10 best gaming laptops 2016: top gaming notebooks reviewed

Techradar's top-ranking gaming laptop reviews

Best gaming laptops

Update: AMD expanded on its Polaris lineup during E3 2016, adding the RX 470 and its laptop-focused sibling, the RX 460.

Don't even bother telling your friends you want to buy a gaming laptop. "Just build a PC," they'll condescendingly suggest. But, you know better. You have the money to spare and you simply don't want to put in the time or effort to build your own desktop. Plus, you want a warranty on the entire product, not just individual parts.

That's why, despite the whole Steam Machine thing not working out, there will always be a place for gaming laptops. Being able to take your rig on the go, complete with a built-in monitor and keyboard however isn't cheap. A decent gaming laptop starts at about $1,400 (about £900). That's on the low end. If you want to play games at 1080p 60fps on the highest settings, you're looking at a computer that's well over $3,000 (around £1,900, AU$4,000).

Factor in the cost of your monitor, keyboard, mouse and potential hazards, and a gaming laptop might be more suited to your needs. All you want to do is play games. Not fiddle with cables or locked down to a desk with a towering beast of a machine lurking off to the side. Gaming laptops are more sleek, and not to mention powerful, than ever – some of which even have the battery lives to extensively support the massive workload. Here you'll find which gaming laptop is best for you, from the eye-tracking MSI GT72S G Tobii to the easily upgradeable Alienware 17.

Best Gaming Laptops

1. Origin EON15-X

A desktop-grade CPU in an unbeatable gaming laptop

CPU: 4GHz Intel Core i7-6700K | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M (8GB GDDR5 RAM), Intel HD Graphics 530| RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 LED Backlit Matte Display | Storage: 256GB SSD; 1TB SSHD

Great value
Desktop-grade performance
Razor thin viewing angles

The Origin EON15-X is a real head turner. It packs a desktop Skylake processor into a fairly compact 15.6-inch laptop that, while smaller, offers even more performance compared to other, bigger hardcore 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 in no matter what game you're running. This machine is definitely worth consideration over all others.

Read the full review: Origin EON15-X

Best Gaming Laptops

2. Gigabyte P35X v5

Underneath the plain exterior lies a 4K gaming beast

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M 8GB GDDR5, Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 SDRAM | Screen: 15.6-inch, UHD 3,840 x 2,160, IPS LCD | Storage: 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD

Splendid performance at 4K
Surprisingly decent battery life
Poor ergonomics
Pointless optical drive

The Gigabyte P35X v5 is a mighty powerful, 4K gaming laptop equipped. While most machines have failed to play games at Ultra HD resolutions, this 15-inch rig has come closest to making it a reality with speed Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GTX 980M stacked with the maximum amount of video memory on a mobile GPU. All of this overwhelming power will see that you're able to play 4K games at a decent 30 to 60 fps clip. All the while, the P35X v5 offers decent battery life to boot.

Read the full review: Gigabyte P35X v5

best gaming laptops

3. Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15-inch

An attractive and long lasting 15-inch gaming laptop

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M (4GB DDR5 VRAM), Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,133MHz) | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD LED AntiGlare Backlit Multitouch (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD (5,400 RPM)

Stylish look
Ample battery life
Gets hot
Terrible trackpad buttons

Entry-level gaming 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.

Read the full review: Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15-inch

Best gaming laptops

4. Gigabyte P55W v5

High-end graphics on a low-key laptop

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTX 970M | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch full HD 1,920 x 1,080 IPS anti-glare LCD | Storage: 128GB SSD; 1TB SSD

Decent power
Good battery life
Slightly chunky
Pedestrian design

For the most part, the Gigabyte P55W v5 gives you the meat of the company's P57W v5, but in a smaller form factor. Everything about this laptop is subtle. Even the tiger stripes color scheme, which you would imagine to be quite flashy, is discreet and subdued, perhaps even passing as a workstation if you're so inclined. Starting at only $1,224 (around AUS$1,694) or £1,178 in the UK, the P55W is a capable, yet surprisingly portable machine with an appearance that might fool you into thinking otherwise. Its use of a GTX 970M gives it an edge over laptops with more unruly, boisterous exteriors and with only a 15-inch chassis to boot.

Read the full review: Gigabyte P55W v5

best gaming laptop

5. MSI GS60 Ghost Pro

The best thin-and-light gaming laptop

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 6700HQ | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 eDP Wide View Angle | Storage: 128GB SSD; 1TB HDD

Performance pusher
Stupendous keyboard
Fleeting battery life
A bit expensive

High on mature styling and light on weight, the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro is one of the thinnest gaming laptops you can buy. Don't think this svelte machine has sacrificed performance for the sake of cutting weight. It still comes packed with a high-end Intel Skylake processor and graphics card to make it a one of the strongest platforms we've ever tested. Just make sure to stick with a 1080p resolution and medium to high visual settings.

Read the full review: MSI GS60 Ghost Pro

Best Gaming Laptops

6. Asus ROG G752

This mobile PC gaming powerhouse throws a hefty punch

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M (3GB GDDR5); Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 17.3-inch, full HD 1,920 x 1,080, IPS LCD | Storage: 128GB SSD; 1TB HDD (7,200rpm)

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.

Read the full review: Asus ROG G752

best gaming laptop

7. MSI GT72S G Tobii

More than meets the eye

CPU: 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-6820HK | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M (8GB GDDR5 RAM); Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare IPS | Storage: 256GB SSD (PCIe Gen3x4); 1TB SATA HDD (7,200RPM)

Accurate eye-tracking
Solid gaming performance
Seeing three constant dots
Limited game compatibility

Despite lacking the visual-slash-desktop performance appeal of the GT72S Dominator Pro, the MSI GT72S G Tobii boasts a unique set of features you can't find anywhere else. Making use of Tobii eye-tracking technology, this version of the GT72S allows players to use their eyes as an additional control input, at least for a specific set of games. If you don't need the extra power (or at least don't want to shell out upwards of $3,000), the GT72S Tobii is an affordable solution with some tricks up its sleeve.

Read the full review: MSI GT72S G Tobii

Best gaming laptops

8. Origin EON17-SLX

The ultimate gaming laptop built with desktop-grade power

CPU: 4GHz Intel Core i7-6700K | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (8GB GDDR5 VRAM), Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,133MHz) | Screen: 17.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS Matte Display with G-SYNC | Storage: 256GB SSD, 1TB Hybrid Drive (7,200 rpm)

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.

Read the full review: Origin EON17-SLX

best gaming laptops

9. MSI GT80 Titan

An outrageously sized and powerful gaming laptop

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-4720HQ | Graphics: 2 x Nvidia GTX 980M SLI (16 GB GDDR5); Intel HD Graphics 4600 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 18.4-inch WLED FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare Display | Storage: 256GB SSD; 1TB HDD (7,200 RPM)

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

best gaming laptop

10. Alienware 17 (2015)

The Alienware 17 is an impressive refinement for this series of gaming laptops

CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-4710HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M (4GB GDDR5 RAM), Intel HD Graphics 4600 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 17.3 inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS anti-glare display | Storage: 256 GB M.2 SATA SSD + 1TB HDD (7,200 rpm)

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)

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