Buying a Laptop for VR, what do I need? - Sphericam V2

Buying a Laptop for VR, what do I need?

Buying a Laptop for VR, what do I need?

Buying a laptop that is VR capable is not an easy task. There are VR Ready laptops, and these are a a good choice for a user just getting into VR consumption. For the purposes of this article, let’s assume you want to be able to do anything in VR including:


  • one of the full featured HMD’s (head mounted displays) like Oculus or Vive,
  • 360 streaming for servers like YouTube 360,
  • 360 video for Facebook 360 or YouTube 360,
  • entry level coding in Unity for VR,
  • 4K video editing,
  • 360 video stitching,
  • live stitching for streaming,
  • final post production and video rendering.
  • run Adobe CC level software
  • Windows 64 bit, since most HMD’s and new hardware for VR require it.

That is a pretty high bar to set for a laptop. The only ones that are made with specs that can handle these applications are built for gaming. Once you get to the VR gaming laptops, you have traversed into the highest level of price and performance available, in a production laptop. Laptops in this realm start at around $2500.00 dollars and include:


  • Alienware Predator
  • Asus ROG
  • MSI
  • Clevo
  • Aorus

Most custom built gaming laptops are made on the MSI or Clevo machines and then relabeled with the another name like Sager or Origin PC on them. I found the specs of the Alienware and Asus machines were great for somethings, but failed as an across the board winner. They are the ones made by the biggest OEM’s for consumer awareness, but lack some special options unless you get their very top specced machines. If you are a general consumer, and intermediate gamer, these machines will probably work for you. While these two manufacturers have similarly specced machines to the other OEM laptop makers, but they seem to test out at a lesser performance level than the rest of the OEM’s on the list.


If you look and see that the Aorus is a new name and design, but they have only just shipped their flagship top specced model. They are very new and have great ideas based on making VR mobile. I would watch them and read about their X7-DT and X7 Pro machines. In about 6 months, we will have our first chance to really evaluate how these new designs work out for VR, until then, the reviews have been amazing and Aorus is making a name for itself.


This leaves us with MSI and Clevo, two longtime custom laptop OEM’s, with amazing lineups for VR usage. MSI’s products seem to have a better build quality, more storage bays and a manual graphics switch option on some models. The Clevo has upgradable desktop CPU and GPU setups as well as being thinner, lighter, and has UHD options for the monitor.

So what are the specs and options for the best laptop mobile VR experience?


  • Desktop CPU and GPU
  • 32GB 2133mhz DDR Ram or more
  • 4K UHD display
  • SSD’s instead of HDD’s (OS on a SSD at least)
  • Graphics cards that are VR ready like the laptop GTX980 (No M)
  • 6GB, 8GB or more GPU/Video card RAM
  • Laptop cooling accessory like thermaltake
  • Wireless mouse and headphones with Mic


Other options are out there like network cards that bond two internet connections, and external sound systems, but the one thing you will really need is a backpack to carry this thing. (that will be another blog subject I am sure)

Here is a sample setup based on a clevo and a budget of $3200.00


Clevo P-873-DM

6th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-6700K Processor (4.0GHz), 8MB Smart Cache, TDP: 95W

Core Logic:

Intel® Z170 Express Chipset


17.3” Full HD (1920×1080) IPS Display with G-Sync Technology, Matte Finished


Supports Dual Channel DDR4

16GB DDR4 2133MHz

Expandable up to 64GB 2133MHz

Video Controller:

Support 4 active displays

Support NVIDIA® Surround View via HDMI x1 and mini DP x2

Single NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 980 GPU with 8GB GDDR5

– Microsoft® DirectX® 12 Compatible

– Support PCIe x8

– MXM3.0 Type B

– NVIDIA® PhysX® Technology

– NVIDIA® GeForce CUDA™ Technology

Disk Storage:

250GB M.2 SSD and 1TB, 7200rpm SATA Drive (Upgradeable)

Optical Drive:

Optional External Optical Drive

Audio System:

High Definition audio interface

S/PDIF digital output

Built-in Array Microphone

Built-in two Foster speakers and a Subwoofer, tuned by SoundBlaster

Sound Blaster™ X-FI® MB5

External 7.1CH audio output supported by headphone, microphone, Line-in and S/PDIF jack

ANSP™ 3D sound technology on headphone output


6-in-1 Card Reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC)

Three M.2 Card Slots:

– 1st for WLAN Combo M.2 2230 Card with PCIe and USB interface.

– 2nd for SSD M.2 2280 Card with SATA / PCIe Gen3x4 interface. >br>- 3rd for SSD M.2 2280 Card with SATA / PCIe Gen3x4 interface.


Killer DoubleShot™ Pro (Integrated Killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet LAN

Killer Dual Band Wireless-AC 1535 + Bluetooth, M.2) with Smart Teaming or

Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC + Bluetooth, M.2 interface

Input Device:

Built-in 2.0M FHD Video Camera

Integrated touchpad with Multi-gesture and Scrolling function

Full color illuminated full size keyboard with numeric pad and anti-ghost keys

Fully programmable macro capability – customize individual key as hot key / multiple keystrokes in one key

W/A/S/D gaming key


1 HDMI™ output Port (with HDCP)

2 Mini DisplayPort 1.2 output Ports

5 USB 3.0 Ports (1 x Powered USB port, AC/DC)

1 USB 3.1 & Thunderbolt Gen3 Combo port

1 Headphone Jack

1 Microphone Jack

1 Line-in Jack

1 S/PDIF output jack

2 RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)

Power System:

Full Range 330W AC Adapter AC-in 100~240V, 50~60Hz, DC output 19.5V, 16.9A

Removable 8 cell Smart Lithium-Ion battery pack 89WH


Kensington® Lock

Integrated Fingerprint Reader


16.85″(W) x 12.13″(D) x 1.77″(H)


10.58 lbs. including Bare bone, VGA Card and Battery Pack

OS Support:

Microsoft® Windows 10 (64bit)


So go get your VR mobile and tell me which VR laptop is best or about any that I missed, in the comments below.


George Krieger

Technical Marketing Engineer