What You Absolutely Must Have Spec
Which components should your gaming laptop have? To answer that, you need to first know what kinds of games youll want to play. Each game comes with a minimum and recommended set of specs for your machine. Minimum specs are just that — the hardware youll need to play a game at its lowest possible settings. Minimum specs dont guarantee youll enjoy how a game looks, just that it will be playable. Recommended specs are what the publisher thinks youll need to have a really good experience, so let these be your guide.
To cover most of the games on the market at the moment, youll want at least:
- A current-generation, quad-core CPU, preferably an Intel Core i5 or better
- 8GB of DDR4 RAM
- A discrete graphics card, like NVIDIAs GeForce GTX 1650, with a minimum of 4GB of video ram or better
- A screen that can display 1920 x 1080 resolution
Obviously, any of these specs can be enhanced for an even better gaming experience, but a gaming laptop with these components will definitely get the job done.
What Else Do You Need To Up Your Game
Given that high-end components tend to drain battery life, don’t plan on taking any of these gaming rigs too far from a wall socket very often. Cutting-edge ports like USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 are beneficial now, and will only be more so down the road, but look for at least two ordinary-shaped USB 3.0 ports so you can plug in an external mouse and a hard drive for your saved media files.
If you want to attach a VR headset to your GeForce GTX 1660 Ti-or-better rig, look for the right loadout of ports to accommodate it. You’ll need a well-placed HDMI or DisplayPort video out and enough USB ports for a possible hydra-head of cabling. Other video ports, like DisplayPort or mini-DisplayPort , will be helpful if you want to play games on an external display, but they aren’t absolutely necessary if your laptop’s screen is large enough.
A Comfy Keyboard And Plenty Of Ports
The keyboard quality is as solid as the chassis build. Lenovo has a penchant for comfortable keyboards, and the IdeaPad’s is no different.
The keys are nicely sculpted and have enough travel without feeling unstable or mushy. They’re also lit by a light blue backlight, which gives off an appealing glow. The lighting is not color-customizable, but the cool blue definitely looks better than some gaming rigs that opt for garish all-red lighting, in my opinion.
There’s a bit less to say about the touchpad, but it’s stable and responsive. It is, however, placed toward the left side of the chassis rather than in the center. It’s aligned with the space bar and main layout, but it’s a tad off-putting and would feel more comfortable centrally located. Instead of fitting between my wrists, the pad got slightly in the way of my left hand while typingnot enough for me to press it accidentally, but enough to be a small annoyance.
Finally for the external build, we come to the ports. The left side of the chassis is home to a USB 3.1 Type-A port, a USB-C port, an HDMI connection, an Ethernet port, and the headphone jack. Those are most of the connections the right side has just one additional USB 3.1 port.
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Minimum And Recommended System Requirements On Games
In brief: Dont rely on recommended and minimum specifications they dont tell you the whole story
If youre buying a laptop for a specific game, its often suggested that you should search the web for a games recommended system requirements, which is usually a list including Ram and storage space as well as a graphics card and a CPU . But this is only useful if youre quite familiar with computers not just of today, but of several years ago. These lists normally only mention one example of each, leaving you to figure out whether the CPU youre looking at is newer and more powerful.
Even worse, the difference between recommended and minimum is enormous a game running on the bare minimum of specifications wont be pleasant to look at and it probably wont be all that much fun to play. Plus, if youre going to be buying more games in the future, games released at a later date almost certainly wont run very well.
The most important factor that decides whether a game will work is the graphics card. Its responsible for calculating and creating the images you see on screen in 3D games. For most games its a safe bet to look for whats known as a dedicated graphics card rather than one thats integrated. The pros/cons list below gives you the basic pros and cons, then we’ll go into a bit more detail.
Best Gaming Laptop For Students
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: Full HD | Weight: 4.1 pounds
If you need an affordable portable gaming PC that can pull double duty as a school notebook, this light-but-powerful model from MSI fits the bill. Its whisper-quiet while running productivity apps, then punches things up to power through graphically intense games.
|The Nvidia graphics and Intel Core i5 processor deliver excellent game performance.||The GPU power and memory are a little low for resource-ravenous games.|
|Its surprisingly light for a gaming notebook, making it suitable for school commutes.||The laptop is undeniably svelte but lacks some of the extra design elements of more expensive laptops, like chiseled corners and extra lights.|
|Seven hours of battery life will get you through a full day of schoolwork.|
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Best Laptop For Hardcore Gamers: Alienware M15 R3 Fhd Gaming Laptop
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Screen: 15.6 Full HD 300Hz | Weight: 4.65 lbs
The Alienware M15 R3 is not only made by an iconic gaming laptop brand, it also offers outstanding performance for a decent price .
This gaming powerhouse is configured precisely to support games at the highest resolution without any frames per-second drops. It houses Intels 10th generation processors and NVIDIAs 20-series graphic cards, but more importantly, it has a rapid 300Hz refresh rate for immersive gameplay and responsive display.
Additionally, it features the latest version of Alienwares distinctive software, the Alienware Command Center, which lets you link games to specific profiles and manage settings, such as the keyboard RGB lighting, sound and the systems temperature.
Beyond its remarkable performance and Sci-Fi-ish design, the Alienware M15 R3 is packed with 11 useful ports, including an SD card reader, two USB 3.1 Type A, HDMI output, a Thunderbolt port and an audio output for connecting a pair of headsets.
No Longer The Lone Amd Wolf
The Alpha 15 was almost alone among gaming notebooks when it was released for using all-AMD hardware, but the later launch of AMDs Renoir chips changed that. Dells G5 15 SE is one Renoir-based newcomer, running about $200 more than the Bravo 15 with the Radeon RX 5600M , the next GPU up AMD’s mobile-graphics stack from the Radeon RX 5500M and the competitor of the GTX 1660 Ti.
Nvidia’s new laptop-only 4GB GeForce GTX 1650 Ti is the closest comparison to the Radeon RX 5500M in the Bravo 15. Its currently not all that common, which will inevitably change, though Amazon and Newegg show a fair number of GTX 1660 Ti notebooks for around the Bravo 15s price. Such notebooks are usually saddled with an entry-level CPU and just 8GB of RAM to get there. Thus, the Bravo 15 strikes a better balance between performance and price.
Lets see how the Bravo 15 stacks up against its predecessor and several other budget-friendly gamers
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Is $1000 Good For A Gaming Laptop
The best general purpose laptops usually start around $1,000 and that’s not too dissimilar for gaming laptops. With that kind of laptop, you’ll typically get a solid 1080p gaming machine which won’t be the best for the latest and greatest games, but will give you great frame rates in esports games.
If you want to play at higher resolutions, you’ll have a much better chance at around the $1,300 mark though again, the higher you go, the better performance you’ll get. The best gaming laptops can cost upwards of $3,000, so your budget is your only limitation once you get into the high-end models.
Hdd Vs Ssd Vs Sshd Storage
You’ll need to decide between price, capacity, and speed. The tried-and-true HDD provides good capacity, at a better price, and up to reasonable speeds .
The introduction of SSDs was a game changer, akin to going from dial-up to broadband. High speeds mean capacity will have the largest influence on price. The choice between extremes falls to SSHDs, which are hybrid drives you can think of as mostly an HDD with a little SSD tacked on.
A calculation of how much space is needed should include your operating system, your suite of programs, and the size of the games you want to install, plus a buffer for future updates and patches. As a side note, SSDs maintain their best performance when filled to less than about 70% capacity.
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Are Gaming Laptops Good For Everyday Use
One of the great advantages of a gaming laptop is you can use them for more than just gaming. Not only does that mean you have extra flexibility, but it adds to their value. So, grab a gaming laptop to give you all the clear gaming benefits, and feel free to use it to surf the net, edit videos and photos, stare at spreadsheets, or write all day long.
^Discounts apply to most recent previous ticketed/advertised price. As we negotiate on price, products are likely to have sold below ticketed/advertised price in stores prior to the discount offer. Prices may differ at airport & express stores.
A Great Thin And Light Gaming Laptop
The Blade 15 isnt as powerful as its 17-inch sibling, but it may be a more pragmatic purchase for many people. If youre looking for a balanced combination of performance and portability, the Blade 15 may hit that sweet spot. It still packs the top chips on the market and comes with a 240Hz QHD display, but at just 4.39 pounds and 0.62 inches thick, its comparable in size to a number of 15-inch productivity machines like the Dell XPS 15.
In addition to its reliable gaming performance, the Blade 15 works well as a productivity machine. Were big fans of its keyboard, which is quite comfortable to use and has per-key RGB lighting, and the touchpad, which is roomy with a satisfying click. Our primary complaint is that this Blade got quite hot during our game testing.
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Gaming Laptop Storage: Stick With An Ssd
You should definitely give preference to a system with a solid-state drive as the boot drive, since prices have fallen considerably over the past few years. SSDs speed up boot time, wake-from-sleep time, and the time it takes to launch a game and load a new level.
Go ahead and get a gaming laptop with an SSD, but make sure you configure correctly. A small-capacity SSD with a roomy spinning secondary hard drive is a good start if you also download the occasional video from the internet. Higher-capacity SSDs are available, but choosing one will increase the purchase price of your gaming rig by a bunch.
SSDs are very fast, but in terms of capacity, your money goes much further with hard drives. Adding more SSD capacity can make the price rise very quickly. Still, recognize how big modern game downloads can be and shop accordingly. A too-small SSD can mean you’re forever shuffling games on and off the drive.
The Best Gaming Laptops In Australia For 2021
The best gaming laptops come in all shapes and sizes and we picked out some of our favorites.
Predator Helios 300
The best gaming laptops don’t come cheap. That’s the somewhat depressing truth of a hardware market in the grips of a silicon shortage. But the positive side of it is that there is almost no compromise when it comes to modern gaming laptops. Whether you’re after many-core CPUs, graphics cards that can ray trace like there’s no tomorrow, or glorious screens with super-high refresh rates the top notebooks of today can offer it all.
And, unlike their desktop cousins, gaming laptop CPUs and GPUs are all pretty well stocked during this era of global shortages for pretty much everything. Honestly, these laptops might be the only way to get an Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series GPU or even the new AMD Ryzen 5000-series processor.
Though they might not quite offer the same raw performance power as one of the best desktop gaming PC, what gaming notebooks do offer are slimmer, quieter, and in some cases, better gaming experiences, especially for the gamer on the go. Brands like Razer, MSI, and Dell offer tons of different configs with high refresh rate displays to ray-tracing powered GPUs
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Best Gaming Laptops 202: Australia’s Top Laptops For Gaming
No matter your budget or your game genre of choice, these are the best gaming laptops on the market today
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The T3 best gaming laptops guide for 2022 is constantly updated to bring you the very best laptops for every gamer and every genre. Whether youre a massive fan of MMORPGs, favour an FPS or you prefer to immerse yourself in indie games, we can help you find the perfect system for your needs, your budget and your games.
Best gaming laptops is a big guide because no two gamers are alike. While every laptop here is a great laptop thats impressed T3s team of expert gamers, whats right for one gamer may be wrong for another. As a result youll find a very wide range of gaming laptops here. There are incredibly expensive premium systems boasting spectacular specifications, state-of-the-art graphics cards with real-time ray tracing brilliant all-rounders that can switch seamlessly between work and play and budget bargains that can still play the latest AAA games, albeit not quite at the maximum possible settings.
Are Budget Gaming Laptops Worth It
The word “budget” is sort of subjective when it comes to gaming laptops. But for this list, I tried to keep my picks under $1,000. While they probably won’t blow you away when it comes to things like storage, you can still get a worthwhile machine if you’re willing to compromise on some components. If you’re ok with your laptop having an older GPU or are comfortable upgrading things yourself later on, you can find even better prices than what I’ve managed to scrape up. You can even find certified pre-owned units, but they often aren’t covered by any sort of warranty, so if a component fails, you’re going to have to pay out of pocket to fix or replace it.
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Editors Pick: Asus Rog Zephyrus G14 Ultra
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB | Screen: 14 Full HD 120Hz | Weight: 3.64 lbs
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 offers a great gaming experience, and it costs about $1,000 less than the Razer Blade 15. The AMD 4000 series processor, the Ryzen 9 4900HS, combined with NVIDIAs RTX 2060 graphics, makes for faster-paced gaming, while consuming less power. In addition to being an all-around gaming laptop, its a productivity workhorse that delivers up to 11 hours of battery life.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 has a thin and lightweight 14 chassis thats convenient for gamers who want an ultraportable gaming station. It features a high-resolution display with a narrow bezel and built-in Dolby Atmos quad speakers, to provide a truly immersive gaming experience. Select models can even be configured with Asus optional AniMe Matrix display, a set of 1,215 mini-LED lights on the lid that can be used to display custom images and animations.
The Zephyrus G14s main drawback is that it doesnt have an integrated webcam, which can certainly be an inconvenience if youre planning to stream your playing sessions or have video calls. So you may have to spend an additional $30 to $100 on an external webcam, such as the Asus ROG Eye 1080p.
Don’t Forget The Keyboard: Lighting And Layouts
One of the typical features that sets apart a gaming laptop is a colorful, backlit keyboard. These vary quite a bit from model to model, with more elaborate backlighting going hand-in-hand with higher prices and a higher general level of other components.
Almost all budget gaming laptops will employ single-color backlighting to keep costs down. The next step up is lighting programmable by zone, with three or four blocks of the keyboard independently customizable in different colors, but this is not common in budget machines. Keyboards with per-key, individually programmable lighting are the province of high-end machines only.
Also look at the key layout. Models with an isolated cluster of arrow keys or well-defined WASD keys get bonus points, in our book. Also, because most budget gaming laptops are 15.6-inch models, check for a dedicated number pad to the right of the main key area, if you prefer to have oneâor not, for that matter. Some machines of this screen size will have one, some won’t.
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