T3's best gaming laptop guide for 2020 has been designed to make discovering and selecting a great system for playing PC games incredibly easy, whatever your budget or intended usage scenario.
As well as telling you all the key specs and features you need to know about, this guide also presents the very best gaming laptop deals on the market right now, meaning that you can pick up the best systems at the lowest prices going.
Here at T3 we've got years and years of experience building gaming PCs and playing PC games, so we know exactly what it takes for a gaming laptop to stand out.
As such, whether you're looking for a premium, top-end model capable of real-time ray tracing, or you're interested in a great all-rounder with a more affordable price tag, T3 can direct you towards the best gaming laptops in the UK, the US and Australia .
- Best laptops
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- Best 2-in-1 laptops
- Best ultraportable laptops
- Best graphics cards
- Gaming laptop news
The best gaming laptops available today
1. Best gaming laptop for most people: HP OMEN 15
This is the most popular system in our gaming laptop guide
Reasons to buy
HP might be more often associated with offices and meeting rooms than gaming, but don't let the brand name put you off the Omen 15 – this is undoubtedly one of the best gaming laptops on the market right now, from the polished and bold design to the powerful specs under the hood. It is also the most popular system in our gaming laptop guide.
While the entry level Omen 15 comes with a GTX 1660 (which is still a great GPU), you've got the option of a real-time ray tracing capable Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB GDDR6) graphics chip. Throw in 9th-gen Intel Core processors and up to 32GB of RAM and modern AAA games just get crushed, running perfectly.
What's so great about the Omen 15, though, is that HP delivers some really impressive chassis cooling: large fan blades, three fan speed levels, and fluid dynamic bearing help to keep heat as well as noise down. The laptop comes with a spacious 15.6-inch, Full HD screen as well, as well a full copy of Windows 10 Home 64.
For us, this partnering of impressive gaming hardware, great build-quality, mature aesthetic and attractive, mid-range price point, make the HP Omen 15 the best gaming laptop on the market today for most people.
2. Best premium gaming laptop: Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
The best gaming laptop in the world if money is no object
Reasons to buy
As we confidently stated in our full Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 review this gaming laptop is loaded with a suite of state-of-the-art gaming hardware, boasts an incredibly premium build quality, and packs an innovative and portable design, too. Simply put, it is the best gaming laptop in the world.
The GX701's Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 is simply insane, both in terms of raw graphics processing power and in terms of features, with the Max-Q card allowing you to turn on next-level graphics options such as real-time Ray Tracing, the latter making lighting in games even more realistic and lifelike.
This GPU combined with a rapid 8th generation Intel CPU, buckets of fast RAM, and lots of capacious and fast drive storage make playing any PC game today a zero-compromise joy, while the mature and stylish finish and dense, premium build quality means the system looks perfectly at home in the office as well.
The only obvious stumbling block with the GX701 is its incredibly high price point, but if you can afford it and are looking for a hyper-premium new gaming laptop, then this is without doubt a fantastic choice.
3. Best budget gaming laptop: Acer Nitro 5
The best gaming laptop for shoppers on a budget
Reasons to buy
The Acer Nitro 5 is among the lowest-specced systems in our best gaming laptops list, however, that in no way means it isn't capable of delivering a good gaming experience, and we recommend it so highly thanks to its excellent price point.
An Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB on-board means that, while you don't get any flashy new features like ray tracing, you'll still be able to run today's best PC games at decent settings without seeing your framerate plunge to single figures.
While the fact that the system comes with not just an 128GB SSD, but also a 1TB HDD, too, means you have plenty of space for games, movies, music, documents or anything else as well.
The Intel Core i5 and 8GB of RAM on-board means that the system can crunch through any light or medium computing task with ease, too, and a battery capable of delivering 8 hours of run time on a single charge means that you've got genuine portability as well.
A basic but well-thought out gaming laptop available at a very low price point.
4. MSI GS75 Stealth 8SG
A fierce competitor for the best gaming laptop throne
Reasons to buy
MSI really aims for its rivals' jugulars here with the GS75 Stealth 8SG, with the compact and unassuming system very much a wolf in sheep's clothing.
A fantastically powerful Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design GPU begins the assault, which enables today's most graphically demanding games like Metro Exodus to be played as they should, and with the latest graphical hotness, ray tracing, very much enabled. In terms of pixel-pushing power, the GS75 Stealth has it to spare.
A rapid 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H along with a stonking 32GB of DDR4 RAM back the GPU up in terms of processing power, while the machine's wide-screen 17.3" FHD display delivers buttery smooth, tear-free visuals thanks to a high 144Hz refresh rate. And that's saying nothing of the display's delightful 4-sided thin bezel design, which grants the Stealth 8SG a very on-trend aesthetic.
Throw in buckets of storage thanks to a maximum of 3 M.2 SSDs, a responsive and clean SteelSeries-designed keyboard, a horizontally spacious trackpad and MSI's Cooler Boost Trinity+ cooling system, and you're left with a system that for PC gamers demanding big portable gaming performance, leaves very little to be desired.
5. Dell G7 17
The best gaming laptop for RTX power at a modest price point
Reasons to buy
The Dell G7 17 is a fantastic gaming laptop choice for those who are, one, shopping on a budget and, two, who need a system that they can use for non-gaming computing tasks on the go, too.
The price tag gets you a sleek, mature chassis design housing enough power to tackle your everyday requirements, as well as comfortably run most AAA games on the market today, and with RTX-powered ray tracing, too.
Indeed, you just can't argue with a 9th-generation Core i7 CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 and 8GB RAM combo at this price point, and the 256GB SSD and large 17.3-inch FHD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution screen seems perfectly judged for the spec, too.
Dell market's this laptop under the slogan "Slim, but savage", and we think that for once the marketing is very accurate. The best price on this system at the time of writing is directly though Dell's official store, where you can also double the system's RAM up to 16GB if you desire for just £100 more.
A great all-rounder gaming laptop at a very competitive price point.
6. Acer Predator Triton 500
A superb sweet spot for portability and performance versus price
Reasons to buy
Along with the Dell G7 17 listed directly above, if you want to jump onto the RTX bandwagon, so you can bask in the goodness that is real time ray tracing, but don't have super serious money to spend, then the Acer Predator Triton 500 is a great sweet spot.
The model tested by T3 packed in a strong Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB SSD. And right now that model is retailing on Amazon for a very approachable £1,799/ $1,924/ AU$2,598.
However, if you are prepared to take a step down in the CPU and RAM department, in the UK the line actually starts with a Core i5, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD model that rings in for only £1,499. That’s a powerful RTX gaming laptop for under £1,500 /$1,500 /AU$2,500.
And with the Triton 500's gamer-calibrated screen, with the panel delivering 144Hz and an anti-ghosting approved 3ms response time, AAA gaming and much more is very much delivered as it should be. The three-sided thin-bezel design, while not quite as expansive as the four-sided beauty of the MSI GS75 Stealth, still looks modern too, while the system's overall understated finish make it a genuine work and play option.
The best upper-mid-range gaming laptop on the market today.
7. Razer Blade Pro 17
Supreme gaming laptop power in a hyper premium chassis
Reasons to buy
It's impossible to argue that the Razer Blade Pro 17 isn't one of the best laptops in the world: it's hugely powerful under the hood, and outwardly classy, bringing Razer's highest-end portable computer into line with the design of the rest of the Blade family. The company has shaved excess size off the edges, packed a colourful and bright 17" 144Hz panel into a lid with minimal bezels, and built a strong chassis with a vapour cooling system that does an impressive job of keeping its dialed-up internals in perfect operating order.
The combination of Nvidia RTX 2080 and 9th-gen Core i7 CPU make great bedfellows, helping the Blade Pro top even the benchmark results of the Asus Zephyrus GX701, and while you might find it lacking in certain hardware departments (though its 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD aren't exactly stingy) you can open it up and upgrade its internals to your liking. Whether you'll want to, though, after shelling out over three grand for this ultra-premium package? That's the question.
Extra points for the Blade Pro's connectivity options, too, given its 802.11ax-compatible Wi-fi chipset and 2.5 gigabit Ethernet, as well as the option of both HDMI 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3 expansion on board. You won't be disappointed, except perhaps by your bank balance after buying it.
8. Lenovo Legion Y740
Welcome to the high-end. A gaming powerhouse that's not messing around
Reasons to buy
Lenovo's latest gaming laptop variant, the Legion Y740, is simply a powerhouse. With some impressive muscle in the GPU department (a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 no less), its ready to run all your favourite PC games at ultra with barely a hiccup in sight. That lovely 15.6-inch screen is Full HD and comes with an 144Hz Nvidia G-Sync so your games will look incredible, wherever you're playing.
The only real area where the Legion Y740 struggles is battery life, with its Intel Core i7-8750H and that beefy GPU chugging away, the laptop does struggle to keep going for long enough. It's still very much a portable gaming machine, just make sure you've packed a power cable if you're playing away from home.
Lastly, it would be amiss of us not to mention the quality of the Y740's build quality — the chassis just feels wonderfully premium and dense in the hand. Meanwhile, the RGB backlit keyboard feels fantastic under the fingertips, be that while gaming or typing.
9. Acer Predator Helios 300
The best gaming laptop for under £1,000 /$1,000 /AU$2,000
Reasons to buy
One of the benefits of gaming on the go in 2020 is the fact powerful components are now far more affordable, leading to new models with entry-level price tags that can run almost any game from your Steam library (and beyond).
Here, with the Acer Predator Herlios 300, you're getting a beefy Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and a lovely 15.6-inch FHD display to keep your PC gaming hunger sated, but you'll likely need to tinker with its settings in order to stop it from overclocking itself and burning a hole in your desk.
The fact this is only £1,000 /$1,000 /AU$2,000 still blows our minds, and cements its position in our best gaming laptop 2020 guide. It's especially worth a look if you're hoping to get a lot of bang for your buck.
10. Alienware m15
From the iconic brand comes one of their best gaming laptops yet
Reasons to buy
There's something about Alienware that says gaming; you know the true purpose of the machine is to crank the resolution up as high as possible and watch as the FPS doesn't drop an inch.
The current Alienware lineup – the m13, m15, and m17 – showcase this philosophy perfectly. Our preference has to be the middle option, however, as it balances having a big screen without also having a laptop that's essentially a desktop.
From the huge array of ports – from Ethernet to Thunderbolt to HDMI – to the customisable keyboard and controls, this laptop has you covered, and then some. The cooling system has been specially designed to deal with the most demanding tasks, too, ensuring you get every ounce of performance you need. It really doesn't get much better.
How to choose the best gaming laptop for you
What you're looking for in the best gaming laptop of 2020 is the capability to run the most demanding games of the day – graphically intensive games, throwing up all sorts of shading and effects on screen – without having to make a ton of settings compromises along the way.
Bad gaming laptops advertise themselves on their gaming credentials, but then deliver vastly inferior performance to their desktop counterparts, so its absolutely crucial that you avoid these clunkers.
High-resolution screens are a nice added bonus on a gaming laptop as well, but it's important to keep in mind that high frame rates are far more important when gaming on the go – so it's pretty pointless plumping for a laptop with a 4K screen if it doesn't have the interior hardware to power games on it.
Case in point: for us the best gaming laptop in 2020 is the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701, which doesn't have a 4K screen – but it does have a very high quality, Full HD one and this in partnership with stonkingly fast internals makes for a superb portable gaming experience (and one that's considerably more future-proof too)
Other things to look out for when buying a gaming laptop include weight and portability (after all you are buying this to carry around), battery life (a perennial problem with gaming laptops), and price.
Here at T3 we think you should be spending a minimum of £800 (about $1,045, AU$1,500) on a gaming laptop to ensure a good level of performance. If you can stretch to £2,000 /$2,000 /AU$3,500 or more, that will net you something from the premium end of the scale. There are some hyper-premium systems that retail for over £3,000 /$3000 /AU$4,5000 and, well, if you can spend that money then that is the price tier where you will get the absolute best tech and future proofing.
Gaming laptop news
1 April, 2020 — Asus's hot new ROG Zephyrus G14 gaming notebook looks, from the first reviews coming out, to be a game-changer. The ultraportable gaming system comes loaded with an 8-core AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS CPU, a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, 32GB of DDR4 SDRAM, and a 120Hz 14-inch display.
Externally the G14 looks a bit special, too, with a striking dot matrix design on the lid created through precision CNC milling. Underneath this dot matrix lattice are 1,215 mini-LEDs that generate the machine's AniMe Matrix display (this allows external lighting, animation and audio to be displayed on the lid).
Other aspects of the G14 of note are its battery life, which is rated as good for 10.7 hours of video playback and 9.5 hours of web browsing on a single charge. The system's screen also boasts a 85% screen-to-body ratio, which is great for those who hate bezels, and the G14 also delivers Microsoft One Touch login functionality, a keyboard with N-Key rollover and fast-actuating switches.
Audio is comes courtesy of a Dolby Atmos virtual 5.1.2-channel surround sound system, which powers audio out with a quad-speaker array. Lastly, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is also WiFi 6 certified.
To us here at T3 we think the G14 looks absolutely fantastic, merging excellent gaming hardware with a super portable and professional notebook. Naturally, we will shortly be reviewing the G14 in full, so be sure to check back in soon for our full verdict.