Best gaming laptops in 2024 — March top picks

These days the best gaming laptops are powerful enough to play the latest and greatest games nearly as well as a beefy gaming PC, yet they're portable enough to slip into a backpack.

With so many choices, picking the best gaming laptop for your needs can be tricky. It can be especially stressful during the holiday shopping season because these powerful laptops are typically expensive, so finding the best deal on the right one for your needs means more than ever.

While gaming laptops have a reputation for being big, loud and heavy, these days you can get thin-and-light gaming laptops from the likes of Alienware, Asus and Razor that blend in during a meeting yet pack enough power to play through a few levels of Doom Eternal or Valorant when you're done with work. 

Of course, you can still get a massive 18-inch beast of a machine if you want to now that those big-ass laptops are back in style, and it will be powerful enough to rival the best gaming PCs on the market—but it will also be heavy and loud enough that you'll want to keep it on your desk most of the time.

Whatever you're looking for, we've got a great recommendation for you. We've tested and reviewed dozens and dozens of gaming laptops from the top manufacturers, and we use that research and expertise to maintain this regularly-updated list of the best gaming laptops on the market!

Written by
Alex Wawro
Written by
Alex Wawro

Alex Wawro is a lifelong journalist who's spent over a decade covering tech, games and entertainment. He oversees the computing department at Tom's Guide, which includes managing laptop coverage and reviewing many himself every year. 

The quick list

In a hurry? Here's a brief overview of the gaming laptops on this list, along with quick links that let you jump down the page directly to a review of whichever laptop catches your eye.

The best gaming laptops you can buy today

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The best gaming laptop overall

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review on a desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The gaming laptop to beat

Specifications

Display: 14-inch (2560 x 1600) mini-LED
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 laptop GPU
RAM: 32 GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Weight: 3.79 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Bright, vibrant 120Hz display
+
Compact, elegant chassis
+
Comfy keyboard
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
720p webcam is bad
-
Gaming performance is good but not great compared to similarly-priced competitors

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2023) is a great gaming laptop, delivering a potent blend of performance, portability and power efficiency. 

We've long been fans of the Zephyrus G14 because it has the chops to run most games at solid framerates, the efficiency to be used as a work laptop in a pinch, and a slim, compact chassis that's more portable than most gaming laptops. 

The 2023 model is the first we've reviewed with a mini-LED display, and it looks great. Factor in the good speakers and an AMD CPU/GPU combo that delivers solid gaming performance (as well as a solid 1080p webcam) and you've got a potent gaming ultraportable.

While it can't match the outlandish 11-hour battery life of its predecessors, the brighter screen is worth it. And while the webcam is nothing to get excited about, at least now the other folks on your Zoom calls will get to see your face.

Read our full Asus ROG Zephryus G14 (2023) review

Considering an older model? They're still great; read our full Asus ROG Zephryus G14 (2022) review to see why.

The best budget gaming laptop

MSI Cyborg 15

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best budget gaming laptop

Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch 144Hz FHD (1920 x 1080)
CPU: Intel Core i7-13620H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB
Weight: 4.37 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable price
+
Cyberpunk-inspired design
+
Great keyboard
+
Solid gaming performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Grainy 720p webcam
-
Middling display
-
Runs hot while gaming

The MSI Cyborg 15 ($999) is a cyberpunk-inspired gaming laptop that won’t destroy your wallet. Packing a 13th Gen Intel Core CPU and an Nvidia RTX 4050 GPU, this laptop delivers solid gaming performance for $1,000. Toss in a 144Hz 15.6-inch display and you have a machine that’s a great entry into the world of PC gaming.

The laptop has a cool design, great performance and costs less than $1,000. The display could be brighter and a bit more colorful, but the 144Hz refresh rate is welcome. And while its battery life isn’t great, the Cyborg 15 also doubles as a good productivity device, so long as you keep it plugged in.

Read our full MSI Cyborg 15 review.

The best big-screen gaming laptop

Alienware m18 review unit on desk running Doom Eternal

(Image credit: Future)
The best big-screen gaming laptop

Specifications

Display: 18-inch QHD+ 165Hz
CPU: Intel Core i9-13980HX
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Dimensions: 16.1 x 12.6 x 1.05 inches
Weight: 8.5 - 8.9 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Great gaming performance
+
Satisfying CherryMX keyboard
+
Speakers get nice and loud
+
Big screen great for work/gaming

Reasons to avoid

-
Bigger and heavier than nearly every other laptop
-
Awkward port placement

The Alienware m18 is the biggest, most powerful gaming laptop we've tested to date. It's too heavy, hot and loud to be of much use on the go, but when plugged in it runs the latest games as well as some of the best gaming PCs, truly earning the term desktop replacement.

It's the heaviest 18-inch gaming laptop we've yet tested, but our review unit outperformed just about every laptop on this list, including the 18-inch Blade 18 a few spots down. The low-profile CherryMX mechanical keys are also a delight to type on, and the speakers and screen are good enough for gaming. The port placement is a little odd (why put a single USB-C port on the right-hand side, right up near the front?) and the heat this thing kicks off is truly scorching when it gets going, but if power is all you care about (and price is no object) this is the biggest, best gaming laptop to buy.

Read our full Alienware m18 review.

The best thin-and-light gaming laptop

Alienware x14 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)
The thinnest gaming laptop around

Specifications

Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 144Hz
CPU: Intel Core i7-12900HK
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 2TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD
Weight: 4.1 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Great 14-inch display
+
Slick, futuristic design
+
Impressive performance for size

Reasons to avoid

-
1080p display can't be upgraded
-
Middling performance vs bigger gaming laptops

The Alienware x14 is a gaming laptop we’ve looked forward to reviewing ever since our brief hands-on time with it back in January 2022. At just 0.6 inches thin it's the thinnest laptop on this list, and thanks to its 12th gen Intel Alder Lake processor and Nvidia RTX 30 series GPU the Alienware x14 is a proper gaming laptop capable of running modern titles. Thanks to a few innovations like vapor chamber cooling and Smart Fan control technology, this laptop is capable of achieving high performance while remaining relatively cool.

While the x14 isn’t as impressive as a big, beefy gaming laptop like the Alienware m18 in terms of screen size and performance, its comparatively lower price will make it accessible to more folks. If you're all about gaming on the go and prize portability over power, the Alienware x14 is a great choice.

Read our full Alienware x14 review.

The best Samsung gaming laptop

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best Samsung gaming laptop

Specifications

Display: 16-inch 3K (2,880 x 1,800) Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 16:10, 120Hz
CPU: Intel Core i7-13700H | Intel Core i9-13900H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 | Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
RAM: 16GB | 32GB
Storage: 512GB | 1TB
Dimensions: 13.9 x 9.8 x 0.6 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous 16-inch AMOLED display
+
Thin, lightweight design
+
Powerful productivity and gaming performance
+
Roomy keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Samsung features might be superfluous for some users

The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is a powerful laptop that’s capable of handling everyday computing tasks, video editing and high-end gaming. In addition to its impressive performance, this notebook also packs a gorgeous OLED display that makes viewing content and playing games a pure joy. On its own, it’s a fantastic Windows 11 laptop.

But like the Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360, you won’t be able to make use of features like Samsung Multi Control if you don’t own the latest iterations of the company’s smartphones. The number of pre-installed Samsung apps is effectively bloatware for those not invested in the company’s ecosystem. As I said, this is a great Windows laptop. But some of its appeal is lost when you remove its interoperability with Samsung devices.

The biggest rival to the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is the MacBook Pro 16-inch. Samsung’s laptop is remarkably lighter, has a full-size USB port and offers a more colorful (albeit dimmer) OLED display. Plus, the Book 3 Ultra is a better choice for gamers due to its Nvidia GTX 4050 GPU and Windows ecosystem. However, the MacBook Pro offers much longer battery life and has better performance for video editing.

Overall, the Book 3 Ultra isn’t a MacBook Pro killer per se, but it is a killer 16-inch Windows laptop and is deserving of the Ultra name.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra review.

The best Lenovo gaming laptop

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8

(Image credit: Future)
Best Lenovo gaming laptop

Specifications

Display: 16-inch, 1440p, 240Hz, IPS
CPU: Intel Core i9-13900HX
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 | Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
RAM: 16GB | 32GB
Storage: 512GB | 1TB
Dimensions: 14.3 x 10.3 x 1 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous display
+
Sleek, utilitarian design
+
Plenty of I/O (and nice placement)
+
Impressive thermal management
+
Decent RTX 4070 power

Reasons to avoid

-
Inconsistent frame rate performance
-
Webcam = potato
-
Fans can get quite loud
-
Underwhelming battery life

The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is one of my favorite gaming laptops, and easily one of the best you can buy right now — offering a three-punch combination of impressive mid-range performance, a vivid display and a premium, durable frame, which is all available with impressive value for money.

That's not to say it's perfect — the battery life is underwhelming, the webcam isn't great and the fans can whir up a storm. But with a keyboard that is a joy to type on (unsurprisingly, given it's Lenovo), the combination of Intel Core i9 CPU and RTX 4070, and a ton of I/O, this is a performant laptop for work by day, and a beasty gaming system by night. 

Read our full Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (2023) review.

The best OLED gaming laptop

Razer Blade 15 (2022) on desk

(Image credit: Razer)
The best OLED gaming laptop

Specifications

Display: 15.6-inches, up to 4K, up to 360 Hz
CPU: Up to Intel Core i9-12900H
GPU: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
RAM: Up to 32 GB
Storage: Up to 1 TB SSD
Dimensions: 14.0 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 4.4 – 4.6 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Good gaming performance
+
Sleek design
+
Plenty of ports
+
Lots of configuration options

Reasons to avoid

-
Frustrating keyboard and touchpad
-
Runs hot while gaming

The Razer Blade 15 is consistently a solid gaming laptop that's expensive, runs hot, and doesn't last long on battery power. However, if you care about having an OLED display, the Blade 15 is one of the few great gaming laptops that's consistently available with an OLED display option.

Like its predecessors, the Razer Blade 15 (2022) is a thin, lightweight gaming laptop with a stylish design and powerful components.The keyboard and touchpad leave a lot to be desired, and it can get quite toasty when gaming. Don't expect more than an hour of game time on battery power, either.

Read our full Razer Blade 15 (2022) review.

The best stylish gaming laptop

Alienware x14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best stylish gaming laptop

Specifications

Display: 16-inch (2,560 x 1,600) 165Hz
CPU: 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13620H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB
Weight: 6 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Stellar gaming performance
+
Large display great for gaming/work
+
Snappy CherryMX keyboard
+
Loud, punchy speakers

Reasons to avoid

-
Display could be brighter, more colorful
-
Awkward headphone jack placement
-
Runs very hot when gaming

The Alienware x16 (starting at $1,999) is both stylish and powerful. Thanks to the company’s Legend 3.0 design language, this is one of the thinnest gaming laptops you’ll find — comparable to Razer’s own notebooks in that respect. While the Alienware x16 is recognizably a gaming laptop, it also wouldn’t look out of place at your office or favorite cafe due to its subdued design.

This laptop isn’t just for show as it packs the latest Intel CPU and Nvidia RTX 40 series laptop GPU — giving it plenty of power to run graphically-demanding games. On top of that, the crisp 16-inch 2K display and smooth 240Hz refresh rate ensure your games look as good as they play. Although the price is high — and so are the temperatures when gaming — the Alienware x16 has earned its place on this list

Read our full Alienware x16 (2023) review

The best for DIYers

The best 17-inch gaming laptop