5 Best Laptops With RTX 3070 (Cheap, Gaming, Workstation) 2021

We’ve made a list of the best RTX 3070 laptops in 2021. There may be a shortage of desktop GeForce RTX 3000 graphics cards, but you’re spoil for choice when it comes to laptops. Nvidia only announced the mobile incarnation of its latest GPUs in January. We’ve reviewed five powerful laptops with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 inside.

To make it easier to compare all five machines on review, here’s a handy comparison of their respective speeds and strengths. Note all these results were with Nvidia’s Game Ready drivers.

Read out our detailed Review of best Gaming Laptop With RTX 3070. An awe-inspiring debut for both the AMD Ryzen 5000 Series and Nvidia’s mobile GeForce RTX 3070 graphics.

List of Best Laptop With RTX 3070

  1. Asus ROG Strix G17
  2. Asus ROG Strix G15
  3. Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XC
  4. Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC
  5. Asus TUF Gaming A15 (2021)

1. Asus ROG Strix G17

Even if you have no interest in gaming laptops, the Asus ROGStrix G17 should give you pause for thought. This 2.7kg box, costing less than £2,000. contains almost as much 3D acceleration as a top-end gaming PC of a mere 18 months ago.

Featuring an overclocked Core i9 9900K and a GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card, this was the pinnacle of gaming desktops in late 2019 and blitzed through two of our 1080p tests of the time: 202fps in Metro: Last Light. 167fps in Rise ofthe Tomb Raider.

While this ROG Strix can’t quite match those results it comes within a companionable distance: 182fps in Metro: Last Light (so 20fps behind) and 125fps in Rise of the Tomb Raider (a more distant 42fps gap). And it beat the Yoyotech PC in 3DMark’sTime Spy test, with an overall score of 10.051 against 9.904. Who said Moore’s Law was dead?

Power

All of this power is possible due to two technological debuts. The first and most important is Nvidia’s mobile incarnation of its GeForceRTX 3070 graphics.It’s a remarkable improvement over the mobile mobile RTX 2070, as reflected by the Hitman 2, its 57fps makes the Razer Blade 15 look slovenly at 36fps. There are even more graphs to enjoy on, where you can see how the ROG Strix G17 fares compared to the four other laptops we test this month with an RTX 3070 inside.

We also tested three of the laptops with SPECviewperf 2020, and it was notable that the ROG Strix G17 always came out on top: Asus has clearly worked hard to get t he most out of Nvidia’s RTX 3070 graphics.

Unless there’s a particular game you’re interested in, though, it makes little sense to drown in these numbers. Each of the RTX 3070 laptops will produce smooth play in any game at 1080p.

What is worth checking is whether the game in question supports the second generation of ray tracing (RT) cores that are a key feature of the RTX 3000 Series.

These cores are almost twice as fast as the first generation, so supported games will show a big upstick in frame rates with ray tracing switched on.So, the RTX 3070 is fast. Possibly – and this feels odd to argue – too fast. You have to question whether an RTX 3060 makes more sense in a 1080p laptop such as this, because once you go above a certain frame rate you see diminishing returns for your cash.

Processor

To get the most out of a gaming graphics card, you need a fast processor. In the ROG Strix’s case, the CPU is AMD’s Ryzen 5800H andwith the ROG Strix’s ample cooling it proved capable of running all eight of its cores at 4GHz under load.

Featuring AMD’s latest Zen 3 architecture, the Ryzen 5800II pushed the ROG Strix G17 to a stellar score in the PC Pro benchmarks. These tests place a heavy emphasis on video editing and multitasking, and that’s where having eight cores and 16 threads proves a huge advantage over lesser chips.

In fact, there was no area of our benchmarks where the 5800H failed to impress. A multicore result of 11,031 in Cinebench R23 is the fastest we’ve seen in a laptop, while any result above 7,000 in Geekbench 5’s multicore section is cause for celebration.

The 5800H proved equally strong in single-core benchmarks. Its best performance was in the image editing test within the PC Pro benchmarks, where it scored 196 to the 179 of the Intel powered Gigabyte Aero 17. but I expect Intel to retake the lead for single-core tasks when it eventually updates its high performance “H” Core processors with 11th-generation technologies.

If all this is making you ponder the age-old question of desktop PC or laptop, desktops still have the cards stacked in their favour. For instance, upgrade that Yoyotech Warbird to a GeForce RTX 3070 card and its scores will rocket: expect 80fps in Hitman 2, over 300fps in Metro: Last Light and around 13,500 in 3DMark.

Performance

The reason I have such confidence in those scores is that they’re what the PC Specialist Fusion X returned two months ago. This $1500 PC paired a Ryzen 5800X with a GeForce RTX 3070. and while its benchmark results are a joy to the eyes, the sound its six fans produce at full pelt aren’t a joy to the ears. Even when idling, there’s a constant hum from the water cooler.

Compare that to the ROG Strix G17. which is silent in general use. Using Asus’ intuitive Armoury Crate software, you can tweak the balance between noise and speed as you see fit there are four presets, as well as a manual setting if you want to dig into the detail. When plugged in. there’s even a Turbo setting to give an extra boost – to switch it on, simply click the dedicated fan button above the keyboard.

If such fine control brings joy to your heart, just wait until you dive into Asus’ Aura Creator app. I here you can take full control of the colors of your keys, including whether they’re static, pulsing, strobing and beyond. You can do the same for the six LED strip lights on the laptop’s base too.

Quality

All this RGB excitement reflects the ROG Strix’s status: amidst Asus’ many gaming laptops, the Strix series is top dog. What you can’t expect is the slimmest or lightest machines – within Asus’ gaming laptops, that honor goes to the Zephyrus range – with the Strix G17 a mighty 2.7kg and over an inch thick at 27.5mm.

This weight doesn’t mean an all-metal chassis. In fact, Asus has chosen plastic for the palmrest as it stays “cooler to the touch for more comfortable marathon gaming sessions”, and while this means you see the palmrest bend downwards when you place force on it, the Strix’s overall construction is solid. Wisely, Asus protects the wide expanse of screen with an aluminum alloy lid.

If you take the Strix on your travels then you’ll also need to carry the chunky, 76og power supply. This isn’t because of poor battery life – it lasted 9 hrs 58 mins in our video rundown test, which is excellent for such a big gaming laptop- but because for peak performance this laptop must be plugged in. Besides, battery life will drop faster than your health bar once you start pushing the CPU and GPU to the maximum.

Big screen

The other big power draw comes from the 17m screen. Safe to say it’s geared for gaming: a 300Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time are as good as you’ll get in a gaming laptop. The Strix Gi7’s panel returned a fine contrast ratio of 1,286:1 too, and with a peak brightness of 342cd/m2 you won’t have any trouble spotting lurkers in dark corners.

It’s also color accurate. If you stick within the sRGB gamut then it’s effectively perfect, with a maximum Delta E of under one (0.74 to be exact) while covering 100% of the sRGB space. What you don’t get is the wide gamut coverage of the Gigabyte Aero systems, the Strix G17 covers 73% of Adobe RGB and 76% of DCI-P3, compared to 100% and 89% for the Aero 17.

The other factor to note is the Strix’s Full HD resolution. While 1,920 x 1,080 makes sense for esports competitors, if your work gaming balance is anything more than 50% in favour of work then you should consider a higher resolution offering. Not necessarily 4K, which feels overkill even for 17m panels, but 1440P gives you twice the pixel density and makes it more pleasant to view windows side by side.

Wide keyboard

Asus uses the expanse of space provided by a 395mm wide chassis to include a number pad beside the keyboard, but it cleverly narrows those keys slightly. This almost removes the skew – whiff feel that some people complain about when their hands are tapping away off-center. The keys are still further to the left than normal, but I didn’t even notice this until in came to write this paragraph.

What I did notice was the crisp, positive action of the keys. They aren’t mechanical, but they feel like they could be. Asus has gamers in mind with the key layout too. Note how the function keys are split into three groups to make each shortcut easier to find, while the cursor keys are separated out. And while gamers will surely invest in a high dpi wired mouse, the large, glass-coated touchpad is as good as such technology gets. My only criticism is that its clicks are louder than might be appreciated if you’re in a quiet working environment.

Asus expects you to connect the bulk of your peripherals to the rear mounted ports, with one USB A 3.1, one USB-C3.2 (with support for Power Delivery and video output), one full size IIDMI output (up to 4K at 60Hz) and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

This is where the power input goes too, meaning it could quickly get crowded. The right hand side is free of connectors, but Asus concedes the battle on the left with a further two USB A 3.1 ports and a 3.5mm combo jack.

Asus doesn’t include a webcam or a fingerprint reader, but you do get a cracking pair of speakers with all the bass you would hope for from such a large unit. Nor does it lack subtlety: each strum of a guitar string emerges clearly, while vocals are full-bodied. There aren’t many laptops that can do justice to a tricky Bjork album, but the ROG Strix G17 is one of them.

I’m less enamored by the built-in mic. Due, 1 suspect, to the “Al” Asus employs to get rid of background noise, my voice sounded like I’d been thrust into a cave.

Conclusion

Fortunately, the mic glitch should be solvable via a software update, so it shouldn’t be a big factor in a buying decision. Instead, focus on all the things this laptop does so brilliantly. It’s fast in every area, the keyboard is excellent and it’s built like a Battlefield Vtank.

our biggest decision concerns the combination of 17.3m with a io8op screen. I would be inclined to hold out for a version of the Strix G17 with a 1440P screen, even if you have to sacrifice the refresh rate.

The downside, other than waiting, is that it’s likely to cost more. For there’s no denying the value on offer here: just to hammer this home, note the 1TB SSD.

What’s certain is that the combination of Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors and GeForce RTX 3000 graphics is a potent one. Combine all that firepower with the Strix Gi7’s competitive price and this is one of the best gaming laptop that won’t disappoint.

Specifications:

  • Processor: 8-core 3.2GHz (4.4GHz boost) AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4-3200 RAM
  • Resolution: 17.3in non-touch IPS display, 300Hz, 1,920 x 1,080
  • PCIe SSD: 1TB M.2
  • Networking: 2×2 Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5
  • Ports: USB-C 3.2, 3 x USB-A 3.1, HDMI 2.0

2. Asus ROG Strix G15

A colorful 15in gaming laptop that delivers in all areas; yet another fantastic outing for AMD and Nvidia. The Asus ROG Strix G15 wears its gaming credentials proudly on its sleeve. The Republic of Gamers branding is everywhere, from the logo on the lid to the ROG lettering stenciled subtly on the keyboard surround. 

It’s heavily laden with RGB lighting too: per-key lighting is customizable via the Aura Creator app, while a strip of LEDs wraps around the underside of the front portion of the laptop the “Aura Sync light bar” and lights up your desk in cheerful, multicolored hues.

The plastic chassis doesn’t feel as bulletproof as the all metal Gigabyte Aero 15P, but it’s of a high quality and doesn’t creak or squeak when twisted.

As you might expect, though, you’re not getting an Ultrabook’s weight or feels smooth under the finger with left and right mouse clicks that are light without feeling insubstantial.Note that the ROG Strix G15 lacks an integrated webcam, but that’s the only notable omission here, with Asus taking a chuck-it-all-in approach when it comes slimness; if anything the ROG Strix G15 can be described as quite a ump. It weighs a shoulder straining 2.3kg (plus an extra 0.7kg for the power adapter) and measures 354 x 259 x 27mm (WDH). That’s a fraction fatter than the Asus TUF Gaming A15 opposite.

Surprisingly, there’s no number pad, but the keyboard is great. Each key has plenty of travel and a lovely soft-yet-positive landing that means it’s comfortable to both game and type on for hours. The cursor cluster sits neatly in its own space below the keyboard on the right-hand side, with no other keys nearby to accidentally press. The stack of media keys off to the right are. likewise, separated from the main keyboard by a small gap.

The spacious touchpad is superb. It feels smooth under the finger with left and right mouse clicks that are light without feeling insubstantial.Note that the ROG Strix G15 lacks an integrated webcam, but that’s the only notable omission here, with Asus taking a chuck-it-all-in approach when it comes to ports. You get three USB A 3.1 ports (5Gbits/sec), one USB-C 3.2 with DisplayPort and Power Delivery, one HDMI 2.0b output, and a 3.5mm headset jack. Wireless is handled by an Intel AX200 card, delivering 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.

Before I come to the display, I should explain that the ROG Strix G15 comes with a choice of three different types, as it’s important you choose the right one. The G513QR-HF010T on test here has the Full HD 300Hz panel, which is 100% sRGB. The cheaper G513IR-HN016T and G513QM-HN042T models come with an inferior 144Hz display only capable of reproducing 63% of the sRGB color gamut and will likely look dreary.

The 300Hz panel on our review laptop is, however, impressive. It isn’t the brightest, only reaching 312cd/m2 at maximum brightness, but it’s colorful, capable of reproducing 99.6% of the sRGB color gamut, and color accuracy is solid with an average Delta E of 1.43. Add a matte finish that holds distracting reflections at bay, as well as that 300hz refresh rate to keep games playing as smoothly as the graphics card can keep up with, and there’s little to complain about.

The good performance continues with the laptop’s 1TB SSD, which returned results of 2,824MB/sec for sequential reads together with that large storage, it’s exactly what you want from a gaming laptop. Note that some other laptops offer space for a second M.2 SSD, though.

Noise and cooling are excellent: even when the fan is spinning at full speed it isn’t overly irritating, and both the wrist rest and keyboard stay cool to the touch while gaming. Note the booming Dolby Atmos speakers too. Finally, battery life from the 90Wh battery was 8hrs 2mins in our video rundown test, which is great for gaming laptop.

So there’s plenty to like about the Asus ROG Strix G15. It’s reasonably priced, just as fast as any of its rivals, and could give you the advantage in esports with a 300Hz display. Whether you prefer it to the TUF Gaming A15 almost boils down to styling preference – both are excellent machines.

3. Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XC

The glorious OLED screen is the star of this powerful 15in workstation, but you pay the battery-life price, OLED displays have been a rare sight on laptops. This issue we have two: the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XC here and the Asus ZenBook Elip S. 

The Aero is part of Gigabyte’s professional line of “Creator” laptops and it combines the attractions of OLED with Pantone certification and a fearsome specification.

Our sample came with the GeForce RTX 3070, but it’s also available with RTX 3080, and RTX 3090. Like the Asus ROG Strix G15 it’s accompanied by an Intel Core i7-10870H, while 32GB of RAM and a 1TB PCIe SSD round off its key specs.

The 15.6in OLED screen is the star here: a 4K resolution, HDR400 certification and factory calibration for the DCl-P3 Color space are all alluring features. It’s a stunning display that delivers crisp, vibrant colors and a deep, true black that only OLED screens are capable of. Brightness peaks at 406cd/m2, and in combination with OLED’s inherently perfect contrast it’s usable outdoors.

This is a wide gamut display, stretching to 170% of the sRGB gamut and 121% of DCI-P3. Color accuracy is good for an OLED panel, but note that it’s only accurate within the DCI P3 color gamut (to an average Delta E of 1.87). If you’re a professional photographer working in Adobe RGB or a video-grapher looking to grade in Rec.709, you’ll need to re-calibrate.

Also note that this is a 60Hz panel, so gaming frame rates are never going to exceed 60fps. If you’re outputting to a monitor, however, you can enjoy fluid frame rates at 1080p: it stayed above 100fps in all of our benchmarks, bar Hitman 2.

There’s even enough power here to game at 4K if you’re willing to drop some settings. In Wolfenstein:Youngblood, it achieved 62fps at 4K with ray tracing disabled and 1 achieved a 54fps average in Hitman 2 by adjusting settings from High to Medium.

In our benchmarks, it put in a mid-table performance compared to Ryzen 5800H machines, but its 224 score is faster than the similarly specified Razer Blade 17 Pro which scored 207. This suggests better thermal management.

The design has a brutal elegance to match the brutal power within. Clad all in black, with angular vents on the left, right and rear, it’s an attractive laptop. It’s also slim at 20mm. and 2kg is light for such a powerful 15.6m machine. Build quality is solid and creak-free and, despite the compact chassis, it’s packed with all manner of sockets and ports.

On the left edge are full sized HDMI 2.1 and mini- DisplayPort 1.4 video outputs, next to a single(JSB-A3.i socket, 3.5mm headset jack and a 2.5Gb Ethernet port. On the right, there’s a pair of USB A 3.1 ports, a USB C Thunderbolt 3 connector and a high-speed, UHS II SDcard slot.

Things went downhill once I started using the Aero 15 day to day. The chassis’ sharp edges look fantastic in photos but dig into your hands when you’re carrying the laptop around. Nor is the keyboard the best to type on. Keys have plenty of travel, but the layout is cramped thanks to a number pad on the right, which squeezes the main keyboard left and starves it of space. The touchpad is on the small side (105 x 70mm), but it – and the embedded fingerprint reader – work fine.

The less said about the webcam, the better. It’s placed in the raised plastic bulwark just above the keyboard, providing murky image quality and an unflattering angle.

Battery life is another weakness. Despite housing a massive 99Whr battery – the highest capacity you’re legally allowed to take on a plane – the longest it lasted in our test was 5hrs 50mins. No doubt you could extend that by dimming the display, but it still trails behind its Asus rivals.

The Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XC is a fine laptop. The display is glorious, there’s enough power on tap to run any creative application you fancy and you can even game at 4K. But I can’t help wanting more from this machine. Perhaps it’s due to the underwhelming keyboard, maybe the lackluster battery life, but 1 think it’s more to do with a multitude of small annoyances that eat into the Aero’s appeal. 

4. Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC

This  Intel-powered  Nvidia Studio  laptop  packs a sublime  4K  screen,  but  the price pushes it into a niche. The Gigabyte Aero17 HDR XC has much in common with its brother opposite. 

Aimed at creative professionals. Gigabyte sticks with the same one two punch of Core i7-10870H processor and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 graphics although a mere upgrades you to a Core 9-10980HK, GeForce RTX 3080, 64GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD.

To test the GPU, I loaded up SPECviewperf 13 and 20. I’ll focus on 13 as it’s the more established version, and as expected the Aero proved strongest in 3D modelling tests: it returned 187 in the 3ds Max viewset compared to 197 for the Acer ConceptD 700, while the Showcase test saw a score of 113 versus 99. It’s a respectable performer in Maya too, returning 217 against 266. Where it stutters is in CAD tasks, being half as fast in Solidworks and scoring a miserly 19 in Siemens NX.

This laptop’s not-so secret weapon is Nvidia’s Studio scheme: Nvidia has worked with the likes of Adobe. DaVinci and V Ray to ensure that their software is optimized for Studio certified laptops and drivers. You can switch back to Nvidia’s Game Ready drivers, but even without these we saw excellent results at 1080p: 84fps in MetroExodus. 87fps in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and 151fps in Wolfenstein: Youngblood with RTX and DLSS on. You’ll need to sacrifice settings for frame rates at its native 4K resolution. For instance, Metro Exodus dropped to 41fps and Hitman 2 plummeted from 54fps to 15fps.

That high-resolution panel is one of its big advantages over the 1080p ROG Strix G17. The Aero 17 uses IPS technology rather than the OLED of its 15m brother opposite, but dial it up to its maximum brightness of 5i6cd/m2 and you’ll soon forget about such things: this is a gorgeous screen. The panel has been Pantone certified, and it covers 100% of the Adobe RGB gamut with an average Delta E of 0.27. There’s nothing to dislike.

The keyboard is less exceptional, with the keys lacking the joyful crisp finish of the best. It’s also surprising, given how this laptop measures 396mm across, that Gigabyte doesn’t find a way to include larger keys: I measured them at 14mm wide to the 15.5mm of those on the Asus Strix, and this does make a difference.

Asus also pays more attention to small details, such as grouping function keys, and there’s no excuse for the size of the touchpad; it’s too small for a screen this wide. Gigabyte steals 8 x 10mm for a tiny but effective fingerprint reader, while sneaking a 720P webcam into the bar above the power button. The best thing I can say about this chin gazer is that it has a privacy shield.

You’ll find all the ports you could ever want on the laptop’s sides. On the left: 2.5Gb Ethernet, a fast UHS-H SD card reader, two 3.5mm jacks and two USB A 3.1 ports. On the right, the DC input, a Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port, another USB A port, a full size HDMI and, curiously, a mini DisplayPort. This means you can output to three 4K displays simultaneously.

Don’t expect a full day’s battery life on your travels. The Aero 17 lasted 6hrs 19mins in our video rundown test, and that’s a best-case scenario. You’ll need to find a place for the 875g power supply in your bag, which will already be bulging with this beast of a laptop.

That said, at 2.5kg and 21.4mm it’s slimmer and lighter than the Asus Strix G17. and its clean black lines make it a better choice for professionals. Naturally, there’s per-key RGB backlighting when the time is right.

If and when the Aero 17 HDR XC is updated to 11th generation Core processors then it will be pushing for a Recommended award; for now, despite its many merits, the asking price is too high.

5. Asus TUF Gaming A15 (2021)

The styling won’t be to everyone’s taste, but this is a brilliant gaming laptop at an exceptional price. The phrase“go big or go home” definitely has its place when it’s time to be bold, but it isn’t always true for gaming laptops. Admittedly “go more compact and it will be easier to carry” is never going to catch on. but there’s one key reason why a 15.6m full HD screen makes more sense than a 17.3in display with the same resolution: sharpness.

Put simply, text is easier on the eye on the TUF Gaming A15 than on the Strix G17. Aside from the Aus’s lower refresh rate – still great at 240Hz- these IPS screens share many of the same characteristics, with a 3ms response time and almost 100% coverage of the sRGB gamut. Color accuracy is great, with an average Delta E of 0.49- I’d like the A15 to go even brighter than 313cd/m2, but it’s well suited to indoor usage, and a 1,078:1 contrast ratio is plenty.

Then we come to weight and bulk. A saving of 4oog compared to the Strix G17 may not sound much, but at 2.3kg the TUF Gaming A15 is that much easier to lug around, while its significantly reduced dimensions mean you don’t need to reach for an oversized backpack on your travels.

Both laptops have excellent battery life for gaming machines, but you’ll still need to pack the power supply if you intend to game on the move. It’s lighter and more compact than the Strix’s, but its 6o7g weight remains significant.

This is a laptop that lives up to its TUF naming, despite the main body being made from plastic (a sturdy metal lid protects the screen). Asus proudly adds a “MilitaryGrade” sticker onto the chassis too, reflecting the fact this laptop passed MIL-STD-810H tests – think vibration and temperature extremes. It isn’t a semi rugged laptop, but this all adds confidence that it will last for several years.

I certainly have confidence that the internal parts are up for the long haul. AMD’s Ryzen 5800H is again partnered with a GeForce RTX 3070 graphics chip and Asus backs them with excellent cooling: there was little sign of thermal throttling in our tests. However, if you’re looking to squeeze every last ounce out of the RTX 3070, our in-depth tests in SPECviewperf2020 showed that the Strix G17 was consistently 5% faster.

Unlike the Gigabyte Aero laptops overleaf, the screen isn’t calibrated and it isn’t part of the Nvidia Studio scheme, but there’s nothing to stop you downloading the Studio drivers and using this machine as a powerful creative system. Note that it’s quiet in general use; it’s only when you push the A15 that its fans kick into action.

Asus fills both available SOD1MM slots with 8GB Samsung 3,200MHz DDR4 modules, but you can add more storage easily by removing the bottom compartment cover and slipping a second M.2 SSD into the spare socket. There’s plenty of storage as standard, with a 1TB PCIe SK Hynix SSD in place: this returned excellent sequential reads and writes of 3,140MB/sec and 2,825MB/sec in AS SSD.

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to connectivity. There’s Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5, of course, but also note the Gigabit Ethernet port, one USB-C 3.2 and three USB-A 3.1 ports. The USB-C port supports 10Mbits/sec data transfers and video output (but not Power Delivery), with an HDMI output for good measure.

There’s also a 3.5mm combo jack, but you’ll find the built-in speakers to be adequate most of the time. Music isn’t a strength there’s not enough depth or precision – but it’s fine for games and voice. The built in mic is too quiet for my liking, but there’s none of the distortion that plagued the Strix, and note the presence of a 720p (non infrared) webcam above the screen. Its picture is woeful, mind.

But it’s only right to go out on a high, which is why I’m ending on the keyboard. Despite squeezing in a number pad, it’s a fine example of how to produce a quiet, precise unit while paying attention to the details – note the separated cursor keys and the function keys in their mini groups of four. Everything is easy to hit as a result. And while I’ve used slicker, larger touchpads, the old-school click buttons at the bottom again add to this laptop’s usability.

What wins this laptop its A – List spot, though, is the price. For under $1500, you get a phenomenal amount of power that makes this a fantastic choice for someone who not only likes to play the latest games but also has a creative side.

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