Best gaming laptops for this holiday season.jpg

There are more gaming laptops than ever and that means more choices than ever. Any laptop that’s marketed as a “Gaming Laptop” will offer a better experience when playing video games than an ordinary notebook PC. However, there is a huge range of capabilities and design choices: display size and resolution, CPU, RAM, storage (more, faster or both), the video card, a standard keyboard or one that’s backlit (and ideally programmable), battery life, audio support and physical size are just some of the factors to consider. Sometimes manufacturers offer a combination that gamers love—sometimes, the choices just don’t seem to gel.

Best Buy customers often leave ratings (one to five stars) and reviews of the products they’ve purchased. This is a great resource for those who are researching before they buy. Using those customer ratings and reviews, I’ve put together a list of five great options for anyone who’s shopping for a gaming laptop this holiday season.

ASUS G751 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop

4/5 (14 Ratings, 6 Reviews)

Best Buy customers love the ASUS G751 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop. No other computer in this category gets as many ratings with the same high consistency.

ASUS G751.jpg

The ASUS has a 17.3-inch Full HD display, which give mobile PC gaming the big screen experience. The quad-core Intel Core i& CPU is backed by 16GB of RAM right out of the box and storage is combination of fast access (with a 128GB SSD0 and mass storage (with a 1TB hard drive). Naturally, it has a dedicated video card—the Nvidia Geforce GTX 965M with 2GB of DDR 5 RAM. The backlit keyboard has programmable macro keys for an added gaming advantage and gamers appreciate the ROG Audio-Wizard enhanced audio.

Mauro from Brampton wrote this review of his ASUS G751:

Bought this laptop to replace my current gaming laptop 100% satisfied. Mechanical keyboard backlight, the sound. Very impressive. I’m running games at 400FPS and haven’t had a moment where my games lag or freeze.

Eurocom M4 gaming laptop.jpgEurocom M4 13.3-inch Gaming Laptop

5/5 (2 Ratings, 2 Reviews)

This laptop from Eurocom is proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get high quality PC gaming on the go. At just 2.2kg and with a 13.3-inch display, it’s also very compact for gaming laptop.

While the Eurocom M4 doesn’t have the most powerful CPU of the bunch (a dual-core Intel Core i5 at 2.5GHz), it packs a Nvidia GTX 860M graphics card with 2GB RAM. But the killer feature on this pint-sized gaming laptop is its 3200 x 1800 pixel LED backlit display. That’s 276 ppi, making it one of the sharpest displays you find on any laptop.

Emi Lee from British Columbia wrote an extensive review of her Eurocom M4, starting with:

I’ve had this laptop for almost two months now and I just adore it. It’s fast, compact, and has just gorgeous graphics.

Alienware 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop

4/5 (1 Rating, 1 Review)

When it comes to PC gaming, Alienware is one of the most highly respected brands. Alienware has always been—and continues to be under Dell ownership—dedicated to releasing PCs that are designed specifically to be killer gaming machines.

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This Alienware 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop checks off all the right boxes for gamers. The 15.6-inch Full HD display is big enough for a great gaming experience while still retaining some portability—not always easy in a machine this powerful. It has a quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU with 16GB of DDR3L RAM, and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 970M graphics card equipped with 3GB of dedicated RAM. The laptop is fast booting thanks to 128GB SSD is combined with plenty of game install space with a fast, 7200 RM 1TB hard drive. Online gaming is killer fast thanks to 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and naturally the keyboard is backlit for low-light gaming.

Calgary’s BIGinJAPAN writes:

So far I have nothing but good things to say about this product. I use it at home outputting to a couple Asus VG248QE for playing various games. H1Z1, Rocket League, Call of Duty… This laptop handles all of these games effortlessly, boots up very quick and has been giving me pretty consistent FPS (H1Z1 80-100 in high performance).

HP Omen Gaming Laptop.jpgHP Omen 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop

3.2/5 (5 Ratings, 1 Review)

The HP Omen 15.6-inch Gaming laptop is worth considering both as a gaming machine and as a high powered professional laptop.

While many gaming laptops are big and bulky, the HP Omen is sleek, weighing 2.12kg with a thickness of just 1.52 cm. Battery life at nearly 5 hours is excellent for this class of laptop and with a 15.6-inch Full HD display, Intel Core i7 CPU 256 GB SSD and Nvidia GeForce GTX960M graphics card, it has performance cred as well. Unlike typical gaming laptops, this one’s display is touch-capable, so it can take full advantage of Windows 10 gestures. It’s also equipped with premium dual Bang & Olufsen speakers, so video games, movie and music sound great.

CT from Saskatoon took the time to leave feedback about the HP Omen:

Great buy!! Upgraded to 1TB, would highly recommend this laptop to anyone wanting to multitask. Gaming, Office use, etc. Graphics are incredible not only for games but HD movies as well!!

MacBook Pro 15.4-inch as gaming laptop.jpgApple MacBook Pro 15.4-inch Quad-Core Intel Core i7 with Retina Display

4/5 (2 Ratings)

Apple laptops aren’t usually the first choice as gaming machines. The reality of the situation is that video game publishers go where the numbers are, so they develop games for Windows PCs first. They might release a version for the Mac, but not always. A Mac laptop that’s equipped for gaming capability is also more expensive than comparably-equipped Windows laptops. That being said, you can game on a Mac laptop, but you need to pick the right one for a decent experience.

With a MacBook, you can use Bootcamp to install Windows and play PC games (I’ve done that myself and it works quite well), but you need a machine with decent specs. Either way—running any available OS X games natively, or under Windows in bootcamp—you’ll want a model with a high resolution display and a discrete video card. That means a model like this MacBook Pro 15.4-inch Quad-Core Intel Core i7 with Retina Display, complete with an AMD Radeon R9 M370X dedicated graphics card.

Looking for a more general purpose laptop choice for someone on your shopping list? Check out my list ofBest laptops to give this holiday season (based on customer reviews).

Brad Moon
Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. I have been writing about technology for several decades for a wide range of outlets including Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, MSN,, Kiplinger, and GeekDad. I’m in my 10th year as a senior contributor for Forbes with a focus on reviewing music-related tech, Apple gear, battery power stations and other consumer electronics. My day job is with the Malware Research Center at AI-native cybersecurity pioneer CrowdStrike.