One of the best gaming laptop computer of 2021 appears completely different from these of years previous. The early days of cellular gaming had been largely desktop replacements — clunky chassis, a number of energy bricks, and RGB lighting galore. However the high gaming laptops now are completely different. Producers are lastly placing highly effective specs in sleeker, extra moveable, and extra skilled builds. They’ve glorious, quick refreshing screens which are vital for an amazing gaming expertise. These laptops aren’t simply nice for gaming, however for on a regular basis work as properly. That’s why the very best gaming laptop computer of 2021 is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. It will probably deal with essentially the most demanding video games in the marketplace in the present day and likewise makes an amazing every day driver.
We’ll be updating this web page often as new gaming laptop computer fashions hit cabinets all through this yr. Some thrilling updates are on the way in which. AMD and Nvidia have introduced their next-gen sequence of cellular processors and cellular graphics playing cards — the Ryzen 5000 sequence and the GeForce RTX 3000 sequence, respectively — and we’re already seeing them in premium gaming laptops throughout producers. Intel’s Tiger Lake H sequence can also be on its means, although we count on to see these extra steadily in lighter-weight fashions.
The QHD screen is one other function to observe for. A rising variety of producers are releasing configurations with 1440p shows, even in gaming laptops underneath $2,000. These choices can hit a candy spot for a lot of avid gamers: a greater expertise than 1080p with out the value premium or uncooked horsepower required for a 4K show. You’ll be able to count on decently excessive refresh charges from these panels as properly, relying on the mannequin. The upcoming Razer Blade 15, for instance, will supply as much as a 240Hz panel with QHD decision.
Another factor to remember is the ability you may count on. Not all chips with the identical title are created equal — the RTX 3070 in a single laptop computer could not ship the identical body charges because the RTX 3070 in one other laptop computer resulting from its wattage (in addition to different components just like the processor and cooling). Nvidia now requires firms to reveal clock speeds and graphics energy on every mannequin’s product web page, however loads of producers haven’t done that yet. Your finest wager, if you happen to can’t discover these numbers on an organization’s web site, is to learn some opinions and ensure the mannequin you’re contemplating will ship the body charges you’re on the lookout for. We’ll word the wattage utilized in any laptops we assessment with the brand new RTX graphics playing cards.
In the event you’re on the lookout for some gaming laptop computer offers, regulate our deals coverage, the place we spotlight the very best reductions you may get. For the very best laptop computer video games you may play, take a look at our best games of 2020.
Best Gaming Laptops 2021
The best gaming laptop of 2021
The ROG Zephyrus G14 is the best gaming laptop you can buy. We most recently reviewed last year’s model, which includes AMD’s Ryzen 4000 series up to the eight-core Ryzen 9 4900HS and an Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU. There’s a brand-new model out featuring the Ryzen 5000 series and Nvidia’s RTX 30-series graphics, which we’re looking forward to getting our hands on ASAP.
For well under $2,000, the Zephyrus crams one of the most powerful mobile processors on the market into a super portable 14-inch chassis. With capable cooling to boot, the laptop delivers frame rates we’ve never seen in a laptop of this size before. It handled every game we threw at it without breaking a sweat.
But aside from its excellent gaming performance, the G14 makes a great daily driver. The keyboard, touchpad, display, and port selection are all excellent. Even the battery life is good — something we almost never get to say about gaming laptops.
There are a few downsides to the G14, but they’re fairly small and user-dependent. The most significant note is that it lacks a webcam; you’ll need an external one if you plan on taking video calls. There’s also some bleed in the backlighting, there’s no Thunderbolt connectivity (since it’s an AMD system, and that’s an Intel standard), and the fans can get louder than most under load. But these are very much nitpicks that won’t have a large impact on plenty of people’s gaming experience. Overall, we have very few complaints.
The best big-screen gaming laptop
The Blade Pro 17 delivers some of the best gaming performance you can find in a laptop — but that’s not even its superpower. What makes Razer’s 17-inch flagship so impressive is it packs that unbelievable power into a thin and attractive chassis. It’s just 0.8 inches thick and only requires one charging brick — so you can carry it around in a backpack or briefcase without compromising on power.
Gaming enthusiasts can opt for a model with a 300Hz screen — the highest refresh rate you can get on a laptop — while folks who want to combine gaming with some creative work can opt for a 120Hz touchscreen configuration. Both models come with a customizable per-key RGB keyboard, which adds a touch of color to the Pro’s design without being too obnoxious for the office.
The Blade Pro 17 certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s the laptop to buy if you want the best of the best.
The best budget gaming laptop
The Dell G5 15 SE offers a great gaming experience at a price range far below that of many competitors. It’s the best gaming laptop you can buy under $1,000, and it doesn’t ask too many compromises for that price. While it only comes with a 60Hz screen, the hardware inside (especially AMD’s Ryzen 7 processor) is capable of maxing that out on all kinds of demanding games at native 1080p resolution, so you can reliably expect a playable experience from your favorite titles.
We’re also impressed by the G5’s connectivity. It includes a Mini DisplayPort, an HDMI, and an Ethernet jack — all ports you don’t see every day on laptops at this price point. Overall, if you’re looking for great value for your money, the G5 is your best bet.
The best thin and light gaming laptop
The Blade 15 isn’t as powerful as its 17-inch sibling, but it may be a more pragmatic purchase for many people. If you’re looking for a balanced combination of performance and portability, the Blade 15 may hit that sweet spot. It still packs the top chips on the market and can come with a 300Hz display, but at just 4.7 pounds and 0.7 inches thick, it’s comparable in size to a number of 15-inch productivity machines like the Dell XPS 15.
In addition to its reliable gaming performance, the Blade 15 works well as a productivity machine. We’re big fans of its keyboard, which is quite comfortable to use and has per-key RGB lighting, and the touchpad, which is roomy with a satisfying click. Our primary complaint is that this Blade got quite hot during our game testing — not only did the processor reach 99 degrees, but the hinge and palm rests were uncomfortable to touch.
The flashiest gaming laptop
If you’re looking for a “traditional” premium gaming laptop with colorful, flashy panache, the ROG Strix Scar 15 is for you. The Strix’s keyboard isn’t just one of the most comfortable that we’ve ever tested on a gaming laptop; it also has some of the coolest per-key RGB lighting we’ve ever seen with all kinds of effects. There’s also a colorful light strip wrapped around the front of the deck (customizable as well) and a colorful glowing logo on the lid. In short: if you use this in public, people will notice.
Of course, the Strix is great on the inside as well, delivering some of the best frame rates you’ll find from a 15-inch laptop with Intel’s and Nvidia’s top chips. You’ll get the full benefit of their power with a 300Hz screen option as well. And the Strix comes preloaded with various programs to help customize your gaming experience. You can personalize color profiles, bandwidth allocation, and more based on the type of game you’re playing.
The best gaming laptop with desktop-class parts
If money and desk space are no objects for you, you might be interested in the Alienware Area-51m. This hefty rig is essentially a desktop in laptop form. It pairs a desktop-class processor and a full-power mobile GPU with a 17-inch display and a full-size keyboard, delivering true desktop performance in a chassis that’s still (technically) portable. PC enthusiasts will also appreciate that you can update many of the components yourself, including the processor, RAM, and storage.
The best 13-inch gaming laptop
The Blade Stealth 13 is far from the most powerful gaming rig out there, but it is one of very few gaming systems that come in a 13-inch chassis. The Stealth can run AAA titles at native resolution and comes with a 120Hz screen, but it’s comparable in size and weight to a MacBook Pro. Use it in a meeting or a classroom, and passing observers may have no idea it’s a gaming laptop.
In addition to its powerful chips, the Stealth comes with a colorful keyboard, a sturdy build, and a decent webcam. Even the battery life is pretty good. If you’re looking for a laptop that’s small but mighty, the Stealth will get the job done as a gaming rig and productivity machine in one.
8. Gigabyte Aero 15
The best gaming laptop for content creators
One of the benefits of gaming laptops is, with their powerful graphics cards, they can double as drivers for content creators who want to get photo or video work done on the go. For these folks, the Aero 15 is as versatile as it comes. It has gaming laptop chips inside and a flashy RGB keyboard on the outside, but it pairs them with a gorgeous OLED display rather than a high refresh rate panel.
Those specs don’t come cheap, and plenty of people will be just fine with a more affordable gaming laptop or a standard OLED ultraportable. But if you need powerful specs, a color-accurate screen, and a portable chassis, the Aero 15 delivers all three.