As cross-platform play , the best gaming laptops continue to bear a competitive edge against their living room-based rivals. For one thing, you don’t have to pay for the online multiplayer – there’s almost never a subscription fee required to play games purchased through Steam, Origin and even the Windows 10 Store.
Yet, even as we’re faced with smartphones that cost over a grand, gamers can’t seem to shake the cost of playing on a powerful new PC. Even as Nvidia comes out with , there’s a baseless misconception that you have to be rich to own one of the top gaming laptops. In the long-run, however, it’s actually cheaper to game on PC.
That being the case, whether you need a gaming laptop that runs everything in 4K or just anything you can use to run the at stable frame rates, we’ve gathered the top gaming laptops in every category to help you determine your next big purchase. In an order based on our review ratings and awards, these are the best gaming laptops of 2017.
1. Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501
Under an inch thick and still kicking ass
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 120Hz panel with G-Sync | Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe x4 SSD
It’s almost as if Asus has initiated a new laptop category of its own with the Zephyrus GX501. That’s because, with the help of Nvidia’s Max-Q technology, the Republic of Gamers has crafted a hardy gaming notebook that measures no thicker than an Ultrabook. In fact, the only area wherein it’s not Ultrabook-esque is the battery, which struggles to attain a consecutive lifespan beyond two hours.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501
2. Razer Blade
A gaming-ready MacBook Pro rival
CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 VRAM) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) IGZO (LED backlit, multi-touch) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD
For many gamers, Ultrabook is a four-letter word, but it doesn't have to be. The first time you get your hands on a Razer Blade, you'll be looking at a battery life of 7 and a half hours of non-stop video. While you could argue it does skimp as far as graphics are concerned, with the help of a Razer Core external GPU enclosure, you can strap an Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti to this thing down the road if you want. Plus, with the newly added 4K screen option, you may actually need it.
Read the full review: Razer Blade
3. MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro
1070 reasons to upgrade.
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7 i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 | Screen: 15-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 128GB PCie SSD, 1TB HDD
The industrial look of the laptop is distinctly unique from what MSI usually offers, delivering impressive performance with a slim design and great cooling to boot.
Read our hands-on preview: MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro
4. Alienware 13 R3
Gawk at the first-ever OLED gaming laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 13.3-inch HD 1,366 x 768 TN – QHD 2,560 x 1440 OLED touchscreen | Storage: 180GB – 512GB SSD
Unlike most laptops its size, the Alienware 13 R3 bears a hinge-forward design. By moving the heat sinks behind the screen, the chassis is allowed to be thinner, at 0.81-inch (0.22cm). Unfortunately, this means you won’t find many 13-inch laptop bags that will actually suit the Alienware 13 R3. While you may be tempted by the inclusion of a full-size Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, it’s the OLED touch display that caught our attention.
Read the full review: Alienware 13 R3
5. Razer Blade Pro
Finally, a desktop replacement with portability in mind
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5) – 1080 (8GB GDDR5X) | RAM: 16 – 32GB | Screen: 17.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 120Hz matte IPS – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IGZO touchscreen with G-Sync | Storage: 512GB – 2TB PCIe SSD
At long last, Razer has introduced a true desktop replacement that won’t weigh you down. Measuring in at only 0.88 inches thick with the option between a 17-inch 1080p display running at 120Hz or a G-Sync-laden 4K touchscreen, the Razer Blade Pro also introduces the company’s ultra-low-profile mechanical switches to a notebook for the first time ever. That’s a deal that’s only sweetened by an unusual trackpad placement that makes it comfier to boot.
Read the full review: Razer Blade Pro
6. Asus ROG Strix GL502
It's hard not to love a gaming laptop this good
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 - 1070 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch full HD 1,920 x 1,080 IPS | Storage: 128GB - 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD
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 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
7. Acer Predator 17 X
A monster gaming notebook that’s almost ready for 4K
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 | RAM: 32GB DDR4 Dual Channel | Screen: 17.3-inch 4K UHD screen, 3,840 x 2160, with Nvidia G-Sync | Storage: 512GB SSD – 1TBHDD
When considering a high-end gaming notebook, you need to look at performance, features and style. Acer has all those bases covered, and even though it’s pricey for a notebook that’s still using a previous generation video card, all the packed-in features — including the 4K screen, an SSD and hard drive combo, and booming sound system — make it worthwhile.
Read the full review: Acer Predator 17 X
8. Alienware 17 R4
Restoring honor to the Alienware name
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (2GB GDDR5) – GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X) | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Screen: 17.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS anti-glare 300-nits | Storage: 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD – 2TB SSD, 1TB HDD
To be frank, Alienware hasn’t been a name typically associated with value. That seems to be changing with the Alienware 17 R4, which bears so many different customization options when it comes to specs that you can practically name your own price. Bespeckled with all of the signature elements we’ve come to expect from the brand, such as RGB backlit-accents and tons of ventilation, our only real qualm with the Alienware 17 R4 is a disappointing battery life.
9. Lenovo Legion Y720
Leading the next wave of virtual reality
CPU: 7th gen Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1060 | RAM: upto 32GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch, (optional 17-inch & 4K display) | Storage: 1TB SSD/2TB HDD
The Lenovo Legion Y720 looks to be a solid choice for a mid-range gaming laptop. While we’ve seen plenty of laptops break the bank for the best specs and performance, this 15.6-inch option starts at a refreshingly affordable AED 5,699 – and users on a tighter budget may want to consider the lower-end Legion Y520 that starts at AED 3,699.
Read our hands-on preview: Lenovo Legion Y720
10. MSI GT83VR Titan
A titanic gaming laptop in so many ways
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 x 2 (8GB GDDR5X x 2, SLI) | RAM: 64GB DDR4 | Screen: 18.4-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS with anti-reflective coating | Storage: 1TB SSD – 1TB HDD
If there’s one thing we can say that we enjoy about the GT83VR Titan, it’s that you can rest assured that any game you throw at this device for the next few years should play at Ultra settings without issue. There’s also the fully customizable RGB keyboard backlighting, and the hardware-controlled cooling fans when you want to overclock. The laptop also offers Hi-Res audio through a dedicated port for the audiophiles out there.
Read the full review: MSI GT83VR Titan
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article