Up until the release of the next-gen consoles, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, gaming on your high-end PC offers you the best graphics and performance. There are still a few desktops and laptops with more powerful hardware than those next-gen consoles. If you don’t mind missing out on a few PlayStation exclusives like God of War, The Last of Us, Uncharted, to mention but a few, PC gaming might be the way forward for you. Smart delivery (the upgrade of previous-generation games to next-gen versions) isn’t available for PCs yet, but everything points to the future releases for next-gen games to also be available for PCs.
What type of PC or laptop you require ultimately depends on the types of games you play. Overpaying for a gaming PC when you only play lightweight games is a waste of money. There are simple ways to speed up an old PC but it’s no hidden secret that desktops offer the best gaming rigs but they take space and are not portable.
If you want a laptop for work but still powerful enough for gaming then look no further than our list of the best gaming laptops in 2021.
1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
The winner of the best gaming laptop might remain subjective to what you want as a gamer, but the Zephyrus G14 has to come in the top two of any list. The lack of a built-in webcam and a Thunderbolt 3 port couldn’t stop this machine from fulfilling its purpose of strong productivity and gaming performance. Equipped with the AMD Ryzen 4900HS CPU and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU, the G14 is the best performer in terms of value for most people due to its starting price of $1,099.99. It offers stellar battery life for a gaming laptop and its keyboard is comfortable and clicky. Another Asus around the same price class is the Asus ZenBook 13, voted by Australia-Casino as one of the best laptops for casino games due to it’s 12-hour battery, 13.3-inch screen, and ultra-fast processors.
2. MSI GE66 Raider
Regarded as one of, if not the best gaming laptop in the market today. The GE66 comes second on our list despite its Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU. This laptop offers great gaming performance to accompany its high-end build but the absence of good sound quality and a cramped keyboard puts it a step behind our number one laptop for 2021. Games like League of Legends and Overwatch perform remarkably well on it, thanks to its 300 Hz full-HD display. The GE66 Raider is somewhat light in weight (2.4 kg), and also possesses a well-executed RGB light bar.
3. Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model
If a thin and light gaming laptop is what you seek, then look no further than the Razer Blade 15. Expensive, with an uncomfortable keyboard but the Blade 15 lets you take it anywhere you want, and possesses a nice selection of ports that supports gamers with a bunch of peripherals. The Intel Core i7-10875H CPU and Nvidia RTX 2080 Super Max-Q offer strong performance but the laptop is not as power-efficient as its counterparts. The 300Hz display makes it a favorite amongst fans of esports.
4. Alienware m17 R4
With the Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 3080 Super (165W TGP) GPU, the m17 gets into the desktop replacement technology. Its top-end configurations are quite pricey but offer options for 4K or 1920×1080, 360Hz displays. Despite its weight and noisy fan, no laptop tested in 2020 and so far in 2021 has come close to the M17 in terms of performance. It also possesses a snappy keyboard and a very attractive design.
5. Acer Nitro 5
For those on a tight gaming budget, the Acer Nitro 5 is one of the best options out there. For a starting price of $799.99, the Nitro 5 offers great value on entry-level performance thanks to the AMD Ryzen 5 4600U CPU and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. While the laptop sacrifices on a bright display, the keyboard is comfortable and the presence of a decent webcam also helps. The battery life of the Acer Nitro 5 is off the charts for a gaming laptop, and tests have shown it lasts over 11 hours. Its lack of 4K display is somewhat disappointing though, considering the advance in visual technology.
6. Alienware Area-51m
If there’s no limit to your budget in terms of getting a gaming laptop, then the Area-51m laptop is for you. Extremely pricey, but it offers laptop performance as strong as desktop users are accustomed to. The ability to upgrade nearly all aspects (CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage) of the Area-51m, like you would a desktop, makes it an extreme must-have for those with a big gaming budget. The laptop’s Core i9-9900K CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU allows for strong gaming and productivity performance. It’s also an aesthetically pleasing laptop.
7. Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 G732
Its 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 @ 300Hz display makes it one of the laptops with the fastest screens out there, and the best laptop to play esports games like the pros. The Strix Scar 17 is packing a lot of power with the Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RT 2080 Super GPU, which guarantees the majority of the PC games out there runs smoothly on it. If you plan to use this laptop to stream games, getting an external webcam is necessary, as the Strix doesn’t have one built-in. The laptop is slightly thicker than some of its competitors but also manages to outperform them whilst maintaining a cool underside.
8. Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15
With the Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU, also accompanied with a 15.6 IPS 3840 x 2160 primary and the 3840 x 1100 ScreenPad Plus secondary display, the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 is regarded as the best dual-screen gaming laptop in the business. There are single-screen laptops that will deliver similar performances for less than its starting price of $2,999 but if you like the idea of a portable second screen for chatting and other functions, the Zephyrus 15 is the best option out there.
The Zephyrus 15 also possesses an attractive sci-fi style to go along with its lovely 4K display. The lack of a webcam and the presence of only one Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port are somewhat disappointing but enough to discourage gamers from purchasing it.