When we think of Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and other high-end VR devices, we immediately draw a connection in our minds to the PC. Not just any PC, desktop-class rigs. It’s true that the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have been largely advertised as requiring desktop PCs, and all existing VR bundles include desktop PCs. The desktop bundles on the market right now run from $600 and up, but buying a desktop can be burdensome and limits where you can use the VR headsets. 

We all know when you buy a new piece of bleeding edge technology, especially something as game and media-centric as VR, part of the appeal is sharing your experience with others. Unfortunately, desktop PCs mean the only people who you’ll be sharing the experience with are the people you invite into your home, or if you’re willing to pack up the desktop tower, with a screen, mouse and keyboard, and not to mention the headsets.

This is where a high-end gaming laptop comes in. Yes, there are laptops out there that are capable of handling VR without skipping a beat. While high-end gaming laptops are vastly more expensive than similarly spec’d desktop PCs, they give you the ability to move your VR setup much more easily. This not only applies to bringing your VR setup to a friend’s house, but even if you need to move around your own home from a garage for those times when you need more space, or to the living room – when space isn’t as much of a factor and you just want to watch some VR movies. 

So what are the best notebook computers for pairing with your VR headset? Let’s find out!


Alienware 17

Alienware 17

Price Starts at $1,499.99

Alienware gaming laptops have become some of the more well-known gaming laptops thanks to Dell’s marketing and continued development of the band. The Alienware 17 is a powerhouse of a device, with upgrades comparable to a desktop gaming PC. You can upgrade the 17.3-inch FHD to a 4K UHD display to watch beautiful 4K videos or see your games on a crystal clear screen. The GTX 1060 can be bumped up to a GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5. While the starting price is only $1,500, the fully specced out version is a hefty $2,649 but not the most expensive on the list.

The TLDR of the Alienware 17 is if you want a true gaming laptop with a gaming design the laptop is a perfect fit. There are beautiful LED strips along the sides of the notebook, and the cooling system on the laptop will keep the device cool no matter how much you throw at the laptop.

KEY SPECS

  • 17.3 inch FHD IPS-Panel Anti-Glare Display
  • Intel Skylake i7-6700HQ
  • Nvidia GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5
  • 8GB Dual Channel DDR4 (up to 32GB)
  • 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s
  • A variety of ports including USB 3.1 Type C support, Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1
  • Take a detailed look at all the specs here.

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Alienware 13

Prices start at $15499.99

If you still want a VR-capable laptop from Dell’s Alienware division, but don’t want something as large as the Alienware 17, then the Alienware 13 is perfect for you. The 13.3-inch notebook comes by default with a LCD screen, but you can also upgrade to an QHD OLED that offers more vibrant colors with its 100,000:1 contrast ratio. The Alienware 13 can have Intel’s seventh generation “Skylake” Core i5 or i7 processors and comes with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6 GB of GDDR5 video RAM.

While the Alienware 13 can handle any VR game, it also supports the company’s optional Graphics Amplifier, which allows owners to put in a desktop GPU card inside, in order to boost the graphics of the Alienware 13 even more.

Key Specs

Razer Blade Pro
Prices start at $3,999.99 
The Razer Blade Pro may be one of the best, if not the best, gaming laptops ever made. The 17.3-inch notebook, with its IGZO-based display, has a seventh generation Intel Core i7-7820HK processor inside that runs at 3.9 GHz, but Razer allows owners to overclock it up to 4.3 GHz. It also has the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPU inside, along with 32 GB of 2GB of DDR4 RAM.
All of that high-end hardware would make most notebooks bulge out of its body, but the Razer Blade Pro manages to put all of those components, and more, inside a relatively thin a 0.88-inch CNC aluminum unibody chassis. Even its 250W power adapter adapter is much smaller than most bricks that are sold with gaming laptops. All of this power doesn’t come cheap, as you might imagine, with prices starting at $3999.99 for the version with 512 GB of storage.

Key Specs

Razer Blade

Prices start at $1,899.99
The Razer Blade Pro may be the best gaming notebook you can buy, but most of us don’t have $4,000 lying around. If you want to get a powerful VR gaming notebook without spending so much money, the standard Razer Blade laptop could be the one you want. The 14-inch notebook has the seventh generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, along with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It also is pretty thin at just 0.70 inches and weighs in at a relatively light 4.10 pounds.
You can get the Razer Blade in two display versions. One has an IPS display with a Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, while the other is a touchscreen-based 4K display with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160. You can get the Razer Blade for the starting price of $1,899.99, with 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storagge. That is less than half the price of the Razer Blade Pro.

Key Specs

ASUS ROG Zephyrus

Prices start at $2,299
The latest high-end gaming laptop from ASUS and its ROG (Republic of Gamers) division is the Zephyrus. This notebook packs in a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPU inside, but is only 0.7 inches thick, ASUS says the Zephyrus is the thinnest laptop you can buy that has the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 as its graphics processor.
The 15.6-display display on the Zephyrus has a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, and can come with either an Intel seventh generation Core i5 or Core i7 processor. It supports up to 24 GB of RAM, up to 1TB of onboard storage and weighs in at a reasonable 5 pounds. While not as big or as impressive as the Razer Blade Pro, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus does pack in the most powerful mobile GPU you can buy in a smaller form factor, and at a lower cost.

Key Specs

Acer Predator 21 X

Prices start at $8,999 
There are a lot of powerful VR gaming-themed laptops you can buy, but Acer has come up with a notebook that is flat-out insane in terms of high-end hardware features. Indeed, the Acer Predator 21 X effectively blurs the line between laptop and desktop PC gaming. Let’s just say you will likely not be able to carry this notebook in a standard backpack to your next LAN party.
The 21-inch curved display on the Predator 21 X is the first clue this laptop is different. Inside, the notebook has not one but two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs inside, set up in SLI to give hardcore gamers perhaps the best graphics experience they can get from a laptop. It also has a front-facing camera that supports the Tobii eye-tracking technology, which means you may be able to use your eyes to control games. It also has an Intel Core i7-7820HK processor, 64 GB of RAM and support for two SSD drives for storage.
All of this hardware makes the Acer Predator 21 X weigh a whopping 18.7 pounds, and the price is just below $9,000. This laptop is made for people who want to brag that they have the most powerful gaming laptop ever made, but its high price, its weight and its battery life (only up to 3 hours) keep it from being the best one you can buy.

Key Specs


Overview

Overall if you want to use a laptop with your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive there are options. They’ll run more than the desktops bundles but to have portability, while still getting the same desktop class performance, the prices are well worth it. What do you think of our choices? Know any other good ones? Tell us in the comments!

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