If money was no object, a gaming laptop would likely be in the arsenal of all gamers. Below is a selection of the best gaming laptops currently available in South Africa, along with pricing info to make your bank account cringe. These are the MSI GT70, Samsung Series 7 Gamer, Alienware M17x R4, ASUS G75, and Toshiba Qosmio X870 gaming laptops.
PC gamers will look for a number of core features in a gaming laptop, but essentially, it needs to go toe-to-toe with a good modern desktop gaming rig, or it may not be worth the extra money you’ll be spending.
GPU, CPU, RAM, disk space, audio capability, screen dimensions, screen resolution, 3D display capability, portability, durability, cooling, input/output ports, battery life, and general usage purposes aside from gaming – all these are considerations to juggle when deciding on a gaming laptop. There are some certainties – it’s going to be heavy and the battery isn’t going to last very long.
Having consulted a number of specialist websites to gauge the best gaming laptops currently available, I’ve drawn up a list of the top 5 gaming laptops available in South Africa along with pricing indications. Sources included: PCWorld, TechRadar, and PCMag.
To gauge and compare prices, local website Laptop Direct was used as it offers a broad range of laptops under different brands. As always, be sure to shop around before making any purchase decision.
To provide a uniform rating benchmark for the laptops discussed, I used one of my favourite reference sites, Notebookcheck.net. All the laptops mentioned feature the latest I/O options as one would expect, including HDMI and USB 3.0.
The GT70 comes in various hardware configurations which will alter the price. The model commonly available in SA (MS-GT70ND-208ZA) boasts an Intel Core i7-3610QM (Ivy Bridge quad-core) at 2.3Ghz, Geforce GT 675M 2GB GPU, 12GB DDR3 RAM, a 750GB HDD, a Blu-ray ROM, and a non-gloss, LED back-lit 17-inch Full HD resolution screen, among its bells and whistles.
Other notable features include a back-lit keyboard developed in collaboration with SteelSeries, and a decent built-in audio processor powered by Dynaudio and THX. There are also plenty of I/O ports, including four audio jacks for a surround sound system.
Samsung Series 7 Gamer
Although an older model of Samsung’s Series 7 Gamer range, the NP700G7A still packs a punch. The retiring Sandy Bridge architecture in the 2.2Ghz Core i7-2670QM (quad-core) might put some gamers off, but that’s not to say the CPU is a slouch.
Bolstering the CPU is 8GB DDR3 RAM and an AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB. 2x500GB HDD’s provide plenty of storage for the gamer on the move.
A stand-out feature is the display – a 17.3-inch Full HD resolution LED back-lit 3D capable panel.
Alienware M17x R4
There are two configurations of this Alienware model available through Laptop Direct, both suitably expensive. The main differences between the two make for an overall more powerful system, along with a 3D capable display (bundled with a 3D vision kit), a Blu-ray ROM – and about R9,000.
At R23,653, the lower-end model boasts a powerful setup nonetheless – Core i7-3630QM 2.4Ghz (quad-core) CPU, Nvidia Geforce GTX 660M GPU (2GB), 8GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB HDD, and an LED back-lit Full HD resolution display.
Alienware is certainly a recognisable brand among gamers, and the M17x laptops boast the typical love-it-or-hate-it Alienware design touch.
The Asus G75 comes in various configurations of its core system. There are two gaming variants, with the main differences being a choice of an SSD and HDD combo or HDD-only, 8GB or 16GB DDR3 RAM, and a 3D capable screen.
Other uniform features include an Intel Core i7-3630QM (Ivy Bridge quad-core) at 2.4Ghz, Nvidia Gefore GTX 670M GPU (3GB), 17.3-inch Full HD resolution LED back-lit display, and a Blu-ray writer.
The Asus G75 is noted for its good build quality, low noise levels, relatively cool running temperatures, plethora of input options, and a high-quality matte display panel.
Toshiba Qosmio X870
Toshiba’s top-tier Qosmio range has been updated with Intel Ivy Bridge processors and a 3D capable display, making it a strong contender in the gaming laptop space.
Intel Core i7-3630QM (Ivy Bridge quad-core) at 2.4Ghz, Nvidia Geforce GTX 670M GPU (3GB), 16GB DDR3 RAM, 2X750GB HDD, 17.3-inch Full HD resolution LED back-lit 3D capable display, a Blu-ray writer, and Harmon Kardon stereo speakers makes for a tantalising spec sheet.
At a relatively reasonable price considering what’s under the hood, the Qosmio is a multimedia and gaming laptop option worth considering.