Best gaming laptops 2018: T3's best gaming laptop picks

T3 rounds up the absolute best gaming laptops available to buy in 2018

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When it comes to choosing the best gaming laptop for you, the sheer volume of options can be really intimidating. Where do you start? Which model will suit your needs or price range? Do you really need all those extra features the maker says are essential?

Well, this handy guide not only introduces you to the very best gaming laptops currently on the market today, with a great gaming laptop for every budget, but also a suite of buying advice that will help you choose the best gaming laptop for you.

Cutting to the chase, though, we think the best gaming laptop on the market today is the Asus ROG Zephyrus. It is amazingly thin and light, remarkably quiet, and - most importantly - lightning fast, packing an outrageously powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card into its sleek, premium casing.

Oh, and it also just scooped the hyper prestigious best gaming laptop prize at the T3 Awards 2018. It is simply that good.

It's also unashamedly expensive in terms of price point, too, so it's not going to be for everyone, but it is simply the best gaming laptop you can buy right now, and to get the best you have to pay for it.

But don't worry, there are also plenty of great machines at more affordable prices in this expertly curated best gaming laptop guide, too, including the impressive, budget-friendly Dell Inspiron 7000 Gaming, the high-end performance of the Alienware 17 R4, and the rock solid Gigabyte SabrePro 15.

Our list of the best gaming laptops is sure to meet your needs and desires when it comes to portable PC gaming...

How to choose the best gaming laptop for you

MSI GT75 Titan best gaming laptops

Internal components to screen resolution balance is crucial when choosing a gaming laptop.

What you are looking for in a gaming laptop is the ability to enjoy today's most demanding, graphically intensive games, without having to make loads of settings compromises.

Bad gaming laptops advertise themselves on their gaming credentials, however deliver vastly inferior performance to desktop counterparts, so its absolutely crucial that you avoid these clunkers.

High resolution screens are a nice added bonus too on a gaming laptop, however it is crucial to keep in mind that high frame rates are far more important when gaming on the go, so it is pretty pointless plumping for a laptop with a 4K screen if it doesn't have the interior hardware to power games on it.

For example, the best gaming laptop in the world right now in our mind, the Asus ROG Zephyrus, does not have a 4K screen, but does have a very high quality Full HD one and this in partnership with stonkingly fast internals makes for a superb portable gaming experience, and one that is considerably more future proof, too.

Other things to look out for when buying a gaming laptop include weight and portability - after all you are buying this to carry/transport round unlike a desktop - battery life, which tends to be a fundamental issue with many gaming laptops, and price. 

Here at T3.com we think you should be spending a minimum of £800 ($1,000) on a gaming laptop to ensure a good level of performance, and more than £1,600 if you can stretch to it if you want something at the premium end of the scale.

So, without further ado, here are the best gaming laptops available today.

Our pick of the best gaming laptops on the market

Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501 Best gaming laptop

The Asus ROG Zephyrus is the best gaming laptop in the world.

1. Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501

Simply put, the best gaming laptop in the world

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Screen: 15.6-inch full HD 1,920 x 1,080 IPS
Storage: 512GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Massive power+Amazingly thin and cool+Looks a million dollars

The Asus ROG Zephyrus is simply an amazing piece of engineering and, to our mind, the best gaming laptop in the world right now.

Despite being incredibly thin and light (2.2kg) it packs an insanely powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, something made possible thanks to Nvidia's new Max-Q design tech.

From that incredibly high starting point there's no drop in specs either, with a rapid Intel Core i7-7700HQ partnering up with 16GB of 2,400MHz RAM. The Zephyrus' screen isn't 4K, however, it is a wide-view 1080p number with a 120Hz refresh rate, as well as anti-glare finish.

The feel of the thing in the hand is pure unadulterated premium, as too under the eyes - the GX501 truly is a remarkable piece of technology.

The only down sides to the Zephyrus are its cramped keyboard and high cost. If you've got the money, though, then this is a no-brainer, best-in-class proposition.

MSI GS65 Stealth Best gaming laptop

The MSI GS65 Stealth is a sleek gaming powerhouse, and one of the very best gaming laptops in the world today.

2. MSI GS65 Stealth

A powerful contender to the best gaming laptop throne

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM, Max-Q)
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 144Hz panel
Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
Reasons to buy
+Impeccable performance power+Understated thin design

MSI has come out swinging in 2018, aiming to take on the gaming laptop market by introducing the power of Coffee Lake into the equation. 

The result, when coupled with the powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU, is a portable machine that can run even the most demanding of modern AAA titles on ultra settings with barely a graphical or technical hiccup.

Throw in spacious and fast SSD storage, 16GB of RAM, and a quality Full HD, anti-glare wide-view 144Hz panel, and the package becomes even more impressive.

As such, the MSI GS65 Stealth is one of the absolute best gaming laptops available today, and a great alternate choice to the Asus ROG Zephyrus.

Best gaming laptop Asus ROG Strix GL502

If you're looking to shop in the mid-range best gaming laptop market price-wise, then the Asus ROG Strix GL502 is a superb option.

3. Asus ROG Strix GL502

The all-round best gaming laptop at a mid-tier price point

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 - 1070
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Screen: 15.6-inch full HD 1,920 x 1,080 IPS
Storage: 128GB - 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD
Reasons to buy
+High level specs+Bright, vibrant screen+Mid-tier price point

Another entry from Asus makes our top list of best gaming laptops and, once more, it is easy to see why. 

That's because the Asus ROG Strix GL502 comes packing a brilliant and vibrant 1,920 x 1,080 IPS screen and then pairs it with some superb, top-tier gaming hardware. An Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, along with 16GB of DDR4 RAM makes short work of any title at that resolution (and often consistently surpass 60fps!) and makes playing games a totally stress-free experience in terms of performance.

As you would expect, battery life isn't stellar, however the rest of this very well priced gaming laptop make it a top contender.

Alienware 13 R3 is a best gaming laptop

Alienware always delivers superb build quality in its gaming laptops, and it is business as usual with the Alienware 13 R3.

4. Alienware 13 R3

The best gaming laptop with a stunning OLED screen

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
RAM: 8GB – 16GB DDR4
Screen: 13.3-inch HD 1,366 x 768 TN – QHD 2,560 x 1440 OLED touchscreen
Storage: 180GB – 512GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous OLED screen+Improved hinge-forward design+Power!

Alienware has such pedigree in the best gaming laptop market that, unsurprisingly, its latest R3 refresh of the classic Alienware 13 is an absolute treat for gamers.

Configurable with a gorgeous QHD 2,560 x 1,440 OLED screen, as well as some really tasty internal hardware (Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 and 16GB of DDR4 RAM anyone?), the Alienware 13 R3 delivers real gaming power in a super portable, compact-screen-size package.

In addition, a new forward-hinge design allows the system to be thinner than past iterations too, with a 0.81-inch (0.22cm) chassis delivering Alienware's typically cool off-world aesthetic with aplomb.

As ever, battery life or weight isn't the best, however these are minor issues to a really tasty, top-tier gaming laptop.

The best gaming laptops Dell Inspiron 7000 Gaming

The Dell Inspiron 7000 Gaming doesn't look flashy, but it's a well-priced, powerful gaming laptop.

5. Dell Inspiron 7000 Gaming

A top value for money gaming laptop that delivers understated looks

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1 TB hybrid
Reasons to buy
+‘Pro-grade’ cooling system+Full HD screen and WavesMaxx audio+Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

Dell’s latest gaming-focused range of laptops are an ideal option if you’re looking to invest in a machine that can handle the every tasks of life AND your PC gaming needs. 

Even the basic model comes with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 and an impressively robust cooling system to keep that beast of a card from melting. With 16GB of RAM, a 128GB solid state drive, a 15-inch Full HD screen and speakers with WavesMaxx audio you’ve got one impressive package from the people at Dell. 

You’ll get just over eight hours of use on a single charge, which is okay, but it can charge up to 80% in one hour so you won’t have to wait long to keep gaming on the move.

Asus ROG G703GI best gaming laptop

A beastly portable gaming system, the Asus ROG G703GI is as expensive as it is powerful.

6. Asus ROG G703GI

The best gaming laptop for wealthy power users

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-i9
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM)
RAM: 64GB
Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080)144Hz
Storage: 3 x 512GB SSD (M.2, RAID 0), 2TB HDD
Reasons to buy
+A vast screen for a gaming laptop+Near unparalleled performance

Sometimes bigger really is better. Especially when you're a gaming laptop that's gargantuan in almost every way. First there's that monolithic 17.3-inch display, ensuring every vista and digital realm gets its due, while the choice of either i7 or i9 core processors means there's few tasks this laptop can't perform. 

And, with that Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU growling beneath the hood, even the most demanding titles on PC won't make this beast blink. Just expect to have to remortgage your house in order to afford it...

Best gaming laptop Gigabyte SabrePro 15

The Gigabyte SabrePro 15 is a top, feature-packed gaming laptop.

7. Gigabyte SabrePro 15

High power and a low profile with few concessions make this a great gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS wide-viewing angle display
Storage: 1TB HDD, 256GB SSDTB HDD; 256GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Powerful for GPU/CPU combo for its price+Great in-built keyboard

Considering the Gigabyte SabrePro 15 costs less than £1,500, you’d expect it to come with hardware more befitting of a ‘bargain’ machine. Instead, Gigabyte has teamed an Intel Core i7 processor with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, creating a genuinely formidable duo that can run even the most demanding of games at high settings.

Its RGB keyboard and Microsoft Precision Touchpad also help sweeten the deal. The only caveat is the laptop’s 15.6-inch screen isn’t the most vibrant, but there had to be some concessions at its price point in order to pull off this impressive gaming package.

Acer Predator Helios 300 best gaming laptops

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is the best gaming laptop you can buy if you've got around a grand to spend.

8. Acer Predator Helios 300

The best gaming laptop for gamers with about £1,000 to spend

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB-6GB
RAM: 16GB-32GB DDR4
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS (144Hz refresh rate)
Storage: 128GB SSD; 1TB HDD
Reasons to buy
+Knockout performance considering the price+Great entry level model

One of the benefits of gaming on the go in 2018 is the fact powerful components are now far more affordable, leading to new models with entry-level price tags that can run almost any game from your Stream library (and beyond). 

Here, with the Acer Predator Herlios 300, you're getting a beefy Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and a lovely 15.6-inch FHD display to keep your PC gaming hunger sated, but you'll likely need to tinker with its settings in order to stop it from overclocking itself and burning a hole in your desk.

The fact this is only a grand still blows our minds, and cements its position in our best gaming laptop 2018 guide.

MSI GT75 Titan best gaming laptop

9. MSI GT75 Titan

A 17-inch beast of a gaming laptop that comes with an in-built mechanical keyboard

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H Hexa-Core (2.2GHz, 9MB Cache, Intel Turbo Boost Up To 4.1GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) Full HD Resolution, 120Hz 3MS panel, Colour Anti-Glare
Storage: 256GB (2x 128GB) Super Raid 4 NVMe SSD
Reasons to buy
+Rapid CPU and GPU+Excellent 120Hz Anti-Glare screen+Super Raid SSD storage+In-built mechanical keyboard

The MSI GT75 Titan certainly lives up to its name, delivering an incredibly fast and powerful system that clubs lesser gaming laptops into submission with a bombastic build and design, as well as a stacked suite of rapid internal components.

Specs-wise, the combination of the Intel Core i7-8759H CPU, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GPU, and 16GB of DDR4 2,666MHz RAM make this a AAA-title crusher out of the box, and with 256GB of storage available in a 2x 128GB Super Raid setup there's plenty of room for games, too.

A wide-array or ports and connections, including DisplayPort, a backlit mechanical keyboard, and a 2-year MSI warranty complete an excellent all-round gaming package.