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The best gaming laptops in 2024: tested and reviewed

Lenovo Legion 5
Lenovo Legion Pro 5
The best gaming laptop
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Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024)
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
The best compact gaming laptop
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Dell G15
Dell G15
The best budget gaming laptop under $1,000
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Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8
Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8
A gaming laptop with everything you could want
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ASUS ROG Flow Z13 (2022) Gaming Laptop Tablet, 13.4” 120Hz FHD+ Display, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, Intel Core i7-12700H, 16GB LPDDR5, 512GB PCIe SSD, Detachable RGB Keyboard, Windows 11, GZ301ZC-PS73
Asus ROG Flow Z13
The best gaming tablet
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Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti - 12th Gen Intel 14-Core i9 CPU - 15.6” 4K UHD 144Hz - 32GB DDR5 RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD - Windows 11 - CNC Aluminum - Chroma RGB - Thunderbolt 4
Razer Blade 15
The best 15-inch gaming laptop
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Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024)
Asus ROG Strix Scar 18
The kitchen sink gaming laptop
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Finding the best gaming laptop is no easy task. You want something as portable as it is powerful, all while balancing battery life, heat, and fan noise. A lot of gaming laptops get this balance wrong, but a select few rise above and get it right.

While there are some 2024 gaming laptops already coming out, there aren't new mobile GPUs out, meaning they'll have to battle against the best from last year, which are increasingly discounted. So, whether you're looking for something cheaper to match a specific budget or an all-in, no-compromise machine, you're bound to find something below that suits your fancy.

We stand behind these gaming laptops as the best you can buy right now. These recommendations are all based on our own in-depth testing and reviewing, which involves countless hours of performance, screen, and battery life testing.

lenovo legion pro 5 2023 review 02
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends / Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Lenovo Legion Pro 5

The best gaming laptop

Pros
  • Fantastic value
  • Top-tier gaming performance
  • USB-C charging available
  • DLSS 3
Cons
  • Middling screen
  • A bit heavy

Why you should buy this: It's a reasonably priced gaming laptop that doesn't sacrifice performance.

Who it's for: Gamers who want peak performance without breaking the bank.

Why we picked the Lenovo Legion Pro 5:

There aren't many laptops that nail balance quite like the Lenovo Legion Pro 5. It's not a cheapo gaming laptop you feel like you're going to break, and it's not an expensive monster that will drain your bank account before you can enjoy it. It's reasonably priced, well-built, and powerful, and very few gaming laptops nail all three.

Although the Legion Pro 5 is a supremely powerful gaming laptop. It packs in an AMD Ryzen 7 7745HX, along with an RTX 4070 laptop GPU, easily offering over 60 frames per second (fps) in the most demanding games at its native resolution of 2560 x 1600.

Paired with a solid keyboard and great battery life considering the power inside, the Lenovo Legion Pro 5 is easily the best gaming laptop you can buy today. Since its release, prices have come down considerably too, making this hands-down, the best value you get in a gaming laptop right now.

Lenovo Legion 5
Lenovo Legion Pro 5
The best gaming laptop
asus zephyrus g14 2024 review 11
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The best compact gaming laptop

Pros
  • MacBook-like thinness and weight
  • Gorgeous OLED display
  • Redesigned charger and USB-C power delivery
  • Great productivity performance
  • Much cheaper than the competition
Cons
  • A little behind in games
  • Soldered memory

Why you should buy this: It's the best portable gaming laptop you can buy.

Who it's for: Gamers, students, and content creators.

Why we picked the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14:

The ROG Zephyrus G14 has always been a favorite, but in its 2024 update, Asus has taken it to the next level. The system has been completely redesigned, opting for a MacBook-like chassis that makes it attractive as a hybrid device -- one that can work just as well for games as it can for the rest of your computing needs. It's thinner than ever, just within striking distance of the MacBook Pro, while also sporting a larger touchpad, the latest Ryzen processors, and gorgeous new OLED 120Hz screen.

The system can be configured with up to an RTX 4070, making it among the most powerful 14-inch laptops you can buy right now, perhaps only second to the M3 Max MacBook Pro. There's never been a gaming laptop quite like it, and considering the major price advantage it has over the Razer Blade 14, that laptop has since become hard to recommend.

So, whether you're looking for an honest alternative to the MacBook Pro or just a particularly premium and compact gaming laptop, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is as good as it gets.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024)
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
The best compact gaming laptop
Dell G15 (2023) sitting on a coffee table.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Dell G15

The best budget gaming laptop under $1,000

Pros
  • Affordable while still being capable
  • USB-C support
  • GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card
Cons
  • Performance will be good, but not top-tier

Why should buy this: It's a lot of gaming power for not a lot of money.

Who's it for: Anyone who wants a bona fide gaming laptop for under $1,000.

Why we picked the Dell G15:

For a while, it was impossible to get a decent gaming laptop for under $1,000. But today, the Dell G15 is your best bet. Dell currently sells a configuration with the AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS, RTX 4050, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage for $850. The even better value right now is to bump up to the RTX 4060 model for just an extra $50. $900 for an RTX 4060 is a killer deal.

Beyond performance, the G15 has a stylish, retro vibe, with its angular vents and bright color options. Mind you, the trade off is in portability, as the G15 is over an inch thick and weighs 6.2 pounds. It has just a 1080p screen, but importantly, it has a 165Hz refresh rate -- something options like the HP Victus 16 lack.

It’s also nice to see this Dell model offering a USB-C port for the latest charging and accessory support, along with Mini DisplayPort capabilities, plus HDMI and USB-A. If you don't mind a thicker laptop, the Dell G15 is a great way to get some great gaming performance without breaking the bank.

Dell G15
Dell G15
The best budget gaming laptop under $1,000
lenovo legion 9i review 18
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8

A gaming laptop with everything you could want

Pros
  • Desktop replacement levels of performance
  • Support for both USB-C and GaN charging
  • Gorgeous mini-LED display
  • Surprisingly portable
  • Excellent keyboard
Cons
  • Poor battery life
  • Trackpad is too small

We don't hand our 10/10 scores very often. But occasionally, a product comes along that balances its various elements in a way no comparable product can. The Lenovo Legion 9i is one such product.

The desktop-level performance, excellent keyboard, and incredible mini-LED display are all important. But what makes the Legion 9i truly astounding is the comparably small form factor all these elements are squeezed into. It's just 0.75 inches thick and weighs 5.5 pounds. I'm not pretending like these dimensions make it a "portable" laptop, but for a gaming laptop of this magnitude, that's impressive. Throw in support for both USB-C and GaN charging, and you have a bit of a masterpiece on yours hands.

The one issue is with price. It's a very expensive gaming laptop, but again, this isn't for the faint of heart. It's for those who want to go all-in on a gaming laptop that's truly worth the extra money.

Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8
Lenovo Legion 9i Gen 8
A gaming laptop with everything you could want
asus rog flow z13 review 02
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Asus ROG Flow Z13

The best gaming tablet

Pros
  • Tablet gaming option
  • Serious specs including a 120Hz refresh rate and GeForce RTX 2050
  • Intelligent cooling
Cons
  • 13-inch screen may be too small for some

Why you should buy this: It's a gaming machine in tablet form.

Who's it for: Gamers who want the most on-the-go option possible.

Why we picked the Asus ROG Flow Z13:

Gaming laptops have a reputation for being large — that means bigger screens, more memory, better graphics, and other advantages. But some gamers are looking for a small option, models that prioritize fitting into a backpack or case while still offering gaming capabilities on the go. This Z13 2-in-1 model is a perfect example: You can easily switch to a tablet mode for casual gaming anywhere, with anyone.

The 13-inch tablet houses some serious specs too: We’re talking about a 120Hz refresh rate, a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, and 16GB of RAM. It even manages to make room for 512GB of SSD storage. You’ll also find a highly capable 12th-gen Intel i7 processor under the hood. The 2024 model that we've yet to review bumps that up to an astounding RTX 4060 and Core i9, which should provide significantly better performance.

That may seem like a lot to pack into a tablet body, but fortunately, the model also includes intelligent cooling with a custom vapor chamber module. The other advantage of the design is the lack of heat around the keyboard, which is something all gaming laptops struggle with. With the Z13, your hands are always comfortable, even while gaming.

ASUS ROG Flow Z13 (2022) Gaming Laptop Tablet, 13.4” 120Hz FHD+ Display, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, Intel Core i7-12700H, 16GB LPDDR5, 512GB PCIe SSD, Detachable RGB Keyboard, Windows 11, GZ301ZC-PS73
Asus ROG Flow Z13
The best gaming tablet
razer blade 15 oled 240hz review 01
Razer

Razer Blade 15

The best 15-inch gaming laptop

Pros
  • Incredible screen for HDR gaming
  • OLED 240Hz looks excellent
  • Great port selection
  • Decent 1080p webcam
  • Clicky keyboard to type on
Cons
  • Surface temperatures are hot
  • Touchpad has palm rejection issues
  • Battery life is poor

Why you should buy this: It has the best build quality of any 15-inch gaming laptop, and the screen is incredible.

Who's it for: Gamers who don't mind spending more for a premium build.

Why we picked the Razer Blade 15:

The Razer Blade 15 has long been one of the best gaming laptops you can buy, which is a testament to how much Razer nailed the design years ago. While Razer has put more of an emphasis on the Razer Blade 14 or 16 recently, it's currently selling the Razer Blade 15 for considerably cheaper. You can get the RTX 4070 model for $2,200, which is pretty affordable for a Razer laptop. That's $800 cheaper than an RTX 4070 Razer Blade 16.

If you go back to the 12th-gen Intel model, you can opt for a 240Hz OLED display, which is quite excellent. But the newer 13th-gen options get you the better graphics, whether that's the RTX 4060 or 4070. The Razer Blade 16 comes with newer Intel processors, as well as the 240Hz OLED Display. It also has the 16:10 aspect ratio display with thinner bezels. We haven't reviewed the newest model, but right now, if you love the Razer brand, we'd recommend the Razer Blade 15.

Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti - 12th Gen Intel 14-Core i9 CPU - 15.6” 4K UHD 144Hz - 32GB DDR5 RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD - Windows 11 - CNC Aluminum - Chroma RGB - Thunderbolt 4
Razer Blade 15
The best 15-inch gaming laptop
asus rog strix scar 18 review 2024 04
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

The kitchen sink gaming laptop

Pros
  • Exceptional gaming performance
  • It's rarely loud in gaming scenarios
  • Surprisingly decent battery life
  • Great keyboard
  • Stunning mini-LED display
Cons
  • Awkward port layout
  • Plenty of screen flex
  • Insanely big and expensive

There are plenty of compact gaming laptops on this list, as well as some budget-friendly options. There should, however, always be room for something a bit more over the top — a gaming laptop with no limits. That's what the ROG Strix Scar 18 is. A massive laptop with exceptional gaming performance, a gorgeous mini-LED display, and a flashy RGB light bar running across the bottom.

If your laptop is primarily going to be stationary and your budget is big, you won't get a better gaming experience than the ROG Strix Scar 18. Not only does the RTX 4090 have plenty of room to breath for the absolute best performance, it's paired with a worthy screen. At 2560 x 1600 resolution, a 240Hz refresh rate, and over 2,000 local dimming zones, it's one of the best screens you'll ever play games on. Brightness is out of this world, making for some exceptional HDR experience that really brings games to life. On top of all that, the Strix Scar 18 has surprisingly good battery life when you need it.

It's the whole package — just be ready to pay for it.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024)
Asus ROG Strix Scar 18
The kitchen sink gaming laptop

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a gaming laptop?

Gaming laptops tend to be more expensive than more general-purpose laptops because they generally include a dedicated graphics chip for better game visuals and frame rates. The cheapest options start at around $700, though you'll want to be careful when shopping at this price. It's worth compromising for an old gaming laptop with an outdated GPU -- I promise it won't perform good enough to be worth the saving.s Our favorite budget gaming laptop in this territory is the Dell G15, which gets you a 165Hz screen and an RTX 4060 for just $900.

On the higher end, you'll find the midrange for gaming laptops settled around $1,500. This is where the best value and balance of features is. Higher-end machines stretch beyond $2,000 or even $3,000, especially if you load it up with the most memory and storage possible.

What should I look for in a gaming laptop?

While there is a lot to consider, the two most important things about a gaming laptop are performance and the screen. In most cases, you want a laptop with a discrete graphics card, preferably in the latest generation from AMD, Nvidia, or Intel. A good place to start is a laptop with an RTX 4060, which will be able to output some decent frame rates in games. If that's too expensive, moving down to an RTX 4050 is a significant step down, but a good buy at the right price.

Beyond just the GPU, take a good look at the display. 1080p (or 1200p) is good enough, but you'll at least want to make sure it has a refresh rate higher than 60Hz. Most gaming laptops sold today fit this criteria, but it's important to consider. 1600p 240Hz has become the new standard for higher-end machines, while the very best gaming laptops have moved to mini-LED or OLED, which provide HDR-capable screens that make a significant difference in game visuals.

Are gaming laptops good for work?

Usually, yes. You don't need a dedicated graphics chip for working, but the fast processors and high-speed RAM that gaming laptops are typically equipped with are just as good at handling spreadsheets and Word documents as they are at crunching the numbers for the latest games.

Then again, a larger, thicker gaming laptop with RGB lighting might not be appropriate for every job setting. A more subdued design, like the Razer Blade or ROG Zephyrus G14 gaming laptops, fit in much better.

Are Mac laptops good for gaming?

As Apple continues to push forward its GPU technology, Mac gaming is becoming more and more a reality. The M3 Max in particular allows the MacBook Pro to be a fairly impressive gaming machine, while the HDR capabilities of the screen make for some gorgeous visuals. Meanwhile, even the base M3 is more capable now, thanks to features like mesh shading and Dynamic Caching, a feature that helps with more efficient memory allocation.

The biggest hurdle to using Macs for gaming is the games themselves. The base of native games is growing, with titles like Lies of P and Baldur's Gate 3 coming out in 2023, but there are still some very large holes in the catalogue. Of course, you can always run a translation layer like CrossOver, which has become a surprisingly good option for running Windows games on Mac.

Do gaming laptops overheat?

They can, especially if they run hard for longer periods of time. Laptops don't have the same cooling and circulation options as desktops, so heat damage can be a concern. Give your laptop plenty of space when gaming, and consider a laptop stand if your fans keep working overtime or you start crashing because of overheating.

Can you upgrade a gaming laptop?

Not like a gaming PC. The compact nature of laptops means that you have fewer upgrade options available. It's unlikely that you'll be able to switch to a different CPU or GPU, and support for memory upgrades is hit or miss. This is one of the big costs of the portability that gaming laptops provide.

In most cases, however, you should still be able to upgrade storage.

Can I use a gaming laptop outside?

You can try it, but there are more risks, and it depends on what kind of outside you have in mind. Sitting under a cover or in a sheltered area would be best. If you are in direct sunlight, especially on hot days, your laptop can quickly overheat. If you're out during the day, you'll need to turn up the brightness and that will sap your battery even faster. If it's windy, dust and grit can get blown into your keyboard. Also, you'll definitely want to stay close to an outlet if you want to switch to your adapter. For the sake of your laptop, it's best used in an enclosed environment.

How can I protect my gaming laptop?

Practice the basics, like avoiding overheating and not leaving it near fires or heaters. Don't eat or drink near the laptop to avoid any accidents. You may also want to invest in a sturdy large laptop bag if you plan on carrying it around frequently.

Also, if you're interested in a particularly vivid picture, you may want to stop by our list of the best OLED laptops around, too.

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Larsen

Luke Larsen is the Senior editor of computing, managing all content covering laptops, monitors, PC hardware, Macs, and more.

Jacob Roach
Lead Reporter, PC Hardware

Jacob Roach is the lead reporter for PC hardware at Digital Trends. In addition to covering the latest PC components, from graphics cards to processors to PC cases, Jacob also leads the ReSpec column and newsletter that covers the intersection of PC hardware and gaming. If it's something you can plug into a gaming PC, there's a good chance Jacob has used it.

Although Jacob is interested in just about anything in or around a PC, he's currently reporting on graphics cards, PC game optimization, and gaming monitors. At Digital Trends, he's dug deep on the untold origins of the Steam Deck, uncovered the truth behind poor PC port optimization, and broke the story on Microsoft's Bing Chat going off the rails.

Before joining Digital Trends, Jacob contributed to Business Insider, Forbes, and PC Invasion, among various other outlets. Jacob has been a guest on TWiT and NBC, and his work has been cited in Fox News, Futurism, and Business Insider.

As if tinkering with the latest PC hardware wasn't enough, Jacob spends most of his free time living the PC gamer life he writes about so frequently. That includes playing the latest games, but also poking around on his PC to see what he can break, just to see how it works. When he gets a moment to step outside and "touch grass," Jacob enjoys tabletop games, wandering the shops of St. Louis, and forcing his lazy Corgi onto walks.

Best Buy cut the price of this Lenovo IdeaPad to just $140
The Lenovo IdeaPad 1i against a white background.

One of the most trusted names in the world of PCs is getting the sales treatment at Best Buy this week. The Lenovo IdeaPad 1 is an excellent entry-level laptop that normally sells for $250, but you’ll be able to grab it for just $140 while this promo lasts. Sometimes we just need a laptop for the basics; and be it web browsing, word processing, checking emails, or watching Netflix, the Lenovo IdeaPad can tackle it all.

Why you should buy the Lenovo IdeaPad laptop
The IdeaPad runs on Windows 11 and is powered by an Intel Celeron CPU with integrated Intel UHD Graphics. From basic Microsoft 365 tools like Word and Excel, to in-depth photo editing sessions with PhotoShop, you should have no issues with performance. Ideally, you’ll keep your HD videos capped at 1080p, but if you’re streaming something in 4K, the IdeaPad will simply downscale the picture. 

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Alienware ultrawide OLED on a desk.

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