Come take at a look at the best VR ready laptops for 2021 and get yourself a portable computer for playing in virtual reality.
In this guide, we take a look at:
- Pros and cons of VR ready laptops vs desktops
- The best laptops you can buy for virtual reality
- Important specs to consider
We have affordable and spec-heavy options to consider. If you recently purchased a VR ready laptop, let us know which one you went with by commenting down below!
Our Picks for the Top VR Ready Laptops in 2021
- MSI GS65 Stealth – Best Slim VR Laptop
- Razer Blade 15 – Best Mid Tier Laptop
- Asus ROG Zephyrus S – RTX 2080 Gaming Laptop
- Alienware Area 51m – Top of the Line Laptop for VR
- Acer Nitro 5 – Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000
What are VR ready laptops?
For some people, the term “VR Ready” might be new. Virtual reality ready gaming laptops are laptops that our advanced enough to support today’s popular virtual reality games. They contain a CPU, GPU, memory, and hard drive that can handle the extra power required by VR headsets.
VR laptop will generate detailed graphics and Rapid frame rates verses regular ones. They are also portable and can be moved wherever you need to.
Pros and Cons of VR Ready Laptops
Are you considering a VR laptop vs a gaming PC? There are a few pros and cons to going with a portable computer over a fixed one.
The following are the pros of a VR ready gaming laptop:
- A VR ready laptop is portable. You can take it anywhere you want and play games on it.
- All components come in one package. You don’t need to purchase your hardware, screen, keyboard, and mouse separate.
- VR ready gaming laptops are comparatively expensive to gaming PCs.
- With less room for components, laptops have to be more careful about including top-of-the-line hardware components.
VR Laptop Minimum Requirements
When it comes to computer gaming, better hardware mean higher quality. Better parts also means higher costs, so you have to balance all of your decisions out.
Built from the ground up with VR in mind, Half-Life: Alyx is the number one VR game of 2020. It’s also the most intensive in terms of minimum requirements. If your PC can play Alyx, we are confident that it will play anything available in VR today (even Cyberpunk 2077 in VR).
The following are the minimum PC requirements for Half Life: Alyx:
- Operating System: Windows 10
- CPU: Intel Core i5-7500 processor or Ryzen 5 1600
- RAM: 12 GB of system memory
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580
- GPU RAM: 6 GB of video memory
By buying a PC that meets Half Life: Alyx’s specs, you’ll be able to run any virtual reality game.
Next, we will go through the top VR ready gaming laptops so that you can choose anyone according to your requirements and budget.
MSI GS65 Stealth – Slim VR laptop
The MSI GS65 is one of the most amazing gaming laptops. MSI is a prominent name when it comes to high performance and classy laptops. The GS65 Stealth in thin and has a sleek chassis, which makes it very attractive for users.
When it comes to the CPU, it has an Intel Core i7-9750H processor and NVidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti graphics card. The GS65 comes with 16 GB of RAM, which can be updated as high as 64 GB. It comes with a 15.6 inch HD display and 512 GB hard drive. This laptop was just released in April 2020 and is a really good mid-tier option to look at.
- The laptop has excellent performance.
- It has a gorgeous and clear display.
- The laptop comes with effective internal thermal management so that the system won’t heat up.
- Native audio is poor.
- The underside of the laptop usually gets hot.
- 15.6" FHD, Anti-Glare Wide View Angle 144Hz 3ms 72%NTSC NVIDIA GeForce GTX1660Ti 6G GDDR6
- Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6 - 4.5GHz Intel 9560 Jefferson Peak (2x2 802.11 ac)
- 16GB (8G 2) DDR4 2666MHz 2 Sockets; Max Memory 64GB
Razer Blade 15 – Best Mid Tier Laptop
Razor is a brand that makes hardware specifically for high-tech gaming. The Razer Blade 15 is a top item among VR ready gaming laptops. It has been an Aluminum chassis which feels strong. It has server-grade thermal materials for maximal heat dissipation.
For a comparable price to the MSI GS65 above, you get an upgraded Intel i7-10750 CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU. This is higher spec hardware in exchange for a thicker laptop footprint. The Blade is one of our favorite gaming laptops under $1500.
- The laptop is amazing in terms of its performance.
- Storage capacity is sufficient.
- Display size is really fantastic.
- Price of the laptop is more compared to some other VR ready gaming laptops.
- More power: The 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor provides the ultimate level of performance with up to 5.0 GHz max turbo and 6 cores.
- Ray-tracing: The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 is powered by the NVIDIA Turing GPU architecture and brings cinematic-quality rendering to the most visually intense games.
- More frames: Incredible performance paired with the fast 144Hz 15. 6" full HD thin bezel display helps edge out the win.
Asus ROG Zephyrus S – RTX 2080 Gaming Laptop
If you have been looking for a slim VR ready gaming laptop, then consider the Asus ROG Zephyrus S. It has one of the slimmest frames on the market, but is still versatile for VR gaming.
In fact, the Zephyrus is packed with a GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card, more than enough to power VR games. The display supports 144 Hz and a response time of just 3 ms. Reviews on this laptop praise how bright the screen is in all conditions. USB Type-C connections make it a modern option.
- The laptop has a slim design and comes with GeForce RTX graphics.
- It has a narrow screen bezels.
- The laptop comes with a backlit keyboard.
- The webcam is missing on this laptop.
- When the system is loaded, its cooling fan starts getting louder.
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 8GB (base: 990 MHz, Boost: 1230 MHz; TDP: 90W)
- Intel Core i7-8750H Hexa-Core processor
- 15.6” 144Hz 3ms IPS-Type full HD (1920x1080) Display
Alienware Area 51m – Top of the Line Gaming Laptop
The Alienware Area 51m is another VR ready gaming laptop worth checking out. It comes at a high price, but is one of the most powerful gaming laptops you can buy today. It was just released in July of 2020.
This laptop has an Intel Core i7 10700K CPU and NVidia RTX 2070 Super graphics card. It comes with a full 1 TB hard drive and 16 GB of RAM as well. You can get the laptop in a full 17.3″ display. If you are serious about both VR gaming and portability, the Area 51M is the top pick. Overall, it is one of the most powerful laptops on the market.
- The laptop has solid performance and excellent graphics.
- It comes with outstanding Space Station aesthetic.
- All the major components of this device are upgradable.
- It is comparatively expensive.
- It has a total weight of 8.5 pounds, heavier than some other VR ready gaming laptops.
- Massive memory: The Area-51m R2 is also Alienware’s first gaming laptop to support up to 64GB of DDR4 memory at 2933Mhz or 32GB of DDR4 XMP memory at 3200Mhz
- 2.5Gbps Ethernet: The Area-51m R2 features a 2.5Gbps bandwidth Ethernet connection, giving gamers 2.5x the amount of common wired Ethernet connections for blazing-fast file transfers
- Advanced keyboard: With the Alienware TactX keyboard, N-key rollover technology enables over 108-key commands for maximum actions per minute and 1.7mm of key travel allows for rapid response for any keystroke
Acer Nitro 5 – Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000
The Acer Nitro 5 is our pick for a budget-friendly gaming laptop under $1000. It provides good performance and VR-capable specs at a very reasonable price. Unfortunately, users have to sacrifice with a less bright display. The laptop also has a decent webcam so that you can enjoy video calling features.
The Nitro 5 comes configurable in a bunch of different RAM and hard drive options. For under $1000, you get an Intel i5 9300H CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphic card. Both of these are mid-tier options compared to what is available in 2021. The big advantage to the Nitro 5 is its 32 GB of RAM and dual 1 TB SSD hard drives.
- It is a great value for money.
- Keyboard quality is really good.
- Quality of its webcam is also good.
- The display is a little dark, which isn’t a big deal if this is purely for VR gaming.
- 【Powerful Performance with Intel 4-Core i5-9300H】Intel 9th gen Core i5-9300H (2.4 GHz base frequency up to 4.1 GHz, 8 MB cache, 4 cores)
- 【Customization】Upgrade to 32GB DDR4 SDRAM, 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD + 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD, No DVD
- 【Display and graphics】15.6 FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS LED backligh Display, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
Things to Consider for Buying a VR Ready Laptop
All the laptops above meet the recommended specifications for playing VR games. If you want to learn more about each component or want to build your own laptop, here are the specs you need to consider:
The graphics card is the most important component for playing VR games. It is in charge of processing everything you see in your VR headset. Virtual reality games require a better GPU than regular PC games, so spend your extra money for an upgrade here.
CPU and Memory
The CPU processes all regular non-graphic calculations in your computer. Memory stores information that might need to be recalled by the CPU quickly. If you want to help out your CPU, purchase more memory for your laptop. The recommended level of CPU right now is at the AMD Ryzen 1500X or Intel core i5. All the latest laptops come with much better CPUs than these. For memory, 12 GB or more is recommended.
Most laptop screens come in a 15.6″ size and this is the smallest we would recommend. Some laptops have a 17″ screen, which gives it more space for other components too. However, these laptops are less portable to move around. If you’d like a bigger screen, we recommend a bigger external monitor to plug your laptop into at home.
Battery life is important if you plan on travelling with your laptop. We recommend a battery life of at least 7 hours in 2021. Playing games without being plugged into a power source is not recommended. Your CPU and GPU will be throttled to extend your battery life.
How much you want to spend on a VR ready laptop is important. This will give you an idea of what specs you can afford. VR laptops are more expensive compared to regular laptops or equivalent desktop hardware. More features in your laptop will require you to pay more. If you are looking for a budget-friendly laptop, then you have to compromise on some features.
Hopefully this gives you a good idea on what you should look for in a good VR ready laptop. If you have any other recommendations, comment below and let us know!