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.
1. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 – GeForce GTX 2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) | RAM: 8GB – 24GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 144Hz panel with G-Sync
Tons of performance
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
2. MSI GS65 Stealth
Thin. Beautiful. Powerful.
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM, Max-Q) | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 144Hz panel | Storage: 256GB SSD – Super RAID 4 1TB SSD
Beautiful, subtle design
Underside gets very hot
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
3. Razer Blade
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H – Intel Core i7-9750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR6 VRAM) – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 144Hz – OLED 4K (3,840 x 2,160) Touch 60Hz | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
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
4. Lenovo Legion Y740
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB GDDR6 VRAM) – RTX 2070 (Max-Q 8GB) | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) Nvidia G-Sync 144 Hz | Storage: 256GB SSD – 256GB SSD+1TB HDD
Powerful internal components
New Nvidia discrete graphics
144Hz refresh rate
Poor battery life
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
5. MSI GT75 Titan
CPU: Up to 8th-generation Intel Core i9 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 (8GB GDDR6) – Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 with 8GB GDDR6 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920×1,080) – UHD (3,840×2,160) | Storage: 1TB, 1TB HDD
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
6. Asus ROG G703GI
CPU: Intel Core i7-i9 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM) | RAM: 64GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080)144Hz | Storage: 3 x 512GB SSD (M.2, RAID 0), 2TB HDD
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
7. Asus ROG Strix GL502
It’s hard not to love a gaming laptop this good
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – 1070 | RAM: up to 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch full HD 1,920 x 1,080 IPS | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD
Rocks Full HD gaming
Deliciously vibrant screen
Middling battery life
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
8. Acer predator Helios 500
CPU: Intel Core i7-i9 or AMD Ryzen 7 2700 | Graphics: AMD Vega 10 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, 144Hz panel | Storage: 256GB – 1 TB M.2 SSD
Plenty of power
144Hz Full HD display
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
9. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GX
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 (Max-Q) | RAM: Up to 24GB | Screen: 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS, 144Hz | Storage: 1TB SSD – 512GB/1TB SSD
Screen isn’t HDR
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
10. Gigabyte Aero 15
CPU: Intel Core i7 8750H – Intel Core i9-8950HK | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB GDDR6) – GeForce RTX 2080 (8GB GDDR6) | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LCD anti-glare 144Hz – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) 60Hz | Storage: 1TB – 2TB NVMe SSD
Sleek, thin design
Ray tracing ready
Core i9 gets hot
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 and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article
Image Credit: TechRadar