The best gaming laptops aren’t only for having an incredibly immersive gaming experience while also being portable. Now that they’re closing the performance gap between them and the best gaming PCs with the latest mobile versions of cutting-edge internals, they’re also capable of giving you an edge over your rival players and even help you get to the top of the scoreboards.
In fact, the best gaming laptops are the only way to go if you want to stay competitive in gaming while also staying portable at the same time. There’s no PC game that the best gaming laptops can’t handle. And it’s all thanks to the Intel Coffee Lake Refresh processors to Nvidia Turing and AMD Navi graphics cards, as well as the speediest SSDs for maximum performance, they’re hiding under the hood.
We gathered the best gaming laptops we’ve tested and reviewed here at TechRadar and put them on this list for you. Whatever your budget and needs are, whether you’re a casual gamer who plays in your spare time or a competitive pro who needs the most powerful internals, there’s no better investment.
Best gaming laptops 2020 at a glance
- Alienware Area-51m
- Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
- MSI GS65 Stealth
- Razer Blade
- Lenovo Legion Y740
- Alienware m17 (2019)
- MSI GT75 Titan
- Asus ROG Strix GL502
- Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GX
- Origin Evo16-S
Best gaming laptops 2020
1. Alienware Area-51m
The best gaming laptop around
CPU: Intel Core i7-9700 – i9-9900K | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080 | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 17.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS – 144Hz IPS NVIDIA G-SYNC | Storage: 1TB SSHD – 2TB RAID0 SSDs + 1TB SSHD
If you fell head over heels upon seeing the Alienware Area-51m’s stunning yet quirky white chassis, you’re not alone. And, if you happen to shell out that couple of thousand dollars based on looks alone, we’d be the last people to judge. Anyway, you’ll be happy to know that it wasn’t all for naught, as this gaming laptop – or rather, the best among the best gaming laptops of 2020 – packs a hefty punch, gaming-wise. This is so far the most powerful gaming laptop on the market currently, and you won’t be able to help but be impressed. Its comfy keyboard and VR readiness are just cherries on top.
Read the full review: Alienware Area-51m
2. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 – GeForce GTX 2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) | RAM: 8GB – 24GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 144Hz panel with G-Sync
Tons of performance
These days, the best gaming laptop manufacturers are scrambling to craft the thinnest gaming laptop packing raw power. Right now, the one that might be leading the charge is the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX701. At just 0.7 inches thick, this beast of a laptop boasts an Intel Coffee Lake Core i7 chip, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics and 16GB of RAM. That means you can play any PC game under the sun on Ultra, and also take it with you wherever you go – ideal for travelers with a penchant for gaming. Plus, it’s packed with RGB lighting that’ll dazzle just about anyone.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
3. MSI GS65 Stealth
Thin. Beautiful. Powerful.
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM, Max-Q) | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 144Hz panel | Storage: 256GB SSD – Super RAID 4 1TB SSD
Beautiful, subtle design
Underside gets very hot
Play some of the best PC games on the move and very discreetly with the MSI GS65 Stealth, which might just be the gaming laptop of your dreams if you’re a traveler. Coming in at just 0.69 inches thick and packing impressive internals like Intel Coffee Lake processors and Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-series – refreshed with RTX 20-series graphics at CES – the MSI GS65 Stealth packs a punch in its very thing package. There’s nothing you won’t be able to throw at this thing that’ll slow it down. And, thanks to the smart aesthetic, you’ll be able to lug this beefy rig everywhere you go, making it among the best gaming laptops to hit the streets.
Read the full review: MSI GS65 Stealth
4. Razer Blade
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H – Intel Core i7-9750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR6 VRAM) – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 144Hz – OLED 4K (3,840 x 2,160) Touch 60Hz | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
For several years now, the Razer Blade has constantly been named one of the best gaming laptops on the market. For good reason, since it rocks some powerful components and boasts a stunning display in its elegant chassis. That’s true for the 2019 model as well, which now rocks up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080. That is, frankly, a ton of power for a laptop with this thin. If that’s not enough graphics power for you, you can use the Razer Core for future expansion. Make no mistake: it is pricey; but it might be worth it if style and power are equally important to you.
Read the full review: Razer Blade
5. Lenovo Legion Y740
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB GDDR6 VRAM) – RTX 2070 (Max-Q 8GB) | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) Nvidia G-Sync 144 Hz | Storage: 256GB SSD – 256GB SSD+1TB HDD
Powerful internal components
New Nvidia discrete graphics
144Hz refresh rate
Poor battery life
The Lenovo Legion Y740 packs a lot of muscles inside its stylish yet accessible chassis, combining a very high refresh rate, Nvidia Turing graphics and a powerful processor with a gloriously effective thermal cooling, a nifty cable management system and a number of applications to make it truly yours. It’s as close to a complete package as you can get, wrapped in a beautiful chassis that you’d be proud to show off to friends and strangers. It still has the remnants of that gaming aesthetic, but it’s made classy so that you could be gaming in public without anyone knowing. Despite its shortcomings – unfortunate keyboard and webcam placement, as well as its subpar battery life – it’s still one of the best gaming laptops to date.
Read the full review: Lenovo Legion Y740
6. Alienware m17 (2019)
Has Alienware made another stylish winner?
CPU: 9th Generation Intel Core i5 – i9 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 17.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz – 17.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz Eyesafe Display Tech + Tobii Eyetracking | Storage: 256GB SSD – 4TB SSD RAID 0
Thin and light
Only 1080p screen
Short battery life
Dell has reinvented its flagship gaming brand. The Alienware m17 (2019) touts more powerful internals and a bold new design you won’t see on any other gaming laptop of its caliber. This Alienware gaming laptop looks good inside and out, so you can have the most immersive gaming experience of your life and look good while gaming, whether you’re at home on your couch or at a cafe. That’s not all; it’s impressively portable as well, with a thin and light chassis that’s ideal for gaming on the go. This is a well-rounded gaming laptop that is worth every penny you spend on it, though you will be spending a hefty amount.
Read the full review: Alienware m17 (2019)
7. MSI GT75 Titan
CPU: Up to 8th-generation Intel Core i9 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 (8GB GDDR6) – Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 with 8GB GDDR6 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920×1,080) – UHD (3,840×2,160) | Storage: 1TB, 1TB HDD
Some gaming laptops just don’t pull any punches, allowing you to run any game you can think of on Ultra without breaking a sweat – and the MSI GT75 Titan is an excellent example. It’s the king of desktop replacements, fitted with 6-core Intel Coffee Lake processors, plenty of RAM and powerful Nvidia Pascal graphics. Aptly named, this is indeed a titan, and is neither portable nor cafe-friendly. However, if raw power is what you’re after, this is the best gaming laptop for you. Just be prepared to shell out the silver.
Read the full review: MSI GT75 Titan
8. Asus ROG Strix GL502
It’s hard not to love a gaming laptop this good
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – 1070 | RAM: up to 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch full HD 1,920 x 1,080 IPS | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD
Rocks Full HD gaming
Deliciously vibrant screen
Middling battery life
It may not have the most original or innovative design, trading in the usual black and red aesthetic for one that makes you feel like its Halloween all year round (no complaints here, but some might find it particularly unattractive). Yet, Asus ROG Strix GL502 is still one of the best laptops when it comes to gaming in 1080p. In fact, during our tests, we were able to crank the settings all the way up in Overwatch without ever dipping below 60fps. It doesn’t offer the longest battery life, but there’s an easy fix – just have your charger on hand at all times. Rounding it all out are the display, power and onboard sound system, all of which more than make up for that middling battery life.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix GL502
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Alienware 17 R5
9. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GX
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 (Max-Q) | RAM: Up to 24GB | Screen: 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS, 144Hz | Storage: 1TB SSD – 512GB/1TB SSD
Screen isn’t HDR
Thin like an Ultrabook, yet powerful like a gaming laptop should, and with a very effective cooling system to boot, the Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX is one of the best gaming laptops we’ve gotten our hands on in 2020. It packs an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 backed by Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics and up to 24GB RAM, which means that this beast should take you a long way in gaming, whether you’re a casual gamer or a pro. We’re massive fans, though probably not of that price tag. This pricey powerhouse is not for the shallow-pocketed, but with premium components come a premium price. Only invest if you’ve got the tenders.
Read the full review: Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
10. Origin Evo16-S
Power and portability in one
CPU: Intel Core i7 8750H or i7 9750H | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Storage: 500GB HDD – 4TB SSD | Display: FHD 1920 x 1080 16.1-inch IPS level 144Hz
Plenty of power
Thin and light chassis for gaming
Customizable lid and RGB lighting
Fingerprint reader flawed
Display could be better
Speakers boxy sounding
There’s definitely a lot to love about the Origin Evo16-S. This gaming laptop doesn’t just swagger with more than enough power to handle most AAA games without frame drops or stuttering, which is already a reason on its own to buy it. It also keeps all that power in a chassis that’s particularly thin and light for a gaming laptop. And, it boasts better than average battery life to boot, which is always a nice welcome when you’ve got a gaming laptop. It’s got its share of shortcomings, sure: we’d like to see a more vibrant display and better sounding speakers. Plus, it isn’t exactly the most affordable gaming laptop out there. However, if you’ve got a bit of money to spare, you’ll have an amazing gaming experience on the go with the Origin Evo16-S.
Read the full review: Origin Evo16-S
Choosing the best gaming laptop
When choosing the best gaming laptop for you, there are a few things you must take into account.
First and foremost, the most crucial thing to consider in the best gaming laptops is how well they play the latest games. When creating this list, not only do we delve deep into the specifications of each gaming laptop to see if they are up to snuff, but we also run benchmarks on each one to check out the raw performance.
Benchmarks only tell part of the story however. So, we also make sure we play a number of the latest games on each laptop to see just how well they perform. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Display, sound quality, keyboard, trackpad and the overall design of the laptop matter as well, so these are definitely things you’d want to check out before hitting that buy button.
In fact, if the device scores highly in all these areas, it has a good chance of making it to our best gaming laptops 2020 list. That means you can buy any of the best gaming laptops in this list in full confidence that you’re getting a killer gaming device that will last you for years to come.
Gabe Carey, Bill Thomas and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article