In our exhaustive, monthly group tests, we update the price, availability and value scores from our definitive laptop reviews, to determine the ranking of various groups of laptops. This article deals with determining the best gaming laptop in Australia in November 2023.
To have a chance of featuring on the Best Gaming Laptop list, laptops must posess two key features: 1) A fast screen in order to display fast-moving objects smoothly; 2) Discreet graphics i.e. a separate graphics processor that’s not integrated into the main processor. A laptop may drop places if its Australian availability becomes an issue.
The following list contains notebooks to suit all budgets as well as models that aren’t aimed squarely at gamers – such as Creator models which still have a discreet 3D graphics processor and a fast screen. November is a great time to shop for a gaming laptop as the Black Friday sales have started early and there are some seriously impressive deals to be had. We’ll be updating this list throughout the month.
Table of Contents
What Makes a Great Gaming Laptop?
Some manufacturers like to suggest that their laptops are good for gaming when they’re not. The two core requirements are discreet graphics (GPU) and a fast screen. The former usually manifests in the form of an Nvidia GPU but some models sport AMD Radeon GPUs.
A standard screen has a 60Hz refresh rate and speedy games can look dreadful on them. We generally require there to be a minimum 120Hz refresh rate, unless otherwise stated.
Many gaming laptops are aimed squarely at hardcore gamers and are dripping in RGB lighting to show the world. However, ‘sleeper laptops’ are increasing in popularity. These are good at gaming but can also fit into a stuffy office.
Just note that battery life on a gaming laptop is often hit and miss. We don’t expect any laptop to play games when not plugged in as the power draw is too large. However, some gaming laptops have poor battery lives while others can perform casual computing and office tasks for more than eight hours on a single charge. That’s largely down to intelligently switching off the discreet graphics when not needed, but not all of the laptops on this list do that very well, yet.
Top 25 Best Gaming Laptops
1. Lenovo Legion Pro 7i
Price: $3,829 | The reigning Number 1 Best Gaming Laptop is still on sale with a massive discount
It’s always been one of the most popular laptops around and the new, Gen 8 version is the best of all. The Legion Pro 7i doesn’t just have the a great combination of corporate-competitive-crossover aesthetics, its screen, speakers and keyboard are fantastic. At it’s full $5,599 RRP, it’s great value, but if you can get one in the current sale (and some variants are under three grand!) get one in the sale. The only downside is portability as it’s a little heavy and the battery lasts just-shy-of six hours. Otherwise, it’s a near-perfect gaming laptop.
Read our Lenovo Legion Pro 7i review.
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2. Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17
Price: $5,599 | Adding AMD CPUs to Asus’ legendary SCAR makes it all-powerful… and cheaper
The 17-inch Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 might have an exterior that’s getting a little long in the tooth, but it’s still a phenomenal buy. That’s thanks to its AMD processor, which offers some of the fastest 2D performance we’ve ever seen. On top of that, we recently reviewed yet another variant, the Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D, which has AMD’s even newer processor with 3D V-Cache. But, that’s the only difference… beyond the fact that you can’t yet buy it in Australia.
Note that you can also still buy the excellent 12th-Gen Intel, Special Edition version which has a few extra bells, whistles and design flourishes, but we’re not going to have a laptop list full of SCARs. Still, check out the Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 SE and see if you can find it going really cheap, too.
Read our Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 review.
3. Asus ROG Strix SCAR 18
Price: $6,699 | Design and ergonomics elevate this powerful beast towards the top
The behemoth Asus ROG Strix SCAR 18 fought off many challengers on its way to the top. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s in our Top 3 for a reason. It’s powered by an Intel Core i9-13980HX processor and the mighty, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU (which has a massive 16GB of GDDR6 RAM) and means that any game can be played at maximum resolution and settings on the UHD screen. It also looks like a gaming laptop should and it’s a joy to interact with. With no weak points, it’s outstanding.
November update: It’s been slowly falling in price and has dropped again in November. This is one whole lotta laptop.
Read our Asus ROG Strix SCAR 18 review.
4. Pioneer DreamBook Power X370 RTX 4090
Price: $6,070 | Australia’s Pioneer offers a (configurable) gaming laptop with unsurpassed 3D performance
It might not have all the bells and whistles of the mainstream contenders, but this monster still offers the fastest 3D Performance we’ve ever seen. The various SCARs might not be far behind (plus, they have better ergonomics, speakers and 2D performance) but you can still save hundreds of dollars while obtaining the very best components. You can save almost $1,000 dropping down from a 4090 to a 4080 with Pioneer’s configurator, too. It’s the laptop equivalent of a Holden Monaro in its no-frills, all-grunt prowess. A brilliant Aussie gaming laptop.
Read our Pioneer DreamBook Power X370 RTX 4090 review.
5. MSI Raider GE68HX 13V
Price: $3,999 | MSI’s long-awaited new Raider is barely recognisable
Gone is the classy, gun-metal grey livery – now it looks like a baby Titan. Consequently, you’ll struggle to get away with it in an office as it’s now a fully blinged-out gaming laptop designed to turn heads at LANs. Our review spec’d machine wasn’t the fastest, with its Nvidia 4070 graphics and Intel Core i9-13950 CPU, but it’s hardly slow and faster SKUs are available. The ergonomics are all excellent and it’s good value – especially in November’s laptop sale which offers $2,000 off!
Read our MSI Raider GE68HX 13V review.
6. Asus ROG Zephyrus M16
Price: $4,299 | Gaming-power, gaming-looks and reasonable portability make this Zephyrus attractive
Asus’ ROG Zephyrus laptops have traditionally offered excellent gaming prowess in a portable body. This new M16 is a bit bigger, at 16-inches, but it still looks the part, offers heaps of gaming power and is reasonably portable to boot. The headline spec is the Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU, however, we’ve never been able to find that in a retail model – the best we’ve seen is an RTX 4070. On the plus side, it can be had for less money.
Read our Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 review.
7. Lenovo Yoga Pro 7i (New Entry)
Price: $2,028 | This ultraportable, business-friendly Creator laptop can also play games
It’s not a traditional gaming notebook, but the phenomenal Lenovo Yoga Pro 7i doesn’t put a foot wrong in the world of portable computing and it’s also capable of playing games. It’s got an excellent, game-friendly, multimedia-proficient 120Hz screen which displays 100 per cent of the difficult DCI-P3 colour gamut (that creators like). There’s also Nividia RTX 4050 graphics for basic gaming and 3D rendering. All this in a 14-inch ultraportable laptop that weighs just 1.51KG and has a 13-hour battery life. It’s a steal at this price.
Read our Lenovo Yoga Pro 7i review.
8. Asus Vivobook Pro 16X (New Entry)
Price: $3,098 | The Best Creator Laptop
We haven’t published our review, yet, but the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X is too good not to have on this list. It’s got a full set-of Creator credentials, including an OLED screen that supports 100 per cent of the difficult DCI-P3 colour gamut plus an Asus DialPad on the trackpad for enhanced design productivity. On top of that there’s a powerful Core i9-13980HX processor and Nvidia RTX 4060 graphics for 3D rendering and gaming. There’s also a 120Hz screen for gaming. A fantastic laptop.
9. MSI Titan GT77 HX 13V
Price: $5,399 | MSI’s flagship has a few niggles, but it’s powerful and heavily discounted right now
Once again, we wanted to love the MSI Titan GT77 but, once again, it didn’t quite quite delivere. For every element of performance, design and ergonomics there’s a niggling caveat to the point where our review has more buts than a Victoria’s Secret runway. It’s still a very good laptop but, as the flag bearer for MSI, it should be the very best gaming laptop. Nonetheless, in November it’s still on sale at a very big discount and this significantly boosts its value proposition.
Read our MSI Titan GT77 HX 13V review.
10. Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8)
Price: $4,065 | It looks like an office laptop but it’s one of the best for gaming and multimedia
The latest Lenovo Legion Pro 5i might not be Lenovo’s flagship gaming laptop, but the judicious and political choices made to keep it in tier two, have succeeded in creating an excellent combination of performance and value.
Inside is Intel’s mighty, desktop-grade Core i9-13900HX processor (with its 8 Power Cores and 16 Efficiency cores), 32GB of fast, DDR5-5600 RAM and an Nvidia RTX 4070 graphics chip. It originally destroyed our tests and set a new benchmark for 2D performance. It also flew through our gaming benchmarks to finish fifth overall. If that sounds weak, remember that it was still competing against the very best last-gen competitors.
It doesn’t look like other gaming laptops but that’s by design – you could easily get away with this in an office (assuming your colleagues don’t know what the Legion moniker on the lid means). Yet it still offers a semblance of RGB with its four-zone, back-lit keyboard.
We absolutely loved the keyboard which is comfortable and accurate for typing and gaming upon but a real standout was the display. It’s one of the very best laptop screens we’ve ever seen. That’s thanks to a UHD, 2,560 x 1,600 resolution, a speedy 240Hz refresh rate (and fast pixel response time), superb colour and monochromatic transitions (the latter is extraordinary for a fast laptop screen), plus HDR-grade contrast which brings out detail in highlights and shadows alike. It might not have quite the colour vibrancy or true blacks of an OLED screen, but the matte finish means you’re not looking at your own reflection in dark scenes.
All in all, few buyers will be disappointed with the Lenovo Legion Pro 5i as their ideal gaming laptop. Just note that it doesn’t seem to catch the sales like its siblings do and you can often find a superior Legion Pro 7i for a similar (or even better) price.
Read our Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8) review.
11. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Price: $3,199 | One of the greatest portable gaming laptops is back. And this time, it doesn’t overheat!
It’s hard to find fault with this miniature marvel. It might not have the classy aluminium finish of the Razer Blade 14, but its ‘Anime Matrix’ LED lid is cool as heck and it’s dramatically cheaper. The ergonomics and build quality are excellent plus, we’re relieved it’s no longer such a noisy room-heater. We did have some issues with its Optimus settings not working in battery mode, but we’re talking to Asus about this battery-affecting glitch. Either way, the 2023 version of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is once again one of our favourite laptops – a genuine unicorn laptop combo of gaming prowess and portability.
Read our Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review.
12. Razer Blade 14
Price: $5,099 | Razer once again shows off a great combo of power and portability
AMD sent us the latest Razer Blade 14 and it’s impressive. The black-with-green-flourishes, CNC-milled aluminium chassis hasn’t changed – which is a very good thing. Despite its diminutive dimensions it’s got good gaming power in an ultraportable body. Sure, it can get a bit warm (it’s also a bit of a fingerprint magnet) plus, it’s really rather expensive, but this is one of the coolest and most desirable laptops around and its predecessors were even cited as being our top gaming laptop. Just note that the September appearance of the excellent Zephyrus G14 (above), somewhat-hobbled the Blade’s value proposition.
Read our Razer Blade 14 review.
13. MSI Pulse 17
Price: $2,498 | One of the better, 17-inch budget gaming laptops
The MSI Pulse 17 was the first laptop we saw with a combination of a 13th-Gen Intel processor and a 4000-series Nvidia GPU. It feels very much a a budget gaming laptop and yet, inside it’s got it where it counts, thanks to a fast, Intel Core i7-13700H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics. Despite using the latest technology, this 17-inch beast costs half of what some premium rivals cost and yet it competes with them.
It dropped massively in price in September and then rose again in October. Fortunately, it’s back down in November making it one of the best budget gaming laptops in our book, but the competition is growing.
Read our MSI Pulse 17 review.
14. HP Omen Transcend 16 (New Entrry)
Price: $5,499 | HP’s latest Omen is an impressive machine. But, look for it in a sale.
There’s a huge amount to like about HP’s latest Omen flagship gaming machine. The 16-inch laptop has a Core i9-13900HX processor and Nvidia 4070 graphics plus 32GB of RAM and a fast, 2TB hard drive. It’s also got an excellent screen which is mini-LED backlit for great contrast and has a 240Hz refresh rate for speed. Our only issue is the price, which is uncompetitive in a crowded market. But, HP laptops are regularly on sale, so keep an eye out for this one and keep it on your shortlist.
Read our HP Omen Transcend 16 review.
15. MSI Raider GE77 HX
Price: $3,699 | A former Number 1 Best Laptop, the 2022 MSI Raider GE77 HX is still a great, last-gen gaming laptop in 2023
The MSI Raider GE77 HX launched with a powerful, 12th-Gen processor that decimated everything that came before it. This helped boost the phenomenal, 3D performance which came courtesy of an Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti GPU. All the while, the tweaked Cooler Boost 5 technology made it run relatively cool and quiet while providing headroom to overclock it and make it run even faster.
This all combined with excellent ergonomics (including a fast, 4K screen) to create a super-premium gaming laptop that is still hugely desirable today. Some will even prefer its classy, gun-metal black livery to the replacement ‘Baby Titan’ model (above). The main downside is battery-life but that’s not uncommon for gaming laptops. In November, the price remains crashed meaning this classic is very well worth considering, even with last-gen components.
Read our MSI Raider GE77 HX review.
16. Acer Predator Helios Neo
Price: $1,999 | Acer’s new flagship brand is a very good, 16-inch, gaming laptop
We only very recently learned that the Acer Predator Helios Neo is the new name for Acer’s long-running, flagship, Helios 300 brand – which was our Best Gaming Laptop for a long time when we first launched this site. The reason for the downgrade in bling is because US buyers apparently prefer more subtle laptops that they can work with when they’re not gaming.
It’s just crashed in price by a full $1,000 meaning this 13th-Gen gamer (with an Nvidia 4060 GPU), is well within budget gaming laptop territory. That’s makes this flagship highly desireable to those on a budget and wins it a Great Value Gaming Laptop award.
Read our Acer Predator Helios Neo review.
17. Alienware m16 R1
Price: $2,698 | Alienware’s AMD-based R1 has done a Roswell and crashed… in price
The Alienware m16 R1 is in a competitive space. Many people will prefer the design of the Alienware but, while it’s not the hot mess of its predecessors, it can still be a bit of a lukewarm muddle. You can buy multiple SKUs and this will likely boost the value proposition as the Nvidia RTX 4060 model we tested felt under-powered for the launch price. Still, it looks great and we expect this AMD variant to perform very well. You may need to overlook some niggling issues, though.
Read our Alienware m16 R1 review.
18. Acer Predator Triton 500 SE
Price: $2,649 | An office-friendly gaming laptop
The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE is a sleeper laptop. It looks very corporate but, once you turn it on… it flies! You wouldn’t know it was a Predator, but for the tiny logo at the top of the lid (or if you turn the RGB keyboard lights on). For those who need to be very discreet about their gaming, it needs to be on your best gaming laptop shortlist. In November, it remains on sale for $800 off! There are more offers on Acer gaming laptops, here.
Read our Acer Predator Triton 500 SE review.
19. Acer Nitro 5
Price: $1,698 | Acer’s legendary budget gaming laptop is back
When we reviewed this Acer Nitro 5 it was the Number 1 best-value gaming laptop on the market, offering a good combination of performance, styling, build-quality, features and connectivity. It was a fraction of the cost of many rivals but the review-SKU subsequently more-than doubled meaning it was suddenly competing with premium rivals – including its Predator siblings!
We recently reviewed an updated model with Nvidia RTX 4060 graphics and were seriously impressed. Just note that the price is bouncing around like crazy and, if the discount of this SKU vanishes, you can still find other variants at much cheaper prices.
Read our updated Acer Nitro 5 review.
20. MSI Katana 15
Price $1,798 | Once again, the Katana is one of the very best budget gaming laptops
The updated MSI Katana 15 reappeared in our October list thanks to significant updates. It briefly became our Best Value laptop, Best Value Gaming laptop and Best Budget Gaming Laptop before being quickly toppled by the cheaper (and less powerful) Gigabyte G5, but it’s still great value. It’s on sale in November so hurry if you want to save [checks notes] $700!
Read our MSI Katana 15 review.
21. Gigabyte Aero 14 OLED
Price: $2,999 | A potential unicorn laptop that’s ultraportable and gamer friendly. But, there are issues
Gigabyte’s ultraportable Aero is a stylish, 14-inch ultraportable laptop that weighs just 1.47KG and is 17mm thick. It also has an Nvidia RTX 4050 GPU to boot. This combined with its 90Hz display just about place it in gaming territory.
We liked this laptop a lot. However, there was no getting away from the fact it had issues with its battery life which should be much higher. The investigation into this conundrum, is ongoing.
Read our Gigabyte Aero 14 OLED review.
22. MSI Cyborg 15
Price: $1,999 | MSI’s budget gaming laptop is a real winner in terms of looks, ergonomics and value
While it’s overall appeal is dented by poor battery life, there’s still a great deal to like about the MSI Cyborg 15. It looks good, has good ergonomics, performs well for the price and represents great value. It sits in a crowded market which includes more-powerful, last-gen models, but many of those are hard to find. November Update: It collapsed in price in October but it’s also up against some attractive new contenders in the form of its Katana 15 sibling and the Gigabyte G5. It’s good to have choice!
Read our MSI Cyborg 15 review.
23. Gigabyte G5
Price: $1,398 | Gigabyte returns with one of the cheapest, best value gaming laptops around
Right after we were wowed by the value on offer by the MSI Katana 15, along comes the Gigabyte G5 and blows it out of the water. It might not be the greatest budget gaming laptop we’ve seen but it’s got it where it counts and, at its initial price, it proved very attractive with budget buyers. We’ve since added a review of the Nvidia RTX 4060 version and, although it’s slightly more expensive, it’s still a fantastic, low-priced, budget buy.
Read our Gigabyte G5 review.
24. MSI Vector GP66
Price: $3,799 | Another winner from MSI’s lesser, premium gaming laptop range
MSI has some excellent gaming laptops but the Vector often gets overlooked in favour of the more-dashing Raider and Titan models. However, this is another laptop whose design choices help keep the price down while ensuring it remains very capable.
The usual, external RGB is eschewed in favour of a cool, but discreet, all-black chassis, but it still contains a high-end processor and GPU. The screen will be what’s most attractive to many creators, though, as not only does it have a UHD, 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, it has a speedy 165Hz refresh rate and it supports 100 per cent of the difficult DCI-P3 colour space.
The price has crept back up, but it’s cheaper than some rival models and will suit those who needs their gaming laptop to be work friendly too. A great-value, all-rounder, gaming laptop.
Read our MSI Vector GP66 review.
25. MSI Raider GE67 HX
Price: $5,399 | The best OLED gaming laptop
We’ve loved MSI’s Raider range for years – especially the night-club-like, Mystic Light bar at the front. Last year’s model introduced us to a new innovation – the game-ready OLED screen with its 240Hz refresh rate. The latest Raider (above), has had a major face-lift (and lost the OLED screen), but we feel, this version still looks better – like a modern-day classic. It might be last-gen but it’s still a great buy. Meanwhile, check out the new MSI gaming laptops, here.
Read our MSI Raider GE67 HX review.
What do you think of our rankings? Do you agree or disagree? Have you bought one of the above and found that it’s a dog to live with? Leave a comment below or on this Reddit thread.