Before now, you could only endure your gaming on a desktop computer. But hey, it’s 2018 now and literally anything is possible with technology. Thankfully, one of such possible things is the invention of gaming laptops. Gaming laptops are must haves for the gaming maniacs. They are also pretty necessary even if what you just have is just a casual interest.
Gaming laptops can be pricey no doubt. However, with more brands getting in on the business, there are the less pricey ones as well.
In our article today, we have made a point to cater to all categories of our readers. So, from the best gaming laptop under $1500 to the best value gaming laptop, there’s something for everyone in this bag.
So, get in here quickly and let the game begin!
But do note this: There’s a buying guide section to quickly put you through on everything you need to know about gaming laptops.
Table of Contents
- Top 8 Gaming Laptops on Amazon Reviews
- Gaming Laptop Buying Guide
- Why You Should Get a Gaming Laptop
- Other People’s Opinion for Choosing the Best Gaming Laptop
- Our Favorite Gaming Laptop Is…
Top 8 Gaming Laptops on Amazon Reviews
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We begin our reviews with this brilliant gaming laptop from Asus called the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501. It’s a fabulous device with a Max-Q design. This design is the innovative way in which Asus designs this laptop to be one of the world’s slimmest, quietest and yet fastest laptop. Engineered to deliver the ultimate gaming experience with hi-tech chips, drivers, plus thermal and electrical components, this laptop is the real deal.
It features an outstanding Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) which impresses us for what it does for this laptop. This technology, which is exclusive to this laptop, by the way, combines a brilliant design with the latest technologies to deliver on every gamer’s biggest dreams. And that’s what? An ultra thin laptop that works without a peep and yet performs like a beast.
Now, while this machine performs excellently, there are measures in place that ensure that it does not overheat itself in the process. Right at the bottom of the laptop when you open it, you find that the screen flexes a bit giving room for 20% more space. This space allows for the improvement of air circulation by 40% which, in turn, reduces heating in your laptop 20% better than more traditional cooling setups.
Also, with the Aura RG lighting, you’ll be able to customize all your colors, and you’ll also be able to adjust some dynamic effects on your keyboard as well. For instance, you can swap your QWERTY for WASD clusters. And with the anti-ghosting technology here, your computer understands you every time. So, even if you hit more than the required number of keys at once, your computer will still interpret the command correctly.
Next, check out the specs here, this is a gamer’s dream. The processor is the Intel Core i7 with NVIDIA’s graphic processor – the GeForce GTX 1070. In addition, this laptop also features a 256GB HyerDrive SSD based on the latest technology from NVM Express and PCI Express.
Lastly, gameplay has never been as smooth as on the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501. It comes with a 120Hz display which means that gaming will be a smooth sail at 120 frames per second. Plus, you’ve also got the Nvidia G-SYNC technology which automatically sync your display’s refresh rate with your graphic card’s frame rate. Your gameplay is going to be so smooth! And stutter free too, thanks to the frame rates which are over 90FPS.
- Great compatibility with all kinds of cool accessories like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.
- Powerful CPU and GPU offer excellent gaming experience.
- Viewing angles here are pretty wide. Colors are also sharp thanks to the 100% panel coverage with the sRGB gamut.
- For speedy transfer, this comes with upgraded connectivity features.
- Features a USB Type-C port which delivers as much as 40GBps to Thunderbolt devices.
- For improved audio output, this features a Smart Amp Technology. This technology also protects your speakers from damage.
- Apparently, there are some firmware issues that could cause your laptop to boot to an empty screen sometimes. However, all you need to do is to update all the drivers from the operating system and the problem is taken care of.
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Our last gaming laptop was pretty expensive, a sub-$2000 laptop to be precise. Now, this time, we are bringing the price a bit lower. Like we told you, there’s something for everybody in this review. Hence, we present to you our best gaming laptop under $1500 – the Dell Alienware 13 Inch FHD Laptop.
We all know Dell. This brand has shown huge commitment to developing some of the world’s most versatile devices. From its regular laptops to notebooks to gaming laptops, one thing is consistent about the brand – versatility and innovation. And that’s why we’re not so surprised by what its Alienware 13 inch FHD Laptop. Alien is right, this laptop is a mutant and you’ll soon come to agree with us.
Somehow, Dell has managed to combine beauty with performance and it has come out brilliant. Don’t let the sleek look of the Aleinware fool you. This thing is a beast! Like its sibling, the Alienware 17, the Alienware 13 comes with a backlit keyboard. This means that you can totally work on this laptop in the dark.
And to make this laptop even more approachable, Dell throws makes the command center of this laptop usable even by a complete noob. With this move alone, Dell improves the customization and personalization of this laptop.
In terms of performance, this also shines and, in fact, over delivers especially for a 13 inch gaming laptop. Its processor is a 6th generation Intel Core i7, second only to the 7th generation Intel Core i7. So, you can be sure there will be next to no lag using this laptop. Also, the graphic processor here is the GeForce GTX 960M which is more than enough to satisfy even hardcore gamers. Add this to the excellent screen resolution the Alienware features (1920 x 1080) and you see why this is a customers’ favorite.
In addition to all of these, this also packs an impressive battery life. And when you pair this laptop with a powerful gaming amplifier, you totally jack up your gaming experience something awesome!
- All components here are high quality to achieve an excellent gaming experience.
- Graphics processor comes in the GeForce GTX 960M which gives each game beautiful frame rates.
- This laptop comes small in size and lightweight too, making this excellent for portability.
- Comes with multiple ports which allow you connect to several accessories and external devices at a time.
- This is just a 13 inch screen, so, expectedly it could somewhat detract from a fantastic gaming experience.
- This is strictly for gaming and can hardly be used as a regular laptop.
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We’ve just discussed the best gaming laptop under $1500, but before we get to the best gaming laptop under $1000, let’s check out the Acer Predator Helios 300. This is one laptop that has received lots of glowing reports both among users and among reviewers too. And you know the best part? This only comes at a few dollars above the $1000 mark.
Alright, straight to the review… Like our last laptop, this comes with a backlit keyboard that allows you use the laptop even in the dark. We also love the dual-fan cooling setup here which keeps your laptop from overheating and breaking down mid-game. This ensures that all the components remain cool to ensure that your hardware keeps pushing at optimum performance level.
Display here is 1080p which ensures that your pictures are always sharp and your colors are always vibrant. Plus with the graphics processor here, the GeForce GTX 1060, the gaming graphics here is really advanced. And this comes with a memory of 6GB so your gaming graphics can never be anything less than excellent.
Now, at this price point, the Acer Predator sure makes a couple of compromises here and there. But even at that, we’re still totally impressed with this laptop. It does not even come within the environs of a bad product. From the looks of the laptop with its brushed aluminum which gives a really nice feel to its rigid chassis, this laptop is pretty solid.
Yes, this might not give you the rock solid feel that laptops like say the Alienware series might give. But, without doubt, this does not feel cheap. And for the price, come on, this guy does well.
How is the gaming experience here? Again we are wowed. You can set your game to the highest standard and enjoy a smooth gaming experience. This comes with a 60Hz refresh rate after all, so, there won’t be any difficulty whatsoever pinning your framerate.
- Hi-tech specs which allow you play your favorite games just the way you like them.
- Comes with two speakers built-in.
- GTX 1060 and 1080 resolution screen work together to deliver brilliant graphics.
- Cooling system works as excellently as advertised, constantly keeping the internal components at optimum temperature.
- Matte screen makes for a truly impressive contrast as well as vibrant colors.
- Build quality is solid and the red and black chassis design makes this laptop truly outstanding.
- The body of this laptop is a fingerprint magnet. Yes, you’ll be able to clean it off but hey, it’s worth mentioning.
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The Lenovo Legion is our best gaming laptop under $1000. It’s a feature-rich laptop with processors of the latest technology. The CPU here is a 7th generation Intel Core. And the graphics processor is the famous next generation NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti. There’s nothing quite like it and it allows you enjoy the smoothest gameplay with its high frame rates. Pretty impressive, right? It gets better.
Alright, now let’s talk about audio quality. This comes with 2 Harman speakers but that’s not all. These speakers also come with custom-tuned Dolby Audio premium so you qualify for excellent audio quality all the time upon purchase of this laptop. As you know, besides the visuals, audio is another crucial aspect that determines how well you enjoy your gaming.
That said, we love the fact that this comes easily customizable. Lenovo makes it super easy for you to customize nearly any setting on this laptop. Yep, you can customize cooling, audio quality, active keys, as well as network priority. And once you’ve sorted that, you’re able to fully concentrate on your gaming and enjoy it immensely.
Another attractive quality of this gaming laptop is how it cools. It has several features in place which ensure that the internal components are always at optimum temperature and therefore performing at their best. The fans are strategically placed, and also the vents are situated in a position that’s close to processors and the graphics card. By systemically moving the hot air out, these fans and vents ensure that the most important components of your laptop are cool and safe. As you know, gaming demands a lot of horsepower and consequently leads to the giving off of a lot of heat which could damage your laptop. So, the cooling system is a huge plus.
- The Lenovo Nerve Sense gives additional cooling which keeps the internal components of your laptop at optimum temperature.
- Comes with a backlit keyboard which enable you use the laptop in poor lighting.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Accurate and responsive keystrokes makes this great for in-game chatting.
- RAM is a little too small for some but you can upgrade to a 16GB and enjoy your laptop.
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The prices get lower as we move on with this review. Here we present our best gaming laptop under $800. It’s a little more affordable than the others we’ve seen. But if it’s still out of reach for you, hang on, we still have entries for the best affordable gaming laptops. So, hang on.
Especially for its price, this more than impresses us with the size of its screen. It’s a whooping 17.3 inches! So, if it’s for viewing experience, you’re sure to get a wide and pleasurable one. But, of course, with a large screen size also comes the problem of weight. This is a bit heavy, weighing in at about 6.6 pounds. However, the biggest detraction for us on this model is the fact that Lenovo did not cash on the large sized screen to include a touch feature.
Also, we are quite surprised that this laptop does not come with a backlit keyboard. Especially because gaming environments tend to be dark to enhance the ambience and viewing experience. This seems to be an obvious feature Lenovo skipped. Even at this price, that could have been included.
When it comes to performance though, this laptop shines. In fact, some describe it as astronomical. Its processor is an Intel Core i7 which is excellent for gaming speed. And the graphics processor is a GeForce GT840M 2GB which is pretty satisfactory. We’ve definitely seen better, yeah, but this will not disappoint you by any means. And then again, there’s the full HD screen for the lovers of multimedia which also improves the viewing experience as well.
Lastly, audio here is out of this world. The laptop does not only come with quality speakers, it also features a quality subwoofer as well. So, from visuals to audio quality, the Lenovo Z70 does really well. Altogether, this makes an impressive laptop for the price.
- This comes with a large FHD display screen which enhances your gaming experience.
- A staggering system memory capacity of 1 terabyte.
- Impressive audio quality thanks to quality JBL speakers and subwoofers.
- This does not come with a backlit keyboard which hampers the usability of this laptop.
- Battery life isn’t exactly excellent.
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Coming down on price once again, we present our best gaming laptop under $700. The Acer Aspire is an excellent laptop equipped with new technologies. This especially impresses us because of the price. At a price point lower than $700, you’d have to agree that it doesn’t get over the top but here’s a laptop that tries.
That said, we’ve got to give it to Acer, this laptop is sick! It comes with the GeForce MX150 graphics card which is a lot better than the older GeForce GTX 950M. It consumes less power and yet performs a lot better. Plus, it also comes with the GDDR5 which is a ginormous improvement to the low-performing DDR3.
As for the CPU, this laptop is excellent in this area as well. We’re talking 8th generation Intel Core i5, people. It’s a quad core with 8 threads and is therefore much more powerful than the older generation CPUs from Intel. Those only featured two cores, so of course, performance isn’t as impressive.
Be that as it may though, at this price point, this laptop isn’t exactly the most powerful in the market. It might also have some trouble running highly demanding games. If that’s how you roll though, then look at other laptops on our review to find out more powerful laptops that can keep up.
However, if you want an inexpensive laptop that runs recent games at 1366 x 768. Or you need something affordable to run older games at Full HD, the Acer Aspire makes a wonderful deal!
- Inexpensive gaming laptop with a dedicated video card of decent quality.
- RAM is upgradeable from 8GB to 20GB.
- Keyboard and speakers are quite decent for the price.
- Impressive battery life.
- Keyboard comes backlit.
- Build quality is just average.
- Trackpad could be better.
- Keyboard layout isn’t the best.
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We told you we made sure there was something for everyone on our review today. And so far, we’ve tried to keep that promise, haven’t we? Anyway, as we draw closer to the end of our review, we are delving more and more into the best budget gaming laptops in the market. This time, we are featuring our best gaming laptop under $600 which is the Asus VivoBook Full HD Nanoedge Laptop.
Now, when it comes to getting budget gaming laptops, you’d have to learn to make some compromises here and there. These laptops aren’t designed to knock your socks off. However, that’s why we went for the best affordable gaming laptops. So, even though they might not blow minds, for the money, you’d have to agree that the budget laptops on our review today are quite satisfactory.
That said, this gaming laptop is from Asus, a brand that has given us high end, high quality gaming laptops in the past. However, it does seem that the manufacturers specially created this for light gaming purposes. Also, the way the laptop is built, it can also function as a regular laptop. So, if this is what you can afford for now, we think this is a pretty good deal as it gives a slice of both worlds.
Light gaming regardless, this packs a really powerful Intel processor with a sufficient RAM for many gamers. For most gamers though, an 8GB RAM is not enough, but, generally that’s always upgradeable so you could consider that.
The visual quality here is also quite impressive with the 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. Plus, at 15.6 inches, the screen here will give you a pretty wide viewing which is great.
But here’s something that left us pleasantly surprised: this laptop comes with an internal memory of 1000GB! Even some higher end models do not have this much space, and so, for this, we’re definitely impressed. And it is so lightweight which makes it easy to move around as well. With 3.7 pounds, there’s literally nowhere this laptop can’t come with you to!
- With a NanoEdge display, this gives a larger screen to enhance your viewing experience.
- Light weight with a super slim body makes this laptop really portable.
- Visualizations are clear and smooth.
- Excellent and speedy wireless network and USB connection.
- Keyboard isn’t backlit.
- Build quality could be stronger.
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Last but not the least on our review, we have our best gaming laptop under $500 which also doubles as our best cheap gaming laptop – the Acer Aspire E15. In few words, we will describe this as an excellent budget gaming laptop with an impressive battery life. It offers a host of features which makes us believe that it gives an impressive value for money.
Check it out… It comes with a 1080p display, a powerful core 13 processor, a sturdy build and a medium weight at 5.9 pounds. This might seem like a cheapie to you, but in its category, it is a sure winner.
Its Intel HD 620 graphics processor allows you to enjoy a variety of games. In fact, among all gaming laptops under $500, we can confidently say this is one of the best to support this feature. Besides that, this also features a DVD writer with several other ports which help you to connect to several accessories and devices at a time. There are the USB connectors (2), VGA out, HDMI out, as well as a USB Type C port (3.1) on the left side. And on the right, the laptop sports an audio jack, a DVD drive, as well as another USB port. In the front is where you find the SD card reader.
The 15.6 inch screen is another impressive aspect of this laptop. With this width, your viewing experience is enhanced by a lot as you enjoy wide viewing. And then when you combine that with a superb 1080p display, you find that this will more than satisfy you in the visuals department.
Of course, we won’t fail to mention the quality speakers this laptop sports. These speakers are good enough to fill a medium sized room so you can enjoy your gaming. Plus, with its 1T hard drive and 4GB RAM (which is upgradeable), you can trust that this will handle multitasking quite well.
For a laptop so decently priced, you’d have to agree with us that the Acer Aspire E15 does more than just averagely. If that’s all you can afford right now, we strongly urge you to get it as you won’t regret it. It can also act as your regular laptop too. So, it’s a win win!
- Impressive battery life.
- Many speakers for connectivity.
- Also comes with a DVD drive.
- Great audio quality.
- Webcam quality is just average.
Gaming Laptop Buying Guide
If you’ve never bought a gaming laptop before, then the gaming laptop market can be understandably confusing. But we’re here to set things straight with our buying guide. Here are some of the biggest factors you should consider:
This is the most important factor to look out for when checking out gaming laptops. This is really important because these days, new games use a lot of horsepower than older games used to. That is, to run all the functions that most modern games come with, you need horsepower in their boatloads. This becomes “worse” when the game is multiplayer because now the processor has the increased responsibility of keeping track on the several players at the same time.
Obviously, this will require a lot of processing and so it will cause lag. If you go hardcore on your gaming, then you best look for an Intel Core i7 quad processor. Currently, the Intel Core i7 is the best quad core CPU in the market, and therefore the best at handling intense gaming.
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
Besides the CPU, another factor you’d need to check out is the graphics processing unit. Like the name suggests, this is the genius behind all the images you see. The GPU works hard to give all the images and details you see. So, the more sophisticated your GPU, the sharper the images, and the more specific the detail.
Now, at the minimum, a gaming laptop should come with a GeForce GTX 850M or the GTX 760M. Generally though, graphics card of GeForce GTX 700 and 800 are great for gaming. However, since we are on this turf it might be nice to mention that the GTX 800 is the better choice. With the GTX 800, you’ll be able to achieve battery boost, streaming, and 3D surround.
Next lesson on GPUs, you need memory for your graphics card to function properly. So, another factor you need to consider is the VRAM. Ideally, the graphics card of the laptop should come with its own VRAM/memory. This will enable the card to store all kinds of stuff like frames, textures and other necessary things needed to deliver on the highest quality images.
Generally, the higher the VRAM size, the better your gaming experience. However, as long as the memory is at least 3GB or 4GB, you’re definitely in the clear.
This one is pretty straightforward, the higher the resolution, the higher the quality of the images. The norm these days is to have the 1080 pixels (1080P). However, it depends on how fastidious you are as a gamer. If your tastes run higher, then you might go higher than 1080P. Keep in mind though, whatever kind of gamer you are, anything less than 1920 x 1080 would mean muddy graphics. And you won’t enjoy that.
First of all, this is different from the VRAM we talked about initially. VRAM had to do with the graphic card, this has to do with the laptop itself. Your laptop’s memory is crucial to your gaming experience. It’s important because this is where your processor (which we discussed earlier) gets to store all the needed game settings and files to run the game.
If you’re going the intensive gaming route, then you best go for a laptop with an 8GB RAM. Now, while that’s your best bet, there’s also concession for a 6GB RAM. However, it cannot get less than a 6 if you really want to enjoy your gaming experience.
Storage Space (HD)
Okay, next, you need to check up the storage space of the gaming laptop. These days when games require a storage space of about 5 to 10 GB to run, storage space is something you can’t skimp on. You must get a laptop with a large drive. Our advice? Get a laptop with a hard drive that’s 1 Terabyte in size, at least. Also, you might want to consider getting an external drive as it will help you speed up your boot time.
Another factor that will impact on your gaming experience on any gaming laptop is the size of the laptop’s screen. An optimum size that combines portability with excellent visuals is a 15.6 inch screen. Of course it could get higher than that, there are laptop screens that are close to 17 inches in width. And while that’s going to be crazy and all, you’ve got to factor in portability as well. Such laptops weigh roughly 7 pounds at least. However, if you’re willing to make that small sacrifice, then a 17 inch screen will no doubt improve your experience.
That said, from all we’ve seen so far, it’s safe to say that portability is inversely proportional to the screen size of a laptop. We’ve already explained the screen size portability relationship. But also, the more powerful a laptop comes, the less portable it’s going to be.
Now, back to screens for a bit before we move on…. You could go for a 15 inch laptop, it’s great even though it will only provide moderate portability. But if portability matters so much to you, then there’s also the option of getting 13 to 14 inch screens. Beware though because though such laptops are probably the best cheap gaming laptops you’d find, they also hardly come with powerful processors or graphics cards. This is because they don’t have space enough to effectively dissipate the amount of heat high end processor and graphic cards give off.
If you’re familiar with gaming laptops, you know that they are pretty lousy when it comes to their battery lives. Even on moderate use, most of them would barely go beyond 4 hours max. Nevertheless, there are some more economic models that would go for as long as 7 hours, some even more. Whatever the case, it’s wise to check this specification when getting a gaming laptop so, at least, you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Now, lastly, before we move on. Here’s why you should get a gaming laptop.
Why You Should Get a Gaming Laptop
If you’re still not sure what advantages a gaming laptop has over a regular laptop, here are a few reasons that might convince you.
Gaming laptops are much more compact than desktops and, therefore, easier to carry around.
Gaming Laptops Consume Less Power
Laptops generally conserve power so they don’t need so much electricity to run. They also release less heat than desktops because they are made of smaller parts than desktops. Yes, this is even when your computer is working real hard and the graphics card and processor are super busy too. So, you don’t have to bother with thinking up ways to cool your laptop.
Gaming desktops, on the other hand, usually require massive cooling to keep the desktop at an optimum temperature. In fact, in extreme cases, you might even need a liquid coolant. This will never happen with a gaming laptop.
Gaming Laptops are More Customizable
Most gaming laptops are highly configurable in all aspects like the memory, processor and graphics card. Plus, they also offer ports which enable you to connect to all kinds of accessories and external devices. So, you’ll be able to connect to mice, storage devices, several monitors, and speakers all at the same time!
Gaming Laptops Offer an Improved Performance
With a dedicated graphics card, powerful processors, lots of memoryspace, and a super fast hard drive, even non-gamers would be better off with a gaming laptop. There’s just so much improvement performance wise when compared to a regular notebook. Plus, gaming laptops remain relevant even after a long time.
Gaming Laptops are Upgradeable
Unlike standard laptops, manufacturers understand that gamers keep evolving in their gaming needs. So, typically, they make gaming laptops upgradeable. You often find 4 memory slots with options to increase internal storage. Plus, they also feature large access panels that means that the gamer can upgrade the components of their laptop without having to take down the entire laptop. So, instead of getting a new device nearly every other year, you can just keep upgrading one you already own.
Other People’s Opinion for Choosing the Best Gaming Laptop
Naturally, we found that lower priced gaming laptops seemed to have bigger fans than the higher priced ones. This was part of the reasons we tried to look for the best value gaming laptops in the market as against super high end ones. Trust us, we found laptops running into $5000!
That said, the Acer Aspire sure received glowing commendations from users on different platforms. Customers loved the fact that they could get a gaming laptop that could also function as a regular laptop. The price just put the much talked about bow on an already lovely gift.
The Lenovo Legion was another much loved product among customers. At its humble price point, customers felt they got really good value. Especially, many users found the battery life and vibrant display to be huge pros for this product.
Our Favorite Gaming Laptop Is…
Now, although the Asus ROG Zephyrus comes with most sophisticated features in our reviews, our favorite would be the Acer Predator Helios 300. Why? Because the Acer Predator costs significantly less than the Asus ROG Zephyrus, however, it only comes up short to the Asus by a little. For such a wide price margin, the corresponding performance margin isn’t so wide. And the Acer predator performs so well. So, in our opinion, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is our best gaming laptop 2018 especially because of the value it brings to the table.