Best gaming laptops: Know what to look for and which models rate highest


The gaming laptop landscape is experiencing an earthquake-like shift. With the near-simultaneous launches of AMD’s Ryzen 4000 and Intel’s Comet Lake-H mobile CPUs, we have a real fight for the first time ever, focusing on Ryzen 4000’s cores vs. Comet Lake-H’s clock speeds. Meanwhile, Nvidia has unveiled a new generation of mobile graphics technologies. Check out our top picks immediately below, and keep reading to catch up on the latest news and reviews. 

With major advances in laptop CPUs and graphics technologies, you can now get great gaming performance in sizes from slender to huge, and prices from budget to sky-high.

That’s where this handy-dandy buyer’s guide come in. We’ll name the best gaming laptops currently available, and we’ll highlight what to look for when buying a gaming laptop. (Check back often, as we’ll update this list as new products arrive.) 

Latest gaming laptop news

Laptop news and reviews are heating up, because of new AMD and Intel mobile CPUs coming soon. Here’s the latest. 

  • How does a laptop keep cool under pressure? Our own Gordon Mah Ung quizzes Dell thermals expert Travis North on everything from heat pipes to vapor chambers
  • Acer’s June 23 next@acer event revealed revamps of the Predator Triton 300, Predator Helios 700, and the incredibly popular Predator Helios 300, cramming each with Intel’s 10th-gen Core CPUs, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX Super graphics, and blazing-fast screens primed to melt your face in CS:GO. Read the full story. Oh, and the company let us try out the Acer Nitro 7 with RTX graphics

Latest laptop reviews

Catch up on the latest models we’ve tested here, including: 

Brad Chacos/IDG

The Acer Predator Triton 500 packs a lot of power into a surprisingly slim chassis. 

  • Okay, not everyone could afford the Acer Predator Triton 500 we just tested ($2,800 on B&H Photo), with its 6-core, 12-thread Core i7-10750H and GeForce RTX 2080 Super, all squeezed into a sublime 4.6-pound aluminum chassis with a lightning-fast 300Hz G-Sync display. But looking’s free, and this is one gorgeous machine. Read our full review.
  • We just reviewed two gaming laptops that sport 300Hz screens. That ultra-high refresh rate makes looking at your screen all day a delicious experience. Read our reviews of the MSI GS66 Stealth ($2,999 on Amazon) and the Acer Predator Triton 500 ($2,800 on B&H Photo).
  • Are two screens better than one? The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo ($3,699 on Asus.com) may be the first dual-screen laptop that gets things right. Read our full review.

Best 15-inch gaming laptop

The Acer Predator Triton 500 model we tested features a 15.6-inch, 1920×1080, 144Hz panel, an 8th-gen Core i7-8750H with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, and a GeForce RTX 2060. It’s easily enough firepower to match laptops based on the slightly lower-cost GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, but it has the option to run DirectX Ray Tracing games, too.

If we were to ding the Triton 500, it would be for the SSD replacement. Let’s just say, adding more storage to the Triton 500 won’t be a five-minute affair. Read our full review of the Acer Predator Triton 500.

Best budget gaming laptop

The Acer Nitro 5 surpases what we expect of rock-bottom budget laptops. Its display is a bit dim, and its GTX 1650 graphics is only going to feel slower as time goes by. However its performance is solid overall, and its battery life is a nearly unheard-of (for gaming laptops) five hours. If you’re looking for solid budget value, or if you plan to buy cheap and upgrade more often (a reasonable plan in the ever-advancing world of gaming), this is a respectable entry-level machine. Read our full review.



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