In the olden days, gaming laptops were big hunks of plastic and metal that could barely play solitaire, let alone something advanced like Elden Ring or Halo Infinite. Luckily, gaming laptops have moved on since then, and even budget gaming laptops can do a good job of playing modern AAA games, although you’ll certainly have to compromise with graphics. Either way, if you’re not very familiar with how to buy a gaming laptop, we’ve collected a range of great options, from budget-oriented laptops with an RTX 3050 to high-end ones with an RTX 3080.

Today’s Best Gaming Laptop Deals

  • $1,100, was $1,500
  • $1,500, was $2,200
  • $1,700, was $2,100
  • $1,800, was $2,150
  • $2,400, was $2,600

ASUS TUF Dash — $1,100, was $1,500

An Asus TUF Dash gaming laptop sits open.

Why Buy

  • Excellent performance vs. value balance
  • It comes with DDR5 RAM
  • Good battery life
  • Very little thermal throttling on an RTX 3070

You may be more familiar with ASUS’ ROG gaming lineup, made for higher-end gaming desktops and laptops, but you might not know about the ASUS TUF lineup, which is budget-minded laptops that still have great specs. That shows, given the surprisingly powerful RTX 3070 that you’ll find under the hood, one of the best graphics cards that balance performance with value. This is great, considering the ASUS TUF comes with an FHD screen with a 144Hz refresh rate since the RTX 3070 can easily hit that, even with higher graphical settings on modern games. So, if you don’t want to compromise on graphics or refresh rate, this is an excellent option and a rare find if you want an RTX 3070 at this price bracket.

As for the CPU, it’s a 12th gen Intel i7-12650H, a mid-to-high-end processor that can easily handle even heavy-duty gaming like simulation or real-time strategy. It’s also great for editing and productivity tasks, so if you work with graphics, video, or even audio producing, the ASUS TUF can manage that quite well. It also helps that you get 16GBs of DDR5 RAM, the fastest on the market, and in a dual-channel configuration, which provides better overall performance than single-channel. Memory is a bit better than the Ideapad Gaming 3 at 512GBs, although it might still be worth looking into a cloud storage service for a little bit of help.

In terms of build, it lives up to its TUF moniker and is overall quite sturdy. There’s no appreciable flex on the keyboard, and the keyboard itself is a joy to use, although it’s not backlit, which is a bit of a shame. ASUS also throws in Windows 11 home, and much like all the Best Buy deals on this list, the ASUS TUF comes with a one-month Xbox Game Pass. Overall, the ASUS TUF is a great mid-range gaming laptop, especially if you’re ok with an FHD resolution, which you should be for a 15.6-inch screen.

Lenovo Legion 5 — $1,500, was $2,200

The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro sitting at an angle.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Why Buy:

  • RTX 3070 Ti
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 165Hz refresh rate display
  • 720p webcam

The Lenovo Legion 5 is a classic gaming laptop. It comes with the AMD Ryzen 7 processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card, so it will be able to handle heavy AAA games pretty well. It has the standard 16GB of RAM, which could use an upgrade if you plan on multitasking (or even having Google Chrome open) while you game. It has a 15.6-inch display that runs at 1080p, so if you want 4K gaming you’ll have to grab a gaming monitor. The display does have 300 nit brightness, with an anti-glare screen. It has a nice 165Hz refresh rate, so you’ll get smooth gaming without any hiccups or tearing.

Acer Predator Helios 300 — $1,700, was $2,100

Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Why Buy:

  • Intel Core i7 processor
  • RXT 3070 Ti
  • 1TB hard drive
  • QHD display.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a powerful gaming laptop. Its standout component is the Intel Core i7 processor. When you pair that with the Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti, you get a smooth and powerful combination that can handle most modern games at high settings. It has 16GB of memory, so you should get good speeds if you’re not multitasking too much. The display runs at 1440p, or QHD, and has a high 240Hz refresh rate. It also has some nice bonuses that are great for busy gamers, like 1TB of SSD storage.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus — $1,800, was $2,150

ASUS ROG Zephyrus 15.6-inch gaming laptop at a side angle on a white background.

Why Buy

  • Has a 16-inch display
  • Comes with the superior 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Upgraded RTX 3070 Ti
  • Excellent overall build

The Asus ROG Zephyrus has a lot in common with the ASUS ROG Strix G15; while the Strix G15 is better if you want a gaming laptop on a budget if you have a bit more cash on hand, the Zephyrus is the better buy. So why is that the case? Well, for starters it comes with a 16-inch display, rather than the usual 15.6-inch you find in most gaming laptops, which means it uses the much better gaming aspect ratio of 16:10, so it’s already much better. That also means you get a slightly upgraded resolution of WQXGA while maintaining the 165Hz refresh rate of the Strix G15.

What’s better is that the Zephyrus comes with an RTX 3070 Ti, which means it’s more likely to hit the 2k resolution with a 165Hz refresh rate, even on higher graphical settings with newer games. At the very least, it means you’ll be able to run better graphics than if you had an RTX 3070. As for the processor, the 12th gen Intel i9-12900H is just as powerful as the Ryzen 9, although not as efficient. Even so, you’re still not likely to run into any CPU limitations, and at this end of the scale, any CPU you get is perfect.

Another thing the Zephyrus has on the Strix G15 is that it comes with 16GB of DDR5 RAM rather than DDR4 RAM. You also get 1TB of SSD storage to work with, so you won’t have to deal with some form of external storage. Overall, while the Zephyrus might not seem like such a great deal compared to the Strix G15, all the little upgrades here and there add up to one of the best gaming laptops on the market, especially with this deal.

Alienware m15 R7 — $2,400, was $2,600

An Alienware m15 r7 gaming laptop on a white background.

If you want a gaming laptop that stands out in specs, the Alienware m15 R7 will do it for you, especially since it has an impressive RTX 3080 under the hood. Being one of the best GPUs on the market besides the RTX 3090 and RTX 40 series, it can handle 4k gaming. That’s great because the m15 R7 only comes with a QHD monitor with a whopping 240H refresh rate, and given that the RTX 3080 is so powerful, you’ll likely be able to hit both high resolutions and high frame rates. Granted, there might be a bit of compromise in some settings here and there, but you have a lot of leeways to play around with what’s most important to you.

In terms of CPU, you get the 12th Gen intel i9-12900H, another powerful CPU that will allow you to do anything from video to audio editing and any heavy-duty games like simulation and strategy. RAM is a whopping 32GB of DDR5, which is not only impressive, but it’s also relatively rare and is great if you tend to open a lot of tabs and apps at the same time, as well as if you do any CAD work. As for storage, you get an excellent 1TB SSD to work with, so you won’t have many storage issues in the future.

The build of the m15 R7 is also rather excellent, although we will say that the battery life isn’t the best. Unfortunately, gaming laptops always have this issue, and Alienware laptops even more so, which makes sense given they try to squeeze as much performance as possible. Even so, that means you’ll be lugging around the charger wherever you go, but on the upside, it works as a great desktop replacement, so it’s worth checking out these gaming monitor deals if you want to go that route.

Best Alienware Gaming Laptop Deals

Gaming laptop deals frequently include Alienware gaming laptops because they’re some of the most popular devices out there. Owned by Dell, you’re guaranteed stylish looks, smart design, and some great hardware to ensure your portable gaming experience is second to none. To help you out figure out what Alienware gaming laptop deals are for you, read on while we take you through some of the highlights.

Alienware m15 R6 Gaming Laptop — $1,078, was $1,550

Alienware m15 R6 gaming laptop on a white background displaying PUBG on its screen.

Why Buy:

  • Plenty of storage
  • Great display
  • Stylish looks
  • Alienware features

The Alienware m15 R6 Gaming Laptop is the ideal system if you’re keen to enjoy having an Alienware device but you don’t want to spend a fortune. A shrewd investment, it offers everything you need to play the latest games. That includes an 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor along with 8GB of memory and 512GB of SSD storage. While the memory could be a bit higher with some gaming systems offering 16GB, 512GB of SSD storage is more ample room than many other systems provide. It means you have plenty of room to store all your favorite games without running into any issues.

Alongside that is the most important component for a gaming laptop — the graphics card. The Alienware m15 R6 Gaming Laptop offers up an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card with 6GB of VRAM — the latter being a touch higher than the usual standard 4GB of VRAM. It’s a worthy graphics card for playing many of the latest games and it’s teamed up with a 15.6-inch full HD display with a refresh rate of 165Hz. Such a high refresh rate means that even the fastest moving action scenes will still look great while you play, while a response time of 3ms means you won’t suffer from any delayed reactions either. ComfortView Plus technology is included to ensure you also won’t have to worry about eye strain either.

Sleekly designed, the Alienware m15 R6 Gaming Laptop uses Alienware Cryo-Tech cooling technology to ensure that cooling is always optimal here. It’s possible to manage temperature limits manually but the m15 R6 chassis means that it always does a great job of pulling in cool air and eliminating heat as needed. It’s these under the hood improvements that mean the Alienware m15 R6 Gaming Laptop always works at its best, no matter what you’re playing.

Alienware x15 Gaming Laptop — $1,617, was $2,300

The Alienware x15 R1 gaming laptop sits open with the Alienware logo on the screen.

Why Buy:

  • Incredibly thin for a gaming laptop
  • Plenty of memory
  • Great display
  • Expertly cooled

Easily offering much of what you would expect from the best gaming laptops, the Alienware x15 Gaming Laptop is a rare device that also manages to be pretty sleek while packing in lots of power. Under the hood, it has an 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor that keeps performance speedy whatever you’re doing. Refreshingly, it offers 16GB of memory which is just what you need while gaming, with 512GB of SSD storage meaning plenty of room to install all your favorite games.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 with 6GB of VRAM does all the hard work while gaming but it doesn’t stop there. Things are further helped by the Alienware x15 Gaming Laptop’s 15.6-inch full HD display which has a refresh rate of 165Hz. No matter how fast the game you might be playing is, it’ll look silky smooth thanks to that refresh rate. A response time of 3ms means your reactions to it will always be accurate too while there’s ComfortView Plus support to reduce the risk of eye strain.

Elsewhere, the Alienware x15 Gaming Laptop is Alienware’s thinnest 15-inch high-performance gaming laptop meaning it’s perfect if you don’t want to have to deal with bulkiness. Despite such sleekness, it’s still great at keeping your hardware cool with an intelligent quad airflow design that means each oft her and can independently function when regulating your system’s temperature. It’s smartly designed so your gaming setup will never overheat even if you’ve been playing for hours on end. It’s always possible for you to tweak things if you’d prefer as well with a set of different power states adjustable at the touch of a button. This is a system that is designed to last and offer you the best from each component within its shell, so you’ll always enjoy games at the very best standards.

How to Choose a Gaming Laptop

The two main considerations when choosing a good gaming laptop are naturally going to be what you’re willing to spend and which graphics card you want (considering the GPU is what actually makes a laptop a “gaming laptop”), and these two are closely linked as your budget is going to determine what graphical performance tier you can afford. However, don’t overlook some of the smaller things that you might personally want in a gaming laptop – convenience features such as programmable button macros, customizable RGB keyboard backlighting, and so on – so that you don’t jump on that great deal only to end up with something that doesn’t actually mSo for your needs. For more detailed hardware analysis, read on.

What makes a good gaming laptop?

A good gaming,g laptop should, first and foremost, be affordable, but you don’t want to go for the first deal you find that simply happens to meet your budget. You can expect to pay at least $600 (usually closer to $700) for a gaming laptop with a dedicated graphics card, although you can find a few that have AMD APUs with built-in Vega graphics for less than that. Also bear in mind that Nvidia recently released its new line of 16-series GPUs which have completely replaced the older 10-series graphics cards as the entry-level and midrange GeForce GPUs. In 2020, you’re better off avoiding older laptop models with these 10-series cards and sticking with the best modern GPUs ones, as the price is about the same and they will generally come with more up-to-date CPUs as well.

In the budget-friendly price brackets, the most powerful graphics card you’re likely to find in a gaming laptop right now is arguably the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 or AMD Radeon RX 5600M. However, you can expect to spend nearly your full budget for a laptop with this kind of graphical horsepower. If you’re going cheaper, though, then you’ll see cards in the GTX 16-series and RX 5000-series, pretty much all of which are still very capable of running modern titles at 1080p/60fps at good to high in-game settings.

For memory, 8GB of RAM should be the bare minimum (unless you’re going really cheap), and 16GB is a better mark to aim for in a modern gaming system. A higher refresh rate of 144Hz on the laptop display will also ensure a smoother experience when playing at higher framerates, but that’s something that you’ll typically find on gaming laptops sporting nicer GPUs like the GTX 1660 Ti or RTX 2060. That’s one of the sacrifices you’ll make with a gaming laptop, but if you know what to expect, you shouldn’t end up disappointed.

Should I get a gaming laptop or a gaming PC?

The primary difference between a gaming laptop and a gaming PC is portability. If you want a gaming computer to set up at a battle station, never to be moved again, then you should probably look at gaming PC deals instead. Since gaming PCs are bigger, they can hold more hardware, use bigger fans, and be easily customized. Laptops have the advantage of moving with you. To that end, a gaming laptop can be more than just a gaming laptop. You can take it to lecture classes for notes or use it as a work computer.

Are gaming laptops good for work?

A gaming laptop is still a laptop and can do everything that a laptop computer can do — that includes work. In fact, even a gaming laptop can offer some advantages: Faster processors and increased RAM will make all of your non-gaming software run noticeably faster, and graphical work such as video editing and rendering will go much more quickly with a dedicated graphics card. Even if you mostly use your PC for work first and only light gaming, it might be worth it to shell out a little more cash for a gaming laptop for the better hardware you’ll be getting.

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