Kotaku Gift Guide: Gaming Laptops

Yes, yes, yes — I know. Might as well buy a desktop. But some people like to play on the move. Some people live in a cramped apartment and don't have room for a desktop. Hell, some people just like laptops! Regardless, there's a market for powerful gaming laptops out there. People are buying them.

Once again, this isn't a definitive guide by any stretch — think of it as a conversation starter! What do you all recommend?

Baller range: you have dat apple money...

Origin EON15-S Price: $4,422.00 I didn't need those kidneys anyway.

Boy oh boy this thing is expensive, but when it comes to your all-round mega powerful gaming laptops, this is about as boutique and boss as it gets. Yes, I used the word 'boss'. Get over it. I am high flying rich-as-hell businessman and I have almost $5000 to spend on a laptop. AW YEAH.

[Makes it rain]

Mid-range: it will still leave you homeless and on the streets

Alienware 18 Price: $3498.99 Bugger it. It's a gaming laptop. You're going to get ripped off. You are going to be broke. Might as well just go the whole hog, sell your car and get a laptop like the Alienware 18. Three and a half big ones. Jesus. It is powerful though. But you'd expect it to be for that price.

LOL This is the cheap option and I'm still broke...

Razer Blade Price: From $2499.95 This is by no means cheap, but it isn't Alienware expensive either. What you are really paying for here is the form and design itself. It somehow manages to pack some impressive tech into a super streamlined device. This bad boy has reviewed pretty well and as someone who doesn't have room for a desktop anymore, I'm considering this.

Any advice beyond 'just buy a desktop lol'? Let us know in the comments below!


    One option to consider is a custom laptop based on a Clevo chassis. There are a number of vendors selling these in Australia, and most let you create a completely custom setup. I haven't owned one myself, but I hear good things, and it means you don't entirely sacrifice the great choice you have when building a desktop PC.

      Which is the Origin EON15-S. Origin laptops uses Clevo chassis and I believe you can reduce the spec for your budget. Australian vendors are logical blue one and metabox I believe

      I recently bought a metabox from affordablelaptops.com.au which I believe is a clevo.

      To counter the buy a desktop argument, I could justify buying exactly 1 computer, which I wanted to play games on, but which I could also carry to work.

      Paid just over $1600 and am very happy with the purchase. Speakers are terrible but I always play with headphones anyway.

      Runs everything I've thrown at it so far, but I don't really care about uber settings, as long as it's a smooth frame rate.

    just build 5 desktops and start mini lans to earn some coin...

    LOL @ those titles. I give the article a 11/10 just for that.

    This is a gift guide?? what kind of friends do you have?!

      It's the "MUUUUM, can I have this laptop on Kotaku for Chistmas?" gift guide :p




      gold :p

    Mid-range — Price: $3498.99
    Budget — Price: From $2499.95

    I feel poor ._.

    I paid ~$500 for an Inspiron i5 with a 1GB dedicated video card lol.. works fine for the games I've played on it so far, not going to get super duper maxed out settings of course.

    I'm one of those people who forked out for a gaming laptop. Just wanted the portability. Simple as that. Paid $3500 roughly for my MSI GT70-2OD057AU. It's gorgeous. I love it. Runs most things very smoothly. Far Cry 3 beats it at max settings, but then again, Far Cry 3 probably beats everything on max settings. Still, I can run it in DX9 mode at 1080p with max settings and get 50-60fps almost all the time. It's a beast.

    Last edited 05/12/13 4:13 pm

      I know portability is the drawcard of laptops, but I can't stand gaming on laptops. My desktop cost me $1800 including the screen, and add a cherry keyboard for 200 and a decent mouse for about 80 dollars brings the price to around $2100. It's got a Geforce 660Ti inside, which far outperforms the 760M (all laptop graphic cards are terrible anyway). I just don't like that the price you pay for a laptop is a premium; it's always around 50% more expensive with decreased performance and increased noise.

      My mistake, 780M was the laptop graphics card (which still is far behind the GTX 660Ti).

      It's got a single GPU in it. That's $2500 territory. :\

    Man, I paid around $1400 for my laptop about 3 years and the things a beast. ITunes, Skype, BF3, fraps recording and not a drop in FPS. People spend too much money on the cosmetics of gaming laptops. Mine looks ordinary but it does the job.


      My laptop was 500 (on 'sale' from 1000), it's by no means a gaming behemoth like the desktop, but it still plays all games I've wanted to play with it.

        Yeah true, a solid gaming laptop doesn't need to look like it belongs in the bat cave.

    bought mine from http://www.sagernotebook.com/ got better specs in mine than the default Origin EON15-S and cheaper than the razer blade though shipping and gst put it close maybe a bit over i cant remember exactly

      jesus christ, dude! Use a full stop at the very least.....

      Otherwise, that site does look like it has some great priced laptops for gaming ;-)

    I see pretty decent ASUS G series laptops on Catch of the day for 1.5k-1.8k all the time.

      Asus g75vx..i have it. Amazing laptop..Better then razer

    Gaming laptops: They're hot, heavy, not really portable, expensive and the only thing you can upgrade later is the RAM and HDD.

    Seriously, what's the point? You could build a bitching desktop for the same money, or a far more portable laptop which is useful for everything else but gaming and a console which will outlast your gaming laptop in being able to play new releases as they're intended.


      The point is that there are *other* people whom, believe it or not, will have a different opinion to your own.
      There are lots of reasons for having a gaming laptop.
      - If you move around a lot, and need a computer to take to work/uni/friends house on a regular basis.
      - If you don't have the space in your place for a desktop
      - You may just find laptops more comfortable to use

      Your first point is valid. They are hot, heavy, expensive and are limited in upgrades. But they are all justifiable for those living under different circumstances to your own. Price is probably easy to justify for people who may argue that a desktop gaming PC is too large, completely non-portable, and not really necessary at home.

      You can also plug an external monitor, mouse, keyboard into laptops to make them a pseudo-desktop PC for at home anyway.

      I use a desktop PC for gaming, I use a portable laptop for work. But I wouldn't for once think that anyone that buys a gaming laptop doesn't have a valid reason for doing so.

        In my experience, every single person I know who's bought a gaming laptop has needed a laptop, got greedy in the specs hunt, ended up with a gaming laptop and then NEVER used it as a laptop because it's too heavy and big to bother taking anywhere. Sure there are people who they are genuinely useful for, but there are a lot of people who should just of never bought one.

          This. I got greedy on the size and went for a 17". Not fun to move around.

    I love those titles! "LOL This is the cheap option and i'm still broke".

    2 years after buying my Alienware i can finally admit that it was one the stupidest mistakes i've ever made. I worked out that with the money i spent ($1.7k) i could have built a PC gaming powerhouse.

    I'm currently buying the parts to build a gaming rig. I'll just use this laptop for... "low end" gaming... Seeing as it couldn't run any new games after only a year. What a mistake.

    I got an Asus G55vw late last year and while it weighs a ton and has a brick for external power source it satisfies.
    Tomb Raider at high specs and very little frame drops. Hell, I finished Infinite on its 15inch screen and was still amazed at the graphics. It also took my DotA 2 cherry...
    Below $2000 and worth it.

    I've got an Acer ultrabook with Nvidia 750M dedicated chip and 1080p screen which I bought for half the price of a Razer Blade. It runs most games like BioShock Infinite, Arkham series and Skyrim at pretty much max settings at 30fps plus, not to mention battery life of 5+ hours for doing things other than gaming, super portable etc... Honestly, a little bit of compromise goes a long way, especially in this day and age of perfectly capable mobile gaming GPUs.

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