You’ll need one of the best VR laptops if you’re looking to explore the virtual worlds in their highest fidelity, but don’t have room for a PC.
Lucky for you, this is the year of VR. Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR have been on the store shelves for quite some time now, and Valve Index has just hit the streets, bringing virtual reality out of the realm of '90s cyberpunk fantasies and into our homes. And, more and more of the best gaming PCs and the best gaming laptops are VR ready.
- Find out the best VR laptop deals on Amazon Prime Day
However, no matter how you slice it, VR is still cutting-edge, pricey tech. The barrier for entry into the virtual world is, at minimum, about $700 (about £619, AU$1,029) for a PS4 and a PlayStation VR headset.
Taking virtual reality to the next level with a PC headset costs considerably more, with the Oculus Rift headset priced at $599 (£499, about AU$1,100 with shipping) and the HTC Vive at $799 (£689, about AU$930 with shipping).
None of those costs include a VR-capable PC.
Eventually, prices will come down as the technology bends to the will of Moore's Law. For now, early adopters will need to pay a hefty toll to cross the bridge into the VR space, and those who want to take their headsets on the road should brace for the costs associated with the best VR laptops.
If you're dead set on a portable VR experience, we've got a guide to help you pick out your beastly new computer. Both the Vive and Oculus require some pretty solid specs, so the best VR laptops on this list are definitely built for the enthusiast with deep pockets.
1. MSI GS65 Stealth
The ultimate crowd pleaser gaming laptop
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX1060 – GTX 1070 Max-Q | RAM: 16GB – 32GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD 1920x1080 | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
One of the most impressive Nvidia Max-Q gaming laptops we’ve tested to date, the MSI GS65 Stealth tops our list as it outclasses most of its rivals as far as performance, looking good and classy doing so with its thin and sleek chassis. Of course, it’s VR ready as well, topping our list of the best VR laptops in 2019. It’s not faultless – the audio could be better, as could its heat management – but it more than makes up for those in power and aesthetic.
Read the full review: MSI GS65 Stealth
2. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
Slim, light and packed with power
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Screen: 17.3-inch Full HD (1920x1080) IPS-level panel | Storage: 512GB / 1TB SSD
The Asus ROG Zephyrus GX701 is one of the most powerful thin and light gaming laptops right now, boasting a 9th-generation i7 chip, Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics and 16GB RAM in its 0.7-inch thick chassis. That will get you through most powerful VR games, and the only thing that’ll be breaking a sweat is you. Its svelte design will let you squeeze in some gaming discreetly at a cafe, if you turn down the RGB lighting, though you might want to play some non-VR stuff then.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
3. Razer Blade 2019
The sharpest Blade yet
CPU: Up to 9th Gen Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Up to GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q | RAM: 16GB | Screen: Up to 240Hz Full HD or OLED 4K Touch | Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
The Razer Blade 2019 is sharper than ever, touting powerful innards that will get you through the most demanding games, with the advanced model breezing through your favorite VR games. It comes with a much improved battery life as well, not to mention the Windows Hello camera that was missing in its previous version. All that power and frills come with a high price tag, but with a gaming laptop this intense, you’ll be more than satisfied with your albeit lofty purchase, which is why this is high on our best VR laptops list.
Read the full review: Razer Blade 2019
4. MSI GT75VR Titan
Thicc and powerful
CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ – i7-7820HK | Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 | RAM: up to 64GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD 1,920 x 1,080 – UHD 3,840 x 2,160 | Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD – 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD
The MSI GT75 Titan is already an incredible gaming laptop, so much so that we gave it high marks on our review. Yet this gaming desktop replacement also boasts a few VR models, taking gaming to the next level and you through the most demanding and best VR games without much effort. This isn’t something you’d carry with you to work or when traveling, as it is thick and hardly portable. Plus, the price tag is pretty steep. But if you want one of the best VR laptops on your desk, this one’s a win.
Read the full review: MSI GT75VR Titan
5. Alienware 17 R5
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 | RAM: up to 32GB | Screen: 17.3-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) | Storage: up to 1TB SSD + 1TB HDD
The Alienware 17 R5 is designed to delve into virtual reality experiences, though considering how powerful it is – with an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 chip, Nvidia GTX 1070 and up to 32GB of memory, it can handle whatever demanding game you throw at it. Couple those internals with a decent battery life and a stunner of a display, and this is without a doubt one of the best VR laptops money can buy.
Read the full review: Alienware 17 R5
6. Asus ROG G703GI
An absolute beast
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H – i9-8950HK | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 | RAM: Up to 64GB | Screen: 17.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS-level panel | Storage: 256GB / 512GB SSD + 2TB / 1TB HDD
The VR-ready Asus ROG G703GI is easily one of the most powerful gaming laptops we’ve ever tested, so it makes sense for it to make our best VR laptops list as well. Playing your favorite processor-hungry, graphics-intensive games on it at the highest settings – VR or not, and you’ll feel like a pro. Just be ready to shell out a bit of cash and have that charger handy at all times, as it is expensive and not very energy-efficient.
Read the full review: Asus ROG G703GI
7. Origin EON17-SLX
This powerhouse won't have any troubles handling VR
CPU: Intel Core i5-6700K – i7-8700K | Graphics: Single NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 – Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 | RAM: up to 64GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD 1,920 x 1,080 – QFHD 3,840 x 2,160 IPS G-SYNC | Storage: up to 2 x HDD/SSD + 2 x m.2 SSD SATA/PCIe
The Origin EON17-SLX has room to breath when it comes to powering a VR headset. Inside the EON17-SLX is a desktop-grade GeForce GTX 1070 chip with 8GB of VRAM and one of Intel's new Skylake processors, the i5-6700K, running at 4GHz, to start. The laptop made mincemeat of our benchmarking tests, running GTA 5 on Ultra at a respectable 41 fps at 1080p. However, all that power comes with great responsibility, and in this case, you'll be responsible for not using it more than 2 hours without plugging it in. The virtual reality dream can be experienced away from home, just not for very long.
Read the full review: Origin EON17-SLX
8. MSI GT73VR Titan Pro
Portable gaming station could replace your desktop
CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ – i7-7820HK | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 | RAM: up to 32GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD 1,920 x 1,080 – UHD 3,840 x 2,160 | Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD – 1TB SSD + 1TB HDD
Also available with a 4K display, the portable powerhouse that is MSI GT3VR Titan Pro is indeed worthy of its moniker, a place in our best VR laptops list and as a gaming desktop replacement. There are many things to love on here: the gorgeous 120Hz screen, the premium programmable keyboard and the immersive attempts they made on those speakers. Plus, even if you’re not a fan of that gaming look, you’ll find its design quite appealing. All those add up to the perfect candidate for the best VR laptop, if you’re willing to splurge.
Read the full review: MSI GT73VR Titan Pro
9. Aorus X9
The most powerful desktop replacement
CPU: Intel Core i7-7820HK | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 | RAM: Up to 64GB | Screen: 17.3-inch QHD 2,560 x 1,440 – UHD 3,840 x 2,160 IPS Anti-Glare | Storage: Up to 2X PCI-E Gen 3 NVMe SSDs + 2TB HDD
The Aorus X9 has a few accolades under its belt. At the time of its release, it was the world's thinnest Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 laptop and the world's thinnest chassis with true laptop mechanical switches, not to mention the world’s first 17.3” laptop boasting quad fans. Accolades aside, it also offers uncompromising power in an ultra-thin body, allowing you to play any hardcore gaming without blinking. This is definitely one of the best VR laptops on the market today.
Read the full review: Aorus X9
- It's VR Week on techradar – read all the great content here