Note: Our comparison table only shows our top 5 picks. You can find the other recommendations within this article.
Since you're here on our page of best high-performance laptops, I'm assuming you're looking for a machine to run some big programs and games.
Well, the timing is perfect for a new laptop since all manufacturers have released (or will soon release) their 2021 models and so this is a great time to be researching the available models.
I know we have already created guides for best laptops under $1000 and gaming laptops under $1500, but this specific guide will list the most of the high performance laptops regardless of their price, size, specifications and brand.
These premium laptops are highly built to perform and to be honest; we have only considered performance here and nothing else like price, design, weight and portability.
Here you will find Laptops from $1000 to $4000, and in the end, you can decide which one will suit you better. When it comes to high-performance laptops, you compromise nothing at all, and from top to bottom it will be loaded with the latest hardware and best quality material.
What to choose between High-Performance Laptop and Desktop?
If I am going, being honest here, nothing beats the performance of desktop PCs, but that's not an option for many people since it doesn't offer any portability. So it's totally up to you and what exactly you'll be doing with your PC.
If you're going to stay at one place and work, then we highly suggest that you go with a desktop PC. However, in case you will be carrying around your machine then you'll want a laptop.
Anyways, gamers can also buy these types of machines since all they need performance. We have created this guide for all the power users like gamers, video editors, animators, music producers and business users.
These are highly reliable laptops from top manufacturers, and they include all the standard features and functions. In case you need a laptop for entertainment purposes then we recommend you look at our guide of best multimedia laptops.
Our Top Picks for Best High-Performance Laptops of 2021
1. Alienware Area 51M
The Alienware Area 51M sports a 17-inch full HD 144Hz display. This is one of the most expensive laptops on our list. Alienware is a popular gaming brand and of course it has no match when it comes to performance. This is one of the first laptops to offer the new Core i9 processor with a TurboBoost up to 5 GHz.
It's not lightweight and it has below average battery life, but you won't care if you want the most powerful gaming laptop available with the latest features. This laptop has top shelf components in every aspect.
It features an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU (8GB of VRAM) that's easily able to handle all your graphics rendering tasks. The 144Hz display refresh rate reduces blurring and screen tearing in fast motion games.
Under the hood, it features 9th generation Intel Core i9 9900K processor, 2 TB SSD and 64 GB DDR4 RAM. This is more than enough power to run any games on the market faster than competing laptops.
The laptop looks are consistent with the Alienware brand that gamers love. If you want one of the most powerful laptops that money can buy and you can afford it, then this could be the laptop for you.
2. MSI GT65 Stealth-666
When it comes to buying a new gaming laptop, MSI is a big name, and not everyone can afford that kind of laptop. That being said, it's surely an all-rounder that can be used by anyone including professional gamers and geeks.
Most of the MSI gaming laptops are usually packed with almost everything, and you don't have to upgrade it anytime soon. Its internals pack Eye tracking technology, Intel Core i9 9880H processor, 64 GB of RAM, dual 2 TB SSDs and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU.
Other than all these, its special features include G-Sync, full color backlit keyboard, silver lining, thunderbolt port, true color technology and Killer Gaming Network.
Its 17.3-inch Full HD IPS 144 Hz display comes with an anti-glare and wide view angle feature. If you have never used a gaming laptop in past then this one will surely impress you with its performance.
This laptop is a real powerhouse and has just about every feature you could want. The one exception is battery life. A laptop with these specifications is going to be power hungry. This is more of a portable workstation than a laptop for frequent traveling.
If you enjoy playing HD games or do multitasking frequently, then you're absolutely going to love this high performance laptop. It includes all the necessary ports making it extremely easy to connect your PC with anything possible. Overall, it's a perfect high performance laptop for gamers, businessmen and graphic designers.
3. Alienware AW17R3-4175SLV
The Alienware AW17R3-4175SLV doesn't needs an introduction, and almost everyone who is looking for an expensive and high-performance laptop knows what this beast is capable of. Unlike older models, this one is extremely slim and has been built solidly.
Its 17-inch full HD display boasts a Truelife screen that's highly appreciated by gamers and multimedia users. If you want a laptop that will be able to function as a tablet, book, mobile PC and a gaming laptop, then this is what we recommend.
According to a recent survey in the US, it's a companion of many scientists and engineers, and when asked about the thing they can't live without, it was their Alienware PC.
This new model from Alienware is lighter and one of the most compact 17-inch gaming laptops we've seen for gaming. If you're serious about the performance, then this model is a Lamborghini of laptops.
You might find some negative reviews about it, but that are mostly from people who have no idea how technology and upgrading works. A simple software upgrade from device manager can find all of its issues with Windows 10.
It features a usual Alienware design and can be considered as one of the best performing laptops of the year. All in all, it's the best gaming laptop in this list and features an excellent display and battery life.
4. ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus doesn't come with just latest specifications but also with a whole new design. It boasts an incredibly sporty look while packing very powerful hardware like 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB SSD. The 17.3" FHD 144 Hz display is driven by an NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPU.
It comes with an RGB backlit keyboard with anti-ghosting function and all the latest ports including Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1. The laptop is also relatively small because of the ultra-thin display bezels. It's also quite thin at 0.74 inch thickness. Both of these traits are a bonus for portability. However, with the large display it may not fit well in some laptop backpacks.
It comes with pre-installed Windows 10 Pro which has some nice security features that could be valuable if you are using this laptop in a public or group setting. It's a good choice for users who need to use demanding programs and games.
Its design itself pays for it and everything else can be considered as a bonus. Overall, it comes with VR ready and G-SYNC features that can be helpful for a lot of people.
5. Apple MacBook Pro 15
The Apple MacBook Pro is undoubtedly among the most favorite laptops of all time, and I am pretty sure that you'd also love to own it unless you're a die-hard Windows fan. It's usually available in some different variants and specifications.
However, this specific model comes with Force Touch trackpad as well as an iHip headphone that's made using fiber cord. Its retina display is something that you can never expect from any other laptop and can truly make things come to life.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro comes with 512 SSD, Intel Quad-Core i9 processor, 4x Thunderbolt 3 ports, Radeon Pro 560x graphics, Mac OS X and 16 GB RAM. Its 10 hours battery life is good enough to keep your work going without really worrying about being close to the plug.
If you're a fan of multitasking, then you'll love its performance and smoothness. It's not a gaming laptop in case you need that, but it's a professional looking laptop that delivers the performance wherever needed.
This will cost you somewhere around $2500 depending on the options you choose. While buying, you're given a choice for touch bar which is extremely useful for multimedia users. Overall, it's a perfect choice for a high-performance laptop and comes with long lasting battery life as well as lightweight design.
6. Alienware ANW17-2143SLV
As already described in some best laptop guides, Alienware is a favorite brand of gamers, and their laptops are highly known for their fast performance.
Even though it comes with almost everything perfect and high-end specifications, we still think an SSD would have made it an even better laptop. It features all connectivity options including Wi-Fi, USB ports, Bluetooth and HDMI.
This high-performance laptop is powered by Intel Core i7 4710HQ processor, 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM, 1 TB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M GPU and Windows 8.1. Its trackpad is certainly not the best one on the market, and if you want it for playing games, then you obviously will be using a gaming mouse.
It's fully packed with the latest technology and features making it among the best high-performance laptops currently available. Also note, you don't have to spend a fortune on this machine and it will deliver the best performance possible.
Its fully functional and flexible design is portable enough to carry around easily and this model weighs about 8 pounds. Anyways, it's a great option for people on the tight budget, and it's like a gem found in a cave.
7. ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH74
Unlike MSI and Alienware, ASUS ROG laptops are especially made for gamers by keeping their budget in mind. If we talk about the ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH74, its speakers are pretty loud and the audio quality is highly appreciated.
When it comes to design, it's pretty robust and sturdy laptop. With over 5 hours of battery life, you can easily enjoy games like Dota 2, Sims 4 and World of Warcraft.
It's very uniquely designed machine that comes in a grey metallic color and black on the inside. Its graphics segment is covered by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M GPU and it also comes with GameFirst 3 technology.
While its Intel Core i7 6700HQ processor and GPU are enough to handle most of the latest titles, it also packs 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of HDD. It's surely one of the best high-performance laptops and from build quality to its design; it has everything that's perfect.
It features a full keyboard with almost all the latest as well as classic keys. If you compare ASUS ROG laptops, they are very different from Alienware and MSI machines, and it features a design that can be used by anyone and not only by gamers.
Moreover, thanks to its full HD matte IPS display that will deliver the experience like never before. Hence, we have added this PC in our guide of best high-performance laptops.
8. Lenovo Y7000
If you're looking for best performing laptop under $800 then the Lenovo Y700 is your only choice. It's one of the most popular budget gaming laptops and is portable enough to carry around easily.
It's known for its performance and powerful hardware that's required by gamers. Being such a budget PC, it boasts pretty solid functions and advanced 6th generation Intel Core i7 processor.
That said it also includes 16 GB RAM and combination storage with a 128 GB SSD and 1 TB hard dive. In case you'd like to have a touchscreen display then Lenovo has made a variant for you as well.
Its 15-inch full HD display is pixel rich and has perfect brightness and sharpness for gamers. It's able to run most of the latest as well as classic titles with ease.
For gamers, we highly recommend a non-touch variant, but in case you want the touch display then we recommend using a screen guard with matte finishing.
It boasts a perfect size keyboard with enough space between keys and I personally enjoyed it while playing Counter Strike GO. Overall, for such price and computing power, it's a dream come true for most of the gamers.
9. ASUS ZENBOOK UX501VW-DS71T
When it comes to reliable laptops, ASUS is the first name that comes to my mind. The ASUS ZENBOOK Pro stands out to be among the best performing laptops that are available under $2500.
It features an ultra-HD 4k display with 3840 x 2160 resolution, and that too is a touchscreen. Its fanless design is highly efficient with all high-end hardware like Intel i7 processor, 1TB SSD, NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU and 16 GB DDR4 RAM.
A unique feature of this laptop is the ScreenBar. This is basically a second 4K touch screen that can be used as an advanced control surface using either touch or the included digital stylus.
It has enough power to run all the applications available with ease. Its Celestial Blue body is very solid unlike cheap plastic bodies, and it doesn't flex or move while opening.
However, we personally feel that there was absolutely no need for touchscreen on this as you don't really want your fingerprints on the display. When it comes to SSD, Samsung is the most reliable provider, and it includes one from them.
That said, it's a silent and boots up within few seconds. Its keyboard is elegant, and it feels smooth even while traveling on rough roads. As already described, it packs a GPU from NVIDIA, and it will easily handle all your 4k full HD games and videos.
This ZenBook Pro models has a unique combination of features not found in competing laptops. If you are looking for a high-end device with all the options, this is a great laptop to consider.
10. MSI GP73 Leopard
The MSI GP73 Leopard is a high-end gaming laptop known for its slimness and high performance. Unlike regular gaming laptops, the Ghost Pro is highly appreciated for its lightweight design and latest features like Thunderbolt ports and Steel Series keyboard.
It will allow you to connect with multiple devices and also includes all the necessary ports. The device is powered by 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, Intel Core i7-8750H hexa-core processor, 1 TB 7200 rpm HDD, 128 GB of SSD and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU.
It's available in 6 different variants for a simple difference between price and specifications. Equipped with 17-inch full HD display and full-color backlit keyboard, it's an excellent choice for everyone.
So if you're not sure what you'll be doing with your high-performance laptop other than gaming, then you should surely look into this one. In short, it's a laptop that has everything, and there's no need for any upgrading or software updating.
Its display is packed with True Color technology which is very similar to Apple's Retina display. Even though it's a portable and slim laptop, it sounds pretty loud which is pretty surprising. Overall, it's a great gaming PC that comes with latest specifications and amazing audio quality.
With latest technology and advancement, it's totally possible that high-performance laptops can match the speed of desktops and I believe you have already found the suitable machine for yourself.
Those days are gone when laptops were considered as a big no for gaming and high-end programs. If you haven't tried any high-end laptop until now, I would say this is the perfect timing as plenty of new technology is included in each of high-performance laptops and that too for a decent price.
All the above-listed machines include a GPU from NVIDIA, Intel Core i7 processor, and SSD. So feel free to buy any of them without any hesitation and in the end enjoy whatever you do on your high-end laptop.