Best Gaming Laptops 2018 – 10 Notebooks for Gamers Reviewed

Last Updated: December 1, 2018

If you take gaming seriously, then it’s time to invest in hardware that is going to deliver the optimum gaming experience. Check out our team’s roundup of the best gaming laptops, a buyers guide to the best gaming laptops that will add another dimension to your gaming activities.

by AGENT Staff
best gaming laptops
Best gaming laptops review - Image Source: Asus

Only the best gaming laptops will suffice for serious members of the worldwide gaming community. But how to choose the machine that works for you? It’s best to focus on the best gaming laptops.

Gaming tech is one of those areas where often, you really do get what you pay for. Gamers are a serious band of tech devotees who look for the very best, whether it’s quality of graphics and sound, or, increasingly, the very best gaming mouse in state of the art controllers such as joysticks, the best gaming mouse, pads and keyboards.

If you are a serious gamer, you have to commit to it if you want to excel. That means investing in quality hardware and peripherals right across the board.

Some of the leading brands in computer hardware cater to these demands by committing to the development of the best gaming keyboards and other peripherals, which score highly right across the range of price points.
 

 

Best Gaming Laptops – 10 Notebooks for Gamers Reviewed

Our team has looked at some of the best gaming equipment available for gamers worldwide, and compiled these reviews of the best gaming laptops.

 

 

 

Review Criteria for the Best Gaming Laptops

When researching the best gaming laptops for this post, our reviewers found that any of the discussions about gaming laptops among hardcore gamers would usually centre around a set of core criteria for excellence. These criteria include: Graphics, RAM & Processing power, Energy Efficiency, Display, Storage, Audio and Battery Life.

 

Graphics

In gaming laptops, the graphics processor is absolutely crucial. The paramount criteria for measuring how good the laptop is. This processor determines how fast, in terms of frames per second, your games will load. You want the highest frames per second possible. Of course, it’s not the only component that matters in a gaming laptop, but it’s a mighty important one!

 

RAM & Processor

The most important components supporting the graphics processing in a gaming laptop are the main processor and system RAM. In recent years, these have gone sky high, and this section of the market is dominated by the tech giants Nvidia or Intel. The closest alternative in terms of quality is AMD. Innovations such as Intel’s sixth generation processor have really raised the bar.

 

Energy Efficiency

The most energy efficient laptops will not overheat excessively, regardless of the demands your gaming places upon them. If you are in the market for the best gaming laptops of 2018, efficiency and cooling will be key considerations for you. Many of the latest games have gameplay sessions well in excess of 10 hours, and so anything less than the best processors will overheat and negatively impact on your gaming experience.

 

Display

Keep it simple with regard to the best displays for modern games. You don’t need to worry about nitty-gritty aspects such as ratios of brightness to contrast, for example, due to the anti-glare finishes that are used in the manufacture of most gaming laptops nowadays. All this having been said, you’ll need a reasonably high resolution in order to do the most recent games justice, such as Full HD or 1920x1089p. The best is probably 4K, but even that is probably a little ahead of the curve in 2018.

 

Storage

This is another important gaming laptop criteria. What this is all about is minimising the delays between levels of gaming, rather than speed per se. It delivers by speeding up the laptop’s boot and file operations, and a Solid State Drive (SSD) which unlike a hard disk has no moving parts and stores data in microchips, has become one of the big keywords in gaming in 2018. Some gamers even go for an additional high-capacity drive on their laptops, and use the SSD for saving games.

 

Audio

While many experienced gamers will use the best gaming headsets to enhance their gameplay, it’s important that your laptop have good quality built-in stereo speakers and audio hookup options to home theater or surround sound systems. Some of the world’s leading names in audio have moved into the gaming laptop area over the past three or four years, including Harman, Bang & Olufsen and others.

 

Battery Life

Perhaps the steepest challenge faced by any laptop manufacturer is delivering a gaming experience that ticks all the boxes in terms of processing power, graphics, audio, etc, while also ensuring a battery life that will not drain too quickly. If anything, this is the factor that gamers will sacrifice if it means getting premium standards in other areas.

 

 

1. Best Gaming Laptops – ASUS RoG G751JY

Image Source: Amazon

The attractive ASUS RoG G751JY has had an upgrade. The appearance is appealingly sleek, the graphics and response are absolutely amazing, and it’s just all-round incredible and worth every cent of the investment. It’s very slick and quiet when gaming too, but don’t be under any illusions. There is nothing genteel about this laptop: it’s a super powerful gaming champion.

 
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Amazon Customer Reviews: 284
Average Review Rating: 3.8 out of 5 Stars

 

ASUS RoG G751JY - Specifications and Features
CPU
Intel Core i7-7820HK
RAM
16 GB
Display size17.3in
Graphics CardNVidia GTX 1070 8GB
Wi-Fi
802.11ac
Weight9.5lbs
ASUS RoG G751JY - ProsASUS RoG G751JY - Cons
Sleek, slimline design
A bit on the heavy side for a portable.
Amazing graphics and lightning fast transfer
Lacks the 5th Generation Core CPU
Overall operation is quiet and unobtrusive

 
ASUS RoG G751JY – Critical Summary: The ASUS RoG G751JY is not absolutely perfect. It’s not as portable as you might like for a laptop. And the lack of the 5th Generation Core Processor is a bit of a disappointment, but this powerful stuff indeed.

 

 

2. Best Gaming Laptops – Alienware 13

Image Source: Amazon

One of the most attractive features of the Alienware 13 is its backlit keyboard. The characteristic Alienware command centre adds real depth to the gaming experience, offering previously untapped levels of customisation. It’s very powerful, and flexible too, with a plethora of ports permitting a decent number of peripheral devices. The power is offset by the laptop’s compact size and light weight, making it portable in the extreme.

 
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Amazon Customer Reviews: 39
Average Review Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

 

Alienware 13 - Specifications and Features
CPU
6th Gen i7 processor
RAM
16GB
Display size13.3in FHD
Graphics CardNVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 2GB GDDR5
Wi-Fi
802.11ac 2×2 WiFi
Weight4.5 pounds
Alienware 13 - ProsAlienware 13 - Cons
Small and light enough for gaming on the go.Screen is a little bit on the small side.
Multiple ports are great for a diverse rig of peripheralsThis laptop is not really practical for anything other than gaming.
Powerful performer, and GeForce GTX 860M graphics card keeps frames rates apt to specific games

 
Alienware 13 – Critical Summary: Pretty powerful for its size, this is a great laptop for gaming on the go. It’s probably too small for anything other than gaming, but if you can afford a dedicated laptop for gaming, this could be the one for you.

 

 

3. Best Gaming Laptops – MSI GT80 Titan SLI

Image Source: Amazon

If you can live with a laptop that is large and not as portable as most on this list, but the trade-off is a host of features and extremely elegant design, then look no further than the MSI GT80 Titan SLI.

This powerful beast of a machine with its 18.4” display is an imposing presence. What it lacks in portability it makes up for in power and user-friendliness, with the mechanical keys making for a wonderfully tactile feel.

The display is pin sharp, and there is a touchpad that also doubles as a number pad. Easily one of the best gaming laptops.

 
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Amazon Customer Reviews: 10
Average Review Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

MSI GT80 Titan SLI - Specifications and Features
CPU
Intel Core i7-4720HQ, 2.6GHz
RAM
16 GB
Display size18.4in
Screen Resolution1920×1080
StorageHDD and SSD
Graphics CardNvidia GeForce GTX 980M
Wi-Fi
802.11ac
Weight9.9lbs
MSI GT80 Titan SLI - ProsMSI GT80 Titan SLI - Cons
Lovely design with a bright display for gamingAudio is a little underwhelming.
Control is versatile, with a great feeling mechanical keyboard, and touchpad that converts into numberpad.Battery life will not suit long periods of unplugged gameplay
Overall operation is quiet and unobtrusiveA little on the heavy side for a laptop.

 
MSI GT80 Titan SLI – Critical Summary: The beautiful design is somewhat let down by the rather ordinary audio, disappointing battery life and a weight that doesn’t lend itself to portability and gaming on the go.

 

 

4. Best Gaming Laptops – Razer Blade 14

Image Source: Amazon

The Razer Blade 14 makes an immediate impression with its swift operating speed. Although it is quite pricey, the pay off is an extremely colourful, powerful and ultra portable gaming experience.

There’s a ‘best of both worlds’ strategy behind Razer’s upgrade to the most recent model in that the performance has been improved, and the price has been cut.

In general, this makes for a dream combination that’s going to be very tempting if you want to own one of the best gaming laptops.

 
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Amazon Customer Reviews: 232
Average Review Rating: 3.6 out of 5 Stars

 

Razer Blade 14 - Specifications and Features
CPU
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
RAM
8GB DDR3L
Display size18.4in
Screen Resolution1920×1080
Storage256GB SSD
Graphics CardNvidia GeForce GTX 970M
Wi-Fi
Killer Wireless-AC 1535
Weight4.25lbs
Razer Blade 14 - ProsRazer Blade 14 - Cons
A powerful performer for its compact size and light weight.The real quibble is the loud fan noise, that some gamers will find distracting.
A versatile unit with a keyboard that's just as good for typing as it is for gameplay.Minimalist design has narrow appeal—won't be to every gamer's taste.

 
Razer Blade 14 – Critical Summary: Razer is renowned for the performance of its devices, and this is no exception. However, the size and lower price point means that some things—such as the cooling fans—are not as well designed as they might have been.

 

 

5. Best Gaming Laptops – Lenovo Z70

Image Source: Amazon

While there are more inspiringly designed models, Lenovo has come up with a quite astonishing performer in the Z70, which brings it roaring into our top 10 best gaming laptops roundup.

The overall gaming experience is improved by its amazing Full HD display, while the Core i7 processor and ample system memory is the secret under the hood behind this machine’s absolutely jaw-dropping power.

Its audio, too, is quite incredible, thanks to the integral JBL speakers and subwoofers. This is a laptop with multiple charms!

 
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Amazon Customer Reviews: 357
Average Review Rating: 3.6 out of 5 Stars

 

Lenovo Z70 - Specifications and Features
CPU
Core i7 processor, 2.2 GHz
RAM
16GB DDR3L SDRAM
Display size17.3in FHD
Screen Resolution1920×1080
Graphics CardNvidia GeForce GT840M 2GB
Wi-Fi
802.11 a/c
Weight6.6lbs
Lenovo Z70 - ProsLenovo Z70 - Cons
Large FHD display and incredible audio make for a great gaming experience.Larger dimensions make it a little bit awkward to conveniently carry.
Core i7 processor makes this a powerful performer indeed.Battery life can be a bit disappointing for extended gaming sessions.

 
Lenovo Z70 – Critical Summary: There’s some pretty amazing things about the Lenovo Z70, not least the display and audio. However, as noted, battery life is a disappointment when the front-end is of such stellar standard.

 

 

6. Best Gaming Laptops – HP Omen 15-5220nr

Image Source: Amazon

The ultra-sleek HP Omen 15-5220nr sees Hewlett Packard taking gaming to the next level with design that will impress immediately, operating speed and power that will astonish, and a price point that will have you blinking in disbelief.

This laptop will give your gaming a seriously professional feel, and it will be the envy of all gamers and tech enthusiasts in your circle.

Perhaps the only real letdown here is the battery life of the HP Omen 15-5220nr. Simply put, it’s not great at all. However, in all other respects, this gaming laptop is a champ.

 
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Amazon Customer Reviews: 35
Average Review Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

HP Omen 15-5220nr - Specifications and Features
CPU
2.6GHz 4th generation Intel Core i7-4720HQ Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz Quad Core
RAM
On-board 16GB DDR3L SDRAM
Display size15.6in Radiance Full HD Infinity LED-Backlit IPS Touchscreen
Screen Resolution1920x1080
Graphics CardNvidia GeForce GTX960M Graphics with 4096MB of dedicated video memory
Hard Drive512GB solid-state drive
Wi-Fi
2x2 802.11ac WLAN and Bluetooth
Weight4.68lb
HP Omen 15-5220nr - ProsHP Omen 15-5220nr - Cons
Impressive design and amazing power for a laptop in its price range.

This laptop will give your gaming a seriously professional feel, and it will be the envy of all gamers and tech enthusiasts in your circle.
Battery-life is a major letdown given the features and gameplay standards on display.

 
HP Omen 15-5220nr – Critical Summary: This HP machine would tick a lot of boxes on the priority lists of all self-respecting gamers. Lovely design, powerful processing and fluid gameplay, and an attractive price-point. But it’s almost entirely negated by the weak battery duration.

 

 

7. Best Gaming Laptops – MSI GE62 Apache Pro-004

Image Source: Amazon

MSI’s GE62 Apache Pro-004 is no beauty and will never win awards for its appearance. But under the hood it’s another matter. The minimalist design and plastic construction of the casing belies the performance. It’s a powerhouse of gaming, speedy and efficient, and also happens to be one of the lightest and most portable gaming laptops on our list. There is probably no better all-round laptop in the mid-range bracket than the MSI GE62 Apache Pro-004.

 
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Amazon Customer Reviews: 192
Average Review Rating: 3.4 out of 5 Stars

 

MSI GE62 Apache Pro-004 - Specifications and Features
CPU
Core i7 6700HQ, 2.6GHz
RAM
16GB
Display size15.6in
Screen Resolution1920×1080
Graphics CardNvidia GeForce 2GB RAM
Memory Speed2133 MHz
Weight5.3lbs
MSI GE62 Apache Pro-004 - ProsMSI GE62 Apache Pro-004 - Cons
A smooth runner, with responsive SSD and HDD drivesQuality of build is a little on the shaky side.
Beautiful backlit keyboard is ultra-customisableTrackpad is not as sleekly designed as it might have been.

 
MSI GE62 Apache Pro-004 – Critical Summary: At first sitting, this appears like a champion, but closer investigation reveals design that’s a bit unimaginative, and a rather sub-par build quality. But there is lots to recommend it on the gameplay front.

 

 

8. Best Gaming Laptops – Dell Inspiron i7559

 

 

Image Source: Amazon

Laptop veterans Dell make it onto our roundup of the best gaming laptops by dint of the performance of the great Inspiron i7559. And the gameplay power that it packs is not the whole story either. It’w matched by solid build and design work.

The Inspiron i7559 is a light-weight and ultra portable machine that will be absolutely perfect for people who do their gaming whilst on the move.

Its screen resolution alone is impressive enough to make it a recommended purchase, which is more good news for anyone who enjoys high-performance gaming.

As noted above, the Dell Inspiron i7559 is one of the more powerful performers of 2018, and its 16GB memory is more than a match for anything that can be thrown at it.

 
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Amazon Customer Reviews: 37
Average Review Rating: 3.3 out of 5 Stars

 

Dell Inspiron i7559 - Specifications and Features
CPU
Core i7 6700HQ, 2.6 GHz
RAM
16GB DDR3L
Display size15.6in
Screen Resolution3480×2160
Graphics CardNvidia GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5
Wi-Fi802.11ac
Weight4.6lbs
Dell Inspiron i7559 - ProsDell Inspiron i7559 - Cons
Screen resolution is amazing, while its dimensions & weight make it one of the best machines for gaming on the go.HDD is a bit sluggish (albeit offset by a nippy Solid State Drive)
16GB of RAM is sufficient even for high performance gaming on this laptop.Components are replaceable but might be a bit on the pricey side for many gamers.

 
Dell Inspiron i7559 – Critical Summary: For the average gamer, the fact that you might find fault with anything at all about the Dell Inspiron i7559 would be unimaginable. In fairness, there is very little to fault it. Its HDD drive is a little bit on the sluggish side, but in tandem with the 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD), there’s little discernible impact on gameplay. Only the most hardcore gamers might be critical, but any of the replaceable components on this appliance are rather expensive. In general terms, though, this is a fantastic gaming laptop.

 

 

9. Best Gaming Laptops – Acer Predator 17

 

 

Image Source: Amazon

Acer’s Predator 17 has an asking price that for less than serious gamers might be construed as rather on the high side. However, in this instance, your investment will bring you a laptop that ticks all the boxes, for looks, performance and flexibility.

It is not an accident that not only is this one of the best selling gaming laptops on Amazon, it’s also one of the most highly rated, with customers giving it an average rating of 84% (4.2 out of 5 stars).

It’s a strikingly professional looking laptop with an eye-catching red and black colour scheme. If you’re on the move a lot, have no fear. The Predator 17 packs superior battery life to many of the other laptops on this list.

It’s a great machine for software too, so one of the great all-rounders. While it costs a fortune compared to some of the other machines in this post, this is a gaming laptop that is built to last.

 
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Amazon Customer Reviews: 91
Average Review Rating: 4.2 out of 5 Stars

 

Acer Predator 17 - Specifications and Features
CPU
Core i7 6700HQ, 2.6 GHz
RAM
16GB
Display size17.3 in
Screen Resolution1920x1080
Graphics CardNvidia GeForce
Wi-Fi802.11ac
Weight8.7lbs
Acer Predator 17 - ProsAcer Predator 17 - Cons
Striking design, ably matched by software & generally powerful performance.Premium price point will put the Acer Predator 17 beyond the reach of many gamers.
Probably the best machine in this post for battery life.
While Nvidia GeForce is adequate, gamers will be yearning for the Nvidia G-Sync.

 
Acer Predator 17 – Critical Summary: The Acer Predator 17 is one of the most powerful gaming laptops available on the market today. There’s some major processing power under the hood, and the front end audio and graphics are astounding. It could have benefited from a higher-end graphics card, but this is a machine that is already pushing the budgetary envelope. And that is just about the only negative point we can make about the Acer Predator 17, so it definitely belongs among the best gaming laptops of 2018.

 

 

10. Best Gaming Laptops – Gigabyte P37Xv5-SL4K1

Image Source: Amazon

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. The Gigabyte P37Xv5-SL4K1 is a rather cumbersome weight (10 pounds) and has a design feel that would be dismissed by many as a bit chunky.

And that’s not all. If a machine that has a noisy cooling fan is a complete deal-breaker for you, then we’d suggest that you maybe give the Gigabyte P37Xv5-SL4K1 a miss.

Maybe. If you do pass by on the other side, you’ll fail to pick up on the huge bonuses available with the Gigabyte P37Xv5-SL4K1 in the form of its features.

For one thing, there is 8GB of video memory, and in general there is a solid design and build feel that does not just make for a good gaming experience—it conveys the impression that this is a gaming laptop that’s been designed and built to last.

Last but not least, the battery life is more than adequate for gaming, making the Gigabyte P37Xv5-SL4K1 a more than decent all-rounder for the price. This is a strong seller, and the positive consensus of opinion about the machine on Amazon and other commercial sites really speaks for itself.

 
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Amazon Customer Reviews: 99
Average Review Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

Gigabyte P37Xv5-SL4K1 - Specifications and Features
CPU
Core i7 6700HQ, 2.6GHz
RAM
8GB
Display size17.3in
Maximum Screen Resolution3840x2160
Graphics CardNVIDIA GeForce GTX980M with 8GB of dedicated video memory
Wi-Fi802.11ac
Weight10.6 lbs
Gigabyte P37Xv5-SL4K1 - ProsGigabyte P37Xv5-SL4K1 - Cons
Rugged build and solid gaming performance.Noisy fan will probably be too distracting for serious gamers.
Better than average battery life in this class.A tad heavy to be conveniently portable for gamers who like to play on the move.

 
Gigabyte P37Xv5-SL4K1 – Critical Summary: If you were to make the mistake of judging a book by its cover — in this case the chunky, bulky design scheme — then you will be missing a lot on the performance front that makes the Gigabyte P37Xv5-SL4K1 recommendable. But there is no denying that the noisy cooling fan is unlikely to please any gamers. Incredibly loud! However, if you can overlook that, the Gigabyte P37Xv5-SL4K1 might well be for you.

 

 

Best Gaming Laptops – Buyers Guide

At the start of this review, we ran through some of the specific criteria on which we tabulated the various merits and demerits of these machines. It’s important to emphasise here that these critical points are made within the parameters of a particular class of equipment—the best in class for 2018. In other words, all of these machines are ‘good’, but they each have different points that might, for particular gamers, elevate them to ‘excellent’ or relegate them to ‘undesirable’. This is determined by your requirements; whether, for example, you’re a gamer who likes to play while on the move, or on your desktop at home; on whether audio is the element of gameplay that you prize most; on whether ultra realistic graphics are more important than other aspects that can drain vital elements such as processing power and battery life.

If you are still undecided as to what machine might suit your specific requirements best, we have compiled a further ‘Buyers Guide’ section below, where you’ll be able to find out more about the various factors that you need to take into consideration when browsing the market for the best gaming laptops available.

 

Graphics

For gaming purposes, one of the most important aspects of your laptop is its ability to keep up with the graphical demands of modern video games. If this is the most important thing on your gamer’s checklist, you need to pay particularly close attention to the graphics card on the laptop you are considering.

 

Screen Resolution

Another aspect that is incredibly important for those seeking a more immersive and beautiful gaming experience is screen resolution. This refers to the quality of your monitor’s display, and it definitely makes a big difference when playing colorful or graphically demanding games.

The three screen resolutions available to choose from in 2018 include: Full HD (1080p), Quad HD (1440p) and Ultra HD (2160p). Our best advice would be to go for 1080p if you prize performance over visual clarity; go for 2160p either if you want the best graphics possible today and in future; and choose 1440p for the best balance between performance and graphics.

Related to this is screen ratio, and in 2018 there are two to choose from for gamers—16:9 and 21:9. However, which of these aspect ratios is better for gaming? We would have to suggest that 16:9 is probably the best option for gaming in 2018. Although the widescreen letterbox format of 21:9 makes for a better movie-viewing experience, not all games fully support it. Our advice would be not to become too bogged down in screen ratio options. Just make sure that 16:9 is available and you’re away!

 

Ports

The number of ports on your laptop also needs to be taken into consideration. While they may not be exactly as important as they used to be, ports are still useful for those intending to connect their laptop to the internet via ethernet cable. Additionally, if you have many guests over, connecting your laptop via cable will release pressure on the network. Finally, it’s important that you ensure that your laptop has all of the necessary ports to be compatible with all of your side equipment.

 

Portability / Size

If you need to take your laptop with you on the go, perhaps if you travel for gaming, portability and size are definitely something you will want to consider. Laptops nowadays come in several different sizes, some being much larger than others, thus rendering them incompatible with certain laptop bags. Transporting bulky laptops can be a bit of a nuisance, however if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line performing gaming laptop, the odds are that you will have to make a compromise and go for one of the bulkier devices.

 

Battery Life

Battery life is not an extremely important aspect if you plan on using your laptop primarily at home or on a desk, as you need only plug it into the wall and let it charge. However, for those intending to use their laptops in locations where power sockets are not made readily available, or those who simply do not wish to bring their laptop charger with them everywhere they go, battery life is definitely something to take into consideration when browsing the market.

 

Platform

Platform is always an important factor of any device, especially when it comes to gaming. Different platforms will actually restrict what kind of games you may or may not play depending on compatibility. The three most common platforms are Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS, and we would suggest doing your research on each before opting in for one over the other.

 

Hardware

What we mean by hardware is the quality of the trackpad, keyboard, etc. You want a trackpad with the right amount of sensitivity, and a robust keyboard that is highly responsive, so you don’t fail to react in the middle of the game if you’re caught off guard.

 

Summary

Wrapping up our review of the best gaming laptops, our advice is to check out our buyers guide above one last time. By doing so, you’ll be able to clearly identify what it is that you would like to prioritise in your search for the perfect gaming laptop. Once you’re finished getting your priorities in line with relation to your gaming laptop, you’ll be able to return to our list at the beginning of our review, and by process of elimination break it down to the product that would suit your needs best.

 

best gaming laptops

Image Source: ASUS

 



2 thoughts on “Best Gaming Laptops 2018 – 10 Notebooks for Gamers Reviewed

    1. ASUS and Acer both make some really great laptops, though they also both have their share of problems (Acer moreso than ASUS it seems). Honestly I’m amazed Alienware can even stay in business, considering how good their competitors are while charging like 70% of what Alienware does. I guess people really like paying a premium for that alien logo.

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