The greatest gaming laptops improved even further last year, and it’s time for a new batch to hit store shelves. Since the Nvidia RTX 40-Series graphics cards are already well established in the market, price reductions and the release of additional power configurations are imminent. Not only that, but we still have a fantastic selection of gaming laptops from the previous year.

These setups can obviously combine the portability of a much lighter device with the power of a desktop computer. But really excellent gaming laptops do this while staying cool, striking a balance between performance and price, and include a premium display in their price. We’re interested in these kinds of equipment, and after a lot of testing, we’ve identified the models that are worth keeping an eye on this year.

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 is currently the greatest gaming laptop of 2024, but several of our top picks strike a mix between price and raw power. That implies that some of these top models will just perform better than what their price tag indicates, without using the most powerful graphics cards or packing tonnes of RAM.

We’ve tested a variety of gaming laptops to identify the best models available, evaluating design and thermal efficiency, performance in relation to specifications, and overall value for money. We put every machine through a battery of performance tests and spend a lot of time living, playing, and working with the machines we review.

1. Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (2023)

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 has now outperformed the Razer Blade 15, earning the title of the best gaming laptop we’ve ever tested. Despite not reaching the extreme performance levels of other top-tier RTX 40-Series systems, this device handles any task with ease. This can be credited to the Strix Scar’s impressive features: it presents vivid RGB panels and a Mini LED display that perfectly fits its futuristic chassis. Moreover, it focuses on the crucial aspects a PC gamer would require – efficient cooling, CPU performance, and powerful GPU capabilities.

The distinction between this rig and a standard office laptop is amplified by the large ROG logo on the lid, coupled with a series of etched diagonal lines surrounding the robust grill at the back. However, the design isn’t overly flashy, and when the LEDs are turned off, it maintains an elegant aesthetic. This ranks as one of the best gaming laptops we’ve experienced. Though it doesn’t reach the staggering performance levels of some other premium RTX 40-Series systems, this machine effortlessly handles anything you throw its way. The distinguishing characteristics of the Strix Scar are responsible for its performance: it boasts lively RGB panels, a Mini LED display that seamlessly enhances its futuristic chassis, and prioritizes the essentials for a PC gaming aficionado – proficient cooling system, CPU effectiveness, and robust GPU capabilities.

On a gaming laptop, we also have one of the greatest screens we’ve ever used. The Mini LED screens from Asus are called “Nebula HDR,” and they look great. In the range of 1,024 dimming zones to 1,100+ nits of peak brightness, colours are exceptionally vibrant and harmoniously balanced with a rich, deep contrast. An excellent virtual surround system and Dolby Atmos combined for a really immersive experience.

Naturally, a sophisticated range of setting choices backs it up. With an RTX 4090 graphics card and an i9-13980HX CPU, the ROG Strix Scar 16 can easily satisfy anyone searching for a top-tier setup.

Our testing involved an RTX 4080 setup, which utilizes the Intel i9-13980HX processor found in both this model and the 4090 configuration. The performance significantly surpassed that of the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16. Interestingly, during these benchmark tests, the Scar 16 even managed to outdo the slightly more expensive Razor Blade 18. Given these results, you can expect to enjoy gaming for at least the next five years without any issues. If there are no major graphical advancements that demand more power, this setup could potentially last even longer.

While the framerates were not as good as those of the ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 (see below), you also won’t have to pay an additional $1,000 for a fancy second screen and the power to run it, which you might not need. Furthermore, the raw might that this machine possesses is undeniable, as it achieves three-figure framerates on Ultra settings across challenging titles.

Although we’re constantly receiving new RTX 40-Series gaming laptops, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 is now the greatest model to cross our tables. For anyone looking for a high-end device with plenty of power left over for future releases, it’s definitely worth the price.

2. Alienware M15 R7

Last year, the Alienware M15 R7 raised the bar for the now mid-range luxury laptop brand to 2022 levels. If sales continue to rise, this laptop will be the preferred choice for anyone looking for a powerful performance computer in 2023. There’s a lot of power up for grabs here, with Nvidia’s Ti GPUs and Intel’s 12th generation CPUs leading the charge.

It’s important to remember that this machine was made only for power. The keyboard’s design is bulky and hefty in general; the charging brick alone almost stretches the entire length of the keyboard. Yes, gamers will be happy to hear that this isn’t a laptop you can just toss in your backpack, but if you’re searching for an all-arounder that can compete with devices far more expensive than itself, these are small compromises to make.

Everything about this laptop is exactly what one would anticipate from an Alienware, including the 15 watermark on the back, the small bezel design on the display, and the RGB strip that surrounds the rear port area. Although there is some noticeable flex in the screen, the matte surface does a good job of hiding a less expensive plastic chassis. Despite this, the device seems sturdy overall.

When it comes to connectivity, the M15 R7 definitely delivers. It offers a broad range of ports, catering to both USB-C and USB-A users, as well as those who prefer WiFi or Ethernet. The keyboard is another highlight, featuring a greater travel distance of 1.8mm and a tactile response. This makes for an especially gratifying typing experience, whether for gaming or general use.

With that amazing speed, the 360Hz FHD display on top of our test device proved very good at motion handling and tear reduction. Lighter colours did seem to handle a bit worse than dark colours overall, seeming a touch washed out, but even in harsh lighting, everything blended together well.

When it comes to connectivity, the M15 R7 definitely delivers. It offers a broad range of ports, catering to both USB-C and USB-A users, as well as those who prefer WiFi or Ethernet. The keyboard is another highlight, featuring a greater travel distance of 1.8mm and a tactile response. This makes for an especially gratifying typing experience, whether for gaming or general use.

After all, Alienware is a high-end brand. The introduction of the X-series has caused the M-series to currently sit in the middle of the spectrum, therefore the Alienware M15 R7 is reasonably priced by the brand’s standards. This implies that there are other, much less expensive computers available, but they lack the notable Alienware heritage. Nevertheless, this is a wonderful option for the majority of players, with performance to rival some of the greatest gaming laptops available and only a few compromises to get there for a reasonable price. On paper alone, you may argue that the Alienware X15 is the best gaming laptop available, but this one wins out in terms of cost and market share.

3. Acer Nitro 5

In this setup, the Acer Nitro 5 offers an ample amount of balance. What’s even better is that we frequently find this model on Amazon as well. With a 144Hz display on top and some reliable parts behind, this device offers good power for the money. It is typically seen for a price of $1,049 to $1,329.

While it won’t wow anyone with its ostentatious features or exceptional performance, the Acer Nitro 5 is a pretty good gaming laptop option for the time-pressed player on a budget.

The most recent Nitro 5 stays true to the distinctive aesthetic of the Acer Nitro range. Although the plastic chassis easily gathers fingerprints, it feels surprisingly sturdy in the palm. It also helps that this is one of the lighter gaming laptops available right now, at only 2.3 kg. While the angled corners and sharp lines give off an outdated vibe, and the bezels do detract from the screen’s aesthetic appeal, all things considered, this is a quite unoffensive design for a less expensive laptop.

The RTX 3060 Nitro 5, which is regularly priced under $1,000 / £1,000, does this by eschewing nice-to-have features in order to fit some amazing components into an affordable price tag. This makes it ideal for anyone looking for pure power without all the glitzy trappings that occasionally drive up the price of a gaming laptop.

This laptop is suitable for both work and enjoyment thanks to its excellent full-scale keyboard and numpad. This means that because of its relatively light weight in comparison to other gaming laptops, it’s a wonderful alternative to a full-tower desktop PC at home that also offers portability. In comparison to other laptops in the same price range, we thought the screen was a little bit dull, and the battery life was distinctly lacking, but considering the low price, these do seem like reasonable compromises. especially considering that the screen maintains a superb refresh rate of 144Hz.

The Ryzen 5800H CPU and RTX 3060 GPU demonstrated strong performance in our tests, delivering 86 frames per second on High and just 77 frames per second in Ultra. Performance-wise, there is definitely space for growth, but the SSD shouldn’t present too many issues. Most games will run quicker than 60 frames per second even at maximum settings. Another alternative is ray-tracing, although it comes at a performance cost.

If this is your first gaming laptop, we’d suggest the Nitro 5 to anyone looking to save money, get a few excellent years of use out of it, and figure out exactly what you need from a larger purchase later on.

The Asus TUF Dash F15 and Dell G15 are also fantastic choices. Although it doesn’t have nearly the same thermal regulation as the Acer Nitro 5, the former is typically available for little less money. In contrast, Asus’s entry-level model is priced marginally higher and forgoes processing power in favour of a 1440p display.

4. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2023)

For a long time, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 ruled the slimline gaming laptop market. One of the first devices that was truly portable, it was designed to fit both your desk top and your backpack. Asus has intensified its power in 2023. This year’s AMD build was fast, but it lacked certain flashy graphical effects. With Intel’s 13th generation CPUs leading the way, the latest version strikes the perfect combination between power and portability. The RTX 40-Series graphics mark a return to Nvidia.

The 2023 version of the G14 builds upon the sleek yet small design philosophy that the G14 masterfully executed in terms of both aesthetics and build quality. Thanks to its 1.7kg weight and softly rounded corners, the magnesium alloy chassis manages to feel both firmly and pleasantly compact. The AniMe Matrix LED display is still available, however if you can, we’d advise against buying it in order to save money. Still, both versions have a classy enough appearance to be used in a business or gaming environment.

However, we really liked the hinge as part of the design. Lifting the lid also angles the laptop’s body, as it did with earlier models, providing additional airflow and giving the device a floating appearance. It’s a high-end design that simultaneously strives to maintain your laptop’s peak performance.

Although we were a touch disappointed by the G14’s attempt to use AMD graphics last year, 2023’s return to Nvidia is victorious. Additionally, a wide range of combinations are available, extending from RTX 4060 to RTX 4090.

While the previous model’s 16:10 display remains an option, Asus has incorporated its Nebula HDR MiniLED panel into the high-end RTX 4090 variant. This screen is inherently superior to IPS, but its specifications have been adjusted to match the Zephyrus G14’s category. The G14 compromises with 600 nits and 504 zones, whereas other 2023 Asus laptops impress with their brilliant peak brightness of 1,100 nits and 1,024 dimming zones. Given the features offered in other models, this clearly represents a trade-off.

Additionally, we were able to wring some remarkable numbers out of this small design. With in-game benchmarks consistently achieving well over 120 frames per second on High and maintaining that performance rather well on Ultra, those new generation components are clearly not going to be wasted in this tiny chassis. Everything is seamless whether you’re viewing in 1080p or 1440p resolution.

However, we did observe that those temps began to creep under heavy workloads, thus this will be kept on a desk as opposed to a lap. Nevertheless, few 14-inch setups can match these specifications, and even fewer can match the additional screen real estate you’re getting here.

The greatest 14-inch gaming laptop we’ve used to date is the G14. Few other rigs can rival the way it blends portability and power in one compact package. It’s the preferred option for anyone looking for a small PC because it offers more choices for components, greater value for money, and lower costs than the Alienware x14.

5. Razer Blade 15 (2022)

When we got our hands on a Razer Blade 15, it was quite the beast, but it also demonstrated the capability of 15.6-inch gaming laptops. The setup I had on my desk, an RTX 3080 Ti / i9-12900H, was a real performance beast. But this machine’s ability to deliver such performance without sacrificing the sleek design that we’ve all grown to adore is what truly solidified its place as the greatest gaming laptop available.

This is by now second nature to you. Because it is a Razer laptop, the only item on the lid aside from the glossy green Razer emblem is a matte black brick. The Blade 15 adheres strictly to these design guidelines, squeezing all those premium parts into a sleek build and giving almost every little detail the attention it deserves. Although this is a sturdy chassis, we did observe some noticeable flex in the display and wobbling in the hinge, which is why we say almost every. However, there is only so much that the rear panel can withstand because this is as thin as the majority of 15.6-inch laptops get. We weren’t really concerned because the hinge itself shown incredible strength during our testing.

When you open the lid, you’ll see a 4K display on top and a num-pad-less keyboard with additional airflow underneath. Considering that it was able to keep up with more demanding games in our tests, this screen is exceptionally strong. Beyond performance metrics, however, this panel will offer all of your games an unmatched brightness and clarity that will undoubtedly result in a significantly more immersive experience.

Razer has successfully crammed an RTX 3080 Ti under the hood of this chassis. Only a few gaming laptops had this strong GPU at the time of review, and for those who can manage it, there’s plenty of power given the i9 CPU it comes with.

With everything set to 11, I was able to run Shadow of the Tomb Raider in 4K at 74 frames per second. Red Dead Redemption 2’s 60+ frames per second at 1440p and The Division 2’s 78 frames per second in the same resolution astonished me even if more demanding games still had trouble in that UHD resolution. To achieve higher framerates in 4K, I just needed to remove a few more demanding visual effects, and everything looked amazing while I was doing it.

When it comes to mobility, component horsepower, and performance, the Razer Blade 15 is unmatched. Ultimately, considering that 4K 144Hz display is priced so much, the only other PCs with RTX 3080 Ti graphics cards at the time of writing still fall short.

Naturally, this is not a cheap device. Starting at $2,499.99 on an RTX 3060 setup, the Razer Blade 15 from 2022 is priced. Although you’re paying a premium for this name, the money is well spent if you’re looking for one of the most technically advanced devices in a portable package.

How To Choose The Ideal Laptop For Gaming

Uncertain of the optimal screen size and minimal specifications you should pursue in your quest for the finest gaming laptop? We can assist you in figuring it out if you need it.

The secret, in our opinion, is to choose something that strikes a balance between components, performance, and cost. You want something that can run your current favourite games and have enough bandwidth left over to allow you discover new ones later on.

What should you do as soon as you begin your search for the greatest gaming laptop? Prioritising the machine’s hardware is normally (and somewhat predictably) the best course of action, but you can start by setting a budget or upper limit on all purchases. Since you’ve found yourself on this page, you’re searching for a portable gaming powerhouse, so you should set your sights high for your graphics card—ideally, one from Nvidia’s RTX line of cards.

This can be a great place to start narrowing down your options, but don’t forget to check out laptops that have a 16-series card installed as well; these devices offer amazing value when paired with other well-balanced parts. A brief word about components: supply has been wildly inconsistent and erratic in recent months, as everyone is aware. Consequently, it is possible that only a few configurations are accessible when you visit stores or the manufacturers of these equipment.

If you’re not sure which parts you need, it’s a good idea to look at the CPU and GPU tiers that are available. You may be in the entry-level tier if you only play light games or are a casino enthusiast who wants to test his basic blackjack strategy on a less demanding gambling platform. If you’re looking to hit high settings with a few adjustments and still hit 60 frames per second, it’s worth looking in the mid-range. But if you want to play the most demanding games at ultra settings, a more expensive laptop might be the best choice for you.

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