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
3. 8GB of RAM
4. Two USB 3.0 ports
5. HDMI 1.4
6. 1920 x 1080 display
7. Windows 8 or 10

On the Horizon
For now, VR users are tethered to their laptops thanks to the myriad of cables the headsets require to run. However, DisplayLink has started showing off DisplayLink XR, its wireless module solution, which will allow you to walk around your virtual space without a bunch of wires tethering you to an expensive desktop or laptop. Attached to the back of a VR headset, the company's network display technology can support a pair of 4K monitors with a 120-fps frame rate over Wi-Fi of WiGig (wireless Gigabit).

Microsoft has also thrown its hat into the VR arena with its new MR headsets like the Acer Mixed Reality AH101 Headset. Partnering with major laptop manufacturers (Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo), these headsets will be available in two tiers. The entry-level headsets will start at $299 and have the ability to work with integrated graphics whereas the ultra version of the devices will top at $499 and work with discrete graphics.

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

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13 comments
  • 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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