Best Gaming Laptops as of May 2021

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Need a decent, dependable machine to game on the go? Here are our top recommendations for gaming laptops for May 2021. We handpicked them based on the criteria below (by priority):

  1. Price-to-performance ratio – How competitive the price is relative to the specs
  2. Cooling – How well the laptop can keep itself cool under heavy loads
  3. Build quality – The overall sturdiness and durability of the laptop
Budget (below $700, GTX 1650 or better)Acer Nitro 5 (i5 9300H + GTX 1650)Check price on Amazon
Mid-range (GTX 1660 Ti or better)Lenovo Legion 5 (Ryzen 7 4800H + RTX 2060 115W)Check price on Amazon
Thin-and-light (below 4 lbs)Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (Ryzen 9 4900HS + RTX 2060 Max-Q)Check price on Amazon
Upper mid-range (RTX 2070 or better)Acer Predator Helios 300 (i7 10750H + RTX 3060 90-100W)Check price on Amazon
High-end (RTX 2080 or better)Gigabyte Aero 15 (i7 10870H + RTX 3070 90-105W)Check price on Amazon

Best budget gaming laptop: Acer Nitro 5 (i5 9300H + GTX 1650)

When it comes to budget gaming laptops, there’s just no beating the Acer Nitro 5, period. Its highly competitive price, coupled with decent cooling and build quality (unlike the Asus TUF laptops) makes the Nitro 5 series very popular among entry-level laptop gamers. Also, despite the slightly outdated processor (i5 9300H), rest assured, it is capable of playing pretty much any game out there on 1080p medium-high settings at a solid 60 fps.


  • Great price
  • Decent cooling
  • Decent build quality for the price
  • 8 hour battery life


  • Mediocre 60Hz display
  • Poor speakers
  • Outdated CPU
  • Plentiful room for storage upgrades (2x NVMe SSDs, 1x 2.5″ HDD/SSD)

Best mid-range gaming laptop: Lenovo Legion 5 (Ryzen 7 4800H + RTX 2060 115W)

The sleek-looking, business-like Lenovo Legion 5 is widely considered to be the best AMD gaming laptop of 2020. With a mighty 8-core 16-thread 4800H and RTX 2060 supercharged at 115W, this laptop will effortlessly run all but the most demanding games at max settings in FHD smoothly. Sadly, the even more powerful 2021 Legion 5 with 5800H + 3060 is currently only released in selected regions, as such it is currently not available on at the time of writing. Still, this 2020 Legion 5 will surely not disappoint and is more than capable of handling pretty much everything you throw at it.


  • Great performance
  • Good cooling despite the beefy specs and form factor
  • Rock-solid build quality despite being 100% plastic
  • Excellent 144Hz color-accurate screen


  • Price could be better
  • Outdated CPU and GPU pending release

Best thin-and-light gaming laptop: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (Ryzen 9 4900HS + RTX 2060 Max-Q)

It is hard finding a thin-and-light gaming laptop that doesn’t have thermal issues. It is even harder to find one with a 14″ screen. The Zephyrus G14 is all that, and more. Sporting a Ryzen 9 4900HS and RTX 2060 Max-Q, the G14 is much more powerful than it looks. The build quality department isn’t lacking either, having being built with a magnesium-aluminium chassis. To top it all off, the laptop’s price is just hovering around the $1000 mark (at the time of writing). Of course, the laptop isn’t without flaws. The fans pulsate even on idle and run loud and high-pitched under load.

Note: The refreshed 2021 G14 with 5900HS + RTX 3060 60W appears to already gone on sale on Amazon, but we still recommend the 2020 G14 as there isn’t much difference in performance between the two as much as the price.


  • Attractive pricing
  • Exceptional performance for a 14″ laptop
  • Effective cooling with low surface temps
  • All metal chassis, excellent build quality


  • Loud, high-pitched fans when gaming
  • 120Hz screen response times could be better
  • Only one upgradeable RAM slot (the other is soldered 8GB)
  • Storage limited to just one NVMe SSD
  • Outdated CPU and GPU (latest G14 is currently overpriced)

Best upper mid-range gaming laptop: Acer Predator Helios 300 (i7 10750H + RTX 3060 90-100W)

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is like the big brother of the Acer Nitro 5. While the RTX 3060 it comes with is only rated at up to 100W (highest is 140W), it nevertheless manages to deliver very respectable performance, outperforming many RTX 2070 laptops and even some with RTX 2070 Super. Cooling is decent too. The laptop has a Turbo mode, which maxes out fans and forces the GPU to run at 100W (instead of the usual 90W). The build quality is solid, with the display lid and keyboard deck being made of metal.


  • Decent cooling with reasonable surface and load temps
  • Good, sturdy build
  • Great FHD 144hz 3ms screen


  • RTX 3060 TGP could be higher

Best high-end gaming laptop: Gigabyte Aero 15G (i7 10870H + RTX 3070 90-105W)

For those with deep pockets and a deeper need for speed, the $2,000 Gigabyte Aero 15G has got you covered. The 8-core i7 10870H coupled with the RTX 3070 makes it proper beast, capable of breezing past any game out there with its FHD 240Hz panel. Cooling and build quality is decent too, befitting a high-end gaming machine. We only wished that the 3070 is of a higher TGP and a Thunderbolt 3 port is added.


  • Decent cooling
  • Good all-aluminium build
  • Great FHD 240hz screen
  • MUX switch


  • RTX 3070 should be the full fat 140W instead of 105W
  • No Thunderbolt 3 despite being a high-end Intel laptop