Hardcore gamers and purists will argue that you need to invest in a top-spec desktop PC to get the most out of your games, but we’d suggest that’s not quite the case, as most gaming laptops can offer you great visuals in a lightweight, portable body.
Some of the mid-range laptops available still surpass the output of the latest game consoles from Sony and Microsoft (the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X) and can always be upgraded with better specs when you’ve got the spare cash.
With internal graphics cards and processors increasingly shrinking in size and price, you can find a solid machine to keep up with fast-paced online tournaments or explore vast, open-world titles in crisp 4K.
Are gaming laptops worth it?
If you’re after a powerful device that can go with you into the world, these machines bring thousands of games to your fingertips without you being tethered to your big TV or your desk.
Thankfully, we know what you need to look out for when you’re on the hunt for a new machine, so check out our list of gaming laptops below.
You could always go for the brilliant Nintendo Switch if portability is your thing, but until that console comes with a 4K display, a gaming laptop is your best bet.
Best gaming laptops
Alienware m17 R4
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
Asus Zephyrus Duo 15
HP OMEN, 15.6″, i7(10th), 16 GB, 1 TB, 2060
Dell G5 15 5000 15.6 Inch
Best gaming laptops – what to consider?
Most modern games are all about the top-spec graphics and resolutions, with 4K now an expectation rather than a nice treat. Just like when you’re buying a new TV, there are a lot of specs to pay attention to before you hit the “buy” button.
Anyone who plays games on a console or PC will know all about finding the most expansive screens to play on. Samsung has just announced its monstrous 111-inch TVs that look incredible for gaming, but size really isn’t everything when it comes to playing the best games.
Laptops are typically going to be between 12-18 inches to keep things light, and you’ll want to find a balance between size and weight if you plan to take it on the road. Resolution
Some laptops now offer cinema-quality 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels), so if you want to get the most out of your games visually, you should look out for that tag. However, these tend to be more expensive, so go for a Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels) model to save a bit of money.
Higher-res laptops typically blast through battery much faster too, so if you’re looking to game on the go, we recommend going for a 1080p display. Refresh rate
Next-gen games are also upgraded to a faster frame rate, which makes motion look smoother. Your display will need to have a refresh rate to match the frames per second (FPS) so that you don’t get that juddering sensation in fast-paced games.
Laptops are split between 60, 144, or 240Hz, which will be able to deliver 30, 60, and 120FPS respectively. Competitive gamers will want to get a faster refresh rate as the quicker movement improves accuracy in shooters. If you’re a casual player just looking for good visuals, you can go for a 144Hz model or below.
There is one laptop on this list capable of 360Hz, but this is one of the first models to have this feature, and sits at the very top of the list for price and specs. GPU
The GPU (graphics processing unit) is important because it will determine how good the graphics will be in your games. Nvidia has a bit of a monopoly on the market right now, with most gaming laptops housing one of their cards, though AMD is also featured on some of the lower-spec models.
Nvidia’s premium card, the GeForce RTX 3090 is the gold standard for 4K resolutions and enhanced frame rates. If you’re on a budget, though, anything that’s part of its 10-series or higher will cope with HD gaming.
- Review of the 5 best gaming laptops
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