The best gaming laptops are packed with the latest and greatest tech that will take you ahead of the competition. From graphics cards to RAM and storage, this handy buying guide will help you find the right laptop for your needs.
Think of the processor and RAM as the brains behind the computer operation. The processor works hard to make your games run smoothly and the RAM acts as the laptop’s short term memory, storing everything it needs to prevent dreaded lag. If you want the ultimate in powerful performance then Intel®'s i9 processor will be perfect for high end gaming and 4K video viewing. Don’t settle for anything less than an Intel® Core™ i5 processor or the faster i7, to make sure your computer will keep up with the pace of the latest gaming titles. We’d recommend a minimum 8GB of RAM as a starting point. 16GB and above will give you enhanced performance.
Good graphics are a gaming essential. The graphics card is the clever bit of kit that transmits images to your display, bringing that fast-paced action to life. Let’s look at which card is right for you:
Generally, the NVidia 16 series is the minimum requirement for gaming and will handle your less demanding online titles.
The NVidia GeForce RTX 3050 or Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 will do the job. You’ll experience solid frame rates and all the cool effects your games throw at you.
If only the best will do, you need the NVidia GeForce RTX 3070 or the epic NVidia GeForce RTX 3080. Be blown away by superior graphics, whatever you play. Including those VR and 4K adventures. For a serious boost, keep an eye out for those machines that pack not one, but two graphics cards. Imagine the visuals!
Now, let’s look at the ideal storage type and size. An SSD (solid-state drive) is thin, has no moving parts and they’re really fast, making them the perfect fit for gaming and more. If an SSD isn’t for you, then we recommend a hard drive with at least 1TB of storage, so you can load and save a bunch of your favourite titles.
With all that mouth-watering tech, it can be easy to forget about the things you use the most – the keyboard and touchpad. A multi-touch trackpad lets you tap, swipe and pinch your way to victory. Not only do backlit keyboards look cool, they also give you an advantage over the competition. Vital gaming keys can be lit up, making it easier to make split-second in-game decisions without having to look down.
The beauty of a laptop is its portability. But that might not suit every gamer. If you’re always on the go and want to take the action with you, then a 15 inch screen is ideal. A bigger 17 inch laptop is for those of you who prefer to game at home and only plan on moving from room to room.
A little bit of this depends on what you’re using the laptop for, but if you’re looking for a workhorse then it can be broken down into a top processor & RAM, high amounts of SSD storage, and a high-quality screen.
A good indication of these things is the number included. Processors go up i9, while RAM goes up to 32GB (though anything from 8GB onwards is good). It’s the same with SSD storage, the higher the number, the faster your laptop will be and the more it will store. As for the screen, WQXGA is a good resolution while LED, IPS or OLED are indicators of a quality screen too.
Gaming laptops tend to be a bit more expensive than other models since they have more powerful hardware. You can expect to pay around £549 for an entry-level model, while pro players can grab a top-end machine for up to £3,500. Have a look at our up-to-date prices here.