With all the blockbuster games arriving this year, the gamer in your life is 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 find that ever-elusive best-of-both-worlds machine? To help with your gifting decisions -- and what to get for yourself -- here are our top picks for gaming laptops for 2015.
The latest version of the Alienware 17 has been upgraded to include a Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M GPU, one of the world's most powerful mobile graphics cards. But if your framerate-lust is still unquenched, you can purchase the optional graphical amp outfitted with a beastly desktop GPU. Throw in a colorful full HD display and customizable lighting and you've got a recipe for total (gaming) domination.
The 4.4-pound Razer Blade still sports a seductive black aluminum chassis with the glowing green accents that bring all the gamers to the yard. But it's the bright, vivid 3200 x 1800 touchpanel that's the real eye candy. Equipped Nvidia's fast GeForce GTX 970M graphics, the Blade is a must-buy for gamers searching for the ultimate thin-and-light gaming laptop.
MSI packed a whole lot of win into the GT80 Titan SLI's imposing 9.9-pound frame. It's one of the first gaming laptops to feature a mechanical keyboard, which delivers speed and accuracy whether you're gaming or typing. In case you need a number pad to help you dole out the beat down, the digital trackpad transforms into a numpad with a quick touch of the button. But the Titan is more than its keyboard. Equipped with a powerful Intel Core i7 CPU and two Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M GPUs in SLI configuration, it's double the power, double the fun. Best of all, the chassis allows you to upgrade the GPU, hard drive and RAM, future-proofing your purchase.
The $799 Dell Inspiron 15-7000 Series proves that affordable doesn't have to be a dirty word. While the sleek soft-touch chassis will definitely turn heads, it's the solid framerates from its Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU and over 6 hours of battery life that will get gamers' attention. Throw in some respectable multitasking power and impressive audio quality and you've got a laptop that can play with the big boys, without breaking your bank account.
This yellow is anything but mellow. Gigabyte's P25X v2's cheerful marigold frame belies the beast beneath. Packing a Core i7 processor and a top-of-the-line Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M GPU, the P25X will play even the most taxing games as smooth as butter. Throw in more than seven hours of battery life -- during web surfing -- and a crisp 1080p display and you've got a force to be reckoned with.
The 17-inch Aorus X7 Pro-Sync is a svelte, lightweight notebook that doesn't just hit the sweet spot between performance and portability -- it destroys it. Rocking a pair of Nvidia GTX GeForce 970M GPUs in SLI configuration, the X7 Pro-Sync is one of the most powerful 17-inch notebooks on the market. The slim device also takes advantage of Nvidia's G-Sync technology, ensuring smoother graphics and little to no input lag. It's a drop-dead stunner that packs the potent punch that gamers crave.
At 4.5 pounds, 12.9 x 9.3 x 1.0~1.1 inches, the Alienware 13 is the thinnest, lightest notebook the company has ever released. Despite its svelte figure, the Alienware 13 can still power through some of the most graphically taxing games on the market, thanks to its Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU. But if you want even better performance, hook the laptop up to its optional Graphics Amplifier. Harnessing the power of a desktop GPU, even the monstrous Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M card, the Alienware 13 transforms from formidable to beastly.