If you’re reading this article, then two things are certain- firstly you have a ton of money to spend on a gaming laptop. Secondly, you want the absolute best for your money, which is why you are probably reading this article in the first place. But before we begin to talk about which laptop you should buy and why you should prefer a certain hardware configuration over the other, we need to clear out some basic concepts regarding gaming laptops and their price to value aspect which is honestly not all that great.
The best value for money gaming experience is obtained on a desktop PC, and you will not be able to find the same level of raw performance on a laptop that costs exactly as much as a desktop PC. However, there are several advantages to laptops- they are portable, self-contained, and easy to service or repair if you don’t know much about PC’s or components. It is much better to have everything covered under one giant warranty, then having to individually replace a PC part or apply for an RMA for a single component when it breaks down. Besides, a PC needs a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, UPS, and router + modem for you to be able to do work on it. Also, let’s not forget the table and chair.
If you’re buying a 2000-dollar gaming laptop, don’t expect it to be particularly portable in comparison to the average laptop. Most gaming laptops are bulkier and heavier, and consume twice or even thrice as much power as a MacBook or ultrabook. The reason for this is that there is a limit to how much processing performance you can stuff into one small package, and even if you do, you still need to cool all of that and supply ample power to it.
Premium gaming laptops are not all about power and speed though, when you buy something that expensive and powerful, you also need to make sure that it appears as expensive from the outside as it is on the inside- just like an exotic sports car. Look for reprogrammable and fully customizable backlit gaming keyboards on the laptop that you buy (RGB backlit if possible), and pay attention to the display quality as well as resolution. IPS panels are common in the 1.5k to 2k price range, some of them come with touchscreens, and some with mechanical keyboards/pseudo mechanical keyboards- MSI is known to make some great laptops with mechanical keyboards built-in.
Then, you check the sound quality and make sure that there is at least a subwoofer mounted somewhere on the laptop if it is above 1k in price. Premium audio is a must at this price range, and Dell, ASUS, MSI are the ones with the best laptop audio in this price range. Finally, check the build quality. All-aluminum unibodies are common place in Apple MacBook series of notebooks, and if you like that sort of feel and a slim profile, but want the power of a true gaming laptop, then go for the Razer Blade.
Okay, enough talking about how to choose the right notebook for gaming. Let’s get to the really interesting part- reviews of 6 high performance gaming laptops within the 2k budget range so you can decide which one is right for you and suits your specific needs. These six machines were chosen from a horde of hundreds on the basis of their specifications, build quality, audio quality, display clarity, and overall design as well as looks. They are all latest models and are extremely popular in this price range, highly acclaimed by both tech critics as well as customers. Without further ado, let’s begin the list:
Sleek, powerful, and loaded with premium features- the ASUS ROG STRIX GL702VS-RS71 is a gaming laptop that has been designed to dominate, and owning one of these will definitely put you on top of the food chain in the online gaming community. While most other gaming laptops in its price range feature the NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB graphics card, the STRIX GL702VS-RS71 goes one step further to ensure that you get the best gaming experience possible.
The GTX 1070 8GB graphics card in this laptop is going to ensure that frames per second never drop below 100, even on the most demanding of AAA titles. And it’s essential that the frames never drop below 100, we shall talk more about that in the features section.
Are you tired of gaming on the same old 1080p, 60 fps standard? Do you notice yourself getting pawned in online games even though you have super-fast reactions and a good internet connection? Do you feel like there is something missing, or as if your PC hardware is holding you back? Well, worry not- the ASUS ROG STRIX GL702VS-RS71 is here to save the day. Cheesy marketing aside, this is indeed one of the best gaming laptops you will find between the 1500 to 2000-dollar price range.
The graphics card inside this sleek looking beast is a NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB, the 3rd most powerful gaming graphics card in the world right now. And that is exactly the kind of graphical power that you need to push 100+ fps on the 120 Hz gaming display that is equipped on this laptop. That’s right, ASUS has gone ahead and included a 120 Hz full HD panel so that you can react faster and see things more fluidly as they happen in real-time while playing an online competitive multiplayer game.
But it is not just the display and graphics card that makes this laptop so amazing- it is powered by an Intel Core i7 7700HQ CPU, one of the finest laptop processors currently available. This CPU is loaded with 4 physical cores, and can process up to 8 instruction threads simultaneously because of hyperthreading (8 virtual cores).
The base clock speed on the 7700HQ is 2.8 GHz, but if the game demands extra power, this CPU will ramp up its speed, all the way up to 3.8 GHz. There is 6MB of SmartCache onboard, which should ensure a smooth multitasking experience and faster load times in all sorts of applications. What’s truly interesting is that despite being so powerful, the Intel Core i7 7700HQ processor has a TDP of just 45 watts.
Moving on to the memory and storage, this laptop comes loaded with all the RAM and hard disk space you will ever need. There is 16 GB of high speed DDR4 memory (2400 MHz) setup in dual channel configuration, and you can add another 16GB of DDR4 memory later down the road if you wish to get into productivity oriented applications such as streaming, editing, 3d modelling, etc. Then, you have the 1TB 7200 rpm hard disk drive which performs significantly faster than a standard 5400 rpm hard disk drive.
You will not notice the difference in game, but loading times will be faster and desktop programs will respond more quickly. The body features a premium brushed aluminum finish, and the matte 1080p 17.3” display looks gorgeous. Loaded with Windows 10 64-bit, and backed by a 1-year warranty from ASUS USA + a global parts and labor warranty, the STRIX GL702VS-RS71 is one gaming laptop you should definitely check out.
Intel Core i7 7700HQ processor
NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB Graphics
120 Hz full HD 17.3” display
16GB of high speed RAM and a 1 TB 7200rpm HDD
Red backlit gaming keyboard
Premium brushed aluminum finish
Sleek design, features a great internal cooling system
Comes with a free promotional gaming bundle that includes a gaming mouse, mousepad, controller, and a compact case
Audio is slightly worse than other gaming laptops in this price range
Battery life decreases extremely fast while gaming
Equipped with a full HD 15.6” widescreen IPS display, the Acer Predator 15 laptop is one of the best portable machines for both gaming as well as watching movies. Its IPS display is reinforced with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology which ensures lag-free and ultra-smooth gaming, with no stuttering or screen tearing. The overall design of this laptop is brilliant, and audio quality is great thanks to the embedded subwoofer and Dolby Surround technology.
If you’re in the market for a powerful 15” gaming laptop within the 1500 to 2000-dollar range, you should definitely check out the Acer Predator 15 lineup of gaming laptops. They come in many different configurations, the one that we are reviewing over here is powered by some of the finest hardware you will find on any gaming laptop in the market.
It sports an Intel 6th generation Core i7 processor, along with a top of the line NVIDIA Pascal GPU. The display is excellent too, having an IPS panel enables the user to observe extremely detailed colors, and the viewing angles are far superior to any TN panel based display.
The processor within this beast is an Intel Core i7 6700HQ, a quad core, hyperthreaded Skylake mobile CPU that can boost up to 3.5 GHz and is also extremely power efficient with a TDP of just 45 watts. Onboard cache is 6 megabytes, which assists with faster fetching of crucial information, and significantly reduces response times in applications.
But a gaming laptop should also have a powerful graphics card, and that is exactly what the NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB is- a monster of a graphics card that boasts some of the highest benchmark figures recorded to date on modern AAA titles. This graphics card is more than adequate for 1080p gaming, and it should be able to push over 100 frames per second on several titles such as Witcher 3, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 1, COD WWII, NFS Payback, etc.
In order to keep your gaming experience consistent across various titles, Acer included a G-SYNC display in this laptop. What it does is synchronize the displays refresh rate with the frames being output from the GPU in real-time, meaning that there is no screen tearing while playing games. Compared to V-Sync, G-SYNC boasts far lesser input lag and is perfect for online competitive multiplayer games in which smooth gameplay and fast reactions decide who’s the winner.
The Acer Predator 15 laptop is also loaded with 16 GB of DDR4 (2400 MHz) RAM, along with a 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD. The Predator FrostCore adapter lets you slide in an additional cooling fan by removing the optical disk drive and swapping in a fan unit in its place, this has to be the “coolest” feature of the Predator 15 laptop (pun intended). There is a programmable RGB keyboard and Killer DoubleShot Pro networking, along with a bunch of other premium gaming oriented features that make this one of the best 15” gaming laptops on the market.
Intel Core i7 6700HQ processor
NVIDIA GTX 1070 Graphics
RGB keyboard with programmable keys
Dolby Surround Audio with embedded subwoofer
Full HD IPS Display with NVIDIA G-SYNC
16GB DDR RAM with a 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD
Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Comes with a bunch of bloatware preinstalled
The Predator FrostCore adapter makes this laptop a little noisy
The MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro is one of the slimmest gaming laptops on the market, and is loaded with some truly interesting features that make it unique compared to all the other high-end gaming laptops that are priced around 2000 dollars. For starters, the GS63VR Stealth Pro comes with a eDP 4k-Level display that boasts 100% sRGB color gamut.
It is advertised as “4k-Level”, but keep in mind that this is not a true 4k display, since that would make the laptop costs much more than its current price. Still, the colors and details in every single frame look absolutely beautiful on the GS63VR Stealth Pro’s 15.6” IPS display. It is powered by a state of the art Intel 7th generation CPU, and features the renowned NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB graphics card.
Since we have already talked a little bit about the “4k-Level” display on the GS63VR laptop, let us explain what it truly means. This display uses Pentile matrix technology invented by Samsung to create the illusion of a higher than actual resolution, although the level of detail is indeed far higher than a 1080p or even 1440p panel.
You can think of it as something in between 1440p and 4k (3840 x 2160), which gives you close to the same level of detail as a true 4k display, without making you spend the extra bit of cash. This laptop is already pretty expensive as it is, but a true 4k display would drive the costs up even higher. Another neat little thing about the display is the fact that it uses an IPS panel, which results in far superior viewing angles as well as better color gamut (100% sRGB).
There is no G-SYNC on this particular laptop model, but we believe you won’t need that feature anyways given that this laptop uses a GTX 1060 6GB graphics card, which is not the kind of GPU you would expect to push 60+ fps on 4k resolution.
And let’s be honest here, there aren’t a whole lot of graphics cards in the market that can reliably push 60+ fps at 4k resolution, with the exception of a couple- the GTX 1080ti and the Titan Xp (even the monstrous GTX 1080 can’t sustain 60 fps averages on most AAA titles at 4k resolution). Therefore, you won’t notice a whole lot of screen tearing since the fps will usually be around or slightly lower than the 60-fps mark.
The GS63VR Stealth is powered by an Intel 7th generation core i7 processor, the i7 7700HQ which is a quad core hyperthreaded Skylake mobile CPU with a maximum boost speed of 3.8 GHz. There is 16 GB of dual channel 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM onboard that lets you game and multitask seamlessly, with the potential to upgrade up to 32 GB in the future if you decide that you need more RAM (for running heavy applications like live streaming, encoding, editing, 3d modelling, virtual machines, etc.).
The GS63VR Stealth Pro is VR-Ready, and comes with THE best gaming keyboard we have seen on any laptop in this price range. The keyboard is custom designed specifically for MSI by the renowned gaming peripheral manufacturer “SteelSeries”, and is a full-color, fully programmable, anti-ghosting keyboard with short and tactile key presses and a silver lining on the borders.
Killer Gaming E2400 network ensures that lag will never spoil your online gaming experience, and “Thunderbolt 3” ports allow for lighting fast (get it?) data transfer speeds. There is also a 512 GB SSD for storing the OS and your most played games, along with a 2TB 5400 rpm HDD for keeping all your movies, songs, photos, etc. in one place.
4k eDP display, IPS panel
Core i7 7700HQ processor
GTX 1060 6GB graphics
Ultra slim profile
Full color programmable, anti-ghosting SteelSeries gaming keyboard
Cooler Boost Trinity, triple cooling fan setup with 5 heat transfer pipes ensures that you game silently and the laptop never overheats
NAHIMIC 2 Virtual Surround with subwoofer
No CD/DVD drive
5400 rpm HDD is slightly slower than a 7200 rpm HDD
Ever heard of Eluktronics? Neither had we. But when we saw their laptop we decided that we really don’t care who these guys are or where they came from. Because their brand-new offering, the P650RP6 Premium VR Ready Gaming Laptop, is simply marvelous. It is too good for the price at which it is being offered, and that is probably because these guys spend next to nothing on marketing. They actually use the barebones chassis from one of the best OEM’s in the industry- CLEVO.
Eluktronics then adds the RAM, SSD, HDD, and a bit of colors as well as branding. But in the end, what you are using is actually a rebranded and fully outfitted CLEVO barebones laptop. But what do you get for nearly 1500 dollars of your hard-earned money? Well, let’s begin with an NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 graphics card, fully ready for all the latest technologies like VR, Vulkan, DirectX 12, and equipped with Ansel and ShadowPlay.
Then, you have the display that is powered by the 1060- a 15.6” FHD IPS anti-glare panel that is simply marvelous in every sense of the word. It is both crisp and realistic in terms of color reproduction, as well as fast and extremely responsive for gaming. This particular version of the P650RP6 houses a 256 GB SSD and comes with a Core i7 6700HQ CPU and 16 GB of DDR4 RAM.
Honestly, we were a little apprehensive when HP first announced their OMEN series of serious gaming PC’s. This brand of HP features both desktops as well as laptops, but we had our doubts. HP is not really known to make gaming hardware and they cater more to the casual everyday users and creative professionals.
But they proved our doubts wrong, bigtime. The OMEN 15 laptop is one of the most finely crafted pieces of technology we have ever laid hands or eyes on, it is built from the ground up to be as sleek and beautiful as it is powerful. Powering this monster is an Intel Core i7 6700HQ CPU, running at a base clock of 2.6GHz and a turbo of 3.5Ghz.
In terms of graphics, you are getting an NVIDIA GTX 965M, one of the finest midrange laptop GPU’s that exist right now. You can comfortably throw in any title and expect it to run at 1080p, 60+fps. For RAM you get 16 GB of DDR4 (upgradable of course), and for storage you get a 2 TB HDD and a 1 TB SSD (that’s seriously MASSIVE as far as SSD’s are concerned). There is a total of 3TB of mass storage, so you should have no trouble keeping all your movies and games and photos inside your laptop.
Okay, that was the boring part. Now for the real specs- you get a 15.6” UHD (Ultra HD) IPS anti-glare 4k display with a resolution of 3840 x 2160. That is 4 times as many pixels as 1080p! On an IPS display! That’s pure viewing bliss, and HP even threw in some Bang & Olufsen speakers to sweeten up the deal even further. Oh, we forgot the built-in accelerometer.
Gigabyte is not a new player in the gaming laptop market, but before they were not as popular as MSI or Alienware or ASUS in terms of presence in the gaming laptop market. However, things have turned around for the better in Gigabytes favor this year, thanks to some of the incredible releases that they have come up with in recent times. One of those releases is the infamous P35Xv6-PC4D from the P35 laptop series.
It is a monstrous gaming laptop at nearly 5.29 pounds, even though it is only a 15.6” machine. The dimensions are 10.63” (L) x 15.16” (B) x 0.83” (H). Notice the thickness? Just 0.83 inches- that is almost as thin as an ultrabook or a MacBook. And when you begin to realize that this slim package actually houses an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 desktop GPU, you begin to think how Gigabyte even managed to fit such a beast of a card into this small package.
Okay, let’s say they did fit it by some miracle of laptop design engineering. But how on Earth do they manage to keep the temperatures so low? Even during heavy gaming sessions, the graphics core rarely goes above 75 degree Centigrade, and that is mighty impressive for a laptop graphics card. And no, the goodies don’t stop with the GTX 1070. You also get An Intel Core i7 6700HQ quad-core hyperthreaded laptop CPU capable of absolutely demolishing any modern AAA title that you throw at it.
Even video editing and Photoshop should not pose an issue to the 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and hyperthreaded quad core CPU. In case you are wondering exactly how powerful this laptop is, let’s give you a brief rundown of exactly what you should do when you purchase the latest and greatest game available on the market- you first install it.
Then you open the game, go into the graphics settings option in the menu, and turn every single slider or setting in front of your eyes to the absolute maximum that the game allows. Then, you enjoy your 60+ fps at 1080p. Easy as that. And oh, let’s not forget the ingeniously designed auto-adjusting full sized backlit gaming keyboard and 1 TB of mass storage that you get.
Were you looking for cheaper options or you can’t afford these? No problem, we’ve got budget gaming laptops that won’t break the bank.