Best Laptops for Gaming
What makes a great gaming laptop? You guessed: raw power, eye-popping graphics performance, and muscle-car looks. We've rounded up some of our favorite gaming rigs priced between $829 to a dig-deep-in-your-wallet price of $3442.
These systems (including ones from Acer, Alienware, and Samsung) aren't for the faint of heart: our biggest baddest system weighs in at a whopping 10 pounds. Eat your heart out, ultraportable shoppers.
Alienware M17x R4
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better gaming laptop than the Alienware M17x R4. Complementing its slick design is one of the most powerful mobile Ivy Bridge processors money can buy - the third-generation Intel Core i7-3720QM. This model is also specced-out with Kepler-based Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M discrete graphics card, RAM upgradable to 32GB, and a 500GB hard drive. The M17x R4 also sports a beautiful 17.3-inch glossy LED-backlit screen with a native resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. As if that’s not enough, you’ll get close to five and half hours of battery life- two hours more than most of the M17x R4’s competition.
Alienware M17x R4 | From $1499
If you don’t mind lugging around an 11-pound computer/AC power brick combo, the Origin EON17-S boasts nearly unparalleled performance, above-average audio, and a 17.3-inch full-HD display. This desktop replacement laptop is one of the fastest computers we’ve ever tested, thanks to an available Intel Extreme Edition Core i7-3920XM CPU overclocked to 4.5GHz. You’ll also get up to 32GB RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 674M graphics card in this gaming powerhouse.
Origin EON17-S | From $1560 (base) to $3442 (fully loaded)
Samsung Series 7 Gamer
The Samsung Series 7 Gamer laptop doesn't set any benchmark records, but it features solid performance without breaking the bank. Under the hood is an Intel i7-3610QM 2.3 GHz processor, 16GB RAM and a spacious 1.5TB hard-disk drive along with a 17.3-inch display and a slick dial that lets you quickly switch between power settings. We like the Series 7 Gamer's backlit keyboard that highlights the WASD keys (the keys most used by gamers) in red.
Samsung Series 7 Gamer | $1899
It may not win a beauty contest, but the hefty MSI GT70 17.3-inch display gaming system will give you good performance with more than five hours of battery life – unprecedented for a gaming laptop. The GT70 packs features that will make you forget about the uninspired design such as three USB3.0 ports, Killer 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (with speeds up to 450 megabits per second), and dual SanDisk U100 60GB solid-state drives.
MSI GT70 | $2,099
Acer Aspire TimelineUltra M5-581TG-6666
If bulky gaming laptops are getting you down, the Acer Aspire TimelineUltra M5-581TG-6666 is worth a look. The 15.6-inch display rig weighs in at 4.5 pounds and is our only Ultrabook in this roundup. But don't be fooled by its diminutive size. This Aspire packs powerful gaming features found on gaming rigs twice its heft. The M5-581TG sports an Intel Core i5-3317U processor, 6GB RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics card and a 500GB hard-disk drive, to go with more than seven hours of battery life. It’s easier on the wallet too, coming in as our only laptop in the top five under $1000.