Top 3 Best Gaming Laptops: Alienware 18, MSI Dragon Edition 2 Extreme, Razer Blade 2013

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By Precious Silva | December 27, 2013 2:25 PM EST

People almost always think of consoles when it comes to gaming. These include popular choices like the PlayStation and the Xbox series. While desktop computers no longer remain a top choice for many gamers, it seems tech manufacturers would like to change people's minds with gaming laptops. Whereas people express their concerns about the price, calculating the cost plus the benefits and experience should provide a better view why laptops give some of the best gaming experiences around. 

Laptop manufacturers these days combined the efficiencies and functionalities of desktop computers and gaming consoles. What they were able to achieve are gaming machines that can be carried around everywhere - gamers can now have their LAN party sessions with laptops. Plus gaming laptops pack on just enough power to allow an excellent gaming experience.

Here are some of the best laptops for 2013:

Dell Alienware 18 

Dell's Alienware 18 caters to the hardcore  gamer. It comes with fourth generation Intel Core i7-4700MMQ 2.4 GHz processor, 8 GB DDR3L 1,600 MHz RAM and 750 GB SATA hard disk drive. Its 18.4-inch WLED full HD screen features graphics care of Dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M 2 GB - Nvidia SLI Enabled. This gaming laptop offers 1,920 x 1,080 screen resolution and desktop functionalities.

Gamers can take Alienware 18's basic version as is or take it to the next level by customising their device according to their needs with a range of components from Dell. On the downside, this gaming laptop weighs 5.5 kg and is pricey. People will have to be prepared to shell out more for this monster. The standard model starts at $2,099 goes up to $2,849 for the mid-end and $3,049 for the high-end version. 

Key specifications: 

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-4930MX

GRAPHICS: Dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M 4 GB

RAM: 32 GB DDR3L 1,600 MHz

HDD: 512 GB mSATA Boot SSD + 750 GB SATA HDD

DISPLAY: 18.4-inch WLED Full HD


MSI Dragon Edition 2 Extreme 

MSI introduced its gaming laptop back in June during the Computex event. The device features an eye-catching fiery red color scheme and a modernised look. Some may not find this laptop appealing, but its specs are excellent. The MSI Dragon Edition 2 Extreme features a a fourth generation Intel Core i7-4930MX processor, configurable DDR3 1,600 MHz RAM, Nvidia GTX 780M 4 GB graphics, up to 384 GB Super RAID 2 + 750 GB HDD and 17.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display. 

The processor clocks at an impressive 4.1 GHz by MSI. The cooling system features a Cooler Boost 2 technology that works well with the overclock. Users can configure the RAM, choosing from 16 to 32 GB. The specs are impressive for a laptop and the processor can beat other competitors within the same price range. 

Despite its factory overclock, powerful graphics and 4K resolution-supporting HDMI, the MSI Dragon Edition 2 Extreme comes at an affordable price. However, like the Alienware, the device is a bit bulky, at around 8 lbs, compared to many laptops; it does not have flexible viewing angles; and viewers may also need to be used to the TN panel.  

Key specifications: 

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-4930MX

GRAPHICS: Nvidia GTX 780M 4 GB

RAM: Configurable DDR3 1,600 MHz

HDD: Up to 38 4GB Super RAID 2 + 750 GB HDD

DISPLAY: 17.3-inch Full HD


Razer Blade (14 Inch) 

Razer's move to manufacture gaming laptops has served the company well. For 2013, Razer decided to release two gaming laptops: the 14-inch Razer Blade and the 17-inch Razer Blade Pro. The 17-inch version is the refreshed line of the Razer Blade laptops in 2012. 

What separates Razer's offering is that the company managed to make it thin despite the gaming specs. Features include a fourth generation Intel Core i7-4702HQ 2.2 GHz processor, 8 GB DDR3 1,600 MHz RAM, Nvidia GTX 765M 2 GB graphics, 128/256/512 GB SSD and 14.0-inch (1,600 x 900) LED backlight display. Razer does not provide a wide range of customisation choices though.

The 14-inch version is available in three variants: 128 GB for $1,799, 256 GB for $1,999 and 512 GB for $2,299. 

Although the Razer Blade is thin and easy to carry, it is fast and powerful with packing an excellent track pad and great battery life. However, the audio quality and viewing angles may not satisfy some users and price is also higher than other gaming laptops. 

Key specifications: 

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-4702HQ

GRAPHICS: Nvidia GTX 765M 2 GB

RAM: 8 GB DDR3 1,600 MHz

HDD: 128/256/512 SSD

DISPLAY: 14.0-inch HD LED backlight

START PRICE: $1,799 

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