Best gaming laptops 2024: I've reviewed 100+ gaming rigs — these are the best

I’ve been a technology journalist for well over a decade. And one of the things that always brings a big smile to my face are gaming laptops. They come in a multitude of sizes with a range of designs that go from understated to over the top. And speaking of over the top, many gaming laptops allow you to adjust the lighting, create macros and overclock the CPU and GPU. 

But like other laptops, consumers are spoiled for choice. Do you go for broke with a $3,000 RTX 4090 rig with all the bells and whistles, or do you want something a bit more tame and cost effective? What about screen size and resolution? Never fear dear reader, I’m here to walk you through the ins and outs of gaming laptops and have a list of some of my favorites. 

You might be asking how I narrowed down our best gaming laptop list. A lot of testing. Over the course of a year the Laptop Mag staff reviews over 100 laptops covering every budget and use case. Each system undergoes rigorous benchmarking, testing everything from overall performance to battery life. Gaming laptops undergo an extra set of tests designed to test gaming performance, heat (or lack thereof) and endurance. 

Once all the testing is done, the actual reviewing begins, where the staff adds their anecdotal experience. If the system is indeed exceptional, earning four stars or higher or our Editors’ Choice award, the system will then earn a spot in this guide. Here are the best gaming laptops right now. 

Curated by
Laptop Mag: About Us
Curated by
Rami Tabari

Rami has been swimming in gaming laptops for most of his adult life, which is wild to think about, but excellent for you, those of which that need a new gaming rig in their life. Rami knows that budget shouldn't compromise on quality, and that you deserve the most for your coin. Extensive testing and hands-on has taught Rami which are the best gaming laptops for every budget.

The Quick List

Recent updates

Updated February 22 to trim down the list, make content more concise, add "Also tested" section to introduce more gaming laptops outside of top list.

Best Overall

Best gaming laptop overall

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9-13900HX
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
RAM: 32GB
Storage: Dual 1TB SSD in RAID 0
Display: 18-inch, QHD+ (2560 x 1600), 240Hz
Weight: 6.8 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Flashy, futuristic design
+
Captivating display
+
Full, balanced audio
+
Impressive overall and gaming performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricy
-
Webcam could be better
-
Below-average battery life

Our favorite config:

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2023) | Intel Core i9-13980HX | Nvidia RTX 4090 | 32GB RAM | 2TB SSD

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2023) | Intel Core i9-13980HX | Nvidia RTX 4090 | 32GB RAM | 2TB SSD
If you're looking for the best and most powerful gaming laptop, you cannot go wrong with the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18. This configuration is what we recommend if you want to make the most out of new gaming hardware. We did review the 2024 model, and while it was more powerful, we concluded that it was not as good as the 2023 version.


The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 is my first taste of the new chips from Intel and Nvidia and I’ve got to say, it’s absolutely delicious. The Strix Scar 18 is an unmitigated beast, running with Intel’s 13th Gen Core i9-13900HX processor and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4090 GPU. Both are uber-powerful and highly overclockable so you can squeeze every bit of power out of the system. Plus, the notebook has this Blade Runner vibe that I’m very much into along with its 18-inch, QHD+ (2560 x 1600), 240Hz display that serves up a beautiful picture with buttery smooth rendering. 

So onto the tests. There were very few places the ROG Strix Scar 18 missed the mark. The laptop easily trounced everything we threw at it. During gaming tests, it was rare the Strix Scar 18 fell below a three-digit result. We saw a scorching 154 fps on the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla benchmark while it reached 181 and 152 fps on Rise of the Tomb Raider and Grand Theft Auto V. How about overall performance?

The 13th Gen CPU smoked the competition, scoring 19,233 on Geekbench 5.4; that’s more than double the premium gaming laptop overall performance average. This system completed our video transcoding test in just 2 minutes and 49 seconds (more than a minute faster than the MacBook Pro 16-inch M2 Pro Max, while its pair of 1TB SSDs dominated our file transfer tests.

However, all that power comes at a cost. The Scar 18’s battery life is on the short side at 4 hours and 26 minutes. Another con is the 720p webcam; we would expect 1080p at this eye-watering price. . But overall, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 is the gaming laptop to beat and has also earned its way onto our Best Asus Laptops page

Read our full Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 review

Best under $1,000

Best gaming laptop under $1,000

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-11375H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display: 14-inch, 1080p
Weight: 3.8 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Strong performance and graphics
+
Solid battery life
+
Relatively affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Keyboard and touchpad could use some work
-
Quiet audio

Our favorite config:

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE | Intel Core i7-12700H | Nvidia RTX 3060 | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE | Intel Core i7-12700H | Nvidia RTX 3060 | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD
Need a budget gaming laptop without compromising on quality or performance? Then this model of the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE will do you wonders. Yes, it's GPU is last gen, but don't knock this low-budget heavy hitter out yet. It'll surprise you. You should be able to score this gaming laptop for under $1,000, and it's 14-inch form factor makes it all the more portable.


The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is a revelation. Our reviewer put it best as it sits in a “cozy spot where the company offers its best quality components packed into a relatively affordable package.” The slim, 14-inch beauty only weighs 3.8 pounds and a good grouping  of ports. It’s also got a lovely, bright 1080p panel with a 144Hz refresh rate, which is ideal for gaming. 

Speaking of gaming, the Triton’s RTX 3060 GPU is more than enough to handle most games on high or medium settings. The Predator Triton 300 SE consistently beat the category average on AAA titles such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Shadow of the Tomb Raider. For instance, during the Far Cry New Dawn benchmark, the Acer scored 73 fps which was enough to match or beat most of the competition. 

The Triton’s Core i7 processor didn’t do as well on our overall performance test, scoring 5,234 which beat the category average but not any of the rival systems. On the Handbrake video transcoding test, the Acer turned in a rather slow time of 11 minutes and 36 seconds. We got a rosier picture on the battery life where the system lasted 6 hours and 41 minutes. 

Other cons include weak audio and a mushy keyboard, but for the price, these are small quibbles. 

See our full Acer Predator Triton 300 SE review

Best under $1,500

Best gaming laptop under $1,500

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
RAM: 16GB DDR5
Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen 4 M.2 SSD
Display: 16-inch, 1440p, 165Hz, IPS
Weight: 5.5 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish, sleek form factor
+
Gorgeous display
+
Strong performance
+
Quiet fans
+
Plenty of ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Webcam = potato
-
No biometrics
-
SSD is slightly slower than competition

Our favorite config:

Lenovo Legion 5i Pro | Intel Core i7-13700HX | Nvidia RTX 4070 | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD

Lenovo Legion 5i Pro | Intel Core i7-13700HX | Nvidia RTX 4070 | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD
We reviewed last year's model of the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro, but the newest Lenovo Legion 5i Pro bumps you up to an RTX 4070 and maintains that sub-$1,500 sweet spot. Since we haven't directly reviewed this version, we cannot guarantee it'll line up with our testing. However, the bump in GPU should be well worth the upgrade regardless of how other aspects turn out.


Need a gaming laptop that’s affordable without making too many sacrifices? Then the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro is just the system for you. Beneath its understated yet elegant design is a laptop that’s chomping at the bit to lay waste to the big bad in whatever game you’re playing and their minion horde. Despite its office-ready appearance, the Lenovo still has some gamer cred thanks to its vibrant RGB backlighting. And it’s got plenty of ports to create a formidable battlestation. 

The Legion 5i Pro marches onto our Best Lenovo Laptops and Best Lenovo Gaming Laptop pages with its last-gen RTX 3070 Ti GPU. While it’s not the latest 4000 series GPU, the Legion 5i Pro shows that the 3000 series still has plenty of punch, delivering an impressive 81 fps on Red Dead Redemption 2 and 132 fps on Grand Theft Auto V. The notebook’s 12th Gen Intel processor is also not to be underestimated as it crushed on both Geekbench 5.4 and our video transcoding tests. 

As good as the Legion 5i Pro is, there are a few hiccups, namely a lackluster webcam and a sluggish SSD. However, the gorgeous 16-inch, QHD display with its 165Hz refresh rate coupled with everything I mentioned above makes the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro an absolute win of a value buy. 

Read our full Lenovo Legion 5i Pro review

Best under $2,000