Sure, gaming desktops tend to offer more performance for the money, but just try fitting your mini tower, monitor and keyboard on the airplane tray table. When you need a powerful rig you can take with you, there's no substitute for a gaming laptop.
Gaming laptops come in all shapes and sizes, for different needs and budgets. Some come with full-size Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics cards, while others go for the more efficient Max-Q designs that enable thinner chassis and quieter fans. While many gaming laptops come with 1080p display, some opt for 4K models.
This holiday season there are a number of sales which we're covering on our best gaming laptop deals page. Below, you'll find our list of the best gaming laptops (sale or no sale). For a primer on how to pick one, check out our gaming laptop buyer’s guide.
News and Updates
- We reviewed Walmart's Overpowered Gaming Laptop 17+. See why it didn't make the list.
- Leaks suggest that RTX graphics cards will come to laptops soon, possibly at CES.
- Holiday shopping season is here. Keep an eye on our best tech deals page for great prices, including on gaming notebooks.
Why Trust Us
Tom’s Hardware has been on the PC beat for more than two decades.We run a comprehensive suite of benchmarks that run though storage, displays, CPUs, GPUs and more. We'll also rely on real-world usage to put together a complete picture of what it’s like to play on every gaming notebook we test so that you can find the best gaming laptop.
Quick Shopping Tips
- Focus on the GPU: Most games are dependent on the GPU, and those aren’t upgradeable. If you splurge on a powerful GPU now, you’ll be gaming comfortably for a few years.
- Choose higher resolution or faster speeds: 4K displays are pretty, but the fastest 144Hz displays are only on 1920 x 1080 screens right now.
- You can upgrade some parts later: While CPUs and GPUs are almost always soldered down, most of the best gaming laptops let you replace the RAM and storage, so you can buy cheaper now and add more memory and a bigger hard drive or SSD down the road.
Best Thin and Light
Best for eSports
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