Best gaming laptops on the market right now

The desktop is dead, apparently, long live the ridiculously overpowered, heavy and LED encrusted gaming laptop that'll take your arm off and crush your femurs should you try to either carry it anywhere or rest it on your thighs.

All the manufacturers are at it these days, quite cleverly releasing that the oversized notebook is where it's at for the modern day video gamer. But with so many out there to choose between and so much cash at stake, which are the ones you really want to be thinking of? Here's our choice of the best gaming laptops on the market right now for those who'd rather buy than build.

 

Alienware M17x - £1100+

CPU
Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX9300

GPU
Dual 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3870 - CrossFireX enabled

HDD
Dual 500GB hard drive

RAM
Up to 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 1066MHz

Display Size
17-inches

Weight
5.5kg (inc. power supply)


Make no bones about it, the powerful specs of this beast of a laptop make the Alienware M17 one hefty mother for those that take their PC gaming seriously. Along with a full-HD resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, where the M17 really excels is in its ability to be customised - basically Alienware will pretty much give you what you want, provided you've got the cash.

This means you can have up to a Intel quad-core Q9100 processor, which along with the hearty four processor cores gives some top notch performance. However the extra processing power will come at a price, go for the Q9100 and it'll add near to £600 on the price tag.

Asus G73jh - £1600

CPU
i7-720QM processor 1.60 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.8 GHz/TI  

GPU
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870, 1GB GDDR5

HDD
1TB

RAM
8912MB (2048x4) DDRIII 1066 RAM

Display Size
17.3-inches

Weight
3.85kg


With svelte lines (inspired by the stealth bomber, no less) and some extremely quick performance, the Asus G73jh is one of finest gaming laptops known to man. Unlike the above effort from Alienware, which notoriously plasters all its creations with all manner of flashing lights and rather dubious decals, this little (or should we say big) beauty is quite tasteful in comparison. So not only will you get the guts, but a subtle - yet menacing - design.

It also has an ability overclock itself to a massive 2.8GHz which is second to none - handy as it has a relatively modest 1.6GHz idle speed. Don't worry, however, about any overheating as its huge vents on the back of the body makes sure everything stays "relatively" cool.

Sager NP9285  - $3250

CPU
7 Processors Extreme Edition capable/Extreme

GPU
NVIDIA GeForce GTX or Quadro FX GPU

HDD
Multi Hard Drives with RAID - Up to 1.9TB

RAM
Up to 12GB Triple Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz

Display Size
17-inches

Weight
11.55lbs (approx 5.2kgs)


If customisation is your thing and you have a wallet the size of St Paul's Cathedral, then you'll want to take a look at this mamma jamma from U.S. company Sager. This laptop is one of the only systems that is designed to give performance comparable to a desktop and, on the whole, it pretty much achieves this - in fact, it pisses all over the competition in terms of raw power.

This, in part, is helped by the addition - again, if you've got the wonga - of one of the fastest graphics cards to grace this fair world in the form of the the Nvidia GeForce GTX 480M with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory.

If you want the best, take the plunge, remortgage your house and you might just get a couple of months of some of the best PC gaming in before your home is repossessed.

MSI GX660  - £1699

CPU
Intel Core i7-720QM

GPU
1GB GDDR5 ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870

HDD
160GB/250GB/320GB SATA

RAM
8GB of DDR3 1333MHz

Display Size
16.6-inches

Weight
3.5kg

MSI has concentrated heavily on the audio for this particular laptop, teaming up with Danish sound specialist Dynaudio to come up with a 4.1-speaker system within the laptop's chassis that, combined with an optimal sound card and Surround Sensation Ultra PC technology from DTS, will give you "the finest audio experience".

All the usual bells and whistles are here; these include a Blu-ray drive and a 1920 x 1800 pixel resolution so you'll be able to watch full HD content. MSI has also added a couple of extra treats in conjunction with professional gaming team Fnatic. There's a super fan switch to boost the cooling which, although noisy as hell, will be sure to keep your hands from overheating. There's also a softkey to disable the Windows button which can all too easily be hit at an unfortunate moment. There's no 3D support, but MSI has said that it will offer 3D laptops by Christmas.

It's not the cheapest gaming laptop around by any stretch of the imagination, but we think that the pumped up audio and the boosted cooling is worth it.

 

HP Envy 17-1050ea - £1299

CPU
Intel Core i7 720QM processor

GPU
ATI Mobility Radeon HD5850 graphics

HDD
500GB

RAM
4GB

Display Size
17.3-inches

Weight
3.41kg


The Envy is angled as an all-round "entertainment" notebook, rather than just trying to appeal to gamers, which explains its lack of blue LED-lighting (although it does boast a backlit keyboard). Balancing screen size and weight fairly well, the Envy is another option for gamers that want the performance, but not the looks, of a gaming laptop with a subtle, suave grey metal finish.

However, its specs will satisfy the average PC gamer while features such as a Blu-ray disc drive, HDMI port, multi-gesture clickpad, USB 3.0, and LightScribe for making your own CD designs might well appeal to the masses who want to be entertained in various ways not related to computer games.