PC gaming is really taking off in 2016 and more people than ever before are switching from consoles. Platforms such as Steam have hundreds of millions of users worldwide, outstripping all of the major consoles by some way. Innovations by Microsoft have opened up Windows for cross-play with Xbox, Steam and traditional PC gaming, with PlayStation expected to join the fun too. Now is a great time to invest in a gaming PC – but which is right for you? We have picked out the best gaming laptops under $1500 to get you started.
Choosing a laptop over a desktop for gaming
In the past, laptops simply weren’t up to the standard today’s games required. In order to play the latest titles without lag and loading issues, you needed a decent processor and plenty of power – which only a tower could handle. Technology has evolved and today’s laptops offer all the power and performance you need for your favorite games. Throw in the fact that Wi-fi is accessible almost everywhere: you can play games on the go!
Which laptop is right for you?
Another problem with old gaming PCs was how rigid the systems were. While computer experts could hack their machines to get decent performance from them, an off-the-shelf computer was likely to experience problems. Now there are plenty of gaming-specific laptops to choose from, which shouldn’t need any modification. Of course, heavy gamers are likely to up the storage capacity: space will always get filled, however much you have!
Look for a laptop with at least 1 TB of internal storage and a decent central processor. This will help prevent all that lost time spent staring at loading screens, and keep you from dropping out at vital moments during gameplay. You will also want a machine with excellent graphics, a high screen resolution and a reliable battery.
Our top picks for gaming laptops under $1500
MSI VR Ready GE62VR Apache Pro-026 15.6″ Powerful Gaming Laptop
- Size: 15.07 x 10.23 x 1.06 inches; 5.3 pounds
- Power: 2.6 GHz Core i7 6700HQ processor; 12 GB RAM; 1000 GB internal drive
- Display: 15.6 inch screen; 1920×1080 pixel resolution; NVIDIA GeForce graphics
MSI always put together impressive gaming machines, and the Apache is no exception. Notable features include Cooler Boost 4 technology, which keeps the laptop from overheating even when running multiple processes, and the impressive SteelSeries Engine 3 for full control over game settings and displays. The keyboard is designed for maximum comfort when using game commands, while the touchpad is intelligent and responsive. Improved latency is also notable even when running the latest games content, thanks to the internal Killer DoubleShot Pro system and its Killer Shield networking monitoring.
ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VY-DS71 15.6″ FHD Gaming Laptop
- Size: 17.4 x 3.8 x 12.8 inches; 6.2 pounds
- Power: 2.6 GHz Quad-Core i7 6700HQ processor; 16 GB RAM; 1 TB internal drive
- Display: 15.6 inch screen; 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution; NVIDIA GTX980M graphics
Featuring a quad-core processor for ultimate power, this impressive ASUS laptop could even outperform desktops. The slick beveled design in smooth jet black is smart but understated, and the 15.6 inch screen looks larger and displays clearly, with 160 degree tilt technology for viewing at almost any angle. Inside, smart cooling systems prevent heat damage when playing. In-game performance is great: all tested titles ran without issue. The backlit keyboard is helpful when playing and the specially-designed microphones filter out ambient noise for clear audio command inputs and LAN game connections.
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 Touch – 15.6″ 4K UHD Gaming Laptop
- Size: 15.24 x 1.02 x 10.91 inches; 5.7 pounds
- Power: 2.6 GHz Core i7 6700HQ processor; 16 GB RAM; 1 TB internal drive
- Display: 15.6 inch screen; 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution; NVIDIA GeForce graphics
Lenovo’s Ideapad series is an ideal all-rounder which can handle gaming, work, browsing the web and much more. The Y700 model is designed specifically for gaming but is capable of much more. The potent central processor and capable graphics card deliver desktop quality gaming on a portable machine, and the laptop itself is durable enough to handle plenty of wear and tear. This is a top pick if you play socially and need to transport your laptop often. The immersive audio delivers some of the best sound quality you can get in a laptop at this price point, and the incredible 3840 x 2160 pixel display gives crystal clear images.
Gigabyte P57WV6-PC3D 17.3 inch Intel Core Windows 10 Home Notebook
- Size: 16.42 x 11.46 x 1.13 inches; 6.6 pounds
- Power: 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 processor; 16 GB RAM; 1024 GB internal drive
- Display: 17.3 inch screen; 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution; NVIDIA GeForce graphics
This Gigabyte gaming computer is slightly larger and heavier than other similar models, so it might not be the first choice of gamers who play on the go or travel to play. As a home alternative to a desktop PC, this is one of the best choices under $1500. An impressive 17.3 inch screen is clear and bright, showing your games in all their HD glory. The notebook features an ODD/HDD slot which allows the drive to be upgraded as preferred, and it boasts a cool 8 hour battery life even during heavy use. Gamers who like to stay ahead of trends will like the VR-ready features, and all games play smoothly without lag or problems.
All details correct at the time of writing, sourced through Amazon.com
Lead image credit: Cheon Fong Liew via Flickr