I have come close, with laptops like the Dell XPS 15 and the Razer Blade 15. Those are both great systems, but they don't exactly hit the mark in all the categories I need. What I want is a laptop that can function as a premium gaming laptop just as well as it works as a business machine. What does that mean? Well, I want a laptop that I can comfortably play games on but also to take to work and use to write articles for over 8 hours without the machine dying: my very own white whale.
Here's what my dream gaming laptop looks like:
Let's start with the basics: a 15-inch laptop, weighing just under 5 pounds and measuring 0.7 inches thick. A premium aluminum chassis is a necessity.
I love the Razer Blade 15's external design, as it has a tight, sturdy body, so we'll use that as a base. However, instead of Mercury White, we'll paint it silver, like the XPS 15. I do love the Mercury White, but I prefer a more discreet, businesslike design.
For the interior, we'll also take more of a business approach and use some elements from the HP EliteBook x360 1040 G5. We'll go with a black keyboard with two top-firing speakers on either side of it. However, for bezels, no laptop does it better than the new XPS 15, and that's because Dell made its own tiny, proprietary, top-facing webcam to maintain the display's InfinityEdge design.
This baby is going to be outfitted with, at the very least, an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
These are pretty standard specs for thin-and-light gaming laptops, but if I wanted to go nuts, I would want to ramp up the storage to a 1TB SSD — but not just any SSD. I'm talking about a devilish MacBook Pro-level SSD — you know, the one with 2GB-plus transfer speeds. Apple doesn't have a monopoly on fast SSDs, so get to work, laptop makers.
For the display, I'm a reasonable man. All I want is a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, matte panel that utilizes Nvidia G-Sync technology and has a refresh rate of 144 Hz. I'm not asking for 4K or even OLED, but what I want is a reasonably bright and vivid panel.
I'd like to see a minimum of 150% of the sRGB color gamut covered, which is totally plausible, as we've seen with the Lenovo Legion Y7000 and the Dell G5 15 SE. In regards to brightness, however, I want at least 350 nits, which we did clock on laptops like the XPS 15.
Keyboard and Touchpad
It's easy to request a thick, comfortable keyboard, like the one on the Area-51m, but we're not going to get a keyboard that badass in a laptop that's only 0.7 inches thick. However, the perfect keyboard for my dream laptop isn't a gaming one; instead, it's one directly from HP's EliteBook line.
The EliteBooks sport some of the best keyboards and touchpads around, especially for business laptops. I need something that's not only comfortable, but also agile enough that I can blast through articles in no time. The EliteBook x360 1040 G5 has the most tactile and responsive keyboard I've tested so far on a thin notebook. The only thing I would change would be to give it full-size arrow keys and function keys.
I would also take everything about the EliteBook's touchpad, as the premium glass design makes that pad incomparably soft. However, I'd make my touchpad as big as the Razer Blade 15's 5 x 3-inch version, which extends to the very edge of the deck. And Windows 10 Precision drivers are a must. (I can't believe I have to say that.)
I just want something that doesn't sound like it's coming out of a tin can.
But seriously, getting a good pair of speakers in a gaming laptop is harder than I'd like to admit, which is why I mostly listen to audio via headphones. However, if I had to choose, I'd go with the top-firing Bang & Olufsen speakers in the HP EliteBook 840 G5. Those speakers had a great handle on bass, and the sound was full and accurately depicted the depth in any song I played.
I want 8 hours of battery life. Just hear me out. I know battery life can be touch and go, especially because a lot of gaming laptops can barely achieve 3 hours. But we've recently seen some pretty wild numbers on strong, thin gaming laptops.
The Razer Blade 15 nailed 5 hours and 2 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test, and even better than that, the Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic survived a ridiculous 6 hours and 58 minutes on a charge. Both gaming laptops come armed with RTX 2070 GPUs, so while 8 hours might seem like a stretch right now, we're really only an hour away from that paradise.
Lets recap: My dream laptop is a thin-and-light 15.6-inch gaming notebook with strong overall performance, a vivid 144-Hz display, a punchy keyboard, a pair of bangin' speakers and workday-long battery life.
What I want will probably be expensive and a pain in the ass to make, but it is possible. Most of my requests have appeared in some form or another in other laptops.
Look at it this way: If we're getting ridiculous dual-screen laptops and foldable notebooks, my request isn't too far-fetched. So, let's see who can make my dream gaming laptop first.