Gaming laptops used to be these huge bulky machines that could only hold a charge for a couple of hours.
In recent times the main thermal culprits have been put in check and manufacturers are reaping the benefits of the lower TDP of CPUs and GPUs.
It started with AMD’s integrated APUs that had graphics cores built into the processing cores of the CPU. This reduced the size of the unit as it bypassed a whole circuit board (GPU).
Then the GPU was able to be integrated into the motherboard of the laptop separately from the CPU and although this reduced the bulk it still needed adequate cooling and sucked up battery life.
After this there was a breakthrough in mobile processing units; the clock speeds and power draw were lowered without sacrificing too much computing power.
This advancement allowed motherboards to be integrated into thin and light laptops like the Dell XPS series and the Apple MacBook series.
Now as NVIDIA moves away from its proprietary mobile GPUs (GTS 150m and GTS 250) and starts to underclock and undervolt their dedicated GPUs to work in laptops we can start to experience desktop performance on a laptop.
As NVIDIA’s Ampere architecture GPUs find their feet and begin to establish their place as the top ranking GPUs currently on the market, we mustn’t forget the amazing mobile GPUs that the Turing architecture has given us.
On that note the GTX 1650 balances power and TDP for an all-around high-end performance without sacrificing mobility or battery life. For high refresh rate 1080p laptop gaming, you won’t need any other GPU.
The 1650’s older brother: The GTX 1660 ti, does offer higher performance but at a budget and power increase.
The GTX 1650 isn’t only ideal for 1080p gaming but also production. With its Battery Boost and Optimus technology, the 1650 performs without being a leech on the battery.
NVIDIA’s creator ready drivers allow production/creation programs to utilize dedicated graphics cores to accelerate performance and increase reliability. They handle the tech so that you can focus on your passion.
This is somewhat of an all-rounder GPU so it’s important to decide what you’ll need the laptop for. If you’re looking to go for a gaming focused build that can handle everyday tasks then a bulkier, cooling focused laptop would be perfectly fine and the battery life won’t be as important.
If however, you’re looking for a workstation that can handle some light gaming then the processor and memory you choose will be ever more important.
Finally, if you’re looking for a sleek and stylish laptop that can handle some rendering and creating then the looks of the chassis and the processor should be your main focus.
We’ve included a small guide in each item review so that you can tell what the main purpose of the laptop is, making it easier for you to make a decision.
In a Rush?
Is that modern media 101 project overdue and you need to have the video edited and rendered by this weekend?
Not to worry we’ve got our top pick right here for you with just a few reasons why we love it.
- Ryzen 7 4800HS.
- 16GB dual channel memory and 1TB PCIe SSD.
- Inverted cooling system.
- 14” IPS FHD 60Hz Display.
- Stylish Zephyrus look with gaming capability.
OUR TOP PICK
This gaming/workstation hybrid from ASUS is an amazing machine. With it being a 14” notebook you have the ultimate portability and useability.
The laptop only weighs 3.64lbs and can fit in most backpacks. Don’t think the performance of this unit matches its small size, it is a beast for its form factor.
The ROG Zephyrus G14 packs a Ryzen 7 4800HS CPU into this tiny giant which is an 8 core, 16 thread processor.
It is fast enough, at 4.2GHz to run CPU intensive programs whilst still having enough cores to also do your shopping or even streaming at the same time.
The 4th generation Ryzen processor beats out its main competition, the 10th i7 generation intel processor, in almost all departments and shows how far AMD has come in creating the best CPUs on the market.
When you pair this CPU with the GTX 1650 you get a laptop gaming power-couple that will easily run all your games at max resolution and the highest settings.
The ROG cooling system inverts the fans compared to what you would be used to seeing in a laptop. It actually draws air from the top of the body, in between the monitor hinges and fires it out of the sides.
This puts a stop to the terrible design choice in most laptops that draw air from underneath where your CPU and GPU will immediately become asphyxiated.
The side exhausts also remove the heat from the chiclet style backlit keyboard so that you can continue to game comfortably without sweaty palms and wrists.
The 14” monitor that ASUS has equipped the G14 with, is great for what this laptop is designed to do.
Some hardcore gamers may complain about the 60Hz refresh rate and some pro netflixers might complain about the FHD resolution but as a package, you get a lot with this monitor.
As we stated this is meant to be a workstation that you can game on. With all the things we mentioned above the monitor also uses an IPS panel and brings with it the amazing color accuracy and viewing angles that you get from this technology.
The GTX 1650 also doesn’t run as hot at 1080p 60 fps which helps to reduce the overall size of this laptop.
With all the power that this packs you would need a substantial amount of memory so we’ve configured this unit with 16GB to ensure that you can do whatever you need to.
We’ve also chosen the blistering fast 1TB PCIe SSD so that you have enough high speed storage for all your games and projects.
- 8 Core Ryzen 7 4800HS with 16GB of dual channel memory.
- ROG cooling system keeps components and users cool.
- 14” IPS display running FHD at 60Hz.
- Chiclet style keyboard for almost mechanical feel.
- Stylish Zephyrus look is appropriate for a professional environment as well as a gaming den.
- Large all day battery takes a couple of hours to charge to full.
The next laptop on our list is the GF75 from MSI. This laptop is a gaming beast and has been designed specifically for that.
The laptop doesn’t only perform like a gaming machine, it also looks like one. With its red accents, dragon logo and sharp exterior you’d have to be blind to not know that this laptop is made to pwn noobs.
The GF75 comes equipped with a 10th generation intel i5 processor that has a boost clock of 4.5GHz. The i5 is a 4 core, 8 thread CPU that has a fairly low TDP.
Although Ryzen has taken the crown for most powerful all rounder CPU, Intel still holds top place for gaming performance.
Core for core this i5 will still produce a few more FPS than a Ryzen 5. You will still have plenty of headroom for productivity and the laptop will never seem sluggish as this is an extremely powerful laptop processor.
Similar to ASUS the intake ports for the cooling fans have been moved from the bottom to the rear of the laptop.
Instead of being underneath the monitor hinge, they sit behind, so that the laptop still has access to cool air, as long as it isn’t pushed up flush against a wall.
The extra space you get from the larger chassis also increases the space for airflow allowing the GPU and CPU to ramp up to their boost clocks.
The monitor of the laptop is actually very impressive. Like the last laptop this monitor uses an FHD IPS panel and comes with all the benefits these technologies bring but that is where the similarities end.
The GF75 uses a 144Hz 17.3” panel that can fully utilize the power of the i5 and GTX 1650 combo. With the extra cooling capability and airflow, the 1650 can run most competitive games at 144Hz on maximum settings at this resolution.
Games like Cyberpunk 2077 and other story based RTX games will now be able to run at this refresh rate but will still look great on the IPS panel nonetheless.
This laptop comes with a 512GB NVMe SSD that is still lightning fast and will store most of your information with ease. There is a free M.2 SSD slot if you want to increase the storage capacity.
With gaming being the main focus of this laptop you don’t get a huge amount of RAM, at only 8GB you’ll be fine gaming but don’t expect to keep all of your chrome tabs open at the same time.
You can upgrade this capacity later on down the line if you need to.
- 10th Generation intel i5 processor for gaming.
- Rear intake cooling system.
- 17.3” 144Hz FHD IPS Display.
- 8GB DDR4 Memory with 512GB NVMe SSD Storage.
- All day battery life.
- Can be quite heavy due to size.
The smallest laptop on our list; the Razer Blade Stealth 13 is a laptop used daily in the professional production scene.
This laptop has started replacing apple Macs as the industry standard for music, gaming, video and image production.
With all the power of the GTX 1650 matched with a powerful i7-1065G7 inside a 13.3” chassis you get all the performance you could need in the size of a large journal.
The package has been designed to run efficiently for hours at a time without a charge. This is why Razer chose this specific processor.
They also chose to go with the Max-Q variant of the GTX 1650, this is simply a lower TDP 1650 that doesn’t compromise on power.
The 4 core, 8 thread processor seems very similar to the i5 in the previous laptop and with a boost clock of 3.9GHz this doesn’t help its case. This however isn’t a fair comparison, the i7 still runs faster than the i5 due to its increased single core performance.
This processor also has a maximum TDP of 15W which is 3x lower than the i5. You also get support for intel technologies such as Thermal Velocity Boost and Turbo Boost Max 3.0 which all work to increase the efficiency of single core processes.
The Razer Blade Stealth 13 also comes with Thunderbolt 2 capabilities meaning that you can use proprietary Razer peripherals like Razer Core x which is a hot swappable, external GPU that brings desktop performance to a 3.2lbs, 0.6” thick laptop.
Because the TDP of both maxed out processing units combined is only 45W you don’t need a huge amount of cooling to be done.
The cooling system includes a dual downwards firing fan system that utilizes thick copper pipes to also dissipate heat passively. This is adequate for the components and the size of the unit as the highest temperature the keyboard reaches is just about 85 °F.
The screen on this laptop matches closely with the screen from our number 1 pick. The major difference is in Razer’s quality control and calibration. The 13.3” IPS panel is 1080p and runs at 60Hz.
The differentiating factor is in its color accuracy, with a 100% sRGB color saturation you will only see true to life colors on this panel whether you’re gaming or watching hi quality content.
The laptop has 16GB of RAM which is ample for all production and gaming needs. It also comes with a 512GB NVMe SSD that is very fast.
Neither of these components are expandable after purchase so you may need to look at cloud storage if you’re considering gaming on this.
The whole body is constructed from a single piece of CNC’d aluminum giving it an extremely premium feel.
The keyboard can also be used with Razer’s Chroma software to synchronize the RGB.
- Razer build quality and design.
- Compatibility with Thunderbolt 3 peripherals.
- Low TDP Max-Q 1650 and i7.
- Razer calibrated IPS display.
- Extremely small form factor perfect for portability.
- Under full load gaming battery only lasts 2-3 hours.
The ROG Strix G is the most gaming focused laptop on our list and has the performance to back it up. This laptop is built with the chassis extending past the monitor hinges to allow for a more high performance and tunable cooling system.
ASUS has even included a row of programmable macro keys for you to bind your WoW combos to.
This laptop comes with a 9th Generation intel i7-9750H processor that is clocked at 4.5GHz. This 6 core, 12 thread CPU is actually rated higher for gaming that it’s newer upgrade; the i7-10750H.
This is solely due to its increased TDP and higher base clock. The older CPU is made to power through most tasks regardless of how much battery it uses.
The beefed up cooling system that sits behind the monitor hinges can keep both high performance processing units cool throughout high demand situations. This means that they can maintain their higher clock speeds giving you increased performance.
Obviously with such an effective cooling system being packed into a smaller space audio levels will suffer so ASUS has included software that allows you to toggle between silent, balanced and turbo modes with the fans so you can decide how hard you want to push the machine.
The 15.6” FHD IPS running at 60Hz is ample for gaming. It won’t push the GPU to thermal throttle but will allow you to experience high quality gaming performance.
If however you want to plug in a more demanding external display this is also an option through the HDMI 2.0 port.
The unit comes with a 1TB PCIe SSD and 16GB of Dual channel memory so you know you’ll have plenty.
- Gaming design and features.
- High speed i7 CPU.
- RGB covering body makes this look like a gaming machine.
- High performance and tunable gaming cooling system.
- Battery life suffers during gameplay.
This is possibly the most unique laptop on our list and is capable of gaming no problem but possibly not at native resolution.
This laptop is built for productivity in creation or as a workstation. You won’t be able to look away from either of the 2 gorgeous screens that ASUS has equipped this machine with.
The ZenBook is powered by the GTX 1650 paired with a low TDP i7-10510U that is capable of reaching almost 5.0GHz!
With a base clock of 1.8GHz when you don’t need to use the full power of the CPU it will clock itself down to increase your battery life and reduce energy consumption in general.
This 4 core, 8 thread CPU is capable of handling all but the most core intensive tasks but will still keep up nonetheless due to its high clock speeds.
This laptop also uses the GTX 1650 Max-Q variant that requires very little power to run at full speed and therefore doesn’t require a heavy cooling system that would interfere with the beauty of the unit.
The main display of the ZenBook is a 4K(UHD) IPS Nanoedge display that runs at 60Hz.
The 1650 Max-Q is a powerful GPU for its size but it cannot run games at 4K high settings, you will easily be able to run less demanding titles at medium detail but to get the best experience we recommend turning down the resolution in game.
With gaming not being the main focus of the laptop this high resolution display doesn’t need to cater to the gamers.
You will be able edit photos, videos and audio with the best possible detail at 15.6”.
The second display is actually seated in the trackpad and can be used as a second 5.65” display with an FHD resolution or with the ScreenPad software you can add app functionality to the trackpad.
ASUS has included 16GB of RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD so you’ll have ample capacity for all of your projects.
- 15.6” UHD IPS panel.
- Low TDP i7 and 1650 Max-Q pair up.
- ScreenPad 2.0 technology for multitasking.
- IR camera and Amazon Alexa built in for extra functionality.
- Games can’t run at native resolution.
Best Laptops with a GTX 1650 Buying Guide
As we stated above having a good GPU isn’t the end of the road.
You’ll need to pair this up with a good CPU, a good cooling system, a good screen, enough memory, and enough storage capacity and type.
If you’ve got ticked off all of those you’ll have a laptop that can handle anything.
If however you’re completely budget conscious and you’re looking for the cheapest way to get into laptop gaming without spending an arm and a leg then look for an i3 or Ryzen 3 processor with the 1650 and you should be good to go.
Bear in mind, however, that using a low power CPU with a good GPU can bottleneck your GPU performance and actually make your laptop run slower than it should in games.
Apart from the GPU, your CPU will be your main computing unit. Outside of gaming and production, it’s actually more important than your GPU.
Your CPU will determine how quickly almost all other programs will load, how quickly you see information show up on the screen, how many programs and apps you can have open and just how smoothly your laptop runs in general.
CPUs come in many different forms, in laptops, there are a couple of metrics that we need to keep an eye on; the clock speed (base and boost) and the core/thread count.
The clock speed is basically how fast your processor can run. It is split into 2 separate speeds, base and boost. A CPU’s base clock is the speed at which it will generally run to keep its TDP low, the boost clock is the speed your CPU can achieve given that it is adequately cooled and won’t thermal throttle.
The core and thread count essentially is how many ‘processors’ your CPU is made up of and the more the better. The more cores and threads your CPU has the more things it can do simultaneously as it can allocate cores to different actions.
Most games benefit from higher clock speeds as opposed to core counts but with enough cores you can stream, listen to music, use discord and game at the same time.
In games your CPU is responsible for AI behavior, model interaction and texture placements. Games such as Hunt: Showdown are massively impacted by lower clock speeds and core counts.
As we said above your CPU can reach higher speeds and gain performance just by being cooled properly.
The more work a processing unit does the more power has to be pumped through it and the more heat it outputs.
To protect your components from overheating and causing damage to the rest of the laptop CPU manufacturers have dialed in a base clock that the CPU can handle without needing too much power or outputting too much heat. This is exactly the same in the GTX 1650. You can probably see why a good cooling system is important.
If you’re allowing your laptop to overheat then you’re giving up free performance and this is the last thing you want.
So for any form of gaming or rendering where your processing units will be put their paces, a good cooling system is imperative.
Everything and anything you do on a modern PC is directly connected to the monitor, it is virtually impossible to control a laptop without seeing what you’re doing.
The screen of a monitor is very often overlooked because most people think that as long as you can see what’s happening you’ll be absolutely fine.
The thing is, depending on what you use your laptop for you’ll need a specific screen also with a graphics card like the GTX 1650 you’ll want to make sure that it can power the screen.
There is no point in going for a 4K or 720p screen as you’ll either be overworking your GPU or completely underutilizing it making it redundant.
We recommend a high refresh rate 1080p screen or a 60Hz 1440p screen this is where you’ll see your GTX 1650 excel.
The other thing to look for is the panel type, there are 3 main ones: IPS, VA, and TN (we know about OLED but they are largely unavailable in laptops currently).
TN is horrible to look at, has the worst viewing angles and the absolute worst color accuracy so we’ll be leaving those out.
IPS is amazing for color accuracy and viewing angles but they often lack in response time making them unideal for competitive gaming.
VA panels are often referred to as the gaming panel, they don’t have as good color accuracy or viewing angles as an IPS panel but they excel in refresh rates, topping out at ~360Hz.
So we’ll be looking for IPS and VA panels on our laptops. TN panels can work and are often the most budget friendly option but the viewing experience is just not great.
Memory and Storage
Most people confuse these 2 very often but they are very different in a laptop.
Your memory is essentially the amount of RAM your system has which dictates how many things you can have open at the same time and how smoothly you can transition between programs.
The storage is where you store things, the type of storage you use matters for various reasons but mainly it’s for speed.
The speed at which apps open, at which your laptop turns on and off, and the speed at which you can save, transfer, or delete files from your laptop.
These obviously matter for different reasons but are important nonetheless.