Building your own gaming PC continues to be a daunting task with the GPU market plagued by scalpers, crypto miners, and, of course, the global semiconductor shortages. The situation hasn’t been the best for console gamers either, as the latest-gen Xbox Series X|S and the PlayStation 5 continue to be available in limited quantities. Essentially if you are looking for new hardware to game on, it is probably a good idea to invest in a gaming laptop. Unlike PC components, laptops are more readily available with a variety of options from different brands, at different price points.
The past few months saw gaming laptops reaching incredible heights in terms of performance with the arrival of Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake-H and AMD’s Ryzen 5000 mobile series processors as well as NVIDIA’s RTX 30-series GPUs for notebooks. At the same time, OEMs made a conscious effort in making gaming laptops slimmer and aesthetically appealing than ever before. We also saw an influx of gaming laptops with faster refresh rates and better colour-calibrated displays.
Let’s take you through some highly recommended options if you are looking for a new gaming laptop. But before that, we need to understand some of the key characteristics and features of a gaming laptop that you need to consider before buying one.
Gaming laptops buying guide
The whole idea of a gaming laptop is to deliver the highest performance possible in a portable form factor. Today you can expect high-end gaming notebooks to have up to 8-core processors capable of running at 5GHz! The best part, AMD has caught up with Intel and has been offering some really impressive chipsets including its latest Ryzen 5000 series processors.
More importantly, you need a solid GPU as most games depend on it. We are expecting new laptops with AMD’s new Radeon mobile graphics, the latest RTX 30-series from NVIDIA is a wise choice as it delivers the best gaming performance along with next-gen ray-tracing for an immersive experience. There is a catch though. While they obviously demand a premium, you also need to be a little careful with the RTX 30 mobile series as laptop manufacturers have been given the liberty to fine-tune them. Basically not all RTX 3060, 3070, or 3080 powered laptops are similar. Some may be tuned for extreme performance, while some may be tuned down so as to consume less power and, thereby, generate less heat.
If you are going for an entry-level gaming notebook, NVIDIA’s GTX 1650 or the 1650 Ti are the way to go. If you can spend a little more, you could go up to a 1660 Ti, or maybe even the RTX 3050.
Memory is also a very important component. It is recommended that you go for 16GB of DDR4 dual-channel memory, but if you have budget constraints, 8GB should be fine. You could always add in another RAM stick later as most gaming laptops do come with memory expansion. Just make sure you have an extra slot while buying the laptop. Similarly, certain laptops allow you to add more storage, which is definitely important considering the increasing size of games these days.
Apart from games, gaming laptops are capable of handling almost every single task right from browsing the internet, attending office meetings, and even heavy tasks like photo and video editing. Essentially, they can be a great desktop replacement.
A good gaming laptop is bound to have a chunky design when compared to ultraportables or 2-in-1s. The reason for that is simple: the higher the performance, the more heat is generated. To dissipate all the heat efficiently, manufacturers have to install a large heatsink with copper pipes, cooling fans, and optimal vents all around the laptop. All of this is very difficult to achieve with a thin chassis. Having said that, modern gaming laptops are becoming slimmer than ever before making them far more portable than they used to be a few years ago.
Additionally, to attract its gamer audience, OEMs often add a flashy paint job or RGB lighting, cause you know, more RGB means better performance (duh!). Of course, all these features come at an additional cost so if you want all the eyeballs, you better be ready to spend a little extra.
Battery life and gaming laptops don’t really go hand in hand. There was a time when gaming laptops didn’t last for more than 1-2 hours! The high-performance hardware powering them takes a massive toll on the battery life. Essentially, don’t expect them to last all day, which means you definitely need the charging brick with you at all times. If battery life is a priority for you, you should consider any of the new AMD Ryzen 5000-based gaming laptops, which have proven to offer surprisingly good battery life.
Another important and crucial aspect you need to consider is that the CPU and GPU require a large amount of power, hence you need to keep your laptop plugged in to reach its highest potential. In short, if you are planning to do gaming, make sure you have a plug point near you.
Gaming is all about visuals, so you need a good display to enjoy the experience. An IPS LCD is a bare minimum as it offers better overall quality compared to standard TFT panels. One should also ensure that the display is bright enough so it can be used under various lighting conditions. As for the resolution, laptops don’t go beyond 17-inches in terms of display size, so a full-HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display should be good. However, if you have the budget, QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution displays on gaming laptops are slowly creeping in giving you sharper visuals.
If you are into competitive shooters, then you are going to need a fast refresh rate panel. This ensures you get more frames, which in turn means a smooth, lag-free, and tear-free gaming experience. Almost all mid-range and high-end gaming laptops come with 120Hz or 144Hz refresh rate displays with some going all the way up to 300Hz!
These are the best gaming laptops to buy in 2022:
|Acer Aspire 7||Rs 55,990|
|HP Pavilion Gaming 15||Rs 64,990|
|Acer Nitro 5||Rs 97,000|
|ASUS TUF Gaming F17||Rs 80,900|
|ASUS ROG Strix Flow X13||Rs 1,18,990|
|Victus 16 by HP||Rs 1,08,000|
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15||Rs 1,34,990|
|Lenovo Legion 5 Pro||Rs 1,40,999|
|ASUS ROG Strix G15||Rs 1,79,990|
|MSI GP76 Leopard||Rs 1,93,990|
Acer Aspire 7
Acer Aspire 7: Price in India and availability
The Aspire 7 retails at Rs 57,990 and is available on Amazon India, while Flipkart is selling it at a discounted price of Rs 55,990. There is also an Intel variant, with a 10th-gen Core i5 processor, but my advice would be to go for the AMD Ryzen 5500U variant as it is the latest chipset offering great performance and battery life.
- Great battery life
- Efficient performance with AMD Ryzen 5500U
- Clean and minimalistic design
- Below average display performance
- Mediocre speakers
HP Pavilion Gaming 15
HP Pavilion Gaming 15: Price in India and availability
You can purchase the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 from various online e-commerce portals. Flipkart is selling the laptop for Rs 64,990 while Vijay Sales quotes a price of Rs 68,490. It is noteworthy that the models listed come with 512GB SSD. You can also go for the 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD combo which is available for Rs 67,900 on Amazon and Rs 65,990 on Croma.
- Additional storage option
- Stealthy design language
- Good battery life
- Display brightness could be better
- Flimsy chassis
Acer Nitro 5
The Nitro 5 from Acer has been a running contender for the best value gaming laptop for years. While I personally don’t love the design aesthetics, it is currently the most affordable gaming laptop that comes with NVIDIA’s RTX 3060. You do need to consider that it is the 85W version, but paired with the six-core AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor, it should deliver really good 1080p gaming performance. The overall build quality is definitely not up to the mark, but if you are willing to make a compromise, the Nitro 5 is really good value.
Acer Nitro 5: Price in India and availability
The Acer Nitro 5 was launched by Acer at Rs 94,900 for the RTX 3060 variant with AMD Ryzen 5 5600H. It is currently available for Rs 97,000 on Amazon India while Flipkart is selling the notebook for Rs 97,999.
Pros:Buy: Amazon, Flipkart
- Respectable price to performance ratio
- Excellent for 1080p gaming
- Internal upgrade options
- Sub-par plastic build quality
- Display is below average
- Battery life is not very impressive
ASUS TUF Gaming F17
ASUS TUF Gaming F17: Price in India and availability
The laptop is available on Flipkart at a starting price of Rs 80,990 for the 8GB RAM variant that also comes with the RTX 3050 GPU. The more powerful variant with 16GB RAM and RTX 3050 Ti is available on Amazon India for Rs 95,847.
Pros:Buy: Amazon, Flipkart
- Value for money
- Storage and memory expansion options
- Thunderbolt 4 support
- Display quality and brightness
- Chunky, plastic design and construction
- Battery life is not impressive
ASUS ROG Flow X13
However, the ROG XG Mobile dock (sold separately) can supercharge the graphics performance with up to an RTX 3080 mobile GPU! Essentially, ASUS is targeting consumers looking for a small and portable laptop that can be carried around easily to your office or the nearest Starbucks, and when you are in the mood for fun, it can be plugged with the docking solution to unlock its full gaming potential.
ASUS ROG Flow X13: Price in India and availability
The ROG Flow X13 was originally launched with NVIDIA’s GTX 1650, but it is now available with the new RTX 3050 mobile graphics. ASUS launched the notebook at a starting price of Rs 1,24,380 but you can grab one for Rs 1,18,990 from Vijay Sales and Reliance Digital. The RTX 3050 model is currently selling at Rs 1,32,990 on Flipkart.
- Extremely lightweight and portable
- Powerful octa-core processor
- Meant for a niche audience
- Expensive affair
- Awkwardly placed power button
Victus 16 by HP
Victus by HP: Price in India and availability
The particular model that I have mentioned above is selling for Rs 1,08,000 on Amazon India. The configuration is not available elsewhere; however, you can get it with NVIDIA’s GTX 1650, RTX 3050, and even the RTX 3060 graphics. Additionally, it is also available with AMD’s Radeon RX5500M graphics.
- Sharp looks
- Great display for both work and play
- Value for money performance
- Keyboard is not intuitive
- Average battery life
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15: Price in India and availability
As mentioned, the ROG Zephyrus G15 is offered with NVIDIA’s RTX 30-series. The RTX 3050 Ti model is available for Rs 1,34,990 on TataCLiQ, the RTX 3060 model is selling for Rs 1,39,990 on Flipkart and the RTX 3070 model is selling for Rs 1,82,990 on Amazon India.
- Minimalistic, lightweight design
- Powerful performance
- Dependable battery life
- No built-in webcam
- Display brightness is not the best
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
One of the best gaming laptops launched in 2021, the Legion 5 Pro is a beast! It comes with a solid industrial design and an improved cooling system that ensures there is no throttling under heavy load. The notebook can be configured with a 16-inch QHD 165Hz refresh rate IPS panel that offers a peak brightness of 500-nits and 100 percent sRGB coverage. Powered by the AMD Ryzen 5800H and up to an NVIDIA RTX 3070, this notebook can eat AAA gaming titles for breakfast. It also features a great keyboard that is suitable for both gaming and typing, along with RGB lighting goodness.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro: Price in India and availability
The Legion 5 Pro is available with the RTX 3060 graphics card retailing at Rs 1,44,990 from Lenovo India’s official website. It is also available on Reliance Digital for Rs 1,40,999. The notebook is also available with the more powerful RTX 3070 GPU priced at Rs 1,69,990 on Flipkart.
- Excellent performance package
- One of the best keyboards in its category
- Bright and sharp display
- Lacks fingerprint or face unlock features
- RGB lighting could be better implemented
ASUS ROG Strix G15
If you are looking for peak performance, you need to look at the ROG Strix G15 from ASUS. It features the top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX paired with the NVIDIA RTX 3080 (130W) making it a gaming powerhouse. It packs a tonne of high-end features including a 300Hz refresh rate 15.6-inch full-HD display or you can opt for a QHD panel with a 165Hz refresh rate. It also comes with the company’s new optical-mechanical key switches offering a 1.8mm travel distance, 0.2ms response time, and per-key RGB. Speaking of which, there is an RGB light bar under the front deck as well as the ROG logo on the lid. The notebook also comes with a backlit Numpad that can light up on the touchpad, and an NFC-enabled hardware key that can be used to enable/disable profiles, lock folders, and more.
ASUS ROG Strix G15: Price in India and availability
The ROG Strix G15 is available in a variety of configurations, with the full-HD 300Hz model priced at Rs 1,93,990 while the QHD 165Hz panel is priced at Rs 2,18,990. Both models are available on Amazon India.
- Top of the line performance
- Colour accurate QHD 165Hz display
- Long battery life
- Loads of RGB
- No in-built webcam
- Optical mechanical keyboard not for everyone
MSI GP76 Leopard
MSI has been making some really good gaming laptops for a while now and if you are looking for a fully loaded 17-inch laptop for gaming, the GP76 Leopard is a no-brainer. It features a dark stealthy finish with a solid metal chassis and is powered by the latest Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake-H processors, specifically the Core i7-11800H. The 17.3-inch IPS display can be configured with either full-HD resolution and 240Hz refresh rate or QHD resolution with 165Hz refresh. Powering your games is the NVIDIA RTX 3070 with 140W maximum power, along with support for 64GB of memory, 2x M.2 SSD storage slots, per-key RGB lighting for the keyboard, and more.
MSI GP76 Leopard: Price in India and availability
MSI usually sells its gaming laptop range online via Flipkart and you can grab the GP76 Leopard for Rs 1,79,990.
- Excellent gaming performance
- High-refresh rate on 17-inch display
- Robust casing
- Dated design language
- Can run hot under loads
- No thunderbolt port