Blade 15 Advanced, which features a 10th Gen Intel processor and a RTX 3080 (95W) GPU. Because of the slimline design, there will be some throttling, but this beautiful machine will still provide excellent performance.

One of the best aspects of the Blade 15 is its portability. number of configurationsIt’s one of the most attractive gaming laptops on the market, and it’s still quite powerful. Razer has made an offer for it. There’s something for almost everyone, from the GTX 1660 Ti Base Edition to the RTX 3080 Advanced with OLED 4K panel.

We believe the Razer Blade 15 is the best gaming laptop on the market right now, regardless of configuration, though you will pay a premium for the now-classic design.

Read our full Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition (2020) review.

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: ROG)

Image 2 of 4

(Image credit: ROG)

Image 3 of 4

(Image credit: ROG)

Image 4 of 4

(Image credit: ROG)

2. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The best laptop for raw processing power

Specifications
CPU:
Up to AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
GPU:
Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Max-Q
RAM:
16 GB DDR4-3200
Screen:
14-inch IPS 1080p @ 120 Hz
Storage:
1 TB SSD NVMe PCIe 3.0
Battery:
75 Wh
Dimensions:
The dimensions are 12.76 x 8.74 x 0.70 inches.
Weight:
3.53 lbs

Reasons to buy

+Incredible CPU performance


+Beautifully vibrant screen


+Gorgeous design and materials

Reasons to avoid

Looks a bit plasticky


Can be loud when pushed

Our favorite config:


Ryzen 9 5900HS | RTX 3060 | Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
This combination of the new Ryzen 9 5900HS and the RTX 3060 results in a fantastic gaming laptop with plenty of raw CPU and gaming power. You get 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for game storage, all housed in one of the most intelligent chassis available.View Deal

When all you need is something light and quick, that’s fine. Not everyone requires the lightest and most powerful gaming laptop available. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 strikes a good balance between portability, performance, and price. The original machine was an impressive RTX 2060 Max-Q notebook, whose incredible AMD CPU performance impressed our top-secret PC Gamer lab’s dedicated team of hardware testers.

The G14 is still a fantastic laptop, especially now that the RTX 3060 is available in that clever chassis. Despite being loud, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a reliable 14-inch system with high-end graphics that can compete with some gaming desktops.

Read the full Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review.

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Razer )

Image 2 of 4

(Image credit: Future)

Image 3 of 4

(Image credit: Razer )

Image 4 of 4

(Image credit: Razer )

3. Razer Blade 14

The most desirable compact gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU:
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
GPU:
Up to Nvidia RTX 3080
RAM:
16 GB DDR4-3200
Screen:
1080p @ 144 Hz or 1440p @ 165 Hz 14-inch
Storage:
1 TB Samsung 981a SSD
Battery:
61.6 Wh
Dimensions:
The dimensions are 0.66 x 8.66 x 12.59 inches.
Weight:
3.92 lb

Reasons to buy

+Looks great


+Outstanding build quality


+Excellent all-round performance


+Ultra-portable ultrabook style

Reasons to avoid

Only way to bag a Razer Ryzen


Pricey for 1080p gaming


Higher-spec GPUs will sacrifice performance

Our favorite config:


Razer Blade 14 | Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3060 | 144Hz Razer Blade 14 | Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3060 | 144Hz
As far as we’re concerned, this is the ultimate Blade 14 configuration. It also has workstation processing power thanks to the AMD CPU’s eight cores and 16 threads. It’s the cheapest, but it also pairs the RTX 3060 GPU with a 1080p, 144Hz display for excellent gaming performance. View Deal

The Blade 14 is noticeably smaller than the 15-inch Blade and more akin to the ultrabook Stealth 13, with a matte black MacBook Pro-style design and genuine PC gaming pedigree. In the second slot, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 reintroduced the criminally under-used laptop size, but Razer has perfected it. I’m tempted to move the Razer Blade 14 to the top of the list simply because the 14-inch screen size has completely won me over.

The Razer design is timeless, and it feels great in the hand. And, with the excellent AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX finally making its way into a Blade notebook, you’re getting real processing power that you can sling into a messenger bag.

When you throw in some Nvidia RTX 30-series graphics power, you’ve got a fantastic mix of form and function that makes it the most desirable laptop I’ve ever tested.

However, you’re not buying the Blade 14 for its outright performance; rather, it’s about having all the power you need in a form factor that allows for practical mobility. My only concern is that the RTX 3080 would be restricted by the 14-inch chassis and would be noisy. So I’d recommend the lower-spec GPU options, though $1,800 for a notebook seems excessive for 1080p gaming.

Read the full Razer Blade 14 review.

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Dell)

Image 2 of 4

(Image credit: Dell)

Image 3 of 4

(Image credit: Dell)

Image 4 of 4

(Image credit: Dell)

4. Dell G3 15

The best gaming laptop on a budget with a long battery life

Specifications
CPU:
Up to 10th Gen Intel Core i7
GPU:
Up to Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti
RAM:
16GB
Screen:
15.6-inch IPS 1080p @ 144 Hz
Storage:
512 GB SSD
Battery:
51 Wh
Dimensions:
0.85 x 14.4 x 10 inches
Weight:
5.40 lb

Reasons to buy

+Affordable configuration options


+Good battery life


+Powerful laptop

Reasons to avoid

When compared to the more expensive thin and light options, this one is a little chunky.

Our favorite config:


Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti | Dell G3 15 | Intel Core i5
The 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM are underwhelming, but the 120Hz display is fantastic, and the price is excellent. The superior GTX 1650 Ti GPU is only a few dollars more than the cheapest $699 configuration. It isn’t the most powerful GPU on the market, but it is inexpensive, readily available, and capable of delivering decent 1080p frame rates for the money. View Deal

Thankfully, the Dell G3 15 offers good 1080p gaming for under $1,000, and the battery life is actually quite good. Compromises must be made in areas such as performance, design, and even battery life. Let’s face it, finding a good gaming laptop on a budget can be difficult.

The sleeker design, which features thinner bezels around a 144Hz display, gives it a more high-end feel. The only drawback appears to be the display, which lacks the same color range as the other gaming laptops on this list. If you’re looking for a gaming laptop that doesn’t scream “gamer” as soon as you take it out of your bag, this is a welcome change. The slimmer, sleeker design is the most significant improvement over the previous model.

Best Razer laptop for gaming | Best Acer laptop for gaming | Best MSI laptop for gaming| Best gaming keyboard | Best gaming mouse | Best gaming chair

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: MSI)

Image 2 of 4

(Image credit: MSI)

Image 3 of 4

(Image credit: MSI)

Image 4 of 4

(Image credit: MSI)

5. MSI GS66 Stealth

The most stylish gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU:
Up to Core i9 10980HK
GPU:
Up to Nvidia RTX 3080
RAM:
Up to 32 GB DDR4-3200
Screen:
15.6-inch 1080p 240Hz or 300Hz
Storage:
Up to 2 TB M.2 SSD
Battery:
99.9 Wh
Dimensions:
The dimensions are 9.65 x 14.17 x 0.71 inches.
Weight:
4.63 lbs

Reasons to buy

+Sleek and powerful


+Long battery life


+1440p options on the way

Reasons to avoid

Gets loud


Slim chassis compromises fps

Our favorite config:


MSI GS66 Stealth | Intel i7 | RTX 3070
There’s no avoiding the fact that this is a large number of laptops for a large sum of money. The RTX 3070 is a capable gaming GPU, and the 300Hz 1080p screen will help you maximize its performance. With 64GB RAM and a 2TB SSD to back it up, this thin-and-light gaming laptop feels slick and quick thanks to the Max-Q 3.0 features.View Deal

To fit something as powerful as an RTX 3080 into an 18mm thin chassis, MSI had to be a little frugal with its power demands. The MSI GS66 is a beast: it’s sleek, slick, and incredibly powerful. However, Nvidia Ampere’s power does not come without a cost.

The top GPU is the 95W model, which only just beats out a fully unlocked RTX 3070 like the one found in the Gigabyte Aorus 15G XC. However, it remains an incredibly powerful piece of mobile graphics silicon.

If left to its own devices, it can become quite loud, but thankfully you have access to all of the Nvidia Max-Q 3.0 features. That includes Whisper Mode 2.0, which reduces gaming to barely audible levels for those times when you need to be stealthy.

Sure, you’ll have to make some concessions compared to a hulking workstation with an RTX 3080, but the MSI GS66 Stealth is a true slimline gaming laptop. The GS66 also features a stunning 240Hz 1440p panel that perfectly complements the powerful GPU in games.

Read our full MSI GS66 Stealth review.

Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Asus)

Image 2 of 3

(Image credit: Asus)

Image 3 of 3

(Image credit: Asus)

6. Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

The best big-screen gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU:
UP to AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
GPU:
Up to Nvidia RTX 3080
RAM:
Up to 32 GB DDR4-3200
Screen:
17.3-inch 1080p @ 360Hz or 1440p @ 165Hz
Storage:
Up to 2x 1 TB M.2 SSD
Battery:
90 Wh
Dimensions:
The dimensions are 11.1 x 15.55 x 0.92 inches.
Weight:
5.95 lbs

Reasons to buy

+Flashy but not obnoxious


+Opto-mechanical keyboard


+Quiet cooling


+Incredible screen refresh rate


+Fantastic battery

Reasons to avoid

17-inch screen makes it large

Our favorite config:


Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3080 | Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
This is portable gaming nirvana, with an overclocked Ryzen 9 5900HX and GeForce RTX 3080 forming an incredibly powerful core, all connected to a 360Hz 1080p display. Yes, it’s pricey, but this is where high-end gaming ends. This beast of a laptop is unrivaled in terms of performance. View Deal

There’s no doubt that you can get a much more sensible gaming laptop than the ROG Strix Scar 17, but there’s something about the ROG Strix Scar 17’s excesses that makes it incredibly appealing. From the overclocked CPU—which is as beastly as it gets—to the gorgeously fast 360Hz screen, it feels like everything has been turned up to 11; Asus has pushed that little bit harder than most to top our gaming laptop benchmarks.

This is the 115W version of Nvidia’s top Ampere GPU, meaning it can achieve figures that thinner machines can only dream of. And it does so by topping the benchmarks of the best gaming laptops, thanks in large part to the GeForce RTX 3080 at its heart. You can also use Nvidia’s excellent DLSS, if it’s enabled, to help you hit insane framerates.

Because of the extra space, Asus was able to fit an optomechanical keyboard onto the Scar 17, which is ideal for gaming and other serious tasks. The 17-inch chassis also gives the components more breathing room than the competition, and when combined with the excellent cooling system, you’ve got yourself a cool and quiet slice of gaming perfection.

Read the full Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 G733 review.

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: ACER)

Image 2 of 4

(Image credit: ACER)

Image 3 of 4

(Image credit: ACER)

Image 4 of 4

(Image credit: ACER)

7. Acer Predator Helios 300

A quality, affordable 240Hz gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i7 10750H
GPU:
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q
RAM:
16 GB DDR4-2666
Screen:
15.6-inch IPS 1080p @ 240 Hz
Storage:
512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Battery:
58 Wh
Dimensions:
The dimensions are 10.01 x 14.23 x 0.9 inches.
Weight:
5.51 lbs

Reasons to buy

+Great performance for price


+Decent battery life


+Room for 2 x SSDs, 1 x HDD

Reasons to avoid

Average CPU performance

Your next machine
(Image credit: Future)


Best gaming PC
: the top pre-built machines from the prosBest gaming laptop: perfect notebooks for mobile gaming

The Helios 2020 features an RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU and a slimmer form factor without significantly increasing the price. It isn’t the best gaming laptop, but it is one of the most cost-effective. During the GTX 10-series era, we adored Acer’s Predator Helios 300, and the current generation Helios continues to punch above its weight class when compared to other $1,500 laptops.

The only real flaw is the small SSD, but the laptop has slots for two more SSDs and an HDD, so upgrading your storage is as simple as picking up a screwdriver. The Helios 300 has a 240Hz IPS screen and smaller bezels, making it more in line with sleek thin-and-lights than its previous generation’s bulkier brethren.

Read our full Acer Predator Helios 300 review.

Gaming laptop FAQ

What’s the most important gaming laptop component?

Because GPU performance is now so reliant on cooling, it’s important to know what wattage a graphics card can handle and what chassis it can fit into. When it comes to gaming, the graphics card is the obvious answer, but things have recently gotten a little more complicated.

As previously stated, an RTX 3080 crammed into an 18mm chassis will perform significantly worse than one housed in a much larger case with more room for high-performance cooling.

Should I be concerned about the CPU in a gaming laptop?

An AMD Ryzen processor with eight cores and 16 threads will let you do a lot of work on the go, but it won’t help you much in terms of gaming. That’s one of the reasons Intel released the Tiger Lake H35 processors; they’re quad-core, eight-thread CPUs with high clock speeds that can deliver high-end gaming performance when paired with the RTX 3070. What you want to do with your laptop will determine this.

What is the best screen size for a gaming laptop?

A 13-inch display will be a thin-and-light ultrabook, whereas a 17-inch display will almost certainly be a workstation. The size of your laptop is largely determined by the size of your screen. This will, without a doubt, have the biggest impact on the build you choose. You’re looking at the most common size of gaming laptop screen, which is 15 inches.

Is it worthwhile to invest in high-refresh-rate panels for laptops?

While you can’t guarantee your RTX 3060 will deliver 300 frames per second in the latest games, you’ll notice a difference in overall look and feel when using a 300Hz display.

Should I buy a laptop with a 4K display?

No way. Because of the standard 1080p resolution, even slower mobile GPUs can almost always achieve high frame rates, while 1440p panels are slowly making their way into laptop lineups. 4K gaming laptops are overkill; they’re fine for on-the-go video editing if you’re working with 4K content, but they’re not the best choice for gaming.

A 1440p screen is the ideal combination of high resolution and good gaming performance. A 4K notebook, on the other hand, will overwork your GPU and strain your eyes as you squint at your 15-inch display.

Where are the AMD graphics cards?

However, AMD has stated that the RX 6000 and Big Navi mobile GPUs will be available in gaming laptops in the first half of this year, but we have yet to see them in the labs. We’ll take your guess as good as ours. The RX 5000-series cards were available in a few gaming laptop SKUs, but they were scarce.