Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE review: The best gaming laptop to buy this year. Best Asus gaming laptop
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE review: The best gaming laptop to buy this year
One of the best gaming laptops released for 2022, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE (G733C) has everything you need to game on the go. It has the best Intel mobile processor matched with the incredibly versatile NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics for impressive performance.
- Intel Core i9 CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU
- Gorgeous 17-inch display
- Great design and build quality
- Solid thermal performance
- – Bulky and somewhat heavy
- – Poor battery life (as expected)
- – No webcam
- – Expensive
Why you can trust Windows Central
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Asus has produced capable desktop and laptop PCs for gamers for years and today we’re looking at the latest gaming notebook from the company. The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE has a big battery, a big screen, and big performance. It’s also incredibly expensive so we’re going to take a look to see if this laptop is worth buying for a portable gaming station.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Price, availability, specs
Asus supplied Windows Central with a review sample of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE. This unit has the Intel Core i9-12950HX processor with eight performance and efficiency cores and a total of 16 threads. For notebooks, this is about as good as you can get without going too overboard. This is the flagship CPU for this laptop with the lesser capable Core i9-12900H also available.
For graphics, we’re looking at either an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, RTX 3080, or RTX 3080 Ti. In our review sample, the laptop had the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. Finally, RAM comes in either 16GB or 32GB of DDR5. We had 32GB, allowing us to push the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE to its limit and see how powerful this laptop is.
This notebook is expensive, even if you configure it with the baseline specifications. Starting at 2,399, it’s simply out of reach for many gamers. The model we tested is available for 3,599, but this laptop has considerably more performance than many gaming desktop PCs out there.
Here’s a look at the specs contained inside our review unit.
|Windows 11 Pro|
|Intel Core i9-12950HX|
|8 P-cores, 8 E-cores, 16 threads|
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti|
|2TB M.2 NVMe SSD|
|17-inches, IPS, 16:9|
|WQHD (2560 x 1440), 240Hz, 100% DCI-P3, 3ms,|
|One HDMI 2.1, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DP, G-Sync), one RJ45 LAN, one Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack|
|Quad speaker array, Smart Amp Technology, Dolby Atmos|
|Wi-Fi 6E(802.11ax) (Triple Band) 22, Bluetooth 5.2|
|90WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion|
|395 x 282 x 23.4 ~ 28.3 mm|
|(15.55 x 11.10 x 0.92 ~ 1.11 inches)|
|3.00 Kg (6.61 lbs)|
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Design features
As soon as you’ve unboxed the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE, you can immediately tell you’re in for quite the ride. This looks and feels like a powerful gaming laptop. I’m not the biggest fan of the usual Asus design language for its laptops, but the Scar 17 SE is stunning. There are countless small details, such as the hidden graphics on the lid that are revealed with the included UV light.
The ROG logo on the same lid lights up, as expected. RGB lighting can be easily made obnoxious, but thankfully Asus used it sparingly. The keyboard also has per-key lighting, and there’s a small LED strip that wraps around the base of the notebook. When turned on, it looks the part when placed in a gamer setup. Interestingly, Asus made part of the keyboard translucent, revealing some of the insides.
While the keyboard is a joy to type on, and there’s a full Numpad layout for those who enjoy playing EVE Online, it’s not using mechanical switches. The touchpad is massive and has more than enough real estate for general use. It’s highly likely that a mouse will be connected to one of the available USB ports for serious gaming, anyway.
Moving up the laptop and we have the glorious 17-inch QHD display with a resolution of 2560×1440. Our unit has a refresh rate of 240Hz though a Full HD version of the panel is available with a 360Hz refresh rate if you prefer smoother gameplay over visuals. Either way, this is a winner. It’s gorgeous.
What isn’t going to bring home awards is the webcam. or lack thereof. If you enjoy making calls with friends and family or fancy some streaming on the side, you’re going to require an external webcam. It’s just strange to see a laptop released in 2022 without a webcam.
Next up is the I/O and there’s plenty to go around. We’ve got a single HDMI 2.1 port on the rear joined by the DC input, RJ45 LAN, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DP, G-Sync), and one Thunderbolt 4. The left side has two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and a 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack. The right side has the ROG Keystone port for profiles and other security features.
Speakers are never going to be exceptional on a gaming laptop, but Asus managed to pull off some great-sounding audio. It’s not going to blow you away, especially with heavy bass tracks or explosions in-game, but it’s decent enough if you don’t own a pair of cans. The laptop itself is relatively thin but on the heavy side thanks to all the internal components.
It measures in at 3.00kg (6.61 lbs) and the dimensions are 395 x 282 x 23.4 ~ 28.3 mm. It’s not huge but will require some desk space for the 17-inch panel (and this allows Asus to pack some serious cooling for the CPU and GPU).
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Display
The screen is incredibly important on gaming or creator laptops. Thankfully, the panel used by Asus for the ROG Strix Scar 17 SE is a beauty. We tested the QHD 240Hz screen with a response time of just 3ms. It’s not particularly great at color accuracy, scoring just shy of 80% for Adobe RGB, but you won’t notice when playing your favorite titles.
Brightness isn’t spectacular, maxing out at around 300 nits. Minimum brightness was recorded at 15 nits. All Asus displays for this laptop have a matte finish, which avoids bright lights from affecting your gameplay. They’re also non-touch, not that this is a primary factor for most people choosing a gaming laptop.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Gaming
Where do we begin? One should have high expectations of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE thanks to what’s contained within the compact chassis. The Intel Core i9-12950HX and RTX 3080 Ti are no joke and Asus didn’t pull any punches with the included 32GB of DDR5 RAM. Simply put: this laptop is an absolute beast running PC games.
Like other gaming laptops, Asus includes its own command suite that lets you quickly manage settings, including the current power profile. This also affects display brightness, cooling, and other parts of the system. We performed all tests with performance modes enabled (not turbo) and everything else on default to emulate what you can expect out of the box.
The laptop performed well in synthetic benchmarks, again thanks to the impressive CPU and GPU combo. Asus has to take some credit too as the laptop runs incredibly cool all things considered. There’s a fair amount of power draining the battery (or power grid) and the cooling solution handles the heat output well.
There are a total of four exhaust vents and Asus is using two of the latest Arc Flow Fans with 84 curved blades. The noise output is recorded and monitored by the software suite and you can expect to see anything between 20-40dB depending on profile and workload.
We recorded temperatures as high as 87C and 83C in games for the CPU and GPU, respectively. How Asus designed the cooling system prevents the keyboard and palm rests from feeling too warm to the touch. To put it into perspective, the CPU and GPU are capable of drawing up to 230W.
- Far Cry 5: 121 FPS
- Red Dead Redemption: 79 FPS / 92 FPS (DLSS)
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider: 158 FPS / 184 FPS (DLSS)
And when you do eventually fire up some games, you’ll have nothing but smiles to go around. The numbers paint a positive story, but you have to sit in front of this beautiful 17-inch IPS display to truly appreciate what’s on offer.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Performance battery
Overall system performance is excellent. The Intel Core i9-12950HX is exceptionally good at running Windows software and playing the latest games. Whether you need to game or work (or both!) on the same machine, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE will be able to handle most workloads.
As is with many laptops out there, gaming on battery reduces how much you can expect to enjoy from the CPU and GPU. Results will still be astounding for such a slim machine, but you will notice a downgrade in overall system performance compared to when tethered to an outlet.
The battery may be a massive 90WHr unit but the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE can zap through it in just over an hour in a demanding PC game. For general use, however, including media consumption, you can expect to see upwards of five hours depending on power settings.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Competition
We’re obviously going to consider the mighty Razer Blade 17 as a competitor to the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE. It’s one of the best gaming laptops even if Asus manages to undercut it, thanks to the 1440p display (compared to the UHD-touting Razer Blades). The performance will be about the same, though Asus makes use of some seriously good cooling here.
The Lenovo Legion 7i (6th Gen) (and the newer Legion 71 (7th Gen)) is also a solid option for those seeking ultimate power. Asus has the upper hand with better in-game results, but it’s also considerably more expensive than the Lenovo review unit we tested. It all comes down to looks, price, and cooling as components usually perform similarly. Asus manages to find a good balance between the three.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Should you buy?
Who it’s for.
- Those who want the performance of a gaming desktop but in a laptop form factor.
- Those who don’t mind splashing out upwards of 4,000 on a new laptop.
- Those who don’t find themselves playing much away from an available outlet.
- Those who want to play the latest games at 1440p and decent settings.
Who it isn’t for.
- Those who do not have more than 2,000 to spare for a portable gaming PC.
- Those who already have a decent enough desktop gaming PC.
- Those who don’t play the most demanding PC games and can get away with something less powerful.
The sheer raw power included with this laptop is incredible. Having an Intel Core i9 and RTX 3080 Ti combo in a laptop bag is something that would continue to put a smile on one’s face, especially when setting up shop with friends at LAN events. There’s ample connectivity (including RJ45) which makes this quite the compelling purchase for anyone looking for a new gaming PC.
For gaming on the go, it’s let down by just how capable the internals are. The GPU and CPU will happily drain the 90WHr battery in an hour or so when gaming. It’s a slightly better story with about five hours of general use between charging. Still, this should be considered if you actually plan on using the notebook for work or long periods of time away from home and/or the office.
When this machine truly comes to life is when it’s hooked up to an outlet with performance modes enabled. You’ll be able to crank up visual settings in most games and enjoy a stable frame rate on the glorious 1440p IPS panel. Sure, it’s expensive and the money could be better spent on more sensible purchases, but this is about as good as you’ll get for a gaming laptop in 2022.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review: this tiny gaming laptop has big power inside
Find out why the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop is so special in T3’s deep-dive review.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is just a beautiful thing. It’s a gaming laptop that’s small and tough, powerful and slick, yet detailed and desirable too. If you can find one then you’re in for a treat. even if you’re not a full-on gamer.
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
All the best features, news, tips and great deals to help you live a better life through technology
Thank you for signing up to T3. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
This Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review proves that bigger doesn’t always mean better. Packing so much power into a tiny piece of kit is pretty impressive, so impressive in fact that back in 2020 it won the T3 Award for the best gaming laptop.
While this laptop is geared towards gamers, anyone who needs a laptop for heavy workloads or creative work will get along with it too. It’ll cope with just about anything.
The Ryzen 7 processor inside offers many benefits, but it’s currently tricky to find on the shelves. meaning stocks of the GA401IV-HA026T variant, which I have here, might be hard to come by; other models of the G14 seem slightly more readily available, however.
There are also machines out there from other manufacturers with a similar, if not identical, spec. You can find laptops that are far cheaper, so does the benefit of an ultra-tight case and WQHD screen really justify an extra investment? Let’s find out.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review: design and build
For a machine which is, objectively, a relatively plain grey rectangle, the G14 is a subjectively stunning thing. The lid design, with its stippled section and glossy corner nameplate, is beautiful and tactile without screaming too loud; the inner, all slim-bezeled screen and well-laid out keyboard, has gamer cred without straying too far away from being work-friendly.
The case itself is stiff and heavy, with a super-strong top lid which basically stops any screen flex and a keyboard bed that, while not rock-solid, is rigid enough to allow fervent typing without too much flex. The keyboard itself is fairly standard laptop fare, but it’s good enough. and it hasn’t been forced into some insane layout just to accommodate media keys. Its trackpad is decent, if unspectacular.
A thin laptop demands clever cooling, and the G14 ingeniously accommodates the ventilation needs of its processing package by essentially incorporating a prop stand into the lid. Open it up, and the rear of the base raises up to increase airflow, and offers a subtle angle to the keyboard which makes typing for long periods slightly more comfortable.
Asus has not used portability as an excuse to push USB-C above all else. While there is USB-C connectivity, which is expected and appreciated, there are plenty of other ports too. This is a really practical design.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review: specs and hardware
Inside, Asus’ processing package is considerably strong. You get a 4000-series Ryzen 7 processor alongside a 6GB Max-Q version of the Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060, something of a sweet spot for mobile graphics at this point, as well as a full 16GB RAM and a generous 1TB PCIe SSD.
The screen on this G14 is the 60Hz WQHD version, and it’s a treat: squashing that many pixels into 14 inches means some seriously crispy desktop resolution, and I was impressed by its colour depth and viewing angles. It keeps up in games, too.
Geekbench benchmark scores
Geekbench CPU single: 5076 Geekbench CPU multi: 27701 Geekbench compute: 183093
The audio provision is serious, too. Towards the front of the base, just beyond the ridge that sits the keyboard slightly lower than its chin, are two edge-mounted vents. Ingeniously, these are upfiring speakers. they work in tandem with the bottom-firing pair to allow the G14 to play back Dolby Atmos audio.
Bear in mind that I’ve been lucky enough to play with one of the rarer variants of the G14 for this review. You’ll find a pared-down GTX 1660, Ryzen 5, FHD variant to be more readily available, as well as a pricier Ryzen 9 version, so let’s take a quick sidebar to talk about what else you might be able to expect.
First, the Ryzen 5 version; although it’s clearly not going to be quite as capable at this in the gaming department, the GTX 1660 is still perfectly usable if you’re happy to drop a little fidelity. with the 120Hz refresh rate of the lower resolution screen, it might even feel a bit better. Go a step up, and you get the best of AMD’s 4000-series Ryzen 9 mobile CPUs.
You can also find models which sport Asus’ super-fancy and completely unnecessary AniMe Matrix display, which transforms the pinhole pattern on the screen lid into a customisable white-pointed display. It’s a bit mad, but there’s no arguing it isn’t very cool.
There’s a vast gulf in price between the bottom and top ends. There’s also a spectre looming on the horizon: very soon, if Amazon’s listings are anything to go by, the G14 will get a 5000-series Ryzen, 30-series RTX upgrade, bringing in a new generation of Max-Q cards to its certified cool design. But that’s on the horizon; for now, let’s see exactly how this performs.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review: gaming and performance
3DMark benchmark scores
Time Spy: 5813 Fire strike ultra: 3461 Fire strike extreme: 6772 Fire strike: 13585 Night Raid: 30563 Sky Diver: 29175
The numbers tell the story here. AMD’s CPU is strides ahead of anything Intel is offering in the 10th-gen mobile space, racking up incredible scores in our benchmarks and (I just had to try it, and wasted a day in the process) ploughing through CPU-intensive games like Civilization VI. Heating it up does cause the fans to kick in, as you might well expect, and these do have a fairly high-pitched note to them; it’s irritating at first, but something I quickly got used to.
The WQHD display is, as I’ve said, quite wonderful, compact enough at 14 inches that its pixel density is superb. The 2060 is mostly able to keep up, but you’ll likely want to drop game resolution down to 1080p if you really want to get the best out of it. Not that older games can’t take full advantage of it; I ran GTA V at full res and it looked magnificent, but more taxing recent games definitely benefited from fewer pixels.
For its size, what this can do is utterly amazing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the most powerful gaming laptop on the market, and I’d definitely be interested to see what Asus can do with a 5000 series Ryzen and a 30-series Max-Q graphics card, but that’s down the road: for now, the Zephyrus G14 is a satisfying little thing.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review: verdict
On long-term test, used for work as well as gaming, does the G14 still manage to reach the level which earned it our 2020 T3 Award? Heck yes it does.
Just as an object of engineering it’s beautiful, and it’s deceptively monstrous inside. It’s a laptop which can do the things you need it to do, look great while doing it, and leave very few boxes unticked.
Best Asus gaming laptop
As laptops become more powerful and as GPU’s and cooling systems become smaller and more efficient, we are seeing an influx of gaming laptops on the market. Because there are so many gaming laptops available, it can be a challenge to decide which one is best.
There are a number of factors that you want to consider when determining the right gaming laptop for you. Some of these things will include your personal preferences, the amount of money you have to spend on a laptop, as well as your overall priorities. If you look at some of Game Gavel’s laptops, you can see that the best-ranked laptops are also the middle of the ground in terms of price.
You want to pay close attention to storage, power, speed, and the graphics card that is used. Asus and MSI gaming laptops have set the standards for what a modern laptop should be. Both of these laptops have power and a number of extra features that are attractive to gamers. Each brand of laptop has its pros and its cons that might influence your buying decision. Let’s take a few minutes to look at these.
Asus Gaming Laptops Pros and Cons
Asus gaming laptops are designed to be resilient, hard body, and have a profile that is designed to remind a person of a stealth fighter. These laptops have been uniquely crafted with the goal of giving gamers the best experience possible. In the past people complained that Asus gaming laptops had problems with excessive heat. This issue has been addressed thanks to a thermal design that uses intelligent technology to guarantee that excessive heat is removed from the back of the laptop.
Two factors that are important in a gaming laptop are the monitor and keyboard. Asus has handled this by creating a monitor that produces stunning visuals, can be purchased at different screen sizes, and has anti-glare screens that reduce eyestrain. The keyboard is backlit, and it has been designed to be resilient enough to stand up to repeated pushing of keys.
Asus gaming laptops have unparalleled quality assurance. This is attested to by the national and international awards this company has won. They have a powerful motherboard. But this should not come as a surprise since Asus has been making motherboards long before they got into the business of making gaming laptops.
Other powerful specs include Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU and a VGA like Nvidia GeForce or ATI Radeon. They are able to offer these powerful features at a relatively affordable price.
Another feature that makes these laptops stand out is the fact that they offer a free two year guarantee. Most gaming laptops only come with a one-year warranty.
Of course, there are some drawbacks to Asus laptops. One major drawback is due to how aggressively Asus updates their products. They update the products on a monthly basis. If you purchase a new laptop today, six months down the road you may feel like your laptop has become outdated. Also, they only have a small number of services. If your laptop is damaged, it is going to be a while before you are able to get it repaired.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of MSI Gaming Laptops
MSI makes everyday laptops. However, their claim to fame is their gaming laptops. Since their primary FOCUS is gaming, they have set the bar high when it comes to offering gamers the best experience possible. Proof of this is seen by the features that they offer, including their exclusive cooler boost technology. This technology makes it possible for you to play games for a longer period of time without worrying about your laptop overheating.
Some of their newer models have generation Intel core processors. They are equipped with solid-state drivers and dual GeForce graphics. Another feature that is beneficial to gamers is the Cherry MX speed switch. This makes it possible for users to click fast when using the keys.
Their gaming laptops come with a programmable keyboard. This allows the gamer to customize the keyboard to suit their preference. They also have the option to change the back light color of their keyboard as opposed to the single color option that is available with most keyboards.
Understandably, since MSI is known for gaming, they put a lot of detail and FOCUS into their display. The display on their laptops has a fast refresh rate along with NTSC displays. Their laptops are Full HD and make use of true color technology. This allows for images to have finer details.
The sound on these laptops is impressive. They make use of Nahimic audio technology. This allows gamers to enjoy 360 degree audio experiences. MSI builds laptops that are designed to last for a long time. Examples of their laptops are the Titan GT83 and the Stealth GS73.
Since MSI laptops use high-end processors, high-end graphics cards, and durable materials, you are going to pay a pretty penny for them. On the low end, you will pay around 800. On to the high-end, you should expect to pay closer to 5,000.
One of the major complaints we have heard about these laptops is that tech support is not as good as it should be. Tech support is slow, and the tech support agents do not know as much about their own product as they should. Aesthetically, MSI laptops are boring. MSI is more focused on what is inside the laptop as opposed to how it actually looks. You’re only going to be able to get it in black, silver, and gray.
Which Is the Better Option?
Both Asus and MSI have a number of pros and cons. When you look at MSI laptops, you’re going to see some impressive specs. However, the laptop itself looks pretty bland.
Asus gaming laptops have the best motherboard on the market. It is a rough and sturdy laptop that can stand up to just about anything. They also benefit from an innovative design.
Best Gaming Laptops 2023: Top Laptops for PC Gamers
The classic image of a gaming laptop being a chunky wedge with RGB lighting is practically extinct. These days the best gaming laptops are sleeker, more portable, and classier looking than ever. They’re also more powerful thanks to the latest CPUs and graphics cards. That extra prowess makes for an actually playable 4K gaming experience on a portable rig – something previously only achievable with a desktop gaming PC. And, nothing beats playing games at silky frame rates on a quality display.
There are loads of gaming laptops out there that can run the best PC games. Some go for a big screen and high-end internals, replacing your desktop, while others keep it a bit more modest for ultra-portability. After comprehensive testing and research, we’ve narrowed down our picks so you can be sure the gaming laptops you’re looking at are the best of the best – and click here to find them in the UK.
Looking for discounts? Check out our guide to the best gaming laptop deals right now.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Best Gaming Laptop
Display: 14” WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) IPS 120Hz | CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS | GPU: AMD RX 6800S (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) | RAM: 16GB DDR5 4,800MHz | Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD | Weight: 3.64 pounds | Dimensions: 12.28” x 8.94” x 0.73”
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is the absolute best gaming laptop you can get for performance, battery life, and general overall value. Coming in at a reasonable price, this machine still plays Call of Duty: Warzone at max settings and its full 2,560 x 1,600 resolution. Beyond that, we experienced silky smooth 60-140Hz gameplay in a variety of games running at 1080p with Ultra settings. What’s even more amazing is all of that is pulled off with a less traditional pairing of a Ryzen CPU with Radeon graphics.
Besides being plenty powerful for all your AAA games, the lightweight build and compact size make the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 perfect for toting along to school or work. That AMD combo also manages to keep running almost all day with nearly 10 hours of battery life. It’s truly a fantastic setup all-around with an ample 1TB of storage and a 16:10 display that makes everyday tasks more manageable.
Asus TUF Dash 15
Best Budget Gaming Laptop
Display: 15.6” FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS 144Hz | CPU: Intel Core i5-11450H | GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060 | RAM: 16GB DDR5 4800MHz | Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD | Weight: 4.41 pounds | Dimensions: 13.94″ x 9.88″ x 0.78″
You’ll be hard-pressed to find good budget gaming laptop, as most cost well over 2,000. But Asus has you covered with the TUF Dash 15. At under 1,100, you get a pretty spiffy setup complete with latest 12th gen Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics. This is a great platform to get your toe into PC gaming, especially when playing competitive online titles like Apex Legends and Overwatch. And these components are more than capable of handling indie games and smaller single-player experiences, too.
On top of the Asus TUF Dash 15’s capable processors, it’s packing 16GB of memory to keep you cruising through games and tasks, even with loads of tabs open. Plus, the 512GB SSD storage is a great starting point, which you can always upgrade if you plan to keep a big gaming library on the device. It’s also toting tons of connectivity, including a Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, and HDMI, so you can hook up other gaming peripherals. To round out this machine, you get a 15.6-inch, Full HD display with a 144Hz refresh rate, while a MUX switch allows for direct communication with the GPU, giving you less latency and even more fluid, pleasant gameplay.
Best 16 inch Gaming Laptop
Display: 16” QHD (2560 x 1600) IPS 240Hz G-Sync | CPU: Intel Core i9-13900HX | GPU: Nvidia RTX 4080 | RAM: 16GB DDR5 4,800MHz | Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD | Weight: 7.17 pounds | Dimensions: 14.5″ x 11.41″ x 1″
The Alienware m16 is a beast of a machine in more ways than one, as it features some impressive internals and weighs over seven pounds. Though hefty, this 16-inch gaming laptop is still portable and ready to power a brilliant QHD display. Games can run at over 240fps at full resolution, while G-Sync is loaded in to ensure some stutter-free, butter-smooth gameplay, keeping you immersed in the action.
Fast Gaming Laptops are Getting Cheap!
Now, you’re probably wondering what’s powering that display, and this rig has a 13th Gen Intel Core i9 processor and Nvidia RTX 4080 GPU combined with 16GB DDR5 RAM, letting it tackle just about any game with ease. And Alienware places a FOCUS on cooling, so it overengineered the thermals with large vapor cooling chambers, a custom Element 31 thermal paste, seven heat pipes, five vents, and four cooling fans. That makes it easy for this laptop to overclock the 24-core processor and push the GPU to operate at 240W without throttling.
Razer Blade 18
Best 18 Inch Gaming Laptop
Display: 18” QHD (2,560 x 1,600) IPS 240Hz G-Sync | CPU: Intel Core i9-13950HX | GPU: Nvidia RTX 4090 | RAM: 32GB DDR5 5,600MHz | Storage: 1TB 1TB (2TB) NVMe SSD | Weight: 6.8 pounds | Dimensions: 0.86″ x 10.84″ x 15.74″
Having a thin-and-light laptop is nice, but for a true desktop replacement, the Razer Blade 18 is hard to beat. This 18-inch option packs the latest 13th gen Intel Core i9 processor paired with an equally impressive Nvidia RTX 4090 graphics card that can chew through just about any task without breaking a sweat, including gaming and editing. Combining those processors with 32GB DDR5 memory and 2TB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage only further solidifies its ability.
Clearly, the Razer Blade 18 is packing all the power needed to take advantage of its QHD display with a 240Hz refresh rate featuring G-Sync. Its IPS panel is bright and vibrant, covering 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, while the large screen size means you’ll probably never feel the need to hook up a gaming monitor. However, if you have the urge to add some additional screen real estate or other peripherals to this laptop, it’s packed to the brim with well-spaced ports, including three USB-A, a USB-C, a Thunderbolt 4, a HDMI 2.1, and a UHS-II SD card reader.
Asus ROG Flow Z13
Best Gaming Tablet
Display: 13.4” FHD (1,920 x 1,200) IPS 120Hz| CPU: Intel Core i9-12900H | GPU: Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti | RAM: 16GB DDR5 5,200MHz | Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD | Weight: 2.61 pounds | Dimensions: 11.9” x 8” x 0.5”
You probably think any tablet that you grab isn’t going to the powerful gaming rig, but the Asus ROG Flow Z13 might just change your mind. Sure, it doesn’t have as much gaming prowess as some of the other options on our list, however, that’s made up for in extreme portability. You get a device weighing slight over 2.5 pounds with a 13.4-inch Full HD display that totes a 120Hz refresh rate All you have to do is kick out the kickstand, pair a controller or keyboard, and you’re free to game while lounging on the couch, laying in bed, or wherever else you choose.
This portable slate pairs an Intel Core i9 CPU with Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti graphics to let you play AAA and indie games almost anywhere. And if you’re looking for a bit more power, you can also opt to buy the Asus’ eGPU module, the XG Mobile that packs up to an Nvidia RTX 3080 for a serious graphical bump at your gaming desk. Between, the Asus ROG Flow Z13’s function as a true gaming tablet and support for external graphics, this is one of the most versatile 2-in-1 gaming laptops around.
Razer Blade 14
Best Gaming Ultrabook
Display: 14″ QHD (2560 x 1440) 165Hz | CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX | GPU: Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti | RAM: 16GB DDR5 | Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD | Weight: 3.92 pounds | Size: 12.59″ x 8.66″ x 0.66″
Razer’s immaculate build quality elevates the Razer Blade 14 premium gaming laptop to Ultrabook status. It packs some powerful parts despite weighing under four pounds and being slightly over a half-inch thick. Of course, the 14-inch QHD display also delivers plenty of eye candy and you get tear-free gameplay at 165Hz thanks to its baked-in G-Sync support.
This machine runs on an AMD Ryzen 9 processor and Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti graphics. That combo of internals plus the16GB DDR5 RAM allows the Razer Blade 14 to cruise through even your most labor-intensive games with ease. You even get 1TB of SSD storage for speedy system boots and room for a decent gaming library. Overall, this is the perfect system if you’re looking for something small, light, and powerful.
Acer Chromebook 516 GE
Best Gaming Chromebook
Display: 16″ WQXGA (2560 x 1600) 120Hz | CPU: Intel Core i5-1240p | GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics | RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X | Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD | Weight: 3.75 pounds | Size: 14.04″ x 9.80″ x 0.84″
Chromebooks have come a long way from their simple, affordable roots, as some are now highly capable workhorses that can even handle gaming. The best example of that endurance and stellar performance is the budget-friendly Acer Chromebook 516 GE with its 12th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU that totes 12 cores and 16 threads alongside 8GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage. Unfortunately, you get an integrated graphics card to help keep the price lower, but its other internals allows this laptop to cruise through your favorite titles while Cloud gaming.
All that good under the hood pairs well with the Acer Chromebook 516 GE’s 16-inch WQXGA display featuring a 120Hz refresh rate and 100% sRGB coverage for smooth and vibrant graphics. Though, unlike many Chromebooks, it isn’t a touchscreen. However, you get multi-zone RGB lighting and anti-ghosting on the keyboard, which most gamers will appreciate, while everything is housed inside a lightweight, sturdy chassis for optimal portability.
2023 ASUS Zephyrus G14 Unboxing & First Impressions!
Where to Get the Best Gaming Laptops in the UK
We’ve managed to find the vast majority of very best gaming laptops available in the UK, with all our favourites ready and available to buy from retailers such as Amazon, while other brands can be found elsewhere such as Dell, Currys PC World, or Scan.
What to look for in a Gaming Laptop
The best gaming laptops have come a long way in relatively little time. Power, portability, and price have all seen dramatic improvements in just the last 5 years, and somehow gaming laptops are getting thinner and adding even more features.
The first thing you’ll want to ask yourself is where will you be taking this gaming laptop. If you imagine yourself taking it out every day you’ll want something portable, so you may prefer getting a 15-incher or something smaller. Users who just want a laptop to live at home as more of a desktop replacement should go for a 17-inch rig for the larger screen size and greater power.
The newest gaming laptops come equipped with the latest Nvidia RTX or Radeon RX graphics chips. These mobile chips are nearly as capable as their desktop version, plus they support the latest ray tracing and DLSS technologies.
Choosing the latest processor isn’t quite as necessary, but it’s nice to have. When shopping for a gaming laptop be sure the Intel processor has a model number of Intel Core ix-12xxxH (i.e. Intel Core i7-12700H or Intel Core i9-12900H), this denotes that it’s one of Team Blue’s latest Alder Lake H-series processors. If the gaming laptop you’re eying has an AMD processor, ensure its model number has a six or seven at the start of it—such as AMD Ryzen 7 6900HS—as it lets you know it’s one of AMD’s latest 6000-series or 7000-series processors.
The portability is a huge advantage, as is a ready-to-go display, often equipped with variable refresh rate technology or better-than-HD resolutions. The disadvantage is most gaming laptops are only as portable as the nearest electrical outlet. All that power comes at a price, after all, and while there are a few exceptions, like our top choice, the general rule of gaming laptops is battery life stinks.
Another big disadvantage a gaming laptop has compared to a gaming desktop is its price. It costs quite a lot more to stuff all those components (i.e. the built-in trackpad, keyboard, speakers, and display) into an easy-to-carry shell. When considering a gaming laptop over a gaming desktop, ask yourself, is the premium in price worth it over, and would it be cheaper to buy these all separately?
From our experience, it’s always better to stick with the least amount of memory and storage on checkout, and then upgrade it yourself with higher capacity components that are much cheaper to buy on their own. A 1TB SSD might sound tempting as it’ll help get your system boot instantly and store all your games, but a high-end upgrade like that can often cost half or a quarter as much as the whole machine.
However, upgrading leads directly to another consideration, how easy it to swap out components. Whereas it’s usually a snap to add or replace a component in your desktop rig, upgrading anything in your gaming laptop, other than RAM, will often mean having to buy a whole new computer.
Should You Buy a Gaming Laptop or a Gaming PC?
In most cases, a gaming desktop is the better choice. Gaming desktops provide more bang for your buck, are less expensive to upgrade and repair, and last longer before they go obsolete. However, if you’re looking for portability, then a gaming laptop is certainly your best bet. See our guide to gaming PCs vs. gaming laptops for more info.
Should You Buy a Steam Deck or a Gaming Laptop?
One of the biggest advantages to a gaming laptop over a gaming PC is that it offers portability. Which is also the greatest advantage of the Steam Deck over a gaming laptop. Gaming handhelds are portable and have enough power to run just about any PC game you need to. Check out our guide on the Steam Deck vs. gaming laptops for a deeper analysis.
For more helpful guides, be sure to check out our guide to the best gaming chairs, gaming desks, and the best gaming headsets.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on @baggingspam
Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.