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Are Asus or Dell gaming laptops better?

Asus and Dell are major players in the computing scene. Asus makes a wide variety of some of the highest-performing components, while Dell is known for making just about the sleekest and most polished laptops and monitors on the planet.

Both have a range of excellent gaming laptops. Asus prides itself on its ROG, or Republic of Gamers, lineup, while Dell’s top gaming laptops wear the Alienware badge. At the same time, the Asus Tuf and Dell G Series families represent excellent values.

It’s hard to go wrong with either high-end manufacturer, but in terms of both pure performance and cost-effectiveness, Asus very often has the edge. However, if you can find a good deal on a Dell gaming laptop, you shouldn’t pass it up.

Asus gaming laptops

Asus is at or near the front of the pack when it comes to gaming hardware. Its graphics cards, monitors, motherboards and laptops are built with powerful specs and impeccable quality control. Asus laptops come in all price ranges, able to satisfy budget-minded gamers as well as power-hungry PC enthusiasts.

Beyond the wide range of high-performance offerings, Asus also gets plenty of industry-wide respect, and for good reason. Asustek Computer Inc., the company behind Asus, actually makes a great deal of components (particularly motherboards) for other companies. Those other companies then design their laptops around Asus’ components. So it’s no surprise that Asus laptops are among the most reliable, year in and year out.

Asus gaming laptop pros

  • High-performance internals: You can find some of the most impressive hardware inside Asus gaming laptops. That includes high-end graphics processing units such as the GeForce RTX 3080 and high-performance central processing units including the Ryzen 9 5900HS. The right Asus notebook PC can run today’s most graphics-intensive games without difficulty.
  • High refresh rates: Gamers today care about high frame rates even more than in the past, and that’s saying something. Only in recent years have laptop manufacturers taken this to heart and released models with high refresh rates. Today, a refresh rate of 144 hertz or greater is practically standard on a quality gaming laptop.
  • Backlit keyboards: Backlit keyboards aren’t a novelty and you can’t dismiss them as gaudy or silly. It’s of prime importance to see every key laid out in front of you so you can hit the right one and remain competitive. Some high-end models even have up to seven backlight zones. This lets you assign different colors to different areas of the keyboard, making it that much easier to react in a split second.
  • Good price-to-performance ratio: When you buy an Asus laptop, you can be confident that you’re mostly paying for the laptop. That’s in contrast to some brands (Dell, for example), where the prices can be higher simply due to the brand name.

Asus gaming laptop cons

  • Build quality and feel: While they often sport RGB lighting and aggressive, angular designs, Asus laptops don’t generally have the most pristine fit and finish. This is especially true when compared to Dell laptops. To be clear, it doesn’t affect performance or value, but some people prefer their portable gaming rig to have rigid metal body panels, perfectly smooth seams and a spotless appearance. They’re getting better, but Asus laptops aren’t quite on the same level in this as Dell’s.

Best Asus gaming laptops

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17

This 17-inch beast checks all the boxes, with a high-grade 12th-generation Intel CPU, GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU and 240-hertz display with a 1440p resolution. If you can afford it, it’s about as good as they get. Sold by Amazon

Asus Tuf FX706

Asus Tuf FX706

This one’s proof that you don’t have to trade an arm and a leg for a powerful gaming laptop with a large screen. The components inside are powerful enough to run most games at high frame rates without difficulty. Sold by Amazon

Asus Tuf Dash 15

Asus Tuf Dash 15

Despite being one of the most compact and unassuming gaming laptops, it doesn’t sacrifice much in terms of performance. If you don’t insist on absolute peak performance, you can save a lot of money with last year’s version. Sold by Amazon

Asus ROG Zephyrus QHD

Asus ROG Zephyrus QHD

There aren’t a ton of high-resolution, high refresh rate models like this one, which is one of the top midrange gaming laptops. There’s a lot to like about it, including the RTX 3070 GPU and impressively powerful Ryzen 9 5900HS processor. Sold by Amazon

Dell gaming laptops

Dell is responsible for what may be the most storied laptop in history in the XPS 13. If you’re not familiar, the XPS lineup is a business-focused midrange to high-performance lineup built to handle everyday tasks with ease for years.

When it comes to gaming laptops, Dell has two lineups: Alienware and the G Series. Alienware was once one of the most prominent names in dedicated gaming hardware, and its high-performance laptops still get plenty of press. However, dedicated gamers have decried a drop in quality in recent years, leading its reputation to tank somewhat. Luckily for Dell, the last few Alienware release cycles have seen an improvement in reliability.

Dell’s G Series gaming laptops, on the other hand, are designed to meet the needs of gamers who don’t want to spend a fortune. They’re not exactly cheap — these days, no gaming laptops are — but they offer better value for the dollar than many Alienware offerings.

Dell gaming laptop pros

  • Good variety of high-performance options: In particular, there’s a host of Alienware laptops with impressive specs that can accommodate some of today’s most demanding titles.
  • Premium fit and finish: Nearly every Dell laptop, whether part of the G Series or Alienware stables, looks and feels like a high-end piece of equipment. Their bodies exhibit little to no flex, the designs and lines are clean and the keyboard, case seams and display bezels are perfectly done.
  • Vast customization options: If you buy directly from Dell, you’ll be able to get your hands on exactly the components you need, without paying for things you don’t want.
  • Impressive display quality: One place where Dell lags behind no one is the screen. Like Asus, Dell’s 360-hertz display panels are among the fastest and will satisfy the pickiest players.
  • Great budget-friendly choices: If you don’t need top-of-the-line components, you can get a good deal on a G Series gaming laptop.

Dell gaming laptop cons

  • Some have below-average quality control: Dell laptops don’t exactly have high failure rates, but the number of customer complaints about Alienware laptops is a little higher than we’d like to see from such a respected manufacturer.
  • Less-than-stellar high-end value: Alienware laptops tend to come at a premium, simply because they’re stamped with the Alienware name.

Best Dell gaming laptops

Alienware X17

Alienware X17

Not only can it display up to 360 frames per second, it’s also G-Sync certified for low input lag and essentially zero screen tearing and stuttering. Sold by Dell and Amazon

Alienware m15 Ryzen

Alienware m15 Ryzen

Another one equipped with Nvidia’s variable refresh-rate technology, the m15 is Dell’s most popular 15.6-inch Alienware laptop. It’s a surprisingly good deal for the brand. Sold by Dell and Amazon

Dell G15 Ryzen

Dell G15 Ryzen

Equipped with AMD’s new 6000-series Ryzen CPUs, this one packs a more efficient punch than just about any other. It’s rife with customization options straight from the manufacturer, so you can get exactly the performance you need. Sold by Dell

Should you get an Asus or Dell gaming laptop?

You can’t go wrong with either. However, you’re more likely to find a good deal on a high-end Asus than an Alienware. On the other side of the coin, Dell offers some impressive deals on entry-level models, although Asus isn’t far behind. If you like big screens, both Asus and Dell have some great 17-inch models, although Asus has an edge there, too.

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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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