Powerful laptops for gamers and creative professionals

The best portable options for hardcore gamers and visual creatives.

person sitting on a ledge with computer
Laptops for gamers and designers.Avi Richards via

For gamers and designers, laptops can be a lot more than a portable file cabinet. They can be mini-studios, and less gargantuan gaming centers. To get in touch with the creative side of the laptop, you might want to start with these offerings.

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
Judge it not by size.Amazon

When you’re talking about gaming or designing, it’s all about the visuals. The Acer Aspire 5 gives ample real estate to pretty images, with a 15.6-inch full HD IPS display nestled inside a narrow-bezel frame that ensures you get the most visual bang for your buck. The Acer is also powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 3550U mobile processor with Radeon Vega 3 graphics, which is a lot of words and numbers meaning “fast and powerful.” To top it off, it promises a solid seven hours of battery life per charge.

OMEN by HP
Workhorse computer. Amazon

If you’re in the market for a machine that makes its intentions very clear before you even boot it up, look no further than the OMEN. It’s an ominous-looking machine boosted by an Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA RTX dedicated graphics, meaning it can handle even the most visually dense games. It’s helped out by 32GB of RAM and a 512GB Solid State drive, which makes storing game data easy and less of a drain on performance.

Microsoft Surface Book 2
Up for any task you throw at it.Amazon

If you’re more into designing than gaming, the Microsoft Book 2 combines graphic power with flexible work style and easy, intuitive options. The 15-inch PixelSense display is a touchscreen, which makes the detachable keyboard optional. You can use it like a tablet or a laptop without skimping on the abilities of either—it boasts an Intel Quad Core i7 processor, 256 GB of storage, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. It’s versatile and adaptable, which is key when you never know when, where, or how the creative urge will strike you.