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 desktop-caliber graphics (see all of our VR-ready laptop recommendations here). Or you could opt for a system like the Alienware 17 or Razer Blade Stealth, which offer optional external graphics amps for more power.
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.
All hail the new king of the mountaintop. Packing one of Nvidia's new 10-series Pascal GPUs, the GT62VR Dominator Pro dishes out sizzling frame rates usually reserved for bulky desktops. Even better, the system is totally VR ready; just add a HTC Vive or Oculus Rift and prepare for awesome.
The latest version of the Alienware 13 has to been seen to be believed. It's one of the first gaming laptops to feature an OLED display -- a picture of sublime beauty. But this miniature powerhouse is equal parts beast and beauty, rocking a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M GPU with a blistering fast 256GB SSD for smooth multitasking, high frame rates and fast game launches. It's a great choice for gamers on the hunt for a truly portable rig.
The Razer Blade continues to be the gold standard for lightweight portable gaming. The sleek, 4.25-pound laptop adds Razer's captivating Chroma keyboard to its stunning quad-HD+ touch-screen display. The Blade packs a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M GPU with a whopping 6GB of video memory. The combination makes for a notebook that's a beast whether it's gaming, video editing or crunching numbers. Overall, this is the best choice for gamers in the market for a portable notebook that's equal parts showpiece and gaming behemoth.
One of the first laptops that's powerful enough to pair with an Oculus or HTC VR headset, This 17.3-inch gaming behemoth has a desktop-class Nvidia GTX 980 graphics card, overclockable Intel 6th Generation Core i7 CPU and speedy PCIe SSD. A gorgeous dragon-themed aluminum chassis makes the GT72 look as powerful as it plays.
The best gaming laptop bargain around, the 15.6-inch Asus ROG GL552 packs a strong Nvidia 960M graphics card for playing the latest games in a sexy, stealth-fighter-themed chassis. You also get a vibrant 1080p display and comfy keyboard. Overall, this is the top sub-$1,000 gaming laptop you can buy.
It's time for Origin and MSI to move aside because Acer's Predator 17 X offers even better gaming performance than our previous favorite laptops, but with a price that's hundreds less. While $2,800 ain't cheap, the 17 X doesn't lack for specs, including a one-button overclockable Intel Core i7 CPU, 32GB of RAM, dual SSDs and a real desktop Nvidia 980 GPU. That's more than enough to make the 17 X VR-ready and in normal gaming, this Acer pumped out some of the highest frame rates we've ever seen on a laptop.
Innovation, thy name is MSI. Integrating Tobii's eye-tracking system into one of MSI's iconic laptops is a bold move that can potentially change the way you game and work. On top of that, you get a Dominator Pro, which is a rock-solid system, complete with a Skylake Core i7 processor, an Nvidia 980M GPU and a lovely 1920 x 1080, G-Sync display. All in all, it's definitely an eye-opening experience.
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.