PC computers offer the most powerful and flexible gaming experience out there. While desktop machines continue to reign supreme among dedicated gamers, gaming laptops let you play on the go.
The PC gaming laptop market is quite vast. You have some big-name brands like Acer, Alienware, Razer, and more pumping out new products every year to meet the growing demand for portable gaming. In 2018, gaming laptops were a 12.1 billion dollar industry. So, there’s plenty of machines available to fit anyone’s budget.
We recommend taking a look at some of the PC gamer reviews for laptops or some of Game Gavel’s reviews of laptops under 2000. With all that said, there’s a lot to consider before you take the plunge.
Gaming laptops are highly specialized devices that serve a specific purpose. Unlike other sleek laptops designed for portable productivity, gaming laptops are filled with robust hardware to make your game smooth and clear. Here are some things about gaming laptops that you need to know.
1. Gaming Laptops Aren’t Always as Portable as You Might Think
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Even though laptops are designed for portability, you’ll quickly find that some models are far more portable than others. As we mentioned earlier, gaming laptops need some beefy hardware to keep your game running smoothly. While technology is continuing to get better, lower-end machines are notorious for being clunky!
That’s not all. You also have to consider battery life. Gaming is a resource-heavy activity. So, don’t expect to get 10 hours of uninterrupted play. Depending on the particular title you’re playing, you may get four or five hours at most.
You can maximize that battery life by modifying your game settings. Also, it’s best to avoid any unnecessary features that will only drain your battery faster. One good example is the touch screen. Touch screens are great for everyday use and productivity. However, machines with a touch screen are known to have the worst battery life.
2. You Might Need Some Additional Gear
The cool thing about PC gaming is that you’re able to customize your setup how you want. You can utilize components that work with your particular playing style and preferences. Unfortunately, gaming laptops don’t offer that same level of flexibility. There’s still plenty of ways to personalize your gaming experience, but you might have to invest in some extra gear to do so.
For example, you might want to bring a headset with you. The best gaming headsets let you have that immersive experience without bothering those around you. The built-in speakers on laptops have gotten significantly better in the last year, but you’ll have to pay a pretty penny for them. Another example of extra gear you might need is a mouse or controller. Unless you don’t mind using a trackpad, that extra piece of gear will ensure that you can still play at your best.
3. Gaming Laptops Will Get Hot
There’s no getting around it; laptops are prone to overheating. This is especially true when gaming is thrown into the mix. There’s just not enough room in those portable bodies to include advanced cooling systems.
While you can easily implement a liquid cooling system into a desktop chassis, it’s a bit harder with a laptop. There are a few models out there that have one, but they are a dime a dozen.
When you’re using a gaming laptop, it’s important to manage your resources and ensure that the cooling components can do their job efficiently. Laptop burns are a very real thing. Not only that, but overheating runs the risk of damaging your computer.
Make sure that you’re playing on a flat surface and that all the air vents are free from obstructions. As long as you’re careful, you should avoid CPU heat issues with a modern gaming laptop.
4. Not All Laptops Are Built for Extensive Gaming
When you’re shopping for that perfect gaming laptop, you’ll quickly notice that prices and capabilities vary quite a bit across the board. The market is filled with basic everyday laptops and top-of-the-line premium machines. Standard laptops are affordable and tend to be a bit more portable. They do just fine with casual games and low-spec titles. However, you’re not going to be able to play resource-heavy games.
If you want to do that, you’re going to have to spend a bit more money and get a dedicated gaming machine. These options are usually equipped with game-specific components from manufacturers like AMD and NVIDIA. Even if you decide to invest in a laptop that’s specifically built with gaming in mind, you have to ensure that the machine’s components match up with your needs. Which brings us to our next point…
5. The Right Components Are Crucial
There are several components that you need to pay close attention to when you’re buying a gaming laptop. The first two are the CPU and GPU. Your central processing unit is going to be the brains of your laptop. It’s a good idea to get the best CPU that your budget can afford, as it will keep your game running smoothly. The same goes for the graphics processor unit, which is a component that most modern games depend on.
Next up, you’ll need to think about storage and RAM. When it comes to RAM, you can get by with only 8 GB. However, it’s recommended that you bump that up to 16 GB.
As for storage, it’s important to remember that modern games take up a ton of space. Some newer titles use more than 100 GB. A high-capacity solid-state drive is always preferred. Don’t forget about all of the extra space you’ll need for the latest Windows operating system, drivers, and more.
Speaking of the operating system, make sure that you choose the right system for your gaming needs. Windows is the obvious choice, as it’s the most popular for developers. You’ll have a much larger selection of games at your disposal. Gaming is possible with virtually any operating system. But, you may not have the same technical performance or flexibility as you do with Windows.
With a solid gaming laptop, you don’t have to limit yourself to one room. While the experience of using a laptop may be different, the best machines on the market can produce a level of quality that rivals the most robust desktop. Computer technology is constantly evolving, so the best is yet to come for laptop gaming.