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Gaming Laptop Reviews - Top Picks For Power And Performance

In gaming laptop reviews, we're here to help you find the best options when it comes to power and performance. Whether you're a hardcore gamer or someone who enjoys occasional gaming sessions, having the right laptop can make all the difference in your gaming experience.

Elisa Mueller
Feb 13, 202492 Shares4854 Views
In gaming laptop reviews, we're here to help you find the best options when it comes to power and performance. Whether you're a hardcore gamer or someone who enjoys occasional gaming sessions, having the right laptop can make all the difference in your gaming experience.

Asus ROG Strix G16

A Asus ROG Strix G16 laptop sitting on a wooden floor
A Asus ROG Strix G16 laptop sitting on a wooden floor
The Asus ROG Strix G16 is rapidly closing the gap with Razer in the realm of powerful and portable gaming laptops. Equipped with a Core i9-13980HX processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070, it delivers impressive performance within its slim 0.89-inch thick chassis. While its design may not match the sleekness of Razer's Blades, priced at $1,999.99 during our testing, Asus competes fiercely on affordability.
Notably, the Strix G16 boasts commendable battery life, enduring for 8 hours and 49 minutes on our battery test, and features RGB keys with a satisfying 2-millimeter travel distance. Constructed with an aluminum lid and plastic body, the laptop maintains a solid build quality throughout. Despite its predominantly plastic construction, the ROG Strix G16 never feels cheap during use.
One notable drawback is the inclusion of a 1920 x 1200 touchscreen in our unit. While the RTX 4070 should handle this resolution with ease, it's common to expect higher resolutions like 1440p or even 1600p in this price range, especially in 16:10 aspect ratio screens like this one.

Acer Nitro 16

A Acer Nitro 16 laptop sitting on a glass table
A Acer Nitro 16 laptop sitting on a glass table
Acer's Nitro series has consistently earned its place on this list by blending solid build quality, performance, and affordability to deliver a compelling product. The Nitro 16, succeeding the previous Nitro 5 model, offers entry-level power with an RTX 4050 and a Ryzen 5 7640HS, all while packing in some attractive features for under $1,000.
In our $999 review unit, we were impressed by the inclusion of a 1920 x 1200, 165 Hz display with G-Sync support, ideal for esports gaming. It boasts a bright screen, measuring 371 nits on our light meter, and covers 91% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.
Furthermore, the Nitro 16 exhibited excellent battery life, lasting 8 hours and 24 minutes in our tests, surpassing many competitors in its category by several hours. While the webcam leaves something to be desired and Acer tends to load its laptops with unnecessary bloatware, the inclusion of USB 4 under $1,000, coupled with a solid screen and respectable performance for the price, makes this an excellent choice for budget-conscious consumers.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

A Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 laptop
A Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 laptop
If you're a gamer who values portability, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 might be the perfect fit for you. Powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor and an AMD Radeon RX 6800S GPU, along with Asus's proprietary features like SmartShift for power optimization between the CPU and GPU, and SmartAccess Memory, this laptop offers impressive performance in a slim package.
In its latest iteration, Asus has addressed a notable omission by adding a webcam to the Zephyrus G14. Additionally, the all-AMD model now features a taller 16:10 aspect ratio display.
One of the standout features of the Zephyrus G14 is its exceptional battery life. During our battery test, it ran for over 10 and a half hours, making it possible to use the notebook throughout the day for tasks other than gaming.
However, it's worth noting that the Zephyrus G14 comes with a somewhat premium price tag. The base model starts at $1,599.99, while the variant we reviewed, equipped with top-tier specs, retails for $2,499.99.

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8)

A black Lenovo Legion Pro 5i laptop sitting on a marble platform
A black Lenovo Legion Pro 5i laptop sitting on a marble platform
Priced under $1,500, the 16-inch 5i Pro esports machine offers a versatile screen suitable for both high-resolution, graphics-intensive titles and fast-paced esports gaming. Its 2560 x 1600 display boasts a refresh rate of up to 165 Hz, ideal for competitive gaming at 1080p, while the higher resolution enhances the visual experience for action-packed games. While some gaming laptops feature faster displays, they often come with a higher price tag.
The "i" in 5i Pro signifies its Intel configuration. Our testing revealed impressive performance with an Intel Core i7-13700HX processor paired with Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4060 GPU, complemented by 16GB of DDR5 RAM and a 512GB SSD.
Noteworthy improvements include an upgraded 1080p webcam, enhancing both gaming and productivity tasks. The SSD demonstrated impressive speed in our tests, contributing to competitive gaming performance.
However, it's worth noting that the laptop generates considerable fan noise, and the audio quality may not meet the highest standards. Consider investing in one of the best gaming headsets for an enhanced gaming experience.

MSI Titan GT77 HX

A MSI Titan GT77 HX laptop sitting on a table
A MSI Titan GT77 HX laptop sitting on a table
While MSI's flagship laptop didn't opt for an 18-inch display, our testing left us thoroughly impressed. The combination of potent performance from the Intel Core i9-13950HX processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU establishes it as one of the most formidable gaming laptops on the market.
The 17-inch, 16:9 display is a standout feature, now enhanced with Mini-LED technology. The 4K 144 Hz display delivers stunning visuals, rivaling OLED quality in our tests. With exceptional brightness (measuring 511 nits) and outstanding color reproduction (161.6% sRGB, 114.5% DCI-P3), it's truly a visual feast.
Adding to its appeal is the Cherry MX mechanical keyboard, offering a typing experience that's a cut above the rest. Enhanced by per-key RGB backlighting, it exudes luxury not commonly found in gaming laptops, even though MSI reserves mechanical switches only for certain keys.
However, with a battery life of under 4 hours in our tests, the Titan proves to be more of a desktop replacement than a truly portable solution. Yet, for those willing to invest in its top-end components and prioritize performance over mobility, the Titan emerges as an unbeatable powerhouse of a system.

MSI Raider GE78 HX

A black MSI Raider GE78 HX laptop
A black MSI Raider GE78 HX laptop
17-inch laptops may not be as common as they once were, but they still offer a compelling blend of power and immersion. Take the MSI GE78 HX Raider, for example. This formidable laptop, featuring an Intel Core i9-13950HX processor and RTX 4080 GPU, boasts a spacious 17-inch display with a stylish 16:10 aspect ratio and a crisp 2560 x 1600 resolution, all enhanced by a blazing-fast 240 Hz refresh rate.
The GE78 HX Raider makes excellent use of its size by incorporating a generous array of ports, including Thunderbolt 4, multiple USB Type-C and Type-A ports, an SD card slot, HDMI 2.1, Ethernet, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Despite the prevalence of gaming mice, MSI includes a large touchpad beneath the keyboard, which is notably comfortable for extended use.
MSI's redesign of the laptop for this year has resulted in a more eye-catching aesthetic. Sporting a racecar-inspired look with bold blacks and reds, the GE78 HX Raider exudes a sense of dynamic style. A distinctive feature is the RGB light bar beneath the wristrest, showcasing each bulb and lending the laptop a touch of retro flair.

MSI Katana 15

A black MSI Katana 15 laptop on a wooden platform
A black MSI Katana 15 laptop on a wooden platform
The MSI Katana 15 stands out as one of our top picks for gaming laptops within a $1,000 budget. Our $999 model, equipped with a Core i7-13620H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU, delivers robust 1080p performance, although you may need to adjust settings in some games for optimal gameplay.
Impressively, even at this price point, you receive 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, which are often sacrificed in budget PCs. While the chassis is constructed from inexpensive plastic, the internal components are more than capable of handling gaming tasks.
While the display may not boast the most vibrant colors, its 144 Hz refresh rate is a boon for esports enthusiasts. Additionally, we found the speaker quality to be surprisingly good considering the price point.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18

A black Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 laptop
A black Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 laptop
The trend of 18-inch gaming laptops is gaining popularity, featuring tall 16:10 screens and top-of-the-line components. The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18, albeit pricey, is equipped with an Intel Core i9-13980HX processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, ensuring seamless performance for even the most demanding games with stunning graphics.
The 2560 x 1600, 240 Hz display offers versatility, allowing users to prioritize gaming at high resolution or opt for high frame rates for esports titles. Thanks to its powerful hardware, many games can be enjoyed at both high resolution and high refresh rates simultaneously.
Sporting a gaming-centric design with abundant RGB lighting and aggressive logos, the Strix Scar 18 embodies the aesthetic of a gaming powerhouse. While Asus includes a webcam, it's worth noting that it's only 720p, which feels somewhat underwhelming compared to the rest of the high-end features.
In addition to its exceptional performance, the Strix Scar 18 impresses with its loud and detailed speakers, enhancing the gaming experience. Furthermore, the display boasts impressive brightness, measuring 402 nits on our light meter.

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16

A black Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 laptop
A black Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 laptop
Introducing the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16, a gaming laptop that takes multitasking to the next level with its dual-screen setup. Powered by AMD's top-of-the-line Ryzen 9 7945HX processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 40890 GPU, this laptop is a powerhouse for both gaming and productivity.
The second screen, known as the ScreenPad Plus, provides additional real estate for chat apps or guides while gaming, and cleverly lifts to improve ventilation for optimal performance.
The main mini LED screen is a standout feature, boasting an incredible brightness of 684 nits on our light meter. With HDR support, it delivers stunning visuals for games and shows. While the main screen has a matte finish, the ScreenPad Plus features a glossy surface, which is a minor distinction.
Asus opts for a unique design with shiny purple and blue lines instead of the standard RGB lighting on the lid, resulting in a refined and distinctive appearance. However, Asus could improve the placement of the keyboard and mouse, which has been a recurring issue in previous generations. Ultimately, whether the second screen is worth the trade-offs is a decision you'll need to make.

Gaming Laptop Shopping Tips

When it comes to gaming laptops, the GPU is crucial as it largely determines gaming performance and is not upgradeable. Investing in a powerful GPU ensures comfortable gaming experiences for years to come.
While CPUs and GPUs are typically soldered down, most gaming laptops allow for RAM and storage upgrades. This means you can initially opt for cheaper configurations and later expand memory and storage capacity as needed. Thicker, more powerful laptops generally offer easier upgradeability compared to thinner models, so it's wise to research this aspect before making a purchase.
Battery life tends to be subpar in gaming laptops, with very few lasting 8 hours or more on a single charge. Also, optimal gaming performance often requires being plugged in. However, advancements in AMD's Ryzen processors and Nvidia's Optimus technology show promise in improving battery life. Nonetheless, for peak gaming performance, it's best to game while plugged in.

Gaming Laptop Reviews - FAQ

Are Gaming Laptops Actually Good?

If you want a portable, all-in-one gaming and work computer (whether that's for a job or school), then gaming laptops are great. They give you easy access to all your favorite games, but also give you the freedom to take your games and files wherever you go.

What Is A Reliable Gaming Laptop Brand?

Razer would easily be the best gaming laptop brand overall if it weren't for one thing: price. Razer laptops are expensive. Razer doesn't compromise on quality, which is why even its lowest-end laptops are so expensive. That also is what makes them so excellent; Razer doesn't compromise on quality.

How Long Do Gaming Laptops Last?

With proper care, you should be able to get around 5 years out of a laptop. Of course, you will most likely upgrade before your system dies. A high-end gaming laptop could last 4-6 years.

Conclusion

Our gaming laptop reviews have highlighted some of the top picks for power and performance in the gaming world. With these laptops, you can immerse yourself in your favorite games with confidence, knowing that you have a reliable and high-performing device by your side.
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