Gaming laptops meld raw power with portability, bridging the gap between immersive gaming experiences and on-the-go convenience. With cutting-edge graphics, high-refresh-rate displays, and sleek designs, they’re the modern gamer’s weapon of choice for battles, quests, and victories
About Gaming Laptops
Phenomenal performance for professionals
If you're anything like me, you know that a good gaming session isn't just about the game itself; it's about the entire experience. And an integral part of that experience is the machine powering our digital adventures. This year, we've seen some sick rigs hit the market, and I'm here to give you my take on the best of the best – from one gamer to another.
When it comes to gaming, it's a personal journey. The right rig can make or break that experience. These beasts of 2023 have all given me moments of awe, and while benchmarks and specs are essential, nothing beats the raw, unfiltered joy of diving into a new game with a machine that can handle anything you throw at it.
1. ASUS ROG Strix G17
AMD Ryzen 7
NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti
[Note: As of my last training data in September 2021, specifics regarding the most recent model of the ASUS ROG Strix G17 in 2023 aren't available. I'll base this critique on general knowledge of the brand and earlier models, but please adjust as per the specific features of the 2023 model.]
The ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) series has long been a go-to for gamers across the globe, with the Strix G17 standing out as one of their flagship offerings. As a dedicated gamer, I've had my fair share of hands-on time with this beast, and here's my honest review.
Performance: The Strix G17 generally packs top-tier hardware, from powerful CPUs to the latest GPUs. This ensures a seamless gaming experience, even with the most demanding triple-A titles.
Display: With its 17-inch display, gaming feels immersive. High refresh rates, which have always been a strength for the ROG series, translate to smoother visuals and better responsiveness in fast-paced games.
Cooling System: The ROG CoolZone technology is nothing short of impressive. Extended gaming sessions rarely saw any overheating issues, and fan noises remained within acceptable levels.
Keyboard: The keyboard is tactile and responsive with good key travel. RGB lighting is customizable and can set the mood for any gaming scenario.
Portability: It's a hefty machine. The 17-inch screen, while immersive, adds to the weight and size. It's not the ideal laptop if you're always on the move or have limited space.
Battery Life: A common drawback with many gaming laptops. Don't expect it to last a full day without the charger, especially during intensive gaming or tasks.
Price: Being a top-tier gaming laptop, the Strix G17 can be heavy on the wallet. There are cheaper alternatives on the market, but they might compromise on some features.
Sound: While the speakers are decent, they lack the depth and richness you'd expect from a premium gaming laptop. An external speaker or good pair of headphones is almost a necessity.
Design and Aesthetics: This is subjective. The aggressive gamer-centric design, complete with RGB lighting, can be a hit or miss. While I appreciate the aesthetics, it might not appeal to everyone, especially those looking for a more subdued or professional look.
Conclusion: The ASUS ROG Strix G17 is undoubtedly a gaming powerhouse. It delivers where it matters most: performance. However, like any machine, it has its strengths and weaknesses. If you're looking for raw power, an immersive display, and aren't too concerned about portability or budget, the G17 is a stellar choice. But if you're a gamer on the move or on a tighter budget, it might be worth considering other options
The Acer Predator series is no stranger to the gaming community. Among them, the Predator Helios 300 has often been cited as a mid-range champion. As someone deeply immersed in the world of gaming, I decided to give the Helios 300 a whirl, and here's my two cents on it.
Performance: Armed with respectable specs like the Intel i7 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs (specifics can vary based on the exact model), the Helios 300 delivers a punchy performance. Most games run smoothly on high settings without a hitch.
Build Quality: The metal chassis gives the laptop a sturdy feel, a departure from some gaming laptops that often rely on plastic builds.
Price Point: One of the biggest selling points of the Helios 300 is its value proposition. You get a commendable gaming performance without completely emptying your pockets.
144Hz Display: Gaming on a high-refresh-rate screen is a game-changer. The smoothness is particularly noticeable in fast-paced FPS or racing games.
Thermals: The laptop does tend to get hot under extended gaming sessions. Though the cooling system tries to keep up, thermal throttling can occasionally be an issue.
Battery Life: Just like many gaming laptops, the Helios 300 struggles in the battery department. If you're planning to game, staying near a power outlet is advised.
Weight and Portability: While not the heaviest, it's certainly not the lightest gaming laptop on the block. Carrying it around daily could be a chore.
Bloatware: Acer does preload some software which, in my opinion, isn't necessary. A little cleanup post-purchase might be required.
Design: The design is reasonably understated for a gaming laptop, though it still sports the red-and-black aggressive aesthetics. Some might love it; others might wish for a more muted design.
Conclusion: The Acer Predator Helios 300 sits in a sweet spot for gamers who want a balance between performance and price. It's by no means perfect, and hardcore gamers might find certain aspects lacking. However, for its price bracket, the Helios 300 offers a lot of bang for the buck. If you're diving into PC gaming or need a decent rig without breaking the bank, this is a solid choice. But if you're a seasoned gamer chasing the highest specs and performance, you might want to set your sights on more premium offerings.
3. HP Victus 16-e0174nw
AMD Ryzen 5
NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti
HP's entry into the gaming market has been commendable, and with the Victus series, they aim to provide an affordable yet powerful gaming experience. The Victus 16-e0174nw stands as a testament to this approach. As an avid gamer, I took it for a test drive, and here's my insight on it.
Performance-to-Price Ratio: The Victus series, in general, offers impressive hardware for its price bracket. With components like the AMD Ryzen processors and NVIDIA GeForce GPUs, this machine provides a reliable gaming performance without costing an arm and a leg.
Display: A 16-inch display hits the sweet spot between the traditional 15.6" and the larger 17.3". This, combined with good color accuracy and decent refresh rates, enhances the gaming experience.
Minimalist Design: Unlike many gaming laptops, the Victus 16-e0174nw adopts a more subdued aesthetic. It's less "gamer-centric" in appearance, which might appeal to those wanting a more professional look.
Keyboard: The keyboard is comfortable for prolonged gaming sessions. The tactile feedback is adequate, and the key travel is satisfactory.
Thermal Performance: Like many gaming laptops in its price range, the Victus 16-e0174nw tends to get warm during extended gaming. While it doesn't reach alarming temperatures, it's something users should be mindful of.
Sound Quality: The built-in speakers are average at best. For immersive gaming, a good pair of headphones or external speakers would be essential.
Battery Life: Extended gaming without being plugged in drains the battery quite quickly. While this is a common drawback among gaming laptops, it's still worth noting.
Weight: It's on the heavier side. For gamers on the move or those seeking portability, this could be a detractor.
Port Selection: The laptop offers a decent selection of ports, which is neither impressive nor lacking. Some might miss specific ports, while others might find it adequate.
Conclusion: The HP Victus 16-e0174nw stands as a testament to HP's aim to deliver value-focused gaming laptops. It excels in providing a balanced performance, especially for its price point. However, it does come with its share of compromises. It's ideal for gamers who want a solid entry-level to mid-range gaming laptop without splurging on premium models. Just bear in mind the thermal performance and consider investing in a cooling pad or an external speaker to elevate the experience.
4. MSI Stealth 15M
AMD Ryzen 7
NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti
MSI has always been a major player in the gaming world, with their laptops frequently seen at eSports events and gaming conventions. The Stealth 15M, with its promise of being one of the thinnest gaming laptops, caught my eye. Here’s my take on it after some intense gaming sessions.
Portability and Design: One of the Stealth 15M's standout features is its sleek, ultra-thin design. For gamers on the go, this laptop is a godsend. It’s not just about the size; its stylish aesthetic also means it wouldn’t look out of place in a professional setting.
Performance: With the latest Intel CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs (as of 2021), it packs a punch in a small frame. Most games run smoothly on high settings.
Keyboard and Touchpad: MSI collaborated with SteelSeries for the keyboard, resulting in responsive keys with RGB customization options. The touchpad, while not a primary tool for gamers, is precise and responsive.
Thunderbolt 4 Support: The inclusion of Thunderbolt 4 ports ensures fast data transfer rates and the ability to connect to multiple displays or even external GPUs.
Thermal Performance: The major downside to its slim profile is the thermal limitations. Under heavy loads, the laptop tends to get hot, which can potentially lead to throttling.
Sound: The built-in speakers are, to put it bluntly, underwhelming. They lack bass and can sound tinny. A good gaming headset or external speakers is practically a must.
Battery Life: High-performance gaming on a slim laptop inevitably comes at the cost of battery life. You'll need to keep that charger handy, especially for prolonged gaming sessions.
Price: The Stealth 15M is on the pricier side, especially when compared to some chunkier but equally powerful alternatives.
Display: While the display is sharp with decent color accuracy, the refresh rate options might leave hardcore gamers wanting more, especially given the laptop’s price point.
Conclusion: The MSI Stealth 15M is an ambitious attempt to blend portability with power. It's perfect for gamers who value mobility and want a laptop that's versatile enough for both work and play. However, the trade-offs in terms of thermals and battery life are palpable. If you’re a stationary gamer, there might be better options out there. But if you're always on the move and need a reliable gaming companion, the Stealth 15M is worth considering, as long as you're aware of its limitations.
The choice of a gaming laptop often comes down to individual priorities. If raw power and immersion are paramount, then the ASUS ROG Strix G17 stands out. For value-oriented decisions, the Acer Predator Helios 300 and HP Victus are notable mentions. However, if portability tops the list, the MSI Stealth 15M becomes a strong contender, despite its premium price. Always align your choice with your gaming habits, mobility needs, and budget constraints.