Best gaming laptops 2021: top laptops to game on Best gaming laptops

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Don’t underestimate the best gaming laptops. These days, these portable gaming PCs are just as capable as desktop PCs, only better as they offer the versatility of being portable and space-saving. Some even rival the best laptops and Ultrabooks in size, weight, and battery life. 

Rocking increasingly powerful internals like Intel Comet Lake, AMD Big Navi or Nvidia RTX 3000 series GPUs, and fast RAM, the best gaming laptops are your ticket to smooth yet portable gaming. They’ll let you dive into your favorite games, from the best free games on Steam and the best laptop games to the most graphically-demanding PC games, without tethering you to a desk. 

Gaming on the go is best done on one of the best gaming laptops so take a look at our picks below. Then round out your gaming rig with the best gaming mouse, the best gaming keyboard, and the best gaming monitor without spending a ton.

We expect some of the best gaming laptops below to see decent markdowns on Amazon Prime Day. We’re keeping an eye out for those Prime Day deals for you so you can take home an excellent gaming laptop for less. Keep checking in for bargains. 

Best gaming laptops 2021

Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503

(Image credit: Asus)

1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G15

Desktop-replacement performance

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H – 9 5900HS

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 – 3080

RAM: Up to 32GB

Screen: 15.6-inch QHD (1440p), 165Hz, 3ms, 300 nits

Storage: 1TB

Reasons to buy

+Outstanding performance+Incredible battery life+Great price

Reasons to avoid

No webcamTenkeyless keyboard

The Asus ROG Zephyrus line has produced some of the best gaming laptops out there, and the new ROG Zephyrus G15 is no exception. Fitted with the latest and most powerful AMD Ryzen and Nvidia RTX 3000 series, they’re incredibly powerful and able to see you through the most demanding games. Of course, that legendary battery life has made an appearance, as well as that stylish chassis. If you want a high performing gaming laptop that’s affordably-priced to boot, nothing beats this one.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus G15

Best gaming laptops: Asus TUF Dash F15

(Image credit: Asus)

2. Asus TUF Dash F15

Affordable CAN mean sheer power

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Core i7-11375H

Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070

RAM: Up to 16GB DDR4-3200

Screen: Up to 15.6-inch WQHD anti-glare 165Hz IPS-level display with Adaptive Sync

Storage: Up to 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Long battery life+Super thin and light+Strong gaming performance

Reasons to avoid

No webcamKeyboard lighting color can’t be changed

The Asus TUF line is no stranger to affordable great performers. Last year’s Asus TUF A15, for instance, was simply brilliant while keeping things accessible to budget-conscious gamers. The Asus TUF Dash F15 is back to preserve that affordability while also delivering brute strength. It brings in Intel Tiger Lake processors, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 mobile GPUs, and up to a 240Hz 1080p display without costing a fortune while also keeping things light, thin, and military-grade durable.

Read the full review: Asus TUF Dash F15

Best gaming laptops: Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021)

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

3. Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021)

New age hardware, old school vibes

Specifications

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 Series

RAM: Up to 64GB

Display: 17.3-inch FHD 300Hz NTSC 72% IPS panel

Storage: 512 GB PCIe SSD

Reasons to buy

+Incredible mechanical keyboard+Powerful gaming performance+300 Hz display

Reasons to avoid

No upgraded designExtremely heavy

A tactile mechanical keyboard and a 300Hz refresh rate display are just the beginning. The Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021) touts an incredible gaming performance that might just be worthy of desktop gaming PCs. With one of the RTX 3000 GPUs under the hood, this will see you through the most graphics-intensive games, including competitive ones. And, because of its impressive battery life, you can do so away from a power source.

Read the full review: Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021)

Best gaming laptops: Alienware m17 R4 (2021)

(Image credit: Dell)

4. Alienware m17 R4 (2021)

Big. Powerful. Beautiful.

Specifications

CPU: Up to 10th Generation Intel Core i9-10980HK

Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080

RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4 2933MHz

Screen: 17.3″ UHD 60Hz 25ms 500-nits display

Storage: Up to 4TB SSD + 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Blazing fast performance+Stylish chassis+Plenty of ports

Reasons to avoid

ExpensiveBasically no battery life

It’s not always going to be substance over style. The Alienware m17 series continues to prove this with the new Alienware m17 R4, an extremely powerful gaming laptop with plenty of ports and an extremely stylish chassis that lights up like a Christmas tree. That way, you can play all the latest AAA games smoothing and in style. Of course, this being one of the fastest gaming laptops in 2021, it won’t be cheap. However, if you have the money, you’ll be glad you chose this.

Read the full review: Alienware m17 R4 (2021)

Asus ROG Strix G15

(Image credit: Future)

5. Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition

AMD’s swing at the high-end

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 6800M

RAM: 16GB

Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1080pp), 300Hz

Storage: 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Excellent performance+Jaw-dropping battery life

Reasons to avoid

Some growing pains

Powerful great-value laptops aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, so when one does come out every now and then, we’re only too happy to test it out. The Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition, one of the latest best value laptops to hit the streets, is AMD’s successful swing at the high-end, boasting AMD’s top processor and GPU. But, it isn’t just its performance that takes center stage here. That battery life is astounding as well, especially considering those powerful specs.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition

Best gaming laptops: Razer Blade Pro 17 (2021)

(Image credit: Future)

6. Razer Blade Pro 17 (2021)

RTX 3000 gaming goodness

Specifications

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 – 3080

RAM: Up to 32GB

Screen: 17.3″ Full HD 360Hz – 17.3″ 4K Touch 120Hz

Storage: 512GB – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Extremely powerful+Gorgeous display+Great performance at 1080p

Reasons to avoid

Very expensiveGaming at 4K needs tweaking

If you’re looking for an absolute beast, the best gaming laptop for you might just be this follow-up to Razer’s 17-inch leviathan. More than just a gaming portable, it makes for an excellent mobile workstation for creators as well – although gamers who have the cash will appreciate the RTX 3000 GPU, up to 64GB of memory, and display with fast refresh rates. It’s pretty expensive, though, so unless you need all that power or you just have the money to throw away, you really have to make sure you’ll make the most of it.

Read the full review: Razer Blade Pro 17 (2021)

Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733

(Image credit: Asus)

7. Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733

The best of AMD and Nvidia

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080

RAM: 16GB – 64GB

Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 anti-glare – 17.3-inch WQHD (2560 x 1440) 16:9 anti-glare display

Storage: 1TB + 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0

Reasons to buy

+Excellent performance+Cool design+Brilliant mechanical keyboard

Reasons to avoid

ExpensivePoor battery life

One of the most powerful gaming laptops that money can buy in 2021, the Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733 barely breaks a sweat. That excellent performance is due to the impressive specs it’s kitted out with, which also sadly put out of most people’s reach, price-wise. If you can afford it, however, there are a few other things you’ll love about it, including that unapologetic design that lights up like Christmas due to its resplendent RGB lighting and that optical mechanical keyboard that’s simply one of the best we’ve experienced on a laptop. This is among the best of the best out there, and a worthy consideration if you’re not limited by your budget.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

(Image credit: Lenovo)

8. Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

Nearly perfect

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 – 3070

RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz

Screen: 16-inch 2560 x 1600 IPS 500 nits, 165Hz

Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD

Reasons to buy

+Incredible gaming performance+Fantastic QHD display+Excellent hardware controls

Reasons to avoid

On the heavy sideFairly generic design

Hands down one of the best gaming laptops we’ve tested, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro comes with all the makings of a nearly perfect portable for gaming. Its incredible performance is matched only by that gorgeous QHD IPS screen with up to 500 nits of brightness, Dolby Vision, and up to a 165Hz refresh rate. It also boasts excellent hardware controls, admirable battery life, and a full-sized keyboard. Budget-minded gamers will also appreciate the fact that while it’s among the best in its class, it’s also reasonably priced, making it a better value than its peers.

Read the full review: Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

The Dell G5 15 SE (2020) boasts impressive AMD specs, especially in the CPU department. (Image credit: Dell)

9. Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

A fantastic value

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H – 7 4800H

Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5600M

RAM: 8GB – 16GB

Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED Backlight Non-Touch Narrow Border WVA Display – 15.6 inch FHD(1920×1080) 300nits WVA Anti-Glare LED Backlit Display(non-touch), 144Hz refresh rate

Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Excellent CPU performance+Very affordable for a gaming laptop+Quick and vibrant display

Reasons to avoid

Gets pretty hot under strainPlastic build feels flimsy

Though Dell has its premium lines, it’s also been very good at building excellent budget machines. The Dell G5 15 SE (2020) is a very good example of that, touting impressive AMD specs, especially in the CPU department, to keep cost down without compromising performance. This is among the very few gaming laptops out there that are affordable and also deliver a staggering performance for the price, with a stunning display to boot. Of course, being a budget laptop, some sacrifices have been made – namely, its build and heat management. However, for the budget-minded, this is certainly among the best gaming laptops out there for gaming.

Read the full review: Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

Razer Blade Stealth 13 (Late 2020)

(Image credit: Razer)

10. Razer Blade Stealth 13 (Late 2020)

The gaming Ultrabook returns

Specifications

CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7

Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti

RAM: Up to 16GB

Screen: 13.4″ 60Hz Full HD – 13.3″ 120Hz Full HD

Storage: Up to 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Sleek and quality design+Solid gaming performance+THX Spatial Audio

Reasons to avoid

Average battery lifeMediocre speakers

The world’s first gaming ultrabook is back with updated internals. Unlike most gaming laptops out there, this offering from Razer is incredibly thin – so thin, in fact, it’s thinner than a MacBook Pro 16-inch. While that forces it to sacrifice a bit of power, it still delivers a solid gaming performance that’s good enough if you want to play or game competitively while traveling or on the go. The fact that it offers a 1080p display with 120GHz refresh rate and four stereo speakers capable of delivering 7.1 surround sound using THX Spatial Audio helps as well.

Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth 13 (Late 2020)

Choosing the best gaming laptop

When choosing the best gaming laptop for you, there are a few things you must take into account.

First and foremost, the most crucial thing to consider in the best gaming laptops is how well they play the latest games. When creating this list, not only do we delve deep into the specifications of each gaming laptop to see if they are up to snuff, but we also run benchmarks on each one to check out the raw performance.

Benchmarks only tell part of the story however. So, we also make sure we play a number of the latest games on each laptop to see just how well they perform. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Display, sound quality, keyboard, trackpad and the overall design of the laptop matter as well, so these are definitely things you’d want to check out before hitting that buy button.

In fact, if the device scores highly in all these areas, it has a good chance of making it to our best gaming laptops 2021 list. That means you can buy any of the best gaming laptops in this list in full confidence that you’re getting a killer gaming device that will last you for years to come.

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