Unlike years past, today there are a vast number of quality gaming laptops available that can not only match most home rigs but occasionally outperform them. If you're in the market for a new gaming laptop and want to know what components will give you a well-rounded rig, here’s a breakdown of what’s on offer.
The Gigabyte P34W v5 is a fairly typical gaming laptop, with a standard array of high-end hardware -- an Intel ‘Skylake’ Core i7-6700HQ CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M GPU -- a decent display, and a body that won’t be setting any records for slimness or lightness. The base model, available for $1,499, features a 14-inch 1080p display with 8 GB of RAM; while the top model reviewed here features a 14-inch 1440p display and 16 GB of RAM for $1,759.
If you’ve ever witnessed variable refresh rate (VRR) technologies like G-Sync and FreeSync, then you likely know VRR one of the most significant gaming improvements in recent times. But now the technology has finally gone mobile. With our tricked out Origin EON17-X gaming notebook, we’ll be exploring Nvidia’s Mobile G-Sync and how it translates to gaming on the go.
Ultrabooks, shmultrabooks. Mobile or otherwise, gamers know there is no substitute for a massive slab of expensive and power-hungry hardware. As a result, Origin PC has implemented a straightforward tactic to grant laptops hairier chests: cram in an honest to goodness desktop CPU. Yep, Origin’s EON15-X packs a full-fledged “Devil’s Canyon” Intel Core i7 along a GeForce GTX 980M GPU into a relatively modest 15-inch laptop.
The Razer Blade has earned a solid reputation among those looking for a lightweight gaming notebook, but what if your mobile gaming rig also doubles as your productivity machine? Razer would encourage you to check out the new Blade Pro which is powered by a quad-core Core i7, SSD/HDD combo, and a generous 17.3-inch display which affords the real estate necessary for the highlight of the notebook, Razer’s Switchblade UI.
Designed for high-end gaming, the Alienware 15 packs powerful hardware rivalling decent gaming desktops. To make sure we got the message that they mean business, Dell sent us the top-spec model to review: 15.6-inch Ultra HD display, a GeForce GTX 980M dedicated GPU, a Core i7-4710HQ processor, 16 GB RAM, and 1.5 TB of storage split between a hard drive and SSD. This is one seriously powerful laptop.
With the new Alienware 13 you get a gaming-class portable machine with the added benefit of connecting the Graphics Amplifier. The Amplifier houses a standard desktop GPU and power supply. When it’s plugged in, the mobile GPU in the laptop is disabled, and all the graphics power comes from the Amplifier, improving graphics performance substantially.
Slim gaming notebooks have been getting a lot of attention lately as more efficient technology allows manufacturers to cram high-end parts in a thinner chassis. The Maingear Pulse 15 falls right into this burgeoning segment packing a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, dual SSDs and a GeForce GTX 870M GPU in its a 0.7" thick body. Its standout feature: a 3K (2880 x 1620) display.
Most gaming notebooks have a certain stigma attached to them. While some of the better systems available are more than capable of running the latest graphically demanding PC games out there, they're often hulking beasts that can easily tip the scales at over 12 pounds. That's been changing, however, and the MSI GS70 Stealth Pro on our hands today is another example of powerful gaming laptops steering towards slimmer form factors.