Technology

The Best Gaming Laptops – Holidays 2022

For the second year in a row, the Razer Blade 15 and Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 receive the top mention for the best gaming laptops overall. Both are stunning machines, so picking between them is really a matter of personal choice, but we really love the look and feel of the Blade 15, as well as the multitude of spec options.

Razer has streamlined its laptop selection by removing the more expensive ‘Advanced’ models, leaving buyers with the option of the Blade 14, 15, and 17. The middle size is our favorite due to its combination of screen real estate, weight, and power.

Razer hasn’t heavily altered the design of the Blade 15 over the years, but why change something this premium and stylish, we like it. The sturdy all-black anodized CNC aluminum chassis ooze the sort of quality that will grab the attention of any bystanders, it’s also pretty slim and light for something so powerful.

Razer offers a wide selection of specs for the Blade 15. The base model (currently $1,549) packs a Core i7-11800H, 16GB of RAM, an RTX 3060, and a 144Hz Full HD display, which should be enough to satisfy many gamers, but spend more and you have the option of an RTX 3070/3070 Ti/3080 Ti, Core i9-12900H, up to 4K resolution, and up to a 360Hz refresh rate. As a gaming machine, this is a competent desktop replacement.

Razer also offers plenty of bells and whistles in the Blade 15, including per-key backlighting, factory-calibrated displays, 1080p IR Hello webcam, and upward-firing speakers with THX audio. The port selection comprises one Thunderbolt 4, two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with power delivery (15W), and three USB A 3.2 Gen 2 ports.

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Razer has a reputation for pricing its products in a way that would rival Apple (in a bad way) and the Blade 15 is no different: a middle-of-the-range model with a Core i7-12800H, RTX 3070 Ti, and 240Hz QHD screen is $3,000. You might also find the battery life isn’t on par with some rivals. Nevertheless, the Blade 15 is a great gaming laptop with looks to match its performance.

A Top AMD Alternative

Asus ROG Zephyrus G15

If you’re a fan of the Blade’s looks and power but want something a little different and with one of AMD’s processors, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is an excellent alternative. With a similar mixture of sleek looks and a light body (4.3 pounds) when compared to the Razer, the Asus adds the advantage of longer battery life.

All Zephyrus G15 models come with AMD 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 9 6900HS CPUs and can be specced up to an RTX 3080. You can also choose 1080p or 1440p displays and refresh rates up to 300Hz.

One of the main differentiating features between the Zephyrus and Blade is the former’s ErgoLift 180-degree hinge that raises the keyboard slightly off a surface when the lid is open, helping it stay cool. It also looks pretty impressive when opened, complementing the backlit chiclet keyboard with RGB.

Battery life is often the Achilles heel of gaming laptops, but the Zephyrus excels in this department, offering over eight hours of use from a full charge.

Elsewhere, the Zephyrus boasts six speakers with Dolby Atmos, 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut, a 3ms response time for its IPS screen, Wi-Fi 6E, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A inputs, one 1x HDMI 2.0b, and a microSD reader. Plus, Asus has finally added a webcam (720p IR).

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The Zephyrus has been known to run hot, and it lacks the range of hardware options offered by the Blade 15, but at $2,000 for the RTX 3070 Ti model, Asus has its rival beat when it comes to price.

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