While desktop PCs are still considered the norm for most gamers, the trend has undergone a few changes in the last few years. With the ever-developing technology when it comes to graphic cards, it’s not difficult to find a rather portable solution for your gaming, without renouncing on performance. But when it comes to high end gaming laptops,  it can be quite hard to choose a model over another. And that’s why we wrote this short guide, and we’re also going to recommend you some  of the best gaming laptops under 2500 dollars available right now.

The price for a gaming laptop ranges from $800 to $3000, for the most high-end models. It’s going to depend heavily on the tech specs and the build quality of the chassis, among other things. As you might imagine for yourself, there’s a wide spectrum of possibilities that you’re going to choose depending on your needs. So, what kind of gamer are you? Are you into indie and casual games, or into the experimental fields of VR and the latest technologies?

How to choose a gaming laptop?

When buying a gaming laptop, keep in mind that you’re taking on a full station, display and keyboard included. While there’s still space for adding more RAM and swapping out the hard drive, that’s far from what you can do on a desktop. However, a laptop offers mobility, which probably why you’re here in the first place. And that’s why we thought about including a quick buyer’s guide for gaming laptops, in order to help you pick one that’s going to back you up for a few years at least.

So, here are some of the main features that you MUST check carefully when buying a gaming laptop:

  • The CPU:

The CPU is not the key feature in a gaming laptop, although you’re not going to be able to upgrade it. We wouldn’t recommend going any lower than an Intel Core i5 processor. The quad-core or hexa-core 8th generation of Intel CPUs, that is the latest, is the best for multitasking and occasional productivity on the side.

  • RAM and Storage:

RAM and storage space are specs that you might consider upgrading in the future. In most cases, this is not a tough choice. The minimum recommended amount of RAM for modern gaming laptops is 8 GB, even though 16 GB is the better solution for more demanding games.

Then, gaming laptops traditionally come with a large HDD for installing your software. SSDs are a little bit pricier, but they allow for faster loading time and starting up your system in just a few seconds. It’s not difficult to find hybrid solutions, with a 128 GB SSD as a boot drive and a 1 TB HDD for the storage space. But then, there’s plenty of space for upgrading in this department.

  • The GPU:

The GPU is easily the most important feature in a gaming laptop, so you better pick carefully. Here, we’re going to review laptops coming with the popular 10-series, the new 16-series and the high-end 20-series by Nvidia. There’s plenty of choices here, for all kinds of budgets and needs. Currently, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 is the least one to offer basic VR support, so that’s recommended if you don’t want to cut yourself out of the newer experiences. However, the current generation is the RTX series. Here is a little help on choosing the best graphics card for your needs:

-Entry-level gaming: If you’re a casual gamer and  don’t need to play at the highest settings, you can go for a GTX 1650, which will let you play most games at medium settings. You can also consider a GTX 1660 Ti for more power. Both of these cards are quite affordable, which means that they can be found in sub $1000 gaming laptops.

-Mainstream Gaming: If you like to play games at the highest setting, consider an NVIDIA RTX 2060. It’s also considered the minimum standard for virtual reality, so it’s the lowest you should go for if you’re looking for a laptop for Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

-VR and the Highest Settings: For playing demanding games, or playing in 4K,  consider an RTX 2070, or the RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti , which are the most powerful 20-series cards out there and will allow for smoother VR and special effects. Laptops that are equipped with these cards usually cost around $2000 or more.

To save some money, you can also buy a laptop that comes with a GTX card, which is the previous generation. Although they were released in 2016, GTX cards such as the 1060, 1070 or 1080 still offer a great gaming performance, even with demanding games such as Forza Horizon 4, GTA 5, or Assassin’s Creed.

  • The display:

Most gaming laptops come in either a 15” size or a 17” one. Of course, bigger screen sizes are going to impact on the weight of the device, thus the portability. For a gaming machine, don’t go lower than a Full HD (1920×1080) display. Notable machines at this resolution allow for a higher refresh rate, up to 144Hz, for a smoother gaming experience. On the other side, higher resolution screens, like 2K and 4K, top at 60Hz. They’re also more demanding on the GPU. For the display, you’re going to make a compromise between resolution and refresh rate.

  • The keyboard:

Last, you’re going to need a keyboard that is suitable for the occasional aggressive play. The best keyboards come with over 1.5mm of key travel, that is how far down you can press a key. Look out for the more advanced RGB backlighting, with the possibility to customize it key by key.

So, now that you have an idea what to consider when buying a high end gaming laptop, here are some of the best gaming laptops under 2500 available right now. We have tried to include laptops for different budgets, and if you have a question or suggestion feel free to ask us in the comments!

Best Gaming Laptops Under $2500

 

ASUS TUF505DU-EB74

First on our list, the ASUS TUF505DU-EB74 is a high price value, 15.6” Full HD gaming laptop. The refresh rate of the display is 120Hz. The TUF features a quad-core AMD Ryzen 7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD with an additional 1 TB of HDD storage space. The dedicated GPU is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, that is suitable for playing even the more demanding games in mid graphics settings.

Considering its budget, the ASUS TUF offers quite a few goodies, namely the high amount of RAM and the hybrid solution for storage space, that allows for faster loading times. On top of that, it’s 1.02” thin and has a strong, durable chassis build, aiming for an elongated lifespan. You’re going to enjoy the IPS display so much!

Processor AMD Ryzen 7 R7-3750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 128GB Pcie SSD, 1 TB HDD
Graphics Dedicated, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 3- USB 3.1 ports

1 – HDMI port, Ethernet

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 4 hours battery life

 

GIGABYTE AERO 15 Classic-SA-F74ADW

The GIGABYTE AERO 15 Classic-SA-F74ADW is a minimal looking, 15.6” Full HD gaming laptop with thin bezels design. The display has a refresh rate of 144Hz. The Aero 15 features an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. It comes with the dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card.

The Aero 15 is your choice to go if you’re not into aggressive looking laptops. This machine is easily one of the slimmest models in this list, for the ones among you that prefer the added portability value. Unlike many gaming laptops out there, the Aero 15 offers up to nine hours of untethered productivity. Then, you’ll enjoy an immersive view experience with plenty of customization options, thanks to the RGB per-key backlighting.

Processor Intel Core i7-9750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 512GB, PCIe SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C  port // Thunderbolt

3- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port, Mini Display Port, Ethernet

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery Up to 9hrs battery life

 

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW-AS76

Next, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW-AS76 is an ultra-slim 15.6” Full HD gaming laptop, with an experimental chassis design. It’s a refreshing view in the laptops market. The IPS display has a refresh rate of 144Hz. The Zephyrus S features an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. It comes with a dedicated NVidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card, that is suitable for more demanding games.

The Zephyrus S has a good looking, RGB customizable keyboard, with a trackpad that also serves as a digital numeric keypad. You’re advised, you’re going to fall in love with the all metal chassis design.

Processor Intel Core i7-8750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 512GB, NVME SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVidia GeForce RTX 2070
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 2 – USB Type C  port // Thunderbolt

3- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port,

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery Up to 5 hrs battery life

 

Alienware M17

At a slightly higher price, the Alienware M17 is another thin and relatively lightweight 17,3” Full HD gaming laptop, with a narrow bezels design and 144Hz of refresh rate of the display. It features an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD coupled with 1 TB of HDD space. This laptop is also equipped with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070.

Alienware has always had a big presence in the gaming scene, with on the top builds and perks by manufacturer Dell. The M17 has taken a bold turn in the portability direction, packing remarkable gaming assets in a thin magnesium alloy chassis. It also offers plenty of customization on the keyboard department. And, you can actually compare different graphics card and choose the one that suits you the most in the purchase phase.

Processor Intel Core i7-8750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 512GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVidia GeForce RTX 2070
Screen 17,3 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C  port // Thunderbolt

3- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port, Mini Display Port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery Up to 5 hrs battery life

 

MSI GS65 Stealth-007

Next, we recommend the MSI GS65 Stealth-007, a thin 15.6” Full HD gaming laptop, with a narrow bezel design and a display with 144Hz of refresh rate. It features a hexa-core 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD. It’s packed with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, straight from the latest 20-series.

While MSI is known for delivering thick and aggressive looking laptops, the Stealth series is proof they can handle the thin and portable design too. The Stealth-007 has a matte black finish, an RGB customizable backlit keyboard and plenty of connectivity options, with the latest Thunderbolt 3 ports. The silky glass touchpad is another nice feature, enabling for more space, responsiveness and more than ten gestures optimized with Windows 10.

Processor Intel Core i7-8750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVidia GeForce RTX 2060
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C  port // Thunderbolt

3- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port, Mini Display Port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery Up to 6 hrs battery life

 

Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-75L8

The Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-75L8 is another thin and light gaming laptop, featuring a 15.6” Full HD display with 144Hz of refresh rate. The specs are an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. The dedicated graphics card is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, one of the most powerful you can get in a laptop. That’s guaranteed to let you play the most demanding games up to date.

The Triton 500 offers plenty of features for its value, all in a 0.7” thin profile. It comes with the G-Sync feature, that links the GPU directly to the display for an even smoother gaming experience. Of course, it’s also packed with a nice RGB customizable backlit keyboard.

Processor Intel Core i7-8750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 512GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, G-Sync IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C  port

3- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port, Mini Display Port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 5 hours battery life

 

Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop

We cannot make a gaming laptops list without including a Razer Blade. And for under $ 2500, the Razer Blade 15 is gaming laptop that offers a sharp and minimal design like no other. It’s packed with a 15.6” Full HD display with thin bezels and a refresh rate of 144Hz. The Blade 15 features an 8th generation hexa-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. The dedicated graphics card is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070, one of the best in the market for VR gaming.

This 0.7” thin laptop is just to fall in love for, featuring a large and RGB backlit customizable keyboard. The Blade 15 offers the latest connectivity options, including Thunderbolt 3 ports. It’s also easily upgradable, up to 64 GB of RAM and 2 TB of storage space. That is enough for you to keep on track in the next few years. Crafted in a single aluminum body, the Blade 15 is a laptop that we recommend both for gamers as for creative designers out there.

Processor Intel Core i7-8750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 512GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, G-Sync IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C  port// Thunderbolt 3

3- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port, Mini Display Port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 6 hours battery life

 

Lenovo Legion Y740

The Y740 is another stunning pc from Lenovo’s gaming Legion series. Priced under 2500 dollars, this laptop offers great value for the money, and comes with a a 17.3” Full HD display with 144Hz of refresh rate, G-SYNC, and a narrow bezel design. It’s packed with an 8th generation hexa-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. It also features the New Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 dedicated graphics card, for playing the latest and most demanding titles.

Despite its big display, The Legion Y740 is just 0. 91 thin, which is relatively compact compared to some other 17 inch laptops out there. There’s nothing you could go wrong with this one, if you wish for a larger view on your alternate realities.

Processor Intel Core i7-8750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 512GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, G-Sync IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C  port// Thunderbolt 3

3- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port, Mini Display Port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 5 hours battery life

 

ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501VI-XS74

For those of you looking for a good deal and don’t necessarily care about getting the latest NVIDIA GPU, the ASUS ROG ZephyrusGX501VI-XS74 is a smart option to consider. This laptop comes with a 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQprocessor, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. It comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, which is still one of the most powerful GPUs out there.

ROG Zephyrus’s 120Hz display lets you enjoy exceptionally smooth gaming at a true 120 frames per second. It also features NVIDIA G-SYNC technology, which synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the GPU’s frame rate to make game play silky smooth.

Processor Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 512GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, G-Sync IPS
Connectivity and Ports 2 – USB Type C  port// Thunderbolt 3

2- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port,

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 5 hours battery life

 

MSI GE75 Raider-048

Last, the MSI GE75 Raider-048 is arguably one of the best gaming laptops under 2500 you can get. This 17 inch gaming rig features an 8th generation Intel Core i7 8750H  processor, 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD and an additional 1 TB of HDD storage, offering plenty of local space for your installations. It’s packed with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 dedicated graphics card, that is guaranteed to tackle the AAA games out there, while also being VR ready. Like other competitors, the Raider-048 features a Full HD display with narrow bezels and a refresh rate of 144Hz.

This beast offers all that you could wish for in a mobile gaming rig, having an impressive price per value. It also comes with a RGB backlit customizable keyboard and the latest connectivity options, with a Thunderbolt 3 port included. That’s just the best of the best in the 17.3” department!

Processor Intel Core i7-8750H Processor
RAM 16GB
Storage 512GB, SSD + 1TB HDD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
Screen 17,3 inch, 1920X1080, G-Sync IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C  port

3- USB 3.1 port

1 – HDMI port, Mini Display Port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 4 hours battery life

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