What to Look for in a Gaming Laptop

edited August 2023 in Gaming

Laptops have enabled us to harness modern computer capabilities combined with on-the-go flexibility, whether working remotely in cafes or enjoying connectivity on vacations. Laptops have many uses but few predicted that we’d use laptops for high-performance gaming. But not everyone who plays games wants a bulky, static desktop computer. They want a machine that's capable of running the highest quality games but in a small package.

What are gaming laptops?

Gaming laptops are a more flexible version of powerful gaming computers. They are specially built to handle all the tasks of a specialized gaming computer in laptop form. Modern video games require the highest capabilities like fast processing speeds and brilliant graphics quality. Gaming laptops are built with this in mind. Regular laptops provide many benefits for people but the sheer power and capabilities required by modern video gaming have rendered everyday laptops obsolete and unable to keep up. Typically, the hardware within a gaming laptop will greatly outpace other laptops’ graphics cards, RAM, processing power, and gaming experience.

Who needs gaming laptops?

Previously, only under rare circumstances, like professional gaming, would a dedicated gaming laptop be considered. But modern gaming has grown in popularity and become such a far-reaching cultural phenomenon. The number of people who need a gaming laptop has exploded. Sure, professional gamers need powerful gaming laptops but so do YouTubers, live streamers, and general game fanatics who can now afford more flexible and portable gaming solutions.

Gaming is both demanding for the CPU and the GPU while modern normal laptops are designed for less demanding tasks like browsing the internet. Modern gaming demands a powerful graphics card, a high-speed processor, lots of RAM, and a way to keep it all cool. Of course, gamers prefer a vivid aesthetic and unique design.

The biggest difference you'll find with gaming laptops is that they have powerful capabilities and specifications. Yet, they still remain flexible and are able to complete demanding tasks in less time than a standard computer would be capable of doing. Because of the power inherent in a video gaming laptop, they also serve as perfect tools for other intense use cases such as programming, 3D design, and video editing.

Not everything is perfect with a gaming laptop though. There are downsides that most regular laptops don't come with. Generally, a gaming laptop will overheat very quickly while running at the highest performance specifications. Additionally, due to the nature of how quickly games evolve and technology innovates in gaming, a gaming laptop has a low lifespan. A laptop used for gaming will drain its battery very quickly. Lastly, you're going to spend a lot more money on a gaming laptop compared to a more standard laptop.

What’s most important in a gaming laptop?

If a gaming laptop is right for you, here are the five most important factors in choosing one, why they’re important, and some benchmarks to keep in mind.

Cost: Decide the cost you are willing to spend. This is arguably one of the most important factors when choosing a laptop as your budget will determine what exactly is available to you. Having a higher budget will open up more computer specification options. Gaming laptops can be found for under $1,000 or as high as $4,000 for top-notch machines. Spending money on a top-of-the-line machine ensures your laptop is capable of keeping up with rapidly innovating game technology. Gaming laptops under $1,000 likely won’t be able to handle high-end graphics while devices in the multi-thousand range will not only be capable of running high-end graphics but also able to stay functional for a few years.

Graphics card and GPU: After pricing out what kind of machine is within your budget, another important consideration is the graphics card. This is the most important component that can impact your gaming experience. It’s also where a lot of your budget is used up compared to the other pieces of hardware inside your machine. Your Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is responsible for smooth gameplay and image quality. A graphics card that can handle gaming in 1080p is a must and 1440p would allow you to handle the most demanding games. Lastly, you will want a GPU that can match its framerate with your screen resolution.

Processor and RAM: A complete gaming laptop needs to come with a powerful processor. The processor, also known as a CPU, is the brains of your gaming operation. Quick and efficient processors are required to handle all of the complex gaming operations, Additionally, your game of choice will likely require lots of RAM. In both cases, the higher, the better. A CPU higher than an i5, for example, will be able to handle most gaming applications so long as your GPU is good. For RAM, it’s best to aim for 16GB.

Display: All of the processing power and video quality mean nothing if your display is not ideal for you. You might have the option of upgrading to an external monitor later on but a proper display is what makes a gaming laptop portable and flexible. You’ll want to choose a gaming laptop display that offers a high refresh rate to avoid motion blur (anywhere from 60Hz to 360Hz). Opt for any resolution higher than 1920 x 1080 for the clearest image.

Size and weight: You’ll want to choose a screen size that allows you the best experience while giving you the portability you need. Depending on where you plan on gaming, a large, bulky gaming laptop can be an inconvenience. If you only plan on gaming in different locations within your house, size won’t be much of a dealbreaker. If you’re planning on using your gaming laptop for other functions and end up bouncing around to workspaces and cafes, a heavy laptop will soon become an annoyance.

Acer’s gaming laptops

Acer offers many popular laptops and has become synonymous with powerful gaming laptops. Here are some popular ones.

Acer's Predator Helios 300 is equipped with superior cooling technology, a blisteringly fast display, and a trove of performance-enhancing features like its 12th Gen Intel® Core™ processor.

Acer Nitro 5 will help you reign over the game world with the combined power of a 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor and NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 30 Series GPU. This laptop offers you top speed and massive storage with two slots for GEN 4 M.2 PCIe and up to 32GB of DDR4 3200 RAM.

Acer’s updated Predator Triton 500 SE is a slim and thin gaming laptop equipped with a 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i9 Processor with its new performance hybrid architecture, GeForce RTX™ 30 Series graphics, and up to 32GB of 4800MHz LPDDR5 memory.

Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is the lite version of the Triton 500 SE that comes with the 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor packed with features so you can seamlessly multi-task, edit, record, stream, and game.

Secure limited-time access to Xbox Game Pass when you purchase a select Acer Nitro or Acer Predator PC.  Xbox Game Pass gives you access to over 100 high-quality games. For further information on this offer, kindly visit our website.

Alex is a contributing writer for Acer. Alex is a Texas-based writer and B2B email marketing strategist specializing in helping technology brands connect to their customers. He has lived all over Asia and has consulted with business clients in numerous industries to grow their brands.


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