In 2022, gaming laptops are the easiest way to get into PC gaming (and don't require finding an affordable graphics card). They're portable, powerful, and can even be used as a work machine when you need them.
The Razer Blade 14 is your overall best option. It has it all as a gaming laptop and is even among the overall best laptops you can buy. There are plenty of excellent options beyond the Blade, though, including larger options and more affordable budget gaming laptops. Let's go over the best.
Razer Blade 14
The best gaming laptop
- Gaming performance is excellent
- Colorful, 1440p display
- Surprisingly small
- Cheaper than Razer Blade 15
- Great battery life
- Warm surface temperatures
- Thick bezels
Why you should buy this: It's the best overall gaming laptop you can buy.
Who it's for: Gamers who need something small and light that can still pack a punch.
Why we picked the Razer Blade 14:
When you think about the best laptops for gaming, you might think of a thick chassis accented with aggressive angles and vents everywhere possible. The Razer Blade 14 couldn't be more different. The Razer laptops have successfully changed the perception of just how sleek a gaming laptop can be without sacrificing too much of the performance you expect. The Razer Blade 14 feels like the fulfillment of that vision.
Despite having a smaller 14-inch screen, the Razer Blade 14 packs in up to an RTX 3080 graphics card. It's also the first Razer laptop to embrace AMD's Ryzen 5000 processors, which are a match made in heaven for Razer's ultra-compact gaming laptops.
Trying to decide between this and the Razer Blade 15? Well, the 15-inch model will produce slightly better frame rates, but the 14-inch model is smaller, cheaper, and gets better battery life. That makes it the best of Razer's offerings and the best overall gaming laptop you can buy right now.
Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage
Best budget gaming laptop
- Affordable price
- Good gaming performance
- Excellent productivity performance
- True gaming chassis
- Limited display options
- Look might be too much for some
Why you should buy this: It is a high-performing gaming laptop for an affordable price.
Who it's for: The gamer who wants the best performance at the lowest price.
Why we picked the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage:
AMD has made a name for itself in gaming laptops, beating Intel out in many of the best gaming laptops. But all-AMD gaming laptops are still very rare, which is unfortunate, given how powerful they've proved to be. The ROG Strix G15 Advantage model is the flagship example. It sports the Ryzen 9 5900HX and the Radeon RX 6800M — a true competitor of the Nvidia RTX 3080.
Despite being much cheaper, the ROG Strix G15 Advantage performs great, offering high-performance gaming at a cheaper price. Of course, it's far from a sleek or subtle design, taking inspiration from racing and sports, as is common with the Strix brand. If you don't mind the look and the extra heft in this one, you'll love the performance-per-dollar value of the ROG Strix G15 Advantage.
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro (Gen 6)
The best full-size gaming laptop
- Large 16-inch WQXGA display
- Up to a GeForce RTX 3070 GPU
- Lots of storage with a 2TB SSD
- Not the greatest external design
Why you should buy this: It's a large, powerful gaming laptop with great performance.
Who it's for: A gamer who doesn't mind accepting some bulk for higher frame rates.
Why we picked the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro (Gen 6):
Tired of thin-and-light gaming laptops that sacrifice performance for portability? If that's you, the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro (Gen 6) should be at the top of your list. It's a bit larger and chunkier than the Razer Blade 15 or MSI GS66 Stealth, but it provides great gaming performance paired with a great overall laptop experience.
The 16-inch WQXGA display is a 16:10 screen with both a high resolution and refresh rate — exactly what you want to pair the RTX 3070 and 11-gen, eight-core Intel processor with. Storage is also impressive with a 2TB PCIe SSD. We don't love the design of the chassis — it looks disjointed and inconsistent. But we appreciate how thin the bezels are, and you won't be disappointed by its performance.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
The smallest gaming laptop
- Excellent gaming machine
- Thin, small, and light
- Game-changing CPU performance
- Responsive touchpad
- Unique lid design
- Noisy at idle
- Mushy keyboard
- No webcam
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 G14 is unlike any gaming laptop you've used. It's incredibly lightweight at just 3.5 pounds and uses just a 14-inch screen rather than the typical 15-inch variety. The result is the smallest gaming laptop ever made, especially given how powerful this thing is.
The heart of it is AMD's Ryzen 4000 eight-core processor. It's a beast. Multi-threaded performance is off the chart for a laptop this small, making it a capable option for video editors, 3D modelers, and content creators of every kind.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 also provides excellent gaming performance, of course. You have options for either a GTX 1650, a GTX 1660 Ti, or the new RTX 3060. If you can opt for the RTX 3060, you'll be able to easily play most games over 60 frames per second at Ultra settings. The latest model also comes with the new Ryzen 5000 processors, which are fantastic.
If you're looking for a bit more power, the company also offers a popular 15-inch model with more gaming performance and a 1440p screen.
Acer Predator Triton 300 SE
The best work and gaming laptop
- Small, portable design
- Stays cool and quiet when not gaming
- Smooth 1080p, 144Hz gaming
- Good battery life
- Limited configurations available
- Not as fast as the Zephyrus G14
Why you should buy this: It's a great alternative to the ROG Zephyrus G14.
Who's it for: Gamers who want a small 14-inch laptop with great cooling.
Why we picked the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE:
The Predator Triton 300 SE feels like a revolutionary laptop, sporting both a 14-inch screen and a 35-watt Intel processor. It's certainly unique, though it comes after a goal the ROG Zephyrus G14 already accomplished on the AMD side of things.
Both sport an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU, a surprisingly slim chassis, and a high refresh rate. The Zephyrus G14 outperforms the Triton 300 SE in some games, thanks to its more aggressive cooling. However, that also turns out to be a strength of the Triton 300 SE, which stays cooler and quieter during operation. That includes both while gaming and working.
It's a tough choice between the two, but if you'll be using your gaming laptop for work just as much as gaming, the Predator Triton 300 SE ekes out a win over the Zephyrus G14. If you like this design but want something larger and more powerful, the 16-inch Predator Triton 500 SE might be a better option.
HP Victus 16 (Ryzen)
Another great budget gaming laptop
- Excellent productivity performance
- Solid 1080p gaming performance
- Comfortable keyboard
- Display is good for both productivity and gaming
- Reasonably priced
- Build quality is subpar
- Keyboard backlighting is limited
- Poor battery life
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 around $1,000.
Why we picked the HP Victus 16:
If you want a true gaming laptop, then you need a real GPU. No integrated graphics allowed. But can you get such a machine for around $1,000? Thanks to HP's Victus 16, yes, you can. Not only that, but you also get a Ryzen 7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, a 16.1-inch IPS Full HD display, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 3050 Ti. That's a pretty amazing deal these days for those who want a capable gaming laptop.
The Victus 16 is a replacement for HP's previous entry-level gaming system, the Pavilion Gaming 15. But it's an upgrade all around, with a better thermal design to keep things cool and faster components. You get the Omen Gaming Hub software pre-installed to allow for undervolting and other performance adjustments, and a solid but minimalist design lets you use the Victus 16 in a boardroom as well as a LAN party.
Dell G15 Ryzen Edition
Another great budget gaming laptop
- Affordable while still being capable
- Six-core Ryzen 5 processor
- USB-C support
- GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card
- 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 Ryzen Edition:
If you want to keep an eye on your wallet while still packing in plenty of gaming features, Dell’s G15 Ryzen edition will help you save a bit of money compared to many gaming laptop picks these days … but you won’t be giving much up in performance.
This model offers a 4th-gen Ryzen 5 six-core processor, paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 to handle graphics. The 15.6-inch FHD screen works well with those specs too, featuring an anti-glare display. You also get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. Plus, all these specs are highly upgradeable if you want to turn this budget option into a powerhouse. You can choose up to a Ryzen 9, improve graphics up to a GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, and boost RAM or storage if you want. That would take the price far beyond $1,000, but you have the customization options to use if there's an important spec you want to improve.
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’re willing to compromise a little — but not too much — on specs to get a gaming laptop under $1,000, this is one of the best bets around.
Asus ROG Flow Z13 (2022)
The best gaming tablet
- Tablet gaming option
- Serious specs including a 120Hz refresh rate and GeForce RTX 2050
- Intelligent cooling
- 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 2050 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.
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. Wi-Fi 6E, USB-C, Thunderbolt 4, and a microSD card slot for extra storage are all supported here. If you’re looking for a gaming tablet solution, look no further.
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 can't expect great performance at that level. Our favorite budget gaming laptop, the HP Victus 16, can be found for under $1,000. There are some alternative budget laptops that we like, although you'll struggle to find something that's great for gaming once you edge toward $500. On the higher end, you can end up spending well over $2,000 if you want the latest components and fastest screens.
If you're going to play anything other than classic games or very low-intensity indie games, you want a dedicated graphics chip. It doesn't need to be something amazing, and AMD APUs with Vega graphics onboard are worth considering at the low end. Either way, you'll want something more than Intel integrated graphics if you want decent frame rates in most games.
If you expect to hit frame rates over 60 fps, it's also worth looking out for a high refresh rate display. We consider them more important than higher resolutions when it comes to gaming, and they typically aren't too costly.
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 the G-series Dell gaming laptops, fit in much better.
Some aren't bad, but most of them aren't great. Apple only puts dedicated graphics chips in its MacBook Pro 16-inch models, and they come at a hefty price. There's also software compatibility to consider, as many more games are available on Windows than MacOS, even with the addition of Apple Arcade.
If all you want is a little Fortnite on the side, a 16-inch MacBook Pro will get you by, but these are not gaming machines by any means. Boot camp used to be an option for MacBooks, but since Apple switched to its own M1 chip, this isn't an option for newer machines.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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