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CheckMag | Are high-end gaming laptops worth the hype? Top 4 premium models to consider in 2024

Are high-end gaming laptops worth the hype? (Source: Lenovo)
Are high-end gaming laptops worth the hype? (Source: Lenovo)
Gaming laptops deliver impressive performance but often come with steep price tags. For gamers looking to level up their experience, it's crucial to determine which models justify their prices. Below are the top four high-end gaming laptops we tested to help you decide if price really guarantees performance.

1. Lenovo Legion 9i - Great laptop, terrible value

The Legion 9i 16, a notable upgrade from Lenovo's already impressive Legion Pro 7 series, stands out with its robust configuration featuring a Core i9-13980HX processor, RTX 4090 graphics card, and a mini-LED display. This powerhouse is well-designed both in terms of hardware specs and aesthetics, making it an attractive option for tech enthusiasts looking for top-tier performance.

However, these enhancements come with their trade-offs. The device sports a larger and heavier chassis compared to its predecessors. While the introduction of integrated liquid cooling might seem promising, it doesn't necessarily contribute to a quieter or cooler operating experience. Users should anticipate noise levels typical of high-performance gaming laptops of similar size.

Despite its impressive capabilities, the Legion 9i 16 does have some limitations, such as a short battery life and a bulky frame, which might not appeal to all users. The mini-LED display, while exceptional with HDR enabled to leverage its 1000-nit peak brightness, places significant demands on the battery without offering substantial advantages over other technologies like IPS or OLED when HDR is off.

In conclusion, the Legion 9i 16 is tailored for those who prioritize cutting-edge display technology and can overlook some ergonomic drawbacks. This model remains a compelling choice, particularly for those who value the enhanced visual experience provided by mini-LED technology in HDR scenarios.

2. Razer Blade 16 (2024) - The best Blade yet?

The Razer Blade 16 continues to impress as a high-performance gaming laptop, offering a blend of compact design, robust power, and a premium finish. It incorporates a Core i9-14900HX processor, an RTX 4090 graphics card, and an option for an OLED display. In performance tests, the Blade 16 shows a marginal improvement, achieving about a 7% increase in performance over its predecessor, effectively managing 4K gaming. However, it's noted that frame rates may drop below the desirable 60 fps mark during intensive games.

While the Blade 16 retains the high-quality Mini-LED display options of its predecessor, the addition of an OLED option broadens the appeal for those who prioritize vibrant display technology. However, owners of the 2023 model, which also featured high-quality Mini-LED displays, might find the upgrades in the latest model less compelling. The performance improvements offered by the Raptor Lake Refresh are minimal, and no significant new features have been introduced.

Overall, the 2024 Razer Blade 16 stands out as a high-end gaming laptop, similar to its predecessor. The lack of significant upgrades, however, makes it a less compelling option for those who already own the nearly equivalent 2023 version.

3. Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D - The fastest gaming laptop

The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 X3D has received a significant performance boost thanks to the integration of the new AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX3D processor, positioning it as one of the fastest gaming laptops currently available. This processor introduces significant advancements with its 3D V-Cache, which boosts gaming performance by double-digit percentages in 1080p resolutions. However, this advantage tapers off in QHD and becomes negligible in 4K when compared to the standard Ryzen 9 7945HX.

The Ryzen 9 7945HX3D's lack of compatibility with liquid metal cooling results in slightly lower multi-core CPU performance than its non-3D counterpart, particularly under heavy loads where cooling is crucial. 

Despite its performance credentials, the ROG Strix SCAR 17 3DX's design shortcomings hold it back. The traditional 16:9 panel feels outdated, and the absence of a toned-down, professional variant akin to ASUS' ProArt series limits its appeal as a dual-purpose workstation.

Additionally, the laptop's silent mode is practically unusable during gaming due to persistent coil whine, and the noisy cooling system, recommend the use of headphones for better audio experiences. These drawbacks prevent the laptop from achieving a higher rating, despite its high-performance gaming capabilities.

4. Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 - Gamer MacBook

Asus has refined the design and market positioning of the ROG Zephyrus G16 for 2024, successfully broadening its appeal. This 16-inch model impresses with its compact and lightweight aluminum build, outstanding speakers, responsive input devices, and a high-quality OLED panel. Despite the OLED's superb display capabilities, especially evident with its 240-Hz refresh rate and G-Sync support, its HDR performance is somewhat limited due to the panel's peak brightness constraints.

On the performance front, the introduction of the new Meteor Lake processor doesn’t yield significant improvements over the previous Raptor Lake models, and it underperforms in single-core tasks. The potential advantages of the new Arc iGPU are also overshadowed by the presence of a more powerful dedicated Nvidia GPU, diminishing the impact of the integrated graphics upgrade.

The G16 positions itself more as a premium multimedia laptop than a pure gaming machine, appealing even to users with no interest in gaming. However, its cooling system is a notable drawback. The laptop rarely operates quietly, often relying on a high-speed additional fan.

Moreover, superior Vapor-Chamber cooling is reserved only for the higher-end RTX 4080 and 4090 models, resulting in better thermal management and higher performance potential for these variants. This inconsistency in cooling solutions across different models marks a significant variance in user experience within the lineup.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 04 > Are high-end gaming laptops worth the hype? Top 4 premium models to consider in 2024
Triet Le, 2024-04-19 (Update: 2024-04-19)