Well, worst 2020 has ended, and now it’s time to take a look at the best gaming laptops coming out in 2021. This article is all based on information provided to me by major laptop brands in the world. I haven’t had a chance to test out any of these laptops in person yet. I will have heaps more information coming, though, so make sure you bookmark for the upcoming full reviews.
Best News about Gaming Laptops
The biggest news was, of course, from Nvidia and AMD. We will have high-end gaming laptops featuring AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series processors with Nvidia RTX 3000 series graphics. Precisely what people were asking for most of last year. Both companies are claiming some pretty good performance numbers but as always,
wait for third party testing before buying anything, which should be in the next few weeks.
New Screen Options in 2021 gaming laptops
I’ll be making as many comparisons as I can between the last generation and new generations. This year, I noticed plenty of new screen options coming, which many companies seem to be taking advantage. We’ve now got up to 1080p 360Hz panels for Esports players, as well as 1440p 165Hz and even 240Hz options.
I know some of you are going to say, “who needs refresh rates that high,” and look, 144Hz is perfectly fine for me, but that said, I have seen demos with 240Hz and 300Hz side by side, and I could tell the difference in CS: GO and Dota 2. Regardless, it’s nice to have options.
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In terms of a gaming laptops in 2021 with the most innovation, I’ve got to give it to the ASUS ROG Flow X13. This is the first 13” Ryzen based gaming laptop that I’ve ever seen, and while that’s interesting enough, it doesn’t stop there. ASUS is using a direct PCIe connection port so that you can connect a small external eGPU enclosure with up to RTX 3080 graphics for even more power.
External GPUs, or eGPUs, have existed for quite a while, but the XG mobile is relatively small and portable comparatively.
ASUS new Gaming Laptop 2021
ASUS is also introducing the new TUF Dash F15 best gaming laptop in 2021. A thinner machine using Intel’s 11th gen Tiger lake H35 quad-core processors. However, I suspect many people may be more interested in the updates to the TUF A15. ASUS has added additional holes in the bottom panel for airflow and expanded the heat pipes. Good news as thermals were a concern last generation.
The Zephyrus G15
The Zephyrus G15 has been redesigned to be a larger version of the G14, going right up to 8 core Ryzen 9 5900HS processor and Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics. It’s not too big for a 15” machine, has a relatively sizeable 90Wh battery, and has unique screen options right up to 1440p 165Hz; I can’t wait to get this one in for testing. ASUS, in general, also made some significant changes to their higher-end gaming laptops.
Instead of waiting for Intel 11th gen, they’re now offering Ryzen 5000 paired with Nvidia graphics right up to the top end RTX 3080 with 16GB of VRAM, and this was the case with the Scar 15, Scar 17, and Zephyrus Duo 15, their dual-screen model. Not only that, but all these ROG models also get USB Type-C charging up to 100 watts, and they now come with liquid metal by default. That move to higher-end Ryzen gaming laptops is exactly what people had been asking for ever since Ryzen 4000 last year, so it’s nice that someone has done it.
ASUS wasn’t alone in this regard, though; Lenovo also has some attractive Ryzen based models coming. Last year, the Legion 7i was an Intel-only model. Now it’s available with 8 core Ryzen 9 processors and also in a new 16-inch size.
Lenovo new Gaming Laptop 2021
The popular Legion 5, which I said was the best Ryzen gaming laptop of 2020, also got some updates. Again, the latest Nvidia RTX 3000 graphics and Ryzen 5000 processors and some new screen options with faster refresh rates I mentioned earlier.
ACER new Gaming Laptop 2021
Moving over to Acer, and refreshed both the Nitro 5 and popular Helios 300 with RTX 3000 graphics. That was pretty much it for the Helios 300, though, no further changes. The Helios was one of the best gaming laptops in 2019. In 2020 it didn’t change too much, and the competition caught up, so without other notable improvements, it might just end up being pretty average. I figured it was worth mentioning here to keep you up to date.
On the other hand, the Nitro 5 receives CPU upgrades to either AMD Ryzen 5000 or Intel H35 quad-core processors. Interestingly, the Nitro 5 is now available with faster screens than the Helios 300, despite its traditionally being a lower-tier product.
I was combined with the fact that the Nitro can be specced right up to overclockable 8 core Ryzen 9 5900HX and Nvidia RTX 3080. It’s no longer just a budget-friendly gaming laptop, though it will, of course, still have a cheaper version, just an unexpected turn of events. Considering that the chassis is, let’s say, this could result in one of the more affordable RTX 3080 gaming laptops on the cheaper side. Not to say a 3080-gaming laptop will be cheap, I mean relative to the other models.
Triton 300 SE
Acer also introduced their new all-metal Triton 300 SE, a 14” gaming laptop with Intel 11th gen H35 processors and Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics with a 1080p 144Hz screen. It’s on the thinner side and doesn’t look like your typical flashy gaming laptop, which could also be taken into a professional environment. I’m interested to see how this one goes.
I guess between this, the TUF Dash F15 and ASUS ROG Flow X13, you could say I’m pretty interested in testing those thinner and smaller gaming laptops.
Razer Blade Gaming Laptop for 2021
I was a little bit disappointed by Razer, and to a lesser extent MSI. Razer’s Blade lineup has some nice updates to the screen, and there were a few other improvements, like the Blade now taking two M.2 SSDs instead of one. Still, realistically apart from the refresh to Nvidia RTX 3000 graphics, they’re continuing with Intel 10th gen processors.
Now I can only assume they plan on refreshing them once higher-end Intel 11th gen tiger lake 6 and 8 core processors are available, but for now, it just seems pretty hard to suggest if they’re going to refresh it in a few months. I don’t know about you, but if I learned something new was coming in a few months, I would hold on a little.
World Famous MSI Gaming Laptops for 2021
MSI followed a similar trend, no talk of AMD gaming laptops, and they’re sticking to Intel 10th gen for now, again presumably until 11th gen is available.
MSI does have their Alpha 15 and Bravo 15 gaming laptops. But these haven’t been announced to be refreshed with Ryzen 5000 yet.
After doing some more thinking, I remembered that both were Radeon graphics-based. In the recent AMD CES keynote, Lisa Su did mention RDNA 2 coming to laptops in the not-too-distant future. So perhaps MSI might just be waiting for a new graphics option before refreshing those.
Regardless, MSI did at least launch a few new gaming laptops.
The GE76 is the larger 17-inch version of the GE66 that came out a year earlier, and while I think it’s an excellent edition, it seems a bit strange that it came out now. Why didn’t we get this a year ago? As most of MSI’s models do have a 15- inch and 17-inch version already, why didn’t we get a 17” version of the GS66? I guess it misses out.
GP 66 and GP 76
The other two were the GP66 and GP76, which replace the dated design of the GP65 and GP75, respectively, giving it a similar design aesthetic to the GE66 and GE76, so wholly blacked out.
Gigabyte was another where they’ve just done the Nvidia RTX 3000 refresh. Not too surprising, though, as all the models I’ve tested by them are Intel-based. I’d personally love to see a high-end Ryzen creator laptop like the Aero 15 with OLED, but for now, I guess I’ll keep dreaming.
I didn’t hear much from HP about Ryzen gaming laptops. I saw some listings for Intel 10th gen models with RTX 3070 graphics. I’m assuming the Ryzen models will get an upgrade too, as the Omen 15 last year was quite a popular model, so it was strange that there was no big news about that one. Maybe I just missed it though, let me know.
What is the Best Gaming Laptop in 2021?
Out of all those models, I’m most interested in checking out the new ASUS ROG Flow X13, because it’s just so different compared to alternatives out there.
The Lenovo legion 5 was extremely popular last year, and for a good reason, so I can’t wait to compare it with the new version. The Legion 7 moving to Ryzen was also an exciting move, and with the more recent 16” size, it’s another that I really can’t wait to test.
I’m also interested to see how the new ASUS Zephyrus G15 does, and of course, test out those thermal upgrades to the popular TUF A15.
Let me know which laptops you thought were the best laptop in 2021 down in the comments, and make sure you bookmarked for all of my upcoming reviews on these gaming laptops as they come in and best games reviews and tricks.