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Gaming laptops allow you to have a portability factor that bulky desktop gaming PCs won’t be able to provide. However, this portability comes at a cost – gaming laptops are oftentimes more expensive than their desktop equivalents. Nonetheless, they’re a worthwhile investment as they come in a range of variants for your needs.
Are you on the lookout for a gaming laptop? If the answer’s yes, have a look at this list of the best gaming laptops.
1. Razer Blade 14 – Editor’s Choice
There are multiple reasons why I’m putting this laptop at the top of the list. Even though Razer has released the more powerful Razer Blade 15, I believe that the Blade 14 is the best overall gaming laptop you can buy this year.
The laptop is part of the smaller 14-inch gaming laptops that have been making waves over the past couple of years. In addition to this, the laptop is unbelievably slim and sleek.
The components are based on some of the latest gaming architecture, whether it’s for the processor or the GPU. The laptop pairs an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU with an RTX 3070 for serious horsepower under the hood.
For the screen, you’re getting a QHD display with a 165Hz refresh rate for pure gaming goodness. With all these components, you’re likely to push for Ultra settings in the latest games. Moreover, the smaller form factor helps with portability.
The laptop also has a massive 1TB SSD, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 3200MHz. With these specs, you’re assured high-quality gaming for the next 3 years, at the very least.
The one issue I’ve noticed with the Razer Blade 14 is that it tends to get warm after extended usage. I’d recommend you use an external cooling fan to keep the temperatures normal.
Hardware is top-notch
QHD display and 165Hz refresh rate
This is another 14-inch laptop, this time hailing from Acer. While this laptop can and should be used more for official purposes, it’s a good option to keep when your budget isn’t sky-high.
It also comes with a fingerprint reader and Alexa in-built. If you’re a student whose budget is slightly over $1000, or if you’re looking for a secondary gaming laptop, the Acer Swift X is a good choice. If you tweak the settings in the most demanding games, you’re likely to push towards High settings easily.
Due to the small size, the laptop lacks a few ports. There are no Ethernet or SD card slots. You might have to buy an additional USB dock.
Good for both gaming and multimedia
Lacks a few ports
Check out on Amazon
3. Razer Blade 15 Advanced – Best gaming laptop at $3000
The Razer Blade 15 is a beast of a gaming laptop, no doubt about it. The laptop comes in many configurations and the Advanced edition is simply monstrous.
Apart from unparalleled build quality, framing, and construction, there’s a lot to see under the hood. This edition comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7, and Nvidia RTX 3080. This combination will ensure that you’re good for gaming at the highest settings regardless of whichever title releases in the next few years.
The screen is also something to marvel at, with a beautiful FHD screen and 360Hz refresh rate. Lastly, you’ll find a 1TB SSD and 32GB of RAM. It’s also Thunderbolt 3 capable, for gaming on a dual monitor setup.
Of course, all these bells and whistles are going to cost you a substantial amount. This is a very expensive laptop, but if you’ve got the cash to spend, you should go for it with your eyes closed.
Good build quality
Thunderbolt 3 capable
4. Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 – Best minimalist gaming laptop
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is a good alternative for those people who have $1500 to $2000 to spend on a gaming laptop.
Under the hood, you’ll find an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS, Nvidia RTX 3070, 16GB RAM, and a 1TB SSD. While this is fairly standard at this price point, it’s also got satisfactory battery life and a sleek, minimalist design.
The 15.6-inch screen comes with a 165Hz refresh rate and a QHD display. The construction is also done in such a way that the laptop remains cool even during intense gaming sessions.
If you’re a streamer, you might have to look elsewhere though. This laptop does not come with a webcam. So, you might have to opt for a USB webcam.
Good hardware combination
165Hz refresh rate and QHD display
Decent build quality
Check out on: Best Buy
5. HP Victus 16 – Best gaming laptop under $1000
If you were looking for budget options all this while, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with the HP Victus 16.
At this price point, you can’t expect the very best of the new architecture. However, the Victus 16 has a decent configuration with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia RTX 3050, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
The screen provides 1080p gaming at 144Hz, which is satisfactory. Overall, with this configuration, you can play the latest games with decent performance at 1080p. Don’t try to push the laptop for gaming at higher settings though.
As a budget gaming laptop, this is definitely one of the best that you can find in the market now. Tweaking the game settings might even result in High settings gameplay at 1080p for your latest games.
The 16.1-inch screen can be a bit bothersome though, especially when you’re traveling. This makes the build slightly bulky.
Good hardware for the budget
144Hz refresh rate
Good for 1080p gaming
Slightly bulky frame
6. MSI GS66 – Most powerful gaming laptop
The MSI GS66 is a powerful laptop. It’s also one of the best-looking gaming laptops you can find. If you like your laptop to look good, consider this as an option.
Under the hood, this laptop contains an 11th Gen Intel Core i9, Nvidia RTX 3080, 64GB RAM, 2x2TB SSD, and a 15.6-inch FHD screen with a 300Hz refresh rate. Clearly, in terms of specs, this laptop is a winner.
Apart from this, the design of the laptop is one of its best features. It has a sleek look that is backed by perfect weight distribution and makes the laptop feel like a smaller 14-inch laptop. It also comes with great speakers, something that you wouldn’t normally expect from a laptop.
The only weak point that I can find for this laptop is that the keyboard isn’t great. You’d be better off using a gaming keyboard.
Beautiful and elegant design
Latest hardware installed
300Hz refresh rate
Good weight distribution
Keyboard is okay at best.
Check out on Amazon
7. Asus ROG Strix G15 – Gaming laptop with best battery life
If battery life is what you care about the most for your gaming needs, the Asus ROG Strix G15 should be first on your list.
This is a fairly beefy gaming laptop. You’ll find an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, Nvidia RTX 3070, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. However, Asus has outdone itself by providing what is possibly the best battery backup on a gaming laptop. On a single charge, this laptop can run for almost 11 hours, with moderate to intense gaming.
In addition to this, there’s an Asus-patented thermal cooling system provided within the laptop to keep the battery from draining too fast. It also keeps the laptop surprisingly cool, even after playing demanding games.
My only issue with the laptop is the MediaTek WiFi chip that they’ve added to the build. Whether it’s a hardware or software issue, multiple users online have reported that the WiFi connectivity of the laptop isn’t satisfactory.
Decent hardware for the price
Impeccable battery life
Superb cooling system
WiFi connectivity isn’t good
Check out on Amazon
8. HP Pavilion Gaming 15 – Best gaming laptop under $800
At $800, there’s not much wiggle room for fancy configurations in a gaming laptop. However, the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 offers respectable specs at this price point.
This particular laptop comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H, Nvidia GTX 1650, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and 512GB SSD. While you may not play the latest games with all their bells and whistles on this setup, on lower settings you can get a satisfactory 40 FPS to 60 FPS.
The laptop also provides a decent battery backup of almost 13 hours with mixed usage. Apart from this, you’ll also get a 15.6-inch screen with a 60Hz refresh rate.
The laptop doesn’t feature too many ports, however. Moreover, there’s not much scope for expanding the memory either.
Good hardware for casual gaming at 1080p
Decent battery backup
Lack of ports
Expanding memory will be an issue
Check out on Amazon
What to look for when buying a gaming laptop?
Buying a gaming setup a few years ago was much easier. All you had to look for was a good graphics card. However, technology has progressed much further than anticipated in this industry. Now, you’ll have to consider multiple aspects before spending your hard-earned cash. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind:
Of course, budget is the primary decider of which gaming laptop you’re going to buy. Based on your budget, you’ll have to start sorting out your hardware requirements. If your budget is on the lower end, don’t worry about how fancy or stylish your laptop looks. Opt for good hardware.
If your budget is on the higher end, you’ll be able to choose between multiple configurations of a particular gaming laptop series. These high-end laptops are usually customizable, and they look great too!
Is the processor important?
Yes. In today’s industry of gaming laptops, both Intel and AMD are going head-to-head for manufacturing the best laptop processors. While AMD did falter in the mid-2000s with their laptop processors, they’ve bounced back harder with their Ryzen series.
Personally, if you have close to $1200 to spend, I’d recommend the AMD and Nvidia graphics card combination. Research has shown that this combination works better in laptops, and AMD Ryzen processors are somewhat cheaper than their Intel counterparts.
If you’ve got some serious bucks to spend, the differences between the high-end processors become more detailed and minute. If nothing else, go for a processor that can register higher clock speeds when required.
At the lower end of the budget spectrum, you’re not likely to find too many laptops with the great build quality. However, if you’ve got a higher budget, you should go for a laptop with a build that guarantees cooling.
The hardware in the expensive laptops is very powerful and can overheat easily. This is why you need to go for a laptop with a good chassis that provides patented cooling technology. A good graphics card, if squeezed onto a smaller chassis, will not perform to its optimum level thanks to a lack of heat dissipation.
Nowadays, laptops come with screens that promise refresh rates up to 300Hz. How much refresh rate you get in a game is dependent on a lot of factors. However, the more the refresh rate, the better and smoother the gameplay. High refresh rates are massively important, especially in competitive shooting games.
Screen size is dependent completely on you and your needs. A smaller screen size guarantees better portability. A larger 17-inch screen will lower the portability factor, but they’ll be easier to work on, especially as a workstation. If you’re still unsure about which screen size to go for, try 15.6-inch screen laptops.
Get ready to game!
We’ve entered 2023 with the promise of some great games, especially considering the fact that even Sony has started porting its PlayStation games to PC. Now’s definitely a good time to be a PC gamer, and try some of the best gaming laptops in 2023.
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Anirban is a literature post-grad who delves in philosophy and postmodern novels when not writing on tech and gaming. His love for research is only trumped by his love for chai and heavy metal.
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