The best models at a glance

Image source: GIGA.


Gaming laptops are now enjoying great popularity and this is also reflected in the range. Who should just keep an overview? GIGA has selected a selection of models for different requirements that are really worthwhile. In addition, we will tell you what you should pay particular attention to before making a purchase.

Purchase advice

There are numerous gaming laptops on the market that differ in many ways: size of the main memory, display size, graphics card, processor, weight and dozens of other criteria. So you are spoiled for choice – not only between different manufacturers and models, but also within a model series with different configurations. Therefore, we are presenting different gaming laptops that are in different price categories – from entry-level models to compact high-end computers. Note: We made the article clearer on August 14th, 2020, updated the content, expanded it and therefore published it again.

The best gaming laptops 2020: An overview of all test winners and recommendations

Tip for beginners Price-performance tip Top model Best on-the-go model
Model Dell G5 5590 HP Pavilion Gaming 15 Razer Blade 15 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
price approx. 900 euros approx. 1,100 euros approx. 2,200 euros approx. 1,600 euros
Offer Saturn Alternate Alternate NBB
Price comparison idealo idealo idealo idealo

If you are primarily interested in laptops for work in the office or at university, take a look at our corresponding purchase advice: The best notebooks for office, university and work.

The entry-level model: Dell G5 5590

DELL G5 5590

DELL G5 5590

advantages

  • solid performance at a reasonable price
  • SSD and hard drive
  • Fingerprint sensor

disadvantage

  • little and slow memory
  • Gaming performance only mediocre
  • heavy

If you are looking for the cheapest possible entry into the world of gaming laptops, you should choose Dell G5 5590. The inexpensive mobile computer from Dell offers a surprising amount of hardware power for around 900 euros. The Intel Core i5-9300H provides sufficient performance – and not only when gaming. Even those who want to cut Full HD videos with Premiere or edit pictures should get by with the performance of the computing chip. In this case, the tight working memory should turn out to be a bottleneck.

But gaming is not just about the processor. The graphics card plays a much more important role in most cases. From the built Nvidia GTX 1650 with 4 GB video memory you shouldn’t expect to be able to turn all settings to the limit in the future if you want to achieve a consistently smooth frame rate at full resolution. But if you find a healthy mix of high and medium graphics settings, you should use the graphics chip for many games both today and in the near future magic 60 FPS limit crack. The 60 Hz panel can’t display more anyway.

An absolute rarity in this price range: the built-in, 128 GB large PCIe SSD. In addition to the operating system and programs, it should also offer enough space for a handful of games. For lower loading times and better performance, you should at least start open world games from an SSD. At the same time there is also one in the laptop 1 TB HDD has been installed, on which you can get loads of games, videos, photos or documents. Dell is also not naked when it comes to the available connections: Three normal USB type A ports, a type C port, HDMI output, combo jack, and even an SD card slot can be found on gaming -Laptop.

No dongle necessary. All important connections are located either on the back or on the sides of the gaming laptop. (Image: Dell)

The notebook has to give up its first springs when it comes to equipping the RAM. Even if the speed of the built 8 GB bar with 2,666 MHz If it is pleasantly quick for a laptop, the small amount of RAM could turn out to be a problem in the medium term. RAM-hungry games like Battlefield V and PUBG like to claw 5-6 GB of the fast memory and Chrome also likes to use massive amounts of RAM. Fortunately, the RAM of the Dell G5 15 5590 can be increased to up to 32 GB.

The capacity of the battery also falls 60 Wh sufficient. The actual battery life, on the other hand, is astonishingly good with this model, but it always depends on the respective application scenario. When gaming, the battery runs out of breath after 2-3 hours. The Dell G5 15 5590 shares this characteristic with most gaming laptops – if you want to play longer and with optimal performance, you should do so with a computer that is connected to the mains.

Display
  • 15.6 in
  • Full HD IPS panel
  • 60 Hz
  • anti-reflective
processor
  • Intel Core i5-9300H
  • 4 cores, 8 threads (max 4.1 GHz)
graphic card Nvidia GTX 1650 (4 GB GDDR5)
Storage
  • 128 GB NVMe SSD
  • 1 TB HDD @ 5,400 rpm
RAM
  • 8 GB DDR4 (2,666 MHz)
  • 1 bolt installed
connections
  • 3 × USB 3.0
  • 1 × USB 3.1 Type-C
  • 1 × HDMI 2.0
  • 1 × mini display port
  • 1 × 3.5 mm headphone-microphone combo connector
  • SD card slot
  • 1 × RJ45 (Ethernet)
battery pack 60 Wh
Operating system Windows 10 Home 64 bit
Weight 2.8 kg

Price-performance tip: HP Pavilion Gaming 15

HP’s entry-level series for gaming laptops is called “Pavilion” and represents a good mix of price and (gaming) performance. (Image: HP)

advantages

  • Solid gaming performance
  • 144 Hz display
  • Big SSD
  • SD card slot

disadvantage

  • No Windows license
  • slightly weak battery (52.5 Wh)
  • relatively difficult
  • Mediocre workmanship

HP strikes again with the Pavilion range. This time with the HP Pavilion Gaming 15-ec0026ng – wonderfully catchy name, right? Joking aside. Because while the people from marketing apparently simply pressed the random number generator three times when naming the HP laptops, the people from product development seem to have put significantly more brainpower into the hardware configuration.

Of the AMD Ryzen 7 3750H operates in cooperation with Nvidia’s GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS panel with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. A balanced combination. You will only achieve a full 144 FPS in esports games such as Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League and Co., but the 144 Hz also ensures a noticeably smoother experience when working with normal office programs or surfing the Internet User experience.

In direct comparison to the RTX 2060 of the Razer Blade 15 (2019), the gaming performance of the graphics card in the HP laptop is a bit weaker, but the gaming notebook only costs around half. You currently have to spend around 1,100 euros on the table for our price-performance recommendation. A decent amount of money, but it is well spent when you look at the other components of the gaming laptop.

1 TB SSD storage, which is connected via PCIe, ensures excellent start and loading times for programs, games and the operating system that 16 GB of RAM offer even video producers and tabs junkies enough space to work.

In return, the gaming laptop from HP also offers an advantage that should not be underestimated: one SD card slot. If you can come to terms with these disadvantages compared to the Razer Blade 15 (2019), you can save a lot of money with the HP Pavilion Gaming 15-ec0026ng.

Price comparison at Idealo

Display
  • 15.6 in
  • Full HD IPS panel
  • 144 Hz
  • anti-reflective
processor
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
  • 4 cores, 8 threads (max. 4 GHz)
graphic card Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q (6 GB GDDR6)
Storage 1 TB NVMe SSD
RAM
  • 16 GB DDR4 (2,400 MHz)
  • 2 bolts installed
connections
  • 3 × USB 3.0
  • 1 × USB 3.1 Type-C
  • 1 × HDMI 2.0
  • 1 × 3.5 mm headphone / microphone combo port
  • 1 × RJ-45 (Ethernet)
battery pack 52.5 Wh
Operating system FreeDOS
Weight 2.3 kg

High-end laptop: Razer Blade 15 (2019) – basic model

Price comparison at Idealo

advantages

  • Excellent design and workmanship
  • light for a 15 inch device
  • high gaming performance
  • 144 Hz display
  • Expandability

disadvantage

  • expensive
  • short battery life when playing on battery power

The basic model of the Razer Blade 15 (2019) Above all, it impresses with its fantastic workmanship, its low weight and its long battery life in everyday use. But Razer didn’t cut corners with the rest of the hardware in the gaming laptop either:

With the core i7-9750H Intel’s mobile six-core is used, which works in conjunction with the RTX 2060 Max-Q the one measuring 15.6 inches diagonally 144 Hz display fired. Since this “only” in Full HD dissolves, the high refresh rate of the display can be maxed out in some games. Even on the highest settings, you shouldn’t notice any problems with current games – the hardware is now and probably also sufficient for the next three years.

The Razer Blade 15 impresses above all with its simple design. (Image: GIGA)

The time it takes to boot up the laptop, start programs and load times in games is reduced thanks to the built-in 512 GB NVMe SSD very quick out. A second SSD in M.2 or 2.5-inch format can also be retrofitted to the Razer Blade 15 (2019). If you want more memory, you only have to loosen a few screws on the underside of the laptop, remove the cover and then you have access to mass and working memory.

With the amount of RAM installed, you shouldn’t be embarrassed to think about an upgrade so quickly. The two built-in RAM bars provide you with a total of 16 GB of RAM. That is enough for all kinds of applications and games.

We were already impressed by last year’s Razer Blade, as you can see in our hands-on video:

With the Razer Blade (2019) you can start immediately after switching on – Windows 10 Home 64-bit is already preinstalled and furnished. With a current retail price of almost 2,200 euros, you can expect that.

Thanks to the low weight and the relatively large battery, which has a capacity of 65 Wh the Razer Blade (2019) is also a good everyday companion. When used lightly, for example for surfing or operating office programs, the battery does not last a continuous 8-hour working day, 5-6 hours but are possible in most cases. If you want to gamble on the go, you can only have a short time with the Razer Blade 15. In this case, the device will run out of juice after just under an hour. With such hardware specifications, this is not surprising. Thunderbolt 3 is also on board, but Razer has clamped the SD card slot. In this case, photographers and cameramen should rather have the right adapter on hand.

Light, stable, stylish, durable and powerful – the Razer Blade 15 offers one fantastic overall package, which Razer can also pay dearly. The basic model presented here currently costs just under 2,200 euros in stores. If you don’t mind, would like to use your new gaming laptop for work and appreciate the high quality of workmanship, you should choose the Razer Blade 15 (2019).

Display
  • 15.6 in
  • Full HD IPS panel
  • 144 Hz
  • anti-reflective
processor
  • Intel Core i7-9750H
  • 6 cores, 12 threads (max. 4.5 GHz)
graphic card Nvidia RTX 2060 (6 GB GDDR6)
Storage 512 GB NVMe SSD
RAM
  • 16 GB DDR4 (dual-channel, 2,666 MHz)
  • 2 bolts installed
connections
  • 3 × USB 3.0
  • 1 × USB 3.1 Type-C including Thunderbolt 3
  • 1 × HDMI 2.0
  • 1 × mDP 1.4
  • 1 × 3.5 mm audio combo connection
  • 1 × RJ45 (Ethernet)
battery pack 65 Wh
Operating system Windows 10 Home 64 bit
Weight 2.03 kilograms

For on the go: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401IU-HE001T

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401IU-HE001T

advantages

  • Charging via proprietary power supply and USB-C possible
  • quality design and good workmanship
  • a lot of power
  • Wi-Fi 6 already supported

disadvantage

  • no LAN connection
  • no webcam

It is even more compact and almost as powerful as the Razer Blade 15 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401IU-HE001T. The design is rather simple compared to the devices that otherwise look like sports cars or alien spaceships. Thanks to the narrow bezels of the screen, you can enjoy the matt 14-inch display with little reflection. In addition, the display of this model has a refresh rate of 120 Hzwhich brings a smoother gaming experience, especially when playing fast-reacting games.

The necessary computing power is provided by Ryzen 7 4800HS in combination with the GTX 1660 Ti and their 6 GB video memory. Speaking of memory, you are in this configuration 16 GB RAM with a clock rate of full 3,200 MHz to disposal. However, one of the bars is firmly soldered. Therefore, the main memory can only be expanded to a maximum of 24 GB. The connection via the new WLAN standard Wi-Fi 6 is future-proof. Finally, the battery takes care of everything 76 Wh for the necessary endurance. The downside: The Zephyrus G14 has neither a webcam nor an integrated microphone – if you want to use the device for video conferences, you need external peripherals. In addition, there is no LAN connection, here you have to be content with a USB dongle. In our detailed test of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 you will find more information about the device and our final rating.

Display
  • 14 in
  • Full HD IPS panel
  • 120 Hz
  • anti-reflective
processor
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS
  • 8 cores, 16 threads (max.4.2 GHz)
graphic card Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q (6 GB GDDR6)
Storage 512 GB NVMe SSD
RAM
  • 16 GB DDR4 (3,200 Mhz)
  • 2 bars installed (8 GB firmly soldered)
connections
  • 2 × USB 3.2 Type-A Gen1 (Power Delivery & DisplayPort 1.4 with G-Sync)
  • 2 × USB 3.2 Type-C Gen 2
  • 1 × HDMI 2.0b
  • 1 × headphone / microphone combo connector
battery pack 76 Wh
Operating system Windows 10 Home 64 bit
Weight 1.6 kg
Alternative with even more power: For around 2,000 euros there is the GA401IV-HE244T from the same model series with an RTX 2060 graphics card and the AniMe matrix – that’s over a thousand individual LEDs on the notebook lid that can be individually adjusted.

The Best Gaming Laptops 2020: Here’s How We Chose

There are now countless gaming laptops on the market. Some offer you the absolute maximum in terms of performance and others place great value on mobility and thus compact dimensions. For this reason, we have selected different models that cover different areas of application on the one hand and the broadest possible price range on the other. In order to give you the best possible overview, we have based our own assessments on user reviews and other test institutions such as Notebookcheck.

Buying Gaming Laptops: What You Need To Know

Before you start clicking your way through the huge range of different gaming laptops, you should think a few things about the device you want and clarify the following things in order to narrow down the selection:

  • Do I Really Need a Gaming Laptop? More on this in a moment.
  • How big should my gaming laptop be? 15 inches and therefore still reasonably compact? Or would you prefer 17 inches to maximize the screen size? Ultra-compact gaming laptops with 13- and 14-inch displays are also available, but they are extremely expensive.
  • What is my budget How much are you willing to spend on your gaming laptop?
  • Which additional features do I need? Illuminated keyboard, SD card slot, Thunderbolt 3, separate number pad on the keyboard, a webcam with a microphone? Not all devices offer such extras and cost more if in doubt.
  • What exactly do I want to play on my laptop? For less demanding titles such as League of Legends, Fortnite and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, an inexpensive entry-level model is completely sufficient. However, if you want to play the latest triple A games in the years to come, you have to dig deeper into your pockets.

Are there alternatives to the gaming laptop?

Sorry for asking this crucial question, but it definitely belongs in a gaming laptop guide.

Our gaming notebook selection is limited to devices that are primarily intended for gaming. However, most of the models cannot boast mobility and battery life as strengths, and the devices are also in comparison to stationary gaming PCs and Consoles significantly more expensive. A gaming laptop is always a compromise.

If you just want to play at home, you might be better off with a gaming-ready desktop PC or console, plus a non-gaming laptop. Sure, desktop computers need space and you still have to take care of additional peripherals such as a screen, mouse and keyboard. In return, you get more performance for the money with a gaming PC and can upgrade it more easily in the future.

With the consoles you get inexpensive machines that are completely optimized for gaming. The Nintendo Switch (the best games) is even mobile too.

Who needs a laptop, but only Now and then play less resource-hungry or older games can also use a laptop without a separate graphics chip. When it comes to game management, devices with a graphics unit (iGPU) integrated in the processor cannot compete with their big brothers, but their battery does not run out as quickly either. And: Devices without a dedicated graphics chip are more compact, lighter, cooler and cheaper. Incidentally, with cloud gaming services such as Google Stadia and Geforce Now you can also play sensibly on weak notebooks – at least if the internet connection is fast and stable.

Another alternative is a iPad. It is light, versatile, can be used at least to a limited extent like a notebook with the keyboard dock, but on the other hand it accommodates some quite demanding games. In addition, the Apple tablet now also supports controllers.

Save money when buying a gaming laptop

If you want to get a bargain on gaming laptop purchases, you should go not limited to a single model. Keep an eye out for devices from other manufacturers that have similar or, in the best case, the same hardware equipment. If you have a small pool of different models on your screen, it is much more likely that one of them will be reduced in the near future.

Think about whether it might be worth it for you to have one cheaper laptop without buying a fast SSD or with less RAM that you can upgrade afterwards. Some devices already have a maintenance hatch that gives you easy access to the relevant slots. Otherwise, in most cases, you will find a corresponding tutorial online that describes the disassembly and installation in great detail.

The same applies to that operating system. Many manufacturers offer their gaming laptops with or without a pre-installed OS. Anyone who still has a Windows license left or is moving from their old to the new computer can save a lot of money in this way. Even the inexpensive purchase of a license is now an option, as a look at the price comparison shows.

What exactly is an SSD and what else this type of hard drive is all about, you can find out in the following video:

Don’t forget that your budget should also include the cost of accessories like a suitable bag, mouse or headset. Almost all gaming laptops develop into real jet turbines under full load in network operation. If you still want to enjoy the audio backdrop of the game in this state, you shouldn’t rely on the built-in speakers.

Further to the topic:

Otherwise applies: Testing is above studying – Above all in terms of the processing quality of the case, the tactile feedback of the keyboard, the sliding properties of the mouse pad and the appearance of the display. Everyone has different preferences here. So before you buy, see if you can find the model you want in the local electronics store as an exhibit and play around with it a bit. If you don’t have this option, you can simply order the laptop home and, if you don’t like it, withdraw from the purchase contract within 14 days without giving a reason.

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