Recommended Laptops

As I said in my article on the Alienware Aurora PC my workhorse Toshiba laptop (I didn’t have a desktop at the time) made a loud pop one day and died, leaving me with an inadequate backup laptop. I wanted something that would have excellent quality and not be obsolete after a few years and that could serve as a full back-up computer to my desktop in case it failed. I’ve always wanted to try an Alienware laptop, and since I was so happy with my new Alienware Desktop I decided to buy a laptop to go with it. Do I think it was worth the cost? Yes (although it was expensive). You can check the price at Amazon or read on. A more inexpensive option is the Acer Nitro AN515 and you can check its price at Amazon on this page. You can jump down to the Acer laptop using this link.

The important specifications for a mid-range laptop as the same as for a PC, a processor with a speed of 3.5 GHZ, a dedicated graphics card with a VRAM (Video RAM) of 6 GB and 16 GB of RAM for the computer itself. A bare bones minimum system would have 8 GB RAM, 2GB VRAM, and a processor speed of 2.8 GHZ minimum.

The laptop, just like the desktop, is lightning fast when it comes to booting up and loading software from the SSD. It’s easy to upgrade the memory and hard drives and has a nice looking, clean design.

This laptop excels at being a backup for my desktop. I’m fully able to do my graphics work, play intense gaming, and can still do lightweight tasks like surfing the net and answering e-mails with ease. It has a customizable lighting system for the alien head on the lid and on the chassis, plus the keyboard lighting is adjustable in segments, like the left, center, and right segments.

It boots just as fast as my desktop but the hard drive space is a little more limited since I have a 512 GB SSD and a 1T hybrid hard drive on the laptop. That’s still big enough to hold a decent complement of games. Since I didn’t have an extra 1TB SSD to install in the laptop like I did with my desktop, the game load speed is slower since they’re installed on the slower 1TB drive, but it is still pretty fast when I compare it to my old laptop.

The drawback is that the monitor is only 1080p but when I compare it to the 27 inch monitor I’m used to playing games on I don’t notice a big difference. The fact that the laptop display is 17 inches versus 27 inches makes the game video look good since size does make a difference, the smaller monitor looks almost as good, even with the lower resolution. You can upgrade the monitor but that comes with an additional price.


This laptop came with an 8th gen Intel Core i7-8750H mobile processor. At the time I was ordering, which was August of 2019, I considered more expensive processor options, but just like the laptop, the extra expense just didn’t seem worth it at the time. Too much more money for too little of an increase in performance in my opinion.

The laptop is pretty easy to carry around since it’s lightweight for a gaming laptop, weighing just under 10 pounds. Not extremely lightweight but for a gaming laptop acceptable, especially compared to other laptops I’ve had in the past.

This is a powerful laptop that is sure to future-proof me for years to come. It is expensive but has good quality, design, and powerful components.


  • Intel Core i7 8th generation
  • 17.3” full HD display
  • 16G system memory
  • Backlit keyboard
  • 1 TB hybrid hard drive and 512G PCIe solid-state drive (SSD)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics
  • Color scheme is epic silver
  • Keyboard, track pad and wrist rests are nice looking
  • Keyboard is recessed into the body and it has big, easy to hit keys
  • LED lighting for the keys
  • It has 3 USB 3.0 ports
  • Unlike most laptops nowadays, this one has an ethernet port

This laptop is excellent for playing games on and is an excellent “future proof” laptop that is pricey. If you want to know more about it you can go to this Amazon page. If you’re on a budget then take a look at the alternative laptop listed next. You can find more information and reviews at this Amazon page. This laptop runs at about $2,500, a pretty steep price. The model I have is no longer available but you can view an almost identical laptop to the one I have at this Amazon page.

Acer Nitro 5 AN515

For an inexpensive option the Acer Nitro AN515 laptop is a good one to take a look at. For a price of just over $800 at the time this article was written it makes it a much more tempting offer if price is your main consideration. This laptop meets the minimum specs for a gaming laptop and it has a 15.6 inch display.

It comes with an Intel i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and has 1 TB of hard drive storage. It has a dedicated card and has 4 GB of Video RAM (VRAM) provided by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050. The screen has a maximum resolution of 1080p.

This is a very inexpensive option for a gaming laptop but still more expensive than a laptop for handling lightweight tasks, like e-mail and browsing around on the Internet. It lacks an SSD for a hard drive but it does have a 1 TB mechanical drive for plenty of game storage. It has another drive bay that an SSD can be installed into if you want to decrease your boot up time and increase the speed that games load at. It is also upgradeable to 32 GB of DDR4 RAM and has a very efficient cooling system, one that performs well and although it can be noisy, it’s not as noisy as most other laptops in this price range.

This laptop has a few “knocks” against it, like a cheap plastic cover for a lid and for being a little heavy at almost 6 pounds, but overall it’s a gamer’s dream when it comes to a budget laptop. This laptop will play all but the most graphics intensive games very well. Graphics intensive games like Middle Earth: Shadow of War, can still be played by using lower graphics settings that are available in the game settings.