After spending more than 40 hours researching and testing 10 budget gaming laptops in late 2018, we found that the Dell G7 15 Gaming is the best one you can get. It’s an excellent value, and its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q graphics card will play games on high to medium settings for years. It keeps its most-touched surfaces and components cool enough during long gaming sessions, and it has no dealbreaking flaws.
This big, loud, no-holds-barred system delivers a much different value proposition than most gaming laptops do. If you’re doing heavy-duty work that can take advantage of the desktop Core i7-8700K’s abundant threads and high clock rate, no other laptop we’ve tested is even in the same ballpark as Origin’s beast. If you want a best-in-class gaming experience that pushes frame rates as high as possible in a self-contained, portable (enough) form factor, the EON17-X can’t be beat. Jump on this notebook if you’re looking for a true high-end desktop replacement rather than a powerful laptop that lets you game on the road.
The Legion Y530 has plenty of ports, but they’re placed unconventionally. It has one USB 3.0 Type-A port and a headphone/microphone combo jack on the left side, and one USB 3.0 Type-A port on the right side. At the back, the Y530 has a USB-C port that can carry data and a video signal but can’t charge the laptop; there you’ll also find one Mini DisplayPort 1.4 port, a third USB 3.0 Type-A port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a charging port, and a Kensington Lock slot. Lenovo includes a one-year limited warranty.
At the mid-range we see laptops with either the NVIDIA GTX 1060, or for a bit more money, a GTX 1070, both of which are a powerful gaming GPU in a mobile form factor. ASUS offers the Republic of Gamers branding Strix lineup, and the GL504 model is their 15.6-inch range. Featuring the GTX 1060 in the GL504GM, and GTX 1070 in the GL504GS models, there's a wide range of performance here depending on budget. ASUS offers either the Intel Core i5-8300H quad-core, or the Core i7-8750H hex-core CPU, and up to 32 GB of DDR4 RAM support. There's a full range of SSD choices, and you can of course also fit it with a HDD for extra space.
Kicking things off, we have entry-level gaming laptops. The Lenvov Legion Y530 is the second generation of the new Legion brand. The latest models feature 8th generation Core processors up to a Core i7-8750H with six cores, and up to a GTX 1060 GPU which offers plenty of muscle, but the base model starts at just $749 with a Core i5-8300H and GTX 1050. For $100 more you can bump up to a GTX 1050 Ti
A computer’s internal components heat up whenever a lot of demand is placed on them. Despite the best efforts of manufacturers to dissipate this heat using fans and heat pipes, some areas of a laptop tend to get hotter than others. This can make gaming laptops quite uncomfortable to use (especially when placed on their user’s lap!); this high heat can also endanger a laptop’s internal electronics if the computer’s ventilation slots become obstructed (be careful not to let your computer’s ventilation system get clogged up with dust!). If you intend to place your computer on your desk and use an external mouse for gaming, its temperature will not be a major consideration.
I bought this to replace a three button mouse. I wanted some buttons on the side for gaming. Every button has a nice crisp feel and works. I know that shouldn't have to be something you say but I have run into other mice that have had issues right out of the box. The scroll wheel feels very smooth. So far there are no issues. The RGB lighting is a nice effect. The mouse is nice and full size. There in lies my only "complaint", when I grab the mouse with my whole hand so that my palm is resting on the mouse in order to reach the back two buttons on the side, 6 and 8 I have to remove most of my hand from the mouse. To remedy this I simply do not completely grab the mouse. this is not uncomfortable and the more I use it the ... full review
Performance is excellent; the quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ is a great chip not only for gaming, but for video editing as well, while the GTX 1060 graphics hardware is more than good enough for the latest games at High settings in Full HD. Round that off with a bit of old-school design charm and an excellent keyboard, and you have a very attractive machine.
These “simple” hardware configurations usually do not feature an RBG backlit keyboard (they usually just have red backlighting), nor do they include a QHD or 4K display or an advanced audio system. Generally speaking, the display on this type of computer is also not G-Sync compatible and only operates at a frequency of 60 Hz (versus the 120-144 Hz of displays used on more sophisticated and expensive gaming laptops). What’s more, during sales events it is not uncommon to be able to purchase an affordable gaming laptop equipped with a GTX 1060 graphics chip for under 1000 dollars.
The Naga Hex V2 comes with your traditional features that you can expect in a top of the line Razer mouse; you do get an excellent optical sensor capable of delivering a whopping 16,000 DPI. You also get the much revered Chroma RGB lighting that can be controlled and tweaked through the excellent Razer Synapse 2.0. Oh, yes, there’s more, you can even tweak all the present physical buttons on the mouse, and tailor them according to your own need, keeping in mind that all the buttons can be fully programmed. It’s certainly a big advantage for users who want to make sure they get the most out of this mouse. With that said, we are going to take a look at some of the benefits of the Razer Naga Hex V2, and why is it such a good gaming mouse for MOBA gamers.
In terms of display size, a 15-inch screen is the sweet spot for a gaming laptop. You can buy larger 17-inch displays, but this can jack up the weight to way beyond 5 pounds. We've seen 12-pound "portables" in the gaming sector that will definitely weigh down your backpack. We recommend at least a full HD (1,920-by-1,080-resolution) screen. Larger displays are capable of giving you higher-than-1080p resolutions, but choose wisely, as a resolution of QHD+ (3,200 by 1,800 pixels, and uncommon) or 4K (3,840 by 2,160 pixels, a bit more common) will boost the final cost twice: first for the panel, and second for the higher-quality graphics chip you'll need to drive it to its full potential.
If you'd rather spend your money on Humble Bundles than hardware, then you don't actually need a hardcore gaming laptop. Along the same lines, if you're looking for a Minecraft box for the kids, you don't need to spend the money attached to the phrase "gaming laptop." A machine with a discrete graphics card, an SSD, and 8GB of RAM should take care of you.
The three most important hardware components of this laptop (namely CPU, GPU, and RAM) work well together to deliver excellent budget gaming performance. The 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7-4720HQ quad-core processor actually clocks in at over 10,000 points in GeekBench, which is a great score for this price. You also get 8GB of DDR3 RAM, plus Nvidia's acclaimed GeForce GTX 960M with 2 GB GDDR5 VRAM. It's a very good combination, in our opinion, allowing you to run a lot of current games on high to very high settings with steadily high FPS.
Heat: A gaming laptop’s GPU and CPU produce a lot of heat. Without an effective cooling system, the machine will overheat, which can slow gaming performance, shorten the laptop’s lifespan, or even burn you.1 No gaming laptop can keep completely cool—all that heat has to go somewhere. But it needs to keep its internals, the WASD keys (the most-used section of the keyboard for gamers, as those four keys often control in-game movement), and the left palm rest (where your left hand rests while using the WASD keys) cool. It’s a bit more forgivable for the laptop to get hot in areas with less direct contact with your skin, such as the underside and the strip above the keyboard.
For increased comfort, some gaming mice allow you to customize their actual bodies to your hand. Removable weights, often resembling small steel pills, are common in better gaming mice. Adding or removing these weights from slots inside the mouse body will shift the overall feel and the amount of drag. Some models take this even further, letting you adjust the center of balance, or change the height and pitch of the palm rest.
Matthew Buzzi is a Hardware Analyst at PCMag, focusing on laptops and desktops with a specialty in gaming systems and games. Matthew earned a degree in Mass Communications/Journalism and interned for a college semester at Kotaku, writing about gaming before turning it into part of his career. He spends entirely too much time on Twitter (find him @M... See Full Bio
Best ListsBest GadgetsBest Wireless RoutersBest DSLR CamerasBest 4k TVsBest 65 Inch TVsBest 70 Inch TVsBest Home ProjectorsBest Home SecurityBest HoverboardsBest Office ChairsBest Standing DesksBest Xbox One HeadsetsDIRECTV vs. DISHBest Air ConditionersBest MicrowavesTVsProjectorsDLP ProjectorsLCD ProjectorsLED ProjectorsPortable ProjectorsUltra HD 4K TVsLCD TVsLED TVsOLED TVsSmart TVsSatellite TVAudioHeadphonesBluetooth HeadphonesNoise Cancelling HeadphonesOver the Ear HeadphonesHome AudioHome Theater SpeakersHome Theater SystemsSpeakersBluetooth SpeakersComputer SpeakersPortable SpeakersWireless SpeakersCamerasDSLR CamerasPoint and Shoot Cameras3D CamerasVideo CamerasVlogging CamerasWaterproof CamerasHome Security CamerasSmart Home Security CamerasComputersDesktop ComputersComputer AccessoriesWireless RoutersPrintersComputer MonitorsLaptop ComputersChromebooksUltrabooksLaptops for CollegeAppliancesKitchenCoffee MakersBlendersMicrowavesRefrigeratorsToaster OvensToastersHome & OfficeStanding DesksOffice ChairsSmart Home AutomationHome Security SystemsHome Security CamerasMattress ReviewsVacuum CleanersAir PurifiersWashing MachinesGamingVideo Game ConsolesVideo GamesGaming LaptopsGaming PCsGaming AccessoriesGaming KeyboardsGaming MonitorsGaming ChairsGaming HeadsetsOutdoorCamping GearHiking GearSkiingLawnmowersGrillsHoverboardsKayaksRadar DetectorsElectronic CigarettesBest ListsBest GadgetsBest Wireless RoutersBest DSLR CamerasBest 4k TVsBest 65 Inch TVsBest 70 Inch TVsBest Home ProjectorsBest Home SecurityBest HoverboardsBest Office ChairsBest Standing DesksBest Xbox One HeadsetsDIRECTV vs. DISHBest Air ConditionersBest MicrowavesTVsProjectorsDLP ProjectorsLCD ProjectorsLED ProjectorsPortable ProjectorsUltra HD 4K TVsLCD TVsLED TVsOLED TVsSmart TVsSatellite TVAudioHeadphonesBluetooth HeadphonesNoise Cancelling HeadphonesOver the Ear HeadphonesHome AudioHome Theater SpeakersHome Theater SystemsSpeakersBluetooth SpeakersComputer SpeakersPortable SpeakersWireless SpeakersCamerasDSLR CamerasPoint and Shoot Cameras3D CamerasVideo CamerasVlogging CamerasWaterproof CamerasHome Security CamerasSmart Home Security CamerasComputersDesktop ComputersComputer AccessoriesWireless RoutersPrintersComputer MonitorsLaptop ComputersChromebooksUltrabooksLaptops for CollegeAppliancesKitchenCoffee MakersBlendersMicrowavesRefrigeratorsToaster OvensToastersHome & OfficeStanding DesksOffice ChairsSmart Home AutomationHome Security SystemsHome Security CamerasMattress ReviewsVacuum CleanersAir PurifiersWashing MachinesGamingVideo Game ConsolesVideo GamesGaming LaptopsGaming PCsGaming AccessoriesGaming KeyboardsGaming MonitorsGaming ChairsGaming HeadsetsOutdoorCamping GearHiking GearSkiingLawnmowersGrillsHoverboardsKayaksRadar DetectorsElectronic CigarettesSearch on Gadget Review Home ▸ Reviews ▸ Electronic Reviews ▸ Computers ▸ Laptop Computers ▸ Gaming Laptop Reviews ▸ Best Gaming Laptop Gaming LaptopsBest Gaming Laptop – The Beginner’s Guide to Portable Gaming Chris Stobing Updated December 28, 2017 We've picked the best laptops for gaming money can buy.Share11Pin2Tweet+1Share13 SharesAre you in the market to find the best gaming laptop in 2018, but aren’t sure where to start looking? “It should just be like any gaming peripheral”, you might be saying to yourself, “bigger and badder is better, right?”. Not entirely, as we learned in our best gaming PC list last week.As you’ll find out in this review roundup, picking the top gaming laptop off the proverbial shelf isn’t always a simple matter of just pitting the best specs against the rest.
When it comes to gaming notebooks, faster is always better, which is why a lot of people love SSDs, particularly the new PCIe cards, which deliver blistering file-transfer speed. That extra boost of speed translates to faster game load times, as well as reducing hitching — that annoying pause when your drive can't produce assets fast enough to keep up with the game.
Clevo is king of the hill in terms of true DTR machines, and the P870TM is their latest incarnation, featuring up to a Core i9-9900K desktop class CPU, and up to SLI GTX 1080 for the ultimate in performance. As a true DTR you can outfit it with 64 GB of DDR4, and basically whatever combination of storage you'd like. The 1920x1080 144 Hz G-SYNC display is on the low-side in terms of resolution, but with the high refresh the gaming will be incredibly smooth, since this is one of the few laptops that can easily drive the maxium refresh rate on this resolution. Being a DTR though, you could also just connect it to a UHD display on your desk as well.
While its cheap case is somewhat disappointing, it does hide some pretty imposing components under the hood. It features a Full-HD eDP display with 94% NTSC color and the familiar Steel Series Keyboard that we usually see with MSI laptops. However, the keyboard is said to suffer from flex, which is said to be due to the cheap plastic casing, and it doesn’t have backlighting. On the inside, you will find a variety of components that will surprise you, considering its low price tag.
However, with the advent of technology, the gap between desktop and laptop gaming is closing fast. Nowadays, there are laptops available which are capable of playing almost any game that requires high-end specifications. Besides matching the performance that desktops deliver, gaming laptops are also portable and compact, enabling you to game almost anywhere such as trains, flights and more. Gaming laptops come in different sizes, prices, and configurations. Certain factors have to be considered before buying a gaming laptop. Let’s take a look at few aspects that you need to keep in mind while buying a gaming laptop.