Shopping for the best gaming laptop of 2020 can be tricky, because there are so many excellent models on the market now. Let the experts here at T3 guide you carefully through the maze, to the right pick: whatever your budget or your needs, there's a best gaming laptop out there for you.
We will of course take you carefully through all the key specs and features you need to know about to pick out the best gaming laptop, but we've also brought you the very best gaming laptop deals at the same time – top-notch hardware at very competitive prices, what's not to like?
The T3 team has years and years of PC-building and game-playing experience, and we've poured it all into the best gaming laptop guide that you see before you here. Whether you're looking for a premium, top-end model capable of real-time ray tracing, or a more affordable all-rounder, T3 can direct you towards the best gaming laptops in the UK, the US and Australia .
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The best gaming laptops available today
1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
The best gaming laptop for most people
Reasons to buy
The Asus ROG Zephyrus 14 is a game-changing gaming laptop that delivers buckets of performance despite being compact and light. It does this thanks to its use of AMD's hot new Ryzen 4000 processors and Nvidia's RTX 2060 GPU, which when partnered with plenty of RAM and a quality 120Hz 14-inch display, makes for superb, highly portable gaming results.
The design is also really smart, with a dropped hinge screen and AniME Matrix LED display on the CNC milled, dot matrix lid radiating a futuristic aesthetic. A quad speaker system that is Dolby Atmos enabled also means that, for a laptop, the levels of audio it is capable of are remarkable and the battery life on the system, too, just runs and runs (10.7 hours of video playback). A copy of Windows 10 Pro completes the package.
It's the fact that the Asus Zephyrus 14 delivers such a quality all-round gaming package in such a compact and portable form factor that really sells it, though, making it a system that can be easily used for both work and play. It's only 1.60kg (3.53 pounds), so sliding it in a backpack is no problem at all.
The price, too, while not cheap is nowhere near the levels of what you can spend on a gaming laptop, which all in explains why consider the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 the best gaming laptop on the market today for most people. It simply does it all, and does it all for a great price point.
Oh, and the Asus ROG Zephyrus 14 has impressed so many people that it has just bagged the much-wanted Best Gaming Laptop award at the T3 Awards 2020.
2. Asus Zephyrus S GX701
The best premium gaming laptop
Reasons to buy
You can always rely on the Asus ROG gaming series to provide some of the best gaming laptops on the market, and the 2020 Zephyrus S GX701 in maximum spec proves the point: it's crammed with powerful components, looks the part, and will play any game out there without breaking sweat.
Admittedly you're going to have to pay a lot for this laptop, but if you've got the cash, then it's worth it. You can pack the laptop with some of the best Nvidia GeForce RTX GPUs currently available, including the mighty RTX 2080 Max-Q, store loads of games on its spacious SSD drive, and even run the most demanding VR experiences right from this laptop thanks to its powerful Intel CPU and stacks of RAM.
And what about that 17.3-inch screen too – it looks simply gorgeous from any angle, and can ramp up to a refresh rate of 300Hz, meaning that screen tearing and blur are just blown away. For gamers the world over the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 is simply a dream system, and one that while costs a lot, will last for years and years to come.
3. Acer Nitro 5
The best budget gaming laptop
Reasons to buy
The Acer Nitro 5 is among the lowest-specced systems in our best gaming laptops list, but 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. The fact that the system comes with an 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD 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 ensure that the system can crunch through any light or medium computing task with ease, while a battery capable of delivering 8 hours of run time on a single charge means that you've got genuine portability as well. This is clearly a basic but well-thought out gaming laptop available at a very low price point.
Oozing with raw power and with plenty of customisation options
Reasons to buy
It's hard to imagine any more powerful components getting packed into a gaming laptop, which is why the Gigabyte Aorus 17x is so big and so heavy, and needs two power cables to run (it'll last about two hours on the battery, if you're just watching videos). It's a beast of a machine, inside and out.
The powerful Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics card and eight-core 10th-gen Intel Core i9-10980HK processor mean that this laptop will eat up even the most demanding of games, and with a 240Hz refresh rate on the 17.3-inch screen, you can enjoy close to 200 frames per second on a lot of titles.
It does make a bit of a racket and it is very expensive, and the lack of a 4K screen might bother some. Overall though, it's hard to argue against this being one of the best gaming laptops of the moment, especially with a ton of optimisations and customisations to play around with on the software side.
5. MSI GS65 Stealth
A thin and light gaming laptop with jaw-dropping 240Hz screen
Reasons to buy
MSI continues its superb work in the gaming laptop field here with the 15-inch GS65 Stealth, a system that not only delivers serious, RTX-powered gaming power, but does so in a remarkable thin and light chassis (17.9mm thin and 1.9 kg in weight).
It also comes with a gamer's dream screen, with a 240Hz panel meaning that games look amazing and game-losing problems like screen tearing are a thing of the past. With such a smooth and accurate screen, blurring is also massively reduced, meaning that for gamers who like first person shooters then the GS65 Stealth is like a dream come true.
The GS65 Stealth isn't just about the screen and chassis, though. The base model of the GS65 Stealth comes equipped with an Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU, however if you pay a little bit more than you can bag it with a ray-tracing capable Nvidia RTX graphics card. Everything up to the titanic RTX 2080 Max-Q can be selected, however we think an RTX 2060 or 2070 is the best match.
You also get Intel finest CPUs, plenty of RAM and a spacious SSD drive to store and play games. The GS65 Stealth also comes with MSI's newly designed Whirlwind Blade cooling fans, which increase air pressure and airflow while keeping the RPM down.
Throw in a luxe per-key RGB keyboard designed by SteelSeries, a decent 8 hour battery life, and a sound system designed by Dynaudio, and you've got a fantastic all-round gaming laptop package.
The best gaming laptop if you want a second screen
Reasons to buy
You can see the unique selling point of the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 as soon as you take it out of the box (or look at the picture above): it comes with a secondary 11-inch display, one which you can use to show system or gaming stats, or to watch some YouTube while you're gaming, or to do anything else with really.
Besides that second screen, Asus has put together a very impressive package here – an eight-core Intel Core i9-10980HK processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q graphics card – and you shouldn't have any problems blasting through the most demanding games of 2020.
The 4K display that our model came with tops out at a refresh rate of 60Hz, which might put some gamers off, but you can swap it for a display with a 300Hz refresh rate, if you're prepared to go down to a 1920 x 1080 resolution. For a lot of potential buyers, that might be the sweet spot.
7. HP Omen 15
A really popular gaming laptop
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 one of the most popular systems 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.
8. Dell G7 17
One of the best gaming laptops for RTX power at a mid-range 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 markets 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.
9. 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 at a very approachable price point.
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 a significantly lower price.
And with the Triton 500's gamer-calibrated screen (the panel delivers 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.
Undoubtedly one of the best upper-mid-range gaming laptops on the market today.
10. Razer Blade 15
Supreme gaming laptop power in a hyper premium chassis
Reasons to buy
From every angle, the Razer Blade 15 is a fantastic gaming laptop and one of the best in the business, as you would expect from industry veterans Razer – the performance, the build quality, the lighting, the display... it's all here.
You can pick up the Razer Blade 15 in a variety of configurations, including one with a 4K screen rather than the standard Full HD one. With the latest 10th-gen Intel chips inside and up to 16GB of RAM, performance shouldn't be a problem, and you can add to that some of the best Nvidia GPUs in the business.
Any game should soon smoothly on this setup, and Razer has managed to pack everything into a chassis that wouldn't look out of place at a boardroom meeting. Be sure to check out all the available configurations before buying.
11. 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 quite simply a powerhouse. With some impressive muscle in the GPU department (a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 no less), it's ready to run all your favourite PC games at ultra settings 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 you're gaming or just typing out an email.
12. Acer Predator Helios 300
A great gaming laptop for not much money
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 in the region of £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 hard-earned bucks.
13. 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 than this.
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 it's 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.
In other words, a very high quality, Full HD screen can beat a 4K display in some situations, especially when it's partnered with stonkingly fast internals for a superb portable gaming experience.
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 $1,000, AU$1,560) 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
21 May, 2020 - Exciting news indeed here for budget and mid-range gaming laptops, as fresh reports indicate that a suite of affordable AMD Ryzen 7 4800H laptops are incoming.
These budget blasters, according to NotebookCheck, are due to land later in 2020 and will also come equipped with 91 Wh batteries, 100% sRGB displays and Nvidia's RTX 2060 graphics card.
According to the new information, the systems may arrive as Walmart and Schenker-branded laptops in Q3.
In terms of what they will look like, a brace of Mechrevo machines were spotted and sources suggest that the chassis are Tongfang units, which will be sold under Code 01 and S2 Air names.
As of right now there is no pricing confirmed for these new budget systems, however if they are in the range of the existing Walmart Motile 14-incher, then these systems could be among the year's very best gaming laptops bargains.
18 May, 2020 - Great news here for anyone looking for a great new gaming laptop, as Dell has launched an Alienware sale over at the maker's official online store.
That means that when using the special code AW14 at checkout, you can currently cut 14% off Alienware desktops and laptops.
And it isn't just one laptop that can be discounted with the deal code, either. The Alienware m15, m17 and Area-51m gaming laptops are eligible.
Meanwhile, over in gaming desktops, the Alienware Aurora, Aurora R8, and Aurora Ryzen Edition can also have their prices reduced.
Our pick would be the Alienware m15, the system that is currently securely lodged in our best gaming laptops guide. This bad boy can be outfitted with a 9th gen Intel Core i7 CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU and 16GB of DDR4 RAM and then, by using the special sale code, a whopping £286.86 can be sliced off its cost.
These sorts of reductions don't come along often with Alienware, as they are among the very finest gaming laptops in the world, so we advise anyone who is currently in the market for an upgrade to check them out before the sale ends at midnight on Wednesday May 20.
3 April, 2020 — Now this is definitely something a bit different. Asus has unveiled the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15, a thin gaming laptop that has a unique feature, a second 14.1-inch 3,840 x 1,100 pixel display that sits under its main 15.6-inch screen at an angle of 13 degrees. Sounds mad, right? Well, that appears to be method in the madness.
The second screen not only is obviously very useful but as it is elevated when the system is in use it makes extra room available for vents, thereby helping the Duo 15 expel heat and maintain high performance. And, in terms of hardware, be under no illusion from its unique looks, this is a powerhouse gaming laptop.
The top tier configuration of the Duo 15 comes with a world-ending Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU (that's 8 cores, 16 threads and a max single core Turbo speed of 5.3 GHz!), a desktop variant Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super, 32GB of RAM, and a 4K, 60Hz screen. It is, simply put, the gaming laptop of gamer dreams, and one that comes with not just one display but two. A guaranteed head turner!
The other thing that will turn heads, though, is the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo's price, which in that max spec listed above will prize $3,699 out of your wallet.
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.