Which gaming laptop is better?

Gaming laptops offer a customizable, portable alternative to consoles for both casual and competitive gamers. With a gaming laptop, you can create an experience catered to not only the games you want to enjoy, but where and how you enjoy them. In most cases, you can use a gaming laptop for work, school and streaming entertainment as well.

Two of the top computer companies are Dell and Acer, and each has a line of gaming laptops for casual enthusiasts and dedicated players alike. While Dell’s lineup is reliable and varied, Acer provides better value for gamers of all interests.

Dell gaming laptop

Dell offers two series of gaming laptops, depending on your level of commitment and needs. Alienware is a top-tier line for competitive players who want the best specs and performance, while the G-Series is for more casual gamers.

Best X17 R2

Alienware boasts the latest graphics cards, most powerful processors and a high price tag. Split-second real time rendering with high refresh rates and low response times suits those competing in online multiplayer games where you need every edge you can get. As video games grow larger and more detailed, Alienware laptops are able to handle the newest virtual worlds without losing fidelity; some like the X17 R2 are also VR ready.

What’s more, Alienware laptops feature up to 4K resolution, 32 gigabytes of RAM and 2 terabytes of storage, all of which are amongst the highest limits available in these important categories.

The G-Series offers a few Quad HD resolution laptops and no more than 8GB RAM and 1 TB of storage, which means they are better suited for more casual gamers who aren’t playing the newest titles. They are also not ideal for competitive online games, as there may be some shadowing or lag. However, they provide value for gamers who enjoy solo campaigns or offline adventures.

Dell laptops all feature Windows 11. Screen sizes range from 14 to 17 inches, and both Intel Core and AMD Ryzen processors are offered.

Dell gaming laptop pros

  • Reliable: Whether for business or gaming, Dell’s laptops are long-lasting and dependable.
  • Display: The top Alienware laptops offer stunning 4K resolution, up to a 360 hertz refresh rate and as low as 1-millisecond response time to make for a faithful and visually stunning experience.
  • Style: The Alienware line boasts an iconic logo, sharp edges and eye-catching colors that make gaming sleek.

Dell gaming laptop cons

  • Price: Dell’s laptops skew slightly more expensive, partly due to name recognition. Price increases significantly as you select the highest specs in key categories.
  • Transport: Most gaming laptops, particularly those in the more powerful Alienware series, are heavy and bulky. This can make movement and setup tedious.
  • Excess: 4K resolution doesn’t necessarily make online gaming better, since it requires more power, while high levels of storage may be hard to fill up. Some argue it’s hard to tell the difference with any refresh rate over 240 hertz.

Best Dell gaming laptops

Best Dell Alienware M17 R5

Dell Alienware M17 R5 

This high-end Alienware laptop boasts an AMD Ryzen 9 processor with RTX graphics and 16GB of RAM for reliable performance in vast, online games.

Sold by Dell

Best Dell G15 Gaming Laptop

Dell G15 Gaming Laptop

For casual gamers, the midrange core and graphics card in this budget-friendly laptop provide value for older games and offline solo campaigns.

Sold by Dell

Acer gaming laptop

Acer offers a fairly stark contrast to Dell gaming laptops. While Dell boasts plenty of expensive, high-end computers as well as some low-end offerings for casual gamers, Acer’s selection is filled with value for most gamers in the middle. Only a handful boast the newest, most expensive technology, but the choice of Intel and AMD processors as well as RTX graphics means gamers can play old and new titles alike, online or off. 

Acer’s Predator line is the top series, while its Nitro gaming laptops come in at a lower price. Still, the difference isn’t as large as the difference between Dell’s Alienware and G Series. The Predator line has some key aesthetic upgrades and a more durable build with better graphics; Nitro laptops sacrifice some longevity in materials and display quality to lower the price.

Best Predator Helios 300

Acer laptops are either 15 or 17 inches, with most offering 1TB or less of storage. Most feature an Intel processor, such as the Predator Helios 300,  with only a few laptops utilizing AMD Ryzen. Unlike Dell, most Acer gaming computers offer 16 GB of RAM, with a handful boasting 32 GB.

Acer gaming laptop pros

  • Value: Both Acer’s top-tier and more budget-friendly laptops provide quality value for gamers due to their performance and cost.
  • Versatility: Gamers will find Acer laptops suitable for streaming entertainment, school and some casual work.
  • Graphics: Most Acer gaming laptops run the latest Nvidia RTX graphics card, which prevents lag and shadowing while quickly rendering the most elaborate, detailed environments.

Acer gaming laptop cons

  • Battery: You should be able to play most games for up to six hours off the battery, but you may not make it much beyond that.
  • Noise: As the laptop heats up during more involved games, the fans kick in, and their noise may be disruptive.
  • Aesthetics: Acer laptops lack the stylish look of Alienware’s and don’t compare to other competitors who promote unique colors and branding.

Best Acer gaming laptops

Best Acer Predator Triton SE 500

Acer Predator Triton SE 500

This powerful 14-core gaming laptop is reserved for the most serious gamers seeking detailed graphics and fast rendering. With 32GB of RAM and RTX graphics, it caters to the latest, biggest games.

Sold by Acer

Best Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

This budget-friendly gaming laptop provides versatility with a newer graphics card and 8GB of RAM.

Sold by Acer

Should you get a Dell or Acer gaming laptop?

For the most dedicated of competitive gamers seeking every detail and edge in their gameplay, Dell’s top-tier Alienware laptops are better. Still, this comes at a high price.

Most gamers will be better served by an Acer gaming laptop, which suit online and offline play for those enjoying new and old titles. Provided you don’t care too much about look and branding, Acer’s Predator and Nitro gaming laptops will immerse you in exciting virtual worlds.

 

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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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