The best gaming laptop changes a lot throughout the year. The early days of mobile gaming were largely desktop replacements — clunky chassis, multiple power bricks, and RGB lighting galore. But the top contenders now are different. Manufacturers are finally putting powerful specs in thin gaming machines: sleeker, more portable, and more professional builds. They have excellent, fast refreshing screens that are necessary for a great gaming experience. These laptops aren’t just great for gaming, but for everyday work as well.
The best gaming laptop of 2022 is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15. It can handle the most demanding games on the market today and also makes a great daily driver.
Gaming laptops are getting better screens as well. A growing number of manufacturers are releasing configurations with 1440p displays, even in gaming laptops under $2,000. These options can hit a sweet spot for many gamers: a better experience than 1080p without the price premium or raw horsepower required for a 4K display. You can expect decently high refresh rates from these panels as well, depending on the model.
One more thing to keep in mind with gaming laptops is the power you can expect. Not all chips with the same name are created equal — the RTX 3070 in one laptop may not deliver the same frame rates as the RTX 3070 in another laptop due to its wattage (as well as other factors like the processor and cooling). Nvidia now requires companies to disclose clock speeds and graphics power on each model’s product page, but plenty of manufacturers haven’t done that yet.
Out of the many gaming laptops we test each year, here are the ones that make the list. If you’re looking for a more multipurpose device, check out our best laptop page. If you’re an Android gamer, we’ve also got a list of the best Chromebooks you can buy.
Best Gaming Laptops
The best gaming laptop
The ROG Zephyrus G15 is the best 15-inch gaming laptop you can buy.
At just over four pounds, the Zephyrus G15 is one of the lightest 15-inch gaming laptops you can buy. But you’re not making any compromises on performance for that portability: it’s powered by the top mobile chips that AMD and Nvidia have to offer, and includes a fast 165Hz QHD (1440p) display. Together, those components can handle even the toughest AAA titles at QHD resolution. The panel has excellent color reproduction as well, so your games will look great.
But it’s not just the gaming; almost everything else about the G15 is great, too. The audio (pumped from a six-speaker array) has strong percussion and bass, the keyboard and touchpad have a satisfying click, the port selection leaves little to be desired, and the battery can last for a whopping eight and a half hours.
The G15 won’t be the laptop for everyone. There’s no webcam, which is a significant oversight, and some may prefer something more affordable, or with a flashier aesthetic. But as a package, the G15 is the one to beat. Not only is it the best gaming laptop you can buy, but it’s also one of the best laptops you can buy, period.
The best portable gaming laptop
If you’re looking for something thinner and lighter than the G15, the G14 is essentially a smaller version of the G15. There are a couple configurations, and you should make sure that you’re buying the $1,649.99 SKU with the 6700S GPU. We feel that this model, specifically, is the best 14-inch gaming laptop you can buy.
This is a great device for travel and commute gaming, at just 3.79 pounds and 0.77 inches thick. It comes with a great keyboard, touchpad, port selection, and screen. The frame rates it produced in our testing were solid, and we didn’t see a huge difference in performance between the 6700S and 6800S models. We also got all-day battery life, which you don’t see in too many gaming laptops these days. Oh, and there’s even a webcam.
If you are interested in having an animated grid of colored lights on your computer, you can also pay more for a model that has Asus’s AniMe Matrix. We don’t think these models offer particularly good value for their price, but they do have some cute benefits – you can customize them to display words or images of your choice, and there’s a virtual pet on it that you can play with. Regardless, if you’re looking for a 14-inch laptop with powerful gaming chops that can double as a daily driver, this device should top your list.
The best big-screen gaming laptop
The Blade 17 delivers some of the best gaming performance you can find in a laptop — but that’s not even its superpower. What makes Razer’s 17-inch flagship so impressive is it packs that unbelievable power into a thin and attractive chassis. It’s less than 0.8 inches thick and only requires one charging brick — so you can carry it around in a backpack or briefcase without compromising on power.
This year’s model comes with a QHD 240Hz scree. It also has a customizable per-key RGB keyboard, which adds a touch of color without being too intense for the office.
The Blade 17 certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s the laptop to buy if you want the best of the best.
The best affordable 17-inch gaming laptop
The Legion 5 Pro is the best gaming laptop Lenovo has ever made. For well under $2,000, you get exceptional performance from AMD’s Ryzen 5000 processors in an attractive 16-inch chassis. It delivered respectable results on every game we tried, even at its native 2560 x 1600 resolution. And with the 165Hz display, you’ll be able to fully take advantage of the Legion 5 Pro’s power.
Performance aside, the highlight of the Legion 5 Pro is its 16:10 screen. A screen this tall is hard to find on the gaming laptop market these days, and it allows you more room for multitasking if you want to use the Legion 5 Pro as a daily driver. The keyboard is also a delight to use, with 1.5mm of travel and four-zone programmable backlighting.
The Legion’s main downside is its battery life. We only got about four and a half hours of continuous use in our testing. While that’s not the worst we’ve ever gotten from a gaming laptop, it’s nowhere near what you’ll see from the G15. However, it does charge very, very fast with the included 300W power brick. Overall, though the G15 will be a better option for folks who often work on the go, the Legion is still a solid choice—and we have to give Lenovo props for the 16:10 screen.
The flashiest gaming laptop
The GE76 Raider costs an arm and a leg, but it packs some serious power. You can configure it all the way up to Nvidia’s top mobile GPU and Intel’s top processor., and it has the cooling to keep them in line (It’s currently available with 11th-Gen chips, but the 12th-Gen models should be available in a few weeks.) You can get it with a QHD screen (which we’d recommend for most people, as these hefty specs can take full advantage of it) as well as a 1080p 360Hz display.
Keep in mind that this laptop is really just for gaming. Its battery life is mediocre, and its chassis is quite thick and heavy, so you’ll want to look elsewhere if you’re looking for a device that could double as a portable work driver. (The brick is also huge.) But if you’re looking for what’s essentially a desktop you could travel with, the GE76 Raider will deliver a premium experience.
An all-AMD gaming laptop
The ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition is one of the few gaming laptops you’ll find that includes both an AMD processor and an AMD GPU. Not to worry — it delivers gaming performance on par with what you’ll see from laptops with Nvidia’s top GPUs. It also delivers one of the best gaming battery experiences we’ve ever seen — it was able to maintain playable frame rates on Red Dead Redemption 2 for over an hour with no charger attached.
Speaking of battery, we averaged nine hours and 16 minutes of work use between charges, which makes the Strix G15 far and away one of the longest-lasting gaming laptops on the market. That’s doubly impressive because it’s powering a ton of flashy LEDs, including a per-key RGB keyboard and a colorful light strip around the front edge of the deck. If you’re looking for a jazzy, bold design and you’re all-in on AMD, the Strix G15 Advantage edition is a great gaming laptop for you.
The best stylish gaming laptop
If you’re looking for a powerful 14-inch device that can keep up with the best 15-inch gaming laptops on the market, the only place you’ll find that is the Razer Blade 14. This slim and portable device includes Nvdia’s RTX 3070 and RTX 3080, Nvidia’s top-of-the-line mobile GPUs, as well as a powerful eight-core AMD chip. It’s a gorgeous device, with a QHD 165Hz display option and a classy RGB keyboard. There’s even a reasonable port selection, including HDMI 2.1 as well as two USB-C ports.
The best big-screen gaming laptop
If yo like the look of huge RGB workhorses like the GE76 Raider, but the high prices and massive chassis are turnoffs, the GS76 Stealth may be a more pragmatic purchase for you. The keyboard has fun, customizable, per-key lighting. The lack of a lightstrip may be a disappointment for some gamers, but it does make the GS77 more feasible to bring into an office or other public place without turning heads.
While the GS76 Stealth is hefty to carry around and doesn’t have quite the same power as the top devices on the market, it should still be able to run most of the games you want to play at respectable framerate — even if you go for the QHD display option, which made games look great in our testing.