Are you thinking of cutting the cord on your desktop computer and giving your gaming experience new vistas? Choosing gaming laptops is harder than finishing Dark Souls without dying, but with new technology gamers now don’t have to sacrifice performance with portability. Here’s how you can have a desktop gaming experience without having to piece together the hardware yourself.
Gaming laptops have made even the newest AAA games accessible, and you can easily find high spec machines and the best graphics without breaking the bank. The most important things to look at are the processors and graphics card (GPU).
Gaming is very dependent on the GPU, and laptops don’t allow you to upgrade these. A good GPU will ensure you can play the newest games for a few years. You’ll also want to look out for a good CPU to prevent slowdown and lots of storage space.
We’ve done the hard work for you, researching and testing a whole range of machines to find you the best gaming laptop deals for your needs.
Acer Nitro 5
For Budget Gaming.
Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 4600U |Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 |Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD |Display: 15.6 inch
If you need a cheap gaming laptop, the Acer Nitro 5 sells for around $700 and so is aimed at gamers on a tight budget. For the price, you’ll get an AMD Ryzen 5 4600U coupled to an Nvidia GeForce 1650, it’s not great for games with high frame rates, but it’s capable enough for most games.
The laptop dissipates heat well, which gives it a better than expected battery life. It comes with 256GB of storage, which is not much if you’re also using it for work, but luckily it comes with an extra slot if you need to add an upgrade.
Gigabyte Aero 15
Ultralight gaming machine.
Processor: Intel Core i7 8750H |Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 |Storage: 1TB SSD |Display: 15.6”
The ultra-thin Gigabyte Aero 15 manages to be lighter than a Macbook PRO 16 without sacrificing gaming performance. Thanks to its Intel Core i9 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080.
The 15.6-inch display is 4k OLED, and the color and brightness are exceptional; it runs at 60Hz and can handle 4K streaming without problems. The placement of the webcam is not great, though; it’s below the display on the deck of the keyboard. Overall, a solid laptop with good performance.
Lenovo Legion Y740
A great all-rounder.
Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H |Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 |Storage: 1TB SSD |Display: 15.6”
If you want a gaming laptop that’s not too flashy but powerful enough to do what you want, then the Lenovo Legion Y740 is what you’re looking for. The design is understated and elegant, with soft RGB lighting on the keyboard.
An interesting inclusion is dedicated macro keys, which can be programmed to perform one or many functions. The hardware is excellent for the price range, with 16GB RAM, 1TB of storage, and a display that’s ideal for 1080p gaming.
Top choice for Alienware fans.
Processor: Intel Core i7 |Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 |Storage: 1TB |Display: 17.3”
With so many Alienware gaming laptops available, you might decide to splurge on the Alienware Area-51m. With its small bezels, eye-catching chassis, and full RGB lighting, you’ll be the envy of your gamer friends. The inside is just as impressive with its desktop-class Core i9-9900K and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080; it can handle anything you throw at it.
That’s assuming you can afford its premium price. It comes with a lavish 17.3-inch screen, but its size and weight is one of its biggest downsides. It can be a pain to transport, so it’s not for gamers on the go.
Razer Blade 15
Stylish and fast.
Processor: Intel Core i7-10875H |Graphics: Nvidia RTX 2080 |Storage: 512 GB |Display: 15.6”
If you’re willing to pay a bit more for a high spec, thin and light gaming laptop, the Razer Blade 15 Model is a strong choice. Razer has gone for Intel’s 10th Gen H-series and linked it up to an Nvidia RTX 2080, a great combo for gaming at 1080p, and it also has an option for 300 Hz display, which is great for esports.
It has an elegant design that’s easy to carry around. Coming in at just under $1,500 for the most basic model, it may not exactly be budget-friendly but is more affordable than many others.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Ultraportable and powerful.
Processor: AMD Ryzen 4900HS |Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 |Storage: 1 TB PCIe SSD |Display: 14”
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 was many people’s choice for best gaming laptop 2020, and it holds up well; you still get great gaming performance in a slim package for under $1,000.The Zephyrus has a minimalist style, but with its AMD Ryzen 4000 processors and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card, you get strong productivity and gaming performance.
The one drawback is the lack of a webcam, which can be a dealbreaker if you need to do video conferencing.
MSI GS65 Stealth
Stylish, slim, and powerful.
Processor: Intel Core i7 |Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 |Storage: 512GB SSD |Display: 15.6”
The MSI GS65 Stealth gives you all the power you need in a slim, attractive package. Coming in at 0.7 inches thick and 4.1lbs, it’s one of the best light gaming laptops available now. It features a 240Hz display and lets you run the best games at an unreal 240FPS.
The arrangement of Intel Core i7-8750H with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 means that it flies through all the benchmark tests and will let you play the latest games with graphics set to high.
Acer Predator Helios 300
A great midrange gamer.
Processor: Intel i7-10750H 6 Core |Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 |Storage: 512GB SSD |Display: 15.6”
The Acer Predator Helios 300 gives you good performance for under $2000. Although it’s based on older Pascal architecture, the Intel Core i7 8750H is still a powerful processor, and the performance of the GTX 1060 graphics card is almost indistinguishable from the GTX 1650.
Acer promises a battery life of between six and seven hours for continuous use, such as watching movies or web surfing. Overall, it’s still great for 1080p gaming compared to other models of the same price.
Dell XPS 17
Touch screen for work and play.
Processor: Intel Core i7-10875H |Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 |Storage: 1TB SSD |Display: 17”
Okay, so the Dell XPS 17 isn’t technically a gaming laptop, but within its thin frame, it has the specs to give you a brilliant gaming experience. If you need a laptop for work but don’t want to miss out on your games, then the sleek design won’t look out of place in your weekly meetings.
Much of the $2,800 price tag is explained by the stunning 4k, 17-inch touchscreen display, which looks great and offers accurate colors. The battery life goes well beyond 10 hours, making this is a fantastic choice for photographers and other content creators.
HP Omen 15
Affordable gaming with great performance.
Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H |Graphics: Nvidia RTX 2080 |Storage: 512GB SSD |Display: 15.6”
The HP Omen 15 doesn’t go for the over the top aesthetic with RGB lights, but it’s still a gaming laptop, one that’s affordable without sacrificing too much performance. It is a great mid-tier gaming laptop, you won’t be maxing out the settings on the latest steam games, but it can play most AAA titles well enough.
The 15.6-inch, 144 Hz display is both bright and colorful, and the audio is decent. The HP Omen 15 is priced competitively and doesn’t cut too many corners, ideal for work or play.
Asus ROG Mothership
Your desktop replacement.
Processor: Intel Core i9-9980HK |Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 |Storage: 1.5TB SSD |Display: 17.3”
Pushing the limits of what you think an Asus gaming laptop can be, the ROG Mothership aims to be a gaming desktop replacement. It has a convertible design with a detachable keyboard. The Mothership is a massive laptop. It weighs in at 10.5lbs with a 17.3-inch screen and comes with not one but two power bricks.
The internal components also add to the massive price tag. Most GPUs are tuned down slightly to fit high-end graphics into thin laptops, but the Mothership has more than enough space to let it run wild, giving it superior performance to most gaming laptops.
Lenovo Ideapad 3
Best for students.
Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U |Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8 |Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD |Display: 14” FHD
Lenovo Ideapad 3 is ideal for students as it comes in under $500 and is good for multitasking and casual gaming. It comes with AMD’s 3rd generation Ryzen 5 3500U 4 core processor and an integrated AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics card. This gets it up to 40fps, which gives a decent gaming experience for most popular titles.
It has a simple, clean design and, at 3.3lbs, is light enough to carry around school all day. The 14 inch full HD display renders crisp images suitable for watching Youtube or Netflix, although the brightness is on the low side, which means it’s really only suitable for indoor usage.
Once You’ve Chosen
Don’t worry if you can’t afford the laptop of your dreams, gaming is about much more than the machine you’re using. Look through the specs and compare reviews of gaming laptops to find the best one for your situation. Whichever set up you decide on, look into ways of improving your gaming experience don’t forget to have fun.
So whatever you’re on, log in, and we’ll see you in the lobby.
Photo by Fredrick Tendong on Unsplash
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