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Best portable gaming laptops and ultrabooks in 2020 (detailed guide)

Best portable gaming laptops and ultrabooks in 2020 (detailed guide)
By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , last updated on September 24, 2020

Here at Ultrabookreview.com, we’ve been thoroughly reviewing gaming laptops for more than 10 years, from all the major brands. This long-term experience is what qualifies us to tell you which are our favorite gaming laptops as of late-2020, and why.

We’re primarily sticking with the portable ultrabooks, but we’ll also touch on the best full-size gaming notebooks in here, due to their good value and the fact that most of these are also fairly compact and lightweight these days.

With the multitude of options, picking the right gaming laptop for your needs and budget can get confusing. It sure requires more than just skimming through a list of specs and components. That’s why, since we’ve tested most of these computers, we take many aspects into consideration for our recommendations. The performance, thermals and noise levels while running games and other demanding chores come first, but the overall build, the screen quality, the typing experience, the audio or any potential flaws count as well. On top of all these, pricing plays a final, but important, role in determining a notebook’s overall worth.

Even when accounting for all these aspects, you’ll see that there are actually many good-value gaming laptops out there, with various form factors, hardware specs, features, and price tags, each catering to different needs. As a result, this is not just a basic Top 10 article, but a detailed guide (with a condensed summary in the beginning). I’d advise you to take your time and go through the entire post, it will help you narrow down your options and make a purchase you won’t regret. And of course, if you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to get in touch in the comments section at the end of the article, we’re around to help out if we can.

Oh, and a shameless plug. If you find this article helpful, we’d be extremely grateful if you’d buy from our links and recommend the site to your friends, it helps us immensely and allows us to continue our work.

Let’s get this started. We’ve split the article into a few different sections, in order to make it easier for you to navigate:

The absolute best ultra-portable gaming laptops

This is the condensed version of this article, focusing on the thin-and-light, no-compromise performance notebooks.

The options in here offer compact, thin and premium-made builds, high-quality screens with 240/300 Hz refresh rates, good-quality RGB keyboards, as well as the latest hardware specs and features. They also do a good job at delivering on the hardware’s performance potential in demanding loads and AAA games. However, these options aren’t cheap, and you should expect them to run hot with games, as there’s simply no other way when you put powerful hardware inside small form-factors.

Heads’up, we’ve only included 15-inch laptops in this selection, but this part covers the 13 and 14-inch variants, and this one covers the larger 17-inch ultraportables.

First, the specs and particularities, and then we’ll get in-depth on these picks and explain why they were chosen.

The best portable gaming laptops on the moment

Razer Blade 15 Advancedreview Asus ROG Zephyrus S15  – review Gigabyte Aero 15 review
Screen 15.6-inch – FHD 300Hz 3ms matte, UHD OLED touch 15.6-inch – FHD 300Hz 3ms matte, with GSync 15.6-inch – FHD 300Hz 3ms matte, UHD 60 Hz 100% aRGB matte, UHD OLED
Processor Core i7-10875H, 8Core up to Core i7-10875H, 8Core up to Core i9-10980HK, 8Core
Video Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 to 2080 Super 90+W, with Optimus Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super 115W or 2080 Super 90+W, with Optimus(*) Nvidia GeForce GTZ 1660Ti to RTX 2080 Super 90+W, with Optimus
Memory up to 32 GB DDR4 (2x DIMMs) up to 32 GB DDR4  (16 GB soldered, 1x DIMMs) up to 32 GB DDR4 (2x DIMMs)
Storage 1x M.2 PCIe 2x M.2 PCIe 2x M.2 PCIe
Ports 3x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, DP 1.4, mic/earphone 2x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0b, LAN, headphone/mic, Kensington Lock 3x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, miniDP 1.4, LAN, SD card reader, mic/earphone
Battery 80 Wh 76 Wh 94 Wh
Size 355 mm or 13.98” (w) x 235 mm or 9.25” (d) x 17.8 mm or .70” (h) 360 mm or 14.17” (w) x  252 mm or 9.92” (d) x 18.9 mm or .74” (h) 356 mm or 14.01” (w) x 250 mm or 9.8” (d) x 18.9 mm or .75” (h)
Weight ~2.15 kg (4.75 lbs) ~2.1 kg (4.6 lbs) ~2.19 kg (4.82 lbs)
Price updated configurations and prices updated configurations and prices updated configurations and prices
Particularities unibody aluminum construction, clean design, Chroma RGB backlit keyboard, biometrics, up-firing speakers unibody magnesium construction, Aura RGB backlit keyboard, AAS cooling system, bottom speakers aluminum build, simple design, RGB keyboard with Numpad, bottom speakers

Razer Blade 15 Advanced

All in all, the 15-inch Razer Blade is still our favorite all-around performance ultraportable of the moment, but it’s also among the most expensive, and that alone might steer some of you away. At the same time, the Blade is not available all around the world, and Razer products have been plagued by not the greatest quality-control and support in recent years, something you should consider in your purchase decision.

We’ve covered the 2020 Blade 15 Advanced in-depth in our detailed review. In a few words, though, Razer demand a premium for the excellent unibody aluminum build, the simple and clean aesthetics, the fast and customizable keyboard with per-key RGB illumination, the complete IO with support for Thunderbolt 3, the fast 300 Hz matte screen, the consistent performance, and the good battery life.

Compared to the competition, the Blade has an edge in the design and overall craftsmanship quality. It’s also one of the very few gaming models with up-firing audio, as well as the single one that offers Thunderbolt 3, a finger sensor and an IR camera at the same time. On top of these, Razer’s control software is some of the better on the market, allowing to easily tweak the illumination and juggle with the performance, thermal and fan settings.

Hardware-wise, the Blade 15 is available in a few different configurations. The recent models are based on a six-core Intel Core i7 8Core processor, up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a single M.2 PCIe slot for storage and an 80 Wh battery. You can then opt for either RTX 2070 or 2080 Super Max-Q graphics, paired with either a 300 Hz 3ms FHD matte screen or an UHD OLED touchscreen with 100% AdobeRGB color coverage. There’s no GSync on any of these models, just Optimus.

Razer also offers a Blade 15 Base variant starting at a 6C Intel processor, GeForce GTX 1660Ti graphics, dual M.2 + 2.5″ storage, a 65W battery, and a 144 Hz screen, available from $1699. This is also expensive compared to the other compact alternatives with similar specs, as you’re still paying a premium for the build quality and the brand. This aside, professional Studio Editions of the Blade 15 are also available, with a 4K UHD wide-gamut screen and Quadro RTX 5000 graphics.

The performance is another of the Blade’s important selling points, although it is outmatched by some of the other options out there, especially by the ROG Zephyrus S15. Hardware wise, the options in these class are more or like the same and top-up at the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super chip and the Intel 8Core processors, but the difference is in the thermal design and the power profiles, which impact the overall performance in demanding loads and games, but also the thermals and noise-levels.

Razer’s vapor-chamber thermal module is a well-balanced implementation that keeps the thermal and noise at bay, but at the same time, the CPU and combined CPU+GPU performance are held back by the more constrained power-profiles. That’s why the Blade 15 Advanced is a well balanced product and runs quieter and even cooler than some of the other options out there, but is also not the most powerful.

Buyers should also be aware of the potential coil-whine issues, problems with sleep, and possible QC inconsistencies with the keyboard and clickpad. That’s why you should only buy this from reputable stores that accept returns, just in case you end up with a faulty unit.

The Razer Blade 15 Advanced starts at $2399 at the time of this update for the RTX 2070 MQ Super model with the 300 Hz screen, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. You will most likely find it discounted here and there, though, so make sure to follow this link for updated configurations and prices at the time you’re reading the article.

Razer Blade 15 - the best thin-and-light gaming laptop

Asus ROG Zephyrus S15

This is the latest update of the ROG Zephyrus S and curently the most powerful gaming ultraportable on the market, as you’ll find out from our detailed review, and one of the few to offer GSync support.

It’s rather expensive though, in fact, it’s even a few hundreds of USD/EUR pricier than the Blade at the time of this update in the US, although that could differ in your region, as Razer products tend to be more expensive in other markets. At the same time, though, this is also more widely available all over the world.

Performance in demanding loads and games is where the ROG Zephyrus wins over the competition, as Asus implements a complex thermal module, tweaks the power profiles and overclocks the GPUs in order to squeeze as much as possible out of the specs. At the same time, though, this also runs hot and loud on the Turbo profile, with the fans ramping up to 50 dB, but Asus offers a couple of other power-profiles that will catter to your various needs, allowing for a good variation between performance, thermals and noise. You’ll find an in-depth analysis of all these profiles in our detailed review.

Performance aside, the Zephyrus also offers one of the nicest keyboards in this segment, more comfortable than the one of the Blade in our opinion. It also gets the 300 Hz fast-screen that’s pretty much the norm in this class these days, as well as a strongly crafted magnesium shell that does a great job at repelling fingerprints and smudges. The aluminum covered lid is not as friendly though, nor as well built, and there are also no biometrics and no included camera on this laptop. It does get a Thunderbolt 3 port in its 2020 iteration, though.

Futhermore, the Zephyrus S has a few unique traits down its sleeve. The AAS cooling system is one of them, a mechanical flap at the bottom that isolates the main chassis from the user and allows gaming on the lap, something impossible on other ultraportables. More importantly, this is also one of the very few gaming laptops that offer both GSync and Optimus. You get to choose between them based on whether you want a smooth gaming experience (with GSync), or long battery life with daily use (with Optimus), with a restart required when switching between them.

In conclusion, the ROG Zephyrus S15 should be on your list of you’re after the most powerful and, at the same time, most versatile gaming ultraportable of this generation. It’s not without its flaws, though, and it’s also expensive, starting at $2399 for the RTX 2070 115W configuration.

Follow this link for updated configurations and prices at the time you’re reading the article.

Asus ROG Zephyrus S - the best-value 15-inch ultraportable

Gigabyte Aero 15 XB

While Asus and Razer only offer high-end and expensive configurations of their products, Gigabyte takes a different approach with their completely redesigned 2020 Aero 15: they offer the same premium-tier chassis and features in a multitude of hardware configurations, starting with a 6Core Intel i7 processor, GTX 1660Ti graphics and a 144 Hz display at the lower end, and up to an Intel 8Core i9 processor, RTX 2080 Super and OLED/UHD screens at the top.

This approach makes the Aero 15 an option for a wider range of potential buyers, which can go with a good-value all-rounder for under $2000, but still get the keyboard, the big battery, and the features available with this chassis, or opt for the higher-tier configurations and screen options that might not be available with the competition.

We’ve reviewed a mid-range variant of this laptop, with the 8Core Intel CPU, RTX 2070 Super graphics and the OLED UHD display, and you’ll find all about it in this detailed review.

Compared to the competition, Gigabyte’s Aero 15 is one of the very few to offer a complete set of ports, a full-size keyboard with a NumPad section and a large 94 Wh battery. They also take a different approach to the power-profiles and optimizations, which is controlled by software that automatically adjusts the CPU’s power and fan profiles based on the app that you’re running at a given time. It’s not spotless, but it works surprisingly well, and allows the Aero 15 to run quietly and cooly in most cases, without requiring manual fiddling with the settings. That makes this Aero 15 friendlier towards less tech-savvy buyers, but at the same time, this is not a match for either the Zephyrus or the Blade in terms of raw performance, unless you’re willing to take the time and dial things up manually.

On the other hand, Gigabyte’s design language might not be for everyone, and their software doesn’t tweak the GPU in any way, which can only be done manually. But all in all, this is definitely an option to consider, especially in the lower-tier and more affordable configurations.

Follow this link or updated configurations and prices at the time you’re reading the article, as well as user reviews from previous buyers.

Gigabyte Aero 15 - the competitive all-rounder

Almost there: Acer Predator Triton 500 and MSI GS66 Stealth

There are a couple of other good options in this segment and I just can’t move on without at least mentioning them and linking to our detailed reviews for more details.

The Acer Predator Triton 500, which we’ve reviewed in this article, focuses primarily on being a gaming ultraportable, and it might just be the best-value option in this whole segment if that’s all you care for.

Acer prioritized on making this more affordable than the competition, but without compromising on those aspects that matter in games: a fast 300 Hz 3ms screen with GSync support, an RGB keyboard, good thermals, and specs and power-profiles optimized around the gaming experience. That means you’re only getting a FHD 300 Hz screen and a 6Core Intel processor with the Triton 500, but the same kind of RTX 2070 Super and 2080 Super graphics available with the other options, yet overclocked.

This approach allows Acer to sell the RTX 2070 Super version of the Triton 500 for $1799 at the time of this update, several hundreds of dollars cheaper than the competition. Follow this link for updated configurations, prices, and user reviews.

What are the downsides, though? First off, the design and overall build-quality are not really with the other options, and this lacks certain features (such as biometrics, front-facing speakers) and configurations options (such as other screen options or an 8Core processor). It’s also a lot more difficult to open up and upgrade than the other options, and packs rather poor speakers. Can you live with these? Well, that up to you, but if the answer is yes, this Triton could be for you, especially at that price and since it also packs one of the most competent thermal designs in this segment.

Acer Predator Triton 500 - the value model

Finally, our detailed review of the MSI GS66 Stealth Thin is available over here.

MSI went the same route as Gigabyte with this product, offering multiple configurations in the same premium-tier chassis, but sacrificing on raw performance to some extent. That’s why the GS66 is not necesarily the ideal gaming-ultraportable, where it looses to the competition and runs fairly hot, but could be an excellent productivity laptop in the lower-tier configurations.

The clean design lines, the quick keyboard, the good IO, and the huge 99 Wh battery tucked inside a premium aluminum chassis recommend it for business and work environments, just make sure to read our detailed reviews for details on all its quirks before jumping on this.

Follow this link for updated configurations, prices, and user reviews.

17-inch ultraportable gaming laptops

This a newer breed of gaming laptops that have developed in the last years. They are mostly larger versions of the 15-inch models mentioned above, however, the increase in size allowed the manufacturers to further tweak the thermal modules, resulting in lower temperatures and/or less noise, as well as tweeak and address some of the issues of the 15-inch models.

Still, the larger 17-inch screen and their increased real-estate is the main reason to opt for one of these over their 15-inch brethrens. We’re not going to get in-depth on these models here, but we’ll link to our reviews for more details.

Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 – reviewconfigurations and prices

Pros: good build quality; fast and quiet RGB keyboard; 240/300 Hz screen options with switchable GSync/Optimus; best gaming performer in the class; best thermals in the class; useful software package; punchy up-firing speakers.

Cons: impractical when not on a desk; no card-reader, camera or LAN; difficult to upgrade; narrow clickpad; fans get loud with gaming; expensive

Bottom point: The ROG Zephyrus GX701 is, once tweaked, the best performing 17-inch gaming ultraportable on the market. That’s primarily thanks to its inverted design that favors power and cooling over practicality, but also due to its hardware specs. As a result, this notebook is excellent on a desk, but impractical everywhere else, so I only recommend it if the performance is your number one criteria and don’t plan to use this on the go.

Asus Zephyrus S GX701 - excellent performance in impractical form-factor

Gigabyte Aero 17 – configurations and prices

Pros: simple, sober aesthetics and good build quality; RGB keyboard with NumPad; multiple screen options – 240 Hz for gaming, or UHD IPS/OLED for multimedia; complete IO; best battery life in the class

Cons: a bit dated design; not as fast as other options and still runs hot and noisy; same poor speakers from the Aero 15

Bottom point: The Aero 17 is pretty much a larger Aero 15 with a 17-inch screen. None of the other important specs and design elements have changed, but thermals are somewhat improved thanks to the larger chassis. All in all, though, this will appeal to the same crowd as primarily a thin-and-light allrounder, and not necessarily as a gaming device.

Gigabyte Aero 17 - again, the versatile all-rounder

MSI GS75 Stealth Thin – reviewconfigurations and prices

Pros: compact and the lightest in its class – 5 lbs; one of the better keyboards in the class, with NumPad; good IO; brighter display than on the competition; Core i9 option and excellent performance once tweaked; good battery life

Cons:  not as strongly built as the competition; not as fast as some of the other options in games, with the 80W RTX 2080 as the top configuration; poor speakers; rather expensive

Bottom point: Much like the smaller GS65, the GS75 Stealth Thin is the fashion icon in its segment: compact, lightweight, and great looking, but not as sturdy as the other options and not as fast in games. It does perform well, but only by ramping up the fans to high levels and still running hotter than the bunch. Unlike the GS65, this series hasn’t been updated with a 2020 redesign, and we’re looking forwards for a potential GS76 Stealth at some point.

MSI GS75 Stealth - the model, once more

Razer Blade Pro 17 – review – configurations and prices

Pros: great build and clean design; good keyboard and the best clickpad in the class; 300 Hz or UHD 120 hz screen options; good performance and useful software package; front speakers and biometrics

Cons: gets hot and noisy with modern games; beware of coil whine; smallest battery in the segment (70 Wh) and subpar battery life; steep entry price

Bottom point: The updated Blade Pro 17 addresses most of its predecessor’s issues. It inherits many of the strong selling points of the popular Blade 15 Advanced, with improved thermals, but also a smaller battery as a result. Razer still expects you to pay a premium for the craftsmanship quality and the overall solid bundle, but even so, the entry price is very steep. The 2070 and 2080 configurations are not bad in terms of value, though.

Razer Blade Pro 17 - much like the 15-inch variant gaming laptop, but with better thermals and shorter battery life

These are all high-tier premium gaming ultraportables.

We’ll talk about better value 17-inch models down below, like the Acer Predator Helios 300, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17, the Lenovo Legion Y740 or the MSI GE75 Raider, listed here in alphabetical order and reviewed in previous articles on the site.

More portable, less powerful gaming laptops

If you don’t have around $2000 to spend, but you still want a portable laptop that can handle gaming, albeit, not with the highest graphics settings, you should consider the options in this section instead.

With these you’ll somewhat compromise on the performance, opting for a mid-range graphics chip, but not on the thin-and-light form factor. On the other hand, if you’d rather get something with beefier specs or better overall value (same specs, but at a more affordable level), and don’t care as much about portability, you’d better jump straight to this next section.

I still want to play modern games

In this case, I suggest going with one of the available models built on a GTX 1660Ti graphics chip or higher, or a GTX 1650Ti chip in the thinnest and most compact options. These will handle most recent PC games at FHD resolution and medium-to-high graphics settings. Older GTX 1060 models might still be an option for those of you on a very limited budget, but the performance gap to the Turing GTX 1660Ti is significant, and most likely not worth the price difference.

We’ll touch on the 15-inch models first, and then cover the 13 and 14-inch ultrabooks in the next subsection.

Asus Zephyrus M15 and Zephyrus G15

Asus did well with their 2020 lineups of Zephyrus models, that’s why the mid-range Zephyrus M and the entry-level Zephyrus G get to be mentioned in this article as well, alongside the Zephyrus S included in a previous section.

The Zephyrus M15 is a simpler, lighter and more affordable version of the Zephyrus S15, as explained in our detailed review.

It’s built on a similar barebone, with the same design lines, the same magnesium main-deck, and the same excellent keyboard. Hardware-wise, though, the Zephryus M15 only gets GTX 1660Ti, RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 Super graphics, and it’s primarily available in the former variant in most regions. It also drops the AAS cooling system available on the S15, as well as the dual GSync/Optimus mode, but it does keep the complex thermal module and power-profiles implemented on the top-tier S15 option.

As a result, as explained in the review, this Zephyrus M is one of the best-performing sub 2 kilos notebooks on the market and also one of the better-balanced options out there. Asus are aware of what they got here, so they charge quite a premium for this laptop in comparison to the other matching configuration on the market, but I’d expect the price to drop in the months to come.

Follow this link for updated prices and configurations.

Asus Zephyrus G GU502 - the value ultraportable

The Zephyrus G15 is a more affordable option for you to consider, based AMD Ryzen hardware and power-constrained versions of the 1660Ti and 2060 graphics chips.

As you’ll find from our detailed review, the G15 is a competent all-round laptop and excells in CPU-heavy loads, where the AMD Ryzen HS platform truly shines. It’s not the best gamer, though, due to its limited thermal design and lower-power implemented dGPUs, and pales in comparison to the Zephyrus M15 when it comes to the overall build-quality and typing experience. It keeps the lightweight build and overall design lines, as well as the 76 Wh battery inside.

At the same time, the Zephyrus G15 is a more affordable product, but you should aim for the 240 Hz display configuration of this laptop, as the 144 Hz panel available in some of the cheaper models is fairly slow and merely a washed-out 60% sRGB panel, so not a good option by any means.

Follow this link for updated configurations and prices.

Asus Zephyrus G GA502 - great price, but with compromises

MSI GS66, Gigabyte Aero 15, Razer Blade 15 Base

We’ve mentioned these laptops in the first section of our review, and I’ll reiterate them here as well, as they are all available in a couple of different configurations, including affordable models with GTX 1660Ti graphics. With these, you’re getting the premium builds and features available with this class of top-end laptops, and don’t compromise on thermal designs, battery life or screens.

Check out our detailed reviews for more details: GS66, Aero 15, Razer Blade 15.

Tongfang barebones – Eluktronics MECH-15 G2Rx Slim or Schenker XMG Neo 15

A few different smaller-tier OEMs sell a competitively priced thin-and-light gaming laptop based on the Tongfang GK5CN6Z barebone, Eluktronics (in the US) and Schenker (in Europe) being the most popular brands.

If you’ll look through the reviews on Amazon, Newegg and other stores, you’ll see that these products score very high with their buyers. That’s both because they offer excellent specs and features for an affordable price, but also because these buyers usually know in advance what to expect from such a computer.

So what should you expect? A compact metallic chassis with fair build quality, a mechanical chiclet keyboard that’s different than what you’ll otherwise find in this class, a 144 Hz IPS screen, good CPU and GPU specs, multiple configurations options, and a rather small battery.

However, you should also be aware that these computers might not be as nicely polished as a Razer or an Asus or an MSI, and the post-sale client support is not something you should rely on.

That’s why I’d recommend these barebones to tech-savvy users, but not necessarily to the average customer. However, if you’re buying from Amazon or other big stores, you’ll get the option to just send the product back within 30-days in case there’s something wrong with it, and that should be reassuring enough, in case you want to give this a try.

Follow these links for more details and updated configurations on the Eluktronics MECH-15 G2Rx Slim (mostly available in the US/CA) or Schenker XMG Neo 15 (mostly available in Europe).

Premium lightweight options: Dell XPS 15, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme, MacBook Pro, and others

These are all premium ultraportable performance laptops, with an emphasis on premium and ultraportable, and less so on performance.

Unlike the Blade or the Zephyrus or the Stealth mentioned earlier, most of these get 60 Hz screens (with many UHD/OLED options) and lower-end graphics, mostly variations of the GTX 1650Ti chip and only some RTX 2060 options. That means these are not primarily gaming laptops, instead, they are premium productivity/creator/work tools. However, they can still tackle most titles at FHD resolution and mid-level graphics.

We’re not going to get in-depth on all these options here, instead, we’ll just list them (alphabetically) and link towards our available reviews and analysis:

  • Apple Macbook Pro – Core H hardware, optional Radeon Pro and Vega graphics, 15.4″ glossy retina screen, aluminum unibody construction, 4x TB3 ports, 84 Wh battery, starts at 1.83 kg / 4.05 lbs;
  • Asus ZenBook Pro – Core H hardware with GTX 1650Ti MQ graphics, 15.6″ UHD OLED touchscreen, slim and lightweight aluminum construction, 1x TB3 ports, up to 96 Wh battery, starts at 1.8 kg / 4 lbs;
  • Asus ZenBook Pro Duo – Core H hardware and RTX 2060 graphics, dual-screens with OLED main screen and matte touch second Screen, chunky all-metal build, 1x TB3 ports, 71 Wh battery, starts at 2.5 kg / 5.4 lbs ;
  • Dell XPS 15 and 17 – Core H hardware and up to RTX 2060 MQ graphics in the XPS 17, multiple screen and configuration options, up to 4x TB3, up to 97 Wh battery,  starts at 1.85 kg / 4.1 lbs for 15-inch, 2.2 kg / 4.8 lbs for 17-inch;
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme – Core H hardware and Nvidia 1650Ti MQ graphics, multiple screen and configuration options, ThinkPad looks, features and construction, 2x TB3, 80 Wh battery, starts at 1.7 kg for non-touch version;
  • Lenovo Legion Slim 7i – Core H hardware and Nvidia 2060 MQ graphics, RGB keyboard with NumPad, 144 Hz FHD or 60Hz UHD screen option, aluminum build, 2x TB3, 83 Wh battery, starts at 1.8 kg /4.0 lbs;
  • HP Envy 15 – Core H hardware and up to Nvidia 2060 MQ graphics, UHD AMOLED touchscreen, aluminum build, 2x TB3, 71 Wh battery, starts at 2.05 kg /4.5 lbs;

Keep in mind that given the portable and slim form-factor of these products, the thermal design plays a crucial role in the way these perform with games and demanding loads, and I suggest carefully looking into detailed reviews to figure out what to expect from the units of your choice. Follow the links for our in-depth reviews and coverage, and get in touch in the comments section at the end if you have any questions about them.

2018 ZenBook Pro (left) vs 2019 ZenBook pro Duo (right)

ZenBook Pro (left) vs ZenBook Pro Duo (right)

I want a smaller 13 or 14-inch ultrabook

Most of the 14-inch or smaller thin-and-light notebooks with dedicated graphics are based on Nvidia’s entry-level MX graphics chips, but there are a few GTX 1650 to RTX 2060 powered exceptions that can truly game in this form-factor. We’ll touch on both categories down below.

13-inch gaming ultrabooks

For years, the Alienware 13 has been the only 13-inch performance laptop money could buy. It wasn’t compact and it wasn’t pretty, but it bundled a GTX 1060 GPU in its latest iteration, good enough for FHD gaming at high details.

Since that’s no longer an option, unless you somehow find it used, these days you have to settle for either one of those Nvidia MX models, or the single GTX 1650Ti 13-inch model available: the Razer Blade Stealth 13.

There are a few things you should consider before taking the plunge on this notebook, though. First of, the GTX 1650Ti Max-Q Blade Stealth 13 is still an expensive laptop, although it has come in prices recently, starting at $1399 at the time of this update. Without a clear competitor, Razer can charge as much as they want on it, and they do demand a fair premium.

That makes sense, given the kind of build quality and attention to details you’re getting with this product, as you’ll find out from our detailed review. Furthermore, this can also game fairly well for its size, and the 2020 update has been improved in terms of CPU and GPU power, as well as in terms of thermals. It’s still built on an Intel 4Core Ice Lake platform, so can only do so much in CPU-heavy tasks in comparison to the AMD Ryzen options out there, but that’s not going to matter that much when running games.

The Blade Stealth 13 also gets a 120 Hz display in this 2020 model, which is an extra option that you’ll have to pay on top for. Don’t expect it to be as fast as the panels available on the larger 15-inch laptops, though, because it’s not.

Nonetheless, the Razer Blade 13 Stealth remains a solid performance ultrabook and the best gaming ultracompact laptop on the market, by a fair margin. In fact, it’s the only 13-inch notebook truly capable of running the latest AAA games that you can buy right now, and that alone will put in on may maps.

Follow this link for more details, updated configurations, and prices.

Razer Blade Stealth - the smallest competent gaming ultrabooks

However, there are a couple of other options for you to consider if you’re rather interested in simpler titles such as Minecraft or Fornite or Dota2 or the likes, or perhaps older games.

One one hand, there’s a large selection of 13-incher based on Nvidia MX150/MX250 dGPUs, which should appeal to those of you on a tighter budget. They’re listed in this article and we’ve reviewed plenty of them in recent years, if you’re interested in how well they perform and their overall worth.

On the other, there’s also a newer breed of ultraportables built on the updated and significantly more capable Nvidia MX350 and MX450 dGPUs. These are still entry level chips and still less capable options than the GTX 1650Ti powered Blade Stealth 13, but at the same time a fine step-up from the MX250 models and something that can easily handle FHD gaming at low/medium settings, even in the more recent and more demanding titles. Follow the links for more details.

14-inch gaming notebooks

Your options are no longer as limited once you step up to this subcategory, but even in here, there’s actually only one obvious choice that trumps all the others when it comes to the overall performance and value: the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14.

We’ve tested the Zephyrus G14 in multiple configurations and gathered out impressions in these several articles.

On the outside, the Zephyrus G14 is an uncompromised 14-inch laptop built out of magnesium and aluminum alloys and with an overall weight of roughly 3.7 lbs (1.7 kilos). That makes is significantly larger and heavier than the Razer Blade 13, but also a far more competent performer.

Before we get to that I should also mention that this G14 gets a backlit keyboard and a large glass clickpad, a fair set of ports, a finger-sensor and either a choice of a FHD 120 Hz or a QHD 60 Hz screen.

On the inside, this is based on the excellent AMD Ryzen 4000 HS platform, topping at up to a Ryzen 9 4900HS APU and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics, in the efficient 65W implementation. These are backed up by a complex thermal design, so it’s no surprise that this laptop can take-on demanding loads and can also handle recent games. You’re not getting the same kind of performance as with the full-power RTX 2060 chips available in 15-inch laptops, but you’re coming within 20% of those in this smaller form-factor, and we’ve explained what to expect when running games on this product in this detailed review.

Now, the Zephyrus G14 is not a cheap laptop, with the 4900HS + RTX 2060 model going for around $1650 at this time, but lesser configurations are also available, starting at around $1200 for the GTX 1650Ti model, in a faster implementation than on the Blade Stealth 13. Follow this link for updated prices and configurations.

However, while the Blade 13 is obviously a portable ultrabook, this 14-inch Zephyrus G14 is only a tad smaller and lighter than some of the 15-inch options out there, such as the Zephyrus M15. That’s why I encourage you to carefully consider between the two: on one side there’s a capable AMD platform and a smaller form-factor (the G14), while on the other there’s a faster, cooler and quieter gamer, in a slightly larger chassis, but for the same kind of money (the M15). We’ve further compared the G14, G15, and M15 in this separate article.

Aside from the G14, MSI offer GTX 1650Ti MQ configurations on their Prestige 14 and Modern 14 laptops.

The Prestige 14 is especially interesting as one fo the few options to integrate the six-core Core i7-10710U processor at a higher power setting, paired with the GTX 1650Ti 35W GPU, Thunderbolt connectivity and a compact and light form-factor.

On paper, this is more powerful than the Stealth 13 and also more affordable, going for $1400 in the previously mentioned configuration. Follow this link for more details and updated prices/configurations. However, I haven’t heard great things about this laptop’s thermal performance and I also haven’t reviewed any of these MSI variants, so I’m not going to comment further. Just be aware that these are an option, and make sure to go through detailed reviews if you decide that you’re interested in them.

Next, there are a couple of older laptops that might still be worth getting in this class, if you can still find them, as they are both 2018models.

The ZenBook Pro 14 UX480 is based on a Core U + GTX 1050 MQ hardware platform, much like the ZenBook 15 or the Dell XPS 15 of that generation, but in a smaller package. It weighs roughly 1.6 kilos (3.5 lbs), so it’s only marginally heavier than the other options above, but performs well in games, gets a complex thermal module and a large 70 Wh battery. It also gets a secondary screen integrated withing the clickpad, which Asus calls the ScreenPad and now includes on most of their ZenBook and VivoBook lines.

The ZenBook Pro is also fairly competitively priced for what it is, selling for around 1200 EUR in Europe (follow this link for more details in your region). It is not worldwide available, though, and the availability will most likely dwindle even more as it’s phased out by the updated 2019 variant, the ZenBook Duo UX481. This one, unfortunately, only gets MX250 graphics.

The Gigabyte Aero 14 is an even more powerful 14-inch gaming ultrabook, based on an Intel Core H + GTX 1060 platform. It’s slightly larger and heavier, at about 1.8 kg(4.1 lbs), but also comes with a full set of ports and a huge 94 Wh battery. This hasn’t been updated in more than a year and I doubt it will ever be, thus it’s even harder to come by these days. In all fairness, though, the Aero 15 is not a lot larger or heavier, so perhaps could be an option to consider instead.

Premium 14-inch gaming notebooks: the ZenBook Pro, the ZenBook Duo and the Aero 14

Premium 14-inch gaming notebooks: the ZenBook Pro, the ZenBook Duo and the Aero 14

And then there are all the MX250, MX350 and MX450 models available in the market, some of them in a 14-inch format.

I’m not going to list them in here, instead you should follow the links for a more detailed selection of these products, as well as our reviews where available. And make sure to go through those reviews, as the devil lies in the details with these ultraportables, and each is a better or worse gamer based on the thermal module and software/hardware tweaks implemented by the OEMs in each case. That means that some of these laptops will perform better than others, and the only way to tell that is by going through detailed reviews that carefully look at their gaming behaviour.

Some of the 14-inch gaming options: the Acer Swift 3, the Huawei MateBook X Pro and the Lenovo ThinkPad T490

Some of the 14-inch gaming options: the Acer Swift 3, the Huawei MateBook X Pro and the Lenovo ThinkPad T490

More powerful, less portable – the best value gaming laptops

This section of the article focuses on the value gaming laptops, those that will give you the best gaming experience for your money. It includes our recommendations in a few price-brackets, without taking the thin-and-light form-factor into consideration. Even so, most of these computers are still compact and fairly portable, and only the most powerful models completely leave that aspect aside.

Options under $1000

Your sure bet at this price is still with one of the Pascal GTX 1060 variants of last years. The Acer Predator Helios 300, the MSI GL63 Raider the Lenovo Legion Y530 come to mind as the better options, and you’ll find all about them from our reviews.

With these, you’ll somewhat sacrifice on the build quality, the design lines, and the battery life, but not on the performance, thermals or on a fast 144Hz screen. As a result, these can handle FHD gaming at medium-high settings well.

However, several of the newer GTX 1660Ti models are creeping under $1000 as well. I’d primarily keep an eye on the 1660Ti variants, as these are not only faster in games, but they also benefit from the generation update. That means most of these laptops are more compact and lighter than those 2018 models, get RGB keyboards and improved thermal modules, among others.

The Asus TUF Gaming A15 or the Lenovo Legion 5 are some of the options that sell for just under $1000 often, both based on the modern AMD Ryzen platforms. Intel-based models still perform better in games, though, so I’d have those on my list as well. Among them, the Acer Nitro 5, the HP Omen 15, the Lenovo Legion Y540, IdeaPad Gaming 3 or the Dell G3 Gaming fall in this price-range. However, you will occasionally find discounted higher-tier models for under $1000 as well, like the Predator Helios 300 or even the Asus ROG Strix G.

Follow the links above for our in-depth reviews, or this one for an updated selection of sub-$1000 gaming laptops based on GTX 1660Ti graphics at the time you’re reading the article.

Gaming laptops under $1000: Lenovo Legion Y540, Acer Nitro 5 or Dell G3 Gaming

Gaming laptops under $1000: Lenovo Legion Y540, Acer Nitro 5 or Dell G3 Gaming

Options in the $1000-$1500

This is where you’re getting the best return for your money, and there are a lot of good options in this segment.

First though, let me summarize what you should look for.

The build and design are subjective and you should choose based on your preferences and taste, but make sure you’re getting something that’s at least made well and will last for a while, has a strong screen hinge, grippy rubber feet, friendly corners and edges, and ergonomically positioned ports. For instance, if you plan to hook up peripherals, it’s best to get something with the outputs on the left side or on the back, so the cables won’t interfere with your mouse area.

Then you should carefully consider the screens. What I recommend is at least a 144 Hz IPS panel, but careful that there are several different kinds, so aim for something with 100% sRGB color coverage and above-average response times, especially if you plan to run fast-paced games such as shooters. A 240 Hz screen might also benefit you in CS:GO and the likes, paired with a matching GPU, but that might not always be an option at sub $1500.

For specs, the GPU is what matters most when it comes to gaming, so I’d aim to maximize that. One of the newer RTX 2060 115W chips would be the ideal pick in this segment, but you might even find an older RTX 2070 model here. Pair that with SSD storage and at least 16 GB of RAM.

As for the CPU, if gaming is all you want, an Intel Core i5 or a Ryzen 5 4600H should be good enough for that, and there’s no need to go with the i7 or Ryzen 7 options unless you also plan to run some CPU-demanding loads on your laptop for either work or school. For what is worth, AMD has a clear performance and efficiency advantage over Intel at this point in multi-threaded applications, but at the same time, there are far less AMD options with higher tier graphics to choose from, so you’ll most likely still end up with an Intel laptop, which is perfectly fine for gaming and alright for other stuff. I’d look through the list of AMD Ryzen H options nonetheless, and see if you can find one of those options within your budget (and in stock).

This aside, keep in mind that not all laptops are created equally, and the thermal designs and power-profiles play a major role in how a specific model ends up performing. That’s only something reviews can reveal for you, the kind we put up here on the site. Make sure to go through at least a couple for the product that you decide on, so you’ll understand what to expect, the strong points, and the potential quirks.

Before drawing the line, there are a couple of other aspects to consider, such as battery life (if you plan to use the laptop unplugged), audio quality, and a few other lesser aspects. They might not majorly impact your gaming experience, but will have a saying in your life with the laptop you end up choosing.

With all these in mind, let’s look at some options.

At the lower limit in this price bracket, you’ll be able to get a better-specced version of one of the units mentioned above, with more RAM, more storage, and perhaps a faster processor.

Towards the middle of this price range is where you’ll find the real gems. On the Intel camp, the GTX 1660Ti and RTX 2060 variants of the Acer Predator Helios 300, Asus ROG Strix G15, Alienware m15, Dell G5 Gaming, HP Omen 15, Lenovo Legion 5, and MSI GL63 fall within this segment. 17-inch variants of these notebooks are also up to grab if you prefer a larger screen, as well as improved thermals and a larger battery in some cases. There’s an updated selection of these 17-inch mid-range gaming laptops over here.

On the AMD side, the Asus TUF Gaming A15, Lenovo Legion 5, the HP Omen 15, and the Eluktronics RP-15 come to mind as options available (in some regions) with up to RTX 2060 graphics, but there are no 2070+ models. As mentioned already, while AMD have a considerable platform advantage in multithreaded CPU loads over the Intel alternatives, that’s not going to make a big difference in games, so I wouldn’t necessarily restrict my options to an AMD model when primarily looking for a gaming laptop.

Among these, my favorites are the Predator Helios 300 and the Lenovo Legion 5, I just find them the best balanced and best-priced of the bunch. The other models have their advantages as well, so again, there’s no clear winner here. Think about what matters for you and where you can compromise, and pick the one that best caters to these needs. And of course, if you need any help, get in touch in the comments section.

The potential sweet-spots: Lenovo legion Y740, Acer Predator Helios 300 and the Alienware m15

The potential sweet-spots: Lenovo legion Y740, Acer Predator Helios 300 and the Alienware m15

At the higher limit, you can find better-specced versions of the models above, but also a few RTX 2070 models. At the time of this update, the HP Omen 15 or the MSI GP65 Leopard sell for under $1500 with an RTX 2070.

There are also a couple of options based on barebone designs from Togfang or Clevo, like the compact and portable Eluktronics MECH-15 G2R, or the SAGER NP8966 / CLEVO P960RD models. I would recommend buying from these companies for those of you who understand what a barebone design means. Future software support, post-sale client support, and warranty could be problematic with some of these units, but you should be fine as long as you’re buying from a trustworthy seller. In fact, looking at the reviews on Amazon and other stores, buyers are actually satisfied with these products and rate them highly, in many cases even higher than the A-brand alternatives.

Options above $1500

At this point, your options get incrementally better, but most of them are not significant upgrades from the models in the previous subsection.

If we’d focus on what $1500 to $2000 can get you in terms of performance, that’s mostly tier-A RTX 2070/2070 Super notebooks in better built and more portable designs, and with extra features such as 240 Hz screens, per-key RGB keyboards, improved thermals, larger batteries, and slightly improved performance.

As for specific the models to check out, the Asus ROG Strix SCAR, the Alienware m15, the MSI GE65 and GE66 Raider, or the Lenovo Legion 7i lines come to mind. Most of these are also available in 17-inch formats.

Of course, once we push above $2000 and no longer have a limited budget, we end up with all sorts of possibilities.

If you opt to go the ultraportable way, then the Razer Blade and the Asus ROG Zephyrus come up, laptops we’ve already covered in a previous section. On the other hand, if you opt for performance without compromise and don’t care much about the compact form-factor, there are quite a few interesting desktop-replacements to check out. Among them, there are the unusual Asus ROG Mothership tablet-pc and Acer Predator Helios 700 sliding notebook, the upgradeable Alienware Area 51m with desktop-grade components, and the more classic looking, but beastly, Asus ROG G703, ROG Scar 17 or MSI GT75 Titan.

Neither of these are value buys anymore, though.

The no-compromise gaming notebooks: Asus Mothership, Alienware Area 51m and Acer Predator Helios 700

The no-compromise gaming notebooks: Asus Mothership, Alienware Area 51m and Acer Predator Helios 700

Wrap-up

All in all, there are many good gaming notebooks in this list, of different sorts and budgets, and more will be launched in the months and years to come.

Thus, as potential buyers interested in a compact gaming computer, you’ve got a wide array of options to choose from, starting with the highly portable 13-inch ultrabooks with some gaming abilities, and ending up with the powerful 17 inchers with beefy specs and yet surprisingly thin-and-light builds, or the desktop-grade behemoths tucked inside laptop form-factors.

In the end, it’s up to you to choose that gaming laptop that best suits your requirements and budget, and find that good balance between power, portability, features, and price. We’re here to help, though, so drop your comments below if you have any questions or anything to add to this post and we’ll get back to you.

Disclaimer: Our content is reader-supported. If you buy through some of the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I've been covering mobile computers since the 2000s and you'll mostly find reviews and thorough guides written by me here on the site.

311 Comments

  1. Charry

    November 26, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Hello Andrei
    I'm a soon to be college student that would like to hear your opinion on buying a laptop that fits my desires.
    So it has to max 1500$ and I want it to be aethsthetic good looking while being powerful too for games like battlefield 1 (2016) at normal settings. Also the battery life should be decent and it shouldn't get too hot for use. The key board should also feel comfortable. What do u think anything out there that fits this?
    Note: I'm starting to college next August 2017 so I don't know if I should wait for any newer products/ upgraded around the same price next year. Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 26, 2016 at 10:02 am

      There are many options that would fit your needs, you'd have to tell me what size you'd be interested in: a full-size laptop with 15-17 inch screen or something smaller (14, maybe 13 incher).

      • Charry

        November 27, 2016 at 5:46 pm

        Uhm it has to be a 15 inch not lower or higher
        Ty

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 28, 2016 at 5:52 am

          I've read your earlier comment again, and I'd advise you to wait till next Spring, there's going to be a new CPU and GPU hardware generation available by that time and I'd go for those if you plan to keep the computer for a few years.

        • Henry Zhou

          December 16, 2016 at 3:14 am

          Do you know what new CPU and GPU hardware will release in the spring? I'm in a similar situation as Charry, and would be glad to wait.

        • Andrei Girbea

          December 16, 2016 at 4:59 am

          the new Intel Kaby Lake HQ processors are scheduled for Q1 2017, and those will be paired with Nvidia 10 Series graphics (1050, 1060, etc)

  2. Georgian Cazan

    December 5, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Hello Andrei,

    I need a laptop for Kali Linux (Debian 8+), to use it for multitasking, very good wireless card, all the tools in the OS, and for other OS as Win 7 or 10, for writing code, pentesting tools, scanning, push it to the maximum, to be lightweight and very fast and powerful, and expecting not to bottleneck as in heat, fans, processor, memory and use it for 5-6 years without issue.

    Sa traiesti

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 6, 2016 at 6:07 am

      I'm sorry but I don't know much about Linux, so I don't know what to recommend. Perhaps someone else can pitch in

  3. Andriy V

    December 25, 2016 at 4:21 am

    Hi Andrei,

    Could you please advise lightest laptop/ultrabook/2-in-1, etc (because always traveling and even my MacBook is too heavy) to play Fallout 4 even on low/mid. I have MacBook Pro retina 13 late 2013, and its time to change my devise for a new one.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Mariyah

    January 12, 2017 at 5:31 am

    Hi,

    What are your thoughts of the Lenovo 710S? It's got a solid graphics card and affordable price.

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 17, 2017 at 6:06 am

      Haven't personally reviewed it, but I've read good things about it.

  5. Rick van Hofwegen

    January 27, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Hi Andrei,

    Can you give me an advice about a good 13'3 inch laptop with good specs and not that heavy. Price isn't really a matter. I've seen the new xiaomi 13'3 inch, but don't know if there are better options. Thanks in advance!

  6. Diego

    March 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    I wonder why the Surface Book or even the Pro 4 (with Iris) didn't make it to the list…
    With my first gen Book, i7/16/512/dGPU I'm able to play games in medium graphics at low resolution (HD)… Or even fHD at low graphics.
    Alien Isolation, Dying Light, SOMA, Outlast, the Witness, Bioshock Infite… They all play very nice in my thin and light 2-in-1.

  7. Steve

    August 16, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Hi Andrei,
    First of all – thanks for your reviews, you do a really nice job. I have a quite similar question to those you can find above. Asking it because previousely you recommended to wait for new hardware generation. I'm going to study for master degree abroad, so I can't take my pc with me – obvious. I am looking for a laptop between 1000-1500 USD (taking into account that laptops in Europe are more expencive). According to your reviews as well, I actually liked laptops like Helios 300, Acer Nitro V15 and some other models. Thus, I am not sure because of their cooling solution and warranty for only 1 year. Even though I appreciate design of both laptops (at least helios 300 is not very aggressive, so it's fine) and their test results. Could you possibly advice some laptops with approximately the same stats, but with reliable cooling system and warranty for at least 2 years? 3 would be even more perfect. Because of warranty I consider ROG laptops as an option for me as well – stats and design seem to be nice as well. I'd be greatful if you can give any advice. Thanks in advance.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 16, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Warranty differs from country to country, but I'd reckon although those laptops come with 1 year warranty where you live, from what you're saying, there's the option to buy extended warranty. There are a lot of good laptops in that budget, each with their pros and cons. You'd have to read reviews, balance their strong points and quirks and decide based on what matters most for you. I can't say, hey, buy this one, it's the best, because you're the only one who knows exactly what you want and need.

  8. Ly

    October 3, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Hi Andrei,
    Quick question, are any of these fanless?

  9. Aravind

    November 11, 2017 at 8:44 am

    I think you missed the 5mm bessels of Aero 15 one of its highlight feature which may add more value to the device

  10. Joe

    July 14, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Hello, how are you Mr. Andrei?
    I am searching for a laptop under 800$ and i found the acer nitro 5(AN515-51) with core i5 7300HQ, gtx 1050 ti,…
    And i would like to know your opinion and suggestions, if there is any laptop for heavy softwares in that range.
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  11. Evan Adams

    August 31, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    What about best gaming laptop that you might leave docked at a desk? I don't do much gaming but want the option and it will sit most of the time at my desk plugged into external monitor etc… But I still need portability and am not going to buy a 2nd desktop due to software cost.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 31, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      Well, most laptops should do well for what you need. I would't recommend using them with the lid closed though, these tend to get quite hot and the heat could negatively affect the screen a la long.

  12. Carolina

    September 19, 2018 at 2:05 am

    Thank you for this extensive and knowledgeable post. I am a graphic designer that likes to game (Rocket league, CS, civilization, Dragon Quest, Witcher..) so a good screen and a nice GPU is a must and this article helped me a lot. I was going for the XPS, but here in Canada there are so many complaints about the model that people are actually returning them.
    After reading you reviews, I am between the Zenbook Pro or the Rog Strix edition. Which do you reckon would be the best for my case?
    Thank you

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 19, 2018 at 10:09 am

      I'd reckon a good screen is a must for you and you'd want at least a GTX 1050 GPU to play those games, but preferably better. If you can live with a larger laptop, one of the newer ROG Strix models should suit you well, but you can also consider the new Lenovo Legion Y730. If you'd rather get something highly portable, then the Zenbook Pros and the Dell XPS 15 are the options for you, but expect them to run hot with demanding loads, as well as overall poorer performance than with the larger units.

      • Carolina

        September 21, 2018 at 4:33 pm

        Thank you Andrei!
        Its a stay at home laptop so definitely a larger unit. Didnt know about the Y730. Now its between this and the Strix.
        Cheers! :D

  13. Evan Andrew Adams

    September 20, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    I'm not sure where to put this on the site but because this is around up it might be a good place. With the release of the RTX cards, I'm trying to find any information about how they perform in eGPU setups. Do they oversaturate the usb3 bridge? I spend the vast majority of my time tied to a desk and docked. The sad been thinking a egpu might be a good solution for me. Franklin inches away from just going desktop with a Chromebook if I could figure out how to remote desktop into my desktop went on the road for work.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 20, 2018 at 5:46 pm

      I can't comment on future RT compatible titles, but based on the existing reviews, the 2080 is about on par with the 1080 Ti so I don't see why they wouldn't work fine in the existing eGPUs. Personally I'd hold on on buying an RTX card for now anyway, performance per $ is poorer than with Pascal and there's nothing that could potentially benefit from RT and DLSS yet.

      • Evan Andrew Adams

        September 20, 2018 at 8:50 pm

        For sure. Thank you. I am more concerned with a year or two out. I don't want to have that USB3 being the bottleneck if I buy a laptop with an older 1080gpu today & want to refresh to RTX down the road. Think I can swing that better than a desktop & remote desktop in from a chromebook.

        • Andrei Girbea

          September 21, 2018 at 12:44 pm

          Ah, Ok. I'd reckon we'll now a lot more on the subject by the end of the year.

  14. Aaron Sams

    October 25, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    What would you recommend for someone taking dual credit programming classes in high school? I'm also looking to run multiple virtual machines and light gaming (probably games you haven't heard of). I walk for 30-40 minutes every day so it's gotta be relatively light. My use of it at school would consist of 75% Web Browsing 5% Video Streaming 5% Light Gaming 15% Note Taking

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 26, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      What's your budget? There are a lot of laptop that should fit your requirements, I'd look at something built on a properly cooled i7-8750H . If heavy gaming is not on the list, you should get probably get this with a GTX 1050/ 1050 Ti, the lower-version dGPU available with this kind of CPU. From that on, you should factor your budget and how important portability is in the equation. I'd reckon it should be pretty important, so perhaps something like the Dell XPS 15, Lenovo ThinkPad P1/X1 Extreme or maybe the Zenbook UX550VG should be at the top of your list.

  15. Kris

    November 7, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    What would you recommend if I'm looking to get a sub-$1400 laptop with an i7-8750H and a GTX 1060? I know the Asus Predator Helios is recommended but I don't like laptops that run very hot (or noisy), and I don't want to have to fool around with thermal paste. I also want a more understated design, and don't care about 144Hz displays or speakers as I have my laptop mostly connected to an external monitor and speakers.

    What do you think between the Eluktronics Mech-15 G2 Pro-X (which I don't see mentioned here) and the HP Omen 15? I'm leaning towards the Omen but can't decide. I also looked at the Lenovo Y730 but on their website it only shows models with a 1050 Ti and I really want a 1060.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 8, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      I'd go with the Y730 if available when you decide to make the purchase, but the HP Omen 15 seems to be a pretty good choice as well.

      I haven't tested any of the Eluktronics laptops, they're not available over here. They seem to get good reviews from previous buyers, so as long as you can find some proper reviews first and then buy from a place that would allow returns in case something goes wrong, these could be a solid pick as well. I'll look into this Mech-15 G2 for the article.

  16. sedy

    November 26, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Hi,
    I need a laptop for mid-level deep learning ,
    but also should be light weight( less tha 4.5 lb), shouldn't get very hot and should have low fan noise. would 16GB,512 SSD, Nvidia 1050/1060 suffice, and if yes, what would some of laptops to look for that.
    Do i really need 32 GB ram for that?

  17. Jason

    May 24, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    Hi! Based on what you wrote, I believe Dell X15 to be the best laptop for me! But I want to ask just to make sure if there aren't any alternative options because I hate the standard Dell back cover. I don't want to prioritize it but if there is a near identical laptop (Based on your review) without that silver Dell back cover I would greatly prefer it!

    My use is every day use with Netflix/Hulu/Youtube streaming that I really enjoy and use more than gaming. I also program on this laptop so many days while I travel I'll be on it 8 hours a day. Because of this, good screen quality is a must, good audio quality is desired for music, video watching. Also, my top priority needs to be good battery life (closer to 10 the better). Also, a responsive keyboard as similar to standard as possible is good, as I type a lot for programming.

    For the most part, I don't plan on gaming too much and while on the go I just play casual games like Don't Starve indie games, and single player time wasters like that. However, sometimes I want to play Total War: 3 Kingdoms that was just released and maybe a shooter like Borderlands 3 when it releases (doesn't need high/ultra graphics though I'm used to it). I also like Imperator Rome on occasion. It's this "requirement" that really makes choosing a laptop difficult. I currently own Predator Helios 300 (but it's too heavy for my frequent traveling and the weight/battery life is the primary reason I'm looking for a new one) and it runs Total War: 3 Kingdoms at a level I find acceptable, so I don't mind sacrificing graphics quality to improve my other more imperative priorities.

    My desired budget is $1500, but I can go above it for no problem.

    Is Dell X15 my best bet, and if so, is there a laptop similar enough that I can get a better looking back cover?

    • Jason

      May 24, 2019 at 11:10 pm

      As an addendum comment, I usually game around 1-2 hours max in a single day, and I only do that every other day or so. But as it is, I have picky game tastes. And I did mention weight but I want to emphasize that having a light laptop that is easy to use for traveling is ideal.

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 27, 2019 at 12:03 pm

      I'd also look at the Lenovo THinkPad X1 Extreme/P1, that's my first choice over the XPS 15 right now, as well as the ZenBook UX533.

      However, those games are fairly taxing, and I'm not sure the kind of graphics in these laptops will cut it, even if you're willing to take a hit. Ideally, I'd still go with something with a GTX 1060, but that's up to you

      • Jason

        May 30, 2019 at 11:06 pm

        Hello, thanks for the reply. I think I did decide I really like the X1/P1 but I am not sure how to pick which one would be best for me. The X1 having manufacturing defects really turns me off as that is something that will bother me through the entirety of a laptop's lifespan. Does this mean P1 is the best choice? When I look on the website, I see they have two different versions. I'm not sure if I need better than the i5 processor or if the 4k screen is too hurtful to my battery life.

        • Andrei Girbea

          May 31, 2019 at 11:34 am

          the X1 and P1 are the same, except for the graphics. The i5 is fine for daily use and perhaps gaming, the i7 is 6-core and faster in demanding loads. Personally, I'd get the FHD screen, the 4K is nice, but expensive and takes a toll on battery life.

  18. Joy

    June 4, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Hello, I'm a college student looking to get a new laptop and I need some suggestions. I'd like something portable with a decent SSD or a hybrid preferably 1T. I'm into games like the Sims 4, assassin's Creed odyssey, injustice and Tekken but am not a hard-core gamer, so I'm not sure if I should go for a 1050ti or 1060 GPU or whatever is equivalent but also affordable. I also don't get gaming jargon so when words like throttling and fps come up in review videos, I don't really know if the laptop being reviewed is good enough for me or not.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 4, 2019 at 10:38 am

      What's your budget? For that kind of games, a 1050 Ti will suffice.

      As for those terms:
      – fps – number of frames displayed in a second – the more, the better. Ideally, you'll want something around 60 fps, but between 30 and 60 should be fine. Under 30 the image gets choppy and games stutter.
      – throttling – the performance is affected by the fact that the components inside reach high temperatures, and as a result, the CPU/GPU need to slow down in order to lower those temperatures. that happens to laptops with poor thermal designs.

  19. I need help

    August 18, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Hello Andrei, Douglas, and Derek..
    You write things often neglected by other sites (emission, heat map, keyboard, etc). Thank you for that!

    I need a recommendation for work+fun laptop. I've narrowed down my basic requirement as follow:
    – 14" or 15" Full HD, no thicker than 1 inch
    – Intel i5 7th gen. Ryzen 5 okay
    – VGA Pascal/GTX NVidia with sustainable performance. Above average cooling. Radeon won't do
    – SSD or SSD+HDD. Optane+HDD won't do
    – DVD Writer. External DVD won't do
    – SDCard, VGA, USB3 Type A
    – Plain/Professional finish, no light show, no fancy case, no gaming aesthetic at all

    My budget stops at i5 9xxxHQ+GTX1650Ti+IPS/FHD/120Hz however much it cost.

    I realize your team has moved on from built-in DVD however in my case, it's non negotiable. Not for multimedia/game but for communication with lots of 199x comps in my line of work (like WinNT+FDD+ODD).

    THANKS!

  20. Joco Franz

    August 24, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    Hi. My laptop recently died and im confused whether to buy an ultrabook or a gaming laptop. Im willing to spend up to 1500usd and been thinking about m15 r2. Please give me some advice.

  21. Alex

    December 1, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Hi Andrei. Would I be able to play WarHammer 2 on a HP Envy 13? Which model of this laptop would be good? I don’t know if I’m asking the right question, but please give me an opinion or a recommendation.
    Multumesc.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 2, 2019 at 11:21 am

      Hardly. Warhammer is fairly demanding as far as I know, and the MX150 chip on the Envy is not good enough unless you're willing to drop the details all the way down and maybe even drop the resolution to HD.

  22. xy

    February 4, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Hi Andrei, right now I'm in the market for a new gaming/editing laptop and after seeing one in real life it has to be something with OLED screen (in my opinion once you see one you can never go back to IPS panel). Another condition is per-key RGB and at least GTX1660ti (or more likely RTX 2060 and up). So far I only really like Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED. Not Dell/Razer/Alienware, I don't like design of those ones. Are there any other options? Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 4, 2020 at 1:02 pm

      The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo could be an alternative, but you're paying a hefty premium for the form-factor. Make sure to read the screen part of our review, I share my thoughts on OLED in that.

  23. Serge

    February 22, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Hi, Andrei!
    I‘m in troubles:)
    My budget is about €1.500 and I’m trying to choose a laptop for the following tasks:
    • 2-8 hours working per day (MSOffice as well)
    • ~2 Hours surfing
    • TV Shows (Streaming, YouTube, Movies)
    • sometimes light photo editing
    • The hardest one: someday I have a strong desire to play one game (WoW, dota2 and some of this newEra stuff like RDR2)

    So for the first tasks it’s quite clear: the laptop has to have good screen. The last point is a corner stone cause I want this experience to be VERY GOOD – not the „top“ but decent. So maybe the cooling system > edge performance.
    Honestly, good using experience at all is a main requirement.

    As I want my laptop to stay „up-to-date“ longer, it’s seems that it should carry at least Turing dGPU. Could you please comment this point and the following „high-tech features“ as well:
    1) I guess that WiFi ax (6) will be a pretty useful thing in the nearest future (I want it)
    2) I guess that Type-C with TB3 and Charging is quite useful

    So for me:
    • CPU: Intel (guess better, discuss please)
    • Memory: 16 or 8-upgradable
    • Storage: no matter, may be at least 128 SSD (I have a lot of HDDs and one Samsung 840EVO SSD 120)
    • GPU: d, may be Turing
    • Screen: a good one of 15-15.6, may be 17. FHD/UHD/4K. IPS (?)
    • IOs: ideally like good workstation – USB3 (+/- TB3, DP, charge), LAN, DP/HDMI, SD, mic – all things are Discussable
    • Size and weight: not a point
    • Materials and design: has to be good quality, „nice to touch“. Not every model in this class has it. And also I don’t like so much these „monster-aggressive-RGB-teenager“ style but ready to discuss:)

    The options I’ve found:
    1) Lenovo Yoga s740 (15) – rather a „toy“ then a workstation, but I like it a lot. My „wish“:)
    2) Lenovo Legion Y540 15IRH
    3) ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534 – I don’t like ASUS but my wife likes it a lot :) at least it’s she who will work with it every day
    4) ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GU502 (I would like a GX but it’s out of budget a bit)
    5) MSI Prestige 15
    6) DELL G3 15 3590

    I’ve read a lot of bad feedback on all of these laptops, they have own pros and cons. As you can see there’s no ThinkPad – it’s because I had an experience with it and didn’t have any fun =\ discuss ;)

    Great Thank you in advance!

    • Serge

      February 22, 2020 at 5:51 pm

      Sorry guys for not mentioning all of you! You all doing a very great job! Thank you for all your reviews and articles:) despite the fact that they contain a bulk of information, I had to ask a question;)

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 25, 2020 at 12:39 pm

      Hi. You narrowed down your options well, and I would also include the Dell XPS 15 in there.

      Hardware-wise, you've got two options: either more efficient, but less powerful Core U platforms, (such as the ZenBook 15, Prestige 15), or more powerful, less efficient Core H platforms. I'd also go with 16+ GB of RAM and definitely SSD storage. As for graphics, a GTX 1650/1660 Ti should handle those older titles well, but for RDR I'd go with at least a 1660 Ti.

      Those being said, the Zephyrus M is, imo, an excellent laptop, but Asus's quality control isn't great and I'd suggest buying from a place that allows returns, test the laptop for flaws when you get it, and then ask for an exchange if you're unlucky. Keep in mind that most reviews tend to exaggerate the negatives, simply because most of those satisfied with their product don't bother leaving a review, but those who got a faulty unit will be more vocal about it.

      Depending on where you're from, there are also some barebone options you could consider, from Eluktronics (Mag 15) or XMG (Fusion 15). Furthermore, if you're willing to skimp on the graphics, the Yoga S740 and the Dell XPS 15 should also be on your list.

      As for your other options:
      2. Y540 – good value laptop, but lower-end in terms of quality, build and features. also fairly heavy and chunky, could be an option if you're looking for a better GPU at a lower price.
      3. Thin and light, but not a fan of the thermal design that blows hot air into the screen, and overall dated compared to other options. See the review.
      5. Thin and light, efficient hardware, big battery, but poor thermals and some performance limitations in demanding loads. Could be an option with the six-core i7, but read reviews to understand the quirks.
      6. haven't tested it, but it's a lower-tier product like the Y540.

      Hope this helps.

      • Serge

        February 25, 2020 at 11:44 pm

        Wow! Great reply! =)

        We're living in Austria and have to drive to the stores or wait for the delivery. So it’s kinda problem to check it in time. Also the price for DELL 15 XPS here is out of budget (1.600) and it has i7-8750H, GTX1050Ti, 8Gb.

        Nonetheless, thanks to your reply now we have 2 options to choose: yoga s740 and Zephyrus GU502.
        The last two stages now are to „touch“ and to get an answer about the need for WiFi 6, and also TB3 and charging by Type-C. Could you please comment this features?

        Thank you again! I was waiting for the answer with opened 35 tabs in browser and it was painful. And then I’ve received your answer and it was really breathtaking;) thanks for your job! I’ve read all those mentioned reviews. You make a great job!

        • Andrei Girbea

          February 26, 2020 at 12:06 pm

          WiFi 6 – not a must imo, WiFi AC is more than fast enough for regular use
          TB3 – also not a must, unless you need very fast data transfer or an external dGPU, or perhaps you plan to use a TB3 dock
          USB-C charging – nice to have, as it would allow to only grab along an USB-C charger when raveling that could take care of your laptop, phone, tablet, etc. More powerful laptops would require a barrel-plug charger as well, so USB-C would be secondary

  24. plzlol

    March 4, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Good article and guide, thanks !

    I'm looking for a light, 1.5kg max, 13.3 to 14.9" laptop.
    I came up with the MSI prestige 14 in i7 configuration with 1650 Max-Q but was wondering if it's really worth it since it needs some thermal modding to squeeze max performance (repaste + heatpipe added). Ref: https://www.reddit.com/r/intel/comments/e5fzc1/i710710u_revisited_msi_prestige_14_w_lm_mods_3064/

    I was considering to do the mod myself or via HID, but being in Europe it adds a lot to the cost if ordered in the US.
    Is there any alternative to this MSI with a price from 1000-1500 USD ?
    Can we expect price drops when Ryzen 4000 laptops start to be available ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 4, 2020 at 7:42 pm

      We had big troubles with the MSI Prestige 14 we had for reviews, and it was only the MX250 25W version. We sent it back to MSI and never heard back for a replacement, so I wouldn't go with it, based on my experience with that sample.

      As for Ryzen 4000 laptops, I don't think they will affect this segment of light-weight laptops, but rather the segment of mid-range full-size notebooks

      • plzlol

        March 5, 2020 at 7:45 am

        Thanks for your reply. I also previously had issues with MSI about the MXM replacement GPU with the GT70/GT72/GT80…
        BUt was considering giving them another chance since other than a contractual/commercial issue, my GT72 has been running flawlessly since 2014 with very good temps for the 980M.

        ANy alternative then ?

        • Andrei Girbea

          March 5, 2020 at 11:12 am

          Do you need to go with a 14-inch laptop? There are many good portable 15-inch models such as the MAG 15 or the Zephyrus M GU502.

        • tilarou

          March 16, 2020 at 9:24 am

          The weight is important for me so if there are 15" with 1.3kg or less it work, but as far as I saw there is none…

        • Andrei Girbea

          March 16, 2020 at 7:10 pm

          There are some options, but not with gaming-capable specs. See this list: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/4219-the-lightest-ultrabooks/

  25. César E.

    June 3, 2020 at 6:15 am

    Hello Andrei:
    – First congratulate all the workers of the web, it is an excellent place to clear your mind in order to make a better purchase. Still doubts come to me and for that I use this comments section.
    – I am a university student but the truth is that I hardly ever take the laptop to college, I use it to study at home, the portability issue interests me only to be able to achieve the best possible experience.
    – I am going to allocate a budget of 1400 dollars to buy a video game laptop in the United States and I plan to be with her for 2 or 3 years; I have read a lot and I am convinced that the best solution for me is the full size laptops (lenovo legion, acer helios hp omen, etc) where I can maximize performance for the money invested.

    I am interested in the following characteristics:
    a) Harware: i7 (thinking that it will age better, although this implies lowering the dgpu) preferably above the i5 although you could also use this without a doubt.
    b) dgpu: at least a gtx 1660ti and if it is possible to get to the 2060 better, but not for the rtx, but for the performance improvement it can provide me.
    c) screen: yes or if I want it of 144hz, but with a range of decent colors and brightness, (the new tuf a15 from asus I don't want them for that reason and also for the high temperatures of the components, despite the good price) I have many doubts between a 15 or 17-inch screen, portability is secondary to the best experience (I want to insist on this) although I think I prefer the screen of 17 (I have never had a laptop with that size) I must take into account the increase in price compared to the 15 model when we talk about the same laptop.
    d) other aspects: the cooling has to be competent for the presented components, good construction, good keyboard but it does not have to be outstanding, 16gb ram and the storage does not matter what is little, then I can increase it in almost all the models, the battery nor is it vital.

    – After investigating, I have these two options as more interesting:
    1- Acer predator helios 300: I find the 17-inch model interesting because of the best thermic, the speakers and the screen, of course, that for my money I would choose the 1660ti gpu model and very little storage. Do you think this model is more interesting than the 15-inch one, although it may be inferior in storage and some other hardware details?
    2- Lenovo Legion y540, I like this laptop, but I am more inclined to the predator, especially for the best construction.
    3- Lenovo Legion 5i: Very soon they will be on the market and I really like how they look, but be very uncertain about the price, I think it will be a good laptop, but you have to wait for the reviews, perhaps with the release of these new laptops , last year's prices drop and would be a point in favor of previous models.

    1.1 Do you think it is more interesting to opt for a 17-inch model over a 15-inch model, even if that means that the larger model has lower hardware than the 15-inch one?
    1.2 Will there be much difference in the gaming experience on a screen of 15 to play on one of 17?
    -Note: I know that these questions at the end seem strange and it should not be easy to answer it because it depends on each one, but I ask for your personal experience, as you prefer.

    – I will appreciate all the answers tremendously, greetings.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 3, 2020 at 11:16 am

      1.1 I'd go with the 15-inch option, better specs for less money, and good enough thermals and performance with the latest drivers.
      1.2 that's up to you. I'd be fine with either one

  26. César E.

    June 3, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks for the reply.
    I will opt for the 15-inch model with the consequent improvement of hardware for the same money, I trust that the gaming experience is good in both models, as you tell me.
    I suppose you agree with the choice of the acer helios 300 over the lenovo y540, that does seem safe.

  27. Rohit Bakshi

    June 13, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    hello awesome review and in depth info.
    if I have to choose between acer helios 300 rtx 2070 17inch vs Triton 500 rtx 2060. In India it costs 1853$ for the acer and 2000$ for the Triton.
    Also if I am going to spend that much is there a better alternative than the above two.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 13, 2020 at 7:14 pm

      Depends on what you need it for. Thr triton is more portable and nicer made, plus includes a bigger battery, Gsync or TB3. The Helios is a more mid-tier laptops and looks like the better performer based on those specs. up to you to pick what suits your needs

  28. Khurelkhuu T

    June 25, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    a very good structured read. helped me decide on exactly what i needed. keep it going guys!

  29. Mikell

    July 29, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Hi there!

    I see you replying to pretty much all of the comments posted here, that's very admirable and impressive!

    I'm currently in the market for a high-end gaming laptop to replace my nearly 6 year old MSI GS60 Ghost Pro. Thing was an absolute unit when I got it. Less than 0.80 inches thick, 1080p 340+ nit display, Core i7 6700HQ, 16GB DDR4 RAM, Dual 512 GB PCIe SSDs in Raid 0, GTX 970m (third party overclocked). Cost me $3,000 and was worth every penny. But it's sadly pretty outdated now, and can only run newer games at the lowest settings (and still usually with bad FPS). It seems to be bottle-necking not even really at the graphics card but at the CPU so that's a done deal.

    I am looking for something somewhat similar, though I am thinking I probably don't need to (and don't really want to) spend as much as I did on the MSI. I am leaning toward a 17-inch since there are many out there with footprints about the same size as my MSI (which was a little big for a 15-inch back then) and want a core i7 108750H (or possibly core i9) and at least an RTX 2070 (no max q); a 2070 super or 2080 max q would also do, but those two would likely push me past my price range (though I am willing to pay what I need to in order to get the overall configuration I want). At leas 1TB SSD, 32 GB of RAM, Windows Hello (camera and/or fingerprint) would be nice.

    I'd be using it mostly for RTS games (at ultra settings), but also some top down and/or first person RPGs and the occasional 1st person shooter (so refresh rate isn't all that important but a consistent frame rate is; if there's one thing I can't stand it's choppy unit movement and a sluggish UI in my RTS games). I still want something thin and light (the Ghost Pro has completely spoiled me in that department) but a little bigger/thicker/heavier is okay. The keyboard has to be good enough but doesn't need to be great. Display should be bright (but doesn't have to be blinding, I won't be outside with this thing) and color accurate, and the chassis should stay relatively cool under load (even if the fans have to get loud to do that).

    I've had my eye on the new Eluktronics Max 17 as it seems to pretty much tic all those boxes for a very reasonable price. The new Lenovo Legion 7i also looks pretty nice, though it is a bit pricey for what you get in terms of performance (at least compared to the Max 17). Do you have any other recommendations?

    Lastly, part of the reason I've been holding off for a while is to see what OEMs do with the new Ryzen processors, particularly the 9 series. Unfortunately, it seems like feet are being dragged and there just isn't much available in the configuration I want (the Zephyrus G14 is nice enough but it's too small, I'm not crazy about the design, and I'm a little worried about longevity with only the RTX 2060). Should I wait? Please give me your thoughts.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 29, 2020 at 10:50 pm

      Please summarize this in a shorter format

      • Mikell

        August 3, 2020 at 8:23 am

        Done!

        I'm currently in the market for a high-end gaming laptop I am leaning toward a 17-inch but the right 15-inch would work too.

        I'd be using it mostly for RTS games (at ultra settings), but also some top down and/or first person RPGs and the occasional 1st person shooter. I'd prefer something thin and light. The keyboard has to be good but doesn't need to be great. Display should be bright (but doesn't have to be blinding, I won't be outside with this thing) and color accurate, and the chassis should stay relatively cool under load (even if the fans have to get loud to do that).

        I've had my eye on the new Eluktronics Max 17 as it seems to pretty much tic all those boxes for a very reasonable price. Do you have any other recommendations?

        Lastly, part of the reason I've been holding off for a while is to see what OEMs do with the new Ryzen processors, particularly the 9 series. In addition, the RTX 3000 series is on the horizon, but apparently won't be available in laptops until this time next year. Should I wait? Please give me your thoughts.

  30. Joseph

    September 17, 2020 at 2:19 am

    I thought this was an ultrabook article. What happened?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 17, 2020 at 1:55 pm

      it's an all-in-one article, and it will be updated shortly

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