It's been a wild ride for gaming laptops this year. Some have made it into our best gaming laptop (opens in new tab) lineup, while others have fallen by the wayside. But which one will we choose as the best gaming laptop of 2022?
Each of our nominees is topped with a high refresh rate 1440p panel, a tasty chunk of high-speed storage, and a minimum of 16GB of DDR5 RAM. Of course, we're focusing on machines touting the impressive processing power of 12th Gen Intel CPUs, or indeed AMD's Zen 3 (Zen 3+ even), as well as the graphical prowess of Nvidia's 30-series and AMD's RX 6000-series mobile GPUs.
Those we've chosen truly capture the essence of 2022 in the form of portable gaming powerhouses, meeting at the intersection where the performance we demand from a gaming laptop today encounters the demon trio of price, thermals, and battery life. Generally, manufacturers only manage to take down two of the assailants; even in the year of our lord 2022, these awful trade-offs still haunt us.
Hopefully, that'll change in 2023, but for now, we ask the question: Which gaming laptop will be our sultan of swiftness, our baron of battery life, or prince of portability... Only time will tell. Check out the nominees below.
Best gaming laptop 2022: the nominees
Acer Predator Helios 300
I was seriously impressed with the price to performance with the Core i7 12700H / 140W RTX 3060 config. The Predator Helios 300 may not be a master of ray tracing, but it sure packs a punch at 1080p. It even makes a good go of games at its native 1440p, an impressive panel for the price.
While the closest US config is a little more expensive, this is still a stellar pick. What sets it apart is that the traditional gaming chassis—though it is a little chonky- ensures plenty of airflow for good thermals. That 74-minute battery life ain't the worst, either.
Read our Acer Predator Helios 300 review.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Our Jacob made a point of recommending the ROG Zephyrus G14 to a friend recently as trusty laptop for work and play. While it is afflicted by a 53-minute battery life, it's a stunning 14-incher—the first to hit said form factor—that won't bust your bank balance or your back at just 1.72kg.
Granted, packing everything into a smaller chassis makes for some warm components, but the all AMD RX 6800S/Ryzen 9 6900HS combo really does sing, even at 1440p. Top it with 32GB of RAM and a speedy 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD it's certainly in the running.
Read our Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review.
Razer Blade 14
The 2022 model of Razer's Blade 14 packs a serious punch from within that gorgeous, svelte 14-inch chassis—perhaps ruined a little by the massive green logo slapped on the back. Still, the RTX 3070 Ti and eight-core AMD Ryzen 9 CPU combo we got to play with wowed us at 1440p and even hit 89 minutes of gaming battery life at full bore.
Sure the thermals are a little spicy at 90 and 70 degrees for the CPU and GPU, respectively, but man, is this a smashing breed of gaming machine.
Our Dave's rooting for it, but can it take the crown?
Read our Razer Blade 14 review.
The winner of the PC Gamer Hardware Award for the best gaming laptop will be announced on New Year's Eve. It's all to play for, and any one of these three is completely deserving of the crown.