“Hardcore” PC gaming enthusiasts have long scoffed at the humble gaming laptop. They’ve often described them as too weak for the price, too expensive, not worth the portability factor.
To be fair, for many years, they weren’t wrong. Gaming laptops have been heavy, bulky, angrythings, and even the fastest ones simply couldn’t keep up with a good midrange desktop.
In the last two years or so, modern gaming laptops have been equipped with desktop-grade graphics cards that are pretty much the same chip as their desktop counterparts—with a few corners cut to fit the power and thermal limits of a laptop. They’re also cheaper than ever, and even lightertoo. Even modern laptop processors have gotten a massive upgrade, with six-core configurations that exceed the performance of pre-2017 desktop high-end models.
Today, the cheapest gaming laptops can be found at prices as low as P38,000, capable of running many modern games at solid framerates and more-than-acceptable image quality. And once you get to mid-range options in the P50,000-60,000 range, you’re already capable of running games at max settings.
Modern gaming laptops are definitely a reasonable alternative to gaming desktops. The portability makes them a great solution for people who move around a lot and want to game on the go, or don’t have the space for a large desktop and monitor. They’re also perfect for people who don’t want to go through the hassle of building their own desktop from scratch.
If you’re looking for a gaming laptop, there are plenty of options on the market by a variety of manufacturers – but the first place to start is how much you want to spend. Once you have that in mind, check out this list of options at 5 major price points.
At P40,000: Lenovo 330-15ICH
With an upgraded quad-core i5-8300H that gives multithreaded performance to the last-gen Kaby Lake processors, as well as a very competent GTX 1050 graphics card, the Lenovo 330 is an excellent choice for the entry level gamer. Virtually all games will work fine on this laptop, especially popular multiplayer options like Rainbow Six: Siegeand PUBG.At 2.2kg, it’s pretty lightweight too for a 15.6” gaming laptop.
At P50,000: Acer Nitro 5
The Acer Nitro 5 comes in many different configurations, but the most cost-effective of them all is this i5-8300H, GTX 1050 Ti-equipped beast. The GTX 1050 Ti is on average 20% faster than the GTX 1050, which makes all the difference for many competitive titles, and also allows you to bump up graphics settings compared to the lower model.
At P65,000-72,000: Asus TUF Gaming FX505DU-AL004T
This price point is where the fun really begins. With the ASUS FX505DU, you get access to the very, very new GTX 1660 Ti GPU, which is about as fast as a last-gen GTX 1070. Both of these GPUs are enough to run virtually any game at maximum settings, or turned down a little for beyond-60 FPS performance. Plus, it even has a 120Hz display, allowing for a smooth gameplay experience that has never before been seen at this price point locally.
The FX505DU retails at P72,000, but you can find it at a cash price of around P65,000 elsewhere.
At P90,000-100,000 – MSI GL63
Armed with an RTX 2060 and a hexa-core i7 Intel processor, the MSI GL63 gives you truly desktop-grade performance in a portable package. It’s also the lowest price point that gives you access to nVIDIA RTX, which allows for unprecedented ray-tracing effects. Better lighting in Metro Exodus, perfect reflections in Battlefield V, and amazing soft shadow effects in Shadow of the Tomb Raider(how appropriate) are just some of the graphical fidelity treats that await you.
Unfortunately, MSI chose to equip this version of the GL63 with a 60Hz display. If you’re willing to spend 20,000 more, you can get other laptops with 144Hz displays, but at that point, you might as well move on to the next price tier.
At P140,000 - Dell G7 7590 Gaming
Intel Core i7-8750H hexa-core processor. RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics card. 144Hz IPS display. 16GB RAM. PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD. It almost sounds like a top-tier gaming desktop’s specs – and yet we’re talking about a Dell gaming laptop here. This price point’s a little tough to swallow, but you’ll be rewarded with tremendous specs that will give you a gaming experience unlike any other.