Gaming laptops have always sat in a strange area of the hardware market. On one hand, the manufacturers love to tout the abilities of their latest discrete hardware.
On the other, the desktop PC gaming crowd will tell you that a laptop can never cut it as a dedicated gaming machine. Which side of the argument holds more weight, and could 2016 be the year that mobile horsepower is finally enough for gaming? If we take a look at two of the most popular gaming laptops this year, we can get a good idea.
The ASUS G752
ASUS is a respected name in PC gaming. They’re an excellent hardware company, and their laptop division has put out some of the best machines that have been seen in the past decade. Their gaming machines don’t have much in common with their regular consumer products. Aggressive styling is not for everyone, and there are compromises made when it comes to size and weight. The G752 laptop is still portable, but not in an Ultrabook sense. Regardless, there are key benefits for gamers. Thunderbolt 3 USB – C, Intel Skylake Core i7, up to 64GB of blazing fast DDR4 ram, and a GTX 980M, all make this an excellent choice for gaming. It will play all modern games on relatively high settings, but battery life is almost nonexistent under load.
MSI GT72S 6QF Dominator Pro G
Like ASUS, MSI is a huge name in gaming. Their enthusiast and hardcore level expertise in motherboards and other hardware has opened up to their now established laptop line. The Dominator Pro G makes no compromises when it comes to gaming performance. It includes a desktop GPU, the GTX 980 (note the lack of ‘M’), which makes it one of the most powerful gaming laptops on the market. It is also future proofed with Thunderbolt 3 USB – C, which means it will accept desktop graphics card expansions in the future. It will go head to head with any modern desktop PC, in any modern game. For all intents and purposes, it is a desktop replacement. Unfortunately it means that the battery life is abysmal when gaming. Portable? Yes… as long as you’re near a power outlet.
Just looking at these two units, it is clear that laptop gaming is approaching parity with desktop PCs. Whether they will ever achieve complete equal status is questionable. Laptops are more expensive, they can’t be cooled as easily, and there is limited customization available. However, if you have the cash to spend, and the need for a gaming PC that can be taken almost anywhere that you go, then one of the new breed of ultra-powerful laptops would be a great investment.