Best Gaming Laptops // Top 10 // Reviewed October 2018

The TOP 10 Best Gaming Laptops for 2018, Tested & Reviewed

We review Razer, Asus, Dell, MSI, Alienware, HP, Gigabyte and a fairly unknown manufacture, Eluktronics (more on that later) to find the best gaming laptop 2018 has to offer gamers. We review high-end ultra thin GTX 1080 laptops to budget gaming laptops under $1000, $1500 and $2000. Each laptop comes with different configurations, we have compared each laptops most popular configuration option below. 

Best Gaming Laptops for 2018 Compared

Product

Image

Award

GPU

CPU

Refresh Rate

Price

ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501

Best Gaming Laptop 2018

GTX 1080 (8Gb)

i7-7700HQ

144Hz

Dell Inspiron 15 7000

Under $1000

GTX 1050 (4Gb)

i5-7300HQ

60Hz

​Razer Blade  Elite13

13" Gaming Ultrabook

GTX 1080 (8Gb)

i7-7820HK

60Hz

MSI GS65 Stealth

Best Thin

GTX 1060

i7-8750H

144Hz

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop (FX504)

Budget Gaming Laptop

GTX 1060

i7-8750H

120Hz

Alienware AW17R4

17 Inch Gaming Laptop

GTX 1080

 i7-7820HK

60Hz

Razer Blade 15

15 Inch Gaming Laptop

GTX 1070

 i7-8750HK

144Hz

Gigabyte Areo 15

Lightweight

GTX 1070 (8Gb)

 i7-8750HK

144Hz IPS

HP Omen 17

Under $2000

GTX 1070 (8Gb)

i7-7820HK

144Hz

Eluktronics P650HP6-G

Under $1500

GTX 1060 (6Gb)

i7-7700HQ

120Hz


Asus ROG Zephyrus (Best Overall)

Click to Read the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501 Reviews on Amazon

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H 6 Core Processor (9MB Cache, 2.2GHz-4.1GHz) 45W
  • RAM: 24GB DDR4 2666MHz | Hard Drive: 1TB NVMe Solid State Drive
  • Keyboard: Anti-Ghosting (30-key Rollover) + ROG Macro Keys Illuminated Chiclet Keyboard | Operating System: Windows 10 Pro x64

The best money can buy, the worlds thinnest gaming laptop with a GTX 1080 shoehorned in, the latest Intel CPU and a 120Hz display makes the GX501 our top choice for 2018.

How the hell did Asus manage to get all this in such a thin frame I hear you ask... Well, they cheated (a bit). Due to hardware cooling restraints, typically when you have to choose a gaming notebook you have to pick between thin and less powerful or thick and more powerful. So, Asus designed a laptop that opens slightly when you pop the lid... Opening the laptop up when in use allows for massively increased air flow and no throttling back when in game (a common issue). Now, I know what you're thinking "it opens up" sounds like it might break, but the mechanism has been designed well, it's solid. With this design, Asus have allowed us to have the best of both worlds.

Asus have smashed this restriction with the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501, a gaming ultrabook that is both thin and powerful, and boasts to be the worlds thinnest gaming laptop with a GTX 1080 GPU. Asus have managed to design a stunningly thin machine that has bags of power for the latest games, truly an amazing piece of hardware.

Pros

  • Uber powerful, beast of a machine
  • Quiet and innovative cooling
  • Amazingly thin
  • 120Hz display + excellent speakers

Cons

  • Battery life sucks
  • Keyboard layout is a little annoying
  • No SD card slot

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (Best Under $800)

See the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 on Amazon

  • Powerful 7th-generation Intel Quad-Core i5-7300HQ 2.50 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.50 GHz
  • 8GB DDR4 2400MHz Memory, 1TB 5400 rpm Hybrid Hard Drive with 8GB Cache
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5, Optical Drive Not included, Backlit Keyboard

After hours of research we found the top gaming laptop under $1000 that we would personally buy. If you're smart with your money you can get a cheap gaming laptop for under 1000 dollars, easily. 

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 offers excellent value and AMAZING battery life, so amazing in fact, that it smokes a lot of the high end machines. If you are looking for a good value, well made budget machine that has awesome battery life then buy this machine from Dell.

The laptop has a bright red appearance, the palm rest and keyboard deck is black with red color accents on the keyboard with a red keyboard back light. For those who don't fancy the red design, an all-black more subtle variant has also been released. The laptop is less than an inch thick, and weighs in at just shy of six pounds.

For those who don't fancy the red design, an all-black more subtle variant has also been released. The laptop is less than an inch thick, and weighs in at just shy of six pounds.

Pros

  • Amazing battery life
  • Cheap, at well under $1000
  • Less than 1" thick

Cons

  • Trackpad is not amazing

Razer Blade Elite 13 (Best Under $1000)

Sale

See the Razer Blade Elite 13 on Amazon

  • World's first THX Certified Mobile Device for immersive visual and audio experience
  • 17.3" 4K UHD G-SYNC touchscreen display with 100% Adobe RGB color space coverage
  • VR Ready with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics

The Razer Blade Pro is high end machine capable of replacing your gaming PC. We highly recommend the Razer Blade Pro If you're looking for a high end machine with a solid build quality. The price is high but the machine, but it's MacBook Pro style build quality, it's rock solid.

​Between traditional notebooks and gaming laptops, there has always been a stark distinction – some differences even casual gamers would easily be able to spot. But, thanks to the introduction of the Razer Blade Pro, we now have a true desktop replacement. All in a mobile light and thin package with a well made metal chassis.

The laptop comes with an unlocked i7, allowing for overclocking. The i7 CPU coupled with the Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics card makes the Razer Blade a superior gaming machine, with enough power to replace a high end desktop PC.

Pros

  • 4k, touch screen display
  • Mechanical laptop keyboard
  • Excellent trackpad positioning

Cons

  • Expensive (but well made!)
  • Battery life is a little poor, less than 5 hours

MSI GS65 (Perfect Thin Gaming Notebook)

Sale

See the MSI GS65 Steath Thin on Amazon

  • Display: 15.6" FHD, 4.9mm Ultra Thin Bezel Anti-Glare Wide View Angle 144Hz 7ms 72% NTSC 1920x1080 16:9 | Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: New Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2 - 4.1GHz (6 Cores)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 6G GDDR5

Rocking a 6 core 8th generation Intel Coffee Lake i7 08750H processor, the MSI GS65 crams a stack of power into a thin powerful machine. On the graphics side the machine uses an Nvidia GeForce GTX Max-Q 1070 GPU, while this is slightly less power than the ASUS machine (see above) it's still enough power for most of todays AAA games. The GS65 is also the first laptop that boasts a 144hz screen, making it an excellent choice for FPS gamers. The machine is thin, sleak and well made, if you're looking for a subtle gaming laptop that is highly portable then this machine from MSI is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • 6 Core Coffee Lake CPU
  • Thin, subtle well made
  • 144Hz display

Cons

  • Gets hot in game

ASUS TUF FX504 (Decent Budget Gaming Laptop)

Sale

See the Asus TUF FX504 now on Amazon

  • Latest-generation NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB Graphics Card, Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor, 2.8GHz (6M Cache, Turbo up to 3.8GHz)
  • 16GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM, 128GB SATA III SSD + 1TB HDD
  • 15.6" FHD 1920x1080 G-SYNC Display with Wideview Panel, 170° Viewing Angles

Fantastic budget gaming laptop for 1080p gamers, with a vibrant display and solid performance at a reasonable price. Asus appears to have been slowly edging away from their trademark all-black design with red graphics, which has now become a common design for most gaming laptops. The notebook has an orange trim around the all-black paint job, thus making the laptop look all the more eye-catching and unique. Even though this is not a major upgrade from the copper and titanium design, at least it’s a small step towards a change in design.

The chassis is now made from plastic, yes... plastic. While this might seem heart-breaking at first, Asus decided to go for plastic as it’s perfect for a machine which often runs hot in game. Thanks to the efficient cooling system the fan rarely becomes painfully loud and is never too hot to handle.

Pros

  • Good color depth
  • Well priced
  • Good performance at 1080p
  • 120Hz display

Cons

  • Poor battery life

Alienware 17 R4 (Best Value)

Sale

See the Alienware 17 R4 on Amazon

  • Intel Core i7-7820HK (Quad-Core, 8MB Cache, Overclocking up to 4.4GHz )
  • 32GB DDR4 at 2400MHz (2x16GB); 32GB Maximum
  • 256GB PCIe SSD (Boot) + 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s (Storage); No Optical Drive

If you are on the lookout for a solid reliable, battle tested 17-inch gaming laptop, then the Alienware 17 R4 is definitely a recommended buy. The machine is more of a desktop replacement, that can also be picked up and taken else where with ease.

If you're after a great bang for buck well made 17" portable gaming machine we recommend the Alienware 17 R4 . Coined as the “magnificent monster”, due to it's high performance and impressive looks with subtle but customizable LED lighting (has the option to disable). All this found at a highly affordable price, when you consider the build quality and technology packed into this machine.

Pros

  • Great looking machine
  • Highly configurable
  • Excellent performance for the price
  • Dell next business day possible

Cons

  • Poor battery life
  • Loud fan noise

Razer Blade 15 (Excellent 15" Machine)

Sale

Click to Read the Razer Blade 15 Reviews on Amazon

  • 15.6" 144Hz Full HD edge-to-edge display (4.9mm bezels), color calibrated
  • Thin and compact, durable CNC aluminum unibody (0.68" x 9.25" x 13.98")
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H 6 core processor

The Razer Blade is a 15" is a highly portable gaming device that's built like a tank! If you're after something that resembles the gaming laptop version of the MacBook pro, then have just found it! 

Even though the 2018 version of this notebook seems to be longer lasting and stronger than the previous year’s, it would be nice to see more original features being incorporated. If you want a metal laptop for gaming this laptop is a great choice, if you're on a tighter budget we would check out the Alienware 13 R13 instead.

Pros

  • Better performance than previous model
  • Great build quality
  • 4K option

Cons

  • Trackpad buttons are not great

Gigabyte Aero 15 (144Hz Gaming Laptop)

Click to Read the Gigabyte Aero 15 Reviews on Amazon

  • Display: 15.6" IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz Wide Viewing Angle Anti-Glare Display | Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 (Max-Q)
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Coffee Lake Core i7-8750H Six Core (2.2GHz-4.1GHz, 9MB Intel Smart Cache, 45W)
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 2666MHz | Hard Drive: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD

The Gigabyte Aero 15 packs a 7th-generation Intel i7 processor and an Nvidia Pascal GPU. The machine manages to remain portable with a reasonable battery life. 

There is no doubt Gigabyte have always managed to offered superb performance packed in a portable and thin package. And the Aero 15 is no different, resulting in  a machine that has managed to stand above its counterparts with better numbers in benchmarks, all offered at an affordable price.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • 190 degree hinge design
  • Well priced, excellent design

Cons

  • Poor battery life
  • Bloatware

HP Omen 17 (Best Under $2000)

Sale

See the HP Omen 17 Reviews on Amazon

  • Processor: 8th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8750H Processor, 6-Core, 2.2GHz up to 4.1GHz
  • Video graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB GDDR5 dedicated)
  • Display: 17.3-inch diagonal FHD 144 Hz IPS anti-glare WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080)

A VR Ready laptop that has an impressive display, great keyboard and mouse. The perfect choice for a portable VR notebook. The HP Omen 17 offers some fantastic features for the price. With G-Sync and 4K display, it's obviously not a budget machine. However, if you're a fan of HP machines and you want a well performing, well priced machine you should check out the HP Omen 17.

Pros

  • Good price point
  • G-Sync & 4K display
  • Vivid color depth

Cons

  • Made out of plastic
  • It "feels" like a big laptop

Eluktronics P650HP6-G (Best Under $1500)

Sale

See the Eluktronics P650HP6-G Reviews on Amazon

  • Latest 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core Processor, Genuine Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
  • 6GB GDDR5 VRAM Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 VR Ready Graphics + G-SYNC; 16GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM
  • 15.6" Full HD 120Hz 5ms Matte Display with G-SYNC Technology ; HDMI 2.0b; 2 Mini DisplayPorts v1.4; 2 USB 3.1 Type-C

Eluktronics is a fairly unknown manufacture, however they offer some serious power for amazing prices. And while the brand might be unfamiliar to you the components inside are from leading brands with a Clevo P670RP6 chassis, LG Philips LGD046E IPS display, Intel i7-6700HQ and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. If you are willing to purchase a lesser known brand then we highly recommend the Eluktronics P650HP6-G and it wins our award for the top gaming laptop under $1500.

Pros

  • High quality components
  • Amazing price
  • IPS display

Cons

  • Only 60Hz
  • Poor battery life
  • Unknown brand

Gaming Laptop Buyers Guide

When it's time for a new portable computer, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what to look for. The following gaming laptop buyers guide will simplify and facilitate your shopping experience. Not all laptops are created equally and if gaming is your goal, there are certain things a computer must have in order to provide magnificent, easy, and quality visual display and performance.


Even though desktops deliver optimal performance, laptops are preferred for their portability and space efficiency. However, the benefits of a laptop are nothing if it is not packed with the correct hardware that most games require in this modern age. Cost aside, the following parts below are what turn a normal laptop into a gaming laptop and you need to pay close attention to each component before you invest!


Battery Life

Do not expect too much from the laptop’s battery. The use of gaming hardware, from startup to finish, creates power-hungry components that will suck battery life quite quickly. Power saving mode and using the Intel graphics card when your not in a game will help you out massively.

Finding a gaming laptop that can last two to three hours on a single charge with the highest of settings will be the most you can hope for with todays batery technology. Most gamers will leave their laptop charged while immersing in the game play and really only use it as a portable gaming PC.


Portability

The level of portability depends entirely on bulk and weight, as well as how much you plan on moving around with the laptop in question.

  • Minimal portability: If you seek minimal portability, meaning that your gaming laptop will most likely sit on your desk at home, you can look for a system with a 17 or 18 inch display. Bigger laptops usually mean better, faster, and more powerful components also. On the other hands, it will also mean heaviness and short use of the laptop while unplugged. Finding a bag that fits 17-18 inch screens can be a hassle.
  • Medium portability: This the perfect balance for those who will take their laptop places often but not every day of the year. A 15 inch notebook will weigh anywhere from 4.3 to 7.2 pounds and can last an average of 5 hours on a charge with light gaming. You will sacrifice a bit of performance for greater portability but it is a well-balanced choice for most.
  • Optimal portability: Computers with 13 or 14 inch displays are built for constant movement. The size is perfect for all bags and they weigh less than all other laptops out there. However, they are not the most powerful notebooks and the small displays do not provide visual greatness to most games. They have the highest average of battery life and are a good fit for less hardware-consuming games.

CPU & RAM

The CPU and RAM will handle everything that does not involve graphic management. This might seem like an unessential task but it is quite important for gaming laptops everywhere. CPU wise, the war rages between AMD and Intel. We are here to tell you that Intel is our choice out of the two. The later the generation of Intel, the better.  

As a general rule, do not choose below a Core i5 processor. The recommendation is ​7thgeneration core and up. The latest available Intel generation is at 8 with their Coffee Lake series. Also, quad-core is going to help you out on games that make use of the CPU & GPU such as the Battlefield series.

RAM is an degradable component that most manufacturer´s will charge excessively to do the job themselves when you buy a computer from them. Keeping that in mind, it is important to buy a laptop with a minimum of 8GB. Later on, you may upgrade the RAM to 12 or more depending on mundane tasks.


GPU (Graphics Card)

You have arrived at the most important key feature in any gaming laptop and that is the graphics card. The current choices are still between AMD and NVIDIA, with more information and higher preference going to NVIDIA. There is a wide range of cards to choose from with complex names. For mainstream gamers, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is the bare minimum; better graphic cards will have increasing numbers (for example, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 offers more than the 1060 that was mentioned). Hardcore gamers who want the best laptop graphics card should get a machine with the GTX 1080, which can also handle virtual reality and AAA games with ease.


Keyboard / Trackpad

Your laptop’s keyboard should at the least be comfortable to use for an extended period of time. Any extras such as mechanical-styled pressing, programmable keys, and multi-colored RGB back lighting is a plus that is solely based on preferences.


Budget

You get what you pay for. Your budget will ultimately decide how much power, quality, and performance you will receive. A budget of just 1,000 dollars will deliver an average and minimalist system. If your budget range falls between 1,000-2,000 dollars you can find a smooth operating laptop that should fit most needs. Anything above three thousand dollars will give you high-end hardware and a range of customizable features all compacted into a notebook.


Gaming Laptop vs Desktop

A constant thought on the mind of gamers, especially as they first delve into the world of online or computer gaming–is “Are gaming laptops worth it?” With such a diverse variety of products on the market and new ones popping up all the time, it’s tough to figure out if these often pricey computers are worthwhile. If you’re in doubt, here are a few key components to consider on your search for the perfect laptop.

While desktop gaming systems generally have stronger capabilities than their gaming laptop counterparts, there is much to be said about the high performance of gaming laptops. Desktop processors will always be faster, but it’s possible to find lighting fast modern generation chips. And even though the latest tech is usually released for desktop first, there are great options with incredible mobile CPUs, so you don’t have to settle for subpar graphics.