Power, customization and stellar performance are all the rage when it comes to the best gaming laptops. With the huge leaps in graphics technology during the last few years, gaming is a completely new visual experience. An excellent graphics card will help your laptop stay ahead of the curve, and many units even offer 3D and Blu-ray capabilities for an even more immersive environment.
Instead of gaming on your average laptop, upgrade to a more powerful gaming machine and vastly improve your game play. The best gaming laptops have extended battery life, multiple hard drive options and lightning fast processor speeds. The best-rated gaming laptops on are fully customizable, which means you have the power to create a high-end but still affordable gaming laptop. Bigger is better, so the manufacturers let you upgrade and customize any system you pick, which is a perk if you want to install multiple hard drives, more RAM or an upgraded graphics card.
Dell's Alienware series, the Origin Eon series and the MSI GT70 series lead the market as the best gaming laptops. These and the other gaming laptops we reviewed all have at least three USB ports, built in Wi-Fi, an HDMI port, webcams and other standard features for stress-free gaming. Before you choose your powerful gaming laptop, read some of the latest articles about gaming laptops and sink into another world of gaming exploration.
The portability, connectivity and versatility of a laptop, combined with the power of a desktop, allow for a mobile gaming experience every bit as satisfying as what you expect from a full-sized desktop tower at home. In our gaming laptops review, we evaluate the features and characteristics you need to look for, including performance, design, features and warranty and support:
The core of your gaming experience on these laptops will come from the graphics card. Since mobile graphics cards are integrated into the motherboard, low-end cards heat up quickly. Look for components that work for mobile gaming. NVIDIA's GTX modules are specifically meant for mobile computers, and AMD Radeon competes with their 8000 series. These graphics cards will stay cool. Also, improved video memory makes all the difference. If you have more video memory, this takes stress off the RAM and CPU, making your system run more smoothly.
You can expect the most powerful gaming laptop to come equipped with a third generation processor. These quad-core CPUs let you multitask lag free and experience fewer heating issues. In terms of raw power, as you increase your cores, you will see an increase in speed across all applications.
With games taking up large amounts of space (sometimes up to 20GB each), the best gaming laptops should have no less than 500GB of hard drive space. Be sure to keep an eye on hard drive speed: 7,200 RPM is a fast and responsive drive speed in a top gaming laptop. Since you'll be opening and closing such large programs, look for systems loaded with at least 8GB of RAM.
If you strive for extreme performance, consider solid-state drives – they forgo spinning drives for flash-based technology similar to that found in a USB memory stick. Solid-state drives are gaining popularity because they have no moving parts and are faster than more breakable hard drive discs. They sometimes cost substantially more than traditional drives though.
When building your dream gaming machine, also keep in mind design. In this age of customization, take advantage of the ability to build your gaming world around you. If the right weight, keyboard style and screen size fit your personal taste, your gaming laptop will give you a unique edge in your online gaming environment. Your fully customizable color laptop can mirror your mood and style from the shell to the keys.
Look for good gaming laptops with at least a 17-inch screen for excellent widescreen viewing. Gaming laptops are made to support intense graphics, and their screens flaunt true 1080p resolution. Such high resolutions mean you'll experience familiar and fantastical landscapes and arresting animation.
One thing to expect with these laptops is they won't be as light as a traditional laptop. Gaming laptops can be as heavy as 12 pounds, so look for lighter models around the 8-pound range for more comfort. The most efficient gaming laptop will have two or more internal fans cooling the CPU and graphics card while you are playing.
Like a traditional laptop, gaming laptops give you the convenience of being able to attach your peripheral devices while you're away from home. Most of the laptops we reviewed either include a Blu-ray drive or give you the option to upgrade. The best gaming laptops have multiple memory card readers, an HDMI port (sometimes two) and four or more USB ports. More ports give you the ability to plug in your own special gaming keyboard and mouse for more effective game play.
Make sure your premium gaming laptop also comes equipped with a webcam and integrated microphone as well. Gaming systems capable of 3D are gaining speed too, so if you opt for a 3D-capable system, make sure you match it with the latest screen technology to brighten your Blu-ray movies or high speed racing games.
Help & Support
The breathtaking power of a high-end gaming laptop doesn’t come cheap, so you'll want a good warranty to cover your investment. Manufacturers generally offer a one-year warranty that covers any hardware defects. Many allow you to extend your warranty for up to three years as well. You will also want to make sure the site you choose to buy your gaming laptop from has all the basic support options. Some of the standard support features are live chat, a community section, phone number, email and driver downloads.
The graphics in the gaming industry are improving quickly, so you will need to plan ahead. Industry-leading graphics cards provide detailed images for years to come. The best gaming laptops will supply everything you need to get an edge on your competition.
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