The best affordable gaming laptop changes a lot throughout the year. The early days of mobile gaming were largely desktop replacements — clunky chassis, multiple power bricks, and RGB lighting galore. But the top contenders now are different. Manufacturers are finally putting powerful specs in thin gaming machines: sleeker, more portable, and more professional builds. They have excellent, fast refreshing screens that are necessary for a great gaming experience. These laptops aren’t just great for gaming, but for everyday work as well.
The best gaming laptop of 2024 is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. It can handle the most demanding games on the market today, it’s portable, and it also makes a great daily driver. Other good options are the Razer Blade 16 and the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro.
Best laptop 2024: 15 best laptops you can buy
best affordable laptop for gaming
One more thing to keep in mind is the power you can expect. Not all chips with the same name are created equal — the RTX 3070 in one laptop may not deliver the same frame rates as the RTX 3070 in another laptop due to its wattage (as well as other factors like the processor and cooling). Nvidia now requires companies to disclose clock speeds and graphics power on each model’s product page, but plenty of manufacturers haven’t done that yet.
Out of the many gaming laptops we test each year, here are the ones that make the list. If you’re looking for a more multipurpose device, check out our best laptop page. If you’re an Android gamer, we’ve also got a list of the best Chromebooks you can buy.
What we’re looking for
Value: Gaming laptops are expensive overall, but we’re still looking for devices that offer great value for their asking price. The more expensive a device, the more exceptional it has to be to make it on here.
Frame rates: We like gaming laptops that can run the latest and greatest titles at their highest settings, without requiring any compromises to quality or resolution.
Screen: We like high resolutions that make games look vivid, and we like high refresh rates that can showcase the full power of a gaming laptop’s chips.
Port selection: Laptops with very few ports are okay in some categories, but not on this page. Gamers often need to plug peripherals like mice, keyboards, and monitors into their devices. We expect the best gaming laptops to accommodate them.
Best Affordable Laptops for Gaming and School
Storage: Gaming laptops need more storage than other PC categories, since games take up a lot of space. At least 512GB is a must; at least 1TB is ideal.
We try to keep our picks as current as possible, but we may include an older device over its newer generation if we feel that the newer generation is a significant downgrade. We rarely recommend devices that are more than two years old.
Best Gaming Laptops
1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14↴
The best gaming laptop
The ROG Zephyrus G14 is an astonishingly powerful gaming laptop. Its AMD Ryzen 9 processor and GeForce RTX 3060 can push powerful, smooth graphics performance in games with its QHD display while also being surprisingly efficient for other tasks. Find the best affordable gaming laptops for sale in 2024 at TOB. Check out the best affordable laptops for gaming and school.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS / GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6700S / RAM: 8GB / Storage: 1TB / Display: 14-inch IPS, 2560 x 1600, 120Hz, no touch option / Dimensions: 12.28 x 8.94 x 0.73/ Weight: 3.64 pounds
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is the best gaming laptop for its price.
There are a couple configurations, and you should make sure that you’re buying the $1,649.99 SKU with the 6700S GPU. We feel that this model, specifically, is the best 14-inch gaming laptop you can buy.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is the best gaming laptop of 2024. Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
This is a great device for travel and commute gaming, at just 3.79 pounds and 0.77 inches thick. It comes with a great keyboard, touchpad, port selection, and screen. The frame rates it produced in our testing were solid, and we didn’t see a huge difference in performance between the 6700S and 6800S models. We also got all-day battery life, which you don’t see in too many gaming laptops these days. Oh, and there’s even a webcam.
If you are interested in having an animated grid of colored lights on your computer, you can also pay more for a model that has Asus’s AniMe Matrix. We don’t think these models offer particularly good value for their price, but they do have some cute benefits – you can customize them to display words or images of your choice, and there’s a virtual pet on it that you can play with. Regardless, if you’re looking for a 14-inch laptop with powerful gaming chops that can double as a daily driver, this device should top your list.
Read our Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review.
2. Razer Blade 16↴
The best dual-mode gaming laptop
The Razer Blade 16 is the best laptop for playing the most demanding games on the market, offering a 16-inch Mini LED display, an RGB keyboard, and hardcore chips from Intel and Nvidia. It’s just not cheap.
CPU: Intel Core i9-13980HX, Core i9-13950HX / GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 4060, RTX 4070, RTX 4080, RTX 4090 / RAM: 16GB, 32GB / Storage: 1TB / Display: 16-inch Mini-LED, Dual UHD/FHD+, 120Hz/240Hz / Dimensions: 13.98 x 9.61 x 0.87 inches / Weight: 5.4 pounds
If you want your games to look as gorgeous as they possibly can, the Razer Blade 16 is worth considering. The Blade comes with an optional Mini LED screen that can swap between native UDH Plus / 120Hz and FHD Plus/ 240Hz modes with one click.