May 31, 2022

Best Gaming Laptops of 2022

By Andrew E. Freedman published 24 days ago

Our picks for the best gaming laptops for every type of gamer and budget

 Comments (9)Included in this guide:1

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MSIGE76 RaiderCHECK PRICE2

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RazerBlade 15 (2022)CHECK PRICE3

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Alienware X17 R2CHECK PRICE4

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AcerNitro 5CHECK PRICE5

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AsusROG Zephyrus G14CHECK PRICE6

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AsusROG Strix SCAR 17 G733CHECK PRICE7

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LenovoLegion 5 ProCHECK PRICE8

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AsusROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551QR-XS98CHECK PRICE

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Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

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 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.

Quick Gaming Laptop Shopping Tips

  • 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. 16-inch Esports Option: Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
  8. Best Dual-Screen: Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551

Best Gaming Laptops You Can Buy Today

The Best Overall Gaming Laptop: MSI GE76 Raider
The Best Overall Gaming Laptop: MSI GE76 Raider (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

1. MSI GE76 Raider

The Best Overall Gaming Laptop

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900HKGPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 TiDisplay: 17.3 inches, 1920 x 1080, 360 HzWeight: 6.39 pounds (2.9 kg)TODAY’S BEST DEALS

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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 Advertisement

Best Thin and Light Gaming Laptop: Razer Blade 15 (2022)
Best Thin and Light Gaming Laptop: Razer Blade 15 (2022) (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

2. Razer Blade 15 (2022)

Best Thin and Light Gaming Laptop

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i7-12800HGPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 TiDisplay: 15.6 inches, 2560 x 1440, 240 HzWeight: 4.4 pounds / 2.01 kgTODAY’S BEST DEALSVIEW AT AMAZONView at Amazon

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 Advertisement

Alienware x17 R2
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

3. Alienware x17 R2

Best 17-inch Gaming Laptop

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900HKGPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 TiDisplay: 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080, 360 HzWeight: 6.82 pounds / 3.09 kgTODAY’S BEST DEALSCHECK AMAZON

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 Advertisement

Acer Nitro 5 (2022)
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

4. Acer Nitro 5

The Best Budget Gaming Laptop

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i5-12500HGPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 TiDisplay: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 144 HzWeight: 5.51 pounds / 2.5 kgTODAY’S BEST DEALS

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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. Advertisement

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 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

5. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

A Thin, All-AMD Gaming Laptop

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HSGPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800SDisplay: 14-inch 2560 x 1600, 16:10, 120 HzWeight: 3.79 pounds / 1.72 kgTODAY’S BEST DEALS

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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-PriceyAdvertisement

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

The Best Esports Gaming Laptop: Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 G733
The Best Esports Gaming Laptop: Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 G733 (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

6. Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 G733

The Best Esports Gaming Laptop

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HXGPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080Display: 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080, 360 HzWeight: 5.95 pounds / 2.7 kgTODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+360 Hz Refresh Rate+Comfortable keyboard+Strong productivity performance+Bassy Audio

REASONS TO AVOID

-Divisive Design-Short charging cableAdvertisement

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

A 16-inch Esports Option: Lenovo Legion Pro 5
A 16-inch Esports Option: Lenovo Legion Pro 5 (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

7. Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

A 16-inch Esports Option

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800HGPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070Display: 16-inch, 2560 x 1600, 165 HzWeight: 5.4 pounds / 2.45 kgTODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+Beautiful, high-res display+Strong performance+Comfortable keyboard

REASONS TO AVOID

-Bulky design-Middling AudioAdvertisement

If you’re willing to sacrifice your refresh rate for higher resolution, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is one to check out. While some other gaming notebooks opt for 300 Hz, the Legion’s 165 Hz, 2560 x 1600 screen is a stunner in its own right. It also has a 16:10 aspect ratio, which we appreciate for productivity use.

Our review unit came with a Ryzen 7 5800H and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, which together offered competitive performance across our suite of gaming benchmarks. Our system also included 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM. 

We were also impressed with this laptop’s keyboard, which seems to have benefitted from the excellence of Lenovo’s business-oriented ThinkPads.

The system is, however, a bit thick. If you don’t want to deal with bulk, you may want to consider other options on this list.   

Read: Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review

The Best Dual-Screen Gaming Laptop: Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550
The Best Dual-Screen Gaming Laptop: Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550 (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

8. Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551

The Best Dual-Screen Gaming Laptop

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HXGPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080Display: 5.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 primary display, 3740 x 1100 ScreenPad PlusWeight: 5.29 pounds / 2.4 kgTODAY’S BEST DEALSCHECK AMAZONView at Amazon

REASONS TO BUY

+Excellent productivity performance+Bright, colorful displays+Good battery life (for a gaming laptop)

REASONS TO AVOID

-No webcam-Input devices are awkwardAdvertisement

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 toCPUGPURAMStorageDisplay (inches)Weight (Ibs)
MSI GE76 RaiderCore i9-11980HK*RTX 308032GB*1TB*15.6, 1080p, 300Hz5.3
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model (Late 2021)Intel Core i7-11800HRTX 307016GB*1TB*15.6, 1440p, 240Hz4.4
Razer Blade 15 Advanced ModelCore i7-10875H*RTX 2080 Super Max-Q16GB1TB*15.6, 1080p, 300Hz4.7
Alienware m17 R4Core i9-10980HK*RTX 308032GB2x 1TB RAID 017.3, 2160p, 360Hz6.6
Acer Nitro 5Core i5-12500HRTX 3050 Ti16GB512GB15.6, 1080p, 144Hz5.5
Asus ROG G15 Advantage EditionRyzen 9 5900HXRX 6800M16GB512GB15.6, 1080p, 300Hz6.6
Asus ROG Strix 17 G733Ryzen 9 5900HXRTX 308032GB2x 1TB17.3, 1080p, 360Hz5.9
Lenovo Legion 5 ProRyzen 9 5900HXRTX 308716GB512GB15.6,1600p, 165Hz5.4
Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551Ryzen 9 5900HXRTX 308032GB2x 1TB RAID015.6, 2160p, 300Hz5.3

Discounts on the Best Gaming Laptops

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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 codesHP coupon codesLenovo coupon codesRazer promo codes or Newegg promo codes.

MORE: How to Buy a Gaming Laptop

MORE: Best Gaming PCs

MORE: Best Ultrabooks and Premium LaptopsRound up of today’s best deals

MSI GE76 Raider Gaming Laptop...

MSI GE76 Raider

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US$1,554.98VIEWSee all prices

Razer Blade 15: RTX 3070 Ti,...

Razer Blade 15 (2022)

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US$2,999.99VIEWSee all pricesLOW STOCK

Acer Nitro 5 AN515 Laptop:...

Acer Nitro 5

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US$839VIEWSee all pricesLOW STOCKREDUCED PRICE

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 14-inch...

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

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US$1,069US$934.99VIEWSee all prices

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 (2022)...

Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733

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US$2,299.99VIEWSee all pricesREDUCED PRICE

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Gen 6 AMD...

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

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Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman 

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom’s Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom’s Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

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