Guide to Buying a Gaming Laptop in 2019
If you want the best rig for gaming, there is no doubt that a desktop will always be the first choice, but if you are looking for portability then the option of a gaming laptop is surely your best bet as long as packs enough under the hood.
However, when you evaluate the different gaming laptop options you have to not only look at specs such as memory, processor, etc., but also at the whole computer because that will ensure that your interaction with all the hardware inside is optimal for your gaming experience.
Main Things to Consider When Buying a Gaming Laptop
Focus on the GPU: If you have been playing computer games for a while, you are aware of the fact that most games require a good GPU in order to perform well, and unlike other parts of the hardware, this is something you usually cannot upgrade, so if you get a model with a powerful GPU from the start you will ensure you enjoy flawless gaming for years to come.
Pick a high RAM computer: RAM is also an important part of the performance of any gaming laptop, so make sure you get one with a high RAM storage and also, if possible, consider upgrading in the future (for this of course the laptop has to offer that possibility).
Prefer speed over resolution: Higher resolution options such as 4K tend to be slower so do not let yourself be seduced by the temptation of more pixels over speed, as this will affect the performance of your games.
Mind your keyboard: A good gaming experience will come not only as a result of the hardware inside your machine, but also from a good point of contact between you and that hardware, therefore, try to make sure that your laptop comes with a comfortable keyboard.
Selecting your GPU
As mentioned before, the GPU is a crucial part of a good gaming experience given that most games actually depend on the GPU rather than the CPU to perform correctly, so we reiterate that this should be your main focus at the time of making your buying decision.
Generally speaking, NVIDIA cards are the way to go. Sure you can find some AMD cards with good specs, but really if you want the best of the best for gaming purposes you should always go for NVIDIA GeForce or RTX GPUs.
The price of a laptop will vary depending on what NVIDIA card it features, but it is safe to say that the RTX model will usually be on the higher end as such, the laptop will be slightly pricier.
But the RTX is not a must if your gaming style does not usually involve using the highest setting. If that is you, the GTX models will suffice while saving you a good $200-$300.
I know we said it before, but the RAM is your second most important factor to achieve a good gaming experience, most games require not only a powerful GPU but also a decent amount of storage space, so make sure you get a good number of GB of RAM as part of your gaming laptop package (at least 16GB). If possible, upgrade your RAM in the future.
Intel should always be your first choice. Nowadays there are several decent options you can choose from, including the Core i7 and i9 series, but since games rely more on the GPU than the CPU this is not really a crucial element of the equation at the time of choosing your gaming laptop, so even an i5 series can do job nicely.
Your Hard Drive
Your hard drive’s capacity and performance is also important, as it will help keep loading times faster. Many laptops come with SSDs, which deliver a great improvement in loading times, but they come at a premium, usually a big one. Probably the best way to go is to opt for a gaming laptop that features a combination of SSD and HDD (you can find some laptops with a small 128GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD set up to work in tandem). In any case, hard drives are usually upgradable, so if your laptop does not come with the best or highest capacity hard drive, you can always make the leap to a better one in the future.
Most people assume that the monitor of a laptop is pretty much the same across the board, but this is not always the case and you should pay attention to this part of the computer at the time of purchasing it.
The first and most obvious thing to consider is the size, and this is mostly a matter of personal preference, but just keep in mind that the larger the screen the heavier the computer.
As for resolution, simply make sure that it offers at least full HD (1920 x 1080) but avoid 4K, at least for the time being, given that this will slow down the performance of your laptop depending on the settings you use for gaming.
Also, make sure that your refresh rate is at least 60Hz, but aim for a higher one where possible, as the there is no doubt that the higher the better for gaming purposes.
The keyboard should not only perform well, but it should be ideal for gaming. To that end, make sure to watch for user’s reviews regarding the feel of the keyboard, as this will certainly affect the way you play.
If you can find a laptop with mechanical keyboard that is the best way to go, but in absence if this feature, go for keyboards that offer a good travel distance (around 2 mm). Also, customizable back-lighting is a plus.