Gaming laptops present convincing arguments, especially for enthusiasts who enjoy pushing graphics quality to new levels beyond what a gaming console can provide. These arguments counter the assertions of purists who argue that a PC is necessary for a true gaming experience. While the gaming desktop unquestionably excels in this regard, thanks to its unmatched selection of components and raw processing power, fear not, as we are here to help you choose the best gaming laptop if your preferences or circumstances call for a portable gaming option. Gaming laptops offer the advantage of fluid 4K gameplay and make operating virtual reality (VR) installations easier.
1. Lenovo Legion 5i Gen 7
This laptop is a straightforward recommendation for the typical mainstream gamer due to its reasonable pricing, broad range of configuration options, and sturdy structure that shines in every way. Although our suggested setup may cost a little more than the base model, it offers useful insights into the scalability of this laptop and gives a high-quality product with few trade-offs. This laptop flawlessly delivers an amazing gaming experience across a wide variety of titles because to its bright 165Hz display, Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card.
2. MSI Katana 15 (2023)
Our review unit of this laptop stands out as an excellent option for the typical mainstream gamer in terms of value. But it shines in all respects; it is a winner in terms of its entry-level price as well. This laptop offers an excellent price for 1080p gaming at a fluid 144Hz with an Intel 13th Generation Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU, both available for around $1,000. Since the build and design are on the lower end of the range, there are undoubtedly some compromises. But it’s difficult to find a laptop that beats the value offered by this one if your main goal is to maximize performance while pushing your spending to the limit.
3. Acer Nitro 5 (2022, 17-Inch)
It’s important to note that the test model included in our thorough assessment of this huge Nitro laptop costs more than the range we initially designated as “budget” in the introduction, which regrettably reflects the current market reality for many systems. However, the Nitro 5 series has long been a well-liked entry-level laptop line, providing a range of models at various price points, especially at the lower end. Although the unit we evaluated leans more toward the midrange, it’s important to note that discounts are common and some merchants are willing to sell it for roughly $1,000.
4. Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Gen 7 (2022)
A true midrange model can provide a better value for your money given the gradual rise in the minimum price range for cheap laptops. This idea is brilliantly shown by the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Gen 7 gaming laptop, which offers an amazing and complete gaming laptop for a starting price of $1,439.99. The $1,599.99 reviewed device offers strong gaming performance across the board thanks to its AMD Ryzen 7 6800H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU. Given its price point and in combination with a roomy 165Hz display, enough of RAM, and abundant storage, this laptop offers lightning-fast performance and a rich feature set.
5. Alienware m17 R5
Boasting ample power and an array of configuration options, the Alienware m17 R5 is a standout choice. What makes it particularly appealing is its affordable starting price of $1,099.99 (at the time of this writing), which allows for extensive customization to create a midrange configuration that best suits your needs. While our reviewed model featured a higher price tag ($2,649.99) due to its AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU and Radeon 6850M XT GPU, there exists a wide range of options in between. Regardless of the configuration, you can expect a quality build and distinctive design, characteristic of all m17 R5 models. The availability of such customization options is a definite advantage, especially considering that many machines outside the budget range today tend to start at much higher prices.
6. Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8
This laptop simply blends the best of both worlds by offering great performance at an affordable price. While the emphasis changes away from looking for bargains in this price bracket, it’s important to remember that the Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 manages to offer high performance at a lower cost than its rivals. Although the build may lack some of the showy amenities featured in competing models, many potential purchasers may really like the modest appearance.
This laptop has a competitive pricing that starts at $2,299, and even our test model, which costs $2,749 and has an Intel Core i9-13900HX processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU, offers performance that is on par with that of more expensive laptops.
7. Razer Blade 18
Some of the most powerful gaming laptops on the market are emerging in the growing market for 18-inch laptops. These wider chassis give manufacturers the chance to include innovative parts and plenty of thermal solutions. The Razer Blade 18 stands out among them as a unique specimen that adopts this power-focused strategy while also maintaining a rather compact profile given its size. It combines a large display with high-performance internals and sports the luxury all-metal design that distinguishes Blade notebooks. It’s important to keep in mind that the chassis’ thinner design does lead to some performance compromises when compared to its larger rivals. However, if you have the requisite funds, this laptop offers a special combination of style and strength.
8. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)
If price is not an issue and CPU performance is what matters, the ROG Zephyrus G14 stands as the laptop to beat in the 14-inch category. With a cutting-edge AMD Ryzen 6000 series CPU, it not only has a sleek and portable design but also provides a long battery life and surpasses rivals of a comparable size in benchmark tests. Simply put, putting aside concerns about cost, it is the best option for anyone looking for a gaming laptop with a mobility focus and performance that can compete with some larger gaming systems. It’s crucial to remember that gaming systems in this size range frequently cost more.
9. Alienware x14
It is indisputable that 14-inch laptops are a new trend, and few OEMs can match Alienware’s skill with its x14 model when it comes to completing this compact form factor flawlessly. The x14 shows to be a formidable competitor even though the tiny design may occasionally result in performance limitations.
This machine, which starts at $1,649.99 and costs $2,299.99 in our tested configuration, is undoubtedly not cheap. But the money spent on this laptop pays off with a potent blend of portability and performance. Compared to its larger X models, Alienware’s new “X” series aesthetic revamp translates very well to the 14-inch size.
10. Asus ROG Strix Scar 18
While some choices on this list highlight size or financial factors, this particular decision disregards prudence. If money is not an issue, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 laptop, which pursues power at all costs, would be your best choice. This big 18-inch laptop, as its name suggests, is one of the forerunners of this recently popularized screen size. With the most recent Intel and Nvidia components, it has an unmatched performance for gaming and a wide range of features that will certainly please any well-off customer.