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The best gaming laptops in 2021

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The best overall
MSI GS66 Stealth 10UH-091 
The best innovative design
The best price-quality
The best compact design
Razer Blade Pro 17
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo SE 15    
GIGABYTE AORUS 15G YC
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401QM-0141D5900HS

Gaming laptops offer similar performance to desktop PCs while having a portable design that is easy to move and store. The best gaming laptops offer features like high-capacity SSDs, powerful processors and state-of-the-art graphics cards in a compact design that's easy to take with you..

Since gaming laptops aren't as easy to upgrade as desktop PCs, it may be worth getting the best you can to last. Most of the latest gaming laptops use the Nvidia 30 series of graphics cards with the latest Ampere architecture, which should take you through generations of gaming.

There are still gaming laptops that use older 20-series graphics cards, but it may be worth grabbing a 30-series if you don't want to have to switch out soon..

Here are the best gaming laptops of 2021.

The best overall

Razer Blade Pro 17

image
Image via Razer

If you want a balance of power and productivity without having a budget limit, the Razer BladePro 17 is a serious contender. Everything from the screen to the graphics card are of the best quality and the build is very good..

One of the best features of the Razer Blade Pro is its graphics card. Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3080 can handle the biggest graphics needs and deliver maximum refresh rate.

The Razer Blade Pro 17's display uses the power of the RTX 3080 to deliver the best FPXs. The 17-inch screen has a refresh rate of 120Hz and the resolution goes up to UHD 4K 3840 × 2160. Users can also lower it to 1440p or 1080p for better FPS. Beyond resolution, the screen also has tactical compatibility and a solid Gorilla Glass surface.

All other features of the Razer Blade Pro 17 are top quality. It uses the latest Intel i7-10875H 2.3GHz processor and has 32GB of DDR4 RAM. It also includes Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 for more flexibility. Raze offered USB-C ports, 3 USB-A 3.2, HDMI 2.1, and an SD card reader.

The Blade Pro 17 follows the monochrome black design language with a logo at the top. Instead of a plastic surface like most standard laptops, the Blade Pro 17's is aluminum and has scratch-resistant finishes. Aluminum construction makes it heavier at 6 pounds. It is a little more so than the MSI GS66. 

In terms of all-round performance and design, there isn't much that can match the Razer Blade Pro 17. But its unmatched look comes at a cost. The only downside is that its price makes it inaccessible for most gamers.

The best all-rounder design

MSI GS66 Stealth 10UH-091 

image
Image by MSI via Amazon

The MSI GS66 Stealth 10UH-091 is cheaper than the Blade Pro 17 keeping the RTX 3080 graphics card. Instead of a 17 inch screen and 4K, the GS66 Stealth has a 15.6 inch screen and a Full HD 1920 × 1080 resolution. It certainly does not have 4K, but its screen offers very good display quality and good FPS thanks to its high limit of 300 Hz and its response time of 3ms.

Many features are equal to the Blade Pro 17. The GS66 Stealth has 32GB of DDR4 RAM and an Intel i7-10870H 2.2GHz processor. Still, the 2TB SSD is double the standard capacity of the Blade Pro 17. The additional storage makes this device more useful for everyday life and gaming.

The other similarity between the two PCs is the design: they are both completely black and have an aluminum body. The GS66 Stealth is smaller and lighter, making it a more mobile option.

SteelSeries provides RGB lighting on the GS66. The RGB lights per keyboard key is related to games like League of Legends  and CS: GO

In terms of connectivity, the GS66 Stealth contains all standard ports: 3 USB-A 3.2 ports, one USB-C and one HDMI. Instead of Bluetooth 5.2, it is only 5.1.

If you're looking for a state-of-the-art, versatile gaming PC, the GS66 Stealth ticks all the performance boxes, while having a slim and light design. But it also comes at a significant cost, even though it is lower than that of the Blade Pro 17.

The best innovative design

ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo SE 15    

image
Image via Asus

Asus takes an innovative approach with the dual-screen design. The ROG Zephyrus Duo SE 15 stands out with its 14-inch screen above the keyboard pad called ScreenPad Plus. The ScreenPad Plus has a 3840 × 1100 resolution with touchscreen compatibility. This is a feature that allows you to mirror the laptop display or have other windows open while playing.

The dual-screen is not the only originality of the ROG Zephyrus Duo SE 15: like the other gaming PCs mentioned, it uses the Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card. This time, it doubles as a 15.6-inch IPS screen. with 4K UHD 3840 × 2160 resolution. The screen has the impressive refresh rate of 120Hz and a response time of 3ms.

In terms of configuration, the ROG Zephyrus Duo SE 15 easily matches the other gaming PCs mentioned. It uses the fast AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor which outperforms Intel processors on the MSI GS66 Stealth and Razer Blade Pro 17, while including a 2TB NVMe SSD and 32GB of RAM.

Despite a very good performance, the ROG Zephyrus Duo SE 15 has flaws. Since the ScreenPad takes up a lot of space, the touchpad is located to the right of the keyboard and this may not be suitable for some users who will have to adapt, if they are not using a mouse.

The other flaw is the lack of a webcam, but that's the prerogative of gaming laptops, although it's very useful, especially lately.

ROG Zephyrus Duo SE 15 may be part of the laptop revolution, or have a niche design that will be forgotten. Without taking into account the power of the ScreenPad, it's still one of the best portable gaming PCs available. If you like the innovative design but don't want to pay the price for it, Asus has cheaper models, which use the RTX 3060 and RTX 3070 cards.

The best price-quality

GIGABYTE AORUS 15G YC

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Image by Gigabyte via Amazon

Gigabyte's AORUS 15G YC is much cheaper than the other PCs on this list, but without sacrificing much performance. Like the other PCs mentioned, it has an Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card. Instead of a 4K display like the ROG Zephyrus Duo SE 15 and the Razer Blade Pro, it has a 15.6-inch display with Full HD 1920 resolution. × 1080 like the GS66 Stealth. The 240Hz refresh rate is lower than the 300Hz refresh rate on the GS66 Stealth, but it can hit them well.

The performance of the AORUS 15G YC is among the highest with other more expensive PCs on the list. It has an Intel i7-10870H processor and 32GB of RAM. The 1TB NVMe SSD is equal to that of the Razer Blade Pro 17, but with half the capacity of the ROG Zephyrus Duo SE 15 and GS66 Stealth.

The placement of the webcam is an odd design choice. Instead of being above the screen like the others, he is below. The placement offers an unsavory angle of view and the image quality is not crazy.

But the other aspects of the design make more sense. The AORUS 15G YC has an all-black look with 3 USB-A 2.3 ports, USB-C, Mini DisplayPort 1.4 and card reader. It might be disappointing to see a single USB-C port on the AORUS 15G YC, but the SD card reader and mini DisplayPort make up for its absence. Connectivity options include built-in Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. 

Beyond the annoying webcam, the AORUS 15G YC is a great all-rounder for a competitive price.

The best compact design

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401QM-0141D5900HS

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Image by Asus via Amazon

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is one of the best options for a compact gaming laptop. It's smaller and lighter than the others on the list, making it perfect for playing on the go. The downside to this better portability is the reduced performance.

One of the main differences between the ROG Zephyrus G14 and the other laptops on this list is the screen size. Instead of a 15.6 or 17 inch screen, it is only 14 inches. It has a low refresh rate of 60Hz and a WQHD 2560 × 1440 resolution.

The other big difference is the graphics card. All of the other portable gaming PCs on the list use the Nvidia RTX 3080, but the ROG Zephyrus G14 uses its little sister, the RTX 3060. The RTX 3060 uses the same Ampere architecture as the 3080, with minimal performance drop.

Despite its compact size, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 has a similar AMD Ryzen 9-5900 processor to the OG Zephyrus Duo SE 15. The AMD Ryzen 9-5900HS offers very good performance and its low power consumption contributes to the good battery life. 8 hours of battery life. It also has 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.

Most people choose the ROG Zephyrus G14 for its design. It is light and small compared to the others, and its silver design sets it apart from the rest by giving a Macbook vibe.

There are a few drawbacks to this compact size. The ROG Zephyrus G14 does not have a built-in webcam, but does come with a 1080p and 60FPS webcam. It only has 2 USB-A ports compared to the 3 of most others on the list. There are at least 2 USB-C ports to make up for the lack of the extra USB-A.

The ROG Zephyrus G14 is much more affordable than the other options on the list thanks to its size and configuration. Its mobility is excellent, but at the cost of poorer performance in terms of graphics.

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