For your gaming experience, purchasing the best gaming laptop can be a landmark moment. If you have gaming without a dedicated card graphics laptop, having one of the best gaming laptops can give you better frame rates and greater detail settings in-game. You can suddenly take your games with you everywhere you go, playing on a train or plane at will, if you’re a pc gamer. And you can enjoy a higher resolution screen, a better keyboard, and battery life that’s not measured in minutes if you’ve been playing on an older gaming laptop.
Compared to their predecessors, today’s best gaming laptops are made with lightweight chassis, have decent keyboards, enjoy good battery life, and deliver the kind of efficiency that was only possible a few years ago on the most capable desktops. Even if you’re not set to spend thousands on a new gaming laptop, there’s something fantastic you can always get yourself. Affordable gaming laptops are also a big step up from last year’s equivalents.
Best Gaming Laptops in 2021
1. Razer Blade 15 – Best Gaming Laptop Overall
CPU: Eight-core Intel Core i7-10875H | Graphics: Nvidia RTX 2070 Super Max-Q Display: 15.6-inch, 300HZ, 1,920 x 1,080 | Battery: 80Wh
The initial pedigree of Razer may have been in gaming peripherals, but in 2020, and with good reason, its Blade laptops are some of the most beloved for gaming. The 2020 version of the Razer Blade provides a great balance of power and portability, like last year’s edition, with a 300Hz gaming-grade display that won’t keep your hardware back regardless of what you’re playing. If you’re a competitive player, the extra pace can also provide the competition with a small input lag advantage. It is not much, but it can make all the difference when every millisecond counts.
For its additional two cores and four threads, the Intel Core i7-10875H CPU is a notable improvement over its last-generation equivalent, making this CPU more future-proof for next-generation AAA games built with next-gen consoles in mind. They also assist with heavy alternative tasks such as video editing, which for enhanced transcoding efficiency, can really take advantage of those additional threads.
In this specific design, the Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q is not the most capable Razer provides and only improves by a few per cent on the last generation RTX 2070. It is still more than enough to play both esports and AAA games at excellent frame rates and comprehensive settings. If you want more, the RTX 2080 Max-Q is still there, but it’s much more expensive. There are more powerful gaming laptops available from other vendors, but they do not have the same overall unit as the Razer Blade.
At this screen size, the 1080p display is suitable for high-speed gaming. While there is a 4K OLED option, it is not recommended for this display size as it will not only be difficult to see the advantage, but you lose a lot of battery capacity, a trade not worth mentioning that the GPU will struggle to sustain good frame rates in AAA games at that resolution.
For a gaming laptop, battery performance is above average, with 80Wh supplying enough from a power socket with mixed-use for five to six hours.
2. Alienware Area-51M R2 – Most Powerful Gaming Laptop
CPU: 10 core Intel Core i9-10900K | Graphics: Nvidia RTX 2080 Super 8GB Display: 17.3-inch, 1080p, 360Hz; or 4K, 60Hz | Battery: 90Wh
17-inch laptops may be heavy, but with extra screen room to experience high-end graphics and extra physical space for higher-end hardware and cooling, they deliver the pinnacle of gaming performance. From its cutting-edge parts to its top-tier display choices, the Alienware Area-51M R2 embodies that ideal in every aspect of its architecture.
A laptop with Intel Core i9-10900K and the most powerful gaming processor ever made, and a massive Nvidia RTX 2080 Super with 8GB of GDDR6 RAM are included in this laptop. Only the latest generation of RTX 3000-series graphics chips and the 2080 Ti flagship of the last generation deliver better performance than that, and their power and thermal demands make them unlikely candidates any time soon for even the largest of laptops.
You often get a blazingly fast 360Hz 1080p display for the competitive gaming experience to take full advantage of this laptop’s capacity. However, if immersion and AAA games are more to your taste, there is also the option of a 4K 60Hz screen, which few laptops would expect to run at playable frame rates. Alienware Area-51M R2 is the laptop that can do this, and very comfortably. That being said, don’t assume this laptop to have a great battery life, as its high-end components can eat through it in just a few hours, even at 90Wh. The price is too high, but you can plan to pay for it when you buy the cutting edge.
The Alienware Area-51M R2 can, however, be upgraded. Via Dell’s upgrade kit program, you can change the CPU and GPU for same-generation component options, so if you want to save a little now and pay more later, you can still initially opt for a lower specification and boost performance down the road.
3. Dell XPS 15 – Best Stealth Gaming Laptop
CPU: Six-core Intel Core i7-10750H | Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p | Battery: 86Wh
The XPS 15 is a competent gaming device that you wouldn’t know with its sleek profile. This makes your next office upgrade a fantastic stealth game laptop, or just for a professional laptop, that will allow you to play games after business hours.
The XPS 15 9500 features an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU 10th generation with six centres and 12 thread support. It is not cutting-edge but still has the highest clock speed of any mobile Intel CPU released and provides much improved multi-threaded performance with more nodes than its 11th generation counterparts. It also matches the capable Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti, suitable for the development of superb 1080p gameplay.
There is also a 4K display option. Still, it will only tank your frame rates with this form of hardware and decrease your battery life, which is excellent on this model because of its use of lower-powered components and lack of outside lighting and accessories.
The display on the new XPS 15 is magical, as with all Dell XPS laptops, with superb colour accuracy, a wonderfully broad dynamic contrast. With such slender bezels, it is incredibly immersive while gaming. The choice of ports is also excellent, like USB-C and USB-A, as well as a pair of high-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports, allowing you to hold a more powerful external graphics card if you want better visuals and frame rates while playing. This computer is also perfect for gaming or working on the go at just four pounds. Just make sure to upgrade the storage if you want to have even more than many games downloaded at any particular time.
4. Razer Blade Stealth – Best Lightweight Gaming Laptop
CPU: Four core Intel Core i7-1165G7 | Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p, 120Hz | Battery: 53.1Wh
The 2020 model of Razer’s Blade Stealth retains its place in a supremely compact and lightweight chassis as a gaming laptop with great hardware. You will be unlikely to find a laptop with a specialized graphics processor at all, weighing in at just over three pounds, let alone an existing 16-series option with a top-tier Intel Tiger Lake Processor on its side.
Most other gaming laptops, especially in the graphical department, have more out-of-the-box power than this model, but none can match its combination of performance and portability. Its lightweight combines with a lightweight design that makes it ideal for gaming on a train or plane, and you don’t even need to imagine playing with the charger plugged in with over 10 hours of battery life per charge.
The 13.3-inch display and 1080p resolution are more than enough for that size. It is buttery smooth with support for 120Hz refresh rates and makes you a little more competitive than more conventional 60Hz displays by reducing input lag.
5. Asus Zephyrus 14 – Best AMD Gaming Laptop
CPU: Eight-core AMD Ryzen 4900HS | Graphics: Nvidia RTX 2060 Max-Q Display: 14-inch, 1080p, 120Hz, IPS | Battery: 76Wh
AMD Ryzen CPUs have a desktop and mobile powerhouse, and some of the most impressive is the new generation of AMD-powered laptops. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is an awesome gaming machine with a strong AMD Ryzen 4900HS CPU that easily keeps pace with some of the best mobile Intel chips in games. If you use it for intensive tasks such as photos and video processing, it goes even further.
This lightweight laptop, combined with an Nvidia RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU, has all the power you need to view gorgeous AAA graphics in less demanding games at 1080p resolution and high frame rates. The 120Hz display gives you a competitive advantage over gamers with slower displays, and with plenty of travel for such a small frame, its keyboard is both convenient and precise.
For current and next-gen games, there’s tons of storage space (1TB SSD) and all the RAM (!6GB DDR4) you’ll need. With the support of the new Wi-Fi 6 standards, you will still have access to the fastest network speeds no matter where you want to play.
This versatile little laptop will not hold you back while gaming on the go at just 3.5 pounds and its modern white color scheme really makes it stand out from the silver and black RGB-lit crowds.
6. Dell G5 Se – Best Cheap Gaming Laptop
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5600M Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p | Battery: 51Wh
There are more than enough genuinely budget laptops that claim to be able to run heavy games, but the G3 15 is far more than that. It can deal with eSports games at fast speeds and higher frame rates and even modern AAA games at reduced game detail settings, without skipping a beat, with a more than capable CPU and a potent GPU.
The 15.6-inch 1080p display is a fantastic match for this laptop size and power and makes this a wonderful laptop without breaking the bank for those looking for real gaming results. Although the show is not the brightest, neither does it draw a lot from the battery. This ensures that you can guarantee hours and hours of gaming time without having to recharge a gang of other low-powered parts, something that can not be said for its more efficient cousins on this list.
The G3 also packs several convenient ports into its slim and shapely body, eschewing the trend of more conventional laptops. There are USB-A ports and high-speed USB-C (with DisplayPort out), a rare RJ45 Ethernet port, an HDMI output, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an SD card slot.
This strong little computer does not have anything to dislike. The G5 15, its bigger sibling, provides the same solid design, hardware, and improved display, but for a few hundred more dollars. The G3 15 offers the best value, and while its price is not low, anyone can buy it at a price far below that of more conventional gaming laptops; it offers some impressive hardware.
Who makes the best gaming laptops?
The primary reason why modern laptops for gaming are so exciting is that there is so much demand. Here are currently just a few more quality brands.
Today, Dell, Razer, Asus, and several other top manufacturers provide excellent gaming laptop solutions, from desktop equivalents with the most powerful features to elegant powerhouses with good battery life, and all in between. There are also a few tactical gaming laptops that you may be able to purchase for some gaming as part of an office upgrade when the workday is finished.
What Exactly Do You Need For Gaming?
You want at least four CPU cores as a baseline if you prefer AMD or Intel, and ideally with simultaneous multithreading for eight threads support. For modern games in 2020, the ideal gaming Processor is six cores, with seven and above providing declining gaming efficiency returns.
If you want AMD or Intel as a baseline, you want at least four nuclei and preferably eight-thread support with simultaneous multithreading. The ideal game CPU for modern games in 2020 is six centres with eight or more, providing reduced game efficiency returns.
The only reservation is that next-generation games for upcoming consoles in Xbox and PlayStation would benefit from higher core counts, which means that eight-core CPUs will undergo greater potential testing. Although the processor is not the most critical component of a gaming machine, desktop or laptop, it still has a 1080p resolution, in particular. While faster CPUs can boost your performance, the recommended specifications for the games you want to play are more relevant.
Over and above the core count, success is king. Clock speed is very critical for the gaming potential of a CPU. This is why all of the best gaming laptops in this guide feature high clock speed and high-performance processors.
Although it is very dependent on the game types you want to play, with AAA games that require more than sports titles to be played, make sure you have at least one AMD Ryzen 5 3000 or 4000 CPU or an Intel Core i5 CPU of the ninth or 10th generation.
Check out: Top 9 Best Chromebooks to buy in 2020
What’s The Best Graphics Card For Laptop Gaming?
The graphic card or chip is the most important part of a laptop, which helps to handle higher resolutions, higher frame rates, and more precise changes than any common laptop.
You can get decent frame rates with an Nvidia GTX 1650 or 1650 Ti when you’re playing esports games. If you want to totally drive high-quality displays or use higher specifics in AAA games, a more capable GPU such as the 2060 RTX 2070 0r even 2080 Max-Q provides the best performance in laptop gaming.
While less common, AMD graphics are now available as an alternative to more and more gaming laptops. AMD 5600M is an outstanding mobile game graphics processor, capable of providing superior performance in games with RTX 2060 Max-Q and mobile RTX 2060. It’s not far from the RTX 2070 Super Max Q, which makes it an ideal option for people who want powerful graphics without the increased price tag associated with some of the most popular gaming laptops.
Do You Need A High Refresh Rate Display?
In sports and other competitive multiplayer games, higher refresh rate displays allow you to completely benefit from higher frame rates for smoother animations and reduced input lag. Although you don’t like games, quicker games look and sound better and improve your response speed. A high refresh rate will make a small but tangible difference if you look for a competitive advantage in your favourite multiplayer games.
Since laptop displays are generally much smaller than their equivalent on your desktop, a higher refresh rate can often be more useful than a higher resolution when playing games. A 4K display is typically a waste 15-inch or less, and the specifics vary very little if you are not inching from the screen. It’s a lot more taxable on your chip, too. In contrast, you can use a high refresh rate display as long as it generates frames higher than 60 and can offer a consistently enhanced experience.
Is A 13-inch, 15-inch, or 17-inch gaming laptop more convenient?
When it comes to immersion and visual clarity, bigger displays are almost always better. If you can see a broader field of view, bigger HUD elements, and gain from modern games’ high visual fidelity, you can see more of the display. However, the larger you go, the less compact a laptop is.
A gaming laptop versus a gaming desktop has the key benefit that you can take it with you. If you want to play primarily on a desktop surface but want to play with the same hardware in several locations, a 17-inch gaming port is a good option. It will be heavier and bulkier, but all the extra space allows you more room to cool more hardware. This makes a 17-inch laptop a perfect desktop alternative.
For gamers on the move, 13-inch laptops can be even more flexible in tight commuting situations like trains and aircraft. They are smaller and lightweight, and much more portable. They also use less battery, so you don’t have to be attached to a power socket like the big game laptops. Your hardware isn’t usually as effective, but you can get away with lower detail on a smaller screen since the lack of detail on more pixel-dense displays is clearly unclear.
If you want to play in several scenarios, a 15-inch laptop is a perfect centrepiece. They have the size and scope for more powerful hardware and provide you with plenty of screen room to play your favourite games. But they’re not too similar to their 17″ counterparts or strong.
Check out: Top five MacBook pro alternatives in 2020