The best gaming laptops have evolved so much in such a short amount of time, and now they’re more powerful than ever before. Thanks to introductions like Nvidia RTX graphics, the top-of-the-line gaming laptops can run the best PC games at the highest resolutions and frame rates. You won’t need to build the best gaming PC to get powerful hardware and performance anymore, not when the top gaming laptops come in every shape and size.
That’s why you shouldn’t judge a gaming laptop by its cover. Thanks to Nvidia Turing Max-Q graphics for laptops to start, there are many gaming laptops that hide great power inside their relatively compact chassis. Look at the aptly named MSI GS65 Stealth, for example. And, if you want a beastly desktop replacement, that option is still open to you, with devices like the MSI GT75 that demand attention from anyone that steps in the room.
So, whether you have the space for a thicc desktop replacement that boasts the most powerful graphics and processors so that you can run the Division 2 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice with the settings cranked, or you just want a thin and light gaming laptop that’ll let you play your favorite games while on the go, we’ve got a few options on here that will satisfy your gaming needs. Yes, that includes affordable ones that will help you stick to your budget. And, don’t worry, we’ve tested these gaming laptops ourselves, so you know they’re up to snuff.
These days, gaming laptop manufacturers seem to be locked in a race to see who can design the thinnest gaming laptop that also showcase raw power. At the moment, the one leading the charge might just be the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX701. At just 0.7 inches thick, this monster of a laptop conceals an Intel Coffee Lake Core i7 chip, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics and 16GB of RAM. That means you can play any PC game under the sun on Ultra, and also take it with you wherever you go – excellent for nomads with a penchant for gaming. Plus, it’s packed with RGB lighting that’ll dazzle anyone that looks at it.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
If you would like to play some of the best PC games on the move, but you don’t want everyone at the cafe to know you’re gaming, the MSI GS65 Stealth might just be the gaming laptop of your dreams. Coming in at just 0.69 inches thick and showcasing impressive hardware like Intel Coffee Lake processors and Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-series – refreshed with RTX 20-series graphics at CES – the MSI GS65 Stealth packs a punch in its very svelte package. There’s nothing you won’t be able to throw at this thing that’ll slow it down. And, thanks to the classy aesthetic, you’ll be able to bring this beefy rig everywhere you go, making it the best gaming laptop on the market right now.
Read the full review: MSI GS65 Stealth
For a few years now, the Razer Blade has constantly been named one of the best gaming laptops on the market. Rightly so, since powerful components pack its elegant chassis that also boast a beautiful display. That’s true for the 2019 model as well, which now rocks up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080. That is, frankly, a ton of power for a laptop with this thin, light form factor. And, if that’s not enough GPU horsepower for you, you can use the Razer Core for future expansion. It’s a pricey device, but it might be worth it if style and power are equally important to you.
Read the full review: Razer Blade
The Lenovo Legion Y740 packs a lot of muscle and smarts inside its stylish, accessible chassis, combining a very high refresh rate, Nvidia Turing graphics and a powerful processor with a gloriously effective thermal cooling, a cable management system and a number of applications for customizations. It’s practically the complete package, wrapped in a gorgeous chassis that you’d be proud to show off to friends and strangers. It still has the remnants of a gaming look, only made elegant so that you could be gaming in public and no one would be the wiser. And, despite its unfortunate keyboard and webcam placement, as well as its subpar battery life, it’s still one of the best gaming laptops we tested in 2019.
Read the full review: Lenovo Legion Y740
Some gaming laptops just don’t pull any punches, enabling you to run any game you can imagine on Ultra without breaking a sweat – and the MSI GT75 Titan is a terrific example. It’s a titanic desktop replacement packed with 6-core Intel Coffee Lake processors, plenty of RAM and powerful Nvidia Pascal graphics. Aptly named, this is indeed a titan, and is neither portable nor cafe-friendly. However, if raw power is what you’re after, this is the best gaming laptop for you. Though be sure you’ve got the budget for it.
Read the full review: MSI GT75 Titan
Thin and light gaming laptops are very popular right now. But if you don’t care about that, and you’re OK with a thick, heavy and monstrous laptop as long as it can breeze through any game you throw at it, then the Asus ROG G703GI is the one to get. This gaming machine is massive, not to mention one of the more expensive Asus laptops, but it does justify its size and price with gaming performance that can rival the best gaming PCs. With its two power bricks, it’s not exactly an ideal travel companion. Leave this one at home where it belongs.
Read the full review: Asus ROG G703GI
It may not have the most innovative design, trading the usual black and red aesthetic for one that makes it feel like Halloween all year round (no complaints here, but some might not find it particularly appealing). However, it’s undoubtedly one of the best laptops when it comes to gaming in 1080p. In fact, we are able to crank the settings all the way up in Overwatch without ever going below 60fps. It doesn’t offer the longest battery life, but the screen, power and onboard sound system more than make up for it. And, that’s what chargers are for.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix GL502
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Alienware 17 R5
If you’re looking for a gaming powerhouse, and you don’t want to shell out more dough for one of those svelte thin and light gaming laptops, the Acer Predator Helios 500 is might be an ideal choice. It’s packed with up to an Intel Core i9 processor and full-fat Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics, and therefore will be able to handle any game you throw at it – even if it’s not the most portable device in the world. If you can get past the mediocre speakers and trackpad, you’ve got an ace here.
Read the full review: Acer Predator Helios 500
Thin like an Ultrabook, powerful as any gaming machine should and with an incredible cooling system to cool it all down, the Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX is one of the best gaming laptops we’ve tested in 2019. It boasts an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 that’s backed by Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics and up to 24GB RAM, which means that this beast should take you a long, long way in gaming, whether you’re a casual gamer or a pro. We’re definitely fans, though probably not of its price. This pricey powerhouse is not for the shallow-pocketed, but with premium components come a premium price. So, only invest if you’ve got the tenders.
Read the full review: Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Another thin option is the Gigabyte Aero 15, which – at 0.74 inches – definitely fits the bill while still delivering top-end gaming performance. That’s mostly thanks to its Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 and an Intel Core i9 CPU. It’s also ray tracing ready, making it even more future-proof. However, its thin form factor is a double-edged sword: the Core i9 gets way too hot and can throttle. So, just keep that in mind if you plan on doing any sustained creative work, like editing all your videos. Or at least, find a cooler room to do your work in.
Read the full review: Gigabyte Aero 15
Gabe Carey, Bill Thomas and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article
Image Credit: TechRadar
- Want more choices? Check out our list of the best laptop 2019
- Find out more about how Intel is powering the next generation of PC gaming.