Best laptops for gaming and work in 2024

The best laptops for gaming and work strike the perfect balance between CPU & GPU performance, looks, battery life, and portability to deliver perfection, irrespective of your use case. 

Work and gaming laptops can tackle everything you throw at them, from emails and office apps to intensive triple-A games and demanding creative tasks like video editing, machine learning, and 3D modeling. However, the market is flooded with options, so zeroing in on a laptop that speaks to you is anything but easy. 

Our team of reviewers have tested the best business laptops and the best gaming laptops - so we know what makes a great work and gaming laptop (and what you absolutely need to avoid). We've compared all the specs, benchmarked performance across gaming and office apps, and evaluated screens, size, and portability. 

Our round-up includes a range of premium and budget work and gaming laptops for all kinds of work, rest, and play. 

The quick list

What is the best laptop for gaming and work in 2024?

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Best laptop for gaming and work overall

Dell XP 15 on a purple mat during our tests

(Image credit: Dell)
Our top choice

Specifications

Display: 15.6" touch display 3.5K (3456X2160) OLED
CPU: 13th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-13900H
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4070
RAM: 32 GB DDR5
Storage: 1TB SSD
Weight: 4.23 pounds
Battery life: 8 hours and 3 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek display
+
Powerful processor and performance
+
Outstanding battery life
+
Moderately lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Keeps getting more expensive with better specs

The Dell XPS 15 rocks Intel's latest i9 processor and is equipped with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 – faster than the RTX 4060 in Dell G15 and Legion Pro 5i – and a whopping 32GB DDR5 RAM, along with a fairly comfortable pricing, all of which together make it the #1 laptop for gaming and work.

It competes directly with the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch and the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra and eclipses both of them as long as your memo is an all-around laptop capable of getting through most high-end games along with creative and productive tasks.

If you can shell out a few more bucks, it'd make sense to go for the newer model, the Dell XPS 17, as it rocks a bigger display with a higher resolution. For most users, though, the Dell XPS 15 is already going to be a step up from their original budget, and the 15.6-inch 3.5K (3456 x 2160) touch display simply does not disappoint. 

Despite being an out-and-out workstation capable of the most rigorous tasks, the Dell XPS 15 impressed with a battery life of over 8 hours in our movie test, where we play 1080p video back to back.

Read our full Dell XPS 15 review 

Best gaming and work laptop for battery life

(Image credit: Future)
Long-lasting life on the go

Specifications

Display: 14-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS, 120Hz
CPU: 3.0GHz AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050
RAM: 16GB DDR4 (3,200MHz)
Storage: 1TB SSD (PCIe)
Weight: 3.50 pounds
Battery life: 8 hours and 10 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Class-leading battery life
+
Moderately lightweight
+
Lots of storage space

Reasons to avoid

-
Fans can get loud

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a one-stop solution for just about everybody, but especially for those looking for exceptional battery life. For gamers, the GeForce RTX 4050, which is faster and better than the older RTX 3060, will pull through nicely, no matter the game. 

While 4K gaming will be limited to 30fps, 1080p gaming with maxed-out ray tracing and what's a super impressive 165Hz refresh rate will be a delightful experience. I ran Red Dead Redemption 2, Far Cry 6, and Assassin's Creed Valhalla @1080p, and the G14 was able to do the heavy lifting and produce around 100 fps on all of them.

Its GPU capabilities aren't limited to gaming alone. Combined with 16GB DDR5 RAM, 512GB SSD, and a breathtaking processor speed of up to 4.30GHz, there's a lot of power under the hood for business, engineering students, data scientists, programmers, and more. 

A 1080p webcam means that it's also excellent for business meetings – even the top gaming laptops limit themselves to a 720p webcam only – and a compact 14-inch screen with a sub-4 lbs weight and an ultra-thin 0.7-inch body makes it decent enough on the portability front. 

The battery life of 8 hours 10 minutes, as found in our movie test, is nothing short of astounding, and it scored a high 4 hours and 47 minutes in our PCMark8 battery test, too, which is significantly better than recent gaming laptops, including Alienware m15 R2, which only manages 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The multimedia experience is more than decent, thanks to its four-speaker system with Smart Amplifier Technology. And, the AI noise-canceling and support for Dolby Atmos are the cherry on top of what's an incredible all-purpose machine. 

Read our full Asus Zephyrus G14 review

Best budget laptop for gaming and work

(Image credit: Acer)
An affordable gaming and work laptop

Specifications

Display: 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 IPS 144 Hz
CPU: 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-12650H
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4050
RAM: 16 GB, DDR5 SDRAM
Storage: 512GB SSD
Weight: 5.73 pounds
Battery life: 7 hours and 4 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal for intensive tasks like machine learning
+
One of the cheapest around
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy to carry around
-
No anti-glare

Despite being a cheap gaming laptop, the Acer Nitro 5, with 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB DDR5 RAM, and RTX 4050 graphics card, is absolutely capable of powering through any software or game you will throw at it. 

The older model rocked the RTX 3060, and it's appreciable how a notable jump in graphics performance has managed to come without a significant bump in price. The laptop is still priced around the $1,000 mark, making it a go-to choice for STEM students who'd very much like the 80 tensor cores and 20 ray tracing acceleration cores, which will improve the speed of matching learning applications. 

While it's more expensive than the Acer Swift 3, its GPU and overall performance, especially for intensive tasks, make it a better choice for those who need an all-in-one laptop while still being on a tight budget.

A slight downside is that there's no anti-glare, which will make it difficult to game in direct sunlight, like outside or in a super sunlit room. However, given its near-6-pound weight, it’s anyway not meant for those who want a travel-friendly laptop to work or play outside, even though an impressive battery life of over 7 hours may argue otherwise. 

Read our full Acer Nitro 5 review

Best portable laptop for gaming and work

Acer Swift 3

(Image credit: Future)
Lightweight for when you're on the move

Specifications

Display: 4-inch 2.8K OLED SlimBezel Adobe 100%
CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 16GB LPDDR5
Storage: 1TB
Weight: 3.09 pounds
Battery life: 6 hours and 37 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely lightweight
+
Great for those on a budget 
+
Fantastic display

Reasons to avoid

-
No dedicated graphics card
-
Battery life could have been better

The Acer Swift 3 sports a stunning and sleek 14-inch display and asks for very little while delivering loads, making it the ideal pick for anyone looking for a portable laptop on a budget. 

It’s lighter than any other option on the list, and weighing in at just 3.09 pounds, it's a perfect choice if you want to be able to flip open your laptop no matter where you are and get going with intensive architectural, editing, or programming software–such is the GPU power. 

The overclocked Core i7 is an excellent CPU and maximizes work performance, as you'd expect from an Ultrabook. It will also easily run low and mid-range games. For hardcore gamers, though, this may not cut it, and I'd point them to the other options on our list. 

However, that's not to say that this laptop's gaming performance isn't ideal, but the fact remains that it'd be unfair to compare a sub-$700 product to a Zephyrus G14 or Dell G15 that are easily twice as expensive. For anyone pinching for pennies, the Acer Swift 3 is a must-have. 

If you're willing to splurge just a few more bucks for a better GPU, consider opting for the Acer Nitro 5.

Read our full Acer Swift 3 review 

Best value laptop for gaming and work

(Image credit: Lenovo)
Gaming without breaking the bank

Specifications

Display: 16-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600), IPS
CPU: Intel Core i7-13700HX
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 8GB GDDR6
RAM: 16GB DDR5
Storage: 512GB SSD
Weight: 5.5 pounds
Battery life: 3 hours and 28 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent IPS display
+
Superb GPU performance
+
Great port selection

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life disappoints
-
Quite bulky

The Lenovo Legion Pro 5i is one of the most affordable gaming laptops with a powerful CPU-GPU combination and an immaculate 16-inch WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) 165Hz refresh rate display that punches above the weight for what's a budget gaming laptop.  

Thanks to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060, which is what you will also find in Dell G15, it's able to run demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Finally Fantasy VII Remake at maxed-out settings and ray tracing while churning out 60fps on average. 

As far as its work performance is concerned, I found no sluggishness irrespective of how many applications were launched at once, and everything from simple browsing to complex programming and video editing software ran with utmost smoothness and poise. 

The battery on this one is a two-edged sword. It charges just as fast as it drains, and while the 3-and-a-half-hour battery life is more than just a slight bummer, you can look past it, considering the overall bang for your buck you will get with this laptop.

Read our full Lenovo Legion Pro 5i review 

Best mobile workstation for gaming and work

(Image credit: Future)
Powerhouse performance for work and play

Specifications

Display: 17.3-inch, 4K (3,840 x 2,160) 120Hz, touch display
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-10875H
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (16GB GDDR6 VRAM)
RAM: 32GB DDR4
Storage: 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD
Weight: 6.06 pounds
Battery life: 4 hours and 3 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
Breathtaking 17-inch 4K display
+
Excellent RAM 
+
Extremely powerful
+
Plenty of ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Average battery life
-
Not very portable

If you are looking for an extremely powerful large-screen laptop with thin bezels, a gorgeous display, and plenty of ports to set up a multi-screen workstation of your dreams, the Razer Blade Pro 17 will be a sound choice — at a slightly higher price tag, though. 

Razer really went to town with the display on this one, and a 4K 17.3-inch display with 100% Adobe RGB coverage is easily one of the best I've ever tried on for size. Despite the steep pricing, I can see digital creatives and ultra professionals in the tech space flocking to get their hands on this laptop.  

The design, with a glowing Razer logo and RGB keyboard lighting, is as immaculate as it could be, and the powerful RTX 3080 is much better than the likes of RTX 4060 and RTX 4050. 

Read our full Razer Blade Pro 17 review 

Best budget workstation for gaming and work

(Image credit: Future)
An affordable powerhouse

Specifications

Display: 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) 360Hz
CPU: 13th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-13650HX
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4060
RAM: 16 GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Weight: 6.19 pounds
Battery life: Up to 6 hours and 31 minutes

Reasons to buy

+
One of the best battery life out there
+
Excellent graphics card
+
High refresh rate
+
Cheaper variants with RTX 3050 available

Reasons to avoid

-
Could be more lightweight 

The Dell G15 is an affordable powerhouse. There are multiple configurations to pick from, and the base model with RTX 3050 will do the job if you're not looking to run heavy and demanding games. That said, I recommend going for the RTX 4060 variant, which still manages to be very reasonably priced and delivers excellent gaming and work performance across the board. 

Large screen lovers will certainly appreciate G15's 15.6-inch 360Hz FHD display that boasts 100% sRGB coverage. You can rest assured that colors will be as vibrant as ever, and irrespective of whether it's 3D modeling software or Forza Horizon 5 you're running, the screen will be a sight to behold. The high refresh rate will particularly benefit video editors and 3D renders who deal with tons of moving images. 

There's also Nvidia G-Sync that just about eliminates screen testing and minimizes any kind of lag to deliver perfection. However, a 15.6-inch screen could have gone for better resolution like the ones in Dell XPS 15 and Legion Pro 5i.

The RTX 4060 overpowers Zephyrus G14's GPU ever so slightly, thanks to more Cuda cores and better gaming performance at 1440p resolution. A slight downside is the machine's weight. While it's tailor-made for holding its ground on a table, its full 6.19 pounds make it rather troublesome to carry around in a backpack. 

Best laptops for gaming and work: Frequently asked questions

Can I use a gaming laptop as an office laptop?

Top gaming laptops feature powerful hardware, making them well-suited for demanding work tasks, including 3D modeling, machine learning, graphic design, video editing, and data analysis. At the same time, it's important for you to consider factors like battery life, portability, and the laptop's appearance, as gaming laptops tend to be bulkier and may have a more striking design than traditional business laptops or Ultrabooks.  

Do gaming laptops last longer than normal laptops?

Gaming laptops are generally not expected to last longer than normal laptops. They are built for performance and can easily handle resource-intensive tasks, hardcore gaming, and demanding software, but all this cranks up heat generation and power consumption, resulting in faster wear and tear of components, such as the GPU and CPU. This reduces the overall lifespan of a gaming laptop when compared to a standard laptop that's used for general tasks and light gaming.  

Are business laptops more expensive than gaming laptops?

The cost of a laptop depends on various factors, including its specifications, brand, and intended use. Gaming laptops tend to have high-end graphics cards and processors to handle demanding games and complex applications, which makes them relatively more expensive. 

On the other hand, business laptops are designed for productivity and typically focus on factors like durability, security, portability, and battery life. While there are premium business laptops with higher price tags, they are not the norm, and budget-friendly options are usually what this section of the audience roots for.  

How to choose the best laptops for gaming and work

Selecting the best laptop for gaming and work is not a simple endeavor since it involves looking at multiple factors and finding laptops that strike the perfect balance between them. Here, we'll dive into the most important things to look at when out shopping for a do-it-all laptop for gaming and work.

Look for a laptop with a powerful CPU (like an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7), sufficient RAM (16GB or more), and a dedicated graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon). This combination ensures smooth gaming experiences and efficient multitasking for work-related applications. That's why many opt for the best mobile workstations as a work-and-play laptop, as they're built for high-performance. 

A high-quality display is vital. While a laptop with a Full HD screen is going to do the job nicely, one with 4K resolution will look absolutely breathtaking, with crystal-clear clarity for gaming, professional tasks, streaming, and more. Additionally, look for displays with a high refresh rate if you would like minimum lags and a more reactive screen. 

When looking for a laptop for work, it’s fair to assume that you might want to carry it around, so let's talk about portability. The best UltraBooks we've tested are thinner, lighter, and easier to stuff in a backpack, making it more suitable for work on the go. 

However, this may compromise gaming performance, so find the right balance for your needs. For instance, if you're looking for an out-and-out mobile workstation with little to no on-the-go usage on the cards, the weight and thickness of the laptop will not be your major concern. 

A good battery life is a must to sustain long meetings or on-the-go workdays. It's worth noting that dedicated gaming laptops tend to have shorter battery lives due to their powerful hardware, so choose one that fits your priorities. Anywhere above the 4-hour mark is decent battery life for a gaming laptop that's also fit for work, but the right balance between the two could mean that your priority is laptops with over 6 hours of battery life. 

A comfortable keyboard and trackpad combination is essential for productivity - and the best Lenovo ThinkPad laptops are very popular for this reason, with arguably the best keyboards on any laptop. If you deal in sensitive work and prioritize privacy, opt for laptops with fingerprint sensors or similar safety mechanisms. On the contrary, a customizable RGB keyboard can be your go-to choice if you want to enhance the overall gaming experience. 

The laptop's build quality is an unmissable factor, as durability and longevity are extremely important – metal or high-quality plastic constructions are preferable. Ensure that the hinges and overall design are sturdy and the cooling system can efficiently manage and dissipate heat during extended gaming sessions. While you can look into the best rugged laptops to avoid bumps and scrapes, in our experience they're built for durability, but not high performance.  

Finally, consider the budget. Gaming and work laptops can range from budget-friendly to as high-end as you can think of. Determine how much you’re willing to splurge and find a laptop that provides the right balance of features and performance and allows you to seamlessly transition between work and play without breaking the bank for you. We've reviewed the best cheap laptops and the best cheap gaming laptops to find the one that's right for your budget. 

How we test the best laptops for gaming and work

Our team of reviewers have tested hundreds of laptops and PCs, including the best laptops for programming, the best laptops for video editing, and the best business computers. Whether it's mini PCs or the best laptops for gaming and work, our reviewing process to test laptops and desktops involves a rigorous evaluation that covers various aspects to ensure it can handle the demands of both worlds. 

One of the first things we scrutinize is performance. We test a laptop's CPU, GPU, and RAM to find out how it stands up to intense gaming and resource-heavy workloads. It's important for us to give you a clear idea of your laptop's capabilities so that you know what to expect when jumping into a game or tackling productivity tasks. 

Durability and portability are other key aspects of our evaluation. We assess the laptop's build quality, materials used, and ability to withstand the daily grind, which may or may not include frequent travel. This means examining its sturdiness and resistance to wear and tear because, let's face it, you want a laptop that can take the odd bump here and there. 

User experience is also something we give a lot of importance. This includes evaluating the keyboard's responsiveness, touchpad performance, and overall ergonomic design, ensuring that extended gaming or work sessions are as efficient and enjoyable towards the end as they are at the beginning. 

Finally, we delve into the cost and value-for-money aspects. We compare each laptop's price with its features, performance, and competition in the market. Our goal is to provide you with a comprehensive view of your laptop's strengths and weaknesses, helping you make a well-informed decision based on your unique needs for gaming and work. 

You can find out more in our guide How we test laptops and desktops on TechRadar