What’s the best gaming laptop in 2021?
If you want to play the likes of CyberPunk 2077 on the go, your Nintendo Switch will be of no use. Instead, you’re best off checking our Best Gaming Laptop of 2021 list, made up of the latest and greatest models we’ve reviewed at Trusted Reviews.
We’ve included gaming laptops of various price points, so you should find the perfect portable no matter your budget. There are also laptops from a multitude of brands, including Asus ROG, HP Omen, Gigabyte and Razer.
Before you head to checkout though, be aware that a slew of new gaming laptops are days away from being announced at CES 2021, where AMD and Nvidia look set to confirm some fancy new components that will take gaming laptop performance speeds to all-new heights. But if you can’t wait any longer, check out our top recommended gaming laptops below.
1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
The king of the gaming laptops
Display: 14in, FHD, 120Hz | CPU: Ryzen 9
GPU: RTX 2060 | Storage: 1TB | Weight: 1.69kg
- Incredible CPU performance
- Great for Full HD gaming
- Ultra-portable design
- Impressive battery life
- Lack of RGB lighting
- No integrated webcam
- Underwhelming SSD speeds
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 addresses two of the biggest issues in the gaming laptop world: weight and price. The Zephyrus G14 only weighs 1.69kg, yet still flaunts impressive power thanks to the top-spec combination of AMD’s Ryzen 4000 processor and Nvidia’s ray tracing-capable RTX 2060 card – and only costs £1799 for the privilege.
Any Full HD game is playable with respectable frame rates here, exceeding the 60fps target for the majority of titles. CPU-focused games such as Civiliaztion VI and Total War: Warhammer 2 will particularly benefit here, as will creative applications if you like to edit video in-between gaming sessions.
There is a lack of RGB lighting with the keyboard, but this means the Zephyrus G14 can easily fit in non-gaming environments such as the office. With a fantastic keyboard, gorgeous 120Hz display, whopping 1TB SSD and decent battery life, the Zephyrus G14 is an extremely versatile system, albeit one without an integrated webcam.
2. Asus TUF Gaming A15
Best value gaming laptop
Display: 15.6in, FHD, 144Hz | CPU: Ryzen 7
GPU: RTX 2060 | Storage: 1TB | Weight: 2.3kg
- Great value price
- Fantastic Full HD performance
- Quiet and comfortable keyboard
- Better than average battery life
- Unattractive and hefty design
- Loud fans when gaming
- No macro keys
The Asus TUF Gaming A15 is not very good looking and is a little unwieldy, but offers cracking value.
The A15 packs decent power, with the option to fit the Nvidia RTX 2060 for some ray tracing glory. Such a graphics card also allows for a fantastic Full HD performance, pairing with the 144Hz screen for some eye-candy action. AMD’s Ryzen processor also gives it a great CPU performance and better-than-average battery life for a gaming laptop of this ilk.
It is a bit of an ugly laptop and it can get rather loud when playing games, but the TUF Gaming A15 is still one of the best value options around if you don’t fancy paying more than £1500.
3. HP Omen 15 (2020)
Best Full HD performance
Display: 15.6in, FHD, 300Hz | CPU: Intel i7
GPU: RTX 2070 | Storage: 1TB | Weight: 2.4kg
- Great value
- Fantastic Full HD performance
- High refresh rate
- Design has broad appeal
- Fairly heavy
- A bit of screen wobble
- So-so battery life
The HP Omen 15 (2020) is a fantastic laptop, offering a top class Full HD performance while remaining very much affordable. HP currently lists this laptop at £1099.99, which features a GTX 1660 Ti GPU. There’s also an RTX 2070 option available for £1600, which is supremely good value considering you get access to ray tracing and DLSS.
We’re also big fans of the new HP makeover, with more subtle styling appealing to a wider audience. Build quality is a mixed bag, with a flimsy hinge a cause for concern, but it’s easily forgivable since you’re getting so much bang for your buck here.
Those who want to take their laptop out of the home may want to look at the Zephyrus G14 instead, as the Omen is a rather hefty portable, but this is an otherwise superb option for portable gaming.
4. Gigabyte Aorus 15G
Best gaming laptop for mechanical keyboard fans
Display: 15.6in, FHD, 240Hz | CPU: Intel i9
GPU: RTX 2080 Super | Storage: 512GB | Weight: 2.2kg
- Mechanical keyboard feels great
- High refresh rate
- Excellent performance with modern games
- Decent battery life
- Expensive compared to rivals
- Aluminium chassis is hefty and a little boring
- The screen is strangely flimsy and feels fragile
One of the biggest problems with gaming laptops is that the built-in keyboard feels like a poor substitute for a dedicated one. The Gigabyte Aorus 15G solves this issue by using mechanical switches, which gives the keys a satisfying clicky feel.
The Aorus 15G excels in other categories too, with the RTX graphics cards belting out a powerful performance to make the most out of the Full HD 240Hz display. However, you can achieve a similar level of performance for cheaper with the likes of the HP Omen 15, as the mechanical keyboard seemingly bumps up the cost by a couple hundred quid.
Other complaints include a boring and flimsy design, which is also rather cumbersome to port around. Still, thanks to a stellar performance and mechanical keyboard, this is one of the best portable experiences for PC gaming.
5. Razer Blade 15 (2020)
Best looking gaming laptop
Display: 15in, FHD, 144Hz | CPU: 10th Gen Intel i7
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2070 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Weight: 2.1kg
- Superb build quality and stylish design
- Solid Full HD performance
- Bright and colourful display
- Generous configuration options
- Pricey compared to the competition
- Can get really warm when gaming
- Keyboard isn’t the best
Razer has long stood out as one of the most popular gaming laptop brands, and the Razer Blade 15 (2020) shows exactly why that’s the case. The black aluminium chassis is comfortably one of the most stylish and sophisticated designs we’ve seen.
Razer also offers all the cutting edge specs you could hope for, including both Nvidia GTX and RTX graphics cards. You also get the option of a Full HD display with a refresh rate up to 300Hz, or even a 4K OLED panel instead – the configuration options available are staggeringly good.
The major issue here is that Razer charges a premium for its laptops, meaning you’ll likely be paying more for a Blade 15 than similarly powerful competitors. The likes of the HP Omen 15 (2020) offer superior value for money in terms of performance power, although the Razer does feel and look like a more luxurious laptop.
6. Razer Blade Pro 17 (2019)
Best 4K gaming laptop
Display: 17.3in, 4K, 120Hz | CPU: 9th Gen Intel i7
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080 | Storage: 1TB | Weight: 2.75kg
- Plenty of grunt
- Can be upgraded
- Gorgeous 4K visuals
- Super pricey
- Poor portability
The Razer Blade Pro 17 is essentially the bigger and more expensive sibling to the Razer Blade 15, with this 2019 model including the option of an Nvidia RTX 2080 GPU and 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H processor.
The 17-inch screen is the main sell here, as it’s not only a blockbuster size for AAA games, but boasts a 4K resolution for some stunning visuals. The 240Hz refresh rate also ensures fast-paced action still looks sharp and smooth.
The only negatives about this gaming laptop is it weighs a hefty 2.75kg and is dauntingly expensive. If you want your games to look as good as possible on the go though, there are few better options than the Razer Blade Pro 17.
7. Alienware Area 51m
The best desktop-replacement gaming laptop
Display: 17.3in, FHD, 144Hz | CPU: 9th Gen Intel i9
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080 | Storage: 2TB | Weight: 3.87kg
- The most powerful gaming laptop available
- Can be upgraded
- Stylish and premium design
- Excellent keyboard
- Incredibly expensive
- Extremely large and heavy
- Underwhelming display
Most gaming laptop use mobile iterations of components in order to maximise portability. The Alienware Area 51m throws away the rule book, and instead fits a desktop processor inside. This not only makes this behemoth laptop incredibly powerful, but also allows you to upgrade it just as you would with a traditional desktop gaming PC.
With the option of an Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics card, you’re essentially getting a desktop-equivalent performance. However, you’re limited to a Full HD display unless you hook up an external monitor, which is a real shame since this laptop has a jaw-dropping price climbing all the way up to £3799 with maxed out specs.
Of course, the term ‘laptop’ is used very lightly since the hulking 3.87kg weight brings the Alienware Area 51m’s portability credentials into question. This is not something you want to carry on a commute, but a brilliant option if you’re happy to keep it rooted to your desk. Dell has now announced the new Alienware Area-51m R2 which takes the mammoth machine to a whole other level.
8. Acer Nitro 5
Best budget gaming laptop
Display: 15.6in, FHD, 144Hz | CPU: 9th Gen Intel i5
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti | Storage: 512GB | Weight: 2.2kg
- Astonishing performance considering the price
- Can run the likes of Fortnite and Apex easily
- Great value for money
- Keyboard layout is a little cramped
- Screen quality and brightness is sub-par
The Acer Nitro 5 is one of the best gaming laptops we’ve reviewed that’s available for less than £1000, proving a great option for students who want a machine than can blast through essays but also cope with the odd gaming session.
With the option of a GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 Ti GPU, the Nitro 5 won’t be able to run every single AAA game smoothly with graphics settings cranked to the max. But if you’re happy to stick to low intensive games, such as the likes of Fortnite, Rocket League and Sims 4, the Nitro 5 is a superb option.
This isn’t the most glamorous laptop, with a plasticky casing and boring design, but that will hardly be a concern when you remember how little you spent on the Nitro 5.
9. Asus ROG Strix Scar III (G731GU)
Incredibly affordable 17-inch gaming laptop
Display: 17.3in, FHD, 144Hz | CPU: 9th Gen Intel i7
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti | Storage: 512GB | Weight: 2.9kg
- Solid gaming speeds
- Impressive 144Hz screen
- Reasonable RGB LED keyboard
- Inconsistent design and build
- Poor battery life
- Noticeable fan noise
If you want a 17-inch gaming laptop, odds are you’re going to have to fork out over £2000. The Asus ROG Strix Scar III (G731GU) is an exception, boasting a far more attractive price point despite the colossal screen.
Asus has been able to keep this portable affordable by using a GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. This isn’t the most powerful GPU available, but can run the majority of games in Full HD at a respectable frame rate. Unfortunately, Asus has made many more compromises, including a poor battery life and an omission of screen sync technology to prevent screen tearing.
But the fact you can get a gaming laptop with a blockbuster 17-inch screen is still impressive. If you want as big a screen as possible without breaking the bank, the Asus ROG Strix Scar III (G731GU) is a worthwhile option.
10. Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo
Best gaming laptop for streamers
Display: 15in, 4K, 60Hz | CPU: 10th Gen Intel i9
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080 Super | Storage: 2TB | Weight: 2.4kg
- Incredibly fast performance
- 4K display is an absolute beauty
- Second screen useful for streamers
- Very expensive
- Meh keyboard
- Poor battery life
- Limited compatibility for ScreenPad
The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo has a very obvious unique selling point: it has two screens. This allows you to look up guides on Google without pausing the game, or even move inventory screens and map displays to the lower screen with compatible titles such as Dying Light 2.
Unfortunately, limited game support means the average gamer probably won’t get their money’s worth out of the ScreenPad. It’s a different story for Twitch streamers, with the ability to meddle with broadcasting settings and engage in chats without disturbing your League of Legends or Fortnite session proving valuable.
As well as the ScreenPad, the Zephyrus Duo boasts a gorgeous 4K screen and an industry-leading performance, making it a worthwhile (albeit expensive) alternative to a desktop gaming PC.