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 $1,400 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 check out just a few in the list below. One thing you’ll notice is that of the five listed, three are MSI. The reason for this? MSI happens to build some pretty damn nice gaming machines.


MSI GT72S DOMINATOR PRO-G DRAGON-070

Price starts at $2,999

The GT72S Dominator Pro G Dragon-070 is a pure power gaming laptop that’s VR ready with the Nvidia GTX 980. They didn’t skimp on design either. The all aluminium body with red accents grabs attention and still performs while you’re doing your gaming. The slick design is likely to make anyone jealous of your awesome gaming rig.

The laptop features a dual cooling system with cooler boost 3 to cool the laptop down while running the graphics intensive games. The MSI tru color 17.3” screen brings sharp, vibrant color accurate pictures while gaming, surfing the internet, or playing a VR game. A 1TB HDD is built into the laptop with 2 x 128GB SSDs that allow easy booting and quick game loading. The ESS SABRE HiFi Audio takes your audio peripherals to another level, and if you want to use the built in speakers you’re able to drop the beat with the integrated subwoofer. Lastly, the Steelseries gaming keyboard brings together the whole gaming experience with its swift and tactile keys.

Key specs

  • 17.3″ FHD IPS Matte Screen
  • Intel Skylake i7-6820HK
  • NVIDIA GTX 980 [8GB]
  • 32 GB DD4 SO-DIMM RAM (up to 64GB)
  • 2 x 128GB PCIe NVMe + 1TB HDD
  • 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. 
Buy now

MSI GT72S DOMINATOR PRO-G DRAGON-004

msi_gt72s_dragon_new_2015_002

Price starts $3,099

The GT72S DOMINATOR PRO G DRAGON-004 is another powerful gaming laptop with the same look and feel as the Dominator Pro G Dragon-070. The key difference between the two laptops is this one features a faster 256GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD vs the 2 x 128 in the Dragon-070.

The laptop still features the dual cool system with cooler boost 3 to cool the rig down while running a game. The MSI tru color 17.3” screen brings the gaming experience above other entry level laptops on the market. The ESS Sabre HiFi audio and Steelseries keyboard also make the rig a key contender in the VR ready laptop market.

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MSI GT72S DOMINATOR PRO 4K-059

msi_nb_gt72_dominator_skylake_photo10_3

Price starts at $3,099

The GT72S Dominator Pro 4K-059 most notably features a 4K resolution screen to make all your games look as crisp. The 4K screen doesn’t slow down the computer as it sports an Intel i7 processor and a Nvidia GTX 980. While there is only 16GB Ram included, that’s still more than enough to handle all existing VR headsets, and the Ram can be expanded to 64GB.

The rig features the Steelseries gaming keyboard, ESS Sabre Hifi Audio port, and unibody aluminum body as the other MSI Dominator’s. This laptop lacks the same red accents as the Dragon series, but it’s still a sleek laptop.

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MSI GT72S DOMINATOR PRO G-041

msi_gt72s_dragon_new_2015_002

Price starts at $3,462

With the Steelseries keyboard, Sabre HiFi audio, and a 17” inch matte scree, this  laptop has the same body as the other Dominator series laptops. The Pro G-041 though has 32GB of Ram, a 256 m.2 PCLe SSD and a 1TB HDD, and Intel’s 6th gen i7 processor.  The gaming laptop is cable of running multiple displays so you’re able to stream to twitch, play the game, or watch your favorite games all from the one system. The Ram is expandable up to 64GB and the HDD are upgradable to larger sizes if you see fit.

While this might be a bit of an overkill machine, if you have the extra cash to spend, it’s certainly a powerful option.

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SAGER NP9870-S (CLEVO P870DM-G)

sager-laptop

Price starts at $2,249

Looking for something other than an MSI machine? The Sager NP9870 looks stylish and features back-illuminated lights that you’re able to customize. The lights have hundreds of color combinations that will make the laptop truly yours. The rubberized finish feels amazing to the touch and won’t scuff like aluminum would. The full HD screen lets you immerse yourself in the game, but you’re able to connect up to 3 screens to the laptop. Then the anti-ghosting, custom macro back-lit keyboard lets you add efficiency to your competitive gaming or just setting up your VR experiences.

The laptop features a Nvidia GTX 980 with a desktop class power to run your VR experiences without any lag.

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Origin EON17-SLX

origin-pc

Price starts at $2,828

The EON17-SLX is a highly customizable gaming laptop that can have dual GTX 980M or the desktop class GTX 980 for less than the dual graphic card configuration. The full HD experience will let you surf the internet with the best resolution. The multi-color back-lit keyboard makes the typing experience a little more fun.

The laptop is highly customizable with dozens of different options for RAM, SSDs, HDDs, and audio options. The standout feature is the integrated fingerprint reader to restrict access to your laptop at all times. Let’s not forget to mention you can also buy the laptop in what Origin likes the call “Origin Crate Armour” which ships your box in a big wooden crate.

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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.
Buy now

MSI GE62VR Apache Pro

MSI GE62VR Apache Pro

Price Starts at $1,349

MSI stays faithful to the gaming laptop space with an FHD screen and optional IPS level screen. The screen can also be upgraded to a 4K UHD screen, and when paired with MSI’s true color technology the screen looks stunning. The technology helps designers, video editors, and photographers see the true colors, but also let gamers have perfect color accurate games. The GTX 1060 is a relatively standard GPU, but that doesn’t undercut the power and capability of the card.

Overall, the MSI GE62VR Apache Pro is powerful gaming laptop with high-end specs much like most VR ready laptops. What makes MSI stand out is the amount of control with their control center and companion app, which other gaming rigs offer but they don’t do it as well.

KEY SPECS

  • 15.6″ FHD IPS Screen
  • Intel Skylake i7 6700HQ
  • Nvidia GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5
  • 16 GB DDR4 (up to 32 GB)
  • 256 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
  • 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.
Buy now

ASUS ROG G725VS OC Edition

ASUS ROG G725VS OC Edition

Price Starts at $2,999

Asus OC Edition gaming laptop is a robust gaming laptop with a GTX 1070, overclock RAM, and dual SSD and HDD for storage. The overclocked 32 GB of RAM can expand to 64 GB, but the 32 GB is more than enough to play most of your VR games. The dual SSD and HDD will let you have fast startups and downloads, but still store everything on your laptop. The rear exhaust for the laptop looks more like a spacecraft exhaust than something you’d find on a laptop. Beyond design the rear exhaust helps keep the laptop cool with any task you throw at it, making the GPU more efficient.

Overall, the Asus OC Edition will offer stutter free, smooth VR game experiences. The advance cooling isn’t unusual for a gaming laptop, but the Asus one is functional but also looks fantastic!

KEY SPECS

  • 17.3” FHD G-SYNC Display
  • Intel Skylake i7-6820HK
  • NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB
  • Overclocked 32GB DDR4 RAM (up to 64GB)
  • 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD + 1TB 7200RPM HDD
  • 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.\
Buy now

MSI Stealth Pro

MSI Stealth Pro

 

Price Starts at $1,600

Have you been searching for a portable gaming laptop? The MSI Stealth Pro is just the laptop for you then. While it’s still a 17.3-inch laptop which can be hard to travel with, it’s lighter and thinner than most gaming laptops on the market.The laptop is just a little over five pounds and is .77 inches thick, which is a stand out amongst other 17 inch laptops on the list. If you’re thinking the laptop skips out on specs to make the laptop thinner, you’re wrong. There’s still a GTX 1060, 16GB of Ram, and dual SSD and HDD for storage. All key specs of a traditional gaming laptop.

This is the gaming laptop you’re going to want to take the PC with you when you travel and don’t want a smaller screen. It’s perfect for throwing into a backpack and taking your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive to your friend’s house.

KEY SPECS

  • 17.3″ FHD Non Reflection
  • Intel Skylake i7-6700HQ
  • NVIDIA GTX 1060 6G GDDR5
  • 16GB (8GB x2) DDR4 2400MHz (up to 332 GB)
  • 1 TB 7200 RPM + 384 GB (128 GB mSATA SSD x 3 RAID 0)
  • A variety of ports including USB 3.0, Mini Display Ports
  • Take a detailed look at all the specs here.
Buy now

ASUS ROG GL502VS
ASUS ROG GL502VS

Price Starts at $1,699

Is the MSI Stealth Pro not cutting it for you, or maybe you have an affection towards Asus? The Asus ROG GL502VS is another lightweight semi, portable gaming laptop. Instead of a 17-inch screen, the 15.6-inch screen makes the laptop slight more portable than the Stealth Pro. It weighs just under 5 pounds, which isn’t enough to notice a weight difference from the Stealth Pro. At 0.94 inch thick it’s slighter thicker than the Stealth, but minimal enough you won’t see the difference either. The laptop still doesn’t compromise on specs with the latest GTX 1070, 16GB of RAM, and a dual SSD and HDD system.

All-in-all, the laptop is a great gaming PC with a 15.6-inch screen and a portable chassis. It’s ideal for taking your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive to your friend’s house or bringing it with you to game on the go.

KEY SPECS

  • 15.6″ FHD  G-SYNC
  • Intel Skylake i7-6700HQ
  • NVIDIA GTX 1070, 8GB GDDR5
  • 16GB DDR4 (up to 64GB)
  • 256GB M.2 SATA3 SSD + 1TB (7200 RPM)
  • A variety of ports including USB 3.1 Type C support, Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.0
  • Take a detailed look at all the specs here.
Buy now

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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