The best gaming laptops 2024: Australia’s top laptops for gamers

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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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REASONS TO BUY
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Asus gaming laptop against gray background
(Image credit: Future / Asus)

If you're looking for gaming flexibility then it's hard to go past a gaming laptop. You can get enough power from the top end gaming laptops for most people to fully replace a desktop, but they're also portable enough to take with you on the go. Thanks to game stores like Steam you can also stream games running on your laptop to TVs and other less powerful devices to make Laptops a great console replacement too if you want. 

Gone are the days when all gaming systems were big and bulky units that would barely survive between powerpoints – thanks in no small part to the popularity of Ultrabooks, they're becoming more sleek and portable while maintaining the power needed to handle the latest games. There’s even a whole category of Gaming Ultrabooks that give you impressive gaming performance in a thin and light package. 

Regardless of whether you're in it for the sleek numbers to slip in your satchel on the go, or an all-in-one replacement for a desktop rig, we've sifted through what's on offer to bring you the best gaming laptops available in Australia.

It's worth noting that our list of the best gaming laptops here in Australia will be a bit different to our US and UK counterparts. While the laptops themselves are undisputedly powerful and capable, the Australian 'tech tax' means we simply don't get as good a deal down under, and so the value proposition is a little different.

The quick list

Want to cut to the chase and find out what the best gaming laptops are? Below, you’ll find a roundup of our choices, and you can jump to a more detailed review of every pick, along with our price comparison tool to help you find the best deals.

The best gaming laptops in 2023

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best gaming laptop in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The best gaming laptop overall

An Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2023) on a desk with a pink desk mat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
The best gaming laptop overall

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
RAM: 32GB
Screen: 17.3-inch 240Hz IPS display at 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, 100% DCI-P3, 3ms response time, G-Sync
Storage: 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Outstanding performance
+
Great screen for gaming
+
Good value premium components

Reasons to avoid

-
720p Webcam is unimpressive 
-
No biometric security features or card reader 

The Strix Scar 17 has long been the flagship of Asus’s gaming portfolio, and while this year we also get an even bigger 18-inch Scar in 2023 the 17-inch gaming powerhouse is just as powerful… and even better value. 

This year’s ROG Strix Scar 17 can be configured with an AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU for performance we rarely see in a laptop. The 7945HX CPU has been configured to pull up to 65 Watts while the 4090 is capable of drawing an impressive 175W. This massive amount of throughput delivers general working CPU performance gains of around 25 percent over a 55W Intel Core i9-12950HX on last year’s Strix Scar 17 SE and up to double the performance on highly multi-threaded tasks. 

This is a pretty amazing result for AMD since it was able to outpace a 65W Intel Core i9-13900 on a Lenovo Legion Pro 5i by up to 18-26 percent on two of our CPU benchmarks. That’s a big performance difference for two processors with the same 32 thread count. 

You’ll also get up to 45 percent better graphics than last year’s ROG Strix Scar 17 SE running a 175W 3080 Ti GPU. This equates to frame rate averages over 130 fps playing RDR2 or Cyberpunk 2077 on 1080p Ultra settings, or close to 90 fps using the screen’s native QHD resolution and Ultra Ray Tracing.

That performance is more than enough power to really challenge the screen's impressive 240Hz refresh rate. At a resolution of 2560 by 1440 pixels the display offers a little more clarity in the 17.6-inch screen, without losing out on the competitive edge of a fast screen thanks to a 3ms response time.

The screen also offers an onboard G-Sync chip that’ll allow you to have faster tear-free refresh rates and reduce any ghosting artefacts. The MUX Switch and Nvidia Advanced Optimus work well in swapping between 60 and 240Hz refresh rates, saving energy when working and ramping up performance during gaming sessions. This means this power hungry device can actually last a few hours on its 90Wh battery when you’re just working.

AU$5,599 is actually less than the starting RRP of last year’s Strix Scar 17 SE and the handful of other devices we’ve seen with 4090 GPUs have run at over AU$6K. You can get better value with slightly more conservative processors, but if you need a no compromise rig then this is a solid option at a fair price. 

Read the full Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 review

The best cheap gaming laptop

An Acer Nitro 5 sitting on a desk

(Image credit: Future)
The best cheap gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-12650H CPU
Graphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 15.6-inch IPS display at 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, 144Hz, 300nit (Typ. brightness), 72%NTSC
Storage: 512 GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Unbeatable value on sale
+
40 series Nvidia GPU
+
Good balance of specs

Reasons to avoid

-
CPU 1 Gen behind

While it might have a 12th Gen CPU, this won't affect performance much since a lot of i5 and i7 laptop chips saw conservative gains. The Nitro 5 does have  either a GeForec RTX 4050 or 4060 GPU from Nvidia however, an upgrade that'll improve   gaming performance by about 20% over the previous 3060 models. This is a noticeable jump of between 10 and 40 frames per second meaning you can play less demanding games at well over 120fps and modern shooters like Cyberpunk 2077 at over 80 fps using 1080p Ultra settings. 

This matches up nicely with the 144Hz refresh rate on the 15.6-inch FullHD IPS screen, allowing you to really push games to the maximum potential without either component overpowering the other.  It’s got a 300 nit typical brightness and 72%NTSC (100% sRGB) which is good colour and brightness for a budget gaming laptop too. 

There's plenty of interface options and while it doesn't have the absolute latest Wi-Fi spec, it's not far off. It's also got a fast SSD and handy NitroSense software. 

I've seen Acer selling this configuration for as little as $1,399 down from an RRP of $2,199, which is exceptionally good value. 


Read the full Acer Nitro 5 review

The best value gaming laptop

black gaming laptop

(Image credit: Future)
The best mid-range gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GB (105W)
RAM: 32GB RAM
Screen: 14-inch 120Hz OLED (2880 x 1800)
Storage: 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent price-to-performance 
+
Stays cool under heavy load
+
Gorgeous 2.8K,120Hz OLED display

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited variants
-
RAM is not upgradeable
Buy it if:

✅ You want a portable option: As the name suggests, the Legion Slim 5 is thinner and lighter than a lot of comparable performance gaming laptops.

✅ You want solid mid-range performance: The RTX 4060 has a generous 105W power profile, which allows for solid frame rates in even high impact games. 

Don't buy it if:

You want high frame rates at the 2.8K native resolution: The 2880 x 1800 resolution OLED display is great, but you need to drop back to 1080P for higher frame rates.


❌ You want a big screen: 14.5-inches is nothing to sneeze at, but does look small next to our favourite 16-inch or 17-inch gaming laptops. 

The Legion Slim 5 (14-inch, 8th Gen) is great mid-range gaming option that is surprisngly affordable – especially when on sale. It's a great option for those who want a gaming laptop that can also do double duty for work or study, as the 14-inch form factor and slim build make it very portable. For a gaming laptop anyway.

The Legion Slim 5 has fewer variants in Australia than overseas. We only really get the one build – a decently powerful Ryzen 7 7840HS paired up with a RTX 4060 and 32GB of RAM. The only options are either a 512GB or 1TB model. The latter is AU$100 extra (which is not a big increase considering) though the best model is whatever one is on sale, as the Legion 5 Slim can be often found for under AU$2,500.

Gaming performance from the RTX 4060 is pretty good, but important here is the power envelope used. The Legion Slim 5 gives the RTX 4060 up to 105W, which means it can run the GPU right up to the most effective power levels. The laptop also has a very capable cooling system to ensure higher performance can be sustained without thermal throttling. Still, with a 2880 x 1800 display, you will need to drop the game resolution or details back on demanding titles if you want to hit close to the panels 120Hz refresh rate.

You can read the TechRadar review via the link below, but keep in mind that it's for the US model that is slightly different from what we get in Australia. For example, we get the 2.8K OLED, while the US variants have an IPS display. In contrast, the US gets additional CPU and GPU options, while we only have the Ryzen 7 and RTX 4060.

Read the full Lenovo Legion 5 Slim 14 review

Razer Blade 14

(Image credit: Future)

The best lightweight gaming laptop

The best lightweight gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 78945HS
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 - 4070
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR5
Display: 14-inch, QHD+ (2560x1600), 240Hz, 3ms, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut
Storage: 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Great, compact design
+
Powerful specs and performance with 140W GPU
+
High refresh rate QHD+ display

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Poor battery life
-
Last year's model can offer better value

Sure, it might be expensive, but the new 2024 Razer Blade 14 is just a thing of beauty; a compact, quiet, durable, and powerful gaming laptop that ticks just about every box. Top-notch internal components are joined by an incredibly bright and vivid screen, with the classic machined metal chassis that has come to define the aesthetic of the Blade laptop line.

What's even better here is that despite its thin and light chassis, it boasts excellent gaming performance that's comparable to similarly-specced yet less portable gaming laptops. 

Also for a thin laptop, it's got impressive cooling. That is, even though it did heat up during intense gaming sessions in our testing, it never suffered noticeable stuttering, freezing, or slowing down, meaning that you can push it like you would other laptops without getting frustrated. You might be disappointed by the battery life, though, as you will only get the rated 10 hours with light use.  

Read the full Razer Blade 14 (2024) review

The best AMD-powered gaming laptop

Asus Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop

(Image credit: Asus)

5. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The best all AMD gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
Graphics: AMD Radeon RX6800S
RAM: 32GB
Screen: 14-inch 120Hz IPS display at 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution; Full DCI-P3 Colour
Storage: 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic performance
+
Excellent, pro-colour screen
+
Good battery for gaming

Reasons to avoid

-
Older model
-
120Hz screen a bit dated

The Asus Rog Zephyrus G14 and G15s have regularly been at the top of our best gaming laptop roundups due to their great performance and reasonable price tags. This market dominance has given the company a bit of cash to splash on updating features like the 1,000-strong LED AniMatrix that can show battery life, audio amplitude animations, or even custom gaming visuals on the outside of the gaming shell.  

This new look isn’t the only thing this 14-inch gaming rig has going for it though, it’s also got a 6th gen AMD CPU and GPU combo, a larger touchpad and a faster screen. The entry-level Zephyrus G14 comes with a Ryzen 7 6800S CPU, a Radeon RX6700S GPU and 16GB of RAM that’ll set you back around AU$3K. Depending on the vendor selling the device you can nab either the FullHD+ 144Hz display or the QuadHD 120Hz panel with full DCI-P3 HDR colour for the same price. Although, if you go by what was still available on shelves, it seems the masses would prefer 24 extra frames to having a brighter, higher resolution and more colour accurate display. 

Laptops like the ROG Zephyrus G14 will be a bit behind Intel 12th Gen in general computing tasks, but the Ryzen 9 has upped its boost clock speed to 4.9GHz, allows it to perform equally well in gaming tasks.  

 Asus is claiming noteworthy improvements in gaming performance translating to 70+ fps on your average Triple-A title running at 1080p Ultra settings.  A six hour battery life for light workloads it’s way better than your average gaming machine, and while it comes with a standard power brick, you can alternatively charge it using USB-C if you’re in a bind. 

Read the full Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review

The best desktop replacement

black gaming laptop facing back

(Image credit: Future)
The best desktop replacement gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9-13900HX
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 (175W)
RAM: 64GB RAM
Screen: 18-inch 165Hz IPS display at 2560 by 1600 pixel resolution
Storage: 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Uniquely high performance
+
Large 18-inch screen
+
Mechanical keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Enormous and heavy
-
Average battery
-
Small SSD

What’s most important in a supersized gaming workstation is performance and Alienware’s unique configuration performed exceptionally well in a wide range of tasks. Despite going up against Nvidia 4090 GPUs with just a 4080, the Alienware was able to achieve frame rates within six percent of the combined averages of all laptops we’ve tested with a 4090. 

 Alienware seems to have achieved this by adding significantly more cooling to the architecture. Sure the added thermal mass adds a whole kilo over Razer and Asus’ 18-inch competitors, but these large-format devices are hardly appealing to gamers wanting an ultra-portable experience and it means you’ll keep up with the best using more conservative (and affordable) components. 

The CPU scores weren’t bad either, with the i9-13900HX keeping up with or outpacing higher specced Intel processors in demanding encoding tasks. The screen might be a little under gunned for professional gamers, but the best laptops still struggle to get over 150fps on modern titles like RDR2 and Cyberpunk 2077 in 1080p Ultra, so there's actually plenty of overhead for the rest of us. 

Battery life was on par with competitors offering just two to three hours depending on what you’re doing (don’t expect to be able to game on battery). What’s perhaps the biggest drawcard of this excellent gaming laptop it’s over AU$1K less than the RRP of Asus's ROG Strix Scar 18, at just AU$5,298 on Dell’s online shop. 

Read the full Alienware m18 review

The best RTX 4090 gaming laptop

The best RTX 4090 gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: 14th Gen Intel Core i9-14900HX
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 - 4090
RAM: 64GB - 128GB DDR5
Screen: 18-inch IPS, 3840x2400p 120Hz Mini LED, HDR 1000, 100% DCI-P3
Storage: 2TB - 4TB SSD