Of all the laptops on the market with dedicated GPUs, the RTX 3050 laptops have been the easiest to find in our current global tech climate. While it doesn’t offer the best of the best in mobile gaming, the RTX 3050 is a modest card that will certainly get the job done for light gaming on the go.
This small but powerful GPU can also be suitable for light creative work, such as video and photo editing. First, however, we have some purchasing considerations for you.
Mobile GPUs come with a catch
Here we will offer a disclaimer and some tips. Nvidia has made it a lot more complicated than it used to be. Rather than allowing consumers to correlate GPU brand (RTX 3080, 3070, 3060, etc.) with performance, they have allowed laptop manufacturers to set power limits ranging from 60W to 115W while marketing it with the same level of performance. This means that a laptop with a 60W GPU will perform significantly differently than the same GPU at 115W. Ergo, more power equals more performance, but naturally also more heat.
Fortunately, Nvidia has also started requiring laptop makers to disclose GPU wattages and clock speeds up front in product descriptions. So if in doubt, check there. Ultimately though, the differences can range up to ~ 10fps, so if that matters to you then you should look for a GPU with more allocated power.
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The RTX 3050 is suitable for light video and photo editing, mid-high level 1080p gaming, and many other workloads. The low power card can also fit thinner and lighter laptops for a multipurpose machine that is not just your mobile gaming system. Here are the best RTX 3050 laptops we’ve found.
- The Asus ROG Strix G15 is the most powerful RTX 3050 laptop on our list. It has a Ryzen 7 processor and a 144Hz screen.
- The Dell G15 made our list for its cooling capabilities. As is typical for Dell gaming machines, large vents are located at the back to quickly expel heat.
- The Asus TUF 15 Dash is sturdy yet slim, measuring just 0.8 inches and still has a Core i7 processor.
- The Victus 16 is an RTX 3050 laptop made by HP with a big and bold 16-inch IPS screen and a Ryzen 5 processor.
- The Asus TUF F17 lives up to its namesake; It is hard. Build quality is certified to military standards, so you won’t need to take too much care of this RTX 3050 laptop.
- The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 is the perfect budget RTX 3050 laptop. It offers many features and modest performance for the price.
- The Acer Nitro 5 is a suitable investment for your money machine. Despite its inexpensive price, it still boasts a 144Hz display.
Most powerful: Asus ROG Strix G15
ROG, or Republic of Gamers, is Asus’ proudest machine brand. The Strix G15 comes in many configurations and they all pack a punch. This RTX 3050 laptop is the most powerful on the list, with a Ryzen 7 processor and a 144Hz IPS screen.
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The GPU in this machine can run up to 95W, which is pretty good for a 3050 and also the highest wattage on the list. Other specs include 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD to store much of your game library. Asus also places Thermal Grizzly’s liquid metal at the contact points for maximum cooling potential.
Best cooling: Dell G15 5511
Dell’s G-line is the point just before entering its Alienware gaming brand, but these laptops aren’t lacking. It uses an 11th Gen Core i5 processor, which means it will work with 2021 games on the go. Cooling isn’t any weaker either, with the two large vents at the back and on either side. The GPU in this laptop has a 90W TDP which will be fantastic for peak performance at the cost of some battery life and heat.
See also: The best Alienware laptops you can buy
This RTX 3050 laptop also has 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and a 120Hz display as the icing on the cake. Cooling is done through an Alienware-inspired system that enters through the keyboard deck and expels heat through the side and rear vents. This one is near the top of the list for great budget gaming laptops.
More stylish: Asus TUF Dash 15
While other TUF laptops feature that signature black and yellow color scheme, the Dash 15 has a more subdued look and camouflages even with some non-gaming systems. This RTX 3050ti laptop doesn’t stray from TUF roots and still has a military grade durability certification so you won’t have to be so picky about this one. Although, I’m sure I’d appreciate it if you were.
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This made our list for being a slim and light gaming laptop, which is pretty rare. It measures less than an inch thick and weighs only 4.4 pounds. Other specs include a GPU up to 75W, an 11th-gen Core i7, a 144Hz display, and 512GB of NVME storage.
Best display: HP Loser 16
A large screen can be cumbersome, but a small one can make the game more difficult by making critical details smaller. HP’s Victus 16 strikes a balance between the two by using a 16-inch screen. This RTX 3050 laptop has an anti-glare coating on the IPS screen, making it one of the best on the list. The GPU maxes out at 80W, placing it at the slightly higher end.
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Other specs include a Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and 10 hours of battery life with fast charging. All of this is packed in style too, so it can double as a lifestyle machine for work and other tasks.
More durable: Asus TUF F17
Going back to a traditional TUF machine, the F17 has a large screen and a robust look. However, the rugged look also comes with rugged designs, and the TUF F17 is MIL-STD-810H tested, which means it can withstand extreme temperatures, humidity, and mechanical shock. Throw this in your bag and don’t worry; it will be OK. The GPU in this machine runs up to 75W with Asus dynamic boost technology.
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Of course, this is still an RTX 3050 laptop and as such it can handle some modest games with its 11th Gen Core i5 processor. The TUF F17 features bottom-entry cooling, so be careful where you place the machine while gaming. Other specs include a 17-inch 144Hz IPS display, 8GB of RAM, and a sizable 512GB SSD.
Budget Lifestyle: Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3
The IdeaPad Gaming 3 has appeared on some of our other lists for its stellar value in most settings. This one has a Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and a smooth 120Hz display. This machine’s RTX 3050 maxes out at 75W for modest power.
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The rest of this laptop is pretty normal, but it doesn’t sleep either. The I / O is pretty good with full-size HDMI, 2 USB-A ports, Ethernet, and a USB-C port. The understated look of this laptop is ideal for a simple lifestyle machine.
Budget games: Acer Nitro 5
Acer’s Nitro 5 line never fails to impress, and this one is no different. There’s the RTX 3050, of course, a 10th gen i5 processor and a 144Hz display for the best fluidity you’ll get for the price. The GPU in this laptop runs at a maximum of 75W, which lines up with many others on this list.
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Again, being a budget machine means that there aren’t many standout features on this one, but it also means that it will be a perfect entry-level machine for hitting light games on the go.
That’s it for our list of the best RTX 3050 laptops. Plus, grab a cooling pad so these beasts don’t overheat while you’re on the go.