Best Gaming Laptops 2020 – Top 10 Notebooks for Gamers Reviewed

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Your first step when you start browsing for the best gaming laptop? You can start by having an amount of money or total price ceiling in mind, but, generally, as a starter, and somewhat predictably, you’ll want to prioritize the hardware in the machine. As you’ve made it to this page, you’re probably looking for a gaming-focused beast and, as a result, want to aim high in the graphics card department, like a GPU from the RTX family of cards from Nvidia. Then you’ll then need to decide whether you want the blistering performance of a full size card or to opt for a slightly under-powered but much slimmer Max-Q card variants – an agreeable trade-off given the design of a gaming laptop can greatly change. Regardless of what you’re looking for, we’ve divided some of the best choices into relevant niches below

If you are in a hurry, please see the table below for my top gaming laptop picks. Scroll down to see my review for each of those, and a buyer’s guide to help you select the best gaming notebook for your gaming needs.

Laptop Model Processor Graphics Memory
Razer Blade 15 Intel i7-8750H GeForce RTX 2080 16 GB
MSI GS65 Stealth Intel i7-8750H GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q 16 GB
Lenovo Legion Y740 Intel i7-8750H GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q 16 GB
Acer Helios 300 Intel i7-9750H GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 16 GB
MSI GL63 8RC Intel i5-8300H GeForce GTX 1050 8 GB
Acer Triton 500 Intel i7-8750H GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q 16 GB
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 Intel i7-8750H GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q 16 GB
MSI GS75 Stealth Intel i7-8750H GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q 32 GB
Asus Zephyrus GA502 AMD Ryzen 7 3750H GeForce GTX 1660 Max-Q 16 GB
Asus Strix GL503VS-DH74 Intel i7-7700HQ GeForce GTX 1070 16 GB

TOP 10 GAMING LAPTOPS

1. Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model – Best Overall

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2666Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz
  • Storage – 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Battery – 80Whr
  • Dimensions – 9.25 x 13.98 x 0.78 inches
  • Weight – 4.63 pounds
Pros
  • Very high build quality
  • Wide range of options for CPU and GPU
Cons
  • Pricey

Review

The first Razer Blade 15 came out in the spring of 2018. Not much has changed in the short time since. The advanced model we see here is really a refresher of the older great gaming laptop model, with the same aluminum chassis as the original. The main difference here is that it has the latest Nvidia Turing architecture RTX graphics card: The GeForce RTX 2080.

The RTX 2080 can run Metro Exodus, which is ray traced, very smoothly at more than 50 fps with the visual settings at maximum. We also decided to find out how well the battery would do, playing Metro Exodus with the power unplugged. Despite the fact that this laptop is power hungry, it still managed to play for a whopping 5 hours before the battery gave out.

When the original Razer Blade first came out, it was by far the lightest and thinnest gaming laptop in its class. That is no longer true, as many thinner and lighter models have been produced since. However, it is still the longest lasting in terms of battery life. It’s also a pretty expensive laptop.

Something else we like about this laptop is the fact that it checks all the boxes of what a laptop should be. A lot of gamers buy gaming laptops to stand in for gaming desktops, which means they don’t really care that the thing is heavy and bulky and has a terrible trackpad, unlike regular non-gaming laptops. This laptop, however, is just as good a replacement for your laptop as it is a replacement for your gaming desktop. The trackpad is very much like what you would find on the MacBook. It even competes in terms of aesthetics with non-gaming Windows notebooks like the Dell XPS 13.

You can get the Razer Blade 15 with a 4K OLED screen if you want, which only works with the RTX 2080 GPU. Though, if you’re going to go in that direction, we would advise you to go for one of the FHD 144Hz models with higher volume.

However you look at it, this is the best possible gaming laptop in the market at the moment. We’ll be waiting for someone to come up with something better. However, until then, we’ve got our minds made up.

2. MSI GS65 Stealth Thin – Thin and Lightweight

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2400Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) wide view 144Hz
  • Storage – 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Battery – 82Whr
  • Dimensions – 9.75 x 14.08 x 0.69 inches
  • Weight – 4.14 pounds
Pros
  • Powerful and sleek
  • Good battery life
  • Great value for the money
Cons
  • G-Sync missing

Review

This powerful gaming laptop is a winner for many people and has some pretty great specs, given its price. It is quite versatile, just as a notebook should be, and is both sturdy and light. You can throw it in your laptop bag and walk around with it all day without a problem. The sleek body is made of aluminum and is matte black with gold accents, making the laptop feel like something of a luxury item. That said, we have a particular liking for it because the aesthetics are tame compared to some of the more outrageous gaming laptop designs out there. It’s at least an inch smaller than most 15-inch laptops you will find on the market, whether they are gaming laptops or not, making it a win for a 15-inch laptop.

Unfortunately, the GPU on this laptop won’t do ray tracing, since it’s a GTX GPU. That said, it’s still powerful enough to handle most of the game titles on the market. The whole series of MSI GS65 stealth thin models are transitioning into a more stable line of flavors right now. You could try to get a model with a GTX 1070 GPU, though you would have to contend with 32GB of RAM and an SSD with a capacity of 1TB, making it very expensive. If you want to save some money but still get the 1060 build, you could go for one with 16GB of Ram and 256GB SSD. This will take a huge chunk off of the price, though you will have to sacrifice some of the performance. There are also newer models with the RTX 2070 GPU, but they’re also very expensive.

Apart from the GPU, there are a lot of other details that make the GS65 a superb laptop, such as the SteelSeries keyboard with RGB lighting, the responsive touchpad, and the solid webcam at the top of the screen.

The only thing you’ll miss in this laptop is G-Sync technology. However, given the price tag and the high battery life, it is arguably a reasonable tradeoff.

3. Lenovo Legion Y740 – Best for Hardcore Gamers

Lenovo Legion Y740

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2667Mhz
  • Screen – 17.3 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz
  • Storage – 1TB HDD; 256GB SSD
  • Battery – 76Whr
  • Dimensions – 12 x 16.2 x 0.91 inches
  • Weight – 6.4 pounds
Pros
  • Excellent performance
  • Fair pricing
Cons
  • Unappealing external design
  • Small trackpad

Review

The Legion series of Lenovo laptops has been around for a few years now, and have managed to make a name for themselves in the gaming niche because of the amount of value they offer when it comes to affordable specs.

Lenovo is mainly known for ThinkPads, where it focuses on getting the most in terms of performance from the cheapest of materials while maintaining design and quality. This philosophy has carried over into the Legion series and seems to be working very well, especially with the Lenovo Legion Y740. This laptop has an incredibly wide screen at 17.3 inches and graphics chips that range from the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 to the RTX 2080, all extremely powerful graphics cards, and all coming at just a fraction of the price you would get from competitors.

To be honest, the bezels on Legion laptops are wider and more distracting than what is currently considered normal in this space. However, the very wide screen also uses technology that is typically rare. The IPS 144Hz display features Dolby Vision HDR and G-Sync, which means you don’t have to get software adaptive protocols.

The audio is also impressive for a laptop at this price point: Dolby Atmos. The onboard sound bar is finely tuned and emits crisp frequencies over a wide range. There is equal value assigned to both the bass tones and midrange tones. You also get Dolby Atmos software in the Windows 10 Home edition install that ships with the laptop, which means you should be able to customize your EQ settings to your preference.

If you want ray tracing in real time, then the Lenovo Legion should work just fine. It will easily play games like Metro Exodus with the graphics settings at their maximum at over 50fps. You could even get it to play smoothly at over 60fps if you played with the sliders a bit. All of this, of course, is at over 30% less than the price of its competitors with the same specs.

4. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Value

Acer Predator Helios 300

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-9750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2666Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz
  • Storage – 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Battery – 3720 mAh
  • Dimensions – 10.01 x 14.23 x 0.90 inches
  • Weight – 5.07 pounds
Pros
  • Very high value for the money
  • Features the Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti GPU
Cons
  • Low storage capacity

Review

We really loved this laptop because it offers an extreme amount of value for the money, even though it’s a cheap gaming laptop. It has been a darling for us since the 10-series Pascal architecture era, where you could get it for about a grand and it had the GTX 1060 6GB GPU which was quite capable of smooth gameplay at 60fps and max visual setting for most games of the time. Acer decided to outdo themselves and brought the Helios back with new GPU: the GTX 1660 Ti GPU. It also comes looking sleeker, all at the same price.

This Helios 300 has a 144Hz IPS screen and smaller bezels, which makes it just as sleek and thin and light as the best of the best in the market, and much better than the generations that preceded it. The RAM speed is also pretty fast compared to its predecessor at 2666Mhz. The only major fail for this laptop is the low capacity of the SSD, though you could cough up more money if you wanted a model with a larger capacity SSD.

5. MSI GL63 8RC – Best for Low Budget

MSI GL63 8RC

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i5-8300H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB
  • RAM – 8GB DDR4-2666Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS
  • Storage – 1TB HDD
  • Battery – 3 cell 41Whr
  • Dimensions – 15.07 x 10.24 x 1.14 inches
  • Weight – 4.85 pounds
Pros
  • The RAM and storage are upgradeable
  • Thin Bezel
Cons
  • Does not include SSD

Review

If you’re looking for a budget gaming laptop that truly is low budget, then it’s hard to go wrong with the MSI GL63 laptop. It comes with a Core i5 Intel CPU, 8GB of high speed RAM, and the Nvidia GTX 1050 4GB GPU. It also comes with one of the thinnest bezels in this particular price range. The only thing that we obviously did not like about this laptop, and that we suspect you might not like either, is the lack of an SSD. It comes with a 1TB HDD. The good news is that it is upgradeable, so you can purchase an SSD and upgrade it to something a little more decent.

The best thing about this laptop is the highly competitive price tag, which pegs it at one of the cheapest laptops you will find on the market with a GTX 1050 graphics chip. It actually costs just a little more than a laptop with integrated graphics, but performs exponentially better. If you have a really tight budget and still want a gaming laptop, then this particular model should give you everything you would need in a laptop plus the capability to play some decent titles.

6. Acer Predator Triton 500 – Thin and Powerful

Acer Predator Triton 500

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2667Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz
  • Storage – 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Battery – 84Whr
  • Dimensions – 10 x 14.41 x 0.70 inches
  • Weight – 4.41 pounds
Pros
  • Very high performance
  • Great value for the money
Cons
  • Low battery life

Review

To be sure, not everyone wants the most powerful and the thinnest gaming laptop on the market. Sometimes, something that is just powerful enough and just thin enough to do the job is good enough. That’s what you get with the Acer Predator Triton 500: a great balance between performance, portability, and price. This notebook features Max-Q technology on an RTX 2080 GPU. If you want, you can find a cheaper model with an RTX 2060 graphics card.

Whichever version you go for, this great notebook is definitely worth your money. It can play the latest AAA titles at max settings with ray tracing on and at more than 50fps. It also comes with a Microsoft precision touchpad and a 1.7 mm thick keyboard. The only two things we didn’t like about this laptop is the noisy boot-up sound and the short battery life.

This laptop is also pretty light at 4.41 pounds. You could easily carry it around with you all day without feeling the strain. Each key on the Triton 500 has 1.7mm of travel and takes about 70 grams of force to activate. It also has RGB lighting zones, rather than a per-key lighting scheme. This isn’t a bad thing, though. Sometimes lighting zones instead of individual key backlighting is a reasonable tradeoff to make if it means the laptop gets a good design and is appealing.

7. Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 – Best for Battery Life

Gigabyte Aero 15X v8

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2666Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz
  • Storage – 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Battery – 94Whr
  • Dimensions – 9.8 x 14.0 x 0.74 inches
  • Weight – 4.63 pounds
Pros
  • Very good battery life
  • Very high performance
  • Beautiful display panel
Cons
  • May have driver problems out of the box

Review

This is yet another refresh. The original Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 came out in 2018 and had quite a few issues out of the box, including driver issues. This 2019 refresh has solved most of the issues that plagued its predecessor and added some features as well.

The keyboard on the refresh works much better than what was there in the predecessor, though the drivers still show a few issues. The best solution is to update the drivers, after which everything should be working just fine. This refresh also comes with a 144Hz display panel and Max-Q technology to make for a thinner, lighter, and sleeker design.

We couldn’t help comparing this laptop to some similar models on this list, such as the Razer Blade 15 and the MSI GS65. When compared to these, the body on the Aero 15X has a much chunkier body with sharper edges. We think that takes away some of its aesthetic appeal. However, it also wins over these competitors in other areas, such as productivity. The 94 Whr battery, for example, will easily last over 6 hours while streaming videos. The GS65’s battery, by comparison, will only last for about four and a half hours. The gaming performance on the Aero 15X is also pretty similar to the GS65 since the two gaming laptops share much of the internal components. The greatest difference between the two is in battery power and external design.

The other major difference is that the Aero 15X lets you fit it with a 4K screen. Now, given the kind of graphics card it comes with, it’s not advisable to use the 4K screen for gaming. The GPU would not be able to handle it and graphics quality would be severely compromised. The high refresh rate full HD 1080p screen that ships with this laptop is more than enough for framing purposes. The only scenario where the 4K screen seems to make more sense is in non-gaming activities where you want to take advantage of greater resolution.

8. MSI GS75 Stealth – Best for Performance

MSI GS75 Stealth

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  • RAM – 32GB DDR4-2667Mhz
  • Screen – 17.3 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz
  • Storage – 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Battery – 82Whr
  • Dimensions – 15.59 x 10.22 x 0.75 inches
  • Weight – 4.63 pounds
Pros
  • Very sleek look
  • Powerful performance
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Touchpad is uncomfortable
  • Paint chips off easily

Review

The only reason why this gaming laptop isn’t somewhere near the top of this list is its forbiddingly high price. Most of the other things about it are absolutely incredible and would make any ardent gamer swoon.

The Max-Q design was announced by Nvidia in 2017 and the idea was that gaming laptops of the future would not only be faster and more powerful, but also thinner, sleeker, and far lighter than their predecessors. The MSI GS75 is a tangible testament to this claim and has really lived up to its name.

The MSI GS75 laptop comes as an upgrade to the MSI GS65 model and has much of the same design: black and gold with an aluminum chassis. However, it has a larger screen, a sleeker look, and, of course, much more powerful specs. That said, we didn’t like the terrible paint job on this laptop as it has a tendency to chip easily. We also didn’t like the touchpad, which is surprisingly uncomfortable and makes you want to buy an external mouse immediately.

The rest though is good news. The aluminum alloy chassis houses a top of the range GeForce RTX graphics chip. This chip offers all of the ray tracing capabilities that have come to define the Turin architecture line of GPUs. It also comes with a Core i7 processor no matter which particular configuration you decide to purchase. The RAM comes in at a whopping 32 GB, which is not only good, but is overkill for gaming. The SSD also has a high enough capacity that it should be enough for gaming.

The price of this laptop is its greatest drawback. It is by far the most expensive laptop on this list and is certainly not for gamers on a budget. That said, the performance blows the competition out of the water. This machine can play some pretty demanding AAA games in 1080p full HD at max visual settings and a whopping 87 fps. Considering this beauty weighs less than 5 pounds, that’s one hell of a feat!

9. Asus ROG Zephyrus GA502 – Best AMD CPU-Powered Laptop

Asus ROG Zephyrus GA502

Specs

  • CPU – AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Max-Q
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2666Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch (1,920 x 1080) vIPS 120Hz
  • Storage – 512GB NVMe SSD x 2
  • Battery – 74Whr
  • Dimensions – 15.8 x 10.9 x 2.9 inches
  • Weight – 4.63 pounds
Pros
  • Very high build quality and design
  • Great value for the money
Cons
  • No webcam
  • Low quality touchpad

Review

This laptop is living proof that you don’t really need to spend an incredible amount of money to get a decent gaming laptop that performs just fine. For a mid-range laptop, the G502 offers a lot of value for the money and doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is. The design is attractive, the body is slim and sleek, and the performance is good enough that you can use it for gaming. The design is also good enough that you can use it as a normal laptop without turning heads due to an outrageous design.

On the inside, the specs might sound a little lackluster; a Ryzen 7 processor, an Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti GPU, 16GB of RAM, and two SSDs, each with a capacity of 512GB. These specs might not make you titillate with excitement, but they certainly aren’t to be taken lightly either. They are the specs of a gaming laptop that knows exactly what tier it lies in and what segment of the market it is targeting. It plays PC games very well at medium to high settings and provides portability along with performance.

You can play Esports titles like Overwatch, Fortnite, and Rocket League very smoothly on this laptop at high settings. For demanding and more recent games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Division 2, you will need to bring down the settings to medium for the same level of performance. However, even at that setting the game will play beautifully. Also, don’t forget that what we call ‘medium settings’ today were the high settings of previous years and still offer great beauty to the eye. It’s not the kind of compromise that can be considered a deal breaker.

There are some downsides that hold this model back, such as the loud fans and the terrible touchpad. The display panel is also vIPS, which means it’s going to be dim at full HD 1080p. However, if you turn the settings down you should still be able to enjoy your game without having to rob a bank to afford it.

10. Asus ROG Strix GL503VS-DH74 Scar Edition – Best SSD Storage

Asus ROG Strix GL503VS DH74 Scar Edition

Specs

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-7700HQ
  • GPU – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4-2400Mhz
  • Screen – 15.6 inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) wide view 144Hz with G-Sync
  • Storage – 256GB NVMe SSD, 1TB FireCuda SSHD
  • Battery – 64Whr
  • Dimensions – 10.3 x 15.2 x 1.0 inches
  • Weight – 5.6 pounds
Pros
  • Great SSD storage
  • Good value for the money
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Bulky

Review

Usually, a laptop offers some mix of price, performance, and portability. For the laptops that have the best performance and portability, you should be prepared to pay the highest price. For those that have an affordable price, you should be prepared to compromise on either performance or portability. For the GL503VS-DH74, you will get a great price and pretty decent performance. What you won’t get is portability.

The shell on the GL503VS-DH74 Scar Edition is pretty large and heavy. It in turn packs a well-performing Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card without Max-Q. This means you get more performance at a price point that typically wouldn’t offer that kind of performance. The CPU is also from a previous generation, though it’s still quad-core and for most games it really doesn’t matter that the CPU is from a previous generation.

Another great bit about this laptop is that it offers G-Sync technology and a 144Hz IPS display panel, which means the refresh rate is good and you don’t have to worry about the game having difficulty rendering at high frame rates. The compromise is that you will have to keep it plugged in most of the time due to the short battery life. Go more than two hours on the battery and you will definitely have to plug in your charger.

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