If you would have asked us to find the best gaming laptop a few years ago, we would have just searched for one with an Intel Core i7 processor, 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 favorites.
There are plenty of great gaming laptops out there that look like your Dad’s laptop, but you shouldn’t ignore them. Thanks to Nvidia Turing Max-Q graphics for laptops, revealed at CES 2019, you really shouldn’t. Some of the best gaming laptops in 2019 don’t look like gaming laptops – just look at the MSI GS65 Stealth. Don’t worry, though, there are still huge desktop replacement devices out there if that’s more your aesthetic.
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.
1. MSI GS65 Stealth
Thin. Beautiful. Powerful.
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM, Max-Q) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 144Hz panel | Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
Beautiful, subtle design
Underside gets very hot
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
2. Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501
Under an inch thick and still kicking ass
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 120Hz panel with G-Sync | Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe x4 SSD
Innovative and quiet cooling
Laughable battery life
Poor keyboard and ergonomics
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
3. MSI GT75 Titan
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i7-i9 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM) | RAM: Up to 32GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD – UHD (1,920 x 1,080 – 3,840 x 2,160) | Storage: 1TB, 1TB HDD
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
4. Asus ROG G703GI
CPU: Intel Core i7-i9 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM) | RAM: 64GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080)144Hz | Storage: 3 x 512GB SSD (M.2, RAID 0), 2TB HDD
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
5. Razer Blade
A gaming-ready MacBook Pro rival
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5 VRAM) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: Up to 15.6-inch UHD (3,840 x 2,160) 60Hz | Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
Impressive battery life
4K display option
Fans whir loudly under load
Limited upgrade options
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
6. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
CPU: Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics with 4GB HMB2 Graphics Memory | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge anti-reflective touch display | Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Kind of expensive
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
7. Asus ROG Strix GL502
It’s hard not to love a gaming laptop this good
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – 1070 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch full HD 1,920 x 1,080 IPS | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD
Rocks Full HD gaming
Deliciously vibrant screen
Middling battery life
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
8. Dell G3 15
CPU: Intel Core i5 8300H – Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 – GTX 1060 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 1TB SSHD – 512GB PCIe SSD
Great performance for the money
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
9. Gigabyte Aero 15
CPU: Intel Core i7 8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LCD anti-glare | Storage: 512GB SSD
Super thin bezels
Deceptively thin and light
Unfortunate webcam placement
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
10. Alienware 17 R5
Using the power of i9 to dominate the competition
CPU: Intel Core i9-8950HK | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM) | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 17.3-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440)144Hz | Storage: 246GB PCIe M.2 SSD, 1TB 7,200RPM HDD
Beautiful 17-inch display
Weighs almost 10 pounds
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
Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article