Best gaming laptop 2023

We've tried and tested laptops from Alienware, Acer, Asus, MSI, Razer, and more to help you find the best gaming laptop for your needs and budget.

Best gaming laptop: two gaming laptops float on a gradient background

The best gaming laptop can give desktops a run for their money, with the added conveniences of better portability and a built-in display. However, for all the similarities these clamshell computers share with tower PCs, they have a number of unique quirks you need to be aware of before buying on. So, whether you’re in the market for a desktop replacement or a mighty micro machine, we’re here to help.

The latest laptops pack Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 or AMD Radeon RX 7000 series graphics, alongside AMD Ryzen 7000 and 13th Gen Intel Core processors, all of which will handily run the latest games. Just note that higher-spec models will typically run hot and loud under full load, as the components inside them pull the most power and so require more active cooling.

While battery life is understandably an important consideration when buying a gaming laptop, you’ll get the most performance out of one by having it plugged in. This is true at every price point, from the best budget laptops to the most expensive. Generally, the most critical specs will be your GPU and CPU, as the majority of models feature upgradeable RAM and SSD storage.

There are other factors like a laptop’s screen that also greatly impact the experience of using it, with resolution, refresh rate, and panel type all affecting usability in their own ways. Some even feature dual-mode displays, as seen in our Razer Blade 16 (2023) review. We’re constantly testing the latest models and adjusting our list here accordingly, so be sure to read our reviews for each entry.

Why you can trust our advice ✔ At PCGamesN, our experts spend hours testing hardware, games, and VPNs. We share honest, unbiased opinions to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.

Razer Blade 16 (2023)

Best gaming laptop overall

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Razer Blade 16 (2023) specifications:
  • GPUUp to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 (175W)
  • CPUIntel Core i9 13950HX
  • RAMUp to 32GB
  • StorageUp to 2TB
  • Display16-inch UHD+ (3840 x 2400) 120Hz / FHD+ (1920 x 1200) 240Hz 16-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600) 240Hz
  • Battery95.2Whr
Reasons to buy
  • Dual-mode Mini LED display
  • Top-of-the-line specs and performance
  • Good battery life
Reasons to avoid
  • Some specs don’t meld well
  • Gets toasty under load
  • Can be very pricey

There is no other gaming laptop out there like the Razer Blade 16 (2023), and we can’t help but wish there were more like this portable PC, given how excellent it is. Naturally, it can pack all the performance you can get in a 16-inch chassis, but it’s the device’s dual-mode Mini LED display that helps it shine brighter than the competition.

The Blade 16 (2023) can be configured with every GeForce RTX 40 series graphics card, from the RTX 4090 down. Combine this with an Intel Core i9 13950HX and your frame rate’s assured to be sky-high, especially with Nvidia DLSS 3.0 added into the mix in supported games.

You can put this performance to work in one of two ways with Dual-Mode Mini LED display, either opting for a UHD+ resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate or FHD+ and 240Hz instead. This makes the Blade 16 perfect for gamers who enjoy both cinematic and competitive games.

Read our Razer Blade 16 (2023) review.

HP Omen 16 (2023)

Best value gaming laptop

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HP Omen 16 (2023) specifications:
  • GPUUp to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 (145W)
  • CPUUp to Intel Core i9 13900HX
  • RAMUp to 32GB
  • StorageUp to 2TB
  • DisplayUp to 16.1-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) 240Hz
  • Battery70Whr
Reasons to buy
  • Great connectivity for a slim laptop
  • 7 hours of general use battery
Reasons to avoid
  • Limited GPU options
  • Basic aesthetic

You don’t need to bend over backward to meet the prices of powerful gaming laptops to have a solid gaming experience, and the HP Omen 16 (2023) is proof of that. Costing just over $1,000 / £1,000 for its base spec, the amount of value it offers budget-conscious gamers is stark.

In order to hit this price point, HP has smartly focussed on what matters most about a laptop (its performance) but this does mean that the device isn’t the flashiest around. While its cooling solution is admirably sufficient, it can get a touch loud and hot if you push it hard enough.

All that said, it doesn’t skimp on connectivity or battery life, making it an ideal machine for both gaming and lightweight tasks such as office work or study.

Read our HP Omen 16 (2023) review.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2022)

The best 1440p gaming laptop.

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Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2022) specifications:
  • GPUUp to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
  • CPUIntel Core i9-12900H
  • RAMUp to 32GB
  • StorageUp to 2TB
  • Display17.3-inch, 1440p, IPS, 240Hz
  • Battery90Whr
Reasons to buy
  • Fantastic gaming performance
  • Large 1440p IPS screen
  • 240Hz refresh rate
Reasons to avoid
  • Expensive
  • Battery life shorter than spec suggest

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 redefines what it means to truly be one of the best Asus gaming laptops, packing an Intel Core i9 12900H CPU and up to an Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti graphics card. Being stacked up to the nines with this caliber of hardware means this beast makes short work of the best PC games, especially with Nvidia DLSS to help boost frame rates further.

The 1440p 17.3-inch IPS display on the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 delivers wonderfully sharp images and boasts an ultra-responsive 240Hz refresh rate with response times of just 3ms. That might seem like a lot of numbers, but these specs essentially mean your games will both run fast and look good while you play.

Aesthetics aren’t as important as performance, of course, but the ROG Strix Scar 17 is also a treat for the eyes. Pushing the signature Asus two-tone style in black and grey, it’s the RGB backlit keyboard that threads everything together. Asus puts its stamp on the trackpad, too, hiding a full numpad as a secondary function.

Read our Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2022) review.

Alienware m17 R5 (2022)

The best 4K gaming laptop.

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Alienware m17 R5 (2022) specifications:
  • GPUAMD Radeon RX 6700M 10GB / 6850M XT 12GB
  • CPUAMD Ryzen 7 6800H / 9 6900HX
  • RAMUp to 64GB
  • StorageUp to 4TB
  • Display17.3-inch, 4K/120Hz
  • Battery97Whr
Reasons to buy
  • Powerful Ryzen processor and Radeon graphics
  • Features all AMD Smart Technologies
  • 17.3-inch 4K/120Hz premium display
Reasons to avoid
  • Specs impact battery life
  • Ray tracing can’t keep up with Nvidia

Look, we get it, some of you like to stick with one company when it comes to PC parts. So, if you bat for the red team, the Alienware m17 R5 should check all the boxes in terms of performance and functionality.

In many ways, the M17 R5 is a stand-in for a full desktop setup, as its 17.3-inch 4K display trades blows with the best gaming monitor. Available in two configurations, you can choose between a Ryzen 7 6800H or Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU, paired with either a Radeon RX 6700M or RX 6850M XT graphics card.

Both of the above options bring a lot to the portable table, but AMD Advantage laptop features are a performance cherry on top. Smart Shift, Smart Access Graphics, and Smart Access Memory enhance the hardware’s natural abilities, and the tech will ultimately help the laptop keep up with the latest games.

With great power, comes great batter caveats, as the M17 R5’s souped-up specs are ravenous for power. Sure, most laptop gamers are accustomed to dwelling near outlets, but it’s still worth keeping in mind if you’re an on-the-go player. This is undoubtedly a top Alienware gaming laptop, although availability is somewhat patchy at Dell.

Razer Blade 14 (2022)

The best 14-inch gaming laptop

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Razer Blade 14 (2022) specifications:
  • GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 3060
  • CPUAMD Ryzen 9 6900HX
  • RAM16GB
  • Storage1TB
  • Display14-inch, 1080p, IPS, 144Hz
  • Battery61.6Whrs
Reasons to buy
  • Top-of-the-range Ryzen 6000 CPU
  • Razor-sharp 1080p display
Reasons to avoid
  • Low battery capacity
  • RTX 4060 will offer extra features

Razer is renowned for the quality of its peripherals, and the same premium-level craftsmanship you’ll find with its best gaming keyboard options is readily apparent when using the Razer Blade 14. In addition to its high levels of performance, your cash feels well spent when using it thanks to its CNC aluminum chassis.

At 14 inches, the Razer Blade 14 is a dinky little powerhouse featuring a top-of-range AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060. This size also makes the 1080p 144Hz IPS display sharper than you’d think, with a dense PPI (pixel per inch).

Modern games take up a lot of room, but the Blade 14’s 1TB storage has you covered. Better still, it’s actually a Gen4 NVMe drive, so you won’t have to trade away speed for capacity. Even still, there’s nothing stopping you from popping the best SSD for gaming later, as the M.2 slot isn’t hard to reach.

It’s worth noting that while the RTX 3060 is a capable graphics card, RTX 4060 mobile GPUs are now a thing. Features like DLSS 3.0 could make all the difference when it comes to entry-level performance, so you’ll want to think twice before investing in a $2,000 laptop with RTX 3000 innards. We’ve picked all the best Razer laptops if you’re set on this brand.


Are gaming laptops worth the cost?

A common misconception is that all gaming laptops are too expensive and not worth the cost. Unlike desktops, where you can pick and choose your components and then build them yourself, gaming laptops charge a premium for being a pre-built package designed to achieve the best gaming performance possible (within the limits of its specs). As long as you’ve done your research on the specifications you want, you’ll see that gaming laptops follow a standard pricing structure with only certain brands charging well above these costs based on their own proprietary features. All in all, the convenience of a gaming laptop is worth the cost.

How long should a gaming laptop last?

Gaming laptops tend to have a shorter lifespan than a typical daily-use machine. This is due to the strain they perform under while gaming. We would say that a gaming laptop should last anywhere between three and five years if well-maintained. This means regular cleaning and ensuring your game settings are always optimized so your hardware isn’t working overtime every time you boot up a game.

What size screen is best for a gaming laptop?

This is a decision that could come down to personal preference, but we believe that 17.3 inches is the ideal screen size for gaming. You will find that 15-inch screens are the most common, but our reasoning behind 17.3 inches comes down to more than just screen real estate. With a larger screen comes a larger frame, and this can often allow manufacturers to implement a better cooling system to keep your laptop at a more manageable temperature for longer gaming sessions. It will also come down to the technology included with the screen, as we’d take a 15-inch 4K 144Hz OLED display over a 17.3-inch 1080p 60Hz option any day.