Skip to main content

The best gaming laptops of CES 2019

Alienware and MSI lead the best gaming laptops of CES 2019

CES 2019 saw the announcement of Nvidia’s latest RTX mobile graphics, which was flanked by many gaming laptop reveals from MSI, Alienware, Acer, and more.

More CES 2019 coverage

Naturally, each company talks up its own set of new features and design elements, leaving consumers with a lot to choose from when heading to the stores this year. Not to worry, as we’ve sorted through the long list of new gaming laptops and have picked out the best from the rest. Here are our picks for the best gaming laptops of CES 2019.

Alienware Area-51m

Alienware Area-51m review
Joel Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Leading the pack is the Alienware Area-51m. With the ability to freely swap out both the processor and the graphics card, this gaming laptop is hard to beat. Through the graphics cards are proprietary, upgrading is as easy as taking off the bottom panel (which is mapped with cables and screw types) and heading inside the laptop.

The Alienware Area-51m is also sporting a desktop-grade processor, with options for up the Intel Core i9-9900K and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics making it truly powerful.

And just look at it. High-end gaming laptops like the Area-51m can be unappealing, but this new model looks like a prop from a sci-fi movie. It even has a ring of Tron-like customizable lighting on the back. The Alienware Area-51m will be available on January 21 for prices starting at $2,549. Lower priced configurations will be coming later.

Check out our Alienware Area-51m hands-on review.

MSI GS75 Stealth

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Next up is the MSI GS75 Stealth. Sporting a thin bezel 17.3-inch 144Hz display, and a thickness of less than 0.75 inches, it is smaller than most 17-inch gaming laptops. What is even more impressive, is that MSI managed to pack the powerful Intel Core i7 series CPUs and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics on board, as well as options for up to three M.2 SSD storage drives.

It looks sleek, too, with lush gold hinges made out of a light aluminum alloy. Cooling is also improved, coming with seven copper heat pipes and two dedicated fans on board. Pricing and availability were not shared at CES.

Acer Predator Triton 900

Acer Predator Triton 900
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Alongside the Asus ROG mothership, the Acer Predator Triton 900 is unique, as it is fully convertible 2-in-1 designed for gamers, something we first saw at CES 2019. Sporting an “Ezel Aero Hinge,” it can be switched into four modes— laptop, display mode, easel mode, and a mode with the screen flipped to the reverse.

That’s impressive on its own, but so is the power under the hood. Inside, it packs in Intel’s 8th generation Intel Core i7 CPU, an NVMe PCIe SSDs in RAID0 configuration, up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU. It even has a 17-inch 4K IPS display with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology. Availability is set for March with pricing that starts at $4,000.

Asus ROG G703

Asus ROG G703
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Next on the list is the Asus ROG G703. Sporting HyperDrive Extreme storage, this laptop lets you combine three SSDs in RAID 0 configuration for speedy read rates of up to 8,700MBs. That’s the fastest speeds yet in a gaming laptop. It also packs in 8th generation Intel Core processors and comes with an option for the overclocked Intel Core i9-8950HK processor for speeds of up to 4.86GHz. Elsewhere, you’ll feel right at home when gaming with its 17-inch screen with 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. Pricing and availability were not announced at the time of writing.

Razer Blade Advanced Model

Razer Blade 15 Advanced

We really loved the Razer Blade 15 in 2018, and the Razer Blade Advanced is a step up from last year’s model. Naturally, it now comes with options for the GeForce RTX 2060, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, or GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPUs. It is nearly identical to last year’s model on the outside, but now packs a Windows Hello camera and options for an FHD 144Hz display or a 60Hz 4K touch panel.

There are some sacrifices, however, as it downgrades the storage a bit, coming with Single Storage SSD, vs Dual Storage on the base model. Other new elements include Per Key Chrome lighting and a slightly thinner profile of just 0.70 inches vs 0.78 inches from last year’s model. Availability is set for January 29 with prices starting at $2,300.

Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
Buying a gaming laptop? These are the brands to trust
Diablo 4 running on the Alienware x16.

You may know what the best gaming laptops are, but what if you'd like to explore even more options? Nearly every laptop brand has some gaming angle -- even MacBooks are on the gaming train these days -- but it's hard to know which to trust. We can help you narrow down your options with this list of the best laptop brands.

We review dozens of gaming laptops every year, and there are some brands that consistently deliver high-quality laptops that balance performance, price, build quality, and extra features. If you're shopping for a gaming laptop, these are the brands that should come to mind first.

Read more
Gigabyte just upped its OLED monitor game
Three Gigabyte Aorus monitors over a colorful background.

Gigabyte already makes some of the best gaming monitors, but its upcoming lineup of QD-OLED Aorus displays is arguably even more exciting. However, its rivals Asus and MSI have held an edge in terms of warranty -- something that's crucial for a QD-OLED panel that could be prone to burn-in. Gigabyte now addressed the issue, extending its warranty to match those of the competition.

Gigabyte first showcased the new monitors earlier this year. Initially, they were all given a standard one-year warranty. MSI and Asus also stuck to offering a one-year warranty, but not for long. What follows is an interesting look at how all the top brands in the gaming market affect one another.

Read more
A comprehensive guide to buying a gaming laptop in 2024
Cyberpunk 2077 running on the Lenovo Legion 9i.

Gaming laptops used to all look the same. For the most part, they were thick, loud, and ugly.

Not so today. There's a huge range of diversity in gaming laptops, which range from elegant portables to bombastic heavyweights. Considering the complexities of balancing performance, portability, and good looks makes it a hard enough decision to start with. Throw in the fact that, increasingly, people are also using their gaming laptop for work and school -- and you have a seriously difficult decision to make.

Read more