If you often play video games on a PC, a gaming laptop will convince you to switch!
After all, wouldn’t it be preferable to have a gaming system that is just as powerful yet portable so you can enjoy the same gameplay experience anywhere you are?
Unquestionably, among all laptop categories, gaming laptops are one of the most popular, thanks to their performance, durability, and design.
Are you wondering what factors to consider while choosing a good gaming laptop?
After extensive research, I’ve curated this list of 7 top-rated gaming laptops for every gamer. While some high-end favorites are still included, there are many more affordable choices and fantastic value alternatives.
Table Of Contents
- 1 7 Best Gaming Laptops Summary
- 2 What Is The Difference Between A Laptop And A Gaming Laptop?
- 3 Features To Consider When Buying A Gaming Laptop
- 4 7 Best Gaming Laptops In 2023 – For Lag-Free Gaming
- 5 Best Overall Gaming Laptop
- 6 Best Budget Gaming Laptop
- 7 Best Premium Gaming Laptop
- 8 Best Gaming Laptop under $1000
- 9 Best Portable Gaming Laptop
- 10 Best Big-screen Gaming Laptop
- 11 Best All-AMD Gaming Laptop
- 12 Conclusion
- 13 Best Gaming Laptop FAQs
7 Best Gaming Laptops Summary
Best overall: Alienware M15 R6
Best Budget: MSI Gaming GF63 Thin
Best Premium: CUK ROG Zephyrus Duo 16
Best under $1000: Acer Nitro 5
Best Portable: Razer Blade 14
Best LArge Screen: Lenovo Legion 5 17.3″
Best All AMD: Dell G15 LED
What Is The Difference Between A Laptop And A Gaming Laptop?
A regular laptop and a gaming laptop may appear similar from the outside, but there are some significant differences, especially the performance and tuning. Here are some factors that distinguish a gaming laptop from a regular one.
Due to their low power consumption, ordinary laptop processors cannot produce high clock speeds. Their CPUs are mainly tasked with everyday computing.
On the other hand, high-velocity processors used in gaming laptops, such as Intel i5, i7, or i9, enable quick processing and minor buffering. It would be unexpected to have your screen freeze during a competition.
Note: Due to their heavy-duty design, gaming-based processors are more expensive than typical laptop processors.
Input lag and latency
Input lag and latency are essential factors when purchasing a gaming laptop. Input lag is the time it takes for your input (such as a mouse or keyboard) to be registered by the computer, while latency is the time it takes for data to travel from one point in your network to another.
Both impact gaming performance and can lead to frustration if not optimized properly. The best gaming laptops will have low lag and latency levels, improving responsiveness and accuracy during gameplay. Additionally, gamers should look at other features, such as refresh rate and response times, when making their decisions, as these can also affect performance depending on the game being played.
With these factors in mind, choosing a gaming laptop with good input lag and latency can ensure the best gaming experience.
Talking about the design, standard laptops have a compact and sleek design. These laptops’ exteriors have a smooth finish, making them appropriate for use in an office setting.
In contrast, robust chassis and mechanical designs are added to gaming laptops to improve their aesthetic appeal. Moreover, these laptops are heavy because of more high-performance hardware.
For instance, RGB lights are frequently used to decorate gaming computers. More ports are available for connecting various gaming accessories, like gaming mice, microphones, etc.
Regular laptops typically have 4GB to 8GB of RAM because they’re used for light office tasks like composing emails, creating PowerPoint slides, surfing the web, and more.
In contrast, since gaming laptops run many programs simultaneously, an entry-level gaming laptop often includes 8GB of RAM. Many of today’s graphically demanding video games, including Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Forza Horizon 5, etc., demand 8GB to 16GB of RAM.
Refresh rate measures how quickly the display on a laptop refreshes or updates its image. A higher refresh rate means that images will appear smoother and more detailed. Generally, a gaming laptop should have a minimum of 60 Hz refresh rate, but 120-144Hz is even better for smooth gameplay.
Additionally, many laptops provide G-Sync or FreeSync, which can help further reduce screen tearing and stuttering. When choosing the best gaming laptop for you, check each model’s refresh rate to ensure you get the clearest picture possible and enjoy the smoothest gaming experience.
Gaming laptops, unlike regular ones, are more substantial. These laptops are extremely powerful and require additional hardware, such as a dedicated video card, video RAM, large battery, numerous cooling fans, and processors with multiple cores.
All these are essential to provide high-performance gaming.
The graphics cards available on regular laptops and gaming laptops are very different.
Gaming laptops have a specialized GPU, while standard laptops have an integrated graphics card (iGPU). These specialized graphics cards can run graphically demanding games, render 3D scenes, render photos or videos in-depth, etc. NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards are the most widely used GPUs on the market.
FYI: An integrated graphics card has a limited amount of resources and memory available to it.
Coming to the keyboard, gaming laptops feature mechanical keyboards that are highly responsive and durable. Thus, they register your commands exceptionally fast.
Note: RGB backlit keyboards are necessary if you enjoy playing games in dimly illuminated settings. Backlit keyboards make it easier to locate and press the correct keys without looking away from the monitor.
Features To Consider When Buying A Gaming Laptop
Are you unsure what features your gaming laptop must have? Below are some of them.
The overall performance of your gaming laptop depends on its CPU. The Intel Core 2 Duo is among the best CPUs on the market, despite there being other brands and varieties. Why? It’s not only capable of handling the most demanding games you’d ever play, but it’s also energy efficient.
Input lag and Latency
The ideal input lag should be less than 20 milliseconds, while latency should be below 50 milliseconds. Look for laptops with high-quality graphics cards, powerful processors, and fast RAM to get the best performance possible. Additionally, look for laptops with high refresh rates to reduce screen tearing and stuttering. With the right laptop, you can enjoy gaming without any unnecessary lags or delays.
Your laptop’s ability to recover temporary data is enhanced by having more RAM, which speeds up its overall performance.
It may result in levels loading more quickly and in-game information loading more quickly.
Ideally, 8GB to 16GB of RAM is required for a gaming laptop. While 8GB of RAM will do for those purchasing an economical laptop, 16GB is a must for hardcore gamers who don’t bother about the cost and play heavy games. For example, Call Of Duty: Warfare, Apex Legends, etc.
The primary determinant of the best gaming laptop’s display quality is its screen size. For gameplay, larger screen size is preferable. However, most gamers often love smaller screens since they are simpler to transport and can be operated with just one hand.
Gaming laptops come in various resolutions, so knowing which one to choose can be challenging. Generally speaking, the higher the resolution on a laptop, the better the gaming experience you will have. A high-resolution display offers crisper visuals and more detailed images, making your gaming experience more immersive and enjoyable.
It also means that you’ll be able to see more minor details with greater clarity – an important feature when playing games competitively or for fun. When choosing a gaming laptop based on resolution, determine how much power you require from your GPU and how strong your budget is.
Generally speaking, 1080p (1920×1080) is an ideal starting point for most gamers: it provides good image quality without significantly impacting performance or your budget. Higher resolutions, such as 1440p (2560×1440), are available on some gaming laptops if you want even better image quality and can handle the added expense.
However, these require more powerful GPUs to run smoothly, making them more expensive. 4K resolutions (3840×2160) are also available on some gaming laptops but come with significant performance requirements and accompanying price tags.
If you’re a hardcore gamer and spend most of your time playing games, I’d recommend laptops with mechanical keyboards. Gamers favor mechanical keyboards because they are faster, more robust, and more intuitive.
Physical switches are located beneath the keys of a mechanical keyboard, making them louder but much more enjoyable (and accurate) to use. They perform admirably when gaming and such add-ons might be a valuable method to have an advantage when using your gaming laptop.
You need to be more careful about the battery life if you participate in gaming events and need a laptop.
Gaming laptops are resource-intensive and frequently use more battery power. Anything more might be asking too much from a good gaming laptop that should be able to provide you with at least 8 hours of battery life when not in use.
Since gaming laptops host a bigger processor under the hood, an efficient cooling system is necessary. Although most gaming laptops have a complex heat pipe design, you can always verify this by visiting the product page and looking inside.
Utilizing a heat sink drains heat from device parts to enhance performance and lengthen your laptop’s life.
Laptops like Razer Blade 15, Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3, and MSI GP66 have some of the best cooling systems in 2023.
A gaming laptop’s ports are essential to its hardware setup, as they allow for connectivity to external peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and monitors. The ports used on a gaming laptop will vary from model to model, but common types include USB 3.0, HDMI, and DisplayPort connections.
Additionally, many models feature Thunderbolt 3 or Type-C ports, which are essential for connecting the latest accessories, such as VR headsets and high-speed storage devices.
When buying a new gaming laptop, it is vital to consider the type of ports available to ensure compatibility with any required peripherals. Additionally, gamers should check that their chosen port selection provides sufficient bandwidth, as newer games often require more power than older models. With the proper port selection, gamers can enjoy a smooth and reliable gaming experience.
Having a budget in mind would be great since some high-end gaming laptops can cost a few thousand dollars. There are cheaper options available as well, and if you need it for occasional gaming, you can find one under $700 to $800, although they can cost upwards of $3,000.
Generally speaking, gaming laptops are more expensive than gaming desktops but based on your budget, you can invest as little as $50 or as much as $1,000.
7 Best Gaming Laptops In 2023 – For Lag-Free Gaming
Best Overall Gaming Laptop
- Processor: Intel Core i7-11800H
- Screen Size and Aspect Ratio: 15.6 inches, 16:9
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixel
- RAM: 32GB DDR4
- Refresh Rate: 360Hz
- Graphics Adapter: NVIDIA RTX 3070 8GB
It’s evident that the M15, one of the world’s most prominent 15-inch laptop lineups, will mostly draw the most affluent gamers.
When gaming, browsing, or other more creative chores like generating videos, an i7 from the 11th generation is no slacker. Partly due to the borderline absurd amount of horsepower available, particularly when compared to its 1080p panel, this is unquestionably a geek’s gaming laptop designed from the ground up for die-hard gamers.
The quantity of RGB in the laptop’s design is intriguing. The entire keyboard, in addition to a full band all around the back I/O and the Alienware head logo, is all fully lighted.
The vast majority of games won’t be able to achieve the necessary frame rates to utilize the refresh rate effectively, but twitch-based FPS and other competitive games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorent, and Call of Duty: Warzone will undoubtedly benefit from the display’s silky smoothness.
- Ideal speakers for fantastic sound effects
- Astonishing performance
- Best use of the RTX 3080
- Wonderful 360Hz Full HD display
- Can get noisy during use
- Short battery life
Best Budget Gaming Laptop
- Processor: Intel Core i5-10300H
- Screen Size and Aspect Ratio: 15.6″ FHD, 16:9
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixel
- RAM: 8GB DDR4
- Refresh Rate: 144Hz
- Graphics Adapter: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650
The MSI GF63 Thin challenges most budget laptops and higher-end models because of its superb range of capabilities and affordable price. Its 8GB of RAM makes it easy to open numerous windows simultaneously, and the Intel Core i5 processor enables it to handle most games smoothly.
This gaming laptop resembles several more costly gaming laptops thanks to its 15.6-inch screen and thin bezels for a broad yet crystal-clear view. Whatever you’d anticipate from a gaming laptop is there, even though the keyboard backlighting is set to Red rather than RGB. You can change this setting from the Settings menu!
A single full-size USB 3.2 Gen 1 port is located on the left edge of the GF63 Thin, while a USB-C port, two more full-size USB ports, and Gigabit Ethernet are located on the other side for easy access. Hence, no limit to the number of external devices you can connect.
The MSI GF63 Thin is affordable, capable of handling common eSports and successful games at mid-range settings, and features a lightweight design.
- Handles mid-range to high-range games well
- Suitable for new gamers
- Light and thin chassis
- Comfortable keyboard with crack-less keys
- Rivals are frequently faster
- Average individual-channel memory
Best Premium Gaming Laptop
- Processor: Ryzen 9 6900HX
- Screen Size and Aspect Ratio: 16 inches, 16:10
- Resolution: 2560 x 1600 pixel
- RAM: 64 GB DDR5-4800
- Refresh Rate: 165Hz
- Graphics Adapter: NVIDIA® RTX™
Are you looking for a multi-tasking gaming laptop that also functions as a notebook? You can’t miss this Zephyrus Duo 16 from then.
It’s a powerful and versatile laptop with an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU that can operate quieter and more potent than the typical ROG models of this generation. Although it may seem strange given that models are offered with the whole range of primary display sizes, the second screen, branded “ScreenPad Plus,” is a 14-inch IPS touch panel with smart stylus compatibility and a 4K resolution.
Nevertheless, it looks fantastic.
Because the keyboard is towards the front of the laptop and at a distance from the primary screen, it’s best to use it at a large desk rather than on your lap or when traveling.
Additionally, it makes the clickpad small and unique compared to what other laptops offer. The keyboard deck doesn’t flex under stress, which is essential for intense gaming. Of course, there is also a three-stage RGB backlight with its launch key and the standard Armoury Crate control panel from ASUS.
- 14-inch additional secondary display
- Good choice of ports
- Blazing-fast DDR5 memory
- No sound distortions even on higher volume
- Battery life is poor
- Bulky with high-pitched fans
Best Gaming Laptop under $1000
- Processor: Intel Core i7-11800H
- Screen Size and Aspect Ratio: 15.6 inches, 16:9
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixel
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 SODIMM
- Refresh Rate: 144Hz
- Graphics Adapter: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
The Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop widens your choices for an economical laptop that can tackle the far more demanding PC games, thanks to its i7-11800H processor, making it a steal deal for gamers on a tight budget.
Equipped with a wide 15.6″ LED-backlit IPS display, you get probably the most decent visual intensity of 1920 x 1080 pixels. If you’re looking for the connecting ports, there are two USB-A ports on the right and one USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 port on the left, which is more USB-A ports than I’ve seen in a while.
Besides, you get an extra HDMI output and a barrel connector power line port on the back edge.
The mouse is replaced by a clickpad that supports multiple touches. Because of its smooth surface, fingers may glide over it quickly, and the corners respond well to input. The distance is small, and the pressure point is distinct.
I haven’t encountered any lags, missed buttons, or unintentional pushes, and it’s quick and responsive. That is all that counts, even if you’re typing or playing a video game.
- Impressive performance, given the cost
- Runs surprisingly quietly and coolly under heavy loads
- Excellent AMD processor
- Simple to upgrade and open
- Big and heavy case
- No card reader, USB-C video/charging, or fingerprints
Best Portable Gaming Laptop
- Processor: Ryzen 9 5900HX 8 Core
- Screen Size and Aspect Ratio: 14 inches, 16:9
- Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixel
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4
- Refresh Rate: QHD 165 Hz or FHD 144 Hz
- Graphics Adapter: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
This Razer Blade 14 gaming laptop is another premium and portable choice I’d recommend. Loaded with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, it delivers a lag-free experience even with the most intense games you might be fond of.
It offers an FHD or QHD display, enabling FreeSync and a high refresh rate for the best visual clarity. It has a strong AMD Ryzen CPU and integrated NVIDIA graphics that can deliver fluid gameplay at higher resolutions.
The lid doesn’t bend too much even when deliberately turned, and the geometric black aluminum chassis is cool (both figurative and literal) and sturdy.
Blade 14 keyboard is understated and stylish in contrast to many multicolored gaming keyboards that look loud and flashy. This is partly because there is almost no backlight bleed from behind the keys, and the typefaces are straightforward rather than aggressive.
Regarding audio quality, it’s awe-inspiring. The THX-certified sound system produces a reasonable share of treble and bass and a startling volume level.
Overall, Razer Blade 14 is a great gaming laptop in every way: it’s quick, fashionable, well-made, has a fantastic keyboard, and has an excellent sound system.
- High-performance CPU
- Quality and robust CNC aluminum casing
- Multiple USB and HDMI ports
- Vibrant and efficient QHD screen
- The cooling mechanism isn’t adequate
- Tight keyboard
Best Big-screen Gaming Laptop
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5-5600H
- Screen Size and Aspect Ratio: 17.3 Inches, 16:9
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixel
- RAM: 32 GB DDR4
- Refresh Rate: 120Hz
- Graphics Adapter: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
The key highlight of this Legion 5 is the massive 17.3-inches screen that easily overshadows its rivals. Depending upon how much RAM you need, Legion 5 is my favorite gaming laptop under $1000.
For optimum performance, it’s fitted with the top-tier NVIDIA GeForce GTX 3070 GPU. Thanks to no real throttling on the CPU or GPU, you won’t notice any performance reduction when gaming for an extended time. However, the fans grow pretty loud when the system is under load.
The Lenovo Legion 5 is a pretty obvious gaming laptop from an aesthetic standpoint. The Legion logo serves as a decorative element on the lid. Despite being made primarily of plastic, the gadget feels incredibly premium thanks to the material choice.
It’s well-built, has several ports, and is appropriately cooled so that the GPU can operate at high wattages. Additionally, it has a MUX switch, making it one of the few gaming laptops in its price range.
- An excellent trackpad and keyboard
- Good CPU and GPU performance
- Many upgrades possibilities for the future
- Amazing battery capacity
- Mediocre speakers
- Filthy integrated Realtek Wi-Fi chip
Best All-AMD Gaming Laptop
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
- Screen Size and Aspect Ratio: 15.6 Inches, 16:9
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixel
- RAM: 32 GB SDRAM
- Refresh Rate: 120Hz
- Graphics Adapter: NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3050 Ti
The Dell G15 series provides excellent value for money in the gaming industry by bringing cutting-edge hardware to an inexpensive price point without compromising much on the aesthetics of the laptops.
The G15 Ryzen Edition’s whole chassis is constructed of plastic, like most gaming laptops in its price category, but that doesn’t change the reality that it’s well-built and designed to last.
This battery’s 56Wh capacity yields good results, particularly when considering the internal components’ high power requirements. Along with the ventilation openings at the bottom of the laptop, the space just above the keyboard has a few slits to allow clean air to cool the individual parts.
Overall, overheating is not a thing with this piece.
A full-sized keypad with a number pad and additional keys that you might require for daily tasks has been introduced by Dell to the G15. The Dell G15 Ryzen Edition won’t disappoint pro gamers searching for a device that isn’t overly pricey but strong enough to perform most video games and daily work efficiently.
- Best cooling system in its class
- Long-lasting battery
- Exceptional graphics performance without lags
- Matte and high-contrast IPS display
- Hefty and thick chassis
- Gets loud under pressure
Here you go. When you’re purchasing a gaming laptop, there are endless possibilities. Use the advice mentioned above, and you’ll be more prepared the next time you browse the product page.
So, what laptop did you ultimately decide to use for gaming? Let me know!
Best Gaming Laptop FAQs
Do Gaming Laptops Overheat?
Ans: Gaming laptops are designed to handle intensive gaming sessions but also come with their own set of potential risks. One of the main concerns for gamers is whether or not their laptop will overheat during a game. While it’s true that some laptops are prone to overheating, this problem can be minimized if you have the correct setup and understand the basics of laptop cooling.
To prevent gaming laptops from overheating, it’s essential to know why they do in the first place. Laptops are generally more prone to overheating because they have a smaller form factor than desktops and cannot dissipate heat as efficiently.
Additionally, gaming laptops are often outfitted with higher-end components that generate more heat than the average laptop. To counter this, gaming laptops are usually equipped with cooling fans and vents to help keep the components from getting too hot.
Even with these measures in place, your laptop may still overheat if it’s not set up correctly. To avoid this, ensure enough space around your laptop while gaming to allow for adequate airflow. Additionally, ensure that the laptop isn’t placed directly on a surface like a bed or couch, which can block air circulation.
It’s also important to keep an eye on your laptop’s temperature while you play games. If you notice the heat levels are getting too high, take a break and let your laptop cool off before continuing your game session. Additionally, some programs available can monitor your laptop’s temperature and alert you when it reaches a certain threshold.
By taking the proper precautions and understanding why gaming laptops overheat, you can ensure that your laptop will run cool and perform optimally during gaming sessions. With the proper setup, you’ll enjoy hours of uninterrupted gaming without worrying about overheating or performance issues.
In conclusion, gaming laptops can overheat if they are not set up correctly or if the cooling features of the laptop cannot adequately dissipate heat. However, with proper setup and monitoring, gamers can enjoy their gaming sessions without interruption from overheating.
Do Cooling Pads Help Gaming Laptops?
Ans: Since gaming laptops can overheat very quickly, a cooling pad reduces the temperature while the laptop runs high-performance games.
Can I Use A Gaming Laptop For School?
Ans: Yes, a gaming laptop can be used for school. Many students are now using gaming laptops to keep up with their studies. Gaming laptops offer powerful processors and graphics cards ideal for running intensive applications such as software design, animation, or data mining.
They also have high-end keyboards, touchpads, and ports that make it easy to take notes during lectures or research online. They provide excellent performance for school tasks and usually come packed with extra features like premium speakers and bright screens for immersive entertainment when you’re done studying.
Do Gaming Laptops Get Slower Over Time?
Ans: Generally speaking, gaming laptops are equipped with more powerful processors and graphics cards than standard models to handle the demands of modern video games. These components allow gamers to play games with higher settings than they would be able to on a standard laptop.
However, over time, components can become outdated or less potent than needed to run newer games at optimal performance. Additionally, the laptop’s battery life and overall performance can deteriorate with use over time. The same holds for software; over time, the operating system and other programs may become outdated or require more resources than initially. This could lead to gaming laptops becoming slower as they age.
How Do I Keep My Gaming Laptop Healthy?
Ans: Keeping your gaming laptop healthy is an important task, as it can affect the performance of your device. To keep your laptop running at its best, make sure to follow these steps:
1. Clean the keyboard and touchpad regularly – Make sure you use a damp cloth every few weeks to wipe down the keyboard and touchpad to remove any dirt or dust that may have accumulated over time.
2. Update drivers regularly – Drivers are software that helps your computer communicate with hardware components like graphics cards and sound cards. Updating them will ensure that they stay up-to-date, so your games run smoothly.
3. Monitor system temperature – Pay attention to the internal temperatures of your laptop when gaming for too long. If it gets too hot, shut it down and let it cool off before resuming gameplay.
4. Keep laptop vents clean – Make sure to clean out any dust or debris from the cooling fans and vents with compressed air every few months. This helps keep your laptop running efficiently and prevents overheating.
5. Use a surge protector – Plugging your gaming laptop into a surge protector will protect it from power surges that can damage its internal components. It’s also a good idea to unplug it when not in use to help conserve energy and prevent accidental damage caused by electrical problems.
By following these steps, you can help ensure that your gaming laptop remains healthy and runs as smoothly as possible!
How Much RAM Do I Need For Gaming?
Ans: To play modern-day AAA titles, a laptop must have at least 16GB of RAM.
Is 8GB RAM Good For Gaming?
Ans: Laptops with 8 GB RAM and a good processor can run less demanding games without issues. Examples of these are Minecraft and Valorant.