MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 3K
Gaming laptops are not known for being subtle, but this model from MSI takes things to another level thanks to a blinged out gold paint job. Aside from the natty coating, this beast packs an i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M GDDR5 3GB graphics card and bays for dual SSD drives. The real standout though is the fantastic 3K display with great viewing angles thanks to the wide-view LCD.
From $2,000 | MSI
Thin gaming laptops were once just a dream, but now they are well and truly here. What’s more is that they don’t achieve that thin profile by ditching specs and features. Here you’ve a got a beefy Intel quad core i7 processor, backed up by a GeForce 970m GTX graphics card, 16GB DDR3 RAM and up to a 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD. There’s also plenty of USB 3.0 ports, a 720p camera, SD card reader and a choice between a matte 15-inch 1080p display or a glossy UHD IPS panel. Oh, and all this is packed into a slick machine that’s just 0.78-inches thick.
From $2.299 | Origin
Gigabyte P35W v2
Suitably slim for a gaming focussed laptop, this beast comes packing the 4th gen Intel Core i7 processor paired with NVIDIA’s extremely powerful GeForce GTX 870M 6GB graphics processor. A nifty thermal design, along with the dual fans, keeps the temperature down while the quad-storage bay lets you keep a whole host of games on dual SSD drives and dual HDDs. If you fully kit this machine out, that’s nearly 5TB of storage. But, if you don’t need all that space the hot swappable drive lets you replace one of those bays with a Blu-Ray or disc drive or leave it out completely to keep the weight down. Display wise you’re looking at a Full HD panel with wide viewing angle tech that gives you a 170 degree view and 300 nits of brightness, plus with the Mini DisplayPort you can output at 4K.
From £1,199 | Gigabyte
Chillblast Helix Ultra Slim Gaming
Apparently the Chillblast Helix Ultra Slim Gaming is the thinnest gaming laptop in the world. True or not, its 21.8mm depth is impressive. As are the internals, which include 8GB of DDR3 RAM, an Intel Core i7 quad core processor and Nvidia GTX 870M graphics card. A 120GB Samsung SSD and 1TB hard drive complete the gaming-specific package.
£1,249.99 | Chillblast
MSI GT70 PE Dominator Pro
Yet another gaming powerhouse. The MSI GT70 PE Dominator Pro has an impressive 256GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive for storing your games. Meanwhile a 17.3-inch HD display gives you all but the highest maximum resolution. Not only that, it has 16GB of RAM, a Intel Core i7 quad core processor and illuminated keys so you can see them in the dark.
Digital Storm Krypton
Another great option if you can stomach international shipping. The Digital Storm Krypton in its cheapest form has a 17-inch full HD display, Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GTX 860LM graphics card. The partially illuminated trackpad and illuminated keys may offend some eyes, but overall this is a pretty reserved gaming laptop, aesthetically speaking. Prepare to spend a bit extra for much-needed SSD storage for punchier day-to-day performance.
From US$1,531 (£901) | Digital Storm
MSI GS60 2PE Ghost Pro
At 1.96kg and less than 20mm thin, other 17.3-inch laptops look extremely fat, not to mention unsophisticated, next to the MSI GS60 2PE Ghost Pro. A subtle Magnesium-Lithium alloy gives it a great feel, while the reserved styling makes it usable at work as well as for gaming. Two SSD drives, a GeForce GTX 870M graphics card and fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processor make it a potent performer, especially when it costs less than some of its rivals.
Coming in at the affordable end of the spectrum is the tried and tested Lenovo Y510P. It has built in JBL speakers, a very stylish metallic design, backlit keys and a weight of 2.7kg so it can be carried about without much hassle. The internal specs are impressive, including an Intel Core i7 processor and SSD storage (albeit a measly amount) in addition to a bog-standard hard drive. An Nividia GT 750M is a bit behind the pack, but still capable.
CyberPower FangBook HX7-200
Yet another gaming laptop that looks a bit like a robot from Transformers. The CyberPower FangBook HX7-200 can be specced very generously if you have the money, ranging up to a top-spec Intel Core i7 processor, 31GB of DDR3 memory and SSD storage. An Nvidia GTX 870M is standard so be safe in the knowledge it will run games with aplomb. Backlit and programmable keys rounds things off nicely.
ASUS ROG G750JZ
Try and ignore the slightly ugly angular nature of the Asus ROG G750JX. Any style shortcomings are overcome with performance. A 17-inch HD, 3D-capable display gives plenty of viewing area, while the Blu-ray drive gives you the option of some movie downtime. Once again, a mixture of an Intel Core i7 processor and GTX 770M graphics card makes games run at high frame-rates. Its 4.8kg weight is going to prove tedious to carry, mind you.
£1,074.98 | Asus | Buy it now on Amazon
Overpriced? Perhaps. But let's not mince words, the Alienware 17 backs up its eccentric looks with oomph. It has the option of a GTX 880M graphics card, which is perfect for any game, the ability to illuminate groups of keys in different colours, at least 8GB of DDR3 RAM and an Intel Core i7 processor. Cheaper internal components are available if the £2,398.99 asking price is a bit steep.
Like the Alienware 17, only it has a larger 18.4-inch display for giving the user more visual impact. The Alienware 18 also has 32GB of RAM and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M SLI graphics card compared with its slightly smaller sibling, making it a tad more capable. The trade-off? It weighs an extra 3lbs so you will need a bit of extra muscle to move it.
Gigabyte Auros X7
Gigabyte has launched an insanely thin gaming rig called Auros X7 which it claims is ‘thinnest’ and ‘lightest’ around. Housing a 17-inch screen, boasting Nvidia Geforce 4GB graphics along with a 4th gen Intel i7 processor, this is a machine that shouldn’t have much problem running even the most demanding of games. This is definitely worth looking at for high intensity gamers after a lightweight machine.
If the large display on the Alienware 18 model is just too big for your backpack, then this 14-inch version is going to be much more manageable. Don’t expect a massive drop in performance though; this machine is still a speed demon. Under the hood there’s an Nvidia GeForce GTX GPU and an Intel Core i7 processor, both of which make short work of high-end titles like Cysis 3 and Splinter Cell Blacklist. We love the bright, sharp and just down right fantastic IPS 1080p screen, though the poor battery and annoying method of changing graphic settings are slight downsides.
If you look beyond the rather bland and uninteresting design of this laptop, you’ll see that what it lacks in looks, it more than makes up for in grunt. The big, 17.3-inch 1080p display is great – making games like Crysis 3 looks absolutely stunning along with Blu-Ray movies. Processor wise this rig packs an Intel Core i7 and an Nvidia GeForce GTX GPU, plus the keyboard is backlit – a must for night time gaming marathons. We were slightly annoyed by the lack of USB ports , but for this price we’re not complaining too much.
Scan 3XS Graphite
Gaming laptops are more often than not, very expensive pieces of tech. Scan are hoping to attract a slightly more cost-conscious customer with their 3XS, while still providing enough power for intensive online sessions. Up-top is a manageable 15.6-inch LCD screen with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, while under the graphite body is a meaty 4th generation Intel Core i7 CPU which should provide enough oomph for most top games. Ports are aplenty on this model, there’s three USB 3.0 ports, a sole USB 2.0, mini FireWire, Displayport output and HDMI. Scan offers a hit of customisation, letter you plump for either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M or 780M graphics card.
Chillblast Genesis 15
Industry favourite Chillbast’s latest addition to its growing line of gaming rigs is a 15.4-inch display toting power-house, which also comes in at a fairly reasonable price. While the design won’t win any awards, it’s the guts of this beast where the plaudits will be gained. First off there’s a quad core, i7 processor, fast AMD Radeon 7970 GPU and 8GB of DDR3 RAM, which all work together to give you great performance, in or out of games. Instead of just a hard-drive, Chillbast has equipped this model with a dual SSD/HDD, so boot times will be speedy, yet still offer plenty of storage space for when you’ve gone a bit overboard in the Steam sale. The combo of Blu-Ray drive and Onkyo 4w stereo speakers mean that when you’re taking a gaming break, your movie watching needs are all taken care of.
Price: £1,199.99 | Chillblast
ASUS ROG G750JX
A little chunky in terms of design, this gaming specific laptop boasts a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, dual fans to keep the heat low and SoundBooster tech to get the most from the in-built speakers. The 17.3-inch full HD display is capable of pumping out 3D images, there’s an HD camera up top and even a Thunderbolt port for super fast data transfer. RAM and HDD space can all be user customised, with Asus offering options up to 32GB and 1TB with 256GB SSD respectively – definitely enough for the majority of gaming fans.
Medion Erazer X7827
Looking for a dedicated gaming laptop that will immerse you in your games? This Medion Erazer is specced up impressively, with some great features to boot. A massive 1TB SATA hard-drive houses your precious game data, while the 128GB SSD makes sure everything runs smoothly and keeps boot-up times to a minimum. Instead of being overly shiny and glossy, the 17.3-inch display has a matte coating, keeping pesky reflections at bay. Intel’s Core i7-4700MQ processor provides the raw power, while the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M takes care of the graphics.
Novatech Elite N1724
Novatech takes pride in allowing the end-user full customisation over their machine, even offering it free of an operating system. If you prefer something a little more straight-forward, they have kitted out the Elite N1724 with everything you need to get. Front and centre is a 17.3-inch display, while under the hood is the latest generation Intel Core i7 processor, for fast, effective performance, paired with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 770 Graphics and 16GB RAM. Storage options come by way of a dual SSD/HDD, with 128GB and 1TB respectively, plenty for all your media, along with games. If you’re looking to add some colour to your to set-up, then the customisable, backlit keyboard should let your creative side run wild.
Price: £1,315.00 | Novatech
Razer Blade Pro
Typical Razer gimmicky name aside, this gaming laptop is a true behemoth, packing specs and features that will ensure your games run just how the developer intended. The Blade Pro is equipped with a 17.3-inch full HD LED screen that produces crisp visuals and smooth textures and in a rare occurrence for a dedicated gaming machine, has a svelte and sexy chassis, measuring just 0.88 inches. Tucked inside is where the real specs shine, with the latest Intel 4th gen Intel Core processor, next generation NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics and variety of storage options, all present. If you’re still craving more, Razer has taken its Switchblade concept and fitted it to the keyboard, giving you macro controls, mini-apps and more in an LCD touchpad.
MSI Dragon Edition 2 Extreme
This blazing red clad dedicated gaming laptop may lack subtlety in its appearance, yet take a look under the dragon emblazoned exterior and the horsepower is clear to see. Powering the ‘dragon’ is the latest Intel Core 4th generation i7 i7-4930MX CPU, backed up with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 780M discrete graphics card for high-end performance. The display is 17.3-inches, with full HD resolution and anti-glare tech to make gaming easier on the more sunny days. If the raw power from the speedy processor is not enough, an exclusive NOS design enhances the GPU and pushes it an extra 10%, yet things stay cool thanks to MSI’s Cooler Boost 2 tech. Keyboards are the control center of any good gaming rig and this one uses the renowned SteelSeries model, with full colour LED back-light and sturdy feedback.