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Best gaming laptops 2020: No-nonsense reviews & expert buying advice

Best gaming laptops 2020: No-nonsense reviews & expert buying advice

The gaming laptop landscape is experiencing an earthquake-like shift. With the near-simultaneous launches of AMD’s Ryzen 4000 and Intel’s Comet Lake-H mobile CPUs, we have a real fight for the first time ever, focusing onRyzen 4000’s cores vs. Comet Lake-H’s clock speeds. Meanwhile, Nvidia has unveiled a new generation of mobile graphics technologies. Check out our top picks immediately below, and keep reading to catch up on the latest news and reviews. 

With major advances in laptop CPUs and graphics technologies, you can now get great gaming performance in sizes from slender to huge, and prices from budget to sky-high.

That’s where this handy-dandy buyer’s guide come in. We’ll name the best gaming laptops currently available, and we’ll highlight what to look for when buying a gaming laptop. (Check back often, as we’ll update this list as new products arrive.) 

Latest gaming laptop news

Laptop news and reviews are heating up, because of new AMD and Intel mobile CPUs coming soon. Here’s the latest. 

Dell

The Dell G5 15 SE is all-AMD, with some new “Smart Shift” tricks up its sleeve to maximize performance. 

  • HP announced a new lineup of Omen 15 gaming laptops with your choice of AMD or Intel CPUs, plus the Pavilion Gaming 16 laptop, with yes, a  nice, big 16-inch display in the body of a 15-inch laptop. 
  • Our hearts are heavy. When the Alienware Area-51m R1 debuted a year ago, we were elated at the upgrade paths for its CPU and GPU. But it didn’t turn out to be as awesome as we expected. With the debut of the second generation, the Alienware Area-51m R2, we now know that the R1 is upgradable only within its own generation—it can’t use any of the upgrade parts that will be available for the R2. So the Holy Grail of laptop upgradability remains a futile dream. 
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Latest laptop reviews

Catch up on the latest models we’ve tested here, including: 

Best 15-inch gaming laptop

The Acer Predator Triton 500 model we tested features a 15.6-inch, 1920×1080, 144Hz panel, an 8th-gen Core i7-8750H with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, and a GeForce RTX 2060. It’s easily enough firepower to match laptops based on the slightly lower-cost GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, but it has the option to run DirectX Ray Tracing games, too.

If we were to ding the Triton 500, it would be for the SSD replacement. Let’s just say, adding more storage to the Triton 500 won’t be a five-minute affair. Read our full review of the Acer Predator Triton 500.

Best budget gaming laptop

The Acer Nitro 5 surpases what we expect of rock-bottom budget laptops. Its display is a bit dim, and its GTX 1650 graphics is only going to feel slower as time goes by. However its performance is solid overall, and its battery life is a nearly unheard-of (for gaming laptops) five hours. If you’re looking for solid budget value, or if you plan to buy cheap and upgrade more often (a reasonable plan in the ever-advancing world of gaming), this is a respectable entry-level machine. Read our full review.