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 higher resolutions and frame rates. You won’t need to build the best gaming PC to get powerful hardware and performance anymore. Plus, 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 a ton of gaming laptops that hide great power inside their relatively compact chassis. Just look at the aptly named MSI GS65 Stealth. Don’t worry, 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 packed with 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 traveling, we’ve got a few recommendations that will satisfy your gaming needs, including budget ones that won’t break the bank. And, don’t worry, we’ve tested these gaming laptops ourselves, so you know they’re up to snuff.
These days, many gaming laptop manufacturers seem to be locked in a race to see who can craft the thinnest gaming laptop without compromising on power. At the moment, the crown might have to go to the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX701. At just 0.7 inches thick, this monster of a laptop houses an Intel Coffee Lake Core i7 chip, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics and 16GB of RAM. That means you can crank any PC game under the sun to Ultra, and take it with you wherever you go. 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 to know you’re gaming, the MSI GS65 Stealth is the best gaming laptop for you. Coming in at just 0.69 inches thick and touting 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 ton of juice into a 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 been voted as one of the best gaming laptops on the market. Rightly so, since it’s packed with powerful components, a beautiful display and an elegant chassis. 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 this thin and light. And, even 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 hides a lot of muscle and smarts inside its stylish, approachable chassis, combining a very high refresh rate, Nvidia Turing graphics and a powerful processor with a wonderfully effective thermal cooling, a cable management system and a number of applications for customizations. It’s almost the complete package, wrapped in a gorgeous chassis that you’d be proud to showcase, whether at a cafe or on the train. 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 remains to be 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 one of these laptops. It’s a titanic desktop replacement packing 6-core Intel Coffee Lake processors, plenty of RAM and powerful Nvidia Pascal graphics. This leviathan is neither portable nor cafe-friendly. However, if raw power is what you’re after, this is the best gaming laptop for you. Just as long as you’re ready to break open that piggy bank.
Read the full review: MSI GT75 Titan
Thin and light gaming laptops are everywhere 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 demolish any game you throw at it, then the Asus ROG G703GI is for you. This is a massive – not to mention expensive – laptop, but it justifies its size and price with gaming performance that rivals the best gaming PCs. With its two power bricks, it’s hardly 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). However, it’s undoubtedly one of the best when it comes to gaming in 1080p. In fact, we are able to crank the settings all the way up in Overwatch without ever straying below 60fps. It doesn’t feature the longest battery life, but the screen, power and onboard sound system more than make up for it.
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 powerful gaming machine, and you don’t want to spring 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, there’s a lot to love here.
Read the full review: Acer Predator Helios 500
Thin like an Ultrabook, powerful like a gaming machine should be and with an incredible cooling system to boot, the Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX is one of the best gaming laptops we’ve tested in 2019. With an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 that’s backed by Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics and up to 24GB RAM, 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 perhaps not of its price. This pricey powerhouse is not for the shallow-pocketed, but with premium components comes great 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. And it’s also ray tracing ready, making it even more future-proof. However, this thin chassis 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.
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.
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