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Best Gaming Laptops of 2016

AptGadget’s  favorite gaming laptops of 2016

Asking a tech savvy friend for recommendations on gaming laptops will often times result in them telling you that you’re far better off building a desktop. However, for those of us with powerful desktops, and a need for portability, this is poor advice. There is a reason that gaming laptops exist, and if you’re willing to fork over some extra coin you can get a machine almost as powerful as your sedentary desktop. The idea of paying far more for your machine is what sometimes causes people to back out of a gaming laptop purchase, after all a decent gaming laptop will start close to $1200, and that is if you are willing to sacrifice fps, and graphical settings. The best gaming laptops are often far more expensive. All of this taken into account, these are some of AptGadget’s favorite laptops in the year 2016.

 

The Razer Blade 2016

razer blade

This is probably my personal favorite of the bunch. It includes enough to power to run your games at 60fps and 1080p, and looks extremely stylish. It’s only 14 inches wide and is insanely thin. If you’re willing to sacrifice some fps, depending on the title this laptops is even capable of running games at 4k resolution because of its very nice display.

Packed inside this beast is

  • 6th Generation Intel Core i7
  • 16GB Ram
  • 256 GB SSD
  • GTX 970M 6GB

What really makes this laptop incredible however is its build quality. It’s made with excellent material, has very little flex, good hinges, and can be opened with one hand easily. It comes in a nice black aluminum color, however it can easily be nicked or scraped off.

However this laptop still has its flaws, it comes standard with only 256GB of memory, and while is on an SSD interface, for some people this is simply not enough storage. One other thing to be concerned with is that it limits upgrade ability. However all that being said, for the high end gamer The Razer Blade is more than powerful enough already.

 

The Acer Predator 15

acer preadator

A very expandable laptop with a little less gleam and style than The Razer Blade. A great thing about the Acer Predator is it can be configured in many different ways, for the sake of the article we configured it to be its most powerful. That meant also including the brilliant 17.3 inch 4k display.

It includes

  • Intel Core i7-6820HK
  • 32 GB of Ram
  • 1TB HDD
  • 512 GB SSD
  • GTX 980 8Gb

Obviously this isn’t as ultra portable as the Razer Blade, it’s large and heavy, and most likely will have some trouble fitting into your computer bag. However, if performance and expand ability is what you care about most, it had it where it counts. It has 4 USB 3’s, and several display output options, thunderbolt 3, and 3 drivebays. It also has a fantastic keyboard making for a pleasant typing experience.  So where does it suffer? The Acer Predator 15 sacrifices portability for performance, so as a consumer prioritize what ultimately is more important for you.

 

The Origin Eon 17-X

origin

While the Origin Eon 17-X is not a far cry from its younger brother the 15-X, it stands on its own as an excellent laptop, and certainly one of the best this year. Just like the Acer Predator it is highly configurable, though not as much in terms of raw power, and to get the most out of this machine we maxed out its performance, and as a result its price. The standard display is rather underwhelming, but thanks to configuration options it is easily up gradable to a beautiful 1080p IPS display.

Our machine has

  • 6th Generation Intel Core i7
  • GTX 980M
  • 32GB Ram
  • 1TB SSD

What makes this machine a marvel is its customization, we chose to limit our customization to performance based enhancements, but there are customization to sound, display, networking, the case, the color, screen calibration, and much much more. This Laptop with all its upgrades would easily be the most expensive on the list. We had to limit ourselves to a 1TB SSD as there was the option to not only have a larger hard drive, but two have 2 identical SSD drives of 2TB each. The only thing I can find to complain about on this laptop is its 1080p display which unfortunately is obviously not 4k. But because the display its self is so magnificent, its hard to complain about even that. Other than that, it is pretty large and heavy, and its battery leaves something to be desired. This would be a  deal breaker for me, and is the reason I so love the Razer Blade, but if the size of your laptop means nothing to you, you cant really go wrong with The Origin Eon 17-X.

The Alienware 15

alienware

As with most Alienware products you can expect some super awesome lighting, and style that makes the Alienware look super cool, but beyond that it even with its plastic construction it has very solid build quality. The main fear when purchasing an Alienware product for me at least is that i’m paying for whats on the outside, and not the inside. Let me assure you that this is not the case with the Alienware 15, you can configure your machine to your liking,

mine had

  • Intel Core i7-6820HK
  • AMD Radeon R9 M395X 8GB
  • 32 GB Ram
  • 256GB SSD
  • 1TB HDD

Beyond all this it features a beautiful 4k display, though you’l have to make concessions in the way of GPU power should you choose to go with that option.

One of the best reasons to get an Alienware is that availability of the Alienware graphics amps, that give your laptop even more power. Certainly not necessary for everyday use, but should you be putting your machine on strain pretty often, is a nice piece of tech to pick up. One thing that definitely will surprise you is the sound quality coming from the Alienware 15, despite not having a dedicated sub. The only complaint surrounding the Alienware 15 is its bulky size, but unless you are going to buy the Razer Blade, it will generally be hard to avoid bulky size among gaming laptops.

 

The Asus Rog G751Y-DH72X

asus

How can the Asus Rog which admittedly had lower specs as far as processing power ever compare to the likes the the acer predator and the other machines on this list. Easy by being reasonably priced, and well built. The G751Y (which is the worst name ever) is positively stunning in build quality. This is no suprise, at least to me, I love asus products for exactly that reason. I know what im buying, is both durable, and designed for lots of use, over a long period of time. The Rog features a very ergonomic keyboard, making long gaming sessions comfortable. It also features an IPS display, which is both the most beautiful of any display from any laptop on this list, but is also far easier on the eyes. However, dont assume that just because the Rog is great in build means it sacrificed its power. At its lowest price it will still pack a punch with

  • Intel Core i7-4720HQ
  • 1 TB 7200RPM Hard Drive
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB DDR5
  • 16 GB of Ram

This is my kind of laptop, its easy to use period. It makes for a very comfortable portable experience, which cant necessarily be said for every laptop on this list. Now I have one gripe about this laptop, its size. This laptop has a great build, but it had to make sacrifices somewhere. Its display is 17.3 inches, which you may love, or hate. That being said, its durable enough, and ergonomic enough, that I would suggest using it on the go anyways. Do I rank it higher than the razer blade? Certainly not, but one thing it does beat the blade in, is price. The Rog is far less expensive than the blade, which may make you consider it, when choosing your next gaming machine.

 

MSI G Series Dominator Pro

msi dominator

This machine is a beast, plain and simple. I usually have trouble recommending MSI products, for the same reason I have trouble recommending Alien ware products, they really push the flashy dragon brand in your face. Thankfully, recently MSI has ceased to charge that extra premium for the flashy lights, and while im not a super big fan of MSI build quality typically I can make exceptions for many exceptional MSI computers. One of which I own personally, and have chosen for my own daily use, The GE62. But the GE62 pales in comparison of the sheer power of the Dominator Pro. There are many configuration options available for this machine. We went for a middle of the road model to maintain a reasonable price for what we were getting. In this beast is

  • Intel Core i7-6820HK
  • 32 GB of Ram
  • 256 GB SSD
  • 1 TB HDD
  • GTX 980

Now the complaints for MSI products are pretty typical for their machines, and are to be expected any time you purchase an MSI product. Its big, bulky, and comes with lots of bloatware. However, you’l be pleased to know some of that pre-installed software I have found extremely useful in my own personal machine, the GE62. It also features a lack luster display, and a low resolution screen compared to some of its competition. But you cant argue against sheer power, for that price. The Dominator is for the the hardcore gamer certainly.

 

The Dell Inspiron 7000 series

dell

A dell laptop, im must surely be joking? What about Alien Ware?! Well here’s the truth there are not many laptops with a better bang for your buck than the Dell Inspiron 7000 Laptops. It is by far the most affordable laptop on the list, and while it might not offer enough power for the most hardcore of gamers, who want to use VR, and play at 4k. It is more than enough for the average consumer. So it makes sacrifices to power for affordability, but let me make it loud and clear. This laptop is only $800 at its least expensive configuration, which if you ask me is the one you should be buying. It has

  • 6th Gen Intel Core i5
  • GTX 960M
  • 8 GB of Ram
  • 1 TB HDD

Not the most powerful machine you’ve seen so far, but for $800, god damn. Now what are my problems with the machine? Personally I need far more Ram, I love to edit video, and live stream, and 8 GB just ain’t gonna cut it. Neither is that i5 core processor. So if you are a consumer who needs their laptop for something even more strenuous than gaming, this is not for you. But if all you do on your laptop is game, and surf the web, than hell for $800 why not. It’s not the most portable laptop, its no Razer Blade (which is still my favorite). But at 15 inches, it will work just fine for a portable gaming rig, to get in your fill when your away from your monster desktop.

 

Lenovo IdeaPad Y700

lenovo

Another budget gaming laptop, it’s just slightly  more expensive than the Dell Inspiron 7000, but offers some extra benefits as well. You may not believe this, but as Im writing this at second cup, the man just across from me at the laptop table is using one of these laptops. Presumably working (or playing league of legends or something). And who can blame him for purchasing this machine, its a budget machine that works perfectly as a mobile gaming rig or light work station. So for only $1100 what does it have inside? Well

  • Intel Core i7 6700HQ
  • GTX 960m
  • 16 GB of Ram
  • 128 GB SSD
  • 1 TB HDD

You may notice the complaints I had about the Inspiron have been resolved for a mere $300. It beats the Dell machine in both Ram, and processing power, which at least for me, makes it worth the purchase. This laptop is all about value, and while it wont be able to run Crysis 3 at ultra settings, it can handle most high end games at medium to high settings just fine. I normally give the 960M some flack, the 970M is far more powerful, but for an entry level gaming machine, the 960M is perfectly fine, and performs reasonably well. One thing that suprised me about this machine was some surprisingly good sound quality making it a good choice for a movie as well. No need for headphones. So what is there to really complain about, well everything the Asus Rog did right this machine does wrong. Which took me aback, because Lenovo has in the past released ergonomic, and well built machines. This one however, has a cramped and awkward keyboard, that makes far to much noise it will give you cramps.

 

The MSI GE62 Apache Pro

msi ge62

I mentioned this laptop earlier, and I currently use it as my personal laptop. Allow me a moment to explain why. It’s display is only 15.3 inches, and it is relatively light. It has enough power to satisfy my gaming needs, since I have no need for 4k capabilities or VR. It has enough power to satisfy both my needs as writer, and video editor. And in pair with my desktop, makes for an excellent streaming computer as well. On the inside it has

  • Intel i7 6700HQ
  • GTX 960M
  • 128 GB SSD
  • 1 TB HDD
  • 16 GB Ram

What sets it apart is it’s build quality which I was very impressed with. Beyond that, it has fantastic viewing angles, and a very pretty display considering it is not IPS, nor 4k. It is a little more expensive than the Lenovo Think Pad, but it goes on sale about every 3 weeks, and during this time can be obtained for the same price. So imagine the Lenovo, with better build quality, and very pretty lights. I did manage to pick it up on sale, and have been very happy with my machine since then. My one and only complaint, is its poor battery life, which during regular use will only last around 3 hours (tough for a writer at second cup). During gaming sessions, it will last around an hour, and I would suggest only gaming with it plugged in. Otherwise you will not be able to activate the fans, and your machine will become hot very fast. Also beware this machine is a fingerprint magnet.

 

Aorus X7 Pro v5-SL2

aorus

This one hits the sweet spot between performance and portability. Less portable than some options, but more powerful. Less powerful than some options, but more portable. It is pricey, but very much worth it. You may not have heard of the Aorus Brand, well they are a little known high quality European brand. This machine is about portable efficiency, it doesn’t really sacrifice anything anywhere, you’re just not getting the best in any one category. It is the jack of all trades in the world of Laptops. As far as power goes it has

  • GTX 970 SLI
  • Intel Core i7 6820HK
  • 16 GB of Ram
  • 1 TB HDD
  • 512 GB SSD

You might be surprised to know that one of the most powerful laptops on the market, is also very thin, and very light. So if you’re willing to pay major dough, than the Aorus is the perfect portable gaming machine. Now it doesn’t have a 4k display, despite having more than enough GPU power to run games at 4k, but it had a beautiful IPS display in 1080p. Also another problem you may encounter is that despite its weight, it is rather large at 17.3 inches. Despite the fact that I think for a machine like this there is no excuse for not having a 4k display, this laptop deserves a round of applause, for being what I consider the best gaming laptop of 2016 (though not my personal favorite, ps I love you Razer Blade).

Novice writer, and creator. Currently writing a documentary about The Canadian Improv Games. Overall coach potato, and cant stop watching Game of Thrones.

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