In the past, when people talked about PC gaming, it was always in reference to dedicated desktop stations that had outrageous CPUs that were fitted with some of the best graphics cards and processors available on the market. Laptops weren’t really given much attention because it was next to impossible to fit all the best hardware into such a small form factor. However, as technology has progressed over the years and as hardware became more and more compact, gaming laptops have been getting really popular among gamers.
For sure, the best gaming PCs in the world are still going to be custom-built desktop workstations. But some of the laptops that are being released on the market today are actually powerful enough to compete with even the most sophisticated PC builds out there. Of course, there’s the added benefit of mobility that a laptop provides as well. With a laptop, you can essentially take your gaming device wherever you want. This is a feature that you would never be able to get with a PC.
With that said, manufacturers have been coming out with some absolute gaming beasts in the laptop space. Gamers have been using their computers to play absolutely anything. Some prefer sports simulations like FIFA or NBA 2K while others prefer first-person shooters. There are those who like to play on online casinos and there are those who are addicted to war video games. That’s why companies need to make their laptops are powerful as possible in order to accommodate every kind of gamer.
This article will teach you about everything that you need to look for in a gaming laptop and what the best gaming laptops are available for purchase on the market today.
How to Choose a Gaming Laptop
The first thing that you want to look for in a gaming laptop is a decent graphics card. This is especially true if you’re looking to play some games that require a really strong graphics engine. Graphics cards often make up the most expensive part of a gaming setup.
The CPU is also a vital aspect of determining the strength of a gaming build. Go for the top-end stuff from AMD Ryzen or the 11th generation Intel processors and you know that you’ve got a good buy. Think of the CPU as the engine that drives the entire setup.
Your computer’s memory is essentially what allows it to process different tasks in a single go. The higher its memory, the more that it’s able to do at the same time. The highest-end laptops nowadays should have at least 16GB of RAM. That’s more than enough to get you through some of the leading gaming titles.
There are typically two types of storage that you can choose from an SSD or an HDD. An SSD or solid state drive is made up of digital components that will speed up the process of accessing and loading files. HDD or hard disk drives are cheaper, but they can take a while to load. Always opt for a higher SSD to make sure that your computer boots games up quicker. Some laptops will have hybrid setups that contain both SSDs and HDDs.
If you don’t plan on hooking your computer up to a dedicated monitor, then you need to make sure that its stock display is really good. There’s no point in investing so much into decent graphics cards if your display won’t be able to handle it. Get a display with IPS or VA panels that can handle quality graphics and smooth movements when you’re gaming.
If you plan on taking your laptop out and about with you, you have to consider that you aren’t always going to have access to a power socket. With that, you might want to consider getting a laptop with decent battery life that can help power you through a gaming session without completely dying out on you. Keep in mind that high-powered laptops are notorious for battery consumption.
Lastly, you want to consider the laptop’s I/O ports. Aside from having a laptop, you may want to consider adding peripherals like speakers, monitors, mice, keyboards, headphones, and whatnot to the gaming setup. Having a decent collection of I/O ports will allow you to do so easily without having to buy a separate USB hub.
Best Gaming Laptops in 2021
- The Budget Pick: Dell G5 15 SE
- Best for Battery Life: Alienware m17 R2
- Most Versatile Pick: Dell XPS 17
- Best Premium Pick: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
- Best Mid-Range Pick: Acer Predator Triton 500