Integrated graphics in most ultraportables are not as useless as they once were. It is actually possible to game on an ultrabook, it's just a matter of choosing the game and its settings carefully. We've tested 34 games on a ThinkPad X1 Carbon to give you an idea of what games are actually playable on modern ultraportables.
I'm a big fan of Razer hardware. Their peripherals are top notch, in particular their outstanding Deathadder mice, while their laptops have surprised me in terms of how solid and well built they are. Razer seems to know what gamers are after and the latest Razer Blade is no exception.
The Asus ROG Strix GL502VS sits towards the top end of the performance and price scale. It doesn't have any ludicrous dual-GPU setups inside, but its GeForce GTX 1070 discrete graphics chip offers better performance than your typical gaming laptop. It packs a 15.6-inch 1080p G-Sync display and a range of other solid hardware in a relatively portable form factor.
If you want a reasonably small and portable gaming laptop, the Alienware 13 is one of the leading options on the market. With its 13.3-inch display, the footprint of this laptop is smaller than a typical 15-inch laptop, and if you're willing to put up with extra thickness and weight, it's possible to use it as a portable workstation instead of an ultraportable.
Where the original Razer Blade was an exercise in compromise, the new Razer Blade Pro is about seeing how much power can be stuffed inside of a 17 inch wide, 11 inch deep, .88 inch tall aluminum housing. Thanks to engineering know-how, recent advances in graphics technology and Razer’s willingness to disregard what most might consider a reasonable price tag, the latest Blade Pro packs a remarkable amount of gaming goodness into these cramped confines.
The MSI GT73VR Titan Pro is a beast. This powerful gaming machine can technically be classified as a laptop, but it's so large it'll stay desk-bound for most of its working life. What you get for the size and price is simple: MSI's most powerful 17-inch gaming laptop. From a hardware perspective, there are no compromises here.
MSI is the master of product naming. Their gaming laptops follow a well-established nomenclature where a random collection of numbers and letters is not at all confusing and certainly easy to remember. Hence why "GS63VR 6RF" is a great name for a powerful 15-inch notebook.
Like most gaming laptop manufacturers Alienware has updated their line-up to take advantage of Nvidia’s excellent GeForce 10 series graphics chips. Significantly faster than their predecessors, GeForce 10 mobile chips are as capable as their desktop counterparts, which makes modern gaming laptops first-class citizens. Up for review today is the latest Alienware 15.
The MSI GS43VR 6RE Phantom Pro is a compact a 14-inch gaming laptop powered by a GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. This is Nvidia’s latest upper mid-range discrete graphics chip that succeeds and should significantly outperform the aging GTX 970M, narrowly beating the GTX 980M too at a lower power cost and with a less beefy cooling solution.
The biggest thing to happen to gaming laptops this year is the launch of Nvidia's GeForce 10 series. Case in point, the new Asus ROG G752VS is a massive 17" G-Sync enabled system that packs a GTX 1070 GPU, an overclocked Core i7 CPU, 64 GB of memory, a terabyte PCIe SSD + HDD, and more, much more.
Last week we were in Bangkok to attend Nvidia's special media event. The product to be unveiled was unknown so I was intrigued to say the least. Having just announced the Pascal Titan X we suspected a GTX 1080 Ti card might follow. So was it a brand new high-end gaming GPU? A boring but uber-capable server GPU? Mobile, mobile was overdue.