A lot of people want a gaming laptop. Some of them come here asking for advice on what to buy. That can depend a lot on what OEMs decide to offer and at what price, of course. Which particular laptop to buy can depend greatly on your preferences on monitor size and type, storage capacity, keyboard, and some other things.
Even so, the devices that could plausibly be called a gaming laptop generally fit into one of four categories based on the CPU and GPU. Knowing which category you're looking for can help narrow down the selection a lot. In order of increasing performance:
1) Ryzen Mobile with no discrete GPU
2) Any CPU with a relatively lower end discrete GPU
3) Nvidia Max-Q
4) The high end
Right up front, I'm going to advise against buying from category (3), for reasons that I'll explain later. That's not a generalized recommendation against Nvidia. Most people who want a gaming laptop today should get an Nvidia GPU in it, and that has been the case for most of the last 15 years. That's a recommendation against one particular subset of Nvidia's lineup.
First off is the integrated GPU approach. For that, you want Ryzen Mobile, not anything from Intel, and not anything older from AMD. The 4000 series is far, far better than the 2000 or 3000 series. The 3000 series was a little better than the 2000 series, but not much. As of this writing, 4000 series parts are just starting to show up, but there are lots of 3000 series laptops out there already.
The primary advantage of an integrated GPU with no discrete GPU is that it is much lower power than any of the alternatives. That is a huge deal if you want to play games while running on the battery. It also has the nice benefit that the laptop won't get very hot, as it doesn't have to dissipate very much heat, which can matter quite a bit if you want to use the built-in keyboard. That also makes it possible to make the laptop thin and light, without causing overheating problems. It's also the cheapest category of laptop.
The big disadvantage of an integrated GPU is that it is much lower performance than the other options. The technology has advanced to the point that nearly any game will be playable. In a lot of games, you'll have to turn settings way down, however. Some people will see that as far more of a problem than others. Another drawback of an integrated GPU is that you're relying on system memory to feed that GPU, which will be constrained for memory bandwidth. That makes it important to get a laptop with properly matched memory channels, which a lot of laptop vendors don't do.
Second is using a relatively lower end discrete GPU. This could mean an Intel CPU or an AMD CPU. At the moment, it mostly means Intel, though the Ryzen Mobile 4000 series is so good that I expect AMD to become a lot more common in the near future. Regardless, either an Intel CPU or AMD is fine. At the moment, this also usually means an Nvidia GPU. There are some AMD options for the video card, and there will remain so for the foreseeable future. But I expect this market segment to remain mostly Nvidia for the foreseeable future.
The big advantage of this category over (1) is that you can have greatly improved gaming performance, without having to spend very much more money. The lower end discrete cards just aren't that expensive, so you might be adding something like $100 or $200 to the price of a laptop. Power consumption will be a lot higher than you'd get from an APU, but it's still possible to keep the laptop relatively portable while keeping it adequately cooled.
This category is much cheaper than (3) or (4), though that comes at the expense of lower performance. It's also far more portable than (4). The advantages and disadvantages here depend on what you're comparing it to, but it's an intermediate option that makes sense for a lot of people.
The third category is a laptop with an Nvidia Max-Q video card. The idea is that you can get portability comparable to class (2), with higher gaming performance because it has a higher end video card. You give up some performance as compared to (4), in spite of paying a comparable price tag. But you get something much more portable than what vendors can offer in category (4).
The problem with the Max-Q approach is that the increased GPU performance requires increased power consumption, and hence heat output. That means that the laptop must have a far more robust cooling system to avoid overheating. The weight and thinness requirements of a Max-Q laptop preclude that more robust cooling system. That leads to a laptop that will run very hot while commonly making hardware throttle performance way back. And that's when the laptop is brand new; let some dust accumulate and it gets much worse.
Even so, I think it's good that the Nvidia Max-Q laptops are clearly labeled as such. You can look for that label as a way to filter out a bunch of relatively high performance gaming laptops that you don't want.
The fourth category is the true high end. At the moment, this is mostly an Intel CPU and an Nvidia GPU. I expect AMD CPUs to become a lot more common in this segment, but expect that the GPUs will mostly remain Nvidia for the foreseeable future. Over the course of the past decade, there have sometimes been AMD GPUs offered here and sometimes not.
The obvious advantage of the high end laptops are that you can get more performance by packing in a higher end CPU and especially GPU. That comes at the expense of burning more power, and hence, putting out more heat. That's fine so long as the laptop has an adequate cooling system. That cooling system adds a lot of thickness and weight, however. High end gaming laptops tend to be well over an inch thick, and often weigh in around 10 pounds. Keeping the laptop adequately cooled offers the advantage of having much less thermal throttling than a Max-Q laptop would have, and hence higher performance.
The two big disadvantages of high end gaming laptops are the high price tag and the large size. The price tag isn't necessarily much different from a Max-Q version of an otherwise similar laptop. It is a lot more expensive than the first two categories, however, and you should expect to pay well over $1000 if you want to shop in this market. Whether the weight or thickness are a problem depends on your use case. For the business traveler who wants to play games after work in his hotel room and will leave the laptop there, it's not a big deal. For the person who wants to carry around his laptop all day, 10 pounds is quite a lot.
If you want to buy a gaming laptop yourself, the place to start is by determining what you want. That includes the required storage capacity, what your preferences on a monitor or keyboard are, and some other things. And which of the four categories you want from here is also an important thing to choose, as it will help you narrow down what you're looking for.