If you would have asked us to find the best gaming laptop a few years ago, the answer would have been to find something with an Intel Core i7 CPU, dedicated graphics and 8GB of RAM. A lot has changed in the last few years, though, and the best gaming laptops come in every shape and size. Because it’s harder than ever to find the best gaming laptops, we’ve picked out a few of our favorite devices.
And, while plenty of gaming laptops look like ordinary office devices, you shouldn’t ignore them. Thanks to Nvidia Turing Max-Q graphics for laptops, revealed at CES 2019, the best gaming laptops are stealthy – like the aptly named MSI GS65 Stealth. Don’t worry, though, there are still huge desktop replacement laptops like the MSI GT75 Titan if that’s more your style.
So, no matter what kind of games you like to play, and no matter what your budget looks like, you can find a traditional thicc gaming behemoth, or a cheap gaming laptop under $1,000/£800/AU$1,400 like the Dell G3. You’ll find all the best gaming laptops right here. And, because we’ve tested all these laptops ourselves, you can be confident that you’re getting something worth your time.
If you want to play some of the best PC games on the move, but you don’t want everyone to know you’re playing games, the MSI GS65 Stealth is the best gaming laptop for you. Coming in at just .69 inches thick and featuring impressive hardware like Intel Coffee Lake processors and Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-series – refreshed with RTX 20-series graphics at CES – the MSI GS65 Stealth packs a ton of power into a very svelte package. There’s nothing you won’t be able to throw at this thing that’ll slow it down. And, thanks to the subdued design, you’ll be able to bring this beefy rig everywhere you go, making it the best gaming laptop on the market right now.
Read the full review: MSI GS65 Stealth
Kicking Nvidia’s Max-Q technology off right, the Asus Zephyrus GX501 combines the heralded thinness of an Ultrabook with the performance of a gaming PC to bring the best of both worlds to your feet. Despite exhibiting subpar times in our battery life benchmarks, this svelte powerhouse of a notebook is one for the books when it comes to both portability and style. Plus, it’s virtually silent if noise is a cause for distraction in your everyday routine.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501
If you’re looking for a gaming laptop that doesn’t pull any punches, and can run any game you can throw at it without a care in the world, you’ll want to look at the MSI GT75 Titan. It’s a titanic desktop replacement rocking 6-core Intel Coffee Lake CPUs, tons of RAM and GTX 1080 graphics. You’re not going to be able to carry it around with you, and it’s not going to be something you’ll want to be caught with in a coffee shop, but if raw power is what you’re after, look no further. Just be ready to break open your piggy bank.
Read the full review: MSI GT75 Titan
Thin and light gaming laptops are everywhere right now, but if you don’t care about that, and want a thick, heavy and monstrous laptop that can demolish any game you throw at it – the Asus ROG G703GI is for you. This is a massive – and expensive – laptop, but it justifies its size and price with gaming performance that rivals the best gaming PCs. Just don’t think you’ll be able to haul it along with you to your local coffee shop without its two power bricks – or awkward stares.
Read the full review: Asus ROG G703GI
The Razer Blade might still have an unbearably edgy name, but now that the 2018 version is here, it’s fitting – it’s still on the cutting edge. Beyond its insanely high-end specs and beautiful chassis, it can fit up to a 4K Ultra-HD display, with the specs to actually back it up. That’s not to mention the expandability that the Razer Core X opens up. It might be expensive, but if you’re a Razer fan looking for the best gaming laptop, it might just be for you.
Read the full review: Razer Blade
If you want one of the best gaming laptops, but don’t want to miss out on the ultra-portable craze, you need to consider the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1. Packed with an Intel Kaby Lake G-series processor, this gaming laptop can keep up with its competitors rocking a GTX 1050 without featuring truly discrete graphics. And, when you combine that gaming horsepower with a chassis that looks this good, it’s a total win – even if you have to endure some fan noise to get there.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
It may not boast the most innovative design, substituting the usual black and red aesthetic for one that makes it feel like Halloween all year round (no complaints here). But, it’s undoubtedly one of the best when it comes to gaming in 1080p. In fact, we were able to crank the setting s all the way up in Overwatch without ever straying below 60fps. It doesn’t feature the longest battery life, but the screen, power and onboard sound system more than make up for it.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix GL502
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Alienware 17 R5
When you’re setting out to buy one of the best gaming laptops, one of the first things you’ll likely notice is how expensive they can get. Luckily, the Dell G3 15 is not just extremely affordable, but it punches above its weight class with great 1080p gaming performance. With up to an Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU, you’ll be able to play all the latest games at 1080p without breaking a sweat, even if it’s not at max settings all the time. And, that blue on black color combo is quite a looker, if that’s your aesthetic.
Read the full review: Dell G3 15
It used to be that the best gaming laptops were thick, bulky devices that were necessary to experience the best PC games on the move. Those days are over. The Gigabyte Aero 15 packs a 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and a GTX 1060 into a package that allows it to pass as an Ultrabook. And, thanks to that beefy 6-core processor, it’s not just one of the best gaming laptops – it’s one of the best laptops, period.
Read the full review: Gigabyte Aero 15
Ever since Intel unveiled its i9-8950HK, we just knew that it would find its way behind the best gaming laptops 2018 had to offer, and we’ve been proven right heading into 2019. The Alienware 17 R5 is a beast of a gaming laptop with the aforementioned CPU and an overclocked GTX 1080. If you’re willing to get an absolute tank of a laptop that weighs nearly 10 pounds, this hulking computer will demolish any and all games you throw at it. Just don’t expect to throw it in a bag without some severe back pain.
Read the full review: Alienware 17 R5
- Image Credit: TechRadar
Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article
- Want more choices? Check out our list of the best laptop 2019