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Are you looking for the best gaming laptop in 2020? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here at ThunderboltLaptop, we’ve compiled a list of gaming laptops with 144Hz refresh rate and a review of the best gaming laptops on the market.
If you are a newbie in the gaming world, you must be wondering; what does a 144Hz laptop mean?
For years now, playing demanding games with great detail levels and excellent resolution meant you had to buy a powerful desktop. The case is now different with most computer manufacturers designing powerful gaming laptops with all the juice you need to run graphic-intensive games.
The laptops come with powerful GPUs, the likes of NVidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q, which guarantees smooth and seamless game flow from your notebook.
What’s more interesting is that you don’t need a laptop with a powerful graphics card to play high-end PC games. You can play the most graphic-intensive game from your ultraportable and thinner notebook.If you’re wondering why, the answer is external graphics processing units.
You can hook up desktop-class GPUs to your notebook using eGPU enclosures. For more information, check our article on the cheapest Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosures.
144Hz Refresh Rate and Gaming
Many power gamers are moving away from screen displays with 60Hz panels because of their limitations. While these kinds of displays are good for personal entertainment experiences, they are slowly becoming dilapidated in the gaming arena.
If you’re playing a game that renders more than 60 frames per second on a 60Hz screen, you’ll experience what is known as “screen tearing.” This happens because the GPU renders more frames per second than your display screen. The result is screen tearing, stuttering, lagging, and uneven motion.
So, what is the solution?
A higher refresh rate. A 144Hz screen display can handle up to 144 frames per second which leads to smoother gameplay with no lagging or screen tearing. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
The adaptive refresh rate is another technology that can reduce screen tearing. NVidia calls this G-Sync while AMD refers to it as FreeSync. Displays with G-Sync refreshes each time a new output emerges from the GPU. With this, there are no cases of uneven motion or lagging.
Here’s a list of the gaming laptops with 144Hz refresh rate. Some are equipped with NVidia’s G-Sync technology to deliver even more fluid gaming experience.
The Best 144Hz Gaming Laptops
This is a review of the best 144Hz gaming laptops from the list. If you are looking for a portable gaming laptop or cheaper options, we’ve got you covered. We will continue to update the list as more gaming machines enter the gaming arena.
1. Alienware Area 51m – Best 144Hz Gaming Laptop
A complete gaming laptop with stunning design, excellent graphics, and unrivaled performance.
The Alienware Area 51m has been the best gaming laptop over the past few years and still is. If you demand maximum graphics and power, this sleek machine won’t disappoint you.
This gaming laptop is equipped with a 9th generation Intel Core i7 (up to Core i9) processor with NVidia’s powerful graphics, GeForce RTX 2080. The Alienware Area 51m can handle everything you throw at it with no screen tearing, blurred vision, or uneven motions.
Nevertheless, am pretty sure it will take long before you even think of upgrading this machine because the specs on board were designed to keep you gaming on max settings form quite a long time.
The Area 51m brings the ultimate “gaming laptop” stereotype to life with a beautiful, elegant design, and customizable RGB lighting. The device is huge, but with the selection of features and aesthetic design, you won’t shy away from showing it to your friends.
This machine weighs 8.54 pounds and is of utmost 1.7 inches thick. The Alienware Area 51m wasn’t made for portability which will be a huge drawback if you are always on the go.
You will find the Area 51M in two jaw-dropping color models; Dark Side of the Moon (black) and Lunar Light (white). Both versions come with a magnesium alloy chassis with a soft touch finish. The chassis is future-proof and lets you swap components to make the machine as powerful as ever.
Area 51m packs the most appealing feature to most gamers: RGB lighting. It has RGB lighting in almost every part of the laptop: keyboard, trackpad, power button, the Alienware logo, and the trademark ring on its back. What’s more interesting is that you can choose whatever color you like to light up your workspace.
The beauty of the Area 51M doesn’t fall short in terms of display. It comes in Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS panel which delivers excellent details and color accuracy. You can choose between 15.6″ or 17. 3″ display, either way, you get impeccable picture quality across the screens.
The lowest graphics card you can get from Area 51m is RTX 2060, which is a deal-breaker for most modern games. With this machine, you get all the juice to run Far Cry 5, The Witcher 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and all the graphics demanding games.
Onboard you get a strong TactX keyboard which provides sheer comfort when playing your favorite game. It is complete with all the keys and number pad.
The keyboard features the per-key RGB which means you can configure any color you like for each key. Pretty cool if you ask me. Your imagination will play a huge part in making how the Area 51m looks.
The Area 51m comes with the following ports:
- 3x USB 3.1
- 1x Thunderbolt 3
- Audio combo
- Gigabit Ethernet jack.
- 1x HDMI 2.0
- mini DisplayPort
- Unparalleled graphics and overall performance
- More horsepower to run demanding games
- Beautiful RGB lighting
- Upgradeable components
- Very expensive
- Noisy fansgh
2. Razer Blade 15 – Best Thin and Light Gaming Laptop
When Razer Blade 15 was first released, it was the smallest 15-inch gaming laptop ever created. While there might be stiff competitors in terms of size, there is no other thin and portable gaming laptop with power and performance that can match the Razer Blade 15.
The Razer Blade 15 measures 13.98 x 9.25 x 0.70 inches and weighs only 4.63 pounds. Exciting numbers from a gaming laptop.
Onboard you’ll get 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor for faster and efficient gaming. It also comes with GeForce RTX 2060 to provide reliable graphics power to run most games. If you have the cash to spare you can choose the RTX 2080 with the Max-Q version to experience more great details and clearer pictures.
Razer Blade maintains its all black and unibody aluminum chassis from its predecessor with a few significant changes. The RGB lighting has been stripped down to only the keyboard and the trademark Razer logo on the back of the lid.
It comes with thinner bezels to fit the 15.6-inch screen is a 14-inch wide chassis to complete the elegant and premium look. Overall, the laptop feels lighter and you can stuff it in your laptop bag and enjoy premium gaming everywhere you go.
The display of the Razer Blade is a 15-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) matte display in an IPS panel. The matte coating is effective for eye care by deflecting glare. Combined with a 144Hz refresh rate, you are assured to experience smooth and fluid on-screen action and animations from your video game.
The laptop provides impeccable color performance to provide accurate visuals and picture details, with support for 100% sRGB color gamut. It can display a range of colors with near-perfect precision and vibrancy.
You can take advantage of the factory-calibrated display from Razer or customize the display to fit your individual needs.
The Razer Blade 15 comes with a satisfying and comfy island-style keyboard which is good enough for regular work. The keyboard features full key single-zone RGB lighting powered by Razer Chroma to liven your gaming experience.
Gaming isn’t complete without RGB lighting, you can select from 16.8 million colors to light up your workstation and enjoy different effects depending on your game.
One of the downsides of the Razer Blade’s keyboard is its layout. The “Up” arrow is placed between the “?” and Shift key. This can be inconvenient to some especially when typing questions or longer typing jobs. You’ll have many typos.
The Razer Blade provides a good selection of ports for connectivity including the incomparable Thunderbolt 3 port.
It ships with the following ports:
- 1 x Thunderbolt 3 port
- 3 x USB-A
- 1 x HDMI 2.0b
- Kensington Lock
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- Combo audio
- 1 x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
- Powerful performance in a small chassis
- Excellent displays
- Thinner and lightweight
- Elegant design
- Still expensive
- Battery life below par
3. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Cheapest 144Hz Gaming Laptop
The most affordable laptop with excellent display and power to run the most demanding video games.
While most premium gaming laptops carry a huge price tag, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is an exception. The laptop provides impeccable performance and graphical power for a lower price than the other gaming laptops. The Helios 300 is the only gaming laptop in the top ten bestselling laptops on Amazon.
If you’re a gamer but fortunately don’t have the budget to purchase the likes of Alienware and Razer, the Helios 300 can be a great companion.
It comes with a six-core 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti graphics card which are a perfect fit for the gaming arena. Don’t be deceived by its price, this machine can provide insane performance with faster speeds ready for the real games out there.
The Predator Helios 300 comes in a black plastic chassis, as you’d expect given its price range, with a beautifully brushed-metal lid. You’ll find the Predator logo on the back of the lid and two angled red stripes to complete the elegant look.
The Helios 300 weighs 5 pounds and 1.1 inches thick. You will feel its impact from your laptop bag but not enough to break your spine. You carry it around for shorter distances.
Overall the design is excellent and paints the picture of gaming laptops even from far. You’ll have to find other options to keep off fingerprints because the chassis is a fingerprint magnet.
The Helios 300 comes in a 15.6-inch FHD widescreen with an IPS panel. It features smaller bezels which keep it at par with other premium and high-end gaming laptops.
The display is smooth thanks to its 144Hz refresh rate which can keep your gaming hunger sated. You get faster speeds with 144Hz and 3ms overdrive response time. Great value for a lower-priced gaming laptop.
The level of detail and color is pretty amazing. The Helios 300 is equipped with 300 nits of brightness which makes your display brighter and clearer. Factor in 72% NTSC and you get a wider range of colors to display every detail of your pictures with excellent color accuracy.
The display and graphics performance may not be that great when playing demanding games, but generally, the performance is enough to keep going with most video games.
The impeccable performance of the Helios ranges to the keyboard. It comes with a rich-feature backlit keyboard with extra keys for performance and overclocking.
The keyboard has 4-zone RGB which you can customize to display different colors of your choice. You’ll find see-through concave-shaped WASD keys that can back-up as extra control keys.
The most unique features with the Helios 300 keyboard are the Turbo and PredatorSense keys. The Turbo key lets you activate instant overclocking when gaming while the PredatorSense opens the utility app to configure various settings such as lighting, fan control, and overclocking.
This Helios keyboard is one of the most useful keyboards across gaming laptops.
You’ll find several ports with the Helios 300 but if you’re a Thunderbolt 3 fan, get ready for disappointments. The Helios comes with one USB 3.1 Type-C port with no Thunderbolt support.
The selection of ports includes the following:
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C (USB C)
- 1 x HDMI 2.0
- 1 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x SD card reader
- 1 x Ethernet RJ45 slot
- Kensington lock slot
- Headphone jack
- RGB lighting
- Incredible value
- Powerful GPU
- Small storage
4. Lenovo Legion Y740 – Best Value 144Hz Laptop
A gaming powerhouse featuring the latest high-end hardware from Intel and NVidia that delivers an all-round excellent gaming performance.
For a long time, Lenovo’s Legion-branded laptops have been quiet in the gaming arena but the story is about to change. The Lenovo Legion Y740 is one of the most powerful gaming laptops around with enough muscle to support the latest gaming experiences.
This masterpiece comes with the 8th generation Core i7 processor (up to Core i7-9750H) and the latest GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q. This is enough power to handle demanding AAA games.
The Legion Y740 allows you to play high-end video games with no sight of lagging or shuttering.
The design of the Legion Y740 deserves applause. It provides extremely powerful performance in a thinner, light, and compact chassis, thanks to NVidia Max-Q. It weighs only 6.2 pounds and measures 16.2 x 12 x 0.91 inches.
The Legion Y740 comes in an all-aluminum chassis and features Corsair iCUE ambient system lighting to light up your keyboard and the cooling vents on the sides. The narrow 8mm bezels complete the clean look of this classy gaming machine.
The Legion Y740 doesn’t disappoint in terms of display. It comes with a 17.3-inch Full HD display with thinner bezels that let you focus on the game, not the bezels. The display graphics render more than 2 million pixels with 144Hz refresh rates. With NVidia G-Sync, there are absolutely no chances of uneven motions.
Experience lifelike experience with 500 nits of brightness and Dolby Vision HDR that makes you forget you are looking at a computer screen. Dolby Visions HDR provides perfect picture quality with great attention to brightness, contrast, and color saturation.
The picture quality of the Legion Y740 is unmatched by the other premium gaming laptops.
The Legion’s keyboard is comfy and provides responsive best-in-class controls to let you deliver timely strikes during the game.
The keyboard is full-sized and delivers 100% anti-ghosting. It supports backlighting and WASD highlights to make sure you don’t miss a control when it matters. With less than 1ms response time, you have the best responsive controls on your hands.
You can configure 4-zone RGB lighting for more liven gameplay. With the elegant design of the chassis, the RGB lighting extends to the side and back vents.
Onboard you get a range of ports and slots for extra connectivity. The Legion Y740 comes with the following ports:
- USB 3.1 Gen 2
- 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
- Mini DisplayPort 1.4
- HDMI 2.0
- AC adapter
- Kensington Lock slot
- Thunderbolt 3 Type-C
- Combo headset jack
- NOVO hole
- High-end hardware and features
- Cutting-edge performance
- Excellent picture quality
- Elegant design with plenty of RGB lighting components
- Poor battery performance
- The design does not reflect gaming laptops
5. Asus ROG Strix Scar II – Best Designed 144Hz Gaming Laptop
The ROG Strix SCAR II brings aesthetic designs to the gaming arena with HyperCool Pro cooling system for powerful, yet quiet gaming.
The RGB lightings and compact designs play major roles in gaming laptops. But if your laptop can combine stylish designs, powerful performance, and premium cooling features then you have a complete gaming machine.
The ROG Strix Scar II is an excellent machine that delivers premium build quality, stylish design and an effective cooling system to prevent overheating problems during intense gaming.
The ROG Strix Scar II dons a brushed-aluminum lid with a ROG logo at the back which emits RGB lighting when powered on. Completing the outward design is the glossy cutout near the hinge that hosts LED indicators.
When you open the ROG Strix Scar II you’ll be amazed at its brilliance and vibrant colors. The light bar and keyboard light up your workspace with rainbows of color which you can customize with different modes. How can you not love the Scar II?
The Scar II features super-thin bezels to fit the 17.3-inch in a 15.6-inch chassis. However, the thinner bezels come with its perils. The webcam is placed at the bottom bezel which can be an inconvenience to many users.
The laptop is the average size at 15.7 x 10.7 x 1 inches with a net weight of 6.3 pounds. It may weigh a little heavy for carrying around but it’s one of the thin 17-inch laptops.
The display of the Strix Scar II is a 17.3-inch Full HD (1920×1080) in an IPS-level panel with a 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. This gives you super-smooth visuals with no motion blur or uneven motions.
The visuals are colorful and brighter with 100%sRGB and the 300cd/m² which produces 20% brighter visuals than low-end IPS levels.
The brilliance of the Strix Scar II extends to the keyboard. The keyboard features highlighted WASD keys with transparent key caps, 4-zone customizable RGB backlighting, and four hotkeys.
The Stix Scar II uses N-key rollover technology to log in multiple simultaneous keystrokes and anti-ghosting to prevent registering false commands. The Scar’s keyboard ensures you don’t miss a strike or send the wrong strike on your game. Amazing isn’t it?
If you’re a hardcore gamer, it doesn’t get better without RGB lighting. Well, with Scar II, your imagination is made a reality.
It comes with Aura Sync technology for ultimate customizations. Aura Sync matches the colors of the keyboard, light bar, and the ROG keyboard to give you a consistent look and feel. What’s more interesting is that when you’re using Aura Sync supported peripherals, such as headsets, the colors will be consistent across the peripherals.
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-C)
- 3 x USB3.1 Gen 1
- 1 x USB3.1 Gen 2
- 1 x mDP 1.4
- 1 x HDMI 2.0b
- 1 x RJ-45 jack
- 1 x SD card reader
- 1 x 3.5mm headphone combo input
- 1 x Kensington lock
- Stylish and elegant design
- A brighter and colorful display
- Great SSD
- Powerful GPU
- Plenty of RGB lighting modes with Aura Sync
- Poor battery life
- Inconvenient webcam
Choosing the Best Gaming Laptop
The moment you type in “gaming laptops” click the search button, you’ll be met with a lot of options for different gaming laptops each with different specs. The question remains: how do you select the ideal gaming laptop?
Here are the things to look out for when choosing the best gaming laptop:
You need the power to run the most demanding and graphics-intensive games. Most gaming laptops come with the 9th generation and NVidia RTX 20s series. This guarantees smooth and fluid gameplay for all the latest games.
If you’re under a tight budget, an 8th generation chip can be ideal, back up with an average NVidia graphics and you’re good to go.
The 15-inch screen is the most popular for gaming laptops. You can go for the 17-inch screen if you’re ready to bear the weight. Factor in Full HD display and the gaming arena is ready for you.
Anything less than a 15-inch size isn’t ideal for most modern games. The chances of getting a 14-ich with 144Hz refresh rates are very low. Unless you are ready to live with screen tearing and motion blur, go with 15-inch screens and above.
Keyboards are very fundamental in the gaming space. Most excellent gaming laptops feature per-key and zone customizable RGB backlighting. While per-key backlighting keyboards are the best, they carry a relatively higher price tag. Other factors to consider include, hotkeys and WASD highlights.
Well, it all comes down to how much you’re willing to spend. If you want the best powerhouses and customizable machines, it will cost you an arm and a leg. These machines have everything you could wish for – topnotch hardware, ultra-clear visuals, and upgradeability.
However, you don’t have to break the bank for excellent gaming machines. There are cheaper options with competitive specs that give the premium laptops headaches. Albeit the display might be clearer than the high-end machines, these laptops can give you a fluid gaming experience for a cheaper price.
Which gaming laptop suits your needs?
Well, to be frank, you have the best answer. It depends on what specs you want from a gaming laptop. Make sure to consider the above buying guide for a powerful gaming machine. Remember you can always upgrade your GPU by using external GPU enclosures if you don’t like the performance of your graphics card.