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There are three major competitors in the gaming laptop market these days: ASUS, Razer, and Alienware. They all have their own pros and cons as you can guess.
In this post, I’ve broken down critical information from each brand and highlighted some reasons why each gaming PC may or may not suit your needs. I’ll place them in order so that you can easily find which one is better in each category.
- Buy ASUS if…
- You’re looking for a good balance of price and specs… then ASUS is your best bet. Even from a variety standpoint, they have many different laptop lines to choose from. Is it the performance you are after? They have it! Do you want portability and budget gaming laptops? They have that, too!
- Buy Razer if…
- You’re into gaming and willing to pay a lot more money, then it’s hard to beat Razer just because of the pure quality that they offer. Additionally, people who want their computers to have a clean, stylish look will find them appealing due to their minimalistic approach to design.
- Buy Alienware if…
- You want something well above the standards that most people are used to, then there’s no doubt that Alienware has the best-looking computers available. They are a fantastic pick simply because of their combination of unique design aesthetics and premium hardware components.
Price for Performance
ASUS gaming laptops have a reputation for being expensive, but they’re actually one of the most affordable options out there when it comes to PCs with the same specs.
Although some people may be willing to pay more for a brand they are familiar with(e.g. Razer), especially if they already own their peripherals and want to synchronize them with Synapse.
At the moment, the cheapest gaming laptop from ASUS is the TUF F15 which costs about $800. That price tag for a gaming laptop is pretty impressive considering the cost of Razer and Alienware which we’ll discuss down below.
However, to directly compare laptops with similar specifications, you’ll have to get a ROG model. Overall, if you want to get the best bang for your buck, then ASUS is the way to go.
Alienware laptops have a lot of features that make them attractive to gamers. They are not as expensive as Razer but still, the big downside of Alienware laptops is their price: they’re usually one of the most expensive brands on the market when it comes to gaming machines.
You can get an entry-level Alienware laptop for around $1200, but if you want something more powerful, expect to pay above $2,000 for the base model. However, there are a lot of different models available if you want more memory, a faster processor, or a stronger graphics card. Just be prepared to pay a hefty price!
3rd Place: Razer
Razer is the most extravagant brand on this list. If you’ve read about the Razer peripherals article of last month, then you know that they are generally expensive at everything they sell. I like to call it the “Razer tax”!
If you’re looking for an “affordable” gaming laptop, your options are almost non-existent with the cheapest one starting at about $1500. Maybe you can get one for $1000 on Black Friday.
The average price tag is about $2500-$4000. Don’t get me wrong, if you have the money to afford one of their machines, go ahead and buy one since they are all-around extremely powerful.
At the same time, they are able to retain low temperatures while gaming. In comparison to Alienware and ASUS which can reach 100 °C, Razer laptops will hover around the 80-85 °C range.
Design – Build Quality
Alienware gaming laptops are always made with premium materials, including aluminum and magnesium, though, plastic can also be found at the back.
The most interesting fact is that alongside Razer, Alienware makes 3 different variations for their laptops. For instance, the X-14, 15, and 17 are bigger versions of the same thing.
This is a unique characteristic of these two brands. If you think about the competition: Lenovo, Acer, and MSI; nobody else really does this.
You’ll quickly notice how much larger an Alienware laptop is if you compare it to a Razer or ASUS equivalent.
This is due to the fact that they purposefully left a large area (which resembles an extension) in the back to install some of the thermal components, including heat pipes, heatsinks, and more. It’s just a more effective approach to handling the heat.
The truth is that Razer could easily be the winner in the build quality category but I went with Alienware just for the looks of it.
The design of Razer laptops is quite basic and somewhat reminiscent of MacBooks; they virtually resemble a black MacBook with the green snake emblem on top.
I’ve always enjoyed highly industrial designs, but creating a gaming laptop this way is very typical, right? It’s just that nothing particularly impressive is happening.
If you simply get your hands on a Razer Blade laptop, you’ll immediately see why it costs that much. These things are made of aluminum and are always very thin(there are exceptions). It’s like touching pure quality! Again, very similar to an Apple product.
It’s crucial to note that Razer recently unveiled the Razer Blade 15 with the world’s first high-refresh OLED display, and it’s amazing!
Because it is an OLED screen, it features a phenomenal contrast ratio, very vibrant colors, a one-millisecond reaction time, and a maximum refresh rate of 300Hz at full HD resolutions.
Now, if you examine the thermal systems of a Razer laptop, you’ll see that the fans are just drawing air into the device, which is how things are typically cooled. Overall, I would say that Razer is mainly focused on simplicity.
3rd Place: ASUS
ASUS laptops are among my favorites in terms of aesthetics. However, the cheaper cost I noted before has a negative impact on the inferior construction quality.
To acquire the most premium quality, you just need to spend more money. Although they do offer some amazing laptops, such as the ASUS ROG Zephyrus, you should be prepared for the lower build quality if you choose the “budget” sub-$1000 TUF models.
Portability – Battery Life
Some of the most transportable gaming laptops available are made by ASUS. And looking at the variety that they offer, you will find a laptop that is portable. That’s a given!
Take the ROG Flow Z13 as an example. It’s like a tablet/laptop all-in-one machine where you can do pretty much everything from gaming to creative tasks like video editing.
In general, ASUS laptops feature a respectable battery capacity, with models having batteries for even up to 10 hours of light use.
To play games on a battery, however, is not something I would suggest because in about 2 hours you’ll be out of battery unless you enable the power saver mode which will also limit your framerates by a lot.
Simply said, you won’t have the same level of performance as when utilizing an AC adapter.
Apart from the 17″ inch versions which feel enormous, you can carry a Razer laptop anyplace because they are fairly lightweight and, as I have indicated, have a thin profile. So, in terms of portability, Razer is definitely one of the best brands.
I feel like they fall a bit short when it comes to battery life. It’s no coincidence that they are not mentioned in almost every battery life comparison on the internet.
And it sort of makes sense since the hardware components that these laptops carry are as power-hungry as it gets.
3rd Place: Alienware
Even though Dell laptops, in general, have really good battery life, I had to place them in 3rd place simply because of their size and the very average battery life. These are not ordinarily-sized laptops and they definitely don’t last long on a single charge.
You can check the Alienware review a did a while back where I created a table with the battery life of some of their laptops compared to other brands.
The 17″ inch ones, in particular, won’t even fit your backpack. I mean they do have great thermals but they feel very bulky and heavy in comparison to the other brands.
Therefore, none of these three brands ultimately stands out as the clear victor. When you’re choosing a laptop to purchase, there are a number of factors you should consider.
Depending on your priorities, you may get the greatest deal anywhere. Ultimately, no laptop is perfect. They all have their flaws in one way or another.
If you have any questions about specific products of these brands, let me know in the comments since I was lucky enough to get my hands on some of them.