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Best Laptops for Oculus Rift [2020 Review]

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Facebook’s Oculus Rift has attracted quite a talk in the virtual reality streets. The best laptops for Oculus Rift can help you explore the virtual world using this new VR headset. We did some research and compiled a list of VR-ready laptops to help you tap the full potential of virtual reality.

Our Top Laptops for Oculus Rift

There are only a few VR-ready laptops that can handle this hardware and shopping around on your own can take plenty of time. So, save some time and money by going through our carefully chosen recommendations.

Brand
Best Overall
MSI GE75 Raider
Best for the Money
Acer Predator Helios 300
Best Cheap Pick
Lenovo Legion Y7000
Product
MSI GE75 Raider-023 17.3" Ultra Thin Bezel Gaming...
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6"...
Lenovo Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD IPS...
Processor
Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2 - 4.1GHz
Intel i7-9750H
Intel Core i7-8750H
RAM
32 GB
16GB
16 GB
Rating
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
MSI GE75 Raider
Product
MSI GE75 Raider-023 17.3" Ultra Thin Bezel Gaming...
Processor
Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2 - 4.1GHz
RAM
32 GB
Rating
-
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Acer Predator Helios 300
Product
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6"...
Processor
Intel i7-9750H
RAM
16GB
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Lenovo Legion Y7000
Product
Lenovo Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD IPS...
Processor
Intel Core i7-8750H
RAM
16 GB
Rating
-
Price

Best Overall Laptop for Oculus Rift: MSI GE75 Raider

MSI GE75 Raider-023 17.3' Ultra Thin Bezel Gaming...

A noteworthy feature about the MSI GE75 Raider is its 17.3 display with narrow bezels. Despite featuring the RTX 2080 graphics card, this gaming laptop is only 1.08 inches thick and weighs 5.75 pounds. 

It also features a powerful 8th gen core i7 processor. On top of that, it ships with a whopping 32 GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and 2TB HDD: all of which you can easily upgrade, yet won’t nearly have any reason to soon. RAM can get up to 64GB, with two dual-channel 32 GB RAM chips. All these are eminently respectable specifications, considering the size of the laptop.

MSI GE75 includes an impressive range of port selection. On the left-hand side, you’ll find the microphone, headphone out, USB-C, USB-A, mini display, HDMI, and LAN ports. On the right, there’s a full-sized SD card reader and two more USB-A ports. Mind you, all the USB-A ports light up, adding to the aesthetics, as well as helping you find the ports easily in dim environments.

The large dual flanking exhausts on the back, plus two more on the left and right are enough to cool down this high-powered laptop. Its GPU is strategically near the heat sinks, yet not so close to the processor. As a result, you might experience some throttling on processor-intensive applications that are not GPU intensive.

The RGB full keyboard feels great to type on because it is mechanical and has a nice travel distance. It’s one of the brightest backlit keyboards available, with flashing lights radiating in numerous patterns of your choice. The Microsoft Precision touchpad works like a charm.

The speakers included have a dedicated subwoofer, which is surprising because of the laptop’s size. Consequently, the speaker can get quite loud, getting up to 95 decibels if you need them to.

It’s an exciting time to be a gamer, thanks to this the very capable 8 GB dedicated graphics the MSI GE75 Raider offers. To put it in perspective, the Oculus rift requires up to 4 GB of dedicated graphics, and the one on this gaming laptop goes even one better.

With a full HD screen, with great viewing angles at 144 Hz refresh rate, even the latest flagship games look peachier.

What We Like 

  • Light and thin chassis
  • Very portable for a gaming laptop
  • Highly customizable
  • Large Full HD 17.3-inch display, with 144 Hz refresh rate
  • A wide selection of ports
  • Brilliant cooling performance
  • Dedicated subwoofers speakers
  • Full-sized RGB keyboard (configurable)
  • Ultra-thin bezels

What We Don’t Like 

  • Lackluster battery life
  • Could have a better webcam
  • Thermal throttling on CPU intensive applications
MSI GE75 Raider-023 17.3" Ultra Thin Bezel Gaming...
  • Display: 17.3" 144Hz 3ms, 5.7mm 4-sided Ultra Thin Bezel FHD, IPS-Level, 100% sRGB, 72% NTSC
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080 8G GDDR6 w/New Ray Tracing Technology
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2 - 4.1GHz

Best Laptop for Oculus Rift for the Money: Acer Predator Helios 300 

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6'...

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a fantastic gaming laptop for the price. While other manufacturers may chip in a few compromises at this price, Acer gives you top of the range specifications and excellent build quality with this laptop. The aluminum top surface and keyboard are eye-catching and premium.

Under the hood, it has a powerful 9th generation Core i7 processor, with six cores that can be clocked up to 4.5 GHz. That processing power combined with its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card which offers 6 GB of dedicated video RAM is guaranteed to run all the latest games smoothly.

In other words, you’ll be able to get to the maximum frame rate for every game on the 144 Hz display.

This machine has an extensive thermal system consisting of two fans. However, If running on turbo mode, the fins on the fans do make a lot of noise. Besides getting optimum performance with turbo mode, you can still adjust the fan speed to a degree, according to your needs.

There are two USB-A, one USB-C, and an HDMI port. A notable downside with the configurations is the power inlet placement. When plugged in, the power cord interferes with part of the ventilation, and it can get very hot at times. The downward-firing speakers are not that loud, and you have to give the laptop a bit of lift for better audio.

All things considered, Acer is giving other PC manufacturers a run for their money. Hardly will you find a gaming laptop this fine for a better price. Considering it exceeds all the specifications Oculus Rift demands, Acer makes other brands look bad because they might have to reconsider their pricing. 

What We Like 

  • Incredible price
  • Easily upgradable, with two storage slots
  • Refreshing design, with blue accents
  • Premium cooling system
  • Backlit full-sized keyboard

What We Don’t Like 

  • Power cable interferes with vents
  • Speakers located in the bottom panel
  • Basic webcam
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6"...
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7 9750H 6 Core Processor (Up to 4.5GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics with 6GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
  • 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED backlit IPS Display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 3ms...

Best Cheap Laptop for Oculus Rift: Lenovo Legion Y7000 

Lenovo Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop, 15.6' FHD IPS...

Lenovo is one of the best-selling laptop manufacturers worldwide. As you would expect, the world-renowned manufacturer also wants a piece of the pie in the gaming laptop niche. They came for it in a big way with the Legion Y7000.

Starting with the design, Lenovo chose a more straightforward and better aluminum lid on top, with a legion logo that lights up. On the back are two massive vents, reminiscent of a super-fast sports car. By opening the laptop, you are greeted by a sizable central hinge holding up the near bezel-less full HD (1080p) display. On the bottom edge of the lid lies the camera flanked with stereo microphones. 

From looking at it, you might think the Legion Y7000 is a bulky gaming laptop, yet it’s surprisingly light at only 5.17 pounds. As compact as the backlit full keyboard seems, it’s relatively gratifying to type on because of the 1.7 mm key travel. The mousepad’s accuracy is spot-on, adequately sized, and works as advertised. 

Many people appreciate the decent selection of ports on the backside, muffled between the vents. This design does not interfere with space on the left or right. Ports include the power input, Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.1, display port mini, and a type C USB. Nevertheless, on either side of the laptop, you get other USB 3.1 ports, bringing the total to three.

Getting inside the laptop is relatively easy to reach the upgradeable components. It is powered by an Intel i7 6 cores processor and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, which gives 2 GB of dedicated VRAM. 

It comes shipped with a 1 TB HDD, 128 GB SSD and 16 GB of RAM, all of which you can upgrade. However, RAM can only get to a respectable maximum of 32 GB. Its specifications are more than enough to run the Oculus Rift smoothly.

What We Like 

  • Harman Kardon speakers with Dolby audio
  • Beautifully designed
  • Wide viewing angles on the near bezel-less display
  • Easy to upgrade RAM and storage
  • A comprehensive selection of ports
  • Two brightness levels on the keyboard backlight
  • Innovative keyboard layout

What We Don’t Like 

  • Lackluster battery life
  • Rowdy fans
Lenovo Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD IPS...
  • POWERFUL GAMING LAPTOP: The Lenovo Legion Y7000 gaming laptop comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H...
  • PRACTICAL PORTABILITY: At 1.1 inch thin and only 5.2 pounds, the Legion Y7000 gaming laptop was...
  • FHD DISPLAY: Featuring bezels that are only 0.3 inches thin, the Y7000 Laptop rocks a 15.6" FHD...

Best Designed Laptop for Oculus Rift:: Dell Alienware M17 

Alienware M17 Gaming Notebook | 8th Gen Intel Core...

To put it in a few words, Dell’s Alienware M17 is gorgeous. This gaming laptop is thin, light, and premium. It consists of a mix of steel and magnesium throughout. The interior has a soft, black, matte finish that astonishingly resists fingerprints and smudges. Despite having a 17-inch screen and a robust chassis, this laptop weighs less than 6 pounds.

The 17.3 inch full HD IPS display looks great at wide angles and takes maximum advantage of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070. Running Oculus Rift is a breeze with this graphics card that gives an astonishing 8 gigabytes of video memory. The only downside to this laptop is the 60 Hz panel. Even so, you could always hook up an external display with a higher refresh rate.

Under the hood, you get the 8th gen Intel Core i7 processor, with six cores for super fast multi-threading. On top of that, it comes with 16 GB of dual-channel memory and 512 GB SSD, both of which you can easily upgrade. Performance-wise, the Alienware m17 smashes all benchmark scores when it comes to gaming.

On the left-hand side, you’ll find the Ethernet port, USB-A and headphone jack. On the back, is an HDMI mini display port, charger inlet, Thunderbolt 3, and a proprietary port for connecting to Alienware’s graphics amplifier, as if the 8 GB VRAM wasn’t more than enough. The power plug has a blue LED light around it so that you can locate it easily in darkness. On the right-hand side are two more USB-A ports. 

The backlit keyboard feels good to type on. Its keys have good travel and are tactile. The downward-firing speakers are surprisingly loud and fine-tuned to produce lots of bass. While the thermals are quiet, the laptop can get warm when put under heavy loads for long periods.

What We Like 

  • The latest Nvidia GeForce graphics
  • Slim and beautiful design
  • Windows Hello facial unlock supported
  • Powerful, loud and clear speakers
  • Ports on the back of the laptop

What We Don’t Like 

  • 60 Hz screen refresh rate
  • Small trackpad
  • Thick bezels with glossy plastic
Alienware M17 Gaming Notebook | 8th Gen Intel Core...
  • Staggering visuals. Slim design
  • Deliberately slim and light
  • Commanding performance

What to Consider When Buying a Laptop for Oculus Rift

Below are some of the features that you should keep in mind when looking to buy a laptop that is compatible with Oculus Rift.

Woman sleeping in front of her laptop while wearing an Oculus Rift VR head gear

Graphics

If you are looking for an optimum virtual reality experience, you cannot ignore the importance of powerful graphics. The GPU does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to rendering the complex virtual reality worlds. These include displaying 3D images that make VR more immersive.

For this reason, you should seriously consider getting a laptop with dedicated graphics as opposed to integrated ones. You see, when playing a game in a virtual environment, the images are presented at higher frame rates (like 90fps) than when playing normally (about 60 fps).

Integrated graphic cards cannot handle this kind of speed and thus the laptop may break down.

For Oculus Rift, we recommend that you go with at least an NVIDIA GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480.

Processor

To render VR images, you need plenty of computer power. In most cases, VR is used for gaming in which case the processing power is critical.

To comfortably use Oculus Rift with your laptop, you will need a CPU with several cores or threads. This, in addition to high clock speeds, will help handle the intense I/O needs of hardcore multiplayer VR games.  

Anything from an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor will be fine for entry-level titles.

However, for the best experience with Oculus Rift, you should aim for at least an Intel Core i7.

Woman wearing VR gear, while playing a game

Ports

To use Oculus Rift, you will need to connect it to your laptop using USB ports. Ports are also used to connect such accessories as steering wheels and gloves.

The more ports the better since you can use additional ones for other peripheral connections like mice or gamepads. We recommend you get at least 3 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 for Oculus Rift.  If you can get a USB-C or any Thunderbolt-based ports, that would be great.

RAM

The Random Access Memory helps to make the processor faster by temporarily storing data of currently running programs. This way, the processor can access it faster than when retrieving from the hard drive.

For Oculus Rift, you should AIM for at least 8GB of RAM. This should not be a problem since most laptops come with slots for upgrading RAM. If you plan on upgrading, check to see the highest amount of RAM you can upgrade to.

Laptop with a game controller beside it

Video output

Video output is important when considering the compatibility of a laptop with Oculus Rift. Manufacturers recommend varying output options for different headsets. For Oculus Rift, ensure that the laptop is compatible with an HDMI 1.3 or any other pertinent output option.

Conclusion

For the best VR experience with Facebook’s Oculus Rift, you need a VR-ready laptop. All of the recommendations in this guide are VR-compatible so you won’t have to shop around for too long before getting your perfect pick.

Make sure to check such features as graphics, video output options, and processing power before buying the laptop.