The best thin and light gaming laptops 2021





Most gaming laptops are large, ostentatiously styled with huge vents and a fighter jet-like aesthetic, and they’re heavy. They are not meant to be carried everywhere like regular laptops, but rather from place to place for gaming sessions. However, not everyone wants a huge laptop for their gaming needs, and that’s where a new breed of thin and light gaming laptops comes into play.

The Razer Blade 14 tops this list. Not only is it a great gaming laptop, but it’s also one of the best laptops, period. It’s not the only excellent thin and light laptop worth considering, though. These are our favourites.

The best thin and light gaming laptops at a glance:

Razer Blade 14

Razer Blade 14 front view with display and keyboard.

Why you should buy this: It’s the best thin and light gaming laptop money can buy.

For who is it: Anyone who wants a thin and light laptop, but doesn’t want to give up gaming skills.

Why we chose the Razer Blade 14:

The Razer Blade 14 epitomizes the thin and light laptops on this list. It’s thin and light, of course, at 0.66 inches and 3.9 pounds. It’s also elegantly designed with its all-black aluminum chassis and just a single green Razer logo on the lid. You get per-key RGB backlighting, which is what gamers want, and that’s the most obvious nod to this a gaming laptop.

Inside you’ll find a blazing fast 8-core, 16-thread AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU that makes it a powerhouse for CPU-intensive games, and you can configure up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. Even with the basic RTX 3060, you can play most games at 1440p and high settings. Razer designed the thermals to handle extended gaming sessions while maintaining performance.

The Razer Blade 14 uses a 14-inch, 16:9, 1440p IPS display with a 165Hz refresh rate, providing both high resolution and high refresh rate. There simply isn’t a better thin and light gaming machine out there these days.

Read our in-depth Razer Blade 14 review

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 top view with dots and vents.

Why you should buy this: It’s a solid alternative to the best thin and light gaming laptop.

For who is it: Anyone who wants a thin and light gaming laptop with a little more gaming aesthetic.

Why we chose the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14:

The Razer Blade 14 is the best 14-inch thin-and-light gaming laptop, but the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 deserves an honorable mention. It’s 0.70 inches thick, which is a hair more than the Razer, but it’s also lighter at 3.5 pounds. ROG Zephyrus G14 also has a more gamer-inspired aesthetic for those who want their laptop to stand out. The laptop has an optional AniMe Matrix Display design on the lid that uses LEDs to create patterns and designs. The Asus also has a more aggressive styling, with large vents along the sides and rear that scream “gaming.”

The ROG Zephyrus G14 is also a powerful gaming machine with up to an AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS (albeit a specialized 35-watt version compared to the usual 45-watt). The “S” stands for smart, allowing it to fit into a thinner chassis and stay cool. GPU options include the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 and 1660 Ti at the low end and the RTX 2060 at the high end. Those aren’t as powerful as the Razer Blade 14, but it’s enough for up to 1080p gaming.

Display options include a 16:9 QHD (2,560 x 1,440) IPS panel at 60 Hz or a Full HD IPS display at 120 Hz. That’s a good match for the ROG Zephyrus G14‘s performance. If you want a thin and light gaming laptop that looks like a gaming laptop, this is the one for you.

Read our comprehensive Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review

Razer blade 15

Fortnite with a Razer Blade 15.

Why you should buy this: It is the best thin and light 15-inch gaming laptop.

For who is it: Anyone who wants a 15-inch gaming laptop but doesn’t want the typical 15-inch size and weight.

Why we chose the Razer blade 15:

For quite some time now, the Razer Blade 15 has been at the top of our list of the best gaming laptops. It’s beautiful, with the iconic Razer all-black chassis and green logo on the lid, and an elegant design that’s simple yet beautiful. In those respects, it looks a lot like the Razer Blade 14 that replaced it at the top. Like its smaller brother, the Razer Blade 15’s only nod to gamers is its per-key RGB keyboard lighting. You can get the laptop as thin as 0.62 inches, depending on the model, weighing in at 4.6 pounds.

If you’re looking for a 15-inch gaming laptop that’s thin and light, the Razer Blade 15 is the best out there. It offers a plethora of configurations that use Intel 10th and 11th Gen Core i7 and i9 H-series CPUs and GPUs, ranging from the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 to the RTX 3080. It’s fast enough to play modern titles at 4K with graphics Pictures.

You also have a choice of displays, including Full HD IPS at 144 Hz, QHD IPS at 240 Hz, and UHD (3,840 x 2,160) OLED at 60 Hz. The Razer blade 15 is a powerful machine that only narrowly loses to the Razer Blade 14 on this list.

Read our in-depth Razer Blade 15 review

Alienware x15

Alienware X15 front view with display and keyboard deck profile.

Why you should buy this: It is the second best thin and light 15-inch gaming laptop.

For who is it: Anyone who wants a 15-inch gaming laptop that’s not just thin, but packed with technology.

Why we chose the Alienware x15:

The Razer Blade 15 is the tiniest bit thinner than the Alienware X15 at 0.62 inches compared to 0.64 inches and it’s lighter at 4.6 pounds compared to 5.2 pounds, but the Alienware is packed with tech. It all starts with Alienware’s Cryo-Tech thermal design, which uses quad fans and exotic materials such as encapsulated gallium-silicone to ensure adequate cooling for the high-quality components stored within. It also looks more like a gaming laptop, with a space-age design with RGB lighting along the trailing edge, stylized ventilation, and per-key RGB keyboard lighting.

Even though it’s very thin and light for a more traditionally styled gaming laptop, it has powerful components inside. You can choose between 11th generation Intel Core i7-11800H and Core i9-11900H CPUs and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 or RTX 3070 GPUs. RAM works up to 32 GB and 1 TB SSD storage is available. The Alienware X15 is powerful enough to run modern titles at the highest graphics settings.

Display options include a 15.6-inch FHD IPS display at 165 Hz and an FHD IPS display at 360 Hz with G-Sync. The Alienware X15 is the modernist thin and light laptop on this list.

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE front view with display and keypad.

Why you should buy this: It is the best 16-inch gaming laptop.

For who is it: Anyone who wants a slightly larger gaming laptop without breaking the back.

Why we chose the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE:

The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE isn’t the thinnest or lightest laptop on this list, measuring 0.78 inches thick and weighing 5.4 pounds. But it’s a 16-inch laptop, which is slightly larger than any of the 15-inch laptops on our list, but doesn’t quite match the size of the MSI GS76 Stealth with a 17-inch screen. The design is mostly conservative, with just some aggressive ventilation and per-key RGB keyboard lighting that gives it away like a gaming machine.

Like most gaming laptops here, Intel’s 11th Gen Core i7-11800H and Core i9-11900H and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 GPU take care of the gaming experience. Even the base configuration of a Core i7 and RTX 3070 will run today’s games at 1440p and maximum graphics, aided by up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.

There is only one display option, a 16:10 aspect ratio IPS display with a WQXGA resolution (2,560 x 1,600) and a refresh rate of 165 Hz. The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE balances screen size with powerful components and earns a spot on this list.

MSI GS76 Stealth

MSI GS76 Stealth front view with display and keyboard deck.

Why you should buy this: It is the best 17-inch thin and light gaming laptop.

For who is it: Anyone who wants a really big screen in a thin and light gaming laptop.

Why we chose the MSI GS76 Stealth:

If you want a huge screen but still If you don’t feel like lugging around a huge gaming laptop, the MSI GS76 Stealth is for you. It packs a 17.3-inch screen into a chassis that’s just 0.80 inches thick and weighs 5.4 pounds. That’s not much for a powerful laptop in this class. Like the Razer laptops, the GS76 Stealth has an all-black chassis with minimal ventilation, and the keyboard is the standout game design feature.

However, you are not limited in performance. You can choose an 11th-gen Core i7-11800H or a Core i9-11900H CPU, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 3070, and 3080 are the GPU options. That’s good enough for 4K gaming with graphical details that come to the fore in almost every game.

You can choose from three display options. The UHD IPS panel works at 60 Hz, the QHD screen at 240 Hz and the Full HD screen at a whopping 360 Hz. The MSI GS76 Stealth will meet your big screen gaming needs, and then some.

Asus ROG Flow X13

Playing Fortnite on the ROG Flow X13.

Why you should buy this: It is the best 13-inch thin and light gaming laptop.

For who is it: Anyone who wants the most portable gaming laptop, but doesn’t want to give up the power.

Why we chose the Asus ROG Flow X13:

There aren’t many 13-inch gaming laptops out there — and for good reason. It’s hard to pack game-level performance into such a small package. Razer did it with its Stealth 13, but that has been replaced by the Asus ROG Flow X13. Not only is the ROG Flow X13 thin at 0.62 inches and light at 2.87 pounds, it’s also a 360-degree convertible with active pen support. It is useful for more than just playing games.

It’s also surprisingly powerful, with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS or 5980HS CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU. That is if you buy the configuration that is not bundled with the XG Mobile Expansion Dock. If you buy a bundle, you get an RTX 3050 in the chassis and up to an RTX 3080 in the dock. Not only does that make ROG Flow X13 fast enough for modern titles at 1080p and medium graphics, but it can be upgraded to handle 4K gaming with higher graphics settings.

We also love that the screen has a higher aspect ratio of 16:10, which is unusual for gaming laptops. The ROG Flow X13 can be purchased with a 13.4-inch IPS Full HD+ (1,920 x 1,200) panel at 120 Hz or a UHD+ (3,840 x 2,400) display at 60 Hz. And all that fits most comfortably in your backpack.

Read our comprehensive Asus ROG Flow X13 review

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