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The 6 best gaming laptops for 2024

Gamers tend to be picky about their gaming gear. A computer must offer ultra-fast performance, a superior GPU, plenty of RAM, a ton of internal storage and an immersive display. Of course, they also insist on an equally capable gaming keyboard, mouse and headset. While some gamers believe this level of performance can only be achieved with a souped-up Windows desktop, the latest gaming machines offer a truly remarkable gaming experience -- in laptop form.

Companies like Alienware (Dell), Asus, Lenovo, Razer and Velocity Micro offer plenty of highly capable and customizable gaming laptops. And we've rounded up six of the best that are currently available.

For more help choosing the best laptop for you, check out the five best laptops for 2024, the five best laptops for college in 2024, the five best budget laptops for 2024 and the five best Chromebooks for 2024.

What is the best gaming laptop in 2024?

Our in-house experts have curated this roundup of the best gaming laptops. These options come from a variety of brands and cater to casual, moderate and highly-skilled gamers. Keep in mind, each of the brands featured here offer gaming laptops that come in a variety of display sizes and with different hardware configurations, so you often have plenty of really great customization options.

Best gaming laptop overall: Asus ROG Strix G16 (2024)

Asus ROG Strix G16

Display size: 16-inches | Display type: IPS WUXGA | Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,200 pixels | Display refresh rate: 240Hz | Operating system: Windows 11 Home | CPU: 13th Gen Intel Core i9-14900HX | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB | Battery life: Up to 6 hours | RGB lighting: Yes (with Aura Sync RGB customization) | Keyboard: Full-size with 1.9mm travel distance | Ports: 2x USB Type-A, 1x USB Type-C, 1x HDMI, 1x Thunderbolt 4 DisplayPort, 1x RJ-45 LAN, 1x 3.5mm audio hack | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 | Speakers:  | Dimensions: 13.94 x 10.39 x 0.89 inches | Weight: 7 pounds 

It's easy to build an Asus ROG gaming laptop worth more than $3,800, but for the casual to moderate gamer, this 2024 version of the Strix G16 offers impressive hardware at a very fair price. The 13th Gen Intel Core i9-14900HX is complemented by an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for storage. 

From the 16-inch display, you can expect up to a 240Hz refresh rate (with 100% of the sRGB color space and Dolby Vision support). The laptop also features Thermal Grizzly's Conductonaut Extreme liquid metal on the CPU and tri-fan technology that allows for better sustained performance over long gaming sessions. This is a mid-priced gaming laptop that can handle all of the latest games. It also comes with Xbox Game Pass preinstalled (and a 90-day free trial).

Best budget gaming laptop: Lenovo LOQ

Lenovo LOQ Gaming Laptop

Display size: 15.6-inches | Display type: IPS WUXGA (with G-Sync support) | Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 pixels | Max. display brightness: 350 nits | Display refresh rate: 144Hz | Operating system: Windows 11 Home | CPU: AMD 8-core Ryzen 7 7840HS | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 1TB | Battery life: Up to 7 hours | RGB lighting: Backlit keys | Keyboard: 1.5mm key travel | Ports: 3x USB Type-A, 1x USB Type-C, 1x Ethernet, 1x HDMI 2.1, 3.5mm audio jack | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth | Dimensions: 14.16 x 10.49 x 0.99 inches | Weight: 5.29 pounds 

Here's a slightly-better-than-entry-level gaming laptop that's well priced and ideal for casual gamers. Several configurations are available, but this one includes an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU. It's also configured with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for storage. 

While the 15.6-inch display offers a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate, it's maximum brightness is just 350 nits, which is fine when you're gaming in a dimly lit space, but a bit on the weak side if you're in a well lit room. Battery life is respectable for a gaming laptop that weighs in at less that 5.3 pounds.

Most customizable gaming laptop: Velocity Micro Raptor S77

Velocity Micro Raptor S77
Velocity Micro

Display size: 17-inches | Display type: QHD or UHD | Display resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 or 3,840 x 2,160 pixels | Display refresh rate: 144Hz or 240Hz | Operating system: Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro | CPU: 14th Gen Intel Core i9-14900HX | GPU: Nvidia RTX 4000 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 500GB | Battery capacity: 6 cell 80Wh Polymer battery pack | RGB lighting: Backlit keyboard with numeric keypad | Keyboard: Two layout options | Ports: 1x HDMI, 1x mini DisplayPort, 1 Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB Type-A, 1x USB Type-C, 2x 3.5mm audio jack, 1x Ethernet | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.0 | Speakers: Stereo | Dimensions: 15.59 x 10.32 x 0.98 inches | Weight: 6.17 pounds 

What we absolutely love about the Velocity Micro Raptor S77 is that every single unit is custom-made for the buyer. When you order from the company's website, you can fully customize almost every aspect of the laptop. 

The folks at Velocity Micro recently sent us a unit to review, and we were highly impressed with its overall performance and build quality. The company uses all name-brand components, so while you'll typically pay a bit more compared with a gaming laptop off the shelf, what you get is a premium machine that'll give you every possible gaming edge. These gaming laptops are definitely for more competitive gamers looking for a powerful desktop alternative.

The core components of this laptop include a 14th Gen Intel Core i9-14900HX 24-core processor, along with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU. The 17.3-inch QHD display offers 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution. A 500GB SSD and 16GB of RAM are all part of the core configuration -- but almost everything can be upgraded at the time of purchase, so you can easily spend $3,500 or more for an ultra-high-end setup with 64GB of RAM, two 4TB SSDs and other enhancements. 

Be sure to read our in-depth review of this powerful gaming laptop.

Best gaming laptop for casual gamers: Dell Alienware x17 R2

Dell Alienware x14 R1

Display size: 17.3-inches | Display type: IPS FHD | Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 pixels | Max. display brightness: 300 nits | Display refresh rate: 360Hz | Operating system: Windows 11 Home | CPU: 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce 3070Ti | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB | Battery capacity: 6 cell 87Wh lithium-ion | RGB lighting: Backlit keys | Keyboard: 1.5mm key travel | Ports: 2x USB Type-A, 2x USB Type-C, Ethernet, HDMI 2.1, MicroSD card slot, Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm audio jack | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.0 | Speakers: 2x two-watt stereo tweeters, 2x two-watt stereo woofer  | Dimensions: 11.79 x 15.72 x 0.82 inches | Weight: 6.82 pounds 

Here's an example of a Dell Alienware gaming laptop that starts out affordable at the entry-level configuration, but for a more souped-up version, you can easily spend $2,600 or more. While the entry-level version is ideal for more casual players, more competitive gamers will definitely want to upgrade.

This entry-level configuration offers a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, along with a Nvidia GeForce 3070Ti GPU. You also get 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for storage. From Amazon, you can upgrade to a 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H processor, which boosts the price to $2,260. 

Best 2-in-1 gaming laptop: Asus ROG Flow Z13

Asus ROG Flow Z13 (2023) GZ301

Display size: 13.4-inches | Display type: QHD+ IPS | Display resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 pixels | Max. display brightness: 500 nits | Display refresh rate: 165Hz | Operating system: Windows 11 Home | CPU: 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB | Battery capacity: 56Wh | RGB lighting: Aura Sync Light Bar | Keyboard: Detachable | Ports: 1x USB Type-A, 1x USB Type-C, 1x Thunderbolt 4, 1x ROG XR Mobile Interface and USB Type-C combo port, 1x microSD card reader, 1x 3.5mm audio jack | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2 | Speakers: 2x speakers with Dolby Atmos support | Dimensions: 11.89 x 8.11 x 0.51 inches | Weight: 2.91 pounds | Stylus: Asus Pen included

While the 2023 version of this compact system does an amazing job running your favorite Windows and cloud games when the included keyboard is connected, you can remove the keyboard anytime -- and turn the unit into a tablet. 

In fact, the QHD display offers a 165Hz refresh rate, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, Pantone Validation and a maximum brightness of 500 nits. 

For gaming, the integrated MUX switch increases laptop performance, while the computer's Advanced Optimus feature optimizes battery life. This 2-in-1 computer comes with Xbox Game Pass preinstalled and a 90-day free trial. The computer is equipped with a 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU.

While the design of this 2-in-1 device somewhat resembles the Microsoft Surface Pro, it nicely equipped with gamers in mind. The detachable keyboard features RGB-backlit keys. Like so many gaming laptops, this one suffers a bit when it comes to battery life. But overall, this is a great 2-in-1 option for casual and moderate gamers.

Best high-end gaming laptop: Razer Blade 16

Razer Blade 16

Display size: 16-inches | Display type: OLED QHD+ | Display resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 pixels | Max. display brightness: 400 nits | Display refresh rate: 240Hz | Operating system: Windows 11 Home | CPU: 14th Gen Intel Core i9-14900HX (2.4 GHz) | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB | Battery capacity: 4 cells 6,182 mAh (95.2 Whr) | RGB lighting: Integrated Chroma RGB and per-key lighting | Keyboard: 1.0mm key travel | Ports: 1x USB Type-C, 3x USB Type-A, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x UHS-II SD card reader, 3.5mm audio jack | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 7 | Speakers: 2x tweeters, 2x subwoofers | Dimensions: 13.98 x 9.61 x 0.87 inches | Weight: 5.4 pounds 

This is the all-new, 2024 version of the Razer Blade 16 gaming laptop. It's a higher-end option for more serious gamers who need the processing power of the 14th Gen Intel Core i9-14900HX combined with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU. This laptop comes with a stunning 16-inch OLED display that offers 2,560 x 1,600 pixel resolution and a super-quick 240Hz refresh rate. 

When you buy, you can upgrade the amount of RAM from 16GB to either 32GB or 64GB. Plus, you can upgrade the GPU to either the RTX 4080 or RTX 4090. So, while the hardware configuration featured here is priced at $3,000, the 2024 version of the Razer Blade 16, with the 16-inch dual mode mini LED display, 64GB of RAM, a 4TB SSD, and the RTX 4090 GPU, boosts the price to $4,700. Whichever configuration you can afford, you'll enjoy amazing gaming complemented by the company's customizable Chrome RGB lighting.

How to choose the best gaming laptop

Casual gamers can get away with using a lower-end laptop, especially if their focus is on cloud games. But for a gaming experience that rivals a high-end Windows desktop, you need a laptop designed specifically for gaming and that uses name-brand components.  

Here are key components to look for when shopping for a gaming laptop:

  • Display: In addition to size, consider the type, resolution and refresh rate. We suggest an OLED that can display sharper graphics. And for ultra-smooth animations and on-screen action, at least a 120Hz refresh rate is key. The maximum brightness (measured in nits) is also an important consideration. The brighter the better. We recommend 800 nits or higher, especially if you'll be using the laptop in well lit areas.
  • Processor (CPU): Whether you go with a CPU from Intel or AMD, choose one that caters to gamers and that offers the fastest speed you can afford. Focus on clock speed, core count and a CPU's overclocking capabilities.
  • GPU: Visuals are essential -- and it's the GPU that generates those graphics. You want a high-performing GPU that plays well with the computer's CPU and display. For some popular games, the power of the GPU is more important than the CPU.
  • RAM: The more RAM, the better. We recommend at least 16GB, but you'll be served better with 32GB. 
  • Storage: This determines how many games and game-related data you can store locally -- and not have to rely on the cloud. Again, more is better. We recommend an SSD (solid state drive) with at least a 512GB capacity, but 1TB or even 2TB gives much more storage to work with.
  • Size and weight: Many gaming laptops are larger and heavier than traditional ones. Sure, a 17-inch gaming laptop offers more immersive visuals and on-screen real estate than a 15-inch laptop, so it comes down to what you're willing and able to carry.
  • Ports: For most gamers, at least several USB Type-C ports and an HDMI port are an absolute necessity. The ports you'll need will depend on what you want to connect to the computer, such as a monitor, gaming keyboard, mouse and headset, and how large of a display you want.
  • Wireless connectivity: All gaming laptops offer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. But your laptop should support the latest and fastest wireless protocols, such as Wi-Fi 6/6E and Bluetooth 5.3. With Wi-Fi 7 on the immediate horizon and Bluetooth 5.4 recently been released, that support will help future-proof your gaming laptop.
  • Battery: No matter which gaming laptop you choose, battery life is going to be much shorter than what a traditional laptop offers, especially when you're playing games that require a lot of processing power. You might get a few hours of battery life out of the laptop during gaming sessions, plan on plugging it into a power source whenever possible. And when shopping for your gaming laptop, choose one with the highest capacity battery.
  • Keyboard: The size of the gaming laptop often determines the layout of its keyboard. Other elements you want to pay attention to include the quality of the keys, per-key backlighting, key travel, actuation, anti-ghosting and n-key rollover support. Programmable macro keys and specialty function keys can also be useful. For key travel, we suggest between 1.5mm and 2mm.
  • Cooling system: Anytime you're playing a game that requires a tremendous amount of processing, the computer is going to heat up. With a well designed cooling system, heat will get dissipated and won't have an impact on a gaming laptop's performance. 
  • Speakers: No matter how good the speakers in a gaming laptop are, you'll almost always enjoy better sound if you use wireless headphonesearbuds or a gaming headset. Whichever option you choose, it should offer noise cancellation and spatial audio support. If you'll be relying on the internal speakers, pay attention to the number of speakers, the size of the drivers, the speaker wattage and whether a woofer is also integrated into the sound system.
  • Brand reputation: If you go with a lesser known brand, make sure it's at least configured using name-brand components, especially when it comes to its CPU and GPU.

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