13 Awesome Gaming Laptops That Aren't Asus ROGs (and Where to Buy Them)
Finding the right gaming laptop for can be a minefield of brand names and high price tags. Looking through thousands of laptops is boring, time consuming, and oh-so-very confusing. And most of the time, you'll end up feeling like an Asus laptop is your only choice.
But what if we told you it's not?
We love Asus as much as the next PC gamers, but sometimes it's good (and kinder to your wallet) to look at rigs outside the Asus ROG name. So we've done the legwork for you and found 13 great gaming laptops that don't come from the Asus line. From portable 12-inchers to hulking 17-inch beasts, we've covered just about every size and style of laptop you could ask for. And all of them will handle games like an Asus.
These are the tiny powerhouses that are ultraportable, so you can game while literally flying.
Dell Inspiron 14"<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
The latest model from Dell, this Inspiron has an Intel i7 5500U, 1TB of space, 8GB RAM, and a NVIDIA 920M under the hood.
While it's going to knock your gaming socks off, it is still ultra portable at only 14". It will play almost every game at 30FPS when set to the lowest settings -- it even plays Crysis.
It may not be the best graphics-rendering machine, but you gotta sacrifice something to game on the go.
Lenovo Ideapad 510s 14.0"<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
Another surprise for this list is Lenovo's Ideapad series. It comes packed with an Intel i7 7500U processor that's slightly weaker than the Dell, and also has 8GB RAM. The much smaller 256GB SSD (rather than a HDD) will feel a little faster, though.
It also has an AMD Radeon R7 M460 GPU -- which like the 920M, won't be running games at top spec. But most games will run at least 30FPS.
[Editor's Note: I used a Lenovo Ideapad for 2 years of great gaming. It's worth it if you need the ultra-portability.]
MSI GS43VR<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
MSI make some of the best gaming laptops around -- only you will have to fork out some cash for one. But with an Intel i7 6700HQ, 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD, 16GB RAM, and a NVIDIA GTX 1060 with 6GB VRAM....it packs a punch.
No game will be unplayable at 1080p on this 14" screen. Even if you will have to drop some settings to keep a solid 60FPS, the GS43R will run perfectly while you play anywhere.
Razer Blade Stealth 12.5"<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
The Razer Blade Stealth is the smallest laptop on the list, at only 12.5". But it still packs a massive punch with its Intel i7 7500U, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and an Intel HD Graphics 620.
Like with the previous laptops, you will find yourself playing at 30FPS with low settings selected, but with a chassis that looks like this you won't care too much.
15 - 16.9" Laptops
These mid sized laptops are both portable and powerful, while gliding through the air, while gaming one handed is out the question, you will be able to take these everywhere.
MSI Ghost Pro Gaming Laptop 15.6"<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
With an Intel i7 6700HQ, 8GB RAM, a 1TB HDD, and a NVIDIA GTX 960M (with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM) you are not going to have to ask "can I run this?"
The answer will be yes -- just don't try to run anything at 4K.
[Editor's Note 2.0: I traded my Lenovo Ideapad for an MSI and couldn't be happier.]
Lenovo ThinkPad E560 15.6"<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
Featuring a powerful Intel i7 6500U, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD, and an AMD Radeon R7 M370, you will be able to run any game at a minimum of 30FPS.
Just don't expect to be playing at over 60FPS for more demanding games, and you are set.
Dell Gaming Laptop 15.6"<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
With a powerful Intel i5 6300HQ, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD, you will be zipping all over the shop. Then with the extra 8GB memory module, you won't be stumped with a random lack of RAM.
Powered by a Nvidia GTX 960M, this laptop is among the best for price and power.
MSI GE62VR<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
Filled to the brim with power, this laptop pack an Intel i7 6700HQ, 16GB RAM, a 1TB HDD and a NVIDIA GTX 1060 you will be able to play VR on the go. Then with a 256GB M.2, you will booting your laptop completely in 30 seconds tops.
Dell Inspiron i7559-3763BLK<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
Housing an Intel i7-6700HQ, 16GB RAM, and 1TB HDD, you will never be lacking with this Dell. The NVIDIA GTX 960M will keep you playing at good frame rates.
If you want value for money, then this is it (alongside the Dell Gaming Laptop 15.6").
These are the monsters of laptop gaming. While they are not the most portable, 17" laptops are your stop if you want the best specs and the best viewing experience.
MSI GT73VR<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
4K gaming on the go will cost you a pretty penny, but you can do it all and then some with this MSI rig.
With the Intel i7-6820HK, 64GB RAM, a 1TB HDD and a 1TB SSD, plus the NVIDIA GTX 1080 GPU and a 4K screen, you will get stunning images on the go.
HP Pavilion 17t Gaming Laptop<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
You don't often see HP in a list of gaming laptops, but with an Intel i7 6700HQ, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD -- all propped by by the wonderful NVIDIA GTX 960M -- HP is not messing around.
And for those wondering, yes -- it is a 1080p 17.3" IPS display. So HP definitely didn't cut any corners there.
MSI GE72<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
MSI continues to have a bunch of great laptops, with the Intel i7-6700HQ powered, NVIDIA GTX960M quality you know. Then with 16GB RAM and a 1TB HDD, you are not at a loss with power.
It's even one of the better priced MSIs on this list, giving you slightly better power fpr the high cost.
Razer Blade Pro<aside class="commerce mceNonEditable">
Announced only very recently, the Razer Blade Pro has a lot going for it -- and it needs to with a price that high.
This rig packs a 17.3" LED backlit multi-touch screen, an Intel i7 6700HQ, 32GB of RAM, and 512GB (and up to 2TB) of SSD space, all topped off with a NVIDIA GTX 1080. On top of that, it has the world's first ultra-low-profile mechanical keys.
The high cost makes a bit more sense with that considered, but if you take a look at its full specs, you'll get a better picture of all the great stuff you're getting at that cost.
While Asus has certainly got some quality builds that have dominated the market for some time, these 13 gaming laptops are great alternatives if you're looking for a different brand. They're packed with power, and there's something here for every price range.
And if you're thinking that you might be better off getting a full-blown desktop rig with the money you'd spend here, we've collected lots of great gaming-ready PCs for under $1,000.
What gaming laptop do you love the most? Let us know in the comments!