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Best gaming laptop of 2022

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Update, 02/08/2022: We’ve reviewed our recommendations for the best gaming laptops. Our best suit latest 17-inch picks are updated to the latest Razer Blade, while the new best budget recommendation is the MSI Katana.

What to look for in a gaming laptop in 2022

Gaming laptops are not cheap. Not only do they need to pack a powerful set of hardware, they also need to be rugged, reliable and boast a screen that can take a beating after years of relentless travel.

However, having the option to play all your favorite games wherever you go cannot be understated – and the convenience of gaming laptops still makes them one of the most popular products for PC gaming.

Unfortunately, shopping for a gaming laptop isn’t nearly as easy as playing on one. Hundreds of models have flooded the market over the past few years, and there’s no shortage of marketing jargon to sum up before you can start comparing the different models. However, understanding some of the key aspects of a good laptop will make finding the perfect gaming laptop easy.

Above all, pay close attention to the GPU on your prospective machine. If it has a GeForce RTX 30 series GPU, you are likely to buy a device that will power popular games for years to come. You’ll also need to look for at least an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 CPU, as these are powerful enough to run all of today’s most demanding versions.

Keep in mind that the mobile versions of GPUs are not the same as their desktop counterparts, even if the name is identical. For example, the portable RTX 3070 Ti has a performance that is closer to the desktop RTX 3060 Ti. Although the difference is not huge, it is there if you are directly comparing your gaming device to a gaming laptop.

Buying a laptop with a high-quality GPU and processor isn’t cheap, so you’ll need to carefully consider your budget. We don’t recommend spending too much on a gaming laptop, as it often has components that can’t be upgraded, which means you’ll be buying a whole new device sooner than you think. This is very different from gaming desktops, which allow you to swap out individual components as required.

Another important factor with modern gaming laptops is the GPU’s TDP (thermal design power) rating. Two laptops may have the same GPU on paper, but a device with a higher TDP will perform better. So be sure to research benchmarks for any laptop you’re considering, to make sure it plays your favorite games appropriately.

If your game library consists of just a few games, you can save a few bucks by choosing a laptop that doesn’t have much internal storage. Alternatively, you can purchase an external SSD or HDD file to house a growing catalog. The best option is always internal storage, as games load faster than external solutions, but often have higher price tags.

In short, pay close attention to the GPU, processor, and SSD of your laptop. Remember that you will likely need to make some concessions unless you are willing to break the bank.

There are plenty of other aspects to consider when buying a gaming laptop, but the five products below offer the best combination of performance, pricing, and reliability for their particular class.

Razer Blade 15 on textured floor


  • GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i7
  • Clear QHD screen

Razer is constantly working on cutting edge gaming products, and the Razer Blade 15 is no exception. A variety of configurations are available, but we recommend choosing a GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and Intel Core i7 to get the most for your money.

As one of the most powerful GPUs money can buy, the RTX 3070 Ti allows this mobile behemoth to run the most demanding games of today without attracting any attention. Motion is captured on a 15.6-inch QHD display with a 240Hz refresh rate, delivering buttery-smooth performance that wouldn’t be out of place on a bulky desktop.

Completing the package is a list of specifications that never seem to end. Steam room cooling, Wi-Fi 6E16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD packed inside a complex aluminum chassis, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better-looking laptop.

If you don’t mind the price, the Razer Blade 15 is as close as possible to a perfect gaming machine.

Best gaming laptop overalls

Razer Blade 15

The Razer Blade 15 is a premium laptop with premium hardware. The RTX 3070 Ti and 12th Gen Intel Core i7 will serve you well for years to come, although they are a bit pricey.

MSI katana on a pink orange background


  • Great combination of features for the price
  • Attractive design
  • 17.3 inch display in a low cost laptop is a great bonus


  • The keyboard backlight has only one color
  • 240Hz 1080P panel will make it better for esports

MSI is primarily known for making high quality gaming laptops with exceptional build quality and generous additions when it comes to ports. The Katana laptop series is their attempt to break into the more budget friendly space while still retaining some of the quality and design the company is known for.

The Katana is a laptop that looks a lot more expensive than it is. It’s not bold by any measure, but it perfectly walks the line between a cyberpunk and a work-friendly laptop. While the keys have a red backlight that can’t be altered, they are generally a minimalist looking gaming laptop.

This is also a 17.3-inch system, which is a nice bonus at this price. MSI makes a 15.6-inch version of the Katana if that screen is too big for you, but the larger model isn’t particularly thick or bulky.

The latest 12th generation Intel CPU technology means you’ll get longer battery life, less heat, and greater performance than older 11th generation systems. The 12th-generation hybrid architecture CPUs are a huge leap, so don’t think it’s just a small bump compared to a slightly cheaper model from last year.

While the RTX 3060 featured here is certainly mid-range, it’s still great for a 144Hz 1080p screen. Although esports players may prefer a model with a higher refresh rate, 144Hz is plenty for most gamers.

Best gaming laptop

MSi Katana GF76

Big, beautiful and with enough horsepower to take full advantage of its 17.3-inch 1080p display, the MSI Katana gives gamers on a budget a taste of the life of a premium gaming laptop.

Best gaming laptop under $1000: Acer Nitro 5

Acer Nitro 5


  • Affordable, Affordable, Affordable
  • AMD Ryzen 5
  • Reliable and durable construction


  • GTX 1650 Might Make You Want More
  • 256 GB SSD

Often available at well below the $1,000 price point, Acer has managed to pack a ridiculous amount of firepower into a budget-friendly package. Some shortcuts had to be made to stay below that price tag (like a lean 256GB SSD), but you won’t find a better product than the Acer Nitro 5 in this price range.

You won’t get the Nitro 5 from the coveted RTX 30 series GPU, but it does come with the GTX 1650. This top-rated last-generation graphics card should be more than capable of handling today’s most popular games with settings turned to medium or high, And it does so in style on its 15.6-inch FHD display.

Acer continues its tradition of making reliable products with the Nitro 5, although you’ll have to get used to the very aggressive “player” design. The red backlit switches stand out with their all-black design and will undoubtedly draw attention if you open them in the library or coffee shop.

Best gaming laptop under $1000

Acer Nitro 5

It only includes 256GB of internal storage, but the GTX 1650 and Ryzen 5 should give you enough firepower for today’s most demanding titles.

Acer Aspire Slim on a gray background


  • Affordable, Affordable, Affordable
  • AMD Ryzen 3
  • 10-key number pad


  • Low Power Vega 3 GPU
  • I won’t be playing the most popular game today

It’s not easy to find a gaming laptop for under $500. And while the Acer Aspire 5 Slim profile checks a lot of boxes, there are still plenty of limitations for a product in this price range.

The most obvious sacrifice is the Vega 3 GPU, which will not allow you to run anything above low settings. In fact, most of today’s most popular games probably won’t be playable with a GPU – although you’ll likely get away with some last-gen games with the settings turned off. If you mostly play standalone games with lower graphic loads, the Aspire 5 Slim will be a worthwhile purchase.

If you can look beyond the Vega 3, the Acer Aspire 5 is a powerful laptop. The Ryzen 3 CPU continues to be an affordable solution for low-end gaming, and 4GB of DDR4 memory lets you do some multitasking, all wrapped in a premium design and a Full HD display.

We highly recommend taking a little longer to pick up another gaming laptop on this list if you want modern games, but if you don’t mind dropping into games from another era, the Aspire 5 might be a perfect fit.

Best gaming laptop under $500

Acer Aspire 5 Slim

It’s not exactly a good gaming laptop, but it’s a slim choice in this price range. It might be better to save on a more expensive device, but the Aspire 5 Slim can at least handle a few light games.

Razer Blade 17 on a dark background


  • Excellent specifications at a reasonable price
  • Large and comfortable screen
  • More energy efficient than previous Blade 17s
  • Excellent IO selection


  • The best spec option is not cheap
  • It’s portable, but not completely mobile

In most cases, the best gaming laptops are the ones that blend performance and portability. The 15.6-inch form factor is always the right choice for balancing system size with performance, but there’s no denying that a 17-inch laptop looks great by comparison.

17-inch laptops are especially good for gamers who don’t connect gaming laptops with a large external monitor at their desks. The 2022 Razer Blade 17 fits my use case perfectly and is priced well enough to make that screen size a matter of personal preference rather than price.

Packing a 12th-generation 14-core i7 CPU (with an i9 option extension), you’ll also get major power-consuming benefits when you’re not gaming, or when playing lighter titles. 12th-generation CPUs offer a combination of performance and efficiency cores, so if you’re just browsing the web, the battery should last a lot longer than you’d expect from a device with this spec.

Similarly, the 3070 Ti GPU on the new 17 isn’t much faster than the older 3070 mobile, but it uses significantly less power. This translates to a quieter gaming laptop with longer battery life. It’s a beat mode.

There are several screen options for the Razer Blade 17, including a 144Hz 4K profile option. On a small 17-inch screen, 4K isn’t a major upgrade for the price, so our recommendation is the 1440p QHD 240Hz option for a great combination of crisp resolution and high refresh rates.

To round things off, there are plenty of premium features here that elevate the Blade 17 above cheaper laptops with similar base specs. For example, it has an HDMI2.1 port profile, which is rare on computers. This allows you to get 4K 120Hz output to an external monitor or TV.

There are two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and even an SD card slot, making the Razer Blade 17 a great choice for those who also work as content creators.

Best 17 inch laptop

Razer Blade 17 (2022) gaming laptop

The 2022 Razer Blade 17 is a true weapon with few compromises. This is a great desktop replacement system that handles just about everything, but you’ll sacrifice some navigation for it.

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