It's been another phenomenal year for gaming. We're right in the middle of a golden generation where we're able to play high quality titles on just about anything from consoles, to smartphones, to of course PCs and laptops.
And whilst consoles and mobile devices may feel like they're laying claim to the gaming throne, laptops continue to be amongst the most powerful vessels on the market.B
2014 has been another splendid year for laptop gaming, and as we approach the Christmas period we take a look back at the best machines to hit the shelves this year.
Aorus X7 V2
Perhaps the finest out there, the Aorus X7 V2 will set you back a hefty $2,700 but is just a snip if you're a serious gamer. Its stunning performance is down to not one but two incredibly graphics processors. The pair of NVidia GeForce GTX 860M GPUs work in unison to present unrivalled quality on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and even sim games such as the new Farming Simulator 15.
Its high quality performance makes it the machine to have for playing action games, with an Intel Core 2.4GHz quad-core chip giving the machine plenty of power. This, combined with the smooth and easy-to-use mouse pad, will allow you to control Private Jack Mitchell across the globe in his bid to save it against the powerful Jonathan Irons, played by Kevin Spacey.
It's a machine that's as exciting as the games it can comfortably host, and with an impressive 17.3-inch TN panel display, it's an all-round gaming stallion.
A little more affordable than the Aorus at around $2,000, the Chillblast Helix is perhaps the laptop for the more casual gamer, but one who still won't compromise on quality.
However, due to its incredible slim line design, the DVD drive has been scrapped so games need to be installed via USB should you want to play from disc. Although that won't stop you from playing the vast array of titles online.
Particularly when it comes to casino offerings. We're seeing more and more people playing online poker, with sites witnessing thousands of players competing in tournaments at all hours of the day.
Like previous models on the list, the NVidia GeForce GTX graphics suit multi-tabling poker games perfectly without compromising on speed and/or performance. It's certainly a laptop that will last, and you could even earn back the money you outlay within a matter of hours!
MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro
And the same applies to the MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro. Gamers are looking for a much more rounded machine nowadays; able to play the most demanding of games graphically, from the likes of Football Manager 2015 to playing a hand on Full Tilt - and the Apache Pro allows exactly that.
Costing around the same as the Chillblast Helix, its slightly heftier, but pulls out all the stops on performance with a quad-core Intel Core i7 running at 2.5GHz. And what's more, it's ready to go in just nine seconds with the Windows 8 fast-start option.
Of course performance wise you don't quite get the Auros but it's a solid base to start from and comfortably makes the best releases of the year list.
You'll have no issue playing any recent titles with the GeForce GTX 860M graphics processor, although it won't be as sharp as the Auros. If you're planning on hours upon hours of a really demanding game like Batman: Arkham City, then you're probably best taking the more expensive option, but enjoying an evening with World of Warcraft and your typical role player games, you really can't go far wrong,
Gigabyte P35W v2
The Auros is an offshoot of major hardware manufacturer Gigabyte, so it'll come as no surprise the P35W v2 competes with it comfortably. Coming in around $500 cheaper it does suffer slightly on display with only a 15.6-inch screen that is also much darker than most gamers would want.
However, what it lacks in that aspect it certainly makes up for in its sleek and slim design, perfect for putting in your backpack and gaming on the go. Its GTX 870M graphics processor even rivals the 880M and even matches that in frame rate with the likes of Tomb Raider achieving 60fps.
Despite its performance on adventure games such as Tomb Raider, this machine is generally more suited to gaming on the go. Perhaps a long train ride or flight, bashing on your keyboard shooting zombies doesn't sit very well with the passenger next door, therefore being a great option for card games and more strategic and tactically driven titles.
Coming in at a whopping $3,574, the Alienware 17 laptop is one for the more serious gamers. With a battery that lasts more than four hours it's the ideal device for session players, and is perhaps one of the more attractive looking laptops of the bunch too.
Inside, Dell has created a monster too, and is one of the first to use NVidia's GeForce GTX 880M cards, producing some of the best gameplay on the market. As you'd expect with the price it has plenty of other impressive specs too, including a 256GB solid-state boot drive for a fast start-up and an Intel Core i7-4919MQ processor.
Whether you'll be playing action, adventure, shooters, racing, sports, or anything else, this device is capable. In fact, it's more than capable.
Added to the touchscreen for Windows 7, it's an exquisite gaming device - if you can afford the pricey value.