Best Gaming Laptops of 2019

While many gamers may go to desktops to get the most performance for their money, try lugging it around in your backpack. When you need a powerful rig you can take with you, there's no substitute for a gaming laptop. There are more options now than ever, from budget-friendly to VR-ready.

Gaming laptops come in all shapes and sizes, for different needs and budgets. Some come with full-size Nvidia GeForce GTX or RTX 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.

If you're looking for a budget system, you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for laptops with the recently announced Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 Ti.

And expect some innovation over the next few years. At Computex, Intel had a concept gaming laptop with two screens and an innovative cooling solution. We also reviewed the Asus Zephyrus G GA502, which uses a Ryzen processor and GeForce graphics, and we expect to see more laptops like that in the future.

To help you find a system today, we've compiled a list of the best gaming laptops right now. For a primer on how to pick one, check out our gaming laptop buyer’s guide.

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. Some laptop manufacturers have announced 240Hz FHD displays, so expect those to come soon.
  • You can upgrade some parts later: While CPUs and GPUs are almost always soldered down, most 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.

MORE: All Laptop Content

1. MSI GE65 Raider

The Best Overall Gaming Laptop

Rating: 4.5/5 (Editor’s Choice)

CPU: Intel Core i9-9880H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 | Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 240 Hz | Weight: 5 pounds / 2.3 kg

Pros: Strong productivity benchmarks • Mature, yet fun design • Per-key RGB keyboard and light-up Type-A ports • Impressive framerates 

Cons: Speakers could be louder for this price •  Competitors have brighter screens

MSI packed a lot of power and even some fun into the GE65 Raider with high-end specs suited for both gaming and productivity tasks. It’s also cheaper than a number of its competitors, making it a great value.

Read Review: MSI GE65 Raider

MORE: Best Gaming Desktops

2. Dell G7 15 (2019)

The Best Budget Gaming Laptop

Rating: 4/5

CPU: Intel Core i9-9750H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 | Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 144 Hz  | Weight: 5.5 pounds / 2.5 kg

Pros: Good webcam • Mature design • Upgrading instructions labeled on some components • Bright 144 Hz-refresh screen • Above-average gaming and productivity performance for this price range

Cons: Dim RGB keyboard •  Below average battery life •  Tinny audio •  Screen could be more colorful

The Dell G7 15 packs a lot of power into a relatively slim chassis for a budget price and often outperformed against competitors. The laptop’s design has matured and the option for a 144Hz display will please esports players and others who want high refresh rates.

Read Review: Dell G7 15 (2019)


Photo Credit: Tom's HardwarePhoto Credit: Tom's Hardware

3. Alienware m15 (OLED)

The Best Thin Gaming Laptop

Rating: 4/5 (Editor’s Choice)

CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 | Display: 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 | Weight: 5.2 pounds / 2.4 kg

Pros: Eye-popping 4K, OLED display • Thin chassis  •  Great audio  •  Accurate webcam

Cons: Loud fans • Mediocre SSD performance

The Alienware m15's sci-fi inspired design, accurate audio and snappy RGB keyboard are will winners, but it’s the optional 4K OLED display that will make you notice this laptop. It’s colors and vividness are all but unrivaled in the space.

After playing your favorite games with these eye-popping colors, it’s hard to go back to a regular IPS display unless you need higher speeds.

Read Review: Alienware m15 (OLED)

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

Photo Credit: Tom's HardwarePhoto Credit: Tom's Hardware

4. Alienware Area-51m

The Best Splurge Gaming Laptop

Rating: 4.5/5 (Editor’s Choice)

CPU: Up to Intel Core i9-9900K | GPU: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 | Display: Up to 1920 x 1080, 144 Hz with G-Sync | Weight: 8.5 pounds / 3.9 kg

Pros: Strong gaming and productivity performance • Strong performance  •  Beautiful new design •  Upgradeable CPU and GPU  •  Blazing transfer speeds

Cons: Extremely pricey • No 4K options

The Alienware Area-51m, packing a desktop-level Intel Core i9-9900K and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, showed off some of the most powerful laptop performance that we’ve seen to date. If you can’t afford one, you’ll have desktop power in a somewhat portable machine.

The process to make major upgrades yourself requires some tools and patience, but the ability to replace the CPU, GPU, RAM and storage is truly impressive.

You can also see our complete teardown of the machine.

Read Review: Alienware Area-51m

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

Photo Credit: Tom's HardwarePhoto Credit: Tom's Hardware

5. Asus ROG Strix Hero II

The Best Esports Gaming Laptop

Rating: 4.5/5 (Editor’s Choice)

CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 | Display: Up to 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 | Weight: 5.9 pounds / 2.7 kg

Pros: Powerful faming performance  •  Bright visuals  •  Compact size • Great audio

Cons: Hot bottom casing • Loud fans

The ROG Strix Hero II is a slim gaming laptop that’s easy to take to tournaments. Besides its slick design, the Hero II offers a brilliant display and solid audio. The only real downside is that the laptop can run hot while gaming, so be sure to keep it on your desk.

Read Review: Asus ROG Strix Hero II

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    Your comment
  • abryant
  • ilikegirls
    Do not buy ASUS! Even if you spend $2,000 on a laptop, you are treated like garbage and they won't fix your issue. I detailed my issues with them on this Reddit Post HERE. TL;DR - Sent laptop for repair twice, but nothing was actually done to fix the issue and they just keep requesting my laptop. Out of the 3 months I've owned this laptop, they have had it for close to 5 weeks