Best gaming laptops in 2023: Portable powerhouses

The best gaming laptop is a thing of beauty apiece of PC gaming hardware that’s as sleek and portable as it is powerful we’re at a point in PC tech where you can genuinely have desktop gaming performance in a notebook less than an inch thick and small enough to pack in a backpack.

You’ve decided to buy a gaming laptop at the right time the next generation of mobile GPU and CPU is only just hitting the shelves, offering the best Nvidia, AMD, and Intel has to offer i’ve already tested the alternatives, and the best gaming laptop is the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i it makes the best RTX 4090 gaming laptops, including the Razer Blade 16 and Asus ROG Zephyrus M16, and even the frankly ridiculous MSI Titan GT77 HX, look like overkill.

We test dozens of gaming laptops every year the ones that make it to the list provide the best bang for your buck—the best balance of performance, price, and portability.

The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is the best 16-inch gaming laptop, and since 16-inch is the best form factor for a gaming laptop, it is therefore the best gaming laptop overall as well.

It’s a machine that comes in at a price point that makes the rest of the high-end RTX 40-series look even more ridiculous on their lofty $4,000+ perches and its the RTX 4080 model that has us impressed in testing, offering the sort of gaming performance that has me questioning why anyone would want an RTX 4090 machine.

The Legion Pro 7i runs its RTX 4080 at a 150W TGP, which is the effective maximum of the GPU though manufacturers are given an extra 25W leeway to bulk up their own specs if they feel they can push a little extra juice through their own systems lenovo hasn’t gone down that route, the Legion Pro knows what it likes, and it likes the 150W TGP and no more.

The Legion Pro 7i uses a 13th Gen Intel chip—the Core i9 13900HX if, like me, you were to assume that would essentially be a slightly higher clocked version of the Core i9 13900H Asus has used in its excellent Zephyrus M16 gaming laptop, then you’d be wrong.

Despite the almost identical name, this is an entirely different, substantially better CPU where the one in the Asus is a 14-core design, with six P-cores, this is a 24-core setup with eight P-cores and twice the number of E-cores they’re both capable of 5.4GHz boost clocks, though inevitably the bigger chip has a higher base TDP of 45W.

Then, backing up the key CPU/GPU combination is a 1TB PCIe 4.0 Samsung SSD, and 32GB of DDR5-5600 SK Hynix memory.

The final part of the package is the 1600p 240Hz screen which is fine i fear I’ve been spoiled by the joy of the mini LED backlights used in the last few laptop displays I’ve tested, because this one lacks the punch that I now want from a gaming panel what it does have, however, is the 16:10 aspect ratio I never knew I needed in a gaming laptop until I started using them on the regular the 2560 x 1600 native resolution is a great match for the 16-inch screen size the Legion Pro comes rocking.

The Legion Pro 7i manages to outperform both the Razer Blade 16 and the Asus Zephyrus M16 regularly, at both 1080p and 1440p resolutions only the chonky boi MSI Titan GT77 is able to utilise its RTX 4090-ish GPU to its fullest potential and then at the expense of acoustics and potentially your sanity.

Because that’s the thing I keep coming back to when I’m looking at this Lenovo machine it’s not the prettiest, but it sure can smash out them high gaming frame rates and does it for around $2,000 less than the Blade 16.

So, it feels like a grown up gaming laptop, is eminently usable, has performance in spades—in both CPU and GPU terms—and doesn’t cost anywhere near the same amount as the next-gen machines we’ve already checked out i mean, it’s not cheap; $2,750 / £2,800 is still a not inconsiderable chunk of change but that’s not an unexpected price tag for such a high powered notebook.

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