The Best VR-Ready Laptops

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Virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive promise incredibly immersive experiences, including 360-degree games, apps and videos. But before you can take a walk on the virtual side, you'll need a laptop with the proper specifications such as Nvidia's 10-series GPUs or the company's new Max-Q GPUs, which essentially make even the smallest laptops a virtual reality powerhouse.

Here are the minimum specs you'll need to experience virtual reality:

1. Intel Core i5-6300HQ processor
2. Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, 1060, 1070 or 1080 GPU. You can also technically use a 1050 Ti due to Oculus' Asynchronous SpaceWarp technology.
3. 8GB of RAM
4. Two USB 3.0 ports
5. HDMI 1.4
6. 1920 x 1080 display
7. Windows 8 or 10

The Rise of RTX

Nvidia is rolling out its powerful RTX chips, the 2060, 2070 and 2080 (along with Max-Q variants), in a wave of all new laptops, like the Alienware Area-51m, MSI GS75 StealthAsus ROG Mothership and Dell's G-Series Gaming Laptops. What this means for your new laptop is that it'll have stronger gaming performance and give you the option to enable ray-tracing (a realistic lighting system).

Whether you get the thinnest laptop with 3 SSDs and an RTX 2080 Max-Q or a beastly gaming laptop that let's you easily replace its CPU and GPU, the year of RTX isn't simply a refresh but a complete redesign of the affected laptops.

Latest News and Updates (January 2019)

  • The HTC VIVE Pro Virtual Reality Headset is currently on sale from Amazon for $791, which is a whole $8 off with a clipped coupon (you have to check the box under the price to redeem it).
  • We just reviewed the latest Razer Blade 15, which offers VR-ready performance and over 6 hours of battery life.
  • Check out our hands-on with Oculus Quest, aka the first standalone headset with Oculus Rift-level graphics.

The following are the best VR-ready laptops on the market based on size, price and use case. 

Author Bio
Rami Tabari
Rami Tabari,
As soon as Rami Tabari sprung out of the College of Staten Island, he hit the ground running as a Staff Writer for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline in Tom’s Guide, taking on the latest Souls-like challenge.
Rami Tabari, on
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16 comments
  • Eiffion Says:

    Are VRs comparable with Mac yet ?

  • SaraT Says:

    Hey there, I hope you can give me the ultimate advice I need for my 360 VR post-production workflow. I'm a Mac user but ready to go Windows. Which is the laptop that can compete with the latest Mac Book Pro 32 Gb Ram and Intel i9 6core 2.9 GHZ?
    Thank you folks!

  • SaraT Says:

    Hey there, I hope you can give me the ultimate advice I need for my 360 VR post-production workflow. I'm a Mac user but ready to go Windows. Which is the laptop that can compete with the latest Mac Book Pro 32 Gb Ram and Intel i9 6core 2.9 GHZ?
    Thank you folks!

  • NYgeno Says:

    Phillip I’m sorry to say but I don’t think your laptop will run the Vive very well. If you need to be sure, run the steam vr performance test

  • philip Says:

    Will this run the HTC Vive ? i really really really want one but im scared to spend that kind of money and it not run properly... here are my laptop specs

    HP OMEN 156 Laptop Intel Core i7 8GB Memory NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 1TB Hard Drive HP sandblasted hairline brushing and carbon fiber
    Model: 15-CE018DX
    SKU: 6123301

  • Russ Earwaker Says:

    Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming is not VR ready, the Rift does not work on it

  • Shaun Says:

    Story dates October 13 2017.

    Comments date back to March 2016...

  • Christopher Hogan Says:

    I actually got an Alienware 15 R3 with i7 7700HQ and GTX 1070 GPU for about a week. Out of 12 Apps I installed, it ran all but one flawlessly at regular settings (The Grand Canyon VR Experience is VERY demanding to run in max mode, so it stuttered.) Anyway, after listening to the fan running full blast continuously, and realizing that for what I paid for it, I could have gotten an even better desktop for less, I decided to take it back and get a desktop. I want to be able to take my Oculus on the road, which is why I initially went with a laptop, but even with a laptop, you still have to unhook and re-hook-up four cables, then you have to set up the sensors and calibrate the room, etc. So aside from hooking up the monitor and keyboard, the only disadvantage to a desktop is that the box is bigger. So I'll just put everything on a wheeled carrier and its just like a medium carry-on bag at the airport. But if you are okay with not running everything at max resolution and listening to some fan noise, there's nothing wrong with a good gaming laptop.

  • Anthony ONeal Says:

    Have you looked at Sager Notebooks? http://www.sagernotebook.com/ I would be interested to see a review including one of their desktop replacements.

  • stickemup Says:

    Theo!, have you checked out the Alienware 15? http://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/alienware-15 It might fit your needs.

  • Theo! Says:

    So after reading many reviews and searching throughout every webpage featuring the latest in available top tier gaming laptops, None are working upto par for what they are meant to do.

    If it isn't the fans not working properly, its the last years graphics card, or lack of proper screen brightness, or hdd optical error issues, and overheating/random crashes.

    Has anyone found a decent gaming laptop? Or should i just go for a effin desktop. I like the portability mainly because its easy to throw in a backpack and take off, i've had housing issues before, and if i want to leave my place i want evcerything to fit in a god damn bag on my back. I have issues apparently. I want a laptop with the gtx1070+ at least that doesn't overheat after hours of gaming/brightscreen/has a fan that isn't loud.

    Am i just dreaming or is this not available yet.

    if not im thinking a new laptop company is in order and i might be starting one, with custom built laptops designed for high performance, and carefully tested to not have these god awful problems.

    I may have missed an issue or two that is also common, but otherwise you get my point, please email for comment : signeos@aol.com

  • Jason Says:

    Asus ROG 'Oculus ready' flagship lollypop: actual real-world reviews state that it's not so ready, with 'minimum specs' warning popping up on the Rift.

  • Josh Larson Says:

    It's important - I'd argue crucial - to note that some laptops with NVIDIA Optimus are NOT Oculus Ready, which means they're only superficially "VR Ready". Both the MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro and the Razor Blade both have a lot of stuttering and frame drop issues due to how Optimus manages switching between the dGPU and integrated card. IMO that should immediately disqualify the Stealth. You don't mention this front-and-center, surely it's extremely important?! It makes me think you didn't actually try VR titles with these laptops, you're just analyzing numbers, which as every tech savvy person knows is often misleading.

  • Nateaaaaa Says:

    Also note that the MSI GT80 can't run in SLI for very long. Even when it's plugged in, that drains the battery.

  • Faisal Says:

    So which one is the best ignoring the price

  • Mike the Corrector Says:

    The price for the Origin PC Eon17-SLX is not right. That's the price with an I5 and a 970m. Not a great deal. With the I7 and the true 980, its $2991.

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