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The Best Thin & Light Gaming Notebooks

August 2021 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.

"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

Position
Total Rating
Date
Image
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Screen
189 %
07/2021
new!
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model Core i7-11800HRazer Blade 15 Advanced Model Core i7-11800H
Intel Core i7-11800H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU
32 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
2 kg16.99 mm15.60"1920x1080
288 %
06/2021
Razer Blade 14 Ryzen 9 RTX 3070Razer Blade 14 Ryzen 9 RTX 3070
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
1.8 kg16.8 mm14.00"2560x1440matte
388 %
05/2021
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model Early 2021Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model Early 2021
Intel Core i7-10875H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU
32 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
2 kg16.99 mm15.60"1920x1080matte
487 %
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
586 %
07/2021
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603HAsus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603H
Intel Core i9-11900H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
32 GB Memory, 2048 GB SSD
2 kg20 mm16.00"2560x1600matte
686 %
03/2021
Razer Blade 15 Base Edition 2021, i7-10750H RTX 3060Razer Blade 15 Base Edition 2021, i7-10750H RTX 3060
Intel Core i7-10750H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU
16 GB Memory, 512 GB NVMe
2.1 kg19.9 mm15.60"1920x1080matte
786 %
03/2021
Schenker XMG Pro 15 (Early 2021, RTX 3080)Schenker XMG Pro 15 (Early 2021, RTX 3080)
Intel Core i7-10870H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
2 kg19.8 mm15.60"1920x1080matte
886 %
02/2021
Aorus 15P XCAorus 15P XC
Intel Core i7-10870H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
32 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
2.2 kg27 mm15.60"1920x1080matte
985 %
06/2021
new!
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401QMAsus Zephyrus G14 GA401QM
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
1.7 kg19.9 mm14.00"1920x1080matte
1085 %
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

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.
Link: all devices in this class reviewed

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Editors' Comments

As expected, our list of thin and light gaming laptops is dominated by Razer. This month, welcome the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model as well as the Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401QM.

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1st – Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model

Where would you possibly find a 1080p webcam in a laptop – Apple’s MacBook? Microsoft’s Surface? Nope, it’s Razer’s gaming laptop Razer Blade Advanced. It features decent hardware and performance (i9-11800H, RTX 3080) but gets much hotter and louder than the larger Zephyrus in return.

Tiger Lake offers a huge boost in CPU performance. In addition, the laptop features one of the most “modern” webcams currently available.

At the time of writing the best way to purchase a Razer Blade Advanced Model was Razer’s own web shop.

Pricecompare

2nd – Razer Blade 14

Razer Blade 14
Razer Blade 14

After a rather long hiatus Razer has finally designed a successor to the Blade 14, and one that impressed us a lot. AMD’s R95900HX offers great performance, as does Nvidia’s RTX 3070. And all that packed in a case no more than 17 mm thick weighing less than 4 lbs.

The Razer Blade 14 is more than just eye candy. It offers great hardware and great performance.

In addition to Razer’s own web shop the Blade 14 is also available among others on Amazon.

3rd – Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model (Early 2021)

A new-entry at the very top of our list, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model (Early 2021) may still be based around Intel’s Comet Lake generation, but it remains one of the most powerful yet at the same time thin and lightweight gaming notebooks available thanks to its NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU. It also offers good battery life and a blazingly fast 360 Hz display.

The Razer Blade Advanced Model 2021 features a great 360 Hz display, good battery life, and a powerful RTX 3080.

Prices start at around $2,600 for the GTX 3070-equipped SKU and $3,100 for our GTX 3080-equipped review unit. The device is available through Razer’s own webstore as well as the usual retail channels, such as Amazon.

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Pricecompare

4th - 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

5th – Asus ROG Zephyrus M16

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16

This thin high-end gaming notebook with 16:10 WQXGA display and good speakers weighs just 2 kg (4.41 lbs) and is exactly 2 cm (0.79 inches) thick. Thus, this gaming device with Intel Core i9-11900H and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU deservedly made this top list.

The Zephyrus M16 offers a unique 16:10 panel among gaming laptops.

The device is available among others on Amazon with prices starting at around $2,200.

Pricecompare

6th – Razer Blade 15 Base Model

Razer Blade 15 Base Model
Razer Blade 15 Base Model

The RTX 3060-equipped entry-lavel SKU of Razer Blade 15 starts at around $1,700. It features a 144 Hz display, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD. Its gaming performance is higher than that of its RTX 2070-equipped predecessor, particularly in high resolutions and details.

Unfortunately, it lacks a number of features despite its high price, such as for example USB-C charging or per-key RGB backlight. In addition, you cannot run both CPU and GPU at maximum performance simultaneously and have to pick either or. Nevertheless, this thin gamer deserves its spot in our top 10 list.

The gateway to the world of Razer Blades. The entry-level model comes with an RTX 3060 and a 144 Hz display but lacks features such as per-key RGB lighting or USB-C charging.

The RTX 3060-equipped SKU is available through the usual retail channels, such as for example Amazon.

Pricecompare

7th – Schenker XMG Pro 15

Schenker XMG Pro 15
Schenker XMG Pro 15

The Schenker XMG Pro 15 is definitely a high-performance gamer thanks to its RTX 3080 GPU. There are barely any similarities with its predecessor. Instead, it inherited the Schenker Key 15’s aluminum case. In addition to high levels of CPU and GPU performance it also features a fast 300 Hz display, Thunderbolt 3, and good maintenance options. Downsides include its noise as well as temperature emissions.

A thin metal case, high performance, a 300 Hz display, and Thunderbolt 3 are the XMG Pro’s highlights. Downsides include noise and temperature emissions.

The device is not available in North America.

Pricecompare

8th – Aorus 15P XC

Asus Zephyrus Duo 15
Asus Zephyrus Duo 15

First things first: Comet Lake 8-core CPU, GeForce RTX 3070, 32 GB of dual-channel RAM, two NVMe SSD slots, and a fast 240 Hz FHD IPS display are the Aorus 15P XC’s highlights. Its downsides include a mediocre display brightness as well as the lack of Thunderbolt connectivity. In return, performance is great and battery life is decent, which is somewhat uncommon for a gaming laptop.

Good battery life, RTX 3070, and two SSD slots are some of the highlights battling against the lack of Thunderbolt connectivity and most importantly the very dim display.

The device is not available in North America.

Pricecompare

9th – Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401QM

Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401QM
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401QM

This 14-inch notebook weighs just 1.68 kg (3.7 lbs) and is a mere 19.9 mm thin (0.78 inches) but it comes with a powerful AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS as well as an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU with 80 W TGP. In some respects, the device is still on-top, in others it lags behind the 14-inch Razer Blade 14.

CPU performance and battery life are unique. In all other respects this laptop could benefit from an update when compared to the latest generation of thin and light gaming notebooks.

The laptop is available through the usual retail channels, such as for example Amazon, with prices starting at just below $1,800.

Pricecompare

10th - 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

Top 10 in Comparison

Size Comparison

357 mm / 14.1 inch 244 mm / 9.61 inch 27 mm / 1.063 inch 2.2 kg4.85 lbs357.5 mm / 14.1 inch 238 mm / 9.37 inch 19.8 mm / 0.78 inch 2 kg4.41 lbs357.5 mm / 14.1 inch 238 mm / 9.37 inch 19.8 mm / 0.78 inch 2 kg4.47 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 243 mm / 9.57 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 2 kg4.52 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 2.1 kg4.61 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 17.8 mm / 0.701 inch 2.1 kg4.73 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 16.99 mm / 0.669 inch 2 kg4.47 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 16.99 mm / 0.669 inch 2 kg4.45 lbs324 mm / 12.8 inch 222 mm / 8.74 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 1.7 kg3.7 lbs319.7 mm / 12.6 inch 220 mm / 8.66 inch 16.8 mm / 0.661 inch 1.8 kg3.9 lbs

Test Results

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model Core i7-11800H
Razer Blade 14 Ryzen 9 RTX 3070
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model Early 2021
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603H
Razer Blade 15 Base Edition 2021, i7-10750H RTX 3060
Schenker XMG Pro 15 (Early 2021, RTX 3080)
Aorus 15P XC
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401QM
Schenker Key 15 Comet Lake
Display
Display P3 Coverage
66.9
97.2
65.88
69.4
64.3
69.2
67.21
68.1
67.24
sRGB Coverage
97.1
99.9
96.38
98.85
91.79
99.65
98.68
92.4
96.2
AdobeRGB 1998 Coverage
69
85.4
67.97
70.51
65.53
70.83
68.57
67.7
68.67
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
4.2 (2.6, 1.6)
16.4 (8, 8.4)
16 (7.6, 8.4)
3.2 (1.4, 1.8)
4.8 (2, 2.8)
8.8 (4.4, 4.4)
3.6 (1, 2.6)
11.2 (6, 5.2)
34.4 (15.6, 18.8)
10 (5.2, 4.8)
Response Time Black / White *
10 (5.2, 4.8)
10.8 (5.6, 5.2)
10.4 (6, 4.4)
8 (4, 4)
6 (2, 4)
10 (5.6, 4.4)
10 (5.2, 4.8)
9.6 (5.2, 4.4)
27.6 (16.4, 11.2)
9.2 (4.4, 4.8)
PWM Frequency
1000 (99)
24040 (25)
Screen
Brightness middle
353.4
331.1
338
345.4
448
317.2
327
298
329.4
300
Brightness
340
318
334
342
446
306
335
278
311
281
Brightness Distribution
92
91
94
90
86
89
89
88
90
80
Black Level *
0.31
0.36
0.24
0.34
0.48
0.31
0.22
0.29
0.39
0.29
Contrast
1140
920
1408
1016
933
1023
1486
1028
845
1034
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.17
2.25
1.39
3.18
2.76
4.37
2.18
0.96
4.01
5.39
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.69
4.62
3.31
6.57
7.09
6.62
4.24
3.22
8.21
14.35
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.05
0.97
1.77
2.86
2.67
1
0.83
3.89
1.73
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.4
1.7
1.6
3.8
3.1
4.5
2.6
1.3
3.2
9.8
Gamma
2.2 100%
2.3 96%
2.291 96%
2.15 102%
2.153 102%
2.4 92%
2.123 104%
2.242 98%
2.2 100%
2.019 109%
CCT
6830 95%
6751 96%
6626 98%
7109 91%
6826 95%
7418 88%
6815 95%
6519 100%
7070 92%
8174 80%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
68
64.3
87
59.2
71
69
69
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
89
99
100
91.4
93
91
92
Noise
off / environment *
25.1
25.1
24
27
25
25.3
25
24
24.8
25
Idle Minimum *
25.3
25.2
26
27
25
25.4
33
25
25.4
26
Idle Average *
25.3
25.2
28
27
31
25.4
34
29
34.5
27
Idle Maximum *
25.3
25.2
40
27
42
25.4
35
34
34.5
44
Load Average *
42
31
45
44.7
48
42.5
51
44
35.4
53
Witcher 3 ultra *
45.6
44
43
51.2
52
42
52
49
52.7
51
Load Maximum *
51.6
51.7
45
54
56
52.2
57
53
52.3
53
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
51
45
49
50
52
45.2
51
47
55.4
52
Maximum Bottom *
52
44.4
54
52.2
53
48
66
57
62.2
62
Idle Upper Side *
35.2
40.2
30
37.2
38
34.4
32
26
31
31
Idle Bottom *
37.8
39.2
32
41.4
41
37.2
32
27
32.4
33
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
828
866
799
466
506
571
1262
418
WiFi v1.3
353
439
538
380
463
289
433
399
710
289
Load
79
120
97
91
97
89
81
80
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
19.5
9.4
13
14.3
11
11.7
8
14
5.6
10
Idle Average *
23.3
15.8
15
22.3
20
16
13
17
10.4
14
Idle Maximum *
40.1
24.1
22
36.9
30
29.3
22
33
18
18
Load Average *
98.9
76.8
98
118.4
111
95.6
97
96
68
106
Witcher 3 ultra *
174
154
126
153.7
156
141.3
179
179
113
142
Load Maximum *
214
189.7
165
220.8
197
197
225
256
158.2
210

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model Core i7-11800H
GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, i7-11800H, SSSTC CA6-8D1024
21544 Points ∼55%
Razer Blade 14 Ryzen 9 RTX 3070
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, R9 5900HX, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
21519 Points ∼55%
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model Early 2021
GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, i7-10875H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
18494 Points ∼47%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
17915 Points ∼46%
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603H
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, i9-11900H, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL22T0HBLB
15460 Points ∼40%
Razer Blade 15 Base Edition 2021, i7-10750H RTX 3060
GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, i7-10750H, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
17109 Points ∼44%
Schenker XMG Pro 15 (Early 2021, RTX 3080)
GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, i7-10870H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
19982 Points ∼51%
Aorus 15P XC
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, i7-10870H, ESR512GTLCG-EAC-4
21557 Points ∼55%
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401QM
GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, R9 5900HS, SK Hynix HFM001TD3JX013N
17223 Points ∼44%
Schenker Key 15 Comet Lake
GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
18479 Points ∼47%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model Core i7-11800H
GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, i7-11800H, SSSTC CA6-8D1024
29130 Points ∼69%
Razer Blade 14 Ryzen 9 RTX 3070
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, R9 5900HX, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
25434 Points ∼60%
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model Early 2021
GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, i7-10875H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
24180 Points ∼57%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
23678 Points ∼56%
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603H
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, i9-11900H, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL22T0HBLB
19516 Points ∼46%
Razer Blade 15 Base Edition 2021, i7-10750H RTX 3060
GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, i7-10750H, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
19860 Points ∼47%
Schenker XMG Pro 15 (Early 2021, RTX 3080)
GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, i7-10870H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
26729 Points ∼63%
Aorus 15P XC
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, i7-10870H, ESR512GTLCG-EAC-4
27446 Points ∼65%
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401QM
GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, R9 5900HS, SK Hynix HFM001TD3JX013N
19586 Points ∼46%
Schenker Key 15 Comet Lake
GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
24712 Points ∼58%
PCMark 10 - Score (sort by value)
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model Core i7-11800H
GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, i7-11800H, SSSTC CA6-8D1024
7356 Points ∼84%
Razer Blade 14 Ryzen 9 RTX 3070
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, R9 5900HX, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
6967 Points ∼79%
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model Early 2021
GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, i7-10875H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
6167 Points ∼70%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Super Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
6739 Points ∼77%
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603H
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, i9-11900H, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL22T0HBLB
7097 Points ∼81%
Razer Blade 15 Base Edition 2021, i7-10750H RTX 3060
GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, i7-10750H, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB512HBJQ
6378 Points ∼73%
Schenker XMG Pro 15 (Early 2021, RTX 3080)
GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, i7-10870H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
6333 Points ∼72%
Aorus 15P XC
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, i7-10870H, ESR512GTLCG-EAC-4
6463 Points ∼74%
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401QM
GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, R9 5900HS, SK Hynix HFM001TD3JX013N
6773 Points ∼77%
Schenker Key 15 Comet Lake
GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
5909 Points ∼67%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > The Best Thin & Light Gaming Notebooks
Christian Hintze (Update: 2021-09-15)