Asus, Acer, Razer and Alienware are putting larger displays on slimmer bodies
Joshua GoldmanManaging Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
ExpertiseLaptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and dronesCredentials
More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
High-performance gaming laptops used to be heavy and clunky. But over the years, laptop makers have slimmed down display bezels, millimeter by millimeter, to give us gaming laptops with larger displays in more compact bodies. 16:10-ratio panels have also become the norm, replacing the 16:9 ratio. Though the displays would get bigger, going from 15.6 inches to 16 inches, the laptop stays the same size or can even sometimes get more compact. And who can argue with getting more screen in a smaller body?
Now the same thing is happening to 17.3-inch gaming laptops. At CES 2023, a new batch of 18-inch gaming laptops was announced from Alienware, Acer, Asus and Razer. Also, while Lenovo, HP and MSI didn't unveil any 18-inch models for the show, I'm certain that won't be the case for long.
Wide-screen, 17.3-inch displays aren't extinct yet, though. Acer announced updated Nitro gaming laptop models with Intel and AMD processors, while Asus refreshed its Strix Scar 17 and Strix G17 models for 2023 as well. But with Acer, Asus and others loading up on new 16- and 18-inch gaming laptops, it looks like the days are numbered for 17.3-inch models (and 15.6-inch ones too). Here's the first crop of 18-inchers that showed up for CES 2023.
We're not surprised to see Asus be one of the first to announce an 18-inch gaming laptop; the company is regularly ahead of the curve. The ROG Strix Scar 18 (it also comes in a 16-inch model), uses the extra size for higher-performance components and a powerful cooling system to take advantage of all they can do. The preproduction model we saw had a semitransparent keyboard deck so you can see what's inside.
The Predator Helios 18 will feature the latest 13th-gen Intel Core processors, Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series graphics, enhanced cooling and beautiful big displays, plus a whole lot of lights. Along with the new processors and GPUs, they'll support up to 32GB of DDR5-4800 RAM and up to 2TB in PCIe Gen4 NVMe solid-state drives in RAID 0. The Helios 18 will come with three 2,560x1,600-pixel display options with a 165Hz or 240Hz refresh rate, or a Mini LED panel with a 250Hz refresh rate, 100% P3 color gamut and a peak brightness over 1,000 nits. There'll also be an entry-level 1,920x1,200-pixel display at 165Hz.
Razer is billing the Blade 18 as the ultimate desktop replacement, and it might just be. It's certainly going to be one of the thinnest and most powerful 18-inch laptops available, with up to a 13th-gen Intel Core i9 HX processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics. It'll have a 1440p-plus 240Hz display with 100% P3 color gamut coverage.
The m18 is an impressive 18-inch laptop, which you can load up with your choice of Intel or AMD processors and Nvidia or Radeon graphics. To keep the components cool, Alienware used seven heat pipes and four fans, while keeping the same body thickness as last year's m17. The m18 has a full-size keyboard and number pad with optional Cherry MX mechanical keys, plus dual user-replaceable DDR5 SO-DIMM slots and up to 9TB of potential storage. Alienware will offer it with either a 165Hz 2,560x1,600-pixel resolution or a 480Hz 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution.