Best Gaming Laptop 2019 – Buyer’s Guide and Laptop Reviews

Gaming laptops are a tricky subject. They pack remarkable processing power in a very compact frame and are extremely portable, yet they are also much more expensive than their desktop counterparts, all the while also lacking the customizability and the overall raw power of the latter.

Still, if you need any of the advantages that a gaming laptop offers, you will not regret investing in one!

Seeing as they come pre-built and often with very limited customization options, we have taken it upon ourselves to put together a list of the very best gaming laptops of 2019. We will take a look at several laptops, examining their features, as well as how they fare compared to one another.

Top 6 Best Gaming Laptops For 2019

LaptopScreen SizeDisplay ResolutionCPUGPURAMStorage 
15.6in1080pIntel Core i5-8300HNvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti8 GB DDR41 TB HDD
15.6in1080pIntel Core i5-8300HNvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti8GB DDR416 GB Intel Optane + 1 TB HDD
15.6in1080pIntel Core i5-8300HNvidia GeForce GTX 10608GB DDR4128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
15.6in1080pIntel Core i7-8750HNvidia GeForce GTX 106016GB DDR4256 GB SSD
15.6in1080pIntel Core i7-8750HNvidia GeForce RTX 207032GB DDR4512 GB NVMe SSD
15.6in1080pIntel Core i7-8750HNvidia GeForce RTX 208016 GB DDR4512 GB NVMe SSD

HP Pavilion

About the Laptop

To kick the list off, we have a budget-friendly solution from HP, and it’s the HP Pavilion. Even though it may be a budget laptop, it’s easy to tell that it’s a gaming product: from the angular speaker grill design to the choice of keyboard font and the Razer-esque green highlights. More importantly, the internals are what make it the most appealing for the budget-conscious gamers who are looking for a gaming laptop that won’t leave a hole in their wallet.

Specifications

CPU ModelIntel Core i5-8300H
CPU Core CountQuad-core
CPU Clock Speed2.3 GHz
GPU ModelNvidia GTX 1050 Ti
GPU VRAM4 GB GDDR5
RAM8 GB DDR4
Storage1 TB HDD
Display Resolution1920×1080
Display TypeIPS LCD
Display Refresh Rate60 Hz
Screen Size15.6 inches
Battery3-cell Li-ion
Weight4.85lb (2.2 kg)

Our Thoughts

As already mentioned in the introduction, the laptop boasts a fairly aggressive exterior, especially for a budget laptop, seeing as the gaming laptops in this price range usually go for something a little more subtle.

Now, while the aesthetics may be a matter of taste and personal preference, there’s just no denying that this laptop packs a good punch at its price tag. The powerful 8th generation i5-8300H is a quad-core CPU with 8 threads that can be clocked all the way up to 4 GHz, it has an ample 1 TB of internal storage, and 8 GB of RAM that will prove more than sufficient for gaming in 2019.

Best Gaming Laptop

As for the graphics, the mobile GTX 1050 Ti is a true testament to the capabilities of the Pascal architecture, as it is quite a bit ahead of the previous-generation Maxwell mobile GPUs and leaves Intel’s integrated graphics solutions in the dust.

Of course, while it is quite a bargain at this price, the mobile variant of the GTX 1050 Ti is hardly the best GPU out there. You can rest assured that it will be more than adequate for eSports and that it is a very competent 1080p GPU overall, but it will inevitably struggle with newer AAA titles.

At the end of the day, our only real qualm with this laptop is that HP doesn’t offer an SSD-equipped variant of this laptop, at least for the time being. With SSDs becoming increasingly more popular and affordable, some gamers would definitely appreciate the option, even if we’re talking a smaller 256 GB SSD.

What We Loved

  • Good performance in this price range
  • Sleek design
  • Great value for the money

What We Didn’t Like

  • No SSD variant

MSI GV62 8RD

About the Laptop

The next gaming laptop we have lined up comes from none other than MSI, and it is the GV62 8RD. And much like the HP laptop described above, you can tell that it’s a gaming laptop from the get-go, as it adopts an even more aggressive design, including a keyboard with red LED backlight and a conspicuous MSI Gaming logo on the back. And sure enough, it introduces some hardware improvements as well.

Specifications

CPU ModelIntel Core i5-8300H
CPU Core CountQuad-core
CPU Clock Speed2.3 GHz
GPU ModelNvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
GPU VRAM4GB GDDR5
RAM8GB DDR4
Storage16GB Intel Optane + 1TB HDD
Display Resolution1920×1080
Display TypeIPS LCD
Display Refresh Rate60 Hz
Screen Size15.6 inches
Battery 6-cell Li-Ion
Weight4.85 lb (2.2 kg)

Our Thoughts

Coming with a sleek dark grey exterior and some red highlights, the GV62 does a good job of balancing the neutral with the aggressive. But of course, you’re not buying a gaming laptop for its looks, and this one doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the internals either.

Powering it, we have the same 8th generation i5-8300H CPU that powers the above-described HP Pavilion model, and the situation on the RAM front is the same as well, with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM. Storage is handled a bit differently, though, as the laptop is available both with a 256 GB SSD and with a 16 GB Intel Optane module and 1 TB HDD combo.

Gaming Laptops

The GPU is also the very same GTX 1050 Ti, and what we’ve said about it above also holds in this case: it is a great budget GPU that is more than fit to handle a 1080p display in most cases, though it is unlikely to hold up too well with all the demanding new AAA games that are rolling in.

Ultimately, this MSI laptop is a small step up in pricing and performance compared to the HP Pavilion, the key differences being the design and the storage options. As before, we have no major issues with the laptop, though the battery life could be better and many agree that it can get a bit loud under heavy load – but as if that were anything new when gaming laptops are concerned.

What We Loved

  • Good budget laptop for 1080p gaming
  • Different storage options
  • Aggressive design with backlit keyboard

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not the best battery life
  • Fans can get loud under load

Dell G 5 15

About the Laptop

The next laptop on our list comes from none other than Dell, and it belongs to their G-series of gaming laptops. This time, it’s the Dell G 5 15, an excellent 15-inch gaming laptop that will be more than enough for most people’s needs.

Specifications

CPU ModelIntel Core i5-8300H
CPU Core CountQuad-core
CPU Clock Speed2.3 GHz
GPU ModelNvidia GeForce GTX 1060
GPU VRAM6GB GDDR5
RAM8GB DDR4
Storage128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
Display Resolution1920×1080
Display TypeIPS LCD
Display Refresh Rate60 Hz
Screen Size15.6 inches
Battery 4-cell Li-Ion
Weight6.28 lb (2.84 kg)

Review

Top Gaming Laptops

Much like the above MSI laptop, this Dell G5 model employs a simple exterior design, blending gray with dark red highlights, although it generally feels less aggressive than the GV62. It also lacks the former’s LED-backlit keyboard, though it makes up for it in other areas.

This particular Dell G5 comes with internals which are more or less identical to the more modestly-priced MSI GV62 – an i5-8300H CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1080p IPS display.

Best Gaming Laptops

Now, the areas where the Dell G5 excels are the storage and the GPU. First, there is a smallish but generally sufficient SSD and an ample 1TB HDD. Secondly and more importantly, the GPU found here is none other than the GeForce GTX 1060, which is hands-down the best mid-range GPU that Nvidia has to offer.

With that said, it should be obvious that this laptop will appeal to those who want a beefy GPU at a fairly approachable price. But of course, no laptop is without drawbacks – the laptop is on the heavy side, weighing over six pounds (almost 3 kg), so it’s not the most portable gaming laptop available. In addition to that, the battery life is not stellar here either and some users may find the SSD a tad too small for their needs.

What We Loved

  • Great GPU for 1080p gaming
  • Solid overall performance
  • Combined SSD and HDD storage

What We Didn’t Like

  • SSD may be small for some users
  • On the heavy side
  • Not the best battery life

Acer Predator Helios 300

About the Laptop

Coming up next, we have another Acer laptop, although this one is a more serious gaming-oriented solution than the Aspire E15 we took a look at in the first entry – the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a true gaming laptop, inside and out.

Specifications

CPU ModelIntel Core i7-8750H
CPU Core CountHexa-core
CPU Clock Speed2.8 GHz
GPU ModelNvidia GeForce GTX 1060
GPU VRAM6GB GDDR5
RAM16GB DDR4
Storage256 GB SSD
Display Resolution1920×1080
Display TypeIPS LCD
Display Refresh Rate144 Hz
Screen Size15.6in
Battery 4-cell Li-Ion
Weight5.95lb (2.7 kg)

Review

Top Gaming Laptop 2019

The Predator Helios 300 boasts a rather aggressive exterior, replete with red highlights and conspicuous geometric details. And much like the MSI GV62, the keyboard comes with a red LED backlight. This clearly establishes its identity as a gaming laptop at the very first glance, though what’s under the hood doesn’t disappoint either – and we should hope so, considering the price tag.

The laptop is powered by an 8th generation i7-8750H CPU that comes with a base clock speed of 2.2 GHz, although the turbo clock is a much more impressive 4.1 GHz. On the memory front, it combines an ample 16 GB of DDR4 RAM with a snappy 256 GB SSD. It is worth noting that there is also an empty 2.5-inch drive slot, in case that the SSD alone doesn’t offer enough storage for your needs.

Acer Predator Gaming Laptop

As for the GPU, it is once again the 6GB variant of the GTX 1060, just like with the above Dell G5 model, but the Helios has the advantage of a full-fledged 144 Hz IPS display that places it a clear notch above the slightly cheaper G5.

With all that said, it’s quite obvious that the Predator Helios 300 truly earns the right of being called a gaming laptop, though you’d most likely want to get an additional HDD, since 256GB can be a bit cramped based on how many games/programs you tend to have on your system drive.

Other than that, there are no major shortcomings apart from the fact that the laptop really does get quite loud when it starts heating up. Surprisingly, though, the battery life is quite decent for a laptop with such powerful hardware, though it still won’t last very long when it comes to gaming.

What We Loved

  • Ideal GPU for 1080p and 1440p gaming (on an external 1440p or higher monitor)
  • Very powerful CPU
  • 144Hz IPS display

What We Didn’t Like

  • Gets loud and hot when under load
  • May require additional storage

MSI GS65 Stealth

About the Laptop

As we get to the more advanced (and pricier) solutions, we have yet another gaming laptop from MSI, though ironically, this one looks less like a gaming laptop at first glance than the substantially cheaper GV62. The MSI GS65 Stealth is a beautiful laptop that sports a fairly inconspicuous exterior (as far as gaming products are concerned) and packs some seriously good internals.

Specifications

CPU ModelIntel Core i7-8750H
CPU Core CountHexa-core
CPU Clock Speed2.2 GHz
GPU ModelNvidia GeForce RTX 2070
GPU VRAM8 GB GDDR6
RAM32 GB DDR4
Storage512 GB SSD
Display Resolution1920×1080
Display TypeIPS
Display Refresh Rate144 Hz
Screen Size15.6 inches
Battery4-cell Li-polymer
Weight4.19lb (1.9 kg)

Our Thoughts

Though we usually expect gaming products to come with plenty of polygons and plenty of red, the MSI GS65 goes for a clean black exterior, beautiful golden highlights, and a slim frame, all of which makes it seem more like a fancy notebook than a high-end gaming laptop with beefy hardware.

Unsurprisingly, under the hood are the same excellent 8th-gen i7-8750H CPU that powers the Helios 300, complemented by a stunning 144 Hz IPS display, a spacious and lightning-fast 512 GB NVMe SSD, and a hefty 32 GB of RAM, which many will agree is something of an overkill if you only intend on using the laptop for gaming.

Good Gaming Laptops

Now, where the GS65 makes a very notable improvement is the inclusion of an RTX 2070 in place of the last-gen GTX 1060 that can be found in the Predator Helios 300. Not only does it offer more raw power, but it also supports real-time ray tracing, which is the trademark of Nvidia’s latest flagship series of GPUs.

Ultimately, the GS65 isn’t all about raw power. As we’ve mentioned already, it’s got a rather sleek frame for a product of this caliber, it’s actually a bit lighter than the average laptop, and it features a high-quality per-key RGB backlight, all of which serve to justify the laptop’s price tag.

If there was anything that we’d hold against the GS65, it’s that more variants aren’t readily available for purchase online. An ultra-fast 512 GB SSD and 32 GB of RAM are great and all, but we’re sure that there are people out there who would settle for a slower NAND SSD or 16 GB RAM paired with an RTX 2070, if it meant they could save some money.

What We Loved

  • Top-notch specs and performance
  • Clean and fairly neutral design
  • Quite slim and lightweight for a gaming laptop

What We Didn’t Like

  • 32 GB is an overkill for gaming
  • More variants would be welcome
  • Very expensive

Razer Blade

About the Laptop

And for the final entry on the list, we have a very recognizable name – Razer. For the average gamer, this name usually evokes the images of flashy RGB lighting and overpriced accessories, though many people swear by the punny Razer Blade as a top-of-the-line laptop that can more than meet the requirements of gamers and professionals alike.

Specifications

CPU ModelIntel Core i7-8750H
CPU Core CountHexa-core
CPU Clock Speed2.2 GHz
GPU ModelNvidia GeForce RTX 2080
GPU VRAM8 GB GDDR6
RAM16 GB DDR4
Storage512 GB SSD
Display Resolution1920×1080
Display TypeIPS LCD
Display Refresh Rate144 Hz
Screen Size15.6 inches
Weight4.63lb (2.1kg)

Our Thoughts

The first thing you’ll notice about the Razer Blade is that, like the MSI GS65 Stealth, it isn’t overly aggressive design-wise. There’s the Razer logo on the back, but other than that, the sleek aluminum unibody of the laptop makes it feel more like a MacBook than a powerful gaming laptop.

Inside, we have the excellent i7-8750H once again, along with a 512 GB SSD, 16 GB of RAM, a high-quality 144 Hz 1080p IPS display, and a GPU none other than the RTX 2080, all packed inside this relatively lightweight aluminum frame.

Best Budget Gaming Laptop

In addition to this configuration, Razer offers a few more versions, including laptops equipped with an RTX 2070 or RTX 2060 GPUs, 256 GB and 512 GB SSDs, and even a model with a 60 Hz 2160p display. Naturally, all of these versions have the same quality aluminum build and a responsive keyboard with Chroma RGB lighting.

Now, despite there being several different models available, even the cheapest once are quite pricey (unsurprising, considering Razer’s reputation), so the price itself really is the main issue with the Razer Blade. Nonetheless, if you want quality and are willing and able to pay for it, Razer can definitely deliver just that with these laptops.

What We Loved

  • Latest RTX GPUs
  • Top-notch build quality
  • Several configurations readily available

What We Didn’t Like

  • Extremely expensive

Should You Buy a Gaming Laptop?

thin gaming laptop

Looking at the specs of some of these laptops, you might think that they would perform as well as a desktop PC, but you’d be wrong. Not only do gaming laptops cost much more than desktops with similar hardware specifications, but they will also always lag behind in terms of raw performance.

So, why the price and performance gap?

Two reasons:

  1. It is difficult to effectively cram powerful hardware in the small chassis of a laptop
  2. It is even more difficult to make full use of that hardware, considering the limited airflow inside a compact laptop chassis

The mobile versions of CPUs and GPUs found in gaming laptops are underpowered versions of their desktop counterparts, and not only do they offer less performance at a higher price, but they also lack a very important perk that you get with a desktop PC, and that’s upgradeability.

Obviously, when it comes to a desktop PC, you can always simply swap out any of the old components for new ones, potentially selling the old hardware if it’s still functioning at the time of the upgrade. And while most laptops support RAM and storage upgrades, you will be stuck with the rest of the internals as they are.

Good Laptop For Gaming

But of course, the same advantage goes for gaming laptops as it does for every laptop, and it’s portability. What they lack in regards to raw power, they make up for by balancing power and portability extremely well, so if you need a gaming computer that you can easily carry around with you wherever you go, then a gaming laptop is still definitely worth the money.

What’s more, the performance of a laptop can further be boosted with the help of cooling pads which boost airflow and thus enhance cooling efficiency. Furthermore, a weak or outdated laptop GPU can be supplemented with an external GPU, though eGPU enclosures are quite pricey and support is still spotty at best.

In the case that you decide a desktop PC would be a better choice for your needs, check out our gaming PC building guide, as it will help you through the process and provide insight into everything you will need to put together your own personalized gaming machine.

Conclusion – The Best Gaming Laptop of 2019

Gaming Laptop Brands

With everything taken into account, our vote for the best gaming laptop of 2019 would have to go to the Acer Predator Helios 300.

Why?

True, it’s not the most powerful gaming laptop on this list, but it definitely presents the best value for your money – it comes with a great CPU and a powerful GPU that is more than capable of fully utilizing that 1080p 144 Hz display. Furthermore, while some may find its 256 GB of storage limiting, as mentioned before, it can easily be expanded. All of this makes for a very reliable and versatile laptop that will be a good match for most people’s needs.

With that, we are going to conclude this gaming laptop buying guide. Do you agree with our choice? If not, let us know which of these laptops you’d prefer and why!

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