Gaming laptops and everyday laptops you might use for school used to be two very different animals. The power needed for mobile gaming once meant a big, heavy laptop that was the proverbial “boat anchor.” Battery life was miserable as well. Meanwhile, students wanted laptops that were thin, light, and easy to carry. They needed battery life that didn’t require lugging a power adapter to school. Thanks to big advances in mobile processor and GPUs there is no longer a need to make the difficult choice between gaming and school. Here is a list of gaming laptops that will make the most of AAA titles, and also be right at home sitting in the library, running Word or Excel.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 15.6″ gaming laptop

Asus strix gaming laptop
Processor:  2.5 GHz 14-core 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H
Ram: 16GB of DDR5 RAM
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX3070 Ti with 8GB of RAM
Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD
Connectivity: 10/100/1000/2500 Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Ports: Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1 and 3 USB 3.2 Gen2, combo audio jack


The ASUS ROG Strix  Scar 15 is equipped with a 12th generation, 14-core i9 CPU with 16GB of DDR5 RAM. Its NVIDIA GeForce RTX  graphics card pushes the pixels on a Full HD IPS display with a 300Hz refresh rate. 1TB of M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 storage ensures fast booting, fast load times, and plenty of storage for games, videos, and assignments. The full-sized RGB backlit bilingual keyboard is great for gaming and school. It’s 1.1″ thick and weighs 5.09 lbs.

HP 15-inch gaming laptop

HP 15 inch gaming laptop
Processor:  powerful 12 core 4.5GHz 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12500H
Ram: 16GB of DDR4-3200 MHz RAM
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX3050
Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth
Ports: 3 USB, 1 DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1, audio jack


HP has a very compelling, entry-level gaming laptop. The HP 15-inch in Mica Silver offers the performance of the latest 12 Gen Intel processor paired with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card. A combo that’s ideal for gaming and multitasking. Its four-cell lithium-ion polymer battery offers hours of gaming on a single charge. This gaming laptop also embraces style with a 15-inch Full HD, anti-glare display and front-firing speakers with Audio by B&O. Unlike many gaming laptops, this one comes with a built-in webcam—an HP True Vision 720p HD camera with integrated dual array microphones.

ACER Nitro 5 15.6″ gaming laptop

Acer Nitro 5 15.6" Gaming Laptop
Processor:  8 core 4.2 GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor
Ram: 16GB of DDR4 RAM
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 with 4GB of RAM
Storage: 512GB of solid state storage
Connectivity: RJ45 10/100/1000 Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports: HDMI, 2 USB 3.2 Gen2 and 2 USB3.2 Gen 1, optical out, audio jack


The Acer Nitro 5 is a perfect example of a very capable, low cost, gaming laptop. A gaming and productivity powerhouse with the new industry leading AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card with 4GB of RAM. The 15.6″ IPS Full HD display has a 144Hz refresh rate for smooth video and gameplay. It’s .094″ thick and weights 4.85 lbs.

ASUS TUF Gaming A17 17.3″ gaming laptop

ASUS TUF Gaming A17 17.3" Gaming Laptop
Processor: 3.2GHz 8 core AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor
Ram: 16GB of DDR4 RAM
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX3060 with 6GB of RAM
Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
Connectivity: RJ45 Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Ports: HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Gen2 and 3 USB3.2 Gen 1, audio jack


The ASUS TUF A17 gaming laptop is a big screen gaming dynamo. It’s equipped with a 17.3-inch Full HD display with 144Hz refresh rate. A huge screen in a gaming laptop that’s just 1″ thick and weighs only 5.7 pounds. Games, videos, and image will pop with bright and accurate colours, motion is smooth, while text will be crisp. It’s 1″ thick and weighs 5.71 lbs.

MSI GE76 Raider 17.3-inch gaming laptop

MSI GE76 Raider 17.3" Gaming Laptop
Processor:  powerful 1.7GHz 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H
Ram: 32GB of DDR5 RAM
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX3070 Ti with 8GB of RAM
Storage: 1TB of solid state storage
Connectivity: Killer E3100G Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Ports: Thunderbolt 4, HDMI and 2 USB 3.2 Gen2 and 2 USB3.2 Gen 1


Finally, a monster of a gaming laptop that still somehow manages to be portable enough that you can slip it in a backpack. The MSI GE76 Raider 17.3-inch gaming laptop is built around a big, bright, Full HD display with an extremely high refresh rate. The components inside offer the maximum performance possible in a mobile form factor. Anyone who is taking classes that require high performance computing power—2D and 3D rendering, for example—will appreciate the extreme power of the MSI GE76 Raider. Of course, that 17.3-inch display and will also provide plenty of screen space for working on Excel spreadsheets and Word docs. Panoramic aurora lighting and Per-Key RGB gaming keyboard by Steelseries provide an ultimate gaming experience. It’s 1.02″ thick and weighs 6.39 lbs.

Gaming laptops have the power and versatility for work and fun

Besides performance, gaming laptops offer other advantages. They tend to be packed with the latest technology from high-speed solid state drives, to Wi-Fi 6. While many ultra-portable laptops skimp on ports, gaming laptops are usually well equipped with a mix of input and output ports to support video, external drives, thumb drives, peripherals, and accessories. They are also known for their responsive (and frequently backlit) keyboards—critical for gaming, but also important for typing essays.

The best back to school gaming laptopsOne quick word about remote or hybrid productivity. Gaming laptops don’t always include a built-in webcam. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use them for video conferencing and remote learning.

Simply plug in a USB webcam. It’s a little less convenient than a built-in webcam, but this offers the advantage of being able to position the camera perfectly (you can even use a tripod), and most standalone webcams offer a superior picture to built-ins.   

Whether you shop online, or choose a safe, in-store experience at your local store, Best Buy has everything needed for a successful school year.

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