Thursday, October 17, 2019

Fortnite remains a sensation. While widely available on consoles and mobile, the PC remains the best place to play the game. Digital Trends reviews over 50 laptops each year, and Fortnite is part of our standard. That gives us incredible amount of data to inform our definitive picks on the best laptops for Fortnite. Here’s our top recommendation — and new two alternatives.

best laptop for fortnite dellg715

THE BEST LAPTOP FOR FORTNITE: DELL G7 15

Dell’s G7 15 is – when configured with an RTX 2060 – the best laptop for Fortnite. It offers an excellent combination of performance, specifications, and portability, all at a relatively affordable price. I specifically recommend a mid-spec model with Nvidia’s RTX 2060 and Intel’s Core i7-9750H processor.

Pairing a Core i7-9750H and RTX 2060 gives the Dell G7 15 the grunt to play Fortnite at 1080p resolution and at least 60 frames per second with all graphics details set to Epic. In fact, my testing suggests you should see an average of around 85 frames per second, though the game can dip below 60 FPS for brief periods during heavy action.

I don’t recommend spending more money for the option 144Hz screen. It’s attractive, I know, but keep in mind what my testing found – the game’s framerate will average in the mid-80s at maximum detail. You can drive the average framerate above 100 FPS by sacrificing quality, but that will make the game much less attractive.

You can skate by with the 8GB of RAM available in the default configuration. It’s not a lot, but Fortnite is not a RAM hog, so it doesn’t hold back the game’s performance. Consider an upgrade to 16GB of RAM if you plan to game heavily in a wide variety of titles or want to future-proof the laptop. You can also upgrade the RAM later if you feel confident in your repair skills and don’t mind researching the right RAM to buy.

The reasons to recommend Dell’s G7 15 go beyond performance. It’s a good all-around laptop with a decent screen, reasonable battery life, and a decent keyboard. All of them make small compromises in favor of high performance at a low price. And unlike many of its peers, the Dell G7 15 looks sleek and modern. It’s particularly good for students, who need a gaming laptop that’s also not an absolute chore to carry.

acer dell gaming laptop limited discounts nitro 5

THE BEST BUDGET LAPTOP FOR FORTNITE: ACER NITRO 5

Need a more affordable option? I recommend the Acer Nitro 5. The best option is the model with a Core i5-8300HQ processor, 256GB solid state drive, and Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti, but you can find other models with slightly different configurations at various prices between $600 and $900. Just make sure you buy a model with the Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti.

The Acer Nitro 5’s price is its defining characteristic. Older models sell for less than $700, while the latest model can be had for $750 at most retailers. That buys you a chunky but capable laptop with a “look at me” aesthetic. It’s not going to win any design awards, but it does the job.

Of course, performance is what matter most – especially at this price point. The Acer Nitro 5 can’t average 60 FPS at 1080p resolution and Epic detail, but it can hit that if you bump the detail settings down to High. You might have a hard time telling the difference, anyway. The Intel Core i5 HQ-series processors available in the Acer Nitro 5 are more than capable of handling the game. You’ll have to settle for 8GB of RAM but, as I’ve already mentioned, that’s perfectly fine for Fortnite.

You make quite a few sacrifices to shave the budget down to $750. The Acer Nitro 5’s has an unremarkable display, a chunky chassis, modest battery life, and it looks as inexpensive as it is. You also won’t see upgrade features like a high-refresh display, impressive LED lighting, or a large hard drive. Indeed, the hard drive is the most serious pain point, because some models only have a 256GB SSD while others back that up with a larger mechanical disk drive. A single 256GB SSD is more than enough space for Fortnite alone, but you won’t be able to fit more than handful of modern AAA games on a drive of that size.

In the end, though, it all comes down to performance for the price, and that’s where the Acer Nitro 5 shines. Fortnite is still a blast to play, and you don’t lose much visual detail even when compared to Dell G7 15.

THE BEST GOD-TIER LAPTOP FOR FORTNITE: RAZER BLADE 15

If you have money to burn, and want Fortnite to look its best, check out the Razer Blade 15. It’s our favorite gaming laptop overall, and while it’s definitely overkill for Fortnite, it will deliver an absolutely awesome gaming experience.

You can purchase base Razer Blade 15 with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 for barely more than the Dell G7 15, but I don’t recommend that. It costs more and won’t perform as well. You’re better off going for the Advanced model with the Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q. That will net you an average framerate of about 130 FPS with details set to Epic, or 163 FPS if you dial detail back to High.

A framerate that high is enough to use the high refresh rate of the standard 144Hz 1080p screen to its fullest. Gameplay will look incredibly smooth and your inputs will translate to on-screen response with lighting speed.

Razer also offers a 240Hz 1080p screen or a 4K OLED touch screen, both of which are tied to a 9th-gen Intel Core processor upgrade. I don’t see much point in these upgrades because you’ll have to restrict the game’s detail settings to make full use of each upgrade’s features. The 144Hz 1080p display is a sweet spot – and less expensive, too.

There’s a lot more to the Razer Blade 15 than performance, however. It’s our top pick among all gaming laptops because it delivers an incredibly attractive and sleek frame, a wonderful keyboard, spacious touchpad, and good battery life. It’s a laptop that can play Fortnite at Epic at night, then turn around to handle boring day-to-day productivity without a problem. Developers, video editors, and other tech professionals love the Blade 15 as much as gamers. It’s the Windows equivalent of a MacBook Pro 15.

Don’t forget that it’s available in silver/white, as well as the default black – a good pick if you’d like a gaming laptop that stands out from the crowd.

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