These days, you don’t need to get a humongous gaming desktop to play AAA titles at max settings. With lower prices, powerful components, and sleek designs—now is an excellent time to get a gaming laptop. Most modern gaming laptops feature Nvidia’s new RTX cards, although even the ones with older GPU models manage to achieve high-end performance in sleek, portable packages. These are some of our favorite gaming laptops for 2019, listed in order of increasing price:
MSI GV62 8RD ($800)
[i5-8300H, GTX 1050 Ti]
If you’re on a tight budget, the MSI GV62 8RDC is one of the best lower-cost gaming laptops on the market. On sale, this beast can drop down to $700, yet it still comes with 8GB of DDR4 RAM, an Intel i5-8300H, a 256GB NVMe SSD and a GTX 1050 Ti. And at a featherweight 4.8 lbs, it won’t be a pain to lug around. Even at this low price, you still get MSI’s excellent build quality, plus great details like a red backlit keyboard and a brushed gunmetal finish. Moreover, a removable base panel means you can upgrade storage and memory components inside.
Dell G5 15 ($1500)
[i7-9750H, RTX 2060]
Leave it to Dell to manufacture a gaming laptop for the masses. This version improves on the previous G3. While the G3 had some thermal issues, the newer G5 features a better cooling design and has largely fixed the issue. Plus, they feature Nvidia’s newest line of RTX cards, which the G3 didn’t. Intel’s Core i7-9750H and an RTX 2060 power a 15.6-inch display that can be configured to be a 144Hz G-Sync panel. At 5.9 lbs, it’s one of the heavier gaming laptops out there, however. A thick bezel around the screen adds to the heavy-set appearance of this machine.
Don’t be fooled by this being the second entry on the list: if you don’t care about the higher refresh rate of the Lenovo or the sleek aesthetics of the Razer below, then this is absolutely the best price-to-performance choice for 1080p mobile gaming in this list. (The MSI laptops at the top and bottom of the list have much less beefy core components and much more beefy core components than the rest, respectively, so they will naturally cater to different groups of users.)
Lenovo Legion Y740 ($1630)
[i7-8750H, RTX 2060 Max-Q]
Long known for squeezing impressive performance out of budget prices, Lenovo’s Legion gaming laptops have been a fan favorite. The updated Y740 is a hunky 17.3-inch laptop with all the latest chips at a price that’s amazingly reasonable relative to its power. The Y740’s screen is probably its best feature: a sharp, 144Hz IPS display featuring Dolby Vision HDR and G-Sync. The onboard audio, which bumps out of an embedded soundbar at a wide range of frequencies (Dolby Audio is also featured here, in the form of Atmos, the surround sound tech from the audio lab). Do note that it has slightly worse core components than the Dell listed above, and that it’s main extra features are a larger SSD, a higher-refresh-rate monitor, and a physically larger screen.
Razer Blade 2019 ($2200)
[i7-8750H, RTX 2060]
Last year’s Razer Blade model was a huge favorite among laptop enthusiasts, and the latest version has proven just as sharp in terms of appearance. The Razer Blade has a slick, low-profile design with a matte black coating, comfy rounded corners and less of the abundant RGB that other gaming laptops tend to have. Inside, the Razer Blade packs an 8th-gen Intel Core i7, DDR4 RAM, and dual storage for a range of SSD and HDD sizes. Their top-end RTX 2080 Max-Q configuration can power a 4k 60Hz monitor, but we think the 15.6-inch, 144Hz 1080p monitor powered by a GeForce RTX 2060 is the best value in their (overall, poor-price-to-performance-ratio-having) choices.
But do note that the price difference between this laptop and the Dell option above is basically just netting you a thinner PC that looks somewhat nicer—its gaming performance would be practically indistinguishable from the two options directly above, and it actually features a somewhat slower SSD than either of them. As a result, this is our least strong recommendation on the page, and we briefly considered calling it an ‘honorable mention’ rather than a full entry.
MSI GS75 Stealth ($3000)
[i7-8750H, RTX 2080 Max-Q]
“Stealth” is probably the right name for the MSI GS75—from a distance this looks more like a productivity machine rather than a gaming computer. The high-quality, black-and-gold aluminum chassis is wrapped around a rig consisting of an Intel Core i7-8750H processor and Nvidia’s line of RTX cards. The crisp, full-HD, 144Hz display provides good colors and sharp contrasts (no G-Sync, however, unfortunately). This laptop bucks the trend of other ultrabooks, which seem to always eschew conventional ports and inputs for slimmer designs. The Stealth has a slew of useful ports, including USB 3.1, an ethernet port, a microSD slot, and two audio jacks (one for a mic and one for headphones).
Those are our favorite gaming laptops on the market right now. With falling component prices, plus an incredible price-to-performance ratio on those components, now is a perfect time to get into PC gaming on the go.