Gaming laptops sport powerful hardware for smooth gaming and hence are good desktop replacements. While we do have good gaming laptops between the $500 to $1,500 range, the real fun starts when you come closer to the $2000 mark. Till recently, a gaming laptop so powerful meant bulky chassis, poor battery life, and below average display panels. However, we're seeing commendable improvements in high-end gaming laptops and the models in this list are considerably slimmer, sport the latest Intel CPUs, and come with adequate horsepower for extremely smooth gaming without getting impaired due to thermal throttling.
All laptops in this list are powered by the Intel 8th generation 45W Core i7-8750H hexacore CPU. This is currently the best CPU available for laptops in this TDP range and until the new 9th generation chips come out, these should be easily up to the task. The other commonality is that all these laptops have an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU either in a normal or MaxQ variant. This is a very powerful GPU that can easily do FHD gaming at 100 fps in most modern titles and even at 1440p as well depending on the game and settings. The MaxQ version is essentially a low-power version built for thin gaming laptops. It is more or the less same GTX 1070 but has up to 15% lower performance due to the lower power delivery. Other components such as RAM and NVMe storage are pretty much standard and you can expect the best-performing ones in each of these notebooks.
So, with that information, we hereby present to you the 8 best gaming laptops under $2000 to buy in 2019 that will satiate your gaming appetite.
1. Asus ROG Zephyrus 5
The Asus ROG Zephyrus 5 is one of the best gaming laptops under $2000. The Zephyrus is unlike many other gaming laptops both in terms of configuration and design. It is powered by the 45W Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512 GB NVMe SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB VRAM. The screen is one of the best we've seen on a gaming laptop and although it is not a 4K display, it offers a 144 Hz refresh rate with 3ms response time for tear-free smooth visuals. The cooling system is also well done and you can customize the 4-zone Asus Aura RGB gaming keyboard in the laptop. The keyboard is offered closer to the user than towards the screen. Isolating the upper deck helps in better ventilation and prevents the user from feeling the heat resulting in comfortable playing experience.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus 5 is a great gaming laptop but it does have a few points of concern. The extremely thin profile (for a gaming laptop) means that there will be eventual throttling at full load. Also, the GTX 1070 is a MaxQ version, which means that it is clocked lower than a conventional laptop GTX 1070 GPU. The screen is also known to bleed and there is no Ethernet or Thunderbolt 3 port available.
- Pros: Excellent specs; Good gaming performance
- Cons: No Ethernet and TB3 ports; GPU is a MaxQ version
2. Acer Predator Triton 700
- Specs: Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU; 32 GB RAM; 512 GB SSD
- GPU / Display: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 MaxQ / 15.6-inch FHD 120 Hz G-Sync IPS display
- Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3; 3x USB 3.0; 1x USB 2.0; 1x HDMI 2.0; 1x Gigabit Ethernet; 1x 3.5mm Line-in; 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 15.47 x 0.74 x 10.47 in
The Acer Predator Triton 700 looks thin but don't underestimate its power. It is, without a doubt, the most powerful thin gaming laptop around. Although it features a 7th Core i7 CPU, it is still adequate for any game you throw at it. The 32 GB of memory and an ultra-fast 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD ensure zero bottlenecks. The Triton 700 features the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 MaxQ GPU, which should be able to handle the latest AAA titles at excess of 120 fps at 1080p highest settings. The Triton 700 features a rather unusual design with the keyboard towards the lower deck and the upper area allowing enough space for ventilation.
The Acer Predator Triton 700 offers excellent performance without major thermal issues. But the compact design does not come cheap and the trackpad location is not practical. Battery life is low and the onboard speakers lack sufficient bass. Despite some cons, the Triton 700 excels as one of the best gaming laptops out there.
- Pros: GTX 1080 in a compact chassis; G-Sync 120 Hz screen
- Cons: Trackpad location is not ideal; Low battery life; Onboard speakers lack bass
3. HP Omen 15
- Specs: Intel Core i7-8750H CPU; 32 GB RAM; 512 GB SSD
- GPU / Display: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 MaxQ / 15.6-inch FHD 144 Hz G-Sync IPS display
- Ports: 3x USB 3.1; 1x USB 3.1 Type-C; 1x HDMI 2.0; 1x MiniDP; 1x Gigabit Ethernet; 1x 3.5mm Line-in; 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 14.17 x 1.02 x 10.35 in
HP's Omen lineup of gaming laptops and desktops are the company's signature offerings for gamers and the Omen 15 is the company’s best NVIDIA G-Sync gaming laptop till date. The Omen 15 offers the latest Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, a generous 32 GB of RAM, and a GTX 1070 for graphics processing. Playing games on the 144 Hz G-Sync panel on this laptop is a treat and will surely be enjoyed by many. The keyboard offers an LED backlight but that is limited to only the red color thus, it would limit the use of this notebook in a professional setting. HP could have reduced the red accents to make the laptop accessible to both gamers and professionals. The Omen 15 offers an enhanced audio experience thanks to B&O-tuned speakers.
While the HP Omen 15 offers great performance, it runs hot under load. You can minimize the heat but undervolting the CPU if you know what you’re doing. Unlike some of the other laptops, the GTX 1070 in the Omen 15 is a MaxQ unit so it is optimized for more efficient power draws. Expect to find at least a 15% performance loss when compared against the non-MaxQ GTX 1070. We wish HP had mentioned this in the product description, though to avoid any confusion.
- Pros: Great gaming performance; Ample amount of RAM; Vibrant G-Sync display
- Cons: GTX 1070 is a MaxQ variant; Requires undervolting to reduce temps
4. Sager NP8955
The Sager NP8955 is one among the many Clevo-derivatives that offers a great custom gaming laptop. The NP8955 is a true beast of a gaming laptop powered by an Intel Core i7-8750H Coffe Lake H CPU, 32 GB of fast 2,666 MHz DDR4 RAM, a 500 GB NVMe SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 MaxQ GPU with 8 GB of GDDR5 RAM. This laptop comes with a full-color RGB keyboard that offers a great gaming experience. You also get the top-end Intel Wireless-AC 9560 Wi-Fi adapter for excellent gaming performance over the network with minimal lag. One of the highlights of the NP8955 is that it features a 15.6-inch FHD 144 Hz IPS display that covers 72% of the NTSC color gamut. The screen offers an excellent response time of 5ms but unfortunately, it is not an NVIDIA G-Sync panel so it won't be able to take advantage of the GTX 1070's G-Sync capabilities. Port selection is well endowed and the laptop also offers SoundBlasterX-Pro Gaming 360-tuned audio for immersive gaming.
The overall build of the Sager NP8955 is good and is not too heavy, which is surprising considering its choice of high power components and the heat they are expected to dissipate. Throttling issues are by and large not evident although, you might experience a slight drop in performance if you push it too hard. This particular model does not have Thunderbolt 3, which we feel should have been there but it's not a big deal considering that you already a pretty powerful GPU built-in.
- Pros: Excellent specs; Good performance
- Cons: No Thunderbolt 3
5. XPC P955ER
Xotic PC is another Clevo-inspired brand and the XPC P955ER is not very unlike the Sager NP8955 described earlier. You get the same Core i7-8750H 45W CPU, a GTX 1070 MaxQ, and a 144 Hz non-GSync panel. The only difference is that the XPC offers 16 GB RAM against the 32 GB in the Sager. However, you have a wide choice of selecting components while ordering so you can pretty much customize the system the way you want it.
Like the Sager, the XPC does not offer a Thunderbolt 3 port but you needn't worry much. Thunderbolt 3 is best used for connecting eGPUs and since the XPC already has a powerful GPU, you wouldn't find much use with this. Of course, one misses out the ability to connect Thunderbolt 3 external SSDs but those are very few in number and not really worth the extra price.
- Pros: Good choice of components; Excellent performance
- Cons: None as such
6. Asus ROG Strix GL703GS
If you can stretch your budget just a little bit, the Asus ROG Strix GL703GS makes for an excellent option. The GL703GS offers a huge 17.3-inch FHD 144 Hz panel with an excellent response time of just 3 ms. The panel is not a G-Sync panel but the GTX 1070 will have little problems in taking full advantage of the high refresh rates more so, considering that this is not a MaxQ version. The Intel Core i7-8750H is complemented by 16 GB of 2,666 MHz DD4 RAM and this makes the laptop score well in almost all tests. Needless to say, gaming is impressive and you will see most modern titles hitting the 100 fps mark. This laptop also has a good selection of ports and is slim enough to be lugged around easily.
There aren't many qualms with this laptop apart from the fact that it does heat up quite a bit during tests. The best part is that when you purchase from the above link, you get many ROG accessories with the package. These include the ROG Xranger gaming backpack, the ROG Gladius II Origin gaming mouse, the ROG Strix Edge gaming mouse pad, ROG Gamepad wireless gaming controller, and the ROG Ranger compact case — all for a combined value of $370.
- Pros: Excellent specs; Lots of free goodies in the package
- Cons: None as such
7. Eluktronics PA71ES-G
Eluktronics is a relatively newer brand but the company makes some great gaming laptops. The PA71ES-G is a VR-ready gaming laptop that sports a built-in G-Sync display. It features the latest Intel Core i7-8750H hexacore CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, 512 GB NVMe SSD, and a GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB VRAM. The PA71ES-G offers a 144 Hz FHD IPS panel that will be loved by gamers and content creators alike. The keyboard supports customizable RGB backlighting and the touchpad is powered by Windows Precision drivers so typing and using the TouchPad make for a good experience. This laptop is not just a treat to the eyes but to the ears as well as it includes a SoundBlaster X-Pro Gaming 720 soundcard and a built-in 4W subwoofer.
Few gaming laptops offer this kind of feature-set for the price like Eluktronics does. Their support is great according to Amazon users and there is little to no bloatware on the machine. All in all, a great recommendation if you are particular about gaming performance.
- Pros: Excellent build; Great gaming performance; 144 Hz G-Sync panel
- Cons: None as such
8. MSI GS65 Stealth
- Specs: Intel Core i7-8750H; 16 GB RAM; 256 GB NVMe SSD
- GPU / Display: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 / 15.6-inch FHD 144 Hz G-Sync IPS
- Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3; 1x USB Type-C; 3x USB 3.0; 1x HDMI 2.0; 1x Mini DisplayPort v1.3; 1x Gigabit Ethernet; 1x 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x Line-in; 6-in-1 SD Card reader
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 14.08 x 0.69 x 9.75 in
As the name suggests, the MSI GS65 Stealth is one of the slimmest gaming laptops in the market. Featuring an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, a 256 GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB of VRAM, the MSI GS65 Stealth offers excellent performance worthy of the $2000 price tag. The 15.6-inch FHD display has a refresh rate of 144 Hz and a 7ms response time. Although it is a great display, we feel that the response time is slightly higher than some of the other laptops in this list. The GS65 Stealth offers a customizable keyboard with RGB lighting and comes with a Thunderbolt 3 port for increased connectivity. The networking is powered by the Killer E2500 LAN and Killer N1550 Combo Wireless AC adapter. These Killer cards enable great online gaming experiences with minimal lag and minimal packet loss. They can also help prioritize bandwidth for games so that you are in control of what apps use the internet for.
The MSI GS65 Stealth offers all that you expect from a great gaming laptop but it helps to be aware the laptop starts throttling once the battery approaches the 30% mark, which it reaches pretty quickly. Thermal emissions are also on the higher side but that is understandable considering the slim chassis.
- Pros: Great looks and performance
- Cons: Throttling under load; Runs hot
Dear readers, those were our recommendations for the best laptops under $2000 in 2019. It is important to note that at this price, good upgradability is an essential factor to get the most out of such high-end laptops. It is also acceptable if the laptop is bulkier than others as the added chassis volume helps in better cooling and heat dissipation.
We hope that this article has helped you in deciding on a good gaming laptop that costs around $2000. As always, let us know if you have any doubts or would like to suggest any other model we should include and we will get back at the earliest.