A long time ago, you could use any kind of laptop for gaming. But over time, games have become complicated which means they also demand stronger graphics cards. Besides that, the display size matters a lot. You don’t want to struggle with a 13-incher while you can get something bigger. Likewise, you don’t want to put up with a bulky 17-incher when you can get something smaller. This is where the 15-inch display screens come in handy and below is a closer look at some options at your disposal.
|Gigabyte AERO 15||4.41 lbs||512 GB||GTX 1070|
|ASUS ROG Strix||5.29 lbs||1 TB||GTX 1070|
|MSI GS65||4.14 lbs||256 GB||GTX 1060|
|Acer Predator Helios 300||5.51 lbs||256 GB||GTX 1060|
|HP Omen 15||5.56 lbs||1 TB||GTX 1060|
|ASUS Zenbook Pro||4.20 lbs||512 GB||GTX 1050Ti|
1. Gigabyte AERO 15-Inch Ultra Slim with GTX 1070 Card
Armed with a 15.6-inch anti-glare display and ultra-thin 5mm bezel, the Gigabyte Aero is an FHD laptop that promises a great performance. That’s because it comes with a beefy Intel Core i7 8-th generation processor with the capacity to attain up to 4.1GHz speeds.
Moving on, the Gigabyte comes with a fully-fledged NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card. This card is special in the sense that it supports the NVIDIA Optimus Technology. So, if you’re looking to enjoy a smooth gaming experience, this is certainly something worth investing in.
Interestingly, despite coming with features that you’d expect from a huge and bulky device, this one maintains a low profile. In fact, it’s deceptively light and thin which means you can take it anywhere with you with no major qualms.
So, we think this is potentially a beast of a performer despite its laid-back design. Just don’t expect it to rival with machines that pack an overclocked GT 1080.
- Superior performance
- Operates relatively quietly
- Great display quality with no light bleed
- Great battery life
- Its webcam is poorly positioned
2. ASUS ROG Strix Scar Gaming Rig GTX 1070
The initials ROG stand for the Republic of Gamers – a unique name for the reputed ROG series of gaming rigs. Indeed, this mid-range gaming machine is renowned for its high level of customization.
For instance, it comes with an RGB-enabled keyboard with 4 control zones. All you need to do is choose which lighting patterns you want at any given time.
Another customizable feature is the DDR4 memory which is upgradeable. You only need to use the DIMM and M.2 slots for the upgrade process.
Further, the ROD Strix amazes with its reliable NVIDIA GTX 1070 which works smoothly when paired up with a 16GB RM. So, if you’re looking to experiment with some AAA level gaming, this might be the best machine to use.
The machine presents you with a wide room for connectivity ranging from USB C connectors, SD card reader, Ethernet connectivity to USB 3.0 ports.
And for an immersive gaming experience, this laptop comes with powerful stereo speakers. These are powered by a wonderful Smart Amp technology which takes its audio performance to the next level.
As such, the ROG is capable of delivering an enhanced dynamic range as well as 200% louder audio outputs.
- Ergonomically designed
- An excellent gaming keyboard with precise controls
- A wide variety of customization features
- Awesome speakers, trackpad and webcam
- Sub-par battery
- Fans may get loud if the machine is pushed to the limits
3. MSI GS65 VR-Ready Gaming Laptop
The MSI GS65, just like its siblings, is a one-of-a-kind gaming laptop that offers all the features that matter, at a competitive price. Its compact design means that it accommodates a bit of everything within its 15.5-inch display.
In addition, it comes with a really thin bezel (4.9mm) which leaves the screen with extra room.
To make the deal even sweeter, the machine comes with a powerful Intel Core i7 processor. This is an 8-th generation processor that’s spread out in 6 cores.
In other words, the MSI is your knight in shining armor as long as you’re looking for speed, power, and efficiency.
However, compared to the first two machines on this review, this rig packs a GTX 1060 graphics card. Although the 1060 card can handle all FHD tasks, it may struggle a bit with UHD ones.
Other than that, this machine is really good. Picture this – it comes with a 1TB storage which gives you all the freedom to store your crucial files without the need for an upgrade.
- Offers great customization options
- Superb processor speeds
- Smooth graphics
- Ultra-thin bezel for an enhanced display
- This machine is Thunderbolt 3 ready
- Thin and light in weight
- Sub-par battery
- May throttle when playing AAA titles on the highest settings
4. Acer Predator Helios 300
If you’re in the market for a cheap 15-incher, you may need to tackle a closer look at the Helios 300 from Acer. One thing we’d like to generally note is that the Helios 300 offers an unbeatable value proposition.
For instance, despite its slightly over a grand price tag, this machine provides you with a GTX 1060 graphics card. The powerful graphics card locks a decent 60 FPS at near-max settings. That’s pretty much all you need to enjoy most average games.
That said, the system misses out on some of the fancy features such as the G-Sync or high refresh rates. Besides that, you may also need to think about purchasing an HDD backup storage to complement the 256GBB SSD that’s provided here.
Those are, however, minor issues given that the Predator also comes at a super-affordable price range.
Its 8-th generation Intel Core processor is quite beefy. In fact, you can have it deliver as much as 4.1 GHz. But for that to happen, you may need to ensure that you deal with potential bloatware issues from time to time.
The cooling fans provided for this machine are on another level altogether. They comprise an all-metal AeroBlade 3D fan and a metal chassis. There’s also a special PredatorSense gaming c-panel provided which allows you to customize the gaming features.
Perhaps the main selling point of the Helios is its battery life. The machine provides you with up to 7 hours of battery life under normal use.
- Beefy processor
- Great cooling technology
- Highly customizable
- Above average battery life
- It gets warm sometimes though its cool boost feature helps
- You may need to upgrade some of its out-of-box drivers
5. HP Omen 15-dc000 Hexa-core Gaming Notebook
Who said you have to cough out huge bucks to enjoy the latest games on a laptop? With this HP Omen, you have all the freedom it takes to enjoy an immersive gaming experience.
Its 15.6-inch display presents with you a resolution of 1080p. That’s a great level of resolution which means you can enjoy viewing your favorite games at all times.
On top of that, this budget-friendly rig comes with a zoned-backlit keyboard. The keyboard has 26-key rollover design which goes a long way to accelerate one’s gaming reflexes.
But the real secret behind this machine’s power lies under the hood. Here we find an Intel Core i7 8-th generation processor. That’s a 6-core unit with the potential to attain up to 4.1GHz of speed for an enhanced experience.
On the flipside, though, the Omen packs a GTX 1050 Ti graphics card which is less powerful than the 1060, 1070, and 1080 alternatives. But unless you’re a really serious gamer, you may not even notice this difference if you’re used to gaming at your own leisure time.
- Incredible battery life
- Best entry level laptop for gamers
- Great variety of connections
- Can handle some of the high-spec games
- Sub-par display compared to the other models reviewed so far
- Its 7200 RPM SATA HDD sputters a little every so often
6. Asus UX550GE-XB71T Zenbook
The ASUS Zenbook is a highly popular thin-and-light premium laptop that can only be compared to the HP Omen and perhaps the Dell XPS 15. Recommended as an entry-level machine, this machine packs a powerful NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti graphics card.
Had this 15-incher come with a GTX 1060 card (or better), it’d have definitely made it to the top 3 of this list. That’s because everything else about it including its solid-aluminum unibody and powerful processor is top-notch.
Talking about processor power, this unit provides you with an 8-th generation core i7. The processor is capable of clocking as much as 4.8 GHz.
Taking a closer look at the machine’s display, we can confidently rate it a 5-star. That’s because it’s a 15.6-inch display with a generous 83-degrees screen-to-body. What’s more? This display has a touch functionality which means it’s great for business use as well.
That said, we genuinely feel that this machine is a bit overpriced at its price. However, there’s no doubt that it looks great and classy. Also, it’s a great all-rounder. You can confidently use it as a part-time gaming laptop but it’d struggle to put up with the needs of a highly demanding gaming lifestyle.
- Compact and light-weight design
- Can be used for both office work and part-time gaming
- Great screen display quality (4K screen)
- Fast processor speeds
- Great build quality
- Its webcam isn’t quite as tough as we’d have wanted to be
The world of PC gaming is fast-changing and the best machines no longer have to be outfitted with gigantic fans. As we’ve seen above, most 15-inchers are sleek and ultra-thin despite packing quite a number of great features. So, if portability and compactness are top on your list, we hope these reviews help you make an informed choice.