HP Omen

Cnet rating: 4 stars out of 5

The good: The Omen has a bold design, plenty of user customization options, a great keyboard, and something often missing from gaming laptops, a touch-screen.

The bad: The screen resolution is capped at 1080p, while the competition goes up to 4K. Routing all the ports and heat vents to the rear won’t appeal to everyone, and the only graphics card available is decidedly mid-tier.

The cost: $1,350

The bottom line: HP shakes up the world of gaming laptops with its unique-looking and highly portable Omen. It offers very capable performance in PC games, despite being stuck with a last-gen graphics card.

Origin PC Eon17-SLX

Cnet rating: 4 stars out of 5

The good: This is a laptop stuffed with desktop parts, including an overclock processor and the type of desktop graphics card VR systems such as Oculus Rift require. It’s highly configurable and very powerful.

The bad: The generic body is clunky and ugly, especially considering the price. A VR-ready configuration costs a lot. The keyboard, touch-pad and display are all merely OK.

The cost: $3,305

The bottom line: The Origin PC Eon17-SLX is very expensive, and none too pretty, but also one of the only gaming laptops with the specialized components needed for VR hardware such as the Oculus Rift.

Acer Predator 15

Cnet rating: 4 stars out of 5

The good: A rare 15-inch gaming laptop with top-end Nvidia 980M graphics, and the extra cooling required to run high-end parts in a smaller body. Battery life is excellent for a gaming laptop.

The bad: Despite a few nice design touches, this is still a gaudy-looking gaming laptop. All those fans can get loud when running at maximum speed.

The cost: $2,299 to $2,500

The bottom line: The Acer Predator 15 one of the fastest gaming laptops we’ve tested, and wisely adds extra cooling to handle high-end parts in a smaller 15-inch body.

Asus ROG G752VT-DH72

Cnet rating: 4 stars out of 5

The good: The Asus G752 is a little slimmer than its predecessor, and its new design lightens up the previous black-slab look. Performance is excellent, and a back-lighted keyboard with macro keys makes for comfortable gaming.

The bad: Despite the refresh, this still looks like something that lives in a dorm room or LAN party basement. Even some of the more expensive configurations drop the graphics card a notch. No touch-screen or higher-res options.

The cost: $1,299

The bottom line: Asus carries its Republic of Gamers line forward with a modern-feeling overhaul, but the new Intel processors in the G752 are matched with graphics cards more than a year old.

The following Cnet staff contributed to this report: Dan Ackerman and Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit www.cnet.com.