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Best gaming laptops 2020: top laptops to game on

TechRadar logo TechRadar 16/06/2020 Matt Hanson
a laptop computer: Best gaming laptops © Provided by TechRadar Best gaming laptops

For an immersive-yet-portable gaming experience, the best gaming laptops are the only way to go. These portables now tout the latest mobile versions of cutting internals like the latest  Intel Comet Lake processors, Nvidia Turing or AMD Navi graphics cards, and speedy SSDs. Because of this, they are now closing that performance gap between them and the best gaming PCs.

In terms of sheer power, the best gaming laptops are now capable of giving you an edge over your rival players and helping you get to the top of the scoreboards. In fact, they’re powerful enough to see you through your most graphically-demanding creative tasks. And, they do so without compromising portability and affordability.

Whether you’re a casual gamer who plays in your spare time or a competitive pro who requires the most powerful internals, there’s no better investment than one of the best gaming laptops. We’ve tested and reviewed quite a few of them, so to make your search easier, we gathered our top rated ones all in one place.

Best gaming laptops 2020 at a glance

  1. Asus Zephyrus G14
  2. Asus TUF A15
  3. Alienware Area-51m
  4. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
  5. MSI GS65 Stealth
  6. Razer Blade
  7. Lenovo Legion Y740
  8. Gigabyte Aorus 17G
  9. Alienware m17 (2019)
  10. Gigabyte Aorus 5

Best gaming laptops 2020

a close up of a computer: The Asus Zephyrus G14 is an absolute beast of a gaming laptop. (Image credit: Asus) © Provided by TechRadar The Asus Zephyrus G14 is an absolute beast of a gaming laptop. (Image credit: Asus)

1. Asus Zephyrus G14

The best gaming laptop around

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS – 9 4900HS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Screen: 14-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-level panel, 120Hz – 14-inch Non-glare WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS-level panel, 60Hz | Storage: 512GB / 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0

Best battery life in a gaming laptop
Excellent performance
Thin and light
No webcam
Fans can get loud

The Asus Zephyrus G14 is not perfect, missing a webcam and a Thunderbolt 3 port. However, it’s damn near close to being one, garnering our coveted yet rarely given five-star rating. We couldn’t resist. This is an absolute beast of a gaming laptop, delivering an incredible performance with its AMD Ryzen 4000 processors and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card while touting best-in-class battery life that will last you all day long, a fast display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a lightweight, ultrathin design. The best part is that you’re getting all that without burning a hole in your pocket. Don’t get us wrong; it isn’t cheap. However, for a laptop this impressive, we’re surprised Asus isn’t asking for more.

Read the full review: Asus Zephyrus G14 

a close up of a computer: (Image credit: ASUS) © Provided by TechRadar (Image credit: ASUS)

2. Asus TUF A15

The new affordable gaming king

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H – 7 4800H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660TI – RTX 2060 | RAM: up to 32 GB SDRAM | Screen: 15.6" (16:9) FHD (1920x1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS-level Panel – 15.6" (16:9) FHD (1920x1080) 144Hz Anti-Glare IPS-level Panel | Storage: 1TB 5400 rpm SATA HDD – 256GB/512GB/1TB PCIe Gen3 SSD

Great 1080p performance
New AMD processors
Very good battery life
Noisy fans
Not the most powerful gaming laptop
Design won’t be for everyone

Give us a laptop that touts one of AMD’s stellar Ryzen 400 mobile processors, and we’d be more than happy to try it on for size. What we found in the Asus TUF A15, however, is not just fantastic gaming performance, but a great value gaming rig with a long battery life and military-grade durability as well. With the help of Nvidia’s most powerful 1080p graphics cards, this Ryzen 4000-powered laptop will see you through all your 1080p gaming demands without burning a hole in your pocket. Whether you play a lot of competitive esports, or need a rugged laptop, this one’s a winner.

Read the full review: Asus TUF A15

a close up of a computer: Alienware Area-51m is among best gaming laptops of 2020, packing a hefty punch, gaming-wise. (Image credit: Alienware) © Provided by TechRadar Alienware Area-51m is among best gaming laptops of 2020, packing a hefty punch, gaming-wise. (Image credit: Alienware)

3. Alienware Area-51m

An out-of-this-world gaming laptop

CPU: Intel Core i7-9700 – i9-9900K | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080 | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS – 144Hz IPS NVIDIA G-SYNC | Storage: 1TB SSHD – 2TB RAID0 SSDs + 1TB SSHD

Extremely powerful
Aesthetic
Perfect keyboard
Very expensive
Gets hot
Loud fans

If you fell head over heels upon seeing the Alienware Area-51m’s stunning yet quirky white chassis, you’re not alone. And, if you happen to shell out that couple of thousand dollars based on looks alone, we’d be the last people to judge. Anyway, you’ll be happy to know that it wasn’t all for naught, as this gaming laptop – or rather, the best among the best gaming laptops of 2020 – packs a hefty punch, gaming-wise. This is so far the most powerful gaming laptop on the market currently, and you won’t be able to help but be impressed. Its comfy keyboard and VR readiness are just cherries on top.

Read the full review: Alienware Area-51m

a desktop computer sitting on top of a laptop: You can play any PC game under the sun on Ultra on the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701. (Image credit: Asus) © Provided by TechRadar You can play any PC game under the sun on Ultra on the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701. (Image credit: Asus)

4. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701

Power and beauty

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 – GeForce GTX 2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) | RAM: 8GB – 24GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 144Hz panel with G-Sync

 Super thin 
 Tons of performance 
 Very expensive 

These days, the best gaming laptop manufacturers are scrambling to craft the thinnest gaming laptop packing raw power. Right now, the one that might be leading the charge is the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX701. At just 0.7 inches thick, this beast of a laptop boasts an Intel Coffee Lake Core i7 chip, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics and 16GB of RAM. That means you can play any PC game under the sun on Ultra, and also take it with you wherever you go – ideal for travelers with a penchant for gaming. Plus, it’s packed with RGB lighting that’ll dazzle just about anyone.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 

a laptop computer: MSI GS65 Stealth packs a punch in its very thing package. (Image credit: MSI) © Provided by TechRadar MSI GS65 Stealth packs a punch in its very thing package. (Image credit: MSI)

5. MSI GS65 Stealth

Thin. Beautiful. Powerful.

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM, Max-Q) | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 144Hz panel | Storage: 256GB SSD – Super RAID 4 1TB SSD

Beautiful, subtle design 
Excellent performance 
Underside gets very hot 

Play some of the best PC games on the move and very discreetly with the MSI GS65 Stealth, which might just be the gaming laptop of your dreams if you’re a traveler. Coming in at just 0.69 inches thick and packing impressive internals like Intel Coffee Lake processors and Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-series – refreshed with RTX 20-series graphics at CES – the MSI GS65 Stealth packs a punch in its very thing package. There’s nothing you won’t be able to throw at this thing that’ll slow it down. And, thanks to the smart aesthetic, you’ll be able to lug this beefy rig everywhere you go, making it among the best gaming laptops to hit the streets. 

Read the full review: MSI GS65 Stealth 

a close up of a computer: Razer Blade has constantly been named one of the best gaming laptops on the market. (Image credit: Razer) © Provided by TechRadar Razer Blade has constantly been named one of the best gaming laptops on the market. (Image credit: Razer)

6. Razer Blade

The sharpest Blade yet

CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H – Intel Core i7-9750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR6 VRAM) – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 144Hz – OLED 4K (3,840 x 2,160) Touch 60Hz | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

Incredibly powerful
Svelte looks
Very expensive

For several years now, the Razer Blade has constantly been named one of the best gaming laptops on the market. For good reason, since it rocks some powerful components and boasts a stunning display in its elegant chassis. That’s true for the 2019 model as well, which now rocks up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080. That is, frankly, a ton of power for a laptop with this thin. If that’s not enough graphics power for you, you can use the Razer Core for future expansion. Make no mistake: it is pricey; but it might be worth it if style and power are equally important to you.

Read the full review: Razer Blade

a laptop computer: Lenovo Legion Y740 is as close to a complete package as you can get. (Image credit: Lenovo) © Provided by TechRadar Lenovo Legion Y740 is as close to a complete package as you can get. (Image credit: Lenovo)

7. Lenovo Legion Y740

Style and muscle in one

CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB GDDR6 VRAM) – RTX 2070 (Max-Q 8GB) | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) Nvidia G-Sync 144 Hz | Storage: 256GB SSD – 256GB SSD+1TB HDD

Powerful internal components
New Nvidia discrete graphics
144Hz refresh rate
Keyboard arrangement
Poor battery life

The Lenovo Legion Y740 packs a lot of muscles inside its stylish yet accessible chassis, combining a very high refresh rate, Nvidia Turing graphics and a powerful processor with a gloriously effective thermal cooling, a nifty cable management system and a number of applications to make it truly yours. It’s as close to a complete package as you can get, wrapped in a beautiful chassis that you’d be proud to show off to friends and strangers. It still has the remnants of that gaming aesthetic, but it’s made classy so that you could be gaming in public without anyone knowing. Despite its shortcomings – unfortunate keyboard and webcam placement, as well as its subpar battery life – it’s still one of the best gaming laptops to date.

Read the full review: Lenovo Legion Y740

a laptop computer: (Image credit: Gigabyte) © Provided by TechRadar (Image credit: Gigabyte)

8. Gigabyte Aorus 17G

Big, powerful, industrial

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super with Max-Q | RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4 | Screen: 17.3-inch Thin Bezel 240Hz FHD 1920x1080 anti-glare display LCD | Storage: 2x M.2 SSD

Excellent performance
Top-shelf build quality
Fast and color accurate display
Expensive
Heavy

If you want an absolute beast of a gaming laptop, Gigabyte’s Aorus 17G is a worthy candidate both inside and out. While this megalithic portable has a substantial weight of 5.95Ib to match, it’s a small price to pay for such power inside – namely, 10th-generation processors and up to 64GB of memory, as well as Nvidia’s most powerful RTX and Super RTX cards. There’s nothing this laptop can handle (or annihilate), making it a prime example of what a next-generation desktop replacement can be. And, that’s without mentioning its 1080p display touting a whopping 240Hz refresh rate and its solid build. Just be ready to break that piggy bank, as this won’t be cheap.

Read the full review: Gigabyte Aorus 17G

a close up of a computer: The Alienware m17 (2019) will let you have the most immersive gaming experience of your life and look good while gaming. (Image credit: Dell) © Provided by TechRadar The Alienware m17 (2019) will let you have the most immersive gaming experience of your life and look good while gaming. (Image credit: Dell)

9. Alienware m17 (2019)

Has Alienware made another stylish winner?

CPU: 9th Generation Intel Core i5 – i9 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz – 17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz Eyesafe Display Tech + Tobii Eyetracking | Storage: 256GB SSD – 4TB SSD RAID 0

Stunning design
Thin and light
Only 1080p screen
Short battery life

Dell has reinvented its flagship gaming brand. The Alienware m17 (2019) touts more powerful internals and a bold new design you won’t see on any other gaming laptop of its caliber. This Alienware gaming laptop looks good inside and out, so you can have the most immersive gaming experience of your life and look good while gaming, whether you’re at home on your couch or at a cafe. That’s not all; it’s impressively portable as well, with a thin and light chassis that’s ideal for gaming on the go. This is a well-rounded gaming laptop that is worth every penny you spend on it, though you will be spending a hefty amount.

Read the full review: Alienware m17 (2019)

a laptop computer: (Image credit: Gigabyte) © Provided by TechRadar (Image credit: Gigabyte)

10. Gigabyte Aorus 5

Plenty of power for a budget gaming laptop

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 – RTX 2060 | RAM: up to 64GB | Screen: 15.6" Thin Bezel FHD 144Hz IPS anti-glare display LCD | Storage: up to 6TB SSD

Fantastic performance
Expandable
Poor battery life
No ray-tracing

If you’re looking for a desktop replacement gaming laptop that’s easy on the pockets, then the Gigabyte Aorus 5 SB is worth taking a look. It may compromise on a few things – most notably its form factor – in the name of affordability. However, it packs a serious punch with 10th-generation processors, an IPS display with 144Hz refresh rate, and up to a Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics. For the configuration with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and 16GB RAM, you’re paying less than the price of the MacBook Pro 13-inch base model, so you’re certainly saving a whole lot for considerable power. This one’s one of the best gaming laptops 2020 has to offer, as long as you’re not looking for something portable.

Read the full review: Gigabyte Aorus 5

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 2020 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.

Gabe Carey, Bill Thomas and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article


Gallery: Best wireless chargers 2020 for iPhone, Samsung, Huawei and more (Pocket-lint)

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