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

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

There are great laptops available now (as pandemic-fueled sales remain strong), and you can see our tested favorites below. But if you yearn for the latest and greatest, check out our news and reviews of laptops with AMD’s Ryzen 5000 and Intel’s Tiger Lake CPUs, and Nvidia RTX 30-series mobile GPUs. (Psst: We also have a list of the first laptops available with RTX 30-series.)

Here are the latest news and reviews, along with our top picks below. 

Latest laptop news and reviews

Here are the latest stories:

  • If your gaming laptop is mesbehaving after the last Windows 10 Update, you’re not alone—and there is a fix, sort of. Read our news story.
  • Just how fast is your PC? Here’s how to benchmark your laptop for bragging rights—and for fine-tuning to squeeze even more performance out of it.
  • A gaming laptop that’s…quiet? You heard right. Gigabyte’s Aorus 17G ($2,700 on Newegg) is truly and shockingly quiet and fast during gameplay, as we saw when we tested it. Unless you’re so obsessed with ultimate gaming performance that you’d gladly strap on headphones while your laptop’s fans scream, the Aorus 17G should be on your short list—and it’s our new top pick for best 17-inch gaming laptop. Read our full review
razer thunderbolt 4 dock chroma kv Razer

The Razer Chroma family of laptop accessories will add RGB bling to the plainest laptop. Won’t your friends and coworkers be jealous!

Latest laptop reviews

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

acer predator triton 500 2020 3 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.

[$830 as tested via Bestbuy.com]

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