Whether you're into Street Fighter V or Fallout 4, you're going to need a souped-up rig to handle the onslaught. But which laptop to get? Do you go for extreme portability, face-melting power or that ever-elusive best-of-both-worlds machine? You'll find your dream machine in our list of top picks, based on Laptop Mag's extensive testing.
Once you've found your perfect gaming laptop, be sure to check out our favorite gaming mice, monitors, headsets and more in our Best Gaming Accessories roundup.
You won't find a more vibrant screen on any laptop than the OLED panel on the Alienware 13. One of the smallest VR-ready laptops, the Alienware 13 supports Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets while also delivering buttery-smooth frame rates thanks to its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and Intel Core i7 CPU.
|Alienware 13 (OLED Display)||Best Overall Gaming Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Asus ROG G752VS OC Edition||Best 17-inch Gaming Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop||Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,000||3.5 out of 5|
|MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro||Best 15-inch Gaming Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Razer Blade (Late 2016)||Best 14-inch Gaming Laptop||4.5 out of 5|
|MSI GT83VR Titan SLI||Best Splurge Gaming||4 out of 5|
|MSI GT62VR Dominator Pro||Best VR-Ready Laptop||4.5 out of 5|
|Razer Blade Pro||Best Innovation||4.5 out of 5|
|Alienware 17 with Pascal Graphics||New and Noteable||N/A|
|Acer Predator 21X||New and Notable||N/A|
The Asus ROG G752VS OC Edition is overclocked out of the box, so it's ready for your most intense gaming experiences. Its Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU can handle any game or VR experience, and its bright, 17.3-inch G-Sync display is a pleasure to look at.
Asus ROG G752VS OC Edition Review
If you're gaming on a budget, you can't do much better than the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop. It delivers smooth frame rates on the latest games (at medium settings), and it lasted more than 11 hours on our web surfing battery test. Plus, that Hibiscus Red is just plain purty. If you're looking for a solid gaming laptop that doesn't drain your wallet, this Dell is a great option.
Typically when you have a gaming notebook as slim as the Stealth Pro, you have to sacrifice some power. Not so with this model. The slim 15.6-inch doles can keep pace with desktop replacements thanks to its powerful Core i7 processor and Nvidia 10-series GPU. It's a great combination of small frame and big performance.
The latest iteration of the Razer Blade keeps the incredibly slim dimensions from before while adding a virtual reality-ready Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. Just plug in your Oculus or Video and go. The Blade also features a customizable Chroma keyboard and a powerful Intel Core i7 CPU, making it equal parts brains and beauty.
The MSI GT83VR Titan SLI has some new tricks up its sleeve. The gaming behemoth is the first in the world to feature Cherry MX Speed Silver switches, so you can spam out special moves that much faster. Even better, the Titan finally got with the program and added customizable RGB backlighting. But this beast's beauty is more than skin-deep; it offers searing transfer speeds, impressive dual-GPU graphics power, a Kaby Lake processor and whisper-quiet fans. But at $5,099 ($4,199 starting), the only question is -- can you afford it?
Packing one of Nvidia's new 10-series Pascal GPUs, the GT62VR Dominator Pro dishes out sizzling frame rates usually reserved for full-blown gaming desktops. Even better, it's one of the new VR-ready laptops; just add an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift and prepare for awesome.
Besides a super-powerful Intel Core i7, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU and 512GBs worth of storage in a RAID 0 configuration, the Razer Blade Pro has a ultra-low-profile mechanical keyboard -- a first for the industry. With only 0.9 millimeters of travel, typing isn't perfect, but those clicky keys and combined with Razer Chroma lighting makes for a feast for the eyes and fingers.
If you want a big screened laptop with plenty of pop and a gorgeous, highly-customizable design, you'll find a lot to like in the new Alienware 17. Refreshed with Nvidia Pascal graphics, which come in the form of a GTX 1060 or 1070 GPU, the Alienware 17 packs a quad-core Core i7-6700HQ processor, Killer Wi-Fi and up to 1TB of SSD storage. Configure the laptop with either a 1080p, 2K or 4K display. There's even a Tobii eye-tracking option.
If money and size are no object, the $8,999 Acer Predator 21X could be your dream machine. This 15-pound laptop has a curved 21-inch display, dual Nvidia 1080 graphics cards, a quad-core 7th gen processor, a mechanical keyboard and up to 4 SSDs in RAID 0. This behemoth will handle anything you throw at it, just as long as you can afford it.