What To Look For When Buying A Gaming Laptop: A Guide for 2021

Gaming laptops aren’t on the priority list of everyone. They are much more different than traditional laptops. And, gamers are the main buyers of such devices, who prefer to use laptops instead of desktops to play games.  If you are a person who intends to buy a gaming laptop, let us pause you for a bit. There are some mandatory things to overlook before you buy a new device to play games. 

In this gaming laptop buying guide, we are going to provide some crucial information to keep in mind before buying a gaming laptop:

Screen

As far as gaming laptops are concerned, their screens play a pivotal role in providing a high-end gaming experience. Mostly, gamers want to play their desired games in high definition quality. Though it is a matter of personal preference, a laptop with a bigger screen provides extraordinary gaming performance. But it is essential to understand that the higher the screen size, the higher the laptop’s weight will be.

However, if you want to buy any of the gaming notebooks, you have to compromise playing games on a large screen. But on the other hand, your device weight will come down a bit, making it very portable.

Resolution

Without any doubt, the screen resolution of your gaming laptop has to be top-notch. What’s the point of buying a laptop to play games if you can’t enjoy games of high resolution on the device?

That’s why the minimum resolution that your gaming laptop should have at least 1920 x 1080. At present, laptops that have QHD (2560 x 1440) or 4K (3840 x 2160) panels are growing in interest in gamers. The color details are impressive in such laptops to have a fantastic experience. If you wish to buy a laptop with a 4k screen resolution, make sure your budget is healthy enough to go with such a high-class laptop screen. 

Touch

Nowadays, some laptop manufacturers are coming up with laptops that have touch screens. If you are fond of mobile games like Temple Run or Candy Crush, such laptops can be on the priority list of your gaming laptop. 

However, choosing a touch screen would not be a wise choice because it kills battery life and may create a cumbersome situation.

Display Refresh Rate

Most of the available laptops are coming with 1080p resolution and a 60Hz display, which is quite adequate for gamers. But there is no end of good. 60Hz may be useful, but 144Hz and 240Hz are much better in all aspects. 

Very few gaming laptops contain panels that support AMD’S FreeSync or Nvidia’s G Sync technology. Both of them work on Sync Technology to match your screen’s refresh rate with your game’s frame rates.

But most importantly, they are exceptional in eliminating screen tearing and ghosting on monitors, making the gameplay smoother than before. 

Portability

Portability matters a lot when you decide to buy a gaming laptop. One of the reasons for buying laptops instead of desktops is portability. You can find laptops of different screen sizes and weights on the market. Depending on brands, they are generally available from 13-14 inches to 17-18 inches. But if you have a major concern about portability and budget, look for a gaming notebook instead.  For being lightweight, gaming notebooks are perfect companions of the gamers in terms of portability. 

CPU & GPU

Two-three years ago, any tech-savvy would advise buying gaming laptops with Intel processors. But the situation has changed recently since the introduction of AMD. It is competing hard with Intel by providing impressive multi-tasking performance on gaming laptops.

Whatever you choose, finding the right hardware is an essential task before you buy a gaming laptop. The reason is, when you play different high-intensity games, they consume a lot of power. Games like Assassins Creed, GTA 5, or Witcher 3 require a high-class CPU (Central Processing Unit) and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)  to run smoothly on the laptop. If you prefer to have a device run by Intel’s processor, we suggest you pick an intel core i7 processor.  Previously, many gamers used dual-core i5 processors for their relatively cost-efficient price. But to get the best CPU performance nowadays, choose an Intel Core i7 CPU instead of the Core i5 processor.

Meanwhile, always keep in mind to pick a quad-core chip instead of a dual-core chip.  With a quad-core chip, your laptop performance boosts without any hiccups.

However, don’t ever give less importance while identifying the right GPU for your laptop. Similar to CPU, GPU determines the gaming experience of a laptop. There are lots of GPU options available to use in gaming laptops. Most of the gaming laptops have Nvidia GPUs. Nowadays, some ship with AMD as well. You can choose any of them according to your brand preference. 

For mainstream gamers, we suggest the following graphics cards : 

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

You can comfortably play games like Battlefield 1, Metro Exodus, and Hitman 2 without any major lag using any of them. 

On the other hand, hardcore gamers need to buy the best graphics card with more power and efficiency. So for them, the following graphics cards will be more suitable:

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super
  • AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
  • AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Undoubtedly, with a powerful graphics card, you can play high-end games, for example, Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, Witcher 3.

Storage

RAM Storage

Alongside CPU & GPU, RAM storage is another vital part to notice while buying gaming laptops. If the RAM storage in your laptop is anything less than 8GB, you will face trouble to play high-end games for sure. Hence, we suggest considering at least 8GB of ram storage for your gaming laptop. If you need more, you can add if the laptop model permits.

You can buy a laptop either with DDR3 RAM or DDR4 RAM. But we advise you to prefer buying a gaming laptop with DDR4 RAM since it is much more efficient than the other. 

SSD Storage

The ideology of a perfect gaming laptop is the faster, the better. So if you want to enjoy blistering speed, just choose SSD (Solid State Drive) without any hesitation. Purchasing a quality SSD will minimize your game load times and eventually reduce hitching on games. 

However, if your budget is limited, we recommend considering at least a 1 TB hard drive for your gaming laptop. You can also choose a laptop configuration that supports both SSD and HDD to ensure fast game loading on your device. 

Selecting the latest generation of laptops always gives you a slight advantage to play games with ease. So look for a laptop that supports at least 6th gen core.

Wifi Card

Online gaming is gaining popularity among gamers day by day. With its increasing demand, wifi performance has also become a keystone to experience a fast online gaming speed. 

In that case, a wifi card or adapter offers built-in wireless functionality,  providing a reliable connection to your device. 

We suggest you choose a wifi card with a high data transfer rate. Also, don’t forget to check out the security protocols of your current router to match your desired wifi adapter’s protocols.

Moreover, if you are a hardcore gamer, go for an adapter with a dual-band or tri-band signal range to enjoy a strong internet connection.

Heat Management

Gaming laptops are wonderful creations of technology. But the compactness is also their biggest weakness indeed. Laptops frequently produce a certain amount of heat after the GPU and CPU run for a while. If it is a gaming laptop, you can easily understand what it can generate when you play games. 

For this reason, heat management is a significant task in gaming laptops. Luckily, laptop manufacturers are focusing on cooling the machine via various innovative ways. To choose the right gaming laptop with the perfect heat management system, maintain the following steps:

Perfect Cooling Module

Every laptop has its own cooling system to allow the machine to work properly even after a heavy workload.

The cooling fan doesn’t work like it does while playing pc games for the compactness of laptops. So the best option is to buy a gaming laptop, having a nicely located cooling fan so that it can reduce overheating.  

Additional Cooling

It is always better to have an additional cooling system or a cooling pad in your gaming laptop. A cooling pad will help resolve the overheating issue of your laptop when you play games. Also, because of being inexpensive, you can easily buy it and place it under your machine.

Keyboard

The keyboard is another crucial element of a gaming laptop about which many gamers don’t care often. But there is no doubt that the keyboard quality of a gaming laptop has to be top class and remarkable.

Here’s what you should look for in a gaming keyboard:

Key Travel

While playing games, you always want to use some specific buttons, staying close so that you can use them frequently with ease. So it is ideal to have key travel around 1.5-2 milliliter on your gaming laptop. 

Anti-ghosting

Also, make sure of the availability of the anti-ghosting feature on your laptop. That will allow you to press multiple buttons simultaneously and register them altogether. 

Customization

If you are fancy about a colorful keyboard, you can customize your own laptop keyboard with backlighting to give it a super cool look.

Battery

Battery capacity is another indispensable part of a gaming laptop. Since the laptop battery drains a lot for playing games, you can’t expect it to perform like a normal laptop. However, charging your device several times a day is a bit hectic. Hence, it is always sensible to buy a gaming laptop that comes with stellar battery life. If possible, try to buy a device that has a powerful battery to last around 11-12 hours on a single charge. Then, you won’t have to take the trouble of charging so many times in a day. 

Price Range

Price is an important thing that you simply can’t neglect while buying a gaming laptop. In this laptop buying guide content, we are going to classify the laptops into three different parts in terms of the price range:

Low budget laptops (Under $1000)
  • Acer Nitro 5 ($670)
  • Dell G5 15 ($823)
  • Lenovo Ideapad 3i ($879)
  • HP Pavilion Gaming ($899)
  • Lenovo Legion 5/5i ($940)
Mid budget laptops ($1000-$1500)
  • Acer Predator Helios 200 ($1270)
  • Asus Tuf A15 ($1299)
  • ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 ($1450)
  • Asus Rog Strix G15 ($1449)
  • HP Omen 15 ($1499)
High budget laptops ($1500- $2500)
  • Dell Alienware 2019 ($1749)
  • Lenovo Legion Y740 ($1749)
  • Razer Blade ($1900)
  • Acer Predator Triton 500 ($2100)
  • Alienware Area 51m r2 ($2300)

Conclusion

The working methodology of gaming laptops is sometimes mysterious. You spend thousands of money on a laptop to enjoy a swift and fast gaming performance. But still, something is missing every time. The reason can be a little reluctance or lack of awareness before you buy a gaming laptop. 

Screen, GPU, CPU, RAM storage, cooling, battery – these are some of the essential parts that you have to observe before you buy a gaming laptop. GPU and CPU are two of the key components of a gaming laptop to perform well under high-resolution games. The importance of sufficient storage, cooling system, and quality battery on a gaming laptop is also inevitable.

We know that you obviously searched for numerous articles to get the best ideas before buying a gaming laptop. For your convenience, we have prepared this content to help you on this journey. No matter if you choose a gaming notebook or a gaming laptop, we believe our buying guide will assist you in buying the right gaming laptop in the end. 

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