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
HP Omen 17 Best 17-inch Gaming Laptop 4 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 (2017) Best 14-inch Gaming Laptop 4 out of 5
Acer Predator Helios 300 (17-inch) Best Value 4 out of 5
MSI GT83VR Titan SLI Best Splurge Gaming 4 out of 5
Asus ROG Zephyrus Best Max-Q Design 4 out of 5
  • Best 17-inch Gaming Laptop

    HP Omen 17

    Editor's Choice

    HP's latest entry in its Omen line of laptops gives the 17-inch gaming machine a drastic, yet welcome redesign. Instead of playing it safe, the Omen 17 sports a daring look that's sure to turn heads. And the shock and awe doesn't stop there, as the company has added Nvidia's powerful GTX 1070 GPU and paired it with an equally robust Intel Core i7 processor and a crazy-fast SSD. The result is laptop capable of delivering showstopping performance whether you're playing games or crunching numbers.

  • 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 (2017)

    Editor's Choice

    The Razer Blade just got another power-up. The laptop has made the jump to Kaby Lake, Intel's 7th-generation line of processors, which promise better performance and power efficiency. Pair that with a VR-ready Nvidia Pascal GPU; lovely display; beautiful keyboard and sleek, lightweight chassis; and you've got one of the slimmest gaming powerhouses on the market. Whether it's being used for work or play, the Blade is ready and able to get the job done.

    Razer Blade (2017) Review

  • Best Value

    Acer Predator Helios 300 (17-inch)

    For the price, the Acer Predator Helios 300 (17-inch) is one heck of a performer. It offers a large, 1080p display is bright enough to make you want to ditch your desktop monitor. The laptop also has a powerful Core i7 processor and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU which can easily support either the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. And if that wasn't enough, the notebook is one of the few systems that allows you to upgrade your hard drive and RAM. It also has over 5 hours of battery life, which is rather impressive for a gaming laptop.

  • 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

    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.