Which gaming laptop on Amazon is best?

Gaming hardware for your personal computer is more powerful and more efficient than ever before. This results in today’s wide variety of highly dependable and effective gaming laptops. While it’s not for everybody, laptop gaming can be a fun and exciting experience. For some people, such as students, artists and busy professionals, a decent gaming laptop can also serve as a computer for school or work.

The best high-end gaming laptop is the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17, which comes in high-powered and extremely high-powered versions that should satisfy the pickiest portable PC gamers.

What to know before you buy a gaming laptop on Amazon

They aren’t cheap

Granted, neither is a desktop gaming PC, but you’ll pay significantly more for a laptop than you would for a comparable full-size gaming rig.

They’re big and heavy

While the rest of the laptop industry trends toward razor-thin, ultralight designs, gaming laptops are cumbersome by necessity. It takes a lot of space to accommodate the powerful hardware and advanced cooling systems that keep said hardware safe. Don’t be alarmed when most of the gaming laptops you look at are nearly an inch thick and weigh several pounds.

Be wary of battery life claims

Gaming laptops don’t run well on battery power. Like non-gaming laptops, manufacturers usually set different power usage and performance parameters for battery vs. plugged-in use. In other words, always keep your laptop plugged in for the best results.

Being such a power-hungry task, gaming also drains a battery remarkably fast. You’d be lucky to get more than two hours of full-tilt gaming in fast-paced titles such as first-person shooters.

Due to that increased battery drain, gaming laptops typically see their batteries lose capacity far quicker than normal laptops. To counter that problem, most gaming laptops are reasonably easy to take apart for battery replacement.

What to look for in a quality gaming laptop

15 inches vs. 17 inches

The two measurements may not sound too different, but 15- and 17-inch gaming laptops are worlds apart. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a 15-inch laptop, but playing games on one significantly reduces the field of view. This reduces the immersion in first-person titles and can make it hard to play top-down games with many tightly packed characters, enemies and statistical information.

The pros and cons of each are pretty straightforward. Seventeen-inch laptops offer better immersion and easier play, while 15-inch models cost less and are more portable.

Central and graphics processing units

The CPU and GPU have the clearest impact on gaming performance. It’s best to avoid the RTX 3050 in favor of the 3050 Ti, as Nvidia’s most entry-level laptop GPU offers seriously underwhelming performance. The RTX 3060 is highly cost-effective, the 3070 hits the sweet spot for many gamers and the 3080 is reserved for the most demanding players.

However, laptop manufacturers set the clock speeds and power profiles of their computers’ specific GeForce RTX chipsets. This means one RTX 3070 could perform far differently from another. To help make this a more consumer-friendly issue, Nvidia now requires manufacturers to disclose the specific wattage their GPUs are designed for. That gives prospective buyers some idea of how well those graphics cards perform.

How much you can expect to spend on a gaming laptop on Amazon

The most affordable gaming laptops cost slightly less than $1,000. The absolute most premium can cost more than $4,000, but some of the best performers actually cost just over half of that.

Gaming laptop FAQ

Can you play games on MacBooks?

A. You can play an increasing number of mostly casual games on Apple’s iconic laptops. If you need something mostly for everyday use and don’t plan on playing highly resource-intensive games, a MacBook might be right for you. Dedicated gamers, however, should steer clear of Apple’s locked-down ecosystem.

Is Windows 10 or Windows 11 better for gaming?

A. There’s very little difference at the moment. Some evidence suggests that Windows 11 offers a better HDR experience, an area where Windows 10 is sorely lacking, but in terms of performance, they’re nearly identical.

For what it’s worth, most brand new laptops have the hardware needed for Windows 11 compatibility. Plus, for the time being, it’s free to upgrade to the newest version of Microsoft’s operating system.

What’s the best gaming laptop on Amazon to buy?

Top gaming laptop on Amazon

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

What you need to know: It’s a collection of top-of-the-line components from one of the most respected gaming hardware manufacturers.

What you’ll love: It comes with an advanced, 12th-generation Intel processor and your choice of an RTX 3070 Ti or 3080 GPU. The more premium version is the most impressive of the two, due largely to the 1440p resolution. On the other hand, the Full HD model does have a higher refresh rate, capable of 360 frames per second compared to 240.

What you should consider: Either variant of this cutting-edge laptop will set you back a significant amount of money.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top gaming laptop for the money on Amazon

Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300

What you need to know: This 1080p laptop sports a powerful Intel Core i7 CPU and highly cost-effective RTX 3060 GPU.

What you’ll love: From reputable, budget-friendly manufacturer Acer, it’s a potent and reasonably priced blend of hardware. The display can reach up to 144 hertz, and advanced features such as Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and an RGB backlit keyboard are nice to have.

What you should consider: It struggles to run the latest and most resource-intensive games at high settings. You’ll have to turn down some of the graphics sliders for the best results.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

What you need to know: This offers possibly the perfect balance of price, performance and size.

What you’ll love: The 165-hertz display is the most impressive part of this notebook PC. It sports G-Sync variable refresh rate certification up to 165 hertz plus a peak brightness of 500 nits. Both of those specifications are rare, even among powerful gaming laptops. It also boasts a 1440p resolution for an even crisper image than the rest. Driven by a powerful AMD Ryzen processor and RTX 3070 graphics card, this is a hard laptop to pass up.

What you should consider: At 16 inches, the screen isn’t quite as immersive as many others, as nice as it does look.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top 15-inch gaming laptop on Amazon

MSI Pulse GL66

MSI Pulse GL66

What you need to know: It’s one of the extremely rare laptops with an RTX 3070 graphics controller at such a reasonable price.

What you’ll love: Few laptops can compete with the Pulse GL66 in terms of performance per dollar. Its processor and graphics card combine to deliver stellar performance at a resolution of 1080p. It’s even noticeably thinner and lighter than most gaming laptops.

What you should consider: The manufacturer has scaled down its GPU performance, so it won’t perform quite as well as other RTX 3070 systems.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top 15-inch gaming laptop for the money on Amazon

Acer Nitro 5

Acer Nitro 5

What you need to know: It’s just about the most affordable gaming laptop worth buying today.

What you’ll love: At right around a grand, it’s as economical as they come while still delivering the performance needed for a fun and modern gaming experience. You can be confident that its well-engineered and relatively recent components will remain useful for years to come.

What you should consider: It has only 8 gigabytes of system memory, but there is an empty slot for adding more.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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