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Best VR Ready Laptop Under $1500 Reviewed

You no longer have to build a monster PC to run your prized Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR headset. A VR ready laptop will work well and offer you portability that a desktop PC can never match. The immersive experience of VR is no longer constrained to monster towers. If you have a budget of $1500 for a VR ready laptop, you are good to go.

Best VR Ready Laptops Under $1500

Gaming laptops have improved massively in performance and are now considered feasible, portable alternatives to the contemporary gaming desktop PC. Thanks to some powerful graphics chips and higher speed multicore processors, many of them can be considered VR ready laptops.

We’ve selected our four favorite, all less than or around the $1500 price point. We’ve limited the price point because VR ready laptops can cost as much as $4000 or more if you delve deep into the market.

Be sure to read our Buyer’s Guide at the end for some insight on VR ready laptop features, requirements, and what to look out for when buying one.

Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick

Acer Predator Helios 300 15-inch

Powerful and Reliable

The Acer Predator Helios 300 features the 6-core 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8750H and an overclockable Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB. You also get an FHD screen with a 144Hz refresh rate and a fast 256GB NVMe SSD.

Packed with plenty of power and boasting a fantastic construction, the Acer Predator Helios 300 15-inch is our favorite VR ready laptop under $1500.

Budget Pick

Budget Pick

Dell G5

VR Ready Laptop Under $1000

The Dell G5 features an 8th Generation Core i5 processor that combines well with the Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB Max-Q to provide plenty of power in a package less than $1000.

Dell’s G series of laptops provide gaming experience without demanding money in four figures. The G5 is our favorite of the bunch and highly recommend to anyone looking for a VR ready laptop for under $1000.

Acer Predator Helios 300 15

  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Screen Resolution: 15.6” FHD (1920×1080)

The 15-inch version of the Acer Predator Helios 300 is perhaps one of the best mid-range gaming laptops you can buy right now. It’s packed with features that you won’t find in other gaming laptops at this price point.

The powerful Core i7 8750H drives this laptop with its six cores, and you have a special overclockable Nvidia GTX 1060 to let you get the most juice for gaming and VR experience. Additionally, this laptop comes with a full HD IPS panel that runs at 144Hz for a buttery, smooth refresh rate.

A powerful 256GB NVMe SSD ensures fast boot up and loading times, and a part-metal design with Aeroblade metal fans ensures the laptop stays cool even during the most rigorous gaming sessions.

You might think Acer has compromised somewhere in the build construction to keep the price down, but that’s far from the truth. The touchpad and keyboard of the Acer Predator Helios 300 are superior to other gaming laptops in its class.

For its sheer power, great pricing, and overall appeal, we do believe the Acer Predator Helios 300 is the best VR ready laptop under $1500 right now and highly recommended it to anyone looking to dive into the VR world.

Pros

  • Powerful processor
  • 144Hz display
  • Solid construction
  • Excellent performance for the price
  • Good touchpad and keyboard

Cons

  • Poor battery life

Alienware m15

  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD (hybrid)
  • Screen Resolution: 15.6” FHD (1920×1080)

Okay, so at the time of writing the Alienware m15 isn’t exactly less than $1,500. In fact, it’s demanding $30 above that budget point. However, for what you get from this laptop, you’ll do well to borrow an extra 30 bucks from someone to own it.

Packed inside is a powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor. Six cores are on offer here, and the turbo boost speeds can go up to 4.1GHz. This ensures the integrated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Max-Q is never bottlenecked, making this a VR ready laptop that won’t cost the otherwise exorbitant pricing Alienware is notorious for.

The 15-inch monster also comes with a super-fast combination of 256GB PCI-e m.2 SSD and a 1TB hybrid hard drive. PCIe SSDs are some of the fastest out there right now, so you’ll be blessed with fast load times in VR games. You also get 16 gigs of DDR4 RAM rated at 2666MHz, which should serve you well for most games.

It’s the most expensive product on our list, but it’s also one of the most feature-packed VR ready laptops around the $1,500 mark, which is why it’s hard to turn a blind eye towards it.

Pros

  • Powerful processor
  • Beautiful display
  • Slim and lightweight design for a gaming laptop
  • Great battery life for a gaming laptop

Cons

  • Bottom surface gets warm
  • Pricey

Lenovo Legion Y730

  • CPU: Intel Core i5/i7
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Screen Resolution: 17” FHD (1920×1080)

Love RGB effects while gaming? You’ll plenty of them from this behemoth. Lenovo’s foray into the gaming laptop niche last year with its Legion series took everyone by surprise, but the company has seriously impressed with its lineup.

Without demanding a high fee, you can have a powerful VR ready laptop experience at your fingertips with the Legion series. We selected the Legion Y730 because it gives you the option of including the powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8750H with six cores.

The design is the biggest selling point. Lenovo is renowned for its beautiful yet minimalistic designs, but the company has taken a different approach with the Legion Y730. It still retains the modern touch, but RGB lighting emanating from the keyboard and vents makes this laptop stand out without looking too edgy.

The Nvidia GeForce 1050Ti 4GB is perhaps the laptop’s weakest point. It certainly goes well beyond the minimum requirements of running VR headsets, but it can’t compete with the 1060. You’ll have to reserve yourself with running more graphically conservative VR games with this laptop. 1080p resolution on a 17-incher also looks a little pixelated if you’re more accustomed to the modern 13-inch or 15.6-inch laptops.

Pros

  • Gorgeous RGB lighting
  • Fantastic design
  • Customizable backlighting
  • Good cooling

Cons

  • 17-inch is too large for 1080p resolution
  • Not the most powerful graphics card for VR

Dell G5

  • CPU: Intel Core i5
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Screen Resolution: 15.6” FHD (1920×1080)

Dell released its G series laptops last year that offer great gaming experience at an affordable price point. The G5 15 Gaming is a great VR ready laptop that belies the common thought associated with the word “budget”.

The Dell G5 takes heavy influence in design from the popular Inspiron gaming laptops of 2017 and uses the same minimalistic appeal. Yet inside you’ll find the powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q 6GB graphics card, making this a VR ready laptop. 8GB RAM may seem low for future-proofing, but given the price point, it’s a great compromise when the other specs are loaded.

The 8th Generation Intel Core i5 packs enough power to run most games at medium to high settings and effectively run VR headsets like the Oculus and HTC Vive as well. We also love the fact that it has a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port for extra connectivity options at rapid transfer rates.

For its value, this is one of the best VR ready laptops you can buy not just below the $1500 price point, but also the $1000 budget.

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Great value
  • Above average battery life for a gaming laptop
  • Good cooling

Cons

  • Keyboard feedback isn’t great
  • Average display colors

Buyer’s Guide

    VR games and VR applications need a powerful computer. For a good while, VR experience restricted users to powerful gaming desktop computers. VR on a laptop was simply unheard of. Much has changed since then.

    Laptops still aren’t as powerful as similarly priced desktop computers, but the surge of high-end gaming laptops have made VR experience with laptops a possibility. VR is still demanding, however, and your laptop will need to meet the minimum requirements for it.

    Minimum Requirements

    Oculus Rift, the most popular VR headset, lists the following minimum requirements to run it:

    • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti / AMD Radeon RX 470
    • CPU: Intel Core i3 6100 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200
    • Memory: 8GB+ RAM
    • OS: Windows 10 operating system

    Recommended Requirements

    Recommended requirements are what you should aim for to get a consistent experience across all VR applications and games. Most of the VR ready laptops in this article were selected with the recommended requirements in mind.

    • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 1060 / AMD Radeon RX 480
    • CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
    • Memory: 8GB+ RAM
    • OS: Windows 10 operating system

    VR headsets have similar requirements to video games when it comes to GPU vs CPU. That is, the GPU will handle most of the work and is the ultimate component that will directly influence the overall quality and experience.

    That’s not to say the CPU isn’t important – far from it. For a VR ready laptop, you shouldn’t consider anything less than an 8th Generation Core i5. We recommend the Core i7 8750H if you can afford it.

    This may seem well beyond the recommended requirements listed above, but that is because those requirements are predominantly for desktop computers. Laptop CPUs are comparatively underpowered and run at lower clock speeds, and clock speeds are the biggest factor in VR experience.

    Gaming laptops will run hot under load, and because of their compact nature, they don’t offer the kind of high-end and often extravagant cooling systems as you’d find in desktop computers. A VR ready laptop needs to have an excellent yet compact cooling system to ensure your laptop doesn’t turn into an electronic heater.

    Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to determine how effective the cooling system of a laptop is from the specs sheet of any VR ready laptop. You’ll have to rely on extensive reviews to see how cool the laptop runs under heavy load.

    What ports do I need in a VR ready laptop?
    According to Oculus, the following are the recommended ports you’ll need for a VR ready laptop:

    • Video Output: Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
    • USB Ports: 3x USB 3.0 ports + 1x USB 2.0 port

    Why should I consider a VR ready laptop over a VR ready PC?
    While a VR ready desktop computer will arguably perform far better than a laptop, the convenience of portability is completely eliminated. Yes, VR ready laptops aren’t the lightest or the slimmest, but they’re still far more portable than a full-fledged desktop computer. Gaming laptops have increasingly become popular in the last two years, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy the VR experience on them as well.

    Can I find VR ready laptops for under $1000?
    You can find VR ready laptops for under $1000, but your options will be very limited. Out of the handful of VR ready laptops at that price point, the Dell G5 is our top pick as it features the Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB and an 8th Generation Core i5 processor.

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