The notion that you need a PC to get the most from playing video games is truly being dispelled by the latest generation of gaming laptops that are on the market. Sure, the desktop is still “king” when it comes to generating the horsepower needed to support VR gaming setups, but even eSports pros can get a lot out of a laptop —provided it has the right specs.
There have been some truly great developments made in the tech powering laptops in recent years, from supercharged chips like AMD 3D V-cache to Mini LED displays. In this article, we’ll be reviewing the top gaming laptops for 2024 that showcase the very best in innovation.
The Advantages of Gaming Laptops
Once upon a time, the best you would’ve gotten out of playing games on a laptop would’ve been a few rounds of Solitaire. With digital entertainment becoming more and more popular at the turn of the 21st century, the gaming industry started to undergo substantial growth and transformation. Dozens of new online gaming experiences appeared, from massively online multiplayer epics to digital, interactive versions of casino classics like blackjack, which catered to a broad demographic of consumers. This resulted in dedicated gaming laptops being manufactured that delivered all the power of a desktop machine with the convenience of a lightweight device.
There are plenty of advantages to gaming laptops, not least of which is their portability and versatility. For instance, you can go from playing online blackjack for real money to slugging it out in a battle royale tournament — or even completing a bunch of work tasks — anywhere with an internet connection. We’d like to see you try that with a cumbersome desktop rig! Then, there’s the affordability factor; being able to use one device for both work and play is a lot more cost-effective than forking out for a gaming PC and a general-use machine.
2024’s Top Gaming Laptops
Right now, there’s a spate of portable gaming machines available covering the full spectrum from budget models to high-end. If you’re thinking of investing in a new gaming laptop for 2024, read on for the low down on our top picks.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 – The Top All-Round Machine
Intel i9-13980HX CPU
NVIDIA RTX 4090 GPU with 16-32GB RAM
16-inch 2.5K Nebula HDR with Mini LED display
2TB SSD storage
Pros: Intel i9 processor, bright and vivid display, triple framerates.
Cons: Drains battery quickly, side ports, clunky trackpad.
Razer models have typically dominated the best overall categories for a few years now, but Asus has finally released an ROG model that’s knocked the Blade 15 from its top spot.
The ROG Strix Scar 16 is undeniably the best all-round machine for gaming on the go in 2024 and beyond. It packs a real punch with its premium RTX 4090 and Intel i9 13980HX combo, topped off with crisp RGB panels and a Mini LED display.
Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF – The Top Budget Machine
Intel i7-13700H CPU
NVIDIA RTX 4070 GPU with 8-16GB RAM
15.6-inch QHD display
WINDFORCE Infinity Cooling System
Pros: Excellent performance for the price, 1080p webcam, strong battery life.
Cons: Average display, no number pad, keyboard prone to errors.
Just because you’re looking to invest in a new gaming laptop doesn’t mean you have an unlimited budget. That’s why we’ve chosen the Aorus 15 from Gigabyte as our best value-for-money model, coming in at under $1000.
Featuring entry-level current-gen CPU and GPU, the Aorus 15 has all the juice needed to deliver standout gaming experiences only without that premium price tag. It even comes with a partially metal chassis, a 1080b webcam, and a decent QHD 2560×1440 display.
Acer Predator Helios 16 – The Top Gaming Display
Intel i9 13900HX CPU
NVIDIA RTX 4080 GPU with 16-32GB RAM
16-inch 240 Hz QHD+ Mini LED display
Ray Tracing and AI
Pros: Exceptional Mini LED display incorporates full suite of NVIDIA MAX-Q AI technologies, affordable price despite high-end components.
Cons: Heavy power brick, loud Turbo Mode, not as lightweight as similar machines.
A laptop display is unlikely to ever compare to the latest generation of gaming monitors, but the display counts for a lot when you’re playing on a portable machine. In Acer’s Predator Helios 16, we’ve found a relatively affordable laptop that dazzles when it comes to display specs.
Fitted with a 240 Hz QHD+ panel, it also incorporates a Mini LED panel with 1000 zones, which produces an absolutely stunning result. It’s powered with a combo of up to i9 13900HX chip and RTX 4080 graphics card, putting it on a par with the current generation of premium gaming laptops.
Alienware M18 – The Best 18-inch Laptop
Intel i9-13900HX or AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX CPU
RTX 4090 GPU with 16-32GB RAM
18-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600) display
Cherry MX mechanical keyboard
Pros: Incredibly powerful, vast range of ports with ergonomic placement, full-sized mechanical keyboard with number pad.
Cons: The heaviest laptop we’ve reviewed, speakers aren’t as good as comparable machines.
Ok, so gaming laptops are designed to be portable, but there are quite a few dedicated players out there who need an 18-inch machine. Dell’s Alienware M18 can go toe to toe with most mid-range gaming PCs thanks to its sheer horsepower and that substantial display.
This model takes the crown for being the top 18-inch machine for its excellent all-round package. Featuring that inimitable RTX 4090 and i9-13980HX power duo (or available with comparable AMD chips), a Cherry MX mechanical keyboard as well as a 1080p 480Hz panel, this is a device capable of delivering extreme performance.