How to choose the perfect gaming laptop – Complete Guide
Gaming Laptops best suit those who either lack the space for a full-sized Gaming Computer, travel frequently, or who really want to play LAN parties in the same room as their friends.
If you don’t fall into one of those categories, I wouldn’t personally recommend purchasing one. This is because a gaming computer can provide you with the same capabilities at a lower price.
The advantage of laptops is of course in their portability. It would be very challenging to take a desktop on vacation with you (imagine the looks at customs), but a laptop, even a very powerful one can easily be slipped into a bag and taken wherever you want.
Laptops are also much better than they used to be and can play lots of games with no problems whatsoever.
The highest-end ones can play pretty much any game you throw at them and will be able to years into the future as well.
If you’re excited by the prospect of gaming on flights or vacations, then a Gaming Laptop might be perfect for you.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the things you need to look for in a Gaming Laptop!
For me, the graphics card should always be the first thing you consider when looking at Gaming Laptops. The reason for this is simple, without a good enough graphics card your games will simply not be able to play at a high enough frame rate, this will make them completely unplayable.
It doesn’t matter how fast your system is, how much RAM it has etc. If it doesn’t have a sufficiently powerful graphics card, then you will not be able to play your games.
So it is crucial not to skimp on the graphics card, even if you have to make some compromises this should not be one of those areas.
All the laptops that we review here have excellent graphics cards for their class. Obviously, the laptops costing over $2000 are going to have overall better graphics cards than the ones costing under $700, but they all have sufficient capabilities for the average gamer.
However, if you have a particular game that you are planning to use on your laptop, and are unsure whether the graphics card would be powerful enough, I would urge you to check the requirements of your game very carefully against the laptop you are considering purchasing. The last thing you want is to buy a laptop to play a particular game only to find it doesn’t play well (this happened to me before, was not my greatest day ever.)
Also, bear in mind that some of the lower-end laptops might be able to play the games you want them to, but perhaps just not at the same settings that you might be used to if you have previously played them on a desktop. So you might be able to play them, but not with such detailed graphics.
The next thing to consider when buying a Gaming Laptop is the processor. Without a sufficiently powerful processor, your games will struggle to play smoothly.
To help you avoid this frustrating experience we have ensured that all the laptops on our list have processors that are more than powerful enough for the average gamer. Again, however, you will want to check if you have a specific game in mind to see how well it will run on your laptop, you don’t want to buy one and then find it doesn’t work.
Ideally, your Gaming Laptop should have a quad-core Intel processor such as the i5 or i7. This will ensure the best gaming experience possible. However some lower-spec laptops may not have processors quite this good, and that is ok, just as long as you know what exactly you’re buying.
Hard Drive and Ram
You also want to make sure that your Gaming Laptop has enough RAM and a large enough Hard Drive.
Of the two, I would say RAM was more important if you don’t have enough RAM you simply won’t be able to play the games you want in an acceptable quality. Ideally, you want at least 4GB of RAM, anything more than this will give you an even smoother gaming experience, but 4GB is certainly enough for most games.
The Hard Drive, on the other hand, doesn’t have to be massive. Obviously, ideally it would be big enough to store every single game you want, but you can always uninstall games you no longer play in order to save space and if you only really have a few games then compromising on Hard Drive space in order to keep within budget might be a good idea.
Ideally, a Gaming Laptop would have a Hard Drive of at least 500GB, but if you had to compromise on something, this would probably be one of the better areas to compromise in.
Screen Size and Display Quality
Screen size might depend on your priorities, be one of the areas in which you’re prepared to compromise. This won’t be the case for everyone, but for a lot of people, screen size is something they are less bothered about.
Ideally, you want a minimum of a 15-inch screen, while not huge this is large enough that you can really ‘get into’ the game.
Personally, I’m not particularly bothered about screen size, I do pretty much all of my gaming on my laptop, and it has a 15-inch screen that I find more than sufficient. I think for most people this probably won’t be massively important. But there will be those who love widescreen gaming.
As always you need to think about what you want in a Gaming Laptop to make the best decision for your needs.
Regarding the display quality, you want to make sure that your screen has a quality of at least 1080p. This is something that you don’t want to skimp on, as you will notice the difference. 1080p is enough, but any less than that will affect your playing experience.
If you want to find out more about what to look for in a Gaming Laptop, then have a look at this video.
I don’t agree with this guy on everything, in particular, he thinks screen resolution is less important than I do, but maybe we’re playing different games. However, he does provide an excellent short list of the things to bear in mind when looking at a Gaming Laptop.
This concludes our guide on how to choose the perfect gaming laptop. I know how hard it is when it comes to finding a good laptop for your gaming needs. You need to overlook a lot of aspects, as you may have seen above. On top of that, you need to take into consideration your gaming needs and your budget.
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