Advertisement

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Advertisement

Best gaming laptop 2022: The fastest and most portable gaming laptops you can buy

Advertisement

Gaming on the go has never been easier. Here are our pick of the best gaming laptops for every budget

Now that Nvidia's GeForce RTX 30-series graphics chips have made their way to portable computers, the best gaming laptops are more powerful than ever.

Nvidia's new GPUs represent a significant step up in performance from the RTX 20-series, meaning gaming laptops housing them offer a true next-gen experience, complete with stunning graphics and super-smooth frame rates.

In addition to that supreme performance, we're now seeing more console exclusives being ported to PC, while Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass for PC gives players the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of premium titles for a monthly fee.

That combination of factors means there's no better time to buy one of the best gaming laptops and join the huge community of PC gamers. You could, of course, build your own desktop gaming setup, but if you want to play your games on the go then buying one of the best gaming laptops is the way forward.

Our team of experts are regularly testing the latest and greatest gaming devices and you'll find our pick of the best gaming laptops listed below. Each has undergone an extensive range of benchmarking tests, which include our in-house 4K processing test, read and write speed tests, graphical tests and a battery rundown test.

Before we jump into our list of the best gaming laptops on the market right now, we've put together a handy buying guide detailing all the things you should take into consideration before splashing out on new gaming hardware.

READ MORE: The best laptops money can buy | Best PC gaming headsets | The best budget gaming laptops


The best gaming laptops: At a glance


How to choose the best gaming laptop for you

There are a number of things to consider when buying one of the best gaming laptops. Below, you'll find a checklist of the key features to look out for along with an explanation as to why they're so important.

GPU: The graphics processing unit (GPU) is a gaming laptop's single most important component. As the name suggests, GPUs handle the manipulation of graphics and image processing. When buying a gaming laptop, you want to look for a device that features a dedicated GPU rather than one that is built on the same die at the processor.

Nvidia is the big name to look for in GPU manufacturing, while AMD also produces some very powerful graphics chips. As a general rule, the higher the model number in a product line, the better performance you can expect. For example, Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3080 is superior to the cheaper RTX 3060.

Processor: A laptop's central processing unit or CPU is another core component. CPU power is measured in GHz and dictates how quickly a laptop retrieves information and executes commands. Newer processors with a greater number of cores and a higher clock speed are more effective at running multiple processes simultaneously. Pretty much every decent gaming laptop houses a CPU made by either Intel or AMD.

RAM: Random Access Memory (RAM) is your gaming laptop's short-term data storage and the more your device has available, the better. For gaming laptops, you'll want 8GB RAM at an absolute minimum, though we recommend 16GB if your budget allows.

Storage: The more storage your gaming laptop has the better. A Solid State Drive (SSD) of 512GB or above is enough for most people but consider a device with more storage if you don't want to have to delete games to make room for new ones.

Display: Your gaming laptop could house extremely powerful internal components but they'd be wasted if your device doesn't have a display capable of doing them justice. You'll want a display with at least Full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080p), while 4K displays (3,840 x 2,160p) are starting to become more common but are significantly more expensive. Bear in mind, your GPU needs to be very powerful if it's to render graphics at playable framerates at native 4K resolution.

Pay attention to the display's refresh rate as this dictates how many frames per second it can display. Refresh rates are measured in Hz, with a higher figure resulting in smoother onscreen action.

You'll also want to think about the size of the display. 15.6in is typically the sweet spot for gaming laptops, though there are plenty of 17in models out there, too. The larger the display the more screen real estate but the heavier the device becomes. If you plan on using your gaming laptop while on the go, you'll want to avoid larger options.

Connectivity: Gaming laptops encourage the use of peripherals such as headsets, speakers mice and external hard drives. Make sure the laptop you buy has the corresponding ports to support such accessories and that it also supports Bluetooth if you plan to use peripherals wirelessly. USB-A ports are always useful, while newer connection standards like USB-C and Thunderbolt are worth keeping an eye out for.

Keyboard: If you're not using an external controller, a gaming laptop's keyboard becomes an extremely important feature. Most gamers favour mechanical keyboards over their membrane counterparts as they're more precise and tactile.

Keyboards are also where a lot of gaming laptop manufacturers like to incorporate some form of RGB lighting. This adds a colourful twist to your device and many allow you to customise the colours of each key individually. While far from a necessity, those that want a personalised portable gaming experience will want to ensure their gaming laptop sports RGB lighting in some form.

Battery life: If gaming laptops have one big weakness, it's their battery life. The power required to run demanding games means they won't last very long when not plugged into the mains. This isn't a big deal if you're going to spend most of your time gaming at your desk but it's worth bearing in mind if you're looking for a device to use portably.

How much should I spend on a gaming laptop?

Gaming laptops don't come cheap. The powerful internal components needed to run AAA titles mean that even budget options will set you back around £700. We don't recommend dipping much below that figure if you want a satisfying gaming experience.

Decent mid-range options tend to cost in the region of £1,000 to £1,500, while premium devices designed for gamers that want top-end specs and all the bells and whistles available can expect to pay in excess of £2,000.

The best gaming laptops to buy

1. Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2022): The best gaming laptop money can buy

Price: £2,550 | Buy now from Amazon

In our original review, we compared the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 to the HMS Dreadnought, the Royal Navy's 1906 battleship that immediately rendered all other warships obsolete. And it's easy to see why: its combination of a 12-generation Intel Alder Lake processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU blasts all of its rivals out of the water.

The Scar 17 is the most complete gaming laptop ever to hit the shelves and has all of the RGB LEDs to prove it. It even boasts per-key lighting, while you can put the laptop into Turbo mode via Asus' KeyStone dongle. You're getting plenty of ports, including USB-C, as well as expandable internal storage via the empty SSD bay. Meanwhile, the chiclet-style keyboard is as satisfying to use as you'd expect and comes with five dedicated hotkeys, which give you instant access to settings such as fan speed and volume.

The 2,560 x 1,440 IPS display is similarly excellent, with a 240Hz refresh rate and a maximum brightness of 309cd/m². Colours look rich and vivid, while there are eight display profiles that are tailored for everything from racing games to first-person shooters. Elsewhere, the speakers provide a punchy sound and enough volume to do even the most dramatic soundtracks justice. A battery life of 7hrs 15mins in our test is decent too.

But now to the main event: the performance. Quite simply, the Scar 17 made mincemeat of our benchmarks. It was the first laptop to exceed the 500-point barrier in our media test, beating the second-place (and much more expensive) Acer Helios 500 by a gigantic 150 points. In our gaming benchmarks, it took running demanding titles in its stride and could even manage 98fps at Wolfenstein: Youngblood's toughest possible settings. Those are barnstorming scores.

Other gaming laptops with 12-generation Intel chips will soon arrive, but, for now, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is the best gaming laptop you can buy.

Read our full Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 review for more details

Specifications - Processor: Intel Core i9-12900H; Display size: 17.3; RAM: 32GB; Display resolution: 2,560 x 1,440; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti; Refresh rate: 240Hz; Storage: 2TB SSD; Weight: 2.9kg

Buy now from Amazon


2. Razer Blade 14: The best 14in gaming laptop

Price: £2,205 | Buy now from Amazon

There aren't all that many 14in gaming laptops on the market right now as manufacturers (and gamers) tend to favour larger displays. But if you want a compact laptop capable of delivering first-rate gaming performance, you'll be hard pushed to find a better option than the Razer Blade 14. At 1.78kg, it's the lightest entry on this list, build quality is great and there's a decent array of connection ports, including two USB-A, two USB-C and an HDMI 2.1.

The 165Hz QHD display on the top-of-the-range model we tested is bright, extremely sharp and its matte finish is effective at reducing reflections. Colour accuracy could be better but there's impressive coverage of both the sRGB and DCI-P3 colour spaces. In terms of productivity and gaming performance, the Razer Blade 14 breezed through our various benchmark tests and its battery lasted a commendable 11hrs 14mins.

In fact, aside from costing rather a lot for the highest-spec model and not being able to upgrade its RAM, the Razer Blade 14 is a pretty much faultless gaming laptop.

Read our full Razer Blade 14 review for details

Specifications - Processor: Octa-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX; Display size: 14in; RAM: 16GB; Display resolution: 2,560 X 1,440; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080; Refresh rate: 165Hz; Storage: 1TB SSD; Weight: 1.78kg

Buy now from Amazon


3. Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-45): The best gaming laptop around £1,000

Price: £1,069 | Buy now from Amazon

This iteration of the Acer Nitro 5 redefines what you can expect from a gaming laptop costing around £1,000. We reviewed the model housing Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3060 graphics chip along with AMD's Ryzen 7 5600 and it performed astoundingly well, returning the second-highest 4K media processing test result we'd ever received at the time.

The Nitro 5's gaming benchmarks didn't quite match that of laptops housing more powerful RTX 3070 and 3080 GPUs but it's still capable of rendering ray-traced visuals well above 60fps at a native 1080p without the need for AI upscaling. For a machine costing in the region of £1,000, that's remarkable.

That raw power comes at a cost - battery life is poor and the Nitro 5's 15.6in, FHD display isn't the brightest, nor does it reproduce colours with particularly good accuracy. However, a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz ensures smooth on-screen action and with such stunning performance for the money, the Nitro 5 can be forgiven a couple of minor shortcomings.

Read our full Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-45) review for details

Specifications - Processor: Hexa-core AMD Ryzen 5 5600-H; Display size: 15.6in; RAM: 8GB; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 with 6GB dedicated memory; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Storage: 512GB SSD; Weight: 2.3kg

Buy now from Amazon


4. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14: The best-all AMD gaming laptop

Price: £1,700 | Buy now from Ebuyer

If you’re looking for a powerful gaming laptop that you can carry around and not suffer a minor hernia, look no further. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) is an all-purpose gaming powerhouse in a compact casing.

Powered by AMD’s Ryzen 6000 series processors and Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs, and featuring a 120Hz QHD+ display, it’s a fantastic all-rounder, capable of being used for gaming and serious creative work alike.

Of course, all the laptops on this list are portable, but the 1.7kg weight, smaller screen size and not-terrible battery life of the Zephyrus G14 make it more suited than most to life on the road, so much so that we consider it a close rival of the 14in Apple MacBook Pro.

Read our full Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review for more details

Specifications - Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS or Ryzen 7 6800HS; GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6700S or Radeon RX 6800S graphics card; RAM: 16GB DDR5; Display size: 14in; Display Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440; Refresh rate: 120Hz; Storage: 1TB SSD; Weight: 1.7kg

Buy now from Ebuyer


5. HP Omen 15: The best value all-AMD gaming laptop

Price: £969 | Buy now from Currys

Despite its comparatively subtle looks, the HP Omen 15 has more than enough processor grunt to blast through the latest games and tackle even the trickiest productivity tasks, as well as boasting speakers that will do films justice.

Under the hood, you're getting AMD's Radeon RX 6600M mid-range GPU alongside an octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor. These combined to produce an Nvidia-rivaling performance in games at 1080p, which is brilliant considering the price.

However, the undoubted star of the show here is the sharp 16in IPS display that punches well above its price. It's not the brightest screen you'll come across, but the colours it produces are vivid and accurate. It was also blur-free during games. To complete the immersive experience, you also get Bang & Olufsen speakers that produce a bassy boom and can reach high volumes.

All of this, combined with the impressive keyboard and generous selection of ports, makes the HP Omen 15 an AMD-based gaming PC that's very easy to recommend – especially at this eye-catching price.

Read our full HP Omen 16 review for more details

Key specs - Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H; Display size: 16in; RAM: 16GB; Display resolution: 2,560 x 1,440; GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6600M; Refresh rate: 165Hz; Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD; Weight: 2.3kg

Buy now from Currys


6. Lenovo Legion 5: A mid-range masterpiece

Price: £1,399 | Buy now from Currys

The mid-range Legion 5 achieved excellent results in our in-house 4K media benchmark test but really shone in the gaming-specific tests, recording top-notch framerates across a range of games running at various settings. Design-wise, it doesn't deviate too far from previous iterations of the Legion, but that's no bad thing. Most of the connection ports are grouped sensibly at the rear of the device and the aluminium body is reassuringly solid.

The laptop's keyboard is pretty much perfect, too. It's spacious, has a numeric keypad and full-size cursor keys, while the travel is just right for both typing and keyboard controls while gaming.

Battery life and audio quality are inferior to the Asus TUF Dash F15 so the Asus is a better choice if they're key considerations for you, but if you favour performance and build quality, opt for the Lenovo Legion 5.

Read our full Lenovo Legion 5 review for more details

Specifications - Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H; Display size: 15.6in; RAM: 16GB; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070; Refresh rate: 165Hz; Storage: 512GB SSD; Weight: 2.35kg

Buy now from Currys


7. Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2022): The best gaming laptop for work and play

Price: £2,599 | Buy now from Amazon

Not only can the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2022) play the latest and greatest AAA games, but it's also portable and subdued enough to be used as an everyday work machine. Inside, you're getting Intel's 12th-generation Core i9-12900H processor and a choice of Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics (3050 Ti, 3060, 3070 Ti or 3080 Ti), along with 8GB or 16GB of RAM and a 1TB or 2TB SSD.

Those internals made mincemeat of the Expert Reviews benchmarks, with the Intel chip proving to be a whopping 68% faster than last year's Core i9-10900H. Gaming performance was similarly impressive, although not quite up there with some of the higher-spec laptops on this list. Note that it's not a quiet machine when pushed to its limits, though.

Elsewhere, the accurate, 16in display gives you plenty of space for creative or work projects, while its refresh rate of 165Hz will please gamers who demand fast response times. The subtle, all-black design is a far cry from the spaceship-like LEDs on other laptops and it's actually 100g lighter than Apple's MacBook Pro 16in. The keyboard is pleasant to use, with per-key RGB lighting if you want it, and it boasts plenty of ports, including two USB-Cs.

With a score of just under seven hours in our video rundown test, its battery life isn't anything to write home about, but it should still see you through most of a working day. And that's the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16's main selling point: it's a classy work laptop that can let its hair down to become a potent gaming device.

Specifications - Processor: Intel Core i9-12900H; Display size: 16in; RAM: 8GB or 16GB; Display resolution: 2,560 x 1,600; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, 3060, 3070 Ti or 3080 Ti; Refresh rate: 165Hz; Storage: 1TB or 2TB SSD; Weight: 1.42kg

Buy now from Amazon


8. Asus TUF Dash F15: A great value-for-money gaming laptop

Price: £1,079 | Buy now from Amazon

The TUF Dash F15 comes equipped with an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor backed by 16GB RAM and houses Nvidia's beastly GeForce RTX 3070 graphics chip and a 1TB SSD. That's a lot of laptop for the asking price.

The performance proved strong despite the GPU being clocked down and the Dash F15's chiclet keyboard is well-spaced, solid and has just the right amount of travel in its keys. It's backlit in aquamarine, which our reviewer found a little lurid, but that's hardly a dealbreaker. Battery life clocked in at over 12 hours during our in-house rundown test - an undeniably impressive figure that's achieved by the laptop switching from the Nvidia GPU to the integrated Intel graphics once unplugged.

Read our full Asus TUF Dash F15 review for details

Specifications - Processor: Intel Core i7-11370H; Display size: 15.6in; RAM: 16GB RAM; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070; Refresh rate: 240Hz; Storage: 1TB; Weight: 2kg

Buy now from Amazon


9. HP Victus: Solid performance in a smart 16in package

Price: £929 | Buy now from Currys


The HP Victus stands out from its competitors by managing to squeeze a 16.1in display into a frame similar to that of most 15.6in gaming laptops. The screen itself is a little drab but fortunately, the Victus makes up for this in other areas.

It looks smart, the keyboard is well laid-out and precise to type on and the internals are upgradeable to a maximum of 32GB RAM and 2TB of storage. Audio quality is also impressive, with the Bang & Olufsen-tuned speakers helping enhance the gaming experience to a notable degree. Battery life fell a little short of the Asus TUF Dash 15 but outlasted the Acer Nitro 5 and Lenovo Legion 5, while results across our 4K media benchmark and graphical performance tests proved highly competitive.

There's very little to separate the HP Victus from the three rivals mentioned above, save the larger screen. If you're happy to sacrifice colour accuracy for the extra 44cm2 of screen real estate, the Victus is an excellent value proposition.

Read our full HP Victus review for details

Specifications - Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H; Display size: 16.1in; RAM: 16GB RAM; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Storage: 512GB; Weight: 2.5kg

Buy now from Currys


10. Asus ROG Zephyrus G15: The perfect gaming laptop for grown-ups

Price: £2,600 | Buy now from Argos

The ROG Zephyrus G15 is another superb gaming laptop from Asus offering top-end specs and impressive performance. But what sets it apart from the Strix and Strix Scar models listed above are its design and dimensions. It's a fair bit lighter than its stablemates at 1.9kg and at first glance, it would be easy to mistake the Zephyrus for an ultrabook rather than a gaming laptop.

The keyboard is surprisingly conventional, too. It's of the chiclet variety rather than mechanical and there's no RGB lighting - keys are backlit in white and the only special effects of note are two pulse styles: breathing and strobing.

Both the laptop's 15.6in display and audio quality are first-rate. Colours look vibrant, rich and are reproduced with decent accuracy, while the panel matte-finish IPS panel has a refresh rate of 165Hz. A six-speaker setup incorporating four tweeters and two woofers delivers plenty of volume, commendable detail and a decent helping of bass.

Supremely versatile, the ROG Zephyrus is an excellent laptop that appeals to gamers, creatives, media bingers and business users alike.

Read our full Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 review for details

Specifications - Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS; Display size: 15.6in; RAM: 32GB; Display resolution: 2,560 x 1,440; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080; Refresh rate: 165Hz; Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD; Weight: 1.9kg

Buy now from Argos


11. Lenovo Legion 7: A truly outstanding gaming machine

Price: £1,500 | Buy now from Lenovo

The Lenovo Legion 7 is the big brother of the Legion 5 listed above and in this instance, it's definitely a case of bigger being better. Battery life aside, the Legion 7 excels in all the key areas, delivering muscular performance, a superb display and a near-faultless keyboard.

The model we tested houses the same processor as the Legion 5 but packs Nvidia's top-of-the-range GeForce RTX 3080 GPU and has a larger screen boasting a 2,560 x 1,660 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. The display is not only pixel-rich but is bright, colour accurate and the 16:10 aspect ratio lends itself particularly well to gaming.

Build quality is excellent, with the laptop's body crafted from aerospace-grade aluminium. This gives the Legion 7 real heft but it remains an attractive device, particularly when the keyboard's RGB light shows are in full swing. The keyboard itself is delightfully laid out and features a numeric pad along with distinct cursor keys, while the trackpad is about as good as it gets. A fingerprint scanner for logging in would have been the cherry on top of the icing on the cake but even without one, the Legion 7 cements itself as a remarkably good gaming laptop.

Read our full Lenovo Legion 7 review for details

Specifications - Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H; Display size: 16in; RAM: 16GB; Display resolution: 2,560 x 1,660; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080; Refresh rate: 165Hz; Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD; Weight: 2.5kg

Buy now from Lenovo


12. Lenovo Legion 5 AMD Advantage Edition: The best gaming laptop for under £1,000

Price: From £999 | Buy now from Currys

If you want a sub-£1,000 gaming laptop, you’re more and more likely to end up looking at something based on Nvidia’s RTX 3050 or 3050 Ti GPU but, with only 4GB of video RAM, performance is going to be severely limited. You’re much better off choosing something with an AMD Radeon RX 6600M GPU, which comes with 8GB of video RAM as standard.

The best budget AMD gaming laptop at the moment is the Lenovo Legion 5, which starts at a list price of £999 but is often discounted to even lower prices. For your money, you get a superbly balanced gaming laptop with a 1080p display that’s capable of playing Triple-A games at more-than-acceptable frame rates. Just as importantly, the AMD Legion 5 has a MUX switch, ensuring you can get the most out of the GPU in terms of both frame rates and display quality thanks to FreeSync adaptive synchronisation.

This is also an excellent all-round laptop with great build quality, a very solid keyboard, more ports and connectors than you can shake a stick at, plus a decent sound system and 144Hz 15.6in display. It’s also very easy access to the innards should you wish to add another SSD or upgrade the RAM. For the money, this is a brilliant gaming machine.

Read our full Lenovo Legion 5 AMD Advantage Edition review for details

Specifications - Processor: Octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 5800H or Ryzen 5 5 5600H; Display size: 15.6in; RAM: 16GB; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; GPU: AMD RX 6600M with 8GB VRAM; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Storage: 512GB SSD; Weight: 2.4kg

Buy now from Currys