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Best 2021 Gaming Laptops

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The Best Gaming Laptops You Can Buy In 2022

Top 5 BEST & WORST Gaming Laptops of 2021!

Gaming is one of the most popular forms of entertainment right now, and personally speaking, its also the best one. But unlike many other forms of entertainment, gaming requires specific and often expensive hardware to enjoy. It can be hard to find something you like, and when youre spending upwards of $1,000, you want to make sure youre getting something thats just right for you. To help you out, weve rounded up some of the best gaming laptops you can buy today so you can rest assured youre making a good purchase.

While everyone has different needs, there are two things that you want to pay attention to powerful specs and a high refresh rate display. These are the two most important things to look for in a gaming laptop because they ensure your games will run as smoothly as possible, including the most recent titles. With that being said, lets get into our list.


What Do I Need To Know About Screen Size And Refresh Rate

And then there are the screens. All the major companies bumped their flagship 1080p configurations to 360Hz, but for many a gamer, they’re not essential: 240Hz max should be fine for those few times you can get frame rates above 240fps. Even 144Hz will do for many people, but artifacts like tearing, caused by the screen refresh rate becoming out of sync with the frame rate, depend on your games as much as your laptop brand and hardware.

We’re also seeing a lot more 120Hz 4K screens in the flagship models in both 17- and 15-inch sizes and a ton of 165Hz and 240Hz QHD options. The latter are my favorites, balancing higher resolution — certainly enough on a laptop screen — with gaming-friendly refresh rates.

How Much Processing Power Will I Need

If its CPU power youre looking for, look for processors with higher numerical names. A Core i7 is more suited to gaming and more intense work than everyday tasks. Intel processors are available in Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. The higher the number, the more powerful the CPU. If you dont need a ton of power, Intel Core i5 processors are your best bet, as they offer good performance at a decent price. Basic office and web work gets along just fine on a Core i3. As for AMD options, the Ryzen 3 is good for basic productivity and web browsing, while Ryzen 5 chips rival Intels Core i5 as solid all-arounders. If you need more power, the Ryzen 7 chip is well suited for content creation like video editing. Finally, if youre dealing with 4K video, spring for a Ryzen 9.

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Asus Rog Zephyrus M16

The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 is a beauty. It sports a sleek black color over its aluminum hood with microdots filled with a prismatic film that make this baby sparkle. Lifting up the lid reveals the Zephyrus M16s 16-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel display, which is absolutely stunning. Top that off with a 165Hz refresh rate and the Zephyrus panel outclasses some premium gaming laptops. On the deck, youll find one of my favorite keyboards in a Zephyrus.The keys are clicky, punchy and offer solid travel.

Tucked underneath the deck of the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 lies an Intel Core i9-11900H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU that overpowers the competition. Even with all that horsepower, the Zephyrus M16 lasted 6 hours and 34 minutes on our battery test. Overall, the Zephyrus M16 is a truly badass gaming laptop worth your time and money.

Rami Tabari

See our full Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 review.

Best Laptop For 202: The 15 Laptops We Recommend

Top Most expensive gaming laptops in 2021: review and buyers guide ...

Top laptop picks across all categories, tested and reviewed by CNET editors.

Joshua Goldman

Senior Editor / Reviews

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering laptops and the occasional action cam or drone and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.

Choosing a new laptop whether it’s for work, home or going back to school isn’t an easy decision but CNET’s best laptops for 2022 is a great place to start with our top picks across brands, operating systems, budgets and categories. Many of the models from 2021 are currently being updated for 2022 with the latest chips from Intel and AMD, and Apple has introduced its new M2 chips, too. That includes new versions of two of our favorites, the MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13.

At CNET, our laptop experts have collective decades of experience testing and reviewing laptops, covering everything from performance to price to battery life. This hand-curated list covers the best laptops across various sizes, styles and costs, including laptop computers running on Windows, MacOS and Chrome.

This best laptop list is updated periodically with new models we’ve tested and reviewed. If you need advice on whether a particular type of laptop or two-in-one is right for you, jump to our laptop FAQ at the bottom of the list.

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What Other Specs Should I Look For

While the GPU is important, youll also want to be on the lookout for a good CPU, enough RAM and lots of storage space.

  • CPU: Depending on your budget, you can get a very powerful Core i7 CPU or even one that you can overclock such as the Intel Core i9-12900HK. You can also find laptops with desktop CPUs. However, most games benefit more from a quality GPU than a CPU so you can definitely get by with a Core i5 processor.

If you see something older than the most current Intel 12th Gen Core or with less power, consider saving a bit. CPUs usually arent upgradeable, so youre making this choice once. Intel launched its 12th Gen Core parts for mobile this year, so they’re the most recent.

Like memory, storage is often upgradeable in gaming notebooks. So if you need more space, you can toss in a 2TB or larger HDD.

Battery Life On The Alienware X17

You’ll want to keep the x17 R2’s power brick handy whenever you’re using the system. No high-end gaming laptop sports stellar battery life, but the x17 R2 with its top-end components is only likely to last a few hours under the best of circumstances.

On our battery test, in which laptops continuously browse the web, stream video and run OpenGL graphics tests in the browser, all while connected to Wi-Fi with the screen at 150 nits, the x17 R2 conked out at the 3 hour and 7 minute mark. That’s not awful as far as powerful gaming laptops go, but the MSI lasted nearly an hour longer , last year’s x17 R1 lasted almost 90 mins longer , and the AMD-powered Asus held on for 3:44.

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Best Amazon Prime Day Gaming Laptop Deals In Australia

The latest spin of the Razer Blade 15 once again improves on one of the best gaming laptops ever made. It has the same gorgeous CNC-milled aluminum chassis as its predecessor, only this time it can house one of Nvidia’s latest RTX 30-series GPUs and an Intel 12th Gen Core i9 CPUs.

We’ve played with the Razer Blade 15 Advanced with a 10th Gen Intel chip and RTX 3080 GPU inside it. And we fell in love all over again, and we’re looking forward to getting the Intel Alder Lake versions with the RTX 3080 Ti humming away inside, too. Soon, my precious, soon.

These latest models, you see, have upped the graphics processing even further than the previous setups, with support for up to the 16GB RTX 3080 Ti, which is incredible in this small chassis. You will get some throttling because of that slimline design, but you’re still getting outstanding performance from this beautiful machine.

It’s not the lightest gaming laptop you can buy, but five pounds is still way better than plenty of traditional gaming laptops, while also offering similar performance and specs. That heft helps make it feel solid too. It also means the Blade 15 travels well in your backpack. An excellent choice for the gamer on the go… or if you don’t have the real estate for a full-blown gaming desktop and monitor.

Whatever config you pick, we think the Razer Blade 15 is the overall best gaming laptop on the market right now, though you will be paying a premium for the now-classic design.

Best Gaming Laptop For 2022

Gaming Laptop Awards 2021!

Our picks of the best gaming laptops for when it’s time to play.

Lori Grunin

Senior Editor / Reviews

I’ve been writing about and reviewing consumer technology since before the turn of the century. I’m also a photographer and cat herder, frequently at the same time.

Gaming isn’t a cheap hobby if you’re serious about it. Committed gamers need a gaming laptop with the power to take their experience to the next level. The best gaming laptops on the market today are worth the investment they can easily keep up with even the newest and most advanced games.

There’s more to a decent gaming laptop than raw speed. You can pack it with the best graphics card, the fastest, most colorful display, a gazillion-core processor, tons of fast solid-state storage to hold your games and a rock-solid hard drive for secondary storage, but it can still fall short. Those powerful components may overheat at the worst moments, your battery may die or you might experience an instability that impacts your gaming performance. Or maybe you don’t want to always use an external mechanical keyboard with per-key RGB backlighting, but the system’s WASD keys feel like mashed potatoes under your fingers.

Check out our recommendations for the best gaming laptops below that will give you the best performance for the price. This list is periodically updated as we test and review products, so that you can hopefully find your own best gaming laptop

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Best Laptops Of The Year : Our Favorite Notebooks Gaming Rigs And More

2021 was unlike anything we’ve ever seen. The COVID-19 pandemic continued to bring the world to a standstill, forcing many of us to adapt to new ways of working, learning and socializing. But what didn’t change is the need for laptops. If anything, the need for laptops increased due to work from home and remote learning situations. And as the world slowly recovers and reopens, the laptop market continues to thrive.

As always, Laptop Mag reviewed over one hundred notebook throughout the course of the year. And while we reviewed many laptops this year, the following systems stood out for their power, endurance and innovation.

Quick Gaming Laptop Shopping Tips

  • Focus on the GPU: Most games are dependent on the GPU, and those arent upgradeable. If you splurge on a powerful GPU now, youll be gaming comfortably for a few years.
  • You can upgrade some parts later: While the best CPUs for gaming and GPUs are almost always soldered down, most gaming laptops let you replace the RAM and storage, so you can buy cheaper now and add more memory and a bigger hard drive or SSD down the road.
  • Battery life will probably be bad: Very few gaming notebooks get 8 hours or more on a charge, and you need the power supply to get the best gaming performance anyway. However, we’ve seen some strong times from AMD’s Ryzen processors, and Nvidia suggests its improved Optimus technology may help turn the tide.

Best gaming laptops at a glance

  • Best Overall: MSI GE76 Raider
  • Best Thin and Light: Razer Blade 15
  • Best 17-inch: Alienware x17 R2
  • Best Budget: Acer Nitro 5
  • All-AMD: Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition
  • Best Esports: Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 G733
  • A 16-inch Esports Machine: Lenovo Legion 5i Pro
  • Best Dual-Screen: Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551
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    Th Msi Raider Ge66 12uhs

    MSI goes all out and equips the laptop with the Intel Core i9-12900HK, the RTX 3080 Ti, a 4K panel with 120 Hz and innovative cooling.

    The gaming performance of the MSI GE66 12UHS is gigantic. In the test, all titles could be smoothly displayed in 4K resolution and high to maximum details.

    The MSI GE66 12UHS in our review configuration is currently available for 4,300 at Cyberport.

    Best Gaming Laptop With An Oled Display: Msi Raider Ge67hx

    5 Best Budget Gaming Laptop in 2021

    OLED displays deliver a stunning visual experience with vivid colors, deep blacks, and high contrast ratios. There arent a ton of OLED gaming laptops out there, but the MSI Raider HE67HX is a very recent option that stands out because of its incredibly powerful specs and the gaming-focused OLED panel.

    Were not joking when we say it-s incredibly powerful. The MSI Raider GE67HX comes with Intels new HX series of CPUs, which have a base TDP of 55W. You can configure it with up to an Intel Core i9-12900HX, which has 16 cores and 20 threads, plus boost speeds up to 5GHz, By itself, the CPU can use 150W of power, but then theres the GPU. You can configure this laptop with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, and that can use up to 175W of power. Collectively, the two components can use up to 250W, with 175W for the GPU and 75W for the CPU. Thats an incredible amount of performance for a laptop. You also get up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, with an extra M.2 slot available if you want more. This is a beastly machine in almost every way.

    Thats not all the good news, either. The MSI Raider GE67HX also comes with a Full HD webcam, so you should look pretty clear during video calls or streaming sessions, if you plan to do that. Unfortunately, Windows Hello support isnt included, but thats not surprising for a gaming laptop.

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    Upgradeability On The Msi Ge76 Raider

    You’ll need some tools and a bit of patience, but the Raider has a handful of parts that are easy to replace, upgrade or repair with the right knowledge.

    To remove the bottom casing from the laptop, you have to remove 13 Phillips head screws. All of the screws are the same length, which means you don’t have to worry about remembering which goes in which holes. Then, you’ll need a thin plastic tool I used one the shape of a guitar pick to make your way around the edge of the base to free it from the rest of the laptop.Outside of the 99 WHr battery, the replaceable parts are all underneath heat shields.The two SSD slots in our unit were filled, but in many configurations you’ll be able to use the second to add your own storage later. Those drives’ shields are adhered to the drives, but can be carefully peeled back. There are also thermal pads under the drives. The RAM’s shield can be removed by simply lifting it off with your fingers. MSI is using slotted RAM here, so you can add more later .The Wi-Fi module has a simple, sticky-note style shield on it. Otherwise, it can be removed by unscrewing it from the board and disconnecting the antennae cables.

    Is It Worth It To Get A Gaming Laptop

    Absolutely. Gaming PCs are no longer incomparable, thanks to mobile devices getting smaller yet also more powerful. If you need something that’s space-saving and/or portable yet powerful enough to tackle your favorite games, no matter if those are not-so-demanding games or the most graphically-intensive titles, one of the best gaming laptops is worth considering.

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    What Type Of Laptop Should I Get

    The first question you should ask yourself is what kind of laptop youre looking for. Theres traditional clamshells, 2-in-1s, Chromebooks, and much more. The displays on convertible laptops , for example, can swing around 360 degrees. This allows you to use the laptop like a tablet. They can also be propped up like a tent for viewing movies or participating in video calls. Chromebooks, on the other hand, exclusively run Googles web-focused Chrome OS and are generally used for everyday tasks. All you need is a Gmail account and boom, youre in. There are pros and cons to each of them. Chromebooks are affordable and generally have good battery life whereas convertibles are normally lightweight and portable.

    Nd Asus Rog Zephyrus S17 Gx703

    Ranking ALL 34 Gaming Laptops I Tested In 2021!

    One of the more exotic contenders but also one of the best. The entire keyboard can be raised out of its base to improve airflow, which turns the ZS17 into a rather quiet gaming notebook despite its i9-11900H and RTX 3080.

    In addition to great performance the Zephyrus S17 offers highlights rarely found on gaming laptops, such as for example a quiet mode of operation and long battery life.

    The ROG Zephyrus S17 is currently not available in North America but listed on nevertheless, albeit without a price at the time of writing.

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    Agree To Continue: Razer Blade 17

    Every smart device now requires you to agree to a series of terms and conditions before you can use it contracts that no one actually reads. Its impossible for us to read and analyze every single one of these agreements. But we started counting exactly how many times you have to hit agree to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people dont read and definitely cant negotiate.

    As with other Windows computers, the Blade 17 presents you with multiple things to agree to or decline upon setup.

    The mandatory policies, for which an agreement is required, are:

    • A request for your region and keyboard layout
    • Microsoft Software License Terms

    In addition, there is a slew of optional things to agree to:

    • Connect to Wi-Fi network
    • Sign in with a Microsoft account
    • Device privacy settings: Find My Device, Inking and Typing, Advertising ID, Location, Diagnostic data, Tailored experiences
    • Allow Microsoft to collect information to let Cortana provide personalized experiences and relevant suggestions
    • Set up OneDrive
    • Start free trials of Microsoft 365 and Game Pass

    Thats three mandatory agreements and 13 optional ones.

    As for the subwoofers, Im not entirely convinced that whatever is inside of the Blade 17 should be allowed to share the name. While the sound overall is pleasant for those rare moments when I dont feel like grabbing my headphones, I dont agree with Razer that sound quality is one of the Blade 17s defining qualities.

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