If you are looking out to buy a high end gaming laptop with a large 17 inch screen, here are our top 3 recommendations for the best gaming laptop for 2013. All of them come with quad-core processors, high end graphics cards, decent integrated switchable graphics, 8 GB of RAM, at least 500 GB of storage, 17 inch full HD screens and customisable multi-coloured backlit keyboard and trackpads.
We can’t talk about gaming laptops without mentioning Alienware range of Dell laptops. The Dell Alienware M17RX1 comes with a 4th Gen Intel Core i7 4700MQ quad-core processor, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and Nvidia GTX 765M GPU as base configuration. The higher options include Intel Cire i7 4800MQ CPU, 16 GB of DDR3 RAM and Nvidia GTX 770M with 3GB of DDR5 RAM. It has 750 GB of storage space, 2 MP webcam, Klipsch powered stereo speakers and a large 17.3 inch full HD display. There is an option to include 17.3 inch 120 Hz WLED full HD display with 400 nits brightness and a 3D bundle to enjoy games in immersive 3D experience. Connectivity includes Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi ac, 4 x USB 3.0 ports, Mini Display port, HDMI port, card reader, 2 x audio out jacks and a line-in microphone jack. It comes with a DVD writer or a BluRay reader drive and an 8 cell battery which can last for an hour of heavy gaming.
It comes with Windows 8 pre-loaded and a lot of Alienware customised softwares and add-ons for better gaming experience such as Alienware Command Center which integrates AlienFX, AlienTouch, AlienFusion, AlienAdranaline and Alienware TactX in a single program. AlienFX is used to customise the multicolour backlit in the keyboard, AlienTouch is used to customise touchpad sensitivity, AlienFusion is used to customise power usage and performance while the AlienAdrenaline is used to customise and save display and video card presets and profiles.
The Alienware 17 has a great design, although not as modern as the Razer Blade Pro. The keyboard is fantastic and has a lot of backlit customisability and the touchpad works as expected but it feels kind of loose while pressing and it could have been a bit firmer. The processor has one of the best performance when it comes to laptops and all the synthetic as well as real world benchmarks are amongst the top 5 laptops in the world. The Alienware 17 allows playing all the latest games at high detailed settings with smooth frame-rates of over 30 FPS. It can last over 2 hours of gaming which is excellent considering that other laptops in its category only last half as much in high end gaming while normal usage resulted in over 5 hours of usage.
Razer Blade Pro
The Razer Blade Pro is a beautiful gaming laptop powered by a quad-core Intel Core i7 4700HQ in combination with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M graphics card. There is also an integrated GPU in the form of Intel HD 4600. The Razer Blade Pro has a 17.3 inch full HD panel with LED backlit source and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. To keep the device profile slim, Razer has opted for full flash storage only, and comes in variations of either 128 GB or 256 GB or 512 GB. There is a 2 MP full HD webcam and in-built microphone.
As a premium feature, Razer has included their proprietary Razer SwitchBlade UI which gives the user a multitouch panel which can be used to make unlimited number of shortcuts, commands, macros, skills, spells, complete with iconography. The display can also work as a secondary display which can be used in some games. There is Razer Synapse 2.0 as well, which is Razer’s custom cloud storage which saves all your settings such as mouse sensitivity or keyboard shortcut settings.
Coming to the actual performance, its build is very premium and understated from the outside, however, the multicoloured LED backlit keys add to its charm from the inside. It is half as thin as other gaming laptops while more than a KG lighter than others. The screen performs like a champ with wide viewing angles, high brightness levels and good contrast. Except the screen used in the Macbook Pro Retina, no other screen comes close to the screen used in the Razer Blade Pro. The keyboard is very nice although the fonts used on the keys aren’t exactly as clear as they should be. The ‘Razer SwitchBlade’ trackpad is which as mentioned earlier is located on the right hand side of the laptop which might be worrisome for left handed users and takes some getting used to. The GTX 765M has 2 GB of DDR5 memory which is slightly less powerful than the Radeon HD 8970M but thanks to much faster processor, it performs on the lines of MSI GX70 or even better in some CPU intensive games. It can run Crysis at medium settings and expect smooth frame rates over or around 30 FPS.
MSI is known for their gaming laptops than their general purpose laptops. It is power by an AMD A10 quad-core processor that runs at a maximum clock speed of 2.5 GHz. It has 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and 750 GB hard disk drive. All the gaming performance depends upon the dedicated AMD Radeon HD 8970M to push the pixels on a full HD 1920 x 1080 matte screen with a size of 17.3 inch diagonally. Of course it comes with Windows 8 pre-installed and a Blu-Ray drive. It weighs a gigantic 4 kgs but that’s the price you have to pay for an ultrafast gaming laptop with a huge 17.3 inch screen.
When it comes to its actual performance, the build quality and design are nothing to write home about, it comes as a bag of mixed design with all the patterns and glossy finish. MSI could have done a better job as they did with GX70 Stealth. There are a plenty of ports for connectivity (2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DP, 1 x VGA, 1 x Ethernet, SD card Slot) as well as Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi b/g/n.
You can easily upgrade this laptop as there is a lid which can be used to access the RAM, storage and wireless module. It comes with a 180 watts power supply unit, which is really very heavy and you might have a hard time with it. There is a keyboard with colour coded LED backlit keys for gaming convenience. You can even adjust illumination levels of the backlit keys. The touchpad works but isn’t that impressive as such but works as it should. The display has very good contrast level, relatively deeper blacks and excellent brightness levels at over 300 cd/m. Although the colour accuracy is weak, the matte screen will keep you excited with minimal reflectivity.
The AMD A10 processor is not exactly high end because it can’t even perform half as fast as competing Intel processors. The integrated GPU AMD Radeon HD 8650G has the performance on the lines of Intel HD 5000 Iris. The Radeon HD 8970 is like an over clocked Radeon HD 7970. It comes with 2 GB DDR5 memory with 256-bit interface. The GPU is as fast as competing Nvidia GTX 770M and users can play all the games at high settings.