The best thin and light gaming laptop in 2024

If you’re after a machine that packs a lot of power in an ultra-sleek form factor then you should look no further than the best thin and light gaming laptops. While particularly portable gaming laptops can cost more than their chunkier counterparts, finding more competitively priced options in 2024 is now possible. 

As much as we love the best gaming laptops running the best graphics cards and best processors, these machines do have a tendency to be among the bulkiest and heaviest on the market. Top-end power is great, but not if it comes at the expense of portability. That’s where thin and light gaming laptops come in - these are typically under 5lbs in weight and pack in mid-range to high-end hardware in a far smaller package. 

Keep in mind that the form factor comes at the cost of thermal performance. That’s because all that hardware is encased in a much sleeker shell, especially if an RTX 40 series mobile GPU or fast CPU is at the helm, and keeping those powerful components cool in a tight space with limited airflow can be tricky. That means you’ll want to consider one of the best laptop cooling pads to be on the safe side if you’re thinking of gaming for many hours on end.

In this roundup, you’ll find options from Lenovo, Razer, Dell, Alienware, and more. For a more general list of options, we recommend checking out the best gaming laptops next for even more options. We also go by brand for an even more thorough deep dive with the best Asus gaming laptops and best MSI gaming laptops as well. 

The quick list

Want to cut to the chase and find out what the best thin and light 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 thin and light gaming laptops in 2023

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

The best thin and light gaming laptop overall

black gaming laptop

(Image credit: Future)
The best thin and light gaming laptop overall

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS - 9 7940HS
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 - 4060
RAM: Up to 32GB
Screen: 14-inch WQXGA+ 120Hz IPS (2880 x 1800)
Storage: 512GB / 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent performance for the money
+
Strong aesthetic design compared to its competition
+
Lovely 14-inch display for a mid-range model
+
Support for leading AMD mobile CPUs
+
Great typing experience on the keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Far from the most powerful thin and light gaming laptop here
-
The battery life is behind some of its competition 
Buy it if:

✅ You want an easy-to-carry laptop: At 14 inches and fairly lightweight, this is very easy to take on the go.

✅ You want great performance: You'll get fantastic gaming performance out of this machine, even at high settings, no question.

Don't buy it if:

You want a better webcam: The webcam on this laptop is fairly middling, so invest in a better webcam if you plan on livestreaming.

You want ray tracing: Though general performance is excellent, ray tracing will bog it down considerably.

The Lenovo Legion 5 Slim 14 stands out for its exceptional thinness and lightness, offering a comprehensive package of size, performance, price, and aesthetics. This laptop is exceptionally portable with its 14-inch display and feather-light build, effortlessly fitting into most bags without adding bulk or taking up significant space.

Powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, upgradable to Ryzen 9, and with a GPU option up to the RTX 4060, the Legion 5 Slim 14 excels in both productivity and 1080p gaming, even stretching into some 1440p gaming territory. It delivers impressive benchmark scores and framerates, handling maximum settings in AAA games with ease. The device is also capable in creative and editing tasks, backed by its stunning display that boasts excellent resolution, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, HDR support, up to 500 nits brightness, and a 120Hz refresh rate, catering well to both gaming and creative needs.

However, it's important to note a few limitations. Its ray tracing performance is underwhelming, with noticeable framerate drops when used. Battery life varies significantly based on usage as well. And, while remarkably slim and light, the laptop is slightly thicker than some competitors.

Read the full Lenovo Legion 5 Slim 14 review

The best budget thin and light gaming laptop

MSI GF63 Thin gaming laptop open on a wooden desk, with a plant next to it.

(Image credit: Future)
The best budget thin and light gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5-10500H - i7-11800H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 - RTX 3050 Ti
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4 RAM
Screen: 15.6-inch 1920x1080 IPS-level, 144Hz
Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe SSD

Reasons to buy

+
The cheapest thin and light gaming laptop on our list
+
Excellent price-to-performance ratio
+
Solid thermal performance despite plastic chassis
+
Good Full HD screen at 144Hz for gaming 

Reasons to avoid

-
Poorest battery life compared to its competition 
-
Comes packed in with MSI’s bloatware 
-
Most recent models are running outdated GPU and GPU combos
Buy it if:

✅ You want to game on a budget: Let’s face it: gaming laptops can be bloody expensive, but if you cheap out, you’ll likely be stuck with low frame rates or poor graphics. The MSI GF63 Thin walks the line between value and performance expertly.

✅ You need a multi-purpose laptop: Decent performance in just about every area and a reserved design means that the GF63 Thin can happily double as a laptop for work or study, as well as be a solid PC gaming device.

Don't buy it if:

You want ray tracing: While it’s technically capable, the RTX 3050 Ti just isn’t really able to run games with ray-tracing settings turned on.

❌ You need good battery life: The battery life on offer here is far from dismal, but it’s not what we’d call impressive, if you want to keep the brightness at maximum, you’ll need to plug in.

Budget gaming laptops that still deliver on performance are hard to find, which makes the MSI GF63 Thin (2022) an excellent choice for those wanting to save without having to sacrifice too much in specs in return. The starting price is one that most gaming laptops can’t hope to match in this generation of performance behemoths, especially one that’s also so thin and lightweight. Its battery life is average, but that’s what you’d expect from a gaming laptop in the first place.

Its specs include up to an Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, though the Core i5 version is more prominent, and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU. For the latter, you can also get the GeForce GTX 1650 GPU version for a cheaper price point, which still can handle most games just fine, but we found after testing that it’s best to pay a bit more for the 3050 Ti, as the gaming performance is more than worth it.

The display is also 1080p HD and we found that when combined with its 144Hz refresh made for a smooth gameplay experience and a clear vibrant picture quality. However, it’s not well-suited for high demand tasks, like 4K video editing and running number-crunching scientific programs. The port selection is excellent as well, with every type you need. In fact, in comparison to many other current-gen gaming laptops we’ve tested, it surpasses them all. It does have issues with bloatware, and sometimes the charging cable can block those many ports too.

Read the full MSI GF63 Thin (2022) review

The best premium thin and light gaming laptop

black gaming laptop

(Image credit: Future)
The best premium thin and light gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i9-13900H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
RAM: Up to 64GB
Screen: 16-inch 240Hz QHD+ IPS (2560 x 1600)
Storage: Up to 8TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Aggressive pricing for the hardware inside 
+
Features a powerful CPU and GPU combo 
+
Leading 16-inch 240Hz QHD+ display 
+
Weighs in at only 4.18 lbs for RTX 4070 model

Reasons to avoid

-
It gets hotter than some other laptops on the list 
-
The integrated webcam is of poor quality 
-
Ventilation leaves a lot to be desired 
Buy it if:

✅ You want a thin and light gaming laptop: It weighs surprisingly little for its specs and can easily carry around.

✅ You want great performance: Performance scores high on every benchmark with high frame rates at highest settings.

Don't buy it if:

You want a better webcam: The webcam is pretty average, so not great for livestreaming.

❌ You want a better ventilation system: It mostly warm, but it will run hot under stress.

The Origin EON 16SL is a true dark horse of gaming laptops, as it’s able to balance performance with one of the thinnest and lightest form factors of any of 2023’s offerings. Origin has truly knocked it out of the park with its aesthetic, allowing buyers to customize their laptop exactly how they want it. Even better is the pricing, which is much more reasonable compared to other competing gaming laptops.

Despite having a 16-inch display, it fits well in most medium-sized bags and its lightness keeps it from weighing down your bag while the thin chassis ensures it doesn’t take up much space. Thanks to its robust spec options, including the RTX 4000-series GPU and the 13th-Gen Intel Core i9 CPU, this device delivers outstanding performance, enabling Cyberpunk 2077 to achieve over 90fps on high settings and even surpass 60fps with 'Ray Tracing Overdrive' enabled. Additionally, the 16-inch QHD+ display boasts an impressive 240Hz refresh rate, guaranteeing smooth, stutter-free gameplay.

Even with the impressive performance of the Origin EON 16SL, it is not without its drawbacks. One notable issue is its mediocre webcam, which demands good lighting conditions to produce acceptable image quality. Additionally, while the cooling system is adequate for standard gaming use, it falls short of perfection. This becomes evident as the laptop's underside tends to overheat during prolonged and heavy gaming sessions.

Read the full Origin EON 16SL review

Razer Blade 14 gaming laptop on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)
The best thin and light gaming laptop for creators

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
RAM: 16GB - 32GB DDR5
Screen: 14-inch, QHD+ (2560x1600), 240Hz
Storage: 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Leading aluminium chassis 
+
Powerful and clear audio speakers 
+
Excellent 240Hz QHD+ vivid display
+
Bundles in the best mobile AMD CPU available

Reasons to avoid

-
Incredibly expensive considering the GPU used
-
The battery life is behind the competition 
-
It gets really hot through the metal chassis
Buy it if:

✅ You want a thin and light gaming laptop: Just as Razer is known for, this laptop weighs surprisingly little for its specs and can fit into most bags and be carried around with ease.

✅ You want top performance: For its size, the performance is great, scoring high on every benchmark as well as offering solid frame rates at even the highest settings.

Don't buy it if:

You’re on a budget: Razer laptops are not meant for those without excess cash flow and this model is no exception. If you're looking to stick to a tight budget, you might want to look elsewhere. 

❌ You want a better battery life: For gaming purposes, the battery life is not good in the slightest – keep this laptop plugged in unless you’re doing office work, and don't expect to be gaming on the go.

The Razer Blade 14 is back, this time fitting in current-generation specs in its legendary thin and light chassis - just the ticket for content creators who need a Windows laptop that doesn't compromise on performance or portability. It even comes in white, in case you don't enjoy staring at a laptop teeming with fingerprints.

Its overall performance is simply impressive. It's a powerful laptop, no doubt about that, but it does beautifully under duress as well. This laptop tends to get hot, yes; but it never once stuttered, slowed down or froze during our time with it. And it lasted about eight hours when we did general productivity work on it, which means that you won't have to bring that charger on light work days.

Bear in mind though that when performing the more intensive tasks, that battery life will cut down to just around four hours - but that's not necessarily a deal-breaker as we all know gaming on a laptop is a massive battery drain. The only drawback we see here is its price tag, which is pretty steep.

Read the full Razer Blade 14 (2023)

The best thin and light for 1440p gaming

The MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS on a table

(Image credit: Future)
The best thin and light for 1440p gaming

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Core i9-12900H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
RAM: Up to 64GB
Screen: 15.6" QHD (2560x1440) at 240Hz, FHD (1920x1080) at 360Hz, 15.6" UHD (3840x2160) at 120Hz
Storage: 2TB NVMe PCIe Gen4

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent battery life compared to its competition
+
Rugged and tactile physical aesthetic design
+
Incredibly comfortable to work and game on
+
Lightning-fast 360Hz screen for gaming

Reasons to avoid

-
The CPU and GPU combo are now long in the tooth 
-
The battery takes a long time to charge up fully
-
Fan noise can drown out the internal speakers sometimes 
Buy it if:

✅ Strong battery life: You’ll need some time to charge it, but once it's at 100%, It’ll be a good few hours before you need to plug it in again, perfect when travelling about. 

✅ Ergonomic design: Despite the high-end specs, MSI’s latest felt refined in its design. It’s not bulky, can easily be carried around, and feels adaptable. 

Don't buy it if:

You want a quieter machine: Given its specs, the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS is an unsurprisingly loud laptop. Even when doing general tasks, it can occasionally sound like a plane taking off.

❌ You need a more affordable laptop: You’ll only need a gaming laptop like this if nothing but the portable best will do. Such high performance is extremely costly - you can get away with cheaper options 

If you’re looking for a premium gaming laptop that not only has excellent specs, a great display, and can game at 1440p, all while maintaining a lightweight form factor with an ergonomic and comfortable design made for long sessions, the MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS is the perfect choice.

Packing up to an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU we found that, after extensive benchmarking, it tackles any of the best PC games at high settings with ease. We pushed this laptop to its limits and the resulting performance with games like Dirt 5 and Cyberpunk 2077 were truly excellent. 

The battery does take ages to charge, but since it’s a gaming machine there’s no reason to remove it from power in the first place. It does pay for that performance with some noisy fans and a high price, but if you don’t mind either it’s a great investment.

Read the full MSI Stealth GS66 12UGS review

The best 17-inch thin and light gaming laptop

A Dell XPS 17 (2022) on a table

(Image credit: Future)
The best 17-inch thin and light gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: Up to 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900H
Graphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
RAM: Up to 64GB DDR5-4800
Screen: 17-inch FHD+ 60Hz / 17-inch UHD+ 60Hz
Storage: Up to 4TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

Reasons to buy

+
Super sleek tapered-off chassis
+
Bright and beautiful display
+
Staggering battery life for daily use
+
Choice of either Full HD or 4K

Reasons to avoid

-
Display is limited to just 60Hz 
-
Heavier than most at 5.58 lbs
-
Larger display means it’s less portable
Buy it if:

✅ You love great design: This is a gorgeous machine, the design may be a couple of years old, but with uber-slim bezels it’s still bang up to date and very slick.

✅ You need decent battery life: Despite the large 17-inch screen a beefy CPU performance, the Dell XPS 17 still delivers over 10 hours of battery life away from the mains making for impressive all-day longevity.

Don't buy it if:

You want maximum bang for your buck: The Dell XPS 17 is a great performer, but it will cost you. 

❌ You want a true gaming laptop: Serious gamers can get better performance at this price point.

The Dell XPS 17 (2022) is the best laptop for people who are looking for a large screen but also want a slick and stylish device that can be comfortably carried around. This impressive thin and light laptop comes with Intel's latest 12th-gen Alder Lake CPUs and can even be kitted out with a graphics card. 

While we wouldn't suggest making this as your primary gaming laptop, it is excellent for some 1080p gaming on the go thanks to that RTX 3050 or 3060 under the hood. It's also excellent for graphic-intensive tasks like photo editing. It tore through everything from video encodes to 3D renders with ease during our testing.

Couple that with its gorgeous display and outstanding design, and you've got a laptop to show off while at the office, at the coffee shop, or on the long haul flight if you travel for work. It's got a fantastic battery life that will let you keep working for hours. 

Read the full Dell XPS 17 (2024) review

The best thin and light with 240Hz display

An Alienware x15 R2 gaming laptop on a wooden table

(Image credit: Future)
The best thin and light with 240Hz display

Specifications

CPU: Up to 12th Gen Intel Core i9
Graphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
RAM: Up to 32 GB LPDDR5
Screen: Up to 15.6-inch QHD 2560x1440 240H non-touch display
Storage: Up to 4TB RAID 0 (2 x 2 TB) M.2 PCIe NVMe, SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Thin and lightweight for a 15-inch laptop
+
Stylish black and cyan colorway  
+
Easy to overclock with advanced settings menu
+
Leading 15.6-inch QHD 240Hz display

Reasons to avoid

-
The battery life leaves a lot to be desired
-
One of the hottest gaming laptops we’ve tested
-
The fans get incredibly loud under heavy stress
Buy it if:

✅ You want a stunning and distinctive design: If you want a gaming laptop that has one of the most jaw-dropping designs out there, this is a choice pick with its white chassis and beautiful RGB lighting.

✅ You need something thin and portable: Somehow Dell managed to pack some of the best specs out there in an impossibly thin chassis that doesn’t feel any of its five pounds due to a balanced design.

Don't buy it if:

You can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars: This is a premium gaming laptop in every way and you can bet Dell is making you pay for that honor with the price, at minimum, of $2000.

❌ You need an ethernet port: The fact that such an otherwise excellent and expensive gaming laptop doesn’t come with an ethernet port is an absolute crime.

Alienware laptops and PCs are well known for their quality, unique designs, and performance, and the Alienware x15 R2 is no slouch in any of these factors. Featuring a stunning design combined with beautiful white color and RGB lighting in the back, it’s a laptop that’s guaranteed to turn heads. This is coupled with its thin chassis that feels incredibly lightweight despite it being five pounds, due to how well-balanced the laptop is.

Its performance is also top-tier, as it scored well in every benchmark we ran the CPU and GPU through, as well as general stress testing with a variety of high-end PC games. In fact, we found that after testing it thoroughly it beat out most other laptops sporting similar specs and sizes.

Unfortunately, it does have a few caveats. Its terrible webcam is technically 1080p though it doesn’t look that way when we tested it out during a conference call and found the framerate and visuals lacking. The battery lasts at most about three hours, so prepare to keep this bad boy plugged in. And its thin chassis comes at an overheating cost, though the excellent software can mitigate that through its fan settings.

Read our full Alienware x15 R2 review

The thinnest gaming laptop

Alienware X14 on a table, playing Hitman III

(Image credit: Future)
Thinnest gaming laptop with solid performance

Specifications

CPU: Up to 12th Gen Intel Core i7
Graphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5
Screen: 14-inch FHD 1920x1080 144Hz Non-Touch
Storage: 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Unique design compared to the competition
+
Excellent gaming performance for the hardware
+
Fast 1080p display with good color reproduction 
+
Entry-level and premium models available

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life pales to some options in our list 
-
The webcam performance is poor 
-
No longer supported by Alienware at its current size
Buy it if:

✅ You want something thin and light: The Alienware X14 is just over 0.5 inches thick and weighs just under 4lb, making it easy to slip into your backpack and carry anywhere. 

✅ You want a premium gaming laptop: This really is a beautiful laptop, and one of the only gaming laptops on the market that you won't want to hide away in shame.

Don't buy it if:

You need long battery life: If you're just looking for a laptop with strong performance and long battery life, we'd actually recommend an XPS 15 or a MacBook Pro instead. 

❌ You're on a budget: Just like any Alienware laptop, the Alienware X14 is an expensive piece of hardware

Among thin and lightweight laptops, the Alienware X14 (2022) has a particularly slender form factor, which belies some top-notch specs. Equipped with an RTX 3060 GPU and a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU we found that, during our performance testing, it was able to handle high-end PC games at high settings with no issues. Normally you would have to pay for the honor of great specs wrapped in such a small and gorgeous chassis, but Dell is currently selling it for a much-reduced price point.

The lightweight is especially impressive for a gaming laptop, and even more so because we compared it to the Razer Blade 14 and found the X14 weighs less and is thinner to boot. And despite the thin size, it still manages to cram in a diverse port selection with nearly any slot and port that a buyer could possibly want.

The 14-inch display is no slouch as well, packing in a 1080p LED screen with a 144Hz refresh rate and 7ms response time that’s more than responsive and smooth enough for most gamers on the go, and certainly enough to impress us when we tested it using the likes of Cyberpunk 2077, Dirt 5, and other demanding games. However, you’ll have to contend with a less-than-stellar battery life that lasts at most a little over six hours, and a subpar HD webcam.

Read our in-depth Alienware X14 (2022) review

How to choose: best thin and light gaming laptop

There's very thin line between portability and power when it comes to gaming laptops. That's because you need a bit more power than what integrated graphics can offer to have that smooth and immersive gaming experience, and more robust internals like discrete graphics require a proper cooling system and ventilation, especially when being pushed, to perform well. Otherwise, you end up with throttling issues, which will ruin your gaming experience.

So, when choosing the best thin and light gaming laptop for you, that's the most important thing to focus on: that whatever GPU is powering the laptop you're eyeing is staying cool under pressure.

Expect also to pay a little more than you would a regular gaming laptop. If you take a look at our list above, while there's a couple of affordable, under $1,000/£1,000 options on this list, you may have to stretch your budget a little. It's not, after all, cheap to make such thin and light laptops that can deliver as much power as they do.

Pay close attention to the battery life as well. A curse of gaming laptops is the terrible battery life, but if you want something that can get you through a couple of hours' of gaming on a train, you'll certainly find a handful of options on hand. So don't give up on that dream.

How we tested these thin and light gaming laptops

Much like our regular laptop reviews, we have a standard process of judging the price, design, performance, and battery life of gaming laptops. In this case performance is not only in reference to how well they perform standard benchmark tests, but also noting how fast it loads up the best PC games and how smoothly they run.

When it comes to thin and light gaming laptops, we made sure the laptops truly deliver on their promise of being slim and easy to transport. We also run the laptops all day to test their battery life to make sure you really can game throughout the day without issue. Price will vary per gaming laptop, but we don’t hesitate to let you know if an item is more expensive than its competition.

Today's best thin and light gaming laptop deals

Michelle Rae Uy
Contributor

Michelle Rae Uy is the former Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives. 

With contributions from