Most Powerful Gaming Laptops of 2021
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Discover the must-have and most powerful gaming laptops for the ultimate gaming experience on any budget.
Back in the day, choosing a gaming laptop involved a lot of compromise. You could find a light, portable gaming laptop with mediocre performance. Or, you could go for an absolute gaming beast that was nearly as heavy and bulky as a PC. Today’s gaming laptops are very different and there are more options available than ever. Manufacturers are packing powerful specs into slim, sleek, and portable builds. In this article, we’ve compiled the most powerful gaming laptops of 2021, so you can find the perfect machine that suits your needs. Also, check out our piece on QHD vs FHD for gaming laptops that will help you pick the right screen option.
Things to Consider
Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of a matter, let’s take a look at some of the things you should keep in mind when shopping for a gaming laptop.
- Power vs. portability. If you plan on playing highly demanding games at home and on a desk and won’t be moving your laptop around too much, then a bulkier, more powerful machine would be your best bet. However, if you want to carry your laptop around and play on-the-go, then thinner, lighter laptop could be for you. Please note that “thinner” doesn’t necessarily mean “less powerful.”
- You can upgrade parts later. You don’t need to get the best specs possible at the time of purchase, especially if you’re a beginner gamer. Most manufacturers will let you add more memory and a bigger hard drive or SSD later on, if you decide that you need an upgrade.
- Don’t expect an impressive battery life. Even the most powerful gaming laptops will most likely have an unremarkable battery life. Very few gaming machines will get 8 hours or more on a single charge, so don’t get too far away from the power supply. Hopefully in the future this won’t be an issue.
- Usage. Many people buy gaming laptops for purposes other than gaming. Since these machines are so powerful, they are great for such professional tasks as video rendering or industrial design. Gaming laptops are usually more expensive than regular business notebooks, so it’s worth investing into a machine that can double as a gaming and work laptop.
Most powerful gaming laptop: MSI GS66 Stealth
If James Bond was a gamer, he would probably choose this laptop. MSI took a bold approach to design with this model, eliminating all color accents and leaving stylish and sophisticated Core Black aluminum chassis. Even the signature dragon logo, which is usually done in a bright color, now has a sleek semi-gloss matte. The MSI GS66 Stealth is equipped with the 10th Gen Intel Core i9 processor that provides more than enough power for high-level gaming, photo editing, and demanding work tasks. The laptop has fast-paced screen, great connectivity, and a better-than-average battery life (for a gaming device) and is especially fitting for competitive gamers.
Most powerful gaming laptop: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Asus managed to create one of the most powerful gaming laptops with unbeatable portability. The manufacturer claims that ROG Zephyrus G14 is “the world’s most powerful 14-inch Windows 10 Pro gaming laptop.” With up to an 8-core AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS CPU and GeForce RTX™ 2060 GPU, this device sounds almost too good to be true. The Zephyrus G14 is very well built, has good battery life and audio, and also proves that Intel doesn’t have to be the go-to chip for impressive performance. In terms of display, you have a choice between either a 120Hz gaming display or high-resolution WQHD panel. If you want a slightly bigger screen, check out Asus Zephyrus G15.
Most powerful gaming laptop: Alienware Area 51M R2
If portability is not a critical issue, then the Alienware Area 51M R2 gaming laptop might be for you. It sacrifices mobility due to its heavy weight and big screen, but offers top-notch components similar to a desktop gaming computer. This is Alienware’s first-ever laptop to have overclockable 10th Gen IntelCore i9K desktop processors, support for up to 125W of power, and 10-core desktop CPU options, making it one of the most powerful gaming laptops out there. Users can choose between NVIDIAGeForce RTX graphics and AMD Radeon graphics. Pair it with the vivid 360Hz 17-inch FHD display and you’ve got yourself the ultimate gaming machine.
Most powerful gaming laptop: Acer Nitro 5
If you’re looking for a wallet-friendly, yet powerful gaming laptop, Acer Nitro 5 would be your best choice. At CES 2021, Acer announced new iterations of the Nitro 5 laptop, featuring upgrades in graphics, display, and processing. There are 15.6-inch and 17-inch versions available, with the latest Intel 11th Gen Core H35-series processors or AMD’s Ryzen 5000-series CPUs. With regards to display, both size options of the Nitro 5 can be configured with a 1440p display with a fast 165Hz refresh rate or a 1080p screen with a 360Hz refresh rate. As you can see, this gaming laptop has a lot to offer, at a very reasonable price. The base 15-inch model with 8GB of RAM, AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor, and 256GB SSD is available for only $750.
Most powerful gaming laptop: Razer Blade Pro 17
Razer takes gaming very seriously, as proven by its impressive lineup of gaming laptops. The Razer Blade Pro 17 really stands among other Razer laptops, though the powerful specs don’t come cheap. The machine is equipped with an eight-core Intel Core i7-10875H processor and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q graphics, delivering an outstanding gaming experience. It’s a premium gaming laptop that doubles as a powerful workstation that will breeze through your most intense tasks. Also, it’s surprisingly portable for a 17-inch laptop. So, if your budget allows and you’re looking for a powerful gaming machine that’s still portable, the Razer Blade Pro 17 is your best bet. If you don’t mind a smaller screen, check out Razer Blade 15 Advanced.
Most powerful gaming laptop: HP Omen 15
Last year, HP has revamped its lineup of Omen gaming laptops, and we’re certainly intrigued. HP Omen 15 caught our eye with its sleek, modern design and options for AMD Ryzen processors, along with Intel. It has strong gaming performance, great audio and video quality, and a clear, anti-glare display. Users can configure this machine with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q graphics and an Intel Core i7 H-series or AMD Ryzen 7 H-series processors. HP offers up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB SSD, as well as a display choice between an OLED panel, a UHD 120 Hz panel, or an FHD 300 Hz panel. All in all, this gaming laptop delivers a compelling mix of powerful CPU, classy and subtle design, and decent battery life, making it a strong contender for the title of the most powerful gaming laptop.
Most powerful gaming laptop: Dell G5 15
In addition to Alienware, Dell has its own line of gaming laptops. The Dell G5 15 checks out a lot of boxes when it comes to gaming performance, design, price and portability. If you’re an entry-level or mainstream gamer, this laptop is for you. With a wide variety of component options at reasonable prices, you can build the perfect gaming laptop that will suit your gaming (and possibly work) needs. Most configurations come with an Intel six-core Core i7-8750H CPU, which delivers good power and performance. So, if you’re looking for the most performance for your dollar, look no further.
Modern gaming laptops offer the kind of gaming power and performance that was previously available only to desktop gamers. The main advantage of a gaming laptop versus a gaming desktop is that you can carry it around. The most powerful gaming laptops tend to be more expensive than more general-purpose laptops due to their advanced specifications. However, no matter what your budget is, there are plenty of gaming laptops out there at various price points. Hopefully this guide will help you pick the right device depending on your needs. Also, don’t forget that you can easily do laptop trade in for cash with Gadget Salvation!