The 8 Best Gaming Laptops of 2022

Playing the best video games on a laptop just got easier

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Desktop PCs may be the kings of high-end gaming, but they're not very portable. Fortunately, modern gaming laptops have reached a point where they can go toe-to-toe with desktop computers. The best ones offer plenty of power, storage, and connectivity options along with beautiful screens and decent battery life.

If you want a great gaming experience and your budget is quite large, you should probably buy the Razer Blade Pro 17. Its fantastic screen can keep up with the action without a problem, it has high-end hardware for playing all the latest games, and it looks pretty great, too. 

Whether you're looking for the ultimate gaming machine or a scrappy budget option, here are our picks for the best gaming laptops from top brands.

Best Overall: Razer Blade Pro 17

4.7
Razer Blade Pro 17
What We Like
  • Exceptional performance

  • Great display

  • Good cooling system

What We Don't Like
  • No 4K screen on some models

  • Quite heavy

Razer has top status in the gaming laptop market, and it's easy to see why when you use the Razer Blade Pro 17. The highlight is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card, which is what supports video game performance. While many laptops often use an older RTX 20-series graphics card, the RTX 3070 is one of the latest models out there, which means you get faster performance for longer, even when new and more impressive-looking games are released.

While the Blade Pro 17 is slim and relatively portable, it's best used as a desktop replacement, saving you the space required at home for a monitor, tower unit, and accessories. With a fast processor, a significant amount of memory, and plenty of storage, you're guaranteed fast performance whatever you plan on doing.

Screen Size: 17.3 in. | Resolution: 2560x1440 | CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H | GPU: Nvidia RTX 3070 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Touchscreen: No

Tested by Lifewire

During 50 hours of testing, I experienced the Blade Pro 17 as handling everything I threw at it without complaint. It's unmistakable as a gaming laptop with features like keyboard backlighting and the signature Razer logo. But it's also very sleek with features like extra-thin bezels (borders) around the display to provide ample viewing room and a slim build that wouldn't look out of place at the office. When performing testing benchmarks, this device scored consistently high. Whether I played a demanding game such as CyperPunk 2077 or virtual reality (VR) games such as Star Wars: Squadrons, the Blade Pro 17 kept up. It even fared well with photo and video editing and didn't overheat. — Andy Zahn, Product Tester

Razer Blade Pro 17

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

Best Keyboard: Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-54-760S

Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-54-760S

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great keyboard

  • Good value

  • Well-balanced system

What We Don't Like
  • No fingerprint reader

Many gaming laptops scrimp on keyboard quality. That's unfortunate since most interactions with the computer occur through the keyboard, and you can't swap a laptop keyboard for something better. The Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-54-760S bucks this trend with a keyboard that stands out from the competition. It has per-key RGB (red, green, and blue) backlighting for detailed lighting customization and a full number pad, which not all laptops provide.

While it's ideal for extended typing sessions, the Predator Helios 300 is also a fairly capable gaming system. It's VR-ready if you plan on donning a virtual reality headset for more immersive gaming. Plus, its display can keep up with plenty of fast-moving action, thanks to speedy response times that limit the chance of screen blur. The Predator Helios 300 is an ideal multi-purpose laptop that even features a respectable six-hour battery life—something that many gaming laptops struggle with.

Screen Size: 13.3 in. | Resolution: 1920x1080 | CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H | GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Touchscreen: No

Best Lightweight: Razer Blade Stealth 13

4
Razer Blade Stealth 13

Amazon

What We Like
  • Aluminum body

  • Excellent battery life

  • 4K touchscreen display available

What We Don't Like
  • Storage could be better

  • Cramped keyboard

Gaming laptops are frequently bulky and only slightly more portable than desktop PCs, which means if you want something really portable, you've got to compromise on power. However, with the Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2022), you get enough computing power for a decent gaming experience in a shockingly thin and relatively light design.

The Stealth 13 offers a lot of desirable features in a small package, including a high refresh rate 13.1-inch display (meaning the display refreshes quickly and looks smoother) and a high-performance processor. You also get plenty of RAM (computer memory) and a reasonably sizeable solid state drive (SSD) for storage. One potential downside is the price; you've got to pay a considerable premium for this kind of ultra-portable power.

Screen Size: 13.3 in. | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7 | GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 TI Max-Q | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Touchscreen: No

Tested by Lifewire

I tested the Razer Blade Stealth 13 for over a week and found it to be one of the best-looking laptops in its category. It's pretty slim and light at 0.6 inches and a little over 3 pounds, and the anodized aluminum finish gives it a polished look. The port selection is very generous for a laptop of this size, with various USB options, including Thunderbolt. One drawback to the design is the cramped keyboard, which I found uncomfortable for hours of use. On the other hand, the speakers are great for a laptop this small, and the performance is equally impressive. The Stealth 13 packs in so many features for such a small machine, including a capable graphics card and generous storage and memory. — Jonno Hill, Product Tester

Razer Blade Stealth 13

Lifewire / Jonno Hill

Best Storage: ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 (2022

Amazon

What We Like
  • Plenty of high speed storage

  • Extremely powerful

  • High refresh rate display

What We Don't Like
  • Very expensive

Video games take up a lot of storage on our laptop hard drives. So, having plenty of fast storage in your computer's solid state drive (SSD) is just as important as processing and graphics power. The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 features an impressive two terabytes (TB) of SSD storage, which is plenty of room to store an extensive library of games. This capacity is the most storage you can currently get in a gaming laptop unless you buy from a custom PC builder.

Beyond the impressive storage, the Strix SCAR 17 is an amazing gaming machine with the latest-and-greatest graphics processing unit (GPU), plenty of Random Access Memory (RAM), and a powerful Ryzen 9 processor. Its 17.3-inch display is spacious, and though it offers only 1080p resolution (versus laptops with double the screen resolution and quality), it makes up for that with a very high refresh rate that takes full advantage of all the power packed into this gaming laptop.

Screen Size: 17.3 in. | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX | GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080 | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 2TB SSD | Touchscreen: No

Best Battery Life: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

4.7
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Gaming Laptop

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great battery life

  • USB-C charging

  • Fingerprint reader

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • No 4K screen

While gaming laptops typically don't measure up to their non-gaming peers when it comes to battery life, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 can go all day without a recharge. Boasting a whopping 11 hours of battery life, it's ideal if you don't know for sure if you'll have any outlets handy where you happen to be gaming. It's also nice to have a machine to use around the house without constantly having it tethered with a great big clunky cable.

It's not the most souped-up laptop on this list, but the Zephyrus G14 stands out for its excellent battery life, compact form factor, and relatively decent value.

Screen Size: 14 in. | Resolution: 1920x1080 | CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX | GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Touchscreen: No

Tested by Lifewire

I spent over 40 hours testing and using the Zephyrus G14, and consider it a favorite for a few reasons other than long battery life. It has a sleek build with a lot of ports for connecting other devices and accessories. The 14-inch display is clear and sharp and I noticed it looked great from various viewing angles. The display also has great color accuracy for gaming, but I appreciated it while doing other things like editing photos or web browsing. The speakers are impressive too; while they don't deliver a lot of bass, the quality is high enough for gaming and listening to music without headphones. While this might be a small laptop without a lot of extra features, it's powerful. I noticed that it always starts up in a few seconds, completes tasks quickly, and has a great graphics card that performs well when playing some demanding games. — Andy Zahn, Product Tester

Asus Zephyrus G14

Lifewire / Andy Zahn 

Best Value: ASUS ROG Strix G15

ASUS ROG Strix G15 Gaming Laptop 15.6"

Amazon

What We Like
  • Extremely high refresh rate monitor

  • Well rounded and powerful components

  • Excellent value

What We Don't Like
  • More expensive than the G14

Though it costs more than the ASUS Zephyrus G14 and it has largely the same components, the ASUS ROG Strix G15 is our best value pick.

With the G15 you get a slightly larger 15.6-inch display, and more importantly, a ridiculously high 300Hz refresh rate. That's an impressive stat as many gamers look for at least a 144Hz refresh rate for gaming. While you're paying a few hundred dollars more for the G15 and you're sacrificing some storage space, you're getting a display that exceeds the value of the reduced storage and increased price.

The Strix G15 may not be cheap, but it does provide excellent value for the money.

Screen Size: 15.6 in. | Resolution: 1920x1080 | CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX | GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Touchscreen: No

Best Budget: HP Victus 16.1

HP Victus 16.1 Gaming Laptop

Best Buy

What We Like
  • Modern and reasonably fast components

  • Clean design

  • Affordable price

  • Large display

What We Don't Like
  • Low RAM and storage capacity

  • Unusual screen size

The HP Victus 16.1 is the best you can ask for in a gaming laptop if you want to pay less than $1,000 to play modern video games on all the latest hardware. It features less powerful versions of the processors and graphics cards you find in other laptops featured here. While this may prevent you from maxing out the graphics settings in the most demanding games, it's still good enough to provide an excellent overall gaming experience.

The most significant downsides are that you're stuck with a usable but less-than-ideal 8GB of RAM and a very small 256GB SSD. However, these are the compromises you make to drive that price down. Its 1080p screen is a slightly odd size at 16.1 inches, but that extra space is good for gaming.

Screen Size: 16.1 in. | Resolution: 1920x1080 | CPU: Intel Core i5-11400H | GPU: Nvidia RTX 3050 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Touchscreen: No

Best Splurge: ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17

Amazon

What We Like
  • Buckets of graphical horsepower

  • Lots of storage capacity

  • High refresh rate 4K display

What We Don't Like
  • Mind-boggling price

While it shares many of the specifications with other high-end gaming laptops on this list, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17 has a few things that make it stand out. Chief among them is the eye-watering price tag. The S17 may be the most powerful gaming laptop you can buy right now, but only people with very deep pockets can buy it.

The Zephyrus S17 has several major upgrades over the competition to justify that sky-high price. For one, not many laptops have a top-of-the-line Intel Core i9 processor in them, nor three terabytes of storage. Also, with the S17, you get a high refresh rate display that gives you tons of detail with 4K resolution. And, for a laptop with such impressive capabilities, it doesn't sacrifice much in terms of portability.

This laptop isn't the device most gamers can or should buy, but it's the one all of us want.

Screen Size: 17.3 in. | Resolution: 3840x2160 | CPU: Intel Core i9-11900H | GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080 | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 3TB SSD | Touchscreen: No

Final Verdict

The Razer Blade Pro 17 (view at Amazon) is an exceptional gaming laptop that can replace a desktop. We threw every demanding piece of software at it during testing, and it never even flinched, going so far as to handle intense VR gaming. If money is tighter, something like the HP Victus 16.1 (view at Amazon) is a better option. It's somewhat limited, but it's a better value if you can't afford to go further, and it presents a good middle-ground between performance and cost.

Razer Blade Stealth 13

Lifewire / Jonno Hill

What to Look For in a Gaming Laptop

Video Card

The single most important feature of any gaming laptop is its video graphics card (GPU). If you want to play games, look for a laptop that has an NVIDIA or AMD graphics card. If you want to play a specific game, check its video card specifications and choose a gaming laptop that meets (or exceeds) the recommended specs. If your laptop doesn't at least exceed the minimum requirements, the game will run poorly.

Memory

If you buy a gaming laptop that doesn't have a decent amount of RAM (memory), you're just setting yourself up for disappointment. 16GB is the minimum most gaming laptops need, although 8GB is adequate for a budget gaming laptop if you're willing to play games at lower settings. It's also important that the video card has its own video RAM (VRAM) for storing and displaying images, so check that the GPU offers it.

Asus Zephyrus G14

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

Processor

The central processing unit or processor (CPU) is also an essential consideration in gaming laptops, even if it does take a back seat to the GPU. Most great gaming laptops come with at least an AMD Ryzen or Intel Core i7 processor, but you may be able to get by with less. Just make sure the processor doesn’t clock in below the recommended specifications for your favorite games, or performance will be a lot slower.

FAQ
  • Why is the power adapter for this gaming laptop so big, and can you use a smaller one?

    Gaming laptops use more powerful hardware than the average laptop, which means they use more power. As a result, some of the AC adapters they use can be much larger than what you'd see on other laptops. These adapters can range from 180 to 230W and usually weigh more than 5 pounds, making them a serious consideration if you plan on toting your gaming laptop around with you.

  • What screen size should you get?

    Unlike desktops, the size of your screen will usually dictate the overall size of your gaming laptop. Your preferred size will tie into how portable you want the laptop to be. If you're planning on using your laptop as a desktop replacement, portability is less important, but so is the screen size, as you can hook it up to an external display. However, if you're relying solely on your laptop display and need more screen real estate, you may want to spring for a larger model, providing you don't have to worry about portability.

  • What ports do you actually need?

    While having a greater variety of redundant ports is always preferable, laptops generally have a limited amount of space for extra ports. The bare essentials you want to see on a gaming laptop are a USB-C, USB-A, and an HDMI out port. This selection allows you to connect to an external display, a mouse, or keyboard and also allows you to connect a USB-C hub for added connectivity. You may want to keep an eye out for Ethernet ports for a wired internet connection and a microSD (digital media) card slot, although this will be less important if you can connect to a USB-C hub.

About Our Trusted Experts

Jennifer Allen has been writing about technology since 2010. She specializes in iOS and Apple technology, as well as video games. She's been a regular tech columnist for Paste Magazine, written for Wareable, TechRadar, Mashable, and PC World, as well as more diverse outlets including Playboy and ​Eurogamer.

Andy Zahn is a writer specializing in consumer technology, including gaming laptops. He's reviewed cameras, weather stations, noise-canceling headphones, and more for Lifewire.

Jonno Hill is a writer who covers tech such as computers, gaming equipment, and cameras for Lifewire and publications including AskMen.com and PCMag.com.

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