Best & Worst Gaming Laptop Brands 2017

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Choosing the right notebook is hard, but selecting the perfect gaming laptop is even more challenging. In addition to specs like the processor, graphics card and storage drives, you need to consider the special sauce that each manufacturer adds to its systems in the form of design, software, keyboards and even warranty coverage.

When you're potentially investing more than $1,000, the brand matters as much as the specs and features.

In order to help you choose wisely, we've evaluated the top nine gaming laptop brands and given each a score on a 100-point scale. In order to determine the winners and losers, we rated them on eight different criteria: Design, Review Scores, Keyboards, Displays, Software, Innovation, Warranty and Customization/Selection Options.

Due to its consistently high review scores, beautiful displays, willingness to innovate and wealth of configuration options, Dell/Alienware earned first place. MSI took second place, thanks to a diverse lineup of laptops, powerful specs and impressive mechanical keyboards. Razer rounded out the top three, due to its sleek designs and useful software.

See how all the best (and worst) gaming laptop brands fared below.

Alienware / Dell (90/100)

Our top-rated brand, Alienware/Dell, has the best-looking laptops with the strongest keyboards and displays on the market. The company also offers some of the most customizable systems around and provides helpful utilities that enable you to play your best.

Best-Worst-Gaming-Laptops-2017_indiv-card_v1.7__ALIENWAREAlienware Report Card 

MSI (85/100)

Always the first or one of the first to implement new technologies, MSI has a huge selection of innovative and powerful laptops. The company's strong designs, snappy keyboards and helpful software make it a leader in the gaming space. MSI is also the only company that offers free accidental-damage protection on its laptops.

Best-Worst-Gaming-Laptops-2017_indiv-card_v1.7__MSIMSI Report Card

Razer (81/100)

We love Razer’s sleek designs, beautiful screens and innovative ideas, and its Synapse software is among the best first-party utilities in the business. However, Razer's shallow keyboards and limited laptop selection hold it back.

Best-Worst-Gaming-Laptops-2017_indiv-card_v1.7__RAZERRazer Report Card | Our Top Razer Gaming Laptop

Asus (78/100)

Asus has some of the most powerful gaming laptops on the market, and many are great values for the money. The company is also quick to implement new technologies like Nvidia's Max-Q standard for low-profile gaming laptops and AMD's Ryzen processors. However, Asus' design, keyboard and screen are all good, but not industry-leading.

Best-Worst-Gaming-Laptops-2017_indiv-card_v1.7__ASUSAsus Report Card | Our Top Asus Gaming Laptop

Acer (76/100)

Acer’s strengths are in its responsive keyboards and its innovative ideas (21-inch, curved-screen laptops, anyone?) but its flaws are just as obvious. Its warranty service is lackluster, and the company’s preloaded software doesn’t stand out.

Best-Worst-Gaming-Laptops-2017_indiv-card_v1.7__ACERAcer Report Card | Our Top Acer Gaming Laptop

Origin (75/100)

The king of customization, Origin lets you configure your laptop to order, choosing most of the key specs and even opting for different paint jobs. The company's first-party software isn't near the top of the pack, and its one-year limited warranty doesn't include round-trip shipping costs, should you need to send your laptop in for service.

Best-Worst-Gaming-Laptops-2017_indiv-card_v1.7__ORIGINOrigin Report Card | Our Top Origin Gaming Laptop

Aorus / Gigabyte (70/100)

Gigabyte has a solid mix of laptops from both of its brands, though the Aorus systems are much sleeker-looking. We also like the colorful displays, snappy keyboards and helpful software on most of the models. However, Gigabyte / Aorus didn't lead the pack in any of our categories and it tied for last place in review scores.

Best-Worst-Gaming-Laptops-2017_indiv-card_v1.7__AORUSGigabyte Report Card | Our Top Aorus/Gigabyte Gaming Laptop

Lenovo (67/100)

With a handful of respectable, but risk-averse, gaming laptops, Lenovo seems like a company that's dipped a couple of toes into the gaming market, but hasn't decided to dive in. The manufacturer's Legion and IdeaPad Y Series notebooks have palatable designs and snappy keyboards, but they don't offer the features serious gamers crave, such as customizable backlighting and high-end Nvidia 1080 graphics.

Best-Worst-Gaming-Laptops-2017_indiv-card_v1.7__LENOVOLenovo Report Card | Our Top Lenovo Gaming Laptop

HP (59/100)

While there are bright spots in HP's Omen line of gaming laptops, the company has made too many compromises, from shallow keyboards to dim displays and boring, plasticky chassis. However, the future looks brighter, since the company now has new, more-promising designs available.

Best-Worst-Gaming-Laptops-2017_indiv-card_v1.7__HPHP Report Card | Our Top HP Gaming Laptop


Add a comment
  • Marko Says:

    Why isn't Samsung on the list? They have their new Odyssey gaming brand now.

  • LOL Nice one! You almost had me there :P Says:

    LOL XD Good one guys.
    Though for people who didn't get the joke or maybe looking for a serious list, here's a proper ranking:

    1. MSI
    2. Clevo
    3. Gigabyte
    4. Asus
    5. Acer

    ... and that's it! No, other brands don't exist, at least not until they're worthy.

  • Arkoden Says:

    The fact that Dell, Acer and HP even made it on here is a laugh.. We were one of the first on board with an Alienware laptop and there is no support or drivers for them past windows 8.. Of the few people I know who have purchased an Alienware laptop, 100% of these devices have killed their graphics cards right at the end of the warranty period, and regardless of how ok Dell were with replacing them, the fact that they will die just as soon once the warranty has ended and you wont have that support.

    Going down to their general consumer devices, Dell, HP and Acer have always been unreliable at best, even when well cared for. Dont expect a laptop you buy from either of these brands to last you long past the warranty period, and consider yourself lucky if you do. I would still buy a Toshiba before I bought any of these three, and Toshiba have been dropping the ball lately also.

    Asus, MSI, Sony and Lenovo should be your Go To brands for laptops. Even if you have to pay a little bit more for them, generally the features and reliability make up for it. Don't trust my word on it, actually look for reviews.

    This list is rigged, and I'm with P White on the suggestion that the reviews here are cherry picked.

  • SixtyFPS Gaming Says:

    The fact that this review doesn't include Sager makes me angry. They are some of the most customizable and competitively priced gaming laptops on the market and I've owned 3 so far and would never buy any other brand.

  • Doesn't understand Says:

    Okay so I'm looking for a laptop and all I see on review sites regarding Asus, Lenovo, Acer and Dell/Alienware are similar to what "P White" said. Okay "P White" well if all of these laptop brands suck and all of their laptops overheat then what else is there besides Apple? Is there another laptop brand you would like to share with us that makes a perfect laptop that never gets too hot? Does another brand even exist? I doubt it.

  • edit1754 Says:

    Interesting. I've got a few nitpicks.

    Alienware/Dell: Some options are good. Dell Inspiron 7567 base model & in most countries all models, as well as all models of the Inspiron 5577, use pretty awful low quality TN displays with poor contrast and viewing angles. The 7567 is a fantastic all-rounder if you get an IPS model (or get either and DIY-replace the display), but I can only recommend it if you do that. Low quality displays in higher-priced laptops is a huge issue in the market today. Pay attention to it, folks. For Alienwares, I would price-check vs alternatives, and definitely be aware if you're a student you might not want something as large as their 17.3-incher for bringing to class.

    MSI: Thing about MSI is they have a lot of great models, and a lot of poor models. MSI is one of those brands that you especially have to be specific about which models are being talked about. For example, the MSI GT62VR has some of the best out-of-box cooling of GTX 1060 / 1070 laptops, whereas the GP62MVR/GP62MVRX is a high priced laptop with a poor quality display and not much else to show for it either. Same for the GL62M (alternative: Dell Inspiron 7567 with IPS). MSI GS63VR is good for a slim GTX 1060 model but you have to make sure to avoid the Best Buy versions (-001/-252) due to a poor TN display, and the 4K models aren't good since they use PenTile RG/BW not-true-4K displays (regarded deceptive marketing, more info in the sidebar; you can get true 4K for this price). And either way, you might consider a Clevo P950HP6 instead. More on Clevo a bit lower in this post.

    Razer: They have basically three models. Razer Blade I think is alright but be aware its 1060 is nerfed in order to work in the small chassis, and due to QC issues I might suggest to buy from Microsoft Store for good service and easy returns/replacements. Razer Blade Stealth is only good for gaming if you use the Razer Core or other eGPU, and I think the Razer Blade Pro is an all-around poor value in addition to its nerfed 1080.

    Origin: Origin is a Clevo OEM/reseller, and is commonly regarded to be not a very good one at that. They charge as much as the best ones (HIDEvolution, Obsidian-PC) without rivaling them in service quality. IMO this list should rank Clevo itself, not a particular OEM/reseller, and then suggest which OEMs/resellers are best to buy from. HID+Obsidian are great, LPC-digital is solid and is cheaper. Eluktronics is good for the N-series since they use higher-color-gamut displays than everyone else. Which one to buy from depends on your budget and which model you're picking.

    Aorus/Gigabyte: They have a number of solid models. Especially Aorus. The Gigabyte P35x has cooling issues but the P55w is good, the Gigabyte Sabre 15 is Clevo N850 rebrand that's all-around worse in specs and value than Eluktronics' offerings (lower-gamut display, smaller battery, higher price for the same GPU config). If you live in the USA, buy the Eluktronics N850, not the Gigabyte Sabre 15. But the Aorus X3/X5/X7 models from this company are definitely very solid choices I would say.

    Lenovo: Y520 is decent for its price (provided you're picking a model under $1000); Y720 is fine for either up to $1200 (Has TB3 but its IPS display is lacking in color gamut compared to most GTX 1060 laptops that are $1200+).

    HP: HP Pavilion with the GTX 1050 and IPS display is a fine value for a cheaper GTX 1050 laptop. The Inspiron 7567 if you get it with the IPS display I think would be better though. HP Omen 17 isn't the best GTX 1060/1070 laptop I don't think, in terms of cooling and build quality, and I'd really only consider it if you can get it particularly cheap. Also be aware if you were after a high-res display, HP Pavilion/Omen 15.6" '4K' displays are PenTile / not true 4K, whereas their 17.3" 4K optoins are the real deal.

  • P White Says:

    IDK who did the cherry picked reviews but all kinds of people are having thermal/QC issues with these laptops. Send me your sample if it's that good b/c I sent two of em back.

  • Phil Williams Says:

    Besides having a pretty keyboard, the AW15 & 17 are way oversized and heavy. They also are to hot to sit on your lap. I don't even think they look that nice.

  • Phil Williams Says:

    I strongly disagree with Alienware being the best laptop after purchasing the AW15 R3. AW15 & 17 have serious sound issues. Beings streams and vids are one of the biggest uses of gaming laptops I think this should destroy their score.

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