CES is always flooded with new gaming laptops, but this year felt a bit different. Like the best laptops of CES as a whole, the updates to gaming laptops this year focused more on improved displays and new designs than just updated internals.

Here are the four gaming laptops I saw this year that really got me excited to spend more time with them.

ROG Zephyrus G14

The ROG Zephyrus G14 against a white wall.
Chris Hagan / Digital Trends

The Zephyrus G14 has always been one of our favorite gaming laptops. It was a laptop that perfectly balanced portability and performance — one that could function as well for gaming as it could for work. But this year, Asus redesigned the entire chassis of this device, bringing an eye-catching new lid, a thinned-out profile, a silver color, and a larger touchpad that extends to the full stretch of the palm rests.

As you may notice, a lot of those features aren’t gaming-focused. And that’s because this redesign of the ROG Zephyrus G14 seems to be targeting more of a crossover demographic. It’s a spot the Razer Blade 14 has owned over the years, but increasingly, the G14 seems like a serious contender. Throw in a killer-looking OLED display and the latest Ryzen processors, and this one looks like it’ll be tough to beat.

HP Omen 14 Transcend

HP Omen Transcend 14 sitting next to a window.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

HP’s Omen has been rather quiet over the past few years, especially on the gaming laptop front. The new Omen 14 Transcend feels like a pretty compelling fresh start for the brand — combined with its new QD-OLED monitor. When announced, it’s calling card was its claim as the “lightest 14-inch gaming laptop” with a weight of just 3.6 pounds. The aforementioned ROG Zephyrus G14 has since stolen that title at 3.4 pounds — but the Omen 14 Transcend is nevertheless quite a thin and light gaming laptop.

The Omen 14 Transcend comes in a new white color, which is all the rage these days. It also comes with ports placed in the rear and an all-around clean look.

MSI Titan 18 HX

The MSI Titan 18 HX in a dark room.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

MSI Titan gaming laptops have never been for the faint of heart. They’re big, expensive, and supremely powerful. MSI brought an update to the Titan 18 HX to CES this year, which boasts one major new feature: an 18-inch 4K 120Hz mini-LED screen. It’s the first of its kind, hitting 1,000 nits of brightness, which should make for some really solid HDR performance. Even though many gamers may prefer a slightly lower resolution with a higher refresh rate, the Titan 18 HX is definitely pushing the envelope, especially since high refresh rate 18-inch OLED panels don’t seem to be available right now.

Beyond that, the MSI Titan HX also comes with a light-up, seamless haptic touchpad — another feature we haven’t seen on gaming laptops.

Alienware m17 R2

The Alienware m16 R2 open on a table.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

The Alienware m17 R2 represents a pretty drastic redesign of the line, as it has ditched the thermal shelf on the back that has defined the look of every other Alienware laptop. That reduces the footprint on the table quite a bit, and required the company to completely redesign the internals of the laptop as well. We’ll have to wait to review the laptop ourselves, but Dell is claiming that airflow is significantly better this time around, despite the new design.

Overall, Alienware wants this to be the company’s more subtle choice in the lineup. To that end, it scaled back some of the exaggerated vents and angular lines. There’s even a dedicated “stealth mode” key to quickly turn off the lights and fans. It’s no ROG G14 or Razer Blade in terms of a more minimalist gaming laptop — but for Alienware, this is certainly a more toned-down look.

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