The best

Dell Inspiron 15 7577

This laptop from Dell is almost crazy cheap for what you get, and along with its predecessors has long been one of the best budget gaming laptops around.

There's an Intel Core 7th-generation processors, 8GB or 16GB of RAM, and options for solid-state drive (SSD) and hard-disk drive (HDD) combined storage as well as a 1080p or 4K display. It's not particularly thick or heavy and simple to upgrade the RAM and storage drives, too. The latest model also adds up to a GTX 1060 for some pretty powerful gaming performance. It also starts at just $899.

Bottom line: Well priced, great specifications and incredibly easy to upgrade down the line.

One more thing: The latest model supports NVMe for super fast SSD storage.

Why the Dell Inspiron 15 7577 is the best

The Inspiron 15 7577 may not have the most exciting name for a laptop, but that's not important. What is important is that it is well made, well priced and well equipped, as well as being perfect for adding your own upgrades down the line.

The Inspiron 15 7577 gives you a lot of flexibility.

Being able to upgrade means you're given the option to spend less at the point of purchase and add parts as you need them. The Core i5 or i7 processor in the Inspiron 15 will be good for many years, but the fact you can add more RAM, an SSD and change out the stock options for bigger and better ones gives you a lot of flexibility.

This really is one of the best all-rounders you can get right now. It's great for casual and more serious gamers, depending which GPU you choose. It's great for folks who want a powerful laptop without a sky-high price. And it's great for those who like to upgrade parts and not whole machines. We only wish all laptops could be like this.

A close second

ASUS ROG GL503

ASUS knows how to make a good laptop and also how to make them easily upgradeable. The GL503 is technically part of the Republic of Gamers stable, which is partly why it's so open to being upgraded.

Inside you can have a variety of bits and pieces. You get an Intel Core i7-7700HQ, a mixture of SSD and HDD storage, up to 16GB of RAM and up to a GTX 1070 GPU from NVIDIA. It's well kitted out from scratch, but undo one screw on the bottom and you can swap out the storage modules and add in more RAM. It couldn't be much easier! Prices start just under $1,000.

Bottom line: Well priced, built like a tank and easy to upgrade.

One more thing: Plenty of spec options for GPUs for the casual user or more serious gamer.

For higher budgets

Dell XPS 15

The XPS 15 9560 shares a lot with its smaller sibling, but the extra space you get from making it a bit bigger pays dividends — especially if you're into adding your own upgrades. Dell doesn't exactly cut corners with the spec sheet with quad-core processors, NVIDIA graphics and a 4K display all available as options.

But if you flip it over you'll find more than you might expect that you can change out. RAM and the SSD storage can be upgraded, as can the wireless card, so it's pretty straight forward to make an excellent portable PC even more excellent. Prices start at $999.

Bottom line: Thin, light, incredible to look at and even upgradeable. A laptop of all things.

One more thing: There are plenty of options available, be sure to scrutinise at purchase to get yourself the best deal.

Conclusion

From this list it looks pretty clear that if you're looking for a laptop to add to down the line your best bet is to go shopping with Dell or ASUS. Cheaper laptops and ultrabooks are generally out of the question, but options like our choice, the Inspiron 15 7577, prove you don't have to compromise much, if at all, to get a great laptop you can make even greater.

The best

Dell Inspiron 15 7577

This laptop from Dell is almost crazy cheap for what you get, and along with its predecessors has long been one of the best budget gaming laptops around.

There's an Intel Core 7th-generation processors, 8GB or 16GB of RAM, and options for SSD and HDD combined storage as well as a 1080p or 4K display. It's not particularly thick or heavy and simple to upgrade the RAM and storage drives, too. The latest model also adds up to a GTX 1060 for some pretty powerful gaming performance. It also starts at just $899.

Bottom line: Well priced, great specifications and incredibly easy to upgrade down the line.

One more thing: The latest model supports NVMe for super fast SSD storage.

Updated February 1, 2018: New picks from Dell and ASUS make our lineup of the best upgradeable laptops for 2018.