$2000 is a lot of money and there are many gaming laptops that you can get with it, but which one should you get? If you are in the market for the best gaming laptop under $2000 then you come to the right place.

In this article, I will tell you not only one but 11 top gaming laptops. Despite all being technically very good, each laptop is a little different from the other therefore, rest assured there is a device for everybody.

Gaming laptops have evolved quite a lot over the years. Gone are the times when gaming laptops used to be very thick and cumbersome to use. Today, gaming laptops make for excellent powerful machines due to their long battery life and thin design.

As a result, the gaming laptop wave has swept us all and now gaming laptops are not only used for gaming but are a common sight in business as well as in schools.

The increase in demand has led to many manufacturers jumping on the hype but not every gaming laptop in the market is worth buying. Therefore, I have included a comprehensive Buyer’s guide which will help you steer clear of bad gaming laptops.

Excited yet! So, let’s dive straight into the list of the 11 best gaming laptops under $2000.

In a Hurry? These are the Best Gaming Laptops Under $2000

*For more info on the gaming Laptops below, click the “Jump to review” button to go to our review of that Laptop.

Best Overall

1. MSI GP66 Leopard

  • Intel i7-11800H 8-Core
  • RTX 3080 8GB
  • 144Hz Refresh Rate
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB PCIe SSD
  • HD Webcam

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Excellent gaming performance

2. Dell Alienware M15 R5 

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core
  • NVIDIA RTX 3070 8GB
  • 360Hz FHD + IPS Display
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB PCIe SSD

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Excellent gaming Laptop

3. Asus ROG Strix Scar 15

  • Intel Core i9 12900H
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
  • 300Hz IPS FHD Display
  • 16GB DDR5
  • 1TB PCIe SSD

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IPS 360Hz Display

4. GIGABYTE AORUS 17 XE4

  • Intel Core i7
  • GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
  • IPS 360Hz Display
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB PCIe SSD

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Best Performance

5. Lenovo Legion 7

  • AMD 8-Core Ryzen 7 5800H
  • GeForce RTX 3070 8GB
  • IPS 165Hz Display
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB PCIe SSD

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Best Performance

6. Dell Alienware X15 R1 → Gigabyte Aorus

  • Intel Core i7-11800H (11th Gen)
  • GeForce RTX 3070 8GB
  • 360hz 1ms refresh rate
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB SSD

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Best Aesthetics

7. HP Omen 16 → Gigabyte Aero

  • Core i7-11800H 4.6 GHz
  • GeForce RTX 3070 8GB
  • 165Hz refresh rate and 2560 x 1440 resolution for smooth
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB PCIe SSD

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Special Edition

8. MSI Crosshair 15 R6E → Acer triton 500

  • Intel i7-12700H 14-Core
  • GeForce RTX 3070 8GB
  • 165Hz 2K QHD
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB PCIe SSD

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Good battery life

9. Asus Zephyrus G15

  • AMD Ryzen 9
  • GeForce RTX 3070
  • 165Hz refresh rate
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  •  1TB SSD

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10. Razer Blade 15

  • Intel Core i7-10750H 6 Core
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • FHD 144Hz
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 512GB SSD

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11. Asus Zephyrus M16 → Asus Tuf Dash

  • Intel i9-11900H 8-Core
  • RTX 3060
  • 165Hz IPS Display
  • 24GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB PCIe SSD

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Is Buying a Gaming Laptops Under $2000 Worth it?

The people asking this question tend to fall in either of the two camp. The first one having the mantra that $2000 is too less and if you want a good gaming experience you should invest more money into your gaming laptop.

This is absolutely not true. While you can spend more money to get the most loaded gaming laptop and yes, it is also true that a more expensive gaming laptop will provide better performance but are you really getting extra fine gaming experience out of it.

Well, this is where the above statement falls flat on its heel because while you do get better performance out a more expensive laptops but honestly most gamers do not need 20 extra frames in a game in which you are already getting 100 with a sub $2000 gaming laptop. As previously stated $2000 gaming laptops already have high-end components so spending more money will only provide you diminishing returns.

The people in the second camp make a more compelling argument. These people many consist of informed buyers which believe that spending $2000 is too much on a gaming laptop as at this price manufacturers tend to charge you more for the nameplate.

This is true to some extent and nameplates do influence the buyers decision and buying the greatest laptop a manufacturer can have a certain charm to it but on the whole with $2000 laptops you do get a sense of premiumness. Since these laptops are usually the top-of-the-line machine the manufacturers have to offer you also get extra features with them.

Overall, in one way or the other, the price for most of the $2000 laptops is justified but if you are only in the market for performance and nothing which you should not be because there is much more to laptops than just raw performance then this statement can be justified but as things stand it is simply not.

Best Overall

1. MSI GP66 Leopard – Best Gaming laptop under 2000

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5


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Pros


  • Minimalist and clean design makes this laptop highly versatile
  • Excellent build quality
  • SteelSeries branded keyboard is very comfortable to type on
  • Per key RGB lighting
  • Nvidia RTX 3080 provides the best performance out of all the other laptops
  • 32GB RAM is more than enough for gaming and multitasking

Cons


  • Not everyone will like the simple look of the MSI GL66
  • The fans can get pretty loud when gaming

Bottom Line:


The MSI GP66 Leopard is the minimalist version of the MSI GL66 without the tackiness and flashy RGB lighting. There are other differences between the two laptops but fundamentally they both are the same. This is great because the MSI GL66 is already a great laptop and the GP66 extends on that solid foundation.

Design and Aesthetics

To simply put this laptop is minimalist to the bone. MSI has deliberately toned down the design of this laptop and created a simple and minimalist laptop with a stealthy matte black look. 

Personally, I am a fan of this look because it has just the right amount of character to look appealing in any situation. Whether you are in the middle of a gaming session or sitting in the library, this laptop will look good in all situations.

To keep the matte black theme of this laptop consistent even the MSI logo on the lid of the laptop is finished in black color and it does not light up. The smooth finish of the keyboard deck is very soft to the touch and it gives a premium impression.

This consistent look does not come without attention to detail, and I am glad MSI has refined every small nook and cranny of this laptop. The build quality of this laptop is also quite amazing. Most of the laptop is made from metal, this also includes the keyboard deck. The laptop also exhibits minimal flex or wobble, and all the metal pieces seem to be well put together.

Keyboard, Trackpad and Speakers

The MSI GP66 raider features a SteelSeries branded keyboard. The feel of this keyboard is similar to some desktop keyboards. Some people will like this sensation while others might not.

As for the keys themselves, each key has a good amount of travel that makes typing very comfortable. The keys have a good tactile action and a crisp return which is a sign of a very satisfactory key press.

The keyboard also has per key RGB lighting which you can control through the MSI Mystic software. The software is well-polished, and it lets you customize the color of each key according to your liking.

The trackpad of this laptop could be better. Although it is fine for day to day use and picks up the finger movements quite well, the surface is not all that pleasing to use. The trackpad is also slightly aligned to the left which will get some time getting used to.

The speakers of the MSI MP66 are quite bad to say the least. The bass is lacking and the audio at high volumes is quite muffled. Therefore, you are better off using headphones for a good audio experience.

Display, Battery life and I/O

The display is the main area where this laptop lags behind its competitors. The 1080p 144hz refresh rate panel is unacceptable at this price point. While the technical specs of the display might not be up to par, its color accuracy is quite good.

It covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut. The brightness and the contrast of this panel is also great, and this panel has good outdoor legibility. The viewing angles however are subpar, which causes an annoying hindrance when watching movies.

The low-resolution display means that the battery life of this laptop is quite good. In order to boost the battery life MSI has crammed a 65WHr battery into this laptop. As a result, this laptop easily manages a 5 hour screen-on-time when performing light tasks, browsing and playing videos. However, for gaming expect only 1-2 hour battery backup.

Coming to the I/O next. This laptop comes with a decent variety of ports, but it has one major connectivity port lacking. Hence the connectivity of this laptop is not up to the mark. On the left you get a single USB Type-A and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Meanwhile on the right side are included a pair of USB type-A ports.

The rest of the ports are found on the back of this laptop. They include ethernet port, mini-DisplayPort and power port. If you have noticed, this laptop does not come with a USB-C port, which limits the functionality of this laptop. USB-C is quite essential and seeing it not available on this laptop will turn off quite a few gamers.

Gaming Performance and thermals

Beneath the underneath chassis of this laptop is some of the best hardware in the industry. The MSI MP66 is powered by an Intel I7-11800H CPU. This 8 core 16 thread CPU is the top offering from Intel and offers very good performance.

However, this is not the best part of this laptop. The best part of this laptop is the use of the Nvidia RTX 3080. The Nvidia RTX 3080 is the top-of-the-line GPU from the company and only the MSI MP66 comes with it, hence making it the best performing laptop in this list.

The beefy hardware of the MSI GP66 produces a lot of heat and needs proper cooling to keep the temperatures under control. Thankfully, MSI has not only made their laptop very powerful but also given it a proper cooling system. 

As a result, this laptop never throttles even under heavy tasks or continuous gaming but the fan does get loud when gaming but that is to be expected. The gaming performance of this laptop is excellent and I was able to get the following average frame rate. 

FPS in Games

  • 90 FPS in Red Dead Redemption, 100 FPS in Forza Horizon 5, 110 FPS in GTA, 165 FPS in CoD WarZone, 180 FPS in Fortnite, 280 FPS in Valorant. 

The Nvidia RTX 3080 is a high-end premium GPU and that really shows in the above FPS figures. This GPU is able to run all you throw at with ease. 

As for the other specifications, this laptop comes with 32 GB RAM and a 1TB M2 NVME drive. The drive is fast, and the ram is plentiful so no complaints here. For storage upgrade you also get a vacant slot under the removable back cover. 

The MSI MP66 is the best performer in the $2000 laptop category, and it shows when it comes to gaming. This laptop can handle any game like a champ. It even plays the demanding AAA games like Red Dead Redemption and Assassin’s creed Valhalla at the 60fps sweet spot. For esports titles like CSGO, Valorant, Dota and Rainbow Six Siege you are looking at over 200fps.  

Who Should Buy the MSI MP66

The MSI GP66 is an understated gaming laptop that will not appeal to everyone. However, if you are in the market for a gaming laptop that does not look like one then the MSI MP66 is a great choice. This laptop has best-in-class gaming performance. It is the only laptop on the list to feature an Nvidia RTX 3080, the top-of-the-line GPU for gaming.

Excellent gaming performance

2. Dell Alienware M15 R5 – Best Performance Laptop under $2000

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5


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Pros


  • Aggressive and unique design
  • Premium build and feel
  • Smooth and precise trackpad
  • Excellent I/O selection
  • 360Hz refresh rate panel with 3ms response time
  • Ryzen 5900hx is the best performing CPU money can buy
  • Excellent gaming performance

Cons


  • Speakers lack the impact on low
  • Battery life is subpar compared to today’s standard

Bottom Line:


Dell is no stranger to high-end gaming laptops. They have always dominated this particular category with their Alienware line of laptops.  Dell has aggressively positioned this next iteration of the Alienware M15 laptop and this R5 generation of laptops are all poised to take on the competitors.

Design and Build Quality

The design of the Alienware laptop has not changed much since a few refreshes. Dell found a winning formula and has stuck with it gradually refining out the rough edges of the design.

The immediate thing you feel about this laptop is how premium the chassis is for a gaming laptop. This laptop can easily hang with the premium ultrabooks out there which is a big statement because this level of build and refinement is not usually the forte of gaming laptops.

Premiumness aside, a gaming laptop has to be functional in its design and fortunately Dell being a seasoned manufacturer knows this. Everything design plugin on this laptop is there to facilitate the user. We especially like the placement of the ventilation ports. Since they are on the back of the laptop hot air is directly blown out without your lap becoming toasty.

The build quality should be self-explanatory by now. The premium feel of this laptop is not confined to the aesthetics but also the build quality. The construction of the body is immaculate, and it exhibits no flex on either the keyboard deck or the laptop’s lid whatsoever.

Keyboard, Trackpad and Speakers

The keyboard and the trackpad as another for Dell. Let’s start with the trackpad. Most manufacturers don’t bother with a trackpad on a gaming laptop because it is not utilized much by gamers but Dell on the other hand have bestowed us with a trackpad that is not only praiseworthy but is easily industry leading.

This is one the better trackpads you can have on a gaming laptop. The keyboard is something which gamers do interact with on a daily basis, and we are pleased to inform you that Dell has done a phenomenal job here as well. 

The keystrokes are a good travel and feel crisp and tactile. The rebound is also well sprung without being too twitchy. Overall, you will be more than happy with the keyboard and the trackpad of the Alienware M15 R5.

The same praises cannot be hurled for the speakers though. The speakers on this laptop are mediocre at best. In a pinch they can get the job done but recommend using external speakers for the best gaming and content consumption experience.

Display, Battery Life and I/O

The display of the Dell Alienware is more geared towards high-refresh rate gaming. The panel has a resolution of 1080p, which although less than other gaming laptops is still decent. 

Where this laptop excels is the refresh rate. It comes with a 360Hz refresh rate making it the fastest screen on any gaming laptop under $2000. For the performance 360Hz is the perfect choice for this laptop. The panel is also lively and has good color accuracy therefore providing an eye appealing viewing experience.

The battery is nothing spectacular. Battery life is an area where Dell needs to up their game. As for the figures you can expect a battery life of 5 hours on light usage and 2 hours when the laptop is pushed. This does not involve gaming though just heavy tasks.

Good I/O is vital for any successful gaming laptop. Despite manufacturers skipping some ports to slim down the chassis Dell has still retained the full-fledged I/O here. With this laptop you get 3x USB-A ports, an ethernet port, micro SD slot, 3.5mm combo headphone jack, HDMI port, mini-display port and the Alienware proprietary graphic enhance port. The barrel type power plug is also conveniently placed on the back of the laptop for more ergonomic cable management.

Gaming Performance and Thermals

Alienware M15 R5 performs exactly as expected. The combination of Ryzen 5900hx and the Nvidia RTX 3070 results in excellent performance. The Ryzen 5900hx is the best CPU you can get on a gaming laptop. Kudos to Dell for putting it on their flagship Alienware M15 R5 version. 

Having high-end hardware is easy but cooling it properly is a whole other story. Fortunately, Dell has made no mistakes in disregard and the well-ventilated chassis of the laptop is able to push these components to their maximum making it the best in its class for the given specifications.

This is all thanks to the efficient heat dissipation system engineered for this machine. The laptop also manages this without making the fan sound drowny which in our eyes is a massive achievement.

In terms of FPS you can expect to get the following average framerate:

FPS in Games

  • 82 FPS in Red Dead Redemption, 90 FPS in Forza Horizon 5, 132 FPS in GTA, 155 FPS in CoD WarZone, 170 FPS in Fortnite, 271 FPS in Valorant. 

Besides the performance, other specs of this laptop are also great. It is no slouch when it comes to storage. Dell is providing a 1TB Gen 4 NVME SSD which although not being the largest tops the chart in terms of transfer speed. If you do a lot of multitasking or want to stream games then you would be pleased to know that the Dell Alienware M15 R5 comes with a 16GB DDR4 RAM. 

Who Should Buy the Dell Alienware M15 R5?

The Dell Alienware M15 R5 provides excellent gaming performance. The Ryzen 9 5900x in this machine is a world class processor, which is not only good for gaming but also for rendering, compiling, etc. This laptop is best suited for gamers that are looking for a high-end laptop which they can use for both gaming and professional work. 

Excellent gaming laptop

3. Asus ROG Strix Scar 15

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5


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Pros


  • Bright and flashy RGB lighting
  • Replaceable ROG plates add sense of individuality
  • Great I/O
  • 300Hz refresh rate
  • Intel i9 12900H processor is a beast
  • Excellent gaming performance

Cons


  • Lackluster picture quality
  • The fans can get very loud when gaming continuously 

Bottom Line:


Asus has been on a roll lately, cranking out laptops like nobody’s business. The Scar series enjoys the hierarchy status in Asus’s gaming laptop lineup and this ROG Strix Scar 15 is the most premium fully loaded gaming laptop Asus has to offer. It offers top-notch specs, therefore guaranteeing flawless gaming without any hiccups. The ROG Scar 15 also looks apart, it is a beautiful gaming laptop that is unique from the others. 

Design and Build Quality

Asus laptops tend to have more flashy designs and the manufacturer is not afraid to experiment with new stuff. For this generation of the Scar 15, the new design feature we get is the removeable ROG plates.

These plates are situated in the left corner of the device at the edge of the lid. In the box Asus has supplied three different plates you can choose from or else you can also make your own 3rd party custom plates.

In this laptop we also get a front mounted light bar. This light bar is bright and provides good illumination around the front of the device. Another small RGB light bar is also placed on the bezel of the screen that illuminates the keyboard deck. The RGB craze does not end here and the ROG logo on the lid is also RGB.

Aesthetics are nice but unfortunately Asus has gone overboard in this regard and skimped on the feel and the build of the product. The laptop is made entirely out of plastic which does not strike as premium especially when other competitors are available with full aluminum builds. Despite being made from the plastic the construction of the chassis is good but for the amount Asus is charging metal casing would have been more appropriate.

Keyboard, Trackpad and Speakers

The keyboard of this laptop is optomechanical. This kind of mechanical keyboard is very different from traditional laptop keyboards so check the keyboard beforehand if you want to purchase this laptop. 

With a mechanical keyboard you get a much crispier key actuation, but the downside is that the sound of the click is a lot more than a traditional laptop keyboard.

The glass trackpad of this laptop works fine but is nothing special. It is just the job done for basic tasks and that is all it needs to do because you will be using a mouse most of the time anyway for gaming. The speakers also warrant no appreciation because they are not impressive. Their volume is fine, but they lack depth and richness.

Display, Battery life and I/0

Scar 15 has a capable display to fully utilize its hardware. The 1080p panel used in this machine has a refresh rate of 300hz with a 3ms response time. The screen is also adaptive sync compatible making it fantastic for competitive esports gaming.

Even for a gaming laptop content consumption is an important factor and this is an area where this laptop disappoints. Although Asus has accurately calibrated the panel it still lacks the richness of the colors. 

The contrast is also mediocre but then again for most gamers out there picture quality is not the main concern and some might argue the dull panel is better for competitive gaming.  

This laptop also does not disappoint in the battery life department. 

It has a large 90W battery that is capable of keeping the laptop afloat for 5-6 hours under light usage such as browsing the web. When gaming, this laptop suffers the same fate and continuous gaming on this machine kills the battery in an hour or two.

Since this is a fully fledged gaming laptop you also do not have to worry about the ports. This laptop features a rich I/O containing all the ports you will need for a gaming laptop. The typical ports that are used on a daily basis like USB-A slots and the power plug are also conveniently positioned for the most ergonomic handling.

Gaming Performance and Thermals

The Asus ROG Scar 15 is powered by the latest and greatest Intel i9 12900H CPU and it has 14 cores and 20 threads. This is the maximum number of cores you can get in a gaming laptop.

As one would expect this processor demolishes its competitors and reigns supreme in terms of performance. This powerful processor is paired with an Nvidia RTX 3070ti graphic card. This GPU is known for being the best in the business when it comes to high refresh rate gaming. 

The Intel I9 12900H and Nvidia RTX 3070ti combo in this laptop makes short work of any game at 1080p resolution. This laptop has the capability to deliver triple digits frames in games. During my testing I was able to get the following average framerate on this laptop.

FPS in Games

  • 92 FPS in Red Dead Redemption, 97 FPS in Forza Horizon 5, 123 FPS in GTA, 161 FPS in CoD WarZone, 200 FPS in Fortnite, 258 FPS in Valorant. 

As you can see, games run great on this laptop. They break the 144fps barrier taking advantage of the high refresh rate display.

RAM is also important for smooth laptop operation and I am happy to report that this laptop comes with 16GB of RAM. If you want to store a lot of games then you would be pleased to know that this laptop has a 1TB Gen 4 NVME SSD. 

In terms of thermals, this laptop does a decent job. There is nothing impressive about the thermal solution of this laptop and it is similar to many other high-end laptops. This tried and tested thermal cooling solution gets the job done without making any component throttle. The fan noise is also controlled but it ramps up quickly under continuous gaming.

Who Should Buy the Asus Strix Scar 15?

The Asus Strix Scar comes with the latest and the best Intel I9 12900H processor. This laptop also looks stunning and has multiple RGB light bars and other accent RGB lighting that makes it stand out. While not the ideal laptop for on the go gamers, this laptop will serve you well if you love RGB lighting and want to get the laptop with the latest Intel i9 CPU. 

Best Performance

4. Gigabyte Aorus 17 XE4

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5


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Pros


  • Minimalist and simple design
  • Padded key feel with a good tactile return
  • Full sized keyboard includes number pad
  • Battery lasts a complete day on light to medium usage
  • Bright and color accurate display
  • 360Hz refresh rate is the best you can get on a laptop

Cons


  • Not the most thermal efficient machine
  • The fan is very sensitive and audible most of the time

Bottom Line:


Despite being great, Gigabyte’s laptops often slip under the radar of most people. The brand has still failed to crack the code when it comes to marketing the product to the consumers. This is not to say that the laptops are bad because honestly it’s quite the opposite – as you will find out. 

Design and Build Quality

In the design department Gigabyte tends to do things their own way and rarely follow the popular trend of the industry. Many laptops have now moved to more flashy designs, but this Aorus is keeping things simple. 

This laptop is the most minimalist gaming laptop you can get right now. Exterior wise there are flashy and blingy elements to the design of this laptop. All you get to see is the matte black finish of the chassis with the silver Aorus logo. Got to be honest though, the Aorus logo on this machine looks very appealing and high-end.

Opening the lid reveals some RGB lighting in the form of keyboard lighting but that too is executed in a subtle manner. Nothing in terms of design feels overwhelming and this laptop completely embodies the minimalist philosophy.

The build of the laptop is also simple and old school. The materials used for the construction of the body are not the best, but the laptop feels solid and sturdy. Overall, there is nothing to rave or complain about here.

Keyboard, Trackpad and Speakers

Gigabyte Aorus 17 XE4 has a great feeling keyboard to type on. Each keystroke has a good amount of cushion without being mushy. The rebound of the keys is tactile and satisfying as well. Due to its large size, it also comes with a numpad, which some of you might like and others will find dreadful. 

The trackpad is also fine. Frankly speaking for most of the time you will use a mouse anyway for gaming so trackpad does not matter that much but for everyday use it will get the job done. 

Since this laptop has a full-sized keyboard, the speakers unfortunately are relegated to the bottom of the chassis. Bottom firing speakers are never ideal, and this laptop is no exception. The speakers here are fine for using in a pinch but for proper audio listening we recommend an external headphone solution.

Display, Battery life and I/0

The display of this laptop is fantastic. It is one of the few laptops to have a 1080p 360Hz display, that too at the 17.3 inch screen size. Having an IPS panel results in deep blacks and rich color reproduction. The viewing angles of the panel are also great, and you can easily watch a movie without any deterrence.

Gigabyte has also installed a massive 99W battery in this laptop. Large sized battery was really needed for the machine because of the power-hungry hardware of this laptop. When fully charged the laptop easily lasts for 6-7 hours on light use like browsing and watching YouTube while gaming can empty the battery within 2 hours.

The I/O is the last part you should worry about of this laptop because this laptop features a rich selection of ports. All the typical ports you would expect are found here with the addition of a MUX switch. The MUX switch is a toggle switch that allows you to switch between Nvidia dedicated graphics or Intel integrated graphics. This switch is helpful in a situation where you want the battery to last just a little bit longer.

Gaming Performance and Thermals

We will keep this section short because this laptop features the same hardware as now you would have seen in countless other laptops in this price range. Powering the laptop is an Intel I7 12700H.

The 14 core 20 thread Intel I7 12700H is a beast, and can play any game you want. Due to the high core count, it also works great for streaming, 

On the graphics card front, this laptop has the Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti – a great GPU for a 1440p high refresh rate gaming. 

During gaming I was able to get fantastic FPS on this laptop, which are as follows: 

FPS in Games

  • 89 FPS in Red Dead Redemption, 95 FPS in Forza Horizon 5, 119 FPS in GTA, 153 FPS in CoD WarZone, 198 FPS in Fortnite, 240 FPS in Valorant. 

The High-end CPU and the GPU – deserve top-notch specs. Therefore, this laptop comes with 16GB DDR5 and a 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD. 16GB RAM capacity is more than enough for playing latest games and for streaming or multitasking. 

As for the 1TB SSD, it is enough but if you want more storage capacity later down the line you can always add in another M.2 SSD as this laptop offers a vacant slot. 

Who Should Buy Gigabyte Aorus 17 XE4

The Gigabyte Aorus 17G supports some of the specs of any laptop on this list. The 1080p 360Hz display is especially worth mentioning because it is one of the best screens on the market. This laptop is only let down by its cooling performance but if you don’t game for 4-5 hours consistently then it should be an issue. Overall, the Aorus 17G is a great buy for a gamer who is not brand snobbish and is looking for a solid gaming laptop that can do it all.

Best Performance

5. Lenovo Legion 7 Gen Best Gaming Laptop

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5


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Pros


  • Solid and rigid chassis
  • The RGB light bar looks stunning
  • Full-sized keyboard that includes a number pad
  • Excellent 1440p display gets plenty bright
  • 165Hz refresh rate provides smooth gaming experience
  • 8 core 16 thread Ryzen 5800h CPU is a beast performer
  • 140W Nvidia RTX 3070 can play any game at 60+ FPS

Cons


  • The keyboard is not comfortable to type on
  • The trackpad being offset to the left takes time getting used to

Bottom Line:


Lenovo has stepped up its game and the recent releases from the company have been nothing short of amazing. The Legion 7 is the most premium laptop the company has to offer, and it is fitted with the best hardware one could find in the industry. The legion 7 is not all about specs, Lenovo has gone the extra mile and made this laptop look good without being too flashy. 

Design and Build Quality

The design of the Lenovo Legion 7 follows in the similar vein as other laptops that are released this year with most of them sharing the common RGB led light bar along the edge of the chassis.

The one featured here on this laptop is not obnoxiously large as the competition. The light bar is barely visible head on due to its recessed position and only illuminates the surface around the laptop. The light bar is also fully customizable through the corsair iCue software. 

The keyboard on this laptop is also RGB and adds to the overall flare of the machine. The most distinguishing design element of the laptop however is the inclusion of RGB lighting for the exhaust vents. This is the last place you would expect RGB lighting to be in, but it actually looks good.

Another upside of buying the Lenovo Legion 7 laptop is that you get an all-metal build for this chassis. The metal chassis not only feels premium in the hand but also provides the rigidity needed for such a large sized body. Surprisingly, for such a tanky and solid device the laptop chassis is relatively thin.

Keyboard, Trackpad and Speakers

The keyboard and the trackpad of the Lenovo legion 7i are mediocre. This laptop features a full-sized keyboard that contains a number pad as well. Due to the number pad the trackpad of the laptop is not centered on the chassis but rather shifted towards the left. In terms of typing the keyboard is comfortable but lacks the tactile rebound. 

For such a large laptop this trackpad feels miniscule in comparison and using it is not ergonomic. In terms of tracking, it is alright though and gets the job done. The mediocrity continues to the speakers as well and the bottom firing speakers on the laptop are passable but nothing special.

Display, Battery life and I/O

The display of legion 7 is incredible. Rarely, we run into gaming laptops with such good displays and anyone who buys this laptop is in for a treat. In terms of the stats, the 1440p IPS panel of the laptop has a refresh rate of 165Hz. 

While this is not impressive on its own because competitors also have similar refresh rate but quite literally the beauty of this panel is the picture quality. This 16” inch panel has a maximum brightness of 500 nits which makes the screen legible even under direct sunlight. 

The panel is calibrated accurately out of the box and produces rich and vivid colors. It fully covers the sRGB color gamut while having a 90% DPI-P3 coverage. Unlike other laptop screens with a 16:9 aspect ratio, the screen of the Lenovo legion 7 comes with a 16:10 aspect which is far better because it provides more pixels in the same screen size. 

Despite the bright and punchy screen, the battery life of this laptop is amazing. This laptop easily provides 6-7 hours of battery backup on light use. When gaming or performing heavy tasks expect the battery to be dead within 2 hours.  

This is not a major issue though because gaming laptops are mostly used on brick power and for this the power port of the laptop is conveniently positioned away from other necessary ports. As for the other ports, this laptop features the full suite of I/O and even a thunderbolt port is available on this laptop.

Gaming Performance and Thermals

The Lenovo legion 7 has top of the line hardware and while this sounds exciting this high-end hardware is the Achilles heel of the laptop. 

The Lenovo Legion 7 comes with the top of the line Ryzen 5800H, which is a 8 core 16 thread CPU from AMD. This CPU delivers exceptional gaming performance while staying relatively cool than its Intel counterpart. 

This laptop is specced with a 140W Nvidia RTX 3070, which ensures great performance. On this laptop, you can easily run all the latest games at 1440p without a hitch. During my testing I was able to get the following average framerate. 

FPS in Games 

  • 68 FPS in Red Dead Redemption, 75 FPS in Forza Horizon 5, 100 FPS in GTA, 144 FPS in CoD WarZone, 130 FPS in Fortnite, 250 FPS in Valorant. 

This laptop is easily the best performing one on the list and despite having massive performance it does not get hot. This is due to this laptop having 3 cooling fans inside and a specially designed system that takes the heat away from the CPU and the GPU. Lenovo has done an excellent job in the thermal department. 

To compliment the high performing CPU and the GPU, this laptop also has 16GB of fast RAM which is installed in a dual channel configuration. By default, for the storage, you get a 1TB NVME SSD which is more than enough for storing all your games and other files. However, if you feel like 1TB is not enough then you can easily add another NVME SSD as this laptop comes equipped with a vacant M2 NVME slot. 

Who Should Buy the Lenovo Legion 7?

Lenovo Legion 7 is a great choice for the gamers who yearn performance in a simple and minimalist looking gaming laptop. Without looking atrocious and flashy, this laptop beats many others in terms of performance. If you are a university student, the Lenovo Legion 7 would be an ideal laptop for you.

Best Aesthetics

6. Alienware X15 R1 VR Ready Gaming Laptop

Editor’s Rating: 4.0/5


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Pros


  • Very thin and lightweight 
  • Unique design makes this laptop stand out amongst other laptops
  • Versatile I/O and very good connectivity 
  • Clicky and tactile keyboard
  • 360Hz refresh rate makes playing competitive games a treat 

Cons


  • 16GB RAM is less than the competition
  • Terrible speaker quality 

Bottom Line:


The Alienware X15 R1 is Dell’s attempt at a slim and portable gaming laptop. Despite being their first attempt, Dell has managed to build a slim gaming laptop that can not only rival but defeat all the other slim gaming laptops currently available in the market. The Alienware X15 R1 is a special gaming laptop, it has the perfect blend of portability and performance, hence making it a great option under $2000.

Design and Build Quality

Dell has managed to get this laptop to 16.3mm thick, making it the thinnest Alienware to date. Despite its small size, the design of this laptop is classic Alienware. It is built upon the same foundation as all the other Dell Alienware laptops. This laptop carries the tall hinge design, but the hinge here gets added reinforcement.

This is done to prevent any cracking or premature wear. Since the aluminum used on the hinge is less thick to reduce weight, some extra reinforcement was needed to guarantee solidity and durability.

This laptop comes in a matte white finish which looks very good when new. However, as this laptop ages the white finish of the laptop will get pale because of the dust and grime buildup.

At the center of the front, there is an illuminated skull logo synonymous with the Alienware brand. This is not all for the illumination though, Dell has also placed an LED strip along the entire front edge of the laptop, where the I/O ports are.

The white finish is only used for the top lid section of the laptop. The screen borders and the keyboard deck have a smooth black plastic finish. At the top of the keyboard deck, there is a honeycomb mesh grill for added airflow.

All of these design elements are packaged in a solid and well put together body. Dell has not spared any expense in the build quality of the Alienware X15. The entire body of this laptop is made out of aluminum. The smooth finish and the robust feel give this laptop a very premium feel in the hand.

Keyboard, Trackpad and Speakers

Alienware laptops are known to have amazing keyboards and this one is no exception. Despite the small footprint of the laptop, the keyboard on offer here is one of the most comfortable to type on.

The keys have a great clicky sensation which makes them very satisfying to use. The rebound of the keys once they are pressed all the way in is crisp and precise. This makes typing very comfortable and most users will have no problem achieving their maximum typing speed on this laptop.

Dell Alienware X15 like all other gaming laptops also offers an RGB keyboard, which you can customize through the Alienware command center. This software, however, is quite buggy and lacks some in-depth customization features.

The trackpad of the Dell Alienware X15 works fine, but due to its small size it can be quite cumbersome to use. The small size limits gestures and also makes for a very awkward hand position which I find uncomfortable.

The speakers are also not very well executed. Perhaps Dell needed more time to finish these laptops because the lack of attention to detail in some segments is disappointing. Anyhow, the speakers of the Dell Alienware X15 R1 sound tiny and muffled. They lack any punch in the bass or have any clarity in the highs, hence rendering them useless for music playback and gaming.

Display, Battery Life and I/O

Dell has put this laptop as a premium offering. The display of this laptop is very high-quality and has all the best specs that you would want in a modern gaming laptop’s display.

The panel used here has a resolution of 1080p with a refresh rate of 360Hz. Although other competitors in this list offer higher resolution they cannot match the 360Hz refresh rate provided by the Alienware X15. Having such a high refresh rate makes this laptop ideal for fast-paced competitive gaming like Valorant, CSGO, Overwatch, etc.

The display of this laptop not only provides a high refresh rate but also has decent color accuracy. Although, still not viable for professional color grading work but for gaming it is a treat to watch.

I was thoroughly impressed by the battery life of the Dell Alienware X15. Given the high refresh rate display and the beefy specs on offer, I was expecting this laptop to give only 3 hours battery backup, but it turned out to give 5.

Now 5-hour battery life is not anything spectacular and laptops with AMD CPUs offer significantly better results. However, we have to keep in mind that this is a thin and lightweight laptop so due to size constraints Dell could not have managed to put a larger battery.

The 5-hour battery backup is only when you use this laptop for light tasks, like browsing the web, scouring the documents or watching YouTube. The battery quickly depletes when gaming and expect no more than 1 hour of battery backup.

Fortunately, the thinness of the Dell Alienware X15 has no effect on its I/O. Dell has managed to put all the much needed ports into this laptop. On the sides, you will find only a 3.5mm headphone jack and a barrel style power connector on the right and left respectively.

All the other ports are located on the back of the laptop. These ports include USB 3.2 Type-A, USB 3.2 Type-C with thunderbolt support, Micro-SD, USB 3.2 Type-C, and HDMI 2.1. The thunderbolt port comes in very handy in expanding the connectivity of the laptop and also makes it future proof.

Gaming Performance and Thermals

Dell has developed a completely new cooling system from the ground up. The whole purpose of the cooling system is to keep the thin and lightweight chassis of the Dell Alienware X15 cool under load.

The quad fan technology under the hood of this laptop is a significant breakthrough from Alienware. Despite the use of very high-end hardware, this laptop does not get hot. Talking about the hardware, the Dell Alienware X15 is powered by the Intel I7-11800H processor. This processor has 8 cores and 16 threads making it very powerful for gaming.

The GPU used in this laptop is the Nvidia RTX 3070. The Nvidia RTX 3070 has 8GB VRAM and it is one of the best graphics cards for 1080p gaming. The combination of the Nvidia RTX 3070 and the Intel I7-11800H, results in excellent frame rate. 

This laptop will be able to play any modern game at ultra-graphics. Since the Nvidia RTX 3070 is capable of running at over 100 FPS, users will also be able to take advantage of the high refresh rate of this laptop. I was able to get the many games running on this laptop at the following frame rate. 

FPS in Games

  • 72 FPS in Forza Horizon 5, 74 FPS in Red Dead Redemption, 80 FPS in GTA, 134 FPS in CoD WarZone, 145 FPS in Fortnite, 250 FPS in Valorant. 

The games mentioned above were played at the native screen resolution of the laptop and the ultra graphic preset was used for each game. 

For smooth gaming this laptop also comes with 16GB RAM. 16GB RAM is borderline adequate for gaming in 2022. However, later down the road you will need to upgrade if you plan on keeping this laptop long term. For keeping this laptop long-term you will need a high-capacity storage drive. Fortunately, this laptop comes with a 1TB NMVE SSD, which is both fast and provides decent enough storage for all your games.

Who Should Buy the Dell Alienware X15 R1

The Dell Alienware X15 R1 is an excellent thin and lightweight gaming laptop that happens to have very good gaming performance. There are not a lot of negatives with the Dell Alienware X15 R1 therefore, if you are in the market for the best performing thin and lightweight gaming laptop under $2000 then this laptop is the one you should look at.

Best Overall

7. HP Omen 16 → Display: 16.1-inch

Editor’s Rating: 4.0/5


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Pros


  • Clean and simple design
  • Two-tone black and white color scheme looks quite elegant
  • Best-in-class keyboard 
  • Excellent 1440p 165Hz display 
  • Very good thermal performance

Cons


  • The screen bezels are quite thick and obtrusive when gaming
  • The speakers lack bass and clarity at higher volumes
  • The fans can get pretty loud

Bottom Line:


The HP Omen series is the flagship gaming series offered by HP. The main emphasis of the HP Omen laptops is to strike a balance between gaming and everyday performance. As a result, these laptops are not as flashy as some other gaming laptops. The best aspect about the HP Omen laptops is its keyboard, which is arguably one of the best keyboards for typing out of all the laptops in this list.

Design and Build Quality

The design of the HP Omen is nothing special. It looks like a regular gaming laptop from a distance, which I know some gamers prefer. Hp has marketed this laptop as a do it all machine for gamers and professionals looking for a powerful laptop, and the clean and simple design fares well in that regard.

While this laptop may have a simple design, it is not boring to look at. The two-tone finish of the laptop looks quite nice and adds a good contrast. The entire interior section of this laptop is finished in matte black finish, while the top lid of the laptop is finished in a matte white finish.

The piano black HP omen logo at the center of the lid looks quite nice as well. The logo is not backlit, which is a tad disappointing because many other gaming laptops in this price bracket come with illuminated logos.

To the right of the keyboard deck, HP has also printed the X16 signifying extreme performance. For me, it looks tacky and is not required therefore, it should be removed in favor of a cleaner and more streamlined look.

When it comes to the build quality, the HP Omen is not the most well-built laptop you are going to come across at the $2000 price point. Although the chassis of this laptop is made from metal, it lacks the girth and robustness.  The finish of the laptop is also not very well executed which results in a poor hand feel.

While this laptop may not look and feel well-built but due to the metal construction it is not going anywhere. It can survive a few minor nicks.

Keyboard, Trackpad and Speakers

The Keyboard of the HP Omen 16 deserves an award as being the best keyboard on any gaming laptop irrespective of the price. The main thing that makes this keyboard amazing is its layout. The keys are large and well-spaced out, which is made possible by removing the number pad.

The arrow keys are separated from the WASD keys, which makes using them very convenient. On the topic of keys, they are very satisfying to press making for an excellent typing experience. The keyboard of the HP Omen 16 also comes with RGB lighting.

The trackpad of the HP Omen 16 is also quite good. The surface of the trackpad is smooth and picks up the finger movements quite precisely. That being said though, the trackpad of this laptop is aligned to the left, which will need some time getting used to. However, once you get used to that alignment using the trackpad will be a breeze.

The HP Omen 16 comes with branded BANG & OLUFSEN speakers. However, the sound coming out of these speakers is utterly disappointing. The bass is muffled, and the speakers start to crack at maximum volume, therefore it is better to use external headphones or speakers with this laptop to enjoy gaming.

Display, Battery Life and I/O

The 1440p 165hz panel of the Hp Omen is not only a well-specced panel but it also scores high numbers in terms of color accuracy. This QHD panel comes with a 100% sRGB coverage. The 300-nit brightness makes it legible outdoors, and due to being an IPS panel the contrast and viewing angles of this panel are also fantastic. color spectrum and due to. This makes the laptop a very good media consumption machine.

However, the main party starts when you fire up a game on this laptop. The QHD screen makes every game look very sharp and crisp. Also, the 165Hz is really beneficial for fast-paced games and enhances the smoothness and clarity of these games.

The 1440p panel of the HP Omen requires a significant amount of battery juice to run. Hence the battery timing of this laptop is around the 4-hour mark, which is not a good figure if I am being honest. When gaming, expect the battery to run out in under an hour.

Thankfully the HP Omen comes with fast charging. By using the power adapter provided with this laptop you can get from 0 to 50% in just 45 minutes approximately. Talking about the power port, it is located at the left side of the laptop.

Other ports on this laptop include a USB Type-A, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm combo Audio/Mic jack, and an SD card slot. On the right side from the top, we have dual USB Type-A slots, Mini DisplayPort, and a USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 support.

Gaming Performance and Thermals

The hardware inside this laptop is very good but the main question is can the thermals support the hardware and restrain it from thermal throttling. Well, I am happy to report that the cooling system on the HP Omen is quite good. I am using the word “quite good” conservatively because this laptop does a very good job at cooling down some seriously powerful components.

To make the cooling system on this laptop effective, Hp has increased the number of heat pipes hence resulting in faster heat displacement from the components. The fans are also more efficient and this all results in a much cooler system overall.

The laptop is powered by the Intel I7-11800H CPU, which is also found in many other gaming laptops at the $2000 price point. This CPU is favored for high-end laptops because it has very good performance.

The Intel I7-11800H is paired with the Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU, which is an 8GB VRAM graphics card from Nvidia. This GPU is ideal for 1440p gaming, and it can play any game you want on 1440p resolution at 60 FPS. I was able to get the following average frame rate in games from this PC. 

FPS in Games 

  • 55 FPS in Forza Horizon 5, 60 FPS in Red Dead Redemption, 72 FPS in GTA, 110 FPS in CoD WarZone, 135 FPS in Fortnite, 200 FPS in Valorant. 

To play all these games at the FPS figures mentioned above you will need to use the medium graphic preset in each game. 

I am quite pleased to see that this laptop comes with 32GB RAM. Although, 32GB is overkill for the latest 2022 games but having it means that this laptop is future-proof. As for the storage, this laptop comes with a 1TB NVME SSD, which is fast and provides plentiful storage.

Another major benefit of this laptop is that it comes with Windows 11 out of the box, Windows 11 is slightly better for gaming than the Windows 10. Hence, not going through the tedious task of updating Windows is a huge win in my book.

Who Should Buy the Hp Omen 16?

The HP Omen 16 is a versatile and powerful gaming laptop that you can use for gaming or other professional tasks. The fantastic keyboard of this laptop makes it a great machine for typing long scrips or essays on. The HP Omen can play all the latest games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, Cod WarZone with ease hence making it a no-brainer if you are looking for a versatile gaming laptop under $2000 that can play games and be used for professional tasks.

Special Edition

8. MSI Crosshair 15 Rainbow 6 Special Edition → Acer triton 500

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5


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Pros


  • Very unique Rainbow Six Extraction inspired design
  • Good connectivity
  • Comfortable keyboard to type on
  • Excellent 1440p 165Hz display
  • Intel 12th generation I7 12700H CPU produces excellent performance
  • 32GB RAM is more than enough for gaming and multitasking

Cons


  • Subpar battery life
  • Not the best built laptop for $2000
  • Terrible speaker quality 

Bottom Line:


The MSI Crosshair 15 R6E is a special edition laptop licensed with Rain Six Siege Extraction. This laptop is painted in a special black and yellow color scheme. It is not often you come across a yellow painted laptop and that too one with very good specs. If we take away the cosmetics elements under the skin this laptop has very solid performance.

Design and Build Quality

Distinctively MSI yet so classically unique. Being a specially licensed Rainbow Six Extraction laptop the MSI Crosshair 15 has a very rad and tacky design. 

The yellow accents throughout the body of the laptop add a touch of excitement and make this laptop stand out from the rest of the pack. I especially like the part where instead of the HP logo, this laptop has the Rainbow Six Extraction logo. I have to say, the yellow R6E logo looks very unique and unlike anything I have previously seen. 

The gradient effect as the yellow color fades into the black on the keyboard deck looks very cool. The barcode print on the trackpad is also something I have never seen before. I have to admit MSI has done justice with this special edition laptop and there are many cool design elements to it. 

While I like the design of the MSI Crosshair 15 unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the build quality. This laptop feels a grade lower than all the other laptops in this list in terms of its construction. 

Although the body of the laptop is made from metal, the laptop still does not feel as secure as the Asus Zephyrus M16 for instance. Overall, I will give this laptop an A- in the build quality segment. 

Keyboard, Trackpad, and Speakers

The keyboard of this laptop has a great satisfying feel to it and the keys are nice to press. The only downside is that you are not getting the well-famed MSI SteelSeries keyboard here with per-key RGB lighting. However, even without that I have no trouble getting to a comfortable typing speed with this laptop keyboard.

Despite not having per key RGB, you can still customize the keyboard RGB color through the MSI Mystic software, however the customization options are limited. 

The trackpad of this laptop is small. Therefore, due to the small size, it does not feel as comfortable to use as other laptops with large trackpads. The surface of the trackpad however is fine and finger pickup also works quite well. The actual click mechanism is also decent and works without any dramas. 

When it comes to the speakers the MSI Crosshair 15 has been a disappointment. The speakers here are classically mediocre as other gaming laptops in this price range and lack any punchy bass or clarity in the highs. So, I recommend you use headphones or external speakers when playing games to get the full audio experience.

Display, Battery life, and I/O

MSI has included a very high quality panel in this MSI Crosshair 15. It comes with a resolution of 1440p and a refresh rate of 165Hz. This screen spec is better than most other laptops on this list.

Technical specs aside, the picture quality of the screen is quite spectacular. It supports 100% coverage of the SRGB color gamut so the colors are good. The brightness under direct sunlight is also very good and the screen is quite legible. 

The main drawback of this laptop is the battery life. This laptop does not perform well in the battery life department and manages only a run-time of 4-5 hours, which is quite worrisome. This figure is for light tasks, when switching gears to gaming you can expect the battery of this laptop to run out within an hour.

Connectivity is a really important aspect of gaming laptops and I am pleased to report tha this laptop comes with solid I/O. In this department, the first thing that is seen today is whether the laptop has a thunderbolt port or not, and fortunately, the MSI Crosshair 15 does  offer a thunderbolt port. 

The other ports on this laptop include 2x USB Type-A 3.2, USB Type-A 2.0, ethernet port, 3.5mm combo Audio/Mic headphone jack, and a barrel-type power port. The power port is conveniently tucked away at the top right of the laptop hence it does not interface with the USB ports when a mouse is connected.

Gaming Performance and Thermals

The gaming performance of the MSI Crosshair 15  is fueled by the latest 12th generation Intel I7-12700H, which comes with 14 cores and 20 threads. This results in the MSI Crosshair 15 having the highest core count out of all the other laptops on this list. Higher core count is great for heavy tasks like rendering, video production, streaming but not so much for gaming. 

For gaming the main thing is the graphics card and that to the MSI Crosshair 15 has it sorted. It has the Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU, which is considered as the best graphics card for 1440p gaming. 

These two components are not easy to cool so in order to keep their temperatures in check this laptop comes with a sophisticated cooling system. Despite that, the Intel I7 12700H does throttle when this laptop is under heavy load. Therefore, the gaming frame rate in games of this laptop is not as good as the others with the same GPU and CPU. 

FPS in Games 

  • 62 FPS in Forza Horizon 5, 70 FPS in Red Dead Redemption, 84 FPS in GTA, 118 FPS in CoD WarZone, 140 FPS in Fortnite, 230 FPS in Valorant. 

To boost the technical capability of this laptop it comes with 32GB RAM. 32GB RAM is more than enough for even the most demanding multitasking and plentiful for gaming as well. MSI has also not skimped on the storage drive and this laptop gets a proper 1TB PCIe NVME SSD.

Having all this top-notch hardware means that the MSI Crosshair 15 can play all latest games at 1440p resolution with over 60 FPS. In less demanding games, this laptop will easily be able to touch the 200 FPS mark. 

Who Should Buy the MSI Crosshair 15 R6E

The MSI Crosshair 15 is a powerful laptop for gamers that are looking to try something unique and different. The Rainbow Six Extraction inspired looks of this laptop make it very unique and the yellow color scheme is unlike any other laptop. Therefore, if you are tired of laptops looking the same and want to try something new, the MSI Crosshair 15 R6E should be right up your alley. 

Good battery life

9. Asus Zephyrus G15

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5


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Pros


  • Thin and lightweight chassis
  • Subtle yet unique and appealing design
  • Very comfortable keyboard to type on
  • Large and precise trackpad
  • 1440p 165hz refresh rate panel
  • Good battery life for a thin and light gaming laptop

Cons


  • Horrible speakers with crackling issue
  • The CNC milled holes on the lid are a pain to clean

Bottom Line:


Asus revolutionized the thin and light gaming laptop genre with the release of their first Zephyrus laptop. With each generation, the Zephyrus line was gotten better and now we are at a point where Asus can finally lay claim as to having the best thin and light gaming laptop under $2000 in the form of Zephyrus G15. 

Design and Build Quality

The recent design trend in the laptop gaming market encourages more industrial and simplistic designs. Asus has wholeheartedly embraced this change and has given Zephyrus a very minimalist design.

The laptop has a CNC milled aluminum construction and is available in either white or shadow color. Regardless of which color you go for, there is minimal branding to be seen here. The top of the laptop is clean with the Asus branding recessed to the corner of the lid.

To add a slight flare to the design the laptop’s lid has a micro-dotted pattern. It is not excessive and does not garner much attention though making this laptop a perfect daily companion. It is perfectly adequate for professional settings as well as for home use or gaming.

The reason this laptop qualifies as being the best thin and light gaming laptop is because it measures less than an inch thick. If this was not impressive enough the weight of the laptop is around 4 pounds making it ideal for daily carry.

Despite being slim and relatively lightweight Asus has not skimped on the build quality. This laptop has an all-metal chassis and is built like a tank. 

There is minimal flex in the keyboard deck and the hinge area is also well reinforced. The only minor nitpick we have in the build quality department is that despite having premium materials the in-hand feel of the laptop is subpar when compared to other high-end laptops. 

Keyboard, TrackPad, and Speakers

As far as modern laptops go Zephyrus G15 has one of the best keyboards in its class. The keys on this laptop feel crisp and tactile. They also have a decent amount of travel making this keyboard one of the best for long typing sessions.

The trackpad also follows a similar story. It has a large surface area and is centrally placed on the deck. The click mechanism on the trackpad is also solid and does not feel sticky or flimsy. Asus also deserves a pat on the back for the tuning of the trackpad. The surface is smooth and finger tracking is top-notch. Gestures are also recognized flawlessly. All in all, Asus is providing you with a great trackpad here.

Unfortunately, the praises for the laptop end here because we were thoroughly disappointed by the speakers. This laptop shipped with blown-out speakers and this issue was experienced by many people. The recent software update seems to have remedied the situation somewhat but the speaker still sounds bad. This is a quality control issue so buy this laptop from a retailer that accepts returns.

Display, Battery life, and I/O

Asus Zephyrus G15 has a 1440p IPS panel with a 165hz refresh rate. The panel also supports adaptive sync and is therefore compatible with both Nvidia and AMD. When talking about picture quality the panel also supports full coverage of the sRGB color gamut.

While these specifications on paper may sound captivating but in reality, the panel out of the box is dull and uninspiring. After fiddling with some settings we were able to restore the correct settings for the panel by turning off the battery saver in AMD software. 

With this battery saver turned off, the panel comes to life. You get the vividness and saturation of IPS technology coupled with excellent color reproduction.

Even after turning off the battery saver, the battery life of this laptop was remarkable considering its size and the power that is available here. This laptop easily lasted 6-7 hours of casual use with the brightness cranked to the limit. One can easily get an hour or more with the brightness turned down. We recommend gaming on brick power but still in case of an emergency you can expect this laptop to last a couple of hours when gaming.

Gaming Performance and Thermals 

The engineering went into the Asus Zephyrus G15 is incredible. Despite being arguably one of the thinnest 15” laptop, there is a lot going on here.  

Asus Zephyrus G15 is powered by the latest and the best Ryzen has to offer. The Ryzen 5900hs processor incorporated in this laptop has 8 cores and 16 threads. The Ryzen 5900hs is not only a very powerful CPU but also a very efficient one at that. Therefore, it results in this laptop hammering any task you throw at it without getting uncomfortably warm. 

The graphics card used in this laptop is the Nvidia RTX 3070, which is a great 1440p GPU. This combination makes short work of any games you throw at it on 1440p resolution. During my testing, I was able to get the following average frame rate on this laptop. 

FPS in Games

  • 65 FPS in Forza Horizon 5, 62 FPS in Red Dead Redemption, 80 FPS in GTA, 125 FPS in CoD WarZone, 140 FPS in Fortnite, 240 FPS in Valorant. 

This laptop can consistently hit the 60+ fps sweet spot in AAA games and in some less demanding games you are also looking at a 100+ FPS, which are excellent results.

For multitasking and professional work you also get 16GB, which is a slight drawback. Although 16GB RAM is fine for everyday use but during extreme work loads users might feel a little shortchanged. The storage is handled by 1TB PCIe NVMe drive, which is plentiful and can store a lot of games. 

Who Should Buy the Asus Zephyrus G15 

The Asus Zephyrus 15 has a 15.6” screen in a thin and lightweight body. This laptop is for gamers that want a large screen on their laptop without it being bulky and heavy. This laptop also has a simple design, and is ideal for on the go gaming.  

10. Razer Blade 15

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5


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Pros


  • Thin and lightweight chassis
  • Premium build
  • Best trackpad on a gaming laptop
  • Chroma RGB keyboard
  • UHS-11 card SD reader
  • Front firing speakers
  • Good gaming performance

Cons


  • Not the most comfortable keyboard on a gaming laptop.
  • Subpar battery life
  • Loud fan noise is annoying

Bottom Line:


The Razer Blade 15 is a household name in the gaming laptop scene and is adored by the gaming crowd. Razer refreshes this laptop every generation and the 2022 model has garnered positive results due to some major quality of life change. This laptop has significant changes than its predecessor but stays true to the Razer DNA and in typical fashion is one of the best gaming laptops you can buy under $2000. 

Design and Build Quality

The design is classic razer. Ever since the release of the first blade 15, it always had an understated design and this iteration retains the minimalist aesthetic. This gaming laptop with its industrial chassis can be easily mistaken for an everyday professional laptop.

Had it not been for the Razer logo on the laptop’s lid people would have a hard time figuring the intention of this laptop. The logo also has green illumination which looks rather pleasing against the matte black color scheme of the laptop.

To add some flare to the aesthetics Razer has included the chroma RGB keyboard on the Blade 15. The chroma RGB keyboard is still the best in the business and powering the laptop shows the uniform yet bright RGB lighting of the keyboard.

Another area where Razer leads the competition is the build quality. The CNC milled aluminum chassis of the laptop is not only solid but also feels very good to the touch. It has a waxy quality about it making it easy to grip. The thin but dense chassis also exhibits no flex whatsoever and the overall fit and finish of the laptop is class leading.

Keyboard, Trackpad and Speakers

Razer Blade 15 has a short travel keyboard. This is somewhat controversial because most gaming laptops have cushy and tactile keyboards so the folks who have never used a Razer product before will find the typing experience vastly different here. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference, but one thing is for sure this keyboard will require some time to get used too.

The trackpad on the other hand is fantastic. The trackpad is large as far as gaming laptops go and the surface is smooth and well calibrated. The click also has just the right amount of tension making this trackpad a joy to navigate around.

The speakers are another strong point of the Razer Blade 15. This laptop features front firing speakers that are clear but lack bass. For such a thin laptop one cannot expect the speakers to sound deep and rich, but these speakers are certainly usable for gaming and content consumption.

Display, Battery life and I/O

We also have no complaints with the Razer Blade 15 display. The 1080p panel of this laptop supports 144hz refresh rate which although on the lower end of the spectrum as far as 2022 laptops go but according to the hardware of the laptop it is fine.

This IPS panel also excels in picture quality. The panel is rated for 100% of sRGB coverage and this really shows in the viewing experience. Firing up a video and you will be amazed with the vividness of the colors and the contrast of the scene. Being IPS the panel also has great viewing angles making this panel not only great for gaming but also for watching movies and videos.

Despite having a new screen and better hardware the laptop still supports the small size battery of the previous generation. This does not bode well for the battery life as the laptop crumbles on the fifth hour of light to medium usage. For heavy load you can expect the run time of the laptop to be significantly lower.

Razer has always owned the port game in their slim laptop, and this is no exception. The blade 15 has all the required ports that gamers use on a daily basis. It even has a thunderbolt 3 and a full size UHS-11 SD-card reader. 

Gaming Performance and Thermals 

Razer is known to pack their gaming laptops with the top-tech in the industry and that is exactly what they have done with the Razer Blade 15. Despite being the base version of the Blade 15 this laptop still comes with an Intel I7 10750H 6 core 12 thread processor. 

The Intel I7 10750H, although very powerful, is 2 generations old now. It is also not the most efficient CPU around and is known to generate a lot of heat. 

The well-executed vapor chamber system and the network of well position fans and ventilation ports works wonders here. This laptop successfully manages to avoid throttling for most of the part and very rarely the temperatures do exceed the thermal limit.

During the heat elimination process the chassis due to being aluminum does get toasty but thankfully the heat is centered around the edges and the top of the deck. The keyboard area stays relatively cool and usable. If you are sensitive to noise, then there is no point of this thermal performance in the first place because the fan of the laptop is uncomfortably loud so keep that in mind before purchasing the Razer Blade 15.

As far as the GPU is concerned, this Razer Blade 15 notebook comes with an Nvidia RTX 3060, which has a VRAM of 12GB. The Nvidia RTX 3060 is a fantastic GPU for 1080p gaming. It was able to give the following frame rate when tested in games

FPS in Games 

  • 56 FPS in Rise of the Tomb Raider, 73 FPS in Cod WarZone, 78 FPS in GTA 5, 115 FPS in Apex Legends, 130 FPS in Fortnite, and 147 FPS in Valorant. 

As you can see, this laptop can easily hit 100+ FPS in most games, hence you will be able to take advantage of the 144Hz of this laptop. Competitive games like CSGO, Siege or Dota shine on the 144hz panel and play very smoothly. 

Everything about this laptop is not perfect and there are drawbacks to buying this laptop as well. The 512GB NVME SSD on this laptop is quite underwhelming and it will get filled pretty quickly with games. 

The 16GB RAM installed on this laptop is alsop not enough to meet gaming and multitasking needs of hardcore gamers. The silver lining is that users can upgrade the RAM and the storage drive on this laptop quite easily. 

Who Should Buy the Razer Blade 15

Not every gamer wants a desk behemoth and the Razer Blade 15 is a 15.6” inch notebook with a small footprint. This laptop is also lightweight compared to the other sub $2000 gaming laptops and has a premium build. While not the best performing, the Razer Blade 15 is a quality gaming laptop for gamers looking to get something that is premium, lightweight and will last a while.

Decent battery life 

11. Asus Zephyrus M16 → Asus Tuf Dash

Editor’s Rating: 5/5


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Pros


  • Edgeless screen provides a very immersive gaming experience
  • Excellent build quality
  • Minimalist industrial design makes this laptop highly versatile
  • Decent battery life
  • Best-in-class Intel I9 11900H CPU
  • 24GB is plenty for gaming

Cons


  • The inclusion of the Nvidia RTX 3060 is not acceptable
  • The simple design may not be for everyone

Bottom Line:


Asus has been on an engineering roll lately, and the Asus Zephyrus M16 offers something unique that you won’t find in any other gaming laptop. This laptop features an edgeless display, without any bottom chin. Gaming on this edge-to-edge display is a sublime experience. The clean and simple design of the Asus Zephyrus M16 also makes it highly versatile, hence this is the laptop to get if you are looking for an all-in-one machine that can be used for both gaming and everyday tasks.

Design and Build Quality

Asus really wanted to stick with a minimal design language for this laptop. To achieve that the entire body of this laptop is clean without any logo or branding especially the keyboard deck and the screen area.

The Asus branding is neatly confined to the left corner, and it does not interfere with the clean design of the laptop.

However, a simple matte black laptop will get boring really quickly and to keep that from happening the lid of the laptop has a subtle rainbow pattern. The pattern is very subtle and is only visible when in contact with direct light.

While the design of the Asus Zephyrus M16 may be simple, don’t let that fool you into thinking that this is an ordinary gaming laptop.

Asus has paid special attention to the build of this laptop. Since this is pitched as a gaming + everyday machine, Asus has put together this laptop quite solidly.

The entire chassis of the laptop is made from CNC milled aluminum which gives it a robust and solid feel. There is no flex in the screen or the keyboard deck when applying pressure, which is a sign of great quality.

Also, the hinge mechanism that supports the lid of the laptop is also well sprung and has good tension. Closing and opening the lid is very satisfying.

Keyboard, Trackpad and Speakers

The keyboard of the Asus Zephyrus M16 is amazing to type on. The layout of the keyboard is quite good, and it does not contain a number pad. Given that the Asus Zephyrus M16 is a 16” device, the decision to omit the number pad results in a better typing experience.

As for the key feel, each keystroke is very defined. The keys have a good amount of travel hence making them very satisfying to type on. The keys themselves are made out of very high-quality plastic and therefore, provide a good feel when typing. The Asus Zephyrus M16 offers a RGB backlit keyboard, which can be controlled through the

The trackpad is equally good as the keyboard. It is large in size and has a smooth glass surface. The surface is very precise and picks the gestures very well. Due to the large size, scrolling through the trackpad is a breeze.

Unfortunately, the speakers of this laptop don’t live upto the standard provided by the other components. Sure, they do get plenty loud, but the audio is tiny and muffled. For gaming they are fine but if you are audio enthusiasts then you might have to use some earbuds or external speakers with this laptop.

Display, Battery Life and I/O

The main differentiating factor of this laptop is its edgeless display. It is a first time around in a gaming laptop that an edge-to-edge display is offered. This display increases immersion of the users.

Technical specs of the screen are also fantastic. The panel used on this laptop supports a resolution of 1440p at 165Hz. A high resolution and a high refresh rate mean that gamers can enjoy both crisp graphics and smooth motion when gaming.

The display on this laptop is also color accurate. The contrast and the brightness of the display are also above average, and you will have no issue using this laptop in direct sunlight.

All this combined makes the screen of the Asus Zephyrus M16 the best display currently offered on any gaming laptop under $2000.

However, not everything about this laptop is perfect. Such a large and vibrant display with 1440p resolution is quite taxing on the battery. As a result, despite having a large 90WHr battery this laptop only lasts 6 hours with normal use.

The 6-hour time can be extended if you set the brightness to 20%. In that case you are looking at an increase of 15-20% meaning you will get 1 or 1.5 hour more on battery. However, during gaming this laptop only lasts for 2 hours that is you don’t have the brightness set to max.

The I/O of this laptop consists of a number of different ports. The port selection here is quite diverse and all the connectivity options are available.

The ports on the left side of the laptop include power port, HDMI, ethernet LAN, USB Type-A, a pair of USB-C, and a 3.5mm audio port. On the other hand, the ports on the right side of the laptop include Kensington lock, USB type-C and a USB type-A port.

The left side USB-C ports also double as the thunderbolt ports of the laptop. If you aren’t a fan of cables then you would be pleased to know that this laptop comes with the latest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.

Gaming Performance and Thermals

The Asus Zephyrus M16 is powered by some of the best hardware from Nvidia and Intel. At the heart this laptop has an Intel I9-11900H processor. This 8 core 16 thread processor is a beast performer, but the performance comes with a catch.

The Intel I9-11900H produces a lot of heat which without a proper cooling system is hard to get rid of. As a result, this processor can overheat and thermal throttle very badly. The Asus Zephyrus M16 however is up to the task and keeps this processor in its thermal limit of 90°C. Very occasionally does the temperature exceed 90°C and that is normally not during gaming.

So, with the thermals out of way how does the performance of this laptop stack up? Well, with the Nvidia RTX 3060 at the helm, you can expect some really good performance figures. That being said though, the Nvidia RTX 3060 in this laptop is worse than the Nvidia RTX 3070 or the Nvidia RTX 3080 used in other gaming laptops on this list.

This GPU can keep up with all the latest games and play them at 60FPS quite easily. During my testing I was able to achieve the following average frame rate: 

FPS in Games 

  • 62 FPS in Rise of the Tomb Raider, 83 FPS in Cod WarZone, 98 FPS in GTA 5, 105 FPS in Apex Legends 115 FPS in Doom 2, and 147 FPS in Valorant. 

All of the above-mentioned games were played at the native resolution of the laptop and at the highest graphic settings. 

In order to get such a high frame rate, the GPU is helped by the 24GB RAM in this laptop, which ensures smooth gaming and multitasking. 

If you are looking to install a lot of games on this laptop, then you are in luck because this laptop comes with a 1TB PCIe NVME SSD. Being a PCIe SSD means that it is quite fast and results in a snappy and quick user experience.

Who Should Buy The Asus Zephyrus M16

The Asus Zephyrus M16 is a slim gaming laptop that has the best display of any gaming laptop. The edgeless display of this laptop is simply excellent. If you want a gorgeous bezel-less screen on your laptop and can sacrifice gaming performance for it, the Asus Zephyrus M16 is the laptop for you.

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Buyers Guide: The Best Gaming Laptops Under $2000

Buying the best gaming laptops under $2000 for your needs is not just as easy as pointing a finger at the one that looks good. There are a lot of nuances that come with high-end gaming laptops and therefore proper knowledge is required for the best purchase. Some essentials for buying a gaming laptop are the following.

CPU and GPU Performance

The CPU and GPU determine how powerful a laptop is. Gaming obviously, is all about the frame rate and to achieve the maximum frame rate at the best possible graphic setting you need powerful hardware.

Regardless of which platform you go for both AMD and Intel are solid options in the gaming laptop space. However, for the best performance you should go with AMD Ryzen processors because they offer better performance than their intel counterpart and are also more efficient leading to battery life.

As for the graphics card, the latest generation Nvidia RTX cards are a literal revolution. Such massive generation performance gap was unheard of before the RTX cards came into the picture. For a current generation gaming laptop, you should definitely go with a Nvidia RTX graphic card and for your convenience all the laptops in this list come with RTX graphics.

Cooling

Proper heat dissipation is astronomically important in a gaming laptop. Since gaming laptops have powerful components, they generate a lot of heat and as we all know excessive buildup of heat can lead to thermal throttling.

Without a proper cooling solution, no matter how powerful your hardware is it will not be able to perform at the maximum capacity. Good laptops are the ones that efficiently dissipate heat through the complex system of heat pipes, fans and air exhaust vents. 

Sufficient Storage and RAM

While we do get that RAM and storage depend on the individual’s use and there is no right or wrong number when it comes to the RAM and Storage. Still, it does not hurt in having more RAM and storage than required. We recommend having at least 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage space for a reliable gaming experience.

Display

The display is one of the most important aspects of any laptop let alone a gaming one. For gaming a high refresh rate screen is as important as a color accurate one. High refresh rate makes gaming so much smoother and eliminates any jaggedness that you may encounter.

Fortunately, today 144hz is the minimum in gaming laptops and some have even crossed the 300hz mark.

If you are a hardcore competitive gamer and play games shooting games like CSGO or Rainbow Six Siege, then get the gaming laptop that supports the highest refresh rate panel. Real world tests also show that high refresh rate provides an advantage in fast paced that rely on a lot of motion.

Aesthetics

The latest trend in the gaming industry revolves around aesthetics. Aesthetics have become so important that some people primarily buy laptops based on aesthetics. While this is not preferred way of buying a gaming laptop but fortunately most laptops now base their design around aesthetics so in this list you will not find a laptop that looks unpleasant.

Construction and Chassis

Thin and light gaming laptops are becoming increasingly popular and due to the demand, most manufacturers are slimming down the chassis of their respective laptops. Not all thin and light gaming laptops are built equal though and before you buy a slim laptop make sure it has solid construction.

I/0

I/O refers to the input and output ports. A gaming laptop is used as a workhouse and therefore should have all the necessary ports required for everyday use. For starters a laptop should have plenty of USB ports, couple of different display output ports, thunderbolt port, and an SD card slot. There are essentials and every laptop should contain these for seamless and hassle free connectivity.

Closing Thoughts

These were our picks for the best gaming laptops under $2000. All the laptops on this list are extensively researched and rest assured every laptop mentioned here is the best in its category. Yes, we categorized each laptop based on the attribute it excels at. We hope that this list was useful to you in any way and helped you to make a more informed decision.

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