The best gaming laptops of 2022: budget, premium and more

. 6 hours ago

The best gaming laptops offer powerful performance on the go. But, with so many things like price and power limits to take into account, it can be tough to choose one for yourself. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our favourites so you’ll be playing with power. 

When looking at the best gaming laptops in 2022, you might be surprised at just how powerful portable PCs have gotten. You can have specs that rival the beefiest of desktop PCs, with the added benefit of being able to take it around with you, which is really a marvel of modern tech. However, there’s often a sweet spot between price, performance and affordability. There’s no point in buying a laptop if the battery life is going to last all of one hour, for example. The latest tech is always going to come at a cost, but with gaming laptops in a number of configurations, you’re going to be best off looking for the machines that will perform well, whether you’re playing everything from Call of Duty to Elden Ring.

The best gaming laptops in 2022

1. Razer Blade 14 (2022): The best overall gaming laptop

Buy the Razer Blade 14 here

The Razer Blade 14 (2022) is the best overall gaming laptop that money can buy. From its sleek design to the specs, which you can configure to have top-of-the-line graphics, on a speedy DDR5 platform, to boot. As the name might suggest, the 14-inch form factor means that you’re not going to have to lug around a huge, heavy laptop. Instead, the relatively low-profile Razer Blade 14 keeps it looks professional, while also sporting one of the fastest consumer processors on the planet.

You might be asking, hang on, how is it managing to cool all of this? With vapor-chamber cooling and several fans, the Blade 14 will manage to keep its components cool, and running well under heavy usage. For esports-focussed gamers, you can configure the screen to be up to 165Hz, which should be more than enough for most gamers looking to compete on the go. From the touchpad to the keyboard and oodles of Razer RGB, it’s really difficult to see where you might go wrong with this powerful package.

  • Read more: The best gaming mouse in 2022

Key Specs

  • Processor: Ryzen 9 6900HX
  • GPU: RTX 3060, 3070 Ti or 3080 Ti
  • RAM: 16GB DDR5-4800MHz
  • Screen size: 14-inches
  • Screen resolution: 1080p, 1440p
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz (1080p), 165Hz (1440p)
  • Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe (PCIe 4.0)
  • Operating system: Windows 11
  • Connectivity: 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 2x  USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with Power Delivery and DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1 port, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Features: Razer Chroma RGB,  Freesync Premium, Glass Touchpad, 1080p Webcam, Kensington lock
  • Price: Available from $1999, £2199
  • Where to buy: Razer direct

Pluses

  • Incredible amounts of power in a portable package
  • Pre-calibrated screen for optimal color accuracy
  • Premium CNC Aluminum construction

Minuses

  • No Thunderbolt 4
  • No MUX switch

2. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15: The fastest laptop for esports

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 in black and white

Buy the ROG Zephyrus G15 here

The ASUS ROG Zephyryus G15 might be the best pick if you’re looking for heaps of extra performance from your gaming laptop for esports. With a configuration that goes all the way up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM, a 240Hz display and an RTX 3070 Ti, there’s not much to hate. Coming in at a respectable 15-inches, this laptop still manages to keep it nice and portable, while offering one of the most powerful laptops money can buy.

The laptop itself has oodles of room to breathe with its unique hinge design, allowing for further airflow for the device, ensuring that those high-end components are kept nice and cool. This is aided through the use of liquid metal in the chassis, allowing the six heat pipes to dissipate heat much more efficiently than a traditional thermal paste.  In addition to this is an all-important MUX switch, which can give your PC a direct line through the silicon for a GPU mode that can boost performance. This is also sporting generous Dolby Atmos speakers for immersive gameplay, no matter where you might be.

  • Read more: The best gaming monitor in 2022

Key Specs

  • Processor: Ryzen 9 6900HS
  • GPU: RTX 3060, RTX 3070 Ti
  • RAM: 32GB DDR5-4800Mhz
  • Screen size: 15.6-inches
  • Screen resolution: 1440p
  • Refresh rate: 240Hz
  • Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe (PCIe 4.0)
  • Operating system: Windows 11
  • Connectivity: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with Power Delivery and DisplayPort, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 1x RJ45 LAN port, 1x MicroSD card reader
  • Features: Dolby Atmos 2x speakers, 720p webcam, MUX Switch, Dolby Vision HDR, ROG backpack, ROG Delta Headset, ROG Chakram Core mouse
  • Price: Available from $1299, £1999
  • Where to buy: Amazon US

Pluses

  • Excellent specs
  • Blisteringly fast screen
  • Lots of ports

Minuses

  • No Thunderbolt 4 is a shame
  • 720p webcam is a disappointment

3. Alienware X17 R2: The best premium gaming laptop

Alienware X17 R2 on a white background

Buy the Alienware X17 R2 here

The Alienware X17 is a beast, not only in size, but also in the sheer amount of power that Alienware has managed to cram into a portable system. However, it does weigh 3.2Kg, or just over 7lbs. However, what you’re getting here is a full desktop replacement-style system. With an unbelievable number of customization options, you can go all the way from a relatively humble RTX 3060, to the RTX 3080Ti, with 64GB of DDR5  RAM, which is also paired with up to 4TB of storage. Needless to say, the laptop also has it where it counts with a G-Sync compatible display which you can configure up to 4K. It really is a behemoth of a system, but it also comes in at a hefty price to match, especially if you choose to trick the system out with all of the available bells and whistles.

It also has all of the chops to cool a system like this, too, with extensive vents and airflow to support the high-end components that you can configure this chassis with.

  • Read more: The best gaming chairs in 2022

Key Specs:

  • Processor: Intel i7-12700H
  • GPU: RTX 3060, 3070 Ti or RTX 3080 Ti
  • RAM: up to 64GB DDR5-4800Mhz
  • Screen size: 17.3-inches
  • Screen resolution: 1080p, 2160p / 4K
  • Refresh rate: 165Hz (1080p), 360Hz (1080p), 120Hz(2160p / 4K)
  • Storage: 2TB, 4TB M.2 NVMe (PCIe 4.0)
  • Operating system: Windows 11
  • Connectivity: 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with Power Delivery and DisplayPort, 1x Thunderbolt 4 port, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x RJ45 LAN port, 1x 3.5mm audio jack, 1x MicroSD port
  • Features: Alienware Cryo-tech cooling, optional mechanical keyboard, RGB lighting, 720p webcam, Killer WiFi 6E connectivity
  • Price: Available from $2249, £2150
  • Where to buy: Alienware direct

Pluses

  • The best specs on a gaming laptop
  • A creative and gaming powerhouse
  • Huge screen

Minuses

  • Heavy weight
  • Extremely expensive

4. ASUS TUF Gaming F15: The best budget gaming laptop

"Asus TUF A15 on a grungy background with the words "Power,

Buy the ASUS TUF gaming F15 here

If you’re looking for cheaper thrills, then you can’t go wrong with the ASUS TUF Gaming F15, as it’s one of the best budget gaming laptops that money can buy, thanks to its build quality, and the power that it also offers at an excellent pricepoint. Sporting an interesting design, alongside heaps of cooling for all of your components, this might not be the most cutting-edge laptop on this list, but it’s certainly one of the best if you’re looking for an option that will still perform well in modern titles and won’t break the bank.

There are a number of configurations available on Intel’s 11th-gen platform, alongside a GPU from the RTX 3050 to 3060, which will come with all of the bells and whistles that you would come to expect like DLSS and more, it also comes with a Thunderbolt 4 port, which is very welcome at this pricepoint, as you could potentially hook it up to an eGPU as it ages to eke out some more performance.  This model is often on sale, especially if you’re shopping for a last-gen model as we recommend, so be sure to keep your eyes open for a bargain during events like Prime Day.

  • Read more: The best gaming keyboard in 2022

Key Specs:

  • Processor: Intel i5-11400H, i7-11800H, i9-11900H
  • GPU: RTX 3050, 3050 Ti or RTX 3060
  • RAM: up to 16GB DDR4-3200Mhz
  • Screen size: 15.6-inches
  • Screen resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz, 240Hz
  • Storage: 512GB, 1TB M.2 NVMe (PCIe 3.0)
  • Operating system: Windows 10, Windows 11 (via free upgrade)
  • Connectivity: 3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with DisplayPort, 1x Thunderbolt 4 port, 1x 3.5mm audio jack, 1x RJ45 LAN port
  • Features: Clean design, 100% sRGB on 240Hz model, DTS X audio, fast charging, 90Wh battery, WiFi 6
  • Price: Available from $1300, £1499
  • Where to buy: Amazon US

Pluses

  • Excellent refresh rate on a budget
  • Perfect for running modern games
  • Thunderbolt 4 is very welcome

Minuses

  • Low screen resolution
  • PCIe 3.0 only on older models

5. Acer Nitro 5: The best value gaming laptop

Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop on a green and black background

Buy the Acer Nitro 5

The ASUS Nitro 5 has been a valuable staple of the laptop market for many years, and its most recent iteration is no different, sporting modern components in a tried and tested chassis that feels good to use while also managing to be one of the cheapest gaming laptops you can buy. In fact, we don’t recommend getting anything lesser than the Acer Nitro 5, as then you venture into very murky territory when it comes to cheaper gaming laptops. With the Nitro 5, you’re always going to be getting decent components, with adequate cooling and features.

We’re going to recommend the previous-generation iteration of the Nitro 5, which features parts that still manage to not break the all-important $1000 mark.

  • Read more: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless review: The king of gaming headsets?

Key Specs

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5600H
  • GPU: RTX 3060
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Screen size: 15.6-inches
  • Screen resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe
  • Operating system: Windows 11
  • Connectivity: 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 , HDMI 2.0, 1x 3.5mm audio jack, 1x RJ45 LAN port
  • Features: Webcam, WiFi 6, RGB lighting, 4-cell battery
  • Price: $999, £999
  • Where to buy: Acer direct

Pluses

  • Extremely competitive price
  • 144Hz is a nice addition

Minuses

  • 8GB RAM may be an issue for some modern titles
  • Limited connectivity options

Gaming laptop brands: Razer, Asus, MSI, Acer, Lenovo

There are a lot of gaming laptop brands out there, so we’re going to focus in on the ones that you out to pay attention to, namely Razer, Asus, Dell, MSI and Lenovo. These are some of the most trusted brands in the industry, so you’re not going to run into many issues when picking out a gaming laptop with any of them at all. But, their product stacks can be hard to understand, so we’ve made a handy list of all of the ones that you need to keep an eye on.

  • Read more: PowerA Fusion Pro 2 controller review: Wired winner or weird wonkiness?

The best Razer gaming laptops

Razer has made a lot of gaming laptops over the years, and their flagship line of Blade laptops are some of the best in the business, all you need to know is what kind of size and performance you are shooting for. The 17-inch model will have better thermals than the 14-inch model just by the virtue of being able to dissipate more heat, but it comes at the cost of portability.

  • Best premium Razer gaming laptop: Razer Blade 17 (Amazon US)
  • Best all-round Razer gaming laptop: Razer Blade 14 (Amazon US)
  • The budget Razer laptop: Razer Book (Amazon US)

The best Asus gaming laptops

Asus is a major player in the gaming laptops industry, and they have oodles of options split between their premium ROG line, and slightly more budget TUF series of gaming laptops. But, there are excellent choices between both of them, from the Zephyrus in its various sizes, to the Duo and even more premium options. But, we’ve summarized our top picks below.

  • Best premium Asus gaming laptop: ROG Strix Scar 17 (Amazon US)
  • Best all-round Asus gaming laptop: ROG Zephyrus G15 (Amazon US)
  • Best budget Asus gaming laptop: TUF Gaming F15 (Amazon US)

The best MSI gaming laptops

MSI is also a veteran PC gaming brand with a good reputation in the tech industry, so you can be assured that whatever you choose, you’ll be getting a great gaming laptop that will last you years without having to resort to something that compromises in quality in any way. Their naming schemes can be a bit funky, so we’ve listed our top recommendations below for the best MSI gaming laptops.

  • Best premium MSI gaming laptop: Raider GE76 – 12U (Amazon US)
  • Best all-round MSI gaming laptop: Stealth GS77- 12U (Amazon US)
  • Best budget MSI gaming laptop: Katana GF76 (Amazon US)

The best Acer gaming laptops

Acer has been making laptops ever since laptops became a thing, so you can rest assured that whatever you choose to buy is going to be of considerably good quality, and built to last. They offer some of the most durable gaming laptops in the industry, while also undercutting most of their competition. Coming in with several different lines of laptop, you can expect power, performance and good reliability out of all of them.

  • Best premium Acer gaming laptop: Predator Triton 500 SE (Amazon US)
  • Best all-round Acer gaming laptop: Predator Helios 300 (Amazon US)
  • Best budget Acer gaming laptop: Acer Nitro 5 (Acer direct)

The best Lenovo gaming laptops

Lenovo is most well-known for its office laptops, and their extreme rigidity and the same philosophies have carried over to their gaming laptops, which come in a variety of different flavours and price points. But, with so many options for Lenovo, it can be difficult to see which of their systems actually manage to perform well in gaming scenarios, but worry not, we’ve got you covered.

  • Best premium Lenovo gaming laptop:  Legion 7i 15 (Amazon US)
  • Best all-round Lenovo gaming laptop: Legion 5i 15 (Amazon US)
  • Best budget Lenovo gaming laptop: Legion 5i 17 (Amazon US)

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