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Which gaming laptop is best?

Gamers on the go often prefer gaming laptops for their lightweight, powerful designs. However, depending on what games or programs you plan to use with your computer, you’ll need to ensure your laptop’s hardware can support the software you want to run. For a blend of all the specs you need, the Razer Blade Advanced Gaming Laptop is a safe, affordable bet.

What to know before you buy gaming laptops

Needs

The best gaming laptops should include the hardware to run, at least, the minimum requirements of any software you use. For maximizing your gaming laptop’s performance, necessary hardware includes the computer’s processor, graphics card, random access memory and storage, among other specs. You can often check the minimum requirements of games and applications through the manufacturer’s website. 

Computer users who plan to game should consider if they prefer a visually appealing display, a low-latency gaming performance or both. “Low-latency” gameplay means there is minimal delay, or latency, between key presses and in-game response, and it’s essential for fast-paced online games. Players who prefer single-player games may instead value display over lag reduction.

Screen size and type

Gaming laptops include variable screen sizes, the most common around 13, 15 or 17 inches. Laptop screens differ in their resolution and overall performance between Quad HD and Full HD options. While FHD screens have better refresh rates, their displays aren’t as high-resolution as those with QHD displays. Online and competitive gamers typically like FHD screens, while those who prefer impressive quality graphics over performance rates may want to upgrade to QHD.

Storage

Depending on how you’ll use your laptop, you may require more or less storage. If you do a lot of editing of videos, audio or photos, you may require more internal space than the average person wanting to install a few games. You may also consider whether you need a hard drive or a solid-state drive for your storage, with most high-end gaming laptops offering an SSD.

What to look for in quality gaming laptops

CPU

The central processing unit included in a gaming laptop is one of its most critical pieces of hardware. This can be thought of as a PC’s brain — performing all the non-sensory tasks of a computer and organizing them in a way that makes sense. Processors tend to be made by either Intel or AMD, and certain speeds and core amounts determine performance. Six-core processors are most suitable for gaming.

GPU

The primary “sensory” task a computer performs is rendering the display. This requires either a chip or a more-intensive graphics processing unit to display fast-changing visuals effectively. The GPU is as important as the CPU in a gaming computer, letting a computer display the images it needs to at a refresh rate that can keep up with gameplay.

RAM

Another vital piece of hardware for gaming laptops is their random access memory. A computer’s RAM determines how many tasks it can perform at once and what information is stored in the background for later use. Many gamers prioritize RAM for the ultimate gaming experience, recommending gaming laptops to include at least 16 gigabytes of RAM.

How much you can expect to spend on gaming laptops

Cheap gaming laptops cost from around $600-$1,000, with most mid-grade ones starting at around $1,100. For high-end gaming laptops, expect to spend closer to $1,500.

Gaming laptops FAQ

Are gaming laptops good for video editing?

A. Due to their performance-intensive hardware, gaming laptops tend to be good for video, sound and photo editing as well.

Do gaming laptops overheat?

A. Compared to gaming desktops, laptops do have the potential to overheat. They pack high-performing hardware into a more confined space than desktop PCs. It’s crucial to choose a laptop that features advanced cooling technology for when it’s pushed to the limit.

What are the best gaming laptops to buy?

Top gaming laptop

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Gaming Laptop

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Gaming Laptop

What you need to know: This laptop boasts a vivid 4K display, with a fast processor and GPU that are both perfect for low-latency gaming.

What you’ll love: This computer includes an Nvidia RTX 3070 and an Intel i7 processor. It can also be purchased with variable display options, including an FHD screen at 360 hertz or QHD variants at 160 or 240 hertz.

What you should consider: This laptop is expensive and is most suitable for serious gaming.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top gaming laptop for money

Asus 17.3-Inch TUF F17 Gaming Laptop

Asus 17.3-Inch TUF F17 Gaming Laptop

What you need to know: One of the more affordable laptops you can find, this includes impressive hardware for the price and a slim, easy-to-transport design.

What you’ll love: With an Intel Core i5 processor and an Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU, this laptop can produce impressive gameplay displays. It also includes a modifiable configuration for upgrading hardware and a durable military-grade housing.

What you should consider: Some buyers found that this laptop’s 8GB of DDR4 RAM wasn’t quite enough for their gaming needs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Acer 15.6-Inch Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

Acer 15.6-Inch Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

What you need to know: It has a vivid 15.6-inch display with high-performing hardware that offers a robust gaming experience.

What you’ll love: This screen displays at 240 hertz, perfect for smooth gameplay and high-quality graphics. Its fan is perfect for keeping it cool, even during hardware-intensive activities. It also has space for three storage drives.

What you should consider: Its corners aren’t designed as well as those on others, with some buyers saying they’re uncomfortable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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