8 Best Gaming Laptops of 2022

8 Best Gaming Laptops of 2022

Buying the best gaming laptop for you is no longer as challenging as a game of Tetris. Thanks to smaller chips and lighter hardware, now you can purchase a PC gaming powerhouse in laptop form with high refresh rates, 4K displays, and the latest graphics cards without dealing with the headaches that come with building your own rig.

Not all gaming laptops offer the same perks, of course, but whether you need a budget gaming laptop or a top-of-the-line model, we’ve tested the gamut.

Our pick for the best overall is the Asus ROG ROG Zephyrus G14 (available at Best Buy for $1,649.99), a powerful machine that’s fun to use and delivers superb performance that gamers and streamers can rely on. But if you have specific preferences related to features like keyboard placement, battery life, versatility for travel, or other features, we’ve reviewed plenty of other great picks so you can find the model that’s perfect for you.

These are the best gaming laptops we tested:

  1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)
  2. Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Gen 6
  3. MSI GE76 Raider (2022)
  4. MSI Delta 15
  5. Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition
  6. Razer Blade 14 (2022)
  7. Acer Predator Helios 300
  8. Acer Predator Triton 500
Laptop sits on a table

Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

8 Best Gaming Laptops of 2022

The ROG Zephyrus G14 is a laptop that excels in every arena.

A laptop computer powered on sitting on top of a coffee table

Credit: Reviewed / Joanna Nelius

8 Best Gaming Laptops of 2022

Our best gaming laptop value pick for 2021 is Lenovo’s Legion 5 Pro Gen 6.

Other Gaming Laptops We Tested

How We Tested Gaming Laptops

These are the best gaming laptops available today.

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

We test everything from processing capability to screen brightness.

The Testers

I’m Joanna Nelius, Senior Editor of Electronics at Reviewed. I’ve been reviewing gaming products for the last several years, having written for PC Gamer, Maximum PC, and Gizmodo in the past. In addition to gaming desktops and laptops, I also specialize in CPU and GPU reviews. Performance, thermals, and value are usually the main things I look for in a gaming laptop, but I love a high refresh rate display and stellar ray tracing performance.

Hey there, I’m Adrien Ramirez, laptop staff writer here at Reviewed. I’ve been working professionally with tech and PCs for six years, from game development to reviewing and everything in between. Before I came to Reviewed, I had worked with Lifewire and the MIT Game Lab.
I’m passionate about all things tech, although I especially enjoy working with PCs. When I’m not testing and evaluating laptops, I’m planning new keyboard and small form factor desktop builds, playing games in virtual reality, or nerding out about graphics cards.

Matthew S. Smith is a technology journalist, reviewer, and editor with 14 years of experience. He’s tested over 600 laptops over the past decade, In addition to evaluating monitors, laptops, and other gear for Reviewed, you can find his other work published at Insider, IGN, and Digital Trends.

David Murphy was formerly the Senior Technology Editor at Lifehacker. Across his 15+ career in technology journalism, his work has appeared in The New York Times, Wirecutter, PCMag, Reviewed.com, Computer Shopper, Laptop Mag, PCWorld, PC Gamer, Tom’s Hardware, World of Warcraft: The Magazine, Maximum PC, Buzzfeed, Engadget, and Ars Technica (to name a few places).

The Tests

To help determine a gaming laptop’s ability as a portable powerhouse, we first attempt to push each machine’s processor to its brink. These tests help us determine the responsiveness of the laptop and whether it’ll be able to handle streaming or running Google Chrome in the background with simultaneous gameplay. We then run a series of tests on the graphics card to figure out how fast graphics and images are rendered on a particular machine, and whether your gameplay will run smoothly.

Since gaming laptops are smaller and thinner than full gaming rigs, we tested the heat output and fan noise of each machine during sustained gameplay. If you plan to use a gaming laptop for double-duty, you might find the sound of whirring fan blades to be a bit distracting.

Once that’s established, we run a battery test overnight. We unplug the laptop, set the display brightness to 200 nits, and then cycle through popular websites like Discord and Twitch until the battery dies. This is how we figure out how much action we can get on a single charge.

The idea is to emulate daily tasks. Even if you’re buying this laptop solely to play Overwatch, you’ll also likely use it for web browsing.

Lastly, we consider the overall build quality like how sturdy the hinges feel and if there’s any flex to the display. We also take into account how light the machine is—under five pounds is ideal—and how many ports it offers.

What You Should Know About Buying Gaming Laptops

Under the Hood

When you start your search for gaming laptops, you’ll notice that there isn’t much variety when it comes to the internal hardware. The most popular graphics cards these days are made by Nvidia. Companies like AMD also manufacture high-performing graphics cards, but most of the laptops we tested have Nvidia hardware powering their insides. However, with AMD’s newest mobile graphics cards now coming to market, we’ll most likely start seeing more laptop configurations with those GPUs.

The latest Nvidia graphics cards are the 16-series, 20-series, and 30-series. The 16-series includes 1650 and 1660 Ti cards. They perform well at 1080p and 1440p resolutions and offer better memory bandwidth so that graphics continually render smoothly at high frame rates. The only caveat of the 16-series is that they tend to ship with less virtual memory, which can become a future-proofing issue down the line.

The 20-series includes the RTX 2060, 2070, and 2080 (and Ti versions). The RTX in their name stands for ray tracing, which helps generate interactive images that react to lighting, shadows, and reflections, contributing to more immersive gameplay. Games like Metro Exodus support this rendering technology. The 20-series are also able to facilitate gaming on a 4K monitor, which you might consider if you’re springing for our best all-around gaming laptop picks.

The 30-series includes the RTX 3080, 3070, 3060, and 3050 (and Ti versions). and they’re considered some of the best cards in their class. Like the 20-series, these cards also support ray tracing and can easily facilitate gaming on a 4K monitor, but thanks to a new GPU architecture these cards are miles ahead of the 20-series. Gaming laptops with any of these cards will be the most expensive options, but they’ve earned those prices thanks to all that performance.

Then there’s the new kid on the block, AMD’s Radeon RX 6000M-series. These cards typically achieve more frames per second than RTX 30-series cards but have ray tracing performance equivalent to the RTX 20-series. If you’re mainly into esports and cranking out the highest frame rate possible, these are the cards you’ll want.

The processor inside your gaming laptop won’t directly affect your gaming prowess, but it does matter for day-to-day tasks and simultaneous streaming. Some of what you’ll find on our list comes with Intel Core 10th-gen chips, although there are now 11th-gen and even 12th-gen mobile Intel chips on the market.

AMD’s Ryzen 9 and Ryzen 7 5000- and 6000-series processors are also in a lot of good gaming laptops. They’re usually a tad slower than Intel’s chips in terms of single-core performance, but they shred in multi-core performance, which makes them a great choice for anyone who needs a machine for content creation and gaming.

If you’re looking at budget gaming machines, you’ll want a laptop with Intel’s Core i5 or AMD’s Ryzen 5 processors. They’re capable chips, but you will see a performance difference as you push the machine to its capacity.

Display Size

The standard screen size for gaming laptops is 15.6-inches with a 1080p resolution. It’s enough screen for partaking in action without carting around a laptop that’s breaking your back. There are 17-inch gaming laptops available, too, but if portability matters to you, you might want to avoid that much screen.

Refresh rates are important on most gaming laptops. You may have noticed that a majority of our picks include a 144Hz refresh rate, with machines like the MSI Delta 15 with RX 6700M graphics clocking in at 240Hz, but the Asus ROG Strix G15 has a 300Hz refresh rate. The higher frame rate effectively smooths out gameplay and leads to fewer stuttering issues than on a standard monitor with a 60Hz refresh rate.

Price Point

It used to be impossible to find a competent gaming machine under a grand, but not anymore. Now you can find plenty of options starting with decent processors and enough graphics power to fuel your third playthrough of The Witcher 3.

Anything over a grand belongs in the mid-range category, though that label doesn’t necessarily refer to a laptop’s specifications. You’ll be able to find machines with current generation hardware, decent battery life, lots of memory, and plenty of storage space. Some last-generation gaming laptops may also appear at this price point.

Laptops that cost well over a grand are considered top performers because they’re equipped with top-tier specs. Machines in this category also tend to offer better display options, and in some instances, allow you to upgrade components down the line.

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