• Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (GA401IV-BR9N6)

  • Razer Blade 15 Advanced (RZ09-03305E53-R3U1)

  • BenQ Zowie XL2540

  • SteelSeries Arctis Pro

  • SteelSeries Apex Pro

  • Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

asusrogzephyrusg14
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

For well under $1,500, this awesome gaming laptop offers the kind of performance and feature set that make it perfect for gaming on the go.

Best Value Gaming Laptop
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (GA401IV-BR9N6)

The ROG Zephyrus is the perfect marriage of style, power, and practicality. If you’ve been looking for a gaming laptop that not only passes for a “normal” laptop but also catches everyone’s attention anyway, you just might love this laptop.

On the outside, it has a matte white lid half-covered with programmable LEDs to display whatever you want. Inside, the Zephyrus has a phenomenal keyboard with media keys. Its keys are deep, responsive, and easy to feel despite their chiclet profile. The trackpad is similarly fantastic, with a smooth and accurate surface.

Its performance is just as pleasing as its aesthetics. This tiny 14” beast packs an RTX 2060, a 120Hz screen and a Ryzen 9 CPU. When you’re out and writing some Google Docs, you’ll get about 4 hours of battery life and flawless performance on 60 tabs of Chrome. When you get back to your desk, for a solid sesh of the latest AAA games, the Ryzen 9 and the RTX 2060 will sing a harmonious symphony of power. Even the most demanding games will run with at least 60 frames per second.

However, you do need to keep an outlet and some headphones nearby when you’re gaming—you may only get an hour’s worth of battery life on a modern game, and those fans will be whirring throughout.

Best of all, it’s very reasonably priced. While the base models start around $1,000, the decked out version with an RTX 2060 and a Ryzen 9 only cost $1,499. You won’t find a laptop with a better combination of style, features, and power for this price.

Pros

  • Durable keyboard

  • Sophisticated design

  • Good battery life

Cons

  • No webcam

  • Dim screen

razerbladeadvanced
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Razer Blade 15 Advanced is the laptop to get for the most demanding AAA titles.

Best Performing Gaming Laptop
Razer Blade 15 Advanced (RZ09-03305E53-R3U1)

The Razer Blade 15 Advanced’s performance is about as powerful as you can get from a gaming laptop. Inside the sleek aluminum exterior, there’s an Intel Core i7-10875H, an Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPER, 16GB RAM and an entire terabyte of SSD storage. It’s a phenomenal machine with more than enough computing power to edit videos, run simulations, or play games.

While it may be marketed as a gaming laptop, its body is suave enough to blend into any classroom, and its vivid screen and springy keyboard will let you breeze through your assignments. Its battery life isn’t stellar, but it’s long enough to keep you away from a power outlet for 4 to 5 hours if you’re just writing docs.

Just about the only thing we don’t love about the Blade 15 Advanced is its $3,000+ price tag. It justifies it with a remarkable build quality, excellent hardware and smart design that make it one of the best gaming laptops of the year. Even so, it still feels pricey at the end of 2020, considering that Nvidia is a few months away from launching its next generation of laptop GPUs, Intel has just released its 11th gen of CPUs, and AMD is super close to unveiling its 5th gen of CPUs and GPUs for laptops.

Read our full review of the Razer Blade 15 Advanced here.

Pros

  • Powerful

  • Bright Display

  • Supreme build quality

Cons

  • Expensive

Related content

best-24-inch
Credit: Reviewed.com / TJ Donegan
Best 24-Inch Gaming Monitor
BenQ Zowie XL2540
  • 24-inch screen
  • 1,920 x 1,080
  • 240 Hz
  • No "sync" type
  • Flat screen
  • TN panel

A step up from the more affordable XL2411P, the BenQ XL2540 is another of BenQ's Zowie sub-brand, meaning it's frills-free, straightforward, and wholly focused on speed and response time. The XL2540 is available in a few different refresh rate variants (called XL2530, XL2536, etc.), but no matter which one you get, you'll be getting a 24.5-inch screen, full-HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution, and a flat TN panel.

We tested the XL2540, which is the 240 Hz variant. It's one of the more expensive XL25 models at $499, and it's worth noting that outside of its very slightly larger screen and high refresh rate, the specs here are more or less identical to the other "Zowie" monitors we tested. What you're really paying for is the higher 240 Hz refresh rate—though the XL25 also includes a screen hood, which BenQ claims helps competitive gamers cut down on distractions in their peripheral vision. This wasn't my experience, but then again, I didn't test these monitors side-by-side with competitors at an eSports competition.

The biggest reason to spend more on the XL2540 (compared to the XL2411P, XL2530, XL2536, and so on) is its 240 Hz refresh rate. While you might not need that much refresh fidelity right now, it does mean if you choose to upgrade your gaming tower, video card, or GPU going forward, you'll have room to "grow into" the XL2540's refresh rate.

Pros

  • High refresh rate

  • Large screen with full HD

Cons

  • On the expensive side

gaming-headphones-1
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar
Best Gaming Headphones
SteelSeries Arctis Pro

If you’re going to pay over $150 for anything—let alone a gaming headset—it needs to be downright impressive. Thankfully for SteelSeries, the Arctis Pro most definitely is. One of the more comfortable gaming headsets on the market, the Arctis Pro uses a flexible suspension band to customize size, with super soft ear cups that stay comfortable even for hours—even while wearing glasses. Sure, comfort alone isn't enough of a reason to buy such an expensive headset, but the Arctis Pro doesn’t stop there.

Both music and games sound fantastic using the Arctis Pro. I played both a quiet indie game, Atma, and loud, booming matches of Overwatch while using this headset and I was pleased with both. While playing Atma, the headset balanced the quiet soundtrack with in-game sound effects, like the crunching of grass beneath my character's feet. In Overwatch, I was able to clearly distinguish my allies' voices from in-game noise, which can sometimes be a struggle for me. That's largely thanks to the mixer that comes with the. For me, the mixer made for a perfectly customizable balance between game and chat.

From there, customization extends into the equalizer which lets you change frequencies without any extra software. It's a pricey headset, but where that money is going is clear. Better still, you can find the Arctis Pro for a lot less money online these days, making it an easy choice for serious gamers.

Pros

  • Great for gaming

  • Top-notch sound

  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Expensive

steelseriesapexpro
Credit: Reviewed / Simon Hill

The Apex Pro has a lot of extra buttons and features that should prove useful for gamers and power users alike.

Best Gaming Keyboard
SteelSeries Apex Pro

Even though the SteelSeries Apex Pro is a full-sized keyboard with a number pad, it doesn’t take up too much room on the desktop (there is also a tenkeyless version, though). The build quality is top class, with a matte black aluminum board, and an incredibly comfortable, soft-touch wrist rest that connects magnetically. There’s a small OLED at the top right, along with a clickable roller and a large key that serve as dedicated media controls. You can make the OLED display your gamer tag or even a GIF animation, but it also offers some welcome feedback on your chosen settings and profiles, so you don’t need to tab out of your game to tweak things.

The headline feature here comes courtesy of the Omnipoint switches. Not only does SteelSeries claim that they’re much more responsive and durable than conventional mechanical keyboard switches, they also offer customizable actuation. This means you can configure your preferred sensitivity level, dictating whether you’d like the lightest of touches to register or a deeper press. It doesn’t change the feel of typing on the keyboard (which is excellent by the way) but it does change when the key press registers.

Since you can set sensitivity per individual key, it allows you to dampen certain keys you find yourself accidentally pressing, but leave WASD super sensitive, for example. Take the time to set up different profiles for work and play, and even for individual games and you will feel the benefit. I found accurate typing a breeze on this keyboard and it’s relatively quiet for a mechanical board.

The SteelSeries Apex Pro features bright RGB lighting which is also fully configurable on a per key basis. The SteelSeries Engine 3 software is fairly easy to get to grips with. You can set main and meta key bindings, use a macro editor, tweak the actuation, set up lighting effects and colors, and even load a custom image or GIF for the OLED screen. There’s room for five onboard profiles.

With cable routing left, middle, or right, and a pass-through USB with its own lit-up port on the left, the SteelSeries Apex Pro embodies thoughtful design. Gaming and general typing on this keyboard is an absolute pleasure and nothing offers deeper customization, but the price makes it a serious investment.

Pros

  • Beautiful design

  • Customizable key actuation

  • Per-key RGB lighting

Cons

  • Expensive

corsairdarkcorepro
Credit: Reviewed / Simon Hill

This speedy mouse sneaks in features normally seen on mice almost twice its price.

Best Gaming Mouse
Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro

Comfort and grip are supreme with this full-featured, right-handed, wireless gaming mouse which packs in an impressive amount for the money. It’s quite large and weighty, so it’s best suited to larger hands. There’s a textured surface for enhanced grip on your palm and there’s a textured thumb rest on the left. You can remove the right-side panel (which reveals a slot for the USB receiver) and switch in a textured pinkie rest to keep your hand completely off the desktop. It’s incredibly comfortable to use for long periods.

Connectivity is seamless, thanks to Corsair’s “Slipstream” technology which can switch channels on the 2.4 GHz frequency automatically. There’s also Bluetooth support as a backup. This mouse handles frenetic in-game action with aplomb, boasting a sensor that goes up to 18,000 DPI with a 2,000 Hz polling rate. There are eight programmable buttons you can remap or customize with shortcuts and macros. You’ll also find nine RGB lighting zones. Everything is configured via Corsair’s iCue software, which takes some concentration to get to grips with, but proves to be very versatile indeed, offering deep customizability.

With a suggested battery life of up to 50 hours, the Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro has some stamina, though you’ll need to be in power-saving mode with lighting off to get close to that time. There’s a USB-C port, so you can always plug in and keep playing when the battery runs down. If you really want Qi wireless charging support, you can get it for a price upgrade with the Dark Core Pro RGB SE . You could buy Corsair’s MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad at $34.99, or you can charge the mouse on any Qi wireless charging pad. Just know that the wireless option can tend to add more to the bottom line than we feel is worth it at most retailers.

Weighing up the feature list here, the $79.99 price is currently unbeatable, especially if wireless charging isn’t a big deal to you. At the end of our testing, this was the mouse we wanted to return to. The Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro offers everything you could want in a gaming mouse.

Pros

  • Lots of useful buttons

  • Customizable lighting

  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Best with palm grip

Meet the testers

Reviewed Staff

Reviewed Staff

Contributors, Writers, Editors

@revieweddotcom

The Reviewed staff is based in the heart of Cambridge, MA. Backed by our knowledgeable writers and rigorous test labs, we're working hard to make sure you can make the right decisions about what to buy.

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Adrien Ramirez

Adrien Ramirez

Staff Writer

@itsaramkat

Adrien is a staff writer for Reviewed, mainly focused on reviewing laptops and other consumer tech. During his free time, he's usually wandering around Hyrule.

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