Desktop PCs remain the most popular choice for gamers, and most rightly so for they reign supreme over their mobile counterpart in all aspects. That said, some users value the convenience of how transportable gaming laptops can be, and might prefer it over a desk-bound console. However, when it comes to buying a gaming laptop, the system specifications aren’t the only things you need to look at. As an all-in-one, Laptops need to be considered from an overall perspective, including their keyboard and display screen. With that in mind, this article will guide you through the different features to keep in mind when shopping for the best gaming laptops.
It’s important to invest in a high-performing GPU as many modern games require heavy processing on the graphics system, and most laptops don’t have the capacity to cater to future upgrades. Quality GPU will guarantee your games run smoothly for at least a few years.
Prioritize speed or resolution. Currently, the fastest displays in the market are at 360Hz, but they are unfortunately only available in 1920×1080 resolution. If the quality of the graphics is more important to you, then speed might have to be compromised.
Remember to source for a good keyboard. If you know you’ll be spending lots of time using the laptop, you might want to consider using a keyboard that’s comfortable for you.
Don’t expect the battery life to last long –– games drain the life of a laptop battery very quickly and having a constant power supply connected would probably serve you better.
Good graphic cards breathe life into your gaming experience. Not all games require a GPU to function, and different types of games might demand different processing powers. For games that command low levels of graphic processing, graphic cards will cost between $800 to $1,100. Meanwhile, for mid-level demands of graphics processing requirements, such as the case for most modern games, graphic cards value at $1,100 to $1,500. On the highest tier or the GPU power spectrum, graphic cards here will cost more than $3,000, but this standard will grant you access to play almost any kind of game on the highest graphic setting.
Although having a fine quality GPU is paramount and foundational to a gaming laptop, there are other components to take into consideration as well. The Intel Core i7 processor is the ideal choice for a gaming laptop. However, if you have the budget, you could also explore the option of going for the more powerful Intel Core i9-9980HK CPU. That said, a good gaming laptop is less defined by its CPU power, but more by the quality of its GPU. Thus, if budget is an issue, the Intel Core i5 processing unit would do just fine too. Stay away from older CPU models as CPUs are generally non-upgradeable and this would be an investment for your laptop’s entire lifespan.
Playing games will require quite a bit of RAM space, and 8GB is the recommended amount. While 16GB is ideal, it’s okay to start with a small RAM space because it can always be upgraded in the future if you decide your laptop needs an extra boost.
While some gaming laptops are only equipped with a single hard drive for storage, many in the market also provide an additional SSD that is often used as the boot drive. It is better to have a bigger SSD capacity as that will decrease your overall load time, but of course, it also comes at a bigger expense. As with RAM space, the amount of storage in your laptop can be upgraded anytime in the future.
One key factor that is often overlooked when considering laptops, is the quality of the display. If you are not intending to link up to an external screen, then the built-in display is a crucial contributor to your game experience.
Screen sizes range from 15 to 18 inches but do keep in mind that the larger the screen, the heavier the laptop will be. For the screen’s resolution, it is uncommon for gaming laptops to carry anything lower than a 1920 x 1080 display, but if you do happen to see one, avoid it. In addition, most gaming laptops have a 60Hz refresh rate which is both good and compatible with the typical 1080p resolution.
The considerations of a keyboard go way beyond the variation of colors of the LED backlighting. It is important to have a feel of the keyboard, test a few keys to determine if the key travel –– the vertical distance key moves when pressed –– is enough to prevent touching the frame of the keyboard, and how sensitive the keys are. Other vital features of a gaming laptop’s keyboard include anti-ghosting and n-key rollover. Anti-ghosting is a feature that registers multiple keys that were triggered at the same time when users smash the keyboard to achieve a combo. Meanwhile, n-key rollover refers to each individual key being scanned separately and will be correctly identified even if other keys are triggered at the same time.
Generally speaking, one of the selling points of a gaming laptop is its mobility or easy-to-transport characteristic. But other than being able to bring it around with you to set up your game station wherever you go, don’t pin your hopes too much on how mobile it truly is. Chances are, the battery life won’t be able to last you more than a few hours unplugged from an electrical power source. Moreover, without the constant power supply, the overall system performance is bound to be compromised in order to conserve energy.
In a nutshell, ensure that your new laptop has a good GPU, has a current resolution of 1920 x 1080, is equipped with a good keyboard, and has a good power supply nearby. If you’re looking for a new gaming computer, understand that a laptop is nowhere as good as a desktop, even though there are pretty powerful ones in the market. However, yes! A gaming laptop is a far more portable than a gaming desktop, yet, remember the limitations of quick-draining battery life. Should your budget allow, buy a gaming laptop that is durable for the long run, and not one that is simply aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.