These days, the best gaming laptops are now closing the performance gap between them and the best gaming PCs. Thanks to the latest mobile versions of cutting-edge internals that are smaller than ever, gaming laptops are now capable of giving you an edge over your rival players and even help you get to the top of the scoreboards.
With their Intel Coffee Lake Refresh processors and Nvidia Turing or AMD Navi graphics cards, as well as their speedy SSDs for maximum performance, there’s no PC game that the best gaming laptops can’t handle. And, many do it without compromising their more svelte design. The best gaming laptops, therefore, are the only way to go if you’re looking for an immersive-yet-portable gaming experience.
We gathered the best gaming laptops 2020 has to offer, all of which tested and reviewed ourselves. Whether you’re a casual gamer who plays in your spare time or a competitive pro who needs the most powerful internals, there’s no better investment.
Best gaming laptops 2020 at a glance
- Asus Zephyrus G14
- Alienware Area-51m
- Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
- MSI GS65 Stealth
- Razer Blade
- Lenovo Legion Y740
- Gigabyte Aorus 17G
- Alienware m17 (2019)
- Asus ROG Strix GL502
- Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GX
Best gaming laptops 2020
1. Asus 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
Best battery life in a gaming laptop
Thin and light
Fans can get loud
The Asus 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 Zephyrus G14
2. 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
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 2020 – 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
3. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
Power and beauty
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 – GeForce GTX 2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) | RAM: 8GB – 24GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 144Hz panel with G-Sync
Tons of performance
These days, the best gaming laptop manufacturers are scrambling to craft the thinnest gaming laptop packing raw power. Right now, the one that might be leading the charge is the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX701. At just 0.7 inches thick, this beast of a laptop boasts an Intel Coffee Lake Core i7 chip, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics and 16GB of RAM. That means you can play any PC game under the sun on Ultra, and also take it with you wherever you go – ideal for travelers with a penchant for gaming. Plus, it’s packed with RGB lighting that’ll dazzle just about anyone.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
4. MSI GS65 Stealth
Thin. Beautiful. Powerful.
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM, Max-Q) | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 144Hz panel | Storage: 256GB SSD – Super RAID 4 1TB SSD
Beautiful, subtle design
Underside gets very hot
Play some of the best PC games on the move and very discreetly with the MSI GS65 Stealth, which might just be the gaming laptop of your dreams if you’re a traveler. Coming in at just 0.69 inches thick and packing impressive internals like Intel Coffee Lake processors and Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-series – refreshed with RTX 20-series graphics at CES – the MSI GS65 Stealth packs a punch in its very thing package. There’s nothing you won’t be able to throw at this thing that’ll slow it down. And, thanks to the smart aesthetic, you’ll be able to lug this beefy rig everywhere you go, making it among the best gaming laptops to hit the streets.
Read the full review: MSI GS65 Stealth
5. Razer Blade
The sharpest Blade yet
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H – Intel Core i7-9750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR6 VRAM) – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 144Hz – OLED 4K (3,840 x 2,160) Touch 60Hz | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
For several years now, the Razer Blade has constantly been named one of the best gaming laptops on the market. For good reason, since it rocks some powerful components and boasts a stunning display in its elegant chassis. That’s true for the 2019 model as well, which now rocks up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080. That is, frankly, a ton of power for a laptop with this thin. If that’s not enough graphics power for you, you can use the Razer Core for future expansion. Make no mistake: it is pricey; but it might be worth it if style and power are equally important to you.
Read the full review: Razer Blade
6. Lenovo Legion Y740
Style and muscle in one
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB GDDR6 VRAM) – RTX 2070 (Max-Q 8GB) | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) Nvidia G-Sync 144 Hz | Storage: 256GB SSD – 256GB SSD+1TB HDD
Powerful internal components
New Nvidia discrete graphics
144Hz refresh rate
Poor battery life
The Lenovo Legion Y740 packs a lot of muscles inside its stylish yet accessible chassis, combining a very high refresh rate, Nvidia Turing graphics and a powerful processor with a gloriously effective thermal cooling, a nifty cable management system and a number of applications to make it truly yours. It’s as close to a complete package as you can get, wrapped in a beautiful chassis that you’d be proud to show off to friends and strangers. It still has the remnants of that gaming aesthetic, but it’s made classy so that you could be gaming in public without anyone knowing. Despite its shortcomings – unfortunate keyboard and webcam placement, as well as its subpar battery life – it’s still one of the best gaming laptops to date.
Read the full review: Lenovo Legion Y740
7. 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
Top-shelf build quality
Fast and color accurate display
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
8. Alienware m17 (2019)
Has Alienware made another stylish winner?
CPU: 9th Generation Intel Core i5 – i9 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 17.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz – 17.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz Eyesafe Display Tech + Tobii Eyetracking | Storage: 256GB SSD – 4TB SSD RAID 0
Thin and light
Only 1080p screen
Short battery life
Dell has reinvented its flagship gaming brand. The Alienware m17 (2019) touts more powerful internals and a bold new design you won’t see on any other gaming laptop of its caliber. This Alienware gaming laptop looks good inside and out, so you can have the most immersive gaming experience of your life and look good while gaming, whether you’re at home on your couch or at a cafe. That’s not all; it’s impressively portable as well, with a thin and light chassis that’s ideal for gaming on the go. This is a well-rounded gaming laptop that is worth every penny you spend on it, though you will be spending a hefty amount.
Read the full review: Alienware m17 (2019)
9. Asus ROG Strix GL502
It’s hard not to love a gaming laptop this good
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – 1070 | RAM: up to 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch full HD 1,920 x 1,080 IPS | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD
Rocks Full HD gaming
Deliciously vibrant screen
Middling battery life
It may not have the most original or innovative design, trading in the usual black and red aesthetic for one that makes you feel like its Halloween all year round (no complaints here, but some might find it particularly unattractive). Yet, Asus ROG Strix GL502 is still one of the best laptops when it comes to gaming in 1080p. In fact, during our tests, we were able to crank the settings all the way up in Overwatch without ever dipping below 60fps. It doesn’t offer the longest battery life, but there’s an easy fix – just have your charger on hand at all times. Rounding it all out are the display, power and onboard sound system, all of which more than make up for that middling battery life.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix GL502
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Alienware 17 R5
10. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GX
A 15-inch powerhouse
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 (Max-Q) | RAM: Up to 24GB | Screen: 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS, 144Hz | Storage: 1TB SSD – 512GB/1TB SSD
Screen isn’t HDR
Thin like an Ultrabook, yet powerful like a gaming laptop should, and with a very effective cooling system to boot, the Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX is one of the best gaming laptops we’ve gotten our hands on in 2020. It packs an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 backed by Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics and up to 24GB RAM, which means that this beast should take you a long way in gaming, whether you’re a casual gamer or a pro. We’re massive fans, though probably not of that price tag. This pricey powerhouse is not for the shallow-pocketed, but with premium components come a premium price. Only invest if you’ve got the tenders.
Read the full review: Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
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 2020 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.
Gabe Carey, Bill Thomas and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article