Now that the latest consoles can run games in 4K, you might be hesitant about dropping a few hundred or even thousand dollars/pounds on the best gaming laptop 2017 has to offer. And, while we empathize with this reluctance knowing what we know now, a gaming laptop is much more than a console that you can take on the go. In other words, it’s a far more versatile system than anything Nintendo can cook up, and it’s exactly what you should keep your eyes peeled for this Black Friday.
The reason for that is, contrary to what their name might lead you to believe, gaming laptops can handle more than the occasional Starcraft II session. Games are for leisure, but when it’s time to start typing essays or meeting deadlines at work, you can’t rely on your Xbox for that sort of task. Because the best gaming laptops all come running full-blown Windows 10, they can handle everything from the fun-and-challenging Cuphead to the not-so-fun-and-challenging Microsoft Excel.
In constructing the following list, we’ve tested, reviewed and ranked the 10 best gaming laptops 2017 has brought our way. Along the way, we’ve taken into consideration not only the needs of immense power users, but we’ve put a lot of thought into the value of these systems as well, asking questions like, “Does this laptop offer the highest performance for the price?” To those which we answered with an unequivocal yes, they’ve been prominently featured below.
Kicking Nvidia’s Max-Q technology off right, the Asus Zephyrus GX501 combines the heralded thinness of an Ultrabook with the performance of a gaming PC to bring the best of both worlds to your feet. Despite exhibiting subpar times in our battery life benchmarks, this svelte powerhouse of a notebook is one for the books when it comes to both portability and style. Plus, it’s virtually silent if noise is a cause for distraction in your everyday routine.
You may not be able to stick a bigger hard drive in it later, but the Razer Blade is otherwise built for stamina and, of course, high quality visuals. On top of boasting a battery life of over 7 and a half hours, it can handle up to 4K Ultra HD gaming with the help of a Razer Core V2 external graphics box and a spare monitor. Or you could opt for the more recently added integrated 4K display option. Either way, you’re in for a treat, we assure you.
The Asus Strix GL502 may not boast the most innovative design, swapping out the usual black and red color scheme for one that makes it feel like Halloween year-round. But, it’s undoubtedly one of the best when it comes to gaming in 1080p. In fact, we were able to crank the settings all the way up in Overwatch without taking a hit below 60fps. The battery life is janky, sure, but the screen, performance and onboard sound system more than make up for it.
Unlike most laptops its size, the Alienware 13 R3 bears a hinge-forward design. By moving the heat sinks behind the screen, the chassis is allowed to be thinner, at 0.81-inch (0.22cm). Unfortunately, this means you won’t find many 13-inch laptop bags that will actually suit the Alienware 13 R3. While you may be tempted by the inclusion of a full-size Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, it’s the OLED touch display that caught our attention.
At long last, Razer has introduced a true desktop replacement that won’t weigh you down. Measuring in at only 0.88 inches thick with the option between a 17-inch 1080p display running at 120Hz or a G-Sync-laden 4K touchscreen, the Razer Blade Pro also introduces the company’s ultra-low-profile mechanical switches to a notebook for the first time ever. That’s a deal that’s only sweetened by an unusual trackpad placement that makes it comfier to boot.
- This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing.
For less than a grand and a half, you might not think it, but the Gigabyte SabrePro 15 is a bargain. In its price range, you won’t find a laptop with this level of performance. Although it’s only available in one configuration, the GTX 1060 is a nice change of pace considering most affordable gaming laptops struggle to run triple-A games beyond medium settings. That goes without mentioning the fantastic RGB keyboard and Microsoft Precision Touchpad.
Donning a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia Pascal-series GPU and a screen resolution that soars above 1080p, this laptop is more affordable than a comparably specced Razer Blade or Alienware 13 R3. At the same time, it fails to compromise in terms of portability and performance. Factor in the a reasonable battery life and 190-degree hinge, and it’s easy to see why the Gigabyte Aero 14 made the cut.
To be frank, Alienware hasn’t been a name typically associated with value. That seems to be changing with the Alienware 17 R4, which bears so many different customization options when it comes to specs that you can practically name your own price. Bespeckled with all of the signature elements we’ve come to expect from the brand, such as RGB backlit-accents and tons of ventilation, our only real qualm with the Alienware 17 R4 is a disappointing battery life.
In a world full of overpriced (and overcompensating) gaming laptops, the Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming is a breath of fresh air. An anomaly that ditches the Alienware moniker, Dell has crafted yet a gaming laptop that’s masked as one of its more productivity-centric machines. The discrete graphics options won’t blow you away, but the price certainly will. Plus with a battery life recorded at 7 hours and 38 minutes, it’s unparalleled in that department.
In defiance of the stigma that gaming laptops simply can’t shake their heavy duty form factors, the MSI GS63VR 7RG Stealth Pro is an anomaly that deserves your attention. Although it owes much of its strength-meets-mobility design to the same Max-Q graphics technology leveraged by the Asus ROG Zephyrus, the Stealth Pro does more than lean into Nvidia’s engineering approach. It gives you a handsome array of ports, a gorgeous screen and more. – Techradar