The 5 Best 120hz Laptops of 2021
Dec 20, 2020
60fps? That’s old-school!
Nowadays, the big laptop manufacturers have come out with some fantastic machines that can output double the standard 60fps framerates.
This is why today’s feature will be taking you through the best 120hz laptops on the market for gaming (and other uses) with lots of different budgets in mind.
Overall Best 120hz Laptop for Gaming: MSI GF65 Thin 9SE-013
At the top of the list is an offering from MSI that represents fantastic value for its price range.
An RTX 2060 laptop, this GPU can handle a lot for its price. If you’re into newer titles you can expect to achieve decent graphics settings on these (with nothing on the horizon that the RTX 2060 couldn’t handle in some capacity).
But of course, with its 15.6-inch 120hz display, where the machine really shines is its ability to play mid-tier games at very high refresh rates. This is one of the best laptops for Fortnite, Overwatch, and other competitive esports at 120fps.
Working alongside the GPU is a Core i7-9750H & 16GB RAM, great components to go alongside an RTX 2060 (we don’t expect you’ll need more than 16GB of RAM for a long time which is why most of our longest lasting picks have this much, but the RAM slots could be upgraded to up to 64GB at a later date should you desire). These specs will be decent for business and personal use too (not just a gaming machine).
At the bottom of our list, we’ve included a cheaper 120hz laptop that also has similar specs to this MSI PC.
While that option may be best for those on tight budgets, the reason we’ve picked this offering as our top choice is its fantastic reliable performance.
With great thermals, solid material, and a sturdy (+ beautiful) keyboard, this gaming laptop has been built to last. The TUF alternative has some minor issues that we talk about below; while it was a very close race to the top pick, we think it’s worth paying an extra 5-10% for a laptop that is durable and doesn’t run very loudly.
Overall, the MSI GF65 offers a fantastic value at its mid-range price and is our choice for the best 120hz laptop available today.
Best Cheap 120hz Laptop under $800: ASUS TUF FX505DT
Now, we appreciate some readers will be looking for the best budget 120hz laptop.
It’s important to realize that if you want to achieve high-FPS gaming, you do need to have some horsepower. That’s where this ASUS gaming laptop strikes a fantastic balance (we think it’s incredible that they’ve managed to produce a laptop capable of 120fps gaming at this price range).
Lead by its GTX 1650 graphics card, AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H & 8GB RAM, this PC packs a decent punch for gaming. You can still expect to achieve 120fps on Fornite, Minecraft, Overwatch, LoL, and other older competitive games (providing you play with the settings to around medium). A GTX 1650 will still be able to run newer titles, as long as you can limit your expectations (i.e. low settings, 30-60fps at 1080p).
We love also that despite the budget price-point, this TUF laptop is still of excellent build quality, and comes with all the usual quality-of-life features you expect on a good portable gaming PC (RGB keyboard, Windows 10 included, and a decent thermal solution).
The one downside of the cheapest 120hz laptop on the market is its subpar battery life, you can expect a few hours for general use and 2-3 for gaming (but again, at this budget, you won’t find anything better).
You’re of course not getting the performance of a more expensive future-proofed laptop, but the fact that you can have a machine that balances 120fps gaming for older esports and can still play most newer titles at lower settings/fps really is an impressive feat for its price.
This is, without a doubt, the best cheap 120hz laptop available on the market today.
Best 14-inch 120 Hz Laptop under $1500: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
If you’re after a more portable gaming PC than the rest of our choices, the G14 is one of the best examples of how to achieve an excellent lightweight high-refresh-rate laptop.
With an RTX 2060 Max-Q, its performance is slightly less than our top choice’s GPU (in the region of 5-10%, as Max-Q cards are made for ultra-thin laptops). However, the G14 also boasts a Ryzen 9 4900HS CPU. This is a fantastic edition and for CPU-intensive games, will gain back a lot of the lost performance from its GPU’s “Max-Q” label. You’ll still be able to use its great 120hz display for esports titles like Overwatch, Fortnite, and Dota 2
With 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, this machine has plenty of capability as a business and personal use laptop too.
But perhaps the best of all of its unique features is its superb design and build quality. With a gorgeous aesthetic and thermal solution for its size (only 3.64 lbs and 0.7″ thick!), the G14 really feels like a very premium laptop built to last.
Finally, with the Max-Q and Ryzen 4000-series both being power-efficient iterations, the laptop has a superb battery life; which, alongside its build quality, really solidifies its place as a machine for portable gaming.
The G14 is comfortably our top pick for the most portable 120hz laptop. We love that in its tight space, it still manages to pack a great punch.
Best 120hz Laptop under $1000: MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-252
For those who can’t stretch to our top pick, there is thankfully a fantastic alternative MSI gaming laptop under $1000.
This is from the exact same GF65 range as our top pick, but instead, this model runs off a GTX 1660ti GPU. Which, while not as powerful as the RTX 2060, doesn’t run too far behind in capability. Typically, the difference is usually around 5-10% less FPS, which will still give you all the horsepower you need to use its beautiful 120hz screen for mid-range competitive esports (and enough power to still enjoy newer/upcoming titles).
Alongside the GPU, you are getting the same fantastic processor as our top pick which is perfect for handling business and personal use laptop needs also. This edition has 8GB RAM instead of 16GB. However, you can simply upgrade that to 16GB at a later date if you need to.
With the same excellent build quality, keyboard, and trackpad as our top pick, we still rate this choice very highly (still including the nice quality of life features too, like a USB type C port and a 720p webcam).
If you can’t stretch to above $1000, know that this is easily the best 120hz computer below that threshold.
Alternative RTX 2060 Choice: ASUS TUF FX505 Gaming Laptop
As mentioned in our top 120hz laptop pick, although we love the MSI RTX 2060 offering, there is a cheaper choice in this ASUS TUF PC.
The price seems like wizardry for what you’re getting. The cheapest RTX 2060 laptop on the market, this model comes along with a respectable Ryzen 7 3750H, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB SSD. All of which are very worthy of accompanying this GPU and not leaving any bottlenecks for gaming or general use (this is certainly capable of similar high FPS/settings gameplay to the MSI laptop pick) and you’ll have the option to upgrade the RAM to 32GB in the future if desired.
As you would expect with an ASUS laptop, the aesthetic, RGB keyboard, and material for the exterior build are all very nice and perfect for a gaming machine. This 120hz laptop is also IPS, so we have no complaints about the screen.
Where we decided to slightly give the edge to MSI’s offering as our top pick is in its thermals and reliable performance. A notable minority of users have complained of errors, blue screens, very loud fans, and some delays in getting a warranty replacement/repair with the FX505.
Now it’s worth saying that this is a minority, most users seem to be happy with receiving what is largely an insanely cheap budget RTX 2060 laptop for gaming. We just think it’s worth the extra money for the MSI offering as a piece of mind that you’re getting a unit that is unlikely to run into any problems (when you spend this kind of money, you want something that will last).
But with all that said, if you don’t mind the cons mentioned above, you are getting a fantastic GPU, specs, and machine at a mind-blowing price, this ASUS 120hz laptop has a lot going for it.
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