Ever since the acquisition of the Oculus VR hardware by Facebook, the hype surrounding VR has exploded. Since January 2015, the popularity of VR has and AR has risen 548% according to Adobe Digital Insights.
With this in mind, large numbers of people are flocking to buy VR ready rigs, both PC’s and laptops that are compatible and capable of running the new hardware.
We take a look at which laptops are suitable for virtual reality games and sort out the good and best picks.
Table of Contents
- 1 How we chose the best VR gaming laptop
- 2 The five best VR ready gaming laptops
- 3 The most important consideration when choosing the best VR capable laptop
- 4 Other considerations when choosing the best VR ready laptop
- 5 The best laptop for VR gaming
- 6 The four other gaming systems we tested
- 7 The bottom line
How we chose the best VR gaming laptop
You probably know that most existing VR bundles include a desktop PC. But you may not know that there are many laptops on the market that have the beefy specs in order to be compatible with your VR setup, whether it’s Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive.
By running your VR gear through a laptop, now you’ve got portability. Pack up your setup and transport it to a friend’s house. Take it along when you travel.
A laptop even gives you flexibility to move around in your own home, so you can seek out different environments based on your plans for your VR session. And of course, a laptop takes up far less space, giving you new freedom of motion and movement to adapt to your playing space.
Getting a laptop with the right specs allows you to experience virtual worlds in high fidelity without skipping or buffering. You won’t want to cut corners if you expect to have a solid VR setup.
We’ve looked at high-end gaming laptops which should meet the required specs for either an Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. Besides specs, we like to see a laptop that delivers the best results with the following features.
We determined this final list by combing the Internet and doing extensive research on various laptops, based on user reviews and reputable industry reviewers. We looked at things like processor speed, graphics cards, memory, battery life, and storage capacity.
We considered durability of the laptop, how well it was put together and whether quality components and peripherals were used. We considered the manufacturer’s reputation and willingness to stand behind their products.
We compared pros and cons of each laptop, to determine which system had the best all-around package of features. And since not all users can afford the best and greatest, we looked at laptops that delivered the best value for money.
The five best VR ready gaming laptops
Hereís a list of the five best VR ready gaming laptops:
|Alienware 17 R4 Supreme Gaming...||$2,499.11||Read Amazon Reviews »|
|Origin PC EON17-SLX...||$1,799.99||Read Amazon Reviews »|
|MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro-230 15.6"...||$1,649.00||Read Amazon Reviews »|
|ASUS ROG G752VS OC Edition Gaming...||$1,993.57||Read Amazon Reviews »|
|Razer Blade Pro Gaming Laptop - 17"...||$2,021.14||Read Amazon Reviews »|
The most important consideration when choosing the best VR capable laptop
What’s the single most important consideration? Memory. Any gaming laptop worth its salt had better deliver in the RAM department.
Virtual reality systems are sure to require high capacity graphics cards for fully immersive gaming and video playback. Instantaneous response to user input is a must-have feature.
A laptop that can deliver high-fidelity images and video, without stuttering or skipping, will be a worthy sidekick to have along on your next adventure.
After all, it’s hard to hone your focus and get in the zone if you’re constantly battling substandard graphics.
Waiting for scenes to load really kills your momentum. RAM is the one thing you really can’t afford to skimp on.
Other considerations when choosing the best VR ready laptop
With the demands you’ll be making on your processor, a substantial cooling system is essential. Heat buildup is a risk whether or not you’re overclocking.
A worthy cooling system keeps your system from overheating, protects expensive components, and helps to avoid surprise shutdowns or lags in performance.
Any laptop you purchase had better have a cooling system or cooling pad that is up to the challenge.
The tinkerers among us are never satisfied with good enough; they want to know what the system is really capable of. Is overclocking possible? Are system components upgradable and are they easy to access and swap out?
While not absolutely necessary, we did assign bonus points to systems which supported overclocking. Of course, you probably know that too much tinkering voids your warranty.
Large video files, executables, and game data require a large amount of storage space. Make sure the laptop you’re interested in will have adequate storage for your needs.
Many of the laptops we’ve found here have different options available from the manufacturer. Make sure you’re not paying for more storage than you need.
These are all gaming laptops, so you won’t find any budget buys here. When you need high-end features that can keep up with intense gaming needs, you need to be prepared to shell out some extra dough. After all, you get what you pay for.
Still, we’ve narrowed down our list based on price as well as other considerations. We’ve avoided laptops that we considered overpriced and underwhelming, based on the paltry high-tech goodies they offer.
The best laptop for VR gaming
Our #1 pick for laptop-based VR gaming is the Alienware 17 R4.
Alienware is one of the most esteemed brands, for gamers who want ultimate performance and gorgeous graphics.
The Alienware 17 features an Intel Core i7-6700HQ with Turbo Boost, enabling overclocking up to 3.5GHz. 16GB dual channel RAM enables an epic gaming experience. The 256GB SSD combined with a 1TB SATA drive delivers both storage and speed.
The Alienware 17 also comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 and 8GB GDDR5 video memory. The 17 inch display has a 1920×1080 maximum resolution.
Wireless connectivity is by way of a Killer Wireless 1435 adapter and Bluetooth 4.1 compatibility.
This Alienware system also features a boatload of wired ports and inputs including Thunderbolt 3, three USB 3.0 ports, mini-display port, an HDMI 2.0 output, and many more.
The onboard Alienware FHD camera features Tobii IR Eye-tracking. On the chassis itself, AlienFX Lighting Zones produce 80 quadrillion lighting combinations.
This Alienware may not be the best on the block, but it’s definitely powerful enough to get the job done, and it looks fantastic. Best of all, for all that Alienware offers, you can lock it down at a very reasonable price.
The four other gaming systems we tested
The Razer Blade Pro is for gamers who have the extra dollars to spend in order to get superior quality. The Razer Blade Pro is billed as a ìdesktop in a laptopî with some of the most robust specs you’ll find: 8GB VRAM, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, paired with an Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU.
A 6th-gen Intel Core i6700HQ processor gives you seamless and powerful performance. It also is available with a 1TB PCI-e SSD.
The 17” 4K touchscreen display provides beautiful, crisp images in deep, rich color. The ultra-low-profile keyboard with anti-ghosting takes your user experience to the next level.
All this awesome goodness comes in an ultra slim package that’s only 0.88 inches thick, with a chassis of CNC aluminum.
The Razer Blade Pro is packed with features, and the Chroma Lighting on the keyboard delivers maximum charisma. However, we did find it to be a bit pricey, which is why it isn’t number 1 on our list.
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB) - VR ready & Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad-Core...
- 3840 x 2160 UHD g-sync touch Display
- Ultra thin (0.88") - Ultra low-profile mechanical keyboard powered by Chroma
The ASUS ROG G725VS OC Edition is a powerful gaming system with loads of dexterity. Its agile and versatile for all your virtual reality and traditional gaming needs, and it features a variety of ports and jacks for any add-ons you need to connect.
It comes equipped with an unlocked 7th-generation Kaby Lake Core i7 processor. Thanks to a 512GB SSD, start-up is lightning fast. The 1TB HDD should be ample for all your gaming storage. This OC Edition features 16GB overclocked RAM, as well as an Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU.
The high contrast wide panel screen is perfect for delivering cutting-edge graphics with clarity and precision. The keyboard is backlit for typing in low light, and has anti-ghosting integrated for maximum responsiveness.
The G725VS OC Edition is a more affordable machine, adequate for gaming but not state-of-the-art like some others on this list.
Reviewers particularly appreciate the Mobile Vapor Chamber as it has a stylish, futuristic look, and provides powerful cooling for performance improvements of up to 6%.
- Latest-generation NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card, Overclocked 7th-Gen Intel...
- 17.3" Full HD 120Hz Refresh Rate G-SYNC Display with Wideview. *Note: Because of...
- Powerful cooling with ROG 3D Mobile Vapor Chamber, up to 6% better GPU...
With a new edition for 2018, the MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro is an exceptional offering with superior constitution, from one of the best-known brands in gaming.
Top of the line components include an Intel Core i7 processor, utilizing an advanced power-efficient architecture for faster performance. This MSI Stealth Pro incorporates 16GB DDR4 RAM as well as a 256GB SSD, and a 2TB SATA drive.
Experience lifelike visuals and maximum color range and depth. The GS63VR Stealth Pro includes a graphics card from Nvidia’s 10-series, GTX 1060 6G. The IPS panel enables 178 degrees of angle for wide viewing even from oblique angles.
You can have the full immersive gaming experience due to SteelSeries, GameSense, Dragon Center, and other gamer-friendly goodies that integrate well with your VR gear.
Cooler Boost Trinity delivers the latest in cooling technology to ensure that your system stays frosty, so you can play longer. It incorporates dedicated thermal solutions and two fans.
The 2018 Stealth Pro also delivers the goods with Nahimic 2 Virtual Surround Sound technology.
You will marvel that this laptop is ultra-light at only 4 pounds; so it is very comfortable to carry and travel with.
- Display: 15.6" Full HD | Full HD eDP IPS-Level 1920x1080 | Operating System:...
- Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.8-3.8GHz)
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA's GTX 1060 6G GDDR5
The EON17-SLX has been recommended numerous times by the most trusted laptop reviewers.
Designed with superior strength, it has been stress tested to excel even under high-demand conditions. This EON17-SLX features an Intel Core i5-6600K Quad-Core 3.5Ghz processor.
A 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Desktop GPU with Gsync provides smooth and clear graphics on a 17.3 inch IPS 16:9 widescreen display. 4K resolution with Gsync support provides incredible immersive images in rich color and astonishing clarity.
Memory is not going to be a problem, because this laptop features 16GB DDR4 RAM, a 250GB SSD, and 1TB HDD.
The EON17-SLX can connect to a variety of devices with numerous built-in ports, including a new Type-C port that supports both Thunderbolt and USB 3.1. It comes with a 2.0 megapixel FHD video camera.
One drawback to this laptop is that it is a bit chunky, both in its dimensions and weight. Some reviewers felt that the peripherals like the keyboard and trackpad were adequate, but not suited to a high-priced gaming machine.
Other users have reported that the EON17-SLX can really suck up the battery, so you’ll need to make sure to have a charger handy.
- 17.3" 1920 x 1080 (16:9) IPS Display with NVIDIA G-Sync Technology
- Intel Core i5-6600K Quad-Core 3.5 GHz Processor (3.9GHz Boost)
- 16GB DDR4 2400MHz
A good gaming laptop is an investment, so you want to be sure to educate yourself about what’s on the market. To partake of virtual reality in all its glory, you’ll want a laptop with the right specs to go the distance, and won’t fall down just when you need it most.
Our top pick was the Alienware 17 for its high capacity, powerful processor, and best-in-class components for the best possible VR experience at a reasonable price.
You should know that it was a very tight field. Any of the laptops in our top five should give you no problems delivering an awesome virtual reality adventure. Just double check the system requirements on your VR setup, and make sure the laptop you want is a match.
If you’re looking to keep it affordable, you can get by with the bare minimum. But if you want to take your virtual reality experience to the next level, go ahead and buy the best. After all there are people to save, ships to pilot, enemies to fight, and worlds to explore.
Your adventure is waiting!