The best gaming laptop 2023 - all the latest models compared

The best gaming laptops provide the power of a high-end desktop with the portability of a much smaller, lighter machine - that much is obvious. However, truly great gaming laptops manage to do all this while remaining cool and comfortable enough to run for long periods of time, all while packing high quality graphics, displays, and performance into a fair price tag. 

Thankfully, those on the hunt for the best gaming laptop in 2023 have plenty to choose from. With 16-inch and 18-inch form factors taking over from the previous 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch mainstream, we're getting bigger screens, boosted graphics power, and the latest generation of blindingly fast processors. That means PC gaming on the go has never felt so good - and we're bringing you all the top models right here. 

The best gaming laptop of 2023 is the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 so far, but plenty of our favorite machines balance raw power with value for money. That means some of these top models won't run the most impressive graphics cards or pack bags of RAM - they will simply outperform their price tag. After all, if you don't need an all singing rig, why pay for one. 

We've put a wide range of gaming laptops through their paces to find the best machines in the business, testing performance relative to the specs on offer, efficiency in design and temperature, and overall value for money. We run each machine through a series of performance benchmarks, and live, play, and work with the models we review for an extended period of time - you can check out exactly how we test gaming laptops in our dedicated guide. You'll find all our recommendations for the best gaming laptop on the market just below, and more information on choosing the right configuration for you and your budget as well. 

What do our benchmark scores mean?
We run each gaming laptop we get our hands on through a series of tests across gaming and productivity performance. Of these scores, we're listing two with each of our favorite machines below; Fire Strike and Time Spy. Both tests stress both the graphics and processing of a laptop, returning one final score once completed. The higher the score, the better the performance. 

The quick list

The best gaming laptop overall

The best gaming laptop overall


CPU: Intel i9-13980HX
GPU: RTX 4080 | RTX 4090
RAM: 16GB | 32GB
Storage: 2TB M.2 PCL 4.0 SSD
Display: 16-inch QHD+ Mini LED, 240Hz | 16-inch QHD+ IPS, 240Hz
Ports: 1x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-C Gen 2, 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI 2.1, 2.5G LAN, 3.5mm

Reasons to buy

Classic RGB-laden aesthetic taken to new heights
Intel i9 absolutely sings
Vivid, bright display with excellent contrast
Three figure framerates at Ultra settings

Reasons to avoid

Ports moved back to sides
Translucent design won't be for everyone
Trackpad feels a little mushy and clunky

Our favorite configuration:

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 | RTX 4080 | Intel i9-13980HX at Amazon

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 | RTX 4080 | Intel i9-13980HX at Amazon
This is the CPU / GPU we tested in our Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 review, and even though you're not going for the top top RTX 4090 model it still provides an eye-watering amount of power. 32GB RAM will see you through the games of the future and that Nebula display certainly isn't to be missed either.

Buy It If

✅You prioritize performance over a slick chassis: The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 is a powerful machine, but it's certainly not the most expensive model on the market - because it doesn't try and squeeze those components into a more portable form factor.

✅You value a high quality display: That Mini LED display does add to the final price, but it's well worth the additional immersion for that crisp QHD+ resolution.

✅You don't mind a more gamer-styled aesthetic: The Strix isn't going to fade into the background - while you can turn those glaring LEDs off, the translucent body and chunky grills scream gaming laptop.

Don't Buy It If:

You don't want to spend over $3,000: The Strix series is at the top of Asus's range, so we're unlikely to see cheaper configurations surfacing. While it's good value in its price bracket, it's still a premium machine.

You prefer a sleek form factor: The extra space required to achieve such performance is a necessary evil here.

You don't need the latest top of the range specs: If your Steam library simply won't make the most of those top shelf graphics cards and processors, the Strix isn't going to be worth it.

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 has taken over from the Razer Blade 15 (still featured below) as the best gaming laptop we've had our hands on yet. This thing flies through anything you can throw at it, without reaching the dizzying heights of other premium RTX 40-Series rigs. That's because the Strix Scar puts its power exactly where a PC gaming enthusiast wants it - cooling, CPU efficiency, and GPU power - all while still offering a crisp set of RGB panels and a Mini LED display worthy of its next generation chassis.

No, framerates weren't as impressive as the ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 listed below - but equally you're not spending an extra $1,000 on a fancy second screen (and the power to run it) you might not use. Plus, at three-figure framerates in Ultra settings across demanding titles, there's no arguing the raw horsepower baked into this machine.

We tested an RTX 4080 rig with the Intel i9-13980HX processor that comes with both this and the 4090 configuration, drawing a 17,611 Time Spy score and 32,876 Fire Strike score to beat out the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 by some margin. The Scar 16 even beat the larger (and far more expensive RTX 4090-toting) Razer Blade 18 in these benchmark tests as well. Those are numbers that will comfortably see you through the next five years of gaming, and potentially much more if we don't see any particularly demanding graphical breakthroughs.

With HDR content represented in gorgeous detail and colors popping from the screen with excellent vibrancy, this is a real feast for the eyes.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 review

This isn't a machine for the more subtle amongst us, though. While the RGB panel running across the lower lip can be switched off, this is still very much a gaming laptop. The translucent design across the main deck wasn't quite our favorite touch and does add to this gamer aesthetic while slightly cheapening the experience, but this is down to personal preference. The lid sports a large ROG logo and a series of etched diagonal lines along the chunky grill towards the back, further removing this rig from your everyday office laptop. However, it's not such an in your face design, and putting those LEDs to sleep certainly keeps the vibe slick. 

On the other side of that panel, though, we've got one of the best screens we've had the pleasure of using on a gaming laptop. Asus has branded its Mini LED screens 'Nebula HDR', and they sing. Between 1,024 dimming zones and 1,100+ nits of peak brightness, colors pop with an excellent vividity and balance well with a deep, rich contrast. Throw in Dolby Atmos and a solid virtual surround system and you've got a seriously immersive experience. 

We're getting our hands on more RTX 40-Series gaming laptops all the time, but for now the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 is the best model to pass our desks. It's well worth the investment for anyone on the hunt for a high-end machine with bags of power to spare for future releases. 

Read more: Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (2023) review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 Benchmarks (RTX 4080)
Benchmark Test1080pQHD+
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh: 201fps / Highest: 191fpsHigh: 179fps / Highest: 173fps
Total War: Three KingdomsHigh: 193fps / Ultra: 148fpsHigh: 121fps / Ultra: 87fps
Red Dead Redemption 2Balanced: 118fps / Highest: 107fpsBalanced: 95fps / Highest: 94fps
Metro ExodusHigh: 134fps / Ultra: 115fpsHigh: 101fps / Ultra: 93fps
The Division 2High: 167fps / Ultra: 138fpsHigh: 140fps / Ultra: 108fps

The best gaming laptop under $1,000 / £1,000

The best gaming laptop under $1,000


CPU: Up to AMD Ryzen 7 5800H / Intel i7-11800H
GPU: RTX 3060 | RTX 3070 Ti | RTX 3080 Ti
RAM: 16GB | 32GB
Storage: up to 1TB SSD
Display: FHD at 360Hz | QHD at 240Hz | UHD at 144Hz
Ports: 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, 1x HDMI, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1x RJ45

Reasons to buy

Good gaming performance at 1080p
Solid chassis and keyboard

Reasons to avoid

Battery life is quite poor
Display is unexciting

Our favorite configuration:

Acer Nitro 5 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800H | RTX 3060 at Amazon

Acer Nitro 5 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800H | RTX 3060 at Amazon
The Acer Nitro 5 provides plenty of balance in this configuration, and the best part is we often see this model on sale at Amazon as well. Balancing some solid components under the hood, and a 144Hz display up top, there's some nice horsepower for your cash here. We often see it at between $1,049 and $1,329.

Buy It If:

✅ You want high-end components without breaking the bank: The Acer Nitro 5 manages to pack some solid components without bumping the price up. That's because there are sacrifices elsewhere, but it does mean great value for money.

✅You're buying your first gaming laptop: With its low price and entry level features, the Nitro 5 is the perfect starter laptop. Use this for a couple of years to decide what you really value in a rig before you make a big purchase.

✅You play casually and not every day: If you don't think you'll be able to warrant the higher price tag of a more sophisticated machine with your daily use, it's well worth picking up a cheaper runner. 

Don't Buy It If:

You need a particularly fast display: The Acer Nitro 5 display isn't particularly impressive and has certainly been sacrificed to keep that price low.

You prioritize aesthetics: Its older style aesthetics have been outdated for a while now, so that chunky, angular design won't be to everybody's taste.

You're looking for a longer term investment: These are older laptops, so they're not going to be able to keep up with more demanding games of tomorrow. 

It’s not about to blow anyone away with flashy features or top-tier performance, but the Acer Nitro 5 is a very respectable choice of gaming laptop for the busy gamer who doesn’t want to break the bank. A good full-scale keyboard with numpad makes this laptop appropriate for both work and play. That means it's a great replacement for a full-tower desktop PC at home that also offers portability thanks to its relatively low weight as gaming laptops go.

The RTX 3060 GPU paired with a Ryzen 5800H processor offered up strong performance in our testing, hitting 86fps in High settings on The Division 2, and only dropping to 77fps in Ultra. While the SSD could be a bit speedier, it’s not going to cause any major headaches. Most games will run above 60fps at maximum settings, and ray-tracing is also an option, though it does come with an associated performance hit.

We found the screen to be somewhat dull compared to other laptops in the same price range, and the battery life is decidedly unimpressive, but given the budget cost, these do feel like fair tradeoffs. Especially since the display does retain an excellent 144Hz refresh rate.

All but the most demanding games should run comfortably above 60fps at maximum graphical settings

Acer Nitro 5 review

Regularly available for under $1,000 / £1,000, the RTX 3060 Nitro 5 manages to pack some impressive components into a budget price tag by dropping nice-to-have features. That makes it perfect for anyone after raw power without all the fancy extras that can sometimes bloat gaming laptop costs. We'd recommend the Nitro 5 to anyone after their first gaming laptop - it's the perfect way to spend less, get a few good years of gaming in, and work out exactly what you need from a larger purchase further down the line. 

You'll also find excellent options in the Dell G15 and Asus TUF Dash F15. The former is generally found on sale for slightly less than the Acer Nitro 5, but doesn't quite pack the same thermal regulation. Meanwhile, Asus's budget option is pitched at a slightly higher price point, sacrificing processing power for a 1440p display. 

Read more: Acer Nitro 5 review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Acer Nitro 5 Benchmarks (RTX 3060)
Benchmark Test1080p
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh: 118fps / Highest: 107fps
Total War: Three KingdomsHigh: 81fps / Ultra: 58fps
Metro ExodusHigh: 79fps / Ultra: 39fps
The Division 2High: 86fps / Ultra: 77fps

The best gaming laptop for most players

The best gaming laptop for most


CPU: i7-12700H | i9-12900H
GPU: RTX 3050 Ti | RTX 3060 | RTX 3070 Ti | RTX 3080 Ti
RAM: up to 64GB
Storage: up to 4TB SSD
Display: FHD at 165Hz / 360Hz | QHD at 240Hz
Ports: 3x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 | 1x Type-C port with Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4, and Power Delivery, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x RJ-45 Killer E3100 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, 1x 3.5mm headset jack

Reasons to buy

Incredible performance
Satisfying keyboard
Fast display
Some premium design features

Reasons to avoid

Cheaper plastic body
Difficult to transport
Particularly loud fans

Our favorite configuration:

Alienware M15 R7 | RTX 3060 | Intel i7-12700H at Dell

Alienware M15 R7 | RTX 3060 | Intel i7-12700H at Dell
We tested the Alienware M15 R7 with an RTX 3070 Ti GPU at the helm, but considering that configuration comes in at over $2,000 right now, you're getting solid value for money with this RTX 3060 build. You're still getting that uber powerful 12th generation processor, and 16GB DDR5 RAM in here. We've opted to keep the 360Hz panel we tested in this build - it's only $100 more for the luxury and it really was an impressive display, well worth the cash.

Buy It If

✅You need all-round power across a range of genres: The M15 R7 is well suited for a massive range of games, offering excellent performance at a solid mid-range price.

✅You're a more competitive player: With its super-fast display and Ethernet port, this is a machine built with competition in mind.

✅You want to save by opting for an older machine: The R7 has been superseded by the M16 in 2023, which makes it a generation behind. However, that means we regularly see it on sale. 

Don't Buy It If

You travel regularly with your laptop: The Alienware M15 R7 weighs in at just under 6lbs (2.7kg) and packs a massive charger to boot. This isn't a backpack friendly machine.

You want the latest components: As a previous generation machine, you're locked into RTX 30-Series graphics cards and Intel's 12th generation processors. There's still plenty of power here, but not quite as much value as a newer build.

You want a luxury chassis: Alienware shaves the price of its M-Series devices by dropping the premium build materials of its X-Series. 

The Alienware M15 R7 is here to bring the now mid-range line of luxury laptops into 2022's standards. With Intel's new 12th generation processors and Nvidia's Ti GPUs at the helm, there's some serious power up for grabs here. While prices are looking a little higher than those of the predecessor (especially now that discounts abound on the outdated model), you're getting enough new tech under the hood to warrant the splurge.

We were blown away by the performance of this machine. Our test unit featured an i7-12700H processor and an RTX 3070 Ti graphics card, and was easily sailing through our benchmarks and stress tests. This beast didn't even flinch at heavier titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Metro Exodus - offering up 76fps in RDR2's Ultra settings, and 72fps with all RTX set to max in Metro Exodus. Those are settings that would make the uber expensive RTX 3080 Ti Razer Blade 15 sweat.

However, it's worth noting that this machine is built purely for power. It's a stocky design, and a particularly heavy one at that - the charging brick alone nearly runs the full length of the keyboard. So no, this isn't going to be a gaming laptop you'll easily throw into a backpack - and those fans can certainly scream - but if you're looking for an all-rounder that can level with machines far pricier than itself, these are easy sacrifices to make. 

Faster action titles ran without a hitch, with that 360Hz refresh rate display acting as the cherry on the stunningly powerful cake.

Alienware M15 R7 review

Alienware is, after all, a luxury brand. With its M-series now falling to the middle of its range (thanks to the advent of the X-series last year), the Alienware M15 R7 is affordable by the brand's standards. That means you'll find far cheaper machines out there, but without that Alienware pedigree to speak of. Still, with performance to rival some of the best gaming laptops in the business, and only a few sacrifices to get there for a great price, this is an excellent option for most players. You could consider the X15 technically the best Alienware gaming laptop on paper alone, but when it comes down to price and the wider market, this is the winner. 

Read more: Alienware M15 R7 review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Alienware M15 R7 Benchmarks (RTX 3070 Ti)
Benchmark Test1080p
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh - 148fps / Highest - 129fps
Total War: Three KingdomsHigh - 120fps / Ultra - 83fps
Red Dead Redemption 2Balanced - 79fps / Highest - 76fps
Metro ExodusHigh - 98fps / Ultra - 72fps
The Division 2High: 124fps / Ultra: 97fps

The best gaming laptop for budget 1440p

The best gaming laptop for budget 1440p


CPU: i5-11300H | i7-11370H | i7-11375H
GPU: RTX 3050 | RTX 3050 Ti | RTX 3060 | RTX 3070
RAM: 16GB | 32GB
Storage: 512GB | 1TB
Display: FHD at 60Hz | 144Hz | 240Hz
Ports: 1x 3.5mm | 1x HDMI 2.0 | 3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 | 1x RJ45 LAN port | 1x USB-C / 1x Thunderbolt 4

Reasons to buy

Great pricing
Slimline design 
Solid performance

Reasons to avoid

Soft membrane keys

Our favorite configuration

Asus TUF Dash F15 | RTX 3070 | Intel i7-11370H at Amazon

Asus TUF Dash F15 | RTX 3070 | Intel i7-11370H at Amazon
The Asus TUF Dash F15 manages to pack some incredible graphics into a much smaller MSRP than you'd usually find because it sacrifices a little processing power. That i7-11370H processor will remain whichever configuration you choose, but it chugs along nicely and we never experienced any slowdown during everyday play on medium settings. Not only that, but this spec also sends you home with a 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM, and a 240Hz display to boot.

Buy It If

✅You don't want to break four figures: You'll regularly find the Asus TUF Dash F15 on sale for well below $1,000 / £1,000 - which means you'll get excellent value on an RTX 3060 or RTX 3070 build.

✅You don't mind sacrificing a little CPU power for a better GPU: To cram those graphics cards into this price point, the Asus TUF Dash F15 does sacrifice a little processing power. That didn't amount to too much in our everyday testing, though.

✅You travel regularly with your laptop: A sleek, slimline build means this machine is particularly easy to sling in a backpack and doesn't weigh everything down as much as other rigs. 

Don't Buy It If

You want to push newer games on higher settings: Our testing back in 2022 revealed the F15 could handle the games of the time particularly well, but subsequent sessions with new releases show it's starting to fall behind with the settings cranked up.  

You need a webcam: There's no webcam to be found here, so if you'll also be using your laptop for quick work calls or easy streaming, you'll need to pick up a separate camera.

You need plenty of processing power: Cheaper Asus TUF Dash F15 rigs ship with a four-core Intel processor which can drop your performance in CPU-heavy tasks. 

If you're looking to grab an RTX 30-Series card but don't want to break too far past $1,000 / £1,000, the Asus TUF Dash F15 is going to be your best bet. In our testing, we found this budget-friendly machine to charge through even some of the more demanding titles as if it sat in a much higher price bracket - despite the weaker 4-core i7-11370H processor at the helm. Plus, you're still getting the super slimline form factor that has proven so popular over the last couple of years. 

The key here is that you can outfit it with the full 11th generation i7 / 1TB / 32GB RAM suite of turbo power - or you can pick up a more conservative spec for a little less cash. That means you won't need to spend on high-end gear that you might not even get to use if you're running less demanding titles.

We were particularly impressed by how well those more power-hungry components played together in a cheaper chassis. We didn't notice any over-heating issues here, and while we did have to make some sacrifices to more demanding titles, we still managed to hit 60fps+ on an RTX 3070 with consistency. We also tested an RTX 3060 unit and found similar performance levels when dropping a few sliders down a fraction as well, which means you're sorted at all ends of the budget here. 

You'll be hitting 60fps+ in most games as long as you're happy not playing everything maxed out.

Asus TUF Dash F15 review

For its lower price point, the Asus TUF Dash F15 does excel in its build quality. This is a sleek, slimline laptop with a cool aluminum frame and a sleek matte black or white design. The full chassis is just under 20mm, a true feat at this lower price point - perfect for anyone looking to stretch their cash without buying a bulky grill-oriented machine. The exterior TUF decal might not be to everyone's taste, but it's subtle enough to slide under the radar in more professional settings as well. 

It's tough to find a 1440p rig for this kind of price, so the TUF Dash F15's got a solid proposition on its hands. You can, of course, keep everything moving a little slicker by dropping that resolution down to 1080p, but for the most part we still experience excellent performance even in our RTX 3060 model. 

Read more: Asus TUF Dash F15 review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Asus TUF Dash F15 Benchmarks (RTX 3070)
Benchmark Test1080p1440p
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh: 79fps / Highest: 60fpsHigh: 72fps / Highest: 57fps
Total War: Warhammer IIHigh: 82fps / Ultra: 63fpsHigh: 76fps / Ultra: 53fps
Red Dead Redemption 2Balanced: 63fps / Highest: 57fpsBalanced: 54fps / Highest: 51fps
Metro ExodusHigh: 72fps / Ultra: 51fpsHigh: 64fps / Ultra: 46fps
The Division 2High: 86fps / Ultra: 54fpsHigh: 76fps / Ultra: 47fps

The best 14-inch gaming laptop

The best 14-inch gaming laptop


CPU: Ryzen 6900HS
Graphics: Radeon RX 6700S / 6800S
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR5
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
Resolution: QHD+ 16:10 (2560 x 1600)
Refresh rate: 120Hz
Ports: 2x USB-A 3.2 | 2x USB-C Gen 2 | 1x HDMI 2.0 | UHS-II micro SD

Reasons to buy

Clean, compact design
Gorgeous 16:10 display
High quality speakers
Speedy processor

Reasons to avoid

Poor thermals
Ray tracing heavily impacts performance

Our favorite configuration:

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 | Radeon RX 6700S | AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS at Best Buy

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 | Radeon RX 6700S | AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS at Best Buy
There is a more expensive RX 6800S configuration on offer, but it's not going to fix the performance under ray tracing conditions and we were still getting some excellent performance out of our 6700S. That means the cheaper option is our go-to for the G14, especially considering you're still getting the same Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU whirring away under the hood as well.

Buy It If

✅You travel regularly with your laptop: Its 14-inch form factor is the giveaway here, but the G14 is particularly easy to transport thanks to its light weight and sturdy design.

✅You want portability and power: While the Alienware x14 prioritizes portability at the expense of more powerful components, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 packs offers far greater choice.

✅You want an AMD build: The G14 is an all-AMD rig and the synthesis between the Ryzen 9 6900HS and its Radeon RX 6700S / 6800S graphics works wonders. 

Don't Buy It If

You want ray tracing graphics: Unfortunately the Radeon graphics under the hood couldn't quite keep up with Intel's ray tracing performance in our testing.

You'll be using it on your lap: Thermals can climb with all that power packed into a smaller chassis. If you're going to be playing on your lap you might want to think twice.

You want to push settings in QHD+ resolution: The G14 sings in 1080p but couldn't quite keep up in QHD resolution in our testing. 

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 long reigned over the slimline gaming laptop world. It was one of the first easily portable machines, built with a form factor that respected your backpack and your desk top. 2022 heralds in a new AMD future for this fan favorite, and despite some thermal concerns and ray tracing throttling, the G14 is all the more impressive for it.

That's a serious amount of power to pack into this super small form factor after all, and we managed to squeeze some impressive numbers out of this compact design as well. While it does feel built for 1080p (framerates do cliff-dive at the native QHD+ resolution), we were getting some excellent scores in Fire Strike and in-game benchmarking considering the stress this machine is under. Metro Exodus was flying at High settings, hitting 82fps consistently, and The Division 2 managed to hold onto 78fps in Ultra settings as well.

Not only that, but the new 16:10 display was a sight to behold. Crisp and clean, the extra height offered in the display was easily welcomed over the cramped feeling Alienware and Razer offerings. You'll also find an improved LED display running along the back, with sharper customizable animations for an extra personal edge. 

Whether trundling through Red Dead Redemption 2's snowy landscapes or skimming webpages, everything feels sharp and snappy

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review

We did notice those temperatures creeping under intense workloads, though, so this will be one to keep on a desk rather than a lap. That said, not many 14-inch rigs can keep up with these specs, and even fewer can do so with the extra screen space afforded to you here. 

The G14 is the best 14-inch gaming laptop we've had our hands on so far. It manages to combine power and portability in a package that very few rigs can match. You're getting better value for money, more component choices, and lower prices than the Alienware x14, making it the go-to for anyone after a compact PC. 

Read more: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Benchmarks (Radeon RX 6800S)
Benchmark Test1080p1440p+
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh: 108fps / Highest: 100fpsHigh: 82fps / Highest: 66fps
Total War: Three KingdomsHigh: 95fps / Ultra: 66fpsHigh: 51fps / Ultra: 36fps
Red Dead Redemption 2Balanced: 81fps / Highest: 73fpsBalanced: 62fps / Highest: 48fps
Metro ExodusHigh: 82fps / Ultra: 36fpsHigh: 57fps / Ultra: 25fps
The Division 2High: 100fps / Ultra: 78fpsHigh: 73fps / Ultra: 51fps

The best 15-inch gaming laptop

The best 15.6-inch gaming laptop


CPU: i7-12800H | i9-12900H
GPU: RTX 3060 | RTX 3070 Ti | RTX 3080 Ti
RAM: 16GB | 32GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Display: FHD at 360Hz | QHD at 240Hz | UHD at 144Hz
Ports: 3x USB-A Gen 2 | 1x USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 | 1x USB-C | 3.5mm audio jack | SD card slot | HDMI

Reasons to buy

Powerful components in a slimline build
Excellent color and contrast
Luxury design with solid build quality

Reasons to avoid

Last year's components

Our favorite configuration:

Razer Blade 15 | RTX 3080 Ti | Intel i9-12900H at Razer

Razer Blade 15 | RTX 3080 Ti | Intel i9-12900H at Razer
This is the best 15.6-inch gaming laptop on the market right now, but you're going to be spending a lot to get it. If you've got the budget to play with we'd really recommend going to the top of this spec and packing an RTX 3080 Ti GPU with an i9-12900H processor and helping it all shine with a 144Hz 4K display. Of course, there are cheaper models out there, but if we're really talking about the best of the best, this is where you should start your benchmarks.

Buy If If:

✅ You want a good looking laptop: There's no doubt about it, the Razer Blade 15 looks good. A slick, slimline chassis with a matte black design fits into a range of scenarios well.

✅ You want a 4K option: We actually managed to squeeze some playable 4K framerates out of the Blade 15 - a rarity we didn't think possible from even the RTX 3080 Ti under the hood.

✅ You need a machine for work, content creation, and play: The display quality and sleek design means the Blade 15 is an incredibly versatile laptop, ready to take on anything you can throw at it.

Don't Buy It If

You value performance over aesthetics: The Blade 15 is impressive, but it's not topping the charts. You can pick up better performance with an RTX 40-Series graphics card at the helm these days.

You don't want to spend more on luxury: Razer comes with a tax, this is a luxury laptop after all. If you're not interested in paying more for that slick experience, you're better off with another brand.

You won't get the miles out of it: If you're not going to be pushing the Blade 15 to its limits across work and play, its higher price might not make much sense.

We got our hands on a beast of a Razer Blade 15, but it showed us just how powerful 15.6-inch gaming laptops can be. The RTX 3080 Ti / i9-12900H configuration I had on my desk was a true monster in its performance. However, this rig's ability to offer such performance while keeping the slimline chassis we've all come to know and love really cemented its top spot among the best gaming laptops on the market. 

Of course, this is no cheap machine. The 2022 Razer Blade 15 starts at $2,499.99 for an RTX 3060 configuration. You're certainly paying for this luxury name here, but if you're on the hunt for one of the most technically capable machines in one of the most portable form factors, the cash is well invested. 

That does mean this isn't necessarily the best gaming laptop for everyone - those playing lighter games won't need the horsepower on offer here, and if you're just after a machine you can sign into every now and then you won't get solid value by going all out. However, if you're interested in a top of the range rig (and have the budget to throw at it), our testing speaks for itself. 

"In 2022, the Razer Blade 15 is still doing exactly what its ancestors did - leading in high-end components and luxury performance."

Razer Blade 15 review

I managed to run Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 74fps in 4K with everything turned up to 11 here. While more demanding titles still struggled in that UHD resolution, though, I was still impressed with the 60+ fps in 1440p on Red Dead Redemption 2 as well as the 78fps in the same resolution on The Division 2. I only needed to drop some more taxing visual effects to hit higher framerates in 4K, and everything looked incredible while doing so.

You can't beat the Razer Blade 15 for performance, component horsepower, and portability. After all, the only other machines offering RTX 3080 Ti graphics cards at the time of writing still can't compete with that 4K 144Hz display for the price.

Note: The 2023 Razer Blade 15 is on its way, and once we've had our hands on the newer device we'll update this guide accordingly. 

Read more: Razer Blade 15 review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Razer Blade 15 Benchmarks (RTX 3080 Ti)
Benchmark Test1080p1440p4K
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh: 101fps / Highest: 97fpsHigh: 94fps / Highest: 67fpsHigh: 66fps / Highest: 74fps
Total War: Three KingdomsHigh: 107fps / Ultra: 79fpsHigh: 67fps / Ultra: 49fps High: 33fps / Ultra: 23fps
Red Dead Redemption 2Balanced: 84fps / Highest: 67fpsBalanced: 69fps / Highest: 52fps Balanced: 43fps / Highest: 26fps
Metro ExodusHigh: 87fps / Ultra: 67fpsHigh: 69fps / Ultra: 53fpsHigh: 42fps / Ultra: 25fps
The Division 2High: 107fps / Ultra: 86fps High: 78fps / Ultra: 61fps High: 45fps / Ultra: 35fps

The best 17-inch gaming laptop

The best 17-inch gaming laptop


CPU: i7-12800H / i9-12900H
Graphics: RTX 3060 / RTX 3070 Ti / RTX 3080 Ti
RAM: 16GB - 32GB DDR5
Storage: : 1TB SSD
Display:: FHD @ 260Hz | QHD @ 240Hz | 4K @ 144Hz
Ports: 3x UBS 3.2 Type A | 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4 | MicroSD card reader | HDMI 2.1 | Ethernet | 3.5mm audio

Reasons to buy

Top notch gaming performance
Gorgeous 17.3-inch display
Good for content creation
Stylish and robust chassis

Reasons to avoid

Particularly expensive
Dismal battery life
Too heavy to easily carry

Our favorite configuration:

Razer Blade 17 | RTX 3070 Ti | i9-12900H at Razer

Razer Blade 17 | RTX 3070 Ti | i9-12900H at Razer
This i9-12900H configuration of the Razer Blade 17 still manages to pack a serious punch even though it's sitting in the middle of the laptop's lineup. It's around $200 more than the same spec with an i7 CPU, but when you're spending this much it's well worth diving a little deeper. An RTX 3070 Ti will shine on this QHD 240Hz display (4K is overkill for even an RTX 3080 Ti GPU) and still stops you spending close to $5,000.

Buy It If

✅ You want a big-screen experience without the bulk: Perhaps the Razer Blade 17's biggest strength is the fact it packs that larger screen into a slimline chassis, dropping the chunky exterior usually found on larger machines.

✅ You need a gaming and content creation machine: The display and power under the hood make the Blade 17 perfect for both gaming and content creation, thanks to its solid color reproduction and contrast.

✅ You plan on keeping your laptop on a desk: With this level of power (and heft), the Blade 17 can comfortably trade in for a desktop PC. Plus, with this weight we wouldn't recommend frequent travel.

Don't Buy It If

You need to travel with your laptop: As slimline as the Blade 17 is, it's still by no means a portable laptop. If you're after something to throw in a backpack, the 15.6-incher above is better suited.

You want to run off battery alone: Many gaming laptops struggle to run off battery alone, but the Razer Blade 17's power demands make that all but impossible.

You want the latest components: Razer's big-screen laptop for 2023 is the Blade 18, which means we won't be getting a 17.3-inch model with RTX 40-Series graphics cards and Intel 13th generation processors.

2022's Razer Blade 17 is here, which means there's a new beast in town - and this one's looking particularly flashy. Don't get us wrong, this is a pricey piece of kit. The i7-12800H / RTX 3080 Ti model we tested runs in at nearly $3,999 / £4,099 - but if you're investing in a gaming and content creation powerhouse, this is the best 17.3-incher in the business. Yes, there's a Razer tax here. You'll find budget machines packing similar specs for slightly less (though not by dramatic amounts) out there, but in return you are investing in a durable, quality piece of kit with some excellent engineering under the hood. 

For example, we were particularly impressed with the eight-speaker array - there's some serious power behind these grills, so much so that we didn't feel the need to slap on a gaming headset during our time. Similarly, the expansive display doesn't drop its clarity or color reproduction like many wider models. In fact, we found the screen so impressive that we would happily recommend it for more artistic purposes. Add a wide range of all the latest ports, that classic Razer suave aesthetic, and a clean, tactile glass touchpad and the Razer Blade 17 feels like it could handle anything.

And it can. This machine ripped through benchmarks like they were calculators, spitting out an impressive 25,484 Fire Strike score and a blitzing 12,244 Time Spy result when placed under stress. Results in real-world play were similarly breathtaking - Total War: Three Kingdoms ran buttery smooth at 98fps in High settings and Red Dead Redemption 2 continued to clock 90fps when cranked up to Ultra.

Shocking exactly nobody, the 2022 Razer Blade 17 eats benchmarks for breakfast and powers through the latest games at 1440p, even without the assistance of Nvidia’s nifty DLSS tech.

Razer Blade 17 review

Watching all that slick action on a big-screen is particularly immersive, with action sliding across the screen without so much as a flicker. It's obvious that this is a chassis packed with power, but the newer releases will be even moreso. Razer isn't refreshing its 17.3-inch model for 2023, instead offering a Razer Blade 18 for a far greater sum. That means you won't be able to grab this rig with the latest RTX 40-Series graphics cards and Intel 13th generation processors. 

The only issues we faced in our testing were those standard of larger gaming laptops - namely the poor battery life and lack of portability. Of course, if you're in the market for a bigger machine you've already reconciled these facts of life - making the Razer Blade 17 the best 17-inch gaming laptop on the market.

Read more: Razer Blade 17 review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Razer Blade 17 Benchmarks (RTX 3080 Ti)
Benchmark Test1440p
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh: 146fps / Highest: 134fps
Total War: Three KingdomsHigh: 98fps / Ultra: 69fps
Red Dead Redemption 2Balanced: 104fps / Highest: 90fps
Metro ExodusHigh: 90fps / Ultra: 75fps
The Division 2High: 101fps / Ultra: 73fps

The most powerful gaming laptop we've tested

The most powerful gaming laptop we've tested


CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX
GPU: RTX 4090 | RTX 4080 | RTX 4070 | RTX 4060
Storage: 2TB SSD
Display: 16-inch QHD+ Mini LED, 240Hz
Ports: 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (DisplayPort, power delivery, G-Sync), 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (DisplayPort, G-Sync), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x 2.5G LAN, 1x 3.5mm audio

Reasons to buy

Excellent dual-screen design
Slick feel despite being heavier than competition 
Vivid HDR Mini-LED display
Wide choice of GPU configurations
Incredible performance despite running two screens
Particularly impressive airflow and cooling

Reasons to avoid

Second screen doesn't work with all games
Heavier than a lot of slimline laptops
Placement of mouse and keyboard might not be for everyone
Particularly expensive

Our favorite configuration: 

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 | RTX 4090 | AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX at Newegg

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 | RTX 4090 | AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX at Newegg
We're going straight to the top for this one. The RTX 4090 and Ryzen 9 combination is one that outperformed everything else we've ever tested in the majority of categories. Not only that, but it's doing so while running a second screen as well. 

Buy It If

✅ You want a work machine as much as a gaming laptop: That second screen is excellent, but it makes the most sense in a productivity scenario. If you're after an all-in-one device, this is a go-to.

✅ You want high-end performance without a bulky feel: We were surprised by the benchmark numbers on offer here, especially considering the Duo 16 was also running a second screen at the same time.

✅ You have a lot of budget to play with: This isn't a cheap rig but if you're the right person looking to invest it's an excellent choice. 

Don't Buy It If

You won't use the second screen: A lot of the price does go into that second display - you'll find far cheaper laptops with similar specs and no fancy extras on the shelves.

You like plenty of space to type: Adding another screen pushes the keyboard to the bottom of the chassis and the trackpad to the right. That's not going to be comfortable for everyone.

You need a lightweight laptop: All that tech carries weight, and at 2.67kg this is heavier than most slimline laptops. 

The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 isn't the first dual-screened gaming laptop Asus has brought to market, but it is by far the most powerful. The AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX is a force to be reckoned with, posting some incredible numbers all while running a second touch-sensitive display underneath the main Mini-LED panel. We benched numbers far higher than that of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 in Fire Strike, PC Mark 10, and Cinebench R23 tests, with in-game performance offering equally impressive results. Meanwhile, the Duo thrashed the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 across all tests as well.

The form factor might trip you up, though. While the second screen sits in an excellently angled design, allowing for additional airflow, it does take up half the main body. That means the keyboard and trackpad have been reorganised, with the deck of keys pushed right to the lower lip of the chassis and the mouse shifted to the right hand side. We were originally dubious of this design, but in practice it's remarkably comfortable. Yes, you'll need to switch up your typing style a little, but we came to love the relaxed feel of a sideways trackpad and the smaller keys didn't get in the way of a week's worth of work from the couch. 

The touchscreen itself comes in particularly handy for work purposes. We got a far greater mileage out of this panel when using it as a standard second display for everyday productivity. Some games shift the display down the actual screen and others won't allow the screen to display at all, which means it's not a key gaming feature. However, there aren't that many uses for it outside of streaming and performance specs anyway. It works just fine for both of these use-cases, but we would still recommend this rig to those after an all-in-one gaming and productivity powerhouse. 

This is the first time I've seen the fps counter stay above 200 for the duration of a benchmark.

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 review

The main panel offers a gorgeous picture, though. With the crisp details and gorgeous color contrast of a Mini-LED display and a super-fast 240Hz refresh rate, everything absolutely sings up here. 

The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 is an expensive machine, and it certainly won't be for everyone, but it is the most powerful gaming laptop we've had our hands on so far and well worth it for a unique design. 

Read more: Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 Benchmarks (RTX 4090)
Benchmark Test1080p1440p (2560 x 1600)
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh: 219fps | Highest: 211fpsHigh: 189fps | Highest: 182fps
Total War: Three KingdomsHigh: 190fps | Ultra: 158fpsHigh: 134fps | Highest: 97fps
Metro ExodusHigh: 175fps | Ultra: 172fpsHigh: 129fps | Ultra: 121fps
Red Dead Redemption 2Balanced: 163fps | Highest: 153fpsBalanced: 158fps | Highest: 120fps
The Division 2High: 203fps | Ultra: 192fpsHigh: 187fps | Ultra: 179fps

The best slimline gaming laptop

The best slimline gaming laptop


CPU: i5-12500H / i7-12700H
Graphics: RTX 3050 / RTX 3050 Ti / RTX 3060
RAM: 16GB - 32GB DDR5
Storage: : 512GB - 2TB SSD
Screen:: 14-inch, 1080p, 144Hz
Ports: 1x USB Type-A | 1x USB Type-C | 2x USB Type-C / Thunderbolt | 1x 3.5mm | microSD

Reasons to buy

Super slimline form factor
Impressive performance
More affordable than other Alienware rigs
Sleek aesthetic

Reasons to avoid

Limited configurations available
Increased depth leaves larger footprint
Matte display can dull colors

Our favorite configuration:

Alienware x14 | RTX 3050 | Intel i5-12500H at Dell

Alienware x14 | RTX 3050 | Intel i5-12500H at Dell
The Alienware x14 holds most of its value in its super slimline form factor and flexible (though still incredibly luxurious) design. While cheap by Alienware's standards, though, it's still a costly affair. If you're looking for that super thin profile above all else, we'd recommend taking a look at the base RTX 3050 configuration. You're getting that luxury chassis with Intel's latest processing chip and DDR5 RAM for $1,499.99 here, the best value out of all the options.

Buy It If

✅ You prioritize aesthetic and build quality over power: What the Alienware x14 lacks in raw power it makes up for in luxury, high quality build quality. This is Dell's most premium line so you know you're getting a slick piece of kit.

✅ You regularly travel with your laptop: At an almost impossibly thin 14.4mm and weighing just 1.8kg this is the most portable laptop on our list.

✅ You play lighter, less graphically demanding games: Our benchmark tests certainly didn't disappoint considering the low-end components on offer, but they still indicate that the x14 is better suited to less demanding titles. 

Don't Buy It If

You want top settings: We did manage to see 100fps+ rates in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, but the majority of newer and non-Nvidia optimized titles struggled to hold onto 60fps in Ultra settings. That's to be expected, but something to consider if you're used to pushing those sliders.

You want plenty of configuration options: The Alienware x14 only comes in two flavors; RTX 3050 and RTX 3060. That means anyone after some particularly powerful graphics cards will be better suited to another machine.

You want the best value for money possible: At full MSRP, an RTX 3060 build will run you close to $2,000. That's particularly expensive considering the actual components on offer, but you're spending on the luxury chassis and super slim build instead. 

The Alienware x14 is the thinnest laptop we've had on our desks, and it delights in its performance relative to the lower mid-range components under the hood. Of course, Intel's latest 12th generation processors are helping those RTX 3050 / RTX 3060 graphics cards (as is that DDR5 RAM), but all together these specs are working particularly hard to offer silky smooth framerates in even more demanding titles.

We found that the overall build quality was particularly impressive here, with the x14 shrinking exactly what makes the Alienware x17 feel so solid and premium down into a super flexible form factor. This thing is only 14.4mm thick, and if it weren't for the glowing RGB alien head on the top panel you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a slick business ultrabook.

In fact, there's some serious gaming chops under the hood. Of course, we didn't get numbers to threaten RTX 3070 or RTX 3080-toting machines in our testing, but with the Nvidia optimised Shadow of the Tomb Raider hitting an average of 108fps on Highest settings, there's plenty we shouldn't take for granted here. The Alienware x14 did struggle under heavier titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, but we could still draw 55fps in High settings. With a little tweaking, these more humble configurations can easily soar thanks to the engineering under the hood. 

The Alienware X14 earns its place on the mid-range shelf but will appeal more to those after a premium feel than those chasing framerates.

Alienware x14 review

During our testing, though, it quickly became obvious that the RTX 3050 / RTX 3050 Ti configurations would offer the best value for money here. We were a little disappointed by the 1080p 144Hz display considering the fact that our test unit was just knocking on the $2,000 price point. By contrast, this is a more than passable screen when placed on a $1,499 RTX 3050 rig. It feels like there's diminishing returns heading up the price scale here. 

That cost is the Alienware x14's only weakness, especially when it's wrapped up in the fact that there are comparatively very few components to choose from here. You're capped at an RTX 3060 and that configuration runs you equally close to a $2,000 price. Compared to the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 above, the value for money in terms of raw power just isn't there. 

Still, if you're looking for a super slimline, easily portable machine, the Alienware x14 is an excellent premium option. Not only are you getting that backpack-friendly form factor, but the USB-C charging makes it particularly easy to juice up on the go as well. 

Read more: Alienware x14 review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Alienware x14 Benchmarks (RTX 3060)
Benchmark Test1080p
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHigh: 116fps / Highest: 108fps
Total War: Three KingdomsHigh: 83fps / Ultra: 58fps
Red Dead Redemption 2Balanced: 55fps / Highest: 52fps
Metro ExodusHigh: 65fps / Ultra: 47fps
The Division 2High: 90fps / Ultra: 68fps

How we test gaming laptops

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

Every gaming laptop that we review is stress-tested against a series of benchmarking processes and everyday use. We run a standardised series of performance tests on each rig, benchmarking on both High and Ultra / Highest across: 

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider 
  • Total War: Three Kingdoms (Battle)
  • Metro Exodus
  • The Division 2
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

We carry out these benchmarks at both 1080p and other native resolutions offered by each individual system. 

We then test the GPUs inside these gaming laptops against 3DMark Firestrike and Firestrike Extreme (for 1440p rigs), using Firestrike Ultra for our 4K machines. We also use PC Mark 10 tests (including battery performance), as well as Sky Diver, Cinebench, and Crystal Disk Mark. 

Of course, we also live with these machines. We find the best gaming laptops by playing, binge-watching, and working with them for as long as we can, using them as we would our own machines (while pushing them a little further for the sake of science). 

Read more about how we find the best tech with our full Hardware Policy and find out exactly how we test gaming laptops.

How to find the best gaming laptop for you

Not sure what screen size you'd ideally want and what minimum spec you'd ultimately like to get in your search for the best gaming laptop? If you need help working that out, we're here to help. 

In our opinion, the key is to opt for something with a balance between performance, budget, and components – you want something that will play your favorite games now, but still have enough bandwidth to help you find a new favorite in the future.

So what's your first step when you start browsing for the best gaming laptop? You can start by having a budget or total price ceiling in mind, but generally (and somewhat predictably), you'll want to prioritize the hardware in the machine. As you've made it to this page, you're looking for a gaming-focused portable powerhouse and, as a result, want to aim high in the graphics card department, like a GPU from the RTX family of cards from Nvidia. 

This can be an excellent starting point to refine your search - but don't forget to look at laptops with a 16-series card in too as they offer incredible value when complemented by other, well-balanced components. A quick note on components: availability, as everyone knows, has been incredibly unreliable and volatile in recent months. As a result, it might be that when you visit retailers or makers of these machines, only some configurations are available at the time.

If you're unsure of which components you need, it's wise to consider the CPUs and GPUs on offer in tiers. If you only play lighter games that aren't too demanding, you might fall into the entry level tier, if you're looking to hit High settings with a few tweaks and still hit 60fps, it's worth looking in the mid-range. However, if you're going all-in on Ultra settings for the most demanding titles, the best gaming laptop for you might be a more premium option. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Entry levelMid-rangePremium
11th / 12th generation i5 | Ryzen 5 12th / 13th generation i7 | Ryzen 712th / 13th generation i9 | Ryzen 9
Nvidia GTX 1650Ti / RTX 3050 RTX 3050TiRTX 3060 / RTX 3070 / RTX 3070 TiRTX 3080 / RTX 3080 Ti / RTX 4080 / RTX 4090
60-120Hz144-240Hz240Hz - 300Hz
$500 - $800$800 - $1,800$1,800 - $3,000+

Best gaming laptops: FAQs

What new gaming laptops are coming for 2023?

CES 2023 gave us a first look into the next class of gaming laptop, and with everyone from Razer to MSI getting involved, we've got a pretty good idea of where this year is taking us. You'll find the biggest announcements from the biggest brands just below. 


Razer Blade 16

Razer Blade 18 


Alienware M16

Alienware M18

Alienware x14

Alienware x16

Dell G15

Dell G16


Acer Predator Helios 16

Acer Predator Helios 18

Acer Nitro 16 

Acer Nitro 17


Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 / 18 

Asus ROG Strix G16 / G18

Asus ROG Scar 17

Asus ROG Strix G17

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Asus ROG Flow Z13

Asus ROG X13 / X16

Asus TUF F15 / F17 

Asus TUF A15 / A17 

Which brand is best for gaming laptops?

Overall, the best gaming laptop brands include Razer, Alienware, MSI, Asus and Acer. However, there are a number of companies all competing for the title right now, from budget-oriented developers to high-end industry staples. Finding the best gaming laptop brand, however, may come down to how much you're willing to pay and how much you value extra features like mechanical keyboards and RGB lighting in your chassis. Alienware, for example, produces some incredible machines with these features built in, but at a significant premium - whereas Acer's machines tend to be more conservative in their builds but offer reduced prices. 

Can you spend under $1000 on a gaming laptop?

It's absolutely possible to spend less than $1,000 and still pick up one of the best gaming laptops on the market. Our favorite models under this price range are the Dell G15 and the Asus TUF Dash F15, though the Acer Nitro 5 also offers plenty of value in its cheaper configurations as well. You might be dropping down to 8GB of RAM or a cheaper version of an Intel processor, but if you're playing lighter titles or you're not fussed about the latest and greatest in performance there are plenty of options out there. 

Do you need a gaming laptop with an RTX GPU?

Picking up one of the latest Nvidia GPUs in your gaming laptop doesn't need to be a costly affair - RTX 3050 machines have been spotted at prices that would previously have sat on older GTX models. Nvidia's RTX chips are currently in their 30-Series, one up from the 20-Series launched last year, and you'll find the vast majority of gaming laptops on the shelves are sporting them. That doesn't necessarily mean you need one if you're just playing smaller games on a budget, in which case a GTX 1650 is still a worthy consideration. However, the bottom line is if you're buying a gaming laptop today, the choices on offer will revolve around the RTX 30-Series line. 

If you're looking to save some cash, though, you'll find plenty of RTX 3050 laptop deals and RTX 3060 laptop deals if you're looking for something with a little more power. However, if you're going big, it's worth checking out all the RTX 3070 laptops on offer, as well as the serious savings on RTX 3080 laptop deals as well.

Gaming laptops glossary

AMD is a brand that develops a wide range of processors and graphics cards for business and gaming laptops. The latest GPU series is the AMD Radeon RX 7900, while it releases processors under the Ryzen name, offering Ryzen 3, 5, 7, and 9 in ascending power levels.

AMD Freesync
AMD Freesync is a software found in many gaming laptop displays that reduces screen tearing and stuttering. The majority of laptops ship with the base FreeSync features, but there are also FreeSync Premium and FreeSync Premium Pro tiers which offer support for higher refresh rates and resolutions, as well as HDR. 

Bluetooth is the wireless connection gaming laptops can use to take input from a range of devices such as keyboards, headsets, and mice. However, these devices tend to use 2.4GHz adapter dongles these days (a small USB receiver with a lower latency connection), which means you'll be using Bluetooth for controllers more than anything else. The latest Bluetooth version is 5.0. 

The term chassis relates to the main body of the laptop, housing the components under the keyboard and the back of the lid. 

Cinebench is a benchmarking software developed by Maxon, designed to test the rendering power of a gaming laptop's processor. We use Cinebench to test the power of CPUs across both single-core and multi-core stress tests - the higher the number, the better the performance. 

CPU / Processor
The CPU (Central Processing Unit) or Processor is the central component of a gaming laptop, completing instructions and operations across the machine. Intel and AMD are the leading manufacturers of processors, with Core and Ryzen product lines respectively. 

Crystal Disk Mark
Crystal Disk Mark is a benchmarking software to test the storage performance of the SSD or hard drive used in a gaming laptop. We use Crystal Disk Mark to report on read and write speeds, which can translate to launch, loading, and rendering times. 

DisplayPort is a port found on many gaming laptops, offering the ability to connect your machine to an external monitor. Unlike HDMI, DisplayPort allows for multiple displays to be connected through a single port, however is not compatible with anything other than monitors and computers. The latest version of DisplayPort is 2.1.

Ethernet is the term given to both the port and cable used to connect your gaming laptop to the internet via a wire. Rather than using a less reliable WiFi connection, hardwiring your machine into your router can be faster and offer lower latencies. 

Fire Strike
Fire Strike is a graphics and physics test within the 3D Mark suite of benchmarks. We use Fire Strike to stress test the processor and graphics card, returning a figure as the result. The higher the number, the better the score. 

FPS (Frames Per Second)
Frames per second refers to the number of frames that are displayed on a screen every second. This is a handy way to measure the speed and fluidity of the graphics on your gaming laptop. Most titles run smoothly at 30fps, however faster action titles are better enjoyed at 60fps and up. Competitive esports-level framerates are often over 100fps. 

GPU / Graphics Card
The GPU is responsible for the graphics your gaming laptop is capable of reproducing. AMD and Nvidia produce the majority of graphics cards found in today's gaming laptops, offering a range of different performance levels and prices. The latest AMD GPU is the Radeon RX 7900 XT, and the latest Nvidia range is the GeForce RTX 40-Series. 

HDD is the acronym for a Hard Disk Drive, otherwise known as a hard drive. This is a form of storage often found in older, cheaper gaming laptops, or in addition to an SSD (Solid State Drive) in newer machines. An HDD is typically slower but cheaper (and therefore more readily available in higher capacities) than an SSD.

HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface, and is the primary connection method used to link a computer to an external monitor, TV, or projector. The latest HDMI version is 2.1. 

Intel is one of the leading producers of processors in both business and gaming laptops. Intel's CPUs are released in four tiers; i3, i5, i7, and i9 with various different models between them. The latest generation of Intel processors is the 13th.

Kensington Lock Slot
A Kensington Lock Slot is an additional accessory sometimes found on gaming laptops. It is a port to enable the user to keep their machine secure by tethering a lock and wrapping it around the leg of a table or chair, ensuring nobody else can remove the laptop from its position.

Nvidia is a brand best known in the gaming laptop space for producing graphics cards. The company's GeForce RTX GPUs are the most popular on the market right now. Nvidia also runs a game streaming service called GeForce Now, which can be used to run your Steam or Epic libraries on other devices. 

Nvidia G-Sync
Nvidia G-Sync is similar to AMD FreeSync (see above), and used to reduce screen tearing and stuttering during fast moving games. G-Sync is designed for use with Nvidia graphics cards, however. 

OLED displays are gathering momentum in the world of gaming laptops, offering an alternative to traditional LED screens. An OLED panel is able to produce better color contrasts and higher brightness.  

A computer's OS is its Operating System, most likely Windows. You'll very rarely find a gaming laptop shipping with a different operating system. The latest release is Windows 11. 

PC Mark 10
PC Mark 10 is a benchmarking software designed to test the power of a PC in a productivity setting. The program runs a series of mock work scenarios to test efficiency and processing performance, resulting in a single number response. The higher the number, the better the result. 

RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and allows your computer to streamline its efficiency in running tasks. The more RAM you have, the more space your gaming laptop has to keep required data easily accessible (and therefore recalled faster).

Refresh Rate
Refresh rate in the context of gaming laptops generally refers to the speed at which the display refreshes the picture. A higher refresh rate provides smoother motion, which is required for faster paced titles. Gaming laptops today generally offer at least 120Hz refresh rates, but can move up to 360Hz. 

The resolution of your screen is the number of pixels on the display. This is usually split into HD (1920 x 1080 or 1080p), QHD (2560 x 1440 or 1440p), or UHD (3840 x 2160 or 4K), however different screen proportions can bend these definitions a little - you may see QHD+ resolutions listed on a screen that isn't exactly 16:9 in dimensions (the standard for displays that these resolution numbers were based off). 

RGB refers to the lighting often found on gaming laptops, particularly in the keyboard. The term RGB denotes a range of colors rather than limiting backlighting to a single color.  

An SSD (or Solid State Drive) is the primary format of storage used in today's gaming laptops. It's faster than an HDD but is more expensive, which means you'll generally find SSD space tapping out at 1TB if you're browsing under $2,000.

A Thunderbolt port uses the same design as USB-C but a vastly different experience overall. Machines incorporate Thunderbolt to allow faster data transfer and charging speeds as well as connecting multiple devices via a single cable. The latest version is Thunderbolt 4. 

Time Spy
Time Spy is another DirectX test for the performance of a graphics card inside your gaming laptop, similar to Fire Strike. 

USB Type-A
USB Type-A ports are standard USB connections used by the majority of external devices and are characterized by their larger square shape compared to the smaller USB-C. However, USB Type-C (below) is set to take over from the older A model over the next few years. Type-A supports the speed of data consistent with USB 3.0 (the latest version). 

USB Type-C
USB Type-C is a newer connection type for adding external devices, shaped in a smaller, more rounded port style. USB-C can be used for power delivery if the port on your laptop accepts this feature, but is generally used for the same inputs as USB-A.

Vapor Chamber Cooling
Vapor Chamber Cooling is a relatively new method of keeping a gaming laptop's temperature down so that it can perform at its best. Rather than solely using air vents and fans, vapor chamber cooling relies on a liquid cooling system to distribute heat more effectively. 

If you've managed to find the right rig for you, it's worth investing some thought into the best laptop backpacks to get you out and about. Or, check out our guide to the latest cheap gaming laptop deals if you're looking for more savings. Or, check out all the cheap Alienware laptop deals and Razer laptop deals currently on sale for some serious discounts. 

Tabitha Baker
Managing Editor - Hardware

Managing Editor of Hardware at GamesRadar+, I originally landed in hardware at our sister site TechRadar before moving over to GamesRadar. In between, I've written for Tom’s Guide, Wireframe, The Indie Game Website and That Video Game Blog, covering everything from the PS5 launch to the Apple Pencil. Now, i'm focused on Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops (and the keyboards and mice that come with them), and tracking everything that suggests VR is about to take over our lives.

With contributions from