Low Power Gaming Laptop

May 23, 2018
I travel extensively for work and usually wield a high spec gaming laptop (ROG/Alienware). I use a lot of VMware in my work which justifies a high end machine (SSD and plenty of RAM). The happy outcome is it becomes a justifiable business expense :)

However, I have run into a snag... power consumption. Airplane power supplies trip at 50w. This means that on those long journeys, I get 2-4 hrs of usage (Word. Excel, Outlook, possibly some offline Netflix) and then nothing. No charging on the plane and inadequate time between connections to catch up. In the modern era, extra batteries are not popular and I almost had one confiscated in S America (expensive).

So, I am looking for guidance on my next lightweight laptop - SSD, 16+ GB RAM, good graphics (for games like wow), 5G WIFI, USB 3.1, low power supply (less than 50w). Does such a beast exist?

Thanks for your help



A laptop with a dedicated graphics will typically use more than 50w of power. Your best option is likely a laptop with the nVidia mx150 GPU. I cannot find any using a 7th gen i5-7200u, but they are used in laptops that have the 8th generation i5-8250u. The mx150 is the successor to the 940mx and it's performance is generally between the GTX 950m and GTX 960m.

The following link leads you to a comparison of the m150 and 940mx which also includes some power consumption numbers. The MSI PL62 with the MX150 and an i7-7700HQ used 53w when testing out the Witcher 3. Of course you want power consumption to be less than 50w which is why I recommended the i5-8250u. With a typical high end i5/i7 CPU that has the "HQ" designation you probably will need to disable turbo boost so that the CPU does not overclock itself beyond it's standard max clockspeed, thus causing the laptop to consume more power.


Whatever laptop you buy you probably also want to also buy some type of power meter which can record the highest amount of power used. Below is a link to one that may fit the bill. You can use it as a means to tweak the laptop at home to ensure the laptop consumes less than 50w when playing games on it so that it will not trip the airplane's power supply.

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