Disclosure: I only recommend products that I would use myself. This post contains affiliate links so that, as an Amazon and B&H Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you. Prices for B&H as of August 31st 2021. Click on Amazon links to see current prices. Prices and availability are subject to change.

This is one of three articles dedicated to Gaming laptops that can also be used by Creative Pros:

1. Best Budget Low-cost Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros
2. Best Mid-Range Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros (this article)
3. Best High-End Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros

Are you a Creative Pro that wants an Apple Macbook?

We have articles to help you find the best Macbook for your needs:
1. How to choose the best Apple Macbook Air
2. How to choose the best Apple Macbook Pro 13
3. How to choose the best Apple Macbook Pro 16

The Best Mid-Range Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros?

Many don’t have the knowledge to understand detailed computer specifications and just want to know: “What’s the best laptop for my needs and budget?

By the best, I mean reliable laptops that offer the best performance at prices from $999 to $1999.

With 20 years of experience with computer hardware, keeping up with new products and ever-changing prices, I’m here to help you find the best deals. See my About page.

The features that we evaluate in order to make our recommendations:

1. Price
2. Performance: CPU, RAM, Storage, Video Card and Wireless Adapter
3. Screen: Size, Resolution, Finish, Panel type, Brightness, Contrast, Viewing Angles, Color space coverage and Color Accuracy
4. Portability: Dimensions, Weight, Real-life battery life during average web browsing
5. Usability: Keyboard: Layout, Key size, Travel/Pressure, Key Shape and any additional Function keys. Touch pad quality, trackpoint, backlit keyboard, numpad, Operating System, which ports are offered, Webcam resolution, sound quality, noise levels.
6. Reliability: How solid is the chassis and the screen hinges? Are the temperatures under load reasonable? Is the keyboard spill-resistant? Overall manufacturer long-term reliability? Is it easy to service the laptop?
7. Warranty: Warranty length? What does the warranty cover?

A worldwide guide!

B&H offers worldwide shipping, while Amazon links should direct you to your local Amazon site (USA, UK, Germany, etc.)

Summary: Best Mid-Range Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros

Click on any of these links to jump to the section that interests you, or scroll down to see them all, in this order.

    1. Creative Pros: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H 8 cores + GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
    2. Gamers: Core i7-11800H 8 cores + GTX 3060 6GB
    3. Alt Creative Pro #1: Innovative dual screens, 3.57lbs, Core i7-1165G7/MX 450 2GB
    4. Alt Creative Pro #2: Super lightweight 2.84lbs, 4/6 Core CPU, GTX 1650 4GB
    5. Both: 8 cores CPU + RTX 3070 8GB
    6. Both: Lightweight and powerful 14″, 8 cores CPU + RTX 3060 6GB
    7. Creative Pros: Lightweight, 8-core, 3060 6GB/3070 8GB, 4K AMOLED calibrated

Creative Pros: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H + GTX 1660 Ti

Lenovo Legion 5

– Click here to see the price on Amazon

Gamers:
I recommend the model below instead, with the more powerful GeForce RTX 3060 graphic card.

Creative Pros:

You get a powerful AMD 8 cores CPU, the Ryzen 7 4800H, along the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB, so you can handle heavier video editing, along with some 3D and photo editing as well.

You get 16GB of RAM and a 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD. There are two RAM slots, an available M.2 slot and also an empty 2.5″ drive bay, so you can upgrade this laptop.

You also get a display with slightly above average brightness (~330 nits) and 100% sRGB color space coverage.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660 Ti with 6GB of VRAM
  2. AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Eight-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.9-4.2GHz CPU
  3. 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD for fast boot, a responsive laptop and fast application launch
  4. Empty 2.5″ bay
  5. Empty M.2 slot
  6. 16GB of RAM: 2x 8GB of DDR4 RAM
  7. RAM can be upgraded to 32GB or 64GB
  8. 1920 x 1080 resolution.
  9. IPS panel for better wide viewing angles and better contrast.
  10. 144Hz refresh rate
  11. 330 nits display brightness
  12. 100% sRGB color space coverage
  13. Backlit Keyboard
  14. Excellent keyboard
  15. Full size arrow keys
  16. 4x USB ports, including one Type-C with Displayport output
  17. HDMI 2.0b
  18. 802.11ac WiFi 5 2×2 MU-MIMO
  19. Bluetooth 5.0
  20. Windows 10 Home
  21. Dedicated mouse buttons

Cons:

  1. Expect about 5-6 hours of battery life for web browsing.
  2. No dedicated left and right trackpad buttons

Gamers: Intel Core i7-11800H + GTX 3060

About the ASUS TUF 15

– $1299.00 on B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Gamers:
With the higher end Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphic card, you’ll get significantly higher gaming performance compared to the model above.

Creative Pros:
While from a power point of vieww, this would make for a great creative pro laptop, the display doesn’t offer 100% sRGB color coverage, hence why I’d suggest getting either the laptop above or to keep reading.

Pros:

  1. Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 dedicated video card with 6GB of GDDR6 memory.
  2. Intel Core i7-11800H 8 Core / 16 threads 2.3-4.6GHz
  3. 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3200MHz
  4. 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD which greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  5. 2nd M.2 slot allows you to add a second M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
  6. RAM can be upgraded to 32GB (2x16GB) or 64GB (2x32GB)
  7. 1x USB Type-C / Thunderbolt 4 with Displayport output support
  8. 3x USB 3 Type-A
  9. Backlit keyboard
  10. Numpad
  11. Ethernet RJ45 port
  12. 1x HDMI 2.0b
  13. Windows 10
  14. 720p HD webcam
  15. 15.6″ 144Hz 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD display
  16. IPS display panel which means you get large viewing angles
  17. 802.11ax WiFi 6
  18. Bluetooth 5.2
  19. Numpad
  20. Amazing battery life for such a powerful gaming laptop: Up to 14.7 hours!
  21. Dedicated mouse buttons
  22. Build quality is fairly good, mix of metal and plastic

Cons:

  1. No card reader
  2. Color coverage is limited: 62.5% sRGB / 47.34% Adobe RGB

Alt Creative Pros #1: Innovative dual screens, Core i7-1165G7/MX 450 4GB

About the ASUS ZenBook Duo UX482EG-XS74T

– $1499.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

First Alternative for Creative Pros (see #2 below):

Let’s get this out of the way: compared to the model above, you don’t get as much CPU performance:
The models above have AMD Six or Eight-Core 2.9-4.2GHz, while this laptop have an Intel Core i7-1165G7 Quad Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-4.7GHz CPU. You lose four cores, but get higher maximum Turbo frequency.

What that means for you is that you’ll get higher burst performance and a faster computer on day to day tasks, but lower sustained performance on heavy applications, such as video editing.

The graphic card isn’t as good either, but it’s still a dedicated graphic card, the Nvidia GeForce MX 450 2GB, which offers performance around the level of a GeForce GTX 1050. Not a gaming powerhouse, but a good level of performance for photo and video editing.

So, if you are a Creative Pro that needs all the CPU and GPU processing power that you can get your hands on, with a moderate budget, skip this model. If the dual screen setup interests you, but you want an eight core CPU, a 4K display with a RTX 3070 graphic card, see the ASUS Zenbook 15.6″: – $2999.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

However, if you are a Creative Pro with moderate processing power needs, such as a semi-pro photographer, if you work with 1080p footage or if you value portability and battery life more than brute power, the ASUS ZenBook Duo UX482EG-XS74T is an interesting choice.

Its CPU is based on the latest Intel Core 11th generation and its high maximum frequency means that your laptop is highly responsive. You get plenty of RAM with 16GB and 1TB of high-end performance storage with a NVMe PCIe SSD.

Here’s what you gain: An innovative dual screen setup!

This is an innovative design from ASUS. Equipped with a 2nd display above the keyboard, an angled ScreenPad Plus that measures 12.65″ diagonally with a 1920 x 515 resolution , it offers multitasking capabilities that laptops didn’t have before.

As a functional second screen, it can be used to view additional windows, house a variety of quick-access applications, and even digitize your handwriting, thanks to touch support.

It can be used with ASUS’s ScreenXpert control software that simplifies multiscreen window and program management as well as can run specially-designed apps. Furthermore, ASUS is also working with developers of professional applications to create versions that can take advantage of the ScreenPad Plus in a way that many apps take advantage of Apple’s TouchBar.

From ASUS:
The secondary touchscreen that works seamlessly with the main screen, giving you endless ways to optimize and personalize your workflow.

A series of handy built-in apps help boost your productivity. Quick key allows one-tap automation of complex keyboard sequences, and handwriting lets you input text intuitively.

There are also useful quick controls such as app switcher, view Max and task swap for intuitive interactions between the main display and screen Pad plus.

Task group lets you lock Into work mode by opening multiple tasks with a single touch. And now you can drag apps or in-app toolbars onto screen Pad plus to give you more room to work on the main display, wherever you are.

Both multi-touch displays support stylus input, and screen Pad plus gives you a superbly ergonomic and stable platform for writing or drawing. Take notes, sketch out your ideas, or do precision graphical editing in the most intuitive way ever.

Another nice touch is what ASUS calls the ErgoLift design for improved typing position. Basically, the bottom part of the display case lifts the back of the base of the laptop, effectively putting the keyboard at a raised angle for a more comfortable typing position. With the detachable palm rest, this is great if you spend a lot of time with your laptop.

Pros:

  1. Small screen bezels
  2. ErgoLift Hinge raises the keyboard to a better typing position and improves cooling and audio performance thanks to the additional space underneath the system.
  3. Latest 11th gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-4.7GHz CPU
  4. Nvidia Geforce MX 450 2GB dedicated graphic card
  5. 1TB SSD which greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  6. Dual touchscreens
  7. 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD display
  8. IPS panel for great colors and wide viewing angles, with 100% sRGB coverage and 72% AdobeRGB coverage
  9. Display is PANTONE validated, ensuring professional-grade color accuracy
  10. Display is TUV Rheinland certified for low blue-light emissions, reducing eyestrain and visual fatigue during long projects.
  11. Secondary 12.6″ touchscreen display above the keyboard, with a 1920 x 515 resolution
  12. Secondary touchscreen display is angled, reducing glares
  13. Main display is matte, to reduce glare
  14. 1x USB-A 3.1, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4 with display outout and power delivery
  15. Backlit keyboard
  16. microSD card reader
  17. 1x HDMI
  18. Windows 10
  19. Great battery life
  20. Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  21. Bluetooth 5.0
  22. IR Camera with support for Windows Hello
  23. Solid build quality
  24. Lightweight at only 3.57lbs

Cons:

  1. RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded
  2. Quad-core CPU, versus six or eight cores in other laptops in the same price range
  3. No Ethernet RJ45 port
  4. Keyboard has smaller keys and less space between them, making it a bit cramped if you have larger hands
  5. Small clickpad

Alt Creative Pros #2: Super lightweight 2.84lbs, Four/Six Core CPU, GTX 1650 4GB

About the MSI Creator 14

– Grey: 4 Core CPU, 512GB SSD, 1080p: – Click here to see the price on Amazon
White: 6 Core CPU, 512GB SSD, 1080p: – Click here to see the price on Amazon
– Grey: 6 Core CPU, 1TB SSD, 4K: – $1,549.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Second Alternative for Creative Pros:

All right, so for alternative #2, we have a model that’s not quite as powerful as the 8 core beasts, but packs more of a punch, with an Intel quad-core or six-core CPU and a very decent GeForce GTX 1650 4GB. So plenty enough power for photo and video editing and even some 3D rendering.

What’s special about this model is how lightweight it is, considering how much power that it’s packing, tipping the scale at only 2.83lbs! Best of all, this isn’t with a tiny 12.5″ or 13.3″ display. Nope, you get a very decently sized 14″ display, with 100% sRGB coverage on the base 1080p model and 100% AdobeRGB coverage on the 4K model.

Finally, it’s available in multiple colors.

Pros:

  1. Small screen bezels
  2. Hinge that raises the keyboard to a better typing position and improves cooling and audio performance thanks to the additional space underneath the system.
  3. Latest 10th gen Intel Core i5-10210U Quad-Core + HT 1.6-4.2GHz or Core i7-10710U Six-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.1-4.7GHz CPU
  4. 16GB of RAM
  5. GeForce GTX 1650 4GB
  6. 512GB or 1TB SSD which greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  7. 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD or 3840 x 2160 4K UHD display
  8. IPS panel for great colors and wide viewing angles, with 100% sRGB coverage on the 1080p display and 100% AdobeRGB coverage on the 4K display
  9. 4 USB ports: 2x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 and 2x USB 2.0 Type-A
  10. Charging is done on either USB Type-C port
  11. Backlit keyboard
  12. microSD card reader
  13. Windows 10
  14. Outstanding 15.3 hours battery life
  15. Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) 2×2 MU-MIMO
  16. Bluetooth 5.0
  17. Solid build quality, all metal
  18. Battery life up to 10 hours according to MSI, realistically, expect up 8 hours of web browsing with the 1080p display, up to 6 hours of web browsing with the 4K display

Cons:

  1. RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded
  2. No Ethernet RJ45 port
  3. No HDMI output: Use the Displayport through the USB Type-C ports. You can get an USB Type-C to HDMI adapter/dongle.
  4. Can get hot and noisy under prolonged load

Gamers: 8 Cores CPU + RTX 3070 8GB

Configurable RAM and storage: – Click here to see the prices on Amazon

Gamers:

Compared to the gaming model above, you get a much more powerful graphic card, the RTX 3070 8GB. This is a 100W TDP variant of the RTX 3070, offering better performance than the 80W variant found in some gaming laptops.

The great thing about this Amazon listing is that you choose 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of RAM, as well as choose between 512GB, 1.5TB and 2.5TB of SSD storage.

Creative Pros:

I’d go with the Creative Pro recommendation below instead, seeing as you can get a 4K AMOLED calibrated display instead.

Pros:

  1. Available in 7 configurations, with varying amount of RAM (16-64GB) and storage (500GB-2.5TB)
  2. Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 dedicated graphic card with 8GB of memory.
  3. Powerful AMD Ryzen 7 5800H Eight-Core + Hyper-Threading 3.2-4.4GHz CPU
  4. 16GB of DDR4 RAM.
  5. RAM can be configured as 32GB (2x16GB DDR4 3200MHz) or 64GB (2x32GB)
  6. 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD which greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  7. Storage can be configured with an additional SSD
  8. 144Hz display
  9. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light.
  10. Display covers 100% of sRGB color space
  11. 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD display
  12. 1x USB Type-C port
  13. HDMI and Mini Displayport outputs
  14. 3x USB 3.0 Type-A
  15. SD card reader
  16. Multicolor RGB Backlit keyboard
  17. Ethernet RJ45 port.
  18. Windows 10
  19. 802.11ax WiFi 6
  20. Bluetooth 5.0

Cons:

  1. No numpad
  2. No dedicated mouse buttons
  3. Not exactly lightweight, at 5.43lbs

Both: Lightweight 14″, 8 Cores CPU + RTX 3060 6GB

16GB RAM + configurable SSD: – Click here to see the prices on Amazon
24GB RAM + configurable SSD: – Click here to see the prices on Amazon
40GB RAM + configurable SSD: – Click here to see the prices on Amazon

Both:

If you don’t mind lower gaming performance, compared to the gaming model above, you get a much lighter laptop, almost two pounds lighter and a much longer battery life (about 12 hours of web browsing).

You also get more storage by default (1TB) and you can upgrade to up to 8TB of storage!

It is quite amazing to be able to get that much power, a high-end 8 cores CPU, with a very capable GPU, in such a small and lightweight laptop.

The laptop had its cooling upgraded, by using Gelid GC Extreme thermal compound for the CPU and GPU, resulting in lower temperatures and higher performance.

You get a great display, with 100% sRGB color coverage, matte finish and it’s Pantone calibrated, for excellent color accuaracy out of the box.

Pros:

  1. Available in 12 configurations, with varying amount of RAM (16-40GB) and storage (1-8TB)
  2. Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 dedicated graphic card with 6GB of GDDR6 memory.
  3. Powerful AMD Ryzen 9 5800HS Eight-Core + Hyper-Threading 3.2-4.4GHz CPU
  4. 16GB of DDR4 3200MHz RAM.
  5. RAM can be configured as 24GB (8GB onboard + 16GB) or 40GB (8GB onboard +32GB)
  6. 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD which greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  7. Up to 8TB of storage
  8. 144Hz display
  9. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light.
  10. Adaptive Sync for smoother gameplay
  11. Display covers 100% of sRGB color space
  12. Display is Pantone calibrated
  13. 1920 x 1080 1080p Full HD display
  14. 1x USB Type-C port
  15. HDMI output
  16. 4x USB ports: 2x Type-A and 2x Type-C
  17. Backlit keyboard
  18. Windows 10
  19. 802.11ax WiFi 6 2×2
  20. Bluetooth 5.0
  21. Great Battery life: Expect 12 hours of web browsing with medium brightness
  22. Cooling upgraded with Gelid GC Extreme: Lower temperatures and higher performance
  23. A mere 3.64lbs!

Cons:

  1. No dedicated mouse buttons
  2. No card reader
  3. No numpad
  4. No Ethernet RJ-45 port
  5. No webcam. What’s up with that ASUS?

Creative Pros: Lightweight, 8-core, 3060 6GB/3070 8GB, 4K AMOLED calibrated

About the Gigabyte Aero 15

RTX 3060 6GB / 512GB SSD: – $1,799.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
RTX 3070 8GB / 1TB SSD: – $1,999.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Creative Pros:

Compared to the MSI Creator 14, the Gigabyte Aero 15 is heavier, at 4.4lbs. For that trade off in weight, you gain a larger 15.6″ 4K AMOLED display, a faster Intel 8 core CPU, a more powerful GeForce GTX 3060 or 3070 graphic card with 6 or 8GB of memory and a lot more ports.

You also get a factory calibrated display for excellent color accuracy, with a 3840 x 2160 4K AMOLED display. You also get plenty of ports, including an high-performance full size SD card reader.

Pros:

  1. Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 6GB or 3070 8GB
  2. Intel Core i7-11800H Eight-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.3-4.6GHz CPU
  3. 16GB (2 x 8GB) of 3200MHZ DDR4 RAM.
  4. RAM can be upgraded to 32GB (2x16GB) or 64GB (2x32GB)
  5. 512GB or 1TB PCie NVMe SSD which greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  6. Second PCIe M.2 slot available to add a 2nd SSD
  7. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light.
  8. 3840 x 2160 4K display resolution
  9. AMOLED display panel which means you get even more accurate color reproduction, better contrast and large viewing angles
  10. Display is X-Rite Pantone Certified for color calibration. Factory calibrated: Excellent color accuracy.
  11. 1x USB Type-C: Thunderbolt 4
  12. HDMI 2.1 and Mini Displayport 1.4 outputs
  13. 3x USB 3.0 Type-A
  14. Multicolor RGB Backlit keyboard
  15. Numpad
  16. Ethernet RJ45 port.
  17. SD card reader and a fast one at that!
  18. Windows 10
  19. 720p HD webcam
  20. 802.11ax WiFi 6
  21. Bluetooth 5.0
  22. Full size arrow keys
  23. Great battery life for such a powerful laptop: Up to 8 hours

Cons:

  1. No dedicated mouse buttons
  2. Webcam placement (odd angle)

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article on the Best Mid-Range Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros!

I invite you to leave a comment, let me know what you thought of this article.

Do you think that I forgot a pro or a con for a laptop?

Perhaps you believe that there’s a better option than my recommendation and want my professional opinion.

A laptop might no longer be available or you may have some questions.

Just leave a comment below now and I’ll get back to you.