Best Gaming Laptops to Buy in 2021
If you are looking for the best gaming laptop for either yourself or someone special, you’re probably finding a lot of different information and opinions online. But how much of that information is truly digestible and user-friendly? If you’re in the market for a great gaming laptop but don’t want to dredge through all of the unnecessary fluff, you’re in the right place.
We have put together a fantastic list, populated with some of the very best gaming laptops on the market today. We’ll go over each laptop’s specifications, pros and cons, and overall appeal for serious gamers and casual players alike.
How to Choose The Best Gaming Laptop
Before you start looking at specs, you should figure out what type of gamer you are.
Are you all about portability? Or are you a hardcore gamer focused intently on immersion? Maybe your gaming style is casual and you don’t even need all of the bells and whistles?
Each category or style of gaming has totally different system requirements. So, we’ll talk about which category each laptop on our list fits in to as well.
Key things to consider when shopping for the best gaming laptop include:
The majority of gamers go big or go home on this one. Why? Anything under 15” can be a serious hindrance in most gaming scenarios. On the other hand, it might be reasonable to consider something more compact if you’re looking for portability over power.
Screen Resolution & Type
If you’re a gamer you should pay special attention to the quality of a laptop’s screen. Never go less than Full HD (1080) for gaming, it will decrease visibility significantly in darker games like dungeon crawlers or war games.
There are other things to consider as well, such as G-Sync vs Free sync, or IPS vs TN vs OLED. Not sure what the difference is? We’ll make it simple:
G-Sync vs Free Sync
Both G-Sync and Free Sync blow their predecessor, V-Sync, out of the water. Both technologies achieve the same basic end goal – they sync the rate at which your graphics card and your monitor refresh frames. It eliminates tearing, but each technology has its ups and downs.
AMD’s pet project, Free Sync, is a lot friendlier to gamers on a budget. Their adaptive sync technology is cheap and easy to integrate, and as a result, is found in a much wider range of gaming monitors. Overall compatibility is higher as well.
The only real potential downside here is the potential for restrictive frame-rates. Cheaper displays will have lower ranges (ex. 48Hz to 75Hz) and won’t work well for hardcore gamers that are looking for great detail.
NVIDIA’s version of adaptive sync technology is a lot harder on your wallet but they do ensure top-notch quality control in their product line. G-Sync displays sport additional features such as Ultra Low Motion Blur and refresh rate overclocking made simple.
IPS vs TN vs OLED
The technology behind the screen is just as important as the screen itself. Each of these three screen types has its own set of unique benefits which we’ll quickly go over.
IPS, aka In-Plane Switching, displays are notorious for having the very best viewing angles and color accuracy. They’re expensive, but popular nonetheless. However, in comparison to TN it has a slower response time.
TN, aka Twisted Nematic, display panels are by far the most common type found in home computing and gaming today. These are notorious for their lack of tearing and their short panel response time which results in significantly less ghosting. The downside to TN’s is their lack of color accuracy.
OLED displays are considered to be the top of line in today’s market. They aren’t very common, however, due to their price tag. Organic Light-Emitting Diode display panels take on a whole new approach to backlighting technology – in that there is no backlight. Each diode can be individually tweaked to provide the perfect level of light, color hue, saturation, etc.
The only downside to OLED displays is image burn-in; which results from having static imagery on the screen for too long.
Audio seems like a no-brainer at first glance but look again. Audio plays an increasingly large part in game immersion, particularly in VR and AR applications.
Gaming laptop designers have caught on to gamer’s enthusiasm for this feature and are really pulling out all of the stops these days. Before you settle for basic, flat, tinny sounding speakers take a look at what’s available. There isn’t any particular speaker type to keep an eye out for, just double check that it has the adjustability and sound quality and levels that you’re personally looking for.
The “Guts” (CPU, RAM, Storage, Etc.)
While all of these elements are very important, you won’t need to worry too much about the specifics when it comes to this list. Every single laptop mentioned here will be equipped with adequate storage and processing power for your gaming experience. Any exceptions will be mentioned in the pros and cons section. But, if curious, check this guide from TomsHardware.
7 Best Gaming Laptops
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17
Finest Choice for PC Games on Windows 10
Thanks to its exceptional speed, and high level of power, this top-tier model represents one of the best products for those who utilize Windows 10 Pro gaming. With multiple spaces for SSDs, the storage can be expanded significantly, making it a reliable associate if you need your full data library anywhere on the go.
Equipped with the 10th Gen Intel Core, and cutting-edge NVIDIA GeForce graphics, it delivers ultimate quality and unparalleled speed. Speaking of it comes with a lightning-speed fast refresh rate of 300Hz, guaranteeing fast-paced action for the most demanding gamers.
Making sure the performance is fully boosted, the manufacturer incorporated ROG’s Intelligent Cooling. It’s the perfect combo of crucial elements that makes it so powerful – liquid metal compound on the CPU combined with a well-ventilated exterior. This also results in reduced noise levels.
Among other useful features, there’s ROG Keystone II, so when you dock the laptop, it gives you access to personalized settings. Plus, it bolsters a hidden Shadow Drive for storing private data.
Moreover, it hosts a multiverse of options for comprehensive connectivity – USB 3.2 Type-C with DisplayPort 1.4, along with three Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 slots and HDMI 2.0b.
- 10th Gen Intel Core i7
- ROG Keystone II
- ROG’s Intelligent Cooling
- 300Hz refresh rate
- Multiple connectivity options
- Occasional irritating noise when the fan speed is higher
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Gaming Laptop
Thin and Compact, with Innovative Colling
Equipped with the 8-Core 10th Gen Intel Core i7, it undoubtedly brings more power and better value to players. This, in combination with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER (or 2080), delivers faster and crispier graphics, which can satisfy the most sophisticated fans.
For those craving for immersive and life-like visuals, there’s 4K OLED touch display which delivers superfast 1ms response time as well as a generous palette of colors covering 100% of the DCI-P3 space. In addition to this, the HDR 400 True Black guarantees the supreme quality of all colors – be they deep blacks or those more vibrant and vivid.
Making sure the device is cooled properly, the manufacturer implemented a Vapor Chamber, thanks to which max performance is ensured- both when gaming or creating.
Moreover, it’s extremely thin and compact, yet packed with quite powerful components, making it more than convenient to have it with you wherever you go.
- 10th Gen Intel Core i7 with 8 cores
- Ultra-thin aluminum chassis (0.7-inches)
- 4K OLED touch display
- 15.6” FHD thin bezel
- Vapor Chamber for cooling
- Shorter battery life, both when plugged and unplugged
Gigabyte AORUS 15G
Features Built-in AI for Intelligent Optimization
Packed with NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics, this new enhanced model comes with a multitude of powerful options for higher quality player experience. Real-time ray tracing, programmable shading, and artificial intelligence are just some of those cutting-edge elements.
Thanks to Core i7 H series 8 core processor, and a clock speed of 5.1GHz the media processing is astonishingly fast, making it possible for the device to run the most demanding content. Moreover, it comes with an ultra-high refresh rate of 240Hz for additional speed.
With its ultra-thin bezel, games are treated with the excellent display surface, without increasing chassis size. Plus, with the newest WINDFORCE Infinity Cooling System, cooling efficiency is enhanced by 30%, so no need to interrupt the gaming session when things are getting super-exciting just because the device is too hot.
In addition to this, the model comes with the latest E2600 LAN internet chip and AX1650 wireless network card, making it possible to support the next-gen internet standard. It comes with a transfer speed of up to 2.4Gbps. Also, it is equipped with multiple slots, for even better diversification of expanding capacities.
- The thinnest model in its class
- 240Hz IPS Anti-Glare Display
- Latest Intel 10th Gen. Core i7
- Exclusive, built-in Microsoft Azure AI
- Slower memory and SSD
- It gets warmer even when idle
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S15
For Those Who Demand Crispiest Graphics
Being one of the most versatile products in the niche, this model represents a premium powerhouse, a device that redefines the possibilities of a gaming laptop. To start with ProArt TruColor Technology, thanks to which this device delivers a Pantone Validated palette across the full sRGB color space.
Equipped with super-narrow 6.2mm bezels frame, it enables exceptional performance for various content and media- be it games, of professional projects. Also, it features a high refresh rate IPS-level display, for even smoother performance.
Enhanced with ROG Intelligent Cooling, it bolsters multiple switching modes, for even better optimization. There’s silent, balance, and turbo, so those can be adjusted according to ambiance and needs.
With an excellent combination of ultra-slim and highly durable product, you can have it wherever you do, as it can withstand the harshest conditions- humidity, extreme temperature modifications, and versatile altitudes. All its parts, including ports and keyboards, are tested for resilience.
As a final touch, it has premium soft-touch paint coats on the palm rest. Say goodbye to fingerprints because even after a busy day, your laptop will still look neat.
- Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i7
- ROG Aura Sync System with RGB Keyboard
- Refresh rate of 300Hz
- ROG Intelligent Cooling thermal system with additional components
- No real number pad
- NO SD card reader
HP OMEN 17 17-cb1080nr
Excellent Model for Multi-tasking, with Backlit Keyboard
Thanks to 10th Gen Intel Core i7 as well as 2.6 GHz base frequency (up to 5 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology), this device has what it takes to level up mobile gaming and content creation and take them to new heights. It promises fast downloads and smooth streaming- overall breakthrough performance.
Packed with higher bandwidth, it enables 30x faster performance than a traditional hard drive. It comes with two accessible memory slots which can be upgraded up to 32 GB. Plus, it comes with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 combo, enabling up to 3x faster file transfer speeds.
With an extremely reliable battery life, you can have it with you while out and about. Providing up to 3 hours and 45 minutes of video playback. Or you can stream wirelessly up to 3 hours, or use it for various purposes up to 6 hours, it won’t let you down, so say hello to the most adventurous missions.
Moreover, it has 4 independent zones with different backlight RGB lighting, as well as outlines on WASD, to highlight key controls – what else could a passionate gamer ask for? Also, it has a 17.3-inch diagonal Full HD, and anti-glare IPS display, and dual monitor support. The refresh rate is 144Hz.
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
- 10th Generation Intel Core i7
- Excellent connectivity options
- Some quality control issues
Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop
Great Choice for Light Gaming and Beginners
Packed with 9th Gen Intel Core and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics, this device has what it takes to bring one to the adventurous gaming universe. This, in combination with other powerful features such as 15.6” Full HD IPS promises endless session of exciting action and unparalleled performance.
Proudly advertising it as a model which can soar to new gaming height, the manufacturer delivered a sleek and modern laptop, which can follow you wherever you go. Adding more spice to it are dedicated NitroSense Key, along with highlighted WASD and arrow keys to locate them faster and easier.
Knowing that gaming aficionados are looking for supreme quality sound as well, they incorporated Acer TrueHarmony and Waves MaxxAudio, two crucial ingredients that guarantee richer sound and breath-taking bass.
For those who like longer gaming sessions, there’s Acer CoolBoost Technology enhanced with additional elements to keep your device cool and fully-functional. Those are Twin Fans and Dual Exhaust Ports. Plus, it features an HD webcam and multiple options for connectivity.
- 9th Gen Intel Core i7
- Backlit Keyboard
- Dedicated NitroSense Key
- Sleek, mobile design
- Fans can be loud
- Occasionally even the keys get warmer
MSI GS66 Stealth
Super-fast Performance for Most Passionate Gamers
Empowered with the latest 10th Gen Core i9, this model can meet the preferences of the most demanding games, as well as those who like multi-tasking. It comes with a 50% performance boost. In addition to this, it bolsters cutting-edge graphics, delivered with more cores and higher clocks for even faster performance.
Thanks to its black metal chassis, this device looks even more powerful, and what’s even more important- more durable. With its matte-black color, it has a low-profile design, making it an excellent choice wherever you need it- your home, your office, or elsewhere.
Delivering up to 300Hz refresh rate, it provides 5x faster and crispier visuals, so no detail will be missing. Moreover, it can be charged through Thunderbolt 3, making it a reliable associate even while on the move.
Worth mentioning is that the product scored multiple awards for its breath-taking performance, making it possible for you to be passionate worker by day, and equally passionate gamer by night.
- 15.6″ FHD Anti-Glare Wide View Angle
- 10th Gen Intel Core i9
- AI-enhanced graphics
- The refresh rate of 300Hz
- Multi-award-winning model
- Led bleed at the edges of the screen’s is noticeable (particularly if the content is dark and/or low-lit)
- Fans can be noisy
When choosing a laptop for gaming check its size, screen resolution and type, audio, CPU, RAM, storage and of course graphics card. We have listed for you 7 best gaming laptops of 2020 from different manufacturers with different price ranges.
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Table of Contents
- How to Choose The Best Gaming Laptop
- 7 Best Gaming Laptops