We just entered 2018 and with that, we thought about reviewing and making a Buyer’s guide about Best Gaming Laptops 2018. Though it was not an easy task, still we achieved it keeping the cost vs quality vs performance factors in mind. If you are a PC Gaming Enthusiast, you should know the hardware specifications should be your first priority.
Components of a Gaming Laptop You Need To Know Before Buying One
It can be regarded as the heart of a computer and is mainly responsible for how fast a task will computer performs. So better the processor, better the performance. Since AMD is out of the scenery of mobile processor for so it is Intel you should be looking at. So Core i5 or Core i7? This is where the questions arise. Let me simplify it for you. Core i5 and Core i7, both are Quad Core processors, the difference is in the number of threads and that one technology which Intel Core i7 uses, the Hyperthreading.
Intel defines it as:
Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel® HT Technology) uses processor resources more efficiently, enabling multiple threads to run on each core. As a performance feature, it also increases processor throughput, improving overall performance on threaded software.
In simple words having Core i7 is better than having i5 and there are certain apps and games that really enjoy having that extra juice in your processor.
Note: Some models of Core i7 processors are also Hexa Core.
Graphics chip or GPU( graphics processing unit) is that component to which you should give the topmost priority while buying the right gaming laptop for yourself. It is that part of your computer which decides whether the game will run in 30FPS or 60FPS, it will run on the lowest setting or the highest.
Ram also know as physical memory is responsible for running your tasks. Every program or task you run from your storage first loads on your RAM and then the CPU began the process. Having more ram is equal to faster PC. But how much ram do you need for Gaming?
Almost every new gen game requires a minimum of 8GB of ram and recommended for AAA titles is 16GGB. But in our tests, none used more than 13GB of ram so its safe to say that 16GB is more than enough for modern games.
Another important component of a gaming laptop is display. It determines how beautiful the game will look your notebook screen. Full HD i.e. 1920×1080 can deliver that feel of crystal and smooth graphics but we are in 2018 and sky is only the limit. The resolution such as Quad HD or 2K(1440p) and 4K has become an emerging trend amongst PC gamers in the year 2017.
Though higher resolution requires a powerful graphics card, so opting for 4K now might be a little too early. If you ask us FHD(1080p) is more than enough for a gaming laptop. And you don’t need to worry about things likes anti-glare screen, brightness, viewing angles etc, for they have become a mandatory requirement of a gaming laptop.
Buying gaming laptops is all about portability and that can only be achieved with greater battery life. It is one of the biggest challenges for the manufacturers to combine hardware and battery in such a way so that maximum uptime for gaming can be achieved. As gaming is an intense activity for any laptop.
You may have to compromise on the battery when opting for a powerful gaming laptop because in that scenario you are looking at a portable gaming PC that you can carry out anywhere with you rather than playing games sitting in your college cafe or any other outdoor place for that purpose.
1. Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501(Best Gaming Laptop 2018)
Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501 is the best gaming notebook you can buy in 2018. The thickness of the GX501 is under one inch, but still kicking ass with those powerful gaming pc like specifications. It can be termed as one of the powerful and thinnest gaming laptop ever made. The GX501 is one of the first laptops to use Nvidia’s Max-Q technology. So what is Max-Q?
An innovative new laptop design process that enables the creation of thinner, lighter, faster laptops fitted with GeForce GTX 1060, 1070 and 1080 GPUs. Compared to similarly-sized laptops, Max-Q laptops are up to 70% faster in the latest games, delivering unprecedented performance in a mobile form factor. -NVIDIA
Though one thing is obvious from its thin and sleek design, the battery life. It will only last for maximum two hours, which obviously isn’t enough to enjoy a long session of gaming. But keeping the design and its specs in mind, this is the best notebook you can buy with portability made easy due to its sleek design.
So I have been using this laptop for quite a while now and believe me this is the best laptop I have ever used. The build quality is up to the mark and the premium feel of this hardware is crazy. I can tell without a doubt that this is one of the best looking and innovative gaming laptops Asus have ever made. To keep the weight and temps low, Asus have used aluminum for the overall build and for giving it a luxurious look they have a lot of brushed aluminum.
Though it lacks an SD card slot but overall port selection for a 15inch gaming laptop is perfect. The GX501 rocks NVME drive which is currently the fastest storage solution available in the market. Apart from that, the thermals are also pretty comfortable on this device during gaming and other intensive CPU tasks. It also has a custom backlighting keyboard and the keys are pretty good to enjoy comfortable gaming.
Rocking with an Intel Core i7 7th Gen processor and Nvidia’s GTX 1080 Max-Q graphics card, there isn’t any game available that this beast won’t be able to run. It can run all games at Ultra settings. I also played a lot of games on this notebook and games look super smooth and crispy on 120Hertz G-Sync panel. FPS games like Battlefield 1, Rainbow Six Siege, CSGO and Overwatch etc were easily playable at Ultra Settings with 100+ frames per second. Aside from that other AAA games such as The Witcher 3 – The Wild Hunt, Watch Dogs 2 etc were playable at Ultra Settings @60+ FPS.
2. ASUS ROG G752VS OC Edition (Best Gaming PC Replacement Laptop)
ASUS ROG G752VS OC Edition is the next best thing you can buy right now, it is a fine replacement for your desktop PC. With specs almost similar to that of GX501, Asus G752VS is everything you need on a gaming laptop. Similar to the GX501 is also rocks an Intel Core i7 7th gen processor, 17.3inch FHD 120hz G-Sync panel, PCI-E SSD and 16GB and 32 GB memory options. The only different thing about the ASUS ROG G752VS is the graphics card, it uses the Nvidia GTX 1070.
Okay, lets start with the design, it’s pretty much identical to the previous model. Has an aluminum top with brushstrokes and gray color that Asus calls armored titanium, the middle, as usual has the ROG logo with two angled stripes and plasma copper that lights up. Battery life for gaming is 2-2.5hours max and 4.5hours for daily use.
In terms of ports on this laptop, it is identical to high-end desktop PC. On the left side, you will find a Kingston lock with two USB 3.0 ports, a DVD Blueray player and a full-size SD card slot. On the right, you have a power connector, Ethernet jack, HDMI port, mini display port, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 Type-C, a mic jack, a headphone jack. Though the camera on the laptop isn’t that great and have a lot of noise but what doesn’t make noise is the great keyboard this laptop has. The keys have a rubber texture to it which gives them a feeling of grip.
Powered by Intel Core i7 and desktop grade GTX 1070, this laptop is a powerhouse in terms of gaming capability and you can run almost every game on it at Ultra settings with 60+ FPS. Powered by GTX 1070 also means that this device is VR ready and supports HTC Vive, Oculus Rift VR headsets. Talking about its power capabilities, I also tested the temps on this laptop and they were fairly good.
3. Razer Blade Pro FHD and 4K (A Portable Desktop Replacement)
After a long wait, Razer has finally introduced a fine desktop replacement with portability in mind. The Razer Blade Pro, only 0.88 inches thick rocks amazing specs and comes with two options i.e. A 17-inch 4K touchscreen with G-Sync or a 120Hz FHD display. For the first time ever a mechanical keyboard has come to a notebook and Razer has made it successful with its ultra-low profile mechanical switches. And along with that, they have also introduced trackpad replacement.
Both the models rock an Intel Core i7 7th gen processor the only difference is that the FHD screen version rocks a GTX 1060 and the 4K screen version rocks a desktop-grade GTX 1080 chip. Obviously, for running games at 4K, you probably need a beast like GTX 1080.
Okay so for the review I used the 4K model which features a GTX 1080 so yeah here we go. This is a Razer product so as you’d expect the build quality is great, Aluminum all around, but it feels like a step up from Razer Blade Stealth. It still has the black anodized finish, so if you want to protect that so you should probably buy a sleeve or bad if you are going to carry this thing around often.
The port selection is okay for this 17-inch device. It has ethernet, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 2.0 port and an SD card reader. It also has one Thunderbolt 3 port. The keyboard is low profile mechanical keyboard and it feels really tactile, but still doesn’t reach the level of a regular desktop mechanical keyboard. The trackpad is good and uses Windows precision driver, so that’s a win.
Let’s move towards the battery, so yeah the battery life is 3-3.5 hours on a regular use which isn’t that great but then again it uses Nvidia G-Sync panel so no Nvidia Optimus for power savings. Moving towards gaming, the Razer Blade Pro rocks an Intel Core i7 processor and GTX 1080 so it can run everything you throw at it. But one thing demanding games like Witcher 3, Far Cry Primal and other will run on 4K but for the best frames you might wanna lower the graphics quality or might even have to lower the resolution. That is why we said it in the start that going for a 4K gaming laptop for now might not be the best option.
Also, the temps on this device are pretty cool. In fact, they are a lot more better than I thought them to be knowing that it packs a GTX 1080 in there. Also, its a silent device and the fans don’t make much noise, though it can get a little noisy during long game sessions but still its tolerable.
4. Asus ROG Strix GL502 – GTX 1060 (Best 1080p Gaming Laptop)
The Asus Strix GL502 may not have the best design in terms of looks and aesthetics. Instead of using the same black and red color scheme, they have opted for orange instead of red . There is one thing you cannot deny that when it comes to 1080p gaming, it is the best one you can buy, keeping the budget in mind. Though there are two variants of the GL502, FHD, and UHD. Knowing it packs a GTX 1060 so there is no point in buying the UHD variant. The onboard sound system is average and yeah like other gaming laptops battery life is laughable.
The top surface is a black brushed aluminum with the ROG logo in the center and the sideways stripes. Swapping out the ultra-common red color they are now using bright orange color for the logo and the stripes. The logo and stripes also light up when you turn the laptop on. The screen frame is rigid because of the aluminum panel, the chassis has some flex. It’s more noticeable up top near the screen hinges i.e. above the keyboard but moving towards downwards near the mousepad its pretty rigid. The overall quality is pretty good.
For ports, we have an ethernet jack, video outputs that include HDMI and mini display port, three USB 3.0 ports, one USB type-C port, SD card reader and an audio jack.
Gaming performance on this one is great, having a GTX 1060 it can run all modern games at 1080p Ultra Settings but depend upon the number of frames you want in a game, you might want to lower the settings. In my test Overwatch @1080p Ultra gave an avg of 95FPS, in Batman Arkham Knight Ultra it was below 60 and in Witcher 3 @Ultra Settings it was around 40-45. Which shows you might want to lower settings in few games to hit the sweet 60FPS spot.
The fan noise is noticeably quiet and having a GTX 1060 keeps the temps under control. Though they were little higher than compared to the older GL502 which had GTX 970M. But still, there wasn’t any CPU and GPU throttling. Also the battery life was 3 hours on average use which is a little step down from the older version.
5.Razer Blade 2016 (MacBook Pro Rival + Game-Ready)
Almost every gaming laptop suffers from battery life issues but not the Razer Blade, it boasts a battery life of over 7-7.5hours. Packing a 7th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and GTX 1060, it can rock 1080p Gaming, And the design quality so good that it can be termed as MacBook Pro rival. It has the option of FHD and UHD 4K Gaming. And yes GTX 1060 can’t handle 4K Gaming but with the support of Razer Core V2 external graphics card box, you can hook up a GTX 1080Ti with it and there you have it. You can also attach a 4K Gaming Monitor to it if you don’t like the smaller screen on the Razer Balde has to offer.
Razer Blade is highly anticipated laptop in comparison to the 2015 model, this one is thinner, more powerful and yet somehow $400 cheaper. As usual, the top surface is black anodized aluminum. It has the same finish as Razer Blade Stealth and has a premium feel to it. In the middle is Razer logo, that lights up when you turn on the laptop. The screen construction is super solid, there’s essentially no flex to it and same with the hinge. Excellent tension out of the box and yeah it’s a one hand open.
The chroma keyboard pretty cool and is also very rigid. The build quality even on the exterior is awesome and yes better than the older model of Razer blade. Plus I would rate the build quality of this laptop equal to my MacBook Pro except for one thing that Razer Blade is superior because it is game-ready. Port selection is also not bad, it got three USB 3.0 ports, a combo audio jack, an HDMI 2.0 port and of course a Thunderbolt 3 port that allows you to connect your laptop with Razer Core.
As there are two versions of Razer Blade available and the one I pick was the one that had FHD screen option. If you are content creator or designer the UHD option will suit you more but if you just merely want to use it for gaming then there is no point in getting a 4K model, as GTX 1060 won’t be able to handle games at that resolution. GTX 1060 can be termed as boss of 1080p gaming because of the fact that it offers solid performance at FHD. In my tests, almost every game was playable at High Settings @1080p with 60PFS, and in some games, I went to Ultra settings and was still enjoying 60FPS.
The fan noise is quiet at idle but gets noisy when under load. The temps on this one are comfortable, I was afraid that there will be few throttling issues, but there was none. Though it can get warm sometimes but there is nothing to worry about because almost every gaming laptop gets warm at some point. Battery life is about 6 hours which is amazing for a gaming laptop.
6. Gigabyte SabrePro 15 (1080p Budget Gaming Laptop)