The best gaming laptops you can buy in 2022
Gaming is one of the most popular forms of entertainment right now, and personally speaking, it’s also the best one. But unlike many other forms of entertainment, gaming requires specific and often expensive hardware to enjoy. It can be hard to find something you like, and when you’re spending upwards of $1,000, you want to make sure you’re getting something that’s just right for you. To help you out, we’ve rounded up some of the best gaming laptops you can buy today so you can rest assured you’re making a good purchase.
While everyone has different needs, there are two things that you want to pay attention to — powerful specs and a high refresh rate display. These are the two most important things to look for in a gaming laptop because they ensure your games will run as smoothly as possible, including the most recent titles. With that being said, let’s get into our list.
Navigate this article:
- Best overall: Alienware x15 R2
- Best premium laptop with an OLED display: Razer Blade 15
- Best mainstream laptop: ASUS ROG Strix G15
- Best for maximum power: MSI Titan GT77
- Best compact AMD laptop: Razer Blade 14
- Best lightweight laptop: ASUS ROG Flow X13
- Best 17-inch laptop: Alienware x17 R2
- Best budget laptop: HP Victus 15
Best overall: Alienware x15 R2
Dell’s Alienware brand is synonymous with high-end gaming, and with the refreshed Alienware x15, the company has created one of the best laptops you can buy today. Packing the latest Intel processors and powerful graphics, while still managing to be thin, this is a gaming laptop that should suit almost anyone – as long as you can afford it.
Performance is central to a great gaming experience, and the Alienware x15 R2 delivers with Intel’s 12th-generation Core processors, up to a Core i9-12900HK. With Intel’s new hybrid architecture, it this CPU has a total of 14 cores and 20 threads, with clock speeds up to 5GHz ensuring you have more performance than you’ll ever need. You can also configure it with up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 4TB of SSD storage in a RAID 0 configuration.
On the GPU side, the Alienware x15 R2 is packing up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, the most powerful laptop GPU you can buy right now, and the Alienware x15 R2 can give it up to a whopping 145W of power. Cooling all of this is an advanced cooling system, but the most notable thing about it is Element 31 – a proprietary thermal compound developed by Alienware that allows this laptop to stay cool despite being super thin.
There are a few display options with the Alienware x15 R2 as well. If you’re more of an esports player, you can get the Full HD panel with a 360Hz refresh rate to give you the fastest reaction times possible. If you want better image quality while still getting super-smooth visuals, then the Quad HD panel with a 240Hz refresh rate. And if you can’t tell the difference or you just want to save some money, there’s the base model, with a Full HD 165Hz panel.
An unfortunate downside of the Alienware x15 R2 is that it still comes with a 720p webcam. This is not that uncommon with gaming laptops, but we’ve seen a few models jump over to a 1080p camera, which offers significantly better quality, and it would have been nice to see that here. However, the camera does support Windows Hello facial recognition, so that’s great to see.
The design of the Alienware x15 R2 is one of the most impressive things about it. You’d think a machine with this kind of CPU and GPU power would need to be thick and heavy, but it measures just 15.9mm in thickness. It’s all thanks to that Element 31 thermal compound, and the laptop starts at just over 5lbs of weight, which isn’t bad at all considering the specs here. It looks great, too, with a dark interior combined with a white shell making for a laptop that looks both sleek and unique. There’s per-key RGB lighting on the keyboard, the Alienware logo, and an RGB light ring on the back, so you have a few ways to make your laptop stand out.
Finally, for ports, the Alienware x15 R2 gives you one thunderbolt 4 port, one standard USB Type-C port, one USB Type-A, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. Compared to most other gaming laptops, it’s not a wide range of ports, and because they’re all the back, they can be a bit hard to get to, but with a chassis this thin and this much power inside, there wouldn’t be space for much more.
It’s not perfect, but the Alienware x15 R2 is absolutely one of the best gaming laptops you can buy today, and completely worthy of taking the top spot on this list. You can buy it below or check out more configurations on Dell’s website.
Best premium gaming laptop with an OLED display: Razer Blade 15 (2022)
If you have money to spend and you want an experience that feels premium across the board, the Razer Blade 15 might just be what you’re looking for. This is a very high-end gaming laptop with a few configuration options so you can adjust it to your preference.
Starting with performance, the Razer Blade 15 comes packing up to an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU with 14 cores, 20 threads, and boost speeds up to 5Ghz, one of the most powerful laptop processors out there. Backing that up, you can get the Razer Blade 15 with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card with 105W of power, making for a fantastic gaming experience overall. You can pair that with up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM (which is upgradeable up to 64GB) and a 1TB SSD, plus a free M.2 slot if you want to expand the storage later on. All of this makes the Blade 15 one of the best gaming laptops already.
The Razer Blade 15 Advanced gives you a few options for the display so you can choose something that fits your needs better. It’s a 15.6-inch panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio, but you can choose a Full HD (1920 x 1080) panel with an ultra-fast 360Hz refresh rate, a Quad HD (2560 x 1440) model with either 240Hz or 165Hz refresh rate, or an Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) panel with a 144Hz refresh rate. But the best option might just be the OLED model that was recently launched. This gives you Quad HD resolution, a 240Hz refresh rate, and ultra-fast 0.1ms response times that only OLED can deliver, making for a phenomenal gaming and media experience in general.
Adding to a complete premium experience, the Razer Blade 15 also doesn’t sacrifice the webcam like most gaming laptops do. You get a Full HD/1080p camera here, so you can stream your games or make video calls and still look great. Plus, the camera even supports Windows Hello facial recognition. You won’t find that combination on many more laptops on this list.
The design of the Razer Blade 15 is clean and sleek, making this a laptop you can easily use in public without getting too much attention. It’s an all-black chassis inside and out, aside from the green Razer logo on the lid. The keyboard features per-key RGB backlighting, but it only shines through the labels of the keys, so it’s not obnoxious like some other gaming laptops. The Razer Blade 15 is also fairly portable considering its specs, weighing just 4.4lbs. Plus, it’s less than 17mm thin. That’s very impressive and contributes to the overall premium feel.
You’re not missing out on ports, either. The Razer Blade 15 Advanced has two USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports (one on each side), three USB Type-A (3.2 Gen 2) ports, HDMI 2.1, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD card reader. The only thing you might want to add is an Ethernet port, but this is still a great port setup, and with two Thunderbolt ports, you can add any connectivity you want using a Thunderbolt dock.
The Razer Blade 15 is a complete premium experience with high-end performance, a sleek design, great display options for different users, and even a Full HD webcam with Windows Hello. It’s not a cheap laptop, but it’s fantastic all around and you can’t go wrong with it. You can buy it below, though the OLED model is only available on Razer’s website at writing time.
Best mainstream laptop: Asus ROG Strix G15
If you want a solid gaming laptop without spending absurd amounts of money, then maybe the Asus ROG Strix G15 may be one of your best options. Asus’ ROG Strix line is more on the premium side, but this particular model of the ROG Strix G15 actually offers a great balance of specs and price, so it still fits in this category.
As for as the CPU goes, the ROG Strix G15 still hags with the more premium laptops on this list. It’s powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 6800H, a 45W processor with 8 cores, 16 threads, and boost speeds up to 4.7GHz, so you’re certainly not going to be ask for more CPU performance. The GPU is where we cut back a little bit, but with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 capable of using a whopping 140W of power (with Dynamic Boost), you’re still going to get more than enough gaming performance here. Plus, the laptop comes with 16GB of DDR5 RAM (upgradeable to 32GB) and a 1TB SSD for storage.
The display is also quite nice on the Asus ROG Strix G15, being a 15.6-inch panel with Quad HD resolution (2560 x 1440). It also has a 165Hz refresh rate, so your games are going to play very smoothly. For most people, going beyond this refresh rate is basically unnoticeable, so you’re going to have a great time with this one. The display also covers 100% of DCI-P3, so colors should look great, too.
One thing you’re missing out on with this model is a built-in webcam, so if you’re planning on streaming your games or using your laptop for remote work or school, you’re going to need to prepare. Some models of this laptop come with an external webcam in the box, but the product listings don’t make it clear if one is included. There’s also no form of Windows Hello support here, which isn’t entirely unexpected in this price range.
Design-wise, the ROG Strix G15 definitely has some gamer elements to it. The keyboard has per-key RGB lighting which mostly only shines through the key labels, with the exception of the WASD keys, which are almost fully translucent. There’s also a light bar at the front of the laptop for some extra flair that will make sure you don’t go unnoticed in public. With 5.07lbs of weight and 27.2mm of thickness at its thickest point, it also won’t go unnoticed when you try to pack it in a bag, but that’s one of the sacrifices you make with a cheaper laptop.
As for ports, you get a solid setup considering this is an AMD-powered laptop. Two USB-C ports (without Thunderbolt, which is Intel technology), two USB Type-A ports, 2.5Gb Ethernet, HDMI 2.0b, and a headphone jack. You can’t really ask for much more here, and the inclusion of 2.5Gb Ethernet is not only very welcome for online gaming, but a rare sight in laptops.
As of writing this article, we can only find this configuration of the ROG Strix G15 at Walmart, and you can grab it below. This is definitely one of the best gaming laptops if you don’t have an unlimited budget, so hopefully it becomes more widely available, too.
Best gaming laptop for maximum power: MSI Titan GT77
Gaming laptops are all about performance, and if you want power, you can’t get much more than what the MSI Titan GT77 offers. This is an absolute beast of a laptop in every way, to the point where you’d probably argue it’s not really portable anymore, But it’s still easier to carry than a desktop setup, and it gives you an incredible amount of power.
We’re not joking when we say it’s incredibly powerful. The MSI Titan GT77 comes with Intel’s new HX series of CPUs, which have a base TDP of 55W. You can configure it with up to an Intel Core i9-12900HX, which has 16 cores and 20 threads, plus boost speeds up to 5GHz, By itself, the CPU can use 150W of power, but then there’s the GPU. You can configure this laptop with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, and that can use up to 175W of power. Collectively, the two components can use up to 250W, with 175W for the GPU and 75W for the CPU. That’s an incredible amount of performance for a laptop. You also get up to 32GB of RAM (upgradeable to 64GB) and a 1TB SSD, with an extra M.2 slot available if you want more. This is a beastly machine in almost every way.
The display is also made to take advantage of this immense power. It’s a large 17.3-inch panel, and it comes in Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) resolution, making for a very sharp screen. Plus, that display covers 100% of DCI-P3, so color reproduction should be really good, making this a fantastic laptop for gaming, media consumption, and content creation. On top of all that, you get a 120Hz refresh rate, so you can still enjoy smooth gameplay at this resolution.
The large size makes room for a lot of power, but sadly, not for a fantastic webcam. You get a 720p camera you can use for video calls and streaming, but you might need to buy an external webcam for the best results. Thankfully, at least you get Windows Hello facial recognition, which is always nice to have, and not always a guarantee with gaming laptops.
As you’d probably expect, this kind of power doesn’t fit in a small chassis. The MSI Titan GT77 is up to 23mm thick, and it weighs 3.3kg (7.28lbs), so it’s not easy to carry around. It’s a fairly flashy laptop, too, with per-key RGB lighting and light strip running across the inside of the fan exhaust. This creates a big light bar on the back of the laptop that’s bound to catch some attention, but when you’re carrying around a laptop like this, that was probably unavoidable in the first place.
Rounding things out with ports, the MSI Titan GT77 has a great supply of them – two Thunderbolt ports, three USB Type-A ports, RJ45 Ethernet, HDMI 2.1, mini-DisplayPort, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD card reader make for one of the most complete setups you could ask for. And if you somehow need more, Thunderbolt support also makes it easier to expand.
It’s undoubtedly a pricy laptop, but you won’t find this kind of performance on any other laptop, and for some gamers, that might be worth the asking price. You can buy it below, and other configurations are also available on Amazon.
Best compact AMD gaming laptop: Razer Blade 14
AMD processors have caught up and sometimes outpace Intel’s hardware for performance. If you’re a fan of “team red”, the Razer Blade 14 is one of the very best AMD-powered laptops you can get today, and it comes with the benefit of being quite portable, too. This is the 2022 refresh, and it comes with a few changes.
The Razer Blade 14 is powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX processor, a very powerful CPU with 8 cores, 16 threads, and boost speeds up to 4.9GHz. That’s the only processor available with this laptop, so at least you know you’re getting a top-of-the-line CPU. For graphics, you can go up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, and the laptop can give it up to 100W of power. It’s not as powerful as the bigger laptops on this list, but for this size, that’s actually great. It also comes with 16GB of RAM (which is soldered) and a 1TB M.2 SSD.
The Razer Blade 14 comes with a 14-inch panel in a 16:9 aspect ratio, and it gives you two configuration options. Like the previous model, you can get Quad HD (2560 x 1440) panel, which also has a 165Hz refresh rate, giving a great balance of image quality and smooth gameplay that should also be a great fit for the GPUs inside. The 2022 model of the Blade 14 added a new cheaper option for the display, so you can choose a Full HD panel with a 144Hz refresh rate, but this option is only available with the GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, which is also a new option this year.
The webcam on the Razer Blade 14 is similar to what’s on the Blade 15 we mentioned above. Razer has made 1080p webcams with Windows Hello support the standard in its Blade laptops, which is great to see. It’s another nice addition that helps this laptop stand out.
True to Razer’s usual approach, the Blade 14 is fairly subdued for a gaming laptop. It’s an all-black aluminum chassis with a green Razer logo on the lid. The only hint of RGB lighting is on the keyboard, with per-key Razer Chroma RGB, but the light is only visible through the key labels, so it’s not overly flashy. Thanks to being a 14-inch laptop, this is also one of the lightest gaming laptops around, weighing 3.92lbs and measuring 16.8mm in thickness. This is a gaming laptop you can easily take to school or on a trip, though it’s still much heavier than an ultrabook.
As for ports, the Razer Blade 14 packs two USB Type-C (3.2 Gen 2) ports, two USB Type-A (3.2 Gen 2) ports, HDMI 2.1, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Some of the bigger laptops have more ports, but for a 14-inch laptop, this is a very solid setup, plus all the USB Type-A ports are fairly fast. Of course, there’s no Thunderbolt support because of the AMD processor.
If you want a powerful laptop in a relatively portable package, or if you’re just a fan of AMD processors, the Razer Blade 14 is a phenomenal gaming laptop and one of your best options. You can buy it below, or check out other configurations here.
Best lightweight gaming laptop: ASUS ROG Flow X13
Gaming laptops usually come in pretty hefty packages, but if you don’t need bleeding-edge performance, the ASUS ROG Flow X13 is a fantastic gaming convertible that’s also very thin and light. This is the only laptop on this list I personally bought and own, and as an occasional PC gamer, I absolutely recommend it.
Starting with performance, the ROG Flow X13 is powered by up to an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS. This is a 35W processor with 8 cores, 16 threads, and boost speeds up to 4.9GHz, making this a very powerful laptop processor, but also an efficient one with its lower power consumption. That processor is paired with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (with up to 40W of power), which gives you baseline RTX support and solid performance overall. You should be able to run almost any modern game on this hardware, though you’ll probably need to turn down a few quality settings. Beyond that, you get up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for storage.
If you want to add more power to your rig, you can buy the ROG Flow X13 alongside the ROG Xg Mobile, an external GPU enclosure that’s available with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (Laptop) GPU or an AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT. The external GPU also adds an array of ports to the laptop, including multiple USB-A ports, HDMI, and DisplayPort.
The display on the ASUS ROG Flow X13 is also interesting. It’s a 13.4-inch panel, and it comes in a 16:10 aspect ratio, which you don’t see very often on gaming laptops. This taller screen means it’s also great for productivity, though, so this is a versatile laptop. The base model uses a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) panel with a 120Hz refresh rate, but there’s also an Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) configuration with a 6oHz refresh rate. This is a convertible laptop, too, so the screen also supports touch and pen input, and a pen is even included in the box in some models.
The webcam is one area ASUS did cut back on, and you get a fairly basic 720p camera in this laptop. There’s no Windows Hello facial recognition, but if you want an easier way to unlock your PC, there is a fingerprint reader built into the power button on the side.
Design-wise, the ASUS ROG Flow X13 truly shines for its portability. It weighs just 2.87lbs, which is lighter than even some regular convertibles without dedicated graphics, and it’s also impressively thin at 15.8mm. Otherwise, it’s a fairly subtle-looking laptop with an all-black chassis with engraved stripes running across the lid, and not much in the way of visual flair. Some models do have RGB lighting for the ROG banner on the lid, though. The keyboard is backlit, but only in white, so it looks fairly professional.
As for ports, you get most of the basics covered, though the supply isn’t as expansive as with other laptops on this list. There are two USB Type-C (3.2 Gen 2) ports, one USB Type-A (3.2 Gen 2) port, HDMI 2.0b, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. For a laptop of this size, that’s not a terrible setup, and at least the USB ports are relatively fast. Of course, Thunderbolt support isn’t included, but the ROG Xg Mobile GPU uses a proprietary connector and also serves as a docking station.
For users who only do gaming on the side and don’t need the fastest gaming experience, the ASUS ROG Flow X13 is a fantastic choice. It’s a lightweight yet decently powerful laptop that can handle most modern games while also being versatile. And for at-home use, the ROG Xg Mobile accessory can add a lot of power, too.
Best 17-inch laptop: Alienware x17 R2
Games can be incredibly immersive experiences, and that’s even more true when you’re looking at a big screen. If you want a 17-inch laptop, Dell’s new Alienware x17 is one of most powerful gaming laptops out there, but it’s also very compact, just like its smaller sibling at the top of this list.
In terms of performance, the Alienware x17 is ahead of the class. It comes with up to an 12th-generation Intel Core i9-12900HK processor, with 14 cores, 20 threads, and boost speeds up to a whopping 5GHz, easily one of the fastest laptop processors right now. Backing that up, you can get up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card with up to 175W of power, making this one of the most powerful laptops on this list. And, just like the Alienware x15 R2, it uses a thermal solution with Element 31, so it still manages to be relatively thin. Rounding things out, you can get up to a massive 64GB of RAM and 4TB of SSD storage. This is a beastly machine through and through.
That continues with the display. There are three major versions of this 17.3-inch panel: the first is a more budget-conscious option with a Full HD (1920 x 1080) panel and a 165Hz refresh rate; another is a Full HD screen with a 360Hz refresh rate and support for NVIDIA G-SYNC and Advanced Optimus technology; and the last one is a super-sharp Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) panel with a 120Hz refresh rate, 100% coverage of Adobe RGB, and 500 nits of brightness. That last option is almost overkill, but you can go that route if you want the best of the best.
Unfortunately, the webcam is still a 720p sensor despite all the other extremely powerful specs. However, the laptop does include Windows Hello facial recognition, so it gets points for convenience on that front.
Similar to its smaller relative, the Alienware x17 R2 embraces its gaming spirit, and that’s obvious just looking at it. The laptop is littered with RGB lighting, from the Alienware logo on the lid, a ring of muli-color RGB on the back, a backlit keyboard, and in some models, even an RGB touchpad. You get a lot of lights to play around with if that’s something you like. Beyond that, the Alienware x17 tries to be fairly compact. Depending on the display you choose, it’s either 20.9mm or 21.4mm thick, and the weight starts at 6.65lbs. That’s far from light, but for a 17-inch laptop with specs as powerful as these, it’s not too bad. And it’s unlikely portability is a priority for you if you want a 17-inch gaming laptop in the first place.
As for ports, the Alienware x17 is packed. It has one Thunderbolt 4 port, one USB Type-C (3.2 Gen 2) port, two USB Type-A (3.2 Gen 1) ports, HDMI 2.1, mini DisplayPort 1.4, 2.5Gbps Ethernet, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. There really isn’t anything else you could ask for here, it’s simply a great setup of ports.
If you want the ultimate gaming laptop, the Alienware x17 R2 is almost that. It’s got the performance, the display, the RGB lighting, the ports, and even a surprisingly compact design, everything you could want in a gaming laptop. Of course, all of that adds up to a very expensive machine, but if you can afford it, you can buy it below or check out the range-topping configurations on Dell’s website.
Best budget gaming laptop: HP Victus 15
Finding a gaming laptop at a low price isn’t easy, but if you’re looking for a solid deal right now, this HP Victus 15 configuration is a great way to get into gaming without breaking the bank. Of course, it doesn’t have the same performance as the more expensive models on this list, but it’s a great starting point if you don’t have a lot of money to spend.
First off, the HP Victus 15 is powered by an Intel Core i5-12450H, a powerful processor with 8 cores and 12 threads, plus boost speeds up to 4.4GHz. That means you’re already getting Intel’s latest CPUs, with quite a bit of power for gaming and content creation. To go along with that, you also get an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, which is a decent GPU for entry-level gaming. Many laptops are still coming out with this as the entry-level configuration, and you should be able to play most modern games on it, but you’ll definitely have to turn down the quality settings in more demanding titles. This model also includes 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, which you can upgrade later as you deem necessary.
The display on the HP Victus 15 is also a great option at this price. It’s a 15.6-inch Full HD panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and it has a 144Hz refresh rate. Considering the CPU inside, you probably wouldn’t want much more anyway, since you wouldn’t be able to make good use of that screen.
The webcam is usually one of the first things to take a hit with budget laptops, and that’s the case here, too. You get a 720p camera and, unsurprisingly, no Windows Hello support, whether that’s via facial recognition or a fingerprint reader.
Thankfully, the HP Victus 15 actually has a somewhat understated look, which isn’t very common with cheaper gaming laptops. It comes in an all-black colorway and there’s nothing that adds an overwhelming amount of flair, so it can perfectly blend into more professional environments. With that said, it is a somewhat large laptop, measuring up to 23.6mm thickness and weighing 5.06lbs. That’s not unexpected with gaming laptops, however.
As for ports, you get a solid supply, though not mind-blowing. There’s one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1, RJ45 Ethernet, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD card reader, which should cover all the basic needs you might have. It would have been nice to have Thunderbolt, or at least faster USB ports, but this is still solid, and for the price, it gets the job done.
All in all, the HP Victus 15 is one of the best ways to get into gaming if you can’t afford to spend over $1,000 on a new laptop. Right now, this model is going for a measly $550, which makes it an incredible deal. The regular price is $799.99, which still isn’t bad, but you may want to look around for other options at that point.
Those are, in our opinion, the best gaming laptops you can buy today. We chose the Alienware x15 R2 for the top spot because it has powerful specs, including a GPU with up to 145W of power, great display options, and a beautiful design that’s also surprisingly compact considering the specs inside. Technically speaking, the most powerful laptop on the list is the MSI Titan GT77, so that’s where you should go if you want power above all else.
If you want to look at some more affordable options for gaming laptops, check out our list of the best cheap gaming laptops to find some great options. And if you don’t care about gaming at all, why not check our general roundup of the best laptops you can buy right now?