The best gaming laptops for 2024

We’ve evaluated numerous portable PCs, and here are our top picks for gaming laptops.

Gaming laptops are like the Transformers of the PC world: powerful enough for gaming, but versatile for media creation and multitasking, such as streaming gameplay to Twitch. Nowadays, you can even find some that weigh less than the smallest MacBook Pro, making them great for everyday use too. Whether you’re a demanding Apex Legends player or a power user needing a capable GPU for video encoding, finding the right gaming laptop has never been easier. But with countless options available, the search can be overwhelming. We’ve extensively tested and reviewed many gaming laptops, continuously updating our recommendations as new models emerge. In this guide, we highlight our top picks and provide everything you need to know before making a purchase.

Quick Overview

Dell G15 5535 Gaming Laptop – 15.6-inch FHD (1920×1080) 165Hz 3ms Display, AMD Ryzen 7-7840HS Processor, 16 GB DDR5 RAM, 512 GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060, Windows 11 Home – Dark Shadow Gray

Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060-13th Gen Intel 14-Core i7 CPU – 15.6” QHD 240Hz – 16GB DDR5 RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD – Windows 11 – CNC Aluminum – Chroma RGB – Thunderbolt 4

Alienware M18 Gaming Laptop QHD+ Display, Intel Core i7-13700HX, 16 GB DDR5 RAM, 1 TB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 8 GB GDDR6, Windows 11 Home, 1 Year Premium Support, Dark Metallic Moon.

What to look for in a gaming laptop


Your journey to buying a laptop begins and ends with your budget. No surprises there. The good news is, there are plenty of options for gamers at every price point. Specifically, we’re seeing some excellent entry-level PC gaming choices under $1,000, like Dell’s G15 lineup. While these cheaper gaming laptops may feel a bit less sturdy and might cut corners on RAM, storage, and overall power, most should handle the majority of games at 1080p and 60 frames per second, which is the minimum you’d want from any system.

Things get more interesting when you start exploring the best gaming laptops in the mid-range, with prices starting at $1,000 and above. At this point, you’ll find PCs like the ASUS Zephyrus ROG G14, one of our favorite gaming notebooks. Generally, you can expect far better build quality than budget gaming laptops (think metal cases!), improved graphics power, and enough RAM and storage space to handle even the most demanding games. These are the gaming machines we’d recommend for most people, as they’ll keep you gaming and working for years before you need to think about an upgrade.

If you’re willing to spend around $1,800 or more, you can start looking at more premium options like Razer’s Blade. Expect impeccably polished cases, the fastest hardware on the market, and ridiculously thin designs. The sky’s the limit here: Alienware’s uber customizable Area 51m is a massive beast that can cost up to $4,700. Few people need a machine that high-end, but if you’re a gamer with extra cash to burn, it may be worth taking a close look at some of these pricier systems.


The answer to this question used to be straightforward: Just go for an Intel chip with an NVIDIA GPU. However, in recent years, AMD has upped its game with its Ryzen notebook processors, which excel at handling multiple tasks simultaneously (like streaming to Twitch while dominating in Fortnite). Intel responded with its impressive 12th and 13th-gen chips, but it’s nice to have decent Ryzen AMD alternatives available, especially since they’re often cheaper than comparable Intel models.

When it comes to video cards, though, AMD is still playing catch-up. Its Radeon RX 6000M GPU has performed admirably in notebooks like ASUS’s ROG Strix G15, but it falls behind NVIDIA in newer features like ray tracing. (We’re still awaiting testing on AMD’s new Radeon 7000 series mobile graphics.) Nevertheless, a Radeon-powered notebook can come close to the overall gaming performance of NVIDIA RTX 3070 and 3080 GPUs.

If you want to future-proof your purchase, or you’re eager to see the enhanced visuals ray tracing can offer, you’re probably better off with an NVIDIA video card. They’re in more systems, and their ray tracing technology is better optimized. NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs also feature DLSS technology, which uses AI to upscale games to higher resolutions, allowing you to play games like Destiny 2 in 4K with faster frame rates. This is especially useful if you have a high refresh rate monitor.

You’ll still find plenty of laptops with NVIDIA’s older RTX 30-series GPUs, and they still offer excellent performance. However, for safety, it’s probably worth opting for the newer RTX 40-series systems, as they support the newer DLSS 3 technology and provide a host of performance upgrades. If you’re hunting for the best deals, you might find some killer RTX 3070 laptops out there. The entry-level RTX 4050 is a solid start, but we’d recommend going for a 4060 or 4070 if you’re aiming to maximize your framerates on faster screens. The RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 are incredibly powerful, but they often make systems too expensive for most users.

It’s important to note that NVIDIA’s mobile graphics cards aren’t directly comparable to its more powerful desktop hardware. PC makers can also tweak voltages to improve gaming performance in thinner cases. Essentially, these laptops may not be full desktop replacements — don’t be surprised if you see notebooks performing differently, even if they’re all equipped with the same GPU.

Screen and refresh rate

Screen size is a crucial factor when considering gaming notebooks. Generally, 15-inch laptops strike the best balance between immersion and portability, while larger 17-inch models offer more screen real estate but are bulkier. There are also 13-inch gaming notebooks, such as the Razer Blade Stealth, but paradoxically, they often come with a higher price tag compared to slightly larger 15-inch options. Additionally, there’s a growing number of 14-inch options, like the Zephyrus G14 and Blade 14, which offer a balance between portability and performance.

However, these days, there’s much more to consider beyond just screen size. One important aspect is refresh rates. While most monitors refresh at 60Hz, newer displays have evolved considerably. Now, 120Hz 1080p screens are considered the minimum for any gaming notebook, with even faster 144Hz, 240Hz, and 360Hz panels available. The aim of these higher refresh rates is to make everything on your display appear smoother.

Higher refresh rates are particularly beneficial for gaming, as they help eliminate screen tearing and other visual artifacts, enhancing the overall gaming experience. Even for general use, higher refresh rates offer a smoother viewing experience. Scrolling through a web page on a 120Hz or faster monitor is notably different from a 60Hz screen. Instead of a jittery display, everything moves seamlessly, akin to flipping through a glossy magazine. Going beyond 120Hz further enhances gameplay responsiveness, providing some players with a slight advantage.

Here are some key points to keep in mind when buying a gaming laptop:

  • Aim for at least 16GB of RAM. If you plan to multitask heavily while streaming, consider upgrading to 32GB.
  • Storage is crucial. Aim for a 1TB M.2 SSD, which should provide enough space for several large titles like Destiny 2. If you can afford it, consider upgrading to a 2TB SSD. Some laptops also offer room for standard SATA hard drives, which are cheaper but can hold more data.
  • Try out the system before purchasing it. I recommend buying from a retailer with a simple return policy, like Amazon or Best Buy, so you can easily return it if it doesn’t meet your expectations.
  • Don’t forget about accessories! For optimal performance, invest in a good mouse, keyboard, and headphones.

Here’s how we evaluate gaming laptops:

We approach testing gaming laptops with the same level of rigor as we do with traditional notebooks. We assess build quality by checking for any undesirable flexible spots in the cases and evaluate the strength of screen hinges during intense typing and gaming sessions, such as those in Halo Infinite.

We benchmark every gaming notebook using a variety of tests, including PCMark 10, 3DMark, Cinebench, and Geekbench. Additionally, we use NVIDIA’s Frameview app to measure average framerates in games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Halo Infinite. For media creation tasks, we transcode a 4K movie clip into 1080p using Handbrake’s CPU and GPU encoding options.

Display testing is conducted under both indoor and outdoor lighting conditions, using productivity apps, video playback, and gameplay. We stress-test the full refresh rate of every gaming notebook’s screen by benchmarking games like Halo Infinite and Overwatch 2.

Laptop speakers are evaluated based on their ability to play back music, movies, and games with detail and clarity, without any obvious distortion.

In terms of battery life, we assess how long gaming systems last with a mix of real-world productivity apps and gameplay. We also conduct battery tests using PCMark 10’s “Modern office” battery test.

Furthermore, we judge the quality of a machine’s keyboard through typing tests and evaluate its relative accuracy and comfort during extended gaming sessions.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Storage: Up to 1TB | Screen size: 14-inch | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | Battery life: Up to 7.5 hours

Discover more about the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 in our comprehensive review.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 stands out with its all-new unibody aluminum chassis, vibrant 120Hz OLED display, solid performance, and abundance of ports – all at a significantly lower price than its equivalent, the Razer Blade 14. It boasts a built-in microSD card reader and offers presets for various color gamuts, making it a versatile option for photo and video editing. Its audio quality is impressive, thanks to punchy up-firing stereo speakers. With battery life just shy of eight hours on our rundown test, the Zephyrus proves to be a reliable companion. Moreover, it weighs almost half a pound less than rival laptops with similar designs. Its main drawbacks include a GPU that caps out at an RTX 4070 (rather than a 4080 like its predecessor) and soldered RAM. However, if you’re seeking a highly capable all-rounder in a portable package, this system deserves a top spot on your list. — Sam Rutherford, Senior Writer, Reviews


  • Beautiful understated design
  • Gorgeous OLED screen
  • Strong performance
  • Good port selection
  • Punchy speakers


  • Bottom vents can get a bit toasty
  • Keyboard only has single-zone lighting
  • Armoury Crate app is kind of messy
    RAM is soldered in

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