Many premium laptop options have moved onto Nvidia’s 30 series graphics cards, which makes now the perfect time to grab an RTX 2080 model. These laptops offer a significant upgrade over their GTX 1080 touting counterparts. While the sheer graphical fidelity might not represent quite as big a step-change as last time, what really sets the chip apart is the inclusion of dedicated cores for ray tracing (and other machine learning/AI tasks).
Ray tracing is the real-time lighting calculation that has helped CG movies look so amazing for years. While this isn’t enabled on all modern games (and a GTX 1080 can technically manage the feature in most cases), the effect is only getting better and is likely to become increasingly common and demanding. This makes a laptop with RTX 2080 a solid purchase decision right now.
Here’s our list of the best laptops with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080.
Buying the best laptop with Nvidia RTX 2080 GPU
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 was the top-of-the-line GPU from the RTX 20 series. When it comes to laptops, however, you shouldn’t expect the exact same levels of performance. You will get slightly lower performance, with the difference varying according to the variant you pick.
You’ll see two variants of the RTX 2080. First, Nvidia provides a dedicated version for mobile that’s less powerful than the desktop version. The other variant is the RTX 2080 with Max-Q, a tweaked version targeting maximum performance at a reduced power draw. It’s built for thin and light gaming laptops, whereas the vanilla RTX 2080 will reside in models nearly an inch thick or larger.
If your priority is having a really portable machine with an RTX 2080 inside, you’ll be better off with the RTX 2080 Max-Q. You’ll get lower performance, though. On the other hand, if portability isn’t a huge factor, a laptop with the normal mobile RTX 2080 would be the way to go.
Your portability requirements will be the key while picking the best Nvidia RTX 2080 laptop for you.
The other factors to consider have to do with picking a good gaming laptop overall. You’ll need a great screen, preferably with a high refresh rate. A solid CPU to go along with the RTX 2080 is important, too. Gaming laptops require pretty much every specification to be on the higher end. As such you’d do well to pick an option with more RAM and storage as well.
See also: Best laptop deals available right now!
If you’re still not sure which Nvidia RTX 2080 laptop is for you, we’ve rounded up the best of the best to help your laptop buying decision much easier.
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- The Razer Blade 15 Advanced is the best overall RTX 2080 laptop, packing in a ton of performance in a slim and attractive chassis.
- The Alienware m15 R3 is the best-looking RTX 2080 laptop you can get, combining powerful specifications with the Alienware aesthetic.
- The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is the RTX 2080 laptop with no compromises, bundling some of the best specifications with a large screen.
- The Asus ROG Zephyrus S15 is the slim laptop to sport an RTX 2080, offering plenty of performance in a small chassis.
- The Gigabyte Aorus 17G is an RTX 2080 laptop with a mechanical keyboard, making it a unique offering that also performs well.
- The Lenovo Legion 7 is the best affordable RTX 2080 laptop, offering great value for money while not making too many compromises.
- The MSI GS66 Stealth is a low-key RTX 2080 laptop with a slim profile, which may be a great option for many.
- The Acer Predator Triton 500 is a solid overall package sporting the RTX 2080, and an all-metal build that feels durable.
Razer Blade 15 Advanced: The best overall RTX 2080 laptop
Razer refreshed its Blade 15 laptop to support Nvidia’s RTX 2060, RTX 2070 Max-Q, and RTX 2080 Max-Q GPUs bundled with the 10th gen Intel Core chips. The company also increased the Full HD screen option to 300Hz across three configurations while adding a 4K 60Hz touch display option for the RTX 2080 Super Max-Q configuration. If you’re tired of the typical dark exterior, Razer now provides a mercury white edition too.
Powering the “advanced” Razer Blade 15 is Intel’s Core i7-10875H eight-core processor. The Blade 15 storage configurations with this generation go up to 1TB of SSD. Other ingredients include 16GB of system memory (upgradable to 32GB), a single-zone RGB illuminated keyboard, and a 65WHr battery.
- Solid aesthetics and build
- Great display options
- Good performance and battery life
- Some configurations are pricey
Alienware m15 R3: The best-looking RTX 2080 laptop
Unlike the Area-51m, Alienware is after the portable gaming market with the Alienware m15 R3. This version packs a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 chip along with its Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU. You’ll also find a blistering Full HD 300Hz display.
The Alienware m15 R3 is one of the smaller offerings from Alienware, complete with a 15.6-inch display. You can choose from 16GB or 32GB of DDR4 RAM at 2666MHz and a 512GB or 1TB PCle M.2 SSD. Alienware’s laptops will never be the lightest or slimmest on the market, but the m15 R3 packs some of the best cooling around. It combines powerful Cryo-Tech 3.0 with a vapor chamber so you can stay locked in the action for longer.
- Great aesthetics
- Packed with features
- Solid value for money
- Battery life is rather short
See also: The best Alienware laptops you can buy
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17: The RTX 2080 laptop with no compromises
Following the trend of ridiculously powerful laptops, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is a premium option with RTX 2080 graphics. It’s also the first option on this list to come with Intel’s 10th-generation Core i9 chip onboard. The Strix Scar 17 will cost you a pretty penny, but it comes with almost no compromises. You can dive into the 17.3-inch display, complete with a 300Hz refresh rate and Full HD display.
On the inside of the ROG Strix Scar 17, you’ll find 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB PCle SSD. Asus’ intelligent cooling system blends liquid metal with a well-ventilated exterior to keep your new laptop up to 12 degrees cooler. You can also use the ROG Keystone II to further personalize your laptop with quick-launch games and add private storage options.
- Great performance
- Solid specifications
- RGB lighting for days
- Quite heavy
- No built-in webcam
- Keyboard could have been better
Also read: The best laptops you can buy in 2021
Asus ROG Zephyrus S15: The best slim RTX 2080 laptop
If you’re looking for a “slim” gaming solution from Asus, the Zephyrus S15 is an excellent choice. It packs plenty of options for you to choose from, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU comes standard on all models. You can choose from eighth, ninth, or 10th-generation Intel Core i7 chips, and you’ll get a 1TB RAID 0 SSD to work with.
Asus managed to pack incredibly thin three-sided bezels on the Zephyrus S15 to frame the Full HD 15.6-inch display. It features a 300Hz refresh rate as well as a 3ms response time to keep you on top of the action. We’ve already mentioned the powerful cooling of the ROG Strix Scar, and the Zephyrus relies on a similar setup. Its Intelligent Cooling system uses an Active Aerodynamic System and Thermal Grizzly liquid metal.
You can also fully customize your RGB keyboard with ROG’s Aura Sync.
- Solid design and feel
- Great specifications with room for upgrades
- Plenty of performance
- Runs quite hot
- No built-in webcam
Gigabyte Aorus 17G: RTX 2080 laptop with a mechanical keyboard
The 2020 version of the Gigabyte Aorus 17G is one of the newest and most powerful releases on our list of RTX 2080 laptops, and it comes with the RTX 2080 Super Max-Q. This might only have minor gains compared to its predecessor, but combined with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 17.3-inch FHD 300Hz LCD display with small bezels, you have everything you need to play the latest games on high settings.
At about $2,900, it’s an expensive RTX 2080 laptop, but there are few drawbacks compared to most alternatives. It has a full 1TB SSD and you can always choose to jump to 32GB of RAM. Like many premium gaming options, Gigabyte has made the move to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs, which you can upgrade for a price.
- Great mechanical keyboard
- Plenty of performance
- Solid display
- Very heavy
- Awkward webcam placement
See also: The best gaming laptop deals
Lenovo Legion 7: The best affordable RTX 2080 laptop
Lenovo’s Legion 7 is one of the most affordable RTX 2080 laptops on our list, but it still offers plenty of power. You’ll get top-end internals and a portable chassis without breaking the bank.
The Legion 7 comes with Intel’s 10th-generation Core i7-10750H processor onboard, with i9 options available, and you’ll see configurations shipping with 16GB of system memory at 2933MHz. It relies on a 15.6-inch Full HD display, complete with a 240Hz refresh rate. The Lenovo Legion 7 might be somewhat tight in terms of storage with a 512GB SSD, but you should be able to hook up an external drive.
Cooling is next to godliness on gaming machines, and Lenovo’s Legion Coldfront 2.0 system is one of the best. It combines a vapor chamber with dual burn support to achieve maximum performance. The TrueStrike keyboard is quick and tactile to keep you on top of your game.
- Many configuration choices
- Great display
- Clean aesthetics
- Noticeable lid flex
- Battery life isn’t great
MSI GS66 Stealth: Low-key RTX 2080 laptop with a slim profile
MSI bills the GS66 Stealth as a 15.6-inch, thin and light gaming laptop with an RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics chip. Measuring a freakish 0.39 inches thin and weighing in at a mere 4.85 pounds, MSI currently offers the 2020 version of the GS66 in four configurations. Only one configuration packs the RTX 2080 GPU, but all four versions come with Intel’s 10th-generation processors onboard.
The 15.6-inch screen relies on an IPS-level Full HD panel at 300Hz surrounded by 5.2mm bezels. SteelSeries supplies the keyboard, supporting customizable per-key RGB illumination. You’ll also see a 35-percent larger trackpad surface and support for more than 10 multi-finger gestures. MSI’s GS66 Stealth is loaded with ports, so you can feel free to add all of your peripherals as needed.
- Sturdy build
- Great port selection
- Solid display
- Performance could’ve been better
- Unappealing design
Acer Predator Triton 500: Solid overall package with an all-metal build
Acer’s Predator Triton 500 came onto the scene in 2019, but it hasn’t lost any ground. It’s based on Nvidia’s RTX 20 series up to the RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics chip, enabling Acer to deliver an all-metal chassis just 0.70 inches thin and weighing 4.41 pounds. Bezels surrounding the 15.6-inch screen measure 0.25 inches thin and the whole package is rather awesome to behold.
Other goodies under the hood include tenth-generation Intel Core i7 processors, up to 32GB of system memory at 2933MHz, up to a pair of NVMe PCIe SSDs in RAID 0 at 512GB each, and a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution going up to 300Hz. The screen has a three-millisecond response time and Nvidia’s G-Sync technology for fluid, tear-free visuals.
- Great design and build
- Good high refresh rate display
- Solid performance
- Can be quite expensive
- Battery life isn’t the best
RTX 20 laptops v/s RTX 30 laptops
Nvidia’s RTX 30 series laptops are already here, so as such it’s valid to consider them while making your purchase decisions. The RTX 30 mobile lineup is fairly recent, so equipped laptop options are becoming available right now.
With regards to performance, you’re going to get more from RTX 30, with other hardware updated to meet the GPU as well. However, the advantage with the RTX 20 laptops is that you can get them at reduced price tags as opposed to their original MRP. While the prices of some SKUs are still inflated, if you pick well, you can get better value for money with RTX 20 laptops than with RTX 30 laptops.
If you want the latest stuff, however, you’d do well to get an RTX 30 laptop over the RTX 20 ones. The updated hardware will hold up well, and the availability to pricing ratio is likely to be better at this point in time.
The bottom line is that you should only be getting an RTX 20 series laptop right now if you’re getting some serious bang for your buck, with other specifications like the CPU matching your requirements.
Picking the best gaming accessories
Now that you have a feel for the best Nvidia RTX 2080 laptops to buy, you might want to check out some accessories to complete the gaming setup. Here are some of our favorite gaming accessories:
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does a laptop with Nvidia RTX 2080 cost?
A: Nvidia RTX 2080 was the flagship GPU in the series, and as such, it comes at a premium. Laptops with this GPU start around the $2,000 mark and can go all the way up to $4,000. The sweet spot for these laptops lies between $2,000 and $2,500.
Q: What’s the difference between Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q and Max-P?
A: As explained earlier, Max-Q is a lower-powered version of the GPU made for slimmer and lighter laptops. Max-P is not an official Nvidia brand, but rather a nomenclature used by laptop manufacturers to denote “maximum performance”, i.e. full power mobile GPU.
Q: Should you get an Nvidia RTX 2080 laptop over a desktop?
A: You’ll get more performance from a desktop with RTX 2080, but a laptop offers an obvious advantage — portability. Desktop GPUs are also hard to find now at reasonable prices, so a laptop would make more sense at the moment.