6 Best Gaming Laptops (2024): From Cheap to Premium

The 2024 model of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is a legendary beast of a machine. It has a gargantuan 18-inch 2,560 x 1,600 Mini LED display capable of up to 500 nits of brightness under normal functionality, but it can blast up to 1,100 nits in HDR mode. It’s so bright that, while watching HDR videos of sparks and fireworks, it genuinely felt like lights were flashing in front of my face.

This monster packs an Intel Core i9-14000HX processor, 32 GB of DDR5 RAM, and a blisteringly fast Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 laptop GPU. I say “blistering” because this thing does get pretty hot. But it’s also designed with extra ridges and ample airflow to help keep it cool, even when running the toughest games while connected to power. It has similar power output to the Razer Blade 18, though it lacks has a slightly lower 240-Hz refresh rate, and lacks the Thunderbolt 5 port.

There still a wealth of connectivity options and you might not need a USB dock at all. In addition to the usual USB-A, USB-C, and 3.5-mm headphone jack, it includes a full-size HDMI out, plus an Ethernet port, so you can take the LAN party anywhere.

Specs to look for: Intel Core i9-14000HX, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, 32 GB DDR5 RAM, 2-TB NVMe PCIe SSD, 18-inch 2,560 X 1,600 Mini LED display with 240-Hz refresh rate.