What’s the best gaming laptop in 2021? The range of impressive gaming laptops has grown enormously in the last few years. There are now many Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 gaming laptops or gaming laptops with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900 CPU. Whereas you almost always had to go for a desktop for top performance in the past, there are now numerous gaming laptops available with fantastic specifications.
In this overview, we tell you what the best gaming laptops in 2021 are. We do not only pay attention to performance but also design and ease of use. Think of the presence of HDMI 2.1, USB-A, and USB-C, the quality of the trackpad and the keyboard, and more.
Every gaming laptop on this list has a special strength. Have fun reading through this list, and be sure to let us know when you buy a model!
The best gaming laptops in 2021
Razer Blade Pro 17
Razer is a gaming brand through and through: you will regularly find the brand on our lists of the best wireless gaming headsets in 2021 and the best gaming keyboards in 2021. The Razer Blade Pro 17 is also a powerful gaming laptop.
First and foremost, the design is wonderful. The keyboard sits smack in the middle of the chassis, with a stylish amount of black space. The beautiful Razer logo on the back and the RGB lighting are just about the only real ‘gamey’ elements. A very thin border around the screen completes the design.
That thin bezel is all the more pleasant because this screen has vibrant colors, an excellent black gamut for shadows, and extremely smooth moving images. A very nice touch: you can also operate this 4K 120Hz screen with touch.
Our review sample was equipped with a Core i7 10875H, GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, and a 1TB SSD. With that configuration, the Razer Blade Pro 17 performs at the top of its price range. Only gaming laptops with an Intel Core i9 did better.
As a very nice extra, Razer is one of the few laptop makers that also clearly pay attention to audio. The speakers of the Blade Pro 17 are on both left and right, have excellent audio quality, and can also go very loud.
ASUS TUF DASH F15
The ASUS TUF DASH F15 cannot be beaten in terms of price-quality terms of the gaming laptop. You can get started with the best configuration for a very affordable price. It combines an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card with an Intel Core i7-11370H, 16GB RAM, and a 1 terabyte SSD.
This laptop is also perfect for those who like to play competitive games. The 1080p screen supports a refresh rate of up to 240Hz, ideal for competitive games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Valorant. Finally, ASUS screens measure a response time of just 3ms, making them among the fastest of all gaming laptops.
Of course, at this low price, there are some caveats. The Intel CPU is somewhat disappointing: it does not achieve the highest frame rates in games, and this is also not a great CPU for video production. Both the trackpad and keyboard are mediocre.
The screen itself scores average in brightness but struggles with a low contrast ratio (930:1). The TUF DASH F15 will also not win any beauty awards, with its somewhat dated design. Finally, keep in mind that this gaming laptop gets very hot.
And yet, with such an extremely low price point, the ASUS TUF DASH F15 is very impressive. You get strong performance and an impressive screen for a very reasonable price. Especially for those who like to play eSports games, this model is ideal. This is simply the best value for money you can find in a gaming laptop.
Gigabyte AERO 15
Looks are not everything with hardware, but the Gigabyte AERO 15 is a real eye-catcher. The tasteful markings, the stylish ‘AERO’ logo, and especially the sparkling screens immediately draw your attention. This is a ‘prosumer’ laptop intended for both gaming and those involved in visual content creation.
That translates into a beautiful 15-inch AMOLED screen that supports 4K resolutions and refresh rates up to 144Hz. The colors of this screen are also magnificent. You have a very wide color gamut, and HDR comes into its own, with beautiful contrasts between light and dark.
Ease of use for those who work on the go is also impressive: you get three USB 3.2 Gen1 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, a mini DP 1.4 port, and an SD card reader. Under the hood, we started working with a model equipped with an Intel 10th Gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, and a GeForce RTX 2070 Super. The results have always been flawless.
The only downside to the AERO 15 is the unfortunate placement of the charging point and webcam. Charging is done on the right, near where your mouse is. As a result, your mouse sometimes accidentally bumps the charging cable, which can be very annoying. The low placement of the webcam on the torso of the laptop itself is also a bit annoying. However, these are minor drawbacks for a very nice and very impressive laptop.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 is a very special laptop. Working with a second screen has become second nature to many people, but with the Zephyrus Duo 15, you no longer have to combine a separate monitor with your laptop. This gaming laptop contains a second screen that is built-in under the main screen.
The main screen is a 15 inch 4K 60Hz display (a 1080p 300Hz screen is also available), while the second screen is a 14 inch IPS panel with 3840×1100 resolution. As soon as you open the laptop, this second screen slides upwards at an angle of 15 degrees. This also ensures that the Intel Core i9 10980HK CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q get enough ventilation.
It cannot be overstated how useful this second screen is and how the automatic scrolling to the 15-degree angle makes it not just a gimmick but effectively an essential feature.
There are a few minor comments. The second screen has an aspect ratio of about 31: 9, so you have to scroll a lot when you read text. The trackpad of this laptop is, out of necessity, placed on the laptop’s right side, so it’s better to use a mouse. Finally, the built-in keyboard is far from bad, but certain buttons are in unexpected places (such as Print Screen at the bottom), and the keyboard is a bit too small to allow high-speed typing.
There are quite a few ports available: a USB-C Thunderbolt port, two USB-Axis, and two 3.5mm inputs (!) On both sides. You will find a gigabit ethernet connection at the back of the laptop, an HDMI port, and another USB-A port. With the 90Wh battery, you can expect about six hours of normal use and an hour if you game intensively.
Thanks to the laptop’s strong specs, you can expect frame rates between 120fps and 140fps in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – with the resolution at 4K and the highest settings! Please note that the combination of Core i9 10980HK and GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q provides a lot of heat and noise.
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 (2021)
The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 (2021) doesn’t bother with it: this is a gaming laptop through and through designed for the very best performance. Our review sample was the top model in the renewed line with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card, an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU (as opposed to the Intel CPUs of the 2020 models), 32 GB DDR4, 2TB of NVMe SSD, and a 300Hz 1080p screen.
You get three USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C input, a port for HDMI 2.0b, and an RJ-45 port for an Ethernet cable from a practical point of view. Only the lack of an HDMI 2.1 port and a webcam is a shame.
However, the real asset of the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 is its keyboard. After all, this is a mechanical keyboard that allows you to type faster and provides wonderful feedback. A mechanical keyboard on a laptop does not happen very often, and that is how this gaming laptop easily distinguishes itself from the competition.
Also, it is a mustache in terms of audio, with a powerful quality and a very loud volume. Finally, this is just a very nice device, with RGB lighting that knows how to be tasteful and fine, small asymmetrical pieces.