Take Your PC Gaming on the Road With These Powerful Gaming Laptops | IGN

The days of massive gaming PCs reigning supreme are feeling like a thing of the past. More and more gaming laptops are showing up with components that can rival their desktop counterparts while fitting into a compact design. Some gaming laptops even go as far as including the actual desktop variant of components, like the CPU, with extra cooling solutions to keep up.

You can find extreme power in a portable, all-in-one gaming laptop, or you can find more modest gaming performance in a laptop smaller than you’d believe. Some also cross the line between desktops and laptops with external peripherals that can boost their performance by adding desktop graphics cards.

There are also many gaming laptops with some of the most impressive displays you’ll see around. From dazzling 4K resolutions to the brilliant contrast ratios of OLED panels, and from 1ms response times to the 300Hz refresh rates recently introduced, you’ll find gaming laptops with displays that are nearly unmatched in the desktop space. After ample testing and research, we’ve narrowed down our picks so you can be sure the gaming laptops you’re looking at are the best of the best.

TL;DR – These are the Best Gaming Laptops:

1. MSI GE66 Raider

Best Gaming Laptop

[poilib element=”commerceCta” json=”%7B%22image%22%3A%7B%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FMSIGE66-Raider1594750621080.jpg%22%2C%22styleUrl%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FMSIGE66-Raider1594750621080_%7Bsize%7D.jpg%22%2C%22id%22%3A%225f0df6a3e4b0d737084437a0%22%7D%2C%22url%22%3A%22http%3A%2F%2Fr.zdbb.net%2Fu%2Fby3u%22%2C%22title%22%3A%22MSI%20GE66%20Raider%22%2C%22store%22%3A%22Amazon%22%2C%22additionalInfo%22%3A%22%22%2C%22ourPick%22%3Atrue%7D”]

The MSI GE66 Raider offers up a bit of everything you should want from a modern gaming laptop. At its heart, you’ll find a powerful Intel Core i7-10750H processor that gives you six cores and boost speeds up to 5GHz. That processor paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics processor is more than ready for a heaping dose of gaming.

The display on the MSI GE66 Raider is also another piece of the puzzle. It’s a 1080p display, which might not dazzle some folks with more and more hype surrounding 4K, but it can run at 240Hz for some of the smoothest gameplay you can find. And, the system is powered by a 99.9 watt-hour battery for the most battery life possible in a travel-worth laptop. All that in a device that’s a little over 5 pounds makes for an all-around winner.

2. MSI GP65 Leopard

Best Budget Gaming Laptop

[poilib element=”commerceCta” json=”%7B%22image%22%3A%7B%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FMSIGP65-Leopard1594750683269.jpg%22%2C%22styleUrl%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FMSIGP65-Leopard1594750683269_%7Bsize%7D.jpg%22%2C%22id%22%3A%225f0df6e0e4b0d737084437a2%22%7D%2C%22url%22%3A%22http%3A%2F%2Fr.zdbb.net%2Fu%2Fbxs3%22%2C%22title%22%3A%22MSI%20GP65%20Leopard%22%2C%22store%22%3A%22Amazon%22%2C%22additionalInfo%22%3A%22%22%2C%22ourPick%22%3Afalse%7D”]

If you don’t feel a need for all the highest-end gaming stuff, the MSI GP65 Leopard can cover your bases for a lower price. This gaming laptop doesn’t max out the specs like some crazy, high-end devices, but it goes a decent way toward offering a taste of the high-end. The Intel Core i7-10750H paired with 16GB of RAM is more than enough to do a load of computing and gaming, and a 512GB NVMe SSD has room for your operating system and a handful of games.

The MSI GP65 Leopard earns its gaming stripes with the pairing of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics processor with a 120Hz, 1080p display. That may not be as fast as a laptop display can run these days, but it’s still exceptionally fast compared to the standard 60Hz displays found on many devices.

3. Alienware Area-51m R2

The Most Upgradeable Gaming Laptop

[poilib element=”commerceCta” json=”%7B%22image%22%3A%7B%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FAlienwareArea-51m-R21594750874033.jpg%22%2C%22styleUrl%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FAlienwareArea-51m-R21594750874033_%7Bsize%7D.jpg%22%2C%22id%22%3A%225f0df79fe4b0cf6015a1bc9a%22%7D%2C%22url%22%3A%22http%3A%2F%2Fr.zdbb.net%2Fu%2Fby41%22%2C%22title%22%3A%22Alienware%20Area-51m%20R2%22%2C%22store%22%3A%22Dell%22%2C%22additionalInfo%22%3A%22%22%2C%22ourPick%22%3Afalse%7D”]

Alienware’s Area-51m R2 is a gaming monstrosity, and you can actually make it just about as monstrous as you like. The laptop is bordering on a compact desktop in size, and that leaves room for some serious customization options. The model we’ve selected includes a 17.3-inch, 4K display that can hit 500 nits as well as a 10-core Intel Core i9-10900K, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super, 32GB of RAM, and 2TB of NVMe SSD storage in a RAID 0 configuration.

That’s already one of the highest-end configurations, but there’s even more room for RAM and storage to boost the potential of this laptop. And, the Alienware Area-51m R2 supports the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, so you can run it with a future, desktop graphics card to drive even more gaming performance.

4. Asus ROG Zephyrus G15

Best Gaming Laptop for Everyday Life

[poilib element=”commerceCta” json=”%7B%22image%22%3A%7B%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FAsusROG-Zephyrus-G151594750973886.jpg%22%2C%22styleUrl%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FAsusROG-Zephyrus-G151594750973886_%7Bsize%7D.jpg%22%2C%22id%22%3A%225f0df803e4b0d737084437a3%22%7D%2C%22url%22%3A%22http%3A%2F%2Fr.zdbb.net%2Fu%2Fbxs7%22%2C%22title%22%3A%22Asus%20ROG%20Zephyrus%20G15%22%2C%22store%22%3A%22Amazon%22%2C%22additionalInfo%22%3A%22%22%2C%22ourPick%22%3Afalse%7D”]

A lot of gaming laptops sink so deep into their niche that they can forget many of us have more to do with our computers than just game. To that end, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 offers a phenomenal balance. That’s driven in large part by its use of the AMD Ryzen 7-4800HS processor. Thanks to the 7nm architecture of this processor, it offers solid eight-core performance but doesn’t burn through the laptop’s battery as quickly as many other gaming laptops.

That balanced performance makes for great everyday computing, but don’t forget this is also ready for gaming. It packs in an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 to take advantage of its 240Hz display. The RTX 2060 won’t be running every game at 240 frames-per-second, but the potential is there in some games, so it doesn’t hurt to have the headroom. What makes this laptop that much better for everyday life is that all that comes into a compact package that weighs well under five pounds.

5. Razer Blade 15

Best 15-inch Gaming Laptop

[poilib element=”commerceCta” json=”%7B%22image%22%3A%7B%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FRazerBlade-151594751069629.jpg%22%2C%22styleUrl%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FRazerBlade-151594751069629_%7Bsize%7D.jpg%22%2C%22id%22%3A%225f0df863e4b0cf6015a1bc9b%22%7D%2C%22url%22%3A%22http%3A%2F%2Fr.zdbb.net%2Fu%2Fby42%22%2C%22title%22%3A%22Razer%20Blade%2015%22%2C%22store%22%3A%22Amazon%22%2C%22additionalInfo%22%3A%22%22%2C%22ourPick%22%3Afalse%7D”]

Razer has truly cemented its place as a leading manufacturer when it comes to 15-inch gaming laptops. The frequent iterations of the Razer Blade 15 have regularly demonstrated serious gaming chops backed by a high level of polish. There aren’t many powerful gaming laptops that weigh just 4.6 pounds and measure under 0.8-inches thick.

The latest Razer Blade 15 base model packs in serious hardware with an Intel Core i7-10750H, 16GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060. That’s a fast enough configuration to let the 1080p display make full use of its 144Hz refresh rate. And, if the graphics processor eventually becomes a bottleneck, Razer’s external graphics card dock is still an option for boosting performance.

6. MSI GT76 Titan DT

Best 17-inch Gaming Laptop

[poilib element=”commerceCta” json=”%7B%22image%22%3A%7B%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FMSIGT76-Titan-DT1594751164379.jpg%22%2C%22styleUrl%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FMSIGT76-Titan-DT1594751164379_%7Bsize%7D.jpg%22%2C%22id%22%3A%225f0df8c2e4b0cf6015a1bc9c%22%7D%2C%22url%22%3A%22http%3A%2F%2Fr.zdbb.net%2Fu%2Fby43%22%2C%22title%22%3A%22MSI%20GT76%20Titan%20DT%22%2C%22store%22%3A%22Amazon%22%2C%22additionalInfo%22%3A%22%22%2C%22ourPick%22%3Afalse%7D”]

If you’re looking to go big with your laptop, the MSI GT76 Titan DT should catch your eyes. This laptop is a bit of a mammoth at almost 10 pounds, but it actually keeps a somewhat sleeker chassis design than you might be used to from 17-inch gaming laptops. That’s thanks to slim bezels around its screen, which happens to be a 4K Ultra HD display with complete coverage of the Adobe RGB color space.

For a laptop of this size, it naturally comes seriously loaded. You’ll get an Intel Core i9-10900K and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super. The model we’ve selected also packed in 64GB of RAM, so you’ll be able to take on gaming in your free time and heavy workloads that even many office computers would shy away from.

7. Acer Predator Triton 500

Best Gaming Laptop for Esports

[poilib element=”commerceCta” json=”%7B%22image%22%3A%7B%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FAcerPredator-Triton-5001594751221081.jpg%22%2C%22styleUrl%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FAcerPredator-Triton-5001594751221081_%7Bsize%7D.jpg%22%2C%22id%22%3A%225f0df8fbe4b0d737084437a4%22%7D%2C%22url%22%3A%22http%3A%2F%2Fr.zdbb.net%2Fu%2Fby44%22%2C%22title%22%3A%22Acer%20Predator%20Triton%20500%22%2C%22store%22%3A%22Amazon%22%2C%22additionalInfo%22%3A%22%22%2C%22ourPick%22%3Afalse%7D”]

When it comes to esports, speed is king. You want to be able to see everything that’s happening in your game as clearly as possible, and you get that by going with the fastest screen possible. Acer has made sure gamers can get this in a laptop with the the company’s first gaming laptop with a 300Hz display.

It’s no ordinary gaming PC that can power a 300Hz, 1080p display. So, Acer has packed this beast with an Intel Core i7-10750H and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super. With some fine-tuning of graphics settings in popular esports games, you’ll be flying at 300 frames-per-second, and you’ll get to see every single one of them.

8. Origin EVO17-S

Most Customizable Gaming Laptop

[poilib element=”commerceCta” json=”%7B%22image%22%3A%7B%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FOriginEVO17-S1594751324913.jpg%22%2C%22styleUrl%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FOriginEVO17-S1594751324913_%7Bsize%7D.jpg%22%2C%22id%22%3A%225f0df963e4b0cf6015a1bc9d%22%7D%2C%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fr.zdbb.net%2Fu%2Fbxta%22%2C%22title%22%3A%22Origin%20EVO17-S%22%2C%22store%22%3A%22Origin%20PC%22%2C%22additionalInfo%22%3A%22%22%2C%22ourPick%22%3Afalse%7D”]

Sometimes, when you’re getting a laptop, you just want options. A lot of laptops come largely pre-configured with only a few components the manufacturer will let you swap for something else. The Origin EVO17-S (see our review of an earlier model) does things differently.

This gaming laptop will let you configure a number of key components from the display and graphics processor to the RAM and storage. For the RAM and storage, you can even select from a number of manufacturers as well as RAID configurations for the drives. And, let’s not forget the looks. Origin PC offers customization for the laptop cover from prints and metallic colors to hydro dips and laser etching.

9. Alienware m15 R3

Sleek and Powerful

[poilib element=”commerceCta” json=”%7B%22image%22%3A%7B%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FAlienwarem15-R31594751491523.jpg%22%2C%22styleUrl%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FAlienwarem15-R31594751491523_%7Bsize%7D.jpg%22%2C%22id%22%3A%225f0dfa09e4b0cf6015a1bc9e%22%7D%2C%22url%22%3A%22http%3A%2F%2Fr.zdbb.net%2Fu%2Fby4b%22%2C%22title%22%3A%22Alienware%20m15%20R3%22%2C%22store%22%3A%22Dell%22%2C%22additionalInfo%22%3A%22%22%2C%22ourPick%22%3Afalse%7D”]

To get a serious level of performance and a super slick package, check out the latest iteration of Alienware’s m15 series (read our review of the first Alienware m15). The Alienware m15 R3 measures just 0.78 inches at its thickest point and weighs only 4.65 pounds. That makes it among the thinnest and lightest on this list, but you won’t be missing out on much that you’d find in a chunkier laptop.

The Alienware m15 R3 still packs in an Intel Core i7-10750H processor with 32GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q. If you’re wondering what all that performance is good for, you’ll be pleased to hear that this beast features a 300Hz display, letting you put all that power to use for insanely high frame-rates.

10. Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo

Best Dual-Screen Gaming Laptop

[poilib element=”commerceCta” json=”%7B%22image%22%3A%7B%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FAsusROG-Zephyrus-Duo1594751536059.jpg%22%2C%22styleUrl%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fassets1.ignimgs.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2FAsusROG-Zephyrus-Duo1594751536059_%7Bsize%7D.jpg%22%2C%22id%22%3A%225f0dfa35e4b0d737084437a5%22%7D%2C%22url%22%3A%22http%3A%2F%2Fr.zdbb.net%2Fu%2Fby4j%22%2C%22title%22%3A%22Asus%20ROG%20Zephyrus%20Duo%22%2C%22store%22%3A%22Amazon%22%2C%22additionalInfo%22%3A%22%22%2C%22ourPick%22%3Afalse%7D”]

There are a lot of gaming laptops that stick to the same old formula but just keep implementing faster and faster components. The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo (read our review) does things a little differently. Instead of one display, you’ll find two. The primary display is a 15.6-inch, 4K Ultra HD, IPS panel with a 60Hz refresh rate. Below that, there’s a thin, 14″ touchscreen display with a 3,840 x 1,100 resolution.

Make no mistake, this gaming laptop doesn’t forget about fast components. It packs an Intel Core i9-10900HK with 32GB of RAM (clocked at 3,200MHz no less), and it also runs an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super for excellent gaming performance. Take all that and then factor in the 2TB of NVMe SSD storage in a RAID 0 configuration, and you’ll feel no shortage of speed from this machine.

What’s next for gaming laptops

The new biggest component you’ll want in your next gaming laptop is AMD’s new Ryzen 4th Generation mobile processors, which finally bring the company’s 7nm Zen 2 architecture to mobile platforms. These new CPUs bring unprecedented 8-cores and 16-threads chips to notebooks for a boatload of more processing power.

At CES 2020, just about every laptop of note featured AMD’s new Ryzen 4th Generation processors. Our favorite machine from the show was easily the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 that combined a Ryzen 4th Gen CPU with the power of Nvidia RTX 2060. We’ve seen that come to market as well as the impressive Asus ROG Zephyrus G15, and now it’s just a matter of time before even more Ryzen-power gaming laptops show us just how far AMD can go.

What to look for in a Gaming Laptop

The best gaming laptops have come a long way in relatively little time. Power, portability, and price have all seen dramatic improvements in just the last 5 years, and somehow gaming laptops are getting thinner and adding even more features.

The newest gaming laptops are cramming RTX 2080 graphics cards inside of them. These ray-tracing capable cards from Nvidia are among our picks for the best graphics cards, at least the desktop versions. Fitting them inside of a gaming laptop, like the Asus ROG Zephyrus S, is no easy feat. Nvidia’s Max-Q tech makes it possible to run a powerhouse GPU inside a thin laptop frame without the whole thing becoming boiling hot.

Choosing the latest processor isn’t quite as necessary, but it’s a nice to have. When shopping for a gaming laptop be sure the Intel processor has a model number of Intel Core ix-9xxxH (i.e. Intel Core i7-9750H or Intel Core i9-9900k), this denotes that it’s one of Team Blue’s latest Coffee Lake H-series processors. If the gaming laptop you’re eying has an AMD processor, ensure it’s model number has a three at the start of it—such as AMD Ryzen 7 3750H—as it lets you know its one of AMD’s latest 3rd Generation processors.

The portability is a huge advantage, as is a ready-to-go display, often equipped with variable refresh rate technology or better-than-HD resolutions. The disadvantage is most gaming laptops are only as portable as the nearest electrical outlet. All that power comes at a price, after all, and while there are a few exceptions, the general rule of gaming laptops is battery life stinks.

Asus-ROG-Mothership-720x405 Take Your PC Gaming on the Road With These Powerful Gaming Laptops | IGN

[poilib element=”quoteBox” parameters=”excerpt=Most%20gaming%20laptops%20are%20only%20as%20portable%20as%20the%20nearest%20electrical%20outlet.”]

Another big disadvantage a gaming laptop has compared to a gaming desktop is price. It costs quite a lot more to stuff all those components (i.e. the built-in trackpad, keyboard, speakers, and display) into an easy-to-carry shell. When considering a gaming laptop over a gaming desktop, ask yourself, is the premium in price worth it over and would it be cheaper to buy these all separately?

From our experience, it’s always better to stick with the least amount of memory and storage on checkout, and then upgrading it yourself with higher capacity components that are much cheaper to buy on their own. A 1TB SSD might sound tempting as it’ll help get your system booted in an instant and store all your games, but a high-end upgrade like that can often cost half or a quarter as much as the whole machine.

However, upgrading leads directly to another consideration, how easy it to swap out components. Whereas it’s usually a snap to add or replace a component in your desktop rig, upgrading anything in your gaming laptop, other than RAM, will often mean having to buy a whole new computer.

Acer_Predator_Helios_700-1-720x540 Take Your PC Gaming on the Road With These Powerful Gaming Laptops | IGN

One thing a powerful gaming laptop has over a comparably equipped desktop is a certain “wow” factor. Since it’s portable, it’s a whole lot easier to show it off. Manufacturers realize how important looking cool is, so gaming laptops are some of the coolest and most aggressively styled computers around. They borrow lines from modern supercars and high-tech jet fighters, and many have flashy LED lights to let everyone around you know how serious you are.

Some gaming laptops like the Asus ROG Mothership and Acer Predator 900 shake up the traditional clamshell laptop formula by introducing innovative 2-in-1 laptop designs. But these gimmick models are rarely worth the extra premium they demand.

For more helpful guides, be sure to check out our guide to the best gaming chairs, gaming desks, and the best gaming headsets.

[widget path=”ign/modules/recirc” parameters=”title=More%20Tech%20Round-Ups&type=articles&tags=tech-roundup&count=4&columnCount=4&theme=article”]

[poilib element=”accentDivider”]

Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam

Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark
Read More

Leave a Reply