When it comes to the best gaming laptops, expect to be spoiled for choice. Manufacturers have come a long way in recent years, ensuring that playing high-quality games on the move is easier and more enjoyable than ever before.
Not sure what screen size you'd ideally want and what minimum spec you'd ultimately like to get? If you need help working that out, we're here to help. We've looked across each of the major manufacturers to help find the best gaming laptops on the market and the best prices. In our opinion, the key is to opt for something with a balance between performance, budget, and components – you want something that will play your favourite games now, but still, have enough bandwidth to help you find a new favourite in the future.
So what's your first step when you start browsing for the best gaming laptop? You can start by having an amount of money or total price ceiling in mind, but generally (and somewhat predictably), you'll want to prioritize the hardware in the machine. As you've made it to this page, you're looking for a gaming-focused portable powerhouse and, as a result, want to aim high in the graphics card department, like a GPU from the RTX family of cards from Nvidia. This can be an excellent starting point to refine your search - but don't forget to look at laptops with a 16-series card in too as they offer incredible value when complemented by other, well-balanced components.
This laptop really manifests and demonstrates the often mental approach to gaming laptops that Alienware machines often exude. It's a bit of a honk, but this machine's design is seriously cool and out of this world. It's a stunner to have around, but it's a big boy nonetheless. And that chassis has got to be robust and spacious to fit all the awesomeness inside it and to keep it all cool.
It's one of the best gaming laptops of 2020 in raw power and sheer gaming chops. And that's because, when you turn this up to 11, a 9th-generation i9 processor, with a 2080 graphics card and up to 64GB of RAM can devour any game or task that's thrown at it. Even the 'toned down' variants featuring i7 processors or 2060 graphics cards will have you gaming away the hours with ease and incredibly smoothly. Whatever the configuration, it'll look great on that 17.3-inch screen too.
Very affordable configurations
Budget gaming laptops are really making awesome choices in the market nowadays. Gaming laptops often demand eye-watering pricetags to get the very best, and that can cost enough to put anyone off. With models like Dell's G3 15 laptop though, there is quite the space for competent gaming laptops that will offer solid experiences and save you a bunch of cash. Yeah, you'll be looking at basic things like just HD screen, no ray-tracing, and maybe compromises on storage or RAM, but the G3 15 balances out everything really nicely, and throws in a great battery for good measure.
The design of the latest G-series gaming laptops from Dell has generally been nicely improved, and now they are sleek good-looking machines. Slim bezels encase that 1080p display - but you'll still get 144Hz - and it can hold its own as a work or home laptop as its design is curbed and sensible. The display is a bit pale and lifeless at times compared to others on this list, but otherwise, this is a solid machine for those on a smaller budget.
Contemporary outward design
This is our favourite, and the very best gaming laptop you can buy right now. Razer is absolute stalwarts in the gaming laptops business now, offering a refined and powerful selection of gaming-focused Razer laptops. Its sheer excellence is plentiful and comes in many areas; the first and instantly noticeable one is the design. It's a sleek machine, oozing elegance and lacking any garish or questionable design motifs, sporting only some traditional Razer green in its ports and a Razer serpent as the machine's emblem. It's also pretty light and very thin, which is astonishing considering the powerful components found within.
Yes, the Pro 17 model will bag you some extra screen space and a slightly heftier machine, but, on balance, this is probably the best laptop you could buy right now for gaming. Team this with a Razer headset, Razer controller, or some of the best Razer streaming gear going and you'll be racing toward an ideal gaming setup based on performance - but built around a machine that still offers portability.
Cool yet strong design
We are really impressed with the new ASUS TUIF A15 gaming laptop. We've been using it for a little while - our full review is coming - and it's one of the best we've had in recent times. It harnesses great capability and performance through a great AMD and Nvidia combo: a new 8-core APU teamed with an Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card, supported by a 1TB NVMe SSD. It's a great gaming laptop that munches through anything you throw at it, and it offers that sneak into ray-tracing.
Its price tag is pretty good too, but the only reason for pause here is the value on offer given that we may well be getting a whole host of budget RTX gaming laptops shortly.
However, the TUF A15's sheer gaming chops offered by the graphics card and processor, teamed with impressive battery life, still make it a great option and one that you won't look back on.
Cutting-edge display tech
Lenovo has historically, albeit silently advocated for subtlety when it comes to gaming laptop designs. If you hope for a dazzling RGB light show from the Legion Y740, you will be sorely disappointed. While this laptop is blessed with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card, or at least its downsized Max-Q equivalent, flashy cosmetic trappings are limited to the per-key backlighting of the Corsair iCUE-powered keyboard and a few smaller lighting zones on the sides and back. Otherwise, stylistically, the Lenovo Legion Y740 differs very little from the company's non-gaming products.
It's pretty bland, sporting a plain grey finish on its all-aluminium chassis. But if you'd rather your laptop not loudly proclaim, "I'm a gamer" every time you enter a room, perhaps this is a good place to start. And that goes without mentioning the primo guts, which you're getting for a bargain here. For nearly 30% less than what you'd pay for a shinier, arguably better-looking piece of kit from, say, MSI, the Legion Y740 incorporates Nvidia G-Sync adaptive sync technology and Dolby Vision HDR into the display while integrating Dolby Atmos into the onboard speaker system. In terms of value, so long as you don't mind its so-so looks and inferior touchpad, the Legion Y740 is a mobilized tour de force.