The best gaming laptops 2021


The best gaming laptops are proof of how far we’ve come in the world of mobile hardware. These powerful laptops are proving that they can deliver equally breathtaking performance as the best gaming PCs. That’s thanks to the latest and most powerful GPUs like Nvidia’s RTX or AMD’s Navi line, the newest processors like Intel Comet Lake, and the speediest RAM they are fitted with.

What’s even more impressive is that the best gaming laptops are not just keeping things slim, lightweight and portable – they’re actually getting thinner and lighter every year. In fact, some of them boast a svelte body and a battery life worthy of Ultrabooks. And, they are a boon to those who want to tackle the most popular titles on the go or don’t have the desk space for a proper desktop PC.

The best gaming laptops have the power to see gamers through even the most demanding PC games while keeping things travel-friendly. With all the features, portability, and horsepower that they come with, desktop gamers finally have a compelling reason to switch over. Here are our top picks.

Best gaming laptops 2021

The Asus Zephyrus G14 is an absolute beast of a gaming laptop. (Image credit: Asus)1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The best gaming laptop around


CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS – 9 4900HS

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

RAM: Up to 32GB

Screen: 14-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-level panel, 120Hz – 14-inch Non-glare WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS-level panel, 60Hz

Storage: 512GB / 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0

Reasons to buy

+Best battery life in a gaming laptop+Excellent performance+Thin and light

Reasons to avoid

-No webcam-Fans can get loud

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is not perfect, missing a webcam and a Thunderbolt 3 port. However, it’s damn near close to being one, garnering our coveted yet rarely given five-star rating. We couldn’t resist. This is an absolute beast of a gaming laptop, delivering an incredible performance with its AMD Ryzen 4000 processors and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card while touting best-in-class battery life that will last you all day long, a fast display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a lightweight, ultrathin design. The best part is that you’re getting all that without burning a hole in your pocket. Don’t get us wrong; it isn’t cheap. However, for a laptop this impressive, we’re surprised Asus isn’t asking for more.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 

(Image credit: Asus)2. Asus TUF Dash F15

Affordable CAN mean sheer power


CPU: Up to Intel Core i7-11375H

Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070

RAM: Up to 16GB DDR4-3200

Screen: Up to 15.6-inch WQHD anti-glare 165Hz IPS-level display with Adaptive Sync

Storage: Up to 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Long battery life+Super thin and light+Strong gaming performance

Reasons to avoid

-No webcam-Keyboard lighting color can’t be changed

The Asus TUF line is no stranger to affordable great performers. Last year’s Asus TUF A15, for instance, was simply brilliant while keeping things accessible to budget-conscious gamers. The Asus TUF Dash F15 is back to preserve that affordability while also delivering brute strength. It brings in Intel Tiger Lake processors, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 mobile GPUs, and up to a 240Hz 1080p display without costing a fortune while also keeping things light, thin, and military-grade durable.

Read the full review: Asus TUF Dash F15

(Image credit: Alienware)3. Alienware M15 R3 (2020)

A brilliant gaming beast that just got a little bit better


CPU: Up to 10th Generation Intel Core i9-10980HK

Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super

RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4

Display: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz 7ms 300-nits 72% NTSC – 15.6″ OLED UHD (3840 x 2160) 60Hz 1ms 400-nits DCI-P3

Storage: Up to 4TB RAID0 + 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Great build quality+Sublime all-round performance

Reasons to avoid

-4K OLED panel not optimal for gaming-Nvidia Max-Q GPU a little limited

Dell’s Alienware gaming laptop line has established itself as among the very best on the market. But it’s back and better than ever, rocking the best internals for gaming that money can buy. Of course, that means that its configurations cost a pretty penny, but if you have the money to spare, it’s certainly worth the splurge because of its sublime gaming performance. That’s without factoring in its quirky yet attractive design, excellent build quality and display with fast refresh rates. We’ve been fans of the line since its design overall a couple of years ago, and that hasn’t changed.

Read the full review: Alienware M15 R3 (2020)

(Image credit: Dell)4. Alienware m17 R4 (2021)

Big. Powerful. Beautiful.


CPU: Up to 10th Generation Intel Core i9-10980HK

Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080

RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4 2933MHz

Screen: 17.3″ UHD 60Hz 25ms 500-nits display

Storage: Up to 4TB SSD + 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Blazing fast performance+Stylish chassis+Plenty of ports

Reasons to avoid

-Expensive-Basically no battery life

It’s not always going to be substance over style. The Alienware m17 series continues to prove this with the new Alienware m17 R4, an extremely powerful gaming laptop with plenty of ports and an extremely stylish chassis that lights up like a Christmas tree. That way, you can play all the latest AAA games smoothing and in style. Of course, this being one of the fastest gaming laptops in 2021, it won’t be cheap. However, if you have the money, you’ll be glad you chose this.

Read the full review: Alienware m17 R4 (2021)

(Image credit: Future)5. Razer Blade Pro 17 (2021)

RTX 3000 gaming goodness


CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 – 3080

RAM: Up to 32GB

Screen: 17.3″ Full HD 360Hz – 17.3″ 4K Touch 120Hz

Storage: 512GB – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Extremely powerful+Gorgeous display+Great performance at 1080p

Reasons to avoid

-Very expensive-Gaming at 4K needs tweaking

If you’re looking for an absolute beast, the best gaming laptop for you might just be this follow-up to Razer’s 17-inch leviathan. More than just a gaming portable, it makes for an excellent mobile workstation for creators as well – although gamers who have the cash will appreciate the RTX 3000 GPU, up to 64GB of memory, and display with fast refresh rates. It’s pretty expensive, though, so unless you need all that power or you just have the money to throw away, you really have to make sure you’ll make the most of it.

Read the full review: Razer Blade Pro 17 (2021)

(Image credit: Asus)6. Asus ROG Zephyrus M15 GU502

Intel’s latest mobile tech brings its A-game


CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti – RTX 2070 Super


Screen: 15.6-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 16:9 anti-glare display, 60Hz – 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS, 144Hz

Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD

Reasons to buy

+Excellent battery life+Good gaming performance+Fast screen

Reasons to avoid

-Not the most powerful-You’re paying a lot for the design

Those in the market for a mid-range gaming device might adore the Asus ROG Zephyrus M15 GU502. It’s a great-looking piece of kit, serving as another entry to Asus’ much-vaunted ROG Zephyrus lineup of stylish thin and light gaming laptops. And, that fast screen makes it a joy for gamers with a predilection for fast-paced games. However, does it measure up to the most powerful laptops out there? While not cutting-edge, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M15 GU502’s specs are decent for graphically intensive games and its battery can last a while, which makes it a great candidate if you’re not looking for a maxed out machine.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus M15 GU502

Alienware Area-51m is among best gaming laptops of 2021, packing a hefty punch, gaming-wise. (Image credit: Alienware)7. Alienware Area-51m

An out-of-this-world gaming laptop


CPU: Intel Core i7-9700 – i9-9900K

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080

RAM: 16GB – 64GB

Screen: 17.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS – 144Hz IPS NVIDIA G-SYNC

Storage: 1TB SSHD – 2TB RAID0 SSDs + 1TB SSHD

Reasons to buy

+Extremely powerful+Aesthetic+Perfect keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-Very expensive-Gets hot-Loud fans

If you fell head over heels upon seeing the Alienware Area-51m’s stunning yet quirky white chassis, you’re not alone. And, if you happen to shell out that couple of thousand dollars based on looks alone, we’d be the last people to judge. Anyway, you’ll be happy to know that it wasn’t all for naught, as this gaming laptop – or rather, the best among the best gaming laptops of 2021 – packs a hefty punch, gaming-wise. This is so far the most powerful gaming laptop on the market currently, and you won’t be able to help but be impressed. Its comfy keyboard and VR readiness are just cherries on top.

Read the full review: Alienware Area-51m

(Image credit: Gigabyte)8. Gigabyte Aorus 17G

Big, powerful, industrial


CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9

Graphics: up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super with Max-Q

RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4

Screen: 17.3-inch Thin Bezel 240Hz FHD 1920×1080 anti-glare display LCD

Storage: 2x M.2 SSD

Reasons to buy

+Excellent performance+Top-shelf build quality+Fast and color accurate display

Reasons to avoid


If you want an absolute beast of a gaming laptop, Gigabyte’s Aorus 17G is a worthy candidate both inside and out. While this megalithic portable has a substantial weight of 5.95Ib to match, it’s a small price to pay for such power inside – namely, 10th-generation processors and up to 64GB of memory, as well as Nvidia’s most powerful RTX and Super RTX cards. There’s nothing this laptop can handle (or annihilate), making it a prime example of what a next-generation desktop replacement can be. And, that’s without mentioning its 1080p display touting a whopping 240Hz refresh rate and its solid build. Just be ready to break that piggy bank, as this won’t be cheap.

Read the full review: Gigabyte Aorus 17G

The Dell G5 15 SE (2020) boasts impressive AMD specs, especially in the CPU department. (Image credit: Dell)9. Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

A fantastic value


CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H – 7 4800H

Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5600M

RAM: 8GB – 16GB

Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED Backlight Non-Touch Narrow Border WVA Display – 15.6 inch FHD(1920×1080) 300nits WVA Anti-Glare LED Backlit Display(non-touch), 144Hz refresh rate

Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Excellent CPU performance+Very affordable for a gaming laptop+Quick and vibrant display

Reasons to avoid

-Gets pretty hot under strain-Plastic build feels flimsy

Though Dell has its premium lines, it’s also been very good at building excellent budget machines. The Dell G5 15 SE (2020) is a very good example of that, touting impressive AMD specs, especially in the CPU department, to keep cost down without compromising performance. This is among the very few gaming laptops out there that are affordable and also deliver a staggering performance for the price, with a stunning display to boot. Of course, being a budget laptop, some sacrifices have been made – namely, its build and heat management. However, for the budget-minded, this is certainly among the best gaming laptops out there for gaming.

Read the full review: Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

(Image credit: Razer)10. Razer Blade Stealth 13 (Late 2020)

The gaming Ultrabook returns


CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7

Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti

RAM: Up to 16GB

Screen: 13.4″ 60Hz Full HD – 13.3″ 120Hz Full HD

Storage: Up to 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Sleek and quality design+Solid gaming performance+THX Spatial Audio

Reasons to avoid

-Average battery life-Mediocre speakers

The world’s first gaming ultrabook is back with updated internals. Unlike most gaming laptops out there, this offering from Razer is incredibly thin – so thin, in fact, it’s thinner than a MacBook Pro 16-inch. While that forces it to sacrifice a bit of power, it still delivers a solid gaming performance that’s good enough if you want to play or game competitively while traveling or on the go. The fact that it offers a 1080p display with 120GHz refresh rate and four stereo speakers capable of delivering 7.1 surround sound using THX Spatial Audio helps as well.

Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth 13 (Late 2020)

Choosing the best gaming laptop

When choosing the best gaming laptop for you, there are a few things you must take into account.

First and foremost, the most crucial thing to consider in the best gaming laptops is how well they play the latest games. When creating this list, not only do we delve deep into the specifications of each gaming laptop to see if they are up to snuff, but we also run benchmarks on each one to check out the raw performance.

Benchmarks only tell part of the story however. So, we also make sure we play a number of the latest games on each laptop to see just how well they perform. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Display, sound quality, keyboard, trackpad and the overall design of the laptop matter as well, so these are definitely things you’d want to check out before hitting that buy button.

In fact, if the device scores highly in all these areas, it has a good chance of making it to our best gaming laptops 2021 list. That means you can buy any of the best gaming laptops in this list in full confidence that you’re getting a killer gaming device that will last you for years to come.


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