Best gaming laptops 2020: top laptops to game on

Though the best gaming laptops used to struggle to compete with gaming PCs, that is no longer the case. Not only is the gap in performance much smaller than before but so is the gap in price. In fact, they can now go toe-to-toe with the best gaming PCs, running the newest and most demanding games with ease.

With all the features and horsepower that the best gaming laptops come with, desktop users have a good reason to consider switching. Whether it’s the newest GPUs like Nvidia’s new RTX 3000 GPUs or AMD Navi line, the newest processors like Intel Comet Lake, or speedy SSDs, they can hold their own, running the evermore graphics-intensive AAA games coming out these days. That’s while offering portability and a smaller footprint, a boon to those who want to game on the go or don’t have the desk space for a proper desktop PC

Whether you’re wandering around an open-world game or teaming up with friends on the other side of the planet, getting the most out of the best PC games takes a computer with plenty of power under the hood. The best gaming laptops can do that with ease. 

Asus TUF F15, Intel Core i5, Nvidia GTX 1650Ti, 8GB RAM: £899.99, now £748.98 at Scan 

Save £151 - This excellent affordable gaming laptop offers you enough power to handle the latest games at medium to high settings thanks to its 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor and Nvidia GTX 1650Ti. Its 512GB SSD can hold plenty of games.

Lenovo Legion 5 15.6-inch gaming laptop: £999, £899 at Laptops Direct

Save £100 - This powerful Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop is coming in at £100 cheaper today at Laptops Direct and packs an RTX 2060 graphics card - a really powerful component for the price. It's a shame that the laptop is let down by the 10th gen Intel Core i5 processor, but its 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD round out the specs out for a smooth 1080p gaming performance.

Best gaming laptops 2020 at a glance

  1. Asus Zephyrus G14
  2. Gigabyte Aorus 17X
  3. Asus TUF A15 
  4. Alienware M15 R3 (2020)
  5. MSI GS65 Stealth
  6. Razer Blade 15 (2020)
  7. Asus ROG Zephyrus M15 GU502
  8. Alienware Area-51m
  9. Gigabyte Aorus 17G
  10. Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

Best gaming laptops 2020

Asus Zephyrus G14

The Asus Zephyrus G14 is an absolute beast of a gaming laptop. (Image credit: Asus)

1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The best gaming laptop around

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS – 9 4900HS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Screen: 14-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-level panel, 120Hz – 14-inch Non-glare WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS-level panel, 60Hz | Storage: 512GB / 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0

Best battery life in a gaming laptop
Excellent performance
Thin and light
No webcam
Fans can get loud

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is not perfect, missing a webcam and a Thunderbolt 3 port. However, it’s damn near close to being one, garnering our coveted yet rarely given five-star rating. We couldn’t resist. This is an absolute beast of a gaming laptop, delivering an incredible performance with its AMD Ryzen 4000 processors and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card while touting best-in-class battery life that will last you all day long, a fast display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a lightweight, ultrathin design. The best part is that you’re getting all that without burning a hole in your pocket. Don’t get us wrong; it isn’t cheap. However, for a laptop this impressive, we’re surprised Asus isn’t asking for more.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 

Gigabyte Aorus 17X

The Gigabyte Aorus 17X has that face-melting performance. (Image credit: Gigabyte)

2. Gigabyte Aorus 17X

Slays the field with truly face-melting performance

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 16 series – RTX 20 Super series | RAM: up to 64GB | Screen: 1‎7.3" Thin Bezel FHD 1920x1080 240Hz Anti-Glare Display | Storage: 1TB SSD (PCIe), 2TB HDD

Dominating all-around performance
Gorgeous display
Mechanical keyboard is a dream
Very, very heavy
RTX 2080 model needs two power adapters

The Gigabyte Aorus 17X is hardly for everyone, especially with that breathtakingly steep price. However, if you are looking for a laptop that can pretty much slay anything in its path, this one’s got that face-melting performance you’re looking for, with 10th-generation Intel Core processors and Nvidia’s most powerful GPUs for gaming. Besides its performance, it’s got a few other things going for it including a display that is a complete stunner, a mechanical keyboard (nothing short of that is good for gaming) that’s incredible to use and build quality that’s designed to last.

Read the full review: Gigabyte Aorus 17X

ASUS TUF Gaming A15

ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is a great value gaming rig with a long battery life and military-grade durability. (Image credit: ASUS)

3. Asus TUF A15

The new affordable gaming king

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H – 7 4800H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660TI – RTX 2060 | RAM: up to 32 GB SDRAM | Screen: 15.6" (16:9) FHD (1920x1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS-level Panel – 15.6" (16:9) FHD (1920x1080) 144Hz Anti-Glare IPS-level Panel | Storage: 1TB 5400 rpm SATA HDD – 256GB/512GB/1TB PCIe Gen3 SSD

Great 1080p performance
New AMD processors
Very good battery life
Noisy fans
Not the most powerful gaming laptop
Design won’t be for everyone

Give us a laptop that touts one of AMD’s stellar Ryzen 400 mobile processors, and we’d be more than happy to try it on for size. What we found in the Asus TUF A15, however, is not just fantastic gaming performance, but a great value gaming rig with a long battery life and military-grade durability as well. With the help of Nvidia’s most powerful 1080p graphics cards, this Ryzen 4000-powered laptop will see you through all your 1080p gaming demands without burning a hole in your pocket. Whether you play a lot of competitive esports, or need a rugged laptop, this one’s a winner.

Read the full review: Asus TUF A15

Alienware M15 R3 (2020)

(Image credit: Alienware)

4. Alienware M15 R3 (2020)

A brilliant gaming beast that just got a little bit better

CPU: Up to 10th Generation Intel Core i9-10980HK | Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super | RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4 | Display: 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz 7ms 300-nits 72% NTSC – 15.6" OLED UHD (3840 x 2160) 60Hz 1ms 400-nits DCI-P3 | Storage: Up to 4TB RAID0 + 512GB SSD

Great build quality
Sublime all-round performance
4K OLED panel not optimal for gaming
Nvidia Max-Q GPU a little limited

Dell’s Alienware gaming laptop line has established itself as among the very best on the market. But for 2020, it’s back and better than ever, rocking the best internals for gaming that money can buy. Of course, that means that its configurations cost a pretty penny, but if you have the money to spare, it’s certainly worth the splurge because of its sublime gaming performance. That’s without factoring in its quirky yet attractive design, excellent build quality and display with fast refresh rates. We’ve been fans of the line since its design overall a couple of years ago, and that hasn’t changed.

Read the full review: Alienware M15 R3 (2020)

MSI GS65 Stealth

MSI GS65 Stealth packs a punch in its very thing package. (Image credit: MSI)

5. MSI GS65 Stealth

Thin. Beautiful. Powerful.

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM, Max-Q) | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 144Hz panel | Storage: 256GB SSD – Super RAID 4 1TB SSD

Beautiful, subtle design 
Excellent performance 
Underside gets very hot 

Play some of the best PC games on the move and very discreetly with the MSI GS65 Stealth, which might just be the gaming laptop of your dreams if you’re a traveler. Coming in at just 0.69 inches thick and packing impressive internals like Intel Coffee Lake processors and Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-series – refreshed with RTX 20-series graphics at CES – the MSI GS65 Stealth packs a punch in its very thing package. There’s nothing you won’t be able to throw at this thing that’ll slow it down. And, thanks to the smart aesthetic, you’ll be able to lug this beefy rig everywhere you go, making it among the best gaming laptops to hit the streets. 

Read the full review: MSI GS65 Stealth 

Razer Blade 15 (2020)

(Image credit: Razer)

6. Razer Blade 15 (2020)

Gaming in style

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 144Hz FHD Matte or OLED 4K – 300Hz FHD Matte or OLED 4K Touch | Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe

Powerful
Plenty of ports
Top-mounted speakers
Expensive
Short battery life

Expensive though it may be – as is usual with the Razer Blade line – 2020’s installment of the Razer Blade 15 is staggeringly powerful, more than capable of annihilating any PC game you throw at it. With up to an RTX 2080 Super in the GPU department, there’s no doubt of its extra oomph, which makes it an excellent candidate for creative professionals as well, especially with that design that keeps things classy and a trackpad that’s among the best we’ve tested on a gaming laptop. If you’ve got deep pockets and you like to keep things stylish, this is the best gaming laptop for you.

Read the full review: Razer Blade 15 (2020)

Asus ROG Zephyrus M15 GU502

(Image credit: Asus)

7. Asus ROG Zephyrus M15 GU502

Intel’s latest mobile tech brings its A-game

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti – RTX 2070 Super | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 16:9 anti-glare display, 60Hz – 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS, 144Hz | Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD

Excellent battery life
Good gaming performance
Fast screen
Not the most powerful
You're paying a lot for the design

Those in the market for a mid-range gaming device might adore the Asus ROG Zephyrus M15 GU502. It’s a great-looking piece of kit, serving as another entry to Asus’ much-vaunted ROG Zephyrus lineup of stylish thin and light gaming laptops. And, that fast screen makes it a joy for gamers with a predilection for fast-paced games. However, does it measure up to the most powerful laptops out there? While not cutting-edge, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M15 GU502’s specs are decent for graphically intensive games and its battery can last a while, which makes it a great candidate if you’re not looking for a maxed out machine.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus M15 GU502

Alienware Area-51m

Alienware Area-51m is among best gaming laptops of 2020, packing a hefty punch, gaming-wise. (Image credit: Alienware)

8. Alienware Area-51m

An out-of-this-world gaming laptop

CPU: Intel Core i7-9700 – i9-9900K | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080 | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS – 144Hz IPS NVIDIA G-SYNC | Storage: 1TB SSHD – 2TB RAID0 SSDs + 1TB SSHD

Extremely powerful
Aesthetic
Perfect keyboard
Very expensive
Gets hot
Loud fans

If you fell head over heels upon seeing the Alienware Area-51m’s stunning yet quirky white chassis, you’re not alone. And, if you happen to shell out that couple of thousand dollars based on looks alone, we’d be the last people to judge. Anyway, you’ll be happy to know that it wasn’t all for naught, as this gaming laptop – or rather, the best among the best gaming laptops of 2020 – packs a hefty punch, gaming-wise. This is so far the most powerful gaming laptop on the market currently, and you won’t be able to help but be impressed. Its comfy keyboard and VR readiness are just cherries on top.

Read the full review: Alienware Area-51m

Gigabyte Aorus 17G

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

9. Gigabyte Aorus 17G

Big, powerful, industrial

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super with Max-Q | RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4 | Screen: 17.3-inch Thin Bezel 240Hz FHD 1920x1080 anti-glare display LCD | Storage: 2x M.2 SSD

Excellent performance
Top-shelf build quality
Fast and color accurate display
Expensive
Heavy

If you want an absolute beast of a gaming laptop, Gigabyte’s Aorus 17G is a worthy candidate both inside and out. While this megalithic portable has a substantial weight of 5.95Ib to match, it’s a small price to pay for such power inside – namely, 10th-generation processors and up to 64GB of memory, as well as Nvidia’s most powerful RTX and Super RTX cards. There’s nothing this laptop can handle (or annihilate), making it a prime example of what a next-generation desktop replacement can be. And, that’s without mentioning its 1080p display touting a whopping 240Hz refresh rate and its solid build. Just be ready to break that piggy bank, as this won’t be cheap.

Read the full review: Gigabyte Aorus 17G

Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

The Dell G5 15 SE (2020) boasts impressive AMD specs, especially in the CPU department. (Image credit: Dell)

10. Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

A fantastic value

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H – 7 4800H | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5600M | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED Backlight Non-Touch Narrow Border WVA Display – 15.6 inch FHD(1920x1080) 300nits WVA Anti-Glare LED Backlit Display(non-touch), 144Hz refresh rate | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Excellent CPU performance
Very affordable for a gaming laptop
Quick and vibrant display
Gets pretty hot under strain
Plastic build feels flimsy

Though Dell has its premium lines, it’s also been very good at building excellent budget machines. The Dell G5 15 SE (2020) is a very good example of that, touting impressive AMD specs, especially in the CPU department, to keep cost down without compromising performance. This is among the very few gaming laptops out there that are affordable and also deliver a staggering performance for the price, with a stunning display to boot. Of course, being a budget laptop, some sacrifices have been made – namely, its build and heat management. However, for the budget-minded, this is certainly among the best gaming laptops out there for gaming.

Read the full review: Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

Choosing the best gaming laptop

When choosing the best gaming laptop for you, there are a few things you must take into account.

First and foremost, the most crucial thing to consider in the best gaming laptops is how well they play the latest games. When creating this list, not only do we delve deep into the specifications of each gaming laptop to see if they are up to snuff, but we also run benchmarks on each one to check out the raw performance.

Benchmarks only tell part of the story however. So, we also make sure we play a number of the latest games on each laptop to see just how well they perform. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

Display, sound quality, keyboard, trackpad and the overall design of the laptop matter as well, so these are definitely things you’d want to check out before hitting that buy button.

In fact, if the device scores highly in all these areas, it has a good chance of making it to our best gaming laptops 2020 list. That means you can buy any of the best gaming laptops in this list in full confidence that you're getting a killer gaming device that will last you for years to come.

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