Call me old fashioned, but when I hear the term gaming, the first thing that comes to mind is a monstrous PC packing in the latest and greatest hardware and lots of RGB lighting. Times have changed, though, and bulky computers are no longer the status quo for gaming; gaming laptops have gained ground quickly, especially in recent years, becoming powerful enough to become worthy competitors. NVIDIA has done an excellent job adapting its GPUs for the mobile segment, a progress that’s especially visible in the GeForce 1000 and 2000 series, which come very close to their desktop counterparts in terms of performance, reducing the graphics performance gap between the two segments.
The best example for this is NVIDIA’s RTX 2080, currently one of the top-performing graphics chips out there, and the most powerful GPU you can get in a laptop at the time of writing. An RTX 2080-equipped laptop should allow you to run all modern titles at their max settings well beyond 1080p, so if you need a portable gaming machine, this sort of beast is what you’ll want to go with.
But maybe you want to play in 4K? Or maybe you want higher refresh rates? Upgradability? Or maybe all the above? There are numerous laptops boasting RTX 2080s out there to choose from, luckily, and we’ve got the best selection right here.
RTX 2080 Laptop Comparison Chart
Best RTX 2080 Laptops – My Recommendations
|Best Budget RTX 2080 Laptop||Lenovo Legion Y740||$2319||17.3"|
|Best Performance RTX 2080 Laptop||Alienware Area-51M||$4000||17.3"|
|Best i9-9900K RTX 2080 Laptop||Eurocom Sky X7C||$16000||17.3"|
|Best 15.6" RTX 2080 Laptop||Razer Blade Advanced||$3000||15.6"|
|Best 17.3" RTX 2080 Laptop||Acer Predator Triton 900||$4000||17.3"|
Best Budget RTX 2080 Laptop – Lenovo Legion Y740
If you want to game, you want to be mobile, and you don’t want a (very) big hole in your budget, you want the Lenovo Legion Y740. This 17.3” laptop may not have the aggressive looks and feel of other gaming laptops out there, but it sure has the horsepower, and with a price tag in the ballpark of $2,400, it’s hands down the cheapest RTX 2080 laptop around.
To come up with a price tag that’s well below the market average (most laptops that pack in an RTX 2080 go around the $3,000 figure), it’s obvious that Lenovo had to cut some corners with the Legion Y740, some being noticeable right away, others being more subtle. The design of the Legion Y740 is the first thing that you notice, and definitely not in the “OMG this looks like a beast of a laptop!”-way. Lenovo opted to go with a simple design, which very much resembles an office-oriented laptop. The only giveaways that there might be more than what meets the eye are the larger vents on the side, back and bottom of the laptop, and the Legion logo on the lid. Build quality is not exceptional either, with the lid being quite flexible, and the keyboard feeling a bit mushy, which is not exactly optimal for gaming, where precision matters.
Drawbacks aside, though, Lenovo managed to pack a lot of value in the Legion Y740 in the hardware department: an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU paired with 16GB of DDR4 memory handle the heavy lifting, aided by an M2 SSD and a 2.5” HDD in the storage department. In charge of visuals is an 8GB NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q, which is the power-efficient version of the RTX 2080 but still very potent nonetheless, pushing its frames to an 17.3” 60 Hz 1080p IPS display. A version with an 144 Hz panel is also available, but that one will push the price up a bit.
Overall, the Lenovo Legion Y740 is a great buy if you’re into raw power and don’t care much about details. The laptop fits its premium gaming laptop tag due to its hardware only, as pretty much the rest of the details that make a product premium are simply not there.
Best Performance RTX 2080 Laptop – Alienware Area-51M
While the Lenovo Legion Y740 is about compromises towards affordability, the Alienware Area-51M is at the exact opposite – there are no compromises to it, but affordability is definitely not on the menu either. With a starting price of roughly $4,000 for the RTX 2080-equipped version, and a price of roughly $5,000 for the fully-loaded version, the Alienware Area-51m is anything but cheap. But it is worth every penny.
In the top configuration, you get a desktop-class Intel Core i9-9900K processor, 64GB of DDR4 memory, 1TB of SSD storage ( 2 x 512GB PCIe M.2 SSDs) + 1 TB of hybrid storage (SSHD), and an OC-ready NVIDIA RTX 2080. That’s a configuration that’s hard to beat, or even match, by a lot of gaming rigs out there, so you can expect a smooth gaming experience regardless of the titles you opt to play. And when it no longer meets your needs, you can simply update the two core components: the CPU, with any desktop-grade CPU on the same 1151 socket, and GPU with any other GPU in the DGFF format.
Design-wise, the Alienware Area-51M doesn’t look as aggressive as previous generations of Alienware laptops, as Dell opted for a refresh of its gaming laptops designs. The Alienware identity is still there, though, and the chassis maintains its overall galactic theme, minus the sharp lines and corners. The new design is sleeker, more sophisticated, but still imposing. Most importantly, it’s not as bulky as it was before, which is a significant upgrade especially if you consider the fact that it houses desktop-grade hardware, which takes more space.
In the performance department, the Alienware Area-51M is simply killing it, outscoring pretty much any other laptop out there, and coming impressively close (roughly 6% difference!) to a PC with the same specs. A difference in performance of just 6% between a computer and its laptop counterpart is a massive achievement, especially if you consider that not so long ago the gap between similarly-spec’d devices was in the 30%-50% range.
Best i9-9900K RTX 2080 Laptop – Eurocom Sky X7C
If the Alienware Area 51-M is the supercar of RTX 2080 laptops, with its sleek looks and roaring performance, the Eurocom SKY X7C is that old-school Volvo sleeper – bulky, old-looking, but will leave you in the dust once it steps on the gas. While the brand might not leave you in awe, what it hides underneath the hood definitely will, because it simply doesn’t get more powerful than this, and this is in no way an exaggeration. In its top configuration, the Eurocom SKY X7C comes with a delided Intel Core i9-9900K, 128GB RAM, an RTX 2080, and a whopping 20TB of SSD storage. Yes, you’ve read that correctly: twenty terabytes of SSD storage – have fun downloading the entire Internet!
The EUROCOM SKY X7C’s is built on the Clevo P775TM1-G chassis, which is best renowned for two things: its bulkiness (the SKY X7C is just a tiny bit thinner and lighter than three Macbook Pros stacked) and its housing capacity. While the former doesn’t exactly give it any bragging rights, the latter definitely does. The EUROCOM SKY X7C can house four storage units: two M.2 slots (which can be fitted with NVMe SSDs of up to 2TB each) and two 2.5” slots (which can be fitted with SATA3 SSD drives of up to 8TB each). The bulky case also allows for enough room for a more-than-decent cooling solution, so the EUROCOM SKY X7C has no real issues pushing the i9-9900K to its limits of 5GHz (or more with a bit of tweaking in the BIOS), and also remaining impressively cool under constant load: this beast can maintain a steady Turbo Boost frequency of 4.6GHz at 88°C, which is decent for a laptop. These results were achieved in synthetic tests with constant full-load on the CPU, so you can expect lower temperatures in real-world usage.
EUROCOM ships the SKY X7C with multiple configurations for the display: 1080p at 60Hz, 120Hz or 144Hz, QHD at 120Hz or 4K at 60 Hz, but if that’s not enough for you, you can hook up to three additional displays via DisplayPort.
All in all, if you want the absolute best performance on a laptop today, and have $16,000 to spare (the price of the top-spec’d version), the EUROCOM SKY X7C is the way to go.
Best 15.6″ RTX 2080 Laptop – Razer Blade 15 Advanced
We went over the affordable option, the performance option, and the outrageous option, and now it’s time to look at a balanced option. Meet the 2019 Razer Blade Advanced.
Razer is renowned for being an early adopter of new hardware, so when the RTX 2080 went mobile, Razer was ready for it. They didn’t want to create just another laptop fitted with the RTX 2080, though – they wanted to create something more, something different, something that would stay true to Razer’s nature of standing out. So Razer went on to create what is dubbed as the world’s smallest 15.6” gaming laptop.
The 2019 Razer Blade 15 Advanced is based on the same chassis as the previous generation of Blade laptops, and it’s easy to understand why: the company did an amazing job engineering that chassis, the end result being a chassis you would typically find in ultrabooks or other highly-portable laptops, yet still capable of housing last-gen gaming hardware. On the outside, the Razer Blade Advanced looks like a not-so-distant relative of the Macbook Pro due to the unibody design, sharp edges and ginormous trackpad. However, its black color, backlit Razer logo on the lid and the RGB-lit keyboard are quick giveaways that this is no Mac, but a whole different species, a fact backed up by its hardware specs.
Under the hood, the 2019 Razer Blade Advanced packs a powerful configuration: 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 16GB of DDR4 memory, and a Max-Q version of NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 GPU. What really sets this laptop apart from the crowd, though, is its display: the Razer Blade Advanced can ship with either a 4K OLED panel that also supports touch input, perfect for productivity and multimedia, or a 1080p panel that runs at a whopping 240Hz, for the most immersive gaming experience.
Overall, if you’re looking for a gaming laptop that’s actually portable (the 2019 Razer Blade 15 Advanced has a perfectly-acceptable size and weight for mobility), has a good hardware configuration and a display like no other, the Razer Blade Advanced is your best choice.
Best 17.3″ RTX 2080 Laptop – Acer Predator Triton 900
So you don’t want the cheapest RTX 2080-equipped laptop out there, and you find the most powerful one to be overkill for you. A 15.6” laptop is too small, but the 17.3” ones you found all seem big and dull. You want something different. Something that is big but not boring, something powerful but not excessive, something that will stand out. You want the Acer Predator Triton 900.
First unveiled at CES 2019, the Acer Predator Triton 900 instantly catches the eye due to one completely innovative component – its lid mechanism. Instead of a traditional hinge placed at the bottom of the lid, the Predator Triton 900 features two sturdy arms attached to the sides of the display. This design allows the display to be adjusted vertically, while maintaining the viewing angle, but also allow the display to rotate a full 180° and fold on top of the keyboard, thus transforming the Triton 900 into a giant tablet. The reimagined hinge design offers flexibility when it comes to using the Triton 900 – you can use it like any traditional laptop, on your lap, or you can use it at a standing desk by simply pulling up the display. Feeling creative? Flip the display over and you have yourself a Microsoft Surface alternative, thanks to the 17.3” 4K touchscreen display.
While the innovation part stops at the display, the impressive part does not. The Acer Predator Triton 900 packs in some serious muscle, coming with an Intel Core i7-9750H, 32GB of memory and an NVIDIA RTX 2080. These specs are powerful enough to make the Acer Predator Triton 900 a more-than-decent gaming machine, but not necessarily a future-proof machine, since neither the GPU nor the CPU are upgradable.
Summing it up, the Acer Predator Triton 900 is a beautiful beast. Although there are numerous 17.3” gaming laptops out there, none of them combines power, design, innovation and usability as seamless as this one does. The Acer Predator Triton 900 does everything other laptops in its class do, but it does it better, and it is sure to bring a smile to your face every time you turn it on. And, at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.