Best Budget Everyday Gaming Laptop
Display: 14 FHD IPS 144Hz | CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H | GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060 | RAM: 16GB DDR5 | Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD | Weight: 3.75 pounds | Dimensions: 12.3 x 8.9 x 0.74 ~ 0.8
If youve been enamored by sleek yet powerful gaming laptops like the Asus Zephyrus G14 and Razer 14 but couldnt see yourself spending $2,000 or more, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is an amazing budget alternative. For $1,399, this machine comes in a clean and almost professional-looking 14-inch chassis just like its more expensive contemporaries.
Dont let its plain looks fool you though, this one packs some serious gaming power between its Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia RTX 3060. 16GB of DDR5 memory also ensures your games run well and you have enough memory to multitask like a boss. You may want to upgrade the limited 512GB of storage sooner rather than later though.
The Best Gaming Laptops In 2022
The best gaming laptops for playing PC games on the go are here
The best gaming laptops are powerful enough to play the latest and greatest games nearly as well as the best gaming PCs, yet portable enough to take with you wherever you go.
Finding the best gaming laptop for you can be tricky, and the search used to be an undertaking fraught with compromises: you could get a lightweight laptop with anemic performance, or a powerful machine that pushed the boundaries of what can really be called a laptop.
But gaming laptops have improved a lot over the past few years, most notably thanks to more powerful and efficient GPUs from Nvidia and AMD. Plus, now Intel Arc GPUs are entering the market, bringing some much-needed competition. Now you can get gaming laptops that are slim and light yet capable of running even demanding games at high settings. Pick up one of our picks for the best gaming mouse or the best wireless gaming mouse, and your gaming experience may feel even more comfortable.
We’ve tested and reviewed dozens and dozens of gaming laptops from the top manufacturers, and we use that research to compile this regularly-updated list of the best gaming laptops on the market. Read on to find one that’s right for you!
Why Trust Laptop Mag
Laptop Mag has been testing and reviewing laptops for over two decades. We test over 150 different models per year, subjecting each system to a series of rigorous benchmarks that provides a complete picture of performance, battery life and usability.
Our expert reviewers also use each product to see how it looks and feels in everyday situations. Because we see so many different notebooks, we can compare each to its direct competitors and give you an idea of how it stacks up to the average laptop in its price band.
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Does A Gaming Laptop’s Cpu Matter
Yes, but not always. In general, sims benefit from faster clock speeds and more cores since those are required for the heavy calculations when worlds get complex. More and more AAA games are also starting to balance loads better between the CPU and GPU where possible as well. And if you bounce back and forth between a game and the rest of Windows, it can help speed that kind of multitasking a bit.
Still, a lot of games, especially first-person shooters, don’t take advantage of more than four cores. That was partly Intel’s rationalization for its continued reliance on its old 14-nanometer architecture for the 10th-gen high-performance processors. It let the company boost single-core clock frequencies, compared with gains it would have made by moving to a smaller process technology such as Ice Lake, which is designed to support more cores on less power draw.
Intel recently jumped to 10nm Alder Lake for its 12th-gen CPUs, which combines performance and power-efficient cores similar to Apple’s M1 and M2 chips. What we’ve seen thus far does show how fast the 12th-gen H-series CPUs can run and how it can help extend battery life.
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.
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Can I Use A Gaming Laptop Outside
You can try it, but there are more risks, and it depends on what kind of outside you have in mind. Sitting under a cover or in a sheltered area would be best. If you are in direct sunlight, especially on hot days, your laptop can quickly overheat. If you’re out during the day, you’ll need to turn up the brightness and that will sap your battery even faster. If it’s windy, dust and grit can get blown into your keyboard. Also, you’ll definitely want to stay close to an outlet if you want to switch to your adapter. For the sake of your laptop, it’s best used in an enclosed environment.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers: Acer Nitro 5
Its easy and not too expensive to add more storage, but the Nitro 5s 256 GB of SSD space will fill up quickly with games. In addition, compared with our RTX 3060equipped top picks, the Nitro 5 and its GTX 1650 graphics processor will be unable to play equally demanding games for quite as many years, and it doesnt support VR. Even so, the Nitro 5 offers unbeatable gaming performance for the price.
The Nitro 5 comes with so much bloatware, and we recommend removing it all. If you opt to use the Windows Refresh tool rather than removing each program individually, search for your model number on Acers website to reinstall the NitroSense software for controlling fan speed and any drivers you may need.
Like many cheap gaming laptops, the Nitro 5 suffers from mediocre build quality. Its lid flexes, so we dont recommend stacking things on it or putting too much pressure against it in a bag. That said, the Nitro 5s plastic chassis is good enough to withstand the average laptop bag, especially considering its price.
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Which Gaming Laptop Brand Is Right For Me
Ultimately, it comes down to what features youre looking for the most and the price range youre shopping in. If you want something that offers the absolute best bang for your buck, almost all the Acer laptops weve tested combine solid specs with a sticker price that wont give your wallet a hard square punch in the nose.
Both Razer and Alienware are obsessed with portability and style, making sure that whenever you plan to open up a game of Counter Strike at your local Starbucks that your score on the leaderboard wont be the only thing there turning heads. ASUS is a good all around company with a solid lineup of reliable devices, and of course theres MSI, a company thats unafraid to redefine what the industry thinks about when you say the words mobile gaming powerhouse.
Gaming laptops in 2019 are better than theyve ever been before, and we dont mean that purely from a power perspective either. Whether its the sultry design lines of the Alienware 15 or the extreme portability of the Razer Blade, weve finally reached a point where just because you go gaming, doesnt mean you have to sacrifice style or portability to get the power you need on the road or at home.
Best Cheap Gaming Laptop
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H | RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz | Storage: 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD | GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 3050 4GB DDR6 | Display: 15.6-inch FHD | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Battery life: 8 hours
We chose the Asus ROG Strix G15 as the best budget gaming laptop since Asus is one of the biggest names in gaming laptops, and the ROG Strix G15 proves that you can get a quality machine without having to skip this month’s rent. It runs on an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU for tons of graphics processing power. It also supports up to 32GB of RAM, so you can expand memory later if you need to. The 15.6-inch display has a 3ms response time for near real-time reactions to your inputs as well as a native refresh rate of 144Hz for silky smooth action even during intense action sequences. And with Adaptive-Sync technology, the display automatically adjusts its refresh rate to match optimal settings for your favorite modern games to reduce screen tearing and stuttering, giving you great gaming performance. You can use the USB-C port to set up a second display for when you want to multitask or use your laptop for streaming so you can game and monitor the chat or your streaming software without constantly alt-tabbing out. The 8-hour battery gives you plenty of time to rack up Apex Legends wins before needing to recharge.
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What Else We Considered
With all the great gaming laptops out there, there were bound to be a few that didn’t make the cut. I’ve done my due diligence, and here are a few that almost made the list:
- Asus TUF Dash 15: Featuring impressive performance and great value, the Asus TUF Dash F15 is relatively affordable for a gaming laptop. However, its lack of a webcam and gaming-centric design won’t suit everyone. The Dell G15 is a better value-focused gaming laptop.
- Alienware m17 R4: If having a big display is paramount, the Alienware m17 R4 is a smart bet, if you can get it from a trusted refurbisher. Alienware offers many screen choices and powerful hardware inside to get the most from that 17 inches.
- MSI Stealth 15M: On paper, the Stealth is a serious contender, with the internals to keep up with the competition. And, while it has a fairly slim profile and delivers pretty good overall performance, it falls short with its battery life, thermal efficiency, and ability to run games with ray tracing on. The Razer Blade Stealth 13 does this better.
- Razer Blade Pro 17: While this laptop has a lot of power and can perform as well as just about any other on the market, its price puts it out of reach for any but the most die-hard gamers out there. Unless you’re playing competitively or also do content creation, we would give this one a skip.
Corsair Gaming M65 Rgb Fps Pc Gaming Laser Mouse
The Corsair Gaming M65 Mouse is an aluminum frame gaming mouse that has three adjustable tuning zones to making it customizable to the weight you desire. The bottom of the mouse has glide pads to provide less friction for swift movements. This mouse has several features for the frequent first-person shooter gamer, including a high-mass scroll wheel and a programmable sniper button. The Corsair Gaming M65 Mouse allows you to select your response time to best match your desktop and the Corsair control panel software allows you to create specific mouse settings for each game you play. This mouse will allow you to experience the accuracy of an 8,200 DPI laser sensor for tracking down to the pixel. This mouse will be perfect for casual and marathon gamers alike with the carefully selected materials ensuring premium comfort. The Corsair Gaming M65 Mouse is as stylistic as it is comfortable with advanced three zone lighting display indicative of your mouse speed.
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Whats The Best Graphics Card For Laptop Gaming
The graphics card or chip is the most important component in a gaming laptop, helping to drive higher resolutions, higher frame rates and higher detail settings than any mainstream laptop can manage.
At the most entry-level end of the spectrum, for casual esports and indie games, integrated graphics may suffice, but better to find an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 or AMD Radeon RX 6400either is a great option. These GPUs are perfect for simple 1080p gameplay at high frame rates and low detail settings. If you want to play more demanding games, step up to Nvidia’s GeForce 3060 Ti or 3070 Ti, or an AMD Radeon RX 6700M. For 4K gaming look for the best graphics card you can afford .
Is $1,000 A Good Price For A Gaming Laptop?
The best general purpose laptops usually start around $1,000 and that’s not too dissimilar for gaming laptops. With that kind of laptop, you typically get a solid 1080p gaming machine which won’t be the best for the latest and greatest games, but will give you great frame rates in esports games.
If you want to play at higher resolutions, aim for a model priced around the $1,300 mark though again, the higher you go, the better performance. The best gaming laptops can cost $2,000 or more, with many of the most elite models costing north of $3,000. So your budget is your only limitation once you get into the high-end models.
Agree To Continue: Asus Rog Zephyrus G15
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 10 computers, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 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
- Windows 10 License Agreement and Asus Notice
- A Microsoft account for sign-in
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Best Performance Per Dollar Laptop: Asus Rog Strix G15/g17
Like its ROG Zephyrus cousins the Strix G15/G17 feature new Ryzen 5000 series CPUs paired with Nvidias latest GPUs, however, they outdo those models with higher power consumption and they also level up in flashy RGB lighting and edgier aesthetics.
With solid battery life, quality high refresh rates in their displays, slick design and unbeatable performance, the only difficult part in choosing to buy one of these is actually finding them, as stock for is proving to be quite rare in most online retailers.
Asus Rog Strix Scar Iii Laptop For Sims 4
WHY WE LIKE IT: Features an ultra-stable and responsive 240Hz refresh rate, with 16GB of DDR4 ram, a massive 1TB solid-state drive, and a pair of high-tech cooling fans complete with anti-dust technology.
- On the pricier side
- Battery can get as little as 2 hours per charge
The Asus ROG Strix Scar III features an ultra-large solid-state drive that clocks in at a massive 1TB, which is enough for hundreds of games, movies, and other large pieces of data. The specs here are fantastic, with an overclocked NVIDIA GeForce graphics card, 16GB of DDR4 ram, and a 240Hz refresh rate. We also found the pair of high-tech cooling fans to be a great add-on, as they feature integrated thermal sensors and advanced technology that helps eliminate dust buildup.
The built-in lithium battery is somewhat lacking, as it maxes out at six hours per charge, with all settings at their bare minimum, and only gets two hours of use per charge with the graphics card fully engaged. Also, this is a pricey laptop, likely due to the advanced specs and features. We think its also a good choice if youre looking for the best laptop for Roblox.
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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.
Best Budget Gaming Laptop For Beginners
CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB SSD | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti | Display: 15.6-inch FHD | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Battery life: 8 hours
This model from Acer has some welcome upgrades and improvements over previous Nitro 5 iterations which had Intel Core i5 processors. With an 11th gen Intel Core i7 and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, you’ll be able to handle all but the most graphically demanding titles. Wi-Fi 6 connectivity gives you faster wireless internet speeds than before, while DTS:X audio creates richer, more immersive audio without the need for a headset. It also features improved heat dissipation than previous models, with twin cooling fans and four vents to draw waste heat away from delicate components and allow your laptop to run at optimal temperatures for longer. And with 8-hour battery life, you can marathon your favorite games well into the night before you need to worry about plugging in.
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