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:
The CUK (Computer Upgrade King) MSI GE72VR Apache PRO 17.3” gaming laptop (isn’t that a mouthful?) is one heck of a gaming laptop for slightly less than 1350 bucks. It packs a freakishly powerful arsenal of features in the form of a fully customizable RGB backlit gaming keyboard custom-designed by SteelSeries for MSI, a superb FHD 17.3” screen that gives you a near-desktop viewing experience with its large size and incredibly natural colors (for a TN panel). Then, you have the Core I7 6700HQ laptop CPU that packs 4 hyperthreaded physical cores, resulting in a total of 8 logical cores. It has 6 MB of L3 cache for instantaneous access to data and ensures a seamless multitasking experience. When the game demands it, the processor will boost from its base clock speed of 2.6 GHz to an impressive 3.5 GHz (all this happens within a thousandth of a second).
In case you aren’t satisfied with CPU power alone, there is an NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 dedicated graphics chip to complete the package. And yes, this is the DESKTOP variant of the 1060, with all the 1280 CUDA cores and full 192-bit memory bus interface that results in a total memory bandwidth of 192 GBPS. It is fully VR-ready and comes with Ansel as well as NVIDIA Shadow Play so you can capture and stream your gameplay to friends and viewers across the world. In terms of memory, you are getting 12 GB of DDR4 running at 2133 MHz and 128 GB of SSD storage space as well as 1 TB of mass storage space in the form of a 7200 RPM SATA HDD. You can of course upgrade the storage even further by adding a second SSD or HDD, and can also the RAM all the way up to 64 GB.
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.
Are you a fan of red and black themed gaming machines? Do you own a red and black themed PC at home, or want to buy one? Well, this is the best option for you out there under 1500 bucks right now. It brings a perfect balance of performance and portability to the table, delivering incredible value for its price, which is more than what we would expect from a 1k+ gaming laptop. Seriously, most gaming laptops above the 1k price range are usually too costly for what they offer, barring some OEM manufacturers (MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, etc.) and a few new players in the gaming laptop market. So, what do you get for your near 1400 bucks with this laptop from ASUS? Well, let’s start off with an NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB graphics card (yes, it’s the desktop version, since no laptop version of this GPU was ever created). This card gives you enough muscle to load up any game in your library and crank all the settings to high or ultra and play at 60+ fps at 1080p.
Then, we move on to the absolutely gorgeous FHD G-Sync IPS Matte display. In case you didn’t get all of that in one go, here are the primary reasons why the display on this laptop is so cool. Firstly, it has a G-Sync display (No more screen tearing or stuttering since the display is synchronized with the graphics card and varies its refresh rate in real time to accurately match the number of frames being pumped out per second by the GPU). Secondly, this is a FHD IPS display, so colors are as good as they can be. The viewing angles are perfect as well, and that could come in handy while watching movies with friends and family, especially since this is a 17.3” display. In terms of memory, you get 16 GB of DDR4 that is used to feed the Intel Core i7 6700HQW CPU. For mass-storage there is a 1 TB HDD spinning at 7200rpm. Windows 10 64-bit comes preinstalled, so no need to worry about the OS.
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.
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 1300 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.
This is yet another offering from CUK, and this time they are using the mammoth MSI GT73VR Titan as the base. If you don’t know, the Titan series from MSI represents the absolute biggest, meanest, and most powerful gaming laptops that the company has to offer. All concerns regarding portability are thrown out of the window, to make space for shoving as much hardware as modern engineering can manage into the 17.3” body of this laptop. It packs a monstrous 32 GB of DDR4 RAM (upgradeable to 64 GB if you wish), and is equipped with a 128 GB SSD as well as a 1TB 7200 rpm HDD (you can add more SSD’s and HDD’s depending on your budget and needs).
The CPU is something of interest, as it is possibly the most powerful gaming laptop CPU we have currently in the market- the Intel Core i7 6820HK quad core that runs at 2.7 GHz base and 3.6 GHz boost, and packs 8 MB of L3 cache. They also went all-out on the graphics frontier, which is why you are getting a NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 graphics unit in this laptop. It weighs about 8.4 pounds, and measures 1.89 inches in thickness. Windows 10 64 bit comes preinstalled. Nahimic surround audio and custom RGB backlit SteelSeries keyboard included for a truly complete premium gaming experience. What games can it play? Can it run Crysis? We believe it would suffice to say that games don’t “run” on this laptop, they “fly”.
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.