The PC Master Race is all inclusive but gaming laptops were always seen as a step down from their desktop counterparts. But from what we’ve seen this year, that clearly doesn’t hold true. Also, the gaming laptops that we tested this year included humongous beasts that came with their own carrying cases so that you wouldn’t have to invest in those separately. That was until COMPUTEX 2017 where we saw the MAX-Q laptops for the first time. With a few carefully laid down guidelines regarding the performance metrics and cooling assembly, NVIDIA has helped hardware manufacturers to build gaming laptops which pack in all the power of desktop graphics but without all the bulk. As with any new category of products, these are very expensive right now, but rightfully so. We’re a bit unfortunate since the taxation makes it even more expensive but for enthusiasts, price was only a secondary consideration. And this year’s winner epitomises that very fact.
2017 zero1 award Winner: ASUS ROG-GX800VH (7th Gen)
With two GTX 1080 GPUs in SLI, there was absolutely no doubt in our minds that the ASUS GX800VH was going to be this year’s Zero1 Award winner the moment it arrived. But we kept our minds open, we waited for the Predator 21 X and we waited for the MSI GT83VR Titan SLI but neither of them turned up. Both are equally expensive but we have to give it to ASUS for bringing such a beast to the Indian market. Powered by a Core i7-7820HK and two GTX 1080 GPUs, we saw a Fire Strike 1.1 score of 24,468. And that’s the highest we’ve seen this entire year. When you compare that against a single GTX 1080, then we’re looking at nearly a 40 per cent gain in gaming performance. The unit comes with a liquid cooling attachment and two power adapters, so for all intents and purposes, you can throw portability out of the window but that’s a minor trade-off for the performance gain that you get at the end of the day. You don’t get the full potential of the laptop without connecting the cooling unit. So you have portability should you need it and when the need arises, you can call in the big guns.
Runner up: MSI GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro
For less than half the price of the GX800VH, you get the GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro. You get the same Core i7-7820HK but just one GTX 1080 GPU. The GT75VR comes with a mechanical keyboard which is a rare thing to find on gaming laptops. And the display is a treat to look at. Since it does have a GTX 1080 that’s air-cooled, you can expect quite a lot of noise during heavy gaming sessions, so it’s best to get a headset with the GT75VR.
Best Buy: Acer Nitro V AN515-51 and ASUS GL553VD
When you’re buying a gaming laptop, the 80-90K is the sweet spot because that’s where you get a GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti. You’re already compromising when getting a gaming laptop, the least you can do is ensure that you can game on it. Both, the Acer and ASUS laptops sport an Intel Core i7-7700HQ along with an NVIDIA GTX 1050. The GL553VD comes with 8GB RAM while the AN515-51 comes with 16GB. And if you look at the pricing, the difference equals the RAM module’s cost, so they’re practically the same.