Make no mistake, none of the laptops you’ll find below can be described as conservative, a bargain, energy efficient or are in anyway the smart choice.
These are the mightiest mobile rigs one can muster and the most costly to boot.
We love the idea of ultra-portable, highly efficient notebooks, but at the end of the day, we’re fans of excess and that’s what these gaming laptops stand for.
Here are some of our favourite portable pixel smashers of the moment.
If you were to look up synonyms for words like “excess” and “overkill”, you’re fairly likely to encounter the word “Alienware”, and with good reason.
Alienware is, perhaps, most famous for not holding back and caring very little for established technological trends.
Where other notebook and laptop brands are pushing for power efficiency, lightness as well as smaller and smaller form factors, Alienware only really cares about putting as much hardware in a portable shell as is possible.
As a result, they continuously produce some of the most powerful laptops on the market, and by a good margin too, for a premium of course.
So when you’ve got the money to spend and need a gaming rig that you can take on the go, while simultaneously putting your friends’ desktops to shame, Alienware should almost always be your first port of call – enter the Alienware 18.
The Alienware 18 is 2.2 inches thick and has a starting weight of 5.472 kg (12.064 lbs); that is one helluva heavy laptop – too much for the average user.
The reason that it’s so meaty is really quite simple: the entry Alienware 18 comes equipped with dual GeForce GTX 970M GPUs, each of which carries 6GB of GDDR5.
The top end Alienware 18, until the release of NVIDIA’s upcoming GTX 990M that is, uses dual GTX 980Ms and a total 16GB of GDDR5 (8GB per GPU).
As for the rest of the specs? How about a choice of either 16GB or 32 GB of DDR3L memory at 1600 MHz and one of three CPUs, all of which are fairly impressive pieces of silicon: i7-4710MQ, i7-4910MQ and the notable i7-4940MX.
But perhaps best of all is that if you’ve recently purchased an Alienware laptop or you’re planning on purchasing one, Alienware has promised a free upgrade to Skylake once the CPUs are available.
That’s too much hardware for the Alienware 18’s 18.4 inch FHD display – 1080p just isn’t enough to tax dual GTX 970Ms, even if they’re down on power when compared to their desktop equivalents.
That’s because the Alienware 18, when at home, is best made use of when attached to a larger, more capable display.
But should you find yourself away from an HDMI port, the Alienware 18’s screen is about as good as an 1080p display gets.
It’s fairly difficult to track down a price for the Alienware 18 given how niche its market in South Africa is, but Dell’s Alienware page should have what you need.
ASUS ROG GX700
If anyone is going to challenge Alienware for the top-dog spot, it’s ASUS’ ROG division, and their first water cooled GX700 is just the laptop to do it.
For the sake of explanation, think of ASUS’ ROG department as Mercedes’ in-house tuning department AMG.
Granted, AMG produce some pretty powerful cars, there’s no doubt about it. But deep within the offices of AMG lives a decidedly nutty division of lunatics called Black Division. What they do is take a Mercedes Benz and make it, well, explosive.
ROG has done much the same thing with their 4K, water cooled GX700 laptop – think of it as a ROG laptop Black Edition.
*Images courtesy of Windows Central.
That said, having to lug a water cooling reservoir around with you is far from an attractive prospect, so it’s removable… fortunately.
We’re unsure of exactly how it will function without water cooling, but what it can do with it is pretty amazing.
ASUS has kept the details sketchy at best, but most are assuming that having it run on air cooling mode over water cooling mode, for when you’re on the go, you will likely lose overclocking functionality.
That’s right, with an overclockable K-series Skylake processor running it, it is most definitely within the realms of possibility. But we suspect the water cooling is for what’s driving the GX700’s display.
That’s because it sports a fairly absurd 64 GB of RAM and, sources claim, a GTX 990M GPU – equivalent to dual GTX 980Ms in SLI.
Throw in a 17 inch 4K display and you’re looking at the most powerful laptop we’ve ever seen.
MSI GT80 TITAN SLI
MSI may not have the same street cred as ASUS’ ROG division, but their enthusiast-grade gaming laptops are no less powerful.
The MSI GT80 TITAN SLI has won any number of awards as a result of its insane build quality, stunning design and ridiculous specs, and it’s for that reason that we’ve slotted it into this list.
Sporting a 5th Gen Intel i7 CPU, either the i7-5950HQ or the i7-5700HQ, dual GTX 980Ms via SLI, a minimum of 24GB of RAM (DDR3L 1600 MHz) and just about every goodie MSI could throw into it, including the Killer Double Shot Pro networking card, it’s one heck of a contender.
It also comes equipped with a banging sound system, an 18.4” WLED FHD display and is still around 1 kg lighter than the Alienware 18.
The MSI GT80 TITAN SLI floats around R50, 000, but it’s easily worth the price. Just don’t expect to be doing a heck of a lot of high-performance gaming without having it attached to a wall socket.
Its 8-cell battery is rather large, but it’s not nearly large enough for the sorts of components it’s carrying under its hood.