Gaming laptops are the new-ish kids on the block. They’ve tried to get in the game for a while now, but have often been met with harsh criticism — “can’t be upgraded,” “costs loads more,” “hard to fix,” and “less powerful” have all been common complaints. Well, not all of that is really true anymore. Not only are they more portable than a desktop, but they’re being built so that they can pretty much compete neck-and-neck with their powerful desktop competition. But how do you know if you’re really getting the same bang for your buck that you would with a tried-and-true desktop? Let’s take a look at one of the most recent gaming laptops to hit the market and parse out the most important features and see how they stack up to what we know you need to game strong. You can’t go wrong with the usual suspects like Lenovo, Acer, or Asus, but a top of mind example is HP’s newest omen line, which has been nothing but a pleasant surprise since its release. After reading through reviews and features of the line and its competitors, the following specs should be your goal posts when shopping for a gaming laptop.
This is something you just can’t skimp on according to all experts. You should go for a laptop with the latest card or chipset, and make sure to see if you have the option to upgrade the graphics card in the future. Top names include NVIDIA, which is ideal if you’re into 3D gaming (HP’s has a NVIDIA GeForce GTX), ATi, and the latest from Intel. The options are seemingly endless, so be sure to reference a comprehensive breakdown.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
RAM is basically what lets you run programs on your computer without performance issues. Don’t go any lower than 8GB, and again keep in mind that you should always be able to upgrade in the future. If they don’t offer it, you can do it on your own (which would probably be cheaper anyway). Laptops also have video memory, so be sure to check that spec and don’t go below 2GB for that.
The most important thing about your CPU, basically your computer’s brain, is its speed (GHz), because this is what will prevent any kind of freezing or crashing. Intel is a top choice in this category as well, with their i7 being the most recent version.
Equally important is the kind of hard drive the laptop has. The top recommendation is a type called Serial Advanced Technology Architecture, or SATA, because it will use less power than others.
A big pro about laptops is their portability, but you still want to retain size and resolution when it comes to the screen. We don’t recommend going smaller than 15 inches if you can help it, and a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 is a good rule of thumb to ensure the best gaming experience.
Ports and Slots
Finally, this feature is sometimes overlooked, but it’s really important to make sure your laptop will have all the ports you need depending on your preferences and gaming style. Is there an HDMI? How many USB ports? One for a headset? Gigabit Ethernet? Security lock slot? SD/SDHC Card reader?
Are you a computer gamer? Which brand do you stand by? What are the most important features to you? Let us know in the comments