Best Gaming Laptops

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Best Overall Gaming Laptop

Alienware 17

Editor's Choice

The Alienware 17 packs raw gaming performance, a big honkin' screen and a sexy intergalactic chassis into a powerful package that's perfect for fragging your enemies in virtual reality or watching movies with friends. Just make sure you configure it with the 2560 x 1440, Nvidia G-Sync display and a PCIe SSD to get an optimal gaming experience. But whether you choose the GTX 1060, 1070 or GTX 1080 GPU, you'll be able to play any game at high settings or in VR.

Alienware 17 Review

Best Gaming Laptops
Product: Use Case: Rating:
Alienware 17 Best Overall Gaming Laptop 4 out of 5
Razer Blade Pro Best 17-inch Gaming Laptop 4.5 out of 5
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,000 3.5 out of 5
MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro Best 15-inch Gaming Laptop 4 out of 5
Alienware 13 (OLED Display) Best Display 4 out of 5
Razer Blade (Late 2016) Best 14-inch Gaming Laptop 4.5 out of 5
MSI GT83VR Titan SLI Best Splurge Gaming 4 out of 5
Asus ROG Zepherus Best Max-Q Design N/A
  • Best 17-inch Gaming Laptop

    Razer Blade Pro

    Editor's Choice

    The latest Razer Blade Pro (starting and reviewed at $3,999), the company has added an overclocked Intel i7 processor while keeping the Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU, fantastic 4K Nvidia G-Sync display and proprietary ultra-low-profile mechanical keys. If that wasn't enough, the slim stunner is also the first mobile device to feature THX audio certification. In other words, one of the best in the business just got better.

    Razer Blade Pro (2017) Review

  • Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,000

    Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop

    Editor's Choice

    If you're gaming on a budget, you can't do much better than the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop. It delivers smooth frame rates on the latest games (at medium settings), and it lasted more than 11 hours on our web surfing battery test. Plus, that Hibiscus Red is just plain purty. If you're looking for a solid gaming laptop  that doesn't drain your wallet, this Dell is a great option.

  • Best 15-inch Gaming Laptop

    MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro

    Editor's Choice

    Typically when you have a gaming notebook as slim as the Stealth Pro, you have to sacrifice some power. Not so with this model. The slim 15.6-inch doles can keep pace with desktop replacements thanks to its powerful Core i7 processor and Nvidia 10-series GPU. It's a great combination of small frame and big performance. 

    MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro Review

  • Best Display

    Alienware 13 (OLED Display)

    Editor's Choice

    You won't find a more vibrant screen on any laptop than the OLED panel on the Alienware 13. One of the smallest VR-ready laptops, the Alienware 13 supports Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets while also delivering buttery-smooth frame rates thanks to its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and Intel Core i7 CPU.

    Alienware 13 (OLED) Review

  • Best 14-inch Gaming Laptop

    Razer Blade (Late 2016)

    The latest iteration of the Razer Blade keeps the incredibly slim dimensions from before while adding a virtual reality-ready Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. Just plug in your Oculus or Video and go. The Blade also features a customizable Chroma keyboard and a powerful Intel Core i7 CPU, making it equal parts brains and beauty.

    Razer Blade (Late 2016)

  • Best Splurge Gaming

    MSI GT83VR Titan SLI

    The MSI GT83VR Titan SLI has some new tricks up its sleeve. The gaming behemoth is the first in the world to feature Cherry MX Speed Silver switches, so you can spam out special moves that much faster. Even better, the Titan finally got with the program and added customizable RGB backlighting. But this beast's beauty is more than skin-deep; it offers searing transfer speeds, impressive dual-GPU graphics power, a Kaby Lake processor and whisper-quiet fans. But at $5,099 ($4,199 starting), the only question is -- can you afford it? 

    MSI GT83VR Titan SLI Review

  • Best Max-Q Design

    asus-rog-zephyrus-300

    As one of the first gaming laptops to use Nvidia's new Max-Q design, the Zephyrus bridges the gap between power and portability by squeezing an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU into its beguiling 0.7-inch metallic frame. And if this laptop doesn't captivate with its design, the lovely 1080p Nvidia G-Sync display and strong gaming performance will.

    Asus ROG Zephyrus Review

How to Find the Right Gaming Laptop

Depending on your budget, lifestyle and the games you want to play, you could end up spending anywhere from $800 to $5,000 on a system that's likely to weigh between 4 and 13 pounds. Here's some a few tips to help you find your ideal gaming rig.

  • Don't buy a gaming laptop for low-end titles like World of Warcraft or Candy Crush.These games can easily be supported by an integrated graphics card.
  • Avoid touch screens. They're more expensive and drain the battery.
  • 17- or 18-inch laptops are typically more powerful, but the least portable while 13-, 14- and 15-inchers are easier to carry but often lack higher-end components.
  • Make sure the keyboard is comfortable. If you can, take a trip to the store and try out the keyboard before you buy.

Graphics

The graphics card or GPU is the keystone of your gaming laptop. It delivers the images on your display by processing the data and transmitting the signal to the monitor. Due to how stressful this process can be when running games, you need a discrete GPU with its own dedicated memory, called VRAM (video memory). The majority of gaming laptops ship with Nvidia GPUs, but if you're partial to AMD, there are certain brands that allow you to configure your system accordingly.

CPU and RAM

Your laptop's processor (CPU) handles everything that doesn't have to do with graphics, such as performing some of a game's physics calculations and controlling its non-playable characters. It also affects the performance of all of your non-gaming applications, including your browser, OS and productivity apps.

For more details, check out our Gaming Laptop Buying Guide.