Ultrabook reviews, guides and comparisons

Best 30 portable laptops and ultrabooks for gaming in 2015

By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , updated on July 7, 2015

Playing games on ultrabooks or thin and light laptops might have seemed unrealistic a while ago, but is a reality these days. Despite their thin and light bodies, most modern ultrabooks pack powerful enough hardware to deal with at least some light gaming.

Picking any device motorized by an Intel Haswell processor (with Intel HD 4400 graphics) allows you to play most games on 13 x 7 resolutions with low details, as you can see from this review. Going higher and picking a CPU bundled with Intel’s Iris graphics (HD 5000 or HD 5100), like the Asus Zenbook Infinity UX301LA, Dell XPS 13, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon or some of the Broadwell ultraportables, to name just a few, will push the capabilities ever further.

But there’s still so much an integrated chip can deliver these days, so if you’re planning on running serious titles on your ultra-portable laptop, at 19 x 10 resolutions and high details, you’ll require dedicated graphics. And here’s where this post comes in handy, a list of the best gaming ultra-portables of the moment.

We won’t include just ultrabooks in here though, because the standard has very strict limitations. For instance, a computer powered by anything else than an Intel ULV platform is not an ultrabook per-se, even if it is thin enough. That’s why I’ve expanded the circle a little bit, so other portable notebooks that are actually worth your attention could make it in.

Even so, for a device to get on this list, it needs to bundle at least a mid-level graphics chip for the sub-14 inch devices, or a high-end chip for the anything with a 15 inch screen or above. It also needs to be compact, thin and light, it needs to be solid built and last but not least, it needs to have no obvious deal-breakers, no major flaws.

With that in mind, let’s get this started. It’s a long post, but you’d better go through all of it if you want to know what your options are these days. Keep in mind that I’m constantly changing this post in order to maintain it up-to-date, so if you find it useful, make sure to tell your friends about it and share it around, that’s the best way to say thanks for the hard work.

Gaming ultraportables with Nvidia GTX 970M and 980M graphics

These are the ones to look at if you want to best gaming performance in fairly thin and light bodies. I’ve gathered them all in this detailed list that I’ll be updating periodically.

The offer for 980M portable configurations is limited for the time being, but there are quite a few 17, 15 and even 14 inchers that bundle Nvidia GTX 970M chips and are capable of running smoothly all the recent titles in 19 x 10 resolutions with High/Ultra details. Follow this link for more details.

14, 13 inch or smaller gaming ultrabooks

This section is reserved for the smallest laptops with dedicated graphics, with 11.6 to 14.1 inch screens, Intel Haswell hardware (or later) and at least an Nvidia 730M graphics chip (or an AMD equivalent).

The Asus Zenbooks: UX302LG, UX32LN, UX303LN and UX303LB

I’ve reviewed the Zenbook UX302LG in depth here and if you’ll read the post, you’ll see that there’s little you might not like about this laptop.

It’s sleek (20-21 mm thick, including the rubber feet), light (3.3 pounds), fast (Intel Haswell Core i5/i7 processors, up to 10 GB of RAM, Nvidia 730M 2GB graphics and either hybrid or SSD storage) and can easily handle all the things you will throw at it, including games. In fact, see the clip below if you’re curious how this laptop deals with titles like Crysis 3, Skyrim, Starcraft 2 or Bioshock Infinite on Full HD resolution, with Low details.

Besides these, the UX302LG packs an awesome 1080p IPS touchscreen and can go for about 6 hours of everyday use on a charge, or about 90 minutes of continuous gaming.

Of course, all these don’t come cheap. The UX302LG starts at about $1200, while the top configurations sell for $1700 and up. However, you have the option of buying the base version with the fastest processor you will need and add your own RAM and SSD inside. In other words: there’s room for upgrades with this machine. Unfortunately though, the UX302LG is still not widely available right now, but you might find it online via this link (with some small discounts)

Asus also has two more powerful 13.3 inchers in stores, the Zenbook UX32LN and the Zenbook UX303LN.

The first is built on the same chassis as their popular UX32VD launched in 2012, with a fully metallic body, an IPS FHD screen, Haswell processors and an Nvidia GT 840M graphics chip. However, the UX32LN is only available in Europe and Asia for the time being. See this post for more details about it.

The Zenbook UX303LN is a slightly improved version of the UX32LN, with whom it shares a similar hardware platform: up to Intel Core i7-4710U processors, up to 12 GB of RAM (4 GB soldered+ 1 spare DIMM), 2.5 inch storage and a M.2 connector, Nvidia GT 840M graphics. However, Asus worked on fine tuning the case, which is still mare from metal, but slightly smoother and better finished than the one on the UX32 series. They also added a couple of screen options, as you can get the UX303LN with either a FHD IPS non-glare display, or a 3200 x 1800 px IPS touchscreen.

My detailed review of the UX303LN over here will tell you a lot more about this laptop, including what to expect from it when it comes to games.

Long story short though, the Zenbook UX303LN is definitely a 13 incher to consider. It’s faster than the UX302LG, runs cooler and it’s going to be a lot more affordable, starting at under 1G and going to about $1300 for the top configuration. Last but not least, this one will actually be available all around the planet, unlike the UX302 model. See this link for potential discounts on this UX303LN, a complete specs sheet and user reviews.

As for what to choose between the UX32LN and the UX303LN, well, the two are similar in many ways, with only slight tweaks for the UX303 model, so I’d base my decision on how much each model costs where you’re living. If the UX303 is at least $100 more expensive than the UX32 version, I’d go for the latter.

Update: As of Spring 2015 Asus released Broadwell updates of the UX303LN series, with Core i7-5500U and Core i5-5200U processors, as well as a new model called the Zenbook UX303LB, with the same Broadwell CPUs but updated Nvidia GT 940M graphics. You can read all about this model in here.

Gigabyte Aorus X3 and X3 Plus series

If you’re after a top-of-the-line sub-14 inch gaming laptop and don’t mind spending North of $2000 for it, Gigabyte’s Auros X3 line should definitely be on your shortlist.

This kind of money will get you Intel Haswell Core i7 HQ processors, up to 16 GB of RAM, Nvidia GTX 870M graphics with Optimus and dual M.2 storage, plus a backlit keyboard with macro keys and customizable profiles, stereo speakers, a 73 Wh battery and solid connectivity (Wi-Fi AC, Lan, Bluetooth, 3xUSBs, HDMI, mini-DP, card-reader). All these inside a 23 mm thick body (just under 0.9 inches) that weighs 1.8 kilos (4 pounds).

And did I mentioned the design? Well, these things are going to look spectacular, with a black case and some aggressive cooling vents towards the back, somewhat similar to what Asus has on their ROG lines.

Gigabyte will offer two different versions of this laptop, all sharing the characteristics enumerated above (with slight weight and size differences). The Aorus X3 model will get a 13.3 inch screen with a 2560 x 1440 px IGZO IPS panel, while the Aorus X3 Plus will get a slightly larger 13.9 inch display, available with either a 2560 x 1440 px or 1 3200 x 1800 px IPS IGZO panel the same one as on the Razer Pro).

You can check out our detailed review of the X3 Plus model over here , with a beefy configuration that includes the Intel Core i7-4860HQ processor, 16 GB RAM, Nvidia 870M graphics and two 256 GB SSDs in Raid 0.

Gigabyte Aorus X3 - the beefiest 13 inchers of the moment

Gigabyte Aorus X3 – the beefiest 13 inchers of the moment

Clevo w230ST / Sager NP7330 – POWER!

The Clevo W230ST (also known as the Sager NP7330) is in fact a 13 inch gaming laptop, not an ultrabook, because it is both too bulky and too powerful to get the branding. It weighs around 4.7 pounds and has a 1.25 inch thick body and on top of that, it’s not really the most beautiful device out there either, although that’s subjective (see the video for details).

But it packs some amazing specs, with up to Intel Core i7-4900HQ processors, up to 16 GB of RAM ( 2 x DIMMs), Nvidia GTX 765M graphics and a handful of storage options (one 2.5″ bay and an mSATA spate port). Besides these, you can get a Full HD AHVA matte screen on this laptop, a big 63 Wh battery, a nice keyboard and all the ports you might want on a gaming machine (4 x USB, VGA, HDMI, LAN).

But the best part about this Clevo/Sager is the ability to configure your own unit with exactly what you want in it, on various reseller websites (search for the model in Google and you’ll find them). The ugly part is the high-price of the high-end configurations (although this is far from being overpriced, considering what you’re getting for the money), and the fact that most stores don’t ship this worldwide, so you might actually have a hard time getting the W230ST in your country.

Long story short though, if you want a capable gaming machine with a compact foot-print, you won’t find anything more powerful than this one right now.

Other 13 inchers worth considering are the:

  • Samsung Series 7 Ultra – Intel IvyBridge ULV processors, up to 8 GB of RAM, AMD Radeon 8550M / 8570M  graphics;
  • Asus Vivobook S301LB / Q301LB (check out my full review over here) – Intel Haswell ULV processors, up to 8 GB of RAM, AMD Radeon Mobility 8530G graphics.

Acer Aspire V7 482PG – bang for the buck

Acer have a bunch of gaming ultrabooks with Haswell onboard available these days in stores, and the Aspire V7-482PG is their top compact model, selling for around $850 (or even less online).

For that, you’re getting an Intel Core i5-4200U processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 1 TB HDD and Nvidia 750M graphics, with Core i7 configurations being available as well. And that makes the V7 quite beefy for a 14 incher and able to handle fine both everyday activities and the latest games, as the 750M chip is something you’ll usually find on multimedia full-size laptops.

The Acer Aspire V7 482PG is also nicely built, with an aluminum body, packs a fair selection of ports on the sides and a decent backlit keyboard. It weighs about 4.4 pounds, so it is portable, but with its 0.9 inch thick case, it’s a bit outside the ultrabook standards. Even so, I doubt you’ll actually be bothered by that 0.1 of an inch difference.

On the other hand, there’s only a 14 inch 1366 x 768 px display on this unit, a touchscreen, but rather mediocre by today’s standards when it comes pixel density, colors or viewing angles. The battery life isn’t something to tell you grandsons about either, with the 482PG being able to last an average of 5 hours on a charge, with daily use, and on top of that, Asus does bundle a lot of preinstalled software on this machine, which you’ll have to remove yourself.

Even so, for the price, the V7 482PG is for sure something to consider, that if you don’t mind the poor screen and the rather bulky body.

The Acer Aspire V7 is sleek and fairly punchy, but the poor screen drags it down

The Acer Aspire V7 is sleek and punchy, but the poor screen might steer you away from it

Gigabyte P34G v2 and U24F/U24T

The P34G v2 (the 2014 iteration, also known as the P34Gv2-CF2 model) is an impressive 14 inch ultra-portable.

It’s about 0.8 of an inch thick and weighs between 3.6 and 3.8 lbs, which is impressive for a 14 incher. Even more when you’ll hear what you’ll be getting inside this compact aluminum body: a FullHD AHVA non-glare panel (similar to IPS panels), a Haswell Core i7-4710HQ processor, up to 16 GB of RAM (2 x DIMMs), dual-storage options (for the models with a smaller 47 Wh battery), an Nvidia GTX 860M dedicated graphics chip and up to 63 Wh battery. In other words, that’s the kind of hardware we’re usually getting on larger machines and I’m glad to see Gigabyte squeezing these inside such a laptop.

The P34G is not flawless though. The laptop’s case is not very sturdy, the trackpad can get jumpy from time to time and the fans tend to be somewhat loud, especially under load.

But even so, you’ll get great specs in a compact device with the Gigabyte P34G v2, and all for a good price. A Core i7-4710HQ / 8 GB of RAM / 128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD configuration retails these days for around $1550, and you might find it slightly discounted online as well.

The original version of the P34G (P34G-CF1) was similar in most ways to this newer model, but only offered Nvidia 750M graphics. You can still get it for roughly $1300 these days.

Update: A Gigabyte P34W v3 version is also available now, with Nvidia GTX 970M graphics.

Top specs in a compact body, that's what you'll get with the Gigabyte P34G v2

Top specs in a compact body, that’s what you’ll get with the Gigabyte P34G v2

Gigabyte also has the U24F laptop on the market, which is indeed an ultrabook, a snipped version of the P34G. This one is also a 14 incher as well, but with a 1600 x 900 px TN non-glare screen and bundles Haswell ULV Core i5 and i7 processors (not HQ CPUs like the P34), an Nvidia 750M graphics chip, up to 16 GB of RAM, dual-storage options and a 47 Wh battery, all inside a 0.9 inch thick 3.7 pounds body. All these for about $1300, but the U24F has been discontinued recently and you might have a hard-time finding it in stores.

The Gigabyte U24T is identical to the U24F in terms of hardware and features, but packs a 1366 x 768 px touch-screen instead. That makes it marginally thicker and heavier than the U24F, and at the same time slightly more expensive.

Razer Blade 14 2015 – sleek and fast

The Blade is not an ultrabook per-se either, as, like the Gigabyte P34G above, bundles Intel HQ hardware. But it is actually a step up from the P34.

On the outside, the Razer Blade looks and feels amazing, with its black aluminum hull, although it has gained weight over last year’s Blade (weighs 4.47 lbs and is about 0.71 inches thick). It also packs 3xUSB ports, stereo speakers and and HDMI, but no card-reader though.

The 2014 version of the Blade 14 is more powerful than before. You’ll be getting an Intel Core i7-4702HQ quad-core Haswell processor with this one, 8 GB of RAM (onboard), up to 512 GB SSD storage and an Nvidia GTX 970M graphics chip. That’s less RAM than on the Gigabyte and fewer storage options, but a superior graphics chip, which will pay-off in games.

However, while the 2013 version of the Blade only offered a 1600 x 900 px TN non-glare display, the 2015 model got a 3200 x 1800 px IGZO IPS multitouch screen. That’s an appreciated upgrade in terms of colors, viewing angles and contrast, but not so much in terms of pixel density. As I stated when I reviewed the Asus Zenbook UX303LN with a similar display, 3200 x 1800 px is an overkill for a gaming computer, given how the hardware is not actually powerful enough to run modern titles at this high resolution. That means you’ll have to lower it down, which translates in fuzziness, or play with font-scaling, which does not always work well in Windows 8.1 (and even worse on the previous versions).

On top of that, the 2015 Blade is only capable of about 4-5 hours of everyday use on a charge, which is about 2 hours short of its predecessor.

At the end of the day, the Blade 2015 is for sure a beast in a compact shell, with a hefty load of premium features. An expensive beast nonetheless though, starting at over $2000, but you can find it discounted online from time to time. See this link for potential price cuts and more details about the Blade.

On the other hand, if you don’t mind settling for an Nvidia GTX 870M graphics chip, you should definitely look into the 2014 version of the Razer Blade as well, especially since it will be several hundreds of bucks cheaper than the new model. That if you can find it in stock somewhere.

The Razer Blade - a 14 inch thin and powerful gaming laptop

The Razer Blade – a 14 inch thin and powerful gaming laptop

MSI G Series GE40

The GE40 from MSI is another high-specced 14 inch gaming laptop you could look at. Unlike the Razer or the Gigabyte above, it only offers Nvidia 700 Series graphics, but even so, it’s punchy and it checks most of the right features you’d expect from such a computer. It is also light, weighing roughly 4.4 pounds, and thin enough (up to 0.9 inches), which allows it to stand next to traditional “ultrabooks” when it comes to portability.

But the GE40 is not an ultrabooks per-se, as it is powered by an Intel Core i7-4702MQ processor, can take up to 16 GB of RAM and packs an Nvidia GTX 765M graphics chip, plus a dual-storage solution (or one storage drive, plus an optical drive). So specs wise, not much to complain about here, although there are faster 14 inchers available these days.

When it comes to the screen though, this MSI shows its age, as it only offers a 1600 x 900 px non-glare panel and that’s no up-to what you can get on more recently launched machines. The same can be said about the keyboard (which is alright, but not backlit), the design and the gaming temperatures, as the MSI GE40 does get hot under load. You might be able to live with most of these, but for me the screen is a deal-breaker.

On the other hand, the GE40 is rather affordable, with mid-level configurations going for around $1300 these days, so if you’re after a compact laptop that can deliver good performance and won’t leave a huge hole in your wallet, this MSI G Seires 14 inchers might fit well enough.

The MSI GE40 might show its age here and there, but is still a proper priced and powerful 14 incher

The MSI GE40 might show its age here and there, but is still a proper priced and powerful 14 incher

Lenovo IdeaPad U430P / U430 Touch – the affordable option

The Ideapad U430P / U430 line can’t exactly compete with the units above in terms of performance, but if you’re looking for a fairly affordable Haswell ultrabook with decent gaming abilities, it should be on your list.

This series starts at around $750 (and even less in some webstores) and for that you’re getting ULV Haswell Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, up to 8 GB of RAM (onboard), Hybrid storage (a 2.5 inch 7 mm bay and an mSATA slot) and Nvidia 730M graphics, which is only a main-stream solution, but will allow you to run most modern games on 13 x 7 resolution with medium details just fine.  Actually finding the Nvidia 730M equipped model in stores might be a bit more difficult these days, but maybe you’ll get lucky. And keep in mind that the U430p model comes with a 14 inch TN 1366 x 768 px non-glare display while the U430 Touch model gets a similar panel and resolution, but in a touchscreen, and is usually more expensive than the U430p variant.

All these are tucked inside a metal made 4.2 pounds body that’s about 0.8 of an inch thick, and you’ll also like the keyboard and trackpad on this machine, the ports spread around the sides and the rather long battery life (up to 8 hours on a charge, but that varies from one configurations to another).

So long story short, if you’re on a budget and don’t have high demands from your ultraportable, but still want to be able to play some games from time to time, the Lenovo IdeaPad U430 series is for sure a worthy pick.

Update: Looks like the U430 series was discontinued in some regions of the world and a follow-up is soon to be released. I’ll update this section as soon as it is.

Lenovo Ideapad U430p - a proper priced Haswell ultrabook that can handle games fairly well

Lenovo Ideapad U430p – a proper priced Haswell ultrabook that can handle games well-enough

Lenovo Y40

This is a more recent series from Lenovo, also focused on good performance for the money. The basic configurations start at around $850 these days (but you might find it cheaper online), and for that kind of money you’ll be getting an Intel Core i7-4510U processor, 8 GB of RAM, Hybrid storage (1 TB HDD with 8 GB SSD) and an AMD R9-M275 graphics chip, which is roughly similar to an Nvidia 740M solution. So this is not a high-end gaming machine, just something for the casual gamer.

On top of that, Lenovo equips the Y40 with a 1920 x 1080 TN non-glare screen, a nice looking red-backlit keyboard, a decent selection of ports (3xUSBs, HDMI, LAN, SPDIF, card-reader) and a fairly nice looking body for this price range, with an aggressive design and quality materials (mostly plastic, but the interior is covered in a sheet of metal). However, the Y40 is bulkier and not as portable as most of the other 14 inchers in this list, weighing roughly 4.9 pounds and being about 0.9 inches thick.

Long story short, the Lenovo Y40 offers overall good specs and features for the money, but makes concessions when it comes to size, weight and screen quality (packs only a TN panel).

Lenovo Y40 - good specs and features, affordable price

Lenovo Y40 – good specs and features, affordable price

Other 14 inchers you could consider are the:

  • Acer Travelmate P645 – Intel Core i5-4200U CPU, up to 8 GB of RAM, AMD Radeon HD 8750M graphics;
  • HP ENVY Touchsmart 14t – Intel Core i5/i7 ULV processors, up to 8 GB of RAM, Nvidia GT 740M graphics;
  • Asus Vivobook S451LB / V451LB – Intel Core i5/i7 ULV processors, up to 8 GB of RAM, Nvidia GT 740M graphics.

15 or 17 inch gaming ultra-portables

This section is reserved for the fastest thin and light gaming laptops of the moment. The entry bar is set at Haswell hardware, Nvidia GT 750M graphics or higher (or AMD equivalent), an under 1 inch thick body and again, no major flaws. On top of that, I’ve been looking at 15 inchers under 5.5 pounds and 17 inchers under 6.5 pounds, to keep the suggestions as portable as possible.

MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 3K 2PE and 2PC – review

These are some of the most interesting 15 inchers available right now. There are two GS60 Ghost Pro models, the top-version called the 3K 2PE and the lower-end model called 2PC (or simpler, the Ghost Pro 3K and the Ghost Pro), and they share most of their characteristics, with the hardware and screen options setting them apart.

The GS60s are both about 0.85 of an inch thick and weigh just under 4.4 pounds, but despite that, they offer a good looking aluminum-alloy case, a backlit keyboard and all the ports you’ll want on such a computer ( 3xUSB 3.0. HDMI, mini-DP, card-reader, SPDIF, LAN), plus a 6 Cell 52 Wh battery.

The MSI GS60 packs beastly hardware and top features inside a thin and light body

The MSI GS60 packs beastly hardware and top features inside a thin and light body

The GS60 Ghost 2PE Pro 3K model comes with an insane 2880 x 1620 px 15.6 inch display, with an IPS Panel and a low-glare finishing, while the GS60 2PC settles for a non-glare 1920 x 1080 px IPS display. That aside, the two are motorized by the same Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor, can take up to 16 GB of RAM and support dual-storage options (mSATA RAID 0 and a 2.5 inch bay). The top version gets an Nvidia GTX 870M graphics chip though, while the 2PC only gets an Nvidia GTX 860M solution. And while the former is for sure faster, don’t forget that it has to push more pixels if you’re planning on gaming at native resolution. On top of that, it runs hotter, and that’s a problem in a device this thin.

The Ghost GS60 is also available with Nvidia 970M graphics, and you can see how it performs in our detailed review available here.

In fact, that’s my only major gripe with the GS60 Ghost line: it gets warm with light use and actually very hot under extended load, and the components inside reach very high temperatures as well (above 90 °C), which might have a negative impact on their lifespan.

So, at the end of the day, the MSI GS60 offers solid performance and top-tier features in a very thin body, with a price tag of $2000 and up for the 2PE Pro 3K version, and about $1800 for the 2PC model, but both versions are available discounted online, as you’ll see from here. Still, are these laptops worth that kind of money? If not for the temperatures, I’d say yes for sure, but given the high temperatures, I’d suggest getting them only if you really want the compact form-factor and don’t mind the hot bodies. And make sure you’re buying extra-warranty as well. Otherwise, you should look at some of the other suggestions below.

 Asus Zenbook NX500 and GX500 – more details

These machines are going to be released towards the end of the year, so there’s not much to say about them for now.

We do know that these Zenbooks are going to have a metallic body, a low profile (under 0.8 inches thin) and reduced weight (under 5 pounds), while packing top features. Among them, there’s a 4K screen (3840 x 2160 px resolution), Asus’s Bang&Olufsen stereo speakers we’ve seen on many of their ultraportables, an Intel Core i7-4712HQ processor, up to 16 GB of RAM and dual PCI-E storage options. There’s also a rumored 6 Cell 96 Wh battery on these, which should translate in serious endurance, even when running games.

The two models are going to be separated by the graphics solution they’re going to offer, an Nvidia GTX 850M for the NX500 (read my full review over here) and an Nvidia GTX 860M chip for the GX500. On top of that, while the NX500 will keep the standard brushed aluminum looks we’ve been used to from previous Zenbooks (much like the UX51VZ launched a while ago), the GX500 will get a black theme with red stripes, which is somewhat more appropriate for a gaming ultrabook and closer to what Asus does with their N and G series laptops.

Anyway, these Zenbooks are expected in stores in Q3 or Q4 2014, with prices starting at roughly $2000, but I’ll update this section once we know more about them.

Asus Zenbooks NX500 (left) and GX500 (right) - top specs and a high-res 15.6 inch screen in a compact body

Asus Zenbooks NX500 (left) and GX500 (right) – top specs and a high-res 15.6 inch screen in a compact body

Gigabyte P35G v2 and P35W v2 Ultrablades

The P35G v2 Ultrablade is actually the larger version of the P34G v2 mentioned in the 14 inchers’ section. It offers the same Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor, up to 16 gb of RAM (2xDIMMs) and the Nvidia GTX 860M graphics chip, but offers a possible quadruple-storage solution (2 x M.2, 2 x 2.5″ bays), or a dual-storage solution plus a DVD Writer.

There is of course a 15.6 inch display on this laptop, with a 1920 x 1080 px matte IPS non-touch panel, and since the device is larger (weighs 5.1 lbs and is 0.85 inches thick, plus has a rather big footprint, as you can see from the bezel around the screen), there’s also room for a NumPad area on the keyboard and a 75Wh battery (although I’ve seen reports that this laptop will only last up to 5 hours in daily use).

Gigabyte will charge you roughly $1600 for all these, with 8 GB of memory and 128 GB SSD + TB HDD included in this configuration.

If you want a bit more power in your device, then you might to have a look at the P35W v2, which is mostly identical to the P35G, but packs an Nvidia 870M graphics chip and a Bluray burner for $200 extra.

Of course, the biggest concern with these laptops are the load temperatures and noise. From what I’ve seen so far, owners claim that these Gigabyte ultrabooks do get warm under load and you’ll hear the fans spinning, but the nor the temperatures or the noise are really problematic. And that’s the best you can expect from such thin, light and powerful devices.

Updated versions of these laptops bundling Nvidia GTX 970M and 980M graphics are available now. Follow this link for more details.

The Gigabyte P35G and P35W are powerful, thin and light, but not as compact as the other 15 inch gaming ultrabooks

The Gigabyte P35G and P35W are powerful, thin and light, but not as compact as the other 15 inch gaming ultrabooks

Dell XPS 15 Touch

Dell XPS 15 is one of the fanciest devices in here, with a slender 0.7 inch thick aluminum cast body that weighs only 4.4 pounds. But it’s fairly powerful as well.

Dell offers an Intel Core i7-4702HQ processor on their XPS 15, up to 16 GB of RAM, several storage options and an Nvidia GT 750M graphics, which barely qualifies it for this list. And that’s something to keep in mind, especially since this device comes with a 3200 x 1800 px display (a touchscreen, BTW), which means that actually running games at native resolution will require a lot of power. On top of that, the XPS 15 does get quite hot and noisy under serious load, and these are the reasons why this Dell is mostly a good all-rounder that can deal with occasional gaming, and not a proper gaming ultra-portable, like those mentioned before.

So unless you’re planning to do some heavy gaming on this machine, the XPS 15 is going to be good enough for most of you. Specs apart, you’re also getting a good keyboard with this one (nicely spaced, without a NumPad Area), a reliable touchpad, a decent selection of ports (3xUSBs, but only one of them USB 3.0, HDMI, mini-DP, card-reader) and either a 61W or a 91W battery. Considering that both the hardware and the screen are sippy, I’d go for the larger capacity one.

However, that big battery is only available on the higher specced models and those can get quite expensive. In fact, even the base version of the Dell XPS 15 start at about $1900, and for that kind of money you’ll get the CPU and graphics mentioned above, plus 16 GB of RAM and hybrid storage (1 TB HDD + 32 GB cache-SSD). Replacing that with a 512 GB SSD will cost you $300 extra, but most configurations are slightly discounted online, as you can see from here.

Dell's XPS 15 Touch is slender and light, but gaming performance is not its main asset

Dell’s XPS 15 Touch is slender and light, but gaming performance is not its main asset

Acer Aspire V5-573G  and V7-582PG

These should be on your list if you’re on a tighter budget.

The Aspire V5-573G really offers a lot for the money. You can get an Intel Core i7-4500U CPU with 8 GB of RAM, Nvidia GT 750M graphics and a 1 TB HDD for under $1000 (see this link for up-to-date prices and discounts). It’s true that there’s only an ULV processor on this Acer and the Nvidia 750M is no longer a top-of-the-line solution, but even so, it will do.

The thing is there’s only a 1366 x 768 px TN screen on this laptop, which is one of the reasons why it is so affordable, but that means that you’ll be able to run most games on it on High details.

If however you’re looking for an improved screen and faster gaming performance, then you you might want to check out the Acer Aspire V7-582PG. Roughly $1100 will get you an Intel Core i7-4500U processor, 8 GB of RAM and Nvidia 850M graphics, plus a 1920 x 1080 px IPS display, and the V7 can also be found discounted online.

BTW, both these laptops are fairly portable, with under 0.9 of an inch thick bodies that weigh about 4.8 pounds and there’s not much to complain about their build quality either (metal and plastic are used for the case).

But even so, you’ll be making compromises with these Acers, when compared to those others mentioned before. The looks, the keyboard/trackpad quality or the battery life (expect up to 5 hours of daily use) are just some of those, or the fact that you’re getting regular HDDs with each configuration (but this should not be a concern, as they can be easily swapped for SSDs later on). But let’s not forget that these laptops are a lot cheaper than most of their competitors, and that alone should be enough for most potential buyers.

Acer Aspire V5 and V7 - more affordable gaming ultrabooks

Acer Aspire V5 and V7 – more affordable gaming ultrabooks

Lenovo Y50

This is another affordable 15 incher you could consider these days.

Much like the Y40, the Y50 offers a plastic built body, a good keyboard with a NumPad section(which however flexes way too much), a reliable trackpad and plenty of ports (3xUSBs, HDMI, card-reader, LAN, SPDIF), all in a rather bulky body. In fact, this device barely makes it in this list, with a 0.9+ inch thick case and a total weight of roughly 5.3 pounds, so it’s definitely not as portable as some of the other machines mentioned before.

It does pack nice specs though: a FHD matte screen (with a TN panel), an Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor, up to 16 GB of RAM, Nvidia 860M graphics and various storage solutions, plus either a DVD or a Bluray unit. On the other hand, Lenovo chose to put a small battery on this notebook, so don’t expect more than 4 hours of daily use with it.

Even so, it’s hard to beat the Y50 for the money. $1100 will buy you the processor and the graphics listed above, 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB storage drive, which is in fact better than what you’re getting with the Acer V5. And I expect prices to drop in the near future.

Of course, there are a few things you might not like about this Lenovo laptop, like the screen, the body’s lack of sturdiness and the very short battery life, but if you’re mostly after solid specs for as little money as possible, you’ll could learn to live with these and get the Y50 anyway. Or you might go ahead and buy a laptop like the Lenovo Y510p or the Asus N550JK, slightly thicker and heavier, but overall superior options.

The Lenovo Y50 laptop - good specs for the money, but with a few quirks that could make you look somewhere else

The Lenovo Y50 laptop – good specs for the money, but with a few quirks that could make you look somewhere else

There are a couple of other 15 inchers you could consider, like the:

  • Samsung ATIV Book 8 870Z5G – Intel Core i7-4700HQ CPU, up to 8 GB of RAM, Nvidia GT 750M graphics, 1920 x 1080 px IPS matte display, 94 Wh battery, 5.2 lbs. This model has a lot of potential and packs a huge battery. It is however difficult to find in stores these days, that’s why it only earned a place in the “others” section;
  • Asus N550JK – Intel Core i7-4700HQ CPU, up to 16 GB of RAM, Nvidia GT 850M graphics, 1920 x 1080 px IPS matte display, 59 Wh battery, 5.7 lbs, 1.1 inches thick – this barely gets outisde the requirements because it is a bit thick. But if you’re fine with this, you should definitely check it out. Prices start at around $1100 for this series (see this link for details) and my full review of the Asus N550 line is available over here;
  • Dell Inspiron 7537 – Intel Core i5/i7 ULV CPUs, up to 16 GB of RAM, Nvidia GT 750M graphics, 1920 x 1080 px IPS touchscreen, 58Wh battery, 5.6 lbs (heavy for an ultrabook!);
  • HP Envy TouchSmart 15 – Intel Core i5/i7 ULV CPUs, up to 16 GB of RAM, Nvidia GT 750M graphics, 1920 x 1080 px IPS touchscreen, 5.6 lbs (heavy for an ultrabook!).

Besides these, you should look at all the other ultrabooks from this list of recommended 15 inchers.

A few other 15 inchers you could consider: Samsung Series 7 Ultra (left), Asus N550JK (middle), Dell Inspiron (right)

A few other 15 inchers: Samsung Series 7 Ultra (left), Asus N550JK (middle), Dell Inspiron 7537 (right)

And there are also some interesting 17 inchers I’d like to mention, not ultrabooks per-se, but thin and light laptops in their classes:

  • Razer Blade Pro – the larger version of the Razer Blade mentioned above, this one packs an Intel Core i7-4700HQ processor, up to 16 GB of RAM, up to 512 GB SSD storage and an Nvidia GTX 860M graphics chip, plus a 1920 x 1080 px IPS matte display and a 74 Wh battery, all inside a fairly compact body (0.9 inches thick, weighs 6.5 lbs). On top of that, there’s a customizable LCD screen towards the right side of the keyboard, meant to improve your gaming productivity. The Razer Pro starts at $2300, with only 128 GB of storage, and goes up to $2700 for the 512 GB SSD version, but you might find potential discounts on all available configurations via this link.
The popular Razer Blade Pro

The popular Razer Blade Pro

  • MSI GS70 Stealth details – a slightly slimmer (0.85 inches thick) and lighter (5.9 lbs) 17 inch laptop than the one above, packs a similar Intel Haswell platform, paired with Nvidia GTX 765M graphics, dual storage solutions (mSATA and 2.5 inch bay), a Full HD non-glare screen and a dedicated gaming-keyboard, designed in collaboration with SteelSeries. The GS70 sells for $1600 and up;
  • Medion Erazer X7611details – this offers the same hardware specs as the MSI GS70, but a 1600 x 900 px TN screen, a poorer keyboard and a different case (marginally thicker and heavier), but at the same time is cheaper than 17 incher mentioned before by a few hundreds of dollars. However, the Medion Erazer X7611 is mostly available in Europe, as Medion is a German company.
  • Maingear Pulse 17details – this is one of the sleekest 17 inchers available right now, measuring under 0.9 inches in thickness and weighing under 6 pounds. At the same time it packs powerful hardware: an Intel Core i7-4700HQ processor, up to 16 GB of storage. Nvidia GTX 870M graphics and several storage options, plus a matte 1920 x 1080 px display. All these for $2000 and up, which makes the Pulse 17 a solution to check-out if you really need the powerful graphics, as the other 17 inchers in here do not offer the same high-end Nvidia chip;
  • Gigabyte Aorus X7 v2details – the bigger brother of the Aorus X3 and the only device in this list to offer SLI graphics ( two Nvidia GTX 860M chips – an updated version with two GTX 970M chips in SLI is also available), alongside an Intel COre i7-4860HQ processor, up to 32 GB of RAM (4 slots) and a quadruple storage solution (3 x mSATA, 1 x 2.5″ bay), plus a 73 Wh battery. All these inside a 0.9 inch thick body that weighs about 7 pounds. As expected, the Aorus X7 is expensive and the high end configurations will set you back about $3000. But if you want the ultimate gaming ultraportable of the moment, well, this is IT.

The downsides of this monster as the high temperatures when gaming and the battery life. The SLI implementation means that there’s no Optimus on the Auros X7, and that translates in up to 3 hours of light use, which is very low for a device described as “portable”.

Gigabyte Aorus X7 - SLI graphics, powerful CPU and up to 32 GB of RAM on a portable computer

Gigabyte Aorus X7 – SLI graphics, powerful CPU and up to 32 GB of RAM on a portable computer

A quick wrap-up

All in all, there aren’t that many true gaming ultrabooks available in this list. However, there’s a fair number of good gaming portable laptops, most of them just as thin and light, just more powerful, “motorized” by faster Intel full-voltage platforms, and not the ULVs you’ll mostly find in ultrabooks.

So as potential buyers, you’ve got a wide array of options these days, from the portable 13 inchers to the beastly 17 inch monsters, with prices starting under $1000 or easily going over 3G.

In the end though, the final choice is all yours. There’s no perfect gaming ultraportable, but there are quite a few that come close. So make sure you know exactly what you want from your computer and pick accordingly between all these devices mentioned above. And if you haven’t found anything that fits your needs in this post, maybe you should check out this list of the most powerful gaming ultraportables available right now.

Whit that in mind, it’s time to bring this post to a halt, but make sure you’ll check the article from time to time, as I’m constantly updating it when new good gaming ultrabooks pop in stores.

That aside, if you have any questions, anything to add or just need help picking your next computer, drop your comments below, I’m around to reply and help you out. And if you found this post useful, feel free to share it around on Forums, Facebook, Twitter or show it to your friends.

Andrei Girbea, aka Mike, Editor-in-Chief and a huge fan of mobile computers. Since 2007, I've only owned smaller than 12.5" laptops and I've been testing tens, if not hundreds of mini laptops. You'll find mostly reviews and guides written by me here on the site.


  1. Abdul

    November 26, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    The new Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 14 I would think is atleast as good as aspire V7. What are your thoughts about the new Yoga 14?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 26, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Haven’t got to test it yet but it’s a pretty good one from the reviews I’ve seen. Worth buying and I should add it in here asap.

  2. Doug

    December 14, 2014 at 12:38 am

    This is a very good list. One thing to consider is waiting a while. The new Intel Core M laptops are starting to arrive. Intel Broadwell is in Q1/Q2 2015. But the big news is Intel with its Skylake architecture. But that will be Q2/Q3 next year. Big improvements to cooling, optimus, with the 14nm architecture. Cooler running laptops is the big thing as well as better battery life. Should we hold out for Broadwell or Skylake and ship Haswell?

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      If you can wait, yes. But if you want something today, there are still plenty of good options to consider. There’s always going to be a next best thing, but sometimes we just have to settle for what meets the requirements at a given time.

  3. Bilal Akhtar

    December 24, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Asus G751JT-CH71 OR MSI GT70 DOMINATOR-2293
    OR Any other around 1.5k……

  4. Nick Sullivan

    January 7, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    That was a really well written and informative round up of the 2014 machines – thank you. Now if only they could make there way to Australia that would be great. Currently waiting on the ASUS G551JM-DM169H to drop with our reseller.

    From what I’ve read above and seen online it seems to tick all the boxes and hit the price point very well. If only the Razer was 1k cheaper :)

  5. Claudio

    January 31, 2015 at 10:11 am

    HI Andrei!! Great webpage!! I was wondering, if there is any ultrabook with less than 13″ that have a dedicated graphic card? which is the smallest size you can find with a dedicated gf? Thanks!!!

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 31, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Ultrabook, not that I know of. If you want something a bit bulkier, Clevo had some 11 inch models and there was also the Alienware M11X, which hasn’t been updated lately though

  6. Sam

    February 3, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    Hi andrei,

    Great list!
    I’m thinking about buying the msi gs30 shadow.
    Did you already had the chance to test it?
    I think the laptop would be perfect for this list

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 3, 2015 at 10:56 pm

      Yes, that laptop will make it in here at the next major update. haven’t tested it though and I don’t think I will be able too, since MSI laptops aren’t sold over here.

  7. Craig

    February 4, 2015 at 9:44 am

    On Dells latest model of the “NEW 14 7000″ under the official tech specs PDF it states that E7450 is capable of Nvidia 840M. However I cant option. Any ideas? Here is the link:


    • Andrei Girbea

      February 4, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      I’m not seeing that option either. Maybe they’ll add it later? You should really ask Dell about that, they should provide documented help.

  8. Ata

    February 13, 2015 at 5:11 am

    Hey Andrei,

    I’m about to go get the Asus UX303LN. Before I make the purchase though, just want your word that there is absolutely nothing else if you want light, decent battery, nice looks, and also gaming ability on a laptop for around $1000. If there is an upcoming, I’d rather not wait. So is the UX303LN the perfect laptop in this regards?

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 15, 2015 at 8:54 am

      if you want all these in a 13 inchers then there’s nothing else of this sort. If you can go with a bigger device, then there are other options.

  9. Kevin

    February 16, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Will you do a review on the Gigabyte P34W v3? Also, do you know anything about the P34K v3 in terms of availability and cost in the U.S.? I’m very interested in that configuration. If it has truly over 5 or 6 hours of battery life, that would be a god send.

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 16, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Gigabyte laptops are not available where I live, thus chances of mt reviewing something here are incredibly slim.

  10. Mihai-Robert Soran

    March 1, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Salut Andrei,

    daca cumpar dupa sfatul tau, ai 10%. Direct.

    – Convertible
    – backlit KB
    – min. 1920
    – Win 8.1 +
    – GOOD streaming
    – not much worse than my ntel(R)_Core(TM)_i7-2670QM

    Sorry, can#t write more, KB a innebunit :-(

  11. Etienne

    March 2, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Very nice website!
    I can’t find the laptop with all the features I need.

    – 14 or 15″ screen (a nice screen so Lenovo Y40 and Y50 are out)
    – Effective trackpad, I won’t use my notebook with a mouse
    – Backlit keyboard
    – Convertible (optional)
    – Discrete graphics (a basic one could do the job).

    Do you have a suggestion ?
    Maybe the Acer Nitro but is the touchpad acceptable?

    Thanks. I love this website.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 3, 2015 at 8:58 am

      HMmm. The ThinkPad Yoga 14 (or the soon to be available 15 inch model) comes close to what you want and the Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro 571G. The touchpad is better on the ThinkPad though.

      • Etienne Charbonneau

        March 3, 2015 at 3:35 pm

        Finally, I went for an older but much less expensive Acer V7-482PG.

  12. Raj

    March 21, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I have a budget of around $2400 and I want a gaming laptop with great battery life. I’m looking for around 5-6 hours of charge while not on gaming tasks. While I am gaming, I will be at home so gaming on a charge is not too important. I will be using this laptop for college/university so battery life (while not gaming) is very important. The panel must be full hd and does not need to be touch screen. A backlit keyboard is a necessity. Also, an i7 chip Haswell/Broadwell CPU is required. The battery life is the most important component and thank you Andrei!

  13. arun

    April 27, 2015 at 5:17 am

    I want to buy an ultrabook that can run dota 2 at high settings.Priced max at 1200$. I like the xps 13 but I’m unsure of its capabilities.. Pls suggest a good one.. Preferably a convertible or a 2 in 1 . Thanks!!

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 27, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Hmmm, I’d probably get something with dedicated graphics. If you’re looking for a 13 incher, then the Zenbook UX303 will be a good option

      • arun

        April 29, 2015 at 12:29 pm

        The ux303 sure looks good. But I’m looking for something convertible or a2 in 1 . don’t mind if its 15 inches. Thanks a lot Andrei!

  14. Stanley

    April 29, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Hi, looking for a light (under 5 lb) 15.6 inch with a 10 key and glossy screen, around $1000-1200. The MSI GS60 would be fine but only the 3k or 4k has the glossy screen. Other laptops either don’t have 10 key (HP Omen or Dell XPS) or don’t have glossy screen (Acer V Nitro, MSI). Thank you

  15. Uros

    May 4, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Is the alienware 15 the only laptop in the world with 970m AND touch 4k screen?
    Thank you

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 4, 2015 at 10:28 am

      I believe so. The Razer Blade is a 14 incher with 970M and there are a few 15.6 inchers with 860M (and probably updates to 960M soon), but no other 15 incher besides the Alienware from what I know.

  16. Rob

    May 10, 2015 at 4:03 am

    It would be great if there was a small Table comparing the features and listing all the Laptops on a single page (or a short scroll to see it all, since this Article will have a long list).

    That would be similar to what was provided in the ‘Ultrabook List’.

    Doing so makes it easier for people viewing this Article on a Phone or Tablet.

    Thanks for this List, and providing this Website.

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 11, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      I’ll consider it for the next major update.

  17. Eliot Karam

    May 10, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Hi andrei!
    I wanted to ask you what is the best laptop with aroun 8 gb ram that is compatible for gaming and has a touch screen or 2 in 1 screen and also has a cd/dvd player.
    I’ve been looking around alot but i can’t decide on my own!
    Any suggestions?
    Thank you

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 11, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Hmmm, what screen size are you looking at? And what kind of games?

      Most ultraportables don’t have optical drives, so you’ll probably want to look at some of the mainstream laptops, like the Asus G551/GL551, Dell Inspiron 15, HP Pavilion series, etc. Those usually do not pack top-tier graphics chips though… So get back to me with replies to those two questions I asked.

  18. Diana

    May 18, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Hi andrei,

    thanks a lot for this review!!
    What do you think about the asus g501? Is it worth buying it, even if it won’t have the full configuration if i purchase it in germany? I’m thinking to buy this one or the gigabyte p35w v3! which one do you recommend?

    Thank you!

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 18, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Haven’t tested it, but if it doesn’t overheat and the screen doesn’t have any color issues, should be a good buy. Notebookcheck.com reviewed it, check them out.

      THe p35W v3 gets the Nvidia 970M graphics? If yes, then it’s going to be a more capable solution for gaming.

  19. CJ

    May 19, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Hey Andrei,

    Really good stuff and my go to website for ultrabooks. Quick one, for the Asus Zenbook UX303LN, there are ALOT of comments about the hinge cracking especially 5-8 months in, which happens to be around now. Have you heard anything or come across any updates on this?


    • Andrei Girbea

      May 19, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      Yes, that seems to be a problem. It’s covered by warranty, but it’s annoying nonetheless. Those who actually had to deal with it swear they treated the laptop carefully, so this just happens…

  20. CPC

    June 2, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Hello Andrei,
    I have a question but it is non gaming related. I am looking for a laptop to use 3DSMax to create animations only. No modelling, texturing or rendering. My first option is the Thinkpad W550s which only has a ULV processor, but I like the battery life, cooling and quietness in the reviews as I use the library quite often. Although it is heavier than I would like as I travel a lot, I am willing to sacrifice the weight, although I really would prefer something under 5lbs.
    However – I am unsure it can run the software. It is not listed on the autodesk website system requirements, but I would still like to know.

    If not, then my other 3 options are laptops under 5lbs in weight with no 4k or touch screen as I do not need these. I am not concerned by budget at this point and I though I do not game, I have heard many reports of gaming type laptops being good for 2d/3d creatives.

    1. The Asus G501 1080p version.
    2. Gigabyte P35g v2 – cant find any reviews on these, but I heard they may run hot and noisy?
    3. Asus N550JK

    I would much appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 3, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      Hi, the thing is I’m not that accustomed to 3DSMax so I can’t tell for sure what kind of hardware would be needed for it. My limited experience tells me that it would be smarter to get a fast processor and as much RAM as possible. which would rule out the ULVs.

      You should try to contact the software manufacturers and see what they have to say about running your tasks on ULV hardware. Or maybe ask other users on the Notebookreview.com forums.

      As for your options, I haven’t tested the G501 yet and the P35g. I did spend some time with the UX501, which is similar in many ways, and I’d say it’s a decent machine, IF the price is right. Maybe you can find a config with 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD. Make sure you read about potential throttling issues, I’ve noticed them on the UX501, but I only got hold of a pre-production sample and can’t say if those will carry onto the final products. I did review the N550JK on tlbhd.com, if you’re interested.

      BTW, you could also consider the MSI GS60 GHost Pro, I know a few users and they are happy with it. There’s a review here on the site, try to contact Derek (the reviewer) in the comments if you have any questions about it.

      • CPC

        June 4, 2015 at 9:22 pm

        Thank you very much for taking time to reply. I have decided to rule
        out the ULV. I may rule out the Asus as it seems too powerful for my needs.I think the MSI would also be overkill as my needs are more CPU based than GPU.

        One more question I would be greatful if you could answer.

        You listed the Samsung NP870Z5G as a potential. Is there a reason why you
        recommended this particular model instead of the previous NP870Z5E which has
        a faster graphics card, JBL and supposedly better performance according
        to the 870Z5G review in the “cons” section?

        I have narrowed down my options and am looking as an option to purchase one of these models, though the 870Z5G – which has been refreshed and now is named the NT870z5G, has a i7 4710HQ and a 256 SSD installed, is only stocked in Korea.

        I may have to import to europe if it meets my needs.

        • Andrei Girbea

          June 6, 2015 at 12:43 pm

          Hmm, I wasn’t aware of the updated model. You should try to find some reviews and see how that AMD graphics chip performs. I haven’t tested any of them and can’t offer any in-depth info.

          Also, would the laptop come with International warranty if you plan to import it? Also, Samsung are not bringing their laptops to Europe anymore from what I know and that means warranty services could be problematic.

  21. CPC

    June 7, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Once again, thank you for your reply.

    It is actually the previous 870Z5E model that is more powerful then the newer 870Z5G.

    The NP870Z5E is the same model as the NP770Z5E, but it comes in black. They also come with 8GB on board, while the latter came with 4GB early on, however there are different configurations so some have 8GB soldered onto the board too. Both of these are matte displays and do not have touch screens. The NP880Z5E and NP780Z5E have touch screens. These 4 models(NP770Z5E / NP780Z5E / NP870Z5E / NP880Z5E) actually came out a good few months before the newer 870Z5G.

    These models GPU perform much faster as they are AMD Radeon HD 8870M(or 8770M on some models)2GB GDDR5, while the newer 870Z5G model are using Nvidia GT 750M DDR3 (not GDDR5). The CPU i7 4700HQ/i7 4710HQ on the 870Z5G is slightly faster than the 870Z5E i7 3635QM, but not by much according to CPUBOSS: cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i7-4700HQ-vs-Intel-Core-i7-3635QM

    I have decided that it would be best to try to avoid importing these laptops if possible, as you made a good point about the warranty situation. I am not sure what the rules are, but it probably would be problematic since Samsungs laptop exit from europe.

  22. JBP

    June 29, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    Can you make a recommendation for a portable laptop (preferably under 3.5lbs that can handle gaming (nothing to extreme) to a decent level and has a fairly good battery life? <$1400 preferably?


    • Andrei Girbea

      June 30, 2015 at 10:00 am

      The Zenbook UX303LN / UX303LB is your best pick

      • JBP

        July 2, 2015 at 1:38 am

        I’ve had a look and I can’t see to find one with the broadwell processor, am I missing something? Even if there isn’t a broadwell version, am I right in believing that there wouldn’t be too much of a difference performance wise anyway?
        With skylake set to be released later this year, do you think it will offer significant enough improvement to wait for?

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 2, 2015 at 1:56 pm

          Full voltage Broadwell processors were just recently released (in June) and most devices haven’t been updated with them yet. I will have a major update of this post in the next couple of weeks though.

  23. Vee

    July 1, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Hi there,

    Thank you for providing such detailed information on this site.

    I’m looking for a laptop to use for graphic design, illustration and animation. I’ll be using programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects etc (RAM hogs!). Crispness, colour quality and accuracy are important to me, as well as a high resolution screen. It will be mainly used as I travel and attend university, so ideally it would be quite light.

    Can you please recommend me a laptop that would suit the above purposes? Should I be aiming for the best graphics card & an IPS screen? I’m thinkin around 15″.

    Should I also consider the MacBook Pro? It does seem heavy.


    • Andrei Girbea

      July 2, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Yes, you should consider the MacBook Pro and yes, I believe a 15 incher would be best fitted for what you need. Something like the rMBP and the Asus Zenbook NX500, as well as the new Dell XPS 15 With Retina Display.

      If you’re willing to sacrifice performance for portability, the rMBP 13, MBA and the Asus Zenbook UX301LA are you better options.

      • Vee

        July 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm

        Hmm, I’m still tossing up between 15 inches or 13 inches. I already have a desktop that I use for the grunt work, and this will be a secondary device.

        The Asus Zenbook NX500 is not available in Australia, so I may have to consider either the Macbook Pro or the Dell for 15″. As for 13″, I cannot locate an Asus Zenbook UX301LA, but I have found a UX303LN. Will that still have enough power and good quality graphics?

        Also, how would you rate the Dell XPS 13 as an option?

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 4, 2015 at 9:03 pm

          The UX303LN is nice for games, but has one important quirk: major issues with accurate color reproduction.

          The Dell XPS 13 could be an option, but the 15W ULV processors are slower than what you can find in the rMBP 13. I own this laptop and it’s pretty good for my working habits, which includes some light Photoshop and Premiere use. If you decide to get this one, aim for the i7 processor with 8 GB of RAM.

          Still, if performance is your main concern, I’d look at a more powerful machine.

          • Vee

            July 12, 2015 at 7:34 pm

            I’ve decided to go for portability over performance, but still want a machine that can process high resolution images with a beautiful screen.

            It looks like the rMBP 13 is my best option, all things considered! Thanks for all your help.

  24. Joshua

    July 8, 2015 at 3:02 am

    Hi I wanted to know if there is a laptop with these specs for under 1150
    Decent 1080p screen with touch
    nvidia 860m or better
    backlit keyboard with number pad
    Intel i5 or better
    at least 8gb ram
    hard drive:not important
    os:preferrably windows 8
    screen size:no larger than 15.6 (preferably 15.6 though)

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 8, 2015 at 5:20 am

      The Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black is portable and within your budget. You could also look at regular laptops (slightly thicker and heavier) like the Asus N550/N551/G551 series.

  25. Pourya

    July 16, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Hi,please make a review for the new MSI GE62 APACHE,Good job

  26. Wyatt

    July 20, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Hey I am going off to college in the fall and was wondering if you could help me pick a laptop.

    Budget is around $1500 (obviously less if better).

    I am looking for a laptop that can handle some games but still has a competent battery.

    I would like a laptop that is around 14-15 inches and hopefully under 5 pounds.

    Thanks for all of your help!

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 21, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Not sure what you mean by “some games”, but I’d reckon you’d want something with dedicated graphics. I’d aim for Nvidia 840M/940M or higher, and that gives you the following options: Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14 (14 incher) and Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro Black or the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (15 inchers). Something like the Asus Zenbook G501, Gigabyte P34W V3, Gigabyte P35W v3 or the MSI GS60 would be nice as well, but probably outside your budget. Keep an eye out though, you might find them discounted and get them for $1400-$1500.

  27. Henry

    July 23, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    I am looking for a portable compact sleek laptop for university. I have a budget of 1400-1500including tax. Something that is preferably less than 5lbs and 15inches. I plan to play games like csgo and h1z1. I was thinking of a macbook bro 13inch retina not sure though. Can you give me some recommendations.Thanks

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 24, 2015 at 7:02 am

      Let me get this straight, would you rather get a 13-inch laptop or a full-size 15 incher if under 5 lbs?

      • Henry

        July 24, 2015 at 5:22 pm

        Yes i would rather get a 13inch because i have to be carrying textbooks around as well it has to be light enough so it can easily be transportable.

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 26, 2015 at 8:24 am

          The Macbook Pro 13 is a good option.

          If you’re looking at Windows, consider something like the Asus UX303LN or the UX303LB. these have dedicated graphics thud will fare much better in games, but are not as fast as the Macbook Pro (or even the Macbook Airs) in terms of CPU performance – visible in apps like Photoshop, programming software, etc.

          Also keep in mind the UX303LN has a somewhat faulty display which is unable to show yellows accurately. So if you need the computer for color-accurate work, this is going to be a deal-breaker.

          Other 13 inchers won’t be able to deal with games properly.

  28. Tom

    August 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm


    Your list is missing alot of thin laptops.
    HP omen, Asus G501, Sager NP8651,…

    Could you please update it because im sure these laptops would be intresting to a lot of people.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 25, 2015 at 6:06 am

      Hi Tom, I’m working on a major update right now and it will be up the in the next few days.

  29. omnia

    August 28, 2015 at 3:11 am


    can you hellp me in finding tge right laptop, please?

    I have a budget up to 1100$ or around it. .

    I want it for photoshop gaming development and applications development softwares. …

    RAM ( around 8 GB and if there is a dedicated graphic crd I can accept only 4 GB ram but more is okay)

    fast processor prefer to be 5th generation

    Ssd or HDD+no less than 128ssd … because I want it as fast as possible …

    the screen size …. o really don’t care ..13 or 15 it’s okay …

    I prefer something with dedicated graphic card .. but if it’s very cost .. I would appreciate if yu can tell me the closest shared one…

    I also prefer that it work as cool as possible and it’s battery life is not less that4-5 hrs under load ..

    I’m really sorry for putting load on yu, but I’m really confused in searching for the laptop, because of reading many reviews ( positive and negative) about the same laptop so I am very confused. ..

    I really don’t want to buy a laptop then to figure out that it’s not strong enough ( from the hardware side) I don’t want a laptop that would fall apart after one year . Or it heated so much .. or can’t be manufactured easily I heard in the case of Acer… so please help me choosing a good one …

    And one more question … can yu order those laptop according to the hardware maintenance …
    asus , lenovo, dell, toshba,

    I thank yu alot for yur help..

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 28, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Try to narrow it down to a few options based on the articles here on the site, then come back if you need help0 deciding between the remaining options.

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