Monday, March 20, 2023

What Specs Should I Look For In A Gaming Laptop

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Decide If You Want A 2

Ultimate Gaming Laptop Buying Guide!

Many PC laptops fall into the category of 2-in-1 laptops, hybrid devices that can switch between traditional clamshell mode, tablet mode and other positions in between such as tent or stand modes. 2-in-1s generally come in two different styles: detachables with screens that come off the keyboard entirely and flexible laptops with hinges that bend back 360 degrees to change modes.

Most of these systems are much better at serving one purpose than the other, with bend-backs being laptops first and detachables offering a superior tablet experience. However, if you don’t see the need to use your notebook as a slate, you’ll usually get more performance for your money with a traditional clamshell laptop.

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How To Buy A Laptop 2021

Mobile computing isnt a luxury anymore these days, having ready access to a laptop is a flat out necessity.

Whether you need to edit video on the go, email your boss, play games, or just keep in touch with family, performance and portability come together when you pick the right notebook.

Although prices have come down, laptops are still a big investment. Thats why you should be confident that youve found the perfect laptop to fit your needs and budget before checking out!

Thats where we come in!

A typical laptop will last between 3 5 years. When its time to replace a new laptop, from start to finish weve got a full guide to walk you through every aspect of the buying process.

More Tips For Buying A Gaming Laptop

Before buying a gaming laptop, there are some final things to consider.

  • Do you need a gaming laptop? Gaming laptops look cool and appealing, but not everyone needs one. Do you already have a gaming PC set up at home? In which case, you may not need a gaming laptop. Only buy one if you travel often or you don’t already have a desktop setup.
  • Plan your budget. Like any significant technological purchase, you can spend hundreds or thousands on a gaming laptop. If you rarely play PC games, you don’t need a $4,000 laptop, but if it’s your primary source of entertainment and you can afford it, it could be worthwhile future-proofing.
  • Look for extra features. Some gaming laptops focus on offering enhanced cooling or an ergonomic design that makes it easier for longer gaming sessions. If you’re the kind of gamer that loses a day to the latest release, both may be worth spending extra on these features.

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How Much Should I Spend When Buying A New Laptop

There are main price tiers to look at when picking a laptop. For the adventurous who arent averse to potentially sending a machine back for repair, dont forget you can often find refurbished units for sale online.

Unless youve found a killer Black Friday style deal, anything under $300 is probably going to be a Chromebook or a refurbished Windows machine.

When going for laptop under $500, this is still the in the budget range, but here you start to find some better features. In most cases, 4 6GB of RAM is the maximum you can expect here when buying a new machine instead of going refurbished. That means your top priorities should be in getting the best CPU, most hard drive space, and finding extra bells and whistles.

Be on the lookout for trade offs here to find specifically what you need. For instance, if you prefer speed over storage space, you an often find $400 $500 laptops with 128GB SSDs instead of the typical 1TB HDD.

Laptops Over $1000: At this price point, dont accept any trade offs in features and make sure you get everything you want.

The only exception to that rule is if you are picking an ultrabook, which offers thin, ultra lightweight designs by culling out a few features.

You should always get something extra at this range above and beyond what the budget options offer. For instance, make sure you find a backlit keyboard, touch screen, or special hybrid design.

Meet Your Needs And Budget

Alienware M15 R4 Gaming Laptop

Of course, you need to balance these features with your budget and your needs, and you might have to make some compromises. Rarely does a laptop come along that ticks all the boxes, especially when it comes to price.

Let us know in the comments below if you consider other aspects of a laptop to be more important , and especially let us know if youve already found the perfect laptop for your needs.

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Is It Cheaper To Build Your Own Gaming Laptop

There is no absolute answer to this question as it involves a lot of complications. For professional gamers who know everything from motherboard sequences to multiple requirements of the system, the answer is YES.

As they know all the relevant details about gaming laptops and potential customization, they can do it efficiently and inexpensively.

However, if you are a newbie in the field and do not know the ABC of the game, I would suggest you gain some knowledge before you dive into building a gaming laptop.

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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Buying The Best Cheap Gaming Laptop

If you’re shopping for a gaming system on a limited budget , you’re going to need to make some sacrifices. Maximizing power while staying within a limited price range is the goal, but you’ll have to accept that some of the components won’t be comparable with the more expensive laptops you’ll see while browsing. That said, $1,200 is a reasonable ceiling for what some buyers are ready to spend on a gaming laptop, and you can still get a solid system for that much or less.

The main drop-off will be the graphics, since the dedicated graphics chip is one of the most expensive components in a machine and the major factor in a computer’s gaming prowess. The graphics chip almost single-handedly defines the class of laptop you’re dealing with, so it’s important to pay attention to that part when browsing options. Fortunately, even the less powerful GPU options these days are quite capable.

Processors are the next biggest difference. You’ll likely get a capable Core i5 instead of a faster Core i7. Still, some of the benefits of an i7 machine aren’t a major factor for gaming, but instead benefit video editing and other creative uses, so an i5 will do the job. The newest generation of these chips is fast and efficient at a base level, and won’t be too much of a bottleneck for gaming.

What Display Should A Gaming Laptop Have

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A gaming laptop has its display built into the system, so, as with many other components, it’s not possible to upgrade at a later date. While you can plug an external monitor or screen into a gaming laptop, it’s good to have a high-end display to match the components you’ve chosen.

For a gaming laptop, response times and refresh rates are essential. A basic display offers a refresh rate of 60Hz, but a good gaming laptop display offers 120Hz or higher. Combined with a low response time such as 1-3ms, the games you play run more smoothly.

A low refresh rate can cause issues with motion blur when playing fast-paced games, and a high response time can cause problems when responding quickly to a game’s actions.

There’s also the question of panels. Some high-end gaming laptops offer a 4K screen with a much higher resolution than a standard HD display. This resolution can increase the price by a few hundred dollars, but it means a sharper image. If your choice of gaming laptop has a high-end graphics card, you’ll miss out on a great picture if the screen does not match its quality.

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Lenovo Gaming Laptops: Legion & Ideapad

We’ve spent decades thinking about what gamers need in a gaming laptop, but also, about how we can make laptop gaming fun for everyone. The result is a line of laptops and hardware designed specifically for gamers, Lenovo Legion, and a selection of regular laptops that can transform into gaming machines when the need arises, IdeaPad.


Our line of Lenovo Legion gaming gear is built by gamers, for gamers, and represents the very best in gaming laptops. The Legion Series is at the core of Lenovo PC gaming and has something for every type of gamer, including VR-ready models, rigs for eSports, and even affordable laptops. Every Lenovo Legion laptop comes preloaded with a version of the Windows 10 operating system, up to Windows 10 Pro. With features that will give you every advantage, like RGB backlit keyboards, variable screen refresh rates, DDR5 memory, and unrivaled NVIDIA® graphics cards, the kitchen sink is about the only thing we didn’t throw in!

What Are Good Laptop Specs

  • Processor The brains of the laptop, the better the processor, the faster your computer will run. For a dependable laptop, an Intel i3 is fine, but an i5 will guarantee good speeds. Laptops with i7 chips cost a lot more, and are more suited to those running design software. Most computer-based jobs won’t need too powerful a processor, since text/spreadsheet documents aren’t too intensive, but film editors or graphic designers will need a computer with a bit more of a punch.
  • Screen Size and resolution of screen will have a big impact on your experience. It’s best not to go smaller than a 13-inch screen, though you can live without 4K displays unless you’re a professional designer or photo-editor. Full HD resolution is fine.
  • Storage Space The amount of space you can use to store your files. It’s best not to accept less than 256GB for a solid state drive , or less than 1TB for a traditional hard drive .
  • RAM Used for juggling multiple applications at once. More RAM can give you a speed boost. These days, 8GB RAM is the minimum to aim for. 16GB or 32GB is only needed for high-end machines.
  • Graphics card An additional graphics card is used for things like image editing. If you only need to browse the web, email and stream video, you can live without an advanced graphics card.

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Know The Gaming Pc Brands

Before we dive into specific models of pre-built gaming desktops and laptops to choose from, we should briefly look at PC brands. There is a handful of brands out there that have become known as reliable and trusted PC gaming manufacturers. Some of them started out with a reputation for one thing, like motherboards or graphics cards, but theyve all at some point established themselves as full PC gaming manufacturers, too.

Some of the most common are iBuyPower, MSI, ACER, CyberpowerPC, ABS , and SkyTech. Keep your eyes peeled for these companies when picking out your build, and, in most cases, you cant go wrong.

How Much Ram Do You Need In A Gaming Laptop

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When laptop makers spec out gaming laptops, one of the levers they use to try to convince you to buy their product is upping the amount of RAM. Its not hard to find gaming laptops with upgraded configurations that go from 16GB of DDR4 to 32GB.

While having an adequate amount of RAM is important for gaming, todays games typically top out at 16GB of RAM, and sometimes can run fine with just 8GB of RAM. Anything more than 16GB is usually a waste of money.

You might want to blame laptop and PC makers for cynically using an erroneous spec to manipulate the public, but the blame actually lies with the average buyer. PC makers have told us for years they only over-spec RAM because the public thinks more is better.

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The Best Gaming Laptop Deals This Week*

*Deals are selected by our partner, TechBargains

Some laptops in this class support QHD or 4K screens, a hard drive to supplement the SSD, and ultra-efficient cooling fans as optional extras. Thanks to modern advancements, an increasing number of these are even fairly thin and portable. With laptops in this tier, you’ll either pay a premium for high-end performance in a thin chassis, or for pay for the most possible power in a chunkier build.

Focus On What Matters To You

When setting up your gaming desktop, keep in mind that your gaming ecosystem is a careful balancing act. You have to figure out what you prefer and want from your overall gameplay experience and then invest in the resources that will make that happen.

If youre struggling to organize a budget for this, we recommend investing the majority of your budget in the graphics card and the CPU. Those features will make the biggest difference in improving how your game visually looks. From there, reliable and ample storage will make the game run and load faster. While a sleek design or fancy case would look nice, it wont affect your in-game experience. More memory has its place, but if its more than youll be able to use, it wont do much.

Keep in mind this investment is entirely up to you, so build a PC that works for you. If how your PC looks matters to you, then trick it out. Light the PC up and make it look incredible. If youd rather tweak and overclock, spend some money getting a nicer motherboard and a decent cooler. We recommend that you spend the bulk of your money on features that will ultimately improve your devices gaming functions, but the PC should also fit your preferences.

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And Then There’s The Battery Life

Gaming laptops are not renowned for their battery life, which, because of their demanding components, is rather short.

Less powerful components might give you longer battery life, but your gaming performance might suffer if you choose a laptop with underpowered components.

Conversely, that laptop might have a less powerful battery in it, offsetting the reason you chose a weaker gaming laptop. Gaming laptop batteries are replaceable but not upgradeable.

Though batteries are getting better in gaming laptops, don’t expect any gaming laptop to give you anything more than a couple of hours during intense gaming sessions. For that reason, if you can, game with your laptop plugged into a power source.

However, if you want to get a long-running gaming laptop, it’s best to take the product description with a pinch of salt and, instead, look at what owners or reviewers have to say of the models you’re looking at.

What Cpu Do You Need For Gaming

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Intel and AMD are the main processor brands used for any computer, and the only two you want for a gaming computer. Their chips have gone through huge revolutions in design and performance potential in recent years. Chips continue to gain in efficiency and battery life is better than ever.

As a general rule of thumb for buying a gaming laptop, look for an AMD Ryzen 3000, 4000, 5000 or 6000 CPU will be excellent. Among Intel processors, look for at least an 11th or 12th generation processor a 10th generation processor may be a choice if you find one at a good deal. Intel has multiple processor tiers, with system prices and performance increasing as you move up the line from Core i5 to Core i7 and Core i9.

Note that higher-end Core i9 or Ryzen 9 processors will give you a slight performance bump at lower resolutions, and you might as well get the best of the best if you can afford it. Or, look for a mid-range CPU with the best graphics card configuration you can find.

The types of games you play has a big impact on the type of processor you need. If youre a casual gamer or playing simpler indie games, then you likely won’t need anything too powerful.

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Gb Of Ram Is The Sweet Spot

16GB is frequently cited as the sweet spot for a gaming PC, and for good reason. Its affordable enough to easily justify, without blowing your builds budget or wasting money which couldve been spent more productively elsewhere. A general rule of thumb to adhere to is cross-reference a gaming PC with whats available on the console side. Last-gen consoles used 8GB of RAM. Now, the current-gen consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X use 16GB of RAM, albeit unified.

Picking up two sticks of RAM two 8GB rather than one 16GB allows you to run them in dual-channel for a noticeable bump in performance. Lastly, the RAMs rated speed influences performance too. Mostly for AMD Ryzen CPU-based gaming PCs, as their chiplet architecture means theyre heavily dependent on fast RAM. As mentioned, 3,000MHz is roughly what you should be aiming for. 3,200MHz is readily available and common in many gaming PCs. Faster is appreciated, but you start to hit diminishing returns.

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