Best Thin and Light Gaming Laptops: 7 picks

Gaming laptops are heavy. That’s no news. And even in 2021, where most notebooks have gotten slimmer and lighter, most gaming laptops are as bulky and heavy as they used to be in 2015. But wait, there are a few note-worthy laptops that are both capable and portable.

In this post, we’ll talk about why most laptops are still bulky and heavy, and whether light and thin gaming laptops are worth it. Then we’ll explore a handful of thin and light gaming laptops that our reviewers recommend.

Why are gaming laptops so heavy?

Typically, most 15-inch gaming laptops weigh around 4 to 6 pounds. And a 17-inch gaming laptop weighs about 5 to 7 pounds. To compare, most ultrabooks weigh less than 3 pounds. And most business laptops weigh 4 pounds or less.

So why are gaming laptops so bulky? Because they have bigger heat pipes and fans, a bigger display, a bigger battery, and perhaps a metal body. All of these can contribute to the excess weight of a gaming rig.

Bigger cooling systems

The cooling system is one of the biggest components of a gaming laptop, and they are a big factor when it comes to their weight and size.

Most laptops use heat pipes which are massive and heavy. They are one of the reasons for the bulkiness of gaming rigs.

Many manufacturers are experimenting with the all-new vapor chamber cooling. They weigh less and take less space inside of a laptop. So laptops with vapor chambers tend to be slimmer and lighter. If things go well, we may very soon find gaming laptops that can outcompete ultrabooks in terms of portability.

Large batteries

The components of gaming laptops are highly optimized for performance. So they are often bad at conserving energy. To mitigate, gaming laptops feature bigger (and heavier) batteries. This is another reason why gaming laptops are heavy.

Bigger displays

Most Gaming laptops have a 15-inch or larger display. These bigger and faster screens weigh a lot more compared to the smaller ones. Besides, a bigger display means a bigger chassis, which also contributed to the weight.

Lighter laptops often underperforms

Most lighter gaming laptops lose their excess weight by reducing the size of the cooling system. But the reduced size affects performance as manufacturers often have to limit the maximum frequencies of CPU and GPU. Otherwise, the smaller cooling unit won’t be able to keep up with the excess heat produced.

So always check performance reviews online, if it’s a gaming laptop and it’s thin and light.

Best thin and light gaming laptops

Here are our picks for the best thing and light gaming laptops. We considered many different factors when making the list, like performance, usability in the office, etc.

1. Razer Blade 13 – The Gaming Ultrabook

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1650Ti Max-Q
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Screen: 13.3″ 1080p 120Hz
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Battery: 10+ Hours
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs

Pros:

  • Premium, compact design.
  • 120Hz display are unique at its screen size.
  • Good battery life.
  • Pretty powerful for its size.

Cons:

  • Performance won’t match larger gaming laptops.
  • No dedicated video-out ports.

Product Description

  • Designed for mobility: Ultra-thin, light and incredibly durable with a cnc unibody aluminum frame and long battery life.
  • 120hz full HD thin bezel display: Super-fast 120hz full HD display that enables smooth visuals in games, with 100% sRGB color space.
  • Razer chroma keyboard and precision touchpad: keyboard featuring single-zone rgb lighting with 16.8 million color options, and a precision glass touchpad.
  • Complete connectivity: Includes thunderbolt 4, USB-C, USB-A, wireless AX, HD webcam utilizing windows hello, and 4-array mics.
  • Operating system: Windows 10.

The Blade Stealth 13 is an ultrabook-sized gaming laptop from Razer. At around 3.1 pounds, it is the only ultrabook for gamers. It’s a premium laptop with full-metal aluminum chassis and intrinsic design principles. Its compact size also allows it to fit in any backpack without taking up too much space.

It is also the only 13-inch laptop with a superfast, 120Hz display. The FHD IPS screen looks crisp and bright and is claimed to cover 100% color space. The keyboard and touchpad are precise and comfortable to use.

For moderate gaming, it features an 11th gen core i7 processor and a GTX 1650 GPU. While it won’t beat any records in terms of performance, it’s surely the fastest 13-inch laptop you can find. You can still play most modern titles smoothly, at moderate graphics. The battery backup is also as good as ultrabooks. You can easily expect it to last 10 hours or more under a normal workload.

2. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 The Portable Beast

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Screen: 14” IPS HD 144Hz
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery: 9 Hours
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 -  A gaming Laptop with excellent protability and Battery life.

Pros:

  • Super-fast AMD Ryzen 9 processor.
  • Clean, and attractive Design.
  • 144Hz screen for competitive gaming.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Commendable battery life.

Cons:

  • Cooling fans are noisy under load.
  • 14″ display.
  • No Webcam.

Product Description

  • Powered by AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS Processor @ 3.1GHz (8 Cores, 16 Threads, 16M Cache, up to 4.60GHz), you can watch your favorite games come to life.
  • No Front-Facing Camera, 14″ 144Hz Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-Level PANTONE Validated Anti-Glare (100% sRGB) Display.
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 Graphics.
  • 16GB DDR4-3200 Memory; paired with ultra-fast DDR4 RAM, slices through heavy workloads and multitasking.
  • 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD; No Optical drive.
  • Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.1; 1x USB 3.2 Type C (Gen 2) w/ Power Delivery, Display Port and G-Sync, 1x USB 3.2 Type C (Gen 2), 2x USB 3.2 Type A (Gen 1), 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, 1x HDMI 2.0b.

With the Rog Zephyrus G14, Asus has redefined Gaming Laptops. Never has been a gaming laptop so clean and portable, not without sacrificing performance or battery life. The professional, non-gaming design and excellent balance of speed and mobility easily make it one of the best gaming laptops for professionals.

The Rog Zephyrus G14 has a clean and attractive design, with no shiny stripes or lightings. So it’s a great choice for college-goers and professionals. The performance is top-notch as well. The duo of Ryzen 9 and RTX3060 can easily reach triple-digit FPS in many titles. While the 14″ inch display isn’t the best for gaming, it has decent clarity and a high refresh rate for a smooth gaming experience.

The laptop weighs just under 3.7 pounds and has a very compact form factor. The battery backup is also commendable. It has a 76 WHr lithium battery that lasts more than 9 hours under a normal workload.

Like most gaming laptops from Asus, this one lacks a front-facing webcam, so you need to buy a USB webcam for video chats.

3. Eluktronics Max 15 – All-rounder

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Screen: 15.6″ QHD 165Hz
  • Storage: Up to 2TB SSD
  • Battery: 8+ Hours
  • Weight: 3.84 lbs
Eluktronics Max 15 - a perfect portable workstation for game developers.
Image from Jarrod’s Tech

Pros:

  • lightest RTX 3080 laptop.
  • Sturdy and premium build.
  • Neutral Design.
  • Solid performance.
  • Lots of ports.

Cons:

  • Average Battery life.
  • Chassis gets quite hot under stress.

Product Description

  • Mobility In Mind: Crafted from magnesium alloy, the MAX 15 weighs only 3.84lbs. Power to performance ratio is uncomparable to any other thin and light gaming laptop on the market!
  • Extreme Performance: Crush the competition with the impressive power and speed of the latest AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, featuring 8 cores and 16 threads to divide and conquer multiple tasks at once.
  • RTX, It’s On: The latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (16GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM) is powered by award-winning Ampere architecture with new Ray Tracing Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors supports up to 150 watts of power for the ultimate gaming performance.
  • Blazing-Fast & Color Accurate Display: This 15.6″ Quad HD (2560 x 1440) IPS-Type LED-backlit display with 16:9 aspect ratio features an incredibly fast 165Hz refresh rate for gamers and content creators who demand the best visual experiences.
  • Prioritize Your Way: The Eluktronics control center provides customization to tailor exactly to your needs. Need an office friendly laptop? Office Mode and NVIDIA WhisperMode technology is one click away. Ready to unleash performance? Beast Mode & overclocking capabilities awaits you.
  • Memory & Storage: 32GB DDR4 3200MHz dual channel RAM helps you open multiple tabs and applications at once. A 1TB PCIe Gen 3 SSD handles your operating system for fast boot times, loading games, transferring work, school projects and more. Plus, there is one additional M.2 SSD bay internally for future expansion if you need extra storage space.
  • Let’s Get Connected: A USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C Port delivers high-speed data transfer or DisplayPort connectivity. An HDMI 2.1 port is tied directly to the NVIDIA graphics card for maximum performance. Intel WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and a 2,500GB Ethernet LAN let’s you connect wirelessly or wired.
  • Covert Gamer Design: PC brands typically slap stickers and logos all over laptops, but not here. There is no external branding or logos on the MAX 15 for a clean look. For those looking to accessorize, a Black Swarm dbrand skin is included for a unique muted appearance of our icon. We’re happy to let the quality of our product and hardware speak for iself.

The Eluktronics Max 15 is a portable, high-performance laptop, and it’s not made for gaming. Of course, you can play most modern games with ease thanks to its high-performance CPU and GPU. But the Max series is especially aimed at professionals who require extra performance at work. Its clean, notebook-ish design looks perfectly professional. And there are no external branding or stickers on the laptop, no intel or Nvidia logos anywhere.

The laptop is designed with mobility in mind. Crafted from magnesium alloy, the MAX 15 weighs only 3.84 pounds. That’s really impressive for a 15-inch laptop. To put into comparison, the 14-inch Zephyrus G14 weighs about 3.5 lbs, which is probably the lightest of all gaming laptops. The display is also top-notch, with its bright colors and a fast refresh rate.

The combo of the latest AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and a powerful RTX3080 GPU delivers an impressive performance in Blender. It also comes with 32GB of RAM which should be enough for most professional 3D works.

The laptop can also be put into Office mode, which throttles performance and minimizes fan noise. This is especially useful because gaming laptops can suddenly start making noise when under stress. The battery life is average though, but it should be enough for typical work hours.

4. MSI Stealth 15M Gaming LaptopA Portable Workhorse

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11375H
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Screen: 15.6” IPS HD 144Hz
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Battery: 6 Hours
  • Weight: 3.7 lbs
The MSI Stealth 15M is a highly portable gaming laptop.

Pros:

  • Sleek and compact.
  • Strong RTX3060 performance.
  • Portable for a gaming machine.

Cons:

  • Gets Hot under heavy load.
  • Average battery life.

Product Description

  • Visual Performance: The 15.6” 144hz display delivers true-to-life images with a high refresh rate so you can see every frame of the game.
  • Redefined Power: The 11th Gen. Intel Core i7 processor, delivers high performance with cores, take on any games and applications with ease.
  • Supercharged Graphics: The MSI Stealth 15M is powered by a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, take on today’s most popular games with these performance graphics.
  • On the Go Gaming: Designed to be thin and light for gamers to carry around every day for games, study, or work.
  • Cool and Powerful: MSI’s exclusive Cooler Boost Technology ensures optimal thermal dissipation. Featuring state of the art fans and heat pipes, get the airflow you need for gaming.
  • Versatile Connections: The Stealth 15M features a wide range of I/O ports, Thunderbolt 4 supporting power delivery and up to 40Gbps of data transfer and USB 4.0.

With a net weight of 3.7 pounds, the MSI Stealth 15M is one of the most portable and yet capable laptops for gaming. The laptop comes with 11th gen core i7 and an RTX 3060 graphics unit. We also found that in the benchmark, the RTX 3060 scores much higher than average. So you can expect excellent graphics performance.

It’s lightweight, weighing just above 3 and a half pounds. But the battery backup isn’t top-notch. It may not be the ideal choice if you have to spend long hours in college. On average, you can expect 5-6 hours of screen on time under normal workload.

5. Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition – Premium Rig

  • CPU:  Intel Core i7-11800H
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Screen: 15.6” QHD 240Hz
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery: 5.2 Hours
  • Weight: 4.4 lbs

Pros:

  • premium, all-metal build.
  • Top-end performance.
  • Superior touchpad.
  • 1080p webcam.

Cons:

  • Pricey.
  • Metal chassis gets quite hot while gaming.
  • Diminished battery life.

Product Description

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Graphics for Stunning Visuals: Built on NVIDIA’s award-winning 2nd-gen RTX architecture, these GPUs provide the most realistic ray-traced graphics and cutting-edge AI features for the most powerful graphics in a gaming laptop.
  • Intel 11th Gen 8-Core CPU for All-out Gaming Performance: Run the heaviest AAA titles and creation tasks without breaking a sweat, and activate Intel Turbo Boost Technology for a jolt of speed that brings the i7 processor up to 5.1GHz.
  • Next-gen Display: Go with ultra-fast 360Hz FHD for competitive gaming, OLED UHD for creative work with 4K clarity, or a 240Hz QHD display for the best of both worlds.
  • Vapor Chamber Cooling for Maximized Thermal Performance: The laptop quietly and efficiently dissipates heat through the evaporation and condensation of an internal fluid, keeping it running smoothly and coolly even under intense loads.
  • Advanced Connectivity for Greater Convenience: Cut down on adapters and travel light with built-in WiFi-6 and a UHS-III SD card slot.
  • Windows 11 Home: Experience the best Windows ever for gaming with superior graphics and faster load times.

The Razer Blade 15 Advanced is a high-end, premium gaming laptop with Advanced Optimus. It looks attractive from the outside. Thanks to the all-metal chassis and non-gaming design, it’s perfect for both college, professional and business works. The CNC aluminum unibody frame houses incredible performance in the most compact footprint possible.

Experience blazing fast speeds with the new 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H 8-Core processor. Combined with the powerful RTX 3070, you can easily expect three-digit framerates in most AAA titles.

The 15.6-inch ultra-fast display is excellent in terms of color accuracy, sharpness, and brightness. Though it features vapor chamber cooling, the metal chassis seemed to get quite hot to touch.

Though it features AO, it didn’t perform quite okay in terms of battery life. And at around 4.4 pounds, it’s a semi-portable, premium gaming rig that really packs a punch.

6. Lenovo Legion 7 Slim – Stylish & Powerful

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060 Max-Q
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Screen: 15.6″ FHD 165Hz
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Battery: 7 Hours
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs

Pros:

  • Advanced vapor chamber cooling system.
  • Sturdy, and premium build.
  • Sleek Design.
  • Solid Gaming performance.

Cons:

  • No Thunderbolt port.

Product Description

  • 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD.
  • Equipped With The Powerful and Fast AMD Ryzen 7 Processors, AMD Octa-Core Ryzen 7 5800H (Base Clock 3.2GHz, Max Boost Clock Up to 4.4GHz, 4MB L2 / 16MB L3 Smart Cache, 16 Threads).
  • 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080) IPS 300nits Anti-glare, 165Hz, 100% sRGB, Dolby Vision, Free-Sync, G-Sync, DC dimmer Display.
  • Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 with Max-Q Design and Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics.
  • 2x USB-C 3.2 (support data transfer, Power Delivery and DisplayPort 1.4), 2x USB-A 3.2, 1x Headphone / microphone combo jack (3.5mm), 1x Card reader.
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit), RGB Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax 2×2) and Bluetooth 5.1, 2 x 2W Harman Speaker, Nahimic Audio, 720p Webcam with Privacy Shutter.
  • Up to 7.8 hours battery life.

The Lenovo Legion 7 Slim is a fantastic laptop that offers all-around performance while looking classy. If you want to upgrade your gaming setup and are looking for everything in a single machine, this is the one you’ll seriously want to consider.

Its sleek design and bright, vibrant display, combined with the colorful RGB lighting deliver an excellent gaming experience. You can also take it to an office, thanks to its neutral, non-gaming chassis design.

Under the hood, The combo of RTX 3060 GPU and AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU can achieve impressive framerates in most recent titles. And thanks to the latest vapor chamber cooling technology, the keyboard and chassis stay relatively cool.

At 4.2 pounds, the weight is on the heavier side. But we’ve seen heavier machines so this one should be relatively easy to carry.

7. Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 RTX3070 – The workhorse

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Screen: 15.6” IPS QHD 165Hz
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery: 9 Hours
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is powerful and slim, one of the best laptop for game development

Pros:

  • Super-fast AMD Ryzen 9 processor.
  • Excellent RTX performance.
  • Outstanding battery life.
  • Smooth 165Hz Display.
  • Classy Design.
  • Great speakers.

Cons:

  • No Webcam.
  • Tenkeyless keyboard.

Product Description

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, With ROG Boost up to 1290MHz at 80W (85W with Dynamic Boost), Backed by 8GB GDDR6 dedicated video memory for an ultrafast, advanced GPU to fuel your games.
  • 15.6-inch,QWHD (2560 x 1440) 16:9,300-nits, 1000:1 Contrast, 100% DCI-P3, Refresh Rate:165Hz, 3ms response time, IPS-level.
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS 8 Core – 16 Thread Processor, 3.0 GHz (Max Turbo Frequency 4.6 GHz), 16 MB Smart Cache.
  • This computer has the required specs to run Virtual Reality hardware and software and is compatible with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality Ultra.
  • 【Weighs 4.21 lbs. and measures 0.79″ thin】Thin and light for maximum portability, featuring a 15.6″ screen size and omitting the DVD/CD drive to achieve the compact form factor. 4-cell lithium-ion battery.

Solid Performance, outstanding battery life, and compact design – this is ROG Zephyrus G15 in short. It’s a laptop designed not just for gaming, but for anyone who needs a capable laptop for office or work.

We also loved the classy, non-kiddo design. It doesn’t scream for attraction, but you can say it’s a gaming rig from one look. Its compact form factor is great for carrying in the backpack. And it only weighs 4.2 pounds, less than most gaming rigs with an RTX3070 chip.

The ROG Zephyrus G15 has a 90WHr battery with fast-charging support. Under normal workload, the laptop ran for almost 9 hours. So you can easily spend a day without looking for an outlet.

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