Getting a good gaming laptop can certainly get on one’s nerves since it’s a pretty big decision. There are just so many technicalities, and that can have you overwhelmed, bewildered, and indecisive big time. With the options being more than one can possibly count available in the market, you are most likely to feel troubled in your selection with a high chance of being misguided and handed over a machine you will later realize you don’t want or need.
All these options of gaming laptops come with a different set of features and with different price tags, with all the companies claiming to offer the best. You don’t need to waste your time or effort paying any heed to such potentially false claims and definitely not invest your money on the wrong or unwanted device.
We have made all the effort and done the research for you and found you the 15 best gaming laptops in 2021 with outstanding features wrapped up in a 13-inch screen. There’s a buying guide as well for a facilitated experience if you decide to go get a gaming laptop for yourself.
Best 13-inch Gaming Laptops
1. Dell XPS 9370 13.3” – Best Gaming Laptop For The Money
Dell XPS 13 is our top recommendation for you if you are in search of a laptop that gives excellent performance along with being one of the best choices for gaming. Besides having brilliant features, it has a smart and gorgeous exterior as well. Dell XPS has built-in Windows 10 pro, and if not all the latest games, you can run most of the old ones and some of the higher-end games too.
The display is unparalleled, with 4K Ultra HD resolution available that has 8 million pixels producing a crisp image. The 13.3-inch screen has an InfinityEdge display along with an 80.7% screen-to-body ratio. Hence, Dell XPS 13 has a seemingly endless screen because of which you can get the best of the games’ visuals.
A good 400-nit brightness allows you to have a vibrant gaming experience even in broad daylight. With the powerful Intel i7 8th Gen Quad-core processor-4.0 GHz, this laptop delivers an enhanced performance even while multitasking; you can play your game without any hindrance while multiple apps are running in the background, with all of them functioning smoothly.
You can have longer gaming sessions with its amazing battery life which is up to 19 hours, 24 minutes. Enjoy hardcore gaming with 16GB of RAM and incredible storage of 512GB solid-state hard drive. Other noticeable features include Wi-fi connectivity, Bluetooth 4.1, a backlit keyboard, built-in stereo speakers, and a 720p HD webcam with 4 array digital microphones.
Dell XPS 13 has a stunning exterior matched with outstanding technical features to provide you brilliant gaming experience. It is ultra-slim, portable, lightweight (only 2.7 pounds); you can easily carry it while traveling. It is secure with fingerprint lock technology integrated into the power button. There are one USB 2.0 port and two USB 3.0 ports. All these capabilities wrapped in an amazingly affordable price tag are a big win.
2. Razer Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook Gaming Laptop – Good Laptop For Gaming
Razer Blade Stealth 13 is inarguably one of the best gaming laptops out there; built with strong gaming purposes; it is the world’s first gaming ultrabook. With all its technical features being ideal for gaming, it delivers outclass performance in gaming or in other productive tasks, for that matter.
Razer Blade Stealth 13 is equipped with one of the most latest, Quad-core, Intel i7 10th Gen processor, which gives an elite gaming experience. This is paired with 16 GB RAM, which is an ideal system for serious gamers, allowing solid game playing and high-intensity work with other computer programs.
The OLED Touch Display offers stunning visuals with better contrast, deeper blacks, and higher viewing angles. The feature of 100% DCI-P3 compatible colors gives cinematic clarity and color accuracy. The full HD thin bezel display is super fast, 120HZ refresh rate, and has 100% sRGB solar space; this enables extremely smooth game visuals, allowing you to act faster and giving your best performance.
It features the Razer Chroma keyboard and precision glass touchpad for accurate control. The GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q gives an outstanding graphics performance making this one an ultimate gaming laptop. The built-in four stereo speakers and smart amplifier produce immersive audio with great audio boost and clarity, thus making your game’s soundscape realistic.
So, it must be clear by now that Razer Blade Stealth 13 is undeniably one of the best 13-inch gaming laptops in 2021 that you can get your hands on, and for obvious reasons. It provides absolute security with the Windows Hello lock screen tech, gives a top-notch performance, and is portable with a gorgeous sleek design.
3. Asus ZenBook 13 – The Best Gaming Laptop
ASUS ZenBook 13 is a budget-friendly option if you’re looking for a gaming laptop that won’t be too hard on your wallet, but that doesn’t mean there is a compromise on the quality. This compact and portable 13-inch laptop has a Full HD NanoEdge bezel touch display, making it a friendly travel companion.
The NanoEdge display with the ultra-narrow bezel gives an 80% screen-to-body ratio, meaning more immersive game visuals with no annoying reflections distracting you. The exterior has an elegant and sophisticated design with a spun-metal finish. With the Intel i7 8th gen, which can be boosted to 3.4 GHz, ASUS ZenBook 13 is suitable for heavy gaming.
The 8 GB RAM and NVIDIA Geforce MX150 graphics card, which is close to GTX 1050 in its performance gaming-wise, this laptop offers an impressive gaming experience. It has 3 USB 3.0 ports, including type C connectivity, dual-band wifi, Bluetooth 4.2, illuminated chiclet keyboard, and provides high security with built-in fingerprint reader-one touch login.
ASUS ZenBook 13 is a great affordable option for a gaming laptop with lots of impressive features. It is compatible with the incredible NanoEdge display and a dedicated graphics card, hence providing a great gaming laptop for this price tag.
4. HP Envy 13 – Top Gaming Laptop
HP Envy 13 is one of our picks from the best 13-inch gaming laptops in 2021 because of its great value for money. It costs relatively cheaper for its fantastic features than the other rival companies do for the same ones. With the ultra-portable design and outstanding performance, it is a great selection for heavy gamers.
The full HD 13-inch touchscreen display has BrightView; that is, the brightness goes as high as 1000 nits while most laptops normally reach somewhere around 300 nits, hence allowing you to enjoy gaming outside as much as it does inside. The contrast is an incredible 2248:1 producing clear and sharp colored visuals of games.
The powerful Intel Core i7 10th Gen matched with 8 GB RAM makes this device the right choice for high-end gaming. Intel Iris Plus Graphics is utilized for ultra-high resolutions, accelerated speeds and gives a rich gaming experience. The fingerprint lock tech guarantees secure access, and the battery is fast-charging-goes from 0% to 50% in 30 mins approx. Additional features include Wifi 6 (2×2)-up to 3x faster file transfer than wifi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, HP dual speakers, HP audio boost, and 3 USB 3.0 ports.
HP Envy 13 delivers amazing performance, in gaming or otherwise, with its high-end technical features. The powerful processor with up to 3.9 GHz memory speed and an ultra-high resolution graphics card offers outstanding gaming performance, rendering this laptop one of the best 13-inch gaming laptops in 2021.
5. Alienware AW13 R3 13.3.” – Gamer Laptop
Alienware AW13 R3 13 is a well-designed, externally as well as internally, gaming laptop. The most impressive feature about it is that it has a VR-ready gaming option. The OLED screen display generates superior color contrasts and brightness providing you next-level visual entertainment while gaming.
The Intel Core i7 7th Gen with up to 3.8 GHz coordinated with NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics card makes a powerful combo for gaming. The 16 GB RAM allows high-intensity working and heavy gaming. You will not feel the need for more space while running any type of game with its 512 GB solid-state hard drive.
Alienware AW13 R3 is the world’s first 13 inch VR notebook and is Alienware’s thinnest laptop ever, with the dimensions 10.59 x 12.99 x 9.44 inches (L x W x H). It weighs 5.8 pounds, and the epic silver color, along with the slim and sleek frame, makes the exterior really appealing.
Alienware AW13 R3 offers a promising performance with its amazing features. It will be your portable VR-ready device through which you can enjoy a VR gaming experience anywhere and whenever you like. Thus, undoubtedly one of the best 13-inch gaming laptops in 2021 available out there.
6. Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5.”
Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a great option for a gaming laptop that will allow you to run high profile and the latest games, thanks to its excellent technical features. It has the 8th Gen Intel Quad-core i7 processor, a great processor for gaming. The 16 GB RAM further elevates the gaming experience for you.
With the outstanding solid-state hard drive storage of 1 TB, you will not ever go short of storage for any game you wish to run on this laptop. The fast and powerful dedicated graphics card- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 2 GB graphics memory enables this laptop to run any title (game).
Coming to its most amazing and appealing feature, this Microsoft device is 2 in 1, a laptop and tablet at once. You can detach the screen and use it as a tablet; the vibrant PixelSense display is designed for pen and touch. The max screen resolution is 3000 x 2000 pixels. Moreover, it has up to 17 hours of battery life, 1 USB 2.0 port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and a rear webcam with 8 MP resolution.
This 2 in 1 Microsoft Surface Book 2 is definitely an outstanding gaming laptop. It is well built and designed with all the necessary technical equipment for heavy gaming. The fast and powerful RAM and graphics card enable you to enjoy high-profile games like Fortnight and Overwatch.
7. HP Pavilion 13-inch
HP Pavilion consists of a wide range of specs and features that makes it one of the best 13-inch gaming laptops in 2021. It has an ultra-portable design with the BrightView micro-edge WLED display with a max screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. The 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor comes with 8 GB RAM.
The solid-state hard drive has ample storage of 256 GB. It is equipped with Intel GMA 3150 graphics card. The fingerprint reader tech ensures maximum privacy and security. This laptop is ultra-thin with only 15.4 mm thickness and weighs only 2 pounds with dimensions of 8.3 x 12.24 x 0.61 inches (L x W x H).
HP Pavilion is built for you to easily carry with you wherever you go. The average battery life is up to 11 hours during mixed usage. It has powerful audio thanks to its dual HP speakers, HP audio boost, and tuning by B&O PLAY, making your game’s sound come alive. With the Backlit keyboard, you can play or type with complete ease in dull and dark surroundings.
HP Pavilion is designed with stunning design, and the ultra-thin characteristic makes it extremely easy to carry around. With the BrightView display, you can enjoy gaming without caring about whether the environment is bright or dull.
Choosing and buying a laptop is a big decision, bigger than other ordinary products because you are buying a machine with various technicalities. You need to consider all these technical features, weigh and choose what fits your demands and needs. Gaming laptops are particularly different than mainstream laptops since high-profile games are pretty demanding and require certain features in your laptops to run.
To find the right gaming laptop for yourself, go through and follow the following buying guide. It covers the technicalities you need to be thoughtful about while getting a gaming laptop for yourself.
A Graphics card or GPU is the most crucial of equipment for a gaming laptop; since running most heavy games can be stressful for your laptop, you need a dedicated graphics card with its own memory. Most of the games are GPU bound, so you need a powerful dedicated graphics card to run the games effectively and smoothly.
Depending on the level of gaming you are in, you need to choose from the different graphics cards available out there. As for entry-level gaming, you can satisfactorily opt for GTX 1650, that is if you need to run games on the highest setting. This graphics card will allow you to run most of the games on low to standard settings.
If you want a bit more power for entry-level gaming, go for GTX 1660 Ti, which is one of the best graphics cards available for entry-level gaming. For mainstream gaming, go for Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, which is powerful enough for full HD gaming and will allow you to run most of the games on higher settings.
VR gaming requires a more powerful graphics card; RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti are the most powerful graphics cards allowing a smooth VR gaming experience. Moving beyond the 20 series, RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 have expanded the boundaries of outstanding performance for the highest settings and VR gaming experience.
When it comes to processors while buying a gaming laptop, Intel Core i5 is the least you should consider; it is a slower CPU. However, most games depend on a high-end graphics card more than the processor, so you can get along with i5 if you are not compromising on the graphics card. Core i7 is a proficient CPU for gaming and delivers better performance
6th Generation Core is the least you can choose for a gaming laptop. If you want to play modern games, don’t settle for below 7th Gen is not going to work. Also, choose quad-core rather than dual-core. As for RAM, 8 GB is enough for average performance, although 16 GB is best for serious gaming. High storage RAM is not as important as graphics cards and processors also; it is upgradable in most gaming laptops, so you can compromise over it for the time being.
A good display is important in a gaming laptop for an immersive gaming experience. For the resolution, the minimum resolution you need in a gaming laptop is 1920 x 1080, don’t ever go for lower than that if you don’t want the worst graphics. The resolutions of QHD (2560 x 1440) or 4K (3840 x 2160) are a great choice in gaming laptops since they give stunning graphics.
A touchscreen is a nice feature; if you are to play games like Cut the Rope and Candy Crush, if not for these, a touchscreen is totally unnecessary. In fact, you would want to avoid them if you don’t want to waste your battery life and for your screen to be too glossy. Screen size is a matter of preference; while 15 and 17 inches screens do provide a great experience, keep in mind that the bigger, the heavier.
Are gaming laptops a waste of money?
Gaming laptops are not at all a waste of money, even if it’s solely for gaming purposes. You might need to pay slightly more for the similar features, but it’s not much, and portability is a great win.
How much RAM do I need for gaming?
8 GB is the minimum RAM requirement for gaming laptops today. 16 GB is the optimal option for heavy gaming and is required by the latest games.
Do Gaming laptops overheat?
Gaming laptops usually have both integrated and dedicated graphics cards. A dedicated GPU consumes more power, thus producing more heat and can cause your laptop to overheat.
Buying a laptop is a pretty big decision, and a gaming laptop is a bigger one since it requires specs of which you need to be mindful about. So we have made that undeniably difficult decision easier for you, you are most likely to find the right 13-inch gaming laptop for yourself from the above-shortlisted ones, and you will not regret the decision that we can assure you.
The top three gaming laptops from our list are mentioned below
Dell XPS 9370 13.3” because of its affordable price, lightweight, and gorgeous design.
Razer Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook because of a dedicated graphics card and excellent performance.
Asus ZenBook 13 because of the amazing display features and great value for money.
Along with the best 13-inch gaming laptops in 2021, this article has a buying guide attached as well. Buying a good gaming laptop is nearly impossible if you don’t even have the crucial knowledge about what you are and need to search for. Once you have gone through that, we bet all your confusion about a gaming laptop will be warded off, and you will be left with a much clearer mind.
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