Best Laptops – For Gaming
Irrespective of the games you have lined up to purchase, you need a high-performance rig to soak up the pressure and keep you on top of your game. If you are not keen on building your own PC or laptop and are keen for something that is built and stable, then we have some amazing choices for you to consider. Gaming laptops offer the luxury of carrying your rig on the go, albeit some more efficiently than others. The gaming segment constantly features trade-offs based on performance, preferences, size and commonly battery life. If you are frequently planning to have LAN parties or travel then gaming laptops make perfect sense.
These laptops are primed for stability and performance first and foremost, which can be attractive traits for someone seeking even a normal laptop. Our comprehensive list of the best gaming laptops in the market, take into consideration different price points, as well as gaming levels.
On this list, we will be focusing highly on the best gaming laptops of 5 different price ranges. We have divided it up like this:
This is simply because everyone has different needs in terms of performance. And everybody has a different amount of money, they are willing to spend.
Note: The i7 Processor, USB 3.1 slot, and backlit keyboards are a common theme among all the laptops in this list. Also, if you are in need of a VR-enabled option, consider laptops that have a NVidia 10 series graphics card.
Related: Best Desktop PCs for Gaming.
Acer Aspire E 15 Gaming Laptop
Best in 600-800$ Price Range
If you are just beginning to explore the depths of your passion for gaming, then this entry-level gaming laptop might be a good fit for you. A solid choice for those looking for a laptop that doubles up for work and for gaming.
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The 12-hour battery life is something we liked very much. It gave us much more flexibility, albeit at the cost of some performance.
This Acer Aspire is the only one on the list that has a slightly lower spec i7 processor, but when playing titles like Call of Duty and Dying light the performance was still good.
The NVidia 940MX handled most games well, at normal graphic settings, the moment you ramp up the games to run on full graphics, this laptop struggles. You can run games like Overwatch, Heroes of Storm, and Ice Wind Dale, quite comfortably.
Storage is another thing that we found was an issue, with Acer offering just a 256GB SSD. Granted, the SSD (Solid state drive) makes for a quick machine when performing routine operations, but the storage is simply inadequate. If you like carrying all your videos, music and games primarily on an external drive, then this laptop should suit you just fine.
The laptop is not too heavy and can easily be carried around. Other than that, if the laptop had come with an option to upgrade the RAM to 16GB, then it would have been great. Nonetheless, for its price, it’s still a very popular choice amongst entry-level gamers and videographers alike.
- Weight: 5.3 pounds
- Nvidia 940MX
- 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6200U Processor
- 8GB DDR4 RAM
- Up to 12 hours Battery Life
- 15.6” Display
- 256GB SSD
Interested in a new gaming chair? Here are our picks!
Lenovo Y700 Gaming Laptop
Best in 800-1100$ Price Range
The feature that strikes everyone at first glance when looking at the Lenovo Y700, is the design of the screen. This laptop almost has an old school look, thanks to the gap between the screen and the keyboard. The look of the laptop might be straight out of a movie from the 90s, but the performance is anything but.
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The Y700 delivers great performance for a lower mid-range option in the gaming segment. Featuring a full HD 15.6-inch screen and a NVidia GTX 960M, this laptop delivers solid performance in terms of texture detail. However, the Y700 does not come with an SSD and instead has just a 1TB hard drive.
For gamers, looking for cutting edge performance and highest frame rates when playing games like Battlefield and COD, this laptop can be a letdown.
The biggest negative from our point of view was the battery life. The average is around 4, which is usually something we find in high-end gaming laptops like the Razer Blade or MSIs. However, if this laptop is going to be spending most of the time on a desk, then it really shouldn’t matter too much.
Games such as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Far Cry, LoL, DOTA, FIFA and Counter Strike run extremely well.
On most performance benchmarks, we noted that the Lenovo Y700 performed much better than similar products like the Dell Inspiron i7559 and the Acer Aspire V Nitro. The keyboard, along with the whole chassis in general, feels great.
An aspect where this laptop excels is the sound quality. We were a bit surprised by how good the sound quality is.
The customizations for the Y700 include adding an additional 8GB of RAM to the existing 8, as well as swapping the 1 TB hard drive for a 256GB SSD. The RAM option does make sense, however, the SSD – HDD trade-off can put off some folks from buying. Overall, a pretty solid choice for the MOBA or MMO entry-level gamer.
- Weight: 5.7 pounds
- 1 TB Hard Disk
- 8 GB RAM
- Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz Processor
- 4-hour average battery life
- Nvidia GTX 960M
- 15.6” Display
ASUS ROG 17-Inch Gaming Laptop
Best in 1100-1400$ Price Range
The three words that most accurately describe the Asus ROG GL552VW are “Value For Money”. This gaming laptop really hits the sweet spot between a great price, and delivering great performance. The Asus ROG delivers super-fast performance, thanks to a combination of the NVidia GTX 960M, the Core i7 – 6700HQ and the 128 GB SSD that is present.
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For a gaming notebook that is planted in the mid-range segment in terms of pricing, the graphics quality and feel are something that you usually find amongst high-end devices.
The storage is quite adequate with the SSD + HDD combination offering quick loads for games and plenty of space for movies and music.
The laptop also comes loaded with the GameFirst 3 technology from Asus that promises to reduce lag during games.
Games like DOTA2 run at about 100fps which are fantastic. If you are used to gaming with ultra-high graphic settings, then this laptop is a perfect fit. You can run games like Fallout 4, Call of Duty Black Ops 3, Guild Wars, and Elite: Dangerous etc.
As for negatives, we found that there were initial driver issues with the on board graphics and Wi-Fi. However, fixes can be easily found on most forums for this. Annoying but certainly not off-putting.
Unlike the Alienware, this laptop does come with a DVD drive, however, it would have been better, if Asus decided to ditch the drive and improve cooling some more.
For a lot of folks, an investment of this kind usually makes them look towards the long-term. This device caters to that way of thinking too. You can easily upgrade the Storage and RAM as time wears on, to make sure the speed is just as good as when it was new.
- Weight: 5.6 pounds
- 6th-generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6GHz
- 1TB HDD + 128 GB SDD
- 16 GB RAM
- 15.6” Screen
- NVIDIA GTX 960M
- 4-5 Hour average battery life
Looking for a new gaming mouse? Take a look at our recommendations, here.
Alienware 15.6-Inch UHD Laptop
Best in 1400-1700$ Price Range
Alienware, along with MSI and Razer are probably the most recognizable gaming brands. A lot of the price tag is to do with the Alienware brand itself. Just one look at an Alienware can leave most people in awe. The metallic finish and the backlit keyboard exude class, but the device itself performs like a beast.
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The image quality was quite stunning thanks to the Ultra HD screen offering resolutions as high as 3840x 2160.
The processor and the RAM are comparable to the Asus ROG. The graphics card is delivered by a NVidia GTX 970M card. We, like a lot of other users out there were a bit disappointed that we weren’t getting a 10 series card that delivers even better graphics for the price.
Games like Shadow of Mordor, Doom, Dark Souls III and Battlefield 1 run extremely well.
Overclocking features are present that keeps internal temperatures cool within the carbon fiber chassis. Copper thermal modules also protect your graphics card from overheating, when you are gaming for many hours.
The laptop features no optical drive and has a 256GB SSD + 1 TB HDD combo that offers plenty of storage and a quick load time. A high-end Windows 10 comes pre-loaded with this device too.
Another negative is the laptop’s weight. Weighing in at a whopping 7.1 pounds, this laptop can’t be carried around by most people for extended periods of time.
Like most other Alienware on the market, this laptop performs admirably, but we feel it is just shy of being truly great for its price range.
Note: An upgraded graphics card, processor, or even a 4K screen can really make this laptop a nailed on choice for a lot of gamers. Nonetheless, with stable and consistent cutting edge performance, this laptop will allow you to ascend to the next level.
- Weight: 7.1 pounds
- Intel Quad Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz Processor
- Nvidia Geforce 970M
- 15.6” Ultra HD screen
- 16GB RAM
- 5-hour average battery life
MSI VR Ready GS73VR Stealth Pro
Best in 1700-2100$ Price Range
As a laptop that is built for the hard-core gamer, the MSI GS73VR Stealth Pro does not disappoint. The first thing that stands out, is the amazing sleek design that MSI have come up with for this laptop. It’s something that looks and performs like a beast, an avid gamers dream. The NVidia 1060 delivers some amazing performance.
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We found that you can play just about any game available in the market today. Games like Fallout 4, Street Fighter 5, and the Witcher III etc.
Unlike, the Alienware the light weight of this laptop makes it highly portable. It will fit quite comfortably into most bags designed for 17-inch laptops, unlike other 17inch Alienware’ which has been designed to spend most of its time on the desk.
The Nahimic 2 Virtual Surround Sound tech is an interesting addition, the promises a super immersive gaming experience.
The MSI adopts a solid state drive and hard drive combo offering plenty of storage to download and store hundreds of games, with ease.
Stealth Pros over the years are known for its amazing cooling capabilities, which allow you to game for hours on end without affecting performance. Well, this laptop has great cooling too! The only issues are that the fans can get a bit louder than other models. The SteelSeries keyboard, 16GB of super-fast DDR4 RAM and anti-ghosting keys make for a fully loaded laptop that gets your ready for any e-sports experience.
The 512GB SSD can reach read speeds above 2000 MB/s which is higher than most common SSDs found in the market. The laptop boots up in an instant thanks to this.
With VR taking center stage in the tech arena, this VR ready laptop can be a great investment for any gamer in the long-term. MSI also has a great reputation when it comes to handling Warranty repairs, so you can be confident of a positive experience.
- Weight: 5.3 pounds
- 16 GB RAM
- 17.3” 4K VR ready display
- Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core Processor – 2.6-3.5GHz
- 512GB SSD + 1 TB Hard drive
- Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 with 6GB VRAM
- 3-hour average battery life
Things to Consider before Buying a Gaming Laptop – Buying Guide
If a slew of specs mentioned everywhere about laptops has left you a bit confused, then we have compiled a list of things you need to look for when selecting your ideal gaming laptop. Unlike gaming desktops or towers, where they are always in a single place, laptops have portability elements that also have huge importance. Value for money is also of huge importance since a similar level gaming desktop is significantly cheaper. Here are some of the criteria we have considered during our evaluation.
Screen size is definitely a core element when it comes to gaming on a laptop. There is a massive difference between gaming on a 13inch screen to a 17inch screen. The 15s are definitely good as well. Hence we have considered only these two sizes on our list. We understand that this is a subjective decision but if you are looking to game at a high level for longer hours the 17inch would definitely be preferred. A quick tip: Make sure you have a backpack that fits a 17inch laptop if you wish to carry it around to work or university.
The weight is probably the most important factor for people using regular laptops but not so much for gaming rigs. It’s always a trade-off for gamers between weight and performance and we chose performance whilst paying some attention to the weight. Between 5 and 6 pounds, we feel is the sweet spot. With newer slimmer variants like the MSI Stealth Pros hitting the market, you can begin to see even lighter gaming laptops in the future.
This is the most important factor for you to consider when choosing a great gaming laptop. We encourage buyers not to make too many compromises on the performance elements we have listed below. For us, the most important performance-related factors were processing power, graphics, storage and memory speed.
As games these days are getting bigger and bigger facilitated by corresponding hardware price drops, you will need a reasonable amount of storage. The best way to achieve a high storage capacity nowadays is by using an SSD + HDD hybrid since higher capacity SSDs are still on the expensive side.
Core & Graphics Processing Power
Processors wise most gaming laptops nowadays come with an Intel i7-6700 or 6800. This processor is not the fastest in the market but it performs great when paired with a great graphics card. AMD’s have some good processors as well but we feel Intel is a safe bet in this space. If you are really looking for something ultra-high-end then the 6820HK seems to be a popular choice for laptops like the MSI TITAN.
NVidia’s 1080M currently stands as the best GPU in the market. If you are looking for a VR ready laptop then anything above a NVidia 1060 will do you good. The 9 series’ 980M is also a great card to have in your laptop. 4 to 8GB graphics memory is quite sufficient as well. If you are looking at even higher graphic capabilities then SLI is an option but it will severely hamper your laptops portability and cooling needs to be improved significantly.
RAM wise anything from 8 to 16GB will do just fine for most gaming laptops since almost all of the games can run on the 8GB. A 32GB laptop looks monstrous on paper but most of that RAM is redundant. Definitely something worth noting to keep costs down when you purchase. RAM speeds are worth noting as well and most come with 2133 MHz which is more than enough for gaming purposes too.
Storage Capacity & Access Speed
An SSD or Solid State Drive is just made up of microchips that hold all your data and does not have any mechanical parts to it. This is precisely why the SSDs are so much quicker than the HDDs which we will touch on in a bit. Multiple SSD variants are available with high read/ write speeds too. They also have an added advantage of durability. An HDD or hard disk drive has a mechanical arm that reads and writes data onto the disk. Since there is a mechanical function involved the time taken is slower. You might find an RPM number stated as part of the HDD specs which relates to the speed of the disk. The higher the RPM the better. A 7200 RPM SATA is the most common one out in the market today. Since gamers are pushing the boundaries when it comes to speed and precision we feel an SSD is an absolute necessity for a gaming laptop.
A laptop without great cooling will definitely fail. If you are looking to game for significantly long hours then you might want one with more than just one or two fans. You can always add auxiliary fan pads but go for a laptop that is inherently designed well. The Alienware and Asus laptops are known to get extremely hot as well.
Buying a gaming laptop can sometimes be a complicated decision especially if you plan on using your laptop extensively for other regular purposes as well. There is a constant trade-off between things like battery life, trackpad quality, and performance. You can always work around some issues by using headphones for better sound, a gaming mouse etc. Another thing we feel is a must is multiple USB ports especially if you like to attach external drives, wireless headsets and more. So make sure you take all of these into consideration when making your decision. Our list will help you narrow down your options, especially if you have fixed budgets.