Best laptops for VR 2022

Oculus Rift S
(Image credit: Windows Central)

The best laptops for VR offer the right blend of modern performance and generous port selection that's needed to get a head-mounted display running properly. With that in mind, we recommend checking out the Dell Alienware m15 R7 with 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs and NVIDIA RTX 30-series GPUs. If it isn't quite what you're looking for, there are some other suitable laptops that we've rounded up right here, some of which also appear on our list of the very best Windows laptops available today.

Dell Alienware m15 R7

(Image credit: Source: Dell)

Dell Alienware m15 R7

Best overall

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive performance from Intel or AMD hardware
+
Plenty of configurations available
+
Varied port selection
+
Multiple display options
+
Sharp design

Reasons to avoid

-
Chunkier than some laptops

Dell's Alienware m15 R7 is an excellent pick for a laptop to power VR. It's expensive, but it includes the latest performance hardware including NVIDIA RTX 30-series graphics cards, 12th Gen Intel Core mobile CPUs, and AMD Ryzen 6000 CPUs. Get up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H or AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU, up to 64GB of DDR5-4800MHz RAM, dual 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs, and an NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU for insane performance, with plenty of lesser hardware options also available. 

The 15.6-inch non-touch G-Sync display comes in three different flavors, with FHD at 165Hz or 360Hz and QHD at 240Hz. They all look incredible, and you'll have no issues enjoying standard 2D games when you're not in VR. You also get an IR camera for Windows Hello above the display, as well as Wi-Fi 6 inside for fast, reliable wireless internet.

Ports include three USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1), Thunderbolt 4 (or USB-C for AMD systems), HDMI 2.1, RJ45 Ethernet, and 3.5mm audio. You should be able to connect any head-mounted display (HMD) with, at most, a DisplayPort adapter for newer VR systems. All this in a chassis that measures just 0.5 inches (12.9mm) at its thinnest point and weighs just 5.34 pounds (2.42kg).

Razer Blade 15 240hz

(Image credit: Razer)

Razer Blade 15

Runner-up

Reasons to buy

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Thin, premium chassis
+
Right ports for VR
+
High-end display options available
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RGB keyboard and enormous Precision touchpad
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Huge performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Runs a bit hot
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Models are expensive

The Razer Blade 15 is our pick for best gaming laptop, and it just keeps getting better with each new refresh. Most recently, Razer announced new Blade 15 models at CES 2022 with 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs, NVIDIA RTX 30-series GPUs (with up to an RTX 3080 Ti Laptop card), DDR5 RAM, and PCIe 4.0 SSD storage.

Display options have also been overhauled. There's an FHD model with a blistering 360Hz refresh rate, a QHD model with 240Hz refresh rate, and a UHD model with 144Hz refresh rate. These will make superb 2D gaming displays when you aren't connected to an HMD. Hardware is all contained in a svelte aluminum chassis with squared edges and thin build.

Despite the thin size, the Blade 15 offers three USB-A, two Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1, 3.5mm audio jack, and microSD card reader. You shouldn't have issues connecting your VR headset. Older models are still available, and though the hardware isn't quite as new they are generally more affordable. Check out our Razer Blade 15 2019 review for a closer look at the previous model.

(Image credit: Windows Central)

HP Omen 15

Best value

Reasons to buy

+
Near-perfect 4K AMOLED display
+
Value pricing
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Unthrottled gaming performance
+
Lots of ports
+
Good camera and speakers

Reasons to avoid

-
Keyboard on the mushy side

HP now has a new Omen 16 with improved cooling and new performance hardware in its gaming laptop stable, but the Omen 15 is still available at a more affordable price. You won't get the absolute latest AMD Ryzen 6000 CPUs, but the performance on offer from Ryzen 5000 chips is still more than enough to power VR.

In my HP Omen 15 review, I tested a model with a stunning 4K AMOLED HDR display with 100% sRGB, 95% AdobeRGB, and 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, as well as more than 500 nits brightness. It's one of the nicest 4K displays I've ever seen, but the FHD version is much more affordable; if you're using the laptop mainly for VR, this is a great place to save some money.

Remaining models at HP's site come with up to an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, as well as up to an NVIDIA RTX 3060 Laptop GPU. Other configs are becoming a bit harder to find, but you should still get what you're looking for. Prices start at just $1,100 for a model with Ryzen 5 CPU and RTX 3060 Laptop GPU.

The cooling system works well without getting loud, and you shouldn't see any thermal throttling even when stress testing hardware at 100%. The aggressive design has been toned down a lot for a mature look, and though the chassis is a bit thicker than some popular options, it has a great look that can fit into casual and professional environments. If you're looking to maximize your dollar, this is where you should start.

(Image credit: Windows Central)
Intel powerhouse

Reasons to buy

+
Improved thermals and overall stable running
+
New QHD+ display option with HDR and Dolby Vision
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Comfy keyboard, huge touchpad
+
Plenty of ports in convenient layout
+
High-end gaming performance for VR

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks biometrics
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Camera is 720p

Lenovo's Legion Pro lineup of gaming laptops first crossed my desk a couple of years ago, and it has since been a favorite pick. I most recently reviewed the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro (Gen 7), complete with Intel's latest CPUs, new cooling system, new display option, and a slightly thinner build. In my review, I call the PC a "killer gaming laptop," and that applies to VR as well.

You can get the Legion 5i Pro (Gen 7) with up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12800H CPU, NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU with 8GB of VRAM, 32GB of DDR5-4800MHz RAM, and 2TB of M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD storage. This is more than enough to power a high-end VR experience.

When you're not inside a virtual world, the 16-inch display with 16:10 aspect ratio will easily handle 2D games. It has an anti-glare finish, 100% sRGB color, Dolby Vision, NVIDIA G-Sync, HDR 400, and a 165Hz refresh rate. Ports are plentiful, with Thunderbolt 4, two USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), three USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1), Ethernet, HDMI, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Msi Gs76 Stealth

(Image credit: Source: MSI)

MSI GS76 Stealth

Best 17-inch

Reasons to buy

+
Huge display with multiple configurations
+
Right ports for VR
+
Relatively thin and light for form factor
+
Excellent performance hardware options
+
RGB keyboard and huge touchpad

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite expensive
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Larger size makes it harder to carry around

Part of the reason to buy a VR laptop is for portability, but you also might not want to game on a display that's any smaller than 15 inches. Enter the MSI GS76 Stealth. This 17.3-inch laptop is just 0.71 inches thin and weighs in at 5.4 pounds, specs usually reserved for a smaller 15-inch laptop. The huge display comes with up to a 360Hz refresh rate at FHD, 240Hz at QHD, or 120Hz at 4K, making it suitable for standard gaming when you're not wearing a VR headset.

Models come with up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU, 64GB of DDR4-3200MHz RAM, PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD, and NVIDIA RTX 3080 Laptop GPU for extreme performance. You'll also now get an IR camera for Windows Hello, Killer Wi-Fi 6, and Thunderbolt 4. The keyboard has customizable RGB lighting, and there's an enormous touchpad.

Bottom line

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There are plenty of great gaming laptops on the market, with some of them making the cut for our collection of the overall best Windows laptops. But if you're looking for the best laptop for VR, there's one we can certainly recommend. Thanks to an aggressive design, plenty of ports, and high-end performance, Dell's Alienware m15 R7 sits at the top. Its price might put it out of reach for casual users, but enthusiasts should feel right at home with the available hardware.

The Alienware m15 is stocked with ports, though newer headsets will likely require a DisplayPort adapter. Be sure to check system requirements for the VR system as well as the games you'd like to play, and keep the future in mind as required specs seem only to go up.