Game on the go with the best gaming laptops. These notebooks aren't just powerful; they're made specifically for gaming, thanks to the best mobile GPUs in their portable form factor.
We're not only talking about high-end, super-expensive machines here. These days you don't need to spend a huge amount of money to get a great laptop to game on. Thanks to internal mobile components getting cheaper, even affordable and budget laptops can see you through the most demanding and best PC games, which is great news for gamers especially right now.
Most of us are also now facing a cost of living crises with rising food, fuel and utility prices. So, now more than ever, best value wins over the most expensive and kitted out gaming rig.
We've overhauled our best gaming laptops list to highlight devices that suit a range of budgets. We still have our high-end favorites, but we've also packed it with budget and exceptional value picks. That includes laptops from HP, Lenovo and Median that can handle games with relative ease without costing the earth.
Don't just consider the cost, however. As always, you’ll also want to think about the type of games you play. That will help determine which hardware you’ll want to focus on in your gaming laptop. Luckily, our best gaming laptops list should give you several excellent options to consider, no matter if it's narrative-driven games you love or fast-paced competitive games.
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Best gaming laptops 2022
The MSI Raider GE76 is an absolute beast of a gaming laptop, packed with the most powerful Intel and Nvidia hardware for laptops you can get, and none of it is constrained in any way. However, this much power comes at a price. The configuration we reviewed, with an Intel Core i9-12900HK, 32GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, will set you back a whopping $3,999 (about AED 15,000).
Read the full review: MSI Raider GE76 (2022)
Our favorite Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 config:
AMD Ryzen 9 | RTX 3080 | 32GB RAM (opens in new tab)
There's absolutely no game this laptop won't be able to handle if you go for these specs, with a powerful Ryzen 9 processor and mobile Nvidia RTX 3080 laptop GPU. Along with 32GB of RAM, this is a gaming laptop that will last you for years.
The MSI Raider GE76 is an absolute beast of a gaming laptop, packed with the most powerful Intel and Nvidia hardware for laptops you can get, and none of it is constrained in any way. While the high power of this gaming laptop means it doesn’t have the best battery life in the world – only reaching about five hours – it is one of the first gaming laptops we’ve used that we would genuinely call a '4K gaming laptop'.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus G15
Our favorite Asus TUF Dash F15 config:
Intel Core i7 | RTX 3050 Ti | 8GB RAM (opens in new tab)
The Asus TUF Dash F15 is a great affordable gaming laptop, and this one offers good specs, including a Core i7 11th gen processor and RTX 3050 Ti GPU. For 1080p gaming, this is fine, but the most important thing is the low price, making it ideal for people on a budget.
The Asus TUF line is no stranger to affordable great performers. Last year’s Asus TUF A15, for instance, was simply brilliant while keeping things accessible to budget-conscious gamers. The Asus TUF Dash F15 is back to preserve that affordability while also delivering brute strength. It brings in Intel Tiger Lake processors, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 mobile GPUs, and up to a 240Hz 1080p display without costing a fortune while also keeping things light, thin, and military-grade durable.
Read the full review: Asus TUF Dash F15
Our favorite Gigabyte Aorus 17G config:
Intel Core i7 | RTX 3080 | 32GB RAM (opens in new tab)
We love this model of the Gigabyte Aorus 17G because it comes with some killer specs, including an RTX 3080 laptop graphics card and 32GB of RAM, plus a powerful Core i7 processor. This can play any modern game with ease, and is ideal for streamers who need to multitask.
A tactile mechanical keyboard and a 300Hz refresh rate display are just the beginning. The Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021) touts an incredible gaming performance that might just be worthy of desktop gaming PCs. With one of the RTX 3000 GPUs under the hood, this will see you through the most graphics-intensive games, including competitive ones. And, because of its impressive battery life, you can do so away from a power source.
Read the full review: Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021)
Our favorite Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6) config:
AMD Ryzen 7 | RTX 3070 | 16GB RAM (opens in new tab)
The Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6) is not exactly cheap, but you can certainly customize one for a more down-to-earth price. For that, we like the Ryzen 7, RTX 3070 setup, which will see you through high-res at 60fps or faster gaming beautifully while knocking off a few hundred bucks/quid off the main model.
A fantastic laptop that delivered astounding performance across the board, the Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6) has proven itself already worth its steep price tag – even if it’s not exactly something most people can afford. This is a pricey behemoth with only about three hours of battery life, but if you’re ok with something you wouldn’t want to travel with, this is a winner. Apart from its unrivalled gaming performance, you’re also getting a bunch of RGB lighting options and a bunch of ports – three USBs, three USB-C, an HDMI 2.1 and two DisplayPort 1.4 ports – so you’ll never need a separate hub for your peripherals.
Read the full review: Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6)
Our favorite Alienware m17 R4 config:
Intel Core i7 | RTX 3070 | 16GB RAM (opens in new tab)
We love this configuration of the Alienware m17 because it features amazing performance without being so expensive. The RTX 3070 is a perfect fit for the 1080p high-refresh display, and because it's the highest-power option for the 3070, you're going to get the same performance as most laptop-class RTX 3080s anyways.
It’s not always going to be substance over style. The Alienware m17 series continues to prove this with the new Alienware m17 R4, an extremely powerful gaming laptop with plenty of ports and an extremely stylish chassis that lights up like a Christmas tree. That way, you can play all the latest AAA games smoothing and in style. Of course, this being one of the fastest gaming laptops in 2021, it won’t be cheap. However, if you have the money, you’ll be glad you chose this.
Read the full review: Alienware m17 R4 (2021)
Our favorite Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition config
AMD Ryzen 9 | Radeon RX 6800M | 16GB RAM (opens in new tab)
This is the configuration we got in for review, and it is perfect for playing the latest and greatest games with all the options set up. And because it's a 1080p display at 300Hz, this hardware is perfect for playing the latest and greatest esports titles.
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Powerful great-value laptops aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, so when one does come out every now and then, we’re only too happy to test it out. The Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition, one of the latest best value laptops to hit the streets, is AMD’s successful swing at the high-end, boasting AMD’s top processor and GPU. But, it isn’t just its performance that takes center stage here. That battery life is astounding as well, especially considering those powerful specs.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition
Our favorite Razer Blade Pro 17 config
Intel Core i7 | RTX 3070 | 16GB RAM (opens in new tab)
The Razer Blade 15 (2021) is a premium purchase, but most people will find a more affordable prospect with this more approachable configuration, which is plenty powerful for smooth 4K gaming – though you’ll have to spring for a 4K monitor separately. Those who want sheer power could always go for the RTX 3080 model.
The 2021 follow-up to the Razer Blade 15 line doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s just as gorgeous and glamorous as ever, wearing its luxurious, thin and light design like its reputation depends on it. But, it isn’t just a beautiful piece of kit; it’s a powerful one too. Its 11th-gen chips and Series 3000 GPUs ensure that it delivers an excellent performance worthy of gamers. Razer then rounds it all out with a comfortable keyboard and among the best trackpad in a Windows laptop. If you’re looking for a gaming laptop that’s just as powerful as it is beautiful, this one’s a win.
Read the full review: Razer Blade 15 (2021)
The Alienware X14 is one of the thinnest and lightest gaming laptops we've ever tested. At just over half an inch thick and under 5 lb of heft, it's easy to slip into your bag and forget it's even there. Plus, because it can charge off of a USB-C cable, you don't have to worry about hauling around a huge charging brick like with other gaming laptops.
It does peak at just an RTX 3060 for a GPU, but that's more than enough when you're just looking to do some gaming on the go. Plus, the 1080p display is perfect for that graphics chip. The Alienware X14 is a bit lacking when it comes to battery life and the webcam, but it's not enough to keep us from singing this laptop's praises. We highly recommend, as long as you have the money for it.
Read the full review: Alienware X14
Our favorite Lenovo Legion 5 Pro config
AMD Ryzen 7 | RTX 3070 | 8GB RAM (opens in new tab)
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a great mid-range gaming laptop and this config is perfect for someone that doesn't want to break $2,000 to get some great gaming performance. It does only have 8GB of RAM, but you can upgrade that later.
Hands down one of the best gaming laptops we’ve tested, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro comes with all the makings of a nearly perfect portable for gaming. Its incredible performance is matched only by that gorgeous QHD IPS screen with up to 500 nits of brightness, Dolby Vision, and up to a 165Hz refresh rate. It also boasts excellent hardware controls, admirable battery life, and a full-sized keyboard. Budget-minded gamers will also appreciate the fact that while it’s among the best in its class, it’s also reasonably priced, making it a better value than its peers.
Read the full review: Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
How to choose the best gaming laptop for you?
Choosing the best gaming laptop is easy when you’ve got deep pockets or have a couple of thousand dollars to spare. It’s when your budget is more limited that getting a great gaming laptop becomes trickier.
Lucky for us, we’re getting plenty of more affordably-priced CPUs and GPUs that don’t compromise on power. The latest internals are more capable yet also cheaper than ever. That means that gaming notebooks under $1000 can be just as capable as any gaming PC while keeping things portable and space-saving.
Still, some components are more powerful or cheaper than others. While it’s no longer a hard and fast rule, AMD’s offerings are generally more affordable, which means that AMD Ryzen-powered laptops tend to be slightly cheaper.
In terms of graphics cards, Nvidia is still king when it comes to performance, although which RTX card you should go for depends on the type of gaming experience you want. The RTX 3060, for example, is a terrific mid-range contender with lots of power for 1080p gaming. However, if you want that 4K goodness, an RTX 3070 or higher is the way to go.
Consider the RAM as well. Other things to look at are the amount of storage, type of display, and type and variety of ports. Take a look at the battery life as well, especially if you plan on gaming on the go. Know that just because something is premium doesn’t automatically mean it’ll deliver a long battery life – the Alienware laptops are a cautionary tale. And, of course, since you do have to like how your gaming notebook looks, think about the design and whether or not you want RGB lighting.
Whichever one you pick however, we guarantee one of our picks below will let you dive into your favorite games, from the best cheap PC games to the best laptop games and the best PC games – all without tethering you to a desk.
How we test gaming laptops
Testing a gaming laptop isn’t as easy as you might think. But, then again, neither is narrowing down your options and choosing the best one for you, which is why we take our job seriously. Even if that means gaming for hours on end – hey, someone’s gotta make the sacrifice, right?
In all seriousness, we put every gaming laptop we test through its paces to make sure it delivers as promised and is worth your hard-earned case. That means that on top of playing the latest and hottest games on it, noting things like gaming and thermal performance, we also run synthetic benchmarks like PCMark 10, 3DMark and Geekbench 5 as well as battery tests.
Because a gaming laptop is only as good as its peripherals, we take a look at how smooth and fast the display is, how comfortable and responsive its keyboard is, whether or not there are enough ports on hand, and how good its overall design is. We also test its webcam, in case users want to utilize it for game streaming.
We then take everything we’ve learned about the gaming laptop and compare it to its price – whether or not it’s performance and features are worth that price tag, and whether or not it offers the best value to customers.
Which laptop is best for gaming?
At a base level, you’re going to need a gaming laptop that runs the newest game releases, whether they’re AAA or games that require lower graphics settings. Ideally, you’ll want to pick a gaming laptop with a decent graphics card - it doesn’t have to be as advanced as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, which can play even the most graphically intense games at the highest settings, but you’ll want something that can play any and every game you might play.
RAM is crucial in the best gaming laptops as well, as it makes sure there aren’t performance issues within the laptop. The last thing you want is for your game to sputter or freeze in the middle of important action sequences or cutscenes, so you’ll want a gaming laptop with plenty of RAM to tackle those high-intensity games.
Screen size should also factor into your gaming laptop decision. If you’re someone who likes having the biggest screen to see as much as possible of your game, you’re going to want a bigger screen, ideally something from 16- to 17.3-inches. If you’re okay with having a standard size screen, you may be able to get away with getting a gaming laptop with a screen anywhere from 14 to 15.6 inches.
If you travel a lot you’re going to want to consider how heavy the gaming laptop is, as well as any necessary accessories you’ll need to pack. Travelling often will also mean you need to make sure your gaming laptop has a decent battery life, otherwise you’ll be trekking from outlet to outlet on your journey.
How much RAM do I need for gaming?
There are many gaming laptops that start you off with an 8GB DDR4 memory, which is the minimum these days. However, that might not be enough for a speedy performance.
If you play a lot of demanding AAA titles, at least 16GB is recommended for the smoothest experience. If you can afford to splurge, a 32GB memory will give you the smoothest, most immersive experience.
Is it worth it to get a gaming laptop?
Absolutely. Gaming PCs are no longer incomparable, thanks to mobile devices getting smaller yet also more powerful. If you need something that's space-saving and/or portable yet powerful enough to tackle your favorite games, no matter if those are not-so-demanding games or the most graphically-intensive titles, one of the best gaming laptops is worth considering.
What is a good thin gaming laptop?
There aren't a lot of thin and light gaming laptops out there, but that doesn't mean you can't find several options to choose from.
The best ones are impressively portable without sacrificing power or battery life. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 sits at the top of that pile, with MSI GS65 Stealth and the Razer Blade Stealth following closely behind.