How to Buy the Best Gaming Laptop? (Updated 2022)

How to Buy the Best Gaming Laptop? (Updated 2022)

How to Buy the Best Gaming Laptop

Are you looking for a perfect laptop that gives a realistic gaming experience? Want to download and play the latest games at home, cafe, or on your campus? 

It can be really intimidating to pick a single laptop especially if you are not a gaming expert. Also, it gets even more confusing when several other options from different brands are available.

PC gaming has also evolved over the passing years. From kids, and teenagers to adults; who doesn’t love to play video games? PC gamers always look for a laptop that’s compact and have enough storage space. So, they can easily play the games on the move.

This guide contains everything you need to know before buying a gaming laptop.  All you need to do is set your budget preferences, specific features, and the configuration you are looking for. 

Let’s quickly walk through this article to know some basics!

What Is a Gaming Laptop?

At first glance, Gaming laptops may seem to be almost like regular laptops. The major difference is:

  • The gaming laptops come with dedicated graphics cards. 
  • Better cooling systems mean they can easily absorb the heat generated due to playing hi-tech games. 
  • Upgraded specifications allow you to play the games while on the move.

Key Features to Consider Before Buying the Best Gaming Laptop

  • GPU & CPU: A good GPU ensures that you can play games at a high speed and setting for the initial few years. Most PC games rely on GPU. Once bought, you can’t upgrade a GPU. Also check the clock speed, core count, and other parameters.
  • RAM & Storage: Make sure to buy a laptop that allows you to upgrade RAM & storage when required.
  • Speed/ Picture resolution: A 4K screen will be a bit slower for gaming purposes. Gaming laptops need faster displays i.e. about 1920 x 1080 resolution.
  • Quality keyboard: Always check if the keyword is comfortable to operate. As you won’t be able to play games on a laptop with hard or stiff keys.
  • Battery life: One of the major drawbacks of gaming laptops is they need frequent charging. Only expensive ones guarantee battery backup of 8 or longer hours. 
  • Design. It depends on your priority. Decide if you are looking for a lightweight laptop to play while moving or a heavy one with better control features to play at home.
  • Ports and inputs. Planning in advance about the peripherals, external storage, audio inputs, SSDs, etc, will make your buying process much easier

Now, let’s dig a little deeper to know about these features and specifications in detail.

#1. The display

Screen or display is the first feature you encounter when buying a gaming laptop. We are not talking about the screen size only. You also need to consider other key features in your laptop display. Check below:

  • Resolution: Higher the resolution, the higher will be the cost. But with clear images and more pixels, it’s all worth it. Most of the new gaming laptops feature 1440 pixels rather than standard 1080p. 
  • Refresh rate. The display with a higher refresh rate makes the action sequence appear faster on screen. We recommend buying a gaming laptop that features 120Hz -144Hz refresh rates.
  • Screen size. PC gamers usually prefer screen sizes of 13, 15, and 17 inches with thin bezels which makes the screen larger in a smaller form factor.
  • OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode). A gaming laptop with this OLED screen is usually expensive. These screens don’t rely on the backlight, rather they generate light through pixels.

#2. CPU (Central Processing Unit)

The CPU is referred to as the “brain” of your laptop which processes the instructions and transmits signals to the other components in the system. 

When considering the CPU,  the most important specifications a gamer should look into are clock speed and core count, overclocking, and frame rate. 

Clock speed: It is measured in GHz. This feature represents the number of cycles a CPU executes per second. High clock speed means fast CPU speed. Core count. The core represents an individual processing unit that helps the CPU to perform multitasking. We recommend buying CPUs with Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology and Intel® Core™ H processors that are way more efficient in terms of performance, and battery life.

#3. GPU or Graphics Processing Unit

GPU is the unit that creates pixels to form high-resolution images, and smooth frame rates when playing games. For gaming laptops, experts recommend buying a laptop with at least 1440p or 4K resolution than the usual 1080p. Check out the key features of GPU:

Frame rate and resolution. GPU & CPU must be capable of running consistent frame rates plus maintaining high-resolution images.

Display refresh rate. To get the high refresh rates, make sure to buy a GPU that can deliver 144 FPS or above. Ray tracing: This parameter helps enable hardware-intensive rendering techniques.

#3. Storage (SSDs & HDDs)

Solid-state drives (SSDs) and mechanical drives (HDDs) have a strong impact on your gaming experience. SSDs use flash memory to read and write data blocks. Whereas HDDs rely on the mechanical platters of the moving motor. No doubt SSDs are expensive but are way better than HDDs in terms of:

  • High read/write speeds
  • They can quickly locate the information stored in different files. 
  • More durable
  • Easy access to memory blocks.

Most of the new-age gaming laptops feature only SSDs that somehow reducing the cost.

Pro tip: If your budget doesn’t allow you to buy expensive gaming laptops, connecting external HDDs and SSDs for additional storage is probably the best solution.

#4. Random Access Memory, or RAM

Unlike SSD or HDD; RAM stores data and files on a temporary basis. Also, it allows your system to frequently switch while running various programs in the background. If you want to download and play games that need more storage, then you should invest in a laptop with 16GB or 32 GB RAM.

More the RAM, More easier & smoother it will be for the user to switch between various tasks. Check below the various RAM specifications:

  • 2-4GB: It’s enough if you only want to surf the internet, play online games and work on other lightweight apps.
  • 8GB: This RAM is suitable for gamers who want to play mid-level games. 8GB RAM is the minimum requirement for gamers.
  • 16GB of RAM:  the system runs smoothly. You can customize the system settings and can run multiple apps in the background.
  • 32GB of RAM: an ideal option for intensive processes, content creation, gaming, and video editing.

So, it’s up to you to decide depending on your budget and usability. Some other key features of RAM that you must consider are 

  • Speed (MHz)
  • Upgradeability
  • SO-DIMM(small outline dual in-line memory module)

Laptop Design

Whether you are looking for portable or full size laptops;different shapes & sizes of laptops are available in the market.  Thermal designs are trending these days. They are thin, deliver high speed & performance, and have more port options.

When buying a gaming laptop, below are some of the key features you must consider:

  • Build quality. 
  • Bezels (size of the screen’s borders)
  • Weight. 
  • Input and output options (I/O)
  • Aesthetics
  • and additional luxuries.
  • Wireless connectivity (hotspots, home routers/ Bluetooth, headsets, or other controllers)

Frequently Asked Questions

Which gaming laptops are called VR-ready?

The laptops featuring powerful gaming hardware such as 10th Gen Intel® CoreTM are often referred to as VR-ready laptops. Their processor is usually paired with a modern GPU.

Can I upgrade the laptop’s GPU?

Unfortunately, once you’ve bought your laptop, it’s almost impossible to upgrade the GPU. That’s why we always recommend PC gamers to check the specifications carefully when planning to buy a laptop.

Can I stream from a laptop?

Yes, of course! You can download any of the compatible set up on your laptop. Do remember that for streaming you should have a laptop with a powerful CPU.

Wrapping up

Now, you know all the essential features of a gaming laptop that you should buy when buying a gaming notebook or laptop. Carefully check the specifications, and compare the prices of different brands. One thing you should never forget is the GPU range, as you won’t be able to upgrade the GPU at a later stage. That’s all from our side, do share your shopping experience with us!