In 2019, the global video game market size was valued at USD 151.06 billion. While this is undoubtedly impressive, the industry is on track to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 12.9% from 2020 to 2027. This growth is clearly a result of recent and future technological proliferation and innovation in hardware and software.
What this means for us average folk is that the future of games is bright. And with the sheer number of utterly fascinating and immersive on sale currently – now seems just the time to invest in some gaming hardware. Specifically, today we’ll be talking about gaming laptops.
What Are Gaming Laptops?
A gaming laptop (like any other laptop) is a small and mobile personal computer with a built-in screen. The key differences between the two products come in the form of the gaming laptops’ more advanced features. These features include higher processing speeds, more memory, better graphics, and more storage capacity.
Why Buy Gaming Laptops?
Easy to Use
Considering gaming laptops are just regular laptops with better features, they have the same operating system, programs, and layout as them, meaning there is no learning curve to worry you.
Gaming laptops are leaps and bounds ahead of regular laptops in terms of processing since they have to contend with applications that are much heavier than the norm
Better Audio Quality
The game industry’s eternal quest for a more immersive experience leads to much better audio than average, as most laptops choose to sacrifice speaker space to make the laptops lighter.
Better Image Processing
Another prominent feature of these laptops is a high-level graphics card, which enhances all visual output tenfold.
Gaming laptops allow a vaster array of system specifications and advanced feature activation options than the standard.
Easily Replaceable Components
Similarly, almost all gaming laptop hardware allows you to customize and replace it. You can easily change swap out the processors, memory, mouse touchpads and other peripherals.
Since the entire product is much higher-quality materials than the norm with the specifications to contend with very intense applications, these laptops are usually very durable and lasting you a very long time.
What to Consider When Buying a Gaming Laptop?
Now that we’ve established the what and why of gaming laptops lefts getting into the considerations you need to have when buying one.
Since most games are still GPU-bound, your choice of Graphics Processor Unit is among the most important decisions you’ll make when buying a gaming notebook. Additionally, this choice helps shape your gaming experience on your machine as well as helping you determine how much such a laptop will set you back. For instance, if you are an entry-level competitor who isn’t really bothered with the highest settings, you would have to invest approximately $800, minimum. However, if you want to get the complete package with all the bells and whistles like VR, your price tag could reach around $3,000.
As mentioned in the previous section, most games tend to rely more on the GPU. Thus, you can get by with a more standard central processing unit such as the Core i5 processor. Nevertheless, we advise caution as CPUs generally aren’t one of the replaceable components of the laptop.
In this case, a minimum of 8GB is mandatory, and we recommend buying 16GB. Although, if you cannot get your laptop with 16GB of RAM now, due to monetary restrictions or a desire to use an older graphics card like GTX 1650 or 1660 Ti, consider upgrading it soon.
Storage here obviously refers to the available amount of space on the machine to store programs and applications (or specifically the progress of entire game campaigns). The primary decision we need to make concerning storage is whether we will be using the in-built hard drive (1TB), Solid State Drive, or both.
These days it is not uncommon to see the two being used in tandem, considering it noticeably decreases loading times. However, increasing storage while very flexible can prove to be quite costly.
Unsurprisingly, a machine catering to such a broad range of games comes with various configurations of displays. Some of these displays have lower resolution panels at 1080p but have the advantage of much quicker refresh rates up to 360Hz. Others have high-resolution panels going up to 4K but adhere to a 60Hz refresh rate. Each of these options, however, have their strengths.
For most gamers, their keyboards are their principal input tool. This statement is especially true if their interest lay in the realm of first-person shooters or strategy games. So, it becomes essential for such individuals to consider key travel, actuation, macro keys, and support for anti-ghosting and n-key rollover, etc. Meanwhile, look for keys that are not too soft or too hard to press.
In terms of upgradability, you need to think about the brand and model you want to figure out how easily available its replacement and upgraded components are. Some laptops are more supportive of upgradability and have slots for additional RAM, SSDs, etc. Be careful that you don’t purchase a laptop that has hardware soldered to the motherboard. Such laptops have zero upgradability.
While a major focus when buying a regular laptop, trying to achieve that perfect battery balance in a gaming laptop will only lead to frustration – as aiming machines are resource-heavy and deplete their batteries accordingly. So our suggestion is to settle for the passable in this particular field.
Now, while the tech market is full of countless near-flawless gaming machines, we choose not to make a list of some of this year’s standouts as it proved to be too wide a net to cast and preferences varied widely. However, we hope this more generic guideline approach worked for you. And more importantly, we hope that this guide helped you find the machine for you.