10 Big Gaming Laptops That Get Stuff Done

So your parents, boss or school have said they’ll help you pay for a new laptop to kick off the year. Lucky you! If you’re a PC gamer, these powerful desktop replacements — many with vibrant 17-inch HD screens — will not only keep you on task, but also let you get your Steam on. Take a look...

These gaming laptops are just some of our favourites right now. We’ve listed them here in no particular order and with a completely non-scholastic disregard for battery life. Pricing is Australian and admittedly often skews on the high side — but damn, those specs!

Let us know your suggestions in the comments below...

Alienware 17

Let’s dive in with Alienware’s redesigned line of gaming beasts, launched mid-last year with 700M series graphics and Intel’s new 4th generation Haswell processors. The Alienware 17 shown here has a 17.3-inch (1920x1080) anti-glare display.

If bigger is better, the Alienware 18 (18.4-inch screen) will be of interest, but for my mind the Alienware 14 (14-inch screen) hits the sweet spot between pixel pushing and portability. Each model has great speakers, viewing angles and anodized aluminium build-quality.

• Min spec: 4th Generation 2.4GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz) Intel Core i7-470MQ • Min spec: 8GB memory • Min spec: 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M • Min spec: 1TB 5400RPM hard disk + 80GB solid state drive • Windows 8.1

Price: Starting at $2499 • More at: Alienware Australia

Razer Blade Pro

The 17.3-inch Razer Blade Pro also launched mid-2013, along with its surprisingly thin (and thermally-efficient) 14-inch Razer Blade sibling. The larger model’s distinctive feature: the ‘Switchblade’ LCD to the right of the keyboard.

This 4.05-inch (800x480) mini display can be used to browse the web or function as a multi-touch/gesture track pad. There are also 10 dynamic tactile keys, the icons of which are fully customisable.

• 4th Generation 2.4GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz) Intel Core i7-4700HQ Quad-Core • 8GB memory • 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M • 128GB / 256GB / 512GB SATA III solid state drive • Windows 8.1

Price: Starting at $2499 • More at: Razer Online Store (Australia)

Origin EON Series

Good news: Origin PC (founded by former employees of Alienware) has an Australian online store. The company’s 13.3-, 15.6- and 17.3-inch EON series laptops are where the action is, though it looks like the latter isn’t shipping to Australia just yet.

The EON15-S starts at $2163 and includes 4GB GeForce GTX 780M graphics, while the EON13-S starts at $1876 with Nvidia’s 2GB GeForce GT 765M chip. Both models feature 4th generation Intel Core i7 ‘Haswell’ processors, illuminated keyboards and HD displays.

Price: Starting at $1876 • More at: Origin PC (Australian Store)

Acer Aspire R7

OK, something a little different here – one of the weirder laptop designs in years. The Aspire R7 has a 15.6-inch multi-touch screen that transforms from normal laptop ‘clamshell’ mode to lie down flat like a gigantic tablet. And in between – the screen sits upright, but slightly tilted – reminiscent of a desktop PC. In this mode the screen covers the touchpad located above the keyboard.

That could be a deal breaker for some, though personally, I’ll always have a fast-tracking laser mouse under my right palm. Elsewhere, you can see the Aspire R7 has pretty decent specs as well.

• 4th Generation 2.4GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz) Intel Core i7-4700HQ Quad-Core • 12GB memory • 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 750M • 128GB / 256GB / 512GB SATA III solid state drive • Windows 8.1

Price: Starting at $2499 • More at: Acer Australia

MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2 Extreme

MSI has a pretty large range of gaming laptops – from the AMD-based GX60/GX70 (15.6- and 17.3-inchers, respectively) to this, the GT70 Dragon Edition 2 Extreme. The dragon red colour scheme, and (WASD-optimised) SteelSeries LED backlit keyboard aren’t exactly subtle, but this machine is all about obnoxious power: i7-4930MX processor/GeForce GTX 780M graphics/RAID storage and Dynaudio stereo speakers.

Just tell your oldies that the 17.3-inch display improves your productivity. At this price, you’ll need to think of something to say – though you do get what you pay for when it comes to them specs.

• 4th Generation 2.4GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz) Intel Core i7-4930MX • 32GB memory • 4GB GeForce GTX 780M • 3x 128GB solid state drives • Windows 8.1 Price: From around $4600 street price. More at: MSI Gaming Laptops

ASUS ROG G750JX

The ASUS ROG is an extreme gaming machine. Although it launched late last year, it’s no slouch. With RAM expandable up to 32GB ad a weaponised 3GB of video RAM coming from the discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M, it’s power on the go at its best.

It also supports a range of hybrid storage options with bundled hard-disk drives and solid-state disks for faster boot and load times.

• 4th Generation 2.4GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz) Intel Core i7-4700HQ Quad-Core • 8GB memory • 3GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M • 500GB HDD stand-alone / 500GB HDD w/ 8GB SSD / 750GB w/ 256GB SSD / 1TB HDD w/ 256GB SSD • Windows 8 / Windows 8 Pro

Price: Starting at $2999 RRP • More at: Asus Australia

Gigabyte P35K

The P35K is a discreet-looking laptop released last year with tonnes of power for you to game on without drawing too much attention to yourself. It also has comparable specs to the Asus ROG, but at $1000 cheaper.

• 4th Generation 2.4GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz) Intel Core i7-4700HQ Quad-Core • 16GB memory • 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M • 1TB HDD w/ 256GB SSD • Windows 8.1 / Windows 8.1 Pro

Price: Starting at $1999 RRP • More at: Gigabyte and MSY

Samsung ATIV 8

The Samsung ATIV 8 might have a stupid name, but this 15.6-inch laptop is potentially the best computer ever to come out of the South Korean manufacturer’s front doors.

With a gorgeous 1080p panel, AMD Radeon graphics, a high-powered Core i7 processor and beautiful design, this laptop is the perfect balance of school- and work-safe design with hidden gaming power. Unfortunately, the svelte ATIV 9 series uses integrated graphics.

• 4th Generation 2.4GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz) Intel Core i7-4700QM Quad-Core • 8GB memory • 2GB AMD Radeon HD8870M • 1TB HDD • Windows 8.1 Pro

Price: Starting at $1274 RRP • More at: Samsung

Toshiba Qosmio X70

The Qosmio is bulky, but it’s certainly got power where it counts.

With up to 32GB of RAM, a 17.3-inch widescreen, Intel Core i7 processors and 3GB of video RAM from the NVIDIA GeForce 770M, it's It also has Harman Kardon speakers and a subwoofer built into the base for when you’re gaming your face off in your dorm instead of writing that 3500-word assignment on the history of who-cares.

• 4th Generation 2.4GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz) Intel Core i7-4700MQ Quad-Core • 16GB RAM / 32GB RAM (8GB x 4) • 3GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M • 2TB (2x 1TB + 8GB SSD) / 2.2TB (2x 1TB + 256GB SSD) • Windows 8 / Windows 8 Pro

Price: Starting at $3499 RRP • More at: Toshiba Australia

Apple MacBook Pro With Retina Display

It’s weird to think that Apple makes a laptop that could be great for gaming, but there’s still one left in the range that’s perfect for those who want the best of both worlds.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display packs in a beautiful panel with the ability to run Mac OS X 10.9 and and Windows 8.1 through a nifty little feature called Boot Camp, which basically sections off part of your hard disk to run the laptop as a Windows machine for all your games.

It isn’t cheap for the specs, however, coming in at $3199 compared to other laptops on this list. It is, however, the best way to get two laptops in one.

• 4th Generation 2.3GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz) Intel Core i7 Quad Core processor • 16GB RAM • 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 750M • 512GB PCIe SSD • Mac OS X 10.9 w/ ability to Boot Camp Windows 8.1 Pro

Price: Starting at $3199 RRP •More at: Apple


Comments

    Back to school with a $2-4 thousand dollar gaming laptop ? Wait what ?

    Last edited 19/02/14 5:38 pm

      Completely agree, what a complete piece of garbage.. Not only that but it was worked on by TWO PEOPLE and they still made it ridiculous.

        Yeah I saw the two people part for a glorified specs list and chuckled.

        Last edited 19/02/14 5:53 pm

    I didn't think word needed much processing power to use. I remember having to write everything down, seems kids have it easier these days. In regards to school equipment.

    Last edited 19/02/14 5:57 pm

      SAYYY WHAT? If anything school is getting harder as the requirements to do anything keep rising. So what if they don't have to write stuff down, they still have to maintain a ridiculous average in order to make their schooling worth while.

      Lol so true. Theres no way in hell my child is going back to school with any of these Laptops. Im pretty sure I send my kids to school to learn not to play games

        Its just asking for trouble in my opinion. A gaming laptop during class could be a bad temptation for some.

          A gaming laptop won't even last the class or be feasible to carry without a carrying on suitcase.

          Imagine the fan noise.
          "Billy... your laptop fan is disturbing the class"

    The only 2 on the list that seem like good value are the Origin machines and the Gigabyte.

    I have no idea who that 4600 dollar MSI is meant to be for, I have never seen a more overpriced machine for what it does.

    Hi mum. Need a laptop to do school work. It's special school work that the $1000 laptop you want to get won't run so I need a $4600 laptop covered in dragons and coloured lights.

    I wonder how often that has worked?

    When my kids eventually make it to school age they will be the proud recipients of my second hand kit, complete with parental controls and maybe Crisis or Skyrim if I'm feeling generous thank you very much.

    as wonderfully ridiculous as all these lovely specs are...
    the MacBook Pro certainly doesn't come with a GTX 750 card, its just a GT 750 powering that pixel hungry panel... I greatly doubt it could keep up in such company.

    The Asus ROG laptops, while beefy in terms of power, suck balls to the max. They are an absolute nightmare to pull apart, and everyone I've come across, has always ended up having issues with the graphics card.

    Don't know why anyone would spend $4k on a laptop in this day and age... I have a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, and three gaming consoles, and they total less than $4k.

    My next "work" laptop will be a Clevo... once I can afford to replace my current one. Personally, I'm looking at the W230ST - an i7-47xxMQ, 8GB RAM, 128GB mSATA SSD, 13" 1080p IPS display, GTX765M, for $1400; tho by the time I get around to it the model line-up will likely have changed.

    What Uni student can afford any of these? You're better off building a gaming PC and get an ipad (which some unis give for free now) or notebook for uni. Will be cheaper than the majority of these.

    These are pretty expensive. My Asus ROG G75VW was released around a year before I bought it, and can run newer games like Battlefield 4 at almost Ultra settings (minus Ambient Occlusion and Antialiasing) at over 30 FPS. Only cost me $1600 too.

    As for school, one of these would be useful for me (I use programs such as Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk Revit, but the none of the desktops here have a dedicated GPU and usually they run it pretty roughly and often get driver crashes), but why bother putting games on it if its going to school. Connecting to a school's network usually means using a student login for accessing the few sites that are not blocked by the proxy. For me, the Steam website is blocked and Origin will not log in due to it not using the proxy.

    My laptop specs for the interested: Intel Core i7-3630QM 2.4GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M 2GB, 16 GB DDR3, Windows 8.1, 6x Blu-Ray drive, 1080p screen and 2 hard drive bays (one is currently being occupied by a 1TB HDD)

    Still, you dont need heaps of cash to run current games. My 2 year old HP DV6 still smashes pretty much everything. Even AssCreed 4 is stable on medium/high settings and thats an unoptomised mess of a game.

    awesome! my Laptop is listed here :) (The Asus ROG)

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