Gone are the days when gamers were confined to a desktop PC if they wanted to play the latest AAA gaming titles. Gaming laptops have become more portable and powerful to where they can now produce performance comparable to their desktop counterparts. The question of what are the best thin and lightweight portable gaming laptops then arises?
We have therefore decided to compile a list of some of the 5 best thin and light gaming laptops currently on the market. These gaming laptops have everything you want from a modern PC– excellent graphics, impressive cooling, long battery life, and outstanding overall performance. And the best part is that you can carry these laptops anywhere due to their ultra-slim and lightweight designs.
Our Criteria for Selecting an Ultra-Thin Lightweight Gaming Laptop
What should you look for in a slim gaming laptop? What separates the best thin gaming laptop from the rest of the field? Continue reading as we discuss further the things that you should be looking for in an ultra-thin portable gaming laptop.
Performance and Cooling:
For exceptional gaming performance, an ultra-thin gaming laptop must have a core i5 processor at the very least, though a core i7 processor is highly preferred. That paired with a graphics card such as the GTX 1060 or better along with at least 8GBs of RAM will allow you to play most AAA games at 60FPS or better on medium to ultra-settings (depending on the game).
However, a gaming laptop with the specs above must also have an excellent thermal (cooling) solution. This will combat the large amounts of energy released as heat in such an ultra-thin frame. A good cooling solution will also help to prevent thermal throttling even under intense gaming loads.
Portability (Thickness and Weight):
We consider a laptop to be ultra-thin only if its thickness is 1 inch or less. Moreover, a weight of fewer than 6 pounds is also required for us to consider a laptop to be portable. A laptop may have a screen size of 14, 15, or even 17 inches, but we only consider it to be a true ultra-slim portable gaming laptop if it meets the thickness and weight requirements stated above.
Design and Build Quality:
Design and build quality are also major considerations when searching for a thin gaming laptop. The aesthetics and how premium a laptop looks and feels is key no matter how great the internal components are. The ease of use, screen quality, keyboard, as well as the placement of the trackpad and thermal vents are all pivotal to your gaming experience on an ultra-thin gaming laptop.
Moreover, a good laptop must also be capable of handling bumps, spills, and knocks. This is particularly crucial because laptops are used by people who are always on the move, which increases the risks or likelihood of these devices to be dropped or knocked to the ground.
5 Best Thin and Light Gaming Laptops
MSI GS65 Stealth
The MSI GS65 Stealth is one of the slimmest gaming laptops, weighing just 4 pounds and measuring 0.7 inches thick. But, don’t let its slim profile fool. This gaming laptop is extremely power and contains an Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 6GB graphics card along with 16GB of RAM.
Its 8th generation Intel i7 processor has six cores, a significant improvement from the previous generation. Thus, this laptop is capable of handling even the most intensive of tasks. Therefore, this laptop should have no problem processing the latest AAA games as well as other intensive tasks such as video editing.
The MSI GS65 Stealth also sports a 15.6-inch 144Hz refresh rate screen that immerses its user in their gameplay. While it doesn’t offer 4K resolution like more gaming laptops, the 1920×1080 pixel resolution is amazing enough for most gamers.
The bottom-mounted speakers coupled with the echo cancellation and noise suppression of the microphone further enhance your gaming experience. It also features a Sound Tracker giving users a directional representation of the in-game sound, so gamers will know from which direction the noise is coming from.
Another impressive feature of this gaming laptop is its long battery life. With its power-efficient CPU and GPU, this laptop is able to last more than five hours consisting mainly of web surfing and about 2 to 3 hours of gaming.
There is also sufficient cooling in this powerful laptop. With thinner blades and five heat pipes, the laptop is able to maintain a low temperature even during intense gaming.
MSI GS65 Stealth Video Review by Dave Lee:
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M
Asus is one of the premier manufacturers of high-performance laptops, and this gaming laptop is a perfect example of why the company is highly regarded.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M is an ultra-slim gaming laptop equipped with an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or 1080 graphics card and 16GB of DDR4 2666MHz RAM. With all those high-end specs being housed in a very portable, 0.78 inches thin chassis. The Zephyrus M also weighs in at 5.5 pounds, which is quite low for such a powerful device.
It offers a 15.6-inch display with high refresh rates of 144Hz and response time of 3ms. NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology is also incorporated to synchronize your monitors refresh rate to your GPU’s frame rates, which eliminates screen tearing while minimizing display stutter and input lag. The display offers high-definition resolution and an IPS-type display capable of producing vivid visuals.
Its 256GB solid-state drive is capable of loading games and other data at blistering speed. Couple this with the 8th-generation, six-core processor, and you have a workhorse gaming laptop that can plow through triple-A games with relative ease.
Despite being one of the lightest gaming laptop models around, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M is capable of maintaining optimal temperatures even when handling the most demanding tasks. With its Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) composed of several bits of hardware working together to reduce temperatures and improve airflow.
The most visible component of the AAS is a quarter of an inch gap which appears whenever the laptop is opened. This gap is designed to draw air into the system for superior air circulation. The air is then blown out of the vents located along the sides.
Razer Blade 15
The claim to fame of the Razer Blade 15 is being the smallest 15-inch gaming laptop in the world. With a thickness of just 0.66 inches, it is hard to find a laptop that’s as slim as the Razer Blade 15.
There are various variants of this gaming laptop but for this review, we’ll look at the one powered by an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H six-core processor and equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. The said variant also houses 16GB of RAM and 512GB of solid state drive.
The 15.6-inch screen is expansive, occupying nearly 90% of the display area. With a refresh rate of 144Hz and 4.9mm thin bezels, this laptop is very immersive especially when gaming. It has no problems delivering smooth and colorful life-like graphics.
The Razer Blade 15 is built like a tank despite its small size. Made of solid aluminum with a black anodized finish, it looks and feels like a premium laptop. Its touchpad, for instance, offers precise control, while its keys are also large and easy to press.
Cooling performance is also top-notch. The laptop features an advanced vapor chamber cooling to ensure that it would remain cool even during intense gaming. Lastly, its innovative thermal cooling solution also minimizes fan noise.
Acer Predator Triton 700
The Acer Predator Triton 700 is powered by a 7th generation, Intel Core i7 processor. It also has an overclockable NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 with a MAX-Q design which yields thin, fast and quiet gaming rigs.
Like the other laptops in this list, it is slim and lightweight. This laptop is only 0.74 inches thick with a weight of 5.4 pounds. Inside, you will find other powerful components such as 32GB DDR4 memory card and a lightning-fast 512GB PCle NVMe solid state drive for storage. You will also appreciate the low-profile keyboard which is very responsive. The RGB backlit keys can be programmed individually as well.
This laptop has a 15.6-inch display that offers high definition resolution at high-speed 120Hz. Aside from giving clear images, the screen offers wide viewing angles. And with the inclusion of NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology, the laptop offers smooth gameplay bereft of tearing or stuttering.
Cooling performance is impressive with the twin AeroBlade 3D fans that provide maximum airflow in the thin chassis. The dual fans are very good at maintaining low temperatures although they can be noisy at times.
There is also a Corning Gorilla glass plate which further enhances cooling performance aside from serving as a precision touchpad. Beneath it are glimpses of the five copper heat pipes that work together with the AeroBlade fans in keeping this gaming laptop running cool under intensive loads.
Eluktronics Mech-15 G2 Pro
The Eluktronics Mech-15 G2 Pro is not the most well know gaming laptop, but it does give the other models on this list a run for their money in terms of performance, build quality, and price.
It’s powered by an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor and a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. It also comes with a decent 8GB of RAM (expandable) and a 250GB SATA SSD. With a powerful processor and graphics card pairing, this laptop can play the latest AAA games at high to ultra settings. It can even handle other intensive tasks such as video editing quite well.
The design of this laptop appeals to a more mature profile of gamers. It has a more professional-looking design. It also has a premium full size (with 10-key numeric keypad) per-key RGB backlit mechanical keyboard with NKRO and anti-ghosting.
Additionally, the Eluktronics Mech-15 G2 Pro features impressive cooling with fans capable of maintaining optimal temperature levels during intense gameplay. There is a pre-installed app that enables users to control the CPU, GPU, and Fan usage.
This laptop has dimensions of 14.13 (width), x9.29 inches (depth) and 0.86 inches (thickness). While it is slightly thicker compared to the other gaming laptops mentioned above, the Mech-15 Pro has probably the best price to quality and performance ratio on this list.