Playing PC games on the move is an attractive proposition, and now is a decent time to buy a gaming laptop. Nvidia's new mid-range RTX 40-series desktop GPUs will be here early next year, but its 40-series laptop GPUs won't be available until sometime later, so an RTX 30-series mobile chip shouldn't immediately feel out-of-date. (Don't bother with an RTX 20-series laptop at this point, though.) This is also the time of year when everything goes on sale, starting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In anticipation of the sales and gift giving season, we've collected some of our favorite gaming laptops here. This article was produced with support from Intel. We like Intel's mobile CPUs and the laptops we've selected here include them, but for more recommendations, including some AMD builds, see our guide to the best gaming laptops. This list includes a larger variety of laptops, all with specs that we favor—enough memory and SSD storage to be viable gaming machines, good screens with refresh rates as high as 360Hz, and good graphics processors to drive them.
Other things we've looked out for include Thunderbolt 4 or HDMI 2.1 ports for hooking your laptop up to external monitors, and the new Wi-Fi 6 standard that will help ensure your internet connections are stable and swift. No partridge in a pear tree, though.
1. New Razer Blade 15
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: One i7 in a svelte chassis (from $1,799.99)
The Intel Core i7-12700H is a popular processor, and it turns up in the latest iteration of the Blade 15 from Razor. The laptop is a glorious thing to behold, milled from aluminum and looking almost demure, with nothing to betray what's inside, not even Razor’s trademark livid green, apart from a tiny sliver inside the USB ports. Folded down, it could almost be a business tool.
Not so when you fire it up: The Razer logo on the lid glows, the keyboard erupts in rainbows, and the 14-core Intel i7 processor gives its vapor chamber cooling system something to think about as it tears through your games. You can spec an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080Ti GPU too, along with up to 32GB of fast DDR5 RAM and a 1TB SSD if you want to go all the way.
You can spec a 4K screen with a 144Hz refresh rate, but stick with the base 1080p model and you'll be able to push framerates as high as 360fps. We liked this laptop so much we put it at the top of our list of best gaming laptops, where we also recommend the Razer Blade 14 with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU, for a more compact option.
2. HP Omen 16
On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Two... thousand five hundred and sixty horizontal pixels ($1,449.99)
The 16-inch laptop is a great size compromise between the largest 17-inch gaming laptops and the more easily portable 14 and 15-inch devices. A slightly larger screen makes a lot of sense for a gaming laptop, especially as bezels have become so thin. The Omen 16 is a particularly good example, with its high-end Intel Core i9-12900H, which can boost up to 5GHz.
There's 16GB of DDR5 RAM installed, too, and a 2560x1440 IPS screen with a 165Hz refresh rate. No complaints about those panel specs, although this Omen's Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU might struggle to actually hit 165 fps at 1440p in demanding games. Storage is handled by a 1TB NVMe SSD, which will allow you to jam plenty of your current game library onto the machine.
The Omen 16's speakers have been developed in partnership with Bang & Olufsen, and decent speaker sound is a nice touch if you like watching movies on your laptop. It also features Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 and has the array of USB ports we like to see, including one Thunderbolt and one USB 4.
3. Alienware x17 R2
On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Three-grand of graphics ($3,399.99).
With a choice of speedy Intel processors—the Core i7-12700H and i9-12900HK among them—plus Nvidia RTX 30-series graphics cards all the way up to the 3080Ti, you’ll struggle to find a better set of gaming laptop component options than in the big Alienware x17 R2
The 17.3-inch screen comes in either 1080p or 4K versions, with refresh rates that climb to an incredible 480Hz. They all support variable refresh rates with Nvidia G-Sync, and even the slowest 4K choice can manage 120Hz. And while the X17 didn't make it into our guide to the best laptops, its close cousin the M17, which uses processors and graphics chips from AMD, did.
You can spec an X17 R2 out with 64GB of DDR5 RAM, which is probably too much for pure gaming but can help if you also use the laptop for video editing, and there's a 512GB NVMe SSD for storing those games (and videos) on.
You can connect the laptop to fast external storage using the USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Thunderbolt 4 ports, and there's an HDMI 2.1 port to connect to an external monitor or TV. The internal SSD is a bit small, so adding an external one is a great way to expand its storage, and who doesn’t like gaming on large screens?
Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 take care of internet connectivity and connections to your headphones and other wireless peripherals. Stereo speakers and a headphone jack round out the package, along with Alienware's RGB-lit xSeries keyboard.
4. MSI Stealth GS77
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: A 4K screen for $4K ($4,199.99)
No one will accuse this 2022 MSI gaming laptop of being cheap, but for over four grand you get what you'd expect: An Intel Core i9 processor, 17.3in 4K IPS screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, 32GB of RAM, and a fast 1TB NVMe SSD. Rounding all that out is a GeForce RTX 3080Ti GPU, which sits at the top of the laptop graphics hierarchy.
You also get Intel Thunderbolt, an HDMI port capable of 4K/120 output (or 8K/60 if you've got the screen for it). Wi-Fi hits the 6E standard we want, and there's an SD card reader for photographers who want to take advantage of the fast internals for image editing, too.
With two speakers plus four woofers, the Stealth is far from stealthy, something not helped by the RGB keyboard, but we'll forgive it.
5. Acer Predator Helios 300
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Five pounds of power ($2,299.99)
Available as either a 15.6 or 17.3-inch model, the Helios 300 can either be a full desktop replacement, or a laptop you can take on the train. Whichever you choose, there are premium components on offer in this high-end machine—the linked model includes a hearty eight-core Intel Core i7-11800H.
Graphics are supplied by Nvidia GeForce chips, with the 8GB RTX 3070Ti being the most powerful GPU you can specify. It's a great GPU for screens up to 1440p, and good to see being used here. Screens vary, from 15-inch 1080p panels at 144Hz, to 17-inch 2560 x 1440 IPS models at 165Hz, a 15-inch 1440p screen at 240Hz, and variations in-between.
RAM is generally 16GB, with some like the linked model packing 32GB DDR5—the technology involved is either DDR4 or DDR5, depending which model you choose. Almost all Helios 300s come with a 1TB SSD, apart from one which has a 512GB drive, but standard features include Wi-Fi 6, a backlit keyboard, and Acer's fifth-generation Aeroblade cooling technology, which features an effective fan. You can control its speed too, if it's getting a little loud.
There's a full range of ports ringing the edge of the case, with Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1, USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Ethernet all present as we'd expect.
6. Asus ROG Zephyrus M16
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Sixteen inches displaying ($2,149.99)
Powerful and light are frequently mutually exclusive in the gaming laptop space, but not here. While others on this list bother the 3 kg mark, the Asus ROG M16 is a positively svelte 2 kg. That's 4.4 lbs, which is light for the power you're getting. This is another laptop that sits between the productivity-focused 14 and 15-inch laptops and the 17-inchers, which can be cumbersome if you actually want to use them on an airplane or at a cafe.
The internal hardware is of a suitably premium level for just over $2,000, with Intel's Core 14-core i9-12900H processor sitting at the center of a component list that can support an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070Ti laptop GPU, 16GB of DDR5 RAM (expandable to 48GB), and a 1TB NVMe SSD to store your games on. The screen is one of ROG's 'Nebula' displays, an anti-glare IPS panel in a 16:10 aspect ratio, squeezing 2560 x 1600 pixels into its 16-inch diagonal. It can refresh as fast as 165Hz, and has adaptive sync, plus Dolby Vision HDR. It's the kind of high-end screen we want to see in any laptop with a high-end GPU.
There's a lot going on away from these core features too, with a broad selection of USB ports, including one Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, a backlit RGB keyboard, and an optional backpack to keep it in.
7. MSI GE76 Raider
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Seventeen inches gleaming ($4,199.99)
MSI sure does make a lot of laptops. The GE76 Raider isn't the last time you'll see its products in this list, but with a 17.3-inch screen—and a chassis to match—it's one of the biggest portable computers to bear the MSI logo.
Whether it's really portable or not is up to you. As they get bigger the likelihood of a laptop being tucked in a bag and taken to the coffee shop or gaming meet diminishes, and a 17-incher is just as likely to be left on top of a desk.
Lucky, then, that it has desktop-class performance, pairing Intel's Core i9-12900HK with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080Ti GPU and 32GB of DDR5 RAM, though you can choose different specs.
If you do find yourself taking the Raider out and about, MSI has fitted an RGB light bar beneath the front of the casing, which combines with the backlit keyboard to ensure this is a laptop you'll never lose sight of.
8. Acer Nitro 5
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Eight times four gigs of RAM ($2,299.99)
From closer to the budget end of the market—although these are gaming laptops, which are never really "cheap"—comes the Nitro 5. You can build out a Nitro 5 with the most minimal of specs for well under $1,000, or put together an expensive laptop powerhouse.
It follows the recent trend in the gaming laptop world of taking a less aggressive approach to design. Apart from the noticeable gap between the two halves of the machine, and the red glow once you've got it open and running, this might almost be mistaken for something you'd use to create presentations and spreadsheets.
Well, sure, you could do that, but playing Midnight Suns will probably be much more fun. To this end, you'll find a choice of Intel processors available for the Nitro 5, all the way up to the Core i9-12900H 14-core CPU. The degree of customization is nice with this one: You can specify up to 32GB of RAM, choose the size of the battery, and decide between 15.6 or 17.3-inch screens, with 1080p and 1440p models available, and Nvidia GPUs from the 30 series are selectable. There's potentially a lot of laptop on offer here, and depending on the spec is a solid choice for today's games.
9. MSI Stealth GS66
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: A stealthy Core i9 ($2,499.99)
Another MSI, and another nicely designed laptop with the kind of internals to make a desktop gaming PC weep into its hard drive trays. Intel's 12th-generation processors once again make an appearance, in the form of the Core i9 12900H, and 15.6-inch IPS screens can be specced from a speedy 1080p 360Hz, a 4K 120Hz, or a 1440p 240Hz model holding down the middle ground.
Alongside that Intel i9 and up to 64GB of DDR5 RAM sits an Nvidia RTX 3080Ti GPU for pushing the pixels, its capabilities aided by 16GB of dedicated graphics memory. Whatever games you like to play, from racing simulations to fast-moving action adventures, the GS66 will be able to keep up. The only problem we found in our review is that it's a bit loud when the cooling fans are running.
Storage is handled by a NVMe SSD, and there are two slots inside the machine, for possible future upgrades. Your internet connection is taken care of by WI-Fi 6E or a 2.5Gbps Ethernet socket, and there's Bluetooth 5.2 for your headset. Arranged around the edge of the laptop are ports including Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2, and an HDMI capable of 8k/60, should you need it. All this is contained in a package weighing just 2.1kg, making it a highly portable and extremely capable gaming device.
10. Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 7
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: 10 numpad keys ($1,949.99+)
Intel's i7 processor and Nvidia's GeForce 3080Ti laptop GPU make a potent combination, which is why they're so often found in the best gaming laptops. Here they are again, in a premium-looking laptop that also sports a 16-inch 2560 x 1600 16:10 screen you can equip with a mini-LED backlight, and up to 32GB of RAM. We went with the Legion 5 in our best gaming laptops rundown, but the Legion 7 has a more powerful GPU option—it's bigger and more expensive as a result, of course.
The processor in the Legion 7 is the Intel i7-12800HX, which has a total of 16 cores. As it's a 12-generation chip, these are split into Performance and Efficiency, and it features eight of each, for a total of 24 threads able to be processed at a time. Gamers will particularly appreciate the 4.8GHz boost speed, and the fast DDR5 RAM, while the 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD should keep loading times under control even if it is a bit small by today's standards.
In addition to its useful resolution, the screen is HDR compatible, for extra color depth, and can refresh at 165Hz. There's fast Wi-Fi 6E, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI 2.1, 2.5Gbps Ethernet, and more USB ports for excellent connectivity. The keyboard has RGB lighting, and you can swap out the WASD keys if you want to, or if you wear them out.
11. HP Envy 15
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Windows 11 on a touch-screen PC ($1,569.99)
Really, this is a professional content creation laptop, and as such comes with Studio drivers for its Nvidia GeForce 3060 GPU. The Studio drivers aren't updated as often as the Game Ready drivers, and aren't optimized for individual gaming titles, as they are designed to be as stable as possible. You can still play games with Studio drivers, and their presence makes this a good choice for students or those working in a creative field, but it’s easy to switch them for the Game Ready drivers.
The Envy 15 can be bought with an Intel i9 processor to go with that GPU, making a fast combo that can tear through whatever you throw at it. There's up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM too, and a 2TB MVMe SSD for storage. And the 4K OLED touchscreen you can spec on this Envy 15 will be the, ahem, envy of anyone looking over your shoulder while you’re designing or gaming.
This is a powerful machine that has a good-sized vent at the back of its aluminum casing to let the heat out. With Thunderbolt, USB 3, and an HDMI 2.1 port, it's also a versatile laptop that can be connected to fast external storage and big screens. Even the Bang & Olufsen audio system acquits itself well.
12. Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: A 12th-gen processor ($2,299.99)
The larger 17-inch laptop is preferred by those who favor screen real estate over portability, but the form factor has another benefit—there's more room in the chassis to fit in components and cooling systems. The Scar 17 takes the Intel Core i9-12900H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080Ti laptop GPU (a 3070Ti option is also available) that makes such a good pairing, and complements it with up to 64gb of DDR5 RAM and a 2TB NVMe SSD.
It’s the screens, though, that really make a 17-inch laptop, and it's a shame not to see a 4K option here, but the 1440p model with a 240Hz refresh rate that is available will keep the action smooth and the textures sharp. It's a nice IPS adaptive-sync panel, with Dolby Vision HDR.
Should you need to connect to things, you'll find Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2, and HDMI 2.1 are all available, as well as a 2.5Gbps LAN port plus Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. For flair, there's a light bar, glowing bezel, and lighting-equipped logo that can be controlled with Asus' Armory Crate software.