Finding the best gaming laptop for Wasteland 3
The saying goes that if you buy cheap, you buy twice – a wisdom that is fully applicable to gaming notebooks. If the performance is no longer sufficient for future top games, like Wasteland 3, notebooks cannot be upgraded so easily and a new device is needed. So first save money, then buy a good model – for example, one of the models being tested here. Techtestreport reveals what is important in a large-scale comparison. And that’s a lot: Is the graphics chip powerful, is the display good and how (fast) does the processor run? Is there enough space on the SSD for the game collection? Does the notebook have enough connections for a gaming mouse, keyboard & Co. And these are by no means all questions that buyers have to ask themselves.
If you want to play newer games like Wasteland 3, and AAA game titles still coming out in the future, it is best to chose a more powerful and capable gaming laptop that is more future-proof. In order to run Wasteland 3 the following system requirements have to be fulfilled:
But if you want to play Wasteland 3 on high graphics settings, you should get something with a little bit more power. More power also means that the gaming laptop will be able to handle future games also and it will be able to run them on high quality graphics settings and over 60 FPS (Frames-per-second). And you don’t have to buy the most expensive model. In our test we also award a price-performance ratio winner. This option gives you the most bang for the buck, in this case not only for Wasteland 3, but many future games also.
In the last section of the article you find our preview of Wasteland 3 which turns out to be a real banger for the year 2020.
Test Results: Best gaming laptops for Wasteland 3
Ranking First: Acer Predator Helios 700
- Robust hardware
- Preset overclocking
- Very good keyboard
- Smart ventilation system
- Under full load a bit too loud
- Heavy power supply unit
Acer Predator Helios 700: Gaming laptop for Wasteland 3
In Greek mythology, Helios is the god of the sun – at Acer it is a worthy name for the current flagship of the Predator gaming brand. Thus, the high-end gaming laptop Acer Predator Helios 700 not only impresses with an almost divine performance, but also shows once again with what clever and sometimes a little crazy design ideas Acer is driving gaming hardware forward.
Thus, we remember Acer’s 10,000 Dollar gaming laptop with the not so powerful name Acer Predator 21X. At first glance, a completely exaggerated device and at the same time a good example of how the boundaries between classic desktop computer and mobile device are increasingly disappearing.
Then there was the gaming laptop in an approximate ultrabook format, named after the father of Arielle the mermaid or the sea god in Greek mythology – the Predator Triton 700, the stark opposite of the 17 lbs. Predator 21X, and an example of how a gaming laptop can also be elegant and quite inconspicuous.
But let’s now focus on the unique selling point of the Helios 700, because Acer has twisted or pushed and pulled something on the keyboard. Thus, the keyboard can simply slide away and thus reveals an additional fan duo. At the same time, the computer switches to overclocking mode, which tickles even more performance from the built-in hardware.
Pull my Keyboard!
One thing in front away: The workmanship of the plastic case is, as usual with Predator devices, on a very high level. This also applies to the keyboard with the sliding mechanism just mentioned. It runs as smooth as butter, and although it doesn’t take much effort to pull the keyboard, it locks perfectly. The position of the strangely downward-shifted touchpad reminds us of 10-year-old notebooks, but can still be used in extended mode – even if the angling needs getting used to. But since you can’t do without a good gaming mouse in a gaming laptop anyway, we generously overlook this little design flaw.
The typing feel is nice and crisp, with a good counterpressure and a good stroke length, thus also ideal for longer typing and gaming. The WASD keys can even be replaced. Acer supplies special gaming switches called MagForce for this. They have a small spring mounted on the bottom and therefore offer a stronger resistance with a softer pressure point when pressed. This makes it possible to walk and navigate more precisely.
As befits a gaming keyboard, the built-in RGB lighting can be customized to suit your own colorful taste. To do this, you can use the pre-installed Predator Sense app, with which you can also adapt the overclocking mode to your own gaming needs. Because as soon as you pull the keyboard down, the computer switches to a preset mode, which overclocks the processor and the graphic card. The fans turn up quite a bit and at the latest now you need a good headset as a passionate gamer. By how many percent the CPU and GPU should be overclocked and how far the fan should turn up can also be adjusted. Here the Predator Sense app also takes overclocking beginners by the hand, so that one does not have to fear thermal damage to the hardware.
You don’t need this performance boost in pure office use, of course. The standard performance of the Helios 700 is completely sufficient for most current games. But especially in extremely performance-guzzling games and VR gaming, it’s worth switching on the ventilation and switching to overclocking mode.
And then there’s the turbo button
The clock is given by Intel’s i9-9750H processor. The eight-core has a base frequency of 2.40 GHz and can be driven up to 5 GHz in turbo mode. Correctly heard: turbo mode. Aside from the already mentioned possibilities of individual overclocking, Acer also offers the quick push of the turbo button. Then CPU, GPU and all fans go to the maximum.
Apropos GPU: Here, an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 with eight GByte GDDR6 makes sure that you can enjoy all details at the highest level – including raytracing. The entire system is supported by 16 GB RAM, which can be upgraded to 64 GB. With this setup, the Acer Helios breaks the previous scale for gaming laptops in our benchmark test (3 DMark Fire Strike) with 18,297 points. And that without even pressing the turbo button.
What else is in the gaming monster? A 512 Gbyte SSD, a Bluetooth 5.0, Killer Gigabit Ethernet E3000 as well as WLAN-802.11ac. A Thunderbolt and USB C input as well as a USB 3.0 socket are available on the right. On the left, there are two USB 3.0 ports and one audio in and out as well as a LAN port. The power connection is also built in at the back, in addition to an HDMI and display port.
So that you can enjoy the performance optically, the screen of the Predator Helios 700 is 17 inches large and has a resolution of Full-HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels). The fast refresh rate of 144 Hertz together with a reaction time of three milliseconds makes for wonderfully fluid gaming, especially Wasteland 3. We didn’t particularly notice the rather low maximum brightness of only 265 candelas per square meter and the not exactly intoxicating chessboard contrast of 165 to 1. Nevertheless, we would have expected better values similar to what the competition from Dell’s Alienware 15 R4 with a luminosity of 375 cd/m² shows.
You can’t expect any miracles in the 17 incher’s battery life. Thus, 17 inch gaming laptops are rather to be understood as a desktop replacement – for all those who can’t or don’t want to afford a fixed place for a gaming desktop computer. This means that while these laptops are mobile enough to be placed in different locations in your own home, they are not really suitable for mobile computing on the go. After all, the battery life of just under two hours is not enough for this and the noise development during gaming, especially when the Helios 700 is overclocked, should also cause a lot of annoyance among fellow travellers.
Verdict: Best performing gmaing laptop for Wasteland 3
Acer’s Helios Predator 700 subjectively convinces us in the test with its extraordinary design and objectively with its high-end gaming power, a very good workmanship and a gaming experience that almost reminds of a classic gaming desktop computer. The weight is also reminiscent of a gaming PC, as the 17 incher is anything but mobile with almost 10 lbs. in addition to the more than twoi lbs. charging adapter. In return, the sleek hardware can be overclocked in a beginner-friendly manner and additional coolers are hidden under the sliding keyboard. All in all an optimal gaming laptop for Wasteland 3 and future games still coming out.
Ranking Second: Dell G5 15
- Best price-performance ratio
- Fast processor
- Powerful graphics card
- Two-stage illuminated keypad
- SSD and RAM are a tad slow
Great Gaming Laptop for Wasteland 3: You don’t have to spend a fortune
The G5 from Dell shows that powerful gaming notebooks don’t always have to cost a fortune. However, the buyer has to make concessions in some areas.
Dell also offers a series of gaming notebooks under its own name, beside its luxury series Alienware, which is very sought after in gaming circles. The G-series includes notebooks with the designations G3, G5 and G7 – all of which have a comparatively fair pricing in common.
Our test device, a G5 with a 15.6 inch display, fast Intel processor and a fast GeForce GTX 1660Ti, costs just 1350 Dollar. That’s not really little money, but a fair price for the offered total package.
The matte display offers a Full-HD resolution, hardly reflects at all and delivers a good contrast. It is indeed very evenly lit and doesn’t afford any negative outliers on the sides; but the display isn’t particularly bright with an average of about 228 candelas. The room should therefore be better darkened a bit for the best gaming pleasure.
An NVMe SSD with 512 GByte capacity is used as the system disk, which was really convincing in the benchmark tests. A conventional HDD can be chosen too as extension, if the small SSD with installed Windows should reach its capacity limit.
Unfortunately, a larger SSD can’t be selected in the Dell configurator either. The same applies to the RAM, but as it turns out 16 GB RAM is more than enough for games like Wasteland 3 and any other game really. The G5 left a decent impression in the test lab.
Decent performance rates
The notebook also masters demanding games, such as Battlefield 5 and Wasteland 3, even with ray tracing. But the game loading times from the HDD are extremely long. The fans get quite loud during gaming, while they hardly make a sound in office mode.
You can write very well on the two-stage illuminated keyboard; a separate number pad is found on the right. Dell gets the necessary points for a very good rating in the configuration. Dell has, among other things, installed an SD card reader and a Thunderbolt connection.
This isn’t always a matter of course, even with far more expensive devices. The battery life is extremely good for a gaming notebook with over five hours in office mode, but if you want to play mobile games, you naturally have far less room for maneuver.
- 3D Mark Cloud Gate: 30556 points
- PC Mark 8 Work: 3804 points
- Cinebench 11.5 CPU: 12.5 points
- Read HD-Tune HD Transfer: 305 MByte/s
- PC Mark 8 Battery Life: 311 minutes
Verdict: Best price-performance ratio gaming laptop for Wasteland 3
At 9.5 points, the Dell G5 comes very close with a very good finish. The notebook offers a lot of value for money at a moderate price, even if SSD and RAM have turned out quite small. This makes the Dell G5 15 our price-performance ratio winner for best gaming laptop for Wasteland 3.
Ranking Third: GIGABYTE Aero 15X
- Top performance in Full HD
- Comparatively high mobility
- Very good display quality
- Two-stage illuminated keypad
- Always audible cooling system
- Overall high weight
Gigabyte Aero 15X: Solid Gaming Laptop for Wasteland 3
With the new Aero 15X, Gigabyte is giving its gaming laptop series a major update. We took a look at the model with a Full-HD display for a test. The components are impressive: Inside, an Intel Core i7-8750H with six computing cores and 2.2 to a maximum of 4.1 GHz clock speed in turbo mode works. As usual for gaming laptops, the CPU has a total of 16 GByte RAM at its side. The graphics output is provided by a speedy Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 in Max-Q design, which – in opposition to the normal version – also allows for more compact laptop cases. A 512 GByte SSD is available for the operating system, game installations and programs. This ensures that all applications start quickly, but the memory also fills up quite quickly. Because an additional hard disk is not built in. Three USB 3.0 (Type A), one USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 support, Mini DisplayPort and HDMI are available as connections. You can access the internet via Gigabit-LAN or WLAN-ac. Gigabyte comes with a pre-installed license of Windows 10 Pro.
In the performance test, the Gigabyte Aero 15X delivers an overall good result. “Only good” because our test winner with Geforce GTX 2070, the Acer Predator Helios 700, works significantly faster in comparison. But the benchmark rates are impeccable in themselves. For example, Forza Motorsport 7 (ultra settings) scores 76.9 FpS. FarCry 5 achieves 67 fps. Only the highly demanding Total War: Warhammer II falls below the magic 60 FpS limit and runs across the screen with an average of just under 55 frames. The 3DMark Firestrike supports the good impression and reaches 13,144 points after all. We also like the performance of the built-in SSD, which reaches an average speed of 425 MBytes per second in the storage test.
Gigabyte Aero 15X: Display & mobility
Besides performance, we consider the display to be the most important component of a gaming laptop. Here, the Gigabyte Aero 15X shows itself largely from its best side. Like all the models on our gaming notebook best list, it has Full HD resolution on a matte 15.6 inch panel. The display also offers 144 Hz refresh rate, which proves to be especially advantageous in games. However, Gigabyte does without a G-Sync module, which would provide for the dynamic synchronization of the frame rate with the panel’s refresh rate. In practice, G-Sync works wonders and is extremely effective against tearing effects. Considering that the Aero 15X costs 1460 Dollars and that it relies on a Geforce graphics card anyway, this would have been a nice add-on. In the lab we measured a maximum brightness of 266 candelas, a checkerboard contrast of 177:1 and a sRGB coverage of a strong 95 percent. All in all, this results in a very good display for us.
High mobility is rather unusual for a high-performance gaming notebook. Gigabyte achieves a pretty impressive result with its Aero 15X, though. It is surprisingly flat at 0.9 inches. In comparison, the Helios 700 has an almost 30 percent larger overall height. But the battery runtimes are also quite impressive. It lasts a good 6.5 hours while watching videos – two Hollywood blockbusters are therefore no problem when on the go. The PCMark 8’s runtime test, which simulates an average workload, ends after a bit more than 4 hours – that is also pretty good. Two drops of bitterness: The weight is 4.4 lbs., which in the long run could really get on your shoulders. The flatter design also has an effect on cooling. During our tests the volume was at an acceptable level, but whispering quiet is still something else.
Verdict: Solid gaming laptop for Wasteland 3
With the Aero 15X, Gigabyte designs an interesting and comparatively noble gaming notebook that not only offers high performance, but also a certain degree of mobility. We like the relatively thin construction and decent runtimes just as much as the display and the high-quality equipment. Even if it doesn’t quite make it to the test winner, the Aero 15X is a balanced and highly recommendable gaming notebook. Especially for future games, like Wasteland 3, the 15X is 100% future-proof.
Wasteland 3 Preview
Cyberpunk 2077 shifts, but don’t despair – role-playing game fans can look forward to Wasteland 3. Brian Fargo’s new baby has swept us away in alpha test, just like the Kodiak tank swept the breathtakingly beautiful snowy landscapes. Wasteland 3 on Alpha test.
Wasteland goes Triple-A – that much is clear after the first hands-on sessions with the alpha demo of the post-apocalypse western. It looks really noble when we race with our new Kodiak tank through the snowy landscapes of Colorado. The white powder is blown away left and right, our vehicle realistically digs through the Christmas wonderland. Cruising alone in the apocalyptic winter is really fun, because the vehicle controls itself well with the mouse and awakens the Indiana Jones in us. In the back it shoots out the snow, left and right the lightning flashes when we suddenly hear a message via radio: “This is Corporal Riley Woodson, Team November from Arizona. Transmit on all ranger frequencies. Can anyone hear me?”
He has problems with Vic Buchanan, the son of the Patriarch of Colorado, who has taken him and his crew hostage. Sure thing – we interrupt the winter trek for a rescue mission. It’s a pity, because we just reach a hotel resort in Aspen, that noble ski resort for the rich. And how pretty it all looks: Dynamic lighting, crisp textures, beautifully crafted blizzards and blizzards that block our view.
Wasteland 3 is a real triple A role playing game, probably also because Brian Fargo doesn’t have to worry about money anymore. Microsoft has bought its Studio IniXile and Wasteland 3 will be one of the crown jewels for the Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox One and Xbox Series X respectively.
It’s just as well, as it allows the talented team to put a little more love into their apocalyptic winter. Also the weapon effects look much more polished, have a lot more humming and grenades end in volumetric smoke.
The most obvious change is in the vehicles: we cruise around in a jeep with snow chains or the Kodiak – a tank equipped with a magnetic railgun, which is our ultimate weapon. It makes enemies just burst, but also serves as a mobile, heavily armoured cover, which opens up new manoeuvring possibilities.
Anyone who knows Fargo knows that he sees such a vehicle as an independent character that can be greatly upgraded and customized. In addition, we don’t necessarily have to shoot the valuable ammunition, nearby enemies can be run over and their cover can be destroyed from time to time, which is very interesting. It also makes it possible to remove obstacles to make the tactical corridor larger.
In general Wasteland 3 is quite bloody. Such a bursting character, hit by the railgun, sprays his red lifeblood everywhere. You have to like it, the splatter is technically but excellently implemented. The demo offers us a group of four preset characters to play around with. The precision targeting system has been reworked quite a bit, more like the V.A.T.S. system from Fallout. Basically, it’s Fallout meets XCOM. Every Ranger is a specialist, like a sniper or an infantryman with an assault rifle. They each carry two weapons and an additional item, such as a grenade or a self-propelled turret. What is new is that our troops do not have to be moved one after the other, but we have action points that we can distribute to our units as we wish. Everything costs these points, no matter if we take a step forward, fire a shot, reload or use health packs. The inventory is now shared by all rangers, which makes our lives much easier.
Much more action and much more story than in Wasteland 2
From a gut feeling, line-of-sight management becomes more important again: There are always several access points to mission locations, if we manage to get into a raised sniper position before we start a battle, this brings considerable advantages. Of course, the VATS-like system also helps here, which tells us exactly with what percentage probability we will land a bull’s eye. In general, we like the fact that Wasteland 3 doesn’t play as snoringly as Wasteland 2, because in Wasteland 2 the opponents did their rounds one after the other – if we were fighting a larger army, it could get a bit more monotonous.
In addition, the units were often very slow-moving during the last part. We’re thinking of those maggots that felt like they needed minutes to slide three centimeters forward. Must be grandpa maggots! In Wasteland 3, the entire enemy team is on the line at the same time, so you’ll get back in command much faster than in the previous game. It’s all a lot more lively and faster now, but without losing any of its playful and tactical depth, which is extremely important to Wasteland fans.
Off to the freezing cold Colorado
In terms of game mechanics, Wasteland 2 and 3 are similar to the first two Fallout pieces: You travel through the open game world with a group of comrades-in-arms, talk to survivors, solve quests and fight with meanies.
The battles with a cover system are turn-based and what you can do in them depends on so-called Action Points. All actions (moving, taking cover, reloading, hitting, shooting, using medipacks, etc.) cost points and need to be carefully considered. While the atmosphere, game world, characters and side-quests in Wasteland 2 were already really good, the story of the main quest couldn’t keep up this level over the more than 50 hours of gameplay. Also in terms of graphics and presentation Wasteland 2 was by no means up to date at its first release. And there was also a lot of room for improvement in terms of game mechanics and user interface. The Director’s Cut, released in 2015, provided various improvements, but didn’t solve all problems.
For Wasteland 3, which will be released on 19 May 2020, the developers have accordingly set their sights high in order to offer a rounder, more comfortable game experience without sacrificing the grandiose atmosphere. During a recent kick-off event with the beta backer version, which includes the first few hours of play, we were recently able to convince ourselves that inXile Entertainment’s latest roleplaying game really lives up to expectations this time.
Retro roleplay with many good quirks
After choosing the level of difficulty and after the very atmospheric intro of the game, you go directly to the completely revised character creation. In Wasteland 2, you created a fighting group consisting of four rangers, which was expanded by “guest fighters” in the course of the game. In Wasteland 3, you can choose one of five ready-made character duos or simply create two new starting heroes. In addition to appearance, gender and starting weapon, you can also earn points based on 7 attributes and 22 skills.
Why a duo? Because you can also play Wasteland 3 co-operatively with a friend who can join and leave the game at any time. But the salt in the soup, when it comes to character creation, are quirks. Every hero is allowed to have one of 17 quirks, which give you huge advantages in exchange for equally substantial disadvantages. If you choose the “Sadomasochist” quirk, your character will take 35% more damage, but also deal 50% more damage. “Death Wish”, on the other hand, ensures that your character cannot wear any armor at all, but in return you receive three additional action points per turn.
Bloody Round Battles
After character creation, the game throws you right into the first battle. Together with allied troops, you will have to keep a large number of enemies at bay. Battles are still turn-based, but not like in Wasteland 2, where there was a turn order for all characters. Instead, the different factions involved in the battle now move in groups. The battles feel more fluid overall, but also more exciting, because the developers have given a lot of thought to the theatres of war. In many places (not only in battles) the game offers you several solutions. What is immediately noticeable in the battles is the extremely high violence and splatter factor, which is so overdone that in many places it almost makes you laugh again.
My friend the snow tank
After you have played through the rather short introductory sequence, which is interspersed with tutorials, Wasteland 3 really gets going. The Patriarch, your ally in Colorado gives you an old army base as a base for your operations. Here you can fill up your adventure group with the help of the character editor. Or, if you are not happy with your choice at the beginning, you can choose or create completely new heroes. You may also add two more characters to your party, provided you find combat survivors to join you as you travel through the frozen wastelands of Colorado. An armoured vehicle provides the necessary travelling comfort, and you can also use it in certain battles (the first time in the tutorial). The weapon systems of your Kodiak (that’s the name of the battle truck) are devastating and are mainly used to fight enemy tanks and drones. During the course of the game you will be able to upgrade the snow-capable vehicle and equip it with new weapon systems.
With the Rangers against a drug cult
We were also impressed by numerous characters and their acting qualities, animations and dubbing actors – especially Vic Buchanan is a highlight, even if in a rather macabre way – he uses a corpse as a ventriloquist puppet, which makes for very grotesque scenes. In the demo mission we have to free a ranger troop from the base of a dangerous drug cult, which has turned hallucinogens into a religious rite. Did someone say Far Cry 5? The area in which this mission takes place is large and vast, with several paths, where very different traps lurk. One route takes us through a death zone littered with flame towers, while on the other route we can use our mechanics to bypass one or the other enemy.
Of course, we can also shoot everything down like crazy in Rambo style, the option is always there anyway. After defeating the boss’ bodyguards we are introduced to Vic Buchanan, the son of the mysterious “Patriarch”, who seems to be some kind of ruler in this region. We are accused of bringing Vic down, and there are several options for dealing with this information: If our first aid skills are high enough, we can invoke health concerns and calm him down by a) killing him behind his back, b) arresting him or c) integrating him into our group, which is especially interesting because he has access to a lot of secret bases, weapons depots and other nice things. Vic is generally quite crazy and not a pleasant, but a funny contemporary, who morbidly uses a corpse as a talking doll in ventriloquist’s manner. At least until the body is caught in a blizzard and ends up in an avalanche – how appropriate for this post-apocalypse Western who is so proud of his snow engine.
Conclusion: Wasteland 3, a true AAA title will be a lot of fun
Wow, does this Wasteland 3 look good. Wasteland 2 was already a nice game, but rather the inconspicuous duckling, no shining swan. How come? “Well, that’s what happens when Microsoft buys you,” studio head Brian Fargo recently said. Back in the Wasteland 2 days, he had to worry about money, but now InXile is going full blast: Wasteland 3 is not only strong in its presentation, but also playful – it feels more agile, is a bit faster than its sluggish predecessor, but doesn’t lose any of its game depth. We especially like the fact that we can use the Kodiak tank as a mobile cover, how many possibilities there are to outmaneuver enemies, to flank them or to bring snipers into position via detours. We also get to know antagonists in the story, who remind us of the crazy Vaas from Far Cry 3. If Fargo’s team can maintain this quality, we’re in for a roleplaying feast.