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If you are in the market for the best gaming laptop, then you have come to the right place. As part of this guide, we have outlined the premium laptops for gamers at a variety of features and price points. After you have finished reading this guide from start to finish, you’ll know exactly what the best models are available for purchase.
Buying a gaming laptop involves a complicated buying process that is littered with pitfalls and attractive diversions along the way. The sheer amount of options in the market can be make it hard to know where to start looking, and if the specifications of a given brand will even match your requirements.
For the above reasons, we have also put together a buyer’s guide to educate you on the most important specifications when buying a laptop. We’ll cover and break down each of the main components that work to determine the bottom line of a laptop, as well as the parts that are luxuries or superfluous.
For your peace of mind, security, and convenience, all of the laptops contained in this guide can be purchased via Amazon.
Manufacturers go through an extensive vetting process before they are able to list their products on Amazon’s shopping platform, which means they are guaranteed to be genuine and not imitation products.
The prices of laptops for gamers are known to change month to month, not including the differences in currencies and shipping costs. Due to this reality of online shopping, we have purposefully omitted the pricing information for each model that has been listed here.
How to Choose A Gaming Laptop
As stated previously, the buying process for a gaming laptop is a complicated one. In addition to deciphering all of the acronyms and terminologies used in the gaming world, you also need to keep up to date with the latest developments in processors, screens, video cards, motherboards, and a host of other components. The amount of information to be digested can be overwhelming to say the least.
Below you will find some of the most important components when buying a gaming laptop, explained in plain English.
- Central Processing Unit (CPU): The Central Processing Unit or CPU is the brain and beating heart of any gaming laptop. Unless you are buying a very low end model, it is typical for a gaming laptop to have two, or even four processing units.The amount of processing units you have will increase the speed and stability of the laptop, although there are more factors that influence a laptop’s speed than just the amount or quality of processors that you are using.Like an engine, each brand and model of CPU has their own pros and cons, including different speeds, memory and buffer sizes, bus sizes and many more features. Like most things, early model processors will generally cost you more, but you’ll end up enjoying better performance; the reverse is also true.
- Random Access Memory (RAM): For most games, we’ve started to notice that the minimum requirements for most systems demand at least eight gigabytes of RAM (8 GB) for a stable and enjoyable experience.More ram entails faster performance, especially for resource-hungry applications such as video editing, software development, and yes, gaming. If your gaming laptop lacks a sufficient quantity or quality of ram, then this may become a bottleneck for your computer’s performance.Additionally, the lack of virtual memory is often the number one reason for frequent system stalls, crashes, and the ubiquitous ‘blue screen of death’ experienced by Windows machines. The bottom line is that more ram is almost always better, but there is a point of diminishing returns with random access memory when adding more won’t always reflect a better performance or frame rates.
- Video Card (GPU): Your choice of video card or graphical processor unit is where the rubber hits the road in terms of your gaming performance. In combination with your RAM and CPU, your choice of video card will determine what resolutions you can use, your detail and quality settings, as well as a variety of niche video options. Although any component of your gaming laptop can become a bottleneck if they are behind the curve relative to other parts, the quality and speed of your video card will arguably have the largest impact on your gaming experience. For this reason, it’s always best to prioritize at least some of your budget in order to get the best video card that you can afford, even if that means you sacrifice you some non-essential features such as having a larger screen or not buying from a premium brand.
- Budget: It should go without saying that buying a more expensive gaming laptop will lead to a better gaming experience overall. However, there are a couple of caveats to keep in mind before you pull out your wallet to buy a top-shelf model.The first thing to keep in mind is that as with other products, theperception of the product is just as, if not more important than the actual value of the item itself. The main reason for why diamonds and designer clothing are so expensive is because of their brand names. Most of the price you pay for luxury goods is for the privilege of being associated with a prestigious product, not for what you actually get in terms of bottom line satisfaction.Gaming laptops are no exception to the glamor of big brands, with some companies such as Alienware PCs and Sony being some of the most globally recognized leaders. It is not to say that these brands do not deliver good value products, or that their prices are inflated beyond the scope of other brands. It is however important to acknowledge that you are paying for a brand name and logo to be featured on your laptop, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you really want a specific model or to buy from your favourite brand, yet you should be aware of it and expect the best brands to command higher prices.Another principle to consider is how quickly computers and components depreciate in value after you buy them. A processor or video card can be twice as expensive when it is first released, yet it may offer a negligible performance increased compared to the preceding model.Sometimes however, investing a little more into buying the newest parts could actually save you money. After all, the faster your computer is now, the longer the computer is going to last you. A common problem with purchasing a budget gaming laptop is that you may end up replacing the whole thing after a year or so of use anyway, which could actually cost you more over the long-term. Laptops are also notoriously difficult to upgrade, as there’s no easy way of replacing the video card or processor without taking it to a computer shop, which again is an added expense you’d want to avoid.In summary, you should choose a gaming laptop that is both within your means, as well as something that has up to date specifications. Either end of the price continuum can sometimes (but not always) lead to unexpected complications either in terms of replacement costs or buyer’s remorse.
The key points to summarize for this section are:
- The processor, amount and quality of RAM, and choice of video card are equally important components for choosing the best gaming laptop. Any part can lead to performance bottlenecks if you skimp on a part, which lowers your frame rates and quality settings. Choose a gaming laptop that has up to date components in all areas to avoid this from occurring.
- More random access memory does not always lead to better performance. As stated previously, the speed of your gaming laptop is actually a result of a synergy between the sections of your laptop working together. There is also a point of diminishing returns when adding another stick of RAM to your computer: while upgrading from 4GB to 8GB of RAM may lead to a significant performance increase, the difference between 8GB and 12GB of RAM could be negligible, or even a waste of money altogether.
- Find a compromise between your desired budget and your expectations of performance. Avoid buying at the extreme ends of the scale if you can help it, as with most things you get what you pay for, and buying a gaming laptop is no exception.
Thanks for reading our guide on the best gaming laptops. We hope that you found this list informative and helpful in your quest for the best gaming laptop to suit your needs.
As stated throughout this article, you can easily view the price on any of the laptops found in this guide by clicking its respective link above. There you will be taken to its Amazon product listing, which is also how you can post your own questions to a community of verified purchasers.
If you do not have the cash to outlay your purchase right away, there is always the option of deferring your payment over 6, 12, or 18 months. This deferment schedule is run through Amazon’s Store Card, and is only available for selected country.
Not everyone is eligible for interest-free payment scheme run by Amazon, so you should carefully check the special deals that are available in your country if you cannot participate in this program.
If you are still unsure about what device is the best gaming laptop for you after reading this guide, you can always read through the reviews and testimonials left by other users. Aside from taking the laptop home and using it, there simply is no better way to get a clear understanding of the relative pros and cons of each model that can be seen above. You’ll also get an unbiased and objective point of view from someone who has actually purchased and used the laptop that you are interested in.
Sometimes manufacturers of certain laptops will also leave out some pertinent information as it relates to the laptop. The good news is that Amazon has a platform that populates product specifications as part of the listing itself from its community. Amazon truly leaves no stone unturned with its dedicated to customer service and transparency.
The last option you have for when you’re on the fence is by physically going to a computer store and seeing what’s on offer. Sometimes you just need to get a tactile feel for how the laptop feels when you press the keys, use the mouse pad, or play with the many different features that come on mid-range and high end machines.
Retail stores typically command higher prices than those that can be found online. Online stores typically have aged stock that is known to go on sale and sell out very quickly. So by going to one of your local stores to get a firsthand experience of your desired gaming laptop, and then visiting Amazon in order to secure the best price, you may put yourself in the best position possible to both save money as well as give yourself some peace of mind knowing that you have done things by the book.