Sure, PC purists might despise the evolution – or, “devolution” – of the desktop to the laptop. But you can’t deny the practicality gaming laptops bring to the table. They’re compact and portable, making them ideal for those who don’t have much space at home or are constantly on the go. You won’t have to sacrifice power either. Modern gaming laptops are loaded with fast processors, high-end GPUs, and heaps of SSD storage. The best gaming laptops can even run triple-A titles at max specs effortlessly.
There are all kinds of gaming laptops in today’s market. Whatever your budget, preferences, and needs, there’s sure to be a gaming laptop out there for you. Why not start off your quest for the perfect rig by browsing our top 5 gaming laptop picks below?
The 5 best laptops for gaming in 2023 are the ASUS Rog Zephyrus G15, Razer Blade 15, Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, MSI GE76 RAIDER, and the Asus Tuf Dash F15. These gaming laptops range from high-end to budget and feature quick display response times, as well as top-notch keyboards that limit travel distance for keypresses.
The Best Gaming Laptop Overall – ASUS Rog Zephyrus G15
The Asus Rog Zephyrus G15 is a total powerhouse. Loaded with the latest-gen GPU and processor – up to the GeForce RTX 3080 and 8-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS – it can deliver game-changing FPS in even the most demanding AAA titles. It also supports a max ram capacity of 48 GB, making heavy multitasking effortless.
Despite its slim 0.78 inch build, the Asus Rog Zephyrus G15 hasn’t sacrificed on cooling. It features 84-blade fans, several heat pipes, liquid metal cooling, and rubber feet at the bottom to allow for better airflow. The laptop also lets you blast the sounds of your in-game battles in perfect, crisp quality too, thanks to its six Dolby Atmos-powered speakers. The keys are tactile and accurate with a 1.7mm travel distance.
The QHD 165Hz display panel has a lightning-fast 3ms response time, and brightness and color accuracy are superb. It even features adaptive sync to combat stuttering and screen tearing. While many gaming laptops are plagued by poor battery life, the Zephyrus G15 can last for around 8 hours, making wrecking your enemies on the go an easy feat. And if it runs out of juice? It’ll only take 30 minutes to charge it back up to 50%. The chassis is durable and has a more subtle look than other gaming laptops on the market.
You can check the Asus Rog Zephyrus G15 out on Amazon.
The only potential dealbreaker? There’s no built-in webcam. So, you’ll have to fork out extra if you need to use Zoom for work or school. Although, if you’re willing to wait it out, the updated 2022 model does now have an integrated webcam (and a higher, 240Hz display).
The Best Compact Gaming Laptop – Razer Blade 15
Traveling to a LAN party or esports tournament with a bulky, heavy gaming laptop often feels like a quest in itself. You’ve got to find a bag that can accommodate its size, then carry a backbreaking amount of weight. The Razer Blade 15, however, puts this crusade on beginner mode with its ultra-slim and lightweight build. We’re talking about a weight of 4.4 pounds and a width of 0.67 inches. The power adapter is reasonably sized and won’t weigh you down either.
The overall design has a premium look – as expected considering the hefty price tag – and the metal chassis is durable, sleek, and doesn’t attract fingerprints. While the Razer Blade 15 can’t match the Zephyrus G15’s battery, its battery life is still top tier for a gaming laptop and it does have a webcam neatly slotted within the top bezel. Plus, you can use facial recognition to unlock your device, thanks to Windows Hello.
For most gamers, the starting model is more than enough power to experience titles like God of War and Elden Ring (see also ‘Is Elden Ring Cross Platform?‘) without stutter or throttle. Although, professional esports players may want to splurge more for the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and 12th Gen Intel i9 Processor. The keyboard rocks per-key RGB lighting, allowing for limitless customization.
If this sounds like a good fit for you, the Razer Blad 15 is available on Amazon.
While the Razer Blade 15 has nifty vapor chamber cooling, it does get hot-to-the-touch, especially at the bottom. However, performance is rarely affected and the spots where you’ll be resting your palms remain comfortably warm. The internal fans also aren’t excessively noisy.
Best Mid-Range Gaming Laptop – Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro offers phenomenal specs in a sleek-looking 16-inch chassis. The QHD IPS display is bright and colorful, making it suitable for gaming, watching movies, or even light photo editing. The overall design is solid and brags attractive RGB lighting (which all hardcore gamers are sure to appreciate).
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is available on Amazon and ready for your gaming needs.
Now, this laptop isn’t the most portable. It’ll still fit in your backpack comfortably, but it does weigh around 5.4 pounds and the power adapter is essentially a brick. That said, performance is more than respectable, and the keyboard feels comfortable and tactile, with keys having ergonomic keycaps and a 1.5mm travel distance. The Legion 5 Pro even manages to squeeze in a full-sized Numpad, which you can use to level up your productivity or for gaming macros. Temperature-wise, the Legion 5 Pro stays reasonably cool thanks to its thermal intake vents and quad-channel exhaust system. The fans won’t tune out in-game sound effects either.
Best 17.3 Inch Gaming Laptop –MSI GE76 RAIDER
If you’re after a desktop replacement kind of laptop, the MSI GE76 RAIDER delivers on all fronts. Packed with the latest (and fastest) hardware components, it’s a total beast. It can effortlessly pump out over 100 FPS in even the most graphically demanding PC games, and you won’t be subjected to any tearing and throttling while playing. The display looks divine with superb color accuracy. And at 17.3 inches, you’ll be getting an immersive viewing experience as well.
Like all beasts, the MSI GE76 Raider has an insatiable appetite. It’ll eat up your battery life in the space of a few hours, so it’s not ideal for those who prioritize portability. This is especially the case when you factor in its hefty 6.3-pound weight and thick build. But this does come with its own benefits. The bulkier build means more space for cooling and ports, and it does sport a full-sized keyboard. Plus, there’s a perfect amount of travel between keys.
Where this gaming laptop really wins our hearts over though is its design. It’s quite literally the flashiest device out there, packed with bold RGB lighting and a stylish light bar at the front. And of course, Amazon sells the MSI GE76 Raider.
Best Budget Gaming Laptop – Asus Tuf Dash F15
Gaming laptops aren’t cheap, especially if you’re after something that’s compact and brags top-tier specs. However, the ASUS TUF Dash F15 is an exception. It’s an affordable, powerful, and durable device packed in a slim chassis. The starting model weighs just under 5 pounds and is capable of running games like Death Stranding and Horizon: Zero Dawn smoothly at almost max specs.
The Tuf Dash F15’s keyboard is well-spaced and keys have a satisfyingly deep 1.7mm travel distance. The WASD keys are translucent and stand out, which allows you to easily keep your fingers in the right spot while smashing out those complex combos. The trackpad isn’t the smoothest and does feel pretty clunky to use. Although, this isn’t exactly a major concern since you’ll be using a dedicated gaming mouse or controller anyway.
The IPS panel offers wide viewing angles and a respectable refresh rate. However, color accuracy isn’t the best. And with around 300 nits of brightness, you won’t be gaming in direct sunlight any time soon.
If you’re looking for a great budget laptop, Amazon does sell the ASUS TUF F15.
While the fans do get fairly noisy – not surprising for a budget laptop – the cooling is remarkably effective. You can play comfortably for long periods without experiencing stuttering or thermal throttling. The chassis is predominantly plastic, but it feels solid and reliable.
Choosing a Gaming Laptop in 2023
Whether you’re after a total powerhouse or something that’s light on your wallet, we hope our list has helped you find a gaming laptop that fits the bill. Each laptop has its fair share of pros and cons. So, make sure to consider what qualities matter the most to you.
Once you’ve decided on your new gaming laptop, you’ll also want to invest in a reliable cooling pad. It’ll help keep internal temperatures low. In return, this reduces the risk of hardware damage, throttling, and thermal burns. Best of luck on your laptop hunt!