Virtual reality is coming: but is your laptop ready for it? Virtual reality headsets came onto the scene in 2015, had a strong year in the developer and programmer field last year, and look ready to take the consumer market by storm in 2017. With the success of augmented reality games like Pokemon Go, game makers and computer companies are ready to hit the next level, and bring VR to the mainstream. Many top game titles and movies are already set for 3D and VR displays – all you need is the right equipment. Take a look at our choices for the best VR-ready laptops on the market right now.
Alienware 13 R3 HID59-AUK1 13.3″ GTX 1060 6G Laptop
- 39 cm x 25.9 cm x 2.3 cm; 2 kg
- 13.3 inch screen; NVIDIA GeForceTM HD graphics
- Intel Core i7 2.60 GHz processor; 16 GB RAM; 256 GB hard drive
This is an expensive machine, so it is not for the casual buyer. Alienware are one of the leading names in gaming computers, and their laptops put the power of most desktop PCs to shame. The stunning 13 R3 model is designed with the virtual reality revolution in mind – it has incredible power, state of the art sound and it is ready to plug and play with just about all VR headsets on the market.
The range is already popular with gamers and developers thanks to its high RAM and neat i7 processor, so this latest VR ready model is sure to catch the eye of buyers. Hook up your home VR headset and get started with your favourite 3D content – the laptop has a disc drive for your games, and it runs Windows 10 so you can access applications and web game services as well. It is also perfect for use with 3D projectors, so you can get truly immersed in the action of your favourite movies.
Lenovo ThinkPad X230 12.5-inch Notebook
- 20.7 cm x 30.5 cm x 2.7 cm; 1.7 kg
- 12.5 inch screen; 1366 x 768 pixel resolution; Intel HD 4000 DDR3 graphics
- Intel Core i7 processor; 16 GB RAM; 500 GB hard drive
If a notebook suits your needs better than a laptop or if you don’t mind losing a few inches of screen in favour of a more lightweight computer, the Lenovo ThinkPad is probably the pick of the bunch. This cool 12.5 inch notebook is great for work, for entertainment and for gaming – and it is also ready for virtual reality. Plug in your Oculus or Gear set, or connect with the Bluetooth function, and enjoy video and game content in immersive three dimensions. The slimline machine has an impressive i7 processor for plenty of power, and half a terabyte in disk space.
The battery life is a little lacking – expect to spend a lot of time tied to the charging port if you plan to take advantage of the processor at full power. However, it does charge quickly once plugged in. The small notebook doesn’t have a disc drive, so it won’t impress hardcore gamers, but it is perfect for using gaming and video apps or for playing in a web browser. With Windows 10 included, you can access all your favourite applications and programs.
MSI 9S7-179675-220 17.3-Inch Notebook
- Intel i5 processor; 8 GB RAM; 1 TB hard drive
- 28 cm x 41 cm x 4 cm; 2.7 kg
- 17.3 inch screen; 1920 x 1080 pixel HD resolution; NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics
The best choice for value on our list today, this great little laptop provides the high level processing power, strong graphics and fast responses needed to run virtual reality programs – but unlike its rivals on our list, it retails at well under £1000. You don’t need to cut many corners either. Okay, so there is a little compromise with the i5 processor instead of the higher i7, but overall the laptop gives a smooth and steady performance which is perfect for video games. Compatible with leading VR headsets and other accessories, this is a good starter kit piece for VR beginners.
Some of the specs for this great little laptop need to be seen to be believed. It has a staggering 1 TB of portable storage, plus a satisfactory 8 GB of RAM. Audio Boost and Cooler Boost technology keep this laptop cool and comfortable even during heavy gaming sessions, and the Nahomi sound tech gives a 360 degree audio effect that is perfect for complementing VR graphics.
Images used under Creative Commons licence (with thanks to Flickr.com)
Product details sourced via Amazon.co.uk