Serious Gaming Laptops & Netbooks

The Essential Gaming Laptop Buying Guide

The sophisticated graphics and videos of video games require a powerful computer. A laptop lets you enjoy your favorites anywhere, from the local coffee shop to your grandma’s living room. These new and refurbished laptops designed for gaming combine portability, high performance, and power.

What operating systems do these laptops use?

You can find gaming laptops that use nearly any operating system you want. The most common of these include recent Windows builds or Apple operating systems. You can also obtain laptops that use BSD or Linux builds. These machines can handle the multitasking and graphics/video required for computer games.

What aspects are most important when choosing these laptops?

Laptop Magazine recommends that you obtain a laptop with fastest processor available, the maximum system memory, a high-quality graphics card, a large mechanical hard drive, and a high-resolution screen. Concerning system memory, most laptops for this use come with a minimum of 8 GB of RAM installed, but you can find them with up to 64 GB.

Upgrade to as high a RAM as possible for that laptop to produce the best results. While solid-state hard drives (SSD) hard drives have no moving parts, their small storage space makes them a poor choice for memory-intensive tasks. You can find systems that use both types of drive so that you benefit from a hearty drive and a large one.

The resolution of the screen determines the clarity and crispness of the graphics and video. When choosing a laptop for this use, choose a 16- or 17-inch screen with a 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 or 3840 x 2560 resolution), QHD (also known as a Quad HD), QHD+ (2560 x 1440 or 3200 x 1800 resolution), or Retina display (2880 x 1800, 2304 x 1440 or 2560 x 1600 resolution). See the manufacturer site for details. Also, look for a smoother response in the track pad and mouse buttons so that you do not need to attach a mouse or controller.

What types of ports do these laptops use?

Laptops for gaming typically include multiple ports for controllers, a mouse, and other peripherals. These include USB Type-A, USB Type-C, Thunderbolt, HDMI ports, and media-card slots.

Which companies manufacture these types of laptop?

Many of the top computer manufacturers create these laptops. Acer, Apple, and ASUS have specialized in gaming devices since they began manufacturing laptops. Dell, HP, and IBM’s Lenovo series expanded from personal and business computers to add laptops for gaming. More recently, the startup brands MSI and Razer began making systems for this use.

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