Investing endless hours finding all the right components and locking them into place sounds like a chore. You don’t want to “build” a computer. You’d rather get to the fun part: actually playing games. Luckily, there are more than enough gaming laptops on the market to choose from.
The MSI GT62VR is all brawn and no battery
The convenience of taking your rig on the go, complete with a built-in monitor and keyboard isn’t cheap, however. On the low end, a decent notebook will set you back about $1,400 (about £900). For the best PC games at 4K with consistent frame rates, you can expect to shell out over $3,000 (around £1,900, AU$4,000) for qualifying hardware.
Fortunately, this could soon change thanks to AMD’s low-cost Polaris GPUs and high-powered Zen processors. Plus, with Nvidia producing tiny supercomputers efficient enough to power self-driving cars, surely the perfection of mobile graphics is next in the cards.
Here you’ll find the gaming laptop that’s best for you, from the ever-evolving Asus ROG Strix GL502 to the ostensibly immortal Alienware 17.
A desktop-grade CPU in an unbeatable gaming laptop
Great value Desktop-grade performance Razor thin viewing angles
The Origin EON15-X is a real head turner. Packing a desktop Skylake processor into a fairly compact 15.6-inch notebook that, Origin’s greatest offers even more performance than some full-size gaming rigs.
This extra CPU power is handy for users who need to edit video and other processor intensive tasks that a mobile chip can’t handle. You’ll also get an extra kick of performance no matter what game you’re running. Combined with a powerful GPU and a not-so-shabby battery life, the Origin EON15-X is definitely worth consideration over all others.
Rocks Full HD gaming Deliciously vibrant screen Middling battery life
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 all-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.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix GL502
An attractive and long lasting 15-inch gaming laptop
Stylish look Ample battery life Gets hot Terrible trackpad buttons
Entry-level gaming laptops are a great introduction into the glorious world of PC gaming, and from performance to looks, it’s hard to beat the Lenovo Ideapad Y700. It’s an inexpensive machine that stands out amongst other budget gaming machines with its all metal chassis and included SSD. It also comes packed with enough power to run modern games at decent settings.
Performance pusher Stupendous keyboard Fleeting battery life A bit expensive
With a knack for style and a featherlight exterior, the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro is among the slimmest gaming laptops you can find. That said, don’t confuse thinness with compromised performance, as the Skylake CPU perfectly marries the still-impressive GTX 970M so long as you’re playing at 1080p on medium to high graphics settings. Sure, it’s not a top-end pick, but your wallet will thank you for that.
Owns everything at 1080p Plenty of ports Overpowered for 1080p Plastic build quality
The Gigabyte P57X v6 is one of the hardiest, single-GPU Pascal performers money can buy at the moment. Nothing about the Gigabyte P57X is a tough sell until you get down to the price, similar to what you would have paid for two GTX 970- or 980Ms in years prior. Of course, on a laptop, you don’t want to dual-wield GPUs, which is what makes the P57X so enticing. The P57X v6 isn’t the most stylish or innovative gaming PC, but it offers more than enough power to get you through a 1080p gaming session.
Read the full review: Gigabyte P57X
This mobile PC gaming powerhouse throws a hefty punch
Distinguished design Top-end specs and performance No 4K screen Poor battery life
The Asus ROG G752 has an aggressive design that sets it apart from many of the world’s sedate gaming laptops. Instead of donning the typical appearance of black plastic, the ROG G752 sports a shell with brushed aluminium panels, angular lines and the glowing red segments. On top of its in-your-face styling this 17-inch gaming laptop delivers a hefty performance and it can play modern games at a smooth clip even if you put the graphical setting to max. The only thing the Asus ROG G752 is missing is the option of a high-res 4K display.
Hugely improved battery life Thunderbolt 3 a smart add Minor graphical upgrades Limited part options
For many gamers, Ultrabook is a four-letter word. But, it doesn’t have to be, and this is evident the first time you get your hands on a Razer Blade. With a battery life of 3 hours and 35 minutes while gaming (or six hours of non-stop video), Razer Blade puts the laptop back in gaming laptop. While it does compromise as far as graphics are concerned, you can hook up a Razer Core and strap a Titan X inside if you want.
Read the full review: Razer Blade
The ultimate gaming laptop built with desktop-grade power
Nearly unrivaled performance Sharp, aggressive styling Awful battery life Astonishingly heavy
The Origin EON17-SLX takes gaming laptops to their ultimate conclusion of being portable desktops. This 17-inch notebook comes packed with a desktop-grade Intel processor and Nvidia GPU chip, making it one of history’s most powerful mobile machines. Of course, it comes with the sacrifice of portability in both weight and battery life. If these are worthy trade-offs for greater performance, you won’t find a better machine whether you’re a hardcore gamer to in the media creation business.
Authentic mechanical keyboard Easily upgraded H-E-A-V-Y Impossible to use on your lap
The MSI GT80 Titan goes above and beyond to give gamers a desktop experience in a notebook with a complement of high-performance parts to a built-in mechanical keyboard. However, weighing in at nearly 10 pounds and measuring roughly two-inches thick, this laptop is seriously pushing the limits of what you can call portable. For all the strain it’ll put on your back and wallet, though, this 18.4-inch gaming laptop absolutely plow through almost any graphically intense game you try to run. This gaming behemoth proved to be a monster with the best in class mobile GPUs so we can’t even fathom what it could do with a Nvidia GTX 980.
Read the full review: MSI GT80 Titan
The Alienware 17 is an impressive refinement for this series of gaming laptops
Flexible desktop mode Excellent large screen Still quite expensive Slightly bottlenecked Amplifier performance
The Alienware 17 is one of those few outrageously priced gaming laptops that’s actually worth it. The notebook is a fully capable gaming machine on its own, but with the added power of desktop graphics through the GPU Amplifier it can play almost any game on Ultra settings.If you’re looking for something smaller, the Alienware 13 also works with the optional GPU box.
Read the full review: Alienware 17 (2015)
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article
Only interested in light gaming? Try a Surface Book on for size