The best gaming laptops 2024

Perfect gaming machines for every kind of gamer and budget

T3's Expert Recommendations

MSI Raider GE 78 HX

(Image credit: Future)

00. The list in brief ↴
01. Best overall: Alienware M16
02. Best premium: MSI Raider GE78 HX
03. Best value: ROG Zephyrus G14
04. Best work and play : Acer Predator Helios 16
05. Best audio: Asus ROG Strix Scar 16
06. Best bigscreen: Alienware M18
07. Best budget: HP Omen 16
08. Best ultra-budget: Acer Nitro 5
09. Best smooth screen: Razer Blade 15 Advanced
10. How to choose
11. How we test

Gaming laptops are for those who want to absolute best-of-best performance when playing the most graphically intense games, but who also want to be able to take their machine on the go some of the time. They're a step above the best laptops that most people will use for work, or the best lightweight laptops that might be ideal for students.

The biggest AAA games of 2024 (and, frankly, even some titles from the not-so-distant past) often require a choice between performance and fidelity modes, even on the likes of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, but with some of the best gaming laptops you won't have to compromise. Exactly how far up the scale of graphical prowess (and, indeed, price) you wish to go will depend on various factors though.

Some gaming laptops will feature brash, flamboyant designs that scream 'gamer', while others may be a bit more discreet. Whatever your style or budget, we've got you covered with this guide to the machines worthy of your time that will get your favourite games running and looking better than ever. 

T3's Top Picks

The best gaming laptops we recommend in 2024

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best overall

1. Alienware M16

The complete gaming laptop package at a fair price

Specifications

Display size: 16-inch
Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 7845HX
Refresh rate : 240Hz
GPU : Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

Reasons to buy

+
Top tier performance
+
Beautiful 240Hz refresh rate screen
+
Good value for money 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not cheap
-
Poor battery life
Buy it if

✅ You want to play everything: with an Nvidia RTX 4080 GPU and AMD Ryzen 9 processor, you'll have no issues cranking games to their maximum settings.

✅ You need a high frame rate: Many gamers consider playing below 60FPS to be sacrilege, the raw power and 240Hz refresh rate should mean you never have to settle.

✅ You need to move around occasionally: It's certainly not the lightest gaming laptop but compared to a desktop and some larger laptops, it's not a pain moving this laptop from desk to desk.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're going to be away from the charger: battery life for gaming laptops, in general, is pretty poor, but this machine struggles more than most and doesn't charge from USB-C.

❌ Budget is tight: Although a good value proposition, you don't need a £2000+ laptop to play most games well.

You want a big screen: There is a larger screen model available, the Alienware M18, which we are also fans of. 

The bottom line

🔎 The Alienware M16 is an excellent package for the price, an all-around all-star that will be able to play the best games at top specs for the foreseeable. It isn't the cheapest machine on this list but represents a great middle ground of price and performance. ★★★★★

If you want your favourite games to look and run great, better than on even the most powerful consoles of the time, then you'll need a gaming laptop (or PC) and the Alienware M16 should be the best choice for most people. 

Prices vary but the model we reviewed With an AMD Ryzen 9 processor and a mighty Nvidia RTX 4080 GPU showed you'll be able to put pretty much any title on the highest settings and expect a smooth gaming experience.

Design: This is not the lightest machine in the world at 3.26kg, but it's not sufficiently heavy that you'll dread moving it. In terms of looks, although it does sport the Alienware alien head logo, this is a pretty smart looking that wouldn't cause many double-takes when out in public.

Display: The 16-inch QHD screen is a standout of this laptop. It has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and a peak brightness of 450 nits. The refresh rate comes in at 240Hz, not quite as much as the Razer Blade 15 Advanced, but still way above what's needed.

Performance: The model that we reviewed can hold its own against the worst any game dev has to offer. Our reviewer managed to play Doom: Eternal on its most demanding settings at 240FPS, maxing out the screen.  

Battery life: Gaming laptops are not particularly long-lasting machines, they're designed to be taken place to place yes, but then plugged in at each location. The Alienware M16 does still lack in this department, with around 3 hours general use and only about 45 minutes of intense gaming.

Read more: Alienware M16 review

Best premium

MSI Raider GE 78 HXT3 Awards 2024 Winner logos

(Image credit: Future)
The ultimate gaming laptop, money no object

Specifications

Display size: 17-inch
Processor: 13th gen Intel Core i9
Refresh rate: 240Hz
GPU: NVIDIA Geforce RTX 4080

Reasons to buy

+
A beautiful laptop and screen
+
Dreamy performance
+
A joy to use

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive to say the least
-
Not the quietest
Buy it if

✅ You want to feel badass: Wth its liberal use of RGB lighting and gamer-focused keyboard, the MSI Raider is guaranteed to turn heads.

✅ You want to run anything: The RTX 4080 GPU is amongst the leading components on the market right and you'll be granted unparalleled performance and ray tracing.
 
✅ You hate plastic: Many of the best gaming laptops are still made almost entirely of plastic, which is fine but doesn't feel premium. The MSI Raider does still use plastic but it also features a metal encased base and lid, with an excellent build quality.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't have money to burn: At almost £4000, there's absolutely no shame in not wanting to spend so much on a gaming laptop.
 
❌ You're commuting: While changing room in your house shouldn't be a problem, sustained periods carrying this laptop are  uncomfortable especially given the bulk of the charger.,

❌ You don't want to stand out: Just by looking, it's pretty obvious this is no normal laptop. If you don't want the attention or the pressure of having a very expensive piece of tech on you then maybe look elsewhere.

The bottom line

🔎 MSI Raider GE 78 HX The ultimate gaming laptop is super expensive but  I would still recommend it wholeheartedly, and not just because it looks so great. There's a lot of substance to go with the style too.   ★★★★★

I know what you're thinking. The best part of four grand for a laptop? No chance. But hear me out. This is a machine that is extra in all of the best ways. Whether it's the Star-Trek-style lightbar on the front, transparent WASD keys, or the frankly absurd 10 ports of various connectivity styles.

With an Nvidia RTX 4080 GPU, I challenge you to find any game that can push it beyond its limits. A big, beautiful beast... and a T3 Awards 2024 winner, too. 

Design: Loud. That's the word that comes to mind with the RGB lights all turned on. Honestly, I think this sense of fun is something all gaming laptops should have, it is after all a leisure activity. The metal casing is concurrent with a superb build quality. 

Display: It may have very visible hinges but the 17-inch QHD+ offering is very easy on the eye. With a resolution of 2560x1600 and 240Hz refresh rate, you'll be able to make the most of the hardware under the hood. 

Performance: It's safe to say you won't be found wanting with the Raider. Playing 2023's ExoPrimal with Ray Tracing and textures cranked up to max with dozens of dinosaurs on screen, I couldn't get less than 90 FPS. The same went for Deathloop. Unplugged however things were a bit different (always the case for gaming laptops) but I could still get around 40FPS on Deathloop, which was a nice surprise.

Battery life: With a massive 99.9Whr battery, you might think this would be an endurance-filled machine but gaming laptops never fare well in the battery stakes. The Raider will do around 3 hours of general use, and about one hour of intense gaming.

Read more: MSI Raider GE78 HX 13V review

Best value

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 reviewT3 Awards 2024 Winner logos

(Image credit: Future)

3. Asus Rog Zephyrus G14

A former market leader now at an essential price

Specifications

Display Size: 14-inch
Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 4000 series
Refresh rate: 60Hz
GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek, light design
+
Great WQHD screen
+
Top build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Fans can be whiny and loud
-
Screen only 60Hz
Buy it if

✅ You know good things come in small packages: this is a compact 14-inch laptop that will fit easily in your bag without weighing you down.

✅ You like a great deal: Formerly a more premium device, this laptop is a couple of years old now but still packs a punch and has fallen in price significantly.
 
✅ 14-inches is enough: not the biggest laptop in the world, this 14-inch stunner may not be as big as some others on this list. It doesn't have a particularly high refresh rate but its small size just improves Pixel density.

Don't buy it if:

❌ Noisy fans put you off: When working hard this isn't the quietest laptop, largely because of just how exceptionally thin it is.

❌ You don't have to have the latest kit: As stated, this is not the latest model, but buying older releases is a great way to get a better spec at a cheaper price.

❌ You're desperate for a high refresh rate: There's plenty of power under the hood but the screen on this laptop only has a 60Hz refresh rate, which may have an impact on framerates.

The bottom line

🔎 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 A pocket rocket, this 14-inch mini-marvel isn't the newest machine anymore but that's just served to make it a much more affordable effort. A thing of beauty. ★★★★★

They say that good things come in small packages and the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is proof of that. This 14-inch wonder is a couple of years old now but that now works in its favour with the price falling to a whole new level. 

A 2020 T3 award winner, this is not a machine to mess with, but it's a great choice for both gamers and creatives alike. 

Design: Wow. This is an ultra-thin machine that gives even the likes of MacBooks a run for their money on the eye test. It's not laden with RGB lights and loud styling choices, so you won't lose any street cred bringing it out at college or the office. In fact, the opposite is probably true. 

Display: It may only have a 60Hz refresh rate but the WQHD display is still a cut above when it comes to resolution. Squeezing so many pixels into a smaller 14-inch display produces spectacular results. 

Performance: remember this review should not be written in a silo - it's important to refer to other products on this page and how this one compares against them. We need to be giving answers to questions people didn't even realise they had. Consider giving alternate product recommendations for anyone who'd like a product but needs a cheaper price.

Battery Life: Battery on gaming laptops is traditionally poor but when being used for traditional tasks the G14 can actually get around 8 hours of battery life. Admittedly for gaming that will drop considerably, but still impressive for this category of laptop.

Read more: Asus Rog Zephyrus G14 review

Best work and play

4. Acer Predator Helios 16

The best of both worlds

Specifications

Display size: 16-inch
Processor: 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900HX 2.2Ghz
Refresh rate: 240Hz
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

Reasons to buy

+
Oodles of power
+
240Hz refresh rate screen
+
Excellent cooling

Reasons to avoid

-
Can get loud
-
Prone to fingerprint smudging
Buy it if

✅ You want something to work on too: with an excellent keyboard, smart design and a plethora of ports, including two Thunderbolt 4 options, this is a versatile laptop.

✅ You want something to take on the go: at 2.9Kg this is on the lighter end of the gaming laptop scale and it's not unreasonable to get it in your backpack. The charger in particular is not as cumbersome as others.

✅ You want to play high-end games: This is still a gaming laptop and a powerful one at that, the 4080 GPU and 240Hz refresh rate display should help you get the most out of pretty much any current title. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You work in a library: This is really not a quiet machine when gaming. Performance mode is acceptably loud but Turbo mode genuinely drowned out most of the game audio.

❌ You're on a tight budget: Not the most expensive on this list but also not the cheapest, the Predator Helios 16 that we tested came in at around £2675/$2499. A fair whack.

❌ You want everything to look pristine: although a beautiful bit of gear, it's hard to keep the laptop's case fingerprint free. so be careful.

The bottom line

🔎 Acer Helios Predator 16 Not cheap but a great choice if you want a laptop that can play pretty much any game to the max and also want to use it for work tasks. ★★★★

The Predator Helios 16 from Acer is a jack of all trades that offers a solution to pretty much any concern. Aside from gaming performance, it offers a fantastic keyboard and superb connectivity. 

Sporting a 16-inch screen, but still coming in at a reasonably svelte 2.9kg, and with a 13th Gen Intel Core i9 processor and Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU (at least in its 16 PH16-71 form, as reviewed here), there's a lot to love about this machine. 

Design: This is a nice balance between looking like a fun gaming machine with RGB lights along the spine, and just a nice smart laptop. The casing is almost completely plastic which is a shame but it does keep the cost and weight down. 

Display: The 16-inch mini-LED display has a crisp 240Hz display capable of running games at high frame rates with a lush 2560 x 1600 resolution.

Performance: For the price you would expect excellence when gaming, and you'll get it. Thanks to an Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU you can expect to run ray tracing-enabled games like a charm. I played Deathloop on maximum settings at a consistent 90FPS and reached 120FPS on Forza: Horizon 4

Battery life: If I've said it once I've said it 1000 times, gaming laptops do not have lengthy battery life. The same goes here, with the Predator Helios clocking around 4-5 hours general use and just over 1 hour on intense games. 

Read more: Acer Predator Helios 16

Best audio

5. Asus ROG Strix Scar 16

A powerhouse laptop with speakers to match

Specifications

Display Size: 16-inches
Processor: Intel Core i9-13980HX
Refresh rate: 240Hz
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

Reasons to buy

+
RTX 4080 is a monster
+
Great sound
+
Solid battery for a gaming laptop

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic case looks cheap
-
Loud fans
-
Styling won't be for everyone
Buy it if

✅ You want to listen to your music or games: wth four individual speakers and Dolby Atmos sound, using this laptop is a treat for the ears.

✅ You need top-tier performance: An RTX 4080 GPU is one of the most powerful available and should be more than enough for pretty much anything.

✅ You like to stand out: The design of the the Strix Scar 16 is pretty divisive. You might love its translucent look, or you might hate it...

Don't buy it if:

❌ The design isn't for you: The design is not subtle and may not be to everyone's tastes. This is quite obviously a gaming laptop. 

❌ You don't like plastic: It may be a top performer but this is not a premium-feeling laptop. It is covered in what seems like cheap plastic.

❌ You are on a budget: This is no budget machine with prices pushing £3000 or more in the UK, almost $3000 (before sales tax) and a princely AU$4500+. 

The bottom line

🔎 Asus ROG Strix Scar Fitted with pretty much the best possible components on the market, you won’t be compromising on performance settings anytime soon. It might not always feel like a premium product to touch, but it sure does perform like one. ★★★★

This 16-inch machine is an absolute blockbuster that undoubtedly challenges the best gaming laptops available even just on pure performance specs. A RTX 4080 GPU is one of the best you'll find in this guide and it's a strong all-round worker with exceptional sound, if you can tolerate a few imperfections, that is.

Design: This is probably the biggest disappointment of this laptop. The look of it is fairly out there with a translucent base, but that might be to your taste. The main problem is with the amount of plastic all over this machine, in fact it has a bezel of plastic running all the way around it. For over £3000, you'd expect a nicer finish. 

Display: If the laptop case isn't exactly easy on the eye, you couldn't level the same at the screen. With a 2560 x 1600 QHD+ display at a 240Hz refresh rate, you should be able to enjoy your favourite titles in all their glory.

Performance: Full of raw power, the ROG Scar Strix 16 can mix it with the best of them. A 13th Gen Intel i9 processor is more than enough for pretty much anything, while the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU will make even challenging games run like a dream. Under the hood, you do get 32GB of RAM – which is nice to see with some similarly priced laptops, like the Acer Predator Helios 16 only offering half that

Battery: For a gaming laptop, the battery of the Strix Scar is actually pretty good. It can handle around 5 hours of general use or two hours of intense gaming. A good rating for this category of laptop.

Read more: Asus ROG Strix Scar 16

Best big screen

6. Alienware M18

A big screen beauty with untold performance underneath

Specifications

Display size: 18-inch
Processor: Intel Core i9-13980HX
Refresh rate: 165Hz
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU

Reasons to buy

+
Big, beautiful screen 
+
Incredible game and general performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Big and heavy
-
Screen could be brighter
-
Poor battery life
Buy it if

✅ You think bigger is better: With a whopping 18-inch screen, you won't be wanting for space on the M18's display.

✅ You want the best GPU: With an incredible RTX 4090 GPU we dare you to find something that doesn't look incredible on this laptop.
 
✅ You're not planning on moving around: The size and weight of this laptop, as well as the battery life, mean it is best used as a desktop replacement rather than on the go.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a bright screen: The M18 may have a large display but it's not actually the brightest out there, measuring just over 380 nits at its peak.

❌ You want something to use anywhere: A big bulky body accompanies that big screen and the poor battery life means you'll be tethered to the charger.

❌ You don't need the performance: This is an expensive machine, that if you're not playing the most demanding games you might not even need to splash out on. 

The bottom line

🔎 Alienware M18 a huge laptop with a giant 18-inch screen and the gaming performance to back it up. But it has a few aspects keeping it from true greatness. ★★★★

A mammoth machine with an 18-inch screen and equally big performance specs like a RTX 4090 GPU, the Alienware M18 didn't come to play. Weighing 4Kg, you won't be wanting to carry it with you all day, but it is definitely worthy of possibly replacing your desktop setup. 

Design: Measuring 410mm wide and 320mm deep, this is a big boy although it is not chunky- just a touch under 25mm thick.

Display: An 18-inch QHD+ display with a 2560 x 1600 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate is mighty impressive and one of the main selling points of this laptop. We just wish that it was a little bit brighter. 

Performance: In our testing we were impressed with the sheer power of this laptop. We could run Doom Eternal on maximum settings at a consistent 145FPS while F12022 also at the maximum settings produced an impressive 80FPS.

Battery: Gaming laptops are not really made to be used away from their chargers but that is doubly so for the Alienware M18. We got around five hours of general use from the battery but intense gaming sessions saw the battery drained after only 45 minutes. 

Read more: Alienware M18 review

Best budget

7. HP Omen 16

Performance without the price tag

Specifications

Display size: 16-inch
Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 6000 series
Refresh rate: 165Hz
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti

Reasons to buy

+
Strong performance for the price
+
Good battery life
+
Solid build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Can run loud
-
Struggles with ray tracing
-
No Thunderbolt ports
Buy it if

✅ You have a mid-range budget: Gaming laptops can easily reach twice the price of this machine but there's still a lot of performance here and a lot to love.

✅ You want to step up from console: If you're thinking of buying an Xbox or PS5 then you should also consider PC gaming. There are some different games and a different gaming culture.

✅ You like a longer gaming session: With 7-8 hours of battery life and around 2 hours of intense gaming, the HP Omen 16 is actually a top performer when it comes to battery life. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want peak performance: If you have a bigger budget and want to play titles with ray tracing and the latest graphics, this is likely not enough of a machine for you.

❌ You want to keep quiet: When you're pushing the specs, this is a laptop that does start to get loud. Cooling is not a major problem but you might miss some key game audio over the sound of the fans.

❌ You want ultra-fast connectivity: Although there are plenty of ports on board the Omen 16, there are no speedy Thunderbolt 4 efforts. 

The bottom line

🔎 HP Omen 16 Priced lower than most of the other laptops in this list, this is a mid-range machine with plenty to offer both new and experienced PC gamers. ★★★★

If you have a more reasonable budget for your next gaming great then the HP Omen might be exactly what you're looking for. Coming in at £1599 it's a mid-range option well worth your time. 

With an Nvidia GeForce 3070 Ti GPU and an AMD Ryzen 9 processor (6000 series) this laptop is no slouch and also is capable of punching well above its weight in some aspects.

Design: If you're looking for something that you could also bring to the office, then the HP Omen 16 is for you. Smart but not spectacular, this is not an obvious gaming laptop. It does have a rather large bezel below the screen which is a bit of a shame but the brushed metal edge does feel pretty premium. 

Display: While only a QHD screen, meaning you won't get the rich blacks of OLED, the 2560 x 1440 resolution should still be pretty crisp. A 165Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time should keep things smooth and responsive when gaming. 

Performance: Playing Ghostwire Tokyo, a game with lots of particle effects and rich textures, I could manage a solid 60FPS on maximum settings provided that ray tracing was turned off. With ray tracing enabled this dropped to a slightly disappointing 40 FPS.

Something that is worrying is the performance away from the charger. Playing Grounded (which doesn't have ray tracing) I could manage a consistent 60FPS on maximum settings, only to see this drop to around 15FPS when running on battery power. Stay plugged in for the best performance.

Battery life: If you've read any of the entries in this list you won't be holding out much hope for the HP Omen 16, but you'd be wrong. Unlike many other gaming laptops, it actually features a pretty solid battery life of around 7-8 hours from general use and around 2 hours when gaming. 

Read more: HP Omen 16 review

Best ultra budget

8. Acer Nitro 5

A super cheap option for students and PC newbies

Specifications

Display size: 17-inches
Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H
Refresh rate: 120Hz
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Still pretty powerful for the money

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen lacks contrast
-
Plastic case is not exactly luxurious
-
Not exactly a powerhouse
Buy it if

✅ You want to try PC gaming: With its low price, this is always going to be a compelling purchase for those who want to dip their toe into PC gaming.

✅ You have a player 2: At this price, it might be easier to convince a friend, sibling or partner to start playing games with you. It's always better to play together!

✅ You don't have to play on maximum settings/ you like older games: This laptop is no slouch but obviously you won't be able to keep up with machines that cost two, three or even four times the price. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You need power: If you're looking to play the best-looking games out there, at a playable frame rate, this is not the machine to plump for unfortunately.

❌ You want to marvel at the screen: The display on this laptop is functional with a handy 120Hz refresh rate, but it's nothing to write home about.

❌ You have a PS5/Xbox Series X: If you're watching the budget and already have a PS5 or Xbox Series X, this is likely not enough of a step up to be worth the outlay, unless you really are desperate to play on PC. 

The bottom line

🔎 Acer Nitro 5 Not just cheap and cheerful, this is a super affordable machine that acts as a really great gateway into PC play. It's not the most powerful but you should be able get plenty from this machine. ★★★★

Gaming laptops can stretch to well over £3000 for a leading model, PC gaming is an expensive hobby, and the sub £700 price of the Acer Nitro 5 is certainly tempting. Of course, you won't be matching the sheer power of these more expensive machines but if you're a student or on a tight budget, this is a great gateway machine. 

Design: If you're an RGB nut you might be disappointed with the red only lighting options on the Nitro 5, but I really like the commitment to one colour, and the angular corners. Obviously at this price, expect plastic to feature heavily. The form factor is not amazing but it does the job. 

Display: For the money, a 120Hz refresh rate display is fair enough and should server most gamers well. The 17.3-inch size is also a nice luxury to have compared to the more popular 16" gaming laptop models. 

Performance: Don't expect to run Cyberpunk 2077 on ultra settings but you should still see a decent showing from the Acer Nitro 5. If you go into it with reasonable expectations you should be pleasantly surprised. Those who want to paly League of Legends or Football Manager effortlessly will be pleased. 

Battery life: This is one of the most underwhelming aspects of the Nitro 5 with many reporting just 2 hours of idle battery life. When gaming expect even less, so it's best to stay plugged in. 

Read more: Acer Nitro 5

Best smooth screen

9. Razer Blade 15 Advanced

The best screen refresh rate

Specifications

Display size: 16-inches
Processor: Intel Core i7-11800H
Refresh rate: 360Hz
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

Reasons to buy

+
360Hz refresh rate!
+
Powerful
+
Beautiful design

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive, even after a year
-
Only an i7 processor
-
Screen resolution isn't 4K
Buy it if

✅ You are a frame rate obsessive: With a 360Hz refresh rate, this laptop should offer unparalleled smoothness and have to potential for incredible frame rates.

✅ You want to look cool: Looking like a stealth bomber, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced is as sleek as they come and doesn't look as cheap as some RGB designs.

✅ You want something to move around: Although not light, a 2Kg weight is pretty comfortable to put in your backpack for gaming on the go. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ Resolution is a dealbreaker: Although buttery smooth, the display is locked to a 1920x1080 resolution. You won't get the texture detail you are looking for.

❌ You can't afford it: Although it has been out for over a year now, this is still an expensive machine coming in at almost £3000.

❌ You need absolute power: The model that we reviewed only had an i7 processor, fast, but not as speedy as some other machines in this list.

The bottom line

🔎 Razer Blade 15 Advanced: With a whopping 360Hz refresh rate, and sleek design, this laptop is one smooth operator. We love it. ★★★★★

This is a machine that will offer you a big performance tradeoff, offering an answer to the great PC gaming debate. Frame rate or resolution? Razer's answer is very much frame rate. With a 360Hz refresh rate you should have the smoothest gaming experience of your life. But be warned the resolution is only 1920x1080.

Design: Not as loud as other gaming laptops, this is a more elegant design in a deep black. Our one qualm about the design would be the bumper bezel at the bottom of the screen.

Display: As mentioned, the dreamy 360Hz refresh rate is the standout element of this laptop but this does come at a cost to the resolution (only 1920x1080).

Performance: The RTX 3080 GPU is powerful enough to run pretty much anything at maximum or nearly the maximum settings, particularly given the resolution of the screen.

Battery: In our testing we found the Razer to put in a pretty impressive showing with around five and a half hours battery life in general use. As is always the case, expect much less when playing strenuous games, around 1-2 hours. 

Read more: Razer Blade 15 Advanced

How to choose the best gaming laptop for you:

Look at your gaming library: What type of games do you like to play? Will your favourite titles benefit from a high-end performance boost or would you be better off saving your money? If you're primarily a Minecraft or League of Legends player it's probably not worth the outlay. Compare that with AAA titles, particularly shooters that will seem massively better when running on full settings and at an ultra-high frame rate. If you fancy yourself a competitive gamer, a refresh rate of 165Hz or more is pretty much essential. 

Consider your budget: These laptops don't come cheap it's fair to say, several times the price of a current-gen console. Prioritise what you want and how much you're willing to pay. If you're going to spend over £3000 on a laptop, make sure you love it first. 

Do you intend to use an external monitor: If you're thinking about gaming on the go, then using the laptop's own screen is pretty much your only option so plump for something with a crisp resolution and high refresh rate. If however, you've got one of the best gaming monitors and intend to be largely static, then you are probably ok to prioritise other aspects of your gaming laptop. 

What are you going to use it for: Is this going to be a dedicated gaming-only machine or are you planning on taking this laptop to work (or your home office) this will likely inform what you are looking for. If you're looking to work and play on the same machine, you'll probably have to steer clear of some of the more ostentatious designs and prioritise battery life and keyboard experience. 

How we tested these gaming laptops

Playing games might be fun, but at T3 we consider reviewing gaming laptops to be serious business. We live, work and play with these machines, writing detailed reviews explaining our judgments.

We review each laptop by first judging its design. This includes (but is not limited to) the aesthetic, build quality, durability and practicality of the machine. From there, we consider the display. Not just what the specification of it is but the implications that has on using the screen, is it smooth? How does it cope in direct sunlight? That's not an easy one to test in the UK at times but we get it done. 

Of course, if someone has to play games for the good of humanity, we're happy to do it. We play a whole host of titles from indies to AAA and note not just the performance but also the user experience, does the design of the keyboard for example help or hurt the gaming experience? 

While living with the machine we can get a grip on the actual battery life (not just manufacturer claims) and any special features that we think are worth knowing about like Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. Only after spending days and even weeks with these laptops will we feel comfortable awarding them a score, with a 5-star rating reserved for only the best products. 

Andy Sansom Portrait
Andy Sansom

A lifelong gamer, I've been playing games of multiple genres across all the major platforms since I could remember – but I love FPS and racing titles especially. I've been hands-on with many of the laptops in this guide and tested them to know exactly what is great (and not so great) about each one!