Top 5 Gaming Laptops of 2016

Have a Need to play Video Games while on the go but on a budget?

      Then you’ve more than likely purchased a gaming laptop before or are in the market! Whether or not you’re purchasing for yourself or another, Top 5 Budget Reviews is here to assist with your quest to get the most bang for your buck, leaving as little to be sacrificed as possible for the best overall experience. When gaming is a person’s hobby of choice their machine is the platform in which they spend their free time, striving for perfection in a competitive environment or the simple satisfaction in finishing a goal in their new journey makes little difference to the pleasure the right device brings one with the desire to game. Because of the need for the right machine to game, many entries into the market for the right laptop are either fluffed up with features that make little difference to the actual experience or brand name emphasis dominates a scene that many consumers typically jump into uninformed. Video gaming is one of my personal hobbies and I felt that informing those who are new or in need of a refresher on the circumstances would be an excellent way to assist with the investment that a good laptop is well needing of. In the next paragraph I will briefly go through the value of components when making a selection and then express what I have found to be the best five offerings within a middle budget range with the best on each end of the spectrum included.

When selecting a laptop or desktop on a Budget with gaming in mind, these features should be payed close attention to:

  • The Gaming Laptop’s Processor
  • The Gaming Laptop’s Graphics Card
  • The Gaming Laptop’s amount of RAM (Random Access Memory)
  • The Gaming Laptop’s Storage Device, especially whether or not it includes a SSD (Solid State Drive)

      In this review, all of these offerings share similar specifications, which are a cut above what a standard laptop would offer in a mid ranged budget, so specific details such as processor speed are thankfully of little variance and where it does exist will be mentioned. Processors in gaming laptops are typically high end and include Intel I5 and I7 mobile processors, more than enough to handle any video game thrown at them alongside the proper card. On that note, the graphics card is by far the most important factor when considering a candidate and should be weighed appropriately. Random Access Memory is usually between 8-16GB, enough to support at least one video game, which is almost always the norm, running at a time and other programs, like Google Chrome or Windows Media Player. The included storage devices are typically containing of a Hard Disk Drive, which has been the standard in memory storage for around twenty years and sometimes a premium feature, the Solid State Drive. The speed differences between the two are important to note, Solid State Drives typically running at 30% speeds and faster than a traditional HDD offering. Because of their price and size constraint, SSDs are typically ran alongside HDDs for specific valuable programs and the Windows Operating System for an improved quality of life with computing experience, especially Gaming Laptops. Games that feature a lot of loading screens such as RPG, FPS, and Arena Shooters benefit from the addition of a SSD the most. For reviews on the best Budget SSD’s click here

Top 5 Gaming LaptopsProcessorGraphics CardRandom Access Memory (RAM)Storage Devices HDD + SDDPriceNotable Comment
Asus K501I7 6th GenNvidia Geforce 960M8GB DDR4512GB SSD
$800~Best Budget Offering
+Large SSD
+Modern Hardware
+Includes all Needed Features
+Low Price
-Least Graphical Power
Asus ROG G751JT-WH71I7-4720HQ 2.6GHzNvidia Geforce 970M16GB DDR31TB HDD$1150~+Powerful Graphics Card
+Ample RAM and Storage
-Doesn't Include SSD
MSI-GE62 Apache-ProI5 6th GenNvidia Geforce 970M8GB DDR4256GB M.2 SSD$1000~+Powerful Graphics Card
+Comes with All Needed Features
-Small SSD and RAM
CUK ASUS ROG G751JLI7-4720HQ 2.6GHzNvidia Geforce 965M16GB DDR32TB HDD + 128GB SSD$1100~Top 5 Number One
+ Very Large Storage
+Blue-Ray Player
+Includes All Needed Features
-Mildly Powerful Card
ASUS G751JY-WH71(WX)I7-4720HQ 2.6GHzNvidia Geforce 980M16GB DDR31TB HDD + 128GB SSD$1520~Performance Pick
+Extremely Powerful Graphics Card
+Ample Storage and RAM
-High Price Point

Asus K501 – Best Bargain for your Budget

  • I7 6th Gen Processor
  • 512GB SSD
  • Nvidia Geforce 960M
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • $800USD Price Point

      The Asus K501 Gaming laptop is an impressive addition to the line up of our top five gaming laptops. This laptop is an excellent entry laptop for any person looking to get a laptop with robust hardware for an impressive price as all other devices in its price range pale in comparison. From the very start, i’ll just say that out of the other devices in our budget range, this one has the least strong video card but that is not necessarily a bad thing, especially in this instance. To those of you reading whom are perfectly fine or accustomed to playing video games that were released years ago, are visually less demanding than most, or play MMORPGs, this gaming laptop is more appropriately accommodating.  For what it lacks in graphical power, it more than makes up for in general capability; this model comes with the intel Skylake 6th gen I7 processor, so it does not leave one desiring more in that capacity. This in combination with its large 512gb SSD allows it to not only open every program at an impressively quick speed, but always allows for great multi-tasking in-game and out. At 800 dollars, its perfect for someone on a tight budget this laptop may not be our top pick of the lot, but it is honestly my second pick all around and personally. The only cons of this offering would be it’s card, which, once again, is only a negative when compared to laptops in a higher price range and its 8gb of RAM. Most people won’t need to go past 8gb of RAM, but for certain programs and multi-tasking, more is certainly better; however, RAM is by far the easiest thing to upgrade in your computer and will not cost more than an extra 100~ to perfect this laptop’s purpose, a device in which you can run your favorite video game and hop over to youtube without any compromising delay.

Asus ROG G751JT-WH71

  • I7-4720HQ 2.6GHz Processor
  • 1TB HDD
  • Nvidia Geforce 970M
  • 16GB RAM
  • $1150USD Price Point
  • No Solid State Drive Included

      The Asus ROG G751JT-WH71 Gaming Laptop fills a particular niche in our lineup, it being the only entry without a SSD by default. What it does not include is the least important factor for gaming included above in our introduction. This laptop’s most defining features are its Geforce 970M graphics card and for a budget it’s a excellent price for said card. At $1150, 970 cards are very hard to come by in laptops, especially alongside a reputable brand name like Asus in a world of sometimes daunting mark-up. The 970 is an extremely important asset to this laptop and it well accommodates it with 16gb of RAM from the get-go, being more than enough power and memory to run even the latest video games at excellent settings with smooth FPS, surely maxing many video games from genres with a competitive scene, entries in which are usually a year or two old. The only distinguishing negative in this laptop is its noticeable lack of a solid state drive. To many, I don’t think this would be a very dissuading negative as its cost is only a few extra seconds in loading and boot time; however, many desire and value speed highly for their personal hobbies and overall satisfaction of experience. To this effect, the ROG G751JT-WH71 is not recommended for people who want to squeeze every bit out of their experience without upgrading to a solid state drive, which, luckily, it can fit into its bay. After this upgrade, which does take a bit of knowledge and know-how, especially after having your personal files and programs installed, this laptop would be very competitive with the number 1 pick, making it an excellent selection all around especially if upgrading computer components is in the repertoire of this powerful laptop’s new owner.

MSI-GE62 Apache-Pro

  • I5 6th Gen Processor
  • New M.2 256GB SSD
  • Nvidia Geforce 970M
  • 8GB RAM
  • $1100USD Price Point
  • -Only 256GB of Storage
  • -Lowest RAM Offering

      I find myself particularly fascinated with this laptop and it’s powerful offerings, especially alongside its unorthodox cons. The MSI-GE62 Apache-Pro is not unlike the previous laptop in our line up, the Asus ROG G751JT-WH71. Both of these laptops feature the Geforce 970M graphics card, an incredibly valuable asset, especially in their price range. Right off the bat, this laptop features a M.2 SSD, the newest, and smallest, iteration of the modern approach to a storage device, which is exactly what the previously mentioned competitor was missing from its perfected form; however, this default SSD is a bit on the smaller side, being only 256GB in size. Alongside its somewhat basal 8gb of RAM, This laptop seems to fall into the same category as the last, an excellent platform in need of a few upgrades or compromise but in our budget. For those who are accustomed to playing games that are smaller in size, or only keeping a few games on your drive at a time, this laptop is tailored to. The 970m graphics allows for an impressive performance on almost every game on the market that isn’t designed to tax or stress a system for sake of quality, which for those who typically stick to MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) or MMORPG genres is not a concern, especially since both genres stick to 50GB or less total memory capacity. This pick is here for those who want a high quality experience out of the box and tend to use external drives, namely a flash drive or portable hard drive, for storage of their personal files for work, school, or family, leaving the bulk of its sole drive’s space for gaming and programs.

CUK ASUS ROG G751JL – Top 5 Number One

  • I7-4720HQ 2.6GHz Processor
  • 2TB HDD +128GB SSD Largest Default Storage
  • Nvidia Geforce 965M
  • 16GB RAM
  • Blu-ray Player
  • $1100USD Price Point

      This laptop is a multimedia hub and is the best suited to those who diversify their experience and want a laptop that can do it all while still adhering to their gaming needs! The CUK ASUS ROG G751JL is able to play your favorite and the latest video games at an impressive frame rate, run multiple programs and multitask just as well as you can with its ample 16gb of memory, and play the latest movies on Blu-Ray right out of the box without any compromises. To sweeten the deal, this model features a 128gb SSD to fit the operating system and a few crucial programs that need to run at top speed. For its price, this laptop has no apparent flaws, its complete hardware line up able to tackle and do exceptionally well at anything you throw its way. Another valuable asset it has over the others in our review is the default hard drive space of 2TB, twice of all those except the Asus K501 and MSI-GE62 Apache-Pro, which do not have a traditional Hard Disk Drive. Even games which use a large portion of storage space will be easily able to accompany high definition movies and a plethora of audio files on this system. This laptop has no need for upgrading, the only considerable want being and upgrade to the spacious 2TB hard drive, which, although spacious, runs at a lower speed for sake of power consumption and stability. For those who are evening willing to forgo the SSD and Blu-ray player, a more affordable model in ones budget can be found Here .  In terms of multimedia performance within its class, the CUK ASUS ROG G751JL is unbeatable and all inclusive from the day it is opened, making it the Top 5 Gaming Laptop number one pick!

ASUS G751JY-WH71(WX) – Performance Pick

  • I7-4720HQ 2.6GHz Processor
  • 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD
  • Geforce 980m Most Powerful in Selection
  • 16GB RAM
  • -$1520USD Price Point
  • -Low Battery Life

      With the last four gaming laptops going above and beyond their peers, I felt that the fifth slot should accommodate those who seek a more robust and complete experience in regards to gaming. The ASUS G751JY-WH71(WX) is the perfect fit for those who want the features of a high end laptop without the excessive pricing and negligible features. At $1530, this laptop’s price might seem questionable for ones budget but its lack of compromise in all departments more than justifies its cost for many. The exceptional Geforce 980m graphics card is a cut above the rest in our line up, and is where the majority of the money lies, its capabilities setting it up for success even with the newest and upcoming video game releases at very high to maxed settings. To support its extremely powerful card this gaming laptop comes with 16gb of ram, more than enough to play any game or two, a 1TB HDD alongside a 128GB SSD, to fit everything a person would need at great speeds without use of external drives, and the powerful Intel I7 processor, which is not unfamiliar to most of the other entries but noteworthy non-the-less for its multitasking function. With the inclusion of its exceptional graphics cards, the ASUS G751JY-WH71(WX) is outside of its price range and in a very good way, seeing as most laptops with the same card retail with a $1700-2000 tag. Its one true flaw seems to its battery life, which is expected for an offering with its sheer power. However, it is important to note that when gaming all laptops should be connected to an outlet or their battery will be ran through especially quick, this laptop being the embodiment of this notion, lasting only an hour at full power with a game up. It’s a blessing that laptops come with distinct power modes, because this powerhouse will be in need of the occasional adjustment.

 

  • kittyx3

    Hello rob! I am wondering which laptop would be best for me my current laptop is pretty crappy and outdated (Got it around 4 years ago) With my current laptop, I’ve played games popular games like League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Planetside 2, Archeage, and Warframe. Out of all those, I’m only able to run LoL consistently at 60 fps at low settings. my goal is to be able to play overwatch at 60 FPS as my current laptop cant handle it without the lag. Any suggestions will be appreciated

  • Robert Nowell

    Hey there Kitty! To answer your question briefly, I would highly recommend a gaming laptop with the 970m graphics card not only so it can tackle Overwatch at a consistent 60fps but also because it seems that you like to play some more recent online games and need a machine capable of doing so without falling behind or experiencing much frame rate latency. With the 970m you should be able to enjoy your experience with some upcoming titles while retaining an ideal 50-60fps at the right settings, more often than not “High” since the card is actually quite powerful even in a mobile device. If you’re trying to keep things within a tighter budget, even the 960m should provide adequate frame rate to enjoy the game, but you might have to lower the settings accordingly for newer titles such as Overwatch; however, it would do well with the other games besides possibly Archeage and Warframe at higher settings. I would recommend getting the Asus ROG G751JT-WH71 (Number 2 from the top) or the CUK ASUS ROG G751JL (Our Number 1 Pick) based on your constraints, but the number one thing you’re looking for is a laptop with the 970m as its graphics card if you prefer great visuals with a high fps like I do.