Notebookcheck

The Best Thin & Light Gaming Notebooks

November 2020 update. The model-specific allure of these thin & light gaming notebooks is their unique combination of very thin and lightweight cases on the one hand and powerful hardware on the other rendering devices particularly interesting to all users who intend to use their gaming laptops when out and about. Naturally, everyday work is another use case, but gaming is the most important aspect here. Below, you will find the best ultra-portable gaming laptops reviewed by Notebookcheck.
Florian Glaser, Sabine Kückemanns (translated by Finn D. Boerne),

"Mobile gaming" - what sounded like a poor joke a few years ago has already become common practice; at least in the notebook range. Processors and graphics cards are getting smaller and more power-efficient, which makes cooling easier. As a result, powerful components can be packed into slimmer and slimmer cases. Although 17-inch powerhouses still dominate the 15-inch and smaller range is steadily growing.

The following table shows an overview of the Top 10 gaming laptops reviewed by Notebookcheck in the previous 12 months that weigh less than 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) and are less than 2.0 cm (0.8 inches) thick. More gaming rankings from Notebookcheck:

The Best Thin and Light Gaming Laptops

Pos.
Rating
Date
Image
Modell/Testbericht
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Screen
Best Price
187 %
08/2020
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Super Max-QRazer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
Intel Core i7-10875H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
16 GB Memory, 512 GB NVMe
2.1 kg17.8 mm15.60"1920x1080matte
286 %
05/2020
Razer Blade 15 RZ09-0328Razer Blade 15 RZ09-0328
Intel Core i7-10750H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
2.1 kg19.9 mm15.60"3840x2160
385 %
05/2020
Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XB-8DE51B0SPGigabyte Aero 15 OLED XB-8DE51B0SP
Intel Core i7-10875H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
2.2 kg20 mm15.60"3840x2160glossy
485 %
07/2020
Alienware m15 R3 P87FAlienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
2.3 kg19.9 mm15.60"1920x1080matte
585 %
09/2020
Schenker Key 15 Comet LakeSchenker Key 15 Comet Lake
Intel Core i7-10875H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q
32 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
2 kg19.8 mm15.60"1920x1080matte
685 %
07/2020
Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550LXSAsus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550LXS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q
32 GB Memory, 2048 GB SSD
2.5 kg20 mm15.60"3840x2160matte
784 %
07/2020
MSI GS75 10SF-609USMSI GS75 10SF-609US
Intel Core i7-10875H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
32 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
2.3 kg18.9 mm17.30"1920x1080matte
884 %
03/2020
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401IVAsus Zephyrus G14 GA401IV
AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
1.6 kg17.9 mm14.00"1920x1080matte
983 %
09/2020
Asus Zephyrus S15 GX502LAsus Zephyrus S15 GX502L
Intel Core i7-10875H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile
32 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
2.1 kg19 mm15.60"1920x1080matte
1083 %
05/2020
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFSMSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB NVMe
2.2 kg20 mm15.60"1920x1080matte

The table above contains an overview over the best thin & light gaming notebooks reviewed by Notebookcheck over the course of the past 12 months as well as still relevant and available older products. In cases of identical score the more recent device is listed first. All prices in above table and price comparisons are updated daily and can thus differ.

Editors' Comments

1st - Razer Blade 15 (2020 Advanced)

Razer Blade 15 (2020 Advanced)
Razer Blade 15 (2020 Advanced)

The Razer Blade 15 is not only available in a base configuration (see below) but also a better equipped advanced edition. The 2020 model of the latter includes a vapor-chamber cooler, a high-quality 300 Hz display, and well-made input devices.

The reason why the device barely missed our "Very good" rating (88% and more) are some minor details rather than major compromises, for example fairly high palm rest and power supply temperatures. Gaming power is abundant, thanks to aCore i7-10875H and a GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q. Our review of the even more expensive SKU equipped with an RTX 2080 Super Max-Q can be found here.

Pricecompare

2nd - Razer Blade 15 (2020 base model)

Razer Blade 15 (2020 base model)
Razer Blade 15 (2020 base model)

Razer manages to secure first place in our mobile gaming top 10 list with its 2020Blade 15 base model that scored a very respectable 86% in our test. Despite its small case Razer includes only high-end hardware, such as aCore i7-10750H and a GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q. The images are cast on a OLED display with a resolution of 3840 x 2160.

In addition to first-class performance the Blade 15 also offers simple maintenance, a robust and good-looking case, and modern connectivity. On the flip side it gets comparatively hot and its battery life is fairly poor.

3rd - Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XB

Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XB
Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XB

Gigabyte's more recentAero 15 update brings us a new very thin case that remains rather conservative in design. One of its most noteworthy features is the bright high-contrast OLED display. Unfortunately, it suffers from noticeable reflections due to its glossy surface. The device was also fairly loud under load. Our review unit was equipped with a Core i7-10875H and a GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q.

Connectivity is plentiful, the built-in Wi-Fi modem is very fast, and the overall design with its slim bezels is definitely very attractive.

Pricecompare

4th - Alienware m15 R3

Alienware m15 R3
Alienware m15 R3

TheAlienware m15 R3 is basically the miniaturized version of the much bulkier Area-51m. Instead of a desktop CPU it is equipped with a traditional notebook CPU paired with a GeForce RTX 2070. This, in turn, helped Dell's engineers to lower the weight to around 2.3 kg and its thickness to just 2 cm, which means the m15 qualified for our think and light top 10. As is typical for Alienware the device featured a high-quality case with slim bezels, plenty of connectivity (including Thunderbolt 3), unique visuals, and various lighting options. Keep in mind that Optimus is not supported on SKUs equipped with the 300 Hz display.

We did not particularly like the overall depth, the limited opening angle, and the device's noise emissions under 3D load. Other downsides include the soldered RAM and Wi-Fi modem as well as the microSD card reader instead of a full-sized one.

Pricecompare

5th - Donor Key 15

Donor Key 15
Donor Key 15

TheDonor Key 15 is based on the PC50DN2 Clevochassis that combines a slim profile with powerful hardware. You will be hard pressed to find more powerful hardware than a Core i7-10875H and a GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q in a device weighing less than 4.4 lbs with a case that is less than 0.8 inches thick.

Thanks to its customizable hardware the Key 15 can be individually customized to your liking. Benefits include the 144 Hz FHD panel with a 4K OLED option as well as the Thunderbolt 3 port. On the flip side its temperatures and noise emissions under load were too high.

Pricecompare

6th - Asus Zephyrus Duo 15

Asus Zephyrus Duo 15
Asus Zephyrus Duo 15

In the last few years, Asus managed to repeatedly impress its users with uncommon and innovative notebook concepts, and theZephyrus Duo 15 is another perfect example for their cunning courage. The 15-inch gaming device offers not one but two displays. The second screen can be individually adjusted to one's liking and display additional information in games and applications. Whether or not this feature is worth its hefty price tag is up to you. At 2.5 kg the Zephyrus Duo 15 barely made our thin and light top 10.

The SKU reviewed by us, the GX550LXS, included aCore i9-10980HK as well as a GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Qand thus a massive amount of gaming power. That said the G-sync-capable 4K display with a native resolution of 3840 x 2160, a 60 Hz refresh rate, and mediocre response times managed to bring the device to its knees occasionally. These downsides are however overshadowed by the laptop's overall performance, including its X-Rite Pantone certification.

Pricecompare

7th - MSI GS75 10SF

MSI GS75 10SF
MSI GS75 10SF

If you're a fan of large displays, you will rejoice at the fact that the GS65 is finally available with a 17-inch display as well. Our review unit, the GS75 10SF, including a Core i7-10875H, a GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, and a total of 32 GB of RAM. Other benefits include its low weight, its thin build, its decent battery life, and last but not least its 240 Hz display.

The case, on the other hand, was a mixed bag. One the one hand it offered great design and choice of material, on the other its rigidity was poor and in dire need of improvement. Fan control and maintenance options were also comparatively poor, and we would wish for MSI to improve upon these.

Pricecompare

8th: Asus Zephyrus G14

Asus Zephyrus G14
Asus Zephyrus G14

There are two reasons why theZephyrus G14 is an interesting device. For starters, there is hardly any 14-inch gaming laptop on the market, and only a few high-end models are equipped with AMD CPU. Asus shows quite impressively that this combination works. TheRyzen 9 4900HS and theMax-Q version of theGeForce RTX 2060 are powerful enough for smooth gameplay in almost all modern titles on the high-contrast FHD screen (120 Hz). The extremely light and compact chassis is another highlight.


We were slightly disappointed by the fan behavior, the battery runtime, and the port selection.

Pricecompare

9th - Asus ROG Zephyrus S15

Asus ROG Zephyrus S15 GX502L
Asus ROG Zephyrus S15 GX502L

The sheer number of thin and light gaming notebooks by Asus is so immense that it is very easy to lose track. One of the best contenders is the Zephyrus S15which comes with a Core i7-10875H and a GeForce RTX 2070 Super. Keep in mind this is the regular model, not the Max-Q variant.

The thin 15-inch case offers surprisingly high sound quality, although you should keep in mind that just like almost all of its competitors the S15's fans get incredibly loud when gaming. Battery life was also fairly short despite support for dynamic graphics switching.

Pricecompare

10th - MSI GS66 10SFS

MSI GS66 10SFS
MSI GS66 10SFS

A wolf in sheep's clothing, that is the best and most fitting description for the MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS. Some gaming notebooks are quite bulky, hefty, and designed very playfully in order to attract potential customers. MSI's 15-inch gaming notebook is quite the contrary: a thin, light-weight yet sturdy case with a design language that can be best described as understatement. Only its colorful RGB keyboard backlight shows the device's true heritage.

Underneath, we find up-to-date hardware. ACore i9-10980HK paired with a very hot and rather noisy Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q GPU and a blazingly fast 300 Hz display. In order to improve battery life MSI opted against G-Sync and for Optimus support instead. A wise choice considering the device's overall portability.

Pricecompare

Top 10 in Comparison

Size Comparison

396 mm / 15.6 inch 259 mm / 10.2 inch 18.9 mm / 0.744 inch 2.3 kg5.11 lbs360.3 mm / 14.2 inch 276 mm / 10.9 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 2.3 kg5 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 268 mm / 10.6 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 2.5 kg5.54 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 252 mm / 9.92 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 2.1 kg4.61 lbs358 mm / 14.1 inch 248 mm / 9.76 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 2.2 kg4.78 lbs357.5 mm / 14.1 inch 238 mm / 9.37 inch 19.8 mm / 0.78 inch 2 kg4.47 lbs356 mm / 14 inch 250 mm / 9.84 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 2.2 kg4.8 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 2.1 kg4.63 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 17.8 mm / 0.701 inch 2.1 kg4.73 lbs324 mm / 12.8 inch 222 mm / 8.74 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 1.6 kg3.53 lbs

Test Results

Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
Razer Blade 15 RZ09-0328
Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XB-8DE51B0SP
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Schenker Key 15 Comet Lake
Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550LXS
MSI GS75 10SF-609US
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401IV
Asus Zephyrus S15 GX502L
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
3.2 (1.4, 1.8)
2.7 (1.2, 1.5)
2.2 (1, 1.2)
4 (1.6, 2.4)
10 (5.2, 4.8)
56.4 (26.4, 30)
5 (2.2, 2.8)
43.6 (21.2, 22.4)
14 (6.8, 7.2)
14 (6.8, 7.2)
Response Time Black / White *
8 (4, 4)
2.6 (1.1, 1.5)
1.8 (1, 0.8)
10.8 (5.2, 5.6)
9.2 (4.4, 4.8)
24.4 (10, 14.4)
6.6 (2.6, 4)
34.8 (20.4, 14.4)
9.6 (5.2, 4.4)
9.6 (5.2, 4.4)
PWM Frequency
59.52 (100)
60 (80)
Screen
Brightness middle
345.4
366.7
385
326.7
300
398
299.4
322.2
283
316
Brightness
342
371
390
316
281
385
299
302
289
311
Brightness Distribution
90
91
93
87
80
90
84
87
90
92
Black Level *
0.34
0.33
0.29
0.28
0.31
0.26
0.24
0.21
Contrast
1016
990
1034
1421
966
1239
1179
1505
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.18
5.21
2.46
2.4
5.39
1.53
1.82
2.43
2.26
3.03
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
6.57
7.92
4.01
6.06
14.35
3.69
3.91
5.07
5.64
7.32
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.77
2.6
1.51
1.73
0.77
1.59
2.29
1.11
1.1
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.8
2
1.39
3.2
9.8
2.4
2.7
3.3
3.4
3.9
Gamma
2.15 102%
2.17 101%
2.31 95%
2.13 103%
2.019 109%
2.19 100%
2.18 101%
2.22 99%
2.228 99%
2.42 91%
CCT
7109 91%
6514 100%
6395 102%
7129 91%
8174 80%
6996 93%
6837 95%
6902 94%
7249 90%
7439 87%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
64.3
86.6
98
63.7
69
100
67.1
60
71
65
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99
100
100
99.2
92
100
99.8
91.9
93
100
Noise
off / environment *
27
28.4
30
26.3
25
30
26.2
28.1
25
30
Idle Minimum *
27
28.4
34
26.7
26
33
31.2
30.4
28
32
Idle Average *
27
28.4
36
26.7
27
34
31.4
31.5
31
34
Idle Maximum *
27
31.7
41
30.7
44
35
34
33.7
36
39
Load Average *
44.7
47.7
48
40.2
53
48
49.5
34.3
56
53
Witcher 3 ultra *
51.2
47.5
48
51
51
48
50.6
53.5
55
48
Load Maximum *
54
49.5
54
59.7
53
49
60.7
53.5
57
53
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
50
49.6
49
55.8
52
43
49.8
36
51
53
Maximum Bottom *
52.2
50.2
61
62
62
53
55.6
46.4
44
55
Idle Upper Side *
37.2
32.2
27
43.4
31
32
28.2
29
29
28
Idle Bottom *
41.4
34.6
29
42
33
31
32.2
32
30
29
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
518
299
418
480
513
1140
520
505
WiFi v1.3
380
241
364
167
289
185
295
577
181
364
Load
166
44
80
72
243
109
90
102
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
14.3
11.1
18
34
10
23
19.2
5.5
7
13
Idle Average *
22.3
13.7
21
48.6
14
30
22.4
9.3
13
16
Idle Maximum *
36.9
33.4
38
58.2
18
39
34.7
15.8
25
27
Load Average *
118.4
104.4
113
129.4
106
156
106.7
92.2
148
109
Witcher 3 ultra *
153.7
159.9
149
214.5
142
152
160.5
112.4
175
155
Load Maximum *
220.8
203.8
256
257.3
210
208
248.7
156.6
232
236

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
17915 Points ∼46%
Razer Blade 15 RZ09-0328
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-10750H, Lite-On CA5-8D512
15800 Points ∼41%
Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XB-8DE51B0SP
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
18947 Points ∼49%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-10750H, 2x Micron 2200S 512 GB (RAID 0)
18127 Points ∼47%
Schenker Key 15 Comet Lake
GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
18479 Points ∼48%
Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550LXS
GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, i9-10980HK, 2x Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR (RAID 0)
17714 Points ∼46%
MSI GS75 10SF-609US
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-10875H, WDC PC SN730 SDBPNTY-512G
17066 Points ∼44%
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401IV
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, R9 4900HS, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
14649 Points ∼38%
Asus Zephyrus S15 GX502L
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile, i7-10875H, WDC PC SN730 SDBPNTY-1T00
19416 Points ∼50%
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i9-10980HK, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
17312 Points ∼45%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
23678 Points ∼61%
Razer Blade 15 RZ09-0328
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-10750H, Lite-On CA5-8D512
18964 Points ∼49%
Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XB-8DE51B0SP
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
24383 Points ∼63%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-10750H, 2x Micron 2200S 512 GB (RAID 0)
21233 Points ∼55%
Schenker Key 15 Comet Lake
GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
24712 Points ∼64%
Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550LXS
GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, i9-10980HK, 2x Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR (RAID 0)
23526 Points ∼61%
MSI GS75 10SF-609US
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-10875H, WDC PC SN730 SDBPNTY-512G
22303 Points ∼58%
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401IV
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, R9 4900HS, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
18937 Points ∼49%
Asus Zephyrus S15 GX502L
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile, i7-10875H, WDC PC SN730 SDBPNTY-1T00
23795 Points ∼61%
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i9-10980HK, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
21934 Points ∼57%
PCMark 10 - Score (sort by value)
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
6739 Points ∼77%
Razer Blade 15 RZ09-0328
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-10750H, Lite-On CA5-8D512
5244 Points ∼60%
Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XB-8DE51B0SP
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
6580 Points ∼75%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-10750H, 2x Micron 2200S 512 GB (RAID 0)
6255 Points ∼71%
Schenker Key 15 Comet Lake
GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
5909 Points ∼67%
Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550LXS
GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, i9-10980HK, 2x Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR (RAID 0)
5277 Points ∼60%
MSI GS75 10SF-609US
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-10875H, WDC PC SN730 SDBPNTY-512G
6582 Points ∼75%
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401IV
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q, R9 4900HS, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
5751 Points ∼66%
Asus Zephyrus S15 GX502L
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile, i7-10875H, WDC PC SN730 SDBPNTY-1T00
5447 Points ∼62%
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SFS
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i9-10980HK, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
6490 Points ∼74%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > The Best Thin & Light Gaming Notebooks
Florian Glaser (Update: 2020-11-30)