The Turing GPU architecture and the RTX platform are able to bring together real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence, and programmable shading. The GPU will be able to deliver up to 6X the performance of previous-generation graphics cards as well as bring real-time ray tracing and AI to every game that supports the tech.
The laptop weighs around 3 kilograms, a little heavy in our book.
The new and improved Alienware m17 is the best gaming laptop on the list. Despite the relatively expensive price tag, the model is actually cost-effective. It will let you play every single graphically demanding game on ultra settings for years to come. In other words, the model is as future-proof as laptops come.
Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) 8750H (2.2 GHz, up to 4.1 GHz)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX Graphics 2070 (8GB GDDR6 dedicated)
FHD 144 Hz IPS
1920 x 1080
1TB HDD, 256GB SSD
~ 1.5 hours
Alienware Sound Center via Alienware Command Center, 2.0 speaker configuration, 7.1 digital audio out using an HDMI out connection
4-zone AlienFX RGB enabled keys, anti-ghosting technology and a numeric keypad
In addition to the usual 1TB hard drive, the gaming laptop comes packing 512GB SSD. You'll be able to store just about every single game you play on a regular basis there and enjoy lightning-quick load times. The built-in stereo speakers feature Dolby® Atmos and 7.1 codec support.
The fan can get relatively noisy.
The Razer Blade 15 is probably the most well-rounded and well-balanced gaming laptop here. Its hardware is pretty good. The sleek but subdued profile has a sharp aesthetic to it. The display is excellent across the board. The little details like the storage space and sound system do not disappoint too.
Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) 8750H (2.2 GHz, up to 4.1 GHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 dedicated)
FHD 144 Hz IPS
1920 x 1080
1TB HDD, 512GB SSD
Built-in stereo speakers, Dolby® Atmos support, 7.1 codec support (via HDMI)
Full-spectrum gaming keyboard powered by Razer Chroma
The NanoEdge design features particularly slim 6.5mm bezels that deliver engaging visuals in a really compact package. The Anti-Dust Cooling (ADC) system and HyperFan deliver the cooling necessary for extensive gaming marathons. The company's patented trapezoid-cut lid and intelligent parallel fan placement make the model cool and quiet through and through.
The sound system is passable at best.
The ASUS TUF FX505DY-AL006T is as good as mid-range gaming laptops come. The model's FreeSync support will allow the display to synchronise with GPU to reduce lag, minimise stuttering, and eliminate visual tearing. Plus, the case is really durable and will be able to withstand the rough and tumble of any road.
AMD Ryzen R5-3550H Quad-Core (2.1 GHz, up to 3.7 GHz)
AMD Radeon RX 560X (4GB GDDR5 dedicated)
FHD 120 Hz IPS
1920 x 1080
1TB HDD, 256GB SSD
~ 4 hours
7.1 digital audio out using headphones
Red backlit keyboard with a highlighted WASD key group
When the laptop is opened, its bottom partially flexes to create 20% more open space for air circulation. Working in conjunction with the company's AeroAccelerator technology, this seemingly little gap improves airflow by 32% and reduces temperatures by 20% compared to conventional cooling. The ROG-exclusive software will let you switch between integrated and discrete GPU modes.
The bezels are too wide for our taste.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M (GM501) picks up where its predecessor left off, delivering outstanding performance in a minute but complete package. At the same time, the model is able to run cool and quiet without sacrificing performance. Also, its battery life is absurdly good for a gaming laptop.
Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) 8750H (2.2 GHz, up to 4.1 GHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 (6GB GDDR5 dedicated)
FHD 144 Hz IPS
1920 x 1080
1TB HDD, 256GB SSD
2 x 3.5W speakers with the Smart AMP technology
Backlit chiclet keyboard, 4-zone RGB with marked WASD keys and hotkeys
The relatively giant speakers will make you feel every engine sound roaring past. The company's very own audio module design and independent sound chamber will be able to deliver top-notch auditory sensation. The model's 2 oversized speakers plus 2 subwoofers create the most realistic, fulfilling sound and immersive effects.
The SSD's capacity is limited to 128 gigabytes.
The MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-065UK will be able to take your gaming experience to the next level. It will let you effortlessly switch between different profiles to push your system to the extreme or minimise power consumption for regular computing applications. The Killer Shield tech reduces latency and jitter to optimise gameplay.
Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) 8750H (2.2 GHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 dedicated)
FHD 120 Hz TN
1920 x 1080
1TB HDD, 128GB SSD
Nahimic 3 Audio technology, MSI Audio Boost
RGB backlit keyboard with a highlighted WASD key group
Alienware m17 (2019)
Kicking Performance Into High Gear
There aren't too many gaming laptops on the market today that will truly allow you to play just about any game out there. But that is precisely the case with the Alienware m17. As you would imagine, the model is not cheap. But the price absolutely makes sense considering the hardware that it is packing.
Needless to say, the biggest game changer compared to the laptop's predecessor is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX Graphics 2070 (8GB GDDR6 dedicated) GPU.
With this graphics card at the model's native full HD 1080p resolution, this is no more about the possibility to enjoy three-digit frame rates in the most demanding triple-A titles. This is about future-proofing. The GPU will be able to give you solid frame rates for years to come. Upgrading your hardware is something that you won't have to think for the next 5 years or so.
The company's Turing GPU architecture and the innovative RTX platform are able to bring together real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence, and programmable shading. The GPU will be able to deliver up to 6X the performance of previous-generation graphics cards as well as bring real-time ray tracing and AI to every game that supports the tech. The big screen doesn't hurt too.
We've seen the Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) 8750H (2.2 GHz, up to 4.1 GHz) CPU in other high-end laptops before. It is good but not necessarily excellent. However, the laptop's excellent cooling system incorporating the Cryo-Tech v2.0 thermal technology will give you some serious overclocking leeway, meaning that you'll be able to easily raise those numbers without overheating your processor.
As Future-Proof as They Come
It is the hardware (the model's graphics card in particular) that sells the product first and foremost. But we're not saying that the model doesn't have anything else to offer other than its excellent specs. There are many little details here that elevate the laptop's game.
The Alienware Command Center is almost too convenient. It will give you complete control over your hardware and software environments. You'll be able to tailor that hardware for each and every game you play. It will also enable you to personalise the space and make your software look and feel the way you want it without interfering with your gameplay and/or other activities.
The program's intuitive interface links all system settings with your gaming library, making it particularly easy to access gaming information. You'll be able to fine-tune settings for each and every title as well as create unique game profiles to make these games feel and flow the way you want.
Bottom line, the new and improved Alienware m17 is the ultimate gaming laptop. To say that it is suitable for gaming and will be able to present good graphics would be an understatement, to say the least. Despite the relatively expensive price tag, the model is surprisingly cost-effective. In other words, the model is as future-proof as laptops come.
Razer Blade 15
Razer Banking on Performance
Razer haters like to say that the company is more about aesthetics than it is about performance. Well, the Razer Blade 15 is here to prove these people wrong.
We're not saying that the laptop looks bad. But, for our taste, it does not necessarily stand out in the aesthetics department. Its slim, streamlined profile looks good but not much more than that. The 4.9mm bezels provide an immersive visual experience but we've seen panels like this before. It's all well and good but these things aren't what sells the product.
As far as we're concerned, it is the model's performance that really sells this laptop. We're talking performance across the entire board. Considering the price tag, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 dedicated) GPU is fantastic. It will give you over or around 60 frames per second in every single visually impressive/demanding game available today.
Working together with the laptop's Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) 8750H (2.2 GHz, up to 4.1 GHz) CPU, the graphics card will let you expand your gaming range and explore many different titles on ultra settings.
All that being said, we aren't just talking about the usual drill (processor and graphics card) here. The model's performance across the board implies the screen among other things too. Especially because the screen here is as good as they come.
The 144 Hz IPS panel will give you a solid competitive advantage over your opponents in Fortnite, CS: GO, and League of Legends as the GPU should be able to deliver more than 100 frames per second in these games.
The display's colour performance is nothing to complain about too, with particularly accurate grayscale and colours across all saturation levels.
Laptop for Gaming and Work
Having said all of that, we've seen the model's hardware before. It is more than decent but nothing to write home about for its price range. It isn't the GPU nor the model's processor that make the difference here. It is the little things. In addition to the usual 1TB hard drive, the gaming laptop comes packing 512GB SSD. You'll be able to store just about every single game you play on a regular basis there and enjoy lightning-quick load times.
The sound system here is really good too. The built-in stereo speakers feature Dolby® Atmos support. Considering that and the 7.1 codec support, the model's audio part will unlikely disappoint.
Lastly, we would like to highlight the battery life. As it is always the case, the battery life will vary depending on the application(s). But, generally speaking, the laptop should be able to last somewhere around 5-6 hours on a single charge, which is really impressive. It makes this portable model great for gaming and school.
To put it a little differently, the Razer Blade 15 is probably the most well-rounded and well-balanced gaming laptop here. Its hardware is pretty good. The sleek but subdued profile has a sharp aesthetic to it. The display is excellent across the board. The little details like the storage space and sound system do not disappoint too.
ASUS TUF (FX505DY-AL006T)
Best Gaming Laptops Under 1000 Quid
The ASUS TUF FX505DY-AL006T is by far the most affordable laptop on the list. As you would imagine, the below mid-range price tag comes with its limitations. The model's price-performance ratio is absurdly good but, naturally, its hardware won't be able to tussle with other laptops' hardware on this list.
The AMD Radeon RX 560X (4GB GDDR5 dedicated) graphics card is really good for its price. However, you will have to choose between playing the most graphically demanding games on ultra settings and enjoying high frame rates.
As it is always the case, optimisation will be the biggest determining factor. But, generally speaking, the graphics card will not be able to deliver more than 30 frames per second in most modern-day GPU-intensive titles.
We can extend a similar sentiment towards the AMD Ryzen R5-3550H Quad-Core (2.1 GHz, up to 3.7 GHz) CPU and the model's 8GB DDR4 RAM. The processor will let you compile programs and engage in 3D rendering, financial and scientific modelling, video encoding and/or any other kind of compression/decompression, data mining, etc.
The aforementioned RAM will not prevent you from working with/on large databases, high-resolution images in programs like Photoshop or any other professional image editing software, as well as juggle very large and complex spreadsheets.
However, the mid-range CPU and RAM will not let you do that while running multiple demanding applications simultaneously. You won't be able to comfortably play, say, Fortnite on ultra settings and have your laptop encode footage at the same time.
Considering the modest price tag, the model's FHD 120 Hz IPS panel is a really nice touch. As it is always the case, the IPS panel here is able to deliver high contrast ratio with superior blacks, less washed-out colours, and excellent viewing angles. The people behind the screen have also been able to reduce motion blur to a minimum. The company's NanoEdge design features particularly slim 6.5mm bezels that deliver especially engaging visuals in a really compact package.
Other than that, there isn't much to talk about here. The Anti-Dust Cooling (ADC) system and HyperFan deliver the cooling necessary for extensive gaming marathons. The company's patented trapezoid-cut lid and intelligent parallel fan placement aren't irrelevant too. The model is not necessarily silent but definitely quiet.
All in all, the ASUS TUF FX505DY-AL006T is as good as mid-range gaming laptops come. The model's FreeSync support will allow the display to synchronise with GPU to reduce lag, minimise stuttering, and eliminate visual tearing. Plus, the case is really durable and will be able to withstand the rough and tumble of any road.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M (GM501)
A Complete Package
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M (GM501) isn't just a gaming laptop but a complete gaming package. In addition to the high-end laptop that we will cover in a moment, the package includes the company's trademark ROG headset, a nice little rucksack for the laptop, and a gaming mouse. You won't have to purchase a single peripheral separately. Just unpack the bundle, put it together, and you're ready to dominate.
Now, as for the laptop, the model's biggest strength is definitely its tournament-grade panel. The 144Hz display will be able to match high-end gaming monitors to a tee. Add to that the 3ms response time and you have yourself a panel that will be able to make sure you never trail behind your opposition.
Of course, it is not just about the refresh rate. As much as it matters, the refresh rate wouldn't be worth much without the right tech backing it up. Here, the "right tech" is Nvidia's very own G-Sync technology that works wonders synchronising the panel’s refresh rate with your game’s frame rate. The result is always less screen tearing and buttery-smooth gameplay.
To round it all off, this is an IPS panel we're dealing with here. The contrast ratio will be high, the blacks will look incredible, the colours will be as realistic and vivid as they come, and the viewing angles will be as wide as they always are with IPS panels.
Great for Streaming Too
Your gaming laptop is only as good as its GPU. But, considering the model's not-so-budget price range, the powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 (6GB GDDR5 dedicated) graphics card comes without saying. There isn't a single title on the market today that this card won't be able to deliver at 60 frames per second on ultra settings at the panel's native full HD 1080p resolution.
The Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) 8750H (2.2 GHz, up to 4.1 GHz) CPU doesn't do much for gaming purposes compared to its i5 competition. However, the processor is excellent for streaming and multitasking in general.
When all is said and done, it is the Active Aerodynamic System tech that separates this model from its competition within the same price range. When the laptop is opened, its bottom partially flexes to create 20% more open space for air circulation. Working in conjunction with the company's AeroAccelerator technology, this seemingly little gap improves airflow by 32% and reduces temperatures by 20% compared to conventional cooling.
In short, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M (GM501) picks up where its predecessor left off, delivering outstanding performance in a minute but complete package. At the same time, the model is able to run cool and quiet without sacrificing performance. Plus, its battery life is absurdly good for a gaming laptop.
MSI GP63 Leopard (8RE-065UK)
It is All About Gaming
The MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-065UK is a gaming laptop first and foremost. We're not necessarily saying that the model will not be able to prove useful for other applications. It's just that, considering its price, the tech and hardware here is not that impressive for other purposes. Gaming-wise, however, the model does not disappoint in the slightest.
Now, we've seen the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 dedicated) GPU before. It is remarkable in its own right and there aren't too many games these days that this graphics card struggles with.
But, in addition to the usual package, the GPU here comes built with ultra-fast FinFET, the latest high-bandwidth memory technologies, and, of course, the already standard DirectX 12 support.
All in all, the graphics card will be able to deliver the fastest, smoothest gaming experience that not too many notebooks in this price range can match.
The panel left us with mixed feelings. On one hand, this is a TN panel. As it is always the case with the Twisted Nematic tech, the colours just aren't that great and the viewing angles are subpar compared to IPS and VA.
On the other hand, the display incorporates a 120Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. These specs make the panel your reliable go-to companion that will make sure you never lose a detail throughout the most chaotic gameplay. The 94% Nvibrant visuals will not be able to fully cover the TN shortcomings in the colour department but the tech will certainly make things look much better compared to your average TN panel.
The Sound to Boot
Laptops seldom deliver on the audio front. Fortunately, we can't say that it is exactly the case with the MSI GP63 Leopard. The relatively giant speakers will make you feel every engine sound roaring past. The company's very own audio module design and independent sound chamber will be able to deliver top-notch auditory sensation. The model's two oversized speakers plus 2 subwoofers create the most realistic, fulfilling sound and immersive effects.
Hardware and tech aside, we really like the laptop's elegant brushed aluminium alloy design. Minimalistic but charming, the model's slim profile creates a perfect fusion of aesthetics and performance. Another little detail that delivers in the aesthetics department is the SteelSeries RGB gaming keyboard that features full colour backlighting.
All things considered, the MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-065UK will be able to take your gaming experience to the next level. You'll be able to effortlessly switch between different profiles to push your system to the extreme or minimise power consumption for regular computing applications. The Killer Shield technology works wonders reducing latency and jitter to optimise gameplay.
What Is a Gaming Laptop?
So many people all over the world absolutely love computer games and that's precisely the reason they choose these cumbersome gaming desktop PCs instead of compact laptops. That being said, way too many people sleep on gaming laptops. These days, mid-range and high-end gaming laptops are very well-equipped for productivity as well as to handle more or less all PC games. As you would imagine, your average gaming laptop is any notebook that incorporates the necessary hardware to run the most visually demanding triple-A titles. Of course, these laptops are usually a little heavier than regular models but not even remotely as heavy as their desktop counterparts. Plus, gaming models often deliver as much in the performance department as they do on the aesthetics front, making these devices an absolute pleasure to look at and deal with.
Plan to upgrade your computer speakers? Then, our review on the latest PC speakers available is for you. You may also want to take a look at the models of gaming mice we've reviewed lately and possibly, buy a new one for yourself.
What Features to Compare
There are many gaming laptop reviews online, yet making the right choice is quite difficult since most comparisons are too detailed and long, so a common person isn't patient enough to read. That's why we have decided to compare the most advanced gaming laptops by the most important criteria.
The first thing to take into account is the performance of the gaming laptop you're going to buy since it determines how long your laptop will remain good enough for modern games. There are several important issues influencing the performance and the CPU is certainly the most important one. The CPU, or central processing unit, is the brain of any computer and there are 2 major manufacturers: Intel and AMD. Intel is considered to be more performing than AMD and that's why most gaming laptops are equipped with one of the most up-to-date Intel CPUs - quad-core Core i5 or Core i7 models with the frequency of 2.4 GHz and more. Another crucial piece of hardware is the GPU or graphics processing unit which transforms a 2-digit code into a realistic image you see on the screen. There are 2 types of GPUs: integrated (they are built into CPUs) and discrete (the independent one which you can easily replace). Of course, most conventional laptops have just an integrated GPU but if your aim is playing video games - you must get a laptop with a discrete GPU. There are 2 main manufacturers of GPUs - NVIDIA and ATI (which is associated with AMD). NVIDIA graphics cards are usually considered to be better for laptops and that's why all of the devices we've picked in this review boast NVIDIA GPUs.
There's another important feature that impacts an overall performance of the laptop - RAM or random-access memory. It's responsible for short-term information retention and if you have a rather small RAM, your laptop won't be able to run all the games smoothly enough. RAM types are different - there are DDR, DDR2, DDR3 and even DDR4, but the newer one you get, the higher frequencies it will be able to support and the faster the data traffic will be. You need to choose a gaming laptop with at least 8 GB of RAM, though the more the better and the best laptops for games have as many as 16 GB.
Finally, check the capacity of the storage device and the technology used in it. For example, most simple laptops have hard disk drives (HDDs) which are quite affordable and have a huge capacity but they are relatively slow and somewhat outdated after solid-state drives (SSDs) have been invented. Of course, SSDs are much faster but more expensive than HDDs. That's why most gaming laptops have an SSD and an HDD. SSDs are used as system drives (Windows is installed on them), while all of your files are stored on HDDs.
Once you've decided on the previously mentioned features, consider the next one - the display, because the game is displayed on it. Therefore, you need to have a high-quality screen in order to enjoy the gaming experience. Game graphics have made a breathtaking progress within the last decade, so playing video games isn't only about killing some monsters, but also about admiring the graphics. So, begin with the screen size - most gaming laptops have a usual diagonal of 15.6 inches but if you want to feel as comfortable as possible while playing games - choose a larger screen (17.3 inches, for example).
Also, consider the resolution the screen provides. You can customise the settings before starting playing a video game and it's an advantage if your laptop supports one of the highest resolutions available. Most gaming laptops allow you to choose the resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (it's called Full HD).
In the end, check what technology is used in a display. All modern laptops have flat LED screens, but they are based on totally different technologies. The cheapest displays are based on the TN technology which has fairly poor viewing angles but boasts the excellent response time (1-5 ms). However, gaming laptops belong to the upper class of computers and usually have displays based on the IPS technology which provides much more vivid colours and better viewing angles, but they're a bit slower - 5-8 ms.
Finally, you can't imagine a cutting-edge device without a touchscreen and most gaming laptops have it. It helps us to use Windows, browse the websites, but it isn't a must-have feature for games.
Battery and Sound
The next step to make is to consider the battery. Any laptop is purchased for the sake of autonomous work without a necessity of plugging it into an outlet. And so the battery is important and you need to choose a laptop that provides a good battery life. Keep in mind that gaming laptops are very powerful and it means they consume a lot of power, so no laptop for games is strong enough to ensure 10 hours of autonomous work. And yet, choose the one that provides no less than 5 hours of battery life - otherwise, you will need to have a power cord around.
Games aren't only about image and display, but also about sound, particularly if you like playing online. Present-day games allow you to even speak with other gamers and that's why the sound matters. And if a conventional laptop has just 2 simple speakers, gaming laptops are usually more 'charged' in terms of sound and boast high-end speakers and even a subwoofer. Surely, you can use the headset while playing video games.
Ergonomics and Design
Finally, we've come to the last criteria to take into account - design and ergonomics. First of all, you need to choose the laptop by its appearance and material it's made of. Most laptops are made of plastic but the top-rated models have a metal casing (usually aluminium) which is better in terms of durability and cooling (keep in mind that a laptop has to have an efficient cooling system). The best and most expensive laptops for games boast a cutting-edge carbon casing which makes them really lightweight. However, if you choose a plastic model - it's good enough since fewer fingerprints and scratches are left on plastic.
And, of course, you need to check the keyboard - a crucial feature for any experienced gamer. A keyboard has to be convenient and that's why a lot of attention is paid to a keyboard layout. However, only you can decide if a keyboard is comfortable. In the end, check the backlighting of the keyboard - most gamers like playing in the evening and at night, so backlighting is important. The best laptops allow you to even change the colour of backlighting.
A Little Something About Frame Rates and All That Jazz
One Too Many Misconceptions
There are a lot of misconceptions regarding fps, frame rates, and visuals in general when it comes to gaming. The biggest issue is that most people do not even know nor care too much how many frame rates per second their laptop is able to generate in any given game. What's more, many people believe that their frame rate is much higher than it actually is. Casual and, oftentimes, even experienced gamers will say something like: "my computer is able to run just about any game perfectly fine, why would I need an upgrade?".
More Subjective but Less Subjective Too
The problem is that "perfectly fine" is very much relative and different people have different expectations as far as that "perfectly fine" is concerned. We get used choppy visuals about as well and fast as we get used to buttery-smooth gameplay. You'll see people playing at 20-25 fps at best saying that this is about as good as it gets and they do not care for higher frame rates.
However, these individuals will seldom be able to wholeheartedly repeat that line after experiencing the difference between the aforementioned frame rates and the usual 60 fps. As you would imagine, the difference is more than twice more frames per second. In other words, the difference is jarring.
Do Not Underestimate the Human Eye
Another misconception that's been floating the Internet is that the human eye is incapable of registering more than 24/30/60 frames per second. However, that is far from the truth. In reality, the human eye is able to detect and differentiate between 1000 frames per second, give or take.
That is where the 120 and 144Hz panels come in. They've been introduced to the mass market a few years ago but, as it is usually the case, the tech was not necessarily affordable to the general public at the time. Fast-forward to the current year and your average gamer is more or less able to afford a gaming laptop with a panel like that or, at the very least, a 144Hz monitor.
Again, as you would imagine, the difference between a panel like that and its industry-standard 60Hz counterpart is staggering and very much noticeable to the untrained eye. At the same time, the issue is that you can't just purchase a monitor like that and fully enjoy every bit of those 144Hz refresh rates.
Sure, your display will be refreshing 144 times per second. But if your computer is not able to deliver 144 frames per second, what's the point? You'll just be seeing the same images over and over again, twice or even three times in a row depending on your fps.
Gaming Laptops for the Win
That is one of the many reasons so many people opt for gaming laptops these days. Sure, you can always upgrade your hardware along with the monitor. But it is far more convenient to purchase a fully-fledged gaming laptop and be able to enjoy matching refresh rates and frame rates right from the get-go.
What's more, many laptops these days come already equipped with FreeSync or G-Sync. These technologies synchronise your display's refresh rate with the frame rate, eliminating pixel distortion, motion jitter, and image artifact. They allow you to play without suffering through dropped frames and choppy visuals.
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