Let's be honest, the power that's packed into a gaming laptop today is much more significant than it was even a couple of years ago. Along with making lighter machines with immense battery capabilities, we're also seeing the level of realism in our games increasing all of the time. The problem is, to benefit from these new and improved features, there's often a price tag attached to those machines that most of us simply can't stretch to.
Before you even begin looking at your next laptop purchase, it is worth considering the price that suits your budget, and go from there to decide which model ticks all the right boxes for you.
Our guide to the best gaming laptops of this year isn't based on the most expensive machines but instead focuses on those with the capability to run games impressively while not having to spend the earth on a device. So what are our favorites?
1) Our favorite laptop of the year: Razer Blade 15
Although it might not fit the descriptor of the smallest 15-inch notebook at the time of writing, the Razer Blade 15 started as the smallest laptop with a 15-inch screen size ever to hit the market and currently retails around $1950. An Nvidia Max-Q GPU combined with an intel i7 processor makes this ultra-thin (0.68 inches thick( laptop a worthy contender to play all your favorite titles.
Even though the screen size boasts an impressive 15 inches, the bezels are super sleek, making the actual size of the notebook an overall 14-inches wide. The aesthetics used for the shell of the laptop casing deliver a truly superior feel. The glass touchpad is a great size, which is excellent for gaming and general computing tasks. The RGB keyboard looks fantastic, with the usual QWERTY layout being given a revamp.
2) MSI GS65 Stealth Thin
Weighing in at a minuscule 4.14 pounds is the GS65 Stealth at just 0.69 inches in thickness. Every configuration comes with a stable 144Hz refresh rate, although you'd need to lower the graphics settings to benefit even with the GTX 1070 model.
A fast and snappy keyboard comes packed in to allow quick typing and rapid prompts for in-game advantages. A plastic touchpad isn't the greatest, with onboard speakers that you might prefer to be without. You can pick up the lightweight powerhouse for around $1100.
3) Lenovo Legion Y740
Although this laptop doesn't offer the singing and dancing RGB effects of other laptops in our list, it does boast GPUs up to a GeForce RTX 2080 at the top end of the scale. Style-wise, the keyboard uses Corsair iCUE technology, which means it isn't too dissimilar in style to Lenovo's non-gaming laptops. An aluminum chassis makes up the bland grey exterior, which is by no means a bad design to start PC gaming, considering the tech that's under the hood. Okay, you might get a shinier piece of kit by adding an extra 30% to the price, but this is a bargain machine offering Nvidia G-Sync adaptive sync technology as standard. Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision HDR is also included for around $2000.
4) Acer Predator Triton 500
For approximately $1,799, gets its premium price tag from the excellent frame rates it can produce, rather than a flashy chassis that other lappies might offer. Shadow of the Tomb raider can handle around 83fps with ease at the highest graphics level, with the same graphics setup in Metro Exodus it'll be able to squeeze to about 56fps. The battery is relatively weak, managing to stretch to around 3 hours playing a Triple-A title consistently. It is easy to carry around in a standard backpack, weighing in at 4.41 pounds, making it ideal for portability. The Triton 500 is available for about $2000.