A gaming laptop gives you all the power and performance of a desktop with the added benefit of being able to pick up and game away from your desk.
So, what to look for when you’re shopping around for the best gaming laptop. Your budget always plays a big factor. First, lock down a price range. Then decide waht type of graphics card you need. With Nvidia RTX 2060 or 2070 you will be able to play most games on high graphical presets and fairly decent framerates.
For displays, we like anything with an IPS screen at a 120Hz refresh rate. While 4K screens look great, at a minimum, your system should have 16GB of RAM, an Intel i7 processor, and a modestly sized SSD for storage. OLED screens provide great colors if you do you a lot of video editing or love to binge out on TV. Webcams (and webcam placement) on gaming laptops are notoriously hit or miss, so always think about that. We have recommendations for the best gaming laptops, depending on your specific needs.
Other reviews: the best gaming monitors | the best gaming keyboards | the best gaming mouse | the best gaming headsets |the best gaming mouse pads | the best microphone | the best gaming chairs | the best gaming PC case | the best gaming motherboard | the best graphics cards | the best gaming CPU | the best gaming SSD
1. Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model – 15.6-inch
The best gaming laptop in 2019
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 | RAM: 16GB DDR4-2666Mhz | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS 144Hz | Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD | Battery: 80Whr | Dimensions: 9.25 x 13.98 x 0.78 inches | Weight: 4.63 lbs
Not much has changed since the advent of the original Razer Blade 15 in spring 2018. The refreshed, so-called “Advanced Model” is outfitted with the same CNC-milled aluminum chassis as its predecessor, only this time it holds the latest graphics chips from Nvidia, namely the RTX family of Turing architecture-based GPUs.
You could argue that’s because the Razer Blade 15 aims to replace not only your desktop but your existing laptop, too. After all, its touchpad is the closest thing to a MacBook trackpad you will find on a Windows notebook. In just about every way, the Razer Blade 15 feels like a dream.
Razer Blade 15 is available in an abundance of different flavors, most of which actually makes a lot of sense. If you want a 4K OLED screen, it’s exclusive to an RTX 2080 configuration, perhaps the only Max-Q graphics card that could hope to drive 4K graphics.
Whatever the case, you can take solace in the fact that the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model is the overall best gaming laptop on the market right now, and until someone else steps up to the plate to contest this crowning achievement, it will continue to sit here at the top of this list.
- Unparalleled build quality
- Wide range of CPU/GPU options
- Costs more for the same
- No longer thinnest or lightest
2. MSI GS65 Stealth Thin – 15.6-inch
2018’s champion is still the best gaming laptop to many people
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q | RAM: 16GB DDR4-2400MHz | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) wide-view 144Hz | Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD | Battery: 82 Whr | Dimensions: 9.75 x 14.08 x 0.69 inches | Weight: 4.14 lbs
The GS65 Stealth Thin is the best gaming laptop we tested in 2018. It’s a fantastic all-rounder that still packs a punch in terms of specs and design. It has the versatility of a notebook and, because it’s light and sturdy, it’s incredibly easy to just pop into your bag and carry round all day for whatever you need to use it for.
There are other nice details on the GS65, which still makes it a great laptop: a keyboard from SteelSeries that’s solid and responsive (and RGB-lit, if you care about that sort of thing), a responsive touchpad, and a webcam that’s placed at the top of the screen, thankfully avoiding the abysmally unflattering “nose-cam” found on most thin-bezeled laptops like the Dell XPS 13.
The only gaming feature missing here is G-Sync, but this allows for both a lower price tag and battery life that legitimately lasts through a whole day of email, web browsing, and streaming video.
- Sleek and powerful
- Long battery life
- 144Hz screen
- No G-Sync
3. Acer Predator Helios 300 – 15.6-inch
The best budget gaming laptop—GTX 1060 graphics for a grand
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB | RAM: 16GB DDR4-2666MHz | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS 144Hz | Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD | Battery: 3720 mAh | Dimensions: 10.01 x 14.23 x 0.90 inches | Weight: 5.07 lbs
We loved Acer’s Predator Helios 300 during the 10-series era: at just over a grand, sometimes less if you could find it on sale, it offered a GTX 1060 6GB graphics card that could lock down 60 fps at near-max settings in most games from the last few years. Now the newer model Helios is back with a GTX 1660 Ti GPU and a sleeker form factor for basically the same price.
The new and improved Helios 300 has a 144Hz IPS screen as well as smaller bezels, putting it more in line with sleek thin-and-lights than its more bulky brethren of the previous generation. RAM speed has been bumped up to 2666Mhz as well, which is a nice improvement. The only real drawback here is the diminutive SSD, although there are larger storage options (thankfully all in SSD form) if you want more space.
- Incredible value
- Decent battery life
- Brings a 1660 Ti GPU
- Small storage
4. MSI GL63 8SE – 15.6-inch
The best entry-level gaming laptop
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 2060 6GB | RAM: 8GB DDR4-2666 | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS | Storage: 1TB HDD | Battery: 3-cell 41 Whr | Dimensions: 15.07 x 10.24 x 1.14 inches | Weight: 4.85 lbs
The MSI GL63 8SE has to be our top choice for ultra-budget gaming laptops. Priced as low as £1,299.99 on sale, the GL63 comes equipped with Intel’s i7-8750H , 8GB of DDR4 RAM, Nvidia’s GeForce 2060 6GB and one of the thinner bezels we’ve seen in this price range. The only obvious downside is the lack of an included SSD. The laptop comes loaded with a 1TB HDD which means you’ll probably want to upgrade the storage fairly quickly.
With its highly competitive price tag, the MSI GL63 8SE is one of the cheapest gaming laptops we could find with a RTX 2060 discrete graphics card. It’s priced just a little bit higher than Acer’s Aspire E 15, but the GF63 offers up to 67 percent higher gaming performance and exponentially higher performance when compared to laptops with integrated graphics. If you’re working with a tight budget, the GL63 offers everything you’d need in a laptop without putting a huge dent in your wallet.
- Thin bezels
- Easy to upgrade RAM and storage
- No included SSD
5. Asus ROG Strix GL503VS-DH74 Scar Edition
Bigger body, better performance
CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 | RAM: 16GB DDR4-2400MHz | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) wide-view 144Hz with G-Sync | Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD, 1TB FireCuda SSHD | Battery: 64 Whr | Dimensions: 10.3 x 15.2 x 1.0 inches | Weight: 5.6 lbs
I said at the beginning that choosing a laptop usually means picking two between price, performance, and portability. Where thin-and-light laptops like the GS65 offer the latter two of those three, the Asus ROG Strix GL503VS-DH74 Scar Edition instead checks the first two boxes: price and performance.
In exchange for a larger shell, the GL503VS packs in a regular (non Max-Q) GTX 1070 GPU. This results in a performance improvement of around 15 percent at a slightly lower price point. It uses a previous gen quad-core CPU, but that doesn’t matter in most games. The GL503VS also offers G-Sync on its 144Hz panel, but the tradeoff means you miss out on Nvidia’s Optimus battery tech. As such, you shouldn’t expect more than around two hours of battery life. Don’t forget your charger!
- Full-power (non Max-Q)
- GTX 1070
- Great SSD
- Poor battery life