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6 Best Gaming Laptops (2022): From Cheap To High End

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Best OverallAsus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2022)

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Best 14-inchAsus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)

Read moreChoosing a gaming laptop is a lot like putting together a well-balanced adventuring party. You need to look at what you plan to use it for, what kinds of quests you’ll tackle, and try to match its capabilities to your needs—without emptying your coin purse. To that end, weary traveler, we took it upon ourselves to source the latest and greatest gaming laptops from forges large and small. We gathered them in our keep and ran them through a variety of tests to sort the god-rolls from the vendor trash. Here they are, the best gaming laptops for every kind of player.

Be sure to check out our picks for the best overall laptops, gaming mice, keyboards, headsets, and wireless headsets.

Updated in December 2022: We’ve added the latest models of the Acer Nitro 5, Razer Blade 15, and Dell XPS 15.

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Photograph: Asus

Best OverallAsus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2022)

The ROG Zephyrus M16 combines gaming horsepower with modern, high-quality perks. The Asus G15 was a powerful model, but the M16 added an extra-wide 16:10 screen, webcam, and support for Thunderbolt. The matte black design also helps it compete with the likes of Razer on style.

This second iteration has shed one of the few weaknesses of the first—being limited to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card. The M16 can now be equipped with a faster option, up to an RTX 3080 Ti. The top-tier gaming performance is made all the more glorious by one of the best laptop keyboards around and a strong selection of display options.

Specs to look for: Intel Core i9-12900H processor, Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti graphics card, 16-GB RAM, 1-TB SSD, 16-inch QHD+ display with a 165-Hz refresh rate

Photograph: Acer

A Cheaper OptionAcer Nitro 5

Acer’s Nitro 5 has been a terrific budget option for a few years now, and it’s no different in 2022. The design is nothing to write home about, but it won’t offend either. The display also isn’t the brightest, but at Full HD 144-Hz, it’s a strong combo for shooter fans and AAA players alike. The keyboard is remarkably good given the low price, with a lot of travel and pleasant feedback.

A big appeal of this laptop is what you can get for a reasonable price at the lower end, but you can spec this up to 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Core i7 chip, and RTX 3070 Ti GPU if you’d like. This is a laptop for the budget-conscious who want to do PC gaming on-the-go and not empty their wallet.

Specs to look for: Intel Core i5 12500H processor, Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card, 16-GB RAM, 512-GB SSD, 15.6-inch 1080p display with a 144-Hz refresh rate

Photograph: Asus

Best 14-inchAsus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)

This compact gaming laptop from Asus burst on the scene a couple of years ago as a stunning value proposition. Now the ROG Zephyrus G14 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) offers less value for the money, but the full package remains hugely appealing. It has a fantastic keyboard, a crisp display, and a webcam—a welcome new addition!

The flagship model’s bright white look is eye-catching for a gaming laptop. A pivot to an all-AMD focus for this year’s model has also allowed Asus to beef up this laptop’s gaming capabilities, which were previously capped at an RTX 3060. The new Radeon RX 6800S delivers performance between an RTX 3070 and 3080, with the RX 6700S between an RTX 3060 and 3070. Battery life has taken a hit, but this remains a portable gaming delight.

Specs to look for: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor, AMD Radeon RX 6700S graphics card, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 14-inch QHD+ display with a 120-Hz refresh rate

Photograph: Dell

For Work And PlayDell XPS 15 (2022)

The Dell XPS 15 is a great laptop for those who want to do a bit of everything. Gaming is likely not your priority if you’re buying this machine, but you still want it to be capable—and it is. Admittedly, being able to do everything comes at a high price, so you’ll be paying a premium for an XPS 15.

This professional-looking device can reach 30 fps on its UHD display at low settings for more aesthetically minded titles, like Borderlands 3 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. To max out this 60-Hz panel, you’ll have to dip down to a QHD resolution. For frame-hungry players, Apex Legends will hit 60 fps on very high graphics options. This is all via our test model configuration of a Core i7-12700H, RTX 3050Ti, and 16-GB RAM.

There’s also a great keyboard—plenty of travel and a satisfying click—and a large trackpad. The big 16:10 3.5K OLED display is glorious, with deep blacks and popping color. Port selection isn’t half bad—with 3x Thunderbolt 4, a headphone jack, and SD card reader. The speakers are an interesting proposition with immense detail—even at high volumes—and a broad soundstage. However, the bass is good but not as booming and impactful as rival MacBook Pro devices.

Specs to look for: Intel Core i7-12700H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, 16-GB RAM, 1-TB SSD, 15.6-inch 3.5K OLED display with a 60-Hz refresh rate