The best gaming laptops in Australia for 2024

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MSI Raider GE78HX

(Image credit: MSI)

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We've been testing the best gaming laptops, digging deep into the new flavors of AMD processor and Nvidia graphics silicon, and we know which notebooks sing and which are just tone deaf. We're not just talking about sleek, expensive new machines, either, we've picked a range of gaming laptops at different price point to highlight which give you the best bang for buck and which are just outright awesome.

And, honestly, you've decided to buy a gaming laptop at the right time. Not only have the next generation of mobile GPU and CPU been well established, offering the best Nvidia, AMD, and Intel has to offer, but this end of year period is offering some of the best prices on the top notebooks I've seen. I've already tested the alternatives, and the best gaming laptop is the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i. It makes the best RTX 4090 gaming laptops, including the Razer Blade 16 and Asus ROG Zephyrus M16, and even the frankly ridiculous MSI Titan GT77 HX, look like overkill.

AMD has also now released its new 3D V-cache mobile chip, and it's absolutely the best mobile gaming chip you can buy, which makes the 17-inch Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 X3D the outright fastest. It's a pricey beast, though, and a lot of money for just a handful of extra frames per second.

We test dozens of the best gaming laptops every year. The ones that make it to the list provide the best value for money—the best balance of performance, price, and portability.

Curated by
Dave James
Curated by
Dave James

Dave has had his head in PCs and gaming laptops for a couple of decades now, and knows what makes them tick, and what makes the best gaming laptop for every budget. Whether it's about looking for the highest performance, the best value, best screen, or just the best build quality, Dave has spent time prodding and tweaking pretty much all the laptops on this list.

The quick list

The best gaming laptop

The best gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: Up to Core i9 13900HX
GPU: RTX 4090, RTX 4080, or RTX 4070
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR5
Screen: 2560 x 1600, 16:10 aspect ratio
Storage: Up to 2TB Gen 4 SSD
Battery: Up to 99.99Wh
Dimensions: 10.32 x 14.3 x 0.86–1.01 inches
Weight: 6.17lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Solid, grown-up chassis
+
Excellent CPU performance
+
Competitive price

Reasons to avoid

-
Weak battery life
-
1600p screen isn't the most punchy
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8)| Intel Core i9 13900HX | Nvidia RTX 4080 (150W) | 32GB DDR5 | 1TB NVMe SSD

<a href="https://lenovo.evyy.net/c/338476/239209/4053?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lenovo.com%2Fau%2Fen%2Fp%2Flaptops%2Flegion-laptops%2Flegion-pro-series%2Flegion-pro-7i-gen-8-%2816-inch-intel%29%2Flen101g0023" data-link-merchant="lenovo.com"" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8)| Intel Core i9 13900HX | Nvidia RTX 4080 (150W) | 32GB DDR5 | 1TB NVMe SSD
The RTX 4080 model is our absolute favorite version of the Legion Pro 7i. That's the same one we've tested ourselves. This awesome chassis delivers enough headroom for the RTX 4080 to shine in games, and it often matches laptops with more restrained RTX 4090 GPUs inside. Tough to argue with that.

We tested: Intel Core i9 13900HX | Nvidia RTX 4080 (150W) | 32GB DDR5 | 1TB NVMe SSD


Buy if...

You want serious gaming power: The RTX 4080 mobile GPU is a fantastic gaming chip, offering stellar performance on the native 1600p screen. And that Intel CPU is an absolute monster of processor, too.

You value good value: Most of the next-gen laptops we've tested so far have had an almost punitive price premium attached to them, which makes them hard to justify. The Legion Pro 7i, however, can offer performance as high as a Razer Blade 16 with an RTX 4090 inside it, while coming in significantly cheaper.

You want a grown-up laptop: The Lenovo chassis is smart, stylish, and doesn't come with any over-the-top 'gamer' aesthetic bull.

Don't buy if:

You need looong battery life: The biggest downside with the Legion Pro 7i is its gaming battery life is one of the weakest we've seen. Given the high-powered GPU that's maybe not a surprise, and realistically you are going to gaming plugged in for the most part.

You're after something super portable: The 16-inch chassis isn't that much bigger than a standard 15-inch machine thanks to the thin bezels around the screen, but they don't offer the same level of portability as the excellent 14-inch options around today.

The bottom line

🪛 The Legion Pro 7i is a stunning gaming laptop that really cements Lenovo's place in the top tier of gaming machines. The performance and value of the high-end components inside this laptop means it can rival far more expensive systems without sounding like a jet turbine to do so. It's both the best gaming laptop, and the best 16-inch laptop right now.

The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is the best 16-inch gaming laptop, and since 16-inch is the best form factor for a gaming laptop, it is therefore the best gaming laptop overall as well.

It's a machine that comes in at a price point that makes the rest of the high-end RTX 40-series look even more ridiculous on their lofty $4,000+ perches. And its the RTX 4080 model that has us impressed in testing, offering the sort of gaming performance that has me questioning why anyone would want an RTX 4090 machine.

The Legion Pro 7i runs its RTX 4080 at a 150W TGP, which is the effective maximum of the GPU. Though manufacturers are given an extra 25W leeway to bulk up their own specs if they feel they can push a little extra juice through their own systems. Lenovo hasn't gone down that route, the Legion Pro knows what it likes, and it likes the 150W TGP and no more.

The Legion Pro 7i uses a 13th Gen Intel chip—the Core i9 13900HX. If, like me, you were to assume that would essentially be a slightly higher clocked version of the Core i9 13900H Asus has used in its excellent Zephyrus M16 gaming laptop, then you'd be wrong.

Despite the almost identical name, this is an entirely different, substantially better CPU. Where the one in the Asus is a 14-core design, with six P-cores, this is a 24-core setup with eight P-cores and twice the number of E-cores. They're both capable of 5.4GHz boost clocks, though inevitably the bigger chip has a higher base TDP of 45W.

Then, backing up the key CPU/GPU combination is a 1TB PCIe 4.0 Samsung SSD, and 32GB of DDR5-5600 SK Hynix memory.

The final part of the package is the 1600p 240Hz screen. Which is fine. I fear I've been spoiled by the joy of the mini LED backlights used in the last few laptop displays I've tested, because this one lacks the punch that I now want from a gaming panel. What it does have, however, is the 16:10 aspect ratio I never knew I needed in a gaming laptop until I started using them on the regular. The 2560 x 1600 native resolution is a great match for the 16-inch screen size the Legion Pro comes rocking.

The Legion Pro 7i manages to outperform both the Razer Blade 16 and the Asus Zephyrus M16 regularly, at both 1080p and 1440p resolutions. Only the chonky boi MSI Titan GT77 is able to utilise its RTX 4090-ish GPU to its fullest potential. And then at the expense of acoustics and potentially your sanity.

Because that's the thing I keep coming back to when I'm looking at this Lenovo machine. It's not the prettiest, but it sure can smash out them high gaming frame rates. And does it for around $2,000 less than the Blade 16.

So, it feels like a grown up gaming laptop, is eminently usable, has performance in spades—in both CPU and GPU terms—and doesn't cost anywhere near the same amount as the next-gen machines we've already checked out. I mean, it's not cheap; ~AU$5,000 is still a not inconsiderable chunk of change. But that's not an unexpected price tag for such a high powered notebook.

Read our full Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8) review.

The best value gaming laptop

The best affordable gaming laptop this year

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Core i7 12th Gen
GPU: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR5-4800
Screen: 15.6-inch IPS 1080p @ 144Hz
Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD
Battery: 54Wh
Dimensions: 14.2 x 9.4 x 0.89 inches
Weight: 4.19lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Great gaming performance
+
Nice-looking screen
+
Solid chassis
+
Easy to upgrade storage
+
Roughly the price of a similar RTX 30-series model

Reasons to avoid

-
Loud under load
-
Larger SSD upgrade is a must
-
Would prefer more P-cores

Our favorite config:

Gigabyte G5 (2023) | Intel Core i5 12500H | Nvidia RTX 4060 | 8GB DDR4-3200 | 512GB SSD

<a href="https://www.gigabyte.com/au/Laptop/G5--2023#kf" data-link-merchant="gigabyte.com"" target="_blank">Gigabyte G5 (2023) | Intel Core i5 12500H | Nvidia RTX 4060 | 8GB DDR4-3200 | 512GB SSD
It's going to be tough to beat the Gigabyte G5 (2023) for the best affordable gaming laptop this year. It's smartly provisioned with an RTX 4060 and good on price. The 8GB of system memory is a bit miserly, but it is possible to upgrade the RAM with easy access to the insides of the G5 chassis.

We tested: Intel Core i5 12500H | Nvidia RTX 4060 | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 512GB NVMe SSD


Buy if...

You want a cheaper RTX 40-series GPU: With a price tag not dissimilar to RTX 3060 gaming laptops, you're not paying a large premium for Nvidia's latest RTX 40-series architecture.

✅ You're after a laptop for both work and play: The G5 is predominantly a gaming laptop, but it's a relatively sleek chassis and its Alder Lake CPU does come with plenty of E-cores to throw at other tasks beyond gaming.

Don't buy if...

You want to install a lot of games at once: With just a 512GB SSD installed out of the box, and the OS taking up some of that already, there's not a huge amount of room left for large game libraries.

You want a quiet gaming device: Better stick to the Steam Deck or Asus ROG Ally if you want something quieter. The G5 makes a helluva noise when it's gaming.

The bottom line

🪛 You might reasonably assume that a next-gen gaming laptop will cost considerably more than the previous generation, but the Gigabyte G5 (2023) is basically the exact same machine as last year, at a bargain price, just with a new RTX 40-series GPU parachuted in. And that works for us.

The Gigabyte G5 (2023) is a great deal, and that's a little surprising considering the price hike we usually see for brand new gaming laptops. But you'll find no fad features or unnecessary add-ons to push up the costs here. Just a straightforward, well-built, and cleverly provisioned gaming laptop for around AU$2,000 that delivers plenty of frames in games.

Let's start with the star of the show here: the RTX 4060. We're yet to see Nvidia's RTX 40-series drop to this level on desktop, but even this budget-friendly card delivers superb 1080p performance befitting the G5's 1080p 144Hz display. That's partially down to the power Gigabyte's prepared to pump into the GPU inside this machine: 75W. 

That might not seem like much next to the 175W RTX 4090 laptops we've reviewed this year, but it's 30W more than MSI is ready to run through its own RTX 4060-powered gaming laptop, the Cyborg 15(opens in new tab). And you can watch the frame rate go up with every extra watt pulsing through the G5's GPU. The Gigabyte G5 is up to 27% faster than the Cyborg 15 in our testing, and the Cyborg 15 even has a better CPU for gaming under the hood.

The CPU in question here is Intel's Core i5 12500H. A fairly sensible choice, though let down a little by only four Performance-cores (P-cores). This is one of Intel's hybrid Alder Lake chips, so it comes with a basket of Efficient-cores (E-cores) to help lighten the load on the quicker gaming silicon. There are eight E-cores here, which makes for a 12-core chip in total.

Generally, I'd prefer a few more P-cores in the mix, at least six. Like the Core i7 12650H CPU found on the MSI Cyborg 15, in fact. That comes with six P-cores and just four E-cores. The MSI laptop also comes with faster DDR5 memory than the legacy DDR4 on the Gigabyte machine. But as you can see in the benchmarking results, the actual difference in performance between these two is relatively small even in CPU-heavy applications and tests.

You can open this laptop up relatively easily with a Phillips-head screwdriver to access its innards. You will poke through a couple of stickers over the screws that might void your warranty, so be sure you want to be diving in there before you do, but behind the back panel you'll find one free M.2 SSD slot for an easy storage capacity upgrade. You'll probably want to take advantage of that eventually as the 512GB SSD included in this machine will fill up quickly.

The biggest drawback of the G5 is the noise this thing makes when it's running any marginally demanding game. That's not a new experience for anyone who has used a gaming laptop in the past, but take this as your warning that gaming laptops are generally not any quieter in 2023. Not if you want high performance anyways. The MSI Cyborg 15 I also tested this past week is only quieter owing to its significantly reduced performance.

There's plenty of good things to say about the screen on the G5, too. It's vibrant and responsive, and while 15.6-inches can feel a little encroaching at 1080p, it's a happy median for frame rate, resolution, and size. While this laptop does suffer a little in contrast, colours are nicely saturated and it's an all-round solid panel.

The G5 (2023) just feels such a solid design for a gaming laptop. The performance is there, the flexibility and upgradeability too, and you aren't paying over the odds for the hot new thing. It's actually pretty affordable. This is going to be tough to beat for the best affordable gaming laptop to buy right now.

Read our full Gigabyte G5 (2023) review.

The best 15-inch gaming laptop

The best 15-inch gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: Up to Core i9 13800H
GPU: Up to RTX 4070
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR5
Screen: 1080p @ 360H or 1440p @ 240Hz
Storage: Up to 1TB SSD
Battery: 80Wh
Dimensions: 9.25 x 13.98 x 0.67 inches
Weight: 4.40lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Unparalleled build quality
+
Wide range of CPU/GPU options
+
Looks as good as it performs
+
Great battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Trackpad can be awkward
-
Razer premium price

Our favorite config:

Razer Blade 15 | Intel Core i7 12800H | Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti

<a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=8432&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com.au%2FRazer-Advanced-i7-12800H-2-02kg-Packaging%2Fdp%2FB09TTDML9C%2F%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-22%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-22" data-link-merchant="Amazon AU"" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Razer Blade 15 | Intel Core i7 12800H | Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti
You can, of course, go for the big boi—the RTX 3080 Ti—but in this slimline chassis, the Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti will deliver fantastic frame rates, even at the 1440p resolution of the 240Hz screen. You also get a 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD and 16GB of dual-channel DDR5 RAM at a blistering 4,800MHz.

We tested: Intel Core i7 10875HX | Nvidia RTX 2080 Super | 16GB DDR4 | 1TB NVMe SSD


Buy if...

You want a premium build: Razer's Blade 15 is as close as you're going to get to a gaming MacBook aesthetic. Well, apart from that big green logo on the lid...

You want options: There are a huge number of Blade 15 configurations out there, going from the Base to the Advanced systems, with a variety of price points.

You want battery life: If we're honest, game time away from a plug is always limited in a modern gaming laptop. But the Blade 15, even with the RTX 3080 in it, is the best performing on that front of all the machines in this list.

Don't buy if:

You need peak plugged-in performance: That slimline chassis is an essential part of the Blade 15's charm but is also why Razer limits the TGP of the graphics cards in them.

You're on a budget: Razer's gaming laptops are not cheap, and always come with a price premium on top of the likes of Asus or Acer's more affordable machines.

The bottom line

🪛 The Razer Blade 15 has long been our favorite 15-inch gaming laptop. It mixes style with performance and a wealth of screen real estate, and comes in a wide variety of configurations. Now, those configs may not necessarily suit every budget because of the Razer price premium, but if you're willing to pay for the absolute best the Blade 15 deserves to be at the top of your list.

The latest spin of the Razer Blade 15 once again improves on one of the best gaming laptops ever made. It has the same gorgeous CNC-milled aluminum chassis as its predecessor, only this time it can house one of Nvidia's latest RTX 40-series GPUs and an Intel 13th Gen Core i9 CPU.

When we played with the Razer Blade 15 Advanced with a 10th Gen Intel chip and RTX 3080 (95W) GPU inside it. And we fell in love all over again. The chassis hasn't changed since then, it just now ships with even more powerful components. We've also since then tried out the larger Razer Blade 17 with an RTX 3080 Ti humming away inside it, alongside one of those tasty 12th Gen chips and still stand bewildered by what will fit inside such a compact and neat chassis.

That said, you will get some throttling because of that slimline design, and even on the larger Blade 17 the battery life can be a little slim, but you're still getting outstanding performance from a beautiful machine.

The Blade 15 isn't the lightest gaming laptop you can buy, but five pounds is still way better than plenty of traditional gaming laptops, while also offering similar performance and specs. That heft helps make it feel solid too. It also means the Blade 15 travels well in your backpack. An excellent choice for the gamer on the go... or if you don't have the real estate for a full-blown gaming desktop and monitor.

Keyboard snobs will be happy to see a larger shift and half-height arrow keys. The Blade 15 Advanced offers per-key RGB lighting over the Base Model's zonal lighting. Typing feels great, and I've always liked the feel of the Blade's keycaps. The trackpad can be frustrating at times, but you're going to want to use a mouse with this gorgeous machine anyway, so it's not the end of the world. 

One of the best things about the Blade 15 is the number of configurations Razer offers. From the RTX 3060 Base Edition to the RTX 4070 Advanced with a 240Hz QHD panel, there's something for almost everyone. It's one of the most beautiful gaming laptops around and still one of the most powerful.

Read our full Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition review.

The best 14-inch gaming laptop

The best 14-inch gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
GPU: Up to AMD Radeon RX 6800S
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR5-4800
Screen: 14-inch IPS 1600p @ 120Hz
Storage: 1TB SSD NVMe PCIe 4.0
Battery: 76Wh
Dimensions: 12.28 x 8.94 x 0.73 inches
Weight: 3.79lbs

Reasons to buy

+
AMD's latest CPU and GPU
+
Fantastic gaming performance
+
Sturdy and stylish chassis
+
16:10, 2560 x 1600, 120Hz IPS panel

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as affordable as I'd expect from G14
-
Disappointing gaming battery life

Our favorite config:

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (GA402RJ) | AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS | AMD RX 6700S

<a href="https://clk.tradedoubler.com/click?p=318038&a=2384906&epi=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Frog.asus.com%2Fau%2Flaptops%2Frog-zephyrus%2Frog-zephyrus-g14-2022-series%2F" data-link-merchant="asus.com"" target="_blank">Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (GA402RJ) | AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS | AMD RX 6700S
This is the less powerful version of the G14 than the one we reviewed, but all the better off for it. The CPU remains the same powerful octa-core AMD number, but the GPU and RAM have come down to a more modest spec, which makes the impressive G14 an affordable yet still powerful gaming machine.

We tested: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS | AMD Radeon RX 6800S | 16GB DDR5 | 1TB NVMe SSD


Buy if...

You want a compact machine: The smaller 14-inch scale of the Asus G14 makes it a great compromise between the office ultrabook and a big gaming laptop.

You're price-conscious: There are fantastic configurations of the G14 that come in as reasonably priced as any other laptop of the same spec and yet with all the style and quality of Asus' diminutive machine.

You're an AMD fan: There are more options for AMD fans than ever before, but still Nvidia and Intel dominate the market. Asus G14, however, remains one of the few that can offer both AMD CPUs and GPUs.

Don't buy if:

You need a big screen: The 14-inch panel may not suit some users, though you can get high-res options such as the 120Hz 1600p screen we've tested.

You want battery life: One of the weakest points of AMD's notebooks is their performance away from a plug socket. The G14 then posts one of the weakest results of all the machines on test.

The bottom line

🪛 Asus' Zephyrus G14 is deservedly one of the best gaming laptops around today. The smaller scale of 14-inch machines makes them a delight if you're looking to travel with your laptop, and you can still fit them out with high-res screens, too. The battery life is a concern, however, but their relative affordability and general gaming performance makes them well worth a look.

The new version of the Zephyrus G14 for 2022 impresses us once again with its well-balanced spec and excellent gaming performance. Seriously, this thing shreds through frames up to its 120Hz refresh rate, and it's great for much more than gaming, too.

We checked out the version with AMD's RX 6800S under the hood, though there is an option for an RX 6700S, for a chunk less cash. Arguably, that cheaper option sounds a bit better to us, as the high-end one can get a little pricey and close in on the expensive but excellent Razer Blade 14. It's not helped much by its 32GB of DDR5-4800 RAM in that regard, though we do love having all that speedy memory raring to go for whatever you can throw at it.

At its heart is the AMD Ryzen 6900HS. That's one of the top chips from AMD's Ryzen 6000-series, but not its best and brightest—though you're really fighting over boost clocks and not much else when it comes to the tippy top of the red team's mobile processors anyways. It delivers eight cores and 16 threads of the Zen 3+ architecture, capable of boosting to 4.9GHz (which it actually does on occasion), so that's more than acceptable by me.

That GPU and CPU combo makes quick work of our benchmarking suite, however, and I have to say I'm heartily impressed with the G14's gaming performance overall. That's even without turning to the more aggressive Turbo preset—I tested everything with the standard Performance mode. It's able to top the framerate of RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 mobile chips pretty much across the board, and while it does slip below the RTX 3080 Ti in the Razer Blade 17, that's a much larger laptop with a much larger price tag.

One of my favorite things about the G14 is in the name—it's a 14-inch laptop. The blend of screen real estate and compact size is a great in-between of bulkier 15- and 17-inch designs, and not quite as compromised as a 13-inch model can feel. But the big thing with the 2022 model is that the 14-inch size has been fitted out with a larger 16:10 aspect ratio than previous models' 16:9 panels. 

When it's running smoothly, the G14's high refresh and high-resolution panel also looks fantastic. Being such a bright and colorful IPS display on this model, you really get to soak in every detail.

One of the downsides with this machine is the battery life, which really isn't the best while gaming—less than an hour while actually playing. You'll get more when playing videos or doing something boring like working, but we do expect a bit more from a modern laptop. It's not a deal-breaker, but definitely something you'll want to bear in mind.

The G14 has lost that quality of being surprisingly cheap for what you get, too, even if you do get stellar performance out of it.

Perhaps one reason for that is the inclusion of 32GB of DDR5 RAM—16GB of that is soldered to the board, and the other 16GB attached via removable SO-DIMM from the underside of the laptop. That's not cheap memory. DDR5 prices have hardly settled down since the memory standard was introduced last year, and 32GB is a bounty of high-performance memory by comparison to most gaming PCs today.

Overall, though, the G14 experience is a pretty easy and straightforward one. I didn't run into any major issues with it over the couple of weeks I've had it, and for the few negatives I have with the design, Asus has offset them with heaps of positives. The cheaper models may be a better bet than the one we reviewed, however. The same chassis and great design but with a slightly more amicable price tag.

Read our full Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 2022 (GA402RK) review

The best 17-inch gaming laptop

The best 17-inch gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX
GPU: Up to Nvidia RTX 4090
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR5-4800
Screen: 17.3-inch 1440p @ 240Hz
Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
Battery: 90Wh
Dimensions: 15.55 x 11.10 x 0.92 inches
Weight: 6.61lbs