What is the best gaming laptops? While the gaming market in the broad sense has been booming for a few years, the references of laptops dedicated to gaming have literally exploded. Nowadays, almost all manufacturers have their brand devoted to gaming, to the point of reaching a certain overflow in this sector. To save you from having to sort it out yourself, we offer you a regularly updated selection of the best gaming laptops here.
Asus has its ROG and TUF ranges, Acer its Nitro and Predator, Gigabyte its Aorus brand, HP its Omen range, Lenovo its Legion line and Dell its Alienware subsidiary, we could go on for a long time by also mentioning the machines cut out for gaming launched years later. years by MSI or even the alluring laptops of the American Razer. You see where we are coming from, all laptop brands (or almost) now offer at least one range of gaming laptops to occupy this increasingly coveted segment. Still, not all machines are equal and do not necessarily correspond to all uses, all budgets and all players.
You will therefore find in this comparison a selection of devices which, we hope, will be able to stick to a maximum of profiles, from the ultraportable gaming laptop PC, to the war machine, via the beefy device… but affordable. So as not to drown you in references, we will base ourselves each time on a particular configuration… the most interesting in our opinion. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Also Read: Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition Laptop
1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
The ROG Zephyrus G14 2021 changes little compared to the 2020 model: it retains the same chassis and overall the same options as last year, but switches to significantly more powerful new generation components. On the most demanding titles, the device manages to deliver a convincing experience on the condition of knowing how to punctually make some concessions to gain fluidity.
The G14 also remains a great vintage for all lovers of high-performance and very compact machines. This real miniature gaming laptop is still just as formidable in the context of mobile use and can even boast of a very convincing autonomy in iGPU mode. Perfect for using the machine as a real ultraportable PC that you can take anywhere. Its sober design and excellent keyboard are also to its credit.
However, these fine qualities must be offset by a few flaws such as more marked heating than on the 2020 model, or the very debatable absence of a webcam (yes, yes…). Finally, we regret that in the face of competition, ASUS did not see fit to offer a slightly more attractive equipment/price ratio. If we refer to its launch prices, the G14 is an expensive little machine that would benefit from a slight drop in price.
Also Read: CES 2022: ASUS ROG Launches Gaming Keyboard
2. MSI GP 76 Leopard
Balance and power, these two keywords seem to have served as a credo for MSI on the GP76 Raider. The device is not perfect, but it manages to offer us a satisfactory and well-balanced experience. The onboard RTX 3070 is capable of great things at 1080p and notably manages to power Cyberpunk 2077 without the slightest problem at a high framerate with all the details at their zenith. Very good performance is made possible in part by the efficiency of the dissipation system designed by MSI, which manages to sufficiently limit the heating to let the components give voice to the game.
We will also note the beautiful design improvement to which the Taiwanese manufacturer agrees on its Leopard range in 2021. We now find the same chassis as that offered for a few months on the Raider range: a convincing chassis, soberer than in the past but also better assembled.
On the other hand, the device is limited to a perfectible 1080p IPS screen, not G-Sync compatible, and with errant colorimetry. It will also be necessary to do with an old generation Intel processor… and for good reason, Intel has not yet launched its Tiger Lake-H chips in 45W. As mentioned above, MSI could have offered us, at least as an option, fifth-generation Ryzen processors as an alternative, but for the moment we simply have to do without.
3. Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
Its autonomy is strawberries, but apart from this defect that is not very prohibitive on a gaming laptop (intended to be plugged in most often), the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro displays a host of qualities. Its chassis is one of the best we’ve seen in recent months, its dissipation system is exemplary, and its performance is generous. To top it all off, the machine is adorned with a very beautiful QHD + screen in 16:10 format which clearly outclasses what the competition offers, both in terms of strictly visual experience and in terms of daily use comfort.
The relatively attractive price of the Legion 5 Pro, made possible in part by the adoption of AMD processors, is also noteworthy. Lenovo has it all figured out with this device and is clearly giving us what we paid for. If you have the budget (and find it in stock), go ahead.
Also Read: Acer Launches Acer Gaming Laptop AcerNitro 5
4. Razer Blade 15
When testing the Blade Stealth 13 vintage 2020, we had already considered that Razer was evolving “smoothly”. A polite way of saying that the manufacturer was satisfied with the union minimum to improve its ranges. This is perhaps even more true this year with the Blade 15 range which, in reality, only applies to the integration of the RTX 3070 as the contributions at the processor level are light. Structurally speaking, the laptop is identical to that of last year and it is not the transition to a 165 Hz panel that will wake us up at night.
We especially regret that Razer did not manage to improve things further on the battery side. The autonomy of the Blade 15 is its biggest weak point, while it would probably have been possible to opt for a slightly larger capacity battery. However, let’s not overdo it and even if Razer could probably show a little more imagination, the Blade 15 remains a very beautiful, very powerful, and very pleasant laptop dedicated to video games. The performances are high and the opening towards more RAM or a second SSD are options that we appreciate, not so frequent in the laptop world.
5. Gigabyte Aero 15 YC OLED
Make no mistake, the Aero 15 YC is an excellent machine, but it has some annoying shortcomings, starting with a dissipation system that quickly shows its limits and a GeForce RTX 3080 with limited performance.
Unlike ASUS or MSI, Gigabyte has chosen to limit the new high-end chip from Nvidia to only 105W (compared to 115 W at ASUS with equivalent size and up to 150 W at MSI on slightly larger devices). This reduction in the TGP makes it possible to limit heating in a compact chassis but prevents the 3080 from reaching the theoretical heights promised by Nvidia. It’s penalizing if you want to play in Ultra HD with the settings at maximum… something that you should ideally be able to do with a configuration of this caliber.
We will nevertheless retain the presence of a good quality OLED screen (despite a perfectible calibration, the visual experience is exhilarating) and a design that is both sober and elegant. Other advantages: the Nvidia RTX Studio certification (thanks to the pro pilots who go with it for the creative tools) and a surprising autonomy as long as we adopt the right settings.
6. ASUS ROG Flow X13
Rival par excellence of the Razer Blade Stealth 13, which it is likely to bury, the ASUS ROG Flow X13 is nevertheless a victim of its concept of ultraportable without compromise. If its processor is formidable, it implies a feverish autonomy that may put off. That said, the device is quite simply the best-equipped 13-inch ultraportable in terms of firepower.
7. Dell G15 Ryzen Edition (2021)
Good pick than the G15: it manages to spice up Dell’s entry-level Gaming laptop references, which no longer suffer as much as before from the comparison with the beautiful Alienware machines. Without ever losing sight of the accessible placement of its machine, the Texan manufacturer manages to offer us an interesting upgrade, driven by a new chassis inspired precisely by Alienware, a convincing dissipation system, and high-performance components. Enough to allow the device to convince both casual players and lovers of good equipment/price ratios.
On our side, we will still regret certain concessions made by Dell, in particular at the level of the screen, which lacks brightness, or of the rickety software suite offered on the G15. We can also rail against the keyboard of the machine, very (too) focused on office automation… on a machine that nevertheless has a very marked gaming vocation. That said, is it really that important when our entry price is less than 1,000 euros?
8 . Alienware X17 R1
If you’re lucky enough to buy it, the Alienware X17 is a formidable machine, brimming with power and benefiting from a really effective dissipation system…because it has been largely redesigned. The device is one that you look at with envy in computer stores, but its price is its main weakness.
The experience without real compromise that the American manufacturer offers us will ultimately only appeal to a handful of lucky people. Still, for almost 3550 euros, our loan unit skips an OLED screen. At this price, it would not have been stolen in our opinion.
Gaming laptop: the answers to all your questions
How to choose your gaming laptop?
The gaming laptop has become the ideal companion for gamers who want maximum performance in a small footprint. But beware, who says performance in a small box says heating… and therefore noise. This is why you have to choose the components and the screen that will equip the machine of your dreams.
Which screen should I choose to play?
On gaming laptops, the field of the display has evolved a lot over the past two years, with the generalization of high refresh rate screens. If 144 Hz panels have become commonplace, to the point of imposing themselves by default on many devices, manufacturers are moving more and more towards 240 Hz or even 300 Hz screens. to use it compared to a 144 Hz panel, which is very sufficient, and which already offers an excellent experience in-game as well as in everyday applications.
In terms of definition, 1080p remains predominant and is sufficient to offer a good resolution on screens of 14, 15.6, or even 17.3 inches. Opting for Full HD will also make sense to allow you to pass the 100 FPS mark and thus “make profitable” the use of a 144 Hz panel or more. Some laptops, however, offer 1440p and 4K options. We find their interest quite limited for playing on a laptop, and therefore – in absolute terms – on relatively small diagonals. If you want flawless display finesse, 4K remains essential, but you will only benefit from 60 Hz in most cases… and that’s where the problem lies. Between 1080p / 144Hz (or more) and 4K / 60Hz, we recommend the first option for gaming.
Last point: that of display technology. The question tends to become simpler over time, since most manufacturers now opt for IPS technology, which is very suitable for gaming. Some laptops rely on derivatives of VA technology (at the cost of sometimes higher viewing angles narrow, but for better contrast) or on TN panels (more reactive, but limited by a rather pitiful color reproduction).
In summary, a 1080p and 144 Hz IPS screen is likely to satisfy you on laptop gaming. That’s good, it’s the most common combination. Beware, however, of the issue of brightness, which is often quite weak on the entry-level IPS.
What is the best graphics card?
In this area, Nvidia still reigns supreme, with low-power chips that are generally more efficient than the few GPUs offered by AMD on laptops. We hope that the thing will evolve, but for the time being, our recommendations, therefore, go quite logically towards the products of the chameleon founder, overrepresented.
At the entry-level, to play competitive or low-power titles at 1080p without forcing too much, a GTX 1650 will do the trick. It will nevertheless be necessary to make some concessions in terms of display quality on the most demanding areas. On the mid-range, the GTX 1660 TI and RTX 2060 (or even RTX 3060 since the beginning of 2021) are the most common chips. The advantage of the second is to allow the activation of ray tracing in fairly good conditions in Full HD, but not all players are necessarily interested in the effects popularized by Nvidia. The RTX 2060 is also very effective in Full HD on the most demanding titles. The GTX 1660 Ti is enough for its part to animate most games in 1080p without great concession in the settings, and
On the high end, Nvidia recently introduced its RTX 3070 and 3080, which will give you better performance at 1080p and unlock access to Ultra HD. Beware, however, of their TDP, which can, depending on the settings preferred by the manufacturers, completely change the expected benefits.
What graphics card?
Unlike the GPU market on laptops, the low-power processor sector now benefits from good equity between AMD and Intel, with 10th generation processors at Intel (soon to be completed with 11th generation Tiger Lake-H chips) and Ryzen chips fifth generation from AMD.
If Intel retains a slight advantage in terms of performance in games with its Intel Core, AMD and its Ryzen manage to be much more efficient than in the past for gaming and manage to take the advantage in many cases in video editing. , computation and overall on heavy tasks taking advantage of the many cores and threads they embed.
Another advantage in favor of AMD: is the price. Its new processors offer a flattering level of performance, on machines often sold at slightly lower prices than Intel models. Opting for AMD in 2021 can therefore be a very good idea, provided that you focus on Ryzen 7 5800H or Ryzen 9 5900HS (or higher) as a priority, to be sure to benefit from the best performance in games. At Intel, we recommend the Core i7-10750H and i7-10875H, for lack of new generation chips at the time of writing these lines.
The Core i9 seems to us to be especially interesting for players who also want to do heavy editing or additional calculation, but these are however tasks which the Ryzen 7 5800H, for example, can also perform very well… and often at a lower cost. For less demanding users, turning to 10th or 11th generation Intel Core i5 “H”, or fifth-generation AMD Ryzen 5 may finally be sufficient.
8, 16, or 32 GB of RAM?
This year, most manufacturers are opting by default for 16 GB of DDR4. A quantity of RAM is gradually becoming the standard for comfortable gaming, while 8 GB is becoming a bit tight. If you choose an entry-level laptop with only 8 GB of RAM, don’t panic. Not only will you still be able to play most games without problems, but you will always be able to increase this amount of RAM later by buying new modules in SO-DIMM format.
You will notice that some models have 32 GB of DDR4. These are generally devices that are primarily aimed at creative people, who will need this capacity to carry out heavy video editing or calculation without difficulty. It is also for the same public that options sometimes going up to 64 GB of RAM are available on the sites of the manufacturers. To play, 16 GB is more than enough!