The virtual CES 2021 event may be different this year, but that doesn’t stop it from rolling out impressive tech as usual. The best gaming laptops from this year’s CES are a mix of many premium innovations, a few excellent revisions of existing models, and notable newcomers.
To name a few, the MSI Stealth 15M now comes with a brand new case that gives it a legitimate claim to the title of the world’s thinnest gaming laptop. Meanwhile it is new Asus TUF Dash F15 comes with a hip design, military-grade durability and an affordable price tag – proving once and for all that you don’t have to spend the big bucks for sheer power and portability.
With Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3000 graphics are coming to gaming laptops this yearit is now time to upgrade to a brand new model. The best gaming laptops from CES 2021 are proof that power and portability can go hand in hand, and we’ve collected them all here.
1. Lenovo Legion 7
Bigger and better screen
Lenovo has released several gaming laptops this year, including the Legion Slim 7, the Legion 5 Pro, and the flagship Lenovo Legion 7. However, all eyes are on the Legion 7 as it comes with a newer screen and the latest innards. Unlike its previous model, this 2021 version comes with a bigger, faster screen with a higher resolution. The 16-inch IPS display has a resolution of 2560 x 1600, a refresh rate of 165 Hz, HDR 400 and Nvidia G-Sync. That’s certainly an upgrade from the 2020 15.6-inch, 1080p, 144Hz.
Not to be outdone, the internal components are also getting a decent update. This year’s Lenovo 7 comes with AMD Ryze 5000 chips and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 GPUs. That’s while things remain around the same price level as last year. Expect to see it on shelves around June 2021.
2. MSI Stealth 15M
Is this the thinnest gaming laptop in the world?
While lofty claims to be the world’s thinnest gaming laptop have yet to be substantiated, the MSI Stealth 15M is certainly a solid contender for the title. Being only 0.63 inches thick and 3.73 lbs light, it’s thinner and lighter than both the MacBook Pro 16-inch and Dell XPS 15. That’s while it packs 11th Gen Intel Core chips and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 graphics card – the highest configuration gets you an Intel Core i7-11375H CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Max Q, 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD. In fact it is one of the first gaming laptops to feature Intel’s 11th generation H35 series mobile processors.
That’s pretty impressive, especially for a gaming laptop. The screen could be better, with MSI keeping things calm with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a refresh rate of 144 Hz. But even in 2021, a 1080p screen is still sharp enough for gaming. Available for pre-order now from $ 1,399 (£ 1,025, AU $ 1,800), the MSI Stealth 15M won’t ship until later this year.
3. Asus TUF Dash F15
Affordable CAN means pure power
The Asus TUF line is no stranger to affordable great artists. In recent years Asus TUF A15for example, was just brilliant and kept things accessible for budget-conscious gamers. Now it’s back at CES to prove that cheap gaming laptops can deliver raw power too. The new Asus TUF Dash F15 is set to do just that, with Intel Tiger Lake processors, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 Mobile GPUs, and up to a 240Hz 1080p display without costing a fortune. The icing on the cake? It’s just 0.78 inches thick and weighs just 4.41 lbs.
And that’s on top of its military-grade durability and hip, office-space-worthy design. No word yet on when the Asus TUF Dash F15 will be available and exactly how cheap it is at the time of writing, but based on the success of the TUF A15, we’re sure the TUF Dash F15 will perform as promised.
4. Razor blade 15
Smooth 4K gaming
Available from January 26 at the best online retailers, the new Razer Blade 15 must not contain design innovations. However, the 4K display option needs the right internal parts to back it up. And this year’s models make that a reality, thanks to the arrival of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 that sits near the specs. Correct; the new Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition comes with the best mainstream GPU for 4K gaming to date, along with a 10th generation Intel chip, 32 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD.
Of course, if you’re looking for faster but cheaper options, it also has 1080p and 1440p displays available at 360Hz and 240Hz respectively – all with RTX 3000 GPUs. The new Razer Blade 15 starts at $ 1,699 (about £ 1,325 / AU $ 2,380), with the 4K display, RTX 3080 configuration setting you back $ 3,299 (about £ 2,420 / AU $ 4,230).
Razer Blade Pro 17
Fast gaming in 4K
However, if you don’t mind using a slightly bulkier portable game, the Razer Blade Pro 17 offers everything the Razer Blade 15 with 4K display has to offer, only faster. Just $ 300 more than its smaller cousin, this configuration of the new Blade Pro 17 comes with a 4K display with a double refresh rate at 120Hz. It also comes with the Nvidia RTX 3080 GPU for that flawless 4K gaming experience. Like the 15, it also comes with largely similar display options and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 graphics cards.
The question is, is it worth it to scold more about the Blade 15? In our humble option, if you’re all about the 4K gaming life, yes. This is mainly because it is not really much thicker or heavier. However, if you go for the 1440p option, the smaller version has a faster refresh rate.
6. Gigabyte Aorus 17G
Back with vengeance
Gigabyte also rolled out its share of refreshed gaming laptops this year, with both the Aorus 15G and Aorus 15P getting their share of internal updates. However, it is the Gigabyte Aorus 17G that’s striking: the 17.3-inch IPS display with a refresh rate of 300 Hz, the mechanical keyboard with Omron switches and the Intel Core H-series processors are now complemented by Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3000 line, as replacements of last year’s RTX 2000 GPUs.
Among other gaming laptops released this year, this isn’t that big of an update, mainly because it looks like Gigabyte is sticking to 10th gen processors. However, for Gigabyte fans with much older specs inside, now is an excellent time to upgrade and even see what the RTX 3080 is made of.
7. Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15
Wonder on two screens
While the TUF Dash F15 is on the hunt for the affordable yet powerful title, Asus’ ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 proves that dual-screen is still the future of gaming. It’s back this year to prove it’s a secondary screen more than just a gimmickand offers gaming support such as additional menus, map previews and inventory options that will help provide a smoother, more seamless gaming experience. Naturally, the internals will also be upgraded with AMD’s next-gen Ryzen mobile processor and Nvidia’s RTX 3000 mobile GPUs to round it out.
The question remains: is the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 and its second screen, especially with its special edition burning a $ 2,899 (about £ 2,130 / AU $ 3,715) hole in your pocket worth serious consideration? We will have to wait until we get it. In the meantime, it’s still some pretty handy technology worthy of a place on this list.
8. MSI GE76 Raider
MSI’s new offering
MSI is new GE76 Raider may still be stuck with 10th Gen Intel Core processors, which is a bit disappointing for a new offering. It does, however, make up for that in the GPU department, equipped with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 graphics up to RTX 3080. Since Nvidia’s latest flagship is the best for 4K gaming, this new line has a 17.3-inch 4K IPS screen option in the listing. – although you want something faster, there is an alternative in 1080p with a refresh rate of 300 Hz. RGB fans, meanwhile, will appreciate the fact that it inherited the RE66’s Mystic Light panoramic aurora lighting design.
It also has a special edition, the MSI GE76 Raider Dragon Edition Tiamat, which comes with a beautifully engraved lid inspired by the ancient goddess Tiamat and will be released in February. In the meantime, it’s worth checking out the MSI GE76 Raider, available for pre-order now starting at $ 1,499 (around £ 1,100 / AU $ 1,920).
9. Alienware m15
The evergreen bet
Alienware’s gaming laptop offering is consistently good, from their funky design to their specifications and performance. Unfortunately, the new Alienware m15 R4 is not getting any design updates this year, which is disappointing, and sticks with Intel’s 10th generation chips. The good news is that Dell has chosen to give it a few component boosts, starting with its graphics cards, of course. Like most gaming laptops coming out of CES 2021, the Alienware m15 R4 gets the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 GPUs.
It also offers faster RAM with up to 2933 MHz, which will of course also help with your gaming experience. If you want to upgrade your slightly outdated Alienware gaming laptop, now is your chance. The Alienware m15 R4 will be out on January 28 from $ 2,150 (around £ 1,575 / AU $ 2,750).
10. Asus ROG Flow X13
Convertible gaming laptop with a mobile eGPU
The theme of CES 2021 when it comes to gaming laptops seems like the thinner and lighter the better, which somewhat explains Asus’s ROG Flow X13. It takes things to a new (and perhaps weird) level by opting for a 13-inch convertible body that’s just 0.62 inches thin and 2.9 pounds light. It also apparently offers up to 10 hours of battery life. And that while it is very promising for desktop-level gaming.
How exactly can it do that? By coming of course its own ultraportable eGPU. The Flow X13 itself is equipped with up to AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, which is a decent GPU in itself. To take things up a notch, it comes with the compact Asus ROG XG Mobile external GPU with up to a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU in it that can be clocked up to 1810MHz at 150W with ROG Boost.
Will this 2-in-1 route (in more ways than one) work better than the traditional way? Or will it be his downfall? We have yet to see. But for now you have to admit: it sounds like something you want to play with. The ROG Flow X13 and XG Mobile bundle is available for pre-order now from $ 2,999 (around £ 2,200 / AU $ 3,845).