The Razer Blade provides a perfect balance of portability and power. It’s the ultimate ultra-light gaming laptop.
At a glance
ALIENWARE 17 R5
The best gaming laptop
Why should you buy this: You want to play the latest games at the highest settings and don’t mind a big laptop.
Who’s it for: Gamers who don’t mind spending a little extra to snag the best performance on the market.
What is the Alienware 17 R5 doing right? Perhaps the better question is “what isn’t it doing right?” Among the first laptops on the market to feature a six-core Intel Core i9 processor, the Alienware 17 also has an Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics card, and 32GB of RAM. It’s probably the most powerful laptop we’ve tested to date.
With a GTX 1080 graphics card and that monster of a processor, which is unlocked and overclock-ready, the Alienware 17 R5 made short work of just about everything we threw at it.
That’s because of the incredible amount of power Alienware has crammed into this laptop. Between the Core i9 and GTX 1080, you can run just about anything at just about any resolution. The display tops out at 1440p, but it has a refresh rate of 120Hz, so your gameplay is just impossibly smooth. Plus, with hardware like this, we had no trouble hitting at least 120 FPS in most games.
The design is definitely one you’ve seen before if you’ve ever laid your eyes on an Alienware laptop, but it still works and the build quality is as excellent as ever.
The best portable gaming laptop
Why should you buy this: You want a gaming powerhouse with MacBook style.
Who’s it for: Gamers who need something small and light that can still pack a punch.
How much will it cost: $1,900+
Why we picked the Razer Blade:
The Razer Blade offers serious gaming performance in a slim package. The newest version packs an 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU in with either an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q or GTX 1070 Max-Q for graphics. You can still get the older, 14-inch model, but we recommend springing for the 2018 version. It managed more than 80 frames per second in Battlefield 1 on Ultra in our testing and not far off 60 in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided with everything maxed out.
The system bolsters its slim design with an attractive, matte black, unibody aluminum exterior. The result is a system that looks a lot like the black MacBooks of yore (that’s a compliment). With its slick design and impressive, Chroma-lit keyboard and touchpad, it stands out in the crowd. Even more impressive is the 144Hz 1080p display, which should ensure that framerates stay high.
Though it has many strengths, the Blade does fall victim to the limitations of its own footprint. Historically, they’ve run hotter and louder than competitors with a thicker chassis, and it’s not as powerful as a GTX 1080 GPU you find in some other laptops. The price is also high, starting at $1,900 for a model with a 256GB SSD and the 1080p display. If sleek and portable is what you’re looking for in a gaming laptop though, the Razer Blade is one of the best options.