Best gaming laptops
KNOW WHAT MODELS TO LOOK FOR AND WHICH MODELS RATE HIGHEST
We’ll help you pick out the perfect gaming laptop.
Picking a gaming laptop today isn’t as easy as it was five years ago when a “real” gaming laptop meant 12 pounds of backbreaking hardware to haul around.
With major advances in laptop video cards and CPUS, you can now get great gaming performance from laptops ranging from light to super heavy and from super expensive to budget.
The problem these days: too many choices. A luxury problem, to be sure.
Still, you need to know how to navigate this bounty. In this handy-dandy buyer’s guide, we’ll not only name the best gaming laptops currently available, we’ll also highlight what to look for when buying a gaming laptop.
THE ‘BEST’ SCREEN FOR A LAPTOP When you buy a gaming laptop, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make regards the screen. After all, what you get on day one is what you’re stuck with until you junk the device. You can, of course, run an external monitor but then, what’s the point of a laptop? Screen size
The size of the screen dictates the size of the laptop itself, and thus weight. You can’t, for example, get a 17-inch gaming laptop that’s four pounds, so think long and hard about whether you’re willing to take the weight penalty in exchange for the screen real estate.
If the laptop is going to be your only gaming machine, having a 17-inch screen might be ideal. This is very much a matter of personal preference.
The buzzword today is 4K and it delivers sharper photo viewing but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. In fact, for a lot of people, it’s not a must-have. While photos might be sharper, anything not using the panel’s native resolution of 3840x2180 will look softer. That means games running at lower than 4K resolution won’t look quite as sharp unless you exponentially increase the graphics power of the laptop.
If you’re running at 1920x1080 resolution because your GPU can’t hit 60 fps at 4K, that feature is moot. For many gamers, 1920x1080 or 2560x1440 is far more optimal.
IPS vs. TN vs. OLED
The panel technology is also a key feature. IPS (in-plane switching) generally produces much greater color accuracy and superior off-axis viewing, but tends to lag in response times, which can lead to blurring. TN (twisted nematic) panels, on the other hand, can offer far higher refresh rates and usually better response times than IPS, but can look washed out or just blah. A middle-ground technology that’s appearing more often is VA (vertical