Best gaming laptops in 2022

 Razer Blade 15 (2022)

Razer has simplified its Blade 15 lineup, removing the “Advanced” and “Base” models, but what’s left is still a very good, thin, stylish gaming notebook. The Blade 15 remains a favorite because it has strong performance (with a Core i7-127800H and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti in the model we reviewed) but is just 4.4 pounds and 0.57 inches thick.

About Razer Blade 15

You still get a variety of ports, like Thunderbolt 4, both USB Type-C and Type-A as well as an SD card reader, so there’s plenty of expansion for peripherals and extra storage for games. It would even work great for productivity, though we did find some competing gaming laptops were better in non-gaming benchmarks.

To get Razer’s premium look and feel, you do have to pay a premium. This notebook starts at $2,499 and we reviewed it at $2,999. It’s pricey, but it’s also maintained a spot among our favorite gaming notebooks for years for a reason.


More Laptop in your budget

MSI GE76 Raider

Specification

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900HK

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

Display: 17.3 inches, 1920 x 1080, 360 Hz

Weight: 6.39 pounds (2.9 kg)

Feature Rating:

For gaming 4.7 | Noise level 4.5 | Value for money 4.5 | Tech Support 4.4

If you’re looking for a laptop with desktop-level power, the MSI GE76 Raider is about as close as you’ll get, though you may also have to spend a ton of money to get there. Still, with its high-end components like the Intel Core i9-12900HK and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti.

We’d be remiss to point out that the Raider has a large RGB light bar on the front, which, when combined with per-key lighting, makes for quite an effect in the dark (or you can turn it all of if you prefer something a bit less showy).

The 17.3-inch, 1080p display goes up to 360 Hz, which is great for esports players, but everyone else might want to consider a 1440p or 4K display, depending on available configurations. 

We tested this laptop at $3,999, which is enough to make you tear up when you check your bank account. That’s an awful lot to spend on a laptop (we imagine DDR5 memory partially brings that price up), but it’s also the best performer we’ve seen recently.

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3. Alienware x17 R2

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900HK

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

Display: 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080, 360 Hz

Weight: 6.82 pounds / 3.09 kg

Excellent productivity and gaming performance

Stunning design

By Feature

Noise level 4.8 | For gaming 4.5 | Thickness 4.4 | Value for money 4.3 | Tech Support 4.3

The Alienware x17 R2 goes up to an Intel Core i9-12900HK and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, some of the most powerful parts on the market. In our review, the laptop showed strong performance in both gaming and productivity.

Alienware’s design, which debuted last year, is lovely. It’s still clearly a gaming notebook, but it’s futuristic and minimal. That being said, it’s a bit larger than some competitors, and at 6.82 pounds, you probably won’t want to carry this around too often.

If you have a bit of extra cash, we highly recommend the optional $50 Cherry MX mechanical keyboard, which feels excellent, and everyone on our staff who has tried it has enjoyed it.


4. Acer Nitro 5

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i5-12500H

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti

Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 144 Hz

Weight: 5.51 pounds / 2.5 kg 

By feature

For gaming 4.6 | Noise level 4.6 | Warmth 4.5 | Value for money 4.5 | Thickness 4.2

The Acer Nitro 5 has long been our favorite gaming laptop for those on a tight budget.  The latest model we’ve tested, with an Intel Core i5-12500H and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti offers decent performance for the price, as long as you’re willing to turn down the settings on some games.

Acer has given the Nitro 5 a new, more adult design. It’s less angular, and with fewer red accents, doesn’t scream as much that it’s a gaming notebook. We’ve seen that aesthetic become popular on expensive notebooks, it’s nice to see a toned-down design on a gaming laptop that’s $899.99.  (Don’t worry, there’s still an RGB backlit keyboard for those that are into that sort of thing. 

There’s a bit of room to upgrade inside, too. Acer includes a SATA cable in the box for people who want to open the laptop and add a 2.5-inch hard drive or SSD. The RAM, NVMe SSD, and Wi-Fi card are all easily accessible, too.

The big downside for buying on a budget is the amount of bloatware Acer preinstalled on this thing. You may want to spend a bit of time removing some of the extras.


5. HP Victus 15

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i5-12450H

GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650

Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, 144 Hz

Weight: 5.04 pounds / 2.29 kg

Strong entry-level gaming

Also solid for performance

Starts relatively inexpensive

By feature

For gaming 4.6 | Noise level 4.6 | Warmth 4.5 | Value for money 4.5 | Thickness 4.2

HP’s Victus 15 secures a slot on this list by deftly balancing what you can get at the extreme low-end of gaming laptops. We tested this laptop near its entry-level configuration, at $799.99 with an Intel Core i5-12450H and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650.

For $800, you can’t expect greatness. Most games will play at at least medium settings, though you’ll have to turn some to low from the day you buy it. But for the games that can push high frame rates with the GTX 1650, you get a 1080p, 144 Hz display. That 12th Gen H-series Intel processor is no slouch when you want to use the Victus for productivity work, perhaps at work or school.

If you’re looking to spend as little as possible, you can squeeze value out of the Victus. You won’t get the best display or webcam around, but you’ll spend well under $1,000. One tip, if you can, is to make sure your purchase includes dual-channel RAM. Some stores, like HP’s, let you configure this, and it should improve performance somewhat. Ours didn’t have this, and we wish it did.

The design, while largely plastic, is actually quite mature. Even on the low-end, your gaming laptop can fit in anywhere.


6. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS

GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800S

Display: 14-inch 2560 x 1600, 16:10, 120 Hz

Weight: 3.79 pounds / 1.72 kg

Long battery life

Sleek, portable design

Asus finally added a webcam 

Surprisingly good speakers

By feature

For gaming 4.6 | Noise level 4.6 | Warmth 4.5 | Value for money 4.5 | Thickness 4.2

If you’re a PC gamer on the go, a thin PC like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 may be up your alley. The Zephyrus uses an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS and an AMD Radeon RX 6800S, as well as the company’s proprietary features like SmartShift (to move power between the CPU and GPU) and SmartAccess Memory.

For the latest update, Asus added a webcam, which was a glaring omission on previous models. The all-AMD model has also moved to a taller, 16:10 aspect ratio.

On our battery test, the Zephyrus ran for over 10 and a half hours, suggesting you could last all day on this notebook when you aren’t gaming.

It is, however, a bit pricey. The Zephyrus starts at $1,599.99, while we reviewed it with the top-tier specs at $2,499.99.