The best gaming laptop 2021 can be had at any price, and they come in all shapes and sizes, for different needs and budgets. With deep pockets or a few thousand dollars to spare, you can afford a tricked out $5,000-plus rig with the highest-end graphics card and the best display ever for the best gaming laptop experience. But, most of us can’t afford such a machine, and even if we could, it may not be necessarily the best gaming laptop, for those who need a PC to carry around.
Then, there are the slimmer laptops with more resolute power than ever – some even compete with the most expensive gaming desktops. Some come with the latest RTX graphics cards, some with GTX line GPUs, while others pack the more efficient Max-Q designs that allow for thinner chassis and quieter fans. All said, laptops have become more powerful lately, and that means it has become more difficult to choose the best gaming laptops out there.
While many of the best gaming laptops come with 1080p screen and high refresh rates (some 240Hz), there is a new crop of laptops that include 4K screens, so you have the choice of picking between fidelity and resolution.
Then there’s more choice than ever in components, too. While intel is still the popular chip option, AMD’s Ryzen processors are becoming more commonplace, especially among professional creatives wo need to game on the side.
And, Nvidia just released its Nvidia RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti laptops, and out of that, we’re seeing some budget laptops choices such as the Lenovo Legion 5 and the ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2021). We’re also checking out Intel’s Tiger Lake-H processors, and refreshes of Tiger Lake-U announced at Computex 2021.
Still, many gamers are heads-over for desktops as the ultimate gaming machines and they can bet their money anytime, but try lugging a tower, monitor and keyboard around in your backpack; they you’ll understand why most gamers are going slim. Ultimately, when you need a powerful rig you can carry around with you, you can’t find a substitute for a gaming laptop.
Our top picks in this list should be ready to run Windows 11 once it drops in the falls, so shouldn’t’ be worried of any of the laptops in this list running an older, unsupported processer.
Buying the best gaming laptop 2021
Focus on the GPU: If you’re shopping for a laptop exclusively for gaming, keep in mind that most o the games you’ll be playing depend on the GPU, and that can be upgraded later. If you splurge on a peppy GPU now – something like an RTX 3080 – you’ll be gaming comfortably for a few years to come.
You can always upgrade some parts later: Unlike desktops, laptops CPUS and GPUs are almost often soldered down, but most gaming laptops let you replace the RAM and storage. So, that means you can buy cheap now and throw in more memory and a bigger hard drive or SSD down the road.
Battery life will most likely be bad: We have reviewed and tested hundreds of gaming laptops, but very few straddle the 8 hours mark on a single charge. Beware that you’ll be carrying along your power brick, and just get satisfied. However, in recent days we’ve seen some strong run tomes from AMD’s Ryzen-H processors, and Nvidia suggests its improved Optimus technology may likely help turn the tide.
Best gaming laptops of 2021 at a glance:
- Asus ROG Zephyrus G15
- MSI GE66 Raider
- Alienware m17 R4 (2021)
- Razer Blade 14
- Acer Predator Triton 500
- Acer Nitro 5
- Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
- Asus TUF Dash F15
- Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021)
- Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G15
Desktop-class gaming performance
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2. MSI GE66 Raider
The Best Overall Gaming Laptop
3. Alienware m17 R4 (2021)
The slickest 4K gaming laptop
- 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) 300Hz 3ms 300-nits 100% sRGB color gamut
- 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10870H (8-Core, 16MB Cache, up to 5.0GHz Max Turbo...
- 32GB 2933MHz DDR4 , 1 TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
4. Razer Blade 14
Best Thin and Light Gaming Laptop
- Aspect Ratio:16:9
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Graphics for Stunning Visuals: Built on NVIDIA’s...
- Whether gaming or creating, AMD Ryzen processors offer ultimate performance: AMD Ryzen...
5. Acer Predator Triton 500
A gaming laptop with great refresh rates
- 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 5. 0GHz) with Windows 10 Home
- Overclockable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER Graphics with Max-Q Design & 8 GB of dedicated...
- 15. 6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display with NVIDIA G-SYNC...
6. Acer Nitro 5
The Best Budget Gaming Laptop
- Aspect Ratio:16:9.Connectivity Technology: HDMI,USB,Ethernet,WiFi,Bluetooth
- Dominate the Game: With the 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10300H processor, your Nitro 5 is...
- RTX, It's On: The latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 (4GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM) is powered by...
7. Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
A 16-inch Esports Beast
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800H (8C / 16T, 3.2 / 4.4GHz, 4MB L2 / 16MB L3). NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB...
- 16" WQXGA (2560x1600) IPS 500nits Anti-glare, 165Hz, 100% sRGB, Dolby Vision, HDR 400,...
- This laptop has been professionally upgraded to 16GB DDR4 3200MHz, 1024GB PCIe SSD....
8. Asus TUF Dash F15
Affordable can mean sheer brilliance
- 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11370H Processor @ 3.30GHz (4 Cores, 8 Threads, 12M Cache, up to...
- 15.6" 240Hz 3ms IPS-Level Full HD (1920x1080) Anti-Glare Display; GeForce RTX 3070 8GB...
- 16GB DDR4-3200 Memorypaired with ultra-fast DDR4 RAM slices through heavy workloads and...
9. Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021)
New age hardware in a big screen
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU 8 GB GDDR6 | NVIDIA DLSS for groundbreaking AI...
- 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10870H (2.2GHz - 5.0GHz) | 32 GB RAM (64 GB max) | 1 TB PCIe SSD
- 2x M.2 SSD slots (Type 2280, supports 1x NVMe PCIe & SATA/ 1x NVMe PCIe)
10. Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
The absolute high-end gaming laptop
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX Eight Core Processor (16MB Cache, 3.3GHz-4.6GHz) 45W
- RAM: 32GB DDR4 3200MHz | Hard Drive: 2TB NVMe Solid State Drive
- Keyboard: Optical Mech Keyboard Per-Key RGB | Operating System: Windows 11 Home x64
Best Gaming Laptops – Bottom Line
Whether you’re shopping for one of the best gaming laptops or a model that didn’t quite make our list, you may find some savings by checking out the lists below.
- Want more choices? Check out our list of the Best Gaming PCs in 2021
- On a budget? Check out the Best Laptops Under $1000
Last update on 2023-03-20 at 12:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API