These are the best gaming laptops you can buy in 2019. From high-end to budget, there’s a gaming laptop here for you.
In 2019, the best gaming laptop has its perks. To be clear, I’m talking about the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin, but I’m also referring to the Lenovo Legion Y740 and the Razer Blade 15 in all their various configurations. Because the gaming laptop space is so conveniently littered with a multifarious assortment of options, limiting ourselves to a single, unambiguous “best gaming laptop” is no longer viable. In total, thousands of notebooks now flood the market, many of which are custom-fabricated for gaming. That said, the gaming laptop space is becoming increasingly obfuscated.
- Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model
Not much has changed since the advent of the original Razer Blade 15 in spring 2018. The refreshed, so-called “Advanced Model” is outfitted with the same CNC-milled aluminum chassis as its predecessor, only this time it harbors the latest graphics chips from Nvidia, namely the RTX family of Turing architecture-based GPUs.
Among its configurations are an RTX 2080 model, capable of running the ray traced Metro Exodus at over 50fps with all the visual settings cranked to the top. In our testing, despite its power-hungry guts, it wowed us with an unusual 5 hour and 1 minute battery life. So while it’s no longer the thinnest or the lightest in its class, it is the longest lasting premium gaming laptops we’ve seen to date. It’s also one of the more expensive.
- MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 15.6-inch
The GS65 Stealth Thin delivers everything I want in a gaming laptop. It has the convenience and portability of a productivity notebook—light and thin enough that I can toss it in my backpack, tote it to meetings, and comfortably use it on the couch—married with the internal guts of a gaming PC—powerful enough to play the latest games at high or max settings once the workday is over.
It has a sleek matte black aluminum body with gold accents that feels sturdy and luxe—and thankfully lacking in obnoxious gamer aesthetics. Best of all, in addition to a slim, 18mm thickness, the screen’s 4.9mm thin bezels allow for a overall chassis size that’s about an inch smaller than most 15-inch laptops.
- Lenovo Legion Y740
Though they’ve existed for but a couple of years now, Lenovo’s Legion-branded laptops have made a name for themselves in the games industry, if only because they offer unprecedented value on top-notch specs.
Rather than crafting jacks of all trades, the Chinese tech company—known primarily for its ThinkPads—aims to squeeze the most performance out of the cheapest possible materials without compromising on quality and design. This principle is nowhere more evident than in the Lenovo Legion Y740, a 17.3-inch gaming laptop, whose graphics chip ranges from Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 to 2080, and for a fraction of the price of its major competitors.
- Acer Predator Triton 500
Not everyone needs the thinnest or the most powerful gaming laptop. Sometimes still-thin and still-powerful is just fine. Striking a healthy balance between portability, performance, and price is the Acer Predator Triton 500, a Max-Q notebook that emerged from somewhere out of the woodwork to impress our dedicated team of hardware testers at the top-secret PC Gamer lab. Wielding an RTX 2080, the model we reviewed is priced somewhere in the middle at $2,499. However, you can find an RTX 2060 version at the $1,799 mark.
Either way, it’s well worth your while, seeing as it can push Metro Exodus at the highest settings, with ray tracing on, at an average pace of 56fps. And while it’s doing so, you get to experience the luxury of its deeply satisfying 1.7mm keyboard travel and a Microsoft precision touchpad that we surprisingly don’t hate. Despite its terrifying default boot-up noise, the Acer Predator Triton 500 is one for the books.
- Acer Predator Helios 300
Acer’s Predator Helios 300 offers an incredible value proposition. At just over a grand, sometimes less if you can find it on sale, it offers a GTX 1060 6GB graphics card that can lock down 60 fps at near-max settings in most games from the last few years. The system’s lacking in any fancy screen features like G-Sync, although you can get a model with 144Hz refresh rate, and you’ll probably want to think about investing in a large HDD to back up the 256GB SSD. But those minor issues don’t mean much when you factor in the super-affordable price tag.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is the best budget gaming laptop you can buy, without compromising on the features you need from a portable gaming device. Right now you can get the 1060 GPU version, with a 144Hz screen, 1TB HDD and 256GB SSD for $1,149 at NewEgg, saving you $250. That’s a great price for what you’re getting here.
- MSI GF63 8RC
The MSI GF63 8RC has to be our top choice for ultra-budget gaming laptops. Priced as low as $649.99 on sale, the GF63 comes equipped with Intel’s i5-8300H, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 and one of the thinner bezels we’ve seen in this price range. The only obvious downside is the lack of an included SSD. The laptop comes loaded with a 1TB HDD which means you’ll probably want to upgrade the storage fairly quickly.
With its highly competitive price tag, the Newegg exclusive MSI GF63 8RC is one of the cheapest gaming laptops we could find with a GTX 1050 discrete graphics card. It’s priced just a little bit higher than Acer’s Aspire E 15, but the GF63 offers up to 67% higher gaming performance and exponentially higher performance when compared to laptops with integrated graphics. If you’re working with a tight budget, the GF63 offers everything you’d need in a laptop without putting a huge dent in your wallet.
- Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
Gigabyte’s Aero 15X was the first thin Max-Q laptop to catch my eye, and the 2018 Aero 15X v8 refresh remains a promising entry in the field, fixing most of the issues I had with its predecessor while keeping everything else that I love about it. Primarily, the keyboard works much better after a driver update, and the screen’s been updated to a snappy 144 Hz panel.
Compared to MSI’s GS65 and the Razer Blade 15, the Aero 15X has a less attractive body with sharp edges, but wins in the productivity category on account of a bigger, 94 Whr battery. In practice—that is, our streaming video test—that larger battery lasts upwards of six hours, compared to the GS65’s four and a half. With near-identical internals, gaming performance is comparable to the GS65 as well. The biggest difference, other than the body design and battery, is that the Aero 15X can be outfitted with a 4K screen. I recommend sticking with the high refresh rate 1080p screen if gaming is your primary concern, but 4K is a nice option for productivity power users who can take advantage of the extra pixels.
- MSI GS75 Stealth
When Nvidia announced its Max-Q design initiative nearly two years ago, the Big Graphics company said the best gaming laptop would get thinner and lighter yet more powerful than the beefy notebooks which preceded it. If nothing else, the MSI GS75 Stealth serves as evidence to back up that claim. With its posh, black and gold design—glarily inspired by the 15-inch GS65 Stealth Thin before it—the GS75 Stealth is a handsome and perfectly good 17-inch lappy on the outside, minus its susceptibility to paint chipping. Oh, and the touchpad woes.
Snug inside its aluminum alloy chassis is a hardy GeForce RTX graphics card, spanning almost Nvidia’s whole line of ray trace-capable products, paired with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor no matter which configuration you buy. Be that as it may, every version of the GS75 Stealth exceeds two grand, making it a tough sell for budget-minded gamers. We, of course, reviewed the utmost expensive model, housing a Max-Q-size RTX 2080 and 32GB of RAM. Decimating the competition, it ran Shadow of the Tomb Raider in 1080p at 87fps, and that was at the highest graphics preset. Pretty incredible for a clamshell PC weighing less than five pounds.
- Asus ROG Strix GL503VS-DH74 Scar Edition
I said at the beginning that choosing a laptop usually means picking two between price, performance, and portability. Where thin-and-light laptops like the GS65 offer the latter two of those three, the Asus ROG Strix GL503VS-DH74 Scar Edition instead checks the first two boxes: price and performance.
In exchange for a larger shell, the GL503VS packs in a regular (non Max-Q) GTX 1070 GPU. This results in a performance improvement of around 15 percent at a slightly lower price point. It uses a previous gen quad-core CPU, but that doesn’t matter in most games. The GL503VS also offers G-Sync on its 144Hz panel, but the tradeoff means you miss out on Nvidia’s Optimus battery tech. As such, you shouldn’t expect more than around two hours of battery life. Don’t forget your charger!
- Dell Inspiron 15 7567
If you’re looking for a cheap laptop to play indies or other less-demanding titles, Dell’s Inspiron 15 7000 series is just the ticket. The 7567 model features a GTX 1050 Ti, a slight upgrade over the bottom-barrel GTX 1050 model which can be had for a few bucks cheaper. Neither can handle the latest games on high or max settings, but if all you’re interested in is lightweight indies or don’t mind cranking the settings down, the 7567 is a great ultra-budget option.
As a bonus, the 7567 features a robust 74 Whr battery that should last upwards of four hours, depending on the workload. This makes it a great back to school laptop for gamers who need a machine that’ll last through classes and then help secure Victory Royale once homework is done.