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Most gamers will tell you that you need a dedicated gaming PC to get the best experience but take it from me, you don’t! I recently went through the process of buying a laptop for playing games and spent hours if not days researching which one was the best gaming laptop and more specifically which one was best for my budget and needs out with playing games.
Trying to decide which laptop to buy can be difficult. It’s why I decided to put together a comprehensive list so anyone looing for the best gaming laptop for 2017 doesn’t have to waste time reading reviews. Laptops don’t just need sheer processing power but they require a good battery, good screen and of course a cooling system that will keep it from overheating. That being said, a laptop used for playing games will need a decent processor, a large amount of fast RAM, a quality graphics card and it must all fit into a portable and awesome looking shell which doesn’t weigh the earth.
The weight of a laptop can vary. I myself have a decent sized 17.3 Inch laptop for when I travel and it’s barely portable, I actually needed to buy a $200 ROG laptop backpack because anything cheaper would just snap. At one point getting off a train a cheap backpack snapped on me! Thankfully everything was OK other than a few minor scratches. That was the day I learnt to invest in a good laptop backpack.
Your laptop should pack all the power it can and also have a top quality screen, which provides the same quality as the best gaming monitors. In general speakers on laptops are poor, or at best there OK so I would always suggest using headphones or buying a set speakers for your laptop. Some added features that make the difference between a good and great gaming laptop are backlit keyboards, awesome laptop case designs and powerful but quite cooling fans not to mention internal Blu-Ray drives, SSD and as much connectivity choices as possible. If you are like me you will want to pick up the best gaming mouse too, because let’s be honest no matter how good a laptop trackpad is it’s not going to be anywhere near as good as a mouse dedicated to gamers.
Best Gaming Laptops
The PC has become the mainstay when it comes to gaming, but it does have a massive issue for some gamers – it’s not portable. Laptops are great for getting work done, watching Netflix and even just doing some light game playing but running the latest AAA games is impossible for a normal laptop. This is why we now have dedicated gaming laptops which have processors powerful enough to run games, dedicated graphics cards like PCs and massive hard drives – preferably with the best SSD for gaming.
With the emergence of newer and smaller technology, it has meant that not only have laptops caught up enough to really pack a lot of power for those resource heavy games but they are also affordable! Now, affordable to you might be expensive to someone else the same way the best cheap gaming laptop might be just right for one gamer and nowhere near the requirements for another. This is why we have taken the time to separate our gaming laptop lists into budgets. This way you don’t have to read about a laptop that sounds great to realise its double what you want to spend!
Note: These laptops vary in price on a daily basis so they may be a little cheaper or even more expensive depending on when you are looing to buy.
Best Under $1500
1500 is a lot of money no matter who you are its a lot of cash to put down on a gaming laptop. That being said, the laptops you can get for that price will definitely get you gaming on the go.
Best Under $1000
When deciding a budget for a gaming laptop $1000 seems to be the most common answer and it’s certainly do-able but you need to be aware that gaming moves quickly so your under $1000 laptop might not be able to push 60FPS on the latest games ultra settings but it will certainly get you playing games at a high quality. Below we have put a list of the best gaming laptops under $1000.
Best Under $700
I first started playing games seriously when I was at University and like all gamers, I gamed on a budget. I spent weeks hunting for the best cheap gaming laptop my money could buy! That means I needed to find a gaming laptop that both suited my gaming needs as well as being enough to use for my studies. $700 is more than enough to get you a laptop that will ensure you’re playing the latest games. Although, it won’t be enough to maintain high-quality graphics at high FPS. For me, though, my cheap gaming laptop back in University worked great for me! I actually still have it for when I go travelling as it runs most games, just with low to medium settings enabled.
Best Under $500
Finding a $500 laptop that can play games is going to be difficult and likely the laptop will not support most AAA games. That being said if the games you play aren’t as labour intensive on graphics then you might be in luck of finding a gaming laptop under $500.
Laptop Need to Knows
Below we have comprised a rough checklist of information you need to know when you buy your next video game laptop.
Best Gaming laptop Brands
It used to be the case that laptops were very few and far between but with the latest technology gaming laptops have their own section of the market. Brands like Alienware (Dell), Asus, CyberPower, MSI, Razor and even Apple have dedicated laptops aimed at gamers on the move. It has never been so easy to buy a laptop that will let you play new and future games.
What CPU do you need?
When you are looking at high-performance games you would ideally be looking at picking up a laptop with the latest Intel or AMD processor. Both dual and quad core processors will be fine, but ideally, you should be aiming at the quad core with a high clock speed (GHz) especially if you want to future-proof your laptop a little better. Although reports show a 3.2GHz dual-core processor beating a quad-core of 2.8GHz when benchmarking games there is a reason for that. Most games have been in development for years and have been tailored for dual core processors. There are increasing numbers of new releases that have been tailored towards quad-core processors, so going forward it makes more sense to use a quad core CPU.
Laptop graphics card (GPU)
I will keep this part short. Look for as much memory as you can afford and make sure its high-quality laptop memory. We here use Corsair Vengence memory.
SSD Hard drive for gaming
I always recommend getting yourself a good SSD for your operating system and the games you play a lot. SSD will not affect your graphics or in-game experience but it will decrease load times and laptop bootup times. It's also great for those of us that use our laptops for work.
What else do you need?
Lets me honest, the touch pad on laptops is pretty crap for gaming. Especially those games that require a lot of mouse movement. A lot of gamers including myself have a bought dedicated gaming mouse as well as a dedicated gaming keyboard.