Best Gaming Laptop Windows Central 2019

The Razer Blade 15 has the right combination of power, style, and display to make it our top pick over the albeit impressive range of gaming laptops on the market today.

Best Overall Razer Blade 15

With up to a NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics card (GPU), 15.6-inch FHD display with 144Hz refresh rate, Intel Core i7-8750H processor (CPU), 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD), you won't have any issues getting an amazing gaming experience from the Razer Blade 15. It might run hot, but that's expected from something this thin (0.70 inches!) with this much power.

There are likewise 4K display options with a 60Hz refresh rate if you'd like a higher resolution, and no matter what you choose, you get the same attractive slim bezel and perfect color reproduction. The RGB keyboard can be customized for extra style, and the laptop has an enormous Precision touchpad for use when you don't have an external gaming mouse connected.

Ports include Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, Thunderbolt 3, and USB-A 3.1, allowing you to easily hook up an external display and a few other accessories if you'd like to use the Blade 15 as the centerpiece to a gaming battlestation. Keep an eye out for updated 2019 models that include 9th Gen Intel Core CPUs and NVIDIA RTX graphics.

Pros

  • Gorgeous 4K and FHD display options
  • Insane gaming performance
  • Slim, premium build
  • Decent port selection
  • Enormous Precision touchpad

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Runs hot

Our Pick

Razer Blade 15

The ultimate gaming Ultrabook

If you're looking for the best combination of style, design, and performance, the Razer Blade 15 is your best bet … as long as you have room in your budget.

Best Value: Lenovo Legion Y7000

The Legion Y7000 lineup focuses on crucial performance, cutting out some other features to keep the price down. There's no customizable RGB lighting, no overclocking options, and no Thunderbolt 3, but it nevertheless delivers a proper gaming experience. You get a 15.6-inch, 1080p display with great color reproduction and a 60Hz refresh rate, a full keyboard with number pad, and a Precision touchpad.

All the ports needed for your accessories are here, including three USB-A 3.1, USB-C, HDMI, Ethernet, and Mini DisplayPort. This laptop can easily be used as a centerpiece for a grounded workstation, and at 5.1 pounds it can certainly be toted along with you when you meet up with friends for a LAN party.

Inside is an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB of dual-channel RAM, a 256GB PCIe SSD coupled with a 1TB hard-disk drive (HDD), and an NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM. You won't be pushing 4K with this laptop, but it will certainly deliver a satisfying 1080p experience with most modern games.

Pros

  • Colorful 1080p display
  • Price to performance ratio
  • Fast PCIe SSD
  • RAM, SSD, HDD can be upgraded
  • Plenty of ports

Cons

  • Webcam below display
  • Average battery life

Best Value

Lenovo Legion Y7000

NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU and hexa-core Intel CPU

Lenovo's Legion Y7000 is a worthwhile alternative to the Legion 700 series, focusing more on power than on extra features that don't contribute to overall performance.

Best Style: MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

MSI's GS65 Stealth Thin is aptly named. It's just 0.7 inches (17.9mm) thin and has a very thin bezel around the outstanding display, altogether weighing in at about 4.1 pounds (1.88kg). The 15.6-inch FHD display has superb color reproduction in both the sRGB and AdobeRGB color spaces, and it has a 144Hz refresh rate and 7ms response time for smooth gaming.

The RGB keyboard is comfortable and is complemented by a Precision touchpad, and while gaming there are plenty of ports, including Thunderbolt 3, three USB-A 3.1, Ethernet, HDMI, and Mini DisplayPort, to hook up a monitor and your other accessories. Around the touchpad is a gold accent that matches the rest of the laptop.

For GPU options, choose from NVIDIA GTX 1060, GTX 1070, or RTX 2070, and get an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU for outstanding performance. This hardware is complemented by up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB PCIe SSD.

Pros

  • Thin, lightweight design
  • 144Hz refresh rate, 7ms response time
  • Thunderbolt 3 port
  • RGB keyboard
  • Beautiful look with gold accent

Cons

  • Runs hot
  • Not easily upgradeable

Best Style

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

Beautiful style, great performance

If you like your gaming laptop thin and without much of the extra bulk often associated with these devices, check out MSI's GS65 Stealth Thin. It's quite slim, but it still maintains gaming performance.

Best 15-Inch: Alienware m15

Alienware is synonymous with gaming laptops, and if you're in the market for a 15-inch device with tons of performance and noticeable style, check out the m15. It has an aggressive design that keeps the chassis relatively thin, and it's built from a magnesium alloy for durability and a premium feel.

The 15.6-inch FHD display is available with a 144Hz refresh rate and has vivid color, though the bezel is rather thick. Still, with up to an NVIDIA RTX 2070 GPU and an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8760H CPU, you're going to have a great time playing modern games at a high framerate. Battery life is above average for gaming laptops, so you'll be able to go longer without needing to plug in.

Ports include three USB-A 3.1, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, and Alienware's Graphics Amplifier connection, which can be used to hook up to an external GPU for even more performance.

Pros

  • Great port selection
  • RTX GPU options
  • Aggressive design
  • Outstanding display
  • Above-average battery life

Cons

  • Thick bezel

Best 15-Inch

Alienware m15

Recognizable style

Alienware's m15 has an aggressive look that many gamers love, backed up by a knockout 15.6-inch 144Hz display and NVIDIA RTX graphics options.

Best 17-Inch: Lenovo Legion Y740 17

The 17-inch Legion Y740 is a big, powerful laptop that's competitively priced. The laptop remains cool under extended load without throttling, the fans are noticeably loud but remain consistent when the laptop needs cooling, and while it gets hot under the keyboard and on the back panel, it can stay on your lap without too much discomfort. Battery life isn't at all great, clocking in at about an hour of playtime before needing a charge, but that's expected with the performance the Y740 offers.

The 17-inch FHD display has a 144Hz refresh rate and G-Sync compatibility, plus it has great sRGB color reproduction for a vivid picture. The bezel is thicker than other options, but once the game starts it fades away next to the enormous screen.

As for performance hardware, get an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB PCIe SSD for outstanding power that will take modern games to a high framerate. This is all contained in a quality chassis that remains relatively thin and lightweight for the size.

Pros

  • RAM, HDD, SSD upgradeable
  • 144Hz G-Sync display
  • RGB lighting
  • Ridiculous power

Cons

  • Poor touchpad
  • Poor battery

Best 17-Inch

Lenovo Legion Y740 17

High-end gaming on a huge display

If you're in the market for a 17-inch laptop with NVIDIA RTX graphics, the Legion Y740 can deliver it for a price that's less than a lot of the competition.

Thin Performance: Acer Predator Triton 500

Acer's Predator Triton 500 contains inside its 0.7-inch chassis up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPU, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and two 512GB SSDs. That's quite impressive, and it's enough power to keep you from running into any issues when playing modern games on Ultra settings. Battery life is understandably not great considering all the hardware on offer, but that's the performance tradeoff.

The 15.6-inch display has a 1920x1080 resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, and G-Sync compatibility for a smooth, tear-free experience, and there's hardly any bezel around the screen which only adds to the thin look. The RGB keyboard and touchpad are both comfortable to use, and there are plenty of ports for hooking up external accessories, including Thunderbolt 3, three USB-A 3.1, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, and Ethernet.

Pros

  • Outstanding performance
  • G-Sync display with 144Hz refresh rate
  • Thin, premium design
  • RGB keyboard
  • Tons of ports

Cons

  • Poor battery life

Thin Performance

Acer Predator Triton 500

Lean machine with superb power

Acer's Predator lineup is undeniably thin and powerful, with up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPU and 8th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU. And it's all displayed on a knockout display with 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time.

Unique Touchpad: ASUS ROG Zephyrus S

Unlike the other laptops in this list, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S places its touchpad to the right of the RGB keyboard, with the entire combo moved down to run along the bottom edge. This leaves the upper portion of the deck free to house up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPU and cooling system that delivers unreal gaming performance. The touchpad has an alternate mode that turns it into a number pad, just in case you're looking to do some accounting between gaming sessions.

The 15.6-inch FHD display hits a 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time for smooth visuals, and there's hardly any bezel to get in the way. Along with powerful GPU options, the Zephyrus S includes an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and up to a 512GB PCIe SSD, delivering all-around power no matter what game you want to tackle.

This laptop is just 0.62 inches thick and 4.6 pounds, yet it keeps a decent range of ports, including two USB-C 3.1, three USB-A 3.0, and HDMI. There's no Ethernet port, but that can be alleviated with a proper USB-C adapter.

Pros

  • Plenty of configuration options
  • Touchpad doubles as numpad
  • Thin bezel around 144Hz display
  • Just 0.62 inches thick

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • No Ethernet

Unique Touchpad

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S

Power and unique design

With up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPU and 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S brings power and a unique keyboard and touchpad setup.

Bottom line

Although there are plenty of quality gaming laptops on the market, the Razer Blade 15 is our top overall pick thanks to outstanding design, knockout display, and the performance hardware options to deliver a superb gaming experience.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Cale Hunt Cale Hunt is a staff writer at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on PC, laptop, and accessory coverage, as well as the emerging world of VR. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.

Daniel Rubino is executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.

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