A gaming laptop is designed to be light and portable, but powerful enough to run sophisticated games that immerse the player in the gaming environment. Graphics and sound performance, screen display quality, processing power and storage space are essential features to consider. Choose the best gaming laptop for you by defining which features you want, then decide how to factor the best of these features into your budget.
Look for computers with fast processors and large amounts of random access memory if you want to play the most advanced 3D games on the market. The quality of the processor is essential to enjoyable gameplay because it determines how crisply the laptop runs the game. Lagging can mean the difference between winning and losing during a fast-paced multiplayer contest. RAM is considerably less important when running 2D, strategy and text-based games.
Consider a gaming laptop with dual graphics cards if you want to play games featuring the most realistic and immerse environments. A powerful graphics card takes full advantage of a game's design. Dual graphics cards are not necessary with less visually complex games.
Look for gaming laptops with ample hard drive space. Mechanical disc drives are common, but include moving parts that will wear out with heavy use. Solid state drives are more expensive, but include no moving parts and tend to last longer. Definitely consider a solid state drive if you plan to carry your laptop around with you frequently.
Don't take sound for granted when choosing a gaming laptop. Sound can mean the difference between being caught off guard, or being ready to act when you hear an unseen enemy approaching. Add a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system to a laptop that supports the use of a Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format cable, use a USB-to-S/PDIF converter, or choose a USB sound card supporting surround sound connection.
Make the laptop's screen an essential factor in choosing a computer. HD screens with 1080 pixel displays are common. Choose a larger display screen for a more immersive and cinematic gaming experience. A larger display means the laptop will be larger in width and height, which may be important if you want a computer that is as small and light as possible.
Invest in a durable laptop bag if you plan to take your laptop on the go. Choose a case with plenty of padding and reinforcement to absorb shock. A case with compartments also gives you room to transport accessories such as speakers, mice and cables.
Tips & Warnings
- Companies like Alienware and ASUS specialize in gaming laptops and accessories.
- A high-quality pair of headphones enhances the gaming experience.
- A laptop with plenty of USB drive ports ensures you have room for several peripherals. You can plug in a USB hub to increase the number of available ports.
- Mark your laptop with your contact information so someone can return it if it is lost.
- Insure your laptop to protect yourself against theft, especially if you purchase a high-end model.
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