Choosing a gaming laptop can feel like an overwhelming task. There are so many different options available that it can be tough to know which is the right one for you.
If you approach buying a gaming laptop without a strategy, it can be easy to be convinced that you need to spend a huge amount of money, when in reality, this might not be the case.
Set your budget
The first step when choosing any laptop is to set a budget. If you don’t do this before you start looking at all of the available options, you will easily be convinced that you need to spend an absolute fortune!
Decide what you can reasonably afford to spend without putting yourself completely out of pocket, and don’t be tempted to go over this. It’s completely possible to get a really high-quality gaming laptop for under $1,000, which will still give you an amazing experience and allow you to enjoy your favorite games at their best.
Decide whether you want resolution or speed
Obviously, in an ideal world, you’d have a high-speed display with great resolution. The problem at the moment is that some of the highest resolution displays are so detailed that they will actually mean that your games run a bit slower.
For example, the fastest displays (up to 30Hz) can only support a resolution of 1920 x 1080 right now, so if you were to opt for a 4k screen, you would find that performance was impacted.
Decide whether good performance or high-quality images are more important to you, and use it to guide your decision-making process for screen resolution.
The GPU is the heart and soul of any gaming laptop. Not only this, but it generally can’t be upgraded while a lot of the other features of your laptop will be upgradeable.
If you’re looking to play entry-level gaming, and you’re not worried about playing your game on the highest settings, then you can get away with a GTX 1650 or RX 5500M, which will allow you to play most games. Most gamers will want to be looking at a mid-range GPU like Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 or the RTX 3060 and RTX 3070, which will gradually become mid-range as the year goes on.
If you are playing high-intensity games or want to use VR, you will need a top-spec GPU like an RTX 2070.
It’s always a good idea to check out your favorite games’ system requirements as a guide when you’re choosing the right GPU.
Get a Good Keyboard
If you’re going to be spending lots of hours gaming, then you want to be comfortable! Ensure that you get a gaming laptop with a keyboard that you like.
The keyboard should be comfortable at a minimum. At maximum, you can invest in a keyboard that allows things like customizable backlighting to help you group your keys. It’s also worth considering the keyboard actuation, which is how much force it takes to press down the keys, and key travel, which is how far the keys go down.
Upgradeable RAM and storage
It’s a good idea to get a laptop which will allow you to upgrade your RAM and storage, as this means you can improve performance as newer games are released. A lot of gaming laptops allow for this, but it’s worth checking whether it’s possible when you’re making your choice.