Gaming on the go has never been easier. Here are our favourite gaming laptops for all budgets
Despite the imminent launch of PlayStation and Xbox’s powerful new consoles, gaming laptops remain the go-to choice for gamers craving performance and portability.
With hardware advances such as AMD’s Ryzen 9 chipset and Nvidia’s RTX 20 series graphics cards, games have never looked better or run more smoothly. Coupled with that supreme performance, we’re now seeing more console exclusives being ported to PC and Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass for PC gives players the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of premium titles for a very reasonable monthly fee.
That combination of factors means there’s no better time to join the huge community of PC gamers. You could, of course, build your own desktop gaming set up, but if you want to play your games on-the-go (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) then a gaming laptop is the way forward.
You’ll typically have to pay a little extra for the convenience of a gaming laptop, but it will give you significantly more freedom than its wall-tethered desktop alternatives. You can play Dota 2 on the toilet, GTA V on the bus or PUBG on the plane, all without the constant worry of finding the closest plug socket.
If you’re hoping to play the best new games at the highest possible settings, you’re looking at a minimum spend of around £1,000, but you can dip well below that if you’re just after something that’ll play Minecraft on the go. Then again, you can easily spend in excess of £2,000 for the latest and greatest – so be warned.
We’re constantly testing gaming laptops at Expert Reviews, providing the best coverage in the UK. This roundup will help you sort the best from the rest so that you can decide which gaming laptop is right for you. Read on for the definitive list of the greatest gaming laptops you can buy in 2020.
The best gaming laptops: At a glance
- The best all-round gaming laptop: Gigabyte Aorus 15G
- The best-looking gaming laptop: Razer Blade 15 (2020)
- The best gaming laptop for portability: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
- The best performing gaming laptop under £1,000: Acer Nitro 5 (2020)
- Premium twin-screen gaming: Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15
- Impressive build quality and performance: Lenovo Legion Y740
- A powerful budget gaming laptop: Asus TUF Gaming A15 FA506IV
- Otherworldy performance: Alienware Area-51m
The best gaming laptops to buy
1. Gigabyte Aorus 15G: The best all-round gaming laptop
Price: £2,199 | Buy now from Amazon
If you’re after a gaming laptop with mind-boggling performance, the Gigabyte Aorus 15G is it. With its 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card, the Aorus 15G is able to handle even the most demanding of titles with relative ease: it excelled in all of our performance tests and left the likes of the Razer Blade 15 (2019) in its wake. You’d expect such power to come at the expense of battery life, but the Aorus 15G managed a very respectable 6h25m during testing. The only real drawback to its extreme power is how noisy the fans are, but they do a top job of keeping the laptop cool so the extra noise is forgivable.
The Aorus 15G’s keyboard is another standout feature. It’s fully mechanical and utilises the Scrabble tile configuration, and there’s a pleasing amount of travel in the low-profile Omron switches. A true gaming keyboard wouldn’t be complete without RGB lighting and the Aorus’ RGB array can be customised on a key-by-key basis (or turned off entirely) via the Aorus control centre.
With exceptional speed, a delightful keyboard, high refresh rate FHD display and plenty of connection ports, the Aorus 15G is undeniably one of the best gaming laptops we’ve had the pleasure of testing.
Read our full Gigabyte Aorus 15G review for more details
Specifications – Processor: Octa-core 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-10875H; Display size: 15.6in; RAM: 16GB; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super; Refresh rate: 240Hz; Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD; Weight: 2.3kg
£1,999.99 Buy now
2. Razer Blade 15 (2020): The best-looking gaming laptop
Price: From £1,600 | Buy now from Amazon
The Razer Blade 15 has been a staple inclusion on this list for the past couple of years and the 2020 model doesn’t disappoint. It’s not changed too much from the 2019 version in terms of design: the sleek aluminium chassis still makes it the most attractive gaming laptop you can buy. However, a few things have received a refresh and the Razer Blade 15 is better off because of the tweaks.
The base model (there’s also a pricier advanced model) has been blessed with an extra USB-C port so the laptop now has two, one of which is a Thunderbolt 3 port, in addition to three USB-A ports. The internals have been upgraded to include a 10th-gen Intel Comet Lake processor, which performed extremely well in testing. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU in the model we tested also proved very capable, though it’s not quite as impressive as the RTX 2080 housed in the 2019 model.
Cooling is better handled this time around, which is a big plus, though the Razer Blade 15 (2020) suffers from poor battery life much like its predecessor. It may not be perfect, but the Razer Blade 15 (2020) is a beautifully designed, powerful and competitively priced gaming laptop.
Read our full Razer Blade 15 (2020) review for details
Specifications – Processor: Hexa-core 10th-Gen Intel Core i7-10750H; Display size: 15.6in; RAM: 16GB; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080px; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD; Weight: 2.1kg
Razer Blade 15 Base Model (2020): Gaming Laptop with 15.6 Inch Full HD 144 Hz Base Model, Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, Chroma RGB Lighting | UK Layout
£1,698.98 Buy now
3. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14: The best gaming laptop for portability
Price: From £1,000 | Buy now from Amazon
If portability is a priority, this 14in gaming laptop should be top of your wish list. It weighs just 1.6kg, which is over 500g less than every other entry on this list but has plenty of other things going for it, too. The mid-range model houses a powerful AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti graphics chip, though you can get a beefier GPU if you’re willing to spend a bit more. Dolby Atmos audio is supported, RAM and storage are ample and with two USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, HDMI port and 3.5mm AUX-in, you’re not short on connection options.
The icing on the cake is Asus’ AniMe Matrix display, which is available on certain models and can be customised using the company’s Armoury Crate software. It allows you to create light patterns on the lid of your laptop and even display the time or your battery status should you wish. It’s by no means an essential feature, but those seeking a personalised gaming laptop will be in their element.
Specifications – Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS; Display size: 14in; RAM: 16GB; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080px; GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti; Refresh rate: 120Hz; Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD; Weight: 1.6kg
ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401IU 14″ Full HD 120Hz Thin Bezel Gaming Laptop (AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti 6GB Max-Q Graphics, 512G PCI-e SSD, 16GB RAM, Windows 10)
£1,474.44 Buy now
4. Acer Nitro 5 (2020): The best performing gaming laptop under £1,000
Price: £999 | Buy now from Currys PC World
The Acer Nitro 5 (2020) delivers excellent performance at a very reasonable price. There are a number of configurations available but we tested a model packing a ninth-gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD storage and a discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU in addition to integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630.
That setup performed impressively, with the Nitro 5 achieving a solid score of 164 during our in-house 4K Media Benchmark test. To put that in perspective, the Razer Blaze 15 (2020) and Lenovo Legion Y740, both of which cost roughly twice as much, scored 183 and 196, respectively. Graphics performance was solid, too, with the Nitro running Metro: Last Light in 1080p at high settings at an average frame rate of 127fps.
The Nitro 5 does have one big weakness, though: its 17in screen lacks colour accuracy, which leads to certain environments looking washed out. Whether that’s a compromise worth making for a powerful sub-£1,000 machine ultimately comes down to how highly you value the quality of your display.
Read our full Acer Nitro 5 (2020) review for details
Specifications – Processor: Hexa-core 9th-Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, 2.6GHz- 4.5GHz; Display size: 17.3in; RAM: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080px; GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 2060; Refresh rate: 120Hz; Storage: 256GB SSD; Weight: 2.6kg
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55 15.6 inch Gaming Laptop (Intel Core i7-10750H, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti, Full HD 144Hz Display, Windows 10, Black)
£997.97 Buy now
5. Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15: Premium twin-screen gaming
Price: From £3,000 | Buy now from Amazon
There isn’t anything quite like the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 on the gaming market right now. This pricey piece of kit features Asus’ ScreenPad above its keyboard: a second screen that raises up from the laptop’s chassis when you open the lid. The ScreenPad functions in the same way as an external monitor would, allowing you to drag and drop application windows and shortcuts onto it. There’s more to the Zephyrus Duo 15 than this novel inclusion, though.
There are three configurations available: the most expensive option features a 10th-gen Intel Core i9 CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU and Ultra HD display. The other two house an Intel Core i7 processor and feature are FHD display but are differentiated by their graphics card. If you choose the cheaper version, you’ll only get an RTX 2070 Super rather than the more powerful 2080.
We tested the top of the range configuration and it achieved exceptional results during our in-house 4K media benchmark test, while the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics chip maintained impressive frame rates while running Metro: Last Light and Hitman 2 at 1080p on high settings. The 4K display is stunning but those that love fast-paced games will be better served by the FHD variants due to their faster refresh rate.
With numerous connectivity options, solid build quality and an excellent keyboard in addition to superb performance, the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 is a very capable gaming laptop. Whether it’s worth the significant asking price ultimately comes down to how much you value the unique second screen.
Read our Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 review for details
Specifications – Processor: Octa-core 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-10980HK; Display size: 15.6in; RAM: 32GB; Display resolution: 3840 x 2160px; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super; Refresh rate: 60Hz; Storage: 2 X 1TB SSD in RAID0; Weight: 2.4kg
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo GX550LWS Full HD 300Hz 15.6″ Dual-Screen Gaming Laptop (Intel Core i7-10875H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB, 32GB RAM, 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0, WiFi 6, Windows 10)
£2,999.00 Buy now
6. Lenovo Legion Y740: Impressive build quality and performance
Price: From £1,600 | Buy now from Lenovo
With a sharp design and solid specs, the Lenovo Legion Y740 cements itself as a gaming laptop to be reckoned with. Drawing on the power of a ninth-generation Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU, it’s capable of running even the most graphically demanding titles at smooth frame rates.
The RGB-lit keyboard looks great and is a pleasure to type on and the display is particularly impressive, reproducing over 90% of the sRGB colour space with reasonable accuracy. The FHD resolution screen is clear and crisp and supports Dolby Vision HDR, which is great for movies and games that support it.
Equally impressive is the Legion Cold Front cooling system. The processor and graphics card both have dedicated cooling and there are also a vent and heatsink that help chill the keyboard. It works effectively even when the laptop is being pushed to its limits and although fan noise is noticeable, it’s not intrusive.
The Lenovo Legion Y740 may not be a cheap option but is one of the best-performing and most stylish gaming laptops in its price bracket.
Read our full Lenovo Legion Y740 review for more details
Specifications – Processor: Hexa-core 9th-Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, 2.6GHz- 4.5GHz; Display size: 15.6in; RAM: 16GB DDR4; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080px; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Storage: 256GB SSD; Weight: 2.2kg
7. Asus TUF Gaming A15 FA506IV: A powerful budget gaming laptop
Price: £1,300 | Buy now from Amazon
The Asus TUF A15 may not be the most powerful entry on this list, but it packs plenty of punch for the price. It excelled in our 4K media benchmark test, outscoring the Gigabyte Aorus and Lenovo Legion Y740, both of which are significantly more expensive. It can’t compete with those laptops when it comes to gaming on higher settings, but if you’re happy to lower the bar a bit, the TUF is capable of smooth frame rates at native resolution.
Battery life clocks in at over 6h30m, which is plenty unless you’re undertaking an epic session, and there’s a pleasing range of physical ports, including a full-sized HDMI, USB-C, 3.5mm audio and three USB-A ports.
Sadly, the TUF is let down somewhat by its display. Despite having a 144Hz refresh rate, it is only capable of reproducing 59% of the sRGB colour space, leaving games lacking vibrancy. It’s a pretty big drawback, but one you might be willing to overlook if you want a gaming laptop offering great performance without breaking the bank.
Read our full Asus TUF Gaming A15 FA506IV review for more details
Specifications – Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H; Display size: 15.6in; RAM: 16GB DDR4; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080px; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD; Weight: 2.2kg
ASUS TUF FA506IV 15.6 Inch Full HD 144 Hz Thin Bezel Gaming Laptop, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB Graphics, 1TB PCI-e SSD, 16 GB RAM, Windows 10
£1,299.95 Buy now
8. Alienware Area-51m: Otherworldly performance
Price: £2,899 l Buy now from Currys PC World
No gaming laptops roundup is complete without the Alienware Area-51m. Is it practical? No. Is it affordable? Double no. Is it cool? Heck yes. This 17.3in, 4kg behemoth is among the most powerful laptops we have ever tested at Expert Reviews. Plus it kind of looks like a spaceship from the back, so there’s that. With its Intel Core i9-9900K CPU (up to 5GHz), 32GB RAM and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU, it crushes the competition in every single benchmark category, leaving conventional gaming laptops in the dust and challenging even the priciest of high-end desktop PCs.
It’s a cutting-edge laptop that can run any Triple-A game at maximum settings and easily achieve frame rates of 60Hz, though probably much higher for most titles. The FHD 144Hz panel uses Nvidia’s G-Sync technology to produce a smooth tear-free gaming experience and also comes equipped with Tobii eye-tracking, the innovative software that lets users execute in-game actions through eye movement alone. There’s plenty spare of room for storing that games library, too, as the Area-51m has both a 512GB PCIe SSD and a 1TB hybrid drive.
Read our full Alienware Area-51m review for more details
Specifications – Processor: 3.6GHz Intel Core i9-9900K; Display size: 15.6in; RAM: 32GB; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080px; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD, 1TB Hybrid; Weight: 3.87kg