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Best gaming laptop 2024

We've tested the top gaming laptops, to get you playing on the move whatever your budget.

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

The best gaming laptops 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 the best gaming PCs, they have many unique qualities you need to consider before buying. Whether you want a desktop replacement or a mighty micro machine, we’re here to help you find the right model.

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, which will run the best PC games smoothly. Higher-spec models will typically run hot and loud under full load, as the components inside them pull the most power and require more active cooling.

Battery life is important when buying a gaming laptop, but you’ll get the most performance out of one by plugging it 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 most models feature upgradeable RAM and SSD storage.

Other factors like a laptop’s screen also greatly impact the experience of using it, with the resolution, refresh rate, and panel type all affecting usability. Some even feature dual-mode displays, as seen in our Razer Blade 16 review. We’re constantly testing the latest gaming laptops so that you can buy the best one for your budget and needs.

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

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Best gaming laptop overall

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Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 specifications:
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS
GPU Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 (90W)
RAM Up to 32GB (2 x 16GB) LPDDR5X-6400
Display 14-inch, 2,880 x 1800, 120Hz, OLED
Storage 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
Battery 73WHrs
Size 31.1 x 22.0 x 1.6cm
Weight 3.1kg
Reasons to buy
  • Good gaming performance
  • Deliciously premium build quality
  • Glossy OLED display with G-Sync support
Reasons to avoid
  • Soldered RAM can’t be upgraded
  • Minor spec upgrades from last year
  • Difficult to run some games at native resolution

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is as impressive as 14-inch gaming laptops get, deftly balancing performance and portability in a premium package. It falls just shy of perfection, owing to minor flaws, but they’re quickly forgiven or forgotten once you start playing.

Unique to the Zephyrus G14 is a gorgeous, glossy OLED panel that supports Nvidia G-Sync, making for a sublime viewing experience. While all content on this screen benefits from its fantastic color reproduction and contrast, games in particular shine thanks to the display’s excellent response times, made all the better by the lack of screen tearing.

While its native 1800p resolution is supremely sharp, with 243 pixels per inch, it can be fiddly to manage given the capabilities of its GeForce RTX 4060 and 4070 graphics. While this is easily solved with a few clicks, via downscaling or DLSS upscaling, it does hurt the premium, design-first feel of the Zephyrus G14, albeit slightly.

Soldered RAM proves the biggest flaw of the Zephyrus G14, making it almost necessary to get the 32GB model for longevity. If you can stretch your budgets further, you’ll find your cash well spent.

Read our Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review.

Razer Blade 16 (2024)

Best premium gaming laptop

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Razer Blade 16 (2024) specifications:
GPU Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
CPU Intel Core i9 14900HX
RAM Up to 64GB
Storage Up to 4TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSSTC SSD
Display 16-inch 240Hz OLED 2,560 x 1,440, or 16-inch dual UHD+FHD mini-LED
Battery 95.2WHrs
Reasons to buy
  • Excellent build quality
  • Fantastic OLED display
  • Decent gaming performance
Reasons to avoid
  • Glossy screen is very reflective
  • Very expensive for specs
  • Irritating fan noise

If you want the very best and are prepared to pay for it, the latest Razer Blade 16 is as classy as it gets. Its build quality is superb, and its aluminum chassis looks and feels like a premium product when you pick it up. You really see what you’ve paid for when you open it up and see the OLED screen, though. The display is fantastic, with deep blacks, high contrast, and vivid colors.

You get some seriously powerful specs too, with a 24-core Intel Core i9 14900HX CPU under the hood. This processor is arguably overkill for gaming, but it means you can do practically anything with this machine, including heavily multi-threaded work such as video encoding. There’s a choice of GPUs as well, and the GeForce RTX 4070 model held up well in our testing, even managing to play Cyberpunk 2077 at 74fps with the Ultra ray tracing preset at 2,560 x 1,600, thanks to some help from Nvidia’s DLSS 3 frame generation tech.

However, you pay a high price – even higher than the Blade 16 (2023). The base spec will set you back $2,999 and only comes with a 1TB SSD and 16GB of RAM. We also found that the Blade 16’s screen can be overly reflective under bright light, making lots of fan noise when working hard. If that’s not an issue and you have the money, this is the most stylish and powerful gaming laptop on the list.

Read our Razer Blade 16 (2024) review.

HP Omen 16

Best value gaming laptop

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HP Omen 16 specifications:
GPU Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 (145W)
CPU Up to Intel Core i9 13900HX
RAM Up to 32GB
Storage Up to 2TB
Display Up to 16.1-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) 240Hz
Battery 70Whr
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 backward to meet the prices of powerful gaming laptops to have a solid gaming experience, and the HP Omen 16 is proof of that. Costing just over $1,000 / £1,000 for its base spec, the value it offers budget-conscious gamers is stark.

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 loud and hot if you push it hard enough.

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

Read our HP Omen 16 review.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16

Best 16-inch gaming laptop

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Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 specifications:
CPU Intel Core Ultra 9 185H
GPU Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 (115W)
RAM Up to 32GB (2 x 16GB) LPDDR5X 7,467MHz
Display 16-inch, 2,560 x 1,600, 240Hz, OLED
Storage Up to 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
Battery 90WHrs
Size 35.4 x 24.6 x 1.49cm
Weight 1.95kg
Reasons to buy
  • Gorgeous OLED screen with G-Sync support
  • Fantastic build quality and design
  • Fair price
Reasons to avoid
  • RTX 4090 model doesn’t have enough GPU power
  • Soldered RAM can’t be upgraded
  • RTX 4060 version not available worldwide

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 is a great example of fine craftsmanship and design in a gaming laptop. Its CNC-machined aluminum chassis looks and feels luxurious, and its 16-inch OLED screen offers amazing contrast and HDR reproduction, supporting Nvidia G-Sync, which eliminates tearing artifacts in games.

The price is also surprisingly generous for the spec and build quality you get. All versions of this laptop feature the same fantastic OLED screen and Intel Core Ultra 9 185H CPU, which has six of Intel’s latest Meteor Lake P-Cores, and eight E-Cores, with a peak 5.1GHz boost clock.

We recommend going for the cheaper RTX 4080 or 4070 version of this laptop, as the RTX 4090 in our test sample was restricted to 115W, which meant you didn’t get much of a performance advantage. Both GPUs support Nvidia’s latest DLSS 3 suite of technologies, including AI frame generation to boost performance.

The one main downer is that the ROG Zephyrus G16 uses soldered memory, rather than replaceable modules, which means you’re stuck with the configuration you buy. For this reason, opt for a 32GB configuration if you can afford it, to buy you as much future-proofing time as possible. Otherwise, this is a deliciously premium laptop with loads of gaming performance in the bank, and with great value.

Read our Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 review.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

Best 18-inch gaming laptop

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Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 specifications:
CPU Intel Core i9 14900HX (65W)
GPU Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 (175W)
RAM 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR5-5600
Display 14-inch, 2,880 x 1800, 120Hz, OLED
Storage 4TB (2TB + 2TB) PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD (RAID 0)
Battery 90 WHrs
Size 15.71 x 11.57 x 1.21 in
Weight 6.61 lbs (3 kg)
Reasons to buy
  • Stunning Mini LED panel
  • Strong gaming performance
  • Relatively small and light
Reasons to avoid
  • Awful speakers
  • Poor battery life
  • Aggressive gamer aesthetic

Bigger doesn’t always mean better, but the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 makes a strong case in favor of 18-inch laptops. Serving up top-tier specs, including a Core i9 14900HX processor and up to GeForce RTX 4090 graphics, portable gaming doesn’t get much faster than this. But it does come at a substantial cost.

The Strix Scar 18 features a newly improved display. Replacing the aged IPS screen from last year’s laptop, this new Mini LED panel is beautiful, responsive, sharp, and makes for an excellent HDR experience. Its chassis, despite its admittedly cool semi-transparent finish, is less easy on the eyes though, adopting a typical ‘gamer’ aesthetic.

The ROG Strix Scar 18 won’t break your back or bank, either (relatively speaking), as it’s one of the more affordable and lighter 18-inch gaming laptops available. The only downer is the sound quality from the speakers, which we found weak and tinny.

In our testing, the Strix Scar 18 turned in strong performance across our testing suite, with frame rates comparable to a desktop GeForce RTX 4070 Super, showcasing the full power of a GeForce RTX 4090 mobile GPU running at 175W. It also turns in great CPU performance, with the Core i9 14900HX clocking in similarly to a Core i5 14600K. Suffice it to say, this machine will handle pretty much anything you throw at it.

Read our Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 review.

How to choose the best gaming laptop

The screen is one of the core areas of your laptop, and you can’t swap it out, so you want to make sure you get one that will fulfill your needs. For gaming, your screen should have at least a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, and we recommend going for a 14-16-inch screen size. If you’re into fast-paced competitive first-person shooters, it’s worth paying for a screen with a high refresh rate too. For most people’s needs, a 120Hz screen will be fast enough, while 240Hz screens are available for those who play esports games at high frame rates.
However, bear in mind that even the best mobile gaming GPUs will struggle to play the latest games at decent frame rates on high settings at 4K. It’s still worth buying a laptop with a high-res screen for the benefits it brings to working on the move, but you may well need to drop the resolution to 1,920 x 1,080 if you want to enable ray tracing in Cyberpunk 2077.
Some of the latest gaming laptops come with an OLED screen, and it’s worth paying for this if your budget can stretch to it. Not only do OLED screens offer vivid colors and high contrast, with truly deep blacks rather than washed-out grays, but they’re also extremely quick and responsive, which is great for fast-paced gaming.
The main component to look at in a gaming laptop specs list is the GPU, as this is the part that will have the biggest impact on gaming performance. We recommend the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 as the minimum (with the RTX 4070 being the best all-round option), but you also need to see if the specs list states the maximum power allocated to the laptop, which is sometimes listed as the TDP. Laptop makers can restrict the amount of power available to the GPU to save on battery life and prevent overheating in some laptop cases, and this impacts performance.
The next big part is the CPU, and AMD is the current king here with its latest Ryzen 8000-series and 7000-series chips. You want at least six cores for gaming (that means six P-Cores on an Intel CPU), and the faster the clock speed, the faster your games will run. Intel currently has two main laptop options – Meteor Lake (Core Ultra) and Raptor Lake (14th-gen Core i-series), and both have pros and cons.
Intel’s latest Core Ultra CPUs are more power-efficient, but have fewer cores and lower clock speeds, while its Raptor Lake CPUs, such as the Core i9 14900HX, are extremely powerful, but are also comparatively hot-running and power-hungry.
RAM and storage
We also recommend opting for at least 16GB of RAM, and preferably more – 16GB is fine for gaming, but 32GB is handy if you’re likely to have lots of apps and browser tabs open when you’re working. You’ll want a decent amount of storage space too, with 1TB offering you a decent amount of room for a few game installs.
Unlike a desktop PC, you won’t be able to upgrade many of the core aspects of your laptop’s spec, including the CPU, and GPU, but you may well be able to upgrade the storage and memory at a later date. Check for this in our reviews, as well as the specs lists, as some laptops use soldered memory, which you can’t upgrade, and also only have one M.2 slot for an SSD. If you buy a 16GB laptop with soldered memory, then it will have a limited lifespan, as you won’t be able to upgrade to 32GB later.
If you’re likely to be regularly carrying your laptop in a backpack, whether it’s for use on the train or taking to events, you will start to feel the weight on your shoulders if it’s heavy. That’s not such a big issue if you just want a big laptop that’s mainly going to sit on your desk, but if you’re going to be lugging your laptop around regularly, we recommend a laptop weight of under 2.5kg, and under 2kg if possible.
Build quality
The quality of the materials used to build your laptop will have a big impact on the price, as well as its durability and, of course, looks. Generally, paying for a laptop with metal construction, rather than plastic, will mean there’s more protection for the screen and components when it’s being transported in your bag, and it can also make the laptop more efficient at expelling heat from the hot components.

Best gaming laptop FAQ

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 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 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 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 decision could come down to personal preference, but we believe 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 is about more than screen real estate.

With a larger screen comes a larger frame, which 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.