As life becomes more stressful, gaming provides a welcome escape into an alternate reality for thousands globally. Modern games like Cyberpunk 2077 and League of Legends can transport and immerse you into a parallel universe, letting you forget all your woes as you focus on the thrill of chasing victory. Strategy games like Crusader Kings 3 and titles that allow you to unleash your creativity – think classic Minecraft – are also popular. But first up: select a dependable gaming laptop to facilitate these endeavors.
The rising demand has brought increased competition in this category. You can find umpteen brands vying for the top spot: from the budget-friendly ASUS to the trusty old HP and immensely mighty MSI and Razer gaming devices.
Top 7 Best Gaming Laptop Brands 2023
We review the best gaming brands in the market at present (concerning performance, range, and suitability to various user types and requirements).
1. ASUS ROG
The ROG – Republic of Gamers – is one of the most coveted gaming brands in the current market. Launched in 2006, it started as an endeavor to offer portable gaming performance without affecting or lowering speeds and efficiencies. Today, it comprises three main subgroups catering to all budgets and priorities: Flow, Zephyrus, and Strix.
The Strix range is the mightiest offering in the family, packed with top-of-the-rung CPUs and GPUs like Intel Core i9 processors and NVIDIA RTX 40 series graphics cards. The ROG Strix SCAR 16, 18, or G16 have excellent heat dissipation for delivering sustained performance at the highest settings. This esports-friendly series also offers QHD screens with high refresh rates (240Hz and adaptive sync) and mini-LED display technology for extra brightness even with HDR.
Here’s a more portable lineup that still delivers competent speeds for professional gamers: the Zephyrus. These devices, like the ROG Zephyrus M16 and G14, have a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut with excellent brightness (even up to 1100 nits). The Zephyrus Duo has a 4K display and a secondary touchscreen to ramp up productivity, letting you chat with your peers without compromising A/V experiences.
Lovers of portable gaming can get home a ROG Flow tablet, like the Z13 or X16. These 2-in-1 devices use features like a 360° hinge, detachable keyboards, and vapor chamber cooling to deliver mobile gameplay.
The Taiwanese tech giant is renowned for its high-quality gaming machines with durable components and reliable performance for competitions and tournaments.
The MSI Raider is your best bet for superb gaming experiences with fantastic speeds (an Intel Core i9) and overclocking if you have the budget. The 17.3” GE76 Raider costs around $2,000 and delivers an OLED display, a comfortable keyboard, and a massive port selection.
The MSI Stealth is cheaper and thinner, better suited to mobile gaming performance without cutting too many corners. Devices like the Stealth 14 Studio are sleek and lightweight (mainly by simplifying the heat dissipation setup).
The company also offers the Titan range – a desktop-replacement line with tons of SSD storage, effective cooling, and a sturdy build intended for durable use.
Among more budget-friendly options is the MSI Katana lineup for around $1400, offering average gameplay at moderate settings. The MSI Katana 15 still offers many bells and whistles, like RTX 4070 graphics – yes, indeed.
Gamers who value affordability can check out the Crosshair or Pulse ranges – some models in these groups are available for around $1,000. MSI also has a few dedicated AMD Ryzen series – Alpha, Bravo, and Delta.
3. Dell Alienware
The flagship gaming brand from Dell has an excellent reputation for performance and overclocking, design, and heat management. These laptops offer dazzling customizable lighting (AlienFX) and refresh rates up to 360Hz. We also admire the mechanical Cherry keyboards with a 1.8mm travel distance. The comfort is unparalleled when in the thick of adrenaline-pumping gameplay. Another bonus is auto-tuned game profiles and extensive personalization through AlienFX settings.
Both X Series and M series have their advantages: the former is thinner and has more options for screen sizes, including 14, 15, and 17 inches. The M Series maximizes graphics power (up to 175W).
The lineup is not budget-friendly, but Dell now has some cheaper options. For example, the Alienware m15 R7 starts at around $1,099. The Alienware x17 R2, on the other hand, will cost you $2,549.99.
4. Acer Predator
Acer, a Taiwanese company, has emerged as one of the most coveted gaming brands among casual and professional gamers. It provides a versatile range, catering to varying budgets and needs. Laptops from the Helios series, like the Predator Helios 300, cost $1,799 onwards. They boast RTX 30 Series graphics cards, refresh rates up to 165Hz, and sustainable cooling using increased airflow. The 17.3” Helios 500 costs $2,499. It delivers efficiency and clarity with an Intel Core i7 CPU and a QHD display.
A portability-friendly line from Predator is the Triton, perfect for gamers who love to travel and can benefit from thin but sturdy devices. The Predator Triton 500 SE costs around $1,499 but packs a lot into this price: rapid Intel Core i7 CPUs, 165Hz refresh rates, and RTX 3080 graphics cards. You can even upgrade to an Intel Core i9 and a 240Hz WQXGA screen if you can stretch your budget to around $3,000.
The most value-for-money range by Predator is possibly Nitro – available for as little as $679 for Nitro 5 Intel. The specs on these machines are lower – 8GB RAM, Intel Core i5 processors – but they still offer ample power for many modern games at moderate settings. AMD counterparts are also available, like Nitro 16 and 17.
5. Razer Blade
This brand has one of the largest gaming laptops you can find now: the Razer Blade 18. Talk about diving deep into a parallel world! The Blade series offers some of the best-known features gamers can demand: mini-LED QHD+ displays for excellent brightness, RTX 4080 graphics, Intel Core i9 processors, and refresh rates up to 240Hz.
You can find these devices in many screen sizes – 14, 15, and 17 inches – and use them for pursuits like digital illustration and 3D animation. The range can support overclocking up to 5.6GHz and is right up there in smooth upgradability.
6. HP OMEN
Don’t underestimate HP in gaming capacities, as it exquisitely pairs durability with performance in its OMEN series. It is a pocket-friendly lineup, with many competent options for $1,000 to $1,500. Gamers can decide between Intel or AMD components. If you get the OMEN Transcend 16, you benefit from a WQXGA mini-LED display with a 240 Hz refresh rate. It costs around $1,499.
The Victus portfolio is another series for affordable gaming that does not compromise much. For example, the Victus 16 offers an Intel Core i5 CPU and RTX 4050 graphics for $1,099.
7. Lenovo Legion
The Legion Pro Series is their flagship, offering WQXGA screens and RTX 40 GPUs. Pantone-verified colors and effective cooling make them enriching, sustainable picks. The company also promises quiet cooling (under 48db).
Several laptops support Directx 12 Ultimate and the merits of Windows 11 – efficiency, productivity, and speed for gaming and other creative ventures.
The Legion Pro 5 AMD version will cost you approximately $1,200. The Slim line suits those seeking thinner and more portable machines at around the same price.
What should you look for in a reliable gaming laptop?
A fast and efficient CPU like an Intel Core i5 and above is a must to run your favorite games at playable settings. Discrete graphics become salient for enjoyable gameplay, although you can choose RTX 30 series for more affordability over RTX 40 (the latter excels at ray tracing and artificial intelligence for enhancing the imagery).
Efficient cooling is another imperative, as is the availability of ports and internet connectivity (Wi-Fi 6 or 6E) for competitive gaming. Other considerations include customization options for the keyboard, overclocking, lighting, and profiles.
How can you select the right gaming laptop brand?
The surging demand for gaming has increased the production of suitable laptops to support these ventures – AAA, esports, and casual entertainment. Selecting the best device for your needs involves outlining your priorities and usage patterns.
For instance, heavy-duty gamers with a budget for desktop-replacement laptops can explore the MSI Titan or the Razer Blade. The Acer Predator Helios and Dell Alienware are excellent for high performance, style, and smooth connectivity with peers. Those seeking portability can explore options like the Acer Triton or Lenovo Slim.
Can you find a good gaming laptop for less than $1000?
A few years ago, the answer would have been: it’s challenging. But times have rapidly changed, and many leading brands like Dell and Acer provide inexpensive alternatives for enjoyable gameplay. For instance, the Dell Alienware m15 costs around $1,000.
The Acer Nitro range has many picks for less than $1,000. The best part is: many of these choices don’t cut too many corners, still delivering enjoyment for hobbyists and more competitive players.
Can gaming laptops also work for business and college use?
Many users prefer multi-purpose machines to fit their budget, for example, gaming laptops that can also work for multimedia content editing or business purposes. The Razer Blade gets particularly sought after by multimedia professionals for editing, simulation, and modeling.
However, high-end gaming laptops use excellent heat dissipation and top-notch processing capabilities. They may also be heavy and have low battery life – not ideal for daily use and overkill in costs.