October 2, 2022
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA
Gaming

Best Gaming Laptops in 2022

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The best gaming laptops can make on the go gaming easier, faster and more comfortable. They won’t make you a better gamer, but some can give you a little edge, and with modern CPUs and GPUs under the hood, they let you experience the latest generations of AAA and esports games at higher frame rates and resolutions like never before.

Gone are the overweight designs of yesteryear too. The best gaming laptops aren’t just fast, but they’re lean, and some could even be considered lightweight. With high-end components, a great gaming laptop can feel like taking your desktop with you wherever you go—perfect for LAN parties or being ready for a game at any time.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a cutting edge gaming laptop though. You should do that if you want to play the most demanding games at 4K with ray tracing enabled, but if you have a smaller budget or play lightweight games and just need a decent laptop with a high refresh rate display, there are plenty of those at much more affordable prices. Here are the best gaming laptops you can buy in 2022.


Best Gaming Laptop Overall

Cutting Edge Hardware In a Streamlined Chassis

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 12800H
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti
  • Storage and Memory: 1TB SSD, 16GB DDR5
  • Display: 15.6-inch, 2560 x 1440, 240Hz

Who’s it for: Gamers who want a do-it-all high-end gaming machine to fit in with their other Razer accessories.

The Razer Blade 15 Advanced features the most cutting edge mobile gaming hardware money can buy. From its Intel Alder Lake 12th-generation, 12800H processor, to its NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti graphics chip and high-refresh rate QHD screen, this is a new laptop for a new year, with a lot of new hardware. That makes it super fast but also impressively efficient with decent battery life for a laptop of this power, letting you play your favorite games at maximum settings and high frame rates for a few hours without worrying about plugging in the charger.

It features Razer’s iconic Blade build quality, with a sleek finish on every surface, a minimalist chassis with thin bezels, and the classy Razer Chroma backlighting for the keyboard. Inside, it also comes with 16GB of RAM, a terabyte of fast storage, and a capable and quiet cooling solution. Other hardware options include the new RTX 3080 Ti graphics chip for even more GPU power, and both 1080p and 4K screens, perfect for juggling performance in esports titles or cranking the visuals in more atmospheric single player experiences.

Alongside the upgrade to the internal hardware, Razer has also improved the keyboard on the 2022 Blade. It now has slightly bigger keycaps which should make it more comfortable and accurate to type on. The gap between keys is reduced a little in turn, so the keyboard itself isn’t any bigger.

As with most gaming laptops, you’ll get far better performance out of this high-end machine if you run it while plugged in. If you do need to switch to battery while gaming, you should get a couple of hours of play, but don’t expect much more.

Pros

  • High-end components
  • Excellent build quality
  • Runs cool and quiet

Cons

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Best 17-inch Gaming Laptop

Big, Bold, And Beautiful

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 12700H
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti
  • Storage and Memory: 1TB SSD, 16GB LPDDR5
  • Display: 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080, 360Hz

Who’s it for: Gamers who want to play on a big-screen with a mains socket nearby.

The biggest gaming laptops might start to sacrifice a little portability, but what you get in return is a near-desktop-like experience in a still-compact package. The Alienware x17 R2 is the latest in a long line of high-end gaming laptops from the company, and it shows not only in its powerful array of internal hardware, but how refined the overall design is. It’s leaner than previous generation big-screen gaming laptops, and it stands out from the usual crowd of black and gamer-y options out there.

Under the hood, you’ll find the powerful 12th-generation Intel Core i7 12700H CPU, with its impressive array of 14 cores (six performance, eight efficiency) and high 4.7GHz boost clock delivering impressive performance. Paired with 16GB of high-speed LPDDR5 memory and an RTX 3070 Ti, this gaming machine has all the power you need for high frame rate gaming.

That’s what it’s targeting, too, as though it has heaps of GPU power, this laptop has a 1080p display. That’s relatively low resolution for a high-end laptop, but where some gaming laptops target higher resolutions, this one goes for frames. With a 360Hz refresh rate, this laptop makes high-speed games look gorgeously smooth, and if you’re playing against other players, it’ll even give you an edge by lowering your response time and input lag.

Don’t expect hours upon hours of battery life with such a powerful machine, but it does stay relatively cool thanks to its impressive cooling system. It really does look fantastic too, with tasteful lighting, vents and trim bezels. It’s the best 17-inch gaming laptop you can buy in 2022.

Pros

  • Big, super-fast display for competitive gaming
  • High-end hardware can play anything at high FPS
  • Gorgeous design

Cons


Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,000

A Great Budget Gaming Laptop

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 10500H
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060
  • Storage and Memory: 512GB SSD, 8GB DDR4
  • Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 144Hz

Who’s it for: Gamers on a budget who still want to enjoy new-generation gaming performance.

The $1,000 mark is the point where you start to get a seriously good gaming laptop for your money—and that’s even better if you can get it at a serious discount. In this case, the usually-$1,100 MSI GF65 easily outclasses everything else at its reduced rate. It’s now a cheap gaming laptop with anything but cheap components. It pairs an Intel Core i5-10500H CPU with the excellent RTX 3060 GPU for some impressive performance at 1080p.

That graphical power is more than enough for running modern AAA games, but it’ll also let you run esports games at high frame rates. You’ll be able to take full advantage of that with its 144Hz high refresh rate screen, making you play faster and more responsive than the competition.

It also packs half a terabyte of storage space for installing all your favorite games, has 8GB of RAM and supports Wi-Fi 6 for fast networking and internet connectivity. It also weighs just four pounds, so this is a pretty portable gaming machine if you want to play on the go.

When you do sit down to game with this laptop, there are plenty of ports you can take advantage of too. Whether you’re looking to plug in a gaming mouse, a headset or even a high-speed Ethernet cable for a more reliable connection, this laptop lets you. It comes with two USB-C 3.2 Gen1 ports, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, an HDMI output, an RJ45 Ethernet connector and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Pros

  • Excellent performance for the price
  • Supports DLSS and ray tracing with new-gen GPU
  • Great gaming display

Cons

  • CPU is outdated, but still capable
  • 8GB of RAM is a little weak


Best Lightweight Gaming Laptop

Super Portable And Super Powerful

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11375H
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060
  • Storage and Memory: 1TB SSD, 16GB DDR4
  • Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 144Hz

Who’s it for: Gamers who don’t want it to be obvious that their laptop can play.

The MSI Stealth 15M blurs the lines between professional ultrabooks and gaming laptops. It retains the performance and raw capability of a gaming laptop whilst enjoying the portability and lightweight design of an ultrabook. But for the power it offers, the tradeoff is that the battery doesn’t last as long as dedicated office machines, and it doesn’t have the same grunt as chunkier gaming devices with huge fins, grills and GPUs.

But if you want to game anywhere with great performance without worrying about breaking your back (or your bank) to get it there, then this is the laptop for you. At just 3.7 pounds, this laptop is well under the typical 4-5 pound mark of most modest gaming laptops, and at 15 inches, it offers plenty of screen space while still being easy to fit into a backpack or laptop messenger bag.

The Intel Core i7-11375H and NVIDIA RTX 3060 offer stellar gaming performance in esports and AAA games, letting you enjoy the 1080p, 144Hz screen to its fullest at an affordable price. With all of that, this laptop not only has solid performance, but a great selection of up to date features, including cutting edge connectivity in Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4.0.

Pros

  • Super sleek look and feel
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Solid gaming performance, despite size

Cons

  • You can get more performance for your money


Best 4K Gaming Laptop

Unrivaled Performance

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-12900HK
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti
  • Storage and Memory: 1TB SSD, 32GB DDR5
  • Display: 17.3-inch, 3840 x 2160, 120Hz

Who’s it for: Mobile gamers who want a no-compromise gaming laptop.

If you want to game at 4K, you need a powerful machine, and that’s exactly what this MSI Raider GE76 is. It combines the top performing processor and graphics chip for a near-unparalleled mobile gaming experience. The Core i9-12900HK packs a total of 14 cores (six performance cores and eight efficiency cores) at a blistering 5GHz boost clock, and will tear through any games you throw at it, whether you’re targeting high frame rates at 1080p and low settings or the highest-quality visual fidelity in the latest AAA games.

The 3080 Ti is the best mobile graphics chip available right now, easily capable of handling any game in 4K with all of the details at their maximum, and even with ray tracing enabled. You can expect high frame rates n even the most demanding games, letting you take full advantage of the 120Hz 4K display.

With 32GB of high-speed DDR5, this machine is a capable workhorse if you want to do some video editing or 3D modeling in your downtime. This is a laptop that might be designed for games, but it has everything you need for serious work too.

It’s not the lightest laptop at over six pounds. Battery life isn’t particularly impressive, either—it offers a few hours of light web browsing, let alone gaming. But you get a robust selection of ports, including USB-A, USB-C and Thunderbolt 4. All in, this is the most capable gaming laptop available today, but you’ll have to pay quite a ransom for the privilege.

Pros

  • The fastest mobile gaming hardware possible
  • Big and beautiful gaming display
  • Excellent port selection

Cons

  • Big and heavy
  • Runs hot and loud


Best Laptop for Gaming and School

Asus Zephyrus 14

MOST POPULAR

  • CPU: IAMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060
  • Storage and Memory: 1TB SSD, 16GB DDR4
  • Display: 14-inches, 2560 x 1440, 120Hz

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a great all-round laptop with solid gaming performance.

For gaming and school work, you need a capable GPU and a powerful processor, and few laptops can come close to the near-perfect combination inside the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. It combines an AMD Ryzen 5900HS with an NVIDIA RTX 3060 for fantastic gaming power, and packs it all inside one of the classiest chassis money can buy.

The eight-core CPU is a powerhouse of a processor, beating out even some of the best desktop processors of the latest generations at gaming; if you use it for intensive tasks like video and photo editing, it screams ahead. It’s more than enough for research and office tasks too, whatever kind of college work you have to do.

But when paired with an RTX 3060 mobile GPU, it becomes an entirely different animal. It’s fantastic for both AAA games and esports play. The 120Hz display gives you a competitive edge over gamers with slower screens too, and its keyboard is both comfortable and accurate with plenty of travel for such a thin frame.

There’s heaps of storage space (1TB SSD) and all the RAM (16GB DDR4) you’ll need for current and next-gen games. With support for the latest Wi-Fi 6 standards, you’ll have access to the fastest network speeds no matter where you want to play too. At just 3.5 pounds, this powerful little laptop won’t hold you back when gaming on the go, and its sleek white paint job really helps it stand out from the crowds of RGB-lit black and silver.

Pros

  • Great blend of performance and portability
  • Comfortable and accurate keyboard
  • Stand-out looks

Cons


Best Budget Gaming Laptop

An Affordable Gaming Laptop With Real Power

Specs:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060
  • Storage and Memory: 512GB SSD, 16GB DDR4
  • Display: 15.6-inches, 1920 x 1080, 144Hz

The entire Acer Predator line of affordable gaming laptops is great, but the Predator Helios 300 is something quite special. At around the $1,200 mark, it’s just starting to nudge into the mid-range laptop territory and that brings with it a lot of advantages. This is a capable gaming laptop built to a great standard, and with some very capable hardware inside.

Under the hood you get an Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, which might not be of the latest generation, but it’s still plenty powerful with an impressive eight cores delivering heaps of multi-threaded performance for work and play. When teamed up with the Nvidia RTX 3060, it has all the grunt it needs to spit out high frame rates in any game at 1080p. With a 144Hz display too, you’ll be able to really enjoy the smooth visuals whatever you’re playing.

Cooling has been done particularly well on this laptop, making sure it stays relatively quiet even when running at full tilt, and the RGB keyboard is well made and responsive whether you’re typing or gaming.

Acer has also made it easy to upgrade this laptop, so if in the future you need more RAM or additional storage space, just pop the back panels off and install the drive or sticks that you need. This isn’t a cheap gaming laptop, but it still makes the most of your budget to come in at an attractive price.

Pros

  • High-end performance at an affordable price
  • Upgradeable design
  • Strong cooling keeps the laptop cool and quiet

Cons

  • Older processor isn’t as strong as new-gen options

Who’s it for?

Gamers who want a compact, attractive laptop with impressive performance, at a great price.


Best 300Hz Gaming Laptop

A Last-Gen Flagship

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3070
  • Storage and Memory: 1TB SSD, 16GB DDR4
  • Display: 15.6-inches, 1920 x 1080, 300Hz

Who’s it for: Esports gamers who want a competitive edge.

There aren’t many laptops that can offer a higher refresh rate than 300Hz, and you’ll typically find these lofty displays in the most high-end of machines. That’s why buying a last-generation flagship can be a great way to get yourself that high performance display and hardware at an affordable price.

The Asus ROG Strix Scar G15 was arguably the best gaming laptop you could buy in 2021, and it still holds its own in 2022. Combining an AMD Ryzen 5900HX eight core processor with an Nvidia RTX 3070 mobile graphics chip, you have all the power you need to play the latest games at the highest detail settings.

Its 1080p display may not be super high resolution, but the 300Hz refresh rate helps make the action buttery smooth no matter what you’re playing. If you’re a competitive gamer, it’ll help you react faster, which means you play better and win more.

Asus put a lot of effort into this laptop’s cooling. It uses the iconic liquid metal thermal compound from Thermal Grizzly to maximize heat dissipation through the intelligent cooling system. That helps prevent noise levels from ever getting too high, and ensures that you maintain maximum performance even when the laptop starts to warm up.

Pros

  • The fastest gaming laptop display you can buy
  • Strong hardware helps hit high frame rates
  • Unique look

Cons

  • Hardware is overkill for most esports games


Best Gaming Laptop Under $500

A Decent Budget Gaming Laptop

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U
  • GPU: AMD Radeon 7
  • Storage and Memory: 256GB SSD, 8GB DDR4
  • Display: 14-inches, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz

Who’s it for: Gamers on a budget who don’t want to play the latest AAA games.

Good gaming laptops at around $500 are a rare breed, especially with any kind of power behind them. This Dell Inspiron isn’t some cutting edge monster of a gaming machine, but its AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU with its onboard Radeon Vega graphics are more than enough for basic indie game play and hitting high frame rates in older esports games like League of Legends, Overwatch and DotA 2.

It has a bright and attractive 1080p display, 256GB of high-speed SSD storage, 8GB of (upgradeable) RAM and full support for some of the latest connection standards, like Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and USB-C.

Cooling in this laptop is solid, and when combined with the relatively efficient hardware, it stays cool and quiet during even heavy gaming. It also has great battery life, lasting over 10 hours of mixed usage or well over five when gaming. This isn’t a gaming laptop, but it can game and it does it well, especially for such an affordable price.

Pros

  • Playable esports gaming performance at a low price
  • CPU and SSD keep general use snappy and responsive
  • Cool and quiet even when gaming

Cons

  • Onboard graphics are underpowered for AAA gaming
  • 256GB SSD doesn’t have much space for bigger game libraries


Who makes the best gaming laptops?

Part of the reason that modern gaming laptops are so exciting is because there is so much competition. There are no longer just a couple of decent brands.

Today, Dell, Razer, Asus and many other top manufacturers offer excellent gaming laptop solutions; from desktop equivalents with the most powerful components, to sleek powerhouses with long battery life–and everything in between. There are even a few stealth gaming laptops that you might be able to buy as part of an office upgrade for some gaming when the work day is done.

Do I Really Need A Gaming Laptop?

If you want to play the latest games on your laptop, then you need a gaming laptop. Although there are some business laptops with capable onboard graphics chips that can game as well as work, that’s not what they’re designed for, and performance will suffer. Those laptops also tend to be very expensive for what you get, as they’re built for durability and meeting higher standards than are strictly necessary for gaming.

Gaming laptops help focus your money into the features and specs that matter: A powerful CPU and GPU, plenty of memory and fast storage, a high refresh rate display, and a comfortable keyboard. If you’re just playing light esports and indie games, you can get by with a laptop that isn’t designed for gaming, but without a dedicated graphics chip, you are seriously limiting yourself in the types of games you can play and how good the games you can play will actually look.

What CPU Do You Need For Gaming?

Whether you prefer AMD or Intel, as a baseline, you want at least four cores and preferably with simultaneous multithreading for eight-thread support. The ideal gaming CPU for modern games in 2022 is six cores, with eight and above offering diminishing returns for gaming performance.

The only caveat there is that next-generation games designed for the new-generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles will take better advantage of higher core counts, so eight-core CPUs will have greater future proofing. Although the processor isn’t the most important part of a gaming system, desktop or laptop, it still plays its part–especially at 1080p resolution. Faster CPUs will give you greater performance, but it’s more important to meet the recommended requirements for the games you want to play.

Beyond core count, per-core performance is king. Clock speed makes a huge impact in how capable a CPU is for gaming, which is why all of the best gaming laptops in this guide feature processors with high clock speeds and great per-core performance.

Although it very much depends on the types of games you want to play, with AAA games demanding more than esports titles, make sure your gaming laptop features at least an AMD Ryzen 5 3000 or 4000 CPU, or an Intel Core i5 10th generation CPU. 11th-generation Tiger Lake CPUs have come a long way since their first release, offering much better clock speeds and capable gaming performance for more high-end gaming, but the newer 12th-generation Alder Lake processors are the best for gaming in 2022. AMD’s new generation Ryzen 6000 series are excellent too, but can’t quite measure up. Its Ryzen 5000 series have fallen behind a little, but are still solid gaming CPUs in more affordable laptops.

Does A Gaming Laptop Last Long?

There are two factors which determine the longevity of a gaming laptop: The build quality and its performance. Most gaming laptops are built well enough that they can go for years without breaking down, but if its hardware is weak, it may no longer be able to play the latest and greatest games.

High-end gaming laptops with powerful components can last for five years or more and still act as capable gaming machines. Those with more entry-level hardware, particularly those without dedicated graphics, are only going to be able to play contemporary games for 2-3 years or so before they really start to show their age.

As long as you buy a gaming laptop from a reputable brand—like Razer, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, HP or MSI—you should be able to enjoy your gaming laptop for many years to come. Just bear in mind that you may have to start playing at lower settings, or accept they you can’t play the latest games after a few years.

Some gaming laptops do allow upgrades, specifically memory and storage, and those laptops can remain competitive gaming machines for a bit longer — especially if you have an ever-expanding game library you need to cater for. There are some very-niche laptops that allow CPU and GPU upgrades, but those rarely have options for more than an additional generation or two, so are rarely worth purchasing for that feature alone.

Is $1,000 Good For A Gaming Laptop?

For $1,000 you can get a great general purpose laptop, and though it doesn’t go quite so far with a gaming laptop, there are still plenty of capable machines for under $1,000 that will let you play just about anything. The MSI GF65 is the best laptop under $1,000 you can buy right now, and at a heavy discount, it brings mid-range gaming hardware into a much more affordable price bracket.

You will get a lot of extra performance and some nice-to-have features at the $1,300 and even $1,500 level, so if you can afford to spend a little more, it can be worth it for that added power and future proofing. But if you just need a decent gaming machine to get you off and running, $1,000 is more than enough for a great gaming laptop.

What’s The Best Graphics Card For Laptop Gaming?

The graphics card or chip is the most important component in a gaming laptop, helping to drive higher resolutions, higher frame rates and higher detail settings than any mainstream laptop can manage.

If you’re playing esports games, you can get great frame rates with an NVIDIA GTX 1650 or 1650 Ti. If you want to push high refresh rate displays to their fullest or take advantage of higher detail settings in AAA games, you need Nvidia’s latest-generation RTX 3000 series GPUs: the 3060, 3070 and 3080, as well as their higher-power Ti counterparts. Their Max-Q and Max-P options offer excellent performance with a reduced demand on your battery.

Although less common, more and more gaming laptops now offer AMD graphics as an alternative. They offer comparable performance to Nvidia’s GPUs—apart from at the very high end—and can often be quite competitive on cost. Ray tracing performance isn’t as good though, and AMD GPUs aren’t as common as the NVIDIA competition.

Do You Need A High Refresh Rate Display?

High refresh rate displays let you take full advantage of higher frame rates in esports and other competitive multiplayer games for smoother animations and lower input lag. While not a necessity to enjoy games, faster-paced games look and feel better for it, and they can improve your reaction speed in game too. If you’re looking for a competitive edge in your favorite multiplayer games, a high refresh rate display can make a small but tangible difference.

Since laptop screens are typically much smaller than their desktop counterparts, it can often be more beneficial to opt for a higher refresh rate than higher resolution when you’re gaming. A 4K display is mostly wasted at 15-inches or below, with very little discernible difference in detail unless you are sitting inches from the screen. It’s much more taxing on your graphics chip too. In comparison, a high refresh rate display can be leveraged as long as your system is outputting frames higher than 60, and can deliver a consistently improved experience.

Is A 13-inch, 15-inch, Or 17-inch Gaming Laptop Better?

Bigger displays are almost always better when it comes to immersion and visual clarity. If you can see more of the screen, you can have a wider field of view, larger HUD elements, and take better advantage of the higher visual fidelity of modern games. The bigger you go, though, the less portable a gaming laptop is.

The main advantage of a gaming laptop versus a gaming desktop is that you can take it with you. If you want to predominantly game on a desk surface as you would a desktop, but want the ability to do so in multiple places with the same hardware, a 17-inch gaming laptop is a great choice. It’ll be heavier and bulkier, but all that extra space gives you more room for better cooling for more powerful hardware. That makes a 17-inch gaming laptop a great desktop replacement.

For those who want to game on the move in tight commuter situations like trains and planes, 13-inch laptops can be far more versatile. They’re lighter and more compact, making them much more portable. They also tend to use less battery, meaning you don’t need to be tethered to a power socket like you do with the largest of gaming laptops. Their hardware isn’t typically as powerful, but on smaller screens you can get away with lower detail settings as the lack of detail simply isn’t as obvious on more pixel dense displays.

For those who want to game in a variety of situations, a 14 or 15-inch laptop is an excellent middle ground. They have the size and scope for more powerful hardware, and give you plenty of screen space to enjoy your favorite games, but they’re nowhere near as heavy or bulky as their 17-inch counterparts.

Is A Gaming Laptop Worth The Money?

If you take your gaming seriously and would rather play on a laptop than a desktop, then buying a gaming laptop can be a great investment. They come with the kind of components you need to play the latest and greatest games and have high refresh rate displays to help you stay competitive in fast paced esports games.

Their battery life isn’t typically as good as mainstream laptops, and you’ll pay a bit extra for fancy features like RGB backlit keyboards and a fast and responsive keyboard, but they give you excellent performance and decent cooling so you can enjoy that added power for sustained gaming sessions. Some non-gaming laptops may have a powerful CPU and a decent GPU, but rarely do they have the kind of cooling you need to play intense games for long periods of time without thermal throttling impacting your performance, and therefore how well your games play.

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