Best Gaming Laptops of 2022

The best gaming laptops come in all shapes and sizes, for different needs and budgets. Because while a tricked out $5,000-plus model with the highest-end graphics and best display might give you the best gaming laptop experience, most of us can’t afford a rig like that. Our picks here are often high-end models (we’re an enthusiast site, after all), but most come in a variety of configurations at various price points.

Thankfully, there are  more gaming laptop options now than ever, from budget-friendly to desktop replacements. Some come with full-size Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics cards, while others go for the more efficient Max-Q designs that enable thinner chassis and (sometimes) quieter fans.

While many of the best gaming laptops come with a 1080p display and high refresh rates, some include 4K screens, so you can pick between fidelity and resolution. Several gaming laptop go as fast as 360 Hz. There are also an increasing number of 2560 x 1440 display options, giving you an option other than 1080p or 4K.

There is more choice than ever in components, too. While Intel is still a popular option, AMD’s Ryzen processors are becoming more common, though the majority of notebooks in general still use Intel. On the GPU side, Nvidia’s RTX GPUs are in far more laptops, though AMD is slowly starting to pair its own graphics cards with hits CPUs for what it calls an “AMD Advantage.”

The latest technologies in processors include Intel’s 12th Gen “Alder Lake” processors, which use a hybrid design with Performance and Efficient cores, and AMD’s Ryzen 6000 CPUs. Just like desktops, anything with the latest graphics cards can still be hard to come by right now thanks to a global components shortage.

To help you find the best gaming laptop today, we’ve compiled a list of the best models we’ve tested and reviewed recently. For much more on how to narrow down your list of best gaming laptop considerations, check out our best gaming laptop buyer’s guide. But here are a few quick tips to get you started down the road to the right portable gaming rig for you.

While many gamers may go to desktops to get the most performance for their money, try lugging a tower, monitor and keyboard around in your backpack. When you need a powerful rig you can take with you, there’s no substitute for a gaming laptop.

The picks on this list should be ready to run Windows 11 if it didn’t come preinstalled already.

  • Focus on the GPU: Most games are dependent on the GPU, and those aren’t upgradeable. If you splurge on a powerful GPU now, you’ll be gaming comfortably for a few years.
  • You can upgrade some parts later: While the best CPUs for gaming and GPUs are almost always soldered down, most gaming laptops let you replace the RAM and storage, so you can buy cheaper now and add more memory and a bigger hard drive or SSD down the road.
  • Battery life will probably be bad: Very few gaming notebooks get 8 hours or more on a charge, and you need the power supply to get the best gaming performance anyway. However, we’ve seen some strong times from AMD’s Ryzen processors, and Nvidia suggests its improved Optimus technology may help turn the tide.

Best gaming laptops at a glance

  1. Best Overall: MSI GE76 Raider (Core i9-12900HK)
  2. Best Thin and Light: Razer Blade 15 (2022)
  3. Best 17-inch: Alienware x17 R2
  4. Best Budget: Acer Nitro 5
  5. All-AMD: Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition 
  6. Best Esports: Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 G733
  7. A 16-inch Esports Machine:  Lenovo Legion 5i Pro (Gen 7)
  8. Best Dual-Screen: Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551

Best Gaming Laptops You Can Buy Today

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

1. MSI GE76 Raider

The Best Overall Gaming Laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900HK

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

Display: 17.3 inches, 1920 x 1080, 360 Hz

Weight: 6.39 pounds (2.9 kg)

Reasons to buy

+

Strong CPU and GPU performance

+

Plenty of ports

+

Striking RGB light bar

Reasons to avoid

Fans run loud

Display is dimmer than prior model

Expensive at top-tier configurations

If you’re looking for a laptop with desktop-level power, the MSI GE76 Raider is about as close as you’ll get, though you may also have to spend a ton of money to get there. Still, with its high-end components like the Intel Core i9-12900HK and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti.

We’d be remiss to point out that the Raider has a large RGB light bar on the front, which, when combined with per-key lighting, makes for quite an effect in the dark (or you can turn it all of if you prefer something a bit less showy).

The 17.3-inch, 1080p display goes up to 360 Hz, which is great for esports players, but everyone else might want to consider a 1440p or 4K display, depending on available configurations. 

We tested this laptop at $3,999, which is enough to make you tear up when you check your bank account. That’s an awful lot to spend on a laptop (we imagine DDR5 memory partially brings that price up), but it’s also the best performer we’ve seen recently.

Read: MSI GE76 Raider Review 


(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

2. Razer Blade 15 (2022)

Best Thin and Light Gaming Laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-12800H

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti

Display: 15.6 inches, 2560 x 1440, 240 Hz

Weight: 4.4 pounds / 2.01 kg

Reasons to buy

+

Strong gaming performance

+

Excellent build quality

+

Great webcam and ports

Reasons to avoid

Mixed productivity performance

Competitors have better screens

Pricey

Razer has simplified its Blade 15 lineup, removing the “Advanced” and “Base” models, but what’s left is still a very good, thin, stylish gaming notebook. The Blade 15 remains a favorite because it has strong performance (with a Core i7-127800H and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti in the model we reviewed) but is just 4.4 pounds and 0.57 inches thick.

You still get a variety of ports, like Thunderbolt 4, both USB Type-C and Type-A as well as an SD card reader, so there’s plenty of expansion for peripherals and extra storage for games. It would even work great for productivity, though we did find some competing gaming laptops were better in non-gaming benchmarks.

To get Razer’s premium look and feel, you do have to pay a premium. This notebook starts at $2,499 and we reviewed it at $2,999. It’s pricey, but it’s also maintained a spot among our favorite gaming notebooks for years for a reason.

Read: Razer Blade 15 (2022) Review 


(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

3. Alienware x17 R2

Best 17-inch Gaming Laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900HK

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

Display: 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080, 360 Hz

Weight: 6.82 pounds / 3.09 kg

Reasons to buy

+

Excellent productivity and gaming performance

+

Stunning design

Reasons to avoid

Expensive

A bit larger and heavier than the competition

Battery life could be better

The Alienware x17 R2 goes up to an Intel Core i9-12900HK and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, some of the most powerful parts on the market. In our review, the laptop showed strong performance in both gaming and productivity.

Alienware’s design, which debuted last year, is lovely. It’s still clearly a gaming notebook, but it’s futuristic and minimal. That being said, it’s a bit larger than some competitors, and at 6.82 pounds, you probably won’t want to carry this around too often.

If you have a bit of extra cash, we highly recommend the optional $50 Cherry MX mechanical keyboard, which feels excellent, and everyone on our staff who has tried it has enjoyed it.

Read: Alienware x17 R2 Review 


(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

4. Acer Nitro 5

The Best Budget Gaming Laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5-12500H

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti

Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 144 Hz

Weight: 5.51 pounds / 2.5 kg

Reasons to buy

+

Affordable

+

Clean design

+

Decent performance for the price

Reasons to avoid

Way too much bloatware

Display is a little washed out

The Acer Nitro 5 has long been our favorite gaming laptop for those on a tight budget.  The latest model we’ve tested, with an Intel Core i5-12500H and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti offers decent performance for the price, as long as you’re willing to turn down the settings on some games.

Acer has given the Nitro 5 a new, more adult design. It’s less angular, and with fewer red accents, doesn’t scream as much that it’s a gaming notebook. We’ve seen that aesthetic become popular on expensive notebooks, it’s nice to see a toned-down design on a gaming laptop that’s $899.99.  (Don’t worry, there’s still an RGB backlit keyboard for those that are into that sort of thing. 

There’s a bit of room to upgrade inside, too. Acer includes a SATA cable in the box for people who want to open the laptop and add a 2.5-inch hard drive or SSD. The RAM, NVMe SSD, and Wi-Fi card are all easily accessible, too.

The big downside for buying on a budget is the amount of bloatware Acer preinstalled on this thing. You may want to spend a bit of time removing some of the extras.

Read: Acer Nitro 5 review 


(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

5. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

A Thin, All-AMD Gaming Laptop

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS

GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800S

Display: 14-inch 2560 x 1600, 16:10, 120 Hz

Weight: 3.79 pounds / 1.72 kg

Reasons to buy

+

Long battery life

+

Sleek, portable design

+

Asus finally added a webcam 

+

Surprisingly good speakers

Reasons to avoid

Some keyboard touchpoints run uncomfortably warm

Pricey

If you’re a PC gamer on the go, a thin PC like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 may be up your alley. The Zephyrus uses an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS and an AMD Radeon RX 6800S, as well as the company’s proprietary features like SmartShift (to move power between the CPU and GPU) and SmartAccess Memory.

For the latest update, Asus added a webcam, which was a glaring omission on previous models. The all-AMD model has also moved to a taller, 16:10 aspect ratio.

On our battery test, the Zephyrus ran for over 10 and a half hours, suggesting you could last all day on this notebook when you aren’t gaming.

It is, however, a bit pricey. The Zephyrus starts at $1,599.99, while we reviewed it with the top-tier specs at $2,499.99.

Read: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review


(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

6. Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 G733

The Best Esports Gaming Laptop

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

Display: 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080, 360 Hz

Weight: 5.95 pounds / 2.7 kg

Reasons to buy

+

360 Hz Refresh Rate

+

Comfortable keyboard

+

Strong productivity performance

+

Bassy Audio

Reasons to avoid

Divisive Design

Short charging cable

If you want to play esports like a professional, you’ll want a laptop with the fastest screen you can find. The Asus ROG Strix Scar G733 offers a 360 Hz refresh rate on its FHD screen and has top-end components to power esports titles to get to frame rates that can actually use it.

The design feels premium but has an interesting mix of dark materials and clear plastic. It’s reminiscent of both a hot rod car and a 90’s MP3 player, which might turn some people off.

But the comfortable keyboard, strong overall performance and bassy audio all contribute to a strong gaming experience, even if you don’t like seeing the inside of your laptop.

Read: Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 G733 Review

More recently, we tested a 12th Gen Intel version of this laptop, with the same great design, but a 2560 x 1440 display with a 240 Hz refresh rate. We still like the design, but we found the one we reviewed, with a 12th Gen Intel Core i9 and RTX 3070 Ti, to be a bit pricey for what you get in performance.


(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

7. Lenovo Legion 5i Pro (Gen 7)

A 16-inch Esports Machine

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti

Display: 16-inch, 2560 x 1600, 165 Hz

Weight: 5.49 pounds / 2.49 kg

Reasons to buy

+

Strong gaming performance

+

165 Hz display is nice and bright

+

Long battery life for non-gaming uses

Reasons to avoid

Weak audio

Comes with a lot of bloatware

The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro offers strong performance with a screen that lets you switch between high refresh rate gaming meant for esports or high resolution for more cinematic games. It’s a 16-inch, 2560 x 1600 panel that goes up to 165 Hz. That’s not the fastest we’ve seen on a gaming notebook, but it’s a nice balance.

The “i” in 5i Pro stands for Intel. We tested with an Intel Core i7-12700H along with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. Our system also had 16GB of DDR5 RAM and a 512GB SSD.

We were pleasantly surprised by the Legion’s battery life. The laptop ran for seven and a half hours on our battery test, which is longer than most gaming PCs. That suggests that you could use it for quite a bit as a productivity machine (especially in conjunction with the tall 16:10 screen to see your work).

The audio wasn’t amazing, so you may want a pair of the best gaming headsets. But otherwise, this system is a jack of all gaming trades. 

Read: Lenovo Legion 5i Pro (Gen 7) Review


(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

8. Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551

The Best Dual-Screen Gaming Laptop

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

Display: 5.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 primary display, 3740 x 1100 ScreenPad Plus

Weight: 5.29 pounds / 2.4 kg

Reasons to buy

+

Excellent productivity performance

+

Bright, colorful displays

+

Good battery life (for a gaming laptop)

Reasons to avoid

No webcam

Input devices are awkward

Asus’ latest ROG Zephyrus Duo uses AMD’s top-end RYzen 9 5900HX paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 for powerful results, while using a second screen that lifts up to provide more ventilation to improve cooling.

The two displays are both bright and colorful, and at a bit over 4 hours and 52 minutes on our battery test, it’s endurance is good (for a gaming notebook, anyway).

The keyboard and mouse are in an awkward position, like most dual-screen notebooks on the market (most people will likely use an external mouse for gaming). So you’ll have to decide if that second screen — which is great for chat programs, gaming guides or music apps — is worth a more difficult typing experience.

Read: Asus ROG Zephyrus Do 15 SE GX551 Review 


Best Gaming Laptops Compared

*Up to CPU GPU RAM Storage Display (inches) Weight (Ibs)
MSI GE76 Raider Core i9-11980HK* RTX 3080 32GB* 1TB* 15.6, 1080p, 300Hz 5.3
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model (Late 2021) Intel Core i7-11800H RTX 3070 16GB* 1TB* 15.6, 1440p, 240Hz 4.4
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model Core i7-10875H* RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 16GB 1TB* 15.6, 1080p, 300Hz 4.7
Alienware m17 R4 Core i9-10980HK* RTX 3080 32GB 2x 1TB RAID 0 17.3, 2160p, 360Hz 6.6
Acer Nitro 5 Core i5-12500H RTX 3050 Ti 16GB 512GB 15.6, 1080p, 144Hz 5.5
Asus ROG G15 Advantage Edition Ryzen 9 5900HX RX 6800M 16GB 512GB 15.6, 1080p, 300Hz 6.6
Asus ROG Strix 17 G733 Ryzen 9 5900HX RTX 3080 32GB 2x 1TB 17.3, 1080p, 360Hz 5.9
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro (Gen 7) Intel Core i7-12700H RTX 3070 Ti 16GB 512GB 16-inch, 2K, 165 Hz 5.4
Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551 Ryzen 9 5900HX RTX 3080 32GB 2x 1TB RAID0 15.6, 2160p, 300Hz 5.3

Discounts on the Best Gaming Laptops

Whether you’re shopping for one of the best gaming laptops or another model that didn’t quite make our list, you may find some savings by checking out our lists of Dell coupon codes, HP coupon codes, Lenovo coupon codes, Razer promo codes or Newegg promo codes.

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