For the longest time, gaming laptops have walked on the double-edged sword of mass appeal; where on one hand they were easily the best looking and most desirable machines that any tech enthusiast would love to own, yet the relatively small screens, cheaper graphics, and heavy thermal and power requirements made it hard to compete with dedicated gaming rigs that featured easily upgradable internals, and proper cooling mechanisms as well. Even if you could persuade yourself to look past these limitations, the end product was just too bulky and over-the-top to be remotely portable, thus defeating the purpose.
However, the segment has changed a lot over the past few years, thanks to various technological developments that have made higher resolution and high frame rate displays quite affordable, and with the advent of advanced GTX and RTX graphic cards, you can easily push your games to max settings and get the most out of the machine. As components get more efficient, this also translates into sleeker form factors, and unexpected design choices that set the benchmark for gamer chic. We are here to round up just a few of these devices, and how they stack up against the variety of competition.
MSI GT75 Titan
If seen from afar, the Titan looks like a big bulky gaming console from 20 years ago. However, hidden beneath the unassuming body is one of the most complete desktop replacement options ever; that comes with a 17.4-inch 4K HDR display, dozens of ports, a full-size mechanical keyboard, and even an entire subwoofer to take care of all your entertainment needs. This all is just the cherry on top, as the internals are also beefed up to support the performance; with an overclocked i9-8950HK processor, a desktop-grade GTX 1080, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and the option to get a 1TB SSD, along with another 1TB in HDD storage. Since the display is G-SYNC rated, this means you can use the internals to run smooth 50FPS+ gameplay sessions of any game, even with maxed out graphics settings. The only thing standing in your way is the hefty price tag of around ₹3,00,000, which is more than fair for the sheer amount of equipment you get in return.
Alienware is easily one of the most recognisable names in gaming laptops, and this new model is all about them flexing their iconic design language to the max. This no-compromise beast comes with top of the line specs that are all user upgradeable, even the CPU and graphics; which is a huge deal in this segment. This way, you can get the top tier variant configured with the latest in computing and gaming tech, including but not limited to an Intel Core i9-9900K, a full-fledged NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080, a whopping 64GB of RAM, and up to 2TB RAID0 SSDs with an additional 1TB SSHD as a backup. All of this powering a massive 17.3-inch FHD IPS display that is G-SYNC rated, and comes with a 144Hz refresh rate. This magnificent setup does take its toll though, not just in heat and noise, but also in the form of the eye-watering ₹5,00,000 price tag. However, if there was ever one laptop that truly defined the spirit of the segment, this might be it.
Origin PC Eon17-X
Just like certain other brands, Origin too has a storied reputation amongst gaming enthusiasts. Their hardware prowess, while not as flashy, still has enough finesse to handle anything you throw at it; from high-end games running at ultra-settings, to editing high-resolution video files, and much more. This model can do all that, thanks to the combination of the Intel Core i9-9900K processor and desktop-grade RTX 2080. Combined with a sensible 16GB of RAM and 500GB SSD + 2TB HDD, the machine has been made relatively future-proof for years to come. Although the 17.3-inch FHD display might seem a bit underwhelming to people who have experienced 4K, it still does its job well, and thanks to the in-built subwoofer and speaker system, makes for a great audio-visual experience, that you can get for around ₹2,65,000.
Acer Predator Helios 500
If there was a battle for compact gaming laptops, this one would be in direct competition with the Razer. However, unlike the competition which focuses more on design, this device offers far more customisation options, which automatically make it a crowd favourite. You have the option between going for either Intel or AMD, with multiple variants featuring multiple specs; ranging from an i9-8950HK processor and GTX 1070 to an AMD Rizen 7 with Vega 10 graphics. Either combination can be paired with up to 32GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, which can also be exchanged with a 1TB HDD and 256GB SSD combo. This gives you a lot of choices to pick from, with the only limitation being the 17.3-inch FHD 144Hz display that is rapidly becoming the segment standard and is the only display on offer. Although, at a price of around ₹2,40,000 we wouldn’t have minded a 4K option as well.
Lenovo Legion Y740
Lenovo as a brand has always been a bit understated in the gaming community, especially considering their sober design language and budget appeal. The Y740 is their way of stealing the limelight, by combining a sober yet elegant all-metal body with the high-spec internals of a gaming rig. They do this by offering an i7-8750 processor, along with the top of the line GTX 2080 Max-Q, which powers most slim gaming laptops. Combine this with up to 32GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, and you get a machine that is capable of handling anything you throw at it. The 17.3-inch 144Hz display continues its domination on the market, as most companies focus on high frame rates rather than perceived picture quality. Thankfully, with a somewhat affordable price of around ₹1,65,000, you won’t feel the loss of a better display or faster processor that much, especially when compared to some of the competition.
Razer Blade Pro 17
If we go by looks alone, this laptop doesn’t even belong in this category. Yet, once you move past the sleek and slim body of this machine, you will realise that it packs enough power to go toe-to-toe with the best in this segment. The kit consists of an i7-9750H processor, supported by a desktop-grade RTX 2080 Max-Q processor, along with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and up to 512GB M.2 storage. The only thing that might disappoint you is the loss of the 4K touch panel that was present until last year, but now has been replaced by a more straight-forward 17.3-inch, Full HD IPS panel that supports a 144Hz refresh rate. Unfortunately, for a device that costs around ₹3,20,000, removing these features makes it seem even more overpriced than ever before. In the end, it is up to the customers to decide whether a slim figure is enough to overlook what might be considered as cutting corners.