High Mobility / Portability Gaming Laptops

High mobility gaming laptops

 

This article will discuss high mobility gaming laptops. The focus will be on laptops with more distinguished mix of battery running times, weight, measures and gaming performance. Naturally, I won’t list all of the available laptops, but I  try to overview the most interesting laptops and besides, the list will get more rich as times goes on.

We’ll overview the highlights and drawbacks of each laptop but we’ll also use three more measures – performance to price ratio, mobility level (battery, weight, sizes) and mobility per price. The mobility level is subjective, ofcourse, because for one 3kg might not matter while higher battery time are and for another the weight might have higher significance. However, we will have minimum requirements for this list:

1. Gaming performance – the minimal gaming performance level I set is the GT 540M / GT 630M / Radeon HD 7670M / 6650M, but I did include some laptops with the GT 620M / GT 525M and Radeon 7570M if they are exceptional, like the Asus UX32VD because its very high quality IPS screen.

2. Battery running times – at least 6-7 idling (low work load), 4-5 hours surfing the web or playing DVD.

3. Weight & size – didn’t really set any limitation, but it’s a factor in the description and conclusion.

 

I’ll go directly to the recommended models and the full table will follow. I divided the recommended laptops to several categories, but not all of the laptops are in these categories, so if you want to choose more carefully, go over the table. Unlike other recommendation where we look on the performance per price ratio, in this case it’s just too complicated for me to make some kind of mobility per price ratio because – as we said before – mobility is not a canonical score.

 

Low budget high mobility gaming laptops:

  • HP dv6z-7200 with A6-4400M or A8-4500M CPU and Radeon 7670M GPU, 6GB DDR3. For around 550$-600$ you can get a very good gaming machine that lasts around 6 hours surfing and the diamond in the cake is the very good matte FullHD screen (see pictures in the review) for 150$ more.

High performance per price gaming laptops with good mobility:

  • The Lenovo Y580 offers the highest performance of them all with the GTX 660M and I7-3610QM. A good matter FullHD screen, bluray player, backlit keyboard and nice lools make it an excellent offer. The Y580 battery running times are lower compared to the HPs.

Extremely mobile gaming laptops:

  • Road warrior – Lenovo ThinkPad T430 offers 13 hours (!!!) of surfing using WiFi with the 9cell battery. Good 900p screen option for 50$ and nice GT 540M + I5 performance level for 850$-900$ before coupons and deals makes it an excellent road warrior
  • Lenovo Thibkpad T530 offers 8 hours of surfing the web and comes with a very good 900p screen (optional) and a GT 540M level GPU.
  • Acer Aspire M5-581TG – 7+ hours surfing, and with the GT 640M LE GPU you get very nice gaming performance. Only drawback is its screen quality – lower than the FullHD options in the list.

 

Slim or small gaming laptops:

  • Sager NP6110 – same as above, GT 650M DDR3 and I5, 11.6″ form factor. Battery running times are comparably short.
  • Asus UX32VD with GT 620M (old GT 525M) and I5-3XXXU CPU gives you the lowest gaming performance of all the laptops in the link, but still a nice performance (much higher than any current integrated GPU). Now, the point in that one is the the low weight (1.5kg), slimness and compactness (13.3″) and excellent IPS FullHD screen.

 

Would you like to know anything else?

 

The full table:

Model (link to coupon)GPU / CPU / Street PriceStreet PriceWhyWhy notgaming performance  (out of 5)Battery (out of 5)sources
Alienware m14x R2 14.0″GT 650M GDDR5 / I5-3210M1100$ for basic configuration
  1. Compact 14.0″
  2. Great performance
  3. Very very high build quality
  4. distinct looks
  5. very good screen quality
  6. Great keyboard
  7. acceptable battery – 4 hours surfing

 

  1. Weight (3kg)
  2. battery times aren’t that good for a high mobility laptop
  3. Price
  4. Compact, but not light
  5. distinct looks which might not suit everybody
  6. only typical 720p screen for base configuration

 

4Under 6 hours idle / low work load – that’s good for such HW, but under our minimal requirementsAlienware m14x-r2 review
Samsung 700Z5C-S01US 15.6″GT 640M / I7-3615QM1000$ (deal) – 1080$
  1. No in-depth review,but this is the 15.6″ version of the 700Z series and should have same features.
  2. Should have very  good battery running times as its predecessor had – 10 hours idling, 6 hours surfing
Still no in-depth review, but I hope the screen isn’t as bad as its predecessor.33Samsung 700Z7C-S01 review (17.3″),and its predecessor review
Samsung  700Z7C-S03 / S01 17.3″GT 650M GDDR5 / I7-3615QM1330$
  1. High quality FullHD display
  2. High battery runtime, especially compared to such HW – 10 hours idling, 5 hours DVD, 2 hours under full load
  3. Very good build quality
  4. Very good keyboard
  5. Very high gaming performance
  1. Gets warm in heavy use (but keeps quiet)
  2. Only one RAM stick is accessible. HDD can be replaced by removing the whole cases’ bottom part
  3. Not light
  4. For 1350$ you can get more graphics performance than this.
42.5Samsung 700Z7C-S01 review
Lenovo X230 12.5″HD4000 / Intel Ivy Bridge I5800$ with *IPS* screen
  1. compact and light – 12.5″ form factor, 1.55kg with power supply
  2. Good HD4000 performance compared to HD3000 ultrabooks
  3. Superior IPS screen with great resolution for 12.5″ laptop – easily the best of the bunch
  4. Very High Build quality
  5. Great keyboard
  6. Low noise
  7. 10 hours in light work. 5-6 hours surfing
  1. You won’t get much gaming performance with the HD4000 compared to other laptops in that price
  2. temps aren’t great (but noise is very good)
  3. connection ports might be too crowded

 

 

 

 

Lenovo X230 review
Lenovo Thinkpad W530K1000M (GT 630M) K2000M (~GT 650M GDDR5) / I7-3610QM1350$ for base configuration,1750$ with a very high quality FHD screen and K2000 and 9 cell battery
  1. Very good gaming performance with the K2000M
  2. Very high quality FullHD option – 95% AdobeRGB coverage, good for professionals
  3. Default screen is a very good 900p – a very good option for 15.6″ form factor.
  4. with 9 cell battery Superb running times on battery – almost 3 hours under full load, 11 very low work load, 6.5 hours of fierce web surfing and 5 hours of DVD with 9 cell
  5. Very high build quality.
  6. Many connection ports.
  7. Very good keyboard and touchpad.
  1. High weight (2.81kg)
  2. Thermals could be better. Get’s hot under full load
  3. Price is very high even for the base configuration.
43.5 – with 9 cell batteryLenovo Thinkpad W530 review
Lenovo Thinkpad T530 15.6″NVS 5400M (~GT 540M) / I5-3210M (+30$)780$ for base configuration, 910$ with I5-3210M, 900p screen, NVS 5400M
  1. Very good 900p screen option for low price
  2. Excellent battery running times – 8 hours surfing (!)
  3. Quiet
  4. Good build quality
  5. Good keyboard and touchpad
  1. Gets hot
  2. Build quality is good but not great
  3. Gaming performance is only in the low midrange level.
24.5 with 9 -cell batteryLenovo Thinkpad T530 review
Lenovo ThinkPad T430 14.0″NVS 5400M /I5 and up870$ for 9cell battery, I5-3210M and NVS 5400M
  1. Extremely high battery running times – 13 hours surfing (9cell battery)
  2. Good 900p screen option for 50$.
  3. Very good temps with the HD 4000, but probably with the NVS 5400M too (Optimus enabled)
  4. Very good keyboard
  5. Good build quality
  1. 2.166kg
  2. Not the best gaming performance per price
25 with 9 cell batteryLenovo Thinkpard T430 review, another review and another review
Lenovo ThinkPad T430s 14.0″NVS 5200M
Lenovo ThinkPad T430s 14.0″NVS 5200M / I5
Lenovo E530HD 4000
Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 15.6″GTX 660M 2GB GDDR5 / i7-3610QM850$ (w/o FullHD) – 1000$ (FHD)
  1. I7-3610QM cpu
  2. High Quality FullHD display
  3. Good JBL speakers
  4. Good backlit keyboard
  5. GTX 660M 2GB GDDR5
  6. Battery performance is good for sucha HW – 8 hours under low load, 4-5 hours surfing / watching DVD.
  7. Bluray player
  8. Top performance/price for cheapest non-FHD model (this)
  1. Thermals and noise handling  only average (but that’s not worse than many other such laptops)
  2. mSSD option is expensive.
  3. For 150$-200$ less you can get most of the performance with the HP dv6t or other laptops. GT 650M + SSD combination would be prefered by many
  4. The outer lid build quality is below average.
4-4.52.5Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 reviewuser review no 1user review no 2
Acer Aspire 7750Radeon 6850M DDR3 / I5-2450Mwas 580$ at B&H
  1. Radeon HD 6850M DDR3 (About HD 6750M performance)
  2. Overall, excllent gaming performance for 600$
  3. low noise
  4. good battery lifetime – 5 hours surfing/DVD, 7 hours idling.
  1. average screen, but not worse than other gaming laptops for the same price.
  2. not that great keyboard
  3. The 6850M DDR3 offers a sub 6770M/6750M performance in practice in some cases.
2.52.5Other Acer AS7750G review
Acer AS5830TG 15.6″GT 540M / I5Should be 800$ but I can’t see where you can find it
  1. Very good build quality
  2. Very good keyboard and touchpad
  3. Top battery runtime – 8 hours surfing / DVD
  4. GT 540M for such high mobility laptop
  5. quiet
  1. Below average display
  2. Not that good temperatures
  3. NOT AVAILABLE?
24.5Acer AS5830TG review
Acer 4830TG 14.0″GT 540M / I5640$ for the 4830TG-6457 and eBay
  1. Fairly compact – 14.0″
  2. Top performance for 600$ high mobility laptop : GT 540M + I5 performance (better than the 5830TG).
  3. Good battery times. 7 hours minimal use, 6.5 surfing, more than 4 hours watching DVD.
  4. Good building quality
  5. Good mouse and keyboard
  6. Great thermals, heat handling
  7. Not noisy.
  1. There are more compact and light laptops, altough for that price you can hardly find a better gaming performance in high mobility laptop.
  2. 2.13KG – not too light.
  3. built-in battery. Cannot be replaced when depleted. Not easily anyway
  4. Only an average screen
  5. Dense connection ports configuration
23Acer 4830TG review
Acer Aspire M5-481TG 14.0″GT 640M LE / i5-3317U780$
  1. Compact and less than weight is less than 2kg
  2. GT 640M LE + I5 performance for 780$
  3. 20GB SSD inside. nice feature
  4. Very good battery times, 6 hours surfing / watching DVD
  1. A little hot
  2. typical 720p screen
2.53.5Acer M5-481TG review
Acer Aspire M5-581TG 15.6″GT 640M LE / i5-3317U830$
  1. GT 640M LE + I5 performance for 780$
  2. 20GB SSD inside. nice feature
  3. Very good battery times – more than 7 hours surfing lightly
  1. A little hot
  2. Only average 720p screen
  3. not compact
2.54Acer M5-581TG reviewAnd another review
Dell Inspiron 14z ultrabook7570M / I5900$ for base configuration with 7570M and I5
  1. Quiet
  2. relatively slim and light (1.87kg)
  3. 32GB mSSD – fast OS performance
  1. Gaming power is relatively low
  2. screen is low quality
  3. Price is high
  4. Gets hot under load
1.52Dell Inspiron 14z review
Dell XPS 13HD 3000
Dell XPS 15z 15.6GT 525M / IB I5900$ for base configuration (no FHD screen)
  1. Very good build quality
  2. Very good battery times – 6 hours surfing, 5 hours DVD.
  3. FullHD screen option
  1. 2.54kg
  2. Low gaming performance
  3. Average screen quality
  4. noise and temperatures are high
1.53Dell XPS 15z review
Dell XPS 15 L502xGT 540M / IB I5Seems to be unavailable except some refurbished models.Dell XPS 15 L502x review,review 2
Dell XPS L521xGT 630M – GT 640M / I5-I71300$ for GT630M+I51700$ for GT 640M+I7
  1. 32GB mSSD drive
  2. Excellent build quality – single Aluminium case
  3. Very good FullHD screen
  4. almost 5 hours surfing
  5. Very good keyboard and touchpad
  1. Gets hot under load
  2. High weight – 2.7kg
  3. Many other laptops deliver higher performance for the same price.
  4. Price is high for mobility
2-2.52.5Dell XPS 15 L521x review,Another L521x review
Dell XPS 14 ultrabookGT 630M GDDR5 / I5-3317U or I7-3517U1200$ for GT 630M version
  1. 32GB mSSD
  2. Excellent battery running times: 10-12 hours work under very light load, 6 hours surfing
  3. Excellent build quality – single Aluminium case
  4. Very good keyboard/touchpad
  5. 900p display
  1. display quality is average at best
  2. Gets hot pretty easily
  3. Price is high compared to others (like the Asus UX32VD)
23.5Dell XPS 14 review
Dell Vostro 3360 13.3″HD 4000 onlyDell Vostro 3360 review
Asus K53TARadeon 6650M / A6-3420M550$?
  1. 5 hours surfing, 6 hours idle
  2. Good temperatures
  3. Good gaming performance per price
  1. Only 6 hours idling
  2. Average build quality
  3. Few connection ports
22.5Asus K53TA review
Asus UX31AHD4000 only
Asus Asus U44SGonly GT610M
Asus Asus UX32VD 13.3″GT 620M / I5-3317U OR i7-3517u1250$ for the -DB71 version
  1. Superb Full IPS screen, great viewing angles, 1:1000 real contrast, high brightness, almost full sRGB coverable
  2. Very light, compact and slim – 13.3″ in 1.47kg
  3. Good keyboard and touchpad
  4. almost 3 hours under full load
  1. Gets somewhat hot under full load
  2. There are ultrportables with higher gaming performance
1.53 (very good under load)Asus UX32VD review
HP Envy 15t-3200 15.6″I5-3210M / Radeon 7750M GDDR5 for basic configurationUsually around 1000$-1100$ with FullHD screen using some coupons
  1. Very High build quality
  2. Keyboard and mouse high quality
  3. FullHD *IPS* Screen upgrade option
  4. Good looks
  5. 2 years warranty
  6. At least 4.5-5 hours surfing
  1. Heat and noise are so-so
  2. Radeon HD 7750M – you can get better for this price
  3. noise
42.5-3Envy 15 review (previous model)
HP Envy 17t-3200 17.3″I5-3210QM / 7850MUsually around 1000-1100$ using coupons
  1. default quality FullHD display
  2. Very high build quality
  3. Looks
  4. Very good keyboard and touchpad
  5. Above average battery runtimes with the I5 cpu – at least 4-5 hours surfing
  6. 2 years warranty
  1. Not the best performance for price
  2. noise
4-4.52.5-3HP Envy 17-3D review
HP Pavilion dv6t-7000 select edition 15.6″Nvidia GT 650M 2GB GDDR5 / Intel Ivy Bridge I5-3210M910$ with GT 650M 2GB GDDR5, I5-3210M, good matte FullHD screen and 32GB mSSD and backlit keyboard
  1. High performance: GT 650M + Intel IB I5
  2. TOP value/price ratio
  3. Very good matte FullHD screen
  4. 8GB DDR3
  5. 32GB mSSD
  6. Nice looks
  7. At least 5.5 hours surfing
  1. Not that good heat handling (but not worse than many other laptops)
  2. Only one HDD bay
43-3.5review of previous generation dv6tse,dv6t-7000 quad edition review
HP Pavilion dv6t-7000 quad edition 15.6″GT 650M 1GB GDDR5 / i7-3610QMcurrently great offer – 925$ with GT 650M GDDR5 and FullHD screen and 1000$ 32GB mSSD, backlit keyboard and FullHD screen
  1. High performance: GT 650M GDDR5 + Intel I7
  2. 1TB HDD + 32GB mSSD
  3. best value/price ratio
  4. 8GB DDR3
  5. Nice looks
  6. backlit keyboard
  7. 5.5 hours surfing
  8. Good 5.5 hours surfing time

 

  1. Without the coupons not the best performance/price ratio and
  2. Not the best heat handling
43-3.5dv6t-7000 quad edition review,Another one
HP dv4t-5100 14.0″GT 650M 2GB GDDR5 / Intel Ivy Bridge I5-3210M715$ for configuration with GT 650M GDDR5 + 32GB mSSD and 6GB DDR3
  1. I5-3210M + GT 650M 2GB GDDR5 GPU – no competitors in the graphics department.
  2. compact 14.0″ gaming laptop.
  3. 32GB mSSD
  4. Best gaming performance for the money
  5. Good build quality
  6. Good thermals compared to such a compact and loaded laptop actually
  7. Good battery times – at least 6 hours surfing the web
  1. Only typical 720p option
43.5HP dv4t-5100 review
HP Pavilion dv6z-7000 15.6″AMD Radeon HD 7730M DDR3 / AMD A6-4400M 3.0GHZ to A10-4600M555$ w/o FullHD, 700$ with quad A10-4600M, Radeon 7730M and FullHD screen
  1. Radeon HD 7730M /DDR3 – top gaming performance for class. Faster than the 7690M, it’s in the 6750M/ 6770M class.
  2. good brightness
  3. FullHD screen in a cheap gaming laptop.
  4. large touchpad
  5. Good thermals and noise handling
  6. best performance for the price for 550$.
  7. best performance for 700$ laptop with FullHD screen
  8. 3 USB 3.0 ports
  9. Good battery time – around 5-6 hours surfing
  10. backlit keyboard
  1. OC disabled
  2. 7730M DDR3 version is a cut-down GPU.
  3. only average TN panel screen for 550$, but it’s not different from other 550$ laptops
33.5HP Pavilion dv6z-7000 review
HP Envy m6t-1000Radeon 7670M / I5-3210M800$ with Radeon 7670M (coupon: SAVE50HP)
  1. Long Battery running times
  2. Slim and elegant
  1. Average-at-best 768p screen
  2. Price is high for the gaming performance it offers
23.5-4review
HP Envy 6tI5-2467M
  1. Sleek and cool
  2. Very good battery running times (6 hours surfing)
  3. 32GB mSSD cache included in price
  4. Good gaming performance for an ultrabook
  5. Build quality is good
  1. Compared to its performance, price is high
  2. Display quality is average at best
  3. Not many connection ports
  4. WiFi range is low
23.5Envy 6-1000sg review
Sony Vaio VPC Z 13.1″Radeon 7670M / I5-3210M1900$ with media power dock (7670M, DVDRW)
  1. Very light without the ‘media power dock’ – 1.34kg
  2. 6 hours surfing
  3. Excellent FullHD IPS screen
  4. Solid
  5. Compact – 13.1″ and thin.
  1. Without the media power dock it’s not really for gaming, so the gaming abilities are not really that mobile.
  2. Price. Starts for 1600$ without the dock.
  3. media power dock may bit work properly under Windows 8, Sony states
23.5Sony Vaio Z 1311X90 review
Sony Vaio S 15.5″GT 640M LE / I5-I7999$ including the GT 640M LE, 900$ on Newegg
  1. Excellent build quality
  2. Only 2kg (4.42lbs)
  3. Good gaming performance
  4. very good FullHD IPS display
  1. Thermals aren’t so good
  2. Screen is still not good enough for professionals
  3. There are better performers for that price range
  4. 4 hours surfing / DVD, 7 hours idling
32.5Sony Vaio S 1511X90 15.5″ review
Sony Vaio S 13.3″GT 640M LE / I5-I71030$ with 900p screen
  1. 4-5 hours surfing at least, 8 hours idling
  2. 900p screen in a 13.3″ laptop
  3. Excellent gaming performance for a 13.3″ laptop
  4. Excellent build quality
  5. Very good keyboard and mouse
  1. The 900p screen contrast is only average (but otherwise quite good)
  2. Many 14.0″ laptops have better gaming performance for lower price. Its advantage is the screen
33Sony Vaio S 13A1Z9E 13.3″ review
Sony Vaio E 14.0″Radeon 7670M / I5 and up770$
  1. 900p screen
  2. Very good 6 hours surfing the web according to review although Sony says it will only last 6 hours
  3. Good battery
  4. Good keyboard
  5. Very good thermals
  6. Not bad noise handling
  1. I don’t know what is the quality of the 900p screen
  2. Same as above – there are better performers for the price.
3-3.52Sony Vaio E 14.0″ review
Sony Vaio E 15.5″Radeon 7550
Toshiba S855Radeon 7670M / I5 or I7around 750$ for the version with 7670Mstill haven’t seen a good reviewstill haven’t seen a good review
Toshiba Satellite L850D7660G / A10-4600M450-480$ including shipping and taxes with the A10-4600M
  1. Very good performance for under 500$ laptop
still haven’t seen a good review, but you have to get a dual channel memory kit to really get the maximal performance from the 7660G
Toshiba Tecra R940 (14.0″) or R950 (15.6″)Radeon 7570M / I5800$ for R940 with 7570M and I5-3210Mstill haven’t seen a good review
Other ToshibasNot enough reviews + the other ‘Satellites’ and ‘Qosmios’ review aren’t flattering and high mobility is out of question anyway
Sager NP6110 11.6″GT 650M 2GB DDR3 / I5-2410M820$ base price, +189$ for high quality display
  1. Good (not great) build quality
  2. Top performance for the money for a 11.6″. Not the highest, but close
  3. Fastest 11.6″ gaming laptop
  4. Compact and light – weighs 1.74kg
  5. Compared to the hardware packed in such a small package, the heat and noise aren’t that bad
  1. not long battery runtime
  2. default screen is a typical low quality 768p screen. upgrade is expensive
  3. Heat and noise when under load
42Eurocom Monster review

 

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Ian

well i have heard bad things about hp (e.g. poor build quality, and heat problems). Compared to the Vaio S it is quite a bit more bulky (.3 inches thicker, 1.2 lbs heavier), but it might not be all that bad. i dont want taking it to class to be a hassle. Also for the dv6z is the 7730m much better than the 7670m? i would like to get the a10, would both video cards work with crossfire?

Ian
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Ian

I am seriously considering the Sony Vaio S with the basic i5, 1GB 640m and a 7200rpm hdd for school/gaming. Are there better choices with 1080p (or at least 900p) screens, thin/light, decent battery life and with similar gaming capabilities? It looks like all the laptops that are comparable have low resolution screens or are bulky.