Update: The Gigabyte P37X has won our hearts and a four star review as one of the thinnest and lightest 17.3-inch laptops we've ever reviewed. This Nvidia's GTX 980M-powered gaming machine is great in almost every way
You don't even need to tell us what happened when you told your friends that you want to buy a gaming laptop. Their inner elitist got the best of them, and bashed you for not just outright building a gaming PC. But we get you. Building a gaming PC takes knowledge and dexterity that you just don't have or care to develop.
That's where the gaming laptop shines, as the fast lane to PC gaming. No need to build a case or even buy a monitor. Of course, that convenience comes with quite a price tag. Most vendors start their asking prices at around $1,400 (about £818, AU$1,492) for 13 and 14-inch products, whereas the biggest and beefiest 17 and 18-inch models can skyrocket upwards of $3,000 (around £1,753, AU$3,195).
If you consider that a gaming laptop will never come close to a comparably-priced gaming desktop, then your decision is already made. But again, the gaming notebook is a device of convenience and portability over raw power. Without further ado, here are our favorite gaming laptops that we've reviewed thus far.
Aorus X7 Pro
Aorus has successfully put a hardcore gaming laptop into a chassis less than an inch thick, proving that you can indeed enjoy a high-performance machine that isn't a brick. In fact, the Aorus X7 Pro is one of the best performing machines we've ever tested. It absolutely crushed it in our suite of benchmark tests, setting all sorts of new records. In real world gaming, it easily plays modern titles at 1080p with all the graphical flourishes set to ultra.
Thanks to the Nvidia dual 970M setup, this machine easily outpaces Alienware 18 we reviewed last July, a massive gaming laptop that costs nearly double the amount and is also twice as thick compared to Aorus' thin mobile gaming offering. Even the similarly priced MSI GT72 Dominator falls well short of the X7 Pro even with a Nvidia 980, the best mobile GPU on the market currently.
That said, also one of the hottest and loudest laptops we've ever reviewed as well. We've had a few machines with loud fans such as the Origin EVO15-S. The X7 Pro, however, is on a whole other level, as the machine sounds like a leaf blower on full load. The system also gets uncomfortably hot, even when simply web browsing and streaming video.
- Read our Aorus X7 Pro review
There's plenty to like about the EVO15-S, and while it comes at an expensive premium, it's one of the few laptops that are well worth the expense. This Origin machine is one of the thinnest and lightest gaming laptops you possibly buy.
Meanwhile, it does not skimp at all with some of the latest cutting edge parts, an excellent 1080p panel for all types of media, three storage drives and 16GB of RAM. Plus there's also the option to throw on a 4K screen for a marginally priced upgrade.
In time, more and more gaming PCs will be outfitted with Nvidia's latest GPUs, but for now, the Origin EVO15-S is one of the best-performing gaming laptops for a reasonable price.
- Read our Origin EVO15-S review
There isn't anything too surprising about the Asus GL551. It checks off all the boxes you'd expect from gaming laptops without breaking the bank. Despite the value-packed price, this laptop isn't lacking in power at all. It performs admirably playing just about any title on medium to high settings.
The Asus GL551 isn't the best looking gaming laptop around, however, it's mostly a joy to use and that's what really matters. The metal keyboard deck and palm rests is a solid platform for gamers to tap and click on well into the wee hours of the night. Plus the notebook comes with a decent set of tweeters. That saves you from having to invest in a headset to hear all of the splashy in-game explosions.
Sadly, our biggest (and only) hangup with the Asus GL551 is its downright awful display for day to day use whether you're gaming or just browsing the web. Save for the display, though, the Asus GL551 is a sweet package for its affordable price and one of the very best affordable gaming laptops currently out today.
- Read our Asus GL551 review
As a rule, gaming laptops are not often light or thin with awful battery life and they can cost a small fortune. Gigabyte, however, has bucked this trend with its 17.3-inch powerful machine powered by Nvidia's latest and greatest GTX 980M GPU that's neither thick or heavy.
This is a powerful system backed up with a top-tier Intel Core i7 processor that won't even break into a sweat when playing Battlefield 4, but the real star is the display. The 17.3-inch IPS panel that looks absolutely superb whatever angle it's viewed at. For gaming, it's a lot better than a 14 or 15-inch screen, as it provides a great view of the action, although such a large screen means there's more chassis space to squeeze in more components and a bigger battery.
With plenty of external connectivity, straightforward upgradability, an included optical drive and Ethernet port, with a no-nonsense look about it and battery life that's pretty good, the P37X is just what a gaming laptop should be. All the performance and expandability, with none of the fluff.
- Read our Gigabyte P37X review