The state of gaming laptops in 2018is unlike anything we've seen before.
With PC manufacturers cranking out systemsthat are lighter, thinner,and have better battery life than previous generations,plus they're moving away from flashy, gaudy designsthat we've come to associate with gaming gear,instead producing systems that are more suitablefor use in places like work.
In terms of specs and power, all of these machinesare using the same processor,Intel's eighth generation Core i7 six-core chip,and similar graphics cards.
Two years ago, laptops with this much powerwould weigh more than eight pounds,have awful design, and had singular purpose,but now they're under five pounds,as thin as a MacBook Pro,and can last for hours on a charge.
These are the closest systems we've seento straddling the linebetween gaming performance and productivity,and the Razer Blade is the most regular-lookingof the gaming laptops in this group.
It has a unibody aluminum designand up to a 144 Hz refresh rate on a full HD display.
If you plan on playing games on this computer,I would suggest a high refresh rate.
It's a no-brainer,but if you're a creativeand you want a 4K touchscreen option,Razer offers that as well,and you can use the GPU for that instead.
Regardless of which display you choose,the Razer Blade has thin bezelsthat are suitable for viewing at all angles,and it also keeps the webcam in the right place.
The new Razer Blade is fully capableof playing popular PC games at their highest settings,League of Legends, Rainbow Six Siege,Fortnite, Counter-Strike, and yes, even Destiny 2.
The drawback is that it's expensive.
As configured, this unit has a GTX 1070and a 512 GB solid-state drive for $2600.
However, my main issue with the Razer Bladeis that it just gets too hot, under heavy strain.
The top row of the keyboard, the palm rests,and underneath the laptop just become unbearable to touch.
You can manually increase or decrease fan speedand noise using the Razer Synapse app,but that's all at the benefitor deficit of the graphics card.
Honestly, all that fiddling aroundfor a laptop that's over $2000 is just unacceptable.
Also the keyboard and key caps are tiny.
Despite it's shortcomings,Razer still has one of the best gaming laptops out there.
You can still get around five to six hoursof battery life on a single charge,while browsing the web or watching a video.
It's not great by Ultrabook standards,but for a gaming laptop of this performance,it's acceptable.
(upbeat music)The other new gaming laptop that I really likeis MSI's GS65 Stealth Thin.
Yes, that's the full name,but it's the thinnest and lightestof the laptops in this group,most similar to a 15-inch MacBook Pro.
It also has a six-core Core i7,a GTX 1070 with Max-Q design,a downclocked version of the original card for thermals,and better port selection than the Blade.
There's also a SteelSeries RGB-backlit keyboardwith wide, shallow keys that I personally foundthe most comfortable of the laptopsI've tested in this category.
The MSI does a great job of thermals,shifting hot air away from the keyboard and the palms rests.
On top of that, the GS65 is a few hundred dollars lessthan the similarly equipped Razer Blade,while not giving up anything in termsof performance or capability.
Aesthetically, the MSI takes an even more mature approachto gaming laptop design with no obnoxious light up logos.
Unfortunately, the build quality isn't that good,with flex in the keyboard, touch pad, and even the lid.
The ASUS Zephyrus M, Digital Storm Equinox,and the Gigabyte Aero 15X are all capableof playing games at high or ultra settings,also have 144 Hz, full HD displays, and six-core processors,but of the three, I'd only recommend the ASUS,which has the best cooling of the systems here.
When you lift the lid, a mechanism opens the bottom plate.
ASUS calls this Active Aerodynamic System,complete with red lighting if it's plugged in.
The Zephyrus M can drive a full mobile GTX 1070instead of the downclocked Max-Q versionsin the Blade and the MSI.
The MSI and the Razer are my favorite laptops herebecause they're thin and light,they have solid performance,and honestly they're the better looking of the bunch.
Still it's baffling in 2018 that laptops over $2000don't have fingerprint-based loginor Windows Hello support via facial recognition.
Still, it's becoming obvious to PC manufacturersthat gaming laptops are in fact laptopsand not one-trick ponies.
Hey, thanks for watching.
Let me know what your favorite gaming laptop wasin the comments belowor if you didn't have a favorite at all,and be sure to subscribeto the Verge Science YouTube channel.
They've got some awesome videos over there.