With the rise of the battle-royale genre, PC gaming is (once again) all the rage, and laptops with dedicated GPUs are in high demand. If you've committed to buying a gaming laptop, you don't need to sacrifice form factor and battery life. You can't buy an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080-equipped Dell XPS 13, but you don't need to purchase an anvil with only 2 hours of battery life, either.
Laptop Mag reader youssef.legochima will be happy to hear that. They are looking for a sub-$2,000 gaming laptop that weighs less than 2.2 kilograms (4.8 pounds) and has good battery life.
While few devices meet those criteria, the available options that do are excellent. Here are the best lightweight gaming laptops that won't power down in the middle of a gaming session.
MSI GS65 Stealth Thin
Our first pick is the $1,999 MSI GS65 Stealth Thin, a remarkably slim laptop with impressive endurance. It weighs 4.1 pounds and is 0.7 inches thick, so you shouldn't have any problems hauling this beast around in your backpack. Better yet, its black-and-gold, aluminum-alloy body looks fantastic, and the razor-thin bezels spotlight a vibrant, 15.6-inch, 144-Hz display.
The GS65 Stealth Thin is also a performance powerhouse, thanks to its 8th-Gen, six-core i7-8750H processor and the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU, which played The Witcher 3 on Ultra at 54 frames per second.
The MSI GS65 lasted 5 hours and 40 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test — hours longer than the gaming-laptop category average (3:49). Our main qualm with the GS65 is that it gets pretty hot when you're gaming.
If the heat issues are a deal breaker, consider the newest Razer Blade. This gorgeous, 15-inch gaming laptop is also equipped with the latest Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU, so you can play just about any modern title at maximum graphics settings.
Like the MSI, the Razer Blade has excellent endurance, lasting 5 hours and 54 minutes on our battery test. If you like customization, the Blade has a Chroma-enabled keyboard with RGB lighting.
Unfortunately, the Razer Blade's 144-Hz full-HD display is rather dim for a gaming laptop, and the shallow keyboard isn't very comfortable to type on. Also, at $2,600 (as tested), the Razer Blade is pricier than its rivals and just outside of our reader's price range.
If you want to save some cash, and a good display takes priority over battery life, then our next recommendation, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501, should be on your short list.
Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501
At 5.5 pounds and 0.8 inches thick, the $2,200 Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501 isn't as sleek as the Razer or the MSI, but it's still compact compared with other gaming laptops. Equipped with the same Core i7 CPU and 1070 Max-Q GPU, the Zephyrus M GM501 blazed through our performance tests.
The laptop's brushed-aluminum build is stylish, and the 15.6-inch, 1080p display is vibrant. The speakers also sound great, and the machine remained relatively cool during our gaming test.
A potential deal breaker with the Zephyrus is its short battery life. The laptop lasted only 2 hours and 47 minutes on our battery test, which consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. For comparison, the gaming-laptop category average for battery endurance is 3:30.
Which laptop should our reader purchase? Our favorite overall lightweight gaming laptop is the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin, which earned a 4.5-star rating and an Editors' Choice award in our review. It checks all the right boxes, with a svelte design, excellent performance and long battery life. Other perks include crisp speakers and fully customizable keyboard lighting. The GS65 Stealth Thin's only major downside is below-average heat management when gaming.
The Razer Blade is another good option. It has similarly impressive performance packaged in a sturdy, premium design. While it has a bit more endurance than the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin, the Blade's display is disappointingly dim, and the keyboard isn't particularly comfortable.
Then there's the Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501, which has an eye-catching design and superfast performance but falls short on battery life.
Ultimately, while each of these laptops has its own pros and cons, our reader can't go wrong with any of them.
Credit: Laptop Mag
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Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.