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The best RTX 3050 laptops you can buy
Of all the laptops on the market with dedicated GPUs, RTX 3050 laptops have been the easiest to find in our current global tech climate. While it doesn’t offer the best of the best in mobile gaming, the RTX 3050 is a modest card that will certainly do the job for light gaming on the go.
This small yet powerful GPU can also be suited for light creative work, such as video and photo editing. First, though, we have some buying considerations for you.
Mobile GPUs come with a catch
Here we’ll offer a disclaimer and some advice. Nvidia has made this far more complicated than it used to be. Instead of allowing consumers to correlate the make of the GPU (RTX 3080, 3070, 3060, etc.) to performance, they’ve allowed laptop manufacturers to set power limits ranging from 60W to 115W while still marketing it as the same performance tier. This means a laptop with a 60W GPU will perform significantly different than the same GPU at 115W. Ergo, more wattage will equate to more performance, but naturally also more heat.
Fortunately, Nvidia has also begun requiring laptop makers to disclose GPU wattages and clock speeds upfront in product descriptions. So when in doubt, check there. Ultimately, however, the differences can range up to ~10fps, so if that matters to you, then you should certainly look for a GPU with more power allotted to it.
Further reading: Everything you need to know about RTX 3000 GPUs
The RTX 3050 is suitable for light video and photo editing, 1080p medium-high gaming, and many other workloads. The low-power card can also fit in thinner and lighter laptops for a multi-purpose machine that isn’t just your mobile game system. Here are the best RTX 3050 laptops we’ve found.
- The Asus ROG Strix G15 is our list’s most powerful RTX 3050 laptop. It features a Ryzen 7 processor and a 144Hz display.
- The Dell G15 made it to our list for its cooling abilities. As is typical on Dell’s gaming machines, large vents are located at the back for expelling heat quickly.
- The Asus TUF 15 Dash is sturdy yet thin, measuring in at just 0.8 inches while still packing a Core i7 processor.
- The Victus 16 is an HP-made RTX 3050 laptop with a big and bold 16-inch IPS display and a Ryzen 5 processor.
- The Asus TUF F17 lives up to its namesake; it’s tough. The build quality is military-standard-certified, so you won’t need to baby this RTX 3050 laptop too much.
- The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 is the perfect budget RTX 3050 laptop. It offers many features and modest performance for the price.
- The Acer Nitro 5 is a proper bang for your buck machine. Despite its value pricing, it still features a 144Hz display.
Most powerful: Asus ROG Strix G15
ROG, or Republic of Gamers, is Asus’ most proud brand of machines. The Strix G15 comes in many configurations, and they all pack a punch. This RTX 3050 laptop is the most powerful on the list, packing a Ryzen 7 processor and a 144Hz IPS display.
Keep it cool: The best laptop coolers
This machine’s GPU can run up to 95W, which is pretty good for a 3050 and also the highest wattage on the list. Other specs include 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD to store a lot of your game library. Asus also puts Thermal Grizzly’s liquid metal on contact points for maximum cooling potential.
Best cooling: Dell G15 5511
Dell’s G lineup is the point right before entering its Alienware gaming brand, but these laptops are no slumps. It uses an 11th-gen Core i5 processor, which means it’ll power through 2021’s games on the go. Cooling is no slacker either, with the two large vents at the back and on either side. This laptop’s GPU has a 90W TDP which will be fantastic for maximum performance at the cost of some battery life and heat.
See also: The best Alienware laptops you can buy
This RTX 3050 laptop also has 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and a 120Hz screen as the icing on the cake. Cooling is done via an Alienware-inspired system that intakes through the keyboard deck and expels heat via the side and rear vents. This one is near the top of the list for excellent budget gaming laptops.
Most sleek: Asus TUF Dash 15
While other TUF laptops feature that signature color scheme of black and yellow, the Dash 15 goes for a more subdued look and camouflages with even some non-gaming systems. This RTX 3050ti laptop doesn’t stray from the TUF roots and still has military-grade durability certification, so you won’t need to be so delicate with this one. Though, I’m sure it’d appreciate it if you were.
Related: The best gaming laptops you can buy
This made it to our list by being a thin and light gaming laptop, which is pretty rare. It measures less than an inch thick and only weighs 4.4lbs. Other specs include an up to 75W GPU, an 11th-gen Core i7, 144Hz display, and 512GB of NVME storage.
Best screen: HP Victus 16
A big screen can be cumbersome, but a small one can hinder gameplay by making critical details smaller. The Victus 16 by HP strikes a balance between the two by using a 16-inch screen. This RTX 3050 laptop has an anti-glare coating on the IPS screen, making it one of the best ones on the list. The GPU maxes out at 80W, putting it on the slightly higher end.
Further reading: The best Acer laptops
Other specs include a Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and an advertised 10 hours of battery life with quick charging. This is all packaged stylishly too, so it can double as a lifestyle machine for work and other tasks.
Most durable: Asus TUF F17
Returning to a traditional TUF machine, the F17 has a great big display and a rugged look. Rugged looks also come with rugged designs, though, and the TUF F17 is MIL-STD-810H tested, meaning it can withstand extreme temperatures, humidity, and mechanical shocks. Toss this in your bag, and don’t fret; it’ll be just fine. The GPU in this machine runs up to 75W with Asus’s dynamic boost tech.
Need a mouse for this one?: The best gaming mice
Of course, this is still an RTX 3050 laptop, and as such, it can handle some modest gaming with its 11th-gen Core i5 processor. The TUF F17 features bottom-intake cooling, so be careful where you place the machine while gaming. Other specs include a 17-inch IPS 144Hz display, 8GB of RAM, and a sizeable 512GB SSD.
Budget lifestyle: Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3
The IdeaPad Gaming 3 has been featured in some of our other lists for its stellar value in most configurations. This one has a Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and a smooth 120Hz display. The RTX 3050 in this machine maxes out at 75W for modest power.
See more: The best cheap gaming laptops
The rest of this laptop is pretty average, but it’s no sleeper either. I/O is pretty good with full-size HDMI, 2 USB-A ports, ethernet, and a USB-C port. The understated look of this laptop is well-suited for a simple lifestyle machine.
Budget gaming: Acer Nitro 5
Acer’s Nitro 5 lineup never fails to impress, and this one is no different. There’s the RTX 3050, of course, a 10th-gen i5 processor, and a 144Hz screen for the best fluidity you’ll get for the price. The GPU in this laptop runs at a max of 75W, which lines up with many others on this list.
See more: The best laptop deals
Again, being a budget machine means that there aren’t many standout characteristics on this one, but it also still means it will be a perfect entry-level machine to accomplish light gaming on the go.
That’s it for our list of the best RTX 3050 laptops. Also, grab a cooling pad so these beasts won’t overheat while you’re on the move.