The best gaming laptops in 2016

When compared to their predecessors, gaming laptops are no longer considered to be furnaces intended for casual gaming. They have become full-blooded gaming systems (PC’s) capable of running even the most demanding games and software available. Full quad cores with virtualization, tens of gigabytes of RAM, SSDs, HDDs, quad HD displays – these are only some of the specs that are slowly becoming mainstream in the high class gaming laptops range. In the light of that, let’s take a look at five of these beasts that have marked the year which we are to leave behind quite soon.

Asus ROG G752VS-XB78K – OC

This beast might not be on the cheaper side of the offer and it could be observed in a category of its own. From the start, its price tag of $3000 will drive away the majority of customers. However, if you don’t want to compromise, and you love those robust exterior some ROG series laptops come with, then this is the right computer for you.

For starters, it packs a pure Core i7 6820HK with base clock at 2.7 GHz and boost of up to 3.6GHz in extreme mode (factory overclock). That is not all, you can go even further by choosing manual mode and have the CPU turbo operate at 4 GHz. Should you want to rest it a bit, standard mode makes turbo go up to 3.2GHz for some “lightweight” work.

Alongside CPU, graphics card is the most important part of a gaming laptop, and boy did Asus go for it. They were the first to incorporate Nvidia’s latest chip into mobile systems. That is why we have GTX1070 with 8GB RAM in this laptop, and just like the CPU, it has been factory overclocked so when in extreme mode, you get an extra 50MHz of GPU juice for smoother frame-rate.

asus-rog-1

Specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7 6820HK up to 4GHz turbo;

GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB DDR5 VRAM;

RAM: 64 GB @ 2400 MHz OC;

Storage: 512GB SSD + 1TB 7200 RPM HDD;

Screen: 17.3” @ 1080p;

This is a top-tier laptop and I would be mistaken if I said that others are much worse than this one, but I had to pick the best of the best, and Asus’ unique ROG design prevailed with G752VS. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but for me it is bad-ass enough to top this list.

Razer Blade

Hardware-wise, this laptop is not the biggest powerhouse. So, you might wonder why is it here with its $1900+ price and last year’s hardware? Well, the answer is simple: This is a true laptop. It brought back mobility to gaming laptops and just for that it deserves to be here. Not only is it “Raz[e]or” thin, it also has an astounding battery life for a gaming ultrabook – 3hr of gaming and almost 6 hours during video playback is more than awesome.

razer-blade

Specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700HQ up to 3.5GHz turbo;

GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M with 6GB DDR5 VRAM;

RAM: 16GB DDR4 @ 2133 MHz;

Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD;

Screen: 14” QHD 3200 x 1800;

Performance-wise, Razor Blade doesn’t come without compromises. The GPU that is used in it is last-gen and it isn’t as nearly as powerful as the new Pascal series. With that in mind, the GTX 970M should not be so easily disregarded. It will cope with modern titles at mid/high settings in FHD without problems. However, you can forget about ultra and advanced AA if you are looking for a smooth gameplay.

Overall, this is a good laptop (ultrabook) that will satisfy the needs of not only gamers, but businesspersons alike, with its sleek and minimalist design and functionality.

MSI GS60 Ghost Pro (002)

It is time to present a mid-range gaming laptop that holds a well-deserved spot on this list. It is somewhat a competitor to Razer Blade, but at a less steep price. The laptop is as much as $300 cheaper than Razer.

It might not be as sleek and thin as Razer, but it is damn close. Also, it has a tad bigger screen (15.6”) but with lower res (1080p). What differs it from Blade is the storage capacity. Ghost Pro comes with both 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD.

msi-gs60-ghost-pro

Specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700HQ up to 3.5GHz turbo;

GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M with 6GB DDR5 VRAM;

RAM: 16GB DDR4 @ 2133 MHz;

Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD;

Screen: 15.6” FHD 1920 x 1080;

MSI GS60 Ghost Pro (002) yields quite solid gaming performances, just like Razer Blade. Some compromises are inevitable when it comes to more demanding games, but it is still a mid-range gaming laptop.

In the end, what I maybe like the most about this laptop is its keyboard. Developed by Steelseries, it has fully customizable backlight and a number pad; and what I dislike the most are the subpar speakers and the battery, you’ll need your headphones or dedicated speakers as well as a power source nearby.

Alienware 17R3

What would a list of best gaming laptops be without Dell and its Alienware brand. Just like Sheldon Cooper, I hold Alienware in highest respect as pioneers in the gaming laptop industry. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article, the refreshed Alienware still hasn’t hit the market, so the “last year’s” 17R3 will have to make its stand for Alienware.

Note that when I say last year’s model, it is actually still more powerful than the previous two laptops on this list. It has the same CPU, but better graphics and storage options. Also, its raw power corresponds to the Hulk-ish outlook that it gives out.

laptop-alienware-17r3

Specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700HQ up to 3.5GHz turbo;

GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB DDR5 VRAM;

RAM: 16GB DDR4 @ 2133 MHz;

Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD;

Screen: 17.3” UHD 3840 x 2160;

Probably the brightest side of this laptop is its 4K mate IPS panel. The image it displays is crisp and clear even in outdoor conditions. Actually, it is so good that I think it will satisfy even professional users (designers, photographers and alike). Also, battery runtime will probably please an average user, as the massive chassis enabled space for bigger battery.

Even though new, improved, thinner models with Pascal graphics cards are looming around the corner, the “old” 17R3 is still a beast that will be able to cope with any task you bestow upon it for some time to come.

Asus ROG Strix GL502VS

Another Asus, you might say. Yes, another Asus. This time it is quite cheaper and more stylish laptop than the one that tops this list. The entire GL502 series comes in several different options at different prices. The GL502VS is the most powerful one with a price tag of $1900.

This machine is also only one of the two on this list that packs the new Pascal based GTX 1070 chip. With that in mind, it is no wonder that the GL502VS’ excellent screen supports G-Sync as well.

Overall, the new GL502VS is an improvement to the previous series with Maxwell GPU’s by around 20%, which is well worth the extra $200.

asus-rog-strix-gl502vs

Specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700HQ up to 3.5GHz turbo;

GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB DDR5 VRAM;

RAM: 32 GB @ 2133 MHz;

Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB 7200 RPM HDD;

Screen: 15.6” IPS @ 1080p, G-Sync;

Though the aluminum lid may imply that the rest of the laptop is made of the same alloy, it is not the case. The rest of the case is plastic surfaced in such a way that it resembles the aluminum finish. It is also quite sturdy.

Performance-wise, the laptop excels in all tasks, the Skylake CPU combined with the GTX 1070 graphics card crunches away at even the most demanding games out there. On top of everything, this gaming laptop looks as sleek and pretty as they get. The downside is the battery that had to be sacrificed for the thin look, so don’t expect miracles.

About the author

— Marcus Jensen

Marcus is a writer from Australia and the Editor-in-Chief of Technivorz.com.


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