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.
If you want something that can handle virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, you'll want to pony up for a system with the latest Nvidia 10-series graphics chips. Once you've found your perfect gaming laptop, be sure to check out our favorite gaming mice, monitors and headsets 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 G701VI||Best 17-inch Gaming Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition||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|
|Origin PC Eon 17-SLX 10 Series||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|
Asus' ROG G701VI is a beefy, high-powered gaming rig that will take anything you throw at it, thanks to its overclocked Intel Core i7-6820HK CPU, up to 64GB of RAM, two 512GB PCIe M.2 SSDs set in RAID 0 configuration and, of course, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU with 8GB of VRAM. And thanks to the 1080p, 120Hz Nvidia G-Sync display with its incredible 178-degree viewing angles you can sit virtually anywhere and get your game on.
Asus ROG G701VI Review
The Aspire V15 is a gaming laptop in business notebook's clothing. But proof of this sub-$1000 system's gaming pedigree lies with its Nvidia GTX 960 GPU, which delivers some solid frame rates. For those moments when you're not gaming, the beefy Core i7 processor will take care of all your multitasking needs.
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.
If you've got deep pockets and a love for huge gaming rigs, the Origin PC Eon17-SLX is the system for you. The base model starts with an overclocked Intel Core i7 processor, 4K display and an Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU. But if money's no object, take a walk on the wild side and unleash the power of dual Nvidia GTX 1080 GPUs and a pair of crazy-fast PCI-e SSDs. It's double the pleasure, double the fun.
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.