The best gaming laptop models of today can come close to matching the performance of their high-end desktop brethren, in a more convenient, compact, and portable form factor. The ever-growing number of mobile machines is a sight to behold, each varying in size, shape, and spec, meaning there’s something out there for everyone.
While last year’s gaming laptops still have plenty to offer, a new wave of machines is due to land in 2023. The latest AMD Ryzen 7000 and 13th Gen Intel Core processors will soon be available for the first time in a portable PC, but it remains to be seen as to which will emerge on top as the best gaming CPU series.
Meanwhile, AMD Radeon RX 7000 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4000 graphics cards will also make their debut this year. The latter family of GPUs could prove particularly spicy, thanks to DLSS 3 Frame Generation as well as the advent of RTX 4090 gaming laptops.
Best gaming laptops 2023
- Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 – our favourite laptop
- Dell G15 Ryzen Edition – portable gaming on a budget
- Alienware m17 R5 – the finest AMD has to offer
- Razer Blade 14 – under $2,000
- Gigabyte Aorus 5 SE4 – under $1,500
1. Asus ROG Strix Scar 15
The best gaming laptop is the Asus ROG Strix Scar 15.
Expect to pay $3,299.99 USD / £3,299.99 GBP.
|Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 specs|
|CPU||Intel Core i9-12900H|
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti|
|Screen||15.6-inch, 1440p, IPS, 240Hz|
|Memory||32GB (16GBx2) DDR5-4,800MHz|
|Storage||2TB M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen4 SSD|
- Unrivalled gaming performance
- Plenty of ports
- Perfect resolution and refresh rate for this screen size
- Slightly shorter battery life
The Asus ROG Strix Scar redefines what it means to truly be the best, packing a top-tier Intel Alder Lake CPU and an Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti graphics card. Asus even includes a hidden weapon called the ROG boost, which ramps clock speeds up to 1,445MHz.
Being stacked up to the nines with the latest hardware means this beast makes short work of the best laptop games, but if you’re ever in need of a quick fps boost, Nvidia DLSS is usually just a few clicks away in a supported game’s settings.
If you’ve been waiting for a rig with the best gaming RAM configuration, you’ll be pleased to hear that the Strix Scar 15 wields DDR5. 32GB of speedy memory will no doubt futureproof this beefy rig, and that’s exactly what we want to see from a laptop of this calibre.
The 1440p 15.6-inch IPS display on the Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 delivers wonderfully sharp images in both SDR and HDR without diving into the settings to adjust anything, but it also boasts an ultra-responsive 240Hz refresh rate with response times of 3ms. That might seem like a lot of numbers, but this means games will both run fast and look good while you play.
It’s a bit of a head-scratcher how Asus manages to pack Nvidia’s chonky GPU under the hood, given its desktop counterpart fills the average PC case. Naturally, this sometimes comes with sacrifices like thermal throttling, but you’d be hard-pressed to find the same performance from another gaming laptop in this price range.
Aesthetics aren’t as important as performance, of course, but the ROG Strix Scar 15 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.
2. Dell G15 Ryzen Edition
The best budget gaming laptop is the Dell G15 Ryzen Edition.
Expect to pay $938.99 USD / £869.99 GBP.
|Dell G15 specs|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 6600H|
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050|
|Screen||15.6-inch, 1080p, WVA, 120Hz|
|Storage||256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen3 SSD|
- 120Hz display
- Nvidia DLSS support
- Great AMD CPU
- Single-channel memory configuration
- Build quality reflects the price point
- Only 8GB RAM
The Dell G15 Ryzen Edition is a great fit for anyone looking to game on the go without breaking the bank. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 has enough power to play the latest games at 1080p on its 15.6-inch, 120Hz display, and even supports DLSS upscaling for an easy way to boost fps.
Dell’s cheap and cheerful laptop isn’t the flashiest around, and its outer shell won’t wow enthusiasts. Yet, if you’re a competitive player that wants to maximize performance in the best FPS games, the G15’s 120Hz screen will prove invaluable.
At its core, the G15 features an AMD Ryzen 5 6600H CPU that pairs well with Nvidia’s laptop GPU. In fact, the chip’s Radeon graphics alone should be enough to run Warzone 2 without a graphics card (even if that is a silly and redundant thing to do when you’ve got a 3050 to hand).
If the Dell G15 misses the mark with one thing, it’s gaming RAM. The system sticks with an 8GB Single-channel configuration, which means it’s not as futureproof as some alternatives. That said, you’ll probably struggle to find a 16GB option for the same price, so it’s perhaps a necessary compromise.
As a budget rig, the G15 avoids becoming too much of an investment while still packing enough of a punch. However, Nvidia is reportedly cooking up an RTX 4050 GPU, so the entry-level Lovelace card could supersede the one within this particular laptop next year.
3. Alienware m17 R5
The best AMD gaming laptop is the Alienware m17 R5.
Expect to pay $1,949.99 USD / £2,248.99 GBP upwards.
|Alienware m17 R5 specs|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 7 6800H or AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX|
|GPU||AMD Radeon RX 6700M 10GB or AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT 12GB|
|Memory||Up to 64GB (2x32GB) DDR5 4,800MHz|
|Storage||Up to 4TB M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen4 SSD|
- Powerful Ryzen processor and Radeon graphics
- Features all AMD Smart Technologies
- 17.3-inch 4K/120Hz AMD FreeSync Premium display
- Specs greatly impact battery life
- Ray tracing performance 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.
4. Razer Blade 14
The best gaming laptop under $2,000 is the Razer Blade 14.
Expect to pay $1,999.99 USD / £2,199.99 GBP.
|Razer Blade 14 specs|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX|
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060|
|Screen||14-inch, 1080p, IPS, 144Hz|
|Storage||1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen4 SSD|
- Top-of-the-range Ryzen 6000 CPU
- Razor-sharp 1080p display
- Low battery capacity
- RTX 4060 models could arrive soon
Razer is renowned for the quality of its peripherals, and the same premium-level craftsmanship you’ll find on its best gaming keyboards 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 aluminium 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 in 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 could arrive in the near future. 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 right now.
5. Gigabyte Aorus 5 SE4
The best gaming laptop under $1,500 is the Gigabyte Aorus 5 SE4.
Expect to pay $1,499.99 USD / £1,649.99 GBP.
|Gigabyte Aorus 5 SE4 specs|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-12700H|
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070|
|Screen||15.6-inch, 1080p, IPS, 144Hz|
|Storage||512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen4 SSD|
- Higher specs than those typically found at this price
- The biggest battery on the list
- DDR4 memory
- Smaller 512GB SSD
We’re really impressed by the specs that the Gigabyte Aorus 5 SE4 has to offer, which at this price point makes it one of the best value setups on this list. The Intel Core i7-12700H and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 make for a great gaming combo, and easily drives the 15.6-inch 1080p IPS 144Hz display.
It’s also got the biggest battery amongst our picks at 99.9Wh, meaning you’ll be gaming on the go for many hours. It doesn’t skimp on gaming RAM either with dual-channel 16GB DDR4 memory — an addition that’ll combat demanding system requirements (at least for a few years).
The laptop’s 512GB SSD is speedy, but you might want to factor in a replacement if you’ve got a chonky Steam library. Alternatively, investing in the best external SSD for gaming will save you any future hassle, especially if you tend to swap your rig regularly.
Just like before, it’s worth noting that RTX 4070 GPUs will arrive on the scene soon. The mid-range contender hasn’t got a release date yet, and you’ll potentially have to pay more than $1,500 for a laptop armed with the next-gen card, but its upcoming status is still worth keeping in mind.
While these are the cream of the crop, filled with the best specs AMD, Nvidia, and Intel have to offer, you might find something more your stride in the sale. Check out our best Black Friday gaming laptop deals as they pop up throughout November.